Sunday, December 30, 2012

A Belated Friday Favorites

I had so much going on this week. Nothing wrong with a few days late, I say. 

1. I love watching my kids play. Way to lift the pipe with your mobile crane, Big!

2. Last weekend, Rophone and I celebrated our 18th Anniversary. I wrote a little bit about it here. We were able to spend quite a bit of the day together, going to lunch and buying the last few little things we needed to tie up Christmas. The best part about the lunch was that they had some problems with the credit card machine so we ended up getting a gift certificate, good for what will amount to a really nice dinner. For free. That made us feel like we could go out again to another place later for an inexpensive dinner. It was so nice to be together to celebrate our special day.

3. I love the Holidays. Christmas Eve was great.

4. Christmas was so fantastic, too. I love the traditions we participate in as a family. 

5. The most amazing thing that happened this week is that Rophone and I got to go on a getaway. I can hardly believe it really happened. In the 14 years since we have had kids, we have gone away once (6 1/2 years ago, for two nights). Going away again was long overdue, and it was heavenly. My lovely mother watched the kids while we were gone. Thanks, Mom! We really focused on the food. So, so good. We also made it a goal to reconnect on a deeper level again. I'm happy to say the mission was accomplished. I sure do love the man. 

6. Something so awesome happened this week-- my sister, Opera, flew in from NY with her main squeeze. It was a totally spontaneous, surprise to her and us, trip. They got to spend time with my Mom and the kids on Thursday (and even shoveled my driveway and walks of the about one foot of snow that dumped on us-- so pretty!), and then Thursday evening we met up with them and my other sister, Art, and her husband. So, not only did I get to be on a getaway, but I got to enjoy an adult evening out with my sisters, too! Bonus!

7. When we returned home on Friday we got to hang with my sisters again for dinner and some game playing. It was so great to be together. The game playing included a little German, since Opera's man is a native. I love that Art has been working on it with an app for her phone. I love my family.

Such a great week!

Twenty-two Months with Edith

I feel like I haven't kept track of Edith's doings this past month as much as I usually do. Getting ready for Christmas probably has something to do with it. The fact that Edith is 22 months old means she only has 2 months to go before she turns two! Crazy!

Edith's language skills are really taking off. Every day I find myself being grateful that she can say pretty much whatever she wants. It makes things so much easier a lot of the time. Like just now when Big was sitting next to her dad where she wanted to be she whined, "That's my spot. Big is in my spot! I can't seeeee! I can't seeeee! Big is blocking me!" True, she was whining it, but at least we could understand her. Plus, it means she can sing Christmas songs, which I love to hear. So cute. 

I can't believe how tall Edith is getting! Pair that with her maturity, long hair, and good language skills, and I guess it's no wonder that Big's kindergarten teacher thought she was almost 3. 

Edith is still very independent and loves to do things on her own. She can put on her own socks and shoes and hats, and does pretty well with her pants if she doesn't get the waistband turned under. Hearing her say (or often yell) "I do it self! I do it sellllf!" is not uncommon.

Although Edith is happy playing with all types of toys (dinosaurs, blocks, cars, balls, etc), stuffed animals and baby dolls remain her favorite.

Much to our chagrin, the old baby doll is still her absolute favorite. I'm pretty sure she scarred us all for life the other day when she sat it up on the couch like this:

Creepy. But, Edith loves it so we'll just go to therapy later.

Edith is definitely the glue that holds us all together. She brings joy to our lives and we all love her. Rophone is still her definite bestie, but she seems to love the rest of us, too.

Happy twenty-two month, Edith! We love you!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Day 2012

Christmas Day was really nice this year. My mom was here with us, which we were glad about, and things were relatively quiet. Well, as quiet as it can be when you have 5 kids. We slept in a bit and then got up and showered before eating breakfast. The kids worked hard to help clean the house in the days leading up to Christmas, so they only had to eat get dressed before we could enjoy our traditional meal.

The bran muffins and eggs were divine (as usual), but everyone was a little bummed we forgot to buy any orange juice. We'll make sure to have it next year. After breakfast we cleaned the kitchen and the kids lined up to see what Santa brought. 

Edith refused to stand at the front of the line, pinning herself against the wall instead, inching slowly down the wall to put some distance between her and the open doorway. After some questioning, we figured out that Edith thought Santa was going to be in the family room with the gifts he'd brought. We reassured her that Santa was long gone, so she agreed to go on in. 

Once we convinced Edith to go see what Santa brought, things really got going.

It's really a good thing Edith decided to participate, since Santa brought her both the puppy and the fun socks she was hoping for. Not to mention some really cute underwear her parents are hoping she'll decide to use soon. 

All of the other kids got some really swell stuff, too. 

The best part (besides watching Edith, of course) came near the end of the Santa part of Christmas. Pen, who has been told by us (her parents) that she won't be getting a data phone until she's out of the house, found a little something wrapped up in the very bottom of her stocking. Apparently Santa is nicer than her folks.

She was surprised and happy, to say the least. Even better than Pen's reaction was when Ginger, who was making her way more slowly through her own stocking than Pen was through hers, discovered a surprisingly similar little something in the very bottom of her stocking! Ginger wasn't expecting to receive a phone for at least a year, so she was flabbergasted by what she found. I love the incredulous look on her face in the last photo. Watching it all unfold was a lot of fun. We still think Santa's pretty crazy, though.

Rophone received a variety pack of pepper jellies to eat with goat cheese and crackers. Santa knows exactly what to get. 

My Mom was done with her stocking when I finally got around to taking her photo, but she sure does look festive.

We took turns opening the gifts that were under the tree, taking time to appreciate what each of us received. It was nice, and watching Edith try to figure out how to get her gifts open was entertaining.

This is Pen pretending to be excited over what she thought felt like and empty box. 

Then she really was excited when she found that the box contained a certificate from her parents for both (monitored) Instagram and Pinterest accounts on her new phone. 

This is a picture of Rophone checking out the long-sleeved purple t-shirt that I got for him. I purchased it before he commented to me that he doesn't really like purple shirts. Thank heavens he liked this purple shirt. For real. I could tell he wasn't pretending (unlike Pen).

My mom got a bit choked up over a few of the presents she received. I think that means they were a hit.

Right as we finished opening gifts, Rophone's dad showed up. We're so glad that Grandpa and Grandma Gorilla were able to join us for a bit of our Christmas celebration. 

We had lunch and put Edith down for her nap and then the games kicked in. It wouldn't be Christmas in our family without some serious game-playing. First up was Bud's new game of Parcheesi. I got schooled.

Then we moved on to Skip-Bo. 

I thought it would be nice to enjoy a cup of hot cocoa while we played, but I guess I was wrong. Maybe if Rophone hadn't been throwing alley-oops to Big to try to dunk in the new indoor hoop... I figured that since I happened to have my phone in hand (from saving it) that I might as well take a picture (too bad you can't see that what wasn't soaked up by my pants is running into my shoes). Luckily, Bud was available to step in to my spot so I could take a quick shower.

To cap off a wonderful Christmas, we played a rousing game of Phase 10. 

It really was a wonderful Christmas. I'm so glad that just being with my family and participating in our traditions makes it so. Can't wait to see what next year brings.