Friday, November 29, 2013


Thanksgiving 2013 was the best yet. Friends and family came over for a holiday "feast," as Ben calls it. Plus, it was Livvie's first Thanksgiving. And although it sounds cliche, I am extremely thankful this year for my family and our health and happiness. It's one of those things that I often take for granted but really shouldn't!

Be prepared, this is a long post. Get comfy. ;-)

Wednesday was a half day for me at work (yay!), so I was able to pick up the kids early. I had them fed and bathed before Daddy got home at 6. We then officially kicked off Thanksgiving with the annual turkey brining. I'm happy to report that Mike did not sustain any injuries this year, and no one ended up at the E.R.

Both kids were happy to watch Daddy brine the turkeys while shoveling food into their mouths.

Ben even got to help this year.  He watched as Daddy lowered the turkey into the brine.

Then he made sure the lid was on nice and tight.

And he helped mix up the brine for the second bird. We (and by we, I mean Mike) fry up two turkeys each year since they can't be that large to fit in the fryer.)

Livvie was still enjoying the snacks. I really need to figure out how to turn off the flash. She ALWAYS blinks.

Thanksgiving day we did a little cleaning, a little prep, and a little cooking.

In an effort to keep traffic in the kitchen to a minimum, I set up a drink station in the entry way and an appetizer table in the family room.

And since I love a quick project, I put together some goodie bags for the kids.

A chocolate turkey and a chocolate candy corn with some name tags I printed off on our printer. Easy peasy.

I also picked up some coloring place mats and fall stickers to keep the kids busy.

Around 2, the guests started arriving and things got pretty hectic. The turkeys turned out great and dinner was fun. Livvie was a big fan of the corn, mashed potatoes, and turkey.

Ben was a fan of it all. He sat in between Nana and Hannah (Jay's daughter; Ben adores her), so he was thrilled!

I tried to get a picture with the bean, but she wouldn't look at the camera.

She had no problem looking at Kennedy though. These two were both very interested in each other.

After dinner, people hung out in the family room watching the football game. The kids ran around like crazies and had a great time.

Dee stayed close to the kitchen looking for leftovers.

The bean hung in there until about 7, and then she was just done. She had her bedtime bottle, got in her jammies, and went right to sleep.

Love the expression on Riley's face, like I caught her doing something naughty.

As the night winded down, the kids put on their PJs and got ready to go.

Ben got a goodbye hug from Hannah.

Only after almost everyone left, did I remember the coloring mats! I pulled them out, and Ben, Riley, and Kennedy got to work.

The kids also wanted to open up their goodie bags. Ben claimed he likes chocolate (because Riley was eating her chocolate). Does this look like the face of someone enjoying his treat?

He quickly discarded the chocolate for some jello. So not my kid.

Carl seemed to be the only one who noticed and appreciated these beverage napkins I put out at the drink table. They say "I am thankful for a family that drinks."

A big high five as the last of the guests headed out.

We cleaned up most of the mess, and then headed up to bed. We let Ben stay up with us. It was a little after 9 when we went up to bed. We were all pooped and ready to call it a night.

The kids were up bright and early the next morning, of course. While Mike and I were in the kitchen cleaning and feeding Liv, Ben helped himself to some paper plates, lined them up on this table that we hadn't put away yet, and put all his play food on the plates. He told me he was having a feast for all his friends.

(Yes, he grabbed the happy new year plates.)

When he needed more food for his friends, he took his dump truck back to the playroom for another load.

The goof during breakfast. Really need to figure out that flash.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

New Tricks

In the last few weeks, Livvie has started "standing" assisted by furniture (though she won't pull herself up, so we have to put her in this position first).

She also gets up on her hands and knees and rocks. She isn't crawling yet (just army crawling), but I have a feeling she will be soon.

Meanwhile, daycare taught her to hold her own bottle. She does pretty well. We don't often bother, as we like holding her and feeding her. But we tried it out, just to see. She made it about half way through before she got lazy and kept letting go.