Archive for December, 2011

New Year

Friday, December 30th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
Somehow it’s December 30th already.

Andrew turned 4 last week. He actually ate a few bites of pizza and some cake to go with all the frosting he sucked down. He had a Cars cake, courtesy of Nana, and asked for the ENTIRE piece that made up Lightening McQueen. It was bigger than his head. And led to one nasty sugar high…

The next couple days were full of airplanes, chasing seagulls and running after Andrew on the beach. Not a bad way to spend a long weekend away from the office. Andrew even managed to only eat mac n cheese once the entire trip 🙂

I’ve been told that in the upcoming year, I have to actually take time off and go on vacation. That’s definitely something to look forward to…

We have Andrew’s first “kid party” coming up in January. At Bounce U. Wish us luck. And on Sunday, while most of you are still in bed, I’ll be getting ready to run my first race. REALLY wish me luck…

Here’s wishing all of us all good things in the new year. And, of course, I can’t conclude this post without wishing my grandma a very happy birthday!

Christmas morning

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
We were lucky to have the Christmas we did this year. We tried to stick to our budget by shopping online and hunting down special offers and coupon codes. We also found ways to help our kids enjoy the holidays without spending any money. We took a family hike on Christmas Eve and were surprised to see Tate was able to keep up with the adults. We went to church to share in the true meaning of Christmas. Yes, we had presents on Christmas morning, but we also had each others’ company to keep us as entertained as the toys.

Our house is busy with relatives, but we have been having a great time sharing the Christmas experience with the kids and their grandparents. Our home is full of love this week, and we hope your family finds the Christmas spirit in your own way too.

Cheers to a Happy New Year!

Christmas (Non) Surprise

Monday, December 26th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Season’s Greetings! I know you’re still enjoying your friends and family on this calendar holiday, so I will keep this short. I thought it would be fun to share one of my favorite Christmas memories.

One year, when I was a little girl, all I wanted for Christmas was a big red art easel I had seen in a catalogue. When I raced downstairs to the tree Christmas morning, I saw that I didn’t have anything large under the tree. I was disappointed. But I knew I’d have a lot of other presents, so I tried to enjoy myself, even if I was a little mopey about it.

One of the last presents I came across with my name on it was a small jewelry box that contained earrings or a necklace by my best estimation. When I opened it, I was elated to see a slip of paper that said, “Go to the garage!” I knew what that meant. I ran to the garage only to find… nothing. I was really confused and annoyed. Then I heard the rest of the family do some shuffling and say “Oh, wait- it’s in the master bedroom!” You don’t know my parents, but this is very, very typical on their part. Next thing I knew, my dad was carrying the art easel down the stairs and my Christmas wish came true. I can still exactly how I felt in that moment of pure childhood joy.

Enjoy making new holiday memories and reminiscing about old ones. Hope you all have a glorious New Year!

Is it really time for the holidays already???

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
At 3:30 this afternoon, I will be watching Andrew’s first holiday show at daycare. I asked him what they were going to sing and, at first, his response was the standard, “I don’t know.” Then he launches into the entire show, beginning with the introductory comments leading into the songs and concluding with “That was our last song. Thank you all for coming. Happy holidays!”

I honestly don’t know how I’m going to keep a straight face while Andrew’s class sings Feliz Navidad… If the rest of them are anything like Andrew, the song will come out something like “Feeeleeeseeee Bobidob.” But he belts it out excitedly. Very cute. (Yes, I’ll take lots of pictures and video of the thing. MAYBE I’ll refrain from busting them out years later when he brings a girl home…)

This year we continued with our Build-A-Bear tradition. On the first night of Hanukkah, we took Andrew to the mall (a scary prospect this time of year) and led him to the store. We told him that he could pick out any toy he wanted for himself, but he would also have to pick out a toy for another child that he would then give away. Andrew made two teddy bears, selecting one for himself. Then proudly walked up to the toys for tots bin and deposited the other bear inside for another kid. He looked up at both of us and asked if we were proud of him for sharing. 🙂

Of course, I can’t let this opportunity to mention that I ALMOST HAVE A FOUR YEAR OLD go by. Andrew’s birthday is Saturday. I can’t believe it. We’re going to have a kid party for him this year in January so he can actually celebrate with his friends, in addition to the little pizza party he has with the family on his actual birthday.

So, happy Hanukkah. Merry Christmas. Happy birthday to my little guy. And happy whatever else you may be celebrating this weekend.

Christmas at our house

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
For many years, Christmas meant returning to our childhood homes in Pennsylvania. Once we had kids, it became much harder to travel across the country. Juggling a dog and a newborn on an airplane was simply too much. For the last few years we have started our own family Christmas. We have traditions from both my family and my husband’s family. Our children seem to really enjoy the holiday. Jack is as enthusiastic as any four year old could be, and Tate seems to know something cool is going on.

We may not travel, but grandparents do, and Jack and Tate are both excited to see their grandparents. They arrive this week and are a huge part of what makes Christmas special. We were lucky to be surrounded by extended family when we were growing up, but Jack and Tate only see their relatives on special occasions, and this Christmas is going to be special. The boys are looking forward to the special loving fun only grandparents can offer.

We started preparing for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. We have shopped, made cards, decorated, baked, cleaned, grocery shopped, and made countless trips to local stores for last minute items. Now, with Christmas only days away, we are basically ready to give our kids the Christmas they deserve. We are thankful we get to share it with Candy-Mum and Grandaddy.

Happy Holidays!

First Steps

Monday, December 19th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Haley took her first steps! It was so cute. My husband was playing with her in the den when he called me in frantically. I ran over and he said, “Look at this!” He set Haley to stand on her own and coaxed her over. It took a few tries, but I soon saw her waddle to him, falling forward as he caught her. It was adorable!

Even though she’s not a strong walker on her own, she does great with some assistance. If you hold her hands for her, she will walk all over the place. She never gets tired of it. It’s adorable and exhausting, and not just for you. Haley has been sleeping great at night! She is also eating pretty heartily. Burning calories non-stop does wonders for the appetite.

Perhaps her newfound cognitive abilities are affecting her sleep, too. She knows how to high five, wave, and seems to perceive a lot of new things. She clearly understands the dog’s name, the word banana, and anticipates what happens next according our daily routine. It’s really neat to watch her learn and develop.

We are going out of town for Christmas, and I wonder if she will think about home at all—miss her room, and the dog, and the routine. I wonder if she’ll register excitement when we return. I wonder if 10 days of growth will allow her to understand more things about her home environment. It’s amazing how quickly children acquire new skills at this age. Each step fundamentally changes her so much. With all of her bursting potential, there doesn’t seem to be a limit to how high she can climb.

Time Keeps Flying By

Friday, December 16th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
It seems like the days and weeks are just flying by. This week was over in the blink of an eye, which is why this post is coming late. I didn’t really realize today was Friday. (Sorry, grandma. I know how much you enjoy reading these posts with your morning coffee)

Andrew will be 4 next week. I don’t feel like I’m old enough to have a 4 year old. I called him my baby earlier this week. He turned around, put his hands on his hips and with the attitude of a full-blown teenager proceeded to tell me that he is NOT a baby. He is a big boy.

Excuse me. I stand corrected…

For an almost 4-year old, the things that this kid says amazes me sometimes. Wednesday morning he was mad at me because I was at the gym when he woke up and he didn’t know where I was. I got home and he demanded to know why I wasn’t there when he came into my room. I told him I was working out because I didn’t want to embarrass myself when I ran in a race in a couple weeks. He asked a couple questions about the race, if he could join in and why I was doing it. When I answered the questions to his satisfaction, he cocked his head to the side thoughtfully before telling me that he would run with me so I could get fast and win my race.

It was cute. Especially since I’m not hoping to WIN. I’m just hoping to not completely embarrass myself and actually finish the same day I start…

Speaking of time flying, hopefully everyone has all their holiday shopping under control. I, for one, do not… so I will have to brave the malls this weekend. Wish me luck!

My Christmas Star

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

From Wednesday Mom – Janelle:
Tomorrow is Jack’s preschool Christmas program.  He is going to be a star (in the celestial sense)  and was assigned a small part to speak.  The classes have been practicing for weeks.  Jack is at his wits end with practicing for this program.  I try to explain to him practice makes perfect.  He knows his line perfectly so he doesn’t understand why he has to say it “534 times a day.”  There are other songs and scripture the children had to memorize.  It’s quite a bit for three and four year olds, but luckily, practicing at home with Jack  he knows his lines pretty well.

On the car ride to school today I told Jack tomorrow is the Christmas program.  I couldn’t wait to see his smiling face and hear him shout his line.  He quietly looked out the window and turned to me and answered, “Mom, I’m a little bit nervous about saying my line.”  I had a feeling this was coming.  He’s just like me when it comes to public speaking.  I don’t sweat it until the day before, and the day of I get butterflies in my belly.  I told Jack he would do great, and since he knew his line perfectly (and practiced reciting it 534 times) he had no reason to be nervous.

I’m anxious to see how well Jack performs.  I know he will do great.  If Tate lets me, I’m going to capture a video so Jack and others can see what a “star” he is.  Fingers crossed his confidence shines tomorrow!

That’s a Lot of Hair!

Monday, December 12th, 2011

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
When I was pregnant, I had quite a lot of heartburn. It was brutal. Prior to that, I had always said I never had heartburn, and my family didn’t believe me. I was right. When I got heartburn, I knew it! The first night, I didn’t know what to do. The next day I called my mom and she suggested drinking milk, which helped big time. I started to rely on antacids, and not just for their calcium. It became easy for me to understand drug addicts, so great was my relief when I got my fix.

Some say that heartburn in pregnancy means your baby will have a lot of hair. Some still take it further, insisting that you are more likely to have a girl as an extension of this theory. In my case, they were right. As you know, I have a beautiful baby girl. People make remarks about her hair all the time. I always say, “She was born with it!”

Her hair was definitely long for a newborn. Now, at eight months, it can just make it into pigtails! It’s such a cute style on her. As expected, it makes her look much older. I go back and forth on styling her hair, because the hair bands and clips are so small, I wonder about the safety factor. They are usually marked for age three and older. But I need to get the hair out of her face. And I am not cutting it. No way, no how! I love her precious brown locks and I am not ready to let any of them go.

In Case You Were Wondering…

Friday, December 9th, 2011

From Friday Mom – Jaime:
No, we didn’t cave on the Christmas lights. Our house is still 100% twinkle light free.

Yes, we are still bribing our son to sleep in his room at night. We are met with moderate success, depending on Andrew’s desire for whatever he has designated as his chosen reward. Movie the next day? NO PROBLEM. A request to Bob the Bed Fairy for a car? Eh… “I got lotsa cars already!”

Sometimes I do feel a little badly about the bribery thing. But it works… And I need my beauty sleep.

Andrew still only wants to eat mac and cheese. He could eat it all the time, every day. We started telling him he can’t have macaroni unless he tries to eat something new beforehand. This too is met with only moderate success. On the plus side, he does eventually try things and Andrew now loves dried cranberries as much as I do and actually asks for them as a snack. However, last night, he got so upset about having to try ravioli that he threw up as soon as he put one in his mouth…

We took Andrew ice skating last weekend. None of us met with any severe bodily injury. Just some very cold fingers.. since we all forgot gloves. (oops) Andrew thought it was AWESOME to climb off the ice into the penalty box. He thought it was SO cool that he started doing a mean booty shake to the music blasting from the loudspeaker.

If you’re wondering what to buy the boy for the holidays or his birthday, we’re very into puzzles these days. Anything less than 25 pieces is a waste – he can assemble those puzzles in less than a minute. We know this for a fact. He made us time him… (We are also still firmly obsessed with cars, superheroes and the little miss and mister books – though grammy has cornered the market in buying him those!)

I am completely in denial over the fact that Andrew is going to be 4 in a couple weeks. How did the past 4 years fly by so fast????

Have a great weekend everyone