Rice cereal. Gross.
She so wants to do it herself.
It smells like paper mache and can’t taste much better.
Rice cereal. Gross.
She so wants to do it herself.
It smells like paper mache and can’t taste much better.
The is probably my favorite week of the year. Christmas is over, which is always a big sigh of relief. You either did what you were supposed to, or missed the boat. Either way, the deadline has passed. When we were kids my dad always took this week off and we spent a lof of time playing with toys and board games, watching TV, and eating junk food (i.e. food boxes!). As you get older, Christmas tends to include less toys and more money and/or gift cards. Which means post Christmas SHOPPING! And the kind that’s for yourself 🙂
Another staple of the week after Christmas is Cynthia’s birthday. She turned twenty-three on December 26th and, for years now, we’ve always had a little get together dinner in honor of her birthday. As we all went off to college the date became more of a reunion. This year we had a play date the next day (see how times have changed!) with Shayla and Ali. Karlin came and we mostly just were entertained by the kids (and our attempt to watch the horrendous I Know Who Killed Me). Shayla loves my mom, Ali’s highchair, Tony (whom she calls Pony!), and satsumas. Ali she is not so sure about. It should be interesting when she has a little brother or sister.
Ali, so innocently, torturing Shayla.
Shayla after raiding Alyssa’s room.
Friday (the 28th) we came back home. We brought Alyssa with us and she’s staying until Thursday. The weather has been really sketchy the past two days…a surprising amount of hail. The really huge kind, that fall really hard, and wake you up at night. But, at least it’s exciting! Another highlight of the past few days was Alyssa’s soccer game. It was the second Ali’s been to and she was much more excited the time. She loved watching the girls and even yelled so loudly once that Alyssa heard her on the court! In the picture below is Marlee, my parents’ neighbor. If she could, she would probably adopot Ali just like they did our cat Clyde! Also note Ali wearing her new vest. The last picture was taken on our drive homethrough the mountains. There was a lot of snow (probably a foot at least!) but, lucky for us, the road was clear.
I heard from Cynthia that the last time there was a white Christmas (I guess in Portland) was 1937. That’s seventy years!!! What a special event. Ali’s first Christmas, and her first snow! Even funnier, she had just woken from her morning nap and had one present she hadn’t yet opened. It had just begun to snow and…she opens the CUTEST pink Columbia Sportswear snowsuit and jacket from my parents. Which is immediately put on and we take her out into the snow. Before and after that hour or two of whiteness, Christmas was "normal" Christmas. Except that everyone kind of slept in around here…I think we got up around eight? Shortly after my Grandma came over (as she’s been doing since we were little) and then we began!
We have a tradition around here called "food boxes." Food boxes originated when Jordan and I were little. One year my dad bought up each a bunch of food that we didn’t normally get (think sugary cereals, gushers, soda pop, crackers, candy, jerky and pepperoni, etc.) and gave it to us in a paper bag. That went on for awhile until eventually both he and my mom became responsible for our food boxes. A few years ago we switched from everyone buying everyone presents to drawing names and we included the food boxes in that too. So, now, we draw names and get that person about $20 worth of their favorite food to eat on Christmas and the week that follows. Last year Tony got in on the act and this year was Becky’s first year doing a food box. Anyway, that is our one "different" family tradition.
And now, pictures!
Alyssa opening her food box, Jordan with much of his layed out before him.
A Wii game! And a third controller!!!
Trista made Tony and apron and Ali a matching bib.
Look at this vest Trista got for Ali!
Opening the present Daddy got her. Of course a toy!
Everyone is worn out.
And then it started to snow! This is my parents’ backyard.
Ali opening the gift she fell asleep before getting to.
Okay, she wasn’t that stoked when she first got it on. I guess she couldn’t see how cute she looked!
I love this picture.
Ready to go in.
The roast my mom cooked for dinner.
Though they don’t fit her yet, we are very excited about the absolutely ADORABLE coat and party dress Becky got for Ali.
Out little girl’s first Christmas!
At home there isn’t much going on. I can blog when Ali is asleep or when she is happy or when she’s with Tony. The onyl thing that gets neglected is him (sorry buddy!) and housework. But here, and especially this time of year, there’s sooooo much going on. Instead of blogging I could be playing Wii, or a board game, or shopping, or seeing old friends, or opening presents, or eating a big dinner, or, well, anything! So, please keep in mind that much has occurred over the past week and I want to give equal time to everyone and every event but so often things fall through the cracks. I hope to catch up on "backstories" soon. So, without further ado…
Here are a couple pics from Wednesday night at the beach with Billie and Grandma Swalla. We were celebrating Tony’s bday early:
And this is after everyone made the trek to my parents’ house on Friday. My mom cooked a ham and we celebrated Tony’s birthday again (still a day early!). The cupcakes were Funfetti upon his request. More pictures of these nights located in the album titled Tony’s Birthday:
On Saturday (Tony’s REAL bday) my mom’s side of the family came over to celebrate an early Christmas. We decided to go non-traditional this year and had a pasta bar (my idea!). We also did a gift exchange, ate a ton of dessert (apparently my pumpkin cheesecake was good, really good), and played a good game of Quiddler. See more in Christmas (Part 1):
Ali fell asleep on Aunt Yvonne and, later, Aunt Yvonne fell asleep too!
On Christmas Eve we took Ali to see Santa at the Oregon City Shopping Center. The Santa was kind of a struggler and you have to pay to take your own picture (what?!?!?) but it’s the experience, memories, and pictures to prove it that count! See more of these in Christmas (Part II):
First of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Tony. With a birthday so close to Christmas, his special day so often gets lumped in with Jesus’. This year is no different, as we are having a Christmas party this afternoon. I am so happy and lucky to have this man in my life, as a partner, a father, a best friend, and a buddy. He is everything I’ve always wanted and more. Tony, I love you so much and hope you enjoy this day and year as much as you deserve to!
On Thursday Tony, myself, Ali, Bille, and Grandma Swalla had our own little Christmas at the beach. We opened present from each other, Angela and George, Karen, Martha, and Georgia (Tony’s dad’s family). Ali, especially, received some amazingly generous (and ADORABLE) gifts. As you can see by the pictures below we all had a lot of fun. Not pictured are some clothes I am VERY excited for Ali to wear…a dress that looks like a mini Little House on The Prairie outfit and a multi-colored jacket that I wish were in my size! Also, Ali was given her first cabbage patch doll by Angela. Her name is Kayli Devon and Ali thinks her cheeks are for nursing! also notice Ali reeeeeeaallllyyyy close to crawling at the bottom. Check the Christmas (Part 1) album for my pics, including the meowing cat Grandma Swalla brought for Ali and shots of Ali enjoying the wrapping paper. right now we’re all preparing for the Christmas gathering of my mom’s side of the family that should begin at any minute. I made a pumpkin cheesecake!
We finally got some good laughing on video, so here it is.
As ashley mentioned, we’re super busy, but I also want to say a quick thanks on here to my Dad’s family and Angela for the gifts they sent and we had a blast opening with Ali. We got some great stuff which Ashley will be posting about in the future.
We have had a ton going on here. Monday we went to my parents and spent the night so on Tuesday we could pic Tony’s grandma, Grandma Swalla, up at PDX in the afternoon. That went fine (except for a nerve racking five minutes when we got stuck in an elevator!) and we made it back here safely. Here being home at the coast of course. Tuesday night we had another big storm, the wind blowing so loud it woke us up in the morning. We also discovered a roof leak which is a big pain but will hopefully get fixed soon. Tony’s mom flew from Hawaii to Seattle on Tuesday and drove down to meet us on Wednesday. She got here about 4:30 and ever since we’ve all just been hanging out, watching Grey’s Anatomy, adoring Ali, eating delicious food, celebrating Tony’s birthday (which is Saturday and he’s 27!) and Christmas. This afternoon we exchanged gifts and opened some that had been awaiting us under the tree. Tomorrow we’re headed back to Portland, where Tonyand I will stay until after Christmas. Billie is driving back to Seattle tomorrow night and Grandma Swalla is headed home to Iowa Saturday morning. Post on our little Christmas to come.
These are before we left.
Alyssa and Ali getting some shopping done at Target.
Ali at the airport.
This kind of scary snowman that was handing out PDX pins.
Somehow sleeping around here has changed dramatically in the last month or so. Whereas Ali used to go to sleep between nine or ten (I even remember when it was seven-thirty or eight!), lately it’s been more like ten-thirty or eleven-thirty. Ugh. Blech. Not my cup of tea. Plus the ramification of that are sleeping until eight-thirty or nine and then the daylight goes by so, so fast and, again, it’s dark outside. This is Ali the other night at nine-thirty:
I think the root of this is probably all traveling around and messing up what little routine she does have. When we’re at my parents’ there are all these teens staying up late; my dad doesn’t get home ’til midnight or later; my mom stays up and studies or doesn’t get home until ten or something. There’s a lot of reason to stay up and be part of it all (and I talking for both of us, because she will not go to sleep alone and I don’t want to be left out either!).
Anyway, we’ve all been a little tired around here lately. Tony is just getting over a cold that’s basically knocked him out the past few days. Hopefully Ali and I won’t catch it! The good news is we seem to have established some sort of regular afternoon nap. Not that it has any sort of consistency with time or length, but it has been happening daily and it’s been happening even after I slowly inch her off me and onto the couch. And let me just say, that half hour or hour or so is definitely one of the highlights of my day!
Edit: In case you didn’t notice, that is Baby Jesus from her nativity scene in all the pictures.
Ugh. I clipped Ali’s finger tonight when I was cutting her nails. She screamed. The in-real-actual-pain kind. I felt awful. It bled. We put this little band-aid on her finger. Like, ten minutes later it was gone and we then spent the next half hour worrying she’d swallowed it. But I found it stuck to a pillow. She got over it pretty quick and all it now well. But, seriously, this is exactly why I always put off cutting her nails in favor of them kind of tearing off on their own. So if my child ever has full blown talons, well you know why.