Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Ah, another year is coming to an end...


it seems like such a blur to me, the year zoomed by me...


kind of like my kids...
Photobucket


I can't wait to see what the new year has in store for us...

I have hopes for a good one...

Even though this one wasn't bad either...

I just like even years better than odd ones...

Which is odd...

Since I got married in an odd year...

And I had both my kids in an odd year too...

Maybe I'm just an odd person...

And no, I'm not drunk right now...

But I'm considering opening that bottle of champaign before midnight...

Is that bad of me??????

And what about my odd kid...

Fishy face for fish-eye lens???
Photobucket

She cracks me up on a daily basis...

She really does...

I'm looking forward to green trees...
Photobucket

For some reason they look sick to me...

And frail...

And I need my willow trees to be strong...

I'm weird...

And I know it...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Christmas Day

I figured I should share our Christmas pictures before the new year starts. I took way too many pics and can't choose which ones to show on here... so I made it easy on myself and put them all in a slideshow.

Christmas day is always spent at home, no guests allowed, lol. We lounge around in our pajamas all day and the grown-ups even get to take a nap (which I always need after the hype BEFORE Christmas).

The girls were thrilled with all their presents, which makes me happy. I'm glad that my big girls still squeal with excitement when they get playmobil... or a doll. Grace got Erina a Baby Born... which is her favorite doll ever, she got her first one when she was only two... and well, the poor doll lost an arm and I wasn't going to replace it... so Grace took care of it... and boy, was Erina excited!

I also finally caved and got them Nintendo DS Lite's. I'm soooo not fond of handheld games. I'm kind of old fashioned that way and would rather have them play with a wooden dollhouse, paper dolls or playmobil... you know, something where you need your imagination. AND if they have to play a game, they can do it online... after all they are Webkinz fanatics already. BUT... as I said, I caved. Of course they were both glued to that little machine immediately. Thankfully the battery died after about an hour and the instructions said to charge them for at least three hours. Ha, that was perfect! So they took off and played with their real toys.

Another hit sure is the Wii!!! That was Brian's surprise present to the family (and sooooo not planned OR in the budget... darn it, Brian!!!). Of course we all knew about it, because he told ERINA. Doesn't he know she can't keep a secret? I was mad when she told me. Very mad. Not at her... but Brian. In the end it was a good thing Erina told us before Christmas... that way I was able to work through my anger and put on a happy face when time came to open the "surprise". Am I still angry? Nope. Guess what? I think I actually like that darn Wii better than anybody else. I played tennis for hours and paid for it with a real tennis arm, lol. Believe it or not, this really is a work-out machine!!!

Ok, that's enough blabbing by Monika, right? On to the slideshow:




And if you made it through... thank you, you must really love me or my kids ;-).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was spent at the Carro's house again this year. Maureen and Jim had just come home from a long trip to Australia & New Zealand and they still managed to throw a wonderful, festive party.

Four goofy McSweeneys =)
Photobucket

My girls with their Auntie Michele & cousin Holden
Photobucket

This one makes me giggle... Grace told Michele that daddy bought a Wii (which was a secret and we were NOT supposed to know). SHHHHHHH!!!
Photobucket

The cousins!
Photobucket

We always open presents to each other right then and there. The kids love that!
Photobucket

Grace was patiently waiting her turn. I love this pic with the pretty angel in the background... even though the light is bad, still love it.
Photobucket

Photobucket

Lilly and her grandma =) (yep, and there's the pretty angel again)
Photobucket

Poppers!!! Highlight of the party!!
Photobucket

Grace with her paper crown
Photobucket

The Carro's dog, Holly =)
Photobucket

Brian loves her, big time!
Photobucket

And Erina looking cute ;-). I called her Christmas Rambo, lol.
Photobucket

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wishing you all...

... a peaceful, merry Christmas!! May your days be filled with laughter and joy!

Photobucket

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa

We had a busy, busy week... and on Thursday I realized that Christmas was a week away and my kids had not seen Santa yet!!

So we drove down to the Jelly Belly Factory after school. All three of us were a little anxious to see if "our" Santa was going to be there. See, we've seen the Jelly Belly Santa for many years. Grace was only two months old the first time. A few years they had a different Santa, but our Santa had been there probably 6 out of 8 years. To my girls, he is THE MAN. He has been interviewed by Erina over the years and apparently he passed the test =). He's the real Santa. Really.

We dashed up the stairs to his room, stuck our three heads in the door as fast as we could....

and....

he was there!!! YAY!

The girls walked up to him, Erina in front with her hands in her hoodie pocket. Santa said "Take your hands out of your pocket!!!". Uh-oh, bad mood? Grace always acts shy in public... I swear, that child isn't shy... she just acts like it from time to time.

First the posed picture, had to take it. Look at Santa's huge hands!
Photobucket

Erina took the lead, she's a leader (got that from her daddy). Grace had a smug little grin on her face, happy that she didn't have to talk.
Photobucket

But THEN... he turned to her. Grace was looking at Erina in panic, giving her the common-talk-for-me look. But she didn't. See, Erina is always Grace's voice in moments when she gets too nervous. But I had heard her say "Grace, you are now eight years old, you can do it yourself"!!!
Photobucket

Santa was being patient. Grace was being quiet.
Photobucket

And then... she talked!!! Woohoo, Grace! You did it!!!
Photobucket

Erina on the other hand couldn't stop talking. She told him about school, about baking cookies, about our big tree... bla, bla, bla.
Photobucket

Santa was patient with her too. Note how Grace's eyes are glazing over... she's not listening anymore, lol.
Photobucket

Lastly, another picture for mommy.
Photobucket

And we were done. I hope our Santa will be back next year, he sure is getting old!

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's all worth it

Sometimes I can be a grinch. I'll openly admit it, my holiday spirit hasn't been the greatest this year. I didn't feel like decorating the house and kept putting it off. But last Saturday Brian & Erina finally went to pick out a tree (Grace was sick, it rained cats & dogs... part of my mood, I guess)... and the magic happened. Gosh, I love the smell of a real tree in my house. LOVE. And putting up all the ornaments was a blast, kind of like a hallmark commercial with the girls sharing their memories about certain pieces. That's when it hit me, this is it, I thought, I'm making history right now and I don't want my girls to remember my lousy mood. It's all worth it... for them. I hope I did okay, it's hard for me to "act" happy when I'm not, especially around the people who know me best.

I captured some lovely moments this weekend. My girls reading to each other.
Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Pretending to go to sleep in front of the tree & fireplace (that's the plan for Christmas Eve...)
Photobucket

But the giggles came over them ;-)
Photobucket

They look happy. I don't think my grumpies are rubbing off on them ;-). That's good. Very good.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I Heart Faces * Week 49 * Pets Only

I snapped this picture of my Max boy today while we were decorating our Christmas tree. He was just taking a cat nap... then the girls came along and decided he should get in the holiday spirit too. He's the most docile cat I've ever met, but I think his face speaks volumes =). I don't think he wants to be Santa Cat, lol.

Photobucket

To see more great pet entries, click the icon below.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Every now and then...

... my kids will wear an outfit, that I love so much... I have to photograph it (on the kid, lol). My girls don't love me for this passion of mine. This is how it usually goes as soon as we get out of the car (after school):

Me: Grace, don't take your shoes off just yet. I need to grab my camera.

Grace: Why, mom??? I don't feel like pictures!!!

Me: Just a quick one in front of the door. You look so cute today, I have to!

Grace: I won't even smile for you.

Erina (whispering while I run upstairs to get the camera): Just smile and she will be done faster.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today was one of those days. And this is how she smiled for me to get it over quickly.
Photobucket

But then... without any warning or encouragement... she broke out into this
Photobucket

I wasn't ready for such a huge burst of energy. And she said "Want me to do it again?" - "Ok, hun." (see the cat behind the screen door looking at Grace?)
Photobucket

Next was the "Oh, let me jump off the side, that's more FUN!!!". She's asking if I'm ready for her to go... she's so considerate =).
Photobucket

I'm ready!!
Photobucket

So, what's the moral of this story? Sometimes a dreaded moment can turn to fun without you ever noticing it. Gotcha, Grace!

And on a side note. The darling velour outfit is from Naartjie! I love their velour sets and get at least one every winter.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fake Ice Skating

I took Grace to our "special" downtown ice skating rink. It's special, because it's synthetic hybrid-ice and not real ice. It pretty much looks like a huge plastic cutting board... but it's slippery.

Grace was super excited for this. She tried it last year during the holidays and this year it's bigger and open a lot more (which means it's not so dang crowded... you know how I feel about crowds).
Photobucket

She was bundled up real good. We put the extra puffy and long coat on her... for some extra padding in the bum ;-). Oh, and the lights in the background are from the big downtown Christmas tree!
Photobucket

And she sure needed the padding =). Lots of my pictures look like this:
Photobucket

But she did not mind one bit. She got up over and over again with a huge smile on her face.
Photobucket

She finally got the hang of it... notice how nice and empty the place is? I loved it!!!
Photobucket

Photobucket

One happy kid
Photobucket

And I'm sorry the pics aren't very good. I still refuse to use a flash ;-).

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I Heart Faces * Week 48 * Sweet Dreams

When I was looking through my pictures, I noticed that I don't have very many sleeping ones anymore. Sniffles, my girls are growing up way too fast. They don't fall asleep in random places anymore... and hardly EVER sleep in the daytime. Unless they are sick... or have a bad case of jet-lag.

My entry is just that... jet-lag. Taken last summer in Switzerland in the middle of the day. She had been asleep for two hours already and we tried to wake her up... with no luck. She was OUT. After all it was night time in California =).

Photobucket

To see more snoozing faces, click the icon below ;-).

Santa Claus is coming to town...

Yesterday was the day. Santa came to town. By boat. As always.

It's a family tradition to watch the boat parade.
Photobucket

Santa's sleigh...
Photobucket

Then we all crowded around the tiny area where Santa arrives. As always I get annoyed at this point. Me not likey crowds.
Photobucket

Now look at the above picture again. See the guy behind Santa's elf? He's glaring at me, isn't he???

Mrs. Claus was looking stellar. (there's the staring guy again... I'm slightly creeped out!!!)
Photobucket

Then Santa lit the big tree... ta-da.
Photobucket

Can you guess what came next???
Photobucket

Did you guess right?
Photobucket

I must have been in a debbie downer mood. During the fireworks I kept thinking how our city could have used all this money for more important things. We're in a recession after all. People are in need. My husband, always seeing the positive, thinks people need a little holiday cheer. Forget about the daily problems and enjoy five minutes of wonder in the sky. Mhhhh...

Photobucket

My children sure are in the holiday spirit. They came home and "baked" playdoh cookies.
Photobucket

Photobucket

And they ate them too!!!!!!
Photobucket

Nah.... I was just kidding. It was all pretend.

And I just sent Brian to the store to get me two packages of motivation (fresh, not canned) and one package of holiday spirit. I need both of those... badly.