Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Robin in the Rain

Our little birdie embraces any hand he's dealt.
Especially one as fun as spring showers! ; )

Wishing you all an April filled with
the peaceful protection of a fantastic rain slicker,
the love that only yellow galoshes can bring,
and the joy in knowing there's more sprinkles to come.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

bennett hill

Free bird.

Spring has been playing tricks on us. March tiptoed in like a gentle lamb, bringing a couple weeks of warm, sunny days. Now with April in sight, the weather has changed to cold, rainy days with temps never reaching above the thirties. Good heavens!

On Sunday morning I awoke to birds braving the gusty winds and soft drizzle to sing outside my window. Their sweet song made me long for a walk in the woods. An Internet search turned up Bennett Hill, a perfect country hike. As we made our way up the hill, the trees opened up to gorgeous views of big farms below. Have we mentioned our son loves anything farm-related?!? Once on the top, the terrain flattened out allowing Teddy to run and explore. The whole scene made for one happy little woodland critter! :)

Locked and loaded.

A smidge muddy.

Follow the leader.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

long johns cutie

our saturday sunrise.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

monkey boy

Little monkey boy modeling his Valentine's Day present from Grandma and Grandpa Alcott, new jammies.

Isn't he getting big?! And such a sweet heart lately, experimenting with loads of new speech. Recent favorites include identifying the colors of every single object encountered and including himself in any given situation by saying "Teddy too! Teddy too!" He's also counting pretty darn well, hit and missing his way up to ten. Out of the blue tonight, he announced over dinner "Teddy happy." How fun is that?!

The photo shoot ended with a rousing round of "five little monkeys jumping on the bed." It seemed fitting.

I was excited to find a video I'd taken of the Alcott compadres opening their Valentine's presents. Teddy adores watching it. The footage of his beloved cousins releases a bundle of giggles.

I must say, those little monkeys are blessed with one very sweet Grandma....homemade cards and everything.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

J and O (or OJ?)

Johnny and Omar, 2006

The two have shared an odd camaraderie since Omar was a wee tom. Perhaps it's the mutual interests (eating and sleeping) or maybe the grumpy looks passed back and forth, whatever it be, the love hasn't waned over the years. 



I've suggested the cantankerous companions make it a permanent alliance with a shared address, but J's always mumbling something about a roommate with allergies. I'm convinced he just doesn't want to move over for the 17 lb bed hog.

A lesson some of Omar's friends have learned the hard way.

Kelly and Omar, 2007

Thursday, March 18, 2010

weekend with johnny

Last weekend, much to our delight, my brother came to visit! Unfortunately, I was sick with the same flu Ryan and Teddy had earlier in the week so despite the excitement of having a visitor, I was in bed for a portion of the weekend. Thank goodness for my sweet husband who did a wonderful job balancing full-time daddy duty while playing host to our guest. The three boys had an awesome time together!

Teddy was so very pleased with his new flat mate! We moved a mattress into the living room for Johnny to sleep on (which conveniently also served as a wrestling mat and pillow fight home base for the godfather/godson duo) and the new furniture arrangements alone put a huge smile on his face.

A couple trips to the park and a few high fives really solidified the love. It's not everyday that T gets to hang out with someone who can do so darn many basketball tricks!

On Saturday I resumed my parental duties so Ry and Johnny could head up to the Adirondacks for a morning of skiing. They reported gorgeous views.

I feel so blessed to have had a full weekend with my brother. Our time together is precious. He works a lot of hours and it's often difficult to coordinate our schedules. What a sweet gift to have 4 full days of his time and love.

Sadly, I've not one brother/sister photo from the weekend. I decided to share this oldie, but goodie instead.

{ Love you, brother. Thanks for being the sweetest uncle in the world to our little Teddy.}

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

troy's antique district

photo via

I've spent the last few days stirring the soup for two sick boys. Theodore was diagnosed with a double ear infection on Friday, thus down and out for the weekend. By Sunday Ryan wasn't feeling well either. Poor Mr. Alcott got much worse in the night, up multiple times sick to his stomach. Needless to say, he didn't make it to work on Monday morning (first sick day in 3 years of marriage) nor did he go in this morning. Other than lingering fatigue, both cuties seem to be slowly mending. Another evening spent cuddled on the couch in our makeshift infirmary should seal the heal.

While the boys napped on Saturday, I slipped out for a bit of fresh air with a quick jaunt across the river into Troy. One's first impression of Troy, New York is an old industrial city on the Hudson River. In all honesty, it looks a little rough. As I crossed the Congress Street bridge from Watervliet, it felt eerily quiet considering its size. However, closer inspection revealed hidden charm through lead-paned windows. I headed straight for the area known as the antique district. You may remember a bit back we had some family photos taken there.

I was only gone 2 hours, but it was such a fascinating trip. Of course, the antiques were wildly enchanting (especially the 18th century Berkshire and Adirondack furniture), but when I arrived back home I mostly gushed to Ryan about the buildings themselves. They were just so very old. Brick buildings with narrow double doorways. Long steep stairwells revealing floor after floor of treasures. Enormous windows allowing the building next door to cast shadows across salvaged porcelain tubs and farmhouse kitchen tables. The sweet, musty smell of ruins being reborn filled each shop. I could have spent days wondering, imagining the families that once inhabited each space, that once inhabited the city itself. A city that has undergone a 50% population drop in the last 100 years.

The next day I got online to check the hours at one of the shops for a follow up trip. As I was googling the district, I discovered this article published by the New York Times a few years ago. Take a peek. So strange to find. My sentiments exactly.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


The Alcott trio was so blessed last winter to spend some wonderful, warm time with Diana, a family friend from Brazil. Diana originally stayed with Ryan's parents during her senior year of high school as an exchange student, then returned last winter to work for three months.

It's now a year later and I often find myself missing her. Such lovely little adventures we had last year, really just so much fun. Thank goodness for email, Facebook, and Skype. Between the three venues we manage to stay connected.

Last week she sent me a fabulous video of her and some friends performing in Carnival. The festivities were held in the hometown of her boyfriend, an area of Brazil that takes their pre-Lenten celebrations pretty seriously! Excitingly their group won the contest, but even more fun...our Diana was the lead singer!

Diana, thank you for sharing this with us! Know you are missed and loved so very much!

Sua voz era bela, ainda que foi espantados!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

sweet treats

I do very little baking, it's certainly not one of my talents (as proven just yesterday by a failed attempt at pound cake), but I did make two cookie recipes recently that were delicious. They weren't chocolate chip, therefore deemed unique enough to share! ; )

The first recipe, Oatmeal Cinnamon Chip cookies appeared on a college friend's blog a couple months ago. I'm a huge snickerdoodle fan (cinnamon? yes, please.) so I was anxious to whip up a warm, winter-soothing batch. Although forewarned that cinnamon chips can be hard to find, I was delighted to spot them at our local supermarket.
The cookies were so simple and yummy that I had to share them on my blog too! The recipe (which can also be found on the back of the Hersey's Cinnamon Chip bag) does make a big batch, so after setting plenty aside for ourselves, I sent the rest to work with Ryan. Rumors drifting home indicate Azco taste testers gave the cookies 2 thumbs up. If you're a cinnamon lover (and seriously, who isn't?) give these cookies a go.

My humble photograph of the finished product.

Check out the post that inspired my baking endeavors to see some great photos of the cookies.

The second recipe we loved was Ina Garten's Ultimate Ginger Cookies. Oh me, Oh my these were so good! I saw the recipe in Barefoot Contessa At Home and knew I had to give it a whirl. I heart ginger and tend to slip it in any dish remotely ginger these cookies were calling me. Made with large pieces of crystallized ginger, (see photo below) the cookies were gooey and soft on the inside, while the outside has the perfect crunch.

I know there are some serious ginger cookie fans on my husband's side of the family. Bake a batch on Friday night. I promise, you'll have a great weekend with these puppies hanging around the house.

To end this little cookie post, I have to share what my own sweet treat, Mr. Theodore did on Sunday morning. Ry and I were still in bed (probably around 6:30am) when we heard him start to wake up in his room. I went in and brought him back to cuddle with us for a bit. I turned to him once we were all situated and said "I love you" and... he said it back! First time! Talk about instant tears! He had both me and Ryan bawling. So very, very sweet. Really there are no words to describe the way you feel when your baby tells you that for the first time. A gift to mommy that's been marinating for twenty months. Ryan received his love offering later that same day when a bedtime I love you was returned right back at him.

Then yesterday while trying to talk to Grandma Alcott on speaker phone, he also gave her a love you. I was a teary mess all over again (pretty sure Grandma was too)! How special are those three little words?!