Saturday, December 31, 2011

For Grandma

Christmas Dress from Aunt Lisa


Loving on her bink and not so thrilled with her hat

Just being wonderful

Love for the Man in Red

Is there really a time that is as magical as Christmas? There seems to be extra joy and kindness and love everywhere, and even for those Christmas haters there seems to be extended compassion. One of the most wonderful things about being a Mother is Christmastime with my children and being an active part of the magic. We start counting down the days, we make our lists of what we want and what we want to give. We pick names off the tree at walmart for kids who need our help to have a nice Christmas. We drive around and look at the lights, we play in the snow, we have school parties and friend parties, we decorate the tree and listen to super loud Christmas songs in the car. We shop and wrap presents. We bake cookies and make carmel corn and deliver things to neighbors.We take silly pictures and send out awesome cards. There is a heap of things we only do at Christmas. We visit Santa and spill out our heart and tell him all the things we are wishing for. And we talk about Baby Jesus and why we celebrate Christmas.

But I'm sensing a loss of love for good ol Saint Nick. Last year and then again this year poor Santa seems to be being shoved out of Christmas. Last year the kids didn't even get to chat with him or climb upon his knee and tell him their wish list. This year in order to see him we had to hunt him down before the ward party- pushed away in an empty room upstairs in the church there was Santa, all alone with a sad box of candy canes. It was pretty much anything but magical. I really do understand. I know that Christmas is about the birth of the Savior. I know that He is the reason for the Season. I know that the intentions of kicking poor Santa to the upstairs was to bring the focus back to Christ and the true meaning of Christmastime. I just think that when you are a child Santa needs to be included and loved and embraced.

I was a big Santa believer, I made my lists diligently every year, with 100% belief that they would be sorted by Elves and read by Santa. I knew he would come on Christmas and bring presents and that he drove a sleigh and had reindeer, I even think I heard them on the roof. I was completely embraced in the magic of Christmas. I also knew for as long as I can remember that the reason for Christmas was Baby Jesus. Slowly as I grew older my understanding of Christmas changed, I began to celebrate the birth of my Savior more and the sound of  jingle bells less, the Christmas magic was still there but it was changed, I was filled with love and understanding of the miracle of Jesus and the celebration of His life and His everlasting Atonement. But are we really expecting our children to fully understand that? There is a reason we baptize at eight years old, with hopes that by then they have the ability to understand more and to recognize the spirit in their lives. So why do we have such high expectations for these tiny people at Christmas? To NOT be excited about Santa and presents? Our years of magical innocence are so limited and we seem to be making huge efforts to make them shorter and shorter.

I remember daydreaming in school about Christmas morning and how excited I would feel! I still have those daydreams, but they are dreams of perfection, of Resurrection morning, of eternal families and endless happiness. What I feel is similar to what I felt as a young child. That same excitement and utopia and love. I think that poor Santa isnt getting the credit he deserves for helping with the Christmas spirit in our little children. Santa is easy to understand. He loves everyone and brings gifts and wants you to be nice all year and is always watching. Sounds like someone else I know.

Zane turns THREE!

Oh to be three.
Your allowed to wear stripes and camo together, actually you can wear stripes everyday if you so demand. You are super great at demonstrating every possible emotion to its fullest potential
Your big brother is the coolest funnest person and also your worst enemy all at the same time
You are still cute and even the rotten things you do are pretty cute
Your are my everyday sidekick and you exercise my ears and brain.. all day
You have awesome communication skills and don't hesitate to tell anyone exactly what you think

Classic moment. He helped himself to the peanut butter, proceeded to spread it all over his face, when asked what the heck he was doing, he gave the perfectly logical reason that "He had too, his skin was dry"

With a December birthday we mixed Christmas with birthday celebrations and made gingerbread houses.
(ps- the key to a happy gingerbread experience is hot glue)

Trying out his monster walker stilts

A scooter! birthday dreams do come true. And a creepy 'dragon' helmet that he was oh so excited about.

He was easy to please. He had his party down to each detail. Chocolate cupcakes with blue frosting and candles. I asked if he wanted a fancy cake-nope. Fancy frosting on the cupcakes? Nope. Friends over for his party? Nope. 
He did insist on 2 cupcakes and that we sang multiple times,We could handle that.
Thanks for taking it easy on me Zane. 
We Love You!! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oh my Heavens. CUTE looks like this

Lock up your daughters. (well you have a few years) But look at these handsom devils.

I cant get enough of them!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


7:46: Time the kids woke up. YIKES! Hurry!
38:    Hours since we have seen Daddy. Come home soon!
-2:    Temp outside when we dropped Brody off at school (me in shorts and uggs and a T shirt. BRR!)
6:      Kids 3 and under at co-op preschool, hosted by yours truly. We had fun.
18:    Marshmellows Zane devoured before I realized he had the bag
3915 Dollars and change owed to Evanston Regional Hospital. AKA- Merry Christmas  Nichole and Devin
4:     Times that vacuuming crossed my mind as something that needed to be done.
0:     Times I vacuumed
33:    How many times Zane asked " What are we doing today??"
2:     Dogs that tried to eat the mail lady
1:35  PM- when I finally got in the shower
15:   Kindergarden kids who were extra crazy when I went in to help. (They had a sub, totally explains it)
96:   Points out of 100 that Brody achieved on 2nd quareter report card. Well Done!!!
12:   How many crickets Brody was suppose to get for frog
24:   How many crickets Brody got for frog- he said he was extra hungry.
12:   Crickets that wont get eaten that will somehow escape and be in my house creeping me out
14:   Minutes we stood in line at the post office
14:   Minutes that Brody and Zane were completly out of control at the post office and I pretended I was   babysitting and that they were NOT my children. I think I even said " Im telling your mother!"
42:   Nerf darts all over the house
6:     Brotherly fights
8:     Minutes to make supper. Thank you kraft and cucumbers and apple sauce
13:   Diapers changed in a day
3:     Intentional Preslie smiles that melt my heart
10:   Glow sticks in the tub
4:     Loads of laundry done and folded.. but not put away
2:     Boxes of Christmas lights to make bedtime extra magical
2:     Bedtime prayers
7:     Bedtime stories
29:  Excuses to get out of bed
4:    Bedtime kisses
1:    Happy Mama

Here Boy- put these pipe cleaners thru all these holes in this collander.

Zane with his preschool snowman craft and finger flashlights
  Brody wanted to  make the marshmellow snow flake that we did in preschool.

Making Bedtime better..

Saturday, December 3, 2011

One Month!!! And adjusting well

Oh where does time go?? I mean really! Preslie is already one month. Im pretty sad about it actually. It has been so wonderful to have her in our life, and to have a baby in the house again, I just want things to slow down.

One month stats for Preslie:
At her one month check up she was 9lbs 4 oz, and in the 50th percentile for weight, height, and head size and all  development check points were met. Her pediatrician called her a perfect text book baby :) She started off sleeping SO well. Average was about 10pm-4am straight, well for about a week it has not been so lovely. More like up every 2 hours or so and just more fussy..  :(  :(  for those of you who knew baby Brody, its not THAT bad. Anyways, the doc thinks she has reflux. BOO. So shes on some meds and we shall see what happens. So far nothing has changed.

So far Preslie sometimes likes her binky, she sometimes likes pressure on her belly, she sometimes likes her swing and sometimes can sleep thru the chaos of her brothers and dogs and is sometimes ok with her carseat. we are still figuring things out :) She is smiling on purpose and continues to poop ALL the time. The boys LOVE to put hairbows and headbands on her and Brody is especially talented at making hairbow creations.

One Month stats for ME:
I am down 32 lbs since labor!! Holy smokes! Gigantic babies have some benefits I guess. Im also sure its because Ive done yoga twice and have been lifting weights once :)  oh and because baking has ceased at our house- not on purpose but my time management has taken a serious nose dive. Each kid should come with at least 4 extra hours in a day.
I sleep in about 2 hour increments that total 6 hours a night on average. Funny that im ok with it, I guess somehow my body just magically adapts.  Nursing is still not going well or even at all, So I pump every 3 hours around the clock and then feed. Not so much fun there.
Emotionally Im great! I can tell some moments that my patience seems to run out faster then before, Im sure that will catch up soon. Devs work calmed down just in time so most nights he is home at 4, that is wonderful! And still shocking.

Let me tell a story.
A bit ago I had a friend telephone me up, She was getting ready to go back to work FT and needed to put her 16 month old in all day day care. Sad for any Mum. She was calling to chat about what I would require if I was in her boat and needed a daycare. Oh man we had quite the list when we were done. (not in order of importance)
Low kid- care taker ratio
Limited TV watching or no TV
Nice, patient employees who love kids and love what they do
Structured Day
Healthy Meals and snacks
Security and strict check in-check & out policy
Wellness policy- no sickos
Good understanding of dicipline actions
Creative playtime and learning activities

Im sure we had a dozen more but this is what comes to mind. We had a nice chat, I ached for her for having to return to work and was filled with such gratitude that Im able to stay home. But then I couldnt sleep. I do stay home, but am I living up to my own demands??? Some days yes, I can check off all those things on the list above.. but somedays we stay in PJs until 2pm, we eat cereal for breakfast.. and lunch... and dinner. Some days I have NO patience it seems. And it seems lately the TV is on WAY too much. So this was a good chat for me to have. A time to really reflect and try to get things with my kiddos back in line.
 Zane and Brody have both adjusted so well to Preslie and to having mine and Dev's time divided. They both went thru their own adjustment stage, Zane took up yelling all the time and was just MAD it seemed, loved Preslie but just had a bit of a time getting his ying and yang lined up again or something. Brody adores his baby sister, He is smitten in fact. His adjustment seemed to come out in being extra clingy to me, sad to leave  for school, said he missed home and me too much. We all had to figure things out. I decided after Preslie it was a good time to stop pushing naps with Zane, he needed that one and one time with me, so Im really making an effort to make sure Zane and I do something together everyday while Preslie is asleep. Puzzles, books, crafts, trains, anything! sometimes we get hours before she is fussing and sometimes its only a half hour or so, but it is such precious time for both of us I think.
Things get a tad tricky with Brody when he gets home, his one on one time is usually with Dev when he gets home from work. The boys have a new game they came up with called Wayne and little Wayne (no idea where it came from!) but they run down the hall as fast as they can and tackle Dev. Its fabulous. Anyways, we are all doing fantastic. Im keeping up my middle of the night laundry- now I just need to figure out how to get supper done on time!

The boys have become frequent supper helpers, they took charge of mushroom prep tonight and did fantastic!