Here’s my dose of Insta-Therapy! I’m linking up with Jeannett over at Life Rearranged and posting iphone pics from the week!

Lizzie was really in need of a good bath, and I didn’t want to go through the trouble of scheduling someone to do it for us, with all the trimmings.  So, I dusted off my dog shampoo that had been hidden behind the clutter under the bathroom sink, and gave her a good bath.  She was the happiest, and most frisky girl, I’d seen in a while.  The boys LOVED seeing her like this.


Mason isn’t quite pulling himself up completely to stand.  He usually just makes it to his knees.  However, he does enjoy being placed on his feet, to be able to look around like a “big boy”! I know it’s a bit of a blurry picture, but that’s because he likes to be a little wobbly.


This week was the last week before Christmas break at St. Aidan’s where Parker has his MMO class.  So, I made some little nifty Christmas presents for the teachers.  I got it from this idea  I saw on Pinterest.  I know, I know… I spelled  s’more wrong.  Lovely, right?


I met up with Sarah and some Mommy friends at Catch Air this week.  Parker and Mason both had a blast, per usual.  However, it was insanely busy!  I guess that’s to be expected with school out and it being a rainy day, but there were not only a lot of kids, but some big kids too.  Parker LOVES hanging out with big kids, but always ends up with some bumps and bruises.  This day was no exception, but they both still had lots of fun!



Parker had lots of fun with his buddy Logan, running through the monkey grass at the local park. It was so hard to catch a decent picture of them because they were really taking off!


Parker has so much fun just being my helper.  He LOVES when I let him help me with my chores and things around the house.  He feels like such a big boy, which is all the rage now.  Here is is, helping me mix the solution for the cloth wipes.

I met up with Ms. Danielle at Phipps Plaza on Wednesday, to have dinner at Twist, and do a little shopping.  Okay, well the shopping wasn’t exactly planned, but this Mama barely has time to shop and have fun, so I took advantage.  I bought way too much at Nordstrom, and Danielle and I had fun looking around Janie and Jack, and gawking at their cutesy girl clothes, and over priced outfits.  She found this cute little girl dress that totally would be a little mini Danielle outfit. SO cute!



Upon leaving Phipps on Wednesday, I was taken back for a second by this beautiful traditional church that stood lit up in the distance.  A sweet reminder for the reason for the season, amongst the hustle and bustle in December.


Parker wasn’t really feeling well last night, but he seems to be a little more cooperative when he’s under the weather.  So, I thought I’d try to cheer him up by having him help me make a batch of cookies.  We had a lot of fun doing little Christmas Tree, Gingerbread Man, and Candy Cane cut-outs, but his favorite was just making the round cookies and getting to sprinkle toppings on them. I got a few smiles out of him, which made it all worth the mess.

Looking forward to Christmas in a couple of days!  How was your week?

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Christmas Festivities

Since Parker is older this year, we’ve been introducing him to some fun Christmas related activities that he has really taken well to.  I love that he is finally old enough to enjoy getting into the Christmas spirit.

Last week Parker and I met up with Sarah and Marcie, and their kids, and decorated Christmas cookies at the Alpharetta Community Center.  Parker had a great time decorating, and getting his sweet fix.  A baloonist made him a very cool guitar and “mic” to go along with it, and he even got a chance to jam out to Christmas tunes with his buddy Logan. The boys also got to visit with Mr. and Mrs. Clause!

On Monday evening, we did our annual trip to Lake Lanier’s “Magical Night of Lights”, like we did last year.  We were smart this year, and used a coupon, and went early as well as on a week night. We paid way too much last year, and learned our lesson.  It was MUCH less crowded this time, and we had a great time viewing the lights, going to Santa’s Workshop and picking out an ornament, roasting marshmallows, and visiting the farm animals.  Overall, a great family night out!

And no, I didn’t give Mason any roasted marshmallows.  Just because he would eat anything…doesn’t mean he should.  But Mama had fun teasing.  I’m so mean, aren’t I? He did however, get the graham cracker to the otherwise complete smore.

Parker on the other hand, got a roasted marshmallow, and some.  He accidentally took a sip of Dan’s coke which was in the back pocket of the stroller.  Here was his initial reaction…

Afterwards, he proceeded with a jittery happy dance.  I think he’ll be a coke addict for sure.  Let’s be clear..we’re talking about the soda people

One random day while at playgroup, Meagan, Sarah, and I were talking about fun Christmas activities.  Then we got on the subject of Gingerbread houses.  The three of us agreed that it would be a fun activity for the boys, so we decided to plan a little playdate to do just that. I think the Mamas put in more of the hard work, while the boys put in a lot of munchin’ time.  It was lots of fun, even with the chaos of six boys!

He wouldn’t even put one stinkin’ piece on the house.  Each one went straight to the mouth!

We had a wonderful time! I’m looking forward to enjoying more Christmas fun, as the holiday approaches!


Per usual, I’m linking up with Jeannett over at Life Rearranged and posting iphone pics from the week!
Dan picked these up last weekend, and it kind-of grossed me out when he pointed out what they were made of… 100% butter? Really? I think I could’ve gone without knowing that tid bit of mis-information, thank you.

We went to “All Fired Up” on Monday with our playgroup to paint pottery.  Parker had a lot of fun going to town with the red and green paint, making a bit of a mess, but loving every moment of it.  I’m curious to see what it will look at when we go pick it up.

We went to go see the lights at Lake Lanier (a more detailed post later), but the boys enjoyed it, and loved snuggling up in the back with blankets and watching Christmas movies!

I attended a cookie exchange on Wednesday night with some girlfriends.  I brought peanut butter cookies with Hershey kiss.  They were super yum!  It put me in quite the festive spirit, too.

Parker has really been enjoying telling me all of the letters and numbers he has learned.  One of his favorite things is to call out the letters when he sees words.  So, I thought it would be fun to buy more of the foam letters, so we could play with them outside the tub.  He had a great time, for a few minutes… and then Mason had a time, chewing and scattering all the letters.

The weather was beautiful this week, and unseasonably warm.  So, we enjoyed a nice time in the back yard and at the local park.  Daddy even joined us one time, and had fun helping Parker push Mason on the swing.  Good times.

This little booger is cutting his seventh tooth! I just found it yesterday.  So, this is his typical pose, with one finger in the mouth.

We had a great time playing with friends this week, as usual… with the Howells!  Our boys love each other!

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Big Boys and Big Milestones!

There’s been a whole lot of milestones going on in the Christiansen house lately.  Here’s a little recap

Mason turned 9 months on Sunday. Yes, my friends.  He’s growing up so stinkin’ fast! It is true what they say about second born, being even faster growing than the first.  I’m not sure if its because Mason is trying to catching up with his big bro, or what, but he is definitely growing and changing, more quickly than I’d like.  He’s crawling all over the place, now.  He’s still doing just an army crawl, but it has gotten much faster.  When he’s in a disposable diaper, or when he’s naked, I’ve seen him a few times get up on his knees and rock some.

He’s still a BIG TIME eater.  He gets to be quite the impatient one at meal time. If I’m not scooping it into his mouth, or giving him something to let him shovel in, then he’s got something to say about it.  He’s eating meals similar to Parker now, except smaller, and more veggies.  I still offer the veggies to Parker, but he doesn’t seem to take to them as well as Mason does.  He loves everything from cheese bread and turkey, to carrots and peas.  If I put it in front of him, he eats it. I have yet to find something that he’ll turn away that is home made.  He’s made weird faces when I’ve given him jarred baby food, when we’ve been on the go, but other than that, he’s not picky at all!

He’s been such a mover and shaker lately, and so much so, that he hasn’t wanted to nurse during the day.  I kept trying to force it on him, but it would just makes him angry.  We would have this battle where he would pull off, and I would re-latch him over… and over… and over again for about five to ten minutes, until FINALLY  the let-down would happen.  Needless to say, this wasn’t fun for either of us. So, in short, I think he’s self weaning.  It is against my wishes, but it appears to be what he wants.  He’s nursing first thing in the morning, and sometimes before bed, and getting two formula bottles (Earth’s Best) during the day.  I keep reminding the perfectionist in me that formula IS NOT poison. And, although I long to be one of those Moms who nurse their child on demand until they can toddle, apparently, that just isn’t in the cards for us. *Sigh*

He’s still a great sleeper, which we are forever grateful for.  He does have the occasional night waking, grabbing out his mouth.  I have to say, though.  He’s a trooper! He had four top teeth come in at the same time, and now he’s working on cutting his seventh tooth! He’s such a happy kid, though.  Just these last few weeks, I’ve noticed just how much he loves to smile and laugh.  Some of his favorite things are (in no particular order): His brother, and his kisses, Lizzie and her wet kisses, Playing with Daddy and Parker on Mama and Daddy’s bed, wagon rides, park swings, Elmo, playing in his play yard.  He’s saying Mama, Dada, and “ok”.  Can clap and wave (on occasion, still working on it!), and loves to give free smiles and hugs.  Gawh, I love that boy!

Parker is not only a big brother, but is turning into quite the BIG BOY, too.  This week we transformed his crib into a big boy bed.  He’s doing SO good with it too.  I hyped it up, and told him that he was getting to be SUCH a big boy, and that it was time for him to be in a big boy bed.  He was so excited about it that he wanted to go to sleep immediately and wanted me to go away and cut out the lights so he could go to sleep!  It was so funny.  I gave him a few ground rules (no standing, jumping, or leaving his bed during “sleep” times) and he replied with, “Okay Mommy!”.  We took the child proof knob off the door, and he has lots of freedom now!  He’s done great at staying in his bed at night.  Yesterday at nap, he didn’t want to stay in there, and I ended up napping on the floor beside him, but today, he went straight to bed for his nap, and didn’t attempt to get out once!  I’m such a proud Mama.

Of course, Mason had to join in on the fun! They love each other so much!   So, why did we make this big step?  Well, I wanted to get Parker used to being a “big boy” because we’re about to take the plunge into potty training!  After reading the ebook from THIS site, I’m ready to go knock it out.  We’ve got a few potty related gifts under the tree to get Parker excited, and then we plan to start soon after Christmas.  Dan won’t be traveling for a few weeks, and Parker will be on “winter break” for a few weeks from his Mother’s Morning Out Class, so it’ll be a good time to just bite the bullet and have him trained.  He’s showing lots of readiness signs, and his verbal skills are improving daily.  I know this will be a big challenge for Parker as well as Dan and I.  It’ll test our patience and rack our nerves, but I’m hoping that with all the distractions of the Christmas toys that we’ll have for him to play with, and lots of preparation and help from Dan, that it’ll be a thing of the past in no time.  I’m trying not to have high expectations of early training, but at the same time, stay positive that he will in fact be trained before school starts back.  I’m leaving it up to him as to whether or not he’s ready for overnight training.  I will set him up for success according to what the ebook says, and see what happens!

Parker has also been doing great at school, too.  He’s had a lot of exciting events, with a big Thanksgiving potluck in November, and tonight he participated in his very first Christmas Concert.  He is turning out to big such a big kid!  I can’t believe that Mason will be doing all this same stuff, this time next year.

Thanksgiving Potluck

"Twinkle, Twinkle, Christmas Star!" Parker sings enthusiastically for the concert


It’s been a pretty eventful week.  Dan was gone to Vegas to attend a training certification seminar, so I was home with the boys for the weekend, and through the week.  I didn’t notice much that the time was going by so fast since we had such a busy week.  When I look through my iphone pics, it makes me realize how much I did with the boys, and how much fun the three of us had together.  It made me such a proud Mama.

Per usual, I’m linking up with Jeannett over at Life Rearranged and posting iphone pics from the week.

Saturday it was a beautiful day, so we decided to head over to Fowler park, where there is lots of sunshine, slides, swings and things to climb on.  We packed a lunch and had a family picnic sans Dad…who we missed terribly.

I found this board on Pinterest and I thought I’d give it a try for myself.  It’s perfect for above Parker and Mason’s play table in our room and shows our plans this week.  On Monday, I go over our “week”, and I’m hoping that eventually he’ll understand and look forward to exciting events throughout the week!

I loved dressing the boys up for their visit with Santa.  Mason is wearing clothes that Parker wore this time last year (at 15 months) and he’s almost 9 months! Big guy!  Both outfits were consignment buys, since they will probably only wear a handful of times, and then go straight to the back of the closet.  Boy did they look handsome, though!

My boys were SO good for Santa! I’m so glad I “talked him up”.  Minus the hand in the mouth, it was a cute shot.

I took the cheesy (but cute) Santa photo and made an ornament with some holiday fabric.  Yes, it looks a bit ridiculous and completely home made, but that was kind of the point.  I also made another ornament that I was inspired by a pinterest pin here.  It doesn’t look exactly like it, but close enough!

We had “Cookies with Santa” on Wednesday and met Marcie and Sarah there with their kiddos.  It was not only decorating a cookie, it was a fun visit with the Clauses, a live DJ with Christmas music and hula hoops (that Parker was LOVING to dance to!), a balloonist making every balloon toy figure known to man and coloring.  Parker had a blast!  It’ll definitely become a tradition for us for years to come.

This cutie patootie here, is learning how to pull up!  This just started this week.  I feel like he’s growing up so fast!

This guy right here^^ with the sly grin behind his paci, thinks he’s cute waking up a mere two hours after I put him down for the night.  It’s not typical of this “good sleeper”, but my milk supply has dipped quite a bit since he hasn’t been wanting to nurse during the day, and I have refused to pump around the clock to keep up my supply.  So, I threw my hands up and decided that I would let my pride go by  the wayside and give him a bottle of formula.  I hope this isn’t the end of our nursing relationship, but I’m leaving it up to him.  If he keeps refusing the breast, then I will have to be OK with giving him formula!

I made lots of “simple” meals this week while Dan was out.  This is chicken teriyaki on the Cuisinart grill, green giant portioned peas and corn with sliced apple.  Parker loved it.  Easy Peasy.

Lots of bubbles and bathtime fun this week.  This is usually Dan’s responsibility when he’s home, but I had a lot of fun this week playing with the boys, being silly with bubbles, and snapping some cutesy photos of them.

Parker is going through a “Let me do everything by myself” phase.  Here he is trying to put on some pants, but not realizing that he has two legs in the same hole!  Poor kid.  He was trying SO hard!

We went to visit Gracile, Campen and Amelia for a playdate and Dinner on Wednesday.  I love that our kiddos are so close in age.  Campen and Parker are three weeks apart, and Mason and Amelia are seven weeks apart.  Don’t they look SO cute together?  I think maybe some match making will be cookin’ up in the future!

We met up with Gracile, and Campen again today for our typical Friday Kangazoom time.  The boys had a great time, jumping, playing, and the general goofing-off shenanigans that they love to do.  It was a nice end to the week.  I ended up having to strip Parker’s shirt off though, because he got a little out of hand at the water fountain.  Boys.  Gotta love ’em!

That’s it for my week.  Looking forward to what the weekend holds!

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Meeting Santa

For this week’s playgroup, we went to the mall for our annual Santa visit,  This was Parker’s third time, and Mason’s first.  They both did great!  I wish we got a little better picture of Mason, without his hand in his mouth, but they both still look cute as can be (coming from a bias Mama) and they were very well behaved too!  We enjoyed some fun in the play area, and then joined some friends for lunch.

Tree Lighting Ceremony

We joined some friends for a pretty tree lighting ceremony in Alpharetta square.  We were sad that Daddy wasn’t home to see it with us, since he was in Vegas doing an important certification class, but we made the best of it.

Parker enjoyed a tasty mini cupcake from our friend Jill who owns Jilly’s Cupcakes.  Chocolate Peppermint was DIVINE! Super yummy!

Overall, we all had a great night out!


I know, it’s been like a bazillion years since I’ve posted an Insta-Friday.  I’ve been a bit tied up with Thanksgiving and… well… kids.  When all else fails, blame your lack of “having it all together” on the kids.  Sounds good to me!
So, without further delay… I’m linking up with Jeannett over at Life Rearranged and post iphone pics to give a little glimpse into the past few weeks.

My little sister Amanda turned 14 last weekend!  I can’t believe how much she’s grown!  What a beautiful young lady she’s becoming.  I thought I’d treat her to some highlights for the first time and a stylish cut.  Not that she needs them, but it was a nice day of pampering at Toni and Guy for her.  She loved it!

Since Mason is now mobile, and we have the Christmas tree up, I put out the pack n play for Mason to play in.  I’m so thankful that he’s taken to it much better than Parker did at his age.  Parker HATED being in there and cried the instant I sat him in there.  Mason is pretty content, as long as it isn’t for too long.  Parker LOVES to join him in there.  He begs me to put him in there with him. It is so cute how they play together in there.  It gives me some much needed peace after mealtime.

I put my baking skills to work to make some mini pumpkin pies for Parker’s Thanksgiving Potluck at school.  They also turned out super yummy!

I also made these pumpkin muffins for the class from this quick and easy recipe I found on pinterest.  They turned out super yummy!

Who knew an indoor playground showroom could be so much fun!?  Parker and Mason had a great time with the playgroup there a few weeks back.

Every Sunday night, we have our “Family Storytime”.  We read to Parker every night before bed, but since Mason goes down so early, he usually doesn’t get to hear a story unless it’s Sunday.  So this is the time where we all pile onto Mama and Daddy’s bed and snuggle up and grab five or six books to read aloud with the four of us. Mason, above is clearly looks right at home here, waiting for the rest of us to join him.

A great gal-pal of mine, Sarah,  turned 21 a few weeks back.  We had so much fun celebrating her. She is the most mature, responsible, and down-to-earth 21 year old I know.  I’m so glad we met! I finally got to cut loose and have a nice girls night! Her brother was able to drive me home, which was nice since I was past my limit.  It’s been way too long!

If you haven’t had a chance to check out Von Mar, then you should. That place is AWESOME! And you don’t even have to buy anything for it to be a downright enjoyable experience.  We love to go there with their big shiny Christmas trees, and pianist playing the beautiful Christmas melodies, and the kids section has a wonderful train table!  Parker is in heaven.  They also have this really cool peach drop (that works about 50% of the time), where a peach rides a series of tracks down from a tree into a wash station, and through other fun stations in preparation for a peach pie or jam.  So cute!

We had a great time at Marcie’s house eating traditional “campfire” foods for the night.  Parker loved roasting a marshmallow, and was mesmerized by the fire.  It was so perfect for a cool November evening.

Mason loves his “little people” animals!

Parker having lunch with his buddy Pace and other friends at Monkey Joes… His new most favorite place!  I’m pretty sure Parker is saying “MORE” as well as gesturing the sign since his milk is low.  He has become SO obsessed with milk lately.  When he runs out, he always asks for more, and when meal time is near, he runs over to his chair and immediately yells “MICK, MICK!”.  That kid is determined to get his calcium for healthy bones!

A rare moment where Parker is actually being still on the ottoman for a picture.  When I’m nursing Mason, he’s typically digging through the toy box, or climbing on my legs.  Boys…

Mason was cracking up at me at Chick-fil-A this day.  I love my little bald headed chubba wabba

Mason is SO into unloading the toy baskets and surrounding himself.  Here he is, all barricaded in, and completely content.
How was your week? Share your quirky iphone pics and blog about them!
life rearranged