Friday, February 7, 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Christmas was a lot of fun this year.  Not that it isn't always fun, but this was the first year Michael really cared.  Santa was coming and Michael was going to get presents!  It was a bit more stressful because I felt like I had to impress my 3 year old and actually do all the Christmas stuff Jeff and I grew up doing (like put up the tree which, if you'll remember, took two and a half hours).

Michael got to sit on Santa's lap at the Jones's Family Christmas party.  He was absolutely ecstatic to be called up and talked Santa's ear off while he was up on his lap.  It was really cute:

I convinced Michael to ask for a monster truck from Santa and he very enthusiastically acquiesced, so he was very happy with his Santa gift (until he saw everyone else's presents, of course).   

Michael's class made "gingerbread" houses at school:

(Michael was not very happy that I made him stop eating for a second so I could take his picture)

And I felt we had to top that by making a sugar cookie house:

Christmas morning was great:

 Santa came and left us stockings (which I left til the last minute to make, so I was up nice and late making sure we all had one with our name on it):

And presents, of course:

Waiting at the top of the stairs to come down:

This video is really long (3 and a half minutes) so feel free to skip it, but I love every second of it.  This is practically Michael's first Christmas since this was the first year he actually understood what was going on (it's a very quiet video- sorry, we're not too talkative early in the morning):

We took turns opening our gifts, which was practically painful for our excited boy.  Here's my favorite video with Michael opening his gift from Grandma Veronin:

Then went to Grandma and Grandpa Day's house and admired everyone else's gifts, like Danny's new balance bike:

We also got to talk to Derek and Dallin (Jeff's two youngest brothers on missions in Sweden and Hungary) on skype with the whole family.  It was really great to see them again and hear their voices.  Apparently Dallin gained some weight but refused to show us his gut.  Weirdo.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

'Tis the Season

'Tis the season for snow in our backyard and snow shoveling:

'Tis also the season for getting really cold after tossing snow onto yourself:

'Tis the season for a homemade advent calendar so Michael will stop asking mommy, "What time is it, Cyndi?" "It's not Christmas yet, Michael."  Now I can ask him, "How many days do we have left?"  (It's just plastic cups with tissue paper glued on and treats- mostly animal crackers inside.  Michael can pop them with his finger and loves keeping track of how close to Christmas we are.):

And, of course, the same day I make mine while Michael is at school, they come home with this cute project- an advent calendar where you glue a cotton ball on Santa's beard every day.  Thanks for being as late as I was with this, school:

'Tis the season for going through our Christmas box and finding weird decorations and gifts and letting Michael play with them:

'Tis also the season for putting up the tree and letting Michael "help" (it took 2 and a half hours):

He loves Jeff's blue car ornament from 1987:

'Tis the season for illnesses.  Thankfully, Michael is a cuddly, sick boy:

Also thankfully, Michael was out of commission when the cats brought a mouse into the house and lost it!  I finally caught it in a jar and let Michael see it before loosing it outside (far from our front door).  He decided to adopt it as a pet and wanted to feed it:

It wasn't terribly impressed with our offering of a froot loop:

And then I took it outside when he fell asleep again.

Mommy and Daddy are actually the ones that are sick right now with colds, but you don't want pictures of us sick.  Trust me.

'Tis the season for Michael's class to take a field trip to a local assisted living home and "sing" for the Grandmas and Grandpas there:

Michael didn't do any actual singing, unfortunately, but he did wave to me and yell "Hi, Mommy!" in the middle of a song.  He also gave a handmade Christmas card to one of the Grandpas and wished him a Merry Christmas.  But he did it really fast and didn't want to stick around for a picture:

'Tis the season for indoor "picnics."  Michael loves the Costco food court and calls it a picnic when we eat there.  The last time we shopped there, we were in a big hurry to get our neighbor to school right after so we couldn't stop for food, so I told Michael we would come back for a "picnic" if he could help us move fast.  He did (as much as a 3 year old can) and so we returned to Costco later that day just for a hotdog picnic (I try to keep my promises to him even if I regret them):

We hope you all are enjoying the most wonderful time of the year too!

Saturday, December 7, 2013


We had a great Thanksgiving at the Veronin house this year.  The food was amazing and the company was pretty good too  ;)

Doesn't it look delicious?:

Ki went full barbarian again this year and took a drumstick:

We had a great time playing games, watching movies, sleeping in (at least, I certainly took the opportunity to send Michael upstairs in the morning to go find Grandma while I slipped back into lala-land), and generally just spending time with my family.  Jeff even got a decent amount of alone time despite the small children running around.

Michael got his token ride with Grandpa on the tractor:


And, of course, he spent some time with the chickens (though I forgot my camera for that).

The only Black Friday shopping I did was online- no lines, no fighting, free two-day shipping, no downside- but I did leave the house when my mom told us about a farm in their area that had pony rides for kids.  We took Michael and Tess (Ki wasn't feeling well) to go play with animals but, thankfully, we only had to drive on rural roads- no shopping traffic (I understand that the Walmart right by our house was so busy people were parking along the roads in our townhomes!  I'm so glad we missed all of it).

We found out that the pony was sick and unable to give the promised ride after we got to the farm, but we were able to somewhat distract Michael with alpacas they had available for petting.

Michael insisted that they were "deer" and immediately wanted to ride them.  We did have to have a talk about not petting their tails or butts (seriously, that shouldn't be an issue, right?) but Michael eventually agree that it was a bad idea.  Not because butts are dirty, but because they might kick him if he stands behind them.  Either way, he stopped trying to pet that particular portion of the alpaca.

He eventually found this sweet girl, Sarah, who was kind enough to lie down next to the food supply and let Michael and Tess love her:

Sorry about the amount of pictures, but I love them.  It was adorable.

Another woman thought so too and took some random pictures of my son feeding and hugging Sarah, so there are probably more pictures online somewhere else.  Thanks, weird stranger.  

Michael insisted even after we left that he should be able to ride the "deer" and was sorely disappointed with us for breaking our promise.

Anyway, Thanksgiving was a lot of fun even if the drives were not.

I cannot describe just how tempting it was to put Michael in a diaper for the trip but I didn't want to take that backwards step.  So, instead, we were at his beck and call for potty breaks.  At least he was willing to tell us every time he needed to go to the bathroom rather than just wet himself.

The drive out was pretty good.  We went through Wyoming and stopped by the Cantrell's house where Kimberly fed us amazingly good food and my little sisters were tickled by Kelsey.  It was a lot of fun and uneventful, except that Wyoming is incredibly windy and has far too many deer (though none in the road that I saw, thankfully).

The drive home was easier, though Michael decided he needed to take a potty break more often than I would have liked.  But, again, at least he didn't just wet himself and he eventually fell asleep and we were able to make it home without incident (Huzzah!).

Friday, December 6, 2013


I was going to post Halloween and Thanksgiving together, but it turns out I have more pictures than I thought I did, so you get two posts in one day!  (Lucky you!)

For this Halloween, Michael actually wanted to dress up!  So I did everything I could to make his dream of being an "orange kitty" come true.  Unfortunately, black is the popular choice for kitty costumes and, apparently, it is a girl thing to dress up as a cat.  So, unless I: A) had a strong desire to try to convince Michael that he really wanted to be a black cat, and B) wanted Michael in a frilly, feathery, or ruffly costume with pink or purple bows on it, I needed to make his outfit myself.  

Thankfully, Michael is a pretty easy kid to please.  I just bought an orange hat and mittens set, an orange shirt, some orange and pink felt, and a bit of fabric paint and Voila! We have an orange kitty!

Here is his costume in all its cute, kitty glory:

He sure does like hitting people (mainly baby Daniel) with that tail.

Here is Michael on Halloween night, psyched to go trick-or-treating for the first time (notice Daniel next to him, dressed as Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates- he was very adorable as well):

Trick-or-treating didn't go as well as I was hoping, as everyone in our townhomes seemed to be either not home or out of candy by the time we got out and about (around 7:30pm- seriously, people?).  Thankfully, the kids still had fun knocking on doors and getting the occasional piece of candy, so it was worth almost freezing to death for.  

I was a bit irritated at the number of people who thought it was hilarious to ask Michael, "What does the fox say?" referring to this bit of weird European eccentricity: What Does the Fox Say (music video).  Of course, it bothered me far more than it bothered Michael (he didn't get that they didn't recognize what he was) because I had worked pretty hard on that costume and my son was an orange kitty, dang it.  

Besides trick-or-treating and trunk-or-treating, we celebrated Halloween season with the local pumpkin patch, which Michael begged to go to almost every day.

He really enjoyed wearing his kitty hat and gloves there, which was nice because they had a little maze where it was easy to lose small children.

...Unless they had small, orange ears poking above the hay bales:

There was also the kernel pit where adults let their children play, not suspecting how much corn their children would be smuggling into their cars and houses with their tiny shoes and diapers.  So much fun!

A new attraction this year was the addition of a few tube slides:

Michael thought they were the greatest thing ever.

Even better than the free funny-face pancake he got Halloween morning from IHOP.  Doesn't his look just like the one in the ad on the table?  Michael did a great job of decorating his pancake, even if he sucked at eating it ("Can I take one bite, Cyndi?").  Oh well, at least it was free.