Sunday, December 29, 2013

Paci Free!

I've been meaning to put this on the blog for several weeks now, but keep forgetting! This is big news!
I am a paci loving mom. My kids both needed the paci, and I don't care if they will need braces later in life--if it soothes them, that's all that matters (and they will probably need braces anyway, paci or not!). Harrison had such a rough first couple of years of life with being so sick and I allowed him to have his "pa-pa" way more than he should have. With Hudson, when he turned one, he was only able to have his paci during naps and at bedtime, and the paci always stayed in the crib. It was part of our getting up routine to put the paci back in the crib, and Hudson always complied! We let him do this until 2 and a half and then I drew the line. It was so hard taking it away from him! I remember just crying and crying over it. However, he did fine!
Harrison is a different child, and I think he really needed that paci more than Hudson (or maybe we needed it for our sanity--not sure!)! So, his second birthday came and went and I still allowed him to have it when we were out and about. I figured I would deal with it at 2 and a half, just like Hudson. People commented on it all the time. I hated that. Not because I was embarrassed, but more because they had no idea what he had been through! The paci was one of the only things that made him not fuss! Poor buddy, his ears just hurt all the time!
Anyway, all this to say, about a month ago, I was getting Harrison dressed for school and I said, like I did almost every day, that we needed to throw away that paci sometime soon. And just like that, Harrison said, "I throw it away now," and he went to the trash can and threw that paci right in! Of course, I went and dug it out when he wasn't looking because there was just no way that that would really be it! It would not be that easy, right?!?! Well, that kid never looked back. He went to bed smiling that night, and never fussed one bit! He didn't even ask for it! I was a little bit sad about it, but since it was his decision and not mine, it was easier to deal with! He was ready! It's just one more thing though that is making him no longer a baby, and that depresses me (although my driving skills have greatly improved since I haven't had to reach back and get the dropped paci off the floorboard to soothe screaming child!).  
One last paci picture...
LOVE my sweet baby (even though he's not so much a baby anymore!)!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas 2013

We had a great Christmas! The boys are at such a fun age right now, and Christmas was just so exciting for them. We also loved spending so much time with family! We decided this year to cut out a few things and I think it really helped to make things a little more relaxing and not so crazy. It meant missing some of the family events on each side and while it was sad to miss out, it really made Christmas much more enjoyable for us.
We started the holiday out with our annual Christmas Eve lunch at the BCC with my family. So much fun! We at ourselves silly.
 We usually get a family picture in front of the Christmas tree, but I'm not quite sure where Joel was at the moment so it was just the boys and me! Oh well!

 Cousins! (I love Harrison looking up at Morgan!)

 One of my favorite pictures of Dad and Hudson!
 Then Harrison had to get in on the action. He LOVES him some Big Daddy!

After lunch, we headed home for quick naps and then we headed to our church's Christmas Eve service at 4 with the Reed's. It was a great service and a good reminder of the real reason for the season! We decided to take Harrison to the nursery during most of the service (he's just not ready yet!), but then I went and got him right before we did the candlelight Silent Night. He held his own candle (lit!) and loved every second of it! I was glad we did that. Hudson has not missed a Christmas Eve service since he was born. Oh how different my children are!

After church, we headed to my parents house for our big Christmas celebration.

Harrison LOVED this Auburn football uniform! My parents let the boys open one present each before dinner, and Hudson got the Auburn football uniform and Harrison got legos. They immediately switched gifts! It was too funny!

 Biggest fire truck I have ever seen! (and we now have a fire truck, 2 dump trucks, and a cement truck ALL this size--where are we going to put everything?!?!?!)
 This would be my sister with her new pillow to nap at work. You just lay your head right down on your desk and go to sleep! :) She said she felt like she was in a straight jacket! Leave it to my dad to give some crazy out there gifts. This was not the only one...just the only one that could go on the blog!

My sister and my niece! Can't believe she is as big as we are! And she got some killer cowboy boots that are just my size...I really, really want to steal them!

After a fun night, we put the boys in their PJ's and went home. They were so excited to put the cookies and milk out for Santa. Hudson even had me move the fireplace screen, and then proceeded to look up the chimney to show Harrison how Santa came to our house. Our chimney has this really tiny hole and of course, Hudson was very puzzled as to how Santa would make it through it. I was not prepared! Joel told me I should have said it was magic, but instead I told him that maybe he would just come through the garage instead! Ha!

The kids finally got in bed close to 10! So, it was no surprise at 8 am the next morning when I finally heard Hudson's door open. I had told them that he had to wait on the stairs for Harrison, but he snuck down and took a peek and then went back up! We got Harrison up and then they came down together. They were SO cute!!!

 Such an excited face!

Hudson loved his new 4 wheeler! It really is like a real one, except it is battery powered! I'm not ready for a REAL gas one yet...too many kids get hurt on those things! And, I haven't let him go on it outside without a helmet on. It goes pretty fast though so we've had to establish some rules! But so far, he claims it's just "awesome!" I highly recommend this toy! It can hold up to 150 pounds so I even took a ride on it too!

 Hudson's list of things included a 4 wheeler, a backhoe, and a tractor with trailer. He said that Santa got him everything he wanted! :)

 I love this picture below! Harrison loved the 4 wheeler too!

He has not been thrilled about this cute little fire truck pedal car! I thought it was the cutest little thing ever, but apparently, it does not hold a candle to a 4 wheeler (or the other jeep hot wheel that we have that Hudson would never let him drive--he now claims that it is his jeep!). You win some, you lose some!

 Our only family picture of the holiday! In pajamas and no makeup! Oh well!

We played all morning long and then headed to the Reed's for Christmas over there. I loved not having to rush. We had a delicious brunch at their house! I made the Pioneer Woman's sweet rolls--everyone must make them at least once! They were delish!!!
Hudson LOVES his uncle Jordan! They just mess with each other the entire time!

 Harrison was not in the best mood unfortunately. He was exhausted. He did calm down some for Pops to read him a book! I thought this was so sweet.

 Joel's cousin Allison gave Hudson the cutest little tiger blanket! She is a designer at Carter's and has access to some really cute stuff!

You can see how happy Harrison was! Ha! He got a lot of John Deere tractors and gators and was hoarding them all in my lap! He didn't want anyone else playing with them!

We ended up staying at Migi and Pops' house for most of the afternoon. Harrison wouldn't nap, so we took just him home (Hudson napped at their house), and then went back to the Reed's house that night for dinner and to pick up Hudson. We were all pretty tuckered out when we got home Wednesday night! Harrison slept until 10 am the next day!

We had such a fun Christmas! I can't believe it is already over (except I take one look at my living room and am reminded of it--it looks like a tornado came through!).

Sunday, December 22, 2013

More Christmas Fun!

We've been super busy these past few weeks trying to fit everything Christmas in. It has been so much fun. I just love this time of year!
Hudson had his last (tear!) preschool Christmas program. Once again, it was such a great performance. I just don't see how they get all of those kids to remember so many songs! Hudson sang his little heart out! It's hard not to tear up hearing those children's voices sing!
Those 3 kings in the back of the picture below are the most wonderful afternoon helpers ever, and were the greatest sports to get up there and sing! Bless their hearts, they were so nervous, but they did great! The boys (and the girls too!) just adore them. We will certainly miss them, along with all of the other teachers, next year!

They had a delicious breakfast afterwards and Hudson was just being a goofball the whole time! He's been just a wee bit excited this holiday season!

 Hudson went to his first princess party ever at Premier Gymnastics and had the time of his life. I sort of wish I was allowed to play at that party because it looked like so much fun! He even met Ariel and asked to have his picture made with her! :)

 Santa, I've been good! Yes, he has!
 Angel face!
 Carrie got into town on Wednesday! Woo hoo! We are SO glad to have her home for over a week! Carrie wanted to do several crafts with the boys. They had such a good time and the crafts turned out perfect! Here they are decorating a tablecloth with their feet!

 We did these cute wreaths with their hands too!

 The finished product! I sure hope I get to take one of these home with me! Hint, hint!

 We've baked our cookies for Santa!

We went to TWO Christmas parties in one night and acted like we were young again. We are not! Ha! But it was fun!
First up was Cameron and Caroline's annual party! It was so fun and the food (oh the food!) was delicious! I drool just thinking about the food! We had a good time hanging out with everyone.
 Second party of the night was our tacky Sunday school party, so we brought the vests out again (we switched this time though!).
 We won again! Woo hoo! Now when I put these ole vests back on Ebay, I can say, "TWO TIME tacky contest winner!" Ha!

 It was a great end to an already fun night! Love these girls!
The kids had their Christmas parties at school Friday. I had to pull double duty since both were at the same time so I don't have a ton of pictures, but that's ok. The boys both had fun! Harrison has LOVED wearing the reindeer antlers!
Hudson's sweet class (missing a few!) and Ms. Mary Kay. We have just loved the kids' teachers this year. It is amazing what a difference a year makes. Last year, Hudson was just not interested in school (and even pretended that he was sick on several occasions so he wouldn't have to go--I didn't fall for it!). This year, he's sad when he doesn't get to go to school, and on some days, will throw a fit when I go pick him up because he doesn't want to go home. Like yesterday, he refused to go home with me after the party! I guess that's a good thing, even if it does hurt my feelings sometimes! It's way better than him NOT liking school, that's for sure! Harrison LOVES school too, and he has learned so much in such a short period of time! Even though they call him their third grader because he's so big, we still love them! Ha!

It has been a great month so far, although it has gone by way too quickly! It is hard to believe that Christmas is here! I'm off for over two weeks, so I'm going to really enjoy it!!!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Santa Picture and Santa's Red Car

One more! Harrison may be scarred for life this Christmas season! This was all school's fault...don't blame me (even if I did make sure that his teachers knew that crying or no crying, he would on Santa's lap with his brother!)!
I do have a funny story about this one. The morning of the Santa pictures, of course we had to arrive at the same time that Santa his red car. And of course my very observant Hudson would realize that Santa arrived in a red car and not a sleigh, and proceeded to catch Santa very off guard by asking him on the way in where his sleigh was! After an awkward laugh and a Ho Ho Ho to buy some time, Santa told Hudson that during the day, the easiest way for Santa to get around is in a car, but at night, he's definitely in his sleigh. He also said that his reindeer rest during the day so they can be full of energy at night! It worked for Hudson as he went into school and told everyone that Santa drives a red car and his reindeer were napping!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Aubie Claus!

As if seeing Santa on Friday night on the Polar Express wasn't trauma enough for Harrison, we got to have a repeat performance with Aubie Claus on Saturday morning. Oh how I love these pictures (and Harrison will love them someday too!)...

Hudson just adored seeing Aubie and would have sat in his lap forever if he could have! When you ask poor Harrison about seeing Aubie, he will tell you he cried. Joel is still mad at me for putting him on Aubie's lap, but I just had to have the classic picture!

Merry Christmas and War Eagle!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Polar Express

Friday night, we headed to Calera to ride the Polar Express! We took Hudson a couple of years ago and decided that this was a good year to take Harrison too! The Bridges went with us of course! We don't do a whole lot without them! Boy, did the kids have FUN! It was such a special experience for all of them.
We really lucked out on the seats. We were towards the end of the line getting on the train so we were worried we wouldn't get to all sit together, but then some seats opened up at the back of the train and we were good to go! We had 8 seats and room to roam, which was perfect. We had such a wild bunch that it was necessary!
 I'm not sure I have ever seen the kids this excited. My boys are obsessed with trains, so getting to actually ride a real one was such a treat.

 We had access to a REAL conductor! :) He was so sweet to the kids.

Love this picture of Harrison! He is still talking about riding the twain and the twain honking the horn!

We see Santa at the North Pole!

 The elves came on board to pass the time until Santa got to our train car!

 Then Santa arrived! It was total chaos! Hudson was squealing, Harrison was screaming!

Mrs. Claus was so sweet trying to comfort Harrison. Santa was as out of it as he looks. :) He did not seem like he was enjoying being there that night! The last time we did this, Santa was so into it that he told Hudson he was going to bring him a bicycle (at age 2!), so I'm not sure which one was better! Ha!

 I love this picture of Hudson! You can just see the excitement in his face.

 Santa did attempt to let Harrison give him five, and I will say that Harrison did come around and gave him one, but that was it! He was terrified.

 Then it was time for chocolate milk and cookies! This might have been my favorite part of the night. I felt like we got special treatment because the chefs played with our kids for a bit before coming on the train! It was hilarious watching them make faces into the window! Our kids were just dying laughing at them!

This was them watching the chefs in the window! This picture obviously does not do it justice, but they were loving it.
 And then they slipped cookies through the door to Haines and Hudson!

 Cookie time! And yes, he at the whole thing!

What a fun night we had! The first time we took Hudson, we were really less than impressed, but this time, we had such a different experience (besides Santa being a bit grumpy!). It's not something that we need to do every year (thankfully, it's pricey!), but it's SO worth it to watch it all happen and see the excitement in your kids. It was really a magical experience for them! This is one of the things I love most about Christmas!