Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 in Review


We started the new year organizing. Don's tool collection paid off when he built us a beautiful entertainment center.

The boys were slowly but surely getting to be best friends with the trains of Sodor Island. Thomas and his friends were the new favorite toys to take on car rides.


In February, the boys started doing boy things, making monster pictures while using monster voices.

We also had some family in town

and once again, Jax needed to sleep with gloves on to help him not touch the "boo-boo" on his forehead.


We finally gave in and planted a garden.

Beautiful baby Elise was born

And Uncle Carl and Donny came into town and really left an impression on the boys.


Aunt Leigha invites us to her work and it becomes the boys new "special place" to go to.

Don's work hits him with a 7 week lay off -giving him 7 weeks to hang out and teach the boys stuff that only Dad knows.


The boys turn four, meet Mickey Mouse and have their first water fight.

We also see (and meet) more family in one month than ever before. We drive to to states of California, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana and New York to see as much family as we can.


We finish our Road Trip 2009 after visiting more family in New York, Virgina, North Carolina and New Mexico, not to mention stopping to see the sites in both Washington DC and Texas.

By then, I am sure the boys have peed on the side of the road in at least 20 states (no, really) and am ready to get home.

Unfortunately after we get home, our Belle girl passes away a week later.


We spend most days at the community pool and the boys turn into half fish

And we continue to eat the vegetables of our labor.


Our last summer road trip is to Huntington Beach.

But luckily at home the boys have plenty of trains and tracks to keep them busy before school starts.


Don and I celebrate a decade of love and marriage.

Then a trip of so much happiness mixed with much sadness as we we drive half way across the United States to bury two of our Grandmothers.


My Dad introduced the boys to some bad (albeit funny) manners when he put their faces AND HIS own in my moms birthday cake.

The rest of the month was all about putting on a fantastic Halloween party.


Seems to be a month that I get to refocus on me. A long weekend in New York allows me to see my favorite gals and get back to my roots.

Days later, my mom and I have another open house of our sewing business.


It has been so much fun creating the magic of Christmas for the boys. We have been very blessed this month with so many friends and family around us. Just an over all feeling of "life is good".

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Taking a Break

After a little while of racing each other and playing chase games while shouting something about a "pineapple head", the boys will put their bikes down and lay on the sidewalk. One by one they went, first was Lucas, looking so cute. I took my phone out to take a picture and immediately his serene expression was gone, and here came the, "really mom, I am more than a pretty face" look.

In just moments after that picture of Lucas, Wyatt and Jaxon joined him on the sidewalk. They were all laying there chatting like four year olds do -and then they noticed the clouds above. I wish I could remember what they thought those clouds looked like, but it was weird things, like "our house" or "lots of bikes" and more things that come straight from a four year old imagination.

I did not bring my camera, but this moment was too cute not to capture at least with the camera on my phone!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Biker Boys

It is amazing to me that just days before Christmas I had three little 4 year old boys. And now that I see them riding their bikes and new scooters (thank you Uncle Carl!) around, they seem so much older and bigger to me!

The boys LOVE their new bikes. Morning, noon and night, they want to be outside riding around on them. Amazingly, they also love their bike gear of helmets, knee pads and elbow pads. Between the three of them, I can not count how many spills were saved by their elbow or knee pads. On only the second day of riding around on their bikes, Wyatt fell off his bike and I am pretty certain I saw him flip upside down like a somersault as he fell. The back of his head banged into the curbside, so I am glad we decided to go with the helmets after all. It seemed like overkill in the beginning (and was quite the expense when multiplying it by three) but well worth it. We also purchased some orange traffic cones that we put out while the boys ride. The boys love to ride down the driveway, so it helps to give the boys boundaries of where to stop as well as let the neighbors know there are little ones around.

Wyatt is about one inch shorter than the others, but the difference really seems to hinder him on his bike. He seems to have the hardest time getting his weight behind the pedals when he starts to ride. Once he starts though, he is on a roll and stays steady. But when he does fall, he loves to point out that his safety gear stopped him from getting hurt.

Lucas is our pit crew man. Whenever he sees one of his brothers needing help -whether they fell off their bikes, or got stuck- he jumps off his own bike and quickly runs to the rescue. After a quick push or lift up, he runs back to his own bike and rides off. He also seems to be set "free" while riding. He likes to start races and games of chase while on the bikes. His playful side really seems to shine while he rides around.

Jaxon also has really taken to the riding down the driveway. He tests his limits, driving very close to Don on one occasion and constantly giving his brothers a close call with his near drive bys. We are unsure if he is being daring or just happens to be the close so often, but we are glad there haven't been any crashes yet.

All the sudden they seem so big! It is crazy that just putting them on bikes can add so much to their age!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas!

This year the subject of writing Santa a letter started coming up in late October. I am not sure how they even fathomed the idea of lists, but they had their list of what they wanted. The subject of asking Santa for toys came up on just about every long car ride. Since the list included about 20 Thomas trains, we decided our rule would be they could ask Santa for ONE present each.

Each boy picked one train (which we knew would happen) and Don and I decided it would be great for Santa to get them a bike as well. Unfortunately, any time we brought up the subject of asking Santa for a bike, they boys objected to it, saying that they wanted to ask Santa for a train. They are single track minded boys, so we just went with it and hoped they would be happy about the bikes (and trains of course) on Christmas morning.

First thing on our Christmas morning, I heard Jaxon's feet running in the hall. He ran up to our bed and excitedly whispered, "Daddy, Daddy! I looked downstairs and I see BIKES! Santa brought us bikes!". We woke up and got excited with him, but told him he would have to sit tight until his brothers were awake and we could all go downstairs together. Luckily they woke up soon after and we all got ready to go see what Santa had left them.

They were thrilled to see not only did Santa bring the bikes, but he also packed their trains in their stockings! The boys were so excited and ready to call it a day at that! We reminded them that there were more presents waiting for them, including one special present for each boy. This would be the first time we ever gave one child a toy to be their toy only -for them to decide about sharing it. Jaxon got a punching bag, Lucas got a Thomas the train laptop, and Wyatt got Diego's Rescue Pack.

It was a fun morning followed by a trip to Einstein Bagels and a day of bike riding. A very Merry Christmas indeed.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Not quite Christmas

Christmas morning arrived with no rush and craziness like most homes. Don was working and our plan was to go back to my parents for breakfast and then to open presents there. Santa would come to our house on the night of the 25th, so Don could be there to see the kids get their presents form Santa. Luckily, the kids are too young to know details like these, not to mention I doubt they had a problem with three planned days of present opening instead of two.

Phenomenally, even though Don had to drive two hours to and from work on Christmas day, he was home by 10am! When I heard he could be home that early, the decision was made to wait for him at home instead of meeting him at my parents house. The boys were so excited to see him and after he showered, we were on our way to celebrate!

When we got to Nana and Pops house we cooked up a yummy breakfast. There was no rush to get to the presents, and the whole morning just felt so peaceful and enjoyed it at our own pace. After breakfast, we moved into the front room to pick our spots to open our gifts in.

The boys opened their gifts slowly at first, wanting to open every package that they received, fully taking it in. Their pace picked up a bit until the last gift they got that they opened like a piranha eating for the first time in days! Razor scooters, dominoes, a big pop up Thomas train, an ant farm and so much other fun stuff just got such big reactions out of them all.

For the rest of the day we watched Planet Earth movies (one of my gifts) while making dinner and playing with the boys new toys. Dinner was a yummy ham with lots of wonderful sides including my special stuffing. Our tummies and hearts were full (so full we never had pie!), and the only way we could get the kids to leave Nana and Pops after such a great day was with the promise of Santa coming to our house that very night.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

This Christmas Eve we spent the evening celebrating at Nana and Pops house (my parents). It was a great night with family friends, new neighbors and the regular family crowd of cousins, aunts and uncles all around.

The food was fantastic and plentiful! Aunt Judy brought her famous "Hurl dip", that as always hits the right spot. Lucas was just looking forward to eating "orange chips" (Doritos) and got much more than he bargained for with all the cookies, chips, crackers, and other finger food he could reach. Don made his Oreo cheesecake again, and my mom filled out all the main food including pot stickers and some yummy bbq beef sandwiches!

Most of the night, the kids were out of site playing with one another, the boys happy for any opportunity to play with their cousin Reagan. We would see them come around the kitchen when they wanted another handful of food, or help Nana cook some more food, but it was so great to catch up with all the other adults while the kids occupied each other.

Soon it was time to watch the kids open their presents. Of course they were thrilled with the cool little skaters and marshmallow shooters they had received. After the presents came a quick sugar rush and Pops seemed to be right in the center of it all. All four kids were climbing up his standing body and doing somersaults off him. Soon enough, it just turned into plain ole wrestling and before the boys (or Pops) got hurt one way or another, we wrangled them up and headed out the door. After all, tomorrow was a big day!