Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Miranda's First Christmas 2014!

On Christmas morning, James woke up early and used the bathroom and I ran out to make sure he didn't go poking around. He admitted he wanted to see if Santa was about! I made him go back to his room for a while, mostly so I could get the camera and video camera ready.

Christmas 2014
Santa ate the cookies!

Christmas 2014
Santa brought so many presents!

I was really excited because this was the first year that James was super excited about Santa and presents.

Christmas 2014
Starting to open stuff! A train bridge!

Christmas 2014
Doctor kit.

Christmas 2014
Our first Christmas as four!

Christmas 2014
Miranda still prefers the wrapping paper.

Christmas 2014
Doll and blanket from Aunt Maura

Christmas 2014
A Leapfrog! Fancy.

Christmas 2014
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Miranda's First Noche Buena 2014

My mother came over for Noche Buena and Christmas morning. She made us a delicious meal of pork, Moros, and yucca. We set up the dining table in the living room so we'd have enough room and so we could eat by the tree. And of course, since we dress up that night, I took a bunch of glamour shots. That's normal right?

Nochebuena 2014
My mom is kind of stealing the picture, but Miri can't wear makeup yet.

Nochebuena 2014
Two Cuban cuties!

Nochebuena 2014
We kept shouting "Candy!" so James would smile. Ridiculousness.

Miranda eats quite a lot now, and she loved her first Noche Buena feast. She gobbled up a ton of pork and slept really well. (In the bed with me still, disaster.)

Nochebuena 2014
Noche Buena meal

Nochebuena 2014
Thanks for cooking Nana!


Nochebuena 2014
Bob brought a modern-day smartphone viewfinder!

The kids got baths, and once they were in pajamas we told James to put cookies and milk out for Santa. We used the cookies he decorated with Sarah. I was maybe going to tell him about the Wise Men, but he barely understood Santa as it was.

Nochebuena 2014
Cookies for Santa!

Nochebuena 2014
Nana snuggles

Monday, December 29, 2014

Baby Clio 2014!

Our friends Jeff and Inga had a beautiful baby girl right after Christmas. Her name is Clio Alina. Her big brother Silas is thrilled to have a little partner in crime.

12 26 Clio Alina Michalowski
Clio

Sunday, December 28, 2014

NYBG Holiday Train Show 2014

A lot of times I leave some of the less happy details off the blog. Well, I'm going to tell you, this was a tough trip. I was really looking forward to taking James because he loves trains, and the holiday show seemed like a really special thing to do during the holidays. Based on the website, the tickets for the three of us were supposed to be about $50 which we debated. After all, James is still only 3 and unlikely actually remember this trip, and Miranda hates the car. But we figured he'd enjoy it so we made the effort.

When we got there, parking cost $15, and the tickets for the three of us were $72 because it was a "peak" day. It was December 23rd, so actually there weren't very many people there at all. Also it was raining. I was beyond angry. I tried to rally, I tried... but I have been very very tired from getting up to nurse Miranda for 8 months. I did not rally.

NYBG 2014
James is still pleased.

When you view a place through a $87 glasses, it's not surprising that it fails to live up to the holiday spirit. It's prohibitively expensive for a lot of families. Even as empty as it was that day, the line through the trains was slow-moving and a little boring for little kids, so James kept trying to escape us and cut the line. I did not enjoy telling him 500 million times to wait with us. Having most recently gone to the awesome Manhattan Children's Museum, this felt a bit ill-conceived.

NYBG 2014
James is having fun (train coming!), I am fake smiling.

NYBG 2014
Um, is that a train or a rolling cookie tin?

Look, I understand, that my kid is 3, and also not the best behaved 3-year-old ever, so maybe it was just not ideal for us, personally, but you should be warned.

NYBG 2014
Checking out normal trains with a new buddy.

Also when you arrive they take a nice family photo in front of a green screen. On the one hand, it's a really nice photo, and the photographer was great. On the other, why is it in front of a green screen? We're at the Botanical Gardens? Why can't we take a real photo? Also, the photo costs another $22, which is almost exactly the amount that we were ripped off for "peak days" so I just couldn't bring myself to pay for it. This made me even sadder. (Vicious spiral now....)

NYBG 2014
Here's 3 of 4 family members instead.

NYBG 2014
Okay, this thing is amazing.

Also, all of the settings show the modern settings of the city made in natural materials which is wonderful art, but gives everything a vaguely creepy feel. Haha. There was a children's craft area elsewhere, which was pretty good. They suggested that there was a train/tram/trolley to ride elsewhere on the property but if this was the case, we never located it.

NYBG 2014
The steam engines of hell.

NYBG 2014
Oh look, it's a little body of water the children cannot go near. That makes sense.

NYBG 2014
A train he can't sit in! Or do anything with! Yay!

Being who I am, I complained to the NYBG. To their credit, the refunded the $24 and changed the website to reflect the real prices. I don't feel a lot better, especially since I passed up the photo, though I'm happy enough to have the $24. But I don't think this will be a yearly tradition... if we go back at all.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Guys' Night- December 2014

Look who came to town!

December 2014
Jon, Kevin, and Casey at Jimmy's Corner- NJ, NY, and MA represent.

Decorating Cookies with Sarah 2014

Sarah snd Lukas come over ever December to enjoy a little holiday cheer, but this year Sarah came over solo because Lukas had to work. She came over with cookies and had James help her make frosting, and then we all decorated them for the holidays. I never did stuff like that growing up, and it's fun cannot be oversold. Thanks Sarah!

Sarah's Christmas Cookies 2014
Mixing the frosting

Sarah's Christmas Cookies 2014
Adding sprinkles

 Sarah's Christmas Cookies 2014
I think I'm enjoying cookie decorating most of all!

Sarah's Christmas Cookies 2014
Sampling!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

James Holiday Party 2014

James's first school performance! So cute and fun! If you know our youtube channel go watch it there. If not, ask me for the link.

James Holiday Party 2014
Pre-performance

James Holiday Party 2014
Miranda is not impressed.

James Holiday Party 2014
But Mom is!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Miranda is 8 Months 2014

Miri is 8 Months 2014
Eight months!

Sleep: Her sleeping is the same as last month: we hold her for all her naps. I put her down at 7:30, she's usually up by 8:30 pm, and again at 10:30 pm. She sleeps in the bed with us, and snacks all night long. We haven't even tried to move her to the crib because we're traveling at Christmas. One thing I love is that when I burp her at night, she pats me on the back too. And when she gets tired she rests her head on my shoulder. So sweet.

December 2014
Perfect when she's sleeping

Food: She nurses, drinks formula, and eats everything. She prefers finger foods and anything I'm eating.

November 2014
Eating a toy camel

Growth: She's outgrew 6-month clothing. She wears sizes 6-9 months, 9 months, and 9-12 months. I think she's 18 or 19 pounds.

She rolls away but it doesn't seem like she does it on purpose. She sits safely without falling over 90% of the time. She's still in the pre-crawling stage where she gets in crawling position and then either lays down or sits back up. But between scooting and half crawls, she goes quite a distance from wherever you sit her down.

November 2014
Slithering, beginning of the month

Miri is 8 Months 2014
Pre-crawling, end of the month

She can stand leaning for a few seconds on her own, and she pulls up on us but not on furniture. She dances even though she can't stand or walk!

November 2014
Cucumber Stand

December 2014
First time pulling up on her own! 12/2/14

Her two bottom teeth came out!

Personality: She's a troublemaker. She prefers James's toys, and anything off limits, especially computer cords. She gets her way 100% of the time. She plays innocent in public.

She's not that grumpy anymore unless her naps are interrupted.  She takes a third nap still but she's thinking about switching to two.

Around 5 pm her mama-preference kicks in. Kevin can talk her out of it by feeding her a lot of food.

She only says "dada" but she says it regularly. Here's a conversation I have with her every day:

M: A-dada?
E: Mama! Ma-Ma! Ma! Ma!
M: Dada. Dada. Dada.

She continues to hate sitting in the bath (we have to stand her up like she's taking a shower). Kevin has called her out on how unreasonable she's being but she's unmoved.


Miri is 8 Months 2014
Ribbon destruction, like bra-burning but more precocious

Me: The not-sleeping-through the night thing is really getting to me. My personality does not sparkle like it used to.

November 2014
Sparkle!

Kevin: Kevin is eager to move Miranda to her crib but like me, he's worried about going through sleep-training. She makes Kevin stand while feeding her formula, and he does because he's wrapped around her finger.

Cape Cod- Nov 2014
She makes him stand when he feeds her. Just because.

James: James loves school, going out anywhere with us, and his babysitter. He can now spell many more words than I have bothered to keep track of- James, mama, dada, Miranda, nana, Grandma, and lost of others. He's been really acting out lately. I think it's a bad combination of not sleeping enough, not going outside enough to burn off energy because it's winter, and general Miranda jealousy.

Cape Cod- Nov 2014
Competitors for Duplo (toddler) Legos

December 2014
Also best friends and musical sensation

Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmastime Fun 2014

We all went to get the tree together this year. When we got it home, James even helped decorate it!

December 2014
Picked our tree!

December 2014
Kevin and James carried it away.

December 2014
Posing with balloon Santa

December 2014
Helping me decorate the tree.

December 2014
His favorite part is the star!

December 2014
This. Was not a good idea.

December 2014
Ready for Santa!

December 2014
Chilling.

December 2014
Pre-Santa family picture.

I looked forward to putting two kids on Santa's lap for a long time. So I guess I already got my present!

December 2014
Miranda's first time meeting Santa. (8 months & 3.5 years)
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