Thursday, December 31, 2015

Christmas 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year, even when, or maybe especially when, it's 75 degrees Christmas week! We've all had various intensities and durations of cold symptoms over the past 2 weeks and have enjoyed spending some restful time around the house, at the park and playing outside in this gorgeous weather!

Rachel continues to be the happiest toddler on the block, although she does know how to cry and whine to manipulate us. She's our super social kid, with words for:
All Done, more please, giraffe, I did! Jackson, dog, cat, shoe/sock (same word), bath, snack, mommy (finally!). She loves to figure things out and is very pleased with herself (lots of clapping and a face like the picture below) when she gets it! She and I took a walk in the rain yesterday and she decided it was a good time to figure out how to put the straw back into the lid. She got it and exclaimed, "I Did!"
 This little nugget has 12 teeth (4 molars at one time...poor girl) and is working on her 4 k9 teeth any day now. She loves to talk on the phone, wrestle her brother, eat, put on clothes and take baths. She also loves to pull her diaper down and scratch her bum...we're trying to teach her that it's not lady-like. She has these super sweet curls in the back that I hope last forever! 
 Jackson is all about the world of imagination. He LOVES to take all of his toys (and rachels too) and create a scenario for them. His current favorites are still Rescue Bots and Ninja Turtles, but he'll use various accessories in his scene, like old glow-bracelets, a pulse and my little ponies. He enjoyed the excitement of Christmas, wrapping gifts for others, knowing that there might be some gifts for him. This year he actually seems to process some of the Christmas story more than just the details of who, what and where. We are hoping that the true message of Christmas can sink into his heart and mind amidst the fun and joyful experience of decorating, gifting and spending time with family and friends during the season. 

 We had a few gifts for Jackson but realized they were quite boring and Jonathan made the excellent purchase of 2 Nerf guns. The Byrne household has a rule of Safety First (see all of our previous pictures with dogs and helmets) so the rules are no deliberate head shots, and all participants must be wearing eye protection. These little darts go fast and far and they have really enjoyed themselves. 
We hosted Christmas brunch again this year which is working out really well. We get to enjoy both sets of grandparents and the kids can wake up in their own home on Christmas morning, which I always thought was special when I was younger. The kids just ADRORE their grandparents. It's so fun to see Jackson run to be swept up in the arms of a big embrace, and to see Rachel just squeal with excitement when she sees one of them on FaceTime, or better yet, in person! EEK!  We also realize how blessed we are to have 2 local and 2 very close grandparents who love the kids so well and help us a TON. Parenting takes a village...and we're thankful that our village includes both sets of parents!
 I'm a tad biased, but isn't she beautiful? 
 Rachel's fun gift was a tricycle from BB and Grandad. Our neighbor has this one and we picked it out so she and Rachel can be twins :) She is already obsessed with riding this and it's hopefully going to get us out for even more walks around the neighborhood! Jackson is a rockstar big brother and does a great job of pushing her. 

 I happened to find a train table for sale on our Nextdoor Website and we decided to buy it and make it a Christmas present because it seemed like good timing. JB and I secretly rearranged his room while the kids were out on a walk with grandparents. J was somewhat speechless at the time but now really enjoys his new room.

 J thinks that it can't be Christmas unless it snows. I admit that it's weird to have a warm (hot) Christmas, but I really didn't mind the chance to get outside and enjoy some sun and fresh air! 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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