Saturday, December 31, 2011

Second Christmas

Anthony was a little confused when we had Christmas AGAIN at Jessica's house. Grandma and Grandpa were FAR too generous. Most of the presents are going to be mailed, but we brought home some of the favorites including a new airplane toy and Bigsby, an interactive story book from Auntie Jessica.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bouncy Boys

It was a long trip to Omaha. 9 hours in a car for Joshua and almost that long in airplanes and airports for Anthony. Our first full day there a trip to Pump It Up was in order to burn some energy. The boys had a blast and played nicely together the whole time.

Anthony made it nearly to the top of the climbing wall this time!

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Reindeer Food

When I was kid, back in the dark ages, the reindeer were lucky to get carrots. Now there is apparently a whole institution surround reindeer food. Anthony brought home a bag of it from preschool. Evidently modern reindeer eat a mixture of oatmeal, marshmallows and colored sprinkles. You are supposed to sprinkle this stuff on the lawn, but we decided they'd prefer to eat off a plate. I added in carrots for good health. (You'll notice that Anthony ate a number of the marshmallows.)

Minor parental screw-up Christmas morning. It was cold and dark Christmas Eve, so neither of us wanted to go out and make the reindeer food go away. Next thing we know I was desperately trying to distract Anthony, who REALLY wanted to go out while Daddy was dumping the food. It was pretty cold, the water was frozen over!
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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ho Ho Ho!

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Merry Christmas!

We had a very nice Christmas. Anthony got all sorts of great toys and books. Santa was VERY good to him. He managed to eat ALL of his Christmas candy before breakfast, which he didn't eat. Surprise!

Daddy's big present was a scooter, so he could keep up with Anthony on his bike. Of course, he still can't keep up!

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Saturday, December 24, 2011

This year's Christmas Cookies

The gingerbread men are nearly gone, so I decided to make Spritz Cookies to help along our cookie platter. The recipe is from my new favorite recipe source--the King Arthur Flour blog. Anthony was very helpful mixing the dough and pressing out the cookies.

(He also can't be trusted with the unbaked dough.)

I think they came out looking quite nice!
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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Gingerbread house

Tonight we decorated our gingerbread house. I bought it a few weeks ago, but we finally had both the time and the temperment to decorate it.

We had a really nice time. I piped on the icing and Anthony and I decided together where the decorations should go. I asked him where Santa should go. His response was, "On the roof next to the chimney, of course." So, we constructed a chimney and put Santa on top.

Now if I can only get him to stop trying to pick the candy off.
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Monday, December 19, 2011

Gilroy Gardens

While Gilroy Gardens is known for its amazing gardens and circus trees, the highlight is the rides.

Our first time on the cars, Bob asked Anthony if he was going to drive. Anthony's response was that he didn't know how to drive a car, and he seemed a bit worried about the proposition. Daddy reassured him that he'd help and they had a grand old time. 2nd time though Anthony wanted to drive all by himself. Bumpiest ride ever! Oh, the ride showcased the 12 days of Christmas, all in lights.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Lights at Gilroy Gardens

Tonight we went down to Gilroy Gardens for their annual Holiday Lights event. The park, which is always beautiful, was just magical with all the lights. We couldn't stay until the laser show at 8:30, way too late for a boy who goes to sleep at 7:30.

We were thrilled to find the Peanuts gang greet us as we walked in. Anthony really doesn't know who they are. He drives Bob crazy by calling Charlie Brown "Caillou". Still, he was happy to greet the characters and give them hugs. They put on a stage show during dinner and Anthony was enthralled.

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

Daycare Christmas Party

Tonight was Kathleen's annual Christmas party. She really puts on such a nice party for the kids. They started out with outside playtime while the adults chatted. Then they all came in for some singing while her son-in-law played the guitar. Then who should come but Santa Claus with presents for EVERY kid, including a bunch of alumni. After Santa we then had a nice potluck dinner.

About dinner… The kid darn near drove me crazy. I was in line for food, and every time I turned around Anthony had another handful of cheetos. I'd move the bowl to the very back of the table, but then it was up front again. I'm thinking a big kid helped him, "Here Anthony, let me help you reach the bowl." I can't imagine an adult indulging his habit. Between the cheetos, Christmas cookies and the frosting off a Sprinkles cupcake, he didn't eat much dinner. Oh well.

My contribution was Gingerbread Men, made using my favorite spice cookie dough. They were beautiful and taste fabulous!
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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Up on the rooftop

Step in time!

Chimney sweep, gutter sweep, what's the difference?
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

School Christmas Program

Today was the annual Christmas program at Anthony's preschool. He wasn't quite on his game as much as Halloween. I know he knew the songs, we certainly practiced them. He spent a good part of the first few songs being a busy-body, looking around, checking things out… Eventually he got down to some good singing, though.

After the program was over we all went back to his classroom for snacks and then a special visitor came. Thank goodness we were near the front of the line.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Caroling

Sunday night was our neighborhood's annual Christmas Caroling party. The group started at Miss Sharon's house** and went down our street. Anthony had a GREAT time. He loved singing, but he really just enjoyed going door to door seeing everyone. He turned to me at some point and said, "this is just like trick-or-treating".

Our exit from the fun went brilliantly. I told Anthony at our last house that we had to leave to rush home so that we could answer the door for the carolers. Sure enough, we went home, changed into jammies and then they were at the door. Then it was straight to bed.

**Miss Sharon is the children's librarian. It was quite a trip for Anthony seeing her outside of her natural environment.
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Sand table

When I bought our sand/water table two years ago, I knew that if I put sand and water in it simultaneously, we'd just have mud.

Last winter the table sat un-played with, too cold for water.

This year I bought the most beautiful sand for our table. Its nicer than any beach sand, so fine through your fingers. Everyone LOVES playing in it, if only it would stay in the table. (I got the sand at Lakeshore Learning, it was pretty expensive, but worth it. It even molds nicely when wet.)
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Decorating the house for Christmas

Anthony was VERY excited to help Daddy put Christmas lights on the house, until he discovered there really wasn't much fun stuff for him to do. He wasn't allowed on the ladder, after all.

We ended up with a few neighborhood kids over and they decorated the playhouse for Christmas instead. It was covered inside and out with chalk; very colorful indeed.

On a related note, last night we took Anthony to our church's Christmas concert. It was AMAZING. Over a hundred performers from four choirs. All the performances were amazing, but it was spectacular when they combined together. We had seats right in front. Anthony enjoyed it, but did have to take a break in the middle. (He ran into his friend Marley and they had a lovely time running around together.)
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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ciaran Time

The Daddies were off (A's was flying, C's on a business trip), so we took the kids where else but to Happy Hollow. Anthony and Ciaran are so wild when we get them together that outdoor time is best. The park was nearly empty when we got there, we had to wait for enough kids to ride the carousel.

We actually visited all the animals this trip! Anthony generally likes the bees the best.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Our Christmas Tree

Anthony spent all year talking about how he yelled "Timber" when Daddy cut down the tree last Christmas. I figured with memories like that, he'd be disappointed to buy from a Christmas tree lot, so we headed off to Patchen Christmas Tree Farm this afternoon.

We got a perfect little Douglas Fir. Amazingly, its just the right height to fit in our living room. I let Anthony pick out a wreath for our front door, too.

When it came time to decorate, I found that the difference between 3 and 4 was stunning. Last year he was destructive. This year he was VERY enthusiastic about hanging the ornaments on the tree. He had a hard time sticking to the non-breakable ornaments, but he treated all of them with respect, so it was okay. Loved his enthusiasm.

(In case anyone is curious, it was a 4 candy cane day.)
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Creekside Christmas

Today was our church's annual Christmas craft festival. It was pretty darn amazing. They had at least twenty crafts set up for the kids to enjoy.

Anthony's favorite by FAR was the snowglobe. There wasn't much to making it, but he was very proud of it and loves carrying it around. His favorite to make was the cross filled with layers of colored sand. He had a ball doing that.

Suprisingly, he didn't really enjoy any of the bead-stringing crafts. He usually enjoys that sort of thing, he's made yards and yards of fruit loop necklaces. I completed his jingle bell door hanger and its on the front door right now.

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