Behind the Scenes 2014

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I think this year’s card might just be my favorite one yet.  We were a bit intimidated at the thought of trying to get a toddler and a dog to cooperate, but give them a cookie and some cream cheese and you’ve got a sure fire way to keep their attention.

I’ve been tossing around ideas for a kitchen scene for a while, and Jon was never on board.  When I suggested that he could be in the background pouring some booze into his coffee, he was suddenly a lot more interested.  I figured my favorite cards have always been the ones where something funny has been happening (Jon tied up in the Christmas lights and Brady pulling Jon down the street), so we went with it.  The original idea was for us to be dressed up in suit/tie/sparkles but last minute ditched the idea for pajamas.

Adelaide sat on her mark the entire time, happily gobbling down two very large chocolate chip cookies that we made earlier in the week.  I was running back and forth putting cream cheese on the island so Brady would jump up and lick it.  We had to take a small break to get him a step stool, because he was too short to really be seen in most of the photos.

This was our first year using lights.  We don’t get great lighting in our apartment, so Jon brought home some strobe lights to light the set.  I wish we had taken a photo of the entire setup, but it was too hectic to even think about it.  My friend Ashley came over to stand behind the camera and to get Adelaide’s attention, which was crazy helpful.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

^^I swear he wasn’t about to bite her.  Adelaide spent a good amount of the shoot trying to snuggle Brady.  She loves him so much.  Seriously, she just loves her dog.  Brady is so good with her, especially when she’s sneaking him food.

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

The final image was actually 3 photographs (Adelaide and me + Brady + Jon).

I guess there are some benefits to being married to a photo geek.

(PS. You can see all of our past Christmas cards here.)

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Happiest of Holidays

 

the baloney bug Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season with a lot of nice (and maybe a little bit of naughty).  Check in tomorrow for out takes and how it was done!

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Adelaide’s First Gingerbread House

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My friend from high school invited Adelaide and I over for a Gingerbread House making party over the weekend, and we had so much fun.

Technically, Adelaide’s fun revolved around eating the candy.  I kept looking down to see bites taken out of our Hershey kiss walkway.

Sneaky little thing.

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Christmas this year is so different than last year.  While Adelaide still has no idea who Santa is, she’s able to participate and get excited about what we’re doing.  Last year she didn’t really pay much attention to her gifts, and favored the boxes and wrapping paper instead.  This year I am so excited for Christmas morning to see her open her gifts that we’ve selected for her.  It’s taking so much will power to not run to the closet and grab them and let her play with them right now.

(My mom came thisclose to caving yesterday when she was watching Adelaide because she’s so excited as well.  Grandmas!)

We still haven’t seen Santa yet, and I’m a little nervous that she’ll flat out refuse to go anywhere near him.  Anyone have tips for meeting Santa they can share??

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Trick or Treat

m4s0n501

the baloney bug

I had a feeling that Adelaide would really love Halloween this year, so I wanted to take her on a true trick or treating experience.  In the city kids trick or treat at businesses, and it’s just not the same as the door to door experience I had as a kid.  We ultimately decided to go home to Maryland so she could trick or treat in the suburbs.  Jon was traveling for work (again), so Adelaide and I went down ahead of him and he got there just in time for trick or treating.

I hemmed and hawed for quite a while trying to figure out what I wanted to dress Adelaide as, finally deciding that she should be a sheep.  “Bahhh” is one of the animal noises she’s got down pat, so I thought it would be cute to have a little sheep running around.

I started looking for a sheep costume and was pretty unimpressed with everything I found, so I decided to try my hand at sewing one.  It took a little bit of fabric, elastic, velcro and an afternoon nap time to put it together.

Except when Adelaide woke up from nap time I couldn’t get her to try on the costume if my life depended on it.

Luckily my mom dressed her for the big day, and Adelaide will do anything for my mom.  She even kept the hood on the entire time.

Only for grandma.

A very brief rundown of how it was made for those interested: I basically traced one of her sleeveless dresses leaving a few inches around each side, and about 8 inches on the bottom.  I sewed it together and used elastic at the bottom to create the bubble skirt.  I sewed velcro on one of the shoulders so that she could get in and out of the costume.  And the finishing touch was the hood: I traced the hood of one of her sweaters, attached some ears, and then sewed it to the body of the costume.  If anyone wants actual details feel free to message me, but that’s a very brief description of the process.

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the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

^^hi brady the baloney bug the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

 

^^checking out her haul on the neighbor’s porch the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Adelaide LOVED trick or treating.  She loved ringing the doorbell and scooping candy into her bucket (which she would not let me get near if her life depended on it).  The first ten houses she picked only Snickers bars, until we finally started convincing her to choose other options.

I’ve been working on saying “trick or treat” with her for the last month or so, which she pronounces “tick teet” and is basically the best thing ever.

We gave her a little taste of chocolate over the weekend, but we weren’t sure what to call it, so randomly called it a cracker (mom fail on so many levels).  So now she keeps asking for crackers.  Which turns out to be a good thing because when we’re out in public I’m not embarrassed that she’s demanding candy crackers.

Mom win.

This was the first holiday that Adelaide really got involved in and actively participated.  I haven’t celebrated Halloween since I was in college, and I certainly never had as much fun as I did this year.

And because I get to eat all of Adelaide’s candy.

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Fall Fun

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While my mom was visiting we took an afternoon to walk around the Central Park Zoo, and then headed over to the park to play in the leaves for a while.  One of Adelaide’s new favorite games is throwing acorns.

It’s exactly what it sounds like: she throws acorns.

It’s her favorite.

Whatever.  It’s free.

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^^She’s not actually smiling here.  She’s saying “please” because we took the phone away from her.  It’s now my go-to method if I need her to smile.  Parenting win.

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

^^It’s surprisingly hard to get a photo of your kid holding acorns.  Mostly because they can’t hold still for more than a millisecond.

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the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

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Fall is so gorgeous in New York for about 3 weeks, then winter rears its ugly head.  We’re spending lots of time outdoors while the weather is still gorgeous, enjoying the parks and taking Brady on long walks.

I’m still in denial that winter’s coming at all.  I keep thinking something magical will happen and we’ll bypass winter all together.

Just let me have my dreams.

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Summer’s Farm

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I was in Maryland a week ago and my mom suggested I take Adelaide to Summer’s Farm.  I’d lived in Frederick most of my life and never knew that this place existed.  It’s funny how your priorities change as you have a child and a whole new world opens up.

I literally just googled “Does Disney World have alcohol?”

(It does.  Thank God.)

But I digress.  The farm.  We got there around dinner time on a Sunday, which is a great time to go to any kid’s place because… everyone’s having dinner.  I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of activities tailored to our tot.

We ran through the Corn Maze, rode on the barrel ride (which was mildly traumatizing for all of us) and played in the “corn pit” (for lack of better words).  Adelaide was obsessed with that thing.  Just lots and lots of kernels of corn to jump around in.  Who would’ve known?

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

It ended up raining while we were there, so Adelaide didn’t get to do a few of the activities, but she was pretty happy if she could stay in that corn pit forever.  There was a beautiful double rainbow, so that sort of made up for the weather.

I’m praying fall never turns into winter, because noooooo.

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Happy Birthday, Siena!

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Today is my sweet niece Siena’s second birthday.  Well, if you want to get technical it’s tomorrow, but since she’s in New Zealand, it’s already tomorrow.  So it’s her birthday today and tomorrow.  Lucky girl.

We celebrated her birthday when she was here in July.  It means so much to us to get to celebrate with her, even if it is a bit early.  Two cakes are better than one, amiright?

the baloney bug Sharing her cake with Nanny and Pop-pop

the baloney bug My parents got Siena the ultimate gift: a baby doll. 

the baloney bug What family photos look like with a toddler involved.

the baloney bug Siena may have been in a “birthday timeout” after she and Adelaide got into a massive fight over the baby doll and stroller.  Like I said, best gift ever.  My parents ended up giving Adelaide a doll and stroller as well to prevent future fights (which mostly worked) and Adelaide is equally obsessed with the toys, even months later.  That’s a big compliment in toddler world, considering most toys last .05 minutes before she loses interest.

the baloney bug And one final shot that’s not birthday related at all, because, that ponytail.

Happy Birthday, Siena!  We love you so much, sweet girl.

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Changes

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Today marks a significant day in my life, both personal and professional.  After nearly four years of working for a company I love, along side some of the best people I’ve met, I will hand in my badge.

Jon and I have decided that what’s best for our family, right now, is for me to stay at home with Adelaide.

While I was pregnant and during my maternity leave, we struggled with deciding if I should go back to work.  We ultimately decided that I would give it a shot and see how it went.  It’s been almost a year since I returned, and it’s going fine.  I like working.  I like talking to adults and eating lunch with both hands.

But as Adelaide gets older, I realize just how much of her day to day I’m missing.  Not to mention, by the time I get home from work she’s tired and fussy, I’m tired and fussy.  I was getting the worst parts of her day without getting any of the good parts.

I always felt like I was running out the door at home to get to work, and running out the door at work to get back home.  I never felt fully in one place or the other.

So Jon and I talked about it.  And talked some more.  We discussed how it would affect our finances and lifestyle.  And ultimately we decided that the benefits of me staying home with Adelaide outweighed the benefits of me working.

I’m nervous.  I’m really nervous, actually.

Nervous about being lonely until I get in a groove and meet mom friends, about finding things for us to do all day, every day. About the cold days and the rainy days.

But I’m also excited.  So excited.

So here’s to the good and the unexpected and to making changes that scare us.  Happy Friday, friends.

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Matchy Matchy

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As a kid my mom would always dress me to match my cousin who was the same age.  But we weren’t fooling anyone, we clearly weren’t twins.  My sister and I started dressing the girls alike to get a good laugh, but then we couldn’t stop doing it.  The girls were just so cute.  I mean, can you handle this??

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Also, don’t be fooled by this photo of them happily playing together.  Most of their time was spent fighting over toys.

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Please note Siena’s high heels.  She could walk like a champ in them.

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Adelaide looks happy but she’s definitely thinking, “I’m gonna steal that toy from you and you’ll never see it again!”

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Yep, toldya so.

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

I’m sure one day Adelaide will get embarrassed and annoyed at all the getups I dressed her in as a kid.  Until then, matching outfits it is.

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Chincoteague

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Just a couple more photos from our annual family beach trip to Chincoteague, Virginia.  It was the first time I’d seen my sister, brother in law and niece Siena since last summer.  Except last summer the girls were so little (Adelaide couldn’t even sit up!) and didn’t play together or interact.  This summer they sat next to each other in the shade and played in the sand, fought over toys and talked about their crazy moms (ha, not yet, but I’m sure it’s coming).

I love bringing Adelaide to the sleepy little beach town where I spent my summers growing up.  Not much has changed over the years, which is just the way we like it.

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Love this photo of my mom with Adelaide.  Given the choice of my mom or me, Adelaide would pick my mom every time.  It was so special to see them playing in the sand and jumping in the waves.  Not to mention it gave me a break to sit for a minute.  Didn’t get to read any books like in past years, but a minute to myself is still a minute to myself.

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Siena couldn’t even wait for her bathing suit.  The sand!  The sand!

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The girls playing side by side.  A rare moment where they weren’t fighting over beach toys.

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Adelaide fell in the sand and didn’t want to put her hands down (she hates getting them sandy) so instead used her face to push herself up.  Yea…that didn’t go over so well.  Had to be mean mommy and snap a picture before cleaning her up.

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Play time with daddy.

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the baloney bug

She might not be smiling, but at least she’s not screaming.

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the baloney bug

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the baloney bug

the baloney bug

the baloney bug

Can the summer please never end??

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