Tuesday, December 31, 2013

.miss m is one.

This past week as I reflected back on that cold December Thursday of last year, and all the unexpected things that happened (like the car breaking down), I'm filled with so much love for you little miss.  You came into this world so easily, and without much fuss, and you have maintained that persona  throughout pretty much your first year of life.
You go with the flow and seem to only to speak your unhappiness when you are tired.  Daddy likes to call you the "SP" (spoiled princess) when that happens.  We joke about this, because you are generally a most pleasant child.
This past month you have really become a full blown walker.  You can get yourself up from sitting to standing without any help, and can move quite quickly.  You have also discovered the stairs, and can climb them faster then anything I've seen.  You still have to figure out the whole coming down them, but it will come with a little more time.
You still only have two teeth, but that hasn't slowed you down at all.  You eat almost anything I make...including pork chops.  I have a love hate relationship with you being able to feed yourself.  On one hand it frees me up to eat or do dishes, but then I'm left with an even bigger mess to clean.   However, you are still far cleaner then your older brother.

Among your favorite things:
-Wrestling with daddy
-Playing peek-a-boo with mommy
-clapping objects together to make noise
-any and every sippy cup you can get your hands on
-teeth (you are so fascinated with what's in our mouths)
-doggies (your cuddle blankets)
-bringing your toys over to show mom and dad

We enjoy watching you grow and change, but wish time would slow down just a bit.  This is such a fun age, when the world is opening up more and more.  We love our miss Meg and can't believe you are already a whole year old.  You make our family more complete and happy, and we love you so much!!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

.wrapping up Christmas.

The year is wrapping up, and we are gearing up for the coming of a brand new year and the adventures that await us in 2014.  This holiday season has been simple and wonderful.  Cutting back on a lot of the "extra" of the season, was just what I needed this year.  The things we did do, were family and Christ centered, which brought a special spirit into my heart.  Of course Christmas is just plain magical with children.  The morning of Christmas, Finn scampered up the stairs to find the tractors that Santa had left, and could hardly be pulled away to open anything else.

 dumping the contents of the stockings out
 completely mesmerized by the big big loaders...notice Meg soaking it all up with bottle in hand
 all Meg wanted to do was suck on Finn's camelback and hold onto a fruit snack package...Christmas with an almost one year old.
This is seriously how Finn spent 60% of the day

Despite my best efforts of only buying a few toys and books, it seems like the kids made quite a haul between family and friends.  Now I have to find somewhere to put it all.

Following close on the heels of Christmas was Miss M's first birthday.   It's just one big party over at the Hoffman's!
 The spread...as if we hadn't had enough sugar
 Meg's star cupcakes
 I couldn't get Meg to sit still for a picture...or get my phone back.  She's almost a full bi-ped now.
 I did however capture Finn's elusive smile.

 tentative first taste
 needing a mid-meal drink
 She's got some serious stink eyes when she's tired
 Grandma Sullivan and Aunt Kay had to show Meg how to get into the gifts
 She seemed especially interested in this toy from Grandma and Grandpa Hoffman
I still can't believe she's already one!

Amongst all the celebrations and festivities, I hit the half way mark on pregnancy #3.  Pregnancy with two young children is taking it's toll as my energy level is always hovering just above empty, so most days it's just mind over matter.  I haven't managed to maintain any kind of exercise regimen, and seem to be hungry all the time still, but at this point I'm just getting myself to May.  This past week I have totally taken advantage of Roy being home.  As I make my way up the stairs around 8 in the morning I just tell him, "I'm on vacation".  If any of you are still wondering what we are having...so are we...it's a surprise.  We have one of each and this will probably be our last one, so we thought we would go for it.  But here is a sneak peek of the little one just the same.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

.making our way through december.

With only about a week left until we reach the zenith of December festivities, we have managed to fill our days with lots of winter fun that can only be enjoyed during this time of the year.
The first Saturday we made an impromptu visit down town to see the lights and enjoy a bit of the festivities.  It turned out to be a pretty good day to go since it seemed less crowded, and we even enjoyed the beginning of the snow storm as we were finishing up the lights.
 We of course had to take the train down, a special treat for mr. finn, Meg had a good time too.
After the lights, we made our way to the quickest and warmest place for food suitable for a toddler...the food court.  We warmed up with our pizza, grabbed a quick treat at the chocolate factory, and boarded our train back south.  I love seeing the lights, but I'm also glad it's a once a year thing.  Dragging young kids through the masses of people wears me down quick.

Since the last storm, it has been bitterly cold and the air is the pits with this inversion.  I figure all my babies (including #3) would do well to avoid breathing it, so we've had a lot of indoor time this past week.
 we've been discovering old "new" toys to enjoy
 constructing candy houses ( or praying, as it appears to be happening in this picture)
 eating the candy off the house
 Both kids were really excited about all the candy readily available.  Needless to say, the gingerbread house is slowly being whittled down piece by piece.
 Spending cozy mornings watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas
 Playing new apps on the I-pad (can you tell this boy likes to not wear clothes?)
Making and especially eating sugar cookies

We are hoping for a bit warmer weather and snow for sledding, but that seems more and more unlikely before Christmas.  Oh well, in the mean time we will make the most of our winter time together.

Friday, December 6, 2013

.simplifying Christmas.

It's seems that this time of year can become completely lost in all the hustling around to get the numerous tasks that inevitably come up in preparation for Christmas.  Although some of it is unavoidable, and in some cases, even enjoyable and fun, I wanted to cut down on a lot of the excess this year.  I suppose most of it started with decorating "low key" as to avoid any extra clutter that might hinder a house showing.  As I went through the box filled with Christmas fun, I selected only a few of our favorites to display.  Of course we had to have our tree...a real one...which we got for under $30 on black Friday.  I refuse to buy a tree over $40, and now understand why my mom always, despite our protests, found the cheaper trees and convinced us that the bare spots gave the tree character (you're awesome mom!).  Finn helped me pull out the ornaments and would give me long dialogs about each one.
The perfect set up if you have curious babies.

Next we set out our advent train.  This is probably Finn's favorite decoration as he gets to open a door everyday for a treat.  I also put in a scripture about Christ's birth for each day to keep us focused on what we are celebrating.  This has become a special thing for Finn and I to share every morning after Miss M has gone down for a nap.  We will sit and read the scripture, and I will explain what it means while he sucks on his candy.  It's my favorite time of day!

Besides a wreath on my door, the only other Christmas thing I have up is my nativity.  I used it for our family night to explain to Finn what was so important about Christmas.  I explained about how special the little baby was, and how he was born in a stable.  We showed him the angel and the star, and the shepherd and the wise men.  It was a simple lesson, as all lessons with a two year old have to be, but he knows the baby is Jesus and that all those people came to see him because he was important, and that is a good start.

So with our simple decorations, we are keeping it simple in pretty much every other way.  Gifts and activities are going to be on a small scale again this year.  We will go and see the lights some night (hopefully if it warms up a bit), get out and do some snow activities, and a few other get together with friends and family, but not much else...and I'm ok with it.  Santa is off the list for a few more years because I can just tell that Finn will not be into that.  He is so not a stranger person...even if it's Santa.
 can you tell this kid loves snow...especially eating it


With the gifts almost all purchased, Christmas cards all sent, and festivities underway, I can say we are ready for a simple and enjoyable Christmas season!

Monday, December 2, 2013


We are nearing the end of our entire first year of Meg...how can that be?  I still look at you and think you can only be 6 months, especially since you are still so short, but you are indeed an almost one year old.  The big development these past few weeks is that you have become a bi-ped.  I catch you walking to and fro between couches, tables, and chairs so much that I almost forget that you have just recently acquired this skill.  You seem so excited with yourself for performing such a feat, and are constantly grinning when you reach your destination without a fall.
With all your new found freedom, you have become even busier.  Church is especially challenging when you see other babies and their toys or sippy cups across the room.  It becomes a total obsession to get to the thing you want, and it takes a lot of distraction to keep you occupied.  Even with being so busy, you are still SO so SO good!  We put up our Christmas tree this week, and you have just sat watching the lights but never grabbing or climbing on or around it.  It has been wonderful to have all the new decorations up and not worry about you wanting to grab everything.
Something that your dad and I have totally loved about you recently is that you have become so snugly.  You give sweet hugs and love to be nuzzled and kissed.  Your brother was and still isn't much of a lover,  but you are, and it is WONDERFUL!  I love how different you two are, because it seems like I get the best of both worlds.
I think you will be a very easy going older sibling, and go with the flow so well.  I'm sure that is why we had you as our number two.  I can't imagine a more perfect baby to have if I'm going to be having another one so close.  God gave us a great blessing when he gave us you!