Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Chris and Emily's North Carolina Trip

Chris and Emily were in North Carolina visiting Nonna and Pop Pop and the rest of the Nelli gang from Dec 26-30. Emily really enjoyed playing with her cousins, especially Ainsley who is closest in age to her. The girls really enjoyed coloring, playing with all the musical santas aroud the house, dancing and singing. Analese (3), looked like she was right in the middle of all the fun as well. The last picture shows the Nellis gathered around the kitchen bar for appetizers. You can't be shy... or you won't get to eat!

Christmas Morning Pics

Chris and Emily are home safely from their trip to North Carolina. Now that I have the camera back, I can post our Christmas morning pictures. It is not easy to get 3 kids to all look at the camera and smile! My big girl was the most cooperative. This year, we didn't put the presents out till the kids were in bed on Christmas Eve... needless to say, there was much excitement to see that Santa had actually visited our house! As much as the kids liked getting their own gifts, they really enjoyed giving their Nana and Grandpa gifts and "helping" them open them!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas

It has been 12 days since my last update and I can't believe how fast the days went by. I don't have any new pictures to post yet... so I'll just review the highlights and post pics later.

The week of Dec 15-19 was the last week of school before Christmas break. David had a little holiday party on Thursday where he went to school in his pajamas. I thought he looked a little silly in jammies with socks and shoes but we did it anyway. The kids look really small in those form fitting pajamas. I am hoping it is the last time he goes to school in a diaper... more on that later. His party theme was the Polar Express. The teachers read the book to the kids and they had cookies and milk. I think they all had a great time. I got the book at the library so we could read it together over the break. Emily likes the book too and informed me she has already seen the movie at school. She seems to see a lot of movies at school. Hmmm...

Emily and David both had their dentist appointments on Friday Dec 19th. Emily is a pro at having her x-rays taken, wearing the cool sunglasses and having her teeth cleaned. We were very happy to hear that her gums had tightened around the tooth she nearly knocked out in early October. Tooth trauma is just not something you want to deal with... ask Chris for the gory details. Anyway, we are thrilled she will not lose the tooth. Teeth should come out because a bigger one is pushing its way through. David was traumatized by his visit to the dentist. We managed to get his height and weight but that was about the extent of his cooperation. He wanted nothing to do with having his blood pressure checked, they didn't even want to try to do x-rays, and I had to hold him down kicking and screaming to have his teeth cleaned. Poor guy! Haircuts are really not going much better. Let's hope this improves. The good news is that they both have healthy teeth and no cavities. Next visit will be in June.

Emily had her holiday party on Friday at 1:00. Parents were invited to attend. I was a few minutes late... Emily always looks so excited when I come to her school events. The kids are really on the lookout for their parents and even for their friend's parents. I love the way the other kids say, "Emily, you're Mom is here!" like they are just as excited for her. Anyway, the kids made a manger scene mobile, had a snack, and did a book exchange. The cookies were a big hit while the carrots were politely declined with unanimous "No Thankyous" at our table. At least they were nice about it. The book exchange had girls exchanging books with other girls (princess/fancy nancy) and the boys exchanged with each other... I really don't know what the boys are reading - I should have paid more attention. Anyway, Emily brought home Dora's Chilly Day and was a little dissapointed because we already have that book (and we read it when she was 2...) but I told her we could give it to a needy child who didn't have books and she seemed to go for that. Emily brought home a HUGE bag of all her school crafts which we used to decorate the house for Christmas.

Over the weekend, Chris got our Christmas tree and we were very busy getting the house decorated. Emily was truly in her element this year. She was like a little elf and couldn't wait to decorate the house. Very cute.

On Sunday, I was given the opportunity to read and give the reflection for the gospel readings to the children at church. I have been involved with this ministry, Children's Liturgy of the Word, this year but have only helped out in the past. We had a good crowd of kids... maybe 75... and I got to reflect upon the reading where the arch angel Gabriel tells Mary she will be the mother of Jesus. Emily helped me out and was so excited to do so. We started the talk by discussing Christmas cards and how exciting it is to receive them from our friends and family. Then we talked about how God sends angels to deliver his messages. Then I asked the kids what they thought it would be like to be visited by an angel and had them close their eyes. Emily, who was hidden in a closet, came out dressed as an angel and delivered a message to one of the kids. The little girl she picked opened the message which read, 'God wants you to share your toys with your friends and family.' The girl assured us she would. Then we discussed Mary's visitation with the angel a bit more and how beautiful her faith must have been to say 'Yes' and not... "can I think about this a bit..." to the request to be the mother of Jesus. The reflection went really well. I was nervous... Emily said she was too... but I think we will get more comfortable with them as we do more in the future.

My parents came to visit on Wednesday, Christmas Eve. We attended the children's mass at church where Emily was singing in the choir. She was so excited to have her Nana and Grandpa there to hear her sing. Emily looks so happy when she sings. I'm glad she is enjoying choir so much. We made a turkey with all the trimmings for our special dinner and even though it was a tremendous amount of work... it was fabulous and well worth it.

Christmas day brought lots of presents... so many that we had to break for lunch and come back later to finish! Many wonderful gifts were given and received and it was a blessing to have my Mom and Dad with us to share in it all.

Chris and Emily left on Dec 26 for the Nelli family gathering at Nonna and Pop Pops. I have been told they are having a wonderful time and Emily is really enjoying being with her cousins.

David and I have been potty training like crazy since they left. I am happy to report that he did really well during our 'naked child' days and learned to pee in the potty pretty quickly. He says, "It's like a water fountain..." and seems to be quite fascinated by this display. Well... whatever works. Anyway, today (Saturday) we started wearing underwear and ventured out to 5:00 mass where he pee'd in the big potty at church. We used his potty ring so he wouldn't feel like he was going to fall in... and it worked great. I was mighty proud.

And that brings me up to date. I need to go to bed. Good night.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday's Updates

What a busy weekend! After church, Emily had another birthday party. Her classmate Jenna, had a party at All about Crafts where the kids got to paint a ceramic plate. This activity was certainly right up Emily's alley. Here is a picture of her proudly displaying her work. Unfortunately, she dropped it on her toe right after I took the picture... The plate was only chipped but it really hurt her toe!

We gave Jenna one of the Usborne Sticker Dolly Dressing books - what a hit they have been in our home. What little girl wouldn't like to select from hundreds of outfits and accessories to dress her dolls... We also put in some other little "crafty" things.

And to take a Mommy moment to brag... Emily has woken up with her alarm clock, dressed herself, and come downstairs to have her hair fixed 3 days in a row now. On Saturday, the day of Will's party, she came into our room and said "Mommy, it is cold outside and I dressed myself properly in long pants." Really... she said "properly." And to make it even better, we had not laid out her clothes the night before like we normally do. Good girl!

After 4 years of procrastination, we (okay Chris did it all...) have put lights up outside in our front yard. The kids like to run around out there and play "winter wonderland." I took some pictures last night to share.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

And this is why I take so many pictures....

What a sweet grin!

Emily's 1st Time on Ice!

Emily was invited to her friend Will's ice-skating birthday party today. Isn't it cool they have walkers to help the little ones learn to skate? We gave Will a copy of one of our favorite books, Bad Dog Marley. I hope he laughs as much as we have reading it.

Looks like Emily had a ball skating with her good friend, Rebecca.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Friday!

Thank goodness it's Friday! I got Emily fed and out the door this morning by 7:40 and I must admit it was hard to get out of bed. These cold mornings are tough. We are looking forward to sleeping a little bit this weekend.

I took these pictures after we got back from the YMCA and before lunch. Emily has loved the Sandra Boynton's Cds with the sing-a-long books for quite a while now. Thank you to Aunt Debbie for the best Christmas gift ever (Dog Train). They really are "seriously silly." David has grown up watching Emily enjoy Dog Train, demanding the songs by name and number in the car... Mommy plays DJ if asked nicely, and now she can really read the lyrics which must by so empowering for her. Now David can request the songs by name and number and he sings along knowing most of the words. The kids also share the book in the car, passing it back and forth and taking turns selecting each track. This "nice" sharing has taken some work. David learned quickly that throwing the book at his sister resulted in loss of turn.... Well, as you can see from our pictures today.... Lia is definetly following in the footsteps of her siblings. We have added Philadelphia Chickens and Rhinoceros tap to our collection. It has been a lot of fun.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What is that Lia doing?

Lia is 10 months old now. She is pulling up and looking mighty proud of herself. She scoots around the house with a peg-leg crawl. She crawls with one leg and drags the other... we call her "hop-a-long". I'm not sure if she will perfect this crawl to the textbook variety or not. It works for her and she is certainly getting into everything. Her favorite drawer in the kitchen to unload is the one we keep our placemats in. There are placemats spread all over the floor constantly! She will also crawl cross-country to "help" unload the dishwaser. (All our kids are the same...)She is babbling a lot. The girl wants to talk. I think we have the La, Ba, and Ma sounds down. She is eating everything - even brocolli - though I'm sure she prefers the sweeter variety of foods. Her siblings are fascinating to her and she loves to laugh at them. They all play nicely until one of them knocks her down (David!) or takes her toy away. Her Godparents sent her the lovely dress you see in the next picture. It sure is fun to dress her up! :-)

Pictures to share...

Here we are standing in front of our neighbors yard. We just got back from church... doesn't everyone look nice! It is a BIG challenge to get everyone to look at the camera. Many thanks to Penny for taking this for us.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Annual Christmas Program

Nana came to visit today. We had a lovely lunch at Masa's Sushi and attended Emily's Christmas program at school. She was one of the sheep! Cute. And to make the day even more fun, it snowed for a little bit on the way home. The kids got a chance to run around in it and tried to catch some snowflakes in their little bowls.

Lots of Fun and Chaos!

We had Emma over for a playdate last Saturday (12/7/08). As you can see, the kids had a ball! A little chaotic, well yeah! Why do little boys run around with boxes on their heads?

Fire it up!

I have been following our friend's blogs for quite a while. It is now time to start our own family blog. I will try my best to make frequent updates. I am hoping to post videos... but need to learn a thing or two first. Wish me luck!