Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Gabe and Grant!

I can't believe it has already been two years since I delivered the most precious gifts ever given to me.
Gabriel Wayne and Grant Owen

I want to keep you little and shelter you from this cruel world forever but at the same time I know this world is a much better place because you both are in it.

My sweet Gabe, you are the leader of the bunch. I guess that is fitting since you are the "big" brother (by a minute). You have no fears and when Grant is unsure about something you show him that everything will be alright.

My silly little Grant man, you can make anyone laugh with all of the faces you make. You also know how to comfort Gabe when he is upset. You know just the right toys to bring to make him laugh.

 Here is the slideshow documenting their second year of life. I don't think I could have found a better song than "Smile" to decribe how I feel about them. Even on the bad days, they find ways to make me smile.

Happy Birthday Baby Boys! I love you both and can't wait to see all the great things this new year brings for us!

You can see the slideshow of their first year here. I am proud of myself for keeping it down to one song this year ;)

Photos are courtesy of BLM Photography.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Christmas PJs on....check!

Family Picture in front of tree...check! Even if it is some crazy ones, it shows how our life is at this point.

Twas the Night Before Christmas read...check! Even if they didn't listen ;)

Cookies for Santa...check!

Children all nestled, all snug in their bed...check!

While visions of sugarplums dance in their heads...check!
Train table all ready for two boys to play with in the morning....check!

Mommy and Daddy super tired....check! Santa gets off easy :)

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

photo is by BLM Photography

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Favorite Things

Anyone else looking for some last minute gifts? Here are some of my favorite things that I thought might spark some ideas for you last minutes shoppers (myself included).
This makes my house smell like fall and Christmas. I have the room spray but for whatever reason they don't have that in this scent this year.

I got this for my birthday this year and it cuts down my mopping time tremendously.

My favorite holiday treat! No other peppermint bark compares to this. It's a good thing it is only avaiable during the holidays because I would be eating it ALL THE TIME.

One of my favorite fall clothing purchases this year has been this shirt. It is on sale for 10 dollars. I may or may not have this shirt in three colors ;)

I got one of these necklaces for mother's day. It is simple and beautiful.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Visiting Santa

The boys love to talk about Santa, read about Santa, and say "HO HO HO" but when it came to meet with Santa it didn't quite go as planned.

Santa Round 1 was at Nana's work.
The only way we could get a pic with them and Santa is if we sat down and had Santa sneak behind us.

 Santa Round 2 was at Scooter's work party.
 Notice: Grant is throwing himself back. He was not going to move one step closer.
He did decide he would take the candy cane from Santa.

For comparison , here is last years pictures at 11 months old.

Totally Organized Tuesday: Gift Wrap Ideas

Last time I shared with you how we organized our Gift Wrap Station. Today I will show you how I keep all those gifts straight.

We have so much family and so many different places to go that I have been known to forget gifts at home. So this year I color coded the wrapping paper by the different places we have to go and the stuff that stays at our house. I used red, green and brown kraft paper to wrap the presents and found different ways to make them look pretty other than buying pretty paper and putting on traditional bows.

I curled some old wrapping paper like you would ribbon to make this bow and then stamped on the letters.

Instead of using traditional tags like I did in the past I just put a initial. This wouldn't work if you had many people with that initial but for the side of the family that I am using red paper on there is only one person with name that starts with C.

This present was for a gift exchange so I didn't know who would get it to put an initial on it.

Anyone else have tips on how to make sure their presents make it to the right place?

If I could just find a way to remember whose present I just wrapped when I am in the middle of some late night wrapping, which is usually my sign that I need to go to bed ;)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Breakfast from Santa

Our elf Charlie came back on December 1st and brought the boys a special breakfast from Santa.

They had pancakes that looked like Rudolph.

They don't get sweets much unless they are with their granparents so this was a special treat.

The mommy must have been good too because Charlie brought me some hot chocolate ;)

Want to see what else we have planned for this holiday season?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Gabe and Grant's Toddler Proofed Christmas Tree

I have talked about how I have baby proofed my home and then had to go back and "Gabe and Grant proof" it because the child safety locks that most kids can't get open my two can with no issues. Well the tree was no different.

While out shopping last year I ran into a old coworker ,who has a daughter a year older than mine, (she had just turned 2 and mine were about to be one) I told her how I was so shocked yet pleased that the boys hadn't really messed with the tree at all. She told me "oh honey, it's not this year you have to worry about. It's next year you will have to worry about." Now fast forward a year , and I know exactly what she meant by that.

This is their tree, it has shatter-proof ornaments. I was still having problems keeping them from using the ornaments as toys so I wired the ornaments on to the tree. This might something a lot of people already do but if so nobody decided to share it with me, so I decided I would share it with you if you have some mischevious toddlers like I do.

First you need to hot glue the top metal piece(where you hang the hook from) onto the actual ball part. Just trust me and don't skip this step because I tried to hang the ornaments with just attatching wire and they would rip the ball out and leave the metal and wire still hanging on the tree.

I took a regular ornament hook and wrapped it around the top of the ornament several times.

I then straightened out the other piece that you would normally just hook on the tree.

Then you just wrap it around the limb of the tree several times until you have no wire left.

Gabe testing out the tree to make sure it was "Gabe and Grant proofed". I am happy to say it passed the test :)
And for fun here are some of my favorite ornaments on their little tree.

Anyone else have any other tips on how to keep a toddler out of the tree?

I will be sharing pictures of my big tree later this week and how I keep little hands out of it because it is glass ornaments.

The fabulous parties I am linking up to:
Lil Luna
Organize and Decorate Everything
Crystal and Co.
House of Hepworths
Delightful Order
Tatertots and Jello
Be Different Act Normal
I Heart Naptime
Tip Junkie
A Bowl Full of Lemons
Let Birds Fly
Somewhat Simple
Fingerprints on the Fridge
Tidy Mom
320 Sycamore

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25 Days of Christmas Acvtivities

I have 25 activities planned for the boys to countdown until Christmas. I put a slip of paper with one activity on it in each drawer of their train advent calendar.
The other side has the rest of the numbers.

Day 1: Our Elf on the Shelf Charlie will reappear with a breakfast from the North Pole for the boys.

Day 2: We are donating some new toys to a toy drive that a local news station has.

Day 3: Read Story of Christmas book.

Day 4: Talk about Mary using Nativity.

Day 5: Talk about the angel Gabriel using Nativity.

Day 6: Talk about Joseph using Nativity.

Day 7: Go visit Santa at Nana's work.

Day 8: Talk about the Stable using Nativity.

Day 9: Live Nativity with Mimi and Scooter.

Day 10: Felt Christmas Tree Activity.

Day 11: Go look at Christmas Lights.

Day 12: Talk about the North Star using the Nativity.

Day 13: Lighted Christmas Parade.

Day 14: Talk about the Wise Men using Nativity.

Day 15: Talk about all of the animals using Nativity.

Day 16:  Spend the night with Nana.

Day 17: Christmas Crafts.

Day 18:  Watch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Day 19: Make Gingerbread Playdough.

Day 20: Donate Clothes to Salvation Army.

Day 22: Make Fudge.

Day 23: Bake Cookies for Santa.

Day 24: Read The Night Before Christmas.

Day 25: Talk about the manger and baby Jesus.

 Here is a site I found that has toddler friendly ways to explain Christmas through a religious perspective.

Who knows if we will get to do everything but that's the plan.

How do you help your kids countdown for Christmas?

The fabulous parties I am linking up to:
Lil Luna
Organize and Decorate Everything
Crystal and Co.
House of Hepworths
Delightful Order
Tatertots and Jello
Be Different Act Normal
I Heart Naptime
Tip Junkie
A Bowl Full of Lemons
Let Birds Fly
Somewhat Simple
Fingerprints on the Fridge
Tidy Mom
320 Sycamore

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