Adeline let us all sleep until a quite civilized 6:40 this morning. Her first words were (as they always are) "Is it a Daddy at home day?" and then I said "Yes, it's a Daddy at home day, but do you know what special day it is?". A huge grin lit up her face and she leaped from her bed and said "I heard the jingle bells! I heard the reindeer on the roof! It's Christmas!". When she was on the stairs she spotted Moonlight and said "Is that a HORSE??? Is that MY horse???" My spring horse was my FAVOURITE toy when I was little so I'm glad that Adeline loves hers already.
This very trippy spinning light from Adeline's stocking was popular with everyone! Adeline also got some sweet Christmas undies in her stocking and she insisted on putting them on over her pajamas and wearing them for a long time while declaring "Undies are SOOOOO comfy". Santa is hopeful that perhaps Adeline will give the toilet another try soon. We're a "pajamas all day if you want to" kind of family on Christmas and Adeline had a "Very Monkey Christmas" (yes, there was a song to go with it).
Then of course it was present time - which lasted from sun up to sun down as Adeline needed to play with each new thing for up to half an hour. And there were LOTS of great presents!
There was just one handmade present this year, but it couldn't have been a better one for Adeline. For those of you not familiar with the world of television for the preschool set, there is a show called "Yo Gabba Gabba" that Adeline and many other wee ones just love. And on that show, just appearing in three of the 50-some episodes, is "Baby Gogo". Adeline has loved Baby Gogo for a long time. You can buy toys featuring the regular cast, but not Baby Gogo, so Mama had to make one (and for those of you who ARE Gabba experts, yes, I know he should be orange). When Adeline first opened the box she froze - as if she just couldn't believe it was happening, but in a minute he was her best friend forever and he went everywhere with her on Christmas Day.
Once the presents were open, it was time to play Adeline's new (and first) board game - Pengoloo. The girl was immediately OBSESSED. She didn't want to stop to eat supper and she certainly didn't want to stop to go to bed. I think we're definitely in the triple digits for plays of this game. We made up "two year old rules", but the girl wants to play Pengoloo ALL!THE!TIME! She loves everything about it - the fact that she's playing a real game with the grown ups, the dice to roll, the taking turns, the hidden eggs...
It was a really wonderful Christmas! It was so amazing to see Adeline really GET Christmas this year, but to still be so innocent and full of wonder about it all.
David is home until after the New Year, so I think I'm going to take a blog break until then and just really enjoy some time with my family. Adeline is so happy to have her Daddy at home and so am I!
I'm a person who loves traditions, and as long as these people are willing to fill their WHOLE yard with Christmas lights and decorations and invite the whole town in to enjoy the full-on Christmas sensory experience in the weeks leading up to the big day, I think we'll make it a night-before-Christmas tradition. There was something everywhere you looked, Christmas music, lights blinking and twinkling and even a room set up with an amazing miniature village with trains and a tiny working carnival. Just magical and a perfect Christmas Eve experience!
Then it was time to leave cookies and milk for Santa and an apple for the reindeer. Adeline was so excited, but she fell right to sleep, although not before asking me a few times "Do you hear sleigh bells yet, Mama?".
Merry Christmas Eve everyone! We're ready for the big day (almost) and Adeline is SO excited that all she is doing this afternoon is laughing and running and running and laughing with occasional stops to jump up and down. David is running a bubble bath for her right now and then we'll watch a Christmassy DVD this afternoon and then we're having a delicious special dinner and then we'll drive around and look at Christmas lights. Yesterday we went to visit Santa and Adeline was so happy to see him! Adeline stood by his knee while he showed her his book with all the pictures of his reindeer in it and then he put his arms out to her and she went up onto his lap for a long time while they chatted. She did look to me to make sure it was okay, but there was only a seconds hesitation before she sat up there and then she talked his ear off. We didn't know what to expect, but it couldn't have gone better. Today when Adeline woke up she asked "Is it the Santa day?". Tomorrow, my sweet girl, tomorrow. I can't wait - I think I'm as excited as she is.
I hope you all have a wonderful day tomorrow.
... and red and purple and blue and pink...
If you live in a place that celebrates Christmas and eats eggs from cardboard cartons, you probably did this simple craft when you were a little one. Adeline took her work very seriously as she always does.
She spent 45 minutes at her task and covered every bit of each bell with paint.
Then the next morning when the paint was finally dry it was time for glue and glitter and Adeline was just as focused on this step, although the temptation to occasionally just go wild and shake glitter all over her hands, the table and the floor was just too much for her. I completely understand!
Once the glue had dried it was time to hang Adeline's creations on the Christmas tree. Of course, I now have new favourite ornaments!
Adeline's Nana has been here for a few days and it has been a whirlwind of shopping and baking and wrapping and decorating and trying to keep Christmas surprises a surprise and getting WAY TOO EXCITED about Christmas for Adeline, so today we decided to have a quieter day at home. We thought that putting together our gingerbread house kit was the perfect mellow activity for today.
Adeline was VERY intent on her task. She's always very serious when working on a project like this.
She kept saying "This is so COOL!" and "A gingerbread house like Hansel and Gretel!" and "It's the best Christmas EVER!".
I asked her if she felt proud about her gingerbread house and she said "YES! I'm so proud about that!" and she made this face...
And then this one... I guess she really does know what "proud" looks and feels like!
Of course Adeline ate more candy than she actually put on the house.
And then she was as buzzy and busy as a hummingbird when we were done and then crashed hard from the sugar and food colouring high a bit later, but it was so much fun and I think our finished little house is beautiful.
And the kit? Brilliant. All the fun parts of building a gingerbread house (sticking on the candy) and none of the stress (actually building the house). A few years ago David and I spent an afternoon making a village of graham cracker houses, and when Adeline is a much bigger girl we'll definitely do that project with her as well, but until then the house-in-a-box is just perfect! You have to buy more and tastier candy though, of course!
Yes, Adeline it's getting VERY Christmassy! We've been marking off the days by putting the ornaments on our advent calendar and decorating the WHOLE house. There is no such thing as subtlety when you're decorating with a two year old. She wants it ALL out and she wants every room decorated!
Adeline's been making lots of decorations too, like this tree for her playroom and these Gingerbread boys she made with her Daddy for the kitchen. Adeline was SO excited to do a craft project with her Daddy!
Last weekend we had a great time getting ready for Christmas. Many times a day Adeline asks "Is it Christmas time?". We always answer that YES, it's Christmas time and we are doing lots of Christmassy things and getting ready for Christmas day. Then Adeline will usually ask "It's getting pretty Christmassy, right Mama?" and then take a huge dramatic sniff. Yes, Adeline thinks she can SMELL Christmas. Pretty cute.
Saturday we went downtown for some Christmas shopping and for a carriage ride. The shopping was lovely as everyone else was fighting it out at the malls and although I thought our wait for the carriage to show up was long and cold, Adeline LOVED running around in the square.
She's wearing her gnome hat for the last time, sadly, as it's just too small to fit on her ever-expanding noggin. She outgrew the red one last year and the bigger greeny-yellow one was already a little small when I put it on her this year. This is still one of my favourite things to knit and looks SO CUTE on Adeline. I think I'll have to make another one for next year.
Adeline loved the carriage ride around downtown, and especially enjoyed the carolling. She knows all the words to "Rudolph" and "Jingle Bells" and she thought singing them with a crowd of people while listening to the clip-clop of the horses was pretty amazing. Every time the horses stopped she asked "Is it time to ride the horses now?". She was disappointed to learn that riding the horses wasn't on the agenda, but she loved being taken for a ride by the horses and she didn't want it to end.
After a delicious lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant it was naptime, but instead of heading home we decided to just let the girl snooze in her carseat while we drove around. Once she woke up we stopped at the library to pick up our books and the "Winnie-the-Pooh" movie (a special treat that we have been waiting for from the library for a loooong time) and then it was time to go get our Christmas tree. We went against tradition this year... Usually we wait for record cold and a wild westcoast storm of wind and rain to go get our tree in the dark, but this year it was an overcast but dry afternoon when we got to the Boy Scout tree lot to pick out a tree. Our tree is small this year, but like all Christmas trees, it's JUST PERFECT.
David got the tree in the stand, but we waited until Sunday to decorate. Adeline decorated the tree in the classic two year old fashion - with up to seven ornaments on each of just a few branches, all at her eye height. She had SUCH a good time though. She was so fun to watch and her eyes were just filled with wonder and magic.
Our tree is a sentimental hodgepodge of ornaments old and new, collected by us or given to us over the years. My favourites are the old glass balls from my Nana's tree, the very seventies plastic ornaments from my childhood tree and the bought-just-because-I-love-it blue reindeer that I found last year.
Adeline's favourites, without question, are two plastic ornaments of unknown but recent origin that look like pieces of wrapped candy. Once she came across those in the ornament box she had to stop decorating and sit down with her Daddy for a long time and pretend to eat candy. They made it on the tree, but only briefly, and now I'm finding those two all over the house.
Our shopping is pretty well done (I LOVE online shopping), my baking and cooking is started and this year we're getting the house cleaned professionally before Christmas (I'm EXCITED - it's my first time) so we're just about ready for the big day. We do need to fit in a visit to Santa, putting together a gingerbread house and a few other fun Christmassy things though and then there's the wrapping and the rest of the shopping and cooking to do. I'll be sort of sad to see Christmas day come though - I think I like the getting-ready-for-Christmas part the best!
After a late night drive waaaaaaay out to the boonies in a windstorm, armed only with an allen key and some cash, David returned with a new-to-us big girl bed for Adeline. It's the Minnen bed that we were originally going to get before it disappeared from Ikea. After all the awesome vintage beds I looked at, an Ikea bed seems like kind of taking the easy way out, but it's a good looking, sturdy, safe little bed that will hopefully give Adeline sweet dreams for many years. Maybe by the time she's ready for her BIG big girl bed I'll have found something just perfect for her. We also went out and bought a mattress and we're just waiting for me to get the bedding and then we'll put it all together - maybe between Christmas and the New Year when David is at home. I want to make the duvet cover (yellow, as requested) and with everything else going on for Christmas it's going to take a little while. I've got a quilt for Adeline's bed on my list, but definitely won't be getting to that until the spring and even then it's going to be a long time in the making. Even though we've kept all this a secret, Adeline still talks about her big girl bed all the time and asks if she can sleep in it. I may have to stuff her quilt with tuna to get Zephyr to sleep with her as she is really insistent that his being there is an integral part of the big girl bed experience.
And just because I think every post needs a photo, here's a picture of our very big girl wearing her FAVOURITE dress. Ever since she saw it, she asks to wear it just about every day and it sometimes takes a bit of convincing to get her to take it off to sleep. It's the first time she's ever really shown a whole lot of interest in what she wears or has asked for a specific item of clothing. Adeline is a girl who knows what she likes, so I'm sure the days of me picking out her clothes each morning and her happily putting them on are coming to an end.
...was taking a Christmas card kind of photograph. But instead we played and played outside, leaving me trying to get a photo taken during the darkest, dreariest days of winter. Monday Adeline woke up from her much needed nap about 3:30 and the sun was out and I knew I had a teeny-tiny window of opportunity to perhaps take a decent photo if the rain stayed away and if my model was in the mood. I freely admit that I bribed the girl by letting her watch 20 minutes of television while I did her hair and wrangled her into something slightly festive. The skirt is an 18 month size and there are still about 4 inches of it clothespinned behind her. So once she was dressed and her show was over and her nose had been blown a few times (yep, it's cold season at our house) it was already 4, which left me about 15 minutes of light until sunset. Then Adeline decided that she didn't feeeeeeeeel like taking pictures. With a LOT of encouragement (and likely the promise of another 20 minutes of television) I did get Adeline to cooperate for a few minutes, in which I snapped off a hundred or so photos. Most of them are way goofy, as Adeline has really started to POSE and she likes to try out all her "looks" for the camera. So we've got "Thinking Adeline", "Worried Adeline", "Sad Adeline", "Scared Adeline", "Crazy Happy Adeline", "Vogue-Model Adeline", "Schoolgirl Giggling Behind Her Hand Adeline", "Creepy Fake Smile Adeline", "Yelling Adeline" and a few nice shots of a sweet girl.
I can't say I'm 100% happy with any of them, but we'll probably go with one of these two photos for our festive offering this year as all of a sudden I am running out of time and have too many Christmassy things to do and so little time to do them. If the sun does shine in the next few days and Adeline is game, we might try it again and maybe get something a little better.
Or this one, although "A Joyous Christmas" doesn't really go with the photo. Maybe more of an "I've Lost Patience With You Christmas".
December is usually unendingly damp and dreary here on the west coast, but last week we had some amazingly sunny days. It was chilly, but it was SO GOOD to see the sun. Adeline and I made the most of it by getting outside every day both in the mornings and afternoons. We've been as busy as elves getting ready for Christmas, and I'll do a post soon with all the lovely craft projects Adeline has been working on, the Christmassy things we've been up to and the decorating that is taking over our whole house this year, but until the rain starts again (any minute now) we'll be going for walks, playing at the park and working in the garden. Adeline is quite desperate for some snow to play in and I hope she gets her wish soon, but for now the sunshine is all I want.