Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Day

There is nothing better than Christmas morning through the eyes of kids. Allison was so excited for Santa to come and while Kate wasn't as excited...she didn't much like the idea of Santa coming to our house. But no words can say express the feeling of watching them on Christmas morning. Alli went out and peeked before she came in and woke the rest of us up but she was still pretty excited.

Allison gave Santa no specifics throughout the season. She made no requests until December 23rd. She tells Ryan she thinks Santa is going to bring a scarf...well it wasn't yet on Santa's list so off went a little elf in search of the perfect scarf. It looks like he came through

Kate's new ride

Our little Dorothy

Christmas Eve

We had a great Christmas Eve with Ryan's family. We opened presents and then had a wonderful dinner. The girls love spending time with Nana and Papa and with the Martin Family. Kate loved her ruby red sparkly shoes and her baseball set with glove. Allison has not stopped playing with her Leapster and loves the legos that Shane and Chris gave her. We had a great night.

She's looking to get drafted next season :-)

Look at how big Whitney is getting. She's already hanging out with Papa

Kate loved her ruby, sparkly shoes

Alli loves to work on activity books.

Santa's Secret Adventure

So one of the many Christmas activities in Sacramento is the Polar Express. Last year we took the girls and thought it was all going to go so well. Allison had watched the movie and was excited to go. During the train ride, the hobo happened to choose her to "pick on." He asked her for her bell and she was traumatized. When I asked her if she wanted to go this year, he response was, "I never want to do that again."
So a friend made me aware of another special treat with Santa's Secret Adventure. Since Kate was having nothing to do with Santa and I thought it would be fun for Ryan and Alli to take the adventure together. They started the night with a story from Mrs. Claus and then they got to go up and see Santa himself. Alli then went and worked on a Christmas craft and then she got to take a horse ride and finally a carriage ride. I wish we would've done it earlier in the season because Allison's first response to the trip was, "But I've already seen Santa lots of times." She had a great time with Daddy nonetheless.

Murieta Golf Cart Parade and Kate's 1st visit with Santa

Normally the golf cart parade takes place the night of the Christmas Tree Lighting but this year it was a few weeks after. We headed over to check out the golf carts before they headed off en route to our house. There was another visit with Santa but this time Kate was willing to sit on Santa's lap since he had candy canes next to him. The girls chatted with Santa and enjoyed some hot chocolate. Once Santa was loaded on the lead fire truck we took off for home to watch the parade from out driveway. The girls had fun waiting for him to drive by along with all of the wonderfully decorated golf carts.

Alli loved seeing Santa yet again.

Kate sat with Santa for the very first time. She agreed to shake his hand and he took a hold and pulled her to him. I wasn't sure how she'd react, but she went along.

The girls were excited to hear the fire trucks and Santa coming down the way.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A great day with friends

Last Thursday, Evan and Calum came over for a playdate. We get to see them quite a bit through Tricks and playdates, but this time Mrs. Bressington had to work so the boys were here for a good part of the day. The boys are always well behaved and it's extra fun because they are so similiar in age to the girls. We played for a bit in the house and then I thought it would be fun to get outside and get some fresh air even if it was a little on the cold side. We set off for a scavenger hunt and the kids had a lot of fun searching for nature treats.

One of the kids found a big stick and Kate took over knocking down leaves

Calum took a break from the action to say "cheese"

On the way back Allison and Evan took the lead

While Kate and Calum held up the rear

Christmas Cards

This year the mailing of Christmas cards was a family affair. Allison loves to put the stamps on letter sna bills so she was insistent on stamping our Christmas cards. I was sure she would lose interest and she did, but not until 95 cards in and with only 3 left to go. I talked her into those last three and Kate helped to stack them along the way.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

More Holiday Fun: Tricks!

We had our last day of Tricks Gymnastics before the holiday break. The girls love going to Tricks and they looked forward to their holiday show. For them, it's the same as it is every week, but they set up the benches along the room so that parents and grandparents can get a better look at the kids. Kate was fighting a fever so she couldn't participate, but I didn't want Alli to miss out so we went and just kept Kate quanantined from the other kids.

Alli was showing off her balancing skills

Here's Kate saying Merry Christmas to her coach Rachel

Here's Alli with her coach Megan

Rudolf came for a visit at the end of the day

The Craig's Christmas Party

Every year some friends of ours from Rancho Murieta hold a really fun Christmas Party. I met Deb through a toddler playgroup and then we started doing CrossFit together. I'm proud to say that she kept up with it and looks awesome, but this year she also asked me to join their coed softball team. I had a blast and I'm so thankful to have played on the team and met some really great people many of whom came to the party. Deb goes all out for this party and the house is completely decorated for the holidays and looks amazing. Last year, we asked Jim and Cindy to come down and watch the girls so that we could go to the party. Kate was a little young, but still found a way to sabotage our plans. We planned to leave about 8 after she went to sleep. Instead, she stayed awake until 9:30 (a record for her) and we showed up more than fashionably late.
This year Aunt Patty was nice enough to come up and watch the girls since Shane had already reserved Nana and Papa. Patty planned a Christmas Party for the girls which included hot chocolate, stickers, stamps, and other holiday crafts. The girls had a blast. We headed over to the party and had a great time ourselves. I was not overly enthusiastic about being preggers and not being able to partake in the holiday drinking. Not that I wanted to get hammered but it's not always so much fun to stand around and watch everyone else get hammered. Ryan and I had a great time catching up with the neighbors and just enjoying a night out. Little did we know that Kate was enjoying her night in...all the way until we got home at 12:30. Patty tried to put her to bed several times, but it was not happening. I'm not sure how many 2 year olds can stay up (happily) until 1:30 in the morning, but apprently Kate can. Thanks to the Craigs for a wonderful party and a huge thanks to Aunt Patty for watching the girls and waiting it out with Kate.

Here are the girls celebrating their version of a Christmas Party

A family shot before we left...at least we got out of the house this year

Christmas Shopping: The Ranch Style

Apparently both girls thought it was appropriate to pick their nose during our photo op

Every year Allison' preschool holds a fundraiser in which the students make 12 gifts to be sold at the Christmas Store. The kids then go around and shop for the people on their list. It's fun because Allison gets to go around with her teacher and pick out gifts for the entire family. Last year we were really impressed with the gifts that she picked out for people and we looked forward to participating again this year. Here are a few pictures from shopping day.

Mrs. Meylor took Alli "shopping"

Alli and her friend Grace after their shopping trip was finished

Alli and Santa...Kate wanted not part of the Jolly Fellow

Kate preferred to sit on the other side of the room and enjoy a brownie instead

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow Day

They were predicting all time low snow levels on Monday and by Sunday Allison was so excited for snow. She woke up Monday morning and was so disappointed that there wasn't snow. Many in Murieta had snow in their yards, but I think between the hill and our late sleepers we missed out. We decided to head up the hilll a little bit and see what we could find.

We went up to Jackson and hit the jackpot...not at the Rancheria but at a little parking lot just inside town. The girls played in the snow, threw snowballs, and took a break for hot chocolate. We had a great time and then headed back in time for Allison to head to school.

It will be years before we get snow this low again, but we took the opportunity and made the most of it. I just hope the girls don't expect this with each storm.

O Christmas Tree

This was decorating weekend. A lot of our neighbors decorated last weekend, but I needed a break from the clutter and opted to wait until this weekend. Ryan had an AP History seminar on Saturday so the girls and I picked out our Christmas tree or as Ryan called it our Christmas bush. Alli picked it out and we brought it home. We spent all of Sunday putting up the decorations inside the house and decorating the tree. It started to rain the afternoon so Ryan was unable to put up the lights outside, but he promised the girls and I that he would do it on Wednesday.

Alli was a great helper while Kate preferred to take them off the tree

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The girls' first sleep over

Our old neighbors, Mike and Margo, had a huge catering job on Friday night so they asked if I could watch their daughter Emily Friday and Friday night. The girls were so excited to have their first sleepover and it went amazingly well. We spent the day going between dance class, two park visits, and many hours of leotards and tutus. The girls played well together, had a ton of fun, and even got a good amount of sleep under the circumstances. I think all of the them are looking forward to the next one.

Miss Lissa would be proud

Ring Around the Rosie

An early Christmas

Aunt Patty and Uncle Tom came up for Thanksgiving but we ended their visit with an early Christmas. The holidays are especially hard for me because my family is so far away, but I really hope to instill in the girls that the holidays is more about spending time with family rather than presents. I want them to understand the thought that goes into gift giving and so we opened presents with Aunt Patty and Uncle Tom way before we normally would have. Thanks Aunt Patty and Uncle Tom for a wonderful visit and a fun kick off to Christmas.

Kate loves her twilight turtle

And Alli loves her pink laptop

Nothing like a little collaboration