Friday, January 9, 2009

Family and Friends at Kwimmustime

(In case it seemed too astronomical to assume: this is my family: parents, siblings and their spouses and nephews/neices. We are a large clan, yes.)
We went to Colorado to celebrate Christmas with my entire immediate family this year. We pretty much go every year, but this was a year that will probably become rare inthat no sibling was missing. As my parents' children grow up, leave home and begin settling down with spouses and their own children, we are seeing a trend of ever-spreading geographic locations. With children on either end of the U.S. and more children yet to leave and start their own lives, who knows how much longer we'll all be able to be together for holidays like this?

Already, it is tempting for Casey and I to not drive the 450+ miles (which, with children this small usually translates to about an 8-hour drive, though we've been known to cram it into 9 1/2 hours due to weather) and just stay home and have a quiet family celebration. On the one hand, that seems like something to do as our own children get older, but on the other hand, traveling with children so young is what makes the trip so exhausting. When we got back from CO last week, we unpacked the car, ate dinner and went to bed, and spent more than 1/2 the next day in bed as well (the girls playing on/around our bed most of the day). It took a good 2-3 days before I was motivated to catch up on laundry and actually cook, not just throw something edible together.

Thankfully, Casey was home all last week and we really enjoyed just relaxing and doing a few small projects around the house. I will say that last week was probably my favorite week in all of 2008. I found myself smiling more than usual as I went about the otherwise mundane tasks of folding laundry or preparing dinner. Just the simple fact that Casey was home and I wasn't parenting alone was sheer joy. Meals were often a team effort and so was discipline, bedtime and even getting ready for the day. (Casey wanted it to be a break for me as well as him. What a great hubby!) We were all quite melancholy when he had to return to work on Monday. This is relieving when I think about it, because I am sad when I hear 50 or 60-something-year-old women complain about their husbands retiring and how annoying it is to have them around the house; they wish he'd get another job or they'll get one just to have more time away. I don't ever want to be that woman. It's good to know my life improves dramatically when my hubby is home alot, and I hope I always see it as a blessing when we are able to be together more often than not.

Okay, back to our trip. While in Colorado, we were able to spend a little time with our dear friends and get to know their new addition through adoption, affectionately referred to as MoMo (among other things). It was great to meet the little girl we've been praying for--and they've been waiting for--for longer than she's been alive.

The girls were big fans of MeiMei
But I think JoJo was Ruby's favorite.

This is the 2008 edition of "Schultz" cousins (though none are actually Schultzes). Caiden (left) born in March, Alan the Second (Right) in May, and Haley in May (four days later).

It was naptime, and Haley can be abusive (I know; I have to breastfeed her).
Haley really wasn't antagonizing, I promise. Caiden likes to work it.

Caiden is the best pouter I've ever seen at such an age (except for the picture of his Auntie M.--my older sister--at 2 weeks old. I'll have to get ahold of it and post it sometime. She was a pro.)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Christmas Memories

Every Christmas so far, we've celebrated as our own small family after we get back from trip(s). I find it slightly depressing to come home after Christmas and all the hoopla that surrounds it. It helps to look forward to something else besides unpacking, doing laundry and putting away all the decorations. We don't do alot as far as presents: the girls are inundated with presents as it is, so we try to go easy and just get a few small things. And for each other, it depends. Some years we get something nice for each other, some years we get a few cheesy things that we would've bought anyway (one year it was a pedometer and a timer for me--and just so you know, I asked for them!).

I like to get a family ornament every year. Casey thinks it's weird (this ornament, especially. A little too cutesy for him, I guess). I'm always wanting to start/do traditions but I forget to keep them up. It's been hit-and-miss about every other year on this tradition. I got the cow one to commemorate the year I started this blog. Now even I'll admit that's a little cheesy.

We didn't get a usual tree again this year. Every year we think we'll get a pre-lit one until we see the prices, then we decide we'll get a clearance one, but I think everyone must have the same idea. Only the ugly ones are left by the time we get back in town. This year, we got this bushy little living tree that served a purpose for Christmas and then we potted it and put it on our once-bare balcony. One more thing I wanted to remember about this year, since it will probably be the last year it will happen. All this season, whenever we've gone to the grocery store or anywhere where there are Christmas decorations, the girls will say, "Hey, look! It's that kwimmus (Christmas) man!" I even pointed to a Santa one day the other week. "Who is that?" They exclaimed together, "Kwimmus man!" I love that they have no idea what his name is. But I must admit, I immediately started to get okay with the idea that they'd eventually learn his name when Claire pointed to his picture at a restaurant and proceeded to ask if we needed to get our drinks "over there, by God." Perhaps knowing him as Santa doesn't seem so sad after all. . .

Monday, January 5, 2009

Random Stuff

It's the new year and blogging has taken to the backburner. Where to start? Pictures are the easy part.
Ruby and Claire immensely enjoyed the snow that came and went (almost as quickly) last month. They kept asking if I wanted to play in the snow with them. I am so not a fun mom. Told them I was freezing just taking their pictures.
Haley is mobile. I still wouldn't consider it crawling (I'm really picky about what is really crawling/walking, etc.), more like an army crawl or inchworming. She hasn't figured out the pick-up-your-arms-while-you-move-your-body thing. These pics were taken about a month ago when she started getting on hands-and-knees. And yes, those are pants on Ruby's head, thank you for asking. When I showed her the picture, she said, "Yeah, I was a mom." She likes pretending she has long hair. I guess pants are the way to do it.