Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dec 29th - Walmart and Dinner Out!

The week between Christmas and New Years I worked a couple of days (and mostly focused on getting all my last minute CPE in to keep my CPA license active) and then took off two days and Lilli and I played around town.

Thursday morning she and I didn't really have anything going on so we went to Walmart to play with toys and check out Christmas clearance. I actually got several toys on clearance that I put back for her birthday.It's always SO nice to go places during the week when they aren't as crowded.
We even stopped and picked up Happy Meals for lunch. It doesn't get better than that!
That evening we met Adam, Julia and Ella Kate "Roses" for dinner at Fazolis. Lilli looooves Ella Kate. She thinks every baby we see is Ella Kate.
Getting a good picture of the guys and their girls is just not going to happen, probably ever.
Maybe Brent can do some of his photoshop magic and crop together enough pictures where everyone is looking at least once.
Regardless of failed photo attempts we had a great time catching up with Adam and Julia, and seeing Ella Kate. And we can't wait to see them again - oh wait, we already have. Magically being six weeks behind in blogging gives me all kinds of insight into the future!!

Dec 26th - Opryland Hotel

Oh yes....we're going WAY back in time. But if I don't keep it chronological it will read all out of time and there's lot of fun things we did in-between Christmas and now (like Lilli's first bowling party!) that I don't want to forget.

Since Christmas was a Sunday, we both had Monday off and decided to go to Opryland Hotel and see the lights, and the Shrek stuff. This year they did a big Dreamworks thing and had Meet n Greets and Character Meal throughout the holidays. Lilli LOVES Shrek (no clue why), so we were hoping she could meet him and have a picture made. Of course Opryland Hotel is all about gouging people for as much money as possible, so for the nominal fee of $50/person we could have had breakfast with the characters. Instead we took pictures of them from above. Since actually meeting any of the characters were out of question (they told us they never walk around, just to and from the $$ high dollar events), we didn't mind taking Lilli on the boat ride since we weren't going to pony up for any of the Dreamworks events. The line was pretty long, but we finally got on the motorized boat.

Of course keeping hands and fingers in the boat is an impossible task. She was also still free so we got a break there! It was fun to hear about all the different plants and how the water was combined from rivers all over the world.

Of course they wanted to sell you a picture of us on the boat. Clearly this was not a picture any of us wanted to buy. Snapping a pic as soon as we get on the boat is really not an opportune time to get a curious preschoolers attention. She was amused by the picture though.
On the flip side, she did want her picture taken with the big horses.
The lights were the same as any other year. I think when you've seen them once, you've kind of seen them a million times.
The Shrek show (the only free thing) was at 2:30 and 3:30, we happened to be heading to a nearby bathroom at 1:30 and saw the line was ALREADY getting long. So we stood in the longest, most disorganized line EVER, smooshed into tons of people, for a full hour. Easily one of our top 20 most miserable experiences ever.
However, it did pay off on us getting some really good seats to see the show. Shrek, the Penguins, Puss in Boots and several other Dreamworks characters were in it.

We were sitting right on the end of the aisle and the MC guy ran up to Lilli and did high-fives and talked to her several times. We got really lucky because there really weren't a lot of kids on the end so she got a lot of his attention.
The show lasted all of twelve minutes. Twelve minutes. Yeah, Brent asked if the hour wait was worth it. Of course not, but Lilli loved it and had a great time. We just won't make this mistake again! I'm sure somewhere someone has it on YouTube and we can just watch it from our computer. Without being elbowed by people who don't speak English for an hour.
So that was our day after Christmas extravaganza!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Goodbye Weekend!

Another weekend gone too soon!!!We had a great one, of course the first half was full of getting ready for Lilli's party, then the party itself, and then recovering from the party!! Today was another busy one with church, then an older couple had us over for lunch and then a potluck kick-off 2012 party at church tonight, so we have hardly even been home this weekend. The plus side to that is the house hasn't gotten dirty, it just stayed the same level of dirty.
We're looking forward to getting back to normal and catching up on the "usual" stuff around the house this week!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Birthday Week Conclusion!!!

Lilli has had one fantastic birthday week and now we can all RELAX!!!She had a great time with about 20 of her closest friends today for her Bounce U jumpy birthday party. She LOVES to jump and this is just completely up her alley.
It seemed like all the kids had a great time and a lot of us parents have a lot of fun bouncing too!!
It's so sweet that so many of them can all write their names now and can sign our annual matted invitation themselves. (Each year we've framed her invitation with a big mat and had all the party attendees sign it.) Lilli even wrote her name in her huge stick letters at the top.

Lots and lots more pictures from birthday week and beyond to come. But for now, Brent is making me a cappuccino and the only thing on my to do list is to prop my feet up and watch a little TV!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Birthday Week. It's Better than Shark Week.

Birthday week is in full swing here in our house! Lilli had a fantastic birthday yesterday. Both sets of her grandparents came and went to Chuck E Cheese with us. It was really nice because there were hardly any kids there during the day so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.We came back to our house and had cake and opened lots of presents.

And today was another big day for her celebrating at school! We brought cupcakes in the afternoon and she got a BIG surprise. TWO surprises, actually!

Her two favorite princesses in all the world came to surprise her and sing to the class! They were absolutely fantastic, and watching her little jaw drop when they came in the room and asked where the birthday girl Lilli was was completely priceless. The whole school was a buzz and a lot of the older kids were watching and came to listen in their classroom as well. Lots and lots more picture and video from these fun days to come.

But for now there's one more HUGE party on Saturday to get ready for! Goodie baskets and all the goodies that will be going in them are in full swing. And on Saturday afternoon you'd better believe I'll be taking a very good nap!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Christmas Day

Lilli's been waking up a little early (about 7) so Christmas morning we set our alarm a little before then so we wouldn't miss her reaction! I've posted some pictures from Christmas already, but I think all of these pictures with presents are new.

Excited to see all her fun stuff! I think she was still a bit confused as to where all this "stuff" came from. But she did pick right up on that Santa had eaten all the cookies and milk.She and Pippin checking out their loot. Of course he left BOTH of them goodies at the fireplace.

Lilli and her new dog "white Pippin" jumping in the trampoline that now dominates our living room. Can't wait for summer to get that thing outside! But she loves it and it gives her a good place to get rid of some of her energy this winter.
We had to take Buzz his new gifts, too. Santa left him a new bed for the front porch that he absolutely loves!
One of her favorite gifts was this embroidered blanket from Disney store that Brent found on a deal site.
It had to be tried out immediately!
For our main gifts, Brent got me a towel warmer - he knows I like all things at a balmy 80 degrees, and this one works great! I throw my towel and pajamas in there every morning while I shower and they're warm and toasty when I get out. I got Brent a cappuccino/espresso machine. He's become quite the barista since Christmas and it's nice to have no inclination to buy a $4 cappuccino at the coffee houses. We never did it much, but it's still a savings!
For Christmas lunch we skipped the turkey this year. We were all turkeyed out from a million formal dinners during the holiday season, so instead we made chicken fettuccine Alfredo, sauteed green beans and fresh salad. Yummy and delicious!
Christmas day was SO pretty that we spent a lot of the afternoon outside. Lilli rode her new trike all over the neighborhood. She's really into her shadow right now. Sometimes she'll run outside just to see it.

We shot some hoops with her new basketball goal. We've all been enjoying it!
And that was our Christmas day! Nice and low-key, with beautiful weather for playing outside!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Christmas Eve!

Get ready for a lot of pictures!!! I am trying (although it's never going to happen) to get caught up before the big birthday next week and the upcoming party of the century.

Christmas Eve morning we got up and had a good breakfast - bacon and the little Christmas pancakes using the new pan that Mom got me for Christmas. So cute!! Next year we'll really get a lot of use out of it leading up to Christmas.Lilli had wanted to save our leftover popcorn from seeing the Muppets a few days earlier. We never ate any of it so we tossed it out in the front yard for the birds.
Mostly squirrels ate it, we don't have a lot of birds around this winter. The fuzzy white animal behind Lilli may be one reason we're short on birds.

Christmas Eve treats for old Buzzy.
Later that day we made a Gingerbread House. I'd gotten a kit on clearance the day before at Kroger. We've actually never made one before, it's just never been something I've gotten excited about. Her primary objective was eating icing.

Some decoration did actually make it on the gingerbread house.
Our finished house. Of course the candy gingerbread man was broken before it was ever time to glue him to the house. He didn't stand a chance with Lilli and our stone countertops.
That night we watched Polar Express. It was the first time any of us had seen it and it was such a cute movie. That might be a new Christmas Eve tradition. Since it was a holiday we fired up my big popcorn popper. I have to admit, I love watching it too!
It is a little frightening when they all start popping and flying around!

Oh yes, I even have fancy popcorn boxes. We don't play in this house.
The main tree
After we watched our movie I had ordered (for free) one of the little North Pole Santa things where he tells her to go to bed and says a few things about her. She thought it was hilarious every time Santa said her name and would ask if he was talking about her. Ha!
They even talk about what she has asked Santa for.
We got our cookies ready for Santa, and she also wanted to leave him some of our popcorn.

The annual leaving cookies for Santa pic. This year we even had a stocking for Buzz.
She was not about to let Pippin get any of Santa's goodies. He got pulled by the collar out of the room.
And then she wanted the gate up.
Of course WE wanted our traditional Pippin getting into everything shot, so when she wasn't looking we let him in for a minute.

Lilli's tree. Full of Disney and princesses, and some Star Wars people.
Reading Twas the Night Before Christmas.
And from there it was time for her to go to bed and for Santa's elves to get busy on putting together trampolines and basketball goals and everything else!