Sunday, December 27, 2009

the survival of Christmas

Probably really should be the survival of the first school vacation...

After a week of baking and making treats and wrapping presents for friends of family the big festivities started Thursday night. For the first time since putting the tree up (the weekend after Thanksgiving, earliest ever for me) we got to open the gate and let the kids up close to it. My parents and siblings came over along with all their significant others and kids to open presents and just visit. I almost think we've seen more of each other in the last month than we have the entire year!

We spent Christmas Eve at home this year, which was nice even though we did miss the big Kendrick clan gathering (which is always a good time). But there is just something about waking up in your own bed.

Almost thought that Santa wouldn't arrive as Alexa decided she wasn't going to go to bed that night. I think finally around 9 she stopped coming out to chat. Eventually Santa dropped off the goods and ate his cookies and milk. Elizabeth was the first one up and about and had a blast digging into her stocking. She was followed maybe 15 minutes later by Jacob who had just as much fun. Alexa had to be woken up by ripping the blankets off of her. Then she came out and started talking about how Santa came into her room and touched her leg and that she heard him when he ate the cookies and milk. I think that kid is going to be a believer for as long as she can!

We eventually moved onto presents which got opened fairly quickly. The twins have discovered the joy of tearing paper open that's for sure. All seemed to be happy with what they got! Loot included art supplies, a bat and soccer ball for Alexa, ponies, cars, and dress up stuff for all. I made a yummy baked french toast that had soaked in the egg mix all night just to have the kids barely touch it. Then we dressed, cleaned up a bit and headed southerly for Christmas with Grammy Karen, Grampa Chris and the girls. I was a bit worried about what the twins would get into at Grammy Karen's but the gigantic pile of presents proved to be a big distraction.

We were back home by just before 6pm Christmas night! All were tired but not too cranky given the busy-ness of the day. Yesterday was spent doing a bit of shopping along with some returns. Once the twins had gone to bed I got to the business of taking down the tree. Alexa was sad to see it go but I really needed to get the room back! It's so nice to see the floor again and know the only thing taking up space for awhile will be the toys they dump on the floor. Jacob is in boy heaven with all his new "beep-beeps" including a remote control train. Elizabeth has been enjoying her zhu zhu hamster along with the puppy and ponies she got. Alexa seems to be enjoying the gift she bought herself most of all followed by a horse stamp set. She's busy making cards for everyone...hopefully they'll get mailed before the other resident artist puts her mark on them.

Overall - an enjoyable holiday season that was fairly stress free. Even Chris commented on how much he enjoyed Christmas this year, he who is normally a bit Scroogy. Now we get to look forward to a New Year's celebration with friends and all that will be coming our way in 2010.

Monday, December 14, 2009


I have survived most of the holidays this year with my sanity fairly intact. This time of year is the most hectic because we've a birthday smack dab between the two busiest holidays.

Thanksgiving ended up being such a wonderful time. Good food, friends and family. It didn't leave me feeling stressed at all. Alexa's birthday party left me a little stressed just because we had so many things going on that weekend in addition to the party. But everyone had a good time. I even had a nice time, although I think I spent the majority of it in the kitchen making pizza. Then I had to worry about running out of cake before the masses could be fed.

Now Christmas. It isn't even the gifts that is getting to me. I made up my list and I've checked it more than twice. No, it's the "what are we going do" and "where are we going to go" that is causing me stress. Last year we were able to stay with family overnight and attend the big family party on Christmas Eve. Christmas morning was spent surrounded by family. I'd love to do the same this year but there are a lot of changes. The first would be that we'd have to stay in a hotel. There is just something about waking up in a hotel on Christmas morning that doesn't really put me in the spirit of things. Not to mention the crappy sleep we'd probably all have gotten which means adults and kids would be cranky. But I suppose we'd have fun the night before. Then there is the question of where to gather. My mother-in-law has offered to host but that idea terrifies me. It would take some effort to get her house into a condition that I feel would be safe. And when I say safe I mean safe for the house. The twins can be more than a little destructive and really do much better in a big empty room. I find that if it can be broken, it'll break. If it can be chewed on, it will be eaten. If it shouldn't be thrown, it'll find it's way across the room. I can't relax when I'm worried about what is going to be destroyed. And I don't want to spend an entire day un-relaxed, especially when I'm already cranky from lack of sleep.

And I haven't even tackled the issue of what we are going to do with my side of the family! It may just be time for a mass email saying come to our house if you wish, we'll be here and I'll feed you. If you don't want to come then I'll be happy to pop your gift into the mail.

This time of year is about family and when I say family I mean myself, Chris and our children. I'd like to develop some traditions that help us get into and stay in the Christmas spirit. I want it to be about more than the gifts you get, or even the ones you receive.

the kids hanging with the man in the red suit

Saturday, December 5, 2009

6 years old!

In some ways I find it hard to believe that my little girl is already 6 (or only 6 depending on her attitude!). I don't think there is anyone out there quite like her that's for sure. Incredibly independent most of the time, but has moments where she needs and wants her mom and dad. She is such a wonderful big sister to Jacob and Elizabeth, giving them lots of "Alexa time". She has her moments of not wanting to share or have anything to do with them. This summer she mastered riding her bike without training wheels, although her dismount still needs a little work at time (that's what helmets are for right?). She's got her first loose tooth and is learning to read. She was so excited to read her first book to me (a short Dora one). Her favorite toys are barbies and horses/ponies. Loves having her movie nights and would like every night to be movie night. Right now she's really looking forward to all the activities that Christmas has to offer, although a bit nervous about chatting with Santa. She did write him a lovely letter that still needs to get mailed to the North Pole. It'll be interesting to see what her 6th year holds for all of us!

just days old

1 year

2 years

3 years
love dressing up

4 years
4 years

5 years

6 years

from October to December in a blur

So I will freely admit I end up spending too much time updating facebook instead of updating my blog. It's an addiction that probably has a group somewhere on facebook dealing with it.

October...the biggest highlight had to be Halloween. Alexa was Supergirl, Elizabeth an adorable little witch, and Jacob a very handsome monkey. Both the girls were excited to dress up, Jacob not so much excitement there! Luckily they had both a party and the actual day to get into costume for. Of course Elizabeth still likes to wear hers at random and there is no parting her from it without battle when she's got it on. The kids brought home lots of candy which sadly I mostly ate. Damn weakness for chocolate goodness.

Alexa also got to go for a sleepover at her Grammy Karen's over Columbus Day weekend. We met Aunt K in Topsham for pick-up and from there she went apple picking and baked a pie (well apparently ate most of the inside prior to baking). She also had an overnight with Aunt M where she fell in love with a fake deer that thankfully wasn't allowed to come home with her!

All 3 kids got to have some one-on-one time with Nokomi during the month which was good for both the kids and my mom. Next up...taking more than one of them out in public at a time!

We had another wedding to go to...this time cousin Gregg. While we stayed late into the night (not getting home till after 12am!) it was well worth the family time. We also celebrated Ivan's 5th birthday. Mix in school and the usual at home activities, it was another exhausting month.

November - well we survived Thanksgiving vacation! This was Alexa's first long time off since school started. She was so happy to go back on Monday. We had everyone over for dinner so lots of good food and good company. If you went by what the twins ate you wouldn't have thought the food was good though, as they have become very picky eaters. Veteran's Day was also mixed in which Alexa spent most of the day playing at her friend Elle's house. Election Day went off without too much of a hitch if you consider taking 3 kids to the polls a good time. Thankfully all we had to do was walk across the street.

Alexa got her first report card which was good overall. We got to attend our first parent teacher conference. The only issue to report is the fact that Alexa tends to talk a bit too much. Not really much of a shocker there. She's got her first loose tooth which seems to be taking forever to fall out (much like they took forever to come in). She also got her ears pierced and has grown I don't know how many inches. She's getting to be a very tall, young lady!

Elizabeth decided to attempt potty training. We spent about 2 weeks in big girl underwear when I finally realized I was the one trained, not her. If she didn't have a constant reminder she'd just pee wherever she felt like it. She is quite the little artist whether it be on whatever paper she can get her hands on or herself. Talking up quite a storm and easier to understand most of the time.

Jacob is coming along in his speech. We've come to discover an extreme dislike for bathing which is fun. Nothing like showering in an enclosed area with a screaming 2 year old. His favorite activity is still sitting at the kids table putting matchbox cars into bigger cars (or parking them in the dollhouse).

Alexa and I also joined a Girl Scout troop. In order for her to join as a Daisy they needed another co-leader. I filled out my paperwork, got my references in order and have started my leader training. So far so good! I think Alexa really enjoys being able to interact with all the older girls and her stories seem to keep them quite entertained.

Jacob's milestones

  • weight/length @ 7: 55.6lbs, 48.75"
  • weight/length @ 5: 42lbs, 43.5"
  • weight/length @ 4: 36 lbs, 39+"
  • weight/length@ 3: 32lbs, 36.5 inches
  • weight/length @ 2 years: 26lbs, 33.5 inches
  • weight/length @ 1 year: 18lbs, 29 inches
  • walking: 11/17/08
  • standing: 3/31/08
  • crawling: army, 2/5/08
  • first time rolling: 9/30/07, belly to back
  • first smile: 9/7/07
  • birth date/time: 7/8/07, 12:49am
  • birth length: 19.5 inches
  • birth weight: 6lbs, 1oz

Elizabeth's milestones

  • weight/length @7: 53lbs, 47.75"
  • weight/length @ 5: 40 lbs, 42.25"
  • weight/length @ 4: 34lbs, 38"
  • weight/length 3 years: 28lbs, 35.5 inches
  • weight/length 2 years: 24lbs, 6oz 33 inches
  • weight/length 1 year: 18lbs, 1oz 27.5 inches
  • walking: 9/1/08
  • standing: 4/4/08
  • crawling: army 3/16/08
  • sitting alone: 2/29/08
  • first time rolling: 11/23/07, back to belly
  • first smile: 9/7/07
  • birth date/time: 7/8/07, 12:50am
  • birth length: 18.75 inches
  • birth weight: 5lbs, 8oz

Alexa's milestones

  • weight/height @ 10 (really 10.8): 186, 5'3"
  • weight/height @ 8.4 years: 113 lbs, 55.5 inches
  • weight/height @ 5 years: 61lbs, 4oz 45.25 inches
  • weight/length @ 4 years: 49lbs, 42 inches
  • weight/length @ 3 years: 38lbs, 38 inches
  • weight/length @ 2 years: 32lbs, 8oz 35.75 inches
  • weight/length @ 1 year: 22lbs, 3 oz 29.5 inches
  • 1st day of preschool: 9/3/08
  • solo somersault: 3/4/08
  • whistling: 3/2/08
  • potty training: 10/7/05
  • walking: 12/21/04
  • standing: 8/23/04
  • crawling: 8/21/04, only a week, then became a butt scoot
  • first wave: 7/27/04
  • rolling: 5/2/04, belly to back
  • sleeping thru the night: 3/1/04
  • first smile: 1/20/04
  • birth date/time: 12/4/03, 10:41pm
  • birth length: 20 inches
  • birth weight: 7lbs