2015 Christmas Craze – Bows, Giggles, Throw-up, Car Naps & All Things Christmas!

Whew the holidays have flown by. Partly because we were also focused on Chester’s Graduation and partly because we have 2 crazy girls to run after. I said to Chester it literally (he hates that word) takes 2 adults working full time, non stop to make anything happen around Christmas. I now fully understand the tired mom that I remember on Christmas morning. The holidays are so busy for everyone, this year it felt so fun and we love most all moments with the girls. We are also in pretty good moods since Chester has been done with school and its fun to talk about our future … where ever it may take us.

Christmas #.5 – Lori & Karen Christmas
This one happened back in October when Grandma Lori and Grandma Karen came over. They brought these amazing pillow pads and also their ever famous box of cookies came in December complete with fudge and Christmas jammies for the kids.

Christmas #1 – Friends Christmas
This is the first year in maybe 3 years that we have not hosted a Christmas for all of our friends. We were so happy that our friends Tom & Jay decided to host a white elephant in Shaw. They do it up right complete with pomegranate sparkly goodness. This is an important Christmas for Chester and I to do Christmas away from the kids and have our own fun.

Christmas #2 – Nay Christmas
We do Christmas with Chester’s parents and brothers and sisters the Saturday before Christmas. We actually added another grandbaby, Zeke who was born in December, however we missed Katie’s family for Zeke to spend his first Christmas safely at home. Zeke evens out the grandkids with 5 girls and 5 boys now.

The kids did a secret santa for the first time because there are TEN of them! So that made things go a little faster. We also did a super white elephant for our exchange this year which included a horse head (this actually made an appearance at our first white elephant also), Kate Spade bag, 2 sleeping bags, an old fishing box, may survival supplies and of course a can of squid (did I mention that the theme was nighttime?). Next year our theme is accessory/ies. We got a Ninja from Blake and Robin which Chester was under-thrilled about but we brought it home and he/we LOVE it. The kids I don’t think have eaten that many veggies in one serving ever. Drinkable Kale? Yes please.

The night ended with the most delicious beef tenderloin. Our kids are just barely old enough that they can be okay walking around by themselves so they would stop by for pieces of roll and then run off again.

Christmas #3 – Koeller Christmas Eve
This is our fancy Christmas at Chester’s Grandma and Grandpa Koeller house in Quincy. The girls wear tights* and dresses and there are Christmas ties. Also this is the best place for wine tasting, shrimp cocktail (which I love), oysters (which I hate), and clam chowder (which I love). Even though we don’t see this side of the family often I really think its important that we see them so the kids know they have this awesome extended family that loves them and are really interested and invested in their future and happiness.

Christmas #4 – Family Christmas Morning
On Christmas Eve Eve Chester and I stayed up until about 2 am making bread (well Chester does that) and I had gotten this doll house furniture that is actually a 3D puzzle. I should have done it weeks ago when it came in, but of course I thought it would only take a few hours. Inbetween bread making Chester peaked over and said “no” I am not doing that, but then after about 20 minutes it comes over and works with me on this for maybe 3 hours putting it all together for me while I painted.

When we got back from Qunicy the house was a mess of course. So we did a pick up, oh and I ran out to get a few last minute items for my family. I just barely avoided the news crew setting up to do their bit about last minute holiday shoppers in Target.

But of course it was worth it when we got everything ready and the kids woke up happy. I continued the tradition of giving them a book first thing like my mom did. We aren’t necessarily against Santa, but we aren’t all about making Christmas about Santa. And we are definitely not Elf on the Shelf people, nothing against the people that do it, but I can’t get excited about it right now. I will never say never, but I don’t want to. We feel the same way about Santa that we do about Disney Princess — not our most favorite, but if the girls love it we are encouraging and let them do their thing.

Christmas #5 – Walton Christmas Day
This is a fun day for me because it brings back all the memories of my own childhood Christmases. Probably because we come back to my childhood house and with the kids now my mom has brought back all those traditions that come flooding back when I see her do them with Vivienne and Ellen. Mom must buy one present everyday during the year. And ever year she said she is cutting back, but I don’t think its possible for her.

The girls love their G-Ma.

AND MORE CHRISTMAS because we love it!

Christmas’ with Babies! 

AND Last but Not Least, SANTA

2015 Holiday Season is Here!

The holidays are here and we are a pretty happy bunch! While October was our sickest month in the history of our little family, these days we are all breathing easy.

What an amazing holiday Thanksgiving is, centered around family and food, what could be better? We spent the day with the Koeller side in New Canton, IL. It was a beautiful day (like 70 degrees) and we enjoyed the ride.

Friday we did our Walton Thanksgiving and Aunt Miranda spent the night. I look forward to my mom’s spread each year. She has it down to a science and it got me thinking about asking for a Thanksgiving dinner for my birthday.

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And for the first year ever we got out Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving and it is here! We opted for Bayers down the street instead of an all day excursion to a farm since rain was in the forecast. I think we can handle the cold but cold and wet with the babies, no thank you. So next year I think. The girls had a great time in their new boots especially Ellen who love trouncing through the puddles.

Vivi kept asking about the ornaments on the tree after we put it up, so while we were going to wait to put them on when they went to bed, we did it after dinner with them. I am glad that we did. Vivi kept asking if they were toys and while she couldn’t quite hang them on the tree, she did a good job handing them to us. We have about a million “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments, which I love. As a kids I didn’t like getting ornaments and didn’t understand why my mom and Grandma Em kept giving them to us, but not as we have our own tree I totally get it. And love that we have so many from both our sides of the family. Each one is like a little piece of history or personality that we get to rediscover each year.

With the holidays sometimes I am in a rush to start family traditions and I have to remind myself to slow down and enjoy the girls as they are just coming into their own little people. I think we can all get caught up in a perfect picture that we have in our head then are disappointed when it doesn’t end up the way we planned, which it rarely does. So the Christmas tree farm will wait another year.

Chester’s graduation is just around the corner and we are getting excited to have him home mostly. Also school related, Vivi got into Wilkinson Early Childhood Center, a magnet school in the SLPS district for the 2016/2017 school year. It was our second choice in the lottery but free preschool? YES sign us up!

And… if you’ve made it to the end, here is a longish video from tonight that is full of little girl laughter that is the best thing in the world. Ellen also sings you a book :)

2015 at the Nays | 7 Month & 22 Month Old Babies

Welp, here we are in the New Year. The holidays went by either extremely fast or extremely slow depending on what day you ask us. Chester had a month off from school so was home for most of December which was so great (again depending on what day you ask us). Don’t get me wrong, we love being together as a family with the babies, but even though there are two of us it doesn’t seem any less stressful or tiring from a full day starting at 6 am with 2 babies.

We had so much Christmas wonderful with our families and got by with buying our kids one present each, big pillow “chums” which I think Chester and I take advantage of more than the babies. I think we will have to do a few more next year for Vivi who ended up having a hand in helping all of us open presents this year, but I am determined to keep it small. I know it is amazing to wake up to a huge pile of presents under the tree — I grew up very accustomed to this sight on Christmas morning, but I buy the kids sweaters and underwear anyway, should I really wrap them so there is another thing under the tree? At this point I am saying no. I know that 2 is not realistic, but why not? Its more presents than they get on most other days in the year.

So I am making our household resolutions. These are things that we want to do better, I am not including “keep working to make money” on the list…

1) Get one baby out of diapers. Either one, Vivi or Ellen will NOT be wearing diapers by the end of this year. Though this is terrifying it WILL happen.

2) Put pictures in some kind of organized book or album. This sounds so much easier than it is. I am uploading pictures to Shutterfly as we speak.

3) Use this blog for something more than just updates. So while I love to do updates, I would really like to write and post about things that I like or think … the thing is that I do it so infrequently that I feel cornered into just making updates about the girls since so much changes. I tell clients to do it, so I will find a way — this year.

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Update: 1 September 2015

HAHAHA. It is lauaghable that I didn’t not even get this New Year resolutions published. I am going through and looking at all my half finished drafts and just posting anyones that seem long enough to get a read out of. So while I only got around to writing 3 “resolutions,” looking back now I have accomplished the first item on this list. Vivi is pretty completely potty trained. I can’t remember the last time we had an accident and she is actually pretty good at holding it if you give her the future potty location destination.

Here are some Christmas pics from last year that I dug out of a long lost digital folder:

Yearly pic with Santa, due to the instance of G-Ma (Walton :) of making traditions.20141210_184547

We did manage our yearly Christmas white elephant party sans babies. Wonder if it’ll happen in 2015…. 10636132_10102339169542371_8006624291440186552_n

Ellen also started working out. 20141211_172353_880920141211_172353_21356