Thursday, December 3, 2009

Is It Christmas Yet?

Day 3
Oh my goodness, I am exhausted. Not from the Christmas fun, but from life. Today was a take it slow day due to all the excitement the night before. Like I mentioned yesterday, Austin got his shots after a delayed one year check up. He really has a bad reaction to shots, and last night proved to be no different. Eric put him down at one point, out of necessity and Austin cried so hard because his little legs hurt to walk. He actually got down and army crawled into the kitchen just to be picked up again. He never has army crawled, even when he was little. And night time was worse. He woke up so often crying in pain. It just breaks your heart you know. Eric and I prepared ourselves for a long night, only to have our plans change at 10:30pm when Tanner woke up screaming cause his ear hurt. This is his third one in a year, so we recognized the signs immediately. Unfortunately there was no calming him down and apparently this one was pretty bad because he too had a sleepless night which meant we did too. I visited the Dr. nice and early again this morning only to joke that I would probably be back in with my oldest tomorrow. I am praying that the comment I made DOES NOT come true. But even without the fun times the kids are creating I am sick and over worked with a months more work to do.

But even with all the things on my plate I was determined not to let the 25 day count down fail. So tonight, we packed up and went out to Granite Bay where they have their annual nativity viewing. I took some photos for the even the first year, and it has been wonderful to see how much it has grown.

The kids really wanted to see all the different donkeys and sheep and Tanner couldn't have been more excited when he found a camel. We didn't stay long because little fingers can only not touch something for so long, but it was truly beautiful to see.

We still had a little time before bed when we got home, so we brought the tree in from outside. Ty helped 'direct' it and Tanner was in awe at the size of the tree in his house. After we got it set up we did need to move it back a little so Eric got down to move it with his feet. He quickly had one furry and one little helper to make the job... easier?

So the tree looks great and the front room is really coming together and should be done by Saturday night. Those pictures should be awesome!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wrapping, Planning and more Wrapping


This year I do have a goal of having all the gift wrapping done before the 15th. I am a chronic procrastinator with the wrapping and usually I am up way too late on Christmas Eve, making a late night run to the store for more tape, and totally irritated that I hadn't wrapped the presents sooner. So this year, it will be done early. But not this early. Ha, who am I kidding. With my goal of the 15th in writing, I will probably wait to the 15th. But today, I got my fingers warmed up.

The kids and I are going to low to no cost decorations around the house this year. So today, we turned up the holiday meter around the home by doing a little wrapping of our own. What did we wrap you say? Picture frames. Yep. We covered all the picture frames in the living room to give it a little color. The boys helped with the tape, which actually ended up double the amount of tape being used, but they really enjoyed their job. We have a few big frames that we cover (like 40x30) and all Tanner could keep saying was, 'Wow, that's soooo big Mom.' We are going to add bows in the morning cause we ran out of time tonight. But I think it is something fun and different.

Austin wasn't feeling too hot today after he got some shots, so he just sat and watched as his brothers made him laugh. Hopefully he'll feel better soon cause everything is more fun when Austins is involved.

And then we sat down and made a list of everything we want to do this month. I already had a great list put together, but I had the boys add some suggestions, and prompted some others. We then made a calendar and added some things to it. We taped the list on the back to fill things in as we go. I didn't want to commit to too much right now as I know things will change, but we have some great ideas in the works and I can't wait to see the calendar fill up.

Now off to clean up the mess and finish the frames that the tape, ummm, "missed" while getting wrapped.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

25 Days of Christmas

Happy Holidays Everyone! Christmas is here once again. For me, the season always seems to be gone for way to long, then it hits you in the face before you are ready for the full impact of the season. Last year I had just had little Austin which truly changed my regular Christmas routines. Memo to me... no more babies around the holidays. (Well, I guess that only goes for the one more we are planning on in the future unless I completely loose my mind somewhere along the way and want more in which case I really hope someone throws cold water on me and reminds me that four is my personal limit, for sanity reasons.) Anyway, back to the topic at hand. So as I was say, last year wasn't very festive for me. I remember barely getting my tree decorated in time of the holidays. Eric was about to start at a new company and we buckled down on the gift buying, and I mean really buckled down. (Which was actually a plus, but really threw off my groove of Christmas shopping, which I actually LOVE) We looked at Christmas lights regularly with the kids, but there were no other decorations around my home to help make my days merry and bright. I remember I went right back to work taking pictures after the baby was born and was SWAMPED with work onto top of having a new born. So blah, blah, blah, long story short, the season came and went last year and I didn't ever feel a thing in the way of the Christmas spirit I love so much. So this last week, as I prepared for the month ahead, I took some time to sit back and enjoy life. The week of Thanksgiving was one of the most enjoyable weeks I've had in a while. I spent time with my mom, my family, my friends and my work. It was a busy week, but every day held so much joy and love I couldn't help but want that to spread over into the next month.

So I have decided, to really make this Christmas real and tangible, my family and I will do something in the Christmas spirit every day. Yep, EVERY SINGLE DAY. It might be doing decorations, or caroling. Maybe just making some Christmas cookies and watch a Christmas movie as a family. I know this weekend we have several things planned, and by tomorrow the family and I will have something on the calendar to do each day until Christmas. I am especially excited to teach the boys about the true meaning of Christmas and hope to have them understand what it means to feel that spirit of love and joy this holiday season.

So today, being the first of our 25 days, what a better thing to start with that getting a tree. We headed out after dark to find the perfect tree.
Eric and I toyed with the idea of a fake tree, which I had not intention of ever considering.... ever! And after we looked at some last night, we both came to the conclusion that fake trees just aren't our style. (No offense to anyone who sports a fake tree. More power to you. But after 26 years of real trees, I can't give it up.) It is a process for me to find a tree, and gratefully Grandma and Grandpa also came along so I could inspect the trees one by one while the kids ran around the lot.
Austin snuggled right into Grandma when we arrived. I caught this cute picture of him smirking as he rested his head on her shoulder as he had the warmest spot on the lot.
Tyler freaked out the tree lot dog at one point and in turn really worried me too. He was playing in between the trees, and while we knew the general area he was in, no one really had an exact whereabouts as to his location. As Eric got closer and closer to him, Ty let out a loud growl to scare him. Apparently it was a rather loud growl because the dog on the lot heard it too and came braking and snarling in Ty's direction. My mom hairs went up and I quickly looked around for my son. My mom took off running to find him too. Luckily the owners called the dog off and Eric was close enough to Ty to keep him from any real danger. But god to know that Ty can growl well enough fake out a dog.
After the perfect tree was found, we all headed over to Starbucks for a camel apple cider and a quick update of the days events from the whole family. We ended back a my place for a few quick Christmas gifts (I'll grab pictures of them in the morning) from my mom, just to help keep this holiday going in style.
This is my day #1 of my Christmas count down. I can't wait for tomorrows events. Keep the good times coming!!

Monday, November 30, 2009


Tanner, my sweet Tanner, what joy you bring me. Laughter, and confusion, and an absolute love for the innocence of your mind.

This is a photo I sent to my family the other morning with the quote, "I've only been up for an hour and he's already stuck."

But today was another day, filled with stories and moments only Tanner could create.

It started very early this morning, just after Eric had left for work and Ty was taken to school. All was seemingly calm in the Lawrence house as we wait for 9 am to roll around so Tanner could also go to school. I was in my room when I heard some rather loud grunting noises. Since the baby was with me, that could only leave one other person grunting like that (I eliminated to dogs, just out of pure hope that no dog could make a noise like that). I debating checking out the commotion because I couldn't pin-point the location of the grunting. If it was coming from the bathroom, I most definitely did not want to intrude. But having the motherly instinct that I have I choose to investigate on the chance that this was something other that a bodily function. As I walked down the hall the grunting continued and started to grow louder. To my relief the sound was originating form Tanner's bedroom, but this also made me quicken my pace as I had no idea what on earth he could be doing in there to be causing such a ruckus. As I entered his room I saw Tanner, on the floor, pulling a exercise trampoline with all his might from under his bed. I started laughing as I asked what he was doing. He replied most certainly, 'Mom, I NEED my trampoline out.' He was so determined I dared not ask more questions and instead offered my assistance. I pulled the trampoline into the living room where he bounded onto it. I then asked one question as I was very curious to the response. 'Tanner, why do you need a trampoline this morning? You haven't used that in years.' He looked at me with such a face, I saw a flash into the future where Tanner is a teenager giving me a look, 'like duh Mom', that I had to stifle my laughter. But nothing could prepair me for what he did next. He stood up tall, walked over to me, held my hand and said, 'Mom, I need to do my exercises like GG.' and without a second look, walked over and started to stretch.
Now, my Grandmother has been stretching every morning for as long as I can remember. I can remember times as a little girl, sitting and watch, but most of the time getting up and joining in the fun. My little ones have carried on this tradition as they too have stretch with GG when we are visiting. The only thing odd about Tanner's actions was the fact that GG hasn't been to visit in several months, and he has said nothing about it, even when she was here, until today. So as I watch in amazement at his memory, he laid on his back with his legs high in the air as he stretched. But my laughter quickly came again as he moved into the next stretch, which included him putting his bottom high in the air while on all fours and wiggling. I am pretty sure my Grandma never did that move with him.
My entertainment was cut short as it was time to take him to school, but the wait for the next Tanner moment was short as there was a story waiting for me as I picked him up from school. His teacher grabbed me and told me that Tanner had asked if Santa was real. Are you kidding? The kid is 3 1/2. He isn't suppose to ask that yet!! But she assured me that he now understands the he is real and he's okay with that. But he did have a little problem with Santa's sleigh See, according to Tanner, it isn't Reindeer's that pull Santa's sleigh. No Rudolf for Tanner. Instead, big wolves pull Santa's sleigh according to Tanner. Really Tanner, wolves, big wolves? Who has this kid been hanging out with. Seriously. So naturally when I got in the car with him I reviewed some basic Christmas facts. Santa's real, he lives in the North Pole, Baby Jesus, the true meaning of Christmas, and that REINDEER pull the sleigh. I am not sure if he real believed the last one or if he just wanted to talk about something else. But he didn't ask any more questions or tell me any other creatures that somehow made their way into the Christmas season, so I moved on too.
I thought after the last three hours there was nothing left to make his Tanner day moments. But I was wrong. I got home and started looking over both boys work from school that day. The last paper I pulled out was a letter to Santa Tanner had made during class that day. I smiled as I stared reading.

Dear Santa,
I would like a big T-Rex. and a ducky dinosaur and a ankylosaurus. (This kid is so into dinosaurs it's crazy. He knows all of their names and how many fingers they have. Truly, ask him how many fingers they have, he'll tell you.) Tyler wants a pterodactyl and a goat. (Actually Tanner wants the pterodactyl and a goat, but maybe Ty will share) Baby Austin wants a baby rhinoceros. (Um, okay, why not?) Daddy wants a fast car. (Cause Mommy always beats him) Mommy wants a new baby. I have been a good boy.

Wait! Did I read that right. I thought I wanted a few things, but how in the world did he come up with a new baby? I asked him about it and he said, 'It's time for another one.' This brought me back to a conversation we had in the car about a week ago. Tanner was confused as to why I wasn't his sister too. Once we straightened that out he wanted to know why he didn't have a sister. I tried my best to explain in 3 year old terms. I don't think I did very well though because when I was done he said, 'So go get one Mom.' This Christmas list is a keeper. Too cute.

So all that before noon. The rest of the day was semi-uneventful and Tanner land merged with Tyler-world which creates a whole new planet that I can not even begin to describe. We filled it with a visit to Grandpa's work, a quick stop at a friends home, dinner with Dad and a very loud trip to Target. He is now sound asleep, upside down and backwards in his bed, the way I find him most nights. He is probably dreaming of some dinosaur land where he is King of the dinosaurs and rules all. Or maybe he is riding on a big red tractor, which he reminds me almost daily that he wants, tending to his animals on the farms including the goats (or 'doats' as he calls them) which are his favorites. He is getting plenty of rest because you never know what adventures tomorrow will bring for him, in Tan-Land.

Tanner you often bring so much love and humor into my life, may you always stay that way.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

90 Years of Greatness

At the beginning of this month we had a birthday party for my Mom's Mom. It was her 90th so her kids wanted to throw a big party for her. I volunteered to plan it. I mean come on, a huge party, and I don't have to pay for it.... done. It was a lot of fun. It started out simply with designing the invitations which is one of my favorite things to do. Then some more planning, food ordering and program planning was put into motion. By the time the party rolled around there had been countless hours of prepping, creating and executing, but looking back, it was really a nice success. My biggest stress is I am a big picture kind of person, and sometimes details are missed, but overall, I think I hit 95% just fine.

My cousin offered to play the piano for the event, which was a nice touch.
We collected artifacts from her home from her many travels around the world. My mom and I also made a dvd of some slides she had from her travels. My Grandma has literally traveled the world, and it was a really neat experience seeing some of those photos and imagining the stories behind them. I also did a dvd of some photos of her throughout her life. I love old photos, they have so much character, and it was exciting creating a story with them.
We held the party at her church, and any of you who have decorated the inside of church gym can appreciate my desire to add a little something extra to the room to change the mood. With a lot of thought and a little man power, we really did a nice job of creating an ambiance that was perfect.
And my boys, oh my boys did soooo well. We traveled to Reno early that morning and they just had to hang out ALL DAY. And they were angels. I was so proud of them.
The only time there was a little oops is when we forgot to take the punching balloons away from Tanner after the party had started. One landed on some guests food. All I could say was, 'At least it didn't spill all over you.' Oops.
After the party the family all headed out to dinner to wrap up the evening and have more cake. While the event was a big one, I really had a nice time learning more about my Grandma and her many experiences throughout her rich and eventful life. She is an extraordinary lady and I can't wait to plan her 100th Happy Birthday Grandma.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Party In The USA

This is a result of my unproductive weekend.
Enjoy. I am sure there will more to come.

Here is the link in case this screen cuts it off.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween from Start to Finish


Halloween is a great time here in the Lawrence house. The month typically starts off gradually with a trip to a pumpkin farm or two, and by the end we have more candy than we know what to do with and we are pooped!!

Well this year proved to be no different if not more intense. We did start off with a visit to a pumpkin patch just north of here. It's my favorite one, and Tyler's class was the only chance we were going to have to head up there, so I packed up the other two little ones and we followed the bus up. Tyler was so excited about riding a big yellow bus. It was his first time and you would have thought it was cooler than a ride at Disneyland. Memo to me, next time I need a good bribe, offer a ride on a bus. But because I didn't officially go with Ty's class, I just followed them up, I was able to go with the flow and do what Tanner wanted to most of the time. His main focus was the animals. They had a great petting area, and I think we spent most of our time in there. He was in Heaven. And Austin really gets a kick out of the animals too. We did hop on the hay ride with the class to get our pumpkins. I love picking the pumpkins right off the vine. Some year I'll go up there early in the morning when the sun is just right and get some great shots. I offered to drive Ty home, but by the look on his face you would have thought I threatened his life! So he rode the bus home. Again, that was the highlight of his trip. Not the pumpkins, the train ride or the animals, but the bus.

Following our trip up to the big pumpkin farm, Tanner's classes hit the local farm here in town. He couldn't wait to see more 'doats.' Tanner loves animals, but he says their names all funny. Like 'doats'. You can sit there and have him say g, g, g, g, and it all sounds normal, but then you ask him to say goats and you get 'doats' every time. There are also 'shurkeys' and 'yions' and 'tows' and he loves them all. Eric even got to come with us to one of the two trips here in town, and it was fun to have him with us.

A funny story from that trip was at one point we all stopped at the haystack for the class photo. Around the haystack are tunnels and slides and things for the kids to do. I was taking pictures of Austin when I saw another little class sitting on the haystack singing Halloween songs for their parents. But as I looked again at the class, I noticed a little boy at the end of the row, with a huge grin on his face, listening to the music, that looked a lot like Tanner. Wait a minute I thought, THAT IS TANNER. I went and tried to pull him down because parents were trying to take pictures of the class and listen, but he wanted so badly to stay and sing. A few other parents said it would be fine to let him sit there, so he did. He would sing the songs he knew with them and sit and listen to the ones he didn't. Can you tell he is really shy??

One day we even just face painted using my make-up. Noticed I said one day, but it was still fun, just that once.

So with a week to go life got crazy. There was a costume dilemma. Tanner really wanted to be a T-Rex and Ty wanted to be a pterodactyl. Well, there are no pterodactyl costumes and all the T-Rex ones online looked ridiculous. So I pulled on my mom pants and went to work on making costumes this year. That lasted for about a week and the I gave up. Eric talked Ty into being optimus prime and megatron obviously went to Tanner. They seemed satisfied with the choices until Tanner realized that he actually really wanted to be a dinosaur. He's really into them right now, and it only seemed right to let him be one. So I found one on craigslist but it was in Elk Grove. I felt the trip would be worth it because it was what he really wanted. The next day when I gave him his costume he was elated. So worth it, I thought. I pulled our box of costumes out to find something for Austin and Ty found his bat costume from last year and begged to wear it. Ahhhh, what is the point of buying costumes. Tanner found a pirate costume in there too and he also changed his mind. And there goes the trip to Elk Grove. I decided since we literally had a weeks worth of trick or treating to do and various events to attend in costume, I wouldn't fight it too much and we would switch it up. We did everything from a few church party, a party at Oakmont High School with Grandpa, class parties, Old Town Roseville Halloween night and of course regular old around the neighborhood trick or treating. We actually skipped a few of the planned events simply due to overload. The boys switched and swapped costumes almost every time, and Austin was Squirt the turtle once, but his real winner of a costume was a Little Stinker. He was the perfect little skunk and I know I think he's always cute, but literally people would stop and ask if they could take his picture the costume was that cute. I think it was because he's almost the right size to be a skunk, and when he was walking around, it totally looked like it could be real. Halloween night while going door to door he actually was invited into some homes so other members of the family could see him. It was really cute.

Oakmont Party with Grandpa

Austin being a true little stinker at Tanner's class party

Tyler's Class Party

One of the many nights in costume

Random people would stop and watch him.
Austin stopped in the middle of the street and put his bottom up in the air. Just for the camera I think.

And now, we are exhausted. Hence the reason it took me so long to post about it. I am just now recovering!! But looking at all these pictures makes me want to do it all over again. Happy Halloween!!