A Holly Jolly Christmas!

Merry Christmas Everyone!
We are far from family so I wasn't expecting a lot out of Christmas this year, but this bunch had a blast together!  It was a very fun day & when it was time for bed I was so sad that it had to be over.
 Here is Whitney & I ready to take treats to our new neighbors. Whitney had so many fun Christmas outfits to wear this year so she was a cute little elf all month long.
On Christmas Eve an elf left our Christmas pajamas on the doorstep and Tommy was really cute trying to look out in the yard to try to see the elf.
 I've been talking to Tommy about how we need to go see Santa and tell him that he wants a car for Christmas.  We lucked out on Christmas Eve and one of the light shows we went to see had a Santa there.  I hopped out of the car to get a picture with him and Tommy went bazirk telling Santa that he wanted a "choo-choo" for Christmas.  It was probably one of the cutest things he's done this year, haha!  Here you can see him shouting "choo-choo!":
 All the light shows/displays we went to were just people's houses that love going crazy on decorating.  It was fun to see that people are so nice to give up their house for a month for the community!

 Here is Tommy's favorite lights he wanted to keep seeing over & over.
 I'm sure if Whitney could speak this would be her favorite so we got our picture by the princess castle.
 We were really surprised to see how much Whitney LOVED the lights!  We drove around this park really slowly with the kids in our laps and she kept trying to pull herself out the window to see the lights. (Don't worry they went straight back to their car seats when we left!)
 Both of the kids were so hopped up with excitement after we let them open one present (besides their pj's) so Tommy was up until 11:30 and Whitney up until midnight! ...Vic's been working a million hours so he didn't make it as you can see.
 Tommy's main gift from Santa: Shake & Go track.  We didn't realize how fun this thing was until Santa had it set up in our front room!  --Don't worry Tommy got lots of trains from Santa in his stocking too, but we didn't get all the way through his stocking for a good hour or so as Tommy wanted to play with everything before he would look at something else.
 Sleepy girl and still smiling!  She loved her baby dolls & especially that light up ball she is holding although unfortunately we already can't find it.  Tommy couldn't stand her having it & us not letting him take it away from her so I have a strong feeling he may have hid it so no one could have it!
 They were the cutest little helpers for us going through our stockings.
 I meant to make a balloon pit for Tommy's birthday and it was a little too close to when we moved in so I made one for him for Christmas morning.  He LOVES it!  Whitney loves watching him play in it & holding balloons, but cries if I ever put her in there.
 Here are my 2 cute little Santa babies... pretty much impossible to get a decent picture of them together!
 Whitney's spoils
 Tommy's spoils
...according to Vic "the best Christmas present ever" (an IPOD touch)
He was like a little kid with this thing and played with it ALL day long!
 My spoils. Vic made me put the vacuum in the picture since I went out and bought it a week ago.  He felt horrible that he'd only bought me the mirror armoire & I bought him the "best gift ever", but really I have been wanting one of those ever since my sister got one years ago so I was very happy w/ my Christmas :) 
I have never had any desire to have to cook my own Christmas dinner, but I didn't have a choice this year so here is my very first Christmas ham.  I was nervous to make one since I haven't before, but Vic said it was the best he's ever had... I couldn't decide if it really was or he was just so happy with his Ipod that he said it was, haha!  I liked it and will definitely be using the recipe again!
It literally took us the entire day just to open gifts, play with them, and make dinner so we'll be doing our Christmas games & gingerbread houses in a few days when Vic has another day off!


Tickled Pink

Does anyone else get excited to check the mailbox?  It's weird, but I told Vic early in our marriage not to get the mail because I love opening it.  99% of the time it is just bills, but the thrill of getting an invitation, announcement, or thank you card makes up for all the days you don't get one!  Today I checked my mailbox and found the BEST surprise yet... these lovely beauties!!!  I seriously gasped with excitement because I was so TICKLED PINK to get new bows.

My sister-in-law makes them for her girls and made some for Whitney.  I have had "make Whitney a Christmas bow" on my to-do list for 2 weeks now & of course I haven't gotten around to it so I was especially happy to get those 2 Christmas ones in the top left corner! (and she makes them way better anyway)
                                                     THANK YOU BECKY!!!!


Single Mom Thanksgiving

When I first got this picture back from our photographer I was sad because I loved it & Vic wasn't in it (because he'd gone back to grab our bags).  However, I LOVE it just how it is because this is how it was for 6 months from June 1 to Dec 1.  
Me and my two kiddos against the world.   
Vic Started his training in Chicago at the first of June & came home every other weekend until he moved to Indiana at the beginning of November when he stayed there for a month straight.  Needless to say I was STRESSED!  It is so hard to get the simplest tasks like grocery shopping done when I already had a kid in each arm, a diaper bag, & a heavy car seat.  Then because I was up and going all day I was too tired to exercise & turned to quick comfort foods to deal with the loneliness of it all.. and in turn being out of shape stressed me out more!  It was such a weird thing to have 2 of my favorite people with me all the time and still be lonely!  I'm not trying to share a pity story, but celebrate that the rough journey of "single working mom" is behind me!  I now have SO much compassion for single moms... if they seem on top of it or not, it's not fun.  So if you know any single moms then don't offer to babysit, INSIST on it & spoil them with love & friendship! 
 On to Thanksgiving.... My Dad went out of town for Christmas so I had time to join his extended family for Thanksgiving this year.  Here is my Grandma Hill and I.  She is the one of those sweet Grandmas that you know always love you & will give you the warmest greeting if you show up on her doorstep.  LOVE that about her :)
 More of our Thanksgiving crew.
 One of my cousins made these adorable name tags for every place setting.  It was a gorgeous festive table.
 Tommy making the charming mess he usually does at dinner!
 We did Thanksgiving with my mom a few days later since she is flexible on what day we do it.  Here we are preparing dinner.
 Katie & Whitney wearing matching outfits.  I LOVED Whitney's cute little outfit this day :)  I was happily surprised that my little sis has grown into the best helper.  It was like having Vic around to help.  It sure made my holiday weekend a lot more fun!
 My sister's new husband, Brennon is not a kid person, but he fell into Whitney's spell & now loves her to death... who couldn't with that constant cute smile?!?
 My busy "helpers" getting Thanksgiving dinner ready.
I'll sure miss being around family for Christmas!!!  
However, I'll be very happy to be with my husband for the next holiday :)


Happy 2nd Birthday Tommy!

Tommy turned 2 yesterday.  I have been talking to him about his birthday for a week now & I wasn't sure if he understood, but I'm pretty sure he did as he woke up extra early & for the first time hopped out of his crib by himself.  Here he is with his Lightning McQueen presents & cake.
He was extremely happy about his cake!  I had to hide it most of the day for him to stay out of it because every time I moved it he'd push a stool over so he could gaze/poke at it.  I made it & once again hated every minute of it.  It's funny how I love most decorating things, just not things with frosting!
 I took Tommy to playgroup in the morning hoping he'd make a friend for his birthday party, but nobody showed up!  (and we just moved to Indiana exactly one week ago so we don't know anyone) So, when Vic got home we took him to ChuckEcheese.  I was hoping it'd be crawling with kids to play with, but I guess no one goes there on weekdays!  He still had fun riding this carousel over and over.  His face was dead serious the entire time & then when it was over he'd beg for another coin!
 He really liked this cute little boat that moved all around & had animals that hopped up if you pushed their button.  I was really surprised how cheap all these little rides were.  We had him go on them all over & over & we still have extra coins left over.
 We went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner & he got to ride on the saddle.  He wasn't so sure about everyone checking him out!
He would never smile with the hat on so I got him in action with his new horses at bedtime.
 Whitney didn't mind the hat at all, but she was busy snacking the whole time to smile!
 Tommy & his cake.
 He would blow from so far away until the candles finally blew out.  I think we had to relight the candles & sing him Happy Birthday at LEAST 30 times.  It was hilarious that he loved that part so much  & would clap & laugh every time like it was the first time so we kept on doing it... ONLY cuz it was his birthday! :)
 I love that kids wear their emotions on their sleeves. His face was pure bliss when he saw this present from Grandma.  He hasn't eaten, gone to bed, or taken a bath without these little trains since he opened them yesterday!  

 Another pure delight picture :)
 Afterwards he was very busy playing with them & couldn't be bothered to look at the camera!
 Tommy & his presents: he was very thrilled with them all!
 Tommy at 2:  He is extremely obsessed with cars & watching the "Cars" movies over & over.  LOVES "Thomas the Train" toys, but only likes "Chugington" cartoons.  Runs all over the house pushing one of his large trains/bike things on a daily basis. Loves elephants (I think because he loves to make the sound & do his arm as the trunk roaring up).  Loves horses.  Loves running from A to B over and over until his playmate is too worn out.  He is continually hoping Whitney is older than she is & tries to get her to wrestle, play ring around the rosies, etc. If she ever cries he pats her on the back & tries to shove a bottle in her mouth. Is an emotional roller coaster: he is usually running around wild and laughing 80% of the time & the other 20% is spent throwing a fit/crying--- not usually a happy medium in there!  He is still my good sleeper... taking long naps & sleeping all night.  He loves to imitate down to the slightest detail. (If I'm sitting there with a leg crossed & hand on my chin he works hard to do the same). He loves helping vacuum, sweep, change the laundry, and especially LOVES to cook.  It's actually hard for me to cook because he insists on being the only one stirring, putting the ingredients in, etc.  He is not afraid of anything and I can actually see the adrenaline rush he gets before he dives off of something.  He does all sort of weird rolls & somersaults trying to do cartwheels and jumps, and is advanced in climbing, but he still doesn't talk a lot.  I always know exactly what he wants so he had no need to talk more, but I am trying every day to get him to say more.  He says a lot of words, just never linked together.  I think that sums up this adorable wild little 2 year old!