Our Family

Our Family

Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas together as a family. Coley didn't have to work the entire week, so we were able to spend lots of quality time together. One of the highlights was going to the movie theater to see "Tangled." We went to a matinee on a day that everyone was still in school, so we ended up having the entire theater to ourselves. It was fun! Coley spent a couple of days finishing a bookcase for me (for the piano room). It looks absolutely beautiful!

Adventure hit on Thursday, December 23... I was miserable with fever and chills. To make things just a bit more interesting, Abby fell and split her lip open in the late afternoon (just before every doctor's office was ready to be closed for vacation). Off we went to check to see if she needed stitches. We were all happy to find out that it would heal on its own. She was pretty nervous when we first arrived at the doctor's office, but she was very brave and was talking up a storm before the end of our visit.

We spent the afternoon of Christmas Eve with some friends (who were given fair warning, but didn't seem to be scared of being exposed to me.... fever and chills and all) for a bit of socializing, food, and music. The rest of the evening was spent together as a family.

Even though I was still under the weather on Christmas Day, we had a wonderful time together. Abby was very excited about Christmas this year. The presents and anticipation of Santa's visit certainly had her attention, but she also talked about Jesus being born in Bethlehem. What a special experience to watch a child experience the joy of Christmas!

Abby in her Christmas dress

Abby and Coley sprinkle reindeer food in the front yard on Christmas Eve.

Tara and Michael on Christmas morning

Coley and Abby have fun opening presents.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snowstorms and Stitches

Snowstorms and stitches pretty much sums up my month so far.... and the two don't necessarily go together very well! I had minor surgery on my foot at the beginning of the month to remove a cyst on my heel. I decided I wanted to go ahead and do the surgery right away so I could comfortably wear my boots and other shoes this winter. When I scheduled the procedure, there was no snow on the ground, but I think it has snowed almost every day since my surgery. It's almost comical because I can only wear slip-on shoes at this point! What an adventure it is to limp through the snow and slush with slip-on shoes while holding Abby's hand and carrying the infant seat in the other hand! Only the most important outings are actually occurring right now.... I think I have a pretty good excuse to stay snuggled up inside. It has been nice to cuddle with baby Michael, and Abby has been such a great helper! I am excited to get the stitches out in a few days. I'm even happier when I think about wearing shoes again soon!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Preschool Days Begin

Shortly before Thanksgiving, Coley and Abby visited the preschool just down the street from our house to inquire about preschool for next year. We had heard that it was an excellent preschool, but it was difficult to secure a spot in the class. Can you believe that THE day Coley and Abby visited, there was an opening because a child has just moved? They told us they would save the spot for Abigail if we were interested. We spent the next couple of days completing the registration papers. Last week, Abby began attending preschool and is just LOVING it! She goes to school two afternoons per week for about 2 1/2 hours.

The night before her first day of preschool, I showed her the new backpack she would take with her. She was so excited, she wore it until bedtime!

Abby is all ready for her first day!

This is Abby after her first day of school. She wouldn't admit it, but she was definitely ready for a little nap!

Baby Smiles

I'm not sure there is anything sweeter than baby smiles. I love how Michael's entire face lights up when he smiles! He is a very happy and content baby.

Monday, November 29, 2010


And Abby said that "Mom doesn't have time to be tired!"

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Michael's Blessing Day

Last Sunday, November 21, 2010, Michael received a name and a blessing by his father. My mom and Coley's mom were both able to be here with us for the special occasion. My mom made Michael's darling blessing outfit and my sister made the beautiful blanket.

Michael was wiped out before we even left the church!

Here's a great view of the little outfit my mom made!

Michael poses for a picture with Grandma Perry.

It was a very special weekend for us. Michael received a beautiful blessing and we had a wonderful time being together as a family.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


On this beautiful Thanksgiving Day, I am so very grateful for a wonderful family!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Happy Mama

A friend of ours took newborn pictures of Michael when he was 10 days old. This is one of the treasures I found when I received copies of the pictures this afternoon.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Month Later.....

It's amazing how much faster time passes after a baby is born than during those last few awful weeks of pregnancy! It's hard to believe that it has already been a month since Michael was born. What a wonderful addition he is to our family. We love him so much!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween

Here are a few pictures of Abigail and Michael in their Halloween costumes. Abby was a princess and Michael was a giraffe.

Isn't he the cutest giraffe you've ever seen?

The humiliation Sydney experienced while wearing her hot dog costume was greatly magnified when Abby couldn't control her laughter. Doesn't she look irritated?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

To Be Exact....

The following is part of a conversation Abby had with my friend, Kathy, at church today while coloring a picture.....

Kathy: This crayon is black; it matches my dress.
A little later...
Kathy: This crayon is orange; it matches my jacket.
A little later....

Kathy: This crayon is green; it matches your dress.
Abby: My dress is chartreuse.

Oh, boy! Can you imagine what her Kindergarten teacher will go through in a couple of years?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Trick-or-Treating in the Village

Yesterday, we went trick-or-treating in the village with some friends. (Every year, the Village of Webster has trick-or-treating for the children in the community about a week before Halloween. Most of the businesses in the area participate.) The weather couldn't have been more perfect! Trick-or-treating on a beautiful fall afternoon is the best way to go!

Here's our group of happy trick-or-treaters.

Abby loved walking down the street with Hannah!
While walking down the street, we saw lots of fun costumes, but here are a couple of our favorites...
The driver of the car told him, "These are not the droids you are looking for," to which the storm trooper replied, "These are not the droids we are looking for. Move along."

These costumes were beautiful! They could have easily starred in a Star Wars episode just as they were dressed.

Michael is two weeks old

Here are a couple of pictures taken a few days ago when Michael was two weeks old. He is a very sweet baby and VERY snuggly! When I lay him on my shoulder to burp him, he wraps his little arm around mine. I love it! He is sleeping well; usually he only wakes me up one time in the middle of the night. I certainly have no complaints about that! We feel very blessed with the new addition to our family.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"I'm a princess, and my friends are not!"

By Coley

A couple of months ago Abigail said to me, "Daddy, I'm a princess, and my friends are not!" She used a firm, declarative tone that made it clear this was not simply a matter of opinion.

I replied, "Sweetheart, this is something that I think you should keep to yourself. I am not sure that your friends will react well to learning that they are not princesses." She repeated her point several times.

I asked, "Which friends are you talking about?"

She answered, "Robert."

I said, "Robert will be OK with that. You can tell Robert that he is not a princess. I am sure he will not mind. Are there any more of your friends that are not princesses?"

She said, "Alyvia."

"Now, Alyvia will have a problem with that. I would not tell Alyvia that she is not a princess. She will not want to hear that. Telling Alyvia that she is not a princess is not going to go over very well."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Daddy's Girl!

Click on this picture to enlarge it. The bigger it is, the better it looks. Chet Scerra took this picture on Saturday, 16 October 2010 at our house in Webster, NY. He had come over to take newborn pictures of Michael. We had tried to get Abigail to cooperate for pictures of her wearing her "Big Sister" shirt and Michael wearing his "Little Brother" onesie. Abigail was simply not going to do anything that we wanted her to do. We finally gave up and turned her loose to color. Michael then wanted to be nursed which request (if you can call it a request) Tara addressed. I was sitting talking to Chet when Abigail came and crawled onto my lap. I told her that we were not taking pictures then, that she had a chance before but had not wanted to. My tone was pleasant, but matter of fact. I was trying to use the experience as a teaching point. Chet started clicking pictures, and I decided to drop my teaching point and let Chet run the photo session. Abigail has taken many excellent pictures although this is arguably her best ever. I, on the other hand, have a more difficult time taking a good picture. I know that I need to feel the right emotion to take a good picture, but trying to force the right emotion feels dishonest to me and I rarely get it right. I guess I am just trying too hard or have a self-consciousness that Abigail completely lacks. As Chet was clicking away, Abigail pulled my arm tightly around her waist. She is no doubt a Daddy's girl, but that gesture communicated her love for her father and elicited the response of my love for my daughter.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Michael Coley Duncan is here!

We are so very pleased to announce the birth of our second child and first son, Michael Coley Duncan. He was born 6 October 2010 at 12:09 AM. He weighed 9 pounds 4 1/2 ounces (4.205 kilograms) and was 22 inches long.

Tara was induced for pre-eclampsia (or toxemia). She only needed prostaglandin. Once she got going, she went from 3 1/2 cm to baby in 1 hour 39 minutes.

She and the baby are doing great. Tara is excited to have a new baby. She also likes the fact that she can now see her toes.

Abigail loves her baby brother and says that he is beautiful.

Coley is very proud of his new son.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Baby Shower

Last Thursday, September 30, 2010, some friends from Church threw a baby shower for me. It was a wonderful evening. There were lots of yummy cupcakes that were almost too cute to eat. We also played a couple of really fun games. My friend, Necia, created a trivia game about Coley and me that kept everyone pretty entertained. Here are just a couple of questions that were on the quiz:

What food did Coley crave during Tara's first pregnancy?
a) Hot dogs
b) Lemon anything
c) Chocolate covered almonds

What is Tara's current exercise regimen?
a) Walking the dog and praying that she doesn't get tripped
b) Walking on the treadmill while watching John Adams
c) Abdominal crunches, also known as Braxton Hicks

I also received lots of darling baby boy clothes for our new little guy.

Here is the front of the invitations for the shower.

Sooo cute.... and they tasted really good too!

Now it's just time to wait for him to decide to come! No one is more ready than me!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's Ice Cream Day!

Post by Coley

Yesterday I learned that today is Ice Cream Day. I was putting food away into the refrigerator when Abigail declared, "Daddy, tomorrow is Ice Cream Day!"

"Really", I said, "and what is Ice Cream Day?"

Abigail then expained to me that Ice Cream Day is when I take her to the ice cream shop across from where she takes dance lessons.

As I told this story to my coworkers I was teased that she had me wrapped around her little finger, but I protested that I am unmoved by her charm. I am the boss here. I did take her for ice cream, but it was my decision. After all, it is Ice Cream Day.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Almost There!

Today marks 37 weeks of pregnancy, so I'm now considered full term! Yeah! I'm not counting on the baby coming early, but I certainly wouldn't mind! We are getting excited about welcoming a new baby into our home. We have everything just about ready and I have even started packing my bag for the hospital..... not bad for those of you who know how much I do not like to pack. Now I just have to pack a bag for Abby and Sydney. :)

The baby is finally in the right position. Up until about two weeks ago, he kept us guessing as to how he would be positioned. For awhile, he was breech. That wasn't too fun, but it was worse during the weeks that he was in a transverse (sideways) position. It was extremely uncomfortable! Now that he's in the right position, the doctor said it would be tough for him to move out of it. The waiting game begins. We have been trying to prepare Abby for her visit with some friends when Coley and I head to the hospital, but whenever we say, "When the baby is born....," Abby says, "Not today." At the same time, she acts very excited and talks about helping me when baby brother is born. She's just not quite sure about what is happening!

In any case, whether the bags are packed or not, I'm ready! I also look forward to being able to bend over and see my toes again! :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Our Visit with the Melansons

My dear friend, Julie, and her family were able to come visit us for a little over a week the end of August/beginning of September. It was so great to spend some time with all of them. The weather actually cooperated quite well, all things considered. The first day of their visit, we spent the afternoon on the bay. We had a great time on the water!

Connor, Courtney, and Mallory have fun playing on the tube and swimming at the sandbar.

Abby loved being with Courtney and Mallory!

We spent a couple of days with the Melansons in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This was the view of the city at night from the rooftop of our hotel.

While walking around the city of Toronto, we found this little restaurant. We didn't eat there, but we had to take a picture since Abby's most favorite food in the world is a "hot cheese sandwich."

I was surprised that it was 95 degrees in Toronto. Sightseeing in 95 degree weather while eight months pregnant is a little rough. As a result, Coley, Abby, and I spent most of our time in the pool at the hotel while Pete, Julie, Connor, Courtney, and Mallory experienced the city. The pool was the perfect temperature! We all loved it!

After returning home to Rochester after our Canada adventure, we had a yummy chocolate cake (and, of course, Perry's ice cream) to celebrate Courtney's 11th birthday. Happy birthday, Courtney!
The next few days of their trip, Pete and Julie were able to visit Church sites in Palmyra and some of the other fun places in Rochester.

Before the end of their trip, we had to introduce the Melansons to chocolate almond custard. Julie is all smiles!

Courtney, Connor, and Mallory get a glimpse of Lake Ontario as a storm rolls in.

Mallory and Courtney don't seem to mind the crazy wind coming in off the lake.
It was wonderful to spend this time with such good friends. We hope they had a great time and we certainly hope that they will come see us again!