Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Full Speed Ahead....

We said good-bye to our binky and didn't stop truckin'.  We tackled potty training head-on....and I have to say....Sam is getting the hang of it!!!

I've done it a little different with each of the three kids....and it's funny...the concept is the same....but they all somehow needed different incentives.  Sophia really didn't need any....but loved being able to mark a "success" on her potty chart.  She picked up the whole idea very quickly.   J was happy with a few m&ms, but would sit on the potty for 10 minutes....and then decide to go as soon as those "big boy pants" were on.  Oh my.... I remember cleaning up lots of messes that week!  And Sammy....well...he liked the idea of surprises.  So I wrapped lots of teensy little surprises.  At the beginning whenever he had a success...he got to open one.  Then we stretched it to having a successful morning before opening and so on.   

He is not completely 100% trained yet....still wears a pull-up at naps (though he is doing good at staying dry then) and at night.  I am sooooo proud of him.  He can be so stubborn at times so I was sure we wouldn't be anywhere close to where we are by this time!

He is so proud of his accomplishments....and keeps saying he will get to go to preschool next year now!  Hard to believe we will be celebrating his big THREE in just a few days.  Slow down, Sammy!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

On this anniversary of Roe v Wade... I can only think of these two little guys...and their amazing Mamas who chose the incredible gift of life for them.  From the bottom of my heart...Thank you, Thank you...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

More Celebrations for SIX

Well we couldn't stop at just one party for this little guy, could we?  Over the weekend we had a belated little "mini" birthday with a few good friends from J's class.  J chose to go mini golfing with these little buddies.

Even Sammy played a few rounds.  I'm not sure if playing is the right word.  He actually liked to just pick up his ball and drop it in the hole, and maybe got a little frustrated when it wasn't his turn.  At one point he told Yiayia (who along with Thea helped me corral all the troops) "I'm not playing mini golf EVER!"

A HUGE cookie cake for this little thing...

Making wishes....

And one of his best little buds...

Once again, Sophia was a HUGE helper....and somehow I don't have her in one of my pics....she was going back and forth between groups making sure everyone was on task!!! She's such a little mini mommy!  Love her!

Okay.... I think that's it for birthday celebrations.... at least for 10 days!  HAHA!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Super Six

Not much has changed with this little guy in the last SIX years.  He is pretty much ALWAYS smiling...and always being his silly little self....but I can certainly tell he is getting older.  He pretty much likes to set and play by his own rules...hmmmm.....    But nevertheless....he is the LIFE of our party every day!

Just like Christmas....this little guy wanted everything NINJAGO!  So....I tried to make simplified versions of his favorite Ninjas.  Lloyd, Kai and Jay are his top three.  (Or so I thought).  I apparently left out Cole ( the black Ninja) Oh horrors!  haha

A simple Lloyd cake for the birthday boy!

Sophia was the STAR of this party.  She had big plans for this little "bother" of hers.  She asked me to help her plan a surprise party for J!  So we rounded up the gang....coaxed this little guy out to eat while the rest of the family snuck into our house!  After a quick bite to eat.... we came home to a HUGE surprise.

And he was SPEECHLESS.... a sure indication that he was surprised....because our little J is never without words!! Hahaha  Someday I will try to figure out how to post the video of him walking in!  It was pretty cute to see how surprised he was!

And the sweetest part of all...this little poster Sophia made especially for J!

Hope your day was as fun as you are to us, little J!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bye Bye Binky

This little big man is going to be THREE very soon.   A few weeks ago he still slept with his binky.  In our house...prior to the big THREE...we must say farewell to our binkies.  So when the older two went back to school....Sam and I began talking about big boy things.  He agreed that we would bag up our binkies and take him to a store clerk and exchange them for a new...more fun...more "big boyish" toy.  He was a little hesitant at first, but was pretty excited about his new toy!

He chose a trip to Target and chose Toby from the Thomas the Train set for his new toy!  He was pretty thrilled... until nap time....not so much!  I tucked Toby into bed with him and I thought all was fine....I went to mix frosting in the kitchen, but when I turned my mixer off...I heard one very upset little boy.  Oh my.  It was a hard first nap without Binks.

That first night was not great either.  But he finally fell asleep....until 3AM when I awoke to strange noises downstairs... I swore there was an intruder.  I jumped out of bed, and stood frozen in the hallway, before deciding I'd better go check on the kids.  When I passed Sam's room... I noticed his bed was empty.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief knowing he was the "intruder!"   Apparently he had been searching for his binky downstairs.... but with no luck.

We are about a week's past the big "binky give-up" and, though still not sleeping at 100%...we have made HUGE progress!  Now...on to Potty Training.  This poor guy just can't catch a break!

New Years 2014 and Snow Days

We started off the New Year in our new house....with a fresh batch of snow....  A perfect way to snuggle up and enjoy our cozy new home:)

I had all my little helpers in the kitchen to make our annual New Year's dime cake.  

We headed to Yiayia and Pappou's in the evening for dinner and the much anticipated cake cutting:)  Guess who got the dime in her piece? :)))))

We spent the rest of our Christmas vacation mesmerized by snow plows...

and Shrinky Dinks!

It was hard to say good-bye to our laid back "sleeping in" schedule....but I think we are finally back into the swing of the school routine again.  Praying for a healthy and happy 2014 for all of our friends and family.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Christmas 2013

Christmas is by far my most favorite time of the year.  I love the decorations, the lights, the gift giving, the wrapping and especially the excitement from the little ones.  This year was a bit more hectic as usual...but we still found some time during the busy season to do some fun Christmas things:) 

Here are my three on Christmas Eve.  Look at those dapper little guys decked out in their Brooks Brother's attire:))  Its hard to believe that there is almost 3 years difference between J and Sam.  Sam is catching up quickly....and Sophia becomes more of a little lady every year!

The family picture....after struggling with the tripod/timer setting on my camera!  Thanks for the help, Thad!

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve at Yiayia's....always great food, we leisurely opened presents....went to Mass and opened more presents.  I loved sitting back and watching the kids open this year.  Sam is now old enough to understand Santa Claus....so it was a pretty exciting season for him!

Christmas for my little J was all about Ninjago this year.  Here he is opening his Kai alarm clock!  He was in heaven.

Winx fairies were the big items on Sophia's list!

And Sam has informed us this year that he would like to be a heart doctor when he grows up....so you can imagine his excitement when he opened his very own doctor kit.:)

Santa never disappoints and brought Miss Sophia her very own iPad.  She was thrilled to say the least!

Sam loved his garbage truck and car parking garage and Joseph was pretty excited about his ninjago legos and Bay Blades.

Here are just a few of the other pictures I took as we got ready to celebrate Christmas... decorating the tree....

Visiting Santa at Crown Center...

 A PJ's and Polar Express party at Pottery Barn Kids with a surprise visit from the big man himself!

Sophia, Joseph, and I got to see the Nutcracker with Yiayia and Thea on a cold wintery Sunday.  The perfect weather for the Nutcracker!

And last but not least ....lots of Christmas cookies for sharing and eating!

Hope you and your family enjoyed every bit of this Magical Season!


Shortly before Christmas we said Good-bye to our very best four-legged friend.  It was a sad, sad day in our house...and things still aren't the same without him.  I know it will take our hearts a long time to adjust.  A piece of me will always be gone...he was my first baby, and I'm sure there will not be a day that I don't miss him.  

He had not been feeling well for a long, long time.  He stopped eating altogether in May....and after many trials of different dog foods... I decided to cook for him.  He loved his hamburger and rice...but even that could not sustain him.  He fought a long fight and we were so lucky to have him.

 I hope you are chasing squirrels in heaven and eating all that your little heart desires.   We love and miss you tremendously sweet Willie Bear and we know we will see you again someday.

"Good dogs are with us for a little while to teach us how to love like it's our job...because it is."

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thanksgiving 2013

We had a beautiful sunny day for Thanksgiving this year.  It wasn't as warm as last year, but that didn't stop me from trying to snap a few pictures of the kids outside before heading to Yiayia's for Thanksgiving!  

Missy complained about her dress all day because she said it wasn't Thanksgiving colors.  Oh my....she's pretty much wanting to make all of her fashion decisions these days and insists that she will attend Parson's School of Fashion Design in New York when she gets older.  I love her drive!

Superman Sam was pretty excited about turkey eating until he saw the chocolate turkeys on the table...and the rest is history!  And he finally learned to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving 2 weeks AFTER Thanksgiving had passed!

And my J, always ready for a pose!

We had a great Thanksgiving dinner and did some Christmas crafts and Christmas chains before heading down to the plaza lighting.  This year we got to watch the lights from inside Pappou's new office!

It was the first year that I did not make a pumpkin or apple pie:( But of course I did make some turkey cookies for the day!

A perfect day to remember the many things for which we give thanks.  I feel especially blessed for the unconditional love and support from my children, friends and family this past year.  Can't imagine my life without those special people.