Thank you all for sharing in the lives of our three amazing children- Mairead, Jack, and Ben. We hope you visit often!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


We have been pretty much immersed in Christmas activities lately and we have been having a lot of fun! Last week, My Nana invited Mairead down to have a snack and help decorate her little tree. Mairead loved the shiny red ornaments... and the cheese curls.

Jack and Ben are less interested in Christmas than Mairead is, though they like the lights, Christmas tree, and decorations. You all already know how they feel about Santa...

Our growing boys seem to have had a growth spurt lately. Some of the clothes that fit a month ago are now too short. We are happy to see them getting big and strong! Jack is now 25.5 lbs and Ben is 26.0 lbs. I think we are almost ready to move into 24 month clothes! Just a side note- Lily is 22.5 lbs and is 9 months younger. Seems the girls in our family get the height!
The other day, I was working on a snowman craft with Mairead when Jack got into the cotton balls. He would throw a handful into the air and yell, "It's snowing! It's snowing!" Then run around, laugh hysterically, and fall down.

Mairead takes her art very seriously.

Speaking of projects, Mairead and I worked on a gingerbread house this week. We were supposed to attend a Gingerbread House making party last Sunday, but that was the day after Lily's birthday bash and apparently, Mairead had too much fun! She slept right through the time of the Gingerbread party! I did go for a bit and brought home a little house and some decorations so that we could have our own party at home. She loved it and she did a great job decorating!

It didn't take her long to figure out that these decorations could be better to eat than to put on the house.

We have another busy week coming up. Of course, Christmas is one week from today (yikes!) so there are many more preparations to be made. Also, I am taking Mairead to finish her neuropsych evaluation on Monday morning, and Ashley will come in the afternoon for OT. On Tuesday, Mairead's preschool is holding their Christmas party, complete with a visit from Santa! I was lucky enough to be chosen as the 'parent helper' for the party, so I will attend school with Mairead that day. It is a bittersweet day, though, as that will be her last day with Miss Joanne before we transition completely to the public school. Mairead did try the new school one day last week and she did just great. She LOVED the gym. Her current school does not have one, so this is a major plus for the new school. Exercise is so great for her! Her new teacher, Miss Sandy, seems very nice and supportive. I just hope this is the right decision... pulling her out of her current school was not an easy decision for Dave and me, so we hope this change is a good ones.
On Wednesday and Thursday of this week, Mairead will attend the new school again so that she is comfortable returning there after Christmas vacation.
Somewhere in there we have to find time to make snowman cupcakes, wrap presents, stuff stockings, plan for Christmas dinner, check the list, check it twice, etc, etc. Should be fun! I LOVE Christmas and sharing it with my kids has made this holiday even more special. I just love seeing the wonder and excitement in their eyes. Mairead, especially, is loving everything about the season. I do wish it would snow just a little for the big day!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Two out of three Hickok children

Are TERRIFIED of Santa! The boys liked him from far away, but as soon as we put them on his lap, they were hysterical! It was so bad we just had to laugh- even the photographers were laughing at the complete terror. Random passers by stopped and said things like, "Oh no! They don't like Santa!" Or, "Oh, poor kids!" It was quite the spectacle, but at least it was quick!

Mairead was excited to see him, though she mostly wanted to run around and explore the 'North Pole' that was set up in the mall. Is it me, or does she look giant in this picture? She also looks just like me when I was little.

All three kids are being very good this year, so even with the screaming and crying, we hope Santa is good to them!

Deck the Halls

We have been having so much fun enjoying the holiday season. Mairead is in love with Christmas... the lights, the trees, ornaments, everything! It is so much fun to watch her. She doesn't even seem to 'get' the Santa- presents-toys part, and she loves it already. I'm glad all of the other parts of Christmas are more important to her than the presents. Though, that may change come Christmas morning!

This past weekend we decorated the tree. At first, Mairead did not want to part with the ornaments to put them on the tree, but eventually she decided that would be ok.

Nana did a lot of the decorating but she had a very eager helper.

The boys like to look at the tree and they each have very cute but different ways of pronouncing 'Christmas tree.' They really didn't care to decorate, though, which is just as well since we have a lot of glass ornaments and they are not exactly the most gentle of handlers.

This little stuffed Snoopy she has in her hand is her latest favorite little friend. She takes him everywhere. Snoopy is probably 20-25 years old and was just sitting in one of the boxes of decorations. So funny what she latches on to sometimes.

We are going to see Santa today to try to get a picture- I hope she is happy to see him! Between Mairead and the boys, this is bound to be quite the experience. Any bets on how many children actually sit on his lap?

Sometimes during the busy holiday season, you just need to relax with a good book.

Or, have a drink and make some phone calls.

Kitty was sitting on the hearth hoping that the fireplace would come on to warm her up. Mairead was kind enough to help out by making a bed of bubble wrap. She told Kitty (or Gilbert, as she has named her recently) "Here you go. A blanket and a pillow. Nice and comfy." She carefully arranged the bubble wrap and then pronounced, "There. Perfect." That's a new favorite saying. It's pretty darn cute!

The kids are all a lot of fun lately. The boys have new words and phrases every day. Jack's latest is to say, 'Oh, rats!" when something goes wrong. I have NO idea where he got that! Ben likes to take hold of the remote, point it at the tv and say, "Shows? Shows? Here it comes!"
Jack's latest skill is jumping. As in, both feet off the floor jumping. The kid didn't walk until he was 15 months and still randomly falls down when walking, but clearing the floor with both feet? No problem. Well, actually there is a problem... he likes to stand on chairs, couches, etc, announce, "I jumping!" and try to jump off.
Sometimes when they are playing, Ben will run over to me and say, "Hi , mama" and then run back to playing. It is the sweetest thing.
Mairead is really into using people's names now. As in, if I say, "Do you want to eat?" She says, "Ok, Mom. Thanks, Mom!"
We are so lucky to have these kids- it's not always easy, but it is pretty much always adorable.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Little Miss Lily

Yesterday was a big day-- we celebrated Lily and her first birthday! Her actual birthday is not until December 20, but December 11 was her due date, so it made for a great party date! Her mom and dad did a great job throwing a party for family and friends. Lily is super cute and super photogenic. I have so many great pictures of her it was hard to choose just a few for the blog! How adorable is she in this outfit?

Jack and Ben did well for a little while, but they were over tired and cranky, so Daddy took them home a bit early. Mairead and I were able to stay and enjoy the party. She did GREAT! She played with the other kids, sang Happy Birthday, and helped Lily open her gifts. She was perfectly behaved and had a great time. I am so glad she has a cousin so close to her and so close in age... we hope they will grow up as great friends. Mairead is lucky to have Rachael as her big cousin and Lily as her little one!

The Christmas tree was already set up at this party, so Mairead had a great time investigating that.

Of course, she roped Jen into playing with her and they found a quiet space under the dining room table. My mom was under there at one point, too. It was a good spot for coloring.

Lily very much enjoyed her first ever taste of cake, but then she had some calls to make.

This little sweater belonged to Katie when she was a baby. My mom saved it all this time and now it is ready for Lily to wear.

Happy birthday, Lily! We are all so glad to have you in our lives and we have loved seeing you grow throughout your first year. Dave and I know that a first birthday is a very special day for Mom and Dad, too, so congratulations to Katie and Steve for doing such a great job as parents this year. Lily is lucky to have you!