Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Welcome to Mindi's Mind

That's right folks, my sister has started a blog.  If you happen to know her, pop on over there and say hello.  Or if you don't know her but want to see two sisters who I feel look absolutely nothing alike yet talk and act the same, then by all means, take a peek as well.  Isn't that what the blog-"stalking" is all about?  Happy reading!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Kris-uh-mus!*

What a fabulous *Christmas we had!  We were able to spend lots of time with family, the gifts and thankfulness were aplenty, and the food was delicious.

We started the festivities on Christmas Eve as we headed to church in the icy-snow mix that gave us Texans our first white Christmas since 1926.  Nana, Jaja, and Gigi joined us (Pawpaw wasn't feeling so hot) and the service was great.  And a bit of a challenge.  The crackers, juice, lovey and passing between the adults were no match for the feisty 16 month old that is my daughter. All I can say is thank God for the camera roll on my phone.  It saved us there at the end when I thought she could last no longer.  I think hearing a toddler say "bay-bee" over and over again is preferred over the shrieking and fussing of her expressing her distaste at the containment.

After the service, we headed over to Saltgrass for an early dinner, and being the fantastic blogger/documenter that I am, I managed to get two photos.  And only of the men.  Sigh. 

(and yes, that's my son playing with an Equal packet and the wooden stand that advertises the specials, minus the sheet with the specials.  Hey, whatever works, my friends, whatever works.)

After dinner, Nana & Jaja headed back home but not before they dropped off some loot, err... gifts at our house along with the kids Christmas pajamas that Nana buys every year.  We bathed the kiddos and dressed them in their new jammies so that Carter and I could get busy making Santa's cookies.  And by making, I mean, breaking the dough into it's pre-cut squares and popping them into the oven for 10-12 minutes.  Because I'm true homemaker like that.



After the first break, Carter declared that the dough was icky and proceeded to help me by resting his hand on my arm while I did all the work.  Olivia "helped" too.

All done!  While the cookies were baking in the oven, we attempted to get a cute picture of the kids in their new duds.  Attempted is the keyword here.

Not quite the Kodak moment I was hoping for.


Carter thought dancing was more fun than posing, which, I suppose, it is.


Almost there...


They're both looking forward and smiling, right?


Perfect. 



Apparently, according to Daddy, you have to leave Santa a note with his milk and cookies.  It started out with me writing while Carter dictated, then he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Not sure what he wrote, but I'd like to think that it came straight from the heart.  Word on the street is that Santa will leave presents no matter what your letter says or how good your cookies are.


Once we were certain that Carter had been snoring long enough to be declared asleep, Santa brought in the gifts.  Nana & Jaja's presents and Santa's unwrapped gifts (thanks for backing me on this, friends) combined with the presents that were already under the tree took up half our living room (which isn't saying much in our small house, but still).







Olivia was the first one into the living room on Christmas morning, and I'm pretty sure she was still half asleep in this photo.  Carter woke up at 6:10, but since the grandparents weren't scheduled to arrive until 6:30, we held him off with a Barney episode in our bedroom until it was time.  Last year I'll be able to do that, I'm sure.


Who would have thought that a simple Jack-in-the-Box would be such a treasured toy?  There's a story there but I'll spare you since this is already the longest post ever in the history of posts.

Definitely her favorite present, by far.  There's another story here too, but again, I'll spare you.


Carter's new wheels.

It was at this point in the morning that I reliquinshed control of the camera to my dear, sweet husband, which basically means that the picture taking came to a halt.  Which is fine.. my mother-in-law took a ton, which I've posted to my facebook profile, if you're really that interested.  But trust me, it's just a whole bunch of paper flying, show-us-what-you-got poses and uber-UN-flattering images of myself.  Which will come in handy when I'm reminding myself why I asked for and received a Wii Fit this year.

Hope everyone else's Christmas was merry & bright!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The excitement can hardly be contained

Nick and I spent the evening last night wrapping the kids gifts, finally.  Up until now, they've been in shopping bags in the garage with a huge blanket simply thrown over them.  Oh the joys of having oblivious small children.

I wish I had gotten a better picture of our wrapping setup, but I only snapped a few because, well, I was busy being a super wrapping machine.  Here is the finished product, somewhat (and I do realize now how much cuter it would have been to snap a photo of the finished product actually under the tree.  I'm sure we'll get that obligatory shot tomorrow morning before the unwrapping begins.)

Do you wrap all your gifts in the same paper or different paper?  My parents (read: mom) always wrapped my gifts in one paper and my sister's in another.  And she wouldn't label them as they got put under the tree.  So Mindi and I would spend hours speculating on which paper was whose, though we never found out until Christmas morning.  I plan on starting this tradition with my kids.  So this year, though they are both Sesame Street, each child has their own print.

Side note: as an ongoing discussion in our house, answer me this.  Does Santa bring wrapped or unwrapped presents?  Also, does Santa bring ALL the presents or just ones for the kids?


A shot of Dad in action... he didn't like how [big] he looked in this photo, so we took another one...

Better, no?


Isn't this some of the cutest paper ever?  Carter saw it under the tree this morning and immediately sat down to adore it.  Score! 

So, other than stuffing some stockings and having Santa deliver his gifts this evening, we're all set.  I was telling Nick last night how excited I was.  And I can honestly say that I haven't thought once about what someone else might be getting me.  All my excitement is directed at seeing my children and other family members open their perfectly selected gifts that I have no doubt they'll love.  I've enjoyed Christmas as an adult in the past, and I've always been on the "it is better to give than to receive bandwagon" but seriously... having a three year old this year that truly seems to get it is making the anticipation and the excitement all the merrier.

Happy Christmas friends!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Kids & Santa, Part 2


Sigh.  At least it's better than last year.  I'm happy to report that Carter's fear of Santa that once plagued us is now completely gone.  I'm sad to say that apparently, Olivia inherited it.  I think she was okay until that very last minute when she was propelled into the lap of a stranger while mommy and daddy quickly backed away and began to command her to smile.  Yeah, right.  At least Carter had a blast.  I started preparing him on Friday night that we were going to see Santa the next day, and he needed to tell Santa what he wanted him to bring him on Christmas morning.  Carter was quick to request three things: a music box, Play-doh, and bubbles, but Carter said that I had to be the one to tell Santa. (Side note: I think Santa is going to have to make a last minute trip to Target before Friday even though Santa was done with all his Christmas shopping.)  Anyway, Carter was insistent that I be the one to deliver the request, so in an effort not to permanently scar the kid from Santa visits gone bad, I told him I would.  After I saved my daughter from the lap of this awful stranger, I began to tell Santa what Carter wanted for Christmas, then much to my delight, Santa informed me that Carter had already told him.  Santa really IS magical.

My camera battery was pretty much dead, so I was only able to snag a couple of extra pictures of our experience, though I did take some sub-par photos with my cell phone.







Looking intently on the reindeer.  She called it a dog.


Donner.  Or Blitzen.  Not sure which.  Heck, for all I know, his name could really be Fred.



Good perspective from a three feet tall three year old, I must say.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Decorating was much easier in years past

Sure, we put the tree up weeks ago, but I never got to share with you just how much fun it was this year with Carter's awesome help.

(Those who know me well are already sensing my sarcasm.)

(And probably those who don't.)

(Who am I kidding? Those who don't know me well aren't reading this ole blog anyway.)

But I digress.  Naturally.  Brevity has never been my strong suit.

We got the tree and Christmas decorations out of the attic a couple of days after Thanksgiving and we had it in the house all of four seconds before Carter was tearing boxes open, pulling out lights and decorations and pretty much driving me crazy.

I know, I know, the rest of you probably put your tree up with your precious children while Christmas carols played in the background, homemade cookies baked in the oven, and the story of Jesus' birth was read shortly thereafter.  Not so much in our house.

Nick and I always seem to argue about who's fluffing the branches better and how straight (or not) the tinsel should be.  Add to that an over anxious three year old, and you have a recipe for stress.  However, the tree did go up and now Carter enjoys turning the lights off and on (and on and off, and off and on) every single day.  So without further ado, I present to you the Eason Family Christmas Tree of 2009, with commentary, of course.

Yes, I know the star is missing from the top.  I didn't like the one I had last year and I didn't remember that until broke out the decorations so I bought a new one the next day.  And speaking of things I don't like, this is the last year for that tree skirt.  I'm already eying one at Target that I hope will still be there and at 50% off on December 26th.


Carter hung the ornaments.  Can't you tell?  Not that I don't like all the Christmas ornaments on the bottom row of the tree only, but we did have him help us move them up to more sporadic locations throughout the tree...


...which brings us to the step-stool.  I have a love/hate relationship with this thing.  Love, because, well, it serves it's intended purpose.  Hate, as I'm sure you can guess, because Carter thinks he needs to stand/sit/jump/climb all over it every time it's out.  It's a wonder he hasn't broken a bone.  Yet.


Cisco even helped with the decorating.  Even though Carter is cheesing it up here, Nick is the one responsible for this horrendous case of dog abuse.  He (Nick) thought this was rip-roaring hilarious.  Poor dog.


Taking a break from the tree trimming for a smile.  No, Carter is not five.  He just held his hand up like this in every picture I took of them for some odd reason.


I got him to ditch the high-five in lieu of a kiss for mommy.


The stockings were hung by the chimney tv with care...


Merry Christmas!

Oh, and yes, Olivia is noticeably absent from the festivities.  She was already in bed when we got the tree out, and quite honestly, she was safer in her crib than she would have been underfoot and no doubt on top of the step stool with her brother.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Brotherly Love

I just came across this picture from our Thanksgiving road trip to Arkansas that I never posted.

It speaks for itself.



P.S. We did not tell him to do this.  I simply looked at them in the back seat and proceeded to grab my camera as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I thought children were supposed to love Santa...

Apparently, I was wrong.  Or maybe it's just the Eason children.  Whatever it is, I'll be lucky if I have a good decent picture of my children with the Big Guy before they're teenagers.

This picture was taken at their school last week.



Nice, huh?  At least one of my children is smiling. Sort of.

We're going to try again this weekend with the real Santa.*  Hopefully we'll have more luck with someone that is professionally trained(?) to get children to smile while sitting in the lap of a hairy, 300 lb stranger and their parents are dancing around like idiots with bells & stuffed animals all while there is a long line of more strangers watching them.  Yeah, that should work.


*Funny, I said that to Nick this morning and then immediately corrected the oxymoron that it is.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Santa Claus Came to Town

Already! Before Thanksgiving. He did. Santa Claus came to town! And he lit a tree. A really huge tree. With tons of lights. See?
Saturday night the fam and I headed to the Villages of Allen to see the arrival of "The Big Guy" -- seriously, this is what they call him there... I wonder if it's some attempt to be politically correct and not offend anyone with the term "Santa". Though I don't really know who would be offended by a fictitious character who's jolly and brings toys to children. But I digress.

We waited (and waited, and waited) for Santa to make his arrival and "light" the 100,000-bulb tree, and until Carter actually saw Santa, I'm sure he was wondering what all the fuss was about. Then... HE. SAW. HIM. He was on Nick's shoulders to be able to see above the crowd, like this:
And let me tell you: Carter was SO EXCITED to finally see Santa that he kept his eyes transfixed on him until Santa was no longer in view. So excited, in fact, that he didn't even question why Santa arrived on a Zamboni, rather than a sleigh. Though we adults sure did think it strange, I'm sure it had something to do with the Allen Americans hockey game that night.

Carter thoroughly enjoyed seeing Donner and Blitzen, two of Santa's faithful reindeer, and Olivia kept pointing and shrieking at the "gawgs" (a.k.a. dogs, a.k.a. reindeer, a.k.a. any animal that moves and has furr and is larger than her = gawg-gah). We wrapped up the evening with dinner at Mooyah, YUM! and headed home with a couple of tired children pumped full of holiday spirit. Or french fries.

And you know we Easons hardly make a trip out of the house without some sort of photo shoot involved, so here are some worthy of sharing.

I need to come to terms with the fact that I'm terrible at the extended-arm-self-photo. Even more so when small ones are involved.

I think he's counting the ornaments. Or saying cheese and throwing his head back in delight. Take your pick.

Sean & Cristian - headed to the hockey game after the festivities

Jenn & Cristian and me &... the back side of a boy.
Side note: I thought we were completely past the shy, non-smiling-at-the-camera phase, but apparently, I was wrong.

And even if we do get him to look at the camera, we often get a grump-face like this one.

I caught him mid-"Chee-eze". I'm slowly learning to get him to say other words that don't contort his mouth into this awkward shape.

To smile or not to smile... that is the question.

Olivia's got the hang of it now. And Carter? not sure what he's doing with his mouth. Sigh.

Oooh! There's a good one.

Proof that we let Olivia roam stroller-free. Sometimes. Looks like she's super happy about it too.

Even though it appears that she is lunging out of her Daddy's arms, this girl really does LOVE her deh-deh.

A great family shot! I mean, everyone's looking at the camera and all. (And it most certainly was NOT me who bribed the boy with candy if he would just please look at the camera.)

And I'll leave you with this to give you an idea of the scale of the tree. Look real hard at the bottom right corner of the tree, and you'll see my son. Smiling? I'll never know.