Friday, December 19, 2014

So was I brave or just mildly crazy?

This afternoon, after leaving work on my last day before winter break, I decided to take the boys and head over to the Best Buy to get a new laptop. I told the boys that if they were good while I shopped, I'd take them to "a fun place" afterwards. If, however, they didn't behave in the store, we would go straight home. The boys know that I follow through on this--the last three shopping trips have ended with us heading straight home. Today, though, it was a week-before-Christmas miracle!

How did he get here? Good behavior!

My laptop started going last week. Tonight it joined the laptop graveyard. We now have three laptops in the graveyard: two Toshiba's and an HP.

From bottom: Slow and old, busted hard drive, and a screwed-up battery

I ended up being in the store for around an hour. Nick sat in the big part of the cart and Henry sat up front. They traded off playing with my phone. Henry took 147 pictures.

Yup, I have to go through and delete them all. A whole bunch of them were Henry selfies.

Nick prefers taking video of himself.


Overall, the boys sat in the cart, played, and let me talk to the salesman and look at the different laptops.

I ended up with an HP touchscreen laptop--a cheap one because I'm tired of buying pricey laptops that don't even last two years. I'm not sure if I'm going to keep it, though.  I'm afraid the processing speed might not be enough. Also, the touchpad is a little wonky and I don't know if I can get used to it. No matter what, though, I'm going to keep the laptop bag I found.

Notice the comfy couch behind my bag? That's where I spent my evening. We left the Best Buy and went directly to the Ball Factory, a play space across the street that serves food and has free wifi. I used the opportunity to set up my new laptop and relax a bit.

Nick played on the foot piano, and Henry played on the little tractors.

They both did plenty of climbing, sliding, and jumping into the ball pit. We stayed until bedtime, but Henry and Nick earned it.

Should I take them to the mall to finish Christmas shopping, or is that just pushing my luck?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Nick lost his first baby tooth!

Tonight Nicholas grew up just a little bit. He lost his first baby tooth. It all started with an apple, and the next thing we knew, that tooth was out!

It's been five years since he got his first tooth, and I think that it is that same first tooth that he lost.

I've heard that is the way it happens. Here's a picture of Nick when he got his first tooth. He was around nine months old, I believe.

Since there was a decent amount of blood and Nick's mouth was a bit sore, we had frozen fruit smoothies (with Greek yogurt) for dinner.

The smoothies were a celebration, but the real excitement is the visit the tooth fairy will have to make later tonight. When I lost my last few teeth, I believe it was the mid-1980s and I got a quarter. I'm pretty sure inflation has brought up the price. Wait--I just googled it. Would you believe there's a calculator for this? Looks like the tooth fairy will leave at least $1.

Poor Henry was jealous. I had to stop him from grinding his teeth tonight. He though that would make them come out. He will have to wait a few years for his turn.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Special Christmas Event

Nick's elementary school had a Christmas event last weekend, and I took the boys to have some fun.

There were donuts and milk for snacking. . .

 . . . and face painting, too! Nick chose a snowman.

Henry chose a stocking.

They played "Throw the ping-pong ball in the goldfish bowl."

Nick played this game where he had to try to pick up the bottle. He cheated a bit, . . .

. . . but not as bad as Henry. He cut out the dexterity part entirely.

The boys decorated cookies, which was both fun and delicious, though not very nutritious.

Henry's cookie had even more candy on it. You couldn't even see the cookie!

I called it candy mountain.

I think this picture turned out cuter than the official one from the mall Santa. It didn't cost $27 either! Maybe next year we'll skip the mall and go for free pictures with Santa.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Oh, Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree. . .

On Sunday Greg brought up our Christmas tree from the basement. Since our basement is not used for much of anything, we just leave the tree set up down there and bring it up every December. Usually we make a whole event out of decorating the tree, but this year I came home and Greg had done it all. Ahh well.

Right after Nick took this picture, Henry reached over, grabbed one of the felt ornaments on the Advent Calendar, and tried to put it in his pocket. The stinker actually thought I wouldn't notice!

Lest you think we have only one Advent Calendar, Nick is showing you the awesome Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar his Auntie Mandy got him for his birthday. Each day Nick gets another little piece of Lego heaven, this year with a Star Wars twist. See?

Our other Advent Calendar you can see in the background, here. My mother made it when my sister and I were little, and it has all these cute little felt ornaments that go up on the tree. We hung it up high this year to prevent the kids from stealing the pieces.

Ahh, the Lego toys that I will soon be stepping on. . . 

The stockings are hung on nails over our kitchen table, the tree is up (crooked and missing branches, but it's up), the wreath is on the door, and the elf is on the shelf.  Time for storytime. . .

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Visiting Santa Claus. . . and Aunt Mandy, too!

This year we decided to skip the lines and take the boys to see Santa early. We were in the mall anyway to have our family pictures taken, so they were dressed nice with no dirt or food crumbs. I figured, we'd might as well.

I think next year we're going to find a Santa who doesn't charge $27 for a picture. I'm glad they snapped a picture with both of them smiling, anyway. Here are the Santa pictures from the last couple of years, so you can see how much the boys have grown.


By a strange coincidence, Auntie Mandy is working at the mall we go to this holiday season, so we visited her for lunch.

 Henry tried to steal her name tag, but was satisfied with a nice hug.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving this year was at our house. We were lucky enough to have Grandma Toni, Aunt Sarah, Uncle Jay, and baby Sophie visit us for the holiday. Doesn't Sophie look happy to be with his cousins?

We're thankful that the cousins could spend time together.  

The boys brought home crafts they'd done at school in honor of Thanksgiving. Nick made this necklace with things he was thankful for: family, food, cat. I think they're turkey feathers.

He could actually read most of the words.  :)  Another thing I'm thankful for.

Nick also made the infamous hand turkey, which was oh-so-obviously made by him with no teacher assistance.   :)

I love that he added the little waddle thing under the turkey's neck.

Henry made an adorable turkey hat with things written on the turkey feathers. He was a little more, er, egocentric in his thankfulness. He was thankful for Einstein (his stuffed penguin), Mat Man (a character at school), TV, and Darth Vader. Sigh.

Henry's hand turkey was much more polished, but obviously an adult helped with it. That's okay, though, since it was made using his hand and fingerprints. Adorable. I'm a teacher, so I have to like this kind of stuff.   :)

Here are the boys wearing their creations.  I'm most thankful for these two guys in green.

Yup. My boys remove wallpaper and add decorative crayon to walls. They're for hire, if anyone's interested.

Greg most of the cooking, and there was plenty of food. It was a pretty relaxed meal, which is a good thing because Henry didn't last long at the table. Everything was delicious, but my favorite dish was my mother-in-law's corn souffle. I forgot to take many pictures because we were too busy pigging out and visiting. I did, however, get a nice family shot of my sister-in-law and brother-in-law with Sophie.

She was laughing and smiling, but then Sophie would stop and look serious when I got ready to snap a picture. This was the best one I got of her and Grandma Toni.

I did get the boys to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving before our evening was over. Henry can say it quite clearly this year, though he more yelled it here.


It was a good Thanksgiving, though we were pretty tired when it was all through. Must be the turkey!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Nicholas had a birthday party!

This year, Nick asked for a Star Wars party. We gave him his wish, and the entire evening was Star Wars themed.

I baked cupcakes and added these star wars figures on top. Nick picked the decorations out himself, and I made chocolate, banana, and mascarpone-strawberry cupcakes.

The cupcakes turned out looking great, and for half the price I usually spend at the bakery.

Yup, I made white-chocolate covered pretzel light sabers, too.

If you look at the wall behind my adorable niece Sophie, you'll see the Star Wars wall stickers I bought. After the party, we transferred them up to the boys' room for decoration.

Nick was actually able to read a few of the words on each of his birthday cards this year.

Henry was a little jealous of Nick's gifts, so he hovered the entire time. Nick did end up sharing most of his new toys with his brother. 

The boys had a great time cuddling and playing with their cousin Sophie. Nick, especially, was really good with her.

The cupcakes were a hit with the birthday boy. They did fight over the little action figure sticks, though.

Nick had a great big goodbye hug for his Grandma Linda.

Nick had an excellent time, and he was pretty well-behaved and gracious, considering that he's only six. It was a great party, and I'm glad so many of my family members and friends made it out. I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do, though, because we had a, er, mishap during the party. Henry snuck upstairs into the walk-in-closet where the cats were being held. He took the entire cat litter box and flung it all over every piece of clothing Nicholas had in that closet. Thirty pounds of cat litter plus two very freaked out cats were left in the closet. This was one of those situations where I know it'll be hilarious in retrospect. At the time, however, it was pretty horrifying.