Monday, November 30, 2009

Cell Phone Pictures from Philadelphia

Here are a few pictures that I took with my cell phone while we were in Philadelphia.

Our first authentic Philly Cheesesteak:

City Hall in Downtown Philadelphia (I didn't realize what it was at time I took it - I got a little lost when I was exlporing):

Alex during the Iron Bowl:

He was a little nervous about the score:

Riding the rides at Sesame Place - he loved them and it was so nice to see the smiles on his face:

Alex, Larry, Elmo and Zoe:

So he saw another child's stroller and decided he liked it! He hopped on and was REALLY angry when I tried to take him off:

Headed back to the hotel after a LONG day at Sesame Place:

Watching a movie in the hotel room after his day at Sesame Place. He was loving on "bankie" and "dog" (yes, we are VERY creative with names around here):

The Liberty Bell (no, we don't know the man in the picture):

Alex running on the lawn outside of the building with the Liberty Bell:

This was our incredible bathtub in the hotel room. I might have fallen in love with it and it might be a requirement for our next house:

Cell Phone Pictures Before Philadelphia

I cleaned off pictures off my cell phone and here are a few from before we went to Philadelphia.

Trying on Mom's shoes:

I know this one is blurry, but I just love that smile:

Watching TV:

Decided he would ride on the back of his tricycle...unfortunately no one was driving the tricycle:

Pushing his tricycle - we are slowly working on teaching him how to ride it:

Using his tricycle as a step-stool:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 3 in Philadelphia

Today, we decided that we wanted to explore the city before we left. We had a few places that we wanted to see (namely City Hall and the Liberty Bell). We bundled up and headed out to sight-see!

We explored City Hall first. It was such a beautiful building and I loved taking pictures of it.

After City Hall we headed to Reading Marketplace to get some brunch. We found an amazing crepe place, among all the other great looking vendors. Larry had a bacon, egg and swiss crepe and I had the berry cheesecake one. They were fantastic!

We headed towards the Liberty Bell after brunch. We were able to go in and see the Liberty Bell for free. I am so glad that while we were up here, we had the chance to see it. I really enjoy seeing things that were such a large part of our history. We got great pictures of the Liberty Bell, as well as Alex and Larry near it! Outside of the building that houses the Liberty Bell, there is a great lawn, so we let the kids loose and let them run around. I really got some good shots of Alex when he was running around – he is so photogenic when I am able to capture the candid shots! Austin was being super-photogenic, too! I love some of the pictures that I got of him!

We headed back to the hotel after tiring the kids out, gave Claudia back to her mom and left Philadelphia!

Despite the traffic that we hit on I-95 on our way home (adding an extra 2 hours to the trip), we had a great weekend. Philadelphia is a beautiful city and I wish we would have had another day to explore it!

Here are a BUNCH of pictures from our third day in Philadelphia. The first half are mostly of the buildings and the sights – after that are pictures of Alex (which I know is really what you come for)!

(I will put captions on the pictures tomorrow...I'm too tired to do it tonight)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sesame Place and Day 2 in Philadelphia

Since we moved up to Maryland, we had been talking about taking Alex to the theme park in Pennsylvania called Sesame Place. Sesame Place is an amusement park for the little ones with a theme of Sesame Street. They have quite a few “dry” rides, but there were a bunch of “wet” rides. Obviously since it is the end of November, all of the wet rides were closed! We met up with our friends, Matt and Stephanie and their kids, Bella and Austin.

All of the rides at Sesame Place are geared towards kids and Alex was able to ride all but the roller coaster. Surprisingly, he LOVED all the rides. His favorites were Elmo’s Teacups and the Big Bird Balloon Race (think Dumbo meets Teacups – it went in the air AND it spun around). He could not get enough of the spinning rides! They also had a large climbing area with cargo nets and tunnels that he really liked and an inflatable bouncy pad that he enjoyed. He had a great time on the carousel, but he wasn’t very hygienic on it. For some reason, he could not stop licking the pole! If you look at the first few pictures in the slideshow, you will notice that he has his tongue out and he is licking the pole. No matter how hard I tried (holding his head back, redirecting him and distracting him), he continued to go back to licking the pole. Yes, we realize our kid is a little special sometimes!

At the end of the day, we went to meet Elmo and Zoe inside of the toy store. At first, he was VERY timid around the characters. Last year when we went to Universal Studios at Christmastime, he was terrified of the characters, so we didn’t have much hope for this year! Elmo then asked Alex for a “high five”, which Alex loves to give, and then Alex started opening up to the characters. He would not stand next to the characters without Daddy holding him, but even with Daddy hanging around we still got a few cute pictures. Bella on the other hand was not afraid of the characters at all and ran up to them giving them hugs and talking to them – I got a few cute pictures of Bella with Elmo and Zoe. We also tried to have Alex meet Bert and Ernie, he was shy at first but a “high five” to Bert quickly got him to befriend him! We didn’t get any pictures with Bert and Ernie.

The kids probably could have stayed and played a little longer at Sesame Place, but the adults were worn out, so we left shortly after 3 pm. Definitely a long day, but well worth the $9.95 that we paid for admission.

Once we got back to the hotel, we met Matt and Stephanie downstairs in the lobby for the free wine hour that the hotel offered. After a glass (or two) of wine, we wrangled up the kids and got ready for dinner. We found that it was a little difficult finding a restaurant that was both kid-friendly and able to accommodate our large party. We finally settled on a local pizza place (that wasn’t that good) and followed it up with some frozen yogurt. We got back to our hotel and had great intentions to meet up with Matt and Stephanie for a little adult time once we got the kids in bed, but we quickly realized that we were pretty tired and wound up relaxing in our hotel rooms!

Here are a bunch of pictures from Sesame Place – enjoy!

Friday, November 27, 2009

First Day in Philadelphia

We arrived in Philadelphia around 12:30 pm, got checking into our amazing hotel and set out in search of a Philly Cheesesteak for lunch. Lucky for us, the hotel staff recommended a place that was only a block away. We ate at a place called Jrs in downtown Philadelphia. Both Larry and I had a Cheesesteak with provolone cheese, Alex had a toasted cheese sandwich and we all split some fries. We were very impressed with our lunch and our “authentic” Philly Cheesesteak! We walked around a little bit after lunch and visited some of the stores around our hotel – The Children’s Place, a specialty toy boutique (it was so cute) and Coach (I had to point out a few purses for Larry for “ideas” for Christmas presents)! We headed back to the hotel so Larry could watch the Iron Bowl.

This year, as it is with most years, the Alabama vs. Auburn game really elevated Larry’s blood pressure. Alabama pulled out the win, but not without scaring Larry quite a few times. The final score was 26 to 21 and we couldn’t be happier…ROLL TIDE ROLL! Unfortunately this year, Alex was napping during most of the game (and I was out exploring the exciting streets of Philadelphia) so we didn’t get a picture of Alex and Larry all decked out in their Alabama gear! Next weekend is the SEC Championship game versus the Florida Gators, so I will be sure to take a picture of the boys in their finest Alabama attire! Who knows, maybe I will even show up in the pictures in my jersey, too.

Once the game was over, Aunt Claudia got to the hotel and we went to get something to eat for dinner. Another great dinner recommendation by the hotel staff led us to the Metropolitan Grill in downtown Philadelphia.

For those of you that don’t know, Claudia (Larry’s youngest sister) lives in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, which is about 45 minutes from Philadelphia. When we were on our way to Philadelphia, we asked Claudia if she would like to join us for the weekend – she said yes and her mom brought her to our hotel. We were happy that we got to see her and she was very excited to be able to spend some time with Alex (and us)!

We walked around a little bit after dinner and then headed back to the hotel room. After a long day of driving, walking around and the Iron Bowl, we were all pretty tired!

Off to Philadelphia...

We have a BUSY weekend planned. We are leaving this morning for Philadelphia.

Our plan is to be to our hotel in time for Larry, Alex and I to watch the Alabama vs. Auburn game (ROLL TIDE). After the game, we plan on getting a little sight-seeing in and hopefully having an authentic philly cheesesteak.

On Saturday, we are going to Sesame Place ( It is a theme park devoted to just Sesame Street characters. It is also just for the little ones, so Alex will be able to ride all of the rides. We know that he will really enjoy it! After Sesame Place, we are going to walk around the area a little more.

On Sunday before we head back for Maryland, we are going to do a little more sight-seeing in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is a city that Larry, nor I have ever been to before, so any suggestions on things to do or places to visit are greatly appreciate it!

Oh, and no worries, we will definitely come back with plenty of pictures for everyone to see! We are hopeful that Alex isn't as afraid of the characters as he was last year at Universal Studios. We will see though :)

Hope everyone has a great, long weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Many Faces of Batman...

Here are a few pictures of our little Batman from today! He is such a crazy, fun kid! We are so thankful to have him in our lives!

So, I Might Not Be Betty Crocker...

...but I sure can cook a GREAT Thanksgiving meal! We had turkey (from the bag), cranberry sauce (the kind that looks like a can when you take it out of the can), cheesy hashbrown potatoes, sweet potatoes (with yummy marshmallows on top), stuffing (Stove Top - we like it best) and orange jello (my absolute favorite holiday food). Oh, and for dessert, I made the preztel/jello thing.

I don't mean to toot my own horn, but it turned out really good! We have enough food to feed a small Army, but at least we will know what we will be eating for the next few days!

Here are some pictures of how our food turned out:

And here is Alex enjoying his dinner at his "Cars" table:

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Today, since Alex is getting over being sick, we are going to be spending Thanksgiving at home, relaxing. We will be eating turkey (our famous bag turkey that we LOVE), stuffing (Stove Top - because I am not nearly brave enough to attempt my Mom's), cranberry sauce, cheesy hashbrown potatoes, orange jello (no holiday is complete without it) and for dessert, pretzel salad (YUMMY!)!

Does that sound like enough for two adults and a child that doesn't eat much?! I know that I completely overcook - it is a trait that I get from my Mom!

Now that the stress of Larry's DT2 report is over, we are finally able to enjoy time together as a family and that is something that I am truly thankful for!

This year, we are thankful for the opportunities that have been presented to us this past year, thankful for our health and happiness, thankful for our wonderful families and amazing friends, thankful for our beautiful son and thankful for each and every blessing that God has set before us this year (and in the years past)!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Trip to the Walk-In Clinic

Alex has had a runny/stuffy nose and cough for about 10 days. He has had a fever on and off during this time, but the fever never went about 101 degrees and was always controlled with Tylenol.

I finally started to get worried when I heard the cough in his chest and heard him breathing a little harder than normal. We decided that it would probably be the best thing to take him into the Walk-In Clinic before the holiday and before traveling to Philadelphia for the weekend.

Fortunately, there was no one else at the Walk-In Clinic and we were taken care of and treated fairly quickly. I think we were in and out in about an hour - a miracle in itself! Luckily, Alex was looked over and we were given a diagnosis of an Upper Respiratory Infection, which is viral. Because it is viral, we were not given any antibiotics - they did however give us a great cough medicine for him! We were told to give him plenty of fluids (which we have been trying to do), run a humidifier in his room (which we had been doing for approximately 5 days prior to taking him in), a little extra rest (you try making Alex rest...ha ha), use Vicks Vaporub (been using that religiously for about 5 days as well) and give him his cough medicine. The doctor also gave us the okay to head to Philadelphia for the weekend!

Oh, while we were there, they weighed him and he weighs approximately 28 pounds! He returns to Dr. Whitaker on December 17 and we are anxious to get his exact weight, height and head measurement!

Betty Crocker...I am NOT!

In an attempt to be a little more domesticated and enjoy some of the traditions I loved growing up, Larry and I made cut-out cookies tonight! We cut a few corners and used the pre-made Pillsbury sugar cookie mix. After rolling out the dough, we cut-out the cute little patterns - we even let Alex join in on the fun and press down a few cut-outs.

We thought that we were doing great...until the first batch came out of the oven! They were unrecognizable and all squished together. We thought maybe we didn't roll out the dough enough, but the subsequent batches didn't look much better...they were VERY thin (think Wheat Thins).

We are hoping that once they are iced they will look a little better (not likely, since we plan on having Alex help with that, too)!

I really miss my Mom - she had cookie making down to an art! Larry and I are hoping that by the time Alex realizes what we are doing, our cookie attempts won't be so pitiful!

Messy Boy

This is what our precious, beautiful boy looked like after dinner tonight:

Biker Boy

Tonight, Alex decided that it would be fun to ride on his his diaper, with his helmet on! In between our laughter, we were able to take a few pictures of him!

Enjoy the pictures!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Grandma Kathy's Birthday Celebration

For Grandma Kathy's birthday, we got her two balloons - a "Happy Birthday" one and a "Cars" one! Bet you can't guess who picked out the "Cars" balloon?! We also got a six-pack of cupcakes from a local grocery store (not nearly as good as Publix cupcakes, but they served their purpose).

After lunch, we sang "Happy Birthday" and ate the cupcakes. Alex loved that part! I'm sure that you can tell that from the pictures :) At naptime, I read Alex the book by Dr. Suess called "Happy Birthday to You". It is a book that we only read one people's birthdays! We waited until after naptime to send the balloons up to Grandma Kathy, and like always, it was so very bittersweet for me!

Alex still doesn't understand why we are sending balloons to heaven, but he is now starting to wave bye-bye to them and saying "lub you"! I am excited for the day that I will be able to explain to Alex why we send balloons to heaven and who we are sending balloons to!

Here are some pictures from the day:

Park Time with Mommy

To get out of the house and give Larry some quiet time to work on his report, I took Alex to the park today! I love spending time with him like this - seeing him run around, laugh and have fun! Days like today make me so happy and so thankful to be his Mommy!

Here are some pictures from our time at the park:

Happy Birthday, Grandma Kathy!

Happy Birthday, Grandma Kathy!

Today, we should be singing Grandma Kathy “Happy Birthday” over the phone. Today, we should be calling Grandma Kathy and reminding her that she is 51 years old. Today, we should be thanking God for another year with Grandma Kathy.

Unfortunately, we won’t be doing any of these things today. Instead of calling Grandma Kathy to tease her about her 51st birthday, we will be sending a balloon to her in heaven. Instead of singing her “Happy Birthday” over the phone, we will do it quietly before naptime (or when we wake up in the morning, or before bedtime, or at any random times throughout the day). And instead of thanking God for another year with Grandma Kathy, we will be thanking Him for all of the years that we were able to celebrate with her.

Today, I will tell our son about the Grandma he will never know. I will tell him about the way she laughed and made everyone around her laugh. I will tell him about how her smile could light up a room. I will tell him how much she loves him and how much she will always love him – something that death will never erase! Today, we will celebrate the life that Grandma Kathy lived and the legacy that she left behind.

It is days like today that I miss my parents more than I can ever explain. These are the days that my heart aches and I just want them back. But, these are the days that I hold our little boy just a little bit tighter and hug him just a little bit longer. And these are the days that I will cuddle with Alex and let him remind me how he is our precious gift from both God and from Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Jim.

Happy Birthday, Mom! Enjoy your day in heaven and know that we are celebrating you here on Earth. Not a minute goes by that you aren’t thought of and loved. I miss you more than I ever dreamed possible. Thank you for being the best Mom that a girl could ask for, but most importantly, thank you for being MY Mom. I love you with all my heart!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pictures from my Cell Phone

Alex and Katelyn playing at the table at Tim and Jackie's house:

Katelyn and Kyle - we just love this picture!

Alex sitting on a rock at a park in Columbus. I could not get him to look at me!

Sweet baby girl! I love this smile!

Kyle and Katelyn - such good siblings:

Alex and Katelyn were in the corner having some juice. I looked over and he was patting her cute!

Construction Kate:

Is there anything more precious than a sleeping baby?
Katelyn on the Metro:

Alex was not a fan of the dinosaurs:

He was laying like this watching Scooby Doo:

Such a sweet boy...especially when he is sleeping:

He lined up his chairs like this to watch TV. Not sure if he thinks he is at the movies or something!