Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas 2009: Pre-Vacation

We squeezed in a couple of Christmas things before taking off for Disney. We got all the presents wrapped and purchased. We also got the Christmas Cards mailed out, without a letter this year. Everyone keeps up with us on the blog and/or Facebook, and we really didn't need a letter, right?! And, we got the neighbor gifts out and delivered. It was simple this year; and useful too. I hope it was taken in the right spirit. How would you have taken it?
Santa and Mrs Claus were at Maceys on one of our last runs. Just add it to the list of reasons I love Maceys. Fortunately, I carry a camera in my purse. It was great for the girls to see Santa without a line. And, Mrs Claus was wonderful to Sara.
We also saw Santa at California Adventure, but I really like him in his traditional garb like he wore at Maceys. Have I mentioned that I love Maceys?!

Karyn's Birthday

I am playing catch-up. This all happened before we left on vacation. We made sure to catch Karyn's birthday before I left. We all went for yummy dinner at Pizza and Pasta Factory. After gorging ourselves (yummy, yummy Italian Soda) we came back to my house and played "Dance Dance Revolution" on the Wii. Yes, we laughed our pants off and these are two of the only acceptable pictures I had of the fun and craziness.

Then we made a delicious version of PPFs "Never on Sundae". It was a great night and these ladies are TOO much fun. La da di, la da da!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Disney at Christmastime

We've done Disney in the summer, Halloween, absolutely dead in the winter and now at Christmastime. I don't think we will ever do Christmastime again, but we are glad we have done it once. We had a wonderful time, but the crowds were CRAZY. Yep, did you know that they can "reach capacity" at Disneyland and will turn people away? That happened one of the days we were there and we got a "backstage tour" to get us out of there safely after the parade on Friday.
In spite of the crowds, we had a great time. Thanks to Ridemax, we had no trouble getting on every ride we wanted without long lines. We also ADORED the Christmas Fantasy Parade. But, mostly, it was all about the time together, the relaxing (we take Disney slowly and I don't cook), and not having to be apart with work or school. It was a blissful holiday.
We got to meet lots of new characters and got many other characters in new, holiday outfits. The girls' character picture books have gotten very fat and they are showing them to anyone who comes to our house! The girls loved opening presents at Disneyland and dressing up fun for each day in the park and coordinating those outfits with the days' activities.
Our favorites from the trip are as follows:
Laura getting on Indiana Jones for the first time, eating a huge ice cream, and being picked to go onstage for Drawn to the Magic
Sara bigger rides (Jumpin' Jellyfish and Soarin' specifically), meeting characters (Ariel most of all) and her stuffed Ariel
Eliza being worn by Mommy in the Moby wrap, and having so much to see (Small World and the Parade), and non-stop attention
Jason the time together to kiss his girls all he wanted and to get special alone time with each of them, and hand-dipped Corndogs
Melinda the smiles and looks of wonderment on the girls' faces, holding Jason's hand all day, the Baby Center
Here is our video that we made of the trip - thank you photoshop for making this an easier process. We had the video playing on our TV all morning Christmas morning to remind the girls what we did for Christmas. They have loved watching it!
video

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Disneyland!!!

We are home and I will do a big post about it all later when I feel more on top of things. But, for now, we all wish we were in 80 degree weather and hanging out together as a family with fun rides, yummy food, tons to see, and friends to meet! What a great Christmas present!!!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Hints of Christmas

There are more little signs of Christmas popping up all over the house making me cheery! I found more apothecaries and they arrived in the mail. I think I am going to keep them up year round and fill them with season-appropriate candy.
Sara, another lover of fun socks, regularly dons christmas socks. She loves her Santa ones and light-up rudolph ones best. Poor Laura has to wear uniform socks most days and isn't joining in on this part of the season.
But, Laura sure is taking the time to read all the Christmas books I put out. And, she's wonderful about reading them to Sara as well.
Delightful packages are appearing at our door. Yes, almost all bits of Christmas shopping that were not covered by the Disney trip were done online this year. Okay, and we couldn't help ourselves on a couple Cyber Monday deals - bottom package.
There are babies sleeping in heavenly peace around here. Yep, Sara makes sure that Eliza always has baby Jesus from the nativity with her. Baby Jesus spends time in the crib, bouncy seat, etc.
I moved a couple of my items won from Buncos this month and last to the sides of my hearth. I like them!
Yep, Christmastime is upon us and I love the cheer that is filling the house!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Sara 2.5

Sara is two and a half today. My goodness she seems so much older than that. She has left all the baby stuff behind and just a pleasure to be with. She has conquered potty training with not a single accident in the past week, thrown away her binkies, and talks and plays like most 3 - 4 year olds. Fortunately, she still loves to snuggle and thinks I am cool, so she hasn't completely grown up.
Sara's currents are as follows:
Height: 39.5 inches
Weight: 38 lbs
Favorite color: pink
Favorite treats: starbursts (pink), ice cream, soda (pink soda), rootbeer floats (what she selected for a prize when she became the "potty princess")
Favorite food: salmon, noodles, tomato soup, french fries
Favorite game: dress-up, coloring
Hates: nursery, messy hands
Regularly used phrases: You hurt my feelings, I lug you, I'm not [adj/pet name] I'm Sara Rosalie Randall
Favorite Shows: Max & Ruby, Wow Wow Wubbzy, Barbie: Thumbelina and 12 Dancing Princesses, anything Ariel
Favorite Books: Knuffle Bunny, Pinkalicious, My Pretty Pink Purse, Olive the Other Reindeer
I often catch her: covered in bling, sorting anything - particularly my paperclips, singing in the bathroom, playing with mermaids, kissing Eliza, carrying around a favorite book and "reading it"
Sara has so much personality and makes me laugh regularly. My favorite two funnies this week were 1 - coming out of Walmart she hugged me and said, "Mom, it is way Brrrr out here." and 2 - to Jason while he was boosting her on the potty, "I no pee on Cinderella. I ask her if it's OK and she say 'No way, Jose'". She is also incredibly polite; always saying please, thank you and excuse me. And, she just has a way of charming anyone to death. I think her saying, "Name, you da best." Might help with that. Oh, how we love our Sara!!!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

First Week of December

Despite feeling worse than I have since I was pregnant - 6th kidney stone post baby, hernia, torn abdominal muscles, nerve damage with searing pain, IC flare, and hives all over my throat - I have done a few fun things this first week of December. (Aside to anyone who has encountered me this week: I apologize for my spaciness, impatience and constantly being on the verge of tears with all this pain. I really don't feel like myself at all and am taking all the steps I can to try to fix it, but it is going much too slowly.)

I went again to the Scholastic Book Sale . It was a great time being with Karyn, Andrea and Heather. And, a bonus was that I ran into Steph and Creed there too. I loved having a few moments without the kids and got some great items. Sara loved discovering all the new books in the box when I got home - though a few did get hidden for Christmas. I think Sara in the second picture shows how we all feel about books in this house.
A favorite find was this book. Laura loves the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems. She just thinks they are so funny. Yep, with all the new fodder around, Laura read a full 60 minutes by the end of Saturday! That makes for an easier homework week for all. Woot Woot!
Another great find was the "Olive the Other Reindeer" advent calendar. Sara loved it so much that she got into it when we weren't looking. Some of the little figures are currently missing, "12-15", and unless they are found, all thoughts of reusing the calendar are out the window. Fortunately, those days are while we are gone and won't be too terribly missed this year.
We also attended Jason's Mom's annual candlelighting ceremony this Saturday. Linda did a beautiful job on the party. It changed to a brunch this year and was very successful; I brought cinnamon twists. Poor Eliza (and even Sara - okay, and the very pained me too) just couldn't take the noise/chaos. Eliza wouldn't eat or sleep and just lost it after being there only 2 hours so we had to leave. Laura sure enjoyed herself and her time with Emily, however. And, me being super stressed over two upset babies only snapped this picture of the event.
I also have to mention how proud I was of Laura at the party. She was respectful, attentive and kind. Thank you, Laura for being such a great kid and wonderful example to your little sisters. I love you!

Eliza at 4 Months

Wow. Eliza is 4 months old. It feels like she has always been here. We all just love this kid like crazy. She seriously enhances all of our lives.
Her stats that we got from her 4 month appointment are as follows (and they have now moved her from the preemie chart to the "regular" chart)
Length: 24.25 inches long - 90th percentile
Weight: 12 lbs 14 oz - 60th percentile
Head: 39.7 cm - 25th percentile
Now, no one wonders why her cheeks are so chub-fabulous...small head plus good weight equals awesome cheeks. Oh, and we started her on some solids (rice cereal) in this past month and she loves it. Yep, just like her sisters, we can't shovel it in fast enough!
Eliza is still wonderfully good-natured. She charms all of us with her ready smile, her adorable little cough-laugh, her "angel talk" and tolerance. She loves to be held by anyone and deals with some serious love/smothering. Truly, she completes our family.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas is UP

There have been a few changes to the Christmas decor this year. Despite much looking, we could not find an additional stocking (for Eliza) to match our existing ones. So, we bought all new ones. We settled on something quite traditional and I really like them; we got them, oddly, at Smith's. The knit and the colors are fun, but the best part is that we have one for Eliza. Something else that I love is that the kids stockings hang on "JOY" which is true, my girls are definitely my joy!
While on the stocking search, I got this great apothecary jar at Tai Pan. I had been wanting to move my floral arrangement from the entry way to the behind the couch table for a while and to make the entry into a seasonal arrangement. The apothecary jar filled with candy (my favorite candy cane Hershey's Kisses) is just the thing. Though, it is torture on Sara and Jason, my candy hounds. I would like to find two more jars in different sizes to complete the arrangement for all the seasons. But they had only one size at Tai Pan. Anyone know where I can find some others? The cute boxes I won at Bunco and I like how they finish off the arrangement.
The other change is to the skinny tree. We found additional ornaments and ribbon after the season last year. So, this year the tree is just dripping with decorations and I LOVE it. Doesn't it look much better than last year?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. My brother Dave and his wife Mel came into town from Seattle, so most of our time centered around being with them. It was great.
Thanksgiving day brought a beautiful meal at my mom's house. The food was delicious and the company was fabulous. I just wish I had been smarter and not eaten things I am somewhat allergic to. I spent subsequent nights awake from pain and am still not walking the best. But, the food was fabulous, I was just stupid!
Laura spent the whole day hanging out with Kaitlyn. They are such good friends that we really didn't even see her. They played outside and had "meetings" in their club (the cold storage).
Sara warmed up all to all her big cousins. She loved being the center of attention and banging around with all the teenage boys.
Eliza was fake baby again. She was passed around like a football and happy the whole time. She slept during the meal and was an angel otherwise.
Black Friday was a total bust. Jason said the crowds were 3 to 4 times as big as they have been in years past. After striking out at Walmart and seeing a ridiculous line at Kmart, he came home with my blessing. We're glad the girls want to do Disneyland for Christmas this year and presents aren't a big deal. Later Friday morning we went with Dave and Mel to Gardner Village and Tai Pan and had much more fun there. Poor Jason had a bummer shopping day, but at least he had just played football with all the boys.
Friday afternoon kinda stunk too. We attacked the leaves in our front yard. The leaves from all the trees in the common area blow to our house because the HOA doesn't clean them up. So, we did. With my histamines already crazy, I wore a mask the whole time. But, after shoving them down in 6 full size bags, they are gone and we are ready for snow. Yah, I don't think this many leaves came from our one little maple.
Friday evening, Jason's mom (THANK YOU) watched Miss E after we put the girls to bed so Jason and I could go out for an adults dinner with my family. We missed Danny tons and tons, but had a wonderful time at Tepanyaki. My goodness my siblings are funny and brilliant. We didn't get enough chatting in at the restaurant, so they were accommodating and came to our house to chat afterwards. How I love them all!
Saturday morning, the family got together again for a casual brunch. I made piles of cinnamon twists for the affair and loved the food my mom prepped. Yep, it was a packed family weekend and just about as great as it can get.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

This year I am grateful for my family. Particularly for my little turkey...
my adorable pilgrim...
my distracted Indian...
my grumpy Indian and her Daddy. I am so blessed!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Always Makes Me Smile

Doesn't this huge grin and little face just make you smile?! It sure makes me smile and I thought I'd share with you. Honestly, she turns me into a Mommy Puddle!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Just Can't Help It

The girls can hardly wait for Christmas. I think the chain counting down to our Christmas trip to Disney (chosen instead of presents by the girls this year) might be contributing to the anticipation. So, we put up the kids tree in the basement for FHE last night. My parents joined us and it was a great time.
It is not decorated beautifully, but it makes me so happy to see that my girls did it and how happy it made them. And, isn't that the purpose of a kids tree?!
I justified the early decorating by reminding myself that Christmas is for the children. And, that we will be gone for a week during the Christmas Season, so we might as well have our decorations up a little early and enjoy them.