It may have gone un-noticed, but Brendan updated our entire site to the newest, shiniest version of Joomla. Personally, my favorite part was when he stayed up late working on a small database thing and not quite figuring it out and when we woke up in the morning, I took care of it in about 15 minutes. It was however, but one small piece of the update. I don’t want to minimize it, he worked hard and it looks great and should be easier to use (though it will take a bit of getting used to on my part). 

Yay Brendan!

In other news, Johnny has been spelling his name verbally for a while now but lately he’s taken to rummaging through his magnetic letters and pulling out the ones he wants. He had been getting the letters right, but not in the right order, until this week. When he did the above the other day, he came running up to Brendan and I in the other room and exclaimed “I spelled my name all by myself!” We were all very proud. 


Thanks to a generous gift from Brendan’s mother, we spent Monday overnight to Tuesday at the Gaylord National Harbor and took the kids to see ICE.

I think though, that Johnny would have been happy with the balcony.

At some point while we were in line, our point and shoot got dropped and appeared* to be pretty broken. The lens wouldn’t close or focus. So we were left with our camera phones in what turned out to be a pretty low light situation.

Poor Johnny had pretty much had it with being carried by the time we reached the ice slide, which was packed. So we left Bridget and Brendan behind to slide away while we finished up the exhibit and got warm on the other side. Bren was pretty happy to be able to go down the slide himself (we’d heard it was a kids only activity). I really would have liked to linger a little more and look at all the details of the sculptures, but it was so crowded I always felt like I was in someone’s way.

The next morning we had breakfast with the Grinch. Bridget was thrilled at the sight of him (though you wouldn’t know it from this photo)** and surprisingly, John really couldn’t have cared less. Now, if the Grinch had touched his precious cantaloupe, there might have been a problem.

It was crazy crowded, but mostly pleasant.





*Before the kids were both asleep, Brendan had ordered us a new camera, that is meant more for video. And sometime yesterday he had the broken camera fixed, but it was too late to cancel the order on the new camera. It was delivered today. If I hadn’t seen and held the camera when it was broken myself, I’d be more suspicious — he’d asked for the new camera prior to Christmas.

**I might be softening on my Disney stance just to see her smile (I really don’t want to go)…

merry & bright


Kids (and adults) had a good Christmas.

Johnny’s favorite present by far was a bag of Animal Crackers in his stocking from Santa. He carried them (and some Hotwheels) around all morning. (He’s got a bit of a cold; sorry about the boogers.)

Bridget’s Snuggie from Santa was a huge hit as well. She’s been wanting one hardcore for a while now. 

Happy Holidays!

(Hope we get enough snow tomorrow that it’s fun, but not too much that it’s a headache.)

almost an expert

In the past few days, John has really started to walk more and more. This evening he spent half an hour, “vrooming” his trucks around and toddling across the play area. He’s so pleased with himself. It’s started to be his first instinct, to take a few steps, rather than to crawl.

We’ll see how he holds his own tomorrow at Thanksgiving with Bridget and his cousins and uncles.

an attempt

It wasn’t my smartest idea — we had a costume parade earlier in the day and small/no naps — but this afternoon we took the kids to the park to try and get some good shots for possible inclusion in Christmas cards.

There were a lot of them together that didn’t work.

And ones of just one kid that worked pretty well

And one of both of them that I think is as good as we’ll get.

back in the habit

Pulled out the camera the other night to get back in the habit. I’ve been taking too many with just my iPhone camera. And while that is handy and fast and all, it’s just not the same. Plus, at some point in the near future, I’m going to need to get some quality snaps of the kids for Christmas cards. Jeez, I cannot believe that the holidays are really just right around the corner.

It wasn’t really the best time of the day — it was dark, but the SpeedLight helps things. I’m still trying to decide if I even want to attempt taking a photo of both kids at once. It’ll be exponentially easier to do them separately I think.


Over the long Columbus Day weekend, we packed up the kids and headed to Ohio to visit with Pat, Steph and the kids at their new house. Heading to the pumpkin patch has become sort of a tradition around this time, as it’s always close to Hannah’s birthday.

We headed to the local apple orchard, had a some delicious cider and donuts.

Johnny thought about taking a step or two.

And then we celebrated Hannah’s birthday with some of her friends from school. (I love this picture because it looks like Johnny is a little ladies man!)

The kids always have such fun together (and grownups do, too).

[All the photos in the gallery]

johnny gets his own post

Poor John doesn’t get enough blog-love devoted just to him. 

I’ve resolved to try and change that ever so slightly and endeavor to increase his name over there in the tag cloud. 

He’s an adorable child. Fond of building and stacking, climbing things (as you can see), and slowly working on some words, but pretty much everything is a form of “Bah!” but, things he “says” are: cup, belly button, Bridget, block, Dad, Ella (for both cats, poor Bettis), book, plus probably more that are escaping me at the moment.

One thing that he is not doing is walking. Only lately has he started taking steps with one of us holding his hands. I’ve caught him standing without holding onto something just a handful of times. I know he’ll do it in his own time, but I was convinced he’d be a little on the early side. He’s been standing up since he was five months old. And I know once he gets going, there will be no stopping him. 


Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

And just so everyone is clear, what we say here is not endorsed by either of our employers.