Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Gardenland Express

Taking a cue from the great lodges and landscapes of America’s national parks, this year’s Gardenland Express features a rustic “wilderness escape” theme, with a replica of Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful Inn and the Old Faithful geyser as the centerpiece.

Gardenland Express is a temporary installation at The Missouri Botanical Gardens, created afresh each year. Horticulturists use dwarf conifers, shrubs, succulents, and moss to create rolling hills, valleys, and mountains. Exhibits are surrounded by hundreds of poinsettias. Daily watering keeps everything green throughout the six-week show.

Thanks Moots & Big Top for taking us! We had lots of fun!!!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Big Guy Arrives

The tree all ready for Christmas Morning

Cookies, Milk & 8 Carrots Left For Santa Claus

Merry Christmas From The Four Of Us!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sled Ride

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books

First Snowfall

We woke this morning to a beautiful snow falling. We're expecting 4-8" and hopefully it won't hinder our traveling out to Hank and Tricia's tonight for their annual Jingle Belz party and a visit from Santa himself. Jack was a little anxious to go out an play in it!

The boys has a blast riding in the sled that Tim ran out and bought last night at 9pm at Target in anticipation of the snow. I have video too and will post it soon but just had to get these two up today. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The School Christmas Pageant

One of my favorite things about being a Mom during the holidays, other than just the sheer excitement and anticipation of Santa's big visit, is the annual school Christmas Pageant. They start prepping the kids as soon as Thanksgiving is over and start teaching them their Christmas songs that they will sing.

For weeks, Jack has been singing Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and Santa Claus is coming to Town like he's known them all his life. He even has hand gestures to Santa Claus is Coming To Town (it's a hoot). He's been so excited about it!

Well Wednesday night was the big night. I was stuck at home recovering from my hellish week of two surgeries, so Tim bundled up the boys and braved the Christmas Pageant on his own. So that I wouldn't miss anything, he went with digital camera in hand. This is one of the videos that he returned with. I was so excited! (Mason is sitting on his teacher's knee and is kind of hidden so it's hard to see him but I LOVE the reindeer hats! He kept his on the whole time!)

The boys were on opposite ends of the room and they sang at different times so he struggled to get both of them and Jack got stage fright and didn't sing until the very last line of Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer (which was the last song). I was sad that I couldn't go but seeing the videos made me feel like I was almost there.

Thanks Honey! I appreciate you going for me!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A House Fit For A King....Or A Gingerbread Man!

One of my goals as a Mother is to create traditions in our home around the holidays that I can share with my boys and that they will remember when they are older. This year, I decided to do just that and make a gingerbread house with them that we can look at and enjoy throughout the holidays. It took Tim, Mason, Jack and I to all put the house together but then Jack and I decorated it while Mason was sleeping one afternoon.

These are some shots of our "decorating session". Yes, Mommy had a hand in the final product but Jack was the "design/build man" and told me where the icing needed to go and then he put the candies on. We were both very pleased with our final product and Mason's reaction was a great big "Woah!"

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Breakfast With Santa

Saturday morning we headed to The Gatesworth (aka Mimi's house) to have breakfast with Santa. We had a great meal of scrambled eggs, french toast sticks, grapes, donut holes, sausage, bacon, yummy potatoes and much much more. After we filled our tummies, we sang some Christmas songs and welcomed Santa!!!

Tim and I weren't quite sure how Jack and Mason would handle the man in the red suit so we were prepared for just about anything. We'll as we possibly expected, Mason was scared to death and screamed as soon as Santa got close. Jack was very reserved and watched Santa's every move to see what he was all about before making a decision if he was a good guy or not.

Presents were handed out and the boys both happily accepted theirs from Santa as he worked his way around the room. Jack even slapped him a "High Five"! A Mr. Potato head for Mason and new "Cars" characters for Jack - both a HUGE hit!

Before we left, Jack wanted to take a minute to have a heart to heart with Santa and make sure he knew what else was on his list. They had a nice conversation and ended it with a hug and a promise of cookies and milk to be left on Christmas Eve for Santa.

A magical day for all of us! Thanks, Mimi!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"When I Grow Up I Want To Be A......"

In Jack's class at school they have been talking about occupations. One night we got a note from his teacher saying that they had been talking about what their Mom's and Dad's did at work and that Jack didn't know what Tim and I did. It really made me stop and think about it.....what DOES he think that Mommy and Daddy do when we say we go to work every day?
So Tim and I talked about it and tried to decide what was the most rudeamentary way of explaining to a three year old what we do for a living? So we came up with this.......Daddy builds things with his hammer and saw and Mommy helps people find jobs. It seemed to make sense to him and stuck. If you ask him now he seems to understand what "going to work" means and what we do all day long while he and Mason are at school.

During the same unit, they also started discussing what THEY want to be when they grow up. Tim and I dream about the boys becomming professionals in some sport and making TONS of money or just becoming so successful in whatever they do so that they can take care of us when we are old and gray (yeah, I know.....don't hold my breath, right?). Well, if you ask Jack what he wants to be when he grows up he will tell you.....

...... a cook!

Not just any cook though. He wants to be a cook that makes COOKIES! Tim and I are perfectly fine with that as long as they are GOOD COOKIES! So we have a future pastry chef on our hands (at least for now).

Monday, November 26, 2007

And So Begins The Holiday Season...

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our families and didn't stuff ourselves too full of delicious food. The boys helped Tim hang our Christmas lights and decorate the house on Friday (it looks so pretty!) and Jack keeps asking "Is It Christmas Yet?" - oh it's going to be so fun this year since he GETS IT now.

December is not even here yet and our calendar is filling up quickly!! We'll have lots of photo opps with Breakfast with Santa, a School Christmas Program, the Jingle Belz party and other "Holiday" events so check back often as I'll try to post them frequently.

Tim and I are now trying to convince the boys that Santa is WATCHING and they need to be good from here on out if they want presents (hopefully they'll buy into our scheme but I'm not holding my breath).

That's all for now!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Effects Of Blue Cake Icing

Yesterday was Tim's birthday (Happy Birthday Honey! I LOVE YOU!). I had asked for them (at Jack's request) to put tools on Tim's cake but they couldn't do it (stupid cake decorators are inept) so they piped the cake in navy blue icing and put 4 huge primary colored balloons on it. Well do you know what happens when you eat navy blue icing?


The boys thought it was so funny that they too got into the action - of course theirs weren't as good as Tim's but they still had fun with it and I got a giggle out of watching the three of them stick their tounges out at each other.

Friday, November 9, 2007

They Say "The Outfit Makes The Man"

.......or in this case, the boy!

As the weather starts to cool off here in St. Louis we are starting to pull out the heavy coats, hats, and mittens. Wednesday was an unseasonably cool day here but was still beautiful. After a full day at school, we got home and decided that we all wanted to go for a walk while it was still a little light. We bundled up, put hats and mittens on the boys, loaded them in the double stroller and took off on a nice walk. When we got home, we peeled off our layers and enjoyed a nice warm dinner. Afterwards, Jack and Mason decided that they wanted to watch a movie so we popped one in as Tim and I cleaned up the kitchen from the whirlwind that is dinner preparation.

It was of course nice and warm in the house but Jack decided that not only did he need his slippers on, but his hat and mittens and I obliged in order to avoid any sort of "erruption of Mt. Jack Henry" - gotta pick your battles right?

So here he is in all his glory..............the outfit is just PERFECT for movie watching isn't it???

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Growing Like Weeds

Just to brag on the boys a bit we had their 3 year and 18 month checkups today. Here are their stats:

Jack is 36 3/4" tall (35th %ile) and is 31 lbs (45th %ile)
Mason is 32 1/2" tall (80th %ile) and 24lbs 12.5 oz (35th %ile)

Mason grew 2 inches in 3 months and put on 2 lbs!!! Tim and I hope he doesn't keep up at that rate or we'll be in trouble. We didn't have an 18 month appt for Jack so we can't compare them at the same age but so far they've been pretty close as far as size although Mason LOOKS like he is so much bigger than Jack was at the same age.

Their asthma is now considered mild (yea!!!) b/c neither of them have had to have nebulizer treatments in awhile (Jack since March and Mason since June). We're hoping for a relatively healthy winter and nothing major when it comes to asthma. Their lungs sounded GREAT and their ears were all clear! They have both gotten their flu shots b/c they ARE condsidered high risk b/c of their asthma so hopefully that will do us some good even though we had them last year too and look where that got us - sick all winter long! ARGH!

But ....we have two healthy boys! We couldn't ask for more.

Oh...........and 1 Hep A shot each - which Jack informed Tim and I that "he did not want his" after he had gotten it and screamed bloody murder. Mason takes them like a MAN - he wimpers and then that's it.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Our Jack-o-Lanterns this year

Monday, October 29, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Visit From The Binky Fairy

Today was THE day! Tim and I have been prepping Jack for months now that "when he turns 3, he doesn't need a binky any more". We'd ask him "What happens when you turn three?" and he'd reply "I don't need a binky!".

So to not totally ruin his birthday for any of us we decided that the day AFTER his birthday would be THE day. THE day when we mailed the binkies to the binky fairy so she could give them to a new baby who needed them now.

We addressed an envelope and I put the first binky in and gave Jack binky and quack quack to hold for a minute. I felt like I was getting ready to put a good friend of his to sleep or something - it was quite sad. He eventually took of the clip and removed binky from the strap and placed him in the envelope, then he said he wanted to send the strap too so the baby could have it as well. We sealed up the envelope and walked it down to the mailbox to mail to the binky fairy.

We left the house and went for a ride on the WF&P Railroad (see our post titled "All Aboard!").

In order to make it appear as though the binky fairy had actually came, I made a quick phone call to the neighbor's daughter and asked her to run to the mail box and take the envelope out before we got home. Thank you McKenzie for doing that for me!

When we got home, Jack asked to see if the binky fairy had come so we ran down to the mail box and sure enough.....she had come and taken the envelope out and taken his binkies to a new baby. So far so good!

Now we see how tonight goes........his first "bedtime" without his beloved binky! Argh! Could go well, or it could be a sleepless one for Tim and I - only time will tell. But we're proud of Jack - like many other things he's done in his short lifetime, he did it ON HIS OWN! Of course with a little help from Mommy and Daddy - but he did it! He gave binky up to another baby who needs him now.

Please Note - I did recover the envelope from the neighbors and will keep it for Jack for when he's older and can appreciate this story. I couldn't bear throwing them away!

SUNDAY NIGHT/MONDAY MORNING UPDATE!: Well......yesterday's nap time came and went without incident – no tears, no major meltdowns. Jack wanted to sleep in our bed, so Tim put him down there. After a few "Mom, I fell out of bed" occurrences he finally fell asleep and napped for 2 hours. Woke up very well too!

Then came bedtime….Tim and I were NOT looking forward to it at all as we were expecting an eruption similar to that of Mt. St. Helens with smoke and ash and all. We did bath time, story time and then into his crib (just like we always do). We anticiptated tears and screaming but NOTHING! Jack asked Tim where binky was and Tim said "Remember, you put him into an envelope and mailed him to the binky fairy for a new baby to have?" and Jack responded "Oh yeah". Later he told Tim that he missed his binky and Tim acknowledged that he did but said it was okay to miss it but he was a big boy now and didn’t need a binky anymore. Then it was lights out and after about 45 minutes of restlessness, he fell asleep and slept ALL NIGHT LONG! TIM AND I COULDN"T BELEIEVE IT!!! We are so proud of Jack! For a little boy who was "addicted" to his binky, he has gone cold turkey and done amazingly well! We expected the worst and so far have gotten just the opposite.

So for all you parents who have THAT DAY looming in your future when the infamous binky, nini, paci or whatever you call it has to go bye bye - there IS HOPE! My advice is to build up to it. Make it a GOOD THING and that your child is doing something to benefit another and hopefully you will have the same results that we have had.

Yes, tonight could be a different story but hopefully not. Hopefully our big 3-year-old boy will continue to amaze us and show us that he can do this!

"All Aboard!!!"

Located in Glencoe, MO (Tim's and my old stomping grounds until we moved into Ballwin) is the WF&P Railroad. A 12 inch gauge railway, the trains (both steam and gasoline powered) run along the banks of the Meramec River taking children (and their parents) for a 30 minute ride. The railroad is run completely by volunteers and are dressed the part in their dungarees and railway hats. There's even a conductor who shouts "All Aboard"! as the trains ready to leave the station.

Since Tim and I spent many Falls hearing the whistles of the trains from our old home, we decided that it was time to take the boys for a ride. It was once again a beautiful Fall day (the last one for awhile according to the weather forcast) and we enjoyed ourselves to the fullest! I don't know who enjoyed it more, the boys or Tim and I.

"All Aboard!!!!"