Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A New Day

it's been a while since i've had a chance to update marley's blog! that doesn't mean that a lot hasn't been happening. the end of 2007 was filled with new beginnings (school), celebrations (halloween, thanksgiving, and christmas), big projects (house under construction; moving in with grandma and grandpa for two months) and wonderful surprises (jack!).

through it all, marley has amazed us with her ability to roll with the punches (with a few hurdles of course -- i mean we are talking about a two-year-old here) and maintain that amazing sense of humor that keeps her father and me in stitches.

september started off with school at st. luke's -- a local day school around the corner from our house. marley can't get enough of school, her teachers and all her new friends. when i say the kid goes running into class, i'm not exaggerating. we are keeping our fingers crossed that this love of school keeps up for at least another few years!

september also brought a new member to our family -- roslyn! with mommy's business partner off on bedrest/maternity leave and mommy needing to work more hours at circle boutique, we were lucky enough to get into a nanny-share setup with our wonderful neighbors. we already aren't sure what we did without roslyn!

finally, construction started on our house. we added a new bedroom, new family room, new powder room, and new screened-in porch. lots of banging, dust, etc. drove us out of house and home. luckily travis' mother and stepfather (beloved grandma and grandpa) welcomed us with open arms -- for two months!

anyone else need a balloon hat?

horsing around with grandma!

despite everything going on, we were able to escape to our beach place for some family qt. and, since the weather stayed relatively warm through november we were able to spend lots of time running around outside.

more beach pics here.

halloween was filled with lots of treats and even a pumpkin carving (thanks, daddy!)

we also returned to st. andrew's lane for the neighborhood halloween festivities and trick-or-treating. marley got to reconnect with our neighbors, eat lots of candy, jump on a moonbounce, and show off her very scary lion roar!

more halloween pics here and here.

before we knew what hit us, thanksgiving was upon us. we celebrated at the raisch household. lots of yummy turkey, stuffing, and marley's favorite -- grandpa's mashed potatoes.

the next couple of weeks were spent waiting to get back into our house and -- hip-hip-hooray -- we were back in the first weekend of december! even though there was still come construction going on (and a port-a-potty in our front yard), we were able to get our christmas tree up and into the holiday spirit. we even got snow!

marley also got to have one last christmas all to herself. she got a new bike from santa, a stuffed dragon from khun tah, a new easel from gg, a shelf made by grandpa...we could go on...boy does it pay to be the first child/grandchild on both sides!

more christmas pics here.

and, as if there wasn't enough excitement, at 1:53 a.m. on january 1, 2008, we welcomed jack denis vollmerhausen. marley is loving being a big sister. she wants nothing more than to hold, feed, and kiss jack. but, marley being marley (and a 2 1/2 year old) there is a fine line between affection and physical assault. so, there's been lots of coaching, some tears, but lots and lots of love for baby "wacky jacky."

for more on marley AND jack, please visit us at

happy new year!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Miami Heat

just got back from spending eight very hot and fun-filled days in miami. when i say hot, i mean 100-degrees-and-above hot.

our house (courtesy of travis' colleague jonathan) was gorgeous -- since every day felt like 100 degrees (up to 107 degrees), the backyard pool became our haven. the house backed up to the biscayne bay where we had our own little private beach. marley spent a great deal of time making "cookies" and "pies" and collecting seashells.

the first few days we spent enjoying our surroundings (i.e., the pool) with uncle paul and aunt susan, who are expecting their own bundle this coming november. we spent our days and evenings lounging around the pool, brunching at the delano, visiting friends on south beach, and grilling out in the cabana behind the house.

"dr. seuss and the delano go perfectly together."

susan and paul then hightailed it to south beach for the remainder of their "babymoon" while gg, grandma, grandpa, jeeka, and uncle steve joined us for the next five days.

we got in great beach time with jeeka and steve. marley's phobia of east coast beach waves subsided with the calm southern waters.

we ate a bunch of great restaurants too, including barton g. marley got to show off her miami style, eat chocolate, AND stay up past her bedtime.

the three of us also took in sights and sounds at the biscayne's seaquarium. marley liked the dolphin show just fine, but was more into the "sea cows" and their salad-eating habits. she even has her very own stuff sea cow now that she sleeps with at night!

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overall, a wonderful, relaxing trip. can't wait to do it again!
more miami pics here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Summer Lovin'

end of june-july have been busy and fun-filled with a trip to st. michael's (chesapeake bay), fourth of july fireworks, fun at the circle b, another trip to the beach, playdates, and some hardcore summer lounging around the neighborhood too.

what dat????

as our family is growing (well, right now it's just me that's growing -- three months and counting!), we're thinking we need to sell our one-bedroom beach condo and expand our horizons. so, we thought we'd give picturesque st. michael's a look. as beautiful as it was, travis and i did agree that it was more like a place to sit back, relax, and enjoy your golden years as opposed to a place where kids can run amuck.

nevertheless, the weekend with grandma, grandpa, and gg was a blast. marley of course enjoyed herself thoroughly -- who wouldn't being surrounded by your most loyal and devoted fans?

hangin' with gg

more st. michael's pics here and here.

marley also has been getting in touch with her artistic/creative side with lots and lots of painting. (occasionally with paint brushes, but mostly with fingers.)

fourth of july was fun with a slip-and-slide, badminton, and crabs at grandma's.

marley contemplates the slip-and-slide as the famed pecs vollmerhausen makes an appearance.

"i love coopers."

we did check out fireworks afterwards in takoma park -- for about five minutes. marley declared "no like, too loud, too scary" and then refused to look up at the sky.

here's a pic of marley and daddy enjoying a brief fireworks moment before we took off.

we'll try again in a couple of years.

mid-july we had a circle store event. marley and daddy were on hand, supporting mommy of course.

marley and her two daddies -- what an adorable family!

we of course rounded out the month with a trip to old faithful -- the beach.

and, we love our summer playdates with madeline. we usually end up staying a little late (don't you love those summer hours?) and getting a little grungy running around madeline's BIG backyard.

here we are cleaning up afterwards.

and, back home again! next up? miami in august!

"we're all sleepin'!"

Monday, July 02, 2007

"I Never Met a Pool I Didn't Like!"

we're off and running this summer with pools, pools, pools. we're talking baby pools, backyard pools, private pools, public pools...if there's a pool in sight, marley's gettin' in.

we spent father's day in savage where aunt (actually great aunt) dana hooked up not only a killer baby pool for marley, but also a moonbounce AND two little neighborhood friends for her to party with.

needless to say, marley was in heaven.

a couple of weekends later, we spent the day at our neighbors' amazing vineyard in mt. airy -- broken ankle. basically, marley -- and about 30 other kids -- got to run wild around the hills, rock out on the slip-and-slide, and, of course, have some more water fun in a baby pool.

"the hills are alive..."

"my buddy chloe..."

after exhausting ourselves at that event, we drove home for a crab feast at kim & sam's. and, what do they have at their house? you guessed it -- a pool! no blow-up baby pool, though, but a real-live backyard swimming pool.

marley also had her first maryland crab-picking experience. she did it the smart way and got her daddy to do all the hard work while she enjoyed the fruits of his labor. yum! (sorry about the graphic crab carcass pictures to those of you not familiar with this somewhat barbaric, but oh-so-delicious maryland custom.)

more broken ankle and crab feast pics here.

"thank you for the crabs, kim!"