Saturday, December 31, 2011

Mr. Blake

Time to focus on Blakers. He is 17.5 months old and he's ready for some changes (we decided). He was getting a little too happy with his pacifier, so after having it whenever he wanted over the holiday, we decided it was time to let go. Time to go cold turkey. Monday morning, the 26th, he woke up with his pacifier and handed it over. As nap time approached, we cut off most of the nipple, and I told him that it broke. He was so tired that he didn't cry too hard. As a parent, you always think it's going to be harder on the kid. He has adjusted ok, but he is still learning how to relax when going in bed. He did have one mishap this week when he found a pacifier in the diaper bag, but Auntie Carissa took it away and after a meltdown, he recovered.

He has caught up on his sleep from the holidays and I think we are now moving to 1 nap a day. We had tried it in the past and it didn't last long. Now, without the pacifier it's not as easy for him to just relax and go to sleep fast. So we will start and try 1 nap a day out today.

Blake is also working on his talking. He has been our slowest talker, but we work on it every day and he has started slowly repeating things. We have a lot of time before he is a talking machine like the other two, but we will get there! We see that he is getting frustrated when he can't communicate to us.

Go, Blake! Lots of changes, but nothing you can't handle!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Recap

Christmas was indeed full of love, cheer, food, treats, gifts and fun. It was non-stop, and we were all pooped at the end of our adventures!

First stop... Grandpop's. The kids got legos, clothes, a ride-on toy, walkie talkies... so much fun stuff.

 Next stop Grandma Jill and Grandpa John's. The kids got more legos, movies, books, and a trip to Disney! Looking forward to February for Grandma Jill's and Grandpa John's first trip. They made a gingerbread house, and we got to see Aunt Joann, Rob and Robin.

 We headed back to Illinois for church and the kids did pretty great. We then had dinner at my mom's with the Connelly's, my mom, my aunt and family, and Great Grandma. The kids got some cool Disney toys.
 We then went home to snuggle in bed so Santa could come. We woke up late, got dressed and then went down to rip open all the gifts. I am pretty sure there could have been empty boxes under the tree and as long as they were wrapped, they would have been thrilled.

Chase loved his shooter, sweat pants, and squinkie toy. He also favored his super hero undies. He continues to ask daily when our elf is coming back.
 We needed a group shot before we could open, so they tried to cooperate.
 Reese was thrilled with her polly pocket mermaid things, her swimsuit, her make-up brushes, and her little dolly. She also liked her new clothes.
 Blake loved just taking his presents and going to hide in the family room. Here he is bringing his sweats to show us. He got a pirate ride on toy and some clothes and crocs. He really wasn't too interested in opening anything.
 By 9am on Christmas morning we were over to my mom's. Here's a bad attempt at a group shot, but we were all there. We had brunch and opened a large load of gifts... legos, a baby seat for Reese's doll, a handmade pillow case by Sabrina, a handmade sleeping mat from Jen and Carissa- All those sisters are so dang talented... :)

 Last but not least was Dad and Janet's where we celebrated with the Foley side. The kids got suitcases. They have already gone on many trips and vacations. They had so much fun seeing all the family.

We are so blessed to celebrate the holiday with all those we love. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

4th Annual Cookie Decorating Party

The holiday's are fun for so many reasons... I love the lights, the songs, the excitement in the children, gift giving, family time, the food, the non-stop action... but one of the highlights of this time of the year is that the Puccini's are in town and we get to host our annual holiday gathering. We filled up the house with people, food, drinks, kids and COOKIES and had a great time. Next year we will be better with the cookies and preparations!

The next 3 days are going to be filled with so much holiday joy. There will be little time to sleep or relax, but tis the season. We are blessed with a large family who are so generous and loving and we really do cherish these moments. After the weekend, I will try and post all of our holiday adventures, so we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and hope you are filled with lots of love and happiness!

Carissa, Sammy, and Aunt Judi mixing the frosting to perfection.
 My little guy Brayden getting ready to walk soon.
 Dylan. Dilly. Dyls.
 Jackson and Jen.
 Uncle Bob and Reese.
Reese with a champ. She decorated so many cookies and would have kept on going. She loved every second of it.
 The Nate-sters.
 Mark and Logan.
 Chase also LOVED decorating. Next year we have to teach the kids that less is more. They couldn't even finish one of their own cookies... they were too full of frosting and sprinkles! But they did save a few of their better, most favorite one's for Santa.
 Carissa and Noah.
(Noah looks so old)
 The J. Dorothy's.
Jennifer Dorothy
Judith Dorothy
Jessica Dorothy
I never had my second girl to carry on the tradition so it's now on Jessica.
 The kids were having dress up time with the coats, hats, and shoes... Blake sported Avery's vest and thought he was so cool.
 Avery worked hard at her cookies.
 My Dad arrived later that most, so he was nominated to be the judge. He didn't go for the fanciest cookie, just went with a random... and it was Jonathan's again! That's two years in a row for him!
 Alex and Nate.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

He's Making a List, and Checking it Twice!

We FINALLY saw him. You can look at Chase's face and see the true excitement he felt. He was so happy to finally get to take his picture with Santa. Reese told us she was going to be scared, but she didn't hesitate for a second. Blake.. well, he was all about running to Santa too. It was pretty darn precious. It made my day... even if I paid $21 for 2 5x7 photos (though they did give us a $10 Shutterfly card, but now I have to use it). Anyway, Reese stuck with her original wish and asked for Mermaid things, Chase asked Santa to bring him a shooter and sweat pants (hilarious), and Blake, well Blake just smiled.

This was the letter they put together a week ago for Ovo our elf to bring to Santa. They are sticking with the same wishes. Let's see if Santa is magical and surprises them Christmas morning!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

How big does this guy look? Blake's been busy running around, walking backwards, stealing his pacifier (anytime he can get his hands on it), wrestling his brother and sister, sleeping like a champ, having a nose full of boogies, and attempting to say words when we ask him 100 times to say them. I got him to say "car" yesterday morning (one time) - but I was still proud. We are back to two naps (one was just too hard, he couldn't make it to lunch time).

Yes, Reese is running around the house in a swimsuit in the middle of December! And Blake is wearing a blazer that Reese had in some hand me down clothes from the Shamrock's. They call in the "work coat" and think it's so cool. Blake had to have a turn.

Reese sporting the "working coat." She was off to work. Reese loves to play spy kids still. The missions that she goes on with Chase are so funny, but they just love the movies and love to find things. Reese is such a sponge. Avery sang her Pine Cones and Holly Berries and she now can sing it- after like 2 days. So odd. I need to get back on her word flash cards.
Oh Blake, he thought he was so funny.He seriously will steal the blankie and paci all the time!

Chase Buddy has been FULL of love lately. He tells all of his family and extended family all the time “I love you.” I think he really means it too. If I had a volume control on Chase, we would be set! He just likes to keep the volume on high. He had his last go at the Moon Dough the other day. He loves the stuff, but most ended up on the floor, so it made friends with the vacuum. He still enjoys school and is really looking forward to Christmas. I still need to get him to see Santa. He can’t wait!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Changes of a Year

One year ago... these were our three little one's. It's funny to see how much they have changed. It's just crazy to think that this year Blake will be in on the present opening... at least for a few minutes before he runs away.

I had today "off". I just had my kids. Carissa was nice enough to come over and watch Blake so I could go to the kid's preschool. Reese's class was making gingerbread cookies so I finally got to go over there to help. It was so great to come into her class. She was so happy I was there. I then went over to Chase's class. He couldn't stop looking over at me with a huge smile on his face. He thought it was so awesome! I even participated in some songs and dancing with him. I think the visit made them feel so special and made me so proud to see them in action too.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas and Updates

We decorated for Christmas. I turned on the tunes and the kids were so excited to decorate the tree. Blake wasn't too interested this year, but Reese and Chase kept asking for more ornaments. They are pumped. Ovo, our elf on the shelf decided to come today. I had heard he was coming on December 1st, but he made  it a day early and Chase spotted him. This is super exciting news at the Staniak house. We will see how creative little Ovo gets this year.

He went in for his 16 month appointment (though it was supposed to be 15 months), but we were a little off. He measured about 28 lbs (90%ile) and 36" (97%ile).  The doctor confirmed that he doesn't need whole milk and also said we can cut him off when eating. He will honestly eat non-stop if we let him. He likes his food... just like the rest of us. Anyway, he's right on track. He got 3 shots and was a champ... just a few tears. (All 3 kids got flu shots. I had to pin them down one at a time. So that was awesome.)
Blake has also picked up some talking. He's much more interested in talking now so that is fun. He has a long way to go, but he's actually trying now. He loves Hi and Bye, No, Please (well, he tries), and lion sound, dog sound, monkey sound, mama, dada, eese (reese).

 Here is Chase's school picture from his first year of preschool. Not too bad. He's been really enjoying school and seems to be absorbing a lot of information. His teacher liked that he said "sunshine" when asked what color something yellow is. That's totally my fault, but I think it's cute (for now). He got mostly 3's on his report card which is pretty standard on his 1-5 scale. He is pretty much the baby in his class being a very young 3. There are kids in his class that are 5, so he is working on meshing with the older kids too. He is very social with the teachers.

I straightened her hair and I think she looks tired, but she looks so old. What happened to our baby. Reese likes to say she doesn't want to go to school but seems to really enjoy it when she is there. She loves to color pictures. Her report card had 3s, 4s, and a couple 5s. She did have one 2 (playing with more than one child). I think she is often wanting to play with the teacher. We told her to work on it, so I think she is. Other than that, the teacher said she is doing great. She is one of the oldest in the class and is always learning!

Reese went for her 5 year old check up. After a finger prick and 4 shots, she wasn't thrilled. She is also still a growing machine. She is 45.5 inches tall (95% ile) and 46lbs 4ozs (80% ile). 

Monday, November 28, 2011


Oh, Thanksgiving. I really didn’t document you well this year. Not sure what the reason was, but I pretty much decided that the camera was taking a break and I just sat back and enjoyed. Our Thanksgivings were plentiful. We had Thanksgiving the Sunday before with my Mom’s family- your traditional meal, Thanksgiving at Ryan’s Mom’s on Thanksgiving – lasagna, and Thanksgiving yesterday  at my Dad and Janet’s – brunch and subs. All of the food was delicious and it was great to have the variety. We are beyond blessed to have generous families that we enjoy spending time with and are flexible enough to fit it all in.

The past week has been non-stop. We did a little shopping on Black Friday and did some online shopping. I just get very excited to buy gifts for family and friends. We put up the tree on Saturday and the kids really enjoyed doing it this year. The loved to look at the ornaments and were pumped to see those that they made last year. Blake wasn’t too into it this year, but I am sure next year he will get more involved.

So, now that Thanksgiving is over, I think I will put out there the 10 things that we are most Thankful for…

1) My husband and kids. They love me no matter what. Even if I am not perfect and am a little nutty sometimes.
2)      Ice cream, Coffee, Kettle Corn, Portillo’s, Starbucks, and Lou’s Pizza. They are enjoyable to the whole family. J
3)      Our parents. They show us unconditional love and have taught us so much.
4)      Our kid’s grandparent’s. All of them love our kids so much and make them feel so special.
5)      Exercise. It relieves stress.
6)      The health of our entire family. It may not be perfect, but as we get older we appreciate that we have decent health all around. It’s so very easy to take for granted.
7)      Our jobs. Jobs that we both enjoy and make our life a bit easier. Plus we both work some pretty awesome people.
8)      Our child care situation. It’s not easy, but we have a system that works and family that are always willing to help out.
9)      Siblings and Siblings-in-law. Friends. Cousins. Family. An amazing support system.
10)   Electronic devices. (Yes, I have a problem)

Of course the list can go on and on, but these are many of the things that keep us happy day to day and we are so blessed to have the life we are living.

Happy Thanksgiving… now, on to Christmas!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Reese's Carnival/Festival/Circus 5th Birthday Party

Reese's 5th Birthday was a mash of themes. It was a little carnival, a little circus, and it was a festival (as Reese likes to call it). Somehow we pulled it off (Thanks everyone for your help with the food and decorations). There were about 30 adults and 20 kids. We had a full house. Reese was a lucky girl and got a lot of clothes, squinkies, shoes, slippers, a blanket, disney gift cards, pretend make-up/jewelry, a locket, a caboodle... and tons more. She was spoiled rotten, but was genuinely thankful and so excited for everything. On her actual birthday, we only had an hour before Ryan had to head to Kentucky, so my mom joined us and we went for a quick trip to Build a Bear (her gift from us) and Red Robin. She was so happy that she was "really five"! She asked all day "Am I really five now." This was for sure the most excited she has been on a Birthday. It was so much fun!

This was when Reese came down after her nap and saw all the decorations. She was so pumped!
 The prize table!
 Blake taking it all in.
 We had a "Fun Lady" come and she made some cool balloon creations!
 Reese got a lady bug, a heart wand and something else, but I can't remember it!
 Wouldn't be a carnival without bozo buckets!
 A little Pin the Bow on Reese.
 Noah's we voted the closest, while Aubry's was the farthest. In fact, it didn't make the picture.
 Grabbing some prizes after completing the activities.
 A little face painting.
 Reese went with butterflies and shimmer.
 Reese and her friend Isabella.
 Avery the cuddly teddy bear.
 Aubry went with a butterfly and elmo.
 Chase went as a puppy.
 Daddy got in on the action with some Mike Tyson art.
 Cute Jackson before getting his dragon.
 Noah went as a dog.
 Nate and Jackson had matching dragons.
 Madisyn went with Hello Kitty and a bee.
 The dragon!
 The birthday girl wit her cake.
 "Happy Birthday to you!"
 Blowing out the magic candles.
 The family shot!
 Reese showing off her AWESOME caboodle from Auntie Jen!
 I thought this was cute so had to share. Reese couldn't bring anything in for school that was edible, which makes bringing a birthday "treat" in kind of hard. We were going to go do goodie bags, but wasn't sure how many more little things people wanted-- we sure have enough here. Ryan came up with this fun idea and make a little card to go with it. I thought he did a great job.
Happy Birthday to Reese!