Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Poppop didn't make it to Father's Day this year but we celebrated him just the same.
He spun me around so hard on the dance floor at my wedding I almost peed on my dress. I told you he was strong! He was so darn cute.

Father's Day was bittersweet for my dad this year but it reminded me of how strong he really is. He kept the boat afloat with my Grandma and pretty much organized all the details for the funeral services. Not how he wanted to spend his Father's Day but he's the oldest, the big brother who always comes through in crisis. That's my dad, 'ol' reliable'. He doesn't miss a beat. He's intelligent, witty, sarcastic (almost to fault), but the most reliable man you'll ever meet. He encourages, he supports, and he's got the best sense of direction:) He can sniff his way around any town without a map. He has always been my solid go-to-man when I need a cheering section or advice without judgement. I'm his one and only daughter:) Selfishly I love that. He used to be wrapped around my pinkie but I think after 31 years he's slowly catching onto my gig.
Happy Belated Father's Day, Dad.
I love you. I have, and always will, look up to you.
Love, your Rinky Dink

We spent the weekend with Mac's parents and would you believe that I didn't get a picture with Mac and both of his babies together? Craziness.
Poppop proudly showing off the card that Maryn made for him. And no, the kegerator in the background does not belong to my's Mac's brothers.

This is called L.O.V.E.
And this is called S.C.R.U.M.P.T.I.O.U.S.
Poppop found a pet at the beach
And Maryn was showing us how the crab crawled

"Thank you Great Aunt Sarah and Uncle Kevin for my Minnie suit...I look good in polka dots."

Several years ago, my grandparents were forced to sell their home of over 50 years in order to move out of state to be closer to my aunt and assisted living. They sold a lot of their furniture but I was fortunate to get a secretary desk they had in their family room since before I was born. It was probably 6 months after I got the desk that I discovered an old photo tucked into one of the drawers. A picture of my grandfather serving in the United States Marine Corp during WWII! What a treasure. I've blown it up to frame and hang in Benham's room. Those goggles are rad.

My cousins Carlson (named after my Poppop) serves in the United States Army and my cousin Cory followed my grandfather into the Marines.
Three Servicemen
They presented my grandmother with the American flag used to drape Pop's casket
My parents grew up one block from each other in Reading, Pennsylvania. Remember the Reading Railroad on Monopoly? My grandfather, my moms dad, worked on that railroad. We managed to find a little time to hit up some old favorite spots in town.

Mimi was convinced this was a princess castle.
When you can get two babies to take their naps in a hotel room you feel empowered!
We met cousin Jack for the first time...he could be M's twin.
This is after I asked her to share her Nilla Wafers with him. *thinking about it*
*making the right choice*
She seriously looked like an angel at his funeral. Her prayers go straight to heaven:)
I think Grandma found some comic relief in this one.
Proof that she really is THAT sweet.
P.S. It's all about ballerinas and twirling and dancing and tutu's right now. Mama likes.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Benham Rolls

Ben at 7 weeks rolling can hear Little Miss wanting to do everything her little brother does:)

The girl loves her heels. Check out 4 week old Ben snoozin' on the bed...not so much the sleepy newborn anymore.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Poppop is at peace and Benham is 10 weeks old

"Momma always said dyin' was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn't." Forrest Gump
Today my Poppop has found peace. His earthly life ended this morning and he's singing with the angels in heaven. My grandfather was Christ loving and was devoted to his church. I remember watching him usher at mass and he'd always wink at me. He emphasized to his children the importance of having faith. That commitment was passed on to us. Growing up, we went to church every Sunday...even when we were on vacation! He was a meat and potatoes man and worked like a horse to provide for his family. He had the BIGGEST hands of any man I've ever known. Last week I sat at his bedside and held those mighty hands. I envisioned all of the furniture those hands built and the war he fought. He was strong. Just this afternoon, my brother Phil told me of one of his memories of Poppop. He was about 15 years old and was playing catch with Pop..he said he'll never forget how bad it hurt his hands after he caught those balls...Pop threw a mad ball. He served this country with pride and bravery and I'm so honored to call him my grandfather.
Sir Benham Austin is showing his respect for Great Grandpa Carl Loeper...sporting some Red White and Blue in a tribute to a great marine!
Every week of this child's life has such importance to me but the time has come to convert our measurements into months. Trust me, I would love to take his picture in the *big white chair* 52 times this year but we've got other important things to do. We've got to break out the Bumbo seat, stretch our legs in preparation for the Jumperoo, make and freeze homemade baby food, and survive two nights a week while mama's at work.
62 years of marriage...hard to come by these days. How fortunate I am to have role models to base my marriage upon. The epitome of true love. I just loved the little twinkle in his eye.
July 2010...just a week before Benham was conceived...Pop must have been our good luck charm:)
Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:5)
We'll be gathering as a family in the coming days and I anticipate that our new sweet baby Benham will provide some of that much needed comfort. An opportunity to see distant relatives and to celebrate the long and prosperous life of our grandfather, great grandfather, father, husband, brother (he had 8 brothers and sisters!), cousin, uncle, friend, neighbor and fellow marine.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord; and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.
Night night Poppop, you ARE a very loved man. Kisses xoxo

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2 Month Stats

13 lbs 75th percentile
23.5 in 75th percentile
head circumference 39.5 cm 25th percentile

He's a monster with a peanut head

"Why I oughta..."
There's no where else she'd rather be
Hangin' at the beach with Auntie Heidi

Daddy always does the final rinse off
She pee peed in her Pull Up the other day and I pretended to cry about it, she replied
"I'm so sorry for you mommy" while giving me a hug and rubbing my back...I obviously get more upset than she does when she has an accident.
And just tonight, Grandma was trying to get her to sit on the potty but Maryn was in a boycott potty sort of mood. Grandma used Benham as a lure. She told Mimi that Benham was going to use the potty in hopes that she would join the fun. Grandma went so far as to actually take off Ben's diaper and sit him on the tiny potty. Literally two seconds later, the kid is peeing on the pot!! Benham peed in the potty! We collapsed on the floor in laughter! Moments later, Maryn couldn't be one upped by her little brother so she decided to use the facilities as well:) Just a friendly act of sibling rivalry. Whatever works.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Benham is 9 weeks old!

It's the circle of life, one little man is beginning his journey while another is approaching his finish line. He's lived a long (87.5 years!) brave and honorable life, but unfortunately we are saying our goodbyes to my Poppop. I packed up the kids last minute and flew to New York to see my grandfather last week. He is still holding strong but I think we are counting days. My heart is aching. I feel sadness for my grandma and the tears of my dad fall hard. I haven't lost a grandparent since I was 9 years old. When I held my Poppop's hand last week, I knew that it would be the last time. I leaned over to kiss his forehead and out of an almost comatose sleep, he lifted his head for a kiss on the lips! He hadn't moved an inch the entire time I was sitting next to his hospital bed but mustered up the energy for a REAL goodbye. No doubt that Carl Joseph Loeper will be sitting with the Lord, my prayers right now are for his comfort and peace.
This 9 week old brought some much needed joy to an otherwise sad time.

"Move over sissy!"
"Alright fine, only because you can read..or think you can read"
This is how I managed to pack our suitcase last minute

Ben's first plane ride
Meeting Great Aunt Carolyn
Me and my grandma...she looks good for 88 years!
Mimi and one of her namesakes...Great Grandma Marian Loeper
See that tiny green M&M in her mouth? Grandma Loeper was sneaking them to her by the handfuls! She always lets me know that her *name* is on the M&M. It doesn't matter how many times I tell her that it's her initial, she thinks each one was made with her name. Maryn gets one for pee pee in the potty and two for poo poo. A couple weeks ago Grandma asked Maryn while they were skyping how many M&M's she got for pee pee, she turned to make sure I wasn't looking and told her FIVE!!! The little rat tried to pulled a quick one over on her!

Five out of the seven great one more on the way!!
They'd be a cute little couple...if they weren't second cousins

Nanny has the touch

Tummy Time!
I think Benham successfully provided distraction
Four included
We were able to visit with Grandma and Poppop Cummings since they only live 45 minutes from my grandparents
Grandma got Maryn some new toys that were a huge hit! Benham's fuzz needed a blow out.
He rolled with it
The final 'do'

Skyping with daddy...he missed us so much, we came home to a dozen roses:)

Checking out Grandma's box of tricks
And coordinating outfits with Poppop
We can't wait for them to move to Charleston permanently!

Feeding the birds
When I look at this sweet picture, it reminds me of the memories I share with my Poppop...sitting on his lap and listening to stories about his family carpentry business or being a marine stationed in the South Pacific during WWII. I used to love helping my grandma turn the pockets of his work shirts inside out to dump all the sawdust out. He'd always have a Werther's Original in his pocket for me. I'm going to miss him.