Friday, October 25, 2013

The First Day of School!

Damien started 4K on September 3rd. He goes Monday through Friday from 8am to 11am.  He is going to a new school and has done great with the transition!

Blaise started preschool for the first time on September 5th. Blaise goes to school 3 days a week from 8am to 11am.  He has had no problems with the transition into a school setting and has even enjoyed going to Mass with his class on Thursdays!  School has even helped Blaise to become potty-trained a few weeks ago--he started going at school before he had ever gone at home!

Our Trip to Holy Hill

Now that I only work every-other weekend (as opposed to every weekend, which I did last year), we were happy to take as many "day trips" as we could with our young family this past summer. In August, we had the opportunity to go to Holy Hill, which is the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians. I had been there once before while in high school, and Andy had never been there, so it was a nice experience to have as a family.  The kids were really good--we were able to celebrate Mass in the basilica and walk the entire Stations of the Cross up the hill. The kids were most interested in the stations where "Jesus fell down"--they were surprised to find out Jesus fell down too!--but we were still able to use it as a great teaching/learning experience.

The Basilica

Blaise, feeling pretty cool!

My crew, eating a picnic lunch

Yummy sandwiches!

Walking down the hill

Walking the Stations of the Cross

Probably the best (if not only) photo of the fam this summer!

Enjoying the view

Blaise's 3rd Birthday

Blaise turned 3 on August 17th, and we were able to have a nice little party with our family on the 24th. Blaise even got a "By" cake (from the show Meet the Sight Words by Preschool Prep), which he had been requesting for months prior to his birthday. We are so proud of our big 3-year-old!

Blaise celebrating on his actually birthday with his family and grandparents.

With some of his new gifts: "Baseball shirt" (a Blaise request), John Deere backpack for school, and a giant firetruck puzzle!

At the birthday party on August 24th...Blaise, Mary, Damien, and cousin, Camella.

Blaise seeing his "By" cake for the first time.

Inspecting the cake

We'll have to explain this to him in a few years...

One happy 3-year-old!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

5 Years!

Andy and I celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary on July 26th.  To celebrate, we decided to go out to eat at the Dayton Street Grille, which is located inside the Concourse Hotel, where our wedding reception had been held 5 years earlier.  We enjoyed a fantastic dinner and time to relax together as a couple.  We even walked up to the actual room where our reception was held (there was another wedding reception in there), and it brought back some very nice memories!

July 26, 2008

July 26, 2013

Friday, August 9, 2013

Funny Video of Blaise

I've always want to post this video because it is so funny.  It has been about a year since Trisha took this video but since Blaise's birthday is coming up I thought I'd post it up here.  He is trying strawberries for the first time.  He was 22 months at the time.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

My Favorite Baby Products!

So, I always thought it would be fun to post the baby products that we have found to be most useful over the past four years. I'm not an expert, but after having three kiddos under three, I definitely know the products we couldn't live without! This obviously doesn't include every product that I've used or liked, but these are the ones that we have gotten the most use out of and worked for all three kids.


Bouncer--We used a simple Fisher Price one for all three kids. It has a vibrations option. Bouncers are great because they are lightweight, relatively small, and easy to bring around the house with you.  It is also very easy to remove the cover to wash it by machine!
Mary was the 3rd baby to use this bouncer! (Don't worry, she was always supervised on the table!)

Dr. Brown's Bottles--We started out using these bottles on a recommendation from my cousin, and we honestly never had to even try out another kind of bottle. All three babies took these bottles without difficulty. Some people say they are difficult to clean, but we just separated the parts and put them in the dishwasher.
Blaise with a Dr. Brown's bottle in his first month.

Summer (formerly Kiddopotamus) SwaddleMe Wraps--All three of our newborns needed to be swaddled. Tightly. It really makes sense when you think about where babies spent the first 9 months of their lives prior to birth! The boys used the swaddles longer than Mary, but they were so very necessary for our survival. I'd recommend the cotton ones, because our babies got too sweaty in the fleece, and we don't even live in a particularly warm climate!
Damien sleeping in his swaddle with Grammy's help!

Boppy Noggin Nest--See this earlier post. I'm just disappointed we didn't discover this earlier, because we certainly would have used this with all the kids!


Magnet Safety Locks--Made by Safety 1st. We've tried the "push latch" type, and our kids (well, Damien) figured them out within a month. I was the one against getting these at first, but I now love them. There's no way for the kids to get in the magnet locks unless they have the key, and so far, they have been unsuccessful with the key as well.  In the last three years, we've had to replace a couple of these locks due to the latch breaking, but over all, these have been a worth-while investment for peace of mind.

Booster Seats--Our favorite is the Fisher Price seat, but others work fine as well.  All three of our kids use them at the table right now.  We'd also recommend buckling the kids in while they sit at the table. With multiple young children, this has really helped to make mealtimes more pleasant, so we're not constantly chasing, telling someone to "sit down", or worried about someone falling off their chair.

Blaise and Damien finger painting while sitting in their Fisher Price booster seats. They are also sporting the "towel bibs" (also on my list)!

Chicco Double Stroller--When we had our boys 16 months apart, we knew we would need a double stroller.  We've been very happy with our Chicco one--I always say that I wish it had an odometer so we could see how many miles we've put on the thing. It's relatively lightweight, sturdy, and fits well in doors and aisles. It also works well for one baby and one toddler, although we now use it for a toddler and preschooler! I still use this almost every day with Blaise and Mary.

A trip to the zoo with my 3 kiddos, aged 2 (almost 3), 1, and 2 months.

Sippy Cups--We've tried multiple kinds and like Playtex the most. Not completely leak-proof, but better than others we've tried. We've found that the kids do best with the transition from bottle to sippy cup with the Gerber brand, though, which may be because the nipple/spout part is softer.

Mary and Blaise at Easter dinner with their towel bibs, sippy cups, and booster seats! (Did I mention we use these things all the time?!)

Towel Bibs--We still use these every day for meals and art projects. Both sides of grandparents also invested in these! (See above photo!)

Maybe this list will be helpful to someone out there! :) Or, just a good memory for me down the road...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

First Family Vacation!

Andy just had a job change, so in between jobs, he decided to take a week off so our family could have our first "vacation".  We had to go near Green Bay to pick up some beef we had ordered in bulk (a quarter beef from a friend of Andy's from college), so we decided that we could make a mini vacation out of it.

As I mentioned in the previous post, we stayed at Tundra Lodge in Green Bay--only a few blocks from Lambeau Stadium. We booked the hotel room just the night before, because we wanted to make sure everyone was healthy before committing to a stay, which worked out just fine.  I was happy with the customer service and room options for families, especially since this was our first time staying at a hotel with our young children.  We opted for the "queen family suite", which had two queen beds separated by a divider, a table with six chairs, and a little living room area. It actually worked out well with the boys sharing a queen bed and Mary sleeping in her pack n' play in the dining area.  Of course, the highlight of the Tundra Lodge for the kids was the water park.  The water park is really great for young families because it has a "kiddie pool" area, two decent-sized water slides that you go down with inner tubes, and a lazy river.  The boys absolutely LOVED the water slides.  We were able to ride double-tubes down with the boys riding in front, and they had a blast.  Mary was particularly fond of the lazy river! Granted, it would have been easier if we had been one-on-one with the kids, but since we're used to being out-numbered, we made it work, and I think we all had a good time over all.

We also took the opportunity to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, since we were near by.  We're pretty blessed to have the only approved Marian apparition site in the US right in our state!  We lit a candle at the apparition site, walked along the outdoor Stations of the Cross, and enjoyed a snack at the little cafe.