Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December Daily 29 Monday

We had a fun day playing, scrapbooking, and trying to setup Jim's ipod. Ryan and Jim headed to Jackson to get 4-year-old pictures taken. They had dinner at "Chicken Nuggets" and stopped by Toys R Us to buy Wii Play since we needed another remote controller. Tyler and Mommy stayed home and enjoyed a relaxing bath and then some playtime with remote cars and bowling pins. Bedtime gets later and later for all of us and I am sure that the transition back to work next week will be tough.

Monday, December 29, 2008

December Daily 28 Sunday

What a wild time getting the Hawkins family together for the holiday. Five kids running around attempting to take down their uncles. Women gathering in the kitchen for a holiday toast. Great meal. Great company. And finally, the gifts were open and the kids played merrily. You can get a sentimental feeling when you hear the sound of laughter in a jam-packed home. Good memories.

And then we sang Happy Birthday to Ryan and served desserts just in case we can't all get together again on the big 4 on New Year's Eve.

December Daily 27 Saturday

Just loving the day after Christmas and playing with every toy imaginable. We spent alot of hours playing Wii today, but also enjoyed Candyland and Cars during our breaks.

December Daily 26 Friday

Friday, December 26, 2008

December Daily 25 Thursday

"He came. Mommy, he came." Ryan said in reference to Santa.

The reindeer made a crash landing in our yard and plowed down our polar bear and penguin. But that didn't stop Santa from leaving a pile of gifts.

"How lucky!" I told Ryan. "I wasn't sure if Santa would put you on the nice list these past few days." I joked.

We had to wake Tyler up to open gifts. Any other morning Tyler is up promptly at 5:45 a.m. He must have been bushed from the evening prior.

We opened gifts. Ate breakfast. Played with toys. Got showered. Discovered that the driveway was pure ice. Jim scraped, salted, shoveled, and skid down the driveway face first before we headed for Homer to see grandparents. He said the fall really rang his bell. (Sorry sweetie.)
Another great holiday with family.

December Daily 24 Wednesday

Christmas Eve is always an enjoyable evening spent with family. Jim's brother David and his wife Jennifer invite us down for a fun evening of food, gifts, and laughter. The food was especially tasty and the kids were happily rambunctious.

The ride home mostly clear and safe. The ride down our driveway caused a little stir of panic as the watery rain slithered and froze in deceiving black ice. The Tahoe didn't take kindly to the ice and somehow Jim managed to stop us in the "Nick" of time just inches, literally, from our garage door. Santa's gift to us this Christmas Eve was most generous.

Grandma Cathy stayed the night with us tonight to see if Santa would actually make it to our house. Ryan has been teetering between the naughty and nice list.
10:00 p.m. Cookies on the counter for Santa (Thanks to Aunt Jen)
10:05 p.m. Reindeer food set on the front porch
10:10 p.m. Lights out. "Mommy, do we have a fireplace?"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

December Daily 23 Tuesday

Upside-down-baby is requested daily. Even Ryan enjoys being swung upside-down. Tick-tock-tick-tock...Ryan is a clock.

I'm sure Jim would've liked me to take the picture in the first couple of minutes of swinging around an almost 4-year-old...but I didn't grab the camera until after about 5 minutes of the game and exhausted and Ryan feels as if he weighs 100 pounds.

Later in the evening, the family fueled up to some popcorn. Tyler discovered that he really loves feeding Ryan like a baby.

December Daily 22 Monday

I didn't want to brave the stores with 2 restless kids so we played all day and when Jim got up, I took my mom to dinner and to finish up some shopping. Jim took some shots of Tyler who has been making funny faces for the camera. He is becoming a little ham. He is also doing a dive/flop to the ground these days that always brings a chuckle to those who see it. I'm sure he is just trying to get us to laugh.

Monday, December 22, 2008

December Daily Sunday

Baby it's cold outside. Everyone is staying inside. Jim's car won't start.

It's warm inside. We're playing video games and doing crafts. Getting some wrapping done. Made and ate brownies. Tried a new recipe with Chicken, garlic, parmesan, cream and bacon. Yummy.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

December Daily 20 Saturday

Very nice day filled with lots of chores, fun, and cooperating boys! I worked on some projects, Jim spent some time with friends from work. Ryan and Daddy went to the Addison girls basketball game to cheer on our sweet neighbor. All around nice and enjoyable day.

Oh, and here is a picture taken by our favorite photographer Ryan. This might be the first one that he has taken that doesn't cut off our heads. Disclaimer: not the cutest posers, we were in our comfy, stay-at-home attire.

Here's a couple other, not so stellar shots by Ryan:

See...quite the improvement.

Friday, December 19, 2008

December Daily 19 Friday

Snowed In!

After 2 hours of shoveling snow, Jim finally got a chance to drink a cup of cocoa and settle down for a plate of hot lasagna. That's hard work. Ryan wanted to go out to play while daddy worked. Tyler and I watched him from the window. He had alot of fun.

Today, I tricked myself that the roads were clear enough for a trip to get a hair cut and to take the boys to the Christmas party at school. The ride in was slow but pretty clear. When we got there, only a couple of other kids were there. I dropped them off and headed to do some Clerk duties and couldn't believe the instantly worstened road conditions. I told myself it was one of the dumbest decisions I have made in a long time and I could have just sat and cried. I just took it easy and made it safely to work. The roads were much clearer when I picked the boys up...but it sure did feel good when we got home.

December Daily 17 Wednesday

So much excitement in the house after school on Wednesday's. So much willingness to comply to Mom and Dad's every demand. Oh, behold the power of bribary. It's bowling night and Ryan knows that he must be cooperative to be able to go with Daddy.

Tyler stays home with mommy and practices some bowling of his own.

And every Wednesday night, Ryan comes home with a new "something" that was won during his adventure...beloved tatoos, skill crane stuffed animals, and this week...3 gelatin glowing tentacles that made their way to bed and glowed every time he moved. Creepy.

December Daily 18 Thursday

Today was one of the best days of the year. I went to the Battle Creek Veteran's hospital with a group of fun and compassionate heroes. The Veteran's Committee for my local union goes each year to bring cheer and joy to disabled veteran's who may not otherwise have any visitors. We marched door-to-door through long corridors trying to spread cheer. We gave Christmas gifts and lap blankets that were generously sewn and donated by our group, and we served ice cream. Many of the men and women had to be hand fed. By the looks on most faces, the mission was accomplished.

The day is not without a bitter sweet feeling however. Many of these veterans suffer not only from physical ailments, but also, from dimensia. Most cannot even communicate and sit unresponsive. It is such a great feeling when you see a flicker of light or a smile across these faces. For some, the visit was a bit overload and just wanted us to go away. I'm so proud of the men & women who went on this venture. Their compassion and willingness to lay their hands upon these "strangers" who fought for our freedoms is truly humbling and inspiring.

Okay, I have to run. I am brought to tears with the overwhelming emotion of the great memory. Enough said.

Peace. Love. Joy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

December Daily 16 Tuesday

White knuckle drive home from work.
Ice covered wipers that refuse to defrost.
1-mile backup of traffic to turn on US-12.
Prayers that the last car approaching the back-up sees the back up in time.
Drop off boys and stomp down the slippery slope to the front door.
Head off to the village for some more work.
Pump gas in drizzly rain/snow. Slowest pump in the world.
Home at 7:30.
Ate the most delicious too toasted frozen pizza rewarmed in the mircrowave.
Two boys steal most delicious 2nd piece of pizza.
Rewarded myself with 2 mini-ice-cream-sandwiches (Couldn't stop @ 1)
Tyler to bed.
Mom to bed.
Ryan to bed with mom.
Jim to work.
Fell asleep to Polar Express.
Woke up to end of Polar Express b/c Ryan wanted the channel changed.
Turned off tv.
Said to Ryan, "Go to sleep."
Last memory of the night...Ryan says, "But I want to watch it again."
Rolled over.
And here is what the boys did with daddy. Skeet Ball. Fun.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

December Daily 15 Monday

Much better day today! My family does so much better with a little structure and a change of pace. The boys really love to go to Miss Char's house and to come home for fun with Mommy and Daddy. They really get the best of all worlds that way.

We had some fun play time with bowling pins (surprise, surprise) before the boys ran upstairs (alone) to play. Jim and I enjoyed a few minutes to talk while I cooked a yummy Hamburger Helper gourmet meal. I made it kinda healthy by adding some black beans to the mix :) C'mon folks...let's see how creative you get when you've been up and running since 4:00 a.m. and your babies are hungry as soon as you get home from an 11 hour day with drive time.

As per usual, dinner was followed up with bathies since TyTy is covered head to toe with the meal du jour. Tonight, Ryan decides that he wants a shower. Initially, I think he made this choice b/c he knows showers are fast and he wanted to challenge Daddy to a bowling match. Once he got in, however, he took the longest shower of his life enjoying the stream trickle down his face and stomping the run off to make it splash. Ryan is really good at washing his hair and lathering up. We're trying to help him become more self sufficient since I am still choosing clothes and dressing him in a hurry to help "my" morning go along efficiently during the week. On our days off, we are trying to encourage him to help himself. (This is a hard task since Ryan is very jealous of Tyler and wants to be held, fed, and sit on our laps like Ty does.)

Ryan came up to bed soon after I got Tyler down for the night. Daddy delivered Ryan, blanket, and Christmas Tree Cupcake before he left for o/t work. I hope he enjoys the crumbs in bed!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December Daily 14 Sunday

While I sit here posting, I can hear the guys upstairs running around, laughing, playing, and getting along! To hear the boys laughing together is one of the greatest sounds. Especially since Ryan has been in time out half the morning and we haven't been able to get the grumpies out of Tyler yet today. Anyway, I'm grateful for the smile today. Some days are hard.

Here's a picture of Ryan opening his challenge present. On Sundays, Ryan gets to open a gift that was lovingly donated by his great aunt Char if he has a successful potty training week. It's week #2 of the program and Ryan is doing a great job.

December Daily 13 Saturday

We braved a trip to Jackson with the boys for some quick Christmas shopping. We did all the right things...both boys fed and napped and threatened;) before leaving. The main goal was to get a picture with Santa. We soon discovered that Tyler is a Santa hater and wouldn't have anything to do with the jolly 'ol man. We tried a few stores and even went back, but still no interest. You know I am heartbroken to have missed the photo opportunity!

Ryan won 2 toys in the skill crane and we ventured off for dinner at Ryan's favorite gamery, The Hunt Club. It didn't take long to discover that this was a big mistake as Tyler only wanted to run. He didn't want to just watch everyone play the games, he wanted the hockey pucks and skee balls, and expressed his passion by screaming! We aborted the idea of ordering a meal and finished our drinks while Ryan and Tyler played a few games. We had to grab a few meals at Wendy's before we landed at Meijer. Tyler put up with the stop for about 20 minutes and then wanted to run. Daddy ended up running to truck with a tired, screaming, and kicking little boy. Ryan and I finished up and we all headed home! It looks like we will probably be staying home with the kids for a few months as the experience was nearly miserable. Baghh.

On a good note: Tyler was all smiles at home trying to throw a ball at the camera and then everyone fell asleep peacefully and pretty early.

December Daily 12 Friday

We spent the day relaxing at home after a morning at Grandma Cathy's house. The boys always have fun at Granna's. As a matter of fact, Ryan asks me daily if we can go to Granna's on our way home from school. Ryan got out puzzles and Tyler parked himself in the puzzle box. Later, Ryan got out one of his favorite games. He doesn't know how to play any of them but he loves all of the different pieces and he creates his own made up games. Pretty creative but we are always reluctant to let him play with the 10-games-in-1 set due to the mess and to the potential danger of Tyler getting pieces in his mouth.

Friday, December 12, 2008

December Daily 11 Thursday

Spent the day with the boys all day today. Sure is nice to use up some vacation time. We played nearly the whole day and the boys even let me have some crafty time. I fixed grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch just to see how Tyler is progressing with a spoon. He was doing a really good job but refused to use his fork with his mashed potatoes at dinner time. Some fingers got in the mashers!! We had to strip him down to his diaper after dinner.

We each had a little sit down time before I left for work. Tyler and Ryan practiced their 1,2,3 jump routine and it sounds as if these might be Tyler's first words. They're not quite clear, but the intention is clear. Anyway, we all belly laughed. The boys laugh because the jumping was fun. Jim and I laughed because their laughs are so cute.

I had a meeting in the evening and Jim said he asked Tyler if he was ready for night night around 8:30 and Tyler walked to the stairs. Then he laid his head restfully on Daddy's shoulder before getting comfy in the crib. Ryan was still up at 9:30 when I got home. They were watching a basketball game that Ryan made me suffer through the game even after Daddy went to work. (Daddy's been working some o/t.) The game finally ended and Ryan fell asleep at 10:00. I relaxed and watched Private Practice.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December Daily 10 Wednesday

It's Bowling Night! Jim and Ryan take off for the lanes and Tyler spends hours setting up his own pins and throwing balls to knock 'em down. Folks, I'm telling you...this is the kids 3rd set of pins over the past year and have entertained them for hours!

Tyler and I settled down after some games and snuggled on the couch watching Mickey's Christmas Carol. What a good lesson. Tyler really loves Mickey. When Tyler's pillow finally fell off the couch from his squirming, he went down to the floor, laid his head down and fell asleep 2 minutes after Mickey was off the air! I spent some time working on my scrapbook. It's a lot of fun.

Jim says Ryan was extra intense this week at the alley. Friends commented on his good behavior which makes Jim proud. They even noticed how Ryan just takes it all in. It's one of Ryan's favorite nights of the week.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

December Daily 9

I didn't get alot of time to spend with my family today as I was working, but Daddy shared a few details with me. The boys had a good evening playing with each other. They are learning to share the bowling pins and to take turns knocking them down. Tyler also enjoys sitting next to Ryan while he plays Crash Bandicoot. Ryan is so good at the game that he ended up with 63 guys before it was time to settle down for bed. Jim fixed corn dogs and corn for their dinner per Ryan's request. Ryan ate 3 corndogs! Wow. Tyler ate "naughty" noodles (Ramen Noodles). He loves those slippery noodles and never attempts to eat them with a utensil. Of course, he really hasn't gotten the hang of utensils yet. Tyler was so into Crash last night that he hardly even made an attempt for me as I walked through the door. Sigh ; ( Soon after, he redeemed himself and wanted to snuggle. Hmmm ; )

I enjoyed working last night. It is a very task oriented job and I like the fact that the tasks are accomplishable in a sitting. My full time requires juggling many tasks that take 30-45 days to resolve and can be hectic to track. The main downfall of taking on a second job is taking even more time away from my family. Daddy took good care of them and seems to take it all in stride.

December Daily 8

Monday, Monday. So hard to get up at 4:00 a.m., especially after a 4-day-weekend! Ryan fell asleep on the couch last night at 7:30 p.m. I carried him up to bed around 8:00 so he got plenty of sleep and was a cooperative little boy in the morning. Both boys are incredibly good in the mornings and we are on a tight schedule.

One of the things I am liking most about December is the Christmas music. The music is especially magical this year because Ryan is really interested in hearing, learning, and singing the songs. Of course he loves Rudolph and Jingle Bells, but it is especially impressive that he is asking for the "Jesus on the mountain" song. (Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere. Go tell it on the mountain. Jesus Christ is born!) He loves talking about Jesus. Even Tyler is starting to babble some of the tunes. So cute.

If you are looking for a good Christmas CD, I was given a CD by the artist Jewel a few years ago and I am still loving it. My other favorite is by Josh Grobin.

Ryan has picked up the habit of using the word hate an awful lot. I always tell him that Jesus wants us to love everyone. "Even monsters?" he asks. "Especially monsters," I say. It is a lesson I am trying to embrace myself.

Peace. Love. Joy.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

December Daily 7

I'm trying to finish up Xmas Cards. We didn't get to see Santa so I attempted a photo shoot. I have a winner...but I won't post b/c I want it to be a surprise. Here's a couple of shots of life today.
Tyler's favorite meal is mac & cheese. Oh Happy Lunch.
Tyler has become a pro at sliding down the stairs on his belly. I betcha he can beat you down! (Can you tell that painting isn't our favorite chore? This project has been on the list for nearly 4 years!)

Ryan is loving candy canes. He insisted that Daddy buy a package to hang on the tree.

Duke Upset

We went to the U of M vs. Duke basketball game last night. Here are a few of the highlights I saw. Our seats were way up to the top but I really had a great view of this at&t advertisement. I swear that kids arms are 6 feet tall! If I ever get really mad at someone I'm going to buy them a basketball ticket and I am going to buy me the seat right in front of them and use this free banner all night long;)

No, seriously...the game was alot of fun and we hadn't expected a victory. Daddy, Ryan, Papa Ralph, and I enjoyed the band, the half time show and a great run by the blue and maize.

Ryan was very intense about the game and sat on Daddy's lap the entire night. At the end, the crowd rushed the floor. I wasn't really sure what the end score was due to some intense people watching...but Ryan assures me that Michigan scored 81 points and is surprisingly finding the number 81 around the house today (Heard around the house: "Hey Daddy, Michigan scored 81...Look!" in response to a score of 81,000 he had on a computer game today.) The kid has a good memory and is a real fan.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

December Daily 6

So Tyler was practicing his moves to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and I grabbed my camera fast. I'm sorry it's turned sideways but it's kinda cute so I thought I would share.

We went to U of M vs. Duke for a fun Basketball game today. U of M upset Duke and it was great. Ryan was so into the game. He sat on Daddy's lap the whole time. Papa Ralph joined us while Grandma Ellen and Papa T. took good care of Tyler.

Before the game we visited and played bowling in the living room. The boys love having company to play with.

December Daily 5

Hello Friday!

Tyler got tortured at Doctor Hunter's office. 3 shots from a very nice but very s l o w nurse left my baby boy screaming furiously. How frustrating for all of us. I just wanted to pick up my little sweetie and sooth him but the darn nurse kept fidgeting with the band-aid. Good grief. I'd rather have had a little blood spot on Ty's pant than to have to have him suffer. Oh well, all is forgotten now.

Grandma Cathy watched the boys while I worked for a couple of hours. The house was restful when I got home and soon, mom put us all to work setting up Christmas decorations. I wish I had my camera ready because the boys had a ball dancing with Grandma's 5 foot Santa clause who can really shake his booty!! It marks another milestone in my boys life as it is the first time we have really seen Tyler dance and it is the first time Ryan sang karaoke into Santa's microphone. Fun.

We made it home by 8:00 so that Ryan could watch the "Josh and Drake Christmas Special" on Disney. Here is what we looked like as 9:00 approached.

It was a really good show :) Jim was sweet enough to shoot this really horrible picture of me, but I am glad I have a picture for my album.

December Daily 4

We took an extra vacation day today. We started the day out early, as usual. By the time Daddy got home for bed, we were running full steam. So much so, I had to pack up the boys and track down to mom's house, otherwise, Daddy wouldn't have gotten any sleep. Tyler's nap was way too short and Ryan's nap was non-existant. By the time we got home and had dinner, both boys hit the hay at 7:00 p.m. Jim and I spent the evening relaxing and I turned in early because that is what I do but not before I bet the barn that the boys would be up by 5:00. I fell asleep to Gray's Anatomy and Jim went to work early.

December Daily 3

Sure is hard to post daily...even with the best intentions. Life keeps us happily busy.

We're off to a good start this December 3rd morning. With a little extra time to spare before running off to work/school...they boys sat and posed in the chair. We sang Happy-and-you-know-it to guarantee smiles on both faces. What a couple of ham bones! What a miracle they are... and what a miracle that we had time for a photoshoot at 5:00 a.m.