Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Eve Brunching

John had off of work on Christmas Eve, so we ventured out to our favorite kid-friendly restaurant for a fun brunch as a family.

 This was Bennett's first time at a restaurant, and he enjoyed plenty of cuddles in his Uncle Bobby's arms.

I got to enjoy a big peppermint mocha - my all-time favorite holiday beverage.

Orelia enjoyed a couple of pink pancakes and a cookie before scampering off the go nuts in the playroom.  

Bennett hung in there like a champ and immediately fell asleep on the car ride home.  It was a very merry Christmas Eve morning.  We spent the evening feeling festive and walking around Christmas Tree Lane in Palo Alto with some friends.  After the kids went to bed, I spent the rest of the night playing Santa.  Being a parent on Christmas Eve is pretty spectacular.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Tree Smiles: The Evolution of a Photoshoot

 A few days after I put the tree up, she showed some real interest in the ornaments, and I thought it was the perfect time to grab my camera.

 Sometimes she's just not in the mood for photos, so I told her she could have one of her advent chocolates if she posed for pictures in front of the tree.  This "smile" definitely makes me smile.  Ha.

 I realized I needed to break out some of our tried-and-true inside jokes to get a genuine smile out of her.

The hat was yanked off right before this sweet smile appeared.

 Not every shot needs to be a smiley one, of course.

 I highly suspect some tickles were involved before this shot.

 And somehow I ended up lying on the ground and she crawled on top of me, begging me to get up (okay, more like demanding).  Her blue eyes sure do have a sparkle to them, brighter than any Christmas tree.

By this point she had forgotten my advent chocolate promise, but I made good on it anyway.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Finding the Perfect Tree

A couple of weeks ago it wasn't scheduled to rain, so we donned our boots and trusty pink bags and headed out to the Christmas tree farm.

Grandma was in town to help us find the perfect tree.

There was plenty of mud from all the rain, which provided an added benefit for some members of our tree-hunting crew.

Needless to say, Pink Bag got a thorough washing after this event.

After scouring every tree (within the one section we felt like looking in), we settled upon this fine specimen, and Orelia was fascinated by Daddy's saw handiwork.

To be honest, Orelia wasn't completely thrilled by our choice.  She went along with it, but she kept saying "How about this one?" when she came upon an absolutely gigantic tree.

Thankfully for John, we decided upon a mere six-footer.

The foggy backdrop was almost mystical.

Bennett was there too!  This is the back of his bald head and the hat his sister kept trying to rip off.

Our tree is up and decorated and has only fallen over once.  Success!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Disney Princess

About a month ago it dawned on me how much Orelia would enjoy Disneyland, and I realized I didn't really want her to have to wait until Bennett was older for her to make her first visit.  

 I told John that if he wanted to, he had my blessing to fly down to Disney in December with Orelia and Grandma.

Within 24 hours, John had booked his flight and hotel and purchased park tickets.  

He only briefly hesitated to make sure I didn't want to come too.  

I would have loved to experience Disney with Orelia, but I had no desire to nurse a baby all over the park, much less lug him everywhere.  

John is a much more laid back parent than I am, and I knew his trip (and the anticipation of the trip) would not be ruined by worrying about how Orelia would nap for those three days, where she would sleep in the room, and generally how she would handle the un-fun aspects of the trip.  (For the record, she skipped two of her three naps, went to bed late both nights, and had to sleep in a king-sized bed with John.  She did great and John wasn't worried about it, so it was a success!)  I knew they could have even more fun without me and Bennett around.

 She loved Disney and had the time of her life.  She even got to meet three Disney princesses!  She's been talking about her trip a lot (mainly the monorail, the teacups, and the Dumbo ride), and I can't wait to experience all the fun with her one day.  John's already trying to convince me to go next Christmas.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bennett at Three Months

Our little guy is now officially an "infant" at three months old, and somehow he seems like such a tiny little thing and a big boy all at once.

He's swatting at objects and having a blast doing it.  It's so interesting to see him genuinely entertained by toys now.

He of course likes people more than toys, and gives us big smiles all day long.

He's rolling onto his side regularly but thankfully hasn't made a full roll yet.  We are still swaddling him and have progressed to swaddling only his arms (his legs are out since he loves kicking).

He regularly takes 7 oz. bottles, which is more than Orelia ever took from one.  He's a good eater, and we are grateful for that.

He's managed to sleep through the night on a handful of occasions, but as soon as I mention the accomplishment to anyone he will decide to nurse twice the next night.  At least occasionally I'm treated to a pretty full night's sleep, which always makes a mama thrilled.

He's still enthused by his paci, but it lately has only been making an appearance to get him to drift off for naps.  There's not much need for a pacifier during the day when you're a cheerful little guy.  Plus apparently nibbling on his own knuckles is pretty fun.

He still enjoys a nice walk, even though the weather hasn't provided tons of opportunities for them lately.  He can stay awake in the Bjorn carrier for a decent amount of time and loves to look around from the new perspective.

He is a chatty little guy and I adore "conversing" with him in his own special language.  I never remember Orelia being quite as good at going back and forth with "oohs" and "aahs."  It is a blast.

His little coos and squeals make Orelia burst out laughing.  She is his very best friend.

We love our chubby-cheeked boy more than words can say.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Santa's Lap

We took a visit to Santa today.  Orelia got to wear her gloves and hat to look like him, and she was pretty excited this year for the visit (as opposed to terrified like last year).  Bennett was neutral, which is the most we can hope for.   Santa asked Orelia what she wanted for Christmas, and her response was perfect:  "Frozen stuff."  It's a good thing that's what she said, because she will be getting lots of "Frozen stuff" on Christmas morning.  Santa said Bennett told him what Bennett wanted for Christmas too.  "To sleep through the night."  Good one, Santa.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Painting with Bubbles

 When the clouds part for the first time in a week, you will find a way to encourage your toddler to play outside.

 "Do you want to play with chalk outside?" I ask.  No response.

 "Do you want to paint with water?"

 "Do you want to paint with bubbles?"

 Finally something that was met with more than a lackluster response.  I put some dish soap in the tupperware and we headed outside.

 I brought the chalk too, just for good measure.

 It actually rained on us twice in the thirty minutes we were outside.  I didn't mention it, and she didn't seem to notice.

At one point I snuck inside to take our Pillsbury bread dough shapes out of the oven.

 When we were done with our slightly damp but fun excursion, we had little rolls that slightly resembled stars and Christmas trees waiting for us inside as a snack.

The amount of butter slathered on for little O was bordering on obscene, but that's what childhood is for.