Thursday, May 26, 2011

Muddy Play

This post was written a few weeks ago. Unfortunately Blogger has been problematic, and my timing has been bad. Every time I've tried to get this up, Blogger was down. Since then we've had lots more rain and some cold days that necessitated the heat being turned on again. Not very Spring-like. But we are so fortunate to have been spared any catastrophic weather like others around the south and midwest. My heart goes out to those living through the devastation and those who have lost loved ones.

It feels like we skipped over spring and jumped right into summer here in Ohio. We've had a few 80+ days in a row. When it's that hot the garden hose becomes a favorite thing. With all the cold and rain we've had the ground is totally saturated. What does that mean?


Ellery was hesitant at first. Mud between her toes is a new sensation!

Cooper found a stick that quickly became a crocodile. 
The croc is making a move on Ellery's mud puddle.

The croc prepares to dive into the mud 
(and maybe eat Ellery's toes!).

When the kids get wet clothes tend to get discarded. 
Here they are resting and soaking up some Vitamin D.

Ellery lovingly checked in on her resting brother. 
She's stroking his head. The love they share makes my heart melt.

I hope Spring is treating you all well!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Together Again

A few weeks ago we had an incredible treat: two sets of visitors from our old home, Pittsburgh. For the three years Cooper lived in Pittsburgh we were a part of an amazing play group. The group of mothers became my closest friends, friends closer than any I've had since college. As children grew up and entered elementary school, the play group dissolved a bit. But three of the kids stuck together: Eleanor, Ryder and Cooper. Heather, mom to Eleanor, and Lee, mom to Ryder, lovingly gave me a beautiful shower before Ellery was born and are two of the best friends I could have ever hoped for. Without knowing it, Heather and Lee planned back-to-back trips to Columbus during their preschool spring break. Their visits were the warm rays of sunshine that have been missing from our spring.

First to arrive were Lee and her two boys Ryder (4) and Keller (2). Ryder and Cooper fell right back into playing as if it had been only a couple days, as opposed to almost 2 years, since they last saw each other. Keller joined in the play, and Ellery did her very best to tag right along with the big boys. While the volume in our house was decidedly louder than usual, it was so refreshing to see the boys cooperating and playing together, independent of the motherly interventions that were such a part of our playdates when the boys were toddlers in Pittsburgh. While the pictures are blurry (since I only have my iTouch camera and seem to have a great deal of difficulty holding still), you can get a taste of the fun had by all.

Cooper, Keller and Ryder

The crew reluctantly sits still long enough to snap a few pictures

Ellery and Keller run.

Next, Heather and Eleanor arrived, over-lapping their visit with the others for about half an hour. It was utterly surreal to see Cooper, Ryder, and Eleanor, along with Keller and Ellery all in our front yard. We sadly said good-bye to Lee, Ryder and Keller and Cooper and Eleanor quickly fell into step.

Eleanor and Cooper shared a special closeness when we lived in Pittsburgh. When Cooper was just 1, Eleanor used to feed him pretzels by hand. We saw Heather and Eleanor just about every week, and our friendship runs deep. After we moved, Eleanor still held a special place in Cooper's heart. The first Christmas after we moved here Cooper thought he spotted Eleanor at church, and tried desperately to catch up with her, only to have his heart break a little when he realized it wasn't her.

The pictures, though blurry, show how these two feel about each other. An amazing friendship indeed.

Don't you wish you could hear what they are talking about?!

Serious Lego builders

Cooper shared many hugs

I think you can see here that Eleanor didn't mind too much.

This is what Cooper looks like when he sees Eleanor.

Happy kids.

And then, before I knew it, it was time to say good-bye to Heather and Eleanor. 

Saying good-bye was incredibly difficult for me. I loved the picture I got of what our friendships, and our kids' friendships, would have been like if we hadn't moved away from Pittsburgh. 

When we moved from Pittsburgh to Ohio there were so many things to worry about. There was packing, cleaning, so many details, along with being a mom to a 3 year old and a 3 month old. I was also excited to be reunited with Erik, who had moved 6 weeks earlier. In retrospect, I didn't really let myself say good-bye to my friends, to really let it sink in what I was leaving behind. 

When Lee and Heather left our home in Columbus to return to their homes in Pittsburgh, my heart cracked open and I said both the good-bye I never said when we moved along with the tough good-bye that seeing them again necessitated.

Thank you Lee and Heather for coming to visit. It was amazing to have you here.Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for sharing your incredible children with me and my children. We will have to do it again soon. Girls weekend?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Ellery is 2!!

It's been a busy week with visits from much loved family and friends. Here is a small taste of Ellery's 2nd birthday. I can't get enough of this video. I hope that you enjoy it too.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring is FINALLY Here

We enjoyed amazing weather yesterday. It was more like summer than spring, with temps reaching near 80. It was amazing, glorious, and so freeing to enjoy being outside without worrying about coats, hats, and other tools for staying warm.

In honor of the warmth, and to keep us all busy while Erik was being an amazing rockstar at The Midwest UX Conference (which he co-founded, organized, and presented at!) all weekend, the kids and I set out for the Columbus Zoo. We arrived close to opening, and the crowds weren't too bad. Can't say the same about when we finally left around 2pm. It was packed!

Here is Cooper planning our attack.

Both kids loved seeing the Komodo Dragon. For those of you who don't know, this is huge progress for Cooper, who up until yesterday would walk past the Komodo Dragon exhibit with his hands over his eyes. The giant lizard was amazing, walking around and "smelling" the glass right in front of the kids.

We left the zoo exhausted and just a little bit sunburned. Time to get back in the sunscreen habit!

Most of the rest of the day was spent outside too, doing some Spring cleaning yard work and playing soccer and tag.

Here are Ellery and Cooper, sun-kissed and tired after a full day of fun in the sun.

And here is where I ended my day, soaking up as much warm air as possible, enjoying my first Bell's Oberon of the year and strategizing on big things to come.