Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Holiday Season, Part One

We began our series of traditions this year with Gingerbread Houses. Gma K made sure that David and I each had our own since we tend to conflict on exterior style and building methods.

Here are the results: David's is the gingerbread hut, complete with a festive, sandy beach.
egg nog 'stache and other evidence
Mia helped me put out Gma K's nativity set. Like she is doing in this photo, Mia felt inclined to kiss each of its members.
Here is our little dresser-top-we-are-in-the-middle-of-a-move tree. I still like it.
Because our tree is out of reach,
Mia gets to focus all of her ornament destruction energy on Gma's.
Here is a blurry picture(cold hands don't make for good photography)
from the Christmas light lake cruise we go on every year.
It miraculously transports us from dockside to the North Pole (just behind us)
within about 23 minutes.
And here is our iconic photo with the mall Santa.
I actually appreciate Mia's apprehension to sit on an unfamiliar, hairy man's lap.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1 & 1/2

At this point, I suppose there is no turning back. Mia is officially a toddler. Here are some of her 18 month activities:

snow excitement
mimicking
modeling practice for National Geographic
pre-"hair time" bathtub relaxation
...and other semi-nude activities
This is a common scenario.
My pre-teen sister has an unconditionally devoted fan and couldn't care less.
A DEtached car seat carries an entirely different connotation.
While evaluating our new accommodations (Gma K's house),
Mia needed to test the sofa's bounce potential.
An Up Close & Personal Itsy, Bitsy Spider
Here is a little taste of Mia's communication abilities & subtle rhythms:
video

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Au Revoir Mon Château

We have sold our house and moved out. I am feeling a little like Ruth Wilcox in Howards End,
when she bequeaths her little summer cottage to an almost stranger rather than her own children:
To them Howards End was a house: they could not know that to her it had been a spirit, for which she sought a spiritual heir...A wych-elm tree, a vine, a wisp of hay with dew on it--can passion for such things be transmitted...?

It was difficult to finally arrive at the decision to sell it. After going round and round about our goals and struggles, we determined that these things are more valuable than this particular home:
  • the ability to adopt baby #2 next year- To do so would require more usable space, like another bedroom in a smaller home overall, rather than 3500 sq. ft. of unfinished, but potentially beautiful real-estate.
  • less debt into boring things like $35,000. worth of water system
Despite the woe, we feel so GRATEFUL to have been able to sell it in such a timely manner, for our asking price, and to a family with a vision for its completion and an appreciation for the details we've invested.

This is what I will miss the most. I loved opening my eyes in the morning and seeing our pretty trees through our Gothic window.
This is what would have been my future kitchen window. We built our (snow covered)water feature around it with the intention of more pleasant dishwashing experiences.
Our nostalgic "Paul Revere" lantern:
This sweet quail is just one of the many residents whom we will miss.
These dormers would have been in Mia's future bedroom. I have often imagined seeing her through those windows at various life stages.
We worked so hard to get the perfect shutters. Apparently very few homeowners are concerned with authenticity. We eventually had them custom made for the windows and spent many hours each year taking them down to re-coat with paint and then return them to functioning order! At least we were ready for all types of inclement weather with such protective measures.
Here is our last Sunday picture in our usual spot:
Goodbye, Chestnut Lane! I'm sure our neighbors won't miss us as much as they say they will. They will be saved from lots of dog rescuing excursions.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fanaticism

HOGWARTS HOLIDAY FEAST
Secret Identities REVEALED

Professor Lupin (luckily the full moon had occured the week before):
a more mild-mannered (I hope) Bellatrix LeStrange:
The head table- McGonagall, Dumbledore, Snape:
Ron Weasley getting a re-sort from the Sorting Hat:
Due to educational budget cuts,
Hogwarts had to enlist Trelawney's family fortune to fund the feast:
The lovely Mme. Rosmerta (wo)manning her post at the Leaky Cauldon's Bar:
Fred and George Weasley (George is still recovering from his Death Eater attack):
The entire Weasley clan was present. Here's Bill:
As was expected, the quickly quilling Rita Skeeter popped in so as not to miss any action:
Professor Sprout:
Dolores Umbridge and her latest victim, Luna Lovegood:
Cheerio!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankful...

for THIS, most of all...
but also for tasty traditions. I brought my usual contributions Aunt Jacque's.
Candied yams:
Cranberry-Orange relish (which I eat by the spoonful):
Thanksgiving was a little empty because of the missing guests. G & G & Aunt Amy were snowed in to their homes in Southern Idaho. Mia still had a glorious time playing with the available cousins. With some help from Gma K, she was able to keep up with older & wiser McKenna.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

17

In her 17th month, Mia's interests have surfaced and taken hold. It is fascinating how these little personalities come to us already formed. Although genetics, and especially environment, help to shape them, there is no squelching what is already there!

This girl is a dress-up lover, through and through. My dish towel drawer usually looks like this to accommodate her accessorizing.
Taking a post-Flashdance session breather:
Snuggling into her favorite spot with a bit of Eric Carle:
"I'm so glad when the FUN PARENT comes home, glad as I can be!"
Here, Mia snuck the "Quiet Book" out of my church bag. I try to keep it hidden during the week so that it becomes a novelty on Sundays.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oh, Snow!

We woke to lots of snow yesterday. Mia was fascinated. We were already prepared with the gear: lovely hot-pink bibbed snow pants from the baby thrift store and the only warm coat I could find sans Disney princesses or the like. We went out first thing in the morning so as to get a good deal of sledding in before Dad had to go to work. Welcome winter!