Sunday, December 30, 2012


This year was the first year that Ben seemed to really "get" Christmas.  He was excited Santa was coming ("I'm going to hear the reindeer on the roof and I'm going to go out and see Santa!"), he put the reindeer food in the yard, he left Santa cookies, he went to bed very aware of what was coming in the morning.  By the time we'd distracted him long enough in the morning for everyone to wake up and Pop Pop to come over, he was READY to go downstairs!

After we got downstairs, Ben was just as excited to deliver gifts to other people as he was to open them himself.  It was a wonderful Christmas morning! 

Christmas Eve

Monday morning, Lauren, Jen and I took the boys to Lauren's office to see their two huge Christmas trees.  What was even more exciting than the trees was the awesome moving train around one of them.  The boys had a little too much energy and were quickly ushered out....after we snapped a few pictures.

Realizing the pent up energy, we let the boys run around in the huge green area outside the office before heading home.  While we were running around, it started to snow.  It was beginning to feel a lot like Christmas....

Ready for bed on Christmas Eve....tickles from Daddy to wind the kids up even more than they already were!

'Twas the night before Christmas.

Ben insisted on opening the fireplace so Santa would have no trouble getting inside to deliver presents!

The day before, the day before Christmas.

We headed to VA last Saturday to celebrate Christmas with my family.  When we got there, we were greeted by a Christmas tree (a real one as opposed to our ridiculously little one at home), Christmas music, lots of wedding discussions (Lauren is getting married!!!) and a very excited pair of Kray boys!!  At bedtime, after getting in his pj's, Ben, Nick and my mom headed out to a house nearby with an amazing lights display.  Ben loved it so much, he went back the following night!  We were all finally in the Christmas spirit.

On Sunday morning, we headed to Arlington to see Lauren and Aaron's adorable apartment.  Lauren happened to have a game for Ben...and Lincoln didn't hesitate to create his own game....reorganizing her pots and pans....

In the afternoon, I brought Ben to continue a family tradition that I think I've missed out on for the past 10 years - Christmas cookie decorating with the Hunts.  Ben enjoyed decorating (and eating) lots of Christmas cookies.  I enjoyed seeing Rachel and Emily all grown up and catching up with (my pretend older sister) Mary.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Lincoln is 18 Months

I'm behind on pictures from Christmas and I will update the blog with those soon....but I figured I'd take advantage of my time here to actually write an update for Lincoln's 18 month birthday.  I can't believe he's 18 months already.  Some days I think he's about 3 with what he THINKS he can do or should be able to do!

First of all, at his 18 month appointment, he was 26 lbs 14 oz (50-75%) and 33 1/2 inches tall (75-90%).  With his full head of hair and his 7 month walking experience, he looks like a much older kid than Ben did at 18 months!  This is what Lincoln is up to:

- He's still not really talking.  I'm encouraging him to say things when he wants something, points to something, sees something, etc.  However, the only words he's using on his own consistently are hi and bye.  Maybe Ben talks too much so....  Whatever the reason, I hope he starts talking soon.  I'd love to know what's going on in his little head.

- He has 10 teeth.  The top molars have just come in...messing with his sleep a little bit....and it appears the bottom ones are on their way.  The eye teeth are next....can't wait until we are done with those!

- He can point to many body parts (eyes, nose, ears, hair, mouth, head, belly, hands, feet) and can follow pretty much any direction.  He gives hugs and kisses VERY willingly (love that) and copies lots of sounds or motions that Ben makes.  He copies EVERYTHING Ben does....and then some.  Lincoln has never been into age appropriate toys because he always wants to play with whatever Ben is playing with.  Of course...

When Ben builds a tower, Lincoln knocks it down.
When Ben puts together a puzzle, Lincoln takes it apart.
When Ben colors a picture, Lincoln eats the crayon or maker (and just as often, the paper).  
When Ben plays with anything small, Lincoln puts it in his mouth.
When Ben dresses up like a fireman, Lincoln wants all the same gear.
When Ben plays with his new Leap Pad, Lincoln wants to hold it and tap the screen randomly.

However, when Ben is not around, Lincoln explores on his own and gets into things that Ben wouldn't have ever thought to get into!  We have gated the kitchen (something we never did with Ben) and removed all dining room chairs from around the table because Lincoln can climb up in about 1.5 seconds and access anything on the tables or countertops.  Bathroom doors must remain shut or he will be in the sink or plunging the toilet.  If he makes his way into our bedroom or bathroom, he opens every door and drawer he can in the time he can escape me and pulls out anything that looks like he shouldn't have it.  I'm not complaining (well maybe I am a little bit), rather I'm sharing these actual, daily experiences so that I remember them....and I can tell him about them when he gets older!  For the most part, it's funny...but it does stress both Ben and me out occasionally.  In those cases, we pack up and get out of the house.  We call him the tazmainian devil.  He touches everything in his path.

- The flip side of the point above is that Lincoln is an AWESOME sleeper.  He naps for 3-4 house sometimes in the afternoon and generally goes to bed great at night.  He's exerted so much energy over the day, he has to rest up for another day. :)

- He is so totally adorable.  I know I"m biased because he's my son, but I really think with his blue blue eyes and his dark hair and his devilish grin and innocent facial expressions that he's the cutest 18 month old in the world. :)  (Ben, I can say that because you're 4 are the cutest 4 year old in the world.)

- One more thing that I want to put here because it's so strange and when I look back, I want to remember that he was doing this.....the kid is obsessed with fuzz.  Has anyone ever heard of that?  I literally cannot give him a stuffed animal, wear a sweater, lay him on a rug etc. where he can pick off a piece of fuzz because he will EAT or SNORT it!  So strange.  Someone please tell me how to stop that one.  He even knows he's doing something wrong because often he will giggle and run from me after putting a piece of something (lint?) in his mouth.

Ok....there's my update.   It's been a long time....and you really love Lincoln if you're still reading. :)

LOVE YOU LINCY!  You add joy and craziness to my life every minute and I wouldn't have it any other way.  XOXOXO  Happy 18 months!

Friday, December 21, 2012


Please excuse Ben's pjs at dinner time.  He wore them to school for his he wore them all day. :)

After a family dinner of Ben's favorite ("pasta and red sauce") we sang "happy birthday" and opened presents.  

Happy birthday Ben!  I am impressed every day by your memory, your imagination, and your creativity.  You are my sweet boy and I'm happy to be your Mommy!  XOXOXO!

Gingerbread house!

On Ben's birthday, his choice activity during Lincoln's nap was decorating a gingerbread house with me.  We did this last year as well...I guess it will have to become a tradition. :)

After Lincoln got up, the boys were playing.  Love watching the play as long as they aren't tackling or sitting on one another... 

Ben's birthday at school

Ben's Christmas pajama party at school was also on his 4th birthday.  I stayed at school for the day to help out for the party and watch them celebrate his birthday.  He held the flag for the pledge of allegiance.

The kids had pizza and then decorated sugar cookies that Ben and I baked the day before.  The sugar high was followed by a dance party to Christmas music and some very happy 4 year olds!

Then they sang Happy Birthday to my 4 year old! :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ben's Birthday Party

For Ben's birthday this year, he wouldn't entertain any idea other than going BACK to a firehouse.  In an effort to change things up a bit (from last year's party), we went to our neighborhood firehouse with our family and a few friends.  They opened every single door, tool box, etc. in every single truck in the firehouse and let the kids run around for 2 hours.  It was literally our own personal "Touch a Truck."  It was awesome!  We had pizza and cake and let the kids run wild.  Ben spent a lot of the time with his head phones on, but we were happy when he warmed up enough to climb into some of the trucks.  Lincoln couldn't get enough of the trucks and had an awesome time as well.  Ben informed me we were going back again next year.....we will see.... :)

Ben and his friend, Alexa.

I enjoyed "driving" the truck.

So did Lincoln!

At first, this was as close as Ben would get to the truck.  I have no idea what was going on with him.  We drive by fire houses daily because he's obsessed with them and he asked daily when his birthday party was going to be so he could go to the fire house.  However, when we got there, he was so nervous!  Frustrating!  Fortunately, it wore off and he was happy to climb in the trucks.

Ben and Carl driving the truck!

Jen and Brendan. 

The Krulls.

The Clarks.

The newly engaged, Lauren and Aaron.

Ben IN a truck with Nana.

Lincoln comfortable in the driver's seat.

Our family shot. 

The Heyne/Krays.

Cakes at the party.

Happy birthday to Ben!

Engagement pics?

My little 4 year old. :)