December 31, 2012

Let It Snow!

We had what I would consider the boy's first real snow storm now that we live in New England.  It started late afternoon on Saturday and snowed all through the night.  Sunday morning I got the boys in their snowsuits, and we went out to play.  They absolutely loved it.












As a side note, I forgot how much I love this lens for my camera.  I'm kicking myself for taking it off for so long.  Sure it can be hard to take a photo if you are too close to the objects, but seriously the photos with this lens are so much better.  

I hope we get a few more snow storms this winter!  Enjoy New Year's Eve everyone!

December 30, 2012

Let them eat cake.

Last night we decided to have cake for dinner.  Well, cake with pudding and homemade whipped cream on top.  I think Pat and I were making a last minute attempt to win parents of the year before we enter 2013 ;)
Sean has a wicked sweet tooth.  So as he was chowing down on his cake dinner, I asked him if it was good.
His response was, "umm...not really, Mommy!"

Oh well.  I cannot win them all.  

December 27, 2012

All About Christmas and Lessons Learned

This was our first Christmas in our new house and living near family.  My absolute favorite part of Christmas was being able to see and spend time with my whole family.  Because of the way Christmas fell on a Tuesday we kept pretty busy in the days leading up to the holiday.  Saturday we went to a party at my aunt's house.  Sunday we traveled to Pat's family for another party.  Monday we went to my sister's place for a small Christmas eve get together.  And finally on Christmas day we were at my Mom and Brother's for Christmas dinner.

Being able to spend all that time with the family was amazing, but there were some bumps along the Christmas road.  And I guess you could say I learned lessons for next year.

1.  The biggest lesson Pat and I learned this season is that we have to be WAY more organized when it comes to hiding presents.  Ryan saw two of the big toys in the garage, and I literally had a nervous breakdown that we had ruined Santa for him.  We worked it out by taking the toys back (not really) and writing Santa a letter.  Thankfully Santa pulled through and brought those toys back.  But I was feeling like the biggest parent failure for a while in there.

2.  I want to finish all my shopping early next year.  And this includes anything Pat builds.  We literally were working on things until right up to Christmas day.  I'd like to say we were behind because Pat had only moved up here last month, but I'm not so sure that is the reason for it.  I do promise that next year will be different.

3.  We probably go overboard with toys for the kids.  I cannot help it.  They love it, and I feel like they deserve a special day filled with gifts.  They'll only be young once.  We keep saying we'll do less the next year but we never do.  And honestly I'm not so sure I want to scale-back.

4.  I know Christmas shouldn't be about the gifts, but could someone please help my husband with Christmas shopping?  Or maybe the lesson learned is that my husband and I have lived apart so long that he doesn't really know me anymore?  I don't know. Remember my Christmas List?  I bought myself two of the four items.  I am happy to say I got an awesome tote bag from L.L. Bean that I wanted.  It is blue and pink and has long handles and a zipper at the top just like I asked for.  My husband had a big success with that.  He claims it doesn't count because I was very explicit about what to get and where.  I say it makes me happy so he did a good job.  Unfortunately after that gift, I think my husband stopped listening.
I told him I wanted a $7 knit hat from JCPenney.  I told him it was on the second floor and exactly where to find it.  Well, he tells me that the boys didn't like any hats there, and so they went some where else. Yes, the hat was for me and not the boys, so their feelings on it shouldn't have mattered.  In the end my $7 desired hat turned into a $60 winter set and that my husband lost the receipt to :/

Now don't get me wrong; I'm not ungrateful.  I know I sound snobby.  I'm just trying to joke around.  After all, I'm sure everyone wants a coffee mug about breastfeeding right?  I kid you not.  I think when I said cute coffee mug things must have been lost in translation....

December 21, 2012

Bits and Pieces about the Holidays

This post will be about a few random things I wanted to share.

1.  Our Christmas Card--I enjoy sending and receiving Christmas cards.  I really wanted to send some out this year now that we're in our new house.  Have you noticed how expensive custom Christmas cards can be though?  I wasn't sure if I would end up sending them.  I saw erincondren.com was having a sale on Christmas postcards, and I jumped at it.  I love that company both the service and products.  The postcard style was perfect because on the back I was able to put a little bit about what was going on in our life like our big move and Pat starting his new job.  I was so pleased with the cards that were created.

But let me tell you about the picture.  Of course I would have liked a picture of our whole family, but Pat wasn't living up here with us yet.  I tried so many times to get a good picture of the three kids.  Oh my goodness, what a task!!!!  I am so thankful for the enhance feature on iphoto.  This photo had dust particles floating in the image and just looked pretty bad.  Once I clicked the enhance edit option, magically that bad photo was usable and pretty decent.  It was almost a small miracle.    


2.  Homework--I really enjoy when Ryan gets homework.  It is something we are able to bond over, and it helps me structure our learning activities.  Last week Ryan was supposed to decorate the cream colored "gingerbread" person below.  Of course I didn't want Sean to feel left out so I quickly drew the red "gingerbread" person for him.  It was so much fun working with the boys and seeing their creativity.  Plus at the end they were so proud of their "gingerbread" friends.


3.  Gingerbread Day at School--on Monday families and siblings were invited to come into Ryan's Pre-K class to help build a gingerbread house.  Ryan was so excited to have me in his classroom.  He was working like a good boy on his house when we arrived.  The teachers were really nice and gave Sean supplies to create a gingerbread tree.  Just like I said above I love seeing their pride for their creations, and it was nice to see Ryan's classroom environment and meet his friends.    




In case things get busy I want to wish you and your families a very happy holiday and a wonderful new year filled with many blessings.  


Linking up with Kelly.

December 20, 2012

She's Hungry!

Leah's pediatrician had said we could start her on food at 6 months, but her appointment isn't until after the holidays.  I fully intended to wait until I spoke with him before starting any food, in case things had changed in the few years since I did this with Sean.  After all, they keep changing their points of view on things quickly it seems.

But despite my intentions, we gave in and started Leah on Oatmeal.  She is so interested in food and trying so hard to swipe ours off our plates that we decided to give her a little cereal.  She's a hungry girl, what can I say.

We stripped her down and put her in her highchair.  Pat snapped a few pictures of this event.  

I believe she was thinking, "finally, something for me!"
"hmm...I'm not so sure about this..."
 "what is this texture?"
"maybe it will be different this time"
 "nope, still the same"
 "well, it isn't that bad..."
"I'll have a little more"
and finally by the end, "I think I like this!"

December 19, 2012

WIWW: fifty shades of grey

I'm linking up again with Lindsey at The Pleated Poppy for WIWW.  This week there seemed to be a common thread in my outfits:  the color grey.



This cardigan might be my new favorite.  It's described as French Terry, but the best description I can give it is a cotton jersey type of sweatshirt material with a bit of stretch.  I love drape cardigans.  They make me feel like I'm still in my bathrobe, but I look better.  You can find the one I'm wearing here.
My pants are Gap Trouser jeans from a few years ago, and I just LOVE them.

I got these flats from Target last year.  The picture is kind of dark, but there is a cute ruffle detail.  I love flats, and you can get inexpensive and cute ones at target.



I wore this outfit on our trip to Edaville Railroad.  It was warm and comfortable and perfect for looking at Christmas lights on a winter night.



So this may be a bit of a stretch when I say I got dressed, but I put on clothes so that should count, right?  The thing is I love wearing boots in the winter, but to do so, you need skinny pants.  All my jeans were being washed, so that leaves the corduroy leggings.  If I wear leggings I need a shirt long enough to cover my bum.  So this oversized sweatshirt was all I had. It was a really comfy outfit though.  And you can find the boots that I am wearing in the two above outfits here.  

I feel like I'm doing a bit better at putting in effort.  This week I have three outfits, which is one more than last week.  Most importantly, I'm having fun getting dressed and feeling better about myself so that is a good thing.  

pleated poppy



December 17, 2012

Loss of Innocence

Last week many children had their innocence stolen away from them.  20 innocent children lost their lives.  I cannot imagine what would cause someone to be so evil.  I will never understand how he could do what he did.  I cannot imagine what the families of Sandy Hook Elementary are going through.  I do not know how you move on after such a tragedy, and I never want to personally know that.  My heart is so heavy for each of them, and my prayers are being said.  

I am in shock that this would happen especially in an elementary school.  I am being honest when I say that I am afraid to send my son to school today.  If I have fears, I feel so sorry for so many children that must be afraid to go to school too.  School was supposed to be a safe learning place filled with friends and teachers.  I do not want that to change.  I am hoping that my children never hear about Friday.  If there is anything I can do to help them maintain the innocence of childhood without knowledge of this evil, I will do it.  

I am sure my words are so similar to what everyone is saying/writing.  The horror of last week has rocked this country and probably this world to it's core.  (There was also an attack in China at a school.  We are not alone battling the violence)  As news broke, I feel confident to say that everyone held their children a little tighter.  It was a horrible reminder of something we often take for granted--that our children are blessings and each moment with them is special.  

Friday night as we were hanging around after dinner, I captured a moment on my cell phone.  You cannot see the whole scene and the video isn't the best, so let me tell you what was going on.  Ryan was wearing his spiderman costume and running around.  Sean was chasing him.  Every time they passed by Leah she began to laugh.  Seeing the innocent joy of my children was the light in a dark day.  It was a moment that I want to remember and cherish.  So during so much sadness, let me share a little laughter in the video down below.  

December 15, 2012

One of Those Days

Thursday night was one of those days.  Not the kind that you begin to describe with a big "ugh", but rather one of those perfect and magical days where you turn to your husband and say "This is what being a parent is all about."
Thursday we had planned to take the kids to Edaville USA.  It is a small train centric amusement park for little kids.  During the Christmas season they have an event called the Festival of Lights.  It is a 20 minute train ride through the property with 7 million lights to look at.  There are also some carnival type rides for kids too.
It could not have been a better family night.  Leah was awesome.  That is always a concern when planning something like this--will Leah be good during it?  She was so good.  We dressed her nice and warm and Pat took this picture before our evening started.  It may be one of my favorite photos of her of all time.  
When we entered the park Sean was so excited.  He loves choo-choo trains and was anxious to see it. Ryan was just happy to be out on an adventure.  The first ride the boys saw was the carousel, which they both love.  Pat took them right on it.  There were hardly any lines.  After the ride we stopped in the cafe for a quick snack and to warm up.  It was a very quick snack because as soon as we sat down to eat, the train that we wanted to take was boarding.  We packed up the food we could save and headed over to the train.  We were lucky to still find a half empty car and boarded it just before the train started around the property.  My favorite part of the night was listening to the boys on the train.  With each new light display they called out "look it's a...snowman, or Santa, or whatever new shape/character they saw."  They had such amazement in their voices at everything around them, and the 20 minute ride was exactly the perfect length for all my kids.
Pat snapped this photo on the train with his cell phone.
After the train ride the kids wanted to go on the flying elephant ride (just like Dumbo at Disney World, but it was called Jumbo here).  This could have been a problem because the parent has to ride with the child, so the boys would have to go on separately.  I was afraid of a meltdown with the idea of them taking turns, but they accepted that and did great.  I was both happy and relieved.
After the elephant ride and playing with the train tables in the meeting hall, the boys rode the carousel one more time.  We were all so happy as we left the park.  I am glad we brought them there because it was an experience I'll never forget in such a good way.

December 14, 2012

Christmas Decor

Here is a tour of my Christmas home decor.  I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner.  

Snowmen are one of my favorite's for winter decor.  This is my Scentsy Bluster warmer.  It has sold out two winters in a row.  I'm glad I got mine before it was gone.  
 I had a June wedding in 2004.  One of the most unexpected gifts was from my neighbor, and it was Christmas decorations.  It was definitely one of my favorite wedding gifts.  I loved pulling it out on our first Christmas together and every one since.  Almost all the Christmas decorations I have come from that wedding gift.  This snowman bowl was one of the wedding gifts and probably one of my favorite holiday pieces.
This fiber optic train was among those wedding gifts too.  Now that we have kids, they love watching it light up.
These snowmen were also wedding gifts.  As I said, I love snowmen, so these are special parts of my decorations.  
Santa Ice Skating is a whimsical statue.  It makes me smile whenever I look at it, and I love all the detail to it.  Are you surprised when I say it was another part of the wedding gift?  
Since our family is complete now, I wanted to buy new, matching stockings.  When looking online I saw these at Lands' End.  They were perfect because there was one that matched up perfectly for each of our kids.  We got a great deal, and I'm excited to use these for many years to come.  
Ryan has always been fond of penguins.  Sean LOVES choo-choo trains.  And I was happy that they had one that was slightly girly for my little girl.  
When we first got married, I had these visions of the perfectly decorated Christmas tree.  I had toyed with the idea of a beach themed tree in perfect blue, silver, and gold decorations strung with beautiful shells.  But then I realized how each Christmas ornament we got was so special to us.  They don't necessarily fit together or make the most beautifully decorated tree, but all the ornaments we place on the tree are meaningful to us and hold our memories.  The kids placed most of the ornaments this year, which is why so many of them are on the lower half of the tree.  It may not be the tree I had once envisioned, but it is perfect for our family.  

Happy Holidays everyone!

December 13, 2012

Half a Year

Today Leah is 6 months old.  How did half a year go by already?  I know every parent says time flies by, and that is because it REALLY does.  Sure, we were pretty busy during these 6 months--selling our house, moving to New England, living with my parents for 7 weeks, buying and moving into our new home, and now finally living together as a family, but it still seemed to go by too fast.  Leah amazes me every day.  While I want to slow time down and keep her as my little baby, I also look forward to all the new milestones and sweet moments yet to come.
 







A little bit about Leah at 6 months:
Leah cut her first two teeth this week.  These teeth disrupted her sleep a little bit, but since she is co-sleeping with me, it was more disruptive to my sleep.  She is still nursing like a champion.  We'll start some solid foods soon, maybe after the holidays.  She loves watching her brothers; Ryan can ALWAYS make her laugh.  She is still a Momma's girl.  She is starting to talk/squeal more.  She seems a bit shy.  Whenever we visit with friends/family she is a bit quiet and reserved, so often times people don't get to see her bright and happy disposition.  But we see the happy side all the time at home.  She's starting to enjoy spending some time on the floor.  She enjoys rolling around in just her diaper and beating her belly with her arms.  She loves jumping in her jumperoo.  She loves to take cat naps on her mommy or beside her in the bed.  I'm probably completely screwing up her sleep patterns and habits, but I'll deal with that another day ;)  I just love her smile so much.  It can completely change my day when she smiles at me.  I feel so lucky to have this little girl as part of our family and cannot wait to watch as she continues to grow.
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