Categories
motherhood photography throwback thursday

tbt: Halloween through the ages.

With tomorrow being Halloween I thought it would be fun to go through pictures from the kids’ Halloween past. Fun for me at least. This task proved harder than I expected because ALL of my 2009 October pictures had literally vanished from my computer – no idea why. And in my 2010 October folder I found no pictures of BB’s costume at all. Luckily I dug deep into the Mommablogsalot Archives and found what I was looking for (and saved them to my computer!) – hurray! How’s that  for blogging power?

So without further adieu, let’s start at the beginning:

2006 : MM’s First Halloween

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MM the Pumpkin and his parents, the Pumpkin Farmers

2007: His second Halloween

Halloween 2007

We went to a little Halloween party with friends – if it isn’t obvious, MM is the little lion.

2008: Halloween Take Three

Halloween 2008

Our Dan’s first attempt at a homemade costume, MM is the Man in the Yellow Hat.

2009: Our First Halloween as Parents of Two

2009 her first Halloween

In keeping with tradition, BB was a Pumpkin – in a ballerina tutu of course

2009 Halloween Costume

This year MM was a Firefighter – we took the kids Trick or Treating at the Zoo!

Halloween 2010: Matching Costumes Begin

Halloween 2010

We went trick or treating with neighborhood friends! MM was Mickey Mouse.

BB's Halloween 2010

BB was Minnie Mouse but this is the only photographic evidence I have of that. When she wasn’t crying she was tucked into a baby carrier sleeping soundly.

Halloween 2011: A hiatus from matching costumes

Halloween 2011

For her third Halloween BB was a sweet kitten and her brother was Woody from Toy Story

2012: A Whovian Halloween

the Doctor & Amy

Meet the Doctor and Amelia Pond: If you understand this picture, we are besties now.

2013: In Which MM Regenerates

halloween 2013

Last year MM regenerated in reverse from the 11th Doctor to the 10th. BB wore two different costumes last year – photographed above she was Rapunzel.

DSC_5950But on Halloween night she was a Mermaid Princess. Obviously.
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Also, this happened.

On (or after?) Halloween 2014 you will meet The Astronaut (the obvious transition really) and The Fairy Princess. I know you are waiting with baited breath.

What are your kids dressing up as this year?

Categories
family fun memes & carnivals motherhood photography

Old School Blogging, Vol. 2

old school bloggingI’m back with six more “old school blogging” style questions that I borrowed nicely from Krystyn @ Really, Are You Serious? They dwell mostly in the categories of marriage and family life. Wanna play along? Tell me your answers in the comments below or leave me a link to your blog if you post them there.

1. How did your husband pop the big question? The question was technically already in the air as we were one of those crazy couples that did the whole “get married, have babies” thing out of order. But he was still a little nervous that evening in December 2005 when he took me out for dinner at Olive Garden and then afterwards in the parking lot popped the question. It was a grimy New England December with slushy pavement around us so he didn’t get down on one knee but I was too busy being ecstatic that he’d asked to worry about stuff like that. Eight years later and we’re still going strong!

2. What are the three most surprising things about married life? 

  • Our marriage grows stronger every year as we grow older and learn more about each other. It’s amazing how even when you are disagreeing about something or they are being soooo annoying about that thing that you can still just love someone with all your heart.
  • Nothing is sacred. Just… yeah. Especially if you’ve been through motherhood, too.
  • That we still manage to find new things to talk about every day! If I have to go an extended time without talking to him about all the inane things I go a little crazy.

3. How did you find out you were pregnant for the first time? I think the way most people find out. Morning sickness and a missed period.

4. How did you choose your first baby’s name? It honestly just felt right. We thought about a lot of different names and I think up until the ultrasound I was still thinking about several for each gender and then when we found out we were having a boy it just suddenly clicked. His middle name is my father’s middle name (and my grandfather’s first name) but his first name is just one we both liked.

5. Describe where you see yourself in 10 years from now… I assume that ten years from now when you ask me how old I am that I’ll be pretty sure I’m older than 40 but I’ll have no idea if I’m 41, 42 or 43. Hopefully I have it narrowed down at least that far. Cross your fingers that I’ll have replaced my Buick by then, preferably with something that has All Wheel Drive and maybe an auxiliary port. MM will be EIGHTEEN and we must absolutely not think about that. BB will be FIFTEEN so basically, hold me. I’ll probably still be changing my blog’s theme every 2 1/2 weeks and I’ll probably tell you I’m writing a novel but likely will only be 2 or 3 chapters into it at best and haven’t looked at the thing for weeks. My one gray hair will probably have a few friends.

6. Describe how you find bliss, either with words or images.

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Categories
family fun

A few of my favorite things.

old school blogging

My current hectic schedule does not seem to lend itself nicely to blogging. Even on the days when I might have time to sit down and devote myself to a real blog post (i.e. more than a picture of my kids being adorable) I feel the motivation to really delve deep harder to find. My mind just doesn’t want to focus on anything unless it has to, you know?

Days like these I think are Days for the Meme. Krystyn @ Really Are You Serious is doing a series of Old School Blogging posts right now that seem like just what the doctor ordered. Today I’m going to link up and share a few of my favorite things besides girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes.

Here is my favorite:

Sit down restaurant: The Great Dane Pub is one of my favorites here. I like the pub style menu with a few different cultural influences. They have fantastic mac and cheese for the kids, lots of different options that will appeal whether you want an upscale meal or down home comfort food and a dessert menu to die for.

Cookie: Lately I’ve been all about the classic chocolate chip. I really am an equal opportunity cookie lover but there is something about a chocolate chip cookie that has just that right divide between crunchy and chewy with chocolate chunks that are juuuust melty enough. Nothing is better than that.

Bath product scent: Vanilla is a sure thing for me. I like sweet, desserty scents with a feeling of warmth to them like vanilla, almond or brown sugar.

Tv shows: Lately I have been binge watching old seasons of America’s Next Top Model. I have loved comparing the old seasons to the current ones and trying to guess who will win. As an amateur photographer, I really enjoy watching that process. The drama is occasionally border line ridiculous but I am hooked. I also like Project Runway, Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Castle, and a new favorite that doesn’t seem to be getting much ratings love is Selfie – I think it’s brilliant and laugh out loud funny.

Flower/ Plant: I like lilies and daisies and I love to photograph interesting flowers at the botanical garden, preferably smaller ones hidden in the corner or ones with beautiful interiors to take macro shots of.

Bad-for-me snack: Yes. :OP Seriously, I’m basically a walking sweet tooth. Give me cake, cookies, pie, ice cream, a piece of dark chocolate, bread pudding, warm chocolate pudding, marzipan, I could go on.

Magazine: I’m not really reading many magazines these days. I do enjoy Family Circle and Entertainment Weekly but I never have time to sit and read them. I do have fond memories of my teenage years reading any magazine with a quiz in it that would tell me who my perfect boyfriend was or what style nail polish I should wear. We have buzzfeed for that now.

Hobby (besides blogging): Probably reading. I’m always reading something. Or playing dumb games on Facebook.

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Holiday: I like a lot of holidays. Christmas, for the holiday music and twinkling lights and baking with the family; Easter for decorating eggs and taking pictures of the kids in gorgeous outfits that my mother in law sends them; Halloween for finding / making the kids the perfect costume. Fourth of July for my old hometown’s corny parades and mini cherry cheesecakes.

Favorite thing to do for Girls Night Out: I love to go play Team Trivia at local pubs with my friends. I also love getting together for a game night or our book club.

Favorite thing to do on a Date Night Out (yes, out because some people call it date night at home, and that’s not what I mean!): Some of our favorite date nights have been going to see a play or musical together, going bowling or to play billiards or even just a movie night.

What are some of your favorite things?

If you are playing along, let me know!

Categories
arts & crafts kindergarten motherhood photography

Kindergarten Looks Like: Paper Craft Extreme

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Can we talk about BB’s new craft obsession? Every day she painstakingly cuts out little shapes from bits of paper and then assembles them into pictures, coloring in all the little pieces. This is a self portrait of hers that she gave me recently and it’s just one in an ever growing collection of patchwork pictures.

Is this a common hobby? Because MM – who frequently gets lost in making intricate diagrams and charts – has not inundated me with anything similar. I mean sure he’s done his fair share of cutting and pasting different things together, but never on this level and I can’t recall having done it myself as a kid.

I don’t want to be that braggy parent that we all hate but I’m kind of blown away by this. The level of creativity, concentration and organization needed to do stuff like this? It seems like it wouldn’t be an ordinary hobby for a 5 year old but maybe I’m just underestimating all the five year olds in the world. Maybe we’re all much more brilliant than we give ourselves credit for.

Any other five year old future quilters out there? What has your kid done recently that just blew you away with Momma Pride?

Categories
doctor who

2 Super Important Doctor Who Links.

fangirlingjen

Who wants to make me a TARDIS bird feeder? I’ll add this to my list of projects to nag my husband about because he doesn’t have enough important things to do already. Because you never know when a time traveling hummingbird might need to stop for a snack in our backyard.

Did you hear the BBC is releasing a ‘Doctor Who’ game to teach kids how to program? According to Entertainment Weekly, “the educational game is being released via the CBBC website as a means of teaching programming to younger children. The game’s puzzles will actually complement a computing curriculum that has been instituted across the U.K.. The Doctor and the Dalek tasks players with repairing the Dalek back to full strength through a series of coding-focused puzzles.” I’m going to need a mega geek to find a loophole so that us non U.K. residents can play, too.

Categories
photography

signs of the season: autumn leaves

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Categories
family fun photography travel

Visiting Metropolis: Home of Superman

MetropolisIllinois

I owe a major thank you to the friend who said, “Oh if you are driving through Southern Illinois, make sure you stop in Metropolis.

You mean like Superman, Metropolis? Like that’s a real place?

She assured me it was quite real and gave me the skinny that I’m going to give you now. Metropolis Illinois is a small town in southern Illinois that loves its Superman Legacy. They even have a 15-foot bronze statue of him in the middle of Superman Square. Seriously. They also have a Supermuseum and gift shop.

According to roadsideamerica.com,

“The Chamber of commerce used to givefree packets of Kryptonite to children — until lawyers from DC Comics read about it on this website and made the town stop (Metropolis failed to submit the “Kryptonite” for approval by DC, and the chunks presented a choking hazard for children anyway).”

Metropolis

5 Things To Know

  1. Metropolis is not the big, bustling city that you might expect given its name and Superman’s story. It’s a pretty small town and for the first fifteen minutes driving through town I was unconvinced we were in the right place. Keep going until you see the massive man in tights. I promise he’s there.
  2. Once you get to the center of Metropolis, all the Super Sights are in walking distance. Find a parking spot and you are ready to enjoy the sights.
  3. The Super Museum is also the Super Gift Shop. When you go inside, there is a ton of memorabilia, comics, old toys and Super Stuff. The museum is further inside and costs $5 for everyone over the age of 5.
  4. When you step inside Superman’s phone booth, sadly you don’t magically turn into a superhero, but you do look adorable so take pictures.
  5. The 37th Annual Superman Celebration will take place June 11th – 14th, 2015. Super fans travel from all over the globe to visit the Official Home of Superman. Complete with an Artist’s Alley, Man of Steel exhibitions and contests, amusement park, live music and $1000 Superhero Costume Contest, the Superman Celebration provides fun for the entire family.

We were only in Metropolis for a couple of hours but it was a really fun stop on a long day of driving and the kids were absolutely in their glory! It was, in a word, Super!

Previous: Bowling Green KY

Next: St Louis MO

Categories
family fun photography travel

Road Trip Diary: Lost River Cave, Bowling Green KY

lostrivercave-ky

Did you think I was done recapping our summer road trip? Believe it or not, there are still more stories to tell! We got busy last month with the start of a new school year and that whole me getting a job thing, but I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you guys about one of the coolest places we went this summer: The Lost River Cave in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Initially we’d planned to see Mammoth Cave while we were in Bowling Green but it turns out that the tickets to the Mammoth Cave tours sell out FAST! I did a little research and came across this gem of an alternative. The Lost River cave was conveniently located, reasonably priced and even better: not sold out yet!

I was fascinated with the history of the Lost River Cave which boasts the tale of the blue hole, disappearing Civil War soldiers, Jesse James’ hiding place and the cave’s night club past life. I got a lot of story ideas out of this trip, not to mention a ton of exercise!

After a 20 minute leisurely hike along the property, we came to the entrance of the cave where we took a boat tour through the cave – parts of the cave ceiling are so low that you have to really duck as you go by which sounds intimidating but the guide does a good job of preparing you for it and the boat is moving pretty slow to give you time.

The tour guide was funny and informative and had a lot of great stories to tell. The cave was beautiful (and nice and cool – awesome on a hot July day). Afterwards we hiked some more to the butterfly habitat which was beautiful and probably one of BB’s favorite parts of the morning – and just one of many family friendly activities they have to offer in addition to the cave tour. We couldn’t resist pressing some pennies up near their gift shop where they also had treasure mining activities and an Outdoor Classroom to learn more about nature.

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So whether you are a hiking enthusiast, science geek, butterfly lover, spelunker, tree hugger, eager tourist or just looking for something fun to do with the family on your next visit to Bowling Green, I highly recommend the Lost River Cave.

Previous: Ruskin FL

Next: Metropolis IL

Categories
family fun motherhood photography

Do you buy school pictures?

MM, Third Grade

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We got the kids’ school pictures back last week. Every year dh and I have the talk.

“School pictures are almost always terrible and too expensive,” one of us will point out, “Why don’t we skip it this year?”

The other will kind of agree but point out the nostalgia factor – and how it’s almost enjoyable how terrible some pictures are. “Why not just get a very small package?” we’ll counter and the other will begrudgingly agree.

This year in particular we felt we should at least order this once since it’s a new school and a new photographer. Might as well give them a try! The verdict: The pictures are better than previous years but maybe our kids are just better at posing? Do you guys remember MM’s kindergarten picture in  which he strangely had no neck whatsoever?

MM, Kindergarten

class picture

We call this “The Brick Picture” – if you watch The Middle, you may understand.

So I mean, by comparison – yeah this year’s pictures are pretty great. But… Is it just me or does MM look weirdly old in that photo up there? Like older than he actually is. And being an overly particular mom who enjoys photographing her kids, I can’t help but notice the lack of joy. It’s just a generic photo.

Here’s BB’s photo so we can compare:

BB, Kindergarten

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Again, she looks older… Like way older than 5. And you can’t tell that she’s a goofy little Princess Obsessed ballerina girl who can talk to you every single minute of the day without taking a breath. You can’t tell that she likes to hang upside down on the monkey bars or play Super Heroes while singing songs from Frozen or that she brews imaginary tea with both white milk and chocolate milk and then more white milk and then more chocolate milk and would you like sugar?

You can’t tell that MM is an orange belt in karate and can’t take a picture without karate chopping the air and kicking as high as he can. You can’t tell that he’s imagining the world if you could see sound waves or wondering how long it would take to fly to Mars. You can’t imagine his silly laughs or picture him rolling around on the carpet with his dog and then chasing him around the house, laughing with glee.

Clearly I’m asking for too much, but I don’t know. Do you see the staleness too or have I just not gotten enough sleep? I will say, that the class pictures they took were adorable and framed immediately. The photographer did a great job capturing all the kids together and everything about those pictures was just perfect. Also, I got a real kick out of comparing the kids’ pictures and realizing how alike they look! It’s downright uncanny!

How about you? Do you buy the school picture packages each year or do you prefer taking pictures yourself or maybe going to a Portrait Studio?