Thursday, December 31, 2009

A December Sum Up

My blogging has been lacking but there are a few things that I want to remember from this past month so a-blogging I go...

This is how cute my little critters looked for church on the Sunday before Christmas.

Ez all spiffy in his suit, Bella in her sparkly dress that left glitter and sparkles all over the church pew (woops!) and Cali all velvety smooth until 20 minutes into church when she had a major blow out!

So this is how she looked after her blow out! And I felt like a neglectful mom who dressed her baby in a sleeveless dress and no tights or shoes in our snowy weather. Just to set the record straight if you saw us at church...she arrived at church fully clothed!

Beema (my paternal grandma) came for Christmas this year, making it an especially memorable day. She will be 89 years old in March and I swear she hasn't aged a day in my lifetime! She is spry on her feet and in her mind. The kids really enjoyed spending time with her. Ez called her "Baba" and loved all of the attention she gave him. I enjoyed hearing her stories and it reminded me of how EASY we have it these days. A lot has changed in 89 years. My grandma was raised on a farm with out running water and when she was a young mom, she washed clothes by hand. I am so grateful to have all of the modern conveniences of our day but at the same time, I wonder how to teach my children the value of hard work and appreciating all that they have when everything comes so easily and all of our "stuff" is so disposable. Anyway, my grandma is one neat lady and I'm glad we were able to spend some time together.

Christmas Eve was spent with my sister and her family. Cousins Mark and Grace played the role of Joseph and Mary and Cali played the part of baby Jesus.

Christmas day was fun! The kids LOVED their toys. Ez was in train heaven, Bella got her dog that swims in water (I personally think it is a lame-o toy but she loves it), and Cali is loving her new bouncer thingy. I loved staying in my pjs nearly all day, taking a much needed nap, and spending time with my awesome family.

I also decided to cut my hair this month after MANY years of the long and straight style. I didn't go crazy and have even heard myself say out loud, "Is it SHORT enough?" January might bring a shorter style. (Sorry, can't find a good picture that really shows the cut).

A funny story that I want to remember is the thank you note that Bella wrote to Santa Claus on Christmas day. She asked Blaine to help her spell everything out. While he was spelling "stuff" he was picking up Christmas "trash" (wrapping paper, etc.) Afterwards he told me to come read Bella's letter to Santa. It read: Dear Santa, Thank you for all of the TRASH. (Instead of stuff). This was either a fraudian slip on Blaine's part or this is what Santa REALLY thinks about how his money was spent! Ha! We (Blaine and I) got a good laugh out of this one!

Something else that I want to remember about December is when Blaine and I went out to eat and had an anonymous person pay for our meal at PF Changs. That kind gesture touched my heart so much. I would have loved to have thanked our anonymous benefactor but since I can't, I will thank you, my blog readers, for all of your kind deeds that you do for people and I will try to do good things for others also. Sort of a way to "pay it forward".

And since today is the last day of 2009, I have found myself reflecting on this past year. was a good one. Sure it was hard with Blaine's work and school schedule BUT, for the most part, 2009 was an AWESOME of the best. Bella and Ez were happy and healthy, we got to add Cali to the family in a way I never dreamed imaginable, and Blaine graduated with his master's degree and got a new job this year. I can't imagine that 2010 will bring such landmark events BUT I always love a new year and all of the possibilities that it brings. So here's to a happy new year...let's make it a GREAT one!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Christmas "Card"

This year we went with an alternative Christmas "card". It was fun making but I doubt I'll make this a tradition. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Santa and Nains

Call me a mean mom if you will but I was a little disappointed that not one of my kids was screaming in terror in the Santa picture. Those always make for fun pictures.

As soon as I told Ez we were going to go see Santa today, he kept saying, "Nain! I want Nain". (Train) Once he saw Santa enter the library, he made a beeline towards him to request his train. He started crying when I told him he had to wait his turn. Once it was his turn, he jumped up right on his lap and said, "Nain!" When he got his little goody bag, he opened it up with great anticipation yelling, "nain, nain!" Poor kid thought he was going to get a train TODAY! He's an instant gratification kind of two year old. You know the type.

The UPS man nearly ruined the surprise by dropping off the big train set with said train set pictured right on the outside of the box. Bella was with me as I answered the door and she saw it. After a few little lies about the UPS man dropping off some other kids toy to the wrong house and now we have a great idea of what to ask Santa to get Ez, Christmas morning has been salvaged and I think it will be a HUGE success when our train obsessed little boy wakes up to find his much anticipated train under the tree.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Santa is checking HER list...

I usually like to be at least mostly done with my Christmas shopping by the time December hits. I like to be prepared, I like to spread out the purchases over a few months, and I like to have presents under the tree all month long. That’s just how this Santa rolls.

I showed Bella some toys online the other day and her little sparkly eyes just lit up! She is now having a hard time narrowing down what she wants since I told her that Santa usually just brings one big toy. Today I found her drawing pictures and writing notes to Santa, I’m sure in an effort to butter him up. One note says: “Santa Clause: I love you. You are so nice. Why do you put toys?”

Well, I thought that was sweet. And I love seeing Christmas through her eyes: the anticipation, the hopefulness, and even the gratitude that she feels at a jolly old man’s kindness. Although we try to teach and focus on the true meaning of Christmas, I have to admit…I LOVE the idea of Santa Clause and I love that I am him (or her...whatever). I love hanging out in PJs all morning, cooking and eating a yummy breakfast, supplemented, of course, with chocolate. And there isn’t anything in the world better than relaxing with the family, listening to Christmas music, and watching the kids so joyful as they discover and play with their new treasures. So bring on Christmas…yes, even the white stuff. I’ve been checking my list and I’m ready!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Pics

An adorable fireman, a very unhappy flower, and a super cute cheerleader.

Go Team!

Where's the fire?

Let's just say that Cali was not amused!

And here is a Halloween Flashback. This is Bella when she was 1 year old in the flower outfit. Cali is almost 3 months old wearing the same flower outfit. Enough said!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October Snow

Today was a good day to...

Shovel snow (and lots of it)

And build a snowman in the yard

And go sledding.

I just hope that Saturday is a good day to go Trick or Treating!

Serious Cali

Cali is a very serious baby. Her smiles are few and far between and she really makes us work for them. Mostly we work really hard trying to soothe her crankiness. Lately she has been smiling a little bit more, although she is definitely more grumpy than happy. It is so nice to see these helps me to feel like she is going to grow out of all of this fussiness. She has even been cooing and "talking" with me these past few days and it just melts my heart.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

5 years old!

It's hard to believe that Bella is 5 years old! Sometimes it feels like I've been a mother FOREVER and not only a mere 5 years and then other times I feel like time is flying by and my babies are growing up way too fast!

We had fun celebrating Bella's 5th birthday with the Angus cousins. (We only do a friend birthday every other year). Bella wanted me to make a Hello Kitty cake and this was a very simple design that I found online and felt like I'd be able to duplicate it. I'm glad she was happy with it.

Bella is truly a sensitive soul. She has such a sweet and gentle spirit about her. She is a loyal friend, tries to make people feel good, and she definitely wants to do what is right and please us and her teachers. She is also a little worry wort and sometimes she wakes up crying in the middle of the night because she has remembered that she left something at a friends house or worrying about something else. She is becoming a great artist and she is sounding words out as she is learning to read and write very well. She is a very smart girl. We just love her to pieces and are so grateful she is our sweet Bella Joy.

3 Sisters and a Baby in Music City

Last week I got to go to Nashville, Tennessee with my two sisters. It has been our tradition that when each one of us celebrates a big birthday (30, 40, etc) we get together and do something fun. This year is Tiffani's 40th and so we decided to go to an awesome Keith Urban and Friends benefit concert in Nashville. Tanya got us incredible seats with a package deal to go to an after party where supposedly Keith Urban and friends would be. We thought we'd have a chance to at least get an up close picture. Although we were disappointed with the fact that we didn't get up close and personal with anybody except David Archuleta, we still had an amazing time at the concert and just being together as sisters. Lucky for me, I have a wonderful cousin who just so happens to live in Nashville. She came to our hotel and babysat Cali while we partied until 2 in the morning. THANK YOU, Jessie! You are the best! (I stole this picture of Jessie from her blog since the one picture I took of her did not turn out. I am still trying to figure out the settings on my new camera).

Aside from the concert, we had fun walking around downtown Nashville, touring the Country Music Hall of Fame, and just hanging out as sisters. I found Nashville to be a beautiful city where the people are VERY friendly.


The artists who performed at the concert were: Keith Urban, Vince Gill, Brad Paisely, Taylor Swift, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town, Faith Hill, and Dierks Bentley. It was so much fun!

The after party