The Rest of Our Christmas Trip

After Christmas MiniM.E. woke up and wanted to do it all over again.  She woke up Saturday and exclaimed, "So yesterday was Christmas DAY so today is CHRISTMAS!!!!" And then we had to crush her excitement by explaining that Christmas Day IS Christmas and that was it.  At least we had all the fun new toys to play with.

We also went outside to play in the brisk (still felt like fall and not Christmas) weather:

Hit up the grocery store where I learned that LittleL.G. loves "bread babies" the same way MiniM.E. used to love "fizzy water babies" when she was this age.  She carried this around, wouldn't let me put it on the conveyor belt (thanks, nice check out lady for scanning it in her arms) and was petting and kissing it on the way to the car.

Sunday we got in the van bright and early to drive down to CT for our annual visit with my mom's brothers.  It was a little crazy this year with four kids four and under running around.
snack time!
 But they all seemed to enjoy each other's company:

The most exciting part of our holiday travels happened on the way home when we realized at 8:00 on a Sunday night that we had a flat tire.  And that the tire iron in the van didn't fit the lugs on the wheel. Fortunately, we had only gone a couple exits from my uncle's house so he came to the rescue with one that worked to put on the donut, but it isn't recommended to travel more than 50 miles on one, so we ended up in a hotel.  As we realized that we would have to stay overnight unexpectedly, I expected the worst.  Not only did the grown ups not have changes of clothes or toothbrushes or any necessities (fortunately I brought pajamas for the girls), but MiniM.E. didn't have her blanket, which she hadn't ever slept without since she was a baby and LittleL.G. is so sleep trained with her black out shades, noise machine, blankets, sleep sacks, etc., that I figured she would be up all night. Thankfully, it worked out and with only a hitch with LittleL.G. when she wanted to leave the hotel room to go anywhere else, both girls slept.  It was definitely an adventure.

We took it easy when we got back on Monday.

Tuesday we planned come home to NY... but there was a snow storm.  At first it looked like it would let up mid-day, but it continued later than expected. We decided to leave anyway, but added another adventure to our travels by playing it safe and taking a longer route home- farther south and all highway.  Luckily, the girls slept the whole 5+ hours!

We had a great Christmas in NH but it's nice to be home!  Now we are slowly unpacking and dealing with post-Christmas blues, but like I was telling MiniM.E., without a fantastic Christmas, there would be nothing to feel let down about- and it was the best Christmas yet! (well, almost... we missed you Auntie Jen!)


Merry Christmas!

Since everyone went to bed so late last night, we were hoping for a late start to the morning.  I guess 6:30 is later than, say 5:00am.

MiniM.E. asked Santa for some surprises this year, so no one knew what to expect when we walked into the living room.  Looks like Santa wants the kids to be musicians, because he brought a drum, cymbals, a ukulele, a mini drum set and lots of small instruments.  The girls were so excited.  Our ears were to.  Who plays cymbals at 7am!?!?

It was hard to hold of the girls from the presents by the tree, but we convinced MiniM.E. to open the stockings and take a breakfast break.

It almost worked, but then MiniM.E. wanted to give LittleL.G. the present she picked out for her:

And she wanted to open LittleL.G.'s gift for her:

LittleL.G. wanted to try some shoes too

I got a new camera lens, which takes amazing photos... though I am still learning:

It was a pretty fantastic day.  MiniM.E. couldn't get through her presents fast enough, and LittleL.G. opened one present and didn't want to play with or open anything else all day.  But it worked out because MiniM.E. got to "help" open LittleL.G.'s other presents and everyone seemed happy to give and get and enjoy each other's company.  Not to mention the 65 degree weather which let us play outside, the fantastic prime rib dinner, and lots of cookies and snacks.  

Merry Christmas!


Merry Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas Eve!

What crazy weather for the day before Christmas!  Before church we went for a walk outside... without jackets!
Daddy needed a hat

 After church it was time for our traditional Christmas Eve gift opening.

Everyone was so excited about Christmas that no one wanted to go to sleep and everyone was up way past bedtimes.  We finally convinced MiniM.E. to get to bed because we were tracking Santa on NORAD and he was almost here.

Merry Almost-Christmas!


A Busy Saturday

Nothing says busy like the Saturday before Christmas.  Finish wrapping presents and picking up last minute gifts, get the baking done, start packing- if traveling is involved... and then for our last Saturday before Christmas, add in bowling birthday party, a last skating class with skills demonstration, and of course TWO trips to the grocery store.  It was indeed a BUSY day.

We started at the bowling alley at 10:30.  Cute idea for a party and turns out both girls love bowling, but there were so many kids and so many parents not paying attention to whose turn it was that there were not nearly enough turns at actually rolling the ball and much too much waiting.
LittleL.G. rolling like a pro

MiniM.E. so excited she couldn't stand still
We thought we would have time to kill between bowling and skating, but after the bowling and pizza and cake and presents and playing at the arcade, we had only just enough time to stop at the grocery store to pick up cookies for the last skating class (which invited spectators and snacks to share).

Since the last time I saw her skate, MiniM.E. improved drastically! I am so impressed at how well she is doing!!

After the skills demonstration, MiniM.E. was so excited to be skating that she wanted to stay for the entire free skating time too.  Which was great, aside from the fact that lots of kids and siblings were heading out... past the snack table.  And lots of hockey families were coming in for the upcoming game... past the snack table.  So that by the time MiniM.E. was out of her skating gear and we were ready to hit up the snacks, all the cookies that she was so excited to bring had been eaten.  

To avoid horrific tired, hungry meltdown, back to the store we went.  Where we quickly found a new container of cookies and proceeded to start eating them IN the bakery department.

It was a long day so I was feeling pretty lenient and as we stopped to talk to some friends, my one year old decided the best and only place to eat a cookie (at 4:00, right before dinner) was in the middle of the floor.  Complete with making sure all crumbs and sprinkles were cleaned off the floor and shoveled into her mouth.  "Mom of the Year"-worthy photo:

Even though it was busy, it was actually a really fun day.  Bowling was a blast, we got to see a barbershop quartet sing Christmas carols at the store, and MiniM.E. did a fantastic job at skating.


Playgroup: 2nd Generation

Our very first playgroup that we still get together with weekly has graduated to second generation playing:

Even though LittleL.G. has a friend close to her age, she still wants to play with the big girls:


LittleL.G. Lately

LittleL.G. is such a little girl now.  She watches MiniM.E. do everything and has taken to bringing her babies with her wherever we go.

She is so attached she will go to any length to be close to them, even when they are napping!

Other than dolls, she loves animals.  Yesterday I took her downtown to see the ducks while MiniM.E. is at school because a couple months ago MiniM.E. got nipped and is no longer a fan of the ducks.


Gingerbread Houses

MiniM.E. was really into decorating her house this year.  In fact, she wanted it to look just like the box.  She actually did a pretty respectable job, with some help.

LittleL.G. just ate a plate of frosting.


Sandbox in December

The weather has been beautiful lately.  I really can't complain.  I was worried that it was going to be a long, cold, snowy winter, but so far it has been very mild and we all couldn't be happier to still be playing outside.... without jackets!


NYC At Christmastime: Take 5

It's hard to believe that this year was our 5th trip to New York City to see Santa at the Plaza Hotel.  I was a little nervous about how to navigate the trip this year with two mobile kids who both are still too little to walk most of the time.  Our double jogging stroller is too big for the streets of NY so we decided on the single.  I was worried we would have too much stuff and too many kids fighting over sitting in the stroller, but luckily the weather was gorgeous so we didn't need to take up space with snowsuits and layers and LittleL.G. had no interest in riding in the stroller anyway.  So MiniM.E. could get in and out as she pleased and we packed lightly enough that all our gear fit underneath.  

We set out early (MiniM.E. exclaimed as we left, "but it's nighttime!! I wanted to go in the DAY!!!") and made it to the Poukeepsie train station (after a fairly miserable car ride- MiniM.E. started feeling carsick about half an hour in) with exactly enough time to buy tickets and make it to the platform.  

Both girls were beyond excited to be on the "choo choo train" and LittleL.G. signed train all by herself for the first time!

When we got there, we walked around Grand Central and looked around the Christmas Market while we waited for our friends who made the train a half hour after us.

When we met up, it was time to start walking:

Our first stop was Central Park so LittleL.G. could nap for a bit while we walked around and climbed a really big rock:

Then it was time for the zoo!

After the zoo it was time to see Santa.  I was so proud of both girls for sitting on his lap.

It must have really worn them out, because by the time we got to the tree:

they were both asleep:

We woke MiniM.E. up to visit the American Girl store and $34 of souvenirs later we were on our way to the carousel and Christmas Market at Bryant Park.

We had planned on Times Square, but we were all fading fast and headed back to Grand Central for the train ride home:

Great trip to the city!!