Sunday, December 26, 2010

A few days with the Watsons

Twas the night before Christmas and Matthew listened very intently to his new copy of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" from Grandma Watson, with a special recording.

He couldn't get enough of the book and needed grandma to flip the pages as well. I think he listened to it at least 3 times.

On Christmas morning, Matthew opened his first present in bed. Grandpa sent us an article about the "Book in Every Bed" program and we thought that sounded like a great plan.

Matthew agreed, even though he woke up crazy early because we had left the wrapping paper next to his crib and he thought he needed to explore.

Later we moved to the living room where we opened presents with the rest of the family, both here and via Skype.

Matthew liked to help everyone else open their presents as well.

James and his awesome and awesomely warm hat from Ed.

Matthew hanging out in his new camp chair

And Matthew enjoying his book from great Grandma Elsie in his new chair.

We all had a lot of fun with the plush bacon gift from Uncle Matt. I'm certain Uncle Matt got it because (as the tag states): No matter what the situation, he says, "I'm Bacon!" This reminds children that no matter what happens in life, they should be true to themselves and always be proud of who they are.

I'm hoping someone else took more pictures after this because as we devolved into a chaos of Skype, toys, trains, boxes and wrapping paper, I apparently forgot to take pictures until later on when I totally envied June's under the Christmas tree nap.

One last story with grandma, grandpa and his first plush bacon before bed.

Today, we decided to head out snowshoeing. The weather was gorgeous so we headed up Hyalite Canyon for a nice hike.

Sky couldn't have been more thrilled!

On the trail:

Matthew babbled most of the way, but really doesn't like it when we stop for pictures so he puts on a very serious face.

Sky the happily surveying his domain:

Sky taking his job very seriously.

June didn't make the trip because she's kind of a wuss about the snow and the thought of having to carry her back wasn't really appealing to anyone. However, the rest of us had a lot of fun. And of course we had hot cocoa waiting in the car so Matthew didn't seem to mind at all :-)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Preparations, the Charlie Brown Tree and Pure Silliness

Matthew's been very busy this week helping prepare for Christmas. On Sunday he helped us trim the tree

Note the tangle of lights in the corner. The previous Saturday, James strung the lights on the tree only to find that 1/2 of both strands didn't work. I decided on Sunday to take the lights off so I could "hide" the unlit lights (there's little room for hiding on a tree like ours!). After I took the lights off, all the lights started to work again so I started re-stringing. I then plugged them in to check again and 1/2 the lights didn't work.

At this point, Charlie Brown started looking a little worse for the wear. His branches are already pretty angled, presumably due to surviving many seasons of snowfall. However, in the corner of our little apt, it didn't look as if Charlie was going to survive both lights and ornaments on its branches. So, to spare Charlie the embarrassment of any more lost limbs, we gave up on lights and just went for ornaments.

There's no hope for his bare spots but he certainly has a charm to him. As my mother-in-law so very optimistically pointed out, "it doesn't hide any of the ornaments". And since I love the ornaments on the tree and their eclectic mix of memories, traditions and insanity, I think that she's right and that makes Charlie the perfect tree for us.

And on a completely different note, watch out! Matthew's started driving and talking on the phone a the same time!

He's also figured out his pounding toy finally and hammers away with reckless abandon. Sadly he's still not very good with putting the balls away IMMEDIATELY leaving them vulnerable to prowling kitties. After some under the stove spelunking we found two but the other two balls are MIA.

"Who? Us? Never!!"

And while we're at it, here is a minute of crazy and pure toddler silliness. No rhyme or reason, just silliness and very bad, distracted, giggly camera work.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Santa Photo Verdict

We stopped in to visit Santa on Friday. The woman offered to take a family picture and we went for that considering we're not very good about taking family shots. Matthew wasn't all that pleased or amused. He was less amused afterward when I handed him to Santa and started to freak out (unpictured). Of the 8 shots they took, none are great, none are terrible, but as you look at them in order, you can see Matthew's growing despair about the whole situation:

Afterwards he toddled around the mall shrieking and giggling without a care in the world. :-)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Baking Buddy

First, some video of the artist as work last weekend. He took is job very seriously.

Matthew's favorite thing to do this week is help in the kitchen. If I'm in there working and he can't be on his stool he finds it to be a terrible injustice. Here he is "helping" make pancakes Sunday morning:

Double checking we got the last drop of milk before recycling the container:

The other evening as I was making dinner Matthew took it upon himself to head over to the counter and "help." Apparently I just wasn't cooking fast enough and he helped himself to the apple on the counter.

Which is convenient as it is one of his favorite and most clear words. Then he started rocking out and being silly of course!

Apple thievery is admittedly far better than last night when as we were getting ready for a Christmas party Matthew leaned over and stole handfuls of fudge and peppermint bark. Now that Matthew's figured out how to open the closet, climb the step stool and move the step stool around, the only thing standing between sanity and chaos is the fact that he can't "open" the step stool if it's folded up. That might be the biggest thing I ask Santa about, if he can withhold Matthew learning that one key step until, I don't know, maybe 2012? Is that asking too much? :-)

Speaking of that, you can start taking bets now on the results of Matthew meeting Santa later this week/weekend. Right now 100% of his friends around his age have had Santa experiences like this:

However, in his favor is the fact that he was totally chill and cuddly with being on the pediatrician's lap and the nurses lap last week. He also ran up and was hugging random men at the Christmas party, so who knows? Maybe he'll be the toddler to break the trend! (However, if I were a betting woman I'd still put is at 85/15 for an all out meltdown.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Santa's Helper

Matthew had a bit of a rough week. For a moment I thought I was going to have to trade him in for a different model because he was having monster tantrum meltdowns. Luckily we found out it was an ear infection responsible for the crankiness and my sweet little man came back!

And boy has he been silly this weekend. Besides running around giggling, he likes to put the lego box on his head and then walk around giggling. It's adorable.

This weekend was a concert weekend for me but we were able to sneak away Saturday and help Santa make some presents.

Matthew is quite the artist

willing to work in a variety styles, from abstract brush work to fingerpainting.

You know, when he wasn't trying to eat the paint of course :-)

Aside from my concert, James' work Christmas party was this Friday. I was a little late due to my dress rehearsal, but had a lot of fun once I got there, and I don't think James minded that I couldn't use my drink tickets :-) Matthew also met his great new babysitter and had a good time while we were gone. Otherwise Matthew got lots of great daddy time this weekend and James taught him how to use his pounding toy and say Iris, which sounds a bit more like "eye-iiiiss". With my concert behind me, I'm now ready to get in the holiday spirit and get some decorating done this week.

Monday, December 6, 2010

#66 Done!

We completed another item from our 101 Things list, but first, here's two cats who also enjoy the box! June has been pretty sick this week so after Matthew goes to bed the box gets set up so she won't go in it and get sick. The cats like to jump on the top and then fall into it. Okay, so they probably don't like the fall, but that's how it happens, and if I'm being completely honest, it's hilarious.

And then they try to get out, providing entertainment for all.

Anyway, on Saturday we headed to Bozeman's Christmas Stroll downtown. We visited some Bernese Mtn. Dogs, heard lots of music and caroling, drank lots of hot cider, checked out the gingerbread houses and enjoyed the cold weather as best possible.

On Sunday, we headed up to the mountains to cut down our own Christmas tree (#66 on our list). As a short background, my brother and I have fond memories of heading up to the mountains outside Laramie with my dad to cut down Christmas trees. Dad was a stickler for a decent tree and we always managed to find an impressive one. James and I were not so lucky. Matthew and I had a bit of a scare on Saturday with him in the backpack and me losing my balance so he's been a bit fussy now anytime I seem off-balance. Apparently I don't trudge through waist high snow very smoothly so he didn't enjoy any of the off-trail tree searching, which turned our quest for a tree to a quest for a tree fairly close to the trail. In a forest among the other trees, our tree looks like an awesome little tree with a "few" bare spots and was by far the best tree we had seen during our adventure.

On our porch, however, it looks like the Charliest of Charlie Brown trees. I'll take a picture before we decorate it so you can see its pathetic state compared to what I hope will be an awesome decorating job, but dang it, I'm still proud of it. It's definitely on par with some of the other trees we've seen cruising around town on rooftops and it only cost $5 for the permit and we got to spend a gorgeous day in the mountains. Next year, however, I'll seek out a stand of anything but lodgepole pines :-)

We weren't the only family out searching for trees and after Sky had a run-in with a dog he ended up on leash most of the time. He still seemed to enjoy himself!

And back in the parking lot as we tied the tree to the car, Matthew learned one of the secrets of this tradition, a nice thermos of hot cocoa waiting for you when you get back!

The look:

The lunge and sip:

The lip-smacking satisfaction:

Five on Friday

1.  Look at these winter white legs out enjoying the sunshine at the dino park.  Spring has FINALLY sprung! These boys went from winter di...