Friday, January 10, 2014

Look who just turned 2!!

I can hardly believe it!  My sweet little girl is TWO YEARS OLD!!  Totally crazy, that's what that is.  She hasn't really been a baby for a while now, but this totally seals the deal.  She's two.  TWO.  Weird.
My little sweet potato!

The big (or rather bigger - it's really not big at all compared to last year's party) birthday celebration will be this weekend, with the extended family and some friend who we've known forever, but on Tuesday we did a little celebrating with just us.  We had some of Aurelia's favorite foods - homemade mac 'n cheese and chicken wings (plus veggies, which she of course did not touch) - and we had to have cake! 

 Trying to blow out the candles

Dashiell helps, and it goes much better!

Cake-filled duck face

Eating cake is even more fun when it involves yelling!

I mean, what can I even say about this one?

Even with the bib on, we still needed to do a complete tear-down of her outfit.  Silly us, thinking we could give the kids baths and put them in their PJs before dinner!

It was a fun evening, just the 4 of us, and we were happy to help our littlest one celebrate her big day!  I can't wait for the "big" party tomorrow - she'll have a great time, I'm sure!

In honor of her 2nd year, I want to list a few of the things she's been doing or saying lately (mostly so I'll remember them in a year or whenever it is I get around to finishing her baby book):

  • Waggles her hips when she dances.  I mean, seriously, she has got moves.  Sassy moves!  
  • Roars like a monster, often
  • Can climb up on anything!  We're a bit worried about the crib, but are putting off the toddler bed transition since she still is not the best sleeper in the world...
  • Says, "Here go Dashiell" (which sounds more like "ee go dacho" while handing him things
  • Yells "I did it!" anytime she figures out how to do something by herself. Sometime we don't know what exactly she did, which is worrisome...
  • LOVES Hungry Hungry Hippos.  All day long, we hear "Hungy hippo?", her request for a new game.
  • Grabs our hands to lead us to whatever it is she wants to show us (lately it's been the Hungry Hungry Hippos game)
  • Feels the need to carry something, anything, down the stairs every time she goes downstairs, but usually she can't carry all the things she wants so it's up to Rick or I to carry them for her.  Often these things are her two loveys (cowie and elefante) plus at least one book.
  • Is at that stage where she wants to be helpful.  Oh how I love this stage!  I can ask her to put something away and she does it, no questions asked!  She may not agree to do everything I want her to do (put her coat on, go to sleep, etc.), but ask her to put the legos in a bin and she's on it.
  • "No thank you".  Hardly ever just "no", she almost always says "no thank you" in that sweet little voice that will make you agree to whatever it is that she doesn't want to do (sometimes).
  • Sings "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" with me every night before bed. Also busts into song for no other reason than it's fun to sing.  I love hearing her sing!
I know there are a million other things she does that I want to remember forever, but at the moment that's the most I can come up with.  I'm sure I'll think of more soon!

Aurelia, I am so very proud to be your mommy.  You are so sweet, and funny, and fearless, and inquisitive, and you amaze me with the things you do every single day.  I can't wait to see how much you grow this year!  You and your brother are our little miracles, though you're not that little anymore!  With you our family feels complete.  I love you more than you will ever know!  XOXO, Mommy.


The smile!

Playing dress up with my  hat and gloves
Enjoying a play ice cream come with Dashiell

Friday, January 3, 2014

Oh yeah, Happy New Year, too!

Happy New Year! 

We braved the cold on New Year's Eve and went into Boston for their First Night celebration.  It was the first time I had ever gone to it, and since they might not fund it again it may also be my last time going to it.  But we had a great time!  The kids were troupers - the both loved taking the T into Boston, loved the ice sculptures, and the fireworks (the early fireworks - we definitely did not stay for the midnight show!)?  They were amazing!  However, Aurelia was not impressed.  Cried through most of them, poor pumpkin.  After that it was kind of downhill - I think 'Reels was too cold and tired to enjoy the rest of the evening, so we headed home.  An hour and a half in 20 degree weather is about as much as I can take, too!

Sitting in one of the many ice sculptures

New Year's Day was spent celebrating Rick's Nana's birthday, which was a lot of fun as well!  5 kids under the age of 6 running rampant through the house (granted, the 4 month old wasn't doing much running...), creating chaos in their wake!  Whee!

Three of the kiddos help to blow out the candles

Happy Birthday Nana/Neena!

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's Eve, and that 2014 is even better than you could ever hope for!

A Very Merry Christmas, indeed!

This year, Christmas lasted pretty much a full week for the Weber Hansons.  Though we were unable to travel to Minnesota this year (the days of going out there every Christmas have sadly passed), we were blessed with a good long visit from Rick's sister Elizabeth and her husband Danny.  Danny is possibly Dashiell's favorite person in the whole world, and has been since the moment they met 4 years ago.
 Dashiell and Danny deep in conversation on Christmas day

Aurelia is now also very fond of him (just this morning she randomly asked, "whe-ah Deenny?", though I do think she might consider "Deenny" to be both Danny and Elizabeth, since it's too hard to say " Danny and Elizabeth"), however she has yet to pick her favorite person in the whole world.  She's still young.

Anyway, the celebrations all started on Saturday the 21st, the first full day that Elizabeth and Danny were in town.  The Hansons (aka Rick's parents) had all of their children, children's spouses, grandkids, and one granddog over for dinner.  It was so fun to see everyone together!  There were a billion pictures taken, but somehow none of them were taken by me.  However I did snag this photo of my and my sisters-in-law from Facebook:

Love them!  :)

The next day, the Hansons invited father-in-law Richard's family over for a big Christmas party!  Once again, lots of fun was had, and I met (or re-met) people who I didn't know before, which was highly enjoyable!  Once again, I didn't take very many photos (despite my new phone!), but Dashiell took a couple that were pretty good!

Me and the knees

Papa Jack smiling!!  What?!?

Monday we took a break from parties, but did invite Danny and Elizabeth to see the movie "Frozen" at Chunky's Cinema with us.  The kids LOVED it, especially Aurelia.  It was so much fun to hear her exclaim "WOW!" anytime something cool happened on screen.  Dashiell was nervous at some of the more intense parts of the movie, and sad at some of the sad parts ("Do you Want to Build a Snowman" - seriously, I still get teary thinking about that song!), but really liked the movie anyway.  I won't spoil the plot, but I have to admit that I loved the resolution of that movie more than any other Disney movie I've seen (not that I've seen them all, mind you).  It had it's questionable "Disney" moments (let's show how truly horrible people can be!), and the beginning had almost too much music, but I do recommend it anyway.  After the movie and after the kids went to bed, Rick and I got to hang out with Danny and Elizabeth WITHOUT kids - woo-hoo!  We ate tasty Vietnamese food and dished about all the things you can't dish about with kids around.  Ha!

Tuesday - well, Tuesday was Christmas Eve!  Yay!  That afternoon Dashiell and his aunt Lisa did a video chat and he got to open two of the presents she sent him.  Rocks!  Dashiell and aunt Lisa have a shared fondness for pretty rocks, and she went all out!  Blue dalmatian jasper, amethyst, rose quartz, and about 15 other varieties.  He was thrilled!!  And wanted to open all the other gifts for him under the tree, but we made him (and Aurelia) wait.  Mean parents!  Aurelia did a little last-minute cleaning to get on Santa's good side:

That evening we went over to the great-grandparents' house for their annual Christmas Eve dinner.  Neena makes lobster rolls each year - Yum!  The kids discovered that Neena and Papa Jack have an upstairs in their house, and enjoyed hanging out at the top of the stairs.

We all had a pretty good night sleep and waited patiently for Santa's arrival.  Dashiell did not take my suggestion of leaving beer and pickles for Santa since I know he'd appreciate the variety, but instead went with the standard milk and cookies.  Maybe next year!

Santa was very good to the kiddos, as were their aunts, uncles, grandparents and parents.  The present that we were most excited about was the blanket fort building kit that the kids received from my aunt Diane!

Rick set it up the night before and probably likes it even more than they do.  And they like it a LOT.

Dashiell was also thrilled that Santa remembered to bring him his Gears toy - he's been playing with it every day since Christmas.

He also loves his new bean bag chair, which Aurelia loves to climb on too!

There were a lot of hits this Christmas!  The kids did all right, that's for sure.

 Aurelia feeding her Baby Stella with her new bowl and spoon

 The Minnie Mouse Pet Salon

Endless games of Hungry Hungry Hippos!

Uncle David putting together the worlds most frustrating gift - 
the 3d wind-up dinosaur that comes in a million little cardboard pieces

New sleds!

All in all it was a great Christmas, made even better by all the time we got to spend with family!  

But it wasn't over yet!  The day after Christmas we had a lovely dinner over at the Hansons, followed by a viewing of the Zoo Lights at Stone Zoo.  There was a lot to see, though Santa had already made his way back home and wasn't available to hang out with that night (he had to go back to the North Pole on the 23rd).  But we had a fun (chilly!) night anyway!
 Aurelia and Aunty E sporting the same coat!

 Oohh!!  Pretty!!

 Dashiell and his Nana

We went on a few rides while at the Zoo, including the very chilly carousel!  Those flying horses are not meant to sit on in the winter - brrr!

The last day of our week-long Christmas celebration was just as jam-packed at the others.  First we went out to brunch with all the Hansons at the Loews hotel in Boston - Elizabeth and Danny stayed there the night before.

The kids with Danny and Elizabeth in the hotel lobby

Then we headed back home for a visit with our friends Shawn and Michele (and their 3 kids), and Mike, who was in town from Virginia.
Picture by Dashiell...hence the weird upward angle...

Finally, the kids stayed overnight at the grandparents' house while Rick and I went to the Mighty Mighty Bosstones' Annual Hometown Throwdown!

We missed last year due to scheduling conflicts, and the year before that Rick went without me because I was 38 weeks pregnant and didn't really feel up to standing around for hours, getting jostled by strangers trying to get a better view of the band.  But this year we finally made it back, and it was a great time! 

The good news is that Dashiell and Aurelia were so busy that day they barely even noticed that Danny and Elizabeth had left to go back to California that evening.  The bad news is that Danny and Elizabeth had to leave to go back to California, thus ending our week of Christmas fun.  We'll miss them, but always remember what a great time we had while they were here!  And we'll count the days until the visit again!

I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, filled with all the blessing of the season!  Happy Holidays!

OooOOOooo! New phones!!

For Christmas this year, Rick and I decided to splurge and buy ourselves fancy new phones, complete with fancy new cameras.  So excited that we did!  I'm still working out the settings and trying to figure out how to get the best pictures in whatever setting we find ourselves in, but that will come with time.  We are excited to be able to do video hang-outs now, which comes in especially handy on the days Rick works overnights and wants to say goodnight to the kiddos.  Dashiell will mostly make faces at the camera, ala this:

But Aurelia will hold full conversations, complete with hand gestures.  Most of the time Rick can't understand what she's saying or inflecting, but he smiles and nods and says, "You don't say?", like a good daddy does.

Aurelia has figured out how to take pictures of herself with our phones too, so right now my image folder is crammed full of stuff like this:

And this:

Always hilarious.  Or at the very least a good way to distract her when you need a minute to take away whatever thing it is that she shouldn't be playing with (wine glasses, scissors, my phone...oh wait...).

Rick showed Dashiell how to use the "stamps" feature (I think that's what it's called) that places a small photo inside your bigger photo using both the front and back camera at the same time.  He took this picture of my friend Mike and me the other day:

The only practical application we can think of for it is if you're a stalker and really want to freak out the person you're pursuing, something like this:

"I'm watching you, and I loooove you..."

(Sorry for cutting off half your face, Rick)

Anyway, we've been having a lot of fun with our new phones, and hope to have plenty of good pictures to post soon!