I honestly can't believe that in one month she'll be 1 year old. Her first year seemed to go by quicker than the big girls although that's impossible.
Here I was a year ago.
And here is Ellie right now. Nick and I often quote the line from Parenthood- "By the third kid, you know, you let them juggle knives." In our case we let her enjoy part of her big sisters birthday cake.
Right now Ellie is:
Starting to stand on her own. It won't be long until we have a full out walker!
Still is size 18 month clothes although I see a size upgrade in her future.
Starting to wave which is downright adorable.
LOVES bathtime with her big sisters. She gets the biggest smile when she splashes.
Done eating cereal/baby food and can polish off a hot dog lickety split.
She likes to babble and repeat sounds back to you. She'll say Mama, Dada, and boop.
She's fallen in love with her Daddy. She will crawl with great quickness to get to him.
Loves to stand on your legs and lean her head way back.
Weighed 24 lbs. 4 oz. at an ear recheck this month.
Has developed a throaty, hearty laugh. It's pretty contagious!
I simply and utterly adore you. How can you be 5 years old already? Sometimes I feel like it's Christmas Eve 2005 and your Dad and I just brought you home from the hospital. I remember the house being cold (big surprise) and the cats being intrigued with our new addition. Fast forward 5 years and you've become a big sister twice.
It seems that in the last 6 months you've grown up so much quicker than before. It's like things have been moving in warp speed. Your legs are longer, your sentences & questions are funnier, your personality is bursting at the seams. There are times I catch a glimpse of you walking down the hall or across the parking lot and I have to catch my breath. When did you get to be a little girl instead of a toddler? Where did my little baby go?
I love that you are sensitive and thoughtful. I love that you want to create/draw pictures for everyone from Mrs. Norieka to the pizza delivery boy. I love how you tell me "I love you Mama" at the moments I need to hear it most. I love that your favorite song is Bust a Move. I love that you take Scout's rough-and-tumble attitude without retaliation. I love how you make Ellie laugh. I simply love you.
Happy Birthday Bennet! Enjoy your year!
Happy Birthday to my Grandpa Bud too! He's 95. Happy Birthday to my cousin Tiffany too! She's 24! (Yes- my Grandpa has a granddaughter and greatgranddaughter who share his birthday. Very cool!)
These are the last of the Daily December pages that I'm posting before Christmas. My night time hours will be spent doing last minute holiday trip preparations.
The annual cookie baking day at Grandma & Grandpa Sweeney's. Bennet and Scout ate their fair share of dough and sprinkles!
One of the benefits of having Scout in child care at work is that I get to see her regularly. Last week they were dressed as angels for a holiday gift project for parents.
I finally made myself a paper loop wreath for the holidays. The yellow and red match our newly painted kitchen perfectly
Our 2nd annual dinner out with Kim, Casie and Jess. My monthly scrapping friends. Olive Garden just opened here a couple of weeks ago which was a long time coming. We enjoyed food, drink and conversation. I love these ladies!
We mailed our holiday cards today. This year I designed a postcard with a collage of 2010 photos. On the back I listed the Top 10 of 2010. I am really happy with how they turned out.
December 11- We had a major snowstorm. TONS of snow. 13.5 inches in a 24 hour period. The blowing and drifting added to the accumulation. Thank goodness for that new snowblower we purchased a couple of years ago. Bennet would spend all day outside if she could. She doesn't mind the cold, she just loves to play in the snow.
Today is my Dad's last day as a working stiff at Great River Energy after 38 years of service. He started there when he was 22 in 1972. Nick put into words what I couldn't so he is guest blogging today.
Congrats on finishing the long haul! You’ve been there longer than I have been alive – not that I am that old or anything – but it is still one hell of an accomplishment. That job has brought you through the founding years of your family and into the troubling years of grand children ;) I hope you are as proud of your service as we are of you.
Time to kick up your heels and enjoy the silence. (At least until Bennet and Scout come to visit anyway.) Bill Watterson said it best, “There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.” Here’s to having all the time for yourself, your hobbies, your thoughts, your dreams – in short – “Mike Time” – that you’ve earned.
Congratulations Dad! Enjoy the next chapter in your life!! We love you!
Grandma Sweeney got the Elf on the Shefl for the girls. He watches what they do and reports back to Santa on whether they are naughty or nice. Each morning he's hiding in a new spot. The girls love it! Some sad face mornings but usually happy.
If the girls are naughty the Elf will have a piece of paper with a sad face with him in the morning. It's usually sad because the girls didn't go to bed without a fuss the night before. When we were at Scout's Holiday program at the YWCA Bennet started crying when she saw Santa walk into the Auditorium. I asked her why she was sad. She said that he was going to be disappointed that she'd been getting sad faces from the Elf. I told her all she had to do was apologize to Santa for misbehaving and he'd tell her she could start over. How precious is she?
It's a Wonderful Life is one of my all time favorite movies. So much so that our blog shares its name. It reminds me that the way I treat others leaves a lasting impact. That it isn't the things, but family & friends that determine wealth. No matter how many times I see it I always end up with tears running down my face.
As soon as George Bailey shouts 'My mouths bleeding, Bert! My mouth's bleeding' and digs in his pockets for ZuZu's petals I'm a goner. They continue to roll as George runs through Bedford Falls as a magical snow falls. When he runs in the house and grabs the loose banister knob, something that had been one of life's problems and kisses it, I'm reminded that all the day-to-day stresses and issues are not as bad as we make them out to be.
I truly do have A Wonderful Life. Clarence the Angel was right- 'No man is a failure who has friends'
One of my favorite traditions of the holiday season is to make the trek to Newby's Farm to cut down our family Christmas tree. We've been doing it for years. Until this year. This year Bennet and I drove less than one mile from our house to the corner lot and picked out a pre-cut tree.
This year I'm determined to keep the stress level low. I'm cutting myself some slack. There are only so many hours in the day. Only so many weekends in December. We can't do it all. We both work full time and have three young kids. While the kids would have enjoyed the cut-your-own variety they are equally happy with the fact that they have a 'big' tree all a glitter in the living room.
It is the smallest tree we've ever had but I'm ok with that too. I'm just going with the flow this year and loving it! We finished decorating the tree tonight while we listened to Christmas music.
Today my co-workers and I went to Allister Deacon's Coffee House for a little holiday get-together. I have an addiction to buttons in my scrapbooking and now it's carried over into gifts. I made these Button Ornaments for my co-workers for Christmas.
I went to an antique store and the Dime & Dollar to add to my stash of buttons. Michael's carries plastic ornaments so there was less worry about breakage. I stuffed some tinsel on the inside to block the gaps. I really like how they turned out. I should probably make one for myself don't you think?
Ellie is just soaking up all the sights and sounds of a Sweeney Christmas season. We're so lucky that she's an easy going kid- she just goes with the flow. Look at that messy face!
We've had 2 broken ornaments already but not she's not the culprit. Matches (Bennet) got to one and Gasoline (Scout) got the other.
St. Nick's Day. I remember putting shoes out for St. Nick as a kid but I guess the traditional version involves socks so we go with that. The big girls loved the candy, nail polish, nail stickers and tattoos that they found in their socks. Ellie immediately fell in love with the little pink monkey Nick picked out for her. She's been carrying it around all week.
I used my new sewing machine to make flannel Christmas pj pants for the girls to wear on Christmas Eve. I'm a little addicted to making them. I picked up some cute kitty fabric to make them another pair.
The last two years I've made a Daily December Album inspired by Ali Edwards. You would think that with the craziness of the holidays that this project would add to the stress. Not for me. It's such a fun way to document the season as it's happening.
When I purchased paper to make my paper loop wreath they sent me a double order for free. I used all the extra paper and lifted this design from the Jillibean Soup blog. It's set up for 4 x 6 photos so it's quick and easy- no editing required. Super SIMPLE design.
The key to success is to get it prepped before December starts. I prepped my pages in early November and now it's ready to go.
Here are the first 3 days of December 2010
Letters to Santa. I loved that Bennet was old enough this year to actually write the letters when I helped her spell the words.
Scout's holiday concert, Hanging of the Greens, at the YWCA.
A lazy night at home. PJ's, hot cocoa and The Polar Express on TV.
Last night we attended our first holiday concert in which a child of ours was performing. Scout has been practicing her songs for the Hanging of the Greens concert at the YWCA for weeks. It wasn't unusual to hear her break into 'Must Be Santa' or 'The Santa Pokey' between bites at dinner. I think my favorite song was "Santa Got a Cold on Christmas" it involved alot of "AChoo's" and was downright adorable!!
Once I talked her into putting on her Santa costume (complete with a little sewn in paunch) she did great! However, the photos did not turn out great. Aren't all holiday concert photos supposed to be grainy/dark/blurry. It's a right of passage.
We were lucky to have Grandma & Grandpa Sweeney attend as well. I'm sure they were as amused by the 2-4 year olds attempt to sing as we were.
Bennet had a something very important to tell Santa last night related to the Elf on the Shelf but I'll talk about in another post.