Friday, December 20, 2013

The Land of Snow and Ice

First it Snowed

Then it iced

Nala dragged me out of the house before breakfast to collect icicles to save in the freezer for summer time.

Then it snowed some more

The view from the front of our house

a nearby lake at sunset

When a girl in a red and white dress plays with a gigantic candy cane, you take a picture

and she knows that you think she's beautiful

and when a ninja comes at you?

The heat goes out, when it's below 30 outside, and it's an opportunity for a family slumber party.  We should do this every night to cut down on heating bills.

Love my new wide angle camera lens (google made the picture sparkly somehow):

Our excitement about prepping for a trip to Europe for Christmas and New Years had the tire popped.  Mariano caught the Chicken Pox on Monday.  Chicken Pox as an adult sucks more than as a kid.  I feel so bad for him.

So we thought we weren't going, since the kids are not vaccinated and therefore will probably come down with it after the 10-20day incubation period.  But then we thought deeply about the implications: train tickets, already forgone work income, and the reality that we wont get the opportunity to reschedule until next winter.  I decided that I'd rather need to extend the trip in Europe and wait in a hotel or family member's house for the kids to complete the virus, than miss out on the trip with only a possibility that they might come down with it.

So now we are going.  Hopefully Mariano is up to the trip tomorrow.  He's not contagious anymore, which was a major concern.  I'm so nervous about getting sick out there that I don't feel excited about the trip anymore.  Just hoping things work out. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

November and December

November and December need to have about 7 more days added to them.  

I remember six years ago, Kaio was one year old and we had just moved into our house (which was a townhouse, actually).  I think we celebrated his birthday at Dave and Buster's with some friends, (who didn't have kids).  I missed giving my step mom a birthday present for her December birthday and that brought a disproving talking-to from my dad.  I barely understood what the big deal was.  At that point presents seemed so trivial, like formalities of a world ticking around us.   I was so distracted by the moment at hand; working, cooking, keeping alive this little being, that I didn't see the days passing outside of my inbox and diaper bag.  "What?  It's Christmas?"

The next year things didn't get any better.  Leading up to Christmas I was pregnant with Nala.  I didn't even want to think about presents because I just wanted to be done being huge.  Kaio's birthday passed in November.  I don't remember what we did.  I think we went to Chuck e Cheese, maybe?  I managed to get a present for my step mom's birthday, I think.  We didn't have a Christmas tree because Kaio would have climbed up it, but I decorated the doorway of our townhome with  multi-colored lights.   I sent Christmas packages to my college friends by mid March.  

2009, this was the first year we had our own Christmas tree.  A potted one from Giant, that we strung a set of blue snowflake lights on and decorated with only two ornaments (a painted tree and a popsicle stick reindeer that Kaio made at daycare).  I loved having days off of work to spend with the family.  It's amazing to me how much our Christmas time tradition has evolved since that little tree.  But that feels like the natural cycle of life with a family, and I know they will continue to evolve, and the number of ornaments on the tree will continue to grow with the years.  I wish I could say the tree was still alive, but it didn't make it through the winter.  It would have been a sweet gesture.  I really wasn't very good at keeping plants alive back then.  I remember a friend gave me a Japanese maple tree to plant when Kaio was born, and that didn't make it either.  man.  I wish I had been more conscientious.  

With all the birthdays, holidays and events in November and December, the only reason I even have time to catch up on this blog today is because Nala's school is cancelled this morning due to a 2 hour county delay.   I wanted to write.  I love going back and reading, so I wanted to write.  

We held our first yard sale and made over 100 bucks.  

Kaio's 7 now, which I think was the hardest birthday for me.  I baked a cake for breakfast on the day, sobbing and trying not to tear up into the batter.  How did this baby get so big?

 He puts together these 1000 piece lego sets.  We signed up for a monthly lego subscription program so we can build them and send them back.
 Nala turns 5 in a couple days.

She makes things, like she made this monkey into a super hero, with mask, cape and badge.  No help from me whatsoever.  Just comes up with it.

She plays in a deep world, textured with layers of imagination.  I love stumbling upon the scenes she leaves around, like this clay birthday party with a clay bed and clay stuffed bunny toy.  

 If I ask her about it, she knows what each little clay piece is, "These are some candies, these are some peanuts, and this is a dress."

Mariano became a citizen in an emotional ceremony of 500 new Americans.

The kids found it a little boring, but I know they will remember it and they realize something important happened.

When you ask a kid to take your picture:

We're leaving for Europe in less than two weeks and I'm trying so hard to keep on top of everything like a project manager.  So far so good, but it took much planning and organizing.  Everyday has a to-do/must-do list.  


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