Friday, November 28, 2008

Thanksgiving

We had a great Thanksgiving this year. This wonderful family holiday started with a visit to my grandparents on Tuesday. We had dinner with them and let them play with Piper and the boys for a while, everybody had a good time.

Yesterday my mom and Ben were busy cooking dinner for our feast that night. Tracy & Dave had gone to Easton for dinner with Dave's parents so we had a family dinner here at the house. In the end it was my mom, Piper, myself, Ben, Zak, Ryder, Roy, Natalie, Seth, and Mum Mum. Chelley came by to pick up a box of food that we had put together for her and John since they were unable to come and eat with us. We had LOTS of food with plenty of leftovers of course. After eating dinner we all hung out watching football and looking at the Black Friday ads. Once everybody left we headed over to John Adair's house to have dessert with Colleen, Jo, Jamison, Kay, Jim, Hallie, Nathan, and John. The boys had a ton of fun playing with Nathan who is only 3 weeks younger than them while Piper enjoyed playing with Hallie and Jo.

Today we decided there wasn't really anything we needed to go out to get early in the morning since we had not seen anything great in the ads. So we got a slow start and finally got out of the house around 10am or so. We went to Circuit City, Game Stop, and Target to finish off our Christmas shopping. Then we all went to have lunch at Mum Mum's house and hung out for most of the afternoon. Once we got home around 4pm the boys were exhausted so they went down for a late nap.

Now for the pictures...
Piper

Ryder

Zak

Zak begging for dessert

Seth & Piper

The boys with Black Friday ads

Natalie & Piper

Zak with daddy's empty beer can

Mum Mum & Piper

Mum Mum & Zak

Mum Mum & Ryder

Mum Mum & the boys

place cards that Piper made for everyone

Daddy & his boys watching football

The kids in the family (except Madelyn)

Nathan, Jo, Piper, Ryder, Hallie, Zak, Jamison

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Pictures

All I can say is what a mess. I don't know why anybody in their right mind would want to get their toddlers dressed up all nice and take them to a store at the mall for pictures in which they need to pose for. I should have known better, but I figured we would give it a shot. My mom and I took Zak, Ryder, and Piper to get pictures done this morning. Our appointment was at 10:30am so we got there a little early to look at backgrounds and so on, but we didn't even get into the room until about 11am. Each of the 3 kids had their own issues we had to work through while trying to get some decent pictures. My mom and I finally told the photographer to just snap the camera when ever Zak was not crying, Ryder was facing her and Piper was not pushing them around.

Zak wouldn't stop crying for anything. I tried everything I could think of, but nothing worked. Once the photographer was not behind the camera he was fine, but as soon as she went to take a picture he would start crying. He did this at their 12 month pictures also. He is just not photogenic at all.

Ryder was on the move and didn't want to sit still long enough for even 1 picture. He was constantly bouncing up and down, turning around and even making laps around the backgrounds. Finally, I got the photographer to get a box for him to stand up at and that helped keep him from crawling off the background. We did end up getting some adorable pictures of him though.

Piper was definitely a drama queen. She posed for her pictures and was wonderful until we tried to put the boys with her. She would yell and cry if either of them touched her which made it impossible to get a picture of the 3 of them.

In the end we got a great picture of Piper alone, a few really cute pictures of Ryder alone, 1 picture of Zak not crying alone and then 2 pictures of the boys together with no crying. Better than nothing at least. Here are a few of the good, the bad, and the ugly!



Sunday, November 23, 2008

Under the Weather

The other day it snowed here for a little bit, but nothing really stuck. The snow was a big hit with Piper since living in Florida she doesn't get to see snow. Of course this meant we had to bundle up and go outside to play for a bit. She loved catching snowflakes on her tongue and picking up snow from the ground to eat it. I got a few cute pictures although it is hard to tell that it is actually snowing....

We have been thinking that Zak is getting some new teeth because he has been cranky, had a runny nose and drooling a ton. I am not too sure any more if it is teething or a cold, too many symptoms that are in common with both. Yesterday he had a slight fever all day, but by last night he spiked up to 102.5 and was so out of it. All he wanted to do was be held and sleep, he wouldn't eat or play. I gave him Tylenol and then he drank his bedtime milk and was sound asleep quickly afterwards. This morning he feels a little warm, but nothing horrible and he is a little playful. He still doesn't seem to want to eat, but he drank his milk with no problem. I am still torn whether or not it could be teething or a cold. We will just have to wait and see how things go and watch for any new teeth. He was so pitiful last night so I had to take a picture of him laying with Ben...


Today my mom and I will be attempting to get some Christmas pictures of the boys and Piper. With Zak not feeling 100% and both boys on the move we will have to see how it goes and hope for the best. After the boys' 1 year photo session with Zak crying the whole time I have no clue what to expect today. Chelley was going to bring Madelyn, but with the questionable health of Zak and the fact that Madelyn will look completely different by Christmas time she decided it would be best not to go today. I would hate for one of my kids to be the first to get Madelyn sick so I am glad she decided to attempt pictures at a different time, although I would love to have pictures of Madelyn with the boys.


Of course I need to post a picture of Ryder since I posted one of Zak. Here he is taking advantage of the fact that Ben and I were both taking care of Zak and he thought he could get away with playing on the computer....


I have decided to start a scrapbook for each of the boys which means I have a whole year to go back and do. We went to Michaels and bought lots of supplies so now I just need to find pictures and print them out. My plan is to do a page per month for their first year and then after that I will just add in important events and not worry about doing a monthly page.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Pictures

This past week continued to remain busy. Ben worked Monday through Friday and got home at different times every evening. This is just something I will have to get used to, but it will take some time. He is enjoying the new job even though he has not been very hands on yet since he is still training. The boys and I do miss having Ben around all the time, but this job is really a good thing for us in the long run. This weekend Ben, the boys, and I are trying to relax and get some Christmas shopping done before the stores get too crazy.


My mom and Piper have been in town for a week now and it is going pretty good. Piper has pretty much been staying with the boys and I while my mom goes to help out with Madelyn at Chelley's apartment. This weekend Piper is spending time with Colleen, Josephine, and Jamison just for a change in scenery.

I have taken some pictures over the week so here are a few....
Piper in the walker (Instead of helping
the boys progress in skills
Piper has regressed)
Piper in the SNOW!

Piper being silly

I went to save this picture under the title "Bad Boy Zak"
and I realized I already had several pictures
saved with that title!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Busy Week

Ben started working at his new job yesterday which is great, but the boys and I missed having him around all day. He left the house around 7:15am and then got back home a little after 5pm. His hours are pretty much unknown because it all depends on how many jobs that have scheduled for each day so that will take sometime to get used to since his last job had exact hours. We are still waiting to find out when he will have to go away for his 3 training weeks in Kansas City. Also, we are waiting to find out if he will be able to make the trip to FL that we have had planned for a while now. The health insurance offered through his new job is very confusing and doesn't seem to be as good as the state health insurance the boys and I start on December 1. For now the boys and I are going to stay with the state insurance, but Ben might go ahead and get insurance for himself through work. I will continue to research the insurance and then next open enrollment (November 2009) we might re-think which insurance to use for the boys and I.

Today is the first day that I have Piper all day since my mom is helping Chelley out with Madelyn at their apartment. I am hoping things will go smoothly, but just in case I do have the secret stash of Hershey kisses to help with any meltdowns. We might try to venture out and look for a Christmas dress for Madelyn along with some more bottles, but I have not decided if I am brave enough to do this or not. I will try to get some cute pictures of Piper with the boys, but not sure how successful I will be.





Wednesday, November 12, 2008

We Have A Walker

Zak is now officially walking!! He has been taking a few steps once and a while, but over the past few days he has really started to walk. He will walk around the room, turn around and walk back. He also now stands up in the middle of the floor and then walks. He still chooses to crawl a lot since it is much faster and the only time he seems to fall when walking is when he tries to go too fast. He is growing up so fast.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Shoes

Today we decided to go out and run some errands which turned into being out for almost 5 hours. First, we went to Ace and got some WD-40 for all of the squeaky doors in the house (Ben had a rewards card so it ended up being free). Afterwards, we went to Target to get somethings on our shopping list that my mom and Piper will need for their stay in MD. Then we went to the mall to have lunch and let the boys play in the kid area for a bit. While standing in line at Chick-fil-a I noticed that there were several sets of twins there as well; it felt as if there was a twin convention going on. After eating we took the boys to play in the kid area, but that didn't last too long because a cleaning crew kicked us all out so they could clean the play area. Although the boys left kicking and screaming I was happy to know that they actually do clean that place. Since our time was cut short at the play area we walked around the mall looking for some new shoes for the boys. I wanted Zak to have a pair of good shoes since he is really starting to walk, but I absolutely HATE velcro on kids' shoes because they get them off before I even turn around. After looking in several stores and realizing how ridiculously expensive toddler shoes are we found some cute ones at Payless. Here they are....

Zak's Shoes

Ryder's Shoes

Tomorrow we plan to go grocery shopping to buy everything we need for Thanksgiving dinner. This year we are going to be staying home and making our own dinner. Tracy & Dave will be going to Easton to eat at Dave's parents' house. My mom, Piper, Chelley, John & Madelyn will be coming here for dinner which will be nice since it has been a few years since Chelley & I have had Thanksgiving dinner with my mom. Thursday I am planning to go and hang out with Chelley, John & Madelyn for a bit. Ben will probably be starting work on Monday or Tuesday so I want to spend time with Madelyn while I still can. Of course come the end of December I will be spending plenty of time with Miss Madelyn, but I can never get enough of a baby! Saturday we are going to have dinner at my grandmother's and celebrate my cousin's birthday since she will be in town visiting from NY and then my mom & Piper fly in that night.

In the next few weeks I plan to try and spend some time in Annapolis with my grandmother so the boys can also spend time with her. She had lung cancer 2 years ago which requires surgery and on Monday we just found out the cancer has come back, but this time it is Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She will be starting radiation treatments 5 days a week for 10 weeks in order to try and kill off the cancer.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Big News

Well, the big news for our family is that today Ben got a call and was given a job offer! We are so excited that he was offered this job. He went and did the drug and DOT testing today so should hear back for his start date shortly. This job has a very flexible schedule meaning he won't always know his hours and will be on-call at times, but at this point we are happy he has a job. He does have to get his CDL and attend 3 training classes (1 week each in Kansas City) in the next 6 months, but once again we will figure that out.

Not too much to update about the boys so I decided to try and get some videos of them to post. They do so many cute things now, but they are so hard to catch on video or even with pictures. The boys now know what the camera is so when ever they see it I am not able to get pictures because they stop what they are doing and try to get the camera from me. I waited until a little before bedtime to try and get some videos so they did not cooperate all that well, but I did get a few things to post. My computer is acting up when ever I try to upload videos so some of them will be sideways, but I will still work on trying to edit them to make them better. As always, ignore whatever is being said in the background because we are never good about remembering I am taking a video so much of our conversations get taped without realizing it.


Ryder playing Peek-A-Boo
video

Zak pushing Ryder on the 4-wheeler
video

Ryder on the Zebra

video
Zak Walking

video

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Zak the Monkey

Well, today we found Zak in the oddest place for nap. At about 3pm Ben went to check on the boys since they had not woken up from nap time and he saw Ryder sleeping on the floor, but couldn't find Zak. He looked all over the room and finally found him....

They have 2 very comfortable toddler beds and this is how they chose to nap. Maybe next year we should think harder about what they should be for Halloween since this year's monkey costume for Zak seems to have rubbed off on him. Maybe they should be angels next year!

Busy Days

The last few days have been extremely busy in our household. I have been spending a lot of time at the hospital with Chelley and Madelyn so that John could go home to feed/walk their dog (Orion) as well as get a little break from the hospital setting. Meanwhile, Ben has been home with the boys playing. I received a troubling picture through a text message from Ben yesterday morning showing me what the men in my life were up to while I am gone. I guess boys will be boys, huh?

Yesterday we made a trip to Babies R Us to get some stuff for Chelley and baby Madelyn. I always love to have an excuse to shop and it is even better when I am spending somebody else's money! We got some baby lotion for Chelley (the room is really dry), a baby sling (Madelyn is what we call a cuddle whore...always wants to be held with is just fine for a baby!), sleep positioner, formula, and baby water. While we were there Zak wanted to walk around so we took Ben put him down and held his hand to help him walk around the store. After a little bit of that we let Zak hold onto the cart to walk which then turned into Zak pushing the cart! It was so cute and everybody there was laughing. Ben just had to make sure he didn't run into anything, but Zak was doing all of the work. After shopping we went to vote. The boys fell asleep in the car on the way to voting so Ben and I took turns going inside to vote. Since we had not changed our address with the voter administration we had to vote on paper ballots, but at least we did get to vote. Then we came home to play with fix dinner. And once again I headed back to the hospital to hang out for a bit.

Today is a big day for us because Ben is at a second interview for a job we are really hoping he will get. The manager is a neighbor of Ben's mother that Ben knows. The background check went through with no problems so today he has an interview with the "top guy" which hopefully will go well. Keep your fingers crossed! I went to help out at the hospital early this morning and will go back around dinner time again. Chelley and Madelyn will be discharged tomorrow morning and I know they are all looking forward to getting home and starting their lives as a family.

I just can't stop talking about how I do not remember the boys ever being as small as Madelyn even though she weighs more than twice what Ryder weighed at birth! Time sure does fly with these kiddos, a little too fast for me. I do miss my little babies, but they are growing up into wonderful little boys. I have to admit that I have LOVED being able to be the person that Chelley & John have asked to help out at the hospital because I just love everything involving a baby. I am looking forward to being the person who will watch Madelyn once Chelley does go back to work; it will be a lot of work but well worth it. I am sure the boys will enjoy having her around too, babies can be so entertaining for little kids.
We are also getting the house set up for a visit from my mom and Piper. Now that the boys are in their bedroom downstairs we are moving some stuff around so that my mom and Piper can sleep in the guest room. They fly in the evening of Saturday November 15 and then fly back to FL the afternoon of Tuesday December 2. It will be a long stay, but this way my mom will be on town to help Chelley & John with Madelyn once John goes back to work along with being here for Thanksgiving and Mum Mum's birthday (my grandmother). The plan is for my mom to sleep at Chelley & John's apartment while Piper stays at the house with us. Hopefully this will work out, but changes might be made to accommodate everybody involved.

Now for some pictures....

Bad Boy Zak

Sleepy Boys (fell asleep while playing)

Zak pushing Ryder in the cart