I love how many of my blogging friends are able to write so beautifully about what 2010 meant to them. How they grew spiritually and emotionally, what they learned, what they want to do better, etc. I wish I could dig deep into my soul and share with you what this past year meant to me, but the reality is that I'm tired so I would either fall asleep or get frustrated and give up because it's not coming out how I want it to! To dig deep right now would take time... And I would rather spend that time sleeping or playing with my boys. This was a wonderful year and I have personally reflected on how blessed I am and how truly faithful God is to me. Shaun and I have two healthy boys, a new home that is full of laughter, and now a baby on the way... Believe me, I know I have a lot to be thankful for! Here's a look back at the year from month to month. This is what reminds me that time goes by too fast and we need to make the most of each day!
I absolutely loved this Christmas!!! Besides the fact that we had big news to share, we actually got to spend the day as a family. You see, Shaun has worked over half of our married Christmases, including our first Christmas married and both boy's first Christmas (he is scheduled to work next Christmas too which I guess would only be fair for the new baby). Last year I stayed home with the boys all day and didn't see anyone (Shaun wasn't at his normal station so we didn't go visit). This year we actually had a Christmas Eve on the 24th and a Christmas morning on the 25th... No having to change dates and pretend it's Christmas... It was just like I remember from when I was growing up! AND my parents and brother were able to join us (2006 has been my only married Christmas with them). I'm ok with being married to a fireman because we usually enjoy Christmas at the station with all the families, but there's nothing like Christmas morning in your own home!
First picture of the morning... On our way down stairs to open presents!
The first thing Isaac asked when he woke up was, "Did Santa come and fill my stocking?"
Isaac and his new shark bike from Santa!
Parker giving my dad the present from him... And then taking it back! :)
Parker enjoying books with matching stuffed animals
This is how we told my family we were pregnant.
Because the boys got so many birthday presents, my parent's gifts to them turned into Christmas presents. So, I went ahead and wrapped them up and put them under the tree... Along with a special ornament that said "Middle Child." While we were opening presents, I put Parker on my mom's lap with one of the presents I told her was from her. She was confused because she couldn't remember buying him something that was that size, but she went with it anyway! Once she was able to read the ornament and piece together that Parker wasn't going to be the baby anymore, she screamed for a good five minutes! Priceless!
Uncle Aaron got Isaac this basketball hoop. Parker loves it just as much as Isaac does!
Our big gifts to each other this year were bikes!
When Isaac gets tired, he joins Parker in the trailer!
FIVE stockings were hung by the chimney with care!
For three weeks and two days Shaun and I have had to focus on what we allowed to flow out of our mouths. You see, we were keeping a little something that is growing inside of me a secret. We knew that Christmas was the perfect time to announce that... Baby Higgins #3 is on the way! It was such a wonderful Christmas present to our family but an even bigger relief to me to not have to hold in my after dinner gags. Trying to help my mom on Christmas Eve with baking was killer for my nausea... AND I couldn't tell her why I had to take breaks from the overwhelming smell of chocolate and sugar cookies. I am eight weeks which should give us an August baby (hallelujah it's not another November baby)! We're beyond thrilled and beyond freaked out. Three under four is going to be a massive challenge!... Bring it on!
This past weekend we spent the entire three days with family. We started out celebrating Shaun's birthday on Friday then continued with Christmas celebrations on Saturday and Sunday. The Fresno cousins (Shaun's older brother and family) came down to join us so it was a FULL house! All the guys worked to complete Ammah's Christmas present (a tiled counter and back splash in the kitchen), the kids ran wild INSIDE because of the rain, and the girls enjoyed pedicures (thanks Ammah and Papa). Sadly though, I didn't take many pictures. No time to stop... Go, go, go! Needless to say Monday was a nice relaxing day. The boys and I slept in and stayed home and did absolutely nothing. Poor Shaun had to be up early for work though:(
Here are some moments that I did catch on camera!
Decorating Ammah and Papa's tree with the cousins (we love you Collin, Payton, Julie! And of course Justine that was behind the scenes handing the little ones the ornaments!)
Buzz and Woody pjs from the cousins. Perfect fit and the boys love them!
Grandma Higgins, from Mississippi, made the boys these way cool beanies
Shaun turned 30 on Friday and the boys couldn't wait to celebrate with cake (that they helped create... It's supposed to be a big cupcake cake) and presents. Isaac also did daddy a favor and opened his gifts for him! Parker was still sick (not sure how we got such a big smile in the above picture) so of course that made the day a little more challenging (today was actually the first day we could tell he was starting to feel better... but not around people. He only wanted mommy)!
Opening presents that I took from under the tree... It's hard buying gifts for two holidays that are so close together!
Last Tuesday afternoon Parker had a little runny nose. No big deal, right? WRONG!!! If you're a mother (or father) of a teething child, then you know that that is a horrible sign of what's to come. By the next day there was a constant flood of gunk, which meant we had a very grumpy baby! Most of our plans were cancelled and Shaun and I tag teamed outings. One would stay home with Parker and the other would go out with Isaac. The days only continued to get worse, including nights, and in a blur we are now on day 8 of poor Parker's sickness. Last night was by far the worst. He was up at 3am and by 4:30 there was NO soothing him! He was in pain. I think he finally relaxed and fell asleep around 6am. At 10:30 I took him to the doctors and she told me that he had an eye infection (which I knew) and an ear infection (which I didn't know because he never even touched his ear). AND the rash that had developed all over his chest and back was just part of him being sick. Because he also wasn't eating, he had lost a whole pound from last Monday! I know it's bad when my kids don't eat!
We're hoping that after starting antibiotics today, that tomorrow will be the light at the end of the tunnel! I have never seen Parker this traumatized! He is such a happy, independent little guy. This week has been the complete opposite. He now has a few molars but still some massive, swollen bumps in the back of his mouth (he bites my finger when I try to feel for teeth).
I am also so thankful that my boys have a wonderful daddy that has helped 110%. I don't know how I would have done this by myself. Shaun is so patient and so gentle. But, he's also super strong and that helps when it comes to holding down a screaming child that needs eye drops!
I got my Christmas cards from Shutterfly in the mail, but by the time I send them out they may have turned into New Years cards! And eventually the furniture will get dusted and the floors will get mopped, but in the meantime, I'll be loving on my babies and trying to enjoy the Christmas season before it's gone!!!
His eye actually looks better in this picture. One day it was so red and swollen that he could hardly open it. It looked like he had been in a fight! :(
The line up...
Benadryl, binkie, eye drops, fever reducer, teething tablets (that have been recalled... I know), nerf dart and Spiderman web (aka: teethers), ear medicine, and cold medicine. Also, notice the EMPTY tissue box in the background! The only "soother" not pictured is his blankie! Oh, and the booger sucker is MIA. But that is definitely something that Parker wants to go missing! AND of course we didn't use all these drugs at the same time...
3 ft 4 in (40 in)
He is at a perfect height and weight and is as healthy as can be! He also has an endless imagination that keeps us on our toes... And laughing!
2 ft 8 in (32 in)
26 lbs 4 oz (Isaac was 26 lbs 2 oz at a year!)
He is at the top of the percentile chart and is also as healthy as can be! Well, he was healthy when he saw the doctor last week. this week is a different story. Poor little guy is cutting his first set of molars and has had a week long fever, a never ending runny nose during the day but stuffy at night, and a crusty left eye. I'll leave you to imagine how the sleep (or lack of it) has been in our house!
Shaun and I decided that we needed to start our Christmas traditions the day after Thanksgiving. The day begins with me getting to do a little shopping (but not at 3am, just whenever I wake up). Of course I'm shopping for others, but I still keep an eye out for what I want so I can send Shaun out when I get home! ;) After shopping, lunch, and naps, we decorate the house... Inside and out! The boys "help" Shaun put the lights up and then they come in and "help" me put the tree up! This year they just ended up playig with all the nativity scenes. The night ends with pizza for dinner and popcorn and a movie for dessert!
"Helping" daddy hang lights. The boys loved playing peek a boo under the ladder and eating snacks in the wagon! I didn't so much like when Shaun went to the very top of the house. Do you see how he got there? Yeah, I know he climbs ladders and battles heights for a living... BUT I bet he doesn't use folding chairs at work!
Enjoying our popcorn and movie. Instead of a Santa movie we watched "silent Night." It's a cartoon movie about the night Jesus was born... There's a twist though. It's about the donkey that Mary rode all the way to Bethlehem.
Decorating the tree (which to Parker means to un-decorate)! Isaac had to reprimand Parker a few times because he wouldn't leave his Thomas the Train ornament alone!
The Jesse Tree is another tradition we started this year. This one begins on Dec. 1st though. Instead of the typical "25 day count down to Christmas candy" we now read a passage in the Bible and hang an ornament that relates to what we read. There are many different types of Jesse Trees but ours are the 25 people that led up to Christ's birth. Read about the Jesse Tree here.
Yesterday we spent the day at Knott's Berry Farm (we go every year just before Christmas). It was so different going this year as compared to last year. Last year Parker was only a few weeks old so I did a lot of sitting and nursing. This year he was walking all over the place and even got to enjoyed a few rides! My brother also met up with us so that made it easy to tag team some of the big rides that the boys were too little for.
Uncle Aaron won a basketball for the boys! Parker was in heaven!
Isaac and his favorite rides! Shaun taught him to throw his hands in the air... Funny that he's the only one!
Parker was either watching big brother from behind the bars or flashing us his cheesiest smiles from the rides!
It is definitely Santa season... Everywhere we go, there he is! While Shaun and I try our hardest to teach our boys the true meaning of Christmas (the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the world), we feel that it's also ok for them to believe in Santa while they're little. Isaac gets so excited when he sees him! AND the thought of flying reindeer, led by Rudolph, just about makes him fall over! Isaac also loves the fact that even though it's Jesus' birthday, he still gets presents too! There is one problem though... Isaac loves LOOKING at Santa but DO NOT let him get close! My boys just want to get their presents and get away as fast as possible!
Today Shaun's department had a Christmas party for the kids. Santa (aka: Papa) came sliding down the pole and then delivered presents to each child. He calls them up front, one at a time, and helps them open a gift he made for them (aka: the parents buy a gift for their child and secretly pass it to Santa). Of course Isaac hid his head the whole time. Parker didn't do too bad. He was up their long enough to at least open his present. It was lots of fun and so cute seeing the excitement on all the little kids faces!
We quickly sat Parker on Santa's lap and he tried so hard and for so long not to cry... BUT it didn't work. He eventually lost it! They were much happier when Santa was far and they could freely play with their new presents!
Typical fire family pictures!
Because Isaac got a gun from Santa it was obvious that we were destined to come home and play super heroes. I love how Parker is really getting into it too! He wants to play with all the costumes just like big brother!
YEAH!!! It worked! My last post got me 50 free Christmas cards! Now I can move on and actually blog about all our new Christmas traditions. Well, I eventually will... It's super late (for me Emily, not you) so I'll just leave you with some funny videos of the boys and then hopefully get back to blogging tomorrow night (or Sunday night... Or Monday night:}).
This is a video of Isaac (from October) singing his planet song. He gets a little crazy and hard to hear but you can still get th idea. He names all the planets, their order from the sun, and tells a little fact about each one! He's so smart and such a fast learner... Kinda scary!
This is a video of Parker trying to walk in super padded and supper slippery slippers! He has quite the "drunk" moments towards the end! So funny!
Merry Christmas! Let me quickly tell you about a site that has already started to share in the Christmas giving...
When Christmas time rolls around, we really enjoy getting Christmas cards with pictures, letters, and updates on people's lives. I feel so special every year when I see how many we got in the mail! We love to send our friends and family cards too.
AND, shutterfly.com has some really cute cards. Such as their Photo Christmas cards. I think its a great idea to have the card and photo be one. Then you can artistically arrange your pictures and choose a color and message that suits you. I think my favorite Christmas card right now is this one. I love the idea of the black and white pictures with the bright red ribbon in the back! I've always loved the magic of Christmas too!
I am constantly using Shutterfly for my pictures. I always make the boys a birthday book ('cause who has time to scrapbook anymore), the grandparents love getting their Christmas calendars, I post most of our pictures for all to see here, and whenever shutterfly has a special offer, which is often, I make sure to order! Not only is the quality top of the line but I always get a great deal; and free shipping too. Their layouts and backgrounds make it very simple to use. Hip, hip, HURRAY!
Did you know that Shutterfly is having an amazing promotion right now on their cards? Check it out here. Now, all the money that I was going to spend on buying Christmas cards can be spent on postage!!!
Here's Parker thinking you're crazy if you pass up this deal!!!
At the end of last week/beginning of this week, we had a "family first" trip! We went camping!!! Well, I guess we've been before but not just the four of us. We have wonderfully generous friends that let us use their trailer... Because running water and electricity is what I call camping! Other than it being freezing (ignore the fact that Shaun wore shorts the whole time) and Parker face planting it on the playground (see below pictures), we had so much fun! One day we took a two hour nature walk in the morning and then did it all over again in the afternoon. Everything around us was so beautiful and there was so much to explore! Our bonfires at night didn't go so well though. The fire was a little intense for Isaac and I was scared that Parker was going to trip and fall in (the kid can't sit still). We look forward to having a trailer someday and being able to do this more often. BUT, in the meantime, we'll keep mooching off our friends! Thanks Vazquez family! You are amazing!
Self timers on cameras are GREAT!
Parker and his boo-boo! The first picture was taken once he calmed down and the other picture was what he looked like the next day! Poor guy hit so hard. No parent wants to see their child's mouth full of blood!
Isaac took this picture. It's a little far away but look how centered it is! Not bad kid!
This was Isaac's first smore! He knows that daddy puts out fires so he was a little confused when daddy started the fire. These pictures of Parker crack me up. I saw him discover the marshmallow bag, stick his hand in, and then devour one like it was nothing. What's even funnier is that even though the marshmellow is in his right check, his left check is just as big! It's the same marshmallow by the way. I just clicked as fast as I could!
The boys loved climbing all over these huge rocks!
Parker with mommy and daddy. I was so focused on getting a good picture with my second born that I didn't even get one with my first born... Oops!
I love seeing my boys enjoy each other!
I love this one of Parker. I wish I had a picture of what was making him smile... Big brother jumping around like crazy!
Feeling so blessed during this Thanksgiving and Christmas season!
My prince charming and I have been together since 2001 and were happily married on June 26th, 2004. We received our most precious gift, Isaac Timothy, on November 12, 2007. Our second most precious gift, Parker James, came November 18, 2009. AND our third (and final) most precious gift, Blake Tyler, was born August 18, 2011. Shaun is a fearless California Firefighter and I am a Domestic Diva (aka: retired teacher/stay at home mom)!