Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

2009 was a year of many changes in our family. I did a lot better this year with blogging and many of the events were actually recorded!

The birth of Katie came in March, making us a family of four. Michael adjusted well to this change, which was a welcome surprise to everyone who knows him. Our house a/c unit went out in April and a week later, the transmission went out in our car. We ended up getting a new to us Toyota Sienna.

I went back to work at the end of May and Michael went back to daycare while my mom watched Katie. The summer flew by and we took several trips, including our annual family vacation. We went to Virginia, Baltimore and New Jersey to visit family. Todd and Michael had their appointments at Johns Hopkins and everyone checked out well.

The business that I worked for was sold on August 31st and I was able to stay at home with the kids for a while. I have been very fortunate to have this opportunity and am very thankful that Todd has a state job.

Michael started preschool 3 morning a week in September. This has been a wonderful experience for him and he is thriving in the environment. He is growing up so quickly and says some of the most entertaining things.

The holidays came quickly and it was so much fun to experience them through the eyes of our children. Michael was Batman for Halloween and Katie was a turtle. Christmas brought lots of holiday activities as well as time with family.

Katie got her first tooth in December and she started to crawl right after Christmas. So we really didn't have to worry about her destroying the tree this year :)

All in all, it was a decent year. There were definitely some things that I wish wouldn't have happened but those were balanced out with things that I wouldn't trade the world for. Looking forward to seeing what 2010 brings!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

And she's off....

It's official now...Katie is on the move. She was army crawling across the floor on Sunday and she got up on all fours and crawled a little bit later in the day. She is also pulling herself up to her knees and playing with toys at that level. You can also stand her up at the couch or a chair and she will play there for quite a bit. She is fairly steady on her feet and a bit of a daredevil as well. Katie was standing at her Leapfrog table and turned to try to hold on to the couch. She didn't quite make it and got pretty upset. It was hard not to laugh because she was so determined!

As I sit here right now, she is trying to pull her new baby doll off the couch without standing up all the way. She is using Michael's lounge chair as a stepping stone to stand up. I forgot how much fun this age is. Watching Katie explore and learn as she sees things for the first time is so cute. And it's only a matter of time before she will be up and walking.

What's so funny is that I couldn't wait until Michael reached these milestones and anxiously awaited them. Katie crawled a bit later than Michael but I didn't worry about it. If it would have been Michael, I would have been wondering if he was on track with development. Now I know that each child does things at a different pace and has different strength and weaknesses.

And there is a video of Katie crawling on a separate post since I was having some technical difficulties.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

Just wanted to wish all of our family and friends a Merry Christmas! Hoping that everyone has a safe, healthy and happy holiday whether you are near or far.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lights at the Zoo

Tonight we went with a couple of our friends and their daughters to the Lights at the Zoo. Even though we had a zoo membership, we just ran out of time to go last year. So we got Michael and Katie bundled up and headed out.

Katie wasn't too excited about the lights and didn't like it when her hat was on either. We had her bundled up in the stroller and as long as she was moving, it was fine. Michael loved the lights but kept asking about where the animals were. I can understand the confusion since we were at the zoo.

They had quite a few lights set up and there was one area that had dancing lights. You could stand in front of it and listen to the music while the lights "danced" around. I would have to say that was probably the highlight of the display.

After the zoo, we all headed back to the house for cookies and hot chocolate. It was nice to get out of the cold and relax for a bit. If we go again next year, I think we should try to go on a night that isn't so cold!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Katie's 9 months old

Katie turned 9 months old on Wednesday. Since the day was already so busy with Todd's birthday and Michael's Christmas present, we decided to schedule her well check for today.

She weighed in at exactly 18 pounds (50%) and is 29 inches tall (90%). She has already grown 10 inches since she was born. She is basically following the same growth curve that Michael did. She is now wearing 9-12 month clothes and 12 month pajamas.

Her appointment was uneventful otherwise. She got 2 shots, which made her less than thrilled. Her growth is good and she is hitting all developmental milestones. She isn't crawling yet but can get around by rolling and doing a little army crawl. I actually think she may pull herself up to standing before she crawls. You can stand her up with support and she can hold her position for about 10 seconds.

Katie is very vocal. She loves to squeal and will "talk" to things and people. I set her in front of the Christmas tree last week and she lifted up her hands and started babbling to the tree. It was quite adorable. Two of her favorite things to say are "dad dad dad dad" and "mom mom mom mom". And she will say them directly to address us.

She eats pretty much anything that you put on her tray. And tried to grab at everything that you don't! I think she is going to be a good eater. If you are eating and she sees something she wants, she starts to move her mouth like she is eating. We practice with the sippy cup but she can't quite figure out how to tip it up. She knows what it's for though. And thankfully, we won't have to wean her from the bottle as she doesn't get one very often.

I think this next month is going to bring many changes for Katie. I expect that she will have another tooth, be crawling and pulling up by 10 months. Or she could totally surprise me and continue to be as laid back as she is. The only thing that Katie really doesn't like are naps and we are working on that. I know it's exciting to be up with Michael and I all day but sometimes a girl needs her sleep. She is a great nighttime sleeper and I will take that over a good napper anyday.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Todd

I know that today is almost over but I just wanted to wish my dear husband a Happy Birthday! He turns 36 today. I like to joke with him about how much older than me he is. It's really only a little more than 2 years but he is closer to 40 and I am closer to 30 now.

Happy Birthday to a wonderful husband and father! I am so lucky to have him in my life and can remember when he turned 25. So much has changed since then and he has grown into a man that I am proud to call my husband. I hope that his day was great and look forward to celebrating many more birthdays together. Can't wait to go out to dinner and a movie next month.

Love, Karen, Michael and Katie

Monday, December 14, 2009

Just in time for Christmas

Katie's first tooth broke through on 12/12!! I had noticed that her gums were bulging and she was gnawing on EVERYTHING. She was chewing on her spoon, blanket, washcloth and pretty much anything she could get into her mouth. I thought that we might see her first tooth soon but I didn't get my hopes up. It was the bottom left center tooth.

I had thought that she would actually get teeth early. Around the time she was 3 months old, I thought I saw the beginnings of a tooth. It was actually some sort of white spot on her gums that went away. Michael got his first two teeth right after he turned 5 months old so I expected the same for Katie. When she didn't have any teeth by 7 months old, I stopped looking for them for a while. It was so hard to even get a look inside of her mouth anyway. Every time Katie opens her mouth, she simultaneously sticks her tongue out over her bottom gums. Would have gotten a picture but she won't open her mouth enough yet!

Katie didn't seem to be in too much discomfort from this. However, it does explain why she hasn't really been napping well during the day. She slept quite a bit yesterday after the tooth broke through. Thankfully, it didn't really affect her nighttime sleep.

I can't wait to see what she will look like once the tooth comes out a little more. I think that babies with their front two bottom teeth are so cute. I imagine that she will get the second tooth in about a week or so but I am not getting my hopes up as it seemed to take this one quite a while to come through. Looking forward to her next development but not wanting to rush it at the same time!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tree Photos

We finished decorating our tree on Tuesday last week. Michael did a great job helping me and only one ornament was dropped and broken. Fortunately, I was able to salvage the ornament with glue and you can't even tell it was damaged. We had fun picking out where to put the ornaments and Michael was quite proud of himself.

Here are a few pictures of the finished product:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Good Ending to a Bad Afternoon

Michael has an opthalmologist appointment at 2:00 this afternoon. It was looking like we were going to be early to the appointment, for once. I got Katie loaded up into her carseat and looked outside. It was raining....again! So I told Michael that he needed to wear his raincoat because it had a hood. He wanted to wear his Spiderman jacket and after some bargaining and coercing, he put the raincoat on. I got him into the car and then got Katie in too. We headed out to the appointment, which was only 10 minutes away. As usual, we got behind some bad drivers and it took us 3 turns to get through one traffic light right in front of the doctor's office.

I parked in the lot across from the office and went to get Katie out first so that I could take Michael and we could head inside. I dropped the keys into a puddle and was getting wet as Michael took his sweet time getting out of the van. Once inside, I let the receptionist know we were there. We were about 5 minutes late. She let me know that our appointment was at their other office! Of course, that one is about 20 minutes from where we were at. She called to see if we could still come but the doctor had a meeting at 3:00. I wonder how he was going to have time to see Michael anyway as the appointments usually take at least an hour, if not longer, between the eye dilation and the wait to get back to an exam room. So we could reschedule for tomorrow morning at the downtown office or the Tuesday before Christmas or wait until next year. Tomorrow is out because Michael has preschool and I didn't want to wait until next year. So 12/22 it is!

I was pretty irritated by now as I had dragged both kids out into the rain for an appointment that wasn't going to happen. Michael wasn't really cooperating and Katie wouldn't go to sleep, even though she was so tired. I got back into the car and was going to head home because I couldn't take another thing going wrong. But we had talked about going to the library earlier and Michael was still asking about it. So off we went.

This turned out to be the right thing to do and was probably just what we needed. We got to the library and it was still raining pretty hard. Luckily we got the only parking spot right in front of the building and headed in. This is a pretty small branch of the library but I really like it. They have an area right next to the front desk with a small table, puzzles and coloring. Michael saw a page to be colored with a candy cane on it. He took the crayons and started coloring each stripe a different color. He told me that it was red and white, even though he used orange, blue, brown and pink, which he proclaimed as Katie's favorite color! About halfway through the coloring, he decided to start doing the puzzles. He told me that he needed an umbrella like the person in the puzzle. I then read him a book and let him pick out a few by himself to take home with us.

While he finished doing puzzles, I looked for a book for Katie. Last time we went, we checked out the book Daddy Hugs for her. Since Todd reads to Michael almost every night, he looks forward to that. So he was not too thrilled when Todd was reading Daddy Hugs to Katie. I found the book Mommy Hugs and showed it to Michael. He told me that I should get it so I could read it to Katie. And then he told Katie about it. It was pretty funny.

Before we left, the librarian told me that Michael must be a great big brother. He was making sure that Katie was happy in her carseat and had a book to read at home. She was laughing at him too while we were there. He was telling me that Katie likes pink and he thought she would like Mommy Hugs too.

We got back in the car and headed home. Even though it was still raining, I felt like I could see a ray of sunshine that was only coming into our car. I felt so peaceful and happy to have spent that time together with the kids. The afternoon had taken a 180 degree turn for the better and let me see that it's always better to look at the glass as half full!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Santa Train

On Saturday, we took a trip to the South Carolina Railroad Museum. The forecast called for the usual rain but we decided to take a chance and went anyway. We were glad that we did because it never ended up raining, even though it was a bit chilly.

We took Michael and Katie to ride the Santa train. This was approximately a one hour ride through the SC countryside. We passed by other tracks, cranes, crossings that had to be stopped by railroad employees with signs. But the main attraction on this day was Santa!

He walked through the train and took the time to stop and visit with each and every passenger. When he entered our coach, Michael was so excited. To be honest, I was a bit nervous on how he would react when he saw Santa. Last year didn't go so well and I ended up sitting on Santa's lap with him to get a picture. Santa approached us and sat down on the seat next to me. Michael practically jumped into his lap. He gave Santa a big hug and told him what he wanted for Christmas (trains, of course). Michael posed for a picture with Santa and then it was Katie's turn. Katie let Santa hold her and she hardly cried at all. Most babies wouldn't let a strange man with a beard hold them. That's just how easygoing Katie is. We were also able to get a picture of both kids with Santa too.

It was a nice outing and Michael really enjoyed riding the train, as well as seeing Santa. I think this was the perfect setting in which to meet with Santa because you could get the one-on-one time and he didn't seem so rushed. Plus you could use your own camera to take pictures!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Tree

Friday night we went to get our Christmas tree. This was pretty early for us to get it. It always seems like we take our time to get the tree but we decided to get it done early this year. We headed out around 7:00pm to Home Depot. Most of the trees there were still wrapped up. Todd would bring the tree out and Michael would unwind the twine from the trees. Then we would shake the tree out and see if we liked it or not.

There were quite a few tall trees that probably wouldn't have fit through our doorway. We were looking along the back wall and then realized that those trees were 9ft-10ft....too big for us! After a while, we finally found the perfect tree for us. Todd, Michael and I all agreed that we liked it. It was full and just the right height with a perfect branch to put the tree topper on.

We always enjoy getting the tree and will continue to make it a family tradition to pick it out all together. Even Katie got to check them out....her vote will be counted next year!

Once we get the tree decorated, I will show some pictures of it. Right now, it only has lights on it. While it looks great so far, we need to finish the ornaments and put the tree skirt on. I will show some pictures of the finished product later this week.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday Tidbits #3

This was a pretty low-key week, which was good after traveling for Thanksgiving.

  • Michael, Katie and I enjoyed a nice day at home today.
  • We finally saw the sun today after seeing rain on Monday and Wednesday. I know it's winter but does that mean it has to rain every other day. And they are calling for more rain this weekend, as well as a cold front.
  • We are going to the Santa Train on Saturday, provided it doesn't rain. Of course, rain is in the forecast.
  • We are going to get our tree this weekend and get it decorated.
  • Katie looks to be getting ready to crawl or stand up. I am interested to see which one she accomplished first.
  • Michael is currently obsessed with watching Scooby-Doo and all things related to Scooby-Doo. He still watches Thomas and wants to play trains though. I found out from TiVo that some of the Scooby-Doo episodes are 40 years old!
  • Todd and I cooked a delicious butternut squash soup earlier this week. Even Michael liked it....this child has good taste. And this was one of our first collaborative cooking efforts!

More to come next week!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Monday, November 30, 2009

Black Friday

Every year for the past 5 or 6 years, I have gotten up early to go out shopping on Black Friday. Since we go to Todd's brother's house for Thanksgiving, I do my shopping there. My sister-in-law Angela got us each a newspaper so that we could scope out the ads on Thanksgiving and make a plan for Friday. One year she went out shopping with me early in the morning but I think I am a bit too hardcore.

I was actually uncertain if I would head out this year after looking at the ads. We are cutting back on Christmas this year and I have already done some shopping. I just didn't see anything that looked fabulous or was a must have item. In previous years, I have headed to Best Buy or Circuit City to get a good deal on some sort of electronics for Todd. Now that we have kids, I imagine that all current and future trips will start at someplace like Toys R Us or Target.

I normally go out to get to the first store by 5am. This year I decided to change the strategy. And it must all work together like a well-oiled machine. If you get delayed at one store, it can affect where else you go. So I went out around 11:30 to get to the outlets at midnight. I was mainly looking for clothes for Michael and figured this would be a good place to get them. When I got there, it was already packed. I have never seen them so busy before and couldn't even park in the parking lot. I stayed until 4:00 and was able to go to 4 stores. The majority of my time was spent in one store's line but the rest went fairly smoothly.

Since I had already been out so long, I decided to just stay out until Target opened at 5:00 and get a few things there. None of the items were doorbusters so I figured I could get them with little to no trouble. I was able to pass the time between the outlets and Target by going to CVS and picking up their Black Friday freebies. It was pretty neat to be working deals with coupons at 4:30am and being the only one in the store! I guess the strangest things make me happy.

By the time I finally got home at 6am, I was exhausted. The adrenaline that had kept me awake all night was finally subsiding. For me, while I do enjoy getting great deals, part of going out on Black Friday is for the thrill of the hunt. I enjoy people watching and you can see quite a few interesting things if you are awake enough to pay attention. You strike up conversations with people you normally would not while waiting in line. It's also eye-opening to see what other people are buying.

I imagine that I will continue to go shopping on Black Friday, if not for the deals, then definitely for the experience!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. We have so many things to be thankful for this year. The year started off with the birth of Katie in March. She has been such a blessing to our family. Michael is really turning into quite the little man and we are so lucky to have him too. I am also thankful for Todd. I can't imagine life without my partner, best friend and wonderful father. I am thankful for a roof over our heads, family that loves us and food on our table. I am also thankful for this opportunity to stay at home with Michael and Katie! It's been something I have wanted for a long time.

I am sure there are many more things to be thankful for but these are the things that stand out most to me. I am hoping that 2010 brings just as many things to be thankful for!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Tidbits #2

This past week has been a busy one, as usual. We are pretty much into our routine now but of course, next month will bring more changes to it.

  • Michael will take a 3 month break from physical therapy during December, January and February. His therapist thinks that he is getting burnt out since he has been going every week for 18 months. His progress has plateaued a bit and we will continue to work on the exercises at home.

  • I can't believe that it's only one week until Thanksgiving. We are going to Todd's brother's for the weekend so I won't have to do any cooking. I normally bring some pies so I will work on those next week.

  • This week brought a few more rainy days. I know this is bringing SC out of the drought that we have had for several years but it makes the days seem cold and dreary. Even Michael is feeling it a bit as he commented that he didn't feel so happy with all the rain :)

  • I continued with my unfortunate cycle of flat tires. I don't know how it always seems to happen to me but I have had at least 7 flat tires in the past 3 years! That's more than anyone should have in 20 years. At least we have AAA.....

  • Katie turned 8 months and Michael turned 3.5 on Monday. I think it's pretty neat that Katie, Michael and Todd are all born on the 16th of the month.

  • I am thinking about coming up with an invention that helps to keep socks on baby feet. I put Katie's back on at least 10 times a day and she takes them right back off. I would leave socks all altogether but that might be a little strange for November. Oh, wait, we live in SC.

  • Katie ate her first meats this week. She had roast beef on Monday and ham on Tuesday. She ate every last piece that I put on her tray and didn't fall onto her chair. Katie hasn't met a food she doesn't like yet!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

8 months old

Katie turned 8 months old today! She is growing up right before our eyes. Before we know it, she will be 1. I am amazed at the things she is learning and it's so much fun to watch her learn new things.

Tonight for dinner, she tried roast beef and loved it. There is no food that she won't touch. She has recently tried zucchini, squash and blueberry applesauce. She really enjoys eating banana puffs and can pick them up and put them in her mouth now. We have also given her the biter biscuits and she can spend at least 15 minutes just gnawing on it.

She is still toothless. It's really cute to see her. Even though she is getting bigger and looking less like a baby, this gives her a sweet look. And it's so fun to watch her try to eat everything. One of her favorite things to eat is her socks. She will pull her feet up to her mouth, suck on the sock for a while and then pull it off. Afterwards, she stuffs it down beside her in the carseat.

Katie isn't crawling yet but that doesn't mean that she doesn't get around. If you put her on the floor, she will sit there for a few minutes before moving her arms forward to reach something that she probably shouldn't have! Then she gets on her stomach and just rolls to wherever she wants to go. In the past few days, she has started trying to pull up on various things, like Michael's table and the toddler rocker. She got pretty frustrated the other day as she pulled up but could only get on her knees.

She has been going through a bit of a phase with going to bed. For a week or so, she didn't want to go to sleep at night. I have been trying to limit her late afternoon/early evening snooze between 5 and 6 and this has seemed to help. Sleeping during the daytime is hit or miss as we have a different schedule almost every day of the week with Michael's school or appointments. Typically, she will take 2 daytime naps and sleep between 10-12 hours per night. I'll take it!

I can't wait to see how much she has grown at her 9 month checkup in December. She is wearing some 9 month clothes already and seems to have big feet like Michael. Katie has a good bit of hair and I put a bow in it today. She has enough hair that it could hold it in. I think she is going to take after both Todd and myself in that area.

We are enjoying every minute of her time with us. Michael still gets the biggest laughs from her, although she appears to be serious to most people if she doesn't know them well. She can be tough to get a smile on cue but I think that's just a baby trait. Here are a few photos that I took of her today:

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Tidbits

Since I started staying at home with Michael and Katie, it seems like the days are busier than when I was working. I have much less free time during the day. Michael has school on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and physical therapy on Tuesday. So Thursday is the only day of the week that we can stay at home all day.

Today brought another cold, windy and rainy day. When Michael wakes up in the morning, he asks me or Todd where he is going that day. Today I told him that we didn't have to go anywhere today. He told me he wanted to stay home. So we all got dressed in warm cozy clothes and stayed in for the day. It was nice.

I have been thinking about making this post a regular feature each Thursday since we don't have any obligations. It could be a recap about what happened in the past week and would give me a reason to blog at least once a week about things that may not be enough for their own blog post.

Some things that happened in the past week:

  • Katie was sitting on the floor today and when I came back into the room, she was on her knees trying to pull up on Michael's table.
  • Todd and Michael spent a nice afternoon with his dad at his parents' house in Ruby on Friday.
  • We started Christmas shopping and are hoping to finish it up early this year, for once, so we can relax and enjoy the holiday season.
  • We got Michael's school pictures back and they turned out great.
  • Todd was able to get the H1N1 vaccine so hopefully it will stay away from our house.
  • Michael continues to be concerned with what he is wearing and will only wear certain clothes, making him more difficult to dress than myself or Todd.
  • Katie has been going through a bit of a rough time getting to sleep at bedtime. I hope it's just a phase and passes quickly.

Looking forward to doing this again next week. I will have to keep a written list of what is going on so I can remember to include it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


After we had Michael, we were unsure if we were going to have another child or not, even though Todd and I both have siblings. Then we found out that we were pregnant with Katie. We expected the worst when we told Michael, even though I am not sure he understood what was going on.

When we brought Katie home from the hospital, Michael was so excited to see all of us. He was enamored by Katie and what she could or could not do. We told him that he was the big brother and could do things that Katie couldn't do yet. So he would repeat to us that Katie couldn't eat what he did because she didn't have teeth (and still doesn't).

Fast forward to now: Katie is just as enamored with Michael. He is the one who makes her laugh the loudest, as well as cry the loudest if he gets too rough. It seems like anything that he does is so entertaining to her. Their interaction is so neat and I watch them learn from each other. Michael is learning that everything is not his and how to share and be kind to his sister. Katie is learning how to laugh, cry and play with her older brother. She is always learning how to fend for herself. I have told Michael that it's only a matter of time before Katie can get into his toys.

I am so thankful that Michael and Katie will have each other as siblings as they grow up. I look forward to watching the bond develop even more. Michael tells Katie that he loves her very much. I think that's so sweet....and even sweeter will be the day that she tells him the same thing back!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Beginning of the Month

I always seem to get on a roll with blogging at the end of every month. But then, the new month starts and I take a hiatus from blogging. I am not sure why. I don't think that the beginning of the month is any busier than the end of the month. Maybe I see that the month is starting to go by and realize all of the things that I meant to blog about.

I would say that I don't think this will happen again next month, but that's quite optimistic. It will be December, a busy time of year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Maybe that can be my New Year's blogging blog at the beginning, middle and end of the month. I know that I wanted to blog more this year and I definitely have accomplished that. It's kind of funny to be that since having Katie, I have been blogging more. I definitely don't have nearly as much free time as I used to. I think it may just be possible that there is more blogging material with 2 kids!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Michael's Halloween Celebration

We headed to his preschool yesterday morning to watch the kids in a parade. Most of the kids in each class were dressed up and they paraded around the outside of the school/church. Michael wasn't too excited about the parade but he was excited to see us there. He kept getting out of line while we were trying to take pictures of him. He did like being dressed up in his costume and did an excellent job of keeping the whole thing on, even the mask.

After the parade, we headed back to his classroom for the Halloween snack. They had cookies, pretzels, and juice boxes. Someone had made some cute cookies that looked like witches hats using fudge stripe cookies and hersheys kisses. Michael ate that cookie first. Then we headed to the "big room" for the kids to play some Halloween games. One was fishing, in which they got a big sack of treats, another was bean bag toss through Frankenstein's face and they also had pin the nose on the pumpkin. This was a bit of organized chaos as they had 17 kids running from game to game, even though they were in groups. It was almost time to leave then. We went back to the classroom and the teacher read the book for the day. They sang the goodbye song and then we left.

It was really neat to see Michael interact with his classmates and celebrate Halloween. I know he can't wait for trick or treating tonight as well as the candy. And as he let me know, "I like candy, Mom!". What kid doesn't?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Boo at the Zoo

Last night, we went to Boo at the Zoo with some friends and their daughter, who is 8 weeks younger than Michael. It was an unseasonably warm night for late October. Of course, we are in SC where the weather seems to change daily from cold to hot to cold.

At first, Michael wasn't so sure about what we were doing there. He was excited to get some candy and had fun going around with Ava, who was dressed as a mermaid. They had stations set up around the zoo on the path and you could also see the animals out as well. Michael went up to get the candy and wasn't quite sure about saying trick or treat. He would put out his basket and wait for the candy and then say "thank you".

They also had a small maze there that had smoke and lights. Michael enjoyed this and was the one to lead everyone out of the maze. In the same area, they had a magician performing for the kids to watch. All around the zoo, they had Halloween lights on the trees to guide your way. And at the end, they have a big pumpkin that we got our picture taken in front of. They also have an area where they play Halloween music and the kids can dance. Michael enjoyed watching it but didn't want to dance. I think he was ready to go back to the car to eat the candy, as we told him he couldn't have any until then.

Michael was dressed up as Batman and Katie as a turtle, the same costume Michael wore his first Halloween. It was cute to watch them in their costumes and I think the adults had a good time too. The zoo surely knows how to celebrate Halloween.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Halloween craft

Now that I am home with Michael and Katie, I have been taking the opportunity to do some things that we had a hard time doing while I was working. We have been baking quite a bit and I decided it was time for a craft. I came upon the perfect one for Halloween in Family Fun Magazine.

We started off with a box of tangerine orange Rit dye, a big bucket, and 4 t-shirts. I let Michael pick how many pumpkins he wanted on his shirt. He also helped me with Todd's t-shirt and he let me know that I could do mine and Katie's. Since it was raining, we headed out into the garage to dye the shirts. Michael and I took turns stirring the shirts in the bucket. After about 30 minutes, we brought them inside and rinsed them out. I washed, then dried the shirts.

Later that night, I drew the faces on the pumpkins. The shirts turned out great. We all wore our shirts one day this week and Todd & I will wear ours on Halloween.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

Through the eyes of a 3 year old

One of the things that Michael has been wanting to do recently is take pictures. He tries to get my camera and wants to look at every picture that I have taken. We have had to stress that he needs to use the wrist strap so he doesn't drop the camera. I doubt he will grow up to be a photographer but here are some of his samples.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

We finally got out to the pumpkin patch today after scheduling several times and not being able to go due to weather or house issues. It was a gorgeous day. The weather forecast called for showers towards the end of the day but they were wrong. The sun was out from behind the clouds and it was actually fairly warm. Quite a change from earlier this week.

When we arrived there, they had a vintage fire truck right up front. Todd and Michael got on it and were playing in the front. I was getting Katie out of the van and when we got up to the truck, I noticed a paper that said to stay off the fire truck. I quickly snapped a picture of Todd and Michael so they could get down. We headed inside to get our tickets for the hayride.

We got there in time for the final hayride of the day. It takes you through the whole farm and on a haunted hayride. Todd and I were talking about how neat and scary it would be to take the hayride at night. He loves stuff like that and I get scared easily! Michael didn't want to get on the hayride at first but about 2 or 3 minutes into the ride he told us that he liked it.

After riding for 15 minutes or so, we arrived at the pumpkin patch. We didn't end up getting any pumpkins out there as we didn't feel like carrying them back to the car. We decided to get our pumpkins at a church near our house instead. So we just took some pictures and walked around the patch before getting back on the hayride.

Michael really enjoyed looking at the pumpkins and running up and down the rows of the patch. Katie was agreeable to walk through the patch with me or Todd. She was a little scared on the hayride of the music that was playing on the speakers. She quickly started laughing once Michael started dancing. She is so entertained by him.

We all had a really nice time and it was the perfect end to a beautiful fall day!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

For all of my "sisters"

I took a few pictures of Katie yesterday wearing a Theta onesie that has been passed down from sorority sister to sorority sister for their little girls. It's been the first time that she has worn it and will probably be the last as the weather is turning cooler. I thought it was only fitting that she wear it because we were having lunch with Alexa and her son Braedan. She is one of my sisters and is pregnant with a girl. So she will be the next recipient of the onesie.

Here is my little legacy:

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

For the past 2 Mondays, it has rained quite a bit. And while I know this may not seem like that big of a deal to some people, it is here in South Carolina. The rainy days are pretty few and far between so we get spoiled here with the nice weather. The kids and I had someplace to go on both Mondays so we couldn't just stay in and keep warm.

Yesterday was pretty bad and it was pouring down. After Katie, Michael and I all got soaked, we headed home. The rest of the day was spent enjoying indoor activities. Michael and I played trains while Katie watched us from her Bumbo. Later in the afternoon after she woke up from her nap, Michael built a huge block tower and Katie practiced her sitting skills.

The relationship between Katie and Michael is really developing. It's so neat to see them interact and Katie is so entertained by her older brother. And he really loves to make Katie laugh. And these times give me a glimpse as to what is to come. I can see that there will be a day in the near future when the two of them will play together and I can just stand back and observe.

Here is a picture of the tower that Michael built while Katie watches him:

Friday, October 9, 2009

Phone Photo Friday

This will be my first and most likely only time to post on Phone Photo Friday. Because while I take a LOT of pictures, I rarely take them on my phone. I don't even know how to upload a phone photo to my computer. So thanks to my sister, who emailed these pictures to me from her iphone from last weekend.

Michael at Fire Prevention Day

Katie waiting in the car

A sun beam on Michael and I

Monday, October 5, 2009

It's hard to get a smile

for the camera, that is. Katie smiles and laughs for Todd, me and especially Michael. She seems to find him and the things he does are hysterical to her. She can be smiling away or laughing the deep belly laughs, which I love. As soon as Katie spots the camera, she gets the deer in the headlights look. For a while I thought it was because of the flash but she does the same thing even when the flash doesn't go off.

One day last week, it was like a switch was turned off and Katie was just smiling away for the camera. I am not sure what it was that made her smile so much but I was finally able to get some great pictures of her smiling. The next day, she was back to her usual face that she always seems to make for the camera. The same one that says to me, "What are you doing and why is that thing flashing in my face?"

So here are some of the pictures from what turned into a mini photo shoot:

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

9 years

It's hard to believe that it's already been 9 years since Todd and I were married. And even harder to believe that we will celebrate our 10th anniversary next year! Time goes by so fast.

I feel so lucky to have found such a wonderful and supportive husband that I can share anything with. He truly makes me happy and is the best friend I could ask for. I look forward to waking up every day and seeing him and can't wait to see him at the end of the day. He is also such an awesome father. I love watching him teach Michael new things or rock Katie to sleep for a nap.

Todd, I love you so much and look forward to spending many more years together!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Like Father Like Son

One of Michael's favorite things to do is to "help" Todd out when he is doing things around the house and in the yard. Today he was mowing the lawn and this is how Michael was "helping". It was so cute to see what is to come with my two men working in the yard and I know Todd is looking forward to the day when he can turn over the task of mowing the lawn to Michael.

Friday, September 25, 2009

She's sitting by herself!

Less than a week after Katie turned 6 months old, she learned how to sit up by herself. She had been doing it for a few seconds for about a week or so but just started being able to sit up for a few minutes. It's amazing how one day she is just trying something out and then it seems like she has gotten so much stronger and confident in doing it in a matter of days. She can sit up for about 5 minutes or so by herself now, unless Michael comes near her or she falls over.

She was sitting in her room the other night and she teetered and fell over. For about 5 seconds, she just laid there and then she started crying. It was cute and i knew she really wasn't hurt. Here is a video of the incident:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Date Night

Todd and I went on our first date tonight since Katie was born in March. I think the last time we went out together on a date was for my birthday in January! That's too long to go by without having some time alone together. We did go to Michael's preschool orientation and to run some errands without kids but that's not the same.

We decided to eat at the Olive Garden. Our dinner was good and the conversation was even better. It was nice to be able to eat a meal without having a baby in one arm or having to watch Thomas! This was really the unofficial dinner to celebrate our ninth anniversary, which is on the 30th of September.

We really enjoyed ourselves and I think we shouldn't let this long go by without another date night. Looking forward to celebrating our anniversary next week!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Where did he go?

Today we took Michael to get a haircut this morning. The haircut ritual has developed from the fear that he had the first time (and the second and the third) to accepting that it has to be done to actually enjoying it. Michael likes to look good, as he has to approve what he wears every day. He is our little fashionista and I joke that he didn't come from me.

But as he was getting his hair cut, I realized that he was looking more like a little boy and less like a toddler. I wondered how time could fly by so fast and what happened to the baby that was born just a little more than 3 years ago. At the same time, I am really enjoying the little man that Michael is growing up to be. He definitely has his moments but he is so loving. And as the haircut was coming to an end and I looked over at him, I thought that he also seems so much bigger since Katie has arrived.

Here is a picture of the little man that he has become: