Friday, December 31, 2010

The End of 2010

{FRIDAY} Tonight we celebrated Christmas at my in-laws as well as Laila's 2nd birthday! It was a fun time with family. Taylor and Landon walked away from the evening with their beloved Disney Princess and Spiderman bikes in tow. Taylor begs to ride her bike each and every day.

{SATURDAY} After opening gifts at home with the kids, we loaded up the car and headed to Chandler to be with my side of the family. Joann and Stephen made the most wonderful Christmas dinner. Later in the evening, we were able to take a couple of really good family photos to cherish forever. 

{SUNDAY} Even though it's a bit chilly outside, we took the kids for a bike ride around the block. Taylor is big enough to ride the bike on her own; Landon needs to be pushed as he steers. I was pushing Ryland in a push-trike which he loved!

{MONDAY} My blogging friend Katie introduced me to the world of pureeing. I never made my own baby food -- now I wish I kind of did because it is so much fun and gives me a "Martha Stewart" feeling. I pureed vegetables that were about to spoil and will be mixing them into meals like the kids' favorite Macaroni & Cheese. This week when I made their usual favorite, I added a bag of pureed sweet potatoes and no one noticed!

{TUESDAY} Christmas night my mom surprised me with a gift card to go towards the replacement laptop I w anted since Ryland broke the other one a couple of months ago. Hank paid the balance so that I could get the cute pink laptop I've been dreaming about. Yay! Such a wonderful gift.

{WEDNESDAY} Tonight a couple of my Project Life friends came over and we put our new 2011 albums together. We spent a couple of hours getting the albums ready and beautiful. And it was fun to have Britney and Brenda over for some girl time!

{THURSDAY} I was starting to feel overwhelmed by "stuff" so I started to take down decorations which in turn meant I would be taking down the Christmas tree. I usually wait until the New Year, but couldn't wait this time. I love our tree and all of the special ornaments I have collected over the years.

{FRIDAY} Today has been one of the most low-key New Year's Eve experiences yet. Our only outing today was to go to Chili's for dinner per Taylor's request. She chowed down on two ears of corn. That girl can eat he corn! Hank was feeling the need to get the kids in bed early so we can just sit back and relax and hopefully stay up til midnight. Man we're getting old! Here's to hoping that 2011 is a fabulous year!
Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Day

After we opened presents at home with the kids on Christmas Day, we headed down to Chandler to celebrate Christmas with my side of the family. The kids played well together and my brother Stephen and Joann hosted us for dinner. My Dad said this was his favorite Christmas memory so that makes me very happy.

As I was posting the photos above, I noticed that Taylor even made a silly face in our crazy family photo. She is so cute and cracks me up. Poor little Christopher was picked up by crazy Uncle Hank and had the "deer in the headlight" look in the photo. So sweet!
Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve we headed over to my in-laws to celebrate Christmas and Laila's 2nd Birthday. It was such a fun time to be with everyone and watch the kids as they opened their presents. Taylor and Landon received their first bikes with training wheels and Ryland got a Polaris push bike. The best part of the holidays is just being together as a family. We are blessed.

Santa Arrived!

Loving Elmo

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Week Before Christmas

{FRIDAY} Taylor was invited to her preschool buddy Bella's birthday party in the park. Bella is so cute and her older sister just might be our future babysitter. Bella's family is wonderful!

{SATURDAY} Tonight Taylor debuted her tap dancing skills at Glendale Glitters. I didn't know if Taylor would become shy and scared once she saw the crowd or if she would even remember the dance steps. But she did a great job and made us all proud! Her whole family was there to cheer her on.

{SUNDAY} I took Ryland to urgent care because a croup-like cough came on out of nowhere and I didn't think he could make it throughout the night without seeing a doctor. So I bundled him up and headed off to urgent care. His coughing on the way there was so deep and strong that he ended up throwing up over his entire outfit. Finally heading home at 4:00 am, he was diagnosed with croup and an ear infection. Poor baby!

{MONDAY} Ryland is feeling much better today. In fact, he felt so good he was playing kissy face with the little dancing snow woman we have in our entry way. He kept kissing her and try to bite her carrot nose. Glad he is back to his normal self!

{TUESDAY} Can I just say that I am blown away. Today Taylor showed me that she knows how to write her own name and how to write "mom". I knew that at preschool, the teachers were working on getting the students to write their names by Christmas, but I guess I kind of forgot about it. I guess she met the challenge head on and now likes to practice writing other names too.

{WEDNESDAY} While Taylor was at her Gymboree class, I took the boys to AJ's for a free cookie for them and an iced tea for myself. Landon was drawn to the beautiful, yummy goodness in the bakery window and wanted the huge Christmas tree cupcake. Ryland fell in love with a white lab named Abby and even tried to french kiss it. I know one thing for sure, when you meet our won't ever forget us :-)

{THURSDAY} My parents came by this afternoon and saved my day. They took the kids for a couple of hours to a McDonalds in Surprise that has a fun play area for the little ones. I was able to stay home and clean our house a little and rest too. My parents also brought over their gifts for the kids. They bought them a picnic table for outside, but Taylor thinks it's her new craft table and eating table and that it should remain inside the house. Can't believe Christmas is right around the corner!
Sunday, December 19, 2010

Glendale Glitters

Last night, Taylor debuted her tap dancing skills for the first time at Glendale Glitters. There are 8 little girls in the class who are 3 and 4 years old. The girls are learning tap, ballet and tumbling. I didn't know if Taylor would freeze on stage seeing the mass crowds of people. She did great though! Taylor didn't seem to notice the people or become shy at all.

Thanks Mom, Dad, Don, Carol, Oma Mies, Josh, Kendrie and Laila for coming out to support Taylor. She loved every moment of it!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bah Humbug

{SUNDAY} Here is the promised photo of Taylor and her neighbor friend Grace singing at their preschool Christmas program. The teacher taught them hand movements to go along with the words of the songs.

{MONDAY} Lights this year have been a nightmare for Hank. After several attempts to get the lights up, Hank got them up but then realized they were backwards for electrical purposes. So he had to redo them...again! Then after he adorned the house and yard with the lights, he brought me and the kids outside for the annual house lighting event. If Chevy Chase had a reality show, we should have been in it.... As soon as the boys saw the lights go on, they ran across the street onto the rocks all the while stepping on a light or two and short-circuited the whole thing. Hank was a bit annoyed to say the least...not at the kids but the fact that nothing could be simple when it comes to hanging Christmas lights. So now the house is the only thing lit up, the landscape is dark BUT at least I have this fabulous photo to remind us of all the hard work that went into putting the lights up this year. At the very end of the lighting event, Hank realized he didn't spray paint snow on the top middle window. That's kind of when we both said, "Forget it, we're done!" 

{TUESDAY} It's been a rough week in our house health wise. Landon started throwing up Monday afternoon. Ryland started throwing up Wednesday evening. And Taylor started throwing up Thursday afternoon. Needless to say, I have had countless loads of laundry this week including lots and lots of bedding.

{WEDNESDAY} On a brighter note, here is our beautiful back door covered with all of the photo cards that are sent our way for Christmas. Each day I tape up the cards that are sent to us and we will have the whole month to look at the darling faces of friends and family. In January, we will take one card down at night until they are all gone and pray for those families. So send us a card if you haven't already done so and we will add you to the wall of fame!

{THURSDAY} Isn't she precious even when she's sick? My poor little girl starting throwing up today at her preschool Christmas party right before all of the kids were about to sit down and enjoy their treats. The school called me to come get her. My neighbor friend was already at the school picking up her daughter and offered to drive Taylor home which was a huge blessing because Ryland was fighting a fever too. Taylor threw up on the way home and has thrown up a couple times since. I sure hope this flu bug passes by quickly so that we can return to the Christmas festivities. Taylor wasn't able to sing in her Montessori school Christmas program tonight and she really wanted to. Bummer!
Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Pedicures, Ornaments & Lights (oh my!)

{SATURDAY} This is what I came home to late Saturday morning. I had to escape the house for some reason, can't quite remember what for. But this is what I came home to and I truly think it is a beautiful sight. Because I know while Mommy was gone, Daddy and the three munchkins were having a great time!

{SUNDAY} Taylor and I were able to have some special mother/daughter time. I took Taylor to get a Christmas pedicure. The nail tech tried to persuade Taylor to get snowflakes like me, but my little one wanted pink nail polish with predictable!

{MONDAY} Out little man is starting to use a spoon when he eats. It actually just helps him make more of a mess, but he definitely gets the concept and enjoys feeding himself. Now if I could just get him to change his own diaper or better yet...use a potty, life would be so much easier!

{TUESDAY} My kids love our nextdoor neighbor boys. And the boys next door are so good and watchful of my little ones. So today was a special treat when Kenan came over to play with Landon.

{WEDNESDAY} Unfortunately I was not able to join the family to celebrate Grandpa Joe's 80th Birthday. It was held at Peter Piper Pizza and the kids had a blast. Here you can even see them blowing out Joe's candles. Guess where Taylor wants her upcoming birthday party? You got it....Peter Piper Pizza here we come.

{THURSDAY} Ugh...he's so cute it's hard to get upset with him. Ryland is my only child who would not stay away from the tree. With Taylor and Landon, we were able to teach them to not play with the ornaments. Ryland though is a whole other animal. He loves LOVES to hold the ornaments and has managed to break several of them. Our tree is slowly becoming top heavy because most of the lower ornaments are being placed above is least the special ornaments are placed higher.

{FRIDAY} It was hard to choose a photo to capture tonight's events. Plans kind of changed last minute and we visited a house in Glendale that a blogging friend suggested because not only was the whole house and yard lit up with Christmas lights, but Santa was in his big sleigh just waiting for kids to come and visit him. And let me tell you, this Santa was 100% genuine. We went with our friends the Mac Pack and our kids enjoy each other. We also got the kids some yummy hot chocolate for the car ride and made the night a special treat1

{SATURDAY} Our HOA was hosting the annual Santa, Cookies & Crafts event at the community center. So while Hank was attempting for the third time to put up the Christmas lights, I took the kids to see Santa. Here was the order of their favorite thing from the morning: decorating cookies, making a craft, getting the car washed, and then Santa. Ha!

{SUNDAY} This morning, Taylor performed with her classmates at Cross of Glory and the kids sang 12 Christmas songs. I thought 4 was a lot for the kids to learn, but I guess their minds can take in more than I give them credit for. I was sitting in the back and didn't capture a good photo, but I promise to post one soon after I nab one from another parent :-)
Friday, December 3, 2010

A Good Week

{SATURDAY} The inside of the house is decorated for Christmas. The holiday lights and decor make homes so fun and festive. It's become Taylor's unspoken duty to turn the Christmas lights on and off during the day. I wish the decorations could stay up longer than just a month!

[SUNDAY} Today I was able to grab a few hours away with my good friends Susan and Carrie. I've known theses girls for over 10 years and we've managed to reconnect and become very close friends. Anytime we meet at The Good Egg, it's a double bonus!

{MONDAY} Landon is pretty compliant. He doesn't demand too much...except for today. In fact, today my little man demanded he wear his cowboy boots to school. He had on a preppy striped sweater, jeans and his cowboy boots. Landon said, "I'm big in my cowboy boots!" Yes, yes you are little man. Too big for your britches I'd say.

{TUESDAY} The Hurley girls stopped by for a little visit today after Taylor and Grace's preschool class. All of the kids were having a good ol' time hanging out in the backyard and pushing each other in the wagon. Oh, to be a kid again!

{WEDNESDAY} Today was Ryland's first play gym class without his siblings. Ryland was so enthralled with the experience. He was so happy and alive. He kept on going up to Ms. Chris, the teacher, like he's known her for years and gave her ear-to-ear smiles. It really was precious to see him going hog wild over all the different play stations. But the bubbles probably were one of his favorite activities. I can't wait to take him back every week. As I was watching him play, a video replayed in my mind of me doing the same exact thing with Taylor and then Landon. Now I am doing it one final time. 

{THURSDAY} Tonight my good friend and neighbor, Brenda, hosted her 12th annual Christmas party. Brenda cooks the best meal every year for all of the guests to enjoy, and then we play a hardcore gift exchange game. I was sweating bullets for a little while, but ending up walking away with a photo shoot session. And the gifts were only supposed to be $10. I walked away with a lot more than that!

{FRIDAY} Tonight we took the kids to Pei Wei for their favorite food: orange chicken. Then we took them to the church that hosts their Montessori school for a live nativity and petting zoo. Taylor ended up spending a long LONG time at the craft station...of course. Landon ran back and forth between me and Hank, grabbing cookies along the way. And Ryland would not leave the animals alone...he absolutely loved them. He would poke and prod them, and when I said the words "be nice", Ryland would lay his head down on whatever animal he was touching. It was hilarious and gave several of us adults a good laugh.