Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Toddler Christmas

We had such a nice Christmas with our family. Since I've been such a bad blogger, I thought maybe I'd better give a Christmas recap! We spent Christmas Eve with Greg's parents, his brothers and their families. It was such a nice day. It's tradition to spend Christmas Eve with the Herrmans and Christmas day with my family. On Christmas Eve, we always have fondue with the Herrman family. Before Greg and I got together, I'd never had fondue! It's such a fun tradition, and I like that it's reserved for one time a year. It's always something to look forward to (as well as Mome's meatballs!)

Gabe got a lot of really great presents (our house suddenly got a lot smaller). It's always a joy to see him excited about something. He was very good with his cousins, even though he had a bit of a cold. We ended the evening with a reading of the Christmas story - the birth of our Savior. I love that Greg's parents have included that in Christmas Eve... I love to watch the kids watch Mary read it. All of the kids really listened... except for Gabe! He was playing with the Fisher Price Manger set (he was still in the same story!) and at just the right time, he pressed the angel to make the music play. It was cool.

We spent Christmas morning together opening gifts and stockings. Gabe's mom didn't have anything to open this year though... WHY? Was I on the naughty list?? No, quite the opposite! Santa surprised me a couple of days before Christmas with a Canon 40D! SO, I was taken care of for presents this year for sure! We got Gabe an easel as his big gift, the movie The Incredibles, a Toy Story magnet book, a couple of shirts, and a few other things. We read the letter that Santa wrote back to Gabe and checked out the cookie plate (sure enough, Santa had eaten the cookies!)

We also got Gabe this adorable train set from Ikea. He loved it. After opening gifts at home, we went up to my folks' house for the traditional breakfast casserole. It is so yummy! This year, my sister's fiance's parents were able to join us as well! They are such nice people. My other sister, Lindsey's, boyfriend Matt was there as well. We had a great time playing cards and joking around. Then, we spent some time opening gifts, and again, we all got a lot of really nice things. Mom spent a lot of time this year making our Christmas a sentimental one. She made us each a Christmas recipe book, a quilt, and she wrote out a mother's journal for us to share. The sentimental stuff is right up my alley... I love all of the thought that goes into making gifts like that.
Then, around 4:00, my mom's side of the family and Greg's parents came over so the cousins could see each other. We had a pretty good time with them as well. We played the traditional White Elephant game to Christmas trivia questions. Then, Gabe and I stayed the night and Greg came back to take care of Jinxi.
It was such a nice holiday. I am reminded so often of how very blessed Greg and I are. It is so uncommon that 2 families can share Christmas together so peacefully. I hear stories all of the time about terrible in laws or families in turmoil. I am so fortunate to have amazing in laws and a great family. It's exciting to see Jenny's fiance's family fitting in so well too. They are such kind people and it makes me happy that Jenny will have a great family life too. They just adore her, and as her big sister, well, I have to say that's all I can hope for!
I hope all of you readers (maybe like one or two of you?? :) ) are sticking with me! I promise to be more faithful in blogging in 2009! My friend Grant and I are going to attempt the Flickr 365 project of taking 1 photo every day for a year. Hopefully we can keep up with it! I think that will inspire me to blog more!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Potty Tree

This is the Potty Tree. The Potty Tree kind of happened by accident. Let me explain.
The other night, Greg was up at the office working and Gabe and I were at home. Gabe was in the tub playing and he stopped all of the sudden and said, "Mommy ah pee pee". I asked him if he went in the water and he said, "No! Ah pee pee potty chair!" Me, shocked, "You need to go pee pee in the potty chair??" Gabe, "YEAH!"
Ok, I've fallen for this trick before. I let him out of the tub, he takes off, running around the house naked, I chase him while he laughs...
But, he did say he had to go. It was worth the wet floor and chasing if I got him out.
And then, it happened. My son peed. On the potty chair. I swear... it was like a Christmas miracle.
I have never understood how parents can get so excited when their child goes potty for the first time. Now, I get it. I really get it. It was amazing! It was like a bunny running through the meadow on a beautiful spring day. Or, like the smell of fresh cut grass. Or, like witnessing a shooting star. It was like one of the coolest feelings in the world! I was so proud of Gabe. I couldn't believe he did it. AND, he TOLD me he had to go! He could've very easily just gone in the nice, warm bath water.
So, I was ready to give him every one of his Christmas gifts. But, thankfully, I remembered that I had gotten him these ornaments at Hallmark that night. And, I remembered that I had a small tree that I loved that I didn't know what to do with. So became the Potty Tree.
Each time Gabe uses the potty chair, he gets to put an ornament on his tree. We put the Handy Manny ornament on and he started freaking out because I wouldn't let him play with it! I thought maybe the Potty Tree wasn't going to work out, but eventually he forgot about Manny and calmed down. Here's Manny:

When you look at the tree, you'll see that there's actually quite a few ornaments on it. That's because I was really excited that first night and gave him both the Nemo set and the Handy Manny set. I couldn't help it!

Last night, I thought I'd try before bedtime to see if he would go. And guess what... We got #1 & #2!! Steve & Tami were over, so he was receiving extra praise. I think #2 was an accident because he kept running into the bathroom to try and go a little more! He was all about the attention! It was hilarious. Steve wanted me to take a picture of it and call this post "Twas the Deuce before Christmas".

Um, no. Gabe, I will not put a picture of your first poo poo on the internet.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas

Gabers is starting to get ready for Christmas. It's been a little difficult keeping him out of the other kids' presents! He saw a Nemo gift I got for my cousin's daughter, Hailey, and he about flipped out! I actually may give it to him instead since I got her some AWESOME kitchen stuff from Ikea and Pottery Barn. She'll probably enjoy that more than Nemo.

It's been really hard not to buy Gabe everything under the sun! You just see all this stuff and you want to buy it all! I went a Pottery Barn store this week and it was like torture! :)

I'm so excited to spend this Christmas with my little family.

Here's one attempt at a Christmas Card picture for my Mom & Dad. Gabe didn't want to get his picture taken!