Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our 2011 in Pictures

Last year, the photo post was a quick-fix to a lost narrative.  This year, it was really difficult to choose just one photo per month... but here we are, with just hours left in 2011 - I present Kayla's year in pictures. 


None of my snow pics came out, but here she is all geared up for it!


Valentine's Day dinner... balloon and all. 


Celebrating Great Grandpa's 80th birthday with a tune.


Starting to get more hair now... enjoying a spring day on the deck. 


Pushing the swing at Pepere and Grammy Sue's house on Mother's Day.


Playing in the fountain at Pepere and Grammy Sue's house (photo credit: Paul Roy).


Kayla Turns 2!  Look at how big she is; she even moves into her big girl bed this month too. 


One of many walks over to the playground - Kayla's favorite place! 


September was our trip month... we went to the beach and Mount Gretna. 


My sweet little Pirate at Halloween. 


Our first family photos (photo credit: The Picture People). 


Looking lovely at Christmas.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas to All! (now with pics)

So here I am, back at work.  Sipping my first cup of coffee and reflecting on an amazing weekend.  We are so blessed, even if being blessed means we were up to our eyeballs in plastic and cardboard and more than a little glitter up through somewhere near 10 am yesterday. 

Friday night we had a small get together at our house.  Good food, good drink, great friends and family, and of course – top notch entertainment courtesy of Kayla and her “favorite song.”  The eggnog went faster than I had anticipated and the carefully chosen dishes seemed to be a hit all the way around, especially the cheese tray.  (Gotta love having an amazing place to buy gourmet cheese right here in our little town.) 

Saturday we were able to relax a little, and after Kayla’s nap we were off to my dad and  step-mom’s house for the annual cookie and fondue celebration.  Kayla was absolutely spoiled rotten by the entire family.  She loves opening gifts and tentatively asked me “is this for me?” each time one was placed in front of her.  Jammies, a Cookie Monster, puzzles, panda umbrella and a handmade fabric “paper doll” book were among the many gifts she received.  We whisked ourselves home to put her to bed and watch a little “Christmas Story” while we enjoyed some Irish coffee and exchanging gifts between Shaun and I.  I put my new tripod and camera remote to use to attempt a few long-exposure pictures of the tree.  Fun!  (Now if only I could find time to install my new Photoshop Elements software on the computer…)

Christmas morning was a flurry of wrapping paper and squeals of joy as Kayla opened each of her gifts from Santa – a school bus, some Thomas the Tank Engine track and trains, books, games and so on… then at Grandma and Pawpaw’s house.  Puzzles, clothes and a big new kitchen set for her to bring home once our tree comes down.  After enjoying a yummy breakfast together, my mom and sister came over to our house for more gifts and lunch.  Yet more puzzles, books and a Super Grover doll.  After nap time, we headed up to Aunt Dena and Uncle Jaime’s house for the most amazing Christmas dinner and time with Kayla’s cousins.  She had a blast running around with all 5 boys and was pretty well exhausted when we got home – though not too exhausted to play with her new baby doll before bed. 

Monday we had lunch with my dad and sister before Aunt Paula headed back to Philadelphia, then went out for a bit of shopping of our own.  Mostly necessities, but I did grab another set of Kayla’s favorite doggie PJ’s in the next size up, since the 24 month ones are pretty small already.    It’s so hard to believe another Christmas has come and gone already, but it was great fun for us this year.  Kayla had an absolute blast and didn’t seem to mind one bit that she didn’t get one of the things she’s been asking for from Santa for the last few weeks.  More on that to come though…

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A week at Sandals

So as I said in my last post, Shaun and I spent a week at the Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  We had a fabulous room with two awesome butlers (yes, butlers) all week long.  The view wasn't quite what I was hoping for, but it was still amazing.  The food was unbelievable, and if you ever get there, tell Verna I sent you for one of her totally amazing Bloody Marys.  I love the Caribbean and I really hope I don't have to wait another 5 years to get back! 

Next up... Christmas Eve-Eve soiree at our casa!

Monday, December 19, 2011

We're Back!

Photos are uploaded and I’m working on editing whenever I have time; yesterday was spent digging out from under the mountain of laundry and this week is dedicated to preparing for Christmas.  I hope to have another entry complete with photos ready to go soon… so be ready for the tale of our trip to Jamaica aka Paradise, aka the week I got hooked on the Bloody Mary, aka look out for the crazy Rastafarian mosquitos from Hell.  It was epic! 


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Starting to breathe again

Tonight after two quizzes, a discussion question and two assignments, I laid back on the floor and took a deep breath. 

I am a final exam away from completing a semester.  100 multiple choice questions.  Only 55 of which I need to get write to still get an A in the class. 

My Christmas cards are addressed and ready to send off tomorrow after I get my holiday stamps.  Just a few more days of rushing around and then I get to relax for a week.  I can not wait.

Is it Saturday yet?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Another Breakthrough

Aside from the holiday loveliness that happened in our house this weekend, Kayla decided to treat me by suddenly deciding that she wants to go to the potty at home.  Saturday she went twice, and Sunday she managed to keep her diaper dry until all but nap time!  She still needs to be reminded sometimes, but more and more she looks at me and says “I want to pee pee on the potty mommy!”


This morning she sat on the potty before we left for the day and as she sat there and tried, she looked up at me and said “are you going to be proud of me mommy?”  I had to hold back the tears.  As little as 3 or 4  days ago, she would ask “can I have a gummy bear?”  Knowing that my pride and acknowledgement is her primary motivator is a really awesome thing.


Even though she didn’t go for me this morning, she still got lots of hugs, kisses and “I’m proud of you’s.”    

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like...

It's finally starting to feel like the Holidays around here.  Yesterday we went up to Elizabeth Farms to pick out our Christmas tree.  Kayla helped decorate this year, putting her first ornament on the tree:

It was so much fun being able to have her help this year rather than decorating while she was napping and surprising her when she woke up.  After a busy morning and a yummy dinner, we settled in to watch Rudolph together.  Once Kayla was in bed, we completed our evening with hot chocolate and "It's a Wonderful Life."  I just love this time of year.