Christmas: Round Four

We made it! We survived Christmas this year! Sadly, our house didn't make it out as well as we did. It's an absolute mess, and the beautiful floors are completely covered in toys. So, if you want to come see the house, no surprise visits! Give me about an hour head start to throw things in closets clean the house before you come :)

Well, yesterday after we had our little family Christmas, we packed up and headed over to Josh's parent's house. With the grandparents and all of the aunts and uncles, things can get a little crazy.
The kids were very good, Taylor did a great job of sitting and opening her presents with her parents...Jayden squirmed away and went off to do other things.
I didn't even get all of the presents in this picture. Yeah. It's crazy.
Jayden LOVED his new Radio Flyer tricycle from Grandma and Papa. Taylor got one from her mommy too, but her bike is girly.
Jayden and his crooked grin...
Where is that light coming from???
Jayden got very interesting in the gift opening once Tim opened his new tool chest...Jayden came over as soon as he saw it was lots of "oooooooh"s.
Jayden and Taylor relaxing in Taylor's new recliner. Are they cute kids or what?
As a side note, I think I'll be redoing the blog at the first of the year. Since I've all but abandoned the house blog, I thought I'd put more about that in this blog. So, it'll be more family/house/and my own ramblings than all about Jayden. :)

Christmas: Round Three

Our House!
Santa came this morning!!
Actually, Josh and I saw that he came last night when we got back from midnight mass, but since Jayden was so sleepy we thought we'd wait until morning. So instead, we just snuck in a picture of the tree before we went upstairs.
Santa even put together all of the toys Jayden got from other people! How cool is that?
This is the activity table Jayden got from Aunt Heather, Uncle Scott, and Ethan.

Jayden playing with his new kitchen set.
Gizmo getting in on the gift action, trying to play with Jayden new remote control car.

A VERY happy baby after the chaos at our house!

Here's a video of Jayden coming down Christmas morning, sorry its so dark!

Christmas: Round Two

We just got back from Christmas at my mom's house, and I actually have time for midnight mass at ten o'clock.

Once again, the boys had a lot of fun and got some GREAT toys. Jayden finally got into the unwrapping biz, and even tried to unwrap one of Ethan's! Hours of shopping and wrapping and making everything look nice was destroyed within minutes. It was a good time.

Here is a shot of my mom's Christmas tree, I didn't quite get around to my obsessive rearranging of Christmas presents this year.

My mom is getting the dinner party thing down pat, our only disappointment was lack of smoke, fire, or other mayhem to watch.

Is he a stud or what?

Aw, an actual family picture!

When it was time to sort out the gifts, Jayden was more than happy to have a climbing pile. He actually got mad when we tried to get him to unwrap them because he was having so much fun climbing!

Here he is unwrapping a train set all by himself!

Now he's really gotten the hang of it.

A bit of the chaos at Nana's house.

Christmas: Round One

9:43 AM by Unknown 0 Comments
Well, last night we celebrated our first night of Christmas. Between Josh and I, we have a few separate Christmases to celebrate.

We celebrated last night with my dad and step mom at my sister's house in Fort Madison. Jayden had only napped 20 minutes the ENTIRE day (this was a 2 nap a day kid up until a couple of weeks ago), so he was pretty sleepy when it was time to open gifts.
Jayden and Ethan had a great time. Jayden didn't really get into the whole unwrapping business, but he had a GREAT time playing with his new toys. Ethan on the other hand, has the unwrapping thing down pat.
Also, FYI, my camera is still MIA.
I've been using my mom's camera, and everything has been coming out fuzzy and the flash hasn't been working. BUT, this morning, I figured it out and now its taking really good pictures. Last nights are all pretty fuzzy though.
Here is a shot of Heather's primary tree. She put the lights on, and the boys decorated the rest themselves! (The boys being Scott and Ethan).
This is the first present Jayden opened.
A John Deere tractor set! (Sorry Grandpa Joe!)
Sleepy boy...
Here's Jayden getting to his BIG present...
His First Craftsman Tool Bench!! It was very cool, it has working tools and everything. He LOVED it.

Here's a picture of a bit of the chaos that followed. It was a great evening, I think my dad may have even enjoyed himself a bit.

Tonight, we have Christmas at my mom's house followed by Christmas mass. Tomorrow morning we'll have our little Christmas celebration with the toys from Santa! And tomorrow afternoon we'll head over to Josh's parents house where the pile of presents are bigger than the kids.

My plan is to update after every celebration. Wish me luck.

I'm not expecting "ooohs and aahhhs"...

Well, my house is as decorated as its going to be... I thought I'd share. We're spending most of our time continuing with the renovation of the house so we didn't quite have the energy to put as much into our Christmas decorating this year.

Josh and I are a bit nostalgic when it comes to decorating, so we don't go for the classy look, we go more for fun. Now typically I'd have more than one tree. A rudolph tree full of the Rudolph ornaments and the Rudolph train, I love that movie and went a little crazy when the decorations started coming out. And the other tree would have some of Josh's ornaments from his childhood, and a few new ones. BUT, since we just moved in at the begining of December and I can't even locate all of my Christmas stuff let alone find safe places to put everything with Jayden on the loose...we kind of kept it simple this year.

Keep in mind too that this is only our second Christmas out of our parent's houses, so things aren't going to be fine tuned for a few year.

Alright, enough excuses... :)

Our fireplace mantle became a bit of a hold all for our stockings and village. Next year we hope to have the built in bookcases done so don't have to put the village here.

Our tree, we stuck to just lights and about a third of our ornaments this year. Mostly because we got it up later than usual and I didn't like thinking about taking it all back off in a few weeks.

A view from the living room to the family room. I draped our cards across the doorway so people would notice the cards rather than the lack of finished woodwork!

Our living room, probably the most complete room.

The dining room/kitchen/storage space. Until our kitchen is up and going, we're using the dining room. For having so much stuff in this room, I'm just glad to have the dining room table cleared!

Grand finale...

I thought I could cover up the fact that we haven't refinished the stairway yet...ha!

Life in the construction zone.

8:34 AM by Unknown 0 Comments
Alright, as you all know by now, we've been renovating a house for that past fifteen months...and we've recently moved in. The house isn't finished, we don't have a kitchen and we only have a half bath (that means no tub, no shower, and daily visits to people who do have these amenities). We also have lots of stuff lying around, such as tools, nails, boards, and anything else we thought was necessary to keep out.

So basically I've learned a few things since living here. They may seem like no brainers to most of you...but when you don't really have the time or brainpower to think things through, things happen. The following are ones I've learned first hand from Jayden:
  • For one, baby oil is great for unsticking baby hands that have found and opened the bottle of liquid cement.
  • Do not put light switch and plug in covers on in front of little people, because then they think its okay to put a screwdriver in the socket.
  • In fact, do not do anything involving tools in front of little people, unless you like getting your walls hammered.
  • And dealing with my previous post, a great way to store paint brushes for short amounts of time without washing them is to wrap them up in plastic. However, if there is a toddler in the house, there is NO safe place for wet paint brushes, and you're better off throwing them away (outside, preferably) and buying new ones if you don't want to go through the trouble of washing out the paint.

And, because of the season, I've learned a couple of things about dealing with toddlers, well, Jayden anyway, I don't always know if he's exactly like all toddlers...
  • Even though it looks pretty to have presents wrapped under the tree, with pretty ribbons and bows, its best not to bother unless you want to rewrap the presents numerous times.
  • Also, don't bother decorating the bottom three feet of the Christmas tree, that section will become 'undecorated' soon enough.


Here is Jayden's picture with Santa!
Good thing the kid isn't afraid of much! :)

He's changed a bit from last year...

We're here!

We FINALLY made it, we're here! It was fifteen long months, some longer than others, but the house is finally liveable. There is still a lot of work to be done, but we're just happy to be down to one house. We didn't pick the best weekend to move, what with 7 inches of snow on the ground, but thanks to many helpful hands, we got all of our stuff over here. We started moving at 9:30 in the morning, and brought the last truck over at 9:30 at night. It would have been easier to move if everything had been properly packed in advance, but its hard with a one year old and another house to worry about!
Hopefully by the end of this weekend our downstairs and upstairs bath will be completely up and running. On Monday the carpeting arrives for our upstairs hallway and our bedroom, Josh and I can't wait, we'll finally be able to settle into our own bedroom! We still don't have the kitchen, but we do have a fridge and microwave. Josh and I both agree that if we learned anything at college, it was how to cook anything in a microwave.
I only have one picture to post, and it was taken with my old camera. We think that a certain little somebody was "helping" with the packing, and put my new camera in a box. We don't know which box. There are lots. So, until then, I'll either be using my blurring old camera or my mom's camera as soon as she can locate it.

I'll try to take some good pictures of each room as it is settled into, so probably one picture a week :)
Anyway, here is the one picture I have to show. Its from this morning. I was trying to put some hardware on Jayden's closet door and he walked off with our phone. He could only go from our room to his room, so it seemed fairly safe. After a minute or two, I noticed it was pretty quiet, so I set my stuff down to go see what he was up to, and I found this:

His shirt says it all: "I tried to be good, but I got bored"

No internet

We'll be without internet from Friday through Wednesday...because we'll be moving! Yay! Thought you all would like to know :)
We'll also have an actual "land line" phone too, so if you want the number just email me!

First "real" haircut!

We took Jayden to the barber for the very fist time today! I've given him a few haircuts, but I don't really have the proper tools to get it short enough. We went really short because Jayden is always messing up his hair, as soon as I comb it down he rubs his hands all over his head and messes it back up. Such a boy!

Yes, that's a big ol' bruise on his head. Poor guy fell on the steps for the first time the other day. :(

We had to use the phone to keep him from moving to much.

Josh has gone to this same guy since he was Jayden's age!

Jayden was a very good boy, even if he was a little leery about the shaver!

A day in the life of a momma about to go crazy...

Alright, this post has been a few weeks coming...and since the day I initially decided to post has grown a bit.

Basically, I just wanted to show what things were like in my house. Now, Jayden is a pretty good little boy...but he is BUSY. He'll usually listen the third of fourth time I say "Down" or "No" but it's not so easy every day. He really likes to climb and play with pretty much anything that isn't actually a toy.

So anyway, one day I left him in the living room for just a few minutes. Seemed harmless enough. But when I came back in the room, he was standing on our coffee table! Needless to say, curiosity got the best of me and I decided to take him down and grab my camera so I could see how he made it up there in the first place.

He discovered that the box of wipes make the perfect step.

He's going to have some massive forearms soon.
and happy dance!
At this point, I thought I'd just follow him around for a few minutes, just so I could 'document' what goes on in my day so Josh will know why the laundry isn't always put away by the time he gets home.
From the coffee table, he went straight to my computer chair and pushed a few buttons. I pulled him off of my chair...
...and he went straight for the end table next to my desk to look out the window. I thought it was over, so I went upstairs to draw a bath...

...and he climbed right up on our bench to watch the water fill. This didn't seem too harmless until a few days later...
...when he actually FELL into the tub of draining water fully dressed. Josh and I both totally freaked out because he went under the water, but Jayden wasn't upset in the least.

And recently, Jayden has started pushing the kitchen chairs around the kitchen so he can get to the counter tops and the washer and dryer. He taught himself this, so I am not taking the blame. This is the first time he did it, Josh and I were both like "Aww, how cute, he wants to do the laundry"

Until we looked away for a second and looked back to find him ON the washer.

So, my days are long. I can't leave him alone for a second. I'd like to think this is just a phase, but I'm beginning to think this is just the beginning.

Pictures from Thanksgiving Day

7:57 PM by Unknown 0 Comments
Thanksgiving was a great day! We started off at Grandma and Grandpa's house, joined by Taylor, Kim, and Mandy. Jayden woke up a little crabby, and he wasn't too interested in sitting through his lunch...but once we got outside he perked right up. Who knew that it would be warm enough for kids to play outside without their coats on Thanksgiving Day? They both had a great time playing in the leaves, and enjoying the attention of so many people. Taylor was being especially photogenic by saying a big "CHEEEESE" every time she saw a camera!
From Joe and Barbs, we went to Nana's house. Heather, Scott, Ethan, Uncle Josh, Perry, Hanna and George were all there too. The guys were mostly entertained by my mom's new TV, and her bar. Jayden was still a little cranky, but he sat through supper a little better. He kept stealing food off of Heather's plate, and was great entertainment for Ethan as he tried to stuff an entire roll in his mouth and when he decided it wouldn't fit, put it back on Heather's plate.
All in all it was a great day with really great food...and we're really looking foward to the rest of the holiday season!
Here are a few pictures of Jayden and Taylor playing outside with everyone else.

Papa got some old balls out of the garage and filled them up with air, both of the kids seemed to want the ball that the other one had (does that make sense?).

Is she a doll, or what?

Jayden and Taylor got to play in Papa' truck for a bit...Jayden enjoyed making squishy faces on the window.


The leaves made a great buffer!