Friday, December 30, 2011

Our Christmas Recap

We're still recovering from Christmas, but I wanted to share some of the highlights from last weekend.

We hosted Christmas Eve (Eve) Friday night with my dad's side of the family and enjoyed a houseful of some of our favorite people.

Cousins Jack, Luke and Gray ready to get the party started!

A short while later, my sister Amy and nephew Holten arrived from their two-day trip all the way from North Carolina.The cousins' club was finally complete! Unfortunately, we got a lot of pictures like the one above...and only one half-way decent one like the one below, before meltdowns ensued.

After what seemed like F-O-R-E-V-E-R to the boys, we opened presents. Pappa (my dad) got a mini-Foosball table in our dirty Santa swap and the boys (young and old) went crazy over it.

On Saturday, we enjoyed a lazy day around the house with two sets of grandparents and made some cookies for Santa.  

Mmmm...Santa told me they tasted as good as they looked!
After the cookies were ready, we headed to an evening candlelight service at our church.  We took advantage of the fact that we were all out of our pajamas to take some family pics.

With Nana and Popper (Michael's parents)

 With Pappa and Susu (my parents)...nice matching shirts Pappa & Gray!

Gray leaving his cookies for Santa.

On Christmas morning, we had to wake Grayson up so we could do Santa and our presents before heading to my mom's for brunch with her side of the family. Although Gray has been extremely focused on getting a basketball goal from Santa, it was the last thing he noticed in all the excitement.

Michael took a few videos (which I debated about sharing since I make a cameo in my mismatched pajamas) to capture the moment.

Later that morning, we enjoyed more time with family. 

Gray "driving" Holten in an imaginary boat.

A sister reunion: Emily, me and Amy

It was a whirlwind weekend and we had so much fun. We are truly blessed to have such an amazing family. We missed seeing all of our Texas family, but hope to make a trip that way soon. Now if I could just find a home for all of Gray's new toys...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pearly Whites

Gray had his first solo visit with the dentist this week. He's been with me a couple of times in the past to get used to the dentist office/instruments so he would be comfortable when it was time to sit in the chair. This week, it was his turn to be a big boy for Dr. Pat. 

After sitting on my lap during my teeth cleaning (and asking no less than 75 questions to the dental hygienist Ms. Marty throughout the process), Grayson was ready to get his own check up.

He got to pick out some sunglasses so the light wouldn't shine in his eyes. I thought he might freak out when Dr. Pat put the instruments in his mouth, but Grayson did great. He held his mouth open wide and sat very still. Next time we're going to try an actual polishing. We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sweet memories

The three amigos recently decorated some holiday cookies with their buddy Emma (aka our future babysitting rockstar). It doesn't matter how old you are, cookies and icing are sure to please.

Prepping the icing for sprinkles

Here is Grayson's approach to adding the sprinkles. Deliberate and clean (just like his daddy)

Cora took a slightly different approach. She cut right to the chase and dumped the entire jar of sprinkles on her cookie. I promise there is a cookie under there somewhere. 

I love Gray's expression in this picture. He's so focused on eating that cookie!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Roxy Claus

We're getting in the holiday spirit, but unfortunately I can't say the same for Roxy. She tolerated her Santa outfit just long enough for me to get a couple of pictures (then she tried to bite my finger off as I undressed her).

Guess I shouldn't pester her so much on her birthday. She's now seven and as crotchety as ever.

Despite her scrooge moment, doesn't she look festive? Merry Christmas from Roxy Claus!

Sooner Born & Sooner Bred

One night last week Gray and I were on our own for dinner so daddy could take care of some Christmas shopping. I called up our friends for an impromptu dinner playdate and we took the kiddos to the OU student union.

After eating dinner, we took the kids on a tour of the union so they could learn about their future alma mater.

Grayson & Cora checking out the Sooner Schooner

Visiting the Seed Sower (he sows the seeds of knowledge)

As we were walking down the hall I told Gray he needed to hold someone's hand. I should have known he'd choose Cora. So sweet. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Here Lately

Since I no longer write monthly updates about Grayson's age and milestone development, I forget to capture the things I love (and could do without) at whatever stage he's in at the moment.

Here's a list of what I hope will soon pass:
  • Gray has been in trouble several times at school lately for "sword fighting" and playing Power Rangers with his buddy Kolby. When he gets in trouble, he's not allowed to watch Arthur on TV when we get home (which is what he usually does while I cook dinner and we're waiting for daddy to get home). So far the punishment has been very effective and I'm hopeful Arthur will continue to wield power in our household. 
  • When we tell Gray no or not to do something, we've been met with a few dirty looks. Gray squints his eyes, crinkles his nose and shoots us a mean look. This is likely the equivalent of the teenage eye-roll that I'm sure we'll see soon enough. It annoys me so much that I've started putting him in timeout for it, but I can already tell this boy has an attitude. 
  • Everywhere we go he asks, "Does this place have a bathroom?" and then we often have to visit it. I've asked Santa for more hand sanitizer because I can't seem to keep enough in my purse. 
Luckily, Gray is overall a very good and sweet boy so the list of things I love at this stage is longer than the other list.
  • I love when he crawls into our bed on Saturday mornings and he puts his little arm around me and pats me, just like I do to him.
  • We've taught him the "wake-up song" that Michael's parents sang to him as a child. Gray now loves singing it to daddy to get him out of bed on the weekends. I need to try and record it one of these days because he's added a big finale.
  • I love how he insists on saying two prayers for blessing our dinner -- "God is Great" and "For all we eat" (my family's meal blessing). After saying the prayers at dinner one night last week, he asked us, "Who is God?" I stumbled through a response that a three-year-old could understand as daddy looked on in amusement. Thanks, daddy. I'll remember that when it's time for the birds and the bees talk.
  • Good manners are becoming natural for him and he says please and thank you without prompting most of the time. We're also working on "may I" instead of "can I." 
  • He spontaneously tells us how much he loves us. Out of nowhere he'll say, "I love you to the moon and back." Then it becomes a competition to see who can think of the furthest place to demonstrate our love. He comes up with some pretty funny ways to express his love.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Crafty Christmas

This week we've been busy attending holiday parties, wrapping presents and crafting it up! If your jaw just hit the floor, I don't blame you. I realize I'm not known for my craftiness, but I found a really cute gift idea on Pinterest (my new obsession) and am making several gifts this year. Fingers crossed it all turns out well (and gets finished in time!).

Since I can't show you what I'm making, I'll show one of Gray's recent crafts (thanks, Aunt Brenda!). He wears his reindeer antlers everywhere!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Is it Christmas yet?

This year, Gray is REALLY into Christmas. He helped decorate the tree, asks endless questions about the wrapped presents and excitedly counts down the days with our Advent calendar. I've learned not to ask him what he wants anymore because it changes minute-to-minute (and Santa has already finished shopping).

We bought him a book about the Christmas story to try and explain why we celebrate the holiday and exchange gifts. He remembers the names for Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, but the story ends up leading to more questions about when he was a baby in my belly (as he puts it).

We go through the same conversation about why Jesus was born in a stable instead of a hospital like he was, and how Mary is Jesus' mommy and I'm his mommy. For now, I'm able to answer everything but I don't even want to think about the questions he'll ask when he gets old enough to hear about immaculate conception.

At any rate, he's soaking up some meaning behind the season and even helped us clean out his old toys to make room for the new ones. We talked about how some kids don't get anything for Christmas and how lucky he is to have so much. As we went to Goodwill to donate the box of toys he asked, "Do you think the babies will like playing with these toys?"

I have to admit, I didn't really think he understood what we were doing. To think that he hopes the toys bring joy to other kids makes my heart smile.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day Jobs

Grayson's class is learning about occupations right now and the teacher tries to relate this big word to their lives in several ways. She asked each kid what they want to do when they grow up and recorded their answers on the bulletin board.

At the time, Gray responded "be a firefighter, " so the teacher wrote that next to his name. Later on, I asked him the same question and he said he wanted to be an astronaut.

This week, the teacher asked each kid what their parents do for their occupations. Grayson's response for daddy was, "He dresses up." I thought that was hilarious. He couldn't come up with an answer for my job. I told him that's okay, neither can daddy.

Trying to help his teacher out, tonight I tried to explain that daddy draws pictures at his job and mommy writes stories. It will be interesting to see how that gets translated tomorrow at school.