Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Livvie Lu's Latest

Despite her usual "rambunctiousness," Liv is surprisingly well-behaved with the Christmas tree. She is very interested in it, but besides occasionally touching an ornament gently, she leaves it alone. Hurray!

She really loves this new fuzzy white reindeer that Ben picked out this year. It is always the one she reaches for. Each year, I let the kids pick an ornament, and this was Ben's selection. Liv was napping when we went to the store, so Ben chose a cute little nest with glittery blue bird eggs for Liv, but clearly she's a bigger fan of Ben's.

She also had the class mascot "Penguin" for a few weeks, and was showing him the tree. And then put him to bed in her chair, which was super cute. She is definitely showing an interest in playing with dolls lately. Before she just carried them around, but now she will give them rides in the stroller, put them down for naps, etc. I think some doll accessories and a big girl doll are in order for her upcoming birthday!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holiday Concert

Two weekend ago, Ben's class performed in Creative World's Holiday Concert. He was so excited that he got us up at 5:45 a.m. The concert didn't start until 10. His class did a great job and Ben really loved it.

I tried to get a cute shot of the kids together in front of the tree, but Liv had other ideas.

Even when Ben tried to hold her in place. :-)

Ben's class didn't go on until 10:45, and by then Liv had about had it. She hung in there better than expected. But since the show was right at her nap time, we took two cars, and Mike headed out with Liv as soon as Ben's performance was done.

His class did three songs. The last one was their best, so here it is. Ben's quite the saxophone player.

I stuck around to finish out the show, collect Ben, and then have lunch with his friend Logan (below) and his family. This is Ben's best little buddy. We've had him over for sleepover, and we've had a few dinners and play dates together.

(That's a batman sticker on Ben's hand and a batman coloring page he's holding. This is how they kept the kids entertained for an our backstage.)

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Thanksgiving in Texas was a great time! The kids behaved much better than expected on the long drive (13 hours) there and back. Except for being totally exhausted with no chance for a nap when we got home, it was a great trip.

We rented a minivan (possibly the highlight of Ben's trip) and drove overnight on Friday 11/21, arriving in Texas at around 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The kids slept most of the way, and we only stopped for gas and coffee for Mike, who did most of the driving. We brought Dee along too, and she was quiet in her crate, getting out at each rest stop to stretch her legs and go potty.

Here they are as we headed out:

At one of our gas stops, I got them some powdered donuts. Clearly, Liv enjoyed hers. This was around midnight. They both woke up each time we stopped, but stayed happy and went back to sleep fairly quickly.

Once we arrived in Texas, Ben and Liv warmed right up to Grammy and Grampy. Livvie does not have a shy bone in her body, so this was no surprise.

On Tuesday, we headed to McKinney (or some town by there) to pick up the turkey at Whole Foods and the beef tenderloin at Costco. Mom raved about the fried tacos at a restaurant there, so we had to try them out. I was happy that they lived up to the hype--totally delicious!!!

Liv found the queso to be totally delicious.

And she was super excited to be given this huge big-girl cup of water. It is a miracle that it wasn't spilled everywhere. Grammy helped out with that. Let's just say Liv's table manners leave a lot to be desired.

However, she was more than willing to sit nicely when Grampy got her this ice cream cone!

Here is a video of her enjoying it:

After that, we popped over to this cute little park to let the kids play before we headed home (as it's an hour drive).

Since Grampy's foot is broken, he waited it out on a bench.

Wednesday morning the Waller/Jackson crew arrived. Ben and Lily immediately took to each other, which was great to see.

Here they are watching Mike brine the turkey the night before Thanksgiving.

On Thanksgiving day, we started off with breakfast burritos and just pretty much ate our way through the day.

Pop and Grandma came for dinner and got to spend some time with the kids.

Liv refused to sit still to eat with me. I finally just put her down to roam, and she headed right to Grammy and sat nicely on her lap and ate her potatoes and veggies.

Henry woke up from his nap to see what this Thanksgiving thing is all about.

The rest of the week was spent hanging out. Here Grammy is once again with her little sidekicks.

Liv helped Grampy read the paper. She explained the more complex topics to him, I believe.

The kids started to get pretty stir-crazy, so we headed to a great park right near their house. Hard to believe Lily is only 10 months older than Ben. She is about a foot taller than he is.

The happy newlyweds!

Liv LOVED the swing.

Selfie! The only picture of me from the entire trip (except one that Jaimee got).

The next day we packed up and headed home. When we pulled into the driveway Ben cried a bit and said he wanted to be back in Texas. He loved having Lily to play with and being at Grammy and Grampy's. Maybe by next year I'll have worked up the energy to do it again!