Sunday, December 30, 2012

Merry and Bright

Christmas with 3 1/2 year olds? It's pretty awesome.This was the first year that Charlie and Lily really "got" Christmas, so all the festivities were a lot of fun. And of course,  Santa (and the entire family!) was very good to them!
Listening to the letter that Santa left for them.
Joe made the shirts with the kids Christmas Eve while I was at work. Aren't the cute?
Lily hoarded all her gifts in her new shopping cart.
Yay, Christmas!
For months Charlie asked for a police car for Christmas. And he got one! Too bad he hardly ever plays with it now.
For Christmas morning breakfast I whipped up some reindeer pancakes, and then we made monkey bread for a morning snack later. Charlie and Lily loved making the bread, but for some inexplicable reason didn't like it. Biscuits, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon - how could you NOT like that?!?
MomMom and PopPop came over late in the morning with some great gifts, then we headed to Nana's for, you guessed it, more gifts! Cousin Adam helped with all the opening, and showed Charlie and Lily how to use their new gear set.
Uncle Aaron brought over his childhood train set to show the kids, which was a big hit.
And speaking of Uncle Aaron, he'll soon officially be Charlie and Lily's uncle - he and my sister Jill got engaged on Christmas Eve!! Jill waited until Christmas Day and let the kids announce it - she took them aside and instructed them to go tell the family, "Aunt Jill and Uncle Aaron are getting married!" Lily was super excited to make the announcement and bolted down the stairs screaming it out before Charlie had even made it into the room.
The best family picture we managed all day.
After Nana's we went to our final celebration - Christmas dinner at Uncle John and Aunt Bec's. With more presents! Uncle John helped Charlie with his remote control dump truck.
And gave Lily this charming book, after the success of the Farts in the Wild book he gave her last month. Sigh.
The photo calendars of Charlie and Lily that I made were a big hit, and Lily was happy to show it off to MomMom Carol and Aunt Rhea.
The night ended with some cake pops for dessert and a cuddle with Lilly the Dog. Lily the Person LOVES animals.
And finally, some random pictures from the holidays. Christmas Eve was spent at Aunt Linda's and Uncle Mike's. This is always my favorite holiday celebration - it's always fun. Lily bonded with Uncle John and cousins Mike and Matt.
And stuff like this happened.
 And this happened too. Yes, my kids are wearing mustaches.
 Girl bonding.

We left cookies for Santa, of course. But Charlie thought that giving his cookie a ride on his toy tractor was a better idea than just leaving it on a plate.
Christmas cuddles with MomMom.

And finally, the gift that Charlie and Lily made for me, with a little help from Daddy. Aren't they adorable?
We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and we wish you a happy and healthy new year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

We're baaaaack!

Thank you so much to the reader who suggested that I create another account for Blogger. It occurred to me tonight to try logging in as Joe instead of me and - poof - I can add pictures again! Yay! So this post is a big giant mash up of everything we've been doing all month. I'm starting with the kids' Christmas pictures, because I adore them. We had them taken at Target - seriously, is there anything that store CAN'T do?!

So, what's new? Lily is potty trained- woo hoo! She essentially potty trained herself the day before Thanksgiving, pushing me directly into the camp of "don't rush the potty training - they'll do it when they're ready." My friend Colleen always said "If it's hard, they're not ready" and she's absolutely right. So now we have two potty trained children :) Lily is loving dance class right now. She gets so excited on Mondays when she gets to go. Last week was parent observation day so we got to watch her in action. She's not the most coordinated ballerina out there, but she just may be the happiest! She loves anything to do with art - especially drawing. The other day she drew a snowman that actually LOOKED like a snowman, and she can almost write her name all by herself.

Charlie is still our super sweet boy, but he's definitely been testing his limits with us recently with not listening, throwing temper tantrums, doing things we tell him not too, etc. He's not BAD, but he's definitely no angel right now, and no stranger to time out. I'm hoping it's the age, and we're being very strict with him in hopes of breaking him of the behavior as soon as possible. Otherwise, he's getting smarter by the second - he can identify all his numbers up to 20 now, spell his name, tell you his address, etc. And he's such a charmer! People fall for him wherever we go. The other day I took the kids into the bank with me and Charlie marched right up to one of the women's desks and started chatting away. Next thing I know he's scored TD Bank santa hats, snowman toys, candy canes and bookmarks for himself and Lily.
Seriously, where did my babies go?!?!

This month we've been busy Christmasing it up. Charlie and Lily are SO into the holidays this year, making everything so much fun. Of course, if I have to listen to "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" one more time I may just lose my mind....  (Charlie and Lily love the Grinch, even though ever since I showed them the movie the first thing they say every morning when they wake up is "No one's going to steal my presents, right?")

So, among other festive things, we've worked on our gingerbread house making skills. That is one extra decorated gingerbread house, no?


We've seen many a Santa! The first was on the North Pole Express train ride we took at the beginning of the month, and the kids visited the big guy again yesterday at my friend Megan's toy drive.

And of course, we've baked cookies! Making cookies with two 3 1/2 year olds takes a LONG time, lol, but it was a lot of fun. Except for Charlie's fear of the hand mixer, of course.

Lily found it fascinating though.

We also had a very successful holiday collection through Love, Annaleigh. On Friday we were able to bring up an entire car load of items to the St. Peter's NICU and PICU including toys, holiday receiving blankets, 1st Christmas ornaments, hand-knit hats and gift cards for the families. Thank you to everyone who helped brighten the holidays for these children and parents who are unable to celebrate at home this year.

I feel like I can't end this post without mentioning the tragedy in Newtown, CT. I have to admit that I haven't been following it much - I just can't bring myself to look at the pictures of those beautiful children who were taken far too soon. But our thoughts are with all the families who are suffering and with all the beautiful new angels who left this world on Friday. Whenever something like this happens I feel glad that I live with the mindset of "life is too short." My kids are spoiled, spoiled, spoiled and I don't regret it one bit.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Technical Difficulties

We're still here! However, we've run out of photo storage space here on Blogger and are unable to upload any photos. We're currently trying to figure out what to do about that... Hopefully we'll be back soon!