Saturday, December 31, 2011

Baker's Gromit

One of Matthew's favorite things to watch is a British claymation show called Wallace and Gromit. One of the episodes of this show (and there are only 4 that stream on Netflix so we have seen them all countless times) features Wallace as a baker, and of course his dog Gromit saving the day. When I ask Matthew which episode of "Gromit" he wants to watch, he usually asks for this episode, which he calls "Baker's Gromit". With Christmas approaching, I thought it would be fun to have Matthew help me bake a few sweets. We started by just making a loaf of pumpkin bread, and he loved it so much that we ended up making a second loaf of pumpkin bread, cookies, and cupcakes! He did great adding the ingredients and stirring, but his favorite part by far was cracking the eggs. He now asks me to bake every other day, so I'm going to have to stock up on my supplies! I'm not sure if the love of baking stems from his love of watching "Baker's Gromit" or not, but he is definitely a big fan of both.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Why I Love Florida!

We are really loving our life here in Florida. We love the warm weather, being around family, the new friends we've made, and did I mention the warm weather? We have had lots of fun adventures in the past few months.

In November we went to see UF play Vandy - one of the few games they won. We got to see Kendra, Carmen, and Jordan while we were there. And we were kid-free!

We also went to Biloxi to visit Brian's parents. While we were there we went the a children's museum. Matthew's favorite parts were the train and train table (shocker!)

Caroline has been very busy learning how to sit up and crawl, and working on her first two teeth. She is very very active, and prefers to be on the ground moving around at all times. Here she is in a tutu, and on her 7 month birthday!

We've also enjoyed some family time. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous, so we've had picnics at the park in our neighborhood and taken Matthew to various playgrounds.

A glimpse into my daily life - taking the kids grocery shopping! This outing started out really well, until Matthew thought it was funny to lean on Caroline and squish her. It ended with me carrying her through the store and thinking my arm was going to fall off.

Another neat thing about moving back to Bradenton has been reconnecting with old friends. I've been spending a lot of time with one of my friends from growing up, and she's introduced to me to her friends as well. Now we hang out weekly!

One of the girls had a Christmas party for the kids. Matthew loved decorating cookies/eating all the candy, and really enjoyed the gift he got at the gift exchange. Caroline slept through most of the party, but looked cute in her outfit!

I've also run a few races recently. Mom and I ran the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, and the Jingle Bell Run last Friday night.

The last photos in this super long post are from last night. We went on a hayride to look at lights in Catherine's neighborhood. Matthew loved hanging out in the hay, and was thrilled with all the lights we saw. Caroline fell asleep in my arms about halfway through. She was a little shocked by the flash in the photos too :o)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Our October

We have had a very fun but very busy month! We started October with a trip to the farm with our playgroup. Matthew absolutely loved seeing all the farm animals and feeding the goats. He wasn't such a big fan of the hayride though.

In the middle of the month Brian had to take his oral boards in Boston. We decided that it would be fun to tag along and visit some of my family that was up there. My parents had been wanting to visit also, so they came too! It was Caroline's first plane ride, and Matthew's first plane ride with his own seat. Thankfully they were both very good, but it definitely helped having two extra sets of hands on the flight! Once we got there we went to the Gertz's and spent the next day in Rhode Island. Caroline got to meet her Great Grammy for the first time! Brian headed up to Boston that evening for his test. The next morning we drove to Massachussets and got to see several aunts, uncles, and cousins. Caroline got to meet her Great Grandpa for the first time there, and see her Great Grandma again. Brian joined us again that evening for family time. The next day we visited an apple farm with all sorts of fall activities before heading back to Rhode Island, and our flights home.
 Me and Grammy!
 Our flight to Providence
 Matthew loves his cousin Sofia!
 Caroline and the tractor at the apple farm!
 The Great Pumpkin
 Four generations!
Family photo at the farm

As if we didn't have enough pumpkin fun on our trip, we went to pumpkin festival at Hunsader Farms. Scott and Catie were there too, and we had fun checking out the craft booths, watching shows, and eating deliciously unhealthy food. I tried fried oreos for the first time!

Toward the end of the month we had a few birthdays to celebrate! We celebrated Scott's birthday with a family dinner, and then celebrated mine early a few days later. I think Matthew now believes birthday cake is served on a daily basis.

 My and my little brother :o)
 Our little munchkin!
 Helping Uncle Scott put the candles on my cake
I love birthday cake!

Caroline also turned 6 months old! She is such a joy and at a great stage. She sleeps and eats well, smiles all the time, and creeps and rolls all over the place. She has also started eating baby food several times a day. Quite unlike her brother, she loves all the vegetables but is unsure about the fruits. Another fun trick she enjoys doing is blowing raspberries. She does this all the time, especially while I'm feeding her! When she went to her well check-up she weighed a little over 17 pounds and was 28 inches long. She is in the 99th percentile for height!!!
6 months old!

To end the month, of course we had Halloween! Caroline was a strawberry, and Matthew was supposed to be Wilson from the show Chuggington. Unfortunately he wouldn't put his costume on, and didn't even really want to be close to it! I think he thought that it would come alive like the tv show and was kind of freaked out by it. So we went with plan B. His Batman t-shirt (thanks Scott and Catie!) some black sweat pants and the cape from Cajun's Batdog Halloween costume. Whatever works, I tell you! He still looked adorable and was definitely a big fan of trick-or-treating. This was the first year he could really start to understand what was going on and it was really fun to watch him. I was pleasantly surprised by our neighborhood. I didn't really know what to expect since it's so new, but there were a bunch of houses in one of the other sections that were participating. We probably hit about 20 houses in 45 minutes. Apparently that was more than enough for Matthew, because when we got home he said that he needed to sit down and told us his pumpkin was heavy.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Today's Pinspiration Project

Like much of the crafting world, I am slightly obsessed with Pinterest! It is such a great way to get ideas for decorating, crafts, recipes, really anything. The only downside is that my crafting to-do list has grown exponentially! I actually have made several things based on my Pinterest boards, so I thought I'd start to share them on here.

This weekend I started decorating for Halloween, and realized that I need some new kid-friendly yet still sophisticated decorations. So, I turned to Pinterest! I saw these candy corn cones and knew I had a winner. I went to Michaels to buy my supplies and made them today during nap time!

I didn't really plan to do a tutorial so I didn't take pictures as I crafted, but they're easy enough that you can just follow the written steps. Here's what you'll need:

  • 3 cones of different sizes (I used two paper mache cones and one styrofoam. The paper mache ones were the cheapest, but there were only two sizes so I had to get a larger styrofoam one.)
  • One package each of yellow, orange, and white yarn (my store had small packages and that was enough to make all three)
  • Clear tacky glue
  • Scissors
Now to get started! Me being a planner, I took a pen and put a mark dividing the cone into where I wanted the three colors to meet.

I found it easiest to start at the bottom of the cones with yellow yarn. The first cone I made I just started wrapping the yarn, but found that it kept getting bunched up and sliding. Then I got smart and decided to use a little glue.

I glued the end of the yarn at the bottom of the cone and put some glue going up and down along the yellow section. You don't need a lot of glue, just enough to help the yarn stay in place as you wrap. I made squiggles going up and down so that each time I wrapped the yarn around the cone it would touch the glue in several places.

Then I wrapped the yarn with no gaps to make a single layer covering the base of the cone. Once I reached my mark for yellow, I went back in the other direction but this time I didn't worry about lining it up with no gaps. I just wrapped and wrapped until I liked how it looked. Then I put another small dot of glue to hold the end down and tucked it under.

I repeated the same steps with the orange and white sections - glue, wrap a single layer, then wrap however you want, glue the end down.

Easy, right! Now you have some inexpensive yet still sophisticated Halloween decorations that are also kid-friendly (not breakable and not easily damaged :op) I am thinking of a similar project for Christmas, can you guess what it might be?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mona Lisa Smile

We joke that Caroline has a half-smile/smirk that resembles the Mona Lisa. When I was taking her 5 month pictures (yes, she's 5 months old! crazy!) she was showing it in full force. Here are some of the pictures. I know I'm biased, but I feel like I should enter them in a baby model search or something!

Monday, September 26, 2011

We're going on a bird hunt....

Matthew loves looking for birds, so we decided to go walk around a nearby park and look for some. Caroline got her first ride in the jogging stroller, and Matthew enjoyed the freedom of running around. He has rediscovered a musical caterpillar that I had given to Caroline (all his baby toys are suddenly so interesting again now that she's playing with them) and I stupidly taught him how to push the button and make it play. Now it plays nonstop! Here are some videos of our adventure.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Twinkle Stars

I know I am super behind on the blogging, but the thought of including everything from the past few months is kind of daunting. Let's just sum things up by saying Brian started his new job and loves it, we are all moved in and settled in our new house and are really enjoying the space, and I have connected with some old and new friends and am keeping myself and the kids busy with all sorts of fun activities. Now for what people actually look at this blog for - photos and videos of the munchkins! Matthew has started singing, but only likes to do it when no one is watching. I finally managed to sneak a video of him singing in the bathtub.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sweet Caroline is 3 months old!

Our little munchkin is growing up so quickly! I can't believe she's already 3 months old. Just this past week she has started falling asleep on her own, taking longer naps, and rolling over! I took this video of her doing tummy time on her playmat and made a comment about how she was too little to roll over. The next day she decided it was time to roll! I haven't been able to get video of her rolling yet, but I'm going to keep trying!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Say Cheese!

Caroline has started smiling! It's so cute to see that little grin on her face. I kept trying to get a picture of her smiling, but was unsuccessful. Then I realized that I could get it on video! So here it is... Caroline smiling.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Family Videos

I was going to put up some video of Caroline's first time in the pool, and discovered we have several other videos on our Flip that I never even watched! So, here are some recent videos for you to see as well :o)

Monday, June 6, 2011

House Update

***There are a few more new posts, so be sure to scroll all the way down to see them!***

When we were in Florida we were able to go see our house in person! The last time we were there it was just dirt, so it was so fun to walk through something that actually looks a lot like a house! Our projected closing date is still around June 30th, so we're hoping to be able to at least move our stuff in before Scott and Catie's wedding. The builder has been going out of their way to get our house done quickly and on time, which has been great. We were their first sale in the neighborhood so I think they really want us to be happy. Works for me!

 Walking on our new street
 Stucco almost done
 The kitchen cabinets are in
 Master bedroom and sitting room
 Master bathroom - tile going in
 Our pool!
 View from the family room
 Matthew's new room
 Downstairs bathroom
 Welcome home!
 Dining room
 Formal living room
 Eat-in kitchen
 Upstairs guest bathroom
 Stairs and doorway to playroom
 Upstairs guest bedroom