Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Matthew's Birthday!

Matthew officially turned 2 on January 12th, but that was a Tuesday and our Tuesday's are very busy with activities, so we made sure to celebrate the weekend before his birthday. On Saturday, after Ben's soccer game, we went to the Kohl's Children's Museum. We haven't been there in years and Matthew had never been, but he loved it! We bought a membership so I can take him while the older kids are in school. He started off in the car room, which was right up his alley :)
Ben and Juliette helped show him how to race the cars.

Abbey helped him drive a pretend car.
Eventually we had to pick Matthew up and move to another area - I think he could have spent our whole morning in the car section and not see anything else!  So we moved to the grocery store section and he had such a good time putting food into his cart.

Next up was the sandwich making station.  Good thing he has so many helpers!
We made our way back to the water room.
Matthew found some balls!
Ben and Juliette raced a water stream
The oldest kid in our family joined in too.
Matthew couldn't get enough balls!

I can't be sure, but I think a science lesson is happening here.
Matthew helped Juliette aim and shoot the water at the target!
Abbey found a rock climbing wall.
Nice job Abs!
They had a surfing area - Matthew needed a little help staying on, but Juliette had it down!
Catching a wave.
Ben enjoyed this section too.  He has pretty much aged out of this museum, although he did have fun experiencing it with Matthew.  But he did enjoy this surfing area.
We left the museum and headed home for nap time, but I think Matthew really enjoyed it!  And as per tradition with each of the other kids, I made an Elmo cake for birthday #2!  When the kids asked me why I always make an Elmo cake for the second birthday, I told them that every 2 year old loves Elmo!  Around 3, the kids each had their own interest and request for what they wanted on their cake, but not quite yet at 2 and Elmo is always a safe bet with 2 year olds!  Besides, it is fun to make.
The next day we had Aunt Domi and Caroline over to celebrate his birthday with family.  Belle sure liked having Aunt Domi over!
Big boy was surprised when he got up from his nap to find we had visitors over!
We got a few balloons that he enjoyed playing with.

Abbey and Juliette wanted to decorate some cupcakes with the leftover icing from the Elmo cake - I think they did a really good job!  Future cake decorators in the making!
Then we let Matthew (and all those willing to help him) open up a few gifts from family.

Check out that awesome dump truck that his Godfather Cousin Andrew sent him!
Then it was cake time.  Paul and I had high hopes that he would really love his cake this time.  If you will recall, he cried during the whole cake experience when he turned 1 so we were hoping for a better outcome this time!
Abbey bringing the cake over and Ben bringing the cupcakes.
He was intrigued by the whole thing.

He was trying to blow out the candle, but he couldn't quite blow hard enough.
So Paul took the candle out and brought it a little closer to him.  And then he was able to blow it out!  We chopped off one of Elmo's eyes and put it on his tray but he wanted no part of it!!  He kept pushing it away.  Another disappointing cake experience!
On Tuesday, his actual birthday, we went to his normal toddler class and everyone wished him a Happy Birthday (because we got this cool birthday shirt as a hand-me-down).
Tuesday nights are tough because Ben has soccer and basketball and the girls had Indian Princesses that night too, but we managed to find about 10 minutes where everyone was home to sing to Matthew and try this cake thing one more time.
He again enjoyed the candle.
And was able to blow it out, but he wanted no part of the actual cake eating.  I guess I should be glad that he doesn't like cake (after all, that's healthier, right?), but it's a little disappointing too.  Oh well, maybe he will change his mind by the time he turns 3!

A few days later I took Matthew to the doctor for his wellness check-up and he did great!  He talked to the doctor and was very cooperative.  He had to get a shot and he just kind of watched them do it and didn't even flinch!  He was totally fine with it, which was awesome!!  The nurse was very impressed.  Now on to his stats....big boy weighed in at 30 pounds and 33.5 inches, which put him in the 84th and 20th percentiles.  You would think from those stats that he is quite the porker, but he doesn't really look that way at all.  He must be all muscle :)  He is sweet and easy going and has added a lot of joy and laughter to our lives.  Happy Birthday my sweet baby boy!!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Abbey's First Reconciliation

In January, Abbey hit a religious milestone - she went to her First Reconciliation! She was so nervous, but excited too. She was very specific about which priest she wanted to get. One of the priests had come into her classroom and really put her at ease with what he said would happen, so she really wanted to get him. The problem was that they weren't allowed to pick who they went to. In order to keep it moving, they assigned each child which priest to go to based upon the lines and where they were. We were seated in the middle of the Church (each child was assigned a pew) and there were priests in the front and back on both sides. Since we were in the middle, she was one of the last kids to go as they worked from the front and back and she spent the entire time watching all lines to see if she would get to go to her preferred priest. It was very close, but luckily, she got to go with Fr. Joji, which was what she wanted! The girl in front of her went to the priest at the front, so Abbey was the last person to go to Fr. Joji. I think I was as nervous as she was!! I was praying that she would get the priest she wanted because I knew how anxious she was about the whole thing. Yay!!! She was so excited afterwards!  Here she is looking all pretty for the big event!
Since it was at night and we wanted to make sure this was all about Abbey, we got a sitter for Matthew so he could stay home and go to bed.  But he wished her luck before we left!
So proud of this girl!

It snowed quite a bit that day, but it didn't matter to Abbey.  She still wanted to go out for milk shakes after she was done!  So we went to Steak and Shake (her choice) despite the cold!
We got her a girls daily devotional and a small gold cross bracelet to mark the occasion.  She is opening that up in this picture.
And finally enjoying that treat that she wanted!!
Congrats Abbey!!  Next up....First Communion!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


We had our second annual family New Year's Eve party and just like last year, it was a blast! This year we had 16 adults and 20 kids. We did a count down to 9:00 and look who partied on and stayed up for the big event....
This girl was so excited for the poppers.  Two years ago she fell asleep and didn't get to do a popper.  Last year her popper didn't work.  So she was determined this year to get it right.  After the big count down, she ran over to me with tears brimming saying her popper didn't work again!  I helped her pull on it and then it popped and wow was she disappointed!!  All of that hype and it really didn't live up to her expectations.  Thankfully, she just shrugged and ran off to get her "kid champagne" aka, sparkling grape juice, and celebrate with everyone else.  Sorry kiddo!  
Our group of kids!
With Matthew, who I put to bed right after this picture as he was about done by this point.
After the 9:00 celebration, a lot of families left.  We did have two families stay though and we had a lot of fun.  We did the East Coast countdown at 11 and then the Midwest countdown at 12 and then it was off to bed for everyone!  The kids actually did really well staying up and they were all having so much fun playing together - different ages and boys and girls - What a fun night!!