Friday, December 23, 2011

2011 Week 51

Christmas here we come! Last day of school was on Friday. Kaitlyn got a half-day and Tyler's preschool had their party - pretty much just cupcakes and other yummy food and a gift exchange. Can you tell how Tyler eats his cupcakes? Yup - icing first!

12 Days of Christmas continues. The kids are having tons of fun with it.Tyler really really wanted to sleep by the Christmas tree. He brought the toy table downstairs all by himself and covered it with blankets to make his own tent. We still weren't convinced he should sleep in the living room, but he was one step ahead of us and fell asleep on the floor a whole 30 minutes before bedtime! So yeah, we let him stay there all night.

Kaitlyn's Christmas Dance Recital was on Sunday. She did great! And doesn't she look so grown up?

At least until you see her next to the other girls in her class, most of whom tower over her. Granted, most of the girls in her class are a year older, but Kaitlyn would still be tiny in a class all her age.

And of course we HAD to find a place to take the kids to see the lights. Meadow Lights is about an hour's drive from our house and a pretty good set up. They take you around the field in a train to tour the lights. Very popular place though - tons and tons of traffic and long long lines. The day we went it was 70 degree weather. At 9:00 PM - such a novelty! Despite the lack of cold, the night wouldn't have been complete without stopping for hot cocoa (Kaitlyn insists on calling it cocoa instead of hot chocolate) on the way home - so we did!

Friday, December 16, 2011

2011 Week 50

This is our final week before the start of Christmas break and there has been a lot packed into it!
Saturday was the town's Christmas celebration. The kids got to see Santa (silly me didn't even take the camera since last year they had a professional there. This year is was just someone with a point and shoot and though they did print out photos for us for free, they aren't very good), which they have been really looking forward to. Kaitlyn had rehearsed Tyler so that he would say exactly what he (or she lol) wanted. It was pretty funny to watch him rattle it off. Ty requested a DSi with a Monster Truck game. Kaitlyn wants a bike.
That night was also the town parade. It was kind of chilly but not too bad. Kind of a fun idea to have a parade at night, though I think a lot of the floats could have piled on a LOT more lights :) We ended up next to one of the girls from Kaitlyn's class so the two of them had a great time together. Tyler was really excited at first but the long day and the cold got to him and halfway through the parade he retreated to the chairs and the blanket.
In between the two events we squeezed in a party with the neighbors - fun!

The kids were excited to start opening the 12 Days of Christmas gifts that Grandma Jackson sends every year. Tyler has taken to waking up incredibly early, then waking up his sister - no matter how often I tell him not to! So we have a really big chunk of time in the mornings before school.

I played photographer a lot this week. My friend asked me to take maternity photos for her so one day I did a session with her and her husband and another day we did a solo session for her.

Also of note this week, though not in the happy category - On Monday night shortly before we were due to leave for dance class, Tyler decided to throw a pencil at his sister. Not something he should be doing and I don't know the story around it. What I do know is that all of a sudden Kaitlyn is wailing and when she gets downstairs she has blood pouring out of her forehead. It turned out to be a LOT of blood for what was actually a very small cut. But we're talking scary amount of blood here. Enough to make me get dizzy and almost pass out in the middle of dealing with it. But deal with it we did and she is fine. Of course she couldn't face making heading out to dance class after that - not that we would have made it out the door on time. We (Tyler and I mostly) spent the next hour or so cleaning up the blood trail that led from the playroom, down the stairs (hitting each and every stair more than once), into the living room, then of course into the powder room where we dealt with most of the problem. Kaitlyn was worried she would get a lot of questions about her cut at school the next day, but it was so small no one even noticed it.

It's funny how things ripple though. Because we missed dance class we didn't get the final details on the dress rehearsal for the recital, nor did we get her costume. So it took me some extra time to track down the info and she had to do the rehearsal in not quite her full costume (we got the shirt while we were there and tossed it on over her clothes so at least she kind of looked in costume). I also didn't get to do my set of errands that I had planned to do while she was in class which meant I had to spend the next morning getting the yarn for some hat orders and running around getting other things while I was out instead of finishing up the orders and working on other Christmas prep as planned. I also forgot to pick up the candy for Kaitlyn's class party so we had to leave extra early for school on Thurs to grab that on the way. On the plus side, the grocery store was giving away flowers that day. But despite the setbacks, we are now almost completely ready for Christmas - yay!

Friday, December 9, 2011

2011 Week 49

It's birthday time for Tyler! Hard to believe our little guy is 5! A lot of my time leading up to this week has been spent on prep for Tyler's Jake and the Neverland Pirates birthday party. The party itself was on Saturday. And thankfully, a lot of his friends showed up (am I going to be continually haunted and nervous before every party now, due to the low response from Kaitlyns??)

The kids had a blast and the party went great. (details of the party iself are on the craft blog)

There is the birthday boy himself, looking oh so big in his new sweater (which thankfully I didn't have to talk him into wearing. When he put it on himself on Wednesday I just had to grab some photos)

Our sweet guy, who likes to tease and is always ready to give lots of hugs and kisses.

In between the birthday madness was the Christmas parade Fuquay (the town where Kaitlyn takes dance class) and Kaitlyn walked in it with her dance class. Sam had to work the whole weekend so it was just Tyler and I hanging out to watch the first part of the parade. We cut it short to pick Kaitlyn up when she was finished.

The birthday boy on the day of his birthday (Monday, the 5th). He woke up to a balloon-filled room and cake batter waffles for breakfast. We also took cupcakes in to his preschool class.

When Sam got home from work and Kaitlyn was home from school Tyler got to open his presents. And boy did he make a killing this birthday! It looked a lot like Christmas morning when he was finished :)

And let's not forget all the elf hi-jinx. One morning they were found on an elf-created zip line running from the top of the stairs to the Christmas tree. Made out of yarn and candy canes. The morning of the party one was in the sail "boat" and the other was taking a whack at the pinata. They played with the balloons in Tyler's room on his birthday. And were also found listening to my Ipod, and messing around in the kids' bathroom with one in Kaitlyn's jewelry and the other writing notes on the mirror.

Friday, December 2, 2011

2011 Week 48

Our most favorite time of the year has officially begun! The Friday after Thanksgiving means we get to decorate the Christmas tree! Bring on the Christmas music and the eggnog and the lights and the gift lists...
We have a pretty good system with the tree. Sam set up the tree. I'm in charge of lights. Then the kids get to go wild with the ornaments while I do the glitzier stuff (and a few adjustments at the end). The kids were most excited to see their personal ornaments that Oma and Dave gave them last year (or was it two years ago?) and spent the longest time decided exactly where they should be. The rest of the ornaments Tyler put on tended to be all on the same branch. Kaitlyn, however, is getting a pretty good eye for it and spread out most of the rest of the ornaments (or "jewels" as she still likes to call them) pretty well. (This is important to me because I'm a bit OCD about making the tree look all beautiful and just so)

Decorating the rest of the house and putting up a few lights and garland outside was spread over the rest of the long weekend. We also took an afternoon to take the kids to a movie (the latest Muppets - Ty was totally bored) and tried to get them to do a little shopping for each other, which worked with Kaitlyn (who insisted on getting Tyler a DS game even though we don't know for sure that Santa will be bringing him a DS) but not so much with Ty (who wanted to look only at toys for himself).

Also during the weekend, I had a bit of a unique experience. The husband of a friend came home from deployment and she asked me to go along and take photos (and I hope the moral support was helpful too). It was unique because it's the first time I've gone to a military homecoming without being emotionally attached to the outcome. Being an observer is slightly different and does lead to some introspection. It was a good experience (despite it being a military run and thus long and drawn out and annoying process).

This week was also brought the first day of December and with it - our elves! The kids always look forward to the elves coming and have so much fun when they get here. Tyler was awake earlier than usual that morning and was the first to discover the pair. I tried to get him to play with them quietly but he couldn't contain himself and when running and shouting up the stairs to tell his sister. The elves then "helped" the kids with their morning routine. And that night the kids' made the elves a nice little bed out of a cardboard box, complete with their own little stuffed animal. It was cute.