The Christmas tree before hand. Looking a little dead. We've decided the options with real trees are: one that dies like a week after you get it or one that gets sap all over everything.
(By the way, there are presents for like 10 people under that tree.)
Growing up we always had one big gift left unwrapped next to our stocking. We don't do stockings for the kids yet, but we do leave one gift unwrapped. Here's Kalena with hers.
She was so excited about her gift (the cart and food are from my parents) that she would smile and say cheese but not look at the camera.
Here's Will's unwrapped gift (the Little People Zoo from Brian and I.) I didn't get a shot of him with it, but it has been the most fought over gift of the bunch.
Brian's parents got each of the kids a triceratops pillow pet and good thing there are two! Because there would be some serious fighting otherwise. There actually has been a little fighting anyway because the pillows have names on them and Kalena wants to make sure she always has hers.
Will made several thrilled and excited faces throughout the morning. I managed to capture zero of them on camera.
Kalena was happy to smile for me though.
Will testing out his gift from my parents, a Vtech alphabet train. Again, I promise he was excited about it, despite the face here.
Here's my sister, proving to the world that you never have to stop wearing footed pajamas. (Also featuring Will and Amelia in their own footed pajamas.)
I mentioned on Twitter the other day that even though my mom's mother died in September, she had already finished all her Christmas gifts, so we each got one last gift from her this year. Her great-grandkids (my kids & nieces and nephews) each got a set of Little Golden books. (Which, incidentally, my mom and I helped her pick out when we were visiting in August.) And her grandkids and my parents got handmade blankets. It was bittersweet to open them. Here's ours.
(Not sure why I look half asleep. I blame Brian, because he took the picture.)
And, last but not least, I managed to get one good picture of Amelia and Kalena dressed up before church Christmas morning. I shouldn't really take credit though, they weren't coopering at ALL for me, then Jonathan walked over and asked them to smile and voila! Smiles all around. (Plus Amelia eating real food which is a rare sight.)
And if you made it all the way through this you deserve a cookie. Or whatever yummy treat you have left at your house.
Um, it does not seem possible that I am 27 weeks along, but my last pregnancy post says 26 weeks and I'm going to assume that's correct.
I have a horrible cough and it's making me miserable. So, uh, that's been fun. It's been like a week and a half now, so hopefully I'll be over it soon. And soon I'll post more Christmas pictures than you ever wanted to see in your life.
I woke up to snow this morning, which made me smile because it snowed on December 22, 2009, the day Will was born. I've always thought it was appropriate that there was snow, since it was December in Colorado, after all.
Yep, 2 years ago, after just 28 1/2 hours of labor (wasn't THAT fun?) we welcomed this little guy into our family:
And now he's this big guy:
We did most of his birthday gifts over the summer, but Brian's parents sent one for today. He's signing "please" so I'll help him open it.
We all know pregnancy is weird and does crazy things to your body, but some things are weirder than others. For instance, my most bizarre symptom this time around? Claustrophobia!
Okay, I don't know that it's actually claustrophobia, but it's something like that. I get anxious and feel like I can't breath if someone hugs me for too long. I can't stand to have both kids sitting on my lap. There are even certain clothes that I can't wear for too long because I feel trapped in them or something. It's all very weird. Definitely looking forward to this symptom going away.
The other day when I tucked Kalena in, she said something about going in to see Grandma and Grandpa when she woke up. I thought this was odd, since they're usually gone by the time her sun comes on at 6:45, so I tried to clarify. "You mean you'll see them when your sun comes on?" But she assured me that she would see them when she woke up. So then I asked my mom who confirmed that yes, Kalena DOES go into their room every morning when she wakes up. At 5:00 am. EVERY MORNING.
Apparently this is fine with them, and when they're leaving for work they send her back to her room where she waits for her sun to come on. Right now my sister is here with her two daughters and they're staying in Kalena's room, which means we had to move Kalena. So my parents (because they are SAINTS) have Kalena and her little toddler bed in their room. According to my mom, every morning at 5:08 (she says Kalena is very consistent) she wakes up and walks over to my dad's side of the bed and just gets right in his face until he wakes up. (I'm sure those of you with toddlers are all familiar with this- I know she's done it to me.) My dad finds this amusing, so then he tells her stories and lets her play on his iPad until he leaves. And then she stays in there until her sun comes on.
I can't even find it in me to be mad at her for not staying in her room (obviously this doesn't apply while she's actually staying in my parents' room), because she's not waking *me* up. My parents get up that early anyway so they don't mind. And then she will go back to her room until it's officially time to come out which I just find sort of weird. Plus, you know, it's their right as grandparents to let her bend the rules, right?
So we closed on our house last Friday. Selling our house has actually been one of the relatively easy parts of this whole deal.
Here's a little background, for those of you who don't know. The house we owned was right next to the college here. We lived less than a block from the dorms. The college has been expanding (and is planning to continue expanding) and we knew that eventually they would want to buy the house from us. So our original plan was to live in the house for a few years, then use it as a rental, then sell it to the college. But less than 6 months after we moved in the college was buying houses on our block and tearing them down for parking lots. (I wrote about this when our next door neighbors sold and their house was torn down.)
Anyway, that meant when we started with our whole- Brian finishing school/moving back in with my parents/selling our house- business we knew the college would be interested in buying. And they definitely were. And because we'd been in the house for less than a year (we started this whole process back in October) they were willing to use the appraisal that had been done when we'd bought the house. Which meant that even though housing prices have continued to fall here, they offered us what it appraised for when we bought it.
So. We had to deal with no showings, no real estate agent, no cleaning (HALLELUJAH!) no fixing anything up, no dropped price, and they offered us up to six months to pack up and move out. We didn't need six months, so we told them we'd be out by January 1, but still, that would be really nice if we needed it. All in all a MUCH better experience than selling our house in Texas. I highly recommend buying property somewhere where you'll have a guaranteed buyer when you're ready to sell.
I asked Kari if this shirt looked different on me than it did on her, jokingly referencing the fact that my bra size is considerably larger than hers, and she looked at me seriously and said, "Yeah, I don't think my belly got that big." I guess it's a package deal.
This is our 6th Christmas as a married couple, and so far we've amassed 2 good sized bins worth of Christmas decor. (Not including my nativities which all have their own boxes.) Anyway, it seems like quite a bit of Christmas stuff, but not so much that we can't put it all out.
My mom, however, has had quite a bit longer to acquire Christmas decorations. As a result she has lots. Like, lots and lots. So many, in fact, that for the past several years she themes the house when she decorates. Last year it was snowmen. This year it's Santa stuff. We could have picked angels. Or reindeer and sleighs. It really makes decorating more fun. It's like having a whole new set of decorations every year! Of course, it helps that my parents have the space to store it all.
Anyway, how do you do it- do you get out all your Christmas stuff every year? Or do you pick and choose? And how do you resist buying new things every year to add to your collection? (I don't resist. And that's why my collection continues to grow.)
I never, ever peeked at my Christmas presents as a child. And not just because I was a good kid. I mean, I was a good kid, but that's not the point. I just never wanted to know ahead of time. I think anticipating the presents is just as much fun as opening them.
I have heard some funny stories about kids who got into their presents ahead of time though. For instance, one of my brother's friends in high school told the story of how she and her brother got into their presents, which were already wrapped. They carefully unwrapped each gift and looked and then started wrapping them back up. But apparently at some point during the "wrapping them back up" part they ran out of tape. At which point they moved on (thinking they were still being so sneaky) to using elmer's glue. Neon colored elmer's glue. Yeah, pretty sure that didn't fool anyone.
25 weeks already. I should probably find somewhere else to take these pictures, the lighting by the front door is so weird. Or maybe I just need to keep doing them here for consistency.
Anyway, tonight was the annual Christmas dinner thing for one of the book clubs I'm in. And since my mom runs that book club and this dinner thing is for couples, it's like the one night of the year we actually hire a babysitter to watch the kids. My point was, going out without the kids is why I actually straightened my hair and put on some makeup. In case you were wondering.
I pretty much know what I'm getting every year for Christmas and you know what? That's okay with me. Brian asks for a list every year and I give him one. And really, I give him one that is at least fairly close to our budget, meaning I could end up with everything on it. He gives me a list too, and he's usually even more specific than I am. Like, he figures out what everything costs and then gives me a list that costs exactly what we have budgeted. And that's fine by me.
That said, neither of us are "receiving gifts" love language people. So I like gifts, and I'm not going to turn them down, but I don't feel less loved if Brian buys from a list instead of taking it upon himself to come up with the perfect gift on his own. (Gifts are low enough on each of our love language things that we don't do gifts for Valentines Day, our anniversary, or mother's/father's day.)
Anyway, how do you do it? Do you write a list? Do you prefer to buy from a list, or do you want to come up with something on your own? Are we super boring because we're list people? (I do love me some lists you know.)
All that blogging in November and apparently I've run out of topics. It seems like I should have lots to write about because I've been insanely busy, but then I sit down and my mind is blank. Want to hear about packing? I've been doing a lot of that lately!
As you know, we've moved back in with my parents, so pretty much everything that's coming over here is over here. And that means everything else needs to get packed up and go into storage.
A little side story here- when we moved back here from Texas we sort of guessed at what we would need, took that to my parents' house and put the rest in storage. But we didn't know everything that we'd need and we didn't know how long we were going to live with my parents, so periodically we had to get into the storage unit and find stuff. That? Was a BIG FAT PAIN. And a big part of why it was a giant pain is that Brian has issues with the way he packs and labels stuff. Brian is awesome at many, MANY things. Labeling the contents of boxes? Not one of them. For instance, when we did move into our house I finally found a DVD series that I'd been looking for. In a box marked "Nativities." So at some point, probably during one of the trips to the storage unit when I couldn't find what I was looking for, I told Brian that the next time we moved I would do ALL the packing. If only so I would know where stuff was when I unpacked.
Now here we are. Moving again. Which means packing. And I'm doing it. Don't get me wrong, I'd still prefer to pack it all myself and know where everything is, but MAN is it tiring to pack boxes when you're pregnant. Fortunately we have some time still before everything has to be out of the house. And one of the upsides of Brian being laid off is that he can stay home with the kids while I go pack. I do not have any idea how I'd get anything done if I had to pack while they were there. Anyway, packing is really taking away from my free time, but the sooner I get it done the better. So wish me luck, I'll be doing more of it this week.
And that means I'm gonna show you my belly again! 24 weeks now. I typed 23 the first time so time must be going faster than I feel like it is.
I feel like an old lady. I have trouble getting up out of chairs or off the couch and I have contractions every time I do. Plus I'm still tired all the time.
I freaked out a little bit the other day because I missed an unexpected call from my OB's office. So many "something's wrong with the baby" thoughts went through my head before I listened to the voicemail. Don't worry though, they were just letting me know that I'm not insured any more! I knew that, seeing as Brian got laid off. We don't have our Cobra stuff yet and as insanely expensive as Cobra is, we're gonna have to do it because I'm pregnant and therefore not eligible for anything else! In Colorado if you're rejected by an insurance carrier you can apply for Cover Colorado (they cover people who can't get coverage elsewhere.) But not if you're eligible for Cobra! Ah insurance. Always so helpful and accommodating and inexpensive.