Sunday, December 30, 2007

Christmas Hits

This was the year of the Leapster!

Other big hits were the Shake and Roll race track and the marble roller coaster kit. The Moon Sand set has been a big hit...with the boys. That stuff does not dry out and go bad like Play-Doh!

Unfortunately, our Christmas morning involved a flood in the kitchen, courtesy of our fridge. Yes, the one that had broken twice before. I'll never buy a GE fridge again! Not now that we have to replace the hardwoods in the kitchen!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Swedish Christmas Eve

The McCauley family has had a Swedish Christmas Eve...well, forever. It is a great memory from childhood that Jeff has. Each year we hope the boys will start trying some of the traditions - like Swedish meatballs, rut-mus (rutabega mashed potatoes), corn pudding, rice pudding...however, this year they were mainly interested in chips and the raspberry jello dessert. Hey, it's a start.

Having fun is a big part of the tradition as well. Our boys don't have any cousins, so they borrow Daddy's youngest cousin, Sean. The boys all gathered in the basement where there were tubs of toys waiting to be played with. Legos, dress-up, cars...and a doll house. We'll have to get one for Gracie. Hayden LOVED playing with it.
Then it was on to presents! The kiddos all collected their gifts, and had to try and be patient until it was time to tear into them. We got a bit nervous when Aunt Sonny handed Jeff a bag of batteries... the boys were thrilled! Hayden got a race track and art supplies...Bayley got a telescope which he is currently using to try and spot Santa (he caught sight of the sleigh rail, but then lost it). AND he got a kit to basically turn his room into a small planeterium! Oh my!
He thanked Aunt Sonny...and may have told her he wants a planetarium next year. Aim high, kiddo.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What A Day!!

Friday was a marathon day of holiday fun. While Hayden was at preschool, I helped in Bayley's classroom with their holiday Buddy party. In kindergarten they assign the kiddos a buddy in the 4th grade, and the buddies stay together through the years. The big kids came to visit and have cocoa with marshmallows and read holiday stories. Too cute.

Then, I snagged Hayden from preschool and we came back to help out with the holiday party. He was so excited to be able to participate. The did art projects together...and then Bay was upset I was helping the other kids and not spending enough time with him. Which...made me question why I was there at all... I keep saying I am only going to do the small projects so I can attend to him as well, but it is hard.

Our afternoon was stuffed with visits from the Aunts (complete with pink baby gear!) and a playdate with the Bunkers Brothers...and then Daddy came home early!

We've been trying to get the boys to ZooLights all month, so wven though we'd been running all day, we trekked over there. Hot tip - show up at 4. We got there ate half past and got a parking spot (which we hadn't been able to score on previous attempts) but had to wait in line for the zoo train...though the line grew exponentially once we got off. It was crazy! BUT the boys loved it.

The train zips you around a short zoo loop, so you get to see most of the main lights, plus some they have set up just for the train ride. The boys are in for everything train related, so it was a big hit.

Afterwards, we hiked around a bit (not as much as they would have was cold and mom was dragging). Hayden liked the lighted swamp set up on the amphitheater lawn - beacause that's where the hippos are. Bayley thought the anaconda was cool.

After dinner we moved the party to the boys favorite restaurant, Sweet Tomatoes because they were doing a fundraiser to aid the flood victims in Vernonia. That, and I was just plum tuckered out!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hayden's First Movie

I know. He is 4 and has never been to the movies? Well, Bayley hates watching movies on TV, so talking him into a theater is impossible. Since we usually do things together, it hasn't been an option. Plus, they don't make many G rated movies anymore. Everything seems to be PG.

Today we had a pocket of time, and he was being sweet, so I thought we'd give it a try since there are two movies he wanted to see. We missed Alvin & The Chipmunks, but made it to Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium!

We sat down...and were the only ones in the theater. Now, why they put scary previews in a G rated movie, I have no idea. Hayden wanted to leave. But, he hid in my jacket and we made it to the movie.

A good thing since at the begining of each preview he asked "IS THIS MY MOVIE?" Glad we were flying solo. It was a lovely story, light and fun but about the serious subject of moving on after someone you love leaves.

Hayden's review :: There were lots of toys and then that weird guy and a girl, and it was so funny when the color didn't come back. And there was a big ball, and a room with lots of balls bouncing, and a rocketship and trains and lots of stuff.

However...he did not sit still. I think he sat in about 30 of the seats. He went all the way up to the front to say 'hi' to the screen. He laid across seats. He took off his shoes.

So...He wants to see Alvin & The Chipmunks...but I think he'll be waiting until it hits On Demand.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Pageant

Hayden's preschool does the cutest pageants. The little girls were all dressed up in their best holiday dresses, the kids were all excited to give the gifts they made to their parents...and then there was Hayden.
I tried to put a nice outfit on him, but he insisted on his cars shirt with the flowers on it - woody cars and palm trees on a polo shirt. We practiced the songs together - Santa's Belly, Jingle Bells. But as soon as he marched out I knew it wasn't going to happen.
He stood there between two of his best friends and didn't sing a word. In fact, I thought he might cry at some point. How can one boy be so outgoing and so shy in the same body?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gingerbread House

I do not know why Bayley is so obsessed with gingerbread houses. He has been asking nearly every day if we can make one. I put him off, saying after Hanukkah. Well, he's a bit too smart for me. He thought that meant we'd do one on the day Hanukkah ended.

Ever the patient kid (ha!) he was so excited by it, Hayden and I went and got a kit on Thursday. I remembered almost instantly why it is I fight this tradition of Bay's every year.

The fighting when Hayden eats the candy...the mess from all that frosting...however, this year I did get a preassembled house (having learned from the tears that came from having to wait for it to dry).

They had a great time putting it all together, which is I guess what counts. As soon as dinner was over they went to work deconstructing it. Of course.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Favorite Gifts

I know some of you are still looking for gifts this season, so I thought I would share what went over BIG for Hanukkah at our house this year.

Bayley's fave seemed to be the marble set. At first he only built the track that came in the instructions, but now he makes all sorts of contraptions with it. The only thing that worries me...we've lost half the marbles...

Hayden had a Thomas and Friends Hanukkah this year. He got the Christmas DVD, what I thought was all of the engines he didn't have (apparently he is missing Murdoch, who can tell?), and the Thomas Carnival play set. This is a photo of Jeff getting a big hug and a "Thank you, Daddy!" You know...I do not recall Daddy having much to do with picking out this particular toy, or any of them really, but there you go.

Leapster was also HUGE for us this year. The boys both got Leapsters from Gram-Mo & Pop-Pop, and Bay got a new game for one of the nights of Hanukkah because he had beaten all the levels on the ones he had...we'll have to tell Santa to bring more...

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Vocabulary Lessons

Hayden started speech therapy and is currently working on his L sounds...or should be if he weren't proving his enormous vocabulary by coming up with an alternative word each time we try and get him to practice. Joy.

Bay has picked up some fun words from school, nothing too bad because he knows those might get him in trouble, but lately so many things are 'lame' it is starting to make me giggle...

And...when pressured to eat vegetables, Bay now says I am not a veggie-tarian, I am an omnivore. He's also petitioning to have his veggie bacon count as his fruit or vegetable serving for the day.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Uncle Chris is back in town!!

After flying all day...well, technically he did arrive 4 hours before he left, but that's another story...Chris showed up to take a peek at the boys. He hadn't seen them in 2 years and I think he was shocked by how big Hayden had grown.

The boys started climbing all over him. They also shared their holiday gifts, and thankfully everyone was most gracious. Chris even seemed to think punch balls was a good idea. Bless him.

They even made some plans...Chris hopes to get Bay's training wheels off (which I'm not so sure about...we were going to get Bay a bigger bike in the summer and pass his bike on to Hayden), they all want to have a sleepover, and even go skiing! We'll see how much they get done...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Happy Hunukkah!!

We opened the box of holiday decorations, pulling out the menorah (and the electric one for the wall, huge hit, HUGE) and the candles...usually I pick them up at the end of the season, but I must have forgotten last year. And I didn't pack up the clue where they got to...

But other than that, the boys had a good first night. Bayley got a paint by number kit (he is all about the art) and Hayden got Toby, one of the few Thomas trains they don't have.

Jeff and I opened the gifts the boys got for us...I got a loofah on a stick and gel pens...Jeff got a flashlight and a window sticker that has half a football sticking out of it.

Bay looks at Jeff and deadpans..."It's a joke, Dad." I had to turn around.

Their gifts to one another were bigger hits. A glider and bouncing putty! Who knew?

Monday, December 03, 2007

Holiday Gifts

A commercial came on TV (no clue what for) and asked "Are you done with your holiday shopping yet?" Hayden turned to me..."OH NO! I need to shop!"

So once I stopped giggling, I took him to the Dollar Store and let him go to town picking things out for everyone. It was random, so hopefully people realize he was so sincere in his choices. I tell you, it was adorable.

Hayden told Bay about his day, and so Bayley was anxious to go on his own shopping spree. Oddly enough, Bayley kept trying to pick things out for himself (under the guise Hayden and I can share), while Hayden didn't. Bay was nearly done, then had a moment of panic. Oh no, I didn't get anything for my teacher! Too cute.

Hanukkah starts tomorrow...we'll see how the gifts go over...