Sunday, December 30, 2012

Meet the Nemos

Part of Gray's Christmas from us was a small fish tank and a new pet fish. Michael and I originally picked out a blue beta a couple of days before Christmas, but when we went to put him in the tank on Christmas Eve he was floating belly up. So much for painstakingly setting up the tank and checking the pH level before putting him in his new home. Apparently we should have just gone ahead and plopped him in instead of leaving him in the bowl from the store.

It was too late to replace him in time for Christmas morning, so we had to give Gray the tank with only the rocks and plants inside and tell him we were going to pick out a fish together.

After what seemed like FOREVER looking at each freshwater tank inside Petco, Gray finally decided that instead of one large fish he wanted several small fish, so we picked out some tetras. In the end, I think this is going to be a much better decision since it won't be so traumatic when one dies (because we all know we're setting ourselves up for the inevitable here).

We got five tetras that are iridescent with a little bit of orange on their tails. I talked Gray through a variety of name possibilities and he decided they all needed to be named Nemo. Guess I was making it too complicated.

Here are four of the five Nemos. The ones on the right are their reflections off the glass. It's surprisingly difficult to get a good photo of fish in a tank (especially when they are fast little swimmers). 

As we were walking around Petco waiting for daddy to buy the tetras (and exchange the beta that Gray knows nothing about), we visited the bird cages and the cat adoption area. Gray promptly decided that instead of fish he wanted a new kitty cat. He's recently become obsessed with cats because of a stuffed animal kitten that Michael's Maw Maw gave him for Christmas. 

Neither Michael or I have ever owned a cat nor do we know the first thing about taking care of them, so I quickly had to divert the conversation back to our wonderful low-maintenance new fish. Luckily, it worked enough to get us out of the store and home without a new kitty cat. 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Snow angels

Last Friday we received an unexpected second round of snow, this time without the sleet and ice, which amounted to a couple of inches of beautiful, powdery flakes. Of course, Gray and Holt wanted to be in it constantly so we went over to Amy's house where the boys could play in the backyard while we supervised from the sliding glass door in her warm kitchen.

The boys played until their limbs were frozen and their energy-filled bodies were finally worn out, then it was time for grilled cheese. What more could a little boy ask for?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

It's been a whirlwind of holiday celebrations the last few days (and we still have a few more to come), but we've enjoyed every minute of family time.

Many of you know I'm the worst about sending Christmas cards. I enjoy each and every one I receive, and often daydream about the creative family portrait and design ours would have even though I never follow through. Consider this our simple holiday greeting:

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

This year, our family Christmas celebrations started out with my stepdad's clan last Saturday. This group travels from several states and always requires a photo with the cousins (of which I'm one of 11) and the various spouses and offspring we've added over the years. 

Here are two generations of cousins with our beautiful Grandmama. You can see Grayson is quite attached to my cousin Stephen. Probably because Stephen lets him climb all over him while being the best of sports.

Unfortunately this is the best photo I could get of the fourth generation. We were missing several kiddos this year, but it was fun to see these boys playing so well together. I was amazed at how well they all shared their brand new toys with one another. 

Next up was the Christmas eve celebration with my dad's side of the family. I barely took any photos and only managed to get this one of the cousins. I'm still in disbelief that we all have boys!

Luke (5), Gray (4), Holt (3) and Jack (almost 2)

Our Christmas day festivities got put on hold when sleet and snow started falling in the morning. After weeks and weeks of letting Gray know that we've never had a white Christmas my entire life and this year would likely be no exception, I was proven to be a liar and he was giddy with excitement. 

Of course we had to suit up and check it out ourselves. Here's Nana, daddy and Gray ready to brave the elements:

There wasn't really enough snow for sledding or snowman building, but Michael did slide Gray around on the patio for a bit. Gray also enjoyed eating a few icicles and throwing some snowballs at daddy.  

Afterward we enjoyed some hot chocolate to warm up. Grayson insisted on having "warm chocolate" instead of hot chocolate so that's now what he calls it. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We've been blessed with so many people who love us and have showered our family with generosity this holiday season. We love you and are very thankful to have you in our lives!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Self reminders and technical difficulties

Several of you have asked about my decline in December blog posts and it's not from lack of material. Our four-year-old provides an endless supply of stories, especially during the holidays (his favorite time of year), but I'm having technical difficulties with my blog.

I've reached the photo size limit which hampers a lot of the things I want to write about. Before cleaning off some photos from old posts to make room, I've been experimenting with a website that converts blog posts into bound books. The first book should arrive any day now and I'll feel more comfortable deleting content once I know it's saved somewhere more permanent. 

In the meantime, here are a few things I don't want to forget:
  • Santa called Grayson last night. We caught the conversation on video, but it's about 4 minutes long so I need to take the time to upload it. He played it pretty cool the whole time, but I noticed a remarkable difference in his behavior during our usual bedtime routine. He obeyed every request the first time without hesitation, so I'd say Santa's call sunk in a bit. 
  • Note to self: There are hairstyle rules in our family that I should accept and stop questioning. For me, it's no short hairstyles. No matter how many times I try, it doesn't turn out like I want and emphasizes my already round cheeks. While I learned my lesson years ago, we recently learned one for Gray.  No matter how much we'd love for his hair to be shaggy and cute, it's too fine (like mine) and just lays there limp and unkempt.  
  • Gray went to his first parade on Saturday. It was Norman's Christmas parade and while I was hoping the marching band would be a highlight, all he seems to remember is how much candy the floats threw out. And the fact that he was allowed to run partially into the street to retrieve said candy left an impression too. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Raisin' Trouble

This past week we had my sisters, brothers-in-law and nephew Holten over for dinner to send off Ben before he reports for active duty at an Army base in North Carolina.

Gray and Holt were playing well all evening, in and out of Grayson's room and generally content. All of a sudden it got very quiet back in Gray's room so Michael went to check things out.

He found that the boys had snuck a box of raisins out of the pantry and were sticking them up their nose. Holt had one in each nostril which easily came out. Gray on the other hand had one lodged way up in his nose.

We think he was trying to get it out on his own and ended up lodging it further up the nostril. By the time Michael found them, Gray was realizing the fun was quickly turning into an issue.

Uncle Ben went into nurse mode and Uncle Levi went into firefighter/EMT mode, grabbing a flashlight and checking out the situation. Luckily, a few hard nose blows later and the raisin was out.

Michael and I then gave Gray a talk about why we don't stick things up our nose and I could tell by the relief in his eyes that he isn't planning to do that again anytime soon. Hopefully it scared him enough to not repeat it.

I was telling this story to my co-workers a few days later and realized that all of them with girls had never dealt with this situation, while the ones with boys could totally relate. What is it with little boys and the fascination with sticking things up their nose?