Friday, September 30, 2016

How Can You Tell Them Apart??

If only I had a nickle for every time people asked me that question...


It's hilarious because to me (and Jim), they look and act completely different. Don't get me wrong, I have confused them - but it is typically when I am calling them from the back or if they have a hat or hood on. For the most part, I know who is who, from their physique to their cries, their personalities and their adorable little voices. Last year around this time, I blogged about spending time with them individually. I loved re-reading that post. I have to be honest, I haven't been doing great at spending individual time with them, but I will refocus and make it a goal of mine. I think they are getting to an age where they really need it.

Well, in honor of their last day of daycare today (ah!!), I am writing this emotional post for my two big boys, Conor and Caden. They started daycare on June 2, 2015. We had just moved home to MA from DC. We moved in with my parents in their 3BR cape cod style house in Woburn (4 adults, 2 toddlers, and 2 dogs!). We were very grateful for that time, because we were able to wait it out and buy a home we both really loved. We then moved into our home in August, and only a few months later, I became pregnant with Cal. Things have been hectic to say the least - but we are a happy, loving, busy little family.

First Day of Daycare: June 2, 2015 - Conor top, Caden bottom.



Last Day of Daycare: September 30, 2016 - Conor in black hood, Caden in orange hood.



Here is a photo of Conor with an apple from last year this time, and today.


Conor is my sweet, thoughtful, loving, kind, free spirit, giggly little guy. He loves individualized, calmer type of play. He loves shakers. And he loves when you say his name - even more so when you say his nickname "Con Con". He loves to wave and say "Hi Mommy" and "Hi Daddy" and does so until he gets a response. He is so thoughtful - whenever there are two of anything (two apples, two toys, two straws, two cups) he will bring the other over the Caden and say "Here, Caden!". His favorite color is PINK!



Here is a photo of Caden with an apple from last year this time, and today.


Caden is my curious, adventurous, loving, daring, sweet, determined little boy. He loves to laugh wicked hard, play rough, give mommy kisses, and be adventurous. I love his curiosity and determination. He is also very athletic and strong! He loves doing tumbles and somersaults. He can almost do a full "flip" on the rings outside on the swingset, he can bring his legs up so high using his abs! He favorite colors are GREEN and BLUE!



Look at these two? They are the best big brothers any mom could dream of....



Cal, you seriously hit the lottery with these two as your big bros! :)


All for now. Happy Friday everyone!!

xo,
Shaz

Monday, September 26, 2016

Aunt Frances' Marble Squares!!

It's my last week alone with Cal. So what better way to spend it than staying at home, enjoying his company, and baking some delicious sweets together?  He just LOVES camera flashes. ;)


There are few things that my Dad can't get enough of -- I would say Conor/Caden/Cal, scratch tickets, and Vegas. But there is ONE more thing that my Dad is obsessed with, and that is his Aunt Frances' amazing marble squares.

We went over to visit sometime last year with Conor and Caden, and she was nice enough to give me a copy of the recipe. Now it's probably something about the 1 cup of shortening that's the dead giveaway - but these are to die for. And they're relatively simple to make.

Dry Ingredients:
2 Cups + 4 Tbsps Flour
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Soda

Wet Ingredients:
1 Cup Shortening/1.2 Sticks Butter (I did not use all that is pictured below)
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 Tsp Water
1 Tsp Vanilla
12oz Package Chocolate Chips

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray or grease your 10.5 x 16.5 cookie sheet or baking dish - or whatever is close in size.

Cream the first three "wet" ingredients first, then add the 2 eggs, 1/2 tsp water, and 1 tsp vanilla to the mixture.



 In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients, and sift it.


Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. I suggest adding half at a time, it'll make for easier stirring.

Combine and mix together thoroughly, and spread it in your baking dish or baking sheet. Then add the package of chocolate chips.


Place in oven for 1-2 minutes. Take it out and swirl around with a knife to get that "marble" look.


Bake 10-12 minutes or until browned on the edges.


Happy Birthday, Papa!! I was a little delayed in making the squares, so we used this cake instead. The boys love saying "happy birthday" whenever they see a flame, even a candle. SO they loved doing this last night.


Love my little baker-helper, Cal!


Look how much he looks like Caden! That tongue!


All for now...enjoy those deadly marble squares!!! You're welcome! ;)

xo,
Shaz

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Most New England Weekend of All Time...

Apple picking, apple pies, lobster dinner, cannolis from the North End, and fall weather....

John and Erin, our very good friends we met while living in LA, came to visit Boston this weekend. It was SO much fun. Even though we now have three kids, it was still a blast - and we loved every minute of hanging with them. They landed Friday morning at 5AM and my Dad picked them up (on his birthday of all days!). We hung out at the house, they met the boys, and we waited for traffic to let up a little.


Once traffic died down, we ventured into Boston. We showed them the North End, Faneuil Hall, Govt Center, Beacon Hill, and Chrissy and Lindsey's rood deck. Conor and Caden were at daycare, so we just walked around with Cal!


Then we went over to the North End for lunch. We ended up at Fiores which was awesome. We all had great dishes and split a bottle of wine. Then we made the necessary trip to Modern Pastry for cannolis! YUM!!!

On Saturday, we decided to go apple picking at Bolton Springs Farm. We also showed them where Jim grew up since it was nearby. We were also going to hit up Nashoba Valley but unfortunately it wasn't in the cards since we had three kids under 2 with us!  We ended up going home, cracking open a bottle and ate lunch. We relaxed the rest of the afternoon and made our pies and lobster dinner.

My three sons!

Group shot!! Beautiful day.









Mom and Con

Dad and Cay



Conor...
 Caden...
 Cal...

Family pic.


Laughing and being silly on the way home! I think they were on an apple-sugar high!! HA.



The first apple Conor and Caden ever picked. Conor's is on the left.


Then it was time to make some serious applie pies...and apple crisps.



While those were baking, it was obviously time for the lobster dinner to commence. We had lobsters, cornbread, corn on the cob, broccoli, and cole slaw. We served the lobster with melted butter and lemon wedges.



DESSERT.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

xo,
Shaz