Monday, October 31, 2011


Owen went over to Kayla's neighborhood for Trick-or-Treat this year.

Last night, he woke up from a sound sleep at 9:30pm coughing and wheezing like he couldn't breathe. It was so scary. Ben put him in the car and was halfway to the hospital when he turned around and came home because he said he thought he was better. We called the advice nurse and she thought he might have had an asthma attack or something of the sort.

We decided to pull his mattress in our room for the night and he slept fine, although Ben and I were on pins and needles most of the night. At 7:30am this morning, I took him in for a checkup while Ben stayed home with Vivian. The doc thought the same, and put him on an oral steroid and the nebulizer for a few days. He goes back tomorrow for a checkup.

He was dragging a bit tonight, but overall had a fun time. Vivi and I stayed home to man the candy-giveaway. She was a trooper and stayed up until 7:30, but was ready to hit the hay at that point. Owen came home with a pumpkin bucket FULL of candy! We let him choose one piece to have tonight and he picked a Reese's peanut butter cup ~ Mommy's favorite too!

Once he was in bed, he was out fast. It was a very fun Halloween this year!
(Thanks Kelly for the great pictures! The big one on the left was the kids smiling, and the upper right was the kids yelling "candy!"). :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

SNOW before Halloween?!?!

We decided to check out "Air & Scare" this year at the Udvar Hazy Center near Dulles Airport. Apparently, all of Ashburn, Chantilly and Herndon decided they were going to see what it was all about too. It opened at 2pm and we got out the door at 4pm, but that must have been everyone else's idea too because we came to a dead stop about 2 miles away from the museum's entrance.

At least it didn't take too long to get through all the traffic and find a parking spot. But boy was it crowded. Kids (and some parents too!) in costume all over and they got to trick-or-treat throughout the museum, thanks to M&M Mars (c'mon Hershey, gotta step it up and sponsor next year!). :)

It was a very fun event and I think we'll be making it an annual tradition.

Friday, October 28, 2011

We survived the entire week without Daddy

I'm backdating (as taught by Andrea)...since it's been a long week and I haven't had any time to keep up with the blog. Ben had a business trip in San Diego this week, and while we had originally planned for me and the kids to join him, unfortunately the ticket prices made that idea financially challenging at this moment.

So we stayed home and held down the fort while Daddy enjoyed the week in sunny Cali. We missed him like crazy and tried to keep busy to make the days go by fast - couldn't wait to see him again today.

Owen had a dentist appointment today - he did GREAT! No cavities, which is awesome, especially since we accidentally missed his last 6-mo checkup and it had actually been a year since his last appointment. Oops. At least I got it in before Halloween. :)
He really enjoyed the dentist, which is very much the opposite of how his Mom handles her visits. He got a goody bag with a new toothbrush and toothpaste, both of which he got to hand select, as well as a balloon and a token to put in the toy machine. He decided on a bouncy ball to buy with his token and he loves it. Mommy even got some goodies too - a lip balm and handy hand sanitizer spray for her purse. Love me some freebies. :)

After Owen's visit, we had a text from Daddy that he had landed, so we headed over to the airport to pick him up. Looking forward to having a nice relaxing weekend at home as a family.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rainy Thursday

It was rainy all day today so we just hung out at home and had some quality playtime. I snapped this picture of Vivi this afternoon.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween playdate

Today after Mom's Morning Out, we met up with our friends Hunter, Matthew, and Austin (plus Mommies and siblings) for a Halloween playdate that Hunter's Mommy had organized. The weather didn't quite cooperate, as it started sprinkling, then raining, on our way over to the playground. But luckily there was a covered pavilion where we could eat our picnic lunches and the kids didn't mind playing in the rain for a little while. The boys loved the Halloween cupcakes that Hunter and his Mom made. Owen had 1 & 1/2! :)

They were so worn out from all the playtime that they both took great naps this afternoon. When they woke up we took another quick trip to the library to get some more DVDs since they're calling for rain tomorrow too. Owen's field trip to Great Country Farms is likely going to be cancelled, so that's a bummer.

So after getting home from the library we just played with the train table and watched a few DVD's together, and before we knew it we were all hungry for dinner. After dinner it was bath and bedtime for Vivian, and Owen was such a good boy watching a show downstairs by himself while Mommy put Vivi down. Vivi is having so much fun crawling up the stairs each night when we go up for bath. She's practicing walking, and loves to walk holding your fingertips, but hasn't taken a step on her own yet. I predict it will be soon though!

After Vivi was snug in her crib, Owen and I did his Goodnight Moon puzzle and read a few books and then was time for Owen's bedtime. Finally Mommy gets some quiet time to herself.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Vivi plays peek-a-boo

She had been doing it a few times before I finally remembered to grab my camera, so this is all I got:

Notice the red mark above her left eyebrow....seems with all her mobility comes lots of tumbles. Good thing she's a tough cookie. She pretty much has a new one every other day.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Nice day for a walk to the park

This morning Ben headed out to San Diego on a business trip. He left at 5:30am, long before the kids wake up (usually around 7am), so he didn't get to say goodbye to them before he took a cab to the airport.

Most of the pictures from this week are from my phone (note the fuzziness) since I didn't usually remember to pick up my camera.

We woke up like usual, and had breakfast then Vivi took her morning nap. It was a short one, so when she woke up we packed a lunch and walked over to our favorite playground to get some fresh air and exercise. It was a gorgeous morning for a walk. We ate our lunch on one of the picnic tables and then Owen ran around playing and Vivi tried to tag along. She's getting close to walking that I even joked to Ben that she might be by the time he gets home.

The kids had fun and Vivian must have been tuckered out because she slept the entire walk home (about 35 minutes). Owen refused to nap when we got home, so instead we drove over to the library and hung out reading for awhile. Then we just had to make a stop at Zinga, our new favorite spot in town. It's a frozen yogurt place kindof like Pinkberry, but a little less pricey. Owen is a huge fan:

When we got home, I attempted to make a healthy dinner recipe that I had read in a magazine recently. In order to do this, I had to prop Vivi up in her highchair since it was her bottle time and I was in the midst of cooking, while Owen was in front of the TV watching a DVD we had picked up at the library.

Owen took a few bites of the meal, but didn't like it as much as I did. He did eat the noodles, which are one of his favorites. The rest was sundried tomatoes, yellow squash and zucchini, and garlic. So much for my cooking. It was fun at least.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Massanutten 2011 - Day 2

This morning we had another nice breakfast (smoked salmon & cream cheese croissants - yum!) and then packed up to head home.

Before hitting the road, we stopped at Dream Come True Playground near JMU which Ben had spotted yesterday. The playground is specially designed for “children of all abilities.” Pretty neat stuff. Owen loved it so much he threw a tantrum when we went to leave.

A huge thank you to Grandma and Grandpa for the fun-filled weekend!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Massanutten 2011 - Day 1

We arrived last night around 8pm right behind Grandma and Grandpa. By the time we got both cars unpacked, ate a quick dinner, and put the kids in their jammies, it was almost 9 and they were ready for bed. Owen was a big boy and slept on the pull-out sofa all by himself!

The kids woke up right on schedule - 7am. Owen helped Grandma make blueberry pancakes and sausage and then devoured half the pile! :)

After Vivi's morning nap, we went to the water park for a couple of hours and both kids had a ball. It wasn't too crowded and the water was nice and warm. Vivi found the lazy river to be very relaxing and when we took a quick dip in the hot tub at the end, she almost fell asleep. That was our cue to head back to the condo for lunch and naps.

Grandma and Grandpa graciously took over baby duty while Ben and I ran over to JMU to grab lunch and shop at the bookstore. After 14 years, my original JMU hoodie sweatshirt is so worn out that I should probably toss it, but it has sentimental value to me so I haven't had the heart to. Tish told me to pick out a new one as a Christmas gift, so I chose a purple one with white embroidered "James Madison University" lettering. I also found a black fleece jacket on sale that I couldn't pass up.

We got back in time to take the kids over to the playground on the resort for an hour while Grandma and Grandpa took a little break. I took the opportunity to snap a bunch of pictures of the kids and Ben, although the bright sunset light was making it challenging.

The kids had more quality time with their grandparents while Ben and I went over to one of the resort's restaurants for a date night. Thank you so much for babysitting Grandma and Grandpa! :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kayla comes over for dinner

Matt had a business trip this week, so we had Kelly, Ryan and Kayla over for dinner and playtime tonight. The kids had fun running around while the mommies caught up and Ben grilled some BBQ chicken for us all.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Owen's big boy room

We really have no excuse for having put off finishing Owen's big boy room. When it comes to home improvement projects, we tend to drag our feet a bit. But today I had a surge of motivation to get it finished, so when the kids napped, I left Ben in front of the TV watching the Redskins while I ran over to Home Goods to search for a mirror and some prints for the walls.

My mom had picked out the quilt comforter and matching pillows, and yesterday she gave Owen this cool play mat that has a race track and roads on it for his cars, which also matches the car/truck/helicopter theme to his new room. I had to scour the kid's section of HG, but the extra time I took paid off when I found a set of 3 matching transportation prints (car, helicopter, truck) in the perfect colors. I also found a great mirror with a pale green frame which also coordinated really well.

I was so excited to get home and have Ben help me put it together. Owen had just woken up from his nap, Vivi had just had a bottle, and the game was almost over. Unfortunately, the Skins lost. Ben did an awesome job of mounting and leveling the hooks for the mirror, and then I finished putting up the transportation decals on the wall. I found Owen's letters from his nursery and they went up easily above the mirror. I think it came together pretty nicely, if I don't say so myself. And the final touch will be the window treatments Grandma is sewing up this week.

Owen loves his big boy room! :)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Visiting Gigi

We stopped by GiGi's house for a quick visit before driving up to New Jersey for Ann & TJ's engagement party. GiGi gave Owen his birthday present - two new books and a Tonka tow truck! Owen was in heaven.

The drive to NJ was going well until we hit bumper-to-bumper traffic near King of Prussia. Luckily, we stopped on the side right near an exit, backed up carefully, and took the exit in order to find a detour. We were over an hour late to the party, but had we kept the course, we probably would have missed it all together.

It was a lovely luncheon honoring my cousin and her fiance. We can't wait for their wedding (they're thinking summer of 2012 after Ann finishes graduate school)! The kids had fun flying paper airplanes through the engagement ring balloon, while Vivi found a metal tub which I turned upside down so she could use it as a walker (sometimes you have to get creative to keep kids entertained!). I didn't get to catch up as much as I would have liked to with every family member since I was chasing Vivi around most of the time we were there, but it was nice to at least see everyone and introduce them to the kids. We'll definitely have more time to catch up at the upcoming nuptials. :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hersheypark in the Dark!

We drove up to Hershey today to spend the night at Grandma & Poppy's before heading to my cousin's engagement party tomorrow. We of course had to visit Hersheypark in the Dark since Owen had so much fun at the park this summer. (It was also a great excuse to put the kids in their costumes for some cute pictures.)

Since it downpoured on the way over to the park from my parent's house, we headed in to Chocolate World to start off the night. They had a couple of trick-or-treating stands set up for the kids to get candy which was fun. Luckily by the time we were done collecting candy, the rain had stopped. We bumped into one of my friends from high school Tina, and she offered to take a picture of us at the entrance which was great.

Owen rode some rides he refused to try this summer, and Ben got in on the action by taking him on the Scrambler and the Ladybugs. :)

Vivian was a trooper. She didn't sleep, despite only taking a short afternoon nap on the way here. But I think she got a kick out of watching Owen go on the rides. She drank her bottle and then was all smiles when we stopped at Chocolate World on the way out for a cookie, even though she didn't get a single bite.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Yesterday we met up with two of my old college friends and their boys for a playdate at Pumpkinville (Leesburg Animal Park). The boys reluctantly tried several of the activities we suggested (hay maze, bouncy house, slide) before deciding they had more fun just chasing each other around the table during our picnic lunch. :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Vivian is 10 months old!

Two more months and she'll no longer be drinking bottles, and most likely will be walking. Unreal. I want to keep her a baby as long as possible! But alas, our baby girl is growing up. FAST. Here is her 10-month summary:

* Wearing 12-mo & 18-mo clothes
* Size 5 diapers
* Drinking 26-28 oz of formula a day
* Starting to eat more "real food" at mealtimes with us
* Still loves her Cheerios and also has grown fond of YoBaby yogurts
* Drinks water from a sippy, but finds it much more entertaining to let the water dribble out of her mouth versus actually drinking it now
* Still sleeping with her paci, sleepy giraffe, and silky blankie
* Starting to laugh more easily for us, especially after meals and in the bath
* Super squirmy most of the time during diaper changes. I decided to try the new Huggies slip-on diapers, but they're not that great. From now on, we're sticking to Pampers via AmazonMom.
* Crawling fast now, going straight to anything that she can pull herself up to standing with
* LOVES pushing her new VTech walker that I picked up at a consignment sale
* Can stand unassisted for 10-15 seconds, and has taken one step forward a few times, but falls back on her bum
* Enjoys walking while holding onto our hands, even giggles sometimes while doing it
* Gives her babydoll kisses - sloppy, wet, open-mouth kisses. Cracks me up!
* Says "da", "ma-ma" and "ba" and is starting to point at things
* Smiles when I use baby sign language with her
* Has fun playing with her big brother. Owen told me today that "we're best friends Mommy". My heart melted.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Jambalaya sandwiches

Matt & Kel invited us over tonight for Matt's famous jambalaya sandwiches. They were delish.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

In the backyard before dinner

The weather was so nice today, we headed outside before dinner to play in the backyard. Vivian loved crawling around in the grass, and Owen and I played a little baseball. He's getting pretty good at making a hit when I throw him the ball!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Congratulations Missy & Randy!!!

We left Vivian and Owen with Aunt Hillary, Grandpa, and Grandma today so we could drive to Philly to attend Missy & Randy's wedding celebration. Missy and I have known each other since freshman year of college back in the fall of 1997 when we met in English class and she asked me if I wanted to go out for the water polo team with her. We've been friends ever since!

The wedding was at a beautiful estate and the late afternoon outdoor ceremony began at 4:30. A harpist played lovely music during the processional. Missy was stunning as she was escorted down the aisle by her dad. The pastor spoke about how marriage is like the stock market - it comes with ups and downs, but if you continuously are investing in each other and you both stay focused on staying in it for the long haul, you'll do extremely well. Great way to look at it, don't you think? :)

Love these girls ~ friends for 14 years! (Wow - are we really that old?!)

The party was inside the big white tent and main house of the estate directly following the ceremony. We had cocktails outside in the rose garden which was so pretty. The decor was simple and elegant, it was just perfect. The toasts were funny and endearing, the dinner was delicious, and the dancing was very fun. It was a special night and we were so happy to be able to be there to celebrate with them.

Congratulations to the new Mr. & Mrs. Haugh!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

You know you're taking too many pictures at dinner time when you see this face

Halloween treat

I found this cute Halloween treat idea (Pinterest, anyone??? LOVE IT!) and thought it would be fun to do with Owen.

Once Vivian was pleasantly occupied with some Cheerios, we gathering our ingredients:
Lollipop sticks (from craft store's cake decorating section), small clear treat bags and silver ties, green ribbon (I didn't have enough so ended up having to use my green/yellow ribbon), graham crackers, orange colored (white chocolate) candy wafer melts, and big marshmallows.

Then, I melted the candy melts in the microwave while Owen hammered the graham crackers into tiny pieces. He found this to be a very fun job, as probably any little boy would.

The next step was to stick a lollipop stick in each marshmallow, dip it in the melted orange chocolate to cover it, then dip the top of it in crushed graham crackers. Owen did such a great job helping me!

We put them on a plate so that the chocolate could harden in the fridge. After 10 minutes we took them out and put them into the little clear bags, tied with a silver twist tie, and then a green ribbon. This is a picture of a few of them. We made about 12 total, I think. They came out pretty good for our first holiday-themed treat activity. They taste a little like s'mores. :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Happy Birthday Dad! (aka Poppy)

While I may possibly be the world's worst at remembering to mail a birthday card, I can say that I am getting better. (Does mailing the card on the birthday itself count for anything???)

Top Ten Things I Love About My Dad

10. He taught me to love watching sports - football mainly - but I have grown to also love watching golf, boring as it can be sometimes, it's relaxing.

9. He was patient with me when I was easily frustrated at learning to drive a stick-shift car when I was 16. I don't think teaching me to ride a two-wheeler was quite as challenging.

8. He always had a bouquet of flowers for me after my dance recitals growing up.

7. When he got home from work each night he'd put his briefcase down, and I'd hear "Hello Sweetie!". I still get that greeting each time we meet. Now Vivi has the nickname too. :)

6. I've learned the value of strong friendships from my dad.

5. He taught me that life is too short and we should enjoy the time we have together and not let the little things get in the way.

4. He gives really great hugs.

3. He taught me that "it's only money" whenever I was stressed about it, and that enjoying life is far more important than having lots of money or buying expensive things.

2. He always knew how to tell me he was proud of me.

1. He has always been there for me. No matter what.

I love you Daddy. You are the best father in the world and I hope you have a wonderful birthday.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vivi cracking up during bathtime

Vivian has always been our serious baby. But just this week we've seen her silly side emerge and it's SO MUCH FUN MAKING HER LAUGH!

I was putting her jammies on the other night and our neighbor's dog barked and you could hear it. So I said, "Hear the doggy barking? Ruff! Ruff!" And she started giggling!

Then tonight during bathtime, she was splashing so Ben said, "Whoa!" and she let out huge belly laughs. By the time I shot this video a few minutes later, they had been playing that game non-stop and she was getting a little tired of it, but I still caught some cute laughs on camera.

I LOVE hearing her laugh. We waited awhile for that and it was totally worth it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Playdate with Sarah Catherine & Benjamin

Steph invited us over today for a playdate and we were so excited to catch up since we haven't had a chance to get together lately. From the moment we got there, Sarah Catherine couldn't wait to give Owen his birthday present. The kids played for awhile, then we had lunch, and then Owen got to open his gift. (We knew that we had to save it for last or else he wouldn't want to do anything but open & play with the toy!)

It was an awesome three-story Little People racetrack ramp set with two race cars! Owen LOVES it! He made me set it up the moment we got home and played with it non-stop until bedtime. Ben was impressed that I was able to put it together all by myself. (Without the instructions, I might add, since I didn't notice they were taped to the bottom of the toy!)

Thank you so much Sarah Catherine for a super cool birthday present and fun playdate!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

We visited a local pumpkin patch today to get into the Halloween mood. Unfortunately because of all the rain we've been having, it was too muddy for Owen to enjoy all the fall festival kid play areas. But we kept him distracted by having him pick out mums and pumpkins. We're hoping to head back a few more times before the Halloween season is over.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Owen loves to swiffer!

While cheering on the Hokies today, Owen did some cleaning.

(He picked it up himself, I swear! By no means was I trying to use my child as a maid. I promise.)