Thursday, December 19, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Christmas Edition

The Facebook world participates in a little game of "Throwback Thursday" every week, posting older pictures.  As much fun as it would be to dig up some high school or college pictures, I'm too lazy to do that and don't feel like battling a scanner.  But today I participated with some older pictures of the kids and figured I would share here, too.  Can you guess which ones are Jake and which ones are Liam?  (answer key below the pics!)






Cheat sheet:
#1: Jake
#2: Liam
#3: Jake
#4: Liam
#5: Liam
#6: Jake

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Supervised baking/peanut butter reindeer cookies

I've shared on here before how I really despise cooking.  If there's something I despise more than cooking, it's baking.  No really, I hate it. There's so much stuff you have to drag out, everything has to be perfectly measured and perfectly timed...ugh, it's just not for me at all.  I much prefer to be the consumer of the sweets, not the maker. 

That being said, last year I got roped into a cookie exchange with some friends.  Let's be honest, I agreed to it not because I really cared about getting cookies, but because the thought of a night out with girlfriends in the middle of the crazy Christmas season was incredibly appealing.  So there I was last year, burning a vacation day to bake cookies (and, subsequently, burning some cookies, but I digress....) 

This year, I was determined I was not going to show up with:  a. burnt cookies OR b. undercooked cookies (I can neither confirm nor deny the rumor that I managed to show up with BOTH of those last year)  Nope, I had something to prove this year.  I had my pride. I had the lessons learned from my mistakes last year. I mother there to supervise. 

Brian was going to the steelers game on Sunday, so weeks ago I had asked my mom if the boys and I could come hang out at her house that day so we weren't stuck inside all day by ourselves.  Then, I got the genius idea a few days before to bake my cookies at her house. I'd found this idea for peanut butter reindeer cookies.  You may be asking yourself why, considering my history with baking, I didn't just take it easy and make something simple like plain old chocolate chip cookies.  I blame pinterest.  As always.  Why bake regular peanut butter cookies when you can torment yourself by adding reindeer body parts??

I won't go into full details of the cookie baking escapade, but let's just say we dealt with dough that was too dry and crumbled when it came out of the oven (batch 1), cookies that were too small to decorate (batch 1), cookies that were too big (batch 2), cookies that lost their antlers (some in every batch) 

BUT, despite all of that, I'm happy to report that some did turn out, and the ones that turned out are very cute.  And edible.  EDIBLE!  I baked cookies from scratch that are edible.  Someone write that down. 

This shot is blurry, but a big shout out to my mom for helping me not burn myself or the cookies, and letting me crash her kitchen for the day. 

And, the finished product...ta-da!! 

So there you have it...I'm done baking until December 2014.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Lunch with Santa

Our community center holds an annual lunch with Santa, which is where we headed last Saturday.  It's a nice event with lots to do for the, cookie decorating, crafts, live reindeer, and of course...the man in the big red suit!  We started the day out with some crafts:
making door hangers
Jake colored a picture to give to Santa :)
Reindeer food....with glitter, my nemesis!!

Then we decided to check out the reindeer.  Liam loved giving Prancer some treats, but Jake had no desire to get quite that close and preferred to stand at arm's length for his picture :) 

But then the tables turned when one of the reindeer snorted very loudly right next to Liam's head...look at his face in this shot as he hides behind Jake....classic!!! 

Then it was the moment they had been waiting for....SANTA!!! 


Only one week left until Christmas....are you ready??

Liam's Big Stage Debut!

This was the first year that Liam was able to participate in our daycare's annual Christmas show.  It's always a cute event, and I was really excited to see how he'd do on stage.  He had been practicing around the house for a few weeks now, and I knew one of the songs he would be singing was "Jingle Bells" in polish, but I wasn't sure about any others.  The main number for his class was O Tannenbaum, and he did a great job as a little Christmas tree!!  Here is the video, he's the third tree in from the left with the enthusiastic hand motions:

Once he spotted us in the audience, he spent most of the show trying to catch our eye and wave to us....super cute :)  Some pictures of the evening.....

all smiles up on stage!!
GG & Pappy were able to come to the show!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Liam's 2.5 year check up and some general updates

Liam had his 2.5 year check up last week (no more shots until he's 4, woohoo!) and here are the stats:

Height: 37.25 inches (74th percentile)
Weight: 31 lbs, 12 oz (71st percentile)
Head: 50.5 cm (78th percentile)

So, he's a bigger guy (which we knew) but at least he's proportional! :)  It also explains why a lot of his 3T clothes fit him perfectly.  He has developed a new nickname in the past few months, we now refer to him a lot as "Little".  It started when one day, Jake was standing next to him and saying "I'm taller than you are, Liam...look, I'm big!" and Liam responded "You big, I the little!" and Jake started calling him Little.  It stuck after that, and now I feel it is one of those fun, ironic know, how they call the 6.5 foot, 250 pound guy in the bar Tiny?  :)  So yeah, Liam now has his very own bar nickname.

The rest of the appointment was fine, he is right on track for his age in terms of development.  His one remaining tube (left ear) is still in tact, so hopefully we can get through this winter without any infections and we'll be able to skip getting the right one re-inserted. 

The only issue he's having right now is some bad cradle cap that I just can't get to clear up.  We've tried all of the home remedies and we've tried Head & Shoulder shampoo, but no luck so far.  The doctor said since we've done all of that, the next step would be the pediatric dermatologist. Someone also suggested trying the Neutrogena T-Gel, so we're going to give that a shot before making an appointment for him.

He's full of words and many important things to tell you these days!  Seriously, sometimes the kid talks nonstop, it's adorable since it feels like not that long ago, he had so little things to say!  He loves to sing and dance (and eat, as evidenced by the stats listed above), and probably more than anything in the world, he loves his big bro.  His favorite shows right now are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Wild Kratts, and he's obsessed with all of the Christmas specials I've DVRd so far, his favorite being "Prep and Landing".  But the first Prep and Landing, not the second....that causes some fighting in our house, depending on whose turn it is to select the show.

He's been more into puzzles lately, he still loves to color and play with play doh (*shudder*).  He can count up to 20, though he will miss a number here and there sometimes, and he knows his ABCs, as well as all of the basic shapes and colors.   That's a wrap on this little cutie!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Not *quite* our Griswald Family christmas tree, but perfect nonetheless.

When we first got married and started buying live Christmas trees, I was used to a somewhat smaller version of a tree than Brian was.  My trees were modestly sized, while the ones Brian was drawn to looked like they came straight from a forest and had been growing for 100 years.  The very first year we went to chop down our own tree, I couldn't believe how big it was once we got it home.  But then a funny thing happened....I grew to love that giant tree. 

It's now become a running joke between the two of us; Brian finds these gargantuan trees, I make Christmas vacation-related jokes about how it wouldn't even fit in our yard, let alone the living room. But secretly, I love the big full trees.  :)  This year, we didn't have luck finding a huge tree as we've had the past few years so we had to settle for what is probably a normal size tree, but we love it anyway. 

We changed it up a bit this year and went to Reilly's Farm to get our tree; we had been to this farm before, but only for fall-related activities.  Their Christmas set up did not disappoint!  If you were buying a tree, you were not charged extra for the activities, which included a visit to Santa's workshop, hot chocolate/coffee, cookies, roasted marshmallows, followed by a hayride around the farm with Santa! 

show me your antlers!!

Time to head home and decorate!

"Great job, keep up the excellent work, everyone"

The finished product:

We hope your Christmas preparations are going well!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

Well, we gobbled 'til we wobbled, some of us took some naps, watched parades, went skiing (say what?) and cheered on the Steelers (even though the result was a heartbreaking loss)...I'd say that makes for a successful Thanksgiving.  Some shots of the day!!

pre-turkey story time
Jake and Aunt Katie

I didn't get a full family shot (boo!) but Brian did snap this cute one of me and Liam:

Larry the Pug made his way into some shots:

Time for dinner!!  The kids sat at their first official Kiddie Table, and they thought they were the coolest kids on the block.

shortly after the meal, Liam slipped into his post-turkey coma:

 Other people also slipped into comas, or semi-comas:

While Jake slipped into his skis.  What, you don't go skiing in your grandparent's backyard on Thanksgiving??  :)

We hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, gobble gobble!!

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