Goodbye 2012

Monday, December 31, 2012 No comments
Closing out the year finishing building a Lego set

and someone else is "done with pants" for the remainder of the year....

See you next year!


Sunday, December 30, 2012 No comments
Oliver is not ready to ski. At least that is what we took away from our first attempt to get Oliver down the bunny hill at the local ski slope. He seemed very excited by the notion but it didn't pan out. He was scared of all the people on the mountain and later told me that he was afraid.

He did look the part though.

No skiing for Oliver this year. In his own time. Perhaps next year?

Christmas 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 No comments
My Christmas was made in the first few waking moments when I heard Oliver's voice call out in the stillness of the house, "Hey guys! Come here! Santa brought me a dump truck!". Oliver had made his way downstairs to the tree to check out the presents without waking anyone, which is a pretty amazing feat considering that whomever is first to wake has two large, excited dogs beating their tails on the walls.

But, he managed to make it downstairs and see that indeed Santa had come. We all made our way downstairs, grabbed a cup of coffee and let the gift-giving commence.

Oliver and the dump truck, which was a present from Aunt Deanna.
Underneath the tree was a giant, green dump truck. Oliver loved it. He did manage to open his second gift, a Hot Wh*eels racetrack, which he loved, and presents were done for Oliver. He had had enough. Forget opening Santa's present or anything else. He and PaPaw set out to assemble the track.

Chloe went directly for the small gift from Santa. She was convinced she knew what was inside.She was right.
Chloe with her cell phone.
 We have been debating the cell phone issue, which Chloe has been fairly relentless in telling us every time a friend got a cell phone. "She was the only one without one!". Yea, right. But, believe it or not, MANY do have them, a larger percentage with than without. We also considered Chloe's before and after-school activities and the fact that soon we may have another little one to wrangle, which means I cannot always stay for swim practice and will have to drop and go.

 After some convincing, Oliver did eventually open the rest of his gifts. In increments. I was beginning to think that I should just take the unopened gifts and put them in the attic until his birthday in June.

 But, the one gift he kept mentioning, his Nin*ja Turtle figures hadn't been opened. Finally, in what took several hours, Oliver managed to open all his presents--success!! (And, yes, we will be limiting the number of presents next year--one from each family member and not wrapping a few for Oliver, who seemed really annoyed by wrapping paper). Chloe had managed to open all her presents, empty her stocking and have her phone fully charged and filled with contacts before Oliver finished.

Playing with the dump truck and the Ninj*a Turtles with Daddy.
 Chloe's other "big" present was her painted helmet. We had purchased her a new, white helmet late in the summer and we had discussed with Chloe that we would eventually have her helmet painted, knowing all along that we would have it painted for Christmas. This was planning and back and forth trips to the painter/designer (who is a friend from the P*orsche Club). Matt and I were super-excited about it. But, on Christmas Eve, Chloe was looking at photos on my phone from the snow-fall we were getting that night and she discovered the helmet photos I had taken and emailed to Matt when I picked up the finished helmet the week before. The cat was out of the bag.

Chloe's helmet matches her chosen race colors: neon pink, neon green and yellow. She also wanted the U.S. flag and the Chinese flag on her helmet. She was happy to see that Jose, who had designed and painted the helmet, added a little purple to the bottom of the helmet.

It was a happy Christmas. All our snow the night before was gone in the morning and we are now left with boxes and toys all over the house. 
Happy Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012 No comments

Three designs of Christmas cards this year. Who can choose just one?


Holiday Baking

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 1 comment
The kids and I set out to make sugar cookies this afternoon and this evening Matt came home to make Scotch eggs and sausage rolls (British favorites).

The kitchen looks like a bomb went off and baking/cooking in our kitchen with multiple people and one 100 lb. dog lurking around makes me want to run outside and pitch up a "for sale" sign in the yard.

Nevertheless, it all got done and Chloe was a big helper (and Oliver got in on some cookie making a too).

Church Pageant

Monday, December 17, 2012 No comments
The annual children's Christmas pageant at church was Sunday. Chloe reprised her usual role as angel (though definitely less smily than last year's performance), Matt was a wise man and for the second year in a row, Oliver did not participate.

Now that Oliver is three, he stayed in church for the entire duration of the performance. He is a little confused that he goes to church and to pre-school in the same building and that church isn't play time.

This morning as I waited in the drop off line for pre-school with Oliver, he talked about yesterday's Christmas pageant and reiterated that he did not want to be a shepherd or a sheep (what our children's minister had hoped he would play) and that next week was Santa's birthday.


I told him Christmas is celebrated because it is the birthday of Jesus.

Oliver was adamant, it's Santa's birthday, not Jesus. Jesus doesn't bring presents, Santa does.

And we just read the Christmas story last night at bedtime. Santa was not in the story. Perhaps we will read it again tonight (and the next night and the next).

Holiday Concerts

Friday, December 14, 2012 No comments
Today was both kids holiday concerts at school. At the same exact time. In two different locations. It was also Matt's company luncheon in NYC. Oliver was also dismissed from school after the concert, which meant I had to go to that concert and when it was over head to Chloe's school to see her concert. Unfortunately, Oliver's concert started late and we didn't get to Chloe's school for the concert. I was really disappointed. I have never missed any of Chloe's school activities or concerts. I am really upset.

I did manage to snap a photo of Chloe and Oliver before their concerts this morning.

I won the school raffle and got a front row parking spot to Oliver's pre-school and front row for the holiday concert. That means I got great photos and video. SCORE!!

I got lots of compliments on Oliver's outfit (afterwards we went to the mall and a lady told me, "She's the cutest thing. SHE should model!" She seriously needs her eyes checked.).  I thought he looked darling and like a boy. Here's he discovered the zipper pocket on his pants. He couldn't resist.

I also got a video of one of the songs with Oliver dancing. Too funny.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012 No comments
I don't think this one is ready to play board games just yet. I tried to have some quality time playing Memory today.

He just kept asking when he could wreck it.

iPhone Photo Dump

Monday, December 10, 2012 No comments
I haven't done very well posting as of late. We are in the middle of updating our homestudy (another post on that later) which means we are knee-deep in social worker visits and paperwork. It is also the holiday season and everyone is busy.
I looked at my iPhone the other day and noticed many photos worthy of comment.
When the 3 year-old gets a hold of your phone...
You get LOTS of photos of silly faces--


and random photos of yourself out to eat with your parents and children after Thanksgiving--
 I am putting the kabash on Oliver's photo taking with my phone. He believes my iPhone is community property and feels it is ok to remove it from my purse to play on it. I have no game apps on my iPhone as to deter him from wanting to play on it, but he loves the camera. I had to make a new rule that my iPhone is hands-off after he removed it from my purse and then left it behind in a realtor's office. Luckily we got the phone back.

Visiting Cousins....

The girl cousins look happy, the boy cousins not so much. There were some tantrums involved in order to even get this photo of the cousins.

Chloe's Cheerleading Banquet....

Cheerleading is over for the season and each of the girls on every squad (3rd-8th grade) got announced and a trophy at a dinner. This is Chloe's 3rd grade squad on stage for their presentation.

Making toys of the trophies---

Swim Meets....

We have had several swim meets the past few weekends. Two at a location on the Jersey shore. Quite a few of the kids Chloe swam against on the opposing swim team lost their houses to Sandy and we were surprised they still hosted the two swim meets considering the destruction around. The opposing team wore shirts that read, "If Sandy Couldn't Take Us Out, What Makes You Think You Can?".

Their attitude was great, but the heater in their pool wasn't working, which means the water was freezing and Chloe's lips were blue after she swam her first event. She's laying down under 4 towels shivering in this photo--

 Reading to Little Brother....
Oliver begs to have Chloe read to him at night which Chloe gladly obliges. However, its just a ploy on the part of Oliver to get Chloe to wrestle with him. Little brothers/bothers---*sigh*.
We wanted to take the kids to see the Christmas tree in NYC. After Chloe's swim meet on Saturday, we drove into the city to meet Matt, who had to work on the weekend. We didn't think of the fact that Oliver gets SUPER hyper around people. He draws energy off of people and large crowds of people means a really hyper Oliver. Walking down 5th Avenue and looking in windows was cut short with Oliver whirling, twirling, walking backwards, hopping, skipping, jumping, etc. We opted for the pedicab and then took the subway back to the car. We also learned that Oliver and subways don't mix. Our apologies to everyone he ran into spinning around the pole on the subway car. Our family night ended with a temper tantrum when we cut Oliver's "pole dance" short.

Thanksgiving Football

Friday, November 23, 2012 No comments

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

A Favorite...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 No comments
the kids love to play in BeBe & PaPaw's jetted tub. Chloe told me, "I could get used to this!". 

The US Grand Prix

Tuesday, November 20, 2012 No comments
We headed out early for the holidays to attend the inaugural F1 race in Austin. We flew to Dallas on Wednesday, was at the karting track on Thursday afternoon and Matt and I were in Austin on Thursday evening. Oliver & Chloe stayed with my parents in Dallas. It was good to get away--just adults--something Matt and I have never done since having kids (unless you count going to Ethiopia to bring Oliver home, but I don't think that counts).

We had a great three days at the F1 event despite some inaugural race glitches and got to see a great win.

A photo from our seats at Turn 12--which was probably one of the best spots to view the action.
Collective Soul on stage Saturday afternoon after qualifying. Talk about feeling old---some German guys in their early 20s asked, "Who is Collective Soul?".
Matt and I at the Collective Soul concert.
Before the race the drivers were taken around the track in classic American cars. This is Michael Schumacher.
Lewis Hamilton, the race winner.
The last lap of the race with Lewis Hamilton leading Sebastien Vettel.


Monday, November 19, 2012 No comments
We left for the holidays a little (lot) early and arrived in Dallas on Wednesday. On Thursday, we were at the track--The Dallas Karting Complex. Chloe had a fantastic run in a Micro at a new track.

This girl is quite the racer.

Crazy Weather

Monday, November 12, 2012 No comments
The weather the last few weeks has been insane. We had a hurricane, snow, then we had 60 degrees and sun this weekend.

Chloe had two swim meets this weekend. She swam her first IM and did great. After the swim meets we took advantage of the nice weather and went to the track to winterize the RV. Of course, Chloe got some track time in and Oliver got inspired to actually ride (and use the pedals) his bike.