Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hippopotamus for Christmas

I have had a few requests to see this video again.  Enjoy!  

I've watched this a thousand times and she still makes me laugh!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas, Part 4

Sometimes, I think I'm still a kid.  What, you didn't know?  My favorite activities and traditions are the ones that involve me being a (grown up) child to my parents.  This year was the first year that we didn't do Christmas morning at their house.  It was very strange, and I am not sure I liked it.  I loved every second of Christmas morning with Johnny and our girls, but I didn't like what I was missing!  Luckily it worked out that we could postpone Christmas morning at their house just one day.  It won't always work like that, but I figure at some point, my kids will get up early enough that we can still head over to my parents house for what I like to call:
Grandma's in Pajamas!

It is totally not catching on.  I don't know why.  

We were excited to Skype with my brother and Vicki.  They gave us a great Christmas present in telling us they will be coming home for Paige's first birthday this month!

I wasn't kidding about the pajamas.

Paige does not look happy about being confined while there is presents wrapping paper around.
When mailing gifts cross-country through the Westlake post office, drastic measures must be taken.
After gift opening, we had Christmas French Toast (greatest food EVER!) and Sausage Egg Casserole.  Then we went home and played with new toys.  Everyone went to bed early.  The end.

PS - Do you have a gorillapod for your camera?  You should!

Christmas, Part 3

Day 3 - Christmas Morning and Christmas dinner with the Jordans

I'm so glad my kids haven't hit the phase where they get up early for Santa!  Ugh.  I remember my brother and I used to get up at 3:30, 4:00, 4:30.  The only reason my dad put up with that, was because he was just as excited!  :)

Santa's been!
It actually worked out really nicely.  Maris got up at a decent hour and we were able to watch her open all her presents before Paige got up.  Then when Paige woke up we got to have 1 on 1 opening time with her... or with Maris again since Paige had zero interest in opening gifts!

I read somewhere this year that you should stand next to your tree to get the best shot of your kids.  Obviously!  But for some reason I never thought of this before.

Santa always leaves Erie a gift to open.  She's 6 so she's a pro at opening.
A Barbie was the only thing Maris asked for from Santa.  And a Barbie, she received.
But she got a fun chair too!

Sometimes the best gifts are accidents or afterthoughts.  "Santa" got this for 75% after Halloween at Target and she LOVES it.

Hey, look who decided to get up!
"and potatoes?  I shoulda stayed in bed!"
Santa could have saved his money and just gotten wrapping paper for this one.

We should nickname Maris, The Vault.  This girl keeps a secret like it's her job!  She picked this book out for Johnny in early November.  She was very intent on keeping it a secret too!

The Vault presents her secret.

All done!  They kind of look like the need to go back to bed!
After gifts we had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and relaxed in the afternoon.  For dinner we headed down to the farm to see the Jordans.  Unfortunately, Christmas was starting to catch up with the girls and we weren't able to stay as long as we wanted.  We did have time to pop in and visit the horses though.  (Pics coming after I download from G'pa's camera.)

Merry Christmas!

Christmas, Part 2

Day 2 - Campana Christmas Eve

My family members are big fans of traditional themed holiday meals.  We eat corn beef and cabbage on St. Patrick's Day, pork and sauerkraut on New Years Day, and so on.  Our Italian tradition on Christmas Eve is to eat Spaghetti (with your choice of regular marinara or tuna marinara!), Shrimp, Smelt, and Salad.  I know you are wondering what smelt is.  Go ahead, click on it.  Christmas Eve dinner is probably my favorite meal of the year; definitely during the holidays.

After dinner, we open gifts.  The cousins exchange names, so everyone just buys for one other person.  Another of my favorite traditions!

Refreshment break.  Cute baby alert.

My cousins tried to teach Maris the pouty lip.  It came out more like Zoolander.

Maris fits right in with the blondies.  15 of 19 cousins have blonde hair!  That's got to be some weird statistical anomaly, right?
After the cousins did some gift exchanging, it was Grandma Great's turn.  She had a busy year.  She visited grandkids in Colorado, California, and Oklahoma.  G'ma Great doesn't fly.  She made all those visits as part of road trips!  Road trips in your 80s.  That's fantastic.  While she was in Denver, she climbed a few mountains. 

"Getting this high is illegal in most states."

Luckily we got home much closer to bedtime.  My kids don't quite understand getting up early for Santa yet, so we got a nice long night of sleep!  Merry Christmas Eve!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas, Part 1

4 days.  4 days of messed up naps.  4 days of meals at the wrong time.  4 days of getting to bed hours late.  That could only mean one thing.  4 days of Christmas! 

Day 1 - Hughes Family Christmas
Meal - Ham, sandwiches, sides, and LOTS of dessert!
Relaxing with Grandpa.
Opening presents.
Paige went to bed at 6:30, so we had to open her gifts for her.
More Paige gifts.
Paige only slept a few hours before she was accidentally woken up.  We got home at midnight which is probably the latest either of my girls has ever stayed up.  They were champs though - I think it was the presents that kept them going.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Johnny and Maris went to LEGO KidsFest when it visited Cleveland. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I love our playgroup friends.  We recently had some playing time in Kristin's newly remodeled basement where Maris loved the Hulk Hands. 

We got the kids together for a group shot.  I love how everyone is always looking in a different direction.  Of the original 8 kids, Maris is the only girl.  Second round babies - there are 6 of those - are all girls.  And we just found out one of the moms is expecting the first baby of round three!

Maris and I attended a holiday party for the music class that two of the other families participate in.  The children were hopped up on sugar and Christmas so they were not cooperative with the photo ops.  Us moms had to step in.

I am grateful everyday that I (and Maris) have made such wonderful friends just from attending "boob class!"

Monday, January 9, 2012

Family Photos

At the end of October, we had family photos taken.  Paige was 9 months old and we didn't have a single professional photo of her.  We chose Tamarie Photography.  I knew Tami when I was planning my wedding.  6 years later through an acquaintance, I found out she was photographing my brother's wedding.  Small world.  

We love all our photos.  Not only were the pictures themselves wonderful, but we had a great time working with Tami.  Choosing photos was hard!  Here are some of our favorites.
(All images are property of Tamarie Photography.  Please do not copy or print images.) 

© Tamarie Photography
© Tamarie Photography
© Tamarie Photography
© Tamarie Photography
© Tamarie Photography
© Tamarie Photography
© Tamarie Photography

Head over Tami's blog to see some more of the photos she took of our family! 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

M is for Maris and Model

I have no idea where she gets this.  She loves posing for the camera.  I was taking Maris's picture to see about a color scheme for our family photos and she just took off with all these poses.  She's too much.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Apple Picking

In the first week of October, we took the girls apple picking.  For the past several years we have gone to Pick N Save Orchard.  This year we decided to try a different place, Geig's Orchard.  We prefer a bare bones apple picking experience.  We don't need hayrides, and corn mazes or any of the other things offered by some of the farms.  Pick N Save and Geig's both fit those criteria, but next year we'll go back to PnS.  They label each row of trees (Geig's only had a map at the front of the orchard) and it was much less crowded. 

Notice how we had nicer weather for October apple picking than for June strawberry picking.  So goes it, in Ohio.

Maris always does more tasting than picking.
Although, she comes by it honestly.
And so, I have to train  Paige too.
                                                                                                               We made pumpkin applesauce, dutch apple pie, and butterscotch apple cake.

These little things were made with the small pieces of leftover pie crust.  My aunt and grandma are practically famous for these.  I kind of just made it up because I have never asked how they are done.  I just folded them over, brushed with melted butter, topped with cinnamon/sugar, and baked until with the pie until they looked like they were about done.  YUM.