Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 33rd Birthday to Me!

33 years old today. Wow. Sounds very "grown up" to me. I don't really feel all that "grown up". But then I look around me at my four small kids and feel very much like a grown up! :)

One of the things I was most looking forward to on my birthday was getting away by MYSELF for a few hours! I went to get my haircut first (bangs again!!) and then to Kohls for some birthday shopping. Felt so good not to be rushed, not to have to take a 2 year old potty a hundred times, not to have to dole out snacks, not to have to break up fights. It was lovely :).

I always...and I do mean always...have macaroni and cheese for my birthday dinner. Its my very favorite food ever. Homemade. The best. But we had just had it on our Christmas day and while it certainly wouldn't have bothered me, I thought perhaps the rest of the family would enjoy something else along with it. So David grilled hamburgers and hotdogs as well as my mac & cheese (we tried Paula Deen's recipe this year!) It was a great birthday dinner!
That night I discovered that when David and I had gone out on a date a few nights before, Mom and the kids had been up to something! They had all made me cards that they were VERY excited to give me (this is the benefit to having your MOM here...she thinks of things like that!)
There's several of these pictures, but I love them. I love how they are all piled on top of me. I feel as though I live much of my life like this - and I am so grateful. But I don't often have pictures to show it because I'm usually taking the pictures!!!

The kids apparently had done some secret shopping at Target earlier in the week with Mom too...and kept it a surprise!! Some heart shaped wooden spoons (Tutu says they are NOT spanking spoons... :) )
...and some heart shaped silicon pans! I was so excited!

It was the year of jewelry...
I got different pieces of jewelry from all of my sisters! It was very special!
Then we headed outside to our cul-de-sac and enjoyed some fireworks with our neighbors. LOVE living on a court and LOVE our neighbors!!! (And love that it was this dark at 7:30 pm as opposed to having to wait until WAY after 9 or 10 pm in the summer for it to be dark enough for fireworks!!)
It quickly dawned on me that Caleb had never seen our little neighborhood fireworks shows or sparklers because he's always been in bed. In the summer, we have to wait so late to do the fireworks at the fourth of july so he's never gotten to do them. He was a little concerned...
...but gradually got braver...
...and then he absolutely loved them!! :)
Went back inside for homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting(is my husband amazing or what?) and mint chocolate chip ice cream. I know. Weird combination. But it's my two favorites and I had to have them - even if they aren't good "pairings".

This was the first year that the boys declared that they wanted to stay up to watch the ball drop. Jacob didn't make it at all - not surprising. He was asleep on the couch before 10 pm. Josiah was bound and determined. We quickly realized that the TV programming leading up to the Times Square ball drop is mostly trash and so we had the TV tuned to HGTV and Food Network until the last 20 seconds before the ball dropped :). He did enjoy a great game of Scrabble together with David and me. (I told David he was only allowed to play words that Josiah understood - none of these crazy Scrabble words that he plays against me that I've never heard of but that get him a zillion points). Josiah made it to midnight...but barely :) We were all glad to go to bed. Welcome 2012!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

We need an outing!!!

By the end of the week, I was feeling guilty that we had been such bums all week. Don't get me wrong - it was wonderful! - but I felt bad that we had hardly even left the house. So where do we go when we need an outing? To the zoo of course! :) The best free outing we've got going down here!

Mom and Callie in front of the newly painted purple wall :)
Feeding the giraffes

This was the first time that Caleb fed them! It was not crowded at all, and he only fed the baby giraffes, but he loved it!!!
A couple of turns on the carousel...

"Tutu, you are going high!"
First time Caleb fed the lorikeets too!!! He must have been showing off for Tutu!

Mom and the boys - it was a great day!
(PS - See mom in her winter coat? :) Cracks me up! My kids did have long sleeves - a bit of a cold front came through, but none of us were in jackets!)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Aaahhh...can you hear the sounds of relaxing?

We did a little reorganizing of Caleb's room. Got him a new shelf with some organizer bins, pulled out some big boy toys from the attic (legos!!) and put some baby stuff away. He was SO excited!
Had some help in making some of the most fabulous cookies ever! They were wonderful caramel unwrappers for me! :)
caramel stuffed apple cider cookies - delish!
And the best part of the day - Mom watched the kids for us so that we could go out to dinner and a movie to celebrate my birthday!! Aahhh...makes me happy! We went to Outback and then to see the new Mission Impossible movie - which was great. It was perfect! :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tutu and Caleb

I think she read this book (Brown Bear, Brown Bear) to Caleb a thousand times. He loved it! And kept asking for it again and again! :) Precious. Of course there is one page in it that will forever be read differently. The first time they read it together, he pointed to the animal and called it a "reindeer"...the page actually says some other random kind of deer. But it was Christmas time, and Tutu is NOT going to tell her grandson he's wrong. So it stayed a reindeer. She did warn me later "you might want to know that there is one page that I read a little bit differently and Caleb sort of likes it that way..." :) Thanks for the warning mom!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Some Bouncing and a Walk

It was so nice having the "events" behind us - the scheduled Church services, rehearsals, etc. We felt like we were really on vacation and could just relax and enjoy. Mom was staying through the week and we just enjoyed having her here and laid low.
David hung up the boys' karate belt displays that they got for Christmas...
We went to Monkey Joes and bounced for a while. I had a groupon that I had gotten months ago for half-price admission that was set to expire at the end of the year, so we took advantage of that deal and went to bounce out some of our energy.
Took a nice long walk around the neighborhood with our new rollerblades and scooter...
...and stopped to pet a cat we saw along the way.
That really was about the pace of our day. Nice and slow, not hurried or scheduled or rushed. What a refreshing change of pace! :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Different Christmas Day

Our church had one service on Christmas morning. And Mom, being as gracious as she is, had told David that she'd be happy to play if he needed her to. Of course he did - it's very hard to find people that are jumping up and down to do a Christmas morning service - and so mom accompanied the choir and praise team at church. Is she the best or what? I was so glad that we had decided to celebrate "our" Christmas the day before - because the kids were fine with going to church and didn't feel as though they were totally missing out on something. It worked out great.

I don't really remember the boys being dressed like this....oh well....

We came home from church and had leftovers for lunch. Not your typical Christmas day lunch (but again, we had already had that!). We put kids down for naps (who were TOTALLY wiped out from yesterday) and had a nice, quiet, leisurely afternoon.
Jacob worked on assembling some kind of motorized hopping rabbit that he got from my dad...
Callie made some pop-beads jewelry from my Mom...
Caleb enjoyed his new Tag Jr. books...and I enjoyed a nap!!
This was a fun Black Thursday deal that I had found. I've seen them everywhere and wondered about them. Got it for hardly anything on Thanksgiving at CVS and thought it would be a fun activity that all four kids could enjoy together.
They loved it!
It was fun seeing how each of them went about decorating it so differently, depending their personality :)
We had some fun game time that night and then watched a Christmas movie curled up on the couch.
A wonderful, relaxing, "other" Christmas day!