Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Here Come the Holidays!

We were super-duper busy this year despite the decision not to host Christmas at our house for the first time since the kids have been born.  It certainly seemed, at first, that we had all the time in the world to get everything done and then poof!  There was no time left at all!

We managed to pack in lots of activities and silliness around here.

Santa sent an email to Mommy for Owen and Mason. He tells each kid that he knows they've been good and opens his big Santa book to the "Owen" and "Mason" pages. There are pictures of the kids and even a picture of the bicycle they previously told Santa about when they visited him. Mason intently watched his video while Owen, after seeing a picture of the exact bike he had been asking for, gave a priceless reaction. Here it is...

This was the first Christmas that the kids were able to form their own list and actually ask for things they wanted.  Aaron and I got such a kick out of their little lists and seeing how much they really wanted some of the things that were on them.  The anxious waiting was building in them which made it fun for us.  Needless to say, we were quite excited for Christmas morning to arrive so they could see all their gifts.  After Mason watched his Santa video I asked him what he wanted for Christmas. Here is his list...

In case you couldn't understand him, here's what he said...
Crashing thing (Criss Cross Crash)
A puppy, clarified as "my big little puppy" meaning a big one that matches the little one he already has
Criss Cross Crash thing
Circle thing that goes in a loop and in a circle (a racetrack that has a loop-de-loop)

And here is Owen's list. Lucky for Santa, they are quite similar!

In case you have no idea what Owen's talking about, here is what he said:
Pumper (bicycle pump)
Candy Cane
Driving upside down thing (same racetrack Mason referred to)

Here is a video of Mason dancing along with a singing puppy dog while Owen is playing in his own little world. So cute!

A huge hit in our house during the holidays are the little musical buttons that Hallmark sells (or used to sell). We've got one that sings Jingle Bell Rock, which is just as loved as this one...

Mason is digging into the box of ornaments because he's tired of waiting on Mommy to get started!

Decorating the tree together and creating memories and family traditions. (M, O)

Owen was the "topper" man...which meant he put the tree topper on.

Mason was the "plugger"...the man who plugs in the tree topper.  Everybody has a job!

We have a Christmas train that was a gift from Numna on the boys' first Christmas. Every year they look forward to getting it out and watching it drive around the track. This year they were especially interested in the carols the train was playing. The morning after we decorated the tree, the very first request of the day was to listen to the music. So this is where they sat for quite some time, humming, singing, and making up their own words to the parts they didn't know. Eventually Mason went on to do something else, but Owen sat here for an hour and a half nodding his head to the music and singing along. His only breaks were to go potty and to get his milk and waffle and carry it over to the train to eat breakfast. The video can get a little repetitive since all that is happening is a train driving in a circle (well, that and some really cute kids singing), but I went ahead and posted this video because I know certain members in my family would really love to see it.

We went to check out some Christmas lights and ride a little train.  The wait was pretty long but their faces in this pic let me know they made the best of it!

Here's the unofficial Santa picture that Daddy took.  The real one has everyone looking at the same camera but of course, that one's not digital.

Here are the rest of the pictures from our holiday fun!

Preparing for the Holidays

Thanksgiving in Lubbock

This year the kids had an extra fun Thanksgiving week (or two).  Great-Grandma Mary spent the week before Thanksgiving at our house to get in some extra cuddle time since she doesn't get to see the kids but once a year or so.  Then we passed her and the kids off to Mimi and Papi the weekend before Thanksgiving so the kids could have some grandparent time without mom and dad around.  I don't know who enjoyed those 5 days more...Mimi and Papi or the kids!  Aaron and I drove up to Lubbock on Thanksgiving "eve" to spend the rest of the holiday with everyone.  (On the pictures with no notation as to which kid is which, just look at the vest color.  Red - Owen, Blue - Mason.  It sure made captioning this bunch so much easier!)

Enjoying a story with Great Grandma Mary.

 (O, M)

The kids had tons of fun celebrating Great Grandma Mary's 70th birthday, bowling, putt-putt golfing, and inflatable playground jumping "all by ourselves without Mommy and Daddy!"  They weren't the least bit sad to say goodbye to us.  They think it is AWESOME that they get to go places without us.

Here is Mason's competitive face as he races Owen through the course.

And here is Owen's "this ball is pretty heavy" face. 

Once we joined the group, we did the Thanksgiving thing with family and some of Aaron's parent's dear friends.

"Happy Thanksgiving" was rephrased by two very silly boys to "Happy Thanksgiggle!"

 (M, O)

One of our favorite things to do is visit the corn maize.  The kids are really into doing mazes on paper so they thought this was awesome! 

This is what adults do while the kids are on the mini-train ride.

We also had lots of fun at a really great park!

But the highlight of the trip was taking a ride on the Polar Express!  The kids had a blast riding the train, eating cookies with hot chocolate, and waiting for Santa to come by so they could tell him what they want for Christmas.

 (O, M)

(M, O)

All around it was a fun time with Aaron's side of the family.  We just wish Lubbock and Houston weren't so darn far apart!

Here is the album with more wonderful pictures and a few adorable videos.  There are so many good pictures in this album that it was hard to choose the "highlights!"
Thanksgiving in Lubbock