Friday, March 14, 2014

Christmas 2013

What better time is there to post about Christmas morning than when on the brink of Spring? Hopefully you agree with me, since this is our official post for Christmas 2013.

We didn't travel for the holidays this year, which was totally okay with me. My sisters and bro-in-law were in town, staying at my parents' house. So before our little family joined the rest of the fam at my parents' house, we had our own Christmas celebration at home with just the boys. They opened a few presents from me and Jon.

Jack got some Lightning McQueen slippers, while Jason got a Lightning McQueen pillow. They enjoyed racing their respective Lightning McQueen's around the house, "driving" the slippers and pillow around. Then they pretended to nap on top of their McQueen's, since one of them was an actual pillow; so Jack was fake snoring with his head on his slippers. So silly these boys.

Conner got a baby piano and some rolling balls to crawl after-
 Jon gave me a clock for our living room, and I surprised him with a cool gadgety flash light that practically talks. Sorry for the lack of pictures, they came out a bit blurry and then my videos wouldn't upload to blogger.

After our initial celebrations, we drove to my parents' house and had even more present opening, probably taking close to 2 hours. Seriously, my children want for nothing when it comes to their grandparents. But they're not that spoiled, the 2 hours wasn't solely devoted to them, the adults got plenty of gifts too. Eric had one of the best surprises that morning- an iPad Air! He didn't even ask for it, but was pretty excited opening that box.

Teri and Eric holding baby Conner
 Jack perfectly posing his new chic tie

 Jason getting Pappaw's help opening a remote control truck

Conner intrigued by his new octopus-

 Jack got a few artistic gifts this year since he's shown an interest in drawing and writing, this one present is a color by numbers concept, using different colored magnets to create pictures.
 And the biggest, top-secret present of the day, saved for last when all of the other presents were open, was...........

A police car power wheel!
 A present for both Jack and Jason, it has 2 seats (no fighting over it!), 2 speeds plus reverse, sirens, and walkie-talkie action. They LOVE it, as do I.
 Since we live in a cul-de-sac, Jack gets to drive it in the street around the circle, and we also take it up to the park. They are so cute in it, and Jack's actually a very skilled driver.

 Below Pictures Feature Each Boy Modeling Some of Their Presents:

 I'm not sure why Conner is sitting with his back to his toys, as if he's ignoring them, but it's sure funny!

Jason got some great wooden blocks with which to build, and there's his McQueen pillow-

Jason showing me his Dracula Mater. In case you hadn't picked up on it, my boys are Cars obsessed, especially with these specialty Mater toys where he dresses up as different characters. So Dracula Mater is one of his personas, among others like Astronaut Mater, Daredevil Mater, wrestling Mater, etc. They're really annoying to step on in the middle of the night!

 Jack tried to show me his new present- but got photobombed by Jason!
 Let's try that again. There you go- Jack's McQueen slippers.

 Jack pointing to the magnetic dog he constructed with one of Jason's toys

I almost forgot! My parents so generously gifted me and Jon with an elliptical machine! Yay!! We had both been thinking about getting some type of exercise equipment to help with getting in shape, and this was perfect. We've put it to good use, and I'm only a few lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight. Just in time for my birthday shopping trip I'm planning soon!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Gingerbread Houses

On Christmas Eve we held our first ever Gingerbread house making contest, and it was a blast.
We gathered at my parents' house, and my sisters Teri and Kristi,
and my new brother-in-law Eric were there. We used graham crackers for the construction of the houses, made royal icing and had bowls of varying candies for the decor. We divided into 4 teams: Team Newlywed (Teri & Eric), Team Kristi, Team Jerin, and Team Mimi & Jack. And can I just say? This was my 1st time ever, in my life, to construct a gingerbread house. Crafting is not my thing. But I honestly enjoyed it, perhaps it was the competition of the whole thing. Jon was the architect behind our build,
envisioning a pass-thru driveway and a chimney, while I filled in the details with the windows and a licorice driveway. Jack and Mimi won on the efficiency front. Their house was constructed in about half the time of everyone else's and no space was left untouched by Jack's watchful candy-decorating eye. Kristi had the most unique house, creating an open manger concept complete with a licorice bonfire. The newlyweds were perhaps the most ambitious with their build as they built their house 2-3 stories high with some opulent details. My mom joked that they overbuilt for their neighborhood, haha. When all was said and done, everyone's turned out great and so different! What a fun afternoon.


Can you pick out which house is whose??...


 
 [From left to right: Kristi, Jon/Erin, Mimi/Jack, Eric/Teri]

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Santa's Village

We had a wonderful holiday season in 2013, and I've been remiss in posting our pictures and stories. To kick-off our Christmas celebrations, we had Sunday dinner at my parents' house, with my sister Kristi visiting from the East Coast. Amusing anecdote- Aunt Kristi was so excited to see her awesome nephews, and upon greeting Jason she asked, "do you know who I am?" His response? "Aunt Teri!" HA! Aunt Teri would be my other sister not present at the moment. It was the big joke for the week that Jason kept insisting on calling Kristi, Aunt Teri, though he did finally acquiesce that she was in fact Kristi.

After we had our fill of food, those of us brave enough to face the winter chill (re: everyone except my parents, haha), loaded up in the van and visited Santa's Village. Santa's Village is an annual tradition here where the city puts together a miniature village in the "North Pole" for children to walk through, participate in festivities, and meet Santa Claus. It sure was frigid that night with the wind, but I'm so glad we went and experienced it with the kids.

They got to meet Clifford-
 Jason may have been a little reluctant to let a giant red-sized dog put his paws on him. (And after re-reading the sentence I just wrote, I can understand why!)

I wish I had gotten a better photo of the enormous lit tree they had there, but my camera phone is temperamental on its best day. Suffice it to say, there was a great big tree, lit up with strands and strands of lights. Kristi and I chased Jack and Jason round and round that tree, while dutiful Jon waited in line to see Santa. The boys cannot get enough of being chased. It's the funnest, most exciting game to them, and they just light up the second they sense you coming. So after about 40 minutes of chasing, taking pictures by reindeer, listening to live music, and waiting...
 ...and a few more chase take-downs by Aunt Kristi of this little runner who didn't want to wait in line to see Santa...
  ...we saw the Big Man himself- Santa Claus!

 The boys look a little dazed by it all, don't they?

Now it's Conner's turn to be dazed. Or is that terror?

Thursday, January 9, 2014

7 months old

Conner is 7 months old and life is full of new adventures for him. He learned to crawl around the time he hit the 6 month mark (army style), and mastered independent sitting at 7 months old. I gotta say, I love the sitting up. It's so nice not having a baby who falls over and flops around, but can sit up and play with toys. Another welcome development which accompanied the sitting was no more spit-up! Awesome, enough said.

 Now he's into pulling up on furniture, not cruising, just pulling up. He's not quite mastered the getting down part, however. He usually stares at the floor, really focusing on it for a few seconds, and then falls forward or backward and I pray there's no hard toy in the vicinity.

 He's also eating more food, including heaping amounts of rice cereal and pizza crust. Well, not so much the eating of pizza crust, per say, as the chomping on of pizza crust.

 He also learned his name about a week ago, and responds whenever someone calls to him. He loves his brothers and lights up when he sees one of them. He crawls to them and tries to get in on the action. They are pretty nice to him and enjoy his baby cuteness (hopefully that lasts once he enters his toddling stage).
Oh, and he got his first tooth. The bottom, middle tooth. It popped in about a month ago, I'd say he was 6 1/2 months old (for the baby book). I love me some baby Conner.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fall Festivities

We're only 2 weeks away from Christmas, which must mean it's time for me to put up our pictures from Fall!
 
We made our now annual visit to our favorite pumpkin patch, where we rode the hayride, posed for pumpkin pictures, flipped and flopped in bounce houses, nearly lost Jack in a giant hay maze, and took home some miniature pumpkins for our miniature boys.




 
Halloween came around, admittedly one of my least favorite holidays because of all the pressure to come up with super great, super creative costumes. Jon shamed me for not having the boys costumes planned as the big H-Day approached. Conner was easy, considering he's the third child. I already had an infant's dinosaur costume from a previous year. Jason and Jack were the ? marks. I DIYed Jack's costume, fashioning a super high-tech robot out of a cardboard box, duct tape, and some fabric. I caved and bought Jason a lion costume from Target and drew him some whiskers. I think they turned out pretty cute!

 
We went to our ward's trunk-or-treat the weekend before Halloween, and went trick-or-treating around our neighborhood on Halloween night. I think it was a fairly successful outing. Jack and Jason were totally into getting candy and saying "trick or treat!" My parents accompanied us and were in heaven holding the peaceful dinosaur.
 
 When Fall finally hit around here, I think sometime around mid-November, the leaves on our tree turned a beautiful red and fell to the ground, blanketing our backyard and trampoline. It really was beautiful, and the boys made some truly camera worthy moments frolicking (yes, frolicking) in the leaves on the trampoline. They loved the slipping and sliding effect from the leaves.

 
 Action shot of Jack doing something incredibly boyish-
 
Jon and the older boys at our neighborhood park on Thanksgiving Day. We stayed home this year, kept to ourselves, didn't cook a turkey, and it was one of the best Thanksgivings ever! We took the boys to this field, tossed the football around, played chase, tackled each other, and soaked in the laid-back day.


 
Our miniature pumpkins from the pumpkin patch, in their painted glory.
 
The older I get, the more I love the Fall. I love when the air turns crisp and cool and new colors appear. It's a refreshing time of year and I wish it would last a little longer.