Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's already thursday ?!?

I almost made it the whole day yesterday without realizing it was my mom's birthday... I knew it was Wednesday, but not that it was the 30th. Thankfully, someone mentioned it at the restaurant where we were eating dinner so I was able to call her and wish her happy birthday. I guess that's one of the good and bad things about being away from home - away from your routine, it's hard to keep track of time!

We made it here Monday afternoon, and I've barely seen the boys since. Mallory and Luke are somewhat interested in each other, but mainly do their own thing. But, the boys have been playing nonstop with Hannah and Rachel. We went to see the new Chipmunk movie the other day, but mainly we've just been around the house - the kids love to play outside and check for eggs (Scott has 3 chickens). They also got wii Rock Band for xmas, so it's been fun to see them try that out. You can sing, play the guitar, or play the drums. I would say I'd be interested in getting it, but I'm not sure where I would store everything... it's definitely fun, though.

We got a cake to celebrate Hannah's birthday (since we missed it by a day), and still have xmas presents to exchange. Last night, we went out to dinner with Scott and Holly and left all the kiddos at home with Grandma and Grandpa :) Hard to believe it's already thursday and tomorrow is our last day here...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

A busy day

I spent the day today getting ready for our trip to Alabama. Originally, we had planned on leaving Monday morning, but now we've moved it up to tomorrow night. We have a birthday party tomorrow morning, and then I'm going to my bookclub meeting in the afternoon. So, I really only had today to do all the laundry, pack, and get the house acceptable enough for us to leave. My goal was really just to get the living room and kitchen clean enough that I wouldn't be irritated to see it when we get back home next weekend. It will be bad enough that all the xmas stuff will still be out and have to be put away! Bryan also spent quite a bit of time last night working on getting his new t.v. hooked up. Of course, the cable/dvr box didn't work (the new one I picked up a few weeks ago), so he had to swap it out for another one today. Then, he got that working only to discover that the cable they gave us was bad, too. Needless to say, he wasn't about to go back to comcast twice in the same day! Only problem is that we now have to retrain Brady on using all the different

Christmas Eve and Day

On Christmas Eve, our tradition is to open all the presents under the tree. Each of the kiddos got a new chair - a bunny for Mallory and video rockers for the boys. After gifts, we spent some time playing with new stuff and then sprinkled our reindeer food on the lawn and put out a few cookies for Santa.

One of Brady's favorites was some $.99 noise putty I bought and put in his stocking - it makes farting noises (no way to really say that nicely!), which he thought was absolutely HILARIOUS!

The pogo stick was a gift from Santa. I have very few pics from Christmas morning because I mainly got video. Only problem is that my software isn't working, so I can't get the video from my camera to the computer to share it with you :( Very irritating!
The Elmo music player Mallory got plays several songs, one of which is "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes."
I threw this pic in to show you what my Uncle Bobby looks like. At family gatherings, we always play penny poker. Grandma did her best to teach Brady a few things so that he could play with her. I was sitting at the other end of the table with Drew. On one particular hand, Uncle Bobby folded and a few minutes later Drew asked, "Why did Santa go out?" Of course, we understood immediately who he was talking about, but it took us a while to understand what he meant. We thought he was asking why Santa wasn't at the north pole, not why he put his cards

I told Brady that when he goes back to school and everyone asks him what he did over the holiday, NOT to say that he learned how to play poker!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I probably won't make it back here until the weekend, so I thought I'd send out early christmas wishes. We're counting our blessings this holiday season, hope you are, too!

Christmas - round #4

Round #3 was last night at Julie's house, but I didn't take any pics :( Today we exchanged presents at Karen's house. Mallory's biggest interest seemed to be the bow on her package - she wasn't too interested in actually opening the gift. Kate, however, tore right into hers!

Mallory's face did light up, though, when she saw Elmo on the dvd cover of her new movie :)
She was fascinated by Kate's jumperoo, so I stuck her in there. Of course, she was too tall, but she had fun just bending her knees and bouncing a little bit.

I didn't get any great pics today, which explains why I left out the boys... I have a few of them opening presents, but nothing to write home about. Not much of Brooke, either. But, Karen was taking pics, too, and she took several of all the kids together in front of the tree. I'm guessing none of them are with all the kids looking at the camera and smiling, but I'm sure it will be still be cute!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Festival of Lights

Sunday evening we headed to Dickinson to see the Festival of Lights. We parked at the church down the road and rode a school bus over - thankfully, we got there within about 30 minutes of it opening, because it was already getting crowded. So, once we got there we immediately got in line for the train. The line wasn't too bad - the boys had a good time, and the thing they were most excited about when they got back from the train ride was seeing the "aggie lights."

Not surprisingly, Mallory was fascinated by all the lights and was pretty content to stay in her stroller. It didn't take long to see everything, but long enough for Brady and Grandma to have some hot chocolate... at least we avoided the cookie hut, lol.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas - round #2

Mallory is sporting a dress that Hannah wore as a baby :)
Grandpa showing off his new album. Brady and I worked on it together. I "decorated" it, and he helped me decide what kind of pictures to put in. He also wrote some sentences on his own, which I knew Grandpa would appreciate. As you can see, it is a cutout of the word dad, and then I added "grand" on the front with letter stickers.
Brady's gifts were mainly baseball related - a new bat, helmet, bases, and a bag. He was very excited to get out in the front yard and try everything out. He will be playing t-ball again this spring, but for little league instead of the city. It's a little more advanced in that there is some coach pitching involved, too.
Drew working on his new Handy Manny motorcycle.
The hit gifts of the day were the gloves that all the kids got. Funny how it always seems to be the most inexpensive things that they get excited about!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Elf on a Shelf

I thought about getting an elf this year ( if you're not familiar and want to read about it) but had decided to wait until everyone was old enough to appreciate it, maybe another year or two. However, Brady's classroom at school has one, so he's already been asking if we could get one. Since we had already written our letter to Santa, I told him it was too late but that we could ask for one next year. But, my mom ended up getting one for them and bringing it last weekend. I decided to wrap it up in brown paper and include their letter from Santa. I addressed it to the kids and threw a couple of stamps on the outside, then put it on Brady's bed for him to find when he got home from school. Needless to say, he was very excited to discover what Santa had sent him.

So far, our elf has only appeared twice. The first night he was tricky enough to get out of the box and find a new spot in the playroom. Then, last night he made his way into the nativity scene. The funny thing is that the boys couldn't find him this morning. When I discovered him a while later, they truly believed that the elf wasn't there when they looked earlier and must have been still looking for his new hiding space when they were searching for I'm not sure yet if our elf is going to be mischevious and cause some trouble - if he does it once, it will then be expected! All you parents know EXACTLY what I mean!

Winter fest

Yesterday was Brady's party at school (a.k.a winter fest). Drew and Mallory are out of school this week, so I took them along. It worked out better than last time - at Thanksgiving Drew was very clingy and not too interested in what Brady was doing. This time, he followed Brady around to see what was going on. I also let him get his face painted and eat one of the extra sugar cookies, so I'm sure that helped :)

Working on a reindeer hat...

I literally gave Mallory a quarter of an m&m - she sucked on it for all it was worth!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas - round #1

A few pics from our gift exchange with my parents last weekend -

A cute one of Mallory and Grandpa
Grandma and the boys... her eyes are almost closed, but not quite!
Mallory will be an old pro at unwrapping gifts by this time next week!
Not sure what to call the look on Brady's face, but it's definitely part happiness/excitement from getting a new wii game :)
Uncle Bart helping Drew out with his present

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Worrier, the Whiner, and the Trouble Maker

A few updates on the kiddos for you today...

Brady is quite the little worrier. I would say I don't know where he gets this from, but I do know - apparently Bryan's oldest brother was just like that as a kid. Brady gets himself worked up over things that will NEVER happen, often to the point that he has a stomachache. Today, it was worrying about a twister hitting us. Sunday night it was a bad dream that some of his teeth fell out and he choked on them (thanks for the book, Mom!). Last week, he was in tears over the fact that he or someone else in the family could drown. The lesson is that we have to be careful what we say! But, like I told him today, I don't want to lie when he asks me questions, either. Is there a chance a twister could hit us? Yes, but a very remote chance! Of course, I didn't add that we'd more likely get into a car accident or die of a disease like cancer...

Drew = 2 parts whiner + 1 part crier. Everyday we work on asking nicely for things instead of immediately whining that he doesn't have something. Also, going to the potty is quite the chore. He's been getting wet quite a bit, so I'm constantly prodding him to go to the bathroom. Well, that's where a lot of the whining comes in! Why he whines about going to the bathroom I'll never quite understand... it's not like if you put it off, the need will go away!

Mallory a.k.a the trouble maker - even though that's her label for today, I will say she has calmed down a bit. She still gets into the dishwasher occasionally, but it's not constant like it seemed for a while. Of course, some things we've just gotten better about, like closing one door to the computer armoire and blocking the other side with the chair :) She's still bringing me ornaments she has no business touching, though! We've heard a few new words I thought I should report. Drew has taken to telling knock knock jokes, and when she hears him telling one, she will say "knock,knock" over and over. She's starting saying "thank you," which is too cute. It's not terribly clear, but she's said it enough that I'm certain that's what she's trying to say. Perhaps my favorite is that she sings along with "Deck the Halls." It was one of Drew's songs for his program, so it's been played quite a bit around here. When she hears it, she sings "la,la,la."

With all that said, they are happy and healthy and super excited for Santa! We had a new babysitter on Saturday who told me they are the best kids she's ever sat for and would be happy to watch them again :) I know my kids are good (esp. for their ages), but it never hurts to hear it!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

We've had a lot going on this weekend. Friday was Bryan's day off, and we went to see Drew sing in his christmas program at school. His class only did two songs (they were the youngest group), but it's always so fun watching them. Drew's not much of a ham, but some of the others are hilarious! He's been practicing his two songs at home, so he was looking forward to singing :) Then, Friday night we went out for a "holiday dinner" with several other couples from Bryan's work.

Saturday, we had plans to go to dinner and then to see the Sound of Music. I literally booked the babysitter two months ago, only for her to get sick the day off! I wasn't sure what the heck I was going to do, but she called a few of her friends and found someone to babysit for us. So, crisis averted. I can't remember the last time we had two nights out to ourselves in one weekend... it's probably never happened!

Tonight my parents are heading over for an early christmas gift exchange. Brady was quite disappointed when he found out they weren't coming until around 6 p.m., but when I suggested they could come another day, he seemed to get over

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Festivities

Got my christmas cards ordered today! I've been looking and looking and looking for a digital card where I could just add my picture in... and I FINALLY found one that I'm really happy with. Now I just have to address all 50 envelopes :) I normally send out around 40 (which is a ton to make), so I decided to order a few more this year since I'm only paying the cost of a 5x7 print for each card.

This past Sunday, the boys and I sat down to decorate our gingerbread house. I found one this year where the house was already put together and you just add icing and decorate. Let me tell you, BEST DECISION EVER!! We've done a train and at least one house in the past, and the hardest and most time consuming part is trying to get the stupid thing to stick together. All the kids care about is decorating it and eating some of the candy, so this seemed like a win-win situation!

How it looked straight out of the box...

Ta da! Our finished product - we didn't have enough powdered sugar to have snow all around, so that part does need work :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My new niece!

Marc and Sheree had their baby girl yesterday - Reagan Elise. Everyone is doing well. Dawson is at home with grandpa and isn't allowed at the hospital (something to do with flu season, I think). So, big brother will have to wait to meet his baby sister until everyone comes home.
What a shock that will!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Santa visit

This year we opted not to visit Santa at the mall. I found out that a hotel around here was having "breakfast with Santa" where you could take your own pic, so we headed out there this morning. Brady was the only one enthusiastic to see Santa - Mallory cried when I tried to hand her off to Mrs. and Mr. Claus. Drew reluctantly stood next to Mrs. Claus, although he did tell Santa what he wanted for xmas with some coaxing from Brady. Brady was concerned that Santa didn't quite understand what he wanted, but I told him that was ok because he would definitely get the letter he had written:)
I think the pics we got in front of some of the many xmas trees they had made the visit worth it!

Stuffing their faces with cookies!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow ?!?

It did snow today, but not nearly as much as Brady was hoping for :) I did NOT tell him in advance that we were expecting snow, for obvious reasons. He was excited to see it, but disappointed that it wasn't enough to accumulate... you could see it coming down, but it didn't stick. I know it did in other surrounding areas, but it was not to be on our side of town!

Daddy came home from work wearing this hat, which was too cute on Mallory!
Mallory, Mallory, Mallory... such a toot these days! Getting herself into trouble as much as she can, knowing all the while how darn cute she is. Hmmm... what's new? I discovered another tooth breaking through on the bottom, probably five days ago now. She's been up a little bit at night, but not too bad. She is definitely talking more and more. She says "dada" but not by request :) I've heard her say bubble, Brady, baby, and grandma. There are probably more, but that's what I recall at the moment. Also, Bryan thought she was trying to say Detroit and Murdock when she was gesturing towards them one day. She's started to nod her head in agreement when she wants things, and has started pointing towards what she wants, too. I'm curious to see her reaction to Santa - if she gets her mind set against doing something, there's no changing it! She cries with the same enthusiasm if you say no to something she wants to do as she does when she physically injures herself - it's quite ridiculous

Here she is eating at the table like a big girl. I'm sure we'll still use the tray, but the table looks a lot nicer with it put away...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

So precious!

Came across this today, looking for something totally unrelated... Brady's first visit with Santa