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Monday, December 26, 2011

Only 364 Days Until Christmas!

Warning:  If you have dial-up or a slow internet connection I suggest you take a break, go make yourself a cup of coffee, or build a birdhouse while you wait for this blog to load.  It is FULL of pictures.  Enjoy.

Let's take a pictorial trip through the end of November and the month December shall we.

In an effort to keep a tree decorated for the duration of the Christmas season I put up the (fake) tree mid November.  No ornaments, just the lights.  I thought perhaps if it stood in the corner long enough unadorned by the time the actual "decorating" of the tree took place Lily would have lost interest and left the ornaments and lights alone. Yah, no, didn't work. Well, ya know, "best laid plans" and all that.

We went to Picture Innovations in Virginia Beach for our family Christmas photos.  It was a terrible experience.  I don't know about other franchise locations, but I suggest families steer clear of this establishment.  They ran sooooooo late, and the photographer was soooooooo impatient.  There wasn't a single smiling picture of Lily in our entire shoot b/c the guy clearly had A. never worked with children and B. had never encountered a tired toddler.  When I made the appointment I scheduled it so that it was smack dab in between nap time and dinner time.  However, we had to wait over an hour for our session, and the place was so crazy overbooked that rescheduling was not an option.  So.  Here's what we got. 

Not bad, but who doesn't want a happy baby Christmas photo?

We tried our darndest to get her chipper for the photos, but this is what we were dealing with.

One tired baby.


We tried again at a different store.  The experience was much better.  We got some fabulous pictures.  Even some smiling ones.  I couldn't have been happier.  I guess you truly do get what you pay for.  Here's a happy Christmas baby.

Now that we have Miss Lily one of  my joys is dressing her up for the holiday.  Until she complains, *fingers crossed* it's not until she's 30, I'll continue to dress her up in gingerbread men and candy canes. 

Playing before church.
The joy of Sunday mornings is having Cayce around to corral Lily and take care of her so I can spend quality time actually primping.  Of course if she happens to make her way upstairs to our bathroom then all bets are off and it then becomes quality mother/daughter dress up time.  She loves helping mommy get dressed for church.

She has a skill with those Velcro rollers.

Cayce was very busy with Navy stuff this month.  He was gone for about 3 weeks.  While he was gone my mom came to visit.  Here's Lily on our way to pick her up from the airport.

I look so cool.....
One of the pluses to having Oma (mom) visit is free babysitting!  Cayce's ship had a Christmas party.  The event went until 11:00 PM, and while they had free childcare for the party the thought of making Lily stay up that late with complete strangers was not appealing.  So mom gladly watched Lily, and we enjoyed a carefree evening.

 After the party weekend Cayce's ship headed back out, and Lily, mom, and I headed to OK for a couple weeks.  Lily spent the frigid days running out the doggie door to commune with her goat friends.  I wished I had gotten a picture of this, but alas I was too busy chasing after her with her shoes, coat, hat, and gloves so she could be dressed appropriately to chat with her goat friends.  Directly behind the house Al has made a small manger pen for two pregnant goats.  I'm pretty sure Lily and the mamas spent their afternoons conspiring on how to get Lily through the fence and cuddled up with them in the hay.  Anytime they saw Lily heading for the fence they met her and just "talked."  Girl loves goats. 

After our time in OK we headed up I-35 to Kansas and spent some time with Marty, Don, and Randy.  There Lily got to enjoy her first 4 wheeler ride.

She insisted on steering.
After opening gifts, one awesome kiddie janitor cart and a singing broom (Catch a theme? Lily likes to clean) we continued up I-35 and finally got to be back with Cayce.  His ship was in port, and he took his Christmas leave.  He flew in from Norfolk to Kansas City.  There we spent a few days with family.  We enjoyed Christmas at Aunt Kay's home.  Lily was showered with a ridiculous amount of gifts. 

 Lily's favorite gift: a package of big girl underwear.  I kid you not.  She opened them and would not let them go.  Pretty sure she would have slept with the package if we had let her.


 Here she is feeding her baby doll.

Clearly she's ready to be a big sister.


Cayce's Grandma Mautino came to the Eads' family Christmas.  She brought dolls a plenty for Lily.  Including Lily's Holiday Barbie, which is perfect, b/c I guess as an *almost* 30 y/o I'm too old to be getting the Holiday Barbie for Christmas anymore. :-P But that's okay I have every one from the mid 90's up until 2009.  Lily's Great-grandma gave her the 2010 last year and also this year's.  So as long as Lily gets them each year it's *like* I'm getting them right? She was also given Belle, the Disney Barbie (which much to my chagrin she was allowed to take out of the package and play with), and 5 or 6 Hallmark Barbie ornaments.  Can I tell you how excited I am about these??  So excited that I went out and bought the small purple Christmas tree at Walmart so starting next year Lily can have her own Barbie Christmas tree.  Squeeeee!  So excited!  This is why little girls are fun...just when people tell you you're too old for girlhood joys you have someone to keep those traditions going! (No, I will not be putting her in pageants and living vicariously through her...just so you don't have to worry about seeing me on TLC one day.)

Great-grandma Carolyn, Cayce, an Elf, and me.

Back at Pamaw's (Cayce's mom) Lily enjoyed the Lily's sized recliner she received for Christmas.  She also got this kickass Princess castle tent.  I have a feeling it will be her hiding place of choice.

Just chilling with a peanut butter sandwich.

Hugs from Pamaw.

Pamaw, Princess, and Grampa Dave.

 After enjoying our time in KC we had to head back south to pick up the dogs from mom's and head out for VA.  During our short stay we stopped at the park in Cleveland, Billy Vessel's.  Lily had a blasty-blast!


So much more fun with Daddy!

"Agh la la agh agh agh la la!"

We seeeee you, Daddy.

They should charge admission for that thing!  It's one serious slide! Clearly.


We made the 23 hour drive from OK to VA in 2 days.  It was uneventful and loooooooooooong.  You have never met three people and two dogs more happy to be home.  We were able to enjoy Christmas in our home together.

The tree has so far survived the Lily's sized terrorist, but the ornaments have all migrated north out of her reach.

Rockin' the Dora nightgown ready to tear into some gifts.

 Lily received her first Cabbage Patch Doll and a Barbie car from Cayce and me.  She also got some sweet "light-up" Sketcher tennis shoes.  There is no walking softly in this house anymore.  She must stomp to ensure the shoes light with each step. 

Paying with Belle in her convertible, complete with "vroom vroom" sounds.

Meet Apple.  (that's her name)

Kisses for Apple. I can feel the anxiety in my stomach just looking at that mess.
 Lily's big gift this year was a collaboration gift from Cayce's dad, my mom, and us.  We made the jump to a big girl bed.  A super, princess sized, big girl bed.  Lily LOVES it.  We actually found it accidentally because we were at the furniture store looking for a new couch and just so happened to venture into the bed section.  Lily bee-lined it for this beauty.  She climbed in and laid right down.  We felt if she was that attracted to the bed perhaps making the switch would be easier.  The switch has been phenomenally awesome.  *knocks on wood* Nap time is even going smoothly. The only thing we are holding off on are the bedrails to raise it up off the floor.  We'll let her get a little bigger and then lift it up, but right now it's easy for her to get in and out.  The rails for the "carriage top" act as a crib like feature so they keep her protected from falling.  The bed will grow with her.  Once she inevitably, sad face, thinks she's too cool for Cinderella's carriage bed the top can come off and it will just be bottom scrolls. We had to rearrange her room and do some redecorating to accommodate the behemoth (changes not in the photo), but the room actually looks better now, and the shocking pink color isn't so "shocking" anymore.  It's as if the room was made for it. 


Cayce and I also had a good Christmas.  The best thing was my Nook.  I finally caved and asked for an e-reader.  After being a traditional book hold-out I made the choice to get one.  The big deciding factor for me stemmed from my experience nursing Lily.  I was never ever able to read while nursing.  I could hold a book, but the second I turned the page, oh no, that was it, fuss-central.  I'm a HUGE reader.  I absolutely love to read, and not being able to read while sitting peacefully really sucked. It was with that in mind that made me decide to get my well researched Nook.  So, in other words, I've gotten over my fear of having another baby, and we are officially working on baby #2.  So, once the next blessing comes along I am well prepared for nursing sessions with my Nook.  :-)