Sunday, December 27, 2009

"Santa changed our house!"

Any one who has been to my house in the last year has had to suffer through sitting on our breaking and broken couch and love seat. Pushing 12 years old or so, they had given faithful service through more than one family of small children and a few pets, they had been jumped on, spilled on, thrown up on, urinated on by each of our children when they were new babies, and generally manhandled and mistreated through several moves and more or less accommodating doorways. They were trashed. No support from the springs, no cushion left in the cushions. You sat down and just kept on going. Add to all that, Brian's deteriorating ability to gracefully lower himself to a sitting position and well... I was just sort of waiting until the day he fell on to the couch and the frame gave way, like in movie when someone jumps into a bed and it jack-knives on them.

We had been discussing for sometime when we might be able to afford to replace them, and had come to the conclusion that a really warm place would have to freeze over first. Then we thought that maybe for Christmas we would ask our families to donate to a new couch fund instead of presents. That would work, it could be what we would give each other for Christmas, anniversary, and birthday... and maybe next year...

Then a month or so ago my dad called and told me he had found a motorized recliner on sale and purchased it for Brian. I was so excited. It is exactly what he needs, it rises up to meet him so he doesn't have to fall sit down on it. We made arrangements for it to be delivered around the 22nd so it would be something of a Christmas surprise. Not a week later my in-laws called while Christmas shopping to tell me they had decided to get a motorized recliner for Brian and had found a great sale on one. I told them my dad had already bought one for him and gave them his phone number when they said they wanted to go in on it. (I found out later that the chair my dad had purchased was the same one my in-laws were looking at... it was meant to be!) They also arranged to have it delivered up to their house and we made a plan that when we went to my Dad's for Christmas Eve, they would bring it down and take away the broken love seat. I was so excited to see Brian's reaction when we came home from the party, I could hardly wait!

But not only was he surprised with his new and awesome chair, when I came through the door I burst into tears. There was a new couch as well!

The kids were just as excited by the surprise. Evie kept laughing and saying, "Santa changed our house! Oh my goodness, Santa changed our house!" I kept trying to explain that it was our families and not Santa who had made this Christmas miracle, but I don't think she got it. But we know it was them and we appreciate it more than we can express!

And now I have to admit to having a Mima Kim moment. My dad and Caite and Patrick were coming over to our house to open our Christmas Eve jammies and do the traditional Christmas toasts. (Gotta love that sparkling cider.) My dad called as we were driving up our street and told Brian to wait until they got there to help us carry all the kids and presents in the house. (My kids were totally spoiled again this year, but that is another post altogether...) Brian thought that was a little weird, but chalked it up to an excess of Christmas spirit and over protectiveness on the part of my dad. I told him to wait in the van with the kids and I would carry the bags in the house. I wanted to see the chair and how it was set up so that I would know where to stand to get a good picture of Brian being surprised by his chair. I ran in, dropped the bags in the kitchen and smiled hugely at the chair and how good it looked in the room. Then I hurried back outside to make sure one of the kids didn't follow me in and ruin the surprise. As I walked out the front door my dad was pulling in the driveway. He opened his door and frowned at me, "Hey! You peeked!" I frowned back at him, not wanting Brian to know that there was a surprise inside and hissed back, "I already know about the chair." He looked at me for a moment and whispered again, "Yeah, but you peeked." I rolled my eyes in frustration and walked over so we wouldn't be overheard, "Da-aaad (with exaggerated patience), I already know about the chair. It isn't a surprise for me." Then I hurried over to help herd the kids in the house and furtively passed my camera to Caitlin so she could get the picture of Brian as he came in the door. And I am sure you can picture the rest, how much my family laughed at me as I realized the chair wasn't the only new furniture and the good-natured ribbing about my lack of observation. I guess I'm more like my mom then I knew. I didn't care though, we got new furniture! Best Christmas Ever!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lila's One year old photos...

I was really sad when I realized that with Josh and Elena moving back east it would probably be back to Kiddie Kandids for us. I had gotten spoiled with have my brother be able to take beautiful and artistic pictures for me, and you can't beat the price when your family does it for free because they love you!

Then I remembered our friend Elizabeth is a really talented photographer. She took some pictures for me after Jacob was born. She did my cousin's wedding pictures, and even a family photo shoot for Josh and Elena! I am so happy with how they turned out. If you'd like to see more of my cute baby click here.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

Santa Claus just might bump into the Tooth Fairy at our house tonight! I hope that doesn't cause a tear in the make-believe time space continuum... I may be mixing my metaphors here. Actually we are just excited to see what extra special present the Tooth Fairy brings if you lose a tooth on Christmas Eve.

Poor Jake, this tooth has been ready to come out for a week or more, but he was very nervous to wiggle it too much or eat with it or anything that would help it come out. I woke up this morning to him standing next to my bed with a set and resigned expression. "Okay, let's get this over with," he said. So I pulled it out thinking, "I did not get enough sleep last night."

I was up into the wee small hours of the morning finishing and wrapping Christmas presents. But the good side is that I am all done and can just enjoy Christmas Eve Day, the party at Pa Dave's tonight and go to bed early tonight. And I won't be trying to hide from the kids to wrap things up.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The lights at Temple Square

Last Saturday we went to see the lights with Brian's side of the family. We enjoyed the beauty and tradition of the night, even though we just about froze our extremities off. We arrived right at dusk as they turned on the lights and there was a fog that shrouded the skyscrapers from sight, and gave the temple an otherworldly glow.

(Just as a side note, this is when I was really missing my brother and his artistic skills and excellent photographic equipment. Not too bad for my little digital camera, which finally gave up the ghost today... 2 days before Christmas...excellent timing.)

My two little girls all bundled up in pink. It was as much of an adventure getting ready for this outing by hunting up enough hats and gloves and scarves to go around...

...unfortunately we didn't have any gloves or mittens for Brian. This was his ingenious solution. And honestly his hands were probably warmer than mine in my one-dollar-one-size-fits-all cotton mittens. Guess we know what my next project at knit night will be.

Jake being cheesy and his cousin Josh being sweet in front of the Assembly Hall. I love the red lights, I think they are my favorite.

Evie had a blast riding on Uncle Greg's shoulders. I took the double stroller and spent more than half the time pushing it around empty. I didn't mind though, I love that my kids were enjoying the company of their cousins, aunt and uncle, and grandparents. (We did too, it was a great family outing.)

Going to see the lights is one of my favorite holiday traditions. If you have the opportunity I highly recommend you take some family or friends, or family and friends, and enjoy the beauty and spirit of the season. Oh, and take some hot chocolate...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Funny kids...

These past few days have been filled with some funny one liners.

Today Brian and I were having a difference of opinion when we noticed Jake standing in our bedroom door. Brian turned to him and asked, "Do you need something Jacob?" Jake read the tone of voice accurately and quickly said, "Nope" and disappeared down the hall. Ten seconds later he popped back in the doorway and said, "Oh yeah, I need some attention." We laughed so hard, and the discussion was over.

Lila's new favorite word is "NO!" Sometimes she says it in a sweet little voice while she shakes her finger at me, "no, no, no, no, no..." but any question you ask her right now is answered with, "ummm, no." It is mildly amusing and cute right now, I give less than a week before it really starts bugging me. She also likes the word "wow!". Her Grandma and Grandpa T. have a train going around the living room right now, and the first time she saw it she just sat and stared and kept saying "Wow! wow. Wow!"

Evie has been non-stop, at top volume. (Thank heavens it is less than a week until Christmas, I don't think our eardrums would make it.) Yesterday Caitlin was over trying to work on some Christmas sewing. I say trying because it is hard to do anything with a three year old constantly underfoot. Evie's imaginary entourage was also present. She told Caitlin that the people were laughing at her. Caite responded with, "Well tell them to enjoy the free laugh because next time we'll charge them." Evie was quite indignant and told Caite, "You CAN'T charge my people! They aren't phones!" It always cracks me up when I realize both how literal children can be and how different technology is now from when I was a child.

Another Evie quirk we are discovering is that she will NOT be ignored. She will just repeat herself at increasing volume until she is acknowledged. A common phrase in our house right now is, "Please don't ignore your daughter." Last week in church I was in the foyer with the baby and Brian was dozing off. I know, shocker right? Evie was trying to tell Brian something and finally an exasperated Jacob said quite loudly, "Daa-aad. You're ignoring your daughter!" Three rows in either direction exploded in silent laughter.

But Jake also tends to ignore his sister on occasion. Tonight on the way home Evie wasn't getting the response from her brother she wanted and finally burst out with, "Jakey, when you i'nore me then I have to tell you two times!" We are in so much trouble with this girl.

Friday, December 18, 2009

HD or not HD... That is the question.

I know that I am probably in the minority here, but I do not understand the hype about high definition t.v., or HD as the vernacular has it. It strikes me as simply a marketing ploy to sell everyone in America a new television, which they don't really need, and probably can't really afford. "Because it's a better picture!" That is my husband's side of this argument. We aren't even fighting about getting a new t.v., we are quite happy with our hand-me-down big screen that we got two or three years ago when my parents upgraded to a flat screen. (You can't beat free.) No, our frequent discussions on this topic stem from the fact that when you record something on the DVR in HD it takes up more than twice the space of recording it on the regular channels. And I just don't see that it is that much better to make it worth the DVR storage. I do have to admit here that I have a somewhat proprietary attitude towards our DVR. Right now it is 75% full, and probably 60-65% of that is programs and series that I have recorded. The other 10-15% is the kids. It's not that I don't let Brian pick shows. In fact it is a hard and fast rule at our house that Sunday afternoons the t.v. belongs to Daddy and if he wants to turn on football and fall asleep for three hours, well, that is his choice.The thing I hate is that the few shows he does record he has to record in HD, thus eating more DVR% than I think he should. Plus have you noticed how in HD you can see every line and blemish on the actors? Call me old-fashioned, but I like my escapist entertainment to have a more fuzzy and dreamlike quality. Okay, now that I've vented I need to go set up the DVR to record 3 hours of a basketball game in HD, because that is how much I love my husband.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Merry Christmas... I hope.

I have decided that it is impossible with three children to get a picture where all of them are simultaneously looking at the camera and smiling.

Maybe it's better if you can't see where they are looking or if they are smiling or not?

Actually, I think that I am going to get this enlarged and hang it up to remind me that these human moments make better Christmas memories than a "perfect" family photo by a "perfectly" decorated Christmas tree.

My goal this Christmas is to spend less time doing and more time being. I want to enjoy sitting down by the fire and reading to my kids instead of feeling the pressure of unfinished projects and how many shopping days are left. So I am scrapping the idea of making matching sweaters with reindeer on them or trying to finish kitchen curtains before we have friends to dinner next week. If I can just finish Lila's stocking in the next two weeks, I will be happy and call it a successful holiday crafting season.

Muscle Man Jake

Welcome to the gun show...



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Ninja Party!

I'll bet you thought this post was about Jake didn't you? Guess again...

Evie decided that today was a good day to dress up like a ninja. But then it was a case of all dressed up like a ninja with no place to go. So she decided to have a ninja party! What is a ninja party you might ask? I thought that it would involve a lot of jumping around and saying "hi-ya!" like Miss Piggy. I was wrong.

This is her "Would you like sugar with that?" face. Too cute. Then she decided to put on her "hear-phones" to listen to some music.

I wish so badly that I was able to snap a shot of her the first time she put them on this morning. She pulled them down around her neck and then pushed them up on her forehead, her hair looked like a cross between Flock of Seagulls and Pippi Longstocking. I also missed a photo op of her wearing a hospital gown we have, she calls it her pretend Doctor clothes. I call it her "escaped mental patient" look.

I love this girl, she keeps me giggling all day long. I need to keep the camera charged and closer to hand when she is around.