A Very Lego Christmas

Liam got a lot of Legos for Christmas this year.  Not only did he get his beloved Ninjago Fire Temple from Santa but he also received a Star Wars Venator Class Star Destroyer (pay no attention to the price; we didn’t pay that) and a Star Wars ARC-170 Starfighter. 

While the starfighter was a reasonable number of pieces and something he was able to build with only a small bit of help from us, the Fire Temple and the star destoryer were 1174 pieces and 1170 pieces, respectively.

That’s a lot of Legos.

He decided to tackle the starfighter first and after that was done, he dug into the star destroyer.  You guys.  HOLY. CRAP.

Many larger Lego sets come with the pieces apportioned into bags and each of those bags is numbered so that you can open the first bag, use those pieces to build as you follow the directions, then open the second bag when instructed and so on and so forth.  Not so with the star destroyer.

Oh no.  It had at least 10 bags and no numbers so guess what we had to do? Open every single bag and sort all 1170 pieces before building could even begin.

It takes up fully half of the table.

Ignore the disgusting chandelier. If you look to the left, that’s the starfighter he built first.
Liam started building the star destroyer on his own but it was a complicated item to build.  It folds open so that you can play inside the ship with the included mini figures.  It has a shuttle that is removable.  It has a bomb bay that drops little Lego bombs when you turn a mechanism.
So, Liam needed some help.

Building with Dad
When Dad needed to take a break, Liam worked on his own.  When he needed some more help, I pitched in and helped build. In the end, we finished the piece a couple of hours before more company was due to arrive – which was good because I needed my table back!

The finished ship
The next day he wanted to tackle the Ninjago Fire Temple.  This time when we opened the box there were numbered bags.  Huzzah!!  So, Liam sat down with the directions and a pair of scissors to open bags with and started building.
Two to three hours and 1174 pieces later (and with no help from anyone) he had a completed Fire Temple.
Now I just have to convince him to clean up his damn room so that the Legos can go THERE.


Christmas Joy

Christmas was magical this year.

This year, Jamie was old enough to really get the whole concept of Santa and opening presents – he could get into the wonder of it all.  Also, he was not sick for Christmas this year – which is an immediate improvement over last year.

Liam, of course, loves Christmas and was practically vibrating through the walls on Christmas Eve.  That was Scot’s birthday and we had to keep reminding him that while the next day was Christmas, right then it was DADDY’S BIRTHDAY.

Leaving cookies for Santa
I don’t have a picture of the stockings or the tree or all the presents because I was having too much fun with the kids.  We came downstairs Christmas morning and they were so excited.  Santa brought stuffed Totoros (thanks to his sneaky elf helpers, Trista and Dan) and they both loved them.  It’s been Jamie’s favorite pillow ever since.
For the first time ever, Liam told Santa what he wanted for Christmas.  He asked Santa for the Lego Ninjago Fire Temple.  After shunting one of his larger gifts over to his birthday pile (in February), Santa was able to bring the Fire Temple.  The pictures say it all.

One happy Spud
Jamie enjoyed stocking gifts as well – his favorites being Totoro and the chocolate candy.  
After stockings it was time to make breakfast.  After discovering them last year, I again made individual Monkey Breads for breakfast.  OM NOM NOM.
Seriously, folks, these are heaven in a ramekin.
After breakfast we got down the big gifting.  The kids were spoiled by one and all.  Scot spoiled me rotten and bought me a Kindle Fire as well as a new lens for my camera.  It was also a very kitchen-y Christmas as I received (from various generous family members) some new fun baking accoutrements, a panini press, and spices.
More Legos for Liam – clearly he doesn’t mind.

One of Jamie’s favorite presents – no more high chair!

It was also a very book-y Christmas.  Books, books, and more books! For everyone!
Scot’s parents joined us in the afternoon for round two of gifting.  Jamie was napping when they got here so we let Liam open his presents first so he wouldn’t die from antici. . . pation.
Grandma and Granddad were very generous.

The contents of the large red bag.
After Liam was done the adults exchanged gifts and when Jamie got up he got to open his stack.  And then, finally, we were done with presents and could move on to playing with our toys and eating dinner.
We had NY strips for Christmas dinner.  As well as risotto, fresh steamed broccoli, salad, rolls, and cranberry orange tart for dessert.  We were tired of the same old roasts so we did something different this year. It was delicious.
I ended the day content, happy, and NOT completely exhausted.  The boys had a blast, we enjoyed all of their excitement and joy and Christmas felt like a holiday instead of a chore this year.  
I hope your holiday was merry and bright!

Ten Percent

For all intents and purposes, I have lost 10% of my body weight.  When I say “for all intents and purposes” it’s because the scale is being bitchy.  I weighed myself before I left for my meeting and I was at my 10% goal weight exactly.  I got to meeting and I weighed in just 0.1 pounds over.  So, technically, according to Weight Watchers, I’m not quite there yet.

But then I came home and weighed myself again on my (weight watchers) scale and it said I was 0.3 pounds below my 10% goal weight.

So, yeah.  Given the vagaries of scales, I think I can say that I did it.

That means I’ve lost a total of 18 lbs since I started in March.  Frankly, I’m a little ashamed it’s taken me so long to get this far and the last couple of months have been a bitch where weight loss is concerned.  But I finally got here and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

I fit into smaller clothes now.  Clothes that were but a pipe dream hanging in my closet – the reminder of how much smaller I used to be before Jamie came along – are now beginning to fit again.  Not everything but some of them.  Some things are too big for me to wear now.  I shop for new clothes in my closet instead of at Target.

And then there’s the photographic proof, which really shows me how far I’ve come.

Here I am the day I signed up for Weight Watchers:

And here is a picture I took of myself this morning when I put on clothes that didn’t fit a month ago:

I’m not done yet.  I still have 15 lbs to go to get to my goal weight and if the last several months are any indication, it’s not going to be especially easy to get there. But I made it this far, I’m over halfway to my goal weight, and I’m not giving up now.

Word Search

Liam has a new business venture.

I came upon him the other day with a notebook and pencil and I asked what he was working on.

“I’m doing a word search, Mom.”

I peeked over his shoulder to discover that he was creating his own word search.  The notebook was one that had graph paper in it and he had set aside a block of squares in which to make his word search.  Then, down the margin of one side, he wrote the words to look for in the box.

He worked on this slowly over a number of days and in that time developed his business plan.  He would print up more of them and sell them at school.  So far, this has not materialized but hey, he’s got a plan.  Hopefully this will help finance his move when he turns 10.