Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

At our house, at least. This is the first year that we have gotten our Christmas tree and put up the decorations before December 1st. I feel like there is so little time between now and Christmas. We have gone out of town for the past few Thanksgivings so we decided to take advantage of being here this year.

Todd did the outside of the house while Michael and I concentrated on the inside. We were able to finish almost all of it in one day. And we even put the boxes away after we put the decorations out, which is a first!

Here are a few pictures getting ready for Christmas:

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving Recap

We went to Todd's parents to celebrate Thanksgiving. We were joined by his brothers, sister-in-law, niece and nephew. We ate the traditional turkey, dressing and mashed potatoes. We also had a variety of desserts, including pumpkin pie and several cakes. It was nice to be able to relax and spend time with family. Michael and Katie had a great time playing with their cousins too.

Thursday night I went out shopping for Black Friday. I went to Toys R Us first. After waiting in line for almost 2 hours, I went into the store, walked around and headed out to the next stop. I went to Walmart next and got a few deals that started at midnight. I left there and went to CVS to pick up a few deals there since I had some time until Target opened at 4am. I was in line for Target before the doors opened. I was in the store by 4:05 and checked out by 4:15. I headed home after that as I exhausted for being up for almost 24 hours!

Friday morning Todd got up with the kids while I slept in. When I got up, I was feeling terrible. I had some sort of stomach flu that kept me in bed all day Friday. Luckily Todd took care of the kids while I slept and recovered.

Saturday, we went out to get our Christmas tree. We decided to do this early since there are only 4 weeks until Christmas. Michael was so excited to get the tree. He asked if Christmas was going to be tomorrow since we were getting our tree now. It was so cute! We found a tree at the second place we looked and got it in the stand last night.

When Michael woke up this morning, he wanted to decorate the tree. So Todd and Michael put the lights on the tree. Then Michael and I put the ornaments on it after that. We talked about the different ornaments and where they came from. I let Michael put most of his ornaments on the tree. Of course, we had to put most of them out of reach of Katie too!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Trying to get a head start this year

Every year I say that I am going to get a head start on Christmas cards and I always wait until the last minute. Well, this year is going to be different.

I just love photo holiday cards because I send a lot to family and friends who live far away. Photo cards are a great way for them to see how our family has grown and changed over the past year. Shutterfly has a great selection of cards to choose from. Not only do they offer photo cards but they also have photo gifts and calendars for the holidays.

They have traditional cards, as well as modern cards. They use bold, bright colors to make your photos stand out. They also offer many great deals on cards and other items at the holidays, which makes Shutterfly even more appealing to me. With the wide variety of cards to choose from, I know where I will be getting our holiday cards from this year!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Tuesday also marked the half birthday for Michael on the way to 5 years old. I am such a numbers person and think it's so neat that Todd, Michael and Katie are all born on the 16th of their birth month.

4.5 years old brings its' share of ups and downs, just like every other age before it. Michael can be a great helper when he wants to. He loves to help with Katie and gets upset when she doesn't want his help. I can finally ask him to do something and he does it. Some days he doesn't want to help at all though and it can be quite frustrating and I feel like I am talking to a wall.

He still enjoys puzzles and being read to. He can play independently for at least 30 minutes with his toys. Todd recently fixed up an old computer we had and set it up in the family room. Michael has loved to play Cars on the computer and we are looking for some new games to show him. He was so excited to get his very own computer! While he plays games, Katie sits there and watches him. He explains the rules to her and she is his own cheering section.

Michael has mastered getting dressed. The only thing he can't do is to tie his shoes. And he is now washing his own body during bathtime. After he eats a meal, he will bring his cup and plate into the kitchen. He also buckles the top clip on his carseat and fixes the bottom buckles so all I have to do is clip them.

He still enjoys going to preschool every day. I try to get information from him about what goes on during the day but he doesn't share very much. Thank goodness for the daily notes! I do know that they are working on learning their letters and numbers. So far Michael seems to be much more interested in numbers than letters, which doesn't surprise me.

He has started stretching the truth a bit about some things and will often ask us if we are joking when we tell him something that he isn't crazy about doing. He expresses his dislike for doing some things and lets us know it. When he gets upset, he can't always control it but he is very sorry after it happens. He also seems to be in tune with other people's emotions and always knows the right thing to say to calm me down.

Michael is a very loving little boy and loves giving hugs and kisses. And we love getting them!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

2/3 of the way to 2

Katie turned 20 months old today. Since she is tall for her age and has a full head of hair, people often think that she is already 2. I don't want to rush her growing up and she has already started to become more independent. She is showing some of the 2 year old behaviors already though, like screaming to try to get her way.

Her language skills continue to develop rapidly. I am able to have mini conversations with her about food, sleep and what she wants to do. I ask her if she is hungry and she will tell me what she wants to eat. After eating her dinner, she can see the Elmo candy bucket on top of the fridge. She will start to chant "Elmo" until you give in with the candy or take it out of her sight. When it's time to go somewhere, I ask her to get ready and she does. She will also hold your hand when walking in the store instead of running away. One day last week she pointed to the frog in her room and said "look, water". I was shocked!

Katie has taken her love for climbing to new levels. She now climbs on the chair at Michael's little table to gain access to the countertops. And she is now picking up the stool in the kitchen to move it to get what she wants.

We have started sitting Katie on the potty on a daily basis, either before bath or naps. She will sit on it sometimes for a few minutes. She will tell you that she has to pee and ask for Elmo potty. However, when she is asking, I think that's when she is peeing. I am hoping that she will be fairly easy to train as she can communicate her needs. And she is pretty obvious about when she is going #2 in her diaper since she hides or walks up to a wall and is still for more than 2 seconds.

Her relationship with Michael continues to develop. She calls for him by name and loves to watch him play the Cars game on the computer. He explains it to her and she just laughs when she is not watching him intently. She asks about Daddy all day and walks around saying "Daddy happy". It's so cute!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lessons Learned

Yesterday we went to a birthday party for one of Michael's classmates. One of the things that they did at the party was to roast marshmallows to make smores. On the table were the other ingredients for the smores: the graham crackers and the chocolate bars.

The kids were playing in the yard after the birthday boy opened his presents. I kept noticing Michael going over to the table where the chocolate was. He was taking a few squares of the chocolate bar at a time. I told him not to eat so much candy but I figured he wasn't eating that much. And we let him eat as much candy as he wanted on Halloween and he was fine.

Fast forward to this morning. Michael woke up around 7:00, complaining of a stomach ache. He kept saying that he was hot too and was trying to get on to the cool sheets. Next thing I know he is heading to the bathroom to get sick. I asked him if he felt better and he said that he was worried about getting sick on the grass at school. He is home today and seems to be doing much better now.

Lesson learned: there can be such a thing as too much chocolate!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Things to be thankful for

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. And a cold is making its' way through our family again for the second time in less than a month. It started with Katie last time and Michael this time.

Michael has had a cough for a few days now and I have been monitoring it to make sure that it's not getting any worse. As he gets older, he is really doing well with covering his mouth while coughing. Unfortunately, that didn't stop the germs from spreading to Katie. She is mainly affected with a runny nose but also has the cough. It's causing her to eat poorly and her sleep schedule is off. And now Todd thinks that he may be getting the cold as well.

I am thankful that I generally don't seem to get these colds. I am exposed to them as much as everyone else but I seem to have a good immune system. And that's a blessing because someone has to be healthy to take care of everyone else when they are sick. Let's hope that this round of sickness leaves the house before Thanksgiving and then we can really be thankful!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Time Change

Last night was the end of Daylight Savings Time for this year. Before we had kids, I used to love the time change in the fall. It meant being able to stay up later at night and still get an extra hour of sleep. Now it just means that the kids get up earlier than they normally would. I feel like they should be tired and go to bed an hour earlier but I think that would keep the cycle going. Hopefully it won't take them too long to adjust to the change. Michael knows that he can't get up until it's light outside so I wonder how this is going to affect him.

The beauty of this year was that Todd let me sleep in today. It's been a while since I have slept in and it was most welcome on this day. I heard Michael up shortly before 8:00 old time, which would be 7:00 new time. I think Katie got up about 30-45 minutes later. I slept in until 10:00, new time. It felt so good to get the extra rest, especially since Michael was up twice last night due to his cough. Thanks to Todd for taking one for the team! It made Daylight Savings Time go much smoother this year.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Michael's First Trophy

This fall, Michael played his first organized sport, soccer, at a local park. His team was the Fury and he played with 9 other boys and girls. The final game was on Monday night and they had a team dinner to celebrate the end of the season last night.

All of the kids sat at one table and the adults sat at another one. The dinner was at a local pizza buffet. After the kids were done eating, the coaches called each child's name. They received a trophy and a certificate for participating. Michael proudly accepted his trophy. He kept looking at it today at home and pointed out that the player was wearing a shirt with buttons and his did not have any.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Recap 2010

This year it seemed like the Halloween festivities never ended. And this was a good thing.

It started on Friday at Michael's preschool. They had a parade for all of the kids and then each classroom had their own party. Michael was dressed as Spiderman, which was the same as his best friend Connor, except that Connor's costume had muscles. It was so fun to see everyone in their costumes. Katie was wearing a Halloween outfit of a cat t-shirt with black pants with a pumpkin on them.

Friday afternoon we made our tie-dyed pumpkin t-shirts. Michael had fun stirring up the hot water with the dye in it. Once we took them out of the dye, we rinsed the shirts, washed and dried them. I drew the faces on the shirts for everyone to wear. That night, we went to a local church to pick out pumpkins. Since it was late in the season, we were only able to get small pumpkins for the kids. Katie did say "pumpkin", which was a new word for her.

Saturday afternoon I took Michael out to Publix, a local grocery store, for Trick or Treating. Each of the store's departments gave out candy and Michael got a balloon and silly bands. He had fun walking around the store in his costume.

Sunday night we had our neighborhood Trick or Treating. Todd's parents came over, along with some of our friends and their kids. We set out in a big group and went through a few sections of our neighborhood. Katie sat in the stroller and was perfectly happy to be pushed around in it. We quickly found out why. She was eating candy from her Elmo basket, wrapper and all! After she ate 2 pieces that way, we started putting the candy in the basket under the stroller.

Michael did pretty well going to quite a few houses and he walked the whole way, which was even more impressive. When we got back to our street, Todd gave him the choice of going to a few more houses or heading home. He chose going home so he could eat his candy. On Halloween night, we let Michael eat as much candy as he wants and then put the rest away to be eaten over the next few weeks. Michael told us how much fun he had this year. I think that we all did!