Sunday, October 31, 2010

An Oldie, but a Goodie.....

So, I think reposting the following blog entry is going to be an annual tradition. It is one of my all time favorites. I crack up reading it every time. First of all, Michael is pretty darn funny, and I can't seem to get him to write many blogs any more. Second of all, we were such newbies. So naive. SO TIRED. Half the reason I am done having children is that I cannot handle the sleep deprivation again. No thank you; this Mama needs her sleep. Anyway, enjoy!

The Night of Evil Plotting, By Colin and Gillian

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Big, Big Birthday Bash!!

Not only did we have wedding extravaganza last weekend, we woke up on Sunday to a BIG, BIG 2nd BIRTHDAY! That's right, Colin and Gillian turned TWO. Unreal. Well, actually, it feels very real. There is really no mistaking living with a 2 year old (or two) for anything other than what it is.

Since most of my family was in town for the wedding we decided to have the party at our (small) house. We ended up with about 20 adult guests and 4 kids (a little heavy on adults, huh?). Thankfully, the beautiful wedding weather continued through Sunday, and we could all spill outdoors for the party. October can be a funny month....

Anyway, I had really wanted to have a sun and moon themed party, since Colin really, REALLY likes the moon right now. And Gillian is pretty fond of the Mr. Sun song. I asked Miss Amy, our awesome babysitter, to make their cakes (she frequently makes cakes for her numerous nieces and nephews) and she did such a great job!
Totally adorble, right??? Sadly, that was the extent of my "theme." I really kinda fell down on the party planning stuff this year. But, I did pick up some Thomas the Tank Engine and Elmo balloons. The kids were totally satisfied, so I won't feel too badly!

After some outdoor play and lunch, Gillian decided she needed to open presents! She really enjoyed herself this year! Colin was content to play with the first thing he opened, but Bean helped him out by opening some of his stuff too!

Bean especially liked this vacuum that she got from Dickiedoo and Noonie! It supposedly really picks up dirt. Man, I could use the help....

Colin did open a few!

And while Colin tried out the vacuum, Gillian enthusiastically opened another present!

Another big hit with the kiddos were the Rosie and Percy trains from my cousin Becky and her kiddos, Sarah and Ben!

Once Percy was open, Colin and Uncle Willis were done opening any more.....

Gillian did convince Colin to come back and open his shiny new Wellies from GraGra and Papa Greg!

After opening WAY too many presents, we sang to our Moon and Sun!

And ate some cake! Well, Gillian did, Colin doesn't eat cake.

Things wrapped up pretty quickly after that. Lots of people with long drives, and two very, very tired 2 year olds make for a short party! After nap, Michael and I got out our presents to Colin and Gillian. I thought they had enough to open at the party and I wanted a quiet moment to open our gifts.

Gillian was still wearing her sleepsack and bed head, actually!

Colin got a BIG digger from Mommy and Daddy!
(He also had a Percy train wrapped up for him, but since he had just gotten one, I exchanged it today for a Thomas. Lucky boy!)

Gillian first opened her GRUMPY DOLL that Daddy had picked out especially for her on etsy:
(Creatively, the kids have named this doll Grumpy, but they pronounce it Gumpy. She spends a lot of time driving Colin's new digger. Cracks me up)

Gillian also got this really cool Melissa and Doug food that you can cut. She loves it.

See: CUTTING! (Also a good shot of Grumpy's face!)

So, an exciting and exhausting weekend. We were all very ready for bed that night. And the kids were down for nap at 11:55 the next day, and I didn't hear a peep until I woke them at 3:15! It's rough being two! But, we are really looking forward to Colin and Gillian's third year and seeing just exactly what they will be up to next.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Matt and Rachel Get Married....with some help.

It was our honor this past weekend to participate in/attend the wedding of my cousin, Matthew, and his lovely wife, Rachel. They were brave (or silly) enough ask Colin and Gillian to be ring bearer and flower girl, along with my cousin Becky's kiddos Sarah (age 2 1/2) and Benjamin (age 6). So, yes, that's three 2 year olds in one wedding. Apparently, Rachel doesn't exactly like to be the center of attention and was hoping the kids would do their thing and distract everyone with their antics. Michael and I, on the other hand, could only envision 1001 ways that two 2 year olds could immediately destroy a wedding.

Thankfully, Rachel was correct and the kids were funny, slightly unpredictable, totally adorable, and non-destructive. Phew. Sadly, since Michael was also best-man in the wedding and I was wrangling small children, we don't have a ton of photos. Grandpa Greg and Grandpa Frank did take some for us and we have a hilarious video of the kiddos coming down the "aisle".

Oh, some info on the wedding. It was held on the Gilffilan Farm, which was, at one point, Rachel's family's farm. It is a lovely, lovely spot. And, Rachel did an amazing job with flowers and music and food and a million details that made it a very beautiful, special day for all!

Some pre-wedding pictures! Colin looking very "British School Boy" here:

Gillian waiting patiently, or not, for the festivities to start!

And the big event!

My Grandma and Grandpa waiting for the ceremony to start. My Grandpa was BEYOND happy. He loves Rachel so much!
Ok, they are almost too cute for words in that picture.

Gillian did really well, actually. Grandpa Frank reminded her to sprinkle some petals, so there is a long pause in the middle of the aisle. Colin first stopped to smell some roses along the aisle, then he spotted an empty chair and said, "Chair! Sit down! Self!" And, then he sat down in the chair. I never did get him convinced to continue on down the aisle. He did eventually make it down front, found Daddy, and very loudly told Daddy, "WALK! GO WALK!" He spent the rest of the ceremony on the side, under a tree, playing in leaves. I will say, Sarah and Benjamin did a great job! Sarah made it the whole way down the aisle sprinkling her petals, and Ben stood up with the men very well the whole time (that may be the difference between 2 and 6!).

Ok, the video is sideways. Just turn your head....

Oh, and then G headed BACK UP the aisle. To go visiting.

Can you tell how gorgeous the day was? I mean, late October in Western PA can mean snow. Or miserable cold rain. But Saturday? It was GORGEOUS. Clear, dry, chilly morning, and beautiful afternoon with blue skies and absolutely perfect fall foliage! Great day for an outdoor wedding!

So, all the hard work done, we went to PARTY. Colin must have really worked up an appetite because he sat at our table and ate for about 30 mintues straight. The hors d'oeuvre menu was right up his alley: toast, cheese, and fruit salad. The kid was in heaven. Plus, Uncle D was waiting on his every need.

Then he saw Daddy with some timothy hay in his mouth, and he had to try it out!

Gillian ate about two bites of something, then she was off. She found Rachel's Kid Craft Table and was set for pretty much the rest of the day.

The whole "barn yard" outside the dining tent was filled with games, like ring toss and bocce and such. The kids had a great time running about with ALL their aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas. Mommy enjoyed sitting still at a table with a latte (oh, yeah, baristas at a wedding is an AWESOME idea).

I wish we had more pictures, and we definitely neglected to get one of the four of us. But all in all, it was a beautiful day for a wonderful, wonderful couple. We are so happy to be a part of it!

Birds of a Feather....

Michael snapped this picture of the three of us last week (or so) when we were all "computing" after dinner:

It's nice we have a family hobby....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday, Colin and Gillian!!!

You are the best-est kids ever! We love you bunches!!!


Look how far you've come in just two short years!!!
Alpha and Omega

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pretty Pictures and Big Personalities

We've been wanting to take the kids to play in the leaves in the park for a few weeks now, and, finally, weather and scheduling aligned! We decided to go back to our "first" favorite playground in the back hills of the park. This is the first playground that C&G first toddled around in last fall, and where they first tried out the slides and swings! It was pretty cool to see them running around like "big kids" this weekend!

I asked Michael to bring along the "big" camera and get some glamour shots of the kiddos near their Big Birthday! He is so talented, and has such great material to work with, how could the pictures turn out bad, right???

Actually, I am really happy with the pictures. You can see Colin and Gillian's hilarious personalities and their big teeth in all their (nearly) two year old glory!

First up, we'll talk about Miss B. That can stand for Miss Boss most of the time.

Her favorite pastime is hording. No, really. She likes to take every toy, book, animal, doll, and letter and pile it up behind her playhouse and "nest." It's certainly a talent.

She loves to be upside down. And to swing. On the big girl swing. And kick her legs like Daddy taught her.

She loves to watch the big kids on the playground and try to copy them. She can climb the "climber" steps all by herself now too! In fact, her favorite word is "SELF!" It is so exciting to see her face when she accomplishes something by herSELF and just see the pride in her smile!

She can be difficult and stubborn and dramatic. Hmm, wonder where she gets that.....But, she is also funny, goofy, helpful, sweet, and feisty. She's our Bean, that's for sure!

And, our Brother Bear? Well, he's pretty special too. I mean, just look at him cracking himself UP! There really wasn't anything to be laughing at, except the leaves maybe? Or the slide?

He loves to GO FAST, man! And, GO HIGH! Oh, and he's strong...

He just absolutely loves anything with wheels. His current passion is Thomas the Train, but he also has a fondness for buses and tractors!! He'll point out every one he sees....repeatedly.

He has to be tucked in every night with BlueBlue Bear, Froggie, and WoofWoof. Without fail. It's pretty sweet.

Colin is just a big ball of sweetness, most of the time. With lots of little boy fun thrown in for good measure. He gets mad, like most toddlers, but it's quick and painless, usually. He's sunny, happy, goofy, and the smartest little guy we know.

They pretty cool kids, and we are so lucky to be their parents!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Pumpkin Picking 2010

Just for fun, check out last year's pumpkin picking blog....

Ok, this year was WAY more fun. It was, once again, a beautiful fall day. Cool and crisp, but dry and sunny. It was the perfect day for hitting the local Fall Farm Festivities; we chose Trax Farms again, since it's quite handy.

We got there a few minutes before the "festival" opened, so we wanders around the store part of Trax, and Bean and I took a quick swing on some of their furniture:
We've been reading a lot of fall books and the kids are good at spotting PUMPKINS and other fall goodies, so they were pretty excited when they saw the 5 feet tall stacks of pumpkins all over the place!

Colin made the common mistake of falling for the first pumpkin he saw...but we talked him out of it.

Gillian just dove right in....or up...


It didn't take long for the kiddos to make choices (aided by Mama) in the pumpkin department. We loaded them on a cart, and apparently that made the pumpkins even more fun!

At this point, our good friends Miss Laura, Ian, and Julia showed up! And, they brought Mr. Kenny with them! (Mr. Kenny and Mr. Michael are most often at work when the double sets of twins get together, so it was fun to have the Daddies there too!) So, first we tried the pumpkin, balloon blowing house thing, but that was a big failure with the two year old crowd. We moved on to the pirate ship playhouse and it was much more well received!

From the pirate ship, Colin spied the Rainbow Express train and he NEEDED TO RIDE IT. NOW. Colin is having a major love affair with trains right now, so how could we say no?

Colin got the green car and a chat with the engineer!

Gillian had the red car, and enjoyed every minute of her ride, as usual!


Next we hit up the "Corn Crib." It was a 3 sided room filled with shucked field corn about 6 inches deep. It was, honestly, the BIGGEST success of the day (minus the choo choo). The kiddos spent at least 30 minutes in there! Ian and Julia too!

After the corn crib, we went to the petting zoo. The kids really enjoyed that too. Colin really liked the piglets and Gillian really liked the black sheep. But, the goats were too busy trying to eat Michael's pants for him to take any pictures!!

We had one more try at the bounce house, and Gillian had some fun, but Colin would have nothing to do with it. I think he was tired and hungry at that point. So, we headed home. And the kids slept for three hours straight! Awesome.