Archive for the ‘Noah’ Category

Dear Noah on your first decade,

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

TEN! Ten is huge! You’re double digits now and you’ve plowed right through every day thus far.

You’re still so strong headed (that’s nice for ‘stubborn’), determined, feisty, sensitive, and full of mischief. You’ve made torturing your sister your full time job. You’ll never admit to it, but you love her like crazy. You always want to know where she is and what she’s doing if you’re apart and you’re finding a way to get her attention anytime she’s near (I feel like I write this every year but I don’t go back to look because these letters are for you, not me). I really hope that someday you’ll stop playing so hard to love with her and just fess up. You two have the best time together when you’re behaving!

You love to read, you’re obsessed with a computer game called Roblox and countless apps, you enjoy riding your bike and rollerblading. You would much prefer to be an indoor kid but since you’re no longer doing gymnastics, it’s important to get you moving. You’re interested in tennis, which I promise to pursue when it cools down. You were such a sport to try soccer, even if you only did it so you could stay with Kate. You were pretty good at it, too, but decided not to continue. You’ve also tried swimming, again pretty good, but it’s hard work (which isn’t your style just yet).

You still love Monkey and sleep with him around your neck every single night. That poor guy is threadbare and tattered but it seems that just means he needs to be loved more. In some ways you’re still a little boy but in others you’re becoming more mature and confident. I hope you leave him behind for me to sleep with every night when you go to college (or move out, or whatever you decide to do which is perfectly fine with me – just promise to aim high).

We’re helping you out of your shell when we’re able, but still trying hard not to push you. You’re starting to open up to your friends’ parents, you’re finally ordering your own meals at restaurants, and you’ve stopped being so guarded in front of family friends. I’m excited about this for you but I also love it because it makes situations where people try to engage you a little less awkward for those of us who have to watch you stare at your shoes in lieu of conversing with them.

You LOVE music. You can name any top 20 pop song within 2 seconds and you know all the words to every song on the radio. You love to sing and watch music videos. You get this from me. Your father can throw off the rhythm of an entire crowd at a concert, but you and I, though tone deaf, have a thing for lyrics. You took a year of piano lessons, which you were proficient in, but you clearly prefer lyrics over notes.

Baby boy, you are my wild. You are constantly growing, surprising me, and making me so proud. I love you more than you’ll ever know. I hope the next ten years are filled with adventure and discovery. I love watching you grow into your own in every way. In the meantime though, I love how you cuddle with me when you’re sleepy and come to me for comfort when you’re sad or hurt – those are moments I will hold onto forever.

All my love, forever and ever,

Happy Number Nine, Noah!

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

I know every year I tell you how fast the past year flew by – but seriously? Nine is huge! You are so much more than a “kid” now. You’re a boy, a young man. You are less snips and snails, and puppy dog tails and more wild, strong willed, and mischievous. This is your last year in the single digits (10 will certainly be a tear jerker) but with monkey wrapped tight around your neck at night (yes, still) this will be a crazy, fun time and I will love watching you blossom.


You are, and have always been, a rule follower. You ask for permission and even when you don’t like the answer, you respect our decisions. You’re still very introverted with people outside of your circle. I’ve worked on not forcing you into being social this year because it’s just not you. Sometimes I get embarrassed because you can pick the most inopportune time to clam up but you’re getting old enough to navigate that on your own so I’m working on letting you do just that.



You love your family. You are happiest when we are all together. That doesn’t mean you don’t torture your sister and push my buttons every chance you get, but it gives me huge warm fuzzies that you want us all and that most of the time, that is enough. You still have all of your grandparents but they are getting older and some of them aren’t in the best of health. I feel so fortunate that you are at an age where you will always remember them. I treasure the memories of my grandparents and hope you will as well. They love you so much and they are such a part of who you have become.

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We finally got the dog you’ve asked for since you were old enough to speak! We surprised you with a whoodle (soft coated wheaton terrier mixed with a miniature poodle) named Maggie. You are her world and you are as amazing to her as I always imagined. I hope having her will teach you about love, compassion, and responsibility. Sometimes the responsibility part gets a little exhausting but everything that’s fun has your name written all over it!



You continue to be amazing at gymnastics. We’re on our second year at TAG and these kids and coaches have definitely become your people. You are still best at the vault and stumped by the mushroom/pommel but this was a good competition year for you. We traveled as far as Knoxville, TN for competitions this year. You had several more all over FL but TN was huge for you and a great excuse for a family trip (we all loved snow tubing and the scar under your left eye is courtesy of Gaitlinburg’s ice skating rink). One struggle we’ve faced this year is passion. I’m not 100% sure you understand what that is, or that you’re even mature enough to feel it, but your commitment to gymnastics was a little bumpy for a bit. We want you to LOVE your sport, to FIGHT to improve, and show us how determined you are. Instead you’re very nonchalant about the whole thing and you are comfortable just doing what they ask, not pushing. You are very unimpressed with Olympians which is partially because you think they are “nice people who are just really good at gymnastics” and partially because you think they are your peers. I just signed you up for a swim team. I’m hoping it will be easier for you to tell me which one you like better than if you want to continue the 200 miles each week to Weston to do something you happen to be naturally good at. Only time will tell. Giving up on gymnastics might be harder for me than you. We’ve been at it since you were three and we’ve all done a lot to get you this far.

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You are great at school! Your teachers are Ms. Finger and Ms. Carter. You have grown so much and done so well. You love to read now and you are so dedicated to getting your school work done, it’s fantastic! This was the first year you did your own science project – and what an experience that was! I let you pick your project and promised to help the best I could. When I made that promise I didn’t realize we would be determining what effect freezing has on rocks (it makes them bounce but absolutely nothing else) and I’ll admit, I giggled a little when your first hypothesis was you thought it would make them softer, but we got through it. Your father shook his head at us the entire time so next year he’s in charge.

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You and I have become very close. Because we spend so much time together (mostly because of gymnastics), you and I have learned a lot about each other. We laugh a lot and we have so much fun but we also butt heads because we are so much alike – stubborn and always right. I love this bond we’ve formed!

So hey, I love you. I love you forever and for always. I wouldn’t change a thing or trade you for the world! I wouldn’t mind if you talked a little more or used your manners more often but I love the person you are and the young man you are becoming. You make me so proud and I am so crazy about you!!

Happy birthday, bud.



Happy 8th Birthday, Noah!!

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

The years keep speeding by. Almost like a snowball rolling faster and faster, gaining momentum, and growing so quickly! You are full speed ahead out of boy-dom. You would like nothing more than for us to let you be independent and make your own decisions. Unfortunately, you would be a very messy tv and Super Mario addict with a diet consisting of sugar (which turns you into the Hulk), popcorn chicken, and croquettes.

You have done great in school this year! You still excel at math and have no trouble picking up on new concepts. Reading and writing remain your least favorites. Yesterday your reading teacher, Mrs Devino, asked the class to write about how they were feeling. You raised your hand because you weren’t sure what to write. She told me that when she gave you a few examples and ideas that you looked at her as if to say – you’ve got to be kidding me! I can’t wait to get that assignment home and see what you came up with!

Gymnastics has turned into “your thing”. You competed all last year and did a great job! You have so many medals and tshirts (which you love!) from the different competitions. Your best skill is the vault, you always finish in the top 5! You also do a floor routine, the rings, high bar, parallel bars, and pommel horse (which is your least favorite). The highlight of this season was your competition at ESPN in Orlando where you medaled in vault against some really tough competition, it was also a very special venue. In March we decided to change gyms. By “we”, I mean me and daddy since you weren’t on board right away. The new gym is a lot further and the work outs are much harder but you’ve already shown a lot of improvement. I’m a little nervous for August. You’ll be in third grade with big kid homework and we’ll still be driving to Weston 3 days every week after school. I know we’ll figure it out because as long as you love gymnastics, I will do whatever I can to help you excel, but it might not be easy.

You have really started to like music. You tried a guitar class but refused to practice. You seem to pick up lyrics from listening to the radio so easily these days. You can sing along to most everything on the channel I listen to. You’re favorite song right now is “Let It Go” from the movie Frozen. Your favorite from the Top 10 is “All Of Me” by John Legend. Unfortunately you’re not the most in tune and rhythm is hard for you but you make up for it with passion. Daddy hopes no one ever tells you that you’re a bad singer. I hope you don’t read this until you’re much older!

Ayla and Charlie are still your closest friends. We usually see Ayla every week and I know you love her but you still won’t hug her and that has become one of your favorite games – torturing her by running from her love. I hope someday you’ll let her catch you every once in awhile. Charlie now has a dog, Harry, who you are in love with! You always want to know when you will see him and we always remind you that it’s Charlie you should be asking about. We don’t get together with him very often anymore but he’s still one of your favorites. You have also befriended a boy named Michael in your class. He’s a great kid and you have a ton in common! I’m hoping some of his great manners and behavior might rub off on you! Why am I still reminding you to say please and thank you!?

This year you sprouted! You are the slightest bit more confident on your own, though you’ll try anything with Kate by your side. You have finally outgrown all your little kid clothes. You are now in age appropriate clothes and they FIT! I never thought we’d get here! You have big feet, but you come by that naturally. You are finally tall enough to ride most theme park attractions. This year when we went to Aquatica for your birthday you rode everything – and loved it!

You still love Monkey to pieces, though he doesn’t have much time before he is IN pieces! All of his stuffing has gone to his feet and he looks really worn. To you, though, he will always be perfect! You believe in all the magical people in childhood – Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, etc. I have a feeling you’ll figure them out soon, please don’t spoil it for your sister. Last Christmas we had a special photo session with Santa since I was afraid it would be the last where you believed. The Santa was so old and half deaf, he was more of a prop than a jolly old guy but you didn’t care. You made everything about him that didn’t make sense seem totally legit. I know how much you want to believe and I hope when you do find out you aren’t heart broken. You still want a dog. You’ve been asking for one since you were old enough to talk. We have gotten into teary arguments about when, why not, and how come. You ask constantly and not so subtly. We know how badly you want one, and I think it would be a great addition, but your dad isn’t a huge fan of having one more thing to worry about, so for now we wait. We’re breaking him down slowly. I did a ton of research and think a whoodle (soft coated Wheaton terrier bred with a poodle) would be perfect. I even found a breeder. Keep crossing your fingers and I will too!

Age 8 is a big one and I have no doubt it will be filled with lots of hurdles and learning curves, but I’m also sure it will bring lots of great firsts and new friendships. I have no doubt you will face the challenges head on with the flair of a (former) red head and the stubbornness of someone who has half my genetic makeup. I love you so much and even though we argue as strongly as we love, you will always be my favorite little boy. You can stop growing now!!

xoxo Mom

Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 20th, 2014



This morning started with an Easter egg hunt around the house, ripping apart of baskets, and Noah losing a tooth. That was the first two hours! After the morning madness we went to church for another egg hunt, service, and a butterfly release and then to Grammy and Papa’s for lunch and a swim. It was a great day and though the sugar gave us some bumpy fits along the way, we had a very happy Easter!

Here are the kids at church before the festivities!

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Hugs from Kate

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Kate is one of the most affectionate people I know! She’s always cuddling up to anyone she can get her hands on but she has to run Noah down to show him some love. Today he met his match and couldn’t run away any longer! We were at a park with an egg shaped cage that spun. They both got in and begged me to spin them – again and again and again. They were having so much fun, and I have plenty of photos of that, but then THIS happened. The spin spun them out of control and they fell on top of each other – leave it to Kate to soak it in! She’s pretty awesome and some day her brother may just let her hug him!!



Tour of the station

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

The kids and I went to visit a local fire station today. I was checking it out for a possible photo location and they came along for the ride, not expecting to enjoy themselves. Judge for yourself, I’m pretty sure they’re glad they came!

Thank you, station 55, for putting up with my overly engergetic little explorers!

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Noah couldn’t get enough of this pole! An adults weight opens the hatch so they can slide down from the second floor. Luckily, Noah had me to help pull on the pole! Kate finally got up enough courage to slide down but I was too busy catching her to snap a photo!

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While we were there, they recieved 2 calls. It was pretty exciting watching them head out!

Happy 7th Noah!!

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

My dear Noah,
And just like that you’re seven! Six was a crazy year for us. You tested your limits, fought for independence, struggled between loving your sister and loving to torment her – and I wouldn’t want the craziness to be any less crazy.

So much has changed over the last 7 years. You were the cutest baby with tons of gummy smiles that was weary of strangers, the most adventurous toddler that would only wear orange and clothes without buttons, the fastest and most energetic but shy kid who was very stingy with your friendship and words, and the smartest, most stubborn little boy I ever did know. Actually, it turns out some things never do change now that I think about it.

This birthday was hard for me. I used to think that only grown up adults had seven year olds and the thought of that made me gray. I didn’t want to feel like I was getting old but now that I’m pushing closer to 40 than I was to 30, I realize that no matter how old I actually am, you will always make sure that all of us will forever be kids at heart. That we go outside to ride bikes and blow bubbles. That we put out our Christmas decorations the day after Thanksgiving and tour the neighborhood every night to see everyone else’s. That somedays we will sit on the couch in our pajamas watching movies and playing skylanders because everyone needs a day off. That putting dirty clothes in a hamper is overrated but we should never forget to pick all the stuffed animals off the floor so they can sleep in the bed. You will always be my wild. You will also be the closest thing to memories of my own childhood. We are so much alike, which causes some arguments, but almost always makes me laugh. I find myself apologizing to my parents (Grammy and Papa) whenever you get yourself in trouble for doing exactly what I would have done when I was your age.

I worried that at seven you would start forming forever memories. Before now I knew that if I hurt your feelings or sent you to your room, you wouldn’t remember. But by now I wondered if I had to be more careful with my words and decisions. I have decided that for better or for worse, I am your mom, and though I will always be the strict one of your parents you will always know that I love you. One great thing about forming memories you’ll have forever is the relationships you have with your grandparents. Your grandparents are older and not all of them are in good health. Since the day you were born I prayed you would remember how much they love you. I’m so happy for you to know them and love them so much.

This year we talked you into a trip to Blizzard Beach, Legoland, and Disney instead of having a birthday party. You really wanted to go on a Disney cruise instead but settled for this with the promise that someday we’ll make that happen. It is important for you to understand that some children won’t even get a candle to blow out on their birthday. Our conversations made me realize we need to work on humility, gratitude and whatever the opposite of entitlement is. Parenthood is such a struggle between giving you and Kate everything we can and spoiling you rotten. I’m sure we’ll have much different memories of which side of that line we teetered on when you are older but as long as you know that we did the best we could and loved you like crazy I will be a proud and happy mom.

Some of your milestones this year included losing your first two teeth (one I pulled out while holding you down MMA style and one the dentist extracted), learning to ride your bike without training wheels (two weeks to the day before your birthday), improving your handwriting and giving me “love letters” for every occasion, getting your first neighborhood friends (Marcus, Zack, and Ty from down the street), buying your lunch at school (that may sound silly but it was a huge struggle to make that happen; another fear out of shyness), embracing your ease of math in first grade, figuring out how to pump your legs on a swing so we don’t have to push you anymore, joining a competitive gymnastics team (because you’re crazy talented)…. the list goes on.

And while things seem to be moving full speed ahead, you still have bits of your babyhood that keep me nostalgic. “Monkey” is still your best buddy. While he may not be required at all times (like before), you still hold him tight in your sleep. You still hug me when I need one (but I don’t dare ask in front others and God forbid I want a kiss) and come to me for comfort when you’re hurt. You’ll still do anything to get us to stop for a playground, no matter how hot it is or how simple or rundown the equipment is. You still love money. As a kid you loved change. You collected it always and even got bags of coins as gifts. You’ve graduated to bills and I’m hoping the value of a dollar will never be lost on you. You’re still little. Everyone thinks you and Kate are twins, which you don’t love, but I’m convinced one day you’ll shoot up and none of your clothes will fit. It would help if you ate or slept (or both); one day you’ll miss sleep- I warned you.

This year you finally had a different answer about your aspirations. You’ve always said you want to be an instruction (construction) worker. This year you also answered that you’d like to work in a bowling alley and last week it was a soccer coach. Please, please, please – be the best at whatever you choose. Also know that someday you’ll need to move out and those choices might make that harder.

I could go on and on. I’m so very proud of you and I love every moment of watching you grow. I hope your journey to eight brings you even more joy, health, and success. I love you!



Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Santa brought the kids a gigantic bubble wand contraption. We had so much fun making kid-sized bubbles but there is definitely some skill to the process. Of course all I can think is – PHOTO SHOOT, but I’ll have to work on technique (and sharing) first!




What I learned in the Elementary Cafeteria

Monday, October 1st, 2012

Noah loves when I volunteer at his school. Until he’s embarrassed of me, I’m going to do whatever I can to make his day and make a difference. Today I volunteered in the cafeteria, something Noah has been asking for since kindergarten. I want to share with you all that I learned; I never imagined it would be so much!

  • Everyone has to pee, and almost everyone waits until lunchtime.
  • Some parents send complete junk, some send almost nothing at all, and some over achievers make complete gourmet spreads.
  • Some kids LOVE vegetables and some want nothing to do with them. Either way, if you’re buying your lunch from the school you have to choose at least one.
  • Wrappers from fruit rollups make awesome headbands (across the forehead, tied in the back), especially if you’re a boy.
  • Kids have no inside voice, not just mine.
  • A boy who wears a cap because his hair hasn’t come in after chemo stands out more to adults , kids don’t even notice.
  • By third grade you know the A word, the B word, the C word, the F word, and the N word. Yes, really.
  • Should you be unlucky enough to get a random and spontaneous bloody nose, the entire cafeteria thinks you’re dying and word spreads like wildfire!
  • Kids put condiments on the weirdest things.
  • Teachers of special needs kids are angels.
  • Lunch ladies who feed 300 kids in 3 hours need a raise, they are the most intense but expertly organized 3 hours I’ve ever seen!
  • Some kids have to eat lunch at 10am because it’s the only time that’s left. I hope they get an afternoon snack!
  • Bossing kids around as a grown up brings out your safety patrol training and gives you a power trip.
  • If you single a kid out, even if it’s because they are amazing, they get embarrassed and shut down.
  • You know which kids will fall into the stereotypical roles in high school even when they’re six (bully, most popular, cheerleader, ROTC, football star, homecoming queen, outcast, most sought after boy, etc).
  • You cannot sweep a brownie off linoleum after it’s been stepped on. It’s just impossible.
  • Kids will almost always eat what you send, or at least some of it. Only one turned down their packed lunch because he didn’t like what was inside.
  • Wooden spoons for ice cream make awesome sling shots.
  • Cheese sticks are really hard to open, as are thermoses, and press to lock tupperware – especially when you are under the age of 8.
  • If you’re really good, the lunch lady will give you half of an ice pop.
  • Noah’s school sorts their trash and recycles. This came as a shock to me, I hope other schools do the same.
  • At least 5 girls will need to see the nurse for a bandaid to cover a scratch that almost doesn’t exist.
  • Kids who had a bad morning are still crying and sad at lunchtime. One little boy broke my heart.

I’m sure there is more but now I’m rambling. If you get a chance to volunteer in your kid’s school, you totally should. It helps you understand their day better and the boost you get from watching them brag to their friends that you’re there is the closest you’ll ever get to a “thank you”.

Happy 6th Birthday, Noah!

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Oh, Noah. My crazy, hyper, awesome, talented, strong willed, and brilliant little boy. You continue to amaze me and I am so lucky to be your “mommy”!

This year you’ve become a fantastic gymnast. You’re super flexible, adventurous, and curious. That means you try doing crazy stunts all over the house with no regard for safety. Luckily the only thing you’ve hurt is the furniture. You’re also really into music right now. You love all the most popular tween songs. Party Anthem, TTYL XOX, and Cha Cha Slide are among your favorites.  We love watching you dance and sing, but you still never perform on command. Your latest obsession is a video game called Skylanders. I’m not sure whether to be proud or terrified that you love video games so much. While I figure that out, I love gaming with you! You also continue to be a terrific swimmer and amazing artist!

Kindergarten with Mrs Gigli is almost over. You’ve done very well, you earned two rewards (Good Writer and Caring), and you only received one warning during the school year. Believe it or not, it was for excessive talking and not following directions. You blamed it on your friend Harlyn but I was a little proud to know you came out of your shell at least once!  In a few months you’ll start first grade. Time has gone by so quickly, I can’t believe you’re doing assignments, computer lab, homework, and field trips. It feels like just yesterday I couldn’t decide between infant mommy and me groups. This summer you and I will spend a lot of time together, like old times. I can’t wait to make new memories, even if a few of them give me grey hair!

You’re still a little on the little side. Just perfect to me but for record keeping sake you clocked in at 43.4lbs and 44″ at your annual well visit. That puts you in the 30th percentile for weight and 25th for height. You will still only wear one type of shorts. We bought them when you were 3 and you refuse to wear anything different. Unfortunately they are 3 years old now so they’re falling apart but the Gap doesn’t make them anymore and you won’t take no for an answer. You get your stubbornness from me (sorry!).

You have become very compassionate this year. You worry when people get hurt and you ask about them when they’re sick. I’m pretty sure this started because you saw Kate’s accident in the shower that ended in 9 staples in the back of her head. In March, your friend Aaron was diagnosed with cancer and you had a million questions. Bottom line was, you needed to know how to make him better. It didn’t phase you when he lost his hair, stopped coming over, or didn’t make it to your birthday party but you didn’t stop wondering either. I hope someday you really will figure out how to make cancer go away!

You are crazy about your sister! I hope you two are pals for life. You definitely drive each other bananas sometimes, and Kate will tell you – you’re crazy, but if you’re apart for long you get antsy. You want to know where she is, what she’s doing, when she’ll be back. She’s the one friend in your life that you never have to warm up to and that is huge. You’re still a little stingy with your personality and only like to share what and when you decide but not for Kate. Kate is your best bud, even if you don’t like to admit it!

You’re still a tinker-er. You need to know how things work. You want to take them apart, twice. I have a feeling you’ll follow in your father’s engineering footsteps but who know! I love watching you grow up and I can’t wait to see what life holds for you. I wouldn’t wish a second away but it is amazing watching you navigate the world and I’m anxious to know who you will become.

I hope you have another amazing year of supreme health and complete happiness! I can’t wait to see what comes next. For me, you just get more fun, cool, and interesting every day. I love watching you figure out the world!!

I love you, bud!