Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve around our house is such fun -- in my opinion, just as much fun as Christmas! The kids are sooo excited and I love watching their anticipation of what Santa will bring them. It just makes for a wonderful day for all of us! We pretty much do the same thing every year for Christmas Eve.....we stay home all day and play and get ready for Santa.

Our day started by making some cookies for Santa. This year both Madeleine and Harrison were very into the cookie making, which made it even better! Here they are in the aprons I made year, I'll have to add another one!

They did most of the cookies by themselves, all I did was roll out the dough and monitor the amount of dough they ate. :) By the time they were finished there was flour all over the kitchen!!

To help pass the time while the cookies baked and cooled, Matt pulled up NORAD on the computer and we tracked where Santa was.....this was such fun, especially for Madeleine since they've been learning about Christmas around the world at school. She spent a lot of time checking out the pictures/videos of different countries.

Then it was time to put the icing on the cookies. I made up the icing, set out the sprinkles and just let them go for it! They both tried to make the "perfect" cookie for Santa! After awhile, Harrison gave up and decided to sprinkle everything in sight! Oh, that boy!!!
It's always amazing the difference a year makes. Last year Madeleine made a HUGE mess decorating her cookies, but this year she took more time and was much more particular about how her cookies looked.

The rest of our day was spent playing games and getting ready for Christmas (i.e. Mommy baking, baking, and baking!). As we got ready for bed, we peaked outside and saw that it was snowing!!! What a magical Christmas present for all of us!
We took a moment to say goodbye to Hermie, our Elf. Both kids were soooo sad to see him go back to the North Pole. It has be the MOST fun this year trying to find Hermie each morning!! He's had some tough hiding spots where he could get a good view of our playing areas. :)
Then we headed outside to sprinkle our Magic Reindeer Food so Santa could see the path to our house. This is the third year we've done this and it's always a big hit!

On Christmas Eve we let the kids open one gift, which I get to pick out. It's always something useful for bedtime and this year they both got toothbrushes with matching cups and holders -- Madeleine got a tinkerbelle one and Harrison got a cars one.

Then it was time to put out our milk and cookies for Santa. Madeleine had drawn him a picture earlier in the day and written him a note as well. She was super excited to leave them for him and even more excited when she noticed that the next morning he'd taken them with him.
Here's an upclose picture of her work....the note says "I no that I have been good every day." She wrote it all by herself without any help from us.....very good. I love watching her write and seeing what she has to say.

Finally we read the Night Before Christmas before heading off to bed. I bought this book for Madeleine the year she was born and we've read it every year on Christmas Eve -- that's 6 years. She has parts of it memorized and quoted it along with Matt. Even Harrison knew parts of it and "read" along. I just love Harrison's smile in this picture!

We tucked the kids in bed and Matt and I curled up to watch It's a Wonderful Life while waiting for them to go to sleep -- one of our Christmas traditions. Amazingly, it didn't take them long and when we went to check on them, this is what we found.....
I'm sure they were dreaming of Santa and all the goodies he would bring them.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Harrison is 3!!!

I can't believe how fast time flies! Today our little guy celebrated his 3rd birthday. I don't know why, but the 3rd and 5th birthdays have seemed the hardest for me to accept -- to me they are the ages when such big changes seem to occur. Harrison's lost all of his baby-ness and is such a little boy these days!

Since we didn't do a big party this year, we had a birthday extraordinaire planned with just the 4 of us! We started the big day by heading to Krispy Kreme for snowman donuts -- yummy!
Our next stop was Jump Zone -- holding our breaths the entire time that no one would throw up after the amount of donuts we ate! Madeleine was so excited to be there. I think she was already jumping before I'd finished filling out the release forms! :)

Harrison was all talk and then when we got there, he refused to go on anything. Finally Matt coerced him into going down a slide -- something he probably later regretted. After one slide Harrison was hooked! He wanted Matt to take him up/down all the slides. Poor Matt was exhausted!
Here's one of the moments Madeleine slowed down for a second so I could snap a picture! That girl was fearless and it was sooooo good for her to get out and burn off some energy. :)
What's making Harrison smile???
This Batman slide. He probably did it at least 20 times!!! Eventually, Matt went and sat in the back and I'd head Harrison his direction and he'd keep an eye on him going up the slide and I'd watch him coming down. He wore himself out!!

After 2 hours at Jump Zone we headed to the Promenade to ride the carousel. We'd hoped to ride the train, but it wasn't open that we settled for 3 rounds on the carousel. I made the first ride before realizing that pregnancy and spinning around don't mix well. :) So Matt rode while I waved from the side.
We also took a break from the carousel to ride some of the little rides there.

Harrison had to ride the Razorback!

After heading home and everyone getting a nice looooong nap it was time for presents! Harrison was so excited to tear into everything!! He's so sweet -- he always says "thank you" -- and gave lots of hugs.
Playing with his new dinosaur magnet book.

Opening his new remote-controlled car.....he LOVED this toy! I've been waiting for weeks to give it to him! I only wish I'd gotten 2 since Madeleine loves it too.
Opening his new play-doh set and sporting his new racecar slippers.
After more presents it was time for cake! Harrison saw this Thomas Cake at Rick's back in September and it's been all he's talked about for months. Anytime we'd mention his birthday he'd remind us that he's going to have a Thomas Cake. And, his reaction was priceless when we got it out! He was so excited!!
He at his piece then hijacked mine and ate it too.
Madeleine waiting excitedly for her piece.

It was the perfect day! I wouldn't change one thing about it and I think Harrison feels the same!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas with Grammy and Pops

This past weekend we celebrated our Christmas with Grammy and Pops since I can't move from NWA until this baby is born. Unfortunately my camera batteries were low so I didn't get a lot of pictures. :(

The kids LOVED their gifts!! It's been basically an entire year since Harrison's opened a present and he was so excited!! I also must add that he's got to be the most polite 3 year old EVER. He said "thank you" after every gift and several times, put the gift down saying "I gonna give you a hug" which he did. How sweet is that!

So, it was nice for them to have some fun new toys to play with....they were pretty busy the rest of the day just playing with their new toys.

Grammy found this awesome Santa/Christmas look and find that the kids have LOVED!!! There is an easy list which is perfect for Harrison and a harder list that sometimes even has me and Matt stumped -- although Madeleine seems to find EVERYTHING. It's been a source of lots of fun family time this week.