Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fall Fun!

We've been enjoying our early Fall weekends while the weather is still nice. Now that the kids are a little older, we are able to do a little more with them and it's quite a bit easier to get things all packed up and everyone ready to go for an outing. Last weekend was beautiful, so we made an early morning visit to the zoo. The highlights were the big tractor, watching Raleigh the Ape eat breakfast and the "moo cow" umm, tinkling right in front of us. Max and Tessa are still talking about that last one.

Yesterday was just gorgeous and I'm so glad we decided to take a last minute trip to Hobart, IN to visit the County Line Orchard for some apple picking, tractor rides and a visit to their animal farm. It was our first time there and we will definitely go back. We had a blast. Max loved shouting every animal's name he saw, they both fed a cow and they were obsessed with pumpkins. I think a visit to a pumpkin patch is definitely in order in a few weeks! Right now, were working on teaching M&T about Halloween and asking them what costume they want. We've heard cow, lamb, butterfly and moo cow even though I'm not really sure they get the concept of halloween costumes yet.

Hope you are all enjoying the beginning of Fall!

Using our Imaginations!

Max and Tessa have some new DIY toys for pretend play and they love them! There cooking up lots of special dishes (couscous is a popular one) and building lots of things (mostly houses). I love watching them use their imaginations and they are starting to play more with each other instead of just next to each other. It cracks me up every time one of them calls for the other to run, wrestle or jump on the bed (even though jumping is a no no!). Fun times at the Cranley house!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Tessie Lou & Max Man

Today is Max and Tessa's 2nd birthday and we cannot believe how fast their second year has flown by. We celebrated yesterday with a small family party at Duke's parent's house. It was a beautiful day and Max and Tessa had a blast! We are having so much fun with them at this stage. They crack us up every day. Max loves all cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles and tractors. Tessa loves animals, coloring, all books and stickers. They are talking up a storm and I could listen to them chat all day long. Max loves to talk about "stinky garbage trucks" and the "fire coming" when he hears a fire engine come down the street. Tessa loves saying "holy mokes" and counting "1, 2, 4!" and naming pretty much everything she sees. She'll also tattle on Max when he's doing something he's not supposed to be doing by running to me and yelling, "Max double trouble!" I can't begin to describe the amount of joy they bring to our lives and we look forward to each and every day with them. We have their two year doctor's appointment this week, so we'll have some new stats soon!

And, a big thanks to my parents and Duke's parents for all of their help with the Party. Mary and Don, the house looked great and the cake and cupcakes were delicious. Mom and Dad, thanks for driving in and helping with the set-up, food and taking on the tent DIY project. You guys are the best!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Happy Bday Honey

Tuesday was Duke's bday and I'm a little late in posting about it here, but I wanted to tell my honey happy bday again! Happy birthday to my best friend. Each and every day you make me laugh, shower our kids with love and attention, work hard at growing our business and tolerate my love of reality TV even though you can't stand those trashy shows;) We are pretty lucky to have you. Love you tons!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

No More Phone Pics!

Months ago when Duke went to New York, our camera was either lost or stolen and we just never replaced it. Well, the need to have one for our business finally prompted us to get one and I know my mom is really happy about getting clear pictures that are not from our phones! So, here you go mom... photos from a real camera!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Back to Posting

It hasn't really been since Easter that I've posted, has it?? I can't think of a better reason to get back to posting than to congratulate one of my best friends on her pregnancy. It's not exactly new news (her due date is August 27th!), but we are so thrilled for our friends Kathryn and Wes! We can not wait to meet Baby Powell! Here is a picture from a few weeks ago at a shower for Baby Powell.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Happy Easter!

We had a wonderful trip to Pittsburgh for Easter with lots of activities. One of the big reasons we went to Pittsburgh this past weekend was to surprise my dad with an early 60th birthday celebration since we can't go for his actual birthday in May. He had no idea we were coming and we had a nice little surprise dinner at my brother's Friday night. Tessa got to sit front and center on Papa Mow Mow's lap for all the gifts! It was a very special night. Happy Birthday Papa Mow Mow! We love you!

We also took a trip to Reilly's Summer Seat Farm near my parent's place to meet the Easter Bunny. We took a hay ride to the Easter Egg Hunt, visited some cows, sheep and ducks and sat right next to the Easter Bunny! Duke and I were very surprised that neither Max nor Tessa were afraid of the Easter Bunny or the animals. Max really wanted to hold the Easter Bunny's hand and they both wanted to get real up close and personal with the cow. Max started to cry when he walked away! It was pretty cute to see how much they loved the farm.

Even more surprising was how good Max and Tessa were in church on Sunday. They were prefect little angels for the entire hour. It was a nice service and we were able to watch my mom sing in the Choir. Max and Tessa just played with some toys and read books without making a peep. I wish they would have been as cooperative when it was picture time. They looked so cute all dressed up and no matter what I did, they would not sit for a good picture.

Max and Tessa also had a blast playing outside at Sassy and Papa Mow's house. They saw lots of birds, chipmunks and bugs and they were in heaven! They can't wait to go back to Camp Mowrey! We can't either!

Oh...and the drive! It was 8 hours both ways and the kids did AWESOME! I really hope it wasn't a fluke. Can they please be that good for our next drive to Pittsburgh in July? Please?

Nice to Meet You Quinn & Adalyn

While we were in Pittsburgh for Easter, we finally able to meet Quinn & Adalyn Singer and they are PRECIOUS! They are such sweet babies and their Mommy is a natural! I wish we could have visited longer, but now that Keely and Spence moved to Pittsburgh, I see many more visits in our future. I can't wait for the next one!!

Happy Birthday Ainsley & Emery!

A few weeks ago we headed out to Glen Ellyn for Ainsley & Emery Beaumont's 1st Birthday party. It was a barnyard birthday bash and we had a blast!! The girls were adorable in their pink cowboy boots. I'm still mad I didn't get a pic of the boots! Jenny and John did a fabulous job with the birthday party and we were so glad we could be there. Max and Tessa had so much fun. They even received balloons as a party favor which resulted in days of fun for them!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


We finally had a beautiful Spring day. It was actually more like Summer today with temps around 80 degrees. We headed out first thing this morning for a trip to the park in our new double seater wagon! The kids have been having plenty of fun waiting for the nice weather day though. Here are some pics of them at our local indoor kids play area and the Chicago Children's Museum. The big hits at the Children's Museum were the water play areas for Tessa and the city bus and fire truck for Max.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stinky Shoes

Duke likes to tell the kids that Mommy's shoes are stinky. Max thinks that is a lot funnier than Mommy does.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Study Hall

Very serious business going on here today. Tessa is learning about IU and Max is learning about the potty.
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

No Park, No problem!

I am so sick of the winter weather and Max and Tessa have been stuck inside for the last few weeks while Duke has been recovering from surgery. So, this weekend we made it a point to get them out as much as possible. Since we can't go to the park, we tried out one of the many indoor play areas around the city on Friday. Kid City is just around the corner from us and Max and Tessa LOVED it. Max is obsessed with cleaning and he spotted a vacuum right when we walked in and proceeded to vacuum all of Kid City. Tessa found the grocery store and got right to shopping. She picked up pieces of produce and dropped them into her cart yelling "boom" each time. I took them by myself and it took me quite a while to plan our exit so that I didn't have to drag out two screaming toddlers who didn't want to leave. I bribed them with food. Success!

Saturday, we took Max to get his haircut which did not go so well. Screaming is a word that does not do justice to what Max was doing during the entire haircut. Because he was screaming so loud, I think our description of the kind of cut we wanted was lost. It's short. I know it looks fine, but his curls are gone...gone. Please, someone tell me they will grow back. Please.

Today, was Kylie Faber's 4th birthday party at the Little Gym and we all had a blast!! We were able to see friends we had not seen in a while and Max and Tessa were in heaven running around. So far, Tessa seems to be much more fearless than Max. He was a bit hesitant crawling on the mats. We've been working on "no hitting" at home, but I guess it's not working too well. Max singled out Finn Faber who is younger, but bigger than Max and proceeded to call him "baby" and then try to hit him. I think this is a sign that we shouldn't have another baby!!

It was a busy, but great weekend. I'm hoping to get the kids to places like The Little Gym and Kid City regularly until the weather is nicer to get us all out of the house a little more. Spring, you can arrive anytime now.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It's the little things.

Tessa and Max have been enjoying a new treat the last few days and we just had to capture Max's excitement. Yummy pudding!
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Snow, Snow, More Snow & a Super Bowl

There has been quite a bit going on at the Cranley house lately. Duke had surgery to repair his torn ACL on the morning of the biggest snowstorm Chicago has had in 4 years. Unfortunately, the surgery was done out the in the suburbs. The surgery went very well, but we ended up leaving later in the day than we anticipate to head home which led to a 3 hour drive. Not so much fun, but we made it home safe and sound.

The snow storm was pretty amazing dumping close to 20 inches around the city. It was fun to watch, but not so fun to dig out of. I actually owe our downstairs neighbors big time because they did most of the shoveling to help us out since they knew Duke was not able to do it. Max and Tessa loved watching the snow and I've taken them out a few times to play in it.

Max and Tessa are almost 18 months and are more and more entertaining by the day. Max is obsessed with cleaning and pretty much walks around with the swiffer all day. Tessa is talking up a storm and pretty much tries to say anything we ask her to say. Max is turning out to be a bit shy and Tessa is turning into a total ham. She's just goofy all day long. I just love watching their little personalities develop.

They were all ready for the big Super Bowl last night with their Steelers jerseys and Terrible towels, but I guess their cheers were not enough. Maybe next year!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Worker Man!

Since Duke is on the DL, my dad was kind enough to help us out and fix a few things around the condo. Max was obsessed with watching Papa Mow fix things. He learned about screw drivers, drills and measuring tape and he officially wants to be a "worker man." Papa even went to Home Depot to get Max his very own measuring tape. I think Max was so impressed with Papa that he now thinks Papa is driving all the trucks in his truck books.

Happy New Year!

We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and a happy New Year! While we did not have the Christmas we originally planned, it was still special and so much fun to watch Max & Tessa experience all the fun of Christmas. Unfortunately, before Christmas, Duke tore his ACL. It's been a bit challenging since his injury trying to chase Max and Tessa around, and cross all our t's and dot all the i's at work, but we did get lots of company and help from family over the holidays. The torn ACL is in Duke's right knee which means no driving. We had planned to drive to Pittsburgh for Christmas and spend a week, but Duke's doctor recommended we stay put. Duke will require surgery sometime in the next couple of weeks to fix the tear and we're trying to make sure he doesn't injure it further before the surgery.

So, we stayed here and made the best of it. We had a great Christmas day with a surprise visit from Duke's sister Mary, a webcam Christmas with my family and then Duke's parents, sister Julie and nephew Jack came over for Christmas dinner. Max and Tessa LOVED opening presents. I didn't think they would get it, but they had zero problems opening anything. My parents drove in that Monday and we did Christmas all over again. Max and Tessa really enjoyed spending time with the webcam grandparents "Gaga Sassy" and "Papa Mow". It was really nice to have them here for a few days. I wish we could do it more often. They were a huge help with the kids too since Dada had to have his leg up most of the time.

The big hits with Max and Tessa were slippers, a school bus and stuffed Big Bird from Santa, a Peek-a-boo baby from Aunt Beas and rocking chairs and a rocking pony from Gaga Sassy and Papa Mow. We're getting lots of requests to "rocky rocky" right now. Here are a few pics from the last week. Sorry for the quality. We need to get a new camera and these are all taken on Duke's phone.

Happy New Year!