Thursday, January 12, 2012


Of all the things I have to play, I’d choose my brother any day.” ~Unknown

Scan 8I have always known the magic of having an older brother because of my brother Matt.  We are 3 years and 11 months apart.  I don’t have one childhood memory without him in it.  Building forts in the living room, turning the couches over and making obstacle courses and hiding friends in the pantry or laundry room when Dad came home for lunch. :)  I think one of my favorite memories is when Matt thought it would be a good idea to move the trampoline closer to the house and then jump off the roof and onto the trampoline.  I’ll never forget how my Dad pulled up in the driveway right as Matt was in mid air.  Scan 5 Scan 2 Scan 4The only world I have ever known is a world with Matt in it.  I know that Ava will feel the exact same way about Michael when she grows up.  I love to see her smile and coo at him when he comes into the room.  I can imagine how I must have responded to Matt when I was her age and how my parents must have loved to see us playing together. Scan 9Scan 6Scan 7Michael and Ava are exactly 22 months apart.  Michael is so sweet and gentle with her.  He loves to sing to her and “read” to her everyday.  He tries to get her to stop crying except during “Super Why”.  He has no patience when his show is on.  Ava was hungry one afternoon and I wasn’t fast enough so she started fussing.  Michael looked at her and said “Hush Ava!” and then he looked at me as if to say “Hurry up Mommy!”, silly boy.  IMG_0115IMG_0152321110_2570933515536_1320206270_2952657_671327365_n305888_2570974396558_1320206270_2952754_1443899789_n

294025_2570926355357_1320206270_2952640_1371333280_n IMG_8403 IMG_8262 Michael amazes me with his ability to count, his singing and his reading.  He has such a sweet spirit and is very sympathetic if someone is hurting.  I can honestly say that each day he teaches me patience and I find yet another reason to love him unconditionally.  I know that I am so blessed with such a beautiful (inside and out) son and Ava is so very fortunate that Michael is her big brother.  IMG_0775IMG_0774I can’t wait to see what things he will teach her and what secrets they will share.  I wish that I could freeze them and keep them this age forever.  There is this connection and bond that they share that is just so precious and loving. IMG_0247 IMG_0240IMG_0243IMG_0244IMG_0246So I’m sure there will be many forts and friends hiding in our future and I couldn’t be more excited.  I know that Michael and Ava will be just as close as Matt and I have been.  Now if we could only live closer.

Monday, January 9, 2012

No More Binkie!!!

I am so glad that I can finally blog about this!  Michael no longer uses his binkie!!!  He finally gave it up after two and a half years.  Actually, before Ava came along, he wasn’t using the binkie at all.  Then when he saw that she used one, he wanted his back.  Since it was a big transition for all of us, we agreed.  I didn’t want to frustrate him anymore because his little world was already upside down.IMG_0363Well, it is no secret that he is in LOVE with the Cars movies.  After watching Cars 2, Michael became obsessed with getting Holley Shiftwell. So began the week long quest to get rid of the binkie!  We made a chart and every day that he didn’t use his binkie, he would get a smiley sticker.  He really enjoyed putting the stickers on his chart.  IMG_0344 IMG_0345 IMG_0346 IMG_0347On Friday, I went to pick him up from Missy’s and I had his chart and Holley in hand.  He put his final sticker on, counted that he had five total and then stated: “Mommy, I want Holley”. I was so excited that I could actually hand her over! Now he says, “I’m a big boy, I don’t need my binkie, I have Holley!”  Yes, my little man, you are growing up and much too quickly. Next stop, potty training!


I love Christmas!  I love the reason we celebrate the season and how God loves us so much that He sent Christ to us as a baby and every year we celebrate His birth. Living apart right now made it a little more difficult to get things set up for Christmas but as soon as we got to our new house with Derin, we set up our Christmas tree.  Michael had so much fun putting on the Christmas lights.  Every morning he would go into the living room and ask me to turn on the Christmas lights!IMG_0554IMG_0553Christmas morning was fabulous.  I woke up earlier than the babies (they enjoyed sleeping in every day) and made our traditional cinnamon rolls (thanks Nana) and then Derin and I woke our babies.  We told Michael Santa had come to visit and he was so excited to go and see the tree and his presents.  IMG_0126IMG_0125IMG_0128IMG_0129IMG_0131After a morning of presents and cinnamon rolls, we all rested and got ready for dinner with Nana and PawPaw.  It was fabulous and the cake my mom made was amazing.  After we ate it was time for round three of Christmas gifts and then Michael’s favorite: Cars 2.  PawPaw brought the projector and we watched Cars 2 all snuggled up while the movie was the size of our living room wall!IMG_0169 IMG_0153IMG_0175 IMG_0194 IMG_0182 IMG_0183 IMG_0187 984977838212 964977838212 275387838212775387838212 508397838212After baths and kisses Nana and PawPaw went home and it was time to say goodnight.  We continued on with our traditions by reading “The Christmas Spirit” by Nancy Tillman.  It is my absolute favorite Christmas book, even more than “The Night Before Christmas”.  I think her book states it best and no matter how many times I read it, especially to my babies, it always makes me cry :

The best part of Christmas will always be…you beneath my Christmas tree”

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Christmas Eve

IMG_0006 Christmas Eve was fantastic this year.  The four of us spent the day with Mamalu, Gigi, Cliff, Lulu and Uncle Craig.  Michael was so excited when we pulled up and he saw the Christmas lights on the house and heard the music playing “Jingle Bells” which is officially his favorite Christmas song.IMG_0019IMG_0013IMG_0016IMG_0018IMG_0008The tree was gorgeous and there were so many presents that you couldn’t even open the door.  Of course Michael saw the presents and said: “For Me!” He has really gotten into the spirit of Christmas or I should really say presents.  He finally understands how to open them and what they are.  Ava of course was just content to stick whatever she got in her mouth.IMG_0080IMG_0088IMG_0083IMG_0037IMG_0116IMG_0095IMG_0098IMG_0045IMG_0112IMG_0113IMG_0102Dinner was fantastic and then it was time for Ava to nap before presents.  Sweet baby held out as long as she could.  It was so fun watching Michael’s face light up when he got his presents.  Each thing was so exciting to him as long as it met these two criteria: Cars (the movie) and Yo Gabba Gabba.  When Gigi gave Michael his new Yo Gabba Gabba Vans he started shouting “Yo Gabba Gabba, Yo Gabba Gabba!”.IMG_0052 IMG_0050IMG_0051Overall it was an amazing day and the best part was spending time with family.  The kids were so tired that they slept the entire way home and Michael could barely wake up long enough to put out cookies for Santa.  IMG_0065