Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Current Art Gallery

Artists: Jake and Liam
Date of completion: October 2012
Location of gallery: our refrigerator 
Value of collection: Priceless

Jake's Fall Collection:

Liam's "A print in time" Collection:

Monday, October 29, 2012

The calm before the Frankenstorm.

Unless you are living under a rock, you have probably been hearing all about the upcoming Frankenstorm.  Or Snowcane.  Or whatever name the local news station has for the mash up of Hurricane Sandy and every other weather disaster possible.  So, we're all kind of waiting around today to see what happens in Pittsburgh, but last week was a different story.  It was 80 degrees last Thursday, so we took advantage of the last few nice days and headed outside!

We have our fingers crossed that by some miracle during the storm, all of the leaves will blow out of our yard.  This is a shot from last Friday; Brian had raked up nearly everything the weekend before, so this all came down within 5 days.  Unreal.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Dreaming of Disney

Today is October 23, 2012.  If all goes according to plan, we will be arriving in Orlando, FL for our first ever family vacation to Disney World next fall (yes, it's a year away.  yes, I'm already talking about it.  Dreaming about it.  Planning for it.  You know me and my planning...something like this?  I can't stop myself.)  While we are still working on planning details, deciding which resort to stay at, and pinning down the dates for sure, it has not stopped me from daydreaming about going! 

Brian and I had talked about going to Disney before, but always assumed that we would go when BOTH kids were older (you know, the whole "I'm not paying all of this money for no one to remember it!" mentality).  I get that mentality, I totally do.  We had that mentality up until just a few short months ago.  But then we thought to ourselves, "well, what about us?"  And no, not us being selfish and wanting to go there for the rides....but the "us" that will experience our hearts melting the first time those kids see the characters and they break out into a huge scream smile.  Hopefully a smile.  If it's a scream, that's an experience as well.  The "us" that wants to experience the kids still being young enough to enjoy the magic of Disney, still thinking that the characters are real, and when they are both still into the characters themselves. Jake and Liam are 3.5 years apart, so the reality of the situation is, there is a very small window of time when all of that will happen for both of them at the exact same time.

So, all of a sudden, we found ourselves talking about making it a reality.  Once we found out that Liam is completely FREE before the age of 3, we were sold on making it happen in 2013.  Then we wondered if maybe the grandparents would want to join us? It started out as kind of a joke, I said to my mom one day that we decided to go to Disney and that I was signing them up to come as part of their grandparent duties.  Who wouldn't want to see their adorable ONLY grandsons experiencing Disney magic for the first time?  I later realized that my mom thought I was being serious in saying they had to come, so I told her they were, of course, under no obligation to join us if they didn't want to.  But, the seed had been planted by that point....GG was excited and ready to go!  Pappy, on the other hand, well....let's just say that amusement parks are not exactly his cup of tea and he has offered multiple times to stay home with Gracie.  But, I think that's all a ruse to mask his true excitement over the trip!  We're onto you, Dad. 

Nana and PopPop were easy to convince to go, so now we have a whole entourage ready to show up and take over Disney next fall!!

I ordered the free planning DVD from the Disney site about 2 months ago; I always get the mail after work and put it in my work bag until I can look at it later.  My work bag generally gets tossed on the kitchen floor when we come in from daycare pick up.  Well, Jake sees the DVD in my bag that day and recognizes the Disney logo somehow (well played, Disney marketing department...well played) and asks if we can watch the DVD.  Truth be told, I was pretty excited to watch it myself, so I said sure, let's pop it in!  What's the harm, right?

Well, I can now tell you what the harm is.  The harm is that a 4 year old has zero concept of time, and when he asked if we were going to Disney World, my reply of "someday we'll go there" got twisted in his mind.  When I picked him up at school the next day, his teacher said, "Hey, are you guys going to Disney World?"  I told her we planned on going at some point in a year or so, and she laughed and said, "ahh...I see.  Jake told me today that you guys were going to Disney World in a few weeks, and started naming all of the rides he was going to go on.  It sounded like he had quite the plan already!"

Oops.  He still talks about it frequently.  He has a pretend cash register and one day I heard him and Liam playing Disney World....Jake was selling Liam tickets to the park, telling him where the rides were, then they had a parade. 

So, that's our family vacation update for now. If you need to find me over the next year, I will be creating spreadsheets, checklists, and diagrams for everyone to enjoy on our trip.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Zoo Boo 2012

If you've been following my blog for any period of time, you probably know that one of our annual fall traditions is hitting up the Zoo Boo event held at the Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium.  The weather was perfect this past Sunday to venture out for another day of fun! 

I now present to you, the kiddos Halloween costumes 2012!

My little Iron Man & Puppy Dog were ready to go.  I swear, Liam was more enthused about his costume than he was showing in this picture.  that's the only one I have of him by himself, but he had just woke up from a car nap.  The head of the puppy is attached with snaps to the costume itself, but it would still fall back all the time....every single time it would fall down, he'd say, "Uh-oh!" and look at someone to fix it for him. 

GG was able to join us again this year!

The zoo was definitely the most crowded it's ever been for this event (I think it was a combo of good weather and the Steelers having a night game....Steelers games are usually good crowd control), but we had a good time.  It's so funny seeing all of the kids running around in their costumes, pointing out other kids.  Jake would walk by and we'd hear "whoa!  Look, it's Iron Man!"  like it was a celebrity sighting. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Book worms

Happy Friday, I hope you enjoy some light reading over the weekend!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Proud parent moment for us

A few weeks ago, Jake's school was learning about St. Vincent and they were having a baby items  drive to help those in need.  I picked up some food, wipes, and diapers from the store and sent Jake into school with them to add to the collection, and reiterated to him what they were already talking about in school.  He was excited to donate the items and told me how they were learning how important it is to help others all year long.  I told him that he was absolutely right and that when Christmastime came, we would go to the store together so that he could pick out some toys for kids who might not have any. 

That was almost a month ago.  Last night at dinner, I was asking Jake what they talked about during circle time at school that day.  He said that they were talking about kindness, so I asked him if he said anything to the class when they were talking about that.  He replied, "Oh yes!  I told everyone how when it's Christmas, I'm going to go to the store with you and pick out toys for other kids.  That's being kind.  I will buy toys for them, they should have toys". 

There are times when I'm pulling my hair out and questioning our parenting choices.  There are days when I find myself counting to 10 and taking deep breaths in order to not lose my mind.  Then he says something like that, and in that moment, I'm comforted by the fact that even if I'm frustrated in other areas, I know that we are doing something right.  Definitely doing something right.

That "something right" is clearly not scoping out spots to take photographs---who poses their kid right in front of not one, but TWO port-o-potties?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Fun!

The weather was perfect this past weekend to enjoy some outside time! Warning: picture and cuteness overload ahead.

Friday, October 5, 2012

He likes to move it, move it!

Video of Liam showing off his sweet dance moves, saying "bye bye", and blowing kisses.  Brace yourself for cuteness:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ringing in the fall season with a little pumpkin patch fun

A few weeks ago, I snatched up a Living Social deal for Reilly's Farm (50% off admission to the farm!)  The catch was that it was only good for 2 weekends, the last weekend in September or the first weekend in October.  We made plans to go last Sunday, but woke up that morning to a steady drizzle and dark clouds.  Boo.  We figured we would wait until after nap time to see if it cleared and head out then....but, around 11am, the sun came out full force! We hurried up, fed the kids and took off before the weather could turn again.

Liam fell asleep in the car on the way there, so we tried to take him in the carrier for a bit...that lasted about 10 minutes and then he was ready to go!

Waiting on the hayride:

I'm so glad we decided to go then because it was so uncrowded!  I'm sure the morning rain scared some people away, which worked out well for us.  It was clear during our hayride and time in the pumpkin patch, then started raining once we got to the activities portion of the farm, which was ok since we could just duck into the different activities (which were all covered).  That round of rain passed after 15 minutes or so. 

what are we supposed to be doing with these things?
seriously, dad?

They had some cute activities for the kids...the only one that didn't go over well with Jake was the "boo barn".  Even though Brian went through it with him, he did not care for the strobe lights.  Or spooky music.  Or the dark parts.  Yeah, basically he hated the whole thing.

There was a marshmallow roast, and I think that was the favorite thing of the day for both kids!

What do you mean you're cutting me off at 4 marshmallows??

Happy fall!!!
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