Saturday, December 18, 2010

Decorating for Christmas

We've been getting the house ready for Christmas! First, we went to Eckert's to get our tree. It was a cold day so we decided to choose from the pre-cut ones rather than go out and cut our own. Thomas and Ed with our tree

Driving the old tractor

Eckert's has expanded their restaurant and store. Before lunch, we walked through the store. One of the employees offered TJ this little cart. He loved it, but he was a bit of a menace, pushing it around and into people/things!

Back at home I pulled out the nativity scene. Thomas commandeered all of the people and animals for himself ("horsey!" "baby!")

Looks a little lonely without the animals and people, doesn't it?

Ed channeled his inner Clark Griswold on the house decorations this year. He was out for 3 hours--from 8 until 11 pm on a Friday night--putting up lights. It looks great though (not that these pictures do it justice) and I'm thrilled to have a "gingerbread" garage since it's too hard to put lights like that on our house. The weather even cooperated and gave us some snow.

Can't you just picture him stapling his sleeve to the garage like Clark did?

Front of the house

Gingerbread garage, plus green lights on the new fence

We took this picture while decorating. He looks about 4 years old, doesn't he?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Moo! Baa! Roar!

Thomas is a one-man zoo/farm. We're still working on increasing his actual vocabulary of words, but he's great at the animal noises.

Fake sleeping

Lately Thomas is really into fake sleeping. He'll pull a pillow onto the floor, grab a blanket, and lay down. Then he'll squeeze his eyes shut and make fake snoring noises. I tried to catch it on video, which didn't work great, but the end of the video is still pretty funny.

Tickling video

We have a lot of fun tickling Thomas with the head scratcher...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Late fall yardwork

In St. Louis, we can do long-procastinated yardwork in December because winter comes late and snow comes rarely. (And yes, I hope that "jinxes" us...I'd love a good foot of snow or so...)
This weekend, while I was Christmas shopping, Ed and Thomas did some raking and other yardwork.

Helping with the leaves

Playing with daddy

TJ calls his mittens "mitties" and is constantly pulling them off with his teeth.

He has such a cute hat face!

Forts and ketchup...

...thankfully not together!

Thomas loves to make a fort with a blanket draped over two chairs. He'll sit under it and then do flips over the chair rungs.
Ketchup is a new favorite. If he won't eat something, a little ketchup to dip it in can help. If you're looking at the picture and feeling bad that the fork is headed to T's mouth without anything on it, don't. Ketchup tastes pretty good all by itself, too...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The game

Saturday was the big Northwestern-Wisconsin game. Unfortunately for us, with our quarterback out for the season with a torn achilles and Wisconsin needing just a victory to clinch a Rose Bowl berth, the game wasn't pretty. In fact, it was painful to watch! I won't mention the final score, but suffice it to say that we didn't get beaten as badly by them as Indiana did the week before! 
But we still had fun being there--Ed's first game at Camp Randall, and my first in almost 10 years. We left Thomas with a babysitter, bundled up, and cheered (the UW fans) and groaned (NU fans). 

Dad wore purple to even out the loyalties. He has a purple jacket; Ed and I only have purple shirts, so when we had our jackets on, he was taking all of the jeering himself. Sorry dad! 

The famous "house divided" flag. Not a great picture, as it was taken in the parking garage! 

Christmas in November

Since we're going on a family cruise over New Year's, mom, dad, Jenn and Pat gave Thomas Christmas presents over Thanksgiving. Of course, this meant a visit from Santa too.

Unfortunately, Thomas wasn't too sure about Santa this year either. I got to sit on Santa's lap with TJ, and that was a little better. But Santa sure brought a good present!

Assembly: the best part of Christmas presents! Cars zoom in spirals down two tracks.

A magna doodle! Constant coloring!

What a lovely still in our jammies family photo!

Dad is turning 60 in two weeks, so since we were all together, we gave him a gift--a big toolbox. Here, he's showing the inside to Thomas.

Trying out Thomas' other present, a trike (with a pushing handle for grown-ups!). Notice the snowpants, boots, hat, mittens, etc. It was cold! 

Thomas loved the swings, even all bundled up for the freezing weather. He looks a bit like a stay-puff marshmallow here.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving #2

We didn't take many pictures at the second Thanksgiving, so not as much to show. Friday morning, mom, dad, T and I headed to Jenn and Pat's place in Madison, where Ed had arrived Thursday night. Mark, Karen, Corey and Niki came later in the day for our Friday Thanksgiving. We played the now-annual football game, though it was short due to time and very chilly weather. Dinner was a feast--way too much food, but that meant lots of leftovers! It was a wonderful, relaxing day, and Jenn and Pat's house looks great.
Carving the turkey

The table
Pat, Jenn and Thomas standing on their front porch

Every year Pat's family has a mustache contest leading up to Thanksgiving. Except for Pat's brother-in-law John, everyone is blond, so the mustaches, despite great effort, are never terribly visible. (Look hard--you'll see Pat's after a trim job--just mustache and chin hair left.) Ed belatedly joined in the fun this year (maybe 4 days' worth?) and then shaved all but a mini-stache. Jenn and I were both glad when they shaved this fuzz off on Saturday!

Thanksgiving dinner #1

Thanksgiving day we hung out at mom and dad's house for the morning, cooking food for our second thanksgiving and playing with Thomas.

Both TJ and Oscar like the tunnel, and TJ loves that Oscar is hanging out in the tunnel, but the feeling is NOT mutual. Oz tolerates him, even when getting his tail pulled. T loved to chase Oz through the tunnel, shrieking "kiki! kiki! kiki!"

What a perfect face to go with the lion towel!

We ate Thanksgiving dinner at Aunt Diane and Uncle Fred's house. The kids' table has changed a bit--it used to be me, Jenn, Eric and Kelly. This year Jenn (and Pat) weren't there, so it was me, Thomas, Eric, Kristy, Abby and Gwen, and Kelly and Scott. Little kids plus the big kids! Not as rowdy as I remember...
It was great to see everyone and let Grandma spend time with all three of her great grandchildren at once. 

Thomas inhaled the pumpkin pie.

I started goofing around with the Redi-Whip after dinner and squirting it in TJ's and Abby's mouths. Dad joined the fun, getting me back on Thomas' behalf, and then gave Abby another squirt. 

We introduced Thomas to Uncle Fred's "dead room" (full of animals he has killed). TJ was very interested in the elk and moose on the walls and even befriended the bear.

Thomas and Abby played so nicely all night! They took turns wearing the magic hat, and Abby shared all her toys with T.

Kelly's dog, Bella, dressed up for winter. She also had a little dress that said "drama queen" and pajamas. 

Thanksgiving week in Mequon

Thomas and I drove up to Milwaukee with Corey on Tuesday to do some visiting at the beginning of the holiday weekend. My good friends Kathy and Kate came over, plus Kate's son Nathan. 
Nathan checks out Thomas.

Me, Kathy, and Kate. We've known each other now about 28 years. Yikes!

How cute is he!

Thomas wanted in on the action while I was playing with Nathan.

Monday, November 29, 2010

You should see the other guy...

TJ inflicted a shiner on himself last week...his first! He tripped over a pile of pillows/blankets on the floor while I was changing the sheets on our bed and hit his cheekbone on the bed. The bruise started about 30 seconds later and got darker and darker. One week later it has finally started to fade. The first of many shiners during his life, I'm sure!

The marks on the rest of his face are food...the easiest time to get a close-up like this is during mealtime! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Grandma and Grandpa come to visit!

Tom and Alice came in for a four-day weekend of fun, Thomas time and good food. They played in the park, the backyard, and in the house. T had lots of story time with Alice and chilled out on Grandpa's lap in between bouts of couch wrestling. Alice and I went mother-of-the-bride dress shopping on Saturday while all three guys napped. We watched Northwestern and Ohio State win. Somehow we didn't end up with many pictures, but this is a great one!

Thomas had lots of fun playing with Grandma and Grandpa.

Taking his pig for a ride on Lightning. He kisses the pig snout and makes oinking noises.

Our dessert for the weekend...pumpkin caramel bars with bacon on top. Surprisingly delicious!