Christmas 2010, part II – SNOW!

This year I got my first White Christmas ever, as did the little guys! ¬†I told Jeff it may not even be close to his first, but it’s his first with me so that has to count for something. ūüėČ ¬†It started snowing right before the boys’ bedtime so we took them outside to feel it falling–they loved it so much we had a terrible time trying to get them to actually go to sleep! ha.

It snowed all night, so the next day we took the boys out sledding – the four of us, GPops & Gma, Aunt Ash, Auntie Katie and… GREAT Grandpa! ¬†Yes my grandfather, the boys’ great-grandpa, tore up the hills sledding with his great grandsons. ¬†Amazing. ¬†They had a blast – made me remember when we took them last year & even as babies they loved it! ¬†Cully would start fussing the second the sled stopped, until he was going again – he wanted to be moving at all times. ¬†Fun snow day!

There hasn’t been a White Christmas in Charlotte since 1947, so odds aren’t with me to witness another one – good thing this one was pretty great!


Christmas 2010, part I

Some of our Christmas 2010 memories…

  • I think this was my favorite Christmas of all time. ¬†I’ll probably say that again next year, since the boys will be able to do even more in a year’s time–but seriously, I absolutely love experiencing the holiday with my sons. ¬†It’s even more fun! ¬†Yes, more work & less restful–but there’s nothing like wrapping up gifts for your babies to open, and watching the sheer delight on their faces when they play with a new toy, taste new foods, and participate in family traditions. ¬†It’s a whole new side of Christmas that I’m so thankful we get to experience!
  • Cullen’s favorite present – a fork. ¬†for real. ¬†He’s been pretty curious about utensils lately so we grabbed a few from the dollar bin at Target for their stockings–who knew how obsessed he’d be with them?! ¬†He also loves his child-size cooking utensils (spatula, etc.) & pots/pans from IKEA that Grandma & GrandPops got him–the kid LOVES to “cook.” (which is downright adorable, until it gets ugly when he throws a FIT if we don’t let him help stir a boiling pot of pasta!)
  • Lane loved ripping open the presents; Cole had a bit of a meltdown after a few were opened & tried to put them back together… he wanted things neat & orderly! ¬†He’s so meticulous it cracks me up. ¬†He became our trash boy & would clean up by throwing away the wrapping paper each time someone opened a gift. ¬†This pleased him greatly.
  • Favorite Christmas food – mashed potatoes… still.
  • When we went to pick the boys up from nursery after the Chrismas Eve service, we found Laner with no pants on…. my kid would have a blowout in his adorable Christmas outfit & have to go home half naked! ha.
  • One of my favorite moments was singing Silent Night together, all four of us cuddled in the rocking chair right before bedtime on Christmas Eve.
  • Mommy and the boys got their first White Christmas ever this year! ¬†L & C LOVED the snow.


part II – WHITE CHRISTMAS – to come! (& Christmas with the Pyles side this weekend!)

carolina christmas

Christmastime is even more fun with little kids! ¬†The boys are just old enough this year to start enjoying some fun Christmas traditions, old and new. ¬†The other night my parents took our family to Carolina Christmas at the Speedway – they lit up the infield with light displays you drive through & had a spot in the stands with lights timed to music – then a nativity, petting zoo, etc. for families. ¬†We all basically went to see the boys’ reactions. ūüôā ¬†They loved the lights -learned to say “lights!” & “WOW!” ¬†They just kept saying “wow, wow, wow!” over and over – very cute. ¬†Thanks for a fun night M & D! ¬†(and letting Jeff live his dream of passing someone on turn 2–although perhaps doing it in a minivan wasn’t part of that dream…)

the Zaepfel Express

My parents bought a cute electric train set to go around the Christmas tree for the boys… it goes “choo choo,” plays Christmas songs, etc– they loved it! ¬†Lane was especially excited. ¬†So excited, in fact, that the train is “hiding” in a safe place until Christmas Eve/Day so his exuberance doesn’t result in a broken Zaepfel Express. ūüėČ

what happens at Grandma’s…

…stays at Grandma’s – unless you live there! ¬†Then it’s all fun, all the time! ¬†What kid wouldn’t love it?!


first snow of the year in Charlotte… babies staying at Gma’s get to wake up & see it!
pretty snow
just havin’ some fun with GPops! (he lets you roughhouse with him all you want!)

In all seriousness though, we are grateful for parents/grandparents who have generously shared their home with us the past few months when we needed it… the boys will certainly miss all this constant love & attention whenever we move out! ¬†Thanks Mom & Dad Z.

more fun to give…

Sometimes it really is more fun to give than to receive! ¬†This weekend we got to go shopping for toys for hundreds of toddlers. ¬†Jeff was put in charge of his department’s Salvation Army stockings & Angel Tree gifts drive. ¬†They ended up filling 200 stockings for toddlers, and 40 Angel Tree gifts… so cool! ¬†We wiped out the Dollar tree buying literally hundreds of toys for the kiddies with some of the money they’d raised. ¬†It was a blast! ¬†Cullen & Lane got in on the action, too… we’re not sure they’ve really learned the moral of “it’s better to give than to receive” quite yet, but we’ve at least given them a head start. ūüėČ

These pictures are from my ghetto phone, so they’re not the best quality – but you can see our little helpers at work! ¬†Excellent quality control.

lovey bros

Our little guys are getting so sweet with each other – giving each other kisses, hugs, bringing each other their bunnies (lovies) – of course we have our fights as well, but it melts my heart to see them love each other. ¬†I’m so thankful to get to watch their relationship unfold–what a special bond they have! ¬†These are some pictures from my phone that I love –

rub a dub dub, two cuties in the tub! bathtime buddies

this is L giving C a hug - and perhaps a bonus gentle headbutt. ūüėČ

L giving C loves - sooo sweet!

a little of this & a little of that.

my mom's stockings for the boys at her house - makes me very happy since I sadly left all of ours in storage!

our toddler-safe tree ūüôā

with their big boy friend Zack

sweet Zack sharing his video game with C (who adored his big boy friend)

look at that little smirk.

such a sweet boy

it's more fun to sit in the tub of blocks than actually play with them.

where's your nose?

Cole has been really sweet with his bro-bro lately - here he's taking a bunny (their lovies) to him. so sweet.

our little monkeys - gotta love them!



(Lane & Cullen are 16 months)
  • The boys are both cutting their bottom molars. ¬†Man, you two were late bloomers on the teeth but once you started you haven’t stopped! ¬†C’s also finally getting that 4th bottom tooth–we’ll miss the crooked “cheese” face smile!
  • Lane is an A+ climber. ¬†That boy will keep you on your toes.
  • Cole is really starting to pick up some words… our favorites lately are “wow, wow, wow!” & the classic “uh-oh”. ¬†Oh, and the sweet way he says “bro-bro.”
  • They both have become such loveys at bedtime–as soon as we get in our little circle to say prayers they immediately want to hug, kiss, & head bump each other (yes our sons have some unique ways to show their affection) nonstop–it is stinking adorable. ¬†Makes me LOVE having two. ¬†We have to break up the lovin’ after a while so mom & dad can get in on the action.
  • Cullen is loving nap time/bedtime now too – he will also say “night night” & walk to his crib to get in, then smile & blow you a kiss as you walk out. ¬†I was flabbergasted the first time he did it… thought I’d maybe confused my {incredibly NOT identical) sons!
  • we are on one nap most days! mixed feelings about this.
  • they are showing a lot of interest in using utensils, especially C. ¬†They love practicing with their spoons & bowls. Too big!
  • They have definite preferences when it comes to people… Cullen really prefers women hold him, & Lane is drawn to men, with both familiar/family members and strangers/new people. ¬†And C-bug is definitely a mama’s boy while Laner is daddy’s all the way. ¬†(glad we each get one!)
  • Their appetites are finally starting to slow down. ¬†Thank goodness. ¬†Except for breakfast… a “normal” breakfast for them is still something like this (EACH): 1 whole banana, 1 or more eggs, a large bowl of oatmeal with applesauce, an orange, some toast, and some bites of dry cereal. ¬†Good night nelly, as Jeff would say. ¬†After that though, they are finally not ravenous beasts all day long. ¬†Our wallets are thankful; we need a respite before we have 2 teenage boys.
  • We are really excited for Christmas… we know they’ll like opening the gifts more than the gifts–so we are just wrapping lots of random things! (for real-I’m wrapping a box of their favorite crackers. ¬†Merry Christmas!)

well, at least Cullen & I are excited for Christmas!