Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Night Before Christmas

I gotta say, I love the whole getting the day off before Christmas thing. We had an awesome family day that felt like the perfect way to celebrate the holidays. (On side note-- the family day included me going to Zumba with my mom at the joke.....the class was packed and there was a 70 year old in it!).

Last year we started a tradition where we go to the kids mass at St Mary's Cathedral where the children from the school act out the story of Jesus's birth and the homily is really geared towards kids. The baby Jesus was SO adorable and the kids were SO cute. Then we went out to dinner and had a SUPER yummy dinner.

Despite being incredibly full, we rushed home to make cookies for Santa. This year is a BIG year as Henry has agreed, for the first time, to actually let Santa in the house. In previous years, Santa had to leave the stuff on the deck and mom and dad had to bring it in as Henry thought it odd that a man he didn't know was coming into our house.

That said, he was worried that Santa wouldn't know that the cookies were inside, instead of the normal routine of being outside.

So....he left him a note.....taped to our front door. The kid is making sure he doesn't make Mr Santa angry....there are presents involved.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa Baby

We were going to skip going to see Santa this year. Every year one of our kids hysterically cries, everyone stares at us, and I wonder - why the heck do I force my children to do this? (Example:

That said, Henry and Francie have asked every night when we are going to see Santa. Last night, at dinner, Francie was talking about how much she loved him and wanted to sit on his lap.

Alrighty then...we will go.

On our walk there all Francie could talk about was how much she loved Santa. Henry brought his list in case Santa didn't get my email or the elves wanted to see his handwriting. We waited in line. Francie was starting to get nervous....wanted to be picked up.....our turn came....and she declared "I DON'T LIKE SANTA". Yup....back to square one. I decided that rather than put her in his lap and see her cry, I would just sit next to Santa and get it done. Henry LOVED him. They talked for a while and made a few small deals. When Santa asked Francie a question...he got the Francie scowl. Finally at the end, she was willing to give Santa a exchange for a coloring book.

Next year?

Saturday, December 18, 2010


We woke up to a wonderful surprise....SNOW. It was melting rapidly, so ran into the backyard to sled while we can. Francie and Henry liked pulling each other the most. They are really growing into buddies...I almost feel like I am a third wheel!

Zoo Lights

We went to Zoo Lights with Dan and Emily and Emily's family. I love annual outings as they really highlight how much your children have changed in a year. Francie was particularly funny this round -- she sprinted from light to light. Ellie, Dan and Emily's daughter, was in the infant seat last year and really didn't notice the lights much and this year is walking and taking and pointing at all the sights. So fun. Of course we were having too much fun to take pictures...oh well....

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Getting Out Before The Rain Starts Again

Poor Mark is still really sick, so we decided to go for a hike since it wasn't raining this morning. We went to one my favorite places in Portland -- the Hoyt Arboretum. It was awesome as usual. Henry brought a "discovery" bag to put his "nature collection" and Francie decided she wanted to be the dog walker. We followed the hike with lunch at Ken's -- pure bliss.

Side note - Henry keeps calling me "baby". When I ask him do something he says "Yeah, baby"; If he is going to bed he says "Night Baby". It is very Austin Powers-ish and it is starting to drive me wonky. Finally today on the hike I asked him who he learned it from school. His response: "No one mom, it is just a dude thing". Nelly.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Welcome Home Mark

Mark got home from Africa today. We got the airport ready to greet him....and waited. I forgot about the whole customs thing and how long that would take. The kids made signs. During the wait we got to see many tearful reunions, many of which were grandparents who obviously lived in Eurupe (he flew in from Amsterdam) and I swear I cried seven different times seeing the joy on their face when they saw their grandchild, some of them brand new babies. I missed getting a shot of the kids running to Mark...again because I was crying. It is great to have him home....although he is as sick as a dog. No fun being sick on a plane. Just having him in the house though is great!

Sporty Spice

OHSU employees got a free pass to the Nike Employee store this week and I jumped at the chance to get the regular stuff at discount. Francie is currently in a VERY opinionated phase about her clothing and shoes. She is boycotting dresses and only wants to wear her Bogg boots. At the Nike store we had a breakthrough - she agreed to try on tennis shoes! We exited the store with running shoes...and converse sneaks.. she also picked out this outfit. I bought it in a size four to allow her to wear it for a while (she is 2 1/2) is a little snug. Henry got his first pair of basketball shoes and told me that "these will definitely improve my shots". Got it.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Blazer Believer...Even When it is Tough

My dad babysat Francie tonight and let Henry and I go. Despite a messy game, Henry and I had a blast. It is amazing how much he has evolved ... he used to be scared of the noise...and well now you can see how he is about the loud music. It is sheer joy to go with him. The picture of him with his hands up....when we got 100 points and therefore got free chalupas....mind you - he has never eaten one - it is just the thought of winning something that cheers the kid up. Love it.

Inaugural Gingerbread House

We made our first Gingerbread House. Humbling. Martha Stewart I am not. Francie kept eating parts of the house. Oh was an experience. Now to see how many days it takes for Riley to figure it out it is edible and to eat it....