It is really sinking in to me the more you guys grow up – I am a mom of two boys.  Boys’ boys – real boys.  Roll around in the dirt-climb off the side of the sofa-wrestle me to the ground boys.  And I love it.


You guys are little Kings – little Princes.  And you both are so precious to me.


Growing up so fast…. EJ – the past two nights, you’ve used the potty of your own free will!  I am so excited about what this means for you (and for me!) – you are such a big boy!


Your imagination is amazing, EJ.  I love the stories you tell me, and you pretend to be everything from a robot (above), to a king, to a solider, to a snake.  You even get the rest of us in on the fun (below – sorry Gam!  I had to do it!).


And Dieter – you are progressing by leaps and bounds.  Thursday, November 13th, you pulled yourself up to your feet on your own, and you’ve been going full force ever since.  I’m so proud.On his own

Dieter, you’re my little Love Bug – you love to cuddle up to me, even crawling up to me and burrowing your head into my back/shoulder/calf – wherever you can reach on me.  And EJ, you’re still my Honey Bear.  I love it when you ask me to hold you – I don’t know how much longer I can pick you up because you’re getting so big, but I’ll keep doing it until I have to stop. 


I love you guys. So much.  I hope love for each other is already growing in your hearts – you are so precious to your Daddy and me, and I hope you can cherish each other as well.

All my love,

Your Momma

Monday, October 27, 2008 – bath time with your brother.  No struggles, just some splashes.  A lot of hair came off – your hair grew so quickly! 



paci fiend
Note that the paci clip is all the way in your mouth – and this was after it slipped out a bit.  No more hippo paci clip for you, Little Man.

So big, so cute.  TIme is going so fast.

I love you,


I can’t believe I haven’t written anything in the past 3 months.  But how could I?  You guys are running me ragged!  Chasing after both of you leaves me little time to do anything but… chase after you.

All smiles

I have a lot of updates about how you are both growing and changing – especially you, Little Man!  What an amazing 3 months it has been for you.   Right around the beginning of August, you were sitting up pretty well by yourself.  Occasionally, there was a topple-over event, but in general, you were content sitting up and chewing on whatever happened to be within reach.  Around the same time, I realized that you were wearing me out by bouncing over and over and over when I held you.. so out came the Johnny Jump-Up, and in you went.  You love to jump.  I don’t think I can say that emphatically enough.  You. Love. To. Jump.  That Johnny Jump-Up has kept my arms from falling off.  Literally.

First swing!

At the end of August (the 31st, to be exact), the crawling started.  In one day, you decided you were going to start moving.  The day before, you were wiggling around on your belly – just going around in circles, pushing yourself off with your feet.  The next day, in the nursery at the fellowship, I told them you were trying to move.  That night, you just did it.  It was the cutest thing – the first couple of days, you really didn’t move your legs – you just kind of pulled yourself along with your arms, and then you scootched your legs and booter* along behind you.


A week later, you were able to go back to a sitting position from crawling.  That’s saved us a lot of fussing – now you get to where you want to go and sit back down instead of getting there and whining because you’re stuck on your hands and knees.  You went straight to pulling yourself up to a kneeling position – on the ottoman, the hearth, Big Boy’s stool, overturned toy baskets – anything that’s the right height.  All this crawling has been exhausting for you.  You’re sleeping so well!  You’ve always been a good sleeper, but you zonk out when I lay you down now. 
why does he do this to me?
It’s also been a little upsetting for your big brother.  Big Boy, you’ve had all your toys to yourself for such a long time now, it’s hard for you to see your little brother reaching all your things.  You haven’t always been the nicest about it, but with a gentle reminder, you let the Little Man play with your things.  You are such a big boy about so many things now… we have started a little bit of “preschool” at home, and you are a sponge!  I love helping you discover all kinds of cool things.


You are also quite a good singer.  While you’re still undecided about when you like for me to sing, I catch you singing the cutest little songs throughout the day.  “Rock-a-bye Baby” (with our words about birds subbed in instead of the cradle falling part) was the song last week, and today I caught you singing a song about a butterfly: “No butterfly, no butterfly!”  I was wondering where you heard that song, when I realized that the tuneof it was from the Backyardigans, and you had just heard the song this morning.  However, my darling, the real words are, “Float, flutter, fly! Float, flutter, fly!”  I will give you that you are really close with the words, and you are dead-on with the tune!

Playing with light

Daddy and I are also growing up.  Why, just the other day I heard Daddy say, “Well, if you keep on doing that, you’re going to break it, and then you’ll be sad.”  I said a couple days ago, “And that’s a good way to hurt yourself, too.”  I betcha neither of us thought those words would be coming out of our mouths any time soon…
I’m proud of you guys.  You both make me smile everyday.  And that’s the best thing ever.

I love you,

Your Momma


*I’ve never actually written that word down  – it looks ridiculous.  But, guys, that’s what we call your little behinds.  There we go – it’s out now.  There’s no going back.

Well, guys, it’s my birthday today. Your birthday wishes have been much appreciated, although Big Boy – I think yours were more out of self-interest so you could help me open presents, blow out candles, and eat cake.

It’s been really fun this year with you being more aware of what birthdays are. You sang “Happy Birthday” to me yesterday, and this morning (prompted by Daddy) gave me a big hug and sloppy wet kiss. You also told me what you wanted on your birthday cake next time it’s your birthday: a dump truck, a cement mixer, an excavator, a man, and another man (exactly what was on your cake this past year!).

Baby D – your birthday wishes have been glowing smiles, intermixed with the fussiness of teething. So nice, but very wet and drooly.

So, thank you, my little loves. You make my life a pleasure everyday!

I love you,
Your Momma!

So here’s Family Friday (like that? I just made it up!).

This is my Grandma, Tina – your Great-grandmother. She passed away 6 years ago this summer. We think she was 96 when she died… she kept her age secret for such a long time, even lying on her driver’s license to hide it! Her birth certificate was destroyed in a fire, so as far as I know, we don’t have her real age pinned down. In fact, her father (a widower raising 8 children on his own in the early 1900’s!) assigned all the kids birthdays in different months, no matter when they were born, because of the fire that destroyed the birth certificates.

She was a very strong-willed woman, and there are some great stories about her life – in particular regarding her marriage to my grandfather. I remember hearing stories about Grandpa stealing her shoes so she could not go out with another guy on a date (before they were married)- and she stole his watch for some reason that I can’t remember. They eloped (unheard of in the 1920’s) because my grandfather was not Catholic, and therefore their relationship was “doomed” from the start in the Catholic church’s eyes.

A lot of her “sayings” are family classics. My older cousins heard a lot more of her sayings that my brother and I did, but we share most of these in common. Her elbows were the pointiest things ever when she nudged us with them and said, “Don’t snitch!” I think she meant “snatch” – she always said that after one of us grabbed something from the other. But we got her meaning quite well. “When you eat breakfast with the Queen, will you drink milk out of your cereal bowl like that?” um, no, Grandma, I doubt they’d even serve cereal at Windsor Palace. “Is he rich?” she would ask whenever my girl cousins or I were dating someone new. “It’s better to marry for money than love.” “When you marry Prince Andrew…” I think my cousins got one of the older princes… maybe Charles? And she called everyone “George.” At least everyone under the age of 20. And then there was the famous “Lick” – a combination of my dad’s and his sister’s names. When she said “Lick,” whichever was the closest to her came running.I think I inherited a lot from her. While I wish I had her chin and high cheekbones, I can credit her for a lot of my “crafty” ways. She and her sisters owned a craft shop in the little town of Wellsville, NY, where they lived most of their life. Her father apparently sang opera around the house constantly – maybe that’s where I get it from?

I have so many memories of her… we went up to visit Grandma and Grandpa every summer in New York, and we also saw them at Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as once each fall as they stopped by our house on the way to spending the winter in Florida and back up to New York in the spring. We even went down to Florida a couple times in the winter over the years.

Since I still have so many memories (and soooo many pictures), I think I’m going to keep up with this Family Friday. Wordless Wednesday would never be “Wordless” for me with all these memories I want to share with you guys. This has been a lot of fun, too. I hope you guys enjoy these pictures and the memories. I’ll add dates for these when I get the actual pictures down out of storage again…

Love you!


I didn’t know that lentils were a member of the pea family. Well, I did know that they are legumes, and I know that peas are also legumes. But I thought lentils were closer to beans than peas. You reacted like you ate a pea. I’m so sorry, my little love. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I was just trying to get some protein into you since you couldn’t eat the meat sauce with beef in it. We got some medicine into you quickly, though, so the vomiting, hives and wheezing were very short lived. Thank God.

I pray that you quickly grow out of these allergies, Big Boy. It hurts me to see you have a reaction – I just wish I could whisk it all away from you. I love you so much.

I’m borrowing a friend‘s idea about her Wordless Wednesday posts… she always posts a family picture from back in the day – like, way back. I’m going to start doing that here, too, so I can share pictures of your ancestors with you guys.

This picture is from about 1920, we think. It’s a family shot in a bowling alley – see the pins and bowling ball at the front? On the top row, third from the right, is Charles Griepp – he is my Grandma B’s father. He was a policeman. I don’t know much else about him… On the second row from the top, at the far right, is Grampa Ziegler (that is how the back of the picture is labeled – I don’t know his first name yet). He is my Grandma B’s maternal grandfather. That makes him your Great-Great-Great Grandfather!

Also in the picture, on the top row to the right of Grandpa Griepp, is Aunt Gennivive (Grandpa Griepp’s sister) and her husband, Uncle Dobb (Henry Dobb, aka “Dobber” as it says on the back of the picture). Uncle George Ziegler and his two children are possibly in the picture on the bottom row, 4th from the right.

Wow! Not much of a “Wordless” Wednesday. But I’m excited to start sharing these with you.


Your Momma

OK, I may have been a bit premature about saying I felt a tooth. I promise I did!!! But we took you to the doctor for your 4 month check up yesterday, Baby D, and he said there is no tooth yet. I still feel it, though. Hmph. A mom always knows best, right?

So you weigh 15 pounds on the nose, and you’re 26 inches long! Such a big boy! Your weight is in the 50% for your age, and your length is in the 75%. You’re healthy and developing well. All things I knew, of course!

My new favorite thing is your laugh. It is so cute, and still pretty sporadic. But I can usually get a laugh out of you a couple times a day. You laugh pretty hard when I kiss your belly. I’ll have to see if I can get it on tape… there’s no way to describe how it sounds. You laugh through your nose right now, so it kind of sounds like an old man chuckling to me. It’s adorable!

You and the Bog Boy are already becoming close friends. He likes to try to make you laugh, too, and unfortunately, he thinks it’s hilarious when you startle. I try to keep him from doing that, though. You love sitting and watching him. I can’t wait until you two can play together all day!

Love you both!
Your Momma

Before you were born, Baby D, we (well, I) started thinking about a nickname for you. Yes, before you were born. See, we don’t like any of the ways your name can be shortened – except for one, and it’s not an obvious choice. Remember this post? Well, Daddy didn’t like Buddy specifically for you, because he calls both you and Big Boy “Buddy” interchangeably.

Big Boy, you got your nickname in several ways. First of all, you were a Big Boy. Literally. Just a big ol’ chunk of love and baby fat. Your head was perfectly round because of your cheeks. Absolutely adorable! People just started asking how the Big Boy was doing. And at the same time, a commercial came out for a credit card that cemented the name…. A man was trying to access his credit card info by phone, and he had to supply his password over the phone – he tried mumbling it into the phone since he was sitting in a packed train car… “big boy….” But the automatic voice system asked him to repeat it, and he yelled into the phone, “BIG BOY!” making all the people around him look at him. It was just one of those commercials that make you laugh. And the way he said it… that’s how we said “Big Boy” for the longest time.

Your other nickname, at least from me, is Honey Bear. That kind of evolved over time. I started calling you “honey,” but I’m not a “honey” kind of person. It even is hard for me to say that to your Daddy, and he is my “Honey.” That changed into “honey bun,” but your Daddy didn’t really like that (he would look at me weird each time I said it), and it reminded me too much of “Honey Bunches of Oats” – in fact, sometimes, I would say “honey bunch.” I just wasn’t feeling it. But for some reason, I felt like saying “honey….” something. I’m not sure why. So I guess I kept at it, and I don’t know when “Honey Bear” started, but it has stuck. And I love it.

Baby D, I don’t think of you as “Baby D” anymore. I just can’t wait until I find out who you are!

Love you both – your Momma

I think you have a tooth!

To get babies used to having their teeth brushed, you’re supposed to massage their gums with a soft, wet washcloth or your finger (clean, of course). I put my finger in your mouth to start massaging, and I felt it…. Just a little sharp point, right in the front on the bottom. WOW! You’re already growing up so fast!

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