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!


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!

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!


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

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

Blizzard of 2015

I have sooo many half written posts that I need to finish up, but figured there’s no time like the present to at least post something! The blizzard of 2015, aka Juno, dumped about two feet of snow on us … it’s a winter wonderland out there and the boys and Bailey loved playing in the snow.  I forgot how excited Bailey gets about snow, and it was fun watching her enjoy herself – and make us all laugh in the process!

Snow Bailey
Leaping through the snow – she makes the same face when she goes swimming

Pat spent most of yesterday digging us out. The boys loved watching him with the snowblower and the end result (of round one) was rather pretty – which is easy for me to say, since I didn’t spend all those hours making it look that way:


Pete, James and I had yesterday and today off, which was such a nice treat. We knew about the storm ahead of time, so we were appropriately stocked with firewood and beer milk, bread and all the ingredients to make cookies, and made the best of being snowbound. Pete loves the snow, and loves being outside, no matter the conditions or the temperature. The minute we stepped outside, he launched himself (face first) into the snow. I don’t think he expected it to be so deep, because when he stood up, he said “umm, Mama? Who turned out the lights?” You did Pete. You did:

Who turned out the lights?!
Who turned out the lights?!

Pete desperately wanted to play with his toys in the shed, and gave it his all trying to dig them out. He made decent progress before tuckering himself out, and then brushed off my car “because Dada didn’t really do a good enough job” (really, he did) and climbed snow mountains:
There was so much snow that if we dropped James, there’s a good chance we would have lost him! Luckily, that didn’t happen 🙂 The little guy loved the snow at first, and tried to eat it by the fistful, but quickly tired of not being able to do a whole lot. He sure did look adorable though:


All in all, I’d say our first blizzard as MA residents was a success!

Mother’s Day 2014

We had a great Mother’s Day this year.  Sunday morning dawned sunny and warm, so we packed up the boys and headed to the beach. We played in the sand, dipped our toes in the (freezing cold) water and just relaxed in the sun.  As I’ve mentioned before, I always feel just a little bit closer to Brienna when I’m near the water.  So walking along the beach with Pat and our boys while taking in the sights, sounds and smell of the ocean just felt good for my soul.  It was perfect.

Beach day with my boys! ️#mothersday #love

I had hoped for a peaceful afternoon at the cemetery, but with two kids, it didn’t quite happen as I envisioned! Pete was running around trying to pick flowers off the other graves, James was crying and it was just a bit chaotic.  I was sad about it for a bit, but then I realized that it’s just part of life with kids.  I am so incredibly blessed to be a mom to Brienna, Pete and James.  My boys make me happier than I ever thought possible, even amidst the chaos.  And I like to think that Brienna was smiling down on her family and feeling the love we all have for her.  She started me on this journey of motherhood, and I’m forever grateful to her for giving me such an amazing gift.  I am constantly amazed at how much love my heart can hold for my kids.  I am one lucky mom.

PF5D2784RHappy Mother’s Day to all the great mothers we know and love! We were lucky enough to see both our moms this weekend, spending Saturday with Nana and Sunday with Bana.  It was a  great weekend 🙂

Happy 3rd Birthday Pete!

Our biggest little man is 3!  I literally cannot believe he is already three years old.  We celebrated his birthday with a trip to the NE Family Fun Festival and then a “party” at our house with our parents and sisters. Pete was spoiled rotten with presents, and is so lucky that his family loves him so much!

Building a toolbox with dad!
Building a toolbox with dad!

Pete goes to preschool three days a week and loves it.  He can be shy at times when he first meets people, but his teachers jokingly call him “the president” because of the way he charms them.  Pete makes them (and us) laugh on a daily basis.  He talks nonstop (literally) and has the worst RI accent – we are hoping to rid him of it soon!  He tells these tall tales that sometimes make no sense to anyone but him; his imagination is incredible and constantly amazes me.  We love watching him play with his trucks and/or animals and listen to the stories he makes up as he plays.  Pete asked that when he turns 26, he get a a tow truck and two broken cars for his birthday.  He requested a wagon for his third birthday, which was much more reasonable 🙂

Playing with birthday presents!
Playing with birthday presents!

We took him to the Mystic Aquarium for his birthday, and he loved exploring everything.  He of course liked the blue jellyfish the best and as we were walking around, he told us “this place is wonderful!”

Hanging out the sting rays.

Pete is a sweet boy.  He has so much empathy for others, and is always trying to make people (and animals) feel better. He is compassionate and loves to help people.  He is also very funny and smart.  I am thankful Google exists because some of the questions he comes up with stump me!  Pete is incredibly strong-willed and stubborn (no idea where he gets that from).  He likes things his way, and his way only.  If I finally convince him to do something, he’ll let out this resigned sigh and say “ooookay, Mom” as if he’s 13, not 3.

Pete hugs are the best!

Pete is thriving in his new role as big brother.  He loves James and he loves to help take care of James.  When James cries, he stops what he’s doing and sings “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” while standing as close as possible to James.  It’s pretty cute!  He’s also asking lots of questions about Brienna, and when we passed a cemetery recently, he asked if he and doggie (his constant companion) could go to Heaven and visit her.  He was so sincere and so sweet; it broke and melted my heart.

We love our sweet Pete and are so proud of him!