Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Great Friends

We are blessed to have two amazing friends named Corrine and Noah Papak. Corrine has been one of Mommy's best friends since high school and Noah is her 4 year old son. When Corrine had Noah 4 years ago, I was her labor coach and in the delivery room when he was born. It was such an amazing experience. I was so honored that she chose me to help her. After he was born people kept asking if it scared me from having kids of my own. For me it was the opposite. It made me more excited to have a baby. But first Russell and I had to get engaged and married (little did I know that he would propose a short 4 months after Noah was born).

Corrine and Noah have been such spectacular friends since then but particularly since Simon was born. The let us borrow a ton of baby equipment and toys that they still had from when Noah was a baby. After Simon was born they came right over to meet him and he and Noah were fast friends. They come to visit us all the time! It is truly touching because they live almost an hour away. We are so lucky to have such amazing friends! Here are some pictures of Noah and Simon playing together and even an "oldie" with me and Noah on the day he was born.

Thank you for being such wonderful friends. We love you guys!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Simon is 14 Months old!

Dear Simon,
You are turning into such a big boy! I keep telling people that you went straight from crawling to running. That is the truth! You are so busy exploring the world and learning new things.
One of your favorite things right now is dogs. It also happens to be one of your favorite words. Nonna's dog Casey passed away earlier this summer and you miss him a lot. As we walk around the neighborhood, you lean forward in your stroller and point and say "Dog!" when you see one. If they look particularly friendly, you get to pet them. You especially love it when they "kiss" you. You are also obsessed with seeing Buster on skype with Gabrielle.
Here you are with Casey:

You loved the 4th of July festivities this month, but couldn't stay up late enough for the fireworks. Sorry.....maybe in a few years!
You have become a wild man in the bathtub too. You love to splash and play. Somehow you and Daddy came up with a game where you fill up your cup and throw it at him outside the tub. It is such a mess, but you laugh so hard that we can not help but love it.

We celebrated your cousin Jackson's birthday this month at a concert for kids at Ravinia. It was a wonderful party. You loved chasing bubbles with Jackson and playing with the bigger kids. You also loved watching Jackson eat his cake!

Every day with you is an adventure and you keep us on your toes. From very early on we knew you were a mover and a shaker. Even as a little baby you never sat still. Your arms would flail or your legs would kick. Now, you just run all over the place. During the day, you never sit still. So, sometimes at night I peek into your bedroom to see you sleeping. I love the see your little "pepette" (that is a cute french word we use for "bottom") in the air as you sleep. As wonderful as it is to see you so still and peaceful, I always look forward to the next morning when you call out "Mama!" for me to come get you in the crib. Then, we start a new adventure.

I love you always!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Family Fun!

We were lucky enough to have three different sets of Belgian relatives visit this summer.
First, we had Uncle Patrick and Aunt Viviane. They came here and got married in Vegas! Next Cousins Christophe and Eva came with their kids Esther and Noah. Esther is 2 and Noah is 8. All of the American kids had a great time with them. Noah spoke a little English when he got here, but by the time he left it was even better! Esther didn't speak so much English, but picked up a few words along the way. She loved baby Simon. Anytime she would see he wasn't around, she would look at me and ask "Baby slaapt?" in Flemish to ask me if Simon was sleeping. Then she would say "Baby Wakker" to ask me if he was awake. It was so precious. She was also obsessed with a Flemish character and song called Piet Piraat (Pete the Pirate) we loved singing it with her.
Next came Cousin Steve with his girlfriend Darlene. They ended up renting a car and driving the original Route 66 from Chicago to LA to see Gabrielle. It looked like an amazing trip!
We also had a visit from Uncle Ronnie, Aunt Masako and Cousin Susie. It was so fun spending time with them as well and can't wait to see them again soon.
We were so thrilled to have all of our family visiting. We love and miss them all!
Here are a few photos from the visit