Friday, December 31, 2010

Life Lessons at the Library

This week, Alexander and Mommy took a field trip to the library. And by "field trip", I mean, "we needed to get out of the house but didn't have a lot of energy to do much". Mommy had books to return, books to pick up, and as previously mentioned, Alexander needed out of the house.

The library is less than 5 minutes away. In the spring/summer/early fall months, it is very easily within walking distance. On a day where temps dropped into the high 20s, we drove.

Turns out this trip to the library might have been my best idea ever. Little did I realize how many life lessons there are to be learned at the library.

1. Alexander loves to hit the automatic door buttons.
Life Lesson: there are consequences for all actions.

2. Alexander has to use his indoor voice and can't run at the library.
Life Lesson: Respect those around you.

3. Alexander is going to check out 3 books at every visit. He has to be responsible for the care of the books. If anything happens to them (tears/rips), he has to pay for the replacement fee out of his piggy bank. This means less money for garage sales with Big Papa and Umma. This may have been my smartest move ever because he totally got it when I mentioned this. Totally.
Life Lesson: Financial responsibility.

4. Alexander can go through the online catalog and select what books he wants delivered to our library and the pick them up.
Life Lesson: Patience as he waits for his books to arrive.

5. Going to library once a week will insure Mommy does not receive any more late fees.
Life Lesson: Mommy may still be working on her own financial responbility...

We are both looking forward to our weekly adventures to the library.
Daddy is looking forward to having new books to read at naptime that didn't cost us any money.
For those of you who have little ones, what do you do on a weekly basis?
And do you look for life lessons or is that just me being the teacher I am?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

So many new toys!

With each of us three battling winter colds, it is a good thing Alexander has so many new toys to keep him busy.
Despite tearing down Christmas decorations this morning, the train set remains in the middle of our living room.

I mean, how can we take this down??

Such focus.

Such intensity.

Such joy.

Last night, we played game after game of Candyland as a family. Alexander has had to learn that he won't always win the game. It isn't an easy lesson for a kid who has competitive parents, and there were times when we found ourselves having to alter our attitude about playing the game.

Guess who won!

I suppose we still have a few lessons about celebrating winning to teach the little man.
I can't forget about the toy the boys opened up yesterday while I was shopping.
A Black and Decker tool workshop!

The playroom is OVERFLOWING with toys. It is probably time for us to remove the Little People toys, since he doesn't play with them. Or maybe box them up and put them in the basement for now. All I know is we have run out of room. And in a 2500 square foot home, I never thought that would be possible!

I can't begin to imagine how we are going to find room for his toys after his birthday in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Magic Part 4 - The Final Installment

Christmas Magic Part 4
Ho-Ho Papa and Umma's house

Finally! The last part of this crazy holiday weekend! Each year, we say we are going to gather at my parents house in the late afternoon to celebrate Christmas. And every year, my sister and I move the time up several hours, causing our parents to scramble over last minute details. When all is said and done, the last minute details are well worth their efforts.

Once we cooked and devoured the traditional breakfast rolls, the family moved to the basement to open gifts. Auntie Kimmie and Alexander had no problem posing for pictures while we waited!

The little elves are more than ready to begin! I wish I had a better picture of all the gifts surrounding the tree. It is quite possible my parents went overboard this year. Quite possible, indeed!

The first gift we opened was a book with a recording of my dad's voice, reading The Night Before Christmas. Truthfully, this could have been the only gift we opened and it would have been enough. Priceless.
Just like this photo of us 3 opening the book and I'm the only one paying attention to the camera!

And then the present opening began...
Lo and Behold - DINOSAUR TRAIN!

Thanks to Lorelli, Auntie Kimmie and Uncle RJ, the ultimate gift arrived.
And was opened almost immediately, leaving other presents to be forgotten.

Despite his total focus on his Dinosaur Train, we asked Alexander to open up a few more gifts.

GeoTrax from Uncle Patrick and Auntie Lissa.

And the Santa Train GeoTrax set from his grandparents.

Eric and I scored a few great gifts...including so many Disney ornaments that I have a full guarantee we will need a bigger tree next year!
The holiday weekend has ended. The three of us are battling colds and ear infections. And I still have to tear down the decorations.

Neverthless, it was an awesome holiday weekend.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Magic Part 3

Christmas Magic Part 3
Home Sweet Home
It was with full anticipation when I awoke on Christmas morning at 7:30AM. To my surprise, the house was completely quiet. I probably shouldn't have been surprised since Christmas Eve was a long day, with no nap, and we were battling colds on top of everything else.
But Mommy was ready to go!

Question: What's the easiest way to wake a house with sleeping folks?
Answer: Grind coffee beans. Loads and loads of coffee beans.

Within minutes, the magical trick worked. Alexander ran from his room, assuming it was like any other school day and Mommy was preparing for work. Imagine his surprise when I reminded him that it was Christmas morning. All this awaited him!

Look what Santa brought! A NEW BIKE!
Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy!!

Santa also left a Candyland game, new books, another Geotrax remote control train and track set, and a few other odds and ends that Santa couldn't resist.
Like a Toy Story 3 nerf gun that Daddy loved.
Mommy target time!

Guybrush REALLY enjoyed his new scratch pad, too.

We were very lucky to have two family members staying with us - Jo-Jo and Zak! Santa is pretty amazing and found them at our house!

They celebrated with champagne toasts, read new books to Alexander, and even helped Alexander take a spin on his new bike.

Before long, all presents were unwrapped. After saying goodbye to J0-Jo and Zak, we spent a few hours at home as a family, playing games, riding the bike, and prepared for an afternoon at Ho-Ho Papa and Umma's house with Mommy's family.
It was an amazing Christmas morning, surrounded by loved ones.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Magic, Parts 1 and 2

I'm sitting in my living room, the day after Christmas, surrounded by a giant GeoTrax train set. What? You're surprised by that information?
Let me show you what Eric and Alexander made last night, once we brought home all the goodies from Ho-Ho Papa and Umma's house.
He brought home the Santa Geo Trax set, which was all good and dandy because it lights up and has sounds

but then he decided to go bigger and add the new set Uncle Patrick and Auntie Lissa gave him!
This is the current decor of my living room and I suspect after nap time, the city will grow again.

Christmas Magic Part 1
Dinner with Besties
On Wednesday night we enjoyed a delightful dinner with best friends.
The kids made towers and tunnels for the Christmas train.

After dinner, they opened presents while the adults drank beverages and re-watched the preschool fall feast - which was just as hilarious to us as it was the day of the event.
Cole and Addie open their gift from Alexander

and then it was Alexander's turn.
Thank you for the remote control train, Addie and Cole!

Christmas Magic Part 2
Christmas Eve at Grandma Great's
Every year, Grandma Great leaves the ornaments off the tree so Alexander and Lorelli can decorate it on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, the picture I took of Lorelli was overexposed and I can't fix it. But I did capture Alexander's moment once he maneuvered his way through the presents to the tree.
Thirty eight years of Christmas Eve's at Grandma's house are filled with memories. Many of my fondest ones are of handing out the stockings with my cousins in the front room at Grandma's house. It was loud, chaotic, and such fun. Imagine my delight as I watched my sweet almost-four-year-old become a Christmas elf.
who had to take a break from helping whenever his name was called to receive a gift.

And don't tell me you don't love the awesome headlamp I'm wearing. Grandma gave one to each of us. If you don't believe me...

Jodie and Fidelia - you can thank me later for posting this pic of you!

What is it about babies that makes Christmas so magical?
I wish I had the picture of Eric and Marigold but it's on Fidelia's camera.
Neither Alexander or I got to close to the baby because we both have winter colds.
I'm nice like that.
Despite the lack of photos or contact with the baby, we were so blessed to spend this holiday with a sweet baby girl.
Jo-Jo, Casey, Marigold and Joanne share a moment

while Fidelia holds her daughter's stocking for the first time.
Once the stocking fun ended, we moved to the back room for more presents and the White Elephant gift exchange.
Alexander opens his gift from Ho-Ho Papa and Umma.

And then it was gift exchanging with Grandma Great. Man, these two are cut of the same cloth. They spent the afternoon coloring and then both insisted on watching/helping one another with their gifts.

Thank you for the Thomas the Train puzzle play mat and trains, Grandma Great!

We tried for the annual family picture. Only by the time we were ready, Alexander was not. Or maybe he is so hard to tell because the kid refuses to keep his eyes open for pictures.

At least Mommy and Daddy pulled one off.
Man, that was a long post and there is still more to come!
I'll post Christmas Magic Parts 3 and 4 tomorrow.