Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas 2009

We've got another great holiday for our memory banks! Christmas went wonderfully.

On Christmas Eve, the boys always get new pajamas from Mommy and Daddy. This year, instead of Christmas pajamas, we got them character pajamas. Jack got Mickey Mouse and Alexander got Mario and they were off the wall excited about them. I mean... seriously off the wall excited. Silly boys!

Alexander graced my bed with his presence around 2:30AM and began asking to go downstairs to open presents. He announced that he had seen Santa's sleigh flying away from our house. He was so excited that he could not fall back to sleep until about 4AM. I finally moved to the floor to get away from his wiggling. Jack woke us all at 6:30AM. So... I was a bit tired for most of Christmas day, but I really can't complain too much. The boys were sufficiently spoiled by Santa, their uncles, and their grandparents. Jack could hardly move on to other presents once he found the Pez in his stocking.

I have not confused my holidays here. One of the things that Santa brought the boys was some costumes: Mario and a motocross driver suit. Something tells me Santa likes after-Halloween sales as much as I do!

Some of their other favorite presents were their new bedding (Mickey Mouse for Jack and Spiderman for Alexander) from their grandparents. Jack also really loved the Imaginext Dragon Fortress and Batcave they got from Santa, but mostly the "guys" from those sets. So far Alexander has spent a lot of time playing his new board games, with his new Legos, and the new video games we got.

Justin won a couple of awards at work, which came with gift cards as prizes, plus an iPod nano. We didn't really want the iPod, but we returned it and used the gift cards as well to get ourselves a Wii and the new Mario game for Christmas. It was amazing that the pricing worked out perfectly. We spent every dollar of those gift cards, but not a dollar of our own. It was meant to be! It was Santa! (Okay, it was Justin's hard work that earned him those awards. Congrats, Honey!) We put them under the tree and everything! Here's a (not great) photo of our Wii Miis. We're pretty excited since we didn't think we'd be able to justify the purchase of a Wii for a couple of years! :D

We had a great visit and dinner with PopPop, Grandma and Grandpa and we thank them (and far-off Uncle Matt and Uncle Harry) for all the great gifts.

We hope everyone else out there celebrating Christmas had at least as wonderful a day as we did!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Some thoughts on being a third time mom

How things change...

When I was pregnant with Alexander, I was petrified of the delivery, having little idea what to expect besides PAIN. After I delivered him, I wanted to get out of the hospital as soon as possible, and only spent one night in. I was happy to be home where I could at least sleep in half hour chunks in between soothing and/or nursing him.

When I was pregnant with Jack, I was mortified that I would have to be away from Alexander for almost three days while I while I was in the hospital with Jack. Since being diagnosed with the clotting disorder, I was not allowed to leave early and had to spend a total of three nights at the hospital. Oh, how I missed my big boy while I was there. I was so happy to be home so that I could play with him again. Jack even let me sleep in one hour chunks!

Now that I am pregnant with my third child, the post-delivery hospital stay almost seems like a welcome break! Sure, I'll be uncomfortable, in pain, and getting used to a newborn. I'll be poked by needles, prodded by nurses and doctors, and get little to no sleep. Blood pressure monitors will beep through the night. IVs will impede my movement. I'll have to wear inflatable stockings to make sure my blood is flowing properly through my legs. Nurses will badger me about how often and for how long Kai has breastfed, and on which side(s). I'll have to eat hospital food and smell hospital smells and wear hospital gowns. But I won't have to clean anything, pick up after anyone, entertain anyone, scold anyone, enforce rules with anyone, make anyone meals (aside from producing breast milk, of course), and I'll *ONLY* have to take care of a newborn. ONLY?! What planet am I from where that seems like a break?! You may as well sign me up for the loony bin now.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gingerbread House Year Two

To keep ourselves busy during our snowy weekend, we worked on our second annual Gingerbread House. I am not sure if Jack put any candy on the house, but I know he put a lot in his mouth. The guys were all concentrating very hard. ;) I think last year's house actually looked better, though! Especially after today, when I found the boys at the counter eating things off it!!

Snowpocolypse

This past Saturday, our area got twenty-two inches of snow. Twenty-two inches! The media was calling it "Snowpocolypse." At last check (2 months ago), Jack was thirty-seven inches tall. So this snow would have been up to his chest if he could have have stood on the actual ground! As it was, he had quite a tough time maneuvering around in it, sinking in to his waist with every step. He still had fun playing it in, though, and lasted about 45 minutes on Sunday morning. Alexander was in heaven and lasted about another hour after Jack and I had bailed; he simply sat on the ever-growing "snow mountain," while Justin cleared out the cars. Apparently he ate quite a bit of snow and announced, "I am helping by eating it!" It took Justin three hours to clear our steps, sidewalk, the neighbor's sidewalk, and our two cars. It has been a LONG time since I have seen this much snow! I happen to think it's pretty awesome, though!


We have steps to our back door (which we could not open) under there somewhere...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Performace

Alexander spent a lot of time practicing and perfecting his songs for his preschool Christmas program this week. He was pretty excited to perform. Justin got a better video, which includes Alexander yelling, "Hi, Mommy!" before beginning to sing, but I'm not sure how to upload his, so here's the one I took with my camera. Also, I had to use YouTube this time, so hopefully it works. Be careful, when you make it loud enough to hear the kids, the clapping between numbers is pretty loud. You may want to position a finger above the mute button. Also, if you can hang in there til the end, the last song is the funniest. His class also performed Jingle Bells and We Wish you a Merry Christmas with the entire preschool, but those performances were far less entertaining than these that they sang as class. Their teachers refer to them as The Fabulous Five.

Merry Christmas from Alexander!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Big Boy!

For the first time today, Jack wore underwear all day and still had no accidents! We've done several partial days before, up to 8 hours with no accidents, but today was the real thing. No more diapers, except at night! We get a short hiatus before the baby is born. YAY, big boy Jack!

This boy melts my heart.

What a 4-year-old Dreams

This morning when he came downstairs, Alexander announced excitedly, "Mommy! I had a Star Wars Lego dream and it was two player!"

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Those who can't do: teach.

While playing Super Mario World with Alexander:

Alexander: Mommy you can't let them kick you.
Me: It's not like I did it on purpose, Alexander. I know that.

... a few minutes later...
Alexander: Mommy, you can't jump there.
Me: I know, Honey. It was an accident. If you know how to do this level so well, why don't you do it and show me?
Alexander: I can't do it, I can just tell you how to do it.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Let it Snow!

We had the first snow of the season yesterday and I couldn't quite pass up the photo op! So I took the boys out in the yard for a while and up the hill behind our house. We slid down the hill on our tushies, had a snowball fight, caught snowflakes on our tongues, and then (of course!) went inside for hot chocolate when they started getting snow inside their mittens! I had told Alexander earlier in the day, on our way to see Santa, that Santa had magically brought some of his "North Pole snow" here to make himself comfortable while he was visiting children here, and that he was leaving it here as a gift for us, and Alexander totally latched onto that idea and was really excited to play in Santa's special snow.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Santa is real!

This morning I awoke to Alexander climbing into bed with me, climbing over me to get next to the window, and then announcing, "Mommy, I see snowflakes in the sky!" Indeed, a beautiful snow was falling. It set the mood perfectly for our visit to see Santa. We had a great visit with Santa last year through the county's recreation program, so we decided to go with the same thing this year. The snow may have kept some people away; it was not crowded at all! There were never more than 4 or 5 families waiting in line to see Santa, and usually it was less. So, we got right in to see Santa and Mrs. Claus. Alexander was just slightly shy this year, but hopped up on Santa's lap pretty quickly and started joking around with him. Jack was more nervous, but managed to sit fairly peacefully on Santa's lap for a few minutes. He never quite managed a smile, but it was an improvement over last year's total meltdown! We didn't really get any card-worthy shots of the kids with Santa, but we did have a great time chatting with him, making Christmas crafts, eating snacks, and playing games. The boys especially enjoyed the reindeer sack race. I saw Mrs. Claus taking notes about what all the kids want for Christmas, so hopefully the boys are pleased with Santa's selections this year! ;) Also, children of the future, beware. Justin announced today that he would love for he and I to play Santa and Mrs. Claus in 40 years. Actually, I think that would be pretty darn fun!

Waiting to see Santa:
With Santa and Mrs. Claus:
Crafts and Sack Race:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Baby Pictures!

4D Sonography has been around for a while, but I only recently experienced it with one of my own babies. I was chatting with the sonographer the other day as she checked out the anatomy of the baby, and I told her how silly Justin is; he thinks he can tell what the baby will look like from the sonograms. She laughed and said, "Now he'll really think he can," and switched to 4D. I gather that they can't tell as much about the really important stuff like anatomy from the 4D ultrasounds, and they can't really measure or anything, but man are they COOL. The black and white stills that she printed out are really neat, but seeing Baby, in color, on the big screen moving around in there was pretty surreal. He looks like a real baby! He was moving his arms all around in front of his face; it looked like he was sleepy and was rubbing his eyes! He probably was sleepy after all the moving around he was doing during the scan! In any case, the quality of these scans isn't the greatest, but you can get the general idea.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Follower

Today, on the playground:
Alexander: Mommy, this is my new friend. He's four. He is in charge of me. **runs off to follow friend**

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My baby lion?

Alexander: I wonder what the new baby is going to be.
Me: It's a boy, remember?
Alexander: Yeah. I wonder if it is going to be a boy lion or giraffe or cat or....
Me: I'm pretty sure he's going to be human.
Alexander: Yeah, or maybe human.

(Just for the record, I am 99.9% sure he was just being silly.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Nature Study

Alexander's preschool has a program called, "Read to me; Talk to Me," where the kids get to choose a book from the Bookmobile and bring it home for a few days. Each book will have questions and projects that the parents and kids can do together. This week, Alexander brought home a book about trees. His project was to take a walk through his neighborhood and choose his favorite tree. So, we packed up some supplies and set out for a nature study.

Alexander decided before setting out that his favorite tree would be a "conifers" tree, and he quickly found one that appealed to him. It was basically the first one he saw from our house; we walked all of 2 minutes. Silly kid.

We talked about where the roots, trunk, bark, and branches were on the tree and whether it had needles or leaves. He and Jack each drew a picture of the tree, and then we snacked on some goldfish, having worked up our appetites from all that walking. I can only hope that his enthusiasm for homework holds strong!

Monday, November 16, 2009

No-no Jack and the yellow shirt

Me: Jack, that is Alexander's shirt.
Jack: Oh. (Wipes his nose on shirt and hands it to his brother)

*Shrug* I get it. I'm a little sibling, too. ;)

A new name!

During Alexander's field trip to Fountain Rock Park, each of the kids was asked to choose a Native American name. Later, I told Justin about it, so he asked Alexander, "What is your Native American name?"

Alexander responded,"My Made In America name is Little Bee."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Floor turned Fort

We have these great interlocking blue mats in our "playroom" area, since we have hardwood floors on the main level. The other day I gave in and helped the kids turn the mats into a pretty nifty fort (usually I say, "That's the FLOOR! Leave it down!" when they try to play with it). They were very pleased with their fort and managed not to destroy it for maybe two hours. This is, in fact, noteworthy. These are two and four-year-old boys we're talking about! ;)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Field trip to Fountain Rock Park

I was excited to chaperon Alexander on his second field trip of the year on Monday, and once he realized that we were not going to a field, he was excited, too.

We went to nearby Fountain Rock Park, for a demonstration to coincide with the unit the kids had just finished on Native Americans. The presenter showed them a video about a family of Native Americans going on a turkey hunt, "took them back in time" to when Native Americans lived here, and talked about how life had been different for them. The kids got to try on various Native American garb, and Alexander modeled the boys' clothing. They also learned how the Native Americans used clay on their skin as a bug repellent and sunscreen and got to try some out. They each made a bead necklace, got to grind corn, play Native American instruments, and use a Native American drill. As a special treat, they also got to meet the Nature Center's 6-foot snake, and every one of the kids was brave enough to touch it. Alexander also examined the beehive. Last, we all went on our own turkey hunt. Fortunately, we didn't find any turkeys, but did locate the playground. I love getting the opportunity to do special things like this with Alexander!

Friday, November 13, 2009

He remembers!

Alexander: I liked your belly when it was flatter. That felt better.
Me: I know. It will be flatter again after the baby is born.
Alexander: Yeah, but then it will be crazy around here again.

This one made me a little sad. :(

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Confession of a Lazy Mom

We buy frozen juice concentrate. Occasionally I am so lazy that I don't bother to mix the concentrate with water in a pitcher. I just open the concentrate and put it in the fridge. When the kids want juice, I just pour some concentrate into their cup and then eyeball the added water.

Aren't you glad I'm around to make you feel better about yourself? ;)

Progress!

Today Jack spontaneously said, "Help me," and "Thank you, Mama." This would not be a big deal for most two-year-olds, but for Jack this is a big milestone! One of the reasons why he qualified for speech therapy was because he had never put two words together until very recently. In the past week or so, he has finally said, "Juice, please," and "Bye-bye, Dada." Those were awesome, but they were phrases that I had been specifically working on with him. Every time he would say "juice," I would say, "Juice please?" and I specifically modeled "Bye-bye, Dada," repeatedly to him. "Help me," and "Thank you, Mama," are especially awesome because they are not phrases that I have specifically been working on with him. I think the combination of the methods we've been learning in speech therapy and just the fact that he seems to finally be ready to speak are the reasons for his "speech spurt," but I am just really glad that he's starting to finally speak more. Yay, Jack!

Monday, November 9, 2009

World According to Xander

Justin: Have fun at school today!
Me: Yeah, we are going on a field trip today!
Alexander: But I don't even like fields!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I am sooo outnumbered!

For those of you who may not be my "Facebook friends," and for posterity, I would like to announce that we found out on Tuesday that our third child will also be our third BOY. Trust me, it was pretty obvious in the ultrasound even to my untrained eye. ;) I've requested the immediate installation of urinals in every bathroom. We are not at all disappointed, and are very excited to meet our third son. We will likely name him Kai (rhymes with sky) Davon (David+Vernon/ combo of our dads' names/ prounounced like David but with an "n" at the end). Maybe I'll change my blog name to "4+1=Me Outnumbered!"