Thursday, December 18, 2014


Tonight the kids were running wild.  And I let them.   (Lucas is away on a work trip.  Although he would have let them as well.)  Xander put on his Captain America costume and they thought it was the best thing ever.  Piper decided to strip down (a new stunt she's been doing) and they ran around and chased each other.  Then Paxton took his shirt off and joined in.  They did this for a good 20 minutes and it was awesome.  Piper and Paxton were giggling and Xander was alternating between laughing and yelling things like, "You little criminals will pay!" or "Come back here, minions!"  It was really fun.

Day 198

When it was time to get ready for bed, Paxton really really wanted to wear his sister's pajamas.  So I let him.  And I took a picture.  And now I'm posting it online.  (Don't kill me, future Pax.) 

But I'm going out of order.  Tuesday was a normal day.  The twins snacked on the couch, fed their lunch to an ogre, and played with Xander's Iron Man mask.  Then I had to wake the twins to get Xander from school, and Raja decided to ride along to pick him up.  So I guess by "normal day" what I mean is "normal for us."

Day 196

Wednesday we hung out at home in the morning and Piper put on Xander's hat and just wore it like it was no big deal.

Later we took some selfies and sent them to Lucas (in Texas).

We got a package in the mail and the twins played in the box and got the packing peanuts EVERYwhere.  But it kept them entertained for about 20 minutes.  Worth it.

Day 197

In the evening we went to my parents' house and when I was changing the twins I tried to get Piper to wear a headband.  Her hair is long enough to hang in her eyes now, but she won't keep any clips or anything in.  And I don't want to cut it, or it will be bangs, you know?  Suggestions welcome.  This headband lasted about 4 seconds.

To end the day, me and Xander watched the Survivor season finale.  This was the first season he's watched the show and he really got into it.  He would build his own challenges and want me to do the play-by-plays like Jeff Probst.  He wants to go on the show when he's older.  What will be the hardest part?  "Only eating rice." 

So I let him stay up super late (after 10:00) to watch and see who won.  This kid never sits still - even while watching TV he's walking around or wiggling on the floor or something.  But by the end, well, you could tell he was up past his bedtime.

And speaking of bedtime, I've got to get this boy ready for bed.  Have a good last week before Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fun at the Grocery Store

We'll start with yesterday - Sunday - which means I didn't take many pictures.  Yesterday I took 4.  Two of the kids eating lunch - the twins wanted to sit in "big" seats (with no booster).  Then I took 2 of Xander's block tower.  Thrilling stuff we do on Sundays, y'all.  (I mean, the Panthers game was actually pretty great and then I had a good time at youth; I just didn't take pictures of that stuff.)

Day 194 - Big kids eating lunch.  (Xander's not sure about this seating arrangement.)

So today.  Today started off good.  Xander got to school on time and we even remembered his teachers' Christmas gifts.  Me and the twins hung out and made messes and played on Xander's top bunk.  They like to throw the comforter over them and pretend it's a tent.

Day 195 - Playing in the "tent"

Then we ate lunch and I put them down for nap.  It was all downhill from there.  They didn't nap.  Who is surprised?  I'll tell you who - my husband.  You know why?  Because they always nap for him.  Always.  When he's here on the weekends they take like 3-hour naps.  I'm not kidding.  I have NO idea why.  It's really frustrating.

But today.  They didn't nap.  And I needed some things from the store for dinner, so I got them out of their (destroyed) room, changed, and we picked Xander up from school then headed to the store.  They were pouting through all of this.

By the time we got to the store, Piper was straight-up screaming.  She did NOT want to go to the store.  And she was letting everyone know it.

They got to sit in the cool cart that looks like a car.  Oh, she didn't care.  She was thrashing and screaming and pitching a FIT.  Huge huge fit.  Paxton was pretty quiet, stuck next to her, and Xander was running around (literally), picking stuff up and asking if we could get it, growing madder each time I said "No."  (Which was every time.)

So I'm pushing around the cart and Piper is just so loud and wiggling and just - I can't even describe how loud and ridiculous it was.  And everyone was hearing her, of course.

Now I have read blogs about moms in grocery stores with an unruly child and there's always some sweet person who gives sympathetic looks or an old lady who says, "You'll miss these times" wistfully or at least a worker who helps her with the bags because she's clearly overwhelmed.

That didn't happen.

Everyone just stared at me.  Not Piper.  Me.  As if I were secretly pinching her from behind the cart.  I smiled and kept moving for the most part.  At one point, though, I was looking (fruitlessly) for something I needed and I had to stop the cart.  Piper took it to a new level and was wiggling and kicking and screaming her head off while Xander ran away from us and I was yelling at him to come back.  Paxton started standing in the cart and trying to get out.  I was pushing Paxton's foot back in, with one eye on Xander, when an older lady came up to me.  I put on a "what can you do?" face and smiled at her.  She did not smile back.  Instead, she pointed at Piper and curtly said, "She needs her nose wiped," then walked off.

I didn't know whether to punch her in the face or give her an overly enthusiastic and very snarky "Thank you!  That's probably what's been wrong this whole time!"  I settled on a blank stare as she walked away and I tried to figure out what would possess someone to say that in that moment.

But we pressed on.  I ended up letting Xander get some ice cream and we checked out and made it to the car.  Piper was still screaming, of course, but now Paxton started in too.

He wanted some of the ice cream

We came home and unloaded everything and I gave them a little snack.  When it was gone, Piper wanted more.  I said no because we would have dinner fairly soon.  She cried some more.  And more.  And more.

It got so bad that Xander had to get out.  He went outside to play.

And, okay.  I had to get away too.  I may have hid in the bathroom for a good 15 minutes.


Hey, it worked.  She forgot about crying to me and started playing in Xander's room and had a grand ol' time.  I was able to make dinner - which was delicious - and we had a great evening after that.

I'm sure there's some spiritual truth that I could pull out of this, and for real, I did think back to a lesson we talked about in youth last night to be thankful in all circumstances - even hard stuff.  And I am thankful for these children - with all of their tantrums, even.

But I still wanted to punch that lady in the face.

How's that for random blogging?  Hope you guys had a fun Monday too.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Counting Down

It is 12 days until Christmas and we are officially counting down.  Oh, who am I kidding?  We've been counting down since October.  (Yes, really.)  We love Christmas.

Yesterday the Photo of the Day came early.  It was the first picture I took.

Day 192 - Paxton loves this dog so much.  He wakes up and says, "Where Raja?"

My grandparents stopped by to see Xander in the evening because they haven't seen him in about a month.  Then after dinner we went to see the annual luminary display at a local cemetery.  I love this tradition.  It is so much more beautiful and peaceful and impressive in person.  But I still took a picture.

On the way home, we stopped at "the square" in downtown to see more lights.  They have a Santa sleigh there, so of course I had to get a picture.

Yes, they're in pajamas.  We weren't planning on getting out of the car.

They also have a really fun lights/music display set up, and as we were on the sleigh, we heard a Pentatonix version of a Christmas song.  So even though it's one of my least favorite Christmas songs in general, we love Pentatonix, so we got closer and danced around a bit.  (There were other kids there too and that's who you hear in the video.)


Today we started out pretty slow, just hanging around the house.  We watched Home Alone and listened to Christmas music while we played.  Paxton built some spice towers, which he is really good at.

I said, "Paxton!" to get him to look at the camera and he said, "What?!" and put his hand up like this.

When the twins napped, I ran to Walmart (alone!) and it was already chaos.  I texted Lucas and told him it seemed like Christmas Eve with all the people.  And although the two Walmart employees I spoke to were VERY nice, all of the customers seemed to be in a bad mood.  Like you know when someone is blocking the aisle but they don't realize it because they're looking at the shelf so you just wait half a beat and then they make eye contact with you and realize you can't get through and they move and apologize and smile?  That didn't happen.  At all.  People would just look at me, then look back at the shelf like, "Yeah, I'm taking up the aisle.  Deal with it."  It wasn't pleasant.

So to reward myself, and because it was crazy warm today (63 degrees), when the twins woke up we all went outside to play.  Unfortunately my camera's settings were apparently jacked up, so all the pictures look terrible.  But I'm going to show you anyway. 

I probably haven't mentioned it, but Xander is all about football now.  He throws to himself, then runs to catch it.  Awesome.  And hilarious.

Piper started pushing the pedals by herself today!  I'm pretty sure Xander was doing this around 18 months, but the twins haven't learned because they just push each other around anyway.

Big ups

In the playhouse

Raja would "steal" his stick then he would chase her, tackle her, get it back, then "accidentally" drop it again

"Piper!  Don't push your brother."

"Who me??"

And my favorite of the day:

Day 193

Hope you're having a fun weekend.  And that you don't have to go to Walmart between now and Christmas.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmassy Things

When I started the Project 365 thing, one of the reasons was to stay on top of organizing my pictures.  My goal was to upload (download?) my pictures each night, go through them, pick one (or 10, plus the "best" one), and write a blog post about our day.  Maybe I'd skip a day every now and then and have to do 2 in one day.


Yeah, that clearly isn't happening.  But I really do still want it to happen, because I know it is not only easier for me, but more interesting for you when I don't have to cram a ton of them together.  So I'm going to try to plan to possibly maybe work on that a little more in the new year.

You don't ever want to put too much pressure on yourself, of course.

But for now, let's catch up.  Again.

Day 181 - We actually took these on Xander's iPod so he would find them and be surprised.  I don't think he has noticed yet.

Day 182 - Piper and Paxton got their new ornaments for this year (Anna and Batman) and put them on the tree all by themselves.  (Also - impressive bedhead by Piper.)

Day 183 - Chatting on the stairs while I put their shoes on

Day 184 - Hat day (and "Rudolph Red" day) at school

Day 185 - We walked to see the Lenoir Christmas Parade and the kids had a blast.  Paxton only got scared once ("Go Mommy's house!  Go Mommy's house!"), Piper only escaped a couple times, and we only had to yell at Xander to put down the sticks about 17 times.  Success.

Day 186 - We went to a local Alpine Village, where they have different "shops" set up (stocking shop, toy store, book store, etc.) and you get to walk around and get a little prize from each place.  The kids loved getting up close and personal with baby Jesus.

Day 187 - Sunday.  This was the only shot I took.  (It's so weird how I never take pictures on Sunday.)

Day 188 - Piper woke up sick, and seemed to get sicker throughout the day.  I have several very pitiful-looking pictures of her from the day, but I chose this one instead.  Bathtime was definitely the best she felt all day, so I let her stay in quite a while.

Day 189 - Lucas went into work late to make sure I got Xander to school before dealing with a sick toddler (and honestly - we were just waiting for Paxton to get sick next.  But he never did!).

Day 190 - Xander got to stay up late and drink hot chocolate.  He chose the Chewbacca mug.

Day 191 - To try to keep him on the potty long enough to "go," I decided we should FaceTime Daddy while he was at work.  Unfortunately, Paxton decided to loudly tell Daddy the body part that pee comes from.  His co-workers were amused. I hope.

There we go.  I'm heading to bed and hopefully it won't be another week before I post again!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Our Jesse Tree

We started a new Christmas tradition this year - a Jesse Tree.  Many of you may be wondering what this is.  I had never even heard of it until last year, when it started popping up on some blogs I read and I heard friends of friends talk about it.  I decided this year we would start.

Basically, it's an advent countdown to Christmas that focuses on the true meaning of the holiday.  We also have an Advent Calendar with the little doors you open and I still love that and we still do that, too.  (We fill the doors with little treats or a note that says something like, "Tonight we'll bake cookies" or "Let's ride around and look at lights after dinner.") 

The Jesse Tree is a little different, and I'm finding that people do it different ways - some look up a story each night (on blogs or just good ol' Google) to read and some have a specific book that they go through.  Some people print coloring pages for their kids to go along with the story each night and some just discuss the story.  I have decided to do it much like this blogger has - and she explains it much more nicely than I could so click there for the nitty gritty. 

The short of it is - I chose a book (Ann Voskamp's advent book for families) and we read a story each night, starting on December 1 and ending on Christmas Day.  And eventually, I will have an ornament to coincide with each story and we will either put it on our main tree or maybe - a big maybe - we can have a special "tree" to put them on.  I have this vision of a tree made of sticks and vines, but I don't know if we'll ever get that.

Sort of like this, but not driftwood.  (I found this image on Pinterest and can't find exactly where it came from - just etsy.)

But for now, I'm just focusing on the stories.  Lucas and I have felt strongly about cutting back on gifts at Christmas and focusing more on Christ for the past several years, and I think this new tradition will really help pull that together for our family.

Now - getting real - this year?  This year we have a 6-year-old and two toddlers.  It's not all lovely and calm with all of us sitting in the glowing tree lights, sipping hot chocolate and sweetly discussing the wonder of Jesus's love.  It's more like the twins running around, messing with ornaments and presents and riding the dog like a horse, while Xander tries to stay focused - sort of - and I'm paraphrasing like crazy just to get through the story.  Not to mention I only have 2 out of the 25 ornaments so far.

But we're starting.  It's the thing I'm most excited about this Christmas.  And Xander is paying a little more attention every night and tonight he really thought about the story and the questions at the end.  And he even remembered the point of last night's story!  It's a start.

Each year we'll add a couple more ornaments and maybe by the time my kids start their own family, I'll divide up the ornaments and get them each started on their own Jesse Trees.