Saturday, December 29, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

I think the worst day of the year is December 26th. We've been building up Christmas for a month, everyday is exciting as we get closer and closer, we have fun activities planned that we look forward to pretty much weekly, the day comes and it's awesome... aaaaaand then it's over. The end. Hmmmmm... maybe I should plan a day after party of sorts. On the other hand, it is nice to just sit back, relax, enjoy quiet time and just be. So... maybe not. Anyways, this year I gave myself a little pep talk before the holiday, and told myself that no matter what I would not stress. And I am proud to say, it worked pretty well. Sometimes balancing time, money and family can get stressful. But, we had a wonderful, for the most part stress free holiday. It was as enjoyable as could be, not to say my emotions were completely gone, but I didn't worry or stress, because that changes nothing. It only took me about 7 years to figure out. Really, we have our holidays worked out well and I feel so blessed with how nicely it all ends up being every year.

Christmas Eve: Wes and I woke up early and headed out to Chino to join Fred and Sandie for breakfast at the Avocado House. Seriously, I just adore that place, and it was so fun to see so many friendly faces. We weren't able to stay long which was the only bummer, but we had so much fun!!!

 Then we went to the annual Todd party. The theme of 2012: Asian Christmas
 Don't get eliminated!!!!!!!!!!!
 Our family went as Godzilla and King Kong and a common/scared civilian. As we were preparing our costume we realized how truly bad it was and then liked it all the more and just went with it. In the end it was not so much Godzilla and King Kong as some weird Jap-Anime creatures, so take it however you want, and we accept.
 
 Nana and Boppie and the kidlets. Willy refused to take photos without Sarah, so pretend she is just a podium of sorts.
Pinata time and the traditional ringing of the Christmas Eve gong.
 All the cousins had their bag on their heads like hats, so she just had to do it. After Asher had an incident all the kids were happy to replace the bags with pinata "hats".
 
 We had  lots of Asian food, which included mushroom soup, P.F. Changs lettuce wraps (my fav), fried rice, rice krispy sushi, etc. Although we did also add in some not so traditional Asian food like spinach dip, and shrimp, and junk.

We also put on our annual nativity with the kids. This year we had the happiest Jesus ever!!!
 William was a wise man "Mongolian" who couldn't stand in one place long enough to really be part of the production. Peyton and Claire took their roles as angels VERY seriously, Asher was very Linus like in his efforts as a shepherd, and Carter and Ella loved their "main" parts. Even enough to walk out holding hands. The Hamiltons, including Ryan, had to leave earlier in the day to make it to Adam's families party.
 
 
What I failed to get pictures of during the day was the kids attempt at a treasure hunt; which started, had, and ended in competitive tears. We also had some crafts, lots and lots and lots of present opening, launching paper lanterns (Tangled like) into the sky (perhaps illegally, but it was pretty awesome), the bigger boys playing football, white elephant gifts, and a dance party.... gangnam style. Along with the dancing we had some musical numbers by the kids too.

Some fun videos though.
go to 1 min mark for the goodness of this video below... Pete and Repeat


Christmas Day:
Morning
This was the first year we stayed home on Christmas morning. In the past we have spent the night at my parents, then headed straight to Wes' parents afterward. Well, since Peyton is getting older we thought this would be a good time to start to our own traditions at home on Christmas morning and lemme tell ya, it was glorious!!! 

First tradition we did stems from my family. On Christmas Eve night we color and decorate the back of wrapping paper. Then before bed we hang the paper across the hall, blocking the Christmas tree, stockings and all presents. In the morning we all wake up together, pray, read scriptures then run through the paper (football banner style) and reveal all of the spoils. We actually had to wake her up around 9:15. The first thing she says when we told her Santa came, was "he brought me candy?!"
We weren't sure how Peyt would do with the paper, but Wes crawled under to video tape her, and she was ready. I had to hold her back, and she had a huge smile on her face the whole time. She didn't break through exactly, but gingerly ran head first into it. I finished off the job. :)

We then opened stockings and presents.  I've mentioned it before, but we were so blessed this year and this girl got so many fun fun toys from so many people who love her, both friends and family. Then we spent the rest of the morning playing with our toys. I truly had so much fun the whole morning organizing Peyton (and the babies) room. Wes with the help of our good friend Jacob Bock made me (and the kids) a beautiful toy box. I love it. That's an understatement. I needed it, love it and adore it. It makes me so happy. Then we leisurely got ready and headed over to the Aleman household for the rest of the day.

Yes, you will have to deal with an overload of Peyton opening her presents on a bad quality camera pictures. Because there was NO WAY I was getting in any of these, and Wes had the camera most of the morning.

Check out the flapping arms of excitement.
Enjoy the irony of this one... candy in one hand and a new toothbrush in the other. Funny things is I don't know which one she was more excited about.
Our BOMB.COM new toy-box. I'm lovin' it!
Baby Snow White has been sleeping with her ever since... and she gets excited to go to bed now.
And a box of books... used books given to us, but does she know that... nope. And does she love them... yup.
And when I asked for a smile I either got this weird face....
or this elf face

Afternoon and evening
At the Aleman Sr. household. A little bit of deja-vu this year as it took everyone forever to get there... minus Patrick and Kati who are always there keeping us company. So, the 6 of us (including Fred and Sandie) ate lots of snacks and waited for the rest of the family to show up. Once everyone arrived we got down to business. Presents and a yummy ham dinner. Then we played Sandie's super fun memory game, that comes with awesome prizes. Wes and I always aim to get the Benihana gift card so that our anniversary dinner we do every year is not an issue. ;) I must admit I am so crazy competitive I actually get anxiety when playing games. Regardless of prizes, I just can't play for fun... I need professional help people. Anyways, I am excited to use our gift card, although this year we may be a party of 3 at dinner and have to go a little after our actual anniversary.

In case I haven't mentioned it before on here (not likely) Sandie is the best party planner, always has fun games, whimsical snacks and delicious food. Example, this cute little multi-layered jello she came up with. How fun is that?!
Tug and Peyton playing with toys together.
However, Peyton's favorite "toy" of the night were these bubble wrap sheets. In fact she went and put her own boots on so she could jump on them better. 
Some of the family.
So... on a side note, I can't even tell you how many times I said to Wes, "let's make sure to get one family picture today. We never have anything on Christmas of us." Guess what? I failed to take even a single photo. Major fail.

Some of the aunts and uncles also pitched in to get Delanie and Peyton these cute princess outfits. Well, as soon as Peyton opened it and saw it was Tinkerbell she immediately gasped and said I want to fly. So, we put the outfit and wings on and she "flew" with her little arms waving all around the room. I love her funny, outgoing and willing to perform personality. This 2nd baby better be even half as cool as her. ;)

So again I can call Christmas of 2012 a major success. We had fun, we spent lots of time with our friends and family, we thought about the Savior and were given many examples of his goodness by those around us. We felt his love, and hope to have shared some to others. So, from our family to yours, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Love,
The Aleman Family

(P.S. We did not get around to Christmas cards this year, hopefully next year. But, we loved yours and appreciate those who thought of us. And don't judge too harshly this photo, I was 39 weeks preggo here. though the rest of the family is looking pretty good if I do say so myself.)


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Update

Okay... not quite a Christmas post... but it kinda is for me.

Went to the DR today and found out I am 2.5 cm dilated  Dr stripped my membranes to get the party started. AND... if nothing happens soon, on Monday morning I will be induced. So, we could and more than likely will have a baby by the new year.

I can't wait to find out what we are having. Wes and I were just talking and reminiscing about when we found out what our sweet Peyton was and how it was one of the best moments ever for us both. And, it got me excited. Sure, a little nervous but excited.

So.... have a little sparkling cider toast on our behalf on Monday won't you?! I for one can't think of a better way to ring in the New Year. Plus, I will be 10 lbs or so lighter on Jan. 1st, so I am starting my New Year's resolutions off right. Way to be me!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

On thee Eve of Christmas Eve.....

A little update (again) of our December. 2 words..... good times. I know Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be crazy. Fun, but crazy. So, I thought I would take a moment and get myself caught up on December events. Then, hopefully, my next update will be about a new baby in the family. Hint.... our baby. ;)

Went to our ward's Christmas party. Originally it was planned as an ugly sweater contest. Apparently, it was changed last minute, only we didn't get the memo. So, Wes was the only guy entered, and really it was about 6 older ladies in "festive" Christmas sweaters and us. So, needless to say, we beat their brains out. (Simpsons quote). Wes won it all, which means we took home, wait for it.... a box of Twinkies. That's right, eat your heart out!
 Asher and Peyton couldn't help but come up with us.
 Peyton tried to get support from the crowd for me by saying this into the microphone... which got quite a few laughs and she was pretty pleased with herself.
 And while she was still a little hesitant of Santa... waving a candy cane in front of the camera got us a little smile.
 Nothing like last year... remember 2011?

Then one night we went out to Rancho with some friends to check out the lights. I have to admit, most things we do I don't even care so much about what we see, I just love the atmosphere, being with friends and in this case walking outside in the crisp cool air. 
 
 
 
 Earlier that same day I met up with my mom and sisters and a few good friends for lunch. And afterward, Hayley, my mom, Sarah, Claire and myself headed over to RCC for a fun production of The Nutcracker. 
 Last week my mom had extra tickets to see the Ontario Reign hockey team... and dang good tickets too. So, we went to dinner and the game with my parentals. And, we had a lot of fun. Although Peyton kept asking where Ryan was. Hayley took her once to Ryan's hockey game and apparently Peyt thought he was as good as the pros. Way to be buddy. ;)
 
 
 Last Friday (dumb move on our part) we went to Bass Pro Shop to see Santa. Sadly all the tickets had been distributed by noon that day. But, they had a standby line, and since we were meeting up with our friends the Burkes we decided to wait and see how fast it went until they got there. It went faster than we expected and after only 1.5 hours (sarcastic) we were at the front. Luckily, our friends were running really late so they got there right when we were nearing the front and joined us. So honestly, it all worked out wonderfully. And, while either myself or Wes waited in line the other took Peyton to make crafts, ride the merry-go-round and walk around. She was so good the entire time too.
 And (almost sadly) she handled Santa here like a pro too. Again, the idea of candy canes waiting for her was enough to make him seem a little less threatening. But, I do kind of love her last years picture here too... never fails to make me laugh.
 
And finally... I am about 39 weeks along. That's right, only an estimated 5ish days left. Although, I still hope for the 30th or 31st, which I think would be a fun day to celebrate (plus get a tax return... ching ching). 
Things look good so far. My Dr. was concerned because I was measuring small (like around 35 weeks) so he sent me in for an ultra sound last Friday. I went in and instantly the girl made me feel at ease. She right away says, "oh your baby is good and healthy." After measuring she said she estimated the weight at 7lbs 14 oz  (this baby if she is correct, would already be bigger than Peyton) and she also made sure to show us "the good sized head" the baby had. Must be a Todd child. Plus, again she said she could tell us what we were having, and this time was the most tempting time for me by far. We again tried to peek but all we have is our own speculations. According to all the measurements I measure anywhere between 37-39 weeks, and all is looking good. I have my next apt Wed when my Dr. will do my cervix check and everything. I can already tell you, in the last week or so I have dropped pretty good. And my pelvic bone hurts like nobody's business. Oy!!!!!!! If it weren't for the pain down yonder, I would be pretty happy all things considered, but that alone makes me want this baby out. By night most days I am done and hurting. Plus, I have a very very anxious 2 year old. And, I can even say I have done a little nesting and am ALMOST ready for this baby. Though I still def. need things like newborn diapers and wipes and things. Someone tell me how it is already the end of December again?!

And with that, I wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Love is Spoken Here

Peyton started singing this with me this week one night and totally caught me off guard that she even knew the words. What a blessing to be able to hold and love this little girl, even when she is a little sicky and has a funny voice.


Tis' the Season

I have been so incredibly humbled this Christmas season. With not a lot of means.... hubby lost a lot of hours this last week and wasn't getting much to begin with, it has been so stressful to think about "things." Luckily we still have real estate going and we have good things coming up soon...phew. And, during Christmas it's not been hard to go without for Wes and I, but my heart kind of broke when I thought about Peyton... even knowing she would not really "get it", the girl only wants candy from Santa. Easy enough. But, as parents we want so badly to make things great, and magical and everything we can for our kids, and I for one was feeling kind of down about it all. Silly when we think about why we celebrate, but shoot, I am human and am not perfect. It has been an easier time to focus on the Savior and we have been having a wonderful season regardless of finances and going places and spending money. That alone has been a real gift to us this year. And, less work hours just mean more time together, right?! When I spoke to Wes about my concerns for Peyton... cried being the more appropriate term I suppose (remember I am 9 months pregnant too), he would assure me that it would all be okay, and good things would happen if we were faithful and diligent. Darn his calm nature. Well, sure enough, we've had a ton of friends come by and many of them with gifts for my daughter. I am not going to lie that as this happens my pride gets a little hurt, but more than that I have been so incredibly touched by their generosity and love for my family. Little did they know that as each of them left my house I've cried like a baby (remember, hormones totally out of whack too). :) We now have more than I could hope for. What a true testament to the true meaning of Christmas. It has not been "the gifts" but the thoughtfulness and love each of these people have shown to me and my family. Many of them not even aware of the stress we have had. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who puts trials in our lives to make us aware of the goodness we have surrounding us. I am grateful for angel friends who more than I could ever say have blessed our lives and made me a better person because of their example. What a wonderful time of the year to take stock of the things and people who really matter. This year will be one I will absolutely never forget.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Our Month (so far) in Pictures

So... I've written about a few events already, but thought I would add some other "funny" or interesting photos that I failed to include. 

Baby Wyatt in the hospital. Andy's mom brought these for the father and men of the family. Chocolate cigars. I thought they were pretty funny. Reminds me of the olden days when the men folk stayed outside and waited for the big news. "Andy, you had a great big baby boy!"
We also went and saw Wyatt when he was about 5 days old at home.
                                                 
 After that we headed over to Chino Hills and took Peyton on a little train ride around the shoppes with Grammy. All we could see were her smiling eyes over the side. Maybe one of the cutest things ever. We also all shared 1 waffle sandwhich from this new little cafe there... de-lish.
 Just a dumb photo op area at Walmart... she was pretty insistent we take her photo.
 One Friday night at the beginning of the month, my parents came to our house for fajitas and to attend our stakes creche festival with us. Afterward we went to Starbucks for drinks and treats. It was such a nice night we sat outside and enjoyed.
 
 Our friend Kaelyn had a b-day party at a neat jumper place. Peyton and Macy went up and down this big slide for about 2 hours. So did daddy and Paul, and Wes still has the battle wounds from the experience.
 
 We attending Perris' Christmas parade. 1 word: AWFUL!
 And after the parade Peyton played in the leaves out front... just like Nana showed her. Apparently I can't do it right because I am always told to do it like Nana; which I never can seem to do.
 
 With rainy weather we've had a lot of cuddling on the couch... which we LOVE!
 We wrote our letter to Santa. I did help, but things like the socks on the list... totally Peyton.
 
 Wes made me a nice fire, and we watched Charlie Brown all together one night. I love my house all decorated for Christmas. But, I am staunch in the belief that Christmas is fun, and my tree does NOT look like a Martha Stewart creation and I am dang proud of it, thank you very much.
 Our playgroup in the area met at the park for a Christmas celebration. Here are some of the kids decorating cookies. My child never eats cookies, but did enjoy eating the sprinkles one at a time.