Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry, Merry

Merry Christmas to all! If you've noticed I'm not around much anymore, there are a few reasons for that. The main reason is that I accepted a freelance writing position a couple of months ago that consumes what (little) free time I have. I do plan to stop by here periodically to update on important milestones and events, because I ultimately want this blog to be a scrapbook of memories for the kids when they're older. So, I couldn't let Christmas pass without a post.  I hope everyone had a wonderful day filled with family, love, and laughter.  Here's our Christmas in pictures. (Disclaimer: some of the pictures are a little out of chronological order. Sorry.)

Getting ready to head out to our Christmas Eve service. 



 
A couple of days before Christmas, we headed to our friends' house to make reindeer food for Santa's reindeer. Macey loved this task. I think as far as Macey is concerned, the messier the better.




 
 
I know- my kids need haircuts.
 
 
This was at Camden's preschool's Christmas show. 

 
Camden was an adorable little shepherd in the show.



And finally- Christmas morning!

 
Camden was playing Nintendo with several Nintendo characters watching him play.
 
"It's a choo choo!" It was Camden's idea to get Macey a new train to go with their train table. Such a sweet brother.

My little Mario.

 
Christmas morning guests: my mom and brother.

Pop and Cam.

Camden playing a new baseball game with his cousin, Alex.
 
We made a little mess.
 
Macey got jewelry and some cookware from Nan and Pop, so it was only natural that she cook her jewelry, right?
 
 And this guy was thrilled with all of his video game characters.

Merry Christmas to all!
 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Happy 5th birthday, Camden

Five years ago today, a much-anticipated little boy made his way into this world and changed our lives with his very first breaths. Over the past five years, we've experienced sleepless nights and days that felt like they might never end. We've held napping babies on our chests and given countless baths. We've cheered the wobbly first steps and braced ourselves for the inevitable falls. We've kissed boo-boos, dried tears, and considered buying stock in Band-Aid. We've listened to sleep interrupted by fits of laughter and read hundreds of books. We've watched sibling relationships form and grow into a remarkable bond. We've put on our brave faces for first days of school and we've breathed sighs of relief upon seeing smiles in the carpool line. We've witnessed the growth of friendships and answered the endless strings of "why?" questions. We've cheered first at-bats and celebrated runs scored. We've seen so much growth-- in height, in understanding, in confidence, in strength, in curiosity, and in compassion. And we've grown ourselves-- in empathy, in patience, and in our ability to love completely devoid of conditions. Happy 5th birthday to the little boy who made me a mom. You're so loved, Camden.




Sunday, November 9, 2014

A baseball player is born

Making the decision to enroll Camden in his first season of Little League wasn't an easy one. It wasn't surprising to anyone that I was hesitant, of course; after all, that's just kind of who I am. But Matt had his reservations too. I think that came as a surprise to everyone, as he's known to be the laid back one in our marriage-- not to mention the fact that he's a die hard baseball fan. Our concerns were the same though: was he too young? Were we rushing him into something he wasn't ready for?

I remember my stomach was in total knots at his first game. When he walked up to bat, I was holding my breath. And then he hit his first ball and joyfully ran to first base. I exhaled, and knew we had made the right decision. Not because he hit the ball-- that was just an added bonus-- but because it was so apparent how much he was enjoying himself out there.

Watching him play over the past season was such a fun experience. His team was downright bad-- they only won game the entire season-- but he loved every minute of it. Whenever he walked up to bat, he'd quickly scan the sidelines until he found me-- and then he'd smile, wave, and give me a thumbs up.

He matured so much during the season, too. On the first day of practice, he cried when the coach made all of the parents gather for a meeting, leaving the kids alone in the dugout. He was surrounded by unfamiliar faces, unsure where his dad went, and he was uncomfortable. As the season progressed, I watched as he joked and laughed with the other kids in the dugout. By the last game, he was one of the most talkative kids on the team.

I like what sports teach kids too. Of course, he learned a lot about being a part of a team. He learned about commitment-- we didn't miss a single game all season. And he learned that hard work pays off. Camden would often ask me to practice with him in the backyard after school. We played countless games of "zombie baseball" over the course of the season. His hitting, running, and fielding all improved noticeably by the end of the season.

He's disappointed that there's no more baseball until the spring. The silver lining, though, is that  Matt asked to manage a rookie team in the spring. I'm pretty certain that baseball is going to be part of our lives for the long haul.





Thursday, November 6, 2014

Happy Halloween (a little late)

As usual, Halloween was a big hit around our house. We decided pretty early on that Macey was going to dress up as a bee. Camden, however, waivered on his decision until a couple of weeks before Halloween. It turns out that it was worth the wait, though; I was totally impressed with his unique idea. He decided to be a Conehead Zombie, from his favorite game on the Kindle (Plants vs. Zombies). So, in the sea of superheroes, there was one small boy with a giant cone on his head.

 
 
I spent Halloween morning at Camden's school helping out at their fall festival. It was so fun- this was the first time I've really gotten a chance to volunteer since I normally have an active little toddler in tow. I loved seeing him in his element and watching how he interacted with his classmates and teachers.

 
 
 
 

On Halloween night, we met up with neighbors/friends/cousins around 6:30. Macey threw an epic tantrum when I put her bee costume on; she kept pulling at the poofy shoulders and screaming "OFF!" Luckily, as soon as we set foot outside, she was totally focused on trick-or-treating. She lasted a little over an hour and was quite pleased with her candy collection at the end of the night. Camden, of course, lasted much longer-- he didn't make his way back home until 8:30. Of course, he was ecstatic about his stash. 




Hope everyone else enjoyed their Halloween as much as we did!




Monday, October 27, 2014

Kidisms

My favorite recent kidisms courtesy of my two favorite kids:

Camden-

Camden was sick last week and fell asleep in Matt's lap in the recliner. When I woke him to carry him up to bed, he complained that his hand felt funny. I explained to him that his hand had probably fallen asleep, since it was smashed in such an awkward position on Daddy. He looked at me, completely bewildered, but didn't say a word.

When he climbed into bed a few minutes later, he asked, "How does a hand fall asleep?! It doesn't even have a face!"

He insisted on wearing a tie to dinner the other night. He wanted to know if he looked fancy.

Macey-

Macey liked to randomly declare things that she likes during the day. Below are my favorite declarations, all said in a one hour period:

"I like toothpaste."
"I like dirt."
"I like Daddy."

Macey has started saying "hold you" when she wants to be held, which I find completely adorable. Yesterday, when I was cooking dinner, she approached me and said, "Mommy, can May May hold you?" The visual of my two-year-old picking me up was hilarious, but since I knew what she was intending to say, I carried her instead.

My girl is nothing if not persistent. She has started asking more and more questions and her voice gets progressively higher as she asks her question. When she wants to someone to play with her, she doesn't take no for an answer. I was cooking dinner and heard this from the playroom a few nights ago:

"Mommy, you wanna play choo choos?" (I replied that I was busy cooking dinner.)
"Mommy and May May are gonna play choo choos." (I guess she figured that a simple rephrasing of the question might get a better result. Once again, I declined her invitation.)
Not to be deterred, she politely said, "Mommy, you wanna play choo choos? Please, Mommy."

Of course, she won. Because who can say no to that?!

Macey likes to say "Do it" in a very New York mobster sounding voice when she wants something done. While it's quite entertaining, I have to ask her to rephrase politely so she doesn't sound quite so gangster.

One of her favorite phrases lately is "Of course!"
Me: "Macey, would you like to play dinosaurs with me?"
Macey: "Of course!"

Finally, she likes to prove that she's two going on twelve with one of her favorite new words: "Cool!"
 
There's no taming the hair on this one.

A picture is worth a thousand words...




Monday, October 20, 2014

Macey in Action

There are a couple of quick videos of Macey that I've been meaning to share.

The first was following my brother's birthday party at my house. Macey absolutely loves to hear everyone sing "happy birthday". She runs around in circles dancing and then requests to hear it "again". After everyone left our house following my brother's party, I heard Macey singing quietly. It took me a minute to decipher the words, but when I realized she was singing "happy birthday" to my brother, I had to grab my camera.



Macey has been counting for a while now. She counts clearly to twelve, and then beyond that she just kind of repeats "umm-teen" over and over again. It was in the past few weeks, though, that I began to notice that she was deliberately counting objects-- and doing it accurately! Of course, being the proud mom that I am, I had to gather some video evidence of this accomplishment.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pumpkin Patch Time

We made our annual trip to our favorite local pumpkin patch last weekend. It's about a 45 drive from our house, but it's worth every minute of the trip. We lucked out with a perfect weather day (mid 70's and sunny) and only a moderate sized crowd. The day was a big hit with the kids and definitely a tradition we'll continue.

We began our day by feeding the ducks, swans, goats, donkeys, and roosters. Both kids were particularly amused by the goats and donkeys. Macey laughed every time one of them made a "baaaa" sound. She wasn't amused, however, when I told her that she couldn't feed them her goldfish crackers.

The corn house was a definite favorite. We spent a good 20 minutes playing in there. The only drawback: corn was falling out of our clothes for the rest of the day.




The train ride was an absolute must.  Both kids enjoyed the ride, but Macey was particularly mesmerized by the fact that she was riding on a choo choo. Her smile (pictured below) was a permanent fixture on her face during the ride.


 
 
There were some other activities that the kids loved that aren't pictured (my phone battery died during the visit). Those included: a long tunnel slide, a hay maze, pig races, and a tractor ride.
 
Both kids were excited to pick out their own pumpkins. Camden chose a green one and Macey chose a small orange one.
 
Now, we count down the days until Halloween!