Sunday, October 25, 2009


The rain could not keep us from having a great time! Mark's sausages were fabulous this year. It was nice to see some new friends enjoying Oslerwurst. Of course, it was great having Oma and Opa and MumMum and PopPop visiting as well. They alone have been to all three Oslerwursts so far.

The sausage, mustard, pretzels, potato salads, beer, wine and birch beer were enjoyed by all. And talk about goodness, I've never been gifted so many deserts. What a treat! (Pun sort of not really intended.)

In fact, Oma, Opa, Mark, Andrew & I are enjoying some leftover sausage today! Yum!

Thank you to everyone for braving the ugly weather to celebrate Oktoberfest with us. A special thank you to everyone for sharing your culinary delights with us. What fun!

Mark Osler, THE Abe Froman of Alexandria!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Look what I can do...

Jay has started walking. He gets a lot of positive encouragement from Mark and I but, especially from Andrew. Andrew will often, say "Good job, Jay" or "Look at him go, look at Jay go!". I always love to watch the expressions on kids' faces when they are so proud of themselves. Jay adds this latest accomplishment to a list that keeps growing. He also recently mastered the steps. Not just going up but, he is the master of coming down too! (Safely.) We're very proud. Check it out:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Andrew!

Dear Andrew,

Happy 3rd Birthday! Last year at this time I was thinking what a big boy you had become. That you were no longer my baby anymore but, rather my big boy. Now, when I look back at Andrew age 2, he seems so young and still so baby-like. The boy you are today, at 3 years old, seems so much older. Your typical milestones this year have also aided in your transition into becoming a true big boy. You never miss a chance to correct me when I call you my baby. You are a big boy and not a baby! You are right. (You will always be my baby, but you are right that you are not a baby now.)

A year ago, I was a bit worried about how you would handle the transition to our new home in Virginia. You have showed me that I need not worry. Instead, I have been able to watch you grow and mature in so many interesting ways. You are outgoing, friendly, and thoughtful. I marvel at how easily you will introduce yourself to other kids at the playground. How you accept every kid in the world as your friend. Seriously, you refer to nearly every kid we encounter (especially if they talk to you) as your new friend.

We’ve also seen your communication skills growing by leaps and bounds, as well as your ability to associate concepts in your mind easily. These skills combined have turned you into quite a shrewd negotiator at times. Your current favorite comment is to request, “2 minutes”. You’re always asking for 2 more minutes at the playground, at the library, at bedtime.

Some of these changes in you seem to take place overnight. As if you are growing up right before my eyes. Your father and I will often spend some portion of our evening talking about “guess what Andrew did/said today.”

There are three things that stick out in my mind about this past year. Seeing how much you liked referring to yourself as a big boy because you were sleeping in a twin bed. Then, watching how easily you took to potty training. In discussing our potty-training strategy with Aunt Erin, she advised to set expectations low so we wouldn't get frustrated. She also said, “You never know he may surprise you.” Well, you did surprise us (figuring it out in about 3 days).

The third thing doesn’t necessarily surprise us but, does make us beam. This is how naturally you took to being a sweet brother to Jay. Our days are not without their “sibling issues”, but you can be so thoughtful when it comes to Jay. We just love watching you two interact and seeing you mature into a kind and caring boy. You and Jay will always have a special bond as brothers.

All this talk about your becoming a big boy, it would be remiss of me not to mention how much you are turning into a BOY. You accompany many of your stories and your playtime with big hand motions, engine noises, super power sounds. And you like to be silly. It’s so neat to see what makes you laugh. As you turn into more of a BOY, I’m noticing it is silliness that makes you laugh the most. (And being tickled is pretty high up there.) I never get tired of your smile or your laugh. Nor will I ever get tired of the way you blow me a kiss when you say goodbye and goodnight to me. So sweet.

This year has also seen you uttering this phrase more and more…"I can (insert action) ALL BY MYSELF". In this regard, you are developing so quickly and also, continuing to be such a good helper around the house. You want to cook by yourself, walk by yourself, get the mail, wash your hands, make your oatmeal and many other things, all by yourself.

Oh, how you love to cook. Both pretend cooking and real. And your father and I both enjoy cooking with you. I love to bake with you and your father will often include you in the preparation of one of our big weekend meals.

Andrew, watching you grow into the special boy you are today is a special gift for me. Sure, we have our times of miscommunication, misunderstanding and well, generally driving each other crazy. But, that is only a part of the process as you continue to explore your world, test limits, and try out these new ideas that pop into your mind. I feel as though your brain is firing twice as fast (or faster) than a year ago. I imagine this upcoming year will prove to be just as enjoyable and amazing.

Happy Birthday, Andrew. I love you!