29 December 2009

It's A Girl

We've known for awhile (about a month and a half) but with the Holidays almost over I've finally had time to write a new post! I realize there's about 2 people who actually read these posts but I love the idea of blogging simply to preserve family memories and events. I've heard many people who turn their blogs into books as a keepsake. So I hope to chronicle more events in 2010 and to keep up with the blogging, knowing full well it's really just for my own family! :)
So yes, it's a girl!! We were sooo excited because we both really wanted a girl. Not because we didn't want a boy but we just really wanted Mallory to have a sister and since they'll be so close in age it'll be fun to have them be the same gender, not to mention all the cute clothes we get to reuse!
I think we've finally picked a name that Tony and I both agree on but we aren't revealing it until the baby is born, we wanted something to be a surprise!
Mallory often points to Mommy's growing belly and we told her that a baby is in there and it's her little sister. So now if you ask her where Mama's baby is she points right to my belly! We realize she doesn't really "get it" but it's the best preparation we can do for her at the age of 17 months!
15 October 2009

The Remarkable Sound....

of your baby's heartbeat....it's such an amazing feeling to hear it and see it. I have yet to blog about baby #2 because it seemed like for these last three/four months I was just holding my breath...hoping and praying everything is okay. Finally after two ultrasounds and hearing the heartbeat two more times I finally feel like I can relax and attempt to enjoy my pregnancy. Albeit, I've been feeling absolutely horrible...nauseous all the time, terrible headaches, and exhausted! I know however feeling terrible is a good thing when you're pregnant and I do feel grateful that everything is going smoothly. I've started to feel little movements this past week which is also a wonderful pregnancy milestone! I definitely felt them much sooner than with Mallory, which is common for the second pregnancy. I don't know that I'll ever completely be able to let go of that "holding my breath" feeling during this pregnancy. It seems like there's always something to worry about and it's in my nature to be a worry wort. Nothing ever prepares you for not hearing that heartbeat and once you have experienced that it's hard to let that feeling go. Right now I'm trying to focus on the positives and really embrace the glorious moments where I know everything's okay! As this pregnancy progresses I know that will get easier and I look forward to the day where we get to hold our brand new baby!
24 July 2009

One Year Ago....

She came into our life a year ago today and we didn't know just how much joy and love she would bring. She is truly the greatest gift we could ever have and I feel so blessed to be her mommy. She's not our little baby anymore, she's growing into a toddler! I am so excited to watch her learn and grow. We'll always be there holding her hand along the way!
"You'll fly away....but take my hand until that day and when they ask how far loves goes, when my job's done you'll be the one who knows." -Dar Williams

This is the outfit she'll wear for her first birthday party!

Mallory's First Birthday present from mommy and daddy!

14 July 2009

A Little Bit Of Old Town

Once in awhile, if we’re lucky I believe we can stumble upon a place that truly makes us be in the moment, and truly makes us think this is where I’m supposed to be. That place for me was The Old Town School of Folk Music. I discovered The Old Town School in the summer of 2000 when I became a guitar student there and then went on to work at their Music and Theater camps for several summers. During those years I met wonderful people, saw countless performances, learned guitar, and made life long friendships. Every Tuesday night after class all the students would convene in the concert hall for one big jam session, strumming collectively to the music of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young and other folk legends. I was there the night of September 11, 2001. Classes were cancelled but we all gathered in the concert hall playing songs like Helplessly Hoping and This Land is Your Land while we tried to comprehend the horrific events that unfolded that day. I remember performing on the stage there with my fellow coworkers during the end of the camp session. I remember meeting friends for coffee at the cafe before class. I spent many a summer day teaching kid’s improv games during Theater camp. There truly are endless memories that this place brought me. This past weekend I experienced little bit of old town while at my good friend Naomi’s wedding celebration. I was reminded of how special that place really was to me as I saw my friend and reminisced with some old friends from the school. I’m not sure if I’ll ever have another Old Town, I think much of the experiences were derived from a combination of where I was at in my life coupled with the good fortune of meeting all the great people at that time. However, what I can do is to take those experiences and remember. Remember what brought out that feeling of never wanting to be anywhere else. In doing so, perhaps I’ll bring a little bit of old town into my everyday life and all the while I’ll never forget what I was given. This Blog entry is dedicated to Naomi and Claire.
Old Town At Night

My music camp kids in the concert hall

Naomi and me in Wells Park during camp, summer 2002

Naomi and me at her wedding celebration

Early Summer Fun...

I hate to say this but once again it's really been much too long since I've had time to post in my blog!! Any sort of extra time I get without baby I've been using to study for a class I'm taking this summer. I always have ideas for things to write about or photos to post but finding the time to acutally do it has been the challenge. Here's some photos of some fun activities Mallory has participated in this summer....Great America, The Beach, Fireworks and Grant Park.....there's sure to be more fun to be had and hopefully post/write about!!

14 April 2009

Mallory's First Easter

We had a great time celebrating Easter Sunday! Here are a few photo highlights of the day!

Easter Morning!

Mallory opening her gift from the Easter Bunny of course!

Sand toys for the summer time!

Dressed in her Sunday best, right before church!

A rare photo of Mommy and Mallory! Usually I'm the one taking the picture :) !
We headed to Grandma Montesano's for a delicious Easter Brunch!

Mallory with the extended Montesano cousins. Taking this picture was utter chaos. Pretty much none of the kids wanted to be taking it, especially the screaming babies! Mallory wasn't phased :)!

Mallory with her Grandma and cousins!

20 March 2009

RIP Mr. Davis and Big Wheels

As winters winding down and the bleak cold days seem to be behind us it’s not uncommon to see the children in the neighborhood playing outside more often. As I observed many typical 2009 neighborhoods, it occurred to me that “playing outside” now-a-days is quite different than “playing outside” was when I was a child. Children of this generation have scheduled play dates, drive electronic Jeep-type-play vehicles, own $1000 swing sets, have parents that hover over and intervene when the slightest tiff takes place, play in fenced in yards, pretend to play house in plastic life size cottages, and have fancy sprinklers (with really cool spouts specifically designed for children to run through). Now, one would argue that I’m “generalizing” here, and although I probably am, by and large I do witness the aforementioned characteristics take place. This leads me to ponder over my own childhood days of “playing outside”. We lived next to a large field that was used for all the neighborhood kids to play running bases, capture the flag, kick ball, and Ghost in the Graveyard. On the other side of the field was Mr. Davis’s house. Mr. Davis was a cranky old man who lived alone and hated children. While we spent the day playing in the field, Mr. Davis spent the day yelling at us every time a ball would hit his house for fear it would break a window. Let me tell you through out all my years of living next door to Mr. Davis and playing in the field we never even came close to breaking his windows. Looking back the yelling never really deterred us from playing there, after all we always thought “He didn’t own the lot = He can’t tell us what to do”! We spent many an hour planning our defense against mean old Mr. Davis...."This time we were actually going to tell him It's not his lot...." All the while our parents never really intervened. Can you imagine those shenanigans flying today? When we weren’t playing in the field we often were swinging on a old tire that was attached to an even older tree to make a swing, digging in the puddles and dirt to make “mud pies”, running through the rusty old sprinkler, and riding our big wheels. Every kid in the neighborhood had a big wheel and the entire block was our driveway. Big Wheels were our first ever taste of freedom. We created original games involving the big wheels and spent entire summers riding them. We didn't need five different choices of riding vehicles. We had the freedom to roam the street as long as we stayed on our block. Parents called us in by yelling for us out the door. Am I advocating we go back to the days of no helmets or seat belts, and rusty metal swing sets? Absolutely not! Also, there’s the “The world is not as safe factor”, where kids shouldn’t be roaming free like we used to anyway. I do however think a little of that care free spontaneity is lost on children today. Dealing with Mr. Davis on our own built character and we bonded as neighborhood kids. As I think about what "playing outside" will be like for my daughter I know she'll have acess to many cool places, toys and experiences that I never had, however I also know she'll probably never have the empty lots, the freedom of roaming the block, and the overall simpleness of childhood that existed back then. A part of me wishes she could know the feeling when 'conquering' Mr.Davis with a big wheel and some Bubblicious chewing gum was all a kid needed for the perfect day!
The yellow and black big wheel on the right was mine! I thought it was so cool and much better than fancy pink ones!
07 March 2009

New Hat

So yet again, too long since I last posted! One of these days I'll get it together.
Recently I received a new lens for my SLR camera. I'm still a complete novice at photography and marvel over all the awesome photographs from professional photographers I occasionally browse through on the web. Current photographic interests: Children and Weddings.
The combination of my child, cool camera, and imagination, resulted in me pretending to be a photographer for the day!
With new lens in tow and a new hat to model I set out to create some cute shots of Mallory. I've also been researching no flash photography and this was my first attempt at that task.
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