Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Christmas wrap-up

I am just now getting around to blogging about our first Christmas as a family of four. Everyone told me how much harder things would be with two kids. What they did not tell me was how hard it would be to prepare for Christmas with two kids! It was a stressful holiday season, but wonderful at the same time! I still can't believe that I found enough time to get the decorations up, the tree trimmed and all of the presents bought and wrapped before Christmas. Somehow it all got done in time, making for a very special family Christmas.

A few weeks before the holiday Cecilia made her acting debut. She played Baby Jesus in the nativity play at our church. Aside from the fact that Baby Jesus was not female, Cecilia played the part perfectly. It helped that she is the type of baby that does not mind being passed off to strangers. As I handed her over to "Mary" she gave me a huge grin. I was very proud of my little sweeetie. Not sure where we go from here. Any other acting gigs that may come along won't hold a candle to playing the part of Jesus!

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were extremely hectic but a lot of fun. We kicked things off with a Christmas Eve family gathering with Todd's side of the family. We would be spending Christmas night with Todd's family as well, but one of his brothers would not be in town so we wanted to make sure that the kids could all open their gifts together. Olivia and her cousin Ella have become very close over the past year. They are finally at the ages where they are able to play together, and boy do they have fun!

The girls were thrilled with their matching Lalaloopsy dolls. For those not familiar with Lalaloopsy, it is the latest doll craze for little girls. They are super cute and very unique...not tacky, like so many other dolls out there for girls. Olivia asked Santa for a Lalaloopsy set, which she was just dying to get. After opening their presents the girls took a rest, while Olivia read to Ella. Thank goodness for a girl cousin!

That night we all put on our Christmas best and headed to church. Our family was asked to bring up the the Baby Jesus as the final part of the nativity. This time Baby Jesus was plastic, not our sweet Cecilia. After church we headed to the Wilhelms for their annual Christmas Eve party. It is always a fun evening of good food and friends.

We tried to get home reasonably early so we could get the girls into bed and get things ready for the next morning. Olivia was sure to leave the cookies and milk for Santa. She could not have been more into every detail surrounding Christmas this year. I hope she continues to "believe" for many years, as there is nothing more special than experiencing Christmas through your five year old's eyes! Her eyes sure were as bright as could be on Christmas morning when she realized that Santa granted all of her Christmas wishes!

We spent a nice lazy morning at home opening presents, just the four of us. Todd and I soaked up every moment as we watched our girls enjoy their first Christmas together. Olivia was most thrilled with her gift from us...her own little iPod. It was actually my old iPod (Todd gave me a new one for Christmas), but she could have cared less. You should see her walking around here with her iPod and headphones, jammin' to all of her favorite songs. She was also pretty excited about the "Olivia" car given to her by her little sister. We kept things simple for Cecilia's first Christmas. We figured there was really no point in showering a six month old with gifts anyway. Olivia did pick out a cute little hat and hair bows for her sister. The immediately went into her mouth. Cece was pretty interested in her main present, which was a miniature piano. She has been filling the house with much noise since Christmas morning.

After wrapping things up at home we headed to my Mom's for Christmas #2! It was a frenzy of present opening, resulting in some very nice gifts for all. To say that we are blessed is definitely an understatement. Making sure Olivia understands just how blessed she is was top priority this holiday season.

I know these pictures look a bit obscene, but I assure you that all of those presents do not belong to Olivia. In fact they were split between the girls, me, Todd, my Mom, Grandma and Uncle. I love how Olivia seems to be in Christmas present overload in the second photo. Once all of the presents had been opened we collasped into an exhausted pile on the floor! I saw this quote from Andy Rooney over the holidays and it made me smile. "One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don't clean it up too quickly." What was my favorite present this year, you ask? This...

We finished off the day with Todd's side of the family. By that night we had reached our present opening maximum. The girls were wiped out and Todd and I were beat too. All of that preparation, leading up to the holiday was ripped through in a 12 hour span. It was a whirlwind of a day, but one we will always have very fond memories of.

It is now the middle of January and we have hunkered down for the winter. I don't mind cozy, lazy days around the house. Cecilia seems to changing daily right now. I can hardly keep up with her! She is very close to sitting without support. She can usually hold her own for a minute or two before toppling over. She does best with a little help from the boppy. Prop her up, surrounded by her toys and she is one happy girl!

We recently went for her 6-month check-up. Of course she is growing beautifully. She weighed in at 18 lbs. and 3 oz. She is one solid girl! Believe it or not, Olivia weighed almost one pound more at this age! Cecilia's most notable milestone as of late is her decision to start sleeping through the night. Her sleep habits in general literally seemed to improve overnight. She finally started napping better for me on the weekends and not just for Holly (her amazing babysitter) during the week. She stopped waking up to eat in the middle of the night, and last but not least she has learned to soothe herself back to sleep when she wakes. I was prepared to dive into some hardcore sleep training, but my little sweetie decided to save Mommy the stress and take care of it on her own. Thank you, Cecilia!

She is also on the move. In the last week she has started getting up on all fours and rocking back and fourth. She did this for the first time at Holly's. Holly immediately sent me a picture she took on her phone. I love that she keeps me in the loop on all of Cece's developments. She now spends a great deal of time on her hands and knees. She is definitely a girl on the verge crawling!

Cecilia has also recently expanded her palate. She has been eating cereal for at least a month now, but we recently introduced veggies and she loves them. Carrots, squash and peas are on the menu these days. We will be diving into fruits soon. My Mom has offered to make all of Cecilia's baby food. I love that everything touching her lips right now is homemade. Thanks, Mom!

Olivia is always working on developing her life long bond with her sister. She is very interested in helping Cecilia with her toys and is always very patient with her. Watching my two girls play with one another is better than anything I could have ever imagined. Olivia tells me daily how much she loves her sister, and even though Cece can't speak for herself I can see in her eyes just how much she loves her big sister.

Spring still seems decades away, but I am ready to spend a warm, cuddly winter inside with my family. It is the perfect time to slow down and enjoy every single second!