Friday, January 27, 2012

Not much happening around here...

The title of this post says it all... there's not much happening around here.  We've battled some colds.  I healed from a hip injury.  And other than that we've been enjoying the regular pulse of life "post holidays".  Garrett and Paige's birthday party is next weekend, along with a visit from their Nani and Papa.


The fact that they're turning three has had me picking up my camera more often, with a desire to capture this precious time... and it really is precious.  They are so much fun right now.  I feel like we've gotten over the worst of the tantrumming twos (knock on wood) and I am getting such a kick watching them learn and grow and enjoy eachother's company.  They truly are a joy right now.  Garrett is funny and goofy and a sponge for information.  Paige is sweet and nurturing and artistic.  Garrett will sit and carefully put a puzzle together until he has it all figured out.  Paige will sit and carefully color a picture and can totally stay in the lines!  But most of all it's so cool to watch them become such great friends (even amidst the perpetual sibling fighting).


I took some Superman pictures of Garrett after seeing a similar thing done by another photographer.  I had a whole series of pictures in mind that I wanted to do, but my model was only willing to give me about five minutes of shooting time.  But I really love how they turned out.  This is so Garrett... fun and quirky.


I also love this picture I got of Paige because it's everything she is... quiet and thoughtful.  She has done an AMAZING job with potty training and decided right after Christmas that she was done with diapers.  Within a week she was completed trained... during the day AND night.  I'd love to take credit for it... but realistically is was pretty much all her doing. 


Molly is doing great.  She's enjoying school and learning so much.  Her second tooth is just about out, and a third is getting wiggling on the top.  I'm looking forward to seeing her toothless grin!  Here's a picture of her with her "mermaid hair" (after sleeping with wet braided hair).  She's becoming such a beautiful little girl.


So that's the latest around here.  Not much going on but I'm enjoying having more time available to take pictures of my own kids.  We're really looking forward to my parents' visit next week and the kids are counting down the days!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Molly loses her first tooth!

Yesterday was a momentous day, as Molly lost her first tooth.  It was ready to come out the night before and was barely hanging on by a thread.  But despite our suggestions (eat an apple, let us tie a string around it, let us just tug on it, etc.) she wasn't letting us near it.  Then at 5:00 this morning she woke up fearful that she was going to choke on it and announced that "my tooth woke me up".  Sigh... Thankfully all it took was a big bite into an apple and the offender popped out easily.


Her new adult teeth are coming in behind her baby teeth, and her mouth looks something like a shark right now.  But the dentist felt confident that they new teeth would move into position after the old ones made their exit, which we are very thankful for!


With the new teeth already in, it's hard to tell that she's even lost a tooth!


She was VERY excited about the tooth fairy coming to visit last night and even wrote her a little note that said, "Dear Tooth Fairy.  You are sweet.  Love Molly".  She left the note with the tooth and a paper flower that she had made.  I wonder if she was trying to bribe the tooth fairy for some extra coins!  Needless to say, the tooth fairy left a certificate of "Lost Tooth" and a nice letter congratulating her and encouraging her to take good care of her new teeth.  And, of course, she got some quarters and a coin token for the carousel at Arden Fair Mall!  She was a very happy girl!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Christmas Day!

We had a fabulous Christmas.  We spent Christmas Eve at church (I played keyboards for the service) and then we came home and prepared for Santa's arrival.  We put the cookies and milk out for the "big guy" and sprinkled reindeer food out on the front lawn (thanks to my Auntie Nan).  Molly made a card for Santa, and Paige drew a picture.  And Molly left a special "cookie pop" out for Santa to bring home to Mrs. Claus, which we thought was awfully thoughtful.


The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, and the gifts were ready for the morning onslaught.  Molly was VERY excited about Santa coming and we were anticipating a 5:00 a.m. wake-up call.


But I am happy to report that we were pleasantly surprised when Molly didn't awaken until 7:00 a.m.!  It was a Christmas miracle!  Here's a video clip of her coming out and finding out that Santa had made his appearance!

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Garrett and Paige woke up shortly after Molly and the present opening began.  Molly loved her science kit from Aunt Christie and her Rapunzel styling head from Nani and Papa.  She also got a LeapFrog Explorer system and several learning games to go with it that she loves!


Garrett totally loves his NeoTrax cars and tracks from Santa.  And Steve and I love seeing him in his new hat that has his two favorite things on it... the letter "G" and the color green. Most people would say it's a Greenbay Packers hat... but to us, it's a Garrett hat.


Paige loves her Go-Go Walking Puppy from Santa and her baby and accessories from Nani and Papa, and Grandma and Grandpa van Riessen.  She is the most loving and nurturing little girl, and it's so fun watching her pretend to be a "mommy" to all her new toys!


I also got a ton of fabulous baking supplies and can't wait to try them out for Garrett and Paige's birthday!


And Steve got a lot of videos to add to our collection and some clothing.  He was invaluable removing all those over-packaged toys from their boxes, putting them together, and installing batteries.


Opening gifts took a LONG time, because the kids wanted to play with every gift before opening the next one.  And once they were all opened, they had as much fun playing in the wrapping paper. I just LOVE this picture of Paige playing in the wrapping!


And here's a fun video clip of the chaos that ensued in the pile of discarded wrapping paper.  This totally cracks me up!

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After the gift opening, we enjoyed a yummy breakfast of bacon, eggs, hash browns and fruit salad, and then tried to do some clean-up.  Here's Paige helping out with her new vacuum from Auntie Trish and Uncle Dave.


After a light lunch and some long naps, we headed over the Aunt Nancy and Uncle Fred's house for a fabulous prime rib dinner.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera, but needless to say it was total chaos with 19 people there!  And as always... dinner was outstanding!  We're so thankful to have some family close by that we can enjoy the holidays with!  It was truly a wonderful and relaxing Christmas and we are so thankful that we were able to remember what the day is TRULY about... Jesus' birthday!

Christmas at Sanctuary

One of the fun parts of having kids, is seeing them be a part of the church Christmas performance.  Just seeing them on stage looking all cute and adorable is pure entertainment.  Unfortunately, this year (like last year) Paige decided she was NOT going to join the kids on stage.  Garrett and Molly however were cute as can be!


For some reason Molly insisted that she just HAD to wear her mittens for the performance because it was a Christmas show!  And here's a video clip of them singing...

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