Wednesday, January 30, 2013

365 Photos in 2013 - Week 4

1.21 - "Only Child" Time.   Riley went to day camp at a local kid's gym for most of Martin Luther King Jr. day so Cam was able to enjoy some only child time with TG and I. Cam's at a very easy phase right now where he enjoys relaxing and playing by himself so I was able to spend a quiet morning finishing up our family photo gallery wall and TG went to the gym. Later we coerced Camden into going to the mall for a haircut with promises of a visit to the toy store. He did well this time, though he initially protested, there was no screaming. He opted for a ride on the train instead of the toy store.  This is him waiting at the ticket counter with his new haircut.  Handsome little man.

1.22 - Cover Girl!  Riley had been so good for the past few days that when she asked if she could get a new (free) app on the iPad I willingly obliged.  Fast forward a few minutes later when she's imploring me to look at what she had made.  I saw this, did a double take and realized she put Camden's face on there and cracked up laughing.  Easy, breezy, beautiful Camden!

1.23 - Craft night.  My lovely crew of crafty girls agreed to not only move craft night to Wednesday, but to my home this week so I could see their faces and get the big 5th birthday decorations up!  It was so nice to have my girls to chat with while I did all this work.

1.24 - Riley turned 5.  She had a BIG day, that was full of fun things including a trip to Chuck E. Cheese with her besties.  They cracked me up trying out this simulated roller coaster ride.

1.25 - Gammy and Gampy!  My parents flew in for Riley's birthday party weekend.  I was nervous about their arrival because a small ice/snow storm came in that afternoon and the schools got an early release.  Thankfully, the worst was over by the time their plane got in and the kids were so excited to pick them up from the airport.  I was so excited to discover that my seester sent me this!  Rock Chalk!

1.26 - Birthday soiree and Fancy "Dancy".  Riley's Fashion Fairytale in Paris party went off without a hitch thanks to Gammy.  I have to include two pics from this day though because that morning we surprised Riley with a trip to the spa for a full on fancy makeover for her party.  She got her nails and piggies painted, her hair done up pageant style, and a bit of make up.  Riley loved being pampered and she charmed the pants off of everyone in the place.

1.27 - Snow tubing.  We went snow tubing for New Year's Eve and when I called my mom to tell her about it she made mention that she would love to give that a try.  So we loaded up late on Sunday night and headed to PA for a night of tubing.  Everyone was a little cranky about the drive and hungry bellies, but one trip down the hill changed that.  The place was practically empty, the hills were nice and slick from a days worth of riders, and the fresh snow on Friday made for some stomach dropping bumps that we all loved.  If you live near me you MUST give snow tubing a try!  Riley's sassy pose in this photo just kills me.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

And Then She Was 5

Dear Riley,

Today you turned 5.

1. 2. 3. 4.


Whoa. That number scares me a little bit.

We've been counting down the days and we've been busy the past week so it was here before you knew it.

You know the drill now. Last night before bed you said, "I can't wait to see what it looks like in here for my birrrrthday tomorrow!"

After just over an hour, it looked pretty good.

It snowed over night and we got a 2 hour delay. I was thankful for that extra hour of sleep and Daddy got to be here to wish you happy birthday when you woke up.  It was awesome.

You screeched, "God knew it was my special day, so he made it snow!" first thing when I walked in your room.

You clambered downstairs and started gasping and saying "Oh my gosh!" when you saw all the decor and the big stack of presents and a princess crown at your seat.

You wasted no time sitting down, donning your tiara, and unwrapping presents like a pro. I remember being a bit surprised as how deftly you removed ribbons and carefully removed paper.

We had some time where you were able to enjoy your new things and a birthday donut by yourself before the whole crew arrived and Camden woke up. I enjoyed being able to give you the attention of unwrapping your new things and helping you get set up with them.

You asked Daddy to measure you and we marked your 5th birthday on there. You're getting so tall!

After a morning playing with new things, sharing with our Junebug friends, and chasing balloons we got ready to head to Chuck E Cheese. You picked out this flouncy tutu you got for Christmas. I showed you two shirt options and you said, "Is there a birthday shirt to go with this?" So while everyone ate breakfast I whipped up a cupcake tee for you. You deemed it "Just perfect for my 5th birthday!"

You twirled and posed.  You're just so stinkin' cute.

When your photo session was done Camden hopped up and said "my terrrrn!" He gave me this pose.

Chuck E Cheese was empty and I was relieved because we had a big crew! You wasted no time in getting your money and heading for the rides and games. Yes, you wore your tiara almost all day and told everyone you saw "It's my birthday!!!"

We ate lunch there and even got a little cake. Everyone sang happy birthday to you. I just realized I don't know what you wished for, but I'm sure it was good.

You took a much needed nap when we got home and woke up ready to play. Camden joined you at the table when he woke up from his nap. He said, "Look Mom, I makin! Sissy and I makin!" That's his speak for craft time. You were a little concerned that he was using glitter on his Iron Man motorcycle.   Even though I assured you it was okay, you continued to eye him warily.

After some down time I surprised you with tickets to see a high school production of "The Little Mermaid". You wanted to get all dressed up and of course I obliged.  You asked me to wear my ball gown, but you let me wear jeans and settled for my sparkly earrings.

You LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the show. All you could say was, "It's so amazing!", "I'm loving this!", "Oh it's so good!".

On our way out, you giggled and told me it was the best day ever. Then you squeezed my hand and stopped me on the sidewalk, looked earnestly up at me and said, "Thank you for making my birthday so great. I love you Mom."  Lord you know how to pull on the heart strings of your Mama, but just as I was about to get too sentimental you followed it up with, "You can keep doing this when I'm 30!" which made me laugh out loud.

When we got home we found Camden eagerly waiting at the top of the stairs for the "cake-a party!" to begin so we hurried in for some homemade chocolate cake.  It wasn't pretty, but it was yummy.

And now you're snug in your bed, another year older already.

The days are long, but the years are fleeting my love.  We are just so thankful for you, the blessing that you are to our little family, and for all the joy you've brought to our lives.

We love you so dearly, Riley! Happy, happy birthday my love!

Monday, January 21, 2013

365 Photos in 2013 - Week 3

1.14 - Yogurt faces. My kids love those yo crunch yogurt cups!  They think giving themselves yogurt mustaches and noses is hilarious.

1.15 - Tea and salon-y time. I was resting in my bed with Cam when Riley invited me to come play. We had a little tea party, did each other's nails, put on some make up and did a quick fashion show. She loved it and so did I.

1.16 Mail.  Riley loves to send mail to her family and friends.  She's been working on sounding out words and spelling them phonetically.  She sent this letter to her Gigi on Wednesday.   The picture is a Patriots ornament - she made me draw the Patriot.

1.17 - Girls night. Had a much needed night of girl talk and crafting with my friends. It's my selfish moment during our hectic weeks and it always helps me recharge and refocus.

1.18 - Date night!  We scored awesome kid sitting services at a local preschool for a great price so TG and I took the opportunity to head to our favorite date night restaurant.  They have automatic wine dispensers on the wall.  If you live in my area and you haven't been, you're missing out.  The service can be iffy, but this night our waitress was lovely and very attentive.  Hello wine debit card!!!

1.19 - Fancy "Dancy".  Riley's birthday is very close to Christmas so I made a Target list of things I know she would love.  Gigi and Papa got her a mini pink, crystal chandelier from her list and I couldn't wait until her birthday to give it to her!  After some trial and well mostly error on my part, TG took over and hung it up.  It adds so much more light to her room (we don't have overhead lights in our house) and she absolutely loves it!

1.20 -  Chest pumps!  TG's team was in the AFC championship game so to get pumped up he showed Riley how to do chest pumps.  Giggling fits ensued.  I didn't take a picture so I took a screenshot of the video I took.  Hahahaha.  That was the only laughter that evening though as TG's team went on to lose to those dirty birds.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hawaii Day 8 - Pipemasters

It just happened to work out that while we were in Hawaii the Billabong Pipe Masters were happening on the North Shore. TG has long wanted to see the big surf in Hawaii in the winter, but a major surfing event was just the cherry on top.

Before TG and I headed out to see the surf finals, we said goodbye to my seester, niece, and her hubs who were flying out that day. We all gathered for a family photo. It's not the best quality since I flagged down a random passerby and basically thrust my camera into his hands, but it's better than nothing! It makes me a little sad to see us all so tan and happy. I wish I was there right now.

From left to right...(the newlyweds!) STG and Tata, Sassy, Gammy and Gampy, Uncle J, Eva and Seester, Cam, Tutu, TG and me.

Before I grabbed the "photographer" to get the final pic, I took a couple test shots.  This one just made me laugh.  It's so my family.

Seester asked me to take a few quick pics of Eva for their Christmas card and after that I persuaded them to take a family shot by the bougainvilleas.  We got so many cute ones, but this one of the four generations of women is one of my favorites.  I was running toward my niece and then stopping and taking the photo which made her laugh.  She is signing more in this shot because she wanted me to do it again.

After we gave hugs goodbye, hubs and I hopped in the car and drove to North Shore.  We honeymooned on that side 8 years ago and we absolutely love visiting there.

The drive was lovely, but once we hit the split for Haleiwa and Kahuku, hubs informed me that he didn't know exactly where the pipe was.  So we made a few stops along the way.  One of them was at this beach where a lot of people were gathering to see the sea turtles.

We made a pit stop at Waimea Bay to try and google info on the surfing event before jumping in the huge line of traffic to continue towards Ehukai Beach.  Eventually we found it, but the parking was insane.  After 30 minutes we found a spot, 1 mile away, and hoofed it to the water.

We got there just in time to see Kelly Slater win his quarterfinal heat.  The surf wasn't the highest ever, but it was still breathtaking.  I couldn't believe how big some of swells were and it was crazy watching the surfers charge the waves.  We saw a lot of awesome, high scoring rides.  It was fun to check that off the bucket list.  Sadly TG's iphone battery died after just one picture, but here's the proof, we were there!

By the time we decided to leave we were starving so we headed back west to Haleiwa town for a late lunch.  We went to Haleiwa Joe's, a restaurant we visited on our honeymoon.  We sat out on the patio, looking out over the harbor and ocean.  I had the most delicious Kalbi ribs and hubs had a mouthwatering pulled pork sandwich on punaluu bread.  It was so good and the perfect way to end our day on the North Shore.

We headed back after that to relieve Gammy and Gampy of their babysitting duties.  They graciously insisted on hanging with their grandkids for the whole day so TG and I could enjoy a mini getaway together.  We returned to find them freshly bathed, eating snacks and relaxing with Gampy.   They had a wonderful day swimming and eating lots of ice cream cones.  I'm beyond thankful that my parents are willing to spend so much time on their vacation helping TG and I enjoy some time alone together.  If you're reading this, THANK YOU GAMMY AND GAMPY!

Every Friday night the Hilton Hawaiian Village puts on a small fireworks show on their beach.  We took the kiddos down for some sand play and fireworks.  They made sand angels.

Then oohed and ahhed over the waterfront fireworks.

And so ended day 8 in paradise.


Hawaii Days 6 and 7 - Snorkel, Swim, Shop, Swim

There are zero pictures of day 6 and 7.  I know, what? Clearly, I'd settled into relaxation mode and the panic of our impending departure wasn't creeping up on me yet. But here's two pics of the little man enjoying his Hawaiian vacation for you to enjoy.

Hanging at the beach while the girls got their nails done.

TG got him all ready for the wedding and went to take a shower.  When he got out he discovered our poor little guy passed out on the bed in his wedding wear.

On Wednesday we spent most of the morning at the beach. Gampy rented lounge chairs and an umbrella and we hauled all our towels, blankets, sand toys and snorkeling gear down there. Everyone but Tata and STG were hanging out there at one point during the morning. The water was the coldest it's ever been, but that didn't seem to bother the kids. We splashed around and played on floats for a while and then played in the sand. When they were done Gammy took them back to our hotel room for a break and TG agreed to venture out deeper with me to snorkel. Sadly there weren't many fish to see, but we had fun swimming around. After snorkeling, TG and Uncle J threw the football around while I relaxed in the sun (wearing my 50 spf sunscreen of course).

On Thursday we made the trek to the NEX. It's a highlight of our trip every time! TG decided to stay back with the kiddos so I was able to go and enjoy shopping with my parents, Tutu, STG and Tata. As usual whenever Tata is involved we had fun and bought too many cute things.

That afternoon everyone went swimming with the kids at the hotel and we bounced back and forth between the big pool and kiddie pool. We all (kids and adults) preferred the kiddie pool though for it's proximity to the beach and bar!

That evening I got to enjoy a lovely dinner with the newlyweds and a sweet friend of theirs over in the Hilton Hawaiian Village. We had delicious food, huge drinks, a gorgeous view of the water and lovely conversation. I got to try opakapaka - Hawaiian pink snapper, and it was delicious!

Monday, January 14, 2013

365 Photos in 2013 - Week 2

1.7 - Little man had a lazy day in his pjs at home, so come bedtime he wasn't quite as tired as usual. He easily persuaded TG to let him watch some football downstairs with us before bedtime.  Camden loves to yell, "TOUCHDOWN!"

1.8 - Riley discovered her first wiggly, loose tooth! When she had me confirm she was so overwhelmed she was laughing hysterically and crying a bit. Then for the rest of the day she couldn't wait to show TG and/or stop wiggling it.

1.9 - Riley lost her first tooth. She told me that morning that the wiggly tooth was hurting her when she tried to eat. That night while I was out at the store with Cam, she was having trouble eating dinner. TG told her it would be okay, but she decided to reach in there and pull the thing out herself. It was not that loose at all, so I was shocked when he told me, but she couldn't have been happier about it. That night we ceremonially put the tooth under her pillow and then read two books about the tooth fairy so she would know what to expect. Riley was so excited to see what the tooth fairy would bring.

1.10 - A tooth bag and visit from the tooth fairy. I stayed up until the next morning, using materials I had on hand, to sew her a little bag to put her loose teeth in from now on. There's a pocket for the tooth and a pocket for her money.  The tooth fairy left her $10 glitter dollars and a little reminder to, "Keep brushing!". Digging for the ziploc bag while trying not to wake her was stressful, but successful. From now on she'll put her tooth in the little bag and hang it near her bed.

1.11  Homemade laundry detergent.  I've had this pinned on my cleaning board on Pinterest for a long time and for one reason or another just haven't gotten around to making it, until now.  It took me four trips to find Borax, apparently Harris Teeter doesn't carry it around here, but now I'm on the "make your own soap" bandwagon and I love it.  Our clothes feel so soft and although they don't have the typical fresh laundry smell everything is bright and clean.  Add that to the super cheap price of making it yourself and it's a Pinterest winner!

1.12 - In an effort to get the kids out of the house, I took them to our local mall to play and do a little shopping. They were so cute because the place was packed, but they chose to play together.

1.13 - My team is out of the playoffs, but TG's team is in.  We had a low key day of lunch at Outback watching the Seahawks and Falcons, followed by naps, tax work for me, then the Patriots and Texans game at home.  I snuck the kids out to Target to give TG some time to yell for his team by himself, but not before Cam snuggled in for some, "Go Patriots! Come on, Welker! and TOUCHDOWN!" cheers.  The Patriots won and they are moving on to face the Dirty Birds next weekend.  I don't often cheer for the Pats, but I will be next weekend.  Which means they'll probably lose.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wiggle, Wiggle, Wiggle

We hit a big milestone today. My first baby has her very first loose tooth.

She told me early in the day that one tooth was behind the other tooth, but I basically told her to hush because she had been whining all morning and she was whining when she told me this. Then about 20 minutes later she said, "Mom, look, this tooth is moving!" Of course, then I understood what she meant before when I hushed her and I hastened to her mouth to see for myself. Sure enough, one of her bottom central incisors is wiggly. I actually gasped when I wiggled it, which scared her for a second, but then I started cheering and clapping. She was such a ball of emotion she was laughing and crying, jumping up and down and clapping and shrieking all at once.

Riley thinks it's pretty awesome and she kept talking about it all day. She couldn't wait to tell TG and as soon as he got home she accosted him in the hallway showing him her loose tooth.  For all the more she is wiggling it and pushing on it, I'm guessing it will be free in the next week or so.

I can't believe my 4 year old, (16 days from 5) has a loose tooth already, but here she is in all her wiggly tooth glory.