Archive for February, 2015

New Years and Jan 2015

Hooray!  A brand new year!  I have a special liking for the New Years holiday.  I think it is because we always spend our christmas ‘vacation’ traveling, and once we get back home, its nice to have a holiday in our own house, with our own food, and no make-up, or pictures, or plans.  I like to cook a special meal and Phil likes to play video games and we all just unwind.  The kids were perfectly happy back in their own beds with all their new toys.  Liz was able to work on New Years Eve, so Phil and I both worked half days and then met up for a quick new years eve date at the duck pin bowling alley.  When we got home, we kicked off New Years Eve with our own little countdown at 8pm:



There was a special ‘kids countdown’ on netflix that you could start any time you wanted.  It was like a 10 minute thing.  The kids ate oreos and we tried to make a big deal of ‘Happy New Year’ and then they were off to bed!



I went to bed shortly after them, ha.  But Evie woke up with a wicked cough at 11:30, after she went back to sleep, I figured I might as well go down stairs and watch the ball drop with Phil.  Can we just talk about the new years eve countdown shows for a second?  They are beyond horrible.  Phil and I switched back and forth between Ryan Seacrest, Jenny McCarthey, and Taylor Swift, And then there was Carson Daly, Lady Gaga, and Tony Bennett?!  I’m so confused on the groupings of these people.  Anyway.  It was bad.  At midnight I gave Phil a kiss and went back to bed.


The next day began our official Woznation Holiday.  We got up early and headed to the Science Museum.






Then I made a new pot roast recipe,  and we had our last gift opening with the kids.  Some of our family sent gifts to the house, so the kids had like 6 christmases!  After nap we did the gift opening and took down the tree.  Here is Evie mid-meltdown — you can tell how concerned we all are.  Shes a bit of a drama queen.




Finally happy with her new boats:




It was a really fun few days.  Unfortunately Jan started with me being swamped at work with a few extra projects I was asked to do as a ‘favor’.  Which led to me being really behind on other tasks until well into February.  So I spent lots of time here:



But would occasionally treat myself to things like this (Blue Moon Cafe!) Yum:



Other than that, we would do things on the weekends.  We let our aquarium membership expire – so we went one last time.  And then we also spent time at The B&O Train Museum, Storyville, at home making cookies, or getting Evie’s first hair cut!  We have been trying to find as many indoor places possible!  Winter has been brutal!  Its currently 7 degrees.  We had a few days above freezing, where we could hang out at the park – but have otherwise just hunkered down and stayed warm. (Minus the one picture of the beach from Phil’s work trip to Florida mid-January!)


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We got back to Indiana on Christmas Eve.  Even though Phil and I were exhausted, Wil couldnt be more excited for Santa to visit.  Wil was very specific on what he wanted from Santa:  a red car and a blue car. Occasionally he would also ask for a spaceship.  I thought all those things seemed easy enough, but when Phil and I went to target before we left, we couldnt find things that would perfectly fit the bill.  Therefore we ordered things off of amazon and Busia and Dziadzia bailed us out and wrapped up everything in time for Christmas.  Everything was perfect.  Wil and Evie woke up Christmas morning at the Wozniaks and opened stockings downstairs.  Wil got his red car and his blue car.  Evie loved opening everything, including her new pink hippo pull-toy.  And Dziadzia got his cocoa puffs.  Everything was right in the world.










We had another small gift opening at the Watkins where the kids got to see Grandma Bear and make Christmas cookies with Mimi:








And we got to give Barney his presents:



Later in the day Uncle John, Em and Sam arrived, and all the Wozniaks were back together.






I wish I had more pictures, but we were all too busy enjoying each others company!  Em brought a ton of beer from a new brewery she was interviewing at, and we all had a family taste testing.  And then the next day The Hendricks and the Troxels came down to visit.   We were lucky to have a few extra days in Bloomington before and after mexico to regroup.  The kids had the best time:






















Its always a long trip to Bloomington but once we are there, its so great.  There are a million people to help watch the kids, Wil and Evie are always smiling and happy, I can always get some extra work done, and Phil and I take time for ourselves and see friends.  Christmas was extra special this year seeing our entire immediate family — It probably wont happen again for a very long time — But in the meantime, the kids always love to skype! We miss you all – Thanks for an amazing Christmas!

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Christmas in Mexico

Ahhhh Mexico.  We figured, if it took the same amount of effort for us all to meet in Bloomington, IN – why not go to Mexico instead?  So thats what we did.  Wendy and family flew from Phoenix, Phil and family flew from Michigan, Andrew and family flew from Chicago, and we and my parents flew from Indy.


It was sooooooo great.  I was originally worried how we’d keep everyone happy without our normal food, schedule, beds, etc.  But really nothing matter once we got there.  My mom is a meticulous planner – so she had arranged for our rooms to be pretty close in proximity.  So when the kids napped, or went to bed early, we hung out a few rooms over with the monitor — it worked out perfectly!  I hadnt seen my sister or her family in a year, so getting the cousins together was especially awesome.  Wil and Luke loved playing on the porch in Mimi and Pop-pops room, and watching teeth videos (It was all that my dad had on his iPad, but turned out to be a big hit).  Wil is still obsessed with the beach, and Evie LOVED the pool (minus one mishap where I thought there were a few more steps in the pool, but instead I accidentally walked off a ledge and plunged us both under water…oops).


I wasnt sure how everyone would sleep with us all sharing a room, but some of my favorite moments of the trip were waking up with Wil and bringing him over to our bed and snuggling before everyone else was awake.  We would whisper about hearing birds and give each other Eskimo kisses.  Then, once Evie was up, we would put on our flip-flops and walk down to the buffet in our jammies,  fill up our sippy cups with milk and grab some danishes.  We would make our way back to the room and go out on the balcony to eat breakfast.  We would say ‘hola’ to everyone we saw and shoo away all the birds who came and tried to eat our food inches from our hands.


Nearly every nap time my parents volunteered to watch the monitor and get the kids up.  Phil got in a golf game, I got in a pedicure and massage and even worked out a few times. It was nice to still get a little solo adult time around the resort, in addition to hanging out with everyone.  Dinners were the toughest – we’d prefer to all be together, but our kids are not quite old enough to sit quietly and enjoy company for hours on end.  Phil was an all-star and took care of Evie almost every night, while the rest of us sat and had a nice dinner (Thanks Phil).  Only on the very last night did we think to put Elise and Evie next to each other in the high-chairs (which sounds like a disaster waiting to happen) but they totally loved each other, and held hands, and kept each other company the whole time.  Go figure.


On the first full day, we had our annual family catch phrase night (which is usually reserved for Christmas Eve).  We got the kids to sleep, grabbed the monitors and met in Mom and Dad’s room!  Its always a ridiculous, fun time.  The last day we all got dolled-up for family pictures.  We promised the kids lots of chocolate cake and ice cream afterwards if they kept their clothes clean.  We had an especially windy day – but were able to get a few nice shots. And the kids loved the treats at the end.


It was a really, really, really great few days.  Can we go back?



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December was a lot of fun.  Wil really  loved ‘Christmas Time’ and I think it made everything so much more fun for the rest of us.  We started watching ‘Mickey Christmas’ specials on Netflix back in November, and the kids couldnt get enough.  They loved everything christmas related – decorated trees, visiting Santa Claus, presents, cookies, songs, lights – so many fun things!  It was so fun to spoil everyone with special things all month long. Tis the season, right?    Wil and Evie are actually still watching the Mickey Christmas specials – so its been a very long season for us 😉


Here are a few of the fun things we did:


Phil brought home a small tree from Wegmans one Tuesday night, it was the highlight of the week, I talked about it all day and they were so excited when he got home.  Evie loved the tree so much we had to move all the chairs into the basement until January – because she kept climbing up and pulling ornaments off.








Then Phil had a mini work trip to Chicago, but he got to see friends while he was there, so he had a great time. This kids and I hunkered down at home with the tree:








When Phil got back, we made a special trip to see Santa. We got all cleaned up,  including getting Wil a hair cut (which always ends with ice cream):


Wil was on his best behavior for Santa:



But Evie was not a fan. I still love the meltdown pics:


We celebrated ‘St. Nicks Day’ (A watkins family tradition).  The kids put their shoes out before bed and when they woke up they had a new christmas book!  That night, we had special evening with forts and hot chocolate:






Wil’s class had a field trip to a train garden, hosted at the highlandtown fire station.  I was able to take a few hours off of work to go chaperone (By ‘take a few hours off’, I mean ‘I left and no one seemed to notice’). Hanging out with Wil was way more fun:




Liz gave them their Christmas presents early.  They love the baby doll and race track.  She also got them special Mickey and Minnie hats with their names on them!  They are so cute, but I dont have a good picture with them on, yet.




Wil’s class had a special Christmas Program at school the night before we left for Indiana.  Both the Pre-K classes had been learning special songs to sing for the parents.  They sang an advent song, jingle bells, and we wish you a merry christmas.  It was really adorable.




My favorite part is watching all the other parents with the cell phones.  We are all so ridiculous.

After the Christmas program – we left for the Watkins family vacation to Mexico!!


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