Thursday, December 31, 2009

Out AND About

We've been meaning to take the kids for a ride on the Tram since it least two years ago. It was pre-Grace, I'm positive. Even though it was raining (and there was still snow on the driveway), we had it in our plans for this week, so we went ahead and did it. The weather hampered the long-range view, but the kids loved looking down at everything as we glided up the hill.

It takes a half hour to drive there, and the ride is about 3 minutes long. Worth it? Hmmm...can't say I'll do it again next week, but I'm glad we did it.

Since we were already downtown, we trekked across the river to OMSI to check out the T-Rex fossil. Hayden thought it should have been bigger. Bayley loved walking Dad though the Goosebumps Fear exhibit. He's done it almost a dozen times now, so he was able to laugh every time Dad jumped at a gunshot or leopard or being tossed backwards.

While the boys were off being boys, Grace was in the Science Playground, dealing with too many toddlers. It seemed everyone decided to go to OMSI.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


No one predicted snow today...but here it is!!

The boys are excited! They're hoping it snows enough to cancel school next week. It's a big dream...

Monday, December 28, 2009

And Down It Went...

Grace can be the cutest little thing...but she packs a wollop! She's been redecorating the tree ever since the boys so lovingly set it up. She'd swipe an ornament, we'd put it back Christmas, the tree had all the ornaments on the top third. Well... that must have made it top heavy. Grace reached up and gave a powerful yank on one of the last remaining ornaments she could reach and BOOM!

Down came the tree. It didn't hit her (she's much to fast for that) but it did break a half dozen ornaments. We took it as a sign, and undid the Christmas tree. The next day, Jeff took down the lights from outside. Christmas is over in the Burke casa!!

Maybe He Really Is A Genius...

Santa brought Bayley Professor Layton & The Diabolical Box - a puzzle game that adults & kids play. He opened it the day after's Monday night...two days later...and he finished the game! Now he wants to trade it in on another one. I need to find him some harder games...but ones that are still suitable for kids. I'm impressed by him, but also glad it's over...he's been attached to his DS since he got the game!! He really liked it!

Friday, December 25, 2009

See What I Mean!?!

Grandpa Bill tried to get a family picture for us...and this was the level of cooperation our brood showed up with. Bayley was trying to do bunny ears behind Jeff, Jeff was trying to get him to knock it off and keep Grace in his lap, Grace was trying to run away, I had to hold Hayden's head in place...I think we're a pretty cute bunch, but we sure don't photograph that way! It's giving me flashbacks of my plan to do a picture of all three kids on our change of address cards. You know, the ones I never sent out.

Santa Did Good!

The boys rounded up the family to head downstairs to check out the Santa spoils. They loved that their stockings were on the ground because they were too heavy for the hooks! Mom & Dad were glad they waited until 7, which was a much more appropriate hour to wake the diva. She got up on her own with all the commotion.

Hayden was most excited about the surprise gifts under the tree. They usually only get stockings, so it was extra special to find a Hot Wheels jump launcher thingamajig. Bayley was excited by his Darth Vader Legos, but his favorite was the DS games tucked in his stocking.

Grace found a pink shopping cart next to the tree and was thrilled to find something else to stock her kitchen with! She still hasn't managed to get it up the stairs - that would mean someone else has to carry it and she launches a fit of "MINE! MINE!" if anyone dares get too close. She also got a Little People frog & prince...she promptly kissed the frog. The girl knows she's a princess! Princess Diva...

Hayden loved that Santa left only crumbs of the cookies he'd selected for him, and drank almost all the milk. Good job, Santa!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pre-Christmas Round-Up

Both Burke brothers lost a tooth! Unfortunately, the tooth fairy missed our house the first night, so we emailed her to make sure she didn't pass us by again. Hayden is excited and wants to go shopping, since Grandma gave him $1 the other day for helping out. He's 'loaded'! (The bandaid was to cover a scratch on his forehead he thought was itchy, and the orange mouth is from Gatorade)

The annual ornaments arrived from Great Aunt Lynn. This was Grace's first time to realize what an ornament is. The boys did a lovely job decorating the tree when we first put it up, but now it only has ornaments on the top third. Everytime Grace takes one, we move it higher. Good thing we got a tall tree!

The annual McCauley Swedish Cristmas Eve dinner was held early so that Jeff's aunt's family could make a trek to a rustic cabin in the wilderness. Even though everyone is local, we only seem to manage to meet up on Christmas and Easter, so it was great to catch up with everyone.

As usual, the boys charmed everyone, and we got to show off Grace in all her adorable glory -- until she got hungry. But there was some good news in that - while the boys and I aren't fond of the Swedish meatballs, rice pudding & root-mousse, Grace loved it! She had two meatballs and enough of the root-mousse (mashed potatoes and rutebegas) to smear it all over my shirt. Thank goodness next year she'll be able to sit in a chair and not on a lap.

Grace was melting down by the time it came to opening gifts, but she did seem to love her Lady Buggy tricycle (it's pink and has ladybugs on it!!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Music Night

Which should be titled...I need a new camera. Mine has been dropped a few too many times and now isn't auto-focusing. Drat. Anyway... through the blur you can make out a fun event...

The first grade did a concert for their families -- Hayden was a jingle bell ringer for "Over the River & Through The Woods" and they ended with a dance from The Nutcracker (as a preview of what they'll do in 2nd grade). It was a HUGE night for Hayden...he was the bell ringer and when the kids tried to get someone to dance with them, Jeff went up. You should have seen Hayden's face, he was shining with joy. I only caught a snippet...(see the I need a new camera bit earlier and add on a part about videos)

Then parents helped the kiddos make the base for their 'gingerbread' houses. Hayden is quite excited to decorate his at the party on Friday. And then it's two weeks off!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Breakfast with Santa

We've heard great things about the McMenamin's Breakfast with Santa, so we signed up (hint - you have to do it on October 1, by the 5th, it's booked!) The boys were impressed with the unlimited supply of bacon, and the elf - Pepper Mintstinks. (His father is Govern Minstinks, ha!) He was great, doing balloon animals and telling all those kiddo jokes about the holidays (what it Santa's dog's name? Santapaws...what is Santa's cat's name? Santaclaws...ah ha ha ha)

The Santa was great...but Grace was not interested. Too bad, because we got to have quite a bit of time with him for her to warm up, but no dice.

Hayden chatted up Santa - he'd like Hot Wheels, any kind, any color. Whatever fits in the sleigh. And maybe the SpongeBob Legos. Bayley wants anything Star Wars, especially the Lego Star Wars Complete Saga for the DS, and all the Lego Star Wars sets. But anything Star Wars that Santa can find is fine, since it seems the stores are out of all the good stuff.

Grace? She just wanted out of her high chair!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

On the Second Night of Hanukkah

...Uncle Dan & Aunt Christina came over :) Dan was shown the boys strategy for Super Mario (hint, it's not to actually win) and I got to show off Grace's new kitchen. The thing is just so cute!

We were shocked to discover that Grace doesn't have much interest in opening gifts. I thought since she likes to rip up books so much, she' dbe all about tearing into wrapping paper, but not so much. She was temporarily interested in the ribbon, but that was it. I think she's used to gift bags!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Baby Gym

I signed Grace up for Baby Gym, which I did with Hayden when he was 2. Those 6 months make a BIG difference. Grace can't jump yet, so practicing pike jumps and star jumps has her running all over the gym. She prefers to climb the seats the parents perch on.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

We Got A Tree!

Since we have an empty room, we couldn't really make an argument against getting a tree. Jeff & the boys picked one up on their way back from a tiger cub outing to the firehouse (sadly, no pictures...I should have given the camera to Hayden)

We set it up in that room we don't know quite what to do with. So, for this month, it is the Christmas room :) Jeff did the lights, and the boys did all the decorating themselves!

We even thought about putting up outside lights, but both Lowe's & Home Depot were out of gutter clips (which is what holds them onto the house) so, we dodged that bullet! We still may be shamed into it -- our neighbors houses look fabulous!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

A time for candy and toys...

What else is December for than new toys and enough candy to keep a dentist in business for life? Hayden got his gift early from GramMo and Pop Pop - a blue Easy Bake Oven! He loves it. This was his first creation, a cake. He's also tried cookies and can't wait to bake every single day. Bayley got the zero gravity laser remote control car. He loves it, but it's hard to take a picture of the kid, the laser, the car and the wall it is climbing.

My friend Nicole shared a picture of one of her boys and his candy advent garland. We're not proud, we copied :) The boys are quite excited to get a piece of candy every day. We even put a bag on Chanukkah gelt on day 12!