Saturday, January 3, 2009

Longest Post Ever

Ok, I've been sort of putting off doing this post because I anticipate it being long, but it's time to bite the bullet and get to it.  I've had it started for a few days and even added a bunch to it that didn't get saved (aaargh!), so at this point, it's going to be just the highlights.  I hear a collective sigh from everyone reading this, but don't breathe too easily- I tend to be long-winded, so even when I try to get just the highlights, I still write a lot more than I originally planned.  Plus, it's not like it was just any old week that I neglected to write posts for- it was a couple of weeks with 2 holidays and a trip to Colorado, so there's a lot that happened.  Get comfortable- here goes...

On the 23rd we flew to Colorado, but not until after Foudy threw up another 4 socks.  That darn dog.  After Mike worked most of the day we drove 2 hours to the airport in order to save about a thousand dollars on our plane tickets, so that wasn't fun, but it was worth the saved money.  The plane left on time, which still was later than I was comfortable with, because it was after the boys' bedtimes (way after for Drew, not to much after Zach's).  All things considered, the plane ride was not terrible, even after Drew spilled my water all over Zach and me.  Both boys fell asleep about 10 minutes before we landed and woke up  while we were taxiing, and by the time we got them in bed it was about 11:00 p.m. our time.  Ugh.  Oh well, they slept well the whole trip, so it all worked out fine.

Christmas Eve started with a call from Mike's parents, letting us know that Foudy had thrown up 5 times already that morning.  So after a talk with our vet, we decided to just watch her rather than do x-rays or an endoscopy.  Good decision- she was fine the rest of the time we were gone.  After getting our rental car, we headed over to Tom and Becky's house.  Zach and Cam were pretty excited to see each other and got to playing right away.  Later we made cookies, because Zach was adamant about making cookies to leave out for Santa.

After naps we went to church with Becky, Tom, and Cam.

We actually got a pretty good picture of the 3 cousins.

After a delicious dinner with my parents that Becky made, Mike, the boys, and I headed back to my parents' house to get the boys in bed and get ready for Christmas day.  My parents had to head to their church so my mom could sing with the choir.  As we left, Zach warned Becky, Tom, and Cam not to snore that night, or else Santa might not come.  I'm not sure where he got that idea.  We had a fun ride home, as Zach was busy the whole ride looking for Santa's sleigh.  He thought he spotted it once or twice, and he even had me keep my window open so we could listen for sleigh bells, but he ultimately decided that Santa was still up at the North Pole getting ready.  Zach did tell us that if he had to go potty that night, he would listen for Santa and his reindeer, and if he heard them, he would not get up, but wait until he heard them leave, and then he would get up and go.  That kind of cracked us up.  Once we got home and got Drew in bed, Zach dictated a note for Santa to Mike, and we left out the cookies we had made and a cup of milk.  We read Bear Stays Up for Christmas Karma Wilson, a book I highly recommend, and Zach was in bed.  We were surprised at how easily he went to sleep.  Mike and I then got all the stockings filled and got started on the brunch preparations.

Christmas morning came quickly.  I think that no matter how fun Christmas is when you're a kid, it's 10 times more fun when you're a parent.  We put a little jingle bell on the floor outside Zach's door while he was sleeping on Christmas Eve.  He got up twice that night, once at 2:15, when he went in to Grandma & Grandpa's room, woke Grandpa Dick up, and said, "Grandpa- I can't see my clock.  Is it seven yet?"  Grandpa assured him it was not yet seven.  Then he was up again around 4:00, I think, to go potty.  Neither time did he see the bell, which is probably a good thing, because I think he would have been too excited to go back to sleep.  So Christmas morning he got out of bed and found the bell on the floor, and came running out to show us all.  He was certain it was a bell from Santa, and that it had fallen off of one of the reindeer.  He then told us how he had heard Santa's boots walking around in the house that night.  Man he was so excited.  It was awesome.  He then went out to see if Santa had eaten his cookies and found that he had, and Santa had even written a note back to Zach.  The excitement was building.  Later Zach told Grandma to keep the note so we can use it again next year.  Reduce, reuse, recycle, right?  Anyway, then Zach got to check out his stocking.  He could see the pointer sticking out of it.  (For anyone who doesn't know, the pointer Zach had asked for is basically a plastic stick with a little plastic hand on the end that is pointing.  They have one at preschool that Zach likes to use, so that was the first thing he asked Santa for.)  He opened everything that was in and under his stocking, and in a slightly sad tone said, "But there's no helicopter..."  That was the other thing he had asked Santa for.  Alas, there was one last gift under his stocking, and it was his helicopter.  

Zach combined his to sought-after gifts by counting the rotors on his helicopter with his pointer.

Soon thereafter, Drew got up, and we helped him open his stocking.  He wasn't too impressed with anything in it, but his stocking was mostly filled with clothes, so who can blame him?  He did like his new "Safe Sippy," though.

We then got a picture of Zach and Drew in their first truly matching outfits (I had to do it!).  

Then we played a while until Becky, Tom, and Cam came over.  After a delicious traditional brunch of souffle, grapefruit, and caramel rolls, we got back to the gift opening.  The boys had fun with this, and were very helpful.  

Sadie and Drew enjoyed playing with one of Drew's new toys.

And Zach and Cam enjoyed some wrestling with Aunt Becky.

The men did what they do best.

Later that day, we watched some videos from when my dad was a little boy.  It was really neat to see my dad, my uncles, and my grandparents so young.  In some of the videos my dad wasn't even born yet.  Probably my favorite video was my dad's 5th birthday party, because that had footage of my dad, my mom (who was a guest at the party), and both of my grandmas- my mom's mom and my dad's mom, as well as my dad's dad.  It was cool.

When we put Zach in bed on Christmas night, he said to us, "I like Christmas a lot...I'm ready for another one!"  I think I need a whole year to get the energy to do Christmas all over again, so I'm glad I've got some time.  What a fun, fun day, though.  I don't remember another Christmas as awesome as this one, and I hope I get to say that next year, too, and for many years to come.

The day after Christmas we spent the day with Becky, Tom, and Cam again.  While Drew was taking his morning nap, Mike went out and took advantage of a misprinted ad at Circuit City and got a fantastic deal on a new camera.  Didn't I say in the last post that he thought we needed a new camera?  I'm telling you, when the guy gets an idea about something he wants, he doesn't mess around.  He had my brother-in-law Will's help with some research beforehand, and then found this too-good-to-be-true deal and had to do it.  

Here's one of the first pictures he took with the new camera.  Some of the pictures that follow in this post are from the old camera, and some are from the new one.  See if you can figure out which photos come from which camera.

After Drew's nap we all headed downtown to the Denver Firefighters Museum.  It was in an old fire station and was really cool.  Zach and Cam had a lot of fun dressing up like firemen and playing in one of the old fire engines.

Saturday we left Drew at home with Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Dick, and Mike, Zach, Becky, Tom, Cam, and I all went up to this indoor waterpark.  They had big slides and little slides, a lazy river, a family hot tub, a kids' area, and a deep pool, too.  It was awesome.  The slides were a blast, it wasn't too busy, and we all had a super fun time.  

Saturday night Mike, the boys, and I went to a party at my parents' friends' house, the Scotts.  The Scotts' family is just like ours- they have 3 daughters who were all basically the same age as my sisters and me (the two middle daughters being off by a year), and their youngest daughter, Nancy, has been a friend of mine since preschool.  We played soccer together from the time we were about 6 until we graduated from high school.  Nancy lived in Africa for a long time and now is back in the U.S. pursuing her D.P.H. (Doctorate of Public Health), and she was home for the holidays.  I hadn't seen Nancy in a really long time, so she was very surprised to see me and meet Mike, Zach, and Drew.  Some other preschool/elementary/high school friends were there, and it was great to catch up.  A few of the other friends there I've also known since preschool, so we got a big laugh out of the fact that we were Zach's age when we met.  Weird.  We had a great time at the party.  Mike and Drew headed home early so Drew could go to bed, and Zach played with some junior high and high school kids (neighbors of the Scotts) the whole time, and didn't care where I was or what I was doing.  He had a blast, and it gave me a good chance to catch up with a lot of old friends.  Zach and my parents then headed out, and I stuck around talking until 11:00.  What fun.

Here's a picture from that night with Jane, Kelly, Nancy, Gina, Kristen, me, and Darci (counterclockwise from bottom left corner):

Sunday we got together with some other old friends.  My good friend Ange, whom I have also known since preschool and with whom I have been very close with since kindergarten came over.  Ange and I grew up with our families as best friends, going on joint family trips, watching the Broncos lose a bunch of Superbowls, etc., and we were voted "Best Friends" our senior year for the Senior Superlatives section of our yearbook, so I was very excited to get a chance to see Ange and meet the newest member of her family, Ben.  So Sunday Ange and Ben and Alissa, one of Ange's younger sisters, who was always like a little sister to me, too, and Alissa's daughter Olivia came over to hang out with Becky, Cam, Zach, Drew, my mom, and me.  We had a great time visiting and watching the kids play.  Olivia is 18 months and just jumped right in with Zach and Cam, and Ben is 5 months, so he mostly just checked things out.  Sadly, we did not take any pictures of this event, which is a real bummer.  We were also sad that Ange and Alissa's mom and other sisters, Adrienne, Abbey, and Alex, could not join us.  A link to Ange's blog is listed on the side of my blog; last I checked, though, I couldn't get into it to read it.  Ange said she was working on changing that.

Here are a couple of funny pictures of Zach, Drew, and Cam from Sunday. Zach and Cam were both ready to cheer their teams on with their Bronco and Patriots jerseys, but unfortunately, both teams lost.

And a cute one of Grandma Ruth with 3 of her 4 grandsons.

Monday we had to head back home.  The trip home was quite uneventful.  We ate lunch in a gross McDonald's and I made a mental note to never stop there again, if we can avoid it.  Then we started the 2 hour drive back to our house.  Zach fell asleep about the second that he finished his McDonald's cookies, but Drew struggled a little bit.  He had learned 2 new skills while in Colorado- he learned how to clap and to play "So Big," and once he got in the car and had the mirror in front of him, he just couldn't stop himself from doing "So Big" (arms way up in the air), and then clapping for himself.  Finally he decided he'd practiced enough and fell asleep.  Since then he's kind of slowed down on clapping and playing "So Big," which is a little sad.  He still does it some, though it's hard to get the so big part out of him.  We'll have to keep practicing, I guess.

Drew was so proud when he figured out "So Big!"

And he loved to congratulate himself with lots of clapping.

It felt good to be home, though we were sad to leave Colorado.  It's always so much fun to have the family together, and especially to have Zach and Cam together.  We were sad Sandy, Will, and Anders weren't with us, because it would have been especially fun to have all 4 little boy cousins together.  I sometimes imagine Christmas or family get-togethers in 3 years or so, when Drew and Anders are 3+ and Zach and Cam are 5 and 6, and who knows what other little cousins there may be running around.  Now THAT will be fun!  

Once we got home, we got ready for the next few days, which included 4 straight nights of planned events.  First, we had a Christmas celebration planned with our church small group on Tuesday.  Wednesday we were hosting a Christmas celebration with Mike's dad's family, Thursday we were expecting Sandy, Will, and Anders to arrive, Friday we had a friend's 4th birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, and Saturday we were supposed to go to a friend's 40th birthday party (which we ended up skipping b/c we couldn't get a sitter- bummer!).  Things were not slowing down!  Zach loved it, though, because it was like Christmas just kept coming!  

Aunt Katherine, Zach, and Sam enjoyed looking at the photo books I made for Katherine, Kevin, and Cynthia.

Kevin and Cynthia were excited about one of the gifts Sam gave them.  If you look closely, you can see they received boxes of "Moose Droppings" and "Reindeer Droppings"- Yum!

This is a cute picture of Katherine and Sam.

And a good one of Grandma Cynthia, Grandpa Kevin, Zach, and Drew.

Katherine and Sam are young- so they headed out that night for probably a fun New Year's Eve party.  Kevin and Cynthia offered to stay with the boys so Mike and I could go to a movie, but we were too tired to leave home.  We knew that by the time we got to a movie, it would be 9:00 or later, and there was no way we could stay up that late.  It was a great offer, though!  Instead we were in bed too early to ring in the new year.  We were still up later than we had wanted to be, though.

Thursday we were up early and ready to cheer on the Hawkeyes!  Thankfully, they didn't disappoint and won their bowl game.  Then we waited excitedly for Aunt Sandy, Uncle Will, and Anders to arrive.

Drew was very interested in Anders and really wanted to check him out.  Anders was cool with that until Drew kind of grabbed Anders's (it can be Anders' or Anders's, for you grammar people out there- the grammar program we used when I was teaching said if it's singular and ends in -s, you still put 's) head and happily screeched.  Anders really didn't care for that too much, so I picked him up (he was crying), and then Drew didn't care for that much.  He didn't want his mommy holding another baby, even if it was his younger cousin.

We got out some of our baby stuff we don't use anymore for Sandy and Will to use for Anders, and Zach and Drew promptly made good use of it.  In this picture, Drew had crawled up onto the bouncy seat, and Zach was pushing him around.  They both thought it was lots of fun.  Unfortunately, this was the best picture I could get.

We were sure to get one picture of the three cousins before Sandy and Will left.  It really turned out pretty good.  In this picture I feel like Zach and Anders look as much or even more alike than Zach and Drew.  Maybe it's Drew's orange skin, which is hopefully due to all of the orange veggies he has been eating.  Either way, I love this picture.  Drew was finishing a graham cracker, which is why his finger is in his mouth.

Whew!  I think that's it for the recap on the last couple of weeks.  There's a little more I can think of to write, but it'll probably be in another post that I start tonight or tomorrow.  This post has taken me long enough to write, and it's probably taken you long enough to read.  At least there were a lot of pictures to look at, right?  I'm not even going to proofread it, so you'll probably find some mistakes.  Oh well!  At least it's finally done, and I've got that monkey off my back!  Now I can get back to the shorter, more frequent posts I enjoy.  Look for another post in the next day or two with some funny things Zach has said recently and Drew's 10 month pictures.


Sandy said...

I love all the pictures!

Sandy said...

Me again. I especially love the series of Anders and Drew on the couch - I will need to get copies of those printed. I also loved Drew's Hawkeye shirt, I'm thinking Anders needs to borrow that or maybe you need to tell me where to get him one for when he is older!

Wehrenberg Family Blog said...

Whew - that was long! :)
Glad you had a fantastic couple of weeks!! Super cute pictures!

Did you see I tagged you?

zinncaulfield said...

Wow, that took like 15 minutes to read. But it reminded me how much fun we had. Great photos!