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Wednesday, December 26, 2012


One of the reasons I love the holidays is the traditions that they encourage.  One of my favorite "recent" traditions is Christmas breakfast with the Carr family.  When we started, only one of the 5 daughters was married, and there was only one grandchild.

Now, 4 out of the 5 of us are married with kids!  This year we added Malone, our first girl.  She joins the 5 (!) boys.  But she won't be lonely for long - by next Christmas there will be another sweet girl to add to our crazy bunch!


Breakfast is loud, it is crazy.  It is full of little boys who don't sit still and mamas that are trying to remember which mimosa was theirs.  It is perfect, filled with the all awesomeness that 5 years can bring.

Monday, December 24, 2012

And so it begins...

Christmas Eve is here, and even though I was so sure I was on top of things this year, I am still finishing up the last few details.  Cal is happily dreaming of sugarplums, and, as always, I am too excited to sleep.  I love giving presents, so the anticipation gets me downright giddy.

We had a good day. Cal kicked off his present opening with some gifts from my mom's group exchange.

Oooh! Train boat!
What a difference a month makes!  Cal barely touched the presents at his birthday party, but once he tore through these, he couldn't stop!  He also opened his gift from his great-grandmother and one of his father's presents before I could stop him!

Grandma and Papa came over for a visit in the evening, and, true to form, brought the type of large, loud gifts that toddler love.


A tricycle!
After dinner and gifts, we settled into our Christmas Eve traditions.  Cal got pajamas, a book and an ornament.  After reading his new book and 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Cal went off to bed a very happy boy.

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Holiday Season

I swear it sneaks up on me every year.  By the time I slog through those last few days with teenagers who cannot wait to be free of school, Christmas is here and I have barely had enough time to deck the halls. Due to volunteering to host my work  holiday party, the halls were fully decked and the house was spotless by the 14th.  Not only that, but I had am totally on top of my shopping - SCORE!  Time to enjoy the holiday season!

First up was Christmas in the 'Ville in my in-laws town of Fowlerville.  My father-in-law was a bit iffy on the details, so we missed the 5k run and other day time events, but we arrived just in time for the awesome lighted parade.  Cal loved the bedecked vehicles.

But that wasn't the highlight.  The parade ended with two trailers full of hot air balloon baskets shooting flames from their burners high into the sky.  What a sight it was!  We finished the night with a pizza dinner, and plans to hit up the whole day next year.

Next up was a visit to Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village with both sets of grandparents.  I have said it before, but it bears repeating...buying that membership was the best decision we made this year. 

Unfortunately, Billy came down with a touch of the stomach flu that afternoon, so I rode solo with Cal and his posse of grandparents.  It was a cold but fun night.  I am super glad we went on a week night because I cannot imagine the crowds when it is sold out.  All of the rides are free with admission.  Cal was not patient enough to wait for the Model Ts and melted down before the wagon ride, but he hit up the carousel 3 times.  Boy was in love. 

This is another one of those events I can't wait to do again when Cal is older.  Santa is on the rooftop of one of the houses, and will say hello to children by name.  Imagine how awesome that will be when he is no longer afraid of Santa?

Speaking of the big man, Santa was a no go this year.  We (mostly meaning my mom) valiantly tried twice, but Cal was not having it.  Maybe next year...

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Cousin for Callahan!

Cal's little world just got rocked...he is no longer the baby of the family.  Presenting his adorable cousin Malone!

While Mommy had not-so-secretly hoped the new baby would share a birthday with Cal (and Mommy's cousin Charlotte), Malone had her own plans and joined us two days later. She has the best cheeks ever. Cal calls her "Baby 'Lone" and seems fascinated by her. I can't wait to see how they interact!
Checking out his new cousin.

The dads and their kids.
The proud new parents!

Monday, November 26, 2012

November at a Glance

Testing out his goodies from the felt food exchange.

Helping Mommy run the large item room at the Mom2Mom sale.

Raking leaves.

All bundled up for a night ride through the Lightfest!

The beautiful lights!

Cuddling with Mommy and watching Thomas.

He really likes ketchup.

Hanging out with the boys while the girls hit the town.

Ready for the Turkey Trot!

Hamming it up while having breakfast.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


We celebrated Callahan's second birthday a few days early over the holiday weekend in order to beat the arrival of his cousin (coming any day now!) and to take advantage of some dear friends being in town.  It was much smaller than his one year bash, just family, Cal's godfather and Ingrid, and Mommy's childhood BFF and her two year old daughter.  Despite being small, we love to entertain, so we had a theme (Moustache Bash!) and a ton of delicous food (Mexican!).  Cal had a great time, and we all loved our house being filled with the ones we love!

The spread


Suckers and cookies

Mommy can't resist a good theme!

Happy Birthday Boy!

Love a full house!

Caroline was a great helper!

Shockingly, this was their best display of sharing all weekend!

Singing to the birthday boy!

Frosting first!

Happy Family!

He wanted to try everything.

Clutching toys from each set of grandparents...they know him so well!
 Cal was a very lucky boy.  Every single one of his presents was absolutely perfect for him.  We can't wait to continue the celebrations all week as we celebrate Grandpa Cliff's birthday on Sunday, Cal and Charlotte's shared birthday on Wednesday, and hopefully the arrival of Baby Howe any day now!  What a November to remember!

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Today, in the children's clothing aisle of the Salvation Army, something magical happened.  Cal, looking up from the trucks he had collected, saw that my mother was no longer standing next to him.  "Grandma?  Grandma?  Grandma go?"  he asked me.  I turned to my mom, who had just wandered around the corner and asked "Did you hear that?!?  He said 'Grandma!'" 

That's right, after 23 months, and countless other words, Cal finally says "Grandma."

For some reason, Cal has been stubborn about naming some of the people closest to him.  He will point if you ask "Where's Grandma?", but the words were never there, and that killed my mother.  She wanted something - Nana, Gigi, Gaga, Grammy - she wasn't picky.  She just wanted this sweet little boy to call her by name. 

It clicked all of a sudden - like he was waiting until he could say it perfectly before he debuted his new word.  Once he started, there was no stopping him.  In fact, he threw an absolute tantrum when we left Salvation Army in separate cars.  There were tears and sobs, and plaintive cries for his grandma.  Although I didn't get my phone out fast enough, I did manage to catch this as he was winding down.


Friday, November 2, 2012

Trick or Treat!

I'm calling this year a success.  Cal did not hate his costume - he didn't fight it one bit, not even the hood.  He may not have actually said "Trick or Treat!", but he did say "Thank you" unprompted multiple times.  He went crazy for his candy initially, but promptly forgot about it when I hid it.  A win all around.

We kicked off our festivities with a trip to the Lake Sherwood Halloween Party. 

My little dragon!

Walking in the parade with Grandpa.

Loving his costume!

Daddy had to work on Halloween (boo!), so Cal and Mommy hit up the festivities in downtown Northville just like last year.  Cal loved all of the dressed up doggies and the fire engines parked outside the station.
Cal and Mommy

Cal and Grandma

Checking out the fire engines with Uncle Rick

Cal and his ladies!