Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas began around 6:30am in our house this year. Claire woke up first and then Evan got up about 20 minutes later. Evan was so excited to see that Santa had come!! As excited as he was, he was so good about waiting to open presents until we woke up Dad and took some pictures in front of all the gifts.

Evan got so many gifts from Santa, family and friends. Some of his favorites are the Star Wars blaster gun, Toy Story 3 Imaginext Toy, race track, I Can Do That game, Soccer Goal (with hockey & lacrosse), Buzz Light Year Wings, arts and crafts supplies and the Bow and Arrow set. But as he opened pretty much each gift, he would exclaim "I've always wanted this!"

 The flash was just too bright that early in the morning!

Claire was pretty good too and was spoiled with 4 baby dolls, clothes, a doll house, a cradle, a happy sounds home and some other fun toys. She was into the boxes the most, so Evan was more than happy to help her unwrap all of her gifts.

Later that day, we went to Sherry's for dinner with Shannon, her mom, her aunt and the kids, as well as Andy and Jen. Sadly Charlie was unable to join us as I apparently passed along my stomach virus to him and he got it on Christmas. What a wonderful gift I was able to pass on! Poor guy!! The kids got to open even more presents there! Nothing beats Christmas. We had a wonderful day and were thoroughly exhausted by the end of it!

Christmas Eve

 Before Church
 Sadly, the best picture I got of Claire in her Christmas Dress

On Christmas Eve, we went to the 4pm Children's Mass at our church and then went out to dinner in Celebration. After that, we got to play in the "snow".  I forgot my camera for this, but wanted to write it down so I don't forget how we spent Christmas Eve of 2010. The kids were really good at Mass and at dinner and by the time we got home, both were ready for bed.

Before Evan went to sleep, he tracked Santa on the computer to see where he was at that time (Norway I think). Then he left Santa some cookies and water, and the reindeer some apples. He then dictated a letter to Santa and Joe wrote it. As he was saying the stuff about Claire, I began to cry (big surprise). I just can't get over how much he loves her and she him (even if she has been bad this year, screaming a lot and pulling on the curtains!). Their relationship is the most rewarding thing about parenting right now. I think about how hard we tried to have Claire and just feel so incredibly blessed that she is a part of our family.  So, back to the letter. I could have died when he said "The nerf gun is going to be my favorite gift." Santa didn't bring a nerf gun because he got one for his birthday. We told him that Santa probably wouldn't bring him that because of it, and that Stiller (his elf) probably reported to Santa that he got one for his birthday. Thank goodness Santa had a Star Wars Blaster gun to give instead (which incindentally ended up being his favorite gift).

 "Dear Santa, Thank you for all of the presents you are going to bring me tonight. I have been very good this year. I can't say the same for my new baby sister who loves to cry and scream and she pulls on the curtains. She doesn't listen to her mother. Her name is Claire. I really love her so much. Thank you, I am going to love all my presents tomorrow. I love you Santa Clause and Stiller I and I love my whole family and also myself. That is an important thing to love yourself. The nerf gun is going to be my favorite present.  Love, Evan"

Looks like Santa Clause came! Evan and Claire must have been good :)!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa at Bass Pro Shop

The other day I took the kids to go see Santa at Bass Pro Shop. Not exactly my typical hangout, but I heard that they had a cool Winter Wonderland and that your first picture with Santa was free. This time of the year, I'm all about free! Despite the deer heads all over the walls that really freak me out, it was pretty cool. They had Santa's village, a place where you can write him a letter and color a picture and a place for treats. It was decorated really cute and the line for Santa was non existent. On the down side, they also had deer hunting games to play, sweet, practice shooting Rudolph!
Claire's a little less thrilled with Santa this time, or perhaps it's the deer's head on the wall in front of her, we'll never know....

Evan did decide to write Santa a new letter this time. And I got to keep it for nostalgia's sake. He wrote this all on his own, just asked me how to spell a few words. What would a 4 year old who got everything he could want for his 4th birthday possibly ask Santa for Christmas? Well he started with an iTouch, but I was able to talk him down into using dad's and asking for an iTunes gift card to buy games for dad's. Next year I see a laptop on this list!

Christmas with Nani

 Claire's 1st Christmas
 Ready to open the gifts!
 Giving Nani a hug for all the awesome gifts she gave: bow & arrow set, lincoln logs and a crayola art set!
 Loving on eachother
 Helping Claire dig into her big bag of adorable clothes! She got that cradle too, LOVE IT!
Opening the bow and arrow set he's been asking for for months. 
Now he can be just like Susan in Narnia!

While Nani was visiting, we got to celebrate Christmas early with her. We had such a great time with her while she was here and were very sad to see her go :(. It's going to be a little sad this Christmas with no visiting family this year. But we are glad we got to celebrate a little early with Nani.

Evan is 4!

Evan turned four on December 18! We celebrated for about a month, which is appropriate, right? The week of his birthday, Nani came for a visit. We went to Disney World, which was very surprisingly not crowded. He got to ride Big Thunder Mountain two times in a row, and about every other ride he wanted to while we were there. We even got to see the Castle Show twice and the Shake it, Celebrate It Street Party. The next day, Nani and Joe took him to see the new Narnia. The first Narnia, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is his absolute most favorite movie. So, he has been anxiously awaiting the newest one, The Dawn Treader. He seemed to really enjoy Narnia #3 and then got to go to McDonald's, his favorite place to eat in the whole world. On his actual birthday, he opened his presents and then we took him to the T-Rex Cafe at Downtown Disney. We were a little tired of cake by that point, so he asked for his new favorite desert, chocolate pudding pie. I think he had a wonderful birthday (week/month...).

Here's some info on Evan at 4:
Height: about 42 inches, we don't go to the doctor until Feb
Weight: 37 pounds
Clothes: size 4T pants and shorts, size 5 or 6 shirts
Shoes: Size 12
Favorite Food: Waffles (Ego Blueberry Nutrigrain EVERY SINGLE morning), chocolate milk, yogurt, apple sauce, bananas, oranges, chicken nuggets, fries, hot dogs, grilled cheese, ketchup (tomato) soup, broccoli, peanut butter and jelly, pasta, avocado, ham sandwiches, any type of cake, desert, marshmallow or ice cream. He surprisingly does not like mac and cheese or cheese by itself.
Favorite Books: Dr. Seuss, Llama series, anything with Star Wars or Superheros
Favorite Movies: Narnia, his favorite Christmas movie seems to the How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Favorite TV Show: Star Wars the Clone Wars, Scooby Doo and Super Why
Favorite Activities: Riding his Big Wheel and now his bike he got for his birthday, playing with his characters, playing baseball, playing dress-up (enjoys Star Wars Characters and Superheros most, but likes anything that involves "battle"), playing the Wii (lego Star Wars, lego Batman, Scooby Doo), telling me the ratings of every show and movie he comes across knowing he can only see G and PG (if I say they are ok), playing on the computer-loves PBSkids.com, playing his leapster, arts and crafts, soccer, swimming, wrestling with dad and playing with his friends.
Milestones: He can now read a Level 1 book by himself. He is constantly impressing us by how well he is reading and spelling. He is on a spelling kick right now where he spells everything he does. Like he'll leave the room and come back and say, "Hey M-O-M, I'm B-A-C-K". He is getting a lot better at his writing too. He gets so frustrated with himself when he writes a letter the wrong way (I'm afraid he got some of my personality!).
Personality: He is such a sweet sensitive kid, with a stubborn streak to boot. But he is typically so well behaved. He does not like to get in trouble at all, and seems to be such a great listener for others (and mostly for us). He is the best big brother ever, he cares so much for Claire and is always looking out for her. He is a daredevil, nothing seems to scare him. He wants to go on the fastest, biggest roller coaster he can and counts his accomplishments on inches grown-towards his next roller coaster level. His mind works a mile a minute and he continuously shocks us by the things he asks and what he says. He is like a 12 year old trapped in a 4 year old's body. He is fun loving and could run and chase for hours. He is FAST! I used to let him win in racing, now I seriously have to book it to catch him. He is still very attached to mom and dad and has a hard time at school sometimes, missing us. It's very sweet, because soon enough he'll want nothing to do with us. He is extremely opinionated and wants what he wants. He does not back down (did I mention stubborn?). He loves to be the center of attention and is Mr. Social. He will talk to anyone and tell them anything. He loves to give random hugs and kisses. He'll just come up to me, give me the biggest hug and tell me he loves me.

 Happy 4th Birthday Evan!
 Dancing at Disney

 With Nani and Claire at Disney
 For me??
 Loving his new Nerf Gun
 Dressed as Boba Fett (Star Wars)
 Superhero Face Painting at Disney

I can hardly believe it's been 4 years since Evan blessed our family. It's been a wonderful four years. He has taught us so much about life and ourselves. Happy 4th Birthday buddy! Daddy, Claire and I love you so much!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Concert

On Wednesday, all the three year old classes at Windermere Union Church Preschool put on a Christmas concert. There were about 80 kids up on the stage and they were just adorable. We lucked out and sat directly in front of Evan. It is amazing what a difference a year makes in the kids and their performance. They all did so well. Evan seemed to have a great time up there and would smile the biggest smile every time he looked at Joe and I. He sang every song and did all the motions he was supposed to. I was so proud of him and watching him really put me in the Christmas spirit. His face is just full of the joy and innocence of a child and the true excitement and joy of Christmas. Thankfully we video taped the whole thing, because I want to watch it over and over again.

"We wish YOU a Merry Christmas"

Teddy Bear Say Your Prayers

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Jingle Jingle Jingle

Peppermint Stick, playing a Kazoo

They sang 12 songs!!! I couldn't believe that they sang so many and the kids all learned them so quickly. They don't start working on the Christmas songs until after Thanksgiving. Which means they had 2 1/2 weeks to teach the kids all the songs and movements and they only go to school 3 days a week. It's amazing how fast kids pick things up.  The songs they sang were:
Jingle Jingle Jingle, Santa's Helpers, Guess Who?, Teddy Bear, I'm a little Snowman, Peppermint Stick, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Mary Had a Little Boy, Hallelu-Hallelu, We'll be Singing, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Jingle Bells

Christmas Playdate

Abby & Drew

Jack & Evan

Jennifer & Davis

Ana & Caleb

Abby took this, can't take credit. But LOVE the pic of my baby Claire
Our friends Ana, Yasmine and Caleb had us and a bunch of our friends over for a fun Christmas play date. The kids decorated ornaments, played dress up and ate a LOT of sugary treats. They then had an ornament exchange. We all had such a great time and the kids got the cutest ornaments ever. Evan got a Batman, which he could not wait to get home and hang on our tree. Claire got this beautiful Disney ornament with 3 princesses on it. I couldn't wait to get home to hang it on the tree. Yeah, princess stuff!! I didn't take too many pics, but here are a few I got.

Decorating our first gingerbread house

Claire was busy trying to pull the curtains down while we were working on the gingerbread house
Finally! Evan is now at the age where baking with him is fun. By that I mean, he's finally at the age where he actually has interest in baking. So we decided to decorate our first gingerbread house together! I may have cheated a little bit a lot by buying the premade one. Who has the time to actually bake one when they make such nice premade ones for you? So, I guess we didn't really bake together, but we played with icing and candy together. And we had lots of fun, so that's what really matters, right? After he finished he really wanted to eat it, but I must say that the icing tasted like glue (perhaps a major downfall of the premade ones). In the end, Evan decided to just pull off some of the candy and eat it, smart boy!