Thursday, December 29, 2011

Charlie's class & the ready-mix truck

It was a big day at school today - Uncle Todd visited Charlie's class with a ready-mix truck! The class has been learning about trucks for several weeks and were well prepared for seeing the real thing.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Movie Night

We've started a(nother) new tradition. When your family is as young as ours, potential new traditions are popping up all the time, the key is to make them stick. I think Christmas Movie Night could stick.

We put on our matching Christmas pajamas (Dad needs to have some that match next year!), gathered on the floor for a pizza picnic and watched A Charlie Brown Christmas. It was a Saturday night when we could have been out braving the crowds to shop or dine amongst the holiday hype. Instead, we had our own quiet pajama party with the other Charlie and his friends. I think it will be fun to rotate through all the Christmas classics one year at a time and enjoy new favorites as they come out. How long do we have to wait before the kids will appreciate "Elf"?? And won't it be fun to torture them with matching Christmas pj's as they get to be teenagers?

This one is getting faster by the day. Crawling and pulling up on anything she sees. Christmas morning is going to be fun!

Seeing Double

Sometimes I am struck by how similar two pictures of Charlie and Izzy can be. Two pictures taken almost exactly two years apart and with no intention of replicating an image or an event. I happened to see these two both floating around on my computer at work and realized they were taken at just about the same age for both babies. And in these pictures I see how similar and how very different they are.

It's fun to imagine how they will grow and change over the years. It's been an incredibly good year in the Maniger household. We are so grateful, so lucky.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On the move

Did I say things would calm down after last week? Silly me. I should have known better, what with only 2 weeks til Christmas. So things have not slowed down at all, but I'm busy with things that I enjoy a whole lot more than really long days in the lab. Birthday celebrations, finding the perfect gift, mailing Christmas cards, packing - did I mention we're heading to Colorado for some relaxing and active days in the snow? Can't wait! It's just Ryan and I and I'm already missing the kids. This will be our first trip without Izzy. Sniff.

But holding true to her standing as the best baby in the whole world, she went ahead and figured out how to crawl right before we leave town so we wouldn't miss this milestone. She figured it out at home today, lowering my Mom guilt considerably. I was there to see it! Thanks Iz, I really appreciate it. You have given me a wonderful gift for the holiday!

Not only did she figure out how to crawl, but almost simultaneously she is pulling up and standing. Watch out Charlie, all toys are fair game now!

I'm still figuring out how to get videos from my phone to the blog. For now, its easier to post them on Tumblr. Check out the first crawl here. (For the record, Charlie's dog does not have fleas!)

Friday, December 9, 2011

All the stockings are hung...

Five stockings (including Roxie's!) grace our mantel this year. A perfect number!

Note: My book advent calendar for this year, pictured on the mantel, is still a work in progress. (It looked much better last year - I can't find the tags I made and saved! Where are they??) But it is in place, for the most part, and it has been fun to open what is now becoming a nice collection of Christmas classics and favorites.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

You are my sunshine

This is a rough week, I knew it would be. Work is super busy and every day this week is a long day. I've left the house without seeing the kids in the morning and come home to only see them for an hour or so before bed (and last night for only about 15 minutes). Its only Wednesday and it feels like Friday x 2! I will be so glad when this week is over and I can spend more time with my family. I'm trying to keep it in perspective and remember that it is finite, life will return to its normal pace again (until the next busy time!).

In the meantime, I have this little song to keep me company. Charlie is pretty picky about what songs we sing at night before bed. It's a good night if we move away from the old standby "Old McDonald" at all. I love it when Charlie sings along with me and this song is one of my favorites. Turn up the volume on your computer and try not to smile!

Singing with Charlie on Tumblr.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Going it alone

I don't know how single parents survive. It's only been three days (and nights! in our house one night can feel like a week) and I'm about at wit's end. Part of it is timing, I am swamped at work and there is this little thing called Christmas around the corner...I don't have gift lists yet for family members, I haven't purchased or even thought about purchasing anything yet, my Christmas cards are not addressed, my advent calendar is not up, we don't have a tree...the list goes on. It bums me out that I am behind on all these things because I love this time of year. Having kids to experience it with and share new traditions makes it all the more fun. I have to kick it into gear!

But I digress, back to the single parenting. Mornings are probably the hardest for me on my own. It is nearly impossible to get out the door at a decent time with two little ones. There are bottles to be made, clothes to be taken off and put on, last minute trips to the bathroom for the newly potty-trained that involve stripping all the way back down to just a shirt, a dog to feed and let out, and coffee to be made and sucked down quickly while avoiding the grasps of small hands. Then there are all the things that have to be put in the car - my laptop, said coffee, lunch, bottles, extra clothes for the newly potty-trained and the one that spits up 10 times a day, a carseat with an infant stuffed inside, a toddler carrying a cup of cereal, a fire truck and a nickel. (I won't mention the fact that I have to back my car out of our too-narrow garage before I can load in the infant seat as the door doesn't open wide enough inside the garage. But we live in a charming neighborhood, see?). Needless to say, this routine is monumentally more difficult if both kids have been up numerous times the night before.

This morning I pulled out of the driveway with just about everything in the car that needed to be in the car - minus the little fire truck to go with the already present big fire truck. Really kid?!

But this post wasn't meant to complain so much as to express my gratitude for a helpful spouse that really does so much in this shared parenting process. I heard news today of a work colleague with three kids getting a divorce and it made me incredibly sad. I know I don't appreciate Ryan enough for all his help with the kids (and making coffee and breakfast, dinner every night -  I know, right?! I'm a lucky girl). The truth is, there is no way I could do what I do and try to balance work/family without being married to someone so supportive of my career and someone so willingly engaged in our daily family life.

Please hurry home, honey. We miss you more than you know!

Here's a few photos to of what we've been up to while you were away.

Working on our stance. Without pants, of course.