Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

We hope you are all enjoying the holiday with family & friends. We've taken over 185 pictures these past two days so we will be uploading new posts soon! Oh, and maybe I'll finally have the chance to write (yes, write) our holiday newsletter. Expect to see those some time around the new year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fighting...over vegetables???

All of our friends complain that their kids won't eat hardly anything. Then we have our boys. They are food crazy! Ian eats at least 1800 calories on any given day. That's amazing to me. Nathan isn't too far behind. Play dates can be a nightmare for me because I spend half of the time trying to keep Ian away from food. I promise we feed him!

The boys are devouring veggie tray leftovers from an event I hosted the previous evening. Raw vegetables are an absolute favorite in this house. I think they love veggies because they often come with ranch dip.

I tried to steal a few pieces and a fight practically broke out. Next time I'll be sure to take my share before letting Ian see the vegetables.

Time to Cut that Hair

I don't know what makes me think that I am qualified to cut my boys' hair, but I do it anyway. Ian has had the professionals cut his hair a few times. Ryan let some guy at the NEX barber shop shave almost all of it off once. I'm guessing that it's the control freak in me that thinks I can do a better job.

Ryan was off at the store when I decided to cut the boys' hair a couple of weeks ago. In case you're wondering how I'm able to get them to sit still for me, I put on Beauty & the Beast and parked a chair right in front of the TV in the middle of the family room. Whatever works, right?

Just for kicks, I took a picture of Nathan's hair halfway through the hair cut. Sorry that the quality of this shot isn't too great. I love his curls, but Ryan says I am not allowed to let it grow that long anymore. :(

Post-hair cut fun! I have no idea what was so funny, but they were more than happy to pose for these pictures.

I love the spaghetti sauce stains on Nathan's face. I was working with a very tight timeline--finish dinner, cut the hair, vacuum the carpet, change them into pajamas. I guess I forgot to wash his face before the "photo session" this time.

This is such a cute picture! It's rare that I am able to get them to both smile and look at the camera at the same time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

30 by 30

With less than six months to go until my 30th birthday, I'm feeling the pressure to lose all of this extra weight. Do I think I am going to lose 30 pounds? No. Am I going to try to lose 30 pounds? You betcha! To give you some perspective, if I were to lose 30 pounds I would weigh less than I weighed when Ryan and I were married. Not a lot less, but I would weight less. I think that's the main reason I am not convinced I'll lose the full 30 pounds. However, 30 by 30 sounds better than 25 or 20 by 30. Wish me luck! Oh, and I'm going to give this Weight Watchers Points thing a try. My first official diet!

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Boys' Tree

Ryan received this small tree from his mom back in 1998. He was celebrating Christmas in New York and his mom was thoughtful enough to send him a tree and a whole bunch of bulbs to decorate the tree. Last week was the first time that tree came out of the box in 9 years! I discovered all of the bulbs with their price tags on--guess it was just too much work for 19-year-old Ryan to decorate the tree.

Ian thought it was great that he and Nathan were being told that they could decorate this tree however they saw fit. It has helped cut back on the number of times they've touched the "big" tree too.

Nathan carefully considered the placement of each bulb that he put on the tree. Ian, on the other hand, would hang two or three from the same stem.

This little tree continues to be decorated daily. They will take off a few bulbs and move them to new locations. The whole tree was knocked over during a play date the other day. I love this tree! Why didn't I think of this last year?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A Little Like Christmas

We finally began to decorate for Christmas last weekend. We made it as far as setting up our artificial tree. The boys thought that they should help Ryan set it all up this year. After all, they are almost 3 and 4 years old.

Aren't they cute?

They sat so patiently while Ryan put the tree together. It only has lights on it for now. Those movers of ours thought that it would be best to rearrange all my Christmas decorations that were all in their perfectly labelled boxes while we were in Florida. Wasn't that just so sweet of them? Maybe this weekend I'll have the chance to tackle the shed and dig through all the holiday boxes. Fun times!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cookie Swap

You know it's the holiday season when you begin baking at 8:30 in the morning. I made 8 dozen cookies Tuesday with Ian standing guard about 75% of the time. I'm sure he stole a cookie, but I never actually caught him in the act. My camera battery died before I was able to take pictures of the tree-shaped cookies and while I was taking a picture of the boys decorating their own tree cookies. Let's just say that they REALLY must love sprinkles.

The bare cookies--before the painting of each individual cookie began.

My first batch of star cookies. I just love the clear Wilton sprinkles.

The cookie swap! I doubt any of us will be losing any weight this week. Oh, well.

Sugar Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Cream the margarine and add the sugar gradually. Beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at time, mixing well after each addition.
2. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt gradually to the creamed mixture, stirring in by hand. Cover and chill dough overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Roll dough out on a floured surface to 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick and cut into your favorite shapes. Place cookies onto the prepared baking sheets.
5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 6 to 8 minutes or until cookie has a golden appearance.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


For those of you that know Ryan and I pretty well, you know that the holidays are pretty low-key around here. We aren't anti-holiday, we are anti-holiday stress! We hate planning out the details for months and stressing over every little thing. Our first Thanksgiving together, we ate dinner around 9pm. It was perfect! I firmly believe the kids will enjoy the holiday season more if we continue to maintain this relaxed atmosphere. Only time will tell.

Ian was Buzz Lightyear for halloween this year so when that HUGE Buzz balloon came on the screen during the Macy's parade he was so excited. He quickly dragged that little chair over to the TV and stood on it, all in an attempt to get as close to Buzz as possible. I think we are going to have to go to this parade one year while we live here.

Ryan just loves this turkey so much! He couldn't help but give it a nice massage before putting it the oven. Ryan is responsible (and will remain so forever) for the cleaning and stuffing of the turkey. I don't touch raw poultry. Ever.

The boys could not stay away from the kitchen. They are always hungry, so they lingered during all of the preparation...kind of like dogs waiting for some scraps to fall on the floor.

Seriously, get out of the kitchen, Ian. The turkey is cooking and it's going to be in there for hours.

Yummy! Well, everything except the peas.

Finally! Ian was convinced this moment would never come.

The original is better. Ryan was sweet enough to buy this for me for my favorite day of the year--Black Friday!!! In my rush to get out of the house at about 5am to go stand in line at JoAnns, I completely forgot his sweet gift in the refrigerator. No worries. I hit up Starbucks just as soon as I was finished at JoAnns and I was off to the next store.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Big Event

The winging ceremony itself was short and sweet. This was a huge relief to me since I was assigned the task of not only pinning on Ryan's wings, but keeping Ian & Nathan as quiet and happy as possible. A bag full of brand new Cars $1 items from Target and at least a pound of Cheerios helped me achieve my goal. Fortunately the Navy's air community is all about the booze and a keg of beer flowed freely at the back of the room so the crowd that had gathered also grew nosier as the "ceremony" continued.

The last five standing. This is the very beginning of the ceremony. You can tell by their rigidity that the beer has not yet made it to the front of the room.

Ryan and his dad (and a super thrilled Dario in the background). Don't you just love the big ol' mug of beer in Ryan's hand? That was delievered to each new NFO by their new squadron. Ryan's has the word "Teck" etched on the front. We're pretty sure they were going for Peck, but as we learned at our wedding, Peck can be more difficult to spit out correctly than one might imagine.

Don't we all look so pretty? I think that Nathan is trying to show off his tummy.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Winging Day Fun

I, actually, did not think it was fun at all. It was snowing (the ONLY time it has snowed here since we moved to Virginia), we had to be on base before 8am, it was all E-2 talk AND I had to keep the boys quiet and happy at the same time. Come to think of it, I don't have any idea what anyone said at all during the E-2 mini brief because I just focused on shoving Cheerios at Ian and Nathan.

The simulators where Ryan gets to have all his fun at work. The boys are giving it a try.

The glorious war machine that is the E-2 Hawkeye.

Ian is somehow under the impression that pilots make more money than NFO's. They don't, but their job certainly seems easier! :)

Oh, look, I almost made it into a picture. As a general rule, I try to avoid this.