Friday, November 30

November Instagram

Happy last day of November! Tomorrow is December, which means things are getting serious.

1. Me and my little pal. Sometimes he smiles.
2. Goofball on Halloween.
3. My "faux"-nytail. I was really proud of my hair on my first run back after Chicago... the run only lasted 2 minutes.  ACHILLES.
4. They love to take pictures with me!!!

2. The day after the hurricane--an electrical fire next door brought out every firetruck ever..
3. Hungry hungry hippos on the iPad.
4. He loves to read. Especially some John Piper.

1. What kind of restaurant puts a severed head in your dinner?
2. Monster Bash! Pictures soon.
3. Two cuties.

1. Finley's sweet digs over Thanksgiving--unfortunately he was a huge pain and Sol ended up sleeping in the tent with several nights.
2. Curls + Giraffe + Thumb = adorable.
3. Hands.
4. Next party... gingerbread man! Finley is modeling a chef's hat.

Wednesday, November 28

Favorite New Book

I don't normally recommend books because I pretty much just read whatever Victoria tells me to read and it's all on her blog.  But I picked this book out all by myself and read it and loved it and now I'm telling you to read it.

Ok, you caught me.  I didn't pick it out all by myself. My sister wrote it and I read it because she's my sister.  The impressive part is not that my sister wrote a novel, the impressive part is that she wrote a novel DURING HER SURGICAL RESIDENCY.

The book is about some burn patients and their out-of-body experiences while they are in the burn unit in comas (I think.) It's really good. I read it in about an hour while I did the elliptical and just about cried five times.  Granted, I cry at everything, but this was good.

So... if you need a quick and awesome read, go check it out! If you have Amazon Prime you can get it for FREE!!!! Or pay $3.99 for it.  Bargain, right? Seriously, go buy it.  YAY LAURA!

Monday, November 26


Welcome back to the real world, folks! I hope everyone had a Thanksgiving full of family and rest.

The cutest party of our holiday? Braden and Finley being obsessed with holding hands.

Really.  They thought it was so so fun.  Braden INSISTED on holding Finley's hand and no one elses.

And Finley took his job of protecting Braden very seriously--reminding him not to go in the street and to be careful.  He also sometimes forgot Braden is not as fast as him and accidentally pulled him down.

It was cold, and they were cute.

They struggled sometimes to figure out how exactly to hold hands--sometimes doing the wrong ones.

So thankful for those sweet little hands.

(And happy birthday Courtney! May your 30s be filled with no one thinking you are in high school.)

Tuesday, November 20

Fact or Fiction?

My sweet blond boy went on a tour of the Oval Office. Or did he?

It's plausible. We live just a few miles away... Thanks to Vicki for finding this awesome pic. It's going on his wall.

Monday, November 19

Timer Pictures

Pretty much, the surefire way to get the boys to look at the camera, is to have no one behind it. I set the camera on the window ledge (DANGER!) and apparently, that was really exciting.

They are fascinated by the camera clicking all by itself.

And Finley loves to hold the remote timer and make the camera take pictures.

Um, this pretty much counts as all of us looking at the camera... and that MIGHT be three smiles?  Perhaps?

Happy Thanksgiving week everyone! The blog slowed down last week and expectations should probably stay low for this coming week too.  I've been focusing all of my energy on the best monster party of the millenium... and have slacked at blogging.  We'll be back on track soon.  Until then, eat some cranberry sauce shaped like a can for me!

Thursday, November 15

Winner and the Big 600

Thanks to ALL the entries in the giveaway--over 600 entries and a ton more likes on Facebook.  We're beyond excited.  Stephanie F. and Shannon H. were the big winners--congrats ladies! In the meantime, you still have a few weeks to order plates to get them in time for Christmas.  Use the code PLATE20 to get 20% off!

Also, this is my 600th post.  I have nothing awesome to post.  No cute pictures of the boys--we've been busy. No funny anecdotes, because I'm too tired to remember. However, I am helping style an incredible monster party on Saturday--so stay tuned for that awesomeness.  Also, I'm registered for a marathon on Sunday... Sol convinced me to register for it in the post-marathon haze of Chicago.  I'm not running it. I can't run at all still. Which is fine with me, but I don't like the fact that there's a number out there with my name on it.

And with that, I will close my 600th post.  Thanks for being along for the journey!

Monday, November 12

Sweet Family

My dear friend Jenn took on the daunting task of trying to get a picture of all four of us smiling. I warned her that it wasn't going to be easy.  My boys are stubborn. We met her in a park on a chilly day, and she got a lot of really sweet shots of us.

None was the coveted shot with eight eyeballs and four smiles, but they were still sweet.

This one might be my favorite--I brought a book to read because Braden is a bookworm.  The boys both settled down and sat still... quite rare.

Also, even though I picked out what Sol and I were going to wear, I didn't realize until we had left that it was pretty much identical.  Oh well.

Jen sweetly gave it a second shot this weekend--and the boys were slightly more cooperative.  There are some hilarious outtakes from that session that I might like even better than the sweet ones. Thanks Jenn! If you need a photographer in NOVA, Jenn's your girl.

And if you haven't entered, the giveaway for the plate or cards is open until midnight tonight!  Serendipitously, tomorrow is my 600th post... what a way to celebrate.  You can enter below on this page.  I'm so excited by how many entries we got, so thank you to everyone who participated!  Yay!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 9

A Post of Few Words

Love his crazy hair.


Love that he likes to bite his sleeve and cuddle with me.

Braden and Mama

Love him.

Braden and Mama

Happy Friday.

And go win a plate/cards if you haven't yet.

Wednesday, November 7

Half Birthdays!

October is month where Braden and Finley are half way to their next birthday--which I should be fully recovered from the last set of parties and ready to throw the next one. (Finley insists he wants a doggy party...) Unfortunately, it is not October, it is November.  I even took these pictures on Oct 12 (Braden's official half birthday!) and managed to procrastinate almost a month before posting them. Oh well.

Braden is mimicking everything we say, and sometimes asking for things on his own (water, up please, book, help, more).  He sings a very special, incredibly garbled version of the ABCs and the theme from Choo-Choo Soul (All aboard the Choo Choo Train!) and it's so sweet.  His vocabulary is surprising me daily--it's such a cool age where they understand SO much and are just starting to be able to express themselves.  He's so proud when he says a train or bus and can tell me about it!  For my records, some of his words: milk, Mac, bus, truck, train, tractor, water, hi, bye, help, up, please, all done, mama, yes, no, daddy, Finley, Brady, dog, frog, duck, moo, quack, woof, choo choo, more, book, cheese, cracker, cupcake, vroom vroom, sock, shoe... He can identify lots of body parts and will insist on reading the same ones over and over.

He's still a sweet thumb sucker and is much cuddlier than that brother of his.  I love putting him to bed--the way he'll lay his head on me and suck his thumb while he snuggles his giraffe.  He really is a bedtime champ--he rarely fusses after we lay him down. He seems GRATEFUL for the alone time.  A little introvert, perhaps?  But do not cross the boy--he will yell NO NO NO with the best of them.  The dramatics are second to none (see pictures of him screaming on Halloween.)  He loves me--that's for sure.  Not only is he upset if he suspects he may get left somewhere, he also can not handle me holding other babies.  He really likes being my baby. And I do too.

He likes to wrestle with his brother and color and read the same book over and over.  He's in love with trains lately--nothing makes him happier than trains.  I just love seeing his preferences, he's obsessed with trains in a way that Finley wasn't at his age!  He's adorable when he thinks he's being sneaky or silly--he likes to try to hide from us or run away when he's being silly.  Such a fun guy.

We've abandoned the patch and are putting one drop in his eye once a week that dilates his pupil (it looks a little freaky) and blurs his vision to force him to strengthen his weak eye.  Much easier than the patch! We're checking in three months to see where we'll go from here.

Here's a sweet video of Braden--I'm mostly sharing it for his benefit. He thinks it's hilarious--the part with the clothespin and little dog have him in stitches.

Finley is three and a half.  He's turning into such a kid!  He uses big words that I'm not sure where he picked them up.  He told me something on the floor was disgusting today. He also told me I was really stinky and needed to shower, which was true. He impresses me with the towers and rockets he builds, the pictures he draws and the questions he comes up with. I need to start recording all his funny moments throughout the day--three year olds are a funny breed.

We're struggling a bit with sleeping--he really doesn't need a nap anymore. If he falls asleep he ends up staying up until very late... but he also his a little grumpier and more emotional than normal because he's getting less sleep.  You'd think that he'd sleep in a little later, but for some reason he's not napping AND he's getting up about an hour earlier.  We're trying to get him to stay in bed until 8 (his clock turns green at 8!) but it's a fight. He's persistent.

We're still doing letter activities every day and he really looks forward to them.  I know everyone thinks their kid is super smart (how can you not--you watch them go from an infant to someone who can talk! AMAZING!) but I am always impressed at how well he picks up on things.  He's doing great with letter sounds and can somewhat legibly write words.

I've started taking the boys to the gym and putting them in childcare and it's being going great.  It means I don't have to go work out after they go to bed! Yay! Braden makes me proud--he normally only cries for a minute. Sometimes he poops in protest and I have to stop early to get him, but for the most part it's pleasant for all parties.

I can't believe we're over the half way mark! Party time, people.


And speaking of parties--don't forget to enter the RV Parties giveaway here!

Monday, November 5

Christmas "Cookies for Santa" Plate Giveaway!

Happy November friends! You know what November means, right? It means it's officially the Holiday season--I mean, at least according to Target. We have a couple holiday goodies that make great gifts for sale in the Etsy shop--and we're giving away two today!

I may be a bit biased (or a lot biased) but I really love these melamine plates as gifts. We've pretty much moved to these plates being the only ones we eat off of--they hold up well, can go in the dishwasher and don't seem to ever break. They are great gifts for kids--parents will appreciate that you didn't give them more toys to clean up and step on in the middle of the night.  And kids love things with their name on it!  I bought my parents a set of all the states they've lived in (it was a lot!) last year for Christmas and they loved it. Or at least they pretended to.

And Vic's special holiday offering--these darling enclosure cards. She makes custom or generic ones in a bunch of different colors.  Today we're giving away a set of 10--you pick the colors!

So to kick off the holiday season here, we're giving away a set of enclosure cards and one of the "Cookies for Santa" plates. (Or if you win and don't like Santa, you can pick any plate you want. I don't mind.) The giveaway will be open for a week--you have until midnight next Monday to enter. I'm trying out Rafflecopter for the first time--it's super easy to enter. There's several different ways to earn entries and to give you an even better chance of winning!  Click the link below to enter:

And if you just can't wait to see if you won--go on over and start buying plates!  For this week, you can use the code PLATE20 to get 20% off your order!

Thursday, November 1

Halloween 2012

Life is funny these days--if you don't have your Halloween pictures on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter by like midnight, then you are way behind the times.  I already posted the gorgeous pictures Jenn took--but here are some official Halloween ones.  I love these little guys!

We thought we should try to get a picture with the big and little guys--I think you can tell how that went.

Someone really wanted his mama. I love this picture too much.

They were a little more cooperative with their mamas there too corral them.  Finley was concerned that I didn't put Braden's glasses on him and that he wouldn't be able to see, it was very sweet.

Before we went trick or treating we all feasted on some delicious pumpkin pancakes--I think you can imagine how much noise seven little ones made.  It was ROWDY.  Amy was a trooper for putting up with all of our hooligans.

It was (obviously) dark when we went trick or treating, so I don't have any good pictures or videos. But it was really sweet so I took some super lousy video to share with Sol since he didn't get to come with us.

Braden's vocabulary is really picking up--new words on our outing were "trick or treat" and "walk."  He totally got trick or treating and it made him furious.  He knew people were giving him treats and he wasn't getting to eat any of them.  So he was a pretty grumpy man--true to character.  Finley was great, collecting candy and most of the time remembering to say thank you! We watched last year's Halloween video to prep, and I think it paid off.
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