Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas Is Coming

We are back this week and hitting the Christmas scene hard!  I'm still battling INSANE pregnancy insomnia but trying to ignore that and how it makes me feel and enjoy what this Christmas season brings.

 Kids find all the details about Christmas so magical-they soak it all up.  Gideon and Sir both look forward to our nightly walks around the neighborhood to see Christmas lights.  We bundle them up in the stroller and head out every night after dinner.  The highlights are a Santa that pops out of a port-a-potty (so totally creepy but Gideon's favorite) and spotting baby Jesus in the manger.  Gid has taken to carrying around our wooden baby Jesus from my nativity set I bought in Jerusalem and kissing him. Too sweet!

Both boys are at fun ages to introduce them to Advent, Santa, presents, traditions, and special outings.  Also Gideon is an egg nog lover!  But only from Costco or his grandparents's house, apparently...I bought stupidly priced organic egg nog at the store for him-he tried one sip and declared, "Yuck." 

 *eye roll*  

I guess I'll put it in my coffee for the next month instead.  Lots of pics in this post of what we've been up to!

Last Saturday we went to the Westminster City Hall lighting with our friends The Bolts.  We could hear the Mayor talking about something over the microphone but it was super muffled.  I asked Ryan to get something out of the diaper bag for me and as he was bent down focused on that task they lit up the WHOLE place!  That's what the Mayor was saying I guess! I felt terrible to have made him miss the big moment ha!

City Hall is where Ryan works now so he gets to leave this amazing wonderland every night on his way home.  They truly did a spectacular job-the lights were beautiful

Gideon played in the nativity set for awhile and by play I mean he found a stick and used it as a sword and pointed it at Joseph and the Shepherds 

We have been doing our Advent devotional every night before bed.  Mostly it's just Ryan, Giddy and I doing it because Sir goes to bed earlier and is uninterested.  We do our Jesus Storybook Bible devotional with the ornaments I received from a recent exchange and then as Gideon's reward for paying attention he gets to do his chocolate calendar his Grammy gave him

A few weeks ago I attended an Advent ornament exchange with 24 other ladies.  We all brought 25 of a certain ornament coordinating with a day of advent and the corresponding Bible verse.  I loved seeing all the handmade ornaments (so much creativity!).  We hang ours on our big Christmas tree and Gideon gets such a kick out of the whole tradition

Look at this naughty monkey!  Climbing on boxes in his diaper to get to a train ornament he wanted.  His smile is too sweet here.

On Saturday we went to meet Santa!  My mom found a free Santa in Olde Town Arvada so we spent the morning going to a German bakery for Christmas treats, adventuring in the library, and then meeting the big guy.  The Santa was very charming-totally sweet with a real beard and incredibly nice to my boys

Um, has Gideon ever been prouder of having a dollar bill??? So cute

Santa was a hit with Sir but Giddy felt differently about the whole experience. At least he got a candy cane out of it!

These three chubster cousins!  Sir, Fynn and Caius all were born within 3 weeks of each other.  They are all rolly polly sweet boys and play very sweet together.  We were all together unfortunately for Ryan's grandma's funeral a few weeks ago so while it was a sad reason to get together I'm always thankful for our great family to spend time with

My mom ordered this shirt for Sir's first birthday coming up!!!  I think it's so cute and he can keep wearing it year round

This morning while baby took a 2 hour nap Giddy and I pulled out all the crafts and activities and had some fun together.  The rice sensory box was A TOTAL MESS and I think he liked the pom pom pick up game and coloring best anyway.

I mailed out over 60 Christmas cards this week which felt very freeing.  I kept worrying I would lose them all or spill something all over them (first world problem) so I'm happy they are on their way to people.  We have a MOPS Christmas party this week, Denver Zoo lights, a cousin birthday party and volunteering at church to look forward to.  It's a full week of fun outings and events :)

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Thanksgiving 2017 & Recent Adventures

I will be honest and say we are EXHAUSTED this week.  Anyone else find that a 2 year old and 11 month old can wear them out faster than running a marathon after you pulled an all nighter and crossed 7 international time zones on a red eye???  Not an exaggeration...clearly.

 We love them dearly but between two little boys, Thanksgiving prep and cooking, hosting, and regular routine to keep our life running, Ryan and I would say "tired" pretty much sums it up this week.

Gideon is in a unique stage of boundary testing, independence seeking, not starting World War III learning to share and utter curiosity about anything even remotely threatening to his life that he shouldn't have (screwdrivers, heights, sharp objects, the stove etc).  

Sir is walking, wants to be where Gideon is (a fun fact about 2 year olds is that their personal bubble manifests and must be maintained ONLY when their own foster sibling is around-who knew?!?!), teething and establishing more independence of his own.  These individual milestones and stages plus the boys being 16 months apart is mental/physical/emotional whiplash for us. FIX IT, LORD JESUS!!

We have had a full week of hosting, cooking, celebrations, house projects, and normal life so rest this weekend sounded just right.

Ryan got our baseboards put back on that we took off in March when we got floors installed.  Woops!  We just have not had the time or energy.  The boys think it is their duty in life and Ryan's privilege to have their "help" every step of the way.  It's pretty dang cute and he's very, very patient with their involvement.  Ryan is earning his way to sainthood through house projects with 2 toddlers.

I took the boys to open gym at a gymnastics place near our house. The boys loved the foam pit, floor level trampoline and big foam shapes the best.  It wore them out and gave us a fun outing on a cold morning

This little Sir has 5 teeth (plus one more half way out) and is walking walking walking like it's his job!  He cruised down the entire hallway just today and thinks he is hot stuff now!  Being a walker plus his red hair plus his teeth and fat belly are pretty much heart melting

My one and only freezer cooking contribution last week as we prep for the new baby: double chocolate chip cookies. Healthy right??  Not!  If you make them, get them off the baking sheet and then smear with peanut butter and enjoy with a cup of milk.  HEAVENLY HOSTS REJOICE! I'm hoping to get pot pies in the freezer this weekend if I can get to it.

These boys are always on the move!  Somehow their legs are always up in the air as they tumble off something.  Gideon has the most fun playing with the doods and both boys apparently have a ball playing in the bathtub.  They were playing nicely so I'll take it!!

We hosted Thanksgiving this year for 18 people!  10 adults and 8 kids.  It was Ryan's parents, Ryan's sister and her husband (+2 kids), Ryan's brother and his wife (+3 kids), and our friends Matt and Katie (+1 kid).  We hung out for hours talking, eating, laughing, watching football, letting the kids run around out back and enjoying the evening.

My favorite parts of the enormous dinner spread we had was the sweet potato casserole (I made it, how humble of me), Ryan's turkey and Matt & Katie's french silk pie.  We were SO full and so thankful.

Something that two little boys has taught us is #1 how ok we are with huge messes and #2 how long you can function in your house being utter chaos without the world ending.

It took us 2 days to even get to clean up because Friday I worked and Ryan went to his parents to help install floors all day.  Today (Saturday) we just go to running the dishwasher and washing dishes...we are gross now that we have kids! Ha!  In years past before kids I would have the house cleaned, vacuumed, mopped and decorated for Christmas that same night by 11:00 p.m. 

 I think I've learned to let a lot of things go in that area and just embrace the chaos :)

Long folding tables and folding chairs were money on Thanksgiving

Sir and his BFF Josiah hanging in their highchairs

The boys have so many cousins who are THE NICEST to them.  I have never seen a group of kids under 5 play so well and kindly with one another!

Giddy and Sir sampled just about everything.  I think they both liked the ham and sweet potatoes best.  Sir also indulged in two buttered rolls because he is the King of Carbs. How else will he keep those amazing thighs so thunderous??

Well that's it for our week!  Today we are attempting to set up and decorate a Christmas tree but Sir is intent on pulling that thing over on himself!  We will get there.  I'm slowly decorating for Christmas as we have a day at home.  Our December is BUSY with activities, birthday parties and holiday happenings so a day without any agenda is a good one.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.

Isaiah 40:28

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Friendsgiving 2017

We went to our first Friendsgiving last night and it was THE BEST time!  Matt and Katie hosted and we all stuffed ourselves to the brim.  My belly was so full of baby and food I just had to lay on the couch for 30 minutes.

 We all had a great, relaxed time.  The kids played, the adults ate and drank, and we just soaked up the time together.  I'm a little surprised we have never attended or hosted a Friendsgiving before but I think it's something that would be fun to do every year.

Matt's parents (who we love and have even vacationed with) were in town from Texas and made sure that this was a southern dinner to remember--Ryan and I said we have never been to such an extravagant, delicious Thanksgiving in our lives.  Seriously, we were all blessed so much!

There were SEVEN kinds of dessert, over a dozen side dishes and several different kinds of meat.  We were full and very happy to hang with some of our favorite people and enjoy delicious food.

It was a house full of little boys between all of our kids.  Not one single girl!

Gideon bull dozed his ham and managed to eat not even one bite of his dinner *sigh*.  How 2 year olds survive and grow is one of the great mysteries of the world

We are hosting Thanksgiving this Thursday for 10 adults and 8 kids.  Ryan will brine and roast the turkey as always and I'll be in charge of decorations, side dishes and desserts.  Everyone we invited is also bringing something to share which makes the load of hosting significantly easier.  We can't wait!

I read this quote from an author I have been enjoying lately, Shauna Neiquist: 

"Hospitality is when someone leaves your home feeling better about themselves, not better about you"

That is a a truly meaningful quote to live by as we host Thanksgiving next week, host Sir's birthday party next month, and open our house to friends and family in this holiday season.  And all year long

The adventures of Giddy!  He gets so jazzed over school buses and this one happened to be parked in our church parking lot for some reason before MOPS.  He was very thrilled to see one up close and personal.  Ryan, Giddy and I went to see the Star Movie Friday morning and Giddy did incredibly well.  He walked around a lot but the theatre was empty and I think he liked the movie.  We give the Star Movie a thumbs up!

Just another family picture I had to throw in there!  I had about 75 printed (not just this one) that I need to go pick up for our Christmas cards.  I wrote a Christmas letter this year I'll print off at Kinkos and then just add the picture to the envelope.  I haven't done it this was before so we will see if we like doing it that way

And finally, Fat Sir in his beloved carrier!  He is the chunkiest 11 month old and when he is being carried on Ryan's front, Ryan gets headaches and shoulder pains from the weight of that 24+ lb chubster.  We decided to strap Sir to Ryan's back to see if he would tolerate it and it's working out amazingly!  Ryan's back doesn't hurt and Sir still gets a front row view of the world.

I cannot believe this little guy will be 1 in just a month.  We are planning a Winter ONEderland party for him.  I won't always do winter theme (because no one born near Christmas appreciates that, but he's 1 and doesn't care) but the catchiness of "one-derland" was just too good to pass up.  He will be the absolute best with a smash cake and I already ordered his presents last month that I know he will be thrilled with.

I'll be looking forward to pre-Thanksgiving cooking and prep this week, the Macy's parade, a home full of friends and family, and a 3 day work week for Ryan!  His new schedule on four 10's are long and definitely exhausting Monday through Thursday but on Friday we are all thankful to have him home.  And when a holiday falls on a Thursday, he has a 3 days week.  HOLLA!

Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.”

Luke 9:48

Friday, November 17, 2017

Baby Boy 11 Months Old

Age: 11 months!

Sir I cannot believe we have known and loved you for almost 1 whole year!  Friends and family have been saying it for the last few weeks, but this "baby" is ALL toddler!  He has the biggest feet, chunkiest legs, and is starting to walk!  He finds so much happiness just being around his favorite people, eating (of course), and trying to beat his previous step record (current is 5 in a row).  We love this chunky monkey with all his sweetness, laid back nature and tender little heart.

Weight: 24 lbs

Length: I don't know!  He hasn't been measured since his 9 month appointment

Sizes: He's pretty much exclusively in 12-18 month clothes.  Many of the 12 months are getting tight so I just bust out the next box!  He is in size 5 diapers and size 4 shoe (he is not a fan of wearing shoes).

Eyes: Blue.  They are still so pretty and clear and really pop when I dress him in blue, which is all the time!

Hair: Red!  It's so curly after the bath and will keep a little wave once it dries.  It's getting much longer in the back and Ryan and I both like him with longer hair so we will just let those luscious locks grow out.

Sleeping:  He has been fighting his first nap for some reason but always settles down and goes to sleep.  He sleeps from about 8:30-10:00 a.m. and then about 1:00-2:30 p.m.  He goes to bed around 7:00 p.m. and will sleep until 6:00 a.m. the next morning.  He's a solid sleeper once he's out and is always ready for his naps!

Eating: His favorite foods right now seem to be clementine, applesauce, bean/cheese burrito, yogurt, puffs, peanut butter and bread.  He despises avocado and egg.  This month he tried some very tiny and tender bites of steak, hamburger, cheese pasta, almond butter, pears and of course anything that we are eating.  He drinks 4 bottles and day and still averages about 30 oz of formula per day.

Milestones/Words: He is taking steps like it's his job!  So far his record is 5 in a row and it's so cute to see him toddle across the room.  He is getting up from standing unassisted and then balancing forever, clapping on command, puts his hands up in the air if I say "SO big!", babbles ma-ma and definitely understands when we tell him "no!".  He is so smart and just thriving.

Memorable Outings:  We went to the new dinosaur exhibit at the museum last week, family time at the library and lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory over the weekend. 

Favorite toys/activities:  His favorite toy is this squeaker snake toy that he loves to crawl around with.  He loves our colorful tunnel he can crawl through, climbing into the cabinets, banging pots, untying shoelaces, playing with a sensory board with locks on it, and anything that shakes or rattles.  Lately he has been more patient if you read to him and he of course loves to be in the carrier on Ryan or on our nightly walks

Funny Moments: Sir has been making this funny "panting" noise like a dog so if you mimic it back to him he LAUGHS and laughs!

Looking forward to: More of those steps!  Everywhere we go would be so much easier with two walkers.  Having Sir on the ground means everything ends up in his mouth and it's just a disaster to go outside or to the park and not have him in his stroller.  I think his world will open up more and he'll be even more content when he can walk.  Watch out for this fast little guy!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

More Freezer Meals & Weekly Outings

I was able to get out last Friday with some of my favorite ladies!  We went to the Jen Hatmaker Mess and Moxie Tour in Denver and had a blast.  There were a lot of hilarious moments, teachable moments, lots of wisdom and some of the prettiest music I've heard in awhile by Jen's counterpart on the tour, Nichole Nordeman.  It was a life giving evening out just us ladies with no kiddos!

The next night we went to a friend's birthday party and the only picture I took was of Gideon eating his highly anticipated chocolate cupcake, yum!

We have had some surprisingly pretty November weather here so Gideon and I are all about getting out back while Baby takes his first nap.  We do chalk, ride bikes, and pretend like it's July!

  And also, how sweet are these boys playing together?  This is a verrrrrrrrry rare moment when I don't have to referee their interaction and save poor baby from the wrath of 2 year old Giddy.  But I'll take what I can get.

I've been doing more freezer cooking!!!  This is where it's at people.  I like doing this to prep for baby.  This week I added 5 more items to the deep freeze downstairs:

Lactation Cookies or as we call them "Boobie Cookies".  These are full of oatmeal, peanut butter, flax, chia seeds and more.  A really healthy option for me post-birth but all the boys like them too!

Ham/Bell Pepper/Tomato Egg Cups (we doubled this recipe so we would have breakfast ready to go for the week)

Coconut Chicken Curry (I halved this recipe since I haven't made it before and 3 lbs of chicken seems like A LOT of curry to get through)

Shepherd's Pie

Next up on the list of freezer cooking will be bean and cheese burritos for easy lunches, two homemade pot pies using left over turkey from Thanksgiving next week, and a few more casserole-ish dishes.  Every time I bake something for our family like cookies or muffins I will try to double the recipe or set aside half of what I make to go into the freezer.

This fat sir looks so old in his big boy shoes!  I can't stand how cute he looks in them but he is not a fan of wearing them yet

Finally, just a random picture of two products I'm thankful for with the boys lately.  I dissolve 1 tsp of the probiotic into Sir's bottle once a day and I stir in 1 tsp into about 1/2 cup of applesauce for Gideon to eat.  They don't even know it's in there.  I draw up the Cod Liver Oil (bubble gum flavored) with a medicine syringe and they both take it easily.  I really do not want these boys sick this winter with the new baby so we are washing hands, taking these two supplements and sanitizing linens often.

This week we are looking forward to: MOPS, seeing the new Star Movie with Gideon Friday morning, Friendsgiving on Friday evening, time with friends this weekend and a laid back Sunday at church and home.

When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants." 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.

Hebrews 6:13-15


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