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Sanibel 17′

Last week  my Mom, Hank and I flew down to Sanibel, Florida for one glorious week of sunshine. This was the 3rd year we’ve vacationed down on the gulf durring her spring break. It has become a favorite tradition.

After Hank  power napped in the rental car we were ready to hit the beach.

looks like such a big boy these days

The sun never feels as good as it does after 3.5 long months of Winter.

We stayed at the same resort as last year. It’s a perfect fit for our (Hanks) needs.

We had a view of the beach and pool from the porch.

coffee & sunrise

Besides endless digging and swimming, the resort has basketball hoops, kayaks, bikes, big Jenga blocks, corn hole and crafts.

 

There weren’t enough hours in the day for Hank to complete his vacation agenda.

I have so much more energy when i’m on vacation. No work, no cooking, no stress…. Just sharing quality time with Hank . It really is the best.

Hank was thrilled to have so much Grammy time. He wanted to do whatever she did, even put a roller in his hair…. 

We went to delicious dinners every night. Our favorite spot was Doc Fords. We also went to Mucky Duck and Tesoro.

 

After each dinner we walked over to the beach to watch spectacular sunsets and find sea shells. It was my favorite part of each day.


Mucky Duck 

Since the dolphin cruise was such a hit last year we booked tickets again for this year. Grammy continued to spoil Hank and bought him a stuffed dolphin on the boat.  He was giddy with joy and imediatly named him “Flippy”.

 

We saw dozens of dolphins. Hank was a bit more wary of them this year. Every time a  dolphin surfaced and the entire boat cheered,  Hank would yell “No! I  love Flippy!”

During nap-time I got some pool reading time. This cartoon made me laugh…..

he REALLY enjoyed being forward facing for the first time….or maybe it was the lollipop? hey it’s vacation. 

Our last night Hank wanted to cook on the beach. He made some delicious sea shell soup.

It was  so sad to say goodbye to our vacation or as Hank called it our ” beach-home”.

It was even sadder to arrive at the airport to discover that we had a 3 hour delay.

We finally boarded our plane and were  pretty beat.

We got back home by 11:00p and were very excited to see Da-da but ready for bed. Thanks for the best getaway Grammy. We love our week among the palm trees together.

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Gotlogan- Girls weekend

Tim & Max left Wednesday for their annual gotlogan boys weekend . They rented a beautiful house up in the Hudson Valley with 5 other friends and watched March Madness for 4 days. To avoid madness of our own Josie and I fled to my Mom’s house for a makeshift girls – slash-don’t go crazy single parenting weekend. The kids were thrilled to be together  at Grammy’s house.

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Juliet is 11 weeks old and couldn’t be cuter. She was so tolerant of her older cousin and sister.

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Besides the occasional sharing dilemma they really enjoy being together and crack one another other up.

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It was a great cold weekend to lay low. We went on walks around the block.

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Grammy made us good food.

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We cuddled and took naps.

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Each night after the kids ate dinner and took tubs they could watch a movie and have a lollipop.

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They were on cloud 9.

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Saturday we woke up early and went to GetAir the trampoline park. Hank had never been before so Eloise showed him the ropes. Her little body jumped so high.

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There was a tot jumping area which in theory was nice. The staff didn’t regulate who could jump in each area terribly well so there were times I was a little nervous.

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Hank was most interested in this block pit.

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For most of our time he built towers from the blocks instead of jumping on the trampolines.

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Our final night we had a lobsters and fancy champagne for dinner. It was just what we needed to wrap up our gotlogan girls weekend.

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Storm Stella

After  an unseasonably warm February it felt safe to assume that March would usher in the Spring weather.

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Wrong. March has been freezing and dropped more snow on Philly then the rest of the Winter months combined. I love a good snow storm in January, but I despise March and it’s mind games. Snow Storm Stella hit Philly Monday night into Tuesday.

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The good news is my office was closed and we got a snow day! It was cozy.

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We finally could bust out our snow tube.

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After some shoveling we had a coffee & hot chocolate date at the Starbucks that finally opened next door.

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We did some city sledding down an icy ramp. Hank was not in to it, so we made a snow man instead.

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After we had enough of the snow we head home to warm up and call it a day.

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Stella certainly beautified the city but we’re ready for Spring to officially kick off next week!

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Hank-isms

Hank is 28 months old and he rarely takes a breath to stop talking. It can be both hilarious and exhausting.  I wanted to capture some current  Hank-isms.

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“It’s somewhere…. ” Tim & I are often looking for something (a phone, a toy, keys, our sanity etc.) Hank likes to reassure us that it is in fact somewhere with an assurance that trails off in his voice.
“Throw her away”  If Hank is mad at someone he says he’ll throw them away. ie. ” go away momma, I throw you away”.  We’re working on it.
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“I need it”  Hank understands how much more powerful the word “need” is  compared to “want”. No, no  you don’t  NEED a lollipop and you certainly don’t NEED the mascara wand with which you just painted your face …
“ It’s too loud”  He clings on to phrases that have worked in past scenarios not understanding they won’t always have the same effect. I had forgotten his sound soother for a dinner party and he woke up crying “too loud!” I brought him downstairs and he clearly felt empowered. The next evening he pulled out the same phrase in a very quiet house hoping to get similar results. Needless to say he was not taken out of his crib but it made me laugh.
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“Teacher Mary say that” Preschool has introduced dozens of new phrases to Hank’s vocabulary. I’ll be saying or singing something and Hank will excitingly interject “Teacher Mary says that!”
“Dada can do that“- According to Hank there is nothing his Dada can’t do.
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“ He’s sad! He misses his Momma and Dada”  Any illustration or picture where a characters face looks less than happy; Hank identifies with them as missing their Momma and Dada. This breaks my heart. His experience with sadness is directly related to not being with Tim and I ( besides the times he wants to throw us away)
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Read Jesus” Before bedtime after we read a book of his choice he requests we “read  Jesus” (a chapter of Jesus Story Book Bible.) We’ve almost read the entire book but my plan is to start over and read it again. I love it.
“I’m a Storm Trooper but Storm Troopers are niiice” – Hanks favorite topic of conversation is Star Wars.  In his spare time he likes to assign SW characters to different family members. Eloise is often Yoda, Dada is always an AT- AT walker and he is always a Storm Trooper. In Hanks world Storm Troopers are NOT part of the darkside, they’re really nice.
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“Sure” instead of “yes”. It adds a funny tone of indifference to his two-year old point of view.
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Hank, we love  watching you morph into a kid. Thanks for keeping us laughing.
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“Califorma”

Last week I had to travel to LA for a  commercial shoot; so we decided to turn the trip  into a little family vacation. Ever since Grandma & Papa J left for the West coast Hank has been intrigued by what he calls “Califorma”.

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Initially, Hank thought that the PHL airport was California. What a fun place!

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The flight was a little less than 7 hours. Hank was a trooper. The iPad, markers and 2 hour nap saved all of us .

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We landed in sunny LA and went to pick up our rental car. To my surprise  a yellow Mustang with a car seat  awaited us. As you can imagine Tim was in charge of booking the car.

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Even though we looked really obnoxious, I have to admit it was pretty fun. First stop was Manhattan Beach.

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It was 70 degrees, sunny and felt so nice on our pale East coast skin.

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We grabbed lunch at a cute kitchy place  that reminded me of my Nana’s house.

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Then we drove to the hotel to check in. Hank used the “force” to open all the elevators.

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I had a pretty terrible work schedule ( 8p- 8a); so I had to nap most of the days while the guys explored. One day before work we managed to enjoy an early dinner together at Huntington Beach.

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Tuesday afternoon Tim’s parents picked up Tim and Hank. The 4 of them went to visit Uncle Andy for lunch at Google. Then they drove down to San Diego to hang out with the whole Lanzone family until my shoot wrapped. I received texts with these cute cousin photos to get me through the long shoot nights.

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Thursday afternoon my shoot was over so Tim came to pick me up! Hank stayed back with his Grandparents, so we could have a fun lunch date at Laguna beach.

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I had done a little research when looking for a place to eat. Crystal Cove was even cuter then I had hoped! There is a historic district on the beach which houses rustic cottages that were originally built as a seaside colony in the 1940’s. It is apparently one of the last remaining examples of early 20th century Southern California coastal development. You can rent the beach cottages for an affordable price.

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We ate at the Beach Comber Cafe.

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Benny Goodman and Ella Fitzgerald music played.

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It felt like we were in Gidget movie. I hope we can stay in one of the cottages one day.

We drove down to San Diego. I was reunited with Hank after not seeing him for 2 days. It was so good to squeeze him.  He was so happy to be with Joey, Hannah, Ellie, Grandma & Papa J.

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Andy, Megan, Tim and I went to dinner at Stone Brewery. It’s very close to Andy & Megan’s house in San Marco’s. The brewery was both beautiful and delicious.

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Friday was my only full day to enjoy  California.  Unfortunately, A big storm was forecasted to hit Friday through Saturday. We all got up early and hit the beach before the down-pour.

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It was a little chilly for San Diego

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they were good sports

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love this little firecracker

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We ate lunch in the cute town of Carlsbad and then drove to Papa J and Peggie’s condo to hunker down for the storm.

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It was a wonderful trip to break up the winter and see some of our most favorite people! We all slept pretty well on our flight home to Philly.

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January Recap

We’ve managed to have some fun weekends to help speed up this winter.

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We hosted a game night with a group of friends. Liz, Mac and Baby Annie slept over to avoid the hiring of a babysitter.  Even though they live less than a mile away, It felt like we had out-of-town guests which was cozy.

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Hank went to his first Sixers game with Tim.

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Hanks keeps talking about “the fire” at the game. Apparently there are some pretty intense pyrotechnic effects  when the players enter the court.

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We met the O’Keefes at The Please Touch Museum one Saturday. It was Eloise’s first time visiting. Hank was preparing all week to show her the kitchen and supermarket area.

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Baby Juliet came along for her first visit too! What a little snuggle dream.

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We went to a Super Bowl party which was more fun for toddlers then Eagles fans.

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We’ve been working on the house. We took down drywall to expose brick on one wall. It needs a little more help then we had hoped, but it’s now a far more interesting accent wall. We’ll probably need to white wash the brick after repairing.

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We’ve had some unseasonably warm days to golf; so we drove over to Clark Park.

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While we’ve kept busy we’ve also had plenty of time to lay around and be cozy.

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New things in 2017

2017 has shaken stuff up.

We said goodbye to our amazing nanny of 2 years and have ventured into the world of pre-school. While it was very sad saying goodbye it was definitely time for Hank to be surrounded by kids his age.

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It’s been a transition for all of us. Hank does pretty well once he’s at pre-school but the drop off still has tears. On his first day Hank chanted “no preschool” the entire stroll up …..Needless to say Tim will continue to handle the drop off until things get less emotional.

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The teachers are wonderful and send me photos + text updates throughout the day.

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I thought sleeping on a mat would really rocked his little crib-dwelling world; but apparently he snuggles right down for about 2 hours.

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He seems to really like preschool  when he recounts his day to us. I’m sure as he becomes more comfortable the drop off will be less dramatic.

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Another transition was that we said goodbye to  Grandma & Papa J. They flew back to California for the winter. Lucky them. When Grandma told Hank she’d be leaving, he asked ” Me come ok?”. Heart breaking right?

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Grammy now comes in to fill one of the days Grandma use to babysit. Hank just loves it. He even gets to see Miles and Stella for two hours on that day

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miles & stella playroom is the most fun

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The building across from our house is being demolished and turned into condos & a Wawa. It’s been really fun to watch. We pretend it’s Bob the Builder and his crew. Endless entertainment just outside our window!

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One fun change has been renovating our bedroom! We have been busy painting,patching , putting up trim, and new lighting. (and  by “we” I mean Tim. I painted a little)  It’s been a good winter house project.

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It will be  nice once it’s all finished.

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