Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Christmas 2012 - D (Christmas Day)

The boys woke up bright and early (around 6:15am) and a few minutes later came tearing into our bedroom and woke us up.  They declared that Santa had been by and that he didn't finish the hot chocolate that had been left out.  "See, Mom, we should've left chocolate milk!"
Biju called his family in India and we all got to wish them a Merry Christmas.  Aren even gave some kisses over the phone.

After Christmas Mass we came back home and lazed around the house a bit.  I dressed Aren in a little Santa suit.

And he sat in his rocking chair and read a book.
I made up a traditional Christmas meal for all of us.  Traditional for me, anyway.  We had had some delicious Chicken Curry for dinner on Christmas Eve so for Christmas Day I made up some of what we would've eaten had we made it to my parents.  (Even though they actually celebrated a couple of days before Christmas.)
Mashed sweet potatoes w/ marshmallows, ham, a cheese and cracker tray, deviled eggs, rolls, corn casserole.
The boys opened their gifts from each other and from Mommy and Daddy then spent the rest of the evening playing.

Christmas 2012 - C (Christmas Eve)

We were going to go to my parents for our Christmas celebration, as usual, but the van was acting up and we didn't trust taking it on such a long trip and in such cold weather.  We stayed home and had a quiet Christmas Eve and Day. 

Aren reading a book with Gracie nearby.  A book and a kitty - what more could Aren ask for?? 

Christmas Eve we let the boys open one gift ....

It was matching jammies!  Well, not exactly matching, I guess, but they were all Angry Bird pajamas.

And then Aren convinced Ajay to read a book to him. 

Christmas 2012 - B (Christmas Cookies!)

In a previous post I mentioned that I didn't do much baking for Christmas. One thing we did, though, was make some sugar cookies. It was a must - Santa needed something for a snack after he stopped by our house. 


Leave it to a boy to think of the decorator gun as a GUN

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Christmas 2012 - A

As you can imagine our camera is filled with pictures from the Christmas season.  I'll try to limit what I put here so you dont' feel bombarded.

Just a couple to get us started:

Our newly-Texan friends came back for a visit.  It was great getting caught up with them and the kids had a blast playing together.  Aren warmed right up to Angie and enjoyed her lap throughout most of their stay.

And for fun, here is a picture of Alex planting a smooch on Aren's cheek.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Wintertime Excitement

I made up some dipped pretzels before Christmas. Unfortunately, they were only one of two "baking" sessions I had. I always think I want to do all these great Christmas goodies but my oomph runs out too soon. Ritz Crackers and Peanut Butter dipped in chocolate - yum. Easy enough to do, even. But I just didn't get them done.
Anyhoo - the pretzels. Honey Twists dipped in White Almond Bark. That was tasty. I tried the big long pretzels dipped, too, but they weren't nearly as good. Just in case you were wondering for future reference. 
While I was dipping I gave the boys something to do.  More water oriented stuff.  Why?  Cuz I'm crazy like that.  But they did have fun! 

Alex with a syringe and napkins and a couple of cups. 
Aren with a squeeze dropper and a little cup. 
On another day, Ajay was out of school while his old school still held classes.  We delivered some Boy Scout Popcorn to former teachers of his and he got a chance to visit with his old school chums.  Even Alex got to drop by his preschool class to say hello. 
It had snowed that morning and the van slid off an exit ramp.  Luckily - with the help of some angels, I'm guessing - I was able to avoid the car stopped in front of me, the barrier to the left of us and the large metal light pole on our right.  I thought we'd be calling AAA for sure for a tow and dealing with a wrecked van but we were able to drive away without a scratch - only a shaken Mama!
After visiting the school we swung by our old house (yes, it is still unsold, boo!) and I let the boys play in the snow and on their old play set. 
Monkey See Monkey Do!
Ajay couldn't resist taking a taste. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A little Christmas activity

Yes, I'm still blogging about Christmas in January.  I'm a bit behind.  Bear (Bare?) with me while I get caught up.  Eventually I'd like to blog about present day happenings!
Our church had a Visit with Santa day like they did last year.  We assigned Biju to the Santa-Line while the rest of us participated in other activities. 
Face painting was a big hit.  Aren was mesmerized by this clown. He wasn't scared but he couldn't stop staring at her.
And he was perfectly fine with her painting his forehead.  (She thought the forehead would be the best place for the gingerbread man we chose.) 
Ajay chose a skeleton - 
So of course Alex had to choose a skeleton, too. However, the clown had only ever done one skeleton before and that was Ajay's.  She chose to give Alex a stamp - she painted the stamp and then stamped Alex's arm with it.  
(Really, Kalinda, is this the best photo you got??) 
 Biju called us over for our turn to sit with the man in red.  They each got little stuffed animals, too.  (Last year they all got huge stuffed animals - I prefer this year's smaller sizes!) 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Learning how a spoon works

Some foods are easier to learn with than others. 
Yogurt is such a messy ordeal with a toddler.
And when all else fails, hold the spoon in one hand and go in with the other.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A dreaded four-letter word

You know how some say what you fear most will be drawn to you?  You worry about something too much and it will happen?  No, our house didn't catch on fire (huge fear of mine) but our children did manage to get lice. 
I'm sorry if I just made your head itch.
I'm guessing it came from the school bus??  No idea. 
This happened over a month ago and I haven't seen one creepy crawly bug or any nits since the day I treated their heads.  But it wasn't any fun getting everything washed up! 
Ajay has had dry/itchy scalp for months and he has been scratching at his head since the summer.  When he started at the new school the school nurse checked him and declared him to be bug free but that he did have dry scalp. 
Just plain coconut oil wasn't helping and I felt bad seeing the poor kid scratch and scratch so I looked up natural ways to help.  I read that tea tree oil is good for dry scalp and I already had some on hand.  No, never mind, I couldn't find my bottle, must've gotten lost in the move. 
So I had Biju pick up a bottle while he was out.  Oh, and by the way, while you're there could you pick up some Peppermint oil for some toothpaste I'd like to make up and some Eucalyptus oil for Aren - it should help his cough.  Thank you very much.  What did you say?  All of those are on sale, and so is the lavender oil?  Sure, pick up another bottle of that, I'm almost out. 
I plunked Ajay at the kitchen table that evening and started looking through his hair to see if I could see any dandruff flakes and put on some TTO.  I didn't see flakes but I did see something that looked like dandruff but wouldn't come off of the hair.  I got the "oh crap" feeling in my stomach and started looking more.  Yup.  Lice confirmed.  Check Alex - yes, him too.  AAARRGGGHH!!
So I then looked up a way to treat lice without having to slather on the poisonous shampoos.  I found a recipe that called for coconut oil (check), Tea Tree Oil, Lavender Oil, Peppermint Oil, Eucalyptus Oil and Rosemary Oil.  Are you kidding me??  Except for the Rosemary, we had brand new bottles of everything else needed! 
I made up the concoction (minus the rosemary) and wrapped the boys' heads with towels and put on a movie for them to watch.  I checked Aren and didn't see anything (whew!).  I then went from room to room and started collecting EVERYthing I could so I could start the washing. 
We rinsed off the boys and I didn't feel like sitting with a nit comb (didn't have one that Saturday night anyway) so we just got out the clippers.  Buzz, there went their hair and all the little bugs with it. 
Next morning I double checked Aren, just in case.  Crap.  How did I miss that last night??  I didn't want to use the essential oil treatment on him, I thought it would be too strong for his young system.  Instead, I had read about a Vaseline treatment (which isn't all that good for him either, with all the petroleum in it).  I slathered up his little head until he looked like a little grease ball and let that stay on him all day.  Then I washed (and washed and washed) his hair and tried to use the nit comb that Biju had bought that day.  You try nit-picking through an 18 month olds hair.  He's a patient kid but even he got a little bored with what I was doing.  So with great trepidation I buzzed his hair off, too. 
I'm glad to restate that we are a lice-free household.  It is something I never hope to go through again. 
Here are our "Baldilocks" as Biju calls them....
 A couple days worth of growth coming in.  And Aren signing "kitty"

Friday, January 11, 2013


I needed Aren to stay busy back at the beginning of December.  I can't remember what I was doing and I'm sure it isn't all that important, maybe I was cooking lunch or something.  Anyhoo, I wanted to keep him busy in his booster seat with something other than food. 
I started rummaging through our activity drawers and found a book I bought Ajay for one of our flights to India long ago.  This is a coloring book, of sorts.  The kind where all you do is "paint" with water and a picture appears. 
The set originally came with a little paint brush that was also a tube.  The tube held water so it was all self contained.  Water/Brush and pre-colored pages.  Perfect for a toddler.  That brush got chewed up, however, as most toddler toys do.  Am I right? 
The book is still fun, you just need to give the toddler a paint brush and a cup of water.  Fine for about 42 seconds.  Aren sure enjoyed himself, though!  And it kept him happy (albeit wet) whilst I did whatever it was I was doing.
 After this fun I decided to give the little guy a snack.  He wanted to share his cracker with Hut-Doh (Elmo, for those of you not in the know!) 

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The start of Advent

To start off Advent we laid out a calendar my mom had given us. 
 This night the activity was to read a bit from the bible and then use play dough to make the characters.

Ajay made an angel....
Alex made a happy face...
And Aren tried to eat his portion of the dough so he was given something else to hold onto.

Warm start to December

The beginning of December was quite warm here!  I couldn't believe it was in the 70's - of course I'm posting these pictures in January and it has definitely cooled down.  Quite cold now.  But a month ago, my boys were running around outside wearing shorts and flip flops!

Alex playing hopscotch with his buddies from down the street.  These are 5 year old twins.  They will turn 6 right about the same time Alex turns 5.  (They also have 8 year old twin siblings, another boy/girl set!)
This is a little bench I found on the street near our old house years ago (I couldn't let the trash guys come and take it!!).  I didn't have anything to do with it while at the other house and we almost sold it at our yard sale last spring.  So glad we held onto it - Aren loves to go out and sit on it!
 The twin neighbors and another neighbor, who is in Ajay's class, came in to help us decorate our tree.