Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Could I be any later posting about Thanksgiving?  We've been a little busy this week!

We  The boys spent the morning watching Star Wars: A New Hope.  Brian really wants to get the The Empire Strikes Back so Wyatt can learn that Darth Vader=Luke's Father=Anakin Skywalker.  Not kidding.  He wants to make sure that he's there when Wyatt learns that for the first time! After that we watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade.  We wake up really early!

We decided to let the kids have quiet time before we went over to Brian's parents' house for the afternoon.  It was very weird to only have one meal to go to this year!  My dad was at the Fire Station and my Aunt pulled together a nice meal at my parents' house, but we missed it!

When we got to Mimi and Baba's the kids went straight outside to play in  the leaves...

And throw around the football.

"Seriously Reese, leaf me alone!"

Isn't her shirt adorable?!  I saw one like it on Pinterest months ago and really wanted to try and make one - but I gave up before I even tried!  I ordered it from this Etsy shop, and I love it!  I put it on her the day after Halloween, and I ordered her a 5T in hopes that she can wear it next year!

Brian practiced jumping over Hudson.

And Hudson fit in two of his new favorite hobbies - walking, and walking to get away from the dogs.  I've never seen a baby who moved as fast as he does when a dog is coming!

Doesn't his hair look so red!  I get stopped at least once a day by people who want to tell me that he is adorable and that he has the best hair.  But then they want to know where he gets the red (it's worse when Reese is with us).  The answer - I have no idea!

Once Wyatt put the football down it was Hudson's turn!

Reese ate next to nothing for dinner (she was more interested in playing), but she was very excited to have some pie!  When we asked the kids what they were thankful for on Thanksgiving, Wyatt's response was "my daddy," and Reese said "apple pie and pumpkin pie!"  She had a lot of fun hanging out with Sophie!

After dinner we came home with three very tired kids.  They went right to bed and I got to work on one of our Christmas trees while we watched Christmas Vacation and Brian looked through the Black Friday ads.  He did go out at midnight, but he went to Kohl's, picked up with toy he wanted, and then walked out.  Amazing!  He's such a good bargain shopper!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Meet Parker

Meet our new elf, Parker.  Parker was sent here by Santa to watch over the kids, and each night he goes off to the North Pole to give Santa a report.

Brian and I really debated getting an Elf on the Shelf.  We thought it might be a good, fun tradition.  But we were also worried because Wyatt isn't dumb.  We thought there was a slim chance that this guy would tip Wyatt off to something "funny."  We agreed that if anything started to go awry we would abandon Santa's little helper.

When we first introduced the elf and read his book, they were both very excited.  The process of naming him went a little like this:

Me: "Guys, we have to come to a consensus about what our elf's name should be.  That means we all need to agree."
Wyatt: "I have an idea Reesie.  We could name him Caillou."
Reese: "No, Bringer."
Wyatt: "How about Spiderman?"
Reese: "No, Brownger."
Brian: "I have an idea.  Wyatt suggested Spiderman.  Why don't we name him Parker like Peter Parker?"
Wyatt and Reese: "Yes!"

After this interaction, Wyatt started to ask questions.  How does Parker get to the North Pole?  How does he fly?  What does he tell Santa?

Brian explained that Parker is like Buzz and Woody in Toy Story, and that when we leave the room he comes to life, and that's when he visits Santa.  Then we told him that Parker would see everything he did that was good (like cleaning up his toys), and everything he did that was naughty (like basically everything else).

Wyatt jumped out of bed this morning to find Parker in the tree, and then he really bought into it!  Of course, he also ended up basically sharing confession with our little elf after he returned home from Mimi and Baba's today, so I guess we'll have to see how this all works out!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

From my little pilgrims!

Thankful everyday for the little hands that created these works of turkey art!  For their health, their spunk, their love, and the absolute joy they've each brought into our lives!

We are blessed!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Funnies from Wyatt

Just a few tidbits from my oldest, most strong willed, most opinionated boy:

This morning I walked into the living room to find Wyatt playing with Hudson.  Playing fetch.  He was throwing a toy and following it up with, "Go get it, buddy!"  Hudson would scatter off to get the toy, and come back and clap.  And then give Wyatt a high 5!  So silly!

The UPS guy came this morning at 9:00.  This is unheard of.  He usually shows up anywhere between 3pm and 6pm!  I was in the laundry room, and Wyatt came in and said, "Hey Mommy, the package guy came and left two packages on the door step.  I think one is from Target.  Also, is it still the morning?  I think he usually comes after lunch."

And my favorite is from the other night when the American Music Awards were on (I don't watch it, I swear.  We changed the channel so we didn't have The Amazing Race ruined for us!).  He looked at me while we walked to brush his teeth and said, "Mom, that singer that's a kid? Justin Bieber? He's so bad. I don't want to ever have to listen to him sing again. That's not good music."  He has good taste!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just Sharing

I had a grand plan to take the kids to the train tracks that run behind our neighborhood with the intention of getting some pictures.  I thought that (pending cooperation and good behavior) we might be able to get some cute Christmas card shots.

These are not the Christmas Card shots...

But they're still pretty cute!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hudson's One Year Check Up

Hudson's one year check up was on Wednesday.  Because Brian has been out of town since Tuesday (he's coming back today - yay!), I got to take all three kids to the doctor for the first time ever.  By myself.  It was an adventure!

I let Wyatt and Reese roam around the room at their appointments when they were little.  Needless to say, Hudson spent most of his time on my hip.  I was kind of busy convincing Wyatt that the dialysis patients on the floor below us needed their blood pressure to stay low, and him jumping up and down wasn't helping!  Even with a "bag of tricks," Wyatt was still a little bouncy.  Reese was an absolute angel.  She watched everything Dr. J did and stayed so quiet.  I did tell our UNC educated doctor about her decision to go to Duke.  He told her to find a new doctor!

Anyway, back to Mr. H.  He is:
22 lbs., 12 ounces (47th percentile)
28.5 inches (10th percentile - ouch!)
18.5 head circumference (66th percentile)

Hudson is walking, talking, and signing.  He showed all of his "tricks" off during his exam.  He was an absolute angel!

...Until the shots.  He ended up with his final shots yesterday - and we also got his flu shot while we were there. He was a not a fan, and it was my first time being the one to stay with him (any of them, really) while he got shots!  That's usually Daddy's job!

I can't believe that he's a year old, and it's a little hard to watch him get bigger because he's not my little baby anymore!  But I am hoping that he grows an inch or two over the next three months!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursdays!


Linking up with Samantha again this week to share some thanks!  If you haven't been to her blog, go check it out, and while you're there send her some prayers for little Gwen - she's had a tough week and could use some support through Gwen's surgery!

This week I am thankful, above all, for our health.  Hudson just had his one year check up yesterday and while he's still a short little guy, he is in great health.  Even after those pesky shots!

I am thankful for my husband, who is a great Daddy and a wonderful husband.  I'm thankful that he works so hard for our family.  Sure, I wish he walked through the door at 5:30 every night, but that's not happening soon :).  I am excited about his work schedule over the next month and a half, though!

I am thankful for our families.  They spent 3 and half years working with my work schedule to make sure Wyatt and Reese were taken care of. And our parents still recognize how important it is for us to get our "date nights" in, and they're always willing to hang out with their grand kids!  Our kids LOVE their Mimi and Baba, and Didi and Pop Pop, and I know that the relationships that they have with them are priceless.

I am thankful that next Thursday is Thanksgiving!  Yay!

What are you thankful for this week?  Why don't you share and then link up with Samantha!  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tis the Season - Tiny Prints!

'Tis the season to start prepping for Christmas cards!  I have a plan (in my head, anyway) to get pictures ready for Christmas cards this weekend, and then order them and get them ready to go out.  I like to send mine out early-ish - by the 14th!  I usually get a lot of cards in the mail around the 22nd, but I like for mine to be out before that!  I've spent a lot of time trying to find good, quality cards and I stumbled upon Tiny Prints, and I have to say that I am in love!

I have gone through the website and looked at all the cards - seriously, all of them - and these are my favorites!

I just love the colors in this one:

But I used their search bars to find cards that might be a little more appropriate for us - cards that allow more than one picture - it's not always easy to find one perfect picture!  This one is perfect!

Because of our love for the word Noel around here (we have an entire collection of things with Noel on them for Christmas - I wonder why...), I really just LOVE  this card!

If you're looking for your Christmas cards, you should definitely head over to Tiny Prints and check them out - you will definitely find your perfect card!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In The Spirit

I'm guilty.

We've been Christmas shopping.  Friday afternoon and night we had a "date night." Our date consisted of me going along for Brian's flu shot, and then a trip to Toys R Us.  There was a sale that day, and we had no idea.  Until the store was packed when we arrived - like Black Friday packed.

We were able to get some things for Reese (almost done!), Hudson's Elmo, and one present for Wyatt.  We followed that up with dinner at a Mexican restaurant and came home to our kids (and our DVR)!

My mom watched the kids yesterday.  We went to see J. Edgar.  My initial review?  Good? Interesting?  A little weird?  I found Armie Hammer's aging to be disturbing.  I found Josh Lucas' appearance as Charles Lindbergh to be (very) pleasant.  I just don't really trust biopics.  Even when they're directed by Clint Eastwood.  (Note to Brian: I'm not saying anything bad about Clint Eastwood.  I promise.)

After the movie we did a little more Christmas shopping.  We went to an early dinner. And then we went to Kohl's, where I got this:

It's not for me.  I swear.  It's for Reese's room.  We want to put small trees in their rooms.  I got a regular green tree at Target last week.  But then I saw this purple one for 50% off yesterday.  And it was perfect.  She loves purple.  And I got her purple and pink ornaments at Michael's on clearance last year.  I'm kind of excited.  I'm (probably) returning the other one. And this is going up.  Soon.

I'm biting the bullet today and packing up the Thanksgiving stuff.  And we're going all out Christmas around here.  Pronto.  I love the lights and the twinkle.  And Christmas.  Especially when it involves purple trees.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday!


I am linking up with Samantha again  to share what I am thankful for this week.  Such a fun way to jot down things that make our lives better and more rewarding and just, well, amazing!

I am thankful for my kids.  And their health.  And their spunk.  I don't have one wall flower.  They're all funny, and a little too opinionated for my their own good, but I love it.  I know that they will always stand up for themselves and each other, and for that I am truly grateful!

I am thankful for education!  Mine, Brian's, and the kids'.  We both grew up in amazing school systems.  I was lucky enough to get a public education that was equivalent to a private one - without the tuition.  My kids go to an amazing pre-school that is providing them with a wonderful foundation, and they will go to great schools (and I'm not just saying that because my mother-in-law used to teach at one)!

I am thankful that my kids want to learn.  Reese is already so close to a Phonics book - something Wyatt didn't even get until this year (she really has an advantage by having a big brother so close in age)!  Wyatt is super close to getting his first reader and is having fun going on "word searches" with me and finding sight words.

I am thankful for a sense of humor.  Everyone's.  Mine.  Brian's.  My Dad's.  My brothers'.  My friends'.  And my kids'.  I like laughing.  Even if it's at my expense (which is why I can still tolerate my brother's sense of humor).  Reese tells some of the funniest jokes. Wyatt has a great delivery (which I think is courtesy of The Backyardigans.)  I also have a great appreciation for sarcasm.

I am thankful to have a voice.  I don't have a lot of strong opinions or get offended easily (see the above appreciation for a sense of humor), but this week has challenged me.  I was really offended by something someone said, and I've taken it head on.  And I'm kind of happy about that.  And the emails I keep getting that confirm that I'm doing the right thing!

I am thankful to finally have a night off!  I'm headed out to dinner with a friend tonight, and I am really excited.  And following it up with Grey's Anatomy sounds just right!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What I'm Loving Wednesday

Oh it's Wednesday again - time to share what I'm loving today!

So this Merona Ultimate Tee from Target is probably one of my favorite fall finds - I have two in white, and one in this gray stripe, and also in orange and teal - for $8 each!! I seriously love these shirts - I hate getting "dressed up" to clean and do housework all day, but I can't stand wearing old ratty t-shirts either.  These are great!
I am seriously obsessed with peppermint mocha creamer right now.  I was all about pumpkin pie creamer through October - but I've officially made the switch.  My coffee tastes SO good every morning now.  It's almost as good as one from Starbucks - except this is better because the creamer costs much less than a cup of coffee there!

I check on daily deal sites almost every day (and only buy if I can get a great deal) - and I found these hair clips yesterday on Very Jane for $2.50!  I got Reese the penguin and the gingerbread girl for $7 with shipping.  These will look super cute with her Christmas shirts this year!
Augh!  These two!  I know that they will be beyond excited to find out that we're going back to Disney World, and I can't wait to tell them - but we're keeping it a secret for now!  I got really excited when I saw Wyatt's progress report at his parent teacher conference yesterday and saw that he said that he likes it when we take him to Disney World!  I was less excited when I saw that Reese told her teacher that it makes her happy when I give her food.  Seriously?!?  Kids say the silliest things!
Y'all - I'm not even going to lie.  My skin is awful.  Like, I would show you pictures of how bad it is sometimes, but I would be so embarrassed (although it was its worst when I was a junior in high school).  I tried every medication in high school, and I wash my face morning and night, but nothing has ever worked.  I find myself wanting to smack people who complain about getting a pimple once a month. I'm also terribly afraid that my kids could end up with my skin. I'm not kidding - I would be so much happier to be dealing with wrinkles than dealing with acne at 29.  Proactiv is the only thing that works for my skin - if I follow all three steps, twice a day.  I stopped using it for awhile, but I couldn't take it anymore - sometimes I need to do what's right for me, too! 
My Erin Condren address book came this week (mine is mocha/multi though), and I am so excited!  I have about a gazillion Excel files with all the addresses I need in it - but it is such a pain.  I am so happy to have all my contacts in one place!
This candle is on its last leg - but I am still in love!  Fortunately we'll be making the switch to a Christmas scent in the near future so I won't be scentless - but I LOVE this one!

So that's kind of a long list - but that's what I'm loving today y'all!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Visiting with Mason: Halloween Edition

Last weekend Marc, April, and Mason came to town for a visit.  And the ODU/JMU game (Go Dukes).  The Dukes lost the game but we still got to see each other, so it was worth their long trip! 

We dressed the kids up in their costumes for a little Halloween "party." Yoda and Froggy got to hang out together.
 And they had very important things to discuss!
 While Mason got to hang out with Uncle Brian...
 Wyatt and Reese spent some time being thrown up in the air by Uncle Marc!

 They absolutely loved it!

We can't wait to visit again for Christmas!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hudson's First Birthday Party: Part 3 - The Decor!

When I was first planning Hudson's party, I had two goals: to make as much of the food and decor as possible, and also to have it be completely stress free.  I tend to be a ball of stress on birthday party days!

When I found this invitation on Pinterest, I knew that it was the one I was looking for!

I pinned the instructions for this balloon wreath from How Does She and was really excited to try it out!  I LOVED how it turned out - and it's actually still on my door!  I like the Thanksgiving colors :)  Mine is a little fuller than the one in the tutorial - but I was kind of obsessive about it!
I liked this idea - but wanted to do it with something I already had. I created this magnetic board for another Pinterest project (make up storage), so I just attached an adhesive magnet to the back of Hudson's monthly pictures and put them on the frame.  I added the mat for guests to sign, a framed invitation, and the favors (chocolate covered pretzel rods) to the table with it - and I was in love!
The food table was easy enough - cupcakes, smash cake, and all the food.  Buffalo chicken balls, Pizza dip, pigs in a blanket, and a veggie tray are on the table.  I actually found the actual "tray" at Target in the $1 section, and got all the veggies myself!  We also had meatballs, chicken nuggets for the kids, and Brian's 7 layer dip but those weren't out yet :)
And quite possibly one of my very favorite things -
I got all the ribbon on clearance at Michael's.  I cut all the ribbon while we watched the X Factor one night, and then hot glued them later that week while Brian and Wyatt went to a hockey game.  You wouldn't think that spending a Saturday night with ribbon and a hot glue gun would be that fun, but when you add in a glass of Moscato and The American President, it's really not that bad!

I have to say that I just loved how Hudson's birthday party turned out, and I kind of can't wait to plan the next party - but we have until March to worry about that!

Hudson is a ONE YEAR OLD!

Hudson is a one year old big boy!  This year has flown by, and I really can't believe that this big boy is the same tiny baby that I held for the first time a year ago!  He is such a joy and his smile just lights up my world!

Here is what he is up to this month:
  • He is about 25 pounds now! I can barely carry him - I usually pass him off to Daddy when we're out and about!
  • He wears a size 4 diaper.
  • He wears his 12 month sleepers and 12 and 18 month clothes. 
  • He has now completely transitioned to cow's milk, and he eats whatever we eat (cut up into small pieces of course!).
  • He is getting to be a better sleeper.   He usually goes to sleep at night somewhere between 6:30 and 7 and wakes up somewhere between 7 and 8.  Daylight savings didn't mess him up too much, thankfully!  I do sometimes wonder if he even naps though!  I usually put him down between 12:30 and 1 and he starts crying about an hour later.  I'm just not sure he sleeps during that hour - I think he might just stare at his crib toy the whole time.
  • He says Uh oh, Mama, Dada, touchdown, hi, Baba, Pop Pop, yes, up, thank you, hey and bye.  He also sometimes says "ee-ee" which I think might mean Reesie.  He signs "all done," and "up," and waves hi and bye. 
  • He has a cute little tongue wiggle that he does when he's thirsty!
  • He has 6 teeth!  The four in the front up top and the bottom two.  More are cutting right now.  He's not so happy about that.
  • He'll be getting his third hair cut next week!
  • He is still sleeping in his sleep sacks.  He LOVES them.
  • He is walking all over the place now.  It's so funny to see him walk everywhere.  He took his first steps on October 6th and gradually worked his way up to using walking as his preferred method of getting around.  We gate off the hallway that leads to the kids' rooms and the stairs, and keep the doors to our room and the half bath closed.  That way he can have the run of the playroom, living room and kitchen!
  • He loves the new Elmo at Target and dances to it in the store.  He will probably get it for Christmas!
  • He actually loves to dance to any music!  He looks so cute jamming.
  • He really seems like a toddler now.  I can't believe how big he is getting!
  • Expect two more detailed posts about his first birthday :).  We had a lot of fun celebrating with him!
Happy First Birthday Mr. H!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful Thursdays!

I will totally admit to getting wrapped up in Christmas the day after Halloween.  I'm trying really hard not to, but I've started a list of everything I need to complete before Christmas - starting with a deep clean/ organizational purge of the house before decorating starts!

So on that note, I figured I would link up with Samantha at Adventures with Gwen to focus on being thankful...even if my house will be decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving!
  • I am thankful to be married to Brian.  He completes me :).  And he makes me laugh everyday. 
  • I am thankful for Wyatt.  He also makes me laugh every day.  And he drives me crazy sometimes.  He's a lot like his Daddy.  Funny, charming and in need of very little sleep. I am grateful everyday that he was "the first to come out of my belly," as he would say!
  • I am thankful for my Reesie.  She is the funniest, sweetest, silliest, most talkative person I know.  Besides me (on the talkative part anyway) :)
  • I am thankful for Hudson.  My baby is the cutest, happiest little person I know!  I melt when he leans in for an open mouthed kiss when I ask for one!  I can not believe that he is going to one in two days. 
  • I am thankful that I survived my first year with three kids with my sanity intact!  I suppose that also leads to me be thankful that my little guy is such a good sleeper when my oldest's sleep habits leave something to be desired (like sleeping until the sun is up).
  • Which leads to being thankful for my Keurig.  Seriously? Seriously!
If you'd care to share why you're thankful, head over to Samantha's blog and link up!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Hudson's Birthday Party: Part 2!

So I just realized that Hudson still had cake up his nose during the present opening portion of his party - oops!  He didn't seem to mind!

He loves this Thomas ball!  He really loves any ball, and will gladly roll the ball back and forth with is big brother for a long time - if Wyatt participates.  Sometimes he just takes off with the ball!
 Reesie was very eager to see what her baby brother got for his birthday!
 Taking a moment to ponder the importance of life?
 Digging into a present!
 Our crazy kids!
We had such a fun day surrounded by our families and close friends!  We're very lucky to have so many people who come out to the kids birthday parties and we always have such a fun time - even if it gets a little loud around here!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or Treat!

We had a lot of fun trick or treating this year!  When it came time to choose costumes, Wyatt was pretty much set on being Captain America.  We actually bought his costume from the Disney Store at the beginning of September!  Reese was not nearly as emphatic about her costume this year as she was last year.  She went back and forth between wanting to dress up as Ariel, Jessie, and Darby from My Friends Tigger and Pooh.  At least she narrowed her options down to red heads!  We finally settled on Jessie last week, and we were able to get it on sale at the Disney Store!  There is no way I would have paid as much as they wanted for the complete costume.

Hudson dressed up as Yoda for his first Halloween. Yes, it's a "recycled" costume, but he really suited it perfectly!  Especially with his little walk - he looks just like Yoda from behind.  Too cute!

 We went trick or treating with our neighbors this year!  Wyatt and Reese were very excited to go around the neighborhood with Gavin and Mady - I was a little worried that the two Captain America's might not be happy to see someone else in their costume - but they actually had a blast together!
 Reese's typical response to everything is "eyeball."  So she was very excited to find out that she got a piece of chocolate that actually looked like an eyeball.
 Hudson had a blast people watching!
 And he went to a few doors as well :)!

While we were out in the neighborhood, Brian spent a lot of time calling Wyatt's name.  At one point Brian called him and then we heard, "Wyatt?  Hi Wyatt!," followed by "Hi Natalie!"  One of the little girl's from his class was trick or treating in our neighborhood, and she turned around and immediately recognized Wyatt.  This is not shocking.  When Wyatt talks about school he talks about Isabella and Natalie more than anything else.  Natalie's mom came up and introduced herself and said that she has the same problem - all she hears about is "Wyatt, Wyatt, Wyatt!"

We got home and found out that these kids scored some serious candy - so much that I immediately threw away the gross stuff, and I am sneaking some into the trash each night!  Last year they almost immediately forgot about the candy, but they both asked me for some tonight.  I think it would be best for all of us if we just threw it out!