Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas, Christmas and More Christmas!

It depends on how you look at it... Christmas after Christmas after Christmas... well, it is exhausting, crazy, and nuts, but when we stop and really think about it, we realize how lucky and blessed we are to have such a large family, all who love us... broken or not, we are happy being busy and sharing the love with the people that mean so much to us.

This Christmas was filled with all sorts of fun. Reese mostly loved just unwrapping gifts. In fact, she told me on numerous occasions that the Barbie band-aids she got were her favorite gift. Chase wasn't that interested in opening anything, but the gift that really grabbed his attention was the vacuum from Uncle Jason. No one wanted to buy him this gift, but it turned out to be his favorite. The kids were beyond spoiled by their Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles. Thanks so much to everyone for their generosity. Merry Christmas.

Our best family pic of the Holiday.
The Puccini's were in town and stopped by for some holiday bonding.
Chase and Aunt Judi.
Chase mastered "Judi" while she visited.
Avery and Uncle Ryan having a bonding moment.
Decorating some of Santa's cookies.
Staniak/Hirsch Christmas
We had a big sleepover, the grown-ups stayed up late playing Pictionary Man, and we woke up to a yummy breakfast! :)
Chase and Grandpa John
Chase, his robe, and his Dirt Devil!
Reese, Jason, Chase, and Grandpops!
Grandpops got Reese a big girl bike. She LOVES it and can't wait until it's warm out to really try it out.
Reese and Grandma Jill. They made this beautiful Gingerbread house together. Reese enjoyed eating the frosting the most.
Reese posing so she could get into the presents!
Zielinski Christmas
Christmas Eve, after the Staniak's/Hirsch's left, we got in some quick naps, headed to church, and then to my mom's for a pasta dinner and time with Grandma, Uncle Jimmy, and the Stawicki's.
Reese got some little princesses that she loved.
First attempt at a family photo. Wasn't happening.
The Connelly's. I love this picture. I especially love Mark and Sabrina laughing!
(I have some better one's but this one is fun.)
Grandma Kathy and her girls - Avery and Reese.
Our Christmas
Christmas Morning
Reese came into our room around 6:30am and wanted to see if Santa came. I tried to get her to lay with us for a bit, but the anticipation was killing her. So, we rolled out of bed and headed downstairs. Reese was so pumped and wanted to rip into every gift. Chase slept for another 30 mins, so I pulled him out of bed to join in the fun. (Except he wasn't even interested in the presents- just Santa's leftover cookies!)
"Yum! I am glad Santa only nibbles on these."
"This is SO fun!"
Reese and Chase and their personalized chairs. I think they are a hit!
Mom's Christmas
Christmas Morning
The 6 amigos!
Noah, Nate, Avery, Reese, Jackson, Chase.
So much love in such little packages...
Dad's Christmas
Christmas Afternoon
Papa has the biggest most amazing tree! You can't even tell from this picture, but it's HUGE!
Papa and Grandma Janet got Noah this dinosaur. It's pretty neat!
Reese got this awesome rock star outfit and got a dance cam. She thinks she is pretty cool. Chase got a ball pit. Reese and Chase have spent quite a bit of time in there already!

Our Christmas was great. We hope yours was too!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Baptism to Jackson!

Jackson was baptized the weekend before Christmas. It was a nice ceremony followed by a tasty meal. Congrats Jackson. We love you!

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Reese-3 years

  • Reese loves babies. She especially thinks Nate is her little baby and wants to hold him and snuggle him. I have to make her back off.

  • She sleeps from 8pm-6:10 am most days. She usually takes her 3 hour naps, but this week, she has been protesting them. She leaves the room a ton of times. Just this week, I broke the gate trying to lock her in. Oops. We are working on it. It's beyond frustrating.

  • She is Miss Friendly. She says hello to everyone she sees and asks questions if they do not respond.

  • She loves Chase. She wants to give him hugs before bed and helps him out as much as she can with anything she can.

  • She is beyond sassy. She repeats everything. I don't even remember saying something, but she sure does.

  • She has watched Annie 100 times and the other day she repeated the most random line. I couldn't even believe it.

  • She sings and dances like a mad women.

    (I am pretty sure 3 years old is harder than 2!)

Chase- 16 months

  • I feel like Chase has made a break through with his talking over the last week. He isn't talking in sentences by any means, but he repeats a ton of words, which is a huge step.

  • He loves to try and do somersaults.

  • He loves to climb on anything and jump off of anything.

  • He usually has at least 1 bump, bruise, or scrape on his face (see last line).

  • Chase is finally enjoying a bedtime story. Yes, it is the same story every night, but he likes it. It's a Peek-A-Baby book that he loves because he can look under the flaps.

  • Chase sleeps like a champ from 7:30pm-7am. He has now graduated to one nap at 1:00 that usually last for 2+ hours. He sleeps with his tiny burp cloth blankie and his pacifier.

  • I am thinking we will work on ditching the pacifier soon, but he isn't going to be happy about it.

  • He wakes up in the morning and will say "Reeeeesssseeee." Precious.

  • Chase eats like a champ. (Not a surprise coming from this family.)

  • Chase also tries to bust a move.

  • He can throw one heck of a temp tantrum (it's short, but he will lay on the ground and really act it out), he will pull Reese's hair and get out a good chunk, and, well he is not a big fan of Time Out!

  • He is Mama's boy right now, but loves to play with Daddy.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Brrr at the Zoo!

We headed to the Brookfield Zoo on Saturday night to check out all the excitement and all the lights. It was about 38 degrees, a little windy, but we all bundled up and stayed fairly warm. It seems that if the rain didn't start later on, it wouldn't have been too bad. We did see some animals, lots of lights, and a ton of people. Overall, it was a nice experience.

Jackson looks like a Teddy Bear in his snuggle suit.
We turned Reese into a cat with a little face paint.
Auntie Sabrina and Jackson keeping warm.
Mark, Sabrina, Jen, Eileen, Ron, Ryan, and Jonathan.
Reese and Chase.
The Six Super Stars.
Reese and Avery watering the plants.
Nate and Eileen.
And the highlight of the evening... We all learned that the Kookaburra song has it ALL wrong.
Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree
Eating all the gum drops he can see
Laugh Kookaburra, Laugh Kookaburra
Leave some there for me!
Kookaburra's eat little innocent mice, and we all witnessed it!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Chase is really getting into the "do it yourself" phase. He wants to do it all on his own- climb, walk, feed himself, brush his teeth and whatever else he can pull of. He really wanted to use the spoon, and he is getting better with his fork, so I thought I would let him try. He really didn't do that bad of a job with the yogurt. It was a little messy, but he had most of it on his face, bib, and a little in his hair. I think he was quiet for 20 minutes... just enjoying his yogurt. He got every last drop.

Is that not the face of a happy boy?!

(Mark, I know this is kind of a scary picture to you, but he was so happy. Don't worry, he got cleaned up. A good old Mark wipe job on this guy!)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Everyone Deserves Some.

That's right... we all deserve some grown up time now and again. We had a great reason to get some, celebrating Jen's birthday. We headed to West Dundee for some dinner and drinks, and boy did we have a good time! Everyone was a bit silly. It seems that we don't get out often enough, so when we do, there is no holding back. The Birthday Girl was treated with many shots, but she took them like a true champ. Happy Birthday to Jen!
Ryan and Jen after a tasty shot.
Me and the Birthday Girl.
The "Brothers"
Me and my super cute husband! :)
It's love...

Monday, December 07, 2009

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sing A LONG!

If you haven't been to one of the 21 annual Foley/Zielinski Sing-A-Long's in your day, you are really missing out. It always seems like an odd kind of party to the outside person, but once you are in, you are hooked! It is the perfect party to get the Christmas season to a start. We eat, drink, and gather around the piano to sing all of the Christmas songs. It was a blast! Santa even made an appearance and he was looking good!

Enjoy the pictures.

Ryan, Jonathan, Ron, and Eileen

Chase enjoying his second Sing-a-Long.

Aunt Donna and Jackson.

The Knutson's.


Carissa, Jen, and Dave.

Reese, Jenny, and Ryan.


Chase and Daddy making the silly face.


Reese telling Auntie Jen that she just saw Santa!

Reese and Leenie.

Carissa, Nate, Sabrina and Brooke.

Noah and Mommy.

The guys!

Reese and Mark
(who did a great job on the piano!)