Saturday, December 31, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Christmas is so much fun with children! As the boys counted down towards the "big day" they got more and more excited for the mysterious packages under the tree.

They were up bright and early, but Mommy and Daddy were up even earlier than they were! We opened gifts as a family in the morning, and Collin's father, sister and niece came later in the day for Christmas dinner.

The older boys opening a present for Finnian, who could care less about the gifts under the tree.

The boys helping Daddy open a present.

Baby Finnian enjoying his new toy cellphone.

My new Ott light (craft light)! I was pleasantly surprised, as is evidenced by the look on my face.

Latham being goofy.

Funny enough, I wrapped his Finn McMissile in an old diaper box, and he was happy thinking that he got diapers! Of course, he was happier when he saw the toy inside.

Ronan had been asking for this old-fashoined pinball game from the Cabela's catalogue for months.

Once the extended family arrived, we had more gifts to open. By now, Finnian was getting the hang of it. Looking on are cousin Lauryn and Aunt Teresa.

Modeling his new sweater.

Ronan's big gift of the day was his very first real gun! He was so excited because he loves to go to the local gun range with Daddy. Latham took it pretty hard that Ronan got a gun and he didn't, but he was assured that when he is old enough, he'll get his own too.

Papa and Ronan had a good time playing with "Lincoln Logs".

Mommy and Baby Boy #2

Finnian got a walking toy, but he actually took his first steps (unaided) on the 17th of December! Watch out world!

The feast that Collin and I prepared. We prepped the evening before, and it was so easy to get it out on the table the next day - no stress!

Merry Christmas!

On the 26th we drove up to Canada to celebrate with the Holte side of the family - that meant more presents!

Bubba and Latham

Sorry Mom, this is the only picture that I have of you so I had to include it to prove you were there.

Call me weird, but yes, I did ask for a small vacuum for Christmas. I asked for a steam mop too (and I got it from Collin). Anything to make my job as a stay-at-home mommy easier, right?!?

Check out the belt around Latham's waist. Lately, both older boys have a fascination with belts and a few days before Christmas Ronan asked me, "Mommy, can you please, please, please get me a belt?" Auntie Delta obliged. A week before Christmas Latham noticed that his pants had belt loops and excitedly exclaimed, "Look, my pants have belt holders! My pants have belt holders!"

Delta and her Pam Am bag that she asked for for Christmas. I wasn't even sure that they made them, but I was happy to track one down.

The older boys, especially Ronan, were all about the Leapfrogs that they got.

Latham doesn't quite get it yet, but he'll catch on soon enough because of Ronan.

Sorry all the pictures are of opening presents (yes, we do celebrate and recognize the real reason for the season), but we didn't seem to take out the camera after the first hour of being at my parents' house. Later in the afternoon my aunt, cousins, and Lara's boyfriend came for the big turkey dinner. It was a great Christmas!

We hope you had a very Merry Christmas too, and all the best from the McLoughlin household to yours in 2012!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Leading up to Christmas...

It's almost Christmas, and we've had plenty to do in the last two weeks.

Ronan had his Christmas concert at school the last day of school. His kindergarten class sang a few songs and I was so proud of my little man.

Ronan is in the back row, wearing the black and gray striped sweater. He was so happy to see me and his brothers watching him from the front row.

The whole class - I love the girl in the front row, right-hand side striking a pose!

We had our friend from Sweden, Patrik, come to visit for a few days.

The annual Santa visit. The older boys did great, but Finnian was not impressed!

After I rescued Finnian, the older boys stayed to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas. Ronan told Santa that he wanted a robot that did all his chores for him ("even clean the playroom!"), and Latham repeated the exact same thing that Ronan said.

Even though he was safe in his Mama's arms, Finnian had to keep his eyes on Santa.

Tonight was a late night for the older boys, and as I was rushing them off to bed, Ronan reminded me that we had to leave Santa cookies and milk. Since we had no cookies in the house - and I wasn't going to bake anymore just for Santa - we decided to just leave him some chocolate chips (a treat in the McLoughlin household) and milk. I wrote the note to Santa, which was dictated by Ronan; it read:

Dear Santa,

I love you. We made you chocolate chips and milk. We have a very good family and we have stories from the library. We had a good breakfast today. We have some tiny houses Mommy made. Please leave us lots of toys and we go to different McDonalds. Leave everybody presents and mean guys coal.

From Ronan and Latham

The little houses made by me is a reference to the little Christmas village that I painted this year - pics to come in a later post.

We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Preparations

We've been busy preparing for Christmas. I almost have all my shopping done - I've become an expert in shopping covertly; buying presents for the boys when they're right there in the store with me.

As soon as Thanksgiving was over, I was bugging Collin to pull the tree out of the garage so that I could start Christmas decorating! Since we have a mobile little one, the tree is only decorated on the top half, and it looks rather unfinished, but better safe than sorry.

I had totally forgotten that I had bought Santa hats for everyone after Christmas last year. To my credit, I did have pregnancy brain back then.

My little elves were eager to help with the tree.

Our yearly tradition - the gingerbread house. I baked all the pieces up on Saturday and the boys and I set to decorate it that evening. I think they ate more candy than what made it on the house!

So proud of their creation!

Latham's Swimming Lessons

Since Latham is now three years old, he can participate in some of the activities Ronan has been involved in. He just recently started swimming lessons in Bellingham, at Arne Hannah Aquatic Center. He goes twice a week in the mornings after Ronan as left on the school bus.

He loves the pool and doesn't want to get out when the lesson is over!

Latham (middle) and his poolmates.

Latham and Finnian

Can you tell which one is Finnian and which one is Latham?

Better Late than Never - Latham's 3rd Birthday

Latham turned three years old in the middle of November; he proudly tells strangers that he is "three months old" - hmmm, I guess we need to work on that!

We had two parties to celebrate. The first party was the friend party, and he picked a Mickey Mouse theme. I was relieved that Mickey Mouse decorations and favors were easily found (unlike Ronan's Wild Kratts theme back in June!)

Opening presents!

 Two days later we had his family birthday party with the McLoughlins and the Holtes.
Blowing out the candle.

Covering his eyes while Daddy brings out his present from us...
A new bicycle! Judging by the smile on his face, I think it was a hit!

Happy Birthday Latham!

Better Late than Never - Halloween