Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas recap!

We have survived all of our Christmas events.
On Christmas Day, we opened presents at home before heading over to my parents' house to open a ton of presents for the boys. It was really exciting because J had a decent understanding of what was happening. He doesn't completely understand, but it's more than last year which is good.
J with some of his gifts

 A and I with my new running mittens
After hanging at my parents' for the day (and playing some Settlers of Catan), we headed down to my aunts' house for dinner and some more presents.
The insanely large haul at my parents
More cars!
A hanging out in our new wagon
Round two of Catan (I tied for first)
On Boxing Day, we headed to The Husband's parents' for a visit. Again, way too many gifts for the boys. J and The Husband went out and played in all the freshly fallen snow, we ate too much food and caught up on some sleep thanks to my in-laws keeping J busy in the mornings.

Sledding out in the snow

Couch smiles 'n' snuggles :)

Wearing the Christmas cracker crown!
Our last Christmas event was a big family Christmas party for one of The Husband's sides of the family. There were 8 kids all under the age of 5. Yet again, we came home with another full bag of toys. Our house officially looks as though it was taken over by a toy store.
Time to get all of the Christmas stuff put away and get ready for our Thomas the Tank Engine party on Saturday. I can't believe J is turning two already!
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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Spending some time with the family!

For some crazy reason I thought I'd had more time to post these past few days.
Crazy right!?
Right now, we are visiting family out of town.
I promise I'll have more posts once the weekend arrives!
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Monday, December 24, 2012

Our Christmas Eve Tradition

We decided to start another new tradition in our house on Christmas Eve.
From after J's nap onward, we're going to watch Christmas movies. I'm really excited to watch A Muppet Christmas Carol. It's my favourite movie and I can't stop myself from singing.
We're also going to be having our own Christmas dinner. A small turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, green beans, gravy, cranberry sauce and brownies for dessert.
I know that as the boys get older, The Husband and I will probably be up late putting together toys and wrapping presents, but this year we're all ready to go so it might just be a little backgammon, hot chocolate and more Christmas movies.
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve and a fantastic Christmas Day!
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Friday, December 21, 2012

My boys suck at sleeping

I need help.
My boys suck at sleeping.
J has rarely been a good sleeper. He didn't sleep through the night until he was 10 months old and even then it was few and far between. It got more consistent when he went to daycare because his naps weren't as long and they wore him out during the day.
What happens when he doesn't take a nap earlier in the day
(this is around 5:30 right around grocery shopping)
I figured there might be some regression once he was home during the day again, which there was and then I figured there would be another when A arrived. Again, it happened and he went back to normal. These past couple of weeks have been torture! We are fine with letting him crying it out and some days we've been dealing with it for over 45 minutes. I'm hoping it's just teeth or separation anxiety, but I'm hoping it doesn't last long either!
I'm also anticipating it will happen when we move him to a toddler bed.
A is a totally different beast!
His sleeping at night is fantastic. At least it is once you get him down. It takes forever to get him asleep and there's usually a lot of screaming involved (from both him and me). Naps during the day are hit or miss. Some days he'll nap really well and others he's up all day and I can't get anything done.
Shhh! The beast is asleep!
I've tried the "put him down when sleepy, but not asleep" trick and it doesn't work. He is fully awake again as soon as I put him down and starts to scream.
Tonight, I'm going to try doing his last feeding while he's swaddled and using the sleep sheep to see if that will help.
I'm trying to avoid using a pacifier at night so that I don't have a bigger habit to break later but in all honesty, I'm not totally against using it.
Do you have any ideas of how to help either child sleep? I'm at a loss!
The only saving grace, I'm on maternity leave for another 9 months so I've got some time to figure it out.
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Decorations

I decided I'd show your the Christmas decorations and ornaments in our house. Honestly, I love Christmas and wish my house would look like the department store in Elf.

Unfortunately, it doesn't, but I do love some of the decorations we have.

Most of our decorations are on our tree but there are some others scattered throughout the house.
A sign in the bathroom, a little reindeer candle over the stove, gingerbread tree, hand towels

Our stockings

Some of the ornaments from the tree.

The boys' first Christmas ornaments!

My favourite ornament!

Next year, I'm going all out. Most rooms will have something Christmas-y. We'll have a big tree as a opposed to our Charlie Brown tree and we'll have the lights back up on the house.

The only crappy part about having a ton of stuff - taking it all down. Luckily, that's still a couple weeks away!
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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Back to pre-pregnancy weight!

I haven't been able to update for awhile, but today I finally hit my pre-pregnancy weight with A.
Starting weight: 192 lbs
Today's weight: 180 lbs!
That's 12 pounds overall.
Honestly, exercise isn't even on my radar right now. I'm too busy trying to get everything ready for Christmas and dealing with the two boys. I'm hoping that I'll be able to get exercising once The Husband is off for Christmas Break.
I've lost all the weight just by eating better. Most days I try really hard to stay within my caloric budget of 1200 calories (plus a few extra for breastfeeding).
Here's what's on this week's menu:
Sunday - Pizza at my parents
Monday - Chicken curry with rice and potatoes
Tuesday - Fish sticks, fries and mixed veggies
Wednesday - Lasagna Roll-ups with garlic bread
Friday - Homemade Pizza
Saturday - Rainforest Cafe with the boys
I'm going to try to be extra good this week with the holidays coming up. We have two dinners and a nibbly get together coming up next week so I'm going to work hard.
I can't wait for the new year to really get my butt going.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

My heart is breaking

I honestly feel sick to my stomach.
I had a rough morning. A was up a couple times early this morning, J was up at 5:45. I was ticked because I had to clean up three bags of MegaBloks. J was running around, screaming, not listening, refusing to get dressed, just being a toddler. I lost my temper once or twice with him and almost banished him back to his bed.
The shooting in Connecticut has made me rethink my entire morning.
You have no idea how much I want to run upstairs, grab him out of his crib and hug him. Hug him, kiss him, snuggle him and play whatever games he wants (even if it is dumping out all of the MegaBloks).
I have no idea how those parents and family members are feeling right now, nor do I ever want to have that feeling.
This hits me in multiple ways.
First, as a mother. I couldn't imagine dropping off the boys at school and finding out this tragic news. I honestly don't know how I'd be able to function after finding out that news. My heart is breaking for those mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents and the rest of the families.
Second, as a teacher. I see it as my duty to keep my students safe when they are in my classroom. Their parents trust me to uphold the same duty of care that they provide to their children. I can't imagine what the staff at the school is going to go through. My heart is breaking for them.
I feel horrible for the shooter's mother. Not only did she lose her life and her son's life, she couldn't protect her students. Those precious little children who come to school every morning excited to learn. My heart is breaking for her and her family.
Lastly, as a human being. I cannot believe someone would do this. Yes, I understand people are sick but I never thought someone would be this sick. They were little children. They were innocent. They didn't deserve it.
I will be hugging these two a little tighter tonight.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Santa Experience

Last week, I entered a contest to win tickets to go to something called 'The Santa Experience'. I'd already taken the boys to see Santa, but after talking to some moms in my momstown group, I realized this would be perfect.
This program is perfect for the child that is somewhat skittish of Santa. J wasn't terrified of him like last year, just unsure of who he was (and can you blame him?). It starts out with Mrs. Claus (not really dressed up) letting the kids into Santa's area. There is a little hut which is Santa's workshop, a big Christmas tree and a chair for Santa to sit in.
The kids were told by one of the elves (again not dressed up like elves) to make as many pretend snowballs as they could. Then the kids had to yell 'Santa' as loud as they could and Santa came jumping out of his workshop and started having a 'snowball fight' with the kids. J didn't really get this. He was looking for the real snow. Santa was awesome though! He was rolling on the ground, diving behind the tree and flopping all over. Honestly, I was surprised he was able to do that.

After the snowball fight, he lit the Christmas tree by taking colours from the kids clothes and throwing them at the tree. As he threw each colour, that set of lights went on.
The kids and Santa sang Jingle Bells, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and did the Reindeer Pokey instead of the Hokey Pokey. J is not a fan of singing and sat with his head in my lap. Then Santa read all the kids a story.
Once the story was done, it was time for pictures. Santa went into his workshop to get his red coat on and came back out. I must admit, this is one of the most realistic looking Santas I've seen. His beard was and long-ish white hair was real so it gave him a real authentic look. You could actually see his face compared to those Santa's who are just eyes.
We waited about 10 minutes to get our picture taken with Santa. I had to bring my own camera which was fine because I didn't want to wait around for pictures. J sat with him this time, but since no one really understands what he's saying except me, I had to interpret. J told Santa that he was wearing shoes and that he liked trains. Santa told him to be a good boy all year and J said "K". And of course, Andrew sat there not having a clue of what was going on.
Here's our updated picture (without me in it)! He's looking at the elf ringing the bell who is standing off to the side instead of behind me (for some strange reason).
I'm definitely getting tickets for this next year since I'm going to have a 14 month old who will most likely freak out!

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Traditions

Welcome to all my new followers! I appreciate all of you becoming readers of my blog and I hope that you stick around!
I'm linking up my Christmas traditions over at Growing up Geeky for Toddle Along Tuesday.
We don't really have a lot of traditions started just yet. I have a lot in mind that I'd like to do when the boys get older, but since J is just starting to figure out Christmas we're starting a couple of traditions this year.
Lights at Niagara Falls
Disney's® Fantasia - Sorcerer's Apprentice
This year, we're starting the tradition of heading to Niagara Falls to see the falls and the wonderful lights display they do. We have a whole afternoon/evening planned and I'll share the details next week!
Christmas Movies on Christmas Eve
I love holiday movies and I watch them each about 3 or 4 times during December (I'm not allowed to start earlier than that). One of the traditions we're starting is watching Christmas movies all afternoon on Christmas Eve. I figure we'll have pizza for dinner, get into our pjs and settle in for the night.
For the future years
I created an Advent calendar for the boys to use when they get older. Each day will have a little activity to do (i.e. bake cookies, colour Christmas pictures, etc.) as well as a little chocolate or treat for each day.
I'm also planning on doing Elf on a Shelf next year. Again, they just don't get it this year so we'll save it for next year. I'm either going to make my own elf or wait for them to go on sale after Christmas.
The Elf on the Shelf
What are your holiday traditions? Have they changed over the years?
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