Wednesday, December 30, 2009

..after Santa has gone....

Christmas 2009 has come and gone.
We are all still here, that's a good sign. Looking back, December is always such a crazy time around here, however this year I found it a more manageable (no that's not lack of sleep talking).
I thought I would be lost with a newborn, but instead I took things down a notch.
I didn't do as much baking.
I went with the easier photo Christmas card instead of handwriting each one.
I even slowed down on the big elaborate gifts. (less wrapping too).
And heaven forbid, I didn't get the kids all new matching Christmas outfits.

...and you know what? Christmas didn't suck. It was just as fun and even a little less chaotic than usual.
Strive for less? Maybe that'll be my new mantra.

Of course we had the usual Christmas school concerts-

and I got to go to a fun Christmas shindig with some friends in our tackiest Christmas sweaters. (no formal stuffy stuff here)

On Christmas Eve we left Santa his cookies (I hear chocolate chips are his favorite).
We even spread some food on the front lawn for the reindeer (you know, for extra Santa points).

We also managed to make our gingerbread house for 2009. (obviously Tom had to have a say in the engineering and decorating of this house).

Christmas morning was fun.
The girls were quick to realize that Christopher Pop-In-Kins must have given Santa a good report, as there was indeed no coal in anyone's stocking.
In fact, Bryn finally got the Nintendo DS she has been asking us for daily since about June. (and Santa gets all the credit on that one too).
Ava happily played with her Zhu Zhu pets. (which I was lucky enough to get before the insane ebay hoarders got them and sold them for meeeeellions). And lerved her brother (again).
Tom happily ate his beloved Honeybaked Ham and growled at anyone who tried to take more than one portion of their own. (next year I may just buy him his own separate ham and call that his gift).

Tom taught the girls how to use their new stomp rockets and how to play with dry ice. (remind me not to get any gifts that require dry ice for packing next year). Although I did sadistically enjoy watching Ava freak out at the dry ice smoke...for some strange reason she was terrified of it. Bryn of course, found it a great accessory to spread her Christmas cheer.

I enjoyed the simpler things this year- like my new sweet boy, sitting by the tree on a quiet night after the kids are in bed and some extra long, hot showers (which are now even more wonderful as time to myself is almost gone unless I am sleeping or I have locked myself in the bathroom).
Yes, another successful holiday at the Bennett household.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christopher Pop-In-Kins

If you are looking for a new Christmas tradition, I highly recommend this Elf thing.
I know the "Elf on a Shelf" has been very popular lately. I loved the idea, but just found the elf a little on the creepy side.
Then I discovered Christopher. Same theory, only adorable!

Tom and I have been having lots of fun by making up elaborate stories about this mysterious "Christopher" which I am sure will land my kids in therapy one day.
On Dec 1st, the Christopher Pop-in-kins book magically showed up at our doorstep.
We read the story about how Christopher Pop-in-kins wanted to come here to visit boys and girls, so Santa gave him the magic to do so, and he chose to come to our house to visit. BUT-

the catch is that he will report back to Santa on Dec 24th. Then we will wait to see whether we were all good enough for a visit from Santa. (clearly Christopher was not paying special attention to Tom and myself who may have very well hurt our chances of having Santa visit).

Anyway, the fun came every morning when we had to find a place to hide Christopher somewhere in the house. This became an event with Tom and myself...we loved finding hiding places for Christopher to sit and observe.
Somewhere high enough that the girls could not easily reach and touch him (very well figurely out that this whole live-elf thing is a sham). So we told them that if they touched Christopher, he would lose his magic and return home to the North Pole. (again- Oh! The deception!)

Tom and I had fun hiding the elf for the first week or so.
Then it just became tricky trying to find a new fun place to hide Christopher each night...or even worse, we forgot to move him.
Luckily, the girls came up with their own theory by saying that "maybe he just really likes that spot"...which was a good enough for me explanation and it seemed to appease my curious little minds.
Needless to say Christopher had quite a few spots that he "really liked" and stayed for a couple nights.

I loved their excitement each morning running around and looking for him. I can even say it was fun to hear them talk about where he was hiding, how he got up there and even talk to him.
The excitement also came with a 6am wake up call as the girls could not wait to find our little elf-friend every morning.

All is all, it was a fun start to a new tradition. I look forward to having Mr Christopher Pop-in-kins visit year after year and I highly recommend this adorable elf to everyone! (big and little kids)

I am also happy to report that we must have had a good review as Santa did indeed visit and as Ava said- "Look Mom- I didn't get any coal in my stocking- I must have been nice!"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Little Big Man

He is here. Finally.
Eric Thomas.

Little brother.

It's been awhile since I have updated...partly because we've been so busy with life as a family of five. Partly because I am so tired, I can barely remember my name and when given the choice between blogging or sleeping, (anything vs sleeping for that matter), sleep always wins.

But he is here and although late, I am finally announcing it to the internets.

Eric Thomas arrived October 19th, 2009.
8 lbs 3 oz and 21.5 inches and perfect.
No really, perfect. I have never seen such a perfect little newborn head or face...including my girlies (they looked like they were Chinese).
Eric was so perfect that both Tom and I looked at each other and said- "Is that OUR child?"
I even doubted that I was his mother!

Eric has been the little boy I never know I wanted.
He doesn't really cry, but rather whimpers like a goat. (although I have hear him mad and his goat grumblings do get pretty loud).
He LOVES to eat...and sleep.
Well...sleep during the day anyway. The first few weeks were ROUGH. He would wake to eat every 2 hours and that was when I could hold him off. Definately a boob-man.
Despite his need to eat all the time or else his world would end, he was very mellow the first 6 weeks. I never had to swaddle him as he would just lay in his bassinette know chill'axin.

Eric just takes it all in. Poor kid seems to know he doesn't really stand a chance with me as his Mom and his two big sisters, so he always seems to have this look on his face.

(also known as "whatyoutalkinboutWillis?" look)

Despite the ever-present furrow in his brow. Eric seems to fit in seamlessly.
And we all adore his adorableness.
The girls are smitten. I was worried about jealousy issues, but I seem to spend more time trying to keep them from "lerving" him just a little tooooo much. (especially with flu season here).

So there we have it.
Our new, wonderfully chaotic family of five.

(Sleep is for wusses anyway...)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

She lotht a toof!

Aaaack! Where does the time go? My first born just lost her first tooth!
Somehow it makes her look a couple years older, and in return makes me feel another ten years older.
I suspect any day now I will turn around and she will be nothing but elbows and knees and taller than me.

I don't know if its my 9.5 month pregnant hormones, but with every milestone, I feel small twinges in my heart as my babies just seem to be growing up and farther away from me.

...anyway, Bryn was mighty excited to have her lose toof fall out so easily while eating dinner. She eagerly put it under her pillow to await what the tooth fairy would bring her. And I spend the night going over why we can't see the tooth fairy, why she was so shy, what she may look like and what she does with all the teeth. (one of the benefits of having analytical children).

At about 4 am. Bryn came bounding into our bed to let us know that the toothfairy came and left her a dollar!!!!!!!
A whole dollar.
I have heard rumors of kids getting $10-$20 dollars, but we figured with the dollar value nowadays, and the fact that she thinks one dollar is a lot of money, that would suffice.

She gleefully added it to her piggy bank.

But this is the best part. The part where I truly see how she has grown up.
Later that day, we heard the ice cream truck go by and when she asked if she could get some ice cream, we told her that if she wanted to use her money to buy one that she could....but the kid declined by saying that she was saving her money for a Nintendo DS.

My kid.
(or maybe not?)

I just smiled and told her that was a great choice.
If she had lost another tooth at that moment, you can rest assured that the proud tooth fairy would've brought her a Nintendo DS.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ava's First Day of Preschool!

Funny thing about that.
I have been awaiting her first day of preschool since she was a very little girl.
And now that today came, instead of booting her out my car door during pick up, I found myself a little choked up watching her walk into the school with a teacher.

And the thing that I both love and can't stand about Ava is she is absolute.
When she woke this morning, she told me she was going to school and was very excited.

And she was.

Thankfully, or else this morning would have been a disaster.
But she cheerfully jumped out of my car (and another step away from her little life here at home with me) into a bigger world.

A world that she is definately ready for. (although I am not).

When I picked her up, I asked her- "Ava, did you have a great day?"
She replied- "No Mommy, I had a VERY great day!!"

Man, I love that kid.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Soaking up the last few weeks of summer...

although summer really goes on until about October here.

We (meaning Tom) decided it would be alot of fun to head to the beach to catch some of the forecasted large wave swells exepcted from Hurrican Bill.
So he conned talked the neighbors into coming with us and even managed to convince the neighbor to go on his suicide mission...I mean...body boarding.

We just went to the local beach about 20 minutes away (you know, in case we needed a hospital close by). We could tell just walking up to the beach that the waves were a good 10+ feet. The shore was dotted with quite a few suicidal surfers hoping to catch a good wave or two.

I choose to hang closer to the beach. Well, not really choose, but Ava still refuses to go anyewhere near anything that resembles an ocean. So we played in the sand. (which is really just teeny tiny shells that stick to everything!)

...and enjoyed some of the quaint local cottages.

...pretty much anything to keep my mind off of Tom and his suicide mission.

Yeah, that's Tom in there "riding the wave". He pretty much got smeared to the bottom of the ocean and has the bruises to prove it.

Although he didn't get it as bad as some of the other crazy-a$$ surfers.
The rip tide was insane!

The pull from the tide was so strong that I coule barely keep my balance while walking in ankle deep water.
And after loooong negociations with Ava, I finally convinced her to touch the water with her feet...and the poor thing was pulled into the water by rip tides.
I think I may have scarred her for life on that one.

While I love hanging at the beach, there seems to be so much work in going there. Luckily, Tom is a gentleman and always helps to carry a ladies things.

The only real bad part is that I am still finding sand in places there should not be sand.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bryn's First Day of Kindergarten!!!

I can not even believe that I am typing that.
My first born.
My lovey.
My sweet little girl...has gone to kindergarten.

I have been dreading this day for a very long time.
I know most normal people look forward to having their kids back in school for some quieter time...I can relate to that, but I was not ready to have her gone all day.
To have someone else pick her up on a bus and drive her to school.
To have someone else make sure she arrived to class safely.

Today was the longest day of my life.

And while I know Bryn is big enough to handle school on her terrifies me that her little world just got ALOT bigger, and without me in it.

Daddy went into work late, so he could help us walk B to her bus stop!

Bryn and Ava decided the bus was too slow, so they had to sit down.
(I will not be quite so early the next time- ooops).

Upon picking her up, I got the biggest hug of my life and it was clear that it had been a very long day for fact I bet she'll be sleeping by dinner. I think she enjoyed herself, but was just a little overwhelmed.

I am so incredibly proud of my little kindergartener.
I am also sure that I will be very thankful for each and every day off school that we have together.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sea World

We decided to make the most of Tom's week off and the girls' last week of we decided to head to Sea World (which is less than 2 hours away thankfully).

The weather was rainy and thundery and lighteningy all day, so we dashed from covered exhibit to dry place. And did our best to not get struck by that pesky Florida lightening.

We decided to start our day off with the Shamu show "Believe". I highly recommend it. I think it was the highlight of our day, and I was so glad we were able to enjoy it first.
We were at the back of the stadium, but it was so incredibly cool to watch these huge animals do their thing. I even got a little vaklempt.


Doing some cool tricks. (or maybe getting ready for lunch...I couldn't tell) But that was one brave trainer!

....and wait for it....

(and we were at the back- it was THAT big of a splash).

We also enjoyed a neat dolphin show.

Many things were closed due to the weather... Bryn was not so impressed with the rain. We weren't able to feed any sting rays or other animals in the water with the lightening.

But we managed to find a few things to do.

All in all a fun day. An expensive fun day.
If you go to SeaWorld...see the shows. I think its the shows that make it fun.
I do not recommend going to Sea World nearly 8 months pregnant though. I think I spent half the day finding bathrooms to use...but that's another story.