Thursday, December 27, 2012

Elf on the Shelf

Jingle came to the McCay household this year... making a late debut on December 5th actually.  The girls were thrilled.  We read the Elf on the Shelf book and learned all about her and they quickly gave her the name Jingle.  Little did we know that Jingle has a 2nd cousin elf in Texas also named Jingle, though it is unlikely that they will ever meet.

The girls thoroughly enjoyed Jingle's antics this year.  She helped me paint my kitchen, got a terrible cold, became buds with some of the girls' toys, wrapped up what she believed was some of the girls prize possessions (their am applejuice - worse than a caffeine addict with am coffee), hung snow flakes,  brought magic seeds, and laid out in her own makeshift raft.  Sometimes she just hid, or dressed up, or decided to sleep in their room.  The girls started waking up extra early every morning just to see what the little sprite had been up to.  Mommy did not like this part of it...

I think their favorite was the video of pictures using my computer.  Or the snowflakes.  They wouldnt let me take those down for a while...

Here is a glimpse of our month with Jingle.
Jingle the Elf on the Shelf

Jingle the Elf on the Shelf

Jingle the Elf on the Shelf

Jingle the Elf on the Shelf

Jingle the Elf on the Shelf

Jingle the Elf on the Shelf

Jingle the Elf on the Shelf

Jingle the Elf on the Shelf

Jingle the Elf on the Shelf

Jingle the Elf on the Shelf

We were sad to see her go and looking forward to her return next Christmas!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Noah 8 months

The 8 month photo shoot went terribly honestly.  He wasn't feeling great, and he gave me a few smiles but kept trying to get closer to me which did inevitably end up in a face plant in the crib slats.  He also has become well aware of that little sticker that shows his month and does not want it on his shirt anymore.  I tried to save it with the intentions of returning for more pictures, but that did not happen.  Oh well.
I kinda wish I went with the whole chalk board picture with the baby in the chair.  Of course at this point he would be trying to jump out of the chair...

we started off good - but I didn't have the camera in focus yet...
Noah 8 months

He's happy, but keeps trying to come toward me.  Not what I was wanting...
Noah 8 months

Determined to get the camera...
Noah 8 months

Found the darn sticker.
Noah 8 months

And he busted into the crib.  I tried to make it better with the first thing I found, but I knew it was over at that point...
Noah 8 months

At 8 months he is still as attached to mommy as ever.
He started crawling Decemeber 15th, just 10 days shy of turning 8 months.
No teeth yet but I can feel them right under the gumline.
Eats whatever I serve him.  Except green beans.  His favorites seem to be grilled cheese and macaroni, but loves some yogurt too.  Hates green beans, though he will eat spinach or whatever else.  Weird.
The kid sleeps best snuggled next to me.  He normally comes in my room around 3 or 4 depending on how tired I am or hell bent on getting him to stay in his crib.  This will bite me in the butt one day I am sure.  For now I just want sleep, and with me he will sleep until 8:30 or 9.
Still nurses great, but wont take a bottle (with very few exceptions).  I offered formula just in case he weaned himself early, but he gagged. ha.  I gag smelling the stuff so I cant imagine.

This to me is a hard age.  Even though he is mobile which he likes, he is not very good at it.  So he constantly crawls around getting things in his mouth and then falling flat on his face or chin against the hardwood.  So I am always running to him wondering what he has in his mouth or comforting the hurt baby.  I think walking will be easier, but I am not trying to speed that along.

Anyway he is my sweet boy.  As always, I cant believe he is getting so big!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

How do I sum up Christmas? Family, fun, excitement.  We spent Christmas Eve at matts parents, woke up Christmas morning at our house and then spent Christmas night at my parents.  The kids were exhausted.

Hitting the highlights...

opening presents with the cousins
McCay Christmas (Christmas Eve) 2012
putting bows on baby bottoms :)
McCay Christmas (Christmas Eve) 2012

Christmas Eve - Daddy reading The Christmas Story from the Bible and Twas the Night Before Christmas.
Santa arrived
Christmas morning 2012

And this is Matt's video "How Christmas morning feels in my head"

Santa did very well with the art desks.
Christmas morning 2012

Noah pulled up for the first time... wearing Christmas pajamas that all 3 of his cousins have also worn on Christmas morning
Christmas morning 2012

And later, spending time with Nina (and the rest of my side of the family, not pictured)
Sizemore Christmas 2012

We were not great with the pictures this year, but it was a wonderful Christmas even if it wasn't greatly documented.  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pre -Christmas 2012

As always the Christmas season flew by.  I tried my best to get all those holiday traditions done for the girls.  Apparently we have traditions that I  was not aware had made their way into that "tradition" box though.  Anything we have ever done through the holidays has now become a tradition.  So, with Matt gone to California for a week in december (and I painted my kitchen red while he was gone), to losing a dog,  adding a new dog, adding an elf, making a wedding cake, Christmas family get togethers, and shopping, we still squeezed in those little important things that make the holidays fun.

For example, I now know that the house cannot be decorated and NOT make muddy buddies (chex mix, pb and powdered sugar mixture everyone has a different name for.)  That starts off the season.

We also must bake.  Leah had actually picked out a magazine and had all these different elaborate cookies circled that we were going to make.  They settled for a million gingerbread men, and later painting sugar cookies.  check.

The Christmas season

The Christmas season
The Christmas season

Of course we have to see Santa.  Santa gave them their trophy at their gymnastics performance.  I was kind of banking on that counting since time was getting away from me.  And then one night after their dance class we were driving to the back of the neighborhood to drop off some Christmas cards and in the middle of the well decorated circle Santa was there.  We all got out and froze our tails off (since they were dressed for DANCE and it was the coldest night of the year by far) but we got a picture with Santa.  In the dark.  With my camera phone.  While freezing.  Check.

The Christmas season

We went a couple times to look at Christmas lights.  Noah kept cutting it short because he felt it was the time to fill his diaper, but we did have one night where we rode around in our PJS, drank hot chocolate, and listened to Christmas music while picking out our favorite display.
My fav by far was the yard with JUST a Yoda, a Polar Bear, and 3 crosses.  That was it.  Random.  Awesome.
Its so hard to see but I want to remember it forever.
The Christmas season

We added a new family tradition that we will try to keep up as long as possible, and that was taking Gabe, Angel, and Anahi out for lunch.  It was great to be able to see them.
The Christmas season

I recorded every Christmas movie I felt was age appropriate onto our DVR and we watched them.  A lot.  Movie nights are apparently a big holiday tradition here.  With popcorn (or its just an excuse for Leah to get popcorn).

And even though this was technically done AFTER Christmas, it was the final thing on the list that the girls kept reminding me we had yet to do.  Make gingerbread houses.
The Christmas season

I tried!  I really did!  All in all, we got it in and as hectic as it is, the memories we make are always priceless.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Gymnastics Performance 2012

The girls started gymnastics in September 2012, and every year they apparently do a performance around Christmas.  So after a few short months the girls practiced real hard , even had a private lesson, and did their routine.  They did great! (to the biased mom of course).  I was nervous for Leah's back roll which she got with minimal help from the teacher, and Hannah gets really scared on the beam, but she did well.  I am proud of my girls!

the tongue is always out...
Gymnastics Performance 2012
but look how proud she is!
Gymnastics Performance 2012

*** Mommy fail - I was so worried about her on the beam I forgot to video it!  My sister got it, so I just have to remember to get the video from her.  Hubs was in charge of the big camera.  I wasnt even holding the baby so I cannot even use him as an excuse.  I just was so excited to watch her! ha

Nice Arabesque and lever T by Leah
Gymnastics Performance 2012Gymnastics Performance 2012

And what better way to end a great night than to have Santa present them with their trophies?
Gymnastics Performance 2012
Gymnastics Performance 2012

After an all night baking session finishing a wedding cake, delivering and setting up said cake, then a Christmas party and THEN a Gymnastics performance, I just had to show how tired everyone looked!
Gymnastics Performance 2012

Noah starts crawling

I knew it was going to be soon.  And of course he went after the IPhone.  Just like the girls.
Just shy of his 8 month milestone he started crawling (The week before 12/15/12, since this video was actually taken on the 15th), slow at first but steadily gaining momentum.  Please let the baby phase stay a little longer.  We are emerging out of it way too fast!

My Wedding Cake Attempt

I was asked to make a wedding cake.  And I am one of those people that will pretty much attempt anything and have hopes I can make it work.

And I now have a ton of respect for the wedding cake bakers of the world.  It took a ton of time, a lot of money, and a lot of patience.  Granted, I honestly dont really know what I am doing, but i still have a lot of respect.

I made a from scratch caramel cake, with a homemade caramel filling and a barely caramel buttercream.  And I covered it with fondant.  That is probably not something I would do again since my fondant know how is not Gigantic cake savvy.

After I covered with the fondant I got a bit worried because it buckled under the weight of it.  I either made the fondant too think, or the icing too thick.  Didnt matter because I had committed and now it was time to decorate.

It turned out ok.  I learned a lot, thats for sure.  Also, I probably will not make another big wedding cake again.  Ill leave that to the professional bakers out there!

Taylor and Drews wedding cake

Taylor and Drews wedding cake

Taylor and Drews wedding cake

Taylor and Drews wedding cake

The scariest thing was getting it to the church.  I was a nervous wreck for sure.  But it made it there safe and sound, and we got in in the church even though it weight a million pounds.  Wedding cake making is serious stuff, ya'll.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Meet Maggie

Meet Maggie

Abby died Matt started emailing me and texting me pictures of dachshund puppies. Especially Dapple dachshunds.

I DO NOT WANT ANOTHER DOG I told him.  I was grieving - and honestly, i was tired of cleaning up dog messes.  We have Kody and he is a great dog.  One is enough.

He didnt really listen to me though, and of course I felt bad about it.

So I started making stipulations.

1. We were not going to buy one.  Nope.  Im not spending 400$ to get a dog.
2.  I did not want a puppy AND a baby in the house!  OY!  I would be the one with said dog all the time.  Im not stupid.
3. All night time (or daytime when he is home) new dog responsibility would fall on him.  I get the baby, he gets the dog.  DEAL.
4. It had to be a girl.  We have a boy dog.  He marks.  I dont need two of those.  Plus I figure Kody would like a girl dog better.
5.  If allergies were worsened because of this dog, the dog had to go. (And between my inlaws and my sisters future inlaws, we are not short on dachshund lovers in the the family.)

So a week went by.  Matt kept sending me pictures.  Even some rescues.  One was blind.  (Seriously?  I have an 8 month old)

Then one day a friend of mine posted a picture of a dog to facebook.  She had found her in a rental property that had been abandoned.  This dog was left trapped in the house with no food or water or way to get out.  She was trying to find her a home.  And she just happened to be a FREE Dapple Dachshund.  A rescue. A GIRL.  and not a tiny PUPPY.

Matt was out of town but I sent him the picture and he was interested.  We decided I would take her to our vet to get her all checked out.  Turns out she is perfect.  A little malnourished because of being left alone, and obviously had been abused because of her skittishness and cowering when she is about to be touched, but healthy.  She was maybe 9 months old and had not been spayed.  And she let Hannah hold her like a baby doll so she is submissive.

All good things.  So home she came.  Sometimes they have a way of finding us it would seem.

Meet Maggie
Meet MaggieThe girls decided on a few names.  Leah liked Mia, and Bella, and Hannah liked Maggie.  Maggie won.  Not to be confused with cousin dachshunds Maddy and Molly.  Which they say often.  Or the dog my dad just rescued, which is Gabby.  Which they also call her.

I call her Prissy.  She is the prissiest dog ever.  Will not go outside... which is a problem I hope will one day resolve itself...
Meet Maggie
She is a bandit and a hoarder and I am afraid to look at what is under my bed.  I will also never have a matching pair of socks again.  She is not great at the whole potty training.  I know shes been abused and it will take time, but I dont have a ton of it during the day.  She is an escape artist and figured out how to unzip her kennel.  When we rigged it up where she couldnt, she just ate a hole in the side... metal crate it is. She thinks she is a baby and loves pacis and laying in Noahs boppy seat.  She is a snuggler though and a sweet heart, but yaps in the am to protect her bed from the fierce Kody who walks by.  She has big dog syndrome bad.  She doesnt realize the 70lb dog she torments could eat her... good thing he is sweet.
cue video :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

Big moment for Hannah!

After Abby died, we needed a mood lifter! Hannah had been tentatively wanting to get her ears pierced for about a year.  She finally was determined to with no hesitation.  So off we went to Claire's.  Both girls picked out earrings, but Leah wanted to wait and let Hannah be the guinnea pig.

Hannah jumped right up in that chair and was ready!  (random bear was sitting in the chair first)
Hopped up in the chair and is ready to go
She didn't flinch when they cleaned her ears, or marked them.
Cleaning the other side
getting them cleaned...
She knew what was coming.  and 1...2...3!  
The moment before she freaked briefly
It was done.  She had about a second delay and her face twisted in pain and shock.  A lone tear streaked down her cheek.  10 seconds passed and she straightened herself up and looked in the mirror and smiled.  She said the BOOM scared her but it didnt really hurt.
Happy girl

Those 10 seconds was all Leah needed to decide she did not want to get her ears pierced yet.  Fine with me.  Hannah was so excited she had to call everyone.  She still tells everyone she sees a month later.  She has taken good care of them and is waiting patiently to be able to switch them out,