Thursday, December 29, 2016

little gifts [886 - 910]

Hello and happy Thursday! Goodness sakes, where has this week gone? Actually, I can tell you where they've gone, the days have slipped away between traveling, visiting family, and caring for a sick babe. My oh my. What a week. One of these days soon I'll get a little Christmas recap up and also one for this past year, but until that day here are some more little gifts in my life.

886. getting everything ready for Christmas morning

887. waiting for the boys to wake on on Christmas morning

887. warm, freshly baked coffee cake

888. afternoon naps

889. visiting family for Christmas

890. boxes, wrapping paper, gift bags, and tissue paper decorating the floor

891. June like weather on December 26th

892. Oliver cuddled deep into me for an afternoon nap after a restless night of sleep

893. urget care and modern medicine

894. being home sweet home

895. rolling peanut butter balls

896. chocolate melted for dipping

897. fresh buckeyes

898. sparkly star dangling from a tree branch

899. washi tape of colorful variety

900. clean laundry

901. pony tail holders

902. a toddler glued to my hip

903. Christmas cards in the mailbox

904. new books to read

905. resting in your own bed

906. little best buds playing the morning away

907. a date night out with friends

908. gingerbread houses

909. a beautiful mess of colorful sprinkles

910. fuzzy hoodies to warm cold days

How about you? What are some little gifts in your life right now?

Thursday, December 22, 2016

bits of cheer [week 4]

Can you believe there are only three more days until Christmas?! How has it gotten here so fast?! And there is so much still to do before Christmas gets here - this is why I start the Christmas festivities in our house right after Thanksgiving is over [and why I might put our tree up before Thanksgiving 😁]! 

This week I thought I would share a few more bits of cheer that have been going on around here. The other day Emerson and I spent Oliver's morning nap time making some Christmas cookies. I showed him a few choices and he picked the sprinkle ones. Obviously. Usually when we bake or cook together he just eats the best bits and chats away the whole time. This time I had a big important job for him to do: unwrap the Kisses! I showed him how and then he worked so carefully to do the rest and once the cookies were baked he eagerly topped the cookies with a little peppermint Kiss. And then we ate some cookies and sipped some Nog and watched some Christmas Paw Patrol and it was the best kind of morning. 

Another thing we did this week was decorate gingerbread houses. I found a cute little kit a few weeks ago and thought it would be fun to do together. After waiting far too long to decorate it, according to Emerson, we finally had a chance to work on the houses together. Not even a minute into decorating, the icing bag burst - ugh - so it was a messy messy decorating event. But it was a beautiful cheerful mess and Emerson had the best time. It was fun spending an hour with just him, doing "big boy" things ;) 

I'm linking up with Amy, Jess, and Alisha for the last week of bits of cheer. How is Christmas already here?! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

icy weekend

Last week Landon was in San Francisco for a conference so it was just the boys and I at home. I never like when Landon has to be away, especially for extended amounts of time, but for some reason I didn't mind him being gone as much last week. I mean, I missed him and wished he was home [especially at dinner time because I'd all but lost my sanity], but I felt safe and at peace while he was gone, even at night, something that's never happened before. I know, I'm 31 years old, staying at home by myself shouldn't be an issue, right? Well, it usually is. What can I say? My imagination is very active and vivid and well, it makes for not so peaceful and restful nights when he's away. But this time? I was fine. I think it's in large part to the fact that I've been praying about this problem of mine since July. For real though. And then I asked the ladies in my Bible study to pray for me too and you know what? I had a lovely and peaceful week. Thank you, Lord.

lots of cuddles and Christmas movies while Landon was away. 

While there was peace in my heart, it doesn't mean our week was all sunshine and daisies. Let's just say I was ready for for nap and bed time each and every day and made sure the boys were in bed not a minute past when I knew I could put them down. haha. The days were fine, but that those hours in the evening, oh those were rough. And dinner? Goodness sakes. Bedtime was welcome!

On Friday night Landon was scheduled to fly in at 8:30. All week I tried to figure out what I would do with them, put them down and then wake them up to head out or just keep them up. Big dilemmas like these keep me up at night ;) In the end I put on Curious George's Christmas and we cuddled on the couch. It was basically perfect. Before heading out I checked Landon's flight info and he was supposed to be arriving even earlier than I thought! I buckled the boys in the car and headed out to pick him up. I probably shouldn't have gone to the airport. As I was backing out of our drive way and put the brakes on, the car didn't stop. That fact didn't register at first and I kept going. The roads were slush and ice and snow and terrible. I should have turned the corner at the first stop sign to head back to our house. But I was anxious to see Landon and out already, so I kept going at a sails pace. It took twice as long as it normally does to get to the airport but we had made it and were safe and were going to see Landon. The boys were fast asleep in the back and we sat and waited. And waited. And then I decided to check his flight again after waiting a while for him to text me back and ask where we were. While checking his flight I saw it had been rerouted. To Indy. He was not coming home that night. I checked again, just to make sure and then slowly pulled out and drove at a snail's pace back home. The roads were horrible. I prayed the entire time and am pretty sure my knuckles were white from gripping the wheel so tight. Our house was a very welcome sight and couldn't wait to pull into our garage. Except ... that didn't happen because I couldn't make the tiny and hardly there incline on our drive and ended up with a wheel in our yard. whoops. I tried a few times to get it right, but it wasn't happening and I didn't want to hit our mail box or end up with half of our car in the road and half in the drive. So I parked, got out and very carefully got the boys out and carried them to bed.

some days just call for a little somethin somethin' ;) 

My oh my. Never has our home been such a welcome sight. Also, next time I feel like I shouldn't drive, I won't drive. While it was disappointing that Landon didn't make it home that night, we were all safe and he was scheduled to come in the next morning. In the end he got home around 2 the following afternoon and he took a taxi home from the airport. Thank goodness I didn't have to go back out it that ice. ugh.

I had planned to go grocery shopping on Saturday morning, which didn't happen, so I was very thankful I had impulsively grabbed a bag of donuts while at the Target on Friday morning. It was a special breakfast for the boys on a frozen morning. We stayed inside and did our usual shenanigans - played, read, and read some more.

These days can be long and lonely sometimes, but they are my favorite and I know I'm going to miss them one day. So I'm soaking up these days as much as I can [and praying for kindness though the fits and tantrums].

Also, fun fact: I don't wash my hair when Landon's gone on trips. I take two minute showers in the middle of the afternoon and call it good. By the time Landon got home, it'd been one week since I'd washed my hair and it hurt! I know you know what I mean when I talk about your hair hurting, right? Anyhow. It was so gross and obviously in a ponytail or bun the whole time and just ugh. I jumped at the chance to shower and wash my hair as soon as I could once he got back. And oh, did it feel good! Note to self: one week between hair washes is one week too long. hahah :)

freshly washed hair! 

While not terribly exciting, it was a weekend and one I want to remember - so here it is. Because that's what blogging is about? The random life stuff - messy and pretty. Right Callie? ;)

I hope your weekend was cozy and bright.

Monday, December 19, 2016

little gifts [858 - 885]

Hello and Happy Monday! Can you believe Christmas is less than one week away?! How did this happen?! Where has the time gone?! How do the days just slip through my fingers faster and faster each year? Goodness sakes.

This week I have plans to make some candies, help a little three year old decorate a gingerbread house, play with friends, and soak up every last day before Christmas that I can. I love this time of year and am trying to enjoy each bit of it and soak it up before it's gone and we have a whole year to wait for Christmas again. hah.

I'll start this week with some little gifts and be back tomorrow [probably ;] with some stories from my weekend. eeesh! Anyhow, here we go . . .

858. walking inside our warm home after a long, slippery, and treacherous trek to the airport

859. laying down two utterly exhausted boys for bed

860. two boys resting heavily against me

861. a friend who sends her husband and daughter to my house to fix an ever chirping smoke alarm when Landon is away

862. all the presents wrapped and tied up with string, resting under the Christmas tree

863. a surprise package on my doorstep

864. blog and insta friends [you know who you are ;]

865. sheer excitement and joy radiating from Emerson and Oliver when lighting the Advent wreath candles

866. warm winter boots

867. a big tin of popcorn

868. new gloves, lined with fluff

869. snowflakes fluttering through the air

870. cookie dough caked on the hand soap dispenser

871. wobbly first steps

872. an ever eager big helper

873. consoling and comforting hugs and kisses from my three year old

874. "Are you ready, for Christmastime to come? Sing it with me, or you're a monkey, humm..."

875. a little head poking out from a thick pile of blankets

876. Christmas cards in my mailbox

877. prayers from the mouth and heart of Emerson

878. peaceful nights at home

879. Landon coming home after a long trip away

880. news of a new nephew

881. cheers for a wanna be walker boy

882. dimply little hands scribbling color over paper

883. taking "walking bideos" of Oliver

884. finding Percy each morning

885. being home

What are some gifts in your life this week?

Thursday, December 15, 2016

bits of cheer [week 3]

It's hard to believe there is only one more full week until Christmas! Where oh where has the time gone?! There still so much I want to do before Christmas - all the festive crafts, bake Christmas cookies, wrap the presents . . . that plus all the other usual day to day activities. How does this time of year get busier and busier and go by faster and faster each and every year?! I don't even know. All I can say is, I am enjoying every bit of it and soaking it all up [except for maybe all of the meltdowns, those I'd rather not relish in. haha]. 

Anyhow, I thought I'd share a little bit of cheer for this week. A few weeks ago I did my mama homework and found out when Santa would be visiting our town. I found he'd be around at a few different places and some that we could go visit him for free at. One of which was at a really pretty old theater in town. In fact, I discovered there was going to be a whole afternoon of it - a Christmas movie: "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", pictures with Santa, and a trolley ride around downtown! So much fun, right?! Well, we didn't go to the movie because it was right during nap time and also because it would have scared Emerson to bits, it was the one with real people and well, Emerson is terrified of the big bad wolf in Super Why ... so yeah, we skipped that. But I saw Santa would still be there until 5 that evening and that we wouldn't have to pay, I planned for a little visit with him right away.  

We had a fairly normal morning and after the boys woke up from their nap that afternoon I threw our coats in the car and away we went. Santa's visit was over at 5 and we got there around 4:20, so plenty of time, right?! Well, there was not a soul around when we got there. There was ample parking [what?!] and no line or workers around when we went inside the theater. Landon and I looked at each other hoping Santa was still there and kept telling Emerson, we think Santa will be here. We hope... 

Once we walked up the stairs we saw Santa sitting on his chair and a few helpers around. There was no line and we were in disbelief we could just walk right up and see him! 

The theater was absolutely beautiful, and after we saw Santa Emerson kept saying that we went to the North Pole to see him. I die. The boys got a nice little visit with him while I snapped a bunch of pictures in hopes of getting at least one good one.

Oliver was not the biggest fan, especially at first. He didn't outright scream and stiffen his body or anything, but he sure fussed and shed a few tears. The boy has severe separation anxiety - even if I'm a few steps away. haha. Emerson loved it and was more than happy to sit and talk with Santa though. It was so nice that we could have more of a lengthy visit with Santa and not be rushed in our picture taking or chat with him. He really loves Santa and I think it's the cutest.

Emerson was sure to tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas and he walked away a happy boy. We headed to the bookshop afterwards so I could take something back really fast and decided to eat out at The Olive Garden on the spur of the moment. We had a gift card, so why not? I sure didn't feel like fixing dinner. We never eat out so it was a special little treat for all of us. Driving home we looked at lots of "gingerbread houses" as Emerson likes to call the houses with twinkle lights and decorations. He asked if we could make our house like a gingerbread house too, if only we could...

It was such a sweet way to spend the evening and I love that we got to go to the North Pole and have a leisurely visit with Santa.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Oliver [18 months]

Saturday marked 18 months of Oliver's sweet little life. We had a pretty low key day, he helped me run a few errands and get groceries, we watched a little Daniel Tiger, paid a visit to Santa, and ate dinner at the Oliver Garden! After saying all of that it doesn't sound as low key as I originally thought. :p

Anyhow, I haven't shared an update about little Mr. Oliver since he turned one and I thought it would be fun to do a little update on him now that he's one and a half! Where does the time go and how is already so big?! I mean, watch me blink and he'll be two!! Two! Ah. I'm getting ahead of myself. Today he's just my little 18 month old nugget and I'm loving each and every day of his little life. 

Oliver is the sweetest little guy. He is a cuddly one and loves to give random hugs and kisses, which I love. In the morning and after nap time, he wraps his tiny arms around my neck so tight and just hangs on with the biggest hug. He makes me melt. 

As sweet and huggy and loving as he is, he is also always on the move and full of curiosity. Always looking for something to do and play with. He loves playing with balls, Little People animals and people, trains, cars, and blocks. Books are another favorite, he especially likes one with animals and sounds. Add in some flaps and it's even better! I've caught him sitting next to the bookshelf in Emerson's room or his bin of books in the hall quietly flipping the pages of books, studying each picture on the pages. Recently he's started making the sounds of sheep, cows, horses, and making his arm trumpet for an elephant. Most of his animal sounds the same, but he makes them and it's adorable.

Crawling is still his main mode of getting around and he is one speedy little crawler! He is taking more and more consecutive steps and I'm sure by Christmas he'll be walking like a pro and the walker present we got for him will be left to gather dust in a corner.  ...should have gotten that for his birthday like I wanted to... Any time he does take a few steps he holds his arms high in the air and when he gets to where he wanted to or plops on the floor he waves his hands in the air and claps for himself. So Emerson and I clap for him too and cheer for him and he smiles and claps some more. If he was headed for me and he makes it, his walk always ends in a giant hug.  

He is fearless and will do anything. At the park he wants to climb the biggest play thing and go down all the slides. I'm more fearful than he is, so sadly [for him] he doesn't always get to do what he wants. haha. While playing at an indoor play area he made it to the slide before I could help him and down he went, straight to the floor and his lip bit the mat. Poor boy. But it didn't phase him for long and he went right back to the slide for more.

Oliver would live outside if I would let him. Rain, snow, blazing sun, it doesn't matter to him. As long as he's outside he's a happy boy. I think he'll love really playing in the snow this winter and can't wait for more to come!

For now, he's a boy of few words: mama, da da, ba [ball], ba [bath], ba [sheep]... Yeah, not the biggest taker. But I'm not worried. Emerson didn't really say much and then one day poof! And now he doesn't stop. haha. 

Mama is his favorite person [which I happen to love - I know it won't always be that way, so I'm soaking it up while I can!]. But he is always eager to welcome Daddy home at night and he loves playing with Emerson. They bicker sometimes and want the same toy at the same time... but you know, that's how it goes. Usually, as long as they both have full bellies, they get along really well with each other. Emerson is a very good watch brother and likes to tell me what Oliver is doing and help him stop doing something he shouldn't be or take something that's too little for him to have.

The other day I stepped out of Emerson's room to grab a tissue and in the seconds I was out of the room, he yelled, "Otto standing on the table!" Sure enough, when I poked my head in his room, Oliver had climbed onto the top of Emerson's night stand and was playing with his clock. haha. Like I said, fearless.

Oliver still can't have dairy. He doesn't have an allergy, but he does have an intolerance for it. Even though he can technically eat dairy without worry of breaking out in a rash or hives or anything like that, I don't give it to him. It obviously makes his tummy upset and he has the worst diapers - when he was eating dairy, I would have to change his sheets every morning and give him a bath. It was awful, the poor boy. So, he just doesn't eat it and he seems quiet content with that. Cooking and baking dairy free is easy peasy and I have a bunch of recipes that we all love and enjoy. After a year of me being dairy free while nursing him, I can't have much dairy myself, so it's just become a way of life for us.

Apart from dairy, he can eat pretty much anything. He likes fruit, peas, sweet potato, avocado, pasta, and toast. Steel cut oats are his favorite and has them for breakfast every morning. For the most part he'll eat anything, though there are times he won't touch anything on his plate - or he'll just dump all the food off of it. haha.

He's addicted to his paci and loves brushing his teeth and taking baths.

Daniel Tiger is his favorite and he would watch him or read his books all day every day if he could. He dances and claps his hands to tell me he wants to watch Daniel Tiger, though no one else would figure that out from his dance. haha.

Sleep is going pretty well. I hate to say that because any time you say that it goes sour. But, it has been going well. I worked with him on sleep training when he was nine/ten months old and he's been doing great since. I loved the way we did it and that he sleeps now! When he's sleepy, for nap or bed time, if we're upstairs, he'll crawl into his "room" and pull his blankie from his crib and lay on the floor all cuddled up with it. haha. It's adorable. He has to have his mint blanket that my grandma knit for him and a paci. For the longest time he didn't have a "lovey" and now he does and it's the sweetest. For a while now, I've been putting two afghans in bed with him to keep him warm, one I made and one from my grandma. I love that he prefers the one from my grandma [though I wouldn't have minded if he picked mine to love the most ;]. Before I lay him down I sing a song and then he usually leans towards his bed, so down he goes. At night time, he usually rolls around and kicks the slats for a while, but he's always eager to go to bed. He even lets other people put him down, the few times there's been a need for it.

Some stats:
wearing - mostly size 12 month clothes, but some 18 month as well
size 3 diapers
weight - 20 pounds [probably, we were supposed to find out today but now it won't be until Wednesday]
height - no clue until Wednesday
has 16 teeth - though he's had all of those for a while now!
claps, sings, dances, cheers

You are such a joy! Thank you for letting me be your mama! You are the sweetest little guy and every day with you is a gift. You brighten the gray days and make the sunny ones brighter. Everyone who sees you and gets to know you says how happy you are, and it's true! You're an easy going happy little guy and are usually happy to go with the flow. Although, you are also very determined and independent. I love you so very much and pray for you daily, that you would love Jesus first and always, obey and seek him. I pray you're kind, generous, and strong. You are a gift, Oliver and I love you so much!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

bits of cheer [week 2]

Happy Thursday! We've been out and about a lot this week so today we're taking it slow and sticking around the house. It helps that it is freezing outside and Oliver still doesn't have his winter coat yet [here's to hoping it gets here today!] and I just didn't feel like fooling with coats and mittens and hats and snacks and all that jazz. Though I must say, a lazy day at home is my favorite kind of day. Anyhow, I thought I'd take a minute to share a little bit of cheer for this week.

This year we decided to do something a new around here and then an elf showed up for breakfast one morning. Imagine that ;) When I was talking to Landon about the little elves I've seen around he said he thought we should have an elf too, he thought it would be fun to do [aka: for me to do :].

On Saturday we had a special breakfast complete with parsnip muffins and cinnamon rolls. Both of which were delicious.

Emerson and Oliver have been in need of some new pajamas for these cold winter months, so I ordered a few matching pjs for them for Christmas. I thought it'd be fun for them to open a present from their elf at their special breakfast, so they each got a pair of pajamas. They match and now every night Emerson wants to wear his penguin pajamas and he wants Oliver to do the same. It's adorable how much he loves to match his brother.

They also unwrapped the book that came with their elf and we've read it a few times since then. We talked about names for their elf and after a few ideas, Percy it was.

Emerson has the best memory and is the most observant little boy ever. Even Oliver notices things, but he just doesn't have the words to say so yet. Each  morning on our way to breakfast, Emerson asks about where Percy is hiding. The first morning he didn't realize he'd be hiding somewhere, but after that morning, he hasn't forgotten and now it's one of his favorite things. And then of course he wants to know how he got there and all that fun stuff.

I think it's fun for him to have something to look forward to each day and it just brings a little more cheer to our days.

It was a fun little way to start the day and a good start to a snowy weekend.

Oh what fun . . .