Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Remembering 2009

This year has been a different year. I went back to work part time in the spring during the day and then in the fall at night. Brad moved to a new, larger store where he now has his own space. We had many visitors. We said goodbye to some things and hello to some new things. We got a big surprise and we improved our yard. We are looking forward to 2010 with much anticipation. Here are some of our favorite moments from 2009- in no particular order.

Visitors, visitors and more visitors-we had many visitors this year, both family and friends. Some stayed for a while, some just for a couple of hours. Any visit is a great visit though! Here is a picture from just before the Seattle Melanchuk's left to go back to Seattle. It was great to see them again!

Summer vacation- Part of Brad's vacation this year was taken while his brother was here. We met them just outside of Edmonton and took the kids to Millenium Place in Sherwood Park. Here, our boys play with their girls at the Lions Park in Cold Lake while Darryl and Amanda played tennis one morning.

The new store- Brad's work changed locations this year. Here is a picture from Grand Opening weekend. If you saw the store just two weeks before, you would never have believed the transformation. Having seen the hours that Brad put in, and knowing he was not the only one putting in those hours, makes it a little more believable but still pretty remarkable. Brad especially loves his own office at the new store. Ryan especially loves that it is next to McDonalds.
A BIG surpise- In early November, we discovered I was half way through our third and final pregnancy. Baby boy #3 will be arriving mid to end March of 2010.

Christmas 2009- Christmas is always a favorite time of year. It's busy, but it's enjoyable. Especially when we take the time to enjoy the childlike things and re-experience them through the eyes of our boys.

Summer projects-Here you can see two projects Brad spent the rest of his summer vacation working on; a fence and a sandbox. I think Brad likes the sandbox as much as the boys do.

Goodbye Bug- Hello Saw Stop- We finally sold the bug in the fall. Part of the money went towards the purchase of a table saw for Brad. Google SawStop and watch the video. It is an amazing piece of machinery.

New car seat-Adam graduated to a forward facing car seat this fall. He loves it!

Pre-Christmas visit-Here is Adam on the way to Edmonton to pick up my mom who came to visit us at the end of November for two weeks. Ryan was especially excited to visit with Gran-Gran, but for Adam this was probably his first real memory of my mom since he was just a newborn when she was last here.
A new camera-A birthday gift for me from Brad, I am enjoying getting to know the ins and outs of my new camera. I'm especially excited to use it more and share more pictures this year. Especially chronicalling the end of this pregnancy and the birth of our last baby.

Christmas 2009

Christmas is always a little subdued yet hectic at the same time around here. It's subdued because Brad has so little time off (he works Christmas eve and then is back to work VERY early on Boxing Day) so it's tiring. It's hectic because now we have two excitable little boys, always a very full tree, family to talk to and I have TWO meals to prepare.
Christmas Eve I make a ham with mashed potatoes, vegetables and stove top. There are usually fresh rolls as well. In addition to the meal, I am usually cleaning my house in preparation for family coming to join us for the Christmas Eve meal and before the "big" mess of Christmas morning. Sometimes I have desert ready too and this year I had part of one made, but we didn't get around to it. We talked to Brad's brother over the computer for a while, talked to my parents as well. Then before it got too late, we went out and took a drive to look at the lights. The combination of the lateness (it was already after 8) and the slick roads, we didn't stay out too late.
Once the boys were in bed, I cleaned up from dinner, helped Brad with some last minute wrapping and by midnight we were done, thinking the boys would be up early in the morning. To our surprise, they both slept in and it was almost 9 before we got up and began to unwrap gifts. Every year I encourage Brad to buy something on his own for the boys. It's not that I mind doing the shopping but since he isn't usually around when I do it, I am never sure if this is really something boys will like or if it is something Daddy will want to play with them. I know Brad has enough stess during the holiday season at work and has precious little time to shop but he always comes through. This year he bought Ryan a little off road race track with two battery operated trucks. Instead of wrapping it, we just set it up by the table and wondered how long it would take them to notice it.
We opened stockings and then had some breakfast of cinnamon buns. While we were eating, the boys finally noticed the track and took a couple of minutes to play with it. Adam was so excited, he even left his soother on the floor as he went to play. Ryan loves to sit inside the track so he can easily reach his truck no matter where it is on the track. While Ryan was excited to open gifts and play with the toys, this year he was really interested in the opening part. It was easy to get him back to opening gifts by saying we could play later. Adam however is at the point that Ryan was last year and he wanted to play with gifts once they were opened, so we all took turns opening some of Adam's for him (especially the clothes).
After the gifts were opened, we put the boys down for naps and began to clean up a little bit before getting dinner started. I forgot to brine the chicken but it still tasted ok, just not as tender and juicy as when I do. I also forgot to put out the Christmas crackers I bought for the boys. And to put the ham back out. And I think there was something else I forgot too. One year I want to get a picture of the table with all the food on it, set with the china, candles lit, BEFORE anyone decides to help themselves. And one year, I'd like to actually be able to feel a little a head of the game on Christmas day and be able to have a shower and get dressed for dinner and not be in my pyjamas all day. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to stay in your pyjama's all day sometimes, but as a SAHM I don't get much opportunity to dress up. Even this year, being pregnant, I had friends who lent me some nice dress clothes and I had a couple of different "Christmas-y" outfits I could have choosen from.
At the end of the day, it' such a long day and we have such an early morning the next day because of Brad's job, that cleaning up from dinner seems such a chore, and this year with my hormones running crazy anyway, all I wanted to do was cry. I didn't feel like I got to enjoy the day much. It was probably more my hormones than anything, although having not quite finished my own dinner before people begin asking for dessert, was a little much. Especially since it was the same dessert from the night before and I still hadn't made the second part. So I finished my dinner while making the 2nd part of dessert and served it up. To top it off, it's not even something I like but I make it because it is expected- because one year I didn't make it and it was a big deal. Now if someone wanted to make it and bring it along, that would be wonderful. But more often than not when this is suggested, I end up with multiple people trying to cook too many things in my tiny kitchen because ingredients are brought but they are cooked and assembled at my house. That's more stressful to me than just doing it on my own.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's a...

After the shock of this third pregnancy wore off, it was time to take a road trip to Edmonton for an ultrasound- mainly to determine how far along I am for sure but also in hopes to catch a glimpse of the baby and find out if it's a boy or a girl. Given the genes in this family, a baby girl would be even a bigger surprise than this pregnancy was. The baby was very co-operative and took almost every opportunity to show us...

it's a(nother) boy!
My due date is March 25th-26th so I am guessing I will be scheduled for a C-Section sometime in mid March.
We are still working on a name for this boy; we used our two favorite names on Ryan, then Ryan helped name Adam, and well now, we're kind of stuck. If Ryan had his way, we'd name this one "Toodles"...I just don't think so. I'd like to stick to a short first name, preferably 4 letters and not something begining with a "M'. Any suggestions?

Angel Pictures part 2

When we picked up our Angel Pictures this year, one of them wasn't ready for pick up. We have it now, and here is possibly the best shot of the two of them together.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Glorious sleep

It's been a long time since I can remember a full night of sleep. Ironically we were just discussing this last night. Adam snuggled in between us and fell asleep while we watched some tv. We discussed how to best move him and maybe keep him asleep for some length of time. It seems to me, if we put him down to sleep alone and at the same time as Ryan, he wakes up within an hour of us going to bed and can not be soothed unless he is brought back to our bed and this will continue all night.
Brad said to me last night "here is a crazy idea, what if we swaddle him again? We'd have to keep his arms out but swaddle the rest of him up tight. Do we have a blanket big enough?"
It sounded crazy enough to work and was definately worth a try. I found a blanket, swaddled him arms out, and layed him down and then covered him with his usual blankie and gave him his baby.
We did hear a cry at some point as he tried to get himself unswaddled but it didn't last long. I was shocked when I woke up at 7:15am with no Adam in my bed.
I guess even a 19 mo old likes to be swaddled!

Friday, December 11, 2009

New tradition-a gingerbread house

With the exception of the year I taught kindergarten, I've never made a gingerbread house before. I decided this year, I wanted to start a new tradition with my boys and make one with them. It was frustrating to make it with them, and I did more yelling than I would have liked, but I like our house. And really, what was I expecting from a 1 yr old and a 3 year old...all they wanted to do was eat the candy and lick the icing. I have some ideas on how to improve the situation next year, and maybe I'll make one with Brad but make the kindergarten kind with the boys.

(The kindergarten ones involve an empty child sized milk container, lots of icing, a plastic knife, lots of candy and no actual gingerbread!)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Our Angels

Photography by Images Studios of Cold Lake

This is the third year we've done Angel portraits with Images. They take their session fee (which they made per child this year-not that I mind...)and donate to Santa's Anonymous which is a good cause and I like knowing I am contributing to making Christmas a little nicer for some other children. Purchasing the pictures themselves is not economically friendly but I can appreciate the true talent it takes to get such wonderful photos and they do not make it easy to whittle down your choices. I am sure they took over 100 photos of the boys. I think I was given 75 or so to begin with and after much deliberation, I whittled the choices down to 13- 5of each boy and 3 of the two of them together. We are still waiting for one of the pictures of the two boys together to arrive, but here are the rest.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

The weather wasn't the worst I've ever seen, and after trick or treating for about an hour, I was surprised with how warm I still was. But it was slippery and very slushy outside thanks to the snow, rain, freezing rain we had all day. The idea was for Ryan, Adam and I to go as the super sleuths from My Friends Tigger and Pooh. But the wetness put a stop to that because I had used washable marker to make the embelums for the costumes. So they just went as Tigger and Pooh. Adam didn't care and Ryan was pretty understanding once I showed him what a mess the green marker was making. When I saw the weather earlier in the day, I thought about only doing the mall halloween even here in town. In the newspaper they were advertising there would be events from noon-3pm. In the past they have had pumpkins on display for prizes, a costume parade and prizes, and of course trick or treating at the various stores. There was no mention in the paper (or even on the fliers advertising the event at the mall) as to when each thing was happening. We went for around noon and hung out for over an hour. There was a long line for a haunted house that Ryan had ZERO interest in. There were some coloring and craft tables set up through out the mall but nothing really geared towards toodlers-preschoolers (the coloring pages were quite complex). Some of the pumpkins started arriving so we looked at those. And there was a bake sale of some yummy halloween themed treats. We tried a couple since the boys were hungry. I knew I wouldn't be able to stay for the whole three hours with both boys since they would need a nap before the trick or treaters started arriving at our door/we went out trick or treating. Some of the stores started handing out candy to the few kids that like mine, were walking around store to store waiting for things to "happen" but then someone from the radio station (sponsoring the events) went around and told the stores to STOP and that it would begin at 2pm. I thought that was REALLY crappy. The boys were hungry and starting to get antsy so we headed to the food court, as I hoped some food and sitting would help pass the almost hour before the events would begin- so much for the nap! But almost everyone else had the same idea and suddenly our two food place food court was overwhelmed. We tried waiting in line but it wasn't working so we went home. I took the boys out of their costumes, gave them a quick lunch and then sent them off to nap. Ryan was so excited about the idea of trick or treating that I had no choice but to take him out later in the evening. I woke them up just before the treaters started arriving at our door and got them dressed. They helped me hand out treats and we ran to a couple of the nearby houses between treaters at our door. We waited until Brad came home and could take over the candy handing out duties to head out to the rest of the neighborhood. Ryan was so cute, he would run up to the door and knock and if they didn't answer right away he would say "it's me Ryan!". When they opened the door instead of saying "trick or treat" he would say "happy halloween". Most times he remembered to say "thank you" as well although sometimes he said a combination of "happy halloween" and "thank you" at the end. Adam tried to say "trick or treat" a bit and almost aways said "thank you" when prompted. Ryan was also not shy about entering peoples's a little scary! Adam though needed to be holding on to Momma. They came home with a recyclable grocery bag about 3/4's full of treats. They had a couple of treats last night and then I sorted through it and now over the next couple of days will make up little treat bags to give them from time to time for good behaviour, long car trips, ect. And of course, we have a ton of left overs of our own! (The smarties, m and m's, rockets and skittles are being kept for potty training!)