Friday, January 6, 2012


December was a busy month and there are so many things that I am not doing justice by grouping them all in this one blog post, but we're already well into January so if I don't post this all now I may never get around to it!

The first big event was my baby girl's 4th birthday! It was also the first time I celebrated her day with her at school! Wow! That was an event! I will never forget driving home from it and thinking "now THIS is why I became a mom!" It was so neat to see her interact with her classmates and have them celebrate her birthday! I brought in a cookie cake and we sang happy birthday! My camera phone is so slow so I didn't get great photos (and I don't want to post photos of her classmates without their parents permission). But here's one of Rosemary with her cookie cake.

I haven't thrown her a big party since she turned 1. We usually do a playdate party, or last year we skipped the party altogether and had a special day instead. This year she really wanted a party. Not just any party, but a Princess and the Pea themed party! It was a blast to plan! It was also such a neat celebration! At the beginning of the year I worried and stressed and fretted because we didn't have any close girlfriends. Now look at her. She was surrounded by princesses (and princes). I felt a lot of love that day and want to thank everyone who came to help us celebrate! I've worked extra hard this year creating a community for her and I really felt it pay off on her birthday. All that stressing was worth it!

Here's just an everyday photo. Xander's new thing is riding the vacuum. As soon as he sees it, he hops on and gets really excited!

Here's another every day snapshot. The weather has been nice enough so we've been spending a lot of time outside. Here are the kids on the patio enjoying the weather!

Once of Rosemary's favorite birthday presents this year was science kit. The girl is destined to be the next Marie Curie! She LOVES science! And I love hearing her talk about her pipettes and test tubes! My little genius :)

Another big event was Rosemary's first school Christmas party. I was able to help out! First, we decorated sugar cookies.

Then we did some arts and crafts and games. Here's Rosemary decorating the class Christmas tree.

I also took Rosemary to the Tampa Bay Ballet production of the Nutcracker. I won't go into specifics on the actual event, but we looked darn cute. I even curled her hair for the first time!

Rosemary's ballet class did their first little performance for the parents. I got it on video, but gave up after three failed attempts at uploading the video from my phone. It was so sweet! Here's Rosemary and her teacher, Miss Amanda.

As our tradition, we spent Christmas in Jacksonville with my parents. We were also able to schedule some fun time with our good friends, The Martins! We've known them since right before we got married and they have always been our role model for how we want our family to be. I can't say enough how much we look up to this family. Anyway, we met them for a fun family evening at Winter Wonderland in St. Augustine. It was so cute! There was an elf village:

and ice skating (notice Joe and Rosemary in the center and our friend's kids off to the side):

And of course if there is a boy WAY too old around, Rosemary is going to fall in love with him. Meet J.T. We may be family one day :)

I fell in love with this outfit and HAD to get it for Xander! He is still at that toddler stage and walks like a penguin! I LOVE it! Also take note of his long, curly hair. Stay tuned...

My mom has a community garden so we took the kids on a little field trip to go visit. What a perfect way to get the kids to eat their veggies! Here, Rosemary's sampling some of grandma's lettuce. She BEGGED us for homegrown collards for dinner that night!

Here's my cutey patootie nephew, Malachite. We only get to see them once or twice a year. He's at such a cute age! Rosemary loved playing with him! I wish we had more time together. The kids were all at such a cute age in how they played together. All the grandkids, yes, even Xander, go scooters for Christmas. Here's Malachite showing his off:

I did some crafty projects for presents this year. I made Joe a race car/massage shirt! The kids roll the cars over the shirt and Joe gets to relax and get a little massage at the same time!

Rosemary collects "rocks" (usually broken pieces of cement which is Florida for "rock" but I'm not going to break it to her) everywhere we go. They have been strewn about our screened in porch all year and I got tired of looking at the pile so I decided to give her a proper place for her rock collection. Of course, a princess needs a bedazzled one, so I had to give it some special touches :)

Xander definitely got the best of my creativity this year, though. I pimped out his cozy coupe. This was one of those orange and yellow little tikes cars. He LOVED it and I thought it could use a little makeover. Some spray paint, stars, flames and fuzzy dice and now it's a ride!

You can see the flames a little better in this picture:

And, we finally decided it was time to cut Xander's hair. I wasn't ready for a full on short cut, but we got rid of the wings. He did amazingly well! As long as he had his lollipop he didn't mind it a bit!

On New Year's Day we continued with a tradition we started when Rosemary was Xander's age and skipped last year but missed. We spent the day at the aquarium. It was Xander's first time and since Rosemary had been in a year it was a nice experience! We decided to take the kids on a trolley ride around Tampa, too. It was Joe's and Xander's first time and Rosemary didn't remember going on it before so it was a lot of fun! Here's the family waiting at the trolley stop. I have no idea why Rosemary has the pouty lip.

We're working on Xander feeding himself. He doesn't like me feeding him anymore, so this is what happens. It's so stinking cute right now, but I learned from Rosemary that I do not laugh when he makes this big of a mess because then he'll get the idea in his head that it's cute. Rosemary still hasn't learned how to eat without making a huge mess and I'm afraid it's because I let her think it was cute for so long! This time around, it's just kind of gross. And funny.

And last but not least, Rosemary asked me to take her picture today because she "looks pretty with my pretty bow." How could I resist? She NEVER lets me take her picture, much less asks for it! And, yes, she does look pretty!

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