With the year 2011 quickly coming to an end, like many, I am reflecting on the events of the past year.

 Twenty-eleven has been a year of surprise blessings for our crew.

Last year at this time, the thought of another baby had all but faded from my mind, not by a long shot from my heart though.

Twelve months later, not only has he grown inside me for 9 months, delivered safely into this crazy world, but sits snugly as an-almost three month old in my arms now.

The idea of switching schools wouldn’t have crossed my mind last year at this time– but here we are, at year’s end, and who would have thunk it, but my girls are happy and thriving in an entirely new school that wasn’t part of my grand plan at all.

The guy I married, although I love him dearly, somehow I find that I care for him even more now than last year. More today, than yesterday.

I know that flip flop stomach turning stuff fades, {although not entirely, I still get excited when I hear the garage door opening in the evenings}but it’s amazing how the love doesn’t necessarily expand, like it does with children, rather it digs deeper and deeper into your heart.

He has given me another year’s worth of reason to love him even more- and I think myself lucky to be able to raise these now three children of ours together.

We have had our share of bumps in the road, driving each other crazy and wondering who the heck is this guy I married? I’m sure he can say the same thing.

But at the end of the day, or decade, it’s Yin and Yang, balancing each other out.

I already know what a great daddy he is to my daughters and I cannot wait to see him be a Daddy to this baby boy.

Ironically, he said something to me this morning, along those same lines. I told him I had drafted this blog entry the echoed his feelings. Thirteen years together and we are on the same page.Scary.. What’s even more scary, is that he pointed out that his twenty year high school reunion is next summer. We went to his 10 year reunion when I was super pregnant with Britton. Just doesn’t seem possible that 20 years is looming around the corner. Makes it seem like I am married to an old man…..

We have some fun planned for our family over the next couple of days- sending 2011 off with a bang, a baby, and some packed bags for a little getaway…..

Here’s to 2012.


Post-Christmas Entertainment

Yep, my tree is still up and the lights outside are continuing to twinkle at night.
We have been snug as a bug in our PJ’s for most of the week, playing with Christmas toys, sweeping dead pine needles, and eating the last of the gingerbread cookies, while Daddy spent several days in the woods hoping for “the big one”.
The big one hasn’t come yet.
But in the meantime, we’ve had an entertaining puppet show directed by B using Origami paper. I think it was about a lost dog.
With a matching feather…
Inspector Gadget has created numerous electronic gizmos with her batteries and circuits. If her experiment doesn’t work the first time, she pauses for a moment, and I can literally hear her wheels turning, while she thinks of a different approach. Challenge, challenge- she thrives on it. The little red thing flies- after some moderate tweaking.
Moments later… success.
The other sister has been painting green and yellow stain glass from the Met Museum of Art- compliments of Gan.
And Sassy gave the 8 going on 18 year old a hairstyle guide– the first “do” was braids that would turn into beautiful waves overnight. It actually worked pretty well and I’m thinking of going to bed with wet braids myself this evening. I should have taken an after photo.
Even lil’ bit got to enjoy his new Christmas blanket {thanks Nana} for some R&R with Kens.
Other big news… my baby boy has slept through the night not once, not twice, but three times in a row!
I feel like a million bucks with some zzzz’s under my lids. Now I can’t seem to understand why the rest of the house isn’t ready to pop out of bed at 6:30 am with me and get the day started.
The plumber just left after installing our Christmas gift- gas fireplace logs {thanks Sassy and Pops!!}. Remote control convenience fire here we come. The high on Tuesday is 47 degrees- bring it!
Year end means it’s time once again to print this blog for my kids– the past several years Mom has used blog2print website. They books turn out well the only gripe I have is the white space inside, but have yet to find a better solution. Guess Blog2Print it is again….
I can hear the countdown to 2012 already…..

BINGO {Christmas 2011}

Christmas came.
Christmas went.
Christmas kicked butt.

We’ve celebrated the season with round 1 (at Nana and Gan’s house Christmas Eve), round 2 (at our home Christmas morning) and the finale (at Sassy and Pop’s house Christmas night).  I’m pooped but not quite ready to take down the tree. Or the gingerbread men. Or the wreaths.
Okay, who am I kidding– I woke up and turned on the Christmas carols first thing, ate some leftover sausage and egg casserole {a traditional meal I refuse to let go of} and even have most of the gifts still sitting in their same place.  I want to hold on to Christmas just a little longer…

It is the most wonderful time of the year after all…

A Christmas explosion in the Robinson house

The presents have been unwrapped…

And the reindeer ate their gingerbread house…

Stockings depleted….

Toys have yet to be put away in their new homes…

Instead, we played Bingo on Christmas night. Yes, Bingo. We’re “that” family. Think Griswalds, but proud.

And for good reason too- the stakes were high at $1 per card.

Even Meme got into it… with her lucky glasses.

Our little friend Beau has decided to start a Bingo Club. We will play once a month, at $1/card, except for the last round which will be double or nothing to blackout the card.

Guess who won the first Bingo? She has asked that I take her to the Country Dollar store so she can buy 31 pieces of costume jewelry with her $31 winnings. That’s my girl- when it comes to accessorizing, more is more.

Speaking of, Mr. R gave me beautiful earrings on Christmas morning. Just in time for the peak {the “rut”} of hunting season. He is no fool, as a nice gift equals more time in the woods for him. Well played Big Daddy- it worked.

I’ve got to get back to my Christmas carols and more Merry, Merry.

Christmas Challenge

It’s a new day. What am I going to do with it?
Yesterday, I felt like I did a lot of disciplining, cleaning, recleaning, nagging, repetitive running around, and- you guessed it, more refereeing of sibling arguments.
I often wonder if that’s how my kids will remember me- wiping down counter tops, returning little tennis shoes to their homes in the bedroom, stirring food on the stove, telling them ‘in just a minute’ and forever reminding them to wash their hands.
In an effort to slow down the pace for a bit, and focus on what is most important on me during this time- my kids- my challenge today is to let the rest of it go. For just one day.
Replace the broom for homemade play dough. Put down the rag and pick out a board game. Lose the laundry basket in exchange for some Christmas crafts.
The clothes, dirt, toys and crumbs will wait- unfortunately.

So far, so good.
While the house may be in shambles, my children are enthralled.

Homemade gingerbread men 

More gingerbread men made from craft paper

My avid reader has finally found a captive audience.

Homemade playdough took me back to the days of being a first time mom. Back when I used to prepare the colorful dough from memory because I made it so often for my then 3 year old Britton. Five years later, she still loves it. They must have sat at the table for two hours yesterday sculpting bright blue cream of tarter masterpieces.

Movie night and popcorn last night…. Throwing bedtime out the window.

Oh, to see the places her imagination takes her. Although I have no idea what the child is doing– as we often say, “it’s Britton’s world. We’re just living in it.”

This must be her power belt of sorts. I often wonder if she sees the world in 4D while the rest of us see it as 3 dimensional.

Finally figured out what to do with old Christmas cards… hole punched them and tied a pretty Christmas ribbon through them. Finished 2008, 2009 and 2010 today.

Rice Krispie treats dyed green and cut out as Christmas trees. Obviously I have been dieting too long as the sugar and marsh mellow tasted delicious!! {Hopefully will be done with egg whites and chicken breasts soon}

Who knows, we may even throw up some more Christmas lights outside just for fun.

At the end of the day house is a disaster, dirty laundry is still sitting on the floor next to the washing machine, and popcorn kernels have yet to get vacuumed up. But we have some smack down good gingerbread men hanging on our windows. I’d call today a success!

Limo Lounging

Took K on her first limo ride this week to cruise through town looking at Christmas lights.
Britton was quick to point out that this was her second time riding in a limousine. Well, well, well.

It dawned on me this morning, as I was in the shower, that I am home with three kids for the next  2 1/2 weeks. Yikes. I’ve never been home with all three for that long- had the baby in October and they were in school the next day. This should be interesting…..

May need a few more of what my brother in law is handing me in the above photo.

Then I will for sure be Merry and Bright!