Christmas.

It was great.

I have a few photos, which I am posting late from my (……drumroll, please……) new laptop!  Thanks, mom & dad!

Here’s how our day went down.

Naturally, Camilla woke up at the crack of dawn.

She was just so terribly excited about the whole stocking thing (which turned out very nicely).

Our early morning stockings.

Then we got ready for church and tried to take our usual photo in front of the tree, but it turned out that the backlighting was too strong. So we improvised.

A squirmy Christmas family photo.

(As you can tell, this year will be remembered as a very squirmy Christmas. You can see past photos herehere, and here.)

Christmas morning at church.

We tried again at church and got a few photos with our priest and some of our godparents.

Me and my godmother.

Beatrice and her godmother.

After naptime came the long-awaited Feast!

The Christmas beef.

The Christmas feast.

And then we got to skype and open a few gifts with my family.

The Christmas skype.

I don’t have tons of present-opening pics because, after thinking things over, we decided to spread this year’s gifts out over the 12 Days of Christmas. (I don’t think we have a full 12 days’ worth, but that’s the general idea.) When Camilla gets a lot of presents, we’ve noticed that all she wants to know is what’s in the next box and she doesn’t stop to appreciate what she has just received. Plus, she gets overstimulated in general and melts down very easily. One solution is, of course, to just not give her very many presents, but since we have such generous and loving grandparents who work really hard to choose things she’ll like, we’d built up quite a stash under the bed. Camilla got to open one gift on Christmas Eve, her stocking on Christmas morning, one small gift after church, and one in the evening. And you know what? It was a great day! She was happy, took a nice afternoon nap, and played with everything she received for a good long time. Beatrice got to open the same number of gifts and has enjoyed her new toys just as much. Josh and I are spacing ours out as well, and it has been really nice. Christmas just keeps on going! I did make sure we opened the smallest packages right away so we could go shopping on Monday. J.Crew outlet, I love you. :)

So, we are continuing to enjoy Christmas today. It is strange to walk into stores and find everything holiday-related squeezed into the back corner with a 50% off sign while we’re still celebrating. Of course, we’re not eating roast with mashed potatoes every night. But the joy of the feast is in our hearts, the tree is still proudly displayed in the living room, and we are enjoying a little more vacation with Daddy. Although we’ve missed our families very much, both husband and I agreed that this has been one of our favorite Christmases ever.

I hope yours was as well.

Advertisements

Advent was busy.

Now that it is almost over, I have a moment to sit down and tell you why I haven’t been blogging. There’s just no time when you are busy with:

…learning to dress yourself.

More dressing herself.

…(in a variety of ways.)

Picking out her own clothes...

…admiring the tree with sister.

Posing with the tree.

…dressing (and dancing) like a little ballerina.

The little ballerina.

…making Christmas ornaments.

DSC_0013

Painting.

Our homemade ornaments.

…making wrapping paper.

Our handmade wrapping paper.

…making felted sweater stockings.

Felted sweater stockings.

…making other stuff that can’t be shown yet.

xxx

…making delicious lemon curd and candied lemon peels.

Candied lemon peel.

…taking your first bite of food (you trembled with excitement and grabbed the spoon out of mama’s hand before she even got close!).

First bite!

…finding new uses for the Bumbo.

…keeping up with that weekly photo project.

(week 24)

Week 24.

(week 25)

Week 26.

The gleeful hair-puller.

(week 26)

Week 26.

(week 27)

Week 27.

…taking some other photos because you’re just so darn cute.

…not managing to take photos of our other fun Advent activities, which included going to see the Nutcracker with Daddy, making pillow forts, baking and frosting gingerbread cookies with friends, singing Christmas carols (over and over and over), playing with The Big Girls, putting coins in the Salvation Army bucket, eating a few little candy treats, driving around and looking at Christmas lights, making spicy popcorn, drinking hot apple cider, and all sorts of other things that delight the hearts of two-year-olds and babies and parents alike.

And tonight and tomorrow: going to church and celebrating the glorious birth of Jesus.

Christ is born!

Glorify Him!

Advent continues…

…but the blog posts do not.

It seems that, every year, a few wild cards come along to trump my plan to have The ____ ____ Christmas Ever. (In years past it’s been The Most Handmade Christmas Ever or The Best Decorated Christmas Ever, but this year I was thinking more along the lines of The Least Stressful Christmas Ever.) Advent books are still being read, activities are still being acted, and photos still taken, but all sorts of other things have left no room for sharing them on this here blog. I’ve got some catching up to do one day, but not in the near future. The school play is this weekend and my tiny part in it (costume assistant/poster creator) has a little bit left to go. Then, our Christmas boxes need to be packed up, our stockings made, some cooking done, some cards given. Some sick children also need some extra loving, and I suppose the bathroom should be cleaned sometime as well.

Until then, I am unlikely to return here.

See you again when we are closer to the great celebration of the Nativity!

Advent Day 16.

We put up the tree!

I had wanted to wait until December 1st but there’s too much going on that night so we went ahead and did it a day early. It was so much fun. As soon as we pulled out the tree box (I have heard too many scary Florida insect stories to want a real tree), Camilla started shouting “The Christmas! The Christmas!” It took us a few minutes to explain to her that the presence of the Christmas tree did not, in fact, mean that Christmas had arrived. Poor little kid. She took it quite well though and had a great time decorating with us. We let her put up a number of ornaments herself and she did really well. Then she realized that they were also fun to play with and two snowmen lost their arms, but we have  since sorted out the playables from the non-playables. There is one pink and white snowgirl that she has taken quite a liking to. She spent the half hour before nap cradling it in her hands and saying “It’s okay, it’s okay” over and over. Then the snowgirl received some medicine, was commended for her courage, and was put down for a nap on Bitsy the Blanket. I let Camilla take it to bed with her at naptime and I could hear her talking to the snowgirl for at least 15 minutes.

*Melt*

Anyhow, here are a few pics from our night of tree decoration. It’s fun to compare them to the ones from last year, which are here.

Kissing snowman.

Snowman has an ornament on his nose.

Putting up ornaments by herself.

Putting up ornaments with Daddy.

Today’s book: One Winter’s Night, John Herman, ill. by Leo and Diane Dillon
Today’s activity: Decorate the tree

Advent Day 15.

I got a day behind on my Advent posts but I’m still going to say “today’s book” or it gets too complicated.

Anyhow, today’s (= yesterday’s) treat was to have a tea party with Grandma Gibbs via Skype. It’s nice to know that, even though we are separated by many miles, we can still make sweet memories with the grandparents.

A tea party with grandma.

Bea joins in the fun.

Today’s book: Madeleine’s Christmas, Ludwig Bemelmans
Today’s activity: A tea party with grandma

Advent Day 14.

The weather took a turn for the chilly so we had to bundle up for our walk.

Walking in the cold.

In the process, I discovered a Christmas elf and the smallest and cutest species of bear.

Bearsuit!

Even with pink noses, a good time was had by all. (Although, now that Bea is getting grabby, I foresee things getting more difficult in the double jogger. Sister was more fun to sit next to when she didn’t try to take your stuff.)

Sometimes I just love the blinky photos.

Today’s book: The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg
Today’s activity: Finish Harry Potter (probably mostly for my sake!)