MiniM.E. is a very emotional preschooler.  All her emotions come on hard and strong.  She can be super happy, is extremely empathetic, and is one of the silliest, funniest kids I've ever met.  But at the same time, her negative emotions are equally as intense.  The smallest disappointment can bring her to tears and if she's angry it's an all-out tantrum.

Auntie Jen bought her the best present, a book about feelings, In My Heart.  It's about feelings and I'm hoping it helps her figure out what she's feeling.  So yesterday she was having a hard time, it being the day after Christmas and all, and she had been pretty cranky all day.  She was especially sad last night and as we were reading our usual chapter book, she said, "Mommy, I feel sad, can we read the heart feelings book?" And so we did.  And for every feeling I asked, "When do you feel _____?" and she was so sad that it wasn't Christmas anymore, she said, "The day after Christmas" with a big pouty face.

Even though it was a bit of a let down that it wasn't Christmas anymore, MiniM.E. and Baby#2 had a good time playing with all the new toys and enjoying Grams' house.

bonding over a bottle
taking a bath: "... this isn't my whale tub..."

matching owl jammies!
Today we drove down to CT for our family Christmas, but unfortunately, I got whatever Bob had right before Christmas and I was hardly feeling well enough to be there, so no photos... Maybe next year- there will be four kids running around!

Tomorrow its back to NY to unpack all the toys (and find them homes) and get ready for the New Year!


Merry Christmas!

This Christmas MiniM.E. was far more excited than the previous three.  She's been looking forward to it since October, and the addition of Baby#2 made it even more exciting for her- lots of exclaiming over how exciting it was that it was going to be Baby#2's FIRST CHRISTMAS!

She tried to wake us up at 5 am, but after such a late night, I knew that she would be a monster by 11am if I let her stay up, so we convinced her to go back to sleep until 7:30.

Here she is (crawling?) down the hallway to see all the presents in the living room:

First we saw that Santa came and left MiniM.E. a really sweet note in response to this letter that she sent him on Christmas Eve:
(Dear Santa, More trains please, Molly)
opening her stocking

watching the action

yay! trains!!

So cute in matching pajamas!

Then we opened a few more presents before we convinced MiniM.E. to take a break for breakfast:

MiniM.E. was really excited for Baby#2 to open the present she picked out for her:

This year was the first year, possibly ever in my 31 Christmases, that all the presents were NOT open by noon.  MiniM.E. was really excited to open everything and play with it and even took breaks to play with toys that weren't new.  Baby#2 seemed really alert and into watching all the action, which was impressive because on MiniM.E.'s first Christmas she slept the whole day.

But then by the time we were working on opening the rest of the presents after lunch so we'd be done opening by dinner time, Baby#2 had fallen asleep and slept straight through the entire rest of the day.

We had a great Christmas dinner and MiniM.E. sang Happy Birthday to Baby Jesus (another yearly tradition).

Definitely the best Christmas yet!


Merry Christmas Eve!

Last night we drove to NH.  Bob wasn't feeling well so he decided to meet us in NH Christmas Eve.  The drive was stressful at the start as Baby#2 let us know she didn't want to be in the car by screaming at the top of her lungs for the first half hour.  Which, of course, upset MiniM.E.  Fortunately MiniM.E. didn't do her usual "screaming when the baby is screaming," maybe because our Elf on the Shelf, Toodalah, was riding with us on the rear view mirror.  After we stopped for dinner, things went smoothly and we made it here.

Christmas Eve is always a short day because we go to evening mass at 4pm.  This means that we have to start getting ready to go to church at 2:30 so we can leave at 3:30 before the seats my parents save for us get taken.  Baby#2 just hung around while MiniM.E. played with Gram and Grumpy.

The girls were adorable all dressed up for church:

After church we did our annual "Tree Photo".  MiniM.E. was really cute admiring the tree while we got it set up.

just the girls 
the whole family
just the four of us (this was a tricky one... this IS the best photo)
 After the photo, MiniM.E. and Baby#2 opened the traditional Christmas Eve gifts, pajamas.  Two sets of matching ones this year.

Then MiniM.E. tricked us by saying she was ready for bed... but after lying in bed for five minutes, she was too excited to sleep and ended up staying up until 10 when she finally fell asleep, excited to hear Santa on the roof...

Almost Christmas

It seems like I was just planning for Thanksgiving, and here we are on Christmas Eve.  December flew by...

Baby#2 is all smiles all the time, especially in the tub

we went to a birthday party at CMOST where MiniM.E. practiced her canoeing

a Nutcracker themed birthday was a huge hit

MiniM.E. and Baby#2 spend so much time doing cute things together, I can't even document it

MiniM.E. reading to Baby#2

Baby#2 recovering from her 2 month vaccines

MiniM.E. in her new "Hibernation Day" pajamas

MiniM.E.'s baths are way longer than Baby#2's... 

Baby#2 has a hard time keeping up with all the playing MiniM.E. wants her to do
Baby#2 is making huge progress: she says "onion" AND found her hands!

Looking forward to a fantastic first Christmas for Baby#2.  MiniM.E. is so excited for Christmas it's hilariously adorable.  Merry Christmas Eve from NH!!


NYC at Christmastime: Take 4

This year was the fourth year of visiting NYC at Christmastime, specifically to see the Plaza Hotel Santa Claus.

We took the train from Poughkeepsie this year, which was miles better than Beacon because there was a place to wait INSIDE.

The train ride was a little longer than previous years, but MiniM.E. had a great time looking out the window, and for the most part, Baby#2 slept.

Once we arrived, MiniM.E. took her usual post-travel nap while we walked up to Central Park.  First, we walked all over the park trying to find the paths that led to the carousel.  When we finally found the carousel, it was closed.  Epic fail.  Fortunately, MiniM.E. was not too disappointed as long was got to pet some animals at the zoo.

This year, we spent a decent amount of time at the petting zoo:
pretending to be hatching turtles

playing on the spider web

watching the goats

basking like a turtle

the snow leopard

Next we did Santa.  We timed it perfectly (unintentionally) to catch Santa coming back from his break.  There was no wait and both kids did reasonably well.  MiniM.E. sat close enough to Santa to look like she might be enjoying herself, and Leah had her usual "surprise!" face on.

the best photo without the "fake smile"

MiniM.E. talking to Santa about what she wanted for Christmas
After Santa we went to FAO Schwartz, where MiniM.E. only wanted to play the "foot piano" which she remembered fondly from our previous years.

On the way back from the toy store we saw the tree.  MiniM.E. loved the lights and the music.

After the disappointment of not finding the carousel at Central Park, we were lucky enough to find one at the end of the evening at Bryant Park.

We skipped Times Square this year and headed home around dinner time.  I was a bit intimidated to take both kids to the city, but it went really well and we're looking forward to NYC trip #5!!