Monday, December 26, 2016

The Monday 7

Well my favorite week of the year is over. I love the anticipation leading up to Christmas. It's hectic and exhausting, but so much fun. And my kids are at such fun ages to enjoy it this year. We had a great, busy week.

1. Lucy had school Monday through Wednesday (half day). Tuesday was her class party. I brought both of the little Ls along and we all had fun. Lena loves getting to do all the big kid activities with Lucy. And Levi loves that I just keep shoving crackers in his mouth to keep him quiet.
They were both smiling at me, but then half of Lena's cupcake fell into her lap. Haha.

Lucy's class did a gift exchange.
2. Wednesday night was our annual trip to Justin's grandparents' and the Meijer Gardens. The girls were really excited about the gardens this year. And Levi loved all the lights.
Looking for the pickle on the German tree.

Posing in "the pink room."

3. You guys. I think we might be making a little progress with the potty training. A few weeks ago, I decided to start a new tactic. I told Lena that she had to go potty on the toilet one time a day. She could wear her diaper the rest of the day. She just had to go once. The first day she literally sat on the toilet and cried for two hours. Lol. The next day, she wasn't happy about it, but didn't take nearly as long. After a few days, she started going as soon as I put her on the toilet. After a week of that, I upped it to two times a day. I had taken her to the dollar store earlier in the week and let her pick out 5 prizes. She got one every time she went potty. I let her have Christmas off, but today we're going to start doing 3 times a day. We ran out of prizes, so I told her she could have a piece of candy every time she goes on the toilet. She just got a bunch of candy in her stocking, so it's actually working really well as an incentive. She's voluntarily asked to go potty a couple times just so she can get a piece of candy! We still have a ways to go. She's still scared of undies and is really embarrassed about the whole situation. She doesn't like anyone to know when she's going to the bathroom. She won't let anyone take her but me. She doesn't want accolades or applause afterward. I've just been acting like it's no big deal and have instructed my family to do the same. So we're getting there slowly but surely! Maybe she'll be potty trained by her 4th birthday?? (January 23)

4. And now for the Christmas recap! On Christmas Eve's Eve the girls got new Christmas pajamas. (And Levi actually got some from Justin's parents last weekend, so he had some too!)

Then on Christmas Eve we got all packed and ready and got to Niki's by 11:30 am. We spent all day eating and playing games and laughing together.
This is how we eat in my family: cheese and carbs and a little bit of meat. (Plus lots of sweets!)

Levi lounging with Tayton during Apples to Apples
This kid loves pickles.

These girls love sending Snapchats with Rieley!

Levi putting his finger in his Binky holes means he's getting sleepy. Haha.

At some point, the girls got so hot they had to go outside to cool off.

Lena was really hot . . .

5. That evening, we all went to church for Lucy and Lena's Christmas programs. I knew we weren't going to church on Christmas Day (#heathens), so I dressed Levi up with his sisters for the program.
He was thrilled.

Lena just sang two songs with the rest of the preschoolers, but she was so nervous. I wasn't actually sure she'd even do it at all.

Waiting for the program to start.
Little old man.
Lena did great. She marched right up on the risers with the rest of her class and sang her heart out. She smiled. She rang her bells. She sang every word. She was adorable.

And then it was Lucy's turn. She did great singing in the choir and doing all the motions.

She even got to be an angel:
Second from the right.
After the program we went back to Niki's for more food, games, and fun.
Niki and Mom making food. (Dad trying to figure out the new-fangled ice machine in Niki's fridge.)

Rieley playing Legos with the girls.
Tristan wearing the creepy baby mask.

Finally we put the kids to bed (at 10:30!), so we could hide stockings and put the presents under the tree. Most of us spent the night at Niki's. We went to bed at midnight just as Levi was waking up to eat. He went back to sleep in the pack n' play after that, but was up at 2 am and spent the rest of the night in bed with me. Neither of us got much sleep after that.

6. Lucy slept 'til 7:40 on Christmas morning, and we actually woke Lena up at 8! The kids all found their stockings:

We took the obligatory "kids in front of the tree" picture:

Marlon (exchange student), Lena, Lucy, Tayton with Levi on his lap, Tristan peeking out the back. Even the cat made the picture!
Then the present opening began!!


Snuggling and talking to Luke and Esther on Skype

Levi did so great all day. It takes us a long time to open presents, so he didn't have his morning nap, but he's so chill and is happy as long as someone is holding him.

Lena got her own make up!

Lucy got a diary, and she had to write in it as soon as she opened it. She wrote "Today is Christmas. It is sooooooo fun."

A "Luke's Diner" shirt!

Lena was so sweet with her presents. Everything she opened, she told Lucy, "We can share this!" And when she opened the gift that Lucy picked out for her, she gave Lucy a big hug and said, "Thank you!" Both of the girls did great with saying thank you to everyone this year. (Last year was a disaster. Haha.)

The girls got a big present from us that I've been so excited about. They each got a big box full of presents. This is what the top of the gift said:

The first gift in the box was this:
A calendar with the dates of our trip highlighted.
The second gift said:
This was a backpack filled with activity books. Attached to the backpack was a luggage tag that said, "Come fly with me" so they'd know we're flying.
Next was this:
A suitcase filled with a beach towel, swimsuit, and flip-flops. 
Finally . . .
Inside that package were these:


We're extremely fortunate that my brother lives in Orlando, so we can stay with him for free. And we're only going to Disney for one day, but the girls are so excited - and so am I!! I'll share more details later, but this entry is long enough already!

7. So Christmas was wonderful, but went by way too quickly.
The whole fam, minus Lucy who refused to be in the picture.

We've been hanging out at home all day today playing with all our new stuff.
This is actually from yesterday. The girls each got a couple Lego sets and they've been a big hit!
My new fuzzy blanket and totally appropriate mug!

Finished Lego creation!

A whole box of balls!
We also played Bamboozled. It was disgusting!!
Lena refused to try any more after she got that first gross one. I refused any more after I had "spoiled milk." It's amazing how they can make them taste that bad. Haha.

Well if you made it to the end of this insane entry, you get 100,000 useless bonus points! Congratulations and I hope you all had a very merry Christmas!!

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