Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ringing in the New Year!

The Bigs are in bed, Thomas is getting ready to settle in for the night, and we grown-ups are gearing up for a big time throw down New Years Eve celebration for the ages!

That's right.  We've busted open a box of reduced fat Wheat Thins, a Lord of the Rings DVD is in the Blu-Ray player, and I'm rocking my pink plaid PJ pants. 

Oh yeah.  It's gonna be epic.

Happy New Year everyone!!  Here's wishing you can stay awake until midnight!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Now and Then

December's been good.  Evan had a handful of vacation days left to use this year, so he has been home a couple days each week for the last couple weeks, which has been wonderful.  It's freed me up to go grocery shopping with just Thomas and even by myself once.  It's such a blessing to have him around during the day and the boys just go crazy for it. 

There's been a lot of this going on:

And a lot of this:

Micah is actually pretty stoked that Isaiah got a LeapPad for Christmas because that means he gets to play the Explorer a lot more now.  He loves watching the Letter Factory video and is starting to learn his letters. 

December has been delightfully uneventful. By comparison, 2 years ago today I was in the hospital after gallbladder surgery. And just last year, I was starting to suspect I might be pregnant.  Wow, just typing that sentence had my eyes watering up a little.  You know, I still haven't even thrown out the tests I took.  It's crazy, I know.  Who in their right mind hangs on to pee sticks for a year?  I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it.  I've had them in my hands several times, ready to just toss them in the trash, but I've always looked at those pink lines for just a second and that has been enough to make me put them right back in the medicine cabinet, tucked safely behind my deodorant.  I just can't do it. I brought this up to Evan the other day and he chuckled for a moment and then I asked the question I've been avoiding, but I had to know....once and for all.  "We're done, aren't we?"  He paused for the briefest of seconds and that was all it took to start the waterworks.  While the drops fell silently down my face, he explained that he loves our boys so much and is so happy with the way our family is now, but that he really strongly feels we are done.  I guess I was still holding out hope that maybe a few years down the road, perhaps when Thomas is 3 or 4, we might consider one more child.  Looks like I can put that idea to rest and start getting rid of the clothes as Thomas out-grows them.  Hard for me.  Looks like those pee sticks will be staying put for a while.

No plans with us for New Years Eve.  Heck, I'll be lucky if I'm even able to stay awake until midnight.  Last night we stayed up until 11:30 watching episodes of The Big Bang Theory and my eyes were burning.  Considering I have to work at 8:00 the next morning, I think I'll just have to be content to stay up long enough to see the ball drop. 

So what's going on in 2012?  Wow.  A lot, hopefully.  Despite the slowdown of the winter, we're hopeful that the coming months will show an increase in interest and traffic on our house and that we'll get the sale we've been praying for.  Evan has to start driving to his new location 4 days per week within a few weeks, so we're anxious to get the house sold and move to our new city.  It's so scary, but it's a change I think we'll end up enjoying once the massive stress of it all dies down. 

In 2012, my boys will turn FIVE, three, and one.  Oh mylanta.

In 2012, we will celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary.

In 2012, we will move to a brand new city where we know a total of TWO people (outside of Evan's work, that is).

In 2012, I will have to leave the job I love and go on the hunt for a new one. Boo.

In 2012, I will rekindle my scrapbooking hobby.  I don't care how busy I am.  I absolutely must make time to document these memories.  Project Life is wonderful for this, but I really miss the experience of traditional scrapbooking.

It's going to be a biggie.

In case I don't see ya, Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Project Life Tuesday - December Week Four

Hello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2011 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family.  Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their projects over at The Mom Creative!
Sunday, December 18th - We celebrated my mother in law's birthday today at Chuck E Cheese of all places!  The boys had an absolute blast. Thanks Mom & Dad!

Monday, December 19th - I've really been enjoying this whole Elf on the Shelf thing.  This has to be one of my favorite set-ups I put together for the kids to discover in the morning. All day, Isaiah was chattering on about how "the Roundup Gang trapped Buddy!"

Tuesday, December 20th - Thomas has been practicing in his Bumbo lately and Isaiah is always right there, ready to entertain him.

Wednesday, December 21st - When a great sale hit the website of Lisa Leonard Designs, I jumped on it to order Christmas ornaments for the kids. They arrived today and I am absolutely in love with them.

Thursday, December 22nd - Finally, we got some substantial snow! Getting some decent snow cover inspired the kids to request some outdoor play time so they got to get all bundled up in their new snow gear and help Daddy shovel the driveway and roll around in the snow.

Friday, December 23rd - Day 1 of our Christmas extravaganza! We kicked things off at my Grandma's house where the boys received the first of several components of an awesome race car track.

Saturday, December 24th - Not your typical Christmas Eve photo. My mother accidentally inherited this (nasty) lizard and my boys found it fascinating. I skittered away quickly after taking this photo out of fear that my sister might make me touch it.

Only one more week of Project Life 2011!  My 2012 kit is already in house, but I haven't set it up yet because I'm going to take a different approach next year.  That and I want to try to get caught up on writing my journaling cards from 2011 before I jump into 2012!

Have a great week!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Morning After

Ah, the best laid plans.  We thought for sure we'd have no problem bringing everything home this Christmas.  In the past, we've had to leave a good deal of the kids' gifts behind for someone to bring to us at a later date because our car just couldn't fit everything.  This year, the van gave us a false sense of confidence.  We were almost able to pull it off, but alas, the picnic table didn't fit in the van!  :)

What a whirlwind of a couple days.  We returned to our hometown for Christmas and everyone was spoiled rotten: the boys with their mountains of gifts, me with two bottles of Prairie Fume that I practically polished off myself, and Evan with a Packer victory.  That last one spoiled me too. 

I think the most stressful part of a big holiday like this is the process of loading the kids into the van multiple times.  For some reason, that never goes smoothly.  Anyone else?

Evan is home today, so we're kind of in recovery mode.  I need to put my nose to the grindstone and get these three photo books done so I can get them ordered before my coupons expire and go grocery shopping (french fries are on sale!).  We still have a pile of boxes that we need to bring downstairs and open up for the kids, along with train tracks to build, race tracks to set up, and movies to watch.

It might be a kickin' back kind of day.  It would be great to get out and snag all kinds of after Christmas deals, but that would involve me doing my hair and putting on real pants and I'm thinking that's not really going to happen today.  Yes, I do realize I already mentioned my need to go to the grocery store and I am fully aware of the predicament that puts me in regarding the whole "no real pants" concept.  I'm still working that one out in my head. 

For now, I'm going to enjoy a cup of coffee while the kids enjoy Curious George with their Daddy and work on those photo books.  I'll change out of my PJ pants at some point.  Maybe. 

Hope your Christmas was amazing and you have a wonderful last week of 2011!

That reminds me.  I have leftover cake.  That will go beautifully with my coffee!  Merry Day After Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Ramblings

The big boys are outside helping Daddy shovel the driveway and playing in the snow, armed from top to bottom by their new snowsuits.  Except for Isaiah.  I bought him a red hat and glove set to match his new snowsuit, but when I was getting him dressed, I could only find one glove.  Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to be busting out brand new stuff, but only find one glove?  Ridiculous.

Our basement looks like this now:

Of course, a good number of those gifts will get loaded into the van to go with us when we head back to the hometown for Christmas, which means that we have to have the stockings stuffed and all the kids' gifts out and ready to open before we leave.  Here's to hoping I don't forget.

Oh, and we need to make sure we bring Buddy the Elf with us.  And the boys' Teach Me Time clock.  And Isaiah's Leapster Explorer.

Sorry.  Not sure when this blog post turned into a To Do List.

Thomas is playing with my toes right now.  I'm drinking coffee.  It's quiet. 

How long do you think they'll stay out in the snow?  :)

Off to work on photo books.  Have a wonderful and safe holiday.  Blessings of the season from our family to yours.

By the way, The Descendants is a terrible movie.  Just thought you should know.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Project Life Tuesday - December Week Three

Hello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2011 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family.  Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their projects over at The Mom Creative!
Sunday, December 11th - Isaiah picked this puzzle out of the Treasure Chest as his prize for earning enough stickers on his bedtime reward chart.  He put it together and took it apart over and over and over.  Not bad for a fifty cent toy.

Monday, December 12th - I invited two of my friends over for a little girl talk time tonight and made this batch of brownies as our snack.  They were good, but they were definitely the most expensive brownies I have ever made!  Gluten free does not come cheap, but Auna is worth it!


Tuesday, December 13th - My sweet angel.

Wednesday, December 14th - My crazy darling.

Thursday, December 15th - As much as he hates tummy time, Thomas is starting to really improve his neck strength.

Friday, December 16th - The boys' stockings arrived and I got them hung up next to the Christmas tree.  Someday I will have a mantel over a fireplace to hang them "with care," but this will do for now.

Saturday, December 17th - Evan wrapped Micah up in this blanket so well that the boy couldn't wiggle his way out!  Isaiah apparently found it to be hilarious!

Really fun week!  Can't wait to enjoy Christmas and to share photos with you!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Why I'm A Slacker

"Mommy.  Why haven't you been updating the blog recently?  I disapprove."  -Thomas

I know it's been quiet around here lately.  Forgive me.  I'm a bit swamped right now doing any number of the following things at any given moment:

  • Nursing
  • Sorting through a year's worth of photos to choose which ones to include in three different photo books
  • Walking around the house and bouncing a fussy three month old
  • Nursing
  • Creating the previously mentioned photo books because I gotta get those suckers finished up to Christmas so I can just slap the Christmas photos in there and get them ordered before my Groupon expires on 12/31
  • Trying to get Micah to nap
  • Nursing
  • Failing to get Micah to nap
  • Reading a ridiculously good book that is sucking up all my time because I have become physically incapable of putting it down
  • Nursing
  • Making Pretzel Hugs
  • Sneaking bites of cookie dough from the freezer
  • Getting ready for our Christmas Extravaganza!
  • Nursing
So, yeah.  Lots of stuff.  Hate to bullet point and run, but I am going to have a prayer of getting Project Life Tuesday up tomorrow, I have some photo editing to do.  Catch ya later!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Best Toy Ever!!!

I can hardly believe it.  It took months of work before we were able to give the boys this toy.  It was all worth it to see their little faces light up when I presented them with one of the "5 Best Toys of All Time" according to GeekDad.

Enjoy this video of my children demonstrating how to use this incredibly versatile toy.

Aren't you so jealous?  I'm sure if you really go wild with your plastic wrap or aluminum foil, you too can score one of these for your kid in time for Christmas!  Hey, it's easier to come by than a Leap Pad.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Project Life Tuesday - December Week Two

Hello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2011 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family.  Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their projects over at The Mom Creative!
Sunday, December 4th - The tree is up, so it's time to get some presents wrapped and under it!  I hauled up all the gifts I had ready to go and set Evan to work wrapping them.  He does all the gift wrapping in our house because he's really good at it.  I'm absolutely terrible.  Thanks honey!

Monday, December 5th - Bath night!  This is Thomas's signature look.

Tuesday, December 6th - The boys were watching Glee with us (don't worry, we're careful about which episodes we allow them to watch) and couldn't resist dancing along with New Directions at Sectionals!

Wednesday, December 7th - Buddy, our Elf on the Shelf, got into a bit of a disagreement with Rex last night and found himself in a bit of a spot this morning.

Thursday, December 8th - I'm going to have so many photos of Thomas just smiling that sweet smile of his, but I can't help it.  I just love it.

Friday, December 9th - Buddy came back from the North Pole with a gift for Isaiah and Micah.  They found him this morning perched on a pile of books, bearing their new copy of The Polar Express.

Saturday, December 10th - Micah was in a MOOD tonight.  Big surprise, it came after a day with no nap!  He was crying constantly for no reason that we could discover.  Evan finally got him to hold still long enough for a cuddle, but he continued to shudder and sob the entire time.

My Project Life 2012 kit should be arriving this week!  I have my page protectors already, but I'm just dying to bust open that new Cobalt Core Kit!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Card

I'm pretty sure most of our Christmas cards have arrived in mailboxes now, so it's safe for me to post it on here.  Consider this my "Merry Christmas!" to all of you, from our family to yours.

Yes, I realize there is a typo on my Christmas cards.  No, I did not see it until after they were printed and in my hands.  At that point, I just had to suck it up and send them out anyway.  Don't think that wasn't difficult for me.

I sent out 60 cards this year, which is a ridiculous number for us.  I never send out that many, but I got my cards at such an affordable price, I was able to order more than usual.  I still found myself having to cut some people from the recipient list! 

I kept our costs down by designing the card using a free template from Becky Higgins and then having them printed on Mixbook, using a Groupon I bought a while back.  I was really pleased with the results!!

By the way, many of those fabulous photos were taken by my gal pal Jenn Van Wyk.  Gotta give props where they are due!

P.S.  Did you find the typo? 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

First Time for Everything

It's moments like this that make me glad I have a blog.  I love having an easy way to write down all these hilarious things that I can torture my children with later.

While I was in the living room nursing Thomas, this happened.  Here's Evan to tell you all about it:

My poor little boy has had his first taste of manly pain.  I took Isaiah and Micah in to brush teeth tonight and part of Isaiah's ritual is that he does his pre-bed business at that time as well.  Tonight, he got ready and pulled the seat up with one hand.  As he did, both of his feet slipped out from underneath him and he came down on the edge of the toilet.  It was the money shot.  The full set, right on the lip of the toilet.  He caught himself before he hit the ground.  Then he stood up and, after a moment, it hit him.  That poor little boy.  I could see it in his eyes.  When I asked him where it hurt (I was pretty sure, but I wanted to get him talking to see if I could get him settled down). He said "My penis".  I could only tell him that I was sorry he got hurt, and I know how he feels.  5 minutes later in the living room he was still walking gingerly and mentioned that it still hurt.  Ouch buddy, been there.

What my darling husband failed to mention in that little account was the part where he had to excuse himself to come into the living room and laugh it out while Isaiah bawled his eyes out in the bathroom.  He figured it probably wouldn't be cool to laugh in front of his son right after his first nut shot, so he politely retreated into my presence to get it out of his system.  Classy, dear. 

To top it off, this was Isaiah's prayer at bedtime:

Dear Lord,
Thank you for Mommy, Daddy, Micah, and me. And Thomas Evan. Thank you for Josh and Caleb and Josh and Caleb's mom.  Thank you for Grandma and Grandpa and Great Grandma and Coleen's house and bible school.  Thank you to make my penis all better because that really hurt. Thank you for Garret, Sarah, and Haley.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Deck the Walls

Even though it's not remotely Christmas-related, I wanted to share a little item we recently added to the wall of our master bedroom.  I've had this print hidden away in a drawer since around the time Thomas was born, but I finally got the frame for it this past weekend when Michael's had a great sale.  Yup, I will wait that long to buy a frame if the price is right.  I'm psychotic.

Isn't it great?!  It's a custom silhouette print I only purchased because of a voucher I got from Heartsy.  I can't even tell you how much time I took starting at the little black figures she had to choose from, trying to decide which ones most accurately represented our boys.

Yes, I realize Thomas is unable to stand up yet.  I figure it won't be too long before that happens so I am planning ahead.  Sheesh.

Sorry about the reflections in the glass.

Here's how it looks up on the wall.  I love how this print ended up accidentally matching our bedding and our bedroom perfectly.  I totally didn't do that on purpose!  On the other side of the bed is a collage of black & white photos of the boys' newborn photos. 

Love it, love it, love it.

I wasn't paid or compensated in any way to brag about this print.  I just really dig it and wanted to share it.  If you want to check into getting one, check out the Le Papier Studio on Etsy.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Project Life Wednesday - December Week One

Hello and welcome to Project Life Tuesday Wednesday! I am taking a photo every day in 2011 and putting them together in an album to create a unique keepsake of this year for our family.  Be sure to check in on what others are doing with their projects over at The Mom Creative!

Sunday, November 27th - Isaiah had a family quilt square due for preschool tomorrow, so I had to get cracking on getting it done.  I painted each boy's hand and had them put their print on the paper.  It worked out ok!

Monday, November 28th - Just shy of three months old.  Honestly, how cute is this baby.

Tuesday, November 29th - Don't tell the American Pediatric Association, but Micah turns into a bit of a zombie when he's watching something on TV he really likes. 

Wednesday, November 30th - The boys were my helpers with whipping up our first batch of Pretzel Hugs.  Oh my goodness, were they ever yummy.  Definitely will be making more.  Lots more.

Thursday, December 1st - I was interviewed for the local news this morning and the story ran on the 6:00 news tonight.  I was at work while it aired, but the kids really got a kick out of seeing Mommy and baby brother on TV! (click here to see the news story)

Friday, December 2nd - Oh, you know.  Just relaxing before nap time.

Saturday, December 3rd - I just love this half smile/smirk thing he does.  Just melts me.

Again, sorry for the delay this week!  Hopefully I can get my act together for next week.  Only a couple more weeks left of the photo-a-day format since I'm changing things up for Project Life 2012.  Almost there!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Blew It.

No Project Life Tuesday today.  To be perfectly honest, I completely forgot until about 11:00 last night.  No photos edited, no blog post written....nada.  I just totally spaced on it.  I could feed you my list of excuses about our Open House, the Badger game, the Packer game, yadda yadda yadda.  There really isn't a good reason I didn't get around to doing it this week.

So, keep your fingers crossed for a  Project Life Wednesday this week!

But it might be Project Life Thursday.  Who knows. 

Bad blogger.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Early Adventures of Buddy the Elf

Buddy, our Elf on the Shelf, arrived at our house the day after Thanksgiving and has been very busy keeping an eye on the boys every day since.  After the boys go to bed each night, Buddy flies back to Santa to report in on their behavior and then comes back to the house and finds a new spot to land. 

This has been so much fun....for me.  Have the boys whipped themselves into shape and started acting acting like little angels?  No way.  Are they concerned that the elf is going to rat them out to Santa if they push each other or steal their brother's lightsaber?  Not a chance.  But I tell you what, I have a blast finding a new place to move the elf every night.  It's creative, silly, and even somewhat mischievous.  I have a whole Pinterest board just for Elf on the Shelf ideas.  So yeah.  Isaiah comes running out every morning to try to be the first to find Buddy, but so far I think Mommy is having the most fun with the whole thing. 

Here's some of Buddy's recent exploits for your enjoyment. (All photos taken with Instagram on Evan's iPhone.)

I'm saving some of my really fun ideas for a little later.  Like this one:

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

and this one.

and this one.

See what I mean?  Really fun for me. 

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