Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mostly Just...............

.....loads & loads of pictures.

We sent this to Tyler last year in our final care package to Taiwan when it became apparent that he would not make it home for Christmas.

How can I even express how it feels this year to see him snuggling with that very bear in his own home with us.

I love the look of jubilation on her face nestled in with all the Santa goodies!

I so enjoy that our best girl still relishes getting "gussied" up for special occasions & outings.

Our Christmas angel...................

Such pure happiness at receiving her much desired & long awaited snowboard.

Showing off her two most beloved and wished for gifts from Santa ~ Street Flyer Heelies & that rascal, the elusive Zhu Zhu Hamster.

And our littlest angel was simply delighted with the very first gift he opened ~ his remote control car. He was content to leave the rest of his presents for later in the morning. :) I also propped him next to this special bag ~ it was first used with our nephew who is now 18 years old and has been used by every child since. Special indeed......... & somehow impervious to time!

Ho! Ho~ Ho!
Tyler LOVED sitting among all the presents for our family Christmas later in the day. If he only knew how appropriate it was: our best gift of the season among all the others.

When your kiddos are 6 years apart and opposite genders, its thrilling to find something that coordinates ~ even jammies!!

This is for my friend Jen in Tenn., who I know likes to see our trees. (Hi Jen!!) Lauren receives special ornaments each year and has graduated over time to this medium sized gem to accommodate her growing collection. I love that she matches her tree in this pic.!! LOL
Also thanks to Jules for the tip on the tree skirt ~ a tu tu is inspired!!
Oh my goodness, it has been a magical Christmas season & though much of the "hustle" of the season is behind us, much of the "bustle" still remains! Hustling after two eager munchkins intent on trying out ALL the new treats & treasures while all the while attempting to unpack, dash to the grocery store, spend a bit of time outdoors with a special little lady & her new snowboard ~ and then there's the new treasures to blend into our home ~ well let's just say there is much yet to do...... AND OH YES, visiting all of your blogs and relishing your Christmas morning joys! Magic indeed! And though I have not made it around to everyone just yet, I am LOVING the glimpses into your blessed holidays & outings.

I had hoped to create a slide show with some of our favorite Christmas season photos, but time just isn't gonna allow it! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO above are simply a few (er...more than a few) of our faves. We just could not have wished for a more beautiful season, shared with family, friends & our two miracles. This time last year, one child awaited us in have them both home this year ~ to celebrate a First Christmas with Tyler and remember back to our very first with our precious Lauren was indescribable. I know some of my bloggy friends still await their sweet babes and I hope they know my thoughts & prayers are sent their way ~ for I know well the pain of an absent loved one at Christmastime and later the joy of celebrating their homecoming. ((hugs))

Wishing you all a Happy & Joyous New Year!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Over The River and Through The Woods...............

To Grandmother's house we go.........................
I wish each of you a blessed holiday season, filled with joyful tidings, much laughter, love & dreams come true. May the true spirit of Christmas find you each day throughout the year.
I promise to check in on you all again later next week ~ I will be anxious to see your glowing Christmas (holiday) photos and hear about your beautiful celebrations. You all know I can't stay away for too long........... :)
Peace & love to you all,
Scott, Lisa, Lauren & Tyler

Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

Oh. My. Word.

Where oh where has the time gotten to? What a sneaky speedy month December has turned out to be thus far! And such irony for we blogging Mamas ~ SO MUCH material for posts and absolutely NO TIME to share it all! Rest assured that our family has relished these past few weeks of merriment and filled our days handily with gingerbread baking, tree trimming, parties & outings ~ we even squeezed in a birthday party for our lovely niece who celebrated her Sweet Sixteen!

Evenings of blogging however have given way to frantic wrapping, last minute dashes to the stores, various events & celebrations and a sprinkling of sickness dust too ~ achoo! I had hoped to journal(share) this all, as its especially magical having Tyler home with us this year to share in our traditions and joy! But time slipped away......

Life with 2 dumplings & a somewhat hectic household means flexibility, right? :) SO my new intention is to share a quick silly story or two and a Christmas greeting (above) AND put together a small video of our December happenings next week! Surely the advent of the New Year will bring balance....right? :)


Are you wondering about the title of this post? LOL Well, a few years ago our precocious girl sprang this MONSTER question on me while we deposited our gifts in the Toys 4 Tots bin.

Lauren: Mama, why are we giving these toys again?

Me: (distractedly) Oh honey, you remember ~ for the kiddos who otherwise wouldn't have gifts at Christmastime.

Lauren: But Mama, doesn't Santa bring presents FOR ALL the good boys & girls?

Me: Ummmmm............ (yes folks, quite the wordsmith under pressure) LOL

Lauren: Mama?

Me: Well, of course Santa brings presents for all the children but his sleigh is only so big and can only bring so many to each child. Remember that you receive extra presents from Mama & Daddy, Lexi, Aunt Beth & the Grandmas & Grandpas......some families are not as fortunate and cannot afford to give extras.

Lauren: O.K.

Yes, she was 4 years old when we discussed that.

THIS year, at age 7 & in First Grade she came home and asked me point blank if Santa was real.

NO WAY should the magic be under fire at this tender age!! How? Why? Uh huh.......seems Wyatt ( classmate) has an older brother who is a fountain of knowledge. I told Lauren to run like the wind(away from Wyatt) if words like "the birds & the bees" or "Tooth Fairy" ever pass Wyatt's lips. (grin)

SO I said, "well honey, what do you think?" (Hey, it always works on T.V. ~ reverse psychology and all......)

Lauren: I don't know ~ what do you think? ( drat, she's smarter than me!)

Me: I believe in the spirit of Christmas & Santa. ( I can't lie to her face BUT I DO believe in the spirit of Christmas)

Lauren: O.K. I believe too. Mom?

Me: ( smugly thinking I have dodged a bullet) Hmmmmm?

Lauren: What about the Easter Bunny?

Me: (silently cursing Wyatt's older brother) :)


2 Fridays ago we attended movie night at Lauren's school. It was a wonderful evening and the kids were encouraged to wear jammies, bring snacks, blankets, etc. and enjoy classic Christmas flicks with their families and friends. Santa was scheduled to make an appearance ~ Ho~ Ho~Ho!

Our family pulled into the lot about 15 minutes before the event. We parked and were gathering up blankets & such when Lauren hollers this out:

Lauren: OH. MY. LANDS. Look, Santa drives a Dodge Ram!

Yes, we had pulled up right next to Santa's Helper himself and were all privy to him parking, leaping out of his pick-up and yes folks, adjusting himself right in front of our family roadster. LOL Thankfully only we adults saw the latter. Ha! Ha~ Ho! ;)

Well, at least he didn't spit. Heh, heh,he........

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Outtakes 2009

Holiday festivities are well under way & YES the Christmas cards have been mailed! Each year we go a slightly different direction with our cards and this year we attempted to snap a picture of the kids following a light dusting of snow. Pretty much the same old adage held true~ when one was looking spot one, the other glanced down ~ one would smile, the other sported a grimace ~ maybe a great shot, but one set of eyes closed...... & so on! LOL We didn't even attempt to include Lexi.
In the end we went a slightly different way :) but we were able to use a variation of the shots from this day(not featured above). I also find myself really treasuring these photos regardless ( there are many more VERY similar to these!) as they captured a moment in time AND feature both of our kiddos together!
But next year? We either start earlier or seek professional help. (grin)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Don't Ever Wish To Forget

Today our little man is seventeen months old! I don't always update at each monthly milestone & heavens knows I should be wrapping a few packages or addressing our Christmas cards, but these are but a few of the things that I don't wish to forget at this magical time of year with our magical baby boy!
* The look of utter amazement each day last week when you awoke from your nap to find Christmas decorations nestled around the house, in every nook & cranny! Something new each day as Mama worked to decorate!
* The way you whispered, "up pees" and wanted Mama to walk you all around the house to see the new things and name each one. You patted my shoulder and pressed your cheek to mine as we explored all the new treasures. You sighed and asked for "mo mo" at the end.......and Mama took you about one more time!
* The way your eyes danced & you clapped & clapped when we lit our tree & outside lights for the first time.
* Your sweet voice ringing out "Ho Ho Ho" when you spot a Santa Claus!
* How you found a new buddy(vintage Santa pictured above) under the tree and visit him each day.......many many times throughout the day! You even shared your precious cookies with him! Our generous boy.
* Your pure bliss witnessing your first snow ~ oh my, we are well on our way now to having a foot of snow on the ground ~ but you love it when its flurries AND when its storming.
*The way you call snow "no".
*How you dance and shimmy to our favorite Christmas songs.......and then wait patiently until we all clap for you! :)
* How you laughed with abandon when we first pulled you in your new red sleigh. ( photos to come!) AND later how you shrieked with joy when your Big Sis pulled you all the way home after we picked her up from school. I'll never ever forget her look of joy & pride either!
* Your big heart as you wish the little Christmas tree in your bedroom "night night" each night ~ you won't go to sleep until every stuffed animal or favored toy has been wished good night.
*Your innocence and sweet delight ~ just this morning you pointed to our Nativity scene and said "baby" pointing to Baby Jesus.....then you blew him a kiss. Somehow you just know he is special.
You amaze us each & every day baby boy. How VERY lucky we are to have you! How VERY lucky we are to have both of our babies!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Scarves, Hats & Mittens......OH MY!

At some point yesterday between blocks, stories and diapers it happened.......our first snow flurries of the season! A first snow for Tyler! Well, technically yes, he did observe snow last February and even into March of last year, but as an infant, his participation was limited to being bundled into a cozy snowsuit, covered in a blanket and being dashed to & fro in our arms during errand time! He was always curious about it but gosh, there were SO MANY new things for him to absorb, I'm sure a snow covered landscape was just one item more in a giant list of changes!

He was just enthralled with it all, so naturally we grabbed the first things handy (yes, camera too!) and dashed outside to check it all out! His reaction? Pure bliss........course it would have been nice if the boots we had purchased last month actually fit :( and we need a few more winter worthy items to complete the was just flurries after all and we will be better prepared next time! Tricky mild November lulled us into complacency! :)

And today? We awoke to a light dusting much to Lauren and Tyler's everlasting glee! We even pulled Tyler in his new baby sled ( blankets & all!) walking to school. Poor Lauren is petrified its all going to melt away before she is home again.....and it just might! But more will come and in the meantime I thought I'd share a slice of Tyler's first official romp in the flurries......with a surprise thrown in at the end! Let it snow.....let it snow.....let it snow......

Ummm...remember we just threw stuff on to race outside before the flurries stopped! LOL He loved it all! AND you don't want to know what I was wearing! Ha!

Joyful running.........

Someone else wanted to come out and play too. Don't worry, she got to come & play also! And she has a winter coat to come later!

Hey, what is this white stuff anyways??

Is this a prank Mama or the real deal? :) Well, it was pretty slim pickings....very light flurries to say the least! LOL
Last year this is as close to snow as Tyler was able to get. Oh, my sweet baby boy......

And because NO ONE loves snow more than Lauren, a couple of her from last year! OH, she still needed her 2 front teeth for Christmas!

Wishing you all a glorious weekend!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Art 101

During the long months spent waiting for word of our Rulings and subsequent travel to bring Tyler home, one lifeline was the arrival of our monthly updates which included among other things, photos and a short video. Oh, how we cherished and studied these with great scrutiny and care. I know of at least one month that we viewed our video, all 1 minute of it, 50 times and that's a conservative estimate! And though it was bittersweet, often marking the swift changes in our baby boy that were taking place without us, we treasured these incredible keepsakes and still do!

Early on we noted in the videos that Tyler appeared to favor his left hand. We wondered and speculated whether this indicated a tendency towards lefthandness. Being all "righties" LOL we marveled at this and spent many a chat musing over this mystery. Once home we just were not certain. At barely 7 months he was using both hands equally and mastering new skills with both.

Now its true that with your second child, said munchkin will in all likelihood be introduced to certain things sooner than with your first. I know for a fact that while I started Lauren using crayons and markers at an early age, it was not quite as soon as with Tyler. But of course he is always always watching his beloved big sis and SO wishes to do all the big kid stuff that she can do. Hence he was introduced to markers, coloring books, crayons, etc. months & months ago! And..........

Our little man simply loves to draw! Before he even took his first wobbly steps, he had grasped a piece of sidewalk chalk outside and began sweeping it across the pavement. Sidewalk art remains his favorite, though it may have more to do with being outside than the actual medium. :) Inside, Tyler colors with markers or crayons almost everyday and YES, he uses his left hand! This is interesting because we had just about decided he was in fact a "righty" as he feeds himself with his spoon using his right hand. What a fun discovery it has been!

BUT OH, when he draws ~ it is something to see. Our little guy, normally a whirling dervish of activity at 16 months can attend to it for upwards of 40 minutes or more. I mean he REALLY loves it! AND he will be drawing outside, take a step back as if studying the "big picture" of his work in progress, then step forward adding some small slash or mark before nodding his head & moving on. Its a hoot! His love of coloring has helped him to learn a few colors already too ~ Tyler can say and indentify both yellow & purple.....well,most of the time anyways! Ok, Ok, some of the time anyways.......LOL. AND red he calls, "Mo Mo", short for Elmo. Woe be the guest who arrives wearing red only to have Tyler label them "Elmo". LOL And it can be messy too! OH yes, it can!! :) Will he be an artist one day? Who knows? But it sure is fun being on this side of the video and wondering about his aptitudes than on the other side looking in!

And one more indulgence, er story, since we are chatting about art: This past weekend while visiting at my folks, all of us ladies/girls spent some time in the madness, shopping their downtown area. At one point we popped into an art gallery of local artists.....very neat stuff! I was a bit behind the group so when I entered I was immediately called over to a viewing bench in front of one collection by both Lauren and our niece Alyssa. They were so insistent and excited...."Mama, Mama" ~ "Aunt Lisa" they shouted in chorus; please come have a look.

Well, of course inside my Mama's heart just swelled to gigantic proportions. Ah, I thought, look at their deep appreciation for this artist's work ~ look at their joy of this piece of self expression. How proud I was feeling. I expected & anticipated that they wished to show me a piece of this work.....................not so much. :)~

Yes my friends, I was called over with such urgency to witness the "bum" impressions they had made on the faux leather cushions on said bench.Nothing was said about the art. Oh, that is until they stumbled onto the nude in the corner. LOL Ah well.....I suppose its just another form of art appreciation! ;)

Enjoy a few art pics and an indulgence or 2 also!

Yes, Tyler has discovered that while markers are not toxic, they are in fact NOT so tasty either. I also call this, "Groucho Marx".

And a sweet lil bear came to our house to draw one day. Please just ignore my art contributions on the pavement. Its funny too, cuz Tyler always has "to add to" or "correct" Mama's art too!

This one is for you Wanda........mighty cute tush, chalk & all! See, he already suffers for his art! LOL
I can't hardly catch him in my frame as he is SO busy looking for that new canvas. Actually I can hardly catch him on film at all anymore......he's way too quick!
And a few "fun ones" just cuz.
Have you spotted the rarely seen Taiwan dragon in your backyard? Don't worry, he's harmless and oh so sweet!! He only has 8 teeth afterall!! :)
And of course our best girl, doing something she loves best!

I wonder where she is running to?? LOL
OH, and it IS starting to look a bit like Christmas around here. I have been SO relishing seeing snippets of Christmas on your blogs. I promise some soon too!!