Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

Yesterday I finished some last minute shopping and we got to see Santa downtown. This picture was the best of four. At least their not crying.

Tonight we celebrated Christmas Eve at my parents, as we do every year. The kids were all about it. Maxwell was so excited he could hardly talk (seriously, his sentences were just a string of happy words that didn't really make sense). Thanks for a special night Mom and Dad. We missed you David!

The kids watched the Polar Express on the hour drive home. It was soon time for bed and Maxwell cried and cried- he's still not liking his room at night :( I didn't have as much patience as his Daddy did. I knew we still had so much to do but Mike just sat with him and calmed him down- which quickly turned into this.

With both kids tucked in their beds, I did this...

Check out this cool train that was Mike's from when he was a boy! He pulled it out of storage today and got parts to make it work. It goes round and round the tree...

Now Mike's in the cold garage putting together this...the pink one's next...

And I'm about to do this zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Merry Christmas to you and your families. For those as blessed as we are to wake up with kids tomorrow, enjoy! This is the most magical December I've ever had. Now, excuse me as I go polish off Santa's cake and milk.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Prayer

This is a hard post to write because it's being vulnerable and transparent. And because it's late and I'm tired. I'm typing this in a dark room with my little boy asleep in my bed. A few times over the past months Maxwell has told me that he's afraid in his crib. The fact that my baby has lost part of his innocence to fear breaks my heart. He's only two! I'm still supposed  to be able to protect him.

He's woken up hysterical a couple times, but other than that it's a timid fear that we can usually talk through. Each time I'm immediately convicted because the first thing I say to him is 'Let's pray.' And then I do, then he doesn't understand. And I feel like I'm failing. When we talk about God Ella instantly says, 'God made the whole world!,' because that's what she's heard me tell her. They've heard the nativity story. But they don't know Jesus. Well, actually, I bet they do, but I haven't modeled that for them like I wish I had.

Without making this my testimony, I'll share that I was raised in a Christian home. Always. I've known the Lord as long as I can remember. Of course my faith has been challenged and I've known God on different levels through different seasons (see, I know the lingo), but I truly, I have always known that God's been with me. Of course the choice to follow, and not to follow, has always been mine. But the foundation of my faith lies in roots my parents planted in my heart. Yet I have not been part of a church family about 10 years.

So when I say that I'm convicted, it's because I haven't been intentional about naming God's goodness in our lives.  Honestly, in my everyday life, I don't speak this out loud in my home. I breathe it over my babies when I hold them in my arms. I whisper prayers as I watch them play together. I blog about God's faithfulness when it overwhelms me. But it's not enough. Because if it was enough, Maxwell would understand what I means when I tell him let's pray. So, there it is. There's my heart. My short comings.

Jesus, teach me to share you with my children in a way that they'll understand. Show me how to model your love in our home, in spite of my flaws and contradictions. Remind me that they are watching me, always; looking at my example. As I stumble to teach my kids, teach me again. Teach me to pray. Help me to know you. And in the name of Jesus I cast fear from Maxwell's mind. Comfort him and cover him with your peace. Assure him completely that his room, his bed, is a safe place. Fill his dreams with goodness and joy. Let him wake up rested and sure. 


Monday, December 19, 2011

The Day I Had Things To Do

I woke up this morning with the pressing feeling that I had things to do. Christmas is six days away (yikes!) and I've yet to wrap one present. I still have stocking stuffers to buy and blah, blah, blah. I made a quick list and headed out the door early. Maxwell and Ella are pretty good about running errands. But today, they weren't into it. They were anti-cart riding kleptomaniacs (Maxwell literally found a mini pack of Toy Story stickers and hid it in his beanie. I only found out when I reached for his hat in the check out line because he was looking hot and found a pack of stickers tucked inside. Sneaky/clever little fellow). My main task was simple: wrapping paper. Nerd alert, I love choosing beautiful paper. It doesn't have to be expensive, but I love coordinated ribbons and pretty paper. I was in such a rush that I left with cheesy snowflake and Santa paper. I know, it doesn't matter. But kind of not as fun to wrap.

Next came nap time. 95% of the time Maxwell will sleep for three hours. 10% of the time Ella will sleep at all. Today, 0 and 0. Operation present wrap = a fail.

So instead...we decorated the little Christmas tree I found for $1 at Goodwill.



This Charlie Brown tree had made its home in Ella's room. She finally got her little tree.

Later today...I was itching to dust and mop. But that wasn't in the cards. Instead, chalk time. It was actually an unusually nice afternoon so the fesh air felt great.


And in the middle of the art brother Spencer showed up. Which turned into an afternoon skate sesh. Which was way better than a clean house.







Hi five Uncle Spence!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Movies By Tree Light

Reason #974 that life is better with toddlers: Christmas movies by tree light.

Tonight Mike and I get an overnight away :) We have a Christmas party for the company he's working for and the kids are staying with my parents. They've been sick with yucky coughs but hopefully they're on the mend. They're excited. We're excited.

This is the first year since we've been married that we've had Christmas lights up. Kids will do that to you...and I LOVE it!

And my own December delight? UPS/Fed Ex trucks. I've only ordered a few things online but the anticipation of waiting for the packages is too much- I love it. I get excited at every truck that drives by, wondering if it's our delivery. It's the best.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Inspiration

One adorable family's alternative to traditional Christmas cards. Jingle Bells - Christmas Video Greeting 2011 from Jared Foster on Vimeo.

Cute Time Capsule ornaments, would be a fun tradition to create every year.

A Christmas tree meant for the kids to touch.

Not Christmas related, but I want this in our home.

And my favorite! A Party At The North Pole. Such a sweet night.

Friday, December 9, 2011

What It's All About

I watched this on Chelsea's blog this morning. This is one of the sweetest videos I've seen. This is Christmas.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Shit Happens

Ella's on day 6ish of potty training. She's doing great going pee. Well, I am still the one who initiates telling her she needs to come try to 'go potty' on the toilet, but she has not been having any pee accidents. We can even run errands and she hasn't had accidents. But she poops in her underwear. And it's gross. Everything I read stresses the importance of not shaming children when they are learning to use the toilet. Obviously. I'm just not really sure when the light is going to turn on and she's going to at least try to poop on the toilet.  I read this article and the suggestions confimred that I am still entirely too immature. When I read about cutting a hole in the pull up and placing them on the toilet, I lost it. Really? I mean, whatever works...but still, that shit's funny (pun intended).

Ella is REALLY into Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.  We have been talking about getting a light up Rudolph for our front lawn as a reward if she goes poop in the potty...and she's super excited about it...then she poops in her underware and tells me 'it's ok because i still get chocolate,' refering to her M & M treat for peeing. She's a smart cookie this one. Any suggestions?

P.S. Am I the only one who has to fight the urge to just throw the underwear away because it's super nasty to clean? (Read between the lines: I have thrown a few pairs of underwear away because I'm that lazy. And it's that gross).

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oh, And We Got Our Christmas Tree

Ella kept telling Mike, "Cut this one!" She really wants a little tree in her room. I think I'll get each of them a little fake one for their rooms. But her face was so cute I almost made Mike cut this one down.




A Good, Busy Weekend.

We had lots of fun family time this weekend. Friday night we had my nieces Camryn and Charli over and we took them to a tree lighting downtown. M & E  met their first Santa this year. I wasn't sure if they'd be afraid but they were both happy and brave. Ella told Santa she wants a toy Jesse and Maxwell said he wants a  Buzz Lightyear. Have I mentioned the Toy Story obsession at our house?

Ella has a candy  cane in her hand and baby Jesus from our nativity in the other.


Me and my girls.

Air mattress slumber party.

It's adorable how much they love their big cousins.

Caught this picture of  Maxwell looking like an angel. Knock on wood, he is still the best nap taker! Some days he sleeps so long I have to wake him up because I'm afraid he won't go down at night. Unfortunately, Ella pretty much boycotts naps all together. She yells from her room, "I want my Mommy! I want my FAVORITE Mommy!" Which was cute once. Now it's just annoying and I'm afraid she's going to wake her brother up. I've been working on potty training Ella. I think today is day four. She's doing ok. Potty training both of them at the same time was overwhelming to me so I went with Ella first. She is still pooping in her underwear. And by still, I mean she has never pooped in the toilet. She is pretty good about going pee on the toilet, but only because I bring her to the bathroom. She's yet to tell me on her own she has to go. I guess we just keep trying? And then in a couple weeks work on brother too... 

Have I mentioned that these two love each other?
I still have them in cribs. People laugh at this, but they don't crawl out yet and they still have room. I'm all for keeping them contained as long as possible. But I'm thinking it's almost weird and beds are around the corner sometime soon. But not yet. Let's get them using the toilet first. 

We also visted my parents house this weekend and Mike and I went to a Christmas party last night. We had lots of family time and I was sad to see Mike leave to work for this morning. With him gone for the week we so look forward to Thursday nights. It makes our weekend time extra special.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Spoiler Alert: Chritmas Card Pictures

We didn't take our annual family picture yet, but we'll get to when Michael's home for Christmas. My friend Amy, Landrie's mom, started taking pictures professionally so I asked her to take some of Maxwell and Ella. I love these pictures so much. If you know us in real life and you're getting a Christmas card, close your eyes. But really, these are very special to me. Especially because she told me she'd take some of me with them. I think I sound vain if I ask to have my picture taken, but I remember how much I love seeing my Mom in photos with us. So these I love these. Thank you Amy.

(looks like she changed her mind about that kiss : )

It's a stretch, but every time I look at this picture I think of John Cusack from Say Anything.

Lloyd Dobler? Anyone? this.