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Sometimes the sun does shine in Ireland. And sometimes it shines so bright that it even warms up enough to get out the water hose and go crazy. Despite waking up with a migraine-like headache and scratchy throat yesterday, I manager to recover by 3 and got a chance to enjoy the sun with the kids…

For the record, Reagan has grown 7 inches since we moved in March, 2011. I think Caitlin has grown 4 inches, 1 of them in the past two months. My two and four year old look like they are 3 and 6!

Sunshining again today, let’s see if it reaches 70 again…

~L

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With Birthday season imminent, I figured many would be starting to ask what the girls are interested in. First and foremost, no presents are required 🙂 They would kill me for saying that, wouldn’t they?

Secondarily, they have plenty of toys from Christmas, not to say I am discouraging toys, but they do have just a few. That said, I’ve updated their wish list on Amazon. Keep in mind that many of the links are to the UK and Ireland. Imaginative play runs rampant right now, so lots of play sets are listed.

Not feeling toys? Art supplies are ALWAYS welcome. Whether it be dry erase markers, chalk, paint, crafty kits that they can be creative with, all of that works for us. The kids love coloring and playing with their new easels. Unfortunately we couldn’t find chalk or dry erase markers that were very good, so this is a prime opportunity.

Still not sure? Well, I’m happy to provide the deposit info for their 529 plans (college savings) 🙂 They’d appreciate it in the long run.

And yes, Disney is still ever so popular in our house. Princesses, Winnie The Pooh, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse… you name it.

Our plans are to get Reagan a scooter and Caitlin a bicycle. And of course the needed safety gear to go with both. Good thing they are both still too young to read this and have the surprise ruined… although Caitlin has asked for a bike. Specifically pink and purple with a basket for her doll.

We will be having a joint party on the 11th, not at our house this time. Hooray for no clean-up 😉

So there you go!

And now off to catch up with family on Skype…

~L

I realize I never got around to post days 18 – 24 activity advent. Needless to say, Christmas, year end at work and a sinus infection just do not mix. As soon as the kids were in bed, I was in bed. No time for posting, so I do apologize. That said, we continued in our activities… visiting Santa, watching ‘A Year Without a Santa Claus’, more coloring, decorating gingerbread men, dance parties to the Heat Miser song, there was no shortage of fun around here.

Christmas day itself was fantastic. We had no presents under the tree leading up to Christmas day for fear the girls would open them. They came down Christmas morning and exploded with joy to see presents pretty much every where. It was adorable. And then the presents did explode every where and still continue to be every where despite any effort to keep the house clean… 🙂 At least the kids are happy, right?

What a big year 2011 was for us. Our baby is now a full fledge toddler, our toddler is a preschooler, both talk (non-stop), walk, run (non-stop), oh … and we moved to a foreign country. Full of adventure and excitement, I expect 2012 will not require as much adjustment, but will hopefully include much exploring of this beautiful country we live in.

I’ll leave you with some of my favorites from the holiday….

xo
~L

Fell a little behind on the blog posts! Unfortunately the whole house has been hit by a cold/sinus infection. Yet that will not stop us from celebrating the holiday! Catching up….

Day 12- The Ice Age

Monday I was feeling quite under the weather so we had a relaxing evening and watch the Ice Age Christmas special. I mean really, doesn’t Scrat get everyone into the Christmas spirit?

Day 13- Angel Costume

Caitlin’s costume for her school performance arrived, so it was time to try it on and make any adjustments needed. Pictures below.

Day 14- Fun with Stickers!

Wednesday we made pictures with winter themed stickers. If you knows our girls, you know they love stickers! I think we may have finally used up all the holiday stickers I bought for Caitlin last year. Pictures below.

Day 15- More Decorations!

You truly can never have too many decorations. We had found another garland for the tree in a box in the attic. Additionally more colored ornament balls as well. After a nice dinner Caitlin, Reagan and I spent our time adding more decorations to the tree. They may think that decorating the tree is a month long event 😉 Unfortunately no pictures of the additional decorating.

Day 16- Whoopsy Daisy Angel

School performance! Caitlin’s first school performance, she was one of the chorus of Angel’s. They were so darn adorable. Neighbor Jake was in it as well as a shepherd and her BBF Andrew was Joseph. Cuteness, and comedy, all around.

Day 17- Birthday Party?

Yesterday was consumed by running to Angelina Ballerina, quick naps and a birthday party for Jake, the one that lives 4 doors down, not next door 🙂 So we found ourselves at Monkey Maze for the first time and the girls had a blast. I can’t blame them, it looked like fine to me as well, but adults are not allowed to climb 🙂 No pictures here either as we were too busy chasing children. Reagan wanted to play in the area for 5 – 10 year olds with Caitlin, and I had to keep chasing her back to the toddler area.

Today’s activity… visiting Santa at the Maryborough Hotel!!!

Happy Holidays,
~L

Today we braved the shopping centre. For those of you in the US, that would be the Mall 🙂 Insanity! Trying to find parking was possibly the worst of it all. Thankfully it only took about 10 minutes and was a complete “right place/right time” situation. Good for us.

Why did we go to the mall? Well 1) we needed to get out of the house. The kids were going stir crazy and so were mom and dad. 2) We needed to pick up a birthday present. 3) We wanted to go to the Hallmark store to see if they had any new singing snowmen.

Sure enough we were able to find a new singing snowman and the girls were thrilled:

They also each selected new ornaments to add to the tree:

Now the odd bit, they are all dated 2010. That’s right, they put out ornaments from last year and a few from this year (from what I could tell). I’m concerned that the Tinkerbell may be the same now e purchased last year, however as we’ve not dug out those boxes, I suppose it really doesn’t matter. The snowman doesn’t have a date on him, yet doesn’t seem to be the one on the US Hallmark site. C’est la vie!

Now we’re really beginning to look quite festive around here.

What to do when the kids are still so little? Have them help make paper chain garlands! The 10th day found me digging through our craft box for supplies:

~ Red and green construction paper
~ Safety scissors
~ Scotch tape or glue stick
~ Excited little kids

Bug was great at alternating the colors I needed. However not so great with the tape dispenser. LOTS of twisted tape. Muffin just wanted to run around with the paper, whatever makes her happy 🙂 We pulled in daddy mid-craftiness to cut up more strips of paper. We now have a beautiful chain hanging across our windows, above the tree in the living room.

Pictures added:

Well, with a rather hectic evening the activity was almost missed, but Christmas stories are always an easy one. We had gone to the Post to pick up some packages we’d sent home form Ohio. In those packages were several Christmas books. One was particularly special as it was recorded by Grammy and Grampy.

As 7:30pm rolled around we changed into our jambes, cuddles up on the couch and begin with the Charlie Brown Christmas book. The girls instantly recognized the voices and yelled “Grammy! Grampy!” and off we went into the story. Bug also really enjoyed the music intros as well. Once Charlie Brown ended on we went to ‘A Bad Kitty Christmas’ which is terribly cute. However before I could finish both girls were restless and ready for bed, so off they went.

Nothing like a nice holiday story at bedtime 🙂

This evening’s activity found us writing a letter to Santa. Or rather, mommy doing all the writing and Bug/Muffin dictating what needed to be said. Well, mommy had to ask some question as well, so a little investigative journalism perhaps?

The letter went something like this:

Dear Santa,

We have been very good girls this year. We also moved to Ireland, we hope you can find us. Bug would like a dolly with a yellow shirt. Muffin would like a Winne-A-Pooh. Mommy & Daddy would like some peace and quiet.

Please tell Rudolph & Frosty “hi!” for us!

XO, Bug & Muffin

Letter to Santa

Tree time!!! Finally, the moment we had been talking about for days with the girls, we put up our tree as today’s activity. Now putting up the tree was almost all that occurred as Muffin discovered how much she loved taking the ornaments and running away with them (giggling all the while). Bug on the other hand was scolding her and trying to get them back to put on the tree. So the upper 1/2 has some amount of decorations compliments of Bug and Mommy, the bottom half is mostly bare at the moment, pending if Muffin can handle not removing further ornaments. I’ll say we were going with a minimalistic approach this year 😉

Bug keeps commenting on how “beautiful” the tree is and how much she loves the decorations. She also sings ‘O Christmas Tree’ and the lyrics are something like: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree. How I love you so much…

Pictures!

Muffin "Helping"

Bug's turn!

Make sure to get the back

On the tree, or not?

mmmm, gingerbread bear

Let the activities continue!

December 6th found us coloring holiday themed pictures. I was able to find online pictures from ‘Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer’, and they were a hit. Bug selected her colors quickly (red/green and then shades of purple/pink) and went to work. Muffin was busy trying to figure out how to color with two hands at once. Both had an immense amount of fun.