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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Day Snapshots

We didn't take many pictures of our Christmas festivities. And it was pretty low key. Christmas Eve, we spent most of the day with some of Jeremy's family. Then on Christmas Day, we ended up being at home alone. Just the five of us. It was a relaxing day. We began with the Christmas story and the boys exchanged gifts from one another and checked out their stockings from Jeremy and I. We had a later breakfast. The boys played with some new games that they had received from Granny. They did puzzles. They watched a movie. And we even went for a walk while the big boys rode their bikes. Jeremy and I have had this grand plan (for over a year now!) to not do gifts for the boys this year, but instead to take them to Great Wolf Lodge for a couple of days over Jeremy's break from work. It just made sense to us. They are overloaded with gifts from every one each year. So we thought the fun family time would be extra special for us, rather than more toys. But then a little late in the game, we started looking at rates and they were through the roof during this time. The boys still don't know about these plans. But we plan to take them later in the month, once prices have settled. You know, they didn't even notice that we didn't get them gifts. They opened a gift from one another and they were more than satisfied. I had to remind them that we had filled their stockings. And they were so excited about their little books, $5 DVD, and Ninja Turtle undies that we had stuffed inside. I loved it. I love that right now, they are not equating Christmas to gifts. That has been a huge thing for us. I don't know that they'll always have this mindset, but I love that so far that is the way it is for us. Here are a few pictures from our Christmas morning.
We still have a family dinner with some of my family tomorrow. And a visit with some of Pax's birth family on Saturday. And we have 6 more days to enjoy Jeremy at home with us. That has been a major highlight for our family...having him all to ourselves. 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Another season full of memories (and pictures)

Preparing for Christmas has been weeks of fun for our family. I'm not going to say that we kept up with our advent calendar. And I'm not going to claim that we even ended up doing the Jesse Tree at all. We didn't this year. But we did several fun and special things that will forever be burned into my memory. A big one was just this morning. Pax full on sprinted out of the house (still dressed in his one piece spider man jammies - web included - just so you have that adorable image in your minds) to deliver some homemade candy to our trash truck driver. Dude gets out of the truck, thrilled to see my little guy, squats down eye to eye as they have a short conversation and wish one another a Merry Christmas before he takes his little gift and moves along to the next house. I stood on the porch, almost weepy, at the joy this man showed in chatting with Pax. And Pax came sprinting back to me on the porch with the biggest grin you could ever imagine. The boys are obsessed with watching the trash truck do its thing every Monday. And this fall, they thought it was AWESOME when the poor driver had to jump in the back of the truck where all the nasty trash sits, to retrieve our can that the mechanical arms had dropped during a light rain. I saw the look of disgust on his face when he realized what had happened and that he was going to have to go into the trash heap. At that moment, the boys thought that he had the coolest job ever. But I know better, and so it was then that i knew the trash/recycle guys do us a huge favor - hauling off our trash each week. And we were going to thank them this year. Today we did that. It wasn't much AT ALL. But I sure hope they felt loved. I felt loved in just watching the exchange. So here are just a few moments of our fun from the past month.
The candy (in process) that we made for neighbors, trash/recycle drivers and mailman Mike. "Christmas Crack" is out of this world. Go and make you some.
We couldn't make the real deal Christmas cookies this year. So we completely pretended today with play dough and real sprinkles. The boys loved the playtime and could care less about the absence of Christmas cookies this year. Kids don't always care about what we think they will care about it. And what a blessing for me that this was enough for them. Two hours later I was sweeping up gobs of rolly polly sprinkles all over my kitchen.
And this little guy got to get his hands in play dough (technically moon dough) for the very first time.
We hosted a playdate with some friends and made Christmas ornaments from popsicle sticks. Pax made the Rudolph and Holden made a snowflake.
Christmas light looking in our Christmas jammmies.
A day with the Myers that ended with a very frigid night at the Chinese Lantern Festival in Dallas. It was beautiful and interesting. It was a fun local event that I'm glad we were able to see and explore.
 Bundled Abe. Poor fella eventually became miserable from the cold.
Pax in a dinosaur egg. :)
Reindeer pancake dinner.
 And our yearly tradition of our picture with Santa. Notice only one smiling boy for the professional picture. But then look what Pax did when they let me snap a picture with my phone. Too bad it's a bit of a blur. :( He will rarely give us genuine smiles for a camera, so this picture is a treat, despite the looks on the faces of the other two boys. :)
It's been a season of fun and full of memories for me. I can only hope that special memories are being made for these little boys. I sure love them. And they give my life more purpose than I ever knew was possible.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Abe's one year stats

I have to do this for my own memory. This baby boy doesn't even have a memory book started, so this blog documentation is very important to me right now. Today I took Abe in to see Dr D for his one year check-up. He's a healthy boy and hasn't yet been to the doctor for any sickness. Thank goodness! I realize that it's pretty brave of me to say this as we head into winter. Today Abe weighed 24lbs 4oz (87%). His height was 31 inches (86%). And his head circumference was 45.5cm (31%). I find it crazy that all three of my boys were 31 inches long at their one year appointments. And they all weighed within 1lb of one another. Obviously Holden and Pax are completely different shapes and sizes, so these little details don't mean a whole lot. I just found it interesting how the three are pretty much identical in size at the one year mark!
The little dude can't seem to keep his hands out of the Christmas tree these days. :)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Our Winter Wonderland.

It's not very often, in our part of the country, that we are shut in our homes for 3 days due to ice/snow/wintry weather. This was not uncommon during our years in Oklahoma, but not in Texas. Just a mere 3 hours south the winters are typically much more mild. But our temperatures drastically dropped on Thursday. And they continued to drop. The sleet started coming down around 3pm and it fell all night long. We woke to an iceskating rink surrounding our home on Friday morning. It was solid ice. And it was beautiful. Isn't wonderful to wake to that? I mean, it looked like snow. So it was still beautiful. And the iceskating rink still remains, 3 full days later. I love it. I've had 3 full days with my family. Jeremy has played with the big boys outside each day: slipping and sliding, sledding, eating icecicles. See video below. Holden and Pax have loved it. All 3 days they watched a Christmas movie, once their little fingers couldn't bear the cold anymore and they finally wanted to come inside. They were wearing gloves, but not waterproof gloves, so they didn't help all that much. We've just had a whole lot of family time. Some sweet, sweet time together that was much needed. Today, all five of us ventured out onto the ice to Target. I just wanted out of the house. So we browsed the store and grabbed some necessities. But other than that, it's just been us inside our house since Thursday afternoon and it's been a really fun time together. A few pictures from our winter wonderland:
 view from our front door
 the backyard
The overgrown mess of our blackberry bushes. Completely iced over.
 I did play a little outside.
Eating icicles. This is one of those childhood memories burned deeply into my brain. I remember my dad stepping up onto the bumper of our car, parked in our driveway, and scraping down icicles into a bowl for us to eat. Funny memory. But I'm glad it's there tucked away. And fun to be on the other side of that and watching my boys enjoy something so simple.
Right before they went sledding. Make shift sled: using some rope from the garage and a lid from one of our Christmas storage bins. Hey! It worked! And the boys loved it!
This boy slipped on the ice SEVERAL times. He thought it was fun/funny.
 Jeremy pulling them both on the sled.
 Abe experienced the wintry weather from the view of the window. But he did sport his new fleece snowman jammies to help celebrate in the fun.
One last little indoor project we did this weekend. Creativity via someone else through Pinterest.
Now that's a good daddy. A good daddy that HATES the cold. I mean, HATES the cold. But played outside in the frigid temps for long periods of time. And I think he had just as much fun as his little boys.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

All he wants for Christmas...

I'll let you be the guess of that. : ) What perfect timing! He's now lost four teeth. And personally, I think he's never looked cuter.

Friday, December 6, 2013

the celebration(s)!!

We had two small celebrations for Abe's 1st birthday. After 9 somewhat large (for my introverted self) birthday parties, I'm feeling done with them. I know that I can't really be done with them and Abe will get the same pizzazz as the other two for the next few years. But for his first I decided to keep it very low key and just family. Since we were with my family on Thanksgiving, and it was only a few days before his birthday, I decided to have his party on Friday at my meme's house. I baked cupcakes on Wednesday before traveling Thursday. Then on Friday, I whipped up some homemade buttercream and sloppily spread it onto the cupcakes. Sorry, Abe. They did look sloppy. But no one cared what they looked like. In fact Abe would hardly even touch his cupcake. So we had a little celebration with cake, a candle, singing and a few presents. It was just what I had imagined. My dad took some pictures for us. Thanks dad!
Some cousins sporting their 'staches.
Then on his actual birthday, December 2, we had another little celebration at home. This time it was just the 5 of us. The morning of his birthday, he woke at 5:15am crying. This is very unusual for him. He really has become a great sleeper. So I took the opportunity to snuggle him in our bed. He quickly went back to sleep on my chest. :) I love that he occasionally will still sleep on me. It's rare, but it also happened at Thanksgiving because he was desperate for a nap. When he woke for real, at around 7:00am, Jeremy and I sang Happy Birthday to our sweet boy. Jeremy went on to work that morning and met up with us for a Chick-Fil-A lunch. After work, Jeremy returned home with Abe's cookie cake. We had black bean rice bowls for dinner, because this little boy could eat his weight in beans and rice. Next he opened his presents from us. I had no idea I was buying a baby toy that my 4 and 5 year old were also going to love. They have played with this thing every day. We also got him the cute little grey elephant chair to go in his nursery. It's a perfect fit. We got him a toy remote control because he can't keep his hands off of our real ones. And we gave him a few new books, because we are determined to turn him into another bookworm. After the present opening, we sang to him again and shared some cookie cake. He confirmed what we thought just days before ~ the boy is not yet crazy for sugary sweets. I'm sure it will come in time, but for now I am perfectly fine with that. It was another wonderful day of celebrating our sweet baby boy!