Saturday, December 27, 2014

Joseph's First Christmas, Abigail's Fourth

Joseph has become addicted to candy this month, with an abundance of red and green M&Ms as well as chocolates set out in dishes, dozens of cookies from everyone we know, and daily Hershey's kisses in his countdown calendar.  In fact, his belly is like a bowl full of jelly.  (Okay, maybe that was already true, but even more so now; I lovingly call him "marshmallow" because he is so squishy and sweet.)

Baba showed Abigail where Santa was in
Western Europe.  
On Christmas Eve, I was working in the kitchen with my dad to make some soup and salad, Larry was at church with my mother, and the kids were trying to keep themselves busy.  Joseph saw that there was a wrapped gift under the tree and, being new to the existence of gifts, assumed (correctly) that is was for him.  It was long and thin and he picked it up and unwrapped an end and started to beat his sister with it when she tried to take it from him and put it back under the tree.  I decided to allow him to open it because it was a new light saber like Abigail's and the two of them could occupy each other while Dad and I finished making dinner.  He opened it, let out a squeal, and began jumping up and down cheering and yelling with excitement.  It was super cute.  (And, for the record, he and Abigail did in fact play together with their light sabers until after dinner time that night.)

On Christmas morning, Abigail wanted to plow through all of her presents in 30 seconds and then help Joseph with his.  We had to remind her to slow down and give her brother some space.  She received the remote controlled car she wanted from Santa, a Mensa endorsed game of building, spatial skills, team work and communication from Larry and me, as well as a Razor scooter, and Old Maid (which she has been playing non-stop with her grandparents for 2 days).  Joseph received a firetruck from Santa, a bulldozer from Larry and me, as well as a pattern puzzle.  Both kids also received a few things from their 3 grandparents and 6 aunts/uncles.  

Joe cool
Joseph has figured out how to use the word "MINE!!!" and he does so with great gusto 100 times per day.  It cracks me up every time, especially when he uses it on something non-desirable that he touched last or on something that isn't his but to which he is trying to stake claim.  

Abigail was old enough to watch my family play White Elephant Gift Exchange.  She helped by determining whose turn it was and bringing them the gift they wanted.  But she got pretty upset when I decided to "steal" from Grandma Judy.  She yelled at me "IT ISN'T NICE TO STEAL!!"  We all had to explain the rules to her to convince her that I was not being mean, but this is the way grown ups play sometimes.  She got into it before the 2 gift exchanges were finished.

With the mild weather, we were able to enjoy time outside as well as a fire on the deck with my whole family.  It was very relaxing and wonderful to enjoy some wine, chocolates, pies, chocolate pies, and great company around a fire while my parents played with the kids in the yard.

Joseph got into the stealing action
during our White Elephant game.
He stole this wine glass holder for his juice.

Best family pic we could muster!
Joseph is really going to need a 12 step
program to break this "M's" addiction.
My two sweet kiddos
 Look at Abigail's face
as Baba and Mama kissed!!  She
cracks us up!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Sunday Snapshots

Joseph delighted at his daily candy
from our advent calendar

I should disclose that the
kids have been wearing these
Santa hats all month long!!

Abigail's time with Santa; She asked for a remote
controlled car after we promised to buy her a violin (her first choice)
once she learns to read music.

Joseph watching Santa from a distance.
We didn't force it to obtain a crying,
unhappy, escape artist photo.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Happy 2nd Birthday

Dear Joseph,
You are 2 and I have been working with you all month to say your age.  You hold up 5 fingers and say "oooot" when I ask.  You had 3 birthday "parties", all of them very low-key.  We learned from your sister's 2nd birthday party that less is more in this situation.  

One was the weekend after Thanksgiving because your Grandma Judy and your Yinski were visiting.  We ate chocolate mini-cupcakes.  You blew out the 2 candles all by yourself on the first try.  You didn't know how to open presents, so Abigail helped you with the first one, a book of trucks that makes truck sounds.  Abigail was green with envy.  Then you got the hang of things and opened a box of 4 chunky trucks and happily drove them around the table, making truck noises.  You lovingly let Abigail play with them too because she was dying to and you love her so much!

If you look closely, you can see Elfie, our
Elf, making his grand entrance down the light
strand over the fireplace.

The second "party" was Friday the 5th after school.  Your Baba and I wanted you to have a chance to ride your new Ziggle bike that evening, even if it was through the kitchen and in the garage since it has been cold and rainy and will continue to be so all weekend.  Your sister gave you Bumblebee Transformer which she picked out, and then promptly took it and claimed it as her own the second you were busy with the Ziggle.  In daycare Friday, Ms. Madeline apparently showered you with more attention than usual and a birthday crown (that you wore all weekend!).  By the time you got home, any time someone said "Happy Birthday!" or started to sing "Happy Birthday" to you, you put your hands in the air and did spirit fingers and cheered wildly.
Your Baba posted the below picture to his Facebook, with the message "Happy 2nd birthday Joseph!  Sorry we missed your first one.  We will never miss another one!  Just to be clear, that is freshly spilled milk on your pants.  We are not irresponsible parents."

Friday night, we had family movie night with popcorn and Abigail's choice: The Grinch with Jim Carrey.  You loved the scenes without the Grinch, but when he was on screen, you would half cover your eyes and face and peek through your fingers and hold onto me so tightly.  You wanted to be brave.

Your third "party" was with your Uncles Jim & Dean and Aunts Steph & Kim on Saturday morning.  We had an elegant brunch: asparagus strata, pineapple cheddar grits and mimosas.  However, you and Abigail enjoyed pancakes, bacon, vanilla cupcakes and virgin mimosas, which is to say you drank orange juice.  You received a giant purple ball so you no longer have to fight over your sister's, a giant toy bag that doubles as a tent, a giant bag of Hershey kisses, and bananas.  Perfect gifts for a new 2 year old.  You wanted to eat the entire bag of kisses at once, since you understand that when you open gifts that they are, in fact, yours.  You own so very little in this world that you become very possessive of those things that you know are yours and you knew those 20 ounces of chocolate are meant just for you!

I am so glad you are in our family.  You have grown up so much in the past 7 months since we met.  
I love you so much, Little Man.
Love, Mama