Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Keeping Christmas Simple

I love Christmas so very much-and my favorite part is getting gifts for everyone.

One thing I really want to make sure for this year is to keep everything simple. I don't want my kids opening truck loads of toys, nor do I want to be just buying little gifts for people just because-I want to make sure everything has meaning.

Quality over quantity is what I'm going for this year, and that means most of my gifts are coming from sites that benefit charities. I'm very excited about that.

But does anyone have any advice on how to get the kids on board to scale back the presents? To help them understand that it is far better to give than to receive? I was thinking about signing us up to hand out food at the local food shelter, but I'm not sure the kids will "get it".

I'm going to take the kids with me when we buy gifts for the angel tree at church, and hopefully they will not have meltdowns over buying toys for other kids without getting. I'm pretty confident they will be able to do well, but kids live to surprise their parents, so we will see.

What do you all think? Any ideas you have in your family for teaching compassion and sharing to your kids? Are there any traditions you have for keeping gift giving simple, budget friendly, and charitable?

I hope that in a few years, I can have quite a few wonderful traditions in place.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's A .......


We found out a few weeks ago that we are going to have a third son here soon!! I have been so busy I haven't had a chance to get on here an update.

We are super duper excited and it is SO FUN to pull out all the itty-bitty baby boy clothes and remember all the things the other two did in them-and wonder about what this new little guy will do in them!

I have to admit, at first I was a bit bummed it wasn't a girl-this pregnancy has been SO DIFFERENT from the other two, that I think I just had it in my head that it was a girl, so the ultrasound was a bit of a shock.

All the Men (little and big) are SO EXCITED for another guy to play with, and I have to admit, it is SO nice to know what to expect. Been there, done that, I think I know how to handle a boy-and from what I've been told, I seem to do a pretty great job of raising boys, thus far at least.

ALSO-I found THE PERFECT little boy outfit for this guy and snatched it right up, so I am pretty happy. Pictures of his new outfit to come in about 5 months! Whoo hoo!.

So, boy it is, my three sons. I see lots of football, baseball, and soccer in my future. And, if I'm lucky, maybe I can get one of them to be in band! That would be SO awesome.

And Bill has said I must come up with another blog name for "pumpkin" as that is just not manly enough. Pumpkin has kind of grown on me though, so we will see :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Getting To Know You

I'm 18 weeks, exactly today, and tomorrow we find out if a little boy or a little girl is growing and kicking inside me.

I'm terribly excited and CAN.NOT.WAIT. to find out.

But on the flip side, I am a little sad, because I know today will be the last day of our "wondering" what if it is a boy, maybe we will do...or what if it is a girl, we will do this....

I feel the little kicks, the little flutterings and I want SO badly to know who it is growing inside me.

But on the flip side, I can't believe I'm already about halfway done. I want to slow down time and hang onto these last few moments of "early" pregnancy. The unknown, the excitement of counting down the days to knowing.

Time just seems to be going too quickly for me, and perhaps because it seems that the holidays get promoted earlier and earlier every year, and that just seems to coincide with my pregnancy going by so quickly this time around, unlike my other two.

Or perhaps it is because this will most likely be our last pregnancy.

And I'm just a basket of tears lately; finding the silliest things to cry about. I cried thinking about not watching Emily anymore when the baby comes, I cried during Toy Story 3 like no other. I mean, heck, I'm crying over the fact that I find out tomorrow what the baby is...even though there is no way I wouldn't want to find out. I know, I'm crazy.

Anyways, today I'm 18 weeks, and I don't know who is baking inside me. Tomorrow I'll be 18 weeks and one day, and I'll know who is going to be here in April. And I'll finally be able to go through the increasing piles of baby clothes and things that have taken over the nursery.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Little Dude's Birthday

I'm way late posting photos, partly because awhile back I got a huge memory disc and it holds THOUSANDS of pictures...so I don't save to my computer as often as I used to.

Actually, I had forgotten what all was on there until I realized it was full! Whoops!

Anyways, here are some photos from Little Dude's fourth birthday:
Gus going over fire safety rules and how to get out of the house quickly. Little Dude got a special seat for the talk.
Little Dude putting on the fire fighter outfit Gus and Liz had so he could "drive" the truck with Gus, Daddy and JR. I got a ride later with Little Dude, of course.
Liz putting on the breathing mask and talking-it sure did make her voice sound scary! Though the kids didn't want to put it on themselves, it was cool they got to see it on and hear her talk; you don't usually see that when you visit the station and it was great for the kids to know.
JR and the Birthday boy getting ready for another ride.

Needless to say, he is WAY into firefighters right now, and make a trip every few weeks to the local fire stations.

We had Gus and Liz, a couple I found here in our home town, come and do a big demonstration for the kids. They have a restored fire truck from the late 60's early 70's, so they brought that and gave all the kids rides, let them play with the hose, and try on all the equipment. Gus and Liz also went over fie safety, how to get out of the house and have a meeting spot, and put on the gear so kids could see what a fully geared up firefighter would look and sound like. It was SUPER cool and the kids seemed to love it.

For food we got a bunch of Fire House Subs and gave out all the little hats as party favors for the kids, so everyone had their own fire hat.

After the truck rides, food and cake, the kids also got to climb up on top of the truck and pretend to operate the big sprayer up there. I don't know who had more fun, the kids or my husband who went up with each one for safety!

And everything was super budget friendly, with around 12 little friends and their parents.  I think around total for all decorations, food and the truck we were just over $200.00, and if we had really wanted to it could have been cheaper for food by just making sandwiches, but the subs were just so fun to go with the whole firefighter theme, and it enabled us to get great hats for all the kids to have while playing with the fire gear.

It was SO much fun, and I'm so glad we were able to do it for him.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

We Felt The Baby Kick

On the 27th of October, I felt the first, huge KICK from Pumpkin. It was right in the middle of dinner, and seriously I about jumped out of my skin; I just wasn't expecting to get smacked on the inside at that moment.

But now, the few kicks and pushes that have come are not quite the surprise, since I am now aware Pumpkin is big enough and strong enough to say hi.

I need to start taking photos of my belly each week; I'm at 17 now and just starting to really show a baby bump-which is nice, since now I don't just feel fat with my jeans not wanting to zip. I've broken out the maternity items early-really as soon as my jeans got snug. No messing with rubber bands and do hickeys to make my pants last longer-I figure I'll have to buy (or bought) maternity pants, so I might as well get some good use out of them.

For being super short, I did get a treat from my super hubby in the form of TWO pairs of short maternity jeans from Motherhood. They are divine and fit my leg length perfectly. Love. Really.

And I have a nice group of mom friends who are letting me borrow/have winter maternity clothes, since both of my other pregnancies were in the summer. Love them, too.

Those are all the updates for now. The countdown is on to blue or pink day-we go in on the 11th to find out and seriously, I don't know how people wait til delivery day to find out. I think I am going to pee myself with excitement and anticipation and I still have 8 WHOLE DAYS we have to wait. Sigh.