christmas-y stuff

these two weeks have been a blur.  not a bad sort of blur.... just, well, its all run together. 

we started the christmas vacation {i.e. the children's day school was not in session} with faustino taking a fellowship interview trip.

also known as single parenthood.

but strangely, i was okay with that.  even without all of my shopping done.  {confession:  i did have my mother-in-law swing by one evening once the kids were tucked in so that i could run a couple of places without carting the circus with me}

of course ethan had his yearly doctor's appointment.  and we had the polor express class playdate with boxes as our "train cars" {so cute}.  savannah and ethan also played with a "older" friend while she did some babysitting "training."  they asked me every. single. day. to go back and play with their new friend.  i think i'll be putting her on the schedule as my mother's helper.  for real.  amazing.



we did a lot of playing.  bed jumping.  reading.  puzzles. rain coat wearing {ethan really digs the outer wear}.  with the occasional christmas movie thrown in {might i suggest the curious george very monkey christmas?  quite possibly the one that held their attention best.  has a catchy song too.  that way you can hum christmas monkey all the damn day long... hahahaha.  curse me later.}





i really enjoyed it.  i also released myself of several things.  christmas baking.  christmas crafting.  and christmas friends' gifts.

was that good or bad?  i don't know.  but it was freeing.  and cheaper {think:  fellowship interviews} and waaaaay less stressful.

i remarkably managed to score matching carters pj's for the kids.  in their correct sizes.  after failed attempts to find christmas pj's elsewhere including the store where i found them {nothing like procrastination}  from the looks of all my friends christmas photos on facebook and blogs... it looks like we all bought the same pairs :)  

wilbert gave the kids the christmas pj's.  but i have slipped up so many times and corrected myself that i am certain this will not become a wilbert the elf tradition.  i can't keep up with the elf trickery!  our elf did basic stuff all season.  basic is really better for me.  no crazy pinterest style elf tricks for us.


christmas eve eve we went to a family christmas party {where savannah enjoyed being the center of attention}... spent the night at my parents house.... and woke up and had christmas presents.  after we ate brunch and played we jumped in the car and came back to fort worth where we put the children down for naps and then went to the christmas eve service.

her sussy to open was her little "ears" 

mom, can you send me some of your pictures?  
all two that i took were, uh, not great.  this was the best... and it isn't so fantastic, huh?

ethan was so so so tired for the christmas eve service that he just wanted to lay with his head in my lap.  which caused me to bawl the whole time.  my little boy just doesn't slow down like that anymore.  and he is my christmas baby... oh.  break my heart.  so sweet to hear carols about the silent night with jesus in the manger and hold my baby boy.  makes me cry just thinking about it...

and after a beautiful service we went home, read a night before christmas, and snuggled our babies before last minute wrapping and minor assembly of santa gifts.

in our house, with space and budget issues, santa brings each child one, unwrapped, assembled thing.  when space and budget are no longer an issue, i have no doubt that this rule will still be in place.  wrapped gifts also don't arrive under the tree until christmas eve.  it definitely takes the focus off of the gifts a little bit.  and every little bit helps.

christmas morning, ethan and savannah woke up to a bike and a shopping cart from santa.  faustino cooked us breakfast... and we lounged around all morning.  i got a pair of boots that i am so excited about... i can't even tell you what it is like to live in fort worth and not own boots.  sacrilege.

by the way... ethan's bike has training wheels.  just fyi... 
he may be his father's son, but he is no cycling prodigy... :)

and this melissa and doug shopping cart is amazing.  it really looks like a miniature store buggy.  super sturdy. 

the kids played and destroyed the house all day... we watched episodes of dexter while the kids napped, and then we enjoyed christmas with my nieces over at grammy's house.  i ate enough food for two people to gear up for the wrapping paper ripping fest... whew.  delightfully exhausting.

and do i have photos from that night?  no.  didn't even feel like busting out the camera.  shame on me.  i should have because all 5 kids had a fun time... 

and this week... i have been sick.  monday was the whole, achy body, super sleepy thing.  then i spent a few days on the mend... much better today.  we played with friends this morning and are planning on going to the botanical gardens after i get dinner ready and everyone wakes up from their nap.  a simultaneous nap.  nearly never happens.

i will *almost* be sad when school starts up next week... almost.

and that sums up the comings and goings and mostly staying in the house portion of christmas...

xoxo, s


and for sister...

a hand-smocked dress from nana.  which she loved wearing.  of course, she ate plenty of cake and has played with brother's toys as well.


better dress pictures to follow...


celebrating my sweet ethan

he's four.  oh. my. lord.  he is four.

what a blessing.  four years with the sweetest boy i could imagine.  but how is he four?  the years move too quickly.  sometimes i cry. 

birthday celebration at school.

he simply is such a wonderful son.  inquisitive and creative.  cute.  funny.  witty.


he delighted in "blowing out" the candles.  i held it together and didn't cry. 
it wasn't easy.

he also challenges me.  has already developed the male-selective-hearing thing.  and likes to pretend things are guns and shoots them at things  {i initially was appalled by the violence... but have learned, this is a boy thing}

the orange trash truck.  i've only heard him talk about wanting this everyday for the last 4 months.

you can't make him sit down for very long and craft.  or color.  but he can build a fantastic block house.  or use his little mighty world people for hours-on-end of pretend.

the airport.  
it was same thing as the trash truck.  
on the "wish list."  he wanted this so bad that the day before he was trying to replicate it with his race track, making his cars "take off" and "land"

he probably watches too much t.v {insert mom guilt here} ... but lately he's been really into caillou.  who i personally think is sweet but a tad too whiny.  although, caillou doesn't pick up every blessed stick and pretend it is a gun. and that's nice... and caillou is polite.  and likes being a good big brother.  good lessons from the t.v.   :)

the nano bugs... entertainment from our two bugs, Zank and Zarnarsh.  ethan named them.  with no prompting from us...

he wakes up at 7:15 or so {dry! and has been for a loooong time} and keeps me on my toes all day... we might get lucky and he has a easy time taking a couple hour nap around 2:30... or we might get not-so-lucky, and have a struggle for the nap.  or it might just not happen.  but that is okay... because it's bed time somewhere in the neighborhood of 7:30, although i have been known to push it up or back by a half hour.

he's a decent eater... he has a major sweet tooth.  he says his favorite foods are pizza, french fries and chicken nuggets.  he loves milk.  and thinks juice is a majorly wonderful treat.

my big boy is 37 lbs. and almost 44 inches tall.  that puts him at the 50th and 95th percentiles... so tall.  he is in 4t clothes and has a closet full thanks to generous friends and wears a size 11 shoe.  which just about kills me.  he has boy feet.  not little boy feet.  big boy feet.

my son is sensitive.  he wants to make me happy.  he has taught me about patience, forgiveness, grace, and a child's delight. 

major entertainment for sister.  and the rest of us watched them for quite awhile too. 

he has the most vivid memory.  he gets that from his father.  tonight, while looking through a book he saw a picture of a dragonfly and he said, "remember yesterday a long time ago {i.e. past tense} i saw a dragonfly at the farm and i named him Power??"  folks, yesterday a long time ago must have been back in september.  or perhaps even the summer.

cake.  unbelievably excited.

for his birthday there were additions to his bruder armada:  a crane and a trash truck.  and i do not lie, my mother and i built a shelf to house the aforementioned armada.  pretty much in the thick of all the christmas/birthday hubbub of the end of the week.

word to the wise... homegoods has these ridiculously overpriced trucks for a bargain.  
shop early... i bet they get picked over quickly. 
thanks, jenn, for saving us an arm and a leg.

for his little birthday celebration - just us and grandparents.  easy peasy.  and a store bought cake that ethan decorated.  with an iron man action figure stuck in the frosting.  he couldn't have been any happier.  i think it is just the adults that truly delight in the art of the fondant.  not four year olds.  it was cake.  ice cream.  and a iron man that he has slept with every night since.  we'll save the more elaborate cake for the bigger bash.

we'll have a "friends" birthday party in january.  after this holiday madness.

best moment of the evening.  ethan.  on a stool in the kitchen all alone.  looking at the cake and singing happy birthday to himself.  hardly able to contain his excitement.  

my sweet ethan, it is a privilege to be your mommy.  i am so blessed.


the aftermath of costco


who knew that costco samples could wear her out like that??? 


i'm still alive


i made it.  in all honesty, my feet still hurt.  but i am very pleased with the event!  it went very smoothly.  everyone had fun.

thank you for your support.  your encouragement.  your prayers.

thank you, mom, for spending the day with the kiddos.

and thank you to my husband for letting me spend sunday as a complete slug.  speaking of which, it is his birthday today.  we celebrated with family last night... where we took the above photo. 

i'll post some pictures of the "beatles and boots" bar mitzvah when i get photos from the photographer... i'll do a recap of sorts... the details the family put into this event were phenomenal.  it was a pleasure to be a part of the festivities. 

xoxo, s


quick brain dump

tomorrow is the big day.  my event coordination debut.  the "after-children" version.  

send good vibes my way.  please.  i know it will be an excellent event.  but i always get like this beforehand.  

my ability to multitask on the rest of my life is not all that great.  {you should see my "laundry room."  please, anyone, send your laundress to my house to volunteer.  you think i am kidding.}  my personality is very well suited for event planning.  i've known that.  but if i had too many events, the events would consume me.  i. get. so. focused.  just one has filled my mind this week.  to the paralytic point.  do you know what i am talking about??  f r o z e n.

i've been watching friday night lights on netflix to get my mind off of my nerves about saturday.  how did i miss friday night lights when it was on television??  it is so good.  seriously.  and nice to have something so good when it seems like all my favorite shows take a christmas vacation.  that makes me sound like i watch a bunch of tv.  i don't.  

i mean, if you don't count pbs kids...  but that's another entire debate.  let's not go there right now.  we will.  someday.  i want to... i feel like i could write a novel on the whole, snarky, judgey, we-don't-watch-tv thing.  you know, for the mom's who are perfect.  not. me.   

anywho, i watch maybe 3 tivo'd shows a week.  if they are all new.  this isn't always the case...  

but, yes, friday night lights is excellent.

and now i must fold a load of clothes.  before the laundry wins the war.

xoxo, s 


holiday frame of mind

hi, y'all.  thank you for your sweet words about my leg.  really, i was not trying to get a bunch of sympathy.  but it was nice to have so many encouraging messages on here, facebook, phone calls + text messages, and in person, etc.

the burn is much, much, better.  just trying to minimize the scar now... :)  at least it isn't pool weather.

definitely far from pool weather here.  its been a nice, windy, rainy, drizzly, cold, seasonally appropriate grey here.  and i will take it happily.

don't get me wrong.  i would prefer 75 degrees.  however, there is something fantastic about putting up the tree, eating a roast, and listening to the rain come down while baylor beat the pants off of ut.

it was a good weekend.

and friday was a good start to the weekend with a very unexpected invitation to take the ticket of another friend who sadly could not go to the gingerbread house building extravaganza charity event... i had to pick the little ones up so i could only stay for an hour...

so i did what anybody would do.  hoarded candy and took home a half finished house for my preschooler to work on.  it is no beauty.   but i did get some major "cool-mom" points. 

don't worry, it wasn't nearly done here.  more candy was added... :)

and he worked on some fine motor skills.  and sorting skills.  really, it was quite educational.  and my frame of mind was good.  i didn't have any expectations about what it should look like.  i did not care that it might be considered ugly-ish.

i am sure that most of the houses that came home were beautiful.  i mean.  people came with their own tools and researched their plan.

not being from fort worth, i had no idea that this was such a big deal.  we can add that to a running list of things on which i have been educated.

and that is how i am going into this holiday season.  no to low expectations.  a purposeful laid-back.  hopefully, it will bring me joy to lose the christmas-bitch persona that creeps in every year.  you know, the one that is irritated that the bows got crushed on the packages as someone else loaded the car.  the one that freaks out over minor details.  who gets irritated over thinking about being dropped off a christmas card list or two {perhaps they didn't send out cards, stephanie.  that is what rational stephanie says...}  the one that gets irritated at the children when christmas cookie frosting gets on their christmas clothes... i sound like mom of the year.  grrr.  not proud.

wish me luck.

and on a completely unrelated note,  savannah got the top two teeth she's been working on right before thanksgiving.  and this past weekend, she got the bottom two.  have we turned a corner??  time will tell.

xoxo, s
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