Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vivian's first tooth has finally cut through!

After some very fussy days this week, we finally have some progress! Vivi's first tooth (bottom right) has cut through her gums.
Hopefully now she'll feel a little bit of relief before the next one pops up!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Look who's practically crawling!

Here's the "viveo" proof... :)

By comparison, she's about a month ahead of her brother mobility-wise. Owen crawled at 9 months, Vivi probably will be by 8.

Hanging out

We spent the morning relaxing in the family room in our jammies and I caught Owen with his arm around Vivi while they watched an episode of Super Why.
Super Cute.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


* "O" (as given by his teachers at Kindercare, our former daycare/preschool)
* Mister Owen
* Mister Man
* Stinkerpants
* Mr Love
* Mr Magoo (given by Miss Melissa)

* Vivi
* Miss Vivi
* Vivers
* Viv (Kel and my mom call her this)
* Pretty girl
* Chunk-a-monk (Kel came up with this one)
* Love bug
* Sweetpea
* Baby sister
* and the one that she will probably never be able to shake, her big brother's loving nickname for her: LIVERS!

Ben had started calling her Vivers and Owen all of a sudden just began always referring to his sister as LIVERS. Now, I am positive that he knows that Livers is completely different than Vivers, but it has totally stuck and even though it is kindof annoying sometimes, I think it's pretty cute that he has a special nickname for his sister.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kiddie picture

We of course had to sit all three kids on the couch for a group photo before the weekend was over. They actually cooperated fairly well and seemed to get a kick out of it. :)

Day Two on the beach

This morning we woke up and watched Vivi try to crawl (not quite there yet, but I can tell that it won't be long).
After a leisurely breakfast, it was off to the beach! Owen could have spent the entire day digging in the sand. I had taken a tip from one of my friends who bought a shovel for her daughter when they went to the beach and it was such a hit. He was definitely not a fan of the ocean (complete opposite of his sister who adored the waves crashing at her feet), but loved the sand.

Vivi took a nap in the sauna, but woke up after less than 15 minutes. She had the most fun sitting with me by the waves in the extra beach chair Molly and Tim brought.

That night we hit up an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet and ate until we were stuffed and afterwards we stopped into a Candy Kitchen to buy some salt water taffy for our families and our nanny Melissa who is finishing up with us this week when I stop working.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

OC Boardwalk

We decided to head out to dinner early instead of going back out on the beach, since the kids are used to eating early. Dough Roller was the choice for tonight, so we got to enjoy pizza and beers while the kids had a slice and a milk. Then it was time to hit the boardwalk!

We stopped for Polish Water Ice - my favorite - and the babies just LOVED it. Vivi was like a baby bird opening her beak for food when I put the spoon close to her mouth. It was a nice treat for everyone to cool off with given the temperatures.

After that we walked down to the end of the boardwalk where the rides are so that Ben and Molly could take Owen and Nate on the extremely over-priced merry-go-round ($7 per person for a 3-min ride! and you could barely hear the music the thing put out.) The kids had fun though, and that's all that mattered.

Saturday on the beach

We learned that:

1. Babies can really only handle about an hour and 1/2 of the blazing July heat before they need to cool off inside some air conditioning.


2. Next year we're definitely going to bring one of those tailgating tents to set up because they let the air flow versus the baby tent I brought which was practically a petite sauna.

But we definitely had fun in the couple of hours we spent on the beach this morning.

Friday, July 22, 2011

First night in Ocean City

We checked in around 3pm and made it to our condo by 3:30, Molly, Tim and Nate were close behind. It was the perfect size for us, two bedrooms and two baths with a kitchen open to the dining room/living room area. We also had a nice balcony with table and chairs which had an ocean view.

After settling in and putting our suits on, we headed out to the beach to catch the last of the sun before heading out to dinner. After trying the Green Turtle and finding out there was a 45 minute wait which we knew the kids wouldn't be able to tolerate in the heat, we ended up at the "oceanfront restaurant" of a nearby hotel, which turned out to be an excellent choice (all Molly's idea). We enjoyed crab cakes while the kiddos had chicken nuggets and fries.
By the time we got back to the condo we were all ready to hit the hay to prepare for the 6am wake-up call we knew awaited us. Bedtime was a challenge, to say the least. I thought we would be fine setting up the PackN'Play in our room with Owen's toddler mattress on the floor. Boy was I wrong. He thought it was playtime and was just so hilarious to climb on Vivi's PackN'Play which in turn woke her up screaming, which lead to Owen screaming when I reprimanded him for waking her up. Luckily, Ben had a plan. His suggestion of moving Vivi's PackN'Play to the den was the perfect solution and worked like a charm. Thank goodness we had a den.

Packed to the brim...

and we're off to the beach for a long weekend!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday funday!

This morning I had to do some work when I woke up, so I sat early riser Owen in front of the TV with Fireman Sam while I got the three offers out to candidates and the proceeding paperwork that goes along with it. Andrea was up next, but her boys were sleepy little men and slept in until about 9am. So she did some laundry and fed Grant, and by then Troy and Wyatt had decided to come down for breakfast and join the party.

We decided to head over to the playground for a bit, and were able to get out the door by 11am armed with cold juiceboxes, water and diaper bags. Trailside was packed with a couple of daycare buses, but the kids still had fun running around and swinging on the swings. We took a drink break, but were still really hot (that mulch really holds in the heat and even though there is partial shade there, it's still like a sauna on a hot summer day). So we thought we'd cool off by driving over to Landsdowne's sprayground.

We got the 3 boys into swimsuits and got over to the sprayground around 12pm which was good probably because it was lunchtime so it wasn't very crowded. The boys enjoyed it, but I was bummed that the fountains were not that active. They only stayed on for a few seconds and then would take forever to come back on. So it was a little frustrating given how hot it was. They served their purpose though and we knew that after 30 minutes the kids were ready to head home for lunch. (Vivi enjoyed a nice little nap in her stroller with the shade up while I sprinkled her arms and legs with water from the evasive fountains.)

We made deli sandwiches for lunch and the kiddies ate together and then we secluded them to separate rooms (yes, we learned a lesson last night) for naps. Vivi, even though she took a little nap at the sprayground, still joined in on the naptime fun, going down for a nap shortly after all 3 boys went down. With Grant in the pack and play in our room, Owen in his room, Vivi in the nursery, and Wyatt in the guest bed (yes, he insisted on sleeping in the big bed and not the toddler air mattress - such a big boy!), us adults (minus Ben who was working - boo!) decided to download pictures and I showed Andrea how to create an album on Facebook to share her pictures since she is kindof slow with Facebook. :)

We hung out on the couch catching up until the kids started waking up - Vivi first, then Owen, then Grant, then sleepy head Wyatt. The rest of the afternoon was spent in the backyard kiddie pool - cold beers in the hands of us parents as we relaxed and enjoyed the family time. Ben got home around 4:30, joined in on happy hour and went straight to work on his specialty - pizza on the grill. Vivi was so warm that I took off her onesie and just let her hang out in her diaper - those rolls need to breathe! At one point Grant pooped in his reusable swim diaper, so Troy and Andrea decided to save some baby wipes and just hose him off instead. Made for a cute family shot:

After drying off, we went inside to escape the heat for a bit. The big boys played with the train table (I think I know what Wyatt wants for Christmas, hint, hint Tony and Dotty!) while Grant and Vivian played with her singing stage and then took airplane rides with Troy. In case you're wondering, Vivi and Grant weight about the same - 20 pounds! He's 14 months, she's 7. She's our big girl! :)

Vivi got her bath early, and off to bed she went. Next it was toddler dinner time and they devoured the pizza. For dessert they had a special treat - Oreo ice cream cake that Troy and Andrea brought! What's summer without ice cream, right?!

It was finally time to dump all three boys into the bathtub to wash off all the pizza and ice cream. They had so much fun that I didn't even try to get them all to look at the camera for a picture - I just snapped this shot of them practicing their letters in the tub. So fun!

The kiddos were in bed by 8:30pm and us adults were free to enjoy our pizza and beverages while we watched Bachelorette together. By the time the show was over we were all ready to hit the hay. It was quite an action-packed day and we had such a fun time together, tantrums and all. We're sad that they head out tomorrow and are already trying to plan the next Taylor/Marshall family get-together. Christmas maybe?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Taylor family visits!

We've known Troy and Andrea since my parents moved to Florida back when I was a junior in college. We would look forward to visiting Florida over the holidays to hang out with them and even took our Babymoon together when we were both expecting our firsts. Wyatt was born 10 days before Owen and they became fast friends. We always have fun together and so when they said they would be passing through Virginia on their way to New York for vacation and Andrea's niece's baptism, we told them to come visit and stay a few days.

Wyatt, Grant, Vivi and Owen before bedtime

They arrived Sunday evening and joined us for the tail end of the water polo reunion. The little babies went to sleep around 7:30pm, but Wyatt and Owen got to stay up late. They played in Owen's pool, they pushed trains around the train table, and they ran around the playroom while us parents caught up a bit. Finally we decided we should try to put them to bed. We had borrowed an air mattress for Wyatt from Kel and Matt, so we set that up in Owen's room next to his toddler bed. We thought we could let them watch Cars on Troy's portable DVD player in Owen's room in hopes that they would just fall asleep watching it since it was late at that point. It was set up and we kissed them goodnight and snapped a picture of their first sleepover.

Then we all grabbed drinks and gathered on the couch to watch the two of them on the video monitor. We had fun catching up while the boys watched Cars, but after an hour and a half we figured the movie had to be finished, yet they were still talking and watching the DVD player. At one point they had started pushing buttons, so it was our guess they rewound it a bit and got more viewing time - such the little devils. So I finally went up and took it away and kissed them goodnight yet again. They actually fell asleep pretty easily, so after another half hour or so we parents figured it was safe to head off to bed ourselves. By then it was past 11pm.

Around 1:30am I woke up to "Mommy! Mommmmmmmy!!!" on the monitor, so I nudged Ben to wake him up and ask him to look at the monitor. He reached over and handed me his cell phone. Another minute and he finally was awake enough to look at the monitor to see that Owen was asleep in his bed, but Wyatt had abandoned the air mattress. We found out in the morning that he had been banging on the door and Andrea pulled him into their bed for the rest of the night. Owen is such a heavy sleeper that he wasn't bothered by it, but unfortunately for me he woke up at 6am the next morning.

JMU Water polo 10-yr reunion

I still can't believe it's been 10 years since we graduated from college. I guess it's kind of a good thing that I don't feel that old yet.

Since there are a bunch of us old water polo teammates living in the Northern VA area, I decided it would be fun to get together. Ben and I aren't able to make it to JMU homecoming this year, so this was my way of still celebrating our 10-yr college reunion with some of my old friends.

JMU water polo was such a big part of my life during college. I met my best friends playing water polo, so I am incredibly thankful for the team and the time we all spent together practicing, traveling to tournaments, hosting parties, and developing friendships that will last a lifetime.

It is a wonderful thing when you can get together with old friends and feel as if no time has been lost, you just pick up where you left off.

Ben grilled burgers and dogs and we all enjoyed some beers, white sangria and soft drinks while the future of JMU water polo toddled around Owen's train table and water table. The kiddos even got in Owen's kiddie pool at one point to practice their 2-meter skills - ha!

It was a really fun gathering and I think we all agreed that we should make it an annual event.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ballerina pj's

Our friends Steve and Shannon and their girls Madison and Annabelle sent us these adorable pj's after Vivi was born. I used to take ballet and can't wait to introduce Vivi to dance when she's old enough. For now, she'll be our little "prima ballerina" in her cute pj's. :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Vivi gets caught up in a book


The three of us were reading after Miss Melissa left for the day and I had finished working, and next thing I knew Vivian's arm was stuck in the hole of one of my favorite books I used to read to Owen: In My Nest by Sara Gillingham and Lorena Siminovich.

I took a few pics because it was good blog material (of course), helped her escape and continued reading to Owen. Next thing we knew, she had gotten her foot stuck in the book! More pictures. I want to remember when she first got hooked on reading. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Baby girl headbands

I wish I would have ordered these sooner, but I would always surf Etsy and was never able to decide on which ones I liked the best. Until I found Nana Rose Designs and she just happened to be having a sale, so I ordered a set of 3 for Vivi and am in love with how cute she looks wearing them! I took some photos to send one to the woman who made them as a thank you. She wasn't quite as enthused as I was about them.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Vivian is 7 months old!

Happy 7 months to our big girl! Here's what she's been up to lately:
  • Drinking 5 6-oz bottles a day, but I can tell we'll soon be down to 4 since she's eating more baby food
  • Holds her own bottle during feedings
  • Has oatmeal and fruit for breakfast and a veggie for dinner (she finished her first entire jar of veggie tonight!)
  • Getting very good at drinking water out of her sippy
  • Tried puffs but may have an allergy to something in them since she developed eczema on her cheeks afterwards; loves Mum-mums and has not shown an allergy to them
  • Taking 3 naps a day still
  • Waking up around 7am and going to bed around 7/7:30pm each night; sleeping through the night
  • Wearing size 4 diapers during the day, size 6 Huggies overnights at night
  • Mainly wearing size 9-mo and 12-mo clothes, but the outfit for her photo shoot tonight was actually an 18-mo outfit - they were supposed to be capris, but were pants for her short little legs :)
  • Loves the bathtub and the pool - has so much fun splashing
  • Still enjoys her exersaucer and LOVES the playmat that my mom sewed for her, although it's not containing her as well as it used to since she's starting to get mobile
  • Loves to turn in circles, roll to get where she wants to go, and scoot backwards - it won't be long before she's really getting around!
  • Just started clapping this weekend - so fun!
  • Making more sounds every day, but still no ma-ma or da-da yet
  • Loves when Owen pays attention to her, but has definitely become more vocal about her feelings when he pushes her or takes a toy away

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Family swim night

After naps, we suited up and drove over to the pool for some family swim time. Owen loved using goggles for the first time and exclaimed that he was "a scuba diver!". Vivi giggled like crazy when we swam her around the deep end. A good time was had by all until we accidentally picked up another pool-goers pizza delivery which we mistakenly thought was ours. Ooops. Oh well, we still had fun.

Winery picnic

We met up with one of my old co-workers from Sallie Mae, Karen, her husband Joe and their baby Grant today for a picnic at Loudoun Valley Vineyards. We enjoyed the beautiful weather, yummy wine and sandwiches and got to catch up with friends we hadn't seen in a long time. We're looking forward to seeing them next month at Grant's 1-yr birthday!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Grandma Marshall comes to bake cookies

Today Grandma Marshall came over to make "Cars"-themed sugar cookies with Owen. He had been dying to make them ever since Tish gave the cookie cutters to Ben for Father's day. He had so much fun and even more fun eating them. They disappeared so fast I couldn't even get a picture! :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Vivi tries puffs

Vivi had fun playing with the puffs and opened her mouth whenever I offered to put one in. I think she *may* have some kind of allergy to something in the puffs since her cheeks got super red about an hour after she had them. We'll see if it happens next time she eats them.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Leesburg Parade / Backyard fireworks

We kicked off July 4th with the Leesburg parade. Kel, Matt, Kayla and Ryan came too and we just might have to make it an annual event. We got a great spot towards the end of the parade (in the shade I might add) and the kids loved seeing all the fire engines, motorcycles, Corvettes and more. Vivi struggled a bit, since it was during her usual nap time, but she pushed through and stayed awake for most of it.

After the parade, we walked a few streets into Leesburg and had lunch at Doner Bistro, a cute little German eatery.
Naps followed for some, and then it was over to Kel & Matt's for another BBQ. Ben brought the fireworks. The kids watched as Matt and Ben set off some small fireworks in the backyard (luckily there were only minor burns to portions of Matt's grass).

You can totally tell in the bottom right picture of this collage that Vivi is thinking "Why the heck are you letting 2 & 3-yr olds do sparklers next to me in this Exersaucer??? Are you nuts?!" I can assure you that we were right there next to them as they did them and no one got hurt. (Well, except for when Kayla and Owen both touched the stick after it burned out. Nothing a little cold water can't fix!)

We let the kids do some sparklers after dinner then we headed inside for a break from the heat and some strawberry shortcake for dessert. We turned on the DC fireworks coverage on TV and the babies went to sleep while Kayla and Owen played. We tried to make it to watch the Ashburn fireworks, but we were all so tired that we called it a night after setting off a few more in the backyard. It was a very fun Fourth weekend and we thank Kel and Matt for hosting twice. :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Grandparents are the BEST!

My mom and dad drove down from Hershey today to spend the night so they could watch the kids for us while Ben and I went to a show at the Kennedy Center. It had been a long time since we had been on a date together, so we were really looking forward to spending the evening out together. We really appreciate how they drove all the way to babysit for us and were glad the kiddos could spend time with them.

Before we headed out for the night:
Owen and Vivi couldn't have been more excited to see them. They had a great time together while Ben and I went to dinner at the waterfront in Georgetown, and saw an awesome show - Next to Normal. My shoe broke between dinner and the show so I was hobbling around a bit, but we had a good laugh over it.
We took some pictures the next morning before they left to head back to Hershey. You can tell that Owen was getting a little annoyed at Teddy trying to get at his toy racecar. And I caught Poppy and Vivi pretty early in the morning. Didn't catch Grandma on camera this visit, but I will next time. :)
Thanks so much mom and dad ~ you're the best!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fourth of July weekend began

with a very fun BBQ at Kel & Matt's new house on Saturday evening. The kids had a ball running around and playing together and Ben was even able to join us at the end of the night after his annual golf tournament with his buddies wrapped up.
It was a great start to the long holiday weekend.