Saturday, December 31, 2011

Christmas Morning 2011

There is simply nothing like it.  

Christmas morning is the ultimate joy in a child's life.  William is no exception.  He's been waiting all year for this day to arrive, but not only just for him.  He's been waiting for Adeline to share this day with him.  It's one of the sweetest stories my heart holds and one that I cannot wait to share with him when he's older.  Since this summer, William has been telling Adeline about Santa Claus and how he'll bring her a toy and fly in a sleigh.  He's explained to her how they will have to wait at the top of the stairs together before Mom and Dad will let them run down and see the new toys. He's asked me repeatedly how Santa is going to know he has a sister this year and he'd remind me at random times how Sissy cannot talk and he's going to have to make sure Santa understands what to bring her.  As Christmas got closer, William's excitement for Christmas intensified and he'd talk to Adeline about Santa with a twinkle in his eye and complete joy in his voice.  

So Christmas Eve was upon us and William was anxious to go to bed so Santa could come to Bebe and Pop's house.  And boy did Santa deliver!

 I love this picture of the kids on the stairs right before we let them loose to run into the living room. Look at the smile on Adeline's face!

I also LOVE the expression on William's face when he saw the Playmobil airport terminal that ranked #1 on the list.  

He just kept saying, "Holy Cow!  Look at those airplanes and wow, my terminalllllllll!!!!"  

Santa also brought William a big wheel bike and his voice lite up with a thrill, "wow!  a new pedal bike!! how fun!!! I didn't even put that on my Santa list but boy, he knows how to surprise me!" 

He also got art supplies and remote control army tanks.  I'd say Santa spelled S.U.C.C.E.S.S. this year!

And my sweet baby girl.  What a joy to watch Adeline experience her very first Christmas.  She probably had no clue what was going on, but her fan club sure loved watching Christmas morning unfold with her in it!  Santa brought her a pink Princess cup - William was so delighted that his request was fulfilled! 

She also got some lego blocks which William quickly said, "Oh mom!  LOOK!  Now Adeline can build with me!"  

And Santa also gave Adeline a new baby doll, a cute tote bag and several puppet wash cloths for the bathtub.  

I don't think William looked up from his airplanes all day.  His imagination was in full force Christmas morning and he's not stopped flying planes, riding his bike or driving the army tanks.  Oh the joy of being a kid.  

And what I will take from this Christmas and all the days ahead is childhood innocence. That magic twinkle in my childrens' eyes. How they fully trust. How they love passionately. How they know how to squeeze every drop of fun out of a single ordinary moment and relish it wholeheartedly.

A Letter from Santa 2011

Santa came to visit William and Adeline!!  Not only did he leave a HUGE surprise for each of them, he also wrote them a letter and left it by the fireplace.  

Dear William and Adeline,

Thank you for the cookies and carrots.  I was starving from my sleigh ride over Oklahoma.  I also thank you for taking care of Great Elf.  He loves you and told me how much William loves airplanes and Adeline loves pink.

William - I sure hope you enjoy this new airport terminal you asked me to make this year.  My elves worked super hard on these new airplanes too.  I am sorry I couldn't make Fedex this year.  We ran out of cargo plane parts - so many kids like them!  I think you are one of the most kind friends and the best big brother.  I am proud of your hard work and I've heard about your love for drawing.  I thought you might want some new art supplies this year to help you practice drawing your airports.  Love you kiddo!

Adeline - You are a sweetie pie!  Hope you love your new doll and princess cups.  William told me how much he wanted you to have a princess cup for the bathtub.  I love your smile and your family adores you.


Christmas Eve 2011

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve this year. I have an incredible family and everyday I am so thankful that God gave me this life.  We celebrated with my family, including my 92 year old Grandparents and my cousins.  This has been tradition since I was a baby and every year we have a great time.  I cannot remember one Christmas Eve when we didn't laugh our heads off.  One of my favorite memories is always my Grandpa, Mac, showing up on Christmas Eve with 15 HUGE boxes - the same "big gift" for everyone in the family. This particular present was the highlight of every holiday and ranged from malt machines to fur coats.  Christmas Eve is a Johnston-Brown blast!
After Christmas Eve services, we all gathered at Pop's and Bebe's house for dinner and our gift exchange.  Bebe served a delicious meal on her beautifully set tables.  The kids had a great time at the kid table and thanks to cousin Meredith, they had many activities to keep them busy while the grownups ate and conversed.  

 Then it was time for the gifts.  The kids were super excited and eager to bust into the boxes.  Instead of a "big gift" for everyone, Mac and Meme decided to only give the great-grandkids the "big gift" instead.  So the little ones tore into their gift sacks to find the MOST ADORABLE personalized sweaters and hats.  William and Micah tried theirs on for size and don't they look so cute!!
Now that there are 7 great-grandkids to tear through the presents, the gift exchange moves in the blink of an eye.  From what I could tell, everyone was delighted with their gifts, but nothing trumps being together under the same roof.  We are so blessed to have each other and bask in the moments we share.  I am so grateful.

William's favorite gift from Christmas Eve was the Playmobil glider from cousin Micah.  I don't think we've put it down since opening the box!  Merry Christmas!

Good-bye Great Elf!

On Christmas Eve, Great Elf waited by the fireplace for Santa to come along and pick him up.  William was so sad it was time to say good-bye to his elf.  He hugged him tight and told him how much he and Adeline loved him, and told Great Elf that he couldn't wait to see him in a year.  It was very sweet to see William's love for Great Elf and his concern for Great Elf's ride back to the North Pole. 

But on Christmas morning, William found a letter from Great Elf that brighted his day and gave him closure for a hard good-bye.

Dear William,

THANK YOU for letting me stay with you and your family this month.  I need to return to the North Pole with Santa now, but I will be back next year.  I loved playing airplanes and building with your blocks.  Please give Adeline a kiss from me and keep being the BEST KID I have ever met.  

Your Buddy,
Great Elf

Thursday, December 29, 2011

William's PreK Holland Hall Christmas Party

William's preK class held their Christmas party the Monday before the school break.  I volunteered to bring the plates and looked forward to coming to his classroom.  I am so glad I was able to attend because it was a great way to meet other moms and have a hands on understanding of William's daily activities.
William was DELIGHTED that I was going to be at school for the party.  He hopped out of the car and told his teacher first thing.  He even told her that Adeline was coming too - he was so proud!
We showed up around 11:30 am to set up while the kids were in Spanish class.  I was really impressed to see almost all the moms in attendance as it just confirmed how open and welcoming the school is for parents.  Adeline was very good during the party.  She sat in her stroller and watched the fish tank and the gerbils for quite a long time.  Ultimately, I ended up getting her out of the stroller and putting her on the floor so she could crawl around.  I am SO careful about making sure she stays out of the way during William's activities weather it's at school, a party or one of his classes.  I know she is welcome to come with me (after all, she's a baby!), but I do NOT expect her to be a part of the event. 
It's William's gig.
That said, we had a great time and William loved telling everyone about "his baby."  He anxiously gave me a tour of the classroom, showed me the toys he likes to play with ("see mom, that's what I am talking about when you ask me what I did during free time!"), and introduced me to his friends.

I stood back for awhile and just watched William in action.  He was beaming and running around with his new friends.  In that moment, I was SO THANKFUL for his healthy transition into a new environment.  He's had to tackle so much change in such a short time and he's handled all of it beautifully.  I think we're gonna like it here.

Adeline's 1st Christmas tree pictures

 If you read the post below, you'll understand that we have a festive Christmas tree, but it lacks a certain "wow" factor when it comes to posing for pictures.  Since it's Adeline's very first Christmas, I wanted to capture her in front of a pretty tree while she's all dressed up for the holiday.  My friend, Michelle, shares my love of pictures and understood my plight.  Thanks to her, I was able to pose Adeline in front of Michelle's gorgeous tree.  Thank you Michelle!  10 years from now, I will still pretend this was my house and my Christmas tree! haha.

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

Yes, this year our little family is living it up at Sheridan Pond inside our tiny apartment.  Since Adeline is crawling everywhere and it's tight quarters, our Christmas tree was prominently displayed atop William's train table.  I get a good chuckle every time I look at it.  It's only fitting to add it to the memory blog!  Tis the season to be merry - no matter your size or location!

Unspoken Adoration

It's YOU for ME

and ME for YOU!

we'll muddle through

whatever we do



We go!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Adeline is 9 months old!

Oh my sweet baby Adeline!  You are 9 months old and I just cannot believe it!  9 months! wow.  That just sounds like a such a big girl number, yet you are still such a little baby.  I like this moment of loving on you in the baby phase.   You fit like a snug puzzle piece in the nook of my arm and you are my constant "hip rider" companion.  And I. LOVE. EVERY. SECOND.

Miss Adeline, you are 22 lbs and wear a size 5 diaper.  Your clothing ranges from 12-18m, and I have bumped your footie pjs to size 18m because I don't like 'em too tight around your legs.  You have 8 teeth and your hair keeps growing thicker and thicker.  It's light brown and tends to stick straight up in the back.  I think it's adorable and adds to your personality. 
This month has been a HUGE milestone month of "firsts."
You are a CRAWLER!  There is simply no stopping your little legs from taking off across the room to explore the world around you.   There's a sparkle in your eyes when you crawl - like you have a new found independence.  You crawl to different areas in rooms and you will spend a long time studying objects that were out of your reach just a few weeks ago.   The first new adventure spot you found was the cord to the TV.  I only had to say, "Adeline, no mam" one time before your head spun around and you gave me a big ol' belly laugh.  You understand "no" and obey the command more often than not.  
You LOVE William's toys and will make a mad dash to his airport play area whenever we are not looking. So, I have placed William's toy baskets all around the perimeter of his play space so you cannot get inside.....but that doesn't stop you.  Because....
You now like to STAND UP and cruise furniture and the toy baskets!  Yep.  You prefer to stand up as often as possible.  You enjoy holding onto chairs and tables and banging toys that I place in front of you at the new heights.  One day you even stood by yourself for 15 seconds without holding on to anything.  Oh I was so proud that I clapped and clapped.....

And you CLAPPED TOO!  You are a clapping fool.  Clapping, clapping, clapping!  You just beam and clap about a gazillion times a day.  It's a new trick that you find completely entertaining.  You LOVE  to crawl a bit, sit up, and then stop for a second to applaud yourself and your new talents.  You'll look around the room for me and then say, "mamamamamamamamama" until I look at you.  Then we clap together and you just howl with a belly laugh that rivals Santa.  
I have tried and tried to capture these precious moments on the video camera, but you freeze up every single time I turn it on and you speed over to me in record crawl time just so you can climb up into my lap and watch the screen.  Oh well, maybe I can get you laughing and doing your tricks when you least expect it.
You figured out how to run your fingers up and down your lips to make a babbling musical tune.  It's a little activity you enjoy performing at random times and I must say it's pretty cute!  Peek-a-boo is still high on your list and you wave to everyone that passes you.  Such a friendly little lady!
The most fantastic 9m trick is your ability to mimic William's airplane noises and flight motions.  It's incredible to me that at your young age, you have totally picked up on airplanes.  I don't find it shocking considering we own 800 airplanes and fly them 24-7, but you "get it."  One day I heard you making the same exact noise that William makes when he flies his airplanes around the house.  

It's hard to describe, but kinda like "crrrrrrrrrrrrrussssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" or like airplanes sound when they lift off a runway.  I couldn't believe it.  You were in the middle of the living room, holding one of William's airplanes over your head and waving it back and forth while making the noise.  It was PRICELESS.  You "get it!" and William was busting with joy!  His face was beaming and I will never forget it.  He said, "Mom!  (gasp) Sissy can fly!  She can play airplanes with me now!"  Yet another MOMENT that is engraved on my heart forever.  
Adeline, you LOVE to cuddle now!  Dada and I are so thrilled!  You are still very busy trying to soak up the senses around you, but you've developed a stillness at times when you'll just sit in my lap or lay your head on my shoulder.  You LOVE for me to hold you at night and there are many times I am reluctant to put you down.  You give me hugs all the time by leaning into my body when I hold you.  You give us kisses by opening up your mouth and laying it on our cheeks.  Oh how I love those kisses so much!  
Your routine has not changed that much.  You still like to go to bed at 6pm.  I usually hear from you around 4am.  I know I shouldn't give you any milk, but I do anyway.  I like that quiet time with you and you LOVE to see me.  You usually give me a big hug and take your bottle quick.  Then you fall right back asleep for another hour.  More often that not, we are up for the day between 5:15am and 6am.  

Adeline, you are a dream.  Not a day goes by that I don't stop and look at you and your brother in complete awe.  How did I get so lucky?  You are such a happy baby and constantly smile.  You babble and hold 2 pacifiers at a time.  You tolerate hair bows and love your blankie.  
My precious girl,  I love you beyond the moon and past the stars, farther than Heaven and over the rainbow.
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