Wednesday, December 27, 2017

HBL | Twinkle Toes | Year 4

Our little elf, Twinkle Toes made her 4th trip to our casa, all the way from the North Pole this year and she was a hit! Grace believes in her elf with all her heart and gets such a kick out of her daily visits, which begin on December 1st and end on the 24th. The mamas LOVE Twinkle Toes as well, because she’s the handiest tool for keeping Gracie in line, lol! Anytime that holiday, sugar-induced sassiness begins, we just have to remind the Bean that TT is watching and WILL report bad behavior to Santa. It works like a charm every.single.time - God bless it!
Watching our gal run out of her room every morning to search for Twinkle Toes is just about the cutest thing ever and we didn’t even mind the minor scares we had that were a result of early morning screams of excitement. We picked up a few toys and goodies from the $1-$5 section at Target and every couple of days our elf brought the Bean a little something, which she thought was the most amazing thing! Her first gift was a big envelope for Grace to use when mailing her wish list to Santa and she was thrilled to get it! My hope is that she continues to believe in this stuff for years to come! Or until middle school, at least.
A few highlights from this year include the personalized letter TT brought for Gracie the first day she arrived and the lesson she helped us teach the Bean following her getting caught peeking in her stocking! Twinkle Toes took her stocking back to the North Pole that night, and thankfully she decided to bring it back on Christmas Eve. It was a really great lesson in patience for our gal and TT was a huge help.
{Here are a few favorite Twinkle Toes visits from this year } 

We only had one night that we forgot to move her this year (winning!!) but thankfully she had fallen over and Grace thought she moved all on her own, so it wasn’t a total fail! Gracie didn’t get her Elf on the Shelf until she was old enough to name her and we’re thinking we’ll do the same with Will, so for the next 2 years, TT will just have to visit them both. :)

 2017 // Holiday Bucket List
* Take brother to meet Santa for the 1st time!
* Make homemade ornaments
* Get matching Christmas jammies
* Hang Christmas lights
* Attend the Old Town Holiday Shop & Stroll
* Decorate the Christmas tree
* Make a Christmas wish list
* Go watch Sister Bear in her school’s Holiday Concert
* Go to the movies (preferably a Christmas movie)
* Make Christmas cookies
* Select a baby Christmas tree for little bro
* Have a holiday date night
* Fill a sack of toys to donate to kiddos in need
* Take a drive to see Christmas lights
* Find the perfect Baby’s 1st Christmas Ornament
* Go to a holiday party
* Host a family cookie exchange
* Decorate Gracie’s bedroom Christmas tree
* Send out Christmas cards
* Visit the Botanical Garden River of Lights
* Welcome Twinkle Toes home for Christmas (our Elf on the Shelf)
* Make a gingerbread house
* Try a fun new Christmas cocktail
* Watch Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer


Tuesday, December 26, 2017

HBL | Christmas Countdown!

* Go watch Sister Bear in her school’s Holiday Concert – Check!
* Get matching Christmas jammies – Check!
* Decorate Gracie’s bedroom Christmas tree – Check!
* Go see a Christmas movie – Check!


Christmas Concert | Heart Melts!
I don’t think I was at all prepared for how awesome having a kid in Kindergarten would be! It’s just cuter than I ever imagined. Gracie absolutely loves it and we adore her school and her teachers. All in all, it’s been a wonderful first-half of the year! The Bean’s school plans fun family-based events, just about every other month and the parents in charge of the PTA are the most creative bunch around. The officers of the PTA consist of 100% stay-at-home moms and they are so dang committed to doing anything and everything for our kiddos. G and I joined the PTA at the start of the year, but we definitely fall into the “working parents” category, meaning that we paid an annual PTA membership fee, we go to one meeting a month and participate/contribute to school fundraisers. The other folks who hold office basically live at the school and I’m super thankful for all they’ve done to make this year so awesome, with the most recent adorable event being Gracie’s 2017 Holiday Concert.


Our gal isn’t the best about keeping us in the loop when it comes to the stuff that goes on at school… (remember that time we just happened to find out that she was Student of the Month because G noticed her picture on the bulletin board), yeah, she’s a Kindergartner, so I don’t expect the best communication, haha! Anyway, what contributes to this being out of the loop stuff, is that my MIL picks Grace up from school and has her from 3:30pm to 5:15pm, Monday -Thursday and often lets her rummage through her backpack. I can’t complain too much, because my in-laws are amazing for all they do for us + Gracie is stubborn and doesn’t listen when we tell her to leave her backpack alone! The issues this creates is that we only end up getting around 25% of the information flyers that get sent home and in this case, we didn’t even find out about the Bean’s concert until a few days before! We never received the lyrics to the songs she performed that she was supposed to practice at home in the weeks leading up to the concert… We had no idea that there were specific things that students needed to wear… and we didn’t even get to invite the grandparents until 2 days before! Thankfully it all worked out though. It just so happened that Gracie’s Christmas dress was red this year and that was the color she needed to wear for the performance and our little princess gal already had a tiara Santa hat, which also covered the request to, “put your child in a holiday hat that reflects their personality”. She ended up looking adorable with her matching candy cane jewelry and she could not have been more excited!


We arrived early, for once in our lives – so we had great seats! Brother Bear looked all adorable wearing the “Baby’s 1st Christmas” shirt that was Gracie’s for her first Christmas and he was quite the crowd pleaser in his black tweed cap and skinny jeans. Grace was a ball of energy when we arrived and spent the hour before the show running, full-speed all over the school cafeteria with her buddies. She wanted to show us all the projects she’s been working on and didn’t seem nervous at all when it was show time.


I must hand it to our little Santa princess. For someone who literally didn’t practice one single song at home, she did great! She seemed to lead the group for one of the songs that had hand movements in the performance and looked like a pro up on stage. My mama heart melted about a hundred times during the 45 minutes that she performed!


Following the Bean’s adorable concert, she asked for a microphone stand for Christmas to go with her karaoke machine my mom gave her last year, and since she got it on Christmas morning, she has only stopped singing to sleep and eat!


Mama’s little performer! :)


Get Matching Christmas Jammies | Holiday Pajama Party


In what’s felt like a blink, our gal’s finished out half her school year and my gosh – it flew by! Her class hosted the cutest little holiday pajama party earlier in the month, which was an award for raising the most money in the school’s recent fundraiser. I had a feeling they would win, so I ordered matching jammies for all of us in November and Gracie and Will looked adorable! The Bean was beyond excited to wear matching PJ’s with her brother and paraded him around her classroom introducing him to all her friends! I’m just so thankful that she totally digs being a big sister!


We all joined in the festivities and watched Christmas movies with the Bean’s Kindergarten buds and their parents, while snacking on holiday goodies. As I was setting out the food we brought, G let Gracie walk around the classroom introducing Will to everyone. A few of the parents acted a bit shocked that we let her carry the baby, which I thought was funny and ridiculous. One mom commented that Grace seemed a bit small to be carrying her brother, “who is just a baby”. She said it nicely and in a joking way, but it was still annoying. I had to then explain that Gracie is the tallest girl in her class, that’s she’s freakishly strong (lol) she’s nearly 6 years old and that we taught her how to safely carry him since she’s insisted on doing so since he was around 4 months old. Helicopter parents and their freak-outs… gotta love’em.


After the little party, we walked around the school to deliver presents to the Bean’s teachers and it took the longest time because Gracie has a ton of teachers! We delivered tins of cookies to her classroom teacher and teacher’s aide + her technology teacher + her music teacher + her art teacher + her PE coach. Thank you Costco for selling tins of cookies in bulk!
    
Decorate Gracie’s Bedroom Christmas Tree | Thanks Twinkle Toes!


I plan to share a post of all of Twinkle Toes’ surprises for Gracie this year, but this one may be my favorite! She has a mini tree lot in her room with the cutest little house and this year her elf brought her a new pink Christmas tree! She was so excited when she woke up that morning that she nearly gave all of us a heart attack because she screamed when she saw it, haha!


Go to a Holiday Movie | William’s First Movie


The first time I ever had a “boyfriend” was in the 3rd grade and his name was Adam. Now, by boyfriend, I mean that he let me wear his water watch (remember those!) and I think we held hands for like 10 seconds one time and that was about it, lol. What I didn’t realize was that this guy would become one of my best friends and would still be my absolute best guy friend, 28 years later. He is known as uncle Adam now and is the best uncle ever! He is such a dedicated uncle and constantly spoils all the kids in our crew of friends. For Christmas this year, as a gift to all the kiddos, he rented an entire movie theater so they could watch the movie STAR, the story of the birth of Jesus. We decided that this would be the perfect first movie for Will because, were he to cry, he would be in a room full of friends and family and they wouldn’t mind. As it turned out, he did amazing and didn’t cry once! He was so into the movie and didn’t fall asleep until the last 15 minutes. He did so great that we’ve since taken him to a second movie, Disney’s Coco!


I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas! Ours was so great but I’m also glad we’re through the craziness that is Christmas! I’m off for two more days, so hopefully I’ll have time to share a few Christmas Eve and Christmas pics! Merry everything. :)


2017 // Holiday Bucket List
* Take brother to meet Santa for the 1st time!
* Make homemade ornaments
* Get matching Christmas jammies
* Hang Christmas lights
* Attend the Old Town Holiday Shop & Stroll
* Decorate the Christmas tree
* Make a Christmas wish list
* Go watch Sister Bear in her school’s Holiday Concert
* Go to the movies (preferably a Christmas movie)
* Make Christmas cookies
* Select a baby Christmas tree for little bro
* Have a holiday date night
* Fill a sack of toys to donate to kiddos in need
* Take a drive to see Christmas lights
* Find the perfect Baby’s 1st Christmas Ornament
* Go to a holiday party
* Host a family cookie exchange
* Decorate Gracie’s bedroom Christmas tree
* Send out Christmas cards
* Visit the Botanical Garden River of Lights
* Welcome Twinkle Toes home for Christmas (our Elf on the Shelf)
* Make a gingerbread house
* Try a fun new Christmas cocktail
* Watch Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer


Monday, December 25, 2017

* M E R R Y C H R I S T M A S *


From our family to yours! Merry Christmas, friends! Thanks so much for keeping up with our adventures and for always sharing your support when we need it most. I wouldn't trade this amazing community of friends for the world. We wish you all the happiest of holidays!

Cheers, Georgia, Kristin, Gracie, Will & Mavie


Friday, December 22, 2017

8 Months of William


Hi Sonnie! This is going to be a super quick monthly update because it’s 3 days until Christmas, your uncle’s flight comes in tonight and Mama still has so much to get done! This will be your first Christmas (well second if you count last year when you were in Mommy’s belly) and you have helped to make it so very special! I would have to say that we’ve done more family festive things this holiday season with you and sister, than we have in years and how could we not! We’re just so excited that you’re here with us that we want to do ALL the things!


Here is what you, our big handsome 8-month-old has been up to this past month:


* You celebrate your first Thanksgiving at uncle D and auntie A’s house! You wore the cutest little “My 1st Thanksgiving” shirt with blue slacks and dirtied several Thanksgiving bibs that you inherited from big sis! You tried a nibble of mashed potatoes for the first time, had whipped cream thanks to your uncle D who doesn’t care if we have a no sugar rule, haha! You watched the Dallas Cowboys play, as they always do on Thanksgiving and were the light of our family gathering. Gaga joined all of us along with Nani and Grandpa K and we all ate, visited and took turns loving on you! It was such a great day – here’s some pictures!


* You’ve started feeding yourself! You’ve been great with baby led weaning up to this point, but it’s always involved us handing you something big to gnaw on. This past month we introduced organic puffs and organic yogis into your diet and watched in amazement as you easily picked them up and put them directly into your mouth! This required you to use your pincer grasp, which is something we didn’t know you could do! You are now obsessed with these goodies (they are your favorite treat), so we take them with us when we’re on the go.



* You can stand up and hold on to stuff all on your own! Up to this past couple of weeks, you were just too tall, skinny and wobbly to do this, so Mommy and I were shocked when you seemed to find your bearings and not only began standing without assistance, but also holding on while playing with toys at the same time! Wowsers, we’re so proud of you!



* You are a little dare devil and it’s all Mommy’s fault! She watched a video years ago of Neil Patrick Harris holding his daughter when she was a one year old as she stood on his hands, suspended in the air, relying on just her balance to keep from falling. Mommy loved the video and decided that when we had our next baby, she was going to teach them how to do this… Well guess what son; you’re that baby, so get ready because I feel you have quite a bit of acrobatics in your future! When Mommy first showed me the trick in this video, I about died! The new rule is that she must teach you these stunts over the bed or couch! Mommy says she can feel you engaging your core and balancing like a champ when you do these stunts, but still – safety first! Her goal is to teach you to stand in the palm of her hand and eventually be able to elevate you up over her head (while standing). #howtogivemomaheartattack

Other than learning all sorts of new stuff, trying new foods (you now LOVE pesto pasta) and going on all sorts of adventures, we are just loving every day with you and can't believe that you're just 4 months away from being a year old!



We especially love your stinky feet!


Here’s more of your cuteness :)








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