Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

2009 sure was a great one! So many fun times and great experiences. So many firsts. So much time well spent.

Here's to hoping that 2010 will bring everyone joy and happiness!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mommy job description, Christmas edition

Job includes, but is not limited to:

- Must enjoy anything Christmassy.

- Must take child to any Christmas event in a 20 mile radius.

- Must coordinate events so that there is still time left for making snow angels and baking cupcakes.

- Must be able to watch the Dora the Explorer Christmas movie at least 50 times without getting tired of it.

- Must learn that the Christmas spirit is about being together, not about how many things you can do in a week.


Benefits:

- Spend endless time cuddling, laughing, and playing.

- See the glow of the Christmas tree on their faces.

- See Christmas thru a child’s eyes!

- Feel more joy than you would ever think possible.

Christmas at the Zoo

The weekend before Christmas the Zoo had a Christmas thing going on. There were pretty lights in the zoo, and Natalie and I got to go there after dark.

Natalie thought it was so much fun to be there after the animals went to bed. Unfortunately, most of the animals actually had gone to bed before we got there, but that was okay. There were some animals in the welcome center that the kids could see and touch, like a snake, a turtle, a rabbit, a parrot, and a porcupine.

We also got to go on a horse wagon ride into the forest. That was very calm and soothing, and very beautiful - the path was lit by candles along the side of the road.

We also ate our supper at the restaurant there. And Santa was there! Natalie asked me if he was for real, and I made the mistake of saying that I wasn't sure, that he might be for pretend. But then she said "I think he's for real", and who was I to argue with that? She even went over to him to say hi, though I think it was more the candy canes he handed out that had her interest.

Since it was just Natalie and me, and I was carrying her a good part of the way, I didn't take many pictures. But here's one that I really like, though. Natalie sitting on a bench looking at the pretty lights. I know it is kinda dark, and you can't really see her face, and... But you get such a great idea of the Christmassy atmosphere that night that I still think it just works:

It's definitely Christmas time!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Garden of lights

The local botannical garden was having their annual Garden of Lights festival. We had such a great time there.

We had to park at an overflow parking lot and ride a schoolbus to the entrance. Natalie was so excited about the schoolbus, I think that might almost have been what she enjoyed the most!

Of course the lights were beautiful:
Pretty flowers!

We enjoyed walking around looking at all the pretty lights and talking about the shapes they made. We also took a break on a bench where Natalie could get a snack. Karsten was taking pictures of us when a friendly stranger asked if we wanted a picture of all of us:

The whole family at the botannical garden!

I really like the picture, it is so rare that we get one with all of us in it. What a nice thing for that perfect stranger to do for us!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Party at Daycare

On Friday before Christmas, we went to the annual Christmas party at daycare. Natalie was much more interested in Santa than she was last year:
Looking for Santa...

He's right over there!

Natalie also really enjoyed all the activities in the different rooms:

Making a pretty ornament.


Finding Christmas items in a table full of shredded giftwrap - so much fun!

And of course, a daycare party wouldn't be a daycare party unless she got to decorate a cookie:

That looks yummi!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

You might have noticed that I haven't posted much in December. That's because we've been too busy having fun!

Here in December, we've had something going on almost every day, from daycare parties to holiday trips to the botanical garden and to the zoo, to great family time at home. So, in order not to get too stressed out, blogging has taken a back seat for a while.

But not to worry, there will be lots of posts with lots of Christmas pictures - even though they might stretch into January a bit! Oh, well, nothing wrong with making the holiday spirit last a little longer, right?!?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The birthday party

Last weekend, Natalie's friend Aubriella came over for a birthday party. Natalie had requested Backyardigans decorations, a Tinkerbelle cake, and Yo-Gabba-Gabba games. So that is exactly what we had.

The cake was beautiful:

And of course, it was delicious.


Isn't it amazing how the "eating-cake-picture" gets less and less messy every year?!

For the Yo-Gabba-Gabba games, we had a couple of things going on. One of them was a dancing game which the girls seemed to like. But I think the big hit was this one:

Natalie's watertable filled with packaging chips. And little "treasures" for the girls to find. What made this a Yo-Gabba-Gabba game? Well, the goody bags to put the "treasures" in looked like Yo-Gabba-Gabba characters! Okay, maybe a bit of a stretch, but it worked...

After the game was done, Natalie took all her "treasures" and put them back in the watertable, just so she could find them again!

The girls played all afternoon and evening, and they had such a blast (and us grownups had a great time watching them, too). When it was time to get into their jammies, it turned out that they had matching sets:

Best friends in matching jammies - How cute is that!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Birthday morning

Of course, the morning of any birthday is special. We woke Natalie up by singing Happy Birthday to her. Then she came out to her birthday breakfast table:

She got to blow the candles out all by herself...


The first present of the day was a Dora the Explorer toothbrush set:


You may have noticed the flags on the table in the first picture. It's an old tradition in Denmark to use the Danish flag for celebrations. So this would be a perfect birthday picture - well, at least if Natalie had actually smiled...

Happy Birthday, Natalie!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Natalie!

Natalie's birthday was just the other day. Guess who's Three?!?!?


Of course, she had plenty of birthday cake:

And we even got a little video of her blowing out the candles!

video

Happy Birthday, Natalie! You're such a big girl!

Monday, December 7, 2009

December!

We have an old tradition in our family - we call it a Christmas Calendar (some people around here call it an advent calendar). Every day from the first of December until the 24th, Natalie gets a little present. Actually, she gets three, because she gets one from Grandma, one from her Aunt and Cousin, and one from us.

This year I couldn't find the time to wrap it all up until the last minute. So on Nov. 30th, after Natalie and Karsten had gone to bed, I was listening to Christmas music and wrapping up 24 little gifts. I tied them onto an old embroidered "calendar" that my mom made for me when I was little. And I enjoyed it sooo much. There was so much peace and quiet in the house, and I had time to look forward to Natalie opening each present, thinking about if she would like them, etc. I was also thinking back to when I was a little girl, getting all these presents. Good times.

Here's a picture from Dec. first when Natalie got to open the first present:

Such a great tradition.