Tuesday, December 15, 2009

It took a while but...

Why did I run and grab a camera when Banana Girl started screaming in anger? (I think I like that name better than "Toddler A"; it sounds much less clinical) Anyway, back to my screaming girl...

Because it's a perfect view of her new tooth!!! Yes, she finally cut her first tooth after 14 months of life. Isn't it cute?

Christmas Around the World

Not too long ago, our ward had its Christmas Party; themed "Christmas Around the World." We enjoyed ethnic dishes from all over and various families entertained us with songs, dances, and stories from their missions or native countries. I was asked to present something from the Czech Republic for about 5 minutes.

Well, it just so happens that our party was held on December 5th, which is the eve of Mikulas (St. Nicholas Day) in the Czech Republic a very big holiday, and what seemed to me the beginning of Christmas there. So I told the story of St. Nicholas and the holiday traditions associated with it in CZ while Alex, Princess M, my brother John, and 3 of his kids acted it out for us.
In short, on the eve of Mikulas, the Angel brings down St. Nicholas from heaven by a golden chord, and he goes about looking for little girls and boys. If they've been good that year, they get candy or toys in their boots when they wake up; if they've been bad, they get rocks or rotten potatoes; and if they've been REALY bad, then the Chert (devil) will snatch them up in his sack and take them down to hell. "You better watch out... you better not cry..." Seriously

It was short, sweet, and kinda fun I thought. M made a fantastic Angel; and she loved doing it! My nephews remembered their parts perfectly. And I was so proud of how my St. Nicholas costume turned out (I threw it together that morning. Santa let us borrow his beard for the play.)

Speaking of Santa, he, of course, made an appearance at the party. He told a story explaining the symbols of Christmas and how they all teach of Christ. It was really cool. And can you tell how excited M was to see him there?

He came bearing gifts too. Not only did each child get a candy cane after sitting on his lap, they each got a large plush teddy bear as well. It was a huge hit!

Bribed with candy and a bear, we even got a decent picture of Toddler A on Santa's lap without any tears.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tuesday Traditions in the Making

Ever since a little before Thanksgiving, we were visiting family here in town (2 of my brothers live here in the Springs as well) and saying what a shame it was that we all live 30min or less away from each other, and never take the time to hang out. We decided to start making an effort to get together every Tuesday afternoon/evening for games and simply getting together. Although we've missed a couple, for the most part, we have kept to our weekly date. And now rather than catching us by surprise, we're now looking forward to it all week.

At some point in one of these evenings, I walked into the livingroom to find Princess M and 3 of her cousins sitting around a card table playing cards.

I think it was supposed to be a version of Go Fish, but it struck me as very funny, because I swear they looked like they were hussling each other in a game of poker. My mind's eye saw this:

Aren't they a little young for that? Yes, yes they are.

Mud Hike & Thanksgiving

The weather warmed up mid-November so we all went out for a hike in Palmer Park. We didn't anticipate that the trail would be completely muddied up from the melting of the snow. We still had a bunch of fun, picnicing on the rocks and slip sliding on the trail.

Due to scheduling conflicts, we celebrated Thanksgiving on Tuesday this year with my brothers' families. The food was fantastic; the family was even better; and we were able to just relax and eat leftovers on Thursday. It was really nice. More time to prepare for Black Friday, right?

My Princess is now 4 years old!

Princess M turned 4 in November. Her daddy came home from a business trip on the morning of her birthday and we spent the day in Denver at the zoo and doing things as a family (with a few surprise gifts for her when she got home.) She had a party with a few of her friends a couple days later. They all got to dress up in tiarras and tutus, and be princesses for a couple hours together. It went really well I thought. And M had a blast! Here's a slideshow of the events.

October Wrap Up

Notice anything different?

We had a little fun with hair dye/bleach. Princess M was thrilled because now we both have "matching" blond hair. Personally I think it looks more orange; which inspired my Halloween costume for this year:

For Halloween we spent the evening across town with Kurt's family. Princess M had a blast trick or treating. She ran so fast (and hard)between houses that she broke the heel off her glass slipper. Oh that didn't stop her in anyway though. She just ran barefoot house to house. (It's a good thing the weather was quite warm this year.)

Toddler A was just thrilled to be able to run free outside. She made a much cuter pumpkin than I did, I must say.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Melt my heart!

I was putting Princess M to bed tonight, and we were chatting about how her Uncle John was my brother; and she was at first insistent that we "are only allowed one family, and not two."

So I explained, how when we were little, we lived together with all her other uncles and aunts, with her grandma and grandpa, and when we grew up and got married we all moved out and had our own kids; and when she and Baby A grow up, they're going to get married and have kids, and they will be each other's kids' aunts.

We've talked about this before, but tonight a whole new realization entered her little mind, "Mom, when I grow up, am I going to leave your house?" As soon as I said yes, she burst into heavy sobs, and I couldn't console her for a full five minutes. "But I want to stay with you!" and "But I want to live with you FOREVER!" She was simply beside herself in anguish.

Explaining that she wouldn't always feel that way, made no sense to her, and I wasn't about to lie to her and say she could stay forever. Finally, she accepted the assurance that she could stay with us as long as she still wanted to.

As humorous as it was, it was also very touching that she loves me so much. I'm sure it won't be long enough for me before she's counting the days before she can move out on her own. Oh, that they could stay so sweet, and innocent forever!

Yeah! All caught up!

Baby A has teeth! with braces...

ok, so maybe she's still toothless, but this sucker was really cute on her.

The other day, M really wanted to eat breakfast outside. Never mind that it's near freezing out there. Whatever floats your boat...

October Pictures

Early in the month, we had fun driving to an apple farm and picking some apples as well as a pumpkin for Halloween. The farm had 30 rows of trees and about 15 different varieties to try. There were some emptied trees, but, to our delight, we were able to sample most of the apple types before deciding on the 3 we wanted.

Princess M liked the Rome Beauty and we liked the Fuji and Golden Delicious apples.

They had a tractor pulling a trailer with some bales of hay on it that we rode a few times for M. It only circled the orchard, but was fun nevertheless. We decided we'd finally use a gift card for dinner at Macaroni Grill. On the way there, M kept asking how much further it was til we got to Macroni Girl... which kept us in hysterics.

We held a family home evening on the armor of God. Here's M in her makeshift armor.

The ward held their annual Fall Festival which was a great success as usual. Princess M went as (of course) a princess.

Baby A went as a pumpkin.

There were all kinds of great activities for the kids, including some of M's favorites, trunk or treating, bobbing for apples,

a cake walk,

and face painting:

Alex was out of town, so it was just us girls for the ward party.

Here's another round of surprise pictures we found on the camera, courtesy of our budding photographer M. I deleted a lot of them, but we decided to keep these ones because they show an interesting perspective of the world from a child's point of view (and height).

It snowed early in October. Baby A got her first romp in the snow. She was thrilled to be outside, one of her favorite things, and very curious about the white stuff all over.

A few touches, though, and her fingers froze. She was definitely done and ready to go inside.

M, of course is an old pro at playing in the snow.

After the snow, we had a freezing spell for about a week. It was sooo cold in the house at night. We found M sleeping under every blanket she owned. (We pulled out the mega warm blanket for her bed after that.

I also found Baby A in her crib, not knowing what blankets are for, in a wet diaper and clothes, just shivering like crazy. It was so sad! We bought a space heater for her room that very day, and now she sleeps through the night like a champ! I should have thought of that earlier!

I had a couple hair color dyes laying around the house. Finally decided to try one. When put up to a vote, M saw the blonde and was so excited for Mama to "match" her that we decided to attempt the platinum blonde. I had my friend Nicole over to help me and we had a great time. But the color was a little different then expected.

The new color inspired me to be a pumpkin just like my baby for Halloween.

And the whole family:

M had a blast trick or treating. She outran the boys, even in her high heels; and broke her first heel to boot. Baby A was content to just walk by herself outside.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

September Pictures

Ok, I finally have all my cameras, memory cards, and pictures together in one place and can finish the month sum ups. Here's the highlights from September:

M is becoming quite the little mother. She mimics everything I do with Baby A with her own dolls; and when she can, wants to do everything for her sister as well. Here's a few pics of her "putting Baby A to bed":

I just LOVE the look in their eyes as they are looking at each other. Can they love each other like this forever? Please?

If you remember the recent post about M's friend problems, here's the pics of when we caught her with a butcher knife, trying to cut through the fense to her "friends" on the other side.

Don't worry, she's over this drama now.

September in Colorado means the Labor Day Balloon Festival.

Balloons inflate and take off in the very early hours of the morning, while it's still nice and chilly (if you're lucky and the weather isn't too cloudy or windy for them to take off at all.) We got there this year in time for the second wave of balloons to inflate and take off. It's so beautiful to walk among all the inflating balloons in a sea of fantastic colors.

They let you get right up close and watch the whole process:

And it's always exciting to see one takeoff into the sky.

M is becoming the photographer of our family. I think she got a shot of every balloon that dipped down to touch the lake. Most of them were pretty good shots.

Here's the whole family:

Baby A took her first steps! And before we knew it she was running.

Baby A turned 1 year old in September! I can still hardly believe it. Here's a couple pictures with presents:

And of course the very own personal first birthday cake:


Alex shares his birthday with Baby A. Unfortunately we didn't get a single shot of him on his birthday. It sad to be so overshadowed by such a beautiful little girl!