Yes, I know my blog posts are getting to be few and far between. It seems after the girls go to bed there is so much to do, sitting at the computer just doesn't happen. I've also been playing a few gigs and still teaching some evenings, so the night before we leave town, I'm mostly packed and finally updating the blog. Let's see...we got a van!!! Finally, we can all feel comfortable, the girls can see us and out the window better, and I won't have to make this 26 hours of driving with my legs stuffed between bags and boxes! Well, we haven't actually packed the van yet so maybe I'm counting my blessings too early. It was a pleasant experience at the dealership..other than Hannah yelling at a friendly saleswoman telling her she couldn't play with her teddy bear. We ended up with a 2005 Dodge Caravan.
The girls really like it. Hannah calls it the "vancar." We actually had to switch the seats from what you see here because Hannah couldn't help kicking the driver in the back. Not too comfortable! We would put one of them in the last row for even more room, but they are so young it would be awfully lonely back there.
Another new item. My dad got us a tv for Christmas! I know we bragged and bragged about having our other tv in the garage. It was eventually dragged out so much it sat in the den floor. We have not gone back to our bad habits from before so we feel more in control now. It's hard, though since this new one has such a great picture, and with its HD capabilities we now gt HGTV and the Food Network among others, luxuries we lived without before.
I don't know if Hannah's animals were put here to be ornaments or they're just really looking in the wrong place for presents.
I wonder if we have enough wrapping paper! I love the night when Dax and I wrap presents. We always light a fire, make s'mores, and turn on a Christmas movie. This year it was Christmas vacation. We have so much paper from years past, my Granny, and a garage sale or two I think it will last us another couple of years.
My mom was going to get the girls a kitchen set for Christmas but then a friend from church who is always so nice to the girls and gives us what her grandchildren outgrow, brought over a kitchen set in great condition, with food and skillets included. My mom is going to get them a great little bookshelf/sling thing I've been wanting for their room. The girls love the kitchen. Even Chloe gets to work in there.
Checking the oven. I love that little squat.
So this is not anything new in a mom's day right? Well in this house it was. Can you believe only a few hours earlier I marveled to Dax at my realization that neither girl had ever really gone through my purse despite that it's sitting in plain sight every day. Well, never speak too soon.
Now Chloe is really getting into things. Only since she's been walking a tiny bit on her own has she discovered the potted plant, pulling things down from everywhere, and unrolling all the toilet paper- well she knew that one before but was a little hesitant. Today I heard the roll going and I ran over- too late, it was already empty.
Hannah just wanted a picture taken.
Every morning a cat pounces around our backyard and Hannah must think I'm making it up because I call her and the cat immediately disappears. I found proof in the paw prints and told her the cat made those. She didn't get the relevance. : )
Chloe shows off her pasta face.
Just as Chloe is becoming a percussionist- she really picks up drumsticks, holds them correctly, and taps a beat while swaying like she hears a great melody- Hannah is becoming an artist. The other day, I was leaving the house and spotted the magnadoodle with little faces drawn all over it. As far as I knew, Hannah knew how to draw a circle and maybe a couple of dots for eyes, but not faces. I assumed Dax did it. Then I saw her sit down the other day and systematically draw face after face. She draws a circle, scribbles on the hair, draws the right eye, mouth, then left eye. Every face was the same. The other strange thing is she does most things left- handed but since the pen is on the right side of the board, drew this right handed. I tried to get her to change to see what would happen but she would have none of it. It's so fun to watch your child learn.
Last Thursday we went to the children's home to make a gingerbread house. Doris Roberts, from Everybody Loves Raymond was supposed to be a special guest but got sick.
So another surprise visitor came! I think this poor guy was about to clock out and go home with the rest of the staff urged him to run out and get a costume. He was a very tall Santa with quite a bumpy belly!
We couldn't get Hannah to sit there. This is the only Santa picture this year I'm afraid. Just watching all those poor kids at the mall looking terrified to sit in his lap, and knowing mine would not like it either, I didn't feel like forcing it on them.
Father and daughter working together.
The finished product. Some families' houses looked amazing, but then I didn't see the kids being allowed to touch those houses either!
One family was getting so frustrated at their roof. It kept sliding off. They were so serious about it and I kept secretly chuckling so I took a picture. Thankfully they saw the bright side soon and said it was better for displaying the inside of the house.
We found out that a local pet spa was hosting an open house. This is where Doris Roberts was staying and was her original purpose for being in town. She is an animal lover and is friends with the owners, who in turn are very gracious towards the children's home. Anyway, we decided to see what it was all about. It was freeeeezing. But they served hot chocolate so I was appeased.
They board many animals there, mostly pets who get private rooms with flat screen tvs and garden time with animals their height - not kidding!- but they also board a few farm animals. The donkey actually belongs to the children's home. Ozella? I think is her name.
There she is! Waiting in a room like Santa, Doris sat at a table and politely took pictures with guests even though she looked like she was still not well. The life of a celebrity cannot be easy.
I tried to say a couple of things to her, but what do you say to someone who's heard it all? She was very nice.
A couple of times now we've been able to hang out at my friend Jessica's house. This was Tuesday and Hannah had never met Addy before- in the black pants. I told her there would be some new kids there and she corrected me saying there would be "special new kids." They took turns saying "cheese" and taking pictures of each other.
A few gifts we are giving the girls ahead of time. Nana got us 2 dvd screens to use in the van for the trip! She gave Hannah Sleeping Beauty, which is apparently her new favorite movie! I don't know if I've ever seen it. They have a whole new set of books Frieda brought over, and lastly I gave them their cradles this morning. The larger one was made for me when I was little and it stayed in my room forever. I found the smaller one at a yard sale. I didn't assign either cradle to either girl as to avoid- "That's my baby's that's your baby's!" Plus Chloe always gets the smaller version of everything so I say they both belong to both. It's hard enough convincing Hannah not to tell Chloe "no" constantly, especially when Chloe is allowed to do pretty much everything Hannah does. She even tried to put her in time out today! I guess that's a 2 year old for you.
We have up some Christmas drawings to replace our fall drawings now!
Well, we leave tomorrow for our Tennessee tour. We'll spend a day in Memphis after all the driving, then head to Knoxville for a few days to stay with our friend Matt, reunite with a few friends, and then head to Dax's side of the family. Then we'll head back to my side of the family. We try to switch off every other family's Christmas Eve/Day, but we stayed home last year due to Chloe being so young. This means I haven't been with my family for Christmas in 3 years! I'm really excited to see all the relatives. We'll come back on the 28th and have Christmas with Nana and all go to our favorite restaurant- Texas de Brazil! Then we have a couple of days before Dax goes back to work and my teaching and rehearsals start up again. Busy busy!!! I won't be able to post until we get back so expect it to be a long one!! Happy Holidays!!!!