Friday, December 25, 2009

Traverso Christmas Letter

I didn't have my act together early enough this year to send a letter out with our card so here is what I would have sent...

David Letterman's Top 10 Crazy Things the Traverso Family Has Been Up To This Year:
10.  Jack-of-all-trades-John learned that while pruning trees is not as difficult as it seems, getting rid of the resulting loose branches takes far more ingenuity.  If it hadn't been for Erin's dad's help and the threat of actually- gasp- paying to have the branches removed, our back yard would still be an obstacle course.  You will be happy to hear it is safe to send your children over to play now.

9.Following in his father's footsteps, Samuel, 6, took on the wonderful world of wrestling.  He won a whopping 1 match but smiled his way through each and every pin.  When questioned on his feelings about wrestling Samuel replied, "Well... I don't like it as much as I like school."  That, ladies and gentlemen, says it all!

8. In June, the entire Traverso clan (plus a Winch, an Andrus and a trio of Clarks) invaded Myrtle Beach, SC.  While natives were in hiding for the infamous week, the Traverso's managed to enjoy the water park, the beach and the amusement park without leaving too much damage behind.  And John would like to remind all of you that he and James won the go-kart race, in case you forgot.

7.  James, 4, became aquainted with the wonderful world of preschool this year.  He releases Mommy from his custody for three mornings a week so that he can learn his letters and make crafts with the best of them.  Upon discovering how much he loves school, James accused Mom, "Hey, how come you didn't send me to school last year?!"

6.  Samuel took the world, or at least Nether Providence Elementary School, by storm this year as he entered first grade.  He is bright, well behaved and adored by his teachers who actually requested that we send more sweet boys their way.  I don't think they will be expecting James (our little mischief maker with the angelic smile)! 
5.  John finally had a restful Sunday.  Just one though.  Right after he was released as a high counselor the Stake Presidency called him as stake clerk.  We are still shaking our heads over that one!  I think they just wanted an excuse to have him nearby so they can keep their eye on him!  =)

4.  Erin proved that she can do more than one thing at a time when she answered the call to be the new stake music chair mid-Messiah rehearsals.  She showed that she can hold a baby, run a rehearsal and sing in tune (or close enough) all at the same time!  Who knew?

3.  Samuel almost became the newest inmate at the zoo.  In the first grade play, "Animotion," Samuel was a seal.  He bobbed his head and clapped his flippers with the best of them!  His seal impersonation was so lifelike that zoo keepers were actually called.  Luckily we were able to persuade them that he is a pet.  =)

2.  James has become the foremost expert on Christmas music.  Between practicing the songs for his preschool Christmas program and singing along with Mommy and the radio, James can sing and do the action for almost any Christmas song.  You should see this kid in action!

And the number one craziest thing we, the Traverso family, did this year was...
drumroll please...
Matthew Ryan was born on August 7th.  He looks almost identical to his brother James' baby pictures except for one thing: Matthew is growing at record breaking speed.  At four months he was 16lbs and 2oz.  He is already in training to be the next big linebacker for the Eagles as they so deperately need one!  We have already struck a deal as we know the coach!  =)

Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous New Year!
Much Love,
John, Erin, Samuel, James and Matthew  

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Christmastime is my favorite time of year (despite the cold).  One of the reasons I love Christmas is because I LOVE Christmas music.  I would start playing Christmas music the day after Halloween and continue on until Valentine's Day if my husband would not completely disown me for it.
One of my favorite traditions (despite all of the complaining I do about it) is our church's Messiah Sing Along.  We just had the Sing Along tonight and it went fabulously well.  This year was unusual as the powers-that-be entrusted the entire mess (I mean production) to my somewhat crazy self.  Rachel Johnson, who had been running the circus (I mean production) for the previous three years, was finally released from the task about half way through rehearsals.  Luckily we had most of the framework in place at that point.

A couple of my favorite points about this year:
--pulling soloists from our amazing choir we have.  This year we used several of our stellar choir members as soloists.  They enjoyed the opportunity and the audience was treated to a bevy of new and fabulous voices.  It was so cool seeing them really shine up there!
--finding our bass soloist via Facebook.  We could not find a bass soloist despite our best efforts.  Our usual bass was otherwise engaged this year.  So in desperation I called my brother, Tyler, in Boston and begged him to come down for the weekend to sing.  He turned me down but said he would see if Rebecca could help with her connctions in Philly.  Becca posted our need for a bass on Facebook.  Two more of her friends from Philly picked up the post and put it on their pages and the next day I had a bass soloist.  He was really amazing, too!  Thanks Rebecca and Florrie and Harriet... and Jeff!!!  And thank you, Facebook!
--hauling Matthew around at each and every rehearsal.  Matthew became a sort of mascot or pet for the Messiah choir members.  He was passed around from person to person and completely charmed each and every one who held him.  After all, he is the worlds most pleasant baby when he is being held.

And just for fun, my friend Julie posted this alternative version of Handel's Halleluia Chorus on Facebook.  I had tears streaming down my face I was laughing so hard.  Maybe I just need some sleep...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Four Months Old!

Matthew hit the four month mark on Monday.  Weight check:  16 pounds 5.2 ounces, 26 inches long!  He is smiling, giggling, trying to roll and sit, teething and reaching for toys.  You know, all the fun stuff they start doing at this age.  On Friday we are going to introduce him to cereal- I am sure there will be many funny pictures to follow! In the meantime, here are a few of my big boy:

Monday, November 23, 2009


A couple of funny comments from after church yesterday.

James:  Mom this is the snack basket for my class.  Whoever brings the snack gets to be the leader that day.  They say the opening prayer and the... not-the-opening prayer.


Samuel:  Mom, what is the shortest story in the Book of Mormon and all the other stories?  You know, the Pearl of Great Price, the Old Testimony, the New Testimony...

I love my boys!

Today as Samuel was teaching James the songs from his first grade play, he decided to help James write a song about his best friend, Gracie.  Honestly, I am not sure what the melody was but here are their original lyrics (as written by Sam):

1. Wen she smiles at me
its Gracie
its Gracie.
2. and Wen she sits with me
its Gracie
its Gracieeeeee.

I recorded a movie of them singing because it was so stinkin' cute!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Moon Review *spoiler alert*

Last night I gathered at the movie theater with the book club ladies and saw the next installment of the Twilight movies:  New Moon.  It was... better than I expected.  I tried not to listen to any reviews prior to our showing.  I did, however, grudgingly hear one review late Friday afternoon when NPR gave its report.  They evicerated the entire film, cast and series.  Of course, what do you expect when a teenage vampire love story is being reviewed by a grumpy old man!
What I carried away from New Moon is this:  I now like Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart both a little better in their roles as Edward and Bella; I am not completely sold though.  Taylor Lautner seems to have added to his acting ability along with his 30 lbs of muscle and teenage angst.  I really loved him as Jacob.  In fact, I am offically setting up camp on the Team Jacob side of the line.  There were more than a few oohs and ahhs from girls and moms alike as he strode around with his shirt off- even some that were not instigated by Sonrisa.  =)
I think this director did a much better job than the first.  There were significantly fewer ridiculous close ups and awkward shots and the cg work with the wolves was pretty cool -regardless of the fact that when the black wolf first showed up on screen I started having Neverending Story flashbacks.  I loved watching the Bella/Jacob relationship develop, enjoyed that Bella narrated her emotional state through emails to Alice and am thrilled that they preserved my favorite part of the book in the film-the three pages which simply say October, November, December.
As for the end, well, as I was waiting outside of the theater for some friends before the show I overheard a rather loud group of teenage girls say, "And you know at the end that Edward proposes."  (Yes, I restrained myself and did not drop kick them for spoiling the end of the movie for me!)  I was glad to see that the director decided to remain faithful to one of the critical points of the book, despite webchatter to the contrary. 
My grade for the movie:  a solid B+ (It would have been an A- if Jacob had kept his shirt off the whole time.)

Monday, November 9, 2009

3 months old and growing like a weed!

Matthew officially hit the three month mark on Saturday.  As he was sick and the big boys had their final soccer games I didn't get any pictures taken.  Smack me now.  But poor Matthew looked so pathetic with goo leaking out of his eyes and the constant runny nose and he was so miserable it really wasn't the time for a photo shoot.  So I took some pictures of him last night.  He was still feeling a little sick and was exhausted but still as sweet as can be.  The picture with the pumpkin hat was from a few days earlier.  Gotta love that smile!

I took him to the doctor on Saturday to make sure his cough wasn't settling into his lungs.  I put him on the scale while I was there:  15 lbs 2 oz.  What do I do when he hits 20 lbs at 6 months and is too big for his infant car seat???

And here are some cute pics of Sam and James and their soccer teams.  They both had a great season!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

conversations with James

Most people probably don't know that James (4 years old now!) even talks because he gets so stinkin' shy in public.  But this kid doesn't stop talking when he is with me.

Last week in the car:
James:  Mom, when did the dinosaurs die?
Me:  A long, long time ago.
James:  Were there people then?
Me:  Nope.
James:  But Mama, that is just terrible!  If there were no people, who took care of the dinosaurs?

Tuesday at lunch:
Me: Sam and James, thank you for letting me take a nap.  I wasn't feeling very good this morning.
James:  You're welcome.  It was no problem.  We just played.

This morning:
Me:  James, I am going to take a shower.  Do you want to watch tv upstairs in my room or downstairs?
James:  I think I will be alright downstairs, thank you.

James really makes me laugh!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Happy Halloween!  This year Samuel was Captain Rex from Star Wars The Clone Wars.  This is his 4th Star Wars Halloween costume.  I think we have a Star Wars Fan on our hands!

James insisted that he wanted to be Spider Man this year- until we went to Old Navy one day and he saw this dragon costume.  I thought he was going to change his mind again so I didn't get it for him.  However, two weeks later after all he did was talk about being a dragon I went back to Old Navy and they didn't have his size.  I called every Old Navy store in the Philadelphia region.  No luck.  I ended up calling my sister, Lisa, in Virginia to see if she could find one. I also had Keri, in Utah, ready to go out and find one if Lisa couldn't.  Luckily, Lisa found one and shipped it to me.  Thank heavens for sisters!
Matthew is sporting the dinosaur costume we bought for Sam when he was a baby.
Below are before and after trick-or-treating.  We wore them out!

Samuel had a Halloween parade at school.  The high school marching band (all 400 of them) set up and played in the middle of the parking lot while the kids walked around them.  It was really cool!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

must be baseball season

Forget about football.  Right now in Philadelphia the Eagles are barely a second thought (sorry Brother Reid, but its true!) because the Phillies are in the World Series!  Yesterday, before game one, Phillies Phever was EVERYWHERE!  I went to John's office for lunch and as his patients came in every one of them was dressed in Phillies gear.  I sent the boys to school in their Phillies shirts.  People on the street were dressed in red and could talk about nothing else. 
And Game 1 did not disappoint!  The Phillies quite efficently handed the Yankees their hats and showed them to the door- in their own stadium!  Lee was incredible, so cool, calm and collected.  You would have thought he was out for a Sunday afternoon stroll, not pitching in the World Series.  He had amazing stats and even made a couple of defensive plays (did you see the behind-the-back catch???) effortlessly.  It was baseball at its best! 
I was raised on baseball.  My Mom loved the game when she was a kid (she even collected baseball cards) so when I was a kid and the World Series rolled around, our house became baseball central.  For dinner we spread a tablecloth on the floor in the family room in front of the tv and we ate dinner to the sounds of "STRIKE ONE"!  It was great.
Last night I sat on the sofa with my three boys and watched the first inning with them as they debated who their favorite player was.  (They both decided on Ryan Howard but I am more partial to Cliff Lee or Jason Wirth.)   It was a fun sense of deja vu and of things to come as the boys get older.  Say what you will about baseball.  It may have its problems but it is still America's favorite pasttime- at least it is in our house.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The 2nd Annual Traverso Pumpkin Party

Last weekend we held our 2nd annual pumpkin party.  We invited a combination of church and school friends.  Samuel and James were very opinionated on who they wanted at the party- if it were up to Sam we would have invited his entire school class.  =)  James just wanted his friend Gracie to come- unfortunately her mom called the morning of and had to cancel because they were sick.  James was pretty devestated but he managed to rally and enjoy the party for the most part.

As usual we had activities for the kids.  Decorating cookies:

Making bead necklaces:

And painting pumpkins.  Of course, some of the kids painted themselves more than the pumpkins.  We may have to rethink this one for next year as the pumpkin paint is not exactly washable.

And don't forget the pumpkin carving!  We had some real winners this year.

Matthew was passed around from person to person.  He was in heaven since he just loves to be the center of attention.  Of course, he got to share that title with the other little guys at the party:  Lukas and Spencer.

We hope everyone had as much fun as we did.  See you next year!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I know I haven't been great about posting lately- chock it up to exhaustion induced braindead-edness.  I shouldn't complain with Matthew sleeping through the night and all but I am TIRED!  When I finally go to bed at night I am completely dead to the world in a matter of seconds which is unheard of in my insomniac past.  I am so tired I can't even read- also highly unusual for me.
On Sunday, a particularly busy day after an incredibly busy weekend, I was attending some meetings for the Messiah and stake activities from 6-8:30pm.  I was so completely wiped out at that point that I couldn't put a coherent thought together despite my best efforts.  I am surprised that I wasn't committed for spouting jibberish.  It is really crazy.  When I get this tired it is like someone builds a literal wall inside my brain separating my thoughts and my ability to communicate.  Words and names completely escape me and forget about me trying to remember new information!  That isn't even a remote possibility.
Does anyone else ever feel this way or is this a uniquely bizarre Erin brain issue?

Monday, October 19, 2009

all shook up

Yesterday was the big four ward and one branch sacrament meeting.  We entered the building as B1, B2, P1, P4 and the Chester Branch and left the building as the Broomall Ward, P1, P4 and the Widener Branch.  Broomall 1 was basically portioned off into the other four units.  From B1 the Lower Merion school district joined P4, Haverford school district joined P1, Ridley school district including Prospect Park and areas all the way up to the airport joined the new Widener Branch, and Springfield and Marple Newtown scholl districts joined Broomall 2nd to create the new Broomall ward. 
There were also a few boundry changes in the wards that remained.  I don't have the paper that has all the zip codes of the specific changes- I'll have to ask John for that later.  But basically Lansdowne was taken from P4 and put back in P1.  There was a small city section of P1 that was put into P4.  And Broomall lost Brookhaven and Aston to the Widener Branch.
Basically all of the old, odd boundry lines were wiped clean.  The city wards were finally given the extra support from the suburbs that they have needed for so long and the Widener Branch gained enough people for them to function well. 
It is going to be a difficult transition for some- especially the teenagers from B1 who are now part of the city wards.  There were a lot of teary eyed young women yesterday.  There were also quite a few teary adults.  This kind of change is so hard, especially socially because a lot of our friendships are based on who is in our ward.  When P4 was created out of P1 four years ago I was an absolute wreck because a lot of my friends were put in P4 and I was still in P1.  I felt completely abandoned.  I wasn't, but that was how it felt.  I know some of the people who were moved into the branch and the city wards yesterday felt the same way.
Honestly, I feel that these boundry changes are inspired.  Two wards and a branch that were struggling from lack of manpower now have what they need to really thrive.  Bravo to our stake presidency for taking the steps necessary and chancing the murmurs from a few to do what is best for the stake as a whole.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

two month check up

I took Matthew in for his two month checkup yesterday.  Here are his stats:
weight 14lb 5oz (92 percentile)
height 25in (80 percentile)

He is a total chunk but SO cute!  He loves it when we talk to him.  He will smile and coo back when we do.  Yesterday morning while we were having breakfast he was upset because we were all at the table and he was stuck in his bouncy seat.  He wanted to be a part of everything.  I bet you he walks before Sam and James did just because he doesn't want to be left out.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

all grown up

I know first graders are not all that old, so why do I feel like Samuel is all grown up? He can read now and do math and on Sunday he rode his bicycle to school all by himself (Ok I was following behind him in my van like a lunatic. But still...). It is not just that he is doing these things. I guess his grownuppedness (is that a word?) stems from the fact that he is gone all day Monday through Friday and is creating a life independent of his life here at home. He has friends I've never met and experiences I know nothing about. And, quite frankly, I am not ready for it! I know this is the plan but part of me wants to keep him little and innocent forever.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

gaper delay

I was listening to the traffic report this morning when they announced an accident on I-295 South with a gaper delay on I-295 North. If you aren't from a big city you might question the need for such terminology. Can people slowing down to look at an accident really cause a traffic jam so bad that it is worth making up a term for it to use for the traffic report? The answer is yes, absolutely. I actually think it is the perfect metaphor for our society at the moment. We are all in the midst of a gaper delay- or causing one. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference.
It brings to mind the story I heard on NPR the other day. There was a boy in Chicago, an honors student, on the way home from school. Call it the wrong place at the wrong time if you will, but he happened upon a fight. The boy ended up being beaten to death. So where's the gaper delay in this story? A passerby caught the entire incident on his video phone! He stood and watched a teenage boy beaten to death and recorded every detail. What about calling the police? What about finding someone nearby to help break up the fight? Nope. This camera man did what we see more and more Americans doing these days, stand by and watch. What's worse? He gave the video to local news channels and they showed the video, including the actual death of this poor boy! What is wrong with people?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

money money money

First grade has brought a slue of new experiences for our family. The first one being how dang expensive it is to have a kid in school. Yes, he is in public school but maybe private school would be less expensive in the long run. OK, yes, I am exaggerating but take this week for example. This week there was a mini fundraiser to buy mums ($6 a piece), an offer to buy a school directory ($7), a full blown fundraiser from Innisbrookwhich we felt compelled to buy something ($19-$44), two flyers were sent home for upcoming activities/fundraisers for the next two weekends not to mention money for lunch because Sam insists that he needs to eat hot lunch because all of his friends do. Is this normally how it is or do we just have a fundraising obsessed school?

So while I am sharing I have to say Sam's schoolwork has me totally stressed out! His homework takes an hour most days (yes, an hour!) which is hard to fit in with soccer practice and dinner and any sort of family time. But most of all, I think his teacher is underestimating his reading ability. She has him in a reading group that I think is stage 1. His flashcard words are: a, by, and, the, we, me, they... He knew those words before he started kindergarten! He is reading more around a stage 5. Maybe I should send in to school one of the books he is currently reading at home. I just don't want him to get bored and intellectually check out or hate school because it doesn't challenge him. I wrote a note to his reading group teacher, hopefully she will give him something a little more challenging. If not, maybe I will go into class to observe. He is too young to pretend to be slower than he is so he doesn't stand out in class, isn't he?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

my singing boys

Last week for stake conference, as some of you know, the Primary kids provided the music. While planning this Rachel suggested that Samuel sing one of the solo lines in "I Feel My Savior's Love." At first I thought she was crazy (sorry Rache, but I did) and then I figured heck, why not, might as well start him early and at least he isn't shy. Anyone who has seen Samuel give a talk in Primary knows that!
Anyway, Samuel agreed to sing as long as his friend Alyssa (her name is always said in reverent tones at our house-Samuel adores her!) would sing with him. Alyssa agreed, much to her mom's surprise, and I began teaching the song to Samuel. As with everything else, James started learning right along with his big brother.
To make a long story short Samuel sang and did a great job and was thrilled by the whole experience. Phew! However, there was an unforseen benefit that resulted from this opportunity. Samuel and James now have a verse of "I Feel My Savior's Love" committed to memory and periodically, spontaneously burst into song. I can't tell you how stinkin' cute it is to hear my boys sing this song together in their little voices. I love it! It makes my heart happy.

Friday, September 25, 2009

the big 10

Last night I caught the first half hour of ABC's Nightline news program. They are doing a series on the 10 commandments and whether or not the commandments are still relevant today. Are you shaking your head wondering if they are thinking straight? I was too! Especially when they began the topic for the day: Commandment #7 (I think) -Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery.

They had a panel of 4 "experts": 1) A woman with an "open marriage" who has a husband, a 12 year old daughter and a girlfriend, 2) A man who professes to be faithfully married (with 2 daughters) but who runs a website to help people commit adultery- and yes, he advertises but no, he said it is not OK if his wife were to commit adultery but has no problem helping other people wreck their lives, 3) A priest of some Christian religion, and 4) a former sexaholic who is now reformed and somewhat religious.
Panelists 1&2 were arguing that adultery is healthy for marriage because... well, I couldn't really say why they thought it was, they just figured that it was going to happen anyway so by having an "open marriage" or by embracing adultery openly it removes so many of the bad feelings surrounding it like, uh, guilt. They said it makes marriages healthier and is actually better for the children, too.
The priest was as dumbfounded by this reasoning as I am. He refuted panelist #1's claims that we have made marriage too strict and ideal- what with the whole fidelity thing and all (I am sadly not exaggerating this conversation). People did not "make" marriage, God did. He went on to say, despite shock from panelist #1, that he holds everyone to the same standard not just people who share his religion. The temerity of the man to hold everyone to values that were established thousands of years ago, by God nonetheless! Even if you are not religious, you would think that if you love someone enough to marry them, you would not want to hurt them so cruelly. After all, marriage is not just about love it is about trust and respect- as my mother the therapist always says. Actually John and I have an agreement if one of us ever cheats, the other is authorized to kill them. Maybe they should add that to the marriage vows.
Basically the argument of #1&2 was that times have changed so the concept of marriage should change with it. Panelists 3&4 held that adultery hurts marriages and all the people involved, especially the children. I turned it off in disgust before the Nightline Moderator drew any conclusions and decided to abolish commandment #7.
My conclusion: whoever came up with the idea to make the 10 commandments debatable should be shot- along with panelists 1 and 2. Next I am sure they will be debating about the whole Thou Shall Not Kill thing. Heck, it happens all the time, might as well embrace it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mommies Beware

This is a warning for all of my mommy friends out there. I was in Gymboree on Saturday in the Springfield Mall when my wallet was stolen. It was in the diaper bag in the basket under my stroller. I put my wallet away after paying for a purchase, turned around to talk to the sales clerk and check on Matthew and when I turned back it was gone. I was an especially easy target because I was clearly distracted by my kids since Matthew was screaming and all. There were no teenagers or males (besides my 3 kids) in the store. That means it was an adult woman who took it. She didn't loose time using it either. Within 10 minutes I had a phone call from Capital One about possible fraudulent charges on my card. Between my debit card and one credit card she racked up almost $2000 worth of merchandise.
Please, be careful and keep your wallet hidden really well or in your hand. This only took a second and even though I am not liable for the charges made, it is a huge hassle replacing my credit and bank cards, my insurance cards, my temple recommend, my BJs card and all of the other stuff I carried around with me on a daily basis.
FYI while I was reporting this to the police I was told that Panara Bread is another place where a lot of robbery takes place. Women often sling their purses on the back of their chairs and the thief is able to casually reach in and take credit cards and replace the wallet so you don't even realize you are missing anything until the next time you go to the store.

Friday, September 18, 2009

James' first day of preschool

So Wednesday was James' first day of preschool. We put Samuel on the bus to school and then John came with me to drop James off. We were expecting a full out screaming fit or at least copious tears. What we got instead was a quick hug and then he was off playing with toys. He even said hello to his teacher without hiding behind me or a piece of furniture! Has James been possessed? No, I think he was just READY!
Before School

After School

And here is just a quick picture of Matthew who is officially six weeks old today. Wow!

And one more pic, just because it is too cute. So serious already!

Monday, September 14, 2009

status report

So here is how we are really doing...

Samuel is not so sure he likes school. He is having a really hard time being gone all day. He comes home tired and grumpy and fights with James until bed time. Today was better, but he doesn't LOVE school this year the way he did instantly last year. Sam is also having a bit of a hard time with me. He is a little resentful of me since I had the baby. I would love any suggestions of how to win back the love of my six year old.

James is excited to start school on Wednesday. He is enjoying that he gets more time with me at home without Samuel to claim my attention. However, when Samuel gets home James gets grumpy too. I have been tempted to put both of them to bed at 5pm every day for the last week. The good side? James is starting to like Matthew and will periodically kiss him or pat him on the head. We are making progress!!

Matthew is growing like a weed, I am guessing he is on his way to 13 lbs now. He has had a little bit of a fussy week. He has had an upset tummy for the past few days. It is so sad!

John is trying to juggle work, church stuff and coaching two soccer teams. This weekend was hilarious. John coached Samuel's game, ran right off the field as soon as it was over and raced to another field to coach James' game which had already started. He does a great job with the kids and the boys love having daddy be their coach but I don't know how well this is going to work out. It is going to be crazy at the very least.

As for me, I am feeling pretty good. We have almost reached the six week post delivery date and I am looking forward to hitting the gym and working off the rest of the baby weight. I feel better emotionally and physically than I have in a really long time. I am excited for James to start school. I think he is going to love it- after the first few days spent in tears, of course. In addition to keeping up with the boys (all four of them) I have started to hit the busy time of year for my calling at church. I think my next post will be a full out rant about that so that is all I will say about it for now. I need to remember to breathe.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Is it just me or are people in general a lot less respectful of everything and everyone these days? Last night I was watching the BBC version of Persuasion. Ok, granted it is a Jane Austen novel so not exactly historically accurate, but still, once upon a time people had spoken politely to each other even when they would rather punch each other in the face. I actually kind of like that they addressed each other as Mr., Mrs., Sir, Lady, Captain, etc. I actually have friends that insist that their children address all of the adults they encounter as Mr. and Mrs. I have always been less fromal about that sort of thing but now I am starting to rethink my approach. By teaching our kids to speak respectfully maybe it will rub off on their behavior and maybe even their friends' behavior...or maybe not.
So what brought this up? The congressman who yelled at the President of the United States in the middle of his televized speech. Seriously? Did his mother never teach him 1) it is rude to call people names and 2) it is rude to interrupt when someone else is talking?! You would think that a man who holds a public office would at least have some concept of manners. I guess maybe I am old fashioned.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

lots of firsts

This week has brought a lot of firsts for our family.
On Monday Matthew was officially one month old. A first for him! We took him to the doctor's office for a weight check. He is a hefty 11 lbs 5 oz!!!
On Tuesday Samuel had his first day of First Grade. We took him to the bus stop as a family to see him off. He was super nervous. About an hour after school had started I had an uncontrollable urge to go to the school and peek through the windows to see how he was doing. The only thing that stopped me was the thought of dragging Matthew and James along. We walked down to the bus stop to wait for Sam to get home but when the bus arrived only two kids got off neither of whom I recognized. I walked up to the now closed doors of the bus with a really confused look on my face and the driver opened the door laughing. Samuel hadn't realized it was his stop! He was sitting with his friend Megan and was totally oblivious to what was going on around him. Typical Samuel. The first day was a smashing success in his book.
Tuesday was also James' first day of soccer. For two years he has been watching from the sidelines as Samuel played. He has been dying for it to be his turn and finally, today, it was. Other than a little breakdown (tears and all because the ball he was playing with went flat and John took it away) he loved it! His first game will be on Saturday. I love watching kids this age play soccer!
Friday Samuel has his first soccer practice of the season and his first game will be Saturday as well.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Matthew's Blessing Day

We blessed Matthew today in church. Last night John had made a joke about how he was going to lose track of time in his stake meetings and forget to come to sacrament meeting for the blessing. This morning as it hit 9:00 and Bishop Moffat got up to start the meeting, John wasn't there. I actually did have to go and get him from the clerk's office. Good thing I knew where he was!
Anyway, John did a great job with the blessing. Amid all of the usual things, John blessed Matthew with an abundance of love and with the desire to heed the council of his priesthood leaders. It was pretty cool! John, his dad, Gavin, Dwane, Tyler, our friend Marshall and Brother Hedberg from the bishopric were in the blessing circle.

It was a beautiful day!

Friday, September 4, 2009

just ducky

Mom and Dwane are out this weekend for Matthew's Blessing (9am at the Broomall Building if anyone wants to come) and for some fun we went on the duck tour (complete with quackers) through Philadelphia. It was actually really fun! The boys loved it as much as the adults did and our tour guide, Jack, was hilarious. He had theme music for every historical site or bend in the road. He started out with the Rocky theme and ended with YMCA and the Looney Toons music "That's All Folks". Too funny! He also interspersed quacky jokes throughout his historical monologue. His best: "Why don't they serve cheesesteak sandwiches at McDonalds? Because it would be a McSteak!" We quacked at him for that one!
Seriously, if you are looking for something fun to do in the city, this is a good idea. A little pricey but worth the money. Just ask for Jack.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to my sweet husband

I have the best husband.
Happy Birthday John!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

go team Jacob

There is a new New Moon teaser- focused on Jacob. Seriously, November can not come soon enough. This looks awesome!

Oh and by the way, they are posting the release date for Eclipse as 6/30/10. =) The fun never stops.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

knowing and stuff

John and I signed up for Netflix (finally!) on Saturday. We have been enjoying the instant view movies especially since we can stream them through the XBOX 360 and watch them on tv instead of the computer. Yesterday we got an actual dvd in the mail: Knowing starring Nicholas Cage. Ok so Nicholas Cage is not my favorite actor. The only movies I actually like him in are the National Treasure movies and Raising Arizona. The rest of the time I feel like he has about as much animation as a corpse.
Anyway, Knowing was the most horrible movie I have seen in a very long time. It started with a great concept -although a little on the gruesome side- and was on its way to being a good thriller, then they brought in the aliens. Oh. My. Goodness. It was like at some point the writer just ran out of ideas and decided to fall back on the default. When all else fails, blame it on the aliens. YAWN! Then they killed off the main characters. Has this writer never seen or read a good story before? Pathetic. So just in case you were thinking about renting this movie, save yourself the money and precious time, don't.

Friday, August 21, 2009

thank yous!

I am one of those people who hates to ask for help. I have always been fiercely independent and proud of it. However, over the last 6 years or so (yes, since I started having kids), I have realized there is something to the whole "it takes a village" thing. As I am currently surviving the birth of my third little guy I can honestly say I have never been more grateful for the offers of help and food that have come pouring in from the fabulous friends and family we have around us. Friends from our wonderful church have brought us dinner all week and various friends and family members have wisked Samuel and James away for a few hours of playtime so that Matthew and I could rest and recover.
As it stands, Matthew is two weeks old today and I am physically and emotionally doing much better than I had anticipated. Usually I am a glass-is-half-full kind of girl but my previous pregnancies/deliveries have taught me to expect the worst. The fact that we are doing so well -aside from a little sleep deprivation- is because of all of you amazing people out there. So here is a big Philadelphian style THANK YOUS! (not a typo, that is how they talk out here) and please let us know when we can return the favor!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

baby love

I am totally in love with my little Matthew. I have had my camera going non stop. I am for the most part recovered from the delivery. The only hang-up is that my hands and feet have been more swollen in the last week than they ever were during my pregnancy. And unfortunately, along with the swollenness has come some pretty severe joint pain all over. So the reason I haven't posted is that my fingers just hurt. I stopped taking the pain meds from the delivery and then had to start again for the joints so I could function. Ack.

Anyway, I am starting to feel a little better and I have the best method in the world to help speed my recovery. This is what I spend my days looking at:

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

what did he do to my van???

I had to take a few minutes break from taking pictures of baby Matthew (aka Mr. T) to tell you about a little discussed side effect of labor and delivery. It is called "Leaving Daddy in Charge."
When the time came for Matthew and I to leave the hospital, John pulled up in my recently detailed mini van to take us home. I almost passed out when I opened the door and considering I just survived labor, that is saying something. The inside was full of ... stuff. I wanted to call Clean House from TLC to help return it to its previous state of organization. So what was causing the clutter?

Here is a partial list:
swimming towels, suits, floaties, etc.
grocery bags of snacks in partially eaten states
wrappers from said snacks
shoes - not necessarily in pairs
hand written directions to some unknown (to me) destination
a really nasty blanket that John says is from his parents' house
last week's mail (did he bring that to the van from inside the house?)
components of a pink pong table complete with paddles and balls but missing the table itself
and an old water bottle partially refilled with a suspicious yellow liquid

add one newborn
all the stuff from the hospital (paperwork, samples, etc.)
my hospital bag
both my and John's laptops
and a tired but happy mama

As you can imagine the van was classified by Governor Rendell as a state of emergency for the entire Philadelphia region. It is a good thing my Mom was on her way to help out.

More pictures of Matthew coming soon!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

We have a winner!

Introducing Matthew Ryan Traverso.

more pics

Still no name but more pics.