...52|52..

12:56 PM

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52 weeks. I am really thankful I participated in this challenge. There were weeks where I struggled to find a photo that I liked (like these!!), but I am thankful for every single one.
gianna...1...I was holding her and my stomach growled. She immediately said "uh oh" and lifted her shirt and looked at her belly. She learned how to say "sit down." I might say that 100 times a meal ;).


gabe...3...We had your dad home for 10 days. You have never been happier. You guys worked on projects, built tons of train tracks, read books, had tickle parties. You love him so much. Your funny for the week. We were eating dinner (pork) and he says:
"Does sis like pork, mom?"
you mean pork...with a p?
"Does sis like pork with a p, mom?

As I was tucking you in bed for the night, you looked up at your crucifix and said:
"Mom, Jesus's crown is brown.....{yes}....it is suppose to be yellow...like prince Wednesday.."
OIY!!
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...baking cookies with ellen...

12:15 PM

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I have mentioned before, how we dearly love our elderly neighbor. On a Costco trip just before Christmas, she struck up a conversation with "an elderly woman." Apparently, this woman had purchased 10-12 dozen eggs. Ellen was curious what one person could do with all of them. She mentioned she was making an old family recipe for Hungarian Cookies and the secret ingredient was boiled egg yolks.

Ellen asked if we wanted to make them with her. So we decided to try them a few days after Christmas. She brought over the recipe and ingredients. (I did a quick google search as the recipe just seemed off). Ellen even called her back to make sure her amounts were correct and that there were no special steps.

So, off we went....a pound of butter here, 8 boiled egg yolks, flour, sugar....a disaster.

We ended up with a liquid. So we placed it in the freezer while we ate dinner. We tried rolling them, cutting them, adding cinnamon, adding more flour.....they were awful.

But....we had a wonderful time with her. Steve even snapped a few photos of the wreck that was happening.

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...cookies for the guys...

12:24 PM

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I have always sent a package to my nieces and nephews for Christmas. I usually get them sent prior to Christmas, but not this year. It is usually just various types of cookies/treats. This year, we included the dough ornaments that Gabe made with me. I sadly forgot to take a final picture of the ones we sent. 

One nephew has a birthday just a few days after Christmas. Gabe wanted to send him a cake, but we compromised on birthday cake cookies. He even topped them with ample sprinkles ;).

I don't usually include photos of myself....but I am trying to be better about that. Someone desperately needed held :).
This photo just makes me laugh.
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...Christmas with Grandpa/Grandma...

11:25 AM

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Grandpa/Grandma, Busia, Uncle Kyle, Uncle Brian/Aunt Kristi came down the day after Christmas. We ate a light breakfast as we did the traditional Cornish hens for an early dinner.

The kids opened presents. We all cooked in the kitchen, which is something that I really miss about being home with my family for the holidays. Steve even snuck in a few photos of me ;).

Fortunately, everyone was feeling much better.

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...51|52...

11:12 AM

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 gianna...1...you learned how to give hi five. you clap for yourself when finished. you are trying realllly hard to only nap once a day. you were a bit sick on Christmas, but I enjoyed the cuddles.
gabe...3...you spent almost all of Christmas day playing with your trains. you also got a 24 piece puzzle that you have mastered. i am glad you have such enthusiasm for building tracks and using your imagination.
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...Christmas Day 2016...

11:06 AM

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We spent Christmas at our house this year, which was very nice. Steve had to work on Christmas Eve, but was able to come home early, as Mass was at 4PM. I sadly didn't get a picture of us. The kids and I spent the late morning in Urgent care as I was afraid Gianna had an ear infection. They have been battling some nasty virus off an on for a few weeks now. 

"Mom, we can't sing Happy Birthday to Jesus tomorrow. He doesn't have a mouth!" It is very difficult to explain that Jesus isn't actually a statue.
"Mom, God isn't His dad....it is Joseph..." Oh.Boy.

After Mass, I had intentions of having a homemade pizza night, but that was quickly changed to waffles. We danced in the kitchen to Christmas music ate ate home made waffles.
Steve asked Gabe if he wanted any presents tomorrow. He said, "Hmmmm....maybe something like this???" As he picked up the nasal saline bottle. 
So simple. So sweet.
Steve and I wrapped the remainder of the presents once the kids were in bed.
As we were going to bed, he came down with what we had been battling for a few weeks.
We had intended to spend Christmas morning with our neighbor, feasting on cinnamon rolls and coffee. My brother and sister in law were to spend the afternoon with us. However, we didn't want to risk getting anyone else sick, so it was just us.

We made it down stairs around 7AM. (fortunately, Steve's fever broke early in the morning). Gabe exclaimed, "OH! MOM!!! Candy CANS!!!" (stocking). We opened the few little treats and gifts in the stocking and played with those for nearly an hour. He was perfectly content, which made it even more perfect.

We convinced the kids to come into the toy room to open a few presents.  Gianna opened one package (and was a trooper despite her fever), and squealed with every piece of torn paper. She was petrified of the doll from us. My grandparents got her a baking set, that she LOVES. Gabe received a few Thomas & friends as well as some wooden tracks. Sadly, I accidentally purchased the wrong size train (ugh), but he was content playing with them all over the floors.

The kids and Steve took a 3 hour nap that afternoon. I went on a quiet run and walked the dog and waited for my sweet family to awaken. No one was up for a big meal for dinner, so we had baked amish oatmeal.


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...thumbprint cards...

11:40 AM

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I am not an ultra crafty person. It is something I really work on with my kids. I recently joined a FB group for preschool crafts. It makes me sweat. I don't know what it is about googly eyes, glitter, and the like. I have a vision of the kind of mom I would like to be, in this regard. I am quite a few miles away. However, I am working on it.

A sweet friend of mine sent me a text with this craft. I usually try to find a special activity or two for Gabe and I to do while Gianna is taking her morning nap. Sometimes we color, play play doh, or bake. Today, we decided to make some thumbprint cards for some important people in our lives.

He loved it.


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...wrapping presents...

11:21 AM

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I actually really enjoy wrapping gifts. I remember as a child, my mom and grandma would stay up late on Christmas Eve and wrap presents and laugh. I hope to someday have that time with my own mom. Steve and I usually wrap presents on Christmas Eve, while watching Christmas Vacation.

However, I decided to let Gabe help wrap Steve's presents. He loved being in charge of tape. We went through A LOT. But that is ok. It was on sideways. It missed the mark a few times. But the messy imperfections were enjoyable. He had so much joy. He kept saying, "this is for dad. he will really like this." 
Most of the packages were in a box, so the contents were hidden. However, I showed him a pocket knife I was giving him. He was really excited to wrap that box. After he wrapped them, he wrote on the outsides of the packages. I told him they were a surprise, so don't tell dad. (We haven't used the word secret, yet.)

"This says it is for dad, mom. He will really like it."

After Steve was home, we were sitting down for dinner and he was telling him all about his day. 
"So dad, we wrapped presents today. One was a knife. It is a surprise."

I thought Steve was going to choke. I hardly missed a beat...
"No, we used a knife to cut the paper, right?"

"Oh...right.................No...it was a knife, mom. But it is a surprise."

Ha. Kids.
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...15 months...

11:03 AM

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I kept waiting until I could get more of a photo shoot with her. Not a chance. She isn't still long enough. So...here are some real life photos with my sweets.

 Miss Gianna. 15 months.

Likes: ME. It has started to lessen a bit in the last few days. She rarely is unvelcro-ed from my body. Her men and her puppy. Flirting. She is such a flirt at Mass it almost always makes me giggle. Her stuffed tiger from Nana and Popa. She carries it (much larger than she) around all.the.time. She loves to sit and read a book out loud. Cute. She loves to stand up and dance. Moving. All. The. Time. Eating anything and everything....dirt, rocks, leaves, paper, food. Horses. 

Official Stats: 22 lbs. 32 5/8 in. She wears 2T month clothes consistently. 15 teeth.

Says: Mumum. Daaada. Uh-oh. Sit. Ball, Boah (book), leez (the dog), something very similar to Christmas tree when she points to it. She calls for Gabe with a "daaaa." A few other words.

Sleep. She still likes her naps at 930 and 130. Her morning nap is about 1.5 hours and the afternoon one is closer to 2 hours. Nighttime is a consistent 7-7. 

Food. Loves it. All of it. She is still very curious and eats almost anything placed in front of her. She doesn't care for oranges.

Nicknames. Sweets, Sis. 

My little independent lady. You have such a curious and alert personality. You love to play with your brother. I love your stink eye glare when you disapprove. Your smile can make anything better. I love how you rub your head into the nape of my neck. You still love sucking your thumb. Your eyes and smile light up a room. Love you, little lady.
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...playing piano...

10:52 AM

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Gianna loves to sit and play the piano. She is so delicate with the keys. She has spent hours watching me play and loves to climb up and sit next to me and play. She gracefully touches the keys and sings.  Gabe loves it when I play and will also sit and play throughout the day. He loves to sing any song he knows while he is playing. I love how they love music. He asks nearly every day for me to play my "guitar"...a violin. He dances in a circle and Gianna claps and squeals. They sat together for a rare moment this morning.
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...her first doll...

12:21 PM

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Gianna will be opening this sweet little girl on Christmas. This is her first doll. I am hoping that she will really like her. I fell in love with her. I decided to make a sweet little dress for her. I had a scrap of fabric from a dress I made for Gianna right after she was born. I hope to make a few more dresses for her.

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...weekend recap...

10:56 AM

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We made a trip up north on Thursday. Steve had a company party and our friends offered to babysit. Date night. We spent four days with our good friends. We spent Friday with my in-laws and made Christmas cookies. We stayed up waaay to late. We had great conversations. The kids played, we baked, the guys did home improvements.

We took the kids to open gym. It was really fun to watch the kids play on all of they gymnastic equipment. The foam pit was the favorite. The kids loved running down and jumping in.
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