Thursday, January 22, 2015

Getting back into the groove

Our New Years was a low key affair.  We spent some fun time together as a family on NY Eve and then got together with the Nelson crew on New Years Day. On the 2nd we went down to the new Bass Pro Shop in Tacoma to check it out.  The boys loved walking around the store - from the big fish tank, to the boats and toys, it's little boy paradise.  We got in a massive line for bowling and got to bowl in their very cool sea life bowling alley.  The boys had a BLAST and we will be back for sure!




January is always a harder month for us - getting back into the swing of work and school after 2 weeks of rest and family time is a rough adjustment for all!  The first week back Jack cried in the mornings when we'd wake him up saying "It's not wake up time, it's sleep time!"  Yes buddy, all of us are feeling that pain!

We have, however, decided to take January by the horns and have jumped into our schedule full force.  Crosby loved getting back to school, has earned his self-manager badge (more to come on that later), earned several recognition cards and it just maturing before our eyes so much.  Jackson has been a little slower to warm up to our routine - but has started "school" time with Nana working on starting to trace letters.  He can do flash cards for the alphabet, colors and shapes, but getting that boy to write something might be a little slower of an effort!


We started the boys back up in swimming lessons on Saturdays.  Crosby just passed another level this week - for this level he had to swim 15 feet of the crawl stroke, start from a back glide and switch halfway into a crawl stroke for the rest of the distance and also jump into the water, immediately get into a back float and then stand up.  This next level starts work on side breathing - crazy!  Jack is more intent on charming his teachers.  He wants to hold their hands, giggle at them and get them to give him toys.  That boy is going to be trouble as a teen!



We also just signed Crosby up for Spring Little League and he starts a Kidz Love Soccer class that starts this Friday.  Crazy!!

Between all of that we've been rooting hard for our Seahawks.  Both boys are Hawks obsessed and Drew has them chanting cheers all of the time.  We can't wait for the big Superbowl game!





Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Christmas!

We had a wonderful Christmas day and have been enjoying our time off!  Our morning was very low key - a pajama and lounge around morning - which was right up our alley this year!  The boys could barely be pried away for breakfast.

Mid-day we met up with the Nelson crew at my parents and enjoyed the insanity of 7 grandkids and gift opening.  It was a wonderful day and we had a blast together!  We've still been a bit in recuperation mode and have been mostly laying low since then.  Thankfully we've had a host of new toys, books, games and crafts to make this an easy feat!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas time

After returning from Disney and making it through a final week of school and work (colds in full effect) the boys and I finally reached Christmas break.  Our first day of freedom, the 20th, was also Drew's birthday!  The entire Nelson crew drove down to Chehalis to board the Polar Express that afternoon for a train ride, hot chocolate, caroling and even a train car singing "Happy Birthday!" to Drew (and two kids - I'm sure this is not how he pictured adult birthdays going down...).  The boys had a blast, got a bell from Santa (like in the movie) and had a great time with their cousins.  Unfortunately every family in the Nelson/Miller crew left and developed some ailment.  Strep, fevers, ear infections, you name it - we all took home "presents".  Our family's cold morphed into fevers, body aches, exhaustion and a cold that wouldn't quit.  So our Christmas week plans got scaled back to the minimum and we basically spent the week watching movies and snuggling -which while not a horrible existence was not all that thrilling when your little people are miserable. Thankfully we have been on the mend and are feeling much better!



Our week started with a trip to the Dr.'s office.  Thankful to hear it was just a bug that we were dealing with and no infections!

Finally by Christmas Eve we left quarantine and adventured out for a few needed items (Quite hard to wrap gifts when your tape runs out!)

The boys had VERY little appetite most of the week, so most meals got scraped and we just pumped the liquids. We tried to execute my pinterest idea of snowman pizzas on Christmas Eve, but the boys insisted on no toppings - so they were quite the boring snowmen.  They did get a kick out of eating the heads off though - nothing says Christmas cheer like biting the head off of a snowman, right?

Christmas Eve night we got into jammies early, unwrapped one gift (and the jammies) and all snuggled up for Christmas movies.  Afterwards we snuggled up to read about the REAL Christmas story and celebrate the birth of our Savior!

And of course we left some cookies and milk (and reindeer LOVE apples, did you know? I sure hope they do anyways!)

All ready for Christmas morning!



Friday, December 19, 2014

DISNEYLAND!!!!

I don't even know where to begin.  We had the MOST wonderful trip to Disneyland last week.  I can't even describe how much fun it was to experience the parks with the boys and my parents.  I really had no clue what to expect but the boys and the trip in general exceeded every expectation that I had and will definitely be going back in the future!  And going with Grammie and Papa was wonderful - more hands and eyes to keep track of the boys, the ability to go on some of the bigger rides sans kids, plus everything is just better with grandparents around, right?

I will do another post to come about tips/tricks I learned while there, but I had to share some of our pictures and favorites!


We spent the first 2 days at Disneyland, followed by 2 days at California Adventure and then a final day back at Disneyland.  The Christmas decorations made it so magical!


We got to meet a lot of characters with very little wait.  The boys were a little unsure of them at first, but after meeting a few they warmed up and several characters got hugs by the 2nd day we were in the park.  While Disneyland is NEVER empty, the park was at least at manageable crowds and we rarely waited more than 5-10 minutes for a ride.  Which is helpful because 3 year olds are not known for their patience! :)




Our favorites in Disneyland:
Crosby: Pirates of the Caribbean, Buzz Lightyear, Autopia, Teacups
Jackson: Small World, Pooh's Pots of Honey, Autopia, Peter Pan, Teacups
Drew: Star Tours, Big Thunder Railroad, Indiana Jones, Buzz Lightyear, Pirates of the Caribbean
Stacy: Small World, Teacups, Peter Pan, Buzz Lightyear

We all also loved the train and monorail! And they had some very fun displays in Innoventions that we all loved: Iron Man costumes, games, the house of the future, etc...

The boys brought their piggy bank change and wanted to make pressed pennies so we were also on the hunt for those throughout our days - we ended up with quite the collection of Disney pennies and they loved spotting the machines and picking out their favorites.


Small world was one of our favorites this time! Instead of the repetitive song, there were Christmas carols and seasonal decorations everywhere.  It was one of Jack's favorite rides and even Papa agreed to go on it a second time!

 


I think Papa's favorite thing was the turkey legs....and maybe the Dole whips!


Crosby even went on Splash Mountain with Drew - lets just say that will NOT be happening again in the near future!!  Even though we showed him the drop he did not understand how far down that drop was! But I am so proud of him - he is usually very timid about rides but he far exceeded my expectations for what he would ride and what he enjoyed!

Days 3 and 4 were at California Adventure. By far the star was Radiator Springs - Carsland.  The boys LOVED it there and we did those rides a lot!  

Our favorites in Disney California Adventure:
Crosby & Jackson: Toy Story Mania, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, the Spinning Ladybugs, Monster's Inc, Disney Junior Live onstage  (Jackson also LOVED the Little Mermaid ride)
Drew & Stacy: Toy Story Mania, Radiator Spring Racers, Soarin' 


The Pixar Parade at California Adventure was amazing!  We thought the Disneyland Christmas parade was great too, but this one captured our boy's attention in a whole new way. Tons of their favorite characters (they weren't too into the princesses in the Disneyland parade...) and we were in an area with not a huge crowd (and only on one side of the street) so the boys got a lot of attention and interaction from everyone in the parade.  




Our final day at Disneyland was bitter sweet - on one hand we were pretty worn out from the constant activity and late nights (the boys even made it to fireworks one night!) but on the other we didn't want the magic to end!


Great memories, great time with the boys and Grammie and Papa, and too much fun to put into words!  This picture pretty much sums up our time....