Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bundled Up!

We had fun Friday at the Santa Claus Parade. It was freezing. The boys were bundled up in ski coats and snow pants and we still froze. It's still so fun to watch a parade. I'll post some pix soon. For now, here are some bundled up pictures from our first snowfall of the year. Ryan had Jim out in the snow trying to build a snowman with only 1/2 inch of snowfall. Cute.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. We are really looking forward to spending time with family this weekend and focusing on all that we have to be thankful for. We might even brave some shopping.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Stories in Hand-My Family Now

Assignment: Family-Our Bedtime Routine Right Now

Evening is a very hectic time of day in our household. With 2 working parents and putting in 10 hour work days, it is difficult to keep up with daily life. Lately, the evening routine is becoming just that--routine. There is a lot to be said for a little "same 'ole".

Dinner, bathtime, and putting on PJs leads right into bedtime rituals. At 15 months, Tyler is just starting to take his bath in the full size tub as apposed to the big kitchen sink. He really loves the variety of toys and the freedom he has to crawl around the tub and lean down to kiss the bubbles. (I mean soap bubbles, not the other variety, although that does occur occasionally.) I don't know what he loves more...throwing toys out the tub or hearing "No! No throwing toys out of the tub."

One of my favorite moments of the night is getting Tyler out of the tub. As soon as he is wrapped in a towel, he puts his arms up to be held and he snuggles his head into the crook of my neck. He is so warm and sweet and it is a moment to savor with a boy who is normally so on the run. He totally gets in the zone once he is nestled in warm footy pajamas. At snack time his favorites include vanilla wafers or graham crackers and a tall bottle of milk. He uses a sippy cup during the day, but still likes the comfort of a bottle at night. He really loves to sit on our laps at this time of the night and when the bottle is gone, I carry him to his crib and lay him down for the night. I'm loving the fact that he is so peaceful at bedtime. He likes to lay down on his belly and arch his bottom toward the sky.

Ryan seems to really like this time of night too. Sometimes he shares a bath with Tyler, but mostly, he likes his bath to himself so he can practice his diving. With Tyler nestled in bed for the night the world seems to be in the palm of his hands. With no worries of Tyler getting in his way or taking away mom and dad's attention, Ryan takes advantage of prime game time! Game time is a nice blend of video games, (Crash Bandicoot tops the list with PacMan and Spiderman in close seconds.) exercise, board games (Sequence and Yahtzee), puzzles, and/or movies (Cars and Kung Fu Panda). Of course, Ryan would never get ready for bed without a snack. His favorites include popcorn, ice cream sandwiches, superman ice cream, fruit snacks, pretzels, and cheetos. Usually by this time of night, Ryan has helped to pick up toys and is ready to assume his position on the coach next to daddy with his blanket and his "thumb sandwich." (Mommy is usually in bed with a book or studying the back of her eyelids.) When it is finally time for night night, Jim brings Ryan up to bed with mommy which isn't really a problem for us since Jim is a 3rd shifter. On the weekends Ryan sleeps in his own bed with no argument. I so love the last few moments of the night snuggling with Ryan and hearing his last couple of silly giggles before all is quiet for the night.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Stories to Tell

I'm taking an online class over at that helps to spark ideas for storytelling. I have a few assignments and thought it would just be easiest for me to blog about my memories. I hope you will enjoy my ramblings (memories) and I hope it will spark some of your own memories. I'd love it if you would leave a comment about your own traditions too.

Assignment: Roots--Describe a Childhood Christmas
The anticipation of Christmas morning heated the 2-bedroom trailor that the 5 five of us nested in 1981. Curiosity had already gotten the best of my brother and I. Close quarters made it nearly impossible to avoid the closet that was made home to the assortment of gifts my mother had purchased and hid beneath blankets and other storage items.

Friends at school had been revealing wish lists for weeks and, of course, we had our lists too. Although Santa had always been generous in the past, we knew that this year, he would have to be more conservative.

(Sidebar) On occasion, mom would allow us to tag along to the L&J bowling alley where she would bowl in a league and we would drop quarter after quarter into the latest video games in the arcade. Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Joust, and Asteroids were among the ones I can remember. We spent hours playing those games and nagging mom for more quarters. (I don't know how she could concentrate on the bowling with all of our whining. I know my brother would say that I was the only one whining;) That same year, miniature Pac Man Arcade games hit the market and everyone was talking about getting one. Truth be told, we didn't really talk about it because we just knew it wasn't in the budget.

Somehow, those blankets got jumbled around and, in time, a few of our unwrapped gifts were revealed to my brother who quickly pulled me to his side. I'm sure we stood there way too long. Mouths wide open with excitement. To our surprise, there was a PacMan arcade game stowed away. From that moment, the countdown until Christmas Day felt like an eternity away. For a 1st and 3rd grader one day of waiting felt like forever! And so, I'm sure we passed the days away by sledding and playing in the snow. We sure did get alot of snow back then and we had the best sledding hills in the county.

On Christmas Eve I can remember laying on the couch while the rest of the family played games, made cookies and all of the other festive goings on that I can't really remember. I felt really sick and slept most of the evening. Sure enough, Christmas morning arrived. I can still remember the look on my brothers face while opening the package that was the same size as the one we had scoped know, the PacMan Arcade. Low and Behold, as the red and green holiday paper was pulled from the box, that little yellow icon smiled upon us. He lifted the cardboard flap a little too easily and newspaper clippings began to tumble out. With a little help, he discovered that the box had been filled with handmade ceramic figures. Disappointment, denial, and then a demand for answers as to where the game was hidden was witnessed on both of our faces. Straightfaced, my mother said there was no game. Even though we never believed that there was no game, I can't remember how much time lapsed before we were rewarded with the trophy game. I can't remember getting in trouble for snooping, but I do believe it was the last time we searched for our gifts before Christmas morning.

We spent hours playing that game. It is one of my most memorable gifts ever and I don't know how my mom scraped up the cash but she made a whole family delighted with it's purchase.

By the way, the next day, I was admitted to the hospital with Bronchitis. My brother spent those days mastering the game while I sat bored in a hospital....but that is another story to be told.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

15 months

Hard to believe my little guy is already 15 months old. It's time to readjust the car seats for this growing boy. The carseat in my truck is still rear facing and his big feet are crushed into the back of the seat. In daddy's car, the seat is forward facing and he loves that he can see the view ahead. Last night, while daddy and Ryry were at the bowling alley, Tyler and I enjoyed our time by climbing stairs up and then going all the way down to the basement. Tyler loves this adventure and when I got distracted with a couple of projects, he continued the task on his own. At one point he came up missing and I discovered in our walk-in closet with the door closed. It was pitch black but when I opened the door his face was wide with a smile. I think he is going to be an adventurer. Ryan, even at 3.8 years still rarely leaves one of our sides.
Ryan is having some success on the potty. What a roller coaster. C'mon buddy, keep up the good work.
Have a good weekend everyone!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Jumpin' in Leaves & Catch-Up

Wow. It's getting chilly. It seems like it was just last week that we were outdoors in T-shirts. was just last week. Check out some shots of Ryan going all out jumping in the leaves. He had alot of fun and buried mom and dad a couple of times too.

Jim and I had some fun on Friday. We took the boys to daycare and spent the morning at Ikea and other shops in the city. We spent the rest of the weekend at home playing with the boys. We are still trying to convince Ryan to do his duty in the toilet. He is adament that it just hurts too much so we may have to get him back to the Dr. for a diagnosis. The kid is pretty stubborn and I think he just has his mind set. Until he decides to give it a try, we have taken away the video games. Last night after about 5 messy Pull-Ups I told him if he poops in his pants again the TV goes off! Well, the tv went off at 6:00 p.m. and he cried for nearly an hour. Mostly because he missed iCarly (a Nickelodeon Tween show that Ryan has adopted as favorite show.).

Jim wanted me to be sure to record this memorable moment. The boys hit the golf course for the last time of the season on November 6th. The skies were sunny and bright. The wind was a bit chilly...but not too cold. And only a couple of balls were donated to the leaf piles. Ryan adores going golfing with Daddy!

As for Tyler...he is oh so super sweet but he is definately wanting attention. He wants to be held constantly and uses his red-headed powers of demand to ensure he gets what he wants. Sometimes it is frustrating b/c we have so much to do but when he snuggles his rosy cheeks into the crook of your neck you are sure to forget there is anything more to do than to just enjoy his hugs.