I just love the holidays! Like crazy love. Case in point - we started listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween. I love the red cups at Starbucks, Christmas lights and being able to say Happy Holidays to complete strangers. I love making festive plans with friends and family and nighttime activities that require bundling up. But most of all I love that each year since the kids were born the holiday season has progressively become more fun and cheerful. The best day without out doubt is the day we decorate for Christmas. This year Declan was so ecstatic as we pulled out decoration after decoration. And Lexi of course follows his lead. Their favorite decoration is one that Adam's parents gave us long before we had kids. It is a musical sleigh that starts playing various Christmas songs when you clap your hands while a little horse drawn sleigh circles around a town square. This particular decoration is looked for every morning and played with throughout the day. These two truly are the magic of my Christmas.
Nothing like a little table fort with their favorite Christmas decoration to start the day.
The best part is, it isn't even December yet. So much to look forward to!
I am quite certain that "I have an idea" is Adam's least favorite sentence. Especially when it is coming out of my mouth. Because it either means: 1) I need manly help, or 2) I'm going to spend money, or 3) (and this is usually the case) both. The conversation goes something like this - me: "I have an idea..." him (while groaning): "Oh God, I don't want to hear it." me - "No, it's really good, just listen." So, he placates me, and listens. The following story is a perfect example of one of my ideas.
About a month ago, I see a photo tutorial on pinterest that I want to try with the kids. It is gorgeous with tons of Christmas lights. The catch is that they used backdrop stands and a studio to do it - I don't have these items. I choose to look past this and figure out a way to do it. This is when I start bouncing ideas off of Adam. I tell him I want to hang out shower curtain upstairs downstairs between the window and a ladder and string Christmas lights from it. He looks at me like I am crazy and proceeds to tell me why this won't work. I stop listening. Then I tell him I am going to tape the Christmas lights to the ceiling and have them hang down that way. Again he tells me why this won't work. I decide he's just not into my idea and that I will do this on my own. As soon as the garage closes on Monday morning I get to work. I put on a show for the kids, practically kill myself pulling down the Christmas light bin in the garage, move furniture, and start taping lights. As soon as I start hanging the lights I realize the awful truth: he was right.
My light strands aren't long enough and the surge plug that I have taped to the counter keeps pulling off and messing up the light strands (notice the floating surge plug below)
What a mess
I decide to throw in the towel and take down my hanging lights and try out some ideas with just the lights taped to the back of our counter (what he suggested in the first place, but I didn't think it would be enough).
I bought some fake snow at Target and wanted to try some snaps of the kids blowing it. Hmmm...
Declan kept cupping his hands over the snow...
so it blew out in kind of a mess -
Lexi didn't get much further. In fact, after giving it a go she started crying saying "dirty".
Just as I was deciding to call it quits, I hear the garage open! It was Veterans day, and Adam didn't have a lot to do so he came home early. He walked into a mess of lights and snow and started cracking up. Then he helped me crack a few smiles from the kids -
Which landed me my one and only usable picture from the whole ordeal (pink blanket cropped out of course)-
He is the epitome of logical; I have ideas. Sometimes he wins, sometimes I win. He won that day.
After a hectic beginning of the week, it was wonderful to steal away to Oxnard for a couple of days to celebrate Thanksgiving with Papa, DeeDee, and Uncle Jeff. Relaxing was theme of the trip - in that we did a whole lot of nothing! It was awesome. Walks to the beach and the park dominated our days and movie watching filled our nights. The kids slept great - which is always a plus, we ate, drank, and were Merry. A perfect start to the Holiday Season!
Park play with Daddy -
He loved this fun toy -
Onto the beach -
Declan and Lexi are completely obsessed with "Rudy the dog".
A beautiful cornucopia - Carie always has lots of fun Holiday details ;) I love it!
Me with my little turkeys
The kids love Uncle Jeff!
Train watching with DeeDee - very serious business
A rare opportunity for a family pic ;)
Entertaining herself opening and closing doors - a favorite pass time these days
Lexi was supposed to be in this picture - but she was not in a picture kind of mood - stinker!
And a fun one of the seven of us in top hats right before we left -
Kleenex is dominating our life. Both kids snagged a nasty cold last week that they cannot seem to shake. The worst is when I reluctantly decided to pay the co-pay and take them to the doctor, only to walk away without a prescription. Ugh, no drugs inevitably means a long haul. I realized how immune I'd become to their snot when the other day at Open Gym, a woman handed me a Kleenex, pointed to Lexi's faucet of a nose and commented on how runny it was. Mom-fail! Needless to say, you won' t find me without a Kleenex these days! Despite our runny noses, we've had a great week...
We met Micah and Kylie at Learning Link for a fun morning of playing -
Hats were all the rage!
Engrossed in play -
Kylie and Lex - Book Worms
So close, these four!
Loving the puzzles -
We hit Open Gym twice - once with Katie and Lizzie -
Fun, fun, fun!!
Growing up so fast!!
What kid doesn't like to knock down some blocks?
Declan was very concerned that Lizzie join in the fun!
Lexi insisted on trying the balance beam by herself - ms independent (when she wants to be)
And this week (thanks to Thanksgiving break) we got to see Ellie and Lola! Open Gym followed by Hot Dog on a Stick made for a great play date!
Lexi wanted to try out the rings...I couldn't believe when she held on! She liked it so much, she kept wanting me to put her back on!
She didn't even mind falling off - I'd even venture to say that she liked it...and it isn't a small fall!
Taking a rest -
Lexi and Lola, hanging in the donut
Declan, Ellie, and Lola = craziness!
Lola and Declan, taking Lexi for a spin -
Declan's turn on the rings...wearing Lexi's headband (per his request). Had to put this picture in because I knew Adam would *love* it!
We love Thanksgiving week because we get to hang out with friends that we don't see very often! On Tuesday we headed to Legoland with Amelia and Taj. The highlight of the day was when Dec and Amelia drove the cars. We tried this same activity about 6 months ago, and it ended in frustration and tears. Not today! Today we rode the ride multiple times - all smiles, no cries!
Amelia and Declan, stuck in a rut
So proud of their licenses
We had another Legoland first today - they got to ride the airplane all by themselves - unaccompanied by an adult!
And it was Lexi's first time on the ride...she looks pretty happy about it ;)
All in all, a great Legoland day!
Some other things we've been up to this week -
Painting some pine cones we found on a walk to the park -
We sprouted some beans, and then planted them -
Lexi and I met Ella and Aunt Kristin at Movers and Shakers while the older sibs were at Pre School
Ella shaking her shakers!
Lexi not looking too hot - I'm pretty sure this was the day we visited the doctor
And to end, a few pics of Lex at Cabrillo Ranch. We went exploring while Declan was at Pre School - I was trying to get a pic for her 19 month post. Although I didn't end up using any of these, I love them. We had a great day together :)