Advent Calendar

I was up late making an advent calendar for the girls.

Waaaaaay late...

When I was growing up we had a felt one that had pockets with little ornaments that you stick on a tree each day, pretty similar to this:

 I have no idea where that advent calendar went and I have no time to make a felt one of my own at the moment so I decided to wing it and make a "temporary" (I say "temporary" only because I really liked the way ours turned out and may actually end up keeping it) one for this year until I can find a felt one I like or get the one that I used as a kid.
I found a few ideas that I liked online (mainly this one) but none of them were really doing it for me so I just came up with a crazy creation of my own.
I REALLY liked the idea Pink and Green Mama did with making a list of activities to do together and put them in the envelopes for each day. I didn't want to do envelopes though so I thought it would be cool to do a puzzle piece a day and write the activity on the back of the piece and at the end we'll have a completed puzzle to play with over and over again.
That idea got flushed down the toilet and I decided to use craft sticks to write the activities on and had to end up using envelopes to hold the craft sticks.
Anywho, here is what I came up with, BTW, it's not very Christmas themed, even the activities aren't really about Christmas, just doing things together that we don't normally do very often...

 These are just envelopes I had laying around, I cut off the flaps and taped them to posterboard.

The desk started off semi-neatly...

Here's the puzzle I chose, it's about 10x13.

 I put the puzzle together before hand and numbered the pieces just so that each new piece will fit to a previous piece.

By the end of the night my desk was trashed!

Here's the finished product, hung up in the kitchen. The puzzle pieces are all in their place and the activities are all written on the back of the craft sticks.

We are also doing 25 days of books which I saw here, we aren't doing christmas themed books though, I couldn't imagine getting 25 christmas themed books every year....I'm  also not going to wrap them, I think a small bow on the book laying on the bed at bedtime might be a fun surprise :)

Check out all these cool advent ideas as well!



Thanksgiving is a big deal in our family. 
I mean...BIG!
We have a huge family and it's only my husband's dad's side of the family at that!
I could just imagine adding his mom's side and both my sides...OMG!
I think we figured it was 26 people this year and we were missing 2 and we just keep growing and growing!!!

This year I made the sweet potatoes (that seems to be what I've taken over) even though nobody ate them because they didn't end up getting passed around the table, I also made 2 desserts which I usually always do since I've been coming to this crazy annual feast (7 years I think...)
The salted caramel banana pudding pie was a major hit, it was absolutely fabulous, so much so there wasn't any to bring home. Find the recipe here.
The maple pecan pumpkin cheesecake with the maple pecan glaze was also delicious, only brought a little bit home. 
I didn't think to take pictures of them before and I'm kicking myself now, argh.

This is the first year Charlotte really got into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, it was so darn cute! She was doing all the dance moves along with the Rockettes and singing with all the shows and pointing out the balloons and so excited to see Santa at the end, just sooooo darn cute! Surprisingly enough both the girls took naps before heading over to the festivities and awoke bright eyed and bushy tailed ready to go mingle with family!
We arrived, ate, drank and were super merry!

At the end when everyone is leaving we always end up saying to ourselves, we need to do this more often...

...and I really wish we did.


ENT Follow Up

It's not cancer! Yippee Skippy!

Turns out it's a Branchial Cleft Cyst. Whatever that means.

From what I keep reading it's actually a birth defect, one that didn't affect me until 25 years later.
I guess it's one of those things that requires certain factors to trigger its growth, and those factors just happen to be a complete mystery.

I'm not quite sure if it's dangerous or anything, I've read a few things that say if it's left too long it can abscess (which I don't think I'd enjoy much) and get infected, blah blah blah.

So surgery is scheduled for January 2011 to remove it and possibly a tonsil as well (yes, just one). I get faint just thinking about it. I cannot even fathom having surgery. I really would rather NOT have surgery but I suppose that's the only option I have right about now and I have to get over it.

So I guess my mission now is to figure out how to get Alexis to sleep without nursing because I will be staying in the hospital overnight, at least I have 2 months! Wish me luck with that!


Prima Ballerina

Saturday the 13th of November was supposed to be Parent's day at dance class. Unfortunately Charlotte happened to be sick so I kept her home that day. I was so upset because I really, REALLY wanted to see her dance! Lucky for us, Char's teacher is super freakin awesome and let me sit in during the next class. I think it actually worked out to my advantage because I heard that at the previous class since there were so many parents in class none of the girls wanted to dance. So I hid in the corner with Lexi and watched and took pictures like a crazy woman. Char did so well, I am so proud of her!


Visiting Granddad: 11/15-11/18

 This past week we went up to visit my Dad who lives in Northern Virginia in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. We just went up there for a bit of a rest from our ho-hum daily lives, a bit of a scenery change and also for Charlotte's birthday. We didn't have much of a celebration down where we live (which is about a 3.5 hour drive away from my Dad) just because Travis wasn't home, both girls were sick and I was party planned out from Lexi's party.

Dad took Char up and down every toy aisle at the store. She picked stuff up, looked it over and put it down. Then she saw this Barbie and immediately asked, "Can we take this home?" then she proceeded to misplace it and then bite off it's nose and break the belt, which is why I said, "NO BARBIES!"

 Lazy kids! I can tell this is going to be one of those awesome things that makes going to a Grandparent's house special. There is always that one thing that you look forward to the most. For me it's always been the smell of my Grandparent's garage and entryway from the garage to the kitchen. When I smell that smell I instantly know I'm at Grandma's.

 We went on a little journey up the mountain and Dad happened to see a flash and stopped and I spotted a buck in the woods.

 Granddad is a volunteer EMT and loves showing off the ambulances and fire trucks!

 This is the base of the waterfall at Crabtree Falls. It looked like a great hike but we weren't up for any hiking that day, we'll be back for sure though!

Once again Dad spotted a flash and stopped the car, turns out he saw a Bald Eagle just chillin in a tree. As soon as I opened my door to take pics it flew away but I got it in flight!

It was a great mini vaca and hopefully we'll get up there again soon. I'm not much for living in the mountains but they sure are pretty to visit every now and then.


Someone Slap Me

What do you mean she's only three?! Sometimes it feels like she's 16 with the attitude she gives! 
What do you mean she's already three?! Where did my baby go? My Little Pookie...she made me a Mother...

I love you my beautiful girl. I cannot imagine living without you in my life. You make me laugh, cry, want to pull my hair out...all at once. I see the world in a new light because of you and for that I thank you.

Happy Birthday Charlotte!