Monday, October 31, 2011

James is One

From James turns 1

It's hard to believe our baby boy is one! At a year old, James is a happy, smiling baby who is still breaking hearts with his dimples, especially his Kirk Douglas style chin dimple. He can say a few words: ball, baba, and bye-bye. And, when he really wants something: mama. He's not yet walking, but he will be anyway now. And, while we're admittedly biased, we think James has the sweetest, softest eyes and the personality to match. James has a calmer spirit than his high-energy brother Jack, but he is equally determined. It's been so special to watch the two of them get to know each other this year.

Enjoy these pictures from James' big day!

James turns 1

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fab Fourth

From Fourth of July

We headed back to Ohio for the Fourth of July this year. James turned on the charm for the whole family and got lots of snuggles in return from everyone, especially Granpa and Nonni.

From Fourth of July

It was a fun-filled weekend, starting with a much-appreciated birthday celebration for me and Jack. (The cake was so big we had to keep celebrating the whole weekend). We also made a trip to COSI, an interactive science center that I remember visiting as a kid. The big boys had a great time exploring water, wind, electricity, and gravity.

From Fourth of July

The boys also had a blast at a nearby - and really nice - indoor pool with waterslides, a waterfall, and a lazy river. We finished the weekend with a visit from Nana, looking smashing as always with her four great-grandsons here.

From Fourth of July

Fourth of July

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Big Four - OH!

From Birthday and Block Party

Jack is four. One of the big boys now. It's been pretty amazing to watch him grow these last four years. This year has already been a big year for him. He's talking more, and showing us more of his funny little personality. He's braver and bolder than ever, jumping headlong into pools and barreling down giant slides. And, he finally learned (or decided more like it) to ride his trike.

Jack has so many adventures ahead of him this year and the years to come. And, while we'll always be right there to cheer our big boy on, he'll also always be our baby.

From Birthday and Block Party

Enjoy these pictures of Jack's birthday party and our annual block party.

Birthday and Block Party

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Memorial Day to Remember!

We made our annual trip back to Ohio for Memorial Day this May. It was James' second trip to Ohio, but his first up north to meet my extended family. We made it a long weekend so we would have plenty of time for fun with the family. We started the trip with a day at the indoor water park. Grandma and Poppy have wanted to take Jack for a few years, and he was more than ready this year! He had a great time in the wave pool, on the water slides, and the lazy river ride. He has been asking to go back ever since.

From Memorial Day 2011

We also got all dressed up to go to Grandpa Bill and Alice's wedding! I was certain that Jack would refuse to wear his dress-up clothes and would end up wearing a Lightning McQueen shirt to the wedding. But, it turns out he really enjoyed getting all decked out. He especially liked wearing a tie and he told everyone at the wedding: "I have a tie and awesome pants!"

From Memorial Day 2011

He was as good as you can expect a three-year-old to be at a wedding, and James was good as always.

From Memorial Day 2011

Jack was rewarded with a milkshake at McDonald's for good behavior afterwards. And, we got to spend the night away in Cleveland thanks to Grandma!

From Memorial Day 2011

We finished the weekend with a great picnic hosted by Grandma and Poppy. Hope to see you all again soon!

Memorial Day 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Going back to Ohio

Back in February, we made our first trip to Ohio since James was born. Because he was born early, we didn't travel for the holidays. But, we went to Columbus on President's Day weekend so James could meet more family members and make his first trip to the Buckeye State.

Jack got to reconnect with his cousins Ethan and Mike. They always have such a great time together. We really wish they could see each other more often.

And James got to meet Aunt Karin, Uncle Dave, Aunt Pam and Nana for the first time. As always, Aunt Pam lived up to her reputation as the "baby whisperer."

James also met cousins Ethan and Mike. Mike seemed okay with giving up his spot as baby of the family.

The weekend was over too soon, but we're hoping to make another trip out this summer!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Merry Christmas, Jack Buening

This year, we were fortunate that our family brought Christmas to DC instead of making our usual trek to Ohio for the holidays. With James still so young - and sick with a cold - on Christmas, we were more than grateful, although we were missing other family members back home.

Like all good things, our guests arrived in threes. Grandpa Bill and Alice were the first to arrive the weekend before Christmas. They stopped through on their way to Ohio. They brought lots of great gifts and it was great to see them. Grandpa also brought a picture of himself when he was a baby, and he looked a lot like James! We'll have to post that on the blog soon.

Grandma Boop and Poppy came next bringing more gifts for Jack and James to open. Despite a rough start with James' cold (earning us a night in the hospital), we had a great visit with them too. We celebrated with a delicious dinner cooked by Niki and Nick, although Poppy was missing the traditional Christmas breakfast. We should have made it Christmas "brinner." Grandma also took good care of us with her home cooking and by helping out so much around the house - the best Christmas gift we could ask for!

Finally came Nonni and Grandpa bringing even more gifts from family in Ohio. Their visit was special because Grandpa hadn't met James yet! It was great to see them and we hope to visit the family we missed very soon.

Many thanks to our family for making this Christmas - James' first - a special one. Of course, Jack now thinks that Christmas is a weeklong gift extravaganza. But, he actually really enjoyed Christmas this year. He was interested in all things Christmas - Santa, reindeer, elves - but he was especially into Christmas music. He learned and sang many Christmas carols for us this year, with Rudolph and Jingle Bells as favorites. He also really enjoyed his Christmas-themed books, particularly "Merry Christmas, Curious George." He liked it so much that he started saying, "Merry Christmas, Jack Buening" after reading it! We hope that Christmas will stay magical for Jack and James for years to come.