Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Love Project ~ February update

Happy Leap Year! Today being the last day of February, we stopped by Good Shepherd Alliance this afternoon to drop off our donation.

We had the bags filled with laundry detergent, toilet paper, canned fruit, juice and iced tea bottles, diapers, soup mix, and a few other things which were posted on their urgent needs list. It was a really good feeling to do something to help our community, and I look forward to making regular donations to GSA in the future. I plan to make it back again once I've filled up more bags of donations. They made it so easy for me when I dropped off - a guy was outside waiting to accept the donation and he gave me a receipt on the spot. Made it convenient since the kids were waiting in the car.

In March I'm going to work on helping my brother plan Andy's memorial in Hershey. It probably will take place in April, but I'm sure he'll need help getting the details lined up ahead of time. It will be a wonderful way for us to honor his life with friends and family in his hometown.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Shades after swimming

Took this little snapshot with my cell after swim class today. Vivi was having fun entertaining herself with my sunglasses while I got changed.

Reminded me right away of the video my dad took of me when I was about 5 years old and I was doing the same exact thing with my mom's shades. Except hers were way bigger.

It was the early eighties, after all. :)

Photography Improvement Project

I have a dream of becoming a really good photographer. But yet, I have not done anything, other than a quickie Photography 101 course that was just so-so, to further that dream.

Until now.

A blogger I used to read, Jill of Baby Rabies, had a promo to join a site called ClickinMoms in a recent post she wrote. I just signed up today for a Free 7-day trial and while the kids were napping, I started reading through the Forums.

There is so much incredible information from professional photographers, amateur photographers, and moms just like me who want to become better at taking pictures of their favorite subjects: their kids. I'm loving it so far.

This afternoon I took some snapshots of Ben and the kids on the deck before dinner. I'm excited about learning more about photography and look forward to seeing my blog images get better and better as time goes by and I work at practicing.

Practice makes perfect, right?

Or at least in my case, practice will at least help me to improve. :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Baby Drew ~ sleepy after pictures, not during

I brought dinner over to Molly and Tim tonight and also was on hand to help with Drew's newborn photoshoot. He did a number (well, a few actually) on the new {expensive} swaddle blankets Molly bought for the shoot, and unfortunately was wide awake for almost all of the picture-taking, so not many sleeping baby shots were captured. It doesn't matter ~ all the pictures are going to be amazing. Mol and Tim make really cute kids.

All that peeing and pooing wore him out! I got to hold him before and after his pictures were finished and I didn't want to put him down. He's so snuggly and cute. And so gosh-darn handsome. Dontcha think?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

All dressed up for Brody's birthday party

Our friend Brody turned 2 today and we went to his "rock-star" themed birthday bash. It was so much fun! The kids had a ball playing with Brody's train table and other toys. The guitar cake was definitely a hit.

Vivi wore a cute outfit that Mommy put together all by herself (as fashion-challenged as I am, I was kinda proud of this little number.)

{Cardi: Children's Place, Tunic shirt: OldNavy, Skinny Jeans: Children's Place, Legwarmers: BabyLegs, Shoes: Old Navy}

After the party, Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Hillary came over to hang out with Owen and Vivi while Ben and I went out to dinner in DC to celebrate his birthday. It was a very fun date night, and we thank them for coming over to watch the kiddos for us.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Happy Birthday Daddy!

(snap shot from my phone)

Ben's birthday is today! To celebrate, Owen baked a cake in his kitchen!

(The cake is in the oven, if you didn't notice.) I guess he was dehydrating some fruit (and bread and butter) while the cake baked. Way to multi-task, bud! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

60 degrees at the playground in Feb!

Today Vivian and I packed a picnic lunch and picked up Owen at preschool. We headed over to our favorite playground to eat lunch and play outside. Such a beautiful day!

I was so proud of Owen when these two boys who both looked to be around 4-5ish, came up to him and were acting mean towards him. I don't remember exactly what they said to him, but it was something to the effect of, "we don't want to play with you!". He simply smiled at them and laughed, running the other way.

Tonight at bedtime we talked about it and I told him how he did exactly the right thing in that situation. I think he understood what I was trying to teach him, but two seconds later he was describing for me how rocket ships have fire shooting out from them. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pierced ears

I had this done today at our pediatrician's office for two reasons:

1. I remember getting my own ears pierced and how dramatic I made the whole event when after the first ear was done, I thought it hurt so bad and was terrified of having the second one done. Thankfully, I got over that quickly and did leave with 2 pierced ears rather than just one. We thought we'd make it a little easier on her and just have it done when she was a baby so that she wouldn't remember the experience.

2. This way Ben and I won't have to listen to her beg to get her ears pierced from the age of 4 on. It's already done.

She hardly cried at all (the nurse was very quick with the actual piercing after we talked for awhile about the process and how to clean them, letting Vivian touch her blue gloves, etc.) and she has not even so much as touched them. Not even when I clean them and turn them for her.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Reading with Grandma before bed

Visit with Grandma

My mom flew in yesterday so that we could take a trip up to Hershey. She had some real estate stuff to get done and we all are looking forward to visiting with GiGi. The drive up was not bad at all - the kids did great. Yesterday we hung out at GiGi's house and this morning went to Lowe's with Grandma to pick out a new light fixture.

Then of course we had to do the Chocolate World thing. Vivian insisted on walking up the ramp to the ride entrance herself and then was amazed at the singing cows. Owen sang along to the song he knows so well. :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Daddy's home!

Ben had a business trip to San Diego this week, and boy were we all happy to see him when he got home! It was a long week and we missed him tons.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Birthday Baby Drew!!!

It's a BOY!!!

We are so incredibly happy for Molly, Tim and Nate! What an awesome early Valentine's present. I'm pretty sure he stole his Mama's heart from the moment he was placed on her chest. LOVE. Can't wait to meet you, precious baby boy.

Ben's pretty happy with Drew's middle name. :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Their first tea party together

I was in the kitchen doing dishes after lunch, when I looked over and saw this:
Awww, so sweet. They're playing together. So nicely, too!

Me: What are you guys doing?
Owen: We're having a tea party! And there's tea and cake! (We've been reading a lot of Miss Spider's tea party on the ipad lately.)
Me: Oh, that's great!

Ten seconds later:

Looks like someone needs to work on his tea party sharing manners.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

Love Project ~ 2012

I have been incredibly inspired by Glennon Melton of Momastery. She speaks from her heart, writing with such raw honesty that I cannot help but check her blog daily and her Momastery Facebook Fan page several times a day. She has created such a loyal following by sharing her thoughts and feelings on everything from parenting to faith, gay marriage, depression and alcoholism among other topics. I love so many things about her writing, but one thing stands out to me: her intense desire to help people.

I've always wanted to get more involved in my community. To help others who may not have a place to live or enough food to eat. But I haven't taken much action to make a difference. I blame it mostly on not knowing where to start and not having enough free time on my hands. But those are some pretty lame excuses. And I'm not going to use them anymore.

I read a post Glennon wrote back in October of last year entitled: Holiday Hands. She and her family contributed six $75 checks to go to six other families or individuals who needed it to help make their holiday a little brighter. She knew she'd get more than six requests for help, so she asked her followers to join in on the giving and contribute to another Monkee's request for help. (She calls her readers Monkees - you can read why here.) Her project helped so many people (300+ I believe) and it likely encouraged so many other similar projects to be born.

Simply put, it inspired me. I started to think about what I would like to do to give back to my community. I reflected on the fact that I like to get involved in a variety of causes, rather than only contribute to one. So I came up with what I thought was a unique idea. For the remaining months of the year, I'm going to pick a cause or event for that month and give. I may not always be able to do a financial contribution, but I can also give my time through volunteer work. This is still a bit of a work-in-progress since I haven't filled in every month yet with a cause, but here's what the calendar looks like so far:

February ~ Good Shepherd Alliance (planning on collecting items needed and donating at the end of the month)
March ~ Andy Sheets Memorial project
April ~ Cara Titter
June ~ Nursing home volunteer work
July ~
August ~
September ~ Kailee's 5K run (the run is the first weekend in Oct, but I'd like to spend Sept raising money to donate the day of the race)
October ~
November ~
December ~

Do me a favor, and if you know someone or a family who is in need of funds towards a cause, please leave me a note in the comments so that I can put them on my calendar.

Thank you to Glennon and Momastery for inspiring me to give. Here's to filling up the rest of 2012 with my little LOVE project.

PS. Glennon: If you're ever free for coffee or a cuppa tea, I'd jump at the chance to thank you in person. :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Owen speak

Lately I find myself jotting down little things Owen says that I find funny. I write them on whatever scrap of paper I have lying around, or my UYH (use your handwriting) app on the ipad. Here are a few from the past two weeks.

(During bathtime one night)
Me: Owen, we must cut your nails! Look how long they are!
Owen: Yeah. They growed.

(Trying to get him upstairs for bed)
Me: Okay, ten more minutes and then we're going up for bed. Deal?
Owen: Deal.
Me: Let's shake on it.
(we shake hands)
Owen: It's nice to meet you! *beaming*

(Approaching 5pm and I haven't started cooking anything yet)
Me: I should start making dinner.
Owen: No, we're just going to let Daddy make dinner. (this is how much my son enjoys my cooking)
Me: Good thinking. I'll tell him when he gets home.

(Sitting at the breakfast bar one morning)
Owen had just said something that surprised me (can't remember what it was now) and I told him he was so smart.
Me: What does it mean to be smart?
Owen: You say something to your mommy and then you be smart.