Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Festivities

We've been having a lot of Christmastime fun lately. Last Friday was "family day" at AmEx - and boy, was it a party! Half the adventure is just getting there; utilizing several forms of transportation: walking, train, subway, ferry.

The party did NOT disappoint - the kids were given Pillow Pets upon arrival, pictures with Santa and the Rockettes, face painting, balloon animals, holiday characters, stuff-your-own-animal, and complementary lunch in the cafeteria. It was fun to meet Ryan's co-workers and run into some friends throughout the day.

Then on Saturday we had tickets to ride the "Santa Claus Train" in Whippany. It was a 45 minute train ride and Santa comes through and meets every child and gives them a little gift. Linc was in HEAVEN! He just stared out the window the whole time in awe. Ellie didn't like it as much - she is just so squirmy, sitting down for 45 minutes is not an option for her.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Why didn't you get the big size??

Lincoln begged me to buy these at Target. Now we're working on tossing them in the air and catching them in his mouth. Fun times! :)

Friday, November 26, 2010


We have much to be thankful for in the Giles home. We had a fun Thanksgiving this year celebrating with friends, and I was thankful not to cook the turkey for the first time in the last 4 years! It was a delicious potluck feast shared with good conversation and lots of toys to keep the kids occupied. The only picture I got was this one of Ellie, who unfailingly reaches for the camera...I think all pictures of her will look like this for a while.

We are also thankful to live in such a great town. It has a special old-small-town feeling and is so family-oriented. The small main street has little shops and street lamps that are already decorated for the Christmas season. Today there was the annual "Christmas Walk" which was basically Christmas trick-or-treating. Local shops and businesses handed out treats, roses, candy, hot chocolate - even elf hats! Ellie and Linc were in heaven with all the cookies and popcorn.

The fun culminated with the appearance of Santa!

It was really special to see Lincoln's look of wonderment as he waved and said "Hi Santa! Hi Santa" with a big smile on his face. I think it's going to be a very magical Christmas this year for Lincoln.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Carlos and his Best Friend

Lincoln is not "Lincoln" least that's what he insists. He is Carlos (from The Magic School Bus), and will not answer to "Lincoln". To keep us all in correct character, Ellie is now "Dorothy Ann", Ryan is "Arnold" and I am "Ms. Frizzle".

Well, "Carlos" has a new best friend; and it just happens to be a 2 ft tall skeleton - complete with moving limbs and freakishly-glowing green eyes. "Carlos" has been in denial that Halloween is over, and when we went past the clearance section at the grocery store he HAD to have this skeleton (skelligan as Linc...I mean "Carlos"...says it). And for 75% off the original price, I decided to indulge him...all in the name of science, of course. "He's learning anatomy" is what I have to keep telling myself when I see that creepy skeleton peeking out from under the covers, or hanging from my kitchen cabinets.

He really loves this skeleton though, and "Carlos" has asked him to play catch, given him a tour of the house, tucks him in bed at night, and gives him lots of hugs. So, it is kinda cute (but still creepy!).

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Ellie takes pumpkin carving into her own hands:

Everyone digs in - literally

(Ellie felt particularly proud to be standing on the table)

Pirate Lincoln and "Pirate Princess" least that's what the package said. I guess it's not nice to call toddlers "wenches"

We love CANDY!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin Patch II

We must really love pumpkins around here, because last week for playgroup we went to yet another pumpkin patch in the area. I have to say that this one was much more fun - a lengthy hayride, pumpkins, donuts and apple cider, and activities for the kids. We now have 6 pumpkins, and it's not even mid-October!!

Linc on the hayride

The whole playgroup gang

Each kid was allowed 1 pumpkin from the patch - as soon as we got off the hayride Lincoln went right to work filling his whole bag with pumpkins, then trying to heft it around.

Ellie chooses her pumpkin

Hay maze!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pumpkin Photo Shoot...Take 1

We went to pick out a pumpkin this weekend, and I had imagined a lovely photo-op of Linc and Ellie in the autumn splendor. Well, I didn't get any "perfect" pictures, but the more I look at them, I think it captures the essence of these kids rather nicely.

Ellie "cheesing" - with gansta pant leg

Linc is trying

Making an escape:

Our little ham:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Nap Protest

Poor second children...unlike their first-born siblings, naps are definitely more hit-or-miss. Ellie has almost given up her morning nap, but if we're out and about she usually crashes in her carseat around noon. However, when we are home, it doesn't necessarily mean that she will take a nap. Today this is what I found:

She had dumped out all her blankets, binks, and friends AND taken off her shirt and threw it out of the crib for good measure!

I guess she didn't want to take a nap today! :)

Also, Lincoln drew his first real (ie: recognizable) picture yesterday. Can you guess what it is??

(Maybe it's only recognizable to his mom, but I'm curious what you think) :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

First Day of Pre-School!

A group of us from church organized an at-home pre-school this year. The kids are all close in age and each of us moms takes a turn to teach a week at a time. We ordered the curriculum from Mother Goose Time, and it comes with lesson plans and basically all the materials you need. It seems like it will be a great first-school experience!

Lincoln is all ready with his backpack:

Ellie wanted to wear a backpack just like big brother:

The pre-school class!

They were all so proud to wear their backpacks - so cute!

Friday, September 3, 2010

NYC - Visit to the Intrepid

As another portion of our stay-cation, we went into New York City. It was the first time we drove in, and it only took about 45 minutes - not bad. Lincoln really loves jets and has his own aircraft carrier, so we thought we'd take him to a real aircraft carrier, the USS Intrepid. It was a great museum, and he really loved everything!

Ellie checks out the upper flight deck:

Linc really has a thing for the "space shuttle Discovery" - he loves it! I think he learned about it from an astronomy book he has, but I'm not quite sure.

I don't think I'd want these little rascals flying my helicopter!

We rounded out the visit with H&H Bagels, a little shopping, a walk through Times Square, and some Tasti-D-Lite. What a day!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Jersey Shore - Giles Style

Ryan has this week off work (he's done with his 2 year rotation and starting his *real* job at AmEx next week - hooray!), so we decided to take a stay-cation! At the top of our list was "The Shore" - we've never been, even after living in NJ for 2 summers. [I think having two little kids has something to do with that :) ]

It was a beautiful, hot day at the shore.

Ellie liked chasing the seagulls:

Lincoln liked digging in the sand:

But they both LOVED the splash pad on the boardwalk!

We all had a great time and enjoyed some cotton candy afterwards. It almost felt like being back in Brighton!