Sunday, December 28, 2014

German School Christmas Program

These are terrible pictures for sure.  I still haven't figured out my smart phone camera yet.  I feel like there has got to be a way to get better quality pictures with it.

Hannah and Genna sung Jingle Bells and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer in German.  Isaac said a German poem that he memorized.  I got to attend this year and Brian stayed with Drew and Judah at home.  Last year I was nursing and so Brian went and I stayed home.  Looks like next year will be the same.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Judah at 16 months and change

Judah has been such a good toddler, but this week he's been throwing some big old tantrums.  His last molar is coming through, so I am hopeful he'll return to the sweetie that we all know soon.

Mohawk after a bath

Judah is a good eater considering his limitations because of his allergy.  He eats cereal, bananas, and oatmeal or scrambled eggs for breakfast.  Occasionally, he'll eat toast with oil and jelly or peanut butter and banana.  For lunch, he loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, hot dogs (we found a brand he can have), hummus on a tortilla or on deli meat.  He loves all fruits and applesauces too.  He also likes chicken noodle soups and beanie weanies out of a can for another easy meal.  For dinner, I am getting better about being able to modify our dinners if they have milk products for him.  Sometimes I take his portion out before adding the dairy, but sometimes I will substitute with almond or coconut milk.  The biggest bummer for me, especially right now being pregnant and tired is that if we do order food out or go to a restaurant, I have to still make him food.  So far I have been able to manage with easy stuff, but I feel like when he is older, it will take more to make him content with his meal when everyone is eating out.  We went to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese this week and I brought him peanut butter sandwich and grapes and applesauce.  They had ice cream cake and he, of course, didn't notice, but there will come a day when he will notice.  I'm going to have to plan ahead more and bake him a cake he can eat at the parties.

His favorite veggies are chopped salad with either Catalina dressing or honey mustard dressing, french style green beans, corn, tomatoes, and beans.  He also really likes mushrooms and stir fry vegetables.

Judah really liked this new hat our neighbor gave us.

He loves to get into the fridge whenever it is open.

Judah will try to repeat anything we tell him to now.  He finally gave in and started saying, "Thank you" more often now.  He says all his animal sounds that we have been working on except for oink.  He knows all his body parts and can even point and name some on his own.  He is also putting two words together sometime.  His favorite toys are his toy remote and balls right now.

His Mass behavior is pretty good considering his age and his predecessor.  He stays with us and doesn't try to run off like Drew did at this age.  He is mostly quiet unless he gets mad about something he can't do.  I usually have to take him out once during long Masses because he is being loud  but otherwise he is doing pretty well.  This week he made it all the way until we sat down after Communion.  He thought it was time to go and fell on the floor crying when he realized we were sitting back down.  He does have a soft felt Bible book to play with during Mass.

He's been bringing the kids books to read him.
He sleeps like a champ, taking two 1.5-2 hour naps a day.  I go in to get him after two hours and many times he is awake just laying there with his Bubbas.  He goes to bed at 7:30pm and I get him about 6:45am to start our day.  A couple of times this week he gave me trouble about going to bed, but that is so rare.  He cried himself to sleep once (in his defense, we were at someone else's house) and the other times just cried for a couple of minutes in protest when I laid him down.

Brian was outside power-washing the turkey fryer and it was vibrating the floor and making a lot of noise.  He was trying to figure out where the noise was coming from and eventually laid down on the kitchen floor to look under the fridge and feel the vibrations.  Genna thought it was cute and laid down with him.

Judah is obsessed with leaving the house.  He brings us coats and shoes and says "Go" over and over until we put them on him.
You'd think I never take him anywhere.  He cries to "Go" all the time lately and when you do take him outside for a while, coming inside is torture.  He holds on with both hands to his coat trying not to let you take it off every time, no matter how long we are out or gone.

Judah sleeps with a pacifier in his mouth and one in each hand.  He calls them "Bubbas."  He throws them in the crib one at a time when we get him out after sleeping.  He counts with us saying, "Two, three."

Judah got Grumpy Cat for Christmas and has been cuddling him when I lay him in his crib, with the pacifiers in each hand too.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Day 2014

Merry Christmas!!! 

Yes, the girls and I are veiling at Mass now and I have been meaning to do a post on the reasons why, but haven't gotten around to it yet.  

 We got up on Christmas day and headed straight to 8am Mass.  Brian prefers the midnight Mass or even just a Christmas Eve Mass over this, but it is so nice to get a seat and not have to be more than an hour early to do so that I asked that we go to the morning service this year.  Plus, I always feel like it starts our day off with the right focus instead of kids waking up early only thinking of the gifts they get to open.

 We came home and got Judah tucked into bed for his morning nap before letting the kids open one gift each.  Then we took a break so they could play with their gifts while Brian made waffles.  I had some cooking to do for dinner, so I worked on my deviled eggs during this time.  Then we ate our bacon and waffles.  By this time Judah was up and ready to join us opening gifts.  The girls made gifts for everybody which was sweet.  Isaac had bought gifts for each of the girls when at Sea World with his own money.

The children are opening their first gifts after Mass and before breakfast.  Judah was napping away.

I am opening the gift Hannah got her dad and I.

 For the most part, each of the children get only one gift from us on Christmas since we give them a good amount on Saint Nicholas Day.  We don't do the Santa thing on Christmas day because we want to focus more on waiting for the Christ Child than for a man to bring you all your heart's desires on the day of Christmas.  That was a hard tradition for me to let go of when Brian first mentioned not doing Santa with our kids, however, it has proved to be a good one for our family.  I figured opening gifts would be just as exciting as Santa coming and it would not help the kids focus more on Jesus, but I was wrong.  They really seem to be a lot less focused on presents on Christmas morning than I was when I was little.  An added bonus has been that traveling for Christmas is easier and when Brian had to leave right before Christmas for work one year, he didn't miss out on Saint Nicholas' Day and seeing the kids getting gifts from us.

This is the lunch box that I turned into a Lego box for Drew.
I glued a Lego plate to the inside lid and slid one in (removable) to hold his Legos.

We got Judah a mini four square ball, Drew a lunch box of Legos and a couple extra Hero Factory pieces, Isaac a new Hero Factory guy and a Lego Batman clock, Hannah a Crochet book, and Genna a Playmobile mother/baby set.  We did get them all the new Rush Revere book and a big four square ball to share as well.  Of course, they received many other gifts from grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins in the mail that they were able to open that morning.  They were all so grateful for all the gifts.

Judah also got Grumpy Cat from his aunt and uncle because he loves kitties, but real ones rarely let him get close enough to pet them.  He has started cuddling with it when I lay him in his crib.

I got Brian a cribbage set because we just learned to play that this year, a C.S. Lewis book that he had lost and we plan to read together, and this frame for his Belgian Beer poster he got ages ago in Europe.

He was even more thrilled when I suggest he hang it in the dinning room next to our Belgian wine bar.

Brian got me some earrings and made me these amazing laundry basket holders to go in my almost finished new craft and laundry room!

I labeled each basket with what goes in them and with how they get washed for the children's benefit.  I have it all in a chart for them, but this seemed so much easier.

The "whites" basket is missing because it was service when I took this picture.

We had a good nap and then headed to our neighbor and good friend's house for Christmas dinner.  We had 16 kids and 7 adults and a full house.  It was a lovely day!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Our Best Christmas Gift

We announced through our Christmas card this year that we are expecting another baby!

We found out a little before Thanksgiving and had told a few people already, but I like to hold off a bit on massive announcements of my pregnancy.  I had an early ultrasound this time because I wasn't sure how far along I was since I was still nursing.  Turns out I was only 7 1/2 weeks when I had my first ultrasound according to their measurements.  As I write this post, I am 11 1/2 weeks which is so wonderful because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel of nausea.  The nausea has been worse this pregnancy and I have really struggled with making it through the afternoon and evening some days.  Cooking is very hard when you are exhausted and nauseated.  Most mornings have been tolerable though which has helped me get school work finished with the children.

The baby has been nicknamed Gummy Bear by the children, and he/she is due on July 18th.  Gummy Bear threw a wrench in some of our summer plans, but that's what happens when you make plans around this end up pregnant and due in the middle of them.  That'll teach me to live in the moment if anything will.  Considering Brian's career choice and the timing of our last couple pregnancies, God must really want the message of living day to day by faith drilled into my heart.  I am grateful for such an easy lesson.  For what can be better than a lesson through a newborn bundle of sweetness?  I'll take that with open arms!

I  had one more ultrasound since then at 10 weeks and everything is going well.  They tested me for diabetes (not gestational, but the real deal) again due to my family history and giant babies, but I passed.  Here's a picture of our growing Gummy Bear.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Parties Galore

 We've been to several Christmas parties.  Here's some shots from the German party complete with a Christmas market stall, handmade brats, pommes, gluwein and Gingerbread cookies for each child.

Judah may look innocent here eating his brat and fries, but he was into everything in the house and even managed to spill someone's gluwein on the rug (That's made of red wine, by the way!)

On the drive home, Drew decided to snack on Hannah's gingerbread cookie because it had been hung right by his car seat.

I have to get someone else's pictures of the Las Pasadas neighborhood party since I totally forgot to take pictures.