Old Men

A couple of weeks ago my hubby went paintballing with his best friend since middle school…
for several hours…
 on the side of a mountain.
If they were still in middle school, this wouldn’t have been a problem.
But you can see from the picture above, that that’s not the case.
Towards the end of the day everyone thought David was a total bada$$,
because he stopped ducking behind trees and bushes,
and just walked straight up the middle shooting his gun.
David admitted to me once he got home
that he was just waiting for someone to shoot him so he could go sit down in the shade.

Addi’s Song

Like many mother’s, I made up songs for each of my babies when they were born with their names in it.
 I would hum to them their own special tunes when they were crying and it seemed to soothe them. 
Aidan’s was very simple and went to the tune of Baby Baluga…
Ai-dan San-tino, Ai-dan San-ti-i-i-no, Ai-dan San-tino
It’s okay, babydoll.
(Yeah, I know, he got the shaft.)
Kaia’s was a little more creative, loosely went to the tune of Skip-to-my-Lou,
and is the reason everyone calls her “Kaia-boo.”
Kaia, Kaia-boo.
Kaia, how are youuuu?
Kaia, Kaia-booooooooo.
I love you, my baby.
By the time Addi came around, a short 28 months after her big brother and 14 months after her big sister,
I guess you could say I was more experienced in the song-writing bid’ness.
Addi’s song could win a Grammy. 
It has several stanzas and a chorus. 
It goes to the tune of “Day-O.”
Addison Naomi Anthes.
Addison Naomi Anthes.
(*Cue back-up singers chanting, “Addison Naomi Anthes”)
You’re so cute, you’re everybody’s friend!
(*Back-up singers, “Addison Naomi Anthes”)
Addison Naomi Anthes.
One day I’m going to have to explain why Addi’s song is so much better than Aidan’s and Kaia’s…
I’ll just make up new songs real quick…
MY gift is MY sooooong, and this one’s for youuuuuuuuuuuuu.

Table Cameras are OUT

Eight years ago I married my boyfriend of five years…
and it’s been wonderful…
but I don’t need to tell you all that- I’ll save that for my hubby. 
(My sexy, manly, hubby who made me a wonderful Surf N’ Turf dinner last night and a slideshow of pictures dating from our high school prom to present day- set to the music that played at our wedding…
sorry, Ladies- he’s taken.)
Anywho, I digress…
What I do want to talk about is…
Weddings have changed A LOT since 2003.
Now couples all send “Save The Date” cards,
have wedding websites,
have a full weekend itinerary of events planned,
and have amazing photographers that capture the story of the day,
rather than taking shot after shot of posed family pictures…
or they at least make the posed pictures more artistic these days. 
I had a great photographer, but I also have a lot of those really posey posey shots. 
One change that I would say is absolutely for the BETTER,
is that disposable table cameras are OBSOLETE. 
God bless America!
Now everyone has iPhones and digital cameras,
and they share their pictures with you before you even board the plane for your honeymoon. 
Technology is wonderful.
I want to share with you some of the pictures from our tables cameras that we actually PAID to have developed… well, that my sister actually PAID to have developed for us while we were on our honeymoon.
… and I’ve spared you the fraternity brothers’ ball shots,
girls’ legs under the table shots,
and the pictures of my family from the day after the wedding 
since some of the table cameras still had pictures left.
It was a beautiful day.
These pictures are obviously not taken by professionals…
In fact, most of them seem to be taken by children 4′ and under.
But I guess they still tell the story of our day.
… and it’s pretty clear everyone was having fun.
On second thought- let’s bring back table cameras at weddings!

Elsa Toes

Me + Cats = Not Happy
Kaia + Cats = Over-the-top-excited-mommy-can-we-keep-her-I-will-call-her-Elsa-Toes
Hello, Elsa Toes.
Unfortunately, we DID NOT bring Elsa Toes home,
because I am NOT cleanin’ up NO kitty litter.
(I realize that double negatives is improper English,
but if there was ever a time for double negatives to get a point across,
NOW is the time.
And I’m gonna add a finger shake and head bob for good measure while I say it.)
I am NOT cleanin’ up NO kitty litter!
But I do have to say,
CATS + ME – CATS = Happy
(I’ll let Kaia play with Aunt Kricky’s kitties and give ’em back when she’s done.)
Until next time, Elsa Toes.

How did this HAPPEN?

After much debate and deliberation,
we finally decided that R. E. Lee Elementary School,
our own alma mater,
would be where Aidan starts his formal education in August.
So after lots of red tape…
(more like red rope or chains)…
his transfer from Livingston to R.E. Lee was approved by Spotsylvania County…
… just in time for Kindergarten Orientation.
I was so proud of my little guy. 
He walked right into the school and introduced himself to the Principal
(who he didn’t know was the Principal… because he doesn’t even know what that means yet).
“Hi, I’m Aidan!  I’m 5 years old!”
“Hi, Aidan!  High 5!  I’m Mr. Lann!”
We walked down the hall to where the KG classrooms were
and they gave him a nametag and immediately separated us.
The only thing that kept me from crying was remembering all of the helicopter parents
that I deal with on a regular basis,
and telling myself that I was not going to be one of them. 
(I know KG is different from college, but STILL.)
I was so impressed with the staff at R.E.Lee and I can’t wait for Aidan to start school in August! 
I’m pretty much obsessed with school supplies- always have been. 
Now I get to shop for my boy in that wonderfully organized aisle that smells like paper and rubber erasers! 
But as excited as I was,
he left even more excited than me! 
He was asking to go to school the next day…
… and pretty much every day since then.
August 22nd is the next KG Orientation Day where we will get to meet his teacher and see his classroom.
August 24th is the first day of school.
I’ve already taken off from work.

Daddy Day

This picture says it all…
We adore you, Daddy.
Here is what the kids told me to write in David’s Father’s Day card:
Aidan: “I love you, Daddy.  Daddy, I love you.  I love him to tickle us.”
Kaia: “I love Daddy because I love him.”
Addi: “Daddy Day.  I love you, Daddy.”

Peanut Picasos

We had the opportunity to go to a little girl’s 6th birthday party at Pots & Palettes
in downtown Fredericksburg.
The kids were excited, because they LOVE to paint.
I was excited to let them paint somewhere other than my house!
It was cool to see the differences in their styles…
Aidan was very focused and used a different color on each side of the border.
Kaia didn’t want to stop painting so eventually all of her colors ran together and made a pretty brown color…
Addi, on the otherhand, was very meticulous and loved making little circles and then turning them into faces.
(I’m not one to choose favorites,
but since you’re holding a gun to my head,
Addi’s was definitely my favorite.)
After the kids were done painting, they each made their purple handprint on top of their artwork. 

I can’t wait to see their finished products!  (They had to be set in the fire, so we don’t have them back yet).

My peanut Picasos had a blast!

Kaia’s Special Day

Since we rarely hold the kids’ birthday parties on their ACTUAL birthday,
I try to take off from work to spend a special day with them ON their day…
So for Kaia’s special day, we started off at The Pear Tree for chocolate milk.
Then we went to the Library for story time.
The poor birthday girl was so excited she ran into the reading room, tripped, and hit her head on one of the metal chairs.  She ended up with a black eye and a bandaid!
Then, I decided it would be the perfect day to take her to her first movie in the big movie theatre
(plus, I had some free Fandango tickets that expired that same day… so it was meant to be.)
Grammy watched Addi for me… and I took the bigger kids to see Rio in 3D.
She kept saying during the previews, “Mommy, I’m so excited!  I’m so excited, Mommy!”
And, yes, I was *that* mom that took pictures of my kids in the theatre… but NOT during the movie.
Luckily, there were only two other parents who brought their kids to the movies that Monday.
My kids were fidgety.  They watched the movie the whole time… but from several different seats.
After the movie (which was cute, but probably not destined to become a classic),
we picked up Addi and went home to have dinner with Daddy. 
And leftover cake, of course!
Happy birthday, my special girl!
Mommy loves you so much.

Kaia’s Butterfly Garden Party

As soon as Aidan’s Spiderman party was over,
I immediately had to start thinking about Kaia’s birthday party. 
No rest for the weary…
She decided she wanted a beautiful BUTTERFLY party. 
So welcome to Kaia’s Butterfly Garden…
Kudos to my brother-in-law who blew up all of those balloons for me since I was runnin’ short on time…
My sister actually made this banner for Sophie’s 5th Birthday party. 
I stole borrowed it and just covered up the “5th” with cute flower stickers.

Gummi worms because butterflies are caterpillars before they ever beautiful butterflies…
M & M’s because they are delicious (duh.).
My sister had given me a boatload of these brown paper bags, so I have been using them for my kids’ birthday party giftbags and just decorating them with the theme.
Each one was different, and each one had a butterflly, of course!
(The party favors were butterfly lipgloss, butterfly bubbles, butterfly-shaped lollipops, butterfly tattoos,
oh- and the boys got snake eggs.)
For food, we had butterfly hotdogs…
(And full size hot dogs for the grown-ups)
Watermelon (because butterflies LOVE to suck the juice from watermelons)
And Butterfly Cupcakes…
(My sister made the beautiful cupcakes and then I topped them with the edible butterflies I found on Etsy!)
It was Auntie Erica’s birthday the same day as Kaia’s party, so we also surprised her with a cake from our childhood… my mom makes the MOST delicious chocolate peanutbutter cake…

And then to our surprise…
Uncle Shinny made a cake all by himself especially for Auntie Erica!
It was absolutely beautiful… and creative… tasting.
We had an art activity for the kids…
Since butterfly wings are the same design on each side, the kids were told to paint one side of the butterfly, and then we would fold it in half and it would make the exact same design on the opposite side.
Some of them listened…

… and others’ creativity could not be restricted by “directions.”
But we ended up with some pretty awesome butterflies…
… and Kaia ended up with some pretty awesome gifts…
Thanks, Uncle Danny, Aunt Laura, and Kait!
Thanks, Aidan & Addi!
Thanks, Auntie Erica, Uncle Chris, Ethan, Emma & Sophie!
Thanks, Kimiki!
Thanks, Grammie & Poppy!

Thanks Grandma & Papa Chuck!
Thanks, Uncle Shinny & Aunt Yvette!
No, really… thank you, Uncle Shinny & Aunt Yvette.
To top it all off, we released the butterflies that we’ve hatched and cared for for the past few weeks…
Out of the 5 caterpillars that we raised, 4 of them got to fly off into the wild… the wild that is Spotsylvania.
Kaia loved her butterfly party…
almost as much as she loves her new dog, Butterscotch.

5 5 & Under

The title of this post sounds like it could be a new show on TLC, right?
Well, actually it’s just about our good friends from JMU who came to visit us with their 2-year old twin boys, Chase and Luke.  Together, we had our 5 children, 5 years and younger, for the day.
They. Are. Adorable.
Here’s Chase
And here’s Luke… or maybe this is still Chase.
Here they are together (Luke on the left and Chase on the right)…
(And I’m 87% sure I got those right.)
We had birthday cake for EVERYONE since we don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like…
… I had trouble even getting it out of the box because of these little rascals…

We lit the candles and sang Happy Birthday to Everyone!

Then we had fun playing in the sun…
And these pics were hilarious to get… it was almost like they rehearsed who was going to look when…
Oh boooooooooys,
There we go.