Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Every year, especially now that I'm a parent, I set some grand expectations on the warm fuzzies that should come my way amid the hot cocoa, Christmas carols, and beautifully wrapped presents. And every year, I end up in an over-committed, gift-wrapping, cookie-making, running-late-for-everything frenzy. This year may have topped the crazy scales, as we dashed from one family gathering to another, trying to manage toddler sleep schedules and mommy's stomache flu all at the same time. Whew! I'm glad it's almost over!!!
I now have twelve months to figure out a strategy for making next Christmas more of what it should be: quiet, reflective, Christ-centered... We may have to skip a few parties. For sure, I won't decide to make all my gifts (or maybe I just need to start about mid-July). The wonderful truth is that Mike and I get to create reality for our own family, and I'm thankful that we're learning some of these lessons early, before Aaron is really too aware of what's going on. By next year, he'll really understand what Christmas is, and I don't want to hand him the idea that it's all about stuffing yourself silly on Christmas cookies and making wish lists from the local toy store. I think I'm going to make creating a calmer Christmas my official goal for 2009.
What are some of the traditions or rituals that your family uses to make Christmas meaningful? I'd love to hear your ideas!
Here are a few pics of our Christmas day. As I uploaded them, I noticed how they're all taken while opening gifts. This is a sure sign that things are out of balance in our Christmas celebration. I'm looking forward to rethinking things for next year.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Our family was invited to participate in a Polar Express event last weekend. A local chiropractic office sponsored the event where families gathered at the office to craft their "ticket" and enjoy some goodies, then headed to the train station and boarded the Polar Express (really just a Metra train, but with Santa and Mrs. Claus aboard, it did feel pretty festive). There ended up being some mix-ups with the train schedule, so there was a lot more standing outside in freezing rain and bitter cold than actual train riding. But the upside was that we had some extra time back at the station to take some priceless portraits with Santa. All told, we had a lot of fun, and made some great Christmas memories.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
It was another Saturday swim for the Sharp boys, and Aaron's really getting the hang of it! Mike has taught him to "kick, kick, kick" in the pool, and now he's doing it in the tub, too. If you ask him to "kick, kick, kick," he flops onto his belly and moves his legs up and down as fast as he can. It's too cute!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
More popular than the puppy was the kid sized guitar. Mr. A is a professional musician, and there are a lot of kid-friendly instruments around the house. This one was clearly Aaron's favorite! He played for a very long time, and really enjoyed himself.
I've already added this to Aaron's Amazon Wishlist. I think it would be an excellent Christmas gift. ;-)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
While we're posting video, here's one from the vault (aka, last month - just forgot to post it :-). Aaron's already demonstrated that he's quite adept at doing the dishes as well as sweeping the floor, so we thought we'd add laundry to the list. He's such a helpful boy!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Aaron's interest in music has really taken off. He often hears music playing at times when I am totally oblivious to it's presence - during a radio commercial, playing overhead at the store, or from a toy. How do I know he hears the music? He starts to dance. :-) It's precious. There are several dance styles in Aaron's repertoire, from a Texas two-step (he kind of marches in place, picking one foot up after the other very fast) to a Bop (he bends at the knees over and over). But my favorite is the one Daddy and I taught him: Raise the Roof. Take a look...
Friday, October 31, 2008
Aaron was the hit of the neighborhood tonight, and it's easy to see why. His little costume is SO cute. :-) True to my bargain queen ways, I bought it back in February for a mere $.99. One of the best dollars I've ever spent! It was so much fun to watch him bring joy to our neighborhood (and a much needed break from some really scary/gross/weird costumes).
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon - one of those brisk and bright afternoons that make us all love fall. We went downtown Chicago to the Lincoln Park Zoo (it's free, and Mike always loves an excuse to go into the city). There were lot's of fun animals to see, and since we've been working on our farm animal sounds, it was a great opportunity to practice some of our new skills. Ask Aaron what a cow says, and he'll "OOOOOH" for you (hey, it's close, right?). Of course, his favorite animal to watch were the pigeons. :-)
After our fill of zoo animals, we took a few minutes to play in the park just outside the zoo gate. The fall flowers were so pretty, and we all had such fun chasing each other around and playing games. It was one of those afternoons that you could live in forever - one I sure want to remember for a long time.