Going to Work With Daddy

Jan 02, 2017

We live in New Jersey, and Mark takes the train into New York City for work.  Valen has always been fascinated by the idea of Daddy riding the train, so right before Christmas, Valen got to go to work with Daddy! It was so exciting for him to see where Daddy works, sit at Daddy's desk and meet Daddy's boss.  But the thing Valen enjoyed the most was riding the subway train in the city.  In fact, he didn't want to get off at our stop.  It brought a big smile to the faces of all the other commuters.

Preschool Concert

Dec 17, 2016

Both Mark and I went to Valen's preschool concert, and you should have seen the look on Valen's face when he saw us.  He was BEAMING with happiness.  Now that he's 4 years old, Valen really gets all the parts of Christmas and is having so much fun.  He was singing the songs for his concert for weeks, and was so proud of himself for doing such a great job.  For us, the joy on Valen's face is the best gift we could ever ask for.

Homework Time

Dec 12, 2016

Valen is growing every day, and preschool is a good way to mark the progress.  These days, he has homework once a week, which is a lot for a 4-year-old.  He's gotten pretty good at writing his name, and is excited about learning to read.  He can even read some small words himself!  Watching Valen grow is one of the most joyous experiences we've ever had.

Happy Thanksgiving -- Photo by Valen

Nov 25, 2016

Valen is in love with our Christmas tree.  He and Mark put the tree up a few weeks ago, but we hadn't decorated it.  So on Thanksgiving morning, the three of us (four, including our dog Maxie) hung all the ornaments on the tree before going to celebrate Thanksgiving with Mark's family.  Valen loves to take photos and videos with our phones and decided he wanted to photograph Mommy and Daddy. Enjoy this photo of Mark and Rebecca, courtesy of Valen the photographer.

Bedtime Routine

Nov 20, 2016

Our bed time ritual is one of the times of the day that I cherish the most.  Both Mark and I make sure Valen takes his vitamin, brushes his teeth, and goes to the bathroom before we head to bed.  Then we say the "Our Father" together, which Valen knows by heart, and pray for a long list of people.  Always on that list are Valen's birthmom and birthgrandmom.  And then we read a book. (Only one book!).  I know this time will be a long-lasting memory for Valen -- always ending the day with the three of us, together, praying for the people we love.

Getting in the Holiday Spirit Early

Nov 14, 2016

We were shopping at TJMaxx this weekend, and guess what Valen spied?  All the Christmas decorations, of course.  He couldn't resist the gingerbread house kit, so that's how we spent our Sunday afternoon -- the three of us putting it together. Valen loves "projects," especially with Mommy and Daddy on the team.  And these are memories he'll have forever.

Wanna Play with Me?

Nov 02, 2016

If there's one thing we've learned as parents, it's that kids want you to do stuff with them.  Any old stuff.  Nothing fancy.  Just be with them.  

Since our home life centers on the kitchen, as it does in many families, Valen is there with us most of the time.  Sometimes literally under foot.  But many times he'll bring a toy -- like this puzzle -- sit down on the floor while we're cooking, and look for every opportunity to get us to participate.  Daddy was Valen's choice as a playmate in this photo.

Happy Halloween!

Oct 22, 2016

"Thank you, Mommy, for my pumpkin!"  Valen kept repeating this over and over after we carved a jack o' lantern.  He decided on a bat as the shape to carve so it would match his bat ring. (He got the ring from the prize box at preschool as a reward for being a good listener.) Now Valen is obsessed with lighting the candle inside the pumpkin all the time.  Mark and I joke that Valen treats the jack o' lantern as his new pet!

Fall Clean Up

Oct 16, 2016

Ever since Valen could walk, he's wanted to be right next to Daddy so he can help.  On this beautiful fall weekend, Mark was doing yard work, and Valen was right there with him -- blowing leaves. Actually, Valen was blowing whatever he could find -- leaves, dirt, grass or one of us!  Valen has always had a fascination with blowers and loves it when he sees other people using them.  But nothing is better than being able to participate himself, even if the blower is as big as he is.

Shopping with Daddy

Oct 05, 2016

Mark loves to shop. Really. He's always looking for an excuse to go to the mall, Ikea or Costco.  For Valen, Costco is great because there's lots of room to run around, dashing in and out of the refrigerated room in the produce section. And Valen loves being Daddy's helper.  Some of my first dates with Mark were spent strolling the aisles of Costco on the weekend.  So it only makes sense to introduce Valen to the joys of shopping at an early age. 

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