Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Recap

It's been a busy few weeks around here, as I'm sure most of you have experienced as well (hence my lack of posting lately).

Christmas started for us on Saturday the 21st when my Dad and Colleen came out for a visit. We had a nice dinner (I cooked my first spiral ham ever!) and of course exchanged gifts.
Dad, Colleen and the girls

Cassandra loved the box!
Christmas fell just right for me this year. I work on Tues/Wed each week so I ended up having both days off last week for Christmas eve/day. Then this week I only work on New Years Eve. It ended up being 1 day of work over 19days-score! That doesn't happen very often!

Sunday and Monday were relatively normal for us. Just the last minute hustle and bustle of getting everything ready for the big days ahead.

Tuesday (Christmas Eve) we got up, dressed, and headed out the door to Buffalo. My Aunt, Uncle, and friend Renee all came by around the same time. The girls loved holding baby Sabrina!
Cassandra and Sabrina

Avery and Sabrina
Once they left, my cousins came over for dinner and gifts. The girls adore them so they had fun playing and spending time with them! We took advantage and did some quick family shots too!
Cousins-Avery, Taylor, Cassandra, Eddie

My Mom, the girls, and I
After dinner and gifts, Avery and Taylor did some reading:
They left around 7 and we finally did gifts with my Mom and Aunt. Then we headed out around 8:30 to head home for Santa. Luckily both girls fell asleep on the ride home. It took awhile, but they conked out.

Christmas Day I got up first-around 7:45-and started some things for breakfast (hello Trader Joe's chocolate croissants-you are my new love!). Cassandra woke up a little after 8 but happily played in her crib until Avery got up around 8:40. Of course they immediately wanted to see if Santa came! And....he did:
Cassandra bee-lined to the stools and started climbing! Too funny!

Matching PJs
We started gifts, ate breakfast, then finished gifts. The girls had a blast! 

After Cassandra's nap, we headed to my In-Laws' house for dinner and more gifts!
They made their usual awesome dinner of shrimp scampi (chicken for me!) and steak-so good!  Then we did gifts and headed home around 9:30.
Family photo
It was a crazy busy day as always! Here we are almost a week later and I'm both happy and sad that it's over. We have one more big family party on New Year's Day and then we're done! As always, it goes by way too fast! I will be glad when the house gets back to looking normal though-it's just so chaotic with the tree and new toys! 

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and a very Happy New Year coming up!!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Twenty-Three Months!

Amidst all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, Cassandra turned 23 months old! One more month until we celebrate another birthday! In fact, today I was working on her party invitations! Crazy!

She's pretty much into 18 month clothes at this point. She does wear some 12 month stuff, but not a lot anymore. The 18month pants are still long on her so we have to roll them up usually!

Cassandra is still sleeping really well. Her coughing fits have stopped for now (thankfully!) so she's back to sleeping through the night and taking her nap in the afternoon.

Eating is still hit or miss with her. Some days she really puts the food away and other days she's not as interested. She's always interested in food though (which is a good bribing tool at times-haha!) just some days more than others!

Let's see...some new things she's saying these days: "trace your hand", "Happy Thanksgiving", "gobble gobble", "Ho Ho Ho", "reindeer", "santa", "humpty dumpty", "ommyman (ottoman)", "help me", "oh my goodness", "toilet", "I'm done", "bath tub", "I like your necklace", "Merry Christmas", "what the heck?", "what you doing?", "what you havin'?"

She has started singing some songs too! She loves "Jingle Bells", "Humpty Dumpty", "It's Raining, It's Pouring", and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town". It's so cute hearing her little voice trying to sing them! Love it!

She has also started pulling her pants off and trying to put them back on. One day she literally sat there for a half hour just putting them on and taking them off! So silly!

She has started to show some interest in using the bathroom too. As we change her diaper, a lot of times she'll say "go potty" and wants to sit on the toilet. She'll sit there and pretend to wipe, but hasn't made any donations in the bowl yet. Once she does, we'll make it a pretty big deal!

Last week was the first time we had to pick her up sick from daycare. Poor girl had a fever for about 2 days-no other symptoms though which is good. And none of us caught it either! I was just glad she didn't have it for the holidays!

Here are her pics!

Totally not interested!

Pointing at something

Finally a smile!
My faves:

Silly face

And her fave position!
Flashback: Avery at 23 months!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Bundt Cinnamon Rolls

Here's a goody for Christmas morning!

We've (my family) has been making this for quite some time. It's super easy and super delicious!

Bundt Cinnamon Rolls
Hungry Jack flaky biscuits (2 cans)-not jumbo size
1 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. chopped walnuts
1 stick butter (1/2 cup), melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Using 1tbsp butter, grease bundt pan.
3. Sprinkle in nuts
4. In bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon
5.  Take each biscuit and dip into melted butter then coat in sugar/cinnamon mixture. Stand up in pan.
6. Bake for 30-40min or until golden
7. Dump immediately onto serving plate

(Notes: the only thing I have to tell you about this is to make sure you dump it out right away. If you let it start to cool, the sugar hardens and it's very hard to remove from the pan! This is very good served warm, but could be served at room temperature as well.)

Monday, December 16, 2013

O Christmas Tree!

We got our tree back on Thanksgiving weekend. We went to a local tree farm that Sunday and found our tree. No, we don't cut it down ourselves, although that is an option there. We just look through the pre-cut ones and find a "winner"!  I think we looked at about 4 trees this year and found ours.

Of course as soon as we got it home, the kids wanted to decorate it. That night, we put the lights on and had them add a few ornaments to it. This was the first time for Cassandra and she was loving it!

We didn't finish decorating it until a week later! And I didn't get to taking a picture of it until a few days ago....things have been busy here! But, here's our tree!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Garden Factory

One of our traditions this time of year is heading to a local store called the Garden Factory.

We always go to stock up on poinsettias for the house and for the kids to have a ball! They have a huge area set up for them with rides, games, crafts, and of course Santa! This year, my Mom came along with us for the first time. She didn't stay the whole time since she had to head back to Buffalo, but I think she enjoyed the time she was there with us!

The girls loved the double seated cart:
And once we got into the holiday area, Avery beelined to see the animals! There were baby pigs:
and goats:
There was also some bunnies, a turkey, and an alpaca!

After that, Avery wanted to go and see the light show that they put on. I took her while my Mom, Gabe and Cassandra did a few rides. Avery and I did this together last year too so I think this will be our "thing" to do!

Here we are waiting for the show to start:

The lights were really pretty through the 3 songs we got to see:

It was a pretty good show!

After that, it was ride time! Well, my Mom and I waited in the Santa line while Gabe took the girls on a few rides. The Santa line was quite long (we waited about 50min!) so I'm glad the girls didn't have to stand there the entire time! I don't think they would have lasted very long! 
Ferris wheel!
Gabe took them on the slide and when they got up there, Avery decided she didn't want to go alone. So, he had them both on his lap!
I took Cass on again and she wasn't a fan-she cried the entire time! Oh well, maybe next year!

After we saw Santa (again, Cassandra was NOT a fan of him either!) it was time to stock up on our poinsettias! The girls were all about picking them out for us too! Especially the little one!
We got probably a dozen of them and it makes the house look so festive!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Our Thanksgiving

We had a very nice Thanksgiving.

Our ritual on Thanksgiving morning is that we have cinnamon rolls for breakfast, then watch the Macy's parade. Avery was pretty into it this year-was anxiously awaiting Santa's arrival.  Cassandra barely watched it-she's too young to get it!

After we all got showered and dressed and Cassie napped, we headed to my in-laws' for dinner. My Mom and Aunt also made the trip from Buffalo to join us.
My girls
Can you tell someone just woke up?!  (FYI my sweater is purple-same as Cassandra's. Why it photographed blue, I have no idea!)

Family photo

Group shot!
Dinner was fabulous as always. We stayed over until around 8:30 or so, then headed home to get the kids to bed. We had a really nice day. It's one of my favorite holidays because you get to relax, eat, and enjoy each other!