Winter Break 2010

Filed under: family,friends,photos — by Lauren on January 8th, 2011 @ 12:18 pm

The end of December 2010 was crammed with chaos and fun.  Despite each of the girls coming down with a bad cold and ear infection, we still managed to enjoy Christmas Eve at my uncle’s house, a blizzard, a few playdates, playing in the snow, and a rocking New Year’s Eve at our house with friends:

Christmas Eve:

The blizzard of December 2010:

Some of my friends from high school brought their children over for a playdate:

Playing in the snow on December 31st:

New Year’s Eve with the Wahl family:

Best line of the night

Filed under: Anya,friends,funny,the day-to-day stuff — by Lauren on September 5th, 2010 @ 7:47 pm

We had a lovely BBQ at our friends’ house this evening.  Their little girl – one of Anya’s first friends – has a really neat digital camera that Anya very much enjoyed.  She was having a lot of fun taking pictures of the grownups, the kids, the furniture… However, my favorite moment was when she took a picture of Lex, turned to me with a big smile, and said, “Look!  I took a picture of Daddy’s crotch!”

Apple and Pumpkin Picking

Filed under: friends,photos,the day-to-day stuff,video — by Lauren on October 29th, 2009 @ 9:57 pm

We went apple and pumpkin picking in the beginning of the month, but I forgot to post pictures back then. With Halloween a day and a half away, I figured I should get on that.

Turkey Swamp Park

Filed under: friends,photos,the day-to-day stuff — by Lauren on May 23rd, 2009 @ 8:26 pm

We took the girls to Turkey Swamp Park this morning, in particular because we wanted to take Anya paddleboating on the lake. I didn’t know if we would be allowed to take Sierra on the boat, but they had life jackets just for infants, so all four of us got to go.

We unexpectedly ran into Anya’s friend CJ and his parents at the park!  They also had fun on the paddleboats, and then the kids spent a bunch of time on the swings.


Filed under: friends — by Lauren on May 18th, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

I’ve been flattered way more than I deserve by Erica, who tagged me on her blog:

“I am also going to tag Lauren who simply amazes me with how much she teaches her daughters and how calm and at ease she is at being a mom.”

Thank you so much, Erica.  What an amazing compliment, especially coming from someone I admire so much – talk about a SUPERMOMMA!  She’s a mom of five, including twins Anya’s age, and her commitment to having a successful VBAC with her youngest son is what gave me the courage to fight for mine with Sierra.   Erica is a true modern “earth” mother, and I aspire to be even one-tenth as cool as she is – and I’m amused that she described ME as calm.

So now I have the task of thinking of 7 things that exhibit my own awesomeness; not easy for someone so prone to self-criticism.

1.  I’m a kid at heart, which I hope means my children have as much fun playing with me as I do with them.

2.  I tried really hard to teach Anya to eat healthfully, and though she does enjoy cookies and ice cream, she also LOVES salad.

3.  On the subject of food, I love my kids so much that I’m willing to touch gross things like bananas and cream cheese because they like them (well, right now just Anya likes them, but Sierra, when you are old enough I’ll touch them for you, too).  I still won’t eat them, though.  I’m not that awesome.

4.  I’m pretty creative, whether it’s making hairbows and baby hats or coming up with projects and activities for the kids.  If only I could sew, there’d be no stopping me!

5.  Some of the things Lex and I have chosen for our girls (like extended breastfeeding, co-sleeping, limiting their TV and sugar, etc.) aren’t always the norm here, but I don’t mind.  We do what we think is best for our kids, no matter what other people think or do.   I don’t think that I was as comfortable with being different in the past.

6. When I set my mind to something, I get it done, one way or another.  You might call that stubbornness; I call it determination.  Sierra’s VBAC is proof of that.

7.  Having kids has made me much more environmentally conscious, and though there is still a huge list of things I could and should change, I like to think I’m taking baby steps towards being a greener person.

Now the really fun part – tagging other moms!  I think first I’d like to tag Nickie.  She’s only been a mom for 5 1/2 months, but you’d think she’s been doing it all of her life – she’s just that natural.  She handles each challenge with ease and grace, but still takes time to marvel at all the tiny miracles of motherhood.  Next, I’m tagging Amnesty.  You simply cannot have three children who are as adorable and brilliant as hers and not be awesome.  Last, I’m tagging Saina.  She’s the mother of two gorgeous little guys who do loads of fun “boy” things like admire garbage trucks, romp in the mud, and investigate bugs.  Any mom who willingly takes pictures of the caterpillar crawling up her son’s arm instead of running away shrieking has to possess a supermother power I seem to lack.  If I am ever lucky enough  to have a little boy of my own (or if Sierra ends up liking those things, since Anya does not), I hope I find some of her kind of strength hidden in my soul.

Happy Halloween!

Filed under: friends,photos,video — by Lauren on November 3rd, 2008 @ 12:05 am

This was Anya’s third Halloween since her birth two years ago, but the first one she really got to participate in.  She thought it was fabulous and had so much to say about it.  Here are lots of pics and a short video:

Painting pumpkins a few days earlier:

Anya insisted that she wanted to wear last year’s duck costume in the morning, so she wore that to school for the party and parade:

Trick-or-treating with her friends CJ and Joey earlier in the afternoon:

Trick-or-treating with Daddy and Mommy later:

Anya has been admiring our neighbor’s blow-up witch for weeks.  It pops up and down every few seconds.  She frequently asked to go for a walk to see the witch as soon as she woke up from her nap.  On Halloween she actually got to TOUCH it!  I think that might have been more exciting than getting candy:

After dinner we gave Anya her first piece of actual chocolate.  We THINK she liked it:

Anya’s birthday celebration (with pictures!!!)

Filed under: baby's progress,family,friends,photos — by Lauren on October 19th, 2008 @ 11:01 pm

We had a fabulous time celebrating Anya’s birthday – and we have 209 pictures to show for it!  Here are some of the highlights:

Celebrating at school on Friday morning:

The cake I made for the party (it’s made out of cupcakes):

Our birthday girl first thing in the morning:

We started the day out by opening some presents from Lex’s family.  Anya got some wonderful gifts, including some neat puzzles from Grammy and Papa Ducky and a Dora the Explorer doll from Aunt Marnie.  She also got a Dora fleece blanket which I made for her.  Then we got dressed and headed out to the pumpkin patch.  It was very cold out, but she had a great time:

Next we stopped at the bookstore to try to replace Anya’s copy of It’s Sharing Dayit seems to have disappeared 🙁 – but they didn’t have it in stock.  We did get her a different Dora book as a consolation prize, and then we all had lunch together at the Cheesecake Factory – yum:

About halfway through lunch, Anya begged to go on the rides outside of JC Penney, and how could we say no to the birthday girl?  She still doesn’t know that it’s possible to make them move by putting money in them, and if we’re lucky we’ll get to milk that for another two years.  For now, she’s content to climb on them:

We headed to Grandma and Grandpa’s house to take a nap before the big party after lunch. Then at 4 pm Anya’s friends and some of her cousins joined her at Gymboree to celebrate her second birthday:

After the party we went back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for pizza and presents:

Anya received many fabulous gifts from our family and her friends, and we are so appreciative!  She ended her birthday video chatting with her Grammy and Papa Ducky before going to bed.  We’re all exhausted from our busy day, but we hope that Anya enjoyed her second birthday!  Video clips will hopefully be posted soon – we’ve got about 30 minutes of footage to pare down.  I also forgot to take her bear picture today (OOPS!) so that should be up shortly as well.

So crafty

Filed under: friends,photos — by Lauren on September 27th, 2008 @ 8:17 pm

My friend Lisa had her second child, a baby boy, last week, and tomorrow is the bris.  Our mutual friend Shiri and I decided to try making a diaper cake to give as a gift.  We found a couple of different sites with directions to get the basic idea and then improvised from there.

We started with a bottle of lotion as the base and made the first tier:

Shiri holding the second layer before we tied it off:

We put dowels in to hold it together and sat a little bear on top:

The final layer:

After the cake was assembled, we got to have a lot of fun
decorating it. We used washcloths, socks, and bath mitts to make
flowers and accented the cake with ribbon and rattles:

The finished product, front and back:

Wrapped up and ready to go:

Thanks to Lex and Dave for entertaining Anya, Izzy, and Maytal so Shiri and I could have our fun without much interruption.  Here’s a cute picture of Izzy and Anya playing together while their moms were hard at work:

And speaking of crafty things, I finished crocheting a blanket for Baby Girl this week.  It’s pretty small, so I won’t be able to use it for much more than a car seat throw or a blankie, but that’s okay.  We have so many blankets from when Anya was born that this baby will never lack for warmth, plus she’ll have the fleece blanket I made for her as well.

My little ballerina (and some random pics)

Filed under: friends,photos — by Lauren on September 10th, 2008 @ 11:12 pm

Anya and I had taken a Mommy and Me dance class over the summer.  She loved it so much that I enrolled her again for the year.  The teacher had pulled me aside after one of our classes and said that if I sign her up for the fall, I should put her in the 2 1/2 year old group instead of the baby class, even though she’s not yet two, because she had done so well this summer (with following directions and participating).  Today was the first day.  During the summer, the kids can wear any comfortable clothes, but during the year they are supposed to wear little dance outfits.  When I got her dressed this morning, she was SO excited about her tights and her little skirt.  She loved looking at herself in the mirror.  I just wanted to eat her up!

Some pictures I’ve been meaning to post:

Anya with her afternoon playdate pals CJ and Joey at the park

Anya meets Izzy’s new baby sister Maytal

Anya on the play structure at the pool

Anya and her buddy Rachel

What deer do in NJ when it rains

I was amused that she fell asleep like this

Our trip to the Bahamas

Filed under: family,friends,photos,video — by Lauren on August 25th, 2008 @ 10:30 pm

We were very lucky this summer in that we got to join my parents, my sisters Samantha and Melanie, my brother Brian, Samantha’s boyfriend Erik, and Melanie’s friend Anne on a week-long trip to Taino Beach in the Bahamas (or the ‘Hamas, as Anya called it all week before we left). Despite getting hit with the outskirts of Tropical Storm Fay for much of the trip, we still had a wonderful time – and at least some of us managed to get to the pool or beach every day.

Anya loved flying on the planes! She was particularly excited by landing (“The plane is landing on the ground! It driving on the wheels! It go fast!”). We brought LOTS of things for her to do, but it turned out not to be necessary – she spent a good portion of the air time either sleeping, eating, or poring over the in-flight magazine and Sky Mall catalog. She had a little trouble falling and staying asleep while at the hotel (vacations should NOT involve waking up at 4:30 in the morning!) but towards the second half of the trip we were able to get into a groove that more or less worked. With nine adults and just one Anya in our group, she hardly got any attention this week. Yeah, right.

Between the three cameras that were brought, we took a lot of pictures (click here to see the full album). Here is a video and some of the highlights:

Yikes, THAT’S a big belly. Baby Girl #2 was there, too!

My parents and all of their kids:

Our “Bahama Mama”:

A piggy back train:

One of the storms:

The beautiful view from our balcony:

Anya admiring the ocean:

Lex playing in the sand:

Despite the look of worry here, Anya did end up loving the ocean:

Friedman family portrait:

Anya and Lex “chill-laxing” in a hammock:

She could not get enough of the slide!

Everybody in the pool:

Me and Anya, snuggling in a tube:

There were lizards everywhere! Anya was disappointed that she wasn’t going to get to pet and kiss them, as she announced excitedly when she first noticed them, but she still enjoyed chasing them:

The whole group at dinner on our last night:

Karaoke at one of the casinos:

Anya enjoying the play area at the Philadelphia airport during our return flight layover:

It really was a fabulous trip, with a good mix of activity and relaxation. I can’t remember the last time I had enough time to read two books in one week! Since my dad has access to the timeshare for the next 30 years or so, I am sure we’ll be back again some day, and I hope we have just as good of a time – except maybe with a little less wind!

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