I thought it would be fun to have the kids make Christmas cookies for their teachers this year:
Colin got ahold of the mitten-shaped cookie cutter, and loved it so much that I finally had to stop him. There were just too many mittens! ;) Plus he didn't quite get the concept of using it each time on a fresh piece of dough, so he kept stamping it over and oved in the same spot.
Connor mentioned making a gingerbread house a few weeks ago. I found this one at Michaels. I had thought about doing a real one, but this way, he could keep it in his room if he wanted. to. Instead, he wanted it to sit on the bay window so that he can look at it when he eats.
There were two gingerbread people that came with it, but he likes to play with them, so they aren't living in the house right now. ;)
Keira is scared of the real Santa and of fake elves. Apparently she is also now scared of toy Santas as well. And Santa ornaments. My mom has a small tree in the living room that is decorated with only Santas. Keira does not like this tree. Yesterday, Mom had the twins because they have colds (which they graciously shared with me). Anyway, there is basket of Christmas toys that can be played with under supervision (plastic snowglobes, Santa dolls, etc.) Keira was immediately scared of the two Santa dolls, so my mom told Colin to follow her and they would put the dolls away so Keira wouldn't have to be scared anymore. Colin said ok, and started to follow my mom. My mom suddenly heard screaming. She turned around, and saw Colin chasing Keira around, trying to touch her with the Santa. Sneaky little fellow.
Mom called me yesterday, during the twins' naptime. She said I would never guess where she found Colin. At once, i…
Today is my birthday. The nice thing about having a birthday on a Monday is that you get to have a birthday weekend!
On Saturday, my sister, mom, and I went to a Victorian Christmas (in a nearby town, there is an old house owned by the historical society and every Christmas, they decorate the house and you can tour it.) The plan had been to have dinner with my family to celebrate my birthday and my dad's birthday (on Wednesday) yesterday. But we figured he would be called out to snowplow (he was - he works for the DOT), so we moved it to Saturday night. We had lasagna and then birthday cake! My parents got me a beautiful ring, along with a sweater and a shirt. My sister gave me a brown sweater, some french vanilla coffee, and Lover Mine in paperback to add to my BDB collection.
On Sunday. as I was upstairs putting laundry away, I heard whispered voices downstairs. A few minutes later, all three kids came up singing happy birthday and giving me their homemade cards. (I kind of …
I know that for some, this is not the time of giving, but the time of being overly stressed out about all the thousands of things that need to be done. As a mother of 3 young children, I am used to having a to-do list a mile long, so I don't find that my stress is anymore apparent than during the other months. I have noticed though that I now have a lot more deadlines! Packages to be mailed, cards to be ordered (DONE!), cards to be mailed (almost!), Christmas shopping to be completed, and presents to be wrapped.
Some of the ways that I try to make this time of year less stressful (or perhaps that should say - ways that I try not to add to the stress already living inside me) are easy things to do, if you just commit. And start planning a little early.
Create a budget. By October, we had money set aside that we would use for Christmas shopping. I also created an Excel spreadsheet that helps me keep track of the budget. Working with cash is also useful because I can see what…
A few years ago (before all the Hallmark hoopla), I read a blog about some mom who had an elf come visit her children every year around Christmas. I loved the idea, so I borrowed an elf from my mom's collection of old Christmas stuff and waited until Connor was older.
This year, our elf came to visit on the first of December. His first hiding spot was in the downstairs bathroom, as a hint to the kids to be good while getting ready for bed. (In the evenings, there is a lot of arguing - and screaming and crying - about who gets to brush their teeth first. Why, I have no idea.) Anyway, the kids loved to see him. A few days later, he had made his way upstairs.
Connor noticed him first and mentioned how the elf was now upstairs. I told him that sometimes elves can be sneaky and they never want us to see them move. So they wait until we aren't looking, then they jump to a different spot.
That's as far as she got. Then she burst into tears and ran away. So we've got no pictures of the kids with Santa. She still walks around the house saying, "No Oh-ho (Santa). No like him. He go away." ****************************************** We did get some nice family shots though. Ok, well at least I look nice. The other two know that Santa is still nearby.
We had the opportunity to visit a local Polar Express. The train is an open train, which meant we bundled up with blankets as we rode around the lake. Keira was missing from our party - my dad took her home early due to her not feeling well. (Turns out she had pink eye, a middle ear infection, and a sinus infection!)
Colin doesn't look like it, but he was having a great time on the train. The kids really liked the tunnel, as well as the hot chocolate we got after the ride!
On December 6, we celebrate St. Nick's Day. This is a tradition I grew up with. I remember my mom having us put our shoes by the door before bed and then waking up the next morning and seeing a small present or two inside.
This year, I had to modify it a little because mornings are rushed, and Connor leaves with Keith before the twins are up. So yesterday at the twins' nap time, I had the kids put their boots outside, then Connor went downstairs to watch his new favorite movie, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. When the twins woke up, I told Connor to look outside the door.
They each got a Christmas book and a shirt.
Please ignore the chaos behind Colin. That's how it looks on the weekends in my house. You get used to it. Sort of.
It started snowing Friday night. On Saturday, we woke up to a Winter Wonderland. As well as a smart daddy, who came home from work early on Friday to make sure all the outside Christmas lights were up and working on the house. ;) The kids walked around all morning in awe of what they saw outside the window.
Here are two shots of our tree. The top one is how it looks in the daylight. The bottom one is how it looks at night when I sit on the couch and admire it. There is a second half to the tree, but there are no ornaments on it anymore. Three little elfs keep stealing my ornaments and hanging them on other stuff. Or they throw them, while yelling "Catch the ball!" (Don't worry, only unbreakable ornaments are on the tree this year.)
Not the best picture, but here is our dollar store advent calendar. I'm making it more fun for the kids by inserting slips of paper into most of the slots with fun things to do. Yesterday was the Polar Express for daycare/school. Other things coming up are dinner on special Christmas Mickey Mouse plates, watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Holiday Lights at the Zoo, driving around to look at Christmas lights, making the gingerbread house, baking Christmas cookies... and tons more!
I thought that this month, I would celebrate my own 25 Days of Christmas.
Some days will be posts about the children and their preparations for Christmas (and Santa!). Other posts will talk about the holiday, traditions, and other fun things! Today I want to share a quote about the season of Christmas. Because to me, it's a whole season, not just one day. It's a feeling, one that resides deep in your soul, that you must cling to and remember the whole year, not just in December.
Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time. ~Laura Ingalls Wilder
This past weekend, my wonderful sister-in-law offered to give us our Christmas (and my birthday) gifts a little early. She got Keith and I tickets for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I have to say, they put on an awesome concert. We had pretty good balcony seats - 3rd row - so we got a great view of everything.
I'd really like to make this a yearly thing with Keith. Although, he is the guy who sat next to me, barely moving throughout the performance. (But he barely moved his head at Slayer either - he just doesn't show his excitement at concerts!) The man next to me was more my people, I told Keith. He actually seemed to enjoy himself. ;) Anyway, I am so glad I got to see them again. It really got me into the holiday spirit!
This weekend, Colin brought home a special friend from school to spend time with us. Hermie the frog! The two of them (and Connor and Keira) had a great time together. Colin and Hermie got haircuts and rode in an airplane:
Had breakfast at Nana's: (Not the best picture because his eyes are closed - which he did on purpose - but his smile is so cute!) Racing cars down the make-shift ramp:
When I first had Connor, I made our Christmas cards. But once the twins came along, we barely had time to put up the Christmas tree and wrap the presents, much less worry about what I was sending out to family and friends. I was delighted to find that Shutterfly makes this process easy-peasy!
I had used Shutterly in the past for photo books (because who has time to make a baby book when you've got twins???) and calendars (which make my office at work seem more like home). As I looked at the other options on their site, I smiled when I saw the variety of holiday cards that they offer.
The thing about sending photo cards - which is what I like to do - is trying to get a nice family shot, where all the kids are looking at the camera AND smiling. At the same time. Which is near to impossible with a four-year old and two-year old twins. The nice thing about Shutterfly is that I am able to choose a format that allows me to use various pictures of the kids. So I can take 3 single…
When I got home from work, the kids saw the turkey pin I had on my coat. They got really excited because they know we get to go up to Gigi's (my grandmother) house for Thanksgiving. I'm trying to find an easy art project we can do this weekend so that the kids can make a centerpiece for Gigi's.
Last night, I went to my abs class. I left to one child screaming for me. That's normal. I got home, and Keith told me that Colin quieted down a few minutes after I left. Keith even went back in to check on him after he put Connor to bed, and Colin was happy in his crib. I went upstairs to check on the kids, like I normally do. No wonder Colin was so happy and quiet. Kids that are naked usually are. Pajama pants and diaper thrown haphazardly on the floor.
This morning, Keith took Connor to his mom's for the day, and the twins went to my mom's house. They were happily eating breakfast before we left. The thing is, on these rare moments, I get a glimpse of wha…