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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Random ramblings

No babe yet despite my lack of blogging. Just lots of nesting - its been 3 days of as much cleaning and organizing as my very pregnant self can handle. I cleaned out my old sweaters most haven't been worn since pre-Abby, some pre-Micah so I finally got around to deciding to donate most of them. This gave me a whole set of plastic drawers to put in Micah's room and give Abby her full dresser for her clothes. Then I got a few more baskets for the playroom and feel like there is finally plenty of storage for everything!

The mess that resulted from cleaning out my night stand, sorting baby laundry to wash/fold put away and the kids playing with their animals all happening on my bedroom floor.
This disaster area is happily all cleaned up now. The first load of baby clothes and blankets washed, put away or packed to bring the the hospital and all waiting for a sweet babe to join our family. 

I only have one more appt with my midwives before it's baby day. :) I've got things mostly ready. It's been easy/low key with baby number 3. Very little we've needed other than clothes since she's coming in opposite weather of Abby and a car-seat (which I need to install!) Little girl clothes are fun - especially bows. I just got her a sweet dress last week as I realized I had neglected any dresses for her. I can't wait to dress her up as Abby has been quite independent in that aspect since she was 2.

My parents arrived last night and we did Christmas with them and my brother today. I had told Micah they were going to be here in the morning because I had moved him out of his bed into ours to sleep so my parents could have his bed so this morning he woke up and immediately asked if Gigi was in his bed and wanted to go see her/wake her up. We had only told Abby that Gigi and Pops would be here today so that she wouldn't want to stay up waiting knowing they were getting her last night so she woke up and was very excited they were here. The kids were shocked to see how the tree grew presents overnight! Micah quickly wanted to open his but we waited until Uncle Jeremy made it to our house to start present exchange.
We are now enjoying having Gigi and Pops here and hanging out with them. More pictures from Christmas round 2 coming soon but for now we've had a busy day! Hope ya'll have a great New Years holiday weekend!

Tomorrow the tree comes down and all the Christmas decor gets put away. 

Christmas 2011

After putting out the cookies for Santa and the littles were tucked into bed and finally fast asleep, Santa arrived to fill their stockings with goodies. 

Micah's stocking
Abby's stocking
Abby's Santa/presents from Mommy and Daddy
Micah's Santa/presents from Mommy and Daddy
 Notice any similarities? They both were in love with the dog at the store so it's what they both got. My mom had the great idea to switch out the collar on Micah's so it's a little more "boyish" and we can tell the dogs apart.

Not the greatest picture as my focus was off but look how excited Micah is!
Abby dug into her stocking after playing with her puppy for a minute. She was very excited for her Hello Kitty chapstick.
Micah was very excited to see his giant firetruck from Mimi and Pappy.
Both kids were thrilled with the presents they picked out for each other. Micah loves the plane Abby picked for him and the Tinkerbell jewelry box that Micah and Daddy picked out for Abby is one of her favorite presents!
After eating a yummy breakfast of cinnamon rolls and playing with our toys inside while waiting for it to warm up just a tad we headed outside so that Abby could try out her roller skates from Mimi and Pappy.  She was so thrilled to get skates and hopefully will get the hang of balancing and skating soon! At least it's slightly less nerve wracking watching her learn how to skate than ride her bike without training wheels with all the padding! 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

the night before Christmas

Earlier this week we baked (and baked!) cookies but only the gingerbread ones got frosted. 
This evening, after we got home from Church, I made a quick buttercream frosting and we had a blast decorating cookies for Santa.
I made several colors, pulled out the sprinkles and let the kids decorate them however they wanted.
Cookies are all ready for Santa now! 
The kids are all tucked into bed, asleep and I have a feeling Santa is going to show up soon.


the week before Christmas

Last Friday (over a week ago now) Abby had her class Christmas party. They were able to wear their pjs to school, her teacher made hot chocolate and they watched The Polar Express in the morning. During their lunch we set up their classroom and they came back to have their party. They decorated sugar cookies and had snacks (not that they needed it right after lunch!) Then they played a reverse hot potato game where whoever had the present got to open it, then the game continued until everyone got a present. 

The Elf was up to many, many antics over the week. Too bad I forgot to take pictures of a lot of them. One day he was in a bowl of marshmallows, another he was riding in a car with Barbie, one day he left a banner of toilet paper with how many days until Christmas. The kids and my favorite was when he got really mischievous and colored all over the kids bathroom mirror. 

 Micah had a little chat with the Elf - saying "no, no silly elf!"
Here's a few more things our Elf has been up to this week. 

Fishing for goldfish
 Eating the gingerbread houses

We had a gingerbread house making party at our friend's house. We had a blast! 

Their houses turned out so cute too! Micah was so sweet too because while he wanted to eat a lot of the candy he'd come ask me for almost every piece he wanted to eat. "Eat this candy mommy?" 

Now we are all ready for Christmas! The presents are wrapped and under the tree (well except for gifts from Santa) and the kids are ready! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Shopping, baking and Christmas preparation

Yesterday was a busy busy day. Abby is off of school until January so she is home with us for the next two weeks. After breakfast and getting ready we headed out to the stores. We went to the bank, fabric store (for some fabric for Gigi to make things for this sweet babe,) Walmart, the mall (amazingly not that crowded in the morning!), Lowe's, picked up Chick-fil-a for lunch and Target. Whew! The kids were great - Abby had her listening ears and was a super helper. Micah got a little tired of sitting in the stroller and wanted to walk instead at the mall. We knocked out the last 3 presents I needed to take care of and the few other items we needed.

When we finally got home and instead of resting we jumped right into baking all the cookie dough I had chilling in the fridge. Gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies. They covered just about every surface of the kitchen when I had them out cooling. We frosted the gingerbread cookies because I was bringing them along to my girls night out that night. Abby read the Gingerbread Man at school and so I made Abby and Micah each a big gingerbread person. After I frosted the rest of them we decorated their gingerbread people. Abby had a lot of fun with that. It was a little hard for her to do but she directed how she wanted her iced. 
(all iphone pictures today)
 Micah was just excited to have his very own cookie. 
I fixed a platter to bring to my girls night and packed up another large amount for the kids and Beau to bring to our neighbors that Beau is friends with. Tied up with my pretty twine.
After I got home from girl's night out (where we ate a delicious meal and made blessing bags to give to the homeless) I got to work wrapping all the presents I hadn't wrapped yet. While we were at Target earlier I needed wrapping paper... but again they were out of the brown kraft paper I happen to love. I've been to two different Targets, one twice and they've been out all 3 of those visits. So I had to go with different paper to get them wrapped. I found some that kind of work along with the kraft paper, one being a kraft paper with a gold finish and a more kid friendly paper with a tan background and lots of fun colors that tie in the twine colors I have. So it worked but it's not as cohesive as I wanted. I wrapped the kids presents from Mimi and Pappy and from us, Santa presents are going to stay hidden. 
This year we are doing 3 presents per kid from us - one to play with, one to read, one to wear. The wear and read are wrapped and will be from mommy and daddy and the play with will be unwrapped from Santa. Then they'll also have their stockings from Santa, a present exchange from each other (taking them shopping for that later today) and presents wrapped from Mimi and Pappy (my grandparents) that are at our house . Not to mention the grandparents. 
They are very excited seeing all the presents that are under the tree now and seeing that some of them are for them now! I can't wait for them to open them either. I think they are going to be so thrilled! 

This morning we are having a relaxed/lazy morning. I was planning on hitting the gym but Micah has an extreme lot of green gunk coming out of his nose and that wouldn't be very welcome at the gym so it's cleaning and the kids are playing outside since it's finally stopped raining and isn't too muddy. This afternoon we are taking them shopping for each other and once it's dark, hot chocolate and driving around to look at lights. 


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas home tour

I'm linking up with Kelly's Korner's Christmas Tour of homes this week. 

I didn't do a whole lot in the way of Christmas decorating this year because I'll have a newborn when it's time to take it all down and I don't want to be overwhelmed. I also didn't take pictures of some of it but I'm too lazy to do that right now!

To start with though my mom and I did make this Pinterest inspired wreath which I love! 

This year we did our first real tree. Previous years we've had a skinner artificial tree that fit nicely on the landing of our stairs between the two baby gates to keep little hands from messing with it too much. This year the little ones are older and aren't messing with it. Next year might be a different story! Since it's a real tree my decorations are a little less than I would like but I had a hard time finding new ones to add that I really liked. Next year though I am for sure adding mesh deco to it! I'm loving all the trees that are decorated with it!
 All light up at night.
My mom and I also got crafty and made this no-sew ruffly tree skirt - which I really love... though not realizing how big the tree would be, we could have made the tree skirt a little bit bigger as it looks a little small on the tree.
I also have our Willow Tree Nativity set up but it stays up year round here. We don't have a mantle but I wish we did, so our stockings are hanging off the bar that looks into our kitchen but I don't have a picture of that... unless you count the picture I took of our Elf on the Shelf being naughty and replacing the stockings with Micah's underwear. No stockings in the picture though. 
Next year I hope to decorate more as I'm loving all the pretty decorations I've seen so far on many other blogs!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Organization

The holidays are always a super busy time. This year especially with a daughter now in school with a class party to help with and a new babe coming soon after the holidays are over that we need to prepare for as well. I'm trying my best to stay organized this year and so far it's working.

Before Thanksgiving I made a list of everyone we needed presents for and ideas I had for them. Normally I'd make this list in my Christmas binder that I keep but this year I put it in my Erin Condren planner so I could see it all the time (and because my Christmas planner was in hiding with the Christmas decorations at that time.) As I thought of or found ideas I wrote them down next to the name and checked them off as I purchased them. To avoid blowing my budget as we get closer to Christmas I also tried to spread out my purchases buying one or two here and there instead of all at once. The Christmas binder I have also helps me remember what I got for people in the past so I don't give the same person something too similar to something I gave them the year before. This is super helpful this year as this little babe seems to be taking all my brain cells- I have some serious pregnancy brain lately!

I found these awesome printables on Pinterest to help keep organized. These would be fabulous to make your own Christmas binder with.

My Christmas binder also has all my addresses for sending Christmas cards out. All I have to do is remember who moved in the past year and track down and update those addresses. It made addressing my Christmas cards much quicker since all the addresses were together and I didn't have to search for too many of them.

Pinterest is an amazing way at staying organized. I have three boards for Christmas - one for general ideas for decorating, crafts, picture taking, one board dedicated to present ideas (both to buy in stores and ones to make), and another board for Elf on the Shelf ideas!

Just to stay organized in general and not forget things I keep my Erin Condren planner nearby to write down all the parties and holiday events down as well as planning when we can do our holiday baking and crafting. I would seriously forget something (like yesterday when I almost made plans to go visit with my mom while she is at my brother's in Austin before remembering I had an appointment this morning already!)

I'm also doing lots of online shopping. It's so much easier and there are amazing deals out there - both free shipping and discounts. This is super helpful with little ones so you don't have to figure out when you are going to shop for them without them seeing or dragging them along when they don't want to be there. This also makes it easy to keep track of all the receipts since they are all in a Christmas folder in my email.

Check out some other tips for organizing during the holidays over on Blogher!

There is also an awesome giveaway going on so be sure to enter the Life Well Lived Moments Sweepstakes for a chance to win $250!

How are you staying organized this year?

Elfie's mischief continues

That silly little elf sent to watch Abby and Micah just can't stay out of trouble. He tries to make up for his trouble but sometimes his "helping" just creates more mess. 

Day 8: Abby had a sad day at school on Wednesday and at one point in the afternoon said that she had fewer crayons than everyone else because other kids were taking hers (or asking and she was sharing but not getting them returned) and that other kids called her a tattle tale. This of course makes a pregnant mommy even sadder than it would have otherwise and it makes Daddy sad too. So Elfie thought it would be nice to bring Abby a new box of crayons to bring to school so she'd have all the colors she wanted, and to cheer her up he also brought a Hello Kitty bubble necklace, coloring books and some cars for Micah. 

Day 9: He tried to help fold the laundry but ended up just making a big mess by dumping it all out on the couch.  

Day 10:  We found Elfie reading The Story of Baby Jesus to a couple of Abby and Micah's animal friends. We can't get too caught up with Santa and presents to forget the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

Day 11: Elfie tried to help wrap presents.... but ended up getting all tangled in my twine! 
 Day 12: Our elf has a little sweet tooth and got stuck upside down in the chocolate chips. His trip back from visiting Santa during the night had left him a little bit hungry!
Day 13: Again with the sweet tooth. Elfie just can't get enough! This time he was drinking syrup in the pantry! 
Day 14:  This has been one of my favorites so far. Elfie got very mischievous, dug out the red paint from the craft box and gave the kids and himself Rudolph noses.  I wish I had gotten a picture of the kids red noses but while they were amused later that day thinking about it, they were a little groggy and grumpy that morning!
Day 15: This got a big laugh out of both kids. Micah left all his underwear downstairs, so Elfie took down the stockings and replaced it with a few pairs of Micah's underwear.