Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Wrap-Up

Among our Christmas festivities this year was a train ride into the city (best activity EVER for the boys) and a walk over to Union Square. We watched the ice skaters, admired the decorations in the Macy's windows, and shared a hot dog on the side of the road. (Because we are classy like that!)

We told Trenton that one night, after he and Chase were all ready for bed, they would find a golden ticket in their beds, which would mean that we would get to go look at Christmas lights instead of going to sleep! (the ultimate dangling carrot!) On Thursday night I hid the golden tickets and put hot chocolate in their sippy cups while Ryan readied them for bed. T was ecstatic to find his "magic ticket," and walking this decked-out street in San Carlos became one of my favorite parts of our Christmas festivities this year. (Thanks, pinterest, for the new golden ticket tradition!)

On Christmas Eve we were at Lemos Farm in Half Moon Bay at 9am, right when it opens so that we could feed the goats while they were still hungry. Two dollars for two cups of goat feed and two happy toddlers!

Another two dollars for a turn operating an excavator! We had the farm practically to ourselves and got out of there with only spending six bucks. Next we were off to the farmers' market up the street from our house, which was also amazingly quiet (but strangely still open) on Christmas Eve. We sat on the grass and shared some roasted chicken and potatoes from a food truck. Lovely all around.

We spent the afternoon making baked chimichangas (a Williams tradition) and candy cane cookies for Santa. The boys' nap never happened because when I peeked in their room, I found Trenton had hopped into the crib with Chase and they were happily playing together with a few toys. They played like that for about an hour. I don't mind the loss of a nap here and there when their friendship is developing instead!

Big smiles for Mom when they realized they'd been caught!

That night we had a short but sweet tree-side program before shooing the boys off to bed. Trenton woke up the next morning excited, wondering why Santa hadn't come into his room and said hi during the night. After opening presents (THANK YOU, FAMILY!), everyone played happily while I made rice pudding and hot chocolate. Check out the boys in these darling matching church outfits!

We greatly missed being with extended family this year but tried to appreciate our low-stress holiday, without the chaos of packing, traveling, and later unpacking. However, without my own parents or parents-in-law with us to make it special, I found myself solely providing Christmas—not at all being provided for. It's not the easiest transition to make! Now that I seem to be an official adult, it didn't FEEL like Christmases in the past, but I did enjoy seeing my boys get a dose of the magic. We owe a heartfelt thank you to both our sets of parents for selflessly providing Christmas for so many years!

We know our Christmas was more abundant than many people experience around the world, and we're very mindful of how blessed we are. We hope everyone had a merry Christmas! And thank you for reading our blog during 2011!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas to Us!

For some Christmas means presents; for other it means trash!

Managing a complex has its pros and cons (well, mostly cons, with one big pro—compensation!). December brings one of the cons—a TON of packaging. This doesn't even include the six additional bins.

Our resident garbage man is hot!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Who Needs Reindeer when You've Got a Helicopter!

Don't miss the other two new posts below this one!

We stumbled across a new favorite holiday tradition this year—Santa's Arrival by Helicopter!

My boys love nothing more than planes, trucks, and trains, so this was PERFECT for us. It was at one of my favorite places, the San Carlos airstrip / aviation museum. We ran into our great friends the Bartons, which was really helpful because Dan held both Colton and Chase while I lifted Trenton—that way everyone could see Santa fly by twice in that helicopter. Since Ryan was at work (An obligatory training on a Saturday in December?? In lieu of a holiday party?? Why does this not surprise me anymore?), one of my boys would not have seen anything had the Bartons not been there to help us out! Thanks, guys!

Afterward we waited in line to see Santa, which backfired when both my boys were terrified of the jolly old man. Good times! We will definitely be doing that again next year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Last week I asked Ryan to describe his day to me, step by step. Ever since, I have been so GRATEFUL to stay home with the boys! I have looked at my job with new eyes. Sure, it is full to the brim of cleaning sessions and battles of will. It is physically exhausting, but when my eyes are open to it, emotionally fulfilling. For my own record, here are some recent highlights:

The boys' play has blossomed lately, for which I am thanking my lucky stars. I swear Chase has taught Trenton how to play with toys. (T has always preferred me over toys, whereas Chase tends to be more of an independent player.) They spend their days stacking canned food from our food storage closet, pushing the couches together so they can get "stuck" in between them until I attack them with tickles, running circles around the green sofa in the lobby... They are becoming more and more creative and imaginative, and I love it.

After dinner every night, I have started giving them the choice of getting in pajamas and watching a kids' show or playing in their room until they're ready for pajamas. Ever desperate to avoid jammies, Trenton usually happily opts to go in their room and play with the baby gate closed. I tidy up the house (or escape onto pinterest for a few minutes, haha) until he finally gets bored of playing and tells me he's ready for jammies. (Getting pajamas on is much less of a fight when he thinks it is his idea!) Being boys, them playing in their room usually involves a lot of jumping off the bed, cheerfully whooping, occasional complaints or cries from Chase, and random "projects" like throwing every toy we own into the crib (after which T tells me, "We were working hard!" And I tell him now he's going to work hard helping me clean it all up.)

The two old ladies who live up from us are moving out, so where it has usually been almost silent up there, we suddenly are hearing a lot of furniture moving and heavy footsteps. The novelty of these sounds scares Chase, which I secretly LOVE, because he runs to me and collapses in the my arms every time it happens. Today he ducked inside my arms, with his head against my chest, for a good ten minutes, while we sat beside Trenton, who was chattering away on the toilet. :) Every now and then, the most mundane moments are my favorites.

Today a FIRE TRUCK parked outside of the grocery store we live next to. We had just finished sharing some food on "our bench" outside the store when the fire truck pulled up. We walked beside it and sat on the sidewalk, staring up at it, for fifteen minutes. I answered (or made up answers t0) Trenton's million questions ("What are those headphones for?" "What do those letters say?" "Where is the horn?"), thinking all the while about how much I love having boys! They are so fun, straightforward, and honestly, hilarious. Finally, the firemen came back out from the store and gave the boys little plastic firemen hats and we scooter-ed happily on our way.

For a change of pace, I paused our gym membership, and the boys and I have been having several at-home workout sessions a week. I give them plastic peanut butter jars to use as weights, and blast some music. We dance around, do jumping jacks, high needs, air kicks, etc. We do squats and bicep curls and crunches. When I go down, Chase exclaims, "DOWN!" and they hit the floor too. The other day, they actually ran circles around a peanut butter jar on the floor for almost twenty straight minutes! These workouts have been such a fun—and surprisingly effective—way for us to bond. I can't say they won't lose interest eventually (they usually do!), but no matter what, I'll have some great memories from this time.

Thanks for reading (or even skimming!) my novel! I love being a mom!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Magic of Christmas

I can't imagine anything makes Christmas more magical than having small children in your home. (Although being a small child at Christmastime was pretty darn great too!)

T was too timid to sit on Santa's lap, but he did very clearly and politely tell him that he wants a train set. At least he wasn't hiding behind my legs while I held a yelling Chase, which is what happened at our previous attempt to sit on Santa's lap. :) Although in this picture, you can see Chase is still wary of the man in the red suit. Only this time he's staring him down rather than yelping in fear. Oh the fun these boys bring into our life!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ornament Shopping

Only the nonbreakable ornaments are out this year—I wonder why?!

This is Chase ornament shopping. Our tree is like a drive-up window. Stop your truck, grab some ornaments, stash them in your cab, and speed away!

He has a little compartment under the seat that he likes to "hide" them in. Soo sneaky, Chase! You're not at all conspicuous on that bright yellow truck!