Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday in Hershey

Today we drove up to Hershey to see my mom's side of the family. My Aunt Sue & Uncle Dave were in town from Ohio, along with my cousin Adam (their son), his wife Tina, and their new adorable baby girl, Anna. My Aunt Barbara & Uncle Barry and cousins Sara and Kristen were also in town from Atlanta. (We missed Kristen since she caught a flight back while we were driving up.)

It was my cousin Alexandra's 12th birthday too, so the family was gathering to celebrate at my Aunt Liz's house. My Grandma made a lasagna and Aunt Liz made a turkey soup and everyone ate and caught up. Alex and her sister Faith had their friend Erin over and Owen was just in heaven flirting and playing with the girls. (A sign of things to come???)

We had a great time, but decided to head home rather than stay the night since Owen didn't sleep well on the drive there and I was worried he wouldn't sleep well during the night. I thought he'd sleep better in his crib at home.

Here are some pictures from our visit:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ben decided to cook our turkey on the grill this year! He was inspired by our friend Andy who did a turkey on the grill for Pre-Thanksgiving. He started around 10:30am and it was on the grill for about two hours and finished in the oven. It came out looking great and tasted fantastic!

Grandma and Grandpa Marshall joined us and brought Owen some new stuffed animals and books! Grandma Marshall made a delicious mushroom/sausage stuffing that went very well with the turkey. We also had pumpkin soup, garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with marshmellows, cranberry sauce and mixed veggies. We were all stuffed afterwards and had to take a little break before dessert.

For dessert Grandma brought a pumpkin pie and Grandpa was so proud of the cherry pie he spent all day baking. Owen loved the pumpkin, but wasn't too fond of the cherry.

We called Aunt Hillary before calling it a night. She had just sat down to dinner on the west coast. We miss her and are looking forward to seeing her in a week or two.

So much to be thankful for this year!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma Marshall!

We met up with Grandma & Grandpa Marshall for dinner at a wonderful Vietnamese restaurant called Four Sisters in Fairfax for Grandma's Birthday dinner. Owen was very well behaved and enjoyed his first taste of Vietnamese food. We had a great time! I forgot to take a picture, but here is one from the night before when Grandma Marshall came over for her birthday surprise ~ a cake baking class at a new cooking school.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Erin's baby shower & Kevin's birthday party!

Today we drove out to West Virginia for Erin's baby shower and Kevin's birthday party. They just got back from England and are so excited to welcome Logan at the end of January. Tim, Andrea, and Olivia flew in from Houston. We arrived late since Owen was napping until 1:45. And once we got there, he did not sit still for a second. He loved running around and exploring everywhere.

Erin's friends, Andrea, and Andrea & Erin's mom Marti did a fantastic job with the party. The games were so much fun, the food was fabulous, and the company was the best part. We wish we could have stayed longer, but had to get home to get Mr. Owen to bed.

I didn't realize it until we got home and uploaded the pictures, but I forgot to take pics of the guests of honor! I feel terrible! They do, however, have an awesome blog ~ Hawk's Nest ~ which is linked on the left bar of mine, so definitely check it out. Also, Andrea will definitely have party pics on her blog ~ Hertel News ~ so check that one out too.

Erin is absolutely glowing and gorgeous and is going to be an amazing mother. We got them their baby tub and a bunch of baby bathtime essentials which we hope baby Logan enjoys as much as Owen enjoys his bath.

We did snap a few pictures of the Hertel/Marshall crew before we hit the road. Miss Olivia is almost walking on her own now and pretty soon she'll be taking off like Owen does whenever we put him down.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas card photo shoot

Kel, Matt and Kayla were so sweet to stop by on their way home from the Leesburg outlets to do a little photo shoot for us. Shutterfly was having a sale on photo cards, and I was hoping to get some good shots to choose from for our annual Christmas card.

Kelly is a super talented photographer. She was able to capture 5 great shots for us in under 10 minutes. Incredible! Especially since Owen was overdue from his nap and I was certain he was going to have a meltdown if it took longer than that.

Here is a little preview. This isn't the shot we used for the card, but I still love it. In case you wanted to compare, this was our Christmas card post from last year.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Daycare Thanksgiving party

Today at daycare Owen's class had a little Thanksgiving party. Ben and I got there late, and Owen and his friend Kai were the only two left in his room. They had made turkey hats with their teacher, Ms. Latifa. Then we had some pumpkin pie ~ yum! Owen loved it!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Grandma and Grandpa Marshall got Owen a very nice set of starter Legos for his birthday. We took them out tonight to play. (Yes, we're in a very drooly stage right now. He isn't wearing a bib because after dinner I usually let him go bib-free since I'm just going to throw all his clothes in the laundry anyway.)

He hasn't quite learned how to put them together yet, but really enjoys taking them apart. :)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dinner date with Kelly & Kayla

All day we looked forward to our dinner date with Kel and Kayla. When we arrived, Kayla promptly showed Owen her kitchen.

Then Owen enjoyed one of Kayla's sit and ride toys:

Then the kiddies had a little snack while Kel cooked up a yummy dinner for them. They were watching Diego while snacking:

Viola! Dinner is served:

(Notice Wally strategically positioned beneath the table to catch any scraps!)

Then the mommies got to enjoy Kelly's fabulous Cod with an amazing finishing butter. YUM! Accompanied by roasted asparagus and a carrot/culiflower/dried cranberry medly. I left pleasantly stuffed. Thanks Kel and Kayla for having us over! Can't wait til next time! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yeah, yeah

Owen can almost reach the pedals on his trike. He still needs a little push from Mommy or Daddy.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Playdate with Lyla

This morning before leaving Hershey, we met up with my friend Sandy from highschool and her adorable daughter Lyla. Sandy and I had the babies around the same time last year ~ they are about 3 weeks apart.

The weather was amazing for November ~ sunny and 70-degrees! They did the swings and played with the bells before we had to hit the road for the drive back to VA. It was so nice to meet Lyla after seeing so many of her cute pictures on facebook and hearing about her from my conversations with Sandy. Hopefully we'll get to do another playdate next time we're in Hershey!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Congratulations Carla & Mike!!!

Carla and Mike got married today! Carla was such a gorgeous bride and Mike a very handsome groom.

We kept Owen quiet during the ceremony by means of a paci, board books, and Cheerios. That was almost a miracle. There was one thing Mommy didn't foresee....farts. Oh joy! At times it was so quiet in the church, we were SO INCREDIBLY LUCKY that our little man didn't let one rip. Well, to be honest, he actually let a little one slip. And a few silent ones. Very embarrassing, but things considered, he was a little angel in church.

After the beautiful ceremony, we hopped over to Amy's with Mark and Sarah for a quick visit. She and Matt were getting ready for her Mom's surprise graduation party and were happy to see us. It was nice to get to see them on such short (5 minute!) notice. :)

Then Sarah, Mark, Ben and Owen and I headed up to The Hotel Hershey to have a drink and get Owen dinner at the Fountain Cafe. Our plan was to thoroughly exhaust him so that my Grandma wouldn't have to chase him around when we brought him home for the evening before returning to the hotel for the reception. The plan worked like a charm! We got Owen home around 5:45 and were back in time for the cocktail hour (Mommy even had time for a wardrobe change!).

The reception was so elegant and so much fun!! We danced until almost midnight to an awesome 12-piece band before wishing them an amazing honeymoon (they'll have an incredible time in St. Lucia ~ they're going to the same resort Ben and I went to ~ Sandals!)

Owen slept so well during the night and woke up a happy baby ready to play with his Great Grandma.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My baby has CURLS!!!

When I was pregnant, I always wished my baby (girl or boy) would have curls. Ever since Owen's hair has filled out, he usually has this one little curl on the left side of his head in the back. BUT.....when he wakes up from a nap when his head has gotten a little sweaty, the back of his head is a mess of curls. I LOVE THEM. Now, if we could only get the front of his hair to match the back.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dinnertime singing

During dinnertime I usually sing songs to Owen. You know, "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes", "If You're Happy and You Know It", etc, etc. I know, I'm cheesy. But it's fun and he seems to enjoy it even though my voice is terrible and I'm usually way off key. Imagine that!

Tonight after he had his "appetizer" of a handful of Cheerios (which I usually give him to keep him occupied until I get his meal cooled off enough to feed to him), I captured some of his singing in response to my singing. It takes him a few seconds to find his voice, and once he does it's just so darn cute. :)

(Except for the screaming/whining at the end. I wonder where he picked that up????)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pre-Thanksgiving at the Gribble's

This is the time of year when we start to count our blessings. We are so thankful for good friends and annual traditions like Pre-Thanksgiving (6th year!) at Andy & Maureen's! This year was their little man's very first Pre-Thanksgiving!
Maureen did a beautful job (as always) with the table-scape:

It was an amazing feast ~ Andy outdid himself with the turkey on the grill this year. It was delicious! We ate until we were stuffed and conversed for hours. Lots of reminiscing about our college years! (Owen took a little turkey-induced nap in his highchair after dinner.)

We were sent home with the most adorable boxes of Maureen's pumpkin chocolate-chip cookies ~ I can't wait to tear into it!

Thank you so much to the Gribbles for hosting another wonderful Pre-Thanksgiving! :)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Naptime and bedtime

My two most favorite times are, without a doubt, naptime and bedtime. We have settled into a sleepy time routine.

(Mushy mommy talk coming up.)

I love giving Owen his little lamb nap blanket. It's like my signal to him that it is time to sleep. He reaches for it and giggles, pulling it close to his chest. I turn on his fan for white noise. Then I hand him his paci which he promptly puts in his mouth, cradle him in my arms and sit down in the glider to rock.

For naptime, it usually takes him about 4 minutes to drift off to sleep. I love watching his eyes get heavy. He always looks so incredibly peaceful and content. I often have to force myself to get up and put him down in his crib because I could hold him and stare at him sleeping for hours. We've been down to one nap now since right around 12 months. He'll usually sleep for two hours, sometimes three.

At bedtime, we always do a bath first. After I wrap him up in his hooded towel and brush his teeth, we head into the nursery for a diaper, some baby lotion, and his snuggly jammies. I turn on the fan, then, as if on cue, when I'm putting on his pj's and singing "Twinkle, Twinkle" to him, he starts yawning. It is so incredibly cute.

Then we grab the little lamb blanket and paci and sit down to rock in the glider. I love that glider. Best piece of furniture any pregnant woman could buy, in my opinion, is an awesome glider. At bedtime I usually tickle him softly on the side of his belly because I just melt when he giggles in response. And I love to end the day with a smile.

We rock for a few minutes, but I don't rock him to sleep at night. I put him down in his crib after giving him a good-night kiss and falls asleep on his own. We are so lucky that he is, and always has been, an incredible sleeper. Even now, when he has 6, yes 6, teeth coming in at once, he is still sleeping through the night perfectly. My little sleepy boy.

My other favorite time is when he wakes up because 9 times out of 10, he is happy, smiley, and so excited to see me. :)

(This is from Tuesday morning last week. It was the latest he had EVER slept in, 9:15am. And that was after going to bed at his usual 7pm bedtime. I had heard him stirring on the monitor, and figured it was probably time he got up. He has his bunny blanket with him, but since he needed it to sleep at daycare, we left that one at daycare and got him another one for home. Only problem was that they were out of the bunny one so we had to get the lamb. I don't think he notices they're different. :)