Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ian's Birthday Surprise

So, Greg has a friend at work who also happens to be a flight instructor. When he heard that Ian was going to be celebrating a birthday, he offered to take him up for a ride in his airplane! We were so excited for him! I picked Ian up from school early on his birthday, and simply told him we were going out to lunch with daddy, so we headed to Greg's work. When we got there, we told Ian what the actual plan was, in that we were going to catch a quick lunch and then head over to the airfield where he was going to get to go up in an airplane! Ian was pretty nervous when Greg told him what his big birthday surprise was. He actually quietly asked me if they were going to crash! I assured him that Mummy and Daddy wouldn't allow him to do something that we didn't feel was completely safe. When we arrived at the airfield, none of us quite knew what to expect. Greg's friend met us and took us out to the field where the plane was waiting and began to explain to Ian how it works. Ian listened intently, and I could tell he was pretty scared! He then showed Ian where he would be sitting, which just so happened to be the pilot's seat! Greg got in the back seat and they buckled in, and put on their headsets. It wasn't long before they were taxiing down the runway one way and then down the other before taking off. Ana, Cooper and I waited in the grassy fields beside the runway, and occupied ourselves with watching other small planes come and go, chasing butterflies, picking flowers, throwing grass at each other and dancing. It was actually a good time for all of us! As I understand, the boys flew all around Portsmouth and even landed at Pease Air Force Base before coming back to check in with us. They took off one more time so Greg could have a turn in the pilot's seat, though this time they stayed right over us and we could watch them overhead the entire time. Ian really had the most incredible time and has in fact declared it his best birthday ever!

Down on the ground, here's what we were doing:

Thanks so much Mike, for giving our birthday boy the time of his life!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ian Gregory Christopher,

I simply refuse to believe you are NINE years old today! Where did my baby go? You are one crazy kid Ian, and despite the insanity you cause your poor mother, I wouldn't have it any other way! Let's celebrate your big day with nine things about you...

1. You are a strange balance of wanting to be the center of attention, but acting like you're uncomfortable with it when you get it. You are definitely the class clown, but thankfully, you know how to pull it together at school because you have never been in trouble with the teacher; they always say what a character you are though!

2. You have decided to grow your hair out, much to mum's dismay; and boy is it getting long! We have always kept your hair pretty short and this is just a shock to mummy's system to see you with this mop on your head! You think it's going to get longer (in fact you think you are beginning to compete for the Guiness Record) but I'm sorry you will soon find that there will be limits to mummy's tolerance with that. It's about as long as it's going to get and there is a "clean up" hair appointment in your immediate future! I won't make you go short again, but I will make you tidy your appearance a bit!!

3. You really love your family. Even though we have our differences; I think you need to shower every day, you prefer to be stinky; I think it's important to wear socks with your sneakers, you....well, again the stinky-ness; you have your moments when you sit with me or dad and give us a little cuddle that lets us know that you really do care; or you ask to read to Ana at night or play with Cooper...I love these moments! Oh, and you still let mum kiss you before you get on the bus...that makes me very happy too!

4. You love music. You always have. You have just come off a Beatles phase which was nice; well, except for the all night repeating of "Hey Jude"...that got a little old after the 46th consecutive night (you are like your Auntie Shelle with that..she could listen to her favorites over and over and over again too!!).

5. You are very indecisive. In fact in a 2 hour period today, you went from wanting your party at the Space Center, to the Pottery place to having a party at home making t-shirts....these three choices have been in constant flux for days!! I think we have you pegged down to a sleep over with movies and t-shirt making though. I'm excited about that!

6. You tell us you don't like school; that was until you started this school year and got Mrs. Eichen for a teacher. I wouldn't say you love school now, but we don't have to fight to get you on the bus every morning anymore! We love Mrs. Eichen!!

7. You like to figure out how things work. Daddy has given you computers to take apart and you LOVE doing that!! You like to work with daddy with electrical and computer projects and dream up inventions that you want to pull together out of all dad's spare pieces in the basement. It's cool to see your mind thinking like that! Not so cool when you leave your inventions laying all over the house though!

8. You still climb in bed with mum and dad just about every night. It is difficult because you are no longer the toddler that we can just slide over when you get in the way; and you do get in the way...especially when mum gets up with Cooper and comes back wanting nothing more than to fall into bed and finds you have rolled into my spot. But secretly, there's a big piece of me that will miss you when you decide to start staying in your own bed.

9. You are still the pickiest eater I've ever met. Your menus are comprised of, peanut butter and jelly (though you appear to be tiring of that too!), grilled cheese, pizza, bacon (the only meat you will eat), cereal, bagels and toast, cheese, yogurt and very few fruits and vegetables and only when they are forced (which they are, much to your dismay!). You are difficult my boy, but at least you don't gag and throw up anymore when eating things you don't like! This is a definite move in the right direction!!

So there you have it...
Nine things about my Ian on his ninth birthday!

Mummy and Daddy have a big surprise in store for you today buddy and I can't wait to see your reaction when you see what it is! It's something I'm sure you will remember for a long time to come!

So, Happy Birthday to you, my big boy!
I love you more than I can express and can't wait to see what this next year brings for you!

Love always,

Friday, September 17, 2010

Flashback Friday

April 25th, 2010, A trip to the playground!

The weather was just getting nice, and Greg had just returned from a business trip so we decided to take a trip to a little playground in Exeter. It's my current favorite because it's completely fenced in which is so good for little escape artists! Cooper had just recently begun to sit up unassisted and I had hoped to get some 6 month shots of him; that didn't work out so well actually. Anyways, we really did have a fun time; the ice cream truck even showed up much to the children's delight! We played until Ana became desperate for a bathroom, at which time we had to leave and go find a facility! Here's a few pictures from the day.

The playground was honestly a little young for Ian, but he made the most of it!

I seriously could not get Cooper to even look at the camera.
I mean really, how can I compete with naked toes and grass?!
What was I thinking?
I love the picture anyways though...

Ana loves to swing, the faster and higher the better! I think we may have a thrill seeker here!

Love this picture of my gorgeous girl. I'm hoping to play with the lighting a bit when I can get around to doing some photo editing again.

This one was fun too. She thought it was real funny
that mummy was laying on the ground underneath her swing!

Cooper wasn't the biggest fan of the swing.
He probably gave it 3 minutes before he was done.
He didn't hate it, but there was no real love for it either!
I like this picture because for a long while, Cooper sported a natural mohawk and you can see it beginning to emerge in this picture!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dear Sweet Blog....

I am so sorry I have neglected you for so long! I have a list of excuses, but really I won't bore you with them. Greg had you published for me for Mother's Day this year (a most awesome present!) and I came across the books while tidying the kitchen today. I was reminded of how important you are to me, and about what it means to have lost so much time with you! So here's my plan...

We have a lot of catching up to do, so I'll set aside one entry each week just to catch you up on what we've been up to; let's call it Flashback Friday, okay? Maybe we can talk about older stuff on other days too, but definitely on Fridays. And from here on out, I will make my best effort to keep you up to date with what is currently going on my friend!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Remembering Bumpa

Dear Ian, Liliana, and Cooper,

This is hard stuff. I'm writing to you because you have lost a very important man in your life. It's been a month since your Bumpa died and I've been trying to write this ever since then. Ian, I know you have good memories of your Bumpa; you are almost 9 years old and I know this has been especially hard on you. I am so proud of the way you have handled yourself like such a little man through this all. I am proud of how you have talked about your feelings with mum and dad, and even let yourself cry a little; about how you bravely sat at the side of Bumpa's casket numerous times during the wake, no doubt processing what it all meant; how you decided that the flowers from yourself, your sister and brother needed to be placed on your Bumpa's heart before closing his casket and not only did you ask the funeral director yourself if that could be done, but lovingly placed the flowers there yourself, and how seriously you took your role as honorary pall bearer at Bumpa's funeral. You are not always the best at sharing how you are feeling, but it was evident to everyone present that day that you loved and respected your Bumpa very much and for that I am very proud.

You were Bumpa's first grandchild Ian, and I'm certain you reserved a special place in his heart. You loved it when Bumpa would get down on the floor with you and blow raspberries on your belly. I loved that too; he did that with all three of you, and I remember thinking how funny it was to see this man with such a crunchy exterior cooing and ga ga-ing over you guys in a high pitched voice you would never expect to come out of him. He couldn't wait until you were old enough to give treats to. It started when you were about 5 months with, "Can I give him a little piece of cracker?"; to which Mimi would incredulously reply, "Ed! He can't have that!!". Mommy agreed with Mimi, sorry bud. But as soon as he found out you could have treats, you better believe he was at the door just about every Saturday. It started with bottles of chocolate milk and small bags of Ritz Bits peanut butter crackers. Honestly, I'm pretty sure he chose those items because, well you know how first time moms can be, but milk and peanut butter, could mom really deny you that?! You were the first to spoil; and boy did he love to do that!

By the time Ana came along, Bumpa caught on that mummy was a little more relaxed and she knew that you weren't going to wither away by being treated on the weekends so his visits would bring one of a few usual suspects; ice cream sandwiches (always the neapolitan kind), devil dogs, Hostess Donettes (you know, those waxy chocolate covered "donuts" that you guys LOVE!), ding dongs, Market Basket brand chewy chocolate chip cookies, or the most recent addition after finding out Ana's love for it, popcorn. These things will always remind me of your Bumpa.

Liliana, you have handled this I guess like any 3 year old would. We were torn whether to bring you to the wake and funeral, but I do think it was good for you and has helped you understand a little more than you otherwise would have. We were a little concerned when you asked a couple times at the wake for Bumpa to "wake up" but when we explained that Bumpa's body didn't work anymore, I think on some level you got it. At the funeral, you asked to see Bumpa a few times and as they wheeled the casket out you wanted to "go with Bumpa", so I'm sure you knew that even though you didn't see the casket close, you knew that's where Bumpa was. When you went with Mimi back to the cemetery a couple days after the burial, I'm told you did ask where Bumpa went. When Mimi told you that Bumpa was under the flowers you responded with a very literal 3 year old response of "Well, he's gonna get all messy under there!" I do think your presence through all of this added some levity and like to think that it helped especially your Mimi, Daddy and Uncles. I'm certain you don't fully understand all that has happened, which was made clear to me a couple nights ago when you asked if Bumpa was done dying yet so we could bring him chocolate in the hospital and make him feel better. I explained to you again that we wouldn't be able to see Bumpa again and you got a sad face and said, "Oh...dat sad". It is so sad my sweet girl. Liliana, Bumpa really loved having a grand-daughter! I'm told that he always wanted a daughter, and you could tell by the way he looked at you that he thoroughly enjoyed watching you and your girl-y ways. "Ahh-na", he would say, (again in that high pitched Bumpa voice) "look at your pretty dress!" He would always remark on your shoes and how they never matched and were always on the wrong feet, because you do that, a lot! He loved it when you would stay with them while mummy ran errands or had appointments because he was very proud of the fact that he was the only one you would cuddle calmly enough with to fall asleep next to him on the couch. Thank goodness Mimi even caught this on film a couple times. You were definitely his special princess!

Cooper, I'm especially sad for you. You are so young, and your memories will be based in the pictures and stories we will share with you. That's a big reason this was so important to me to get down on "paper". The day you were born, Bumpa had to have a procedure done and he was not happy about it! You better believe though that he was the first visitor bright and early (your Bumpa was ALWAYS bright and early!) the next morning so he could give you an extra squeeze! I'm sad that you didn't get to experience the weekend Bumpa treats like your brother and sister did since it really was something that made your Bumpa especially happy to do. This was not due to his lack of trying though!! I think you were about 3 months when he first tried to give you a cookie crumb to which your Mimi exclaimed, just like she did years ago with your brother, "Ed! He can't have that!!" Cooper, your Bumpa was quite taken with you and how much you look like your daddy; "Spittin' image of Greg", he would say every time he saw you. He loved what an easy baby you are! When you were teenie, he would come over and pull you out of the swing (whether you were sleeping or not) to give you a cuddle; you would sit with him and he would remark, "Such a happy baby!". You loved it when he would pretend to gobble up your chubby little fists, making that chomping noise that only Bumpa could make as you would reach out to him for more. You also loved when Bumpa would get down on the floor with you just like with your brother and sister; no matter how much I'm sure his legs were hurting, he got right down with you on the floor and blew raspberries on your belly too! You certainly were special to your Bumpa!

All in all, I think Sharon summed up your Bumpa the best when she said that he was a lot like a toasted marshmallow; kind of crusty and crunchy on the outside but all gooey and smooshy on the inside. That gooey goodness oozed out whenever he was around you kids. He loved you all with every ounce of that tired heart of his and that's what I want you to remember the most; how much he really loved being your Bumpa.