Saturday, December 31, 2022

a look back on 2022

Top Row (left to right): Welcoming Kiwi and Blueberry to our house; a Mommy and Mae trip for Colleen's bridal shower; finishing our upstairs bathroom renovation; and Colleen and Bobby's wedding

Middle Row: Lots of successful sewing projects this year including a swim suit; Colin's first baseball game; Mae's first day of First Grade; and our 10th anniversary trip to the Dominican Republic

Bottom Row: Mae's first ride on a roller coaster; and the beginning of Colin's obsession with Kings Island; a fun Halloween with my little witch and black cat; and our first time cutting our own Christmas tree!

We finished out the year with a trip to visit Dan’s family. Our flight on the 27th was delayed several hours, but both kids were such troopers! It helped that Colin was SO excited for his first ride on an airplane! He has been poring over the Richard Scarry “Busy, Busy Airport” book he got for Christmas, so he knew what to expect. He stayed seated and kept his belt buckles the whole time because the book said to! He spent the flight looking out the window at the city lights, reading books, and occasionally laying down and resting his head on my leg. We finally arrived around 10pm. GranE, Batman, and Colleen met us just outside security, which was very fun.
The next day, we exchanged presents. Mae had fun building her new Lego recycling truck and pet playground. Colin really liked his new trucks and the Yardzee set we got Batman (especially being dumped out of the bucket with the dice.)
Both kids had fun playing with their new fort kit! Mae even disappeared into the fort with her kindle for an hour while Colin was napping in the afternoon.
In the evening we went to Colleen and Bobby’s new house for a happy hour. I love their big kitchen and cozy basement! (Mae, Colin, and Batman liked the big TV in the basement.) Afterwards we went out for sushi and drinks with Colleen, Bobby, Tim, and David.
Of course we visited the playground. Mae had fun climbing to the top of the spiderweb, and Colin had fun snuggling on the swing with GranE.
On Friday, GranE and Batman took us to the zoo. The monkeys and big cats were pretty active, which was fun.
The rest of our time was filled with elaborate “set ups” arranged by Mae, Colin, and GranE. They delivered mail from their post office, served everyone treats from their ice cream truck, and treated all our ailments at their hospital. Nurse Colin was very attentive to everyone.
We had a fun visit and are ready to ring in 2023!

Friday, December 30, 2022

a cold christmas

We were back home on the 23rd, but it was too cold to even go outside! We stayed in our jammies all day, cozied up in front of our fireplace. The kids wanted to play in the snow, but I knew they wouldn't last long in -7F so instead we brought a couple bins of snow inside. Mae diligently painted hers. Colin ate his.
We planned to go to back to the museum with Anna and Grant on Christmas Eve. We’d been the week before to see the train display but didn’t have time to visit the children’s play area. The museum was closed for weather so we decided to go to the conservatory instead. The train display was SO cool, and it was refreshing to be surrounded by warm, tropical plants on such a cold day! I really loved the miniatures of city landmarks made from natural materials.
Christmas Eve we baked a carrot cake (new tradition request from Mae), went to church, picked up Chinese takeout, set out cookies for Santa, watched "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street," and read "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" before bed. Then I fell asleep watching "White Christmas" on the couch with Dan.
After a busy Christmas Eve, we slept in on Christmas morning and didn't open presents until Mae woke up around 8:15. We set up our tree in the playroom this year for the first time.
Colin loved opening presents and sobbed when he was done. He didn't have any specific Christmas gift requests, but was very excited about his little Brio trucks. When he was playing kinetic sand later, he said, "I hafta get my trucks! Make a flat road!"
Mae was excited to get two Lego sets she asked Santa for. I told her she had to wait until after breakfast to start on them (for my own sanity), so she snuggled up and read her new Catstronauts books while our breakfast casserole cooked.
She spent all day Christmas and the 26th building her Lego horse trailer set, and was so proud when it was finished! It's very interactive, and she's had fun playing with the little people and horses.
It finally warmed up enough to go outside for a few minutes. On Christmas we sledded on the driveway, and on the 26th we delivered our Christmas cards to neighbors and to the blue mailbox at the end of the street. Colin had fun being towed around the block on the sled. Stay warm!

Monday, December 26, 2022

christmastime is here

Merry Christmas!
We spent a few days before Christmas at Mom and Dad’s house. The extra fun part was that Christopher and Emily just moved into their new house, right across the street! Play dates will be even easier now! (My favorite part is the 200 gallon fish tank.) I think Mom and Dad need to build a tunnel (or at least add a new front walkway to protect their grass!)
We crammed a lot of fun activities into our visit. I love seeing the Christmas lights at the art museum. Colin seems to be a big fan of the music from The Nutcracker; We’ve seen a few light displays set to the music and he always says, “This my favorite song!”
Of course we went to the symphony’s Christmas show. It's my favorite Christmas tradition! Will joined us for the first time this year, too. I really enjoyed listening to the violinist, Dan's favorite was the Cyr wheel performer, and Mae loved the dancing rag dolls and bears. We always take our picture in front of the big Christmas tree, although there's enough of us attending now that we pretty much block the whole tree!
Thursday we took a train to the North Pole to visit Santa. Colin was wide-eyed at the beginning but settled in and started to enjoy all the animatronic displays along the way. Mae remembered that she got candy on the ride last year, so that’s all she talked about. All the kids were excited to visit Santa! (A Christmas miracle: they all looked at the camera... and weren't screaming!)
I was a little bummed that the Christmas party with my friends was canceled due to weather. Fortunately, I bumped into Laura and family after coming back from the North Pole! (Also fortunately, we decided to drive back home early to avoid traveling in the storm and sub-zero temps, which was DEFINITELY the right choice!)
More pictures from our Christmas at home coming soon!