Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Eve: Auld Lang Syne

This Christmas Eve is seems both appropriate and crazy to think of times long past.  I'm overcome with the thought that 2030 is now as close to the present moment as 2000...

I spent NYE 2000 with my mom and sister watching movies and partially wondering if the world would end (or at least be seriously disrupted). In reality, I celebrate new years in GMT -8, so we already had a pretty good (aka really good idea) that everything was going to be fine.

15 years later, and  tonight I am again celebrating at home , but this year at my own home with my husband and my mom.  I have two kid of my own sleeping happily upstairs.

When I reflect on the last year, it's like some crazily perfect dream.  It wasn't perfect, of course, but the good outweighed the bad so clearly that it's difficult to even remember the difficult moments of the year.  I watched Colin go from a baby to a toddler.  I gave birth to our beautiful baby Alex.  I spent time in my husband's arms and saw family here and across the US.  I met and solidified friendships with some of the most amazing moms.  I was confirmed Roman Catholic, I worked for a nonprofit, I worked, I played, I wrote, I sang, I read "Goodnight Moon" 300 times, I hugged, I kissed, I laughed, I even (occasionally) slept.

I am proud of what I've accomplished this year.  I am proud of who I am working to become.  Most of all, I am simutaneously proud and humbled by the beautiful family I have the privledge of being a part of.

Happy New Years!


Monday, December 29, 2014

Alex is Seven Months!

Another month already!!

Height/Weight: My itty bitty baby!  Alex is hovering at the 10th percentile and is currently 15 lbs 15 oz.  We had an extra doctor's appointment to check his weight, and his doctor isn't worried.

Clothing Size: Alex is wearing pretty much all six month clothes.  And man does he have some clothes!  His closet is so full of clothes I probably could put him in a clean shirt from now until he outgrew six months shirts without doing laundry!

Diaper Size: 2, although we did have our first overnight leak, so it's probably almost time to move up!

Eating: Alex is doing great with solid food! We have started leaving some texture and he's also had bread and tortilla (both of which he loved!). This month we had our first two meals where our entire family ate the saem thing!! (Veggie soup first and then pot roast, we used the blender for baby's dinner!) I wish he nursed better, or ate milk a bit better, but I'm happy he's growing, even if it's a tad slowly for my liking!

Sleeping: Overall, Alex is sleeping great.  He sleeps from 7 pm to about 5 most nights.  He is also on a pretty good nap schedule (morning, afternon and short evening nap).  Unfortuantely our dual nap is pretty much over and it seems like most of our day is one long nap between the two boys somedays!

New Skills: Guess who's moving?? Alex isn't quite crawling, but he has no problem going where he wants to go!  It wasn't great timing with Christmas morning, as he was picking up every spare piece of paper or wrapper to try to shove in his mouth!  His other new 'skill?'  Teeth!  Alex now has two teeth! See?

Alex is still an easy going and happy baby, although if you don't feed him fast enough, he will let you know.  He loves to watch his brother and listening to Colin singing and talking.

Alex is more fun every day and I can't wait to see what this month holds.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

I'm way behind on blogging, but it's mostly because I'm way on time with enjoying the craziness and joy that is the Christmas season with two little ones!  It's been a beautiful Christmas season.  I didn't get everything done, nothing was perfect, but everything was wonderful!

We really kicked off Christmas this year with our trip to Palm Springs after Thanksgiving to see the lights at the Living Desert and it was a whirlwind from then on!  We got to see Auntie Cheryl and Brad, Grandma and Grandpa, Aunt Bev and Uncle Don, Uncle Craig and Aunt Faith and Uncle Ryan.  Shortly aferwards, we had a week with Buma and Bupa, then a quick visit to Vegas then home to rush through the rest of hosting preschool in time for Christmas! Phew!

First was Christmas Eve.  We had a beautiful day with Grandma and then a very crowded and not lovely time at mass. I can't wait until we have a church building and (maybe) enough seats for everyone!

That service was exhausting!

After church, our godson came over to celebrate with us!

Christmas Eve has always been magical for me.  Colin and I completed his advent nativity and I told Alex all about the magic that was Christmas.

I also got some sweet love from both of my boys.

But seriously, Christmas morning was awesome.  I remember that feeling of anticipation for Santa's arrival as a kid and I didn't realize you got to experience that again when you had kids of your own!!  I seriously could barely sleep.

And Santa did not disappoint!

Colin's Kitchen

Alex's Truck
Colin woke up excited.  "Open Presents with Santa today!!"  We explained that Santa had left the presents, and then we went downstairs to investigate the treasures.

"Hop on, brother!"

Colin was excited about his stocking.  There were surprise eggs inside!! (surprise eggs are plastic eggs wrapped in playdoh with toys inside... it's a youtube thing that the kids (toddlers, at least mine) are super into these days. :))

Alex was mostly excited about eating paper at every opportunity.  His brother was very helpful opening his presents!

It was seriously a magical day, especially the morning.  The kids were both so much fun.

It was a beautiful day.  We were so grateful to have Grandma here with us, and missed the friends and family who were far away.  I can't wait for next Christmas!! (and all the moments between now and then!)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Daddy Teaches Preschool

Last week we hosted our second preschool class.  Daddy taught this time!

Our theme wasn't quite as tight, but it still went over realy well!

We asked the kids to each bring a dry food good for a small food drive.  I tried talking to Colin about sharing food and hunger before class but it's hard to say if he got any of it. You never know, so it's never too early to start talking about principles that are important to your family!

When the kids arrived we had our snack and dove into circle time.

Gavin did awesome.  He worked hard to engage the kids and keep things upbeat and fun.  In circle time, we talked about the wather and Gavin read "Don't Spill the Milk".

After circle itme, we headed to the kitchen for some 'cooking' practice, complete with hats!

We mixed salt, flour, and water to make salt dough!

Afterwards, we made a few handprints, more on that in a later post!

Our next activity was cheerio treading.  We threaded fruit loops onto a pipe cleaner.  Some of the kids really got into this activity.  Colin not so much.  He ate a handful of fruit loops, put one on his pipe cleaner and was pretty much done.

Someone else thought it was a candy necklace!  

It was so fun watching the kids focus on an activity so carefuly!

We ended with some walking/jumping/crawling and closing circle time.  The kids seemed to have a great time and hopefully they all learned a little something too.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Preschool at the Griffins

Last week we hosted the Ladera Learners at our house for the first time.  I am scheduled to host May and have already started planning, so I had to be a lot quicker getting ready in two weeks for December!

Circle Time Board

Preschool Tables
For our first week, I decided I wanted to do a preschooler friendly service project.  I contacted the Ronald McDonald house about their pop top houses.  They were so wonderful and mailed them to me to avoid an extra drive to Orange.  We prefolded all of the houses so they would be ready for the kids.  Sadly, I was too busy to get pictures of the kids doing the activity, but it was a hit!  Most of the kids dumped the pop tops and did it several times!   We hope to keep this going at our house, although we don't really drink soda anymore.  

Since we had the little houses, I went with house/home as a theme.  Our sancks were little houses! :)

Snack time is always popular!  After snack, we did our craft/ activity.  We cut out family members and houses out of felt.  Each child picked out the members of their household and stuck them on the house.  It was really interesting to see how the kids view their families.  For example, most of the kids with a baby sibling put the baby with mommy.  (The exception being Colin, who put the baby with daddy.)  We actually had so much fun with the felt, that I think we are going to get Colin a little felt board for Christmas.  

We made a patch of playdoh for Colin birthday party and it was fun and the kids really enjoyed it so I decided to make up a second patch for the party.  I didn't like how the first one smelled, so I added lavendar essential oil to the second patch.  It came out awesome! The kids had a good time laying with it.

We closed with Three Bill Goats Fluff and our circle time songs.

It took a lot more energy than I had anticipated, but the kids did great and we had so much fun!