Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Hedgy Turns 7

Our little hedgehog Adam is up a year and down two teeth.  Shortly before his seventh birthday, he lost two more teeth, making him too cute for words.


This year Adam chose to have a movie party since a new movie theater recently opened nearby.  The party was *glorious* for everyone involved:  Adam and his buddies had a great time, and Steve and I just had to show up and watch a movie with the kids.  No cleaning the house, no cooking, no inventing (or copying from Pinterest) party games.  We had a fun time in the party room following the movie. 

The one thing I was responsible for was making cupcakes.  I figured since I really didn't have anything else to do for the party, I should make them good.  (We all know what's coming next...)  So I checked out Pinterest for some movie-themed cupcake ideas!  And, as always, my beloved Pinterest came through:  Cupcakes that look like little tubs of popcorn.  Look at these babies!  Adam and his buddies loved them.

The crew at the movie party.

Adam's movie party was actually held a couple weeks before his real birthday, which is the only way to get friends to come when your birthday is five days before Christmas. 

So we had a little family celebration at our house the night before leaving for Indiana for the holidays...

...And then we spent Adam's real, actual, bona fide birthday in Indiana at Chuck E. Cheese with Poppa and Gangee and the Nichols aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Happy 7th Birthday to our wild and crazy guy!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Andrew's Letter to Santa

Dear Santa Claus,

Please for Christmas I would like:

A go-cart, beyblade stuff, Pokémon DS or 3DS games, any DS or 3DS games, Skylanders, Skylanders Giants, LEGOs, a wagon that you can steer, a foam sword/s, Spy Gear.

I can't think of anything else but, what ya' got?

Andrew M. Nichols

P.S. Please no clothes, they aren't nessicary [sic].

P.P.S. How you do fit through a chimney?

Write back please!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


This year is an "In-Laws Christmas" year for the Moon family, so we all made sure to be home at Mom and Dad's for Thanksgiving.  We decided as long as we were all there and wouldn't see each other for Christmas, we may as well exchange a few gifts and do our annual Yankee Swap. 

Now my children think that they get presents for Thanksgiving and are apparently announcing it to all their friends (as I was informed by a certain young man's first-grade teacher).

We had a close call and almost had to miss the whole thing.  The day before Thanksgiving, Libby woke up with a fever and what was obviously an ear infection.  (Here's something I'm thankful for:  Children who are old enough to say, "Hey, Mom, my ear hurts."  No more guessing whether or not to take the baby to the doctor!)  After I called and got her an appointment with the pediatrician, I came downstairs to find Adam with "that look" on his face.  I know "that look" by now.  It says, "SINUS INFECTION!"  So Adam got to come along to see the doctor, too.  And Dr. Mom was right:  Ear infection for Libby and sinus infection for Adam.  Since both kids were running temperatures on Wednesday, we didn't know if we'd get to go be with everyone the next day for Thanksgiving -- can't be too careful with a new baby in the mix.  Fortunately the antibiotics started doing their jobs quickly, and we were able to go (with Adam and Libby under strict instructions to stay away from Claire).

Honestly, I thought we were past this.  I mean, my kids are the oldest grand kids. Isn't it supposed to be the babies and the toddlers who have the penchant for getting sick at the holidays?  I was so sure we'd outgrown this.  Guess it just proves my axioms:  It's Not Christmas Until...  (Here's another thing I'm thankful for:  Timing.  So much better to be at the pediatrician's the day before Thanksgiving than in the ER the day of!)

Is it Thanksgiving or Christmas?  It's Thanksmas! 
(Thankful for generous aunts and uncles who gave our children such thoughtful gifts!)

The Moon grandchildren:  The count is up to 6!
(Oh, so thankful for these little lives)

Andrew could hardly wait to meet new cousin Claire
(Thankful that my little boy loves babies oh. so. much.)

The oldest and youngest Moon grandchildren
(Thankful I got to spend most of the day holding this sweet, sweet baby)

Aunt Whitney and Cate
(Thankful for Cate's funny little be-bopping personality.  What a sweet little clown she is!)

Uncle Jordan with Libby and Mary Caroline
(Thankful that Uncle Jordan genuinely loves kids!)

We couldn't decide if these were supposed to be Indian headdresses or turkey feathers.  Either way, they crack. me. up.
(Thankful for the friendship blooming between these two.  MC went home referring to Libby as "my best friend Libby."  This mama's prayers are being answered!)

The men outside hard at work drinking beer frying the turkey
(Thankful for kind, hard-working dads, uncles, and grandfathers!)

The kids' Thanksgiving coffee table.  If you're thinking it looks like a Dexter kill scene what with the shower curtain taped to the floor and the coffee table completely covered in a vinyl tablecloth and duct tape...I agree.  (Mom got a new rug and wasn't taking any chances!)
(Thankful that no blood -- or food! -- was spilled this Thanksgiving!)

Sweet little Cate was fascinated with Claire and kept coming by to pat her head and say, "Awwww."
(Just...thankful for everything about this picture.)

Aunt Alison has a new baby girl to crochet for!
(Thankful for all the uncontrollable cuteness)

(See above)

Merry Thanksmas from Ruldolph Adam!
(Words fail me.  Thankful for this picture that is quintessentially Adam Nichols.)

One last thing I'm thankful for? That Aunt Cara took such fabulous pictures of Thanksmas!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lego Party

Andrew is 9!  (9...sigh...I can barely even think about it.) 

Since we have two boys with birthdays right near Thanksgiving and Christmas and life gets a little C.R.A.Z.Y. about then, we have made a policy that one boy gets a big party one year and the other boy gets a big party the following year.  In their "off" years, they are allowed to have a small party with just a few friends.

This was Andrew's "small party" year. Upon being given a few options, he chose to invite four friends over to our house for a Lego party. I'll be honest.  This was a Pinterest party from start to finish.  I can take no credit for doing anything original here.  We are deep in birthday/holiday season at our house, and this time of year it is all I can do to read and follow the instructions of someone more creative than I.  That being said, it was a fun party to put together, and the boys seemed to love all the cool games.  So, thanks, random internet people who posted your great Lego party ideas for me to copy!

our resident 9-year-old waiting for his friends to arrive
 first activity:  guess how many Legos are in the jar!  *answer at bottom of post if you'd like to play along!

build your own race car station

 the boys hard at work building and naming their race cars
Josh with "Go Go Scooter" and Seth with "Speed Machine" in round 1
the other Josh with "Sensitive Speedy" and Andrew with "Speedster 592" in the semi-finals

Seth and Josh racing "Speed Machine" and "Sensitive Speedy" for the championship.  "Speed Machine" pulled ahead for the win!

the boys trying to get as many legos as they could onto their plates in one minute using only straws

Lego skee-ball
table centerpieces:  I asked Andrew to make a utensil holder and a vase of flowers out of Legos...

if you look closely you will see what happens when you ask a boy to make a vase of flowers.  he will add a scary Lego biker skeleton to the edge of the vase...which will make his mom smile.
the party table...before there was pizza and cake everywhere!

the Lego cake...all I can say is, I tried.  (and that I am grateful that 9-year-olds are quite easily impressed!)

the boys providing us with a little armpit/kneepit luncheon music.  we had a quartet going at one point.  really.  you didn't think Andrew's party would be free of armpit noises, did you?

Lego candy!  yes, you really can build with it!  (not that ours lasted long enough for much building...)

A very happy birthday to our sweet little Andrew!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Lesson in Marine Biology

Adam came home from school with a project assignment:  to make an animal habitat diorama.  He decided to do an ocean habitat. 
Since Poppa and Gangee are here for a visit, I decided to ask Poppa to oversee the making of the diorama.  He agreed, and I am thrilled for several reasons.  First, this will be a great memory for Adam.  Second, Poppa enjoys this kind of thing.  Finally, I am slammed with birthday party and holiday preparations, and it is a relief to hand it off (as much as I usually like a good school project).
Poppa is a natural teacher and has been enthusiastically throwing out interesting ocean facts at Adam as they work.  I am beginning to think he is casting pearls before swine, however, because Gangee just reported to me that she overheard the following:
Poppa:  ...and did you know that an octopus doesn't have a regular nose? It has a beak!
Adam:  I really don't care.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Conversation from the Makeup Counter

In the tradition of mothers and daughters everywhere, Libby and I have a little routine in the mornings:  As I put on my makeup, I also "put makeup" on her.  (Translation: I buff dry makeup-free brushes lightly over her face and tell her she is beautiful.)  I love this time with my girl.

However, I may need a little trip to the Clinique ladies because this morning we had the following discussion as I was brushing on "our" makeup:

Libby (very seriously):  Do I look like a clown?

Me:  What? Why would you look like a clown?

Libby:  Remember, a long time ago, you told me if I wore too much makeup I'd look like a clown?

Me (completely flabbergasted she remembered that from so long ago):  No, honey, you don't look like a clown.
(Then, teasing): Do I look like a clown?

Libby (studying me earnestly in the mirror):  Well, yeah, kinda.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

"C" What We've Been Up To This Fall

This fall has been full of fun happenings!  And they are all brought to you by the letter "C."

"C" is for "Cousins."  At the end of September, we got to keep little Cousin Cate for a long weekend while Aunt Abby and Uncle Adam went to Florida.  It was so fun to have a little one toddling around again.  Libby and the boys adored her, and she seemed to enjoy being one of the "big kids." 
Sweet little Cate...so happy to be with big cousin Libby!

Just a couple short weeks later, we welcomed a new cousin -- Cousin Claire!  I had the privilege of going down to Augusta to visit Aunt Lindsay and Uncle Kyle and baby Claire for a few days after they came home from the hospital.  Claire might possibly be the sweetest newborn I've ever met.  (Big ups to Steve for holding down the fort here at home while I was gone!)
One of my favorite pictures of Claire all sacked out, sleeping like only a newborn can
"C" is also for "Costumes."  All of us had the opportunity to dress up this fall!  First, Steve and I were invited to a fun 40th birthday party for some friends.  Pete and Amy were both turning 40, and 40 + 40 = 80.  So...we all dressed up as 80's TV characters.  Steve went as Magnum PI, and I went as Blair Warner from "The Facts of Life."  We had such a good time assembling our costumes!  At the party we mingled with characters from "Charlie's Angels," "Dallas," "Miami Vice," and "Cheers," among others.  I was proud to win "Best Female Costume."  I was not quite so proud to realize during the TV trivia games that I have quite an impressive knowledge of 80's TV trivia.  Hmmmm, what did I spend an inordinate part of my childhood doing? 
Magnum PI and Blair Warner
The kids got to give their Halloween costumes a trial run at their school's Boo Bash a few days before Halloween.  Andrew and Adam had some awesome Mario and Luigi hats that our talented neighbor Tonya had made for her son's birthday party last year, so the boys wanted me to make them Mario Bros. costumes for Halloween this year.  That presented somewhat of a problem as I can barely sew a straight line with my machine.  But, thanks to the miracle of Pinterest, I was able to find an unbelievably easy Mario Bros. costume pattern online, and I managed to make overalls.  (This was purely the result of my genetics...I must have a latent sewing gene inherited from my mom and Grandma Polly.  Thank goodness this gene decided to make an appearance just in time for Halloween!  I am hoping it doesn't go dormant again because I am rather enjoying sewing lately!)

The Mario Bros.

I have to admit that after my success with the boys' costumes, I totally phoned in poor Libby's bunny rabbit costume.  Next year there will be some sort of tutu-ish girly-ness involved, I promise.

My sweet little bunny in her sad little costume...
"C" also stands for "Craziness."  Which is what we experienced on Halloween.  Steve and the kids were trick-or-treating while I held down the fort here and passed out candy.  So I didn't get to witness the craziness personally, but here's what I'm told happened:  Libby went up to a house a few blocks away to ring the bell and say "trick or treat."  Inside the house, right by the door, was a (very ill-natured) parrot sitting on a perch.  When Libby put her finger up to the doorbell, the parrot attacked, punching a hole through the screen door with its beak and biting Libby's finger.  Libby screamed (and bled).  A neighbor, who happened to be an ER nurse, came to Libby's aid and took care of her finger.  Steve went up to the parrot house's door and told the man inside that his parrot bit Libby.  Parrot Dad said, "No, it didn't," and turned away to walk up his stairs. (!!!)  ER Nurse, finished with Libby, began yelling at Parrot Dad because she knew the parrot had bitten Libby.  A screaming match between Parrot Dad and ER Nurse ensued.  Steve was like a deer caught in the headlights -- what just happened here?  The upshot here is that Libby's finger is healing fine.  Our pediatrician's office did not think we needed to worry about any strange tropical bird diseases festering in Libby's finger, so that was a relief!  And now we will always have a crazy Halloween story.  In Libby's (oh, so serious) words:  "I put out my hand to ring the doorbell and get candy.  Only I didn't get any candy.  I got bit."

 Finally, "C" is for "Corn Maze." October got a little wild, and we just could not squeeze in a visit to our cool local corn maze/pumpkin patch/kitschy fall farm place before Halloween. (Naturally this was the year I had bought a Living Social deal, so we had to go because we'd already purchased the tickets.) We decided to go today, even though it's November, and we had a terrific time! The weather could not have been lovelier, and the kids were so much fun. Once again...(almost)9, (almost)7, and 4...best. ages. ever. My heart just swells with loving this season of our lives so much. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.