Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Morning 2010

Lets just say it was a success! Look at that face!

Christmas morning was a very merry one this year! And this was an awesome age to enjoy the "idea" of Santa Clause! As I said before in one of my last posts, Elem did get a nice case of the stomach virus bug on the 23rd, so we spent much of that day hanging out on the couch and over the trash can and toilet :(. Luckily, we spent a good amount of time on the 24th recovering. So although we weren't able to spend Christmas Eve with the majority of the extended family at Aunt Nancy's (in hopes of preventing anyone else from getting sick!), we were able to spend time together and still get ready for Christmas morning. By late Christmas Eve, Elem was finally starting to come around, and he was BEYOND excited about Santa and the sleigh and the reindeer coming to the house. As you can tell he was feeling much much better by bed time and he was on a mission for Santa to hurry up and get here with the presents.

Seth and I didn't go too all out on Christmas this year, because we really wanted Elem to enjoy everything he got. And the only thing he really wanted from Santa was a "big basketball goal". Which we had planned on asking Santa to get for him. But after much thought we did realize that he is just still a tad bit too small to get the real deal to go in the driveway. So hopefully, Santa is going to make a mid year/ birthday drop off with that slightly delayed present. A couple more inches and he MIGHT be able to make it in a big goal, but we really didnt want to cause an opportunity for disappointment with not being able to make it in the basket. So we stuck to indoor stuff this year! And stuff that we knew he was interested in.

Here are a couple of videos from Christmas morning when Elem first woke up!

My favorite part about christmas morning and watching Elem open his presents was how with every single one he would say " I hope its a ..." and then once he was opening it and could see a tiny bit of it, he would switch and say what the actual present was. It was so sweet and adorable! haha" And at the end of the second video Elem got exactly what he wanted from Santa-A D. Wayde jersey...and shows his excitement with a nice little move. Youll have to watch and see! But immediately following he walks up to me in disappointment because he is noticing that there might not be any more presents. Haha. So funny but such the actions of a preschooler!

Elem got hooked up with some major pro-basketball player gear-as you can see his super cool headband and wristbands! Good job Santa, that was a fabulous last minute pick. And he was so happy when he noticed the stockings full of goodies. Of course Santa visited Sage too, and Elem was so funny running and giving Sage her stocking and hooking her up with all her toys that she got from Santa. He loved it!

One other thing Elem really wanted for Christmas was a pirate eye patch. And luckily Santa was able to find it. At the last minute. In the most strangest of places. But it still made Elem happy on Christmas morning. ha!

You wont see any pictures of Seth and I on Christmas morning, because shortly after about an hour of opening presents and enjoying seeing Elem's face when he saw everything, mommy got sick. And it was a not so fun filled day of Christmas activities for me. Back to being over the trash can and over the toilet. So since I am the picture taker, not many more pictures got taken, and there was no way I was going to take a family picture! Although it broke my heart not to have one from Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. But I was there and we all had a good time. Guess you can't predict illness and since it rarely knocks on our door, I can't complain too much! So my happy thought of Christmas includes mainly getting to spend time with family and seeing Elem's face knowing that he had been a good boy and Santa came to HIS house, and left special presents for HIM, that Santa had made or got just for HIM. It is truly such a great part of being a parent, and one of my favorite parts of being a mom, to see Elem be genuinely happy and innocent in his thoughts, expressions, and mannerisms. Seeing him be thankful and happy and smile was just enough!

So Merry Christmas to us (courtesy of a second shot the night my parents were here)

*on another side note-Seth and I did not get each other presents this year, with the hopes that we would be getting our tatoos finally filled in "in Elem's box" on our arms. So hopefully sometime in the next month or so, we can get that done. We have been wanting to do it for so long now, and figured why spend money on anything else, when this is what we want! Now we just have to find time to get it done. Elem loves knowing that he has a box on each of our arms and refers to them all the time as "my box". He knows it is there for him and it is special. Just got to get it filled and then I will post pics!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Elem's School Christmas Party

How could you NOT love Elem's 3 year old class picture with Santa?? hahaha
(front row: Cecilia, Aubrey, Ethan, Quinlyn, Katelin, Sadie.)
(back row: Luke, Cayden, Elizabeth, Colt, Darryl, Hannah, Elem, Miss Tracie, Brooke)

I am what you could call-a little too involved in Elem's school. haha. But I wouldn't have it any other way! I in no way have time to be spending excess time, or trying to bring the perfect snack, or planning holiday parties, but I freaking LOVE it, and have to remind myself that I am doing it for ELEM and not for myself. Oh well, guilty pleasure what can I say. So since I did the entire Halloween party myself (his teacher did ask me to do it, I swear), I decided to only do one game/activity for the Christmas party. And let other parents do the rest. I really wanted to make sure I got to actually spend time with Elem and enjoy the party with him, rather than planning it and doing stuff to make sure all of the kids had fun. I only get to go to his 3 year old christmas party once, so I wanted him to remember if (if thats possible!) and have fun knowing that me and seth were a part of it! Ali and I decided to bring cookies for the kids and just bring tons of stuff for them to decorate with, and it turned out great! They had so much fun, and put more icing and chocolate chips, and candy than you could ever imagine! And the majority of them didnt even eat it-they just decorated it. haha. But it was fun!

In the hall for songs and prayer before the party got started. Please note Elem all up on me, and not letting me out of his site towards the right side of the class. Also note, no other parents in line-just his teacher. Immediately, Elem is all clingy.

Now its time to party! Elem and his friends in line for the candy cane relay race. So cute. Can't wait for his turn!

Me and Elem-in full Christmas party attire! Courtesy of Ms. Lindsay. The reindeer ears were a huge hit. I must say.

Elem taking his turn blindfolded at "pin the star on the tree". He did quite well, and loved every second of it. He loves games. Even if his turn only lasts for 5 seconds. hehe. So sweet. Grinning from ear to ear.

And then there was Santa. Elem was so happy to see Santa, and of course he asked him if he was the real one. :) I'm not even sure of what Santa's answer was. But Elem was so excited to sit in his lap.

I love this pic. Look how sweet Elem and his friends are. Those are some genuine little smiles. And serious tight hugs. Elem, Ethan, and Kaitlin.

Cookie decorating time! The kids loved decorating all their cookies, and piled on more than you or I could imagine. One kid kept putting tons of sprinkles on, but never put on any icing and was so confused why it wouldnt stay on. haha. It was so funny. Elem did his up right, and enjoyed his cookie! He had so much fun at his Christmas party, and I am so glad I didnt do much more than the one activity. I really got to enjoy it right along with him, but still made sure the party had something fun to do to make sure the kids all loved it. Haha. I am sure I can think of something fabulous for the upcoming Valentine's Day party....hmmmmmm.......

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas with Memaw and Papaw

Christmas this year was intended to be a blast, and all the events leading up to the week of Christmas were just that! However, this holiday season, also brought with it lots of illness around our house, so even though we got to do just about everything we planned that was holiday centered, we did have to alter our schedules and interactions with family and what not, and keep that to a minimum. Elem came down with a stomach virus on the 23rd and 24th, and it was not pretty, that is all I will say about that. Then, I came down with it on the 25th-thats right, on Christmas day, and then I got it again, in triple form the following week and missed out on everything New Years related! It was the worst stomach virus I have had since I was a child and it took me out for 7 days before I could even eat anything. Needless to say, I was sent to my room, and spent the entire time on the bathroom floor or in bed, so I didnt get anyone else sick. Not fun. But all that being said, we still celebrated Christmas and Elem had a great time, even if he wasn't feeling 100%. My parents started off the holidays with an early visit so they could spend Christmas with our family, and then head to my sister and her family's house and celebrate with them also. We were so happy to have them come, and the plan was for them to stay a few days, but when Elem started throwing up on the 23rd, they decided to head out. I think I would have too. haha. :)

Here are a few pics from the trip.

Me and my dad getting ready to open up presents! Yay!

Elem and Memaw. Memaw loved her special serving dish Elem painted for her. It had his handprints on the front, and he even signed his name (very large I might add) on the back side. Best gift ever. I need one.

Elem and Papaw opening up some presents. I think Elem is concerned that he gave papaw some chocolate, and it must have been intended for him. haha.

Our family. By the tree. Elem is posing so nice, because he gets to open presents if he does so. bribery.

Elem and Memaw playing together. My mom is so good about just chilling and letting Elem play whatever he wants to. She will always jump in. Good grandma.

Here is Elem opening up his favorite present from Memaw and Papaw. I ALMOST didnt catch this. It is priceless!

We had a great time with my parents, and they hooked everybody up! Just like they always do. It was super low key, not stressful, and so much fun! We love you Memaw and Papaw. So glad you could spend Christmas with us.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Love/Hate relationships

Gotta give some to get some huh?

He really does love me, he just doesn't realize quite how much at this very moment. He needs me. He is a mommy's boy. And he loves to show it all the time. Or so I think......

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dear Santa-

Elem's Santa letter went exactly like this:

"Dear Santa,

Dear God, I want my own couch for my playroom, my own dirt bike, Woody and Buzz from Toy Story, Jesse from Toy Story for mom, Iron Man stuff so I can fly for real, a new Dingo Bone for Sage, a Toy Story room, a D. Wayde jersey, and race cars.

Oh and a Razorback Hogs Chair.

I love you Santa and I hope you drink your chocolate milk. "

Love, Elem

Oh Santa, how we love you this year! Elem has been looking forward to seeing you for a while and he was beyond excited when he actually got to see you and sit in your lap. He loved telling you all the things he wanted for Christmas, and what a good boy he was. This year, he asked all kinds of good questions, and wanted to learn where Santa lived, how he flew, which Reindeer was his favorite, which Reindeer were boys and which were girls, where they would land when they came to our house, if Santa could see him "right now" (usually that was when Elem was not being such a good little boy!), and he even learned all of the Reindeer's names, and loved to talk about them and say them out loud. Elem was one good boy this year, and was so ready for Santa to come and reward him for being so good and talking nice to his friends at school. Elem made sure to tell me that he was on the "nice" list and that he had not been "naughty". His favorite Christmas song this year was "You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry". And of course he loved Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. He also loved the book The Night Before Christmas, and always pointed out this little boy in the picture on the page where it read, the children were nestled all snug in their beds...and said that was him. :) So many things about Santa and Christmas to be excited about this year, and those are just a few of my favorites!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The biggest little Razorback Fan!

Elem has developed a true love for the Razorbacks-and I would say 70% of it is on his own! Yes the rest 30% was forced upon him from the day he was born, and from every single family member/hog fan in the state. But seriously, his true love for those Hogs goes beyond what I could ever have imagined a little 3 year old boy could have. I must admit, I couldn't be happier-nor could Seth, to hear Elem rambling off Razorback football players names and numbers, and all other sorts of information about Bobby Petrino, that-lets face it, he really shouldn't know. But it makes being a Razorback fan all the more fun! And I wouldn't have it any other way. If you are an Arkansan and you aren't brought up a Razorback fan-then you just aren't a true Arkansan now are you? (I wasn't a born Razorback fan, but when I moved to Arkansas, I quickly learned the tradition, and I jumped on board ASAP. )

I am hoping to see this little dude in a REAL Razorback jersey one of these days, so his mommy can cheer him on from the sidelines.

Elem has not actually BEEN to see a real Razorback game, but we are thinking that next year will be the year for him. We wanted to take him really bad this year, but he isnt really one for sitting and watching, more like sitting and watching for about 15 minutes and wanting to get out on the field and play for the rest of the time. With Seth being as insane of a Razorback fan as he is, that means, Seth would enjoy the game, and I would be in the concession area throwing a mini football with Elem wondering what is happening every time the fans go crazy. Needless to say, we opted out for this past season. BUT next year Elem will get to see his first Razorback football game-we hope! For now, he has been to a few tailgating opportunities at War Memorial here in Little Rock, and that is about all the can handle at one time when it comes time to Razorback partying for a day. If you have never been tailgating at War Memorial stadium here in Little Rock before a Razorback game, you have no idea what you are missing out on! I believe just about all of Little Rock shows up for tailgating, tickets or not, young or old, rich or poor, and celebrates the HOGS from about 5am till way after the game is over. It is so much fun, and some of our great friends have an awesome spot on the golf course where we can hang out and have tons of room for the kids (and adults) to play. This last Razorback game against LSU has to have been the most memorable and one of THE top parenting moments of all time for me. Silly I know, but it was so amazing, and I am so thankful we took Elem.

Here we are showing our love for War Memorial Stadium. Looks a little drab in the background, but all the red and white is over by Tusk at the moment, it filled up shortly after this pic!

After spending plenty of time with friends, eating lots of good food, playing some Baggo, and throwing the football around, we headed off to take Elem to see the "hog"-the mascot, named "Tusk". And he- LOVED- it. It was hilarious, and he was so excited about really seeing the actual real razorback hog. Tusk is HUGE, and quite the poser I might add, he seemed to totally be soaking up all the attention he was getting, but I wasn't quite tall enough to get a good pic of him. Here is ELem and Seth-grinning from ear to ear after seeing Tusk. **Excuse that man in the yellow and purple in the background-how dare he get in my picture! hehe.

After checking out Tusk, we had planned on letting Elem see the players. We knew it would be like a dream come true for him to actually see the players who he cheers for each week, and pretends to be when he is playing football! Connecting that they are actual people, seeing how big they are, understanding that those players on TV are not just on TV all the time, is something I have really been trying to get across to him-but it is a little difficult for a preschooler to grasp! Knowing that the players arrive about 2 hours before the game, we went ahead and lined up super early along the path where they would be walking through because we wanted to be on the front row, so Elem would have a chance to see. Quickly, the masses started pouring in, red and white arms seemed to be flailing all about, and people started squishing in once it got a little closer to time, but Seth and I did not give up our space! We hung tight on the front row, just to make sure Elem got to have his little moment. Seth kept informing me and Elem that the Hogs would be early or on time, because Bobby Petrino is serious about his schedule. haha. It seemed to keep Elem interested and from having a minor meltdown. When we heard the sirens coming down Markham, we knew the bus was close, and Elem started getting so pumped up and excited, he just could not contain himself. First up-Boss Hog. Elem was beyond excited he got to talk to Boss Hog several times, give him lots of hugs, and get pictures made. Thank you Boss Hog -you made Elem's day, starting off the happiness with you!

I could not have imagined the pure excitement and almost unreal feelings that were about to happen-all because of the Razorbacks!!! The players filed off the bus, and of course the madness of the Razorback Fans began. Everyone was calling the hogs, cheerleaders were out, I think the band came through and was playing music, and it was all red and white everywhere! The players walked through, somewhat single file, with their game faces on, and of course couldn't actually stop to talk to the fans, but they didn't even have to! As they walked through, they simply held out their hands, and smiled here and there, of course trying to stay focused on the big game! I knew it was going to be a magical moment for Elem, but I just didn't know which players he would actually recognize or get to shake their hands. I am serious when I say my little boy stuck his hand out as far as his little arm would go, just to touch those Razorback players, and it seriously was like a "surreal" moment for him. Watching Elem smile non stop, stare in awe and almost confusion with his eyes as big as they could get, when he saw Joe Adams, Ryan Mallett, DJ Williams, Greg Childs (even though he was hurt..sniff sniff.), Jake Bequette, Knile Davis, Tramain Thomas, and so many more of the Razorbacks. I could hear him giggling with excitement when the players he knew walked by, and he got to touch their hands, and it was like I said one of my most happy moments as a mom. It sounds crazy I know, that giving college football players high 5's and seeing them in person, could mean so much to someone so little, but it seriously was a dreamlike moment.

My most vivid memories of the entire experience were when Joe Adams , Greg Childs, and Ryan Mallett walked by. Elem is obsessed with all 3 of them, and looks up to them more than anyone else I can think of in the sports realm. He talks about them non stop, has mini football conversations, huddles and makes game plans with them included in the routes (haha), plays football games against them, where he is one or more of them and the other 2 or 3 are tackling him. This kid knows all of their numbers and of course has to be their number, and wear their jerseys every single chance he possibly gets. (if you remember correctly, he was Joe Adams for Halloween and getting that number 3 ironed on to the back of that little jersey was serious business!)It just goes on and on. As soon as Joe Adams walked through and Elem saw who it was, I saw nothing but genuine happiness. I know it meant nothing to Joe Adams, and we were just another set of crazy fans stretching out to tell him "good luck", but it meant everything to Elem! Joe Adams looked right at Elem, was smiling all the way as he walked, Elem got to touch hands with him, and it seriously made his entire year.

Through the line, one after another, Elem stretched and stretched to keep his hand out there, getting to give so many of the players "5's" and still grinning with excitement beyond belief. When I saw Ryant Mallett coming through, I knew Elem was going to be in dismay. And he was. As soon as Elem saw him, he started screaming, "mommy, mommy I see Ryan Mallett". He gave him a 5 and as Ryan Mallett kept on walking, Elem was throwing his fist in the air saying "yes! yes! I did it". It was almost in like a whisper, like he was telling himself, haha. It was so adorable to see him so happy. He turned and said, "mommy, Ryan Mallett is so big, mommy mommy, did you see him? Did you see Ryan Mallett? I gave him a 5". Ahh, melt my heart right there. (Not to mention my 30 year old husband was doing the same thing right next to me-but thats besides the point).

The only person Elem didn't get to see that he wanted to was Bobby Petrino. Elem kept asking, "mom, where is Bob Petrino? He better come out here cause all the other players are here." haha. Seth quickly informed him that "Bob" Petrino wouldn't dare lose site of the game plan by walking around outside of War Memorial for fans to distract him. Elem appeared to get it! haha. So we will hope for Bob Petrino for another day.

Who in the world knew that a football team from Fayetteville, Arkansas could give so many people hope and happiness???? I knew the HOGS were loved, and I know how true us Razorback fans are to our team, but to know that they could give my little 3 year old, probably one of the best days of his entire life until this point, just amazes me. I love that he loves sports, and I love that he loves this team, and I love everything about the memory that he will seriously hold onto for who knows how long! He still talks about it, and it keeps me smiling more than I could describe when I think about the feelings and emotions he was showing as he got to do something as simple as give a college football player a high 5. Wheeewww. Kind of deep thoughts for a college football experience, but when they mean so much to your kid, what are you gonna do? Go Hogs Go!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A trip to the Memphis zoo

About a month ago Elem and I took a weekend trip to memphis to spend some time with Memaw and Papaw. It has been nearly impossible to find time to do anything but take care of Elem, and study. So squeezing in a trip to Memphis was almost out of the picture-even though we want to see my family more. Elem has been begging to see his Memaw and Papaw and go to "menthis" for quite some time, so I just tried to get as much work done as I could before the weekend and we headed out for the weekend trip. We had a great time and didn't cram too much action into it, but was sure to make a trip to the Memphis Zoo and spend some quality time with the fam.

Here is Elem, Memaw, and Papaw on a beautiful day at the zoo! Love this pic!

Of course you have to spend lots of time eating when on vacation!

Mommy and Elem outside the giraffs-he is a big fan!

memaw and Elem checking out the penguins. Penguins are Elem's most favorite animal in the whole wide world. I mean he has a slight obsession with them and could sit and look at them all da. He saw "Mumble" from Happy Feet :) and was beyond excited to know that the real Mumble was at the Memphis Zoo. hehehe.

Checkin out those giraffs.

We had such a great weekend and Elem had so much fun. he loved going to the zoo and playing at memaw's house and getting lots of love and spoiled. I even was able to squeeze in a short trip to the library while my mom took Elem to this place with pizza and games. He had so much fun. We are so glad that we made the trip and so lucky to have family close by!