Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Holiday Videos

One that I wish I had captured on video:



-When I got up to help Katy with something in the middle of a Christmas gathering and she shouted in pure genuine glee: "Mommy!! Your tummy is SO BIG! Did you eat too much food on Christmas?" Everyone started cracking up and I muttered "yes, I did," because I was not prepared in that moment to have the "We're having another baby!" chat. But it's coming soon, because she also asked me why I bought another stocking at Target today.



And when you have a few minutes, some moments that I did capture on video:





Notice his expression on the third hit. I laugh out loud every. time.


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Learning to be a card shark:

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Big reveal, which cracked me up because she never once mentioned wanting a dollhouse. In fact, I asked her once several weeks ago if she would like to have one and she said "no." Good thing I know better than to listen to her.

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Interview with David on Christmas Eve.


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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Happiness

Hello! I hope you have had an enjoyable holiday wherever you are. Ours has been lovely, and we still have one installment yet to come this weekend. From reading other blogs and Facebook posts, I feel very fortunate that our holiday was void of snow storms and illness. In the past 6 days, we have had 18 guests pass through our doors, plus one dog. Eleven of those guests have slept over at least one night. So it has been a whirlwind of clean sheets, food in the oven, wrapping paper on the floor, grandparents entertaining the kids, and lots of warm holiday stuff. We've really enjoyed the first Christmas in our house.





This is where I go all scrapbook-style on you, as I will post a bijillion pictures with captions. We also took so many adorable video clips, I wish they were simple to post. Perhaps some of them will make the cut.





I did not, however, do a good job of taking photos this year. It slips my mind more easily in my own home, and there's an entire get together including my aunt, uncle, and grandparents where I did not snap a single shot. So there may not be fair representation here.

Also, there were a few themes in the gifts worth mentioning this year:

1) Apparently all Brian is allowed to do is fix things around the house, because every gift he received will assist him in this area.

2) Cars for David. This one was obvious, and he loved it. The kid just tripled his car collection, and he now has cars of various makes and model, sizes and materials, remote controlled and self-propelled.

3) Melissa & Doug. For both kids, but especially Katy. Off the top of my head, I can think of 7 M&D gifts that they received, only one was from me, and no duplicates. I really love their stuff, and so do the kids.






Grammy and Papa John after a really nice Christmas Eve service at church. We didn't grow up going to Christmas Eve service because of family commitments, but it's a new tradition that I really enjoy.


Oh, the anticipation of Christmas Eve!

Cookies, milk, and letter for Santa. (She insisted on two cups of milk. Then in the morning she asked where the other one went)


"Dear Santa, Thanks for coming. I 'heart' you. David & Katy"



Christmas morning! Stockings before pancakes!




This cash register has been a HUGE hit. It scans, talks, makes change, identifies coins, has a working calculator, and the money looks real. Both kids have loved it.




Katy loved her sleeping bag so much that she slept in it on her bedroom floor that night. I couldn't believe she woke up in it the next morning, just like that.





Katy's "big gift" was a dollhouse that was hugely successful consignment store find. It came with a laundry basket full of accessories. I had wanted a wooden one, but had a really hard time finding a used one. Again, David loves it, too. It has surprised me how much he has loved all of Katy's gifts.



My Dad and Sue, Great Grandma, and Scout, joined us for Christmas dinner. David with his two buddies.



Proof that at least once a year, I put a real meal on the table.




Grandma Sue brought a gingerbread house, and both of the kids did so great with it. Again, didn't expect David to be able to participate, but he totally got into it.




Finished product.



Many more gifts with Oma and Opa, Aunt Mel and Aaron.



My mom made these cowgirl/boy costumes for the kids.



We've been trying to teach cute cowboy phrases, but I don't know anything except "yee-haw" and "ride-em cowboy."



Lots of relaxing time as well. David in his happy spot on Opa's lap.



Katy got several games, including M&D card games. Opa taught her to play "Go Fish," and she was relentless. It was completely hysterical to watch her play. That's a video I should post.



The last round of visitors included cousins! We really enjoyed getting to see them because now we most likely won't see them again until summer.


It takes five kids to open a gift, don'tchaknow?


For some reason we had a really hard time finding a jump rope. Success!
Now Brian's back to work for a short week before the Rose Bowl and another long weekend. I hope your holidays have been, and continue to be, celebratory.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Big News = Craziness

Oh my goodness, things have been so crazy, haven't they? In addition to Christmas-week, the 2 pieces of Big News that I posted have also made things extra busy. The most of which was that my mom came into town this week to go wedding dress shopping with my sister, and I was able to go along, which was awesome. She found an incredible dress and things are really underway. And they're underway for May now instead of April. So...we're looking into some creative options for how to dress my enormous belly, because the cute little bridesmaid dress that she picked wouldn't even cover my rear end, let alone my belly at 8 months pregnant. It'll be an adventure. Oh, and I am aware that I am technically a Matron of honor instead of a Maid, but the term "Matron" is so...I don't know...matronly. Don't you think? It makes me feel old and saggy or something. So yeah, we'll probably have to put that on the program, but I'm going to stick with "MOH" for now.

So here's a peek into some events from the last couple of weeks:


David, Jack, and Katy at Wildlights at the Zoo. Love this event, if you can go when it isn't crowded.

Visiting the model train display in the downtown library. David is a big fan of trains.


Katy's Christmas party at school (aka "Sugar Fest 2009")


Who says you can't sled in one inch of snow?



First snowman. Definitely Daddy's job.




David's haircut and Katy's latest battle scar - a scrape across the face from running into something at Home Depot.




Katy wrapped this all by herself, even the tag!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Big News #2

More exciting stuff...our dear friends Beth and Jason had their first baby on Tuesday - a plump baby boy named Landon Joseph. We went to see them at the hospital last night, and it was so great to see them in action as new parents. Everyone's journey to parenthood is different, and there are some people that you are SO THRILLED to see become parents. Beth and Jason were born to be a mom and a dad, and I can't wait to experience it with them.

Already a pro: this baby was crying hard just 2 minutes before I snapped this.

Plus, I love to hear a good birth story. Beth and I have been talking about it for months, so I couldn't wait to hear how it went. And now, not only is Beth a wonderful girlfriend of several years, but now she's a mommy friend too. We were already sharing stories of swaddling and nursing and arguing with doctors. Let the fun begin!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Big News #1


This first piece of news is quite exciting, but I'm having trouble completely wrapping my mind around it. My little sister (who I realize is no longer little at the age of 24) got ENGAGED this weekend. She's been dating a really great guy named Aaron, and that really great guy decided that he wants to be part of THIS FAMILY. Can you imagine?
But joking aside, of course I am thrilled for Melanie and she is giddy as ever. I've enjoyed getting to know Aaron and the kids LOVE him. The other day I said we were going to meet Aunt Mel for lunch, and they were all, "ok, good." Then I said that Aaron would be there, and they shouted all the way to the restaurant, "Aaron! Aaron!! Going to see Aaron!!!"
But here's the crazy part: they are talking about getting married in April. That's 2010. That means that the next few months are gonna be a bit crazy. And best of all, I am going to be a maid of honor who is 7 months pregnant. Laugh it up, folks, it'll be in photo albums for years.
Congratulations Melanie and Aaron!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This and That

Yesterday Katy helped get the mail and a few minutes later I found an empty Christmas card envelope on the floor. I asked her, "Katy, where's the card that came in this envelope?" and she said, "I put it on the fridge." I turned around to see this:




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We went to my work Christmas party, which I always enjoy. There's a great group of ladies who work in the office, and I mostly communicate with them over phone and email. The Christmas party is my once a year chance to hang out with them and their families. The kids have a blast together and my boss is always generous with the food and gifts.

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We're almost done Christmas shopping, and in a way I'm sad about it. I know that's weird, but I just love Christmas shopping. We have money to spend that we've saved up all year and I enjoy the hunt for the perfect present. It's challenging to get it all done with the littles, but it happens.

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Dudes, I'm only 13 weeks. I guess this is what happens to your belly the third time around. Six months of expanding left to go.
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I should have 2 pieces of big news to share this week, neither of which relate to me, but both are big if you know the folks involved. But I'll wait... gives us something to look forward to.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Spirit of the Season

(so I see I'm back to my old ways which is waiting a week to post and then writing a short novel. nice.)

We're busy getting into the Christmas spirit around here. I'm enjoying it, because the kids have so much fun with it. Every day seems more exciting to Katy. We got an advent calendar so she is literally counting down to Christmas. We're having lots of conversations about why we have Christmas and why we give gifts, etc., and she's asking lots of questions about Santa Claus. I always feel torn because I don't want to go into elaborate (lying) detail, but it's fun and I want to answer her questions.

We also haven't told Katy about the new baby, really, because it still seems so far away. But I did put up a mini-stocking for him/her, and today she asked me who that one was for. I'm not going to be able to keep the secret much longer, especially since I'm already wearing maternity clothes.

David is just so cute and seems so mature to me these days. He is approaching 2, and quickly. Among my favorite of his:
1) When he gets his feelings hurt, he throws himself on the floor face down, kicks his legs and pounds his fists in a poster-tantrum fashion. I just have to laugh, because really?
2) He "counts", which involves pointing to the same items over and over again and saying, "fee, foe, fie...fee, foe, fie..."
3) The kid. He is OBSESSED with cars. He will take a toy car and "drive" it all over every piece of furniture in the house, pushing things out of his way so the car can get through. The car will get stuck somewhere and he comes to me and says, "Cah? Cah? Cah?" and if I don't get up immediately to retrieve it, he starts his mantra, "Ah-MON, ah-MON, ah-MON!!" (come ON, come ON, come ON!).

That was a tangent...back to the Christmas decs...

Our tree...Old Faithful. With "colorful lights." Someday Brian will convince me to get a real tree.

I've explained in years past about our Hallmark ornament tradition. Here are this year's:


The explanation for David's is obvious. He literally threw a fit when we took it out of the box and weren't going to let him play with it. So it did a few laps around the living room before I hung it (high) on the tree.


When we saw this one, that said "New Home, 2009," we just had to get it. This is a milestone for us this year that we'll remember for a long time.


Oh, 3 year olds. I really tried to steer Katy toward one of the many other ornaments that would've had some meaning. But she insisted on this Santa. It isn't even a full size ornament, it's supposed to be for those mini-trees. But once her mind is made up...oh, well, at least it was cheaper.



Our first attempt at outdoor lights at the new house. I thought they turned out really well! Although I told Brian: too bad no one will see them, since we live at the bottom of a cul-de-sac.


The other day I took the kids to this darling little party at the local senior center. They had face painting, puppet shows, sing-a-longs, and a fabulous train with which David was obsessed. And of course, pictures with Santa. Katy was REALLY confused about that lady. I hadn't explained Mrs. Claus to her, and short of drawing a family tree, I somehow communicated that she was Santa's mommy. So anyway, David started crying when I put him on her lap, but she was able to distract him with some jingle bells long enough to take the picture. And Katy told Santa, as promised, what she would like for Christmas. Ugh.
There was a brief minute at the senior party in which I could NOT find Katy. That is always a terrifying feeling, and I literally grabbed a cop by the arm (there was a cop. I know, random.) and said, "Three year old! Green dress!" and he knew what I meant. When I found her, she was bawling, crying, "Mommy, I couldn't find you! I didn't know where you were!" and I was choking back tears myself. That is the worst feeling. Makes my stomach churn.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

How far do you take the Santa thing?

I know some households don't do Santa, and I do understand their point. If you build up Santa, it takes away from the true meaning of Christmas, and when they find out you lied to them there will be trust issues, etc. But Brian and I decided that for us, Santa was hard to avoid, that we wouldn't build it up to be a big part of Christmas, but we'd go along with it. I have fond memories of the mystery of Santa from when I was young. I don't even remember finding out he wasn't real, so I certainly don't think it caused any trust issues for me. I DO remember one time when I was 7 or so I asked my mom, "So if Santa knows if you've been bad or good, does he know everything, like God?" And her eyes got really wide and she exclaimed, "NO! Santa is NOTHING like God!!" Maybe that was my first clue.

So anyway, Katy's very interested in Santa this year. She talks about going to sit on his lap and telling him what she wants for Christmas. But here's the thing: I've asked her several times what she's going to tell him that she wants. And she has picked this completely random toy that she saw at Target that is something I wouldn't have picked. But she keeps insisting that she's going to tell Santa that she wants it. So if I don't get it for her, will that squelch her belief? But I don't want her to think that she can ask for anything she wants and receive it. I've been trying to say, "Well, sometimes Santa can't get exactly what you ask, but he might bring something else that you will really like." But she keeps insisting, she's going to ask Santa for this.

I just know it's one of those things that she'll play with for half an hour and then it will sit. Most of the reason she wants it is because she likes the show. I have ideas for other things that will hopefully have a longer play-life. And $20-some dollars for that? I don't think so.

I don't know...just wondering what you do.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Updated cousin pic...


...from their visit last weekend.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Until next year, NaBloPoMo...

It is 9:45 on the last night of November and I am spent. Still haven't kicked this first trimester stuff completely out of the water. I've got lots of things I'd like to post or talk about, but they'll have to wait.

It's been fun posting everyday and reading everyone else's. But as usual, December is a welcome break. (haha)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Halls: Decked




We came home from the remainder of our holiday festivities today (visiting my Dad and Sue) to unpack and catch our breath from the whirlwind of a week. Oh, and we'll just put up the Christmas decorations while we're at it.




Five hours later, after much bulb twisting and a quick trip to Meijer for new lights, we are decorated. I always enjoy this activity, and this year was special because it's the first Christmas in this house. Upon opening The Box, I found from after-season clearance in January: outdoor lights in anticipation of having more of a place to hang them, a pop up Children's book, and lots and lots of holiday window clings. (I'm tucking those away for the 4:00 hour this week) We also purchased our annual Hallmark ornaments yesterday, and we had a good time figuring out where new things will go in our house. I'll post more pictures this week.




Katy was thrilled beyond belief during the entire process. I think she might be confused and thinking that today is Christmas. But we'll straighten her out. She was thoroughly annoyed that all of our lights, indoor and outdoor, were only "yellow" (white) instead of "colorful." So when we discovered the need for new strands for the tree, guess which kind we got? And guess who said, "Mommy, I LOVE you!" spontaneously in the car on the way home?




Christmas is enjoyed on a whole new level with small children. The joy in their faces. It's indescribable.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Past Novembers: 2008

After a long and painful trip to the ER, a 7 month old David had his finger tip reattached. It was a bizarre accident that healed so amazingly quickly I could not believe it.


Disney cruise with Brian's family!


We don't very often have beach pictures in November.


One of the things that I remember most fondly about the trip is how much Katy loved the characters. She waited so patiently and so excitedly in line to see every. one.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Past Novembers: 2007

Katy is 18 months old, and starting to do crazy crazy things related to severe stranger anxiety.


I'm 21 weeks pregnant with David.

And here's our first look at our baby boy's face! I started to ponder what it would be like to be a mom to a son.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pulled It Off












We did it. We had Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone ate, the food was good, it was good to see family, and there were no major catastrophes. In fact, that was one of the better turkeys I've had (my mom did it for the most part). We'll just keep fingers crossed that we didn't send anyone home with leftovers plus a cold to go with it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We certainly have a lot to be thankful for, this year and always.