Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Christmas Celebrations

Well I didn't quite make my goal of catching everything up last week, so I decided to lump together some of our Christmas celebrations into one big post.  (New Year's Resolution #274: Take more picutres of my rapidly growing girl so that we have more pictures to post!)

First, we decided to take advantage of Indianapolis' 12 Free Days of Christmas, and took Mia to the Indiana State Museum to ride the Polar Express train.  We actually had a big group of friends going, but Cooper starting running a fever that morning, and baby Miles decided he'd rather party all night than let his poor Mommy sleep.  So we ended up with our BFFs Savannah and Joe (affectionately referred to as Joe-Joe by Mia), and still had a great time.  Savannah and Joe were pros, as this was their second year to ride the train.  After waiting in a very short line, I quickly found out that Mia Jane is not so into riding on moving objects.  I had to ride in the train car with her, holding her in my lap.  After one ride, she announced, "All done Mommy!"  Fortunately, she loved just watching the other kids and was eager to wait while Savannah and Joe rode a few more times.  I had never been to the State Museum, so we took the kids to a couple more exhibits before heading home.  We (the mommies) all wanted to explore the Titanic exhibit, but you had to pay an additional fee, and we were pretty sure we'd have more luck without our kiddos, so we decided to try that one again later.  It was a fun (and free!) morning, and I hope we can go again next year.

We tried to get all 4 kiddos (including Joe's baby brother Will) together on Santa's sleigh for a picture. It was really a good idea in theory... 

Mia: "My nose itches, Mommy!"  Savannah: "I can't look at the camera Aunt Sarah.  That would be too easy!"

Joe: Savannah, you look down on the count of 3 with me.  Mia, you look straight at the camera and smile.  That'll frustrate them some more!

The result of telling them to say, "Elmo!" instead of cheese.

One thing (among many) that I love about Christmas is getting to spend time with those you don't see as much of throughout the year.  I know it makes the month of December crazy busy, especially when you've got a little one whose schedule you keeping messing up, but I was willing to forsake schedule to spend the evening with our dear friends the Smiths.  Travis and I are the godparents to their daughter Gabby, and since Emily went back to teach this fall (and because both our lives are hectic in general) we haven't seen much of them at all.  We had a great time watching the girls play, celebrating Gabby's (4th!) birthday a little late, and catching up with our friends.  Gabby was so good with Mia, which is impressive considering their age difference.  I was the oldest on both sides of my family, so I remember well having to play with all my much younger cousins.  It ain't so easy, let me tell you.  Lots of, "They're little, they don't understand, you are bigger so you need to share."  But Gabby was so patient, loving, and maternal.  I still can't believe she is four!

Playing dress up.  I think we need to get a hat like this.

So sweet.

Gabby is all smiles for the camera.

Cheese!

Our girls together
Last for this huge post, every year our church hosts a breakfast with St. Nick.  Travis and I have been working at them for the last several years, and last year I brought Mia even though she was still a bit young for the event.  This year, I was so excited because she's starting to understand more and more about Christmas, and we've watched The Polar Express about a dozen times, so we know who Santa is.  The morning starts out with breakfast, followed by crafts, games, and activities, and completed with a visit with St. Nick himself.  Unfortunately, Daddy was unable to join us for breakfast, so Papaw and Grandma Paschall came with Mommy and Mia. 

Mia was very excited to see Santa from the outset.  She waved and pointed and kept saying, "Santa!  Ho ho ho!"  I was optimistic that she'd do better this year as we had pretty good luck with Santa at the mall:
Note: My husband does not endorse the scanning of professional pictures and forbid me to post this anywhere.  However, you can't actually buy a digital image from the mall, so I feel justified in only posting it here.
 But as you can see, the actual visit with St. Nick didn't go too well.  Oh well, I guess there's next year, right?

"MOMMY"


Here's a few more pictures from the morning.  After our failed visit with Santa, we ran into our friend Savannah, and then did a few crafts with Grandma.


BFFs

Making Christmas ornaments with Grandma Paschall


We love our Papaw and Grandma!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Jesus!

This year it was especially important to Travis and I that Mia begin to understand the real reason for Christmas.  Right after Thanksgiving was over, I went to our local Christian bookstore to find a good book about the Christmas story.  The one we found tells the story of Christ's birth, but also emphasizes that we give presents at Christmas because we want to share Christ's love and say Happy Birthday to Jesus.  Yes we did talk about Santa too, but we wanted to focus on the fact that Santa doesn't bring us presents because we're good.  God didn't wait for us to be "good" before He sent His Son to be born.  He sent Jesus to us because no matter how hard we tried, we couldn't be good enough.  We needed a Savior, so He sent Jesus because He loved us.

As you can see in the video below, Mia became very aware of who's birthday we were celebrating. 


video

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Christmas Traditions

Part of becoming a mother means starting your own special family traditions.  As many of you know I love to bake and cook, and although I am a type A + personality, I could not wait for the day Mia would join me in the kitchen.  I quickly adjusted my expectations (hello messes!) and decided that the best way to enjoy the experience was to just go with it.  So what if there was flour dumped down the cabinet instead of the bowl?  

Over the holidays, Mia helped me make cookies three times.  The first time, she was just so excited about standing on the chair and eating the cinnamon chips that she really didn't do much helping.  By the second time, though, she was into it.  As soon as I asked her if she wanted to help Mommy bake cookies, she requested the chair be pushed over for her.  Her special job is to dump the dry ingredients into the bowl for Mommy to mix together, although she is still a bit frightened by the electric mixer.  

Helping Mommy measure out flour.
"Mommy, you need some flour right here under your nose."
"I am such a big girl!"
"I do it!  I do it!"
Of course all this cookie baking has created quite the little cookie monster.  This girl is in love with cookies, specifically oatmeal cinnamon chip.  If you haven't tried cinnamon chips, you are missing out.  I can't wait until we can try our hand at decorating and maybe even a gingerbread house. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Halloween

I know this one is going way back, but I just couldn't not share a few pictures of our little duck.  Mia was absolutely adorable, and we made sure she got to wear her costume at least twice to savor all that ducky cuteness.

We took her to the ZooBoo with our friends the Hennessy's, Greenbaum's, and Parker's, but unfortunately my husband formatted that particular camera card before I could download anymore than just this one picture.  (My second New Year's Resolution: download and organize family pictures immediately.)
 As always, Mia had a great time at the Zoo, but she was a little unsure of what to make of the nice ladies handing our candy.  Every time we'd come up on them, she'd want me to hold her.  For such an outgoing kid, she picks some strange things to be afraid of.  After we trick-or-treated, we let the kids play on the playground, and then finished up by walking through the Oceans exhibit (always my favorite as a kid).

On Halloween I unfortunately had to work, but they we nice enough to let me off early enough to make it to my Dad's house for their annual party and trick-or-treating.  We walked up and down one street with my niece and nephew before we decided to head back to Papaw and Grandma's house.  I did a lot of carrying because she still wasn't quite sure what to think of it all.


All in all, it was a great Halloween.  I'm sure Mia will love it even more next year when she can start to eat the candy, too!

Resolutions

So as you might have noticed, I'm seriously behind on blogging.  It's kind of a culmination the holidays + getting used to a new and changing schedule (i.e. Mommy working) + just a crazy life in general.  Also, my blog has kind of turned into a hodgepodge of stuff.  When I started it back in May of 2008, its main purpose was to document our adoption journey to Mia.  Then once we brought her home, I continued on to document our new everyday life.  But now that we're adopting #2, I'm always a bit conflicted as to whether you (whoever you are that might be still reading this) want to read about our life with Mia, our second adoption journey, or both.  I could start a second blog to keep them separate, but then I'm pretty sure nothing would get done.

My goal for the week is to get caught back up on everything.  That is, to share about our holiday season and bring you up to speed on our adoption.  And one of my New Year's resolutions is just to be a better blogger and stop worrying about trying to write thought-provoking posts and capture awesome pictures every single time.  Because honestly, something average is better than nothing spectacular, right?

So stay tuned.