Monthly Archives: December 2010


We haven’t posted in a while because we’ve been busy having too much fun.  My sister Rachel came late Monday night so we’ve spent the last few days just packing in as much as we could (while still doing lots of Christmas vacation resting).  The kids have been loving having her around: Mia’s going to miss having somebody new playing with her and Finn is going to miss all the cuddles he’s been getting.

Every day we’ve tried to do something fun.  We’ve gone shopping, out to eat at places with playgrounds for Mia, on play dates, had frozen yogurt at our new place here in town and had friends over for dinner and games.

But probably the most fun we had was this morning at 6am when we all crammed into the laundry room for a tornado party.  That’s right.  3 adults, a slightly confused-just woken up-toddler who got really excited that we were doing something different (she kept asking if we were getting in the car because we go through the laundry room to get into the garage), and a boy who was in the middle of eating breakfast when we had to take his food to go.

We’re safe, but a tornado did touch down 13 miles south of us, killing 3 people.  Hopefully we won’t have any more of that kind of excitement today.  Not sure what we have planned for Rachel’s last day with us but I’m sure we’ll have to do it up big and end the year (and her visit) with a bang.

Merry Christmas

By the time you read this it probably won’t be Christmas anymore but if your house is anything like mine, you’ll still have plenty of things that will remind you of what just happened.  In our case, it’s a giant trash bag of wrapping paper that needs to be taken out and new things in odd places waiting for a new (hopefully permanent) place to be found for them.

We had a great day.  We started off with breakfast and the Christmas Story and then went on to open stockings and gifts.  When I told my sister about our day she said “wow, you had breakfast BEFORE you opened gifts??” Yes, the beauty of having a 2 year old who thinks you have you wait 🙂 Mommy and Daddy are just happy they were able to get a cup of coffee in their systems before the fun and games.

During breakfast, we learned that you can’t tell Mia anymore secrets:

Joy – Mia, after you finish eating your breakfast we’re going to open presents!

Mia – Me open presents?

Joy – Yes, you get to open your presents.

Mia – Daddy open presents?

Joy – Yep.

Mia – Mommy open presents?

Joy – Yes.

Mia – Baby Finn open presents?

Joy – Yes, you can help him open his presents

Mia – Okay.

(She always asks about each one of us individually – whether it be about leaving the house, taking naps, taking baths – whatever it is she has to ask about each one of us).

Mark – Remember when we went shopping?  Remember what you picked out for Mommy?

Mia – Socks?  (Points at me) You? Socks?

(Mark looks at me with a mixture of disbelief and slight horror).

Joy – Hmmm…guess I’m getting socks, huh Mia? 🙂  (She picked 8 pairs of fun socks for me and she did an excellent job by the way).

So yeah, don’t tell her anything you don’t want others to know.  And don’t think that she’ll forget about it.  She bought the socks 2 weeks ago and hadn’t seen them since.


Finn slept through the whole gift thing. He probably found out one of his gifts was going to be diapers (Mia can’t keep secrets, remember?) and he thought why bother waking up for that??  Mia, on the other hand, had a great time opening her gifts AND Finn’s.  That’s probably the last time he’ll let her do that.

Mark and I have tried to find a way to curb the massive quantities of gifts at Christmas.  Christmas is so fun, especially with little children around, but it can be so easy to get carried away.  You want the best for your kid and you want to give them the world.  Problem is, they really don’t need the world (and we can’t afford it either 🙂 ).

So, in our family, we stick to the following gift “rule”:  they each get something they WANT, something they NEED, something to WEAR, and something to READ.  Four gifts (and their stocking) and that’s it.  The wear and the read are a pair of pajamas and a new book, both opened on Christmas Eve (I love new pajamas on Christmas morning).  And then the other two are opened the following day.  Sometimes it’s hard to not want to give a ton of gifts but after seeing how Mia thoroughly enjoyed her two presents this morning and sat and played forever it was obvious that she really didn’t need that much.  I’m sure it will get harder as they get older to keep it to this but hopefully growing up with the tradition will just get them used to it.  Hopefully when they’re adults, they’ll look back and appreciate it rather than feel like they missed out.  Poor Finn is going to see pictures of his first Christmas and be appalled that he got diapers…but hey, nothing fit the need category more than those, let me tell you.

Even with our “keep it simple” rule, we had a wonderful Christmas and I think we all felt like we were spoiled.  After presents we had lunch, took naps, and went to church.  We missed being with family but it was nice and relaxing to be home.

Hope your day was as wonderful as ours.

Christmas “Jammins”

The kids got to open one of their presents tonight – pajamas, or as Mia likes to call them – jammins.

The sibling photo shoot in the new pajamas was interesting…  🙂



“See? Awake!” That’s what Mia says every time she sees Finn’s eyeballs as she points to them…


So big…

The sweet pictures:


The classic pictures: 🙂