Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2014 goals/resolutions

I took last year off from posting my goals on the blog, and I think that as a result I slacked off more.  I actually found the draft post (that I never published) and there was only one goal on there at the time...to run a half marathon.  So technically,  I accomplished my only goal for 2013 by running my very first half marathon (22.5 weeks pregnant)! And here you can check out my 2012 goals (and results)

I decided for 2014 to have 14 resolutions/goals.  So, without further ado, here they are in no particular order:

2014 resolutions

1) project 52 - in 2012 I started out with project 52 as a goal and then expanded it to a project 365.  That was hard enough to do with two kids..I don't even want to attempt it with 3.  But with Ben being so little, I know I'll be taking lots of photos and one a week should be easy to do...

2) accomplish one house project a month - this one is in part due to the fact that I need some motivation and accountability to keep on track with the house projects (big or small) that are piling up.  It includes any project I do or participate in (but not ones that max does without my help).  For projects on the professional level, as long as I am a part of the planning/decision making process, these count.

We've already started this resolution a little early in the kitchen!  Stay tuned for more details!

3) run another half marathon - I don't think I'll do the rock and sole one again, but maybe the Tyraneena or the trail run that max did in 2013...

4) find balance, or make changes in my life to regain it - as my maternity leave is nearing its end, I'm again faced with the torn feelings of being a split mom.  This time I am feeling those feelings more acutely.  I feel like there has to be some new change on the horizon...

5) take a class, learn something new - I had this on my list in 2012, but I didn't feel like I actually accomplished it.  Max corrected me that I DID learn to crochet, so I guess he was right,  I think for 2014 I want to learn to sew...

6) give away or donate something at least once a week - I've been feeling the need to purge, and especially since we are done adding to our family it will feel good to re-home some of our baby gear.

7) take better care of my body:  drink more water, stretch more, eat less sugar!

8) have a mommy and me date once a month with each boy.

9) read a non-work related book once a month

10) play the piano at least once a week for at least 30 mins

11) volunteer at school/chaperone field trips more for both boys

12) send/give a surprise kindness package to a friend once a month

13) have a date night with husband at least once a month

14) increase monthly savings - our 10 yr anniversary is in 2015 and I'd really like to take an awesome trip somewhere!!

So, there you have it!  My 14 goals for the new year.  What are your plans?  Any goals looming on your horizons?  I'll be checking in at the end of each month to report my progress, so keep posted!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas with the McLaughlins

This year, we celebrated Christmas a little early with our McLaughlin side of the family.  It was great to spend a relaxed and laid back weekend with my husband's parents on our turf.  As an added bonus, they also got to meet their newest grandson for the first time in person!

Not bad trying to get 6 people to smile and look at the same time!

Little Max and Grandma 'Chili' doing some morning art ...

The morning after our 'Christmas' with the aftermath of gifts...

Little max was very excited about his gifts. Both of these were huge hits and still played with a TON.

Especially the snap circuits.  I have a feeling the bow and arrows will get more use outside later...

So much fun was had by Ben that he passed out cold!  :)

But he sure loved getting snuggles from his Gma!

Gma and 3 of her 4 grandsons!

Last minute snuggles...

We had a great visit Gma and Gpa!  We hope you come back soon!  Xoxo

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Xmax 2013

Merry Christmas from the McLaughlins!

View the entire collection of cards.

I absolutely LOVE the cards we made at Shutterfly this year!  Hope you and your family have an amazing Christmas and an outstanding 2014!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Benjamin is 2 months old!!

Um, yeah.  It happened.  I blinked my eyes and two months passed by and the little newborn is no more...now he's two stinking months old!  (Literally).

As the picture above states, he's pretty much hitting all his age-appropriate milestones right on time (and some even a bit early).  He's SOOOOO close to rolling from back to belly.  He's mastered the art of belly to back and it has been interesting to try to get him the tummy time he needs.  So we've resorted to using the boppy some of the time.  You can see he's really strong and can get his chest up off the ground already.  His pediatrician was pretty impressed at his 2 month check up with how strong he was.

And as far as cuteness goes, he's off the scales!!  Especially when I can get him to try on some of my crochet creations, like this hat with the big button.  

He's finally growing out of his newborn sized clothes and starting to fit into his 0-3 month outfits.  He still fits in newborn sized diapers better than size 1, but I am going to start moving him up because he fills up the newborn sized diapers too quickly :)  He is also big enough now (finally) that I can start cloth diapering -- which is awesome!  I mean, how adorable is his bum in this Blueberry Minky?

I made this matching set for him and have been dying to try it on him and snap some photos.  The shoes were on the verge of not fitting, so it had to be this month's photoshoot (because lets face it, trying to take photos more than once a month is a little much for me).  :)

You can tell that he was not very amused with my antics.

And then, he started to get worried that he looked like a big nerd...he's very sensitive about how he looks to others...

He tried warning me that he wasn't happy....but I didn't heed his warnings.  I just kept snapping away...

And that's when he just unleashed his mighty fury.

Of course, I still took a photo.  Because even in the middle of a little tantrum, he's still 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Brotherly Love

Is there anything more wonderful in the world than watching your children show love to their siblings? 

 I think not!

It's almost as if it's God's way of telling you that you did something right somewhere along the road of parenting and raising them, because somehow they 'got it'!  

Honestly, the transition from 2 to 3 scared me -- like I had a paralyzing fear that now that we were outnumbered, my kids were going to realize that and take advantage of it and my life was going to spiral into this scary place.  The transition from one to two had gone pretty much seamlessly...so I figured the universe must figure that it was payback time and that payback was going to come during the transition to three...

I am happy to report that my fear was (mostly) unnecessary.  

Little Max was old enough this pregnancy to REALLY understand what was going on (when Sam was born, he was only 2.5, so while he understood it on a basic level, he really didn't GET it).

This pregnancy, he talked to the baby nearly every day -- whispering (ha!  does a 5 year old know how to do that?) to my stomach how much he loved the baby and how much he couldn't wait to meet him/her.  It was awfully sweet to witness (although I admit it got a little annoying towards the end when he would randomly trap me so he could sit and talk to my stomach).  Still...how often do you get to let things like that happen?  Let go....

And it is so sweet to see now, that the bond that was started between Max and McTrois in utero has continued on, undiminished, since Ben's birth.

In fact, his love for Ben is so obsessive and so consuming that I am finding myself worriedly watching him to make sure that he doesn't smother the baby in kisses and hugs.  He can't enter a room that Ben is in without saying hello to him and giving him a kiss on the head....He can't leave a room that Ben is in without saying goodbye to him and kissing his head....He can't stay in the same room with Ben without approaching him and telling him how much he loves him, or how big he's getting, or how stinky his 'beeps' are...AND KISSING HIS HEAD.  It is downright STINKIN ADORABLE!

And yes, it makes me have hope that as his mom I am doing something right.

Sam has a similar love for his brother, but I'm not sure how much of it is just him repeating what he sees his big brother Max do, and how much of it is because he is consumed with the same overwhelming love that his big brother apparently has...

Honestly, whatever the case may be, it has been A-MAZING to watch these three together.  Looking at this picture of Ben, its hard for me to even remember when he was this small!  He's just a peanut!  And now...he's going to be 2 MONTHS old next week already!  It is so amazing how much these little ones change, and how quickly they do it!  They change so much in just a blink of the eye!  I think my parents will be shocked when they see him again in January -- 3 months later!

And big brothers have changed so much too!  As little Max told me the other night before bedtime "Mom, my heart must be HUGE by now."  I asked him what he meant by that and he told me "Well, for every person I have love in my heart for, it grows....so because I love you, and dad, and Sam, Granna and Grumpy, Grandma Jan and Grandpa Dave, Uncle Fran, Aunt Denyce, cousins Lilly and Liam, Grandma and Grandpa Far Away, and NOW BEN...well, my heart must be HUGE!"  And he emphasized just how huge his heart must be by demonstrating how large it was with two hands.

I just about melted right there.

Max has blossomed into such a sweet, empathetic and caring little boy.  When Ben's crying, Max is the first to rush over and say 'It's ok Benny-Boo! Don't cry, we Love You!".  If I ask him to watch Ben while I cook dinner or use the bathroom, he jumps up without fail and sits right next to him -- his attention might get a little distracted with the TV on, but for the most part he is an eager helper with anything to do with his little brother.

And I have to say, it COMPLETELY melts my heart.

Sam, on the other hand, is helpful to a point.  Our once 'baby' is having a little bit of a struggle embracing the fact that he is now 'pickle in the middle.'  This has been evidenced with little shennanigans here and there -- like throwing everyone at the pediatrician's office in our exam room into pitch blackness because he decided to turn off the lights, or a little regression with the potty training, or just more sassiness and whininess in general.  It's definitely par for the course for his age (3 was always a little rougher than 2 in our house, and the half years -- Sam's 3.5 right now -- seem to always be the peak of the problem).  And despite the naughtiness, how can you not smile at that face (even when it's being sassy?)

But overall, he has done a great job being a big brother to this littlest one. (Who's not so little anymore!  If you missed him as a newborn, he's definitely now an 'infant').

I just have a feeling that these 3 are going to be good friends...and loads of trouble for mom and dad, LOL.  

Meanwhile, on the two biggest brother front, these two take the cake for the silliest, goofiest and funniest duo in the world.  Oh my gosh, I laugh (and cringe) daily with these two -- where their relationship with each other wavers between LOVE and HATE and nothing in between in a matter of seconds.

Best Friends/Brothers forever! 

Man, I love these boys.  I might have wished for a girl, but God knew me best and gave me these amazing boys.  They are truly a blessing to me -- teaching me things I didn't know I even needed to be taught. 

As always, a HUGE thank you to Shannon Wucherer Photography for capturing my little family EXACTLY as they are and creating lasting memories for me (very important for during the newborn haze of life).  But seriously, if you need a photographer, check her out -- she's been snapping our family since little Max was 1 and she is amazing!  (Ok plug over, but if you DO go use Shannon, please let her know I sent you!)