Tuesday, December 30, 2014

James meet Santa!

The week before Christmas we had an awesome neighborhood party with a visit from Santa! 

 There are a ton of kids all about the same age - so fun to see them all play together. 

These oreo snowman cookies were a big hit --- James probably ate 4 throughout the evening - they may or may not have been used as a bribe when Santa arrived. 

Happy to see Santa in the safety of Daddy's arms (and of course with a cookie!) 

Checking things out from a safe distance while the other kids got their turn. 

When it was James' turn - Daddy had to go up too. 
He wasn't so sure, but thought it was hilarious when Santa asked him about Percy and Thomas and even his brother Isaac. 

I think this photo captures the "have you been a good boy and nice to your brother?" question/ answer portion!  

Most of the kids for a group photo of sorts! 
Isaac is the baby on the right. 

Santa brought presents too - notice the cookie bribe to go and get close! 

Ripping into the present --- Lightning and Chic racers! 

And just a couple photos of  the controlled chaos! 

We had a blast! 

Isaac was the life of the party - not sleeping a wink while we were there and being passed around. 

Working on standing! 

Our plan had been to leave when one of the kids melted down --- all of the kids were so good - we were only the second family to leave and we didn't leave til after 11pm! 
It was a terrific night and one we hope is repeated annually! 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Candy Houses

Last year we traded kids with the Stelses so they could have some Jimmy James time and I could make candy houses with Hannah, Owen and Molly. This year - Jen and the kids came over and James stayed to be in on the fun (or, you know, eat all the candy!) 

Isaac hung out with us too! 

As a kid we always made candy houses with milk cartons that we brought home from school. These last two years I was able to find real gingerbread houses (last year was a kit that I had to assemble - this year - Target had pre-assembled ones for less $ than the kit! I was super pumped!) 

Hannah working hard on her roof shingles. 

Jimmy got silly pretty quick --- loving having the big kids around and of course the easy access to gumdrops! 
  Action shot! 

As excited as the kids were to do the houses - our kids kept distracting them too :) 

Molly working to pour the sprinkles on her "glue" 

Finished products! 
James is working on eating the candy off our house - the other day I went upstairs to get Isaac from a nap and James was about to follow me when he stopped dead in his tracks. I kept going figuring he got side tracked by something... When I returned, he was perched on the table attempting to bite a Christmas themed "dot" off of the roof our of house. 
Caught red handed!!!! 

And our little Christmas elf! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chicago Weekend!

Last weekend Patrick and I went to Chicago for our first overnight since Isaac was born.  Grammy and Buppa were kind enough to come and stay with the boys (though I think they agreed when Isaac was still sleeping through the night!) 

We took the train down from Harvard - I would highly recommend this to anyone - it was awesome! Once we were in the city - we walked to a restaurant/bar to get some lunch and a cocktail. We also had prime seating to watch the Badger game - it was perfect! 

I enjoyed a tasty Bloody Mary with all of the fixin's - but did need to ask for a chaser :) 

Once we got to the hotel - we were surprised by a awesome welcome gift/ birthday gift from Beth --- what better way to get ready to go out in the city than with a chilled glass of champagne in your hand!! 

We met up with McFarland friends and jumped in a limo bus to celebrate Jen Stelse's 40th birthday! 

The whole group  with Chicago in the background. 

Enjoying our date night! 

The limo had great lighting - changing throughout the night so each picture had a different color hue! 

Tiki bar - fabulous drinks :) 

Hard to believe it is December looking at this photo! 
Though to be fair - it was like 50 degrees outside :) 
 See what I mean about the lighting?!? 

Another photo opportunity in the city - love this photo! 

Clearly enjoying a night out together :) 

And back at home the boys had a great time with Grammy and Buppa! 
Grammy is teaching James to "cook" - helping with cookies (including licking the spoon - you have been warned!) 

Chef James making pizza! 

Sharing trains and jumpin' around! 

And I believe this is the start of the brother antics we can all look forward to! 

I don't think this shopping cart comes with the seat belt :)

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Getting ready for Christmas

Getting into the holiday spirit has been really fun this year - seeing Christmas through the eyes of a two year old is pretty cool! 

I did most of the house decorating during nap time but James helped with a few ornaments on the tree. Specifically PERCY!

Jimmy is a master at hiding/ misplacing his trains (he was once "lost" in the shape sorter with shapes the exact green as his paint job, and mostly recently Grammy found Percy in the dishwasher! -- I figure if we ever truly lose Percy, the ornament could be a temporary substitute! 

The boys have matching Christmas jammies (because Isaac is a little bigger than most 5 month olds - we were able to make this happen!) 
Here they are in front of the mini tree at the cottage. 

Not super interested in photos... 

But perfectly happy to smile at the camera as Isaac topples over behind him!!! 
Awesome :) 

Showing off his sitting skills! 

The manger is also a big hit.  
Sometimes they are Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus - sometimes they are Mommy, Daddy and Ike. 
This set is kid friendly so James can play all he wants and nothing breaks. Just constantly reminding him that Jesus has to stay in the manger --- can you imagine if he hid that little baby?

Can you see the little window in the back of the manger? 
That is Jesus' "kid cave" - he spends a lot of time up there too :) 

And of course a few Christmas card rejects! 

Jimmy was super cooperative! 

Isaac was bored... 

Last time I checked getting your picture taken is not torture... this was MAYBE 5 minutes and he was plied with treats and train stamps the entire time... :) 

But the simple photos that you get by accident make it all worthwhile! 
Look at those sweet smiles :) 

Here's hoping your countdown to Christmas is a happy one!