Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Cheer

Christmas Eve was a fun day! We started off at Mabel & Vince's house which has become a yearly tradition for us. Nolan & Luke walked through the door and immediately felt like they were at home. Afterwards, we went to Mom Mom & Poppy's house for dinner.

The boys had a blast playing with their cousins Michael & Lucas. I mean, a BLAST! It made me so happy to see them all together.

Little did I know that I was just coming down with a cold, so my appetite wasn't what it usually is, so I only had some delicious homemade Italian wedding soup for dinner, but everything looked delicious and of course the boys enjoyed it!

Christmas morning was a blast!!

Aunt Christa & Charlie slept over and we were joined by Mom Mom & Poppy at 7:30. Mom Mom made us her famous sausage gravy & biscuits while we waited (not so patiently on my part) for the boys to wake up.

When they did wake, it was SO FUN!!!!!

It took almost 3 hours to open gifts because the boys would open something from Santa then become entranced so it took a while to move on to the next!

The tool workbench was definitely a big it!

Mom Mom & Poppy bought us big boy singing pottys!!

The boys took a nap after their exciting morning and when the woke, we headed out to Grammie & Pop's!

There were more Christmas gifts to open there, so the boys were excited!

They received their very own play cameras - just like mommy!

We're practicing for the snow that's been forecasted for tomorrow!

This was cousin Jake's first Christmas!!

Of course we played Wii ski! My family is obsessed with skiing!

Overall we had a very blessed and happy Christmas! I am so grateful to all of the loving people in my life.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas to Everyone!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A letter to my boys (18 months old)

Dear Nolan and Luke,

My hope is that someday, when I am long-gone, you will have these entries as a reminder of just how much I love the two of you. You truly have made my life complete.

This isn't to say that neither the two of you nor I are perfect, because we aren't. We are, however, perfect for each other.

Every day with you both is an adventure that I do not take for granted. I love the sound of your laughter, I love your soft skin, I love to nuzzle your neck, I love when you try to jump, I love listening to you speak to each other.

I love everything about you.

My sweet Nolan,

You hold up your hands and look perplexed when you notice that something isn’t right. There have been a few times when I’ve pulled into the driveway at night with you in the back seat and if our neighbor’s Christmas lights aren’t on yet, you say “huh” and hold up your hands in question.

You still give me big ‘ol open-mouthed kisses. I love ‘em!

While you still enjoy bath time, you refuse to sit in the tub. This started a couple of weeks ago but I’m not sure why.

The minute your feet hit the floor upstairs, you run to daddy’s closet and pull out his belts. We have tried hiding them from you, but you always end up with one (or two) in your hand.

You are our little milk-aholic and would rather drink your calories than eat them.

You are ready for another haircut already! Your hair grows very quickly like your daddy’s.

You have the BEST walk I’ve ever seen. It’s almost like a sashay!

You are an amazing sleeper. You could sleep uninterrupted for hours and I think you could take 3 to 4 hour naps every day if Luke didn’t wake up first and want to play with you.

My lovable Luke,

You’re beginning to repeat words a little more than you did just a week ago!

You are a little chatterbox whenever we’re in the car! I could turn off the radio and listen to you for hours. I may look like a mad woman to other drivers because I have a permanent smile plastered to my face when you do this.

You know how to pucker your lips and give kisses. It’s sweet, but I miss your baby slobber kisses.

Daddy & I think you just may be a basketball prodigy. I’m just throwing that out there! Putting the basketball in the hoop just came naturally to you and you love when daddy helps you slam dunk!

You like to “give” things to people. It’s so nice of you except that you usually hit them in the face with it. The intent is so sweet though!

You are very generous with Nolan and love to share with him. If you go to pick up your milk cup, you usually pick his up too and hand it to him. I love this!

You still love to dance to music!

You are a wonderful eater and I am amazed by how much you can fit into your little belly.

I hope the next six months go as smoothly as the previous. We have had a lot of fun together! It is a pleasure holding the title of your 'mommy.'

All my love,

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Quiz

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? It all depends, but I prefer wrapping paper.

2. Real tree or Artificial? Growing up, we always had a real tree, but Justin always had an artificial. We have done both, but currently have a pre-lit artificial tree. It holds the ornaments better!

3. When do you put up the tree? The day after Thanksgiving! We don’t mess around.

4. When do you take the tree down? Usually after Christmas, but before New Years.

5. Do you like eggnog? Only Justin’s homemade kind. There’s just enough rum – not too much & not too little.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? My Cabbage Patch Kid, Anton. He had red hair and now I have my very own little red head!

7. Hardest person to buy for? My dad, Bobby. For sure!

8. Easiest person to buy for? Nolan & Luke!

9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Christmas cards are the way to go!

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Bubble Tape. I would get Bubble Tape every year from someone who will go unmentioned. One year she gave me a Scrubbing Bubbles night light.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? National Lampoons Christmas Vacation.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? This year it was in October!

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Guilty.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Every year, Justin & I will wake up and head over to his parents’ house for country sausage gravy & biscuits. That’s definitely my favorite Christmastime meal.

16. Lights on the tree (colored or clear)? White.

17. Favorite Christmas song? Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel. Only until the boys have reached the point that they don’t want to leave our house on Christmas morning.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Of course!!

20. Angel, star or ribbon on top of tree? Star. But I have done ribbon in the past.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas morning. I can’t imagine opening presents from Santa on Christmas Eve!

22. Favorite children's Christmas song? I’m Getting’ Nuttin’ for Christmas.

23. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Buying batteries for EVERYTHING!

24. Favorite ornament theme or color? My favorite ornament is probably the family of moose with all of our names on it.

25. Turkey or ham on Christmas day? Ham - although I don’t eat it.

26. What do you want for Christmas this year? Good kids.

27. Does anyone in your family dress up as Santa? No, but my Uncle Ed used to call the house and pretend he was Santa and ask me if I was being good.

28. Age you discovered who Santa was? I’m pathetic, but it was in like 7th grade. My parents sheltered me.

29. Eggnog, hot chocolate, or apple cider? “Let’s Get Nogged!” is a little phrase that Justin & I throw around on Christmas day…

30. Traditional colors (red and green) or other colors? Love the reds, greens and golds!

31. Do you have any Christmas decorations on your roof? Negative. I live in a row home in Philly. I can’t imagine using a ladder to get all the way up there!

32. How does Santa get into your house? Chimney or magic key? We have an electric fireplace – he comes through that.

33. Do you prefer gifts or gift cards? Gifts!

34. Favorite children's Christmas Cartoon? Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Nolan - words & belts

This past Saturday, I was up at 6:15 a.m. (I'm an early riser) and I heard Nolan making noise from his crib in the nursery. I could have easily went in and put him back down so that he can sleep until his usual 7:30 wake-up time, but instead I picked him up out of his crib and brought him downstairs with me so that I could have some one-on-one time.

We sat on the couch under a blanket next to our Christmas tree playing peek-a-boo and making funny faces. He loves to mimic funny faces!

After a while, Tank came downstairs so Nolan and I opened the back door so that Tank could go out into the yard and do his business. Nolan started pointing to his playhouse on our patio but I told him that he couldn't go out to play because it was only in the 30's that morning and we were in our jammies. Instead, I held him in my arms, wrapped us up in a a blanket and stepped out onto the patio. He wanted to get down and play, but I told him that it was too cold out and we needed to go back inside - we were only out for about 20 seconds.

When we got back inside, I heard Nolan say "col." My face lit up and I said, "yes, it is cold outside, isn't it?" I love to hear him repeat words.

When they were little, I remember thinking that I couldn't wait to hear what their voices sound like. It's happening.

Some of his favorite words:

choo-choo -- for the train that is under the Christmas tree.
Night Night
Bye Bye
Baaa -- which means bath
Belt -- he's obsessed with belts. We don't know why.
Mil -- milk

You can't really tell from this picture, but he's looking at the "choo-choo" while holding onto a belt :-)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Capturing Memories

When I still lived at home, my little sister would love to sit with me and watch old videos that our parents took from our childhood. Since she is 12 years younger than I, she liked being able to see what I was like as a little girl. She also loved looking through our mom's large box of family photos and ask questions about where the picture was taken and what we were doing (and why we were wearing such goofy clothing --hey, it was the 80's!). She also enjoyed looking through her own baby and toddler pictures as well as watching videos of Christmas mornings when she was a little girl and my brother & I were in our teens. I love that my parents documented our childhoods so well, but a part of me will always wish that there were more pictures to look through.

Picture-taking was very time-consuming twenty years ago because you only had 24 shots on a roll of film and you better make sure they were 'good.' Afterwards, you had to take your roll to get developed. Often times, you'd end up with 18 good pictures and 6 that were either blurry or cut-off.

I think that this is part of the reason I take so many pictures of my sons. It's just so easy with digital cameras & computers. I will always have the memories in my head, but they won't remember anything about this time in years to come. I want to capture their smiling faces, pouty faces and sometimes even their tearful eyes because I want them to be able to look back and re-experience it all over again.

In the meantime, I just need to get a little better at deciding on what pictures to print & put in a photobook versus save on my hard drive. THAT is very time-consuming!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Santa Claus

I love this time of year. I don't mind the hustle & bustle of shopping, wrapping, baking and celebrating. The ONLY thing I don't enjoy about this time of year is work. It has been keeping me extremely busy and when I do have some free time I just don't want to plop down in front of my laptop and blog!

Last week, Mom Mom & I took the boys to the mall for their Christmas portraits (which I am SO HAPPY with!) and a visit to Santa Claus.

The boys were great during their photo shoot at the portrait studio. The photographer got a picture of the two of them together, but they aren't smiling. Of course. At this point, I've just accepted the fact that it will probably be a few years before they will both be in the same picture, looking at the camera and smiling! Their individual shots turned out lovely though and I can't wait to share them!

After picture time, we took a walk over to see Santa. As we were waiting in line, both boys were happy. Luke had a look of wonder and anticipation on his little face and Nolan was playing with the straw from my drink, so he was happy too.

Once they hit Santa's lap, it looked like this:

Nolan was upset with me and Luke was just fascinated with Santa. It was like last year, when at 6 months old, Luke reached up and tugged on Santa's beard!

This past Sunday, Mom Mom & Poppy took us to the New Hope Santa Express for a train ride, cookies & hot chocolate with Santa & Mrs. Claus. We had a fun time, but Nolan was a little afraid of his new surroundings. When the train began moving, he became a little upset. He eventually warmed-up to the train and he didn't cry when he saw Santa! Luke had a good time - he liked when the guitarist sang Christmas carols.

The Christmas season is well under way and I'm enjoying it. I have a few more trips planned for the boys and Justin and I are looking forward to our yearly Christmas in NYC trip.