Saturday, August 27, 2011

Love those Wildwood Days

This week we were lucky enough to spend 3 days in Wildwood. And not just Joe, the kids and I - Mom-Mom, Pop-Pop, Crackers, Uncle John and Aunt Bec all joined us! We had the BEST time! A huge thank you to the fantastic Acropolis Oceanfront Resort in North Wildwood, which is owned by my mother-in-law's uncle. They are always so wonderful about letting us stay in their hotel, which has great big rooms and is right on the beach!

We lived it up while on vacation and crammed a ton of fun into our 3 days. Charlie and Lily didn't waste any time getting into things. Here they are helping us unpack the car.
Checking in!
Joe and I were afraid that Charlie and Lily wouldn't like the waves and sand at the beach. We couldn't have been more wrong! They LOVED everything about it. Lily wanted to spend all her time in the ocean, and kept yelling "BACK! Ocean, back!!!" whenever we made her get out.
We also spent a lot of time on the boardwalk.
Although he's been scared of rides all summer long, Charlie put his fears aside on vacation and joined Lily in the fun. He just couldn't resist the allure of the choo-choo ride.
And what's a trip to the boardwalk without some ski-ball?
We apparently need to work on the concept of "rolling"...
On Thursday morning we rented bikes and went for an early bike ride on the boardwalk. We loved this surrey bike, even if it was incredibly hard to peddle!
Ridin' in style.
We also visited the Cape May zoo. Charlie and Lily weren't super interested, but they did take some time to check out the birds, llamas and monkeys. And wearing Pop-Pop's hat made it all the more interesting.
Hello, goat.
We were also lucky enough to avoid Hurricane Irene, which is making its way right towards us. Wildwood was evacuated Friday morning, which was thankfully when we were scheduled to leave anyway. The entire town was shutting down as we were pulling out, so we're very grateful we got our trip in when we did. We felt bad for all the people who just arrived and had to turn around and go home!

Thank you again to Uncle Jim, Nick and Jen for having us at The Acropolis, and thank you to Mom-Mom, Pop-Pop, Crackers, Uncle John and Aunt Bec for cramming yourselves on to too-small boardwalk rides, patiently building sand castles and holding little hands in the surf and for allowing two toddlers to burst into your hotel rooms whenever they felt like it. Can't wait to do it again next year!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Love, Annaleigh

Two years ago today we said goodbye to our beautiful daughter. It feels like ages ago, but at the same time it feels like yesterday. I think both Joe and I could recall for you just about every second of Annaleigh's last day with us. In fact, I bet we could recall just about every second of her entire 8 week life, because those memories are all we have left of our precious Annaleigh, and we cherish them dearly.

Last week Joe and I were talking about today, the anniversary of Annaleigh's death. It is so important to us that this date mean something, not just to Joe and I but to Charlie and Lily as well. We want them to know their sister as they grow. To know that they are two of three. To never forget her. We want her memory to live on.

And then we had an idea. An idea we are very excited about and can't wait to move forward with. So, allow me to announce our new organization, called Love, Annaleigh. Love, Annaleigh will be dedicated to supplying the NICU at St. Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ with items they need to continue their exceptional care of premature and sick infants, such as blankets, clothing, hats, toys, etc.

We're still in the early stages of planning and are currently talking with the St. Peter's Foundation to get the ball rolling. The idea, however, is for the NICU to supply Joe and I with a list of items that they need. We will then seek donation of these items and on August 22 each year our family will deliver them to the NICU. We will be helping the St. Peter's NICU, which as you all know is dear to our hearts, especially since it was the only home Annaleigh knew, and we will be helping Charlie and Lily to remember their sister and honor her each year.

We are so excited about this endeavor! A friend is currently working on a logo for us, and we plan to set up a website and lots more. We'll keep you posted on our progress.

Annaleigh, you will never be forgotten, and we will continue to remind the world how special and amazing you were. You've already touched countless lives, and we know you're not done yet. We love you with all our hearts, today and always.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Farm-Filled Birthday

Last Friday we celebrated my birthday with a trip to Johnson's Farm. My friend Trish had been recommending it to me for almost a year, and my birthday seemed like the perfect day to take Charlie and Lily on a trip there. We started off by hitting the discovery barn, where Charlie and Lily rode tractors and tried out different "jobs." Lily apparently wants to be a construction worker.
Then we stopped to feed the animals. The farm had sheep, chickens and pigs, but Charlie and Lily were mostly interested in the goats.
We ended our visit with a hayride to the fields, where we picked corn and nectarines. Charlie and Lily weren't too interested in the corn (but I'm glad we got some because it was SO delicious), but they enjoyed picking the nectarines from the trees.
After nap, Joe, Charlie and Lily gave me some great gifts, including a beautiful, cozy photo blanket (I need to get a good picture of it!) and a cookbook of recipes to get kids involved in the kitchen. That evening Joe and I got out for a nice dinner and saw The Help (a really good movie and an even better book, FYI!).

The next day our families came over for some cake and presents! Charlie and Lily loved helping me open my gifts.
Charlie was very interested in my Bath and Body Works soap. I kept trying to teach him how to smell it, but he kept trying to eat it instead.
And of course, I got some help blowing out my candles!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Local Friends and Family: Please Vote!

If you are out and about this weekend (and next weekend too!) please stop by the Quakerbridge Mall between 12:00 and 6:00 to vote for Charlie and Lily in the March of Dimes Beautiful Baby Contest. $1.00 per vote with all proceeds going directly to the March of Dimes. Thank you!

"Most beautiful?!? That's me!"
"Eh, whatever. I'm already a star."

Friday, August 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Mommy!

Happy birthday to a wonderful wife and mother! (Or, as Charlie and Lily say, "Happy Mama!")

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Making a splash

One of the best things about our development is that we have a great pool within walking distance from our house. It's big, clean, quiet and has a nice baby pool, which is perfect because Charlie and Lily love, love, love the pool. Here are a few pics from our recent swim.

Suited up.
I have to wear a hat when we go out in the sun because I have skin discoloration on my face (technical term is "malasma" I think) from hormone surges during my pregnancy. Since I wear a hat, Lily insists on wearing one too, and insists that Charlie wear one also. Charlie is not so keen on the hat, but Lily likes hers. Even if she does spend more time taking it off and making me put it back on her than she does actually wearing it.
Arriving in style.
Flying with Daddy.