Sunday, January 24, 2010

So much is in the name

By K.J. Cardinal

Leo Michael Cardinal.

That's his name. I know that we said we were going to keep the name a secret, but when we saw my parents today, I just couldn't keep it in. I HAD to tell them the name of their future grandson. The name just means too much to both my family and Angie's family to keep it a secret any longer.

Leo is after my grandfather. The former patriarch of the Cardinal family that EVERYONE loved and admired more than any other person I've ever met. For Angie and I, it was really a no-brainer... and somewhat destiny.

Back in December when we had the Cardinal Christmas party at Tiffany and Pete's house, Angie and I were talking to my Aunt Carol. She asked us, "When will you find out the sex of the baby?" And we said, "January 22." Then she said, "Oh, that was Mema and Papa's anniversary."

Angie and I looked at each other and nearly let the cat out of the bag on the name at that point... despite not knowing the sex of the baby yet. I never wanted to get too excited about the potential of having a baby boy, but I really felt like we were destined to have a boy since the ultrasound just happened to fall on such a milestone. The world works in weird ways some times.

As for the middle name, Michael is after Angie's brother who tragically passed away back in 2006. Honoring "Mikey" and keeping his spirit alive is something that Angie and I always want to do and naming our son after him is a great way to do so.

So, as you can see, there's so much in the name. I know that we're setting the bar high with a name like Leo Michael, but I'm hopeful the little guy will make his late great-grandfather and uncle very proud.

PS: I've owned for about four years now in anticipation of this day. I know, I'm a dork.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It's (gonna be) a boy!

By K.J. Cardinal

The wait is finally over. We had the ultrasound today to determine the sex of the baby and it's gonna be a boy!

We are psyched.

More importantly, everything looked healthy as can be from the ultrasound. He is measuring a day big, 10 ounces total, and is the size of a mango. The doctor said that he appears to have rather long arms and legs... probably not surprising to anyone.

Anyway, we couldn't be happier. Prior to having Anna, I was rather open and honest about wanting to have a boy. I even went as far as telling people that we'd have as many kids as it took until we got a boy... an idea which Angie never seemed too keen on for some reason :)

Needless to say, we had a baby girl and immediately my want and desire to have a boy went away. Anna was (and is) everything that I ever imagined a child could be... and much more.

So, when we found out Angie was pregnant this time, I wasn't hell bent on wanting a baby boy. And, sure enough that's what we're going to get. In just a few hours since finding out though, that want and desire to have a son has definitely returned. I really can't wait.

Excuse me while I go install a basketball hoop out front.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Snow slide

By K.J. Cardinal

Anna loves her some snow slide. She's also developed a knack for eating all the snow in sight... hopefully I can steer her clear of the "yellow snow".


Friday, January 8, 2010

Andrew update

By Tiffany George

Part of my goal this new year is to post to the blog more often. I am shooting for twice a month, but we'll see how that goes! I really appreciate all of KJ's posts about our adorable niece and I want to share the cute stories of Andrew and Natalie too. Our new computer didn't have an SD card slot, so transferring pictures was a pain and held me back last year. Now that I got this snappy, very cheap USB converter, I don't have that excuse.

Enough about me! The kids are doing awesome. This first post will be a little catch up of Andrew.

Andrew is growing like a weed. He is just as adorable as ever, but most people feel he is taller. He loves to help out around the house. He takes out his own garbage from his bedroom, and usually takes out his bathroom garbage and our bathroom garbage while he is at it. He picks out his own clothes in the morning too. And he is good about letting me sleep longer, unless of course he is not sure which color pants to wear to match his shirt! He does helpful things like clear his plate and protect his sister all of the time. He seriously chose to use his Christmas money to buy his own cordless vacuum. He vacuums after nearly every meal, then empties the dirt cup all on his own. Outside in the winter, all he wants to do is shovel. He spends the whole time shoveling the walkway and driveway while we play. As you can see, Natalie was enjoying eating snow with Pete and I while Andrew slaved away on the walkway in the distance!

We finally did convince him to do some sledding, don't worry!

When he is not busy cleaning, he loves to do crafts.

I never know what kind of beautiful decoration I am going to discover when I come down from my shower in the morning. He got this cube of paper around Turkey Day and I think it is nearly gone. He would put a stamp on it, then tape it up all around the house. He would put them on the doors, on the handrail going up the stairs, on the hutch, on door knobs. You name it, he put it there. He also made about 30 of these into "cards" by folding them and stapling and taping them shut. He informed me that they were for people who didn't have enough money to buy cards for Christmas. He loves to make little cards and then he puts them in envelopes for family members. He often writes notes to his friend Wesley who moved to Florida. Stapling, cutting, and taping are a highlight of each day for him. He got a spin art machine for Christmas and he is very much into that too. Pretty much any art or craft is up his alley, be it moon sand, play doh, glitter or glue! And baking is just as fun!

He loves to spend time with Pete. One of their favorite Father-Son activities is going to the dump and cleaning out the basement. It is so adorable. Pete tells me that Andrew does the plastic all by himself :o) In the basement, he moves things around with Pete, asking Daddy where he wants things to go, then putting them there. He loves to play games with Daddy too! Elefun and Connect Four are two Daddy favorites.

Andrew is also very loving toward his mom at this age. Lucky me! He always needs somewhere between 104-153 kisses before bed each night, which I am happy to give. He randomly will tell us that he loves us and it just melts our hearts. He adores his sister and he is amazingly nice to her. He has so much patience for her nearly all of the time. As you can see, when we tried to get a Christmas photo, he didn't mind when she pulled his hair or laid on top of him.

They are so blessed to have each other.

He is doing great at preschool now. He goes two days a week and has finally warmed up. It took two months of him crying every day at drop-off, but that has stopped now. He has made friends there and he likes the songs and activities. One day when I picked him up from school he was wearing this headband with reindeer antlers on it and his nose was painted red. When I noticed that other kids were not wearing a headband, I asked Andrew why he kept his on. "I kept mine on because I thought you would like it Mom" was his response. Could he get any sweeter?

He is totally a real person now, and comes up with cute little human sayings and phrases all of the time. Things like "I don't mind", "we can if you want to, it can be your choice" are common around here. If we say something to Natalie like "don't put that in your mouth", Andrew will run right over to tell us that we shouldn't be giving her any ideas.
Christmas this year was extraordinary with the kids.

On Christmas morning, he just came into our room to snuggle like a cutie. Pete finally said "bud, do you know what today is?". It dawned on him that it was Christmas and he kept repeatedly shaking both hands as fast as he could. He gets very excited over every little thing, or as Meme says, he acts just as you would want a little kid to act! My favorite part of Christmas this year for him was Christmas carols. He learned nearly every Christmas song, and not just songs like Jingle Bells and Rudolph, but also Up on the Housetop, Jingle Bell Rock, and a ton of others. He would be playing by himself in the playroom and you could over hear him singing to himself. It was so sweet. The best part was when he would play his guitar with Papa. He would play and sing the whole time, observing how Papa moved his fingers so that Andrew could do the same. It was pricelessly sweet!

He has enjoyed his Christmas gifts immensely. His plasma car, a car powered by just moving the steering wheel, his new sleeping bag, his keyboard hooked up to our computer, hungry hungry hippos, his new keyboard, and this duck that hatched from an egg have been notable faves thus far. He also loved to dress up in all of the dress up clothes that Meme and Papa got him!

We celebrated New Year's with the kids by having special dinner and dessert. We went to Hannaford and they could pick out whatever they want. Here is Andrew displaying evidence of that. They picked out rotisserie chicken, and as usual, Andrew is wearing the cardboard piece/handle from the chicken as his party hat. His yummy ice cream went down quickly too!

Andrew also shucked his own steamed clams that Pete bought for me as a special treat on the eve of my birthday.

Our first trip on the Carousel during Christmas break!

Andrew cruising around the house on Natalie's new trike. He is giving the classic "no more kisses" face. He likes to joke with me about not giving me any more kisses, and this is just what he looks like when he does.

Both kids love their new sleeping bags. Here, Andrew was stripping down to put his jammies on, but got distracted by his sleeping bag in the process.

We are just so excited for the year ahead, as our kids provide us with endless joy each day. Stay tuned for Natalie's update in the comind days/weeks!