Friday, November 30, 2012

Our Christmas Season has begun :)

Christmas in the City
For the third year in a row, we have ventured down the day after Thanksgiving to attend Austin's finest, Christmas in the City :)  This is in Downtown Austin and it is a BLAST - especially if you have children :)  What I love most about it, is that it has become a family tradition of ours to go!  

We always go a little early and wait in line FIRST for our pictures with Santa - he comes in at the end of the parade, so we miss the parade, but we see Santa before the large line up begins!  Callie, for the 3rd year, had no tears and was actually excited to see Santa!  She asked Santa for a VERY specific gift, and if you can believe it - it is NOT Doc McStuffins related!  Sorry - can't spill the beans considering it is her wish to Santa!

 Callie growing through the years :)

 The boys were excited to meet Santa!

 This is not the professional photo, but still cute :)

 Bruiser was playing with Callie!

 She love him!
He's the Bruins Hockey Team's mascot :)

 Face paint!

 Oh yes, Doc & Chilly came with!  Every year we go to Steve's Pizza for dinner when we are finished walking around the shops :)  Steve's tends to be a tradition in general for every holiday in our household!

 Eating her cookie she decorated at the bike shop AFTER she ate her pizza...we are semi smart parents :)

 Daddy and Carter :)

Mommy & Collin - looks like I got the spit up too :)

Christmas in the Southwest
For the 2nd year now, we attended Christmas in the SW.  The first year with Callie I was leading up a community wide concert (perfect timing on the date right...darn!), but this is our 2nd year and Callie loves it!  We went to Sterling and saw Santa...again, but this girl was just as excited!  The photos are free and they are high quality - as our very own favorite photographer, Mary Landherr Photography, is the one who takes these shots for the community!  

Callie was just as excited to see Santa and asked him for the SAME gift she did before, only added a small part to it (which technically they go together, so I'm not surprised).  Later she was telling me about something, and I said, you should ask Santa for that, and she responded with, "No mom, I asked Santa for _____".  Okay, so it looks like Santa only brings the one gift!?!??

 The boys waited in line for a very long time and were absolute rock stars!  We are so blessed with such amazing children :)
 Again - not the professional photo, but still SO cute :)

 Callie with Christopher's (our Elf on the Shelf) friend!  She gave Callie a toy Barbie (which was so cheap that it later fell apart and Callie was laughing hysterically that her barbie had one leg!)...


Callie's dance class also performed for the Christmas program!  This was another extremely proud moment as her mother!  If you can recall her dance recital from the spring performance - she was scared out of her wits ends.  She danced in front of hundreds of people, did the moves, but was straight faced and so serious - I wasn't sure if she'd ever do it again!  Last night, she was all smiles, totally into the moves, remembered them and shined!  I could not be more proud of her!  She was so brave to do this in front of everyone!  Her Gal Pal BFF Ella is in her dance class as well, these two girls are beyond cute together :)  Best part is - we love her parents :)  She has a little brother that is just 2 months younger than our boys, so we will have playmates for life (as long as you don't leave us!)
 Absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

Seriously - things just doesn't get ANY cuter than this!!!!
So proud of her!

 Callie's Dance Friends!

Checking out her friend, Aubrey's muscles here!

 Callie and her Gal Pal Ella :)

 Checking out her fine work that she created :)

 This girl LOVES having her face painted!

If you think this is going to be our final "Christmas" event for the season, you are completely wrong!  We have several more events coming up to keep our holiday excitement going!  And more times to see and visit with Santa!  I will be creating another McRae Family Christmas Shutterfly book for the 2012 holiday season...I just LOVE these memories :)

Collin & Carter: 6 Month Update

Well, we've done it!  We have survived the first 6 months of having 3 children :)  Callie has been an ABSOLUTE rock star!  Sure there are times when I want to pull my hair out because for no absolute reason at all, she decides it would be a good idea to wake her brother up, or hit one of them while they are taking a bottle, or step on one to see what happens...but she's 2.5 years old, and no longer receiving 100% of our attention :)

We cannot believe how quickly this time has gone!  I mean, the boys were just born, right?!  Thankfully, we have documented their first 6 lives, so we have plenty of photo memories (I create a lot of shutterfly books that document our family in "seasons" or "holidays" - along with each child individually), so we have these to cherish!  And we take monthly pictures!  

For all of you out there who said I would never keep up with what I did for Callie - besides the "set up, nice photos" we did every month, I can proudly say I have kept up on the parenting end!  Both boys have their pictures taken monthly, hand and footprints...monthly!  Plenty of love, plenty of cuddles, lots of hugs and kisses, always happy and fed and receiving more love than imagined (more because they are fortunate enough to have such an amazing big sister!).

This post MAY be a week late; however, I started writing it last week, just hadn't posted the pictures yet (to be honest, I needed to upgrade my blogger - yes, I am not paying a very low monthly fee because I have so many pictures on here!).  These pictures of the boys are hilarious but capture their personalities to a T!

You can't spend one day with them and say "He's just like Josh and he's just like you" - or say, "this one is more smiley and this one more serious" way - because they are both SO HAPPY, so playful, so giggly and do so many different things!  

Six Month Update

Food - Both of our boys have been on solids for a while now, but boy is it fun to watch them eat!  They are eating 3 meals a day now!

Breakfast: roughly 4 TBLS rice cereal and a fruit

Lunch: Vegetable & Fruit (cereal if they are still hungry - most times this is enough)
Dinner: 4 TBLS rice cereal and a vegetable

They are having a bottle in between each meal as well.  Which the bottles are 100% formula now as I am 100% done breast feeding.  I started weening off and using up our frozen supply.  By Thanksgiving I was done nursing all dried up!  This is my personal choice - believe me, I was still producing enough milk, but I was ready to be done...I had my battles of "should I?" but decided it was time.

Collin especially still enjoys eating in the middle of the night and we can't cut him of this.  He screams and screams until we give him a bottle...and he scarfs it down, so he's hungry...we need a sleeping wizard to come over and get him sleeping.

Sleep - Well, interesting you should ask :)  Carter sleeps in the bouncy chair (still), in the living room while Collin sleeps in his crib (YEAH - MAJOR ACHIEVEMENT).  Right now they are waking each other up, so we have them separated.  We are going to start training each in different rooms: Collin to sleep through the night and Carter to sleep in his crib (starting with the mattress in the living room - in the pack n play - we'll see how this goes :)  I mean, how bad could this really be, right!?

For the most part, Carter will sleep through the night.  If he gets up, it is one time each night.  Collin on the other hand - 2-3 times EVERY night!  Josh and I are back to the rotating nights on which boy we have, so if you have Collin you dread going to sleep because you know it's just a matter of time before you are up again!

Carter has this fascination with his soft blankets - he likes to rub them against his face and sometimes cover his face...he is more comfortable and it soothes him.  GREAT - because that won't work for sleeping in your crib!

Clothes - Both boys are wearing 6 month clothing, but I am noticing they are growing out of these quickly!  I had a few 3-6 clothes that still fit, but I have finally just put them away!  I have the 6-9 and 9 month clothes washed and ready to be's just a matter of putting them on the boys :)  I'm sad to do that though, because once you transition to one outfit in a new size, then I use all of them :)  And before I know it, the last size is already boxed up without a proper goodbye!  I am very thankful that both boys are in the same size clothing though...this really helps!

And Yes, I am still dressing them matchy matchy!  If you don't like that, too bad...I do and I'm with it :)

Weight - They keep going back and forth between who weighs more - that is how close in weight they are.  We've had them in and out of the clinic this month due to them being sick with ear infections, colds and other issues so we've had a few weights done :) 

Collin: 16.9 LBS
Carter: 16.5 LBS

Height - We don't have the exact measurements currently, but will shortly as they have shots in a week :(

Diapers - Both boys are in Size 2 Diapers still, but after the daily blow outs between Collin and Carter - it's time to change to Size 3 Diapers :)  I would just switch over, but they are expensive and we have two babies - so I can't just save them for kid # 4 - because there won't be a kid # 4 and I'm having a hard time just giving them I'm using each and every one of them :)  (unlike the stash of Size1-2 that I found in their chest in their bedroom...dang it!)

Health - This has been a difficult month as both of the boys are still battling their colds.  Collin was getting over a double ear infection, while Carter has been battling his teeth...Collin is battling those as well, but Carter's are much closer to cutting through.  Both boys are up in the middle of the night due to their growth spurts, teeth, ears, runny noses & colds  - so they are overly tired all the time.  They just want to snuggle (mainly with their mommy which is fine by me - most of the time) and be held!  They sure are mommies boys though - and I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!  I just wish they weren't growing up so fast :(  They are already 6 months old...that's 1/2 a year!  I mean, I'm going to blink and they'll be 1 year old...and their sister will be 3!  I'm not prepared for this!

Fun Facts - Where do I even begin!!!??

Collin started rolling over all over the place!  If you lay him down on his back, in 3 minutes he will be flipped over and turned around and in a different location!  Yes - he is crawling BACKWARDS!  SAY WHAT!?  It's crazy...they are growing so fast!

Let me eat your feet!  The very next moment, Carter grabbed Collin and tried to pull him back :)  
Haha - it was hilarious!

Carter started saying "MOM" - yup!  I kid you is the sweetest sound in the world!  He says it in a low tone "MOM" with one eye half closed and you can tell that he's really trying his hardest to get it out :)  He smiles at me after he says it too, so I know he means it!  Josh agrees this is official!  We weren't 100% at first, but we've declared it official!  We think he said Dad recently too, but we're still not 100% sure so as of now - just MOM!  I'll take that, thank you :)

They are both fascinated with their feet and hands!  Their socks are off most of the time, because they love to eat them so much :)  I mean, hey!  They do taste good :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Trick or Treat 2012

We survived our first Halloween as a family of five!  Yes, I spent a little more on their costumes that I needed to, but seriously - they are way too cute to even care about the cost!

It was a no brainer that Callie would want to be Doc McStuffins - only probably was that they don't sell this costume in stores yet (she's still too new), so I had to get creative and buy pieces from it from all over!

I did just that and successfully found two blue dragon costumes so her brothers could be "Stuffy" - her blue dragon stuffed animal friend :)  Watch the show on Disney Junior if you need help understanding :)

Our fun, festive Halloween began with the carving of our pumpkins :)  We carried the best ones inside!  The ones you see here - left outside - have been eaten by either a squirrel or...wait for it...

... an Opossum!  Yes, we saw one lurking around our yard AFTER we went trick or treating!  Could be him eating them...that little bugger!

Callie was so excited to "wash" all of our pumpkins and get them ready for carving (this was actually the night prior, but we have to be ready!).

Callie and Daddy made the first cut in our pumpkin!  Notice there was no stem - yup, it rotted away or something...all I know is that I picked it up and the stem broke off!  And some of these have bite marks in them, but thankfully they weren't torn apart!

Carter & Collin lost pumpkins from our critters, so thankfully we had extras ;)  They sat and observed their pumpkins, touched them and tried to eat them while we carved the others!

Callie got right in there and dug it out!  She was using the pumpkin scoop, but sure enjoyed it!

They were still sitting around - happy as can be :)

You should not be one bit surprised by the following pictures :)  Yes we are those parents ! Yes I put my kids in a pumpkin :)  Carter was pissed and hated it - but didn't cry for the picture!  

Collin took it like a champ and gave us his sweet - melt your heart - grin :)

As tradition goes in our house, Steve's Pizza picnic in the living room as a "Pumpkin Carving Break" :)  Callie LOVES this!

Here are our pumpkins!  Josh carved Doc McStuffins and I carved Stuffy!  Callie LOVED these pumpkins :)  And they didn't turn out too bad if you ask me :)

A little Halloween treat!

Perfection!  She ate 1/2 of it and saved the other half for day care :)

There's our master pieces!

Grandma Lynn bought the kids Halloween socks :)  I Just love this "foot" picture!

Trying to get a picture of each of them on Halloween - but they weren't really having it!  Collin looks like he was ready for the picture - Carter wanted to lounge on his big sister and watch cartoons :)

This is my friend, Karol & I at work :)  I didn't get any other pictures of my costume!  Here I am...Pinterest!

After school on Halloween, staff members can take their kids trick or treating in the building!  It is so much fun and the kids LOVE it!

Here's everyone who participated this year :)  SO.MUCH.FUN!

And of course - the kids played in the gym...

While Uncle Jason cuddled with his main man, Collin :)

AH yes, the moment Callie has been waiting for!  Trick or Treating :)  She was so beyond excited that she could barely stand it :)  Collin and Carter - well, they were major troopers for us!  They were in and out of their car seats for 2 hours, and they didn't get fussy or complain about their costumes!  I think they have just grown to know that I am going to put them in these costumes regardless!

My sweet little dragons :)

First stop: We headed over to the Old Folks Retirement Home!  The building is behind Walmart and their residence meet in the community room and hand out treats to anyone who goes :)  It's warm, friendly and the kids make out like bandits :)   It helps when you're cute too!  They wanted to keep giving Callie handfuls, thankfully she has learned that she only needs one!  Good girl!

Giving the old guy a nice high five!

Stop # 2 - Lisa's house!  She works in Josh's classroom as his Paraprofessional!  She is an amazing woman with a heart of gold!

We were on our way to visit the Crew's family, but we spotted the yellow banana on the street :)

Next up, Schwab family :)  Beth was so excited to see Callie :)
I think Callie was a little upset that Nate wasn't there, but sometime soon!

We visited the Justice family!  Callie was also sad Stephy and Colie weren't there :(  But she was able to see Jane & Steve!

Of course we visited the Collier's!  Callie even gave their puppies a check up :)  Kathleen missed out on seeing Doc McStuffins - don't worry, she wears her costume all the time :)

This picture is actually her very first time ever trick or treating at a strangers house!  She asked us if she could go inside...I'm so glad we thought to have her practice!

We worked our way to the Ransom household for a visit!  Jordan and his friends were so good to Callie - talking all about Doc McStuffins!

The boys are still going strong in their costumes with Treasure and Dan :)

Callie LOVES hotdogs :)

2 hours in and Doc is still working it :)

:)  I love our crazy family!

Visiting the Ransom Grandparents...they were so thrilled to see our kids!  This was Callie's last house for the evening...she was getting beat!

When we got home, we took one last picture of Callie with her pumpkins!  We weren't sure if they would make it through the night with the crazy critters we have!

The boys were set free and stripped down to cool off!  Collin began to play and roll and have fun!  Stretch out a bit :)

Carter tried to eat - then decided he didn't want it :)

Callie made out like a bandit!  I'd say this is a successful Halloween :)  She was sure excited! 

We had another very fun and exciting Halloween!  It was a blast taking all three of our children around town and visiting our friends :) It's only going to get more crazy year we'll have 3 kids walking around trick or treating!  AH!  Until then!!!