Monday, December 31, 2012

A Tribute to '12

Kids keep you present in the moment. Everyday I am so caught up in the routine of our lives that I forget we are actually moving forward - at lightening speed. Looking back at all of the pictures from 2012 I am amazed at Declan and Lexi's  physical growth and reminded of the mental growth that happened right before my eyes. So many big changes occurred this year - both for our kids, and for Adam and I. Adam began working at Votec and I officially launched my photography business. We also made the difficult decision to sell our home, which closed on December 28th. In between it all we enjoyed first steps, first words, swimming lessons, and plenty of play dates. It was a good year. Full of challenges and growth, fun and laughter. Everyday I am grateful for the friends and family that are in our lives, for the experiences that shape who we are, and that I have the pleasure of watching Declan and Lexi grow, laugh, and learn.

A short tribute to 2012 -


Cheers to 2013!  Happy New Year!

Overtaken

As in our house - with toys! These two kids might have been a little spoiled this Christmas.Actually, we were all a little spoiled this Christmas!

This week we had the pleasure of lots of grandparent time. First we were able to see Mimi and Pops who drove down to keep the Christmas spirit going! Adam and I also enjoyed a night to ourselves while the kiddos had a sleepover with their beloved grandparents. Unfortunately the date night we had planned was postponed due to Adam being sick. But, we still enjoyed the time alone, and seeing how the kids didn't want to come home...I'd be willing to bet they loved their time with Mimi and Pops!
 Feeding the fish with Mimi at the condos




 Love all of the festive decorations here!
As usual Mimi and Pops spoiled the kids with love, affection, and some rad toys. Both Declan and Lexi have been having a lot of fun on their new Leap Pads! Mimi and Pops spoiled Adam and I too :) We both have new toys of our own we are pretty excited about. Thank you so much Mimi and Pops!

And today Papa and DeeDee came down bearing more love...and gifts!
 They each received scooters and kid cameras which they love! And the big kids received some great presents too! I guess we are all spoiled rotten!
Thank you so much for coming down and for all of the great gifts!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Belting it Out - Videos

During the entire month of December we had quite the little singers belting out Christmas Carols during car rides. Of course I can't video while I'm driving, so I tried to entice them to sing at home. I guess it would have helped if I actually turned music on instead of attempting to be the lead singer myself. Oh well. I'm glad I at least caught some feeble video of these cute little voices singing their favorite Christmas songs.


We love us some frosty ;)

Personalities

I think it is pretty clear that I am over the moon about our little cousin crew. Each kiddo is so different and yet when they get together they mesh so well. It really is spectacular to watch. Zack, the oldest is without a doubt the leader. And how lucky the other six are to have him as an example. Nothing but love this kid. Emma, next in line is the entertainer. Always, dancing, performing, shaking her booty - the girl is destined to be a performer. I have no doubt we will be attending many school plays with her in lead roles. Sweet Lily is the intellect. She's always making up games and coming up with elaborate stories for pretend play. I'd venture to say she's taught Declan half of what he knows. Whenever I hear a new phrase coming out of his mouth, I know he has learned it from "his Lily". Speaking of Declan - he plays the role of the joker. I'd be surprised if he isn't the class clown one day. Always looking for an excuse to laugh and have fun, it doesn't take much to get this guy rolling. the younger three are harder to pin point yet. But from what I can see so far, I think of them as trouble, tricky, and spunky. Ella is for sure going to give Krissy and Mike a run for their money. Always wanting to be in the thick of things. Not afraid of anything and full of energy. She will be the life of the party. Miss Lexi is the tricky one. She puts on such a show with her thumb sucking and innocent little head tilt - like she is so demure. But in reality, she's a dare devil. A charger. Completely independent. We'll have to keep a close eye on her. A miss Quinn - the youngest of the crew. Full of spunk and curiosity. My favorite is when you tell her to freak out and she squeezes her little fists and shakes them real fast. A special group these kids. And the dynamics between them keep getting better.



Adorable, these seven.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Cheery Christmas Afternoon

Christmas day was jam packed with fun. I had to split it into 2 posts. After our morning of tearing it up, we headed over to G-Mom and Grand-pops for more Christmas cheer. Grandpop has recently started a new hobby that just happens to benefit Declan. He is building a train set in his garage. From the minute we arrived to the end of the night when I tore Declan away kicking and screaming - he never left the garage. Except once (reluctantly) to open presents. I've never seen a kid so obsessed. Grandpop has a new best friend!
It really was a great afternoon. I love anytime these seven are together. Such a range of ages, but they all love each other so much!

 Uncle Mike and Ella tending bar




 These three are going to be trouble!

 More presents!
 Made out like bandits - I'm kind of jealous ;)

 Leap pads were the popular gift this year!

 Everyone else is eating - he is playing trains - big surprise!
 Love that she stole away to check out the tracks under the tree

 Wiped out.
 Dig deep kiddo - more presents!
 Dessert and trains



A perfect day. I didn't realize how exhausted I was from all of the fun until today. The only thing we found the energy for was taking down our fire hazard of a tree. Luckily Mimi and Pops gave us a wonderful Christmas present - they took the kids for a couple of days. Aaaah time to recuperate from the holidays.
That's a wrap.

A Merry Christmas Morning - Videos

Someone was watching out for us this Christmas. I was up a good part of Christmas Eve night helping Declan as he hugged the toilet (poor guy...poor me). But, by morning time, he was good to go. Phew! I would have been so bummed if he was sick on Christmas. We had a whopping 12 hours of relief from this awful stomach flu before Adam came down with it Christmas night. At least we all were able to enjoy Christmas day!
And, enjoy it we did! One of the best parts of Christmas this year was that for the first time Declan really got into opening presents. I kind of thought Lexi would too (as she usually follows his lead), but she left most of the opening to Dec, choosing to concentrate her energy on playing instead.
Onto an overload of pictures!
The loot
Checking out the stocking goods



His "big" present this year - kind of a gamble. Trains are the only sure thing with this kid. The gamble paid off! He played with the firehouse for quite awhile before we lured him into starting in on the presents under the tree.

It was so much fun watching him open presents
 
because we need more trains... 

Helping Lexi tackle her gifts
She loved her new doll and stroller!
 


 
And her new bike!

Santa left a lightsaber in Daddy's stocking!

 Looks like Daddy won
 Pause in present opening to refuel with some monkey bread, our Christmas tradition for breakfast. It was Lexi's first time trying the sweet stuff, and I don't think I would be far off if I said this was her best part of the morning!
Stuffing their faces
Just because we're eating, doesn't mean we have to stop opening!
Daddy getting into it!
Me with my  babies - you can tell how excited they are to stop for this picture


You'd think the ridiculous amount of pictures would satisfy my need to preserve Christmas morning, but no! A few videos for good measure ;)








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