Thursday, January 22, 2015

andre's birthday parties

 birthday's don't just blow over in this family.  we seem to have party after party after party.

andre's birthday is january 13th.  so close to christmas, and we never want him to feel left out or forgotten.  we happened to go to a mexican restaurant with friends the weekend before his birthday.  and you know what they do at mexican restaurants when it's your birthday, don't you?

oh, this kid.  it was fun to surprise him with that.  he just kind of sat there.  not really reacting much at all.  he's so funny.  they walked away, he grabbed his spoon, and started eating his ice cream.

 for his birthday breakfast, he requested one-eyed jacks and homemade donuts.

also, side note... i got the idea from a friend of mine when i saw her kiddo had a plate with his face on it.  for the kids birthday's one year, i got them one, too.  and we call it their birthday plates.  they eat on them often, but always on their birthdays.

 he has just happened to loose 3 teeth in a matter of a couple of weeks.  i think the tooth fairy got tired of just dropping the money and leaving....

 bless his heart.  he is a child after my own heart.  a giant cheesecake for his birthday dessert.  i could eat and eat and eat cheesecake.  for every meal.  and so could he.

 he had 7 friends over for a night after school.  they played video games, at pizza, hot dogs, ice cream sundaes and popcorn and decorated their own letter for their name.  when you watch 'cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2' you have to eat a lot of food.  it's the law.

andre ended up staying home the next day with the flu.  major bummer.  he got sick just once and then was fine.  but not a great way to end your birthday week.

 for his family party, he wanted to have a waffle bar.  we did pancakes, but had all the fixin's.  bacon and sausage.  phillippe was in charge of the pancakes.  because his are the best.  and i was in charge of bacon.  because, yes.  put the vegetarian in charge of the bacon.

the food was good.  the company was great.  we had both of our families over at the same time.  all of my kids said they liked that.  and it was nice to have the room to do it.  :)

all in all, he had a great birthday.  phillippe was at school with him all day, which is so great.  i did not like the first year that gabriela had her birthday when she started school.  mom's should get to be with their kids on their birthday's.  it should be the law.  andre likes to hear the story of when he was born.  he likes to hear about when he was a baby.  he likes to be doted over.  which is good.  because we like it too.

we sure do love him a lot.  he's a wild mix of a boy.  and the perfect one for our family.  and he won't let me call him 'dre'.  no matter how many times i ask.

Friday, January 16, 2015

the snow

 the truth is, we want more snow so we can enjoy our little hill in the back yard.

baby andre

what i wouldn't give to go back to that moment.  pick up that little butterball and kiss him all over his cubby cheeks.  and put my finger into his hand so he can squeeze.  to touch those adorable little curved in feet that he always had tucked up underneath him so sweetly.  to smooth down that amazingly soft hair.  to rub those little earlobes that were so soft.  to curl him up into the crook of my arm and sing to him.  and to hear that little crackly coo he would do when i had him nestled in my neck.

long days, short years.

you never realize how much is going by so quickly until you look back at these frozen moments.  because all in one breath, they are not here anymore.  even though they feel as if they were just close behind.

i miss my babies.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

christmas break

 we had 2 weeks of break.  everyone was home.  for 16 days straight.  and then on monday, school was out early because of snow....the snow we never got over break.  and then on tuesday, it was canceled.  and now there's snow, but it's too cold to be outside in.  so this is how we roll in iowa.

here are some photos of our break.  our 16 day togetherness break.

isabela asked for babies for christmas.  so she got babies for christmas.  she said ''oh my goodness.  i'm a mom."

 gabriela worked hard until her lego set was done.  start to finish.  it's neat to see the difference with how much my children choose to work on things.  andre would work a little bit on his and then come back after a while.  then work, and leave, and come back.  gabriela sat down and worked until it was done.  for 2 days.

 our library is a saving grace for us.  call up some friends, ask to meet in half hour, and boom.  fun for the next foreseeable future.

 our church had a little christmas play.  isabela is not into doing anything without her brother or sister.  she is up there, tough, 4th from the right.  andre is 5th from the right.

 gabriela is 4th from the right in the back row in a blue shirt.

 i had the privilege of being present for a dear friend of mine during her adoption of her little boy.  it was pure joy to be there to witness that.

 this bunch got so heavy that they all slide down to the bottom of the string that was holding them up.  i LOVE that we get so many cards!  i wish we got more.  we had to put all the rest that we got along that wall.

 the kiddos made gumdrop structures.

 we blew up balloons and just played.

 new years eve, we played games while we waited for our count down to 8:00...which is when we do the midnight for the kids.  we watch the ball drop from the previous year.  it works for us right now because we still have young kids.  someday, they'll get to do the real thing.

 toasting at 'midnight'.

 a chilean tradition is eating 12 grapes at midnight.  it might be done other places, too, but my husband is chilean and that's what they do.  they represent each month of the year.  the first grape is january, and so on.  if that 'month' tastes good, then it will be a good month.  if it tastes bad, it will be a bad month.  the kids think it's fun.  i don't like grapes.  but they do.

i also spent the day making these.  i wish i liked jello because they just look fun to eat.  

 we watched america's funniest home videos.

 grape juice with gummy bears.

 gabriela likes to help in the kitchen.  i'm good with that.  i feel like i want to tell her all about things she'll need to know someday.  because i never want her to say 'my mom never taught me how to do that.'.  we're raising adults here, people.  not just watching over children.

 isabela ends up in our bed every night.  i'm not sure exactly what time she comes in.  but this is what i wake up to.

 one of our new years snacks.

 just andre.
being weird.
and loving it.
he'll do anything for a laugh.

 i told you.  this girl has a tude.  MAJOR TIME.  see that little tear on her cheek?

i'm not entirely sure what to do other than wait this stage out.  but it's getting really tiring.

 santa must not have gotten the memo that we don't do a ton of sugar in our house because he left 2 pound chocolate bars in the kids stockings.

 we finally got our shutters on our front windows.  when they built the house, the framers measured wrong and the top window is about 3-5 inches off set of the bottom window.  so they didn't do the shutters for a long time because they were going to come and rip out the bottom window and redo the entire thing.  well....that didn't really sound that appealing.  so we had them remake the shutters so that the difference wasn't that noticeable.  we'll see if it actually works.  we're also not sure if we'll be repainting them this summer.  not too sure about the color we choose.  but regardless, they are up and no longer taking up room in our garage.

 phillippe gma gave us a set of these mugs a few years back.  they have become some of our favorites.  simply, because they came from her.

 we had our family progressive dinner 2 weeks before christmas.  we each host a different portion of the meal.  my brother had appetizers, my sister had salads, we had main course, and my parents had dessert.  we each had a signature drink, too.  it is the funnest time ever.  i love that my mom and dad came up with this idea and that we are all on board with doing it.  it's so much fun!  it gives us a chance to see everyone's house all decorated.

it's becoming one of my favorite holiday traditions.

we worked on a puzzle for about a week.  i love puzzles.  it's probably one of my favorite 'past times'.  
we had a really great break.  i loved that the kids had 2 solid weeks off of school.  don't get me wrong, it wasn't a picture perfect winter break.  but it's easy to see past that stuff when your house is full of goodness and it's christmastime.  there were many nights that i just looked around our house thinking, this is good stuff right here. 

i always have a hard time with the transition of going back to normal.  taking everything down, putting the gifts away, cleaning from the holidays.  the house feels a little colder and the shelves seem a little more bare.  it always takes me a long time to put everything away that we get as gifts.  that part is a little overwhelming to me.  "where will it all go?!"  and then it's still cold out, and it's snowing, but we're done with that magical feeling.  it's the weirdest transition for me all year.  but i'm finally feeling back to normal.  and ready for warmer, snowy weather so we can actually be outside and play.  but i'm trying not to wish winter away and want that warm weather.  but secretly, i'm wishing for warmer weather....