Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas... ish

This could be titled "Really long post about Christmas and the days both before and after this wonderful season." But that seemed a little wordy.

First of all, I truly hope you all had absolutely wonderful holidays.
Growing up, Christmas was always absolutely magical; it was more than just presents. It was anticipation, and lights, and love and warmth... I could go on and on.
This year, with the kids at such amazing ages, I felt a lot of pressure to make Christmas really, really MAGICAL... like my parents always did. After at least one mini break down, I was reminded that it is the simple things that make it magical to children.

So... we got down to the serious business of decorating cookies!

Um, wow Zac... that is quite a lot of sprinkles. But, you know what... go to town big boy!
Beautiful Lilly. Simply beautiful. Oh, and the cookie is nice too.
(And, yes, that is her Dora Halloween mask next to her. She still wears it. A lot. Creeeeepy!)
I don't have any pictures, but we also walked through Winterhaven, a neighborhood here that goes ALL OUT for Christmas lights. I wanted to take the kids, but wasn't sure when, so when my godfather told me that they always have a party where they meet at his house and walk there (he lives very close... duh), then go back for dinner and treats, I was IN. The kids did great during the walk. They were so well behaved and excited about the lights. It was a FUN evening!

We had a very busy Christmas Eve. In addition to decorating gingerbread cookies for Santa, we made Peanut Butter Balls (Lilly's favorite and, coincidentally, Santa loves them too). We also made a crock pot of chili, a homemade spinach lasagna, corn bread, banana bread, and salad (with fresh Pomegranate seeds... making the kitchen look like a crime scene!)

We also took a break to wrap some presents. Oh, and to play with wrapping paper.

We had decorated the tree earlier in the week, but we had to add some finishing touches.
We also had to leave out Reindeer Food. You know, so the Reindeer have a snack while waiting for Santa.
CUP your hand Zac! Just like feeding the ducks!
Yep, flip flops on Christmas Eve. Love AZ!
We had Christmas Eve dinner with my parents, Aunt Sherry, Cousins Miguel, Sofia, and Megan. Good food, good drink, great company!
We ALMOST forgot to leave the milk and cookies for Santa! Thank goodness we remembered. He ate almost everything, and even left a note!
He also filled Lilly and Zac's stockings!

Christmas morning was amazing. Lilly woke up around 7:30, allowing me to sleep in. I had actually woken up around 7 but stayed in the bedroom because I wanted her to discover the tree on her own. At 7:30 I heard her door open, heard a couple of steps, and then... the most wonderful sound...
The best way I can describe it is Hushed Excitement. She was whispering, but excitedly talking about how "SANTA CAME." The sound of her sucking in her breath in excitement brings tears to my eyes. For her, magic had happened.
She ran into the bedroom to explain that Santa had come and brought "lots and lots of presents!"
We pretty much immediately ran in to Zac's room and told him the great news. Then, we had to examine the tree.

After the four of us opened gifts, we headed to my parent's house. Turns out, Santa had been there too! Then off to my grandparent's where, you guessed it, Santa had been! My goodness!
I apparently did not get any good pictures of the rest of the day, as I was too wrapped up in the good times. We stayed in PJs all day!
We got home around 2, and had the rest of the afternoon to rest and play with all of our new toys. Santa sure was good to us!

A couple of days later, when I woke Zac up from his nap, I saw this:

FLUFFY hair Zac!
So we decided it was haircut time. Jeremy met us at the salon, where Lilly got her FIRST HAIRCUT! That's right... Zac has had 3 or 4, but Lilly had never had a haircut. She never wanted one, but this time she agreed (I never wanted to fight her on it... I knew she'd come around).
What a big girl!
Zac's turn! This was a first for him too... the first time he sat all by himself (not on my lap!) for a haircut!
Zac looks worried because, well, he was worried. But, he's a pro.
So... whew! It has been a busy couple of days. Now, mommy is trying to clean up Christmas while the kids are busy fighting over toys. Sigh. These are not the moments I remember from my childhood, but I'm sure they happened too. I pray that Lilly and Zac remember only the magic of Christmas.

A couple of side notes:

Again, I wish a very merry Christmas to everyone, especially the Yagers in California who we didn't get to spend Christmas with. We were thinking about you, and the kids thank you for the wonderful gifts. Merry Christmas. We love you.

Also, there has been some sadness this season as well. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are hurting and dealing with the loss of a loved one during this time, or any, time of year.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

OMG Zac is TWO!!!

I know this post is a few days late, but I have been fighting with internet and computers.
Um, people? Zackary is two. Hard it believe, right? But, apparently, it's true. Weird, since I'm pretty sure I gave birth to him, like, last week.
I am now mom to a 2 year old and a 3 year old. Wowzers.

Anyhow, we had a party for him the day before his birthday! Complete with CAR CAKE!
Here are the three 20th kids enjoying their bagels at the party!
(Zac, age 2 - duh. Shyla, age 19 months. Lilly, 2 months shy of 4!)


And... cake time!

This looks like he was screaming, and he WAS... but a fun laughing scream. This kid had a blast!
Brother/sister hugs!

Suzanne was nice enough to attempt to get a picture of me with my birthday boy! This one turned out pretty good...

But THIS one is my absolute favorite!

Two is such a wonderful age! Zac didn't really know it was his birthday ahead of time, but he really knew that HE was in the spotlight that day. Which makes my heart very happy.

A few other odds and ends about Zac, at age two -

He is learning more and more words. Every day he surprises me.
He still loves his blankie. And when he has his blankie, he sucks his thumb.
He loves trucks, cars, busses, and dinosaurs.
He is not too cool to wear his sister's headbands, tiaras, or high heels.
He loves his mommy (Lilly was always more of a daddy's girl).
He loves fruit, and only barely tolerates veggies (again, opposite of Lilly).
He shares ~ when he wants to!
He loves all books.
He goes to bed around 7 and wakes up around 6:30 or 7.
He looks darn cute in a tshirt and diaper.
He kinda wants to potty train, though I'm temped to hold off just a little longer.
He gives the very, very, very best hugs this mommy could ever ask for.

I. Am. Blessed.

~ ~ ~
In other news... Lilly had her school Christmas presentation last week as well! Try as I might, I never get a good picture of these things! But, here she is as we were getting ready to go!
Also, my cousin Miguel and his girlfriend Sofia arrived from Portugal for a month! They came over, with my aunt Sherry, on the evening after Zac's party. It was so good to see them, and I can't wait to spend more time with them this month!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thankful for THEM

I didn't blog on Thanksgiving, but I am SO thankful for these little angels. They play together every day, sometimes more nicely than others! Check out this series of pics I managed to get on Thanksgiving!

Of course, they both came up laughing! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!