Saturday, December 26, 2009

Giggles and Squeals

The sounds around our house this Christmas were the sweetest I have ever was all 2 year old giggles and squeals around here! We had a great and very cozy and quiet Christmas this year. John said at the end of the day that it was the best that he's ever had. I agreed wholeheartedly. We didn't leave the house for almost 3 full days! I finally had to get some fresh air and make sure that my car would still start on Saturday after being in since Wednesday!

Christmas Eve day, Emmy came over to visit and brought Julia the coolest teepee (Julia refers to it as her house) that Tara made.

Christmas Eve, my parents and Sarah came over and we got busy making some cookies for Santa. Baking has never been my strong point, but Julia was a very good helper.
She loved the sprinkles and insisted on shaking them on the cookies until there were none left in the container!
She took plenty of breaks to enjoy a little bite....

And here are the finished cookies that she picked to leave for Santa. They must have been delicious because Santa ate every one of them and even left Julia a note to tell her how good they were!

Here's where the squeals and giggles came in! Julia didn't need to get up early to see what Santa brought, so we slept until a little after 9. I think her favorite part of Christmas morning was opening her stocking. Maybe it was because of the candy cane that Santa left.

We had a great time opening presents and Julia's favorite thing to say was a very excited, "WOW!" every time she opened one.

Her favorite gift this year was by far, with no competition, the play doh. She has played with it for hours everyday since Christmas. She likes to sit on the couch and make things and then put them in my lap. Then, I am supposed to ask her, "What is it?" and she comes up with the most creative answers. "Caterpillars" "Lowly worm" "Spaghetti" "A mushroom" "an oval" "a present" are some common answers. She also loves the coloring books and colors that she got. She could color for hours! Note to Santa for future's the little things (playdoh and coloring books!!!!!)

On Christmas Day, my family came over and Mom brought breakfast casserole. Here's everybody in Julia's room playing catch.

When I pull out the camera these days, Julia gets in position (standing tall and straight with her hands clasped in front of her) and yells, "Cheeseburger!"
Good times, and people keep telling me that it gets better every year. I can't imagine!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tis the Season!

We have all had such a good time this Christmas season. Julia is truly a JOY and makes everything around here more fun. My Aunt Amy and Uncle Jim sent us a homemade fruitcake in the mail this year. Miss Julia picked the nuts and cherries off the top and left us with the rest!
See that look in her eye? She knew exactly what she was doing!

John, Julia and I had a great time at the Cross County Library's open house. The Kinders (a couple who writes and performs great children's music) came to entertain all of the kids. Julia LOVED the music, but wanted to stay close to me towards the back. We met Sol there and he wanted to be right on stage with the Kinders in the middle of the action!

Here's Julia and Sol dancing and singing!

Sweet baby girl Rose had a good time too. I had to post this picture because this was the night that she officially stole my heart with her sweet smile!

Then it was on to Santa's workshop where every child got to go in and pick out a book. Julia picked a book about snowmen that we have read and read and read and read.....

I let Julia pick out her own cookie and of course, she picked the biggest one on the platter. I think all this good food around the holidays has been one of her favorite parts!

This was her Christmas party at Miss Melinda's. She cried when turned on the street to head to her house thinking we were going to leave her there. She had to sit on John's lap at first just to hold him down and make sure he wasn't going anywhere.

The cookies did help make it a little more tolerable!

Opening presents at Miss Melinda's!

We took Julia to see Santa twice this year. This was our second try when he was at Eldridge Court. She just wasn't having it and I never did get a good picture! She was only interested in grabbing the candy canes that he was offering her and running the other way!

Even with me standing beside Santa and patting his leg, she still wasn't having it!

However, she did love the blow ups at Eldridge Court this year. I spent many nights circling this area! She would scream, "other side again!" as soon as we finished looking at one side! She loved the Christmas lights that lined Falls and the ones on people's houses. What I used to think was ugly Christmas decorations has now become beautiful! Everything looks different when you see it through the eyes of a child!

Cleaning out the toy box to make room for the new!

Julia and her new handmade mittens from Aunt Jane! The only reason she took them off was because she realized that she couldn't suck her fingers with them on!

We bought Julia some new sheets, down comforter, a soft mattress pad and a new pillow for her big girl bed. Ever since we put them on, she has not looked back! She LOVES her new bed. John even took down her crib today. I have to admit, I was a little sad. It seems like its the end of an era!

In other news, John graduated from EACC with an Associates degree in Business management. His GPA was pretty remarkable and I never dreamed our lives would have headed in that direction. I am so proud and more importantly, grateful that he was able to take these two years to be at home with Julia as much as he could. We have certainly been lucky to have been given this opportunity at such an important time in Julia's life. We'll see where his years of work experience and now college degree will take him.

John has been playing alot of gigs and music lately.....which he loves. I have been sewing until my fingers bleed....which I love (well, love most of the time!) What a bonus that we can both make money being creative and doing what we love!

Here's some stockings that I made!

Julia is still the center of our universe. She has started to love singing. Her favorite songs are Happy Birthday, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, ABCs, and Night Night Night (a song my mother made up and used to sing to me at night). She knows all of the colors....even the hard ones like gray! She can recognize all of her letters and only gets a few confused every now and then. And her vocabulary is unbelievable! She can hold a conversation like an adult now and is very expressive. She keeps us rolling with what she says. You never know what will come out! She told me a couple of weeks ago while eating some dried cranberries that she was eating "cranbooties!" She refers to herself as my. Like, "look what my made."

Here she is with magic marker caps on her fingers telling me that she is 2 years old!

She tells everybody that she is "mommy's itty bitty and daddy's sweetheart!"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Month of the Birthdays!

Sweet Parker turned 2 this week and we had a great time at his Handy Mannie themed birthday party!
Julia was very entertained by the balloons and spent most of her time at the party hoarding all of them, letting them go, and then starting all over!
The birthday boy!
The pinata was the highlight of the party! You just had to pull the strings to make the candy come out instead of having 10 two year olds swinging a bat to break it. Here is Sol pulling the string. Julia has talked about "pulling the string" for the past two days. I think it definitely left an impression!

Julia only picked up the Tootsie Rolls. But, she picked up ALL of them and carried them around in both hands until we left the party. It took some major convincing to make her let me put her hard earned loot into her bag!

Julia, Sol and Maggie Grace enjoying some birthday cake.

Parker decided to hop on the pinata and scream "giddy up" when we were through with it. Hilarious!

After the Parker's party, Julia and I raced to Caldwell Discount Drug where Santa had come to visit. She wasn't having it.....end of story. I bribed her with every toy in that store. Nothing worked. When we got in the car, she said, "Mommy, I didn't no like Santa."
Saturday night, Aunt Jane, Robin and my family came over. We cooked dinner and celebrated Aunt Jane's birthday. Robin just moved to LA and is so much fun to be with. We ended the night in the hot tub and even had a buncan party. I am trying to bring buncan parties back.....why are they only for kids?
The last very special birthday that we celebrated this month was Mimi Watson's 100th birthday! Mimi is Scottie, Leslie and Robin's grandmother from Earle. I have a lot of happy childhood memories that involve Mimi and times spent at her house in Earle. The party was wonderful and there were so many people there to celebrate her life! She was beautiful and classy as always. Julia had some other ideas about how she wanted to celebrate so we had to make a quick exit. We ended our day at Pancho's restaurant where she was much happier.
After all of these birthday celebrations in the past week, Julia requests the Happy Birthday song every night before bed! She also thinks you are supposed to have cake after every meal.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Paving the Way to Stardom

Our girl is already famous. She was asked to come and have her picture taken by the angel tree at Hays Food Town. The angel tree lists the names and ages of needy children in our community that people can adopt and help them to have a better Christmas. Julia wore her Christmas best and her picture showed up in color on the front page of our local paper. How silly that her momma is SO PROUD!

I have heard reports that there are no angels left on the tree. I am sure that is because of the beautiful girl who advertised!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My 2 Year Old Little Sweetheart!

Here is sweet Julia on the day of her birthday party! We had the PERFECT day for an outdoor weenie roast and jumpie party.

Tara and Emmy getting ready to party down in the jumpie!

Julia and Sol playing in the sandbox.

Sweet baby Rose....poor sweet girl slept right through the birthday cake!

Opening presents. Julia had to take frequent breaks to "read" the books she got for her birthday!

Julia and Chloe sharing some goldfish.

Sweet Maggie Grace loving on ShyAnn!

The jumpie was a hit! Julia loved it so much and would hardly take a nap after her party because it was still in the yard. As soon as she woke up, that was the first thing she said..."Wanna go jump in the jumpie!" Thanks to the jumpie man's generosity, they didn't come after it until way after dark. Julia definitely got her money's worth....I finally had to pull her out in the dark kicking and screaming all the way!

I am not even going to say how I cannot believe that our baby girl is 2. These two years have been, by far, the best two of my life!
When I asked Julia a couple of weeks before what she wanted on her birthday cake, she didn't not hesitate and said, "Lowly Worm!" In case you don't know him, Lowly in the cool worm and friend of Huckle's in Richard Scarry's books and movies. Julia loves some LOWLY!
Daniel Carey loved the cake! At least the frosting matched his outfit...

Ready to party!
Mattie Pace guarding the cake!

Julia having some left over cake. This picture is of her licking her fingers. She was so loud and smacked after she licked each finger. Where in the world did she learn this????

Julia's actual birthday was Sunday the 29th, even though her party was Saturday. On Sunday, John and I took her to see Curious Georgie live at the DeSoto civic center. She loved every minute and did not move!

Julia hanging out with Curious George

Lots of lights, singing and dancing! The whole program was about George flying himself to Italy to enter a meatball cooking contest. That night when we got home, I asked Julia what George was cooking. I really didn't think she would know, but she screamed out her answer of "Neatballs!" LOL!

Watching George in Daddy's lap....
Loving George....

We also took Julia to Build a Bear the Wednesday before her birthday. Here she is making the very hard decision of which animal she wanted to make. So many decisions.........

She finally picked a cute long eared bunny.

And this is her dragging bunny in his house all over the mall. She has slept with bunny every night since. She would have slept with bunny's house too, if we had let her! Her stuffed animal entourage is growing by the day.

Kissing singing Rudolph good night while sucking her fingers. Now that is what you call multitasking!

One of her favorite birthday gifts was this bowling set. What used to be our entrance hallway is now a bowling alley. Do you know how many times I have tripped over a bowling pin this week?
Julia had a wonderful birthday...thanks to our many friends and wonderful family who made it special and lots of fun. Two years with this little sweetheart is certainly something to celebrate!