Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 85

Today I am grateful for a confidence boost.  I brought some of the cookie bars I recently made over to my parents' house to share them, and my mom and sister - two of the best bakers I know - said they like them.  While it may seem small, that meant the world to me.  I am a bit insecure when it comes to my cooking/baking, and to know that two people I love and respect so much like them gives me a little more confidence.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 84

Today I'm grateful for all the hugs and snuggles the kids gave me.  It seemed like more than usual, and since I know these days of doting on me are numbered I am soaking them in as much as possible.

I hope you have a wonderful night!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 83

Today I'm grateful for a mini breakthrough with Baylor.  Ever since we bought Mollie the dollhouse, Baylor has only played with the brother doll.  It is the most like him, so it is all he will play with.  Today, though, I decided to switch things up; I told him I wanted to be the brother.  He got really upset at the thought, so I made a deal with him: if he'd be the brother AND the dad, I'd let him be the brother.  And he did it!  It was really tough for him at first, but he did it and I am so proud of him!

Have a wonderful day!

P.S. On a side note (and much less important in the grand scheme of things), I am grateful that our cable held out until New Girl was finished.  Bad weather was rolling in and threatening to make it all grainy and awful, and every commercial break was like that.  But the television gods must be smiling on me because the entirety of New Girl was clear.  (And it was AWESOME, by the way!)  The show after that?  Couldn't even watch it it was so broken up from the weather.

A Year of Gratitude: Day 82 (a day late)

I am grateful that the kids and I had a surprisingly good (and productive) day yesterday.  It was Baylor's first snow day this year - his first "real" snow day, though he had one last year too - but I wasn't really prepared for it and had all these other ideas of how the day would go in my mind.  It included a trip to my parents' house, which we do most Mondays because Bryson has night school, but my dad came down with influenza the night before so I knew that was out.

Anyhow, we had a good day.  We got out to the grocery store, finding the roads to be much less treacherous than the school cancellation would have suggested, we made cookie bars, I made a very sorry-looking loaf of honey wheat bread (something might be wrong with the yeast I was using), we ate a lovely little dinner together, and we had fun.  In my mind, it's what I would shoot for most days, though we did watch a bit more television than I'm okay with.

Best of all, there were lots of hugs and kisses and tickles and smiles, all those warm things that make a day really shine.  Was I exhausted at the end of it?  Most definitely.  But it was great to be with them and to have made something out of the unexpectedness.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 81

Okay, today's is a little weird, but I had a rough day and this was one thing I was oddly grateful for in the mess.

Today I am grateful to have one of my irrational fears squashed.  Every time I run the garbage disposal I have this flash of fear that something (e.g., a knife) will have fallen in it without my knowing and that it will come flying out at me when the disposal is turned on.  (This is clearly a product of having watched too many horror movies as a teenager.)

Anyhow, one of our nice Wusthof knives, the little weird paring one, inadvertently slipped - handle down - into the garbage disposal while I was doing the dishes after lunch.  I didn't notice it until a few seconds after I'd turned the disposal on; the horrible grinding noise was a give-away.  When the bubbles cleared and I could see what was stuck in there, I was a little ill that such a nice knife had the handle chewed up a bit (though it would have been much worse had it been blade down), but I was oddly grateful to know that the knife-flying-at-my-face-from-the-garbage-disposal fear was so clearly dispelled.

Have a wonderful, safe night!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 80

Today I am grateful I finally got to meet my friend's new baby!  He's such a cutie, and I got to snuggle with him for a while, breathing in all that baby goodness.  It was so nice to see our friends and meet the little guy, and I feel very grateful that we found a time when we weren't sick to go over and visit.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 79

Today I have so very many things I am grateful for ...

I am grateful for my village, the one that helps me raise and care for my kiddos.  Today my mother-in-law came over to watch Mollie so I could blow the snow off the driveway (and then take a shower because I smelled awful), and my mom picked up the kids and I while I was getting new tires on our minivan so we wouldn't be stranded at Costco.  They do so many things for us, and for both of them - and the rest of the "village" around us - I am so grateful.

I am grateful that I was able to make a double batch of my favorite pizza sauce today and freeze a bunch of it for later.  Plus, having it simmer in the kitchen all afternoon made the house smell delicious.

I am grateful for this exchange I had with Baylor this afternoon while I was trying to make dinner:
Me:  Baylor, when you are finished with your Legos, could you go play with your sister?  I think she'd really like that.
Baylor:  (not looking up) Yeah, I will play with her.
Me:  Thanks, buddy!
Baylor:  (a few seconds later)  Okay, I'm done.  (yelling toward the living room and smiling)  I'm coming, Mol!
It means a lot when he stops playing with a brand new Lego set just to play with his sister.

I'm grateful that the new pizza crust I tried out tonight was good but also that I know how I can make it better.

I'm grateful for all the snuggles and hugs and sign-language-i-love-yous tonight before bed.

And I am grateful that my husband surprised me with a treat today ... cupcakes from Rita Girls'!

My cup runneth over.

Have a wonderful night!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 78

Today I am grateful that I got to hear my children's little voices say, "I love you!" to me as I closed the door after putting them to bed.

Have a wonderful night!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 77

Today I am grateful for a little wake-up call.  I fell asleep while snuggling with the kids and watching Mickey's Clubhouse, then when Mollie wanted me to read to her I had to say, "Honey, I won't be able to stay awake.  I'm so sorry."  Even as the words left my mouth I felt sheepish and angry with myself.  That's not the kind of mom I want to be.

So, it's time to try harder at getting more sleep.  My body and mind need it so badly and I have been depriving myself too long.  It's not going to be easy; heaven knows I love staying up late.  But I've also grown to love getting up early and doing my own thing for a while before the house wakes up.  Doing both isn't an option, so I'm cutting back on the up-lates to see if I can make a change in my energy levels.

Here's hoping.

And now, off to bed!  Good night and sweet dreams to you all!

Have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 76 (a day late)

I had this all written out in my head yesterday but didn't get a chance to post it here, so I'll be writing it as such.

Today I am grateful for getting a chance to help out my mom.  She let me shovel the snow on her front walkway, make dinner, and - begrudgingly on her part - retrieve the trash bin from the end of the driveway.  I am grateful for this because it was a way for me to give back to her; she, my dad, and my sister give so much to me and my little family here and, being the stubborn, do-it-myself kind of bunch we are, I don't often feel like I have the opportunity to help them out like this.

Was it all fun?  Nope.  Shoveling the snow meant I had to be outside in frigid weather, enduring the stench of a nearby house getting their septic system pumped, and the run to the end of the driveway to pick up the trash bin was a cold one, but it was worth it if it helped my mom.

Thanks for everything you do for us, Mom and Christine!

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 75 (and Mmm ... Monday!)

Today I am grateful that the dinner I made turned out well.  I made a new chili recipe, and you never really know how it's going to turn out or how the family will like it.  Usually I have to bribe Mollie to eat chili by letting her use tortilla chips as a spoon (mother of the year right here, by the way), but tonight she actually ate it.  Yes, she told me it looked "yucky" first, but once she tried it she was okay eating it.

I thought I'd include the recipe here in case anyone else is interested in a low sodium turkey chili recipe with lots of flavor.  It is from 500 15-Minute Low Sodium Recipes by Dick Logue and though it took me WAY longer than 15 minutes to make, it was still awesome.  (I am one of the slowest cooks ever, by the way, so please don't let that deter you from trying it.)  Here is the way it is listed in the cookbook; I had to change it a little bit given the ingredients I had on hand and how the measurements worked out, and I will try to include those below.

Turkey Chili

1 pound (454 g) ground turkey
1 cup (150 g) finely chopped green bell pepper
1 cup (160 g) finely chopped red onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 cans (14.5 oz, or 411 g, each) no-salt-added tomatoes, undrained
2 cups (500 g) kidney beans, cooked or canned, drained
2 cups (500 g) black beans, cooked or canned, drained
2 cups (470 ml) low-sodium chicken broth
12 ounces (336 g) frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 can (6 ounces, or 170 g) no-salt-added tomato paste
1 tablespoon (7.5 g) chili powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Coat the inside of a 4-quart (4-L) slow cooker with cooking spray.  In a large nonstick skillet, cook the turkey, green pepper, and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink.  Add the garlic, cook 1 minute longer.  Drain.  Transfer to the slow cooker.  Stir in the tomatoes, kidney beans, black beans, broth, corn, tomato paste, chili powder, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.  Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or until cooked through.

* My changes: 3/4 of a pound of ground turkey, 1 can of kidney beans (drained), 1 can of black beans (drained), 1 white onion, and 2 cloves of garlic (minced).

I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

Have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 74 (a day late)

Today I am grateful we made it out of the house without drama and to school on time.  Lately we've been frantic and running late, and it bothers me; I value punctuality and being somewhere when you say you'll be there, so being late is a big deal to me.  Each minute I'm late feels like a little tiny failure and really puts me on edge, meaning I get frustrated and short with the kids.  As a threesome we make a highly distracted group, so for us to get out of the house is quite a production.

So, long story short, our arrival to school on time today was a big deal.  And I'm so grateful for it.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Christmas 2012: The Preschool Gift!

I meant to post this sooner, but of course it slipped my mind.  Baylor got a chance to make something for his parents at school early in December, and somehow he managed to keep it a secret from us until we opened it.  When we finally did open it - *sigh* - I couldn't help but smile.  It was the perfect gift from our little man.

As a class they made ornaments out of incandescent light bulbs, glue, glitter, and yarn.  Baylor smiled as we opened it and told us that he chose blue and green because they were our two favorite colors (Bryson's is blue, mine is green).  

It looked a little like a globe and was beyond beautiful.  I hope it lasts for many years to come.

Holiday Season Illness: The 2012 Edition

It just doesn't seem like the holiday season anymore (or any time during preschool, for that matter) without some sort of illness.  A couple days after swapping check-ups with Mollie, Baylor woke up feeling kind of punk, then threw up a couple times in the living room.  I wasn't expecting the vomiting so all I had to catch it with at the time was a throw blanket.  Baylor, funny guy that he is, was disturbed by this and, mid-throw-up, told me to go get a bowl!  Luckily, it only happened twice, and given the consistency of it (I'll spare you the details) I think it was mostly a result of some drainage that was happening.

Regardless, unless your puking experience can be explained by a pregnancy/dizzy spell/hangover/etc., at our house you get immediately relegated to the couch on "the island".  When it became less likely that I thought he'd throw up, he got to enjoy some toast.  And, just like my mom did for us when we were little, he got to have it cut up in little squares!

If memory serves, Bryson wasn't feeling well at this point either, and Mollie was on her way to getting the same cold as the rest of us, so they all hung out and watched a movie together.  (I couldn't tell you which movie, though, as this cold knocked us out for a few days and we were on a constant loop of movies ... Toy Story 2 and 3, Wall-E, Lady and the Tramp, Winnie the Pooh, etc.)

Mollie was pretty thrilled about getting to eat her mac n' cheese on the couch, though!  And she only spilled a couple times and picked up the noodles herself when she did.

When the toast stayed down, Baylor got to enjoy some squeezie applesauce.

Thankfully it was a pretty short-lived illness, and we went back to our usual selves.  Sadly, the kids had to go through a television detox of sorts when we were done with it all, but they survived.

In For a Check-Up

Santa brought Mollie a doctor kit for Christmas, and ever since then the kids have enjoyed giving each other (and anyone else who will sit still for them) a check-up.

Unfortunately, all I can think of when I see this picture is, "This is how germs are spread.  This is how germs are spread."  Since then I have encouraged them to do an under-the-arm temperature check.

Eye exams often involve pressing the otoscope into the patient's eye socket.  It's loads of fun!

At first Baylor thought the shot was a syringe for medicine and used it as such.  They have since learned that it is, in fact, a needle for shots and administer it as such ... though Mollie really likes to give shots right in your arm pit.  Ouch!

The ear check with the otoscope is slightly less effective when you don't look through the tool.

It's so much fun to watch them pretend play like this!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 73

Today I am grateful for the sound machines in the kids' rooms.  They helped mask the tremendous noise I made knocking a tin bucket (with several tin puck-like things inside it) onto the tile while attempting to raid Mollie's Halloween candy stash as she slept soundly upstairs.

I am grateful for sound machines.

Have a wonderful, quiet night!

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 72

Tonight I am thankful for the movie Wayne's World.  It is so unbelievably funny to me, and having watched it so many times when I was younger, it brings back a lot of great memories.  I'm a big fan of humor and an ardent believer that it can do wonders for the soul.

Party on!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 71 (a day late)

Today I am grateful that I got to spend so much time with Baylor (and Amalia) on Baylor's day off of school.  It was the second half day of the school year, so the p.m. kids went instead of the a.m. kids.  (I can only imagine how much that must throw them and their parents off!)

Anyhow, we played, we I sang, we laughed, and we all had at least two checkups, all in good health.  (Gotta love the doctor kit!)

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 70

Today I am grateful for some amazing memories.  I just (finally) ordered pictures for Mollie's first year album (the one we were supposed to give her for her first birthday ... I know, I'm awesome), and I had a lot of fun taking a walk down memory lane.  It's amazing how much she's changed over the last two and a half years, how much Baylor has changed in that time, and how their sibling relationship has blossomed.  

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 69

Today I am grateful that I was able to pull myself together after a very rough start and really make something of the day.  I got a ton of laundry done, the kids and I cleaned out the pantry together (and it looks AMAZING, I might add), and I made a delicious dinner, albeit a little late.

Gotta love a productive day!

Have a wonderful night!

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 68

Today I am grateful that Baylor called me back into his room to say this ...

... in nearly that exact voice!  It was awesome and adorable and it made my heart swell with love.

I hope you have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 67 (a day late)

Today I am grateful for actually being able to squeeze in a workout this morning!  Baylor had school today, which usually means I have to get up and get ready as fast as I can without exercising, but today I tried getting up, doing 20 minutes of Pilates (this DVD is great!), then getting ready and it worked!  Plus, I felt energized and ready for the day.  Always a bonus.

Have a wonderful day!

Our First Snowy Play Day!

We finally got a snowfall respectable enough to go out and play in, so we put on all our snow gear and headed out.  Mollie got ready before Baylor and I had finished up, so she waited outside.  She put on her best pouty face for the camera, of course.

Once we got outside, we had a ball!  My parents have a little hill in their backyard that makes for a perfect starter hill for the kids.

Unfortunately, the snow was too fluffy for packing and we could barely make snowballs, let alone snowmen.

Still, we had a great time, and it showed me that taking the kids out by myself wouldn't be too difficult.  

Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 66

Today I am grateful for our new treadmill.  I got to try it out this morning, and I couldn't believe how quiet and smooth it was.  I'm glad I enjoy running, and I'm glad we were able to buy this for ourselves.

Speaking of the treadmill, I'm off to bed so I can get up and go for a run tomorrow!

Have a wonderful night!

Christmas 2012: Boxing Day!

Our usual Christmas day festivities got moved to the 26th this year so my cousin Steve and his girlfriend Katie wouldn't have to hustle over to Michigan later on the 25th.  So this year, we celebrated Boxing Day instead.  The kids got to spend time with family reading, ...

... playing on the iPad,...

... eating oranges, ...

and doing Legos.

When they went down for a nap/rest, the cousins got together to play Scotland Yard.

Baylor, of course, wasn't satisfied resting when he knew there was fun being had without him.  So he got up and helped Katie play a little.

Mom and Grandma worked on making dinner.  (It was delicious, by the way!)

It was fun watching them play, all of them working so diligently trying to catch Christine, who happened to be Mr. X this game.  In the end, they found her and won!

It was so nice getting to spend time with my grandparents ... just another reason why I love the holidays.

After the aforementioned delicious turkey dinner, we prepared for Bingo!  Mollie was disinterested in the whole thing and asked Oma to read to her instead.

The rest of us, however, took a seat, grabbed a card and a handful of chips, and proceeded with the annual bingo game!

Dad called it like he does every year.  He and I picked out the gifts this year and I was pretty happy with the response we got.

It is an easy game to play, but it does really require a bit of concentration.

Baylor played a game or two, but he got a couple prizes pretty quickly and was more interested in fanning himself/blowing his hair dry.

The first thing Baylor won was a Playmobil race car shop set which was intended to keep him busy while the rest of us played, but it required so much sticker application that Bryson was distracted a bit by it for the majority of the game.

Mollie won a couple new furniture sets for her Calico Critters.

But soon enough she just wanted to read a book with Aunt Cynthia.

Oh, and Laura too!

Baylor hung out with Steve for a little bit

And all in all we had a great time!  We're already looking forward to next year!

Hope your holidays were merry and bright!

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 65

Today I am grateful that I do not live in the time of the Civil War and Lincoln's assassination.  We just watched The Conspirator, and it was incredibly depressing and quite frightening that something like this could happen in our country.  (It was, however, quite fascinating and a good movie overall.)  That's all I'm going to say on the topic, though I have about a million thoughts swirling through my head at the moment; watch the movie for yourself, if you're interested, and see what you think.

I hope you have a wonderful night.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: My Cup Runneth Over

I have too many grats today to let them slip by, so here they are.  I am so grateful for ...

... the spontaneous, "I love you," Baylor sent my way while he was playing with his Legos.  I don't know why he said it right then, but it warmed my heart.

... the joy in Mollie today.  She flew around the house like a little butterfly this afternoon, dressed up in her fancy shoes, hopped like a bunny around the living room, and all of it was done with some of the purest joy I've seen in a long time.

... the new organizational thingy we bought for the living room.  Here's hoping that four years of disorganization will soon be over.

... the new treadmill.  My mom needed hers back recently, and Bryson didn't bat an eye when I wondered if we could get one of our own.  The second this cold is finally kicked, I'll be down there running my heart out.

... the appraisal of our house went really well and we won't have any trouble with our refinance!  I have to say, I'm seriously stunned by this.  On another note, this gives me hope for the state of our national economy.    We bought our house right before the housing market crashed and to hear such a great number is reassuring.  Awesome!

... and last, but certainly not least, Baylor woke up his normal self.  Yesterday he was so quiet, so sullen, and I missed him so much even though he was snuggled up next to me most of the day.  Yes he talked my ear off, but it was him.

Was today perfect and wonderful and ideal?  No.  Not even close.  But all these wonderful things made it good, really good.

I hope your day was wonderful as well!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 64

Today I am so grateful for a new little person in the world!  My dear friend Janice had her third child today, a healthy, baby boy.  I am so thrilled for their little family, getting to experience the joy of a baby boy for the first time, and I am so very grateful that she is "awesome" - according to her husband.

Congratulations, O'Neills!  We can't wait to meet the little guy!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 63

I woke Baylor up for school today, and within ten or fifteen minutes I knew school was out of the question; he had a fever of over 100 and was pretty listless.  By the middle of the day, he had barely said a word to me; I had to badger him over and over again to get a "status report" of sorts and he didn't have the typical constant chatter going.  He couldn't even sit up to watch a movie; most of the time he just leaned up against me or laid his head in my lap.

So, needless to say, I was so grateful that, after a nearly two hour nap he perked up to almost his normal self.  I love his little smile and not having seen it all morning I was thrilled to see it back.

Have a wonderful night!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 62

Today I am grateful for the fact that leaving out a half cup of flour in some cookie bars I was making only turned them into cookie-bar cake instead of ruining them completely.  I know it's a small thing, but I had been baking with the kids and I so wanted it to turn out for all three of us; I rarely bake and they even more rarely get to help me ... it was a big deal.

So now we have a weird little treat to eat.    And we made it together.

Have a wonderfully sweet night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 61 (a day late)

Today I am grateful for the running-into-my-arms-and-nearly-knocking-me-down hugs the kids have been giving me lately.  For whatever reason, they have been all about the huge hugs recently and I can't complain one bit.  I know these days are numbered; someday hugging me might just be uncool, so I'm soaking them up as much as I can now.

Have a wonderful night!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 60

Today I am grateful that my parents loaned me their treadmill for a while.  It was a great chance to get to see if I'd actually use one and enjoy it.  And the best part is that I did enjoy it, so very much.  I helped them move it back to their house yesterday, and while I was a little sad to see it go, I was so glad they had let me borrow it in the first place.

Thanks again, Mom and Dad!

Have a wonderful night!

Christmas 2012: Christmas Day

Once we were dressed in our Christmas finery, we headed over to my parents' house for breakfast.  Some people were up and ready to greet us, while others were still just stirring.

Mollie wanted a little story time with Grandpa E before breakfast.

Baylor, meanwhile, snuggled up to Aunt Cynthia and showed her a Lego catalog while she ate breakfast.

For whatever reason, I really enjoyed the orange bread this year!  Mollie just enjoyed the frosting.

Baylor didn't like it much, but he did enjoy his Lego catalog with Aunt Christine.

We opened the stockings Santa had left for us at Oma's house, then we packed back up and got in the car.  Usually we stay with my side of the family for the duration of Christmas day, but a few changes in the traditional schedule left us open to go spend some time with Bryson's extended family in Jackson.  So, off we went!

Surprisingly, Baylor slept on the way there.

Also surprisingly, Mollie did not.

She did sleep on the way home, however.

We had a great time at Bryson's Uncle Jo's house visiting with family we hadn't seen in quite some time.  After enjoying lunch and visiting, though, it was time to head back to my parents' house for dinner.

But first, there were a few gifts to open!  Bouncy balls, anyone?

The kids got some cute books, too.  Baylor read Those Darn Squirrels! ...

... while Mollie enjoyed Arthur's Pet Business.

It was definitely a different kind of Christmas day, but we had a great time seeing family far and wide and trying something new for a change.

Christmas 2012: Christmas Morning

I have to say, this Christmas morning with the kids was the best one yet!  The looks on their faces when they opened their presents was gift enough for me.  Seriously, they were so excited about all the presents they got; in years past, they were too little or too distracted by the packaging to get geeked about the actual gift.  Not so this year.

Santa seems to have done a pretty awesome job with their stockings this year.  Both kids got chocolate Teddy Grahams, something I never buy for them, and a bunch of little treats.  Like a compass!

And kid chopsticks!

Mollie even got a kids watch!

And the very bar of soap she asked for!

Once their stockings were empty, Baylor made his way over to the tree to find the gift Santa had left for him and was disappointed it wasn't there.  Of course, our tree has very little clearance underneath it, so Santa wisely left the kids' gifts in front of the fireplace.  Baylor was much relieved!

Mollie got the doctor kit she asked for ...

... and Baylor got a cash register, just like on his list!  Man, that Santa really had his stuff together this year.

While the kids played with their toys from Santa a bit, Bryson opened his gift from them ... a Sudoku tear-off calendar!  And it was truly from them; they found it while we were looking for a birthday gift for my dad back in November, and I've held onto it for them ever since.

After a little while of playing, I reminded them that they had gifts under the tree from us, too.

I got them things they hadn't asked for but I thought they'd like, and it looks like I did a pretty good job.  Mollie got a camper for her dollhouse family ...

... and Baylor got Marble Works!  He plays with it a lot at school and with his PLAY therapist, so he was pretty geeked to find out he had his very own set.

He even had a little time to play with it.

Christmas morning at our house is usually pretty short, though, as there are other festivities we like to attend. So, soon enough, we got dressed and headed out!  Yet even though it's short, it is so very sweet and such a nice time we get to spend with just our little family of four.  I hope your Christmas morning was just as special!