Another Christmas Recap!

Well, I think it's safe to say that my blog is off to a slow start for 2018.  I really did have good intentions, but then SC's sleep pattern deviated when we transitioned her to the new crib, and here  I am still trying to catch up on Christmas recap posts. On the upside, at least I got my thank you notes done in better time. Even though it's ridiculous, here are a few highlights to record before any more time passes me by!

The day after Christmas, the husband went back to work, my MIL and husband's grandma headed home, and SC and I packed up the car to my parents' house!  We had delayed our trip by a day because my niece was sick.  Since she was on antibiotics, I thought it was safe, but SC still ended up getting a cold.  It was a good lesson to learn; next time, no matter how badly I want to see someone, I'm staying far away until everyone feels 100%.  It may make me crazy, but it's really better to be safe than sorry.  With that said, SC and I loved seeing my family, and the husband came down the next night after work.  It was a lot of driving for him for not too much time together, but it was really nice that he did it.

Anyways, we arrived at my parents at lunch time, and there was just general merriment all around. 
SC checking out my parents' tree
The grandparents letting her open a gift up early

One of my mom's friends (who we've always considered an aunt) came with her husband to celebrate too.  It was fun because she brought some old baby pictures of us with her.  It was a trip down memory lane, and really neat for us to see her with the girls!
Me with my Aunt Linda!
My brother and sister 
That night we opened a few gifts at my brother and SIL's house.
My mom let SC open up her big gift of a new Wee Baby Stella, and SC was thrilled that "Santa" came through.
The next morning, SC was happy to play with her new Duplo train set from her aunt and uncle.
My mom played Christmas carols on the piano, and SC insisted that she play Joy to the World on repeat.  Apparently that is her jam.
That evening, everyone came over to my parents' house for a little more Christmas celebration.  SC's excitement level was about a ten.
Even though it wasn't necessarily easy, it was really special to see SC with my niece, and for our whole family to be together!

Gift Ideas for a Sprinkle!

One of my good friends is due with her second child in a few months, and I'm so excited! I pretty much go a bit crazy every time I hear that a new baby will be making his or her debut. So in an effort to calm myself down a bit, I've been trying to think about what would be most useful and appreciated.  I know none of these are original, but I have a feeling that our friends are going to start the second wave of babies, so it's handy to have a little list!

Since my friend's second child is having a girl and her first is a boy, I couldn't resist getting some girly new clothes.  I found some adorable outfits for the summer and a few cozy ones for the fall, and I think they will be enjoyed!
I've never given a bath wrap as a gift, but I think that the Pottery Barn Kids ones would be perfect personalized with the new baby's name.  Unfortunately, they end up getting a bit pricey, but I think this is a more useful alternative to a baby blanket, and just as sweet!
I always shy away from giving diapers and wipes because I think it's boring, but an Honest Company diaper cake takes it to a prettier level that I can get excited about.  Two of my co-workers generously gifted me the large onewhen I was expecting, and it was such an appreciated gift.  I consider the diapers a splurge, and so seeing those cute strawberry prints on SC's bottom really made me inexplicably happy.
For the second child, I think something homemade is always nice, because it seems there is so much fuss around the first child and not as much for the second.  I'm attempting to make this sampler for my friend's daughter, but it will most likely end up being a Christmas present for next year because I'm so slow!
Everyone knows that hands down a homemade meal is so needed and appreciated once the baby comes home.  I live a few hours from her, but I'm planning on making a quick drive up a few weeks afterward and bringing a meal.  I'm thinking salad and shells, as it's a hearty meal that is easy to freeze and then pop into the oven.

What are your favorite gifts to give for a shower?  I love hearing about gift ideas!

Snowed In!

Last Thursday, we got a foot of snow! I honestly hadn't been paying too much attention to the weather, other than knowing that we were going to get a few inches of snow and that we needed to stock up on groceries.  On Wednesday I started to actually read about the storm, and I got pretty nervous when I saw the forecast had gone up to 8-12 inches plus high winds. Fortunately, we  were able to ensconce ourselves in the house for the past few days and enjoy the winter wonderland from the window.
I know some people go a bit stir crazy, but after all of the hustle and bustle with Christmas, it has been so great to be together and just putter around.  The Christmas decorations have finally gotten taken down (except for SC's pink tree), and some closets and drawers that had been neglected have finally been organized a bit. And of course, all of SC's Christmas toys have been played with. After my husband did the hard work of shoveling the driveway, we ventured out for a little sledding.
Hills are hard to find around here, so we just pushed her around the neighborhood, and SC really enjoyed it!
The weather is so crazy though, because this Friday it's going to be in the 60s! At least we were able to enjoy these snowy days!

Christmas Eve and Day Recap!

This definitely was such a special Christmas, with SC being so excited about Santa!  I spent most of Christmas Eve cooking to prepare for Christmas Day.    I actually like cooking for Christmas because the menu is pretty much all planned out for you, and SC was also doted on by her grandma and great-grandma all day! We did a full Christmas Eve dinner, because I thought we'd be traveling on Christmas Day.  While the timing of the ham meant that we ended up skipping the children's Christmas Eve service, it was so nice to be able to just re-heat everything the next day.  Next year, I'm definitely going to cook a quick meal for Christmas Eve though, because the service really is my favorite part of the holiday.
SC also got to open her big gift from her grandma, a lil woodzeez tree house!  I had never even heard of this line before, but it is so cute and has kept SC entertained a lot this past week!  She also got a bunny, frog, chipmunk and duck family to go in it.  I'm really tempted to buy her some more furniture for the house, but the sets seem to have lots of little pieces, so I'm going to wait until next year and see if she still likes it.  Plus, she just got so many things for Christmas!
That evening, we read the Night Before Christmas and also left cookies for Santa and apples for the reindeer.  SC wasn't the most focused during that process; she definitely started eating one of Santa's cookies!
The next morning, I was the most excited and actually woke up before everyone else and rearranged her gifts and made sure that there were a few crumbs on Santa's plate.
Santa didn't go too crazy with gifts this year, as we knew the grandparents were buying lots of things, so we bought some books, a few wooden cars from the Target dollar bin, her bunny ornament, stickers, a placemat and her big gift was the dino ball popper.  For some reason, SC was super excited about the place mat, and ran over to put it in the kitchen immediately.
While she liked her little gifts, she hands-down got the most excited about her dino ball popper.  She actually had gotten this gift from my parents last year for her birthday, but I gave it to my niece, thinking she had outgrown it.  Well, she had not, and despite our reluctance to re-buy a toy, I found myself at Babies R Us on Christmas Eve getting the last one.  Phew!  It was totally worth it because she was absolutely ecstatic when she opened it up and saw that she had her own for this house.
The rest of Christmas was so relaxed.  I made this breakfast casserole, which turned out well and was easy to just pop in the oven.  SC loved playing with all of her toys and that night she made a gingerbread house with her grandma.  It was such a nice Christmas, and both my husband and I loved being at home to celebrate!

Pre-Christmas Festivities!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  I'm not going to lie, I'm a bit blue that the holiday season is over.  I'm definitely easing into 2018, so I thought I'd recap some of our Christmas festivities!

As I mentioned, my husband's mom and grandma came to celebrate Christmas with us this year.  I always get a bit nervous prepping everything, but I actually think it all came together well, and it was really special to have Christmas day at our house.  Both of them arrived on Friday night, so I made a cheese plate and my "traditional" welcome dinner of salmon, mashed potatoes and asparagus.  They were pretty tired from traveling, so we just visited a little bit and headed to bed fairly early.  Saturday, we decided to take them downtown.  Our first stop was at the model train exhibit!
 Then, we headed over to Dickens' Christmas Towne, which I absolutely love.
Since SC is so into Santa, we stopped by to say hi, but she was still not ready to sit on his lap. At least she put in her final request for a ball popper.
We also showed them the giant gingerbread house on our way to lunch.
It was such a fun day, and both his mom and grandma were really enjoyed getting to participate in some of the holiday activities in our city!