Saturday, November 30, 2013

North Pole Breakfast

Belle brought Allie a special breakfast today, North Pole style!!  Was Allie excited as ever!!!  You should have seen her face when her eyes first gazed upon our kitchen table.


 
The table was decked out with Christmas cheer. Red and green everything. 








 
Allie found a letter written to her...


 
On the menu this morning...snowball doughnuts!  Allie's new favorite beverage, hot cocoa with marshmallows...and her new favorite treat, peppermint chocolate kisses...and Christmas candy corn too!  She probably ate about 6-7 kisses and a handful of candy corn before I got her take a bite of her doughnut.  She's got a sweet tooth just like her mommy!




 
Belle brought a few little gifts this morning for Allie...and she even thought of Ayden too. That sweet little elf. Allie loved her new Christmas Hello Kitty socks and candy came M&M's. Ayden got a new Rudolph rattle to help ring in the Christmas spirit for his very first holiday season.  Allie made sure to bring it right to him.


Such a sweet big sister to make sure Ayden had his new toy

Check out those cool Hello Kitty socks!

 
Something else we noticed next to the table was a Christmas crate full of presents!!! Belle left instructions for Allie to choose one present a day...a wrapped Christmas book. Belle was pretty sneaky and came into our house one night to collect all of Allie's Christmas books. She wrapped up each book. Allie gets to choose one book each day to open and enjoy.

Allie, of course, wanted to open a book right away.  Her first response...
Allie - "I want to open another one."
Me - "You can only open one today."
Allie - "But I already have this book."
Me - "Belle said she took all your Christmas books and wrapped them up."
Allie - "But now I don't have any Christmas books."
She thinks of everything!

The Christmas book basket


Thanks, Belle...for an awesome first North Pole breakfast!  We are going to look forward to your arrival every year!

 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Special Delivery From the North Pole

LOOK! what we found on our doorstep today!!!  The doorbell rang and no one was there to be found...but this package was!  Dropped by Santa's sleigh from the North Pole....specially for Allie.

Allie didn't know quite what to think. Her little blue eyes sparkled when I told her Santa was the person responsible for this big box laying on our porch. We drug it inside and Allie couldn't wait to open it up. 



 
Inside the package, Allie found a letter from the big jolly guy himself, and a special present just for her...that resembled Santa perfectly. He must have wrapped it himself. Allie was so excited!!! No time to pause for a photo, Mom. 




 
Todd read the letter to Allie. She opened her gift. Allie was amazed to see one of Santa's little elves in the flesh.  This particular elf was a girl elf. She wore a white and red skirt, a bow on her cap, and little diamond stud earrings.




 
We all learned that this special elf chosen just for Allie needed a name. Allie thought for a couple minutes and finally announced the name her elf. Shewould be called...BELLE (just like the princess).

Allie held her elf for a couple minutes (because her magic would come tonight).  As a family, we read Elf on the Shelf and started a Christmas tradition to last many more years.  Todd and I took turns reading the book to Allie while she loved on Belle...she rocked her and kissed her. 


Giving Belle kisses


After she found out what Belle's main job was, Allie got a little freaked out.  She asked "why" about a million-and-one times.  "Why is she magical?"  "Why does she leave at night?"  Why does she tell Santa?"  I placed Belle up on our mantel and Allie sort of just stared at her.

Before Allie went to bed, I asked her if she wanted Belle to sleep in her room with her tonight.  Her reply..."No!"

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful

I'm thankful for so many things this year...
 
I'm thankful of course for my health, for the gym in my basement that motivates me to use it everyday (almost, everyday), for the healthy pregnancy and a QUICK and healthy delivery with no complications. 
 
I'm thankful I have a job that pays the bills, allows me to live in my REALISTIC dream home, and gives my kids the opportunity to have so much and do so many things in life.  Even though I have a brand new staff, principal and mix of kiddos...and even though I only worked 8 days in the school year (which felt like 8 weeks all crammed in...trying to unpack 160+ boxes, set up a NEW classroom, become familiar with a new school, staff, and principal, prepare a sub that I DIDN'T have for the first 2 months of school...all while being pregnant was EXHAUSTING!)  However, I'm thankful for the new friends I made.
 
I'm thankful for my husband who works hard at his job all day long then comes home and works even harder with his family.  I know he is exhausted from taking a certain little someone in our house to the bathroom 2 (sometimes 4) times a night then try to get her to go back to sleep when all she wants to do is talk the night away.  He pays our bills, makes sure our kids will have their college paid off when it's time for them to go, and invests money into retirement/pension/something or other I honestly don't know anything about.
 
I'm thankful for my mother-in-law for all the hours of babysitting you do for us (dad too).  I know you love to spend time with these two turkeys, but they can be EXHAUSTING!  I know!  We appreciate all you do for us and for being there time and time again.  For all the meals you take us out to and for just coming over to hang out with me so I have another grownup to chat with.
 
Finally, I am thankful for these two little turkeys.  These two give me a purpose in life.  They make me laugh (and cry).  They make my heart melt.  They make me proud and just plain happy, all while making me want to throw in the towel each and every day.  I'm so thankful Ayden joined our family this year.  He was truly a blessing.  I'm thankful for all the time I got to spend with them these past few months.  It's going to be real hard returning back to work. 

 
 
 
This Thanksgiving, I made Ayden a little turkey hat to match his little turkey bib.  Todd was digg'n his Lion's sleeper.  Thank goodness they WON this year!!!  Allie loved her new "pink" turkey shirt and matching turkey bow.
 
 
 
Allie's annual turkey day gift was a turkey craft to keep herself busy today, some thanksgiving window clings to keep herself more busy today, a new fun turkey plate to have lunch on, and some candy corn to take to the movies!
 

 
 
I think Todd may have started a new tradition...what a better way to spend Thanksgiving morning (before the football game) than at the movies.  This was Allie's first ever movie.  Our family of FOUR (Ayden included) saw FROZEN.  Allie seemed to like it.  I had to explain what was going on every now and then, but she really liked her candy corn!
 
 
 
Fun Thanksgiving day lunch on her new plate...
 

Dinner was at Nana's house...I'm thankful I was only in charge of dessert!  Cooking dinner all day long just does not appeal to me.  All I picture is me stressed out and a sweaty mess.  No thank you!  I'm so glad Todd's mom offered to cook and CLEAN UP (well, Papa helped in that department too).  Thanks Kath for another great meal.  It was deeee-lish!

 
 
Here's my contribution...I'm good at making things look cute and dessert was no exception.  Turkey cookies and an oven baked, creamy, yummy pumpkin pie...straight from Costco.  Why try to recreate when someone already does it best?
 



So thankful my dad joins us on Thanksgiving.  Allie (and now Ayden) really love you. 



Since Thanksgiving fell so close to Allie's birthday this year, she got to open a few gifts from Auntie Ellen and Uncle Joe, Papa Ray, and Nana and Papa Ralph.  Nana had a little cupcake for her too.  Allie got a LOT of Sofia stuff (pajamas, slippers, books, a doll, magnets), a princess castle tent, and Tag Jr. reader and a couple books.

 
 
This year, there was a lot to be thankful for.  There is not a moment that goes by that I forget all that I'm blessed with. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ayden is 2 Months


 
 
This month Ayden got really good at holding his head up.  He started coo-ing, smiling and laughing.  Ayden grunted a lot, especially when eating and trying to communicate.  Ayden liked to grasp onto Todd's hands and my hair....pulling it out most of the time.  Ayden outgrew his newborn sized clothes and graduated to a size 1 diaper.  He started to sleep a little bit longer at night, around 4 - 4.5 hours at a time.  The bump on Ayden's head finally disappeared this month as he grew.  At his 2 month well visit, Ayden weighed 10 pounds 6 ounces!  He also received four immunizations and was not happy about them at ALL.  He wasn't himself the following day and didn't eat very well.  On an average day, Ayden would nurse about six times during the day and once or sometimes twice at night.
 

Monday, November 11, 2013

My Little Mommy

Ayden is well cared for...

Allie rocking Ayden so he doesn't cry while I try and get out the door to run some errands with two kiddos.


...read to...

Ayden loves to listen to his big sister read while I workout


...played with...

Yes, this was well supervised


...and kept company during his naps...

My two loves taking a snooze on my bed...it would have been much better if I was sleeping along side of them!


...all because of his "other" mommy. 


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Quality Time

When Allie was this age, we had a strict daily routine. Wake up at 6:00 am, feed every 3 hours, play and nap in between (nap for me too). Before turning in for the night Todd and I would give Allie a little baby massage, read a couple bedtime stories, and I would sing a song to her for her bedtime routine. Allie received a lot of attention from us and there was plenty of time for her and I to bond. 

Poor Ayden's day goes something like this...

Wake up whenever because I just want to sleep for as long as possible. I know when I get up for the day...I'm up for the day. I'm usually not lucky enough to get a nap anymore because Allie has been refusing to take a nap (insert big momma frown face). 

Ayden still eats every 3 hours like Allie did...or every 2 hours because I've had to cut him short on his previous feeding. If Allie needed me to go to the bathroom with her, or get her ice for another injury, or scrounge up something to eat for lunch.

Ayden's "playtime" consists of me trying to keep him alive from his loving big sissy. Allie loves him so much she is in face and in top if him whenever the opportunity arises. She doesn't understand the concept of personal space quite yet. I also don't think she really knows how fragile he is. 

Ayden's bedtime routine consists of him nursing, me pumping, him nursing again all while telling Allie to get back in 12 times. He does get to hear an occasional story if I read to Allie and him before she goes down. No baby massages happening with this one. 

Our quality time happens at about 3:00 am when he wakes up for his feeding at night. As much as I HATE waking up at 3:00, 2:00, or even 1:30 am...I love sitting and cuddling my baby boy in the peace and quiet with absolutely no interruptions. Ayden and I have a special mommy and son daily date...in the weee hours of EVERYmorning.
 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Allie the First

These photos are WAY overdue...but I had to wait to until I sent out Allie's birthday invitations before I revealed them. 
 
WAAAYYY back in July, my good friend and family photographer, Denise Cantrell took Allie's birthday photos for her 3rd birthday invitation.  I had to have her photographed then because Denise and her family moved back to the south where they are originally from.  I'm so sad she is no longer in Michigan...and can no longer take our photos.  She was WONDERFUL with Allie and Allie cooperated sooooo well with Denise.  It's going to be really hard to replace her. 
 
I came across a super cute Sofia inspired tutu dress on Etsy one day...and thought to myself, "I can make that!"  So I did!  Allie's full Sofia ensemble was made by me!  She loves her princess Sofia dress and plans on wearing it for her royal birthday celebration!
 
 






I can't believe Allie will be THREE in a few short weeks!  It seems only yesterday my dream of becoming a mommy came true when I found out I was pregnant.  At that time, I could have NEVER pictured being the mommy of a THREE year old.  Those little tiny babies do grow up!




Here's the money shot!  This is the photo that went on Allie's birthday invitation.  Can't wait for the big birthday-day!

front of invite
 


back of invite