Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Little things

Our days have been filled lately with a lot of little odds and ends that we've been trying to get accomplished before the new baby arrives.

On Sunday and Monday we tackled decorating the house for Christmas. Kevin had Christmas music blasting and Andrew was the most darling little Christmas tree decorator ever. He loved breaking the candy canes so that he could show me they didn't have hooks... therefore they were fair game for him to eat.

On Monday I channeled all of my nesting energy into buying a few new decorations for our house that were necessary. :) If the new baby doesn't come soon I might buy out the entire Target holiday section.

Today we had our "due date" appointment. Caitlin is obviously a very obedient little girl and has heard me say on numerous occasions that I want her to come in December (not November), so she still has yet to make her appearance. I am scheduled to be induced on Thursday if she doesn't come tomorrow on her own.

Her little buddy Will was born today though... and I am so excited for them to meet sometime soon! Maybe a skype date? Congrats Kathren & Nick!! Will is positively adorable!

Andrew and I celebrated my Due Date Day by heading to the mall for shopping at PBK, riding the fun rides, getting pretzels at Auntie Anne's, and buying too many Mrs. Fields cookies!

After naps, we met up with Izzie & Sarah for a quick hilly afternoon run. (I am so excited that I have been able to run almost my entire pregnancy this time! Last time I had to stop the week before my due date.)

Izzie & Sarah are officially moving to North Carolina and leave on Thursday. We are enjoying hanging out with them as much as we can until then!

Tonight we spent the evening playing with the newest addition to our family... this beautiful Clavinova from Grandma Shari.

Andrew has cherished every opportunity to play it whenever we are in Utah... so Shari shipped it down to us and now we finally have a musical instrument for Andrew to play that doesn't require us to wear ear plugs! He spent all evening before bed at the piano. I loved having his "playing" as background music while I cleaned the house.

Call me crazy, but another new favorite little thing this week is the new Personal Progress website our church just put out. I got my award when I was in high school and am doing it again now with the girls that I teach at church. The new website is awesome. I inputed all my data tonight and can't wait to get going on more of the projects.

The goal I am currently working on tells me to Review what "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" says about being a wife and a mother. List attributes in my journal and then choose one of those attributes and strive to develop it. I'm working on the attribute of "patience" right now... Kevin would laugh himself silly right now if he read this... since I have been anything but patient lately. I have a long ways to go on this particular goal :)

Now I'm off to clean our room and possibly put away all the laundry that has been piling up!! I keep wishing it would magically put itself away. I'd hate to go into labor in the middle of the night though and have my neighbor see the disaster that is our house right now!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's beginning to feel like Christmas...

Yesterday was the official day when I felt it was OK to break out our Christmas decor and start even more new holiday traditions.

Andrew & I started off the morning by making a Christmas coloring wall in our family room (perfect for the kids to draw on during the BYU vs Utah football game).

Andrew loves for me to come color with him... and I love it too, so this little project was a lot of fun. I did very terrible quick drawings, but he was sooo excited about everything I added- especially baby Jesus.

Yesterday afternoon the whole family plus some friends got together to watch the BYU game and eat leftovers.

After most of the Smiths/Caffees headed back to Utah, we piled in our car with the Warners and headed down to The Magic of Christmas at Temple Hill in Oakland.

First we watched a little bit of the program in the auditorium... for as long as the little guys could handle it

and then we ran around in the frigid cold outside and waited for the Oakland Temple Christmas lights to come on.

The kids were amazed when all the bushes and trees were suddenly covered with lights.

We snapped some quick family photos and then bribed the kids to get into the car with promises of hot cocoa. Andrew kept saying, "hot chocolate.... and ice cream" and we told him he was crazy!

Warner family

Buskirk family

We wound up in Montclair Village (close to the temple) and found a place to grab some quick treats and hot cocoa before we were brutally shipped out into the cold because the store was closing. :(

Andrew loved the chocolate covered gingerbread men

We walked back to the car with warm stomachs from the hot cocoa (not the best hot cocoa, but it served its purpose).

These two were adorable as they walked together holding hands.

We squished back in the car (notice that Chris could actually fit in between the car seats... just barely... because my large pregnant hips couldn't do it)... and headed home listening to Christmas music and checking out the neighborhood lights on our way.

Another great new Christmas tradition! This was our first year going to the Temple Hill lighting and I definitely think we will need to do it again! The colorful lights and beautiful music were a great way to start off the Christmas season!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Shop til I pop!

It hasn't seemed to work yet... but we had a lot of fun trying! :)

We spent the day shopping around downtown Walnut Creek and a little bit at Stoneridge Mall too. Our style of Black Friday shopping doesn't involve an early wake up. We started off the morning with our usual neighborhood run together and then we left the men and kids to fend for themselves with a house full of leftovers and we went shopping for about 4 hours.

Black Friday shopping is basically a birthday shopping trip for Elise & I every year...

this was one of my favorite gifts that we bought today

I am also stoked to wear my new Lululemon running pants in a few weeks (once they actually fit).

We also had a good time helping Jessie find a cute suit for her NEW JOB!

Unfortunately a few of us caught a bit of a quick stomach bug, so although shopping was fun, no one felt like Mrs. Fields (can you believe it?!)... even me. I think that was the first time we have ever gone shopping without a cookie stop.

I am hoping that Thanksgiving treats and leftovers sound more appetizing tomorrow! In the meantime, my new cute advent calendar is getting hung first thing in the morning!!

Time to hit the sack! I am exhausted!!

Lighting of the Old Oak Tree

Just when I couldn't love where I live anymore, I find yet another reason why my town is adorable- the 34 year old tradition of the Lighting of the Old Oak Tree followed by an evening of performances and shopping downtown... along with free goodies and hot cocoa and cider.

The Snow Angel and Father Christmas light the tree and bring on the Christmas season. There was also a town Christmas sing along and several of the high school choir groups performed. Andrew loved listening to the music. It was fun to have the Smith and Caffee families join us for such a great town tradition.

We actually missed the official tree lighting because we were too distracted by all the other darling events around town. Although it was cold, we managed to have a lot of fun... just had to keep moving to stay warm!

The hot cocoa kept me happy and the
cookies, brownies, and other treats kept the kids in a good mood

Twinners with the crazy kids

Maddie eyeing Andrew's brownie ("cake")

Andrew gobbled his brownie down quickly (so he wouldn't have to share)...
and then Grandma loaded the kids up with more treats

Happy girl with her "cake"

Hanging out with dad and Grandpa while the girls window shopped and checked out the new chocolate shop downtown.

Eating caramel covered popcorn with Uncle Dan

The performers all around town were top notch... I especially loved it when these ladies started dancing with large candy canes.

There was even a police car with a big screen TV in the trunk showing holiday movies.

Andrew & Maddie loved their ride on the Christmas train.

Cute Caffee family

Andrew was being a goofball while we ate peppermint jojos (thanks to the Trader Joes booth) and listened to the missionaries from our Zone perform Christmas carols.

Such a good looking crew of missionaries!!

We ended the night with a stop by the Museum of SR Valley to check out one of their fabulous Christmas trees. Andrew didn't want to say goodbye to the tree... he loved it so much!

I have a feeling he is going to LOVE decorating for Christmas at our house tomorrow!

Time to bring on the Christmas fun! I am so excited now that Thanksgiving is officially over so that I can start decorating and enjoying all the great festivities that come with Christmas!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble Gobble!

We had such a fabulous and chill Thanksgiving Day today! I am so grateful for the whole Smith/Caffee clan who trekked to California to spend the holidays with us!

We started off with an early wake up from Andrew and a Buskirk boys basketball game :) Andrew can actually hit an occasional shot. Kevin & I were both impressed.

Andrew got to learn how to make Grandma Julie's special "visitor rolls" and was so proud of himself.

Andrew also says "I saved Thanksgiving!" because yesterday he was the one who reminded us that we forgot to add the eggs to the roll dough... just in the nick of time.

Jessie & I were in charge of protecting the "visitor rolls" from Grandpa... who kept trying to swipe them all morning.

At first I thought something had gone terribly wrong with my mom's rolls... but then she reminded me that Andrew had been her helper. I think he did a pretty good job for his first batch. :)

Later in the morning we did a Smith girls Turkey Trot around our neighborhood. We ran between 5-7 K... I ran the lower end (5K) and the rest of the ladies ran a bit longer (7K +). Yesterday I ran the whole 45 minute hilly run with my mom and sisters and my sore legs were still recovering today! I figured if I didn't want to go into labor before dinner, I should probably run a little bit less this morning. The weather was crisp and beautiful! Such a great way to start off Thanksgiving! I am so grateful for incredible California Fall weather!

Dinner was slated for 3pm... so we spent the rest of the day warming up food and getting the table set (we did most of the baking/cooking yesterday... so today was pretty low key). Kevin and Grandpa Kim took Andrew took the park for almost two hours and ran him around so that he napped for over 2 hours this afternoon (he almost missed dinner!)!

The kids table
(covered with drawing paper and set up with turkey treats, crayons, and Thanksgiving stickers)

Awesome Aunt Jessie made everyone a cute turkey cookie treat to put at their plate.

We moved our kitchen table into the dining room and expanded it out to use the leaves... and then we used our wedding china and fancier silverware at dinner! We definitely don't use them enough... and need to remedy that! The best part of dinner was that the table was right next to our living room (aka playroom right now)... so the kids played and the adults got to sit and chat for a long time.

While the final preparations were made, some of the fam caught up on the football games.

Maddie woke up super happy from her nap and was sooooo excited for turkey!

Andrew finally woke up after the Warners arrived and we'd already started dinner. He was SOOOO happy to have his buddy Izzie over! We were bummed that the Balenas couldn't join us for dinner after all... and we were so sad that George got sick on Thanksgiving!

The kids had a blast coloring and decorating the table with stickers... and Andrew & Maddie especially loved it when Grandma would come sit and play with them!

Maddie was quite the little artist and loved having all the crayons to herself when the bigger kids would head off to play with the toys.

Playtime on the stairs was another highlight! We're just glad that no one stuck their head all the way through the banisters (although everyone tried) :)

More playtime with Grandma!

Thanksgiving masterpiece

The beautiful kitchen helpers

These ladies made sure that my china and silverware were handwashed and all the leftovers were packed away and stuffed into our two fridges.

Meanwhile these two glued themselves to the TV and watched a few Super Why? episodes. I thought it was hysterical that they both stood up right by the TV instead of lounging on the couch.


The little guys were mostly excited about the ice cream. Andrew ate three bowls of vanilla ice cream and wouldn't touch any cake or pie (definitely not my child ;)).

The rest of us lounged around in the dining room eating pie and chatting while the little people were occupied with their ice cream.

Dessert this year included: chocolate pudding pie, cherry pie, razzleberry pie, pumpkin pie, apple crisp, and red velvet cake! Kevin also made us homemade whipped cream.

Maddie LOVED the red velvet cake... so much so that she was wearing it all over her whole body by the time she was done.

The rest of the evening was spent cleaning and playing with the little guys. Scott & Cat stopped by after their dinner with the Peers family and the kiddos loved goofing around with them!

Andrew & Izzie had a blast playing together and being silly.

This is their new favorite activity

Andrew loved running around saying, "We kissed each other on the mouth!"
Izzie's favorite line was "AGAIN!"

Sarah and I couldn't stop laughing... which of course encouraged them to smooch again and again.

Today I am thankful for...

- cute little kids who crack me up

- good friends and family to share Thanksgiving with

- my health (not everyone was as lucky today)

- tons and tons of good food (and even more leftovers)

- making it through Thanksgiving and my birthday without going into labor!

- many many more blessings than I can name tonight!!

- a cozy bed that I am really excited to get into in a few minutes!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!