Saturday, November 27, 2010

Aaron the Whiner

Our sweet baby Aaron hit birthday #2 this summer and almost right away we saw the terrible 2s rear it's ugly head. Aaron has always been more temperamental than Peter, but the whiney-ness seems to be at an all time high recently. Lucky for Brett and I, he does pepper in some entertainment.

Here is a conversation we had with him on the way up to PA for Thanksgiving:

Scene - Aaron is in the back seat whining and we cannot understand anything he is saying.

Me - Aaron if you want to talk to Mommy and Daddy you need to used your words.

Aaron (in major whining voice) - I don't want to use my works.

Brett - Well Aaron if you don't stop whining and ask nicely for what you want we can't help you.

Aaron (in sweet baby voice) - Can I whine PLEASE Mommy and Daddy? Pleeeeease???

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Cafe Press - LOVE IT

I just started a Cafe Press store. It was so fun to create, and now my items are for sale!

For the Washington Capitals Hockey Lover -

Plus iPhone 4 cases can now be found at CafePress along with millions of personalized hoodies and 2011 calendars!

Friday, November 12, 2010

No Shortage of Self Confidence

The following are two conversations that happened this morning, abut 15 minute apart:

Peter was watching me get ready, and after observing me put on deodorant asked if he could try. I didn't see any harm, so we took off his PJ shirt and I let him swipe my deodorant under each of his arms. As soon as he was done, he takes in a big breath of confidence and says, "look at me Mommy, I am VERY handsome now!"

Soon after we were all sitting at the breakfast table talking about the difference between babies and big boys, when I asked Aaron, "Aaron, are you a baby or a big boy?"

"No, Mommy, I'm cute."

I couldn't agree more.

Sunday, September 26, 2010


This morning Peter asked to watch a new movie. After giving him a few choices from my childhood collection he picked Bambi.

After watching for about 20 minutes he turned to me and said, "Mommy, this movie is silly; deers can't talk!"

Very true, but why hasn't this ever been a problem for him with talking dinosaurs, cars, fish, toys, etc. etc. etc?

Three year old brains never seem to stop amazing and entertaining me!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Sometimes when I am driving with the kids I will make the sound of an elephant, and says, "did you guys hear an elephant? We must have driven by one, lets look for him!"

They look around, and laugh, joking that an elephant got out of the zoo.

Last month, we took a family vacation to Cape May, NJ (thank you Aunt Marilyn).

This year, we decided to go out to the Cape May lighthouse and climb to the top (apparently, Brett and I forgot about our far of heights).

Aaron was carried the whole way, but Peter was a "big boy" and climbed all 199 steps by himself!

Well, almost. When we were almost to the top, I made the elephant sound.

Peter turned around, looked at me and with a totally straight face and said, "Mommy, can you pick me up, I think there is an elephant up there!"

Friday, August 27, 2010

Best Brothers

As I was typing my last blog, the boys were watching their morning 1/2 hour of TV (Dinosaur Train).

In the show they were talking about the difference between friends and siblings.

Peter looked at Aaron and said, "Aaron, your my best brother AND my best friend." Then he put his arm around Aaron and said, "I love you Aaron."

Aaron set his head on Peter's shoulder and replied, "I love you Peter."

(photo from our latest beach vacation)

Playing Sleepover

My favorite part about having two talking toddlers (preschoolers?) is their imagination. Those two boys need very little to entertain themselves and can play for hours together making up new games.

One of their newest games sort of started a week ago when Aaron was sitting in a box and Peter kept bringing him toys.

The game has changed in that there is no longer a box involved and now they named it "sleepover." The first thing they do in "Sleepover" is have one of them lay down on the couch and the other covers him with a blanket.

Then they proceed to cover the blanketed brother with all the toys in the room, so they can have a "Sleepover."

Once completely covered, Aaron likes to add a little flair to the game by bursting out of the blanket and yelling, "BUST OUT!"

Then both boys belly laugh for a few minutes (repeating "Bust out") and then do it all over again.

And now you know what a morning in the Gardner house looks like :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Observations by Peter at the Pool

We went to the pool this afternoon, and WOW - it has gotten cold! Sad evidence that summer is coming to an end.

Peter jumped in and was noticeably shocked by the icy water.

Brett laughed and asked, "Hey Peter, is the pool warm or cold?"

Without missing a beat, Peter responded, "It is great dad; if I was a PENGUIN!"

Brett and I could not control the laughter.

Then Peter swims over to the ladder to get out and sees the "3" on the side of the pool marking how deep the water was.

"Look mother, the pool is 3 years old just like me!"

Dinosaur Eggs

We tried to go to the pool today, but it was closed due to a lack of lifeguard. We were bummed, but there is a playground near by so we just made a change in our plans.

The kids played on the swings for a little while but soon wanted to go explore and play their favorite new game - "creature adventures"

In this game you really see their little imaginations at work. They walk around the trees pointing to "monkeys," "owls," and "snakes."

Today while they were hunting for animals, Peter made a discovery - dinosaur eggs!

Peter - Mommy, Aaron, come quick. I found a nest with baby dinosaurs.

Aaron - Baby dinosaurs!?!?! Yaaaaaay!

Peter - See, Mommy (pointing to a pile of rocks).

Me - They look like rocks Peter, are they going to hatch.

Peter - No silly. They are FOSSILS. I think they were stegosaurus eggs The water went into the eggs and turned them onto rocks. Now we can take them to the museum for friends to look at.

When did my kids become smarter than me?

A new blog...

I started a new blog this morning.

It will have stories about our family, but is more focused on the things I wish I could tell my father.

Please read, follow, enjoy... it is my heart and soul.

The URL is "Peteydinker's Girl" - same as the tattoo I got in memory of my father, and a title that will forever define who I am.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Here is the scene this morning:

Aaron is sitting in a box in our foyer, Peter is running from the living room to the box bringing Aaron dinosaur toys:

Peter - Here Aaron, you want this one.

Aaron - Yeah, sure Peter.

Peter - OK, here you go.

Aaron - Yeah.

Peter - OK Aaron now you say thank you.

Aaron - Thank you Peter.

Peter - You're welcome Aaron.

Peter runs to me.

Peter - Mommy, I shared a dinosaur with Aaron.

Repeat over and over and over.

If only they always wanted to be this polite and share. I will appreciate it while it lasts :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010


When we leave the house in the morning, Peter always sits on the front steps while I put Aaron in the car. Now that it is Spring time, the ants have started coming out and Peter enjoys "playing" with them.

The other day one must have stayed on his shirt to come along for the car ride because after I finish strapping Peter in the car and was headed down the road I hear from the back seat:

"Look Mommy, an ant! Not Aunt Jenny... Not Aunt Marilyn... Not Aunt K... Not Aunt Bubbs... I think her name is Aunt Little, because she is a little ant."

Lightening McMom?

Peter and Aaron are absolutely obsessed with the movie Cars. They know all the lines, have all the toy cars and beg to watch it several times a week. The other day we got in my car to go to playgroup and Peter yelled from the back seat:

"Focus Mommy! You. Are. Speed!!! KA-CHOW!"

I looked for a video to reference on but I couldn't find it. Those are the first lines of the Cars movie.

His perception of our CRV's race car abilities and my grandmother like driving might be a little off.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

How Did I Become a Caps Fan?

I am a member of The Washington Capitals Club Scarlet, and received an email with a contest opportunity this week. Write an essay, 600 words or less, explaining how you became a Caps fan.

I had to give it a shot. It should be posted on the Scarlet website in the next couple days, and the winner will be announced on April 7. Fingers crossed!

Here is my entry:

This story doesn’t really start with me. It starts with a woman from New Orleans who fell in love with hockey watching it on TV, and a man who grew up in Syracuse and decided to take up the sport in his adulthood. In the winter of 1980, they both lived in the DC area and started dating. One night, she was driving home from a party, with him following in the car behind her, when she suddenly pulled over off of Rt. 7. He pulled up behind her and jumped out of the car wondering what was wrong. With excitement, she also jumped out of her car yelling, “We won! We beat the Russians!” It was then that he realized that she had been listening to the Olympic hockey game on the radio too and that he had found the woman he wanted to marry.

Over the next two years, my parents were married, became season ticket holders at the Caps Center and had their first daughter (me!). The first years of my life were spent sleeping through Caps games while being passed around by the other season ticket holders who sat around us. The first word that I learned to "read" was Capitals. As a child I knew more about hockey rules, stats and Caps players than most grown men; and my first “big girl” crush was on Rod Langway. When the playoffs came around, I was frequently groggy at school the day after staying up late for over time games.

My room growing up was designed to be very girly, but I decorated the pink walls with Caps posters, pucks and jerseys. I guess I was following my mother’s lead since she had a poster of Joe Juneau in the pantry. Unlike my friends growing up, who were excited about concerts coming to town, I was excited about the Fan Club Banquet and finding out which player was going to sit at our table.

Through the years I have witnessed some of the greatest moments in Caps history. Most memorably, being there to cheer the team on when they arrived off the plane from Buffalo in 1998 after beating the Sabres to go to the Stanley Cup Finals. And most recently, digging out after the blizzard to watch one of the most incredible come backs against the Penguins this past February.

I am now the mother of two boys, and my oldest son (two and a half) can also read the word Capitals. Both of my boys rocked red mohawks last year during for the playoffs, and are learning to love the Caps as much as Mommy does. During the Olympics this year we were watching USA Vs. Canada and they were cheering "U-S-A Caps Caps Caps!" I didn’t correct them.

My father has since passed away, but my mother still has her season tickets (27 years and counting). This year I got season tickets of my own to carry on the family tradition. I sit in Section 105, row T, seat 5 – or as I like to call it – the Rod Langway Memorial Seat. That is where I plan to watch the Caps skate the Cup this year!

But I guess to answer the original question – how did I become a Caps fan? I would have to say, I didn’t. I was born one.

The Orange

Peter and Aaron both love to tell us what letters they see. This morning Peter was reading to me from a case of sweet potatoes we had gotten at Costco yesterday.

Peter: S W E E T P O T A T O E S

Me: Very good Peter. Do you know what that spells?

Peter: Syracuse!

In his defense I have been dressing him in SU gear a lot during March Madness and telling him that Syracuse starts with "S."

The Name Game

Up until about a week ago Aaron only said three names: Mommy, Daddy and Rusty (and now that I think about it he also says "Buggy" - the name he gave his security blanket.)

Then last Tuesday I took the kids to see my mom and when we were leaving Aaron calls out, "Bye, Grammie!" (the name Peter gave my mother when he started talking).

His next name recognition was my sister-in-law, Jen. We were on Skype with her the other day and as Peter was saying "Hi Aunt Jenny" Aaron piped in with an excited "Aunt Jenny!"

The three days ago he started saying a name that he has now uttered constantly since figuring out how to say it - Peter! I always knew the boys were close, but until Aaron started calling for his brother whenever they are remotely seperated, I sort of thought Peter was more obsessed with Aaron.

Now I think it might be the other way around.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Gardener Boys

Yesterday the boys and went over to my friend Georgia's house.

We took the boys to run errands and get lunch and when we got back Georgia's father-in-law was working on a garden on the side of her house. Peter and Aarons eyes lit up as soon as they saw the dirt and shovels.

"Can we make a garden for Georgia, mommy???" yelled Peter.

"Please, mommy," Aaron called as he chased his brother in the yard.

The next hour was spent digging, tilling, and finding worms. On our way home Peter asked if we could make a garden at home, so hopefully we will get a chance to make on this spring.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Saying too much

I am not the kind of mother who likes to brag about her kids accomplishments too much. Tell stories about them being funny? Sure. But out right brag? Not my thing.

However, with that said, my kids do talk more than the average kid their ages. The kids doctors frequently comment on both of their ability to communicate, string sentences together and grasp concepts that are above average; and other mothers tend to ask about it a lot too.

The first time the doctor had mentioned something to me she said, "Do you talk to your kids a lot?" Have you met me? Yes, I talk all. the. time. nonstop! So, I used to make the mistake when moms would comment by saying, "their doctor says it is just because I talk to them a lot." Wrong response. What a mom will hear out of that sentence is, "you must never talk to your kids - you are a terrible mother." Oops. Remove foot from mouth!

Now that I have been hearing these comments for over a year and have seen friends kids developing in different ways, I have come to the conclusion that kid just all develop at their own pace. My kids both walked late (13 months and 16 months), but talked early (8 months and 9 months). And even though both kids are very articulate they are not great with large motor skills. It isn't that they are any smarter, they are just using a different part of their brains.

However, relaying this realization to other moms is still sometimes awkward.

Here is an example.

I was recently at the Nature Center with the kids playing with the dinosaurs. Peter (who is obsessed with dinosaurs) can say the names of a lot of dinosaurs. Even for me it is pretty hard to believe that my 2 year old can say words (clear as day) like: Allosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Leptoceratops, Diplodocus, Iguanodon, Parasaurolophus. Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex, and Velociraptor (clearly I am looking through his dinosaur book to post this blog).

So here we are playing, Peter going on about all the names and what they eat, what features they have that make him know that they are the dinosaur that he is saying they are, when I notice a woman staring at him. Like he is glowing.

Woman - Wow, he really talks a lot. How old is he?

Me - Two and a half. He will be three in August.

Woman - Oh, I thought he was a small four year old. My son turned two in December and he hardly has 20 words in his vocabulary. Seeing your son, I think I should get him tested.

Me - You know, I really wouldn't worry about it. Peter talked pretty early, but he walked late and he isn't as good with fine motor skills either. Some kids just develop differently.

Woman - Really?

Me - Yeah! Plus, he really went from not saying much to something just clicking and being about to form sentences and speak more clearly. And, we have friends that are older than Peter that don't talk as much. I really wouldn't be too concerned about your son.

This went on for several minutes. Then, just when I finally felt like I had eased this woman's fears that her child would never talk. Aaron holds up a dinosaur and says, "Look! Triceratops, Mommy!"

The woman looks at me with a face that I can only describe as defeated and says, "So how old is he?"

I didn't have the heart to tell her that he wouldn't be two until July.

Dino facts with Aunt Jenny

Peter's current favorite thing is dinosaurs. He has a few dinosaur figures, a book of facts that he loves (and sleeps with) and a new rubber stamp set.

He plays with them all the time and asks so many questions that he has become very knowledgeable. If you tell Peter a characteristic of a specific dinosaur he can tell you the species and facts about them.

The other night Peters was playing with his rubber stamp set when his Aunt Jenny called. Like most phone conversations with Peter, he started telling her about what he was doing.

Peter - I am making dinosaurs for you Aunt Jenny.

Jen - What kind are they Peter?

Peter - This is a brontosaurus. He has a LONG neck!

Jen - He does? Why does he have a long neck?

Peter - So he can eat the planets.

We might need to do a fact check on that one :)

I'm Sleeping

Peter has a new technique to get himself out of trouble.

If you tell him we are leaving somewhere he wants to stay (the park, etc.), that he is going to time out, or that he needs to stop a behavior; his responce is as follows:

"NO, I AM SLEEPING RIGHT NOW!" Then he will throw himself onto the floor, close his eyes and starts fake snoring.

In some instances it makes me laugh, and sometimes I use it in my favor, "Well if Peter is tired, we need to get home and take naps." It also usually stops his behavor and calms him down, so I have let him get away with it (for the most part).

Yesterday I caught him using this technique on someone else - his friends!

They were all playing cars and trains, and and one of the other boys tried to get whatever Peter had in his hand. As soon as the grabbing and potential hitting started Peter threw himself on the floor (with the toy under him) and did his "I'm sleeping" routine.

His friends stared in shock and I heard one whisper, "Shhhhh, Peter is sleeping."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Say a Little Prayer for You

Ever since our kids were born, Brett and I have been saying prayers with them at bedtime and at each meal.

By now both kids can say both prayers pretty well; Peter by himself and Aaron sort of says them with us. However, sometimes they put their own spin on them or get confused.

Last night at dinner Peter asked to say grace, "All by myself!"

Here was how his version went, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. Should Angels watch me though the night. Thank you God for everything. AMEN!"

"Amen" is their favorite part.

Then, while I was putting Aaron to bed he changed his night time prayer to, "Now I lay me down to sleep. Ashes, Ashes, we all fall down. Amen!"

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Very Perseptive

After our MOMS club St. Patricks Day party today, I took the kids to Target. Once we got there and I started getting out of the car I realized that I had left my purse at home. I told Peter and Aaron that we needed to go home and get money before we could go to the store.

To which Peter responded:

"No Mommy, not at home. Daddy has all our money, and Daddy is at work!"

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My little charmer

Today I caught Peter climbing onto one of the side tables in our living room. I grabbed him down and explained that he shouldn't stand on tables because he would fall off and hurt himself.

Before I knew it, he was back on the table watching for me to catch him. I was on the opposite side of the room and called for him to get down before he falls, JUST as he slipped off.

He cried for a minute and when he calmed down the following conversation took place.

Me - Peter when mommy tells you you shouldn't do something it is for your safety. Do you understand?

Peter - Understand. Sorry mommy.

Me - OK, but remember next time that your mommy is pretty smart, and she knows what she is talking about.

Peter - Yeah, mommy, you so pretty.

He gets his cheesey comments from his father.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

This morning's exchange

Peter (whining) - I want a bagel.

Me - You need to ask nicely.

Peter (still whining) - Ask NICELY! Bagel please mommy.

Me - You need to stop whining

Peter - (still whining and getting louder) No, I LIKE whining

Me - I think you need to go to time out

Peter - (screaming in his whiney voice) No, I don't LIKE timeout!

Mornings like these make me want to call and appologize to my parents.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Be Patient

This morning when I went to get Peter up, he was holding some of his flash cards. Next to him in bed was the box they came in ripped into 2 pieces.

Peter - I broke the box, Mommy

Me - I see that.

Peter - My flash cards were in there.

Me - I know Peter, but when you want something you need to be careful and patient so you don't break things. We will tape the box after breakfast.

Not 5 minutes later I was getting Peter dressed and changing him into a fresh diaper. I went to Velcro one side closed and the Velcro strap broke off in my hand.

Me - Oops!

Peter - Mommy you need to be more careful and patient.

I really should have seen that one coming.

Friday, January 8, 2010

One word

Brett just called to tell me about a conversation he had with a co-worker (we will call him Brian... because that is his name). This is paraphrased as I clearly was not there:

Brian - Hey, have you been on Facebook today?

Brett - Yes, why?

Brian - Well, a bunch of people are just putting 1 word status messages up. Its weird.

Brett - What are they writing?

Brian - Stuff like, pink, nude, black, lace

Brett - Were they all girls?

Brian - I don't know, maybe? I did it too.

Brett - Really, what did you put up?

Brian - Caramelized

Brett - That's funny, because my wife was telling me this morning how she had a bunch of forwards from her girl friends this morning telling girls to put the color or their bra up as their Facebook status.


Here is the forward I received this morning from a bunch of friends and family (that I told Brett about). I am apparently a giant prude because I didn't post my color. Only Brett gets to know top secret info like that!

"We are playing a game...... silly, but fun! Write the color of your bra as your status, just the color, nothing else!! Copy this and pass it on to all girls/Females ...... NO MEN!! This will be fun to see how it spreads, and we are leaving the men wondering why all females just have a color as their status!! Lets have fun ladies!"

Over heard at the Gardner House...

Peter made some comments yesterday that stopped me in my tracks in amazement at home he is developing and picking up on thing that I say.

In the morning, he brought Aaron his "Lovey Lamb" (Aaron's "security blanket) and said to Aaron, "OK, Aaron now you say 'Thank you,' and I will say 'You're welcome'."

Then during dinner I served perogies. Peter took his first bite and gave me a confused look.

"Is there peanut butter in there, Mommy?"

"No, Peter there are mashed potatoes inside."

"Wow, that is really smart, Mommy"

His other big thing right now is figuring out the difference between boys and girls.

I have been embarrassed by this on more than one occasion, because instead of asking if the person is a boy or a girl, Peter asks me, "Does he have a Pee Pee, Mommy?"

There have also been occasions where is tells people that he learned are girls that, "You got no pee pee in there!" (while pointing at their pants.)