Friday, December 31, 2010

Hanna's 2010 review

Well, another year has almost come and gone, so it's time for my yearly Hanna review!
She has come a long way this year.

She learned to walk. Something we couldn't imagine her doing just last year. As if walking wasn't a huge accomplishment already, she also started taking off on her own. Venturing off in the yard, and following the other kids. 
Not only is she walking now, she's also running, which is amazing.

She's talking more. Last year she said a few things. The usual first words like "mama" and "dada". This year, especially the last month, she's blossomed in the speech department. She now says these words very close to regularly:
"bye bye"

She puts together words like:
"hi nanny"
"my baby"
"bye baby"
"night night"

and also signs for:
"all done"

We can't forget about her singing skills either, which blow me away. Man, she can carry a tune. And how she points or brings you to, or brings to you whatever she wants. This girl communicates.  

She touches anything now. We had a hard time with certain textures before. Some things couldn't even brush her without freaking her out. Feathers and tulle are the big ones we got over this year.

She can jump. Just recently she learned to get both feet off the ground. I have to say it was much more entertaining watching her try to jump, and just gallop around the room thinking that she was.

She's more independent.  With some things. Eating with a spoon has kind of gone backwards in the last while, because she knows it's quicker if I do it for her. It's a hard one for me because sometimes she'll refuse to eat on her own and I can't just not feed her. She needs to eat!
Getting dressed is a good one. She does it well. Even better at getting undressed...which isn't really a good thing.
She brushes her teeth, and her hair, and enjoys playing on her own.
This is a huge change for me. She was very clingy this past year. Never wanted to do anything unless I was sitting beside her through it all. Now she's right in there with Gracie, and is often found doing her own thing in an entirely different room. 

She moved into a new house and was right at home. She gets around obstacles and knew her way around the house almost instantly. She really does well with her (very limited) vision. I've said it before, but we often forget she even has a problem. You can tell she's much more comfortable and confident with everything going on around her.  

There's really so much I can write. I can go on forever about how much she does, and how proud we are of her.
This year she's taken leaps and bounds and she's amazing. 

She also had many firsts! Like her:
first face painting,
first camping trip,
first time playing in the snow,
first time swimming in a lake,
holding a new baby,
playing in the sand,
kissing a camel,
being licked by a deer,
first road trip,
and first time hanging decorations on a tree.

It's been a year full of milestones. Of course she's had her share of appointments, which are never fun, but overall, I think she's had an amazing year.
Here`s to another amazing year!
Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all have only happy memories to look back on this time next year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

the dollhouse

When we saw this dollhouse for the girls we HAD to get it for them.
The problem that we encountered was that the only dolls big enough for it were Barbies...and we didn't want to introduce those dolls just yet.
Our solution:
Calico Critters!
I had them when I was younger, and honestly, would collect them if I had somewhere to put them all! They're adorable! 
We caught both the girls playing with them in one of the stores, so we picked up a family of bunnies to live in their house. They are a little small for it, but the girls love them, so it was more worth it to get those rather than a set of wooden dolls the same size.
I'm impressed with how Hanna plays with it. She puts the bunnies up the stairs,
and down the stairs,
into the bathtub,
and she's sure to give them each a kiss after every little activity they do.
My favourite part about the house is that both the girls can easily play with it together with alot of room!

It takes up a big amount of space, but I think it's totally worth it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Why did he bring TWO?

Hanna carries her dolls everywhere! BOTH of them. I'm almost starting to wonder why Santa Claus brought two of them. She has a fit when she drops one and can't pick it back up while holding the other.
So...I find myself running into the other room every time there's a thump to pick up the fallen baby before I have a screaming little child on my hands.
What was he thinking bringing two?!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Night

So...continuing with our celebration!
On our way back from Matt's mom's, Matt dropped the girls and I off at my mom and dad's, went home, unloaded the gifts from the van, loaded the van back up with more gifts, and came back to my mom and dad's.
We did things a little bit differently this year. Usually we go straight to my parent's house after Nanny's on Christmas Eve, and our night usually ends around 6am. I posted about it last year right here.
This year, we figured we'd try to make it a little bit less of a late night, especially for all of the (seven) little ones.
So after everyone did their big Christmas Day dinners, we all headed back to my parent's house for more amazing memories.
It turned out really nice because it was more relaxed, and the kids were actually awake to open their gifts. 
Also, since Timmy (my brother) just started his job at the retail pack man Wal-Mart, he actually had to go work midnights on Christmas Eve and Christmas this was the only way it would have worked out anyhow.
Everyone had the most thoughtful gifts like always. A couple of my favourites were a calendar that Kristyn and Brian had made filled with photos of all the kids, and a "tried and true" recipe book Michelle and Mike had made which was full of photos and their personal ratings of recipes that they tried out. They were both so cute and personal! I'm always impressed with how thoughtful everyone's gifts are.
It was a very special night, and a great way to end Christmas Day.

Christmas Day! Santa came!

The girls woke up and laid in bed for a few minutes, and then Gracie finally said "Can we go check if Santa came now?". So I ran downstairs to get my camera to catch them coming down the stairs. I got that part on video.
The first thing Gracie noticed was that the jolly old man ate all his cookies, and Hanna checked out her new babies.
Gracie looked over and saw that she got a drum, AND a scooter, and said "I love Santa."

They were both completely overjoyed, and completely spoiled, and I loved every second of it!

We hung out for a while before having to take off again to go do it all over again at Matt's mom's.

I can't even beleive this, but I didn't even take a single picture over there! 
We had an amazing dinner, and opened way too many gifts. We all got exremely spoiled, and we drove home in a turkey coma.
And that was just the beginning of our night!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is always the beginning of our celebration. We go to my Nanny's house with all of the relatives and sing Christmas carols all night, eat goodies, and open gifts!
Aunt Tina made jingle bells, and they were a huge hit! Hanna loved those things!

We celebrated until about 2am...which is why all the kids (and some of the adults) look so wiped out.
I'm surprised so many of the kids stayed awake!
It's always the nicest time.

Every year on this day I'm reminded how blessed we are to have such an amazing and close family. 

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

did you know...

...what mistletoe actually means?
"Mistel" is the Anglo-Saxon word for "dung,"
and "tan" is the word for "twig".
So...I guess if you translate it, it means something like
"poop on a stick".
Interesting meaning for a plant that is supposed to bring love and happiness!

picture of the day

Monday, December 20, 2010

and the winner of the milk bone prize is....

I wrote every one of the commenters names (those of you who commented more than once got more chances to win), and Gracie cut them up for me, and she chose very randomly Becky's name! I was so excited to see her name when Gracie handed me the little piece of paper because Becky has a guide dog!
Becky, if you could send me a quick email, with your info, and we can send Cricket her gift! Congrats!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

for dog owners...

What in the world is that, you ask?
I'm glad you did.
That, my friends is the hair that came off of Koda after I used her new brush. (And yes, I brushed her in the house just so I could get a picture of how much fur there was!)
She sheds like you wouldn't believe. It's actually incredible.
Matt, who you should know is very cheap, went to Pet Smart the other day, after days of research, and bought THE FURMINATOR.
It's the same brush they use in their de-shedding treatment at the store.
So Matt came out with this brush, (after paying a good fortune for it) and I was so anxious to try it.
I finally did yesterday. The pile above, is only after brushing her for about 3 minutes. Crazy. 
So far, it's proving to be effective. It's supposed to eliminate shedding by up to 90%. And if it doesn't, it's going back to the store! I would never had spent that amount of money on a brush.

But let's put shedding aside for a second, while we stay on the topic of dogs. Do you remember this post? Well, the Bark it Furward campaign is still in effect, so if you haven't, or even if you have, go comment on that post!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

5 kids under 5

Last night Matt and I took Kristyn and Brian's kids for a while so they could attend a Christmas party. 
The night was un-eventful, and the kids were great, and busy, like always, but I always get a kick out of little Cameron.
He wasn't very happy for a little while, and I couldn't figure out what he wanted, so I made some popcorn. Popcorn always turns pouty kids into happy kids.

I just had to share these pictures because he's such a cutie.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Santa visit

Our local Shopper's Drugmart has made it a yearly tradition to have Santa visit the store on a certain day, so we made sure we were there!
Gracie causes me great concern sometimes. You have to be so careful around her what is said, or done, because whatever it is, it stays with her.
I'm not entirely sure where she learned that "the santa at the mall isn't the real santa" but she did. And she has no problem telling everyone about it.
After my mom heard about this, she had a little talk with her. She said "you should look right into his eyes, and you'll know if he's the real santa. I know there's lots of santa's out there right now, but you'll know which one is the real one".
And she remembered that.
We left from our visit with the jolly old elf, and she said "I think he was the real santa mama!" and you could tell in her eyes, that she really did.

Thanks for clearing that up mom.
We pumped Hanna up for the big visit, so she sat with him for a few minutes. Matt took this video right at the end.
She just liked how everyone was cheering for her, and because she was getting a candy when they were done. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

first snow

Today we got the first snow that was worth getting all bundled up and playing in. But barely.
We had a small light dusting, and Gracie had play in it while Hanna was asleep. 

After about five minutes of bundling, and maybe ten minutes outside, she came to the door completely and seriously concerned for her, and Koda's safety.
She said she heard hunters and thought she should come in.
And that was that. The first play in the snow this year.
Can't wait til we get the real stuff!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dear Santa

The letter to Santa was sent out today, and it went something like this:
(I wrote exactly what Gracie told me)

Dear Santa,
My name is Gracie and I would like to have a drum or a globe or a scooter. My baby sister Hanna would like to have a new baby doll with a highchair that can eat, and drink, and comes with milk, and food, and spoons, and forks, and can sleep in a bed.
Thank you so so so so much!
Love, Gracie Lynn O'Hara

As we delivered it to the post office, this is how our conversation went:
her: does santa wrap his presents?
me: I dont know. I think he does if he has time, but last year he didn't.
her: oh. but if he does, and he brings me a drum, then it will be a circle, and if he brings a scooter, it will be a stick.
me: ok...
her: does he really touch the letter we wrote?
me: yeah, silly...he reads it!
her: wow.

 :) I'm glad Santa Claus is part of our Christmas traditions.  He just brings out such joy and wonder and innocence, doesn't he? I love it. I can't wait until Hanna gets just as excited about his arrival as Gracie does.

Friday, December 3, 2010

our newest project

While I was stuck on the couch with a very cozy and sleeping little Hanna on my lap, Matt collected sticks from down the road, and with Gracie's help, made this perfectly cozy manger for "baby Jesuzzz" as Gracie says it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

candy junkies

The girls and I made our gingerbread house last night. Gracie did most of the work.  I even got a premade, so we didn't have to stick the walls together. Is that cheating? So be it.
After the house...
                                    We iced up some little men, and a tree...
...while the littlest of my candy junkies just stole sweets off all of the edible little arrangements that adorn my kitchen table.

And that, my friends, was our evening!