Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Break time

Need a break from cleaning and organizing to play with all the Christmas toys right?!

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Christmas Aftermath

Organizing, cleaning, and donating.... That's my project of the day.

If you are in need of new toys let me know! They need a good home.... We're firm beleivers of Toy Story....our toys don't go to the waste dump. You've seen toy story3 right?

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

The only downside of working in the healthcare field that I have found is that hospitals dont close over major holidays. With that said every year varies on Christmas traditions and how it is celebrated. Last year was a big year in Chicago with that side of the family. This year was more low key and initimate with just the 4 of us, but still a big year for us...big in the sense filled and filled with gifts for the girls. I worked Friday night and came home Christmas eve morning and let the girls FINALLy tear into their presents. Not sure who was most excited, the girls, Brett, or Deuce. I'll let the pictures do the most of the talking....

My hubbie is slightly obsessed with golf these days...so I got him something to work on his game during is downtime.

I on the other hand am slightly obsessed with boot socks/leg warmers and shoes. I got a combination of all of that. Along with some pretty sparkly jewelry (what girl doesn't love that?!) Thanks to pinterest, my hubbie had some help on what to get me. No pictures of me that day though....after working 12 hrs and then taking an hour nap...definitely not picture ready.

That night we got ready for Santa to visit the house. We fed the reindeer by sprinking some special reindeer food on the patio. Made cookies (again after working a 12 hour night shift the cookies were store bought pre made/cut/decorated tollhouse kind....DONT judge...at least they weren't oreos and we did make some of the effort, or my first memory of santa growing up we gave eggrolls!)

The next morning the girls woke up to this....

Note that santa even left his footprints and some snow on our carpet! I know he's busy but he can at least clean up after himself. Regardless, the girls were super stoked to get up and run down the stairs to check out the gifts. In fact they tried to get up at 6am...but Brett and I put a hault on that idea!

Brooklyn loved her Big Puppy, that she was quick to name Christmas Paws, "paws" is his nickname...she's good! Alexis loved all her toys, but mostly her Sisters toys. They love playing dress up so the disney dress up trunks were a hit.

Just in case there are those looking really analyzing our pictures...and I know I have blog stalkers out there that do...I had to include this picture so you know why we throw a big blanket over our big living room couch...normally something that gets pulled when we have guests. Deuce likes to perch himself on the couch nearly all day long as you can see in the photo...

So pretty much Christmas eve and Day was spent with letting the girls tear into their presents and play. I had to work Christmas night so I took a few and Brett was surely pleased that the girls had plenty to play with and entertain themselves with.

All in all, it was an incredibly low key Christmas which if you ask me is always nice to have ever so often. Although don't get me wrong, I would have much rather spent time with any of our extended family during the holidays, but if that's not an option...this is definitely the way to go for us. The girls were spoiled by soooo many presents...lots of dolls, dress up toys because my girls are both girly girls. I think we've added 4 more puppies to Brooklyn's ever growing collection. I know that Alexis will be getting a helmet and infant size bike for her birthday because she pretty much insepreable from Brooklyn's.

Brooklyn is learning the how to not be a sore loser and at the same time learning how to not be a boastful winner thanks to Hungry Hippos. I don't think "I kicked your Butt!" will get her invited to her friends houses much..but we're working on it.
So many toys toys toys! Of course Santa didn't fail the girls without giving the obligatory new socks. Always a great stocking stuffer.
I have always loved Christmas, but it has gotten 10x better with these two....

Merry Christmas from our family to yours....we hope it was as magical as it was at our home!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Season for giving....

Not a day goes by that I don't count my blessings. I'm lucky to have what I have...no matter how little it may seem to some or lots it may seem to others. I'm thankful for the health of my loved ones and myself. I'm thankful for the house that shelters my loved ones and me. I am thankful for jobs that help provide the shelter and material things.... I'm simply thankful to have material things...but MOST importantly I am thankful to have the love that surrounds me though my family and friends. The list of things I am thankful is infinite and of course changes on the daily basis. Bottom line I am grateful I am blessed.

Holiday times can really put things into prespective....What you have one year you may not have the next or what you didn't have may even be worse the following. I look at the bottom of my Xmas tree and think my kids don't need all those gifts and it hurts to know that there are parents that struggle to put just one gift under the tree for their kids. So this year in lieu of exchanging gifts with friends we all opted on sponsoring needy families in hopes to provide a holiday that would not be able to do for themselves. New at this process I went through St Vicent de Paul and they set me up with several families to get in contact with. With the aid of my WONDERFUL friends we were able to sponser 2 large families. Both families having unique situations, but both still struggling. I kept in mind that it comes down to the kids and the same way I want to protect and shelter my own from struggles and hard times, some parents may not be able to do the same. I learned that what some people may find a necessity and would never go without (heat for their homes), some may find a luxury. I learned through this process the importance of keeping a non judgemental attitude. I learned how humbling it is to even ask for help.

Today we made the drop offs with those families. With nearly a truckload of gifts (okay, maybe I am exaggerating) we dropped off gifts for families....some basic necessities...and a few extra items to make their Christmas special. It was a combined effort from all our friends....and I am so thankful for them, but how little it may have seem to us probably made a bigger impact on these families then we'll be able to understand. This process challenged me to really put into prespective how blessed we all are but more importantly what more can I do to help.

No more Diapers Changes.....

...for me anyway (that's not to include patients unfortunately)

got Brooklyn trained to do the job at our household

and that's how we roll here! Now I got to work on getting her sister potty trained...which she's happy to help with because I'm pretty sure she's figured out one skittle reward for Alexis and 2 for her.

Our Christmas Card Tree

This year instead of taping all the awesome christmas cards we recv'd up in our ledge like we've done every other year I've started a new tradition of our holiday card tree.

I've opted on not setting up my extra 5 ft tree (from apt living days) the past few years since the girls were little, but this year they proved trustworthy. So the tree got assembled and Brooklyn chose to decorate it with all her holiday craft projects along with the holiday cards. Can I just say I have Beautiful friends?! Just saying! :)

My Little Mommas!

Alexis and her Baby....

Brooklyn, not really into dolls, but nonetheless still shows her nuturing side for her beloved puppy

Letters to Santa

As if Brooklyn hasn't driven her point home that she wants a toy puppy this year for Christmas she still insisted on sending Santa yet another letter to remind him.

She had Alexis write a letter to him asking for a puppy as well. Oh the power of an impressionable sibling and peer pressure!

First Hair Cut

Alexis (and Mommy) survived the first haircut... as you can see it was torture.

She just needed a trim to even it all out...I've been procastinating taking her....in hopes deep down it will hopefully slow the growing up process...DANG! these kiddos grow up quick!

Brooklyn- well she was pretty much blah about the whole process. Only going one other time and having the same reaction as Alexis. I think it helps that she tags along with Daddy when he goes and gets his cut. They both (daddy and Brooklyn) score candy when he's done.

I forgot to take after pictures....It wasn't drastic though...no one in this house seems to ever have any drastic haircuts ever....Brett sports the same haircut cut by the same girl for aver 10 yrs now. I get my cut maybe 2 times a year....and also have had the same long black hair!