Sunday, July 19, 2009


Let me start by saying, WE LOVE CAPE MAY, NJ. We absolutely adored Maine. I'd move in a heartbeat if the weather was not sooooo cold in the winter. We stumbled on Mile 0 of New Jersey and fell in love. It's exactly what we enjoy in a vacation destination: quaint, quiet, beautiful and clean. The Victorian houses are a sight among themselves. The beauty of Cape May is that it is a stone's throw from Wildwood, Stone Harbor, Avalon, etc. However, Cape May offers none of what the other spots offer and we are grateful.

Upon our arrival, we dined at Lucky Bones. They have some magnificent meals and the atmosphere is relaxed. We settled in, prepared for our time at the house and then went to the Washington Mall. I could honestly go there every single night and I know that the kids love it too. Who doesn't love Kohr's Bros. Ice Cream? Our fun outing of the night was the horse drawn carriage around town. They boys loved it and got to meet their new friend, Prince-the horse. :)

Andrew was extraordinarily apprehensive about the beach this year. When we went to Sunset Beach, Bob let his beach ball go in the water; thinking that it would come back to Andrew. Well-it didn't. Andrew was hysterical. A wonderful man in a kayak went out to retrieve it but Andrew was very, very upset. Our first trip to the beach was cut short. However, Pap Kocan convinced Andrew to give the beach another shot. We took a walk on the beach again that evening and Andrew's fears dissipated.

Matthew rode his first amusement park ride at Morey's Piers. I cried. I was crushed. But, I got over it. It was an epiphany moment for me. Time waits for no one. He was so adorable. Too cute for words.

We enjoyed so many different things at the beach: Sunset Beach, the Chalifonte Hotel's Sunday brunch, the arcade, Carney's, naps, the Mad Batter, the Nature Conservancy, Morey's Piers, Route 66, more naps, WWII Tower, Cape May Lighthouse, Cape May Linens, Uncle Bill's Pancake House, Kohr's Bros. Ice Cream, the Rusty Nail, the Merion Inn, rough riptides (long story-See below) and the more naps.

There was a storm brewing off of the coast one evening. It actually rained the entire day and we stayed home from the beach. Bob and I love the ocean. We went in and were being pulled towards the rocks. The whistles blew several times and the lifeguards traded places. The lifeguards certainly earned their salary on this particular day. Anyway...Bob and I were enjoying the water but not the riptides. They were so rough and I was very clueless. As we were swimming, the tide pulled me under, almost pulled my swim bottoms off and scared the shit out of me. Lesson learned...

I bought a new camera the day before we left. God bless Canon.

All in all, we loved our time. We'll be heading back in December. I can't wait.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Christie and Jim's wedding

Bob's cousin Christie married Jim on 07/11/2009. The reception was at the Hyatt and was a wonderful affair. Lindsay and I danced and danced and took Little Hank under our wings. Mom K. even spent some time on the dance floor with us. We really enjoyed ourselves!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

The boys LOVE to read. Andrew has always been an avid reader and listener. Matthew is totally following in his big brother's footsteps and I am sooooo happy. Every single person who KNOWS me, family member, friend, student, colleague, acquaintance, etc. knows how much I value language and literacy. So, I am thrilled that Matthew loves books. I have been reading many of the Eric Carle books to Andrew and Matthew lately because of the cadence and repetition of language. Our favorite is Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Matthew savors every page turn and Andrew loves it because he already recognizes what is coming next.

Today, the boys were in Matthew's nursery "reading." Andrew was reading the book to Matthew and Matthew held on to Andrew's every word. I watched. I listened. I cried a little. Andrew said, "Brown Bear, Brown Bear what do you see?" Matthew gave him the biggest grin and spoke his baby talk with great enthusiasm. It was "one" of those moments-totally priceless. Andrew went on to read the rest of the story to his baby brother AND Matthew listened and watched as his big brother turned the pages. soooooo cute

My boys. My life. My love. My hope. My joy!

Random Acts of Kindness

About twelve years ago, I worked in the HBC at Giant Eagle, night crew. An elderly woman came into the store to find a remedy for her ailment. We talked for a long while and it felt as if I were talking to my grandmother. Mary Deiter was THE BEST-hands down. Luckily, she was MY grandmother. I remember that day often. However, the following story is one I will always cherish.

I'm on facebook. I'm somewhat of a facebook addict, when it suits me. My father-in-law has asked me a few times why I bother. Here is my answer:

I received a message from one of my elementary school teachers via facebook. The message read: "I found an old pic that I posted and I think your grandmother is in it...Sis Deiter. It's posted on my profile." I couldn't view it because I was not the sender's friend. I friend requested, she accepted, tagged the photo for me and I showed it to my sisters, Casey and Carly, and my cousins, Adam and Rachel, so that they would share it with my father and Uncle David. I chatted with Casey via facebook and she relayed to me my father's disbelief that someone sent me the photo. There is more to the story but a personal treasure for me. To me, the subject of my grandmother is sacred territory.

As for my facebook friend, THANKS! Your random act of kindness remains in my heart as does the memories of my grandmother. I am grateful for your efforts and your compassion. Now, I shall, somehow, pay it forward.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Goodbye MJ

I've decided to block out the media-to an extent-concerning the death of Michael Jackson. I didn't watch the memorial service, I haven't really read any articles, I haven't listened to much discussion about the matter. Michael Jackson was the quintessential performer. I had the glove. I moonwalked. I sang his music at the top of my lungs. There are very few Michael Jackson songs that I don't like, maybe 2 or 3. What I know is this: Michael Jackson's music is (was) important at different stages in my life. And, I will remember fondly those stages in relation to MJ's contributions to the music industry. He's really the first icon of my childhood that has passed; Kurt Cobain doesn't count because he died when we were practically the same age. So-I am thankful for Michael Jackson. end.of.story.

more summer fun

water fun @ Nanny and Pap's

boys at the zoo
Andrew and buddy P at the zoo
Andrew @ Dino Dig

We've been busy...dino digs, park playdates and the Pittsburgh Zoo to name a few.

Here are some pics of our busy summer endeavors.

Does God have legs?

Here's the dialogue:
Andrew: "Dad, does God have legs?"
Bob: "I don't know Andrew. Why do you ask?"
Andrew: "Well, I would like to see God."
Bob: "God is formless."
Andrew: "Well, where does he live?"
Bob: "in the Heavens above."
Andrew: "Can he move near us?"
Bob: silence
Andrew: "I would like for God to live near me so that I can talk to him."

I think we may have a future scientist on our hands.

Pittsburgh Penguins-2009 Stanley Cup Champs

Pittsburgh is a great city! We have lived here our whole lives and we love all that it has to offer. I believe that we are finally breaking the polluted, steel mill past to show how progressive we actually are.

When the Steelers won the Super Bowl, the city was abuzz with chitter and chatter. No one expected the Penguins to even make the playoffs, they fired their coach, hired a new guy from the baby system and were looking to get a new arena.

But, somehow...they pulled it off. Congrats to the 2009 Stanley Cup Champs!

Movin' and Groovin'

Matthew turned 14 months and DECIDED TO START WALKING. Nana and I were having a conversation in her kitchen and looked down to see Matthew walking past us. I would have to say about fifteen steps. Now, he wants to go, go and go faster. He's walking all over the house and while sometimes he stops and takes a seat on the floor OR resorts to his Mowgli walk (reference to Jungle Book) we are ecstatic that he's developing and exploring his own little world. As he progresses, I will definitely post some more pics.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day

Our fun began on Friday. Even though Bob's office is in our house, it is nice when he absolutely nothing on the agenda. He was off on Friday in observance of Indpendence Day...and of course, I'm off all summer! :) So, Bob worked on mulch, I went to buy a grill (see previous post) and the ILs came down to enjoy some conversation and their grandkids. The boys absolutely loved the sparklers and low-impact fireworks that we set off on Friday. As this was the prelude, Andrew expected big things on the 4th of July.

On Saturday, we traveled 2.2 miles down the road to Natasha and Zackary's 1st birthday party hosted by Sabrina and Jeff. We had some fun, ate a little cake, watched a little present opening and headed to the Byrne Pig Roast. There were 100 people at this event and Mr. Pig really put out a great buffet for the guests. The picnic was to celebrate Rick and Marie's 35th wedding anniversary and Peter's 21st birthday and Joel and Donna's wedding anniversary and Michael and Kelsey's announcement of their engagement. So, needless to say, it was a picnic with a punch. The paternal fam was all there, except for the Detorakis side, and conversation and fun took place. Andrew and Matthew really enjoyed playing with their cousins and I enjoyed catching up with mine. However, true to Matthew's style, he would not succumb to sleep. I tried and tried but he would not even hear or think of it. Nevertheless, we left and headed home (the Byrnes live really close, too) to watch some fireworks. We ended up watching the Pittsburgh fireworks on television because Andrew didn't much care for the ones outside. And, he fell asleep before they were over! God Bless America.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Operation Buy A Grill

So, Bob and I dumped our old grill. It ran its course and was good to us. However, it was time. We had looked at several different places for the new grill. We wanted the best of all worlds without too many unnecessary bells and whistles. We are practical people :) I ventured to Robinson to check out the deals. I started at Home Depot--not a fan. I thought that their grills were a little pricey and there was no one to help...I left. On my way to Sears, I thought, 'I just want to get this over with. I'm buying a grill at Sears, getting it assembled and taking it home. Kenmore is a good brand.' I walked into Sears, saw a woman walking around a salesman by the nose, waited for some help only to find out that the grill I wanted (waited 10 minutes for a verdict) was sold out. I requested that Mitch, the sales guy, call some other stores but, to no avail, no grill. ugh...I got headed to Lowe's. We had gone window shopping there the night before and I had one picked out as a last resort. I tracked down the Lowe's grill expert and asked, "How long is the wait for an assembled grill?" His reply, "Tuesday." My thought, 'Four days for a grill?' He looked at me the same way I looked at the woman at Sears, like hey lady are you an idiot? look. BACK TO SEARS...long story short-I bought a grill at Sears. Funny part-I waited three hours to receive the floor model. Got the grill and grilled. I love summer!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Matthew's First Sleepover

Matthew had his first sleepover with much success! When we went to Caitlin and Dan's wedding, we decided to give it a try. Nanny and Pap came to get the boys mid-morning (a true blessing) and away they went. If you know our Matthew, you know that this child does not sleep! He is a light sleeper, only naps about an hour a day if we are lucky and gets up at around 5:00 a.m. on most days. So, we were optimistic but realistic. I thought for sure that he would keep at least one of his grandparents up. When we called the next morning-GOOD NEWS! Matthew only got up once for a very brief stint and then went back to bed. Thanks to Nanny and Pap, Mommy and Daddy got some sleep. Bob didn't get up until 10:00 a.m. the next day! Look what we've started...:)


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