Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Well, I rung in the new year with a new People magazine and a HGTV House Hunters marathon. If that's not exciting, then I just don't know what is!!

As I look back over the past year, I have to say that it was, overall, a very good year. Stable jobs, good health for everyone (including no MS relapses for Cory), a great husband, kids and extended family...the list could go on and on.

I have never been one to make a New Year's resolution. I just have never felt compelled to make a resolution that I will probably not ever keep.

This year, however, after reading a post on one of my favorite blogs, I decided to pick one word that I will strive to be better at during the year.

That is the word that I have chosen this year.

As a mom of two toddlers, it is very easy to get so wrapped up in the mundane daily tasks of changing diapers, doing laundry, planning meals, and putting the same puzzle together for the hundreth time, that I lose focus on how much I have to be thankful for.

I hope that I will be able to keep this word at the forefront of my thoughts this year, especially when I am stressed or tired from a long day.

I hope that the next time Eden brings me a book that we just finished reading for the fifth time or Parker says "Come find me again!", I will be able to look at them and with pure joy and thanksgiving in my heart say, "I'd love to!".

For I know that there are so many out there that would give anything to have the opportunites I am having with my kids. It wasn't that long ago that I was the one longing to be a mom, wondering when it was going to be my time to hold that precious baby in my arms and call them mine.

As I look forward to the new year, I am excited to see what is in store for our family. It is my goal not to lose sight of all of the things that I have to be thankful for, not only right now when things are smooth sailing, but down the road when we run into a few bumps in the road.

I pray that you all have wonderful things happen to you in 2010 and that you too will try to focus on all of the things that you have to be thankful for in your lives. Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas at Grandma and Papa's

Parker and Eden had a great time spending time with Grandma and Papa on Christmas morning.

Eden wasn't quite sure what to think about everything, but quickly warmed up and enjoyed opening her stocking with Grandma.
Parker was very proud of his new Cars houseshoes. The best part was when Grandma and Papa brought out Parker's new Big Wheel. Hopefully, the weather will warm up soon so he can get outside and ride it some more.
Thanks Grandma and Papa for such a wonderful Christmas! We had a great time spending the morning with you!

Christmas Morning

Before we went to bed on Christmas Eve, Parker and Eden remembered to leave out some cookies and milk for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer. (Apparently, Parker didn't think the reindeer would be very hungry and only gave them 2 carrots. Sorry Rudolph- maybe he will be more generous next year!)

We woke up Christmas morning to a white Christmas. I can't remember the last time it snowed around Christmas, so it was a fun memory to see snow covering our backyard.
Parker and Eden enjoyed playing with the toys that Santa brought them. Eden got a stroller for her baby doll and Parker got a t-ball set. They also enjoyed opening their stockings.

We opened presents and enjoyed eating breakfast together as a family. Then we got dressed and headed out to Cory's parents to have Christmas with them.

Christmas Eve at Granna and Granstan's

We had a wonderful Christmas this year! We started our festivities at Granna and Granstan's house on Christmas Eve. We usually do not open gifts until Christmas Day, but this year my brother-in-law, who is a firefighter, had to be on shift on Christmas Day, so we decided to move everything up one day. We had the kids open their presents before their naps and they all enjoyed it. Thanks Granna and Granstan, Aunt Emily and Uncle Jon, and Aunt MerMer for all of the fun new toys!
Parker playing with the new kitchen
Parker's new pound-a-peg has been quite a hit
We tried really hard to get a good picture of Granna and Granstan with all 4 grandkids, but it just didn't happen. This was the best that we could get-at least no one was crying!
One of the best surprises of the day was that it snowed most of the afternoon. Unfortunately, the wind was blowing too hard for the kids to get to go outside, but Cory and I ran outside for a picture!
After dinner, we put the kids into their Christmas pajamas. They all looked so cute this year. We let Parker be Santa and all of the girls be the reindeer. Eden in her pajamas
Our annual family picture
(Thanks Uncle Jon for jumping up and down and acting silly in order to get the kids to smile...I am forever grateful to you!)
Happy girl Mommy and Eden

Monday, December 21, 2009

Here Comes Santa Claus

This season we have had a fun time trying to get Parker to understand who Santa is and what he does. He knows that Santa is coming to our house but that is about all I think he really understands. He does not understand that he is supposed to ask Santa for something and I still don't think he realizes that Santa will bring him toys.

We have had several chances for Parker and Eden to see Santa this year. This first picture is last year's picture. Eden was only 1 week old and did great. Parker was hysterical the entire time.

Here are this year's pictures. We had a role reversal this year. Parker was very unsure of Santa but with a little bribing with a candy cane, we managed to not have any tears this year. Eden, on the other hand, hated every minute of it. You can see in the first picture that she is about to lose it, and in the second picture, she has completely lost it!!

The next picture is Parker's Santa picture from preschool. I was shocked when his teacher said that he loved seeing Santa and was the first one in his class to run over and climb into Santa's lap.
The last picture is one that we had taken at Wal-Mart, of all places! We were shopping after church a few weeks ago when someone asked if we had gone back to the photo department to get our Santa picture. We decided to give it a try, but both kids started whining or crying the minute they saw Santa. The only way we were able to get the picture is to get in the picture with them. I thought it turned out cute!

Overall, I thought our Santa picture experience was pretty successful this year. My goal for next year is to have both kids sitting in Santa's lap without any tears!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Gingerbread Man

Tonight my mom kept all 4 grandkids while my sister and I each got to have a date night.

If I was in charge of all 4 kids, I would go into survival mode- do whatever I needed to do to stay sane with 4 kids under the age of 3. Not my mom! She found time to make and decorate a gingerbread man with Addison and Parker.

When we got home, they were so proud of their creation. Addison pointed at it and said,"I made that!".

You can tell from the pictures that they enjoyed eating it as much as decorating it! Thanks Granna for making a fun memory with the kids tonight!

The Graduate

This past Thursday, my younger sister, Meredith, graduated from nursing school. She has worked so hard for the past two years and we are so proud of her. She will start working at Dallas Children's Hospital in January and we know she is going to make a wonderful pediatric nurse. Congratulations, Aunt MerMer!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

Last year, Eden was only a few weeks old during the holidays, so we did very minimal Christmas decorating. I was sleep deprived and knee deep in breast milk and poopy diapers, so it was a miracle that I was even able to put up a small tree and our stockings.

I think that is why I was so excited about decorating this season. I even started a little bit early this year so that I would be able to enjoy it as long as possible. Here are just a few things that you might see around our house this year.
The Tree
Our tree fit perfectly in the corner by the fireplace in our new house. It's nice and snug so the kids can't get behind it and make it topple over. I have been very surprised at how well they both have done with the tree this year and have only caught them touching the ornaments a few times.

Here are my 3 favorite ornaments: Parker and Eden's "Baby's 1st Christmas" ornaments and the ornament we made the year we lost Katelyn. Since we don't have a picture of her we put a picture of her footprints instead. These 3 ornaments are the first ones to go on the tree when I am decorating, and the last ones to come down.

The mantle
This year, the mantle holds my nutcracker collection. I started it several years ago and have enjoyed adding one or two new ones each season. One of my favorites is Buckingham Palace guard nutcracker because it reminds me of our trip to London several summers ago.

The stockings
I usually hang the stockings on the mantle but I was very worried that Eden might pull one of the heavy metal stocking holders on top of her head so I had to come up with a new plan this year. I decided to put them on the windowsill instead. I actually think I really like them there and may put them there again next year.

The Nativity

I love my Willow Tree Nativity scene. I put it on the table between our couches and I have enjoyed talking about it with Parker this year. He can pretty consistently name Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, but gets confused with everyone else. Yesterday when I pointed to the Three Wise Men and asked him who they were, he said "The Wise Guys"!! (Close, sweet boy, close!)

I hope that you have had as much fun decorating your house this year as I have. I am taking the time to enjoy it every day, because as much as I love it, I know that I will probably be very ready to take it all down once Christmas rolls around.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

About a week ago, Cory's parents surprised the kids with a Santa Dog that sings "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and a couple other songs. They have had more fun playing with the dog and dancing to the tunes. You can find them interacting with it several times a day. Even Eden has learned how to push his paw to make him sing without needing any help from us. I know the kids will enjoy it for many years to come. Thanks so much, Grandma and Papa, for such a fun early Christmas gift!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Would Someone Get This Kid a Glass of Water?

Jingle Bells

We have finally found a way to keep track of Eden (a.k.a The Ninja)!
Parker came home from Sunday School this morning with this bell. Of course, Eden was curious about it and wanted to wear it just like him. After she had it on for a few minutes, Cory and I realized that we knew exactly where she was in the house with the bell around her neck. We've let her wear it the rest of the day and, so far, have cut down on our mess clean up by at least 50%!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Parade

Tonight was the annual Cleburne Christmas parade. The eye clinic always has a float in the parade, so we bundled up and headed out to support them. The weather was quite cold, but with our hats, new gloves, and some Starbucks hot chocolate, we stayed pretty warm.

Parker was very excited about the "prade" and he talked about it all afternoon. His favorite parts were the horses and the candy. By the end, he was shivering and said, "Let's go get in the car."

We had a fun time, despite the chilly weather. Maybe next year Parker will be big enough to ride on the float with Cory.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

First Year Stats

Eden went for her 1 year check-up this week. Here are her latest stats:
Weight: 21.3 pounds (50th percentile)
Height: 30 3/4 inches (95th percentile)
As you can see from her numbers, she is long and lean.
We also went for her one year pictures this afternoon. She did well but did not give us very many smiles. Apparently, from what my mom told me, I was the same way when I was a baby. No tears, but no smiles either. That's ok...I still think she is pretty darn cute!!