Saturday, December 23, 2017

Holiday Moments I'm Treasuring Up

This holiday season has simply been the best. I do not document things in this space as much as I used to, but I do want to remember these sweet moments with my boys because as much as I think I'll remember every little detail later, I know that I won't.

Aiden (age 3) is just LOVING the Christmas season. We listen to Christmas songs and jump on his bed every night and he loves shouting Merry Christmas! He certainly has brought us extra joy this holiday. His favorite Christmas movie is The Grinch (the cartoon version). He acts it out as he watches and it is hilarious. He asks to wear a Santa hat like the Grinch and he always scrunches up his face and says "I have a naughty face like the Grinch, Mama." He can also quote most of the book and movie and the kid does not get tired of it!

He loves reading his Bible and acting out the stories. Whenever he sees the 3 Wisemen he always starts singing "We three kings." He is truly beginning to understand the meaning of this season as best a three year old can.

We also haven't stopped watching the Polar Express since last Christmas so when we heard about the Polar Express train ride we knew we had to get tickets. We bundled up in our jammies and went downtown Lebanon for dinner before our ride. It truly was magical. The boys got to sit with Santa on the train car. Aiden said he wanted cookies for Christmas and Alder did not mind sitting in Santa's lap (yet). We drank hot chocolate and enjoyed the festive train ride. I highly recommend it if it visits your city!

Last year Aiden and I had so much fun doing an advent calendar with different activities each day so I knew I wanted to do it again this year. It took some prep on the front end, but I have loved watching him enjoy our activity each day. You can see my ideas for a kid friendly advent calendar here. This year we did a few new things (like drive around to see Christmas lights in our jammies), but we continued our tradition of baking and taking cookies to our neighbors, making Christmas crafts, dancing around in our pjs by the tree, making snow, etc.

We also started something brand new this year since Aiden is older and soaking in everything he is learning about the Bible! We are doing something called the Jesse Tree where each night we read a story from the Bible and add an ornament to our tree to remind us of what we learned in that Bible story. It is so wonderful and has truly helped prepare my heart for the reason behind the season and the amazing way God has woven together our history. I have loved watching Aiden so intently listen to God's word. I plan to do a separate post on this later with pictures and in more detail, but if you have questions please leave a comment or email me.

Alder (10 months) continues to soak everything in as he is always content simply being entertained by what his brother is doing. His favorite things about the Christmas season so far: playing with tissue paper, playing on a toy drum that Aiden got out when he was pretending to be the little drummer boy, pulling lights and ornaments off our tree and attempting to derail the train that goes around our Christmas tree. He has been a trooper on all our outings even if they are past his bedtime. We LOVE that he is here with us this Christmas and can't believe he will be one next month!

Our holiday season has been jam packed with fun family outings, but also filled with sweet nights at home watching Christmas movies in our pjs with a fire in the fire place and the sound of a train whistle from under our tree. I'm so thankful for this season, for these boys and for the most wonderful gift of all, Jesus Christ.

I hope your holiday season has been truly magical.
I can't wait for Christmas morning!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

A few last minute deals Santa wants you to know about...

Aiden with Santa last Christmas
Raise your hand if you still have Christmas shopping to do. I am raising my hand with you. Well whether you are finished shopping or not, here are a few deals Santa wants you to know about...

Fayfaire has 12 Days of Christmas savings going on. So many of their fun and trendy kid's shirts are marked down to $12.00 including these "Santa is my bestie shirts."Aiden is going to wear the toddler style and Alder will be wearing the onesie when they meet Santa this week! I can't wait! Check out their Instagram page too for a chance to win some free stuff in their 12 Days of GIVEAWAYS!

Shipping is fast so if you order soon you could have them in time for another visit to Santa before he heads back to the North pole to load up his sleigh. Also, Fayfaire gives back with the money they make from each purchase you make!

Want another way to give back when you purchase a gift? Buy some gorgeous jewelry from Noonday Collection via my friend and Noonday Ambassador Katie TODAY and get a Starbucks gift card and ensure your order gets to you by Christmas! I told my husband (I mean Santa)  that these Rose Gold studs were going in my stocking.

Loft also has a 40% off sale going on, which I already took advantage of. Merry Christmas to me, love my parents. ;)

Happy shopping friends!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

My Kids Are Superheroes

Sometimes I look at my kids and think how lucky they are and how easy they have it. They have their own personal chef (me), they get to take naps, they have tons of toys, people drive them around, they get to go to fun places, they have no real responsibilities and they are so loved and care free. But then I think from their perspective for a minute and life appears a little harder. They can't always communicate what they want, they are basically not in control of anything in their little lives even though they want so badly to be and they don't always understand what is going on in this big old world around them, which can be scary...basically they are tiny superheroes.

Well, they are my superheroes anyway.

Aiden age 3
Super powers include: endless amounts of energy, running away from his parents at lightning fast speed, the strength to fight naps at all costs, the ability to know when someone is sad and instantly make them feel better with a kiss, can gulp down a glass of milk right before your very eyes, has a brain that can remember facts and quotes at an amazing rate, brown eyes that will melt your heart and a laugh that is known to cause instant happiness.

Alder 9 months
Super powers include: Scaling the couch, crawling at top knotch speeds out of his mother's view, a teethy grin that will captivate you, eyes that will zone in on even the smallest crumb on the floor, a stomach that expands at alarming rates to hold food, laser beam focus on his brother and the things he most wants in life, ninja strong kicks when getting his diaper changed, but when you hold him in your arms your heart will melt and you will feel yourself becoming a calmer, happier person.

And so ends the most fun photo shoot ever.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Alder Jacob {8 Months}

*Another monthly post that is more than a month late. Ha. Whatever.

Month 8 has come and gone. It was our first fall as a family of 4 and we made the most of it! Alder got his first taste of pumpkin (which has become one of his favorite flavors) and he got his hands dirty in what I like to refer to as pumpkin guts. We visited pumpkin patches and pumpkin festivals, got dressed up in several different costumes and took Alder trick or treating for the first time! 
And he was sweet enough to let me dress him in all pink for his first Halloween costume and I won't apologize because he made the cutest Piglet ever!

This month more than ever I have started to see the baby in front of me slowly melt away. He always, always, always wants to be standing and he gets the biggest smile on his face when he manages to stand up on his own. We are all thinking he will just skip crawling and go straight to walking! 

He started playing peekaboo with us at dinner and it is my favorite thing ever! He usually uses the lid from his bowl and hides behind it until we say "Where's Alder?" Then he drops it and gives us the most adorable two tooth grin!
He is still getting lots of Mama's milk, but he is also a champion eater. I honestly don't know where he puts it all though. Often for breakfast he will crush an entire banana and an entire avocado. We have moved from purees to more mashes and he isn't phased by new textures, he just chows down. 

It has been fun to see more of his personality come out this month. He is such a happy, playful kid, but he wants what he wants and is determined to get his way. If I pull out two different foods and he knows he likes one better than the other he will push away the spoon until you give him the one he wants. And he knows simply by looking at the food, which one he prefers. He has a strong opinion about things, which will make life interesting when he can walk and talk! 
This month, as with all minutes, hours, days with him has been a delight. I'm so happy I get to be his Mama and watch him grow up.

A few stats about Alder at eight months: 

Weight: Who knows. Bigger than last month. Haha.

Height: No more 6-9 month clothes so he is obviously getting longer too.

Size clothes: 9 month

Sleeping: This month Alder finally, FINALLY decided to sleep through the night. But this amazing decision was short lived. I keep reminding myself that this is a season and that someday I will get at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep again.

Random stuff only parents want to know:

Nicknames: Alder J, Baby "Lellow" (Aiden's pet nickname for his brother), "Lellow Popper" (another pet nickname from his brother, no clue how this one came about), Baby J.

Likes: The buzzzzzz noise, playing peekaboo, waving hi to everyone, pulling himself up on everything, splashing in the bath, his brother, being kissed on his belly, growling.

Dislikes: Not being able to walk yet.

Here are a few of my favorite pictures of Alder from this month...

It's hard to believe you are almost 3/4 of a year old. Slow down time!

Watch Alder Grow...
            One Month Update                        Two Month Update                       Three Month Update
 Four Month Update                        Five Month Update                    Six Month Update

See Aiden at EIGHT months here!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Our Favorite Fall(ish) Family Traditions

So the weather around here hasn't been exactly Fall-like, but that hasn't stopped us from doing all the fall things! And since I can't seem to get my act together to blog more than once a month, I'm combining all our fall fun in to one picture packed post.

Here are some of our favorite fall things to do as a family...

Visit a Pumpkin Patch (duh.) Our favorite is Blooms and Berries.

Go to a Pumpkin Festival. This was our first year going to an actual pumpkin festival. Does your town have one? We went to Operation Pumpkin and it was so much fun. There were amazing carved pumpkins and also the largest pumpkins I've ever seen in person. Think Cinderella and her pumpkin carriage she took to the ball.

Visit a Sunflower Field (Gorman Farm) Besides pumpkins, and maybe apples, sunflowers are my favorite thing about this season. Talk about photo opps! And sunflowers just make me smile so being in a field of them...can't stop smiling.

Find any opportunity to Trick or Treat/wear costumes in public (Hallzooween)
Our zoo has trick or treating every weekend in October so we picked a gloomy day with rain in the forecast so it wouldn't be very crowded. It was perfect and we had a Zookeeper and his pet monkey as our sidekicks.

Safe to say, it's been a good Fall so far. 
Now the weather just needs to cooperate and give us a few more fall feeling days! I
'm not ready for winter!
Please, please!