Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Brad!

Yeah...Brad is older then me again! We had a busy night with the girl's Open House at school but we managed to grab a bite together at Famous Daves. Considering Brad doesn't usually get home until around 8pm just sitting down together for dinner was a present! Of course, the girls remembered to bring the family birthday hat, lucky Daddy!
Our waitress saw his hat and inquired about his birthday. So he couldn't blame me when the staff sang to him and brought dessert. He looks thrilled, doesn't he!
Oh wait, now he is thrilled!
After dinner we went to school and then came home for cake and ice cream. I made a lot of suggestions for a cake but the girls insisted on a football cake. When I asked why their response was, "Because Daddy likes football!!" Duhh!

This is the saddest little crooked cake ever. I made it in about 5 minutes while on the phone with a girlfriend and putting out fires at home. My heart wasn't in it, sorry honey...maybe because I wasn't really planning on eating any since I'm trying to loose that baby weight. It was a stressful night and I wasn't really in the mood for cake decorating.

Random...I think Morgan looks like Mckenna and I think you can see it in this picture.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

New Car Seat

We're not moving her out of the infant carrier yet, but she seems very excited to test out her new car seat! Its VERY pink! There were 3 fabric choices on sale so the material wasn't really my choice...but its okay...just VERY pink! Her sisters are quite jealous since all of our previous car seats have been some shade of beige. I guess there are a few benefits to being the baby and not having to worry about handing something down to a sibling.
We got a Britax almost 8 years ago with Baileigh and loved it...we've been through a lot of car seats over the years and it was by far our favorite. So since we needed a new one for Morgan after all these years we went with another Britax. The frame is essentially the same as the one we had 8 years ago but this one has a ton of improvements. It looks like a fighter plane ejection seat to me (minus the fabric)...she seems so protected compared to the rest of the girls in their aging car seats. I can only imagine what Morgan's kid's car seats will look like in 20+ years!


Morgan's first time eating bananas...
She loved them.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Nation's Triathlon

This past Sunday Brad participated in his first triathlon. It was an Olympic distance tri in the heart of DC. The early start time meant we witnessed a beautiful sunrise.
Brad was a little nervous about the Potomac River becoming his final resting place. But he did great on the swim and appreiated the boyancy of his wet suit.
He was so fast...this is the only picture I managed to shoot.
Brad had a strong cheering squadron...Team Hall in full force.
Finishing at 3:01:50! He was estimating somewhere around 3.5 hours so considering he was almost thirty minutes faster and he didn't drowned, I think he was pretty pleased.
Showig off his race bling-bling to his fan club.
Three hours of hard excercise and $175 in registration fees for this lovely necklace and keepsake race number.
But the admiration of his girls...priceless.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


This has been a big week around our marked Brooke's return to preschool and Morgan entering the solid food stage. Thankfully, both transitions went smoothly!

Brooke, three in a half...although she is pretty convinced she is at least five! She asked me several times this morning in a very excited and hopeful voice, "Mom, you aren't going to stay at my school today, right?"
Showing off the $5 backpack she picked out one day when we were at Joanne Fabric's on another mission. Who knew they even had backpacks!? I'm not sure how long it will last but she was immediately obsessed with the bag and I figure its $5 well spent!
Getting oriented to her classroom and finding her hook for her bag.
Brooke and her teacher, Ms. Stephanie. Brooke was pretty in love with last years teacher but her infatuation with Ms. Stephanie seems to already be growing and I think last years teacher will soon be old news. An extra exciting bonus for Brooke is that Ms. Stephanie attends our church so she is very hopeful to see her on Sunday as well!
While Brooke was off to school I finally took the time to start Morgan on baby food. I remember feeding Baileigh rice cereal the day she turned four months. That was seven years ago and four children later...Morgan will be 6 months old in a few days and I finally decided we would work meals into our schedule. I figured why add the hassle, the cost and the time for a few more months if she was growing and satisfied with a bottle. We've always had constipation issues with Morgan so along with cereal she started on prunes. The combo seems to be working.
Morgan has always been good for some funny expressions...but feeding her for the first time caused some new looks I had never seen before!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Day of School

The day has finally arrived! Mckenna freaked out the night before school was to start...I think it was a panic attack at the age of 6! But thankfully this morning she woke up excited and relatively calm.
My second grader...its amazing how loosing a few teeth has aged her quickly!
Brooke was excited for the first day of school, too...primarily because we were going to walk to school in the rain and she liked that idea. She never seemed overly sad to see her sisters go but she did say hello to their neighborhood school every time we drove by as well as complained that there was no one to play baby with since "Penna and Bayee" weren't home.
A rainy first day of school isn't ideal for photos, oh well.
This is my favorite part of our walk to school...just beyond the woods the path heads uphill and continues uphill for the majority of the remainder of the walk. That is my least favorite part of our walk to school.
Waiting for the crossing guard...
The school girls with their bubble sisters.When we finally made it through the crowds towards the front door the lines for K and 2nd had already entered the building. For the first time Mckenna got a deer caught in headlights look on her face and started to panic. Baileigh put her arm around her sister and said, "Don't worry, Mom, I know where to take her. She'll be fine. Let's go, Mckenna." And with that they both kissed me and turned and walked hand in hand into their school. And it was also then that I started to fight back tears.
That was three days ago...since then Baileigh offers every morning, "Mckenna do you still want me to walk you to your class today?" Mckenna accepts gladly. It still makes me teary eyed. I suppose the first morning Mckenna says, "no thanks, I'm fine" I'll be teary eyed for different reasons.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Kindergarten and 2nd Grade Orientation

On Thursday Brad took the day off so I could go to Mckenna and Baileigh's school orientations without having to drag around their sisters. Mckenna's K orientation was at 8:45 so we made it into a breakfast date and went to Panera first for a little treat. In the past she has always finished off an entire cinnamon role...this time she ate a few bites and said she was too nervous to eat more.
Checking out her classroom...she is excited to possibly get to play on the computer and wear the headphones.
Mckenna with Mrs. Lawson. Apparently she has been around for awhile, at least 20 years from what I hear. Mckenna is a great student, but she has a lot of energy and is easily bored and distracted but I'm optimistic that Mrs. Lawson can channel all her potential in the right direction. She seems like a great teacher...despite being a Notre Dame fan.
Since we can't go in the school on their first day I made sure to take pictures to commemorate the milestone. I felt like the only parent taking pictures! Either I'm the smart one who remembered their camera or I'm more sentimental then the other parents.
Mckenna seems appropriately nervous but excited. I'm excited for her...we made the decision to start her on the later side since she has a late August birthday and while its a choice I would make again in a heartbeat for several reasons I know she is ready...and so am I!

Baileigh is so excited for second grade. As a result of our neighborhood swim team she already has about 5 friends in her classroom. Its so nice to return to a school and not always be the new kid. She was obviously new in K and then we moved and she was new in 1st this is the first time she has been able to return to a familiar environment.
Baileigh with her teacher Mrs. DeCou.
Checking out her classroom...she was very excited that there were "Boxcar" books on the reading shelf...she is completely into this series and will sit in the corner all day and read through one of the books after we've been to the library.
Since Mckenna got to have breakfast Baileigh and I went for some ice cream after her 3:00 orientation. I'm not sure what she is doing with her finger in this picture (but its not what it looks like) but its a good shot of her now toothless grin. Here come the big awkward adult teeth. Yikes!

48 hours...and counting!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I wonder what she is thinking!!!

Meeting Ivan

We had the pleasure of getting to meet our new cousin, Ivan. Ivan's mommy and daddy (Brad's sister and brother in law) were in Baltimore for the weekend for a medical conference and we got the opportunity to have Ivan visit for the day.

Morgan happy and excited to play with her cousin.
All the girls being silly with their cousin.
Still attempting to get some good pictures of the two of them...Ivan is 11 days older then Morgan.
I used Ivan as an excuse to play with my camera some more...I should really take a few hours to read the users guide so I can improve!
In the evening we drove Alesha and Ivan back to Baltimore to meet up with Uncle Hugo and have dinner in the Harbor.
More pictures of me playing with the various settings and trying to see what I can do with the lighting off the water.

In front of the Baltimore aquarium...the Inner Harbor is such a neat area and very family friendly.
We get to see Ivan again at Thanksgiving along with Hayden, their other cousin on the Hall side of the family...can't wait to get them all together!