Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Family Photos

There was a lot of "Cheese"!
Only a few minor bribes for smiles.
A lot of tickling ribs....
Jumping up and down, making silly faces and sounds....
But we were successful!

The Second Half (Minus the Plane Trip)

Yep, Santa came. And he spoiled the boys rotten. Though I'm not sure who played the RC bumper cars more, the kids or adults. The boys woke up and were all so excited to run down and see what was there. They were in awe of the cookies gone and the note Santa left them. They loved digging through their stockings and loved unwrapping their gifts.
Cole gave us all the very best gift - he took his very first steps (4 of them!) Christmas morning. So exciting and special to be a part of! He was definitely in the Christmas spirit, climbing all over everyone to see each and every gift.
The boys loved all their gifts, but the ones most played with were Ethan's new NitroJR. laptop, and Lucas' Thomas and track. He had Thomas going all over the house, moving everything out of his way.
We got the boys a bunch of games like we all used to play - Twister, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Connect 4, and Operation. Brian and Angie are the Operation masters. Not so much me...
We had a blast on our time together. The above picture shows why we so love eating here - all cheese for the 4 cheese pasta. Yum. So many great meals and desserts! I am signing up for a new gym tomorrow.
We also celebrated Brian's 30th birthday~ old fella'! The boys picked out dollar store gifts - Ethan got him supplies to draw with him and Lucas got him toothpaste, handwarmers, and silly string. The silly string was a big hit.
It was so sad to say goodbye to Angie, Nick, and Cole! Lucas is now blaming every naughty thing he does on Cole "Baby Cole did it." Ethan woke up early this morning and rushed up to say goodbye again to Cole, but he'd already left and he's been sad about it ever since. It was so great to have such a long (though it felt short) visit with them!
To get past the sadness of them leaving, we headed out to Garden of the Gods. Huge rocks with amazing scenic views. The boys loved walking on all the paths, and climbing all over the rocks. Ethan got stuck once, but had fun doing it!
It was a perfect day to be outside - we needed some sunshine!
And now tomorrow we head back - not without tears, as we'll miss Grammy and Grandpa, but with excitement too as we move into our new house this weekend! So much to do, so little time! What a great vacation! We'll treasure the memories!

Friday, December 24, 2010

The First Half

The plane trip here was pretty uneventful, though the only way the three of us made it through security was because Lucas pretended to be a puppy and was a very obedient one. He crawled and panted the whole way, and would only respond if I said commands as I would to a trained dog (not so much with our dogs...). A minor delay, but we got there without too much trouble... and then the fun began!
The boys (Ethan, Lucas, and their cousin Cole) decorated the tree and got to hang their new ornaments hand-made by grammy! The pictures of the three of them are tough - Ethan and Lucas have some cheesy smiles and Cole likes to crawl away whenever he can!

We spent one morning at the Focus on the Family play-space. My favorite part was the puppet shows the boys put on. Hilarious! All afternoon Lucas kept asking, "Puppet show nice mommy?" Definitely.
Thursday we headed to the Dinosaur Resource Center - very cool! And wouldn't you know it, but Santa was there! This time Lucas went right to him- no shyness at all! And he kept going back to show him the ornaments he made. Ethan decided he now just wants green toys for Christmas. Nice. Santa needs advanced warning on these things!
The boys really loved digging for bones, watching the real live paleontologists, and seeing all the giant fossils! They squealed and giggled at Grandpa's warnings that it was getting close to feeding time.
After lunch, we headed out to a frozen pond that Brian and his family used to skate on. The boys were fascinated and we did let them put their feet on the ice, though we held them pretty tight as it's not too frozen this year... Ethan threw a pinecone toward a group of ducks and geese and a huge white goose came honking at us, obviously irritated.
It was back home to wait for Daddy to fly in. Ethan told his uncle Nick, "You get to see my dad. He's a real player. He makes video games." True. A real player. Lucas loved baking a cake with his auntie - he took it so seriously!
Then he held the camera captive and took about 20 pictures like this one using the delayed picture. Nice.
Then I taught the boys how to slide down the stairs on their behinds. I took Cole on my lap - very fun! I took the boys each one time, but they are so heavy, the force of gravity was making us fly into the air at each bump. Fun, and the rug burns are impressive.
We made some very cool snowman cake pops. A process, but they were very cool.
Today Brian and I ran away to the mall - had a blast running around without any rugrats... And then there was the decorating of the gingerbread house. It was impressive - Ethan strung lights, Angie made smoke coming out of the chimney, I made a marshmallow igloo, and everyone contributed at something - a masterpiece!
The boys donned their Christmas outfits (good choice Uma and Upa!) and headed to church. They really weren't in horrible moods like this picture implies. Lucas only made it through the first two songs, and then had to spend the rest in the lobby. He did come back at one point, announcing to all "I pee-pee my pants. NOOOO!" And then he was back out. Fabulous. Ethan stayed and did very well, even getting to hold the candle and take communion. I was very proud of him.
The boys got to open one present - matching jammies. Cole was thrilled... Lucas really was excited to change and Ethan announced, "I don't want only 1 present in the bag. I don't want jammies." Someone thought quick and announced they were magic jammies so Santa would know they were sleeping. It took a bit to convince him, but finally it worked.
Such fun to celebrate with them!
Grandpa read a story Auntie Angie picked out - and the boys listened, well Ethan and Cole did. Jesus Born for Us.
And finally the cookies were put out for Santa - he'll be excited! The anticipation is almost too much, but the boys are now fast asleep and Santa's got some work to do!
Merry Christmas my friends!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Big Weekend... Big....

The anticipation was almost too much to bear. He waited so patiently on the stairs - knowing his stocking was stuffed and waiting! He so enjoyed stuffing Uma and Upa's stockings, pretending to be Santa for the night. I think he was almost as excited to see them open their as he was to open his...

Lucas was somewhat oblivious, still not really getting what was happening, until he watched his big brother. He caught on quick.
Ethan is really good about being enthusiastic about his gifts - lots of "What the heck?!" and "Just what I always wanted!".
However, the best line? (to Upa): "You have to say thanks cuz I filled your sock. We got that at the dollar store!"
When Lucas found not one, but two chocolate Santas in his stocking, he exclaimed, "One, one, is two!" and then promptly tried to give one away, "Here go." A mathematician and generous.
Poor Upa spent the morning putting all the toys together... Aye-yi-yi the packaging... We had a great time and Uma, Upa, and Nana spoiled us all rotten!
After that, it was off to Seattle for me for a girls' night out. We were celebrating Jessica coming into town and Missy's birthday. The 4 of us roomed together in college and had so much fun catching up and being crazy. We took a lot of ridiculous self-portraits.
We ate a ton of food - even discovered a bar in the ladies' rooms, with a guy manning it! Weird...
It was so beautiful downtown with all the lights! What a magical place! We laughed and laughed and sang and danced (well, that might have just been me....).
Missy's brothers got us a fabulous hotel room and we stayed up late hot-tubbing, watching cheesy movies, and talking. Today we hit Pike Place and then Pioneer Square, admiring all te craziness that is Seattle before Jessica and I ferried back to meet the boys. Lunch out with "Schnookie" and lots more laughs at Ethan and Lucas' antics, and it was time to say good-bye.
I think it was just what I needed before being locked on an airplane with the 2 boys tomorrow! And now I'll get back to packing! EEk!!!

Friday, December 17, 2010


"What the heck?! Cars! I love cars! These are my very special cars!"
I love watching little kids open presents - before they care about brands or anything like that. It's just exciting to open a gift and see what's inside. We exchanged with Nadia on Thursday and had great fun watching them ooh and ahh over their dollar-store gifts. Lucas was most thrilled with his chocolate Santa - that he ate before even opening the rest of his present - in very few bites. He wsn't waiting to ask for permission.

My favorite gift that the boys picked out for Nadia was the purple hat. Lucas wore it in the store for a good 20 minutes. It's stylish! I need one.
I was responsible for dessert. So I did what any self-respecting teacher does this time of year; I stole leftover cupcakes from the teacher's lounge. It did not faze the kids at all that they were neon. Or that they had birthday decorations. We just made up holiday sayings for them. Good thing they can't read yet!
So good to have good friends!
Tomorrow's Christmas and this little elf needs to get some sleep! This little elf also needs to pack the basement in the next 48 hours or so, but that might be a little unrealistic.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Lights of Christmas!!!

I have no words for this picture.

So I'll start here. We headed up north for a very special Christmas weekend, making a stop on the way at an awesome children's museum. There was just about everything there. We all had fun running around. I think Lucas most of all. He just happily ran from one room to the next - driving the bus, milking the cow, driving the ferry, all of it!
The rooftop garden would have been very cool had it not been 40 degrees and rainy.
We had fun. Then we met up with our friend to head out to the magic Christmas place - filled with lights!!! It was beautiful. There were amazing lights everywhere.
It was rainy, so very rainy. And cold and windy. But we did not let it stop us. We trudged through the puddles, ate donuts, made toys....
And even saw the big guy himself. Ethan made his apologies for being naughty at school and Lucas just held me tight and whispered his with list to Santa.
My camera was dying, so I really didn't get many good pictures. This one captures the mood by the end of the train ride, quite well.
By then they were begging to go back to our "hotel room" to go to bed. Did they go to sleep? Not for hours. They did end up watching part of a movie, but then they got their second wind (or sugar high from the kettlecorn?) and were jumping around screaming, so off to bed we went.
Lucas ended up in bed with us, kicking and sweating all over us, but all in all, it was great! We had a fabulous breakfast and headed back to the real world. We are all tired. So tired. But we had such a great time. A new tradition is born.
Only next time I order no rain. Or at least rain boots.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Just keeps coming...

"Ethan, why were you fighting?"
"It's just in my heart mom."
Oh brother. He's full of it, I tell you. Both boys went to the doctor this morning. All was well until the shots. What a heart-breaker. The tears. The limping. The fierce anger.
Lucas is a giant, Ethan is pretty darn average. Ethan's tubes have fallen out and lo and behold he's on the cusp of an ear infection. Of course.
Tonight we hung out downtown, ate pizza, bought cookies at the bakery, and drove all over town to look at Christmas lights. A nice end to the week, except then their legs were all stiff and sore. Poor boys! I suppose one gets sympathy for 4 shots at once.
This weekend is Christmas fun all around!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Oh my boys....

"Ethan, why is it not okay to wrestle with your friends at school?"
"Because it's innapopiate"
On the wall at daycare - a poster showing that they asked the kids to finish the sentence: "When I got off the spaceship I saw...."
Ethan's answer: 180 aliens wearing blue, red, black and purple."
I call that some serious detail! Very proud mama!
Lucas' favorite song? "Be-bo bell, be-bo bell, HEY!"
Busy week, but all is well. They never cease to entertain.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bright Lights... No Animals...

What do teachers do on the weekend? We sit kids around a table and make them do projects of course! These were fun though, I promise! 5 kids under 5 doing 5 or so different art projects for Christmas gifts. So fun! Ethan just loved having all these girls playing with him. Lucas LOVED it when they started chasing him. And the art was magnifique! The perfectionism was all left at the door and they just got messy. My favorite was the lunch - we used cookie cutters to cut Christmas shapes out of PB&J sandwiches - Nice idea Sonia! I just ate dip. A. lot. of. dip.
After that we napped and were off to zoolights! Beautiful!
Ethan kept asking where were all the animals. We tried to explain that they weren't the attraction, but that was hard. HE WANTED THE SHARKS. Lucas just wanted to be held, but was otherwise thrilled with it all.
Pure magic - thanks Uma and Upa!
We ended the night with a trip around the carousel. Ethan and Upa giddy-upped and Lucas and Uma opted for the carriage. Lucas so wanted to ride in Uma's lap, so when she told him he had to sit next to her like a big boy, he threw his leg up on her lap - just to make a statement. That's my boy.
On the way home we stopped and got "foffees" and cookies. Because they weren't hyped up enough.
I love this time of year. Family time becomes so meaningful. My heart just gets really full. Tonight we got to have Nana for dinner. In the middle of dinner (in the middle of another conversation) Ethan looks over at Nana and says, "Nana, I really like you." He and Lucas couldn't stay out of her lap tonight. Everyone wanted a snuggle. It's just that time of year. Snuggles all around.
May your week be merry and bright!