Sunday, December 26, 2010

More, More, More!

The most wonderful time of the year has arrived!  And passed, actually.  All of the stress that leads up to this holiday season is finally done.  The presents were wrapped (well, those that made it to our house before Christmas Eve, that is), the cookies were baked (albeit, a little burned and undercooked...all at the same time), and Santa made it to South St Paul without any issues (little does he know that his cookies were all dropped on the floor by sweet little Ava...hope they were good, jolly man!)

The next big thing is to ring in 2011.  A new year and a fresh start...at least that's what we're hoping for!

But, back to the chaos of Christmas.  We spent Christmas Eve with Scott's mom's side of the family, and had a great time watching all of the kids open their gifts.  Ava was so very patient.  We didn't bring any of her gifts with us, as we wanted to open them at home on Christmas day - so as her cousins were all ripping into theirs, she played it cool.  When she finally had one handed to her to open, she asked, "For me?"  I felt so bad that she didn't have many to open, but this also taught her patience, and to learn that not everything is about her.  But, man, she LOVED the Barbie guitar that Santa brought for Tatiana!  She did NOT want to give that back at the end of the night...! 

My favorite moment of the night was when Grandma Deb had all four girls (ages 2 - 6) lay down on the floor, and close their eyes.  At this point, Deb brought out their final gifts - pillow pets!  The girls loved them so much!  Ava's is a unicorn, and she dragged it around by the tail the rest of the night...so cute! 

Once we got home, it was important that we read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" to her, and set out eggnog and cookies for Santa.  We're just getting started into the whole "Santa" thing, so we wanted to be sure that we did it right from the beginning.  I remember Christmas Eve being a magical night...and I want the same for Ava. 

The next morning we discovered that Ava knows very well what "More, More, More!" means.  We let her open all of her gifts first - it just was easier that way!  The last gift we had her open was a play kitchen from Gramma Karen and Grampa Doug.  We hadn't assembled it yet, and she was incredibly patient waiting for us to do so.  Granted, she was about 1 foot away from us the whole time during assembly, holding a plate of fake food, but she was patient!

She's had so much fun playing with all of her new toys...and we've had a nice Christmas together as a family.  With all of the build-up that accompanies the season, it's almost a let down when it's all done.  We're left with mountains of snow, cold days, and good memories.  Just enough to get us through until the spring!

Silly girl...she cleared out one of her little toy boxes to sit inside.


Crazy dogs...they could easily get lost in the snow piles here!


All dressed up to go to Great-Grandma's house



"Hey, what was that?!?"


Playing with her Little People house...she is fascinated by the toilet (it flushes.)  Another sign for potty training...


Notice the unicorn in the kitchen.



Pillow pet sighting!


I have to admit, she was very tidy in her gift opening fashion...


"Let me go, I know there's more for me!"


The kitchen...and my fine wrapping job using comics.


"Order up!"



Hope your Christmas was merry and bright!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Candy Cane Down!

Not being organized this holiday season is stressing me out just a bit. Last night I looked at Scott and freaked out just a little that there weren't going to be any cookies to leave for Santa on Friday night.  Well, thank goodness he's level-headed.  With a patient look on his face, he reminded me that we do have access to a grocery store.  So, little Ava and I will be baking some pre-made snowman cookies later this week.  Check that off the list!

Last night, we debated going to the Hollidazzle parade in Minneapolis.  It's so much fun and Ava would absolutely love it!  However, it was a little chilly, and neither of us were keen on standing outside with a shivering toddler for an hour.  So, instead, we decided to drive around and look at Christmas lights in the area.  I'll be honest - people aren't doing up the decor like they used to.  We drove for 2.5 hours, went to 5 different cities, and saw only a few displays that were worth mentioning.  Ava managed to sleep for 2 hours of it, and when she woke up, she asked when we were going to the parade.  Guess we know what will be happening next year!

The good news is that the Christmas cards have been sent, 95% of the gifts have been purchased, I now have egg nog in the house, and I'm not quite as stressed out as I was last week.  We (I) have a ton of wrapping to do, and just a few presents to ship out to family members that aren't here in the area...and THEN we can celebrate the season!

And maybe sleep for a little bit.

With everything we've done this week, there wasn't much time to take pictures.  However, Ava discovered all of the candy canes on the tree (my mom and I had a tradition of buying new candy canes every year - which means there are some 30 year old canes on the tree.)  With this discovery, it also means that we have lost some of them due to breakage...which is too bad, since they were part of a tradition. 

We've also managed to break a few ornaments this year - Scott broke 3, and Ava has now broken one.  Just the glass balls, so nothing irreplaceable.  Yesterday, she put Scooter in time out for THREE hours because "Scoots broke the tree!"  Hm. Apparently, we have now learned how to shift the blame. Not sure this is a good thing!  Scooter also went in time out this morning, for being naughty and hitting Mommy. Scooter shouldn't feel so bad - Princess Ariel often goes in time out during Ava's bath for hitting Daddy.  To be clear, neither Scott nor I have any recollection of being hit by a purple cat, or a mermaid princess...!

Collecting candy canes from the tree



This is one angry look...not sure if Mommy threatened to take away the candy canes?


Scooter in time out...just starting his three-hour stint.  Poor kitty!


Sorry for the short post...lots to do today.  I'm really doing everything I can to avoid wrapping those gifts...ish!

Happy week!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Random Days and Nights

Our tree is up. Some presents are bought (but not wrapped, of course), the Christmas cards are ordered, and I have decided not to bake any of my Christmas goodies this year.  Oh yeah, the holidays are definitely in full swing!

We had a Goers' family Christmas party last night...and it was, by far, the best Goers' party we have had so far. Minnesota got hit with a serious blizzard this weekend, yet the party was still on...and once people got there, they didn't want to leave!  It was a wonderful way to start to celebrate the season with the people we care about.

The following are just some random shots over the last few weeks...

Snuggling with Daddy before bed...watching Scooby Do, I believe.


Ava loves getting piggy-back rides.  I didn't realize how exhausting it was! Love her big belly hanging out here.


She gets so tired of me taking pictures of her...



This doesn't even look like her...her hair looks so long!  And even when Ava looked at the picture, she thought it was Savannah from her daycare, instead of herself.


This is a model pose if I've ever seen one. What happened to the chubby cheeks??


Last weekend, we met up with Scott's sister and her kids to see Santa at Southdale.  She and Santa had a great conversation about Cinderella.  And even Santa commented about how good she did sitting on his lap, and just chatting.  At least she has Santa fooled!


Tara, Hunter, and Aidan


Aidan is very serious about things...


This is poor Scott after 3 hours of snowblowing.  His hat froze to his head, so he gave up on wearing it.  I like to sing about "Scott the Snowman" to the tune of Frosty...!

Thanksgiving in Colorado

Wow, am I behind on blogging!  The holidays just seemed to sneak up this year, and I am feeling so far behind on everything that I need to do...and not just the holiday specials, but everyday things, too!

We went to Colorado to visit my parents for Thanksgiving.  This was Ava's first plane ride, and I was more than a little concerned on how it was going to go.  The three of us had an EARLY flight out together on Wednesday morning, and then Scott flew home on Sunday, while Ava and I flew home on Monday afternoon.  All I will say is that it is a bit more tricky flying with a child than without.  Especially one who decides that she wants to be carried everywhere, regardless of the fact that there are 4 other bags to carry, a carseat to haul around, and all of the undressing that happens while going through airport security.

All that aside - it was great!  She talked non-stop on both flights, and then fell asleep 10 minutes before landing each time.  She was very good and didn't kick the seats in front of her, but we were worried her constant chattering might annoy some of the other passengers.  But you know what?  We got over that really fast!

While in CO, we took it easy.  Had a great dinner on Thanksgiving day, drove to Ft. Collins (we lived there for 14 years) to see how much things have changed, and only went out shopping for about an hour.  Definitely not any of the crazy Black Friday shopping!  It was awesome to see how interactive Ava is becoming with my parents...and she's finally deciding that the women in her life matter, too!  She seemed to be attached to her Gramma Karen non-stop.  I do believe this made my mom pretty happy.

Watching Sponge Bob...thank goodness for DTV on the plane!



It looks like she's playing with a lit candle...not sure what it really is.



Yay, Gramma Karen!


I love your earring...


Ava has Grampa Doug wrapped around her finger...literally.





For the record, Ava does feed herself.  Scott was just teasing her with pie.




Looks like she's telling someone off here!  Wait, that someone would be ME!



Watching something in 3D on the new tv...guys. Sigh.



At Coopersmith's Brewery in Ft. Collins.



Poke, poke!


As usual, there was gorgeous weather in CO...so we went to the park!




I love the expression on her face..."I'm ready to go shopping, Mommy!"  She loved playing dress-up with Gramma Karen.




Ava discovered that she loves helping out with laundry...I wonder if she'll feel the same way in 10 years?


We have many, many things to be thankful for - what a wonderful time of year to stop and reflect upon all of the postitive things in our lives.  We are so blessed!