Thursday, December 29, 2011

Funny, Funny Girl

Sammie B's response to "use your muscles to help you stand" . . .

This little girl makes my world go 'round!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Fourth and a First December





No Smiles For That Guy This Year!

Sammie B looks miserable, doesn't she? I hate that the elves just plop the kid on Santa's lap and give them no time to "warm up." Just moments after this picture, and after Santa told Sammie B what HE wanted for Christmas (a hippopatomus pillow pet), she was laughing and smiling.

For pictures with Santa in years past (and more of Sammie B's slightly shell-shocked "get me off his lap" expression), go here.

Christmas was Merry and Bright - A Christmas Photo Bomb For YOU!

My December has been decidedly barren of blog posts . . . which means (as it often does) I have a lot of heavy stuff going on in my head and life, lots of thoughts just sort of swimming around incoherently in my mind, and I just haven't managed to put it all in a coherent post. Those thoughts don't belong in my Christmas post, though, and I DO want to share our holiday with you. Because our Christmas was nothing short of magical, merry and bright and I spent my holiday just soaking in the joy of being with my two daughters.

So here goes . . . your picture-heavy play-by-play of our holiday.

First, the tree, which we put up the day after Thanksgiving, and which is coming down today . . . Sam LOVED decorating it and would exclaim "me tree!" anytime she saw it. (We are working on "My Tree!" ;o))

A few nights before Christmas, we had our annual Christmas celebration with our nanny and her mom (we are so, so blessed to have them BOTH in our lives.). As we've done the last two years, we celebrated with a totally low-key dinner of taco-stand tacos (delicious ones) and presents. Sammie B started out the evening a little sleepy and not THAT into the gifts . . . until the last present. A big red tunnel from her nanny. (She knows our girl!) Sammie B came ALIVE. Everyone took a turn in the tunnel, and Sammie B was absolutely ecstatic. Each day since then, she's requested to play with her "red tunnel" and usually demands that each one of us get in with her.

Mia slept in my wrap nearly the whole time, which is her favorite place to be. B was kind enough to open her presents for her :)

And, the next night, we went to see this amazing display of holiday lights on a street near us. Sam kept copying me and saying "It's SO pretty here!" (It was!). She also kept pulling my hair (I hadn't carried her in the Ergo on my back in while) which was not so cool. More on how our previously 100% angelic three-year-old has been challenging us and requiring disciplining in another post! (PS - we know - it's healthy for her to be challenging us!).

On Christmas Eve Eve, B had to work, so I put Miss Mia in my wrap (notice a pattern? she loves it there!) and Sammie B and I made a gluten-free (!) gingerbread house. Mostly I made the house and she ate the candy. A good time was had by all!

Then, on Christmas Eve, the girls donned their Minnie Mouse shirts and we went to Disneyland (for our second year in a row). That day was pure magic. The crowds are insane, but the park is BEAUTIFUL at Christmas time and I love, love, love seeing it all through the eyes of my Sammie B. B and I took turns wearing Mia (he's a bjorn guy, I'm an ergo girl, if you were wondering) which worked perfectly to allow the other one of us to be with Sammie B. Mia of course won't remember the day, but she DID ride her first rides (starting with Dumbo, of course!). From the character breakfast in the morning (Sammie B just kept asking every character for Elmo, we kept explaining he lived on Sesame Street, not at Disneyland and B kept apologizing to the characters on her behalf; though she was thrilled with Winnie the Pooh and did NOT ask him for Elmo) to the parade that night, we had a blast. We also took a ton of pictures.

After a very exhausting (but fun!) day at Disney, we headed home where we had a very late dinner and the girls fell asleep. Then, B and I opened a bottle of wine and assembled toys and waited on Santa to stuff stockings!

We were absolutely wiped out but it was well worth it the next morning . . . to see the smiles on BOTH girls' faces! Sammie B's smile when she came downstairs and saw her loot was priceless.

Her two big-ticket items, a slide (from Santa) and a double wagon for her and Mia (from Nana and Papa) were both a HUGE hit.

We finished opening presents (you'll even see that Mia enjoyed hers -- she smiled so big!), Nana and Papa even joined us via skype to watch Sammie open the presents they'd sent (and to marvel at her propelling herself down the slide with utter and complete glee! We take no movement for granted).

And, finally, after the presents were open and our living room was sufficiently destroyed . . . we had a delicious breakfast that I made -- my mom's breakfast casserole, though it was NOT as good as when she makes it (hey, I tried!). As we sat at the dining room table, Sammie B kept asking for "more candy!" and "me candy!" (Santa had put M&M's in her stocking). B kept telling her "not now, not for breakfast," and then he said, "can you use big girl words?" (We are really trying to discourage demanding things by saying "me! me! me!") and our girl said, "Can I have some more candy at this big table please?" (We obviously don't eat in the dining room often!) Guess what? After looking at each other with such pride and happiness and complimenting our girl on her very, very, very big girl words, B gave Sammie B some more candy!

As I sat at breakfast and looked at my two girls, my heart just felt so happy. It is totally and completely cheesy, but I started crying. B looked at me like "what is wrong?" and I said, "I'm just so happy. I can't believe they are both mine!" And, I meant it. The thing is, it wasn't even a perfect moment in the sense that we think of "perfect." Sammie B was demanding candy with "me candy! me candy!," Mia was crying in my wrap and I was up sort of bouncing her around and singing trying to sooth her . . . yet it felt absolutely perfect and right. So, as I reflect on my very very merry Christmas and the other heavier stuff swimming in my head, maybe that's what its all about -- we aren't looking for "perfect" in the sense that nothing is ever hard or heavy. Just in the sense that it feels perfect and right. And, loving these two girls it the most right and perfect thing I've ever had the pleasure of doing. I am so, so lucky to be "mama."

After presents and breakfast (tears and all), we went outside for a wagon ride. As we passed others out walking, Sammie B would lean out her wagon and say "Merry Kih-Mas!" and one time, B said, "Sammie that's SO NICE of you to wish him a Merry Christmas," to which Sammie B replied "Thank you Dada!". Sweet girl!

All WAS Merry and Bright! I hope your holiday was just as merry and bright.

Now, to go take that tree down and ready ourselves for my mom's (Gigi) arrival (and MORE CHRISTMAS!) tomorrow!!!