Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011

Merry Christmas!

We had a fantastic time this past weekend. Christmas is magical with kids around. And, I have to say, I love it even more now with a toddler and a baby. It's like Lola is showing Millie how great this time of year is as well (even though Millie has absolutely no idea what is going on).

Our trip started, of course, with the four-hour car ride. Made easier this time around due to an early present from Ray to Lola (although one could easily argue it was a gift more so for himself).

Lola was so tuned into her in-car DVD system that she cried when we stopped for ice cream three hours in (Millie needed a bottle).

We actually had three Christmas get-togethers, although I didn't take any pictures at the first with my Grandma Jacquie, which is sad. But I get busy and I forget...

But it was wonderful seeing family that we do not meet up with often enough...

The next Christmas was at Ray's parents' house, where Lola got to play with her cousins.

It always takes her a little while to warm up to people, but once she did, man, she had a blast.

The third Christmas was at my parents' place.

Again, it is always a joy to see the younger ones playing together.

Millie had fun, too.

Another attempt at picture of us girls. One of these years...

Daddy and Lola.

And of course there were presents...

Which led to even more playtime!


And some non-toy playtime, too.

It was a wonderful Christmas.

We came home on Monday. And, immediately, we celebrated our own little Wesley Christmas. Which meant sweatpants, a few sparkling beverages, and, for Lola, her leotard (don't ask).

A nice relaxing day. Opening gifts and, for Ray, three hours of assembly time (thanks mostly to the train table).

Millie got presents, too, but she mostly just loved the gift wrap.

So one Christmas weekend down, one more to go. We have one more Christmas this coming weekend in the Cities (our third Cities trip in three weeks) at my older brother's place with my dad.

So, even though we took down our Christmas decor the moment our kids' heads hit their pillows Monday, Christmas, for us, continues.

'Tis the season...

Merry Christmas.
- Bethany

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We took the girls to see the guy in red a few weeks ago.

To recap, Lola's first Christmas was fine. Her second involved a full-blown screamfest. And we just skipped it all together last year.

But this year we (OK, me) really, really wanted a picture of both girls together.

So I played it up with Lola for weeks.

She was so excited!

... until she actually had to go near Santa and she got scared.

So, yeah, I did get a picture of both girls with Santa.

In fact, I got one with all three girls. Lola, Amelia ... and me.

And let's just say Mommy was not expecting to have her picture taken that day.

So I'm not sharing it.

But check out Lola's face. She was not thrilled at all.

That said, I had to compare the two babies.

Lola 2008.

Millie 2011.

I swear they have the exact same expression. And, if I'm not mistaken, Lola's 2011 expression is pretty darned near identical too.
Fun times.

Really, fun times. I love the holidays.
Merry Christmas.
- Bethany :)

P.S. I must mention, also, that yesterday also was Amelia's sixth-month birthday. Love her so much.

Monday, December 19, 2011

catching up

It's hard for me to write this.

On one hand, I haven't had an update here in a long while. On the other hand, I feel like talking about my family's - mainly my kids' - happenings is trite. Our grand nephew (on Ray's side, if it matters) passed away twelve days ago. He was six months old, just three weeks older than Millie.

They shouldn't have to make caskets that small.

 He, and his family, are in our thoughts and prayers constantly.

I'll tell you what, being a working mom is hard enough on a daily basis. But, ever since the baby passed, it has just been that much harder to leave the girls every day, particularly Amelia. Lots of hugs here.

The girls continue to amaze - and humor - me daily.

Lola is finally taking an interest in her letters. But I am trying not to push her. She can now spell her name and recognize about 50 percent of the alphabet. But if I push too much, she withdraws. So I'm taking my cues from her.

She is still the sweetest kid around. Even at daycare, she is always making sure all of the little ones have toys before she will go get one for herself. She is constantly worried about Amelia and making sure she is entertained and happy.

Now that Millie is getting older and is more, well, active, Lola has really begun to bond a bit with her. Amelia is still the happiest baby - she rarely cries and usually just wants to grin and giggle.

"'Milia smiling at me, Mama!" Lola beams whenever her sister grins at her. And when Lola isn't around, Amelia is constantly looking for her.

I love it.

So here's what we've been up to...

Princess Lola.

Even princesses play with trucks.

"Please don't eat me," thinks Amelia about the the very-fat cat.

I was not prepared for how much Lola would hate sharing Amelia's toys with Amelia. She thinks they should all be hers and she can decide which ones Millie can play with at any given time.

Sweet Millie. The most un-motivated baby in the world. She has no desire to roll over or try to move around. This is about as far as she gets. That said, she is now, occasionally, sitting on her own.

Never would I have expected to still be playing outside on a fairly regular basis with a 6-month-old in Bemidji. But we have spent more than a little bit of time the last few weeks biking, walking and playing outside.

Loves loves biking and Amelia loves ... well ... everything. But she certainly enjoys the fresh air.

And, while the kids are having a good time, us adults are doing pretty all right also. I'm getting a little used to our new crazy schedule (Ray worked 80 hours last week and is on pace to surpass that this week).

With Ray working so much, I've been a little creative in coming up with fun things for the girls and I to do, especially on weekends.

Enter cake pops.

This is something I did once before, we not-great results. But I didn't have the right stuff then (my husband insisted on trying a "cheaper" version).

This time, the girls and I went at it ourselves.

And they turned were marvelous. The cake pops. Well, the girls, too, but I was talking about the cake pops.

Lola mixing everything up.

"I'm not so sure about this."

Millie was just happy to be included in the fun.

Lola rolling everything into balls. (I love Millie's expression, as if she is wondering why she can't help, too...)

Lola doing some dipping.

Her favorite part.

OK, the dipping was her second-favorite part.

Fun times.

One more post coming yet this week.

I have the share the Santa experience...

- Bethany :)

P.S. One guess as to who got to pick out the color for the cake pops...