December 12, 2014

A Letter to Our Daughter

Sweet baby girl, I am writing this note to you a few hours before you are born. I want you to always know what an honor it has been to carry you these last 9 months ... one of the great joys of my life. We (your Mom, Dad, and two big brothers, and your whole extended family!) are so excited to meet you, see your precious face, and shower you with love and lots of hugs and kisses. We don't know all that the future has in store for you, but we do know you are a true blessing and an angel who has already brought us immeasureable joy. 

The past few months have been busy in preparation for your arrival. Mommy and Daddy were feeling motivated to get everything "just right" as we welcome the final perfect puzzle peice into our family. Your brothers have been preparing too, and they are eager to help care for you and teach you many things ... Smiles and laughter, singing and dancing, learning and growing. 

We have many dreams for you, but most of all, I am looking forward to seeing the unique potential inside of you that represents the person you will become. You are stronger than you know, more beautiful than you can see, and more loved than you'll ever comprehend. LIFE: this is the Great Adventure. Let it begin for you in just a few short hours, our strong, brave girl. xxxooo

December 9, 2014


Benjamin started taking Spanish class once a week this Fall. He has really taken to it and seems to enjoy it. He already counts to 100, and knows many colors and animals. The other night he cried in bed when he couldn't remember how to count to 1,000 (by hundreds). He is learning the basics of conversation, and the other day had a chance to practice with native speakers. 

When Benjamin got home from school, a Mexican painter and his teenage daughter were here. We told him they speak Spanish and he could talk with them in Spanish if he wants. He immediately walked up to them and said, "Hola! Como estas?" The daughter smiled and said, "Bien, gracias. E usted?" And Benjamin promptly replied, "Mui bien, gracias!" He had a satisfied look of pride on his face. One of the things that has amazed us is not just the vocabulary he has learned quickly, but his exact replication of the accent. He rolls his "r"s with precision, and all his intonations are spot-on. 

November 4, 2014

Happy Halloween!

This year, Benjamin was an Allosaurus. He was very specific about what his costume should look like, and luckily after looking at many dinosaur costumes, he found one and declared "That's it! The Allosaurus!" 

Jacob loves penguins right now ... He gets so giddy and excited whenever he sees a picture, stuffed animal, replica or video of a penguin. When I went through options of things he could be for Halloween, he kept shaking his head and saying "noh!" Until I asked if he wanted to be a penguin, and he started laughing, clapping and dancing around. We had a winner!

Benjamin was very excited to go out and remembered from last year what it was like to go up to houses and get candy. Jacob was very confused at first about why we were trying to get him to go up to people's front doors. But after the first house, when he realized people open their doors and give him CANDY, he was allllll about it and became fully engaged in the whole event. His favorite was snickers, and a few houses in scored a full size snickers bar. He skipped the next few stops as he mowed down on the giant candy bar. 

The night was a huge success, and he had a dance party back at the house when we got home :) it was daylight savings time this weekend, so I didn't mind letting the boys stay up "late" as it gave us a head start on the time change a couple days later. I think they could tell they were staying up late and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. 

August 18, 2014

First Day of School 2014-2015

The boys had a fantastic first day back to school today. Benjamin is in his 3rd year of primary in Ms. Raana's class, so he will be one of the oldest children in the class this year. It's an important year for him as he experiences being a leader and building his self esteem in an environment he has mastered. Jacob is counting in Ms. Cristel's toddler class after attending there from February-May earlier this year. 

When we dropped them off this morning, Benjamin called out, "Bubba loves you! Have a great first day back at school!" as Jacob walked into his classroom. And as Ben walked away to his classroom with the line of his classmates, he turned around to look for us and yelled, "Bye Mom and Dad! Love you!" It was SO precious. I hope he feels comfortable doing this kind of thing in front of his peers forever, but I know it is something we just have to appreciate now because it may not be like this forever.

Jacob had no tears, and walked up the steps into his classroom without even looking back. That makes us really proud that he is emotionally adjusted well enough to handle these changes in his routine.


April 18, 2014

Things We Love about Jacob

Jacob is an incredibly sweet, smart, funny, good natured 18 month old. There are so many things we love about him, but I want to make sure and capture some of them right now.

- He rests his head on my shoulder and pats my back when I pick him up from his crib in the morning or after his nap.
- Whenever I pick him up, he reaches around to twirl his fingers in my hair. It's like a comfort/security thing.
- His receptive language skills are off the charts. He understands practically everything we say to him or ask him.
- He has developed clear opinions about things he likes and wants to do. When we ask if he wants a certain thing, he responds with a strong "huh-huh!" and what can only be described as a full-body head nod yes. Cutest thing ever!
- He LOVES trucks! Oh my goodness, he makes the most loud, excited noises when we drive around now as he sees trucks of all kind everywhere! It goes something like this: "Dahhhhhh!!!!!" (pointing excitedly) then when we get close enough for the truck to "see" him, he starts waving frantically at it.
- He is in major vocabulary absorption mode. Many times throughout the day, he just points from one thing to another, saying "uh!?" and wanting us to name it for him. There are several books that he likes to do this with, and it's cute because there are a few pages he will stay on for minutes at a time, just going from one object to another "uh?" Ladybug. "uh?" Llama. "uh?" Kangaroo. "uh?" Koala. "uh?" School Bus. "uh?" Green Truck. "uh?" Red Truck. "uh?" School Bus. "uh?" Red Truck. and on and on ...
- He loves playing with Daddy and Benjamin. He has spent most of his first 18 months observing his Daddy and big brother play, run, roll around and laugh with each other, and now he is getting in on the action.
- He gets a huge smile and squeals with happiness when he sees Mommy and Daddy hug or kiss.
- When we say "OK Jacob, it's time for bath!" he stops what he is doing and scurries right to the bathroom. He tries to take his own clothes off, and sometimes sits happily on the potty for us (sometimes not so happily ;-) )
- In just the last couple weeks, he has started playing with toy animals the way they move, like crawling on the floor or up onto furniture. He sometimes makes little noises to go along with it. He zooms cars and trucks along the floor too.
- He says mama, dada, more, this, that, no ... and last week combined 3 words to say "no more mama" when he was done with his meal.
- He just started riding front-facing in the car and is having a blast with his new view :)

April 17, 2014

For the birds

Here are the boys working together to fill the new bird feeder today. 

At the park today ...


"Mommy look at me! I'm doing something DANGEROUS!"

Jake was a little independent climber, going up the play sets and down the slides all by himself. Everytime an airplane flew over he shrieked with excitement and pointed up to the sky, squinting but not letting the sun get in the way of his pure joy at looking up to the sky. Anytime he heard the sound of a truck go by, he turned and waved in its direction. (In the past week, he has even started waving at toy trucks at home. Soooo cute!)

Of course there was some brotherly love going on because Benjamin is always full of love and hugs and kisses for his brother. After this picture was taken, he took both of Jacob's hands and kisses them and told him he loved him. 

After we got done playing, Benjamin went in for his Musikgarten class, and I fed Jake a clementine. This is him signing "thank you". 

March 28, 2014


I love Spring days with our two little boys because there are lots of magical moments like this as they explore the world around them, one dandelion, leaf, footprint, cloud and bird at a time. 

March 25, 2014

After school

It was a beautiful day today, and the boys wanted to play on the playground at school before heading him. When the sun is shining, a cool breeze is blowing, and a happy 4 and 1 year old ask politely if they can play for a while, the answer will always be yes :)

Swim class

When Ben went in for his swim class today, Jake pointed after him and fussed a bit. I asked him if he wanted to go into the pool area to watch Ben and he got a huge smile and said "huh-HUH!" It's really precious to see Jacob not only forming his own opinions, but finding a way to express them and then get excited when we understand him. He proceeded to sit still in his stroller for 30 min watching big brother swim.