Wednesday, December 21, 2011

We love Christmas!

Christmastime is here! (cue Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack)
Everyone said that Christmas with a toddler would be fun and it is true!! The first thing Noah asks for every morning is to turn the lights on the Christmas tree and he loves Christmas music. Yup, he's my kid alright. :) The first time we read a Christmas book his response when I read, "Merry Christmas!" was "woo-hoo!" (I promise I did not prompt him at all! :)
I have been reading so much about Christmas being so commercial and overdone and all the activities associated adding so much stress to your life. Number 1, it only becomes those things if you let it. And Number 2, I WANT my kid to remember Christmas as a big deal, to have memories and traditions as far back as he can remember. Maybe some big, over the top, and unnecessary things that mean lots of work for mommy, but you know what, it is worth it. (I love this post from one of my favorite blogs.) I believe that God is a fan of celebration and traditions and memories, for OUR benefit. Read Leviticus. And I believe those are some of the most powerful tools to use with our children to teach them about God.
If you know me, you know it has been Christmastime around here far before this week. I listen to Christmas music pretty much all year, and starting on Halloween it all comes out. The tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving (and stays up until I feel like taking it down or my husband makes me :). And I loooooove the Advent season and Advent calendars and all that good stuff. However, I know my kid and I know he would not be able to handle an advent calendar where he only got to open one door a day and wait for the rest, so I decided to do a "Christmas box." I put a card with a picture of a Christmas-y activity on it each day, along with a magnetic piece or a finger puppet of a character in the Christmas story. One of his favorite parts is when Mary and Joseph discover there is no room in the inn. He ran around all day yelling "Room, no room!" You never know what they will pick up on!Some of his favorite activities have been:

putting up a little tree in his roomThis is definitely the favorite. We have undecorated and redecorated that tree many times this month! (It was the tree I had in my room growing up!) For a few days he carried around one ornament of each color pretty much everywhere. Lucy likes to steal them off the tree and ends up knocking the tree over, to which Noah says, "Uh-oh! No, meow-meow!" (But of course then he knocks it over himself and thinks its funny...toddlers. :)

making Christmas play-dough
some Christmas art projects
pretending to be a shepherd and finding baby Jesus hidden around the roomThis was such a hit because I let him carry around a big stick. Boys and sticks...

So I know this post is cutting it close, but does anyone have any toddler Christmas ideas to share? Please pass them on if you do!!

Happy Christmas-ing!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Noah's Very Happy 2nd Birthday!

We have a two year old here!! And so much to celebrate! At his two year old check up our doctor said, "look at him; I can't believe he is a 28 weeker." (For the record, he is barely on the charts for weight and smack dab in the middle for height.) And two is the magic number where they stop adjusting his age. He's just two. (Although I think it will probably take a little longer for my brain. When people ask when his birthday is my first thought is often March instead of December.)
We woke him up on his birthday with special birthday balloons and he LOVED it. He carried those balloons around everywhere for the rest of the day.Then we had birthday pancakes and opened presents and played and had a fun family day. (We also got pictures taken, but Mommy enjoyed that more than Noah...)
On Saturday we had a "Very Hungry Caterpillar" birthday party!Noah excelled at all things birthday party.
Opening and playing with presents:

(Grandmas and Grandpas sure give good presents! He loves them all.)

Blowing out his birthday candle:
Eating the birthday cupcake (well, at least the frosting):
He was sooo excited to have TWO grandpas and TWO grandmas there! (He is spoiled, I mean loved, just a little bit. :)

We love our two year old!! Happy Birthday, Noah!

And thank you to all of you who have loved and prayed and celebrated with us these two years!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011