Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

A quick apology for our late post this week- I tested positive for the flu and have been a little under the weather, mostly very tired, and the blog slipped off the priority list for a few days.

But, we're back and with lost of excitement this past weekend that made the weekend fun- it passed by so quickly that most of it was a blur.

On Friday night, Tony and I went to his company's Christmas party. We had fun dressing up and getting a night out with just the two of us; I even got Tony to get out on the dance floor with me- it was a good party!  I painted my nails on Friday night before the shindig, and Harper let me paint her toenails too- she liked the sparkly toes.

Saturday morning I went to the gym and then the kids and I went to breakfast with some of the ladies from the gym while Tony worked out. The kids were great at breakfast and liked the biscuits and french toast, and they also liked the coloring pages before our breakfast came.

After breakfast, the kids and I came home and took Abby for a walk. The weather was nice and the kids enjoyed their walk so much that they asked me to go around the block one more time "more! more!" They also insisted on wearing their sunglasses (just like Momma). I think they enjoyed looking at Christmas decorations the most. I know they'll like looking at Christmas lights next week.

Saturday evening we decided to load up and go to the mall to see Santa Claus. Last year we waited for almost 2 hours at the mall before bailing out of line and finding a different Santa event closer to Christmas, but this time the mall line was pretty short (25 minutes or so). Tony stood in line with the kids while I ran into a couple of stores, and I returned just in time to get where we could see Santa. The kids watched the other families in front of us take their turn, and we talked about what to say to Santa and what the experience would be like. When it was our turn, the kids walked in and we put them on Santa's lap- both kids looked a little leery, but there were no tears. As you can see from the picture, Harper wasn't too impressed with this "Santa impostor" and Jack didn't know quite what to do. But Santa was very nice and we got pictures and reindeer hats (which didn't last too long). Then we went to dinner and the kids talked about Santa and sang Christmas carols- it was fun!

Sunday, Santa made an early Christmas visit to our house. Tony and I had told Santa we were going out of town for Christmas and asked him to please deliver any large items early. So, when Harper and Jack woke up Sunday morning, they found a kitchen/grill combo from Santa Claus. The kids were so excited! They spent the whole morning cooking and playing and exploring their new activity center.

Jack even made Mickey some dinner!

We packed up around lunch time and headed to Ft. Worth to celebrate Aunt Becky's birthday. The kids had a great time eating Mexican food and cake and playing at Granny's house. Jack was very interested in Granny's Christmas tree and looking at all the ornaments. Harper was excited that Granny had brought out some of the toys from her toy closet and Harper immediately found a baby doll and was happy.

We also took pictures of Jack and Harper sitting in a little red chair that my Paw-Paw's grandfather made for him pretty close to 90 years ago. It's so neat to see that my Paw-Paw and my kids can have a connection (Harper really liked rocking her baby to sleep in this chair) and that we have photographic evidence.

The kids also got measured while we were at Granny's house. All the grandkids (including those who have married in) have their height charted on the doorframe to my Granny's kitchen. The oldest marking on there is mine from 1988-89, and now Harper and Jack have two entries on the height chart. It was so neat to see how much they've grown in one year, and to see Jack getting tall enough to reach Tanner's height when he was two.

The kids were so busy playing that they didn't even realize they missed their nap until we got in the car to head home and they both sacked out. Harper and Jack slept for about an hour (they normally sleep an hour and 1/2 or so), so when we got home, they were still a little tired. They played in their kitchen and then Tony and I decided it would be cute to have pictures of the kids in front of the Christmas tree- this was a mistake. Harper, running on less sleep than normal and hungry for dinner, had a huge meltdown. She threw the biggest temper tantrum I've ever seen her throw. Tony even put her in her room because we got tired of watching her roll around and yell. When Jack realized she was in their room, he ran to the door and called out "Harper! Harper!" He was so concerned that Harper might not be "okay"- it was very sweet to see his concern.

After epic meltdown, we got the kids dinner (which helped Harper feel more like herself), and hustled them off to bed. It was a peaceful ending to a crazy weekend, but I wouldn't trade it!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Many Faces of Harper

Tony and I have been amazingly blessed with two gorgeous kids who are wonderful all the way around (I'm not bias or anything) :)  But tonight, I want to focus specifically on one little girl who stole our hearts two and 1/2 years ago when we first saw her curled up on a sonogram screen.

We knew little Harper would be a fighter from the word "go", but we never dreamed how imaginative and quick witted and warm and funny this little girl could be. I look at her in awe and wonder how in the world she learns things so quickly and how in the world I'm ever going to keep with her.

Harper said a three word phrase yesterday "More Animal Crackers!" and I beamed at her- my little miracle girl who surprises me with little things- like putting her baby doll on her changing pad to change her diaper, or singing along to a song with me tonight. The little things that she does, the moments when she runs over and climbs on my lap, or squeals with delight when she sees Tony- those moments are my favorite moments with her.

Here are some funny pictures of my girl over the past week:

She thought eating her snack with her daddy's hat on was so funny. She would peek out from underneath the hat and then laugh and laugh.

Harper has also been working on buckles. She will sit for 5 minutes and work on the buckle of her booster chair or the buckle on the stroller- her favorite though is the buckle on the changing pad. When she gets frustrated with it, we have to remind her that buckling something can be hard and she needs to keep working with it.  Earlier this week I caught her on camera working; when she got the buckle done she excitedly proclaimed, "I did it!"

Harper was also insistent on wearing her rain boots tonight, so I tried to get her to stand in front of the tree and take a picture (I think the boots and the leggins are so cute). Harper stood in front of the tree and smiled and then said "cheeseburger!"  What a silly girl!

As we were looking through the Christmas Tree pictures, I snapped a few of Harper making silly faces while sitting on my lap. She is such a fun little girl and Tony and Jack and I are so lucky to have her in our lives.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Sunday Funday

Sunday night always makes me sad to leave the kids on Monday, and this Sunday night is no different. We had a great weekend and I hope that this will propel us into a great week too.

We went out to dinner with the kids on Friday night and Jack did a few things that cracked us up. First, he loves to eat chips and salsa and he was dipping his chips into salsa and eating them despite not having a drink on the table yet. Suddenly, after a big bite of salsa, he started yelling "milk, milk" and looking for the waitress. When the waitress showed up, she was a cute teenager,  and she talked to the kids and was nice to them; after talking to Jack, each time she passed our table Jack would wave at her or say "hi" or stop eating to watch her walk by. I never thought I'd watch my (almost) two-year-old check out a girl.  The last thing he did that made me smile was something he did all on his own. He had salsa and queso on his fingers and hands, then he suddenly turned and grabbed a cloth napkin and wiped his own hands and face- that boy is getting to be such a big kiddo.

We spent the remainder of Friday night snuggling together as a family and watching some vintage Mickey Mouse cartoons (the kids loved seeing Mickey and Pluto on TV). Saturday we ran errands and Tony and I went to a birthday party Saturday night. It was so nice to be able to get away and enjoy some adult time. But, the most fun day for our family was Sunday.

Sunday morning Harper and Jack slept until 8 am (which means Tony and I got to sleep until 8 am). We got up and played in our pjs and looked read books, then Harper decided she wanted some apple sauce, so the kiddos had a little breakfast appetizer and giggled and laughed while they chowed down.

We got dressed and decided to go out for breakfast on the way to the grocery store. We went to one of our favorite little neighborhood breakfast restaurants and it was packed. We normally sit at a 4 top with two highchairs, but after waiting 20 minutes with two very squirmy toddlers, we were happy to get a table- even if it was a cannot fit two high chairs at a cannot do it. So, we put the kids on the inside of the booth and rolled the dice on what breakfast would be like.

The kids did a fantastic job! When we first sat down, they were most excited about the ketchup and salt and pepper shakers (Jack) and the stand with all the jams (Harper), but when the food came out, the kiddos stopped playing and started eating. Between the two of them, they put down two good-sized biscuits, 3 silver dollar pancakes, and they each ate some of my omelet. Jack pretended to put tabasco sauce on his pancakes and thought that was just so fun- he was my breakfast buddy and did a great job sitting in his seat.

Tony and harper were breakfast buddies and she was so happy to be with her daddy. Harper ate a great breakfast and loved making silly faces with her daddy- check out those two!

After breakfast we strolled over to the grocery store and the kids were excited to try out the shopping carts with a car in the front. The kids have ridden in the top of this cart (the normal seat) before, but they've never wanted to "drive" the car- now, I think they'll want to ride in this every time we go.  They  were great shopping and would both say "beep, beep" and pretend to honk the horn while they "drove."

We rounded out our weekend with a trip to Costco where the kids spent some time fussing (mostly because they decided to skip their nap and chat in their cribs instead), but the fussing subsided when they started holding hands and playing in the cart. Here's a series of pictures from the Costco trip- I love these kids. I love them so much!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

23 Months Old

Harper and Jack are now just a few short weeks away from being 2 years old. I am, as always, surprised at how quickly time as gone by and I feel compelled to try and slow things down anyway I can. The days may be long, but the years have certainly felt short (yes, even that first one that seemed to crawl by at times). So, here are the updates for our toddlers and what they're doing at 23 months old.

-talks in two-three word phrases (ex. tonight he said "more chicken nuggets")
-has started shaking his head "yes". I especially love it when the head shaking is enthusiastic.
-is a good eater and still loves mac and cheese and loves to drink milk ("nilka" "nilka" as Jack calls it)
-will "read" books aloud to himself now and tries to "read" mail and cards he sees
-has discovered a new game- chase- and now begs his dad "more chase" "more chase" then he takes off squealing through the house
-wrapped his arms around my neck earlier this week while I was holding him- he's getting to be such a big boy
-shows empathy for Harper and gets upset when she falls down or cries. He will come over and give her a hug or bring her one of her favorite toys to comfort her.

-this little one has also started speaking in two word phrases (ex. "more cracker")
-has started opening her mouth in shock or surprise when something catches her off-gaurd. She makes me laugh when she opens that mouth and raises her eyebrows too.
-is a pretty good eater herself and loves eating crackers and oven roasted asparagus
-will ask for certain books from the book shelf to read before bed 
-plays so well independently with her Little People doll house and farm. She could sit for twenty minutes and play with her Little People.
-is all about her daddy right now. When Tony comes home from work she squeals "Daddy" and runs to the door and then wants to spend the rest of the night glued to his side.
-thanked Jack for his hugs last night by leaning over and giving him a kiss on the cheek- I love this girl!

Both kiddos are enthralled with the Christmas Tree and love looking at the ornaments and pointing out things they see. Harper and Jack are also both learning numbers "1, 2" as in "we have two shoes 1, 2". Yesterday I held up a picture with two dogs wearing Santa hats and asked how many dogs were in the picture to which Harper replied "two!" and Jack said "1, 2 Abby Dogs". These two are just little sponges that pick up everything.

We have also moved them from high chairs to the booster seat options and Harper and Jack now sit at the big table. They really enjoy looking at our new table cloth (with snowmen on it) and playing with their placemats. 

I know that the rest of the year is going to fly by and before I know it these "babies" will be two years old. Hard to believe that this is what they looked like at 11 months- just 1 year ago. We love you Harper and Jack!