Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Benjamin: 4 months old!

True to form, I'm a little late posting this...But I'm sure after one look at this cute baby, you'll forgive me!  :)

Ben is truly an amazing baby.  He is SO GOOD.  I don't remember babies being this easy!  We went through an entire day on Saturday with him barely crying!  He started to cry and I actually said "Oh, that's what he sounds like when he cries!"  LOL

We are so truly blessed with this little man.  He has stolen all of our hearts.

Little Max calls him "Spongey".  I have no idea where it came from, but it is pretty adorable.

Happy 4 Months, Spongey!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Florida Vacation 2014 - Part 1

Our annual FL trip this year couldn't have come at a better time!  Temperatures in WI were dipping into double digits BELOW ZERO (and that wasn't even including the windchill)!!  Waking up at 3:30am was never more welcome than when you know in a few short hours you are going to escape the cold!

The boys were AWESOME travelers.  I know I always say that, but it is true!  No complaining when we had to wake up so early, just excited chatter from the backseat of the van on the way to the airport.  The older boys both navigated their own suitcases inside so I was able to check in 5 bags and a carseat all while pushing Ben in the stroller while Max was parking the car :).  The lady in line behind me asked me if I was very brave.  LOL  I told her that my husband was travelling with us too -- I can't imagine doing all that by myself!

We flew SouthWest this time, and although the airline is fine, I am not a fan of their boarding procedures.  Basically, they give you a number when you check in -- that number is directly correlated to when you check-in in relation to the other passengers.  A1 is the first number and C60 is the last.  Basically, they start boarding with A1 and you get on the plane and pick your seat.  If you are C60, you are pretty much SOL and have to find the last seat on the plane.  I checked in EXACTLY 24 hrs before our flight and got A60, B1, B2 and B3.  Seriously?  But even if we hadn't gotten such 'high' numbers, they do allow 'Family Boarding' at B1.  I just laughed and said if there weren't any seats together by the time we got on the plane someone else was going to have a very 'magical' flight.  But, there was no problem, and we got a row with 3 seats across (Mom with lap Ben, Sam and Max) and then big Max sat by himself.  The arrangement worked out perfectly in the end.  I'm sure big Max (who got some nice alone time on the flight) would agree. 

As you can see from the photo above, the olders behaved great on the flight.  I'm surprised no one actually fell asleep, but they didn't start to get restless until the last 30 mins, at which point the anticipation of landing was getting everyone on the flight restless anyways, so we fit right in.

Ben, on the other hand, took the opportunity to catch up on his zzzzs.  So I enjoyed a little snuggle time/

When we arrived, there was a NINETY-FOUR degree temperature difference!  Holy!

The boys took advantage of the warmth to enjoy a dip in the pool.  They sure love the water!

Grumpy took them down to the dock and cast his net and pulled it up chock full of mullets!

Apparently they didn't smell too good :)

And apparently Sam likes to imitate fish...

Then they checked the crab trap, but nothing was in there.

The next day, the temperatures took a little dip.  I hesitate to say it was cold, because it was still warm for us, but all the FL natives were bundled up in winter coats and hats and gloves, LOL.  We took the opportunity to go to the Fort Myers Imaginarium.  We went there 2 years ago, and not much had changed, but with the boys being older this time they enjoyed it much more.

We played around in the touch tank for awhile...they had starfish and hermit crabs that you could touch.

Then we got to touch the stingrays when they opened the stingray touch tank for a short while.

Granna and Grumps took the boys up to the hurricane simulator.  

And then we checked out the aquarium and reptile room.  Isn't this baby alligator cute?

So is this baby alligator :)

The rest of the museum was pretty fun also.  They had different stations where you could experiment with different things like magnets (as above), puzzles, gravity, etc.  It was a lot of fun for the boys and even for us adults!  Overall it was a great day and a great way to spend a 'chilly' day.  :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Benjamin - 3 months old!

Whoops!  I guess with all the excitement going on earlier this month with our trip to FL and my return to work I forgot to post Ben's 3 month stats!  Stay tuned for more!

Isn't this crochet crown adorable?  Perfect for my little prince!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 goals/resolutions

I took last year off from posting my goals on the blog, and I think that as a result I slacked off more.  I actually found the draft post (that I never published) and there was only one goal on there at the run a half marathon.  So technically,  I accomplished my only goal for 2013 by running my very first half marathon (22.5 weeks pregnant)! And here you can check out my 2012 goals (and results)

I decided for 2014 to have 14 resolutions/goals.  So, without further ado, here they are in no particular order:

2014 resolutions

1) project 52 - in 2012 I started out with project 52 as a goal and then expanded it to a project 365.  That was hard enough to do with two kids..I don't even want to attempt it with 3.  But with Ben being so little, I know I'll be taking lots of photos and one a week should be easy to do...

2) accomplish one house project a month - this one is in part due to the fact that I need some motivation and accountability to keep on track with the house projects (big or small) that are piling up.  It includes any project I do or participate in (but not ones that max does without my help).  For projects on the professional level, as long as I am a part of the planning/decision making process, these count.

We've already started this resolution a little early in the kitchen!  Stay tuned for more details!

3) run another half marathon - I don't think I'll do the rock and sole one again, but maybe the Tyraneena or the trail run that max did in 2013...

4) find balance, or make changes in my life to regain it - as my maternity leave is nearing its end, I'm again faced with the torn feelings of being a split mom.  This time I am feeling those feelings more acutely.  I feel like there has to be some new change on the horizon...

5) take a class, learn something new - I had this on my list in 2012, but I didn't feel like I actually accomplished it.  Max corrected me that I DID learn to crochet, so I guess he was right,  I think for 2014 I want to learn to sew...

6) give away or donate something at least once a week - I've been feeling the need to purge, and especially since we are done adding to our family it will feel good to re-home some of our baby gear.

7) take better care of my body:  drink more water, stretch more, eat less sugar!

8) have a mommy and me date once a month with each boy.

9) read a non-work related book once a month

10) play the piano at least once a week for at least 30 mins

11) volunteer at school/chaperone field trips more for both boys

12) send/give a surprise kindness package to a friend once a month

13) have a date night with husband at least once a month

14) increase monthly savings - our 10 yr anniversary is in 2015 and I'd really like to take an awesome trip somewhere!!

So, there you have it!  My 14 goals for the new year.  What are your plans?  Any goals looming on your horizons?  I'll be checking in at the end of each month to report my progress, so keep posted!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas with the McLaughlins

This year, we celebrated Christmas a little early with our McLaughlin side of the family.  It was great to spend a relaxed and laid back weekend with my husband's parents on our turf.  As an added bonus, they also got to meet their newest grandson for the first time in person!

Not bad trying to get 6 people to smile and look at the same time!

Little Max and Grandma 'Chili' doing some morning art ...

The morning after our 'Christmas' with the aftermath of gifts...

Little max was very excited about his gifts. Both of these were huge hits and still played with a TON.

Especially the snap circuits.  I have a feeling the bow and arrows will get more use outside later...

So much fun was had by Ben that he passed out cold!  :)

But he sure loved getting snuggles from his Gma!

Gma and 3 of her 4 grandsons!

Last minute snuggles...

We had a great visit Gma and Gpa!  We hope you come back soon!  Xoxo

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Xmax 2013

Merry Christmas from the McLaughlins!

View the entire collection of cards.

I absolutely LOVE the cards we made at Shutterfly this year!  Hope you and your family have an amazing Christmas and an outstanding 2014!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Benjamin is 2 months old!!

Um, yeah.  It happened.  I blinked my eyes and two months passed by and the little newborn is no he's two stinking months old!  (Literally).

As the picture above states, he's pretty much hitting all his age-appropriate milestones right on time (and some even a bit early).  He's SOOOOO close to rolling from back to belly.  He's mastered the art of belly to back and it has been interesting to try to get him the tummy time he needs.  So we've resorted to using the boppy some of the time.  You can see he's really strong and can get his chest up off the ground already.  His pediatrician was pretty impressed at his 2 month check up with how strong he was.

And as far as cuteness goes, he's off the scales!!  Especially when I can get him to try on some of my crochet creations, like this hat with the big button.  

He's finally growing out of his newborn sized clothes and starting to fit into his 0-3 month outfits.  He still fits in newborn sized diapers better than size 1, but I am going to start moving him up because he fills up the newborn sized diapers too quickly :)  He is also big enough now (finally) that I can start cloth diapering -- which is awesome!  I mean, how adorable is his bum in this Blueberry Minky?

I made this matching set for him and have been dying to try it on him and snap some photos.  The shoes were on the verge of not fitting, so it had to be this month's photoshoot (because lets face it, trying to take photos more than once a month is a little much for me).  :)

You can tell that he was not very amused with my antics.

And then, he started to get worried that he looked like a big nerd...he's very sensitive about how he looks to others...

He tried warning me that he wasn't happy....but I didn't heed his warnings.  I just kept snapping away...

And that's when he just unleashed his mighty fury.

Of course, I still took a photo.  Because even in the middle of a little tantrum, he's still