Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Family Photos

Lately I have had the opportunity to take family photos for some of our friends. Most of these families happen to have two kiddos in the baby/toddler stage. It can be stressful at times trying to get at least one good shot where everyone is looking at the camera. But, it is ten times more stressful being on the other side. I know from experience! About 6 weeks ago we had Carey take our family pictures at the beach. Don't ask me what I was thinking when I chose the beach! It is hard enough coordinating outfits, getting everyone ready, and then having everyone smile simultaneously at the camera. Throw a little sand in there with a toddler and a baby and you have a recipe for disaster. Let's just say I was sweating by the time our hour session was finished! Despite the craziness, Carey managed to get some good pictures - especially of the little ones. 
During our session, we discovered that our little Lexi loves the sand! I actually am quite excited about this. Another little beach baby - I am already looking forward to next summer!
I just adore these next few pictures. I think it shows the tenderness of Declan and Lexi's relationship.

I can just imagine what next year will be like when they are both moving!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday, Baby!

To my recollection I have never participated in the Black Friday madness...until this year. Lexi and I left our house early yesterday morning (as in 8am, not 4am) to hit the stores! Ironically it wasn't because of Black Friday. We went to IKEA to  buy Declan a play kitchen for Christmas. I decided to do it yesterday because we were going to a baby luncheon for Tracy later that day. I thought I'd take advantage of the fact that I would be in the IKEA area without Declan. Quite frankly the Black Friday crowds were less of an obstacle in my mind than entering the maze they call IKEA with my non-shopper, Declan. So, Lexi and I braved it!
We've got the goods!
It is so fitting that I spend my first Black Friday shopping experience with my baby girl! I'm so glad we did it. We were in and out of IKEA so quick that I actually had time to make a Target run before the lunch! And, get this: I didn't even have to wait in line at Target! That never happens!
Onto the Baby Luncheon we went! We made Tracy a diaper cake and some cupcakes to help celebrate the occasion. It was such fun helping the beautiful mom-to-be-again celebrate her second baby girl! I thoroughly enjoyed my delicious lunch, the great conversation, and spending some alone time with Lexi. Lexi enjoyed lunching with the ladies!
After lunch we headed up to San Juan Capistrano to take some holiday pictures of the Jones family. Lexi pretty much slept through the experience, but I loved having her nestled in the Ergo next to me! 

I was a tiny bit nervous as we started our day yesterday. I figured we were packing a lot in so something was bound to go wrong. But really, it couldn't have been more perfect. And I absolutely loved spending the day alone with my Lexi Love. It's something I never get to do, so I enjoyed every minute. My only regret is not having someone take a picture of the two of us together. :(

Friday, November 25, 2011

Little Turkeys

Yesterday we spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with Adam's side of the family. The Gryns hosted a beautiful (and might I add tasty) Thanksgiving dinner. I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do, but here are a few highlights from our holiday.
I'll start with the little turkeys, because they are without a doubt the BEST part! Here are all seven cousins in their festive Christmas PJs. Notice how not one of them is crying!!
The first four "eating" dinner. I have eating in quotations because Declan was so excited he wouldn't sit down to eat. We made the mistake of telling him we were going to see his cousins about an hour and a half before we actually left. From that point on all he said was "Sak", "Ily", "Emma", and "Mama's har". He tried putting his socks on and pulling us out the door. He adores his cousins! So Declan didn't do a lot of eating last night, just playing (as you can see).
Lexi on the other hand spent some time getting to know her cousin Quinn.
At one point Lexi was sitting with Quinn and kept swiping her toys. The look on Quinn's face was priceless! She was genuinely shocked. Poor girl!
Speaking of the little ones, here are the 3-11 girls (all sitting!!), Christmas PJ style.
And to end this post, a picture of the whole group. It really is amazing we got this shot (thanks to Amanda's father-in-law, Michael). It was the end of the night (as you can see when looking at the kiddos) and I am sure you can imagine the chaos of getting everyone together! But, here we are! Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Highlights

 Another full week of adventures around here. Lots of highs and lows. I tend to focus on the highs. One week I should focus on all of the challenging moments, just to keep it real. Although I don't think a picture of Declan throwing a HUGE tantrum in the check out line at Toys R Us (one of our lows this week) would really do the situation justice. Maybe a video would. But,  how weird would I look taking a picture (or video) of my kid freaking out? I was already getting the stare down from quite a few people. Anyway, onto the highlights. :)

Today was an errand day. Although I usually don't look forward to going on errands with two kids, I was actually excited for one today - Costco. I know, weird. The reason is I was finally going to be able to put little Lexi in a shopping cart for the first time. I was so excited when she first started sitting to do this, but to my disappointment I couldn't. The carts at our usual places (i.e. the grocery store, Target, Michaels, etc) are designed for only one rider. Since my two and half year old definitely needs to be contained while in the stores, Lexi has continued to ride the Ergo for our errands. I was so bummed when I realized this. The move to the shopping cart was one of my favorite times with Declan. So anyway, Lex got to sit shopping cart style today. Fun is not a strong enough word for our little Costco expedition (despite the ridiculous crowds). I just loved watching her expressions. A few times I actually caught her laughing. What a little love she is! Her smiles brought on lots of kuddos from the other Costco shoppers. This was definitely one of my favorite Costco trips of all time!
 Declan was happy to have his best friend share the front seat -
Yesterday we went to the Wild Animal Park with the Micah, Kylie, and Jaimie. What a great day it was. It's so funny, we were there about 4 hours, and spent the majority of our time right here:
This is why. At one point Micah decided he wanted to walk in the water. So, boom! In he went before Jaimie or I could do anything (gotta love little boys). Well, once he was all wet, there wasn't much we could do. And Declan thought it was the funniest thing ever! He kept saying "water, right here" and point for Micah to go back in the water. Well, Declan egging Micah on just got both boys laughing so hard. It was so much fun to watch these two little guys and just be in the moment. 
Declan cheering on his dare devil friend!
Monday we got to see our good friends Ellie, Lola, and Stacie. Stacie is off this week because of Thanksgiving and we were so excited to spend the day with them and catch up. 
A favorite ride for all three, Abby's Sea Star Spin
 Declan and Lola goofing off
 The three enjoying Turtle Reef
The best part of the day was seeing The Polar Express 4D (although Declan still won't wear the 4D glasses). 
Lola, Lexi, and Ellie waiting outside the theater. Lexi loves hanging with the big kids!
Friday was a great day for us. We met Tracy and Katie at the mall to create some holiday Doodlebug prints. Lucky for us, there happened to be a Hullabaloo x concert going on nearby! We stayed for awhile - Katie and Lexi were definitely into it, but Declan kept running off. I don't think he was digging the crowded room (the concert was moved indoors because of bad weather). 
Lexi was totally into the music and all of the little kids running around.
Oh well, onto plan B: The New Children's Museum. Always a fun place...especially when it is totally empty! Declan loves checking out the Trolleys run right outside the museum. Below is a picture of him looking at one. This kid loves trains!
Katie and Declan had fun playing with the cars,
While Lexi enjoyed rocking in this piece of wood.
This toy was so cool. If we didn't already have a ton of ride on toys, I would definitely be looking into this for a Christmas present!
Later that night, the Abbotts came over for Friday night pizza!
Lexi and Ella side by side. They are growing so fast. The changes in just a few months never ceases to amaze me.
 The four cousins hanging out
Last Thursday we spent another fun day at Legoland with Alex and Gracie. These kids always have so much fun together!
Can you tell we love this airplane ride?
Last Wednesday we took the train to Old Town with Jen and Logan. The boys had a ridiculously good time on the train! Everytime we ride it, I think we should do it more often. It is always so much fun! It was great day, aside from the fact that the lens I use for everyday pictures broke. Ugh! I am so sad. :(

And last but not least, we introduced a new food to Lexi: green beans. What a hit! This is definitely her favorite so far. She practically inhaled these things!
As of tomorrow the holiday season officially begins, and we are more than a little excited around here!
Happy Thanksgiving!

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