Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas to all

It sure does seem like Christmas Eve is the longest day ever when you're three. So much anticipation and excitement. We spent the day doing last minute preparations before attending church with Rach, Eric, Dan and Janine.
After church everyone came over to our house for pupu's and cocktails. It was a roaring good time.
We made cranberry margaritas as our holiday cocktail. I highly recommend them.
Aunt Penny and grandma came over after church as well. We did our Christmas crackers and all wore our crowns.
Grandpa and Carol also came to party.
Gemma had a great time snacking and soaking up all the attention. Up past your bed time on Christmas eve is pretty fun too. She was her usual spunky self and was a bit loud through church though.
There was so much good food. Everyone brought an appetizer and we had tons of Christmas cookies.
After we polished off the margaritas we opened just a few bottles of Peachy Canyon wine.
Some of this years Christmas cookie selection.
Gemma got a whistle in her cracker. It is the perfect prize for our musical genius.
Lily got to open her gift from Uncle E and Auntie Rach. A gardening set for when we plant our garden this spring. She is so excited she had to go out in the dark and do some quick digging. She even slept with the bag of tools!
Grandma opened some gifts too! Wedding pictures for her walls!
Time for bed. We read the night before Christmas and headed straight to bed.
Now the men get to work! Time to start helping Santa with some construction.
All the loot under the tree and ready for morning. WOW!
Imagine our surprise in the morning when we found the stockings stuffed, the cookies eaten, and the reindeer carrots chewed! The girls were so worn out they slept until 8 AM. Too bad Grandma was the early bird and arrived at 7 and had to wait an hour in her car for us lazy birds!
                                      
Gemma was so excited, and starved. Pa feeds her some cereal while the fun begins.
It didn't take her long to get busy playing with the play house from G&G England.
Even Winsty got a toy, guess he is mostly good after all.
Sisters playing well and sharing Gemma's tea set.
There is room for two in the house.
Looks like matching hooded towels and matching chairs were a big hit too. One little owl and one little unicorn.
We played all morning then headed over to Aunt Judy and Uncle Stews house for a great supper and fun playing the white elephant game. We got to see Stew's car collection too. WOW! Lily got to try out her new bike up on the tennis court. It was great, wide open, flat, and nothing to crash into. Don't worry, we got her a helmet but she was giving it a test run to get the basics down first!
What a wonderful first Christmas in our new home! We are all worn out and the house is a wreck but we have boxing day to ourselves to relax, play, and have fun with dad off work! That is the best gift in our house. 

Santa Claus is coming to town

Last weekend we ventured out to see Santa Claus. We had been building it up and sent him a letter in the mail. Now it was time to see him in person. Last year Lily had a last minute panic and would not sit on his lap. She seemed pretty excited to see him this time around. She had lots to tell him about her wish list. 

We decided to go to the grove outdoor shopping center in Beverly Hills and walk around and see Santa there. It wouldn't hurt to see a star or too while we were out. It was pretty busy but we got there early and got a number to come back and see Santa after lunch. It was a pretty good system so you don't have to stand in line all day.
 The girls were all decked out to see the big guy.  Gemma dressed as one of his little helpers. Adds to the "I am a girl" look as her hair is forever slow in growing in!
 We posed with Frosty as well. He is a funny guy I guess. Santa gave out snowman food this year. A bag of mini marshmallows.
It was a success!! Lily was quite happy to sit on his lap and immediately started spouting out her wish list. For two months it has been the same. A pink bicycle, a pink computer and two chairs. The week before Christmas she decided to "change her mind" and wanted a kitty park and zoo set. We explained that Santa's workshop was already closed and he was busy packing the sled with toys. She would have to add it to her birthday wish list. Nope. She told Santa a kitty park and a zoo. 

Gemma was pretty un-phased by it all. She sat there wondering what all the fuss was about. Only when the "elves" started acting goofy to try and get a smile out of her did she start to cry. Not bad considering it was about 2PM and no nap so far. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Before....and after

I know you have all been on the edge of your seats waiting for some after photos of the house. We are not quite finished yet but I thought I could not leave my audience waiting any longer.

So let's review shall we?
Living room before...


and now...
We have the kitchen/dining room...

and now... (not much excitement here but notice the floors)
The biggest change was in the big family room...



and now...
Lily's room...

and now, two blues!!

Don't forget Gemma,

and now...

It really looks better in person so I guess you all have to come over and visit!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Thank...Full

We have a lot to be thankful for. All year long. We gave thanks with both sets of Grandparents and Aunt Carol this year. It was a nice relaxing evening. Of course, we did have to keep some of our yearly traditions too...the gingerbread house!
Lily's little turkey meets GopGop's big one. Lily gets so excited over every holiday and spends weeks in anticipation. She has already spied the Easter decorations in the garage and is begging to bring them out.
Grandma has the little people pilgrim set! Pretty cool!
There was great food and drinks for all.
Momma and her girls! Say cheese while eating cheese!
We managed to make it through dinner before busting out the gingerbread house. We learned our lesson in years past and put the structure of the house together a few days earlier. This way it was solid and could support the candy and icing. I mean, this thing needs a lot of candy to be authentic right?
So pretty much the grandparents did all the decorating, the kids did all the eating, and the parents did the dishes! We got the raw end of the deal here.
Lily survived all the frosting she inhaled, and Gemma survived all the choking hazard candy that Grandpa Peterson let her eat. It even turned out pretty cute. Lily loves to see it every day on our mantle.

As if we didn't have enough to do with unpacking and getting the house settled, it is the count down to Christmas now. With little ones you can't just skip the traditions. We spent the long weekend doing some decorating....and playing. Gemma is loving the ride on toys and our backyard.
Lily was a big help in hanging the lights. She held the ladder. We love that we only need a small step stool to hang lights at our house! Even the grinch (Alex) can't complain about that.

We waited another week and got our tree. We have not embraced the tradition of cutting down our own tree. Too lazy when you can get one at Costco! I told Alex to pick the biggest one he could find (they are all the same price and supposedly 6-7 feet). We ended up with a 8-9 foot tree! It is huge! 
Our little helpers are excited about the tree!
Lily loves it all. I have often caught her un decorating the tree so she can decorate it again.
One last ornament is not very cooperative!! The angel. 

Picnic with the Sanders Family

We were so excited to have the Sanders Family come to California in November for a Pulmonary conference. It was the best lucky coincidence so we could spend some time together and finally get to meet Colbie. We just managed to meet her before her 1st birthday. Too bad it was only a couple of days but we will be sure to spend more time with this little charmer!
We had to spoil them with some great weather and a beach picnic! It was also the day we closed escrow on our house so Alex was home from work with us and we got to show them our new home when we got the keys.
Colbie was not a huge fan of sand up until this point. Lily was determined to show her how great it was.

Come on baby Colbie, you can do it. Watch!
See? It's great.
Hmmm....not sold. She did warm up to it and ended up playing until she almost literally fell asleep sitting up. Colbie is perhaps the most mellow, chill baby ever. Our little baby (and one of Colbies BFF's) was asleep at home with G&G England because she is not terribly mellow or chill without her naps.
We all spent their last night in town in Simi and the Peterson casa. It took about all of ten minutes for us to wreck their clean house. They were so excited to meet Colbie as well though. We miss you guys and come back to visit us in our new house!!!