He looks at this book every morning and every night.

This Lego Minifigure history book (LEGO Minifigure Year by Year: A Visual History) was a Christmas gift from Uncle Doug, Aunt Marie, and cousins Gabrielle and Robert—and he LOVES it! I’ll turn on his monitor in the morning and he’s flipping through pages. At night, that’s the book he wants me to “read” (I say “read” because he really just wants to flip through the pages and look at figures and ask me what their names are). Almost all of the figures he says “I want this for next Christmas.” :)





And still more gifts…

There was such an over abundance of gifts this year that we opened some on four separate days…and today we finished them.

Owen got Tinkertoys from Grauntie Rose and Uncle Jim. (I miss the wooden toys of yesteryear, but these are cool, too.)

>>> Tinkertoy Transit Building Set


He had to open them right away!


Charlie liked the box!


First we built a windmill (one of the patterns given—I’m not that smart):


Then we tore apart the windmill to build the train. Gramma was impressed with how quickly I put it together…but I’ve had practice with Legos and this was far fewer pieces! Then I left Owen to his own imagination and he built this spachship:


Then he opened his Lego book from Doug and Marie: “OH. MY. HEAVENS.” :)
>>> LEGO Minifigure Year by Year: A Visual History





The second round of presents…

We didn’t take as many pictures this time, as the kids spent more time playing with old and new toys among unwrapping gifts.

Katie liked the wood vegetables from Aunt Marie and Uncle Doug.



And her new singing bear from Grauntie Marge:




And Owen LOVED his Mecha-Pede from Grauntie Marge. It really is quite cool—it has pincers and a tail, it lights up, and the eyes glow! And it’s remote-controlled!



Could the clothes be any cuter?

New birthday outfit from Aunt Marie, Uncle Doug, Gabby, and Robert. You can’t really tell from the picture, but the skirt is navy blue with tons of ruffles (and it’s actually skorts). I have other colors of the same skorts (also from Schwalms) so you’ll see them again in a better-photographed-color!


She loves the house!


Love that leg!


Kentucky Vacation

We just got back from a week’s vacation in Kentucky. Why Kentucky, you might be asking? Well, that was a fairly central mid-point for all of the Schwalmlettes & Schmitlettes (the nickname for the Schwalm kids and me) to drive and meet for a family reunion!

It was really nice, since we never all get to see each other at Christmas like we used to (see what having kids does?). :) However, it wasn’t QUITE like old times—there wasn’t much staying up until 3am playing games and drinking and talking like in the old days…since there are kids to deal with now. (I might hazard a guess that I had the worst of it, since I still have to get up with the boy for night feedings, which meant I was usually in bed by 10 each night.) But we still all had fun visiting and relaxing and playing Wii games (and more to the point, watching the kids play Wii games) and watching the kids’ production of Three Little Pigs and Annie!

Owen was the absolute HIT of the week for the kids. They just about loved him to pieces! They always wanted to be in his face playing with him or kissing him or hugging him or touching him or helping feed him. I am sure he was overwhelmed, but it was very cute! Here’s what it looked like a lot of the time:

We also learned that Owen does NOT like a lot of noise and commotion. We had him in the room with us when the kids were singing or boxing on the Wii (both LOUD and CRAZY) and he was NOT a happy camper. As soon as we took him out of the room, he quieted down and was happy again. A kid after my own heart! :yes:

There was a hot tub (which I had been really excited about), but the weather was so warm that I never went in. It pretty much just got used by the kids (that is, after Kath turned it town to like 80° so it was more pool-like) who really enjoyed it!

We were out of cell service range, but the house did have internet so all us geeks didn’t have to go through withdrawal. I think we had three laptops and four iPhones—sometimes all going at once!

One day we all went to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and managed to get this family photo:

Of course, it was over WAY too soon…and before you know it, we were packing and on the road home. At least we discovered we have a pretty good little traveler—Owen slept most of the way and we only had to feed him once during the 8-hour trip (although we had to feed him the moment we got to our destination, both ways!).

Stay tuned for a link to the entire set of pictures!