Tuesday, December 17, 2013


We've recently been very busy getting ready for Christmas. Here are a few of the fun things we've been doing...

When we decorated our tree, we each chose a new ornament for this year. 
Jamie was overjoyed to find a green train ornament.
Jamie had so much fun putting ornaments on the tree! However, his technique needs some work. This picture doesn't really do it justice, but he wanted to put all the ornaments on just a few branches. You can tell where Jamie was working from the big clumps.

We've been reading tons of Christmas stories. Jamie's favorite this year has definitely been How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Like the Grinch, Jamie has a stuffed dog named Max that he inherited from Thomas, and one of his favorite things to do is play like we're in the books we read. So Jamie became the Grinch and we tied a stick to Max's head to make him a reindeer. 

Jamie wrote Santa a letter...

We've made several treats, including almond poppy seed bread that we shared with professors and friends. Jamie loves to help me bake, and he's getting better all the time. He is great at cracking eggs and can identify all the ingredients we regularly use. It takes longer with a helper, but I love it!

Our library branch had a special Christmas storytime one evening, and the kids got to make an ornament...

Jamie made a wiseman crown. He told me I should be a shepherd and had me put "take care of the sheep" on my to-do list.

Today Santa came to the library! This is the second year Jamie's been able to meet him there, and I LOVE it. It was right after our regular storytime so we were there anyway, it was in a place where Jamie is totally familiar and comfortable, there's nothing even remotely commercial about it, and the line's not long at all. And it was actually the same Santa as last year, which I also love! On his first go around, Jamie told Santa he wanted a train and green things. We were at the front of the line and then we went and read stories as usual. We were still there by the time the line ended, so Jamie got to go back and ask him some questions he'd forgotten to ask, such as how the elves make all the toys, if Santa likes snow, and what his favorite kind of cookie is. So cute!

No pictures, but we also had a family movie night and watched The Muppet Christmas Carol, went to a nativity, and have been listening to/singing Christmas carols all the time.

And finally, this is unrelated to Christmas, but today Jamie was taking random pictures with the camera and then asked me to take a picture of his nose. This may be my new favorite picture ever.

Tomorrow morning we have Jamie's preschool Christmas party, and then we'll be headed back to Missouri for even more celebrating!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Before I get to our Thanksgiving activities, here are a few random pictures from earlier in November...
This happened in the approximately 2 seconds I had my back turned.
Jamie giving a conference presentation on puzzles.
We bought a new glider and Jamie played with the box for a couple of weeks! It was a wigwam and the Mayflower and every kind of store you can think of, he decorated it, he nailed and screwed holes in it with his tool set... 
The last time we were home for Thanksgiving, I was pregnant with Jamie. Tennessee only gets Thursday and Friday off of school, so that makes it hard to travel. But this year, since Thomas no longer has classes and also because my parents will be moving in a few months and we'll no longer have all the grandparents in one place, we decided to head to Missouri for Thanksgiving. We had a great trip! Jamie had a fabulous time with his grandparents. His favorite activities of the week were doing all kinds of artsy things with Grammy, working with Grandpa and his tools, helping bake pies, reading about the Smurfs in French, and generally just running around and making mischief. The week went by too fast, but we'll be headed back to Missouri in just over a week!
Jamie loved watching the new mailbox get put in.
breakfast with my friend April
making a birdhouse with Grandpa
playing with Uncle Johnny
filing wood with Grandpa
dinner #1
the boys post-dinner
...and dinner #2!
Jamie "helping" Zoe with her puzzle. He had a great time playing with all the Draper kids!
hiding with Grammy and Papy
and one more shot with Uncle Johnny
We had so much fun and we're looking forward to seeing everyone again (and everyone we didn't get to see!) soon!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

trip to the dentist

Jamie had his first dentist appointment last week, and I am happy to report that he did PERFECTLY. We practiced a lot beforehand, taking turns being each other's dentist, so he knew exactly what to expect and opened his mouth up without even being asked. I was so proud of him! And the dentist gave his teeth a good report, so it was all around a pretty great experience!

Oakes Farm

A couple weeks ago we spent a fun afternoon at Oakes Farm, a local farm with a corn maze and lots of other fun activities. We had meant to go earlier in the season but didn't make it until their last day. I'm glad we managed to squeeze it in because Jamie had so much fun!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

20 weeks

Here's my 20 week belly picture. We're halfway there...unless baby brother decides to pull a Jamie, in which case next week we'll be halfway there :)

Just for fun, here I am at 20 weeks with Jamie. Definitely a little bigger this time around, but the difference isn't quite as drastic as it was a couple months ago.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Halloween festivities

Halloween is Jamie's favorite holiday. He had very seriously been waiting for it for an entire year. After last Halloween, he never stopped wanting to get Halloween books from the library or talking about ghosts, vampires, and witches, so he was one happy boy when the season finally came around again. We had a ton of fun celebrating this year!

We decorated the house (a little bit, kind of)...
some monster decorations we made together
This spider web was short lived but pretty hilarious while it lasted. Jamie really wanted to scare Daddy with it but it fell down before he got home.
 We went to a Halloween party at our library branch...
my little dragon!
bean bag toss
pumpkin craft
feeling "body parts"
 We carved jack-o-lanterns...
Jamie wanted his face upside down because he thought it was scarier that way. And mine originally didn't have the eyebrows, but Jamie insisted it wasn't scary enough so I had to add them.
 We went to Jamie's preschool Halloween party...
decorating a robot mask
bobbing for apples - he totally cheated so his turn lasted all of 3 seconds
Halloween Bingo
pumpkin decorating
playing "Ghost, Ghost, Witch"
Halloween lunch!
We took cups of dirt pudding. Jamie was SO excited about it and put all the worms in. I didn't get any pictures of them but happily we had some left over at home for later!
I couldn't get a very good picture of it, but Jamie loved playing with the vampire teeth he got in his goody bag. It was SO funny.
And, of course, we went trick-or-treating! We had so much fun. Jamie lasted almost 2 hours before wanting to be carried and complaining about being sleepy. He had such a great time!
That was one happy boy...
I'll be interested to see if his love of Halloween continues this next year as much as it did before. Happy Halloween!

tutorials for Jamie's dragon costume -- for the hoodie (I added wings because without them he was indistinguishable from a dinosaur) and for the tail (I used felt for the spikes just because that's what I had used for the hoodie)