2 Aug

photo 3

Dear Hazel,

Has it really already been a year since you arrived? It seems like just yesterday. I know that sounds like a cliche, but it’s true. My sweet girl, you are truly a blessing. How is it possible to have such a sweet and lovely disposition all the time? Someday you need to write a book. You wake up in the morning smiling and offering hugs to everyone. You are always awake before Bea, and I have to be careful not to let you into her room too early, because at the mere sight of her, you screech in delight and quickly crawl to her bed saying, Hi! Hi! Hi! The two of you then cuddle and smile, and it makes my heart burst with joy.

Your serene disposition extends into every aspect of your life. You are happy to eat anything I give you, to play with any toy, to go on any journey. You rarely fuss and you meet every new experience with a smile. Your eyes dance and sparkle. Once, a nun told me that she could see the light of Christ shining from your eyes. It’s true, my sweet girl, and I hope it never goes away.

Your first words were “Hi,” “Sashi,” “Daddy” and “outside” <–which you say with startling clarity. In the past few days, you’ve started saying “sis” for Bea, which makes her so, so happy. You haven’t started walking yet, but you crawl everywhere and stand on your own. Your first steps are just a week or two away, I’m sure.

You never leave your sister’s side: when she cries, you cry. when she laughs, you laugh. You can hold your own with her, though. When she takes a toy, you will protest, and if she gets too close, you’ve been known to pull out a chunk of her hair, too.  Mostly, the two of you are inseparable. Soon, you’ll share a room and I look forward to hearing your sweet conversation drift through the house.

Heading to the bathroom, always.

Heading to the bathroom, always.

My sweet Hazel, you’ve made our family so much fuller. I love you so much. We wish you a happy first birthday and hope you are able to successfully smash your cake.  Your sister has very graciously offered to open all of your presents and blow out your candle. She’s always looking out for you like that. I’m sure you won’t mind.

Happy Birthday, our darling girl.


Mama and Daddy


Happy Birthday, sweet Bea.

13 Jul

A very happy birthday to Bea, who turns 3 today! We love you so very much.

Big Apple Babies

1 Jul

We decided to take the girls to New York for a long weekend, because nothing says vacation like trudging through Manhattan with an enormous double stroller. Although, to be honest, the trip was surprisingly relaxing and fun. We set off from Chicago where the girls befriended a kind woman named Gayle. Why, you ask, am I mentioning the woman we met at the airport in Chicago? Well, because two days later we randomly (hate that word, still using it) bumped into her at Grand Central Station where we were stopping off to use the bathroom. Strange synchronicity? Indeed. Either that or she was following us and we caught her in the act. I love odd coincidences like that. I made two of my best friends in college after bumping into them in Wenceslas Square in Prague. I was just sitting there, putting film in my camera (I’m old, I know), I looked up and I saw Claire and Diana from Northwestern. As much as I’m sure you are dying to hear more about that, let me get back to our New York adventure…

We were visiting our close friends who live on the Upper East Side. Although, one of our friends is a neurology resident, so to be clear, she lives in NY Presbyterian Hospital (with Dr. Oz!). We saw her for about 2 hours because she was on call for most of our trip, but they were an action filled 2 hours, wherein we took Bea and Hazel to the padded playroom in her building and I regaled her with exciting stories of the SAHM variety. 

The rest of our trip was spent:

a) In the sandbox at the playground near our apartment

b) At Central Park

c) Walking and walking and walking with the hope that the girls would fall sleep (they didn’t).

Clearly, we are of an adventurous spirit. We also fit in the Museum of Natural History and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Keeping things low-key was the best way to do the city with two little ones, though. We avoided the subway and just walked everywhere. We took one cab ride, which Bea later told us was the highlight of her trip. Like, I said, we are thrill seekers.

Now, onto the pictures!

Post Mass at St. Patrick’s. Hazel screamed, I was sweating like a madwoman and the entire cathedral was covered in scaffolding. We did see Timothy Cardinal Dolan though, so all was well.


Instructing or friend, E, in the fine art of making stick ‘houses.’ They did this non-stop for two days.