Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas is our favorite time of the year!
We try to pack a ton of things in the short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
There was decorating. Grace had her very own tree this year that she got to decorate all by herself while we put up the big tree. Dustin spent a day putting lights on the house. Sometime between the time he started hanging them and the time he finished several areas went out so he had to put up new lights. We made butter crunch. Grace got to help for the first time! I have my Grandma's recipe memorized and I plan to pass it down to my girls. We drove around looking at Christmas lights. We visited Santa. The girls are not fond of him this year. Olivia did not like him at all. Grace said she couldn't sit in his lap because she didn't know him that well and you shouldn't sit in someones lap you don't know. But we did make cookies for Santa.

Grace got to make them herself!

And Olivia got to try one!

Last year we decided to open our gifts on Christmas Eve. It spaces things out a little and lets us have more time to enjoy Christmas.
The girls were being silly for the camera :)

They were very excited to open all of their presents. This year I tried to teach Grace about giving. I let her "earn" money by doing little chores (helping with dinner, laundry, picking up toys, or helping with her sister). She is good about doing these things when asked but I thought letting her earn money and then using it to buy gifts for people would be a good learning opportunity. She even gave one of her dollars to the bell ringer so a little girl or boy would be able to have a new toy for Christmas! She got Olivia a baby doll (that can go in the bathtub!) and a remote control 4-wheeler for her Daddy.

After opening their presents and playing for a while, we changed into pj's. We made sure to set out cookies for Santa!

Olivia helped herself to one of Santa's cookies.

We let Grace stay up after Olivia went to bed to watch a Christmas movie with hot chocolate and popcorn. I think this is going to become a family tradition!

And then Santa came!
Grace was so excited for Santa to come that she wanted to go to bed around 4:30 on Christmas Eve. We were tracking Santa and when he got to Canada we ran to bed so we would be asleep before he got to our house.

This is what our tree looked like on Christmas morning!

We were all very excited about the new toys!!!!

The girls loved opening their stockings. Grace told everyone that Santa brought her a dollhouse and soap (bubble bath).

And we had to see if Santa ate his cookies and drank the milk we left out.
He left some crumbs!!

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Trip to the Dentist

On Tuesday, we made a 90 mile drive to take the girls to the dentist. Grace has been once before when she was only about 20 months old. But this was more like a first visit since the last visit was more of a class on how to care for you child's teeth and then they just painted them with a fluoride treatment. This time they started out by brushing her teeth and then they brushed them with some special fluoride paste. They showed her how the vacuum and the water sprayer worked and she got to try them out herself! Then they did x-rays of her teeth and she got to see the pictures on their computer. They had some time before the dentist came to check her teeth so they did a fluoride treatment. She got to pick the flavor of foam and she chose strawberry!

This was Olivia's first visit to the dentist and she really surprised me with how well she did. I figured she would just cry but she didn't at all. She has stranger anxiety and cries or gets super clingy if people try to touch her or hold her. She has one little tooth and she even got a fluoride treatment!

When we got in the car after the dentist Grace said she had a good day!
We go back in 6 months :)

And in case you are wondering why we drove 90 miles... this is the dentist I saw as a child and two of my brothers went to him too. We have never had any problems and he is super nice. The only pediatric around that I know of likes to drug kids and is mean. Oh, and there is a Toy's R Us, Target, and nice mall all near the dentist office :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Grace is 3!

Last Saturday Grace turned 3!
We had a FUN birthday party for her at our house. She picked the theme - CIRCUS! And then she picked her cake. So the week before her birthday we set out to make her the best cake ever. It took a little bit of time on 4 separate days but I think it was definitely worth it. Day #1 I made the brownie pops for the clown, ringmaster, and animal bodies. Day #2 we used fondant to turn the brownie pops into figures for the cake. Day #3 my Mom and Grace made the cakes - one 10" round and two 6" round cakes that would later be stacked to make a two tier cake. On day #4 we covered each tier in fondant and added circles and stars to the bottom layer and stripes to the top. Once I got the cakes home I had to assemble them all. It was MUCH easier than her first birthday cake. It turned out GREAT! One of the kids at the party asked if the cake came from Cake Boss. That is a huge compliment.

Dustin used 3 colors of crepe paper to create a "circus tent" look in our living room. We had popcorn and cotton candy for all the guests. We had a few carnival games set up for the kids to play as they arrived. Once most everyone was here we went outside and the kids jumped in the bounce house while the men got the pinata ready. After all the candy was collected from the ground it was time for presents!! While Grace opened presents I got the cake ready to be served (cut the entire top layer and about 6 slices off the bottom layer). Then I was told that I forgot about the candles. Oops! Grace didn't seem to mind that she blew her candles out after the cake was already cut. The party turned out great! It was a little crazy with over 30 people in our house but that just adds to the fun, right?

I took a few pictures with my phone before the party so I could put them on facebook. Things were a little too crazy during the party for me to take pictures but my Mom took several so I will eventually have them. Here is the link to my facebook album:

Monday, December 12, 2011

9 Month Sticker Pictures

It seems to take me forever to get the pictures from my camera to my computer. Olivia is 9 1/2 months old now and growing more every day! She is pretty small for her age and smaller than Grace was at this age... she weighs less than Grace did at 6 months :)

Last week both girls had their well baby/child appointment. Grace got her blood pressure taken for the very first time! The girls are SO different. Grace walked in and never stopped talking to the nurse. Olivia, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with the nurse (or the doctor). She did not like being measured or the doctor looking in her ears. Grace loved both!

Olivia weighs 15 lb. 4 oz. and is 26 1/2 inches tall now. She hasn't grown much since her last appointment at 6 months but she sure has grown out of a lot of clothes. She can wear some 12 month things.

She is such a happy girl! We figured out she is pretty particular about how/where she sleeps. She only likes to sleep in her bed or the car and she only likes to sleep with a certain sheet on the bed. I took her sheet off to wash it and put a different one on and she did not sleep well at all for several days and I finally figured out it was the sheet. I put her normal sheet back on and she is back to sleeping great. And she loves to hug a blanket that her Grandma Phyllis made for her. She giggles when she knows she is about to get her blanket.

She just got her first little tooth. And she is going to visit the dentist tomorrow!

She loves her big sister and they play so well together (most of the time). Grace doesn't normally like for us to take her picture but lately she wants her picture taken if we are taking pictures of Olivia. She climbed in Olivia's crib so she could be in the pictures too!

My two little silly girls!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

American Girl

We had a nice long weekend for Thanksgiving.
Thursday we had lunch with my family. It was the first Thanksgiving I have spent with my family since 2007. And only the second in seven years. It was nice to stay here for a change and get to participate in the Thanksgiving day events. Dustin even got to do a little Black Friday (on Thursday night) shopping! We spent Friday getting up most of our indoor Christmas decorations. Grace has her own tree (well, it is for her and Olivia but Olivia is too young to help with it this year) to decorate all by herself.

Since the weather was not too great on Saturday, Dustin couldn't get to the outdoor lights. We wanted to do something fun rather than hang around the house so we headed to the American Girl Store. I had a couple of the American Girl dolls growing up and we recently pulled them out of the attic for Grace. I had never been to one of the stores though so it was a real treat for both of us. Both of Grace's dolls got to visit the hair salon and get their hair combed, trimmed, and styled. Grace really enjoyed that!

Grace took this picture of Kirsten in the salon chair with her cape on getting her hair done.

And here is Grace with her doll, Sophie. This is one of the dolls that you choose the eye, hair, and skin color so it didn't have a name so she chose Sophie.

Afterwards, we walked through the Galleria (huge mall that is just next door to the American Girl Store). We were looking for Grace a dress (she is going to be a flower girl in a few weeks!) but didn't find anything. She did get a few new pairs of jeans because all of hers are too short.

While we were walking around we saw this HUGE Christmas tree in the middle of the ice rink.

It ended up being a great way to spend the day! Grace said her favorite part was seeing all of Kirsten and Sophie's friends. And she has fixed their hair numerous times since :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Play Park

The park in my parents' neighborhood was recently built. We have been waiting for this park for a long time and we finally got to try it out! It was built just the right size for Grace! She LOVES going to the park. There is a pond down by the park that she likes to fish in. Now she can play on the park and go fishing at the same place.

Olivia even got to try out the slide. She is a little too small to keep up with her big sister though.

Can you believe how big Grace is getting? She will be 3 in less than a month!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Jumpin' Jax

Grace was invited to a birthday party at Jumpin' Jax this past Saturday. She has some friends that recently moved into my parents' neighborhood. They are both girls and the youngest was turning two, her big sister is 4. Jumpin' Jax just recently opened in town and we were excited to check it out.

Grace in her train

There were several bounce houses and slides. As soon as Grace saw her friends she took off!

This blue one was her favorite. She went around and around in it and up and down the slide several times. She was too quick for me to get a picture of her on the slide!

Olivia got to try the piano with Grace.

Grace looks so small on the big throne!

But she was ready for cake! I think all the bouncing wore her out.

Olivia even had a good time too!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I forgot my camera on Halloween night so we dressed the girls up the next night and took a few quick pictures. On Halloween we went to the fall fest our church had. They had a chili cook-off and Dustin got to be a judge! They had some games set up for the kids and they gave out candy. After we got home there was still a little time left to trick-or-treat. We only went to about 8 houses before heading back home to get the girls in bed. Grace had been practicing for weeks saying "Trick Or Treat" and she had fun running up to all the houses with the little boy who lives across the street from us. Since we weren't going to be home we left a bowl of candy on the porch. We only had a couple of pieces left when we got home.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Olivia is 8 Months!

And now she is 8 1/2 months already. Oops! We got back from vacation the day she turned 8 months so I was behind on getting her picture with her 8 sticker. I also forgot to take pictures of the girls on Halloween. I took these in Nov. 1st :)

I was going through them last night and it was really cute to see them in order but when I uploaded them they got all mixed up :(

Someone is a little more interesting than looking at the camera

I know this one of both girls was the second picture. Grace decided she actually wanted her picture taken too! And she wore her Halloween costume pretty much all day. She can take it off and put it on herself.

I think this may have been the first picture... the first picture was probably my favorite!

After getting her picture taken, Grace wanted to jump in Olivia's bed.


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