Thursday, December 29, 2011

Lunch Date

Since Todd and Michael have been spending a few days with Todd's dad at their country house, Katie and I have been getting in some quality girl time. Even though I am home with her every day, we rarely get one on one time as I watch David during the week and Michael is home the rest of the time. I tried to think of something fun that we could do together so I asked Katie out for lunch. She said yes and was so excited. I told her that she could pick where we would go. Of course she chose her favorite place, McDonald's!

We both got ready to go and loaded up into the car. When we got there, she got to pick out what she was going to eat and we went over to the table. It was so nice not to have to fight with her as she sat right down. We chatted while we ate lunch and she told me that she loved me so much. It felt so good to have that time together, just the two of us girls. It gives me a glimpse into what I hope our relationship will develop into as the years go on and she gets older.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Katie's Christmas Present

Ever since Katie climbed out of her crib a few weeks ago, we decided that she would need to convert into the full sized bed sooner rather than later. So Todd's parents generously bought her a mattress, Dora sheets and Dora comforter for her big Christmas present from them. It was ordered the weekend before Christmas and delivered to the store later in the week. We were getting ready to go out of town so Todd picked it up today.

We had to do some rearranging of Katie's room to fit everything in there as she has quite a bit of furniture. After trying several combinations, we found one that seems to work. I put the Dora sheets and comforter on the bed. She was so excited when she came in and saw that her new bed was together and ready for her to sleep in (not without some issues getting it put together).

Tonight was the first night that I did not rock Katie before putting her in bed. We had to move the rocking chair out to make enough room for the bed. I asked her if she wanted her music on and she told me no. I guess that she is really growing up.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Cookie Party

Katie and I went to a cookie baking/decorating party today. It was fun for the girls to do something together. There were 5 other little girls there and it was so cute to see them all together. Each girl had her own little apron to wear while they made cookies.

Katie wanted to use the cookie cutter over and over again in the same place on the cookie dough and then pat it down. She did seem to enjoy doing it though. After the cookies were baked, it was time to decorate them. Katie really enjoyed this part of the process. She started getting the icing and putting it on cookies. She was moving it with her finger around the cookie. Next thing I know I look over at her and she has the tip of the entire bottle of icing in her mouth. She can't get enough either because she tried to pick up other bottles off the table. Guess she had a good time!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Happy Castle is Full

Katie has been working on potty training over the past 5 months. She pretty much mastered peeing after a few weeks but pooping in the potty has been another story entirely. She refused to use the potty and much preferred to do her business in her underwear. Then she would do it in the potty but only when Todd was here.

A while back we pulled out the castle with crown stickers that goes with her little potty. We told her that if she filled up the castle with stickers, then she could get ballerina panties. She started calling it her "Happy Castle". Whenever she would poop in the potty, she would get so excited to put a sticker on her castle. And when she didn't, she would say that the castle was sad. Over the past few weeks, she has been going more in the potty, getting closer to filling up her castle.

On Friday night, she got her final sticker to fill up the "Happy Castle", which has 12 stickers. I told her that we would go to Target in the morning to get her ballerina panties. She informed Todd and I that she was only going to poop in the potty from now on. This is the first time that she has said this so let's hope that this is a good sign.

We are so proud of Katie for this accomplishment. Whoever said that potty training girls was easier clearly did not have Katie as their daughter!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Lights at the Zoo

Saturday night we went to see the Holiday Lights at the Zoo. We went with some of Michael's friends from his preschool class last year and their families. The 4 older boys were so happy to see each other after not getting together for a while. As usual, Katie was the only girl there as the only other younger sibling was a boy.

The weather was nice and clear but it was pretty cold. Katie asked to go home several times as I think she just wanted to get warm, even though she had fleece mittens and a fleece hat. The kids got to roast marshmallows over a big fire pit and walked around looking at the lights.

Everyone had a fun time and it was nice to catch up with everyone. Here are the boys together:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I should have known this was coming

Yesterday morning Michael went into Katie's room after she got up to keep her company while I got out of bed. He helped her out of the crib and they both came out into the hallway.

Katie went down for her nap in the afternoon. When she wakes up, she calls to me to come get her out of the crib. Yesterday I heard her wake up on the monitor. By the time I got upstairs, she was at the top of the stairs. Katie had climbed out of the crib by herself. Since then, she has climbed out this morning when she woke up and several times last night to go to the bathroom.

She is moving to a big girl bed after Christmas so this was just right around the corner anyway. We are going to take the front of the crib off and make it a toddler bed until she gets the new mattress. To be honest, I am surprised that she stayed in the crib this long.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Visit with Santa

We took Katie and Michael to see Santa tonight after Katie's dance class. Every year we try to go right when Santa gets back from "feeding the reindeer" to minimize our wait time. We hit it right on this year as we were the second ones in line to see Santa. Both kids were really excited to see him and kept talking about what they were going to tell him they wanted for Christmas.

When it was their turn to go up to sit on Santa's lap, Michael went right up and started telling Santa all about what he wanted this year. Katie was much more hesitant. At one point, she said "I am ready to go home". After a minute or two, Todd got her to go over and sit with Santa by showing her that Michael was already sitting with him. I may have also mentioned that we would go to McDonald's for dinner afterwards.

Once Katie sat on Santa's lap, she warmed up to him and told him that what she wanted. Of course, she wants all items related to Dora. Her main thing that she asked for is a Dora blanket. Michael has been asking about getting Star Wars Legos at home but he asked Santa for the Batmobile and a Batcave with Batman and Robin. I guess that must have been something he saw on TV. It will be interesting to see what Santa brings on Christmas Day.

Santa's elves took several pictures to get a decent one, which means both kids were looking at the camera with their eyes open. As we were walking away from Santa, Katie told me that she loves Santa. The visit went better than I could have ever expected!

Here are a few of the ones Todd took:

Sunday, December 4, 2011

O Christmas Tree

Todd went to get our Christmas tree yesterday afternoon and put it up last night. Every year, he puts the lights on and I decorate it. This year, we had Michael's help. I have to say that this year was the most fun that we had decorating the tree so far. Michael was finally old enough to help out with the ornaments and understand that they can break. Katie was napping while we did most of it but even she did pretty good with not touching the ornaments. Of course, I put anything breakable above her reach, which is no easy task.

Michael was so excited to help decorate the tree and could not wait to get started today. He took all of the ornaments out and we talked about where some of them came from. After we finished with the tree, we put up the stockings inside. He also went outside with Todd to put lights on the outside of the house.

Here is a picture of the finished tree:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Cookie Exchange

My book club participated in our second annual cookie exchange last night. We had a larger group than last year, which just meant more delicious cookies to eat. Everyone brought their cookies in bags of 6 to be exchanged with others. Several of us brought extra cookies to eat while we chatted. I think that everyone had a good time. I know I did and look forward to eating the cookies over the next few days.

I made chocolate chip meringues, which is one of the cookies that I make every Christmas. My favorite cookie that I received was a mint chocolate chip cookie (it was green!). Anyone who knows me knows that I love anything mint at the holidays.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Traditions

This year we decided to start a few new Christmas traditions. The kids are old enough now to really enjoy Christmas and start to understand the meaning behind it as well.

We started off the season by donating some stuffed animals that are not being used to Michael's school We are also participating in the angel tree at our church and Todd's office. Michael got to pick the angel off the tree at church and we will go to get the gift this weekend. He is excited because the child that he picked wants an art set. I am sure that he will want one too.

Michael got to open his first Advent calendar tonight. He got the Lego Star Wars Advent calendar. This seems to be a popular item among 5 year old boys. He loved it and thought it was so neat to be able to open a different door every day, especially since each one has Legos to put together in it. I guess Katie was excited about the present too as she unwrapped it before we had a chance to give it to Michael and I had to rewrap it.

We are also giving the kids one wrapped Christmas book each day. The first one was a Dora book. I let Michael help me to wrap it this afternoon and he was so excited to see Katie open it. Both kids were really into the idea of getting a new book to read every day for one month. I have several new ones and the rest are books we already own.

This is such a special time of the year and I love doing things together as a family. To me, making memories is what Christmas is all about.