Quarter Rides and Espresso Soda

I am thrilled to be near the Allentown Farmer's Market again. It's not only a great place to go for fresh fruits and vegetables, organic meat, and Amish cheese, but it's also a fun place to take Elli to ride the vintage rides in between shopping. It's the only place I know where the rides are 25 cents. Worth every penny!

 We have our traditions when we visit the market. DaddyO started EJ on the pickles, and I get her a slice of fresh Amish cheese.
I'm not a coffee nor soda drinker but I'm married to an espresso connoisseur, so I was pretty excited when we discovered this Manhattan Original Espresso Coffee Soda at an Italian bakery. We just had to try it!
The drink was so unique and delicious I just might have to track down the store in Brooklyn and get a couple cases.

Alice in Wonderland

 EJ's first big excursion to the theatre was to see the Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall last Christmas with my parents. She was so wide eyed during the show and excited afterwards that my mom was hooked on taking her to shows.

I was a bit surprised though when my mom asked me about getting tickets to see Alice in Wonderland at the Civic Theatre. Wasn't this one of the cartoons I didn't see as a kid? It's funny how things change when you go from being a mom to a grandma. I was assured that this production was geared for kids and totally innocuous. EJ was excited about her a night out at the theatre with Grandma but I think she had just as much fun getting dressed up for it.

DaddyO's Athens Package

One of the perks of growing up with a Dad in the military is the exotic things you receive from far off port calls. EJ loves checking the mail now to see if anything has arrived from DaddyO.

She got her first delivery from Athens recently. She kept telling me as she opened it "Daddy sent this, Daddy sent this." Yes he did!

He lovingly picked out olive fork (she calls it her "wooden flower"), bracelet, and dress. She was thrilled when she saw how well it twirled. I have plans for her to wear it to our local Greek festival in a couple weeks, that is if she hasn't worn it out by then. It's her favorite dress!


Car Seat Comparison

What better time to compare your little ones pictures then when they're in their car seats ready to leave the hospital. It's fun to see the similarities and differences already evident in the siblings.

A Special Delivery

The safe and speedy arrival of our little bundle of love was definitely an answer to prayer. CJ, named after DaddyO and Grandpa, was born at 2:29 a.m. the beginning of April. I wasn't sure to expect with this delivery since DaddyO was away and I'd have my first civilian hospital experience, but thankfully it was a wonderful birth story.

My contractions started while sitting in on my dad's apologetics class. It was fitting that while examining the Christian response to Judaism I was having contractions every couple of minutes. I was able to hold off till the end of the class to pick up EJ and head home to pack my bags for the hospital, but unfortunately (or fortunately) when I left the contractions stopped.

I took EJ home and fell asleep with her after our normal bedtime routine. At midnight I woke up with the contractions back and knew that this time it was the real thing. At 5 cm dilated, the doctor had warned me a couple days before that the birth could come quickly. She was right!
asleep at 12:30 a.m.
I tracked my contractions on an app on my playbook and realized they were lasting 30 seconds and only 2-3 minutes apart. I woke my mom, sent an e-mail to DaddyO (and his distribution list), grabbed my bags, and called the doctor. She would be waiting for us at the hospital.

My mom made it to the hospital a little quicker than normal. I got a call from DaddyO while en route, and was able to talk with him on and off through the whole labor.

I checked in to the hospital around 1:30 a.m., was rolled to the delivery room around 2 a.m., and CJ made his appearance a half hour later.
first cries for daddyo
a fabulous doctor and nurse

Grandma was there for support and did a great job capturing the birth for DaddyO.
proud grandma
 EJ woke up the next morning with the happy news that she had a baby brother. My parents said she was beaming the whole way through breakfast and on her way to the hospital. She came running into the room the next morning giggling with a balloon in hand for her "baby brother".
happy big sister

It was wonderful watching EJ hold CJ and see the love and happiness in her eyes. She kept saying to me with a smile "baby out of mommy's tummy".
CJ changed before our eyes the first couple days in the hospital.
day 1
day 2
I got to experience the wonderful advantage of giving birth near family this time. It was wonderful having them visit and introduce him in his first days of life.


The hospital stay was very relaxing. I enjoyed the precious bonding time alone with CJ because I knew it would be a bit different returning to a house with a two year old. My parents and EJ arrived early that morning to enjoy a celebration breakfast together (bagels and cream cheese), took a few pictures and then loaded CJ up in the car seat for the drive home.
the three of us

Since he was born just a few days before Easter he wore Grandma's lamb hat home. EJ was excited to buckle him into the car seat and even more excited to have him next to her in the car on the drive home.

First Package

DaddyO received his first package on the boat! It took a little over three weeks to get to him, I should have put Easter Eggs instead of shamrocks on the box, but I was happy to hear everything made it in one piece.

It has been fun putting the boxes together each week. EJ does the artistic work (cards, crafts, etc) and I include the photos and videos from each week and of course some yummy (healthy) snacks. It's a team effort to get the package ready for the post office and it sure feels great dropping it off.

EJ was especially excited to see the box in DaddyO's hand and her decorations hanging over his bed. I can only imagine what his room will look like when he returns:)

Baking Sugar Cookies

Day by day we waited for our our little guy to make his appearance. Since EJ arrived two weeks early I thought (and hoped) he would do the same. In an effort to make the days go by quicker we kept ourselves and EJ busy with various projects and activities around the house. One she especially enjoyed was baking Easter cookies with Grandma.

EJ was still in her pajamas when they started.

Licking the mixer is one of her favorite parts of baking.

Eating the cookie dough is another.

She rolled out the cookies.

Cut them out with her favorite cookie cutters.

And they were ready for the oven.

The cookies were delicious but unfortunately that meant they only lasted a few days in our house. Having cookies in the house when pregnant is dangerous.

Let's Go Fly a Kite

This month is National Kite Month! Not that we needed a reason to go out and fly kites... the warm breezy weather has been asking for trips to the park.

My mom made a special trip with EJ to the store as soon as the season changed to pick out a kite. EJ immediately chose a ladybug.

EJ was a little timid to hold the string on her first kite excursion out with the grandparents, preferring to watch Grandpa sail the kite around.

But by her second time she was a pro and held on tightly to the string as she ran through the grass.

"Let's go fly a kite" is becoming a popular phrase for us!

Thumbprint Sheep Card

easter sheep

EJ loves to get her fingers squishy in paint so this was the perfect project for her.

a couple thumbs

squished in paint

We spread out the newspaper, squeezed a little white paint into a plastic lid, and she started spreading her fingerprints on spring colored cards. A little black sharpie magic later and our Easter cards were ready.

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