Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Last Week of 2014

This week has been full of relaxing, playing with new toys, and spending time with family and friends!  Thank goodness for toys that all the kids like!  In fact - it seems that most of the toys that all three are entertained by are the ones that are Ryan's!  Who knew!  I managed to catch Katie and Jack playing nicely and quietly with one of his Santa toys.  Choo Choo!
I love the day after Christmas because everyone has new forms of entertainment!  And this guy was feeling so much better.  I was so thankful to see a big gummy grin from him!  That virus was a doozy for this poor guy!
Even Sadie got in on playing with her new goods!  She was playing with one of the balls Katie got her and Katie was playing with the toy cat that Santa brought :)  Love this!  They really are like sisters!
Jack was just dying to get his excavator toy outside to dig in the dirt :)  So we did manage to get some fresh air and play outside!  He did play in the dirt some but preferred driving it along the swingset instead.
Love my sweet girl!
And Jack even cooperated for a selfie!  Amazing!
What a ham this one is!  He was going to catch Katie at the bottom of the slide :)
Sadie was thankful for the milder temperatures that day as well - it meant more playmates for her!
And even more new fun things to play with after celebrating Christmas with Brad's family!  This toy is pretty fun :) Ryan even likes to watch Katie and Jack play with it!
Jack likes to see what will actually fit and go down the track versus what won't move.  Such.a.boy.  I love that it is almost as tall as he is!
Whoa!  Another moment caught - this time, they were both playing with lace up cards from Cee Cee.  Jack is still trying to figure them out, but it kept him occupied.  I'll take it!
And then Sunday morning, we opted to skip church since we had all been feeling under the weather.  Katie's first question was to see if we could have a mommy date.  Time with just my girl AND donuts?!  Who could resist!  So off we went to Krispy Kreme!  I remember how teeny she seemed when we had our first Mommy Date (I think I was pregnant with Jack) - I love that we still do this!
And Sunday morning, all within the span of about 10 minutes, we all needed to be checked into the loony bin.  Jack touched the fireplace right after I had turned it off (as in, it was still super hot), and as I was carrying him to run his hand under cold water, Sadie tripped me and I fell (while carrying Jack).  We were both fine (I have a humongous bruise on my left knee and my right shoulder was a little sore, but nothing major) thank goodness!  Sadie was in doggy timeout and Katie went to check on her and Sadie accidentally scratched her face.  Again - she is fine, but of course there were tears.  Aye aye aye.  Never dull around here!  No wonder I'm always tired!  We put stuff on Jack's hand and covered with a bandage and by naptime you couldn't even tell he had done anything (hooray essential oils!  another post coming on that another time)!
It is so fun to watch Katie read to Jack now.  They both love it I think!
Later that afternoon, the kids watched some shows.  Jack loves to use Sadie as his pillow.  And I think she loves it too - she never budges!
While Jack was napping, Brad and Katie played some Wii U for the first time (thanks, Santa!)...Brad had to have been in heaven!  He loves video games and I think he loves that he has someone to play with!  I got a Zumba one and Just Dance for me to do - I think those are more my style :)
This is what Ryan and I did while they played a Mario game!
That night I got my 2015 calendar out and ready to hang up!  I am the old-fashioned type when it comes to calendars...I prefer a wall calendar with all of our things on it!  Clearly I am a visual person :)
Monday morning, Katie got to help feed Ryan a bottle for the first time - she thought it was so neat.  And she did a great job!  She didn't last too long though :)
Instead, she brought her new puzzle to do on the floor!  I sat with her and let Ryan kick around and we took turns putting the puzzle together.  I love that she enjoys puzzles - and she seems pretty good at them too!  This one will help her learn the states and where they are.
And this guy had a sippy cup with water for the first time!  Of course he preferred throwing it on the floor - baby steps, people! :)
All of them.  Together.  On the floor.  Playing nicely.  WHOA!  It was definitely a Christmas miracle!
And I had some time when both boys were napping.  And Katie and I got to spend some time together.  She wanted to color, so coloring it was!  It is so neat to watch her little creative brain work.
And as Jack started to stir from his nap (while I was feeding Ryan a bottle), Katie was watching the monitor and sighed, "Oh, I just love him."  Melted my heart for sure!
I found some PJs that I had gotten her and she was excited to have a pony PJ set!  Glad the shirt she had worked so well with the snuggly pants!
Yesterday, Hannah Jo came to play!  I didn't tell Katie she was coming, so when Katie answered the door, she was so surprised!  They had a big time playing in Katie's room (I think they were going through Katie's purse) and eating and playing outside!
Since it was so cold outside, they of course needed some hot chocolate :) Can't say that I blame them! 
And then they watched a little Frozen.  I even got serenaded by them to "Let It Go" - shocking I know! :)
Ryan had his first baby food experience last night!  He was more than ready - he loved sweet potatoes!  We delayed it because of his not feeling good.  Just look at that smile!
And then today!  I am so lucky to call each of these precious ones mine.  Goodness.  I certainly get frustrated and all of that, but at the end of the day (and in this case, the end of the year), I know I am so incredibly lucky and blessed to have these three kids in my life. 
This past year has been full of excitement of change - especially with Ryan's birth and Katie starting Kindergarten!  I can't wait to see what excitement and fun 2015 brings our way!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas 2014

Be forewarned that this may be the longest post to date.  And most (as in 99.9%) of the pictures were taken with my iPhone.  I figured that it is much more convenient and allows me to be more involved without carrying around the big, fancy camera.  One of these days it will make an appearance again.  But for now?  The iPhone pictures will have to do :)
I waited until Christmas Eve to put the wrapped presents under the tree - it would have just been too tempting to Jack (and Katie, for that matter)!  I love having it all under the tree!
And wow.  I managed to get a picture of all three crazies - looking AND smiling!  So sweet!  And poor Ryan.  He was just starting to turn the corner with the awful cold/bronchiolitis he had.  I'm so glad he started to feel a little better for Christmas!
And we made a last minute decision to reschedule the Christmas Eve festivities until the day after Christmas since Brad's mom wasn't feeling up to par and Ryan wasn't his normal self.  So we ended up eating Christmas Eve dinner at Jonathan's :)  I didn't have "real food" in the house, so we opted for a quick meal out!  Here are Brad and Katie sitting in our booth.  We have sat at this spot the last 4 or 5 times we have gone!
And Jack and myself :)  He wanted to be in a picture since Katie and Brad were in one - had to jump on that opportunity!
And this little elf!  He was showing some smiles thank goodness! 
He ended up sleeping most of dinner.  Poor thing needed to catch up on sleep for sure!
And I got a picture with my sweet girl!
And a nice, sweet moment!  Caught on camera! :) They aggravate each other for sure, so catching these sweet times makes it that much better.
And the little dude woke up!  And he wanted to show off his elf outfit :)
And an attempt at a family picture!  Not too shabby, all things considered!
After dinner we headed home and watched Elf for a while before beginning the evening routine!
And then it was time to get the milk and cookies ready!  Katie was so excited about it - and was quite meticulous with her placement of everything.
Here she is hard at work!  I think she moved the carrots around about 6 different times!
And the spread!  I love that she wrote a note to Santa explaining that the water was for the reindeer.  "This water is for the reindeer and I love you and Mrs. Claus" is the interpretation of her letter :)
Alvin had brought reindeer jammies for all the kids to wear on Christmas Eve!  Here are 2/3 of the crew sporting theirs...Ryan was asleep in the swing or something I think.
And a bedtime story!  Usually Brad reads The Night Before Christmas, but we thought it would be fun to read a book that Katie could help read this year!
Later that night, Santa made an appearance!  Everyone must have been good this is Mommy's pile of goodies!
Even Sadie got some loot from Santa!
And Daddy's pile...
And Ryan's goodies for his first Christmas! 
And here is Jack's section of fun!
And finally Katie's goodies...
And the whole spread!
And Christmas morning!  I think she was excited - what do you think? :)
And Jack just kept looking at his goodies and turning around and smiling so big.  I know this is blurry but this is the best I could get - not too bad!  So cute!
After surveying the big stuff, they ripped into their stockings to see what was in there...
And an attempt at a picture of all three with their reindeer jammies on Christmas morning!  This was the best I could get.  Jack was more entertained by his new toys (who can blame him, honestly)!
But this is what most of them looked like!  Ryan still wasn't feeling 100%, Jack wanted to play, and Katie wanted to do anything but take a picture!
Baby's first Christmas!  Love this little guy!
Holy moly!  Mommy got to be in a picture!!! :)  And Ryan is smiling - bonus for sure!
Ryan was so excited to look at his big toy...
And Jack could hardly wait to "show him how it works" - which really means...he wanted to play with it himself, of course!
Sadie was so excited to open her present that Katie picked out for her!
And I am fairly certain Sadie wanted to get all the balls out to play :)  She was so excited!
And Jack loved ripping into presents this year!
I think his favorite from Christmas Day was this one...
...a firetruck!  He actually stopped for a picture with it!  Unreal!
And he wanted it out of the box to begin playing with it immediately!
And Katie got her very first American Girl doll!  I think she was pretty excited :)
She got her out of the box and immediately began changing her into her other outfit immediately!
And a picture of Dad and Robbin opening one of their gifts!  I made all our parents a photo book of the pictures we had done back in October and they were amazed by it :)  They usually come each year on Christmas morning to watch the kids open their goodies!
And Katie picked out a gift for Brad from her all on her own.  She couldn't wait for Brad to open it!
I love both of their expressions in this one!  Katie picked out a UT tailgating chair for him :) It will definitely get used for tailgating or at kids' sporting events or even just getting together with the neighbors!  Katie specifically said "Daddy can use this when he rakes leaves so that he can take a break!"
And a picture with my sweet girl.  She picked out a Michael Kors wallet for me :)  The reason? It has a M and K on the outside, which to her stands for Mommy and Katie.  I don't think it gets any better than that!  Such a thoughtful, sweet girl!  And with good taste too :)
And the aftermath!  HA!
After changing clothes, we headed to my mom's house for a celebration there!  Here are all the goodies under her tree!  So much fun!
Jack was a little bit of a booger when we first got there (see his expression below), so we put him in the highchair with some of his new goods - that didn't go over so well.  Once he got out to do stickers and color, he was a happy guy!
Katie was excited to dig into her stocking at Cee Cee's house!
Glad we caught Ryan at a happy time...he screamed a lot when it came time to try for a bottle.  We ended up realizing that his ear probably was hurting and he didn't want to swallow - he had been diagnosed with an ear infection the day before (as a result of the bronchiolitis)!
He literally pounced on his stocking at Cee Cee's!
Katie loved her Frozen calendar from Cee Cee!  She can't wait to hang it up in her room!  We have a calendar hanging in her room and "X" off each day to help her learn months and dates and days of the week!
And before Ryan zonked out, Brad helped him open a gift!
Ryan loved one the books from his stocking!  He held it up over himself and waved it around!
And Jack was excited to rip into one of his gifts!  He got his own sleeping bag :)
Ryan is getting much better at sitting up!  And he loved the tissue paper :)
And my mom made a birthday cake for Baby Jesus - so we sang and Katie blew the candles out :)  It was delicious!
After we finished eating there, we headed to my aunt and uncle's house to celebrate with my Dad's side of the family!  Here is the tree with some goodies under it!
And a quick family picture!  I absolutely love this one :)
Before opening gifts, we all sat quietly as my grandfather read the Christmas story from the family Bible.  This is my all-time favorite Christmas tradition.  And I just love this image of him reading!
Then the kids were ready to rip into some more presents!
Jack definitely had it all figured out by this time.  Except he ripped into it one teeny piece at a time!
Katie was so excited to get an art kit!
And Jack had to wear his construction worker outfit as soon as possible!
And I had to include this one of my cousin :) We gave him a beer holster and an assortment of bottles of beer.  He finally figured out how to wear it - hilarious!
This one would have none of his bottle.  Sleeping was his preference.  He did finally eat a little once we got home and got him some Tylenol!
And Katie remembered that Ann told her that next time we came, she would take her on the golf cart.  And of course Jack wanted to go.  So Robbin and Ann took the kids - and they had a blast!  Jack kept talking about wanting to go on more rides. :)
When the kids had a bit too much energy, we went on a walk on the cart path.  My dad took them on a walk when we first got there, and I took them again a little later.  Jack only wanted to hold Katie's hand.  So sweet!
And then they cooperated for a selfie!  Love these two crazy kids!
Our final celebration was Friday evening with Brad's family!  Even more gifts under the tree!
We visited and ate a delicious meal!  Well, we attempted.  Jack threw up ALL OVER his highchair and the dining room table (that's what we get for having a nice meal in the dining room) and rug and chair where Brad had been sitting.  Yuck.  I don't think it was sick-related, but gross nonetheless.  So Brad got him in the tub and went ahead and put him in jammies.  And I cleaned up everything in the dining room.  Yuck for sure.  Glad it didn't happen again!  After all that was taken care of, it was present time!  Jack was so excited about this neat toy!
And Katie was excited for some Frozen toys!  This 6 in 1 set looks amazing!
And again - Ryan just needed some tissue paper to play with! 
And Jack loved his Mickey train too!
This one was scooting all over and finally having some of those smiles we had been missing!  I definitely think it was a good idea for us to wait to celebrate with everyone!
And I remembered to take a few pictures of everyone!  Here is Brad's cousin Jeff with his son Peyton...
And his Aunt Paulette and Uncle Darrell hanging out with Ryan!
And of course Grandma with Katie!
Katie and Jack thought it would be fun to get a picture with Peyton!
Something else we did?  Why cut holes in the toy box and use it as a costume, of course!  Katie loved it - especially because she could wear it and scare Jack :)
And a family picture.  Oh my.  A bunch of goobers we are.  No doubt about that :)
Jack ended the night sitting on the island eating crackers.  Like probably 15 crackers.  I guess that's what happens when you barf everything up!
What amazing Christmas celebrations we had!  And I think it is so important to pause and remember that it is about more than the gifts and Santa and all is about the baby born in the manger in Bethlehem...
And if you have made it through all of this, I am so impressed! :) This is more for me and the blog book and the grandparents...but thanks for reading!  I hope each and every one of you had a Merry Christmas!