Friday, December 27, 2013

St. Nick

We talked Santa up for Jackson for a couple of weeks.  We told him how he would bring him a present, a "choo choo" was his desire.  He had seen him on lots of shows leading up to Christmas.  He knew he said "ho, ho!"  But I still wasn't sure how he'd react to the old man in person.  Well guess wait he walked right up to the old man and perched himself on his lap and was all smiles.  I don't think he got the words out, "choo, choo please!" like we rehearsed, so big brother had to tell Santa for him.  He didn't manage a "uh huh" when Santa confirmed with him if that was what he wanted.  Looks like our crying Santa pic days may be behind us for now.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Oh Christmas Tree!

We picked out our tree the Tuesday following Thanksgiving.  I was all prepped and ready for a magical night picking out our tree followed by dessert at San Francisco Creamery (which is actually in our hometown of Walnut Creek).  Instead we got two over excited little boys.  The littliest of which was running all around the tree lot, trying to make his way either into the adjoining store or the nearby parking lot.  Ben was only adding to the craziness by chasing him.  So our night really ended with a canceled ice cream date and me yelling at the boys in the car parking lot while James paid for the tree.  At least we got the tree right; silver lining.  
You know though, the good thing about parenthood is for as many lows or difficult moments, there are at least an equal amount of magical, good times.  And decorating the tree the next night was definitely one of those moments.  I let the boys do most of the work and didn't stress if it looked perfect.  Kinda a big deal for me.  While we decorated we rocked out to some Christmas jams, which has been blasting in our house since Thanksgiving.  There is nothing I love more about the holidays than the tree and sitting in our living room in the evening with the only light being that of the tiny twinkling lights on its branches.

Friday, December 6, 2013


We moved again and once again I've fallen behind on my blogging.  Lots to share about the new homestead and James' new job (we like change over here), but first I'll start with Thanksgiving.  Our morning started off super mellow with no Turkey Bowl this year for James.  Instead we slept in till nearly nine and then I made us a big breakfast.  Jackson was on the couch with James when James told me to come look at him.  I figured he wanted to show me something cute he was doing, instead sadly he wanted to put out how lethargic he looked.  Poor guy was running a 101 degree temp.  He otherwise seemed okay so we decided to carry on with our plans and packed up in the car to head to my parent's house.  Immediately both boys passed out in the car and Jackson pretty much spent Thanksgiving napping on and off all day at both grandparent's house.  He did perk up a bit during dinner but only ate a roll.  Thankfully by the next day he was feeling much much better.  Little sick spells sure do make you count your blessings and good health being a major one of those blessings.  I feel it every time I come out of a migraine.  I'm just so thankful for my little family, for our health, and for the countless blessings we receive.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Phineas & Ferb's Halloween Special

Favorite memories:
  • Ben was so self conscious about that orange hair of his.  For a little guy he is very concerned about what people think.  I'm working on it with him. 
  • We brought the stroller with us trick or treating but Jackson walked the whole time.  Mostly ran.   
  • Jackson also held his bag by himself the whole time.  I tried to take it from him as it filled up but he insisted.  Towards the end he was dragging it. 
  • Ben took great care of Jackson, holding his hand and leading him up to every house.  It started to get old, especially when Jackson became distracted by the decorations and costumes and was causing a delay in the candy receiving.  There may have been a house or two that Ben came back crying from.   
  •  Jackson's barely audible "trick treat" he learned to say just before the big day. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Carnival

When we lived in Danville Ben started to attend a fun Kids Night Out event at our town's rec center.  It was five hours of babysitting which included a pizza dinner, crafts, games, a dessert, and a movie.  He attended several here and then several at a club we attended.  When we moved he continuously asked when he could attend Kids Night Out again.  Finally it dawned on me, we should have one at our place.  It would give Ben a fun night with his friends, my friends a date night out, and me the chance to throw a little party every month (without taking on all the expense myself).  So with my in-laws permission to take over their house, last month we had our first one, "Falling into Autumn," where we did leave crafts and watched Disney's Up.  This month I went all out with a Halloween Carnival and had an absolute blast with all my cute guests.  All in all I had I believe 17 little guests (which luckily included five bigger kid helpers, who took their job very seriously and were a HUGE help).  I loved planning all the activities leading up and I LOVED watching the kids have fun, especially Ben.  He just beams when he is around his friends and it is so fun to kinda spy on how he is when he's with them.  Enjoy lots of pictures.
Carnival games included Graveyard Smash, Jack-o-Lantern Toss, Witch's Hat Toss, Can Crash, and Donut on a Rope (my absolute favorite, so funny to watch). 

I love how Ben is "flying" around in the background.  He was just ecstatic the whole time and so fun to watch. 
I found my little niece this sweet super girl costume online so decided to dress my boys to match her (with stuff we already had).  We sure do love these little super heroes of ours. 
My photo booth in action.  I love opportunities to create stuff with my hands.  I used to enjoy art a lot as a kid and always find it rewarding when I get the chance to do some every now and again.  I'll definitely hang on to this for future Halloween parties.  I think they are my very favortie kind to throw. 
These carmel apple slices were delicious (and the perfect size for little mouths; whoever eats a whole caramel apple anyway).  The mini chocolate chips put them over the top.  I have leftovers in my fridge still.  Must eat those tomorrow.  
Now here's the donut on a rope game I was talking about.  Totally nostalgic to me.  I can remember playing this at a Halloween party as a kid.  James on the other hand had never heard of it before.  The kids thought it was so funny and it was hilarious to watch them spinning around with their mouths opened wide trying to get a bite of the powdery goodness.  
After the carnival games, a pizza dinner, and lots of trampoline jumping we played freeze dance, mummy wrap (where the kids raced to wrap their mummy in toilet paper), and mummy says.  We partied outside until their was no light left and then took the party inside.  
The big kids asked if they could put on a play for the little kids and they had this whole scenario wherein three girls came knocking at an old man's house to trick-or-treat, where he captured one of them and turned her into frankengirl.  The littles were so entertained and laughing the whole time.  
Then we snuggled up to watch Alvin & the Chipmunks Meets the Wolfman (or something like that).  No, they didn't all sit and watch the movie the entire hour and a half.  Of course not.  But they were all in all good and the big kid helpers and I had the whole place (including outside) all clean before my last little guest left.  
Seriously a great time.  I have loved my last two months hosting these events, but sadly wont be able to continue them (at least not in Brentwood).  Our little family will be moving to the town of Walnut Creek in just a few days and I'm so excited, but also bittersweet to be leaving my amazing in-laws house and the great friends we've made/reconnected with.  But we will be back for visits.  And maybe if my mother-in-law doesn't mind, another Kids Night Out sometime!