december in a nutshell

The last few weeks have been a little more crazy than I had expected.  A few days after my last post we found out that my grandma had passed away.  On the same day that my dad had his thyroid removal surgery.  It was such a terrible thing to have to tell my dad that his mom had died while he was in the recovery room.  I traveled with my mom and dad to California for the funeral while Eric held down the fort at home with the boys. 

Cannon also got ear tubes put in on the 8th.  He had been on very strong antibiotics for a while and his ear infections still kept returning.  He did really great.  Luckily, we knew what to expect since Charlie had tubes too and it all went as expected.  Cannon is also doing really good with potty training.  He still has some trouble with going number two on the potty, but overall he has it down.

I was so relieved that I had so much of my holiday preparation done early this year so I didn't have to stress too much while I was gone.  Eric kept up with Teeny the elf and the advent calendar activities.

So here's our December in a nutshell:

We made snowflakes.

......and salt dough ornaments.

We decorated gingerbread houses.

We said goodbye to Grandma's house for the last time.

We did some holiday baking.

The boys met Teeny the elf.

And we inherited my mom's ceramic christmas tree from 1976.

It has been one heck of a month.  I am not ashamed to say that the Christmas tree and all decorations were taken down and put away yesterday.  It was great while it lasted, but it feels so good when it's over too!

kicking off december....

It has been a full and very good week.

Before getting out the Christmas decorations, I felt the need to purge a little first.  No room or closet was safe.  When life is a little crazy, there is nothing better than organized closets and big full bags to take to the goodwill.

Then it was time to decorate the tree.  It was much more fun this year than last because Cannon is starting to "get it".  He loved looking at every single decoration and trying to find the perfect spot for it.  He was a fan of one branch in particular and it took a little convincing that we needed to cover the whole tree.  Charlie was into it too - he is old enough to remember the ornaments and wanted to put up all his homemade ones first.

Every year I always have all these ideas of things I want to do to make the holidays special. I usually end up putting them off too long until things get busy and then they just don't happen.  I decided I wasn't going to let that happen this year.  The boys are at the perfect ages right now where they really believe in the magic of the season and I know that these years won't last long.  So, I made a list.  A long, long list.

And I have been having so much fun preparing without the stress. And you know what else?  I am about 95% done with my christmas shopping, all presents are wrapped (including handmade gift tags), and my Christmas cards have been ordered and stamps/envelopes have been purchased. 

This week I also finished my last two classes and I am now officially done with school!  The last 16 months have been tough trying to balance my classes amongst everything else, but now it feels so good to just have it done.  I also just finished up my internship at a local law firm and they offered me a position.  For now I will just be working Tuesday-Thursday, but hopefully things will pick up in the Spring and I can move to full time.

On Friday night the boys wrote their letters to santa.  Cannon definitely does not understand the santa concept, but he is always up for some drawing/coloring.  Charlie on the other hand was completely serious about the whole thing.  He is very concerned that Santa will not get his letter and he will not get the items on his wishlist.  No matter what we say, I don't think there is much we can do to reassure him that everything will be okay until he sees for himself on the big day.

I am excited and blessed to get to spend every minute of my favorite season with my favorite boys.  This is going to be the best Christmas yet.

school pictures, 2011 edition

Ah, the dreaded school pictures.  Even though they are so dreadful, I feel like a bad mother if I don't at least order the smallest portrait package. 
I am just grateful that Charlie's fake "CHEESE" smile didn't make an appearance this year.

Now that Cannon is in daycare, he is also in on the action and got his own photos this year too. 

I need to find out who to talk to at the school to be sure we have some laser beams and huge 2012 number props in the photos next year.  ;)

cannon at 3....

Well, Mr. Cannon, you are now three!  You are filled with personality and you know how to turn on the charm.  To say that you keep us on our toes is an understatment.  You are a challenge and you always know what you want. 

A few things about you at three years old....

- You are 30 pounds (25th percentile) and 37.25 inches tall (50th percentile).

-  You are Independent with a capital I.  You have to do everything for yourself.  This is mostly a good thing, but sometimes it is downright frustrating.  You are dressing yourself and have to get yourself in and out of the car.  You are also buckling yourself into your carseat, but luckily you cannot unbuckle...yet!

- You are talking up a storm.  A few months ago, it all seemed to click for you and now you are completely caught up to your peers in speech and language.  You talk in complete sentences and we can understand almost all of what you say. 

- You love to sing and your favorite songs are You are My Sunshine and the ABC Song.  You are always learning new songs at daycare and we hear you singing them to yourself as you play with your toys.

- You are crazy about playdoh.  You ask to play with it pretty much daily.  You also love coloring and drawing.

- You are terribly stubborn.  Once you have something set in your mind, it is almost impossible to change it.  This has been a huge challenge for us and one that we are fighting on a daily basis.  We keep praying for wisdom on how to raise you.  We want to encourage your independence and channel all your energy in a positive direction.  Hoping that we can find some middle ground in this area soon.

- You and Charlie are complete opposites.  I notice things every single day that remind me that you two couldn't really be any more different.  Your relationship has its highs and lows and I hope that it keeps getting better and better.  You are lucky to have each other.

- You love macaroni and cheese, yogurt, fruit snacks, and fruit.  You aren't too picky, but you usually know what you want when you want it (as usual!)

- You are still an early riser.  (I would still like to know where you got this from!)

- You are attending daycare and you love it.  You need the social interaction and you love all the action. 

You truly are a character, little dude.  We are learning from you everyday and we love you so much Can Man.

halloween 2011....

Halloween this year was an absolute blast.  The boys are at the best age and they loved every bit of it!  Charlie did not have his heart set on a particular halloween costume this year so we threw a few ideas around and once this idea came up, we knew it was the one.......
Angry Birds!!!!

These costumes were pretty fun to put together and I was so grateful that there was no face painting involved and they were easy to put on and take off. 

Since we don't really know any of our new neighbors, we decided to go to our old neighborhood for trick-or-treating.  It was so nice to see some of our old friends that we haven't seen for a few years and they were pretty surprised to see us at their doorstep! 

I wasn't too suprised that Cannon caught right on to the whole concept of trick-or-treating.  He was all over the candy and couldn't walk fast enough at the beginning.  He is still young enough that he wasn't too scared of the scary decorated doorsteps.  He would just march right by the spiders and zombies and hold out his bucket and yell "Tick O Treat!"  As the night wore on he did slow down but he became worried that we were going to stop soon. After every house he would get a concerned look and say "One more house please?"

Charlie did great too.  In the past he hasn't had much endurance when it came to trick-or-treating.  We would go to a handful of houses and then he would be done.  This year he wanted to keep going and was very proud of his haul.

I would say that Halloween 2011 was a major success!

Cannon is 3!

I had big plans for a monster themed third birthday party for Cannon, but with my dad's surgery and all that has been going on with that, time just got away from me.  Luckily, he really had no idea that the day was coming and was happy with how the day turned out anyway.

The weather was beautiful on Saturday so we thought it would be the perfect time to make a trip to the pumpkin patch.

 Charlie thinks corn angels are much more fun than snow angels.

Charlie wasn't very interested in picking his own pumpkin.  They were either too big or too dirty and he gave up pretty quickly.  Cannon of course was the complete opposite.  He was totally into it and was trying to pick up pumpkins bigger than him.  

We had the grandparents over for dinner and to do presents and cake.  The only thing I had put together for the party was the cake.  I copied it directly from this one.  I had the bottom made at a local bakery and then I made the cake pop eyeballs.

Cannon and GG had spent some time in the morning playing funny birthday songs on YouTube and he seemed to catch on pretty quickly that it was his special day. He was loving it.  He spent most of the day singing "Happy Birthday to MeeeeEEEeee" songs and once he saw the candles lit on the cake he was yelling "Birthday song! Birthday song!"

Happy Birthday Cannon!  We love you, dude.

By the way, this was my first time making cake pops.  My review:  a lot of work and way too sweet.  I don't think I will be making them again anytime soon.  Too bad because they are so stickin' cute.

please pray....

Just when I thought that life was ready to settle down again, we are once again thrown for a loop.

My dad has cancer.

You always hope and pray that you will never have to say those words about someone you love.  Someone that you have looked up to your whole life.  Someone that has loved you unconditionally from the moment you were born.

It has been tough to accept.  It is an emotional rollercoaster that at times doesn't feel real and at other times I feel like running far, far away so I can pretend it is not happening.

I don't know what the future holds for my dad.  It looks as though we have a long fight in front of us, but I am so grateful that we are back home and we can do it together.

You can follow my dad's journey here:  CaringBridge 

daily photos, week 2 &3....

I have managed to finish up 3 whole weeks of taking a picture a day.  I am so thrilled that I have stuck to it.  I haven't put them in the album yet.  I need to figure out a way to print them at home or find a local place that actually does a decent job.  I also realized that I need to be jotting down some notes for what to include in the album when I get time to work on it.  I would also like to include other details from the day besides just the photo.