Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It was a good Christmas...

 Christmas Eve with my side...


 Mia was really helpful opening up ALL of the presents!
 It's about damn time we see this girl in some maroon and gold!
  The "inspiration" piece for mine and David's new room at my parents' new lake house!

 Christmas day with David's side... Mia showing off her tights...and belly button...
 Teddy, with his fancy Christmas tie!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas from Us to You!

2 cards, because we simply couldn't decide!  All photos by Amy Rondeau Photography, top card designed by Amy, bottom card created on Snapfish.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

More Holiday Fun!

Last weekend my family was able to get together for supper at Pizza Luce and the Hollidazzle parade downtown Minneapolis. It was Mia's first time to the Hollidazzle and she LOVED it - especially seeing Santa in his sleigh at the end! She is constantly saying "Santa!" and "Ho-ho-ho" these days. Needless to say, she's pretty excited about Christmas. The time together was especially important as my brother, Stephen, flew to Jamaica a couple of days later for the week, so he won't be around for our big family Christmas Eve. It was also a treat to have both of my brothers' girlfriends, Kendra (Dan) and Lori (Steve), around!
Mia has enjoyed helping me to decorate Christmas goodies. I gave her a bottle of sprinkles and let her go crazy over the almond bark pretzels. She had a hard time keeping her little fingers out of the gooey almond bark!
 David, Mia, and I did our own Christmas morning last Sunday. We snuck this red play kitchen upstairs after she went to bed and she got discover it the next morning! It is a hit. We were a little worried that she wouldn't actually know what the phone is as it looks like a normal phone and not like the cell phones she's used to seeing, but sure enough she figured it out quickly! "Hi Minnie!"
 Our friend Laura brought a present by the other evening - Mia loved it, but I think she enjoyed the time with Laura even more!

 Here's a quick shot of our tree this year - we added big, clear bulbs in addition to our normal colored mini lights and we really liked the result (but it does give off a LOT of light!).
 Finally, here's a little Christmas scene from Miss Mia: the nativity, complete with baby Jesus on the roof, an elephant, and a Christmas tree!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cinnamon Popcorn Balls

I saw the recipe for these on Angela's blog over at Fixing It Fancy and decided to give them a try in this year's batch of Christmas goodies.  They were quick, easy, and fun to eat!  Mia even liked them!  Recipe is here, but I've summarized it below.

Cinnamon Popcorn Balls
5 quarts air popped popcorn (1 1/2 cups unpopped)
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter
1/4 cup white corn syrup
1 cup red hot candies
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda

Mix all ingredients except popcorn and baking soda in a microwave safe bowl. Cook on high for 1 1/2 minutes, stir, continue cooking until the red hots melt. Add in baking soda, mix well.  Pour over popcorn and stir until well mixed.  Form into balls or spread on parchment or wax paper and let cool.

Note: The original recipe says to put the popcorn in a paper bag, add the mix, stir, then microwave the whole thing for 1 1/2 minutes, repeating 2 more times.  I skipped this, simply because I forgot.  It didn't make much of a difference - I'm guessing I could have spread it a bit more evenly and had the syrup "set" a bit better, as I've seen for some paper bag caramel corn recipes, but I don't think it's necessary.  The original recipe also doesn't include directions on when to add the baking soda, so I just added it after the syrup was all melted - not sure of its function.

Now I have a few large ziplocks full of cinnamon popcorn in my pantry and I get to smell the goodness every time I open the pantry door!  Yum!  Thanks for sharing, Angela!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Slow down! (Amelia Update!)

We're LONG overdue for an Amelia update! The kid is growing up way too fast! The other day, I literally walked into the living room to see her doing this:
How she managed to find both David's computer, his pad and pen, and my phone, we'll never know!  Evidently we've instilled in her the importance of a good list, not to mention a laptop and cell. I keep saying that she's into everything these days, which is still true, but now if we attempt to remove her (or it), we get treated with a crazy tantrum and/or hollering. I think the terrible 2s may be here...for example, the other night while David and I were having supper (she was done eating already), we told her not to do something and she threw up her hand and yelled "No Dada!" then looked at me and said "No Mama!" We kept our calm and told her that it was not okay to yell at us, but as soon as she left the room we started silently laughing - David said that we're lucky she's not a witch as we'd be on fire! She redeemed herself later that night, though, by noticing an scrape on my cheek and giving it a kiss to make it all better! So sweet.

I think the biggest change has been her increased independence. Everything is "No! Mia!" meaning that she either wants to keep whatever she has that she thinks is hers or that she wants to do something herself. This is pretty much constant. Getting out the door in the mornings is a challenge - first I have to convince her that it's okay to leave and go to daycare, and then we have to duke it out to get her shoes, coat, and hat and mittens on. She also changes her mind, a lot. We'll give her an option to pick which jacket she will wear and she'll pick one, we'll start to put it on, then she'll pick another one, and so on (maybe this just means that we have too many jackets....and shoes...and hats...but a girl should have options, right?). It's exhausting.

In addition to the increased independence, is a desire to 'help.' So she likes to try to help in the kitchen with the cooking and baking. This works out okay most of the time, but sometimes it gets a bit messy:

She was helping me put sprinkles on the spritz cookies, but decided that she should pop one of the uncooked cookies into her mouth, which meant that I got to dig it back out. Needless to say, she was not happy.

Her hands were green from the sprinkles and dough, but I realized later that her FEET were also green because she had been stepping on all of the sprinkles that she spilled!  Too funny.

Good thing we're heading home for Christmas in a little over a week as we constantly hear about Nana B and Papa B, and Nana EIO and Papa EIO (as in E-I-E-I-O...). Nana and Papa EIO were at our place for a bit this past weekend, so she got in some play time with them. The day after they left I found her talking on her play phone to Nana EIO.  I'm pretty sure she was demanding that she come back.

So, wish us luck as we dive further into the terrible 2s!  Any suggestions, besides crazy levels of patience?  Cocktails?  That seems to help by the end of some days!  :)