Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008

This has been an exceptionally fantastic year!
 

See you in 2009
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Monday, December 29, 2008

More Christmas Cheer

The week before Christmas Allen's parents and brother came for a visit. Mark was excited to meet Miller for the first time and Jackson loves all the extra love and attention he gets when we have family visit.
Here are a few highlights.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Trains, Trucks and Boots, Oh my!



This was Jackson's first Christmas where he really knew what was happening. Typically when we get up, he asks to go into our room(We go in and I hope that he will snuggle but he just wants to jump on the bed). This time on Christmas he got up, Allen carried him into our room and he would have none of it. He knew what day it was and he was wasting no time jumping on the bed.

When he went to bed there were no presents under tree, when he went into the living room there were lights on the tree and it was full of presents. He thought they were all for him (and honestly most of them were)!

Santa brought Jackson and Miller a train table and somehow his Aunt Chele and Uncle Mark knew he would, so they brought him tracks for the table. His Lala gave him Mack (from Cars) and that was a huge hit. He also got some Converse high tops from his aunt Chele(adorable, but so hard to get on!) We got him some pirate rain boots and they have been off and on his feet more times than I can count.

Miller got some fun toys too, but he is happy just being held. Jackson was such a good big brother he helped open all of Miller's gifts for him.

Christmas is so much fun with children!

Opening his stocking--the fun begins



Miller the Great!

"MACK! It's MACK!"

Posing with his Converse High Tops

This blur is what happens when a 2year old is too excited for words!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Mirror, mirror

Mirror, Mirror on the floor, who's the fairest of them all?









Why, of course, it is Miller!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

YUM

Can you believe that it is already time for Miller to start solids? I can't, but it is! We started with Oatmeal cereal and it was a big hit! Miller loved it! He liked it so much that he kept trying to help me put the spoon in his mouth. He ate so well that he took a nice long nap afterwards. Last night I gave him cereal again at 7:30 and he slept until 4. He had been backsliding in the sleep department and was waking up every three to four hours, so now I'm looking forward to getting some longer stretches of sleep again!



Look how he is grabbing that spoon and trying to feed himself!



Hank is the sweetest dog! He is so patient and docile.

Friday, December 12, 2008

We are THAT Family

We are THAT Family...you know the ones with the child freaking out on Santa's lap. Miller was as charming and happy as could be. Jackson was all ready, and had been practicing telling Santa about the train table he "needs" for Christmas. He was down with it until it was our turn next. I tried to get the elf to let me show how nice Santa was to the boys who were doing their thing. Uh-uh! Please step back! We peeled him off of me plopped him in Santa's lap and tried to get him to smile. Who are we kidding? He wasn't having any of it! And hey, there were no tears--there's always next year! Merry Christmas







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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Christmas Stories

A few days ago I went to the attic to dig out some of my Christmas books from my teacher stash. The teacher stash is buried in the deepest darkest part of the attic. Before going up, I did what I usually do when going to the attic. I put a stool in the hall and told Jackson to sit on it like a good boy and I would bring him a surprise when I came down. Do you see where this is going? As I was digging through all my stuff, I heard something drop. And it wasn't downstairs, it was in the attic. I turned and there was Jackson --IN! THE! ATTIC! Holy cow and he even brought two cars, a whisk broom and dust pan with him (that was what he was carrying around that afternoon)! All I could think of to say to him was, "Santa Claus saw you do that!" Huh? Pretty lame, huh? Well we made it back down safely, and we now have a pile of Christmas books to read. He loves them. Yesterday we were reading some books when my two boys scooted together and Jackson read to Miller. You can imagine how proud my mommy/teacher heart is!
{Notice there is a car in his hand, these days there is always at least one car in his hands at all times}

Sunday afternoon Miller decided he was tired of his point of view, so he rolled over. You may remember that he could roll from front to back, but now he rolls both ways. He is scary strong for his age!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Love this boy

Recently I found someone to do a silhouette of Jackson. That was the easy part. Do you know how hard it is to take a perfect picture of a wiggly 2 year old? Thanks to the 5 point harness in his high chair and PBS Kids I finally got one. I think it is worth the effort!






Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Time with mom, catching up

My mom just left this morning, and we had so much fun while she was here. She got here Friday night, then first thing Saturday morning she did our family photo shoot. We got some great pictures for our Christmas cards. If you don't have a photographer in your family, I highly recommend getting one. It is so nice. This one makes my heart sing.




My boys


Saturday afternoon we went out to lunch at California Pizza Kitchen. Not only was it yummy, but Allen stayed home with the boys so we could relax and not have to worry about spilled drinks, or crayons rolling off the table (that is a big deal, trust me). Thank you Allen! After lunch we went to the store to buy mom some comfy shoes. She has put it off for long enough. I had to take command of the situation and make it happen. She is still upset that I made her spend so much on a pair of shoes, but she NEEDED them. Then we went and got our Christmas tree.

Sunday morning we got up bright and early (like we do every morning-ugh!) and did Miller's 3 month photo shoot. For a happy baby, he managed not to smile in one single picture, but that is fine because they are precious anyway. Do you like?



Then Sunday afternoon we put up the tree and decorated for Christmas. Last year we were selling our house, so we hardly decorated at all. This year we have a good bit of decorations out, but not all of them. Tabletops are free for touching so we have to be selective about what we put out. This was Jackson's first year trimming the tree. Here is one of him actually helping. Most of the time he was rummaging through the box making a mess.



Here is mom and Miller while we decorated the tree.


Monday morning Jackson went to preschool, which is always nice for me, but this Monday was even better because I had mom to help me with Miller. I got so much accomplished. My favorite thing that I accomplished was getting to JoAnne's fabrics and buying some red burlap. What in the world would I want red burlap for? Well for covering the pots on these!



Mom brought me 2 HUGE gorgeous rosemary topiaries. The pots were too big to put in anything I already had, so I decided to get some burlap and make them a package. The smell is divine! I love topiaries, I love rosemary, I love Christmas, and you know I love my mom. If you don't have someone who has connections in the garden business, I highly recommend getting one, they are so handy! Thank you mom and Mr. Stacy.

Now I'm going to do a makeover on this fall looking blog--if I get some cooperation from my butterbean!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful

It's Thanksgiving so I thought I would tell you what I am thankful for. These are in no specific order.

Allen, warm slippers, my babies, my snuggly bed, pacifiers, Diet Coke, my family-who loves me so much, my friends- who love me for me, chicken enchiladas, water, Curious George, my camera, Date nights, a babysitter who makes date night possible, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Honeycrisp apples, People magazine, being able to stay home and raise my boys, my monogrammed clogs, a college education, warm showers, swaddles, Lightning McQueen, friendly people, my scrapbooking/laundry/giftwraping area, Costco, corn on the cob, SC peaches, my phone ringing at 3:15 everyday, freedom, green grass in the spring, peach yogurt, catnaps, Jackson's smile, Miller's giggle, Hank's docile nature, Allen's patience, morning sunlight, a cozy house, my new rug that I got for only $50 at Lowe's, my Tahoe, our Phil+Ted's stroller, my sister who is super generous, going to Atlantis last spring with my big sis, Play-Doh, baby wipes, my iPod, snow, the opportunity to teach children, seeing Jackson learn, an easy delivery with Miller, my washing machine, my computer, free long distance, this little turkey butt!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Making friends

About this time last year I decided I was ready to take on a little something. I've always loved making things, and I've also always loved things that are personalized. So, I bought a sewing and embroidery machine. It took me a while to get to know my new machine. It is very high tech and somewhat intimidating. Over the next few months I practiced and proceeded to make some things with varying degrees of success. I got better at it, but it is frustrating when something happens and you have no idea how to fix your mistakes. After all if I knew, I wouldn't have made the mistake in the first place, right!

So here we are a year later and my machine and I are beginning to make friends. In order to be able to do more intricate monograms I bought some kickin' new software. Recently I have bought some new fonts. Last weekend I played with one of my new fonts and got ready to make some Christmas gifts. I've had a couple of orders from my business, The Pink Dogwood, and they came out well. If you want to see them they are at www.thepinkdogwood.etsy.com

Finally I feel like I can make something that looks nice and is good quality. Here is what I made last week.


The rest of it is a surprise because some of the people who read this blog might be getting them for Christmas!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lighting the Queen

Sorry I have been M.I.A. but this has been a really busy week!

Last summer Jackson showed some interest in potty training. He did OK, but he wasn't ready. Then Miller came along and we didn't have the time to be as consistent as we needed to be. So about once a day he would use the potty. I bought some training pants to use after Christmas. The long cold days inside will be perfect for potty training, I thought. He, of course, had his own agenda!

Last Sunday Jackson's friend Izzy and her mom came over for a movie date. He had only seen one movie before, Curious George, and we heard about it for weeks afterward. Izzy brought over the movie Cars and it was a huge hit! That movie is definitely on his Christmas list.

So Monday afternoon Jackson says he wants one of the stickers that have been on the shelf waiting for real potty training to begin. I explain he has to go potty to get the stickers, so he does. Within a couple of hours we were out of stickers--and we were off to Target! Guess what kind of stickers they had a Target? Cars stickers. He was pretty pumped about getting them. He stayed dry the rest of the day. So far so good!

Tuesday he went every 30 minutes or so and stayed mostly dry. He doesn't have any idea about wanting to stay dry, he just wants the reward. So I made up a race track with 12 squares and every time he goes potty he gets a square filled in and when he makes it all the way around he gets a car. Not just any car, though, he gets a Cars car. They are like Matchbox cars but are the characters from the movie. As it turns out there are millions of things with the Cars characters on them. Everything from Crocs to blankets...even Pull ups! We are trying to limit it to the little cars, stickers and pull ups (that's a lot of Cars stuff) because our house could be overtaken by all the stuff they make.

We have stayed pretty close to home this week so we can remind him to go every 30 -45 minutes. That is a lot of work! On Wednesday he got his first car. He was calling the main character "red race car" and I told him his name was Lightning McQueen, which he pronounces "Lighting the queen". Yesterday he got Doc, which he pronounces "Doc"! I've got to go get some more Cars cars! I was not prepared for all this success! Lighting the queen has quickly become a fmaily member. He has eaten every meal with us, gone to the bathroom with us umpteen times and basically has not left Jackson's hand since he got him.


While we were doing all this Miller made some amazing progress of his own. He has learned to grab at toys. Yesterday I went to get him from his crib and he was holding the toy mirror that's in his crib. He also started babbling with consonants. He will say WAWAWA. Is this important? You bet! I wish I had gotten a picture of it, but he a quick little guy and moves before I can get the camera. Soon, though!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Blessings

I'm not going to lie, this week has been tough. Allen has been working nights, which means he is home even less than usual. To top off the hard week, Allen was *asked* to work this weekend. There is this new invention that allows Allen to plug a little dohicky into our computer and it turns into Allen's work computer. Really? Yes! Whoever invented this must be one of those people who is book smart and has no common sense. He obviously was not thinking about my happiness--at all!
As if that was not enough, there is a 2 year old boy who knows his daddy is downstairs and can't understand why he can't play. Every time he hears Allen on the phone he screams "DAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDEEEEEEE" as loud as he can down the stairs. I'm sure it sounds professional!
So as I was grumpily happily doing my chores this morning I realized I had better change my attitude. After all there is nothing I can do about this; except change the way I handle it.
So, let's talk about blessings!
*We have 2 healthy boys*
*At this moment I have a sleeping baby*
*Our house is warm on this cold windy day*
*All this extra work will make for a fat paycheck~I'm thinking summer vacation!*
*I have a loving family that gets along*
*My friends are the best*
*We have a fridge full of food*
*We have a playdate this afternoon*

And here is what you really want to see. Pictures of those boys!
Jackson ate a bagel with cream cheese and had a white mustache {or "nus-nash" as he calls it}


These socks are too cute, thanks Alice and Kate!


Miller sitting up in the Bumbo. Can he really be old enough for this?

Is it just me, or does he look like an angel?

Jackson really loves his brother. He calls him "Butterbean", which is apparently easier to say than Miller



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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Camera Suggestions

We're in the market for a new camera. When trying to capture moments with 2 active little ones, I am usually frustrated by how slow my camera is in between shots. It would be great to get an SLR that has the capabilty of shooting at a high speed. Most of my close ups end up blurry. I love close ups because of the details, but it takes me forever to get the correct setting. I know that I have the ability to take much better pictures if I had the right equipment. But what equipment do I get? How much do I need and what about lenses? Those are confusing! Kelly got a pretty nifty one. Will I use all that? Nikon? Cannon?
Tell me what you think? I know you have an opinion!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Leaf Duty

It's that time of year! Because we enjoy the shade our neighbor's big trees give us, we also get to enjoy leaf duty. There are usually about 4 weekend days where we have to blow leaves and move them out front for collection. This year Jackson is old enough to help. Jackson loves helping. He is really good at it too. As long as we have boys, we should get free yard care out of them, right? And you have to start these things early. Here are some pictures of Jackson helping. I wish I had some pictures of Miller helping. He was bundled up in his bouncy seat dozing off in the sunshine.
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