Wednesday, December 21

before Christmas...

At the beginning of the month this little precious niece of mine was born. She is so cute and snuggly and it's nice to have a baby to hold as much as I want, that isn't my own. I keep telling my sister how lucky she is to be able to lay around all day with a cute little lumpy baby on her. But then I remember that it's hard to feel that when it's your first baby. I think you have to chase other kids around to really enjoy doing nothing but holding a new baby. I know I didn't appreciate it when Alexis was a baby.

While growing up my family always had the Christmas tradition of decorating Gingerbread houses, except ours were always made out of graham crackers. Alexis kept asking when we were going to do it this year, and fortunately our kind neighbor gave us one of those kits that you buy in the store. It comes with the gingerbread pieces already cut, frosting already made, and different kinds of candy. I was never interested in buying one of those kits because it seemed like cheating to me, but after making it this way I may have a hard time going back to graham cracker houses. It was so easy! And on the last day of school a boy in Alexis' class brought in a gingerbread house kit for each student, so we had two to decorate. Evidently his mom bought enough for his sisters class too. 60 kits x $10 = an insane amount of money to spend on gingerbread house kits. But lucky us!

The big news of the month is that we finally cut Ryan's hair. I always put off the first haircut for as long as I can because it just makes them seem so grown up to me. And I was especially hesitant to cut Ryan's because he has curl on the fringes and in the back. But it had grown long enough that it was getting in his eyes, and his curls were mostly straightening out. I didn't expect him to sit still for the haircut but he amazed us and sat perfectly on the stool through the whole thing. In fact, I've noticed that he is a little less rowdy in general. But only a little.
I wanted it to be kept a little longer, but we aren't professionals and it ended up pretty short. I'll probably let it grow long before we cut it again, and hopefully his curls will come back. He doesn't know it, but he's more fortunate than his brother because he ended up with a normal haircut, nothing like what we did to Tyler at this age. Though Jeremy did campaign for the mullet...
Ryan has also started nursery, and it didn't go as well as I expected. But each week has been better, so there's hope. He just needs to learn how to talk and then maybe it would be more fun for him!

Alexis wanted me to take this picture to show how she feels about the Utes. Our kids have somehow become die hard BYU fans and have a developed a dislike for their rival, University of Utah. I'm not sure how this came about, Jeremy and I went to BYU and cheer for them in a game, but we don't ever talk about not liking the Utes. I think part of it is just living in Utah, they've learned from friends about the rivalry and decided to pick a side. Also, they are afraid that if they don't like BYU they won't be allowed to go in their Uncle Trent's room (I think he has a sign that says "BYU fans only" or something like that), and since that's where they usually sleep when we visit Jeremy's parents, they've gotten smart.
Alexis is such a help around here. We have our moments with her, they mostly involve getting her to focus on things, but she really does help out with Ryan a lot. And she's usually quick to do any favor that we ask. She and Tyler are both in gymnastics, and she's really started loving it lately. She is constantly doing cartwheels and bridges and handstands in our living room. She even likes practicing the splits, and is really close to being able to do them all the way. She amazes me with how strong she is, and can put up a good fight when she's wrestling with Tyler and Jeremy. Unfortunately she receives the greatest amount of my nagging and annoyance, but I'm really trying to work on that. Last night she asked if she could stay up late to work on a Christmas present she wants to make Tyler. I thought she would be able to do it herself, but she asked me to help her. I was a little annoyed at first because I had things I wanted to do, but as I sat there watching her and listening to her ideas, I was just struck with the thought that she is an incredible person and I am extremely lucky to have her in my life. She is growing up right before my eyes, yet I'll miss it if I don't stop more often and take those moments with her. So I'm grateful that she asked for my help and that I didn't just brush her off.

Tonight we received a package at the door that I let Tyler open. You know he was excited because he wanted me to take a picture of him, and he NEVER wants me to take his picture. In the package was a backpack for Tyler. Since he turned 5 in October he missed the kindergarten deadline, but I still didn't sign him up for preschool. Mostly because I felt like it wasn't right for us at the time, and partly because we didn't want to pay for it. I've never felt like preschool was necessary for either he or Alexis, and I like to keep them home with me for as long as I can. He is involved in a few other things, and while the weather was still pretty warm we did okay. I could tell he wanted to go to school and he was at the age where he was ready to have his own thing, away from mom, but I still didn't want to sign him up. But, finally as it got colder the days with him got a little rougher, and we decided that we'd enroll him in a preschool that a few of his friends go to. It's only two days a week, but I'm going to miss him. He's a good kid to have around, and I guess I'm having trouble believing that he is as old as he is. He is thrilled to be going, and I guess it'll be good for him to have some "school" practice before kindergarten starts.
Sorry for the annoying shadow...
Buying a backpack in the middle of winter online turned
out to be a really cheap way of getting a good backpack.

Now, onto Christmas...if only I were ready!