Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Out and About in December

We've had lots of fun this December! JD is at an age now where he gets so excited about Christmas, so taking him to different activities about the holidays is pretty fun.

A couple of weeks ago, we went with our friends Margaret and Ayden to see the Gaylord ICE exhibit, where they were featuring A Charlie Brown Christmas. Since JD has seen this special on tv for the past few years, I thought he would enjoy it.

And he did...

But it was pretty cold too!
This month, I also realized that our newly-turned 1 year old had never visited Daddy at the Fire Station, so we quickly remedied this!

Boys and girls really are different because from JD's first trip to the Fire Station, he loved sitting in all of the trucks and vehicles and still does! But Meg was not excited about it at all!

JD found out that Uncle Nathan works there now, which was quite a surprise for him this time!

We will just need to bring Meg up to visit her Daddy more often!

We also got inspired by our friend Rachel Cooke's adventures and took JD to see the Northpark trains. We went right when it opened and met my mom up there. No lines or anything, but it got pretty crowded in the exhibit once we got in there.

JD and Meg both really liked the trains. Meg was just mesmerized by the trains moving around the towns and especially around the big Christmas tree.

JD took a little time to get warmed up, but once he figured it all out, he was in heaven! JD just loved all the trains equally well. He had fun pointing out Polar Express and Thomas. JD was very sad when it was time to leave.

We made it up to him by taking him to Build a Bear and making a Rudolph, since he has just recently started watching that movie (thank you preschool holiday party). Now he is crazy about Rudolph. I even signed him up for a camp yesterday where they learned all about reindeer, with a special emphasis on Rudolph (of course)!

After a lunch at Chick Fil A (Soup Man for me and my mom), we left just as the mall started to get pretty crowded. Great way to spend a morning!!
I love spending the holidays with my kiddos!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday Meg!

My sweet Margaret Sue turns 1 today! I can't believe that it was only a year ago that she arrived in this world, on a chilly December morning!

It is amazing to remember those first few months that seemed so long ago with no sleep and lots of crying... the days when you figured out how to sleep at night and became the sweet, happy baby girl that we loved to play with... the walking, chattering toddler girl that you are now!

Meg has such a sunny disposition and loves to smile and "talk" and play. She claps her hands and will wave bye-bye (but not on command), give you a "fiver" and point to the things she likes. She loves light up & sound toys, ride on vehicles, dollys, but most of all - JD's toys!

Meg will eat just about anything and loves to eat mommy's zucchini and onions. She is very proficient at sippy cups now and is pretty independent when it comes to table foods. If you try and put food in her mouth, she pulls it out and puts it back in because she wants to do it by herself.
Meg loves her daddy and squeals with delight when he comes home from work. She says a very cute "Deedee" for Daddy. She has a typical brother/sister relationship with JD or GeeGee, where she loves him and wants to play with him, but gets irritated when he gets in her personal space.

I love my baby girl like crazy and can't wait to see what fun things happen in her next year of life!
Happy Birthday Sweet Baby Meg!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Virtual In-Santa-ity

New for 2010 - Virtual Santa Lines!
That's right! With just a little click of a button, you can be waiting in line to see Santa Claus and avoid snaking through the chains like every other schmuck (okay that's exactly what we did last year).

We virtually waited to see Santa for 2 hours while we went to eat dinner and play at a nearby playzone for kids. Awesome!

When we were notified of our 10 minute warning, we stood in a real line and waited in Santa's workshop. As we waited, a little girl in front of us was just crying and crying (in the line). As she got closer to Santa, the tears just intensified. Jon and I both looked at each other smugly and said, "They just need to embrace the fact that their kid is going to cry in the picture. It is just going to be one of those pictures." Both of our kids were making faces and laughing and smiling in the line, so Jon and I felt pretty confident about our Santa approach. JD knew exactly what he was going to ask Santa for and Meg had perfected a new cute "squishy" face that she was going to test on Santa.

They waited patiently as Santa took pictures with someone's two HUGE dogs. (Sorry but Santa dog pictures are a little weird). It took longer than taking one with kids. How do you get 2 DOGS to smile at the camera (and believe me, their owner was trying like crazy)??
We began our descent onto Santa's lap and then it happened...

Meg TOTALLY went berserk and lost it, screaming, crying, trilling. Oh well. All traces of smugness gone, we embraced the screaming picture like every other parent.

JD, on the other hand, had a great time talking to Santa. I was happy to hear him ask for the very item that I stood freezing in line at 2 in the morning on Black Friday to acquire for him. Score one for Mom!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trimming the Tree

In years past, Jon and I were totally in charge of the 10 foot artificial tree experience - setting up, fluffing and decorating. This year we decided to get the kids involved.

We started with picking out a LIVE tree! We decided to put the tree in the dining room, so the gate could keep Meg away during the day and our ceilings don't go as high in there. So we went to pick out a real tree with the kids at a lot near our house. Not the tree farm experience exactly, but just as I remember from my childhood!

JD was impressed with it.

Meg thought it was great.

I mean, REALLY great.

After Jon and I hung the colored lights (straying from our white lit artificial tree look), JD hung a star (he insisted this is what needed to go on the top - again straying from our traditional tree look with our big bow topper).

He also helped us with hanging ornaments, which made him feel pretty important.

Overall, I think the tree trimming was a success and way more fun than previous years because of our little helpers!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Guess Whooo's One??

Over Thanksgiving, we celebrated Meg's first birthday so the whole family could attend. We still have a few more days before her actual birthday, but you would have never known it from the party!

As previously mentioned, I went owl crazy with her birthday party theme. But she only turns one once and it is one of the only times that I get to be in control of the theme!

I had so much fun making all of the cupcake toppers, birthday banner and artwork for the party. I purchased the owl and digital papers from an Etsy artist and then went to town creating! I made luggage tags as party favors using the owl, bought mini crayon fabric roll ups from another Etsy artist and made custom stickers to put on mini notepads for coloring. Of course, I found regular owl stickers to include into the favors as well. Yes, I am a bit of obsessive when it comes to themes.

I gave a copy of her invitation to Market Street and they did a great job of creating the owl for her birthday cake. It turned out great! We all wore owl shirts to celebrate, even Jon (who was kind of forced into it).

I think Meg had a pretty good time. She seemed a little overwhelmed at times and totally disinterested in the present unwrapping. But she played with all of her cousins and loved her presents!

She liked the cake part too - especially the birthday song which she looks shocked about below, but started laughing and clapping after the picture was taken.

Jon made a great first year video too for Miss Meg. We are so lucky to have such a talented daddy to make a wonderful keepsake like that for our kids and family.

By the end of the day, she figured out her pointer finger too, so it looks like she is saying "One!" I think she had a great first birthday party! Thank goodness she won't remember a bit of it, so I won't have to replicate all of that effort for every Meg party moving forward!!