Tuesday, December 27, 2011

....Ten Months....

I can hardly believe it, our little Charlotte is already 10 months old!  She has gotten so big and grown up recently.  This last month she has started clapping, waving, and even WALKING!  She babbles, says "ma ma ma" and "da da da" all of the time and she loves to play with her big sister, Lily.
 She is such a happy girl, her smiles are just so joyful and sweet.
 Our girl with her piggy, my goodness she has gotten big.  Just a few months ago that pig was just about the same size as she was, and now she dwarfs it.
As I mentioned before, our little girl is walking now.  She still crawls most of the time, but she stands unsupported a lot and can take 4-5 steps at a time.  She is so proud of herself when she takes steps!  I just know that soon she is going to be running all over the place.
Charlotte has also started playing with toys more and more, she loves her new baby dolls and her My Pal Violet.  It is so cute to see my baby girl cuddling her baby doll.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Morning

 I have been so excited for Christmas this year.  I've always loved Christmas, I love everything about it, and now Lily is old enough that she has been very excited too.  We hadn't kept the presents out by the tree because Charlotte is into everything these days so when the girls woke up they found presents all around the tree this morning.
Lily was so excited!  The first gift that she opened was a book called Alice the Fairy.  We checked it out from the library a few months back and she loved it, she asked for it to be read to her several times and was sad when we had to return it.  With that kind of a reaction to a book I figured that it was worth purchasing and she was happy to see it again.
 We gave Charlotte a baby doll so that she would stop taking Lily's.
 This was a fun project.  I had been toying around with the idea of making the girls a stick horse and I mentioned it to my friend Candice and she thought that her kids might like some as well so we got together one day and made a few stick horses.  They were a lot of fun to put together, and I think that all three of them turned out so cute!
We mimicked one of Lily's first Christmas gifts and gave Charlotte a My Pal Violet because she plays with Lily's all of the time.  I had pre-programmed it so it knew her name and was all ready to go.

Look at this happy girl!!!
 I knew that this would be Lily's favorite, she LOVES Belle and all things Beauty and the Beast.  She waited ever so patiently while Tyson cut the doll loose.
 And then carried it with her the rest of the morning.
 I made the girls some little rag quilts since their baby blankets are getting a little small, or rather, they are getting too big for them.

 We gave her one last gift to open and instead she had Belle dance on the box.
 Finally we persuaded her to open it.
 Seven potato heads all in one!
 Such a great Christmas morning!
We spent the morning at home together, opening presents, playing, and for breakfast we had the Hansen traditional aebleskivers and sausage and then got everyone dressed and ready for church.  I made the girls some new Christmas dresses, but we were running late and I forgot to take a picture.  I'll get one though, because they looked so cute together!

We spent the rest of the day with family and it was wonderful!

More of Christmas Eve

 We spent the afternoon and evening of Christmas Eve at my parents home with most of my family.  It was great because we finally got to meet my new nephew Jack.  My brother and his wife live in Virginia so we don't see them often, and little Jack was born in late October so we hadn't seen him yet.  Charlotte loved him!  Maybe a little too much...
Lily was into everything!  The other kids her age are boys and she has started to assert her authority...also a little too much.  But she had good moments too.  While grandma played a Christmas carol on the piano she climbed up and helped.
We also did our sibling and cousin gift exchange last night because Christmas Day's schedule was packed  solid.  Charlotte got her first baby doll from baby Jack.
 And Lily got a doll stroller and bassinet from baby Grace.
 Grandma and grandpa also gave Lily a stuffed (and scented) kitty.
 And Charlotte was given a stuffed elephant.
Of course the girls fell asleep in the car on the drive back home last night, which was perfect because I had some work to do to get ready for Christmas morning.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

December 24: Open a New Ornament and Christmas Story

 Christmas Eve is finally here, and it has been a busy day!  Our advent activity this morning was simple, but fun.  Each year on Christmas Eve we get the girls a new ornament for the tree and a new Christmas story book that we read as our bedtime story that night.
We knew that we would be at my parents' house for most of the day so we decided to let them open their ornaments and the book this morning before we left.
 Charlotte has no idea what to do, but she did what she does best, meaning she ripped at it with her teeth.  Finally Tyson helped her get it started and she took it from there.
 Lily's a pro, but she takes her time unwrapping, getting a small piece of paper off, setting it aside, pulling of another scrap, setting it aside (repeat)...  It seriously takes ages.
 She finally got her ornament out though.  This years ornament is the silver sleigh bell from Polar Express.  She loves the "train" book.
 Charlotte's ornament is a little lamb that says "Baby's First Christmas".
 Their story this year is called "Little One".  It tells the story of the first Christmas from the perspective of a donkey.  A sweet little story to help teach my girls about the true meaning of the holiday.
 I grew up with the tradition of getting new pajamas on Christmas Eve.  While at my parents' house this evening all of the kids opened their new jammies.
Almost all of my nephews and nieces in their new pajamas, we were missing little Gracie this year, but next year we hope to have her and her parents here with us.
 I'm such a dork, I got them matching pajamas.  Someday I'll stop making them match, I promise!!!  I think that they look rather adorable though.

Friday, December 23, 2011

December 23: Read "The Night Before Christmas"

 Good golly, is tomorrow really Christmas Eve?  You'd think that with doing and advent calendar it wouldn't sneak up on me like this.  Not too much left to do, but enough to keep me busy.

Today's activity was easy because I anticipated a busy day for today when I came up with this whole idea last month.  Our plan was to sit by the tree in our PJs and read "The Night Before Christmas."

Once the girls were ready for bed this evening Lily climbed into Tyson's lap and I set Charlotte next to her while he read the story.
 It was one of my favorites as a child, I even had it memorized a long time ago.  It brings back fun memories for me of my own Childhood at Christmastime.  I hope that these girls learn to enjoy it as much as I always have.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 22: Visit the Botanical Gardens

Today's Christmas advent activity was a visit the the Botanical Gardens with two of my sisters and their families.  Every year the Idaho Botanical Gardens puts on their "Winter Garden Aglow" and this is our 3rd year going.  There are just so many beautiful lights in an interesting setting and the girls really enjoy it.
It was sure cold, but we bundled up and survived.  Charlotte only managed to stay awake for the first half hour or so, but during that time she was cheerful and enjoyed the lights and the fires.
I tried to take a few picture, but they don't even come close to doing it justice, it is such a pretty setting.
I love Christmas lights, they just make my heart happy.
Lily loved the little trees with the flower lights on them.  She kept going up to them, touching the lights and telling us what color it was.

This was also the first year that Tyson was able to come with us, poor guy always has to work, so it was fun to have him come along.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 21: Make Christmas Candy

 Christmas is getting so close, and even though my list of things to do is getting shorter and shorter, there are still some major projects that need to be finished in the next few days.  I'm not stressing out though, everything will get finished in time.

Today's advent activity was one that I grew up doing with my family, and that was to make Christmas candy.
Today when we were done reading about what our activity would be Lily jumped up and yelled "scrip" which is "scriptures" and ran to get daddy's scriptures so that we could read our Christmas scripture for the day.
In past years we have made more things, but we simplified a bit this year and just made caramels and fudge.
Because of the nature of this project, the girls couldn't participate to much, but Lily was happy to be there, and of course to lick the spoon when we were all done.
 I let Lily help me make today's pizza dough though, since she loves helping me add items to the mixer.  We had BBQ chicken pizza for lunch on a bianca crust, Tyson's favorite pizza, and boy was it yummy!  Totally worth the 3 hours to make the crust.