Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Round Up

We have been having so much fun that I haven't had time to get it all written here.  So I am going to attempt a little round-up on the past few days.

Saturday:  We spent the day lounging around the house and enjoying some down time and then went to a living nativity at a local church.  Little Man wanted to stay and watch it over and over again.  He wanted to see every aspect and make sure he got all of the details correct.  There were 2 people at the entrance to the inn saying that there wasn't any room and he didn't think that was historically accurate.  Peanut and Sweet Pea loved Baby Jesus and the angel in the sky.  Sweet Pea and Peanut also enjoyed the sheep and donkey and kept hearing "neigh neigh" being exclaimed in my ear.  It was very cold so we didn't stay as long as Little Man would have liked but this is something we will add to our must-do list each year.  It was a good reminder of the real reason behind Christmas and it was a great way to reiterate the story in a way the kids understood.

Sunday:  Tita Michelle, Uncle Mark and Mee-Mom came for a wonderful visit.  The kids were in heaven with some of their most favorite people all paying attention to them.  Uncle Mark was part jungle gym for the boys and part pillow for Sweet Pea.  Tita Michelle was all playmate for the kids as she got down on the floor and played "armor" as Peanut calls playing knights and castles.  Mee-Mom was full of smiles and joy as she has all of her kids and grandkids in one room which is all that it really takes to make her happy.

Monday:  We spent making Christmas cookies, cakes, baking bread and cleaning the house.  Then we went to our 2nd Annual Christmas Eve dinner at our very good friends house.  The kids watched movies, played games, ate a lot of sugar and ran around while the adults attempted to talk over the joyful noise.  We finished the night by spreading reindeer food on the lawn and tucking in some very excited small humans.  Papa Bear and I had planned well enough ahead that all the presents were wrapped and food prepared so we got to go to bed early too since we expected to be woken up with the sun.

Tuesday:  Christmas morning was everything we wanted it to be.  Peanut started crying when he opened his first gift and it wasn't the rocket ship he has asked for but was mollified as soon as he opened his second gift and it was a rocket ship and then had to be lured back repeatedly to open another gift as all he wanted to do was play with his rocket ship.  Little Man was kind and gracious as always and after opening a gift from us he declared that he loved it and was so excited about it but he actually didn't know what it was.  (It turns out that it because his favorite gift of the day once he figured it out).  He also hasn't taken his tie off since opening that gift and plans on wearing it every day which is adorable and fine by me. Sweet Pea loved her dress up stuff especially her finger nail polish and after getting her fingers and toes painted insisted on painting Papa Bear's nails too.  We had wonderful food of spinach and bacon quiche, lasagna and a wonderfully perfectly cooked prime rib (for me and Papa Bear). 

Wednesday: Christmas overload.  Stayed in our pajamas and enjoyed our gifts!

Thursday:  Shopping and shopping and returning broken/missing toys from Santa. 

Friday:  We went to a puppet show about a magic toy shop and visited the farm and saw cows, pigs, sheep and most importantly to Peanut, tractors.

Photo Dump from the week:

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Eve Eve

There is so much to say about our wonderful visit with Uncle Mark, Tita Michelle and MeeMom.  But it is 11:35 at night and I am exhausted from another perfect day in our holiday staycation.  So I will add more later but for now, I will leave you with pictures....

Little Man's First Phone Call

The phone rang yesterday morning around 10:00 and as is typical, the kids ignored it and I picked it up.  They always ignore the ringing phone because it is never for them.  Until today.

The sweetest little voice was on the line saying "Hi, this is J, can I please speak with Jackson?"  It was adorable and I told Little Man that his friend was on the phone.  They proceeded to have a conversation like little adults.  They discussed their play date scheduled for tomorrow, what they are asking Santa for and how it is so cool that they have each others phone numbers.  These are boys that sit next to each other in class every day so I imagine that they talk to each other a lot.

Papa Bear was thrilled that friendship was blossoming.  Little Man confides in Papa Bear a lot, especially about the mean or hurtful things that the other kids on the playground and Papa Bear confides in me how much it upsets him that little 5 and 6 year old's can be cruel to one another.  This friend, J, is the one that Little Man tells us is nice and he is the only other boy that doesn't make fun of kids or say mean things.

Now Little Man is obsessed with making phone calls to his friends and has started looking up all of their phone numbers so we are going to start working on the proper way to answer the phone and what to say when someone calls for him.

(Update: we had the playdate and the boys played wonderfully.  I think that they will be good friends for a while!)

I Believe I Can Fly

It must be a rite of passage that every child at some point jumps off something high thinking that the umbrella/hat/magic words allow them to fly.  Little Man came home from school a few days ago singing "I believe I can fly" and them jumping off of the couch, coffee table etc.  It was adorable until he went into the playroom with Peanut and all of a sudden we heard a crash and crying commenced.  Little Man came upstairs saying that he shouted I believe I can fly but he could 't and then he just fell to the ground hurting his arm.  I was just thankful nothing was broken and we again explained that he couldn't actually fly by just saying those words.  He went back downstairs and we overhear him telling Peanut.  Ok, you try it now. Just get up there and yell "I believe I can fly" and then jump.  I was on my feet in seconds trying to get downstairs before Peanut could be convinced to try the flying maneuver and then I hear Peanut simply said "No, I don't think I can fly".  Thank goodness he knows his limits, at least when it comes to flying.

Friday, December 21, 2012


Peanut is so expressive, his little hands gesture and his posture changes for declarative statements.  You just never know what is going through his mind until he tells you and a lot of times is is surprising and a total crack up.

For example, he comes into my room holding two different Christmas tree ornaments that are tangled up on each other and says "Mama, I am so sorry. I took this off of the tree. I am so sorry I took this off of the tree.  It is not nice to touch the tree.  This one is stuck on this one.  The sleeping snowmen are tangled on the other snowman's wings. (pause) Mama, I don't know about a snowman that can fly."

We were on our way home from the rec center where we spent time playing in the soft playroom.  He is rambling away in the back and then he says "Mama, next time we should go to the smooth playroom.  Yeah, that sounds like fun.  Mama, we should not go to a hard playroom.  That would be no fun at all.  Nope, no fun at all"

Waiting for the bus in the afternoon.  "Mama, I can go on the bus when I get bigger, right?" I confirmed that he could and then he paused a minute and looked up at me.  "Ok, Mama, I am bigger now so I will get on the bus.  Don't be sad, I will wait until Jackson gets home so you won't be lonely.  (pause, sigh)  Mama, I'm not big enough yet, am I?"  I shook my head no and he sighed again, seemingly resigned.  Then about 5 minutes later, in loud shouty Peanut voice "How about now Mama?'  It was a long bus stop wait.

Once he starts on a topic he doesn't stop and you just never know what he is going to say.  I love it.  I eat up every single word but more than that, I learn so much about how he thinks.  The kid is an absolute crack up.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Caroling and other busy holiday activities...

This week has been a busy one.  Getting last minute things ready for Christmas week, trying (and failing) to clean the house, keeping Sweet Pea and Peanut busy since Peanut is already on Winter Break, teacher gifts, Papa Bear continuing to work longer hours and of course fun festive activities.

Little Man and I went on our neighborhood annual caroling event.  Every year we have attempted to go to this but I have always been pregnant, or nursing or both or had a small infant in my arms to just generally so overwhelmed with life that walking around in the cold singing songs just didn't fall in the realm of possibility.  This year, Peanut and Sweet Pea would still be a bit too much to manage, but Little Man was at just the right age to start.  So he skipped winter swim team practice, bundled up and headed over to our neighbors house for some pre-caroling adult beverages and kid craziness.  Then a large group of us went house to house singing from a repertoire of about 8 songs.  We had a few rain showers pass through and we just kept on going.  The 5th grade girls took Little Man into their group and walked around holding his hand, making sure he got to hold the flash light and ring the door bells and teaching him the songs.  At first I tried to stay near him but it soon became clear that I was redundant in that group and sought more adult beverages and conversation.  Afterwards, we ate pizza and the kids watched Rudolph in the basement.  We got home late but it was well worth the extra crankiness the next morning.

Peanut and Sweet Pea might not have been able to take part in the caroling but we have made this week extra fun to stay busy.  Parks, soft playrooms (and Peanut wants to go to the smooth playroom next time) playdates and fun errands shopping for mom's who lost all of their possessions in Hurricane Sandy.  We have made the most of this week even if that meant a messy house and a grumpy Mama Bear.  My favorite moment was when Peanut was helping me pick out "mom stuff" for the mom who lost everything because of the "crane".  I couldn't convince him it was a hurricane.  He insists that a bad cranky crane (Thomas the Train reference) took all of this mom's stuff so we had to get her legos and chapstick.  I put the legos back when he wasn't looking.

One more day and then the whole family is home for a week. I am so excited to get to more of our bucket list items and enjoy our family time together.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Believe in Santa

This may be the last year that Little Man believes in Santa.  I want to preserve the magic that believing in Santa brings to the holidays, but I also don't want to have to trick Little Man into believing.  He has friends at school that tell him that Santa isn't real, he sees the differences in the many Santa's around town, the ones with the fake beards and he finds evidence of gifts that he asked Santa for in our bedroom closet and then he confides in me that he knows that Papa Bear and I are really pretending to be Santa.  We have gone to great lengths to keep the magic one more year.  Special secret wrapping paper for the gifts from Santa, duplicate gifts to throw him off the trail of what he found in the bedroom closet, planned Santa footprints from soot in the fire place and Zippy the Elf's continued trips to the North Pole. 

But next year, if he asks, which let's face it, he will...we will tell him that Christmas magic is about believing and finding the best in the people around us.  We will tell him that Santa is the magic of loving and giving to others and now that he knows that there isn't one REAL Santa, he gets to be one of the many Santa's.  That it is his job to be Santa for his brother and sister and his friends that still believe. Santa is lots and lots of people who keep the magic of Christmas alive and the spirit of giving strong.  So we will plan our Santa projects together, how to give generously of our love and hearts to bring joy to others around us.  And I know that this will be a project that he will be even more excited than he is about Santa this year.  He has already told us this year that he doesn't want to ask Santa for anything although he hopes he still gets a nerf I know his heart is ready and next year, I will be too. 

But until then I have to try and figure out how to leave reindeer prints in our driveway.....

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Santa Train 2012

We boarded the VRE Santa Train this year with a lot of excitement and anticipation.  Would Santa be the driver?  Would Santa have already received the letters and know what they each wanted for Christmas morning?  Was this really Santa or a Santa helper because Santa was actually making toys and traveling from the North Pole?  Non-stop chatter and questions and general train noises and horn tooting occurred.  So we did what any good parents would do to get a little peace and quiet, we fed them.  They loved having a train picnic lunch and gobbled it all up in no time.  Then the train started moving and this was all we saw....
The boys were in heaven and Sweet Pea kept saying "Santa Train whoo whoo" over and over.  An "elf" came through and passed out candy canes which the kids promptly turned over to me because they have corn in them (with no complaining, they are just used to it at this point) and another elf brought paper train conductor hats, crayons and coloring books.  The hats they put on, the coloring stuff they handed to me and started staring back out the window. 

Then Santa started coming through our train.  You could feel the excitement rolling off of all 3 kids.  It was contagious.  For a few moments, I felt like Santa was coming to ask me what I wanted for Christmas. 

Sweet Pea started saying "All done Santa" over and over the closer he came to her so I passed her off to Papa Bear so that she didn't cry and just focused on the boys.
Little Man quickly told Santa that he wanted a nerf gun and Mrs. Claus, bless her heart, said "Oh Jackson, Santa knows all about your nerf gun".  Then Peanut in his loud Peanut voice announced that he wanted to Mickey Mouse Rocket Ship.  Santa understood exactly what he said and repeated it back to him saying "Oh Logan, you want a rocket ship"  Peanut then said. "Yes, I love you Santa".  My heart melted into a mushy pile of goo at hearing my boy speak his wants so very clearly to Santa.  They took pictures and the boys went back to looking out the window.
Sweet Pea Santa Style

Little Man kept pretending to take tickets and be the conductor

Stuffing his mouth, but we can pretend he is blowing kisses


We sat at the back of the train car and Peanut enjoyed opening and closing the joining door.  His door obsession continues.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

2 Year Stats

Sweet Pea had her two year well visit today.  Yes, I know we are a month and a handful of days behind but really it is true what they say about third kids....she was lucky to get in before she turns 3.  So Sweet Pea is a whopping 33 pounds and 36 1/2 inches tall.  She is heavier and taller than Little Man was at this age and lighter and shorter than Peanut.  She still seems like our petite girl because all of her features are so much more delicate than her brothers and she insists on wearing tutu's to home depot.  It was a fairly quick appointment because we ran through the list quickly.  She talks a ton, already potty trained (day and night), running, jumping, eating a ton and generally just being awesome.  She didn't cry for her shots but as all my kids are, was terrified of the band aides (inexplicable, I know). 

A trip to home depot isn't complete without a tutu

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Christmas Bucket List 2012

Each year Papa Bear and I make a bucket list for the holiday season so that we can make sure to enjoy this month as a family and keep the focus on experiences rather than gifts.  It all begins on December 1st when we decorate the house, have the return of Zippy the Christmas Elf and put the tree up.  Next comes family Christmas movie night every Friday evening and we have already watched Frosty the Snowman and Elmo Saves Christmas.

This weekend we also made Gingerbread houses with the boys (an activity best left for when Sweet Pea is napping).  It was our first go at making them and we took it easy on ourselves using graham crackers for the house.  I whipped up some homemade royal icing and used some of the stash of corn-free super expensive but totally worth it candy like jelly beans, licorice, gummy bears and chocolate.  Papa Bear was in charge of Peanut and his house construction and I was in charge of Little Man.  Mee-Mom was in charge of alerting us to when Peanut (and Papa Bear for that matter) was putting candy in his mouth instead of on the house and of trying to take pictures which was hard because she was laughing so much that all of the pictures were blurry.  It was a raving success even if more candy ended up in Peanut.  Papa Bear was a little upset that his house was not symmetrical and the walls weren't load bearing.  He did have a over hang off of the roof to reduce water damage in the siding and trimmed the crackers by nibbling as needed.  Little Man wanted to cover every single inch of his house with candy/icing and was very focused on the decorations.  Peanut had icing in his hair and took a handful of candy and shoved in his mouth for every one jelly bean he put on the house and Papa Bear wasn't paying great attention because he was still trying to figure out how to make the roof to scale with the rest of the house.  (Note to self:  Give Papa Bear his own supplies for an architecturally correct gingerbread house next year).  

It was fantastic Christmas to add to this years bucket list.
Still to come:
Santa Train
Bull Run Lights
Neighborhood walk for lights
Making reindeer food and dessert with neighbors
Christmas Eve celebration with our great friends
Christmas cookies
Mee-Mom Christmas (aka spoiled rotten kids day)