Friday, December 28, 2012

We Had a Holly Jolly Christmas!

Archer's face says it all, right?
We had such a great Christmas this year. It started with a trip to visit my Dad and Mary and the boys got to play with their sweet girl cousins that just loved up on them. We ate delicious prime rib dinner and just played toys and relaxed. We came home on Christmas Eve and baked some Christmas cookies for Santa, then got in some snuggly pajamas and went to bed. Santa was pretty clever this year. All the presents he left were wrapped in Santa wrapping paper and they were to both Carter AND Archer. Santa knows that the boys love to share their toys. (Not sure how much longer Santa can get away with that!) Santa brought the boys a LOT of new trains and a new car track. So far it has provided hours of entertainment so it's been awesome. My mom, brother, Grandma, and Uncle came over for Christmas brunch and then we headed over to Dave's parents house for dinner and more presents with Uncle Brandon, Aunt Jackie, and the cousins. Our kids were exhausted and were in bed that night before 8pm.

Dave and I bought each other a joint Christmas gift this year--we painted our house! I will take some pictures soon. I am so in love with it... I smile every time I drive down our street and see it!

Carter was totally into the spirit of Christmas this year. He was so excited for Santa to come to our house and he was such a big helper with decorating, making cookies, making and painting ornaments, and getting things ready for Santa. The Elf on the Shelf tradition was started this year too (whenever I could remember!) but I think it will be more fun next year. All in all it was a fabulous Christmas and by far one of the best I have had in years!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The World According to Carter

Carter loves to play with my camera. Usually he just likes to look through all the pictures but lately he is becoming adventurous and likes to take pictures. At first it was pretty annoying because he can fill up my memory card so fast with fifty pictures of the floor. However, the last time I looked at my camera, I found a few that were actually pretty cute. It's fun to see the world through Carter's eyes.

This one is my favorite!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Grayson's Day

December 13th is Grayson's day. Three years ago we said goodbye and kissed and cuddled our sweet baby one last time. I try to honor and remember Grayson every year on this day and spend some time with my family to ease the sadness and the perpetual ache I feel when I think about my baby.
The past two years we have gone to the aquarium as a family but this year we are all sick so we ended up just going to the cemetery. We brought Grayson a Christmas tree like we do every year. As time passes I get more frustrated with memories and how it always seems like the sweet memories are the ones that tend to fade over time but yet I am haunted by the awful memories. December 13th, 2009... I remember every detail... every face I saw, every word that was spoken, Grayson's last breath, the intense pain as I felt my heart break. I remember everything so clearly, even though when I was living in the actual moment it felt like I was walking in a fog. I felt that way for days after and eventually the fog lifted and left me with these vivid memories. Memories are tricky like that. I try very hard to focus on the good memories... remembering how it felt to hold his little body against mine and smell that wonderful baby smell. Thankfully I still remember and I think as Grayson's mom, that is a memory and a feeling that, happily, I will never forget.

Cuddle time

Skin to skin with Daddy

Monday, December 3, 2012

Boys' Birthday Weekend in San Diego

Since it has rained the past two years in a row on the boys' birthday, this year I decided to skip a birthday party and we took a family vacation instead. And this year, we woke up to a beautiful blue sky, sunshine, and 70 degree weather! We were thrilled to have such perfect weather for our long weekend in San Diego. We stayed at the Grand Pacific Palisades Hotel, which is walking distance from Legoland. The hotel was wonderful. Very kid-friendly. The vending machines had ice cream in them! They had a splash pad and pool just for kids and Dave and I managed to have a competitive game of air hockey and ping pong in the rec room. I say competitive but really I just tried really hard and he still easily beat me. Ha.

Next to the hotel was the Karl Strauss restaurant. Oh my. We were in heaven. The food was so delicious and they had a breakfast buffet in the morning. We went. TWICE.
Legoland was not exactly what we were hoping for. I was extremely disappointed in the height restriction (they don't let babies/toddlers ride ANYTHING!) The kids were too young to care though and managed to have a blast with the other cool activities (jumbo building blocks and fun play structures and a huge splash pad). Legoland has an Aquarium next door and it was small but really awesome. The kids loved it and we were the first ones there so we didn't have to wait to see anything. 

We decided to take the kids to Toys R Us on their actual birthday and they got to choose their presents. Carter, of course, chose a Thomas the Train railroad set and Archie picked out a small purple car. We also bought them some new Lego kits. Then we went back to the hotel room and played! It was so wonderful to spend so much time together as a family without any work, stress, or obligations.

Late night ice cream!

This kid LOVES to eat!

Carter  built this lego castle in like 5 seconds. Pretty cool, huh?  :)

I think we enjoyed the trip as much as the kids!

One of the cool parts of Legoland--the building play areas.

Chewy photobombed us!

Carter's favorite part of the whole trip was the water play area.

Archie was thrilled to get to sleep in a bed with pillows!

When we got home, there was a package of presents waiting on our doorstep from Grandpa and Grandma Cushman (my dad and Mary) They always pick such fabulous gifts. Archie's favorite was the musical card and Carter loved everything--he got a cool remote control car and a toy airplane that he has to put together himself with real tools. (The kids now chase each other around the house with the toy drill!) Our house looks like Christmas already because of all the new toys and boxes everywhere!