Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye, 2008!


It's a funny thing, the end of the year. You pretty much can't remember anything but the holidays, and find it sort of a marker of "Christmas is over - time to start saving for next!". It takes a conscious effort to really reflect on a whole year, and what its brought and taken. In 2008, I was barely pregnant with Evan. Emma turned 5. We got a new TV and lost a gazebo. We gained a child, and filled up part of an empty hole in our hearts. Emma started Kindergarten - rode a bus for the first time. She experienced her first real snowfall in Oklahoma. We've made many new friends, and still long to see our old ones. 2008 was a year of renewal. New beginnings and chances. New experiences and people. Sure, some doors must close to open new ones, and things must go bad so we will see the good, but it will be sad to see it go. Hopefully, 2009 will bring just as many good things as this year to us and to all of you! Last year, we did the burning of our effergies. (Burning a list or paper-made item with all our bad habits and such on them). Although I don't think I did very well at keeping my resolution, since I can't even remember what it was, I think we'll do it again this year, just to keep tradition alive. (Probably Jan. 1st, though, since we'll be at a friends house all night)!

Anyway, my Christmas present from John finally arrived, and it is a wonderful camera that I have had my eye on for awhile. I'm still figuring out the settings and such, but I took a few pictures out at Daddy's cabin just to play around with it. In January I'll be taking a couple classes aimed at using this particular camera, so hopefully my pictures will get better! :)





Evan laughing at Daddy's kisses <3 align="center">
The kids sitting in the grass, watching the wind. (Shoulda used my sun blocker..grrr)
My beautiful family :)
Evan turned 5 months old already! Can you believe it?? He is now 17 1/2 pounds and 26 inches tall. His eyes are getting a little more brown, but still have blue mixed in. He's absolutely GORGEOUS and a WONDERFUL baby. He started sleeping through the night already and loves to laugh and smile. He is eating baby food at dinner time. Among the favorites are sweet potatoes and apples.

I'm 5 Months Old!!!
ANyway, enjoy your last moments of 2008! You can never get them back again! And Happy New Year to you all!!!
See you in 2009!
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I'll Drink to That!!

Today Evan had not only his first taste of apple juice, but had it out of a sippy cup! He has been having problems being "regular", so I decided that now was as good of a time as any to introduce one of nature's best baby regulators :) Although he was a little shocked by the taste, he did well drinking and holding his cup. He didn't drink much, but tonight he had a nice big poo and is already in bed! :)
(And won't he love reading all this as an adult one day!!! Haha!) The cruelty of moms...
It's been nice having both kids home all day, although definately different for all of us! Evan is having to deal with napping while there's a little more noise in the background, but LOVES watching his big sis doing all the things she does. Emma is probably having the toughest adjustment. Having to be quiet during Evan's naps is definately an area for improvement. She is slowly learning to entertain herself, as there is no TV allowed during the day after the early morning Sesame Street and Word World have ended. Her constant complaining of "I'm boooooored" have begun to change into small bursts of playing with toys long forgotten. It's good for her, and it's so cute for me to hear the little voices of each of the 7 dwarfs according to their names. Grumpy is grumpy, happy is cheery, and Doc seemed a little confused, but then just started talking about everyone's illnesses. Ha ha! So cute. She is taking naps in the afternoons, which I'm not sure she does at school, but needs to. It's been fun for her to be with her brother all day.
For me, it's been a little more challenging, just reminding Emma to be quiter, or remembering to make lunch at a different time than normal so she can eat on her school schedule. Dinner is usually later these days, just due to entertaining the kids, but John doesn't mind, as he gets a few minutes of kiddo time in before we eat. Evan is absolutely a daddy's boy. The minute he hears John's voice, he's done with mommy, and is looking around for dad. I can picture him following behind John everywhere he goes. Cute.
The weather is still really cold. When the wind comes sweepin' down the plains it usually hangs out a little over or under 0 degrees. We've had one ice storm already (the day my teeth got yanked), and another on its way. Emma is hoping for a white Christmas, which it doesn't look like will happen, but I'm sure the snow is packing its bags for a visit soon!
Yesterday John surprised me with a visit from the Chimey Sweeper, so we can FINALLY have our Christmas fire! (I think the last time we had a fire on Christmas in our house was the one before Emma was born!!) Last year, John's TV was in front of the fireplace, so we didn't do it then, either. SO, I'm excited for a warm cozy fire, some hot cocoa, warm slippers, and snuggles with my family :)
As a child, my Christmas memories always included the electric train going around the tree. My brothers and I would build tunnels out of blocks and presents for the train to go through. We'd put a green and red light through a block with a hole in it, to switch out a go or stop light. I remember watching that train go around and around. I could have laid there forever, eye level with the train, dreaming of what it would look like if I were that small. We'd always have a big roaring fire in the family room that Daddy made. I'd watch him put the little logs on, then light the bottom with rolled up newspaper, and add the big logs once they caught fire. We'd sit with our backs to the fire and see how long we could sit there before our backs felt like they were cooked all the way through. Daddy would poke the logs every now and then with the poker with the owl on the end. He was the bravest man alive! To tame that fire! So, now, years later, my kids have a battery powered train circling the tree, and FINALLY a cozy Christmas fire. Best of all, maybe some fond memories to have later on.
ANYWAY, now that I've babbled on and on about that, I had better get Emma heading in the bed direction. Have a good night!




Emma & Lauren riding the saddle at Rib Crib! The 2 have been inseperable lately! :)



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Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Couple Firsts!



Well, Emma finally got to leave the nest for a night! She stayed over at her friend's hosue and actually did well! We stayed over there with her until about midnight, and then she fell asleep about 15 minutes after we left. I, on the other hand, was up and down all night thinking I heard her crying and stuff. Ha ha! The poor bubble child parenting has affected me!!
Anyway, she came home this morning and took a nice nap, and should be rested up for church tomorrow...and a birthday party...and, well, I guess she can never be too rested. :(
Lauren's mom (who, by the way, has the camera I want really bad...) took a couple pictures of the big event, so I'll share them when they come!


In other news, Evan had his first shopping cart-minus-car-seat ride. My sister & I took him to Toys R Us, and let him try it out. Although he got tired of holding that big ol' head up, he was a really good sport, and liked the change of view. (Or maybe just all the colorful toys surounding him!) He is such a big boy already!!

Evan's 1st Cart Ride!


Chilling out in my p.j.'s :)

A Christmas cutie pie!

As for me and my cheeks, they have gotten back to pretty much regular size, but I have bruises on my lower jaws :( Now everyone will think John beats me! Haha! Poor guy. I can eat food now, but the catch is that I have to be able to fit it into my mouth, which only opens about an inch. I was compressing my cheeseburger last night just to fit it inside! But it was yummy!!

John is feeling better after a 24 hour bug he got Thursday. My uncle sent him a Christmas CD with Metallica songs that's he's become very attatched to, and has spent much of the evening copying it to his phone. Boys & their toys :)

Anyway, have a great weekend!!

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Chipmunk Cheeks and Christmas Parties

Yesterday:Well, I survived the wisdom teeth tractor pull, and made it back to Stillwater safely. Since then, I have been in a daze, surrounded by ice packs and pillows. The worst part is not being able to eat like I did! I can't open my mouth more than a couple centimeters now, so I have to stick with applesauce and Lipton soup for the time being. (And the 4 gaping holes collecting food probably wouldnt be good either...)
This is my 3rd day, and the chipmunk cheeks are worse than ever. What's even worse is that one is bigger than the other! AND of course, today is the day that I gave out certificates of achievement to some Kindermusik kids, and am in charge of bringing a snack to Emma's class party. Great. You know how brutally honest kids are!!! I'm a walking target!!! Ahhhh!

Today:The party went well, except that there was no parking left so I had to pull into a mud pit and drag it into my car with the stroller wheels afterwards! >:( But no kids poked fun at my cheeks, though some of the other moms were questioning if I had a bad botox job or something, I'm sure!



Emma eating her snack during the Holiday Party at school yesterday. So sweet! :)


Emma & her class


Evan was dressed up as Santa for the party. (Even though he fell asleep on the way!). Beforehand, he was bouncing around in his tigger bouncer! (What? You didn't know Santa rode Tiggers, too?!!?)
I am still really swollen, and now freaking out that I'll get "dry socket" over the weekend when there's an ice storm and no way to get to the dentist! BUT, I am eating a little more solid foods and such, so that's getting better. I'm glad I only have to do this once!
Emma's last day of school is today, and they are having a surprise party for her teacher's birthday today. They also had pajama day, which Emma has been bugging her about since the first day of school! She was SO excited that she got to roll outta bed ready for school!
Anyway, I hope you are all well and warm! (I heard it snowed in Las Vegas and Los ANgeles! You guys are probably in shock!!)
:)
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Monday, December 15, 2008

My Last Blog of Wisdom...

Tomorrow is the day. My 4 wisdom teeth are coming out. The top 2 are already out and straight, so they'll be easy (or so I've heard), but the bottom 2 are coming in sideways under the gums. They won't be as easy. Apparently they are going to cut the tooth up in pieces to be able to remove them. One is close to the nerve, so if I come out of it talking like Sty Stallone, you'll know why. Sigh. The good news is that they'll be putting me under for this. Whew. Probably luckier for them! I am NOT a dental person. Anyway, wish me luck. I'll be travelling to Edmond in the morning for my 11:00 surgery. Should be out by 11:45, but probably not completely conscious until much later. Try Wednesday. Ha!
Yesterday at our church was "Jingle Jam". It's a dancing singing type show done by the tweens & teens of the congregation about Christmas and such. It was actually pretty enjoyable. Emma really liked it, and we got to drag my baby brother along, so that always makes it a fun time!






Here's Erich awaiting the show! :D
Another thing that happened Sunday was that Evan's precious blankie - you've all seen it - the orange one with giraffe trim- went missing!! I didn't remember seeing it when we got into church so we thought it must have fallen out when we went to go in. SO, last night I drove around the parking lot in the sleeting rain looking for blankie - picturing it cryng out for help in the freezing cold! Poor thing! Alas, it was nowhere. The church was empty, but I left post its on a few of the doors and sadly went home. Then last night I had a nightmare about Blankie. It closely resembled the blanket from "The Brave Little Toaster" and it was sad and crying out in the snow all alone. The church never called. What a sad day. But then, John called and said he had called to check on it, and they had found it!! So off we went in the (windchill -1) degree weather and brought blankie home safe and sound. whew. Christmas is saved :)
Anyway, Evan is growing up so fast. He has moved from cereal to prunes to applesauce. (And he prefers them in that order, backwards). He is moving his legs like a frog on a treadmill (Or what I assume it would look like) when he lays on his tummy, so the crawling should be coming somewhat soon. Time to get out all the childproofing! Ugh. He has pretty much mastered using his hands to grab things with control now. His favorite is to grab my hair. :) You'd be surprised how much pain you can endure when you see that little guy's smile. It's like getting your hair yanked out one by one is a massage from heaven! Ha ha!
Surrounded by toys...and Calypso

Now that I can grab things, Mommy makes me practice a lot!!
Well, the weather has cooled off quite a bit now. It went from 70 to 40 in just a couple hours yesterday, but that's Oklahoma for you! We picked my older brother up from the airport Saturday evening when it was nice and warm, and by the time he left Sunday evening, it was sleeting and freezing! Amazing. Emma tells me that winter doesn't start until the 22nd. I don't know if thats true or not, but she's usually pretty right on with that kind of thing, so I believe her anyway. :)
Well, off to bed I go. No food tomorrow until after the surgery, so I've been eating my weight in chips and milk. I think I'll be so hungry by the time I wake up, I'll be eating with no teeth! ANyway, wish me luck!







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Monday, December 8, 2008

Tis The Season...

...for Christmas (yay!) and colds (boo!) Last week was the annual Christmas Light Parade. I have always kept Emma out of the parades because I think she would have more fun watching them, but this year she wanted to join in, so off she went. (She's getting so big!!!) She joined her girl scout troop and luckily, they got to ride inside a public transit bus with the heater on (it was soooo cold outside!!)
Evan getting bundled up for the parade!
Emma dressed in her Daisy uniform for the parade!

She's on the far left with the red jacket! Peeking out the door!


Evan & I watching the parade from our trunk! Brrr!
The parade was really cute, and it is always wonderful to see the lights and hear the bands playing Christmas songs. Emma was thrilled to be in the parade, although she wished it was lighter out so she could see all her friends outside the bus!
Saturday brought fun & sadness. We had to take my mom back to the airport in Oklahoma City, so we met up with my sister and then she went to the airport. Emma was very sad, but she was happy to hear that Grammie might be back for her birthday later on. After she went through security, we were off to the mall to see Santa. They both did really well. I'm not exactly sure what Emma & Santa talked about, but afterwards, he told me that I had a VERY bright daughter and that she was so thoughtful and wonderful, and he hoped that we would keep raising her that way. Well, I guess Santa's going to have to really deliver after THAT speech! She always makes us proud. :)


The kids & Santa
Saturday night, Emma's friend, Lauren stayed over night! (Remember, they had tried before, and couldnt quite behave with each other) So, Emma had a very successful sleep over! The girls had a lot of fun and behaved really well. I, on the other hand, woke up Sunday morning with a serious case of the stomach bug. For some reason, when I get sick, my entire body decides to go into drama queen mode, and I can't even walk around without falling over, so I was bedridden. John was left with the baby, who has a stuffy nose (which makes him really fussy since he can't breathe!) and the girls on his own. Emma went to her friends house, but then came home later after slamming her finger in the door, so she was screaming, Evan was screaming, I was immobile, and he was left with it all. I bet he was SOOO ready to go back to his quiet cubicle this morning! :D
I feel a little sore and tired this morning, but the bug must have been a 24 hour thing, because the tummy aches are gone. Thank goodness.
Anyway, off to start the day! Have a great week!

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Yummy!

Evan had his 4 month appointment today - I KNOW!!! 4 Months already!!! - and he did really well. He is 15 pounds, 10 ounces and 26 inches tall. He averaged an inch a month! His eyes are a hazel color, and his hair is getting longer. He is still smiling all the time - even after his vaccinations, and has slept 2 nights in a row now for about 7 hours! Woo hoo! Too bad my mind is already trained to wake up every few hours, so I sit there bored wondering the meanings of life for half the night...


Anyway, the doctor said Evan could have cereal now, so I got some and waited for tonight so we could all watch the big event!


He thought it was a little strange, but with all the foods Papa had been sneaking him, I think it was old hat, since very little came back out. He was a good eater. Out of the 3 tbsp of cereal, he probably had 2.


Tonight was Visitor Day at Emma's dance studio. Parents get to have a "sneak peek" of their routines and order their costumes - which are pretty cute. Her ballet costume is sparkly & pink, and her jazz is pink with polka dots. She did really well. The memory card wasn't in the camera, so I had to take pics with my phone, which is why they're a little un-perfect. :)




Remember that speeding ticket I got on homecoming weekend? Well, tomorrow is my court date for it. I'm hoping to set up a payment plan (a ticket on layaway, as Nicole says) so that John will stop calling me the Grinch. (I stole Christmas by wasting all our present money on that). Boo. Sorry kids. :(


John's big excitement came Saturday when ESPN came to campus for their college gameday live! show. We bundled up the kids and headed down there at 9am. The crowd was already really thick with people that stayed overnight there, but we found a spot and watched. Tonight we went back over the footage and saw a shoulder and cheek of Emma for about .2 seconds. John was really proud. Ha ha :) Here are some photos from that day!












Anyway, we will write again soon!
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Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Black Friday!

Happy Biggest Shopping Day of the Year!!
How was your Thanksgiving feast? Ours was yummy! We lugged all our ingredients and such over to my dad's GORGEOUS cabin, and hosted there. Much to daddy's dismay, I flooded the house with heat and fall decor and began the cooking. :) At first, things went a little bad because I thought the stove was on for 2 hours, and turned out, it wasn't! I wondered why the turkey was still white...
Anyway, I enede up getting it all cooked and delicious and started on all the other dishes. I still got done at 3, and we ate a yummy feast with my parents, John's parents, my baby brother, and my sister & her boyfriend, Levi. It was a great time. Evan enjoyed watching all his family eating, and starring at the intresting table of food. Emma ate 2 helpings of her favorite green bean casserole (between her & John, I'm surprised the rest of us got any!).

Evan taking a short nap before dinner!


The table with the turkey! Yum! (Daddy & I discussing wine)

Everyone but Daddy and half of baby brother Erich! :(
Evan's 1st Thanksgiving!

We were all exhausted by 6:00 that evening, and headed home. A few hours later, we woke up the kids for our annual tradition of black friday shopping. Emma's favorite part is getting to wear her pajamas out. Last year, John & I split up and my mom went to help him while my sister & I went to another store. This year, we all went together to WalMart. (Only in Oklahoma, right??) They had some cute winter clothes for Emma pretty cheap and we got a few other gifts. Right at 5, people started going crazy screaming and grabbing stuff, and my mom and I with the kids were having so much fun just watching the crazed mothers grabbing the Hannah Montana dolls off the pallets that we almost left Emma behind! Haha! John was off searching for blue ray DVDs and when we finally all met back up, we checked out and went home for pancakes and milk. Shortly after that, I went into hibernation and when I woke up 4 hours later, my mom was gone and everyone was laying down watching TV, except Evan, who had gone into hibernation as well. :)
ANyway, later on, my mom came back so "Santa" and John & I could go pick up a few last minute items. So, all in all, it was an eventful day that ended with us being done Christmas shopping for the kids! Yay!
Another exciting thing that happened today was that Evan turned 4 months old! Yay! He is still brown haired, but his eyes are blue with hazel in the center now. He is still almost ALWAYS smiling, and he laughs a LOT. He is lifting his head like a pro, and is cute as a bug! ♥



4 months old today!!!
Anyway, we hope you all had a safe & wonderful Thanksgiving, and we look forward to hearing from you soon!♥
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

As usual, we had a busy weekend! How was yours? John got the rest of the house lights hung after my half attempt last week :) So, our house looks so pretty at night now! I got a little excited after that and the satellite finally started their Christmas music channel, so we decorated the house inside for Christmas, too. I figured that since we won't be in our house on Thanksgiving, we might as well decorate now! So, our stockings are hung by the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nickolas hasn't been affected by the economy...

Anyway, last week went a little downhill when I had to pick up Emma from school early because she didn't feel well. Her friend had a stomach bug the day before, so I figured that's what it was, but I took her to the doctor because of a sore throat and she ended up with strep throat! So then, I had to go to MY doctor to get ammoxicillian, even though my strep test came back negative. I wasn't about to get strep for Thanksgiving dinner!

SO, the next day, she went back to school at lunch time and I was off to buy turkey dinner fixins!

Saturday Emma had her first Girl Scout function. They were making holiday crafts for themselves and some other community people, but I can't remember who...

Making pinecone turkeys



Her Daisy uniform - still patchless! :(

Anyway, she had a lot of fun, and then her friend from school came over to play. She ended up staying until night, and Emma wanted her to stay over. Unfortunately, they got a little rowdy together and John decided that they probably weren't going to sleep at all, so she went home :( So Emma was close to having her first slumber party, but not quite :)

Today was a pretty lounge around day except for a Kindermusik meeting, but it was here, so we didn't have to leave for that :) Our house is sparkly and festive, and our tree has already become Calypso's favorite place to cat-nap.


Emma also put up her tree today. It's really cute! I'll have to snap a pic tomorrow! But here's our little cowboy fan! :)








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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tummy Troubles :(

Happy Hump Day! Or is it.... ;)




I got an email from EMma's teacher that she wasn't feeling well, so it was up to me if I wanted her to get picked up or not. Since her friend got a stomach bug yesterday and went home, I decide I'd better go get Emma from school. Now she's lying down holding her tummy, a big ice cream bucket by her side "just in case". Poor kid.




AND I think baby Evan is sick, too. He's been really stuffed up and a little crabbier than normal. This morning I also stepped on a nice pile of furball, so apparently our step-cat isn't feeling so well, either! So, hopefully, we'll all get sick and well all before Thanksgiving!!









Today was my last class of my Sign & Sing B class. I graduated 3 children who have completed both A & B, and are now signing SEVERAL words, even at the young age of 9 months! So impressive! I can't wait to see my next group graduate!









My last class of Sign & Sing A is the second week of December, and then I'll be off for the rest of the month. Yay! But somewhere in there, I'll have to get my wisdom teeth out :( Yuk. I'm also starting to work on the curriculum & schedule for summer camps this summer. Hopefully, Emma & Evan won't mind Kindermusik-ing throughout the summer!









Last night was John's Metallica concert. He had a lot of fun. I hope he didn't fall asleep today at the big meeting, because he didn't get home until after 1am and wakes up at 5! He & his friend, who stayed here also, looked pretty ragged this morning, but who am I to judge, as I've looked pretty ragged for months now?!









Well, I'm going to sneak out and try to hang a few more light strands while the kiddos are sleeping. Have a great rest of the week!






My cute little warm snuggly bug!
I tried to swing Evan outside today to cheer him up, but it only seemed to work half way :(
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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Countdown to Turkey Time!!

Well, we're winding down to the big meal, and we made out our menu today. Yummy! I've cooked the dinner the past 4 years, so hopefully it will go well! It's exciting to think of our first Thanksgiving together as a family of 4. :)

The ad for December is due tomorrow, so I had to get pictures done today for it, and decided to go ahead and attempt Christmas pictures while I was at it. So, here are a few cute ones :) I'm not sure what I'll use for the cards this year...



















Emma has begun her list for Santa, which you can view to the left, unless you are on an auto-send. In that case, you'll have to go to the actual website, http://heidicastro.blogspot.com/



and see the list there, along with Evan's and of course John & mine, too! Hee hee!



Emma is in a 6x in tops and bottoms, and a 12/13 shoe. Can you believe it?? Evan is already in 3/6 month clothing, and soon in the 6/9 month as far as tops, since he is so tall. Growing like a weed! He is in a size 2 shoe, but probably not for long!



Our garage in in shambles, as we are trying to go through everything and stopped short. Then we brought out the Halloween & Thanksgiving stuff and today came out the Christmas stuff for the day after, so we can't park in the garage for awhile! Brrrr.



When John went to Chicago, he met up with some laser people that are coming to talk to his company on Tuesday. So, that's exciting. He also will be going to a Metallica concert that night. He's pretty excited about it!



Today Evan went on his first bike ride, but he promptly fell asleep. I guess with our newly paved road, it was so smooth and quiet!








Also, Emma is learning to ride her bike without training wheels! She still isn't too confident, but it's the first day. She'll get there soon!




Anyway, off to eat some dinner! I hope you all had a good weekend!
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