Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Day!!

Halloween finally arrived and the kids were so excited! Today, Juliette was a tiger (from Acuffs, not sure what year(s)). Isn't she cute!

Here we are ready to go trick-or-treating!
We had our friends over to trick-or-treat with us. Here are Abbey and Connor coming back from a house.
Ben and Aiden waiting for Abbey and Connor to catch up...
Juliette was not that into trick-or-treating, but she did seem to enjoy just riding in the stroller and staying cozy. It got pretty cold out as the day wore on and the sun went down, so I think she was quite content to stay put and watch from the stroller.
Ben and Aiden...
Connor and Abbey take a break and ride in the wagon...
Going home.
We have a very similar picture of Ben when he was a turtle. The kids all had fun and we had fun too.
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Part 2

On Friday, Ben had a Halloween party at his school. Then they had a parade and concert. They had learned several Halloween songs from their music teacher and sang them all really well! He had shared some of the songs at home with us, but it was great to see him singing along with all his classmates. He is really enjoying his new school! Here he is in the parade!

Friday night, we had Aunt Sandy, Uncle Phil, Joey and Jillian over for some pre-Halloween fun. That night, Juliette was a ladybug (from Abbey 2009).

Abbey was happy to continue with her turtle costume...

Here's our little ladybug!

Here's Aunt Sandy with ladybug and Minnie Mouse! Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture of Joey in his costume, but he was a good looking Mickey Mouse!

We didn't get a picture of everyone in their costumes, but here are most of the kids in their PJ's. Where is Ben you ask? He is taking the picture! He also took a picture of all of us, but unfortunately it came out too dark. It sure would have been nice to have the screen on our camera working so we could have known that and fixed it. Oh well. It was a very fun evening!!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Part 1

In order to kick off the Halloween festivities, we went to the Palatine library today where they had a fun event for kids. Everyone dressed up in their costumes and the library staff (dressed as the Cat in the Hat) read some Halloween stories. Then they had a parade around the library. It was a fun event and the kids were excited to get dressed up in costume already! Here are the kids in costume before we left the house...please meet our space shuttle pilot, our adorable tutle, and Curious Georgette (notice the pink bow)...

Juliette has 3 possible costumes this year (based on hand-me-downs from her older siblings and cousins) and we are going to try to make use of all of them. So today she is in her monkey costume (from Ben 2006).
Our little monkey at the parade...
The three kids after the parade.

It was fun and a great way to kick-off the weekend! We have a lot of festivities lined up for this weekend, so I decided separate blog posts might work best. Stay tuned...
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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Weekend Update

Well, we had quite a weekend! We stayed home all weekend, but got so much accomplished. The first thing (and the reason why we stayed home all weekend), was we potty trained Abbey! We started on Saturday and by Monday she was staying completely dry and letting us know when she needed to go and she hasn't looked back since then. So YAY for Abbey! We also switched her crib to a toddler bed. Our thought was that she would then be able to get out and go to the bathroom if needed, but the girl likes her freedom and I am seriously regretting this decision so far. Hopefully she will get used to it soon and stay in bed. One night she went into Ben's room, climbed into his bed, turned on the light and started reading him a book (he came down and said "Mom, Abbey's in my bed"). Another time during nap, I went in to find her in Juliette's crib bouncing up and down - both of them laughing hysterically. So it has been a challenge, but I'm hoping the novelty wears off soon and she settles down. In one weekend, she turned into a big girl!

In other news, I think we can officially call Juliette walking now. She is using it more and more often and is getting a lot better at it. So in her baby book, I guess I will put her first steps as being at 12.5 months, but not really walking until 14 months! She is talking so much and last night said "I love you" for the first time - adorable!! Although her current favorite expression is "Uh Oh" as she throws something on the floor (usually during dinner time). I will try to get some video up soon, although I should probably make some sort of video montage to show her progress over the last 2 months of learning to walk!

Here are just a few cute pictures we have taken recently. I hate to have a post without any pictures, so enjoy!

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Apple Picking

Well, it's that time of year picking time!! Due to some scheduling conflicts, we could not go in September and had to wait until this past weekend. Unfortunately, our normal place in Wisconsin was all out of apples already due to the hot summer we had and a lot of other places we checked were out too. Luckily, we found a place in Rockford that still had apples to be picked. It was smaller than our usual place, but they had a lot of apples and the trees were very close to the ground, which was nice for the kids (and Daddy considering he twisted his ankle last year stepping off a ladder). It was a lot of fun and thanks to Aunt Domi's amazing camera, we got a bunch of great pictures. It was very difficult to decide which ones to post as there were so many great ones, but here are a few of my favorites (some taken from our camera or Aunt Theresa's camera too).

There was a fun apple sling shot that you could try. If you hit the target, you got a dozen apple doughnuts. Unfortunately, they didn't hit the target, but they had fun trying!

Then we took a wagon ride out to the orchards.

Aunt Theresa held on to Abbey and Juliette...

Abbey got right into it carrying the bag and picking apples.

The trees were low enough that Ben and Caroline could climb on them to get the prized apples towards the top.

Aunt Domi and Juliette...

Look what we picked!
Ben and Caroline making their way to the pumpkin patch...

Look at this great apple Ben picked!

Juliette looking for the perfect pumpkin...

Here is my best shot at getting all 3 kids to pose with the pumpkins...

Then we finished the day with some delicious apple doughnuts and apple cider.

Again, our best shot at getting the whole family.

We had a lot of fun. Thank you Aunt Domi, Aunt Theresa, Uncle Brandon, Cousins Tim, Hunter and Caroline for coming with us (we missed you Cousin Andrew). We came home with about 30 pounds of apples, so if you have any great apple recipes, please pass them on!
As a side note, Juliette is still only walking when she chooses to, which is not very often. We were at a friend's house the other night and she was walking all over the place - walking to any toy she wanted and pretty much using that as her mode of transportation. However, that was the most walking she had done all week and hasn't done much since then either. I continue to marvel at the fact that she can do it but would rather crawl most of the time. It's just funny to me, but it keeps her my baby and I am happy with that! She is talking a lot now - new words include apple (from this weekend), Ben, Abbey, yummy, diaper, nap, and baby. She has taken an interest in playing with Abbey's baby dolls and it's really cute when she picks them up to give them hugs and kisses. She knows a lot of the motions to "Wheels on the Bus" and now knows the sounds that dogs, cows, sheep and ducks make. She can point out her nose, ears, mouth, hair and belly button. She is learning so much every day and I am having so much fun teaching her this stuff.

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Game Time!

As I mentioned previously, we took Ben to his first ND game when he was about 7 months old, so we decided he was probably old enough now to try it again and we got tickets for Ben and Daddy to go to the game, while Mommy and the girls headed back to Stephanie and Bill's house for naps and game watching. Ben was so excited for the game and kept asking if we thought that the team might need him to play! Ordinarily that might be a good question, but they actually played pretty well this weekend so Ben was not called from the stands to help out! I knew he would do great during the game, but got a little worried after we had a rough Friday night...Ben woke up in the middle of the night with croup. He seems to only get this when we travel, and we are now experts on it, but it was a pretty bad case of it. Daddy sat outside with him for about an hour in the middle of the night because cold air helps. Unfortunately, it was not very cold out, so it took a while for the croup to calm down and get better and after that he slept in our bed, so we didn't get very much sleep. So after being up most of the night and spending all day walking around campus, I was a little worried he would crash during the game, but Daddy said he did great! Here he is with the score board, dome, basillica, and Touchdown Jesus in the background!

Daddy and Ben watch the ND band during half time!
They stayed the entire game and since ND won, they got to jig at the end! Here they are leaving the stadium after a great game!
I haven't mentioned this part yet, but we also got to catch up with a good friend of mine from ND who now lives in South Bend with her husband and 3 kids - Maddie (age 6), Mia (age 4), and Brayden (age 2). They were very gracious hosts and the kids had a blast all playing together. Mia is actually one month older than Ben and Brayden is one month younger than Abbey, so the ages of all the kids were nice and close and everyone played well together. It was great to be able to stay with them, catch up with Stephanie and Bill, and let our kids get to know each other and have some relaxing fun during the weekend as well. Thanks for such a great weekend and we look forward to doing it all again next year hopefully!!
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Seeing the ND Campus

While on campus we of course needed to make a stop at the grotto. We got to see the bench where Daddy proposed to Mommy and, of course, the bench where I met Regis! Here are Ben, Abbey and Daddy lighting a candle...

And saying some prayers...
Seeing Stone Henge Fountain...this is right by my old dorm so we got to see that too.
And the kids decided to take a quick rest on the grass while listening to the ND band play!

I got to catch up with my old roommates and friends too - it was great seeing you Katie, Leanna and Eileen! Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture of all of us in front of our dorm (just forgot), but I did get a picture with one of my roomies, Leanna!
And here are Leanna and her husband Dave with Juliette. Juliette really liked Dave and found he had a nice and cozy shoulder - perfect for taking a little nap while we walked over to the stadium!

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