Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Part Deux

The day after Christmas we packed.
We packed our Christmas ornaments and decoration and stored them away to be uncovered next year.
We packed our ski gear and our sun gear.
We packed our car.
We packed up our pets...and we hightailed it to Boise for Christmas 2010 Part II.

My parent's Christmas tree - a work of art!

Has anyone ever told you to just wrap up empty boxes and let young toddlers unwrap those on Christmas? 

Ok..well, I'm not cruel and neither are my parents. The boxes weren't empty but empty boxes (after the present had been removed) were a big hit!

We were spoiled rotten. 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

The stockings were hung laid by on the chimney couch with care... 

Santa didn't seem to mind. They were full of goodies nonetheless.

Grace was up first and thus her stocking opened first.
Side note: We have an interesting tradition we are carrying forward from Court's side of the family.
Stockings - from Santa - opened first.
Gifts from the family - under the tree - opened AFTER (gulp!) breakfast.

Charlotte - our little sleeper - finally woke up...all smiles of course!

Everyone in their Christmas jammies!
I'm in my post-partum pj's that are juuusst now starting to fit...three months post partum. UGH!

Grace took all of Charlotte's stocking stuffers and claimed them for her own.

She even relocated them to the kitchen.

Typical big sister maneuver right?
They are {YAWN} MINE!!!

Homemade bread dough pancakes...

Me doing a little jig because the bread dough turned out and breakfast was delish!

Breakfast eaten, kitchen cleaned up and everyone showered and dressed, we could begin tackling graciously opening gifts.

Great Grandma W joined us and finally got to see Charlotte's baby blues!

I wore a dress...and heels. Crazy I know.
This was my chosen outfit partly because it was Christmas and I wanted to dress up but mainly because it was the only thing that fit. I think my baby weight knows that this is it's last hoorah because there probably won't be any more babies (insert sigh and tear here) in the future. My ass, knowing this fact, is having a hard time saying good bye to the 15+ pounds I've got left to drop.

Nana and Boppa came to join the festivities.

We hosted Christmas and therefore we did all the cooking.
I should say Court did all the cooking. He prepared a fabulous feast.
Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberries, homemade rolls (I did make those thank you very much!), green beans and sweet potato souffle. For dessert, I made a pumpkin cheesecake. So good!
Lucky for us, we made a TON of leftovers!
I'm still drooling! It was that good!

Charlotte's first Christmas.
It came and went so quickly just like all of her firsts. It makes me a little sad that everything with Charlotte is happening so fast. There isn't the time - like with Grace - to drink it all in.

All gone?
Only 364 shopping days left 'til next year!
Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Look Who's Snuggling?

Grace is DEFINITELY starting to take an interest in Charlotte.
In fact, she's Charlotte's biggest advocate.
Graces lets me know if Charlotte needs a blankie or a binky or
if Charlotte has lost a sock or a snap or button has come undone.
Grace is excellent at letting me know what the contents Charlotte's dirty diaper are and
Grace even likes to direct Charlotte's routine - changing it from playmat to swing, etc. 

Lately, she's been fond of snuggling up with Charlotte on the playmat.
She does steal Charlotte's blankie here but in Grace's mind she's just as effective at keeping her little sister warm. Either that, or she's just a typical older sister taking all that is hers and what's not hers as well. Luckily, Charlotte is pretty go-with-the-flow - so far!
Things should heat up in a few months when Charlotte is mobile!
Then the soap-opera-type-sibling-rivalry-dramas begin! 
(Hopefully, over books and legos and not boys!)
Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ho Ho Ho

This has been the holiday season of traditions - new and old.

In continuing with a tradition carried over from Court's childhood, we visited Santa...in Seattle.
While Santa's elves open up shop at 9:30 am the line starts forming faaarr earlier than that. To secure a coveted spot in line, (it literally takes an hour to go through about 5-10 families) our fearless leader (AKA Dad) popped downtown at around 6 am.
That left me to wake, shower, feed, dress and comb my the girls' hair and get them downtown without tears by 9:15 am.
While standing in the cold for three hours may sound daunting to some, I am here to tell you that several times during the morning I was cursing the fact that I WASN'T the parent standing in that line - alone, quiet, with coffee and newspaper in hand. It actually sounded like bliss. (Does that tell you something about how chaotic mornings can be with two small children?)
Regardless, we made it - with no tears on my part.

Court was able to get a great place in line - next to the woman (and her teenage children) who we stood in line next to last year!

Grace preparing for Santa's arrival.

He's here!

Hmmm...not sure if I want to sit on that guys's lap.

Charlotte was asleep during the entire wait in line. As you can see, we woke her up just as we placed her on Santa's lap.

Grace, on the other hand, was wide awake and wanted nothing to do with sitting on Santa's lap. Santa was great. He recognized instantly that Grace was on the fence about him and instructed us to get the rocking horse. Seeing that she had more than one seating arrangement option, Grace relaxed (although not completely) and allowed for a few pictures to be taken (minus smiles - a common theme this holiday season!)

Hoping the professionals were able to capture something a little bit better than this! 

Thursday, December 16, 2010


She's got cramming a binky into her mouth and forcing open Charlotte's tiny fists in order to insert a rattle but definitely needs more {supervised} practice at holding and supporting her baby sister. 

Birthday Cake

For Grace's second birthday, I made a red velvet cake. I love red velvet cake. Come to find out, Grace isn't into cake. GASP!

Because we went out to dinner the night of her birthday and she devoured an entire bowl of vanilla ice cream, we did cake the next day - the 15th.

When we woke up on the 15th, Court's sister-in-law was in labor. Grace, Charlotte and I went to gymnastics in the morning (an hour each way) like usual. As we were headed home, I got a call from Court. Being the amazing brother he is (if I do say so myself), Court decided to surprise his family and fly back to Philadelphia to meet the new addition. His plan was to fly out of Seattle so we packed up the kids in just moments, threw everything in the car and headed over to Seattle. (Court to fly to Philly and me to do some Christmas shopping with the girls! As Court was taking red-eyes and spending less than 12 hours in Philly, we didn't think it wise to try and pull off that kind of traveling with two kids in tow.).

Well, that's all great Katie but what does Court's brother's baby have to do with Grace's birthday cake??
Don't worry. I'm getting there.

Because we hadn't done the cake on Grace's actual birthday and now it was the 15th and we were literally throwing clothes, toys and strollers in the 'Burban, I wasn't about to let this homemade cake go to waste. As the car was in the driveway, running to get warmed up, I slapped some candles on the cake, sang 'Happy Birthday' and then cut the cake in half, placed it on a paper plate and carefully wrapped it in aluminum foil.
I was not about to leave the cake behind. It was coming with!!
We dragged it all the way to Seattle only to discover Grace didn't want anything to do with it.
So that left me with a hard, HARD job - but somebody had to do it.
Somebody had to eat that delicious red velvet cake.
Luckily, I was the right 'man' for that job!
hehehe - very convenient!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Aunt Katie or Auntie Kate or...?!?!??

Today, Court's brother - and his wife - welcomed a new bundle of joy into the world. While I would love to post a picture and rattle off her stats, she isn't my baby to share (unless they want me to!!) hehehhe

What I can share is that I am officially an aunt, Grace and Charlotte have a cousin and Grace and the new baby were born EXACTLY two years and one day apart! The new mommy did an outstanding job of hanging in there long enough to make sure both girls had their own special birthday (in a month already overshadowed by so many other holidays/events/etc)!

Now the big question is what to be called? Am I Aunt Kate, Auntie Katie, Auntie Kate, etc? What sounds the best? What do you go by? What do you think I should go by?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Turning Two

So we did things a little backwards to celebrate Grace's second birthday.

First, we opened presents! 

Someone's 'excited'. 

She opened and treasured EACH gift. She really did. We had to hide the gifts so she would actually stop playing with whatever she had just opened and move on to the next gift.
We were under a time crunch...trying to get to Yakima for our dinner reservations.
Hey, I made a cake so I was not about to cook dinner as well!

Grace LOVES LOVES LOVES puzzles! 
This one was particularly hard to tear away from her.

She couldn't wait to try on her new ski gloves.

Taking them off was tough. 

I think she's going to be a clothes hound. She studied in detail this new dress from Grandma.

A true fashionista! A new brush for her new 'do'!

A fashionista who loves hair, clothes....AND TRACTORS!

A well-rounded fashionista!

Finally, the BIG boxes are opened!

What tractor loving fashionista wouldn't love a princess tower?!

After presents, we went to dinner. Like I said, a bit backwards!
Grace wore this hat on her first birthday. Strike that. 
Grace SCREAMED bloody murder when I tried to have her wear this hat on her first birthday.

So we gave it a try on birthday #2.

No screaming but she's definitely not into it. 

Luckily, Daddy was!

Grace was TOTALLY focused on her bowl of vanilla ice cream.
Guess we'll be doing the cake tomorrow!
Like I said, a bit backwards but memorable nonetheless.
Happy 2nd Birthday Little Miss Grace!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Touch Down!!!

I remember teaching my brother - ten years my minor - how to say "Touch Down 49'ers." Now I am teaching my own kid. 
I am old getting old. 

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Tree and it's Traditions

We are really excited about Christmas this year. It will be the first time having Christmas in our home - in our beds - while starting our very own traditions. 

Christmas traditions always start with the tree and I like to have mine up and decorated by December 1. This year we purchased our tree on the night of December 1. Strike one. 

I also like to have a big, full tree with lots of strong branches to hold 1,000's of twinkle lights and assorted ornaments.

When picking out our tree at 8 o'clock at night - in single digit temps - with two young kids in tow, I admit I got a bit frazzled. I think I ok'd the third tree we looked at. Mind you, four years ago (before kids) I dragged Court to a second lot because I wasn't able to commit to a tree at the first lot without seeing what else was out there. After driving across ton and thoroughly examining all the trees in our height ranged, we ended up buying our tree from the first lot. I can be that picky when it comes to a tree.

So it came as quite a shock this year that when we got the tree home it didn't fit in our living room! We had purchased a tree too tall from our home. No fear. Court loves his tools so after taking some rough measurements, he got out his saw and went to work. In one swoop, he took off a foot and a half at the bottom of the tree and now it [EASILY] fits in the living room. Maybe a bit too easily (if you catch my drift)!

We also discovered AFTER we put the tree up that it was crooked and had gaping holes! Strike 2!

We decided to forge ahead with our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. Nothing a few lights and decorations can't fix, right? I spent days attacking it with lights. LOTS and LOTS of lights. After four days it was finally finished. Behold.

With the lights and ornaments filling in the gaps it doesn't look so bad from this angle but...

you can totally see how lopsided the tree is from this angle. It looks like it will fall over any minute. Not to mention the star atop the tree looks drunk. Strike 3. 

 So far, the best part about our tree this year is the baby gate. It not only keeps our ornaments safe and sound, it strategically hides the fact that although Christmas is just about a week away - there are no presents under our tree. Have I mentioned we are a bit behind schedule this year?