Saturday, December 18, 2010

Merry Christmas

We had a very nice Christmas with the kids today! This was how the tree looked when we went to bed last night:

All of the kids' piles

What Santa brought Jessica: a doll (with hair!), a baby doll changing table, some fruit, candy, and Care Bears figures.

Cute doll for only $10 huh? Not high quality but perfect for an almost 3 year old!

What Santa brought John: Shakable Containers, Soft Blocks, a Taggie Blankie, and bananas.

Considering how many times a day our cat endures having his hair pulled or being tackled without lashing out, we felt he deserved a little stocking too: cat treats and a new mouse.

The kids checking out what Santa brought them, and the cat enjoying being in the middle of it all!

Jessica wore her new robe!

After checking out what Santa put in her stocking, Jessica helped John unload his stocking! This year John got to use the stocking my great-grandmother made for me. Jessica used it her first Christmas as well. I plan to make him one just like it this year to match the one I made for Jessica.

John really liked his presents....and made some pretty cute faces!

Another cute face!

And Jessica discovered that her baby doll changing table can double as a triple bunk bed!

The kids all seemed to enjoy their gifts from Santa! All in all, a very merry Christmas for only $30!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Eve!

Most years we travel for Christmas, so most years we celebrate Christmas at home the weekend before. Therefore, tonight is Christmas Eve!!! We had a nice, relaxing evening watching The Muppet Christmas Carol and opening packages!

Our tree this year....up close it looks a little rough for wear this year!

The kids' packages in the gift bags that I made here...aren't they darling?!?!

Jessica opening her gift.

Trying on the robe I made for her with the house shoes I traded my mother for. She LOVES the shoes, though we are still a little uncertain about the robe.

John opening his package.

The packaging is still the best part!

John wearing his Christmas ensemble: homemade newsboy hat and baby legs!

Jessica enjoyed setting out the cookies and milk for Santa (although she tried to wear her stocking). We watched several Christmas movies this month, so she seems to be catching on to the idea!! Tomorrow morning should be pretty exciting!! Now some elves I know need to get busy... I will post pictures of Christmas morning later!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm still here...

Just wanted to pop in for a moment to let you know that I have not disappeared off the face of the planet! We have been very busy after our trip at Thanksgiving....unpacking, doing laundry, going to appointments, getting ready for Christmas, and getting ready to travel for Christmas....oh wait that is just what I have been busy doing! David and the kids have also been pretty busy!

David has been working hard trying to save up a little bit of off time for Christmas. John just started babbling the other day!!! Jessica didn't start babbling until 9 months, so I was quite surprised!!! John is also sitting up unassisted now! We do still have the occasional tumbles, but he is getting much better! John also went to the eye doctor with me the other day. They think one of his eyes is slightly turned in, but they are hopeful that it will correct itself. They also noticed that he is slightly nearsighted. At this point we don't have to do anything about his eyes, but the doctor would like to see him back in a year to make sure everything is developing as it should. I also got new lens and new frames!! I have not had new frames since before we got married and the paint was beginning to rub off!! Sorry, no picture....I am still trying to find a suitable time to go by and pick them up.....with both of the children....

Jessica has been seeing her Speech Therapist and her Occupational Therapist once a week for about a month (about two months for the Speech Therapist). Last week was a tough week. Jessica was more difficult to handle than usual, and David and I noticed yet a few more milestones her friends were reaching that she has not. The closer she gets to school-aged the more obvious to us the delays become. The apple does not fall far from the tree. Jessica is A LOT like me. Although our pediatrician keeps thinking that she has Aspergers and that she must get it from David....for the record, we don't agree. Currently, the thinking is that Jessica is very distracted and that this paired with her highly visual learning style is preventing her from meeting appropriate developmental milestones.

This week, we have been seeing GREAT gains!!! For quite some time, Jessica felt like the television needed to be on all of the time, even though she wasn't watching it. Recently, she has started requesting it less often and has been more interested in activities like board games, playing with John, running around the house, and playing with her toys! She has also been talking a lot more and taking a real interest in communicating things that interest her --- this has been very entertaining!!! We are also looking into some additional supports as well. Overall, we are very hopeful and pleased with all of the progress she has made! We are also relieved to be getting a break from all of the therapy for a week at Christmas!!!!! It can be quite draining adjusting to a therapy intensive schedule and all of the emotions that go along with it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tour of the South - Part 2

We just got back from a week and a half tour of Tennessee with our friends and had a great time! It was so nice to be able to see so much of the family, relax a bit, and enjoy so many fun activities! Traveling with two 2 year olds and a teething baby limits how many cute pictures you are able to get, but here are a few we managed to snag!

I got some great pictures of David's family!

David's grandmother gave Jessica a porcelain doll. David's mom and I both thought she was nuts giving a two year old a porcelain doll, but she LOVES it and has been very careful with it!

David's sister was even in town with her boyfriend! I didn't get a good shot of her boyfriend, but I have to say....he is pretty awesome with babies!

Jessica had a great time wandering around the zoo with Pa Pa!

Jessica being Jessica!

Looking at all the animals with Pa Pa.

I thought the fall leaves were just gorgeous!

I would just like to point out that this is my dad's natural hair color.....I have AWESOME genes!!!!!

Our friends joined us, and our first stop was Graceland!

This was my first trip to Graceland. What impressed me the most was how generous and modest (considering how extravagant he could have been) Elvis was.

Enjoying banana splits at Graceland!

Best friends at the Enchanted Forest at the Pink Palace Museum (It is a museum of natural and local history).

Jessica actually ran up to give Santa a hug this year!!!! The first year she screamed bloody murder, and the second year she was very uncertain about the entire experience!

Jessica told Santa she wanted a "pumpkin" for Christmas, and Jessica's friend told Santa she wanted a "real tyrannosaurus rex" for Christmas. Santa seemed confused by Jessica's request and gave Jessica's friend the "sometimes we don't always get what we ask for" speech.

Next stop was the Children's Museum! Jessica went down the second story twisting tube slide for the first time by herself (It is supposed to only be for kids 4 and older, but I decided that rule didn't apply to us!)

This is the only picture of the girls together at the museum because they preferred completely opposite activities!!

However, Jessica did actually try out some other exhibits this time outside of the traditional visits to the Fire truck, police car, and Autozone! Here she is dancing in front of a green screen!!

She also went shopping at the Kroger (her mother's favorite exhibit) for the first time. The basket said to only get 3 items....I decided that rule didn't apply to us either! :-)

John also enjoyed the toddler section at the Children's Museum. Mom and Dad bought a pass, and I think both John and Jessica will really enjoy going back when we are up for Christmas!

Jessica also tried out the dentist exhibit for the first time! Pa Pa seemed pleased!

We obviously know how to brush our teeth!

Then we had to take the traditional visits to the home improvement section!

Dad had the camera and actually managed to get a few shots with me and John in them as well!

Then it was time for the trip to the Autozone. Jessica was very frustrated that she could not find the key to the Cadillac so she could drive!

So she moved on to the simulator!

John and Pa Pa spent some time bonding while John napped and I chased Jessica!

Jessica also enjoyed flying the Fed Ex jet!

Here we are at Zoo Lights....not a great shot but it was better than the other one!

All 3 kids were passed out by the time we got back!!

Other things we did while in Memphis: watch The Little Mermaid every night, went on a driving tour of Downtown, and made a stop by The Village Toymaker, aka the BEST toy store in Memphis!

The girls also created a new game where the jump up and down on my bed, playing the piano, and singing "1-2-1-2-1-2..."

Then they both fall over backwards and dissolve into giggles!

John also enjoyed very very shallow baths in the big tub on his tummy because he splashes too much for the sinks but he can't sit up well enough for me to be able to hold him AND bath him!

John also enjoyed some bonding time with MaMa!

Then it was off to Nashville, where MaMa got to read to Jessica for the first time! MaMa has been wanting to read to Jessica for a while, but we could never get her to sit still long enough!!!

Both Jessica and her first enjoyed hearing about Patsy Ann!

We also took a trip to the Opryland Hotel that recently reopened and enjoyed a boat ride (with 3 children under 3....yes, we know we are crazy)!

Other highlights from our Nashville portion of the trip include: seeing the Hermitage, Thanksgiving with my dad's family, and attending a Marionette show by the same troop that I saw when I was a little girl that has been performing since 1938! Jessica even sat for half of the performance! The other half of the performance we spent in the art room across the hall coloring and painting! I do wish we had something like that here!

Then it was off to Gatlinburg! If you only have one day, I think the best way to get a good taste of the area is to go to Dollywood. They have rides and fun things to do, great food, cultural shows, and cute shops with artisans! Jessica actually enjoyed riding the carousal!!! Last time she cried the whole time!

A great shot of our friends!

Jessica and her friend riding a duck ride all by themselves!!

Jessica and her friend riding a flying bee ride all by themselves! (Thankfully they did not stand up until the ride mostly stopped!)

And a classic Jessica shot! (And yes, the ride was still moving.)

We had a great time but are glad to be home! Right now I am busy trying to finish getting everything ready for Christmas and another trip to Tennessee for the holidays!