Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Day

I am kind of mad at myself that I didn't document the morning better. I took just a few pictures of the kids in their excitement and then I think I got caught up in it all and forgot about the camera.

I took a few pictures the night before of everything set up. The one picture is a close-up of James' stocking that my mom made for him this year. I think it turned out so cute!

Avery giggled as she ran down the stairs to see what Santa had brought. She just stood and took everything in for a little while. James was pretty wide-eyed through the whole morning. He loved all of the bright paper.

Christmas was a great success!! Avery got some Littlest Pet shop things, some cars, books, puzzles, make-up, play dough toys, Hungry Hungry Hippos, and various other things. James got a big stuffed doggy, new bibs and bottles and treats, a transformer (or was that for Al...?), lots of Thomas Train pieces, books, and a little fisher price table thingy that plays songs, etc. and various other surprises. They could not have been happier. I will post pictures soon of them playing with their toys.

After the opening of the presents we had a huge Christmas breakfast and then spent the rest of the day in our pajamas watching movies, dozing off on the couch, playing with the new toys, and eating.

Christmas Eve

Al was on-call on the 24th, so we celebrated Christmas on the 25th and 26th. I baked most of the 24th while my mom finished the painting. Then on the 25th we cleaned the house and made all of the party food for that night.

After dinner we all opened our traditional present of new pajamas and were excited to put them on.

Then we let Avery open one more present for the night. She had been so patient this whole month and has not bothered the presents at all or even asked if she could open one. I was really surprised by that. James on the other hand managed to rip into a few before the big night.

We sang some carols and read some Christmas stories and then put the kids in bed. Avery was really cute about leaving a plate of cookies for Santa. She also reminded me that we needed to leave a glass of milk, so I poured a small glass for Avery and she put the cookies, the milk, and her letter for Santa on the fireplace before we tucked her into bed. I thought she would have trouble sleeping, but she went to bed quickly and slept through the whole night!

The adults then watched A Christmas Carol and wrapped a few more presents and got everything set up for the next morning.

This was the first year since I was growing up that we weren't with a huge group for Christmas eve, and my first Christmas ever that I was 'away from home.' It was all kind of bittersweet. I am so glad that my parents were there. It was so much fun having them at our house for Christmas.

We've Been Busy

Here are some pictures from the week before Christmas.

We were really busy! Al had from the 14th-20th off from work and my parents flew in late on the 16th. I had already taped a lot of the rooms that we were going to paint, but there was still some work that needed to be done. We spent a lot of the week getting the painting supplies, painting, celebrating my dad's birthday, finishing Christmas shopping, driving around looking at Christmas lights, etc.

We also squeezed in a trip to the galleria and my mom and I took Avery to see Princess and the Frog, which we all thought was cute. Oh, and my parents babysat while we went to New Moon! It has been sooo long since Al and I have been out on a date...I think the last time was last December when we were home for Christmas.

James outgrew his infant carseat. The straps were maxed out and were so tight on him that he cried when we put him in the carseat. So we went and bought Avery a booster seat and switched James into Avery's old carseat. As you can see, both seem really happy with the change.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Into Trouble

James is starting to get into everything. He doesn't crawl yet, but he is army crawling everywhere. He is getting fast too. This morning I was in the kitchen loading the dishwasher. When I came out James had taken off the snowflake ornament, yanked the ribbon off of the bottom of the Christmas tree, and unrolled a whole bolt of silver ribbon.

I came around the corner and exclaimed, "James!!" He looked up at me and gave me the biggest grin. So of course I had to go and get the camera, only he wouldn't smile after that. He also discovered the fireplace today and has been trying to get into that. I guess somehow I will have to block that off. The tree...well, there isn't much I can do about that. He is just so curious about it. He doesn't even mind that it is kinda pokey. He will just grab a bottom limb and give it a good yank. Then the whole tree kinda shakes a little bit. He seems to get great enjoyment out of that. Sometimes he just lies underneath the tree and stares up at all of the lights and ornaments. I remember when Avery was a baby she was intrigued by the tree too, but she didn't like the way it felt so she never really bothered it. I can see James is a different story.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Let it Snow!!

It snowed on Friday! I guess it was in the news and everything. It only snows here about once every seven years or so. My visiting teacher said that when they were kids it snowed one day and they let everybody out of school so that they could see it. Most of the kids had never even seen snow before!

As you can see in the pictures Avery was absolutely elated. She said, "Mom, it's winter now!!" And then she belted out Frosty the Snowman. Avery has said a lot in the past, and then reminded me at that time, "Mom, you know I like the cold weather." I do too :)

It snowed almost all day on Friday, but was mostly gone by that night. It really is crazy, but the whole city seemed to almost shut down. We were downtown visiting Jon and Jessie and were headed back to our house during the rush hour window. I said that I was worried about the traffic and how the kids would handle it. Jon said, "I don't think there is going to be any traffic today." Sure enough it was like a ghost town. There were a few cars out on the highway, but that was it. The snow hadn't even stuck to the ground downtown! And the valet at the hotel I picked Jessie up at warned her that she probably didn't want to go outside because there was a 'blizzard' going on. Jessie said that she would probably be able to manage it. If they only knew...

Avery was so sad for the snow to melt. She was really concerned that we wouldn't have Christmas because there is no snow now. I told her that it didn't matter and I think she is okay now. Poor little thing.

We had a blast with Jon and Jessie this weekend. Lots of hanging out at the house, showing them around Pearland, eating, shopping, etc. Jon is here for another week, but Jessie flew home yesterday. We always love having company :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A Perk

We've had a few colder days here lately (50's-60's) which is our new sweater and coat weather. Avery keeps asking me when is it going to snow and talks about making snowmen and how she can't wait. Sigh. I have been telling her that it is too hot in Houston for snow. So the other day on the way to preschool she said, "Mom, it doesn't snow in Houston. It snows in Utah." I said that's right. is supposed to maybe snow tomorrow night!!! Crazy, huh? I don't dare tell Avery, in case it doesn't happen.

But one of the perks of being in this climate is the fruit. The other day our friend brought over a bunch of bananas off of the banana tree that is in their backyard. I've never had bananas like that before! They were so good.

Also, our next door neighbor has a grapefruit tree in her backyard. Part of the tree hangs over the fence into our yard. I'm thinking that those grapefruit are fair game, and they look about ready for picking :)