Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A few Christmas pictures

Getting ready for Christmas Eve liturgy.
Elijah dressed himself. I thought it was so sweet that he wanted to wear a tie and his wooden cross.
I've been working to clean out the attic and found these two candle holders and thought they looked nice with this Laura Greene original. Also, they came in handy for light on Christmas Eve when our power went out.
I really like having our piano as a place to set our nativity set. It's Fontanini that we got it as a wedding gift. Nothing like at my grandma's house. She has the whole Fontanini town of Bethlehem. I still really like our little starter set. We don't add Jesus to the manger until Christmas morning.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

the gifts are (almost) all opened

and what is Mary playing with? Scotch tape and post-it notes. AUGH! Why do we even shop?

Today we are home and working on the attic. We were super surprised to come home to much of the work done: the electricity finished and a wall built around the stairwell to keep small children or drunk people from plummeting to their death. Now comes the cleaning and rearranging and getting rid of 50 year old cobwebs. I honestly can't say I've ever seen a spider up there, but there sure are lots of cobwebs.

AND for my Christmas gift from Laura--a total shock as we got home last night, a redone bathroom. A new light fixture, towel rack, new hardware, fresh paint and outlet. I can actually do my hair in the bathroom for the first time since we've lived here (just one of the many joys of living in an old house). And maybe even better--the shower was scrubbed and shining. (Perhaps also since we first moved in!! : ))

Thanks everyone, for your hard work!!

Monday, December 28, 2009

It's 8 o clock and I am the only one up!

We've been in Michigan visiting my extended family for Christmas and it has been SO MUCH FUN! The crazy part is--if you know my kids--they almost never sleep past 7:00, even when they stay up late. We've been keeping them so active and up so late for the past three days they've been sleeping in until 9:00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is so unheard of for us.

We got here on Christmas day with a very nice and uneventful drive to get here. Everyone was quiet and relatively peaceful. Once we arrived here the partying began and almost literally hasn't stopped. We're staying with my dad's parents (my mom, dad, and brother were here too, but left yesterday) and I have a relatively big family so there are people (and especially kids to play with) around pretty much all the time.

We ate Christmas dinner and then the crazy fun began. We always have a white elephant gift exchange among the adults with lots of stealing. The kid's "bedroom" is in the finished basement with the ping pong table and area for running around and building forts, etc. so they really couldn't go to sleep until everyone left so most night they've been going to bed around 11:00.

The next day was spent relaxing at my grandparents house with just the core of us who were staying here. We watched cable and played ping pong and took a nap. That evening we got dressed up to celebrate my grandparents 60th anniversary (their 50th was just the day before we got married) by surprising them with a stretch limo (for all 26 of us) to take us to dinner. The kids' favorite part was playing games on some of my family members iPhones and getting to walk around while the car was moving--NO seatbelts, mom! We drank champagne and wine and had a great time getting to the restaurant. When we got back to their house at 10:00 p.m. we ate cake that my aunts and cousins made before we crashed.

I'll post the rest of our weekend later. Kids are waking up.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Our second tree of the year. After deciding to take down our usual small artificial tree last weekend and get a $10.00 large one, I am rededicating myself to keeping the family tradition of a real tree. I mean, why else do we have 10 foot ceilings? I had fooled myself into the idea that having an artificial tree with a nice pine scented candle was the same, but no.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just. One. More. Day.

I hope we make it!!! Then we can all breathe a big sigh of relief. This is one of those weeks when being a two-teacher family is challenging.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

my phone took a coffee bath

This isn't the first time this has happened to me, by the way. Can I just vent for a minute? I'm trying not to be a debbie downer. Today I was in a hurry and being impatient as I left for work. I had my hands full and put my coffee on top of the banana peel left from yesterday's breakfast in the drink holder. Then I threw the van in reverse and took off. A minute later I went to take a drink and my coffee cup was missing. I looked down and there it was upside down--IN MY PURSE! My purse was filled with coffee and inside my wallet, checkbook, phone, and a new book of Christmas stamps were floating, sopping wet. GRRR.

This is right on the heels of the previous day when Brian and I had stayed up late and then I was up with Emily from 3-4 a.m. and then our alarm didn't go off because a certain unnamed boy with a love for audio books was in our room using the cd player on our alarm clock took the cd out, but didn't change the setting back to radio. So technically the alarm did go off, but we heard only the silence of the empty cd player. We woke up at 7:00. (Perspective--Brian usually is on his way to work at 7:00. I am showered, dressed, lunches made, coffee made, getting the kids' breakfast ready at 7:00. This was an "OH, CRAP!!" moment.) Thankfully Brian was gracious and let me get showered and he got all three kids up and dressed and took the dog out. I never really did shake it off though. It kind of wrecked me for the day.

I'm really hoping that tomorrow looks a little brighter.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

A New Tradition

Today we commemorate Saint Nicholas, the Wonderworker. We have wanted to do some celebrating for the past few years, but just never had our act together. So this year we had plans! Saturday evening was our children's church and we focused on the life of this holy saint. I read my group a book about his life and miracles and had them make a soup mix in a jar to secretly give away to someone in need in the spirit of St. Nicholas. If you want more information about his life click here. After our kids went to bed we baked a St. Nicholas cake with a chocolate coin hidden inside for one lucky cake eater to find, put the rest of the coins in their shoes outside their door and wrapped one gift each under the tree. They really weren't expecting anything since we've never celebrated this day before, so their reactions were priceless--even though they were at 6:15 a.m. Why were they up? Who knows? But I could hear them discovering things from my bed. Finally Mary came in and told me that there were gold coins in their shoes and asked if the presents were for them and if they could be opened. So Brian and I went out and watched them opening their gifts. His comment was that it was better than Christmas because it was just one thing to open and there wasn't any chaos. Elijah got this Star Wars lego set that he's been desperately wanting and we got Mary feetie pajamas which she has been wanting for the past few weeks since Emily got several pair for her birthday. Emily got a cute hat and mitten set that she hardly took off all day. They were all so happy with their one small treasure. Elijah, bless his heart, said to me later this evening, "Mom, it's okay if I don't get anything else for Christmas. I am satisfied with this." What a kid. Mary really was getting into the spirit--she kept hiding candy under their pillows and telling us to go look--St. Nicholas must have visited us. For dinner tonight we cut into the cake and found the hidden coin.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Toy review

Okay, so I must have toys on the brain. If you know me, you know I am not much for shopping. I have just found the best company that I had to share. We have been enjoying this ISpy Go Fish game for several months now (and when I say we...well, you know who you are!) Tonight when Brian and I were playing each other I started reading the directions and decided to look up the company online and they make the COOLEST THINGS for nerdy moms who like educational games and puzzles instead of video games! You have to check them out if you have kids aged 2-8. I promise I'm not getting any money from them, but I did just order a game and a couple of puzzles for my kids for Christmas. carries their products, but it looks like only some of them are in the stores.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

So, speaking of Emily

She is hilarious! All of a sudden she LOVES books. As I type, she is loading up her little wagon with all the contents of her bookshelf and then settling on the couch so she can read them all. She remembers the intonations I use when I read certain stories to her and she will "read" them in the same voices I use. Some of her favorites: Big Red Barn (which is getting pretty ratty if anyone is looking a for a Christmas idea), Goodnight Moon (always a favorite), Kim and Carrots (which is actually a small magazine called Babybug, and her new favorite: OWL BABIES. I love this book. She asks me to read it to her all the time. "Mommy, Read Owls?" It's adorable and impossible to say no.

Yesterday was her 2 year check up with our next new doctor. Again, not Dr. Miller. Rats. I am starting to think about just sucking it up and enduring the long wait times to go back to her. The new doctor was perfectly nice, just not the doctor that knows me at the grocery store and knows exactly what our family history is like. Emily's stats were: Weight between 75th-90th percentile, Height 90th percentile. She is pretty much on the same trajectory she's been on since birth: BIG.

Also, I wanted to write about her memory. It is ridiculous! I can't believe how she knows things. Like today when an older sibling of one of her friends came to pick up at the sitter. She sees this boy maybe once every few weeks. He walked up and she said his name. How does she remember that? When I picked her up today she remembered that her cup was in the fridge (we don't usually bring one from home, so it's not a daily thing) and that her doggie was in the take-home drawer. I didn't actually remember either of those things, so I guess it's a good thing she did!