Sunday, December 28, 2008

Four Weeks and Counting...

We are down to one month until baby. Needless to say, my body is ready but it seems like there is plenty to do before we welcome another member into our family. My cousin, Johna, is also in her last several weeks of pregnancy. We tried to capture all of the big bellies before the babies come!

Sam Rides the Pink Pig

Taking a ride on the Pink Pig is an Atlanta tradition, and we thought it was time for Sam to take part. Though he looks serious in the pictures, Sam loved the ride and kept asking for "more pig" for the rest of the night.

Christmas in Georgia

We spent our first Christmas in Atlanta, and it was wonderful. My parent's came to celebrate with us and we loved the relaxing week. Sam loved Christmas morning and was helpful in opening everyone's presents.

Sam loved his new Falcons bean bag - though he just thinks its a really big ball.

Here is Sam inventorying the goods from the day.

Sam's favorite present from my parents was the train table my dad built for him. Here is the video of him finding it in his room. We've already spent hours with trains - thank you Grandpa!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Here is a video of Sam opening his Elmo Live from Shawn and Shelva. That, along with his wagon, were his two favorite presents so far this year. It appears as if Sam reads the box because he knew it was Elmo before he even saw it. Pretty funny.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Sam's First Santa and Christmas Tree

Here are some pictures of Sam visiting his first Santa Clause (who happened to be Leroy) and him inspecting his first Christmas tree (didn't have one last year due to his crawling state).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sam's Gifts

Here are the highlights of the Christmas Gifts:

Sam is riding in his new wagon with his Elmo Live. Sam was pretty thrilled with both of those gifts!

Here is Sam playing with his Lego Duplo Thomas set from his Pop-Pop

Christmas in PA

We got the opportunity to spend a few days in Pennsylvania last weekend to celebrate Christmas since Katie can't travel over Christmas this year due to her condition. Here are some pictures of our trip:

Katie and Jeff with two of our favorite little ones - Sam and Symeon

Here is my mom's family after opening presents on Christmas morning.

Sam pretty quickly learned how to open his presents. He seemed to be a big fan of Christmas morning.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Family Hike

Yesterday Sam and I met up with Jeff while he was on a Mission Year retreat. We had a picnic lunch just north of the city and hiked some. Sam absolutely loves being outside and exploring. He has recently discovered the joy of pockets and loves filling them with rocks and sticks. Here are some pictures from our afternoon.

Election Day

Here are a couple of pictures from Election Day. Sam was a trooper as we waited in line just over an hour to vote. One of the poll workers gave Sam stickers which he shared with Elmo (you can also see Sam's first black eye he got from falling the day before).

Here is a picture of our other growing baby. Here I am at 28 weeks.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

The last few days have been full of Halloween fun! Sam and his best bud, Jaelyn, dressed up as Pebbles and Bam-Bam. Here is Sam at his pre-school Halloween party and parade:

This afternoon Sam turned a dish towel into a cape, and he was a Halloween super hero!

Tonight we went to a Halloween party. It was a lot of fun, and Sam got his first taste of candy. He actually bit through the Butterfinger wrapper to get to the candy bar - who can blame him!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Finally Fall

The weather has finally broken in Atlanta, and it doesn't drive me insane to be outside anymore in 100 degree heat, hence, Sam and I have been doing a lot more outside together. Here are a few glimpses of us playing soccer together. Before everyone thinks that I am brain washing my child, I think his first love is baseball. However, it is hard for me to video tape him playing baseball while I am playing baseball with him, hence not too many videos.

In this video, Sam's first throw-in (pretty good form too), getting soccer balls and whiffle balls confused, and him learning how to celebrate after scoring goals (even if that means throwing it in, he did kick a few in, but of course off camera).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Angelo Cataldi, you were right

There is a famous video of one of Philly's finest sports talk radio host telling about how children, as young as 2, learning how to boo the cowboys. Well, Angelo was right. In honor of the Eagles/Cowboys Game tonight, here is Sam learning what any 17 month old should, how to boo the cowboys (You'll have to shift through a little pro-Eagles propaganda first). Enjoy, and Katie asked me to apologize to all those that like the cowboys out there. I am not really apologizing though, she just told me to.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Somethings New

Here is a quick video of a few of Sam's new tricks: jumping (or attempting to), snorting like a pig, pushing his new favorite $1 toy, and passionately blowing kisses. Enjoy!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sam's First Soccer Kick!

I have been waiting for this day for 16 months and 27 days, or something close to that (not really of course, but it sounded good). Sam started actually kicking one of the 20,000 (as Katie would say) soccer balls we have in the house. Here is a video of him kicking it around a little bit, and getting a little distracted in the process a few times. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fun Around the House

This weekend we had remnants of Tropical Storm Fay make our days windy and a little rainy, so we spent a little more time in the house then we normally do. We came up with a few new ideas of things to do in the house. Apparently, Sam really loved the tent at pre-school, so I pitched my camping tent in our bedroom for Sam, and low and behold he definitely does love a good tent. Also, for some reason, Mommy decided to teach Sam how to blow on a whistle. Not sure that was a good idea a couple of hours later!

First Day of Preschool

This week marked the first day of pre-school for Sam. Mommy and Daddy went and bought Sam a new lunch bag, back-pack, shoes, and everything else he needed in anticipation of his first day of school! We were a little nervous as to how he would do on his first day since, well, the kid isn't too fond of us leaving him most places. But to our pleasant surprise, Ms. Yolanda, one of Sam's teachers, had bubbles and a drum full of balls ready when we walked in. Needless to say, Sam walked off and didn't look back. Katie and I were able to slip out of the room without any fussing.

The first day's report came back very positive. The teacher did ask us if he enjoyed spending time by himself because he would crawl into a tent that they had in one of the rooms, and would only come out to get either another book or ball. They did say that he played with one little boy named Luke. Anyway, we are very excited for this experience for him, I think it will be a good fit. Here are some pictures of Sam before we left for school Tuesday morning.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Clean Shaven

Well, it has been 7 glorious years of having a beard, and it is finally gone. It feels quite weird at the moment, but I am sure that I will get used to it, just in time to grow it back! I shaved the beard because I told the Mission Year Atlanta people that if they raised all of their money for the year, I would shave my beard. So here you go. And be sure to vote on the poll -->

Friday, July 25, 2008

Lunchtime with Sam

Sam has started trying to eat food with utensils himself. Unfortunately, he doesn't quite have the coordination for it, so lots of food gets lost between the bowl and his mouth. But it is pretty fun to watch. Here is a little video of him trying (he did much better before I started videoing). the second half of the video, Sam was playing peekaboo with himself as I was turning the screen on the video camera so he could see himself, and then not see himself. He thought it was hilarious. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer Fun with Jaelyn

Here are Sam and Jaelyn enjoying a little fun on the front porch during a thunderstorm last night. Unfortunately, it didn't end too well for Jaeyln as Sam's love for her sent her spilling. I promise though, no one got hurt!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sam has some news to share

The above picture will be true as of January 27. That's right, number 2 is on the way. Once again, we will be waiting to find out the gender. One of our favorite parts about waiting last time was hearing everyone's theories on what it was going to be. SO if you have one, send it our way.

Over due Update

Here are some random pictures that we have taken over the last couple of weeks. We have had a busier last few weeks, so sorry we have not been updating as much.

Here is Sam holding Mommy's hand. Sam loves to hold our hands now and take us places. His sense of direction is quite amazing really. He definitely inherited that from both his mom and dad.

Sam continues to be an avid slide enthusiast. Here are Sam and daddy on one of the faster slides that he has been on at Grant Park.

Sam never really had that one item that he was attached to. He didn't have a blanket, stuffed animal, or anything else that served as his security blanket. However, we believe that the stroller is beginning to serve in that roll. When we drop him off at the YMCA, he often just sits in the stroller as we work out. At the park, he will often just push the stroller around instead of playing on the playground. It is pretty funny when someone see the stroller moving, but no one pushing it. On several occasions people have been really surprised by a moving stroller.

Here is Sam showing off his new hairdo, thanks Tramels, and his new toy. Since Sam and I have been riding MARTA this summer, Sam has started noticing buses more and more as we drive. It is pretty funny, as we are driving or walking down the road, if a bus passes us, Sam will get really excited, point, and scream something at the bus. So, I decided to get him a bus for the house. He is also showing that off as well.

Finally, here is Sam in one of my favorite poses. Sam will often throw balls or other objects that will go under the TV stand, couch, or chair. He then puts his arms up in the air like below and says something resembling "where." It is really cute.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Euro 2008

Sam and I watched the final of Euro 2008 today after his nap. It was a good father son bonding time. I especially enjoyed Sam's commentary during the last part of the second half. Here is an unedited sampling of his commentary on the game:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fridays with Sam

For the summer, I have been taking Fridays off and hanging out with Sam all day. With his nap moving to the afternoon now, we have all morning to go and play. I decided that each Friday Sam and I would go somewhere different on MARTA. I decided this because 1) I love to ride MARTA and it was a good excuse to do it (plus gas is incredibly expensive) and 2) Sam is starting to get old enough to where he catches on to things. He may not remember the trips we take, but he is starting to recognize and get excited for MARTA buses and trains!! We have gone to Centennial Park, a Chick-Fil-A playground/Target to get a soccer ball/lunch downtown, and to a playground in the next neighborhood over/visit former DOOR staff/had lunch with mom on our three Fridays out.

I have really enjoyed our times together as well. Certainly the things that we have done, we could have done in less time if we have driven. But the bus ride gives Sam and I time to play, cuddle, read, and look out the window together as we ride by places. I have really enjoyed being able to interact with Sam during our trips and not missing out on that time of interaction because I am driving. It also has been special to me because as I have been taking Sam places on the train, I realized that one of my fondest memories of childhood with my dad is the times that he took me and my brother into Philly and other places on the train. I can recall vividly the times that we went to the car show, Harrisburg to visit Uncle Don, the Franklin Institute, sporting events, and even to shop occasionally.

I know that Sam is too little to have memories of our journeys together this summer. But I am not, and I will cherish the moments that Sam and I have gotten together this summer for a long time. And I have a renewed appreciation for what my Dad did with us. It wasn't a choice for him because he couldn't drive, but I appreciated it none the less.

PS. If you have any suggestions of what Sam and I could do on the bus & train together, places to go visit, let me know. We are three weeks in, and I am running out of ideas that are 1) free, and 2) close to a train station. It'd be fun to hear some suggestions of places we might go.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Katie and Sam have been taking swim lessons at the YMCA in our neighborhood for the past 4 weeks. Sam already loved the water before the lessons, but he definitely is a huge fan of it since the lessons. Here is a video (sorry for the delay Grammy) of Sam in the water. Sorry we couldn't get him saying pool on video, but he says it now in his own language: pppaahhh, pppaahhh, pppaahhh. Enjoy the video!

Monday, June 23, 2008

First (Real) Haircut

Because Sam was having too many mornings waking up like this:
We decided it was time for a real hair cut. I had cut his hair once before, but now it was time for the real deal. We were a little nervous about the whole process since Sam doesn't really like people invading his personal space. Miraculously, the kid the great! Sipping on Daddy's smoothie during the whole ordeal really kept him calm and focused elsewhere. Here are a few shots from the event:

Here is the after shot. I think he is quite a handsome boy.