Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Excuse the mess...

I'll be messing around with my html for the next couple of days while I try to figure out a new template...I promise it will be all clean and new and shiny by New Years! :)

Friday, December 26, 2008

A few pictures from Christmas Eve & Christmas Day

Christmas Eve lunch at my Grandma's house. We hadn't seen alot of the extended family in a while, so it was really nice.
Michaela with her great grandma.
And with her grandma & grandpa.
My sister, nephew and me.
Some family shots.

We went to the Children's Mass that afternoon, and then to a friends house for dinner. I didn't get any pictures, but check out this awesome house that we saw on the way to their house!

Christmas morning, Michaela slept in kind of late. We didn't get around to opening presents until around 10:30 am.
She was more interested in the paper. A monkey for the monkey!

She made out like a bandit!

We went to my dad's house in the afternoon on Christmas day. We ate posole & tamales, played lots of games, watched some movies and had a great time. We had so much fun that I forgot to take any pictures! Here is the only one I got:


I hope you all had as enjoyable Christmas as I did!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Family Moment Monday - Track Santa

Motherhood for Dummies hosts Family Moment Mondays, check her out to get more ideas on how to spend time together as a family!

This Christmas, check out the Norad Santa website to track Santa as he travels all over the globe. This is such a great website for kids that still beleive, and maybe for the older ones too. They can explore the Santa's North Pole Village, learn the history behind Santa Claus, learn "technical" data about Santa's sleigh, and follow a tally on how many cookies Santa has eaten on Christmas Eve. I think this is a great little project that NORAD is doing, and sure to keep the magic of Santa alive and well.

P.S. Check out Santa's Village. It's probably a little late to plan a trip for this year, but there is also a place where children can write to Santa and get a letter back from him in return. There is also a link with some great Christmas stories.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

It's finally Christmas in my house...

Look how huge our tree is! It looked small in the lot, but it takes up most of our front room. Yowza!
Michaela is putting her first ornament on her first Christmas tree.

Putting the angel on top.
I love nativities. Here are four of mine on the bookcase. And one more. This is my favorite because it is the one I grew up with. Just looking at it makes me teary eyed with nostalgia.
All lit up.

Our stockings hung with care.

Santa is hanging out on our entryway table.



Until Michaela wanted to play with him.




Yeah Christmas!



Friday, December 19, 2008

Homemade Baby Food

I've started making Michaela's baby food. When she first started eating solids, I wasn't worried. All the little jars read "Ingredients: Carrots" or "Ingredients: Peas". Then the jars in the next stage started listing ingredients that I had no clue what they were. I realized that Michaela probably shouldn't be eating food with chemicals or additives that were more than 5 syllables long.

I started doing my research and found this awesome website that lists all the foods and timetables for introducing them, along with combination and recipe ideas up through toddlerhood. It is actually much easier than I thought it would be. Basically I bake or steam the vegetable or fruit, puree it, freeze it in ice cube trays, bag it, and pull it out the evening before I use it so that it can defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
The biggest change came with going out though. It seemed like such a hassle to carry an ice pack with frozen food to a restaurant or friends house. For these nights I rely on bananas, pears, and avocados. None of these have to be cooked, and can easily be prepared by mashing them right before feeding.
Like I said, it is really not as hard or time consuming as it sounds. It took me about a week (just working during naps) to make enough food for a couple of months. Now I feel much better about what is going into my little monkey's tummy. :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

And so it starts...

Michaela's independent streak is starting to show itself. She all of a sudden wants to feed herself without my help. While very adorable, and great fodder for pictures, it also involves tons of clean up.




She's starting to stand up on her own too. I really think she is going to walk before she crawls. It's kind of funny to see her standing up because she is still so tiny. It looks like a newborn walking around!



Oh goodness, independent mobility, babyproofing, and many more messes, here I come!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Snow Day!*

Yesterday was a snow day! We got a couple of inches of snow, so schools were closed and Philip was able to stay home from work. Here's a shot of our backyard:

And of Michaela's first snow experience:



And of course of the puppies who loooooved the snow:



*For those of you who live in places where several inches of snow is a common occurence, please don't laugh at us sad little snow loving New Mexicans. :P

Monday, December 15, 2008

Family Moment Monday - Christmas Traditions

I am participating in a special edition of Family Moment Monday. Visit Motherhood for Dummies to read about other Christmas traditions, or to post your own.

There are a lot of Christmas traditions in my family, but one of my favorite was the placing of baby Jesus. We used to set up our Nativity Scene every year underneath the Christmas tree, but we would not put baby Jesus in the manger. On Christmas Eve every year, after we had returned from midnight Mass, one of us children would be able to put baby Jesus in the manger. I always would look forward to when it was my year to do it!

Speaking of midnight Mass, that was also a great tradition in my family. We would go to midnight Mass, and somehow Santa would have visited our house while we were gone. I still don't know how my parents did it, because I don't remember them ever taking separate cars!

My dads side of the family has never been huge gift givers. For the adults, we do a Secret Santa, which we call a Cherry Pie (because originally we put all the names in a little plastic cherry pie). The adults just get a gift for the one person they pick, usually under $20. As children we always had presents, but we usually didn't get tons of the hottest and newest toys. My grandma would get us things like socks and towels. To be honest, we loved them! In fact when I was 11 or 12, my grandma got me these two pairs of flannel pajamas that I have worn every single winter until this year, when I decided to let them go. Of course, I ran out to Walmart and got an identical pair because I loved them so much!

How about you, what are your Christmas traditions?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Here are a few pictures from our weekend. We went to the Christmas Tree lighting in Old Town on Friday night with my sister and brother in law:





And here is our first snow of the season which I woke up to yesterday morning. Yeah!!!!




To My Husband...

My husband is usually out the door and ready to go by 5:30-6am. This morning he woke up at 7. Yikes. So to counteract his bad start to the day, I want to post this, which I should have done on Sunday, but was being too lazy. I love you honey!

We got new living room furniture! Our old stuff was not bad. Granted it was all stuff we collected from various garage and estate sales when we first got married, they were in good condition and went really well with the wood floors in our old house.

In our new house they kind of looked weird. Nothing here is wood, and the color of wood didn't exactly match the paint colors. So we decided to order some new furniture from Target and Philip spent all weekend putting them together. Now when I say all weekend, I mean all weekend. We bought four pieces: entertainment stand, bookcase, coffee table, and entryway table. It probably took a collective of 7 or 8 hours to put everything together. :(

So.....THANK YOU to my darling husband who dealt with all of the missing pieces, incoherent instructions, room full of boxes, and lack of help to make our living room look nice. And thank you even more for buying me a piece of pizza for lunch when you went to Sam's Club even though I insisted that really, I could find something to eat at home. I love that you can sometimes read my mind and knew that I really really wanted to just eat a slice of Sam's Club pizza. ;)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Family Moment Monday - Christmas Letter Tips

Motherhood for Dummies hosts Family Moment Mondays, check her out to get more ideas on how to spend time together as a family!

I know there are some really good, organized families out there that already have their Christmas cards written, stamped, and mailed. I'm pretty sure though that there are other procrastinating mommies like me, absolutely determined to get those cards out as soon as possible. I always seem to have writers block, so this year I did a few google searches to see if I could get any help. Here are some of the most common suggestions I've seen:

*Start positive - Always start your letter on a positive note. Nobody wants to hear about how sad you are that the year has already come and gone.

*Keep it Simple and Short - While family and friends do want to know about the highlights of your year, they don't want to read through 2 or 3 pages of it. Try to keep your letter to a page or less for maximum family enjoyment.

*Restrain the Adjectives - I myself am 100% guilty of this one. "Our wonderful family had a fantastic year doing many amazing things, etc." Try to use your normal every-day conversational voice. Use adjectives sparingly so that when you do use one, it has a real impact.

*Include Photos (But not too many) - A photo is worth a thousand words, use them to add to your letter without making it longer. On the other hand, cramming thirty tiny thumbprint pictures from your last family vacation is just going to make your letter look sloppy. If Grandma really does want to see all those pictures, consider adding a CD full of photos for her to peruse at her own leisure.

*Use White Space - Make your letter visually appealing by leaving plenty of white space around the borders and in between paragraphs. Also consider using italics and bold to really highlight the main points of the letter.

*Be Creative - Consider using an alternative format for your card this year. I found so many neat ideas like making your letter a quiz, writing a comic strip, and rewriting a classic Christmas poem or song. I also found this great form letter, for those who have no time, but still want to make it fun.

*Read it Out Loud - Before you hit print, read your letter out loud. Most grammatical, punctuation, and vocabulary errors can be found by reading out loud. If the letter sounds awkward, it will also read awkward. (See Philip, I used my English degree for something!)

If all else fails, and there is no way that card is going to go out in time, consider sending out New Years cards! Happy letter writing! :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wii Fit Wednesday

Here are the numbers:
Weight - 165.8
BMI - 32.55

I'm actually quite pleased with myself. I only gained .2 pounds, which is quite amazing considering that we had 2 Thanksgiving dinners and I made too many pies so I've been eating leftover pumpkin pie for breakfast every morning. I did make a brothy rice soup using the turkey carcass, so maybe eating that for lunch and dinners has somehow evened out the pie factor. Ok, just one more month of yummy food to get through!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Got Skunks?

We do. Friday night we were happily hanging out after a afternoon of feasting on our belated Thanksgiving Dinner when all of a sudden we hear a sudden flurry of barks from our dogs who are supposed to be outside going potty. When they come back inside, they brang in a disgusting odor that I have never experienced before. Sure, I've run over or driven by a dead skunk on the street many a time. But let me tell you, that brief inhalation of skunk spray is nothing compared to the way it smells when your entire house is permeated with it. Here's Kira, the one who actually got sprayed. She wasn't in the least bit ashamed or embarrassed. In fact I think she was quite proud to have gotten that close to catching a cat. Even though I told her it was a skunk, not a cat, she didn't quite understand. Oh well.