Tuesday, December 20, 2011

"You better watch out, You better not cry..."

Do any of you out there think in song lyrics?  Me too.  I almost was going to entitle this post, "Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat..."  And then, I realized I did that LAST year.  And then I started looking at all the pictures from this time last year and kind of died a little at how TINY Calvin was.  He's like a little bald Buddah.  Too cute.

But, I'll tell you what, he STILL is pretty cute.  I can say that, because I'm not biased at all. 

Let's talk about how we put up our Christmas decorations BEFORE Thanksgiving this year.  Yes, we did.  Sue me.  Here's the rational:  We were leaving to Utah on Nov. 22nd and wouldn't be returning until December 3rd, meaning only 22 days left to enjoy the Christmas decor.  That, of course, would be unacceptable.  Does anyone else out there think it's a tragedy that Christmas comes on December 25th and not on January 25th?  I mean, why can't we enjoy all these fun things for LONGER?  

I digress.  Sorry.

I just am pleased about our decision to make an early jump on the whole thing.  No regrets (it's the motto I like to live by).  Tillie was in HEAVEN and I think she's now found a new calling in life... ornament arranger.  She took her job very seriously and still does (she likes to re-arrange them on the tree if they aren't looking "quite right" as she likes to say).  In fact, during one of her re-arranging sessions, she knocked over the tree.  The stand broke.  No one was hurt, but the tree is in a weak state now.  Luckily, Aaron worked his magic and "fixed" it with some wire.  I'm hoping the incident means that I get to buy a new tree.  You know, the HUGE kind?  Here's hoping.  

Did Calvin love decorating the tree?  No.  He was more interested in his Toy Story 2 library book.  Typical boy.  

Oh, and Becca got to come play too.  It was good fun.

And here is the proof:

someone has to do the dishes from time to time.  Look at how much fun I was having!
No, that's not how the mantel ended up looking.  That was MID swap.  One day I'll take a new photo.
This kid was VERY uninterested.  That's okay.  Tillie made up for his lack of effort.
::: Having a Christmas tree out and all the Christmas books is really pretty fun.  Aaron was reading to the kids one night and I had to take a few shots of Miss Matilda's hair.  She's got GREAT hair, that girl.  I had just taken it out of a bun an hour earlier.  It stays curly for so long.  Such a gift!  These next shots are blurry, but you get the idea.

::: Speaking of HAIR, Cal has a good head of hair too.  Granted, these shots were taken in our bathroom with tungsten lighting, so it makes all the colors really WARM, but he does have a nice reddish blonde hair color.  We decided to cut it to make it shorter around his ears, but to leave the top long.  Luckily, Aaron is a pro with his clippers and did a great job.  I was demoted last time, remember?  I'll have to post the "AFTER" pictures soon, but I thought it was interesting to see how MELLOW Calvin was before he got his hair cut.  This kid is a fickle pickle.  You never know what side of him is going to come out with each event in the day.

::: Do you guys do that Elf on the Shelf thing?  My mom got us one last year and this year the kids are totally into it.  It's pretty fun.  Apparently some parents do all sorts of tricks with them and pretend like the Elf undecorated the tree and other naughty things---I think all that stuff is LAME.  We just put the Elf named "Crizbee" in new spots each morning... if I remember.

One night when Aaron ran to the grocery store, he came home with this MINI Bananas!  He thought it would be a fun to pretend that Crizbee brought them.  What a fun dad he is!  So, I took a picture.  MINI BANANAS!?  Everything is more fun in MINI size.  Good work, Aaron.

::: The kids and I went to a church play group outing and we had a lot of fun.  I'm finding out that I really quite enjoy a lot of the girls in our new ward.  This new area has a lot of older women with teenagers, but I've been happily surprised at how many younger kiddos there are to be found.  In Nursery this year there will only be 6 kids in nursery, but there are something like 50 young men and 50 young women.  Crazy, right?

Anyway, we had a fun time.  And, guess who showed up?!  Santa himself.  I was shocked to see how happy my kids were to see him... Cal especially.  He just walked right up to him and climbed on his lap!  Too funny.

Am I crazy or does Calvin look like he's 8 here too?!  Too funny.  It's nuts when we keep saying, "Oh my word, he's only 1 year old!!"  It's true.  He doesn't turn 2 for another few weeks.  hAAA!  That's the biggest ONE year old I've ever seen!!

::: Next up, Tillie's dance teacher said that the parents could come watch one of their lessons.  It was pretty fun to see what Tillie had been learning.  She was SO happy that we were there watching and kept looking over her shoulder to make sure we were still there.  There is nothing as sweet as little tiny girls all dressed up to dance.  

I love this one with their feet up.  Too fun. 
Do you love the family photo here with us in the mirror?
Cal kept busy with some bunny crackers.
Tillie's version of a PliĆ© (yes, I definitely had to look up that word)
Calvin moved on to his box of raisins pretty quickly.  The boy loves his raisins.

::: Church Christmas parties.  I don't have any photos of the Relief Society night we did, but a few weeks ago, the presidency asked me to put together several musical numbers for part of their program.  I said "Yes" and then started stressing out, because 1) I didn't know anyone in the ward 2) I didn't know who knew who was musically inclined and 3) I HATE asking people to do things.

Thankfully, they gave me a list of names of people who might be willing to help.  And, thankfully, those people were all very nice and helped me out.  In the end I pulled together 8 musical numbers and accompanied 6 of them on the piano.  Let's just say, THAT is the reason why I've been M.I.A. in blog-land.  I've been practicing like a motivated jr. high student.  Hours each day.

Glory! Glory!  It's all a thing of the past.  We came, we saw, we conquered... For the most part.  I botched up a few times, but all in all, it went pretty well.

Anyway, a girl in our ward saw that I played the piano and asked me to accompany her and her daughter for the big Ward Christmas Party a few days later.  It was a good time.  I played with no mistakes (whew!) and all was well.  Santa even turned up that night.

I'm including this photo that Aaron took only to point out the guy sleeping in his chair.  Top left.  Very funny.  I have no idea who he is, but I thought we chuckled when we were looking through the photos.

Yes, indeed, all signs point to the fact that Christmas is coming!!!  I can't believe that we only have a few days left!!!  Let the fun begin!!  I love exclamation points!!!  !!!    !!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Becca MOVES here!!! and other fun times

So, I don't think I ever told you about the greatest thing to happen to me since... I don't know!  Becca, my little sissy sister (just kidding, she's no sissy), just moved here to Dallas.  !!!!!   When she landed an AWESOME job at this AWESOMELY famous advertising firm, I about fell off my rocker.  Actually, wait, I think I DID fall off my rocking chair (la-z-boy, thank you very much).

I think I might have even cried too.

So very exciting.  After she found the job, she quickly flew up to Utah to collect all the belongings she could fit into the Toyota Matrix and headed south with mi madre.  Apparently they had a lovely little road trip.  I hate driving a billion hours upon end, so I didn't feel TOO bad that I wasn't accompanying them.

Luckily, Becca found a great apartment and a nice room-mate just minutes away from where she works.  So, she lives about 35-40 minutes away from us, which I wish she lived right next to me, but alas, we're making do!  Anyway, isn't that great news?!  I know.

Aaron had one of his days off shortly after they arrived, so he took the kids while I helped move Becca in.  We had a grand time.  Can't you tell?

Nana also got to play with Banana 1 and Banana 2 while she was here. 
 They LOVED having her around.  Duh!
Happy kids with their happy Nana.  Good times.  All around.

:::  Then Nana had to go home.  Sad day.

Okay, okay, Cal was sad she had to leave, but he was even more miserable because he woke up the next morning with a super stiff neck.  It was awful.  When I pulled him out of his crib he just was sobbing and holding onto his neck.  Of course, I started thinking of all the worst possible causes.  Meningitis?  I took him into the doctor, and she thinks he must have just slept in a weird position.  Crazy.  Luckily, the pain went away after several hours, but man alive, I was dying.

I mean, look at that face?!

Fortunately, we have an Entertainer on our hands.  This was Tillie's way to help her brother cheer up:
So, this is me, Loser MOM here.  I had forgotten that I had purchased this robot costume LAST year after Halloween on MAJOR Clearance.  I totally spaced (pun intended) this purchase as I planned Cal and Tillie's Toy Story costumes this year.  Hello?  Oh well, we're getting good use out of it now, obviously.
::: Tillie has a really cute little monster doll she got from her friend in San Antonio (thanks, Brooklyn!).  Matilda wanted us to draw some pictures of her doll, so we went into the computer and made a monster for each member of our family to print out and color.
me.  hello, couldn't you tell with my diaper bag and two sippy cups?
dad.  ha!  i love his spikey hair and teeth.
Too bad Calvin hates to smile.
I love the mustache she added.  It may or may not look like some old World War II dictator?
::: Speaking of coloring, Matilda has been a COLORING machine.  She loves it.  And, of course, I love that she loves it.  Here's a picture she colored for her dance teacher, Ms. Lisa.  It's a row of flowers!  Clever!

This girl is also OBSESSED with her lips.  She hates having dry lips and is constantly ripping off the dead skin.  Gross, I know.  But, it's a part of our life right now and I'm recording it.  I have now learned to have our chap stick at the ready!
What?  More dance pictures?  Sure.  I'll oblige.
This next one is probably one of my very most FAVORITE pictures of her.  I think I'm going to photoshop out the edge of the mantel and outlet.  I love it so much.

Cal was trying to impress us all by crawling like a baby (in his words, "Cal baby, Cal baby!")

::: We like checking out parks.  With two toddlers, it only makes sense.  We saw this cool playground and had to stop.  Look at all the fun trees in the background too!  After we got out of the car we realized it was FREEEEEEZING cold and windy.  So, we didn't stay too long. 
of course Aaron wears shorts in 30 degree weather.  that boy...

::: The next day we decided to go look for another adventure.  After checking out a floral sofa found on Craigslist (which we ended up purchasing... pictures below), we decided to check out a local lake that we had seen on the maps.  Not being able to find a legit way to the lake, we decided to park our car and head into the forest.  According to the GPS the lake was just beyond the trees.
hA!  boy, were we wrong.
After forging through the forest (no path) for about 20 minutes, we opted to turn around.  Here we are RIGHT before we turned around.
Well, the lake had dried up.   
Don't believe me?  Look at these pictures: 
I'm just glad we turned around when we did.  
We took these shots as we were heading over a nearby bridge.  Tillie was disappointed and said that she had wanted to go boating on the lake.  That made me think about trying to water ski, and then I started cringing, because can you imagine WATER SKIING here?  Think about how many pokey sticks you'd hit!  AGHH!  The horror of it all is too much!!!

Apparently, the drought this year did a number here too.

Not a particularly nice subject to talk about, you know, that of pokey sticks up your bum while water skiing---so, let's move on.  Quickly.

:::  We bought a new couch.  Well, actually, my parents bought us a new couch.  :)  The Snyder family is going to be having a MAJORLY fun reunion here at our house soon, and my dear mother was worried about seating.  Makes sense.  Currently, we have a 3 man sofa and one recliner.  Another sofa was a good idea.  And, we have the space for it, so we started looking.

I'm kind of in love with this floral beaut we found online.  She's been in a old lady's mansion for the last several years in a parlor that was never used.  Of course!  Who has parlors these days?

Oh, and I know.  The thought of buying a USED sofa kind of gags me out.  But, it was in such excellent condition, I couldn't help myself.  Oh, and the price was right.  I think I'm going to rent a steam cleaner, though.  Just in case...

In other related news, I found a white Ikea slipcover that fits surprisingly well.  BOO YAH!   I'll have to take legit photos soon, but here she is in all her floral glory.  (yes, the floral is nice, but it's not really in our color scheme with all the peachy colors. you know?  so, white is good for now.)

::: One last event to record before I end this mega post...  We now have a fireplace. That means we get to have FIRES!  Pretty fun.  This was a first for us.  We were ALL fans.
Confession: My name is Melissa and I am really liking blurry ghost-like pictures.  Sorry, you get what you pay for!

Well, that concludes our photos of the rest of our Pre-Thanksgiving November memories.  Thanks for joining us.  Y'all come back now, ya hear?

The end.


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