Saturday, January 14, 2012


"Jake, the cookies are all gone." Picture me doing the signs for cookie and all gone.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas 2012

Boy, was Christmas really 2 weeks ago already? Let's see if I remember how things went...

Christmas Eve day we drove to Mike's aunt and uncle's house to celebrate Mike's grandpa's 92nd birthday. We hadn't been there since Jake was born, so it was nice to see Mike's grandparents, 2 aunts, and uncle again, as well as Kevin, Cynthia, and Katherine. It was tricky to go there with Jake. It's a little more than an hour away, and Jake still naps twice a day but does not sleep in the car- never has, and we wanted to make sure he got good sleep in so he'd be a good boy in church that evening. We were able to have him take a short nap at home that morning before heading down, and we got home just in time for Jake and Drew's afternoon naps.

Our church had services on Christmas Eve at 11, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11. Really, none of those times are great for us at this point in Jake's life. Given the length of the church service and the time required for parking and getting seats together, all services basically run into nap/bedtime or mealtime. So we opted to go at 5:00, and Mike's mom volunteered to usher at that service so she would be able to save us seats, which is always a huge help. Between all the services on Christmas Eve and Christmas day, there were over 26,000 people in attendance. Wow. Anyway, the service on Christmas Eve was amazing, as usual, but longer than tolerable for a one year-old. Even with the dinner I packed for him to eat throughout, Jake got pretty antsy by the end. I look forward to 2 years from now, when I think going to church will finally be pretty easy again.

After church we were all starving, and it was almost 7:00, so we picked up some Arby's and ate pretty quickly before getting Jake in bed. Then Zach, Drew, and I decorated some cookies. Yes, I'm in my pajamas already in this picture.

I had to say more than a couple of times, "No, Drew! You can't eat the sprinkles right out of the bottle!" or "No, Drew! You can't lick that knife and put it back in the frosting, even if Aunt Becky and Aunt Sandy do that!" Ok, my sisters don't really do that, but they do love the frosting. Personally, I'm more about the sprinkles.

Once the cookies were all decorated, it was definitely past bedtime, but we'd had such a fun time that we didn't mind. We picked a couple of cookies to leave for Santa, and the boys said goodbye to Herky, our elf, who was sitting up on our tree for his last night.

Once the boys were in bed, we got the soufflé and caramel rolls for the next day's breakfast made up, and when we felt sure the boys were sound asleep, we got to work on filling stockings. The stockings are too heavy for the stocking holders once they have anything in them, so we had to just lay them on the ground by the fireplace.

We did pretty good as far as getting things done in a timely manner and the next thing we knew, it was Christmas morning. Zach and Drew had had a sleepover in Drew's room, and I had set their clock back 15 minutes so that I'd have time to get up and nurse Jake and change his diaper before they actually got out of bed at 7:00 (or 7:15, really). It worked perfectly. They were excited to check out their stockings. We got a picture of Drew with the cars he asked Santa for, but somehow we did not get a single picture of Zach with his AT-AT Walker, which was what he had asked for. I think we got video of him opening that, but I'm feeling too lazy to attempt uploading it right now.

We had a nice, lazy morning. Curt and Linda stopped by for a few minutes to see the kids' gifts before heading to Curt's family's Christmas celebration. It was such a gorgeous day that after breakfast I went for a run outside, and later on Mike went out and golfed 9 holes. Who would think those 2 things were possible here on Dec. 25th?!

That evening Kevin, Cynthia, Katherine, and Sam came over to celebrate with us. We had homemade pizza (a new Christmas tradition, maybe?), Christmas cookies, and opened gifts.

Once the kids were all in bed, we 6 adults sat at the table and played Taboo. It was lots of fun, and my college friends will be pleased to know that though the group may have changed, the results didn't- the women won easily. And the guys could NOT claim that it was because we were sober and they weren't, as none of us were drinking.

It was a very lovely Christmas, and we were happy to not be traveling and to have a chance to share parts of it with some family.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Just Some Random Pictures From December

Despite my intentions, I haven't been very good about blogging lately. So here are a bunch of random pictures from December in no particular order.

Zach and Drew have their own "spots" when they watch TV. Jake is catching on to this, and has decided that when those two are watching something on the loveseat, he should sit in the middle.

He doesn't sit still very well, though, so he usually ends up just annoying his big brothers. But that's a little brother's job, right?

Jake can be a very silly baby. One night while we were reading before bed, he decided he should read with his little blanket on his head. He just sat there as I read the books just like this, so I had to get a picture.

Another night before bed, Jake was too quick for me to get him dressed, and he crawled off and started playing with his pillow pet.

One afternoon recently, Jake just had a terrible nap. He couldn't breathe because he was totally stuffed up, so he was just very upset. Mike ended up going up to his room and holding him so he could sleep. It was sweet. Jake hasn't slept in our arms for months, so this was pretty sweet.

Way back towards the beginning of December, we went and visited Santa. We've gone to the same mall with the same Santa since Zach was about 18 months old. Last year Zach brought Santa a special rock he had painted, and Santa seemed to like it. So this year, when it was our turn, Zach right away said, "I'm Zach. I'm the one who brought you a rock I painted last year." Oh, please, play along, Santa, I thought. This first picture is when Zach was saying that to Santa.

Santa said, "Oh, yes, I remember. I still have that rock!" Whew! I was glad Santa said that, though I figured he didn't really remember or still have the rock.

This picture totally shows the comfort level of each kid as far as Santa goes. Zach is totally comfortable, Drew is mostly comfortable, but was ok having Zach be closer to Santa, and Jake was pretty content to watch from my arms.

We did decide to try to get a picture of all 3 boys with Santa. Here's how well that went.

I just love how Zach is holding Jake's hand and trying to talk to him. Such a sweet big brother (to Jake, anyway).

As we turned to leave, Santa looked right at me and made eye contact. I could tell he was going to say something, but I had no idea what. He leaned in a little closer so just I could hear, and he said, "I want you to know, I really do still have that rock. It meant so much to me that he brought me something." Awww, that was sweet. Zach had wanted to take something to Santa this year, but we sort of sprung the visit on him one afternoon when he got home from school (so we could avoid a line), so he didn't have time to prepare anything. I definitely think the boys will take something next year, though!

After visiting Santa, we went to the play area. Jake was much, much happier there.

Here's a cute picture of Mike and Jake some morning after Jake woke up.

The force is strong with these three.

Normally they're not dressed so similarly, but it was a rainy Saturday and these seemed like the perfect comfy outfits.

Here's Jake enjoying the tunnel Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Dick gave him for his birthday.

Jake was on an important call on my phone,

which is probably why he was so upset when I took the phone away. He sure lets you know when he is unhappy!

Here is Drew showing me his bowling ball face. He also does a great shark face, but I don't think I have a picture of that.

Just a cute one of Jake before Drew's preschool program. The next day Jake had his 12 month check-up. Turns out he is 20 pounds exactly, which bumped him up from the 8th percentile to the 12th percentile. And to compare, at 12 months, Zach weighed 21 pounds exactly, and Drew weighed 22 pounds exactly. So Jake is the lightest still, but also the tallest. He is 31 inches tall, which is the 83rd percentile. At 12 months, Zach was 29.3 inches tall, and Drew was 29.8 inches tall.

Jake is walking more and more now, but still mostly crawls. I think he is getting braver, though, and is trying to walk more often. He can get 6-10 steps before he falls over, but often it's more like 4-5. He still has just 1 little tooth, which he loves to have me brush (Santa put a toothbrush in his stocking).

Jake is great at going both up and down stairs. He loves to pretend to talk on the phone, and he's trying to figure out the remotes. He knows they somehow make sound come out of the TV area, but he hasn't quite figured out which buttons to push exactly. He has his own signs for help (hand over mouth, going "bah bah bah bah") and I think he tries to sign for the dogs. He says mama and uh-oh. He likes to put on shoes, both his own and other people's. Here he's trying on Drew's shoes and having lots of fun.

Jake also is getting better at using a spoon. He loves to try using a spoon whenever possible, so I try to give him lots of opportunities. Basically, if it's something I'd feed to him with a spoon, he and I both use a spoon and we trade off putting bites in his mouth. He loves pudding!

Jake really loves playing with his brothers' stuff and playing with his brothers in general. They find some creative stuff to play, that's for sure.

With the nice weather we've had, we've been able to get outside for quite a few walks with the dogs and even some swinging and sandbox playing. Jake loves to swing!

The nice weather has been great, but I worry we'll be paying for it come April. I am ready for a little snow, too.

Next up- Christmas pictures. Maybe I'll get them posted by Valentine's Day...