Christmas 2010

Suddenly, it's the last day of 2010. How did THAT happen?!?! I have no idea, but I better blog about Christmas before the new year rolls in.

On Christmas morning, I stumbled out of my bedroom to face this:
My furry boy wants to play 24/7, and 7a.m. on December 25 is no exception. And he only wants to play with me.

Meanwhile, my two-legged boys were running around with great anticipation of the unwrapping.
Do you see me in the background? I'm staring bleary-eyed at my dog, whose dropped his toy at my feet for the tenth time at 7:02, and my hand is on my Diet Coke. Because I knew I couldn't face the day without a healthy dose of caffeine.

My little men couldn't wait for me to feel the caffeine.
Rick was on his second cup of coffee, so he was the official photographer for the early morning. We unwrapped our own gifts at home before going to my parents' house for THE MEAL.

While at my parents', Rick and I shared the camera, as a happily, married couple should.
I love that guy for many reasons, but one of them is because he's been home since the 23rd and isn't going back to work until the 4th. AND he's cooking nearly every night while he's off. GLORY BE! If that ain't a Christmas present, then I don't know what is.

He loves me.
Anyway, enough of that mushy stuff. I'd like to wrap up this post with mug shots.

My eldest, Liam. He's the easiest person to photograph. Hands down.
For some reason, most of Jackson's pictures from Christmas day turned out too dark, so here's a shot of the Toothless Wonder eating Jesus' birthday cake. Santa did not bring him his two front teeth, but Cupid might.
Our baby Garrett and his 'fro. He asked me the other day when his curls are going to turn straight. That would be never, so let's be thankful for beautiful hair. (For the record, it's his idea to grow his hair out.)
My dad, Big Daddy. He decided to gift himself with a violin and lessons this Christmas. Perhaps one can teach an old dog new tricks after all.
My mom, Didi. Something strange overcame her, and she decided to pick up the violin, too. I'm waiting for a recital.
My brother, Ben, came to visit from Colorado. I can't tell you how many photos I've seen of him over the years with that same smirk. But I love him anyway.
His wife, Jessica. She brings a lot of energy to the party. And she cooks a mean dish of green bean casserole.
The most important person of the day:
EDIE...with a cake face. She's coming up on her second birthday, and we can't get enough of her. She's just so full of fun.

And speaking of Edie, I have to go. We're ringing in the new year with her. Well, we'll ring in the new year a few hours early, since she needs her beauty rest.

Happy new year!

Merry Christmas

From our family...
to yours, Merry Christmas!

Yesteryear: Christmas Card 2005

Sometime in December 2005, we set out to capture a stellar photo for our Christmas card. I remember the boys weren't wearing anything cute at the time, so we stripped them down to diapers/underwear and plopped Santa hats on them. Liam was 2 1/2, Jack was 11 mos., and Garrett was 10 mos. And they were small enough to fit into the same chair.

Rick had the camera, and I ran crowd control.
Immediately, I had to take Jack's hand off of Garrett. Jack was cute as a button but always had his hands into something. And Garrett had little patience for being picked on. Funny how those two "traits" haven't changed.

Liam was "Joe Cool" in the background.
And his legs were forever ashy because of the time he spent crawling around with trains on the floor. It was such hard work to be 2.

Then, Winston came in and distracted Liam and Garrett.
Garrett began to fuss. Honestly, he fussed a lot as a baby, unless he was in my arms.

With this next shot, I started to think we might have to settle with a mediocre photo.
And then Liam found something funny and flashed his million-dollar grin.
And then Jack began to plan his escape.
"Jack, be still," I probably said. And he gave me the look that says, "What did I do?"
Then, he flashed his million-dollar grin and jumped up.
And it was unsettling to Garrett.

"Jack, sit BACK!"
Liam has always relished in his brothers getting into trouble.

In the meantime, Jack planned another escape with his Richard Pryor eyes, and roly-poly Garrett fell backwards causing Liam's hat to fall. They were like a stack of dominoes.
Garrett was terribly upset by the whole ordeal, and the photo session came to a halt for a little mommy love.
Liam stayed cool the whole time, and I guess Jack was on the loose for the time being.
Daddy pulled out some fruit snacks as bribery, and everyone began to cooperate again.
And then we caught this one:
And that was a wrap.

Yes, we sent a picture to all of our friends and family with Liam in his underwear.

Although I was terribly busy chasing three boys under the age of three, I cherish the memories of those days.

Yesteryear: December 2005

I opened my December 2005 file to this picture:
Holy cow, where did my baby go?! Garrett was 10 mos. old and full of delicious squishyness.

And Jack was 11 mos. and had a fetish for shoes.
If ever I couldn't find him, I could go to the mudroom and find him in a sea of shoes with a big smile on his face.

My Liam at 2 1/2:
Seriously, I have tears in my eyes right now! WHY do the have to grow up?!

He was (and is) so darn cute!
Back in those days, every time I pulled out the camera, the two little boys would get right in my face for a picture.
And Daddy was able to hold everyone in his lap.
Unless Jack was busy climbing something.
He's the one that I found in the middle of the dining room table a month prior to this photo at 9 mos.

Garrett was definitely too cautious to climb a table or a ladder, but he applauded Jackson's efforts.
And Liam adored trains.
My sweet baby Santas....
Oh, how I miss those days!

Mug Shots

Back in December 2008, we created face ornaments. I had hoped to repeat this activity every year, but we never got around to it last year. I have no idea why, because we enjoy this art project immensely.

Here is the The Toothless Wonder (a.k.a. Jackson) with his two ornaments.
His 2008 creation (on the left) was pretty much a blob, but this year's face actually looks like a face.
He added a mohawk, as he begs for a real one with every haircut. We let him have one for about 5 minutes at the beginning of every shave.

Garrett's old version had all of the appropriate facial features, but they weren't necessarily placed where they belonged. But this year's face really looks like him.
Curls and all.
Liam would probably create a new face every day. He loves being creative.
This year's face includes the addition of glasses and a baseball cap, of course.
And really BIG lips.

I dare you to try it with your kids and send me pictures! It's really fun and easy. (Click here for directions.)

A Christmas Tradition

The boys and I continued our yearly tradition this past weekend.
We're not smiling, because it takes great concentration to create a gingerbread masterpiece.

When I study the above photo, I see each one of my boys' personalities shining through. Jack (far left) is popping bubble wrap and paying little attention to the main task at hand. Liam (middle) is taking charge of the front door. And Garrett (right) is carefully organizing the candies.

In the end, we have a cute gingerbread house, but the boys were not in the mood to pose for the camera.
Yes, they're in their pj's again. I love this time of year, because the early nightfall is an excellent excuse for early showers. I love the smell of freshly showered boys.

In other news, I have a new tree topper.
It's cute in the daylight, but it gets lost when the sun goes down. But it'll do for now.

The Bowhead

Our sweet Clara Joy and her bow came to see us recently.
While she was here, Liam asked to take our picture. He did a pretty good job!

Clara did smile and have a good time at our house. Just not for the photographer.

Garrett's 15 Minutes of Fame

A few months ago, Garrett drew a picture of the the Aggies playing Arkansas. Rick submitted the drawing to Aggieland Illustrated, and they asked permission to print Garrett's art in an upcoming issue. Of course, Rick agreed, but we decided to not tell G about it. Rick and I have anxiously awaited the magazine's arrival in the mail, and it finally came this week.
I hid the magazine until Rick got home, and he took the boys to the couch to browse through it. He flipped through each page, making comments along the way, until he got to Garrett's page. He paused and let it sink in.

The boys looked at the page, and suddenly Garrett recognized his drawing. He was shocked and literally speechless at first. He fell back, and I caught it here:
Then, he sat up and said, "That's my picture!"
It sure is, sweet boy.

I'm so glad I had the camera ready for his facial expressions.

The caption included with the drawing reads: The EZ Hail Mary snapshot in the October issue inspired AI subscriber Garrett (age 5) to draw a picture of his favorite players, Jerrod Johnson and Jeff Fuller, following the Arkansas game. His father, Rick '93, assumed the creature on the field was Reveille, but Garrett corrected him. "No dad. That's a dinosaur."

At the time, the Aggies needed dinosaurs to help with the season, but they pulled out BIG wins in November, and now they're bound for the Cotton bowl. Whoop!