Apr 292016

October 2015 was my last update on here and my oh my how so much has happened:)

– Noah’s almost done with Kindergarten! He’s made so much progress it amazes me. He’s reading and writing on his own and very much takes after his daddy – it’s a whiz at math (those are certainly not my genes!)
– Lia’s riding a bike without training wheels! We took them off a few weeks ago and she finally set out on her own last week. This is about when Noah went without training wheels too:) Mark is over the moon excited (I am too!)
– We’ve been hiking a lot with the kids trying to get them to a point where we can actually do a short family backpack trip. Last hike was up in Shenandoah and was a short 4 miles but super steep and rocky. Both kids did amazing!
– We hiked the Billy Goat Trail in MD – only a mile of it but it took us 2+ hours due to the terrain.
– We survived Snowmageddon 2016 – 40ish inches of snow over a three day period. No school for almost a week. Lots and LOTS of digging out (the snow blower was ineffective once you get past about 18 inches…)
– The kids are both doing soccer this year – pics to come (not in the array below)
Kloepping Photography is kind of going crazy right now. I’ve figured out that 2 newborns and 4 family sessions in one month is too much to keep up with. I need to plan better…
– Our neighborhood is finally sold out. There are still a bunch of lots to build but they are all sold. We find new kids in our backyard every few weeks and love it! Noah and Lia have so many friends now to play with. We spend all day outside when it’s nice (and even when it’s not quite nice).
– Sold the blue car and replaced her with a shiny new silver car – woohoo:)
– White car almost died on us totally – a couple of grand later and she’s supposed to be good as new. Better be for that price

Those are the highlights. We’ve been doing a lot of driving back and forth to see family as well as trying to get the kids out and about to enjoy nature. Week nights are full and weekends even fuller but it’s all a great time.

Here’s a quick summary of pics – mixture of the snow storm, noah’s Old Rag hike with Mark, our hikes in Great Falls and more.

May 152015

Gosh, it’s been a while. Sadly blogging here is a once and a while thing for me now. Keeping up with work (which starts at 7am generally these days due to working with overseas), the weather (because I want to spend every min outside in the beautiful weather with the kids), and Kloepping Photography (because I’ve been seeing an increase in sessions – yay!) I’m plum exhausted at the end of the day and have little time to blog personally. I feel bad because this has been a collection of stories as Noah grew and poor Lia has kind of gotten the shaft. At least I have lots of pictures of her since she’s the only one that will sit still for me and smile:)

So what’s new?

– He’s registered for Kindergarden in the Fall – WHAT?! When did he get so big!
– He’s such a little man now, demanding normal undies instead of character ones, wanting to take showers instead of baths and insisting on getting his own breakfast in the am.
– He’s super helpful with Lia (when he’s not antagonizing her for one reason or another) and I can actually ask him to help her with things like opening up her yogurt or getting her a cup of milk etc.. I even found them eating breakfast one morning when neither DH nor I were awake yet to get them fed. They did it themselves (and without making a mess!)
– I just can’t get over him some times. He’s so smart (I know, every mom says that about their kid but he really is!) He remembers everything and recalls it at random (and often hilarious) times. He likes to tell me about the things he learns in school, like the fact that octopuses lay eggs and so do chickens but we eat chicken eggs and not octopus eggs (and that he got to collect chicken eggs at Jeb farm).
– He’s still pretty obsessed with anything fire department related or anything construction related. He has a rubber mallet that he uses to bang rocks, knock wooden posts back into the dirt and other general “construction” stuff. He carries his tool bag around filled to the brim and insists on helping DH with everything in the shop (he has is own corner or scrap wood and a hammer and some nails)
– He wants to be a construction worker when he grows up – some days he wants to do roofs others he wants to be the digger.
– He likes to tell me what his house will be made of bricks when he’s a grown up and that he wants 7 kids – all boys.
– His best buddies are still the ones he had as a baby – Gus and Ben although Reid is making his way in there too now.
– He has a new bike and loves to go “mountain biking” on the dirt roads in our neighborhood (and the mulch paths – which are great fun apparently). He rides along side of me as I run, he’s a great coach.
– He has a skateboard as well and he’s actually quite good on it. He can’t turn but he’s got great balance.
– He started t-ball this year. I’m still holding my breath. He’s great and excited when it comes to batting but when it comes to fielding, he’s off day dreaming as the ball sits at his feet and the kid runs by. He needs a position that’s more engaging – like pitcher:) Maybe he’s a mountain biker or swimmer….
– He’s doing chores now for quarters instead of stickers – saving up for some spy gear or a lego helicopter.
– He likes legos and putting things together but I’m still working with him to use his imagination and not the instructions (or in addition to the instructions)

– Working on potty training still. I think this time around is the time. She went all week so far in undies and dry. It was like overnight it just clicked.
– She is the most caring and loving little creature there is. She’s concerned when you cough or say ouch and goes out of her way to make sure you’re okay (and kiss your boo boo). I hear “you okay mom?” a bunch from her. I also get “i’m sorry” and a quick pet when she hurts you (like when she smacked me in the head with a stick).
– She’s a hugger and kisser. She’ll snuggle in and then kiss you all over (and request the same back).
– She usually ends up in our bed at some time in the wee hours of the AM although this past week we’ve had a run where she’s managed to stay in her room all night long. Maybe we’ll get our bed back sooner than later.
– She’s a baby doll lover and mothers them. I find her toting them around, feeding them, tucking them in (and flipping them on their faces to “nap”).
– Is loving her new daycare (we switched them in April to one closer to our house)
– We still call her “repeat” because not only does she repeat what you say but has to do everything that Noah does. I find that she’s actually more daring than he was (and quite a bit more coordinated). She still doesn’t get the hang of the balance bike but I have a feeling she’ll get it by the end of the summer.
– She LOVES to run. Puts on her “running shoes” and she’s off. She insists that she must run if she’s in her running shoes.
– She loves to sing to herself. I find he in the corner playing with dolls and singing them songs. She also likes to put her books on the piano and pretend to play from them (like mommy does)

and no update post is completely without pictures..

Aug 202013

So, it’s been quiet around here for a pretty good reason. I’ve mentioned it a few times in passing promising a full story later but just never got to it. Short of it is that we sold our home in June and signed up to build a new one ready in December. This weekend we pack up a 26 ft moving truck with the contents of our house and try to shoehorn it into a temporary townhouse in the mean time. Sounds like fun!

The long of it starts back three years ago when we started to look around casually at new houses. Just after Noah arrived we knew that once #2 came along we’d want something with more land and an extra bedroom (plus a basement). We were nowhere near ready but wanted to get a feel for the neighborhoods and areas where we’d like to move to. Thus began 3 years of watching Realtor, Zillow, and Redfin and taking weekend trips (during nap time) to drive around neighborhoods and check out open houses.

This past spring we finally had enough cash in the bank and the market was ticking up so we decided to pull the trigger and sell. The plan was to sell, ask for a 60 day close and then try to find something to buy. Problem was…inventory was low. That was good for us as sellers – it only took 5 days to sell our place but as buyers, well…we were in a hard spot. there was nothing out on the market that ticked all of our boxes. We’d considered building but no one had large lots (for some reason .25 or less even is really popular with the new builders). So we’d kind of settled into the idea that we’d be in a rental long term. Until a few days before the 4th of July when one builder we’d been talking to called back to tell us they’d released the second phase and they had .5 acre lots.

We’d already seen the house and priced things out and it was under budget. The bigger lot size mean a little bit of a larger base price but still within budget so we decided to go out and walk the open lots. We spent a few hours just walking around, checking things out and trying to decide. We then roused our poor realtor from his vacation to join us on the 6th of July to sign the paperwork.

We’re building…holy crap:)

So, we’re just waiting for them to break ground on the new place and are moving to a temporary place in the mean time. It’s really odd not to be homeowners anymore. Sitting in this house that we used to own but don’t any longer is just a weird feeling (we’re at the tail end of our 30 day rent back pd.). I think it all started sinking in when I arranged the service cut off for here and the new service start up at the new place.

December can’t get here fast enough I’ll tell you…ahhhh….we’re building..ahhhhh….

Without further adieu – our land:) hopefully soon to have a house on it.




Aug 162012

Wow! I can’t believe I wrote that…2 kids. I have to say, in some ways it’s really not been that much of a shift but in others it has been quite the shift. My biggest fear going into this was how Noah would react and how my relationship with him would change. The verdict is still out… He’s at that point in his development where routine and predictability is sooo important and throwing a baby sister in there surely would rock the boat. We’ve been walking a fine line between happiness and hell with him.

Lia is amazing and so easy which is probably why I feel like things are well under control most of the time. She sleeps, eats, and just hangs out (i’m even getting 4-5 hours of uninterrupted sleep with her at night). The only time she really cries is when she’s cold or when she’s hungry and even then it’s just a quick squawk to let me know she’s pissed and she’s done. I’m kind of waiting for the other foot to fall and to wake up one day and she’s a monster who cries all the time and refuses to sleep. I hope that never happens but I am holding my breath a bit.

Her ease makes it more manageable to deal with Noah’s swings. When he’s happy he’s super happy and hilarious (and that’s a good percentage of the time during the day). However, when he’s upset or the “no” monster attacks he’s pretty terrible. “No”ing everything, hitting, and just generally behaving badly. He laughs at us when we put him in time out and just gets up and walks away. There are very things we can negotiate with that actually affect him. And the most frustrating part is that the bad moods are sparked by seemingly pointless events and overcome him in seconds. He’ll go from laughing hysterically to throwing his toys or hitting us in seconds. Stormy is a good way to explain his personality.

Thankfully he’s pretty good with Lia. He’s sweet to her and generally careful around her (he forgets from time to time and rolls around like he’s the only one there and almost squashes her). He loves to give her kisses and will share his toys if we ask him to (and sometimes unprompted). He asks where she is when he can’t see her (although he refers to her as “it” or “him” some times). So, with regard to her I think we’re doing well.

With regard to sharing me, again that’s something we’re working on. There’s been more than one occasion where I ended up with both he and Lia in my lap at one time. He often tells me to put her down or put her to bed so that I can hold him. He’s also just more into me holding him than he ever was before. He’s not overly demanding but on occasion I can see that he’s hurt or sad that I can’t respond to his needs right that second. DH has really tried to step in where at all possible to take the load off but sometimes all he wants is mommy (just like some times all he wants is daddy).

Overall I expected an adjustment period and so far this is no worse than I expected and alot of it has to do with how easy Lia is. We’re including Noah in as much Lia stuff as possible (fetching diapers, helping with the trash, etc…) plus I’ve been trying to have one on one time with him where he has my undivided attention. It’s not as much as I’d like (Lia eats almost every 2 hours on the dot during the day time) but an hour here and an hour there gives me time to connect with him again. Once Lia stretches out her feedings some I need to plan some outside activities (outside of goign to the store – which he strangely loves to do right now). Perhaps some time at the local zoo or the park. We’ll see. For now I’m chained at the boob to the wee one (which is an entirely separate post:) ).

So, forgive the ramble and disjointedness of this. It took me 3 days to write this because I only get a few sentences in at a time:) Since this blog serves as much as documentation place as a place to share with others, I wanted to get these points down:)

May 262012

And now for a totally random post….musings if you will…

Reading posts from this time in my pregnancy with Noah I realize that my job was super stressful. I knew it at the time and it was always stressful in general but reading back just made me think how fortunate I am to have the job I have now. Same type of position but the company dynamic and team I work with is totally different (and totally awesome)….it makes such a huge huge difference in day to day life. Sure, life with Noah is stressful and trying to renovate a bathroom isn’t helping but I can be thankful that my job does not contribute to those stresses. I can finally say I love what I’m doing.

May 182011

every time I actually have a spare moment and I’m awake, I’m completely blocked. I can’t think of anything worth while to share with you guys. Work is an adjustment, we survived the days after the half, noah’s growing like a weed etc..nothing new really.

Maybe I’ll be inspired tonight during Idol….

May 122011

So, I finally have some time to sit down and write up the happenings around here…lots of random so it’s best conveyed in bullet form…

– A long time ago I had this crazy idea that we needed a pergola off our patio out back. I always thought that would come when we redid the patio itself but after seeing how much Noah loves swings, we decided to put one in before the patio (so we can hang a swing from it) and deal with the rest later. So, after weeks of planning and consulting with our landscape architect friend (thanks Nate!) Mark had a plan! It took a bunch of trips to the lumber yard and a few late nights but it’s up!

Now we just need to screw in those top jobbies and find a swing!

– I started my new job on Monday (actually Tuesday, Monday was with my contracting company getting acquainted). That has to be the fastest turn around in history. That’s due in large part to the fact that I was still in touch with people from my last job search just 7 months ago. I’m back in a real office and if you’ve been watching my tweets I’ve been posting my daily outfit!

The project I’m working on is a great fit for my background and I’m really really excited to get rolling with it. Plus, it’s awesome to have in-person co-workers!!

– Mothers day was amazing! We had beautiful weather so the fam went for a quick run down to get breakfast and a nice long walk home, stopping at the playground to let Noah blow off some steam. Then home to let mommy do whatever she wanted!

– I had an awesome photo shoot with a 1 year old cutie from my mommy group. We checked out a local park that I’ve been dying to shoot at. I had a great time and I think they did too!

did you know I have an Fbook page for our photography stuff? Yup, not sure what I’m going to do with it but it’s fun…

– Noah is mimicking more and more and even associates some things correctly. Cheese and Juice are almost always right. He even gets “daddy” right most of the time too. This vid though shows a new one for him:

– I’m woefully unprepared for this 13.1 mile run this weekend. We only ever got up to 7 miles and that was 2 weeks ago. Last week we stuck to 3 and 5 mile runs and nothing so far this week. I’m in real trouble! I guess as long as we finish uninjured I’ll be happy. I’m not above walking parts of it. At least we won’t be pushing a stroller or controlling a dog.

– And to top it all off, I got stuck in an elevator at work today, for 30 min! A brief power outage while the elevator was moving caused the safety system to invoke and lock me in there. They had to have a mechanic come in and reset the system to get me out.

Hopefully I’ll have more time once we get into a routine around here to blog more…

Mar 112011

It’s only been like three days since I last posted but let me say they have been the longest three days in a very long time. I’m struggling right now balancing work and home. It’s the end of the quarter at work and I’m in sales so things are super super busy and we’re pushing hard to close everything we can for those quarterly numbers. That means 12 and 15 hour days and working the weekends most times. It’s fun and exciting but damn it’s exhausting! I swear this week has just gone on and on and on. It seemed like friday would never get here. Because i’m too darn exhausted to think in full paragraphs here’s an update in bullet form:

– Noah has a double ear infection
– He’s cutting two molars too (and i need to feel for the other two because I swear they have to be pushing thru too with all the crank and attitude I’m getting these days)
– Noah’s also in a new habit of popping up at 5 or 5:30am to play…he thrashes and cries when I try to get him back to sleep (he thrashes and cries if ignore him too hoping he puts himself back to sleep) so I’ve been starting my days early. I’m surprisingly productive in the AMs…perhaps this needs to be a habit.
– I paid $20 for the doc to tell me I just have to ride this stupid virus/cold/whatever out. She said keep taking the Robitussin and get lots of rest, fluids, and hot showers (to losen the congestion i suppose). Haha…right…rest…
– Upside to the docs appt is that I found out that my home scale is about 6lbs heavy and in dire need of batteries. I knew I couldn’t have been “exactly” (like down to the oz) the same weight for almost 2 months now! So, in a matter of min, I lost about 8 lbs! woohoo…
– Our beach vaca is booked! We’re off to Duck in September!
– Got the save the date for my girlfriends wedding in September too! Lots of beach time for me in the fall!
– The rain has stopped and we haven’t floated away (trying for something more hopeful and upbeat)
– annnndd….I just saved a ton of money on my car insurance….(haha? get it?)

And for good measure, because every whiny post needs some Noah to brighten it up…

Mar 012011

Okay, so I was browsing some of my favorite blogs and noticed that The Paper Mama did a Vlog called the dialect vlog. I was intrigued by how I might say things so I decided to try it for myself. I’ve decided that when I talk unscripted to a camera I say stupid things…haha…so, if you make it thru all 7 and a half minutes of this, you really love me..haha.

The list of words if you want to do it (or have no clue what I’m saying) are Aunt, Route, Wash, Oil, Theater, Iron, Salmon, Caramel, Fire, Water, Sure, Data, Ruin, Crayon, Toilet, New Orleans, Pecan, Both, Again, Probably, Spitting image, Alabama, Lawyer, Coupon, Mayonnaise, Syrup, Pajamas, Caught

The questions are:
What is it called when you throw toilet paper on a house?
What is the bug that when you touch it, it curls into a ball?
What is the bubbly carbonated drink called?
What do you call gym shoes?
What do you say to address a group of people?
What do you call the kind of spider that has an oval-shaped
body and extremely long legs?
What do you call your grandparents?
What do you call the wheeled contraption in which you carry
groceries at the supermarket?
What do you call it when rain falls while the sun is shining?
What is the thing you change the TV channel with?

Anyone else want to try it? if you do, send me your link:)

Feb 152011

I seem to be doing alot of that lately…catching up. Lots to do, not enough energy or daylight hours to do it in it seems….regardless, we push ahead and do our best:) However, with that thought in mind, todays “catch up” post will be in bullet form:)

– I realize that I really don’t like running…I make myself do it because I know i need the exercise but really I’m sooo bored the whole run. I even try to liven it up by setting up a good playlist and taking the dog but no…still bored. I’m thinking it’s my surroundings…I’d much rather be mountain biking or hiking in California. I think I’m spoiled….

– Had a wonderful weekend in Pittsburgh with the fam! I got to see some old friends and celebrate the impending birth of my friend Mellys baby bean. We had the fam down for some lunch and cake to celebrate Noah’s upcoming birthday (since they can’t make it down here for his actual party). I even got to sing in the choir at church – it was like old times:)

– I had my heart broken on Monday. I found out that a friend of mine from highschool suffered a devastating loss and my heart breaks for her and her husband. I don’t know what to do or say because I know that nothing I try will take away what they’re feeling right now.

– I finally accepted the fact that I’m getting old on Monday too….V-day was rather uneventful…take out dinner, bath/bed for Noah and then DH and I sat down on the couch to watch My Big Fat Greek Wedding….only to fall asleep half way thru (at 10:00pm…hahahahah)

– DH is a planner, I’ve said that in the past. We finally have our “plan” together for baby #2! There are a few things we need to do to the house in preparation for another baby but we’re well on our way to being ready to start TTC soon:)

– Lastly, the training plan has already fallen off the rails. Last week was sooooooooo cold! Running in 12 and 13 degrees just hurts so I didn’t (and my weight showed for it!). Coupled with the fact that I just don’t like running (mentioned above), I’m having a hard time keeping motivated. Plus! The numbers on the scale aren’t budging…good eating and working out and yet they stay exactly where they’ve been for the last 3 months….10lbs higher than I want them. Gah…just keep plugging I suppose…

And because I can’t leave you without a picture of Noah, he’s a sneak peek of his cake smash photo session last week…

Jan 042011

Every day on the way back to my office after dropping Noah off at daycare I go thru a deep internal struggle….to starbucks or not… It starts as soon as I pull out of the daycare providers drive way. I have three stop signs to convince myself that I don’t need it and to continue to home. But it’s so easy, it’s either a right at the light and back to my office or a left at the light and onto Starbucks….such decisions…left? right? Want vs. need wins at least twice a week and I indulge in a $3.10 chai. Oh well, I suppose there are worse things to indulge in.

And okay maybe I’m not really struggling but it is a conversation I have with myself every morning:)

Nov 152010

Okay, just a bunch of random for you today….

– Dh is finally painting the kitchen and trying to con me in to helping. Someone has to watch the kid right??:)

– We’re both relishing the last weekend we have uncommitted for a while – Hello Holidays!

– Speaking of holidays – really? Thanksgiving is next week?

– An also speaking of holidays – how bad is it that I’m going to do all my shopping online this year? I’ve become the person that hates to deal with holiday traffic and would rather shop in the comfort of her own home. That said, maybe one trip is in order to get a pic of Noah with Santa – you have to have at least one of those right?

– I’m trying to keep up with blogging but feel that my content is lacking. I promise I have other interesting posts started – just not finished! Many are project related and since I’m still working thru them, it’s taking a while!

– Noah’s on the road to lots of bumps and bruises! He’s figured out how to get to his knees and sometimes to his feet. Unfortunately he’s not very graceful and when he falls, it’s usually into a toy or the side of the crib. I’m trying to keep him from sharp edges but I think it’s about time to invest in a football helmet with a full face mask.

– Speaking of Noey man, he’s finally babbling mamamammamama….I LOVE IT! Makes my heart melt every time.

– My next trip away isn’t for a few months and I’m already trying to figure out how I can convince DH to fly cross country with an almost 1 year old and play nanny for the week. I hate being away from them!

– I’ve crocheted two hats so far and have a third started <-- yay me, so proud! - I'm converting Noah's velcro diapers to snaps - one long process at a time. I got one done last night during the football game that the Steelers forgot to show up for...ugh... - I have way too many crafty projects in my head - need to stop reading these fab craft blogs before my sunroom is overrun with more projects! Then again, I can probably save myself a TON of $$ if I make everyone's gifts this year...hmm..... Okay, enough random. I need to get back to work!

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