Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Years Eve

It's New Years Eve! What do you have planned for tonight?

We started our day by heading out for some indoor ice skating! The rule is, you have to wear skates on the ice, not boots. Well, friends, I haven't been on skates in 9 years, because 8 winters ago I was pregnant with Nora. And pregnancy+skating=no no. And friends, my feet grew from being pregnant, so every second on the ice was excruciating. I could feel my poor toes smooshing against the toe box and it was not fun. It was fine if I was skating fast, but with two little girls who are unsure on the ice, I was going pretty, pretty slowly. I'll tell you what, though-my winter boots have never felt so heavenly in all my life. And it was so much fun that I am already plotting our next ice skating adventure.

Here is a little video of the girls skating:

Hahahaha! Isn't that fun? Yeah, I am not laughing either. For some reason my camera is only taking video in fast forward. Between not being able to post the holiday programs yesterday and getting this sideways, super fast, old-timey movie version of video today, I am clearly on a roll. But you get the point. Both girls started out using chairs for support, and by the end of the 90-minute session, neither needed a chair. Sweet!

Now we are off to bake chocolate chunk brownies to bring to my brother's house tonight. We are having a rip roaring get together that will include the 4 of us plus Sam, Liz, and their niece Taylor. I think I heard a rumor about cousins Brooke and Adrea coming, too, but that can't be verified at this time. At any rate, I am certain the festivities will be over long, long before midnight. Because already, Nora has asked to take a nap and if I didn't have to worry about Dana entertaining herself for an hour and a half, I would be snuggled up with her right now.

Here's to a safe and enjoyable New Years Eve, with the added fun of a blue moon!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas 2009

We started our Christmas early this year, because of the storm.

Kevin's mom called Wednesday night and said it was supposed to start snowing overnight and it wasn't supposed to let up until Saturday. Blizzard warning! She suggested we come out that night in case we couldn't get out the next morning. Since we all live in rural areas, it's pretty much guaranteed that we're on the bottom of the plowing list, so we took her advice. And it's a good thing, too, because when we woke up, there must have been almost a foot of snow on the ground!

And that's when the wrestling began. I guess no holiday is complete without it now. And probably I will be in trouble for posting this photo, but it's a risk I am willing to take.

I KNOW I will be in trouble for posting this, but he knows the risks by now. I can't even remember why Kevin had a bucket on his head in the first place, but it came in handy as a hands-free device when his phone rang.

The girls were so lucky to receive many wonderful gifts from kind, thoughtful and generous family and friends. They were both thrilled to open brand new ice skates from Grandma Bev and Grandpa Jerry! This is Nora's very first pair of real figure skates and you can see how much she loves them.

Dana got these super cute skates with snowflakes on them. Just look at that grin!

Grandma and Grandpa also got Nora a pedicure set, and Jan did her toes for her. I just love how flopped out she is here, relaxing while her toes dry.

We finally made it outside into the storm to put out reindeer food before heading inside to arrange cookies and milk for Santa and settling in for the night.

Nora woke up first. Around 6am. On school days, I have to force this girl out of bed at 8:15am. On Christmas morning, she tossed and turned and chatted with me in bed until I finally let her get up around 7:30.

She was really excited to find gifts under the tree and in her stocking. Among other things, Santa left her these fleece footie pajamas, which was pretty fun.

Dana got matching jammies! Yay!

My family went bowling Saturday night for our Christmas, but I was too busy setting an all-time record high score of 58 to take any photos.

I hope your holidays were as wonderful as ours were!

Holiday Programs

Oh, how I have tried to post video. Again and again I have tried, and it just isn't happening. So please enjoy these photos of holiday programs instead.

Dana's preschool program was absolutely adorable. These wee ones sang songs and did finger plays on stage in their classroom, and it was just so sweet! Dana loved being on stage, she loved hearing everyone clap for her (and her classmates), and she loved watching the audience watch her. We were so very proud of her! In this photo, she is doing a finger play about Santa popping out of a chimney-so cute!

Nora's holiday program was also amazing. Her class sang 3 songs. This song, as you can see, included snowflake props. See Nora there in the front row, way over on the right?

The other two songs included instruments and finger plays. It was all so lovely!

See those cute soldiers on the wall behind the stage? I helped hang those the night before. I was very happy none of them fell off the wall during the programs!

There is a morning program as well as an afternoon program, and the PTA provides treats for both. Between set-up and clean-up, I was there for the entire day, minus a 45-minute break for lunch. Dana took this photo of me, and it reflects perfectly how I felt by the end: blurry. But it was wonderful to be there and to be a part of it and I can't wait for next year's programs, when both of my girls will perform at the same school!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


My cousin Leah was killed on Friday when a semi crossed the median and hit her car. She was ten days shy of her 30th birthday.

Please send thoughts and prayers to her husband, her three little ones, her sisters and their families, and my aunt and uncle.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Adventures in the Freezer

Look what I found in the freezer when I got home from the grocery store yesterday:

Cryogenics in my very home. Who knew?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bring on the Festivities!

I got a little sleep last night and am feeling a bit more like myself today. And so we...

...strung popcorn and cranberries onto yarn to make garland! Actually, popcorn is impossible to string. We broke like 15 pieces of popcorn with our darning needles before I finally had the brilliant idea to use packing peanuts instead. They worked much better, and I figured it was a good way to recycle a few of those crazy things. Plus the girls were thrilled that they got to eat that giant bowl of popcorn.

While the girls worked on their garlands, Kevin and I cut out this garland. Isn't is cute?

While I was hanging all of the new garland, the girls abandoned ship and went upstairs to play something elaborate with dress up clothes, stuffed animals, library books and Barbies.

Kevin was kind enough to clean up the mess a
bove, plus the insane mess the girls made on the floor snipping paper to make sweet ornaments for the tree.

And then, since the mess was all cleaned up by someone else, I made the girls come back downstairs to make clove oranges.

We have made these every year at ECFE, and the kids have always needed help getting the cloves into the oranges. This is the first year since we became parents that everyone is too old for ECFE, but I wanted to continue the tradition. And it was fun! The girls made faces with the cloves! So creative!

That's all the time we had for crafts this evening.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas is right around the corner!

"Christmas is right around the corner!"
Dana likes to share this fact with anyone who will listen. Doesn't matter if it's a friend, family member, or a complete stranger. She is incredibly excited and wants to spread the joy.

We always put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving. This year, Kevin put the tree up and I helped him string lights, and then we just let the kids have at it.

That's right-we didn't hang a single ornament. Nora, Dana and Keenan took care of that job, and they took it pretty seriously.

At first it looked sort of funny, since there were no ornaments on the top 1/4 of the tree. Then, someone had the idea to stand on a chair, and everything got a bit more evened out.

We always bring out the Christmas CDs (this year we listened to the Louis Armstrong and Friends Christmas Collection) and sip hot cocoa with marshmallows, whipped cream, colored sugar and candy canes. Bring on the sugar!

I keep meaning to decorate the rest of the house, but it's been iffy around here. I have a quadruple ear infection and it has really run me down. It's not that I suddenly have 4 ears, friends. No, I just have outer and middle infections in both ears. It's especially fun because there is so much fluid built up behind my eardrums that I can't hear at all out of my right ear. I think I heard Dana call Nora and Keenan a really bad name today but I can't be even 50% certain because I am that congested.

I am going to bed now. It IS 8:42 on a Saturday night, after all.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Glasses

We switched Nora over to the pediatric eye specialist last week. He gave her a new prescription and she got to pick new frames.

She has been eying up these Bratz Girl frames for 3 months! She thinks she really slid one past me because I take a strong stance AGAINST Bratz Girls. But these glasses are fully clothed with nothing inappropriate exposed, and they don't have freakishly large heads, eyes or mouths. And their feet don't snap off to allow skin-tight clothing to go on easier.

The photos do not do these frames justice. They're a shiny plum purple metal with tiny rhinestone accents. They are truly adorable and she was over the moon when I picked her up at school yesterday and brought her to pick them up and have them fitted. She's been all dimples since last night.

Her old frames have really long bows that hang way below her ears, and she was self-conscious about wearing a ponytail because people would see them sticking out and she thought that looked weird. The new purple frames have normal bows that don't peek below her ears. So in addition to slipping the Bratz name past Mom, she can also go back to wearing ponytails whenever she wants. This is important to her.