Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pinteresting Finds: Reese's 4th Birthday

I've been scouting Pinterest a lot lately (okay, it's basically my go to app) for ideas for Reese's fourth birthday party.  She has been set on a Tangled party for months (although I'm waiting for her to change her mind to Cinderella because that's her new thing), so I've been trying to get ideas.  I used a lot of ideas from my Pinterest board to put together her Minnie Mouse party last year, and it was super cute (and relatively easy).

She wants to have her birthday party at the Little Gym again this year, and that sounds like a great idea to me.  We're holding off on scheduling it until the surgery scheduler from the doctor's office calls to set a date for my c section, and then I want everything done so I don't have to do anything!  Ha!

Some of the pins are to boards or blog posts that give ideas about parties - I think they're great.  Of course we won't be having any buffets or going too crazy at The Little Gym, so some of it is overkill for me!

This whole blog post would be a great idea for bigger kids and an at home party!

I love these favors!  I actually bought little plastic Tangled tubs at Target in the $1 section last month, so I'm halfway there!  I don't think that the boys will like Tangled too much though!  Ha!


These cupcakes would be a nightmare to transport and also to decorate for non pros like me, but I love the tower.

And these cookies - YUM!

Friday, June 29, 2012


Today's post topic for Jenna's commenting challenge is to share about your dream vacation - where I would go, etc.

Well, I think that as far as family vacations go, the answer is pretty obvious!
We are big fans of Disney World!
 And our favorite place to stay (by far) is the Wilderness Lodge!
We made trips to Disney World in 2007 (with Wyatt at 9 months), 2008 (Wyatt was 19 months, Reese was 2.5 months), 2010 (Wyatt was 3.5, Reese was 2, and Hudson was a month old), and 2011 (4.5, 3, and 13 months).

What do we love about Disney World?  Seriously, what's not to love?  It's the happiest place on earth!  Unless, you know, your 4 year old and your 3 year old can't get along to save their lives!  Ha!  No really, we have had some incredible times and made incredible memories on vacation.  Some people think we're crazy for taking them so many times, or taking so many, or taking itty bitty babies - but really, our time with them is limited, and it's so fun for us to make these memories together, especially while they're little enough to want to be with us, and to take in all the "Disney Magic."  

Which isn't to say it's all fun all the time.  We've had breakdowns on Main Street USA from overtired children, Reese was taken by ambulance out of Epcot because she was extremely constipated, and on our last trip we actually walked out of a park at 3PM because the kids couldn't be polite or stop fighting!  But looking back, it's all just part of going on vacation with kids!

This year we're also talking about making a Fall Trip to Washington DC to take the kids to the National Zoo, the Smithsonian (Wyatt LOVES dinosaurs), and to take in the fun sights.  I was spoiled as a kid because my grandmother lived outside of DC and we went up to visit a lot!  I still remember going to see the National Christmas Tree, riding the Metro, and going on a bike ride through Washington with my Dad!  I want to give my kids those kind of fun experiences, and I'm sure my family up there would LOVE to put up a crazy family of 6 for a few nights :).  Another Disney vacations in December is also in the plans, so we'll just have to see how it all works out - but this will be a very well traveled baby!  Ha!

In terms of Mommy/Daddy getaways, Brian and I love making weekend trips to Williamsburg.  It's a short drive, and there's still a lot of stuff for us to do, even if we don't go to Busch Gardens.  If staying in New York wasn't so expensive, even weekend getaways to see a few Yankees games are fun! We love a good cruise, even though we haven't been on one since our Honeymoon.  I know we definitely loved St. Thomas, Grand Cayman and Belize.  I'm not a huge fan of Mexico.  But I might be if I stayed at a resort!  Ha!  

If I could go anywhere in the world right now though, it would totally be Bora Bora, because it looked amazing on the Real Housewives of the OC last week!  How about you?  Where would you LOVE to go on vacation?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Busch Gardens!

We decided to take the kids to Busch Gardens on Monday.  Brian and I have had season passes for years, and right now they still have free preschool passes for kids who live in Virginia.  So for now, it's still reasonably priced entertainment!  Once we need to buy passes for all these kids (and they can't split a kids meal) it might be a little different!  Ha!  I can't believe that we hadn't been there since Hallowscream  in October.  We're usually there in the spring, but there just hasn't been time for it this year!

Our first stop is always the Sesame Street Forest of Fun.  The rides are perfect for our little ones, and Hudson is currently obsessed with Elmo, so he had a blast!

We stopped to watch the beginning of the Elmo show.  Hudson was a little confused by the gigantic Elmo dancing around.  He finally caught on and said, "Melmo!"  But before that he was a little contemplative.
Elmo's roller coaster was closed, which is a bummer because it's the only thing the two big kids talk about.  It's the very first thing that they want to do when they get there!  So we went on the other rides instead.
And that was fun, too!

I didn't think it was going to be nearly as hot as it actually was (I even wore shorts, which I NEVER do), but fortunately we were able to hang out under some of the water mists!  The kids LOVED them.  And so did I!

We stopped for lunch at Festhaus (we were all super hungry by 11:45!).  They have a new show, and I honestly have no idea why they changed it.  It isn't that good.  It's a new fairy tale themed show, and well, there is a lot of singing.  Like, if you were ever confused about WHY Simon Cowell used to say that people belonged in a theme park, this would explain it.  Not very good.  And to top it off, the fairy tales included the Big Bad Wolf - which is like a dagger to my heart since they got rid of the actual Big Bad Wolf roller coaster.  But also made my three year old cry because she is terrified of all types of wolves!

We stopped to ride the planes and bumper cars after lunch.  We also let the kids try a soccer game.  Wyatt lost.  Reese won a soccer ball.  Let's just say that her winning did not go over well with her big brother!
After bumper cars we stopped for a bathroom break, and Brian needed a drink.  So he got a Bud Light Lime.  And then he needed to do something with one of the kids, and I ended up with his beer in my hands.  And of course, this is one of the four pictures he chose to take of me all day!
We also stopped to ride the carousel.  Hudson was excited to see the "horsie," but as soon as it started moving, he wanted off!  I believe his exact words were "No, no, no, no!"

We did the Land of the Dragons stuff for the big kids, and then made our way to the exit.  We made a few stops. Wyatt loves the Scrambler, and then we stopped for kettle corn.  We also came across this nice Boa Constrictor in the aviary section.  The child who is terrified of wolves?  Yeah, we had to hold her back from this.  Go figure!
The snake was actually a lot closer to them before I moved to take this.  They are crazy.  I wanted to be away from it!  Hudson didn't want to move either, he was pointing and saying "Snake!  snake!" while we watched it and after we moved on!
We stopped to check out the Clydesdales before we  left.  There's a new foal, and of course Wyatt wanted to know if it was dead because it was lying down.  Seriously, these kids.  They did have the dog out for us to pet, and Hudson really enjoyed visiting with her!
We had a really fun day!  It was our first "outing" without the double stroller, which meant that both big kids walked the entire park, with almost no complaints.  We did have a little bit of a breakdown over some water bottles, but that was about it!  They definitely made it enjoyable enough for us to want to take them back!  Ha!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

You Scream, I Scream!

We love to treat the kids to ice cream during the summer.  It's fun for us to get out of the house in the evening to go get a yummy treat.  I especially enjoy it when I'm ridiculously pregnant!

Of course, this whole taking the kids to do anything (dinner, ice cream, even water sometimes at amusement parks) isn't getting any cheaper!  Ha!  We went out for ice cream last week (ridiculously behind.  Or maybe we're just cramming in a lot of fun stuff this summer!) and we had a lot of fun.  It wasn't a very warm evening - I was actually a little chilly - but we still had fun!

Wyatt picked out his own cone and ice cream flavor.  I think he wanted a waffle cone, but I thought this was just fine for his plain old vanilla ice cream!

Wyatt and Daddy.  I think Brian ended up sharing most of his ice cream with Hudson!
Reese picked out a Dora ice cream.  For some reason, she was really into the eyeballs.  But "eyeballs" is like her favorite word right now.  She was also sneaking bites of Brian's ice cream in between!
And this little guy....
Was just an ice cream-aholic.  He was begging for ice cream!  I'm not even kidding. 
He wants his ice cream.  And he's serious about it.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Swim Lessons: Week 1!

I'm linking up with Jenna's commenting challenge this week at Jenna's Journey!

The kids had their first week of swim lessons last week.  They took 5 weeks of swim lessons last summer, and they're taking 5 more weeks this summer.  I like that it gives us something to do outside every day, but it's more important to Brian and I that they learn to swim!

Wyatt started his lessons on Station 6, so he's  learning the backstroke right now.  And this is basically what he did all week!

Reesie is, well, Reesie.  To pass Station 2 she needs to blow bubbles, bob, and open her eyes underwater.  She is not a fan of opening her eyes.  Which is why she is now on her fifth week of Station 2 without passing. 
But she's having a really good time! 
I'm hoping she will move on to Station 3 next week, but you never know with her.  She's definitely a little bit stubborn!  We had lessons at 9:45 last week and I was sweating, but we switch to 9:00 for the rest of the summer.  I hope it's at least a little but cooler because I was sweating like crazy!  Hudson has been so patient though while we wait for their lessons to finish up.  He's so quiet that I could probably read if I wanted to!

With Brian's crazy summer work schedule he only gets Mondays off.  I didn't want to schedule back to back weeks where we had to be somewhere every Monday morning, so I scheduled the kids to go every other week. That way we can do fun things like go to Busch Gardens on the off weeks :).

I can't believe that June is almost over!  I feel like this summer is flying by.   Fortunately we have a sweet baby girl to look forward to meeting in September!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Funnies from the Kids

These are  mostly just status updates from Facebook, but these kids keep me laughing every day!

Listening to music in  the kitchen while we have snacks and clean up:
Wyatt playing the air drums: "Mom, do I look just like Taylor?"
Reese: "Taylor who? Swift?"
Wyatt: "No! Taylor is the drummer in the Foo Fighters! Mom! Who is teaching this girl about music?"

Our air conditioning went out on Thursday night.  I was miserable!  Fortunately the guy was able to come and fix it on Friday, but at lunch time Hudson looked at me and signed "grumpy." I still don't know if he was talking about him or me.

Hudson just started saying "fish." But the day he learned it, he kept saying "Bish! Bish!"

Every one needs to use the bathroom before we leave for swim lessons, and I heard this conversation:
"Wyatt! I shut the door because I NEED privacy!"
"Reese! You're 3! I didn't need privacy until I was 5!"

Overheard after Wyatt got out of the shower at my mom's (talking to the dog):
"Don't you even think about biting this delicate bottom, Bella."

On the first day of summer vacation, I had a conversation with the kids about my expectations for them for the summer.  This was Wyatt's summary:
"Mommy wants us to wake up, get dressed, and do school work like reading and math. She doesn't want us to run in the house, hit each other, be rude, yell loudly in the house, or smoke."

I didn't actually talk to them about smoking that day.  It's an ongoing discussion.  But at least we're opening the doors to the conversation early :)!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Big Girl Bed!

We FINALLY moved Reese to her big girl bed this week.  I know, I know.  She's almost 4.  But she's really always been fine in her crib, even after she was potty trained.  I can't believe that I broke down and ordered her this bed. Her crib converts to a toddler bed, but I'm planning on using that for the baby, so we needed a solution.  This seemed like an okay one, and at least one that she really, really likes!

She has done a great job staying in her bed (which honestly, was my biggest fear).  I already have one who gets out of bed to come say good night one last time, or he comes to tell me something funny, or worse, he comes to sleep in my bed!  Wyatt was already trying to create a "plan" with her for them both to get up and sneak to my bed.  We have had many conversations about how it's not okay, and how he just won't fit in my bed now that I'm so big (and I need 55 pillows to sleep).  But then last night he got up and told Brian to come to the couch with him to sleep!  Ha! 

Reese has been a dream though. Hopefully she keeps this up!  She hasn't been napping, but she wasn't doing much of that lately anyway.  At least she's getting a good night's sleep!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Katie Graduates!

My little sister graduated from high school last weekend!  It's crazy that her graduation was 12 years to the day after mine.  As with most graduations that involve 450+ people, her ceremony was loooooong, but there were 2 good speeches, and 1 not-so-good one (some smart kids are smart and witty.  And some are :))! 

The kids weren't allowed to take their cell phones into the ceremony, so meeting up with Katie after the ceremony was a bit of a challenge, but we found her!

Dad, Mom, and Katie!
Matt, Me, and the graduate!
Katie and Aunt Michele!
With her diploma (and her shot record?  They put a copy of their shot record in every one's diploma?) Which is really only funny because her actual doctor's office LOST her shot record when the Pediatrician's office sent it over - I'm sure her physical for college was fun!
My parents with Katie and Stevie!
Stevie and Katie!
After the graduation ceremony we had lunch at the Oceanfront.  Sooooo good!  I think I ate every single bite of my crab cake sandwich, fries, and key lime pie! I was hungry!

I can't believe that she is going to be leaving for college in (less than) two months, and she'll turn 18 two months from today!  Craziness! Fortunately she got an iPhone 4 for graduation, so once I qualify for my upgrade in October we'll be able to Facetime.   The kids tell me all the time that they don't want her to leave and go away!  Ha!  Congratulations Katie!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Baby Minnie: 28 Weeks!

I can not believe that I am 28 weeks pregnant with our baby girl!  It feels good in an "it's almost over" kind of way to be this far along.  In the actual physical sense?  It doesn't feel so good!  Ha!

  • How far along: 28 weeks!
  • Size of baby: She's about 16 inches long and 2.5 pounds. And she's just going to get bigger!
  • Total weight gain/loss: I'm still up one pound!  I swear it isn't from lack of trying!  I eat and eat and eat and eat and...nothing!  My glucose results all came back normal, so I'm in the clear for gestational diabetes.  I did find out at my appointment last week that I need another ultrasound at 32 weeks.  One doctor wants to do it because he wants my placental scarring checked before I go in for my Cesarean, and the midwife wants a fetal weight check because I haven't gained any weight.
  • Cravings: Ice cream sandwiches, plums, strawberries, cereal, icee pops, and Port wine cheese on Triscuits.
  • Maternity clothes: Jeans, t-shirts, dresses.  I love my pregnancy shirts.  I tend not to fit back into my other clothes when I'm breastfeeding!
  • Gender: She's still a girl!
  • Movement: She is constantly on the move.  Right now I'm getting big nudges all over.  She's really, really low too, which means more trips to the bathroom for me!
  • What I miss: Right now?  Being pregnant and working! Ha!  This is my first "stay at home" pregnancy, and I am tired all the time.  When I worked I woke up ridiculously early, went to work for 8 hours, and came home.  My job was sitting.  Like, all day I sat down at a desk.  When I wanted to get UP from the desk, I went to fill up my water bottle.  Then I got up to pee.  And the cycle continued for 8 hours.  Staying at home is different.  I'm shuttling kids to swimming, and chasing them around the house, and cleaning up after them.  And forgetting to drink water.  It's honestly incredibly exhausting!
  • Sleep: It's difficult to get comfortable, but I'm not up too much.
  • Symptoms: The carpal tunnel. Hip pain.  I'm tired.  Exhausted.  Like, don't want to get off the couch to do anything.  I am starting to feel out of breath pretty easily. 
  • Best Moment this week: Her kicking sprees at night are pretty awesome!
  • What I am looking forward to: Settling on a name for our little bean soon!  Our next appointment is in 2 weeks and it's with my very favorite doctor (she has delivered our three oldest), and I'm hoping that our talk leads to a Delivery Date for this one!
  • Goals for this week:  Keep chugging along on cleaning and organizing our room to get it set up for our new room mate.  I'd also like to start pulling her clothes out of the attic so I can make sure I have everything! I'm honestly waiting for the whole nesting thing to kick in because my energy level is not meeting my expectations for baby preparation!  Brian and I also need to make a list of baby items that we need so that we can get them as we get coupons.  I can't believe how close we're getting to her joining us!
For fun: Pregnant with Hudson at 27 weeks!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Father's Day

We had a very low key Father's Day.  And when I say we, I mean me and the kids.  Brian was at work until 4 (and he had to be there super early), so the kids didn't even see him until he got home.  Wyatt threw a fit last week when I told him that Brian had to work on Father's Day, so I didn't even mention it to them until he was almost home!

Once he got home they gathered up their cards (the big kids each worked on one at school, and we did a little Father's Day questionnaire that I found on Pinterest) and sat down to give them to their Daddy!

Reese was not happy that Wyatt got to go first.
But everything was better once they heard each other's responses to the card!  Brian asked if I wanted him to change out of his shirt before we took pictures. This is one of his very favorite (VERY FREE) white shirts to wear under his polo at work!
Love this smile!
She was very proud that she wrote "Dad" all by herself on the card without looking at anything!
And never satisfied with being left out, Wyatt jumped in the picture, too!
After we opened cards, the kids each gave Brian a present.  We got him the first 3 Spiderman movies on Blu-Ray (I still firmly believe that Spiderman 2 is one of the greatest movies ever), and each one of the kids gave him one.  He got a grill set from me.  I really wanted to get him an iPad, but we have too many other things we want to "invest" in right now - a swingset for the backyard, and another trip to Disney World  - so we decided together not to get it (there was no way I was spending that much money without asking him!  Ha!).

We ordered pizzas and went over to Brian's parents house for dinner and to let the kids play.  They had fun, but Hudson is itching to play baseball with his Daddy and Baba and Wyatt, and I know it bothers him that he isn't big enough yet!

Here is the link to the printable that we did on Father's Day!  It was super cute to sit down with the kids and talk about their Daddy.  Basically, all of Reese's answers involved hugs and kisses, and Wyatt's centered around how happy he is that his Daddy coached his baseball team!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Calder Cup Champions!

The Norfolk Admirals won the 2012 Calder Cup last weekend!  Brian has had season tickets all year (as well as play off tickets and he's reserved his seats for next year), so he wanted to go to the parade in Downtown Norfolk to celebrate.  Wyatt and Reese both LOVE hockey, and around here we very rarely have the opportunity to go celebrate local sports teams winning anything!  We've got Triple A baseball and the AHL and that's about it.  So we decided to make it a family trip!

While we waited for the parade to start the new light rail, The Tide, passed by!

The team coming through.
Another group of players.  Wyatt's favorite is in the light blue shirt.  Brian says that his job is to be the Enforcer, which I think means that he's just there to start fights.  Of course he would be Wyatt's favorite!
The Calder Cup!
While we waited for the team to come up to the "celebration" we waited in some nearby shade!
Both kids in their Admirals shirts!
This was her favorite spot because she could see everything!
Wyatt's favorite player being interviewed by a local sports anchor!  One of the day's "events" was that a bunch of the guys on the team shaved their beards to support the St. Baldrick's Foundation to help kids with cancer.
The team thanking the fans for coming our an supporting them!  The next day it was announced that the franchise that the Admirals were under (Tampa Bay Lightning) decided to move their AHL affiliate to Syracuse.  Which means that all of these guys will be moving to Syracuse and we will be getting a team of AHL players for another team next year (it's rumored to be the Ducks?). So we'll have a totally different team next year.  Brian is not happy!
Heading back to the car.  Wyatt looks so tall to me!  I rarely pay attention to how tall he is, but standing next to Brian (who is over 6 feet tall) he looked huge!  So we measured him next to me that other day, and the kid comes up to my shoulder blades!  The curse of being short - your children will outgrow you before they're 7!
After the game Brian and I decided to go to Doumar's for dinner!  Here is the world's first ice cream cone machine, as well as the sign that says that "Guy Ate Here!"  He did an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives that featured Doumar's a few years ago!
We enjoyed our burgers, fries, limeades and sundaes from the comfort of our (loud) car!
I know that Brian is already missing some hockey, but he's finally got more time to invest in baseball and the Yankees! Ha!  Only 5 more months until hockey season anyway!