Friday, December 31, 2010

Just One More 2010 Post

Aack!  I just realized I am not officially caught up with 2010 blog posts because I have yet to reveal the answers to my Who's That Baby?! post.  I fully intended to re-post the pictures with the answers, but now that it is nearing the kids' bedtime and I'll be needed rather shortly, I'm thinkin' a quick answer key will have to do the trick for now.  Here it is: 

A.  Allie
B.Olivia
C. Zach
D.  Allie
E.Olivia
F. Zach
G. Zach
H.Olivia
I.  Allie

Although each baby definitely has their own look, I'm shocked at how much alike all three of them appear as well.  I was also surprised at how much Olivia is starting to look like Zach as she is growing (and, um, chubbin' out) since we all thought she was a dead ringer for Allie when she was first born. 

Christmas Catch-Up Part 3

We spent Christmas Day celebrating with my family at my parents' house.  After brunch, we enjoyed opening presents and spent the day talking, laughing, and of course playing with all the kids' toys before enjoying a fabulous Christmas dinner together. 
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Here are our attempts at a family Christmas picture:
 It was good to see Uncle Chris...who has been busy with work and school this past Fall. 
Can you tell the kids were excited about Christmas?
Olivia was passed around and held by all.


Allie and Grandpa:
The kids were also excited to see Aunt Stephanie and Uncle Chris B. who were in town visiting for a few days:

See?

A rare moment where Zach is sitting still:
 Another more rare moment...a picture of Ben and I without the kids:
The kids waiting patiently to open presents:

 The one good thing that comes from a poop explosion on Christmas Eve is that Mom can wash your Christmas outfit and you can wear it again on Christmas Day.
 And, here are the girls sportin' their matching flower headbands from Aunt Stephanie.


It was great to celebrate the day with family! 
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The next day was spent picking up our own house from the festivities...and attempting to find places for all those new presents. 
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Monday saw us going out for pizza before shipping the kids back over to Grandma and Grandpa's overnight while Ben, Olivia, and I enjoyed running some errands and veggin' in front of the TV.
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Then, on Tuesday, my sister and I ran some more errands and did some shopping while my parents, Ben, and Chris B. hung out with the kids. 
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Wednesday, I realized that my almost 2-month old baby was pretty much busting the seams of her 0-3 month wardrobe, so I spent most of the day washing and replacing her clothes with the next size up.  Ben took advantage of the warmer-than-average weather and went sledding with the kids at the school near our house that just so happens to have the perfect size sledding hill.  Both kids had a blast!  They also attempted to play in the snow in our backyard, but Zach especially found walking through snow that came up to his chest a wee bit difficult.  So, he opted instead to come inside for some hot chocolate
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Thursday, it rained.  Yes, it actually rained.  And, our once nice, white snow is now hard, black snow.  We spent most of the day taking down all of our Christmas decorations...which is always a bit sad.  I wasn't really in the mood to take down and pack away anything, so I must remember that next year when I pull everything out to decorate for Christmas and become irritated by how disorganized and poorly packed it all is.
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Thursday also marked Olivia's 2-month birthday!  I can hardly believe 2 months have gone by since she was born.  She goes into the doctor this next week for her 2 month check, so I'll wait until then to provide the more official stats. 
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Today we got up early (yes...we actually had to set the alarms because the excitement of the week has resulted in our kids sleeping past 7:30 am every day this week!) and went to a local indoor park where the kids had lots of fun running around to their heart's desire.  We went out for a special New Year's Eve lunch at the nearby Cheesecake Factory and also had fun walking around the attached mall.  We got home just as the freezing rain began pelting our pavement.
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And, now, I'm officially caught up!  Yay! 
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My New Years' Resolution?  No more boring catch up blog posts where I ramble on and on about our daily activities...eh...we'll see how long I can make that last!  
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Happy 2011! 

Christmas Catch-Up Part 2

Ben decided to take his Christmas vacation a day early and so he was home from work beginning on the 23rd (and he doesn't have to go back until this coming Monday...wohoo for long vacations!).  After running some last minute errands that morning, we decided to attend a Christmas Eve service at a local church that evening.  Here we are before the service:
 And here is Miss Olivia before the service:
 I wish I could say she stayed that way, but I think all of the lights and music were just more than she could handle.  The big kids LOVED it, but Olivia was so distraught she couldn't even eat...and did not fall asleep until much later that evening.  Can we say "over stimulation?!" 
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Anyway, the next day was Christmas Eve and we began the morning with opening stockings. 
 The Target $1 section provided most of the spoils.
 Even Ben got a stocking full of Packer goodies...did you know they make Packer toothbrushes?
 We began our Christmas Eve celebration with a birthday party for Jesus, complete with games like balance the ornament on a spoon relay...
 and a Santa's sack race relay...
 followed by singing Happy Birthday to Jesus complete with candles to blow out and  little chocolate Christmas tree cakes to eat. 
 Olivia mostly watched, but we made sure she had her very own candy cane.
 After we read the Christmas story together, opened the last door of our advent calendar, and ate lunch, we opened presents around the tree. 
 One of Zach's favorite gifts was his Buzz Lightyear walkie-talkies.  Even though he still doesn't really quite understand how to use them, he LOVES them nonetheless. 
 Here's Allie with a few new books she loves.  Her favorite gift was definitely the color-changing hair Rapunzel doll. 
 There was Packer attire gifts for all the boys in the family. 

 And, since it is this little babe's first Christmas Eve, I couldn't resist including a few more pictures of her (notice the outfit change?  Yep.  That was because after just one present being opened she completely filled her pants to overflowing.  The kids were very patient while they waited for her to rejoin the festivities...which was definitely difficult for them seeing as they had already had to wait ALL. MORNING. LONG.  I was reminded of this by both children while the third was being de-pooped). 

We finished out the day by playing with all the kids' new toys, waiting for Ben to return from an emergency battery run (apparently we did not realize some toys still take 9-volt batteries) and although I had grand intentions of making a nice Christmas Eve dinner, we called up Olive Garden To-Go instead.  We had a wonderful time celebrating with just the five of us!  And, I'm fairly certain we ate more Christmas cookies than should ever be allowed for one family to consume during the course of a day.

Christmas Catch-Up Part 1

All of the fun, excitement, and busy-ness of the Christmas season has found me way behind on documenting our holiday celebrations.  Add to that a husband who has been on vacation all week in addition to breaks from preschool for Allie and no ECFE for Zach and you have a recipe for lots of fun, but not much leftover time for the computer.  So, now only hours away from the advent of a new year, I feel compelled to catch up.  I just think it would be wrong to begin 2011 behind....you know what I mean?  So, while others are out celebrating at grand New Year's Eve parties, I will be playing blog catch up while watching the celebrations on TV from the comfort of my own living room (which is honestly a-ok with me seeing as I want nothing to do with the freezing rain outside and have every intention of hitting the pillow as soon as Olivia calls it a night).  And, since there is kind of a lot to get through, expect fewer words and lots of pics.  So, here goes...
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First up, we have the Christmas Pageant that Zach and Allie put on all by themselves.   
 
I acted as costume designer and Ben helped a bit with set design (as in, Allie couldn't figure out how to suspend her stuffed animal who was posing as an angel from the ceiling over Baby Jesus' manger). 
 We read the nativity passages from Matthew and Luke while the kids "acted" out the story of Jesus' birth. 
Next up, we have our favorite babysitters who happily watch the kids when there are doctor's appointments that need attending to or errands to run.  There were quite a few of those kinds of things to crop up before Christmas this year. 
Here we have a rare picture of all three kids prior to Allie's preschool Christmas program.   
 Needless to say, I am incredibly excited about the prospect of matchy-matchy dresses for the girls :)
 We enjoyed Christmas cookies at Allie's preschool...
 followed by a visit with Santa (where Zach apparently requested a box of salt for Christmas)...
before watching Allie and her friends from preschool sing their Christmas songs.  The little girl with Allie below is her best friend, Lauren (no, Lauren is really not that tall, she was just standing on a riser and Allie was not). 
Some songs that Allie enthusiastically sang for us included renditions of Feliz Navidad,  
 The Twelve Days of Christmas,
 Away in a Manger,
 and Go Tell it On the Mountain. 
The best part was that all the songs were complete with hand motions.  Although Allie wasn't as enthusiastic in her singing as last year (basically, last year, everyone within a 3-mile radius could hear our daughter singing), we had a great time watching her.