Category Archives: Esme

Day with the girls

On Thursday, I spent much of my day with Catherine and Esme. From roughly 9:30am until 4:00pm, here’s what we did.

We started off the day by heading in to work. What? I’m on vacation, right? Well, as it turns out, CBD‘s Bring Your Child To Work day was on Thursday. This is one of the girls’ favorite days ever, and to miss it would be like missing Christmas. So we went in just for an hour to get some company-provided goodies, take a walk around the building, play in the games/crafts room, and say hi to my co-workers. I think it actually worked out better this way, as my job isn’t one that the girls can really grasp at the moment, and usually if they do come in, they end up being more of a distraction to my co-workers than anything else. So this way, everyone got what they wanted.

The games/crafts room

The games/crafts room

Watching packages

Watching packages

After visiting work, we walked across the street to get lunch at the Subway I frequently visit.

Subway lunch

Subway lunch

After lunch, we drove up to Cherry Farm Creamery for some ice cream, and then drove into downtown Beverly for an afternoon of storytime and activities at the library. Esme has a 3-year-olds storytime at 1pm on Thursdays, and Catherine has a science club at 3pm on Thursdays, so Rebecca generally makes an afternoon of it when she does it with the girls, so I did the same.

I played Checkers with Esme while Catherine was in science club

I played Checkers with Esme while Catherine was in science club

At the end of the day, I was exhausted, and I told Rebecca that she could keep her job. 🙂 But overall I did have a good time with the girls. It is good for me to have a chance to spend a lot of time around them during the daily routine, and learn more about what they’re like outside of my usual evenings-and-weekends window.

Esme Turns Three

Our sweet Esme, who loves to sing and dance and who can tell Mr Bates from Carson and Anna from Edith, turns three today!

Newborn Esme

First Birthday

Second Birthday


Third Birthday

Esme, you’re our little ray of sunshine! We love your sense of humor and your excitement. It is so wonderful to watch you grow up and learn so many things from your sister and the world. You love music and ‘Squeeze’ and sharing grapefruits with Mama. Papa thinks you’re a fantastic chef and loves to cook with you! We all love to do things with you, even if you only want to ‘subberbise’!

Happy, happy birthday, little one. Your Mama and Papa are so honored to be on this journey with you!

What I Did This Father’s Day Weekend

A Report By Peter Wood

This weekend ranks up there as one of my favorite Father’s Day weekends so far. The weather was great, the activities were fun, and I got to do my favorite thing, spend lots of time with my family.

On Friday we drove out to Harold Parker State Forest in Andover, MA, to go camping with our friends Laurel and Scott and their kids. We had a big campsite where we each pitched our tents, as well as a screen room to put around the picnic table, which our friends had brought.

Our Campsite

Our Campsite

L&S are very experienced campers, so we enjoyed the opportunity to learn from them and benefited from their service. My particular favorite was Scott’s buckwheat pancakes.

Scott, makin' pancakes

Scott, makin' pancakes

Catherine and Esme had a great time playing with the kids. Either family’s tent was fair game for jumping, cuddling, roughhousing, or reading.

Girls reading

Girls reading

I also got to enjoy some quality time with our girls. We walked to the campground’s playground, explored our own campsite, and went to look at the pond. Here’s a photo from one “adventure walk” Catherine and I took while Mama and Esme were napping.

Adventure walk with Catherine

Adventure walk with Catherine

Overall, the camping trip was very low-key. We didn’t have any real plans of what to do, we just relaxed and did what we felt like doing. I checked the time only a couple of times during the trip, but otherwise didn’t have a clock in sight. We had a really great time with Laurel and Scott and their family. It was also a good dry run for our trip to Michelle‘s wedding in July, where we’ll be camping for a few days.

You can see all of the (many) photos from our camping trip here.

After we got home from the trip, we unpacked and spent the afternoon puttering around the house, resting from the weekend and getting things put away. Later in the day, we went out to dinner at one of my favorite places, the 99 Restaurant.

Girls helping me put crackers in the seafood chowder

Girls helping me put crackers in the seafood chowder

After dinner, we went over to Endicott Park to play on their excellent playground and see their farm animals. We saw the unusual (to us) sight of two female sheep butting heads. We also got to see the park ranger feeding all of the animals. The girls were both very excited.

Girls and Geese

Girls and Geese

I was glad to get to spend the weekend with friends and family. I feel very privileged to be the father of two great girls, and am glad to have Rebecca as my partner in helping them grow. Thanks for the great Father’s Day!

Papa with Catherine and Esme

Papa with Catherine and Esme

Two Girls in a Bedroom

On Friday, with some apprehension, I said to Catherine, “Y’know, Papa and I have been thinking about getting your old small bed down from the attic and putting it in your room so that Esme can sleep with you at night.” I wasn’t sure how she would react to the idea of giving up ‘her’ space and brought up the topic just to start the ball rolling so she could get used to the idea.

Well, wouldn’t you know that Catherine was more than thrilled at the thought of having “two sisters in one room!!” So excited, in fact, that as soon as we got home and put Esme down for her nap she rushed into her room and started cleaning up.

Before
Before

Catherine and I had the room clean and tidy by the time Peter came home from work and before bedtime the two of them had rearranged the furniture a bit, retrieved the bed from the attic, assembled it and made it cozy. Both girls were almost too excited about it all to fall asleep, but they eventually drifted off.

After
After

Esme spent about half the night in her new bed and half the night in ours, but I’d say it was a pretty good first night. Just before bed Catherine told us, “If Esme wakes up and cries I will say to her ‘are you okay, Esme?’ And if she says no, I will bring her to Mama.” So sweet!

The room is so small that eventually I think we’ll have to go to bunk beds, but for now this arrangement will be just fine. [more photos here]

Esme’s 2nd Birthday!

On Saturday, we celebrated Esme’s second birthday! I can’t believe she’s already two! We had a busy and fun day.

We started off the day with a birthday breakfast of banana muffins, served to the birthday girl with candles on top.

Birthday Muffins...

Birthday Muffins...

After breakfast, we headed up to Gordon College for the Bennett Center Family Day. Catherine tried the climbing wall for the first time!

 

Catherine's a Climber!

We were impressed with how far Catherine climbed (3/4 of the way to the top!). She really seemed to enjoy herself, although she wasn’t all that interested in completing the goals set forth by the instructor. She tends to like to do things her own way, and so she did some climbing but also enjoyed leaning out on the rope, spinning around, and generally having a good time. 🙂 We also played for a while in the gym, and then had lunch at Lane. Ah, memories! I even had a Nubby Burger. for you Gordon alumni – they’re actually on the menu at the grill in the cafeteria!

After we came home and Esme had a nap, we did a Photo shoot for Esme’s second birthday. Here’s one of our favorite shots:

 

Hello!

Hello!

Finally, in the early evening, was our birthday party for Esme. Like last year, we had her party at Chipotle at the North Shore Mall in Peabody. It’s a favorite restaurant of ours, and certainly a favorite with our girls. We invited a bunch of friends and family to join us for dinner. We commandeered the front section of the restaurant, draped a banner across Mr. Chipotle (or whatever that sculpture is called), and settled in for a few hours. Everyone enjoyed burritos, chips and guac, and hanging out with the birthday girl.

 

Esme and Grandpa

Esme and Grandpa

You can check out many more photos from the day: Birthday Morning, Bennett Center Family Day, Photo Shoot, Party at Chipotle.

These Days

These days we are enjoying:

Halloween Decorations: This fall has seen a magical intersection between Catherine’s fine motor and scissor skills with her love for papercrafts. The result? Paper pumpkins, bats, cats, and ghosts to welcome the trick or treaters.

the Swing set: This 10 year old swing set is enjoying a second chance at life now that it has been moved into our back yard. Many thanks to Grandpa Lowe for the reconstruction and Grandpa Wood for the blue swing!

the Leaves: Who can resist a big pile of autumn leaves?

New Headwear: The girls have been coming to church with me this week to help set up for the Holiday Fair. Esme found and modeled some fun headwear!

(this last one kills me! I was sorting books and turned around and found her exactly like this. I nearly died laughing!)

Happy Birthday, Chipotle Style!

A few weeks ago, Rebecca and I were discussing what sort of party we should plan to celebrate Esme’s first birthday. We wanted it to be small, with just a small group of family and friends, but what location and what sort of food should we have? We hemmed and hawed a bit, and finally came up with it: Chipotle!

Chipotle!

Chipotle!

We sent out a few invitations for family and friends to join us over at the North Shore Mall’s Chipotle this past Saturday. Our plan was basically to show up right when they opened, stake out a few tables, get and enjoy our food, and have a party! Rebecca also made a birthday banner for Esme, and we draped “the guy” in the front of the store with it:

Birthday Banner

Birthday Banner

Esme got to enjoy her favorite meal (beans) and open some presents, including a Nalgene water bottle which her big sister picked out just for her.

Esme 'n' Beans

Esme 'n' Beans

Water Bottle

Water Bottle

Rebecca also made a pineapple upside down cake, which Esme loved, as you can see here.

Caaaaaaaaake!

Caaaaaaaaake!

Here’s the whole crew!

Birthday Celebrants

Matt, Madeleine, Catherine, Peter, Ken, Dianne, Rebecca, and Esme!

It was the perfect little party for Esme’s first birthday. A small birthday party at Chipotle is definitely do-able. Just be sure to get there during an off time (i.e. not the lunch or dinner rush)! You can see all of the photos from her party in our gallery.

Esme Caroline

A blink of an eye ago our sweet Esme Caroline was born.

Okay, so it was more like a year ago and Peter and I cannot believe how quickly this little bundle

became this beautiful specimen of a girl

Many happy returns on your first birthday, little one. We love you more than words can express!

(click on the photos for even more photos!)

Snow Play

We had a decent amount of snow last night, so this afternoon I took the girls outside to play in the snow! Catherine and I had been out yesterday, but today Rebecca got Esme suited up, so the three of us went out.

Snow Angels

Snow Angels

This was Esme’s first time really playing in the snow. Her bulky snowsuit didn’t give her much mobility, but she was able to crawl around a bit, and she sat in my lap and got a feel for the snow. Esme wanted to go back inside rather quickly, but Catherine and I stayed out for a bit and took care of some way-overdue “winter prep” chores, like emptying the, um, now-frozen rain barrel.

Here are the rest of the photos from our play in the snow!

The Mole Sisters and the Big Rocks


Catherine and Esme and I enjoyed some time in the woods of Manchester-by-the-HyphenSea today. We hiked the loop at Agassiz Rock, visiting both Big and Little Rocks. The hike was almost too strenuous for Catherine but she was a trooper and didn’t give up. Not even on the steep spots with slippery pine needles and leaves underfoot!

It was a beautiful day and the forest was ripe for exploring. Esme, as is her wont, tried to eat everything she got her hands on; pine needles, acorns, stones, a stick, leaves… It was an amazingly tactile learning experience for her. And a test of speed and agility for me as I swooped in to prevent consumption of above items.

Catherine had the chance to practice her map reading and trail marker following skills. She also dammed up a little stream, walked the balance beam on a fallen tree, and balanced some little rocks. As we hiked she joined me in a rousing chorus of “She’ll be Coming Around the Mountain When She Comes” (thanks to Jason for teaching it to her!) And as a nod to the Mole Sisters she went BoingaBoinga on a piece of moss.

If you’ve never been to Agassiz Rock and you’re in the area you should definitely check it out. And let us know if you’re headed there, we’d love to tag along! All our photos from today are in our gallery. Here are a couple more to whet your whistle: