Thursday, April 23, 2009

Catching up...through today!

There's been quite a lot happening here since Easter - nothing major, just life, busy-work style. Declan had his school's Easter break from Holy Thursday until just this past Tuesday. He only goes two days a week to pre-school but those two days are mighty precious to me and missing three of them was a big deal around here!

The weather has been typical of a Michigan spring - gorgeous and 70 degrees one day, then hailing the next. I'm grateful for all the nice days - we get our stuff and head outside as much as we can, whenever we can. Warm spring days are simply the best. No bugs yet (to speak of), everything is green, and the thrill of just being outside after a long winter is enough to please every member of the family.

Here is Brendan today - after I dropped Declan off at preschool, I took Brendan in the backyard to check out the garden, I like to see what new things have been growing...however, once he got a load of his "car", he cried like I had broken his heart until I dried it off and plopped him down in it. We played for an hour or was 50 degrees, sunny and beautiful.

Another picture of Brendan in his highchair. This time, eating an apple. He was so excited when I gave him the whole big thing, he just giggled at it. Then he started was heaven for him. He likes to eat what WE are eating and he makes it very clear!!

This is Declan, being silly in the living room. Hanging off the couch, practically begging to be tickled!

Brendan was being sleepy and cuddly with a pillow the other day..I just couldn't resist his smile. Normally, he is on the go, but on days when he doesn't nap very well, he likes it when I put the couch pillows on the floor so he can snuggle them.

This is Declan - it was a beautiful April day - 75 degrees, sunny - gorgeous! We got out the bubble-maker, which was a gift from Declan's birthday. Declan was running and screaming and having a blast! Even the dogs were curious about soo many bubbles! I am a bubble lover. It is one of my favorite things to do in the summer with kids - bubbles! They love it, I love it, win-win! Check out the forsythia in the background - simply stunning!

Here is Brendan wearing sunglasses - it was his first time in sunglasses and he was surprising amenable to them. If you look closely at the reflection in the lenses, you can see his arm and hand - cute.

And lastly -here is a hero - hidden in the garden by Declan. Looks like this summer's new game will be "find the hero". Declan has hidden all kinds of heroes in the garden lately - and he likes to take me around and give me hints until I find them - very fun.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Some Easter pics (in reverse order)

On the next post, I will get back to 365 business. This one is all about Easter Sunday.

We got up at the usual time (crack of dawn) and Declan opened his Easter basket. The Easter Bunny had left Declan's Easter basket on the dining room table and Brendan's basket was on his high chair tray, both were cleverly out of the reach of our food-obsessed basset hounds. Declan's basket had lots of Star Wars toys (of course), a few jelly beans, a chocolate rabbit and lots of pink peeps! (to date, he has had only the ONE peep - that one was eagerly devoured within minutes of its identification). Brendan's basket had some toys - Fisher Price Little People, one Matchbox car, a book and two light-up rubber duckies.

We had breakfast and got ready for church at the Cathedral. We like to go to the Cathedral downtown for Christmas and Easter because it is beautiful and the Archbishop says Mass and also, it is less crowded. (Sad, but true. The Cathedral is in downtown Detroit and the parish is quite small. It is not in a very nice neighborhood, to say the least. Such a shame, because it is a GORGEOUS church and the parishioners are delightful). Mass started at eleven and lasted until close to one. It was a beautiful service with lots of music and chanting, but it was all a bit much for poor Brendan. (Who, BTW, does NOT like incense at ALL!). We hurried home to put him down for his nap and tried to keep Declan busy before we allowed him to go in the yard for the Easter Egg hunt. After lunch and Brendan's nap - we did the Egg hunt in the garden. It was fun - the Easter Bunny had hidden 11 eggs in the garden and 10 eggs in the house. Declan found them all within ten minutes. (Note to Easter Bunny for next year - hide more eggs and make it a LITTLE more challenging.) Then we hurried to get ready to go to my mom's for Easter dinner. I made deviled eggs and then we drove the 45 minutes to my mom's house. My mom, dad, two sisters, two of three nieces (with one husband in tow), one brother-in-law, one aunt, two uncles, four cousins, (two dogs) and the four of US all sat down together for a beautiful ham and turkey dinner with all the trimmings. My two brothers were a no-show (again) and that made my mom sad, but otherwise, it was a really lovely afternoon/evening.

Brendan at the end of the day, getting changed into jammies for the drive home

Declan, all pink-cheeked, playing hard with his cousins

Declan, Brendan and Ashley, all smiles when we first arrived...

Our little fam in front of the daffodils (which have since exploded) in our garden

The boys' matching sweaters - Declan could NOT sit still!

Brendan discovered an egg on the play structure (with a little help from his daddy)

Declan crawling toward his Easter basket

Declan (still in PJs), shows of his new Star Wars action figure - Ayla Secura

Pink peeps (sans one)

The Easter Basket dance of joy. (it is still dark outside at this point)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

An Easter layout!!!

I did an Easter layout with a bunch of stuff that I picked up today at We Are Storytellers. I love that shop! They have a sale once a week called a Book Fair and one kit is on sale for only $2 and then a bunch of other stuff is on sale for 45% off. I got two Easter kits and the Bookfair kit. Pics are from Easter day, the egg hunt in our garden. Declan was the sole participant since poor Brendan is not yet walking. Next year should be very interesting indeed...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April 6th through April 12th

I have been bad blogger/365'er. It's to the point where my husband wonders when I am going to post some new pics. His inquiry made me start thinking about blogging - why I blog, what is a blog, who am I doing this for, what am I getting out of it, etc etc. This blog, in particular, has me pondering my motives/drives/desires surrounding it. I have another blog which is updated whenever I finish a digital scrapbook page. "That" blog is for my mom (and other relatives) who are interested in seeing my scrapbook pages. I started "that" blog because my mom (and other relatives) were not visiting my various digital scrapbooking sites to see my pages there, so I made "that" blog so that these family members could see all my pages in one convenient location. I know my mom appreciates this because "that" blog is my mother's home page on her Internet Explorer.
Back to my rambling. Blogging. What is it? It is kind of a journal, really. Except that people read it. So, maybe it's more like a letter. Except that ANYONE can read it. So, it is sort of like writing your family's annual Christmas letter (except you are writing it daily-ish, including a lot of minutiae from your life, illustrating it with hundreds of photos) and then posting it on the bulletin board at the mall. Don't get me wrong, I love reading other people's blogs. And I like sharing things on my blog. It's just that when you stop and think about it, it's a very strange, surreal concept.

Anyhoo. Here are a bunch more pictures.
Confession: I did not even take my camera out on April 13th and 14th. Declan had an ear infection and Brendan has some sort of virus. We all have cabin fever to boot.

Here is my Brendan, all fat and naked, on Easter Sunday. After a L-O-N-G day of church, Easter baskets, Egg hunts, dinner and cousins, he was ready for jammies and the long drive home from my mom's house. Fun day though. I will post Easter pics in a separate post (just for you Beth)

And here is Declan on the Saturday before Easter, at his friend's birthday party. The party was at an indoor pool and the kids swam for an hour and twenty minutes before devouring pizza and cake. Another fun day!

A shot of one of my daffodils in the back yard. Finally blooming. It seems like I waited all winter to see the first one bloom and they will be gone all too soon. The story of life, I guess.

We had a nice evening "walk" when the weather was nice. Brian and I walked. Brendan was pushed in a stroller (until we got to our neighbor's house where this picture was taken) and Declan was driving his frighteningly authentic monster truck. Brian bought it for him for his 3rd birthday (yup, last year) and he just wasn't quite up to driving it until this year. I tried telling that to Brian but he was as stubborn as ever. (and yes, I do know you read this Brian - LOL)

On this day, Declan was taking his bath and thawing out Han Solo, who had been "frozen in carbonite". Well, actually, he had been frozen in water in an ice cube tray. That Declan, he is full of bright ideas! Declan also has a Star Wars temporary tattoo on his forehead. Lovely to wash off.

Declan and I dyed the Easter eggs this year. We just used regular old food coloring plus vinegar in water to get the base color. And then I got fancy and we rubbed the eggs with some olive oil and then squirted food coloring all over the eggs. Fun and messy!

These delightful flowers are from Shirlene, the wonderful lady who watches our two basset hounds whenever we need her to. She is the BEST dog-sitter and I referred a customer to her and she rewarded me with flowers. Well, truth be told, Brian did the actual referring, but the flowers were for me - yay! ;)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

April 1st - April 5th

Well, Declan's birthday week is finally over! What an extravaganza! He had FOUR parties and I was lucky enough to be invited to all of them. One party with his friends at one of those bounce places, one party at his preschool, one party with his immediate family ON his actual day and the last party was his "family" party with all the cousins on Sunday. It has been a whirlwind and although it was fun, I'm glad it's over. I'm that kind of girl, I guess. I like my routine, I like "normal" more than extraordinary. For example, although I enjoy vacations, I'm always, always happy to be home. I was even homesick (a little) on our honeymoon in Tahiti - LOL.

Here's Declan blowing out the candles on his cake at the family/cousins party. We had about 30 people in our tiny house, but it was fun (and exhausting). Happy Birthday big guy!

To add a little more excitement to the week, we also went to an Easter Egg hunt on Saturday (the day before Declan's big party). This is a picture of Brian's brother Kevin holding Brendan. What is so special to me is that Brendan is actually snuggly and content with Kevin. Brendan is generally not the type of baby to let anyone but me hold him, and he seems to especially not like it when men try to hold him (poor Grandpa), but he likes Kevin. So cute.

Here is Brendan wearing the glasses from one of Declan's birthday presents (from his little pal Sophie). She got him a DJ Lance wig with glasses (from Yo Gabba Gabba, which you know if you have a preschooler). Brendan LOVES the glasses. It just tickles him to pieces. I think it's because I wear glasses in the morning and NEVER ever let him touch them!

Here is Brendan in the garden - just enjoying the little "preview of Spring" that we were all enjoying until Sunday, when we got hit with a snowstorm - yuck.

And here is the birthday boy himself, on his actual birthday. He was opening one of his presents - Bendaroos, which are one of the worst toys ever but they have relentlessly advertised them on one of the kid's channels that Declan likes, so he has been asking for them since Christmas. I broke down and ordered them and he is thrilled with them. They are, basically, sticky pieces of string that you can (sort of) stick together to create "things", like butterflies and spiders. They have this little booklet (that he is reading here) that shows all these magnificent creations that you can make with Bendaroos, but in reality, even an adult would have a hard time replicating the creations they have in the booklet. Declan is just as happy making his OWN creations. He likes that I let him stick them on the door to make "pictures". He is still at an age where he is easily amused.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

More pics through 3/31

I really am enjoying this 365 project, although I find the photo editing and posting to be more time consuming than I had imagined. I have Lightroom 1.1 and wish there was a way for me to edit and submit to the blog from Lightroom. If anyone has any processing/posting hints or tips, please share them!!

My oldest son, Declan, turned four on April 1st and I've been busy planning his parties, yes plural. He had a friend party at one of those bounce places, a preschool party that I attended, the obligatory mommy/daddy party on his actual birthday and we are having the entire family over on Sunday for the family party. What a haul that kid is getting! I remember birthdays as a kid, and they were NOTHING like this - LOL.

Here are the pics:

Declan as DJ Lance from Yo Gabba Gabba - enough said.

Another shot of Brendan in Declan's room. The morning light is really spectacular, but I can almost never get Brendan to actually stay in the light. LOL

Declan at his "friend" party with his cousin Ashley. They are very sweet on each other.

Declan running around in his underpants - per usual.

Happy snap of Brendan in his cups because he managed to grab Declan's prized notebook. He knows that if Declan likes it, it has to be good!

This is Declan showing me the crocuses in garden. Since he was two years old, he has loved to check the flowers in the spring to see what's coming up next. He planted his very seeds in the garden last year and this year he is getting his own little plot. He is psyched!

Another face painting day with Sophie and Declan. Sophie liked her face painting so much, she requested a photo of just herself. She's a card!

Sweet baby Brendan running his little motor lips and making funny noises. So cute.

My mom and dad stopped by to visit one morning.
My house is messy in the background, but this is how we really live - LOL

When Declan laughs, it is so contagious. He has recently discovered his inner comedian and likes to make up his own jokes. He's exploring what's funny and what isn't funny and I love the little sneak peek into his brain that I get when he's doing it.

This is my good friend Kim, aka Star Wars Kim. Kim sent my son a box of Star Wars action figures and she has been Star Wars Kim ever since. I've known her since grade school and she is a doll.

That ought to do it for now. Thanks for looking (and reading).

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