Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas! I will upload some pictures of our day later, but I did want to write something while I had a chance, and Bracken has the camera in Palm Springs today. We had a lovely Christmas, and hope you all had the same.

Christmas Eve was spent getting ready for the next day. I was going to make a big dinner, but was already feeling the pressure of the next day's meal, so Bracken suggested that we go to McDonalds. Chloe had a great time on the play structure, and in a surprise move, I spanked Bracken at air hockey. We came home and watched Joy to the World, and read The Night Before Christmas. We had watched a biography of Santa Claus the other day, and it was so interesting to learn that Santa Claus, and his visit, was a 19th century invention. Wealthy New Yorkers, tired of the poor coming into their homes asking for gifts at Christmas, created the story to get the people to wait at home for someone to bring them gifts. Kind of sad, isn't it?

We had a really nice Christmas. Bracken took the night shift with Addie, so I got a little sleep. We did go to bed too late, though, after setting up Addie's new Exersaucer and getting the house ready to host Christmas dinner the next day. Chloe got up around 6:30, and we ran out to the tree. She noticed first that Santa had eaten his cookies and milk, which was really cute. Then she opened her costume box. I had been stressing for weeks about the fact that I hadn't gotten any costumes sewn for the box of dress ups I wanted to make her, and finally finished it all up the day before. I'd even found a little cowboy had, which I was so proud of. Chloe untied the ribbon, opened the box, excitedly put on the hat and boa, then took them off, put them back in the box, had me retie the ribbon, and ignored it the rest of the day. Yesterday she finally decided to put on a costume, but the only one she wanted to wear was her princess costume from Halloween. Today I managed to trick her into putting on a fairy princess costume, but she still wants nothing to do with the bulk of the box. Oh well.

She enjoyed the rest of her presents, her surprise favorite being the $3 Sit 'n' Spin I got her at DI. About halfway through, she decided she was done opening gifts, and couldn't be convinced otherwise. There are still two wrapped presents under the tree as a matter of fact. When her Grandma and Grandpa Mannion, Aunt Eden and Uncle Jose, cousins Mariah and Syrus, and friends Will, Sarah, Isaac and Autumn Morris came for dinner, we finally took matters into our own hands and just opened them for her. She was really excited to see what was inside, she just couldn't be bothered to open them herself.

My favorite gift was the box of See's chocolate Bracken got me. He got me a full pound of my favorite butterscotch squares, and I just so touched that he remembered. His favorite gift was the Mitt Romney for President yard sign that Santa brought him. He ran right out in his pajamas to put it up, with me on his heels to take pictures.

We had a really nice meal, if I do say so myself. It was so lovely to be able to host Christmas in my own home. I set up a big people table, and a kids table, and we served the food buffet style. We've been in our house 6 months now, and it sure does make us happy. After dinner, before we opened Christmas gifts, we, along with Eden and Jose, presented Bracken's parents with a 40th anniversary gift of a new computer. 40 years is pretty impressive.

The house is starting to settle down now. I've found homes for most of the Christmas gifts, mainly by trying to get rid of all the little garbage toys Chloe has without her noticing. Our biggest after Christmas problem now is trying to convince Chloe that not everything is hers--some of the presents are Addie's too. I can't tell you how many times I've already found her sitting in Addie's Exersaucer. I'm not really sure why it's so fun for her.

Addie had a big moment yesterday--her first rice cereal. She really seemed to enjoy it. We're hoping it will help with the acid reflux, and in turn with the sleeping. Unfortunately, we've got a new conspirator in the sleeping problem. Addie has begun teething. I just can't believe we've started into the grumpiness of teething, and she's not even sleeping through the night yet. Yep, she was up 4 separate times between 10:30 and 6 this morning. I'm out of ideas. And I'm just not sure how to let her just cry it out without keeping Chloe up all night. Any suggestions?

I was not very excited to see her when I got up this morning. Again. But then after she fell asleep in my arms, she started just giggling in her sleep. How could I stay mad?

There are so many more stories to tell, but Chloe has prepared a cheeseburger and fries for me in her kitchen, so I've got to go.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Yeah, that's right. Instead of working on my lesson for Young Women's tomorrow, or helping my husband make cookies to deliver, I'm blogging. I just wanted to share two stories from our evening before I forgot. We went out to eat dinner, and both girls were behaving pretty well. Addie was starting to grumble, but was keeping it pretty low key. Then all of a sudden, she suddenly let out this loud yell, startling all of us, and the customers at the next table. It sure made us all laugh.

We went to the grocery store after that. Chloe kept up her regular routine of running, climbing on the cart, riding on the outside of it, begging to be put in it, and immediately begging to be taken out of it. I was looking for something on a shelf, when Bracken asked, "Does she do this often?" I looked at Chloe, who was in the cart for the moment. Fed up with her hair in her eyes, and tired of wearing her hat, she was licking her hand and trying to slick back her hair with it. Oh, she's a funny one.

Friday, December 21, 2007

So I'm loving the fact in the blog archive, the title for yesterday's entry reads, "Yesterday I decided that we were going to make gin." I just love being tipsy for the holidays.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Yesterday I decided that we were going to make gingerbread houses. I made all the pieces and had them sitting on the counter. Chloe pulled up a chair to help, as she always does, and excitedly surveyed the pieces. Even though there were plenty of extra pieces and cookies on the rack, she went straight for a piece of the wall and took a bite.

Then I poured the candies into bowls, and put them on the table. She got into her chair, and pulled all of the bowls right around her. Fortunately, she didn't binge too badly. She'd decided she needed a banana snack break right before we started.

Chloe was actually quite a good gingerbread house helper. She did a great job helping with the roof, then decorated a couple of cookies. She did get pretty frustrated, though, when she couldn't get half a dozen candy canes to stand straight up out of a snowman's stomach, though.

Here are a couple pictures of our holiday decorations. It was so fun to set up the old family Christmas villiage this year, with the addition of a Christmas tree Bracken had made as a child. I also did our first outside lights. I wasn't ambitious enough to actually put them up on the house, but I did put a shooting star on our privacy wall.

I'm also including a picture of Addie with her friend Parker. My friend Ashley and I had the same due date with this pregnancy, and our older kids are 1 day apart. They came over today, and Addie and Parker spent some time holding hands. It was pretty darn cute.

And the most recent update on the sleeping. Tuesday night I really made an effort to get to bed earlier. I've not been very good about taking advantage of Addie's recent good sleeping. I got into bed by ten, and then Chloe woke up twice crying. And then Addie got up. I just couldn't believe that as soon as one started sleeping well, the other had to take her place. Seriously, am I asking too much in wanting a good night's sleep?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This will be short because I'm trying to get this off quickly and short because I can't remember much happening this week. Seriously, I'm having major memory issues. However, I have meant to update my blog for days now and haven't, so here's what I've got.

However, I'm hopeful the memory issues will improve in light of the fact that Addie is making major sleep improvements! Over the weekend, Bracken decided I needed a good night's sleep, and he took over the feedings for me. I actually got 8 hours of sleep in a row on Saturday night! first time in over 6 months. The miracle is that Addie slept until 5 herself that night, and has only been getting up once the last few nights. I don't want to jinx it by saying something, but it looks like we are moving towards something good here. The other plus, is that she has been sleeping well without being swaddled, and that's also a good sign. Yay!

Chloe has been busy this week, as always. Our major breakthrough, is that I learned all of our reading to her has not been in vain, because most of the time it really doesn't seem like she listens, or likes it, or anything. Bracken was reading to her the other night, and decided to leave the last word off of every line in the book, and she filled it in, every time, in several books! I was so surprised, and happy. She's just so selective in when she chooses to speak, I don't often know what's going on in her head. She also surprised us last night by fishing the letter H out of her soup and identifying it. Then again, she called every letter "H" after that, but she did start off right.

She's becoming a good little mother. She was eating oranges on the floor as she sat next to Addie, and I looked over to see her sticking oranges in her mouth, and a toy in Addie's at the same time. She's already learning how to multitask.

We went and visited Santa last night. There were no tears from either child. I was pretty bummed. Last year Chloe screamed like you wouldn't believe, but I never got a copy of the picture. Is it too much to ask for a crying child Santa picture? I know, I'm a cruel mother.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I forgot to include the best part of my day Monday. I went to bed early Sunday night, mainly because I was too grumpy to go on, and got up as late as I could Monday morning. I spent the morning taking care of kids, working on the computer, and not even thinking about getting dressed. Until the doorbell rang, and I remembered that my visiting teachers were coming over. I walked to the door, scrambling for some way to pull my whole self together in 10 seconds, and thought, hey, I'll just open the main door, but not the security screen, and then they won't see how bad I look, and then I'll run to change as they come in. Unfortunately, they had already opened the screen and got to see me in my full lack of glory. Oh, humility. Isn't it fun when it comes? I hurried and threw on some clothes and brushed my teeth, only to have Addie spit up on me a half dozen times while they were here. She epitomizes the quote, "Nothing nauseates a baby more than the smell of a clean shirt." And yet somehow, she still manages to be so cute I just can't stand it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

For those of you who get the weekly update email, this will be a repeat, but hey, I already wrote it once, I might as well reuse it. Here are some of the highlights of the events of our last couple of weeks.

1. Chloe went fishing again in her tank, dumped one can of fishfood into the tank, and one all over the floor. She's lucky my friend was over, because I'm not going to kill her when someone is watching.

2. Addie has been the blowout queen. I sat there and watched as the blowout stain on the back of her onesie got bigger and bigger as the rumbles from her bottom continued, helpless to do anything. Worst of all, I was on my way to begin the process of changing this nightmare when I discovered Chloe's fishing trip.

3. Chloe has been dressing herself. The other day she took off what I'd put on her, then reemerged from her room wearing an upside down bodysuit with a turtleneck as a skirt. After her shower, she put the same outfit on again, but put the bodysuit on the right way. Obviously, this was not an accidental outfit.

4. Addie has discovered how to shriek. Loudly. Continuously. She has also learned how to cough for fun. It has replaced shrieking as her favorite sound. I personally would prefer the shrieking.

5. Bracken has finished one of his classes, and all the homework for the other. We actually had family home evening with the whole family. We made puzzle piece wreaths. It was a lot of fun.

6. Ruth relandscaped the front yard. I really felt like I was becoming my mother as I became aware of what a huge project I had unwittingly stepped into. And all because I wanted to dig up and split my bulbs, which was very exciting. Stop laughing. As I dug up my gladiolus and found hundreds of bulbs under the ground, I really felt like I'd found buried treasure. Yes, Mom would be proud.

7. We got the Christmas decorations put up. It was nice to be able to put up the Christmas Village, and discover all the other hidden decorations in the boxes of Christmas village stuff. If there's some decoration you're looking for, but haven't found, let me know. I may have it. I was amazed at how long it took to put everything up. I don't know if it was because I had so much more, or because I had more kids, or because I needed to spend more time finishing the front yard project, but it seemed to be a problem of "more" one way or the other.

8. We had our first date since Addie was born. The girls stayed with Bracken's parents while we went to a Christmas party with friends. It was nice to be able to spend a little time together. Addie was also really good while we were gone, which makes us feel hopeful about future dates. I also got to go shopping by myself Saturday, which was so enjoyable. The process of getting out the door with two is often more daunting than I can handle, and that's not including the whole shopping experience.

9. I turned 31. It was a pretty uneventful birthday. I did go to a cookie exchange that evening. The plan was to get enough cookies to be able to distribute to friends, but they really only got distributed to my family. Yum.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


I know I've been talking about starting a blog for ages, but one thing or another has kept me from it. Well, here it is, at last, though you're still going to have to wait for some good content until I get Christmas a little more under control. However, I did want to get a blog address into our Christmas letter, and that's why I'm starting this now. Hope the holidays are treating everyone well.