Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 26th

Back to the grind today, but the feeling that comes with the holidays is not gone just yet.  While I'm hanging on to the cheeriness of the season for as long as I can, I just wanted to share a picture from one of my favorite moments this December.   It captures a moment that makes me smile (on my face, and in my heart) everytime I see it:
We went to a holiday event downtown at Buffalo's Canalside - A once-forgotten-and-abandoned-but-now-ever-changing-for-the-better spot located right on the inner harbor of Lake Erie/Niagara River.  There were all sorts of crafts for the kiddos to make, and that included a do-it-yourself snowglobe.  I LOVE that Wesley chose twin Santa's for his (much to the Snowglobe Table Coordinator's dismay).  Nana may have been responsible for the extra snow/glitter (Thanks Ma!  Everyone needs a little extra sparkle!), but Wes picked his identical twin snowglobe fillers, himself.
Sadly, one of the Santas is now floating, (you'd think with all my years of crafting, I'd have this gluegun thing down pat by now...), but I will keep this little snowglobe til the sparkly snowflakes stop swirling about inside ;)
Hope you and yours had a wonderful Christmas!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"Are your ears broken?"

Have you ever said something to your kids and then thought Geez, I'm starting to sound just like my mom? Well, I can assure you that my mom never had to ask me if my ears were broken, but I'm almost certain she said it a million times to my big brother!  (Sorry, Joe, but you probabaly aren't reading this anyway.)  I'm getting close to that number (well, maybe more like a quarter-million) with the boys.  As the hours pass (and the naps become extinct), their hearing seems to get worse and worse, unless, of course, the word candy comes up. Then they're all ears.  Or should I say all fully functional ears.

Apparently Elfie thinks we have a listening problem in our house, too.  That, or my husband just wanted to give me a good laugh!  Yesterday, we came home to this message (see above) on our giant basement door magnetic chalkboard.  I read it out loud to the boys, but softened the wording up a bit.  They were more interested in moving the letters around than listening (surprise, surprise).  Having them line up so nicely was not messy enough for them!  Perhaps my husband should have began his elf message with the word "candy" instead of "Hey."

Monday, December 10, 2012

Teaching To Give

Have you ever gone to a birthday party with your kids and had your kids think that the presents (for the guest-of-honor) are for them?  That's the perfect recipe for an upset birthday boy/girl, and its a guarantee that you will pack up early, just because it's too exhausting keeping your little one (or two) away from the irresistible birthday loot.

Tomorrow is the day we drop off gifts at the boys' preschool for Toys for Tots.  Toys for Tots is a toy drive that I believe was started by the Marines, where toys are collected and provided to under privileged children throughout the holiday season.  My initial intent was to take the boys to their class, then drop off the toys in the collection bin, myself.  The toys need to be new and unwrapped, and I didn't want to deal with the boys wanting the gifts for themselves and the potential meltdowns that might ensue.

Insert Christmas Lesson, here.

I had a change of heart. I decided to incorporate the gift giving with our Christmas Countdown. Tomorrow morning, the boys will wake up and run to find Elfie.  Next, they will run to our Christmas Countdown and jump up and down cheering until I pull down the next number and let them see what is inside the festive little bag.  Here is tomorrow's 'surprise':

There are no stickers, temporary tattooss or Hershey Kisses in the December 11th bag, just a sweet little poem that reads:

Today is the day you'll do a good deed.
You're sharing some gifts with families in need.
When you go to school, you'll bring a new toy,
That will bring a big smile to a good girl or boy. 

On our way to school, I will explain to the boys why we are giving these gifts in terms that they will hopefully understand. I'm thinking the more prep work I do, the easier it will be for them to drop the toys into the bin.  The more I thought about it, I felt that it was important for them to learn from an early age that they are very lucky little boys, and that not all people are as lucky as we are.  I also want them to learn that it feels good to give, and that it's important to help someone out when you can.  Wish us luck, but I have a feeling they will make me proud and they'll know they are doing a good deed.

UPDATE!  The toy drop-off was a success! Yeah! After a mere 3 seconds of mourning, Wesley finally agreed to make the donations with an, "Aw, ok."  Andrew was good with the idea from the get-go.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

My Week (give or take) on Instagram

I'm really going to try to keep this a regular thing.  I'm a few days late with this post. I hope you can forgive me ;)

From top L to R:
1.  Me and my Drewbug at the lighting of the city's Christmas tree in downtown Buffalo.  This is the 2nd year we've gone.  I think we have a new tradition here, people.
2.  LOVE THIS.  Dan and Mr. Dubs watching holiday fireworks.
3.  Vintage caroler candles that came from my mom's mom.  My Nana.  I love having these out every year not only because of their vintage look, but because of the sentimental value they bring with them each Christmas season.  The boy has melted a bit due to poor storage (hence, his lack of a neck), but I love him anyway!
4.  Elfie is back!  She is occupying lower spaces this year, too, which means one thing... The boys are learning about her message, and following the directions of not touching her. 
*they believe* 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Visit with Santa

When I saw Santa from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade being interviewed on the local news channel early yesterday morning, I knew we had to see him.  Santa would be in town for just one night, because as we all know, he is very, very busy this time of year.  His stop in Buffalo was more than just a normal visit.  He was here to collect as many 'letters to Santa' as he could, and for every letter he collected, Macy's would donate $1 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. What a wonderful Claus.  Er... cause.

I found a cute free printable letter form online and had each of the boys sit with me and fill in the blanks.  We rolled up our letters, tied a festive striped ribbon around them and headed on our way.  I knew the line would be long, so we tried to get there early.  I just didn't realize the cold weather and slippery roads would slow everything down.

After a loooonger than usual car ride with Grandma and the boys' cousin, we finally arrived at the mall, minutes before Santa's arrival.  We found our place in line and the Big Man in Red soon came down the escalator, escorted by two adorable elves.

Next, Santa called all of the children over to read The Night before Christmas and then we all lined back up to wait our turn to see him up close.

I was impressed at how quickly things moved along. Every child got to get their photo with Santa and then put their letter in his big red mailbox.  There was no sitting on his lap for minutes trying to nervously remember what you wanted to tell him.  It was the perfect set up for the crowd that it brought in...and to top it off, Santa was absolutely beautiful.  His beard was perfect, his belly was perfect and his outfit was perfect.   Even his Ho Ho Hos were perfect.  (I have a thing for only visiting quintessential Santas.)

Macy's gave all the children little holiday ducks, pins and coloring books with crayons.  After we collected our goodies, Wesley ran back over to Santa, dodging the elves (who tried to stop him) and sadly photo-bombing some other child's photo (oops, sorry!).  I saw him quickly say something and then an elf directed him back over to me.

On the car ride home,  we discussed the exciting event and I asked Wesley what he told Santa when he ran back. (Wes is our sweet, shy twin, so his confidence when he took off was surprising).  He told me he had to run back to tell Santa that he was a good boy.  So cute.
Let the holiday season commence!