Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lately Isaac has been the "worker guy".  He likes to imitate the maintenance men around our apartment complex.  The week before Christmas we spent a lot of time outside, filling up grocery bags with the item of the day--"pokey balls" or weeds.  This of course, was not what I wanted to be doing but I helped him fill up his grocery bags in the hopes that someday when we have a house and have to do yard work, when I ask him to help me fill up some garbage bags of weeds or leaves he will help me.

Isaac also likes to work on his workbooks during James' nap and also at other times during the day.  It amazes me how much time he can spend sitting at the kitchen table devising ideas of things to cut out and tape/glue together.  He wanted me to take a picture of him doing his workbook, so here it is.

And James wanted "me cheese"
We did Christmas backwards this year.  Santa came early on Sunday December 23 and left a note saying essentially:  "Dear Isaac and James, I heard your Daddy has to work on Christmas.  People get sick even on Christmas.  So I brought your presents early! Enjoy.  Love, Santa."

Isaac was not happy when we came in his room at 7 AM and woke him up saying, "Guess what!  Santa came early!"  First, he was very much asleep, and second, he has been keeping pretty close tabs on when Christmas is thanks to the advent calendar I spent all October hand stitching.  He said, "But there are two more days!"  So this is us sitting in the bathroom waiting for Isaac to use the bathroom and put his underwear on and get used to the idea that he "has" to open presents.  James was just ready to go and went with whatever we said.
Then we started ripping!  James got used to it pretty fast!
We face timed with Blake's parents so they could see the kids' reaction.  It was fun to have some family around to pretend like we were home in Utah. 

The winners of the day were the lego sets and the lawnmowers.  Of course, they loved everything else too and all day (except when we went to church) the kids were bouncing around from toy to toy.  But they started right in on the legos and had to get in some lawn mowing before we walked to church.  It was a great  Christmas.  We had a melt down from Isaac when he saw his new bike and saw that it didn't have training wheels.  He was in tears for a few minutes.  But after we helped him on it for a little bit he said, "I DO love it, mom!"  If he doesn't get the hang of it in two weeks we will throw the training wheels on; they are hidden in the basement.
James got a scooter.  He can go scary fast.  And he usually wears a helmet. 
James did not want a picture.  Such a cute pout. 

Oh, this is another one of Isaac's projects.  He felt bad the squirrels didn't get Christmas presents. He's been collecting sticks and breaking them into little pieces for presents for them--bikes and baseballs.  
Blake got a new iPod. 
And MarioKart. 

Oh, the kids also loved the camping chairs we opened later in the day.  Isaac carries his everywhere. 
I love this picture: the legos, the new backhoe, the new camping chair, helicopter, wrapping paper, James wearing one sock, a box from Amazon.  This is our Christmas.  

So then the next day it was Christmas Eve and Blake worked until 6.  We managed to stay alive by alternating inside and outside--15 minutes playing legos, 15 minutes riding bikes/scooter, 15 minutes fighting over trucks, 15 minutes doing lawn mowers.  Blake got off "early" at 6.  We did our usual Chrismas Eve thing--the nativity.  Except Isaac ruined it by wanting everything different so finally we were so fed up with him we didn't let him participate and put him on the stairs.  So this was the only picture I got of our nativity.  James just sat through the whole thing with wide eyes and a closed mouth. 
That night Blake read and I went to the gym.  Weird.  The next day was weird too.  I took the kids to a rest home and forced them to go into three rooms and stare while I sang jingle bells.  Then we gave the person we sang to an ornament.  Then I cut my losses and left.  The rest of the day we just survived--in, out, in, out.  Fighting, freezing, fighting, freezing.  Blake got home after 6 again.  We watched the Muppet Christmas carol and ate popcorn, definitely the highlight of our Christmas day.  And after the kids went to sleep I played Mariokart with Blake.  It did not feel like Christmas at all.  Poor Blake was so frustrated that he was at work so long just because his attending "was kind of having fun!" and kept them rounding on three patients for 3.5 hours.

Anyway, today is December 26th and I feel like Christmas has been over forever so we took down all our decorations.  Better luck next year, right?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas card 2012

In the year 2012:
Blake finished his intern year and began his first year of neurology at Washington University in St. Louis.  He spent one in four nights at the hospital.

Marie took lots of pictures, tried to answer all of Isaac's questions, translated for James, and tried to get two boys to play nice with each other.

Isaac (4) rode his balance bike everywhere, went to joy school, learned to swim, spelled his name, and played legos.  He aspires to be a worker guy.

James (2) asked to be carried everywhere, helped make waffles, made lego towers, and learned many new words, our favorite being "dikadiga"  (motorcycle).

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's been a while.  I've been busy doing random things that probably aren't very important.  Making an advent calendar, Christmas shopping, making ornaments, etc.  Plus I had to figure out photobucket since I ran out of space for my pictures in blogger.  These pictures are from a while ago that my friend took.  

James loves our neighbor "baby Chelsea" and always wants to hug her when he sees her.  He has the funniest high pitched voice he uses when he talks to or about babies.

I am getting a new lens for Christmas and I had to "make sure it worked".  Here is a typical afternoon.
Cranky after a nap.

It's funny how Isaac used to switch from toy to toy (or Little Mermaid dvd) that he loved and would sleep with, but he's been on turtle for a year now.  He just loves turtle.  When James turned two and started protesting naps I decided he could choose an animal to sleep with.  So now James is totally attached to Elmo.  Takes him everywhere.

We celebrated my brother's birthday.  No, he did not turn 4. 

Thanksgiving happened.  My mom came out before Thanksgiving, stayed a day or so and drove up to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with some other family.  I decided to stay home and support Blake.  He worked Thanksgiving but surprised us by getting home by noon!  It was fabulous because we had such great weather I was able to take the kids out for our own little turkey trot jog to the park and when we got home, Blake was home shortly after.  He got the day after off too so I went shopping at 6 AM.  My mom came back and spent another two days with us before flying home.  It was a nice little visit.  Isaac and James really loved having her here. 

The boys just started posing when they saw my camera!  They are trained. 

And now Isaac wants me to stop taking pictures.

The day after Thanksgiving we had a really fun time putting up our decorations and opening up presents of new pjs, a Christmas dvd, and some peppermint jo-jos.  The kids are still talking about our fun night. 

Here are some out takes from our Christmas card.  Maybe sometime I will finish our cards. 

Oh, here's a peek of Elmo and James for you!

And one day in November I woke up and thought that I should start taking photos for other people.  I have spent enough money buying equipment and enough time learning photoshop that maybe I could do it "professionally".  I emailed my ward and told them I was a beginner but open for business.  Immediately I felt regret and worry and a decrease in confidence.  Six families contacted me so for one busy day I was a real photographer.  It was pretty crazy.  I was so nervous but I think mostly it went ok.  I definitely learned some things and I had to redo a session.  So success? Just barely, I think.  I created another blog where I have posted the sessions I did that day plus some other photos when I was pretending to be a real photographer other times.