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...)