Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas 2012

I hope you all had a very merry Christmas! This year was awesome for us! Audrey really had a better understanding of Christmas and Santa and everything that was going on, so it was a lot of fun! Christmas Eve we went to church and then went to my grandparents' house.

Audrey wore her pretty Christmas dress and her (faux) fur coat. Then she spent a lot of time checking out GG's village and Christmas decorations.

 Baby Katie got lots of kisses and we actually got a decent photo of Audrey and Blake together!

 The super hero costumes I made for my cousins' kids were a HUGE hit! Connor put his on as soon as he opened it and Natalie's face when she opened hers is priceless!

Audrey ripped open her presents so fast that I didn't even see who most of them were from!

When we got home, Audrey put out cookies and milk for Santa and an apple for Rudolph. Unfortunately, a full on meltdown occurred due to her being over-tired and Mommy not letting her eat Santa's cookies right before bed.

 But the next morning, Santa had been here!

Audrey's new kitchen set was a huge hit with both Audrey and Blake! They saw it and didn't want to even open any of their other gifts!

Audrey asked Santa for a piano for Christmas and was so excited when she opened it!
 And then after all the other gifts were opened, they got their 4-wheelers and went crazy riding them around Mimi & Pa's house!

Later, everyone in the house got a check up with Audrey's new doctor's kit.

And Mommy was extremely surprised with her new macro lens!

It was a very long, whirlwind of a day, but it was wonderful!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Audrey - 24 months


It started snowing two nights ago and we were expecting at least ten inches. It made me think back to two years ago, when it also started snowing on the night of the 26th. The morning of the 27th, Daddy shoveled almost 3 feet of snow that had been plowed into the end of our driveway, and he drove me to the hospital, in labor with you.

And now here we are. You are two years old. It doesn't seem possible and it gets me very emotional. This baby girl that was once just a hope and prayer in our hearts, has grown into a little girl. And you, my sweet little girl, are the center of my world.

We started the month off with your first ear infection, and after a trip to the doctor this morning, it looks like we're ending the month with an ear infection too. I hate to see you sick, but I selfishly love all the cuddles that come with it.

You are just starting to be able to sit through a whole movie (for the most part) and "Zinderlelly" is a big time favorite of yours this month. Some days we've watched it 3 or 4 times. We've also watched Rudolph, Frosty, The Grinch and The Polar Express, but we always come back to Cinderella. Santa brought you Cinderella II and III for Christmas, along with Dumbo and The Fox and the Hound, so maybe we can start to switch it up a little bit. I'm not getting my hopes up.

You love to sing now and you sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star all the time. The funniest thing is, you sing it like you're the singer of a heavy metal band! We affectionately call it the "rock version." We also discovered you like to sing Jingle Bells this way, too.

When you're being sweet, you're as sweet as can be. When Mommy says, "I love you," you say "I love you too, Mommy," in the sweetest little voice. And when you do, it's a feeling like I have never experienced and cannot even begin to describe. When we say our prayers at night, I am in awe of the compassion and love that already lives in your heart.

And, well, when you're not being sweet, you're the freshest little sassy pants I've ever met! One day, Mommy said to you, "Someone is a freshy sassy pants today!" You put your hands on your hips and gave me the sideways eyes and duck face lips, and said, "No! You got the sass pants!" I had to bite my tongue not to laugh and encourage you. You test my patience every single day, but you also continue to impress me when you learn a limit, use your nice words and voice, or mind me without a struggle.

We had your birthday party before Christmas this year and it was so much fun! You wanted a tea party, so Mommy went all out and tried to make it special. With your birthday so close to Christmas, I'll always try to do that for you, sweetheart. I want you to have your own special day that's not about Christmas at all.

The plus side to having your birthday so close to Christmas is that it has really seemed to help you understand that Christmas is Jesus' birthday. We give and receive presents because the three wise men gave gifts to baby Jesus and Jesus gave a huge gift to us! We've had a busy month with holiday activities and I love that you've brought the magic of Christmas back to my life. As we get older, that magic fades, and I am so grateful that I get to experience it again with you. You love the lights, your elf, your nativity, Santa and, of course, all your presents!

We finally have some snow and you have been having so much fun playing in it! Yesterday, Mommy took you to the top of the big hill in Mimi & Pa's yard and we went down together in the sled 4 or 5 times. You wanted to keep going, but Mommy was getting tired hiking up that hill! You also love to make snow angels! We tried to build a snowman, but the snow wasn't really good packing snow, so we'll have to try that again another time.

You are fun, sweet, fiercely independent, strong-willed, compassionate and sassy. You are so smart and you talk up a storm. Your favorite color is purple. You love reading, tea parties, coloring, and twirling around like a ballerina. Mommy loves putting your hair in pigtails now that it is actually long enough, but you're not fond of letting me put them in. You are my sweet miracle and will always be. Mommy loves you more than words could ever begin to express.

Happy 2nd birthday, my love!
Love Always,

**Update 1/7/13** You had your 2 year check-up today. You are 36.5 inches tall and weigh 31 pounds, 6 ounces. That means you've grown 2.25 inches and gained 3 pounds in the last 6 months! You just finished your antibiotics last night and your doctor said your ears look great, so hopefully we're done with ear infections for awhile! She said that you look healthy, happy and perfect! At the end of your appointment, she said, "I don't even have to ask about her language skills! She's clearly quite advanced for a 2 year old!"

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Elf on the Shelf - Week 3 +

Chip has gone back to the North Pole until next year now, but I just wanted to share the fun we had the last week and a half he was here.

Day 15 - Chip made a fishing pole out of a candy cane, some twine and a paper clip, and went fishing for gold fish crackers! 

Day 16 - Chip hid in the apothecary jar snow globe! 

Day 17 - Chip is sitting on the stairs, reading The Christmas Carrots with the bunnies.

Day 18 - Chip's sitting in a basket of pine cones. It looks like he likes the sparkly one!

Day 19 - We found Chip in the nativity...

...holding baby Jesus!

Day 20 - Chip was riding a reindeer today!

Day 21 - Chip was sitting up on Mommy and Daddy's wedding picture! He had a really good view from way up there!

Day 22 - Chip is so excited for Audrey's tea party birthday party today that he had a tea party of his own with Dolly!

Day 23 - Christmas day is getting close! We found Chip hanging out in Audrey's stocking!

Day 24 - Chip's last day! We found him on the couch with a goodbye letter and a present for Audrey and Blake. He brought them matching reindeer pajamas to wear tonight! The letter said:


Today’s my last day,
I must say goodbye.
Tonight I must go,
to the North Pole I’ll fly.

But Santa will be here
with gifts and good cheer,
and I will be back
the same time next year.

So be a good girl
and take care of yourself,
and remember the fun times
with Chip your Scout Elf!

I will miss you so much! Merry Christmas!
Love, Chip

P.S. I left a present for you and your cousin Blake to wear tonight!