Sunday, December 30, 2007

We're almost back on track!

It has been 5 days since Christmas and we are just about back to normal around here and boy am I glad about that!! Our house has been in turmoil for about a week and a half now and I am SO sick of the chaos! As of right now the only rooms that are left to be thoroughly cleaned are mine and Hannah's - but that is pretty much always the case so it's okay.

The weekend before Christmas we had parties to go to. Saturday we went to Bill's cousin's house for his family party and the kids had a blast! There were 15 kids between the four cousins and they are all about the same age with the exception of 1, who is the oldest of course. Originally we weren't going to be able to make it because Hannah was supposed to have a soccer game but it was cancelled and so we decided to go. We don't see Bill's family all that often so it was really nice to see everyone and we all had a great time.

On Sunday we had our annual "Rick mas". It's a get together with some of Bill's friends at their former boss' house (from when they were teenagers) whose name is Rick! We have Home Run Inn pizza and dessert and all the kids get a present. We hardly ever see Rick so it's nice to get together with him and we always have fun at his house.

This year our actual Christmas holiday was wonderful because we didn't have to run around like crazy people trying to get to every one's house on time or force the kids to open presents (doesn't that sound awful!?!?) Normally we spend Christmas Eve with my grandparents and my aunts and uncles then split Christmas day between opening presents at our house in the morning and then heading to my mom's for lunch and gifts with them and heading back to end with dinner and gifts with my in-laws. I don't think I have to tell you what a pain the behind that was and man was it a trick to keep the kids from getting grumpy!! Anyway, this year my grandma wasn't up to a family get together because she had just gotten out of a rehab facility after recovering from pneumonia and she was still pretty weak, so we (meaning my two aunts and their families and two of my four uncles and their families) headed to my mom's house for Christmas Eve. Everything turned out really nice and we had a pretty laid back night.

Here's all of us in front of the tree

There were only three kids there and they were so good about not trying to peek at the presents. They didn't even go near them until we said it was time to open them which was shocking because when my cousins and I were little you couldn't keep us away from the tree!

After everyone left Bill, the kids and I stayed and opened presents with my mom, dad and sister. We figured that since we were already going to be there it'd be silly to go back the following day and that way were were free to do other things Christmas afternoon. It was a really late night for the kids - we didn't leave until 1:00 am - but they held up really well.

On Christmas morning we got to sleep in a little bit. We woke up to Hannah excitedly jumping into our bed telling us that Santa had come and left presents and ate almost all of the cookies that we left and the reindeer ate the celery and carrots that we left out for them. With that we all headed into the front room to open gifts. They didn't get too much stuff this year but they got a lot of electronics. I'm afraid that my kids are going to be gadget freaks like their father but in this day and age that's almost inevitable! They got a few toys and lots of games for their game systems (Leapster and vsmile things, they're too small for a Wii or anything like that) and some computer games, books and puzzles all of which they LOVE!

The kids checking out some of their gifts

Later in the afternoon we went to my sister-in-law's house for dinner. she decided to keep dinner simple so we had steaks and au gratin potatoes and lots of other yummy stuff. After dinner we opened gifts and then just sat back and relaxed as the kids ran around and played.

In front of the tree again!

All in all, we had a great Christmas. There was no stress for Bill and I and we got to enjoy the holiday with everyone without rushing around like a bunch of crazies. Of course, I'm still glad that we don't have to do it again until next year!!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!

I just wanted to wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Snow Day & Our Christmas Tree

Ok, just so you know, I actually started this post on Monday but I've been so busy I'm just finishing up today. So no, I didn't wait til the VERY last minute to throw up decorations or anything - I'm a slightly better mommy then that!
We woke up on Sunday morning to about a foot of snow. As soon as the kids saw it they were begging to go out and I being a party pooper, told then that they had to at least eat breakfast before they went out. Let me tell you, I don't think they've ever eaten that fast!! So after breakfast Bill went out the dig out the snowblower so that he could clear the driveway and all that good stuff, and I began the impossible task of getting the kids into their snow gear. About 25 minutes, 6 shirts, 5 pairs of pants, 3 pairs of socks, 3 pairs of gloves, 3 jackets, 3 pairs of boots, 2 hats, 2 scarves and 1 pair of tights later the three of us were ready to face the snow. And I swear that they somehow changed personalities while I was getting them dressed! Now Hannah who is usually my cautious "look before you leap" child jumped right into the snow.
Here she is right after coming out of the house - making her way to the swingset

Alexander who is normally my little daredevil, wasn't quite so sure about the snow as his big sister. It took him a few minutes and some encouragement from mom to get him to wade in.

Poor kid, the snow was up to his knees!! After a few steps on his own I had to go in and help him out which resulted in me getting all nice and snowy

Hannah was kind enough to clean off the slide for her brother.

Of course Alexander decided to hang out at the top of the slide for a while so I actually missed him coming down!

Hannah loves making snow angels. Here is her first one for the year!

Alexander thought snow angels looked like fun so he tried to make his very first one (without much success)

When Bill was done with the snowblowing he made the kids a small hill to sled down and they had a blast! Unfortunately, the camera I had with me needs a new battery and it ran out of power before I could get pictures of them sledding, Grrrrr....After about an hour Xander and I decided to come in. He was pretty much done with the snow about 15 minutes after we went out but I managed to keep him occupied by letting him help clean off Bill's car (which was left out in the snow the night before) and by taking a short walk on the already shoveled sidewalk. Hannah is such a daddy's girls that she wanted to stay out and help Bill finish up outside so we let her. That worked out nicely because she then got to "help" bring in the Christmas Tree. Since Hannah's birthday is in the begining of December, I always wait to put up any decorations in the house. I try to make her birthday as special as I can since it's so close to the holiday and this is why we're just bringing in our tree now!

After that, Hannah and I went to my aunt and uncle's house for a "Christmas with the Ladies". My aunt is from Kentucky and is very hospitable - she's always having some type of party. She said that she used to have these christmas parties when she lived ing KY and decided to start the tradition up here this year. We had a nice time and Hannah and my 8 yo cousin Angelina got to play some games with us. Hannah was especially excited to play an ornament game where everyone ended up getting an ornament. Hannah was so excited to show her dad when we got home that she ended up breaking hers and was very upset. Once we calmed her down and asured her that we could get her another ornament, we decorated our tree. Normally Bill and I decorate the tree while the kids run around and play but this year it was especially nice because the kids really helped us out.

Xander wasn't quite sure what to do with the ornaments at first

Hannah was nice enough to show him what to do

Hannah putting up the Angel

My little angels

This is my favorite thing to do all year. I'm so glad that the kids were into it this year. It really helped me get into the Christmas Spirit!!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Kids can be so sweet to eachother when they think that nobody's around

So I'm sitting at my computer now checking my email and other random things and the kids are playing in the front room. They are actually jumping off of the couch onto the floor. They're not really supposed to be doing this and I am about to get up and remind them of this when I hear Alexander jump off the couch and upon landing say "Ouch, I gotta boo boo". This is followed by Hannah saying "don't worry, I'll make it better" and then I hear her kissing his boo boo. Isn't that just one of the sweetest things ever!?!?! They can be so great together, especially when I don't interfere. Of course, I can't let them play by themselves for too long. Eventually they do try to kill one another but for about an hour or two listening to them play is the best thing I hear all day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I Survived!!!

Hannah's friends Princess Dress Up party was yesterday and she had a blast. It was her and nine little girls and two little brothers running (and screaming) through my house for 2 1/2 hours. Most of the kids were just dropped off and picked up but there were three moms that did stay and ended up helping me out which I was so greatful for. I SO would have been cowering in the corner if it hadn't been for them.

All of the girls got a princess dress and jewelry to wear and got to make princess bags with sticker jewels (ooh, fancy!!). We played a few princess games that they really liked. They played pin the crown on the princess, pass the princess (hot potato), the limbo (always a crowd pleaser) and there were few games that we forgot to play. I totally forgot about the pinata that Hannah and I picked up. Fortunately she didn't remember either, and still doesn't. And since I not only forgot to pull it out but also forgot to fill it, it will be going back to the store later today! After that came pizza, presents and cake.

Now, in order to get Hannah to go along with the whole having a party at home instead of doing like a Chuck E. Cheese or something, I told her that she could have a castle cake. She was so excited about this cake that she told everyone that her mommy was making her a castle cake. At first I was totally planning on buying a cake but after hearing her tell so many people that her mom was making it just for her I knew that I had to make it. Of course, I've never made anything like this but I figured that I was a smart girl and I was sure that I could figure it out. So I began looking around for ideas and finally found a cute one that didn't look terribly challenging at . So there I was yesterday morning making my cakes and trying to psych myself out to make this cake - and I did it. Of course, Hannah tried to help me and flipped one of the cakes before it was ready so it fell apart, but I carried on. Then I was running late with frosting it because I had to reclean the house after the kids decided to play. I think they played tornado because that's what it looked like to me!! Anyway, considering that this was my first attempt I think I did okay. One of the towers fell off but that was it - the rest of it survived long enough for us to sing and for me to cut it up and serve it. It may have been a little crooked too, but Hannah LOVED it and that's all that matters. My job was done!

Looking back on yesterday I have to say that it was fun to watch the girls (and boys) play together and get excited over everything but mostly it was just EXHAUSTING!! I ended up passing out on my bed sometime around 9:30 pm still in my clothes with my hair in a ponytail. I guess I just can't hang anymore...

I will say one last thing though, Chuck E. Cheese is looking a lot more appealing to me!

Okay, I've tried to post this twice already with some pictures but it's not letting me. I've taken out the pictures and will post some of those tomorrow.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Birthday Hannah!!

Today is (or should I say was since it is 9:00 pm?) Hannah's 5th birthday. For those of you who may be reading that do not know me, Hannah is my daughter and the oldest of my two kids - Alexander is my 2 1/2 year old son. Anyway, this year we decided that since she was turning 5 and now officially a "big girl" that she could have a party with just her friends as opposed to the craziness that has been her past birthdays where we invite everyone on the planet into our not so tiny/not so big house that does not have a basement. Her friends party is on Tuesday and I will be invaded by 10 little girls for a princess dress up party and I have to admit that I am a little scared!! But, ,that is days away so I will let you know how that goes later in the week.

We had the family - my parents (nana & papa) and sister and my MIL (grandma) and SIL and her family and Hannah's godfather's family (godfather had to work so his wife and kids came without him) over for pizza and cake today. I have to say that it was really nice having just a few people here. It wasn't over crowded or stressful. It was quite nice!!

I don't know about the rest of you moms (or dads) out there but for some reason I had a hard time with my baby turning 5. It just seems like such a big number to me. I feel like we just brought her home and now she's 5. I kept getting all emotional over every little thing too. She counted to 110 the other day and I almost bursted into tears. I know that everyone told me that I should enjoy her because kids grow up fast but, Geez!! Bill (my husband) thinks I'm nuts. Okay, I'm sure that there's lots of people out there that think I'm nuts but now I'm actually starting to agree!! Luckily I was totally composed today. I didn't get teary eyed at all and I was so proud of myself!! But having Hannah is one of the best things that I've ever done. She is such a joy to have in our lives. She's smart and funny and incredibly loving. Sure she's got a little attitude -what girl doesn't?- but she gives fantastic hugs and has magic kisses that make mommy's boo boos go away. I just love my little pumpkin pie!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

So I've finally taken the plunge...

You got it, I've finally decided to create my own blog. Why you ask? Well for two reasons: 1). sometimes there are cute stories that I'd like to share with all of you and I don't remember Bill's password to post on his blog and 2). because sometimes a girl just needs a place to park her frustrations!! Not that I've got anything to be frustrated about now but it's nice to know that there's somewhere to go when the time comes.