See Ya Later, 2015

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Another year my friends, another year.  This year was full of surprises, unplanned events and tons of love and joy.  It is amazing the things that can happen when you think back on the last 365 days.  Last January feels like an eternity and honestly, so much has changed since then.  I loved looking back at my 2014 recap, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite events of 2015.

Snow, Lots of Snow
Okay the actually snow part really wasn't one of my favorite things about 2015.  But the activities we did within the snow made it all worthwhile.  I enjoyed taking Lola out on her first sled ride and watching Cohen play until his cheeks and nose turned red.   Watching the kids get excited about the first snowflakes falling is also a pretty precious moment, even if I'm longing for a beach on the inside.

Spring Break in Clearwater Beach
I keep secretly looking at flights to see if I can snag an amazing deal like I did last year at this time.  Unfortunately I had to decide between staying home with my kids or taking another beach vacation this year - and the kids won.  This vacation was nothing short of amazing.  Kurtis and I both plan on going back next year and staying again at the same place as we did in April.  Our condo was a block from the beach and right in the middle of everything in Clearwater.  Plus the staff was amazing and my kids made an instant friend with Rodney, the concierge.  Cohen would have played all day in the ocean if we let him and Lola was just fine digging holes in the sand.  It was the perfect family vacation and I loved every single second of this trip.

Summer Break
Nothing is more amazing than summer break - especially as a teacher.  The school year ended and there was nothing more I wanted then to skip down the hall, throwing papers behind me and slamming that door shut for the next eight weeks.  (And I probably did.)  It was the end of something good and the beginning of change, which has always been a weakness for me.  However, I embraced summer with both my arms (and my feet, legs, toes, ears...) and had a blast with Cohen and Lola.  Not only was it the freshness I needed but it was the last summer we would have just the three of us.  There was a lot of "unknown" that was about to take sail so I made sure to eat up these two stinkers as much as I possible could.  And I did.  

Welcome, Remy Elizabeth!
The best part of 2015 was the arrival of our sweet Remy girl.  I would be lying if I said there wasn't a lot of uncertainty at the beginning of this year when we found out that Baby #3 was coming.  While she was an unexpected surprise, it was the best surprise that could have happened to our family.  We are all learning to adjust as a family of five (six when Sophie is here) and I think three months later we are starting to get into the swing of things.  After tears and lots of fears, I can say that we have all fully embraced this sweet little sister into our family and quite honestly, I can't imagine life without her.

Bring it 2016 - we are ready for ya!


The Final Week: Project 52 - Week 52

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

Here we are -- the final week of 2015.  I feel like every year the New Year sneaks up on us yet the beginning of each year creeps slower than a snail.  I thought I'd share the first week of the year's picture as well as the last week's to compare how much my sweet children have changed throughout the year.  I'm sure you hear this all the time but your children really do grow up way too fast.

This kid literally went from little guy to big boy in a year.  I love the age of five for so many reasons.  He is so much more independent, loves to help out and is so eager to learn new things.  Recently we have started reading Magic Tree House books at night and the kid is eating up the adventures with Jack and Annie.   My heart aches at the memory of this little one as a baby.  He's my special boy that we waited long and hard for that finally made me a mom.  But I'm excited for this upcoming year with new adventures - new sports teams, lots of summer fun and most importantly, our big year of Kindergarten.  Insert crying emoji right here...

Oh this sweet little diva.  Look at that horrible black eye too.  It took about two years, but she finally grew some hair.  While she still looks a bit like Bill Murray from KingPin or Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future, it's growing and we are making progress.  Lola is Miss Sassafras and it will be her way or the highway.  I am enjoying mostly every minute home with this sprite but I'm afraid we have created a bit of a mommy attachment.  I literally can't go upstairs to get my shoes without her calling, "Mommy, where are you?"  When she's not being a stink, she's really the sweetest, most caring child ever.  I'm excited to see how her relationship with Remy grows this year when she realizes that her sister is actually more than a crying, pooping, eating blob.

While this one hasn't made her appearance the entire year, she did make it the last ten weeks.  Lately Remy is smiling and laughing more as well as looking at people when they are talking and giving us a response back.  As you can see, girlfriend loves her milk, however I do promise that this chunk chunk has a neck.  This next year will be super fun to watch how she grows and even though I'm tired and could literally drink a gallon of coffee every day and still be tired, she won't be like this for long and I need to cherish every moment.

Goodbye 2015 - Hello 2016!

A Trip to the Children's Museum

Sunday, December 27, 2015

I asked my parents to get the kids a membership to the Indianapolis Children's Museum for Christmas this year.  My children are fortunate enough to have crates and toy boxes and bins filled to the brim with basically every toy imaginable.  Cohen even said to me that he thinks it is time to give some of the toys away to other kids.  I knew this membership was something we would get a ton of use out of and I love the idea of "experience gifts" rather than tangible ones they don't need.  As soon as it came in the mail last week we planned an immediate trip to the museum for the weekend.  There really is so much to do there and the great part about having a membership is I don't feel guilty when we stick to just the PlayScape area all day long and get to nothing else.  Cohen is as the perfect age because he really gets into the museum spirit and loves it with all his heart.  Lola is basically just mesmerized by everything and loves to take it in.  And then there is Remy who is perfectly content just sleeping the time away in the stroller.  I'd have to say this was my favorite gift for the family this year and I'm excited to have another option of fun to do on the days Cohen doesn't have school.

My goal for the museum this year?  Make Lola ride an animal on the carousel without screaming her head off.  The kid was completely content with me holding her as she clapped along to the music and waved to the people all while resting on my hip. I'm telling you people, the kid is a serious diva.


Project 52 - Week 51

Saturday, December 26, 2015

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

My parents got the kids a membership to the Indianapolis Children's Museum for Christmas (BEST GIFT EVER!!!) so we took advantage of it as soon as it came in the mail.  Cohen is at the best age for the museum.  He is so curious about everything and loves to go and explore it all.  I can't wait to take him again soon, especially as the weather gets colder!

Oh hey, diva status.  This girl has hit the Terrible Twos quite fast.  She's super mommy attached and things are only one-sided when it comes to her -- and that would be her side only.  I'm telling myself it's a two year molar problem but in the back of my mind I have a feeling that this easy going child will show us a whole new side as she transforms into a two year old toddler...

 This sweet girl is showing some personality here lately.  She is all smiles and starting to share a few laughs, which has quickly reminded me why I love this stage.  Her dad can really get it going and she will talk right back to him because she has something important to say!  Remmers is smitten with her siblings but boy oh boy does her brother love her to the moon and back.


Win It! Holiday DVD Giveaway from NCircle

Friday, December 25, 2015

Ready or not, here comes snow!  Even though we won't be dreaming of a white Christmas this year in Indiana, the cold temperatures are coming - even if it has been in the 50s for the last two weeks!  But that means all day pajama parties, snacks and sleeping bags by the fire and marathon movie parties with my kiddos.  I love to drag out the box of DVDs and let Cohen and Lola each choose the one we get to watch for the day.  This year I have two new ones that I get to add to our collection!

Naya's Arctic Adventures: Meet Naya
Join Naya and her friends as they embrace numerous quests in the Arctic.  One might think that a young girl would get bored living in the Arctic but not Naya!  Every day is an adventure with her and her friends.  Each story starts with the sea washing ashore an item and then throughout the story, Naya and friends learn the purpose of the item.  Your little one is sure to enjoy these heart-warming adventures that teach children fundamental human values all while enjoying a good laugh!

 The Snowman Double Feature
 Enjoy twice the magical enchantment in this double feature of The Snowman and The Snowman & the Snowdog!  

Relive Raymond Brigg’s holiday classic, The Snowman!  One crisp, winter morning, a young boy wakes up to find a thick blanket of snow has covered the ground as far as the eye can see.  Filled with excitement, the boy decides to build a snowman using a tangerine for his nose, coal for his buttons and eyes, and tops him off with a hat and scarf.  Later that night, at the stroke of midnight, the snowman comes to life!  The young boy and the snowman embark on a magical adventure of discovery where the snowman explores the young boy’s world and in return he takes him flying to his home in the North Pole.  Upon arriving at the North Pole, the two join a party as the guests of honor to a very special person.  

Then, embark on a new adventure in the charming sequel, The Snowman and the Snowdog!  When a young boy and his mother move to a new house, the boy discovers a secret box hidden under the floorboards of his bedroom. In the box, he finds a hat, scarf, some lumps of coal and a shriveled tangerine - it's a snowman-making kit! Later that day it starts to snow and the boy builds a Snowman and with the little spare snow leftover, a Snowdog. That night they come to life and take him on a wonderful adventure. As dawn breaks they fly home, but before the boy returns to bed a magical surprise awaits him...

And you have the chance to add these fun titles to your winter DVD collection too!  
Just enter the Rafflecopter below! 

Disclosure:  I was provided a product sample for my review.  All opinions are 100% my own. 

Project 52 - Week 50

Sunday, December 20, 2015

*A photograph of each of my children, once a week in 2015*

Last week was one of my favorite times of year for Cohen - his annual Christmas program at his school.  Since he's in the older PreK class, he also performed the Christmas Story play as well as sang a song.  This year they sang, "Dear Santa" that had a western theme to it.  I'll post more later this week when I have a second to breath, but once again the kid shined like a star!

Why hello, Miss Diva.  This girl was all about that bass during his program, dancing clapping and singing.  After each song she would clap and happily yell, "Yeah!!!"  Her new favorite song here lately has been "Fight Song" where she will yell, "This is my FIGHT SONG!" and then drag out the word song like she does in the song.  Girlfriend kills me.

Oh girlfriend thank you for a much better week.  She has started smiling all the time and I love, love, LOVE it!  The other night I was holding her while getting the other two ready for bed and Cohen goes, "Mom, Remy is making a happy face at you!"  And sure enough I looked at her sweet cheeks and she was just smiling away at me.  I love to talk to her, especially in the mornings, and she will just coo and smile.  I'm getting excited for the day she busts out that belly laugh!