Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas in Georgetown

The other day we were waiting for Dad to get out of work so we went over to the Georgetown Harbour. They have a beautiful Christmas tree. There's also a Starbucks where Nolan tried his first hot chocolate!

-- Post From My iPhone

Budding pianist

The nice lady at the Steinway store in the mall let Nolan play one of the baby grands. He was so gentle with the keys and was very focused.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mom: Sea Urchins

Here's another funny Nolan story that I wanted to share and--most importantly--wanted to record so I don't forget it. I mentioned a few posts ago that Nolan is really big into the Planet Earth documentary series. One of his favorite scenes is the one where the sea urchins chew through the underwater kelp forests that are several stories tall. For some reason Nolan LOVES this footage, and he loves the sea urchins, which he also calls the "yellow and red things."

Well, fast forward to Thanksgiving Day, when we were at Memere and Grandpa's house watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. There were a bunch of cheerleaders doing a dance routines with red and white pom poms. Nolan pointed to the TV and said, "Look Mom! Sea Urchins!" He's also pointed out that some of the decorative sea grass Memere and Grandpa have around their house looks like sea urchins.

We also got to see some sea urchins in real life when we were in Connecticut. We went over to the Mystic Aquarium and they had a large tank full of colorful urchins, starfish, and other ocean critters. The Aquarium also has 2 huge beluga whales, some seals, and lots and lots fish and other stuff to see. We had a great time!

Mom: Too cute!!

So this year Nolan is much more into Christmas. We've been reading a bunch of our Christmas books - from "The Polar Express" to "The Night Before Christmas," to "The Christmas Story." He cannot get enough of it. His favorite book right now is "The Sweet Smells of Christmas," which is a scratch and sniff book I remembered reading as a kid. He got this book as a gift for his first Christmas from Aunt Carly. In the book, a little bear and his mom bake gingerbread cookies, and ever since reading it Nolan is obsessed with gingerbread men and gingerbread houses.

Nolan also points out Christmas trees whenever he sees one and definitely KNOWS who Santa is. We're hoping he will sit on Mall Santa's lap when we go this weekend, unlike last year where Mom and Dad also had to be in the picture. So we've been talking about Santa a lot and trying to get him comfortable with the idea of the jolly old elf.

We asked him the other day what he wished Santa would bring him. His answer? "A Christmas tree" Then, "Cars." I think Santa can take care of those requests!

We're going to pick out our tree on Saturday, and it might even be snowing when we go! We're also hoping to make our gingerbread house and bake some gingerbread boys. It's going to be a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Mom guest blogs: Some updates

Wow, it's been over a month since our last post. We've been really busy but that's no excuse.

Nolan is just doing the cutest stuff. First, he has become a really great singer. He sings all. the. time. He sings songs he learns at school (one that introduces the Spanish names for colors), and he even sings songs I make up on the fly. Back around Halloween we went to a big pumpkin patch and took a hayride. The tractor pulling the flatbed with the hay on it pretended at one point to be stuck in the mud. The wheels were spinning and spinning and Nolan got really scared. Eventually the tractor driver had a friend pretend to pull us out of the big mud puddle with a rope and we finished the hay ride. For the next four weeks at least, Nolan would bring up this incident and talk about how the tractor got stuck in the mud. One day I decided to make up a song about it. I sang it to the tune of the Bangles' "Eternal Flame":

Tractor wheels, they're stuck in mud (darlin')
Do you see my wheels spinning?
Round and round they go,
But we go nowhere.
Am I only dreaming,
Or is my tractor (tractor) stuck in mud?

Nolan sings "The Tractor Song" all the time now, so earnestly. It's hilarious. He can really hold a tune and he hits the high notes so well!

He also loves singing the Sesame Street song (Sunny Days), Old MacDonald, Mary Had a Little Lamb (he knows all 7 verses, too!), Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and many many more.

He also loves when Mommy tells him stories, which are abridged versions of books we've read together about Lightening McQueen and Thomas the Tank Engine. Mommy has told these stories so many times the same way that Nolan will even correct me if I miss a word or say something differently.

Nolan is also such a sweet boy with so much empathy. He will always ask, "Are you happy Mommy?" When we pick up Daddy from work he says, "How was your day, Daddy?" At dinner, it's, "Would you like some more food, Mommy?"

I'll post more soon. I promise we'll get around to posting more regularly!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Mom Guest Blogs: Emily-O-P

OK, OK, we have been seriously delinquent in posting new photos. But while we're dragging our feet I thought I'd give a few updates on what Nolan is doing these days.

He's been talking up a storm as usual, can count to 20, and knows all of the numbers from 0-9 and all of the alphabet. One funny thing, though, when he sings the alphabet song he pronounces L-M-N-O-P as "Emily-O-P." Too cute! There's a little girl in his daycare whose name is Emily, and there is also a character by that name in his Thomas the Train books.

He's also been asking us what certain letters spell or identifying numbers he sees on signs or even on our bedside digital alarm clock. He's an expert on shapes and colors, too. He knows all of the basics, and even some trickier ones like pentagon and hexagon. He has also been making a lot of connections, pointing out that something he sees while out and about is like something we have at home, or how two different things are the same color.

Nolan has taken a huge interest in the Planet Earth documentary series. He loves watching the amazing footage of all of the different animals and will often ask to see specific animals, like dolphins or elephants so we can pick those specific scenes. I'm loving it because it's a lot more interesting to me than Disney Cars (previously the only DVD Nolan has seen)! It's also great because we can watch it and talk about what we're seeing.

One last funny thing. Nolan is a world-class procrastinator when it comes to bedtime. He will ask for one more story, or one more trip out of the room to say goodnight to Daddy. Last night we were reading a Thomas the Train book and reading about Sir Toppam Hatt, who, as you can imagine, wears a top hat. Nolan asked to get his Washington Nationals hat so he can wear a hat too. And, silly me, I obliged.

Friday, October 2, 2009

My favorite things

This morning Mom asked me what some of my favorite things are, and I thought I'd share my responses since I haven't blogged in awhile.

Favorite color: yellow

Favorite animal: elephant (although it depends on when you ask. Sometimes it's giraffe.

Favorite food: strawberries

Favorite DC landmark: Lincoln Memorial

I have also been learning about my five senses in school. I know that you hear with your ears, see with your eyes, taste with your mouth, touch with your hands, and smell with your nose.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Labor Day weekend

We had a great Labor Day weekend! I'll post pictures once they're uploaded, but I thought I'd share what we did.

On Saturday, we went to Burke Lake Park (I already posted about that). On Sunday, we went to church and then in the afternoon went to Dairy Godmother and had yummy frozen custard. (Yup, that's the same place that POTUS and his daughters went this past Father's Day). I had a chocolate and vanilla cone and Mom and Dad had peach cones. Yum! Later, we went into Old Town to walk around and enjoy the beautiful weather.

On Monday, we went to the zoo and had a blast. Then, we came home and Mom baked up a storm. She made monkey bread and I helped her make heart-shaped sugar cookies with sprinkles on top. I liked rolling the dough and cutting out the little hearts.

It was a great weekend!

I've got my reading cut out for me

I just found this great list of Caldecott Medal & Honor Books from 1938 onward. I think I'm going to make it my goal to read all of the winners. I can't wait to go to the library and pick the first few up.

I've already read one or two of the most recent ones - Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. But there are so many more - I'd better get busy!

2009 Medal Winner:

The House in the Night, illustrated by Beth Krommes, written by Susan Marie Swanson (Houghton Mifflin Company)

  • A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, by Marla Frazee (Harcourt, Inc.)
  • How I Learned Geography, by Uri Shulevitz (Farrar Straus Giroux)
  • A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)

2008 Medal Winner:

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic)

Honor Books:

  • Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Ellen Levine (Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic)
  • First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Roaring Brook/Neal Porter)
  • The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sís (Farrar/Frances Foster)
  • Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems (Hyperion)

2007 Medal Winner:

Flotsam by David Wiesner (Clarion)

Honor Books:

  • Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet by David McLimans (Walker)
  • Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Carole Boston Weatherford (Hyperion/Jump at the Sun)

2006 Medal Winner:

The Hello, Goodbye Window illustrated by Chris Raschka and written by Norton Juster (Michael di Capua Books/Hyperion Books for Children)

Honor Books:

  • Rosa illustrated by Bryan Collier and written by Nikki Giovanni (Henry Holt and Company)
  • Zen Shorts illustrated and written by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic Press)
  • Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride illustrated and written by Marjorie Priceman. (An Anne Schwartz Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)
  • Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems illustrated by Beckie Prange, written by Joyce Sidman (Houghton Mifflin Company)

2005 Medal Winner:

Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollinsPublishers)

Honor Books:

  • The Red Book by Barbara Lehman (Houghton Mifflin Company)
  • Coming on Home Soon illustrated by E.B. Lewis, written by Jacqueline Woodson (G.P. Putnam's Son's/Penguin Young Readers Group)
  • Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale illustrated and written by Mo Willems. (Hyperion Books for Children)

2004 Medal Winner:

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein (Roaring Brook Press/Millbrook Press)

Honor Books:

  • Ella Sarah Gets Dressed by Margaret Chodos-Irvine (Harcourt, Inc.)
  • What Do You Do with a Tail Like This? illustrated and written by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. (Houghton Mifflin Company)
  • Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems. (Hyperion)

2003 Medal Winner:
My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann (Roaring Brook Press/Millbrook Press)

Honor Books:

  • The Spider and the Fly illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi, written by Mary Howitt (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
  • Hondo & Fabian by Peter McCarty (Henry Holt & Co.)
  • Noah's Ark by Jerry Pinkney (SeaStar Books, a division of North-South Books Inc.)

2002 Medal Winner:
The Three Pigs by David Wiesner (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin)
Honor Books:

  • The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins illustrated by Brian Selznick, written by Barbara Kerley (Scholastic)
  • Martin's Big Words: the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Doreen Rappaport (Jump at the Sun/Hyperion)
  • The Stray Dog by Marc Simont (HarperCollins)

2001 Medal Winner:

So You Want to Be President? Illustrated by David Small, written by Judith St. George (Philomel)
Honor Books:

  • Casey at the Bat illustrated by Christopher Bing, written by Ernest Thayer (Handprint)
  • Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type illustrated by Betsy Lewin, written by Doreen Cronin (Simon & Schuster)
  • Olivia by Ian Falconer (Atheneum)

2000 Medal Winner:
Joseph Had a Little Overcoat Simms Taback (Viking)
Honor Books:

  • A Child's Calendar illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
    Text: John Updike (Holiday House)
  • Sector 7 by David Wiesner (Clarion Books)
  • When Sophie Gets Angry-Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang (Scholastic)
  • The Ugly Duckling illustrated by Jerry Pinkney Text: Hans Christian Andersen, adapted by Jerry Pinkney (Morrow)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Burke Lake Park

Today we went to Burke Lake Park, which is just a few minutes from our house. We rode the train and checked out the marina. There is also an ice cream parlour, playgrounds, a carousel, and a mini golf course! We will definitely have to come back with a picnic lunch so we can stay longer.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, August 31, 2009


-- Post From My iPhone

Playing ball on the beach

Here are a few pictures of me throwing a ball on the beach. These are all iPhone shots so Mom couldn't really capture all of the action. I'm getting good at throwing a ball, even if it doesn't always go where I think it will go. Mom says my technique is more like shot put than baseball right now, but I'm working on it!

-- Post From My iPhone

Leaving my mark

As we were leaving the beach yesterday afternoon, I left a starfish imprint in the sand every few steps to let people know Nolan had been there!


- Post From My iPhone

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I went to Funland tonight and rode all of the big buy rides! I steered a racecar and a motorcycle, piloted a boat, captained a fire truck, and rode in a hot air balloon. It was a blast!

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, August 29, 2009

First taste of Grotto Pizza

Mom took me to the beach tonight and we got Grotto's Pizza for dinner. It was the best pizza ever!

-- Post From My iPhone

When I grow up

I want to drive race cars.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More pictures!

Here are even some more pictures! Almost a smile or two, caught on film for the first time!


After long last, here are some pictures from the past few months. Do you love the diaper head picture? And here's one with my Disney Cars figurines. I have almost every one of the main characters now!

Mom blogs: Nolan updates

Hopefully I'll get around to adding some recent pictured to the blog soon. But until then, some updates.

Nolan has gotten quite good at small talk and manners. Every night on the car ride home or at the dinner table, Nolan asks each of us, "How was your day?" We tell him, and ask how his day was in response. He always says, "Fine!" At dinner tonight, Dad finished his meal first, and Nolan asked, "Daddy want more?"

He's also showing just how perceptive he is, and letting us into his thoughts. We've been reading a book about how Curious George went to the museum and climbed to the top of a dinosaur skeleton. A day or so after reading the book for the first time, I was giving Nolan a bath and out of the blue he said, "Curious George not happy. Dinosaur happy." It took me awhile to realize he was remembering the cover of the book, with a picture of Curious George hugging the head of the dinosaur skeleton's head. Curious George was frowning, nervous about getting in trouble. And the jawbones of the dinosaur's head made it look like the dinosaur was smiling. So cute, I would have never noticed that and Nolan remembered it 24 hours later!

He's also got an excellent memory. He's memorized most of his favorite books, and can now "read" a few of them cover to cover with very little prompting. I sing "Hush Little Baby" to him every night, and recently I've been only singing half of each verse to him and letting him fill in the rest. Tonight, he sang the entire song along with me - all 10 verses. It was SOOOO sweet. I wish I could have recorded it.

I'll share more soon!

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Why so serious?

Just a quick shot of Nolan, covered in chocolate at an outdoor concert at the waterpark. He sort of looks like the Joker from Batman Returns, no?

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mom guest blogs again

I've been a little lax about blogging lately so I thought I'd do a little recap. I'll try to do a post with pictures soon, since we have a bunch on Shutterfly that we haven't shared yet.

Nolan took his first train trip to Connecticut to see
Memere and Grandpa. It was fun, he did a great job!

Nolan's vocabulary is still growing by leaps and bounds. I feel like a slacker mom, but I have lost track of how many words this kid knows. It has got to be in the hundreds, and he regularly puts together 3-7 word sentences. Whether people other than Mom can understand them us another thing ;)

We drive by the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Monument every morning and I would always point them out and name them for Nolan. For the past month or so, Nolan has been pointing them out for me instead! He pronounces them as "wash ment" and "jeff mill." So cute!

The other day we were at Union Station and he looked up at the high, ornate ceiling and immediately recognized the shape that repeated in the design. "Octagon!" he said proudly. What a smartie.

Nolan knows his numbers up to 10 but after that it's a little shaky. He will count straight up to 11 but then go back to 8. He will get stuck in a loop, counting 8, 9, 10, 11 over and over again. We're working on it :)

Like his Mama and great-grandmother, Nolan is always humming or singing. Papi and and I spied on Nolan at the playground at daycare the other day. Nolan was riding around on a little motorcycle and singing "Happy birthday" to himself.

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, July 3, 2009

On the choo-choo train!

We're headed to CT to see Memere and Grandpa!

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I was quite the fish last summer, but this summer I haven't wanted much to do with the water. Well, this afternoon Mom finally got me to go in the water. I even got my hair wet! This picture is proof (and yes, that's a BB&B coupon I'm using as a plate).

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, June 29, 2009

Mommy guest blogs: Updates

I've been meaning to write down all of the cute things Nolan has been doing recently so I don't forget them. He's developing such a personality and a wonderful sense of humor and, more importantly, finding so many ways to express himself. Below is just a list of a few of the things he is saying and doing right now (2 years, 1 month old):

  • After months of blowing and giving silent kisses, Nolan is finally blowing and giving big, loud, smoochy kisses. It is so adorable.
  • Nolan also wants everyone to kiss his "boo boos," and after we do he says "better!" with a huge smile. He also kisses his own boo boos, and has his matchbox cars kiss his boo boos, too.
  • Nolan will break out in song just about anywhere. In the car, at home, in the grocery store, it doesn't matter. His favorite song to sing is Old MacDonald or the ABC's. He knows most of the words, too!
  • Nolan and Mommy have a song we sing together, which is a variation on "Hush Little Baby." We got it from one of his baby board books, it has the same tune as the old standard but it isn't so, shall we say, weird. No materialism (as in buying gold rings) or outdated mentions of horses and carts. It's all about nature and bedtime rituals. For example, "Hush little baby, don't say a word, Mama's going to look for a hummingbird. If that hummingbird should fly, Mama's going to show you the evening sky ..." Well Nolan LOVES this song and calls it "Hush Baby." I sing the first half of the verse and he finishes with the last half. He knows ALL the words, and it's not a short song!
  • "Bed." Sometimes, especially in the evening, Nolan will ask me if we can go to bed. He doesn't mean he's ready to go to sleep, it just means he wants to hang out with Mommy on Mommy and Daddy's bed. We cuddle, sing, and sometimes he does a little (highly supervised) jumping. It's such a fun time.
  • Nolan is still a HUGE reader, and it's the only time he sits still all day long. We participated in an early learning study at Georgetown University and a graduate student came out to see how well Nolan learned by having a book read to him. She complimented him on his ability to sit and focus on the book. She said most of the boys his age were more restless and wouldn't sit still.
  • Nolan is quite particular and has these cute little phobias. Whereas last summer he wanted to be in the pool every day, he wants nothing to do with being in the water this summer. At the pool, he will only stick his feet in or throw his toys in for Mommy to fetch. And at the beach this weekend, he wouldn't even leave the beach towel. But he wanted regular deliveries of ocean water in his little plastic buckets so he could play with it.
  • He is talking up a storm these days. For the most part, other people understand what he says, but sometimes he needs Mommy to translate. For example, motorcycle is pronounced "mono bike el" :)
  • Nolan is getting to be a smart cookie. He can count almost to 20 (with one-to-one correspondence up to 10 on good day), knows the entire alphabet, and easily recognizes things in real life that he has only seen in books, and vice versa. On our ride in to work and school in the morning, I've been pointing out the Jefferson Memorial and Washington Monument, and now he points them out and says their names to me! Recently he built a tower of Legos and told me it was the Jefferson Memorial! It looked a little more like the Washington Monument to me, but I let it slide. He's only 2 after all :)
  • Last but not least, Nolan is such a happy kid. He's always smiling from ear to ear and he laughs so easily and often. He's pleasant to be around and always says please and thank you. In fact, when we went for his 2-year checkup, the doctor asked if she could use her stethoscope to listen to his heart. Nolan said "No thank you." The doctor laughed.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

First trip to Build-A-Bear

I took my first trip to Build-a-bear today, where I got to pick out and stuff a panda bear. I named him Panda Monkey. Here is a picture of me watching the stuffing go around in the machine and a picture of me putting a heart into the bear.

Earlier we celebrated Fathers Day with a metro ride into the city and a trip to a pub.

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pool time

I've been having fun at the pool playing fetch with Mom. See, it goes like this. I stand outside and throw my toys into the water and make her go in and get them. There's no way I'M going in there!

-- Post From My iPhone

Friday, June 5, 2009

Happy birthday!!

It's mom here, guest blogging. Happy 2nd birthday, sweet boy! It doesn't seem possible, but this year has gone by even faster than the first. I wish I could just hold time still - this is such a wonderful, fun age. Your little boy voice, your sweet smile and dimples, the way you run and jump, and the pure joy and excitement that you exude all the time. But I have to let time tick forward, and I'm OK with that, too, because I can't wait to see what each new day will bring. Love you, buddy!

Here's a picture of the quilt Memere and I finished today. It is made with some of my favorite onesies you wore in your first year. That, and lots of love, of course!

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chalk boats!

All weekend we spent time drawing in the driveway with colored chalk. I would give the orders, and Mom, Dad, Nana, or Papi would draw what I told them to. Nine times out of ten, the order was to draw a "big boat!"

Here's a picture of me asking Mom to draw a boat. Like my new Elmo t-shirt?

-- Post From My iPhone

Memorial weekend

We had a great weekend! I was only inside for naps, the rest of the time we were running around outside.

On Saturday, Mom and I found
a cool new county park with a playground; a nature center with live turtles, toads, and snakes to look at and other fun stuff; and an enclosed nature trail so I could explore a little on my own. Very cool!

We celebrated Mom's birthday on Sunday with Nana and Papi, and Mom's Aunt Bonnie and cousin Lynn. Lynn just got back from Israel and Egypt and brought me back a t-shirt with my name in hieroglyphics!

Monday, we planted our herb and vegetable garden!

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ice cream truck!

Mom and I were out mowing the sidewalk again with my bubble mower when the ice cream truck showed up for the first time of the season!

I got a yummy neopolitan ice cream sandwich. Yum!

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Haircut #4 - after

Here's a quick pic of the new "do." Right after I stopped crying and was actually pretty proud of myself for being such a big

boy. But I started up again when we realized we had accidentally walked out with a toy from Cartoon Cuts. Dad had to take back the choo-choo and I wasn't so happy.

Now we are out to dinner!
-- Post From My iPhone

Haircut #4 - during

Here's a picture of the haircut during. The stylist has been at Cartoon Cuts for 12 years and he was fantastic. And patient!

-- Post From My iPhone

Haircut #4 - before

We are at Cartoon Cuts right now, waiting to get my hair cut. Here's a before pic. We're liveblogging this thing so we'll let you know shortly how it went! Wish us all luck.

-- Post From My iPhone

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Summer job

Mom and Dad has informed me it is time I get a job. So I've decided to take on the

all-important task of mowing the neighborhood sidewalks with my bubble mower.

-- Post From My iPhone