Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013

Christmas morning, we drove up to my parent's house for 
breakfast, a chat with Elder Shaw, and presents! 

(The boys being festive and my mom's Father Christmas sporting a new outfit 
in honor of Elder Shaw serving in Mexico.)

After a busy morning, we headed back home to get ready for dinner.
I took on the task of cooking and feeding my whole family Christmas dinner.
With B's help, we miraculously pulled it off...for the most part.

After everyone left, dinner cleaned up, and children put to bed,
we enjoyed the gift Santa brought our family:


The Johnson Family | 2013

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

B worked in the morning, but after 12:00 pm, he was ours! 
Before getting ready for a night of celebration, we spent a little time playing.

(Be still my .)

Christmas Eve night is spent with the Johnson Family. We met at Olive Garden for dinner and headed back to B's parents' house for some yummy treats, scriptures, and presents. After we left, I told B the boys are already set for Christmas! They ended up almost to their heads in gift wrap from all the presents they got.

(Grandma J looking at the Christmas Tree with Liam and Finn. 
By the time we left, Finn had broken two ornaments. Oh yeah.)

(Grandma and Grandpa showing Finn their gift.)

(Liam's gift bow masterpiece. Grandma and Grandpa J gave the boys this adorable handmade tent. 
I think I was just as excited about it as Liam and Finn were!)

These little elves want to wish you a
Merry Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Let the celebrations begin!

Tonight was the annual Shaw Family Christmas Party
which was hosted by my parents. 

It's always enjoyable seeing family members you haven't seen all year, 
eating good food, exchanging gifts, watching the Great Grandkids play, 
and congratulating Tay on getting the Shaw Perpetual Education fund!

(Liam with Auntie Whit and Finn with Aunt Katie)

May your start of Christmas celebrations be full of
Joy & Cheer
that lasts the entire week!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Detox Day

My family has been sick for 8 days. I HATE, HATE, HATE it when my family is sick. I ended up taking Finn to the KidsCare last night to make sure he didn't have an ear infection or some kind of pneumonia. "Luckily", he just has a really cruddy cold. Is it just me or do you mamas end up on your knees at the end of the day just wishing you could be sick if that meant your kids could be healthy?

Last night I broke down to B and expressed how helpless and out of control I felt. I also started to play the guilt game and that's never a good road to travel. My husband, the amazing man he is, just held me and let me cry it out. I was also completely exhausted, so we both agreed things would look brighter in the morning. And they did. Finn still has a booger nose and a little fever and Liam is coughing a lot, but I'm crossing my fingers we're on the up & up.

After dinner, I asked B to take the boys for a drive to my grandparents' house to pick up some bread so I could do some serious cleaning and disinfecting. I turned the music loud and went to work. It was incredibly therapeutic.

Here's to a HEALTHY and HAPPY week before Christmas!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Star Box

I've decided it's time to be a little more creative with the boys' playtime. I found a great idea on Play At Home Mom today and I decided to try it out. 

The Star Box: We still have so many boxes left over from moving and extra Christmas lights downstairs, so it was easy for me to put it together quickly. I punched holes with an old pen for the lights to go in and cut off the flaps so it's easier for the boys to crawl in and out. 

As soon as I set it up, the boys were on it like bees on honey! We put their cars and books in there and I crawled in to play with them as well. They LOVED it. The only thing I've got to figure out is how to keep little hands from pulling the lights out of the holes, which results in bulbs being pulled out and the whole strand going out. It's kind of annoying having to go through every light to get the strand to work again.

(Liam a bit annoyed with brother getting in his way.)

*Check out the link on the right for Play At Home Mom blog

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Time laugh.

B recovered enough to drive to work today. So it's back to the good ol' days of just me and ma boys. With a house still a bit under the weather, I called off the visiting teachers and we've been cruising around in nothing but our pajamas. For lunch, we enjoyed some string cheese, apples w/ peanut butter, fruit loops, and peppermint patties. Yep, ya heard me right. I have a feeling the past few days of "whatever easiest" meals is going to bite me hard. How do I help my kids understand pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and fruit snacks are not the only things we eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Within 2 days, I've created monsters.

It appears Liam and Finn have taken notice that mama's not so "with it" lately and have revved up the engines. Every time I turn around, there's something spilling, dropping, smashing, soaking, tearing, or being pulled out. It came to the point I yelled right out loud "That's it! Time Out! For all of us!" I plopped Finn in the play pen and, wouldn't you know, here comes little Liam jumping up and down to get in as well! I even asked him "You want to go on time-out with brother?" He smiled and jumped up and down some more. As soon as I put him in, it was a party. And I had to get out the camera.

We laughed and giggled and laughed and giggled. 
It was the best time-out I've ever been a part of.

(Finn's fists curled up like that remind me of when he was a tiny bebe.)
And then it was NAP TIME. Yeah, baby!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Living Gifts

4 hours. That's the amount of sleep I got last night. Poor little Liam couldn't breathe through his tiny congested nose. We rocked in the chair. We set up the humidifier. We did saline drops and baby ibuprofen. We even tried letting him sleep with us, which we NEVER do, but to no avail. At 2:30 am, B and I decided to just let him cry it out and he eventually went to sleep. 6:30 rolls around and two babies are up again with poopy diapers. 7:30 comes an hour later and two babies are ready for breakfast. Morning waits for no one, including a tired momma and a very tired and sick daddy. Poor B caught the icky bug that decided to set up house with Liam and Finn and I, in the meantime, am pushing the Zicam like it's chocolate.

Being sick is a total bummer and our house is just not at it's best. But getting a Christmas package in the mail makes things seem a lot brighter, especially when the package is a set of these:

Have you ever heard of living ornaments? I never had until today. They are beautiful! Oh, it made my day to hang these beauties up on the tree! 

Thanks to B's family in Maine for sending these our way! We love and miss you! 

Nothing like some living gifts to bring a little life to this "land of the dead". 

Friday, December 6, 2013

New Snow

This week it snowed. And our furnace stopped working. And our sweet neighbor hiked through the blizzard of a storm to lend us their portable heaters. We wrapped the kids in heavy jackets and started the fireplace up. After we put the children to bed, I baked up some brownies and sat on the couch, staring at the fire and eating my treat. It was quite cozy and, in a way, I was kind of happy to be bundled in blankets next to a warm fire because of a broken furnace.

Actually, the furnace isn't broken. The next morning a nice guy with a pony tail checked it out and came to the conclusion it was just getting over heated because our home's duct work isn't big enough to handle a furnace that size. We also learned our Home Warranty won't pay to fix the duct we are stuck with the bill if we decide to make changes that would allow our furnace to work properly. Nice.

In the meantime, B has pulled out the filter and taken off the covers of the vents to help the furnace "breath" more. It seems to be working for now. But I'm still a bit annoyed and was thinking about it this morning while eating breakfast with the children. And then I looked around me. I have a beautiful home, two beautiful boys happily filling their chubby cheeks with peanut butter toast, a picture of the Salt Lake Temple hanging on the wall next to a picture of our little family, which is a reminder to us of where our family began and the eternal goal we strive for each day.

After breakfast, I put the boys down to play and I opened the curtains to let the light in. The boys quickly crawled to the glass doors and pointed outside at the snow. Even at 1 1/2 years old, it's magical for them. And it was magical for me to watch them enjoy the simple pleasures of the world around them...even with Whit and Joey's puppy's poop still lying in a doggy bag outside the door.

I am grateful for the subtle ways in which the Lord guides and teaches me. It's amazing how a gentle reminder to be thankful, patient, and understanding can be more powerful and effective than a harsh, blaring loudness. And I will consider this an answer to a fervent prayer last night and this morning to help me be a better mama.

Happy Snow Day!