Friday, December 30, 2011

One Last Thing

The last of my family is leaving tomorrow and it's bitter-sweet.  There's going to be a lot to miss and, I admit, some nice things about being just us again.  And what are they?  Well . . . 

Top 10 Reasons It's Nice to Have Your Entire Family In Your House
(but not in any particular order)
1.  Everyone takes a turn cooking and cleaning
2.  Free babysitters (hooray for date night!)
3.  Games are so much more fun with 10 people than they are with 4 (no offense)
4.  Every funny story and home video comes out of the woodwork
5.  There's always someone to laugh at
6.  There's always someone to laugh with
7.  I don't have to eat that entire batch of cookies all by myself!!
8.  My girls are getting to know and love their family
9.  You get out and explore new things (or cook new things -- hooray for new recipes!)
10.  A reason to eat out to share all our favorite restaurants

Top 10 Reasons Why It's Nice to Have the House Just Back to Us
(also in no particular order)
1.  The bathrooms don't become as much of a disaster with just the 4 of us
2.  You don't have to knock on doors before you enter
3.  NO MORE SHARING OF BEDROOMS WITH YOUR CHILDREN!!!!!!  (Megan keeps waking up scared of "that noise daddy makes".  I don't blame her -- it scares me too.)
4.  Every embarrassing story and home video comes out of the woodwork
5.  Air mattresses really are NOT that comfortable
6.  There's milk and eggs in the fridge and bread in the cupboard for longer than 24 hours
7.  Quiet can be very nice
8.  Less commentary during my favorite shows (ok not really with Chopper home -- love you!)
9.  I get my sewing room back!!!
10.  Less people to fight over the computer with

Did I say already how blessed I am to have the family that I do?  I should say it every day because that's how blessed I am.  But I also love being our own family unit.  Wow.  It's just good all around!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It has been such a wonderful holiday you'll have to bear with me as I get it all down on virtual "paper" because there has been quite a lot going on around here!

It took a few days but my parents and brothers and wives and nephew all arrived and we were a household of 13(point 3) in time for Christmas.  The first few days were a slew of shopping for Christmas presents and groceries.  The amount of food that has gone through this house in the past 10 days is staggering!  One night as we sat down for dinner Megan looked at me and said "It's nice to have a family here!"
Liam is the girls only cousin on our side of the family and the girls just loved him!  He's the same size and a little heavier than Abby but a few months younger so not quite talking as much.  It didn't matter.  He could really get his point across!  It didn't take long for Abby to decide that she needed to tell him what to do just like Megan tells her.  So the days were peppered with "Liam, where are you?" and "Liam, that's my milk!"

On Christmas Eve we had our first family activity together -- decorating gingerbread houses.  We had a great time!  The girls both ate more than they decorated of course but they actually both helped.  

Megan did actually pipe some some icing but was really good with the small candies.  Abby actually placed some of the chocolate rocks on the "porch" until she realized that they were chocolate and not candy.  Then that was the end of that!

Jeff and James and my parents teamed up on a house that ended up . . . quite interesting.  The process was quite entertaining itself.

Danny, Denise, and Liam of course had to go all artsy on us!  Danny was a little disappointed that we weren't building Frank Llloyd Wright gingerbread house but hey, when you're baking four of them, they're just going to be 4 walls and a roof!

Trust me, this looks a lot better than it did.  But it was dubbed the house on fire.

Mark and Adrienne also got fancy-schmancy -- that's what you get when you marry a cake decorator I suppose!

Abby loves Grandpa!   Last night when we went to dinner Jeff asked to carry her into the restaurant and she loudly said "no!" so I asked her if James could take her.  Another "no".  Then she said, "I want grandpa."  And go to him she did.

The finished products!  They all turned out great especially since Megan and Abby ate half of our decorating items . . . 

So Christmas morning was an explosion of presents because we hadn't put any out at all and then had presents for 13 people!  I was so excited to see the look on Megan's face when she woke up the next morning and found that Santa had come.  Well, turns out she already had the no sleep bug.  At about 2:00 a.m. my brother comes in my room to tell me Megan needs to use the potty.  That makes no sense because Megan is sleeping in our room.  Turns out she has been up and looking at presents for about a half hour and he let her!  What a great uncle.  Grrrrr.
Abby really loved the musical cards from Grandma Whittacre.  Sorry Grandma, I had to take it away from her after the 5th time!
Megan and her twirly Minnie from her stocking.  I was a mean mom and took all the candy out of their stockings before they saw them.  But we had church later in the day and both girls were getting sick.  The last thing they needed was to gorge on candy in the morning!  I don't think they noticed though!

Megan's favorite by far was her dance clothes.  She has worn them every day since Christmas and can't wait to start her lessons next week.  She is SOOOOOOOO excited!

Abby liked all the boxes!  And she got a Lightening McQueen plush that was the cause of frequent battles between her and Liam.

I tried to get things for the girls this year that they could do rather than just play with and it seems to have worked.  Chopper MADE me a quilt rack for my wall quilts (I loved that man), got me some little sewing and quilting things, and then a prenatal massage (have I told you I love that man?).  I gave him a dutch oven, dress shirt, and a new computer game.

In our family we also have gag gifts -- some that come around every year and some that just happened -- like these:
Jeff asked my parents for green slip-on shoes.  ??????  Mom found him a pair of Converse but we thought it would be funny to wrap up a pair of elf shoes instead.  It really was actually!

Megan showing me a dance move.

The girls both loved the Mr. Potato Head playdough set from Aunt Krista.

Since Christmas we've been out to see some of the sights of Dallas but I keep forgetting my camera!  Oh well.  We did take some family photos though which actually turned out really well.

Always some funny and some serious.  But this is the whole clan: mom and dad, me, Chopper and the girls, Mark and Adrienne, Danny, Denise, and Liam, Jeff, and James.  It'll be fun to the see the other women and babies that come into our lives.

I am incredibly grateful for a family that can share close quarters for 2 weeks and love it.  Part of why we haven't done a lot is because we sit around and talk and eat and play games.  What a wonderful gift to be able to spend that kind of time with your family as you all get into adulthood.  I really feel blessed.
I also got a great present in that I haven't thrown up in 5 days!!!  Perhaps my icky days are coming to an end.  I'm 12 weeks today so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  Our family also starts the new year with new challenges already, or at least I do.  Right before Christmas I was called to be the new Relief Society President.  I still get a little teary eyed just saying that because of the magnitude of that calling.  But I am grateful to have amazing women in my presidency and look forward to a stretching experience.  

I don't know that I'll post again until the new year so Merry Christmas everyone!  We hope you had a wonderful, joy-filled holiday filled with presence of family (whether they could be there or not) and the love of our Savior!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Signs of the Season

I'll just tell you right now that all these pictures are blurry.  No one wants to hold still around here!  With less than a week to go, we've been holiday busy in a very good way.

Our house is decorated (somewhat) and the girls got to see Santa come by on the firetruck!  They do this every year but I felt bad for him this year because we really had below freezing weather and that poor Santa is riding around on the top of a fire truck!  I hope that his padding was electric heated. . .  .

This year our Christmas party was "Christmas morning" themed and we wrapped some large diaper boxes to put under the tree for decorations.  Abby very obligingly helped us carry them to the car.

I finally got all my projects finished (ta-da!) and I don't think I took a picture of a single one except this one!  Whoops!  Given the lateness of the season I'm titling it "In the St. Nick of Time".  Haha.

Most of my family is here so there will be plenty more pictures to follow (hopefully -- I'm pretty bad at that) but for now everyone's tired and catching up on shopping and eating and sleeping (all my brothers except one are still poor student-types).  But it's fun to do funny things when they're sleeping.

Megan and Abby have ONE cousin on my side of the family and Liam is a cutie.  He's also very active and the same size, if not bigger, than Abby.  And he's almost 6 months younger!  The girls are having tons of fun with him and their uncles.  We've had piggy back rides and shoulder rides and flying and all sorts of things that I'm too tired to do and Chopper's still working for the week.  They are in heaven!  I am too because it gives me a nice little break!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nothing New

I think our house pretty much looks like every other house right now: Christmas tree up, lights outside, presents hidden in secret locations, mom throwing up in the bathroom . . . oh wait . . . 

Well, I am 10 weeks tomorrow and showing and feeling ick.  Actually, I'm feeling better and I think I owe it to a nice little prenatal vitamin that has something like 50 mg of B6 in it.  Still feel icky but I'm not such intimate friends with the commode anymore.  Thank goodness.  I hate throwing up but it's even worse when you have one child on one side crying to be held and the other yelling at you that she wants to take a bath.  We apparently have no concept of "sick" or "privacy" in this household.  

But I'm starting final preparations for my entire family to descend on my house in a whirlwind of Christmas cheer and gag gifts.  I think I'm done with my Christmas shopping -- always a nice feeling -- and it's raining!  Merry Christmas to Dallas!

Please come Christmas!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We Have A Gummy Bear!

The hands-down best thing about being pregnant in this day and age is the technology that allows you to see and hear your baby so early!  I love it!  However, drugs that help with morning sickness may come in at a very close second.

I had my FIRST doctor's appointment today and she did an ultrasound to confirm due date.  Sorry, I left the pictures at the doctor's office so I'll scan and post them later when I pick them up because it seriously looks like a gummy bear!  At this point, the head is 50% of the total body mass (or weight or whatever) and the arms and legs are just developing so it really is a gummy bear.  But you could see (and we did hear) the little heartbeat and there was quite a bit of movement which surprised me.

Everything is looking good and my official due date is July 13 which means for those of you who know me that there will be a baby in the house sometime in the week after.  

I just love that visual and audio confirmation.  As if my head in the toilet every two hours isn't confirmation enough.  It's just so sweet and wonderful.

And yes, we will find out the gender.  Honestly, I keep thinking of the baby as a "him" but I kind've felt that way with Abby and was obviously very wrong so I've decided I don't have intuition in that department.  But we will find out for sure because you know I can't stand the wait!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Funny Words

There are a lot of things that I don't love about having young children: tantrums, fighting, picky eating, etc.  But one thing that I do love is language development.  Both my girls are in fun stages with their language.  Megan sounds so sophisticated -- funny when it comes out of her 3 year old mouth.  And I can't even convey what it sounds like with their little voices but it particularly makes us laugh when she pronounces:
"I just love this hot hot chocolate!"
"That is the biggest Christmas tree I ever saw!"
When I ask her if she wants something and she doesn't -- "no thank you, I'm just eating my _______ " because this usually happens with food.

Abby on the other hand is starting to use verbal filler.  Last night Megan kept saying stuff that Abby would repeat.  We were watching the Christmas devotional and they had a prior program with flowers in the end credits and so Megan says "look at those beautiful purple and pink flowers!" And Abby says "oh, purple and pink!"  "I love those orange flower" "Oh, orange flowers".  

It's so much funnier to actually hear.  I'm glad everyone's coming for a visit.

And speaking of which -- I'm working on closets and Abby discovered the infant seat and promptly climbed in.  Funny thing is, she actually still fits.

 Just some cute pictures from the park in front of the library the other day.

 Abby has the most amazing sweet tooth.  She ate all this ice cream without hardly pausing.  AND she likes soda.  I have always banned Chopper from giving the girls Dr. Pepper but she's had some sips of caffeine free drinks and now Chopper has to be careful about leaving his Dr. Pepper around.  She knows and loves soda!

Just some more words -- her fun expressive ones.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Fairy Party!

Well, I'll apologize first off and tell you that my pictures are terrible AND I didn't even think to get the girls to pose for one together.  Sigh.  Fun party though.

Right before Thanksgiving a new Tinker Bell "movie" came out.  So in honor of The Pixie Hollow Games,  worked with some friends to throw a fabulous fairy party!

We started at a friends house where Silvermist (one of Tinker Bell's friends) had visited and left dew drops (blue tear-drop gems) and fairy treasures (rollo candies -- loved by all of course).  The girls went on a treasure hunt and then used their dewdrops to make fantastic dewdrop bracelets.  Thanks Silvermist!  The idea came from FamilyFun Magazine and you can find it here.

Then after playing for a little while we came back to our house.  We started by making some flower fairy friends (also from the magazine here) that the girls just loved.  And they did turn out really really cute!  I prepped most of the parts beforehand and the "building" still required parental involvement but the girls did really well with picking colors and cutting and assembling.

Afterwards, we laid out a picnic blanket and had a picnic lunch eating fabulous fairy foods: fruit, flower sandwiches, little crackers, mini cupcakes, and acorn cookies (also from FamilyFun, my goodness they have the best ideas!!) while watching the movie and we ALL loved that.  I'm serious!  The girls were mesmerized and the adults laughed at quite a few things as well.  It was actually really really cute and just a shame that it was a lot shorter than we thought -- 1/2 hour maybe 45 minutes -- not a feature length.

Ignore the while frosting -- they would have been much cuter with brown but they were still cute!

Anyway, we had a GREAT time!  Megan may be asking for fairy parties for quite some time . . .