Monday, June 29, 2009

Bike Riding

When the weather is nice the boys like to go outside and ride bikes. Well actually Ben likes to zip around on his bike and Gabe likes to put his helmet on and run around with Ben. It's pretty funny to watch. At least I know that Gabe won't hurt his head. His knees and hands are a different story.

Ben's Lego Obsession

Lately Ben has been getting on to YouTube (with mom and dad's help) and downloading instructions to build Mario characters. He has been doing most of the work himself.

That's the right answer Ben

The other day Ben and I were watching a movie together and there was a pretty actress on the screen. I looked over at Ben and his eyes were glued to her pretty face. I asked him if he thought she was pretty. He nodded yes (he had his favorite sucking fingers in his mouth and his monkey and puppy by his nose so all he could do was nod). Then I asked him if he thought mommy was pretty - just to see what he would say. He, being a sweet little boy, nodded yes. Then, I asked him the big one - who was prettier - mommy or the woman on the TV. He looked at me and then pointed at me. SMART BOY!!! (This has nothing to do with my vanity of course!)

Saturday, June 20, 2009


GABE IS MOSTLY POTTY TRAINED!!! YAY!!! He still wears a pull-up at night, but he is a pro at going potty during the day!

The word Ben taught Sophia

On Tuesday our friends Tamara, Sophia, and Sydney came over to have lunch and play. They play great together. Sydney and Gabe are the partners in crime - they always seem to sneak away and find a little bit of trouble. Ben and Sophia come up with great dramas, they have very vivid imaginations.

Ben and Sophia used their creativity to find a way into the attic - the door is locked and the attic is off limits. Hence, the attic is the most appealing location in our house. Ben (who doesn't know how to keep secrets and will unabashedly admit to anything) came downstairs and giddily announced that he and Sophia had used his bunkbed ladder to get the key to the attic door (which was hooked up high on the door) and had been spending some time up there. I confiscated the key and reprimanded Ben.

Later, when Tamara was driving home with her kids Sophia admitted that she should not have gone into the attic, but there were so many neat toys up there. This is true - the attic is where the toys go that have been left on the floor for too long. It is a temporary or final resting place for the toys. Anyway, Sophia went on to tell Tamara that Ben had taught her a new word that he had learned at school. Sophia said that she was not sure if it was a bad word. Tamara gently persuaded Sophia to reveal the word. Sophia said, "I can't really remember what it is. I know it starts with an F." Tamara gently responded, "It's ok, you can tell me what it is, I won't get upset with you." At this point I am terrified as Tamara is telling me this story. I am fully expecting the worst but am trying to look calm. I say to Tamara, "Is it fart?" Hoping to death that it is not the big F word. Tamara says, "just listen".

Then Sophia went on to explain - "Well it has something to do with ancestors and Egypt." Tamara asks, "Is it.....pharoah?" "YES! That's the word!"

Thank heavens!!! New words are always fun, but of course they are much more interesting when they are shared in the forbidden attic.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Pictures from Justine & Bryan's wedding in Italy

I took photos at the wedding in Italy - Mike's brother Bryan and Justine. It was a lot of fun! These are some of my favorite photos. There were a LOT of pictures to cull through. My hope was that the more pictures I took, the more luck I would have. Anyway - enjoy! It was a beautiful ceremony in a beautiful environment.

Ben the Bat boy

Ben has a lazy left eye that doesn't want to tell his brain that it can actually be of some use. We have to patch his eye a couple of hours a day and on the weekends his Dr. gave us some eyedrops that dilate his right eye so that he will rely on his left eye.

We put the eyedrops in on Sunday afternoon and he quickly lost the ability to see. I thought it would only last a couple of hours, but when he woke up this morning, his right eye was still dilated. I called the Dr. and was told that it can last up to a day and a half.

Ben has become a night vision expert. He spends his day in the dark playing with his toys or watching a show. He briefly went outside to ride his bike but came in to tell me that he was seeing all kinds of crazy colors. I kind of wanted to film it because it reminded me of that dad who filmed his son after the dentist appt. - all doped up. Ben was looking behind him running in circles, like a dog chasing his tail, being followed by the color red. That darned red.

Hopefully it will be working tomorrow, otherwise it is another trip to the doctor.

Canoeing on the Brandywine River

On Saturday, the 13th we took a trip with our friends, the Moyer family and went to the Brandywine River for a 2 1/2 hour canoe trip on the river. It started out as a beautiful day, although there were some threatening clouds. Nevertheless, with anxious little boys, we loaded up and headed to the drop off point.

Things were going swimmingly (well, not yet) for awhile. Mike and I had a couple spats - inevitable when trying to navigate along a slow moving shallow river. Audrey Moyer warned us that they fight when they are on the river, but I don't think they were prepared for the Fairchild's. As we rode along the river, our first occasions with obstacles did not go very smooth. We ran into trees, rocks, anything that we were trying to avoid we seemed to hit.

Then, according to our boys, the worst happened. A half submerged tree limb became our next stopping point. I was in the front and behind me I heard screams of terror as our boat tilted dangerously to one side. I looked back and beheld my two little boys screaming, completely hysterical and tightly gripping the edges of the boat. Water streaming in around their waists. I didn't realize it until then but we were sinking and the boys were going down with it.

So, Mike was out of the boat trying to stabalize it and I stepped out (the water was only about 2 1/2 feet deep) and took the boys to safety on the shore. Soaking wet and terrified they stood on the banks while Mike and I emptied the boat of the water. Finally we got back in and reassured the boys many times that it was ok and we promised not to run into any trees or rocks (we mostly kept our promise). At that point it started to rain. For about 15 minutes we endured moans and whines from the two little munchkins - "I'm cold, I'm tired, I'm hungry, I want to go home." Gabe told me that he lost his house and wanted it back. We still had an hour and a half to go.

Fortunately the sun came out and we were able to get the boys out in the shallow water to throw rocks and wade around.

According to Ben the story goes like this: We were canoeing, Mommy and Daddy were fighting and we hit a tree. Water was coming in the boat and we were screaming because we were so scared. Then later we got out in the water and walked around and it was so FUN!"

We plan to do it again, just to terrorize our children and teach them that there is nothing to be scared of - canoeing is fun, right?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Benjamin and the love letter

Today I was getting Ben's stuff out of his backpack and I pulled out a handmade, construction paper card with a big heart on the front and "to Ben". Inside was a bona fide love note - "I love you Ben. From Brooke".

I showed it to Ben and he hunched over, put his hands on his hips and said in a goofy voice with an embarrased look on his face, "OOOOH, that is from Brooke! She is in love with me and wants to marry me!" I laughed, he laughed. "That's crazy!! Doesn't she know that you are only 6 years old?" "Yeah! But she said she wants to marry me!"

Ben snatched the card from me and tore it into little shreds. He told me later that night that he is in love with Bianca. Funny thing is, he is a little infatuated with her. Yesterday I told Ben I was going to pick him up from school and he said, "Awwww, I wanted to ride the bus home!" I asked him why and he told me that he enjoys his chat time with Bianca on the bus ride home. My little Don Juan. FYI - he gets no encouragement from Mike and I - we only listen. We giggle about it later.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Florence, Italy

Our last day in Tuscany! We were so sad to leave it! Since we lost a day trying to retrieve our camera, we decided to spend a couple of hours wandering the streets of Florence. I loooove Florence. I love the Renaissance, the artwork, the history and Florence was the center of it. We saw the Duomo, walked to Ponte Vecchio, shopped in the market at San Lorenzo. It was a beautiful day and we were sad to leave it behind. But, all good things must come to an end. We were also excited to get back to PA and see our little boys - who we missed very much! It was a fabulous trip! Justine and Bryan's wedding was beautiful - I was honored to be asked to take photos (I hope I wasn't too annoying). Fiora and Brian (Justine's parents) were amazing hosts and Italy was spectacular. Mike and I kept saying to eachother on our last day "We have got to come back!" Hopefully for our 20th anniversary we can return to Italy.

Things I learned from the Italians

1. Always have your cell phone with you and talk on it all the time.
2. Wear harem pants - ladies run out and get them now - MC Hammer pants are back in vogue!!
3. Don't wear very much makeup because it will melt off by the end of the day anyway.
4. Mangia, Mangia, Mangia!
5. If you want good Italian food in Rome, get out of the main tourist area - head towards the neighborhoods.
6. If you are a male, ogle any attractive female you see.
7. If you are a female and are being ogled, ignore it.
8. Give lots of kisses.
9. When you are saying goodbye to the love of your life, kiss them passionately - not just passionately, but like the end of the world is coming and the saliva from your partner is the only thing that will keep you alive!!!!
10. Wear heels everywhere, even if you are walking a couple of miles.
11. Make sure that you are covered head to toe in name brand.
12. Say whatever comes to your mind whenever you feel like it.
13. Don't wear deodorant.
14. Eat the yummiest food and take a long time do it!
15. Don't ever be in a rush for any reason.

Our little town Montefioralle