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Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 in Review

On January 10th, we welcomed our sweet 3rd little babe, Miss Alexis. I can't believe we are already about to celebrate her first birthday in less than two weeks!  We spent January adjusting to being a family of 3 and our new normal. I also dabbled in some newborn photography and enjoyed having a little model to play with - round 1 and round 2

Abby experienced her first school Valentine's party this year and enjoyed giving and receiving Valentine's from all her friends at school. Alexis celebrated her first Valentine's and first Holiday. We spent a cold day off from school checking out the trampoline park near Austin and had lots of fun running off some of the kids extra energy! 
In March, winter is over for the most part in Texas and we spent more time outside. The kids love looking for worms and other bugs in the yard. They even found an itty bitty snake. Eeek! We got a decent amount of rain before the bluebonnets  started coming up so we had wonderful full fields of them. This is my favorite time of year to do family pictures in the lovely bluebonnet fields. We were definitely starting to get into a good routine with 3 kids by March and I made a little pinterest inspired canvas for above Lexie's crib. I just love her little teeny tiny footprints. I did want to crowd the canvas and since I didn't do it when she was really itty bitty, I ended up going with her 2 month prints, her 6 month prints and will do her 12 month prints to finish it off.  

April brought several Easter egg hunts - one at our Church and one put on by another local Church at our gym field that was huge and complete with a helicopter egg drop. We also enjoyed the new tradition of cascarones that we've learned since living in San Antonio.  April also brought Fiesta - a big local celebration. Reminds me of a somewhat mild Mardi Gras - a week long (ish?) celebration with lots of different events and parades. Abby's school put on a Fiesta float parade where they decorated floats out of shoe boxes. Lexie also mastered rolling from her belly to her back this month.

Micah turned 3 on May 5th and had a blast at his shark party. Aquatica at Sea World opened and Abby, Lexie and I got to go check it out the very first night. We celebrated Memorial day with some pool time and grilling out. Abby finished kindergarden - summer was officially started!  

Gigi and Pops invited us to go to Lake Conroe with them and play on the boat in the lake and just relax. We had a good little getaway. Abby and Micah especially loved fishing and catching their first fishes. (Whoops - Lexie's picture should be under July - she tried her first foods after she turned 6 months old) 

We did two vacation Bible schools this year. I worked for both of them. During the early childhood -Sun Surf VBS (2-outgoing first) I worked the nursery while the kids attended. Then during the 'big kid' VBS (incoming first - 5th) they had a whole Babylon village set up. It was so cool to see. Everyone was in costume down to the little babes. We did a mini-VBS for the babies-kinder for the children of those teaching the bigger kids so I ran a jewelry shop there. The next day we hit the road and went to the beach in Destin with Gigi and Pops. While we were there Micah became fearless in the water and was jumping and swimming a fair ways on his own - a far cry from the little guy who didn't want to jump in without holding both your hands before we left. 

Abby celebrated her 6th birthday on August 1st. We had a small family party compete with an alligator cake. School start back at the end of August and it was time for 1st grade for Abby. Before we knew it, football season was here and time to get decked out in purple and gold again. 

Before Aquatica closed for the year, we took in one last water park trip. We spent many a day (or rather  hours of a day) at Sea World over the summer. Over the summer I also got hooked up with the local blogging gals and we took a tour of the San Antonio food bank one morning. Abby had her second loose tooth and was very excited since she knew all about the tooth fairy after having lost her first tooth earlier in the summer. 

It was bike rodeo time at Abby's school. She wasn't brave enough or determined enough to want to ride her bike sans training wheels yet. She'd rather play with Micah than try to learn when we were trying so she rode with training wheels and did fine. We all went to cheer her on.  Lexie was unimpressed with the pumpkin patch when we took all 3 of them.  She warmed up to it when I took her back to model her pumpkin tutu costume though. Everyone had a pretty fun time trick or treating this year.

I took some adorable pictures of Alexis and Micah when we visited the Pearl Brewery for the first time. We were helping a friend with a balloon release for a sweet little girl who had passed away. We had a wonderful fun family day playing mini-golf and bumper boats. Micah got his first real "big boy" hair cut. He looks so much older with this style than the previous style he had. (Side note I also think he's almost due for another one already!)

We spent a fun morning at the art museum making art and seeing how they used the art from the museum in the Arte Kids series of books. My friend, Ashley, took our family photos for our Christmas cards this year. We also had fun visiting Santa this year and loved seeing my kids soak in the 'magic' of Christmas. We also read through an advent devotional/Bible story series from the Jesus Storybook Bible to really teach them the real meaning of Christmas and not just the 'fun' side.

What a year it's been. Full of watching Lexie grow from an itty bitty baby to almost walking, watching both Abby and Micah grow up. Full of trying to enjoy time spent together. Full of family. Full of love.

I'm linking with with Monica at Pixel Perfect. Her little man is very close to Micah's age and I love reading her blog. Head over there check out her beautiful photography and while you are there if you want link up your 2012 in review! 

Christmas Round 2

Gigi and Pops (my parents) came into town, along with my brother, Uncle Jeremy (and his dog Zeus) late Friday evening. The kids were already in bed when they got here (which worked out so they were too wound up and unable to go to sleep, thus cranky the next day.) We unloaded Pop's truck and the tree was once again surrounded by presents. The kids woke up to see a tree that when they went to bed only had two present still under it too one that had lots. They were quite surprised and excited. 

We repeated the Christmas brunch of the Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls, bacon and fruit. Then it was present time. Lexie was starting to get the hang of the present opening thing but still needed a little help. 
She got a bouncy tigger. She was pretty amused by this in the store when we had looked at it. It didn't get her giggling like it had before today but she hasn't quite been as smiley this week as normal. 
The theme of today was alligator no doubt about that. Gigi and Pops brought some squeaky alligators, then Abby received this classic alligator dentist game from my Aunt, Uncle and cousins. 
 And we finished off the presents with soft cuddly gators all around. A small one for Lexie, medium for Micah and.... 
 A giant gator for Abby! 
A room full of happy kids, enjoying time with family and a floor covered in wrapping paper. I'd say it was a good morning. 
I can now join the 'cool kids' at the gym. Well at least the kickboxing groupies that the new instructor brought over from her old gym with my new kickboxing gloves as they all wear them. And my parents gave me cycling shoes which I'm super excited to try out this week! I joked I should be offended for getting workout gear.... except I wanted it. 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas morning

It's been a very magical Christmas at our house this year. The kids really are the perfect ages to enjoy it and I'm loving seeing all the joy and excitement on their faces. We've been able to spend lots of relaxed family time with very little go-go-go. 

We spent Christmas Eve morning decorating cookies then that afternoon we spent up at Church while I worked in the nursery for the 3 services we offered childcare for. I joked that I sugared them up and then took them to Bible class to run off the sugar high. Ha! No but really I love working the Christmas Eve because I get to fellowship with my friends that I work with and have a little potluck meal and the excitement is all in the air for everyone. As soon as we left the kids were tired and asking if they could just go to sleep right when we got home... so that Santa would come sooner! 

They were right because as soon as they were dreaming of sugar plums all tucked in their beds, Santa got to work pulling presents out of closets, wrapping and setting them up. Then cleaning up the mess made from wrapping them all! 
Micah's pile: Thomas train shed, Thomas lighthouse, barge and drawbridge set, How do Dinosaurs make cookies book, Leapfrog game for his leappad, fire fighter dress up set and a big ride building set 

Abby's pile: McKenna American Girl doll, McKenna's dog, McKenna's accessories, fashion drawing set, new charm for her bracelet, glitter Bobs, Aristocats movie 

Alexis's pile: Anywhere chair, Bitty baby, Little People Princesses, You are My Sunshine book 

The kids slept in a little bit until about 8 am (they are usually up closer to 7) after the exhausting day at Church. When they woke up, I woke up Daddy and we headed downstairs. They were so excited to see their presents! 
They each took a minute to take in their piles, then wanted to rip into all the wrapped presents. 
 I love the look of joy in her face to see the puppy charm she wanted had been added to her bracelet. 
 They were so helpful to each other as we took turns opening so that we could see their reactions to all their presents. They also wanted to see what each other had gotten. 
 Miss Lexie slept in even longer (maybe because she was up between 5-6am?) and woke up soon after Abby and Micah were done opening their presents. So everyone was ready to watch and help her open her presents on her first Christmas. Lexie's first thing was to climb right into her chair. She knew right away it was for her and was so happy about it. 
Little People Princesses sure made her happy. 
 She couldn't even put them down to open another one and had to use her 'third hand.'
 Abby and Micah were both very willing to help unwrap and show Lexie all her gifts. 
After everything was opened, we enjoyed a delicious brunch of cinnamon rolls, fruit and bacon and spent the day in our pajamas playing with their toys. We ended the day with a car ride to look at lights one more time. It was just about a perfect day! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Clay Casa

Last month I posted about the awesome family coupon that Clay Casa has right now for your family to go over and all create keepsakes to bring home. We got to go check it out a few weeks ago and we picked up our finished project and I'm thrilled with how they came out.

Abby had free reign. We selected from some ornaments or a tile for our project. Abby wanted to paint the peace sign and she selected the colors she wanted and went to town.
 Micah picked out a Texas ornament and he wanted yellow. I knew that likely they'll all get muddled together with him painting so I tried to help him pick colors they wouldn't look muddy once mixed on his ornament. 
Lexie hung out having a snack in the stroller. Thank goodness! 
 Neither Abby nor Micah were happy to not bring them home immediately but the results of the glazing  process made these beautiful! 
 As I grew up, we would each get a new ornament each year that represented what we liked/were into that year. I always think I'm going to do that with the kids but we haven't always gotten around to it. We do however have quite a collection of ornaments they've made hanging on our tree and I'm thrilled to add these to that collection! This year we didn't go get a real tree because I was scared of busy Lexie getting the ornaments off, or even worse pulling the tree over on herself. So instead we have our 'skinny' tree up on the landing of the stairs between the two floors. I think eventually this will turn into my kids ornaments tree with all the ornaments they'll made. 

Amanda over at Petit Lapin posted the darling, oh so precious, little footprint tree she did with her little one. And some beautiful pictures of the Clay Casa studio. I would have taken more pictures but wrangling three littles, in a place full of paint and breakables didn't leave room for that. I do regret not attempting to do a tile for Lexie but I just didn't think I had enough hands to manage that by myself and keep Micah from running off! I'm going to have to go back and do something with Lexie to make up for it though! 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Santa Visits 2012

Last weekend was Breakfast with Santa at our gym. One of my favorite things our gym does. We get to see our friends (in non-gym clothes... for the most part), have breakfast (which is always comically not that healthy), and see Santa without having to wait in much of a line. 

This year, the lady next to us did point out and ask what would I do if the orange juice spilled all over Micah.... yea not quite sure what I'd do in that case. Next year I'll be prepared with a spare outfit because now I'm surprise it didn't happen. 
Just as it was our turn, the fire alarm got pulled some how (only the second time in 3.5 years of us belonging to the gym that this has happened) Besides the noise being distracting, the flashes to the photographer's camera didn't work while it was going off so the kids got extra time to chat with Santa. He saw their reindeers and asked if they had seen his. Which they hadn't in case you can't tell. I wasn't supposed to use my camera but since the fire alarm was going off I snuck a candid with my phone. 

And our official scanned copies of our Santa pictures for 2012. 
Bass Pro obviously I got the classic crying baby picture. She was just very wary of him the first time. 

Today we headed up to Bass Pro, got our pass about 15 minutes as they started handing them out and returned later to see Santa when it was our time slot. The kids love going to Bass Pro because of all the animals - especially the reindeer. We hadn't had a chance to head there so I braved the chaos I knew this weekend would be. Thankfully because of their bass pass system, you get a card with a time to return and the line is super short when it's your turn compared to the mall. I think we had to wait maybe 5 minutes. 

Lexie did not want anything to do with Santa this time. Neither did Micah when it came to picture taking. He did not want to look at the camera and did his nervous, finger in mouth whenever pictures are being taken habit. 
 After the picture.... all smiles to tell Santa what he wants. (Which is a fluffy ear dog like Abby has - if you were wondering. I guess I'll be hunting down Walgreens locations for another one if they have them anymore... even though he's had Abby's for the past two months as his) 
And Abby - she wants what all sweet, little 6 year old girls want - an alligator, a unicorn and some snakes. 
Both Santa's were so nice to the kids, neither rushed them through telling them what they wanted and were super friendly. 

 This year Bass Pro added a 'hunting/Southern' style carousel to their Winter Wonderland. Full of reindeer, a moose, bears and a polar bear. Seriously it gave my kids huge smiles. 
 "Good bear" says Abby. 

Santa Visits from previous years 2011/2010