Monday, December 26, 2011

Our Holly, Jolly Christmas

Christmas this year was a bit different than last year.  Last year, Allie slept through a majority of the day.  This year...Allie participated in all the holiday festivities, from dinner and dessert, to opening presents.

Allie made gifts for family this year.  She made Christmas art with her hand print for Grandma and Auntie Ellen.  We hope they like them.  Now, every year at Christmas we'll all get to remember how little Allie's hands were this Christmas.

Allie also made a special gift for Dad.  She was very cooperative when I went to the pottery place to help her paint her plate.  She sat so nicely in her car seat (good thing she still fits in it) while I painted the wording and rim.  Dad loved his gift and displayed it on the buffet in the dining room. I LOVE how it turned out!

I even got a little creative this year and made Todd a fun gift.  Whenever he comes home, he always wants four things...Arby's, Jimmy Johns, Vernors, and Superman ice cream (all the things he cannot get in Boston).  I used a 6-pack of Vernors and hot glued googly eyes and pom-pom noses on the bottles.  I made antlers using pipe cleaners and tied a little scarf on each bottle.  Whaaa-la! I attached a card with a Jimmy Johns gift card and wrote "Michigan Misses You."  Allie and her momma miss him too.

Allie opened a few of her gifts...but Mom and Dad had to help out.  She received a lot of nice things from family.  Grandma, Auntie Ellen and I all had the same idea.  We each bought Allie a recordable storybook.  I really like these books.  I think it's such a nice way to cherish a family member's voice.  Allie will always have her aunt's and Grandma's voice recorded.  Todd and I recorded "Bright and Beautiful" together alternating pages.  Now, she'll always have our voices too. 

Allie and her daddy were pretty sneaky this year.  Allie kept quite the secret from her momma!  For Christmas this year, I received a gift that I've been longing for.  Since the arrival of our Allie (and double rent/mortgage we are paying...and the many $'s we are paying to keep Delta in business), our vacationing has been put on a steady HOLD!  We did take a couple short road trips here and there...but no Caribbean islands or exotic trips were in our near future. Until now!!!  Check out my fabulous Christmas gift from my two favorite people!  Who knew they could be so creative???

We are going to have a blast come August!  Some people probably think "A 1 year old on a cruise...she won't remember it."  You are probably right, but I will have the best memories to last a lifetime...I can't wait!  I'm pretty sure Todd trumped my gift, lol!

Todd and I were so excited to take Allie downstairs in the morning to see what Santa left. I think we might have been a little more excited than her. Allie must have been a good girl this year. He left her a big play kitchen with all sorts of fun kitchen utensils, an octopus toy that lights up and plays music, books, and a bag of animal crackers. In her stocking, Santa left puffs, bubble bath, a sippy cup, more books, sticky bellies for Allie's second year (just in time...she's almost 13 months old) an apple, and an orange (one of her favorite foods).

Allie LOVED her new kitchen.  She especially loved the refrigerator part...opening and closing the door and putting blocks in and out.  What fun!

Allie's Christmas gifts from Santa, family and friends

After we had some playtime, I cooked us a Christmas breakfast.  We all ate fun reindeer pancakes.  I think this will be our new Christmas morning family tradition from now on.  Aren't they cute?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

All I Want For Christmas is You

This year, all I want for to be with my two favorite people.  I'm so thankful to spend two WHOLE weeks with my husband and my Allie girl.  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Can Eat With a Spoon...or Two!

Allie recently decided that she didn't want to be fed from a spoon by anyone other than herself.  So, I just gave her the spoon.  When she didn't want to let go, I gave her another one to focus on.  When she sees the new pre-loaded spoon of heaping applesauce, yogurt, or hummus...she will easily part ways with the one she just licked clean.  This is a great system!  See for yourself...

Allie does very well with hummus on the spoon.  It's very sticky.  Applesauce on the other hand is a bit more messy.  She's still working on getting it to her mouth faster (and right side up).

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Look Out World! Here I Come!

Our Allie Girl almost has it!  I never imagined this day would come.  A year ago she was a bump on a log.  An eating, sleeping, pooping little thing.  Now she is on the move and into everything.  She loves to see how long she can swivel Daddy's flat screen TV before Mom runs over to her and says "NO!" or how many buttons she can press on the DVR before she programs recording of some random show we don't watch.  Allie is very curious about this world we live in and wants to explore it all.  She is making her momma a very tired momma.  Now that she is walking, she's even faster and getting into trouble.  Look at her go!

Monday, December 19, 2011

'Tis the Season

Allie was invited to her very first Christmas party.  Allie's Boston buddies (and their parents) all got together to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.  The babes were all dressed up.  Anja was too cute!  They were ALL adorable!  Allie loves her friends at her second home and feels so blessed to have them.  Allie says thanks to her buddies for the super cute Christmas gifts.  You guys are the best!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Allie's Visit with Santa Claus

Allie went to see Santa today.  Every year, Santa sets up his workshop for a weekend in the park that is located across the street from our apartment.  This was not like the Santa experience you might get at the local shopping mall.  There was hot chocolate and cookies...and you didn't have to pay some astronomical amount for a photo.

It was a little chilly out today, but we only had to wait in line for about 5 minutes.  Santa camped out in his workshop so we were able to take Allie's jacket off for the photos.  You can judge for yourself what you think she thought of Santa.

I'm glad we didn't have to wait in a two hour mall line and pay money for these photos.  Maybe Allie will like Santa after she sees all the goodies he's bringing her this year.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

First Birthday Bash

Sign on our front door

All ready to party
Happy Birthday Party Day, Allie!  What a memorable first birthday.  Lots of food, family and friends.  Allie had a great time and only cried once...well, twice.  For Allie's first birthday I made the cake, the desserts and some of the decorations.  Our house looked AMAZING!  We didn't go overboard with the crazy kid parties people have performers, pop singers or circus acts.  We also didn't have the room for any of that stuff.  Unfortunately Allie will always have an "indoor" birthday party due to the fact that her birthday is in December. 

Allie looked adorable in her pink and black flower print dress, pink polka dotted bow, and patent leather Mary Jane's.  I made her birthday hat myself and had a bib made to match too.

Allie cried when I put on her hat.  I knew when I made it that she would NEVER wear it for the whole party.  I was hoping to just get a few good pictures with it on.  I knew I was in trouble when I did a test drive with the hat a few days earlier.  She cried when I put it on then too.  After a few minutes of tears, and access to mom's cell phone, she soon forgot about it and I managed to get a great photo!

Luckily I have a wonderful friend that let us borrow some really cool decorations.  Allie's birthday "theme" was SWEETS and CUPCAKES.  The house was decked out in lollipops, cupcakes, candy and balloons. 

I made all the desserts and cake for the party.  I also made small snack bags for the kiddos and babes.  Each one was filled with finger foods that any baby (or two year old) would love...goldfish crackers, pretzels, Cheerios, animal crackers and graham crackers.  Each bag was sealed with an "Allie's First Birthday."

I made Allie's first birthday cake...but I had no intention on letting her eat this huge cake in front of everyone.  I had a feeling that she wouldn't be interested in cake in general, so we cut this cake up for all of Allie's guests.  There were also cupcakes for everyone too.

This was my very first attempt at making cake pops...and it was pretty successful.  I made cupcake cake pops to go along with the "cupcake" theme.  I also made some regular round cake pops just for fun.  One cake mix makes a TON of cake pops.  They were really yummy though.  We also had chocolate dipped strawberries and pink marshmallow pops.

Allie did pretty well opening her gifts.  Daddy and Momma helped out.  Allie loved all her gifts she received.  I decided to create a registry for Allie's birthday.  Everyone kept asking what she wanted/needed...I figured it was an easy way for everyone to get her something that she needed...or get an idea of something that she might like.  Some of her favorite gifts she received where blocks, a push walker (just in time...she cruises all around the house with it), a riding inflatable horse, clothes, lots of fun toys that make lots of noise, a potty (yep...I registered her for that and she, and her parents, were so excited to get it) and a puzzle with Allie's name on it.

I set aside one of the cupcakes for Allie.  She had no interest in eating it.  She didn't even touch it!  I didn't think she would.  As of now, she's not a super huge cake fan.  I guess she doesn't know what she's missing yet.  We sang Happy Birthday and Allie just stared at everyone while they sang.  I'm assuming she was wondering why all these people were in her house and singing together to a song she yet didn't know the words to.  After she got tired of looking at the cupcake in front of her, this is where she whined/cried for the second time.

When everyone left, Allie made sure to give them a party favor for coming.  Her friends received a new bath toy attached to a jar filled with animal crackers.  All the grownups took a bag home of cake pops, chocolate covered strawberries and marshmallows.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's my Mom-iversary...aka: Allie's Birthday

Where did this year go?  I cannot believe Allie is a year old.  I had such mixed emotions today.  Normally, moms are excited and happy on their child's first birthday.  I'm happy, of course...but, I'm a little bit sad too.

Exactly one year ago, it finally happened.  I became a mom and I've been a mom to my Allie for one whole year.  But, I'm a little sad today...because my little baby that I've wanted for so very long, is not really a baby anymore.  My baby is gone.  She's a little person now...a little person that doesn't like to sleep in my arms anymore.  A little person that eats real food.  A little person that crawls, stands and talks (in some foreign baby language).  My sweet baby girl that I've grown to love this past year is no longer.  She is now a big girl.  A big girl that climbs up my leg because she wants her momma.  A big girl that lays her head on my shoulder every time I pick her up.  A big girl that I've grown to love more and more each day that passes.  I realized today that even though I'm sad that yesterdays are no longer...the tomorrows bring many wonderful days ahead.  There are new and exciting journeys to be had.  I'll miss my little "bump on a log," but I look forward to new and exciting adventures with Allie.

This month Allie started standing on her own without holding onto anything.  Allie learned to walk with a push walker.  She cruised all over the house bumping into many walls along the way.  Allie's 3rd tooth started coming in.  It is the first tooth on the top to come in.  Allie is clapping all the time now.  She claps for "bye" "more" and "yeah!"  Allie started to give hugs.  When Todd, Grandma or I pick Allie up, she lays her head down on our shoulders.  Allie is very talkative.  She babbles often when playing or when she rides in the car.  I have a feeling she is going to be very social when she starts school.  Allie likes to ride in the grocery carts when her and I go to the store.  She smiles at all the people and always receives compliments about how cute she is.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

One Year Old and 16 Flights Later

Today, Allie completed her 16th flight!  She has been on 16 flights since the day she was born, all before her 1st birthday.  Before Allie, flying was wonderful!  I'd read my book, listen to my iPod, SLEEP!  Not anymore.

In the beginning, flying wasn't so bad.  Allie would usually fall fast asleep in my arms and wake as we were landing.  The hard part was planning how I was going to go through security with a bag, a stroller, a car seat, milk...and a baby.  Now, I got that down to a science.  We have two car seats (one at each home) so I don't have to worry about that.  I keep Allie in the stroller until all my stuff is on the security belt and going through.  Then I get her out and have the security guys take the stroller through and wand it down by was too hard to fold and lift it up on the belt all while holding Allie.  And after the guy in front of me got his exact same stroller STUCK in the machine three times and held up the line for a good 15 minutes...I'm not going to take that chance and be "that girl."

When Allie turned about 7 months old, the flights became more difficult.  She is now very active and doesn't want to sit or sleep.  Her hands are everywhere, touching everything.  I usually give her some crackers or Cheerios to eat to keep her busy.  However, she LOVES to touch everything, including whoever the lucky person is who sits next to us.  Having a middle seat is just NOT an option...could you imagine?  I know that on every flight, I will have to apologize (more than once) for Allie's slobbery, cracker covered hands. 

Once I scheduled our flight during her usual nap time.  Bad idea!  It never fails... there is ALWAYS someone sitting near us on the plane that wants to play peek-a-boo with Allie and try to make her laugh and smile.  This happens on EVERY flight.  So trying to get a cranky, tired baby to go to sleep on a very well lit plane with little old ladies playing peek-a-boo with you...not a chance!  Allie was not having it.  Now, I try to schedule flights during her wake time...if possible.  I usually have a stash of goodies to keep her occupied.  Toys, cheerios, Delta peanut packets, the emergency escape plans pamphlet in the back of the seat pocket.  Flying is stressful with an infant.  And like clockwork, as we descend Allie lets out her cries.  I still don't know if it's her ears hurting from the altitude, or if she's just had enough..."Get me off this plane!"  This is when I get really worked up.  The plane shuts off, it's quiet...and Allie is screaming...and everyone is staring.  This is when I'm "that girl."

This past flight was a dream...Allie wasn't feeling so well so I gave her Benadryl right before we boarded.  During take off, my perfect little girl feel fast asleep in my arms.  Why does this not happen on every flight?  For the first time ever we also had an empty seat next to us.  We hit the jackpot!  I gently laid Allie down on the seat and she slept the entire flight.  I didn't know what to do with myself.  I didn't have a book or a magazine.  I didn't bring my iPod.  Why would I have these things?  I used to bring them and would NEVER use them.  So, I stopped.  I ended up just sitting and starring at my Allie girl snoozing away, so peaceful.  In the future, I'm going to be very tempted to bring Benadryl with me on every flight.

Allie earned her wings

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Boston Birthday

The Boston Birthday Girl

Allie is officially turning one year old next week.  While here in Boston, we thought it would be fun to have a birthday celebration with Allie's Boston buddies.  Allie probably has more friends here in Boston than in Michigan, lol.  It took a little pre-planning, but I was able to get everything out here we needed for her party.  When Todd came back the week before, I sent him with some supplies.  I brought the rest when we came. 

Allie invited her good buddies Anja, Conor and Adele.  All the babes played together while they let their mommies have lunch.  Allie really liked her cupcake.  I learned from Allie's cake smash that she did not like cake frosting.  I tried to give her Cool Whip and she spit that right out too.  So, when making the birthday girl her cupcake, I decided to frost her cupcake with one of her all time favorite foods...GREEK YOGURT!  I put it in the piping bag and it came out perfectly!  Allie gobbled it up.  Yummmmy!

Thanks Anja, Conor and Adele for coming.  Allie was so excited to share her special day with such special friends.  She always looks forward to coming to Boston to see her buddies.

Allie with her buddies Anja, Conor and Adele