Thursday, December 31, 2009

Celebrating Christmas in Fairfield

 Mira enjoyed some Baby Einstein on the way to Fairfield. Otherwise, I don't think Kenny and I would have made it!!

Cousin Avi!

It was cold! She liked cozying up with her blanket in the car.

Hanging out with Aunt Coco, Avi, and Sofi while Mommy, Daddy, Uncle Kenny, and LaLa make a DQ run!!

"Ice" Skating (it was a waxy sort of plastic) - apparently, according to Kenny, it was not the same as skating on ice. Notice Kenny wore his Tacky Sweater for the fake ice skating event - it seemed appropriate!

Avi & LaLa

Aunt CoCo and Mirabelle on the square.

Avi - skating at her own risk...

Mira really liked sitting in the sleigh with CoCo - she was bouncing up and down and squeeling with delight!

Beautiful little Eskimo baby!

Having a grand time despite the biting cold! (Speaking of "biting" - check out that molar!)

Family pic in the sleigh - Tacky Sweater and all...

Awww...they really do love each other! Avi put this outfit together all by herself - notice it says "Buy Me" on the t-shirt...well, really it says "Buy Me Something". We thought this was pretty darn funny. Thankfully, there were no offers.

Avi and Mira matched - and they didn't even call each other to plan this!

Taking a ride on Barbie's Caddy - later, she tried to get into the convertible!

We had such a great time, as usual! We played tons of games - two favorites being In a Pickle and Pictureka! We had lots of fun while there and laughed ourselves silly on more than one occassion. The girls all pitched in and built a gingerbread house...Ultimate Bake-Off style - I could barely handle the pressure!! The judges were pretty harsh...

LaLa was in a rush to finish the gingerbread house so she could eat it...looks pretty tasty, right? It collapsed soon after this picture. Oh, well...

On one of the days, Kenny and I thought it was a great idea to let Olivia practice driving. So, we went over to the High School parking lot and let her take the wheel. She did a fabulous job - Mira even fell asleep while she was cruising, so that's pretty good! She was turning, parking, and reversing like a pro; she only bumped into about 3 imaginary cars and scraped a couple more...that learner's permit is practically hers!

We had a wonderful time visiting with Nanny and Pappy, too. They came over to Kenny and CoCo's to do the big gift exchange, but by the time we had eaten dinner, Mira was so sleepy, we went ahead and put her to bed. So, we went over to Nanny & Pappy's the next morning so Mira could open her gifts.

We also squeezed in some time to visit with some friends, Julie & Casey, and their 8 week old baby boy, Cameron. He was such a doll! He was about the size Mira was when she was born (he was a preemie) - I couldn't remember Mira being so small!!! And, of course, they think he's gotten so BIG!  =)

Well, we had a blast visiting with everyone, but we were sure glad to get back home and into our own beds.

Celebrating Christmas in Fulshear

We did a little traveling for Christmas this year. First, we headed down to Fulshear, TX where Grandma Sheila & Papanui live. We were also joined by Mira's Aunt Kara & Uncle Kellen - we had so much fun seeing everyone!

We arrived on Christmas Eve after a long drive (about 5 hours). Mira only slept about 30 minutes of the drive, so it felt even longer than usual! She does not like being in her carseat at all!

One of the first things we did was make sugar cookies! Grandma Sheila just happened to have a little apron exactly Mira's size! She really loved it! She smiled so big once it was on, rubbed it, clapped her hands, and posed for us.

She was a big helper pouring in the ingredients and mixing the dough with Papanui! She really got into it - both literally and figuratively!!

Papanui and Grandma Sheila had the train set up (complete with village and winter wonderland!) - Mira loved it! It has a few years on it and didn't always want to stay on the track. But Papanui was ever-so-patient and re-built the train over and over, so Mira could watch it go around a couple of times before crashing again!

On Christmas morning, Mira opened her gifts from Santa and her stocking from home (Grandma Sheila and Papanui had a stocking for her at their house, too!). We waited to open all the other gifts later, once Uncle Kellen had arrived.

Santa brought her the LeapFrog Alphabet Catapillar, a couple of great books, some tub toys, and two bottles for her baby dolls.

Admiring all the stockings!

She's a pro at feeding her dolls - see the "no-look" feeding?!

A little for you...a little for me...and a little more for me...(she kept "drinking" even though nothing comes out)!

She's found the chocolate kisses in her stocking. She knows exactly what to do and can unwrap them with no help at all!

Still working on that chocolate - she's very patient with this project.

More stocking stuff - some de-tangler for her hair, Post-It flags (they are so fun to pull out of the dispenser!), a giant candy cane (she got about two licks before we put it "away"), a new toothbrush with toothpaste, a Starbuck's travel cup, and some snacks.

Reading my new book with Grandma Sheila - aren't their p.j.'s adorable??! Mira got the partridge p.j's as her Christmas Eve gift, but she has those exact owl pajama's at home!!

Later, we finally got around to decorating the sugar cookies. Mira wasn't quite as interested in this part of the process - perhaps because it was getting late, and she was ready for bed. But, she managed to get one cookie iced and sprinkled (with PapaNui's help, of course). I think she really liked standing on the stool like a big girl! Can't wait until she's old enough for the Learning Tower!

The finished product...

We had such a great time! We played games, ate, drove through the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights, had a bite to eat, cooked, enjoyed some great food, baked, indulged in sweets and treats, watched movies, dined in, did some shopping, dined out, and even took a dip in the hot tub! I'm so glad we all got to spend some time together!  =)

From there, it was on to Fairfield to spend some time with the Hughes (and eat some more)!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Some early Christmas celebrations

Mira's first candy cane - from Ms. Karen at the gym nursery!

Mira's second candy cane - from the guy at Monjuni's (we're sort of regulars there!)

Look at the damage she's already done on this thing! She only had it about 2 minutes total before we deftly took it and scooped her up and away - not a single tear was cried!

Matthew, Casey, and Mason came over to visit - we had dinner and exchanged gifts. We had so much fun! Mira is opening her gift with some help from Casey.

Mason's turn!!! What's in there!?

We had to get a shot of them together on the sofa. Mira had already lost her pants by this point...

Can't believe how much they've grown since...

...last New Year's Eve!!!

The evening was sealed with a kiss! How adorable are they!!???

Sunday, December 13, 2009

In the Hanukkah Spirit!!

I made latkes, a traditional Hanukkah dish, yesterday for the first time. They are basically like a hashbrown - fried potato pancake - but way better! Man, have we been missing out!!! They were so delicious - so crispy and potatoey! I know my staging and photography doesn't help sell them, but they were so good, there was no time for any of that (we were scarfing them down too fast!!), and they really didn't need to be fancied up!!

I also made some baklava. Kenny has been hounding me to make some forever. It's been so long since I made it last, that I forgot how great a good baklava is. It's so much better when you make it at home. I must toot my own horn and say that this was the most amazing baklava I have ever put in my mouth!!! Baklava is a labor of love - it's extremely time intensive if you do it correctly. It takes a lot of patience to lay those thin sheets of dough down two by two and resist plopping four or five in at a time! It was worth it - it looked and tasted fantastic!

Dear Santa...

Last year...

This year (same Santa!)...

She calmed down pretty quickly.