Teresa Claire Marr

The newest member of the Marr Family has arrived! Teresa Claire was born 10/22/2015 at 11:41 AM. She weighed in at 8lbs 5oz and was 19.5 inches long. The nurses were all surprised she was so big (she was due 10/31) and said she’ll be beating up her brothers in no time.

Teresa Claire Marr

We were/are both in shock that we have another kiddo in our family, never mind the fact that she’s a girl! Teresa is named after her great-grandmother, Teresa “Binkie” Conroy. We love her name and love that it honors one of our all time favorite people in the world:

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Her brothers are adjusting surprisingly well to having a new addition to the family, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed it continues this way! Pete is entirely smitten with her and takes such good care of her. He constantly wants to hold her and asks about her first thing every morning when he wakes up. He is just so sweet and kind, and Teresa is so lucky to have him as her big brother. James seems to love “baby Treesa” as well. He very kindly tried to share his graham crackers with her when she was two days old¬†ūüôā Being gentle doesn’t come easy to James, but he is so sweet and means well.¬†She is going to be one well-protected little girl!

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We are ridiculously proud of our little family and can’t believe we’re so blessed. Life feels pretty amazing these days.the real party of five

Pete’s First Day of Preschool!

Pete started preschool again today, and could not have been more excited. He went to¬†the same school last spring, and when I asked him what he was most excited about, he said “playing with the Paw Patrol toys”. But after orientation on Monday, when he got to see some of his friends from last year and meet some new friends, he decided he was most excited about playing with his friends. He was very sad to learn two of his friends are now in Kindergarten, and informed me that he will “never ever go to school every day” … hopefully he changes his mind by next year!

Pete seems to have grown up overnight. He literally woke up from a nap a few weeks ago and Pat and I were both convinced he had a growth spurt. All of his pants were suddenly too short and it’s like he’s this grown up version of himself … ¬†he is 4 going on 14, no doubt about it!

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James didn’t want to miss any of the action, and quickly jumped into a picture too:

IMG_4246 When we dropped Pete off, James made himself at home, pulling out a chair and sitting down to color. When I broke the news that Pete was staying at school and we were leaving, he ran right up to Pete and said “I love lou”. It was so sweet! Pete gave us both hugs and a wave and that was that.

At pickup, he told me he had an “awesome” day and that he wants “more school days and less mama days, because school is a lot more funner”. My heart may have cracked¬†a tiny¬†bit, but I couldn’t be happier that he likes it so much!

Pat and I are so proud of Pete. He’s a funny, smart, kind, confident little boy¬†and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for him this school year!

James at Eighteen Months*

My sweet, sweet baby James is no longer a baby. He hasn’t been for some time, but it’s a hard pill for this mama to swallow! Sometimes, I feel like he was just born and yet here he is, a toddler well on his way to boyhood.

James is at that age where everything he does is kind of awesome. He¬†has a¬†Temper and is as mischievous and impish as he is sweet and kind, but Pat and I both agree that he is really just the best. He is funny and smart and adorable (and he knows it) and he keeps us on our toes at ALL times. James is most definitely our flight risk kid, and I fear the day he can open doors. He is Mr. Independent and is just a physical kid with seemingly no fear (we often hear that he’s a bruiser). He literally climbs the walls, and it’s not uncommon to find him places¬†he most definitely shouldn’t be:

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James loves to eat, and loves to run to his high chair screaming “eeeaaattt” until he gets his food. Some days¬†he’s picky and only eats¬†what he wants, but then other days, he’ll eat anything and everything that’s put in front of him. If he likes what he’s eating, he nods his head up and down and wiggles his eyebrows and it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. He makes us¬†laugh out loud all¬†the time.

For the most part, James is a good¬†sleeper. He still¬†sucks his fingers (the first two fingers on his left hand, and the middle two on his right hand) and rubs his ear when he’s tired. James is a kid that needs his sleep, despite the fact that he sometimes fights it. ¬†Other times, he practically¬†begs to take a nap or go to bed and throws himself in his crib. We were driving the other day and he said “Mama. I tired.” When he’s well rested, nothing phases him. When he’s in need of a nap or didn’t get enough sleep, he’s a bear and the slightest injustice will set him off. His nickname is¬†Jimbo Drama on those days ūüôā

James loves, loves, loves to sing and hearing him sing his favorite songs (or demand that they be sung to him) is just¬†adorable. His current favorites are “row row” (row, row, row your boat) “baa baa” (baa baa black sheep) “bus” (the wheels on the bus) “ABC” (the ABC’s) and “heeeeaaaad” (head, shoulders, knees and toes). We are constantly singing songs and¬†sometimes he’ll let us sing what we want, but¬†other times he creates his own little medley and it’s hard to keep up with his requests! When he hears a song he likes, he dances and moves his head side and side and smiles and laughs. It’s adorable and he’ll do it whenever the mood strikes him!

James loves to snuggle, and I am soaking it up as much as I can. He’ll be mid run around the house, but stop and ask for a hug and a kiss and then continue on his merry way. If I’m rubbing his head or his back, or have a hand on his belly and happen to move it, he’ll reach over and it put it right back where it was. It’s so sweet and I selfishly let him fall asleep in my arms because I just cannot get enough of him. The sensation of feeling him drift off and knowing that he’s so content and secure is one of my all time favorite things. He might be running full steam ahead toward being a big boy, but he’ll always be my little baby.

I feel like it’s hard to truly capture James with words¬†(that seems to be a theme of mine) because there are so many sides to him, if that makes sense. Some of my favorite things he does, in no particular order:

  • If he walks backwards, he always says “beep, beep, beep”
  • When he first wakes up, he says in a singsong voice “Mama, where are you?”
  • He loves to count, and can count to 12 when he feels like it.
  • He and Bailey are best buds. He chases her around the house and is way too rough with her sometimes, but she is so patient and good to him. Probably because he feeds her more than anyone else in the house.
  • If Bailey upsets him though, he legit yells at her (I can’t imagine where he learned that) and makes me laugh because he’s so angry, but so little and she pays zero attention to his outrage.
  • He loves hats, but only wears them backwards.
  • He will get as close as possible to my face or Pat’s¬†and just say “hi mom” ¬†or “hi dad” over and over again and then plant wet kisses on us. It’s hysterical and I love it.
  • He tells us “I love lou” all the time and it never fails to make me melt. He is so affectionate and it’s the best.
  • He whispers sometimes, and it’s adorable.
  • I never thought this could be possible, but he may in fact talk more that Pete does.
  • If he misplaces something (or someone) he holds his hands up and says “where it go?” in his¬†high-pitched little voice. It cracks me up every time!
  • His smile is the best. He often scowls (it’s usually fake) but then he smiles and it just lights up his whole face and it’s one of my all-time favorite things to look at.

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*He’s just about¬†nineteen months now. And to think I actually started this post when he was sixteen months .. oops!

Happy Birthday Brienna

Our sweet Brienna Marie would be six years old today. Six.

Six feels hard. She would be so much of her own person at six and it makes me sad that I don’t get to watch her grow up. As more time passes, I feel like I know less and less and I hate it. ¬†When kids are young, you can assume certain things, certain likes and probably dislikes too. But a six year old? A six year old is becoming their own person in so many ways …¬†would she be sassy or sweet? Precocious like her little brother, Pete? Or rambunctious like her littlest brother, James?

I found myself walloped with grief this year. It took me by complete surprise (although at this point, I should know never to be surprised) and I was borderline incapacitated with sadness. It is so difficult to put into words the pain that her loss causes. Six years feels like a lifetime, but it’s also passed in the blink of an eye.

Pat and I talk about how sometimes, we feel her loss even more now as our family grows. We watch our friends’ daughters play together and know that Brienna should be there with them. We look at the boys and laugh, thinking about their older sister rolling her eyes at them and their loud, messy ways.

Pete tells me things about Brienna all the time. He talks about her favorite color or how he takes her for rides in his pumper truck. I envy his innocence. And I love to hear about her from his perspective.

Brienna Marie, you are sorely missed. But you are oh so loved. Happy Birthday, sweet girl.

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Mother’s Day 2015

Mothe’r Day is one of the single most bittersweet days of the year for me. I cry because the beautiful daughter that made me a mother isn’t here for me to hug,¬†kiss and thank for giving me this most precious, amazing gift of motherhood. And I cry because my sons that are here fill me with a joy and happiness I never knew could be possible. If I’ve learned anything since becoming a mom, it’s that opposing emotions coexist so very strongly …
Mother’s Day is a day of celebration for sure, because every mom deserves to be recognized for their hard, selfless work. But it’s also a day of reflection for me … I can’t help but think of all the moms out there who are without their babies. Who parent from afar because their children have gone before them, the cruelest twist of fate.
I am one of the lucky moms, because although Brienna isn’t here, Peter and James are. They light up my life every single day. Motherhood is easily the most challenging job I’ve ever had. And yet at the end of the day, when the tantrums are over, the stinky feet are washed and I snuggle the boys to sleep, it’s all worth it. All the stress melts away as I sing to them and watch them drift off to sleep. It is truly a gift to be a mom. Despite it’s challenges, it’s¬†the¬†best, most rewarding job and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Because I got to be Brienna’s mom, I’m a better mom to Pete and James. She made me who I am today and I couldn’t be more proud to be her mother.
We had a picnic lunch at the cemetery today. We planted new flowers and mulched the beds around Brienna’s¬†bench. Pete and James helped every step of the way and their sweaty, red faces made me want to freeze time just for an instant. All three of my babies together. Maybe not in the way I first envisioned, but together all the same. Just what this mom wanted for Mother’s Day.

Blue Jeep!

Pete’s been asking for a blue Jeep since around the time he could talk. He wanted James to be a blue Jeep (or any blue truck for that matter) but¬†has adjusted quite well to the fact that James is most certainly not a vehicle. While James was napping on the morning of Pete’s birthday, Pat asked him to come help do some yard work, but instead he found this:

Pete can be so serious and timid sometimes, and I love watching him let loose with his blue Jeep. He takes off as quickly as possible with this huge smile on his face and it makes me so happy to watch¬†him enjoy something so much. Every day, he says¬†“wow, I really cannot believe you guys got me my very own blue Jeep!” The novelty does not appear to worn off yet!

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Pete is very responsible and follows the rules: he can only go fast on the grass (Pat removed the governor approximately 4 minutes after Pete took it for his first spin) and if James is a passenger, he has to go slowly.¬†Experiencing the pure joy and happiness through Pete and James’s eyes is awesome. It’s one of those unanticipated perks of parenthood and I just love it … I think their smiles mean they do too!

Double Trouble

Happy Birthday Pete!

Happy 4th Birthday to our sweet, sweet Pete! Pete is growing up way too quickly and sometimes looks like such a big boy it makes my heart hurt. ¬†I cannot believe he is 4! He has been so excited to be “2+2” for so long and has been asking about his birthday for weeks. I think it made Pat and I equally as excited for his big day!

IMG_1869I find it very difficult to adequately capture Pete with words … he is just this amazing little boy with such a big personality that I feel like writing about him will never do him justice. You have to experience him to understand him, if that makes any sense. Pete is a great kid. He can be oh-so-challenging at times because he is precocious,¬†¬†incredibly stubborn (no idea where he gets that from), opinionated and sometimes just too smart. But Pete is also one of the kindest, most caring, empathetic people I know.¬†He cares so deeply about people, his animals and toys and the creatures he imagines. He is the best big brother I could imagine to James because he truly loves him and wants the best for him. We joke that he is “parent #3” because he often yells out “baby electric!” or “baby at the water bowl!” when James is getting into mischief.

Pete is a chatterbox. There are days and nights that¬†he never stops talking (literally, never) and Pat and I just look at each other and sigh¬†smile¬†because we cannot keep up with his train of thought. He’ll talk all through his bedtime routine, while we’re reading books and singing and sometimes he’s still talking as we close his door and say goodnight. We’ll hear him talking to his animals and reading them stories and he often falls asleep mid-sentence. His imagination is incredible and he weaves these intricate stories that make complete sense to him and he is never not thinking about something or another. He is so inquisitive¬†and I thank the creators of Google on a daily basis!

Some Pete-isms from his year as a three year old:

After putting Pete to bed and then walking back into his room:
Mama: Pete! I forgot to sing you songs!
Pete (on a¬†fake phone): What’s that Mom? I’m on the phone.
Mama: Oh, sorry Pete.
Pete: That’s okay Mama (hangs up fake phone).¬†I’ll just send them a text message.

After making a smoothie for himself (with Pat’s assistance):
Pete: Mmm, mmm, mmm … that is one good smoothie. Thanks, Pete, myself!

At his old school in RI:
Miss Kathy : Pete, do you want to ask Miss Jessica about that?
Pete (thoughtful for a moment): No. That actually won’t be necessary.

After we moved into our new house:
Pete: Sigh. Oh Mama. How do you think our old neighbors are doing without us? Maybe we can bring them flowers to make them feel better for missing us.

About 5-6 months after Jimbo was born:
Pete: Well Mama, I’m not new new like James, but I’m still kinda new.

After hearing a loud crash on the stairs:
Mama: (holding my breath)
Pete: Hey mama?! I slipped coming down the stairs, but it’s ok. I caught myself before I braked a bone”

Getting ready to help Pat with yardwork outside:
Pete: Mama, I think we need some privacy here.
Mama (confused): Oh, okay. Why?
Pete (sighs and rolls his eyes): Oh mama, it’s just an expression.

Pete seems to possess a wisdom beyond his four short years. We often hear that he is an old soul, and I think I have¬†to agree. He has this intangible quality about him that I find hard to even describe … I am absolutely fascinated by him on a daily basis. ¬†We are so, so proud of Pete and I feel so incredibly lucky that I get to be his mother.¬†He is just such a special little boy and has no idea how much joy he’s brought to Pat and I. When Brienna died, it was like someone turned out the lights … but then Pete came along and turned them back on for us. I’m not sure he will ever truly understand what a gift he is. ¬†We love him so, so much and are excited to see what’s in store¬†for our favorite four-year-old!

Touch A Truck

Pete is on vacation this week from preschool, so today we went to a “Touch-a-Truck” event to benefit one of the local schools that caters to kids with disabilities. I told Pete about it last night, so he was very excited. As soon as we parked, he unbuckled as fast as he could and was ready to leap¬†out of the car. As we walked towards the event, he was jumping up and down proclaiming “this is going to be the best day EVER!!” It was pretty adorable!

We went to one of these in RI before, but Pete was hesitant to go on any of the trucks right away. Today, his friends Sadie and Liam were with us, so he had all the confidence in the world and bounced from truck to truck. He started on the fire truck, spent most of his time in the Police Prisoner Transport van (hopefully not at all indicative of the future!) and ended the day on a gigantic backhoe.

He informed me as the morning went on that he wouldn’t be smiling for any pictures “because it takes a long time for a smile to pop up” but I did finally capture one!

Pete - Touch A Truck 4/2015

Jimbo couldn’t do too much at the event, but he loved his fire hat and asked to put on Pete’s fire jacket when we got home. Cutest little fire chief I’ve ever seen!

Fire Chief James 4/2015

ONE!!!

James is ONE. How that is possible is beyond me. I feel like he was just born and yet I cannot imagine life without him either. This year absolutely flew by!

James is pretty much the best. He walks/runs everywhere, and loves his newfound independence! He is such a happy kid, loves his big brother and we adore him ūüôā

Somehow, this cuddly, adorable, walking, talking, loud, mischievous but oh-so-lovable boy is ONE! Happy 1st Birthday to my sweet, sweet baby James. #lovethiskid

We celebrated James’s birthday with our families, and I think he quite liked being the center of attention. He had cake Friday¬†night at my parents house for the first time, and loved it. He was slightly skeptical at first, but once he figured out what it was, he dove right in. His birthday party on Saturday¬†was a The Very Hungry Caterpillar theme, because it just seemed so appropriate given his love of food!

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James had his one-year doctor’s appointment today and weighed in at 21 lbs. 8 oz. and is 30″ tall, which puts ¬†him right at the 50th percentile – I’m thinking that maybe his height at 9 months was off! We just love our little Jumbo Jimbo and can’t wait to see what’s in store for his second year!

The Doc Is In

Pete loves taking care of things, he always has … he takes care of his toys and always takes care of us if he thinks we’re not feeling well, but he always takes especially good care of his animals. For Christmas, Santa brought him a new doctor’s kit and a veterinarian’s outfit. He loves it and has spent countless hours being a doctor or vet and helping anyone and anything that needs it. Today, he decided to take care of Bailey, and she surprisingly let him! He listened to her heart with his stethoscope, gave her medicine to drink, gave her a shot and she even let him put a bandaid on her paw. I was very impressed with her patience and I absolutely loved watching him take such good care of and talk so sweetly to Miss B!¬†image