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Happy 4th birthday, sweet boy!

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

It’s time for another letter to Cullen, just a tad late this time. Happy 4th birthday to my sweet, sweet boy! (more…)

The Sunday Somethings, 29dec13 and 05jan14

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Something that makes me happy: Group photos for events and vacations. I always regret it a little when I don’t make everyone pose for a group photo! I love having them later.

Something I’m thinking: I couldn’t live somewhere where the single digit temperatures and lower are common. Brr!

Something happening around the house: Legos everywhere!

Something I’m reading: I’m partway through both The Golem and the Jinni and Lexicon. I intend to finish both of those, but I had to take a break from the first one so that I could read Lexicon for this month’s book club. I finished the 4th book in The Book of Ember and read the first part of Sand by Hugh Howey. I also read (and recommend) a novel by a friend, An Uncertain Faith by Allie Potts.

Something Gabe is reading: He read the first part of Sand and is now reading The Golem and the Jinni.

Something I’m watching: We have caught up on most of our shows, and we watched the Downton Abbey premiere last night! The kids have been watching a ton of Ninjago now that Cullen has the first two seasons of the show on DVD.

Something I’m playing: 12-person Telestrations, Big Boggle, Village… not sure what else. Oh, and I’ve been playing Pikmin 3 on the Wii U. Fun!

Something I’m creating: I’ve been working hard on photobooks! I started and finished my WwDC/San Francisco book from last year, and I’m about halfway through my 2013 photobook. That one will be challenging to fit into one volume, but I think I can do it.

Something tasty: I was going to make some cookie dough truffles, but so far I’ve just been pinching off pieces of the eggless cookie dough. Yum! The best thing that I’ve had in a while was the Creme Brulee from the fancy dinner that we had with Gabe’s parents as part of their Christmas gifts from us.

Something about both kiddos: We had a wonderful Christmas, despite a little bit of illness at the beginning of our holiday break. We were supposed to spend Christmas Eve with friends, but nobody wanted to spread germs. We made chex mix and decorated sugar cookies. We did some crafts. We had a great time and read The Grinch and The Night Before Christmas before bedtime in preparation for Santa’s visit. The kids had a slumber party in Maddie’s room and were asleep fairly quickly. Santa visited early and finished depositing the gifts and filling our stockings by 10pm. The kids were excited, and Christmas morning started with stockings followed by opening Santa gifts. We had red and green pancakes (with chocolate chips) for breakfast. We lounged around in our pajamas all day. The next day, we celebrated with friends and Gabe’s parents arrived that evening. On New Year’s Eve, we had our usual games night party. It was a fun, chaotic evening, and we let the kids stay up as late as they wanted. Cullen made it until 11:30pm when he decided he wanted to lay down in our bed and promptly fell asleep. Maddie made it to 12:15am and watched the ball drop. She was so excited to have stayed up that late. They both need to work on thank you notes for all the wonderful presents they received, and they still have a few more presents to open. We like to spread out Christmas a little! The kids are getting along together fabulously (with the exception of our usual breakfast table drama where Cullen doesn’t want Maddie looking at him). They play with Legos, Ninjago, art projects, and more. I love how much they adore each other. They are still taking their sports lessons.

Something Maddie is doing (5.5 years old): Maddie and I worked on her science fair project last night. She is testing the strength of three different configurations of six sheets of origami paper (cube, tubes, and flat sheets). Her hypothesis was that the paper rolls/tubes would be the strongest, and she was disappointed to find out that she was wrong. She seemed satisfied that being wrong was part of being a scientist and doing science experiments. She did five different trials and recorded her observations and counts in her lab notebook. We will need to gather the results and make her presentation board by next week. Santa’s main gifts for Maddie were legos, the rainbow loom, and a kindle fire. She has made numerous bracelets since then, and it was cute when she loomed with the neighbors. Other gifts from friends and family included a Lalaloopsy doll (something she kept asking for), a bracelet craft set, Lego sets, a fancy art set, board games (shared with her brother), and new books. Maddie still loves the Legos, but she doesn’t sit and put them together for long periods of time. Her attention span isn’t as great as it used to be for that, but hopefully that is just a phase. Maddie has decided that she also likes Ninjago and plays battles and other imagination games with her brother. I think she has enjoyed the show, but she also learned that her brother will engage with her more if she’s willing to play what he wants to play.

Something Cullen is doing (3.5 years old): He barfed on the way into his classroom on December 23rd, which was supposed to be our last day of work and daycare. We started our break a little earlier, and he shared a bit of the stomach bug with me. At bedtime one evening, Cullen asked Daddy, “Daddy, is the Grinch a real person?” Gabe said, “No.” Cullen replied, “How do you know?” Daddy: “He’s just a story by Dr. Seuss.” Cullen: “Sometimes you’re not right about things.” Cullen also has said to Maddie several times recently when she has been singing, “Maddie do you think anyone wants to hear that? Nobody wants to hear that.” Cullen has had a rough time at nights, and he has been crawling into our bed in the middle of the night at least every other night. He was doing pretty well over the break, but he has resumed that pattern the last few days. I hope that it’s a short phase. Santa’s main gifts to Cullen were Ninjago spinners, Legos, and Star Wars DVDs. He has loved playing with his numerous minifigures and new Ninjago sets and spinners. Other gifts included race cars and a car track, more spinners, Ninjago DVDs, more Ninjago lego sets, and a Ninjago encyclopedia which may now be his favorite book ever. I think it’s safe to say that Ninjago was the theme of Cullen’s Christmas. He’s still crazy about Ninjago, obviously. He’s really enjoying all of his new things, and I love to watch him play with the figures and built sets. He doesn’t have the attention span to put big Lego sets together right now, but he does enjoy playing with the final result.

Something I am struggling with: Writing these reports…

Something I’m doing towards my goals: Finishing my photobooks!

Something I’m looking forward to: I’m reading to Maddie’s class on Friday, and I’m volunteering in a couple weeks for their 100-day celebration. I’m not looking forward to Gabe being out of town for a couple of days next week for a business trip. He’s going to miss Maddie’s science fair, too. Boo.

Something captured: Gabe’s family with Mickey ears – we’re ready for the cruise!

The Sunday Somethings, 22dec13

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Something that makes me happy: Pretty sure that the answer is about the same every year around this time: I love Christmas! Oh, but I also want to say that I love my new card holders. This is the first year that I have had them, and they make me happy!

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about the last few things that I need to get done before Christmas Day…just a little more organizing and wrapping, I think. I shopped early, but the problem is that I end up buying and stashing. Things can get a little out of control.

Something I’m hoping: I hope the kids will be excited about the stuff that Santa is bringing!

Something happening around the house: New toys! Lots of Legos! We’ve already exchanged gifts with a few people, including my family, so the kids have plenty to keep them busy already!

Something I’m reading: I read the first 3 books of The Book of Ember series, and I’m close to finishing the 4th. The books are readily available at the library (on the kindle), and I like it just enough to read the series. They are quick and easy reads, though the third book was pretty awful.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe abandoned Blackout and is trying to decide what to read next. We received some new books already for Christmas, so he has several to choose from!

Something I’m watching: We have been catching up on our shows. Survivor is finished, and Amazing Race is finished. Some of our shows are on break, but we are very behind on others. We’ve been catching up on Sleepy Hollow, Elementary, and Walking Dead.

Something I’m playing: We played Suburbia. It was the first time that I had played it, and it was Gabe’s second.

Something I’m creating: Not only did I finish my 2012 photobook, but we already have it (and I wrapped it and put it under the tree). Also, I started, finished, and ordered our NYC 2013 trip. I’m getting caught up! Next up, my WWDC/San Francisco trip from this year, and then our 2013 photobook. I can do it!

Something tasty: I’m not sure where to begin, but I must say that my dad makes the tastiest meatloaf on earth.

Something about both kiddos: The kids are so excited about Christmas! They have been working on their Lego Advent calendars. Usually, it is the first thing that they do each morning. Cullen’s last several days have had really cute toys for under his tree: airplanes, a boat, a train, and a construction vehicle. It’s been fun to see what’s behind the little door each day! Maddie’s is the Friends version, and it’s very cute as well. Both kids are doing well in their soccer (Cullen) and rollerblading (Maddie) classes. I’m glad that we signed up for another session. We took the kids to Disney on Ice. They seemed to enjoy it, though it’s not necessarily something we need to do every year. It’s not as entertaining for the adults as some other productions are. I thought the theme was better this year, but they had maybe less tricks and spins on the ice. I did enjoy the finale scenes with the snow and Christmas sleigh. We had several holiday gatherings with friends, and my family visited this weekend. The kids have already opened a good number of presents. We’ve been watching Christmas movies and Christmas specials of their favorite shows, of course.

Something Maddie is doing (5.5 years old): Maddie handled the transition back to school quite well! She had two and a half weeks, and now she’s on break until after New Year’s. She has one day of camp tomorrow as Gabe and I are both working. She’s doing the drama camp, but since it is just a one day session, I think they tend to do more art projects than plays. She will love it. Maddie has been making even more progress with rollerblading. I’m guessing we’re going to have more sessions of it in our future. She’s starting to get the more advanced moves like side stepping and skating backwards. She has a habit of biting her fingernails while doing it. This is her new nervous habit, which I guess is more socially acceptable than putting her finger in her belly button or picking her nose (both things she still does sometimes). She has some new books and has been reading some of them to us. She’s getting pretty fast with her reading. For gifts, Maddie has received Goldie Blox & the Spinning Machine, stamp markers, several books, a My Little Pony DS game, Hallmark ornaments (woohoo!), the Lego Friends bakery, sticker books, and another year of the kiwi crate. She started the bakery this morning. She’s been using her stamp markers to make scrapbooks with some old photos of her as a baby. She already put all of her stickers that came with the sticker book into the book. It’s a good thing that they are repositionable! We have played with the Goldie Blox, too, and she seems to love it! What a great toy. Maddie is so proud of herself and proclaims that she is an engineer. She’s learning what works and what doesn’t, and I’ve seen her build something that doesn’t work and improve on it so it does what she wants. Very cool. She’s been playing her DS game, too, and we’ve started reading some of her new books. She’s getting use of a lot of her new presents! I’m sure we will do the kiwi crate for December sometime this week. Maddie received her 2nd quarter report card with excellent grades in every area. She had pajama day and a book exchange with her classmates on the last day of school. They also watched the Polar Express.

Something Cullen is doing (3.5 years old): Cullen was sent home with a stomach bug last Tuesday, and he was out Wednesday as well. He had a stomach bug on top of cough and congestion. Poor little guy. He is still coughing some, and he’s been a little sensitive. He’s mostly better, at least. We’re trying to break him of his iPad habit. He begs to play it all the time. It’s the first thing he does in the morning (“can I play Daddy’s iPad?”). It’s the first thing he does when I pick him up. He only played it once or twice in the past 2 weeks, and he didn’t beg to play it very much in the past few days. Cullen received a lot of great gifts, too. He received several new books, the Ninjago Kai Fighter Lego set, The Ninjago Golden Dragon Lego set, Lego Star Wars DS game, Hallmark ornaments, sticker book, and another year of the kiwi crate. Cullen is very into the Lego minifigures, and he’s very excited to finally have some ninja guys to play with as well. Jason helped him put together the jet, and Papa and Daddy helped him build the golden dragon. He flies them around the room rescuing Maddie’s Lego friends girls and fighting bad guys. It’s not uncommon to see ninjas, bat man, Lego friends, and storm troopers interacting in this household. I love his imagination! He can play for a very long time with his minifigures, and it’s quite entertaining to hear him make up dialogue for them. Cullen had his holiday concert last week at preschool. He seemed to be singing most of the songs, and he waved and smiled at us between every song. He was so excited to have us there, and he was even more excited to have us in his classroom. Their class made cute ornaments for the parents with their handprints made into snowmen on a clear ball.

Something I am struggling with: I’ll need to make some physical therapy appointments (finally) for my knee. It’s been bothering me more again lately.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: Creating photobooks and creating holiday memories for the kids!

Something I’m looking forward to: Christmas!!! We have Christmas Eve with friends and plan on making and decorating sugar cookies. Christmas Day will be spent by ourselves, which is a very nice day together. Gabe’s parents are visiting for a few days after that. I have an all day scrapbooking/photobooking event on my calendar, and hope that I’ll be able to do it! We have a few gatherings planned with friends, but not as many as we would like!

Something captured: Silly family photo for our Christmas celebration!

The Sunday Somethings, 08dec13

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Something that makes me happy: Legos! I’m glad that the kids enjoy them as Gabe and I are also having fun with them. All four of us built things this evening. The kids also each have a Lego advent calendar.

Something I’m thinking: I’m thinking about Christmas gift ideas for friends and family.

Something happening around the house: We put up our Christmas tree on the day after Thanksgiving. I love it. I love seeing the ornaments each year. Gabe also put up some of our outdoor lights. I love all of it!

Something I’m reading: I finished the second book of The Demon Cycle. I started and finished Out of My Mind (in one evening). That one is this week’s book club selection. I loved it. I also started and finished The Selection, and I enjoyed that one well enough to continue the series.

Something Gabe is reading: Gabe finished The Daedalus Incident and started Blackout by Connie Willis.

Something I’m watching: We’re watching The Amazing Race finale at the moment. This weekend, Maddie and I saw our neighbors perform in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I had my annual Christmas date with Audrey and saw The Grinch musical on Saturday. This morning, we saw a production of Frosty the Snowman. All three were great! What a wonderful weekend of live entertainment. Since my last update, we took the kids to see Frozen and saw Catching Fire. Frozen was cute, and the kids enjoyed it. We thought Catching Fire was great!

Something I’m creating: I’m still working on the 2012 photobook. I’ve been making progress, little by little.

Something tasty: Audrey and I ate at Revolution before The Grinch, and we did the 5-course tasting menu. Tasting menus are fun! I wouldn’t have ordered anything we had on my own, so it was a great experience to try some new things. The cocktails and wine helped, too. Oh, and we had a lot of Chex Mix that I made for Thanksgiving. YUM! I can’t wait to make more for Christmas. We took them to the movies that weekend to see Frozen. We all had a good time at the movies.

Something about both kiddos: We finally were able to visit Chad and Kristin’s farm when we had Thanksgiving with Chad’s family. It was fun to see their goats and chickens and the barn that they built. We also were able to see where their new house will be built soon. Over the holiday weekend, we made gingerbread houses. The kids also had a snow-themed book club. The kids also started another session of rollerblading (for Maddie) and soccer (for Cullen). I thought we’d be taking a break from the sports lessons, but both kids wanted to take another session. We took them to see Frosty the Snowman this morning. They seem to enjoy the plays, and we’ve already gotten some tickets for plays next year.

Something Maddie is doing (5.5 years old): We were so proud of Maddie at her drama and arts camp. She was nervous about trying a new camp, but her usual art track out camp wasn’t open the week of Thanksgiving. We thought it was a great time for her to try the drama camp since the 3-day version doesn’t have a real performance at the end. They did perform a play after the first two days for themselves, and I got to see the video. It was hard to hear her speaking some of the time, but other times she did great. She told me that we wouldn’t have to “make” her go ever again. What she meant by that is that she loved it and would happily go for a full week. She went to another week of art camp last week. The camps have been so good for her. We are loving the year round school schedule. She went back to school on Thursday, and her classroom was in a new location. She did so well with that transition. We’re starting to get the hang of this kindergarten thing.

Something Cullen is doing (3.5 years old): Cullen has been addicted to Gabe’s iPad lately. We have had to limit his time for sure. He loves playing all the Lego games, especially Ninjago. He still loves everything Ninjago and runs around the house, using whatever he can find as a ninja weapon. He sang the holiday songs to me today as a preview for his holiday concert.

Something I’m looking forward to: Cullen’s holiday concert at preschool is this week. It’s his first one, so it will be fun to see how he does! I have book club, the kids have sports lessons, we have dinner and games with friends, our holiday poker tournament is next weekend, and we have Disney on Ice next weekend.

Something captured: The kids at Frosty this morning with their new buddies.

Happy (belated) 5th Birthday, Maddie!

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Wow, Maddie is 5 years old. Five seems like a big deal to me. Why does it seem SO much more than 4? I guess I’m thinking about how she will be starting kindergarten and gaining more and more independence. It’s hard to believe. So, here is Maddie’s letter…most of it written 3 months ago. Better late than never. (more…)

Happy 3rd Birthday, Cullen!

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Somehow, I’ve managed to finish Cullen’s letter the same week as his birthday. Woohoo! (more…)

The Sunday Somethings, 30dec12

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Something that makes me happy: Naps and pajama days. Happy new year for us!

Something I’m thinking: I didn’t feel like writing this for the past couple of days. Our break hasn’t been very restful, but we’ve had a nice time with family and friends. We also had a wonderful Christmas! The kids enjoyed their gifts from Santa, and Maddie and I put together the big Olivia’s house set.

Something happening around the house: We had our annual New Year’s Eve games night last night! We also managed to get Cullen’s room mostly finished, so he has a room again! The office is in disarray, so we have a lot of work to be done there.

Something I’m reading: I decided to continue the Earth’s Children series with The Valley of the Horses.

Something Gabe is reading: He’s reading the Wool Omnibus, and I think he’s on book 3.

Something I’m playing: We played Phoenicia on Sunday. The kids have played some games with us in the past week. We played some NintendoLand on the Wii U this week, and several people tried it last night. At games night, I played Wits and Wagers Family, Cranium Hoopla, Telestrations, Password, and Trivial Pursuit Genus 6. We went out while Gabe’s parents were in town and played Photo Hunt and NTN trivia.

Something I’m creating: I started on the Allure of the Seas cruise photobook from 2011! It feels great to get started on that one, especially since we promised it to family as gifts over a year ago. Better late than never? I’ve also been creating lots of Legos. Our family has been Lego crazy over the break, and we’ve almost built every model that we have (displayed proudly on our shelves in the living room). Gabe and I even bought a few sets that are decidedly more for ourselves than the kids.

Something tasty: A friend made a tasty s’mores no bake treat for New Year’s Eve games night last night. I think I might have eaten half the tray. Ooh, and we took Gabe’s parents to Draft. That was tasty, and we’re sad that they are now permanently closed.

Something about both kiddos: The kids were excited about Christmas and Santa’s visit. They have been playing together so well lately (for the most part). Of course, they still fight at times, but they can play together for hours. They are sad when they can’t play with each other. Maddie complains that she has “nobody to play with.” I hope that they will continue to be buddies throughout their lives (though I do realize it will have ups and downs through the years). They are incredibly cute together much of the time. This week, they have started putting on “magic shows.” We aren’t sure where they got that idea, but they insist that it has to be done in Cullen’s new room without the lights. I guess the glow in the dark stars add to the ambiance of their show. Their signature trick involves showing us some balls and then throwing them under the bed or on the floor or in the closet as they “disappear.” They were having slumber parties in Maddie’s room with Cullen’s crib mattress on Maddie’s floor. They have slept in separate rooms a few times, but they are still having slumber parties but now in Cullen’s room. Once, they even slept in the same bed all night. We are trying to get them to sleep in their own rooms, but sometimes it’s just easier for everyone to let them have their slumber parties! Both kids have been playing the Wii U a little bit, and they are starting to get the hang of some of the games in NintendoLand (especially the ghost one and the Mario running one).

Something Maddie is doing (4.5 years old): Maddie and I put together Olivia’s House on Christmas Day. We actually managed to put together the entire house in one day. I love all the details! Maddie managed to put it all together by herself with the exception of the last portion of the yard. She ran out of steam but wanted to finish it “all in one day,” so I helped her finish it up. She was so sweet while we were working on the project. She kept saying things like “I really love you, Mommy” and “I’m so happy!” and “I’m so happy to be doing Legos with you, Mommy.” Maddie got a bunch of new readers for Christmas, and she has been interested in reading them to us. Most of them are phonics readers (some of those are focused on sight words). She’s been making a lot of progress! She’s jealous of Cullen’s new room and says that she also wants a “space room.” Maddie helped us apply the decals around the room.

Something Cullen is doing (2.5 years old): Cullen is very excited about his new room, and it looks great! We still need to put some finishing touches on the room, but we were very happy with how it turned out. Cullen has had a lot of accidents in the past couple of weeks, but we are making some progress. He has gotten to the point where he has no interest in starting to poop on the potty (but will finish if we are able to catch him in the act or see signs that he needs to before he starts). It’s a bit frustrating. He’s had a few wet accidents, but we have gone back to reminding him to use the potty a bit more frequently and making him take potty breaks regularly. Cullen really has gotten great at knowing his way around the iPhone or iPad. He knows how to go back to the home screen, choose new apps, go to a different screen, open folders, and play a variety of games. Cullen is still making a lot of train layouts with the wooden train set. Santa brought both kids a motorized train, so they have had a good time setting up huge layouts in the living room and running the trains.

Something I am struggling with: Clutter, clutter, clutter. We have been organizing and purging in our house. We did manage to take a van load to Goodwill with more to come soon.

Something I’m doing towards my goals: I’m finally making progress on my photobooks. I’m also pretty much caught up on my photos. I have a few more to sort from December, and I’ll be caught up! It has been a long time since I have been caught up like that. Now I just have a bunch of photobooks to create…

Something I’m looking forward to: We don’t have too many plans for the rest of this week, though I am looking forward to the kids using their new rollerblades for the first time on Saturday morning! Santa brought both kids rollerblades for Christmas.

Something random: I read 42 books in 2012!

Something captured: It was a full week, and I’m posting two pictures from this week.

Cullen in his new room.

A proud Maddie with the completed Olivia’s House.

The Christmas Day family photo through the years

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

Today:

2011:

2010:

2009:

2008:

2007:

2006:

The Sunday Somethings, 23dec12

Monday, December 24th, 2012

Something that makes me happy: Christmas traditions! I can’t believe it’s already Christmas Eve. We had a great time visiting with family and friends so far and have fun gatherings yet to come.

Something I’m thinking: Christmas arrived so fast this year, and I feel a bit disorganized with our house in disarray (see “something happening around the house”). I’ve reached a breaking point with clutter, and I’m ready to get rid of stuff.

Something I’m hoping: I hope that we will have a wonderful Christmas morning. I love our tradition of Christmas morning with just our little family (while visiting with family and friends in the days surrounding it).

Something happening around the house: Gabe and I are doing a lot of purging. We are putting Gabe’s office in the nursery (Cullen’s current room), and we’ll be making the office into Cullen’s new big boy space-themed room. We decided it was time to get rid of outgrown kid clothes (keeping a few sentimental pieces). We boxed up more than 7 boxes of boy clothes for a couple of friends, and we’ll have more girl clothes soon. We also have a lot of other stuff that we are going to donate, sell, or give away. Currently, Gabe’s new office is full of piles of stuff, and Cullen and Maddie are having nightly slumber parties until Cullen’s room is finished.

Something I’m reading: I couldn’t resist and finished books 6 and 7 of the Wool series. Now I’m forced to wait to read more until they get published. Great series! If you’re a fan of the dystopian genre, you need to read it. Just be patient with the first two books and trust me that it gets better and better. I want to learn more about this world!

Something Gabe is reading: He started reading the Wool series. Yay!

Something I’m watching: We watched Love Actually last night (instead of writing my somethings). I love that movie!!!

Something I’m playing: We played Cranium Hoopla and a little NintendoLand with my family. Gabe and I played a little of the new Super Mario for the Wii U, I think (was that this week? It’s all blurring together now).

Something I’m creating: I sorted through some photos, and I’m getting close to having the Disney photos organized…finally! I still need to get rid of a few, but I’ve been making a lot of progress. Otherwise, I’ve been creating crafts and putting together Legos with the kids. It’s our goal to assemble all of the models that we have collected so far and creating a Lego village over the break.

Something tasty: Oh, man, we’ve had too many tasty things…cookies, fudge, Dad’s meatloaf, Chex mix, etc, etc.

Something about both kiddos: They are excited about getting presents from family members and friends (and especially Santa!). They have both been enjoying putting together lego kits. They had fun making sugar cookies this afternoon. We are not afraid of icing and sprinkles in this house. Most cookies looked like someone dumped a bowl of sprinkles onto them, and that’s pretty much how they were created. The kids have been having daily slumber parties since we’re transitioning Cullen’s room and the office. We are hoping to make progress on putting his room together this week.

Something Maddie is doing (4.5 years old): Maddie is on her best behavior, and I think she really is concerned that Santa is keeping an eye on her. She spent an hour in her room this morning and was very quiet. When we checked on her, we discovered that she was cleaning. She wasn’t doing her usual cleaning which consists of piling everything from the floor onto other surfaces (at random). She had put things away properly and even made her bed. It’s a Christmas miracle! This week when I asked Maddie whether she thought that Santa would bring her presents, she said, “Yes, I don’t see why not!” Maddie is getting really good at Angry Birds and prefers the Star Wars version these days. She will quit the level if she knows she’s not going to get 3 stars, and she says, “It’s not just about winning, is it Mommy?” (meaning it’s also about getting the best score).

Something Cullen is doing (2.5 years old): He’s been having a good number of accidents. I guess we should go back to Disney World which apparently inspired him because “Mickey wouldn’t want poop on his table.” Santa doesn’t appear to have the same effect. Oh well. This week he had an accident in his underwear at school and told his teachers that another kid at school did it. Today, when I asked whether he had poop in his underwear, he told me that he didn’t do it and that somehow *I* had put poop in his underwear. He also told his teachers that he had a secret hiding place in our living room and that he was “very sneaky.” When I picked him up from school that day, I said, “Cullen, what am I going to do with you?” He said, “Eat me” and I asked if that’s what his teacher said (she says, “I could just eat him/you up!” sometimes). He said, “yeah, because I’m a turkey!” The other day when he was playing Fruit Ninja on Daddy’s iPhone, he said, “I’m GREAT at this fruit engine!” He’s getting pretty good at angry birds, too. He was defiant today and wasn’t listening very well. At some point, he told me that he wanted me to email Santa because he was sure family or a friend would bring him a LeapPad.

Something I’m looking forward to: Christmas!!!

Something captured: Sweet kids on Christmas Eve!

The Sunday Somethings, 16dec12

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Something that makes me happy: It’s almost time for Christmas! No, I’m not quite ready, but I’m almost ready enough!

Something I’m thinking: I can’t stop thinking about the horrible events at Sandy Hook Elementary school this week. Awful, terrible, horrible doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Something happening around the house: Maddie and I made cookies for neighbors this afternoon. She is a cheerful helper in our “bakery.”

Something I’m reading: I finished the first 5 books of the Wool series and LOVED it. It’s some of the best from the dystopian genre that I have read in a while! I’m not sure what I’m going to read next, but I have a bunch of options on the kindle from the library.

Something Gabe is reading: I’m going to make him read Wool soon.

Something I’m playing: We started playing the Super Mario Brothers game as a team last night. It’s a little tricky trying to coordinate with someone else on that game, but it is fun. We also got together with friends on Friday and played some of the Nintendo World multiplayer games. We had fun with the Luigi’s Mansion one and the one where everyone chases Mario. We also played Toy Story Mania which was interesting, but it’s not nearly as good as playing the real thing at Disney World!

Something I’m creating: I’ve been going through Disney photos and trying to get it down to a manageable number.

Something tasty: Bakewell Tarts and country ham. Yum! Separately…not together!

Something about both kiddos: They both had their rollerblading class on Saturday. Both of them are getting better, and Cullen enjoyed it a little more this time. He’s getting more steady on his feet but still requires someone to help him most of the time. Maddie was like that at this stage, too.

Something Maddie is doing (4.5 years old): She wrote a letter to Santa asking for rollerblades, legos, clothes for her baby sister doll, and Junie B. Jones books (this is a new request). We had some Junie B. Jones books that I had bought from someone at work a long time ago, but I didn’t realize what an attitude that Junie B. Jones had. She also uses very poor grammar. I think we’re going to have to lose those books. Santa will have to make some other suggestions. She had her holiday concert this week at school. She moved her mouth some, but I’m not sure she was really singing. She has been singing the songs at home, but I wasn’t surprised that she was nervous in front of a crowd. She didn’t do the hand motions that she did for the songs at home, either. She was thrilled to have both of us there (thanks to our neighbors watching Cullen for a couple of hours since he was at home sick).

Something Cullen is doing (2.5 years old): Cullen has been having a lot of potty accidents, especially this weekend. I’m not sure what is to blame for this regression. He’s been doing fairly well at school, but he did have a couple of accidents there as well. I’m hoping it’s just because he’s been sick this week. He had a runny nose earlier in the week and a fever for one day.

Something I am struggling with: We toured another elementary school on Tuesday, and we really liked it. I think we know what we want to do about schools next year for Maddie, but we have to see a few more schools before making our final choices.

Something I’m looking forward to: I have lunch with friends this week, and my family is coming next weekend to celebrate Christmas. Otherwise, I’m looking forward to next week’s break!

Something captured: Maddie and Daddy at the holiday party at her school