29 December 2010

The Stockings Were Hung

As I'm sure many of you do, I really debated over what to do about family Christmas stockings.

Here is one of my great goals in life:
























Have you ever seen so many stockings? This is at my Grandma B's house, where a stocking is added everytime a new family member is added, either by marriage or by birth. I love this tradition.

I wanted to be able to provide a simple, easy to duplicate stocking so that we could start this same tradition at our house. Last year I had no sewing machine so didn't know what to do. Glue stockings together? Buy 30 of the same stockings somewhere and hope we never need more? I can knit, but I don't know how to knit socks and I'm not sure I have the patience to learn.

Then there was the dilemma of the stockings David and I already had. I think his is from he was young, and mine was a gift when I was living in Thailand. Sentimental value attached to both of them.

So did I want David's and mine to match the rest of the family's? And then how do I choose a stocking pattern that I will like for the rest of my life? That's not too trendy so that in 20 years I'm wondering what on earth I was thinking? Do I buy enough fabric to make the exact same stocking for years to come?

Did you ever know stockings could cause such a dilemma?

Finally I just made a decision, and I think I'm rather happy with it. I made a very simple, easy to duplicate pattern. I chose to stick with the same color palette for the fabric of each stocking (dark red and beige) instead of using the exact same fabric, using classic colors that I'll like forever and that I'm sure fabric stores will never stop selling. We'll hang our official family stockings on the mantle in the living room and hang David's and my sentimental value stocking on the mantle in the family room just for decoration. (So handy having two fireplaces.)


















The stockings made it through their first Christmas. They can be stuffed to the brim with no seams breaking, but if you're Daphne and your stocking only had two books in it you don't really have to worry about that. Poor, deprived child.


















David shared a bite of his Reese's Peanut Butter tree, so she was fine with her deprivation.


















And I am more than fine with our family stockings.

28 December 2010

Christmas Morn

I tried to get a nice photo of Daphne in front of the tree Christmas morning.

You can see how that worked out for me.









































































24 December 2010

2

Aside from the fact that my 2 year old has not been napping lately.

Even though she's been awaking in the night and wanting to party from the delicate hours of 2-4 A.M.


















Despite acting as a mini tornado through the house, leaving wreckage wherever she goes...

She gives the best hugs.


















And loves giving kisses under the mistletoe.

She's one of the snuggliest toddlers I know.

And when she asks "Mama play Duplos with Daphne?" she's almost impossible to say no to.

Same when she asks you to read a book.

She carries a tune remarkably well.

And loves listening to music.

She loves going to church and Bible study.

And singing Jesus Loves Me.


















Be careful...she'll leave her mark on your heart, if you'll let her.

Happy birthday, sweet one.

23 December 2010

We {Heart} Christmas Cards

It's definitely a Christmas favorite to receive piles of Christmas cards this time of year. I love each one.

But I admit I do not spend the same amount of time pouring over each and every photo like this little girl does. If you sent us a photo card this Christmas, I can guarantee we have spent more time than would seem normal pointing to and naming each person in each photo. And showing them to Lola. And showing them to her stuffed animals. And reading them books.

So just so you know, someone really, truly adores getting your cards.













22 December 2010

Izzy's Day

December 22, otherwise known as Izzy's Day at our house, is practically a national holiday as it is the only day a year David gets to go to Izzy's.

You may recall me sharing last year that when we tried to go out for our last dinner date before Daphne was born, there was so much snow that the only open restaurant we could find was Izzy's.

Before we left today for our 3rd annual Izzy's trip, David sat Daphne down to tell her the story of why we were going out to lunch. First he told her that he was going to eat so much his tummy would hurt and mommy was going to eat salad.

He knows me well.

Then he continued, "Daphne, two years ago..."

"Turtles?" She interrupted.

The story telling pretty much went downhill from there.

But Izzy's was a hit, with 'icey cream' being the #1 favorite food.

























Happy Izzy's Day, from our house to yours.

14 December 2010

Daphne Loves Santa

Just what you've been waiting for, Daphne and Santa, 2010:























The look on her face isn't much different than last year's, and when we first got near him she wrapped her arms around my neck with a strength I didn't know she had. I thought she was going to be afraid of him and not sit on his lap, but after a minute or two she settled right in and was having a great time. The fact that he gave her a candy cane may have had something to do with that.

This year I was brave and snuck in a few of my own photos, but for the record I did not see any signs telling me not to use my own camera. But still I was quick and didn't get the best angle to show off her super cute outfit, which I bought for $5 at H&M (for those of you who love it when I share how cheaply I was able to buy something...ahem, GAB).
























So Santa was a hit this year, and Daphne has been asking all day today if we can go to 'Sinta's' house. She's also asking to drive around and look at Christmas lights. What have I been saying? Naturally Christmassy.

11 December 2010

Where All Our Dreams Come True Part 2

While David and I aren't huge TV people, we do like watching movies and the occasional show on DVD. We're a bit behind technologically speaking; I think our cell phones were made in 1985 and it took us years to get wireless internet and a laptop. I couldn't work a TiVo if my life depended on it. I'm not even 100% sure what it is.

But David has been wanting a 'big' TV for the family room (AKA the 'man cave') for a long time. Our monthly budget allows us each some spending money, so David has been saving his pennies to be able to pay cash for a TV. (Dave Ramsey would be so proud.)

Thursday was the glorious day that our UPS man brought David his present.
























David put in some movie about shooting as his first test of the TV's magnificence. As helicopters where flying across the screen strafing the ground below them, Daphne was laughing hysterically.

I've had visions of her and I having Anne of Green Gables marathons in the future, but what if she would rather watch shoot-em-up movies with her dad?? Not sure I can handle that.

10 December 2010

Where All Our Dreams Come True Part 1

It's one of my favorite things to decorate my house and make it a warm, cozy place to be. I like curb appeal, too, and being able to pull into my driveway and say "ahh...home."

I wouldn't mind if people walked around and gave out "cutest house" awards. Someday I would like to win one of those awards.

My favorite house style is probably old country farmhouses with welcome lights in the windows and big front porches that at Christmas time can have garland strung along the porch railings. I do not yet live in an old country farmhouse, nor do I have a big front porch, but I do have welcome lights in the windows and several years ago David and I built a fence for our front yard that I think added thousands of points to our curb appeal score.

(I was very entertained by the meter reader who once asked if our lights in the windows were some sort of zen thing. Um, no, thanks for asking. And clearly we live in Portland to get a question like that.)

Anyways, if you can't string garland along a front porch, I think stringing it along a front fence is second best.

This year, a dream of mine has seen reality as I finally got myself some garland and strung it right up. I even put white lights in the garland. (If that's what you can call the LED solar lights that are labeled 'clear' but instead give off a blueish tinge...)













It's quite lovely and very festive.

David's Christmas dream for our house has been to own a train that can run around the base of the Christmas tree and this year we finally bought one. Since all day long I hear a little voice asking "watch the train?" I think it's a hit.












Her high chair is in the perfect location for eating/train watching. The train is in the perfect location for little hands to grab it off the track and hide train cars all over the house.

And now that she's in bed it's time for me to go on my evening scavenger hunt to find them all. Wish me luck.

09 December 2010

Let the Birthday Celebrations Begin

I realized this morning that we are going to be celebrating Christmas from the 23-27th. One party on the 23rd, one on the 24th, two on the 25th, one on the 26th and one on the 27th. That is some serious Christmas.

Daphne's birthday celebrations have already begun, with her first party celebrated with Gramma K on Sunday.

Look at that face! She loves blowing out candles. It's an added bonus to have people sing to her.


















Triple bonus if the candles and singing are followed by presents.












She opens her gifts with the intensity of a marathon runner, which is a skill that will come in handy Dec. 23-27.

06 December 2010

O Tannenbaum

I think that this year we have the most beautiful Christmas trees ever. Daphne loves them, because like I said before, she is naturally Christmassy and seems to love all things December related.































This morning we went downtown to visit the new H&M (H&M and I are officially friends) and to let Daph visit the giant tree. I love her face as she checked out the biggest Christmas tree she's ever seen:


















She did not love what David did to her in this next photo, and her screech was so loud I think the entire city stopped for a second to wonder at the ruckus.


















(She was mad enough at him that later when it was time to go and he tried to pick her up, she threw herself flat on the ground and yelled "no! up a-Mama!")

But do you see that guy in the photo in between the pickup truck and the tree base? That there was Daphne's brush with Portland fame, as he is one of the news guys doing something newsy. He's so famous I don't even know his name, but I've seen him before, maybe doing the weather?

I took some more pictures of David comforting Daphne; AKA David, Daphne and the semi famous guy.














Anyways, in all actuality, Daphne's favorite part of being downtown was chasing the pigeons.



















Because while she does love Christmas, she also loves all the animal creatures. Like she was excited about the elevator at the parking garage because she thought I said 'alligator.'

Gotta love the parking garage alligators.

04 December 2010

Civil War

To quote my friend Dub who said on Facebook: "In the category of phrases that sound really odd out of context: 'I'm really looking forward to the Civil War.'"

To quote a stranger in Fred Meyer: "I don't even like the Beavers, but I think I do now because she is soooo cute!"

















(Just doing her part to change the world, one non-Beaver fan at a time.)

03 December 2010

Nativity

Many years ago, before we had children, David found a Playmobil nativity set and purchased it thinking we would at some point have little people in our house who would like to play with it.

Good purchase David, good purchase.


















The only thing I don't love about it is the many small pieces it comes with. Mary's head piece comes off; the 3 king's capes and crowns come off; you practically need a microscope to keep track of baby Jesus. All staffs, halos and crowns are currently kept hidden away.

But Daphne asks several times a day to play with Baby Jesus, and I think having a nativity to play with is helping her realize that the story isn't about Baby Jesus and Baby Joseph like she previously thought.

Just one baby in this story, Daph.

01 December 2010

Tree Hunting

We got our Christmas tree on Monday, since David had the day off AND it wasn't raining. Two important components to Christmas tree hunting.


















Obviously Daph needs a little help when it comes to choosing the perfect tree.














Better:














While we loved her mini tree choices, we found the perfect full-sized one to take home with us.


















Then the lady who own the tree farm sat Daphne in a pile of wreaths and for some reason she was really happy there. I think she feels a deep love for this season and all that comes with it, being born on Christmas Eve and all. She is naturally Christmassy.




















video

30 November 2010

Two Good Things About Today

Cooped up with a small one this winter? Need to get out of the house but can't walk to the playground like you did so many times this summer?

Enter GigiBar; SE 59th and Division.

Despite the word 'bar' in the title, this is not an alcoholic joint for small people. Rather a coffee bar with yummy espresso, bagels, sandwiches and chalkboards on the walls. And toys and books and pillows and a huge rug to play on.














A nice place for mommies and babies. Daddies too.













It's such a nice place that if you happen to leave your diaper bag on the roof of your car, a passer-by just might call the cafe to let the worker know so they can tell you. (Not that I would have any experience with that.)

And if you order and then realize you left your wallet in the car, they will gladly continue preparing your food while you head back out to find your money. (Again, no experience here.)
------
Looking for some super soft slipper-type shoes to cover your child's unusual footwear? Added bonus if the slippers are so beloved by your child that he or she will cry buckets of tears when you take them off?

Enter Fred Meyer and a multitude of coupons.


















They practically paid me money to take these things home.

It's a big deal when you get to buy your baby her first pair of shoes that cost under $1000.