Springtime Leave

Today begins my third full week of maternity leave. It’s the first week that promises warmer weather and a more relaxed schedule. I am feeling so grateful that I get to spend this time with my little boy. So far, in his ripe old age of two weeks, he is a very content baby. He loves snuggling and occasionally shoots off a very happy smile. He also seems to be up for adventure, which is wonderful, because with the weather so nice, he has already been to a concert in the park, a festival, the zoo, a small South Philly coffee shop and many many parks and playgrounds with his big sister. Thank goodness for baby carriers and strollers!

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I am not sure what this week has in store for us, but I am looking forward to every new day watching family grow.

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Our sweet girl becomes a big sister

Last week we officially became a family of four with the birth of our son Asher. Big sister Marlowe could not be happier to have a baby brother. She is constantly showering him with love and affection. And stuffed animals. I imagine the result if all this love will make him her little shadow when he is mobile. And also probably a natural at self defense.

After a week at home with our baby boy, we have settled in nicely to a routine of playground visits, spring weather walks and generally sleepless nights. We are looking forward to introducing Asher to everything that spring and summer have to offer.

We are a bit overcome by how lucky we are.

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Seattle round 2

This year my youngest brother moved to Seattle as well. When Randy’s conference overlapped with his birthday this Spring, we decided a family visit was in order for all 3.5 of us. So, I had the opportunity to travel alone with a toddler while 8 months pregnant. And it turns out it worked out fine! Our girl really is a great flyer. She made me very proud.

The rest of the trip was great too. We got to spend a lot of time with her uncles and newly almost-minted aunt. My brother and his girlfriend got engaged just before our visited, so we got to celebrate a birthday and engagement in the same visit. Everyone seemed to have a lot of fun. It was great for everyone to get to know our little bug again since she has grown up so much since we were all together last. She played pinball with Uncle Brandon, hiked and learned the value of a good stick with Uncle Adam, and learned about beach rocks with Anjuli. Added bonus, we came home to 60 degree weather!

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Long overdue updates

Well, to say it has been a long time since our last update would be an understatement. It turns out that a two year old demands a lot of attention. And quite frankly, this age has been such a joy in our house that if given the choice between blogging or spending time painting, dancing, jumping, singing or snuggling with our little bug, I always pick the latter. Marlowe has grown so much in the last few months. Not only is she taller, giving her a true “kid” appearance, but developmentally, she is just so grownup. She is constantly sharing stories with us now or making up songs (most recently about Knox the cat, her car seat buckle and dug beetles (really…)). She also has an endless thirst for new knowledge now. She wants to learn everything. I often field requests for books or videos about side characters of books or something we mentioned quickly in conversation. As a result, the whole family is much more educated on the subjects of armadillos, giraffes, elephants, the Philadelphia Mummers, and, again, dung beetles (seriously, this kid loves bugs).

Marlowe is also very interested in learning about the changes in our family. In the Spring, she will step into her new role as big sister. We are all very excited. I am very impressed and proud of how well Marlowe has taken to the news. She is so loving towards her new “baby brother” (never baby sister despite declaring in no uncertain terms recently that her “baby brother” is a girl (Baby #2 Pool to follow…). She keeps stocking her toys away for the baby and loves attending our doctor’s appointments so she can hear the baby’s heartbeat (and play with the waitingroom school bus). Given this interest and she current obsession with our friends’ babies, we are hopeful we have an excellent big sister in the making. Be on the look out for big sister/baby photos when the weather warms in a few months (life slows down as you add more kids, right?).

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Seattle – Marlowe visits Uncle Adam

In February, Randy was sent to a conference in Seattle, which happens to be the home of Marlowe’s Uncle Adam.  So, the whole family tagged along and Marlowe and I got to spend some bonus time with Adam (before his trip to Wilmington in the near future, hint, hint Adam…).  We are bit nervous flying with Marlowe, despite our success in Ireland, since this time we were flying with a toddler.  But, she again proved to be a nearly perfect flyer.  This time she had her very own toddler-sized suitcase, which made the airport a bit more fun.  And, due to a significant flight delay, she made good use of the Please Touch Museum’s in-airport playground (thank you Please Touch, a lot).

Have backpack, will travel

Marlowe’s airport dinner and a glimpse of her suitcase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We arrived in Seattle very late, but the next morning we were ready to go.  Randy headed off to his conference and Marlowe and I called and text Adam persistently until he finally   got up for our Eastern Standard Time breakfast.

Baby’s First Seattle Coffee Shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncle Adam seems impressed…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Somehow, our East Coast toddler managed to tour Seattle all day and hold it together (mostly) for a trip to the Seattle Children’s Museum.

And that was just one day…

Results of doing all of that in one day with jet-lagged toddler.

Day two of the conference, we continued our touring.

On the rest of our trip, Randy was able to join us for full days.  Our first stop was to Pike Place Market for breakfast and a rainy (surprising…) view.

 

 

Marlowe and Mommy at Lowell’s.

 

 

 

 

Rainy view of the harbor for breakfast.

 

 

All in all, it was a great trip.  It was nice for Marlowe and Uncle Adam to have some time after nearly a year apart.  And we had fun too.

 

 

 

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18 months and beyond…

Marlowe has officially reached the year and a half mark and every day she becomes more and more of a big kid.  She is extremely independent now and basically does not believe there is anything she can’t do, including setting up her own foot stool at the bathroom sink, washing vegetables and fruit for dinner, cutting her own food (with a butter knife), cleaning up after a meal, brushing her teeth, feeding the cat, the list goes on and on.

Baking   Shopping with baby   Brushing

This makes life a bit more difficult at times.  But it certainly makes things a little more fun and a lot more interesting.  We love watching our baby girl grow into a full fledged toddler learning something new every day.  Right now her favorite activities are singing (wheels on the bus, yankee doodle, twinkle twinkle and itsy bitsy spider are chart toppers at our house) and running (mostly while screaming with her arms in the air).  ”Marlowe” has also started a garden.  We are hoping to get quite a harvest this year.  Marlowe helped plant the seeds and keep them well watered with her new watering can, thanks to Aunt Toni.

Planting seeds

Water girl

We recently transplanted our many seedlings to our garden.  Since then, watering has become more, umm, exciting.  Marlowe has enjoyed the upgrade to the hose a lot…  She loves playing in the dirt as well.

Dirt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So far, this age has been the most fun.  And that, coupled by the warm spring weather has made for some really great days with our favorite girl.  We are looking forward to spring runs and bike rides, days at the park and Longwood Gardens, trips to the zoo and the children’s museums and hopefully a few summer beach adventure days.

 

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16 months – Life as a toddler

Marlowe is officially 16 months old and, boy, what a difference a few weeks makes!  On January 7th, Marlowe moved to the toddler room at her school.  It was a long overdue move, but we were waiting for the holidays to end before transitioning her.  She loves it!  I honestly cannot say enough about her excitement for school now.  Randy rarely gets a goodbye, let alone any tears when he drops her off in the morning.  And they have been home late a number of times in the last few weeks because Marlowe simply doesn’t want to leave.  She loves her teacher and all the “big kid” toys.  They have a toy kitchen, a slide, lots of books and tiny, kid-sided couch.  And scooters.  (Scooters!)  Since her move, she has insisted on an earlier bedtime.  One has to be well rested to keep up with the big kids…

Marlowe’s first day in her new class

We can really see her blossoming now.  Her vocabulary has jumped in the last few weeks, adding “turtle,” “dog” (not just the growling that used to be dog…), “yellow,” “blue,” “bubbles,” and lots and lots of “uhoh” (which does have me wondering what kind of trouble she is causing at school…).  She can also identify lots of body parts now (eyes, ear, nose, mouth, hands, feet, belly, and her favorite — belly button).  It seems that every day she has grasped something new.  It really is amazing to watch.

Marlowe has also been helping a lot in the kitchen.  Thanks to her very handy daddy, she has a new folding stand so she can safely reach the counter.  She loves washing and sorting fruits and vegetables while I cook.  She also enjoys playing with her very own kitchen as well.  Her favorite activities seem to be filling cups with “water” from her little sink.  With sound effects (ssshhhhhhh…).

Little Chef

Every day she makes us laugh with her great sense of humor and her overall silliness.  She is constantly talking and singing.  She has a lot to say.  We can’t wait until we understand it.

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Marlowe’s 15 month update

Well, once again we can’t believe how quickly Marlowe is growing up. Over the last three months she has really developed her personality. She constantly has us laughing now. She loves music and dancing. Especially on her “stage”. Thanks again to Aunt Michelle for Marlowe’s microphone, which has certainly encouraged performances.

Our Little Rockstar

She has also started exploring her artistic side (taking after Uncle Brandon, I guess). She loves playing with playdoh and coloring. We’re still working on limiting her attempts at clothing design.

Fun with playdoh

This is the first year Marlowe has really gotten to experience the chiller seasons. She had a lot of fun in the Fall visiting Milburn Orchards, tasting apple cider, taking a hayride, feeding animals, racing through a hay maze, and picking out pumpkins.

She also loved jumping in the leaf pile in our front yard.

She has also enjoyed Winter so far. We visited the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia in early December. Marlowe loved the kid-sized Rita’s Water Ice stand. Maybe she’ll take after her cousin Laura and dish out water ice part-time in high school.

Employee of the Month December 2028?

Getting ready for the holidays was also fun with Marlowe this year. We were tempted to cram our days with holiday themed activities, but held back. A little. We did cover quite a bit though. Here are a few pictures of Marlowe celebrating Hanukkah, helping pick out our Christmas tree, making salt ornaments with Aunt Taty and Mommy, visiting the Love Park Christmas village and discovering the wonders of Santa and life-sized nutcrackers.

It’s been a busy last three months (read: possible excuse for not updating this blog sooner…), but it has been a lot of fun. We are truly enjoying this stage of Marlowe’s life. Her personality shines more every day. We cannot wait to see what other adventures she has in store for us.

Next up: Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh, Marlowe’s second Christmas, New Years, and maybe, just maybe, a reasonably sized portion of the thousand or so photos we (Randy) took in Ireland.

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Marlowe’s 12 Month

Well, Marlowe had quite a big final month of her first year.

She took her first (and second) plane ride, took her first real vacation, got her first passport vista, pet her first goat and sheep, ate her first ice cream (vanilla Irish brown bread, yum!), went on her first boat ride (and slept through seeing her first dolphin), visited her first Irish pub, danced a lot, and took her first steps!

Marlowe also starred in a few pictures…

Bath Time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating Evie’s birthday with a wagon ride with Hadley and Brennan!

 

(Thanks to Uncle Chuck for these photos!)

Hey, I want another ride…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mommy’s new financial planner

 

 

 

 

After all that, we were pretty tired, but we still managed to celebrate our beautiful girl’s birthday…

 

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11 Months, just one more to go…

Well, just under the wire (two more hours until Marlowe is ONE!), we are getting Marlowe’s 11 month picture posted.

Between 10 and 11 months, Marlowe visited the beach twice, went camping with her cousins (for better or worse…), and took her first “unofficial” steps.  It was a pretty adventure-filled start to the summer, but her biggest adventure (Ireland!) is still to be posted.

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