Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Morning

Christmas morning started VERY early - 6 AM to be exact. We were completely done with presents and breakfast by 8 AM!

Charlotte has been asking Santa for 3 things - a new bike, a rocking chair so she could rock Cindy (her baby doll), and a bib for Cindy. So, Santa had a pretty easy job this year. He found a purple bike with streamers and a baby seat. He also found my rocking chair that my grandfather built for me for my 1st birthday and brought that for Charlotte. He was able to find a bib for Cindy as well.


Max didn't ask for much, but ended up with a big car ramp, some cars, balls, and blocks.


Charlotte was pretty excited to see everything.


Max needed to chill and eat some cheerios for a little while with his Great-Granddaddy.


Then he got in on the action.


After breakfast, Max went down for a nap, and Charlotte and I opened up one of the coolest things she got.


We played with that for a lot longer than I thought she would.

Then we took her over to the local park to check out her riding skills.


Judd drove us all nuts all weekend showing off his new infrared thermometer. He could quickly tell us the temperature of every surface. (He has some sort of odd obsession with thermometers and temperatures these days) Every time someone walked into a room, he would quickly shoot them with the thermometer and tell them what temp they were. It was a little unnerving having a red dot show up on your body.


After relaxing for a while, we loaded up in the car to drive to Douglas, GA to visit with Judd's grandmother Plymale. We visited and ate there, then headed home. We got the kids into bed by 8:00 and we went to bed not much after that - both Judd and I were pretty exhausted.

It was such a fun Christmas!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Eve

We woke up Christmas Eve to the promise of pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Grandmother had a couple of very eager helpers to mix up the pancake batter.


After breakfast we just hung out, ate, took naps, and then got ready to head to the Pannell's (Judd's great Aunt's house) for Christmas Eve dinner and festivities.

We got there and immediately Charlotte's cousin (I think 2nd cousin, or a cousin removed somehow), Michael, took Charlotte by the hand and showed her all around.

The most interesting thing that they found was the golf cart parked in the back.



Max was not quite himself that evening - he was VERY clingy to his mom, but he loved being outside. I FINALLY captured a picture of this child, looking at the camera, dressed nicely - a true Christmas miracle.


After dinner, Amy played some songs for us on the piano. Charlotte sang. She put on quite the show for everyone.


After that, it was back to Judd's parent's house to get the kiddos to bed so Santa could come. We set out cookies and zucchini. The zucchini was for the Reindeer. Charlotte saw on Olivia that Olivia gave the Reindeer zucchini. She has been talking about giving the reindeer for zucchini for a few weeks. We went out looking for zucchini, but ended up finding cucumber. However, that was good enough for Charlotte. So our zucchini was really cucumber, but it's our secret for now! The kids hit the sack and "Santa" got to work!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

My actual Christmas card file is on my other computer that is at home. So, here is an iPhone pic of our card this year.

Wishing you and yours a very magical, wonderful, peaceful Christmas.


For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6-7

Friday, December 23, 2011

Cookie Decorating Time

We packed up the car this morning and headed down to Judd's parent's house to start the Christmas festivities. We arrived around lunchtime, unpacked the car, and settled in.

Last night, I made some sugar cookies so that we could do our annual Christmas cookie decorating. We decided to go ahead and decorate them this afternoon, rather than on Christmas Eve, because tomorrow could be a busy day! We mixed up some icing and got to work.


Charlotte was UNABLE to keep the sprinkles and M&Ms out of her mouth. She understood she wasn't supposed to, but she really could not keep her hand out of her mouth. So, Emily, categorized cookies by "kid decorators" and "adult decorators".


Lilly was pretty savvy with the frosting and sprinkles. I'm pretty sure any fine restaurant would hire her as a pastry chef.


Emily rescued Max from the crib and he had a great time just watching everything.


Grandmother got in on the action.


Charlotte decorated quite a few cookies, I was surprised by how long she lasted. But, when she was done, she was done. She did taste test a finished cookie and declared it "Yummy!".


The finished products:


Monday, December 19, 2011


It sure is hard to stay inside and bake cookies when it is sunny and in the 60's.








We did whip up some homemade marshmallows on Sunday. But, if they weather continues, we may not get the mixing bowls out again!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Game On

sure, you're cute:


I mean who thinks a baby eating his toes isn't cute? max1

Sure, you're happy 90% of the time - really happy. You're a pretty good kid...


for 22 hours of the day. But, there are 2 hours that Dad and I are dying to change. 2AM - 4AM. I honestly can't remember the last night you have slept through the night. I think you have only done this about 10 nights in your entire life - and hardly any of those were back to back. How I wish you could talk to us and tell us what is wrong, if anything. We vowed never to bring children into our bed to sleep, to always work to get you kids to sleep in your beds, but if you were willing, I'm about to break my vows.

Max, it is time for some changes. Dad and I are ready to sleep through the night. We'd like to be able to stay up until (gasp!) 11 o'clock knowing that we have 7 full ours of sleep in front of us, but we can't do that right now.

So, either you start having your fits between 2PM & 4PM, or you sleep through the night. You hear me? We're not going to stand for it anymore. It's us vs. you. I think we'll win. Game on.


But, of course you'll probably continue to win, because I have this inability to hear you cry for longer than 10 minutes. It is just something about that high decibel you are able to hit. (Maybe you'll be a famous male soprano?) So, of course I'll come and put your paci back in, cover you up, or cuddle you and rock you. Because you are spoiled. But, you're the last baby I'll rock from 2-4AM, and soon, much too soon, you won't need me to do that anymore.

So, how about a compromise? Every other night?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Charlotte sings Rudolph

Candy Lane

I can't believe I forgot to post this memory from Thanksgiving.


The Saturday after Thanksgiving was unseasonably warm in PA. My dad had some tickets to Candy Lane, so my mom asked if I wanted to go to Candy Lane with Charlotte that night. Max seemed to have really warmed up to my dad, so he offered to stay home with Max and mom and I could take Charlotte.

Candy Lane is an attraction at Hershey Park at Christmas time. Well, it is just Hershey Park decorated for Christmas with lots and lots of lights. They have most of the rides open, not all, but most. It was SUCH a fun night! It was super crowded as you can imagine an unseasonably warm Saturday night would be, but we managed to navigate around and Charlotte ended up riding quite a few rides - most of them all by herself, I might add.

First up was the carousel.



After that, we tried to find the rides with the shortest lines. She would just hop on the ride, not even looking the least bit timid or scared. No fear. Her eyes were braver than her stomach, though. She really wanted to ride this one HUGE ride, that I would have to ride with her. We were standing in line, and she just kept looking up at it. (I was feeling a little unsure myself). Then she said, "Mom, I think I don't want to ride this one."

On the last few rides she made a friend or two that she would ride with. It was pretty cute to listen to her talking to her new friends while we waited in line. I just thought over and over, she is just SO big. She is really becoming this awesome, lovable, beautiful little girl. I'm so proud she's mine.


Of course she couldn't really be truly happy with the night until she had her beloved cotton candy.


It was such a fun night and a great way to end our visit. My dad ended up having a great time with Max, other than having to change not one, but two dirty diapers!

Saturday, December 10, 2011



Today was a long awaited day. A LOOOOONG awaited day. Charlotte finally got to go to the Nutcracker with her Grandmother and cousins, Katie and Lilly. Grandmother has been taking the grandchildren to the Nutcracker each year after they turn 4. She made an exception this year for Charlotte since she is sooooo close to being 4.

Judd's parents came up to our house yesterday. Judd's mom took Charlotte up to Emily & Frank's so Charlotte could spend the night with her cousins. From what I heard, Charlotte had a fabulous time playing with Lilly & Katie. She even got to sleep in Lilly's bed with her. What a treat! (poor Lilly!)

Judd's dad stayed with us and took care of Max while Judd and I went to his work party on Friday night. Then he watched Max for us Saturday morning while Judd and I did some Christmas shopping. They were great buddies. It was a huge help. Judd and I were able to get a lot of our shopping done, relatively stress free. We had a nice visit with him which included a fun lunch out and a trip to the park today.

Today Judd's mom traveled down to the Fox with the girls - all dressed up, ready to see some ballet. I heard that Charlotte did very well. She paid attention to the first act, then fell asleep at the end of intermission and stayed asleep through the entire second act.

Tonight, after her bath, she gave us a performance of what she learned at the ballet today. She even got her Nutcracker (that grandmother gave her the day before) and had Judd pretend he was the little brother that broke the Nutcracker and I was the "toy fixer" that fixed it. Not positive that's actually part of the performance, but she was pretty believable.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Santa, write it down this time

Playing with Oliver

This year, so far, Charlotte has been on Charlotte's lap 4 times. The 4th time being this past Sunday at Drena's house. A while ago, Drena asked if a bunch of us wanted to chip in to have a Santa come to her house and do a quiet, relaxed visit for the kids. I agreed to. Since then, I signed up for Breakfast with Santa at Chocolate Word, and we have happened upon Santa out to dinner and at the tree farm. Charlotte sat on each one's lap and recited her list.

She sat on the 4th Santa's lap on Sunday and he said, "Well, what do you want for Christmas?"

She said, "Santa, I've told you three times."

I hope this hasn't put her on the naughty list.

(Picture was taken by Drena's brother, Zane - thanks Zane!)

Our Tree

Saturday we ventured up to Thompson's Tree Farm for the 3rd year. It was a BEAUTIFUL morning. We grabbed a saw, wagon, and headed out to the field. Charlotte wanted every tree she saw.


We had a hard time deciding between a couple, but finally settled on the perfect tree.

Our resident lumberjack cut our tree down with a perfectly straight base. Then we hauled it up to the front. While we were up there we grabbed some bread to feed the goats and cows.



They have the coolest cows.


The mama cow had just given birth to a calf on Thanksgiving day. The calf was named Rudolph and was just chillin' in the hay while it's parents just about knocked the fence down trying to eat some stale bread.


Even little Max got in on the action.


What a brave baby! Then it was back to the arms of Dad.


Once we were out of bread, we took a hayride through the property.



Max even "waved" and said something kind of like "hi" to all of the people we passed. Of course Charlotte narrated our ride with various comments.

The tree farm "elves" loaded our tree on to the car and we made our way back down 85. We spent the afternoon decorating the tree, telling Max "NO!" about 5,000 times as he attempted to pull all of the ornaments off, and watched the bulldogs lose.

A great Saturday in December!

(If you are curious, all of these pictures were taking with an iPhone 4s using Instagram to apply filters. My good camera is just too stressful to take on these excursions. It is too hard to juggle it, Max, and Charlotte. Luckily, my loving husband bought me the new iPhone and I LOVE the pictures from it.)

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Elf & Advent Calendar

adventcalendar December 1st. Time to break out our Elf and put out the advent calendar. The start to the season. (If only I could get in the Christmas spirit! I'm having a really hard time this year!)

I had a plan for the advent calendar, I was going to make envelopes like last year. Then, I saw a different idea and decided to switch gears a little bit. I ordered the tins with a delivery date of 11/30 - talk about cutting it close. UPS didn't actually deliver them until 8:00 PM on the 30th! I had all of my stuff ready, though, and had it finished by 9:30. Not too bad. Each date is a 2.5oz tin with a clear lid. I used some scrapbook paper and numbers printed on full sheet labels, cut to size, to decorate the lids. I super glued a magnet on the back of each one. On Wednesday, Max and I went to Party City to find 25 cheap toys or candy (in the party favor section) to put in each tin.

Charlotte was pretty pumped to come downstairs and open the first tin. I helped her open it and there was a little toy whistle inside. She was excited about it, but then said, "Maybe tomorrow there will be chocolate inside." Geez.

You might remember that she named the elf "Jacksie" last year. This year he has a last name too. She decided to name him - and I swear to you all on her own - "Jacksie Greenlegs". (But you ask, his legs are red?) We were on a walk two weeks ago when I mentioned the elf will probably come back this year and asked if she was going to change his name. She said, "Yes, I'm going to call him Greenlegs." I asked why. She said, "That is another word for grass. Because grass is green and it looks like legs." Not sure how that logic works, but it has stuck.

So yesterday Jacksie Greenlegs was hanging out on our refrigerator. I brought Charlotte home from school and she, as usual, was right under my feet as I was trying to get stuff out for lunch. She saw a bag of Smart Puffs sitting out on the counter. I saw her out of the corner of my eye reach up and eat a puff. Then she said, "Mommy, can I have some puffs?" I said, "You already did." She looked kinda funny, then said, "No I didn't." I said, "Did you just lie?? In front of Jacksie Greenlegs?" She got quiet and put her head down. A few seconds later she burst into tears, huge tears, and sobbed, "But I STILL WANT PRESENTS FROM SANTA! BOOO HOOO HOOOO". Yikes - this may be working a little too well. I calmed her down, gave her a hug and tried my best to address the lying thing while still hinting at the fact that she probably will get presents.

Crisis averted, she got over it. But now looks at Jacksie Greenlegs with a little fear in her eyes.