Friday, December 31, 2010

Lots to Celebrate!!

Happy 1st Birthday Aiden John on January 2, 2011
Celebrating all three birthdays!

Yummy Cake!
We have lots to celebrate and honestly we have had so many parties that I cannot keep up with them all. It feels like we have been opening gifts for a few weeks now and honestly we have. We celebrated Christmas in Minnesota on Dec. 19th before leaving for Cincinnati on the 23rd. We told the boys that Santa would bring them a few gifts to open here and a few on our trip. Honestly, they still believe most anything we say so our "story" did not have to be that convincing or planned. We basically took the smaller toys to Cincy and the bigger toys we opened at home. We had a great time visiting Grandma, Grandpa, and all our aunts, uncles, and cousins. The boys had a party almost every night we were there just playing with their cousins. We enjoyed a trip to the Children's Museum, a Train place, lots of ice skating in the backyard, as well as playing with all of our cousins. We also celebrated Aiden's 1st birthday and Luke and Liam's 3rd birthdays with a special cake. Aiden will turn one on January 2 and the boys will turn three on the 11th. So, we opened not only Christmas gifts, but also some birthday gifts. We have lots to entertain us over the winter now and the boys are enjoying all the new toys, games, etc...We had one small accident on our trip. Liam was playing on some stairs and fell somehow on his arm and fractured a finger so we spent Christmas Day dinner in the ER getting x-rays. We were thankful to have so many family members to keep Luke and Aiden, however. We have taken three children to the ER before and it is not much fun. Liam is now in a cast for a few weeks. It is mostly precautionary so that he does not injure his fractured finger any further. He picked a bright green cast and is doing very well with it. Thankfully, there are no limits on his activity with the cast so we can still jump and run and play. We had a wonderful holiday and want to wish everyone a Happy 2011.
Liam with his new tools and goggles from Grandma and Grandpa

Luke and his tools

Lots of presents to open!!

Ho ho ho!!!
Christmas Morning in Cincy with cousins Ella and Caitlin

Checking out the trains at the Children's Museum with Grandpa

Riding the Train

Cousins (and babysitters) Caitlin and Ella

Silly AJ

That's John up there with Liam, not sure who was having more fun

Grandpa and AJ

Ice Skating
Skating in the backyard with Jacob, Caitlin, and Ella

Monday, December 20, 2010

Santa and Cookies

Our trip to see Santa. Aiden was not too happy about Santa!

Waiting in line before the big Santa visit

Liam sampling cookies

AJ's cookie

Luke and his cookies or Luke and his icing

Aiden made his first trip to see Santa and it was pretty obvious that he did not approve of it. He was terrified of Santa! This kind of surprised me because the boys really did not show any type of reaction to Santa until they were closer to two years of age. As infants, they just sat and stared. Aiden, however, sat and screamed. Poor guy. Even though they look a little stunned in the picture, Luke and Liam were very excited to see Santa and tell him the one thing they really really want for Christmas...a guitar! Yes, both of them want a guitar and I have no idea why. They also want a piggy bank, but that is because of the piggy bank on Toy Story. We also made some Christmas cookies over the weekend and the boys decorated and ate lots of green icing. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday! We are taking a short "posting break" for the holidays and hope you will stay tuned for more when we return to the blog in 2011!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snowy Weekends

Snow drifts from the 20-30 mph gusts of wind
Trying to get some perspective on how deep the snow was. John used the snow blower at least three times.

And more snow...
Santa with Luke and Liam

Santa came in at the end of the program and the kids were all stunned

Liam looks so tired. He is supposed to be rocking this bear. He was practicing all week at home.

Singing the Christmas songs
The BIG Christmas gift for the boys! An inflatable bouncy thing in our basement. This is what three weekends snowed in will convince you to purchase!

They loved it!
Messy 1 and 2

Snowmaggedon, Snownami, Epic snowstorm, 5th largest snowstorm, and finally "the" snowstorm of December 2010. These are all terms that I heard over the weekend to describe our blizzard. We received nearly 20 inches of snow in less than 24 hours if you can imagine! It managed to shut down the airports, cause numerous accidents, and basically paralyze any sort of travel. So, for the third weekend in a row, we found ourselves snowed in and trying to find some way to fill the time with three very energetic boys. Yes, that is correct, we have had snowstorms for the past three weekends with the most recent one being the largest. There are several reasons I can remember that and one of which is because we actually managed to secure a babysitter for THREE Saturdays and everytime she had to cancel because she could not drive here. They are pretty good about plowing the roads, but when you receive that much snow in a short time it does take a little while to get to everyone. We have done art projects, hung the christmas tree, played, shoveled snow, taken sled rides, and most recently we decided to give the boys their big Christmas gift! I told John we had to figure something out because he had yet another trip and I was about as tired of our toys as the boys are. So, what do you buy when you have been snowed in for three weekends in a row? Check out our pictures!

In other news this week, the boys had their first preschool Christmas program. They did really well despite the program being right at naptime. Liam and Aiden both fell asleep in the car on the way to the program. Liam looks exhausted in the pictures. They really did not sing the songs very much (they are some of the youngest in their class), but they did stand up front and do some of the motions. They looked a little stunned to me, but it was fun to watch. The highlight was having Santa come at the end and shake hands with all the kids. Liam looked over at me on the front row and said, "Look Mommy, its Santa Claus!" It was very cute.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Elf on the Shelf

Meet Mr. Cowboy (Our Elf)
One of Mr. Elf's Hiding places

Day 1...Mr. Elf on the Shelf

The boys are looking for Mr. Elf

I am not sure how many of you have heard of "Elf on the Shelf" book and/or activity. My sister gave us this as a gift for Luke and Liam's first Christmas. At the time, I thought it was such a cute idea, but I honestly could not imagine adding anything else to our already difficult bedtime routine. Until now, that is. We started the Elf thing this year and the boys love it. The basic story line is that there is an Elf that you hide in various places throughout your house and each morning the boys are supposed to go and find the Elf. You have to give the Elf a name and all day long he is watching over the boys and then at night he goes and reports back to Santa on their behavior so that Santa knows whether they have been "naughty or nice." The only rule is that you cannot touch Mr. Elf. He can hide anywhere in the house and you have to find him, but you cannot play with him. Honestly, it is the best incentive/bribery tool that we have found so far! All I have to say is, "Remember boys, Mr. Elf is watching you and he is going to tell Santa..." Perfect! We need one of these all year around. The boys named the Elf "Cowboy." They recently watched a little of the movie Toy Story and I think Buzz calls Woody "Cowboy" a few times and they thought that was really funny. So, Mr. Cowboy is always watching!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Peek A Boo

Showing me their big boy pants...No, we are not potty trained yet, just gearing up sometime soon, I think.
Liam wanted me to take his picture so he could see it on the camera.

Peek a Boo!
Under the blanket

Here we are!
I intended to get some pictures of our new play area this week, but it just has not happened. We recently cleaned and reorganized the basement to make room for the "hockey ice" as the boys call it. The boys actually take time outs periodically to drive the Zamboni and clean off the ice. We have a small net and an area for the boys to play hockey, roller skate, play basketball, soccer, ride scooters, the basement. It has been great to have, especially on the two snow/ice days that we have already had this season. It is a different type of play than what we do in the bonus room and the boys love it. We basically have a good size open area similar to what we had over the summer when we played in the garage and driveway. It hardly compares to being outside, but it is a new area to play and they are able to run around.
In lieu of the basement pictures, I did take some random pictures of the boys playing peek a boo with John. Luke loves to hide under the blanket and have us ask, "Has anyone seen Luke?" Aiden actually crawls over when he sees them get out the blanket to play peek a boo because he enjoys it as well.