T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December Activities - Part I - Tree Trimming...

Don't let the picture deceive you - it was not a Christmas in Connecticut serene decorating event. My dear friend since age 13 years came for a visit this past week (More on that in another posting). I was telling her I took these photos of the kids decorating the tree. From the photos it looks like I have these perfect, calm, well mannered children. But one does not see what happens between photos or how I had to get the photos. 

First, we put up our decorations on December 10th -  somewhat late because, well, we're tired and busy and having three kids has hit us hard, especially with the third being a baby. I'm not in any of the photos because I was busy tending to said baby who happened to be having one of her three hour cry-a-thons. These frazzle me so I was pretty tense most of the time we were decorating.

Next, I have my children somewhat trained to stop, pose, and smile for the camera. This first shot, T saw his dad filming him decorate the tree. When he saw the camera he stopped to pose with the gingerbread man. It was such a cute moment that he did that, my hubby took a still photo to capture the moment. We'll skip the video - crying baby and all. 

Next, the kids were never simultaneously putting on ornaments. Most of the time one was rooting around in the box of ornaments or picking an ornament apart while the other was hanging. The photo of the two of them decorating the tree was totally posed. I made them both freeze in place while holding or pointing at an ornament so I could get a decorating shot. Hanging the angel was very much the same - Hubby did most of the hanging (it being a 100 year old angel and all) and left just the last bit for Sister to do. I missed the shot of her doing her hanging so I had to have them repeat the moment so I could capture it. 

Our traditional decorations were put out. I wanted to show the stockings as I think this is the last year we'll not have matching stockings. Since I feel pretty strongly that our family is not going to grow any more, I am planning matching stockings with all our names on them. We'll see if I can pull it off before next Christmas.

The last photo of the kids snuggling one another is genuine sibling love - that was unprompted and I am grateful to my kids for reminding me what Christmas is all about. I was so concerned about capturing the perfect pictures of our tree trimming.

Oh, the tree looked terrible but I think it has been our prettiest ever - the ormanets were heavy loaded on the front bottom, some branches having 4-5 ornamets while entire sections of the tree were bare. Some ornaments were hung up-side-down or hung after being picked apart. The lights were sparse. Still, a lovely tree and one we enjoyed this season.

Plus, you gotta love that T wanted to hear his Halloween jammies to decorate for Christmas. 

More on our Christmas events but that's all I have in me tonight - baby calls...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Santa Visit 2013

Last year we were fortunate in that our visit to Santa was a mostly private affair. This year we did not have that luxury. Thus, we braved the lines and crowds (I waited in line with the baby for 2 hours) but we had an awesome visit. He is the real Santa for sure. See last year for comparison (am I right?!?).

We did not plan to get professional photos taken. However, when we saw Santa (again, the real Santa) we had to. He was incredible with the kids and Mrs. Claus suggested the posed photo (recall the one that was all over the internet last year - our Santa in our town). We figured it was our one and only last time to do this with a baby so why not. If she was not going to cooperate we figured we'd bag the whole thing and just get a regular shot of the big kids. Well, our sleeping babe cooperated and it made for one fun photo.

I am chuckling a bit as T is wearing the same shirt from last year's Santa visit. Aside from that and the long wait, it was a fairly pleasant experience. We've never had great photos. Usually someone is screeching and unhappy but this year the kids (all three) nailed it. 

T took his little catalog along to show Santa what he wanted. It's quite modest because as he says, "Greedy kids don't get anything." He really thought long and hard about wanting the huge big item in the catalog but when I explained how big it was and read the reviews he had second thoughts. Still he considered just purchasing it with his own funds but then I explained we had no place to store such a toy. I explained how it makes me sad when he or his sister ask for things we cannot get whether it be due to cost or size. Then I told him about when I was a young person and wanted a horse and how my mom felt when we could not get one. Then he chose something different and explained how cool it was and that he was equally excited. It was a cool parenting moment seeing the cycle come full circle. But back to T -  I thought it charming and cleaver he took the photo to show Santa. After his visit he said Santa totally knew what it was and thought it was a wise choice.

Big Sis thanked Santa for last year's princess castle and then asked for some Barbies, Barbie clothes, and "a Wonder Woman with a golden lasso in her invisible jet." She knew EXACTLY what she wanted. She was all smiles and just wanted to hug him. I specifically asked the photographer to take a candid shot of the kids talking with Santa. And let me tell you, Santa knows his toys!

I'll go ahead and share the photos with you and keep things brief as I hear my little one stirring when she should be napping. Plus, there are cards to be addressed and a few goodies to be wrapped while everyone naps. If you get a card this year, consider how fortunate you are as finding the time to get them out has been a challenge. My hat is off to all of you in the 3+ kid club - tough going around here.

More later including our decorating. In the mean time, I hope you and you loved ones have enjoying this magical time of year thus far.