Paxton Christmas 2011

I knew our Christmas weekend was going to be non-stop.  With the two kids who are totally into Christmas this year, it was impossible to completely prepare for it mentally. 

Friday, December 23 - Steve's family, Sarah's family, and my family drove down to Red Oak to have our immediate family Christmas.  The boys jumped right into the opening presents event.  They got some really good gifts!  The favorites were cowboy hats, a stick horse for Andrew, trains for Andrew, and the Bat Mobile and Joker for Jacob.  Here are the pics.
Matthew with his loot
Jacob with his loot

Andrew with his loot

What?! (Jacob's new favorite expression)
A Bat Mobile!
Andrew with his Stick Horse

Grant with his Sock Monkey Jack in the Box

Just what I wanted!  A Cowboy Hat!

Grant and Jacob

Grant jumped right into a hat box!

Occasionally we would find Grant in Abby's carseat

Cowboy Andrew!

Papa with the Princess
Derek with his Angel!

Saturday, December 24 - We had the whole Paxton clan out to Red Oak.  It was really nice!  Last year we tried something different by having it at a restaurant.  This year, everyone wanted it to be at someone's house, and they were all SO excited that my parents volunteered to host.  It was probably one of our best Christmases yet! 

The plan was for everyone to arrive around noon, and then we would eat around 12:30.  This is where I found myself when it was time to eat. 

He literally crawled up into my lap, got comfy, and went to sleep. 
 I cannot remember the last time that happened. 

Andrew woke up about halfway into lunch time by having an accident.  We both changed clothes and then sat down to eat.  Then the kids played for a while while the adults visited.  

Grant and Matthew


Grant and Andrew.  I love this pic! 
It looks like Andrew is going to pull out Grant's tooth.
These two were sizing each other up the entire time we were in Red Oak.

After play time, we played our annual White Elephant Game.  Brian ended up with ingredients to make S'mores and a gift certificate to the movies.  I ended up with a recipe box perfect for pulling recipes out of magazines!  I was pumped!  I tear out recipes all the time and have no place to put them. 

The boys attacked him for the Graham Crackers.

Then we took some pics of our entire family and just my family. 
Our Family - Great pic of everyone!

My Family - Great pic of everyone!

Christmas was off to a great start!  Now it was time to load up the boys' gifts and head home to get ready for Santa!

North Pole Express

The Boys on the North Pole Express
My boys LOVE The Polar Express.  They know all the music and a lot of the lines.  It's amazing!  We literally find them playing around the house and singing the songs - even the Josh Groban song and the slow song the little boy sings with the girl ("When Christmas Comes to Town"). 

Anyway, we heard that they have a train that is similar to the Polar Express in Grapevine.  Brian and I decided to surprise the kids with it last night. 

Daddy and Jacob
     Friday afternoon, the boys went to Red Oak.  My parents took the boys to get cowboy boots (which they love!).  Brian and I showed up to get them while they were eating lunch.  We let them play a little longer, and then we took them home.  All I told them was that after nap time, we were going to get ready for a special surprise from Mommy and Daddy. 
     First, we went to see the Muppet movie.  I'm a HUGE fan of the Muppets!  So when Andrew had had enough, Brian took him out of the theater.  It was great, and I think Jacob is a Muffet fan now, too!

Andrew, Mommy, Jacob
Next we parked by the train station in Grapevine.  Brian let me out before they parked so that I could get the tickets.  Then I met up with them, and we changed the boys into their PJ's.  When we told them we were going to ride the North Pole Express, Jacob immediately got excited about riding the Polar Express.  I told him it was like the Polar Express, but they called it the North Pole Express. 

Mommy and Jacob
The train was running late.  So we had to wait outside for about 30 minutes before they let us into the tent with the pre-ride show.  In my opinion, they could've gotten the train back on schedule had they skipped the pre-ride show for our train.  It was totally cheesy and quite painful.  Not to mention, we had to wait probably another 30 minutes inside this tent...with tired children...before this stupid show started.  Jacob actually LOVED it!  So, okay...worth it a little.  :)

While we were waiting, Brian took the boys to look at the train.  Andrew immediately said he didn't want to ride the train because he was scared of it, but he did just fine! 

Santa, Brian, Andrew, Jacob
So on the train, there was more obnoxious entertaining singing.  It went on the ENTIRE trip.  Again, Jacob loved it!  Andrew sang along, too!  Santa made his way through the cars, and he gave each kid a bell.  Jacob rang his the entire time.  After the ride, all of the kids got hot chocolate.  It was a GREAT afternoon!  They were both so surprised and everyone had fun!  This is really shaping up to be the best Christmas we've ever had! 


The boys show off their bells from Santa!

Yum!  Hot Chocolate!

Holiday Dinner Party

A couple of weeks ago, I had the idea that it would be fun to get my girlfriends together for a holiday party.  So I bounced the idea off of one of my best friends, Megan, and she suggested a Holiday Dinner Party.  From there, the idea grew!  We had to send invitations and plan the meal quickly. 

We had a Veggie Tray, Cheese and Crackers Tray, and Spinach Dip for Appetizers.

Veggie Tray

The Salad was supposed to look like a gift.  I think I bought tomatoes that were too small, but the presentation was still different than a normal salad.  Check out my Pinterest to see where I found the inspiration.

Flank Steak with Roasted Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes for Dinner.

And Megan's Grandmother's Lemon Cake for Dessert. 

Of course, there was wine - lots of wine. 

I had a few games that we played, too!  I had a White Elephant game.  Everything was from Kirkland's but they were all really cute Christmas Decoration items.  Then I asked each person to write down her favorite Christmas memory.  Then I read them aloud, and we had to guess who wrote the story.  I also bought a Pickle Ornament.  The pickle ornament is a German tradition.  You hide the ornament on your tree, and the child who finds it first gets to open a special gift or the first gift of Christmas.  I had never heard of this until this year.  Since my kids are probably too young, I thought it would be fun to try it out on my girlfriends.  Success! 

The whole night was so much fun!  It was a big enough deal where I needed things to look cute and the house to be pretty clean, but it was low key enough to where I did not feel stressed at all. 

Big Shout Out to Megan who helped pull it all together!  And a big thanks to Megan, Emily, and Cassie who started the clean up process before they left.
Place Setting

Wine Glass Candle Holders

Thanksgiving 2011

Thanksgiving was fantastic this year!  Brian and I hosted his family: his mom, sister, her husband, his parents, and his friend Chris (who was a Thanksgiving orphan).  Cooking + Scheduling Chaos + House Full of People = Happy Carrie!  It was so much fun! 

The day before, we kept the boys home from school.  This was a change in the original plan which was to send them off to school.  But Jacob was SO into it this year and extremely excited about our "Thanksgiving Feast" that we knew he would love to help.  And if we keep Jacob home, we can't send Andrew to school (not in our minds at least).  Andrew helped me cook, and you know, he did really well!  He gets excited and prefers to do things "the Andrew way," but the threat of getting kicked out of the kitchen was enough to keep him in line for the most part.  He helped me with the fruit salad, corn pudding, and green bean casserole.  Jacob helped Brian with cleaning the house.  Actually, he didn't help that much.  He put on all of his tool belt, safety goggles, and John Deere cap and pretended to work.  Brian and I were both surprised, but he kept himself busy.  And props to Brian!  He took off work for the whole week, and he worked his little tail off around the house!  It looked amazing!  And it kind of worked out for me because I prefer to be in the kitchen, and he prefers to stay out of the kitchen.  :)

Wednesday evening the boys went to Allison's house.  They helped to crumble up the cornbread for her dressing/stuffing.  They loved it!  Late that night Emily brought the turkey to the house, and we schemed about how to baste and roast Tom.  Jacob stayed up to watch her prep the turkey.  He just had to see Tom before he was cooking.  When I put Andrew to bed, I asked him if he was excited about our Thanksgiving Feast.  He sat up in bed, and he proudly listed everything that he helped to make that day!  To me, its another sign that I'm gonna need to keep an eye on this boy....probably for forever.  It was amazing to me because we had started cooking about 12 hours earlier. 

The big day came very quickly after only about 3 hours of sleep.  I put Tom in the oven about 30 minutes later than I had originally planned.  Our guests are all very casual, so I was banking on their not being uptighth about my missing my 1:00 lunch time mark.  I was going to baste Tom with his own drippings, but he was not very fatty at all!  So on a whim, I made a baste from butter, thyme, poultry seasoning, and sage. I only missed my mark by 45 minutes, so I would've been rocking it had I put the turkey in when I originally planned.  I'll take it!  Everyone was so nice about the meal and our home. 

When Emily arrived around 11:00-ish, the wine started flowing, and it flowed very smoothly for this lady right here...I had not had anything to eat before lunch time.  Three glasses later, I was ready for a nap!  lol!  So I snuck upstairs to put the boys down for their naps (which did not go so well).  When Brian came upstairs to see what was going on, I was fast asleep, and the boys were playing.  I felt much better and stayed away from the wine the rest of the day.  I was happy to see that everyone had made himself comfortable at the house.  They were veggin' out watching the Cowboys and visiting with each other.  My parents brought Matthew over to play for a while, too! 

At the end of the day, I told Brian that I thought the whole day was a success.  He told me, "I think it's the best we've had in a while."  Anyone who knows Brian knows that things like this are not said unless he truly means it.  So, of course, I cried.  :)  It was awesome, and he is already talking about hosting again next year! 

Here are some pics.  I did not take any, but Allison took a couple.  One is of the table, and the other is Emily, Antonio, Brian, and me in the kitchen (or kitchen area). 

The Great State Fair of Texas

This year Brian and I took off work on a Wednesday to take the boys to the State Fair of Texas! We had so much fun, and a weekday is definitely the time to go. At first, Andrew said he did not want to go to the fair, so we had to call it a carnival. We think it is because Jacob talked about a dragon ride he rode on last year. Andrew likes to look at scary things, but he has no interest in being near them.

First we saw the Bob the Builder exhibit. I'm pretty sure we can see that any time at the Museum of Nature and Science though. It was not listed on the Fair map. We were the only family in there for most of the time.

Next we stopped off to see the Wooly Mammoth just outside the museum. Again, we can see it any time we want.

Then we had the obligatory Fletcher's Corny Dogs. Well, Brian and I had the corny dogs. The boys sang songs and laughed. And then we took a quick picture of the boys with Big Tex! Can't miss that!

Then we went on this little farm that they have set up. It is a really neat thing for the kids. It's a complete play farm with animals and a garden. They have to do some work, then get the product (milk from cows, wool from sheep, vegetable from garden), sell it to market, and then they can buy a snack with the money. Jacob now wants a farmer's basket.

Next we walked around A LOT and finally sat down for a storytime with Mother Goose. Andrew probably could've fallen asleep, so we decided to spend the last of our coupons on Funnel Cake and head out. The boys slept on the way home, and then we were all pretty lazy that evening. We had a great time, and I can't wait to go again next year!

A New Purpose

We had an episode at our house last night that gave me a new reason to blog - I want to remember how I got old so fast. The reason would be Andrew. This kid does not give a crap about anything! It is really scary that he has this attitude at 2 - well, 2-1/2 if I want him to sound a little older.

Last night was Halloween. I even dressed up! It was a lot of fun. Jacob was a police officer, and Andrew was Spiderman. Anyway, we make our way through the neighborhood and head back home. Side Note: Andrew has been having a bit of a tough time lately because he is getting 3 of his 2-yr molars at one time. OUCH! He flip-flops on his moods constantly throughout the day. He said a couple of times while we were trick-or-treating, "Daddy, I am so happy right now!" It was really sweet!

So then we get back home, and of course the boys are dying to have candy. It was close to bed time, so Brian decided they could have one each. Then we let the boys play for about 10-15 minutes, and then it was time to brush teeth. The boys were a little upset about bed time, so Brian told them, "If you don't brush your teeth, then we have to get rid of all of your candy. You have to brush your teeth if you're going to eat candy." Mr. Pissy Pants decided he didn't want to brush his teeth. So then he turns up the drama. He was crying so loudly and just not being good at all. Brian finished up with Jacob's teeth and sent us on our way to start a book. Then he brushed Andrew's teeth. And here's the part that is going to make both of us old way before our time - Brian got a trash bag, got Andrew's pumpkin bucket, and told him to put all of the candy in the trash. (by the way, this is totally breaking my heart while I'm reading to Jacob). Andrew never cried! In fact, he started naming each candy as he put it in the trash bag. He did not care AT ALL! WTF?! And Brian told me later that he asked Andrew if he had fun trick or treating, and he told him no.

Bottom Line is that we just haven't quite found his button yet. We think its his independence, but who knows! It's scary when your two year old can turn any kind of discipline into a game.

In other news, the boys were absolutely adorable tonight! We've had the costumes for a month, and there is growing room, so they can play with them for a while.

The boys with their pumpkins - Andrew's scary face and Jacob's happy face

Mommy Witch and her boys

The Most Handsome Guys EVER!

Andrew Plays Soccer

Here is a video that makes me cry from laughter every time I watch it. Brian is playing a soccer game on the XBOX Kinect, and Andrew is trying to play, too!

Weekend Projects

We had a great weekend! Friday I took the boys to dinner at Jason's Deli. They love that place! They were so good the entire time we were there. Then I wanted to go to Target because we had to bring the snacks for the kids at the soccer game. I can probably illustrate this best with an equation: Chocolate Milk + Chocolate Ice Cream + A trip to Target that HAS to be done in the same night X= (does not equal) success. They were awful! Jacob was not following directions, and then he started yelling. I had only picked up one item and I was halfway thru the store; I knew disaster was coming if I tried to finish my real trip. So I told the boys that we were going home. Jacob started crying. Then Andrew says to me, "Mommy, I get to sleep in the play room tonight," and Jacob really lost it. He screamed from the back of Target (back middle to be exact) all the way to our car and all the way home, "I want to sleep in the play room." Side Note: Friday and Saturday nights the boys get to watch a movie before bed and then sleep in the play room. I could NOT believe he carried on for so long! We're talking 15-20 Minutes. I carried him out like a baby and let Andrew walk with me holding my hand. Andrew did, in fact, get to sleep in the play room, and Jacob had to sleep in his room. Honestly, this was the worst part of the weekend.

After they crashed, I began my weekend project which I was sure I could knock out! I began taking off the border around our laundry room so that I could paint. Every room in the house (except the two that we painted) are a very generic and ugly peach color. It's all neutral. I'm done with babies, and I'm not pregnant, so it's time to really move into the house to make it our own. OMG! I had no idea what I was getting myself into. It's going to take a while. All I wanted to do is paint, and it will be a while before I get down to that. I was so frustrated on Saturday with it that I didn't do anything else the rest of the weekend. Here are the pictures:

Before: After:

I eventually peeled everything off above the door. The After picture was after Friday night - an hour and a half of work.

The boys stayed at Grandmother's Saturday night, so I went to get them on Sunday. They were dying to play outside when I got there. When we got back home, we were inside for about 2 minutes and then spent the next 4 hours playing outside! They played...I worked. I cleaned up my flower beds, and then I started working on another project! There are two shrubs beside our house. The shrubs have grown into trees. On top of all of that, my neighbors put in a fence...right by one of the damn trees. We are getting rid of them, but I thought I could take care of some of the trimming since 1. I'm capable; and 2. it was absolutely gorgeous outside! Here are those pics:

Before: After:

I'm not quite tall enough to get all of the green stuff off, but I got a great start on it! The plan is to make a pretty little walkway to our backyard. I'll keep you all posted!

The ending to the weekend was perfect! All 4 of us curled up to watch a movie and the boys fell asleep: Jacob on Brian, Andrew on me. I hope to keep it all up this week and that next weekend will be just as great! :)

Edomm-Garcia Wedding

In June Brian and I FINALLY took a vacation! We went to Puerto Vallarta for his sister's wedding. Leading up to it, Brian was very anxious about the whole thing. First, we were going to leave the kids here. I'm sorry - I was NOT going to have a vacation in Mexico with my children. This was not even a negotiable item. :) Second, we were leaving the country and going to the drug capital of the world, Mexico. Nevermind that drugs are not really an issue in PV. Just about everyone I spoke with about our trip leading up to it was nervous about the drug stuff. I tried not to think about it so that I wouldn't be nervous. And third, we are the worst homebodies EVER! So planning a trip and packing and making sure everything is where people can find it incase something happens is a HUGE deal for us. But we made it! I had a great time, and I'm pretty sure Brian did, too, looking back.

I did not enjoy the half day of traveling - both to PV and returning to DFW. Personally, I think it is overrated. I was so tired by the time we arrived in PV that all I wanted to do was eat and sleep. I guess it was vacation and there wouldn't have been anything wrong with it if I had done that.

The first day we laid pretty low. We went to a restaurant at the resort that was set up buffet style. And, of course, we started to drink. We had lunch with Brian's dad, and we had dinner with his mom. After dinner we took a stroll on the beach.

The second day we spent by the beach and pool. Neither of us burned, which was great! I actually did get drunk in the pool. It had a bar in it...what do you expect?! ha!

That evening was the Welcome Dinner. It was at a restaurant that was basically straight up the hill from the resort. The drive there and back was very interesting! Here are a few pics (by the way, I was horrible about taking pictures the entire trip. These are courtesy Aunt Jann).

The Happy Couple - Antonio and Emily

Brian and Carrie - This is the best photo of us of the entire trip. There is one posed picture from just before the wedding. yeah...that's how we roll I guess.

Sunset - Isn't this amazing?! This was the view from the Welcome Dinner.

The BIG Day!!! Saturday I went into the city with MIL (Allison a.k.a. Grandmother) and Jann. They found a jewelry store that they liked, so I tagged along. Brian wanted to sleep in, and I was more than ready for a change of scenery. I was determined not to buy anything, but walked away sparkling. anniversary was coming up! Another story to come on that. I got some diamond studs and a diamond pendant necklace. They go with EVERYTHING, and I wear them when I remember to put them on (and when I have time). Emily wore the necklace as her Something Borrowed, too! Beautiful!

The wedding was GORGEOUS! Brian and I got married in Vegas - I was not up for planning a big deal. But before each wedding we attend, I feel a little regret and wonder if we did the right thing. And then usually right when the ceremony is over (I'm talking as everyone is walking back down the aisle), I know we did the right thing for us. I just get caught up in the hype of a wedding before the show. BUT with this wedding, when it was over, I thought to myself, "we so could have done this!" It was simple, elegant, and just beautiful! Emily looked like a princess (as Jacob told her a couple of months before the wedding when we saw the dress for the first time), and Antonio was so handsome! Just after the wedding they took a stroll on the beach.

Then there was the reception! It was definitely one of the most fun receptions I've ever been to! Sarah, Mary, and Amy also had super fun receptions! First we all sat down to eat dinner. By the way, there were only 20 of us at the wedding total. It was perfect for a destination wedding! Anyway, dinner - yum-o! Then Antonio and Emily danced. It was one of the sweetest things ever! Not gonna lie - I cried! They are just so damn good together! Then everyone got to dance and boy did we ever! The wine was flowing, and I had my fair share. There was no after party for me.

We had a really great time and are so happy that we were able to be there to share Emily and Antonio's big day with them.

The Garcias