Monday, October 29, 2012

Family photos

Sometimes it seems like there is just so much going on that it's overwhelming to blog about it all. That's not to say that anything exciting or important has really been happening but our every day life has gotten pretty busy and hectic with Brendan in school and trying to entertain two energetic boys. But I do have a couple of exciting things to post about- one being our trip to Colorado to visit with Chris' family for a super special occassion, and two being our family photos. I'll save the Colorado trip for another post since that will take much more time but for now, here are some of the photos that we had taken.

We ended up going to an indoor studio called Fotofly, which offers an amazing price for a 45 minute session. I missed our window of opportunity to take photos in a picturesque locale here in Utah so we opted to go this route even though I would have preferred an outdoor shoot. Oh well. You snooze, you lose. Lesson learned.

I was pretty surprised that we were able to get a decent amount of good shots during the 45 minutes. Alex was happy (when we were in a group) and Brendan was being a good listener so it worked better than I thought. I was a bit anxious about how well the boys would perform. Turns out I didn't need to worry about them- it was Chris I should have been more concerned with. He was not a good smiler that night so a lot of pictures that would have otherwise been awesome, turned out like below...

Brendan gave him some pointers so hopefully next time we'll have a better result. Still, we got a lot of great family group shots that I'm really pleased with.

The boys were really the stars of the photo shoot and honestly, I cared more about getting good shots of them than anything else.

Brendan was a natural and responded really well to the photographer so we got some super adorable shots of him.

 This might be my favorite, hands down. It's getting blown up and put on the wall for sure.

I love this one too. He looks so big though!

Alex's individual shots didn't turn out so well that night though but luckily they have a satisfaction guarantee so we were able to do a short 15 minute re-shoot and we got MUCH better ones. He liked the photographer more and I learned from the last go around that even though he loves balls, using one to get him to smile for photos doesn't work. It just makes him angry because he can't hold the ball and throw it. The photographer this time stuck to Cookie Monster and Elmo dolls, which got way better results.

Gah, the cuteness of this pose kills me. I just love my little man. Seriously, my heart squeezes every time I look at this one.

And this is such a classic Alex kind of face (he chews on his lower lip a lot). I'm glad they caught one of these and luckily not one of his famous scowls- although that might have been really cute just because it's funny.

I'm so glad we had these done and I'm so glad my friend Lindsay told me about this place (Thanks, Lindsay!). It has been ages since we've had nice photos taken (I think it was before we moved to New Hampshire almost 5 years ago!!!) and we definitely needed to capture some images of our little family while the kids are still young. I love the stages that they're in and I know I'll look back at the pictures down the road and reminisce about how sweet and cute they were.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Black olives anyone?

My boys love black olives. Actually we all do but I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth the mess they create when they eat them.

 Alex loves to eat them and then spit out all the little chewed up olive pieces all over my floor. It's extremely disgusting and a pain to clean up.

And about an hour after taking these pictures and after Brendan eating about 20 olives, he proceeded to throw up all over my couch. That was even more disgusting and difficult to clean up. Ugh.

But I think it's worth it for the cute pictures.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The big birthday post

Alex's birthday started off with a little gift of a new Match Box fire truck (he looooooves fire trucks, or any kind of truck for that matter). He carried it around all morning and even posed with it for a quick birthday picture.

Brendan was more than happy to give Alex sweet birthday kisses too. He was so excited for it to be Alex's birthday, mostly because he knew he'd get to play with all the new toys too.

It was a busy day full of making a cake and frosting from scratch, running to the store to get eggs for the cake (how did I forget that I was out of eggs!?), cleaning my kitchen after making a mess baking that cake, getting Brendan to and from school, wrapping presents, and trying to enjoy some time to play with my boys. When Chris got home, we headed to Chic-fil-A for dinner and let the boys run around in the play area before heading back home for cake and presents.

Just before I moved that cake to the cake stand, Alex got his grubbing fingers in it. I was pretty proud of that cake though. I used a recipe that I found on Pinterest and it turned out super delicious. I don't think I'd use a chocolate ganache frosting again though- it made it a little too rich even for this chocolate lover. I'm kinda wishing I had gone with a plain chocolate buttercream instead. Oh well, the Goober still loved it.

He got a good chunk of frosting and thoroughly enjoyed it.

He started off doing pretty good with the cake- not as messy as I thought. Then I turned away to do something else and when I turned back...

 He had cake all up his arms and in his ear. Dirty Alex strikes again.

But it was his birthday so it's allowed and even preferred if he gets dirty eating his cake. I'm glad he liked it!

After cake, it was time for presents!!! Brendan was looking forward to this all day and he was more than happy to help Alex out when needed.

Alex was excited about Grandma and Grandpa Near's gift even before he opened it. He loved the Toy Story wrapping paper!

They were so excited about the helicopter, we had to force them to move on or we would have been there all night.

Grandma and Grandpa Lubniewski got him a giant Tonka truck with wheels almost as big as his head. And that thing is heavy, which means that he hopefully won't be able to throw it (he has a problem with throwing toys right now... sigh).

I got Alex his first pair of Chucks and he was so excited. Seriously, he loves shoes. He plays in my closet with all my shoes every single day and he's had numerous melt downs at Target when we walk by the shoe section and we don't stop so he can look at all the shoes. So the shoes made his evening. And the socks that went with them too. They match Brendan's socks that he got for school so hopefully now we won't have any more tantrums about not being to wear Brendan's cool socks (Alex is so weird sometimes... I just love him).

But the big gift of the night was this... a new bike.
 We had been talking about getting him a balance bike for a while and Chris scored one for a steal off of eBay (gotta support his job!) and it arrived just in time for his birthday.

He probably would have slept with it if we would have let him- so it's good to know that he loves it. He's a tiny bit short for it (sorry boys, that's my fault for passing on the short genes) but I know that won't stop him.

The day after his birthday we headed to Boondocks and celebrated in style.

 There was plenty of mini golf playing. I lost my ball by hitting it into the water on the second hole, so that was awesome.

There was plenty of this going on since Alex didn't quite want to follow Chris' coaching and hit the ball correctly and lots of picking up balls and dropping them in different places and all sorts of inventive playing. But it was fun and the boys enjoyed it.

 We got to go on go-karts, which was super fun. I hadn't driven one in probably 15 years and Chris was much better at it than I was.

Even though this outing was for Alex's birthday, he was too little to go on the go-karts and the bumper boats and he was so upset. He screamed and cried and kicked the whole time Brendan and Chris were off doing fun stuff and we just had to sit and watch. I felt so bad for him but there was an awesome play area for little kids inside, where we spent a good amount of time, a huge arcade that the boys loved and scored a ton of tickets, and even a good 4-D movie experience that was way more fun than I thought it would be. So overall, it was a fun day and by the end of it, we were exhausted. Alex took a super long nap when we got home while the rest of us chilled on the couch, too tired to do much else.

So happy birthday to Alex once again. We love this little guy and even though I don't want him to grow up, I can't wait for what this year has to offer.