Thursday, December 25, 2008

Your Next American Idol!

The consensus may very well be that American Idol has overtaken bowling and tennis as the new Jordan family favorite Wii game. We got this for Christmas and we ALL had so much fun with it today. I should take a picture of each of our characters. Elena's has a big, crazy afro. It looks quite like the afro she has here, actually! Elena was super excited when she discovered that "The Sweet Escape" was available to perform, as that is her most favorite song on my ipod right now. (no comments about the kids on the coffee table please- can't you see how closely it resembles the American Idol stage?!) :)

Merry Christmas to All!

Merry Christmas everyone!!! We had such a wonderful day at the Jordan house! Our Christmas traditions are pretty solidified because it has always been just us on Christmas. When we got married, we lived in New Orleans (about a 10 hour drive from family). Then we moved to Indianapolis (an even longer drive!). So we have, from the establishment of our family, started and kept our own traditions.
I can't say that it was a simple thing to do. When two people from two different families come together, there are sometimes differences in expectations. But the uniting and tweaking of all the things we each loved growing up and then the addition of what we want for our kids is a beautiful thing. It all starts on Christmas Eve...
Since we've been married, we always go to church together on Christmas Eve. Since Elias was born, it has been us + child/children. I can't ever remember using childcare for a Christmas Eve service. It is a family thing. Thankfully, the services we have always attended have been fairly family friendly. Last night was no exception (to say the least)! In fact, our kids ended up sort-of stealing the show when they asked all the children to come to the stage to sing "Away in a Manger" with Rick Trevino (recording artist from HCBC who has been a part of the Christmas Eve service here for the last 19 years). Background info: Elias' kindergarten class performed all 3 verses of Away in a Manger in chapel last week. With motions. So who do you think was sitting at the VERY front edge of the stage singing (remember, WITH MOTIONS!)? Oh yes, my boy. And not only that, my girl as well. And she was watching him and doing all the motions he did. And singing as loudly as she could- which really was quite a bit louder than any of the others. Enough that it was very obvious that it was her. And then, during the instrumental interlude, she made eye contact with us in the 3rd row or so and yelled out "Hi Daddy! Hi Mommy!" while waving and smiling. It was absolutely hilarious. I laughed so hard I cried. If I only had a video camera with me!! And, to top it all off, it snowed inside the worship center at the end of the service. Beautiful, soapy-foam snow.
As I put Elias to bed last night, I reminded him that I would come get him this morning and we would all come open presents together. He said "But first we will read that really fun Christmas story!" I love that he even remembered our tradition, and that he was so excited about it! To try to remind the kids that the reason for Christmas is the birth of Christ, we have always read the Christmas story together in our bed before coming down to open presents. This year, Elias read some of it to us.
This morning, in keeping with what seems to be the norm for us, each of the kids had something under the tree unwrapped because it was just too stinkin' big to make the effort. One year it was a wagon, once it was drums. You get the picture. This year, Elena got a dollhouse and Elias got a big parking garage. To see the look on their faces when they came around the corner and saw their "big" gifts awaiting them! Oh, priceless! I actually took a video and will post it if it turned out. (update: it is posted below)
After all the unwrapping (and meticulous cleaning up of every scrap after EACH gift because I have created completely OCD kids), we got to relax the rest of the day! We tested out new toys, rested, read, played multiple new Wii games (we each have a look-alike on American Idol now, which is so much fun!!!). Adaryll smoked an amazing brisket to round out our first Christmas as a married couple in our home state. I think the weather was in the mid-70's, though I wouldn't know because I am still in my PJ's from last night. And that, my friends, is what Christmas should be!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry...

Noone cried or even pouted for our annual pictures with Santa. I guess that means that each of the kids will only have one crying-on-Santa's-lap photo. I really thought Elena would freak out again this year, but she fed off of Elias' excitement. Elias told Santa that he would be happy with whatever Mommy and Daddy got him. But that, when he is seven, he would like an ipod. Elena told him that she wants H-E-B Buddy Bucks. (dollars that they give kids at the grocery store. then the kids put them in a crane machine and win a ball with a sticker on it. they keep the stickers in a book and can "buy" things when it gets full. actually, Elena is just excited about the stickers. about half the time, the stickers don't even make it to the book. needless to say, she has never redeemed them for anything.)
Here they are, along with previous years so we can all ooh and aah over how much they have grown...

(different Santa because I was pregnant with Elena and had a PICC line, so we decided to go to a mall that was a little closer to home)




Our Weekend (not-so-much-of-a) Getaway

I am not a big fan of road trips. I would just so much rather fly. But I have come to start to appreciate the low-cost, convenience, and even fun (did I just write that?) of a road trip since we moved to Texas. You see, there are LOTS of places to drive down here in Texas- and a trip from east to west in our state is over 800 miles.
Soooo, this past weekend we had the opportunity to do some TX road travel. Adaryll was invited to play sax at a church in north Houston on Sunday morning and a church in Yoakum (read: charming little town in the middle of nowhere) on Sunday night. It was an opportunity to play with some guys who he used to travel with 10 years ago. These are really special guys- some of those lifelong friendships that you are able to just pick up where you left off when you get together. So I was really looking forward to seeing them all play together for the first time in a couple of years. And I was REALLY looking forward to getting to spend some time with their wives and kids (the newest of which was just born last week!).
So as we are driving to Houston, the kids entertaining themselves in the backseat, Adaryll driving, and me filing my nails for the first time in I don't know how long, I actually had the thought "Hmmm. I think road trips actually can be enjoyable! When was the last time I had a free moment to file my nails? I could reframe this in my mind and instead of being stressed out, I could consider this a relaxing, pampering thing. After all, I am just sitting here in the passenger seat with nothing really to do." (ok, the while ride there wasn't quite so blissful and required me climbing into the back of the van several times to get something for one of the kids. but still, when was the last time I actually sat for 4 hours???)
We got to the hotel, checked in and got settled. The boys went to get lunch while I put Elena down for a nap. Fast forward about 3 hours. When I got Elena up from nap, she had a 102 fever and wanted to do nothing but lay on me. (yes, the OCD mother carries a thermometer in her diaper bag. it is only fitting because one or both of our kids get sick every single time we travel. without fail.) By the time Adaryll was able to go to the store and get some tylenol and motrin, her fever was over 104. I called her doctor, who had just seen her Wednesday for a bad cough, thinking that they would just call in an antibiotic. No such luck. And not a single urgent care center open. But her breathing seemed labored and her cough was really awful at this point. As soon as I gave her the motrin, (literally within 5 seconds) she puked all over the hotel bed. The bed Adaryll and I would be sleeping in. After a call down to get new bedding and a night of her puking every 20-30 minutes I realized the one positive thing I could hold on to. I didn't have to do all that puke laundry!
I got her into urgent care while Adaryll was at church Sunday morning and she had bronchitis. They said that kids that age often puke with that because their body is just doing everything it can to expel the thick snot from their lungs and throat. Lovely, eh? They gave me an antibiotic and phenergan for her. She pretty much spent the rest of the day in a 104 degree phenergan coma, waking only to puke in the car on the way to Yoakum.
That night was much the same as the night before, and we drove straight to her doctor's office Monday morning when we got back to town. I just needed his opinion. He agreed with the other Dr. and gave us 2 more meds as backups. She seemed to start to rally yesterday afternoon and be much more like herself by the evening. I am hoping we are past the worst. And that all the throwing up wasn't too traumatic. She spend a good deal of time crying at bedtime last night saying that she needed her bucket and that she was going to cough in it. It took a dose of phenergan to convince her that she wasn't going to throw up anymore. Or at least to put her back into the coma. Ahh, the joys of parenting!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Coming to Town

The Jordans (all 4 of us!!!) are coming to Indiana in January!!! Can't wait to see all of you!!!!! More info soon, but it is really official- we have plane tickets!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Family Photos

You all know how obsessive I am about having the kids pictures taken often. I'm not nearly as good about family shots, mostly because that requires that I actually do something with my hair and face. And it seems like a lot of work to coordinate everyone's outfits, etc. But we were WAY overdue for a family shot, so we scheduled an appointment for this afternoon. I am really happy with how they turned out, and I'm even happier that I had a great coupon so 2 of the 4 were free! I posted the family pic on the right side of the blog. (replacing the 2 year old family photo in which Elena was only 6 months old...)
I love this one of Elias pulling Elena in the sled. Even funnier was the one of her pulling him, but he was laughing so hard that his eyes looked wierd, so we went with this one. I also love both of their individual shots. Elias looks so intellectual, which is quite accurate. And can't you just hear Elena saying, "Seriously!" That look on her face and hands on her hips just says it all- it is just SO who she is!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I can't believe this was six years ago... it has gone by SO fast!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Texas in the Window

For those of you who are wondering, our Texas (made of coat hangers and Christmas lights) is making it's debut in Austin tonight. I actually made it in 2000 when we were living in New Orleans, so this is its first Christmas in the state that it represents. I can almost hear it humming as I type... "Texas, our Texas. all hail the mighty state..."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Allergic to Nothing

Conversation between me and Elias a couple of weeks ago:
E- Mommy, what was I allergic to when I was a baby?
M- Well, you were allergic to milk.
E- So I couldn't drink milk?
M- Right, you drank soymilk. But you couldn't eat cheese either. So you couldn't eat pizza. But you outgrew it, and now you love pizza, huh?
E- MmmHmm. So what am I allergic to now?
M- Nothing.

Conversation that occurred in my car on the way home from school Monday:
M- Hey sweetie, how was your day at school?
E- Good. Did you bring me a snack?
M- No, I didn't bring you a snack today. You can have a snack as soon as we get home.
E (with Elena agreeing)- Can we stop at McDonald's for fries?
M- No. But we will have a snack at home. I promise.
E- You really didn't bring me anything?
M- Right. So tell me about your day. Did you have Spanish today?
E- You brought me nothing?
M- (silence. I am NOT responding to this. I can see we are headed in a bad direction.)
E- You brought me NOTHING? But I am allergic to NOTHING! And you brought me NOTHING!?!
M- (still silence)
E- (under his breath, realizing I am not going to respond) Now I am going to have a rash... (quiet sobs)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

After record highs in the 80's yesterday, this is what we woke up to this morning. For Austin, TX, this was a "winter storm". I am speechless on Wordless Wednesday...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Before I forget, I am posting Wordless Wednesday tonight. This week it will be a series of pictures, but only one caption is needed to sum them all up. Post your ideas in the comments.


The Jordans have officially turned on the heater. At least for today. Brrrrrrrrr. My body has re-acclimated to Texas weather quicker than I thought it would. It was mid-40's today and I just flat out couldn't get myself warm!!! I am off to my fuzzy fleece sheets and electric blanket. Now you all know why we had such a hard time with that frickin cold up there in Indiana!!! (shiver. shiver again.)