Monday, December 10, 2012

We Wish You a Merry Christmas...

by: Junior, Age 8, Budding Cartoonist and Scary Movie Aficionado

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Favorite Things: Gymboree

This post is sponsored by Gymboree Children’s Clothing. Bring a friend to a Gymboree store and sign up for Gymboree Rewards together and you'll both SAVE 25% off an in-store purchase.

Junior was almost 2 before I was formally introduced to the highly addicting children's clothing line, Gymboree. I still regret all that time I wasted dressing him in anything else. Once I discovered it, Gymboree clothing very quickly became a staple in my children's closets. I was initially hooked by the fact that every time Gymboree puts out a line, it is all themed and mix and match style. A few months before Bubba came along, I was charmed into buying way too much of a yellow, green and brown monkey line (see below). It was my favorite to dress him in. I still have most of it because I can't quite bring myself to give it away. I figure if I keep them long enough they will be vintage. ;-)
I was kind of a sucker for anything with ears on it
By the time Bubba grew into the two year old clothes I had gotten for Junior, I realized that out of the many hand-me-downs he had, the Gymboree items were the ones that stood up best to frequent washings and rough and tumble of another little boy. Once Bubba grew out of the clothes, they went through at least one or two little nephews before they finally wore out. Sis also did her best to test the durability of her own Gymboree clothing. 
Sis wearing her goldfish romper and some melted M'n'M's
As I looked over my old pictures to find documentation of some of my favorite outfits, I realized how often I turned to Gymboree to dress my kids for special occasions. For instance, Sis came home from the hospital in a Gymboree outfit (and blanket). The boys had been referring to her for months as 'baby sister.' When I came across this onesie, it was perfect.  
My boys waited for Santa in their new Gymboree jammies...

More than once...
 When my best friend found out she would be having boy/girl twins, we hit Gymboree (frequently) for the outfits from the matching lines. I can't honestly say that I ever craved twins, but I was tempted when I saw all the adorable matchy stuff she found for them. Gymboree was one of the only places she was able to outfits that matched without being identical. They have many themed lines that have both boy and girl versions. This works particularly well when you need coordinating clothes for family pictures.

Aren't they cute?

Over the last five or six years, our kids got pretty used to being dragged into Gymboree when we would take them to the playground at the mall. We will both go through some serious withdrawals when our girls are too old to be dressed by Gymboree.
Speaking of shopping with friends, take one of yours into your local Gymboree. Bond, buy cute and durable clothes for your kids and spend some time helping each other justify that skirt/sweater/hat/matching shoes. While you are at it, sign up for their rewards program to save yourself 25% on your purchase. Your kids need clothes, right? It's like you are practically saving money (see how easy it is? Call me if you get stuck. I can help you justify any purchase.)    
Gymboree Rewards Program Highlights: you will get a $5 credit for every 250 points you earn (I have one sitting in my email inbox this very moment.) You will also get Members only discounts, direct mail offers and early access to events & promotions.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Sometimes my oldest son hides the math homework he doesn't want to do in the bottom of the garbage can underneath the gross chicken fat from dinner and hopes I won't notice.

Sometimes, my second son slaps a full cup of ginger ale across the dining room and kitchen during a tantrum and then vents his frustration at getting in trouble for that by taking apart his room.

Sometimes my daughter cuts her own hair for the third time in less than 4 months, paints on the wall all the way up the stairs and empties a full package of mini wheats down the stairs (because, of course the vacuum is clogged and I haven't had the chance to take it apart yet today).
Sometimes I really miss my cuddly, uncomplicated babies... ;-)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sister's first date

A month or so ago, J asked if he could reserve Sis for a date night to take her to a special Princess Dinner that was held at a local reception center (that looked like a castle). We chose her most "twirliest" dress and curled her hair and piled it up.  J showed up in a suit and tie brought her flowers to match (on her wrist).

She still talks about that night and "her castle and Prince Daddy" and her pretty yellow flowers.

Over all, it was kind of adorable.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Bubba turns 6!

 To be fair, Bubba has been 6 for over a month now and it still kills me! He will always be my baby boy. Bubba's party was pretty low key this year. I was in the middle of the "holy crap!! What have I gotten myself into???" phase of a really brutal semester, so I was overjoyed when he requested cupcakes and a party with his friends at Classic skating.

He did ask for an Avengers party, so I tracked down all the Avengers stuff I could (which, surprisingly, wasn't much). He got cake for breakfast....

...and a whole yard of bubblegum (which is almost gone). His favorites were; a pogo stick, laser tag guns from Aunt Kate, Heelies from Aunt Bek and a Captain America shield from the Bradshaws.

Pizza, friends, soda...

...sort of pathetic cupcakes, which were marbled red and blue on the inside, but not super impressive on the outside...

...and a sleepover with our BFF's: the Bradshaws.

My little man is growing up way too fast, but I am so proud of him and always so happy to be his mom!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Riding shotgun

A few months ago, we went to a rodeo with Gma and Gpa W.   Sis loves horses and the cowboys "with the hats" and since then, has put many miles on the old rocking horse. I put together a cowgwirl (Sis speak...) outfit for her one day and the boys got into the spirit of the game. It was unbelievably fun to watch. If you can't tell, Sis was the sheriff and they were the outlaws who had just taken over a wagon full of "gold and jewels." Junior is riding shotgun.

And also because I am a major history/trivia nerd, I educated the kids on what riding shot gun means (which they thought was cool at the time, but is probably not information they will retain. However, these are the boys who remembered that the dangly thing at the back of your throat is called a uvula and used it every day when they were 4 and 2. In fact, Bubba was using the word before he was speaking in full sentences.) We'll see. If they lose on 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' someday, it won't be my fault. :-)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sis turns 3!

Although I didn't forget that Sis' birthday was coming up, in the rush and stress of a new semester, it somehow slipped my mind that I had a birthday party planned that I needed to execute until about three days before (because it is physically impossible for me to NOT throw a party for a birthday). I had been planning a rainbow party for her and with a lot of help from Britny (chopping and assembling food) we turned out a pretty fun day.
 The boys woke Sis up at the crack of dawn to open her presents.
 The first thing she opened was her new Cinderella dress and shoes and then it didn't really matter what was in the other packages. The boys were happy to open her other presents for her.

The boys helped make the rainbow tie dye cupcakes.
And Junior suprised me with an addition to the party decorations: "You rock, 3 year old princess" 

 Rainbow food (and pulled BBQ chicken sandwiches)
 Rainbow Slushies
 We ate...
 We opened presents...

We blew out candles and dined on rainbow cake until we were sick.

And THAT'S how you turn three around here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Easter 2012

Sis' favorite activity ever! She dyed all her eggs in about 3 minutes flat. No coloring, no decorating, just dip the egg in each color about 10 times.

Probably the first Indiana Jones themed easter egg ever.
Planting jelly beans with the neighbors the night before easter, so they can grow into lollipops when the Easter Bunny passes through.

Ta Da!
Junior is an early bird every morning. Bubba is an early bird when it is worth his while....

...Sis doesn't care if there are baskets of candy or a tree full of unwrapped presents. She refuses to get going until she has had a cuddle on the couch, a sippy of milk and an episode of Kipper the Dog (on my phone.) Notice the candy on the couch right next to her that she wouldn't touch?

She got into it by the time the hunt headed outside though :-)

By the time I dragged them away from the candy and into their Sunday/Easter clothes, I had no energy left to try to get them all smiling and looking at the camera at the same time. This works :-)
As a completely unrelated picture, this is Junior's outfit on 'nerd day' for school the following week. He was really proud of what he pulled together, and I couldn't resist sharing :-)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Catching Up/Treading Water/Worst Family Historian Ever...!

I don't usually get hung up on the whole 'I haven't blogged in awhile, so sorry..." thing, as long as nothing is going on (or, as is sometimes the case, if I can't think of anything nice to say about what is going on ;-) but things (nice things) have been happening over the last few months and it just turns out that I need a few more hours in the day, or days in the week to live my life AND record it.

I am in school at the moment and for right now, let's just leave it at sometimes I am kicking school's butt and sometimes it is kicking mine. Right now, I am getting a beating (which is why I am backed up to March on updating here.) Since this blog is primarily a record of our family, I don't want to have large gaps in it. Partly because I am pretty sure that the antics of my little family is what will keep me warm in my old age, because also because I am pretty sure that my kids will only remember my school years as the time when I was always swearing at the computer, feeding them cereal and mac and cheese for dinner and hustling them to bed so I could get going on homework.

I am trying to keep some amount of balance though, so while my school is a huge priority and time suck for me right now, it is not all I have been (or should be) doing. I need to remind myself of that some times.

So, my three little ducks, here is some proof that I focused on you as well as school during the last 6 months.

The leprechaun trap we set up the night before St. Patrick's Day. We did not catch Lucky the Leprechaun, but he did leave a fairly lame treasure hunt that he found on pinterest at the last minute. The treasure was chocolate gold coins and Junior was kind of disappointed. If only they were real, he could finally afford the $200 Indiana Jones Lego set he has been dreaming about for a year.

 Our original leprechaun trap (which was designed by Junior, by the way) inspired him to get a little more creative. He spent an afternoon building a far more elaborate one that I had to take pictures of in three stages. First, Lucky was supposed follow the trail of lucky charms marshmallows set out by Junior/Indiana Jones. Next he would ride the roller coaster, which presumably would make him so dizzy that he would not notice the trap at the end of it.

 If that failed, he was supposed to climb the ladder into the pool and sail the boat across, which would put him in the lego room (purpose unknown, other than he thought it looked cool).

 After the lego room, he would climb the stairs to the black and then gray platforms, where hopefully he would fall through the hole into the chamber below. If that didn't work, the shamrock at the end would attract Lucky into a cage with a gold piece in it and he would be caught.
By the end of this demonstration, I was actually kind of sorry that Lucky wasn't real after all, because Junior gets an A++ for ingenuity. For the record, Lucky did leave a pretty substantial pile of chocolate/gold at the end of the obstacle course. Bubba and Sis were thrilled (they are my kids for sure!)

Green food. This is how I do my Irish ancestors proud!

Coming up: Easter and Sis' 3rd Birthday.