Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Holidays are upon us...

True to form, here I am with the monthly update. I also have lots of fun photos to share!

First up, I was in Washington, D.C. earlier this month for the national journalism convention. While I was gone, Steve still had grad school, so Auntie Susie and Nicky came over to babysit Jack. They had a great time. Those two little guys are becoming such good friends. Jack asks for Nicky all the time, and whenever we see a little boy out, Jack calls him Nicky.

Here are the photos from their night of fun. Auntie Susie took them.



We hosted Thanksgiving again this year. I think this is was our seventh Thanksgiving. Wow, does time fly! We had 19 for dinner and about 25 for dessert. Our house was alive with gratefulness! Here are the photos.

Jack helping Nana get the candy ready

Master Chef Steve grilling the turkey (he had another one in the oven; over 40lbs of turkey this Thanksgiving in addition to a ham and a beef tenderloin!)

Uncle Eric entertaining James and Jack

Isabella putting the boys in their place

All of the Watts women in one place!

The Reilley Women (sans Aunt Gina, we missed you!)

This year, we decided to go chop down the Christmas tree on Black Friday. Luckily, we got the house cleaned up on Thursday night, so we were able to meet everyone in time. We also brought along Nana, Papa Pete, Aunt Shayna, and Shane to help us. All of the usual suspects were there too: Auntie Susie, Uncle Pete, Nicky, Grandma Sue, Pepere, Aunt Connie, Auntie Bubbles, Uncle Mike, Grandma Nan, Papa (Nick), Paul, Brent, and Dawna. We had quite a large group! We had a lot of fun though.

Shane and Jack helping Steve cut down the tree

Shane finishing the job

Jack wanted to use the saw too

The crew and their product

This picture doesn't do justice to the fun these two had running through the aisles of trees. I wish you could hear them laughing!

Scouting out airplanes


Grandma Sue and Pepere came home with us to pick up Thanksgiving leftovers, so we put them to work helping us put up the tree.


Well, you've made it to the end of another blog post. Here's your reward: Our official family portraits. We went on Saturday and had the professionals take the pictures. Enjoy!








Sunday, November 01, 2009

With my extra hour...

We had a fantastic Halloween this year. Jack dressed up as a monkey and trick-or-treated around our neighborhood with Steve, Pepere, Grandma Sue and me, and then again with our friends, the Mosimans. He was super cute, and he even did the monkey sounds if you asked him.

I think Jack's favorite thing about Halloween was pumpkins. We visited Randy's Vegetables a week before to pick out pumpkins. Jack loved every second of it. He walked around checking out all of the pumpkins. He kicked a few around to make sure they were good (or because he thought they looked like soccer balls, whatever). We found a family-size pumpkin and a Jack-size pumpkin. As much as Jack liked pumpkins, the train-ride at the pumpkin patch was that much more fun. He has started to recognize trains and tell us about them. And every time a train something-or-other comes up, he wants a ride. At the pumpkin patch, we took a ride.

In other big news, Jack has started using the potty. Not anything regular, but he's had a few successes, and that's pretty fun for all of us. We're not holding our breath waiting for full potty-trained, but it is exciting to start another developmental step.

Enjoy the photos!













Saturday, September 26, 2009

September Update

In between all of my meetings at work (part of the new position), I have been able to enjoy my life. It's been pretty nice. Here's a quick update on what we have been up to since school started.

I talked about our new nephew in the last post, and now I have pictures. Baby pictures are always a good way to start a blog post. Baby Emmett (as he is known in our house) is a month old now. We got to visit with him and Shane today while Nannie babysat. Definitely a fun way to spend the day. These photos are from our first visit a few weeks ago.



This is one of my favorites!


We also have another new family member. Aunt Susie, Uncle Peter and Nicky have a new puppy, Captain. They brought him here to visit right after they adopted him, and Jack has been asking for him ever since.



Of course, a visit from the Nustras is not complete without the two cousins having a rousing good time!


We really wished we lived closer to one another.

For Father's Day, Jack got his daddy a boat: a kayak. We finally purchased said kayak in September. Steve has gotten out on it twice so far on the Fox River. He tells me it's a pretty nice boat. I'll have to take his word for it since I haven't had time to try it out myself (Steve has offered!). Jack and I tried riding the bike along the river path the first time, but he doesn't seem to like the bike trailer so much yet (I think he's still too small, so the seat isn't comfortable).


Our biggest Family Fun Adventure lately was our trip to Purdue last weekend for the Purdue-NIU game. If you haven't heard yet, NIU won. I know, I am still in shock myself. But I have fulfilled my end of the bet. I now can sing (although not in the best tune) the NIU Fight Song (thank you Kurt, Dave, and all the others for the coaching and helpful links).

Even though my beloved Boilers did not win the day, it was still a great trip and a lot of fun to be back at a football game in Ross-Ade Stadium. We spent the whole weekend there, so we had time to walk around on campus as well as swim in the hotel pool. We are so lucky to have friends like Kurt and Amanda who are willing to do road trips Toddler-style. Not too many people are willing to eat dinner at 5:30 p.m. and play in the pool on a Saturday night.



To the Victors go the spoils. Although you cannot see it in this photo, the scoreboard clearly shows a Huskie Victory.

I think Jack fits in on the Purdue campus

Waving to the passing airplane


And I think he likes it here

He thought this was a "Row-Row", one of the playground toys that rocks back and forth. He was not disappointed by its lack of motion though.

Since last weekend, Steve has started back to Northwestern. He is taking two classes this term, which means he is super busy either attending classes or doing the homework. My newspaper kids put out their first issue on Friday. I also took them to UofI for a fieldtrip (yep, two Big Ten campuses in two weeks. I miss college). Jack is still talking up a storm. While at Purdue, he mastered the words "touchdown" and "Huskie". He made serious progress on "Boiler Up" with the hand motion even. We still need some practice with that one. We also bought a new washer and dryer. Got to love being a homeowner.

October should be exciting as well. Steve has a birthday, and we're always getting into trouble. Until then...