|"I sure like Christmas!"|
Here's some fun things I found:
|Cute and funky Christmas trees from Pier 1.|
|Ornament candle-holders from Kohls.|
|A friend at school even helped me decorate|
some more with this "green" snowman!
Thanks Chris, you know me well!
|Christmas tree decor is one of my favorites!|
|I've got a small obsession with advent calendars, and this one is|
my favorite! I don't know what to put in it yet...anyone have
good "advent" ideas for next year?
|Love ornaments from The Office.|
|One of many skater-style ornaments for you know who.|
|And my favorite type of ornament: picture frames! I have|
one each year that Brandon and I have been together. Here
is the one from our first Christmas together back in 2003!
The holiday decorating didn't stop there, I even made a wreath off of Pinterest! Granted it took me 3 weeks to make, but nonetheless I made wreath. Watch out now...
Avery even got in on the decorating spirit as I had her make a "hand print reindeer frame". A craft that I had my students at school make for their parents. Usually finger painting with 3-5 year olds isn't exactly my favorite activity, but I think I would take doing that over painting with an 8 month old any day! Things got a bit messy, but it was worth it as I'm sure we'll have fun looking back on how tiny (and pudgy) her little fingers were on her first Christmas.
|The paint was applied.|
|I attempted to stamp her hand, but she wouldn't open her fingers!|
|But then she was done! I knew I could make the prints|
|Then I forgot to keep a wet cloth close by to clean her up|
afterwards, so I walked away for a second and this happened!
|The finished product that hangs on our fridge.|
Once Christmas finally rolled around we were all in the mood for some holiday gatherings with our family and friends, here are some pictures of the fun we had starting with Christmas Eve.
|By the Disney Christmas tree.|
|One of her favorite places: on Grandma|
|Playing with a pop-up toy she got.|
Later that afternoon while I was cooking up a storm to get ready for our holiday dinners, Avery did one of her first milestones of the holiday season: drinking from a straw! Hooray! Ever since I started baby-led solids two months ago, I've been giving her drinks of water from a small shot glass, and while it worked for the time being, it was pretty messy and all she wanted to do was control the glass and play in the water. Enter Lollacup Infant and Toddler Straw Cup...my savior! I found out about this cup online ($18) and I couldn't wait to try it with Avery. But when it finally arrived, I gave it to her and all she did was chew on the straw.
|Can you tell she likes this cup?!|
Darn it. I knew she was capable of drinking from a straw since she had taken a few sips from my green smoothies when I used my glass straw, but for some reason it wasn't clicking with her. Hello, new mama, maybe she needs to get used to it first. So I took a step back and just let her explore it, hold it, and play with it. Every now and then I would step in and tilt it up for her so a little water would come down, then she'd go back to playing with it.
But on Christmas Eve, I looked over and there she was drinking from the straw! Woo hoo! She got it. Ever since then, she gets very excited when I bring the cup out at meals and I've even tried putting some smoothies in the cup for her to drink. So there you have it, Avery can drink from a straw, no more shot glass of water.
|I can drink all by myself.|
|"Put your hands up...it's Christmas time!"|
|Her shirt came off for this meal. It was just a bit too messy!|
Then it was time to open some presents.
|2nd milestone of the holidays: clapping! After each present|
we would say, "Yeah!" and she would start clapping.
Then it was time to go to sleep so that "Santa" could come.
As I'm sure most families experienced, just because it's the biggest holiday of the year, doesn't mean that babies were going to wake up happy and stay that way all day long. Avery proved this to us on Christmas morning. I woke up expecting smiles and giggles as we joyfully opened presents, but instead I got this...
|"I hate Christmas!"|
Not to worry...the smiles came out after a quick nursing session.
|"Okay wait, I like Christmas!"|
|But then she was off...|
|And ready to climb in her Christmas outfit:|
(tights here, tutu here) from Grandma Cheryl.
|My cloth-wrapped presents under the Christmas tree.|
The cloth wrapping worked out great for the most part, the only downside was that Avery couldn't "rip and tear" like she loved to do when opening other presents. We basically pulled things out of the bags for her...a little anticlimactic. So where as the cloth wrap is perfect for adults, it wasn't so fun for kids. Perhaps next year I'll do a bit of both.
Does your family do any type of green wrapping for Christmas presents? Share below.
I also tried going green with my gift tags this year by using these cool recycled chalkboard tags also from Etsy. I got a set of 10 for $5. They are such a unique idea and I had fun using them, but the only downside is that the names come off fairly easy...obviously, since it's chalk. I think the problem might be that they're tied to cloth bags, as opposed to boxes, and as a result they move around a lot more...thus equaling more chances for smudging. But still, they were a fun alternative to traditional gift tags.
|Chalkboard gift tag from Etsy.|
|Here she is mesmerized by the tissue paper.|
|"This pretend fridge is amazing!"|
|After all those presents, she was wore out! Time for a nap on|
|Clapping for her new Melissa & Doug farm puzzle. Love it!|
|Tap! Tap! Tap!|
|Let me get this open...|
|She worked so hard to tear that paper!|
|Pigs are quite possibly my favorite animal, so I was pretty|
excited when my parents got Avery these adorable pig pajamas!
|Reading a new book with Grandma Karen.|
|Playing catch with Uncle Austin.|
|Tights and a tutu won't hold this girl back.|
|More clapping with Dad.|
|Peek-a-Boo is a new favorite game as you can see here with|
Grandma Karen and Grandpa Frank!
|Milestone #3: Waving good-bye! Sometimes it's a bit delayed, |
but it's still fun to see!
|A night out on the town...at Genghis Khan.|
|My food: rice noodles, tofu, corn, broccoli, onions, mushrooms|
seasoned with some chipotle powder.
|Brandon's plate...lots of veggies, noodles, and tofu.|
On the day after Christmas she showed off her 4th milestone of the holidays...climbing stairs! Usually she would just hold on to the bottom two stairs and stand there, but just this week she pulled one knee up, then the other knee up and she got to the landing where our front door is. This must have motivated her because she didn't stop there, she kept climbing all the way to the top of our staircase (with us close by of course). And since then she continues to climb the stairs daily, we call it her "stair workout". Her she is in action:
|"I made it to the landing."|
|"Better keep going."|
|Almost at the top...don't worry, Brandon's|
right around the corner!
|One of her favorite buddy toys: her Winkel, |
a ball-like toy that was a gift from Uncle Andrew.
|Come on Winkle!|
|She'll often stop and take breaks on her trek to the top, and raise|
her hand up in the air like this. I joke that she's "harnessing
the energy from the sun" a quote from one of my yoga DVDs.
|She'll often throw the buddy toy a step or two ahead of her|
and then climb to it.
|Made it...Winkle and all!|
|Whoa! I climbed really high up!|
|See that front tooth to the left just poking through?|
|Take a closer look.|
Well that wraps up our holidays here at this "green house". I hope you had a good one as well. Coming up soon is a new recipe for one of my favorite, cruelty-free recipes to take to holiday gatherings.