Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Jillian's Christmas Program

Jillian's school had their annual Christmas Program. It is my ABSOLUTE favorite thing that they do at her school.  The teachers work all month to teach the kids all the songs and dance moves.  And wouldn't you know it, our kid is a H-A-M!

Jillian asked to wear her favorite dress, her golden dress from her 3rd birthday.  She looked so pretty!

This year, her class performed with the older kids too, so Jillian and Jackson's class sang their songs together.  And thank goodness for that because Julian had to be in Houston for school work, but the Malnars got the performance on video so that Julian (and all our family) can see it.

She did so good, singing all of the lyrics and doing all the dance moves.

After it was over, we took a quick family photo.

And here are the stars of the show, Jillian, Jackson, and Andrew.

She looks like such a little grown up in this picture *tear*

I can't wait for the Christmas program again next year to see Jillian perform again...and because I think a certain little boy named Alex will get to be in the program, too.  I can't wait!!!  

Monday, December 1, 2014

O Christmas Tree

The house transformation for Christmas has begun.  We are slowly but surely making our way through all the rooms in the house to get them all decked out for the Christmas season.  Over the past 2 nights, we worked to put up the kids' Christmas trees.

Julian and Jillian put up her tree last night, and I can tell that it really brightens her day.  

Jillian and her Christmas tree - Christmas  2014

Where did the time go?!

Jillian and her Christmas tree 2011, 2012, 2013

As for Bubsy, we got him a tree last year, but never really found the right ornaments to deck out his tree.  But trusty Target came through again and we found these adorable woodland creatures that were perfect for him.

And I don't know if Jillian was more excited to put up her tree or to help put up his.  

Once I assembled the tree, I put the first ornament on.  Alex is a fast learner and he got right to work on adding the rest of them on.  

Jillian had already spent the night giving names to all of the animals.  So Alex would put one on, and Jillian would go rearrange it... "Alex, Robbie the Reindeer wants to be next to Ballie the Bear."

What resulted was a cute little tree for Alex's room.  Once we put everything on, I figured out that there are still more trimming that we can add to his tree, but all in good time.

How I love thee, O Christmas Tree,
And the little people you belong to!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Eat, Drink, and Be Scary

Last weekend, we had the Annual Halloween Party with our friends at our house.  It was the first of the Halloween festivities this season, which means that it was the first time Jillian and Alex got to wear their costumes.  

We have been asking Jillian since August what she wanted to be for Halloween this year.  She came up with a lot of ideas, and she was originally determined for her to be Minnie Mouse and Alex to be Mickey Mouse again.  I knew it was going to take a great costume idea to stray her away from using the same idea as last year.  

It was a no-brainer when I thought that she could be Queen Elsa and Bubs could be Olaf from Frozen.  As soon as I mentioned this to her as an option, she could think of nothing else!  


I knew there were going to be a million other little Elsas out there on Halloween...surely none would be as beautiful as mine!  

And our Olaf was the cutest little snowman around!  

Some people are worth melting for, and he definitely melted my heart!

As I was getting ready to host this year's Halloween party, I turned to trusty Pinterest for some party ideas.  And of course I found tons.  I made mummy hot dogs, ghost bananas, orange pumpkins, and monster yogurts (not pictured).  And of course no party is complete without cupcakes and goodie bags.  The other families brought lots of treats to add to the party fare too!

Everyone ate, drank, and enjoyed each other's company.  We stopped to snap a few family shots.

The Skows

The Malnars
The kids ate a lot of sweets and needed to burn off some sugar energy.  Jillian ran around serenading everyone to "Let it Go."

And we played a mummy game where the daddies mummified their kids, then they had to dance the monster mash, and hug their "mummies."  It was great fun for all most!

Elsa and Buzz ended the night with a dance.  The kids have been coming home telling us that they practiced their wedding dance at school.  They were excited to show us their moves, complete with a dip.  

It was a festive good time and we can't wait to host the Halloween party next year!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Adorable Alex: Walking Boy

Our Bubsy is a walking boy!  He started taking his first steps 3 days before his 1st birthday.

(This video is a little fuzzy)

But here in the last few days, he has really been taking off and walking so well on his own.

Another big milestone for our little guy!  We love you, little walking Bubs!!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Adorable Alex: Home Run Photos

It's funny to look back and think of the things that you dreamed for your child.  I prayed that Alex would be healthy.  I hope that one day, he'll be kind and gentle.  I knew that we would raise him to be loving and strong.  You know, all the important stuff that matters in life.

But I also dreamed of silly things, too, like who or what he'll be one day when he grows up. I don't know if one day, Alex will grow up to be a ball player. And the truth is, we really can't even control if he develops a love for the game, even as a fan. All I do know is that we'll try our hardest to raise him right, to develop an appreciation for America's pastime. 

So here's the truth...I remember waking up in the middle of the night when I was pregnant with Alex, thinking all about how much I hoped he would love baseball, like his daddy. Like all moms who are awake at 3 AM, I turned to my ol' friend, Pinterest. From about 3-5 AM, I planned out his birth announcement, photo shoots, and 1st birthday party theme, all centered around baseball.

But I knew I couldn't trust these important details to just anyone. That's what happens when you have amazingly talented artists in your circle is you go to them with a vision, a dream, and you ask them to help you make it a reality.

So I pitched the idea of a series of photo shoots to our trusted photographer, Sarah Burns. Sarah has captured all of the amazing moments on our journey of parenthood, from maternity pictures to current day family photos. I told her I would supply the photo props if she would make the magic happen. 

What resulted was a series of photos of our son that will last us a lifetime!

Alex's newborn shoot

Alex at 3 months

Alex at 6 months

Alex at 1 year

The images are absolutely priceless to us. They tell the story of our baby boy becoming a toddler, right before our very eyes. Sarah did what Sarah does best, and that's capture our lives so perfectly in photos. 

I knew that these images would need to be matched with the creative genius of Becca Paro so that we could share them with our family and friends.  So I sent the idea of a baseball card birth announcement and baseball ticket birthday invitation to Becca. Her design, plus Sarah's images, made for a perfect way to share our love of our son, baseball, and the Yankees perfectly.

You may think I'm crazy for staying up nights working to see this vision and then working to make it a reality. Welcome to my crazy! But it was all worth it to get to capture Alex in such a way that we will always look back on and smile.

Silly Jilly: Sunshine Days

Happy First Day of School to everyone!  Today was Jillian's first day in a new class, the Sunshine class!  

We have been talking up her new class for quite some time now because Jillian does better at adapting to something when she knows it is coming (don't all kids?!).  So at school and at home, we've been talking to her a lot about how much fun she's going to have in her new class and how much she is going to learn.  

In order to be ready for the big day, we told Jillian that she would get to wear a pretty, new dress and fun, new shoes to her first day of Sunshine.  She was very excited to get to put on her purple dress and purple shoes from Grandma, Grandpa, and Auntie Manda.  And of course, Bubsy had to dress up too!  Don't they look so cute?!

I think the new dress/shoes thing worked because Jillian was excited to go to school this morning.  We stopped for a quick picture in front of the school.  

It's funny because it feels like her first day of a new class happened just yesterday.  While her smile and her hands-on-the hips pose may be the same, she has gotten so much bigger and smarter since this same time last year (and so much more full of personality).

Then it was time to head in.  We went to her class first, but she decided that she'd rather go drop Bubs off instead.

Alex just recently transitioned into his new class, but it's been a little bit of a rough transition for him.  For the first week, he would cry everyday we left him.  He is adjusting better now, and I think it's because we get him there right on time to sit down and eat breakfast, and he loves eating.

Bubsy in his chair, ready to eat!
I was a little worried that taking Bubs first was just a stall tactic by Jillian to avoid going into her new class.  We stopped for a picture in front of her new door and she still seemed happy and excited.

Once we got into her class, I could tell that she got a little nervous.  But I was fully prepared for this so I had saved one last surprise for her.  I got her a Minnie Mouse that could be clipped onto her backpack.  I took it out, put it on, and told her that now she could have a little Minnie Mouse with her all day at school.  I told Jillian that Minnie was excited to get to be in the Sunshine class and that she would learn, listen, and be right there with her every step of the way in her new class.  It seemed to be just the extra little support she needed to turn the nervousness into excitement.  (#momwin)

After a few twenty kisses and hugs, she went and sat down, ready to start her new adventure with her new teachers.  She started learning the new song and dance right away.

Truth be told, I stood outside her door and watched her for a few minutes.  Half of me was wanting to make sure that she was ok, and the other half of me was wanting to make sure that I was ok.  After a few tears in my eyes, and after seeing her settle right back into school, it was time to leave her in the care and trust of her new teachers.

Silly Jilly, you have a lot of Sunshine Days ahead of you!  We can't wait to see all the new things you will learn in your new class.