Sunday, December 14, 2014

Hello, Handsome!

Everyone had some great 'personality' moments this week.

Dylan was thrilled to 'meet' himself in a mirror at Sciencenter. 

Hello Mr. Handsome!

This kept him entertained for several minutes. That is exceptional since he learned to crawl this week and now cannot be stopped. He's already climbing stairs! 

Ms. Cora continues to enjoy independence in her food selection. One evening I had the audacity to serve her cheese ravioli. Gasp! She took one look at it, shoved it to the middle of the table with a shout of 'me no like it!', and helped herself to yogurt.

Very pleased with her selection

Meanwhile, Noelle is four going on sixteen. I don't think she could be more excited about Dylan's little car.


Monday, December 8, 2014


A few months ago Cora started helping herself to the fruit bowl. This was a great step for her; increased independence! It wasn't as great for me or the house. I kept finding half-eaten fruit all over the place. Ick.

This week she made another huge improvement:

That's better, right?

Aside from this celebration-worthy advancement the week was fairly mundane. We checked out the story time at the local library. The kids, at least, were riveted:

Three kiddos in a row

We more than met the weekly quota for cuteness.

Saving time on the baths 

(Yes, that is how many bath toys I give them. One bowl that I use to wash their hair. Arguments over the end of bath time have tapered off exponentially.)

Really? I have to wear this inside, too?

Cora claimed the title as the first sister to decorate the baby. He makes a great goddess, huh?

Dylan taking it in stride

When Dad made it back in town we closed out the week with some 'quality' time at his office.

Dora is captivating no matter where you watch her!

This is a funny picture to me. When I was an undergraduate this very room was my advisor's office. It's a little space/time conflict to see my family hanging out there now!

Random picture of the week:

Wegmans ducks

That mallard is double the size of the other males and has that odd white patch. Is it possible to have a duck/goose hybrid?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Season!

With Thanksgiving come and gone we're officially deep into holiday season. We're enjoying all of the crafts, visits, food and (mildly annoying) music that comes with it!

The girls are into all of the food prep. They have been exceptional helpers and, more importantly, tasters.

Mmmm... Yep, it's good

Our Thanksgiving was wonderful. Grandma & Grandpa Hayes and Uncle Billy made a trip from Long Island to visit.

Hanging Out

There was some quality cuddle time watching holiday cartoons, too. Much more of this to come over the next month, I'm sure!

Very comfy!

Off topic and just for fun, I'll share a picture I grabbed off Alex's phone yesterday. The unread text messages is a lot (62), unviewed phone calls concerning (20), but the unread email is just simply insane (82 thousand)!?!

Ahem... Something is wrong here

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Dylan & Lindsey's Trip

Dylan and I had a wonderful week together. He is *such* a good baby. I don't think I really noticed just how good he is because I'm so busy in general. Hanging out with just Dylan, though, was pretty great!

First ride on the BART

Dylan took each new experience in stride. He was great on the airplanes and loved the train. He was playing too fast for the iPhone shutter speed!

I dropped him at daycare for a 'test' visit while I checked into the hotel and stocked the mini-fridge with food (no dinners out this trip). He did so well I even had time for a run along the bay:

Awesome and relaxing

Dylan was staying with the daycare provider we used when Noelle was little. The sitter was happy to have another one of our babies for a bit and Dylan loved playing with her and the other babies.

We never switched our sleep to the new time zone (3-3:30 am wake-up anyone?), but that was okay. I got to really enjoy some quality playtime with Dylan before heading to work each day.

Who knew hotels were so fun?

The girls and I missed each other, of course, but they really missed Dylan. The kiddos had several Skype conversations where Alex and I were relegated to the role of camera holders.

The siblings chatting it up

The girls sang Dylan songs and pretended to tickle him. He pounded the computer a lot, much to their amusement.

Now we're home and rested; ready to start a 'normal' week.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week with the Kiddos

Last week Alex was out of town. We all missed him but we made the best of it with as much fun as we could.

We started the week off right with brunch on Sunday morning. Dylan slept and the girls behaved marvelously. It was one of those lucky, magical outings!

Strawberry Pancakes!

Dylan enjoyed the baby toys at the 'bounce house' place

This was one of those weeks with crazy temperature swings. Tuesday we were all out doors enjoying what very well may have been our last warm fall afternoon.

Soaking in the sun

Late afternoon swing*

Predictably, the weather then turned cooler and we headed indoors for some fun. Dylan capitalized on the opportunity to try and perfect his crawling skills. I am *not* excited about this. Life is so much easier when the baby is more or less confined =) He sure is cute, and determined, though!

I think I can; I think I can!

Man, that's hard work!

  When Daddy came home he brought Noelle perhaps the best present ever; Snow White!**

Beautiful Princess

Noelle was so excited about this dress. She wanted us to take her to extra places just so more people could admire it!

Now we're in for an unusual week. Dylan and I are in the Bay Area for my work and Alex is holding down the home front with the girls. I'm sure we'll all have stories to tell about this week.

* Sometimes they play so well together!
** Gotta love those after Halloween costume sales!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Happy Halloween!

We had a week full of Halloween Fun! First up was a Halloween parade at the assisted living facility near us. Cora enjoyed the candy while Dylan soaked up all of the attention from the residents.

Little Astronaut

Ready to parade (Cora is, at least)

Next was Thursday night trick-or-treating at the Commons, a local pedestrian mall. I don't know what the (seven!) kids liked more; the candy or being chauffeured around in these:

Riding in style (Dylan hitched a ride in the Ergo)


Finally, we did the 'real' trick-or-treating in our neighborhood last night. The kids, of course, had a great time again and the neighbors were very generous with the loot!

Ready for round three!

Anna, Elsa & the Astronaut

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Birthday Party...

...with no pictures. Oops! We were busy having so much fun that I forgot to take pictures!

The highlight for the girls was the bounce house. It was delivered a day early, so the girls have been bouncing to their little hearts' content.

Testing it out with Daddy

Many other fun things, where I did manage to take pictures, filled our week, too.

Kiwi Crate continues to be one of our go-to activities. This month's box was great, hobby horses!

Ride 'em Cowboy

Cora went all around the house saying 'Giddy Up', it was adorable!

Our weekly visits to Sciencenter also continue to be fun for all.

Always something new

Little Dylan has started to enjoy our outings. Actually, he seems to enjoy everything! A new high was reached today when one of the girls sneaked him some applesauce.

Liking solids and not looking back!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dylan is Six Months Old?!

It seems like we just blinked our eyes and little Dylan went from newborn to playful, happy baby. Perhaps tomorrow I'll turn around and this little guy will be walking!

Dylan: months 0-3

Dylan: months 3-6

This little man is such a joy to have around. He 'goes with the flow' and really just takes things as they come. Dylan doesn't know a stranger (yet) and beams smiles at everyone he meets.

Especially heart-warming for me is how he seems to enjoy his sisters' company/entertainment/harassment. Yesterday, when they got home from daycare, they rushed to greet him and he met them with equal enthusiasm.

The kiddos enjoying each other

There is, of course, the odd moment of hair pulling (a baby has to defend his space a little)! The vast majority of the kids' interactions are very positive, though. I'm sure the drama (good and otherwise) will only increase as these guys grow!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Apple Picking

Yesterday my mom and I took the kids to Indian Creek Farm for apple picking. We were hitting the tail end of the picking season this year; most of the dwarf orchard was picked. We had no trouble, however, filling our bags with giant apples.

Picking away
The good picking was Mutsus, which are known as wonderful baking apples. So, of course, we made pies as soon as we got home! These pies did not disappoint; they may be the best apple pies I have ever made. I will definitely be trying to use Mutsus whenever I bake from now on!

We were greeted with a wonderful surprise when we headed up to our usual picnic spot; the farm had installed swings, a huge sandbox and a climbing structure. The girls were thrilled! This little farm was already a favorite of ours and now we'll be visiting even more frequently.
Enjoying the new installation!

Picnic on top of the table? Why not?

In addition to the apples, Noelle picked her very own Brussels sprouts. She was very proud of them. Unfortunately, picking them herself did not ensure that she would eat any of them. Ha =)

Aren't they beautiful?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pumpkin Picking with the Grandparents

Grandma and Grandpa Brock are visiting for the weekend. That made for a perfect opportunity for me to get some help taking the kids to the fall extravaganza that is Iron Kettle Farm.

We went to this last year and I'm sure it will be an annual ritual for us, especially since we're only 20 miles from it. This place maxes out the profit to be gained from a fall/Halloween festival to be sure, but it's great fun for all so we don't mind too much =) It's hard to beat a good old hay ride and corn maze!

How do we choose?
Progressing through the pumpkin patch 

Taking in the sights

Hay Ride!
Our little bear fell asleep before the ride was over =)

More fun and then More fun

Friday, October 10, 2014

A trip to the zoo and Harvest Festival

Last Thursday was a beautiful day so the kiddos and I took advantage of the fall weather and headed to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse.

This zoo is perfect for the preschool/toddler crowd. Five years from now it will likely seem too small, but it's just the right amount of fun for those with short legs and short attention spans! Two hours of fun walking around is about all our crew can take!

Taking in the sights

Dylan was not terribly impressed with the zoo. Hopefully next year he'll be able to enjoy it!

We made this trip last year also (post here) and had an equally good time.  Below is a comparison between the kids last year (bottom) and now (top). A lot changes in a year!

The difference a year makes =)

After our fun during the week we stopped by Ithaca's Apple Harvest Festival this weekend. Ithaca's calendar is full of festivals that offer local fun and flavor and this one was no exception.

The streets were full of caramel apples, face painting, music, games and, much to Noelle's delight, a Ferris Wheel!

Her very first ride!
I have vivid memories of my first Ferris Wheel ride when I was Noelle's age. It was with my maternal grandfather =) I hope Noelle's memories stick around too!

Unfortunately, Cora was too far below the height cutoff to squeeze in. It's tough being the little sister! Her consolation prize was playing a rubber ducky game for prizes. She 'won' twice and selected a ball as her prize each time.

Which duck should I pick?