Parenting Story

Parenting Story

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Wrap Up

I can't believe that Christmas was over a month ago already! The whole day passed in a whirlwind of activity leaving us all stuffed and exhausted.
We made a trip to Dubuque to see my mom on December 23rd. We had plans to take her to a hotel for a little getaway, but in the end decided that it would be better just to stay home. We went to lunch and did some shopping before just relaxing at her house. We convinced her to come back home with us and once the kids went to bed she helped me with all of my last minute preparations for Christmas morning. I wish that we could have kidnapped her for the weekend, but she left the next morning to finish her rounds at each of my siblings houses.
On Christmas eve we went to grammy and grampy's for the traditional Christmas Eve dinner of Happy Joe's pizza. All of the great grandparents, great aunts, great uncles and cousins were there. We got home just in time to tuck the kids into their beds and prepare for the mornings festivities.

Randy and I awoke by 6:30 and only waited until 7am to wake the kids. Randy woke up Reese first because she was already stirring. Then they went into Aidan's room to wake him up. Randy said, "It's Christmas!" To which Aidan replied, "I know." Then Randy said, "I think you have some presents!" Again Aidan responded, "I know."
They sauntered down the stairs and were shocked to see their gifts!

Reese had pajamas on when she went to bed, but woke up Christmas morning without them! Which is why I took very few pictures of the kids opening gifts at our house! We had all of the presents open and had started playing by 7:30. We had just over an hour to play and then we dressed and headed out the door for our second Christmas of the day at grammy and grampy's house. We had a delicious breakfast of omelets and cheesy potatoes before starting the gift opening. Everyone was so generous and our kids were spoiled with tons of new clothes and toys!


Randy and Aidan

After hanging out to play with their new toys and visit with the fam, we headed home. I tried to organize the new haul while the kids played with all of their gifts. After fixing them a quick lunch, we sent them to bed for a nap. A few short hours later, we were waking them up to get dressed for yet another Christmas get together. We went to Randy's grandparents house for a traditional Christmas dinner of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and much more. After everyone had eaten, we made our way to the basement to open gifts. With 4 great-grandkids, 9 grandkids(plus spouses), 3 children (plus spouses) it is a very large group. The great-grandkids passed out presents and everyone dug right in, throwing paper everywhere. Once again, we were all very spoiled!

Waiting patiently to hand out presents!

Recently, we had Christmas with my family. Although I hate not being able to see my family on Christmas Day, it is nice to be able to spread the holiday out a little so that we are not rushed and can spend the day with them relaxed and in the moment. We had a late lunch and openened gifts after resting our bellies for a little while. Then the kids played with their cousins while we enjoyed the company of my brothers, sister and the spouses.

More cousins!

My mom's reactions to her gift, a barn quilt that I painted for her.
We are so lucky to have such wonderful families and to be able to enjoy the holidays with each of them!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Not very good at this game

Aidan was examing a gift to him from his grammy. As he shook and looked over the medium sized square box, I asked him if he had any guesses to what it may be? He responded, "A fire truck!" There is not a chance that the box contained a fire truck, but I guess we now know what gift is tops on his list!

Leaving on a jet plane

When I picked Reese up from preschool on Tuesday, the teacher asked if she would be attending the holiday party on Thursday. I answered yes, and she replied, "I wasn't sure because Reese said she was going on a plane and might be back by Sunday." When I got Reese into the car, I asked her why she told the teacher she was going on a plane ride. She responded, "Because I've never been and I want to!"

No kisses!

Every night as we are tucking the kids into bed, Reese jumps into Aidan's bed and pins him down to give him a kiss. While she is doing that he is giggling and yelling, "no kisses, no kisses!" The other night he had had enough. After Reese planted a big smooch on his cheek and took off for her own room, he sat up and declared, "That's crap!"

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Best Birthday Ever!

A few weeks ago, I celebrated my 31st birthday! I thought that it was going to be a pretty low key weekend, with some shopping with my husband and kids and then a visit to see my mom. I tried to schedule a quick haircut on Saturday morning before we left town. The quick haircut soon turned into 2 hours. Not only was my husband upset at having had to entertain the kids during that time period, but he was also upset that we were getting a late start to the day. We arrived at the mall in Iowa City about 90 minutes later and went staight to Motherhood Maternity so that I could look for some new maternity clothes. I found a few items and headed to the changing room. Both kids went in with me and kept going in and out of the curtain. At one time Reese popped her head out and shouted, "Grandma Potter!" My mom and sister had been texting my husband to see where we were and were trying to suprise me. It suprised me alright! I had to quickly get dressed and get out to see them!

After a bunch of suprised hugs and chatter, I paid for my purchases and we were off shopping. We took a break for lunch soon after. My kids were getting tired and cranky, so my husband offered to take them back to the hotel for a nap, so that we could get some serious shopping done! I know, he's a keeper! So they left and we finished up at the mall. Then we hit a few other stores before my husband texted me that the kids were awake. We were pretty tired, and getting hungry, so we decided to go to the hotel and figure something out for dinner. We ended up ordering pizzas because it was rainy and cold. We sat in the room visiting while the kids played in forts they built out of the blankets and pillows. The kids each suprised me with a box. Reese's gift contained tickets for her and I to go to the Disney on Ice show the next day. Aidan's gift included tickets to go to a movie together. Soon after dinner, my mom and sister headed home. I took the kids down to the pool, but the pool was overcrowded and cold, so we returned to the room to watch a movie. By the time the movie was over, we were ready for bed.

The kids did not sleep very well, so we got a very early start and headed back home. It worked out well, as they got an early nap, waking up just in time for Reese and I to head to the Disney Princesses on Ice show. Here is a picture of my little princess waiting for the show to start:

The show was amazing. The costumes and sets were unbelieveable!

Though the show was advertised targeting young girls, I think that my son would also have enjoyed it. Not only were each of the princesses represented, but also The Incredibles, Peter Pan, and Lion King to name a few. I hope to find a movie that he will be interested in, so that we can have our date soon!

After the show, we met my husband and son at my in-laws. There the kids helped to bake and decorate a cake for me.

My husband knows me so well, and did such a wonderful job planning the whole weekend. It was great just spending time with all of the people that I love the most! It was by far my best birthday ever!

Monday, December 12, 2011


Reese recently complained after I picked her up from preschool that school was boring. I responded that in just a few weeks, she would be home with me for two whole weeks and then she would know what boring really is!

Not Santa's Friend

Aidan has really come into his terrible two's lately! He throws a fit when he doesn't get his way. We have been taking advantage of the upcoming holiday to try to curb this behavior. After he throws his fit and receives the appropriate consequence (usually a timeout on the stairs or in his room) we comment that Santa Claus was watching and that he would be disappointed that Aidan was not listening to his mom and dad. We also remind him that if his behavior doesn't change, Santa Claus may not bring him any presents. Aidan's response to this information was not quite what I expected, "Santa doesn't bring me any presents. I not Santa's friend!"

Dumbest stuff on wheels

Dinner was all ready and I called upstairs to the kids that it was time to eat. They were so busy playing, that they did not hear me. I went upstairs and found the bedroom door shut. I opened the door and the kids looked up guiltily from a pile of pillows on the floor. I figured that they had been jumping off of the bed and into the pillows, but I asked anyways. Reese answered, "We were just playing dumbest stuff on wheels!"