Last year for Christmas we celebrated in Chattanooga since I was 9 months pregnant with Sierra. My family came up from Fort Lauderdale and we had some special time with both sides of our family! It was a particularly exciting Christmas Day, because we had a White Christmas! It hadn’t snowed on Christmas Day in ages (here in Chattanooga), so it was historical and absolutely perfect. Playing in the snow with my family was the perfect “about to have a new baby” gift that I could have received! We even got to go sledding in our neighborhood the day after Christmas!
So since we try to alternate holiday locations, this year we headed south to bask in the warm Fort Lauderdale sun! We had an all-too-brief (but very wonderful) Christmas celebration with Rich’s wonderful parents and then left the next morning for 11 hours in the Pilot with our little ones. And let me just say that we are SO proud of these two! The trip from Chattanooga to Fort Lauderdale can often be 12-13 hours depending on the number of stops we make, and of course the traffic, but we actually made a beeline there and arrived in just under 11 hours! The girls did an amazing job of tolerating the drive, and are turning out to be fabulous little travelers.
It’s actually been a little over a week since we have been back in town from our 3 weeks in Florida (yes, 3 whole weeks. Running our own business requires a ton of hard work, but it also allows for some flexibility in the off-season). The latter half of our week home has been spent sick. Well, let me rephrase: the girls have been sick and Rich and I have been waking up in the middle of the night for 3 nights straight to clean up vomitSo I’m feeling sorry for the girls and going a bit stir crazy myself. And if I do another load of nasty laundry, it is highly likely that I will go completely insane.
So hopefully I’ll get through this blog post: it’s the kind of mommy day that makes me feel the need to go to the loony bin. Sierra is soooo fussy, clingy, needy, and clearly just doesn’t feel completely back to normal yet. As I type, she is loudly fighting a nap in her crib. Give in, baby, just give in.Mommy wants to blog. An overdue blog, at that.
Most of our Christmas vacation was spent in absolutely beautiful weather, in the 60′s, 70′s, even 80′s, which allowed the girls to play outside and have a blast. The pool water itself is actually really cold in the “Florida winter” even when it’s warm outside, so the girls mainly played with the sand and water table and enjoyed all of the pool toys.
Examining the sand…
And deciding to eat some.
And deciding that it doesn’t actually taste good at all.
Alana has an absolute blast hanging out by the pool, even when she doesn’t go in the water. She has always loved it out here.
Her own little pink net for cleaning the pool – she loves it and hey, she helps the pool stay clean. Nana is brilliant
Go Miami Heat
Thank you so much to Rich for these photos of the girls (minus Aunt Pixie, whom we eagerly awaited the arrival of on Christmas Eve)!!!
I loooooove this series…
This was Sierra’s adorable little Christmas Eve dress – too cute
Thank you for the Christmas Eve family photo, mom!
Christmas Day was just the sweetest thing. Since it was Sierra’s first Christmas, Alana wanted to properly introduce her to the wonderful presents. She was a little smothered, but hopefully she felt loved
Since Aunt Pixie had flown in late the night before, the girls had not seen her yet. So when we’d all waited as along as we could handle, we snuck in with the girls and let them crawl onto Amber to wake her up. It was so cute. Sierra was only 6 months old when Amber moved to South Dakota, so it had been 6 months, but her reaction was adorable and we all deduced that she totally remembered Aunt Pixie
We ate a delicious Christmas morning breakfast together and then began opening presents.
I love my “I’m taking a picture of her taking a picture of her taking a picture of him” image
Sierra didn’t actually make it too far before she needed her morning nap. So most of our gift opening was spent sans Sierra. But at least we had a happy baby later on!
I put Sierra down for a nap and the opening continued!
I made fun of my mom for getting dad – among other things – socks for Christmas. But dad reeeeaaalllly wanted some new socks. And the fact that he’s rubbing them on his face, well, that’s a really funny family joke going back a few Christmases
Dad surprised mom with an iPad for Christmas – so cute! She was so excited! Mom and I found the MOST hilarious slippers for Amber – they looked like the abominable snowman – we were pretty happy with ourselves. Sadly, they shed like crazy! Might as well have a pet!
Gifting dad some happiness:
Ya, you really can’t go wrong with cash.
Alana sporting Aunt Pixie’s new slippers
Yep, Rich got the coal in his stocking – I think he may have gotten it last year as wellHe and my mom have a special (i.e. feisty) relationship. But don’t feel bad for him, he can dish it out!
Stockings!My adorable mom, checking out her new work toy!
Sierra woke up in time to have stocking fun – she kept putting candy canes in her mouth with the wrapper on, probably wondering why in the world we like them
Then we let Sierra open her Christmas gifts that had been left unopened while she napped. Oh, she did not disappoint. I’ve come to expect babies to have more fun with the paper and boxes than their gifts, but Sierra, on Christmas Day, was an exception. She let Alana help her with the opening, but then she would hold up her gifts, give Nana a HUGE smile, and then proceed to play with and enjoy her new toys. Really, I was so impressed with her! It was the most rewarding baby gift opening episode I’ve ever seen We might be the last young family on earth who did not yet have Sophie the Giraffe, but Nana got her for Sierra!
Both girls LOVE to be on Papa’s shoulders, mess up his hair, slap his head, giggle while he runs around the house…
And giggle when Nana comes to get them!
Then, once Amber was in town, we needed to take a few more photos with all 3 girls! Thank you again to Rich for these photos! They make me so happy
Soon I will be able to blog Sierra’s first birthday party because the one and only Amber Holritz flew down to document it! We are so excited to share those photos as well!