Friday, December 31, 2021

a look back on 2021

I didn't write a post to wrap up 2020, but I'm bringing the tradition back for 2021. We celebrated several milestones including Colin's first birthday and Mae's first day of kindergarten! Here's a look back at some of our biggest moments from 2021.
Top Row (left to right): Mae's first time on a big sledding hill; a park picnic with cousins for Grandpa's birthday; our first post-vaccine visit from GranE and Batman; and our first time meeting our new niece Lillian

Middle Row: Colin's first trip to the beach during our vacation with GranE and Batman; Colin's baptism; Colin's first birthday and birthday party; and our trip to Lake George to visit Mop and Pop

Bottom Row: Mae's first day of kindergarten; seeing family at Keith and Liz's wedding over Labor Day weekend; making the best of our Halloween (and most of November) spent in quarantine; and a Christmas where we were able to spend time with both families!

We just finished up celebrating Christmas with Dan's side of the family! We had several days visiting with GranE, Batman, Tim, David, Colleen, and Bobby. The weather was dreary the whole time, but we managed to keep ourselves entertained with lots of fun indoor activities and brief trips to the nearby playgrounds every day.

We opened Christmas presents the evening of our arrival on the 27th. Somehow I didn't take any photos of Colin's giant pig stuffed animal, which was a huge hit with both kids. We all modeled our new robes. I especially love the frog print on Colin's little robe, and he looked like baby Yoda when he was all wrapped up in it.
The kids had to show off their new Batman sweatshirts, too!
Mae had fun playing her new Battleship game with Batman. (I'm not gonna say Batman LET her win, but close inspection of his board indicates Mae's sucess wasn't purely beginner's luck.)
We could have kept Colin entertained the whole week just using all the interactive Christmas decorations. He especially loved this toy where Santa ("guyguy") appears through a tiny door. He said "hi" every time it opened, "bye" every time it closed, and "uh oh" every time the lights turned off.
He also loved all the singing Hallmark snowmen and the train that goes around the base of the tree.
Colin helped GranE water some of the houseplants. He loved taking ice from the pitcher and putting it on the potting soil. I'll have to hire him as (second) assistant plant waterer back at home!
Colin cannot resist a good snuggle with GranE. On our last night, he had a really hard time going to bed and was screaming his head off. Just 20 minutes in GranE's arms and he was sound asleep!
Mae would not let me get a good photo of her with Colleen. I'm sharing this one, but my favorite might have been right after this when Mae buried her head onto Colleen's shoulder and you could barely tell where Colleen's hair ended and Mae's started.
We stopped by to visit Colleen and Bobby at their new apartment one evening. Of course the main attraction was the two cats. Colin was completely captivated and kept looking under the bed for more cats, even after the one that was under there bolted to another room. Mae was as patient and calm as is possible for her, and managed to coax them out from the bed with help from Bobby, a laser pointer, and a bunch of cat treats. She was so excited!
Batman's office is well-stocked with fun toys. Mae especially loves the Batman Little People set. This Christmas, he added Elvis, the Rolling Stones, and characters from The Office to his collection. I'm sure Batman had to rescue Dwight or Mick Jagger at some point.
On our last full day, Mae and Batman assembled this gingerbread house kit that Tim and David brought. I think it lasted about a half hour before Mae started nibbling candies from it.
We did a lot of driving, but it was a fun, relaxing visit! We had lots of quality time together playing toys, walking to the playground, and gathering for meals. Thanks for a fun visit and end to 2021!

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