Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Perfect Day

Sometimes the perfect day is one in which there is no plan, other than to have fun. Yesterday we had nothing going on and we all had some Christmas money burning a hole in our pockets so the 5 of us took off on a 2 hr trip to St Louis for the day. We started off at Toys R Us, or a Little Slice of Heaven as I like to call it. I think I have as much fun as the kids in there. Next we headed for St Louis Mills Mall, one of my favorite spots in St Louis. We ate lunch and then the kids hit their playground for a bit. I got some shopping time alone to hit some of my favorite stores (like Archivers, armed with all of my coupons!) while Todd took the boys to one of those huge bounce house things. We had a blast and since it was only mid afternoon and the weather was so warm and sunny......we headed for the zoo. I was getting teary on the drive there just picturing Aiden's little face when he saw the lions and tigers. I'm sure everyone knows of his lion obsession by now. We hadn't been to the zoo since he was really little so of course he didn't remember it. I think everyone had the same idea because the zoo was packed!! It was warm enough to walk without coats but I carried them in for when it got dark.

Here are my 4 boys headed towards the River's Edge at the zoo.

Can you tell which one is the gorilla?? :)
The tiger cubs were so stinkin' cute romping around together.

Aiden was so excited to see the lions.......
but he wasn't happy that he couldn't go in and pet them!
The boys were thrilled to see some Wild Ass. I don't know what they thought was funnier....seeing some Wild Ass or saying "Wild Ass".
Did ya ever think you'd get so close to a penguin??
We took this towards evening when the sun started going down and all the Christmas lights in the zoo came on. By the time we left, it was completely dark and the entire zoo was lit up for Christmas. It was gorgeous and I had no idea they did it up like that for the holiday. We'll have to make another trip there next year for the lights.
We finished off our night with a trip to Target, some supper and then the 2hour drive home. We arrived at our house around 9:30pm exhausted but happy. A great day indeed. The boys were all so well behaved (yes, even Aiden!!) and it made for a fun relaxing day.
Can your cat do this???

Aiden was taking a bubble bath this morning and Grayson was sitting on the edge watching him. He had done that the other day with Noah so it wasn't a surprise. What DID surprise us was when Grayson decided to just climb on in the tub with Aiden! Apparently I've deprived my cat of taking a bubble bath this past year so he decided to help himself, and while AIDEN was in there nonetheless! He let Aiden pet him and play with him while he wandered around in the tub. I swear sometimes I think I live in the Twilight Zone here. When he was done, he just hopped on out. I wonder if this will become a habit!

We had a wonderful Christmas here and I was a spoiled girl for my birthday. I have posts related to both of those coming up, I was still just so excited from yesterday that I had to get on and post about it. I'm losing just a little bit of that excitement as Todd has just spent over an hour on the phone with the insurance co, the hospital, and the medical group and we've come to realize that yes, they are going to screw us out of money we shouldn't pay and we've done what we can. I'm not sure what's more screwed up, the billing department or the insurance. UGH!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa and The Boys

We've had a busy week-before-Christmas. The boys had their Christmas program on Wednesday. None of our pictures turned out due to the huge crowds and bad lighting but they were so cute to watch. Seeing them sing and dance is a hoot! I'd like to say they've got moves but that would be lying!! LOL Saturday night Todd and I got to go eat at the Country Club for my works Christmas dinner. That is always a good time....the food is amazing and I love hanging out with my co-workers. There are only 9 of us so we are pretty close. The kids got in some sled riding one day also before the freezing rain hit and turned everything into solid ice. We're due for more snow tonight.

Sunday was the annual Christmas party at the Boat Club. I realized that day that it has been 10 years since we started attending it.....Drew was only 9 months old. The boys had fun doing crafts, face painting, balloon animals, games, food etc. Of course the highlight is always Santa coming up the river by boat. This year the river was frozen so he arrived by car and the kids each got their turn on his laps and a special gift from him.

Here's Santa arriving. That's Aiden is the bottom left corner. He was just in awe of him. Santa is one of his best buds.

Drew didn't seem overly excited about the whole Santa thing but that didn't stop him from sitting in his lap and having a deep conversation with him!! He got the new Indiana Jones DVD so he was thrilled.
Noah, with an eagle painted on the side of his face, was excited about Santa. He got the game Castle Logix which is a really fun game. He got to playing it right away. We all took some turns with it.

After waiting through about 40 kids, Aiden finally got his turn. Amazingly he sat patiently and waited his turn. I was so proud of how good he was. In this picture, it looks like he's giving Santa a lecture. I wonder what he's telling him. Santa gave him a Little People Santa village. He has played with nothing else since sunday. It has a Santa,sleigh,reindeer, Mrs Claus, an elf, a musical Christmas tree, a gift that opens, and 3 little Santa houses. It is too cute and he is in love! Notice he has Santa and his sleigh painted on his cheek in this pic.

The boys ended the day cuddled up on the couch eating grapes together. I tried to capture the moment but then they got acting silly.
We haven't done much since then because Drew and Aiden started running fevers on Monday and all 3 boys have a nasty sounding cough. We are doing our best to get everyone healthy by Christmas Eve!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Little Fun

Abby from Just as I Am tagged me for this cute little whatever-you-call-it.

Here are the rules..........

1. Go to the 4th folder in your computer where you store your photos.

2. Pick the 4th picture in that folder.

3. Explain the picture.

4. Tag 4 people to do the same.

So here goes.............let me find that picture. I hope it's not embarrassing.

This is from March of 2004. Drew had his 5th birthday party at Aladdin's Castle and this picture is of him and Ben with his gift that Ben gave him. Oh and there's half of a Caroline on the right side. I promise Drew isn't picking his nose either. Ben looks oh-so-thrilled to be getting his picture taken.

I tag Dianna, Beth, Amy, and Kat.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christmas Party of the Year

Drew made this invitation, unbeknownst to us, put a stamp on it, and mailed it to us. I am so excited for this party, it will be the party of the year!

In case it's hard to read, it says
"Your invited to a Christmas party in the basement on December 27, 2008 at 2:00 to 3:30.
PS Don't be in the basement from 1:00 to 2:00."

How can we NOT attend?? Too sweet.

He already has games and an adorable craft planned, as well as a screening of The Polar Express with cookies and hot chocolate. He's been making hand made decorations and he asked if I could help him a bit set things up. He'd like to make this a tradition every year. Noah already called dibs on planning next years' party and Drew was okay with that. Here' s the funniest part......Drew said on Christmas morning we should only open the Santa gifts and save all of our gifts to and from each other for his party on the 27th. I laughed like a crazy woman. Who wants to place bets on whether my boys will actually be able to make it 2 more days before they open their gifts???
If you read my screamin' banshee post below......see my update! :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

I'm Screamin' Like A Banshee

Holy moly, have you people tried to buy a Cars Screamin' Banshee?? I hope not, because you will want to beat your head on the wall after trying to get it at every store in town, out of town, and online only to find it's sold out EVERYWHERE. I guess everyone feels the need for a Screamin' Banshee for Christmas, it's like searching for the Holy Grail of Cars toys. Well you know what?? That's ALL Aiden has talked about for the past month, the ONLY thing he says over and over that Santa is going to bring him. I've turned my neck of the woods and the world of online shopping upside down for this crazy thing. Sure I could still get it for him if I'm willing to pay more than twice of what it's worth (I'm not) So to all of my friends and family in blogland, if you come across this......

in a store, snatch it up and I will love you forever (and of course pay you back, including shipping) and my Aiden Sunshine will be the happiest kid on earth b/c Santa got him the only thing he's talked about for a month!


Edited to add:

As Aiden would day "Oh yeah baby!". This momma just won herself a Screamin Banshee on ebay with 4 seconds to spare. Don't mess with me! LOL I refused to spend a crazy amount so I knew what my limit would be and only went over by a buck. So my total with shipping included came to the same price I would have paid in the store once tax was on it. It also will be here in 3-4 business days so if it doesn't make it for Christmas, he can open it at our little party Drew is putting together for us on the 27th. See above post. WOOHOO!!

Flashback Friday

This week will be a long flashback. First up is Part 3 of my Boys' 1st Christmases. This week it is Aiden's 1st Christmas 2005. It's also my best friend Dianna's birthday today so I have a little flashback for her too! (she may kill me for that)

This picture is from December 2005 and it's Aidens' Baptism Day. I always love this picture because it looks like he's practicing his karate moves. Hi-ya!

The boys got to see Santa and one of his reindeer at the local Gamemasters.

My cute little reindeer. He was only 3 months old on his 1st Christmas.
I don't think he's too impressed with Santa.

This is the picture I used on my Christmas cards that year along with the little reindeer picture. How precious they looked in this picture.
I love this picture. Drew is holding Aiden on the carousel ride at the Symphony of Trees.

Christmas Eve before heading to our big family get together.

Christmas Morning 2005. Honestly, this is one of the best Christmases in my memory. We had a sweet new baby boy and a 4 and 6 year old that were still awed by the magic of Christmas. It was perfect. I also had a 2 year old nephew and a nephew that was only 4 days younger than Aiden so there were lots of little ones. (Don't you love how daddy is holding Aiden's head?)

Rumpled Morning Daddy holding his three boys. This is back when the boys were completely enamored by Aiden. They worshipped him, always wanted to "help" with him, hold him, play with him, etc. I notice that isn't the case anymore. He just drives them crazy, gets into their things, and wants to follow them everywhere.
The five grandkids and our attempt to get a good photo.


Part 2
Happy Birthday Dianna!
I can't make fun of your age because I'm older, and you just keep getting more beautiful so I'll just leave it at that~ Love ya girl!

Here's a little flashback to some older memories of us.

November 2007 on our short, short weekend in Alton, IL

I'm guessing this is 1990 or 1991. How do I know the years of these pictures you ask?? No, they are not written on the back, that would be too easy. There's only one other way. I go by my hairstyle! This was my hair during my senior year of high school.

Very early 90's on one of my solo trips to FL to visit. Remember the days of bodysuits?? Obviously a petite person designed those....they didn't fit us tall folk too well!

Jason, Me and Dianna---How much 'swimming' do you think we actually could do in that pool?? LOL
This past summer.....July 2008 on our visit down to FL. This is one of my favorites.
And last but not least, one of my all time favorite pictures of us....I have this framed in my bedroom. This is from sometime in 1975. This is how it all started............

Happy Birthday Dianna!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Something To Get You In The Christmas Spirit

Noah taped this little video the other night and I thought it was the cutest thing. He is the one singing "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" in the background. (In case you're wondering, that is Drew's chihuaha Webkinz in a Santa suit. Scary isn't it?? LOL) You'll have to turn off my music on the lower right side to hear Noah's sweet little voice sing.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow & Christmas Lights

We had our first really good sized snowfall of the year yesterday and even though it was too cold, I had to let the boys out in it for a few minutes. They were just too excited. It was starting to get dark already but I wanted to snap some pictures of their first romp in the snow this winter.

See those 3 dark figures in the back?? Those are my boys running in the snow. I love how you can see all of the snowflakes coming down.

This one is kinda cool. Drew is throwing a snowball up in the air. Can you see the whooshing streak it makes?? (yes, whooshing is a word)

My little boyfriend. We couldn't find the poor kid's hat so he's wearing one of his big brothers' hats.
Poor Santa, I'm sure he didn't think he and Rudolph would be pelted with snow balls.

After supper we headed over to the Avenue of Lights. We love to drive through the park every year and see this spectacular display. This year the boys insisted that we not go through it until it snowed because it would look better. They were right. The only bad thing was I put newly charged batteries in my camera before we headed out and they weren't charged anymore so my camera acted up and I only got a few pictures. So I'll make do with these few because I doubt I'll pay another $7 to go in just to take some pictures.
Here's one of my favorite parts.....the blinking light tunnel. It's just magic.

I think this candle display was new this year. I just thought it was so beautiful.

I was trying to capture my other favorite part.....the fireworks. You can kind of see them along with the palm trees and dinosaur lights in the background. Yes, dinosaurs are an important part of Christmas, didn't you know??
I somehow managed to get this last picture before we hit home. This is a house in our neighborhood. Yes, it's gaudy and tacky but I love it. The more lights, the better I say!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cute Stories

On Friday as Aiden and I were leaving the Dr's office (he had Bronchitis), we ran into a lady that I used to work with. So we were talking with her a bit and she was asking Aiden some questions. She asked him if he had a girlfriend at school and he said no. Then he looked up at me with those big chocolate brown eyes and said "My mom is my girlfriend." Honestly, I about melted into a puddle of goo right there. Then he came over and hugged my legs and said "Mom, I love you when your my girlfriend." sigh
Drew had had a horrible toothache all weekend so first thing yesterday morning I called to get him into the dentist. We were sitting in the waiting room and I commented that I'm curious to see what was wrong with his tooth. Drew says that he really hopes there's something wrong with his tooth. I thought that was strange and asked him why. He became a little distraught and said "because if there's nothing wrong with my tooth, I'll have to live with this pain the rest of my life!" I had to laugh at that and reassure him that that wouldn't be the case!
Noah was really upset yesterday morning when he woke up and saw the snow and ice and we didn't have a snow day because of it. He told me he wasn't going to school. That's unlike him because he likes school and I explained that this was a fun week with all of the holiday stuff going on. He was in my workplace for a bit after school and one of the women I work with was talking with him. She was teasing him saying that he probably didn't want Christmas break to come because he likes school so much. Noah just let out a big sigh and said "I just really need a day off."
**Are we the only family that has managed to go through an entire bottle of Superglue this holiday season trying to repair all of the broken ornaments??

Friday, December 12, 2008

Flashback Friday Part 2

Noah's First Christmas
December 2001.

Noah was only 2 1/2 months old at his first Christmas and as I sit here scanning in pictures, I realized that I didn't have many good ones of him. It's a little hard to pose a two month old and get a smile. I also had a pretty crappy camera back then.

This is a portrait we had professionally done in Dec. of 2001 as a gift from my in-laws. This will forever hang up in my house, it is just a beautiful shot of Noah and Drew.

Cute picture but I cut the poor kid's head off.
Hangin' out in his fleece.

I don't think he's too sure about Santa!

I love this little smile. (I think Grandpa does too)
You have to forgive me for throwing these in. I was going through old discs and found a floppy from a portrait session at Sears and it only said Oct 28 and no year. I figured it was one of Noah's bday pictures. They turned out to be from his 2nd birthday and are too cute not to share. He's too adorable for words.

Child, you melt my heart in this picture and you still do every day!