Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Recap

We are up to our ears in Thomas the Train, Playmobil, puzzles, and books. To say that we were blessed this Christmas would be an understatement.
We spent Christmas Eve with One Ordinary Dad's family. His parents and sister and brother-in-law also joined us Christmas morning, a long with my grandmother and uncle. C and B were spoiled. B got some more Thomas-- I think we have the entire Island of Sodor in our living room. C got more Playmobil. While One Ordinary Dad set up C's Playmobil beach house (her big Santa present) on Christmas Eve, I finished this: 
My girl has been asking me to knit her a blanket for awhile. So one year and thousands of stitches later, she got one. And she won't go to bed without it. It melts my heart. There were also lots of books and puzzles for the kids as well. One Ordinary Dad spoiled me rotten and gave me a real pair of Uggs. I've been wearing the knock-offs for several years and have gone through several pairs. I didn't think the price difference would make that big of a deal (the only time I pay a lot for shoes are for running shoes), but it does. I love them. He also spoiled me with a new watch (the one he got me 8 years ago finally bit the dust) and a sweater I'd been eying at the mall. Thanks to some bargain shopping, One Ordinary Dad now feeds his coffee addiction with a Keurig and thanks to a rebate and some Kohls' cash is also sporting new jeans and sunglasses, which help him pull off the rock star look to go with his electric guitar (a friend's husband was selling his and gave me a great deal-- good things can be had on a tight budget).

A few days after Christmas, we headed four hours northeast to spend time with my family. More Thomas and Playmobil were unwrapped. We played in the snow. C loves the snow, just like me. I think next year we'll have to get her some skiing lessons. We went sledding.  A lot. And I am still sore in places that I didn't know existed. My ski plans were thwarted though. Despite the several inches they've had, only 2 runs were open at the ski resort near my parents. The $40 lift ticket price wasn't worth it for 2 measly hills. We'll try again on our next visit.
 B wasn't as crazy about the snow. Maybe next year.
 We're back home and excited to ring in 2013. C and B are spending a few hours tonight with one of C's old babysitters who babysits kiddos on New Year's Eve to make a little extra money. One Ordinary Dad and I are heading out on a date, but will be picking up the kiddos before the ball drops (and hopefully they'll be fast asleep by then).

Merry Belated Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

~One Ordinary Mom :-)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Wishing You and Yours

A Very Merry Christmas and a Bright and Blessed New Year!

Love, One Ordinary Family

Sunday, December 23, 2012

He Still Hates "Happy Birthday"

Sweet B celebrated his second birthday today. Yes, two years ago, after 21 hours of labor that resulted in a c-section, my sweet little man made his appearance. Because he was a c-section and had a little bit of jaundice to boot, we spent Christmas in the hospital, finally getting discharged on the 26th. Thankfully, C was little enough that she has no recollection of Santa coming while in the afternoon that day we arrived back while she was outside playing. All of her presents and family members were a nice distraction. On the bright side, we had the hospital to ourselves, which meant an extra bed for One Ordinary Dad when he stayed the night and the nurses giving us extra attention.

Today we started off with presents and a doughnut breakfast. Balloons and this year's birthday book were also on display.
 I took C to a local toy store last week to pick out a present. She picked out this. B got 2 large Automoblox and an outfit from Mommy and Daddy.
 After breakfast, it was off to the Museum Center for the annual holiday train display. Grandma and Poppy (One Ordinary Dad's parents), Uncle Josh, Aunt Kristin, and cousin Emmy also joined us. My train-loving little man was so happy to see the trains.

 We came home to eat pizza, open presents, and have cake and ice cream. Despite our practices all week, B cried again when we sang "Happy Birthday" but was perfectly happy before and after the song.
 He's definitely got the present opening thing down.
 Aunt Kristin, Uncle Josh, and Emmy got B a sweet Imaginext helicopter (which he calls "Harold," like from Thomas, even though it looks nothing like Harold). Grandma and Poppy added to his Take-n-Play Thomas collection with the pirate cove set and Great Grandma (Grandma's mom) got the train service station. When you combine this with the small set we had from when C was in her train phase and the tunnel and bridge set B got last weekend, we have a whole lot of Thomas. And that's not even the wooden railway stuff we have downstairs (which he also got more of last weekend and has also been played with a lot this week).
I'm pretty sure that after Santa comes and we open presents Christmas morning, we'll probably have enough Take-n-Play and wooden railway Thomas to loop around the house!

Happy Birthday, Sweet B! At two years old, you are amazing! You love cars, trains, and anything that goes. You also love any activity that involves throwing a ball. You speak in full sentences now and definitely speak your mind as well, telling us what you want, what you don't like, and even attempting to mimic C's knock-knock jokes. You play hard and sleep harder, often 12 hours a night, plus a long afternoon nap still. Your energy seems unlimited. You are enthusiastic about everything. The zoo remains one of your favorite places to go-- and a ride on the train is always in order. At the park, you head straight for the slides. If you aren't sliding, you're giving Mommy and Daddy heart attacks climbing up as high as you can go. You smile often, you give us great big belly laughs, and you nothing escapes your notice. We love you so much!

~One Ordinary Mom :-)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

I Feel It In My Fingers...

...I feel it in my toes. Christmas is all around me. C'mon and let it snow.

Sorry, had to get a Love Actually reference in there.

Our December has been busy, as promised. My sister graduated college.

 While we were up in the northeast corner of the state, we went ahead and celebrated B's birthday (his actual birthday is tomorrow-- yikes, how is he two already?). B loved his Thomas cake.
 He did not love us singing "Happy Birthday" to him. As soon as we started singing, he started crying.
 All was well again once he started opening presents. C got a train table for her second birthday because she loved Thomas at that age. I think B has a little more love for trains though, and our collection is growing. He got lots of trains for his birthday. And cars. That boy loves anything with wheels. And balls-- he can already distinguish between a football and a baseball.
 Hopefully he won't cry too hard when we sing "Happy Birthday" and celebrate again tomorrow with our family here in town.

In C's world, she performed in her school's Christmas chapel service. Her class all dressed as shepherds and sang "Go Tell It on the Mountain."
 At the end, all of the students sang "Mary Had a Baby." It's a tradition at the school. It's kind of weird to think that next year we won't have a kid attending preschool there. B will go the following year though. We've loved sending C to this school! It's been the perfect environment for her to grow and thrive.
We enjoyed some flurries here, but our white Christmas won't come until we head up to my parents' house to celebrate with them. We're spending today in our jammies and sweats, wrapping birthday presents, making a birthday cake, and watching Christmas movies. It's cold out there even with no snow on the ground. And drivers on the road are just plain crazy right now.

C is eagerly awaiting Santa's arrival. The big guy does visit our house, brings one gift (that he leaves unwrapped and put together to avoid morning frustration), and that's it. I was actually reflecting on the whole Santa thing the other day, really questioning if we're doing the right thing by allowing our kids to believe in something that isn't real. But at the end of the day, I came to understand and realize that my kids are only going to be little once.

Santa isn't at the center of our Christmas celebration. C can tell you the Christmas story (and act it out if you really want her to do so) and definitely "gets" that Christmas is all about Jesus' birth. B can recognize Baby Jesus in our nativity set, but other than that, he's still too little to understand much beyond presents and bright lights and decorations. The Bible talks a lot about having childlike faith. I see in C's eyes this year that faith that Santa will come. She is in awe and wonder about the fact that a big guy in a red suit will come down our chimney and leave her a gift; she knows gifts symbolize that Jesus was God's gift to humanity. And that awe and wonder and childlike faith in Santa is how God wants me to feel about His Son's birth. I am in awe. I am filled with wonder. God used an ordinary woman. His rescue plan for humanity started with a baby's cry in a dirty stable.

The reality is, the Christmas story isn't something that C (or B) is old enough to grasp with that same awe and wonder I feel. In fact, they really aren't old enough to question it. God wants to save humanity with a baby? Why not? Sure. God can do anything, and yes, C believes that with her whole heart (our Kids' Club team at church is amazing in how they relate the Bible to our little ones). The awe and wonder of a baby born to save us will come with time, but for now, I figure I only have a few short years to enjoy the awe and wonder that come with a big man in a red suit. The way I see my children, especially C since B is still a little leery of Santa, anticipate his arrival perfectly mirrors how God wants me to understand the Christmas story.

And if Santa isn't your thing, that's fine. One Ordinary Dad grew up in a household where he was told from the get-go that Santa didn't exist. He isn't any worse for it. I grew up in household where he did. And no, I didn't feel like my parents had lied to me when I found out the truth. In fact, I had fun building into the anticipation with my younger brother and sister. But please, if you're choosing not to make him a part of your yearly Christmas traditions, don't ruin it for my children. I want to cherish these few years and I want the reminder that I should be amazed and humbled by the most precious gift of all-- a reminder to have that childlike faith that an ordinary baby came to do an extraordinary thing.

Merry Christmas everyone!

~One Ordinary Mom

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hello, December

Hello, December.

We spent the last few days of November getting ready for you. We raked the rest of the leaves (okay, there are a few stragglers).
 And B donned C's Mario hat from her Halloween costume. It's red and festive, so it's kind of Christmas-y. He wouldn't take it off for about three days straight. He even took it to bed.
 And then you came. And we spent the first night of December gathered around the table with friends. We painted cookies, a tradition in our families.
 We shared a meal while the cookies baked (poor B was starting to come down with something, so he just played iPad the whole time-- lil' man still has a fever tonight, but thankfully no other symptoms).
 And then we ate said cookies.
 The Nativity set is the favorite toy right now. While C and One Ordinary Dad went to church Sunday morning, a feverish B and I stayed home. B knows which figure is Baby Jesus and that Baby Jesus is special (that's about all he can wrap his 23 month old mind around). And I think because Baby Jesus is special, B thinks that means that Spiderman comes riding a dinosaur, Batman comes riding a donkey, and an alien sits watch over the Messiah. He'll understand more next year. C totally "gets it" and still invites penguins and any other toys she can find to kneel at the manger.
So with B still fever-y, C getting over pneumonia (she had a mild case of that last week and missed 3 days of school), and Mommy getting in a fender bender this morning, I know that you, December, aren't  off to a great start (okay, well dinner and cookies with friends was pretty awesome). But I'm resting in the peace that C is better, B will get better, and today's accident could've been a lot worse (I won't get into the details, but there was minor damage and no injuries, so I can't complain). I'm resting in the peace of the upcoming celebration of my savior's birth. I'm resting in the peace that so much good is yet to come this season and that a rough start just keeps us grounded.

Welcome, December!

And Happy December to all of you!

~One Ordinary Mom :-)