Crisp Autumn Eve 3 Column from TCBOTB

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving's Done ...... Bring on Christmas

Thanksgiving went well for us ..... aside from the Turkey. The day/night before I had baked up my pumpkin bars and had gotten everything ready for the stuffing (cut bread, celery and onions) ... so all we had left to do was the turkey and some condiments the next morning. The Hehir's (Chris's sister and family) joined us and brought over the mashed potatoes, buns, beans and pie. So nice when you can divide the whole meal up like that.... otherwise I find it a little overwhelming. We decided we wanted to eat at 5pm so we figured we needed the bird cleaned (Chris's job), stuffed (my job), and in the oven by 12:30 since everything we read said a 12 lb turkey should be done in 4 hours (if stuffed). That way it would be out by 4:30pm and we would have about 30 minutes to let it cool and carve it (Chris's job), and make the gravy (my job). Well..... at 4:30 it wasn't done, 5pm it wasn't done.... 5:30 rolled around and we cut into it (even though it wasn't showing signs of being done) to find a little bit of pink. At that point we uncovered it, jacked up the temp in the oven and stuck it in for 30 more minutes. Finally got it out at 6pm.... still to find that the popper hadn't popped, nor was it reading the right temperature on our meat thermometer... but it looked done, so we went ahead and called it done. I HATE when that happens.... throws the whole evening off. We were all starving by the time we sat down to eat... and the kids didn't eat any of the meal cuz they snacked up until that time on buns and condiments cuz they were starving as well. BUT... it was a great meal, didn't seem undercooked at all (maybe a tiny bit overcooked if anything) and I was pretty proud of my gravy - though there wasn't much of it for left overs. More importantly, we had a great time with the Hehir's, which is really what it is all about anyway.
That next morning (Friday 11/26) we put up the kids new 4' Xmas tree and decorated it with some of the more "safe" ornaments we have -including all the ones the boys have made in their ECFE classes. Later that morning..... the boys and I worked on making some more ornaments for their tree and ours. I had just received some plastic ornament balls and stars from as well as some bio colors paint. The boys helped squeeze in the colors that they wanted and then they shook them up to mix them up and make the pretty designs. So far we've made 14 of them, and we're saving the rest for them to do with Gma Chris (cuz she bought the materials for them) when she comes up next week/end.
Saturday 11/27 afternoon (while Evie was napping) we put up my old Xmas tree. Since I moved up here we haven't put up a tree or decorated for Xmas at all. At first it was because of Angus (he was so rambunctious and crazy), and then eventually it was kids. I didn't want to deal with trying to keep the boys away from the tree... and honestly, didn't have much energy or desire to even put it up. But this year I was bound and determined, especially considering the boys now "get" what Xmas is and I wanted to make the house Xmas-y. I figured it would be best to do a "phased" approach to decorating and trimming the tree... mainly so it wouldn't be as appealing for Evie to mess with it. So we just put it up on Saturday, and then I put the lights on it on Sunday afternoon while Chris took the boys out to play in the snow. When the boys came back in, they helped me (yeah right) with the garland and the icicles ....... and eventually we pulled out all their ornaments they've acquired through the past few years and we spent the rest of the afternoon figuring out where to put those on the tree. At first they had a hard time giving up some of the ornaments that they wanted to play with like toys.... but so far so good, they've all (including Evie) been pretty good about leaving the tree alone. Every once in a while I find Evie walking around with a Xmas ball or ornament she snagged off of one of the trees... but it is going much better than I would have ever expected.
Around Thanksgiving time and ever since we've been battling some sort of bug with the kids too. Evie's started out looking like teething but I think it coupled up with the bug eventually. She's been having a very rough time sleeping at night with how stuffed she is.... gets frustrated when she cannot breathe through her nose because it makes it hard for her to suck on her nuk when she needs it. And both she and MacKay were spiking fevers on and off for a few days. MacKay's worst symptom was his cough and drainage. Night and right away in the morning was always bad for him cuz he would gag on the drainage that was trying to break up .... and ti was just constant coughing throughout the night. Just when MacKay and Evie started on the mend recently, Oscar got hit with it and has been spiking fevers for the past few days quite regularly. You can definitely see it on him .... glossy droopy eyes etc. Right now as I type this he is taking a nap (not normal) on the couch and some tylenol should be working on his fever as we speak. Even yesterday he napped 3 times because he was so run down. I hate to see my kids like this and am hoping the end is near for this darn bug. For Evie though - it seems like teething is still getting the best of her, though night times are much better with her sinuses being more clear. I looked and it seems as if she's going to be getting a couple/few of her cuspids (fang teeth) in pretty soon - and if I remember correctly, I remember those being tough ones for the boys too.
The boys had a busy week before Thanksgiving too. There was no preschool that week because they were doing conferences. Yep... they actually have parent/teacher conferences for these little tykes :) On Tuesday (11/23) afternoon, Chris and I met with Miss Michelle and Miss Peggy, while Miss Mary took the boys to the gym to play. And Evie was hanging out at our friends, the Williams' house (Jack and Wyatt) during our meeting. They told us we were doing a wonderful job with the boys, that they are so fun, pleasant, and that they can reason with them (WHAT?). They said (especially Peggy who has known us in the program for 2 years now) that they've seen a lot of growth even in these first few months.... that they seem to understand the flow and routine of things... they listen better and understand what is expected out of them - which I have to agree with from what I see of them in class too. Peggy even mentioned that she's seen a major change in ME compared to when she first met me.... she said, granted, when she first met me I was 8 months pregnant with Evie and trying to wrangle in 2 crazy toddlers, not yet even 2 years old.... and watching me work with all three of them once Evie came along. She said I am much more laid back and calm now - which I would have to agree with as well. It's partly the age of the kids though - they are at much easier ages to work with when trying to bring them to places like ECFE, shopping etc - it's quite liberating actually. They also showed us examples of things they have worked on's quite obvious that both the boys need to work on their fine motor skills like drawing, coloring and cutting - so we're working on that more at home, though they weren't concerned and said they were right on track. They also mentioned that they are making friends and comfortable being away from each other. Apparently early on they wanted to sit next to each other (mostly initiated by MacKay) during snack time ... but Miss Mary and Miss Michelle always separated them. Michelle said at first they would crane their necks to get a view of the other here and there during snack, and she said that when she explained to them that they needed to sit with other kids to make friends they seemed to understand, and quickly became fine with not being seated at the same tables for snack. I, too, have noticed during class (when I am not there, and just observing from the parent room) that they don't necessarily play together or near each other. They don't need to stand next to each other in line or sit by each other during circle time - and I like that they aren't dependant upon each other like some twins can be. So that was good to hear. They talked about some of the testing they have done with them to see how they perceive different feelings/pictures etc. You can definitely tell that they are working on feelings with the kids... MacKay and Oscar are always talking about feelings now - theirs, others, ours etc. Even the other day when MacKay was at his worst with his bug he looked at me through teary/glossy eyes and said "Mommy... I want to be happy.... but I'm sad." I think the highlight was when Miss Michelle shared a hilarious story with us about MacKay. She said she was doing assessments on their ABCs and counting and was pulling children aside during class to see how far they could get with each. Both MacKay and Oscar did their ABCs (though she said MacKay skipped around a bit)... and that Oscar would only count to 5 ..... not concerned as I know he can count to 10, even higher sometimes. Well.... she said she pulled MacKay aside in the gym one day and asked him to count for her. He proceeded to count to 10 and then stop. She then asked him "MacKay, can you count any higher?" At this point in the story she stood up to imitate him and said he put his hands straight up in the air and began counting again, but this time in a VERY high pitched voice. Miss Michelle said she had to fight the laughter off ... and from that point forward she has made a mental note that MacKay will take her literally with whatever she says. Gotta love kids. But the point being, we had a very nice conference and found that our boys are doing quite well, right on track and they consider them a joy to be around.
Later that same day (Tues 11/23) the boys had their 3 yr dentist checks. We talked about it before hand for days, and how they would need to open their mouths as wide as they could for the dentist so they could check their teeth. They seemed quite fine with the idea of going to the dentist. Again, I dropped Evie off (for the 2nd time in one day) at the Williams' house to play with Jack and Wyatt while we went to the dentist. We got there and when Marie (hygienist) came to see who wanted to go back with her, MacKay just walked straight to her and took her hand and was led back there. I just told Marie that I thought it might be best for me to stay back to see if they cooperate a bit better when I am not there (take the Mommy drama out of the equation). Oscar and I played in the waiting room, and right about the time Oscar was saying he wanted to go back and see MacKay, Marie came out and asked Oscar if he wanted to go back. Oscar was more leery and wanted me to come with. So we went back there and I was SO shocked with Marie told me that they got EVERYTHING done. MacKay cooperated so she was able to count his teeth, clean them .... AND even do a fluoride treatment. All looked normal for him.... basically there was one tooth that they said we just need to spend a bit more time with on cleaning as it was a little worse that the others - of course a molar way in the back. When it came time for Oscar's turn he wasn't quite as heroic and didn't want to sit in the chair. I finally got him to comply by sitting in the chair and having him on my lap..... the ENTIRE time :) Hey, it worked though cuz Oscar, too, was cooperative and let Marie count and clean his teeth, and do a fluoride treatment. He EVEN cooperated when they put a sealant on one of his teeth (again, a molar way in the back). I was SO proud of my little boys for doing this. I think next time will just be that much easier now that they know what to expect and how it all works.
Some other tidbits about the boys. We soon will be working on writing letters to Santa... as the boys both have something in mind that they want for Xmas. No matter how many times we ask what they want Santa to bring them for Xmas.... MacKay says he wants "Diesel 10 ... he goes pinchy pinchy pinchy" (Diesel 10 is a Thomas the Train character who isn't usually very nice in all the stories, the other trains are afraid of him and his pinchy claw arm that he has for removing debris from the tracks and loading cars etc). And Oscar is quite clear that he wants "Harold the He-yi-copter" (another Thomas character). I was able to find both of them online (amazon and ebay) and cannot WAIT to see the looks on their faces when they open those and see that Santa brought them exactly what they wanted. They LOVE singing"Jingle Bells" and get so excited when they hear it on the radio or on some of the Xmas shows we have been watching. In fact they are singing ALL the time now .... they only know about 10 songs, but they really enjoy singing. Oscar really enjoys dancing too. I found this new semi-program (between programs on Disney) called Dance-a-lot Robot - and he teaches kids difference dances - like the dinosaur dance, the octopus dance, the train dance etc. And they have been saying the darnedest things lately. Like the comment I had earlier where MacKay said he wanted to be "happy" when he was feeling in the dumps and sick. They constantly talk about and list all the things they will get when they start using the potty (yet still say they do NOT want to use the potty every time we offer it up). Which leads me to another fun conversation I had with Oscar. The other day Oscar out of the blue mentioned that he would get M&Ms if he used the potty, and so I asked him "Oscar, do you want to go use the potty?" To which he responded, "No, not yet ...... Mommy, you need to have patience." NICE huh? I know he got that saying from me cuz I say it to them quite often when they are being demanding and I am trying to tell them I am busy with too many things and they just need to wait until I can get to whatever it is they want. It just amazes me every day to hear them talk and realize how much they really do understand. They talk about how Daddy will need to go "blow" when it snows (snow blower).... and how it is like him using the lawn mower. They talk about steam (they will see us cooking, boiling something) and how steam is made by fire and water. Which then leads them into a conversation about how firemen put out fires with water... and it makes steam. MacKay likes to show his intelligence about things he knows, reading books, talking about dinosaurs.... whereas Oscar likes to please, remind us about rules around the house, and help out. He's constantly on "Evie watch" and telling her the same things I tell her when she is getting into things.... ie "No Evie, this is Mommy and Daddy's drawer..... not for little kids." I get such a kick out of them.
Onto Evie. She is such a mover and shaker. I swear, she has more energy than Oscar and MacKay EVER had..... COMBINED. She doesn't sit still .... how I would love to just sit and cuddle with her, but nope....she's off and running seconds after she works so hard to crawl up into your lap. She loves emptying out our kitchen drawers ... and climbing on anything and everything she can. She took quite the header over the side of the couch the other night. My heart raced as Chris pointed it out just milli-seconds before she went over head first ..... one of those moments where you wonder if the neck has snapped.... but she cried for a little bit and brushed it right off and is now back for more repeatedly. unnnghh. She loves chatting and singing too. I love just lying in bed on mornings where she wakes up and sings and talks to herself in her crib. It's sounds she wouldn't otherwise make if she were running out and about in the house. So I just sit back and giggle..... that is until I finally hear MacKay shouting over his monitor "Mommy....... MAH-MEE....... Mommy ...... I needa get up!" I swear, he sounds JUST like Stewie on the family guy during that classic clip where he's trying to get Lois's attention to inevitably just say "Hi" to her. But back to Evie. She says "Up" now when she wants us to pick her up.... and she says it quite clearly. I swear she is saying her own version of "I Love You" which sounds like "Ubbb Eww." She loves when the boys sing Itsy Bitsy Spider cuz she will rock back and forth (dance) and do the actions (spider going up and washing out, and the sun coming out etc). She's definitely turning into quite the diva too..... she can throw some mean fits when she wants something that we won't give in on .... and loves using her "pouty" look on us - so fakey :)
Well .... that is about it for this update. Hopefully I'll get another in before Xmas. Until then I just keep plugging away at our list of presents to get and ideas for presents for the kids. I am almost done with the boys and have tons of other ideas for them to give to family....... and have nothing for Evie, and no ideas. The girl plays with all the boys stuff .... doesn't seem too interested in dolls... and really doesn't need anything (nor does our house need more toys). Even for the boys this year we're asking the grandparents to help us with getting their room taken care of (new beds, furniture, bedding) this year and keeping the toy load light. So I'm really struggling with ideas for her other than clothes. So if any of you out there have any great ideas for a 1 yr old girl ..... be sure to share them with me, cuz I am clueless. Either way..... hopefully I'll get on here again in a couple weeks, but if I don't..... have a fantastic Xmas/holiday.
Evie being silly during dinner (quite common) eating some burger bacon bean bake surprise - Daddy's specialty......all the kiddos vying for "hand washing time" at the sink ..... and MacKay's lovely "devil horns" hair-do he was sporting one morning

Fun outside after the sleet storm the weekend before Thanksgiving .... kiddos got to wear their new winter garb

The kiddos Xmas tree.... and their hand made ornaments drying and eventually the finished product

Our Christmas Tree

The snowmen the boys made by cutting paper plates and drawing with crayons today (Wed 12/1)

Our Hoglund Family 2010 Xmas Card (front and back). If you don't receive our card and want to ..... hit me up on email or Facebook and get your address to me so I can add it to our list.

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