The holiday season is really heating up in our house. We rocked it through Hanukkah and now Maile is working her way through her Lego Advent Calendar while Ellie the Elf watches from her shelf, getting more and more excited for Christmas every day! Lauren isn’t sure what to think, except that she isn’t really pleased when Maile uses her as a prop (see video below for the details)…
(Click here for the video.)
Lauren Girl here! On Sunday afternoon, Mommy, Daddy, Maile, Grandma and Papa took me to get my first Christmas tree! I was pretty overwhelmed by all the trees, so Maile took the lead on picking out the tree – I think she picked a really nice one.
My very first Christmas tree picked out my big sister Maile
Guess what? I wasn’t the only one getting a Christmas tree for the first time. It was Papa’s first time too!
Papa was excited too!
This is pretty cool – Papa had a fun idea to get a picture of me getting a bird’s eye view of the trees.
Lauren's bird eye view (11 months)
And it’s almost the same picture that Maile and Daddy took the first time she went to get a tree!
Maile's bird-eye view (5 months)
The house we rented was on a vineyard and actually had a decent amount of land that we could hike around and explore. Maile went on several explorations over the week – was nice to stretch the legs and spend some quality time outdoors in nature for a city girl.
Which way should we go first?
Quality time with Grandma Jill
Maile and Grandma went on a scavenger hunt to find some statues that were hidden around the property...
Follow me Grandma!
Girl on bridge
Thank you, Grandma Jill!
On Friday, Mommy, Daddy and Papa Mike took me on a safari! Do you know what a safari is? It’s basically a zoo without any fences! At first I was a little nervous and thought maybe the animals would eat me, but they were really nice. The guide told me that if we are nice to animals they will be nice to us … usually anyways. That makes sense to me.
The safari was super cool. I liked the pink flamingos and the giraffes the best. I took LOTS of pictures.
Papa Mike and I ready to get our safari on!
What's that Daddy we should look behind us?
Look how close we got! So cool!
I took pictures.
Lots and lots of pictures...
(Dad note: The safari was pretty cool. I’d say Maile was a little too young – she was great, but it was a long day – ~3 hours. The guides were super knowledgeable, we learned a lot!)
Lots of firsts this year for our Thanksgiving celebration.
Lauren enjoying her first Thanksgiving.
Mommy cooking her first Thanksgiving turkey.
Daddy spending his first Thanksgiving away from Boston ever!
Since we were just in Boston for Auntie Elyssa and Uncle Stephen’s wedding, we decided to stay in California and Grandma and Papa Boston came out to celebrate with us. We rented a wonderful house in Santa Rosa and set about making it a Thanksgiving to remember.
While Mommy cooked the food, Maile Girl focused on the table decorations.
With guidance from a Kiwi Crate she made place cards for everyone in our family...
... and was quite proud of the results.
Mommy cooked it and Daddy carved it - and it came out great!
Lauren wasn't feeling 100%, but she still was excited to get involved with Thanksgiving (and Mommy made sure she had turkey too...)
(Dad note: I apologize for missing a couple days of posting last week. We headed up to Santa Rosa for Thanksgiving and the internet wasn’t fantastic in the house we were staying at. Everything else about the house and our time away was amazing though … as you’ll see over the next few days!)
Grandma and Papa Boston arrived on Wednesday morning just in time to help the girls celebrate Hanukkah. It was Lauren’s first Hanukkah and the first time we used a Menurkey (thank you to Uncle Stephen’s mom, Liz, for sending one our way!)
Lighting the first night lights with Papa Mike...
We always read the card first...
Maile loved the Lego house that Grandma and Papa gave her...
... no, really, she loved it. We played with it all weekend and spent ~2 hours over the first night and the next morning creating one of three houses in the kit
Haha! While they are distracted, I will open my gift!
ARRGGGHH! Wrapping paper is soooo hard to get off!
From top, left to right - Maile, Lauren, Mommy and Daddy
We’ve been spending a lot of time the past couple of weeks packing (and now unpacking). Luckily, there isn’t an art project that Maile has come across that she hasn’t gotten totally engrossed in. The other day, she made paper dolls of our family (I’m told Mommy helped with the hair). I wonder if the pink hair is a sign of things to come…
The first picture of Maile in our apartment on July 13, 2009
Tonight is our last night at our Francisco Street apartment. Tomorrow we move to another apartment about a mile away.
We were in this apartment for 4.5 years and I think it is safe to say they were the most eventful of Christine and my lives. We moved in the May before Maile was born – so that’s 4.5 years of Maile’s life and almost a year with Lauren. Those of you who follow this blog know how many memories were made here. Plenty of laughter, a fair amount of tears and lots and lots of love.
We couldn’t have asked for a better setup to start our lives as a true family. Certainly not the biggest apartment, but big enough and a great location that supported us in getting out and exploring this great city that we call home. We were surrounded by amazing neighbors that watched our girls begin their lives and provided us with support and friendship through it all – truly the best “neighbor” setup I’ve had since I was a very little boy on Dennison Street in Swampscott, MA.
The boxes are (mostly) packed, our girls are asleep and I’m here writing one last blog post from my tiny desk tucked away in the corner of the living room – a good way to see this place out
Lauren Girl here.
Word on the street is that my daddy is spreading false rumors that all I can do is kneel/crawl these days. I’m here to set the record straight:
That’s right – no kneeling to be seen – just straight walking with my walker. Boo yah!
(Click here for the video.)