Thursday, October 30, 2014

Our Fall Pictures {aka picture overload}

Paul and I have this thing that I will only make him take professional family pictures once a year. Clearly this isn't enough for me, but I make do. We end up doing "just kids" ones a couple of times a year to satisfy my craving.
October is a family favorite month. Between the birthdays, the love of orange, Giants baseball, and Halloween...we really look forward to this time of year. It only seemed appropriate we do a Halloween themed kid photo sesh.
Kim Orlandini Photography has been my photographer of choice for a long time. We all adore her, and her work is amazing. She works quick, always gets the best shots, and we all fun doing something not all of us enjoy.
I think I have said this after every session with Kim, but these pictures are my favorite. Perfect lighting. My kids look so adorable, and she knows how to show off their individual personalities. And even though Paul didn't understand why we were taking pictures "in the weeds", it turned out spot on.
I will always be thankful Kim has and shares such an amazing talent. It truly is remarkable what she can do with a camera!

Mucho love Kim! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

a ten year old.

Can you believe it? We have a child in double digits! I can't even wrap my brain around that right now. I don't feel old because of it, I just wonder where all the time went.
Savannah is such a beautiful young lady, and has always been so easy to have around. She is a perfectionist when it comes to her school work, but not her room. She still is overly sensitive, loves to hang out with friends, and collect mechanical pencils.

She has a love for projects, and would spend hours working on things if Devin didn't like to help so much. Almost everything she wanted/asked for was craft related.
She decided to try out soccer this Fall, and it has been so fun for all of us. As parents we didn't know a thing about this sport, and so we have all learned so much. I love watching her excel in something, and be truly passionate about it. Who knew we would have such a good defender on our hands!?
Paul had made a deal with her many years ago that she could get her ears pierced on her 10th birthday. She didn't forget the deal, and even though she was really those bad boys pierced.

There are more days than not that I feel so grateful to have an older daughter to help me take care of the two little ones. Yes, she likes to be bossy, and they don't appreciate it...but I like having the big age gap. She goes in to the play lands to watch over them, she is the extra set of hands to help cross the street safely, and she can make them snacks when I don't feel like getting off the couch. 
So thankful Savannah is the oldest in our family, we sure do love her a lot!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

a day late, but still important.

I have written a post almost every year for Paul's birthday, but I failed this year. I didn't realize it was important to him, until he mentioned that I hadn't done it. Whomp, whomp, whomp!

This is that one time of year that I really lay it on thick about how much I love the guy I am married to, and I feel good about it.
His 20th birthday, and the first one we celebrated together.
We have celebrated his birthday the past 16 years together. I definitely look forward to his birthday more than mine. If I wasn't such a horrible gift giver, his day could really be awesome.
 I am constantly reminded how important he is to me, and our family. His birthday ended up with lots of throw up from our youngest, and he cleaned that stuff up like a champ. We teach the Sunbeams together, and without him I get overwhelmed. When the day is over, and I feel like I can't take one more second...he steps in and takes over bedtime without being asked.
Paul is the kind of person you want on your side. He is my constant cheerleader, a good listener, sticks up for him, and overlooks my flaws. I have to say he is pretty good at teasing me too. I will never understand how I got so lucky to have him as my best friend. 
We have been through so much together, and somehow we always make it out better and stronger. We laugh at how cheap we were as newlyweds. We are baffled at just how many things go wrong in our life. And somehow we love each other through it all.

Soooo happy belated to my better half. Mwah!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Farm Country - Thanksgiving Point

Some days I feel Mom guilt for taking Devin and Sabrina to do fun things while Savannah is at school. I have started to let most of it go {patting myself on the back}. But sometimes I do wait until she is out of school, or like yesterday I plan something I know she is no longer interested in. 

We have not been to Farm Country in a long time, mostly because Savannah is too cool for it. Devin and Sabrina are the perfect ages to enjoy the simplicity of it.
I think we sat at the goat cage for a good 10-20 minutes alone. The goats were gettin' it on {if you know what I mean}, and the kids thought it was hilarious to watch him ride her around the cage. All the Mom's sat back and laughed at the comments from the kids. 
Sabrina really loves horses and cowboys. So you can imagine the pony ride was heaven for her. Now that I think of it, I don't know if she has ever been on one...this could have been her first time. #thirdchildproblems
As I sat on the bench watching the kids play, I told my friend that this is what adventures are all about. I like to play with them, but it is nice to sit back and not have to entertain anyone. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

our go to spot.

When we start to go stir crazy while Savannah is at school, we always head to the zoo. I love having our pass, and the kids have not gotten sick of our frequent trips yet. It definitely isn't an all day event, or even an entire morning. We make a quick stop at each exhibit to say hi to all the animals, a ride on the carousel/train, and get a refill in my zoo mug.
We went with friends this week, and even though there was a lot of crying from, uhem, a boy who shall not be named...Sabrina and I enjoyed ourselves. I told my friend that she was never going to invite us to do anything again, because it was crazy town.

This week for whatever reason 2 of my kids have been all sorts of grumpy and off. Despite all my efforts, it has been a hard week. I go to bed feeling worn down, and always hopeful a new day will make everything better.

The kids are getting their pictures done tonight, and I am crossing fingers they can at least snap out of it during the session...or I will be paying them serious cash for smiles. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Little Chicks Class - Crow Edition

Even though Tracy Aviary doesn't expect me to write every week about our experience, I really wanted to after this class. Mostly because it was so much fun, and memorable.

We learned about crows, and I honestly wasn't that excited about it before class. Owls {first class} seem cooler than an ordinary crow, but boy was I wrong.
First of all, the crow is talkative and friendly. My kids fell in love with this bird instantly. The owl you had to be quiet when he was in the room, and we all know how hard that is for my kids. 
Mili {the crow we met} is learning how to do the donation box. All the kids got to hold a dollar for Mili to take and put in the box. Devin was a little nervous, but was still excited to do it. Bina was so excited she could barely wait her turn. She may have even tried to pet him {I wish I would have gotten it in pictures}. It was so cute, I was glad the kids got to participate. Devin proudly told everyone he saw the rest of the day about "bird class".

They look forward to all the singing, crafting, stories, and a quick trip around the aviary to find new birds...and spend all Mommy's quarters to feed the ducks.
We are only 2 weeks in, and I love what it has done for my little people already. They are learning so much, meeting new friends, and looking forward to Friday's. 
Flying their crows all the way to the car...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Gardner Village 2014

I thought to myself, I am going to go to Gardner Village early. Beat the crowds. Enjoy it a little more this year. I had the recipe for success, my kids had other plans.

We rolled up to see they have added the wee witches playground. Of course the kids wanted to do this, and I was the party pooper. I didn't go in with the mindset of spending $24 to run through a maze, and jump on a giant pillow. So sue me. I thought we could walk around, find the witch displays, stop for a quick treat at the Naborhood Bakery and be on our way. It made for lots of whining, complaining, and tears when I wouldn't give in.
The one and only semi-decent photo I took...
Eh. You win some, you lose some. We live close enough to Gardner Village, we may just have to have a do-over.

October is my absolute favorite, and this won't stop us from livin' it up all month long. Can't wait for large amounts of orange, the cutest costumes, and celebrating 2 of the best people in my life.

And a picture from the blooper reel...

Monday, October 6, 2014

{insert awesome title here}

A few mornings ago as I drove to take Savannah to school, I noticed the gorgeous sunrise. It was the perfect amount of cloud coverage, with rays of sunshine peaking through. What a beautiful world we live in. I felt thankful in that moment that something so simple, made me so happy. I need to find joy in the small things more often.
I decided a 2 year old is almost as awesome as a brand new baby. That Bina girl is the most hysterical, sweet, and stubborn thing in our family. We all love her the most. 
Devin needed Bina to be his baby sister. Devin is more shy around strangers, and Bina is his fearless leader. They have been taking the Little Chicks class together, and Devin is brave because Bina is. Makes my heart swell to watch them together. Knowing how hard it was for me to get her here, I would do it all over again for those 2 to be siblings.
Savannah has had a rough start to 4th grade. She is as book smart as they come, but the friends have been difficult. Growing up is hard, learning how to deal with drama is hard, and trying to find the best people to surround yourself with can be hard. At first I was nervous about her teacher, but it turns out she is so good for Savannah. Her teacher is very bold and blunt, I think Savannah could use some more examples like this in her life.
At least Paul and I look good. :)
When I first started staying home, I would dream of leaving for work. I think it was mostly because having a newborn and a 2 year old drove me batty. That newborn is now the 2 year old, and the once 2 year old is now 4...and I don't dream of running away {as much...hahaha}. I realize more and more this is where I need to be. I don't stay home because it makes things easier, I stay home because my kids need it. One day they won't, and I will gladly move on from this stay at home gig.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

"Fit Made Fun" MommyParty

I received free products in order to host the LeapFrog and CLIF Kid sponsored MommyParty. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I was thrilled when we were selected to host this party. As weird as it may sounds, nothing makes me more proud than to see my kids pick good food choices on their own, and to want to stay active.  It was one of those unexpected joys I got from Motherhood.

I feel like growing up exercise and eating healthy were not instilled in me, and has been a constant struggle my entire life. It is something I wanted for my own children, and feel lucky enough it has been easy for me to do with them.
For our party we set up stations with different exercises for the kids to do. We used a jump rope, pogo stick, and the LeapBand to help with some of the stations exercises. I love watching kids have fun exercising, and they don't even feel like they are.

The kids all loved the LeapBand station, because they all got to wear/use it. It has a lot of fun activities on it, and makes you want to keep moving to earn fun things. {Devin plays with his non-stop, and hasn't lost interest!} The target age for the LeapBand is 4-7 years old, and you definitely have to stick to those ages. Savannah is 9, and although she would love to play with it all of the time...the LeapBand does not fit her wrist. 
We played until everyone had pink cheeks, and needed a break. We had the Clif Kid Z Bar, and lots of water. Those bars were a hit, and with flavors like Chocolate don't realize it is healthy for you. 
The kids didn't want to stop playing after all the stations had been done multiple times so we played freeze tag, red light-green light, and hands up-stands up. 
All the kids had so much fun getting more fit. We may have had a few more impromptu "Fit Made Fun" parties.