Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas 2012

We hosted Christmas Eve this year.  But, before the festivities began, we headed off to church.  Through all the chaos I completely forgot to take a sister shot in front of the tree.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  I did, however, manage to get a quick mommy and Abby photo before we headed out the door.  

Ella's fabulous "party shoes."   She has been dying to wear them all Fall.  

After church our guests arrived and the fun began.  Rumor had it that Santa would be arriving shortly after 7:30.  Here we are patiently waiting and waiting and waiting.  

More waiting and inspecting the presents under the tree. 

Ella has a visitor at the door.  Her look is of pure joy.  Poor Abby was deep asleep; and besides, she isn't quite a fan of the big man yet. 

Santa Claus and my awesome wreath

Still in shock and pure wonder.  

Santa brought over some goodies for the family.  Ella got a lobster lollipop and puzzles, mommy got a cake pop, and daddy got some books.  Santa was very funny and had an unusual accent. 


Christmas morning came bright and early even though Ella slept till about 7.  
We started in the TV room opening our stockings.  Ella was more than thrilled with her Tiana ornament, princess underwear, and Daisy Duck stuffed animal. Abby was thrilled with her bubbles. 

Abby's molars were bothering her so she was slow to wake up and needed some extra TLC.  But doesn't she look darling in her nightgown? 

All girls need a pirate's ship!

Abby's favorite~ dolls!  She is a nurturer. 

The aftermath.  Oh my. 

Then we went to grandma and pa's to exchange more presents. 
Ella was fancy in her new headband and new dress.  

And Abby was sweet as can be. 

A dolly for Abby 

And a family photo!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Let It Snow!

Yesterday we were teased with a few snowflakes.  Mother Nature flirted with the idea and Abby was intrigued.  Truly it would snow for a moment and then rain for a moment, snow quickly, and then rain.

Abby watching the snow at a friend's house.

Last night's forecast called for snow.  However, I have learned that snow in Oregon rarely happens and when it does, although never much, it can still shut down the city.  Luckily, we live at a high elevation and received a touch more than a dusting, just enough to build a snowman.    So, by 6:45 we were outside whooping it up while still wearing our pajamas.  For a moment I hesitated, thinking I'd rather have my morning coffee and wake up slowly.  But after the tragedy in Newtown, I thought better;  6:45 was the perfect time to play in the snow!

Our littlest snowman.  This was before we added almonds for eyes and before Ella ate the carrot.  

Here you can see Ella's Sesame Street pajamas peeking through.  

I look forward to many more early mornings playing in the snow!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kicking it Old School

Sweet Abby is rocking my vintage denim jumper and turtleneck from Germany, and boy, she looks cute. 

Oh Flock!

For most people Black Friday means shopping for deals at the local mall with other sleep-deprived people.  I did that once and all I bought were dish towels that I later returned, so I don't really understand.  For me, Black Friday officially starts the Christmas season with the purchase of our tree. For those that know me, you know that I am already knee-deep in Christmas planning: presents, cookie exchanges, Christmas cards, and of course, the girls' outfits.  But the tree is the first decoration to go up, the first sign that the Christmas season has begun. Then starts the music.  Oh, the music, the music, the music!

 I love a good tree! Last year we bought this beauty of a Christmas tree.

It will go down as the best (and most expensive) tree, ever.  Seriously.  The New Yorker in me says the tree was not really that expensive since I recall my father paying near $100 every year for a fresh tree years and years (and years) ago  The Oregonian in me says that the tree was an arm and a leg, especially since we probably have 15 tree farms within a 3 mile radius of our house.  Last year we were lured to a Black Friday tree sale for the half off deal (and the complimentary mochas didn't hurt).  We chose a gorgeous tree, the best they had to offer.  I wanted it flocked. Of course I did.  Little did we know that when you have it flocked, you have it delivered.  So, our $45 "bargain" of a tree turned into a $185 beauty.  I swear, it was the nicest tree in all of Oregon.   That story will follow me forever.

This year I came to my senses.  I vowed to not flock the tree.  As usual, we chose the best tree in the lot.  It is gorgeous and tall and green.  And it was a steal at $35.

And although I love my tree, I have a hunch that we have not had our last flocked tree.   
Notice all the ornaments toward the top.  That was strategic and due in part that all of the ornaments on the bottom of the tree have been broken. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Vomit, Poop, and Laundry

A few things you might not know about me:

a.  I need my house to be picked up.  Clean, not so much, but I can't relax until everything is in its place.  I'm neurotic, I know.
b.  I prefer a solid 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep. However, I usually stay up too late because it is the only time I have to relax.  Inevitably I curse myself the whole next day, but I still continue to stay up too late. Its a vicious cycle.
c. A daily shower is a top priority for me.
d. The gym is my respite and 6 days a week you can find me there at 3 pm.

The past three nights have a been a blur of vomit, poop, and laundry.  Seriously.  On Wednesday night poor Abby started showing the effects of a stomach bug.  I am no doctor, but since she threw up all over her sheets three times that night, I am pretty confident with my diagnosis.  Believe it or not, that night I changed her sheets four times (three times for vomit, once due to a detached diaper).    My mother in law was impressed I even owned four sets of sheets for the crib.  Let this be a lesson, you can never have too many sheet sets.

That night Abby was needy, there was a constant mess to clean up, and I ran the washing machine twice during the night.  Ryan was great at helping, but even so, sleep was at a premium.

 On Thursday Abby and I hunkered down.  Ella went to school and swim lessons.  Ryan flew around the country. Abby's vomiting continued at night and then the diarrhea came. And came. In fact, it came right out of her diaper. Every. Single. Time.

Even when sick, nothing makes Abby happier than a bath. 
I believe this was bath number one.  

Blow out.  Gross.  Notice there are no sheets on the crib.  That saved me sheets from washing.  Mind you, she was in the crib for about 5 minutes when I bringing laundry upstairs.  Lovely surprise.  It was all over a book and a singing doll.  Both ended up in the trash. 

By Friday Abby was on the mend.  Her vomiting had all but stopped.  She did have messy diapers, but the light was at the end of the tunnel.  I dreamed of going to the gym Saturday afternoon or at least heading out of the house.  That is, until Ella woke up and "spilled up" all over the bathroom floor. 

So today the washing continued: her comforter, the sleeping bag, her two sets of sheets (yup, just two), her four pairs of pajamas she wore last night, and the contaminated throw pillow.  

Needless to say, my house has been in a state of constant disarray.  I have not logged a solid 8.5 hours of sleep these last three nights.  I have yet to shower today (but I will after the Ducks game, I promise). And at three o'clock today we were in the car on a drive, not at the gym.  And all of that is okay. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012


This is the year Ella truly understood Halloween.  In fact, we started prepping for the holiday way back in August when Ella first saw her costume at Costco.  She just had to be Princess Tiana.  I was hoping for a family theme like Minnie and Mickey, but I have come to realize that I've lost my power. 

We tried storing her costume tucked away in her closet fearing it would be ruined by excessive play. After all, my girls are less than gentle.  Time and time again, Ella would find a way, usually the bathroom step stool, to locate her costume.  She'd wear it and then neatly tuck it away into her princess castle.  She took really good care of it and played with it daily.  

Once the Halloween decorations started appearing on neighbors' yards the girls liked to take walks with Grammy looking for pumpkins or "bones".  Oregonians decorate for Halloween.  We've got to get on that... 

Ella had a hard time waiting for Halloween.  We had to tell her that it was not time yet because not everyone had their candy.  She understood that.  

Meanwhile, we were in the great debate regarding Abby's costume. I'd have preferred to buy her her very own costume since she is destined to a life of hand me downs.  However, her favorite animals are ducks.  She can quack with the best of them and she had been eyeing the costume in the closet for weeks.  I decided to save the cash and I know she's going to resent me for it later, duck costume or not. 

On Halloween I was able to volunteer in Ella's classroom for her Harvest Party.  It was so much fun and I felt blessed to be able to volunteer.  Had I been teaching, it would not have been an option.  I was super impressed with the flow of the classroom.  Since she is in a Montessori setting, it is multi-aged and children choose their own "work" from available stations.  For the Harvest Party we offered a cookie decorating station, pumpkin bowling, a mask station, and place mat weaving along with their normal offerings.  The students were amazing.  They knew to fill in a spot if it was "available" and would return later if all spots were "unavailable".  I knew I loved her school and this solidified that for me.  Kids cleaned up their messes, pushed in their chairs, and treated everyone with respect.  I loved every minute. 

We saved our pumpkin carving for Halloween and Grandma and Pa came over.   As a child I never could have waited till that long.  I just loved playing with the guts and feeling the slime, not my kids nor my husband.  They would have none of it... except Abby. And she used a spoon.  (Maybe next year?!)  

So serious during pumpkin carving. 

Smiling for a candy and we haven't even Trick or Treated yet. 

In the process. 

In the evening we went to a friend's house for dinner and trick or treating.  There were several families  and the kiddos were beyond adorable.  They seemed content to play with each other in their costumes.

Ella and Mommy... I'm tired of fixing the red eye. 

Woody from Toy Story, a fancy ghost, and Princess Tiana

Because most of the kids were three and younger they were still learning the rules of trick or treating. We had a few kiddos try to walk into houses.  More often, they robbed people of their candy when allowed. I am talking handful after handful.  At one house a good natured lady just held out the bowl and chuckled while saying, "It's okay, we have plenty."  It was was a sight because the kids were just so innocent and very cute. 

Oregonians don't mess around with Halloween decorations.  We have got to step it up!

Abby managed to make it to a few doors with the group, but there was no way she was able to toddle fast enough. She was content to hitch a ride with Daddy-O especially since it was well past her bed time.

Cutest Duck Ever

An after trick or treating snack

Putting the girls to bed was a bit tricky.  Abby went down after she settled down from the fun evening.  Ella, not so much.  Every time the door bell rang she would get out of bed and rush down stairs to pass out candy.  It was a hoot.  She tried to answer the door in the buff.  That would have been a sight, huh?  
It was a great Halloween.  I have a feeling that next year will be even more fun.  

Another thing I love about Halloween is that I can start officially planning for Christmas.  And when I say officially, you all know it's been on my mind for weeks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Capturing the Moment

I remember my mom's camera from my childhood, circa 1984.   Compared to today's version it seems archaic.   It had a flash bulb that needed to be replaced and the film was dropped off at a photo stand in the middle of a parking lot.  We'd wait a few days and retrieve our pictures.  Although it was exciting to pick up our photos, it was always a letdown. Half of the shots were barely visible, and if we were lucky, there would be one maybe, two decent photos.   

They say cameras have come a long way since then, but based on the pictures below, I am not so sure.    

And, I'd bet you almost anything that mom still has that camera. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Missing in Action

It is easy to be missing in action when it comes to blogging, especially when you've discovered Pinterest.  Forgive me...

Our photo dump of this past month when we vanished from the face of the cyber world...

Abby and G... best buds

During face painting 

Let me introduce you to... Princess Kitty Cat 

We went to Zoo School

And learned about camoflogue 

If you look REALLY hard, you might be able to see Ella camouflaged into her surroundings 

Thrill Seeker 

My lil pumpkin 

Focused Rider

Hard at work with Grammy