Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Can't Do It...

I can't bring myself to sit down and blog about Christmas just yet... we're still having too much fun!

Let's just say, it was wonderful, magical, a holiday with little hands and sweet little faces that I won't ever forget.

Much more to come - but for now, we're livin' it up - Christmas holiday style.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Over the River...

Let's get real here for a moment, shall we? I have a deep disdain for packing for the little munchkins when said munchkins are awake, lively and "helping". Let me describe the scene for you today... the day we packed for Grandma's house....

1. Three empty suitcases on the couch... for .2 seconds. Then the suitcases magically morphed into bikes, cars, bulldozers, hiding compartments, booster seats and picnic tables. In other words, hell on wheels. Literally.

2. Stacks of clean clothing in three tiny sizes all thoughtfully organized and "coordinated" because when else do you get the opportunity to dress three adorable life sized Ken dolls in coordinating duds? Never - except now... mama is seizing the opportunity. BUT, little men suddenly needed those very coats I was trying to pack, their boots instead of their squeaky shoes, no back to the "skeeky shoes", now a hat. Oui. Why did I think that packing in the living room with snack cups of fishy crackers and popcorn and a movie would distract them? Not to brag or anything, but whatever I do is far cooler than what they are currently doing.
Insert sarcasm - Yay me.

3. Diapers/Wipes/Blankets.... thought I could swoop in and tuck those swiftly away in the "rolly bags" but oh no, why would I want to pack diapers in a nice tidy plastic wrapped bundle? Duh, Mom, one at a time is the way we do it, while swaddled in those fresh blankets and wiping our sticky hands with the wipes you were going to use at Grandma's house. What did you just fall off the turnip truck?

4. The toiletries bag... aka a trove of treasure, the best toy in the world, a bag equal to Santa's in goodness... why? No clue. But we teared up when mama tried to put the toothbrushes, toothpaste, tylenol and lotion away. I am mean. Period.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the fishy crackers have escaped their cups by the dozen (how does that happen?) and half masticated string cheese is found on my living room rug. Fantastic.
And the bathroom that I was cleaning bright and early this morning? Don't even get me started.... And what do I tell myself as I try to keep up the holiday cheer amidst the complete mayhem? "It's worth it.... it's worth it.... it's worth it." But let's be honest, a rather large part of me is saying, "Ba Humbug."

Phew - I feel better. Brought to you by "Life is Good, Amber... Off to Clean the Disaster." But only because Grandma is going to save the day rather shortly. Bless her... and in true cheese-tastic Christmas fashion, "God Bless Us... Every One." :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Little Drummer Boy...

It's practically Christmas ya'll, and our littlest man knows it. He kicks his little feet to the pa-rum-pa-pum-pum of Christmas music and I swear last night he gathered frothy bubbles around his head Santa style in the tub.

And today he was all smiles as we celebrated his three-month Birthday together and caught it on film. Yep, our little Ace a' Spades graced us with his presence three short months ago and he has already grown and changed so much.

I know you are infinitely tired of me saying this, but brace yourself cause here it comes again... TIME.FLIES.

How is it that my baby is three months old already? It seriously baffles me. I am mystified at this colossal tornado of time that I am wrapped up in... but in the eye of the funnel there is total clarity...

I LOVE this little man and the two other little men that smother this one with kisses. Yep, "Babe-a-Ace" as they call him, completes our little trio of Drummer boys to perfection.

And every day I smile at them...

And as you can see, this one smiles back nearly every time.

Our sweet little drummer boy...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

It's a Date...

My little big boys have been such troopers lately... Daddy-o is traveling which leaves one mama to three babies and when the tiny one has a hunger pang, it becomes an urgent need. Thus, the two peas in a pod have been entertaining themselves in the playroom for longer spans of time than usual... the little saints.

So today was their day.
Our loyal helper, Ashlie came to the house bright and early to take care of Ace a' Spades and we were off to spend the entire morning together out in the great big Christmasy world.

Our trek led us first to the Toy Store where my little motor heads drove themselves silly in every single car known to mankind
(Even Barbie's... What? It's a Mustang, after all).

They loved it and pardon the picture expressions in this post
but they were "Livin' Large" fo sho.

And they literally would not "Stop".

So after an hour and a half of happy "Children at Play"

(OK, I will call it quits with that... but it was a tiny bit fun)

I pulled little bodies from mini-vehicles so we could make the second half of our play date and Daxi made the world aware of his displeasure. When I strapped him into his car seat and he was still crying Kaelster chimed in, "Daxi, TOP! No Mow - Com Down!"
Let me interpret.... "Daxi, Stop! No More - Calm Down!"
Perhaps he's heard that a time or two? Little disciplinarian has got it down.

Then we were off to the Kangaroo Zoo which is a huge warehouse full of blow up toys and cork floors where my little Joeys ran, slid, jumped and giggled with their best cuz, Alli.

Being the good mama that I am, I sacrificed and joined in... (whatev, I was praying someone would get stage fright atop a slide and need some "rescuing"). We climbed to the tallest slide and held Alli's hand and slid down in one great big pile of human. In case you were wondering, blow up slides - they still got it.

Dax Man especially took to the place and once again, was not happy to leave. Oui... the drama of going from a complete high to a bitter low. Poor little dude.

But now - they sleep. Completely worn out and over stimulated. I am a lucky lady to have two of the finest dates a girl could ask for, and for now, the scales have been balanced and I dare say that all my good little guys are feelin' the love.
And yes, they too made it on the Nice List. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Nice List...

Look who landed himself on Santa's nice list...

As if he would be on any other, right? I could eat him. He is delicious. In fact, I suck him down every day as much as possible, even to the point of tummy ache because I guzzle his sugar by the gallon. I don't care. I throw caution to the wind and just gorge myself with his goodness.

My tasty little treat... gettin' big in all the right places and earning a spot on the good list. SSSssssMMMoooooch!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cyber Love...

I am sending my thoughts and hugs via cyber space today to someone who my little family loves very much... Kael's birth mama... also known as our family angel. Today her life was scarred with a personal tragedy that my own heart aches over. The details are hers and hers alone, but our well wishes and thoughts of healing and happiness are ours to shower upon her.

I feel like life constantly reminds us that LIFE is precious. That during this Christmas season and every season, we should remember the little things and forget about all the other "stuff". I've heard it referred to as white noise, and right now, with a jarring reminder of the fragility of life, I know that everything save my little family and those that we love, is white noise.

To L... I am sure that you feel as if you're swimming the great big ocean and watching as wave upon wave comes crashing down on you. For a while there, your swim in the blue waters was pleasant and easy as you and your soul mate swam with the current and soaked in the sun's rays. And then just like that, the tides changed. Just know that Heaven knows of your personal strength and your resiliency, because He will only give us what he knows we are capable of handling. You are a strong soul, and your heart is huge. You will rebound - you'll swim in peaceful waters again. And again, people will be touched by your grace and your stories of strength as you honor another memory by leading a chosen life.

You have so many people that love you. Including guardian angels that are smiling down on you. And five of those angels in the flesh are right here, in the Gardner household, sending you fortification and love and slobbery, sticky kisses.

All our Love...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday High...

I must be high on life or "Christmas Crack". Can't decide which. Because when my swista called to invite me to go decorating Gingerbread Houses with my little set of twiblings, I said yes. As if an eighteen-month-old and a two-year-old set of BOYS would be into that, right?

Well, call it a Christmas miracle, but they sat their little hind ends in their chairs and glued on... let's be generous and say five pieces of candy each... before they sat quietly eating sugary goodness for the next fifteen minutes. I call that gingerbread house makin' success, ya'll. And sure, they didn't get it. And they sure didn't appreciate my version of the Gingerbread song... but I think it stuck. Far back in their little memory banks.... they will have a glimpse of a Christmas tradition that started plenty early and when they make the inevitable little house of graham crackers in Kindergarten... it'll all come back and their tiny abodes will stand a little straighter than the other kids' - of this, I'm certain.

For those of you who live in our freezing state, just know that I did all this in the comfort of Ikea. Yes, that's right... they provided the walls of our humble abode, along with the frosting and the candy AND.... drum roll, they cleaned up the mess. All of this for the bargain basement price of $5 a house. Yeah, you're welcome! :) Just call in advance to get on the schedule.

Anyway, back to my sappy Christmas tale... I told RyGar that later this week we will be making "Reindeer Food" in preparation for Santa's arrival at our house. And in true RyGar fashion he just sort of laughed and said something like, "Wow... Sounds Awesome." But here's the thing... he's totally stoked about the Reindeer food evening. Because all machismo aside, he likes weaving these little Christmas traditions into our family fabric almost as much as I do. Plus, let's be honest, creating little bags of Reindeer food for the boys to spread on the lawn on Christmas Eve is the manliest of all crafts.

So... Christmas 2011.... here I am.
I'll be flying the Fa La La La La Freak Flag all month because I can.
I waited a LOT of years to be able to get my kid on with my own little posse. So I'll be reveling in every childish Christmas activity we can muster.

By far my favorite feature of our Gingerbread House... The Missing Mallows. :)

Gingerbread House.... Check
Charlie Brown Christmas.... Check
Reindeer Food.... a.k.a. crumbled "Tatoe Chips"...Comin' at ya.

Oh yeah... 'tis the season.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Blessing...

This little angel was blessed on Sunday by his handsome daddy-o.

He was a perfect little Christmas gift and his sweet disposition shone through all day. There is something about my little fellers... they know when to turn on the charm. It's as if they can sense when it is all about them. And oh, did Ace Man know it was his party. Mister sweet cheeks was loving being the center of attention.

Our families came to show their unending love and support - something that we never take for granted - and it was a cold, snowy, wintery day outside with warm food, glowing lights and snuggly babes inside.

And the big littles were troopers... Can I say they were perfect little church go-ers and party toddlers? Nay, I cannot. But they were hilarious and they shared their toys with their cousins and waved bye-bye and blew kisses when the time was appropriate. So we'll chalk that one up as a victory.

And now brace yourself for some morning mush.... Here it comes....
I love this little baby. I love his little grins and sounds. I love his dimples and his patient acceptance of toddler drool all over his little forehead from endless kisses. I love how he is snuggly and sleepy and hungry in equal perfect parts. I love his fat rolls on his thighs and his little fists that he shoves into his mouth to soothe himself. I just adore him. And I know he is ours and that he was the only little lamb that could join our little zoo and make it more insanely perfect.

So, Ace Man, that's my story and mama's stickin' to it. You are one of my very favorite Christmas blessings and I am so glad you are mine.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Fa La La La La...

I did it.

I decked the halls, baby, with the help of a couple of mugs o' cocoa and some late night action... I completed the Christmas scene at the Gardner residence.

I told myself that I would only put up one tree and minimal decor due to our current status of two destruction lovin' toddlers, who are fast, incredibly mobile and have great throwing arms and one babe who doesn't necessarily need strings of lights and glittery this and thats.

But I caved.

I decked the halls. Maybe not full on and definitely not all in a day... but the work is done and the big littles are feelin' the magic and so am I. I love to watch them smile and point to the "Yights" and the "Balls" EVERY time they walk by one of the trees. I like to hear them yell out random colors as they identify greens and reds and "lellows". And mostly, I like the way my little family looks in their jammies, snuggled with daddy on the couch as they drink their nightly milk under the glow of the season.

This one loves it. He smiles and coos as he lays in his bouncer seat and soaks in Christmas at home. And I love having a baby during the holidays. It reminds me of why we celebrate and it completes my little story book celebration.

And so, even as I book Gingerbread play dates and evening baby sitters to attend parties and plays... I think this is my favorite... My own family, our own home frosted with decorations, sparkly little things that catch the eyes of our curious little lovelies who know that this time of year is special.... may the traditions begin.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Taking Turns...

I have a dirty little secret to admit. For most of the big little boys' lives, they haven't had to take turns or share too terribly often. Why? Because it is adorable to buy a duo of push toys, a pair of cowboy hats, a couple of popping vacuums... you get it.

Well, I was perusing DI for a couple of items I needed to make my snarky little Thanksgiving joke that never came to fruition and Kaelster found a gem. A mini four-wheeler complete with sound-making buttons including a KEY and a horn.
For five bucks we were the proud new owners and Big K gleefully pushed his little self out of the store atop his green Kawasaki.

Upon arriving home Dax Man laid eyes on our new "Track-TOR" and it was love at first sight. He ran to the little machine and tried to push his big brother off of it's seat to become acquainted with our new toy. And when all his efforts yielded no results... Mommy came to the rescue to suggest that we "take turns".

We're still working on this new found art form.
And here is the nemesis of my little big boys... the "Take Turn Timer".
It is permanently set at two minutes and when they hear the beeps... whomever sits atop the throne must step down and let his brother ride. Sounds simple enough, but oh, the drama.
Let me tell you, there were tears every single time we pulled out the take turn timer, and then, miracle of all miracles, we finally got the hang of it.

Now, whenever someone wants to get grubby little paws on something that the other one is using, I get handed our little silver timer by aforementioned grubby paws.
Can you hear that? It's a chant from the parenting Gods just for me...
"Victory, Victory!"

Heck Yeah this is a Vintage Barbie Car... Grandma has all the cool retro toys :)
And luckily for Daximus, his hieny is the only one that fits in it.
No sharing required.

And in other news... I attempted to get a family picture for the annual Christmas card.
Nothing fancy - just quick and dirty.
It was difficult to get the boys all in one place... especially since a couple of adoring aunties kept snatching this handsome fella...

Here's just one of the sixty-two out takes. Obviously that went for us...

I'll be gettin' creative with a plan B shortly. :)