Tuesday, September 17, 2013



It's true--you're two! And it's also true that your birthday leaves us feeling like we've been run over by a truck. Or several trucks. We do lots of celebrating!

First, both sets of grandparents visited, one right after the other, and you enjoyed presents, outings, and lots of love and attention from them.

The weekend before your actual birthday, we had a cookout with a few of your friends and their families.

We may not throw the most elaborate birthday parties, but Mommy hopes to always make your birthday cake. She went simple last year by just making a little smash cake. This year, she felt a little more adventurous.

This train cake was a huge hit with you and your guests. Here you are yelling, "Hurray, choo choo cake!"

Like last year, you dug into your cake and savored every morsel. This moment truly seems to be a highlight of your year.

We gave you a hip play kitchen for your birthday. With cherry cabinets, granite counter tops, and stainless steel appliances, your kitchen is more in style than ours! Your sheer delight at finding it made our being up until midnight and the five hours it took to put together the kitchen's 150 parts all worth it.

You cook while Mommy cooks. You say, "May's oven" and point to yours and, "Mommy's oven" and point to ours. You do appreciate having your own cooking space.

Daddy had to work on your actual birthday, so Mommy took you to the Museum of Natural History's Butterfly Pavilion. You love butterflies, but were pretty freaked out by how big some of them were and how close they got. (They landed on people! But thankfully, not on us, or you would have certainly lost it.) This was as close as you would voluntarily get to any of the butterflies.

You gazed across the Sculpture Garden's pool toward the National Archives and contemplated what it means to be two.

Then, we visited Daddy for lunch, or munch, as you call it. There's nothing like celebrating a birthday at the Longworth Cafeteria!

Here are some fun facts that we'd like to remember about you at age two:

  • You've been speaking in sentences for a couple of months. Your language development is exploding and we enjoy hearing new words and phrases from you every day. 
  • You can say your first and last names, but you still prefer to call yourself May, as you've been doing for a few months now.
  • You weigh 31 pounds (75th-90th percentile) and are 36.25 inches tall (90th percentile), but we think the height estimate may be slightly generous. The nurse said you're in good health and are developmentally on track. Praise God for all of that!
  • You're in the throes of separation anxiety, round two, which makes drop off at the church nursery a most unpleasant experience for everyone involved.
  • Your moods vary between friendly, playful, and sweet, to bossy, angry, and melting down all within minutes. You throw fits out of nowhere about the most random, irrational things. It's true--you're two! 
  • You are utterly confident around and don't seem to be at all intimidated by other children (older and younger) and adults. We hope that confidence never fades.
  • Considering you were such a grouchy, unfriendly baby your first few months of life, we're completely shocked that you can be a pretty friendly and outgoing little guy now. You've always been sweet, though. Thankfully, that hasn't changed.
  • Your memory astounds us.
  • You run like the wind.
  • You can be quite bossy! If no one's in the room to serve you, we sometimes overhear you giving orders to and fighting with your toys.
  • You've demonstrated musical interest and ability for a while now. You began humming soon after you turned one and have been outright singing, on key, for months. Having already covered most children's songs, beloved church hymns, and our favorites from Les Miserables, Mommy recently taught you some songs from The Sound of Music. You picked up and memorized do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti, within a couple of days and now regularly request "the do do song" as you call it. Voice lessons may be in your future!
  • Zerberts are still your definition of kisses, which we find incredibly endearing.
  • Airplanes, helicopters, trains, and trucks still make your day.
  • We're working on colors, counting, and letters. You haven't mastered any of these categories yet, but you're making progress.
  • You've inherited Mommy's good sense of direction and spend car rides and walks accurately telling us where Aldi, Giant, deep water (swimming pool), library, church, coffee, choo choos, and DeeDee's (Davis's) house are.
  • Months of training and consistent discipline at the grocery store have paid off, and you're now a helpful, obedient little shopper. Yes, you're now allowed to get out of the cart and walk and help! Grocery shopping is a highlight of your week.
  • Even though you inherited Mommy's hair, eye, and skin coloring, plenty of people still say you look a lot like Daddy. We think you are a perfect combination of both of us, both in looks and personality. We also think you're super cute!

What a wild ride these two years have been, sweet Mason. We miss having a little baby, but even with your moodiness, bossiness, and tantrums, you're definitely a lot more fun now that you're older. We love watching you learn, grow, and develop, and being a part of all of it. You are our world, sweet boy, and there's not a day that goes by that we're not incredibly thankful to have you as a part of our family.

Happy second birthday, Mason! May God bless you to see many, many more.

We love you bunches!


Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, August 25, 2013

the beach


Oh, how we love our annual vacations! And oh, how all three of us adore the beach! This year's destination was Topsail Island, North Carolina.

You walked to the beach independently every day this year, which was a huge help. Daddy and I have no idea how we schlepped you (at 10 months) plus all of our stuff to the beach last year. Next year, Lord willing, you'll be big enough to help us carry some of the stuff!

You really had a ball this year. You were cautious of the ocean and waves at first, which we were happy about because we didn't have to worry about your running into the ocean without us.

You could have played in the sand all day. You made lots of eggs in your bucket, and drove your truck all around.

We had the best weather Daddy and I have ever experienced on a beach vacation, so with the exception of one lunch and two dinner outings, we never left the beach, pool, and condo areas.

One day for lunch, we went to a 1950s diner where we found an old school, coin-operated ride, similar to what Daddy and I enjoyed as children.

This vacation included two unfortunate casualties. All summer, we have tried and tried and tried (without success) to get you to wear your sunglasses. On our second or third day at the beach, you suddenly decided that you were ready to wear them. And you talked about them and wore them constantly. I'm thankful we got a couple of cute pictures of you with your glasses on.

On our last day, the waves were fast and rough. A huge wave crashed over our heads and knocked you and me down (and under water). We were all wearing our sunglasses. Daddy's survived. Mine remained on my head, but the force of the wave popped one lens out, which was kind of funny! Your sunglasses, sadly, were long gone. We looked in the water and up and down the shore hoping to find them, but we never did. When we ask you where your glasses are, you say, morosely, "Beach."

Daily exposure to the pool greatly increased your confidence in the water. Although we've faithfully taken you under water at each pool visit since last July, you began our vacation only jumping into the pool if holding tightly to our hands and only going under if we dunked you. However, by the last day, you were running, jumping, and going under water on your own initiative, making your former lifeguard mommy very, very proud!

Here's a funny action shot for proof. You make quite a splash!

Once again, Daddy and I would never describe this or any vacation with you as relaxing, but we certainly made memories and loved every moment of our time together. We love you and all that you add to our (formerly relaxing) vacations!

Hugs and kisses and happy swimming,


Saturday, August 24, 2013

summer fun


As usual, our lives are full. Here's a glimpse of what we've been up to this summer.

mastering the slide

trying to be like Mommy


wearing a big boy backpack 

witnessing the orangutan crossing at the zoo

multiple trips to the zoo

Happy Father's Day!

I love you, Daddy! 

visiting Grandmom and Granddad in Tennessee

celebrating July 4th with Auntie, Grammy, and Grandpa on the National Mall

There's nothing like July 4th in DC!

annual carousel ride on the National Mall

water lilies in bloom at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

lots of water time this summer
blueberry picking

We also picked blackberries on that trip . . .

and rode down a giant slide.

These produce-picking outings are some of our favorites.

Fresh fruit, beautiful scenery, and lots of open space for running-what more could one ask for?

Running with--and barking orders at--Mommy.

relaxing in the back yard

visiting the Eco-Goats at Congressional Cemetery

viewing the Titan Arum's bloom at the U.S. Botanic Garden

your new happy place--the train observation platform behind Union Station
Apple picking! We also picked peaches and blackberries (again) that day.