Sunday, March 29, 2015

A New Bosch/Phelan Generation...

The Bosch's came to visit DC this weekend and we had such an awesome time. We could literally sit in our living room for 5 days straight and have a blast. We didn't realize til this morning that Suz and I hadn't even left the house since they landed on Friday.

It was so adorable seeing the three of the babies interact and play together, since the last time they were all together was the summer...and real briefly over the holidays. They are so much older and playful now. And they are more and more on the same schedule with foods and schedules and bedtime. We loved it.

Conor and Tori were best friends. Con is usually very affectionate with Caden. Ever since they were teeny, Conor would always stare at Caden, look for Caden, laugh at Caden and give him kisses -- it's just the way he is. And this time he was giving Tori kisses. All three were playing and sharing toys - but Con had a special little thing for Tori. ;)

I think everyone's favorite activity/entertainment was the baths. We all crammed into the bathroom to watch the three of them in tub together...splashing and playing. We couldn't get enough! Tori loved bathing with her two buddies. It made for an eventful tubby time. :)

Here's Caden with me, Tori with Suz, and Conor with Jackie -- after their bath.  Conor looks HUGE! 

Then it was time for the kiddos to go to bed while I prepared a meal for the five of us. Myself, Jim, Suz, John, and Jackie. Jackie stayed with us and helped with the boys. She and Suz are good friends from HS so it was fun for them to see each other! 

Jim was so proud getting a pic of our "assembly line" but missed Tori's face ... haha you get the idea.

For dinner I made NY strip steaks and garlic shrimp with Israeli couscous, turnip, onion and eggplant sauteed together within garlic, EVOO and a peanut sauce. I started cooking all the veggies together prior to bedtime, so they were nice and softened by the time I cooked the steaks. We of course also had plenty of red wine and bread/EVOO on the side. Yum!
When the kiddos woke, they all played together in their jammies. What a way to start our day!

We had a wonderful weekend and thank Bosch and Suz for flying down with Tori. We know it isn't traveling with kids and we give them an A+ for the efforts and their willingness to visit. Thanks guys!!  Here's to a great week ahead! Looking forward to spending some time with the boys and then celebrating Easter!

Shaz, Conor and Caden

P.S. Here's a flashback pic of the three babies in August 2014 (Tori 7 months and C&C 3 months).


Monday, March 23, 2015

Visitors, visitors, visitors!

We were so lucky to have TWO visitors this weekend!

Auntie Theresa came to visit Thursday and Friday - and she watched the boys while I went to work on Friday. It was soooo helpful and the boys loved having her here. We went for a walk down by the Potomac and then went to the Port City Brewery for a few tasting flights...the boys did awesome! It was a fun night.

Keryn and her doggie Prim came to visit Friday night....Saturday we had a few friends over and went to brunch in Old Town. The boys again, loved having them. Caden thought Prim was HILARIOUS! He couldn't get enough.

And a couple of favs to make your Monday a bit brighter!  Happiest boys...and Conor has his learners permit!

Shaz, Conor, Caden

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Parenting Must Haves - UPDATE!

I wanted to update my new parent "must haves" from when I first wrote about the newborn stage in June 2014 - when the boys were not even 4 weeks old. You can find my newborn suggested items here.

Now that we have fast-forwarded about 9 months, here are both me and Jim's favorite baby items at this ranges from clothes to toys.

Warm Hooded Onesies:
Nana Phelan bought the boys these 9 month "Burts Bees Velour Hooded Buntings". Since that is a complicated name, Jim and I called their their gray suits. They were the best thing ever this winter -- the boys loved being snuggled and cozy, and we loved knowing they were warm.

Halo sleep sacks
When the boys were younger (and during the summer months) they wore an Aden and Anais light cotton sleep sack to bed. Now that it's colder, they have been wearing the fleece halo sleep sacks and they made a noticeable difference at night. They were much warmer. When they woke in the morning, their little hands weren't chilly anymore!

We had a couple different jumpers and exersaucers for the boys to share - and also to make our lives easier when traveling. Auntie Chrissy bought the boys little exersaucers in MA for Thanksgiving and Christmas...that was amazing. Less stuff for us to lug around (especially when multiplied by two!). At home, we had one jumper and one exersaucer (on loan from cousins Luca and Leo) so the boys can share...and not be bored with the same thing. They LOVED all of these! And it buys mommy and daddy time to get some things done around the house, or just a break on the couch for a bit.


Activity Gym
The boys could not get enough of this activity gym I bought on amazon. My "budget" for each item was not to exceed $35...for exersaucers or toys in general. The jumper we got at Target for $35, the exersaucer was borrowed and the ones for up north Chrissy bought both for $70 at a gently used second-hand store. Even their little walker was less than $25 on amazon.  They outgrow these items so quickly, it's best not to invest a ton of cash...again, especially when there are two of everything.

The boys when they were about 3-4 months....

And the boys now...haha

Red high chairs
Okay, so there was $5 over budget, but they are so worth it. We have brought these mobile high chairs everywhere - up north to Grammy and Grampa Callahan's house, Nana and Gramps Phelan's house and to our house in Cape Cod. And they can be thrown in the washing machine for easy clean up! I believe the weight limit is for a three or four year old, they should last a while. We typically attach them to a kitchen table to feed them, but we have even attached them to my parent's coffee table because it was really sturdy.

Baby "oball" rattle balls
These oball toys are the best. They make noise, they fit their little fingers perfectly and they keep their attention. Caden and Conor both love them - but Conor is OBSESSED with them (look at his face!!!). Now he grabs on to both and then bangs them on the ground at the same time. He thinks it's so cool. He also recently started hitting it around the room, and then he crawls after it. It's almost like he's playing fetch with himself. I don't know, but nothing beats a happy/entertained/quiet baby, right? These are a must buy and they're only $8.

Sophie is fantastic. I would say Caden is more interested in Sophie than Conor, but they both love it. It is expensive, but still within my $35 budget. It is more than just a toy, it's a teether and Caden loves biting away at it each day.

Here's a snapshot of their main interests -- they love books, playing with their "wub a nub" pacifiers; but haven't actually used a pacifier since they were about 4-5 months old. They really like those orange stuffed animals in the middle. Their cousins Ben and Brady McCarthy gave them to them last summer! And Conor looooooooooves the monkey, like LOVES it. It brightens Conor's mood without fail every single time. They also play with the oball toys and Sophie, of course....AND their quilts from Abby. :)

And I still recommend having a changing station on each level of the house so you can change the baby/babies any place you are playing with them. Nothing is harder than trying to carry two babies upstairs to the nursery to change them both (while crying). It's easier for everyone to just stay put. :)

Last but not least, here's the boys schedule these days!  I must say, daylight savings really helped us push the hour out a bit, now they are waking at 7AM and going to sleep at 7:30PM...way better! It's simplified and we are finally at a really great place. Happy, proud Mom over here.

7AM - Both wake and have 6-8oz bottle, play upstairs in nursery for an hour

8:30AM - Pureed bananas and oatmeal, play downstairs in living room 

10AM - 4oz bottle and both nap in nursery (the other 4oz when they wake)

1PM - Lunch (fruit, cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, puffs, etc)

3PM - 6-8oz bottle, then naptime (the remainder of their bottle when they wake, refrigerated)

5PM - Dinner (veg, rice cereal, grilled cheese, fruit for dessert, etc)

6:30PM - Bath, bottle, and bedtime routine

7:30PM - Sleep

I will eventually write about the "must haves" for toddler stage whenever we get there. :)

Til next time!
Shaz, Caden and Conor

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Visit with Grammy!

Happy 10 Months, Conor and Caden!

It's hard to believe this time last year Jim and I were settling in to a new life on the east coast. We just moved to DC and had two baby boys on the way. We transferred both our jobs, found a place to live, started seeing a new ob/gyn and resumed treatments out here at INOVA Fairfax (which coincidentally is right across from Jim's work at ExxonMobil). We had a ton on the way. I must say that we have come a long way since then and I couldn't be happier to Conor and Caden's Mom. They're the best.  

Here are a few fav shots over the last few days.....

Grammy came to visit this weekend.  She planned a trip down here because she was planning to watch them on Friday, 3/6 when I went to work. Turns out we had a huge snow "storm" in DC and her flight was cancelled Thursday night. She ended up flying in on Friday instead at 2PM and the whole plan changed. Grammy loved reading to Conor and Caden while she was here.

We of course had our monthly photoshoot - this time Grammy joined!

A few nights ago, I took part in my first Paint Nite in Arlington, VA.  I went with my friend Kristen - who I worked with at George Mason University, prior to my current job.  It was so fun.  I really wanted to paint a DC site because who knows how long we will be here.  This was the best one, the Jefferson with cherry blossoms!

How cute are these pics?? The one on the left is so typical "Caden and Conor" and the one on the right is like "thug life" hahaha. They're a riot.

 Here's to some warm weather ahead!  57 degrees today here in DC!

Sharon, Caden and Conor

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Baby Modeling Shoot!

I'm kidding - we don't do any real modeling here, but I noticed that "Miss Jackie" (ha) took some amazing pictures of the boys over the past few weeks.  I love when I turn on my camera and see cute pics she has taken.  It's a fun surprise.  And you know what I like most about them?  They are individual shots!  I tend to take so many pictures of them together, either posing or playing, but these are all solo pics and I love it.  The boys will appreciate solo pics of them as babies when they grow up. :) 

Here's Conor chillin by the window, longing to be outside in warm weather again...

 And here's Caden, most likely watching Daniel Tiger...his fav!

I also wanted to share some photos from one of the days it was snowing here in DC. It doesn't happen too often -- not like in MA -- so Jim and I took the boys on the deck for some cute snow pics. Conor enjoyed it a tiny bit more than Caden, but neither of them loved it as much as their first snow up in MA.  I think they were a little more rested last they've been a little on edge lately because they're getting their top teeth! They didn't know what was happening.

All for now...Happy Tuesday!

Shaz and C-Squared

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Chocolate Chip Cookies!

I'll set the scene for you - it's a Sunday morning, the boys are [quietly] playing together and it's snowing outside. What better Sunday activity is there then bake chocolate chip cookies? It will warm up the house and nothing beats the smell of cookies baking in the oven. Right?

I used this Betty Crocker recipe - still trying to recreate those soft chocolate chip cookies I made in December. They were the best cookies I've ever made. I also tried researching what makes a soft chocolate chip cookie - is it the baking soda? baking powder? brown sugar? butter? baking time? heat? I have no idea. So til's trial and error.

  • 3/4cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4cup packed brown sugar
  • 1cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1teaspoon vanilla
  • 1egg
  • 2 1/4cups all-purpose flour
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips  
I mixed them all with my hand-mixer, then slowly added the flour and baking soda. I formed some large "mounds" on the baking sheet rather than small teaspoons. I read that can help create a softer cookie. They are going to bake for about 10 minutes. Smells good already!

Conor can't wait til they come out of the oven! And he's loving the snow.

And Caden is loving his new toy!


We are off to go visit some friends in a few hours. I'm bringing the cookies with us. The boys will hopefully take a decent nap soon, and then we are off to Maryland for the afternoon. Sunday Funday!

Til next time...