Saturday, November 29, 2008

Mother/Daughter Shopping Trip

This year, Mary was introduced to her first "Black Friday"; a rite of passage that every young girl should experience with her mother! After dressing up in our "shopping finest", Mary and Mommy headed out to Oak Park Mall at about 9:30 AM. Our first obstacle to overcome was finding a parking space-sheesh, I thought this economy was in a recession! Several obstacles to follow included standing in incredibly long lines at every store we purchased from.

We were successful in getting a good start on our Christmas shopping. Mary picked out adorable stuffed lambs (yes, "Mary had a little lamb") along with some antibacterial hand sanitizer for her preschool teachers and we got cousin Alister a reallllly cool gift (can't give it away, yet!). We also got both great-grandmother's little gifts.

After all of the standing, we were ready for some lunch. Since this was Mary's first serious holiday shopping experience, we celebrated at the very over-priced Rainforest Cafe. While dining, we sat next to a cute family with two kids. Several times, I thought I heard the father call his daughter "Mary". I finally asked him if I was hearing him correctly (it is very loud-elephants trumpeting, gorrillas screaming) and I was. Both Mary's at the tables were 4-years old! It was so sweet. You just don't meet many 4-year olds named Mary!

Finally, we returned home with tired legs and feet. After a quick snack of leftover pie, it was naps all-around. (Benjamin had quite an enjoyable day spent shopping with Daddy including eating at his favorite restaurant, McNahNoos (McDonalds).)

Happy Thanksgiving!

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We sure did. Normally, Daddy's fire schedule falls so that he is on duty on Thanksgiving. This year, his schedule worked out so that he had both Thursday and Friday off! While we felt a little bit guilty about not traveling up to Liberty to spend the day with Chris' family, we definitely enjoyed spending the holiday as a little family of four. We had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all of the trimmings. Daddy smoked the turkey while Mommy made all of the sides from scratch, including sweet potatoe casserole and two pies (pumpkin and french silk). Everything was delicious.

After dinner, we loaded the kids in the minivan and went to see a holiday light display sponsored by Jackson County Parks and Rec. Benjamins kept saying "whoa" as we passed each display. Mary and Mommy loved the display featuring a frog whose tongue would catch falling snowflakes.

After the viewing of the lights, we returned home in time to watch Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving Special. Aaaaah, holiday with kids. I love it!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Benjamin!

It is hard to believe that our sweet baby boy was born two years ago today! Benjamin is our "bonus baby". After years of infertility and a miraculous in vitro baby ( big sister Mary Catherine), Benjamin's conception took us by surprise. But oh what a gift he is! Here are 24 things we love about Benjamin (in no particular order):
1. Beautiful blue eyes. 2. Natural curls in the back of that white blonde hair! 3. Night time kisses for your "stinky toes". 4. Bedtime ritual of "kiss-kiss". 5. Your sense of humor-you love to make Mommy and Daddy laugh. 6. Watching you drive your "car" around the wrap-around porch. You fill the "trunk" with Mommy's clay flower pots, sippy cups, binkies, etc. 7. Your pockets filled with "treasures." 8. Little boy blue jeans! 9. Watching you chase after big sister. 10. Listening to you call "sissy" as you try to track her down! 11. Your love of taking baths (thank goodness). 12. Your sweet little voice-we love to hear you using words and are so proud of the progress you made over the summer after receiving speech services! 13. Watching you sign "more" at the same time as speaking the word. It is so sweet when you sign "more" that Mommy can't deny "more" cookies, candy, juice, etc.! 14. Your love for your binkies, especially when going night-night. Everyone keeps telling Mommy that you need to wean off of them, but you look so sweet sleeping with one in the hand and one in the mouth! 15. Cuddling with you and your multiple blankies. 16. You are all boy like sissy is all girl! 17. Your appetite. From your terrific nursing skills to your love of table food starting at about 9-months old, you have always been a terrific eater! 18. Your "whoo-whoo" sound any time we pass a fire station or see a fire truck. 19. Recent love of reading, especially books about trucks or farm animals. 20. Watching you build "tall towers" out of blocks or legos. 21. Seeing your face light up when you receive a balloon. 22. How willing you are to go to bed, telling everyone "bye" and dragging blankie up the stairs behind you-is this kid for real? I guess when you play hard you rest hard! 23. Your love of McNahNoos (aka McDonalds) and how you start screaming whenever you see yellow arches from your carseat window. 24. Your love of balls-basketballs, soccer balls, superballs, etc.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Here are a few photos of our little "Wizard of Oz" characters. Mary was "Dorothy" this year (as if this is a surprise to family and friends), while Benjamin was the "Cowardly Lion". They had such a good time. Mary walked the whole route while Benjamin rode in the Radio Flyer wagon. Daddy stayed at home as he was assigned candy detail! Hope everyone had a happy Halloween!

Angel versus "Devils Food"

On Thursday, Oct. 30, we had a small Halloween party for a few of Mary and Benjamin's friends. Earlier in the day, Mary and Mommy baked Halloween cupcakes. As you can see, Mary thoroughly enjoyed herself-especially licking the batter!

The kids had so much fun at the party. The weather was unseasonably warm, so the kids spent most of the time in the backyard climbing on the playset. Mary and her friends also did a craft project (they made spiderwebs out of black construction papers, glue, silver glitter and plastic spider rings) and played games.