Friday, December 31, 2010

Our 2010 Review (Part 3)

September: Ella turned 1! We picked apples. Lots of apples. Again and again. Lydia went to her first movie, Beauty and the Beast. She still tells the story of who she went with, where she sat and how the Beast was scary before becoming the prince as if it happened just yesterday.

October: We celebrated Halloween all month long!! We celebrated with our moms club, at the Y, at the zoo, in the Falls, in Germantown. The girls picked pumpkins. Paul and the girls (really just Paul) carved pumpkins. We jumped in leaves.

November: Grace turned 4!! We celebrated her birthday, them did it again and again and again. David & Jenny came to visit for a weekend. Grandma & Grandpa Borneman spent the night. Grace and Lydia completed a Thankful Tree pulling paper leaves off a cardboard tree, stating what they're thankful for, and getting a leftover Halloween treat.

We celebrated Christmas all month long!!! This time, Grace and Lydia had an Advent calendar with daily activities and treats. Grace dragged us around the tree farm in search of the perfect tree. Ella learned to walk. We caught up with lots of friends and family. We have been blessed with a healthy (aside from the many ear infections and colds) 2010.

Bring on 2011!! Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our 2010 Review (Part 2)

May: Paul finished his first marathon. I ran my first 1/2 marathon. Lydia got her first ear infection. Ella had yet another ear infection. We got the pool out for summer swimming. We planted the garden. Grace fell in love with baseball. Read one of many May posts here.

June: We all walked in the Relay for Life in Germantown. We went strawberry picking a lot and made lots of jam. Ella started crawling. Ella also got her first tooth. Grace and Lydia spent many hours enjoying the zoo. We went to the Schuh Family reunion.

July: We went to Grandma Dawn's and Grandpa Charlie's for a long weekend. We celebrated the 4th of July by going to the parade with a bunch of friends. Another weekend, we went to a larger lake (much larger) in Escanaba where we celebrated a family wedding.

August: Paul and I got away for a weekend alone in Door County. The girls (and us too) spent many days at local beaches soaking up sun and sand. I experienced a moment of craziness and headed out to the State Fair without Paul (only for a couple hours). Grace went on her first ferris wheel ride at State Fair. Lydia matched her a few weeks later with many rides at Bay Beach followed by Pedersen Family reunion. We went to Madison for a day with some great college friends where we joined Bucky and many football players for Badger Day!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Our 2010 Review (Part 1)

January: We spend much of January fighting colds, coughs and ear infections. Since I must have been sleep deprived (or crazy) I tried to potty train Lydia and take away her pacifier. We finished the month by celebrating Paul's 32nd birthday. Grace believes that she is Cinderella. Read more about January here.

February: Lydia turned 2! Ella started eating solids food! Grace has moved beyond dressing up her dolls and just dresses Ella. Read more.

March: Ella started rolling over. Grace spends quality time learning to cook. We spent a weekend a waterpark with Grandma & Grandpa Borneman. Lydia got her first black eye. (Definitely not her only of the year). Paul ran his first 1/2 marathon. I was warned that Lydia doesn't like to go to bed at night. Here was a conversation from 9 months ago.

Just tonight after both Ella and Grace were soundly sleeping in their beds, Lydia comes strutting downstairs.

Mom: "It's time for bed."
Lydia: ""But I'm happy."
Mom: "You need to go to bed now, so that you can be happy tomorrow."
Lydia: "But I'm happy NOW."

The victory goes to Lydia...again.
Lydia's awake as I am writing this after 10 pm following countless failed attempts to put her to bed. Seriously, it can't be normal for a 2 year old to need so little sleep.

April: I took a month long break from blogging (sorry). We spent a ton of time outside enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. We decorated Easter eggs outside with our friends, We had many Easter egg hunts, Diesel turned 5 (is that 35 in dog years)? Paul and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary!

I'll have more tomorrow.

(I meant to have pictures to go with the posts, but I switched computers and the pictures are on the old computer - and I am too lazy to go download them).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Watch Out

Watch out world! Ella is finally walking. She has been able to stand by herself for many months. Remember these pictures from nearly 4 months ago!! I haven't exactly been looking forward to this moment when I have 3 little girls walking. Considering that Ella is such a little peanut weighing in at barely 20 pounds, I would rather carry her than chase an extra little one around parking lots, grocery stores and every other place that my children roam freely.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Christmas

Grace and Lydia had been waiting to give each other the gifts that they bought for one another as long as they've had them. Both girls had carefully selected gifts for their sisters, Mom, Dad and Diesel. Although everyone knew what they were getting by Christmas morning, they were thrilled when they opened their gifts! (Really? You don't expect a 2 yr old or a 4 yr old to keep any secret, do you)?

Grace bought Lydia a princess puzzle. Lydia bought Ella a princess puzzle!

See!! Grace looks surprised even though Lydia told her 1o times a day that she bought her a puzzle.
Santa brought the girls a giant inflatable princess castle!
And left even more gifts inside of it.
Ella got her very first princess doll (that Lydia quickly claimed. Ella hasn't seen her since).
We spent the morning opening gifts and playing with the new toys. We all took needed afternoon naps before playing some more and skyping with family.
Merry Christmas (a couple days late)! We hope you had a great Christmas! We are blessed to have so many family and friends to have celebrated the holidays.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas at the Murphy's

Every gathering at the Murphy house is loud and filled with lots of family. Christmas is no exception.

Jalyn and Great-Grandma Murphy
I think Jalyn might just be trying to get into a lot of pictures. I am nearly certain she doesn't like Tyler this much!
Todd and Taylor
Kelsey loved spending quality time with the entire family (this is evident by her sitting in far corner of the room by herself texting).
Lydia loves her princess towel. She wore it until she had to change into her pajamas.
Barbies+Princess = one happy 4 year old (and a happy 2 year old sister)
Apparently it also means a couple of happy teenage girls too.
Ella was happy to sit by and open gifts.
Nobody told them that it isn't for them yet.
20 minutes later... they are still looking at the Princess Barbies... and now that have Tracy engrossed too.
Did you know that I have a couple of little Badger fans? Apparently so does Deena, since she bought Grace a super cute new Badger shirt that she quickly modeled.
Until she got a bit further into the pile and found the Barbie mermaid costume.
Add one more Barbie and a scarf and call it a good night.

We were glad to take home bottles of Irish Cream and Jack Daniels Whiskey. Maybe not the best gifts in the gift exchange, but way better than 48 packages of Ramen noodles.

Thank you to Grandma & Grandpa Murphy for all the great gifts and food; Ken (and Tara) for Ella's gifts; and all the other aunts, uncles and cousins for a great Christmas Eve. Thanks to Deena, (and Cody & Max) for Grace's gifts. We missed you! We look forward to seeing you all soon.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas at Grandma & Grandpa Pedersen's

We gathered at Paul's parents' house to celebrate Christmas yesterday morning. In the past 4 years, the holidays have progressively gotten busier as the kids get a little older each year.
Ella just got her fifth tooth. The one on the bottom right. Maybe the nonstop drooling will subside a bit.
Aunt Sara and Erick opening a gift.
Grace and Lydia are thrilled to give gifts this year. I can only dream that this behavior remains for many years to come. Grace and Lydia are anxiously waiting for Nona to open the gift that they chose for Nona.
Lydia is excited about getting fun books to read.
Jesse helped Ella open a couple of her gifts.
Lydia and Grace opening gifts.
Nona modeling her beautiful makeup job. As much as Grace wanted Nona to share her makeup; I should have been relieved that Nona refused to share. It saved me having to wipe of the layers on flattering pink on her lips, cheeks and eyes.
Hugs, kisses and thank yous for everyone. Lydia & Aunt Sara
Grace & Uncle Jim
Lydia and Grandpa Pedersen
Grace thinks Colorwonders are pretty cool. She shows Grandpa how they work.
Lydia found someone to read her lots of books.

Thanks Grandma & Grandpa Pedersen, Judy, Jesse, Brenden, Elizabeth, Jesse, Sara, Jim, Nona and Erick. We had a great time!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas with Grandma Dawn & Grandpa Charlie

The Schuhs came down for Christmas with us on the 23rd. The first priority, Grace insisted, was for Grandma to read her a princess Christmas book. It's a book she's read enough with the parents to have partially memorized. (We're glad to have another person read the book...or any book.) They brought Barbie dolls, a Barbie doll house, Christmas music, a jumping ball, a tent, and more. Among the gifts were two new favorites: felt groceries for Ella and Dora mermaid doll for Lydia. Ella quickly enjoyed her toys and shared with those around her. Once Lydia learned the mermaid could wiggle her tail after a quick wind-up, she was hooked. Grandpa even showed her how to get the mermaid's tail to flick her nose.

Then, Grandpa showed the fun of teaching bad habits. He helped Lydia and Grace take turns bouncing on Lydia's new jumping ball.

All is good and calm until Paul brings up another one and they become a weapon. Grandma and Grandpa got walloped quite a few times. I have a feeling these toys are going to quite a few opportunities to be in time out.

Somebody is being a grump.

Perhaps it was all the flash photography.

Thanks for coming down for Christmas, Grandma and Grandpa.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Fun with Friends

We kicked off 4 day long Christmas celebration with a fun play date before our whirlwind of family celebrations.

Grace and Lydia spent the morning playing with Kylie, Ella, Hannah and Lauren.
After lots of playing and patiently waiting, the girls gave their friends the gifts that they had carefully chosen. If it were up to me, I probably would have bought all their friends the same girly gift, but Grace & Lydia set the bar much higher by carefully selecting each person's gift.

Merry Christmas to all our fabulous friends!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Family Game Night and Fondue

We had another December family game night tonight. Grace & Lydia LOVE to play games. Tonight they chose Princess Yahtzee.

Ella plays on the steps while we play games.
After playing a game, we had chocolate fondue for our dessert/snack. We are definitely not going to win any awards for winning healthiest parents of this month. We had marshmallows, graham crackers, cookies, and peanut butter balls to dip in chocolate.
Ella quit playing on the steps when she saw food. She quickly claimed her own big chair too.
Lydia is in heaven with her chocolate dessert. She doesn't skimp on chocolate at all.
Lots of chocolate makes Lydia a happy toddler.
Ella's favorite food by far is peanut butter balls. She manages to shove the entire ball in her mouth every time. Maybe this will be the month that our 15 month old peanut breaks 20 pounds...