Thursday, December 18, 2014

Santa Visit


 
 
The last time we got a photo with Santa, it went a little something like this.
 
What a difference a couple of years makes. Cece was giddy and marched right up to him. Then she declared, "I would like an Elsa doll!" (I mean, we could have said "Hello, how are you?" but I think she was caught up in the moment and is very confident that she is on the "Nice" list.) Rosie on the other hand, had no interest in Santa and was certainly not on board with sitting for a photo. Which is fine. I will take what I can get.
 
 
That's a keeper! We will see you at our house on Christmas Eve, Santa!
 
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December 2014 via iPhone


Christmas is a mere week away! We have been celebrating hard around these parts and have been making the most of the season (to say the least).
 
 
We were invited by Cece's preschool to "Birthday Party for Jesus" at the beginning of December. I thought I would bring the girls to stop by for a little bit, but we ended up staying the entire time (nearly four hours!). Cece made crafts and ornaments, jumped in a bouncy house, got her face painted, enjoyed lunch and snacks, saw a live nativity, and that's just a few of the things we did.
 
 
 
 
Cece has very much embraced the story of Christmas this year and gets so excited whenever we see nativity scenes. She enjoys pointing out baby Jesus (and telling us how cute he is). It's adorable and heartening.

 
 
Speak of heartening, we attended Cece's Christmas concert where our hearts practically burst. With her class, on actual risers in the church, she sang four songs and recited one bible verse. Instead of running off the stage scared to us, she bounced excitedly and waved (and might have forgotten to sing a couple of times because she was waving). It was precious and I will never forget it.

 
 
I also took Cece to Exultate's holiday concert (since she can appreciate that sort of thing now, right?). We enjoyed Magnificent Magnificat and congratulated Azure on a singing job well done.

 
 
 
 
In the name of attempting to do something fun and different, I dragged my bro and the girls downtown this to check out the new European-inspired Minneapolis Holiday Market. It was a frigid day and despite being bundled, we were COLD and did not stay long. However, we did what we came to do which was get German brats, potato pancakes, and hot chocolate. Cece picked out an ornament and I got Rosie a first Christmas ornament too. So it's not like we don't have anything to show for our long journey.
 
 
 And maybe every so often I've been able to enjoy a glass of wine by light of our skinny Christmas tree. So there you have it, all things December!
 
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Nine Months



 

Little lady is already nine months old! Right now, Rosemary is:
 
...saying "Dada!" all the time, especially when she is happy and/or excited. Joe is flattered.
 
...discovering that all food is awesome.
 
...still nursing.
 
...discovering that all of Cece's toys are awesome (and still stressing Cece out).
 
...cruising and crawling.
 
...not napping a whole lot (life is too exciting and the FOMO is strong).
 
 
She'll be a year old before we know it. Unbelievable!
 
 
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cece on ice!

 
Last week Cece and I went on a very memorable date to her first open skate! I had been going by myself recently, just to stretch out these old legs. Then she told me that she wanted to come along and there was no way I could refuse that request. Fortunately, my brother was able to accompany us and help teach her a little skating.
 
I had expected us maybe to do a couple laps with her hugging the boards and then wanting to go home.
 
Well, she impressed the heck out of both of us. Of course, she was slippy slidey at first and said "These skates aren't working very well!" She took some brief breaks on the bench, but skated for nearly the entire time. By the end, she was marching by herself, picking herself up when she fell, and not needing to hang on to us anymore (at least all the time).
 
 
 

We took some videos of the evening and it's so cool to see how much she progressed in that hour and a half! You can actually hear the pride in mine and my brother's voices.
 
Skating was a big part of our lives growing up and I have so many good memories of skating with my sister, my dad, and my brother. I had a blast being in ice shows, competitions, and eventually Gopher Hockey Cheer. Even though I never really skated at a very high level, it's something that has brought me a lot of joy. I actually felt a little emotional watching Cece give a try at something that I loved doing so much! I'm hoping we'll get a chance to go some more soon!
 

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

A sweet time!


This afternoon we had a very important annual holiday cookie baking date with Azure. Instead of just making sugar cookies like we have in previous years, we added lemon cookies to the list, peanut butter blossoms (per Joe's request), and caramel-chocolate pretzels. (To be honest, I'm certain Azure did most of the work.) Cece was so excited about our baking extravaganza that she put on her apron and started wiping down the kitchen table and setting up our equipment and ingredients about an hour before we got started. She was right to be so excited. We had several hours of sticky sweet fun (before the inevitable sugar crash).


 
 

 
I'm excited to be keeping some of these cookies for ourselves to snack on and even more excited to give some away as gifts. I love the outcomes of all of these holiday projects (baking, crafting, etc.), but the best part is definitely the process. The real treat is being able to spend time together while being creative and having some great conversation!
 
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Francis at Three Months






Last weekend I took some photos of this Francis fellow. He's adorable, snuggly, and awesome at staying still and not running away from the camera. Thank you, Francis and family, for this great little photo opportunity!
 
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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Merry-Making and Christmas Crafts!

 

Happy Holidays from our home to yours! As per every December, I'm feeling like Buddy the Elf with my long, yet awesome holiday to-do list. ("First we'll make snow angels for two hours, then we'll go ice skating, then we'll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie-dough as fast as we can, and then we'll snuggle.")
 
 
 
We have been on the festive fast track since the day after Thanksgiving. (I mean, we put up our Christmas tree at 7 a.m. on Black Friday. We opted for a small artificial tree this year. I felt slightly sad to not get a real one, but I bought a spruce-scented candle and got over it. With an eight-month-old, it's nice to not worry about her consuming needles and sap.)
 
 
 
 


Cece did the majority of the tree decorating. I only strung the lights and arranged the more fragile ornaments towards the top of the tree. She's like a little enthusiastic elf full of Christmas cheer and I love it.



 
 
We created homemade cinnamon ornaments last year and had such fun doing so that I wanted to find another easy DIY ornament for this year. We made peppermint ornaments and they are a lovely addition to the rest of the homemade decorations we have on the tree.

(If you want to try, here are the directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease metal cookie cutters. Arrange mints within cookie cutters on parchment paper. Bake 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool and harden. If desired, use a greased toothpick or skewer to poke a hole while cooling for the ribbon to hang. We just glued the ribbon on later. After the peppermint has cooled, stretch the cookie cutter to release the ornament. Don't push the ornament out, that's how we lost our first batch. Also, be careful. Peppermint shards are SHARP!)




 
We made a traditional gingerbread house this year and added a pretzel log cabin for some variation. (Our first one collapsed due to my shoddy construction, but I asked Joe to pick up more pretzels and frosting and ta-da! It's still standing!) I love making these houses with Cece. We get so sticky and messy but she becomes so focused and engaged. For the pretzel house, we used a cardboard box as the structure to stick the pretzels to. We also discovered that dipping pretzels in frosting and eating them is a brilliant idea.
 
 
 

The last crafty thing I wanted to do this year was create personalized stockings for the girls. I perused Pinterest but didn't find anything I loved so these were basically made on a whim. I recovered some dollar store stockings with sparkly fabric and then hot-glued for quite a significant amount of time. It was the one thing I didn't let Cece help with (because glue gun burns HURT). For not having much of a plan, I'm pretty happy with how they turned out.


Now that all of this crafting is done, I'm excited to move on to more activities and celebrating. I hope you are enjoying the beginning of December as much as we are!
 
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