Friday, December 23, 2011

To get you in the holiday spirit...

I've been playing the Trans-Siberian Orchestra holiday CD all afternoon. Ed just caught this scene on a cell phone video, so the quality isn't great, but I couldn't resist sharing it anyway. 
The boy has moves! What kind of moves, I'm not sure, but he seemed to feel (and I agree) that this was dancing music. 

A week of random pics

Clearing my camera out before Christmas...

Ed built Thomas a box house in the basement. Here I'm looking in the "back door" as TJ relaxes in the house.

 The house from the front. The front door is the tunnel.

 My boys in their camo dino shirts.

 The gingerbread house got thrown out this morning...note all the empty holes on the frosting and the lack of shingles on the roof!

 TJ is a huge fan of the headlamp with his new box house.

 Me and Jojo

 Jojo has a newfound love for hanging upside down.

 Thomas has recently started taking pictures with my camera when he can get his hands on it. Here are two of his best. :)

My cousin Andrea lives about an hour from us. She and her son Vince were in Kalamazoo and stopped by to see us. Vince is a couple months younger than Thomas. They had fun playing Thomas the Train together and crawling through the tunnel. Vince is a little shy and smaller than Thomas, so TJ kept calling him "yittle fella." By the end of the night, they seemed on the way to being good playmates and TJ started calling him Vince instead. We hope to play again soon!

Monday, December 19, 2011


Here's one of Jojo's rolls caught on video. How nice is it to have your own personal cheerleader as well?! And, for those who often notice that Thomas has on a shirt and not pants, we've changed it up a bit here--pants but no shirt! (Courtesy of a massive spill at dinner that rendered the bib useless.)
TJ does like to "help" Josiah roll over, which as usual for him, is not always a gentle maneuver. You'll see an example at the end of the video. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Gingerbread houses

Kathy came to visit recently and we satisfied our craftiness by making gingerbread houses. The official line is that we were doing it for Thomas, but...(to be fair, he had a ball!). We used to make these all the time when I was a kid--bowls and bowls of candy, a lot of frosting, and milk carton houses galore. Because of our smaller circumstances this year (and only 1 kid making a house), I went the kit route. Which would have been great, except that I didn't pull the box out early enough to see that the house needed to be assembled in advance so it could harden and be stable enough for little hands to add candy. Oops! One quick phone call later, Kathy arrived with candy reinforcements (yay!), graham crackers and milk cartons. She took home two full Nalgene bottles--one of skim milk and one of eggnog. We were left with a full glass of heavy whipping cream, so we'll be having Kilimanjaro as a special dessert treat this weekend--yum! Without further ado, here are the houses.
 Finished houses

 Just getting started, and below, TJ at work.

 Kathy's finished house, complete with aesthetic touches (no surprise, from an interior designer!).

TJ's finished house (I helped a little). Note the following details:
1. There's a doorknob made out of a red hot. This is T's second favorite part of the whole house, and he keeps pointing it out.
2. The two indicated gumdrops are shinier than the rest. That's because they were in TJ's mouth before going on the roof.
3. He loaded the walkway with candy. It isn't all stuck into frosting, so it's easier for him to pick off and eat.
4. Hard to see, but this is only half a peep snowman. The other half was eaten. As was a majority of the candy available for making the houses. He just.couldn't.stop. No matter what we said. 
5. Also hard to see, but this is a truck drawn out of frosting, at T's request. This is his favorite part. 

By the way, TJ doesn't like anything mint or peppermint flavored. He calls it "spicy" and promptly rejects it. He did, however, eat a red hot without complaint. Yeah, I don't understand either. 

The house has been relocated to one of two places: either in the microwave or on top of the fridge. Anywhere else, and TJ uses a stool to access it and picks candy off. The gingerbread house does not currently look like the one you see here--it's missing many candy bits. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

4 months!

Our little Jojo is 4 months old! He's full of smiles, especially if you smile at him; he is happiest when he's receiving undivided attention, or at least grabbing your finger, he has started to roll over (as of this past weekend), and he's building these delightful little chubba chub rolls. 
Look mom! I'm 4 months old!

 All smiles

 Easily bigger than his bear

 This is the position we see Jojo in most often these days--any time we lay him on his back, he rolls halfway, and often all the way, over. He started out rolling stomach to back first, but now won't do that one and will only roll back to stomach (which I think is the harder one). And look at that delicious chubbiness! Even with these extra rolls, he's still thinner than Thomas was, which is why I think he rolled sooner. Thomas just couldn't move all that weight around!

We tried rice cereal last night. It was a big fat fail. He doesn't have the swallowing concept down yet; it all came right back out. We'll wait a few weeks and then try again. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

St. Nick and visiting Santa

I grew up with  the tradition of St. Nick visiting our house on December 6, and we're continuing that tradition. St. Nick filled a stocking for the boys together. 

I took ONE picture of the boys with the stocking. It practically turned out better than any of the 100-some photos we took for the Christmas card! They're sitting up straight, both looking, mostly smiling...

The stocking was filled with some candy, a Matchbox dump truck, a slinky, and some of those jelly window decorations (thank you, Target dollar aisle!). Everything was a big hit, but Thomas tried to eat the jelly decorations and then ripped them into tiny pieces. Why?!?!
Jojo got this cute reindeer hat and some bibs and bowls for starting rice cereal.

A different story in 2011. He and Santa are buds!

Jojo didn't mind Santa either. I imagine that might change next year!

 The whole family sits with Santa.

 We went to Santa's Workshop in downtown Kalamazoo. The event was sponsored by a local organization and included animatronic elves, which fascinated Thomas (see below), Santa, an opportunity to write a letter to Santa, and crafts. I think this may be the most crafting Ed has done since he was in elementary school. I was impressed!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dump trucks in the manger

Our nativity scene is pretty child-friendly. It's rubbery plastic (or plastic-y rubber) and can be played with, thrown, etc. without any damage. Apparently Thomas has decided that the nativity, which has all the key characters plus a few animals, was missing some important things.
First he invited some of his construction equipment to the party. Backhoes by the stable? Of course.

 Then yesterday I found this scene. All the characters had been moved out of the stable. The dump truck had been neatly parallel parked in place, and is filled with the sheep, baby Jesus and his bed, and a pink needlepointed cradle that holds a plastic baby (made by my Grandma). I didn't try asking for an explanation. Can't wait to see who joins in the fun tomorrow...

Monday, December 12, 2011

The doorknob saga and other stories

Thomas recently locked himself in our bedroom. It was actually unintentional--the knob was locked, and he went into the room and shut the door while I was changing Josiah's diaper. I spent about 10 minutes trying to talk him through unlocking the door, but no dice. He happened to be wearing big boy underpants that day, and between him telling me through the door that he needed to go potty, and me wanting to get him out before he got upset and/or found my computer, I decided to break in. When he wasn't trying to unlock the door, TJ played Ed's guitar (and dropped a pick and several quarters into it!). Thanks to a channel lock pliers, I was able to wrench off the door knob and free him. Now to get a new doorknob without a lock...

 The photo didn't turn out great, but if you look closely you can see how I abused the cuff to get the knob off. Thank goodness for cheap doorknobs!

Happily, this is where Jojo hung out, passed out, while I was trying to free Thomas. Much easier than if I was dealing with a fussy baby and a locked-in kid.

This has nothing to do with the locked door, but this is what Thomas did to his football. Apparently we don't feed him enough? Because he likes to eat Nerf.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Snow & Greg's visit

We returned from the long weekend in Wisconsin with a tagalong: Greg from Australia. He's a friend of ours from when Ed lived there, and he visits us every couple of years when he's in the U.S. He was in and sang at our wedding in 2005, and then visited again in 2009. This visit was a bit different--first of all, we now have 2 kids and can't go bar-hopping quite as easily, and second of all, we're currently living in a fairly small place. The plan was for Greg to sleep on the blow-up air mattress in TJ's room, but he opted for (or just passed out in) the recliner in the family room instead. And some on some nights, the loveseat, where his legs hung off from the thigh down. Fortunately, Greg is very easy going, so he didn't mind. He also worked in my office/bedroom with me during the day. And then he and Ed drank beer for fun. 
 Here they are, drinking beer. They were supposed to go out to the bars this night, but it was a bit to snowy. And our loveseat (under Ed) is missing the slipcover because it was peed on. And no, not by Ed or Thomas.

 Greg is a great guitar player and singer. He let Thomas strum while he changed the notes and sang.

 TJ playing in our first snow of the year. I taught him about snow angels, we made a snowman, and then, most interesting to him, we made snowballs. He loved it!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Some Jojo cuteness

Jenn borrowed a "good" camera from work and took some adorable shots of Josiah this weekend. Here are a few. Check out all that happy chubba-chub!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Haircuts in Madison

Thomas has two uncles (plus a dad and a godfather) who give haircuts. Since his hair grows awfully quickly, we take advantage of these skills frequently. Over the weekend in Madison, Pat cut Thomas' hair, and then trimmed the bottom of Dad's, and then Ed cut Pat's. Sadly, Ed paid for his haircut, which looks pretty similar to Pat's and TJ's, the day before. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Josiah's baptism

To cap off a busy weekend, we had Josiah baptized the Sunday after Thanksgiving at Fox Point Lutheran Church in Milwaukee.
 Josiah wore a baptismal gown that has been in Ed's family for about 70 years, worn by Jojo's great aunts, grandma, daddy, aunts, and several cousins, to name a few. Aidan wore it most recently, back in August.

I love this photo!

 Pastor Bill baptizing Josiah

Thomas decided to help, so he scooped water onto Jojo's head as well. 
An extra blessing!

 Our family of four

 With Grammy and Buppa

 Family in attendance

 Kelly and Dustin, the godparents

 With our newly baptized son

 Pastor Bill and Josiah. Pastor Bill married us and then baptized Thomas, so it was wonderful to continue this link with him.

Note the blurry streak off to the left--that would be my Uncle Mark, racing up to stop Thomas from trying to tip over the lit candles behind us. Happily, he made it in time!

 Thomas tries to stop Abbey from walking down the aisle. I imagine Dustin appreciated this!