Monday, December 30, 2013

A Christmas Story {In Photos}

Christmas was extra fun this year.  Everything was a little more special...and a little more hectic...with three :)

On Christmas Eve the anticipation of opening gifts was almost too much to handle.  So I let them open their Christmas slippers and their homemade gifts to each other.
 Batman and Superman slippers!
Max was convinced they would make him run faster, so he took off before I got a picture of the two of them together.  You can see the blur of him taking off below...

 They were so proud of the gifts that they made and wrapped themselves.  As Sullivan opened the GeoBoard Max made for him he kept whispering "Oh wow...oh wow..." He really really liked it :)
 And Max loved stomping around in his elephant stilts.

They also had worked on a gift especially for Fletcher earlier in the week. A "time capsule" to keep all of his day-you-were-born memorabilia.
  Serious business.

Inside it we put the front page of the newspaper from 11-12-13, his hospital hat, foot prints and wristband, a picture of the sunrise from our labor room window and two drawings of Fletcher from the boys with messages to him that they came up with on their own and I wrote down for them.
 They gave it to Fletcher when we got home from our Christmas Eve festivities.

Christmas Eve at Lolli & Boobo's...  
It's not easy getting a good picture of everyone!  I love Max and Annabelle in these pictures though...
Sullivan loved playing with the little town. 
Max took this photo of Lolli and Boobo all by himself!
 After we left the Christmas Eve festivities we drove through the streets in our neighborhood to see the luminary lights.
When we got home we had to leave out cookies for Santa.  And smother littlest brother with kisses...:)

And then Santa came!
They each receive three gifts each, just like Jesus did on the night he was born.  And then one big shared gift and stockings.  The shared gift for all three of them was a large floor piano and the book "The Three Brothers".
 Fletcher's three gifts:  An Andy Warhol Colors book, push horse and a robot sensory block.
In his stocking he got a fox rattle, wooden whistle (he loves the sound!), a hide-and-seek bird and a Bill Murray onesie :)
Sullivan's three gifts: A sleeping bag w/walkie talkie, a dart game and a light box.
In his stocking he got an Animated Music DVD, electric toothbrush, Nursery Rhyme game, an Automoblox car and a Chicago BEARS sweater.
Max's three gifts: Sleeping bag w/walkie talkie, skateboard/scooter and a Yo Gabba Gabba record.
In his stocking he got a table top ping pong game, an "Under-appreciated Animals" matching game, electric toothbrush an Automoblox car and a "Where the Wild Things Are" sweatshirt.

I also made the big boys a homemade gift.  Sully got train rocks and Max got story rocks (you make up a story given the images on the rocks)

Everything was a hit.  They were so happy.

Until I made Sullivan try on his BEARS vest and called him mini-Mike Ditka :)  He always wants a "Cago Bears shirt" to wear because Max has one, so I thought he'd love this.  Turns out he does not. 

Santa was very good to me this year too.  He brought me emerald earrings, a new Kindle Fire and a Soda Stream (for my carbonation addiction) and a plane ticket to Ireland. But my favorite thing was this bracelet from Fletcher.  Now I have something engraved from all my boys with their name/birthday.

Lastly we had Christmas dinner at the Murray's.
The kids love being surrounded by their big cousins...and MORE presents.  I wish I had a picture of the mini Lakers jersey Sean, Lisa and the boys got for's SO hilarious.  If you've seen the movie "Fletch" you know why this gift is so awesome :)

We really had an amazing Christmas and this isn't even a small sample of all the fun and hundreds of pictures I took.  I might need to do a follow up post of the celebrating we did when my brother was in town prior to Christmas and our gingerbread house decorating and the adorable wooden kitchen that Lolli and Boobo got for the boys.  Christmas is exhausting, isn't it?!  I love it, but thankful that it only comes once a year :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holiday Traditions

I wasn't sure if we were going to keep up with all of our Christmas traditions this year with a newborn in tow.  However, Fletcher's transition into our family has been so effortless we haven't missed a beat.  All traditions have been accounted for ;)

{Visiting Santa}
Rookie move...we visited the Crown Center Santa on a Sunday.  We made this mistake with Max on his first Christmas and vowed to go only on a weekday in the future...which we did the following two years.  However, I thought we could outsmart some people by arriving prior to the stores opening, but everyone else had the same brilliant idea.

Daddy and Fletch hanging out in line.
Two hours, $20 at the candy barrel and one meltdown in the toy store was our turn! (thanks to Billy and Fletch holding our spot in line!)
I was totally surprised that both boys were fine with Santa this year.  Max is generally really cautious with people so I thought he'd be shy.  They both confidently asked for what they wanted.  And when Santa asked who had been a good boy...Max proudly raised his hand.

{Baby's First Christmas Ornament}
Whenever I thought of having another boy and naming him Fletcher...the nickname "Fletcher Fox" naturally followed for some reason.  It just seemed to fit.  I've been calling him my little fox since he was born.

I've made each of the kids' "First Christmas" ornaments and was excited to make Fletcher's too.  This time I got in a little over my head since my vision required sewing skills.  So I designed the fox, cut out the felt pieces and then my Gram sewed it for me :)  A team effort for our little fox's first ornament.

{12 Days of Christmas}
The boys counting all of the ornaments to hang on the tree.
 They've done a great job sharing the task of hanging an ornament each long as they BOTH are able to have their hands on it at the same time.  If one takes full possession, even for a second, things escalate quickly :)

{Christmas Lights Tour}
 Getting their Christmas cookies and hot chocolate for the ride.
I barely looked at the lights because the look on their faces was my favorite part.  And Sullivan's chocolate mouth was just too cute.
It began to snow as soon as we reached Candy Cane Lane.

{The Little Tree and Christmas Books}
Busy decorating...
 Once they were finished decorating I put wrapped holiday books under the tree.  One to read each night until Christmas.  We use the same books every year and get a few new ones from the library.

 Sully loves the Llama Llama one :)

{Christmas Card Envelopes}
Our Christmas card envelopes!  This was Max's idea last year and I loved it.  The boys spent so much time and care making each envelope unique.

{Elf on the Shelf}
 They love to see the funny things the elf is up to each morning. Below he was having a sack race with his buddies...

{Handmade gifts}
Possibly my favorite tradition.  I get to spend special time with each of the guys secretly planning and creating something for the other.  They cannot wait to give each other their gifts!

Elephant Stilts for Max:

Geo Board for Sully:
They're putting the finishing touches on their projects this week :)  And they have a project they're working on together for Fletch.

The anticipation for Christmas is growing in the Murray house!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fletcher Fox's First Month

My little fox.  How has it been a whole month?  The sound of your first cry is still ringing in my ears.

For so long I only knew you by your kicks and hiccups.  But now the little dimple in your chin and the puppy sounds you make in your sleep are a part of me.  I know you so well.

You're beginning to shake off the "newborn coma" and stare intensely at the world around you.  Taking quick little baby breaths as you soak it all in.
  You still love your sleep too, though :)

I think I might be addicted to babies...or maybe I'm just addicted to you.  Either way, I'm head over heels.

Happy one month of life, my dear one.

My whole heart,