Sunday, December 30, 2012

Snowmen, Snowladies and Snow Cakes

Today was a much needed day of nothing in the Clark family.  We're all (mostly) healthy again.  We made it back alive from Boston yesterday, where we drove through a snow storm and had moments where we didn't know how we were going to make it back to Fairfield.  But, we made it, and promised each other that today had no obligations.  We did what we love to do; we stayed in our pajamas for most of the day; we had pancakes and coffee and apple juice all morning; some of us watched football while others napped; we enjoyed new Christmas toys and read and listened to music; we played in the snow; we loved every minute of our Sunday.  Well, Jack didn't really love the snow too much and lasted about five minutes before coming back in and keeping me company.

Not a bad way to end 2012.

Jack didn't like his boots, didn't like falling over in the snow, and really, really didn't like his mittens.  

Very proud of their snowlady!

time for snow balls!

much happier to be back inside :)
I love this one 
Next came the mini snowman, for Jack!

rolling around in the snow :)

....and this is Lilly's snow cake! 

"Da-aaa"...Jack's little expression whenever he wants you to hold something.
One of my favorites!!  When Papa stayed with us, he taught Jack how to put his "armies up high" and then "tickle, tickle, tickle".  So now, Jack does it to himself!  He puts his arms up in the air, and then tickles his tummy and starts laughing :)
decorating her snow cake 
Who doesn't love a snow cake with sprinkles?

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I sat down almost two weeks ago to recap what had been a fantastic month so far.  Ellie's visit from Guatemala, Thanksgiving in Villanova, Mum and Dad visiting from Singapore, Jim and my trip to Newport and Jim's vacation from work.  Then, without warning the flu struck the Clark family, and yesterday was the first day that we are all (almost) back to normal.  All in all, it took about 10 days to run its course--and it was a long 10 days.  But today, on Christmas Eve, I'm not going to write about flu.  It's too special a day.  Here we are this time last year.  And I can't even begin to imagine what next Christmas will bring.
29 weeks!
Our house is alive today!  The usual happy energy has been restored--with a little help from Uncle Joef who is in Fairfield for Christmas.  Lilly was excited to put her second to last cotton ball on Santa's beard and have her last chocolate from her Mr. Men Advent Calendar that was a special present from Gigi and Papa.

Lilly has one book left to open--we had 25 books to countdown to Christmas this year and it was a fun tradition that we will continue.

Our Christmas Tree is sparking with lights and ornaments and smells wonderful--nothing says Christmas like cutting down our own tree!  We went to a local tree farm this year and wandered around, picked our perfect tree and 'helped' Jim cut it down.  It's been almost three weeks since we brought our tree home and it hasn't started dropping pine needles yet!  Truly and amazing feat and one worthy of cutting down our own tree every year.  I didn't know how Jack and a Christmas Tree would go together, seeing as he loves touching and pulling and throwing things.  Just as Lilly did when she was little, he was intrigued by it for the first few days.  He pulled off a few ornaments around the bottom and then would try and put them back on the tree by holding the ornament up to where he pulled it off.  Now, he'll stop and ring some of the bells or touch a sparkly start, but for the most part, he leaves the tree alone.

We have our wall of Christmas cards from friends and family that always make us stop and smile.  The ones closer to the ground have the unique role of being carried around by Jack.  His favorite is one with the family dog on the front, which he pulls off the wall every time he passes by and walks around laughing and woofing at the card.

We have Lilly's gingerbread houses livening up the kitchen counter.  One of the houses, Lilly made with Jim, and the two of them seemed to have more success than last year.  Lilly ate just as much of the icing as she did last time and probably half the candy pieces went straight to her stomach without even touching the gingerbread house.  But the creative sloping roof and lack of walls made the house sturdier this time and prevented the sliding walls that Jim and Lilly ran into last year.  The other gingerbread house was a school creation, and as Dad said, looks like it was built to withstand Hiroshima.

Lilly's Gingerbread House, created at school

Lilly and I baked cookies for Santa today.  Jim and Joseph cooked up a batch of ribs--we celebrated Christmas Eve Texas style tonight!  


Lilly set out cookies and milk for Santa, and carrots and milk for the reindeer (at her request).  Lilly decided that the reindeer would probably like their carrots peeled, especially since she practiced carrot peeling at school, so she got to work.

"Noooo, Uncle Joef.  Santa doesn't want zucchini!"
I hope Santa and his reindeer are hungry!
The little ones are sound asleep and have been for hours, with one very excited three-year-old anxiously awaiting Santa's arrival, and a little one-year-old who hopes there's food among whatever else awaits him under the Christmas Tree.  

I can't wait for tomorrow morning!  There's something so special about seeing your children's eyes light up--it really is magical.  Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Friday, November 16, 2012

It's Friday!

I've been on a roll this week, so may as well keep going!  Plus, I have some pictures that I just love that capture our week perfectly.  Friday in our house is a big day!  Lilly gets even more excited for school today because she has Creative Movement on Fridays, which she just raves about.  They go to the gym and run and skip and play games and do what 3, 4 and 5 year olds love to do.  They also pretend to visit a place each week, so last week Lilly came home saying she'd been on a safari in Africa.  Lilly knows that Jim gets to stay home tomorrow and as an added bonus this weekend, Ellie will be back in Fairfield, on her way back from Singapore and before she heads home to Guatemala on Monday.  We also just found out that Mum and Dad are going to be in the country soon, so it looks like we have Thanksgiving to look forward to, and then a visit from Gigi and Papa a couple of days later!  There's lots of excitement in our house.  Plus, in addition to Jack's "mama" and "dada" and constant stream of babble, he's learned how to say "up" when he wants to be picked up, which is very sweet to hear.  He hasn't quite figured out the correct context, however, and says "up" whenever he wants anything--food, the remote control, Lilly's brush, he towel blanket...and Lilly thinks this is hysterical.  Why is Jack saying "up" when he wants his blanket, Mum?

Watching Jack and Lilly as they learn to play together more and more is the reason we keep having children!  Jack was running up behind Lilly this morning while she was finishing breakfast, and poking his hand through the back of her chair to tickle her.  Lilly shrieked each time and Jack ran away laughing, only to return a few seconds later for more.  I can't even begin to imagine life with 3.  Luckily we still have 16 weeks to get used to the idea.  And these weeks couldn't be flying by faster.  I feel this little one kicking all the time now, but they're the sweet little kicks, reminding me that I'm pregnant, before the huge, uncomfortable ones come along in about 10 weeks.  Before I fall asleep at night or when I wake up in the morning, I lie in bed feeling these kicks and spend a few minutes of quiet with this baby, as I don't seem to have much of that these days.  The other day, I even felt this baby's hiccups for the first time.  This has to be one of my favorite times during pregnancy!  I'm clearly pregnant, although not huge yet, and I have constant little reminders from this baby that he or she will be here in a few short months.  Lilly keeps asking when March will be here (we go through the months of the year every time, stopping at everyone's birthdays and other major holidays) and she's coming up with names for the baby as well.  Her current favorite is Sunshine--thoughtful and happy, but I think it's time that Jim and I start talking about names for this baby, otherwise Sunshine it might be.

Here are some pictures from the bath last night.  The two of them love the bath--some nights are more relaxing than others, especially now that Jack tries to walk in the bath.  I'd love him to be a bit more steady on solid ground before he attempts the slippery bath and water, so we seem to have this battle nightly.  Jack adores the faucet, however, and thinks that splashing water in his face is hilarious.  Lilly would be content lounging in the bath for hours, so she usually stays in for awhile after Jack hops out.  She adds some more hot water, lies back and chats away to herself.

Who doesn't like drinking water straight from the faucet?!