Category Archives: holidays

Christmas 2012

Warning: This will be a long post. But, it’s full of pictures of an adorable little girl, so it’s well worth the read!

Our Christmases are always “messed up.” We spend Christmas Eve at my parents’ house, which is when my family has traditionally opened presents, so, rather than dragging all of our presents for Lucy to Tennessee, we modified our celebration and open our gifts here on Christmas Eve morning.

This year, we opened stockings on Dec. 23. I picked up a bunch of little stocking stuffers at Party City for no more than $1 each and a couple of little princess toys, and they were a HUGE hit! We also got Lucy a Hello Kitty digital clock off Amazon for her stocking but, after a couple of minutes, it stopped working. We’ll be calling them to get a refund.

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Lucy was SUPER excited to open her presents the next morning. She did really well this year by not disrupting them as they sat under the tree. She really didn’t go near them as well. I was one of those kids who sat by the tree, shaking presents and trying to guess what was inside the wrapping, so I was pretty impressed with my girl. She got some awesome things – an Ariel doll, a train set, a shopping cart, some Strawberry Shortcake DVDs, play food, a Barbie karaoke machine and a personalized Minnie Mouse blanket. Her “big” gift was a train table, which she loves. Yep. That’s my girl – princesses and trains.

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A few hours later, we headed to my parents’ house. Although it fell on a Monday, we chose not to go up on Friday because we didn’t want to ask someone to come check on our cats.

When we arrived, we hung out and Lucy made cookies with my mom for Santa. It was quiet since my brother and his family weren’t there, but Lucy loved getting all the attention. After our traditional dinner of Chow Mein, we headed to the living room to open presents. Lucy was SO excited to give everyone our gifts (she had been trying to ever since we walked through the door). And, of course, she was excited to open her own gifts!

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After all the presents were opened, Joe, my brother and I headed out to see a movie (The Guilt Trip. It was pretty funny.) When we returned, my dad read Lucy her 24th book, “The Night Before Christmas.” I feel like I should have had Joe take the picture. He says he’s their adopted son.

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And, Lucy put out her cookies for Santa and went to bed.

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On Christmas morning, Lucy was SUPER excited to see what Santa had left for her. She waited fairly patiently for almost an hour until we knew my parents were awake and could go over to their house. She was not disappointed! Santa brought her a princess mp3 player that play music and the princess stories, a Cinderella doll, and a box with a bunch of princess dress up clothes and accessories!

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She and Daddy also read her note from Santa (thanks, Uncle Randy, since Mommy and Daddy forgot to write one!)

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And, Snow White joined us for the rest of the day.

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Joe’s parents came up for lunch, as they do every year, and we had a great time. I love that our families get along so well and spend the respective holidays together.

I cannot wait until next Christmas. Seeing the magic through my daughter’s eyes makes it so much more fun.

Handprint Menorah Craft

When I was interviewing an interfaith family this week, the mother told me her son had made a menorah out of handprints at his preschool. I thought that was such a cute idea. It was definitely something I wanted to do for my in-laws, who are Jewish.

So, today on our way home from my sister-in-law’s house, we stopped by Hobby Lobby and grabbed some supplies. We spent around $10 after two 40% off coupons for two canvases (two pack for $3.99), 2 bottles of paint and a pack of brushes. I didn’t realize the yellow paint was more expensive but, I figure we’ll be able to use the paint and brushes for many, many other projects, so spending $10 isn’t too bad.

Lucy was psyched to paint. She talked about this the whole way home. Thankfully, it was only about a 10 minute drive. :) After we cleared a space on the table, we put down some paper towels and got to work. The first step was to paint her hands. Rather than painting both and then putting them both down at the same time, we did them one at a time. I think that was much easier for a toddler. Mom tip of the day. You’re welcome.

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We put her left hand down first and then the right, putting her right thumb on top of the print from her left thumb, which made a candle holder for the middle menorah candle.

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While Joe washed Lucy’s hands, I painted the base for the menorah. It was fairly simple, which is saying something coming from someone who has no artistic abilities whatsoever. I just painted a line from one hand to the other, then added a thick base. Then, Joe and Lucy added the flames.

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Want to see the finished product??

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Seriously, how cute is that?? And the best part is that it only took about 10 minutes to make! I have plans now for a Christmas-themed painting, which we’ll do when Lucy gets back from her trip with the grandparents this weekend. Can’t wait!

Let Me See That Tootsie Roll

We had a fabulous Halloween, and my little Tootsie Roll stole the show at every event. As I mentioned before, she won second place at this year’s Kiddie Day Parade, which she was SUPER excited about.

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Then, there was the costume contest at our favorite Mexican place. There were 5-6 kids in the contest, and before the judging began, Lucy won over the audience by dancing along to the karaoke singers. So, it was no surprise that she won the contest by an overwhelming vote. It wasn’t close and, really, it wasn’t fair to the other kids. I mean, just look at the cuteness! Apparently, one of the older girls wasn’t happy that Lucy won, as you can see in the third photo. I didn’t realize that until now. Oh well. That’s what happens when you compete against an adorable toddler!

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On Halloween, Joe left work early, and we took Lucy downtown for the annual Trick or Treat event. This may have been the last year for it so, even though I was only two days past surgery, I made a point to be there.

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After downtown Trick or Treat, we stopped by Publix (where they always give out candy and have a little “haunted house”; unfortunately, they were working on the “haunted house” when we arrived so Lucy just got some candy) and then went to Chili’s for dinner to take advantage of our Kids Eat Free coupon. We normally go through the entire Publix strip mall, but I just wasn’t feeling up to it this year.

By the end of dinner, I was feeling pretty awful, so I went home to rest. Since we don’t live in a neighborhood with many houses for Trick or Treating, Joe took Lucy to a Trunk or Treat event at a local church and said that she had a blast.

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When Lucy got home, she had to check out her loot.

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She hasn’t eaten any of it. She doesn’t want to. She just wants to sit and look at it. She’s weird. And, of course, her attitude toward it doesn’t make it fun for us to eat for her. I did eat a mini bag of M&Ms, and she flipped out when she saw the bag I forgot to throw out. She still brings it to me and gives me her sad eyes. Nothing like a little Mom guilt.

Now, I can’t wait until next year. I’m already thinking about what Lucy will be. Maybe Strawberry Shortcake!

Mother’s Day 2012

We had a super low-key day on Mother’s Day, which was perfect. The day started off with a breakfast of donuts (yum!) and some relaxing around the house. We had plans to go to a Rome Braves game, but since it poured the night before and rained up until about an hour before game time, the game was postponed.

That’s OK, though! We all napped a bit — I while Joe took Lucy to McDonald’s (only because I could.not keep my eyes open), and Joe and Lucy later in the day — and then we had a late lunch/early dinner at Armando’s, one of our favorite restaurants. We hadn’t been there in a while, and it was a great choice because there were hardly any other diners there.

After we ate, we ran a few errands, which included getting Lucy a toddler t-ball set at Target. She was SO EXCITED. Seriously. Excited was probably an understatement. We also got her a baseball hat because she INSISTED that she couldn’t play baseball without one. And, even though the ground was wet, we stopped at the park on the way home so Lucy could play for a bit.

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Lucy insists that the correct way to hit the ball is with the handle. Telling her otherwise just made her scream.

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You know what also made her mad? Taking the bat to show her how to use it. That made her SERIOUSLY mad.

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Eventually, she did try to hit it with the correct end of the bat. Unfortunately, she’s back to using the handle again. Oh well!

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I love my little athlete!

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Ringing in the New Year

We started the new year in the North Georgia mountains. Joe’s parents have a cabin in Blue Ridge, and we usually go up there for New Year’s Eve since my mother-in-law does a traditional Southern meal for New Year’s Day. We were bummed that Joe’s sister and her family couldn’t make it, but Lucy enjoyed all the attention from her grandparents.

We arrived late Friday night, and on Saturday we were up early to head to downtown Blue Ridge so Lucy could see the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, which travels from Blue Ridge to McCaysville. Lucy loves trains, and she really liked getting to see one up close. We’re thinking about taking the girls on the train ride this summer.

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We waited for the train to leave, and then we headed over to the park to let Lucy play. She completely bypassed the smaller playground and made a beeline for the large playground with the longer slides. She certainly isn’t timid! She spent a lot of time sliding down the big, enclosed slide.

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After the slide, Lucy played at the rock climbing wall. She liked to peek through the openings and shout, “Boo!”

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It was a fabulous morning. We headed back to the cabin, and Lucy took a 30-minute nap (SIGH), which meant we were all dragging the rest of the day. After sundown, we put on some Disney movies and Curious George and watched until 11:30 p.m., when we put Lucy to bed. She probably could have made it until midnight, but we decided she had stayed up late enough. The funny thing is that Lucy made it through the movies while Joe’s parents and I dozed off.

We watched the ball drop online and toasted at midnight and then headed to bed.

On Sunday, we had a lazy morning and at the typical Southern meal of greens (for wealth), black-eyed peas and rice (for luck), meat (for progress and prosperity). There was also spaghetti for the vegetarian (me!) and broccoli for my veggie-loving daughter.

We had a nice, laid-back weekend, which is what going to the cabin is all about. I’d love to the mountains one day. I always miss the peacefulness when we come back home.