Thursday, December 29, 2011

Handmade Christmas

This was a fun Christmas for the Riccis.  We went to my in-laws for Christmas Eve, spent Christmas day at home with my mom and brother, and traveled to celebrate with my dad and sisters on the 26th.  McKenzie, of course, loved opening gifts, and Kaia liked to chew on wrapping paper.

This year we started a new tradition.  Santa made wooden toys for the girls to find on Christmas morning.  Mrs. Claus helped too (i.e. painting giraffe hoofs at midnight on the 23rd).  We couldn't wait to see McKenzie's reaction when she first saw them.  Unfortunately, the new giraffe and horse were overshadowed by the small bin of candy that Santa left.  Eventually, though, she noticed the wooden playthings and has since been taking donations to fill her giraffe's belly.

It's going to be really fun each year when they find a new, handmade toy under the tree.  It will be even more fun when they realize who Santa is and will be able to appreciate the thoughtfulness of each gift.  Our hope is that someday their own kids will play with these well-crafted pieces.  But that's a long way from now, our girls are never going to grow up.

In case you missed it on Facebook, here's a quick peek at our Christmas morning festivities.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Two Thirds of a Year

Today Kaia is eight-months-old.  Eight months!  Wow.  She is growing and learning everyday.  She continues to be the ever-happy baby and give the biggest, best smiles.  She can do some other new things too:
  • Crawl!  She's on the move and my life just picked up the pace a little.  As soon as she hits the ground she is off and moving to the nearest exit.  I guess the kitchen is an intriguing place to crawl around.  Maybe because she's never seen the floor in there before. 
  • Eat.  She's a great eater and loves to feed herself.  Cheerios are a favorite.  She picks each one up with her tiny fingers, bites it in half, chews it, then pops in the other half.  She learned that from me;  I like to really savor the flavor of my favorite foods.

  • Babble.  She is just as noisy as her big sister.  In addition to oohing and ahhing, she says dada, gaga, and baba and makes lots of other interesting sounds.  The other day she sounding like a honking goose.

  • Imitate.  She doesn't do this much with me, but she does with Dustin.  He will say, "dadada" and she'll repeat, or he'll stick out his tongue and she'll do it back.

  • Stand.  She is still pretty unstable, but she loves to stand holding onto someone or something.  

  • Take a bath in the big tub, sort of.  She still sits in the baby tub, but she's in the big tub with her big sister.  She splashes like crazy and would stay in there for hours if I let her.

  • Meeting Santa

    We want to get pictures of the girls with Santa every year.  This year we found a place to take them for FREE that promised and "non commercialized experience."  Sounded right up our alley.  What we weren't thinking about what how many other people wanted to go down this alley too.  We waited outside in a line for almost two hours to see the big man.  A week prior to this McKenzie had informed me that she had absolutely no intention of going anywhere near Santa.  Something like, "No wannu."  However, after hearing that her cousin, Lily, sat on his lap, she began to look forward to the opportunity.

    When we started out in line she was excited, by the time we reached Santa she was terrified.  Kaia started as a bubbling, happy baby, but by the time we reached Santa we had to wake her to sit on his lap.  She was a little dazed and confused.  We snapped a couple pictures and ended up settling for one with the girls, Santa, and Daddy.

    Maybe we'll have better luck next year.

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Hide and Peek

    McKenzie and I played a rousing rendition of hide and seek the other day while out enjoying the unseasonable warm weather.  Can you spot her?

    Camo Kenzie.

    This looks bad, I know.

    This one is pretty good, actually.