Thursday, December 31, 2015

Santa's Wonderland

We've gone to Santa's Wonderland every year since 2012, and it's something we all enjoy and look forward to. The prices have gone up every year, and this year we decided it just wasn't worth it anymore. One of the local TV stations does a ticket giveaway so I entered us and forgot about it. Several weeks later though I received an email notifying us that we had won free tickets! Yay! It was only two tickets so we still had to buy two child tickets but it was a much more reasonable expense. We prefer to go on an off-peak night (not a weekend and not the week before Christmas) so we don't have to deal with the crowds, so we waited to go until after Christmas. We had such a fun time!

Since we went after Christmas, Nana got to join us for her first Santa's Wonderland experience! And we finally got a big cold front a couple of days after Christmas so it actually felt Christmasy, and we got to wear our coats and hats and gloves!

We went on the hayride to see all of the lights first.

Jackson's favorite part is still the resurrection and ascension of Christ. =)

Even though it was after Christmas there were still a decent amount of people there, but we never waited in line for more than 5 minutes for anything. We got to do everything we wanted to do and some things, like this sledding experience, multiple times!

After seeing the lights, riding the train and sledding, we took a break to warm up around the fire with hot chocolate and funnel cake.

The cutest little reindeer missed the lights on the hayride, but woke up in time to enjoy the rest of the festivities. Strangers stopped us all night to ooh and ahhh over how cute he was!

The boys both said the sledding was their favorite part, but their second favorite was definitely the snow!

You can't leave Santa's Wonderland without a picture in front of the Texas flag!

It was the perfect conclusion to our Christmas season. Thanks Santa's Wonderland! (Hopefully we can win free tickets again next year!)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Benjamin is 3 Months!

Benjamin is one quarter of a year old! We've had a busy month celebrating Christmas, but he's been a busy boy growing, too!

Benjamin has mellowed tremendously during his third month. Mommy is still his favorite person, but he will tolerate others quite a bit better. Also, he is happier for longer periods of time when he is not being held. He would definitely still rather be held though, but we've discovered that he prefers to be held facing out, so as not to miss a thing. 

He's developed the schedule of an older baby with one morning nap and one long afternoon nap, and more space between feedings. We put him to bed for the night around 8:00 and he has a dream feed right before I go to bed around midnight. He will then sleep until 4 or so when he will wake up and then sleep in our bed for the rest of the night. He still will not sleep in his own bed, preferring to sleep in his bouncer seat. When I put him in his little crib he wakes up within two minutes.

He is a big, sturdy boy! We moved him up to size 3 diapers a couple of weeks ago, and I would estimate that he weighs about 17 pounds. Justin has gotten the 9 month size clothes down and we will get those washed and ready for him since the 6 month clothes are getting really snug. He's already started wearing some 9 month clothes and they are definitely not too big for him!

He smiles easily and is just a lot of fun now. He giggles and smiles and talks back to you, like in this video:

His 3 month photo shoot was the easiest by far of all three boys! Perhaps I just caught him in an exceptionally happy mood but I don't think I got a picture of him not smiling. He loves doing Itsy Bitsy Spider, Head & Shoulders Knees and Toes, and This Little Piggy. Peekaboo is another favorite game.

I went back to work part-time at the beginning of his third month and he stayed with daddy while I was at work. This was so good for both of them. At the beginning of January we will all transition again when we go back to work full-time and he starts daycare. I fear the transition to daycare will not be easy for him. He still wants to be held much of the time, he won't take a pacifier, and has never taken more than 2 ounces from a bottle and more often refuses all together. The only plus side of this is that I was able to stockpile about 140 ounces of breast milk in three weeks since he was eating so little of what I pumped. He still prefers to be swaddled for sleep which they won't do at daycare. So yeah...all in all I fear it's going to be rough. Pray for us! Especially the bottle thing. I  know he won't starve if he holds out to nurse, but I just know he will be much happier if he's not hungry.

He is really enjoying his playmat these days and is getting really good at batting at and grabbing his toys. He's definitely discovered his hands and frequently sucks on his fingers. He can also grab a toy and bring it to his mouth. He prefers to sit up though, or even better, to stand! He can do a pretty good tripod sit for a few seconds. I bet he will be sitting up pretty well on his own by this time next month.

All three boys at 3 months. I think he continues to favor Jackson a bit, through the eyes, forehead and cheeks. I think he has Andrew's chin.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Day

Finally it was Christmas morning! The boys have a genius clock in their room that turns green when it's ok to get out of bed and they really do "obey" the clock pretty well. So we set their clock and then set ours for 15 minutes earlier so we could be in place to see their delight when they came downstairs. But then we were sitting there waiting for them and got bored so I went up to wake them up. =)

The "first look" is just the best!

New bikes!!!

And bean bag chairs in each of their favorite colors!

Here is the video of their Christmas morning first look:

After seeing what Santa brought them it was on to stockings. Jackson finally got his Harry Potter wand and couldn't have been more excited. He carried it around everywhere for 3 days. He's never seen Harry Potter and I'm waiting until he's closer to 8 to read the books but he already knows a bunch of the spells, I guess from friends at school?

Lots of goodies in their stocking!

Then it was on to present opening! Benjamin looks a little surprised about his Aggie Jersey. It's a little big now but I bet he will be able to wear it before too long!

Hubby did great! I've wanted a mother's necklace for a long time but it took a while to find one that I liked and that could fit three relatively long names. He also got us tickets for the PostSecret show that will be in College Station in February and has even already arranged the babysitter! Yay!

All the boys got some new books...

Andrew was very excited about his Spiderman helmet to match his new bike. And the fact that no one wore it before him! #littlebrotherprobs

Benjamin loves his jumper! 

After breakfast, we took advantage of the still warm temperatures and went outside to try out those new bikes.

After getting the feel for them in the driveway, Jackson decided he wanted the training wheels off!

No training wheels turned out to be a little harder than he expected though. We're still working on it!

Benjamin got to ride sitting up in the big boy stroller for the first time!

We spent our afternoon playing with new toys and watching A Christmas Story movie. Since then there have been lots of "triple dog daring" of one another, exclamations of "You'll shoot your eye out!" and Jackson has decided he needs Red Rider BB gun next year for Christmas.

We ended the merriest of Christmases with dinner with our friends, singing Happy Birthday to Jesus, and cake!

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas Eve

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Happy twenty-fourth day of Christmas Jackson & Andrew! Santa will be here in just 1 DAY! Today will be a busy day preparing for Santa's arrival and Jesus' birthday! First, make a birthday cake for Jesus and then get ready to go to the Christmas Eve service at church. When you get home, make some cookies to leave for Santa and don’t forget the carrots for the reindeer!

I had three cute little helpers for the cake making!

Two of whom were just there for the fringe benefits...

And one who was just excited to be hanging out with the big boys.

Jackson is getting pretty good at taking pictures so occasionally I get to be in them!

The unseasonably warm temperatures continued, so the boys also enjoyed playing outside for quite a while with Gram and Pop.

After naps, we headed to the Christmas Eve service at church. 

Attending the Christmas Eve service at our church is easily my favorite part about being home for Christmas. The hustle and bustle, to-do lists, and stress that sometimes accompany the season fades away, and I am finally able to turn my focus on the One who it's really all about.
4 Years of Christmas Eve services!
We loved having Gram and Pop with us for Christmas Eve!

Benjamin was a perfect angel during the service! And he looked so handsome too!

A crockpot lasagna was awaiting us upon our arrival home and we made the cookies for Santa.

Somehow carrots for the reindeer got left off of our grocery list but reindeer like celery too, right? Jackson suggested that next year we just bring some corn from Pop's house (that he puts in his deer feeder). We read The Night Before Christmas one more time and then it was off to bed! It took awhile, but eventually visions of sugarplums were dancing in their heads, I'm sure!

And then Santa came!