Saturday, December 31, 2011

Big Changes in 2012

Alexander has NO idea that the rest of the world is on the brink of 2012.
He just knows he is on the brink of some big ol' changes to his world!

Remember when we chanted his room to this? And this?

Well, my parents want to clear out the twin bed they have in the extra bedroom so we said we'd take it. Naturally (Mommy being who Mommy is), this means a whole new bedroom theme.

New Bed

New Bedding

picked out by the young master himself.

A couple of new posters

And a train track border to finish it off!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Looking Back

Last night, I was lamenting the fact explaining to Eric that I don't know why I keep updating the blog. With only 25 followers, it seems like I'm doing a lot of work for nothing. I have never complained about this before but last night, Blogger was NOT being my friend and I was frustrated.

"Nothing?" Eric said. "Really?"

"There are people who read the blog, like our parents and his aunts and uncles, who would be sad if you stopped. There are people who read the blog, like Neighbor Ann and your friends, who don't comment but would be sad if you stopped.

There is our SON, who doesn't have a baby book, who would be sad if you stopped."

I gotta admit, he got me with that last one.

So, I decided to go back to the beginning and remind myself WHY I take the time to update the blog.

As I was looking through old posts, Alexander asked me what I was doing. After I told him, he wanted to look so he climbed up on my lap. He and I have spent the past 1/2 hour looking at old posts. I shared stories with him, told him why I chose the pictures I posted, and laughed over his little boy antics. I don't know if I would have been able to capture the same memories without this blog.

Looking back, I'm really thankful I have done this blog.

I'm not done blogging.

Not by a long shot.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Alexander and the Puzzle Club

Once upon a time, Alexander met a Puzzle Expert. Her name is Dorothy. She is one of Umma's close friends and is a co-worker of mine.

She was so impressed with Alexander's puzzle skills that she invited him to her puzzle club. Turns out there is a local puzzle club that has been meeting once a month for years. Who knew?

Alexander and the club diligently worked on a train puzzle for over an hour and was a rockstar with great manners and terrific behavior.

Watching his face light up as he worked with others who love puzzles as much as he does was a true delight. They talked about all the different puzzles and shared a tip or two.

Thanks Issaquah Puzzle Club, for inviting us to join you!

And thank you for the 3000 piece puzzle you gave us.

We're looking forward to working on that big boy next summer!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

Well, we were quite spoiled this year by Santa and all our family!

Alexander woke up on Christmas day around 8AM. He ran upstairs to wake Daddy and I up and then ran downstairs to bang on the basement door to wake Jo-Jo and Zak up. Then he patiently waited for ALL of us to join him in the living room to watch him open presents. I don't know that I was ever that patient as a kid! He was super thoughtful and wanted us to enjoy the morning together. Once we were together, the unwrapping began!

Santa brought Alexander a couple of train puzzles, a couple of Leapster games, a Candy Land game with a train, and a new train set!

Alexander was very happy to discover that Santa found Jo-Jo and Zak at our house.

AND this year, Santa brought presents to Mommy and Daddy! Daddy scored a new 3D movie and a Western sweatshirts while Mama got a new pair of boots! Alexander scored a bunch of other great gifts too and should have plenty to keep himself busy the rest of this winter.

The rest of the morning, Alexander played with his new train set, played a game of Lego Star Wars Clone Wars (xbox) with Zak, as he waited for us to leave for Ho-Ho Papa and Umma's house.
Finally, we arrived at my parents house where more presents awaited us.
Another little treat was also in store for us - a giant windstorm knocked the power out!Fortunately, my parents have the super duper generator so we had heat and lights. We couldn't cook the prime rib, though the boys certainly tried to be creative and cook it on the grill.

Had there been propane, I bet they would have got it done! Instead, we decided to freeze it and get together on New Year's Day. Not a bad Plan B, if you ask me.

Finally, the time arrived and Papa started handing out the presents. The squeels of delight were endless!

Uncle Patrick called in the middle of all the chaos so we took a break to scream above the noisechat with him.

While we were on pause, more pictures were snapped.

Auntie Kimmie found this AWESOME Disney Christmas train at an antique store. It was a sweet find and we are thrilled to add it to our holiday decorations.

The big score was the Batman GeoTrax cave. He played with it all afternoon.
Finally, the last of the gifts were opened, garbage thrown out and we settled in for an afternoon of play time.

Lorelli and I took a few more photos.

Ho-Ho Papa and Daddy each took a little nap, kids played with toys, the adults played a couple games of Rummikubs, and then we all packed up and headed home.
It was a very merry Christmas, indeed!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

Presents were wrapped. Food was ready. Bring on CHRISTMAS!
All we needed was one last picture in front of our tree before heading to Grandma Great's house.

Well, we tried.
Merry Christmas Eve!!

This year, the group was smaller than ever at Grandma's house so Jodie and I grabbed a photo opportunity with our lovely grandmother, early in the evening.

From the noise level, you sure wouldn't have known there were less bodies in the house. We missed Steve, Candy, and Beth and her family but thought of them often throughout the night.

Lorelli and Alexander helped Grandma Great with the last of the ornaments before they set themselves into play mode.

I love that she always leaves a few out for them to hang up on Christmas Eve.

Once that job was over, Alexander settled in to play with the wooden trains.
which are his favorite things to play with at Grandma Great's house. I lost count of the number of laps he made around the pool table that night.

Lorelli and Auntie painted our nails.
She loves helping me to be more girlie.

I like how it looks!

Marigold the Princess and her Grammy (the Queen) spent their time reading a book.
I think that is the court jester hanging on the back of the couch.

The kids worked in their new coloring books, compliments of Umma.

And we killed some time snapping goofy pictures of ourselves.

It was about this time that I set down my camera and couldn't find it for another few hours. I am blaming those several hours of a missing camera for the reason as to why we didn't get a family photo this year.

After dinner, I went on a camera hunting mission, though, because it was time for stockings and presents. This is where the true chaos and fun of Christmas begins!

Alexander and Papa work out who will receive the first gift of Christmas!

Opening his first gift of Christmas.

I love how happy Jodie is in this picture!

Naturally, the two of them need a picture together, right?

Look at me in Papa's pajamas. I don't think they fit me, Mama!

Before long, we moved our chaos to the back room for the big tree and white elephant exchange.

Hopefully Sadly, this looks to be the last year of the white elephant exchange. It seems to have lost its luster so next year, we may be back to drawing names - a good ol' fashion Christmas tradition.

Alexander gets right to work on his presents.

Our family was very spoiled on Christmas Eve.

But it was Eric who scored the best gift of the night.

Snuggie Pajamas. With a hood.
Best. Gift. Ever.

Don't you agree?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Santa 2011

This may be my favorite tradition.