Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Belated Christmas Play Date

Our Christmas play date was a bit delayed. Due to my two two being sick...our friends decided to stay away!  Far, far away!  And I don't blame them a bit. The stomach bug is pretty miserable. 

Allie and her friends (and my friends too) finally got together for some holiday cheer just before the new year. We still made our Gingerbread houses...Allie ate more than I think she put on. Ayden even managed to put a few of his candies on his house...but he had lots more fun picking them off. 

These little guys did an awesome job on their houses...

And their giant gingerbread cookies too. Yum!!!

I LOVE this picture!!!  These cute little faces have been friends since before they were order from oldest to youngest...haha (...and yes, shortest to tallest)!  Check out this fabulous gingerbread village. 

No Christmas play date is complete in our house without a fun decorated table, of course. Cupcakes and hot chocolate were a big hit. 

Thanks for playing, friends!  We are so glad to have such wonderful friends like you!

Looking Back at 2014

As we say goodbye to 2014, I look back at our most memorable moments from the past 12 months...I'm feeling BLESSED, THANKFUL, EXCITED, AND PROUD!
 Allie performed in her first cheer competition...
...Ayden was baptized...
...and we said farewell to our family car.

 Ayden celebrated his first Valentine's day.
 Lucky the Leprechaun visited our house for the very first time.
 Ayden celebrated his first Easter.

Allie got a BIG big girl bed.
 Allie graduated from Lynnie's....
...Allie went on her third cruise and Ayden on his second....
...and we all went to NYC for the first time.

 Ayden started the baby gates came out of storage.
 We took a family road trip to PA to visit family...
...and Allie started Preschool and soon after started crying in the morning when I dropped her off. 

Ayden turned ONE!
...and Allie had her first sleepover.
 I got to attend my first school party as a MOMMY and not a teacher.
Ayden became famous (in the Sticky Bellies world)...
...and Allie stopped crying in the morning with a little help from MY My Little Ponies...a little bribery worked wonders.  
 Allie turned 4...
 ...and we learned Ayden hated matter how many times we tried.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

One Hug Goodbye

Belle has been our live-in guest for the past month...but tonight we say goodbye to our little friend.  Belle will head back to the North Pole to stay with Santa and the other elves until next year...we will miss her so.

Belle has brought Allie a few memories during her stay this year.  Early each morning when she returned from the North Pole, she filled up the advent calendar bags with a little note and usually a yummy treat for Allie.  Some of the notes told Allie to do mail out our family Christmas cards, look at family photo albums together, go to the light festival, or make a Christmas banana split.


Sometimes Belle was just silly...


This month has been a whirlwind of gifts for Allie with her birthday and Christmas!  Belle dressed in a BRAND NEW cupcake outfit and brought Allie the elf on the shelf Birthday Tradition book on her birthday.  The morning of her birthday party, Belle dressed up in her cupcake outfit again and left a special gift for Allie (a Frozen puzzle...Allie was thrilled!) Nice job, Belle!

Belle also brought Allie a few little things here and there.  One morning Allie found a new sparkly PINK Christmas tree in her bedroom (perfect for ALL of her handmade ornaments to go on!).  Another morning Allie called me into her our surprise Belle had been playing with Allie's Barbies.  She dressed them up in some NEW red and green dresses!  Allie noticed right away!  Belle got out our Nativity play set another day...Ayden loved making the manger sing.


Belle told Allie to write a letter to Santa...she did such a great job with her writing!  Allie made sure to take care of her brother as well..."Ayden wants a train."  How sweet is she?

All of us Hammerick's have been feeling under the weather this month...WAY UNDER the weather!  Influenza A struck Allie and Todd...cough for Ayden...then stomach bug for Ayden, then Allie, then Todd.  I made out a little better then the rest of us...just a little nauseous one day.  It was inevitable that Belle was going to get sick too.  Allie was supposed to have her well visit this month (and Ayden too) but her well visit turned into a sick visit. Belle brought Allie Elf of the Shelf Band-Aid's for her shots...she will have to use them when we reschedule her appointment.

It's been a blast with your Belle...but tonight we will say goodbye to our special elf.  We found Belle on the Christmas tree this Christmas Eve morning.  Belle brought Allie a goodbye gift (a Rudolph puzzle to color) and a goodbye note too.

The letter told Allie that tonight after all the gifts were opened and she left cookies out for Santa...she could PICK BELLE UP to give her a hug and kiss goodbye.  Allie was very excited about this.  Belle said that Allie should leave her next to Santa's cookies so Santa could take her back to the North Pole with him...because her magic would no longer work after Allie touched her.

Allie was a little apprehensive about picking her up at first...but she did and she carefully carried her upstairs.  She gave her hug, said thanks for everything, and then a quick kiss on her hat.

Bye, bye Belle!  I'll see you next year!  Love, Allie

Christmas Eve...Traditions

I'm all about traditions.  Giving my two littles Christmas my job as a mom.  We are so blessed and truly thankful for our family who come to our home and celebrate each year with us...Todd's parents, my dad, my aunt and cousins.  Allie and Ayden will always have these warm, joyful memories of family traditions, holiday foods, and the excitement of opening gifts just before the magical St. Nick makes a visit to our home.
I tried to capture our day with family photos.  I always seem to forget a few shots.  Allie was so excited that Auntie Ellen and Uncle Joe were joining us this year...but I forgot to get some photos!
Allie and Ethan ate together.  Allie loved her reindeer antlers.  Ethan...not so much.  Allie slurped up her green Christmas punch again this year...our family's traditional Christmas Eve enjoy with all the COOKIES!  Ayden yummed up almost everything on his plate.  He's our superstar eater!

The "big kids" made a fun Christmas craft after keep them occupied while the rest of us SLOW eaters finished up.  Thanks, Whitney for playing "teacher"...Allie just LOVES you!  The final results were TOO DARN CUTE!!!  This will be a keeper to display for many Christmas' to come!

Time for presents...ROUND 1!  Ethan, Allie and Ayden opened up their presents from each other.  A wiggle car for Ethan to race with....this makes his SECOND wiggle car...

...Rock 'n Roll Elmo for Ayden...and a Barbie Bakery for Allie.  I'm pretty sure this was one of her most favorite gifts of the evening.  

Presents ROUND 2 happens a little bit later after Ethan and his family head to their house to open their family gifts.  Allie was still feeling a bit under the weather from the illness she had earlier in the week.  Her and Ayden changed out of their fancy clothes into their Christmas jammies.  Allie perked up once it was time to open up gifts.  She unwrapped all of hers on her own...she helped with others.  Ayden liked playing with the wrapping paper and boxes most of all.

These two Hammerick's are as SPOILED as EVER!  Allie's loot included a Frozen towel, a few sets of pajamas, snow pants, snow boots, books, clothes for her American Girl Doll, more boots, Hello Kitty soap, toothpaste and shower stuff, flannel sheets, tights, a headband making kit, a handmade bassinet for her babies, a sled, Frozen slippers, and a VINTAGE My Little Pony Stable to keep all those ponies in she's been earning. 

Ayden made out just as well with sheets for his big boy bed, Teddy Grahams (his favorite), a Frozen towel, bath soaps, books, stuffed animals, a personalized backpack, an organizer for his closet, lots of pajamas, pouches, and a sound puzzle.

Allie and Ayden say THANK YOU to everyone for the amazing gifts!  They LOVE everything!

Just before bed, Allie and I went out in the sprinkling rain to spread out the reindeer food (oats and glitter) so Santa could find our house.  She picked out one of each of our Christmas cookies and left them on a plate on the ottoman for a HUNGRY Santa that would be stopping by in only a few short hours.  Allie was so excited to hug and kiss Belle goodbye before she set her by Santa's cookie plate.  She told Belle "Thank you for everything" and "I'll see you next year" before we tucked her into bed.

Both of these two were EXHAUSTED and fell asleep super quick.  Santa was in and out of our house earlier than planned which made him run AHEAD of schedule.  I can't wait to see these two little faces in the morning...My heart is full this Christmas Eve. 

Merry Christmas to all...and to all a good night!