Monday, November 26, 2012

Random Thoughts...

Sometimes I let my young clients take pictures with my camera of me. It works like a charm to warm them up to me. A 3 year old client of mine took this picture a week or so ago. Very smart picture...cut off my double chin, focus is on my eye. I see some talent here! ;)
 I am sick.  I knew yesterday that I was getting a cold, but this morning I feel terrible.  No fever, just major chest know, the kind where you try not to cough because it hurts so bad.  For some reason my neck hurts, like on the outside.  And I think I have a sinus infection.  I feel like complete yuck.

I am so happy to be getting Christmas cards in the mail!  I love Christmas cards!!! :) I especially think it's just so fun when I open them up and see that the pictures on the card are the ones I took!  I've gotten 2 so far.  I can't wait to get ours in the mail so I can mail them out...they are so cute, probably my favorite Christmas card we've ever had.

I did go PRE Black Friday shopping at WalMart and Target for the first time ever.  It was NUTS.  I was practically forced to go. ;)  However, I did get some good deals.  I didn't wait in the long lines for any of the big ticket items, but managed to score some jammies, sweatshirts and games for the boys for very cheap!

Cason is pulling himself up to everything!  It's very fun and the boys still scream and clap everytime he does it like it's the first time.  So cute.

I am not a fan of the character Sponge Bob.  I mean, it's weird because the show kind of cracks me up...sort of embarrassed to admit that, but it's true.  I just don't like having Sponge Bob THINGS at home...even shirts and stuff, just not a fan.  Anyway, Wesley LOVES Sponge Bob...LOVES.  I wanted to avoid a Sponge Bob birthday party for him, so I had a different plan, but as the day approaches, I am starting to feel like he would be more excited if his cake and party supplies were Sponge Bob rather than my alternate plan.  So I am giving in...a Sponge Bob party it is!  I'm sure we'll all survive. :)  I am ordering his cake today and was planning on heading out to pick up party supplies, but just feel so terrible that I don't know if that will happen.

We are firming up Christmas gifts for the boys.  We aren't really getting them much since their big gift is our little 2 day trip to the Waterpark outside of Chicago the day after Christmas, but they will have things in their stocking and something under the tree from Santa.  We are definitely including one of these headlamps for each of the big boys.  I KNOW they will think they are so cool and I can just see them running around the house with these on all the time!
I haven't told Sean this yet, but I am hoping to get Wesley completely potty trained over Christmas break.  Wish us luck...potty training is very difficult with him and we don't have a very good potty training track record (Tate was just short of 4 when he got potty trained).  Apparently potty training is not one of our strengths in the parenting arena.  We knew and were told that Wesley would be a lot more difficult to potty train than the typical child due to his excessive fluid intake, but that has decreased due to the elimination of his nighttime feedings so now is a good time.  I think we're going to need more than just a weekend with him though, so Christmas break is what I am thinking will work best.

You know what I am most excited for today?  A shower...oh my goodness, I cannot wait for a shower.  It's been a couple of days...ya, you read that right, a couple of days.

I am getting SUPER EXCITED for the cookie exchange I am having in December.  I got the invitations in the mail, so I need to address those and get them out.  The cookie exchange was SO FUN last year and it's going to be bigger and better this least that's the plan. :)

I am in 100% Christmas mode...Christmas music fills my house and I am feeling like it's okay to break out the Christmas socks now too.  I have had my Christmas jammies out for a while now.  I love our trees and just sitting in a dark room with just the glow of the tree.  I love Christmas time!

I have 1 more family photoshoot on Wednesday and I am done for the winter!  I have a couple of babies and a maternity session scheduled, but aside from that, I will be off for the winter.  It will be a nice break.  It's been BUSY for Jennie Peakin Photography in 2012!

Hoping to get back to blogging more regularly now that things seem to be settling down a bit in our lives! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Celebrating Wesley's 4th Birthday (Round 1)

We celebrated Wesley's 4th birthday with the Peakin side of the family since we were all together for Thanksgiving and his birthday is in just under 2 weeks. It was so fun...he was genuinely so ecstatic. This is the first birthday he's ever celebrated with us, so I have no idea what he has done on previous birthdays. I do know that he soaked up the attention!
Wesley is not a huge fan of cake, so we decided to do a donut cake instead since he loves donuts!
He was so excited about it!

He got the first choice of donut and he chose the one on top!

Oh my, he is ADORABLE!

I cannot believe this beautiful child is my son...

Then it was time for presents.
Can you tell he was excited?!?! :)

He got lots of fun stuff, he LOVED everything!
His new Spiderman blanket is in bed with him as I type this...

And if I had let him, he would have worn his Cars snowboots to bed too...we decided to take them off though.  Ha.

And he is going to Build a Bear with the Peakin Family sometime soon to build himself a friend!  Here Leah is reading the card to him that is telling him what his gift is.  He is going to love doing that and he adores (as do I!) the picture Leah drew in the card...oh my, I have to take a picture of it and post it on stinkin' adorable!!!

It was a great morning...Wesley is so blessed by his Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Nanas and Papas and is going to soak up his next birthday celebrations for sure!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

It is officially Christmas season in our house!

We have two trees up on our house.  One in the basement and this one in our livingroom upstairs.  I am IN LOVE with this whimsical white tree full of colored lights!  The tree in the basement was decorated almost completely by Tate and Wesley...aside from the top few feet that they couldn't reach.  They were so proud! 

New knobs!

 I love the new knobs I got at Hobby Lobby for our refurbished antique buffet turned TV stand in our living room! :)

a stomach bug

I think I jinxed myself when I made mention a couple of months ago about Tate having never had the stomach flu. Darn it. He is SICK...unfortunately our thermometer is out of batteries so I don't know what his temp is running, but it is HIGH...he is scorching hot! He was up throwing up last night from midnight until about 3am. He is still running a high fever this morning and says his stomach hurts.
He threw up so much last night that he broke blook vessels by his eyes!

I have a feeling this is where he'll be staying all day.
 And he is beyond disappointed that he is missing Kiley and Brady's birthday party.  I feel so bad for him when he's sick.  He's always so pathetic because it happens so rarely that he gets sick!

Now I'm just hoping no one else in the family gets it!

Monday, November 12, 2012

next week?!?!!!

So I am in denial that next week is Thanksgiving denial.  I mean, it was in the 70's a couple of days ago!  We have SO MUCH going on in these next 5 weeks, it's nuts.  I am sure everyone does's just the time of the year, I guess.

We will be spending Thanksgiving with the Peakin side of the family in Colo next week and finally introducing Wesley and Cason to some of the extended family.  It'll be a nice getaway.  We will also be celebrating Wesley's 4th birthday with the Peakin side of the family the day after Thanksgiving, so that will be fun too! :) Sean will work the weekend after Thanksgiving and then my plan is to get our house all decorated for Christmas that week (if I can hold myself off from doing it THIS week!) and then on Friday Knutsons will be coming to town to visit!  We always get so excited for the times we get to spend with them as they are so rare anymore.  That Sunday we will be celebrating Wesley's birthday at our house with his previous foster family as well as friends.

Then it's Christmas, baking, preparing for my cookie exchange (which I am SOOO excited about), more shopping, etc.  We will be celebrating several Christmas's as usual, but I am excited that we will be hosting our Peakin Christmas here in the Quad Cities this year for the first time!  It's so nice to have a large enough house to make that a possibility.

We have started a bit of a new tradition (started it last year) that we plan to carry on through our children's lives.  We have started to realize that the emphasis on Christmas was so much about gifts.  This is not what we want as well as that our kids simply don't need more toys!  I don't remember what we got for gifts when I was a child, I remember the things we did, the places we went, the fun we had. There are a couple of gifts growing up that I really wanted, I remember getting those.  I am not saying our kids won't get ANY gifts, they just don't need tons and tons of gifts...I don't want to have to think up something for someone to get my kids just for the sake of someone needing to get them something.  That's silly.  So we have decided to take our kids some place every year...some place different each year and just for a night or two.  We know that is something they will always remember...eventually they will have the excitement and anticipation of where they will be going, but for now, they are too young (and the tradition is too new) to expect it and so they will just be surprised.  I can't wait!  We are going outside of Chicago this year to a waterpark hotel that has mini golf, laser tag and an awesome indoor waterpark.  We reserved a vacation villa that we will be sharing with Mike, Sarah and the girls this year.  It has separate bedrooms, a full kitchen and livingroom with a fireplace.  Eek, I can't wait!!!  The kids are going to FREAK OUT and it will be something they will never forget.  We hope to repeat that feeling for them every year and as they get older, hopefully the trips will be longer and we will be able to get more creative since as they age, there will be less limitations on what they can do.  I love starting new traditions with my family!

We will be celebrating Christmas with the Stewart side of the family on New Years Day...hopefully after ringing in 2013 together the night before, but that hasn't been determined yet.  We'll see. :)

I feel like the race is on and Christmas will be here before we know it!  I am READY...and I have to admit I've already started listening to Christmas music! :)

Thursday, November 08, 2012


Sometimes I can't even believe he's my son. Love his sweet little face and personality so much it hurts!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


(random pictures will be dropped into this post that have no connection with what I am typing...just in case you were wondering. :))
So thankful the election is over.  Now we can move on with regular programming...both literally and figuratively!  I never missed regular commercials so much and the negativity I have seen on social media is disturbing.  I am ready for the political posts to go away and the mean remarks from democrats AND republicans to stop.  It's just ICKY!
So onward...
How about them Hawkeyes?!
Oh, wait...we won't talk about that either!

The holidays are coming!
I played Christmas music yesterday...oh yes I did!  I also completed my cookie exchange invite.  SOOO excited for that fun night with lots of women who I am blessed to know!
Also, we have our Christmas festivities planned and it is going to be a wonderful Christmas...our first as a family of 5!  Eek...I love Christmas and can't wait!  Now if I could talk Sean into letting me decorate, I would be sooo happy!
Cason is SOOOOO close to pulling himself up to standing!  He will pull himself up to my legs, but for some reason, he won't do it to furniture.  Also, we've been working on him climbing the stairs and he's almost got the hang of it!  Woohoo!  He is just unbelievable!

Wesley rides the bus to and from school now which has been amazing!  It was a nightmare lugging he and Cason into the school and walking to the farthest posible room to sign him in and then doing it again to pick him up at the end of the day.  It was always really bad when it was raining and I knew I was going to hate it in the winter!  So glad we were able to have him ride the bus!  Now our goal is to try and get him off of his pump for night time feedings.  He has been unhooking himself almost every night which makes formula go everywhere and he isn't getting any of it then.  We feel he's ready to be done with it and are going to try really hard to convince his dietician of this on Friday, but we'll see.  Wish us luck! :)

And Saturday is Wine to Water!!!  So excited to attend this event with my friend Lisa and sister-in-law, Sarah!  It is always a super fun event for a wonderful cause!

Now back to editing pictures...