Sunday, June 9, 2013

John John's 2!

Our sweet baby turned two years old on June 9. He's a comedian, a spitfire, an escape artist, a chatterbox, a ray of sunshine and an absolute joy. He's Madeline and Charlie's favorite toy. We all adore him so much more than I could ever hope to express in a quick blog post.
To celebrate our little guy, we had a handful of friends over for a puppy party. The theme chose itself since Johnny loves Maple so much. Every time we leave our house, by stroller or car, John yells, "We love you, Maple!" And some nights, he won't go to sleep unless Maple has visited his room; she joins us for story time almost every evening.

From top to bottom: Jack Buresh, Robert Noble, George Judy, Conrad Redden, Charlie-Char, Thomas Byrnes, The Birthday Boy, Jimmy Buresh and Mary Jane Redden (Lilly Cordani not pictured)
The children ate their hot dog lunch out of puppy bowls (originally filled with Cocoa Puffs, which looks a lot like real dog food!). We nibbled on puppy chow (rice puffs covered in peanut butter, chocolate and powdered sugar), and all the kids posed for a picture wearing their silly hat with dog ears. The favor bags were filled with doggie stickers, puppy lollipops and cute little stuffed dogs. What fun!

We were so lucky that on the day of John's actual birthday, Rob's family drove up and spent the day with our little guy.

Johnny and his girlfriend, Mary Jane.
Emily, Lucy and Little George.
Look at his expression!
I can almost reach the icing....
Got it!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A Busy Spring, School's End and Summer's First Chapter

This Spring and early Summer flew by.... I traveled to Florida for a reunion with my Nashville girlfriends, spent a weekend at the Drake in Chicago for Mollie's baby shower, drove to Geneva twice for extended weekends while Rob traveled, flew out to Boulder to meet sweet baby Evelyn, and went to Central America with Rob for his work incentive trip.

In April, a girlfriend and I started a Daisy troop for 29 high energy girls in one of the most active Girl Scouting areas of the country! We squeezed four meetings into the last two months of school. It was so fun and so busy -- an incredible experience for Madeline and for me! Crazy to think it will all start up again in five short weeks...
Then in May, all of the end of school festivities ramped up. Charlie graduated from three-year-old Preschool in the sweetest little program I've ever seen. His class paraded around the block as all the parents cheered on their arrival. Then they released butterflies that they grew in their classroom. I had tears in my eyes and a sting in my throat as I held back maternal tears at the symbolism of letting our babies go.
Then Madeline had the Spring Sing at school -- I'd been hearing her hum to herself at home for months. Ning joined us for her program, then zipped back to work; Rob met us afterwards as the whole school ate a picnic lunch on the lawn. In fact, I told Madeline's teacher that our family would adopt any kids whose parents couldn't attend, so we ended up with five darling kindergarteners on our blanket with us.
Many parents take this day off work and celebrate all day long!
People spread blankets on the front lawn in the early morning!
Elizabeth, Madeline and Magnolia in their spring dresses
As the last day of school approached, Madeline had a field trip at the farm, and Charlie, John and I met up with her class for a celebratory picnic at Klode. On her last day of school, Madeline and Charlie both came downstairs and found two-wheeled scooters to kick off the summer! They wrote their teachers sweet notes of thanks for the year, and we gave Mrs. Opelt and Mrs. von Paumgartten each a birdhouse with birdseed.
Mrs. Opelt was a wonderful K5 teacher!

Caroline, Mads, Magnolia & Elizabeth
The kids and Rob on their scooters!
The five of us ran a 5K together called Run the Bay; the course practically went by our front door. We took the double and single stroller so there would be wheels for all the kids, but Madeline and Charlie covered a lot of ground on foot! Afterwards, the kids ran races on the high school track; Madeline smoked her age group.
And then summer arrived! Or did it? The first several weeks of summer vacation were rainy and cold. We were bundled up in coats for our first three lemonade stands, and we wore polar fleeces to the pool for the first week of swimming lessons. But we're having a blast just being together. I made a list of fun things we'll do all summer long. 

The most fun thing of all is that Mollie, Baby Evelyn and Andi and Kyle all visited us and we loved every second that we got to have them. 
There's so much more summer to catch up on. That will be chapter two...