Archive for December, 2009

Since we were on the ship-boat for Christmas and couldn’t bring the kitchen with us that Grandma Marge & Grandpa Sandy got the boys for Christmas we had some holiday celebrating to do when we returned from vacation.  Ryan and Santa had a few discussions about a small Christmas on the ship-boat, but then Santa agreed to make a special stop at our house on another day after Christmas.

Ryan could not wait!  We talked about it non-stop and we had many discussions about Santa coming down the fireplace to bring presents for good boys & girls.  Owen learned to say HO-HO-HO every time he would even hear the mention of Santa’s name.  Ryan would run to the fireplace and say “You hear that?!  Santa say Ho-Ho-Ho!  He hears us!”

Waiting for Santa to come down the chimney

Owen snuggling into mommy afraid of Santa

Ryan leaving brownies & milk for Santa

So on Tuesday evening (December 29) we prepared for Santa’s visit.  We set out brownies and milk and talked to Santa through the fireplace.  Owen was a little scared when he’d hear the Ho-Ho-Ho echo back at him and snuggled tightly into mommy.

And it was off to bed for our little monkeys in the hopes that St. Nick soon would be here.

Not long after that we heard some crying and wimpering coming from Ryan’s room so I went to scope out what the trouble was.  I walk in his room and big tears were coming down Ryan’s cheek.

Mommy:  “Ryan?  What’s wrong honey?”
Ryan:  “I’m scared.”
Mommy:  “Why are you scared?”
Ryan:  “Santa coming into my house tonight and I’m scared.”
Mommy:  “But Santa’s not scary.  Remember when you told Owen that he wasn’t scary.  Santa is nice.”
Ryan (wiping away the tears):  “Oh yes.  Santa not scary.”

Such a sweet little kid.  He was so concerned about Santa coming into our house when he was sleeping.  That of course changed by the next morning when he realized what Santa did while at our house!

In the morning I brought up the empty plate of brownies and empty glass of milk and showed it to Ryan.

Mommy:  “Morning Ryan!  Look!  The brownies and milk are all gone!”
Ryan: “Delta eat it?”
Mommy:  “No, guess again.”
Ryan (with a growing smile on his face): “Santa did it?  Santa eat it?”
Mommy:  “Yep!  Lets go see what else Santa did.”

Our Christmas

Ryan and Owen both ran out and looked down from the landing and started jumping up and down and screaming!!  It was awesome!  Their faces just lit up and they couldn’t wait to get downstairs to see everything.

Owen with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse


Daddy & Owen opening presents

Ryan Loved Christmas this year!

Ryan checking out his new Cars toy


Owen smirking

Ryan playing with their new kitchen

Opening books

We had such a great morning just hanging out with the boys, drinking coffee and playing with the new toys.

Dad-dad Jim & Grandmom Janice came by to spend the day with us which was a blast.  The boys loved having them here (we did too!). And we opened even more presents!

Opening more presents!

Ryan opening presents from dad-dad & grandmom

Owen opening presents

We had a nice Christmas Day lunch of ham, potatoes, green bean casserole, homemade cream corn and homemade cranberries (Owen’s favorite remember?).  Owen napped after lunch (and so did dad-dad).


Ryan enjoyed some alone time with the adults and was very well behaved considered we let him skip nap.  We played games (got a little competitive!) and built with legos and just had a plain ol’ good time.

What a great Christmas.  We truly are blessed.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.


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I know everyone has been waiting for our Christmas Cruise post and photos, but we have so much to talk about and so many photos to share that I’ve been struggling with the best way to organize it all.  I’m not sure I have a plan yet, but here goes nothing anyway.  I think I’ll do a quick overview of the whole vacation and then will do random posts over the coming weeks that will focus on one thing or another as they come to mind.

How it all started….. Great Granny (Jim’s grandmother) decided to treat the family to a Christmas cruise so we could all be together and just get to know each other better.  Seriously, how nice was that?!  From the start, our plan was just to hang out with the family and take it as it came.  We weren’t into all the excursions and booking our time at each port.  We wanted to hang out with everyone and just spend time together.   Lets take a minute to meet the family that was involved in this Christmas Cruise…..

Great Granny

Great Granny – the one responsible for putting this all together and treating the family to such a wonderful experience and time together.  She has traveled the world and has amazing stories to share with everyone.  Ryan absolutely loved spending time with her and still talks about “Great Granny” from the ship-boat!  Thanks Great Granny for everything.  No words can express how much we enjoyed our week together with the family.

Grandma Ellie & Ryan

Grandma Ellie – both boys enjoyed seeing Grandma and spending time with her.  Her and Grandpa Paul live in Philly so it’s always nice when we can spend some time with them since they live so far away.  Luckily we do get to see them several times a year so that is nice and we all enjoy time together.

Grandpa Paul & O-wee

Grandpa Paul – Ryan adores Grandpa Paul and loved playing with him.  Grandpa Paul took Ryan swimming in the ocean and had a blast!

Silly Uncle Al

Uncle Al – a fun loving and silly guy who lives in Kansas City.  Ryan would laugh at him and the goofy things he would do.  He brightened up the room anytime he was in it!  And he provided alot of fun entertainment at the dinner table.  We only wished we lived closer to them and could spend more time together.  Uncle Al and Aunt Karen were the first family that I met of Jim’s when we started dating.  It’s funny to think back to that weekend so many years ago; I had no idea that one day we’d be on a cruise all together!

Aunt Karen

Aunt Karen – just as silly and fun as Uncle Al.  What a perfect match for each other.  Unfortunately, Aunt Karen had a stress fracture on her foot and was on crutches for the entire trip which made the beach a little difficult and walking around the ports impossible.  Ryan was always very concerned about Aunt Karen’s boo-boo and knew to be careful to not bump her foot or crutches.  But Aunt Karen being who she is always had a smile on her face and you’d never know she was in pain or bothered by it!

Miss Linzy

Miss Linzy – Ryan absolutely LOVED Miss Linzy!  He asked about her nonstop when she wasn’t with us and Ryan was always concerned with what she was doing and where she was.  This is Jim’s only cousin on his mom’s side so it was great to spend some time with her and not only for the boys to get to know her, but for Jim and I to get to know her better as well.  We were able to spend ALOT of time with her and now we all miss her!

Mommy & her boys!

Mommy – we all know mommy already, but on this trip she was definitely the “organizer” and made sure we had everything and everyone we needed for all ventures on and off the boat.

Daddy & his boys

Daddy – we also know daddy very well already, but on this trip he was the resident photographer.  He got a new camera (Nikon D90) for Christmas and rented a 18-200mm lens for the trip so he was in his own little world and documented every portion of our vacation with some amazing pictures.  Thanks Daddy!

Ryan taking in the sights

Ryan – the energetic 3 year old who absolutely enjoyed every single second of our vacation.  He was very well behaved and used his manners throughout the entire vacation.  He was very involved in everything we did and thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it all.  The best was on the last night at dinner when the crew did a dance and he clapped along and waved his napkin over his head with the rest of the people.  He also took very good care of his little brother and always looked out for him.  He held his hand when walking around the boat and shared very well with him.

Owen Loves to Eat

Owen – our curious little 16 month old.  He changed so much on the trip and further developed his little personality.  I love that everyday he becomes more and more independent and knows what he wants.  He still can’t communicate like he would like so we’re dealing with some biting issues when he’s frustrated or mad, but we’ll get through it.  His favorite game was “Owen in the box”at naptime or bedtime.  We’d tell him “head down” and he would go down, but his little hands would stay on the top of the pack and play and then all of a sudden up would pop O-wee!  Both boys would giggle and giggle and giggle!  Mommy and daddy were laughing too, but we had to hide our face so he wouldn’t see us since this was naughty and he was supposed to be going night-night.

Ok, now that we know everyone it will make a little more sense as we give the overview of the trip.

Holland America's Westerdam

Beautiful Beaches in Ft. Lauderdale

We cruised on Holland America’s Westerdam ship and left out of Ft. Lauderdale on December 20th and cruised to Puerto Rico, Turks & Caicos, Tortola and Half Moon Cay returning to Ft. Lauderdale on December 27th.  There were highlights of each port and we had a great time at each stop.

Owen building castles in Grand Turk

Ryan building castles in Grand Turk

Daddy and his boys

Owen in Grand Turk

In Grand Turk we enjoyed a little beach time and built some sand castles and splashed around in the ocean.  We then moved to the pool area and hung out with Great Granny and Miss Linzy.  Both boys thoroughly enjoyed swimming despite the absolutely freezing cold pool water.  We finally had to pull Ryan out because he was turning a shade of blueish purple!!

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico we walked around Old San Juan with Miss Linzy and took some photos of the architecture.  We ate lunch at McDonald’s in hopes of using the bathroom (mainly for our potty trained 3 year old), but no such luck.  Old San Juan had a water main break and therefore the entire area was without water.  So after a little walking we headed back to the ship-boat and hung out with Great Granny, Miss Linzy, Uncle Al and Aunt Karen.


Ryan taking pictures in Tortola

In Tortola we walked around and did some sight seeing with Great Granny and Miss Linzy.  Ryan’s favorite part of the island were the chickens running around all over!  Great Granny had bought him a camera for his birthday and he had a blast taking some photos of the crazy chickens (although you won’t find a chicken in most of his photos since his aim is a little off!).  I will be posting Ryan’s photos in another blog post because they are deserving of their own blog post; they are so cute!

Mommy & Boys in Half Moon Cay

Half Moon Cay

Owen Chilling in Half Moon Cay

In Half Moon Cay we had a blast!  This was by far our favorite stop and enjoyed every bit of it.  The beach was absolutely gorgeous with the fine white sand and the blueish green water.  They had a water slide and animals for the kids to play on in the water.  Ryan was intrigued with the alligator to play on and for some reason he talks about them all the time at home too.  Grandpa Paul took Ryan swimming and Grandma Ellie built sand castles with both boys.  Mommy and Miss Linzy REALLY enjoyed the water slide and took the kids down it several times.  I’m not sure if the boys had more fun or if Miss Linzy and I did!!   We ate lunch with Uncle Al and Aunt Karen and then after lunch daddy and Miss Linzy went horseback riding and mommy chilled with her two favorite little men on the beach.  They were being so good so I just let them play and enjoy our last day of vacation.  I too was enjoying every minute of it and hated for the day to end.

Grandma Ellie & Grandpa Paul

Handsome brothers

Owen with his favorite toy - a cone!

As for our time on the boat (when we weren’t at port) we had a blast!  The food was amazing and mommy (and Grandpa Paul) enjoyed lobster several nights.  We also discovered that Owen LOVES lobster!  Before he’d be done eating a bite he would already be asking for more.  His next favorite thing to eat was Mac and Cheese so much to his surprise one night they served Lobster Mac & Cheese!  Seriously?!  What are the chances of that happening?!

Other than lobster we enjoyed steak, lamb, pasta, seafood, salads, soups, delicious desserts and ice cream.  Anything you could possibly imagine or crave, you could fulfill that want.  We had french toast, omelets, waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and yogurt for breakfasts.  We had tacos, burgers, hot dogs, pasta, pizza, french fries, sushi and Chinese for lunches.  We ate so much food and enjoyed it all.

Ryan & Dolly

The last night they had a chef’s dinner and performance and Ryan really got into it.  He was clapping and laughing and waving his napkin over his head just like everyone else.  And our waiter, Dolly, was amazing.  He took such good care of the boys and had their areas cleared of all the fine china and crystal before we would arrive at the table.  He would bring their sippy cups filled with apple juice to the table on a silver platter and he even got them ginger ale in a champagne flute with a straw when we did a toast for Great Granny’s birthday!

Blowing out Great Granny's Candles

Ryan Toasting to Great Granny

Which leads me to the next highlight of the trip…. Great Granny’s celebrated her birthday on Christmas Day while we were on the ship-boat!  We all sang to her and Ryan got to help blow out the candles on her cake.  He was so excited for her birthday and since he had just celebrated one of his own the week prior he was thrilled to be able to help her celebrate hers and to sing to her.  We are all so happy we could celebrate your birthday with you this year Great Granny!!!

That was our trip in a nutshell.  It was a long post and if you’ve made it all the way to the end congrats to you!  I’m sure we’ll be mentioning the trip from time to time and will do some specific posts over the coming weeks about it, but that was a very quick overview of our awesome vacation. Specifically, I will be doing a post about Christmas on the cruise, but for now this is it.

Again, thank you Great Granny!  The trip was everything we could have hoped for.  Time with family and just hanging out with everyone.  We really enjoyed our afternoons visiting in the pool area and just talking with everyone.  We loved spending time with each of you and getting to know you all a little better!

Yahres Family

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Where have the last 3 years gone?

I can’t believe how much has changed since that day 3 years ago when YOU decided it was time to arrive a little early.  A whole 5 weeks early to be exact.  Nothing like having a mind of your own right from the start.  Daddy had left the night before for his last business trip before your arrival.  And much to his surprise he received a phone call the next morning that mommy’s water broke and she was heading to the hospital to see what was going on.

Hey – it was my first time having a baby!  I didn’t know what was happening.  And especially with it being 5 weeks before my due date I really didn’t expect to be in labor and I certainly wasn’t expecting to deliver a baby that day.  But off I went alone to the hospital with my laptop.  No car seat.  No overnight bag.  Just my laptop because I was fairly certain I was heading to work after my quick visit to the hospital.

No such thing as a quick visit.  Instead I was told that Ryan would be arriving before end of day!

Once I was able to wrap my mind around the fact that I was having a baby THAT DAY, I was so excited!  Daddy was on the first flight home and we were going to be parents!

My sweet, sweet Ryan was born just before 10pm and weighed in at 7 pounds 3 ounces.  Yes, you read that correctly.  He was 7 pounds 3 ounces and arrived FIVE weeks early!  As we held you for the first time we couldn’t even begin to imagine how much love and joy you would bring into our house in the days and years to come.  You really are our special Christmas gift and we couldn’t be more blessed to have you.

Ryan James | 7 pounds 3 ounces

Mommy & Ryan

Daddy & Ryan

We love you so, so much Ryan.  You are amazing in every single way!  Happy 3rd birthday my little man.

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Owen didn’t get the memo that you need to be nice to Santa if you want presents for Christmas.  Our first Santa trip to Lenox he screamed (remember?) and the second visit was at the Santa brunch at the Clubhouse (I’ll post those pictures soon!) and tonight he had a quick visit with Santa at the Woodchase Academy Holiday program.

After grabbing the candy cane he screamed when forced to sit on Santa’s lap (watch Santa’s facial expression – priceless!).  And then when Santa leans over to talk to Owen, watch the evil eyes Owen gives to Santa Claus.  It makes me laugh every single time I watch this video.  And I have watched it probably 20 times tonight because it’s so darn funny.

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Ryan was so excited for tonight.  The night where he got to sing for all the parents in his class.  He has been talking about it for weeks and practicing over and over again. Well the night finally arrived and he was ecstatic.  Slightly naughty and not a very good listener, but none-the-less, he was excited to sing for all the parents!

We got to school and he got his costume on and was running around the room full of energy.  Then the program started.  He couldn’t stand still at first and was jumping around with a huge smile on his face.  The video is a little long, but oh so cute.  Ryan and Vincent even had a little solo.  Gabby was supposed to be singing with them as well, but she was a little teary eyed and decided not to.  All of the kids really did such an amazing job singing and jingle belling tonight.  I couldn’t be more proud of my almost three year old. The success of the program tonight was a direct reflection of his teachers and how much time and effort they put into these kiddos each and every day.  They are amazing teachers (Ms. April & Ms. Brittney) and it makes dropping Ryan off each day that much easier knowing that he is not only in good hands all day, but that his teachers love on him just as much as we do at home.  We really couldn’t be more lucky and thankful.

We have a busy week ahead of us and then on Saturday we fly to Ft. Lauderdale and on Sunday we get on the ship-boat.  We are seriously so excited we can’t even stand it.  Now just to make it through the next few days.  We have Ryan’s cupcake school party on Thursday and we have school holiday parties on Friday.  THEN WE LEAVE!!!  Did I mention how excited we are?!

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I’m not sure this is what she wanted from Santa, but this is what she got.  She developed a rash on her belly and because she is a little OCD she wouldn’t stop licking it.  And therefore, the area was getting bigger and was becoming infected.  They think it developed from her allergies.  Yep, our OCD dog has allergies too.

Really Pitiful Delta

Delta Watching the Boys Playing

Delta Enjoying the Fire

They wanted to put her on a special diet with special dog food that would need to be special ordered.  Yep, for our special dog.

When I said we have a 3 year old and a 16 month old the vet said the diet isn’t condusive to our lifestyle and not to bother right now.  With the special diet, our special dog would not be able to eat ANYTHING other than her special dog food (with the exception of some raw carrots and fruit).  And since Owen has taken a special interest in feeding every last morsel to Delta, we agreed that this wasn’t the time to try this diet.

So instead we will continue to monitor her and will try some other brands of food that may help with her allergies.  We have maintenance medicine for her continuous ear infections (which are also from her allergies) and we now have allergy spray if she develops another rash.  Oh, and she’s also on benadryl and Pepcid AC for her tummy issues (related to allergies as well).

Pitiful Delta

Yep, she’s our special dog with a lot of special needs.  Oh, and she also gained 11 pounds since her visit last year.  I would like to attribute that entire weight gain to the little boy (I won’t mentioned names) that was born last year and since started eating real people food.  One bite for O-wee, one bite for Delta.  Oops!  I said I wouldn’t mention names….

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Yes, this is what Ryan keeps telling Owen every time we talk about Santa and Christmas.

Ryan (with his head tilted and speaking in a sweet soft voice):  “O-wee, Santa not scary.  It’s o-tay. You no cry.” And then he gives Owen a little hug to reassure him.  Owen smiles and loves the extra attention from big brother.  He doesn’t know or care what Ryan is saying to him.

And this conversation would be because Owen screamed when we went to visit Santa the other night.

Owen Is Not Real Thrilled With This Plan!

Ryan on the other hand absolutely LOVED Santa.  He thought it was the real deal and that Santa really was watching him.

Is He the Real Deal?

Santa Asking Ryan What He Wants For Christmas....

Santa Hugging Ryan

What a change from last year when Owen absolutely loved Santa and Ryan screamed!  Remember this?

When we decided that we were going to go see Santa we started talking about the whole “process” as soon as we woke up that morning in order to “prep” the boys for this fun family tradition.  I figured there would be tears, but I wasn’t sure who they would be coming from.  For awhile I thought maybe mommy because getting two boys dressed up and keeping them clean and fed and hydrated and happy and getting to the mall and waiting in a long line where they have to sit or stand and be still and patient is no easy task.  But they were both awesome throughout the whole thing.

While waiting in line both boys were extremely intrigued with Santa.  Ryan kept waving to him and then would get so excited when Santa would wave back.

Peeking at Santa....

The Boys Waiting Their Turn

Ryan (waving to Santa):  “He wave to me mommy!  He see me!  Santa is watching me! See?  He IS watching me.  I’m good right now!”

Yes, he had to keep saying he was “good right now” because that “goodness” doesn’t always last.  And when he’s naughty and I try to tell him that Santa is watching him I receive this response:

Ryan (tilting his hug, shrugging his shoulders and shaking his head):  “Nope.  No mommy.  Santa not watching me right now.  Nope.”

I know I say it all the time, but I love this kid.  He seriously cracks me up with his personality and reasoning skills.

By the time we made it through the 45-60 minute Santa line, both boys were so excited they were jumping up and down.  Owen was waving to Santa at this point and saying “Hi.  Ball.  Ball.  Hi.”  Can you tell we had prompted him all throughout the day and asked him over and over what he was going to tell Santa he wanted for Christmas?  He had it down pat at this point.  “Ball.  Ball.  Ball.”  over and over again.

Waving to Santa

Now it was our turn to see Santa.  Santa waved us over and Ryan ran right over and jumped up on his lap and started talking to him.

Ryan Giving Santa a High Five! Owen is Holding Back....
Owen.  Well, Owen not so much.  He started to run over and then quickly realized that he wasn’t prepared for this little family tradition.  He stopped in his tracks and turned around to go back into the line.  I tried to get him to sit on Santa’s lap and he screamed.  I even gave him a candy cane and he kept screaming.  He did of course try to eat the candy cane WHILE screaming, but screamed none-the-less.

Owen Is Definitely Not Thrilled!

When Santa gave Ryan his candy cane Ryan exclaimed “Oh Santa.  Candy canes are my FAVORITE!.  Tank too (thank you)!”

Santa kind of looked at me and I just shrugged my shoulders and said “I have no idea, he’s never even had a candy cane before” and Santa just laughed.  This of course made Ryan smile even bigger since he made Santa laugh.

Daddy did manage to get a photo without too terrified of a look on Owen’s face so all was good. Poor daddy had the tough job of capturing the moment on film!  No small task to get two kids AND Santa to look at the camera, let alone smile and show no tears.  Good job daddy!

And then we were off for a bite to eat and the Pink Pig!  They loved riding on the Pink Pig this year despite the freezing cold temps (it’s outside in a covered tent).  Brrrrr……

Pink Pig at Macy's

Mommy, Ryan & Owen on the Pink Pig

All in all a great, fun family night.  I love this annual tradition with the boys and it was so fun this year since both could understand it more and enjoy it.

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