Sunday, December 26, 2010

A very desert Christmas

Playing at the park with the Seiders-Simmons Family
(college friends).

Christmas Eve with Grandma and Grandpa Gray.

Opening presents Christmas morning.

Enjoying the sunshine.

Our Christmas family feast.

Happy hour at Great Uncle Brian and Aunt Diane's new house.

Miles with Grandpa (on left), Mike
and Great-Uncles Brian and Bob.
(Brian looks so much like Grandpa that Miles
happily plays with him - just like he's Grandpa #2.)

The 2 youngest grandkids (for now)
Sarah and Miles on the Gray side.

Cuddling with Grandpa Gray.

Thursday night, after a full day of work, we flew to Phoenix, AZ to spend Christmas with Mike's parents and family. The flight went smoothly - Miles was a wonderful baby (why should I expect anything different from this sweet boy?). Christmas Eve started with a visit to our good, college friends' Beth and Shantian's house where the kids played and we spent time enjoying the beautiful 70 degree weather at the park. Later in the day Miles was a hit with all of the old ladies at the 4 pm Christmas Eve service at Mike and Mariann's church. He can be quiet the charmer.

This was my and Miles' first non-white Christmas and we spent a lot of time outside playing and visiting with Mike's sister's family (Denise, Greg, Alan and Sarah) and Miles' met his Great Aunt and Uncle Diane and Brian for the first time. Miles was spoiled with many new toys which have quickly spread throughout the house. After gift opening and visiting we ate a huge mid-day meal of turkey and too many delicious fixings to mention here. Miles also had his first piece of pumpkin pie. After devouring his little sliver he was frantically sighing "more please." I think he would have eaten the whole thing if we had put it in front of him.

Today we hung out with relatives and Miles met another Great-Uncle, Bob. With all of the visiting and travels Miles has maintained his laid-back, sweet personality. He loves his grandparents and gives them many smiles and hugs. We all get a kick out of him running around the house with his hands behind his back and giving us a scrunched up, mouth open, goofy face when he doesn't like something but it's not serious enough to cry over. Little man is sound asleep and ready for more Arizona adventures in the coming week.

Not to be overshadowed by Christmas, the little baby in utero, is an "it" no longer. We're having a girl! Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

'Tis The Season

Our Christmas celebrating officially began this weekend. There's nothing like a few feet of snow on the ground, a house decorated for the holidays and family celebrations to put you in the mood for Christmas. The weekend started out with me and Miles spending quality time together on Friday - eating breakfast together, going to ECFE, out to lunch with Nancy and my mom and an afternoon of sledding and relaxing.

My sweet little baby can eat all by himself.

Having fun with a paper towel tube and Ruby!

Getting ready for the great outdoors.

Braving the cold for a quick sled ride around the neighborhood. It was so cold that after 5 minutes Miles' chubby cheeks were glowing red so I brought him inside much to his dismay. I almost included a picture of the full out toddlerville tantrum (body flopped on the laundry room floor with lots of crying) that happened because he wanted to stay outside and play.


Our first official Christmas celebration of the year was with my immediate family on Saturday - we celebrated our annual "Christmas Eve" party a little early this year. Corey and Miles are such handsome little boys sitting under Grandma and Grandpa Nickolay's tree!


Our whole family together for Christmas.

Our little growing (yes, note the baby belly) family.

Bring on the presents! Miles still isn't too sure about opening presents but he really loved all of the new toys he received. The first gift he opened was a Magna Doodle and after that he wasn't very interested in opening any other gifts.

Our polite boy signing "please" - urging daddy to open the Magda Doodle packaging faster. The babies received so many gifts and had a great but overwhelming time. After they went to bed we adults got to eat and laugh and open gifts too.

On Sunday our two handsome boys were once again dressed to kill as the celebrating continued. Today we all went to church as a family. Miles was so cute and good throughout the whole mass. I felt very proud of my little son. We then went to New Prague to celebrate with my dad's extended family at their annual Christmas party at the KC Hall. We got to see many aunts, uncles, cousins, my grandpa and even 2 of Miles' great-great aunts, Doris and Lucille. But before we went to the Nickolay Christmas party the babies played with their new toys some more.

Once of which was a cozy coupe from Mike and I to Miles. He loves it and knew how to get in and out and pretend to drive without any prompting.

The cozy coupe proved to be a very popular toy and this is what happens when two 1-year olds try to share it.

The Nickolay Christmas party was fun. My grandpa now has 13 great-grandchildren and Miles was very busy running around the hall with all of the big kids. This weekend he really showed us how much he loves to party. While my grandpa took a group photo with all of his grandchildren in attendance and then great-grandchildren we got a shot of just grandpa with Miles and Corey but by this time they were done with pictures and wanted to continue running around. I had such a great holiday weekend with wonderful, loving and generous family that I didn't want it to end so from 7-10:00 tonight I did my holiday "baking." Nut goodies, dipped pretzels, sweet and salty cashew mix and holiday almond bark are all packed away now and ready to give to co-workers tomorrow morning. 'Tis the season!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

We have a toddler!

Who, me?

We know we have a toddler when...
  1. The word "yes" becomes part of their vocabulary. Miles has been saying "no" in his sweet little voice for quite awhile but now also vigorously shakes his head up and down to indicate the affirmative. Miles, do you want to go night-night? "No!" Do you want some broccoli? "No!" Did you go poo-poo in your pants? (Vigorous head shake up and down.)

  2. Stalling tactics are applied during bedtime routine. Miles' typical bedtime has been between 6-6:30 pm. We always put his pajamas on, brush teeth, read books, sing a song and lay him in bed. One night this week he wanted nothing to do with this. Mike tried going through the routine but he screamed when placed in the crib. He then indicated through sign language that he wanted "something to drink please." We got him a cup of water and read him another story. As soon as the story was finished he signed "more, please." Five books later he stood up on the couch and started slapping his knees and clapping his hands - doing all of the hand motions to a song we often sing. He sure looked cute and it was hard not to smile but Mike and I realized the bedtime stalling tactics and manipulation of mommy and daddy have truly begun! We've since pushed his bedtime back to 7:00 pm with much success.

  3. We pass toys in a store and he wants them. Today in Target Miles was sitting in the cart watching the world go by when we passed a toy aisle. All of a sudden he started emphatically pointing and grunting indicating he wanted them. This has never happened before and I quickly wheeled the cart in a different direction. Our next stop was Costco where we actually bought an adorable little toy for someone on our Christmas list. Miles had a complete meltdown because he wanted that toy for himself. My first inclination is to give in and buy him a toy but Mike and I held strong and finished our errands without caving into Miles' desire of the moment. We sure do love our toddler though!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Beginning of December

Cell phone and laptop - a little businessman?

Happily computing.

Helping to decorate the tree.


Two goofy guys.


The week in haiku:

Christmas tree is up.
Miles loves angel and lights.
Makes us all smile.

Legs swing up to stand.
He's on top of ottoman.
We have a climber.

Small baby inside.
Seventeen weeks and growing.
Heartbeat strong, alls good.

Christmas shopping done.
Vikings party today - win!
Wonderful weekend.