Category: Photo Post

Happy Halloween 2016

One of my favorite parts of parenting is introducing our boys to family traditions that date back to when we were little and trick or treating on Halloween is one of my favorites (possibly because I’ve always loved dressing up).

We kicked off our Halloween celebrations by bringing Ben and Teddy to my dad’s office on Friday afternoon to go trick or treating around the office building. It’s a big company with lots of stops but it works great for the little monsters and superheroes with short legs because there isn’t too much walking.

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I felt a little bit like we were herding cats! Every time I tried to direct Ben and Teddy one direction, one would split down another hall or even start going back where we came from!

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Ben is an old pro at trick or treating but Teddy wasn’t too sure at first. It only took a few stops before he was grabbing treats with both hands while quietly chanting, “One, pick one.”

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In just an hour, the boys got more candy than they could carry. They were exhausted from all the running and Ben took his first nap in many months on the drive home!

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Instead of carving pumpkins, which takes a whole lot more parental involvement at this age, we broke out my collection of acrylic paint and let the boys go to town on their tiny pumpkins. They are incredibly proud of their creations.

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For the first time in five years, Halloween wasn’t cold, wet, and miserable! We joke that costumes in Michigan are designed to fit over a snow suit and since I remember many times having to wear a winter coat and hat under my costume, that is a real threat. Happily, we had dry weather in the mid 50s this year. After a quick dinner of pumpkin shaped pizza (Papa Murphy’s for the win!), we met up with friends and headed out into the neighborhood.

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Ben wore his costume the whole time, everyone got treats they were excited about, and Teddy has a newfound, deep love of carrying things around in his Elmo “buckick.” I think we can call Halloween 2016 a success!

The Magical, Disappearing Summer

This is rather awkward. I’ve meant to post, honest, but we’ve been having too much fun summering hard to worry about new posts or formatting photos or eating healthy dinners. Suddenly its July and I’m convinced the last few months have gone by at twice the normal speed.

In May we road tripped to Disney (another full post coming about that!) and celebrated Brian’s 30th birthday while we were there. Brian and I celebrated our 8th anniversary, I took a trip to Savannah with some of my dearest friends, and Teddy ended up in the hospital with RSV. By the time he got out and we felt sufficiently recovered, it was Memorial Day weekend when we did lots of yard work and my sister got engaged!

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Enjoying one of Savannah’s many parks with my travel buddies
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We watched *so much* Nemo at the hospital
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The benefit of having a room on the 6th floor is that you have an amazing view of all the vrooms and gucks driving around
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Ben’s favorite part of shopping for plans was the hot dog truck in front of the greenhouse!
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Putting Ben to work
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She said yes so we’re planning on an October wedding

In June I turned 30, we took a short beach vacation to Ludington (potentially a full post here too) so we could enjoy Lake Michigan and attend my cousin’s wedding, Ben had an amazing dentist appointment, we enjoyed our back yard oasis as much as possible, and Teddy went back to the hospital with RSV again. We have an action plan now so there’s less of a chance that Teddy will have to be admitted to the hospital again this summer. I’d really prefer it to be never!

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Teddy hates the sand with the fire of 1000 suns but he’s all about playgrounds
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T had a big break through in June when he discovered that he does indeed like the baby pool
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Babies in the pool
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Teddy was more intensely sick for a longer time than in May so we have lots of droopy baby pictures
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Look, Ma! No Oxygen! Teddy did really well maintaining his oxygen level while he was awake but needed O2 while sleeping for several days

 

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The downside of being in the hospital, other than the bills and feeling like a caged animal, was we had to miss a friend’s wedding. The upside was that since we already arranged childcare, Brian got to come with us!

July started with a bang (both literally and figuratively). We host my extended family for brunch on the 4th so we spent a few days cleaning and landscaping before going all-in on celebrating the US’s independence. Brian built a play house into the bottom of the boys’ swing set, we finally hung some pictures and projects inside the house, and we’ve made nearly weekly trips to the local farmer’s market.

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Ben is so thrilled to have a house with a doorbell
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Mmmmm. Michigan strawberries
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Independence Day parade
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This was T’s first parade as a toddler and he loved all the trucks and loud things

What do you have going on for the rest of the summer? We have more short trips, wedding planning, house projects, and large road trips to look forward to in the rest of July and in August. Maybe we’ll catch up again in September?

December Update of All The Things

Happy (almost) Christmas! I’m busy hiding from most of the internet this weekend due to the recent release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Brian and I have a babysitter scheduled Monday afternoon so we can see it and are trying very hard to avoid spoilers until then.

The month between Thanksgiving and Christmas has flown by, like it usually does. Brian and I went to WordCamp US in Philadelphia at the beginning of the month and it seems to have taken the two weeks between our return from that trip and today for me to fully grasp being at home again. I’ll write more about that trip in another post.

It has been chilly but without any snow so we’ve been spending lots of time inside at home, avoiding all stores unless absolutely necessary. We’ve bought all gifts, planned all gatherings, and are excited to celebrate Christmas with our boys. Each Christmas season is more thrilling than the last as our boys grow and understand more about what is going on around them. Ben was nearly beside himself when we let him decorate the big Christmas tree one evening after Teddy went to bed.

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This is our first year having a full-size tree in this house and I love it!
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Ben made up so many stories about the ornaments he hung on the tree. “Grammy gave me this one.” “This one is mine.”
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So many of our family activities happen around the Christmas tree during December
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This guy is growing so much but still isn’t walking! He’s just over 14 months, growing more steady on his feet every day, loves to get into his brother’s stuff, and chatters a ton about “E-I,” kitties, Dada, Mama, snacks, and more. He signs often and has picked up several on his own from watching Baby Einstein
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Every. Single. Day
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Ben had his first dentist appointment and did an incredible job! We’re very proud of who he is growing up to be
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Fuzzy babies are the snuggliest babies
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60 degrees in December means we walk to the playground and spent lots of time outside (until it gets cold again, of course)
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Teddy caught another cold and passed it along to me. I don’t mind the snuggles though

November Catch-Up

I hadn’t intended for there to be nearly a month of radio silence around here. November ended up being a fairly chaotic month since all 4 of us spent some time being sick, Teddy got new teeth, and we worked around the house. Here’s what we’ve done since Halloween:

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I’ve attempted to dress Teddy up in costumes and cute outfits as often as possible
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Being sick is hard on everyone!
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Baby McFly is cheesin’ (also saying “chee” because he knows a few words now!)
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We worked on fall crafts in our casual in-home preschool lessons
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We walked grumpy babies until they fell asleep
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And fed them snacks. Nothing makes this boy happier than a full water bottle and a post-nap snack
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Science experiment with baking soda and colored vinegar
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Ben loves to hop on stage after church and play with the drum kit
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We enjoyed a week of incredibly gorgeous weather and played outside as much as we could (until the sun went down at 5 pm, of course)
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We went “camping” in the basement
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Camping made being stuck at home while dealing with colds a little easier on everyone
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Teddy’s favorite activities are putting the top back on an empty bottle and poking plastic milk tops into the opening of a wipes box. We’re working on those motor skills!
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😍 Brothers!
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We had our first snowfall
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Ben built his first snowman (with Brian’s help)
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We have intentionally set aside time to play as a family because we know it’s all too easy to let work and other obligations take over

 

Teddy vs. Cake

We had a first birthday cake smash photoshoot with Teddy earlier this week. While Ben, at the same age, gingerly dipped one finger into the frosting and barely got messy, Teddy barreled across the room when he saw the cupcake on the floor and eagerly dove into it with both hands. He didn’t even let me put it down in front of him before he attacked. It was a lot of fun to watch! teddy-cake-smash-8492 teddy-cake-smash-8494 teddy-cake-smash-8495 teddy-cake-smash-8500 teddy-cake-smash-8518 teddy-cake-smash-8530 teddy-cake-smash-8531

Brothers Say Good Morning

  

One of Ben’s first stops every morning is Teddy’s room. “Good Mawlin, Teddy!” he says cheerfully. Teddy lights up and squeals with excitement. 

Just another start to another day with two crazy, adorable, loveable boys. 

(Just to add a small dose of reality, Ben completely melted down at the store yesterday because Teddy grabbed and ripped the ad Ben was playing with. “Teddy ripped my menu!” They are far from perfect but the dynamics of their relationship fascinate me.)

Lucky Number 7

7 years ago, this guy and I walked down the aisle, said “I do,” and threw a wicked awesome party.

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I love you, Brian. Thank you for loving me and taking such good care of me for 7 years. I’m looking forward to another 70!

It Was a Good Day

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My grandparents had a wonderful vegetable garden in the backyard for as long as I can remember and one of the bonuses of having bought their house is the three plots of asparagus. I picked enough for the two adults around 5 pm, consumed by 8 pm. Delicious!
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Two year olds are not always fun (he threw himself to the ground in anger only minutes after this) but he is sweet, loving, funny, and smart as a whip!
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There is nothing better, according to my boys, than playtime with Daddy. This photo is one of my favorites of all time, taken in our own backyard