This has been a very challenging week with Julia.  Even though she’s not even 22 months I think she has really entered the Terrible 2’s.  She does have a lot of words now, but she can’t always communicate to us what she wants or what’s bothering her.  She knows what she wants and when she wants it, she wants it NOW and she gets VERY UPSET if she doesn’t get what she wants.  At home if she doesn’t get what she wants, she sometimes throws things on the floor, or she’ll screech at the top of her lungs and cry, or she’ll do the classic toddler move: lie down on the floor face-down and kick while crying.  At school if she doesn’t get what she wants, she does the screeching thing and unfortunately, she’s developed a bit of a biting problem.  The biting thing started slowly and got worse and worse over time.  We’ve worked together with her teachers and the daycare director to come up with various solutions and they seem to work at times and not work at other times.  We send Julia with a teething necklace that seems to help since it gives her something else to bite/chew on.  She also has teething rings that the teachers can give her if they notice her getting frustrated or angry.  For a while I was sending her to school with breakfast AND lunch so that she was (a) not hungry, and (b) being kept busy during the time she was eating breakfast.  The biting got much better for a while and Julia went a 2-3 week stretch without any incidents but this week it all started again.  We’re not really sure what triggered it but it got fairly bad and I was called yesterday afternoon to pick up Julia a little early from daycare since she hadn’t had a nap and was acting very aggressively toward the other kids in her class.  (Naps are another issue altogether!)  For today and all of next week, a high school volunteer is going to act as Julia’s “shadow,” essentially following her around all day and making sure that she’s engaged in activities, not biting and playing nicely with other kids.  She can also intervene if she notices that Julia is getting frustrated.  Hopefully that helps a bit!

I feel horribly for the parents of the kids Julia is biting because I know it must feel terrible to pick up your kid and see teeth-marks in their arm.  But at the same time, I feel absolutely embarrassed and frustrated by the fact that my child is biting and I feel very helpless at times since it doesn’t happen at home and it is hard to fix when I’m not there to see her exhibiting the undesired behavior.

Everyone tells me that this, too, shall pass and that biting is a very “age appropriate” but not “socially appropriate” behavior in toddlers but it’s gotten to the point that I feel anxiety on my way to daycare to drop Julia off… I worry about what she might do today to get her sent home, and my anxiety on my way there in the afternoons to pick her up is even worse: how many incident reports will she have when I pick her up?  I never know.

In other news…

Last weekend we got to see Uncle Jon, Aunt Sara and Marlee & Jonah for breakfast on Sunday!  7.28.2014

Julia had so much fun watching Marlee and imitating her every move!  You can tell from the way that Julia acts around Marlee that she looks up to her as someone to emulate.  Whatever Marlee ate, Julia wanted to eat, whatever Marlee was doing, Julia wanted to do.  I hope as they get older that they will be close and have fun together.  For now it’s so much fun to watch them interact!  Jonah couldn’t have cared less about Julia… he was in his own little world, practically oblivious to her existence.  But it was still fun to see him!  And of course, it’s always nice to see Jon & Sara!  7.28.2014(3)


On Saturday, we had a busy morning and then we drove down to Columbia, where we spent some time with our friends Kevin & Beth and their 1-month old son, Nathan!  I waited to hold the baby until Julia was occupied in another room since she does NOT like it when I hold babies!  7.28.2014(4)

She was fine with Ken holding him, but the minute Ken tried to pass the baby to me, she pushed Ken’s arms away and said, “No baby!” 7.28.2014(5)

As long as I wasn’t holding him, she was somewhat oblivious to him, though she would occasionally come over and say, “hi baby!”  But once Beth started getting ready to feed him, Julia was very curious!  She wanted to watch his every move while he was nursing, she brought him a blankie so he wouldn’t be cold, and she wanted to stand and listen to the pump and its funny noises.  Julia is DEFINITELY not ready to be a big sister but it’s always interesting to see how she reacts to seeing babies!

Ken is on call for the next week so I’m hoping it’s a quiet week for him… this weekend Julia and I will hang out at home in the morning while we wait for BGE to come install our “smart meter” and then we’re going to a friend’s 2nd birthday party.  Sunday, depending on the weather, we may try to go swimming with cousins Rachel & David.  Other than that we’ll probably lay low and maybe go on a couple nice walks outside!  Next weekend our friends Ed & Susan are coming to visit from New Orleans.  We’ll go to a couple of baseball games with them, show them around the city and hang out at home to get some packing done since on the 11th we are leaving for ARUBA!  I cannot wait to spend a week with Ken & Julia on the beach, at the pool and just enjoying being together!

Nursing a Toddler

This is what it’s like to nurse a toddler: 7.24.2014

Yesterday while she was nursing, Julia started bumping my nose, so I said “honk honk!”  She’d unlatch for a moment to giggle then latch back on.  “Honk honk!”

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about when/whether to start weaning.  I was going to write a very long post about all the emotions I have surrounding this decision but every time I start writing it, I get teary eyed.  To make a long story short, here’s what I’m feeling…

On the one hand, Julia’s getting to be a little girl.  She’ll be 2 in October and she’s not a baby anymore.  I’m ready to have my body back and to not have to worry about whether my outfit is nursing-friendly each morning.  My body hasn’t been fully mine since January of 2012 when I first got pregnant (I was pregnant for 9 months and I’ve been nursing for 21 months) and it would be nice to have my body back for a while before we start trying to have a second baby (which we aren’t planning for a while, but still…).  We’ll be going away to wine country for one or two nights when we’re in California over Thanksgiving (leaving Julia with my parents overnight for the first time ever!) and I’m thinking that might be the perfect time to wean her.  Leading up to that trip I’ll do the “don’t offer, don’t refuse” approach and then when we come back I’ll tell her the milk is all gone.  She can have whole milk while I’m gone and then when we return we’ll be done nursing.

But on the other hand, she’s only little for a short period of time… it would be nice to know that we kept nursing as long as she wanted to and that we stopped on her terms.  Nursing is such a wonderful tool to have when she’s sick, when she gets hurt, when she’s tired, on airplanes, or to comfort her when she’s scared.

I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do… but I know that our nursing relationship is starting to come to an end and just thinking about it makes me feel very emotional.

Enough about that… here are some pictures our friends shared from a couple weekends ago when they came to visit from Delaware.  Such a fun visit! 7.24.2014(4)



Thankful Tuesday

Today I am thankful for many things…

1) I’m thankful for my health.  I’m thankful that the medical procedure I had yesterday went very well and that at the end of the day I was able to snuggle with my little monkey and take some silly face pictures with her!




2) I’m thankful that my Mother-in-Law was able to come spend the long weekend with us to help take care of me, help take care of Julia and spend some quality time with us! 7.22.2014(8)

3) I’m thankful for Ken.  This morning, while I was getting ready to leave for work, Mona and I were hanging out with Julia on the front porch and a young man walked by with 6-month old twin boys.  We started up a bit of small talk with him and in our 2-minute conversation with him, we found out that his fiancee passed away since the boys were born.  I cannot imagine raising one baby by myself, let alone two.  Meeting this young man who is a single father raising two little boys all on his own made me feel very thankful for having such a wonderful partner in this parenting adventure.



4) I’m thankful that we both have parents (and that Julia has 4 grandparents) who love us and don’t mind babysitting when they come to visit so that we can have a night out just the two of us or with friends.  Parents need time to themselves now and then to be together as a couple or even to be alone as separate grownup individuals and I’m thankful that our parents understand that and grant us that luxury when they come to visit.  I’m also thankful that Ken and I understand that enough to give each other time to do our own thing.  I’ve encouraged him to join a Masonic Lodge here in Maryland and I’m hoping he’ll take the time to find one he likes.  He’s encouraged me to get involved in a Mommy book-club and a Jewish women’s leadership program and to take nights out for myself when I need to.  7.22.2014(4)

5) Even though I’m exhausted and worn out (we did a lot of walking this weekend and were very active!), I’m thankful for the weekend we just had.  We had a wonderful time together as a family and it was great that Julia and her Bubbie were able to spend so much quality time together. 7.22.2014(9)





6) Finally, I’m so very thankful for this little girl who has added so much to our lives.  Yes, she’s very frustrating at times (like this morning when she woke up at 3:30 AM) and yes she’s a handful (like when she has temper tantrums for no apparent reason) but I’m so grateful that she’s ours and I love watching her grow and develop into a curious, friendly, loving, creative little girl.  The time definitely goes by way too fast but I’m so glad we’re able to watch her develop.  We have several friends recently who have had troubles… trouble getting pregnant, trouble staying pregnant, babies born with health problems who had to stay in the NICU for a period of time, babies who needed to have emergency surgery shortly after birth, and seeing other people go through those stressful times makes me even more grateful that we have such a beautiful, healthy little girl who is thriving in every way possible.  My heart explodes with love for her at times and I’m so very grateful she’s ours.  7.22.2014(14)


Busy weekends seem to be our thing…

It seems that every Monday when I come here to write a blog post about our weekend, I always want to start by saying that we had a crazy and very busy but very fun weekend.  That seems to me our MO.  We have always liked staying busy and social but sometimes it can be a little overwhelming and we just need a weekend to veg.  Unfortunately, vegging is a little bit challenging with a very active toddler who likes to stay busy herself, but sometimes we really need to.  This past weekend was not one that involved much vegging but we did have a ton of fun!

Friday I picked up Julia from daycare and we stopped briefly at the grocery store on our way home.  Julia did NOT want to sit down in the seat of the grocery cart so, rather than dealing with a screaming toddler or aborting our grocery shopping attempt, I gave in and let her stand up in the main section of the cart.  We only had to pick up a few things (chips, salsa & guac for a party we were going to that evening) so I figured it wouldn’t take long and I made sure she held on the whole time.


She absolutely LOVED being able to stand up in the cart.  Like I said, she held on the whole time and she said hi to just about everyone we passed by.  It made for a much less stressful trip to the grocery store than when she’s sitting in the seat and pulling at my shirt or demanding my constant attention.  My mom warned me about the dangers of letting a toddler stand in a grocery cart (apparently we had an incident when I was Julia’s age) but I choose to pick my battles and sometimes you just need to get your grocery shopping done in a peaceful manner.  Unlike the carseat in the car, or holding hands when walking across the street, I do not feel that this is worth fighting about.

After we picked up the few things we needed, we went home and then went over to our neighbor’s house for a little BBQ get-together with a bunch of folks from the community.  It was a really fun group and Julia had a lot of fun playing with the other kids her age in the alley.  They ran up and down the alley chasing balls.  We had a great time! 7.14.14(13)

Oddly enough, this same group of neighbors got together this week last year (they came over to welcome us to the neighborhood) and we took almost the same exact photo in the same exact order.  Here are the two photos for comparison’s sake: 7.14.14(12)

After the party we went back home for bedtime!

Saturday morning our friends Shaun & Pearl (with whom Ken went to Medical School) came in from Delaware to spend the morning with us.  They are expecting a baby in November so they enjoyed picking our brains about baby gear, baby proofing, sleep, breastfeeding, daycare, etc. and we had a lot of fun catching up with them.  We first went to Breakfast at Miss Shirley’s 7.14.14(11)

and then we headed down to Fells Point to walk around a bit.  We happened upon a cute little farmer’s market, got some gelato, checked out a couple of baby stores and then it was time for them to head home.  In the afternoon we went on a nice long family walk before heading home to make dinner.

Sunday morning we found ourselves eating out for breakfast again… this time with Ken’s cousin, David.  We went to Golden West Cafe, where Julia decided she wanted to get inside the menu!  She was such a little goof ball!  7.14.14(8)


After breakfast we headed back home, where Julia refused to take a nap… so we let her play for a bit and then we hung out on the porch while we waited for the rain to pass by.  7.14.14(10)


Once the rain passed, we headed out on a nice long walk (aka Julia’s nap) and Ken & I got a couple of sandwiches to have a picnic on the Hopkins campus!  It was a lovely and relaxing afternoon spent together as a family.  Just what I like :) 7.14.14(5)


When we got home from our walk, a new friend came over with her little girl for a playdate and then Ken & I had a date night!  We went out to dinner at a pub downtown and then headed over to Camden Yards!  7.14.14(4)


The game started out with a Yankees homerun, which made us sad: 7.14.14(2)

but then the Orioles pulled ahead by the bottom of the 5th inning and they were winning 3-1 when it started to feel like a thunderstorm was brewing! 7.14.14

We quickly headed inside and waited until the rain died down a little before heading home.  The rain delay lasted quite a while and ultimately the game was called.  The O’s won and beat the Yankees 2 games to 1 for this series.

This week we’ve got some excitement coming up… Ken’s mom is flying in on Thursday and staying with us until Tuesday.  I’m having a minor medical procedure done on Monday so she’ll be here to help out with Julia at home.  Thursday evening we had plans already to get dinner with our friends Kim & Zev, so we’ll be trying out a sushi place on Charles Street.  Yum yum!

The look…

There’s this look that women everywhere are guilty of and it changes depending on the stage of your pregnancy or the age of your children.

When you’re newly pregnant and miserable with morning sickness, heartburn, aches and pains, and you’re not yet showing but feel like you look blubbery and bloated and you can’t yet tell people you’re pregnant because you haven’t shared the news with enough people yet, you look longingly at women who have that “pregnancy glow.”  You can’t wait to be in the single-digit countdown yet you still have 30+ weeks of pregnancy ahead of you.  Those pregnant ladies with the glow don’t even give you the time of day because they can’t tell you’re pregnant.

Then… when you’re really pregnant and feeling nervous about the impending birth of your child and the newborn stage, moms with newborns give you a look.  It’s a look that says, “Enjoy these last few weeks of pregnancy because you have no idea how much your life is about to change!”

Then… your baby is born and you have this tiny little newborn who cries and cries and poops and poops and eats and cries some more.  You have no idea what they want, or why they’re crying.  You go out with them to the grocery store (which feels like a huge accomplishment) and moms with toddlers look at you with this look… it’s a look that says, “Enjoy your little baby now, before he/she starts talking back at you!”  They give you this look that says they’re exhausted and frazzled and stressed out more than they ever were before but they survived the baby stage and you will too.

Then your little baby grows up a little bit and turns into a toddler.  You start getting looks from two groups of people… from the parents of newborns who are so looking forward to the future and from the parents of older kids who give you a look saying that you have so much to look forward to.

There’s a look my mom would also tell you about that women give as they get older… it’s a look that not-yet-grandmothers give to grandmothers spending time with their grandchildren, it’s a look that says “I can’t wait to have what you have.”  Then when they become grandmothers, they give a look back to those not-yet-grandmothers that says, “I know.  And I hope you get it one day.  It’s as wonderful as you’re imagining it will be.”

Yesterday I definitely gave the look to two different people.  I didn’t have Julia with me so maybe they didn’t realize I was giving them the look, but I have a feeling they knew…

1) Mom of a newborn… I went to Target yesterday afternoon to get a few things and there was a new mom with a newborn with her.  She had the newborn in a Baby Bjorn and the baby was crying.  The mom was bouncing up and down the aisles trying to calm the baby down and nothing was working.  She tried a pacifier, she tried giving the baby her finger to suck on and the baby just kept crying.  I gave her a look that implied, “It gets better.  I promise you it gets so much better.  Just a few more weeks and you’ll start getting smiles and laughs.  The crying will slow down and you’ll have a happy little baby on your hands.  Just get through these first few weeks and you’ll be okay.”

2) Mom of a little girl… as I was walking out of Target there was a mom walking in with a little girl who was maybe 4… she was wearing a princess dress and a tiara and had clearly gotten herself dressed in the morning.  The little girl was skipping into the store while holding her mom’s hand and both had a look of pure happiness on their faces.  They were so happy to be together and it looked as though they were on their way to pick out a puppy (obviously that’s not the case but that’s how happy they looked!)  I looked at them with awe… giving them a look that said, “I can’t wait until Julia’s at that age when she can use words to tell me what she wants, doesn’t cry anymore and just wants to hold my hand and skip everywhere we go!”

But then again… I don’t want to wish away the present.  This morning we had so much fun taking some goofy selfies and making silly faces at each other!  We shared a bowl of cereal for breakfast and had an (almost) conversation in the car on our way to school.  7.10.2014Julia’s at an age that is alternatingly very sweet and cuddly and such a joy and very frustrating and demanding and stressful.  The sweet moments are becoming more and more common but the trying moments are becoming more and more trying.  She is definitely deeply entrenched in the “Terrible Twos” but the sweet moments almost make you forget the difficult ones!


Ken and I have been together for nearly 10 years… since I was a teenager… and we’ve been living together for 7 years… which is why we still have some furniture left over from college.  The furniture in our house is kind of a hobbled together collection of pieces that don’t go together and aren’t necessarily things that we would have picked out ourselves.  Some are hand-me-downs, some were cheap pieces at Ikea, you get the idea.

When we moved into this house in Baltimore, we decided we wanted to get some “grownup” furniture–we bought a matching bedroom set so we now have matching dressers & nightstands.  We also got a grownup couch and coffee table for our living room.  The furniture in Julia’s room all matches (thanks to my Mom!) but some of the rest of the house is still kind of hobbled together.

I realize that part of this is because we’ve been together so long.  Unlike friends who met in graduate school or after graduate school and went through a purge of their belongings before moving in together, we met in college and merged two apartments together into one household then moved everything we had to New Orleans since we didn’t have the money to buy new furniture.  We never really did a big purge when we moved from our first New Orleans house to our second one because, well, I was pregnant and didn’t have the energy and because we had a baby on the way so of course we had to add more stuff to our list of belongings.  We did get rid of some stuff when we moved from New Orleans to Baltimore but having an 8-month old does not lend itself to cleaning and de-cluttering projects.

Over the weekend when we went to our friends’ Kellen & Katie’s house, I had a big epiphany: we need to do some purging of clutter and maybe purchase one or two key pieces of furniture to make our home feel more grownup.  So I’ve decided to take on a few projects over the next several months.  Obviously none of this is going to happen overnight but my goal is to have people walk into our house and not only feel like they’ve entered a warm and cozy home but for them to also get the sense that grownups live there.  Yes, we have a daughter and she lives here too, along with all her toys and games and stuffed animals, but I want people to walk in and get the sense that we are grownups, professional young adults.  Right now our house doesn’t feel that way.

So… I hope to document some of these projects for your enjoyment…


Project #1: Tackling the paper problem

Here’s the problem we have: When Ken gets home from work, he brings in the mail from the mailbox and sets it down on the dining room table.  Maybe we go through it a few days later… Ken pays most of our bills online, he gives me the important things that need to be taken care of (i.e. mailing checks, etc.), and the rest kind of sits there.  Cards sit there, catalogs sit there, Ophthalmology journals sit there.  Eventually the pile gets moved from the dining room table to a bookshelf and it keeps piling up and piling up and piling up.  There are important documents mixed in with junk mail and then suddenly Ken says, “Anna, did you pay that X bill that came a few weeks ago?”  I inevitably say, “No, I didn’t know we got it…” and then we have to find it.  Stuff doesn’t get shredded or thrown away or filed away until weeks or months go by and by that time I’m feeling so overwhelmed and stressed out by the whole ordeal.

So here’s the solution: I’m going to purchase some sort of inbox type of thing, into which we will put the mail each day (after throwing away the junk mail).  On Sundays, we will diligently go through the mail: shred what can be shredded, file away what needs to be kept and filed, pay the bills that need to be paid, etc. Then we will start all over again.


Project #2: My Closet

Problem: My closet is currently a disaster.  Shirts and sweaters are not folded and I can never find what I’m looking for.

Solution: I’m going to buy some of those shelf dividers in which to stack (neatly) my sweaters and shirts so that they can stay organized and will be easier to find (ideally).  I also need to find some solution for hanging/storing scarves/hats, etc. so that they are more accessible than just having them in a cardboard box.  I would like them to be easily accessible so that I can see the wide array of options I have to choose from.


Project #3: My Desk

Problem: I simply have not yet unpacked a few boxes of stuff that I had around my desk when we moved…

Solution: I pledge to unpack those boxes and organize things around my desk.

Pittsburgh & Happy 5 Year Anniversary to Us!

This past weekend we took a little family trip to Pittsburgh!  “Why Pittsburgh?” you might ask… Our answer would be, “Why not?!”  I had been to Pittsburgh once before with Jim about 9 years ago on our drive across the country from San Francisco to Baltimore (we drove across the country so I could have a car with me in college).  Ken, however, had never been to Pittsburgh other than for a brief college visit.  We figured it was only a 4-hour drive and we had a couple friends to see and thought it would be a fun adventure.  When we called the friends we knew there (Kellen & Katie) to ask for recommendations about where to stay, they offered to host us… even better!

So Friday morning we packed up the car and drove to Pittsburgh!  Our stubborn little girl refused to sleep in the car so when we got there we headed out on a walk and she fell asleep in the stroller on our way to lunch.  We had lunch at a great little hot dog and beer place.  While Julia slept, I got to hold Kellen & Katie’s baby.  Her name is Amelia and she is 6 months old and absolutely adorable!  7.7.2014(21)

It’s hard to remember Julia ever being that young or that small, but she was!  It’s a good thing Julia was sleeping when we took this picture since Julia does NOT like it when I hold babies!  She loves saying hi to babies, tickling their toes and playing with their toys but she does not like it when they take my attention away from her.

After lunch we went back to Kellen & Katie’s house to relax for the afternoon until Kellen got home from work.  Then some friends of theirs came over for a BBQ.  We grilled some hamburgers and hotdogs and had a little picnic in their backyard.  It was lovely and quite relaxing!

Friday night Julia slept horribly so she was a bit of a mess during the day on Saturday.  Somehow we still managed to have a great day.  It was also our 5-year wedding anniversary so it was very meaningful to spend the day together as a family.  We started out by going to a little breakfast place not too far from Kellen & Katie’s house.  After breakfast we headed out to be tourists for the day!  We drove over to the Incline, but Julia fell asleep in the car so we waited in the car for a while while she napped.  7.7.2014(20)


Once she woke up we got in line to go up the Incline! 7.7.2014(18)

The whole way up Julia kept saying “wee!”  and “uppa!”  She loved looking out the window! 7.7.2014(22)


There were beautiful views of the city from the top of the hill! 7.7.2014(16)



When we came back down, we headed over towards the ballpark and grabbed lunch at a little Mediterranean restaurant not too far from the Baseball stadium.  Julia enjoyed her “Rie” (rice) and “free fry” (French fries) while we had some delicious food as well.

We then went over to the ballpark to check it out…7.7.2014(13)

We had great seats and really enjoyed the experience of being there.  The folks working there were all very friendly and it was a very good baseball-watching experience.  Julia had lots of fun, too! 7.7.2014(23)



She started to get super fussy after waking up from a nap in my arms so we ended up leaving after the 7th inning and we went to dinner at a brewpub that was in an old Roman Catholic Church.  After dinner it was definitely time to go home and go to sleep.  Thankfully Julia slept much better Saturday night and was in a great mood Sunday morning!  7.7.2014(11)

We went to breakfast first at a local waffle place and then we went for a walk around the baseball stadium before going to the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum.  The Museum was absolutely fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone with little kids visiting Pittsburgh!  We started out in their “art studio” where Julia loved painting and doing some other artwork. 7.7.2014(2)


7.7.2014(3)We then went up to their “Nursery” which they recommend for children ages 3 and under.  There were lots of tactile things for her to play with, blocks, books, soft areas to climb around, and other fun things to do and play with.7.7.2014(9)We then hit up their “Water Play” area which was a giant water room.  Julia absolutely LOVED playing in there.  She got to paint with water: 7.7.2014(5)And she loved “playing with” (aka eating) ice!7.7.2014(10)

She also loved filling up this bucket with water and then dumping it on herself!  7.7.2014(6)

Luckily they had smocks so she didn’t get too wet.  After the water area we checked out the permanent exhibits at the Museum before grabbing lunch and heading home to Baltimore.7.7.2014(7)



All in all it was a great weekend–it was so nice to spend our Anniversary together as a family.  I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way to enjoy eachother’s company.  I’ve always thought that Ken & I travel well together because we are both very much okay with not having a set agenda.  We have an idea of the things we’d like to do or see but we don’t feel any pressure to do anything if we don’t want to.  We’re also very “go with the flow” when it comes to travel.  We’re willing to decide at the spur of the moment to change our plans or to pick a restaurant based on what we feel like eating that day rather than having specific places picked out ahead of time.  It was great not to have any set agenda or plans while we were in town and to just be together.  I’m really looking forward to our trip to Aruba in a few weeks since we’ll have a whole week to do that in a beautiful setting with the beach and pool close by!

On the way back from Pittsburgh we stopped in Carlisle, PA, where Ken spent 6 summers at CTY.  We ate at a diner he remembered going to back in the day and then we got some delicious Frozen Custard!

Happy 5-year anniversary to my main squeeze.  I love you and couldn’t have asked for a more perfect match!  You are an amazing husband to me and father to Julia.  Here’s to many more wonderful years together!


Conversation with a 20-month old

Just spent a lovely weekend with Julia & my Mama (who is now officially going by “Gagee” since that’s what Julia insists on calling her).  Somehow I managed to take hardly any photos but we had a lovely time driving up to Rhode Island for a cousin’s Bar Mitzvah.  What matters more than telling you all the details of our trip are that we made some wonderful memories and that Julia and my mom had lots of time to bond.  7.2.2014(4)

In other news, this was a conversation Ken had with Julia last night:


Ken: Julia, what do lions say?

Julia: ROAR

Ken: What do doggies say?

Julia: Woof woof.

Ken: What do Mommies say?

Julia: I love you.

7.2.2014This weekend we’ll be spending the weekend together as a family… we’re going on a road trip to Pittsburgh!  Why Pittsburgh, you may ask?  Because we’ve never been there, it’s fairly close (4.5 hours) to Baltimore, we have friends who live there and offered to let us stay with them for free, and why not?  It’ll be an adventure!  And we can celebrate our 5-year anniversary at a Pirates vs. Phillies game!


Talking more and more

Julia is talking more and more every day.  She points out everything that she notices and her speech is like a constant stream of consciousness.  This is often how it goes:

“Airplane.  Bye bye.  Car.  Beep beep.  Flower.  Shoes.  Mommy.  Daddy.  Rios (cheerios).  Cheese.  Milk.  Oh Mommy.  I lyu (I love you).  Duck. Bye bye.”  6.26.2014(8)

She’s also starting to express her desires more.  This morning, for example, we let her run around the hallway upstairs and she came over to the bed, where Ken and I were both still in the process of waking up and preparing to face the day (it didn’t help that Julia woke up at 3:30 AM!).  She said to Ken, “Out.  Uppa.  Down.  Eat.”  Clearly she wanted him to get out of bed, get up and go downstairs so she could eat something.  We asked her what she wanted to eat and she said “Rios” (aka cheerios).  It’s wonderful that she’s able to communicate to us what she wants because it makes for fewer frustrations throughout the day.  I’m sure that the older she gets the easier this will become too.

Last weekend, even though Julia was sick with an ear infection, and even though Ken was on call, we somehow managed to have a wonderful weekend with lots of family time.6.26.2014(7)

Saturday morning we went to the Climb out of the Darkness walk, to raise awareness about Post-Partum Mood Disorders.   We had a great time spending time with our friends who organized the walk, and Julia had fun running around outside with her friends and hugging trees.  After the walk we came home for Julia’s nap and spent the afternoon relaxing at home.  6.25.2014


Sunday we had a family breakfast out at a little cafe and then we took a lovely walk around in the Cylburn Arboretum.  Julia loved running around in the grass, looking at the flowers and just being outside with both of us.  6.26.2014(4)



In the afternoon we went to the end-of-the-year party for the Ophthalmology Department.  It was at the home of one of the doctors and his home is absolutely stunning.  Julia had lots of fun splashing in the fountain and then when it was time to eat she enjoyed mango salsa and black beans (dinner was a taco buffet!)  It’s hard to believe our first year (back) in Baltimore has come to an end.  In some ways it feels like we’ve been back for a decade and in some ways it feels like it was just yesterday that we moved. 6.26.2014(3)

On Tuesday we took Julia to vote… this was her second year in a row going with us to vote and we intend to take her with us every year for elections.  I have very fond memories of going with my mom when I was a little girl.  She would let me poke the holes in the ballot and I always felt like I was such a big girl for helping her out.  I also remember liking the “I voted” stickers.  I think it’s so important to teach kids about the importance of voting from an early age… it teaches them the importance of being an informed citizen and working to improve the community in which you live and work.  It’s so important and I’m glad that Ken and I are very clearly on the same page about that.  When Julia’s old enough I fully intend to let her click on my choices and help in whatever way she can with voting.  6.26.2014This afternoon my mom is driving down to Baltimore from Atlantic City, where she was visiting my Aunt & Uncle & cousins.  She’ll spend the day with Julia tomorrow while I go to work and then on Saturday we’re having a mother/daughter/grandmother road trip up to Rhode Island for my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah.  Monday we’ll drive back, making a stop in New York for lunch and to see my mom’s friend Leslie and her new identical twin grandsons.  We should be back in Baltimore in time for bedtime and then Tuesday morning my mom leaves to head home.  I’m looking forward to spending the weekend with my mom and I’m excited that Julia will get in some good one-on-one time with her, too!  That’s all for now, I’m sure I’ll have lots of pictures after this exciting weekend coming up!

Happy Father’s Day! Oh… and Counting 1… 2… 3…

Cousin Paige just left yesterday after a very fun visit to Baltimore!  Julia had a lot of fun with her over the weekend.  6.16.2014(11)

Saturday morning, we picked up our bikes that were getting serviced, and we also got Julia’s bike seat put on Ken’s bike!  As soon as we brought the bikes into the house, Julia immediately wanted to test out her seat and she really wanted to go for a ride, so we strapped on her helmet and Ken took her on her first ride around the block.  I have a feeling that now that we have the bikes ready to go, bike rides will probably become a weekly thing for us, at least when Ken’s not on call!  6.16.2014(10)

Saturday afternoon, we went with Paige to the Gay Pride Parade in Baltimore.  Paige got Julia a very special rainbow shirt to wear for the parade and Julia seemed to love all the colors and the beads that folks were throwing to us.  6.16.2014



I’ve heard the story multiple times from my mom that I went to my first Pride Parade in San Francisco when I was just a little older than Julia so I’m glad we were able to take her to this one over the weekend.  I’ve always been of the opinion that all love should be celebrated whether between two men, two women or a man and a woman and I’m glad we are showing Julia that all kinds of love exist.  One thing that always bothered me, living in New Orleans, was that Louisiana is a state that does not allow gay marriage and, chances are they won’t allow it for quite some time.  I love that here in Maryland, Julia has friends at school or from the neighborhood who have 2 mommies or 2 daddies.  I feel that it’s so important to expose her to all kinds of families similar and different from our own.  Yay for love! :)

After the Parade, Ken & Paige went to the Orioles game while Julia and I spent the rest of the day together.  We went on a long walk to the playground and around the Hopkins campus, then we had dinner together and she went to sleep.

Sunday morning we made pancakes at home for Father’s Day and then we all went to the Orioles game!  Sadly the Orioles lost, but we had a great time at the game.  Of the games we’ve taken Julia to this season, this was probably the one at which she did the best… she was happy sitting on my lap and playing with us in the seats for about 4 innings, and then Ken took her on a little walk to go play in the rocks over by the Flag Court.  After that she came back to the seats and took a nap in my arms for 45 minutes and then the game was over shortly thereafter.  6.16.2014(7)

There was a special Father’s Day Giveaway for all the dads at the game… this hat that Julia had fun trying on!  6.16.2014(4)

And of course we had to take some family selfie pictures! 6.16.2014(3)


And this was Julia’s 6th inning nap time on Mommy & Daddy’s lap! 6.16.2014(5)After the game we all went out for dinner before dropping Paige off at the airport.  Bye bye, Cousin Paige!  We’ll miss you!


And in Julia’s a genius news… there were two interesting things that happened over the weekend…

1) Last night at dinner, there was a baby crying a few tables from us.  Julia kept saying “Cry” in a very sad and concerned voice.  I asked her who was crying, and she said “Baby.”  Seems she’s developed some level of empathy… she felt bad for the baby who was crying.  How sweet!

2) The other day as I was putting on Julia’s shoes, I counted them… I said “one shoe, two shoes.”  And then she continued… “3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 8… 9… 10″ and then said “Yay!!!” and clapped.  I had no idea that she knew her numbers.  So I asked her teachers about it and apparently the read a couple books with the kids that involve counting so Julia must have picked it up from the books.  It was incredible to hear her counting like that!

The funniest thing though is that when she said the number “8,” she pronounces it like “80”!  It was the cutest thing ever!  “1… 2… 3… 4… 5… 6… 7… 80… 9… 10.  Yay!”