Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A conversation with my 4-year old...
"I get to lead the way!"
We were playing on the snow piles by our house.

"Is that Daddy's car? It's not momma's because her car is red."
"What do you want to drive when you get big?"
"I don't know"

"Owen, how old do you have to be to drive a car?"
"oh really? what will you be doing when you're 29? Still living at home? I hope not. I hope you will live on your own before you are 29. Just don't move too far. I want you to stay close to me."
"I'm going to live in Florida!"
"Then Daddy and I will move to Florida too!"
"Then I'm going to move to California!"
"Then we will follow you there too!"
"If you come there, I will move to Colorado!"
Then we will find you in Colorado as well!"
"Then I'm going to move FAR AWAY!"
"No matter where you go, I will find you."
"Let's go home...I get to lead the way!"

Where: nanny and poppa steve's house
Who: nanny's side of the family
When: Christmas day afternoon...into the evening...
What: eating, drinking, singing, sledding...
Gabby had so much fun, she even napped!

The "kid's room" was a hit with the boys!
Yes, Spiderman Jammies...
These will be the Kindergarten Boys next Fall! :-)
I love that Owen has SOOOOOOO much fun with them!

Sorry...this video came from my camera. There is no sound...just sing "Jingle Bells" as loud as you can in your 5-year-old voice...and you can imagine what it was like...
Where: our house!
When: Christmas morning
Who: our little family and Gramma Mimi!
What: Owen waiting until he heard Roger get up, then stocking being ripped open, "Owen, wait for Gramma!"...scavenger hunt for presents from "Santa"...ok, I'll go get Gramma...she's awake!, breakfast of caramel rolls, eggs, toast, apple dish, and grapefruit, presents under the tree!

How exciting to have a four-year old! :-)

Gabby slept until after 8 in the morning so she definitely doesn't "get it" yet, but owen sure was excited!
Gabby was excited to show Gramma her new markers though!
So many wonderful, thoughtful gifts from family too far to join us this morning.
We were happy to talk to everyone that day and to be able to Skype with cousin Elodie.
Gabby was responsible: she put her money in her new piggy bank right away!
(thanks, Auntie Emmy!)
I don't know who had more fun: the four-year old or Daddy?
I will say that Daddy was up late the next two nights playing Wii,
thanks to another wonderful "elf"!
Our kitchen floor becomes the greatest puzzle spot...Owen likes to spread out!
I don't mind stepping over him...or the pieces!
Thanks Gramma and Grampa!
By lunch time we were headed to Christmas celebration #4 so we had to get Gabby into the jumper and Owen into the sweater that they'd gotten from Cousin Skotty...
Was it noticeable in any of these pictures that Owen gave himself a haircut?
Yep...I didn't even get is a memory I want to have for ever:
the Christmas that Owen cut his own hair with his little green scissors.
When I did take them away, he cried and yelled and screamed.
When I said that I couldn't wait to see his haircut in these pictures,
he yelled, "You are really, really mean! I don't like you!"
Yes, that made me sad, but I know that is not the last time he will ever say that to me...
oh, the times to come!

Once it was on, Gabby didn't mind her dress. Owen kept saying, "but I don't want to take a picture! Can I just wear Spiderman?"
This is a battle I am not willing to fight...
Yes, he wears pajamas nearly all the time.
Except for when we are at home...then it's just underwear.
You know what? We all say, "gee, I wish I could wear sweats" or "I just want to wear my pj's to work today..."
As a teacher, I get that random spirit day, but I guess it is not a battle worth fighting with a four-year old. He will care about what he looks like for plenty of years of his life...why start now!
Where: church, then to Gramma and Grampa's for big Reger get together!
When: Christmas Eve night
What: church service that kids have to try to sit through,
party with lots of people and lots of food

I got both kids in front of our tree in their Christmas "attire"
Watch how it may change...

"I've died and gone to heaven!" Nana exclaimed because Gabby raised her arms and said "up!"
over and over again. Gabby proceeded to follow Nana around...even after Nana was unable to hold her (25 lbs get heavy after awhile!).
There was another concert and Owen joined in! Wow! that is out of character for him!
So what if he didn't know the words and said only a few words here and there! :-)
(did you notice the new Spiderman PJ's????)

Gabby's talent for the evening was opening and shutting the door, climbing the stairs, and just being her goofy self!

Merry Christmas to everyone!
Where: Hall's place
When: Christmas Eve Day, 11 a.m.
What: lunch, caroling, presents, play!
Who: cousins, granny, poppa Steve, immediate family
the Lu Lu girls sang for us, danced for us, and shared all their toys with us!
two peas in a pod...
I played one song I remember: chop sticks! (how do you spell that???)
Gabby did what she does best: looking adorable!
We could not ask for more!
The week before Christmas we had parent/teacher conferences.
While driving there, I kept saying to myself, "I'm a parent."
I still can't believe it.
Four and half years later. I still can't believe it.
I remember when Owen was a tiny baby. He was sooooo cute, and little, and funny.
I didn't want him to get bigger.
But then he got bigger...and more cute...and more fun.
Things that were difficult then...have become easier.
Things he struggled for and cried about...he has outgrown or learned how to handle it.
Things that made him mad before don't make him mad now.
He doesn't get as frustrated with us because he can communicate better...
and continues to learn ways to deal, cope, communicate...all that stuff that comes with

His preschool teacher said wonderful things:
"He never gets too loud."
oh, yeah? you should see him at home!
"He eats all his vegetables!"
That's because he is always hungry
and if he ate anything else as much as he eats vegetables, he'd be 100 pounds!
"I love his hands."
I know...those meaty little things are easy to love ;-)
"He does what he's asked,"
"He's a nice boy,"
"He gets along with others (although he tends to tattle),"...I was such a proud momma that night. I remember waking up the next day being so proud of my little boy. I'll say it again: the challenges we've had make the road ahead just a bit more paved. Owen needs our attention...a lot of it. I can do that!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gabriella Grace
born December 23, 2008
6 lbs. 10 oz.
2 years old now and up to 25 lbs.
Her sweetness is wonderful, but she is by no means weak.
She pushes her little weight around to get all the snuggles and kisses and tickles she can.
She hardly ever can share her momma with her brother...
(oh what a feeling it is to be fought over!)
She loves her daddy, but plays hard to get.
She would read books all day if she could without interruption.
oh wait, now it's puzzles.
or play-doh.
or climbing her brother's couch-cushion fort.
or Barny.
or chewing gum (loudly!)'s all a phase, isn't it?
When Owen was amazing us with is speech, I wrote a list on this blog of all the words he was clearly saying. Gabby, as mentioned, does not say much (clearly); does she need to? :-)
I will say she makes up for it in her agile climbing, sweet demeanor, and her independence.
Here is the short list, regardless! ;-)
Gabby says:
owie (as in her brother, not getting hurt)
hohee (horsey)
nana (banana)
away (as in "go away!")
gover (grover)
bi bu (big bird)
ocer (oscar (the grouh))
toe (toast and the body part)
phow (phone)
bruber (brother)
mi-elk (milk)
twee (tree)
hay-ya (hair)
doggy (sounds like daddy)
daddy (sounds like doggy)
bocks (blocks)
col(d) (sometimes a silent d)
no (for snow and no)
gung (gum--is that spanish?)
na-na (num-nums--our vitamins)
MINE (thanks to Elodie!)
toot (yes, toot)
dow (down)
ni-ni time (naked time)
tweet (treat)
coffee (a version of that)
puter (computer)
puzzle (you know, something like that)
ba-pa (grampa)

Yes, I suppose there could be more, but not much more.
We love her voice, her language, her giggles, her song.
She doesn't say the words, but she can hum a mean "Twinkle Twinkle"
I could not ask for anything more!
I am lucky to almost always have my kids' birthdays off work!
I am on vacation and it feels good.
I have spent Gabby's day( so far) drinking coffee, going to Target, putting together lots of puzzles (and labeling the backs so we don't get the pieces confused), going to see Santa, and now updating my blog while Gabby sleeps (she was up at 5 with her daddy because she was so excited to be 2!)

We celebrated last weekend with family, pizza, presents, and Elmo...
I don't think a 2-year old will remember that I didn't have candles for her to blow out! :-)
sorry, Gabby...
Gramma Momma and Grampa Phil came up to celebrate...we'll miss them this Christmas, but we are glad they will be with Lori...having lots of fun! ;-)
once I figure out how to get photos off my phone, I will post our adventures from today!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Why does this NOT happen on a school day????
It is Saturday,
two weeks 'til Christmas,
8 more work days before winter break,
and 8-12 inches are expected today...2 pm and the snow is still falling...
We had planned to make cookies this morning
so it was a good thing the dough was already chilled!

Grampa would be proud that Owen is already learning
to perfect his dough-rolling skills!
Yes, that is chocolate on Owen's face...admit it:
You "taste-test" too!

Gabby didn't really get the whole making-cookies thing,
but she liked playing in the flour!
You'd never guess our end-product could be so pretty! :-)
Well...we think so!

"Mom, what now?"
back-up plan is always:
"make a fort!"

This time they figured out how to climb on top of the fort instead of under it!
I can't wait to build one in the snow piles made by the plow guy who dug us out!

Our craft-drawer also has been dug through!
We traced snow-flakes, colored gingerbread men & Christmas trees, and cut coffee filters to make snowflake decorations for Gabby's party next week...
I love staying in !
However, it is only 2 in the afternoon...
how will we fill the rest of today's hours?????

wrap presents?
make more cookies?
chocolate covered toffee?????
have monster truck rally?
or car races on the kitchen floor?

I asked Rog to pick up some egg nog...hmmmmmm

Yes, Rog gets stir crazy so he "risked his life" to go get some groceries. He was volunteered to make dinner tonight...he chose a pork roast in the crockpot!
How did I ever take him for granted before?

He just made it back! Yeah!
And, he told me the new forecast calls for 12-15 inches of snow!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Gabby and I were again blessed to make a trip to see Emmy and Mario in their adorable home where the sun sets into the ocean...

If Roger and I were to have more kids, we would not be sad, but having just two gives us the perfect opportunity to give our kids the gift of experience and travel and seeing family...for it is family that takes us on those travels to so many places outside of our frozen tundra where snow falls by the inches and the roads ice up and the temp drops below freezing nightly (and sometimes daily).

Not many of us can say we've ridden an elephant naked either!
How about that for an experience! :-)
This trip was supposed to be just me traveling to meet my little nephew, but after my "field trip" to see Lori in Oct (that's how we told Owen because he would have been sad to not get to go), I could not go 5 days without squeezing and holding and hugging one of my own little ones. Gabby is not yet two, so she can still fit in the luggage...actually, she fit on my lap for free.
Let me tell you...she was the BEST travel partner ever! And we were so blessed to have wonderful seat/row mates who love kids.

Xavi is a handsome boy with lots of hair (like his older cousin Owen had!).
He has his daddy's mouth and makes the cutest grunts.
He doesn't cry much, but MB also holds him close.
She loves that little a mother should. :-)

MB and Mario braved the beach with us while toting baby, boards, hairy kids, and lunch. They'd been to the beach, but this was the first trip with all-of-the-above since Xavi's been born.
It was sunny and nice but the breeze was cool and refreshing...
not biting like the frozen air we've felt since returning!
Each time I have the privilege of staying with M & M, I learn something new about food. I picked up some new concoctions and recipes and learned some tamale-rolling skills! Thanksgiving was half traditional (as I've known it) and half traditional-ethnic (as Mario knows it). Mario cooked up turkey, tamales, pasole (yum!), and rice, and MB made up a sweet sweet potato dish. I did what I could...

Sticky hands?
Our days were spent napping, going to the park, taking walks, working on projects, running to get coffee, and taking more walks. We tried to catch the sunset but missed it the first night we went down to the beach...
I forgot Gabby's jacket...who knew she'd be so "c-c-cold" (that's how she says it).

The next night we tried again and were successful...and watched the sinking sun...

What a sight to leave behind...and we remembered jacket!

Back home Owen was happy,of course, to have his "boomba" back,
and they played and played and played.

What happens here and not there???
The snow and boys...
yep...that's after ramming the snowman over and "beating him down"...
winter is winter...
boys will be boys...
cold is cold...
gotta love being home!