Pickles, Presents, and Parties…Oh My!

 hspace= I feel like I say this every month, but December had a lot of hustle and bustle (as evident by me being a month delinquent in getting this post up!). It’s not that we traveled that much (except during the holidays), but we had a lot of events. I guess this is typical of the holiday season. I had my first out-of-town work trip to Spokane early in the month. It was nice to see my coworkers, but I missed my family terribly. Trent is such a wonderful father, so the girls were in excellent hands. I do have to admit that pumping (I am still nursing) is a pain in the butt when you are traveling. Imagine me in the Minneapolis airport during a very tight layover running about two miles between terminals just to make it to a bathroom (disgusting) where I can pump before I explode. Sorry for the detail, but it’s reality. What a mess. All for you, Miss Hanleigh.

Without going into too much detail, here are some of the festivities we partook (is that even a word?) in: Lowe’s build & grow, two birthday parties, a cookie bake, an ornament exchange, a massage, Trent’s work holiday party, an NCSU basketball game, and a partridge in a pear tree (not really, but I had to add it as December was much like the 12 Days of Christmas!). The girls had their holiday musical at school, which was so cute. The infant class didn’t do much (as you could imagine), but Brayden’s class had all kinds of songs prepared (see video). She had been practicing them at home for weeks as well and it had become part of our nighttime routine to rehearse Christmas songs.

For the holidays, Dad and Barbara came to Cary and spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day with us. We had a great time with them and enjoyed some good eats. I really think they enjoyed watching the girls (and the dogs-literally!) open their gifts. Santa brought Brayden the mermaid Barbie she had asked for along with a jewelry kit, a CD, some clothes, and other knick knacks. Hanleigh got the giraffe teether she heard so much about at daycare (it’s all the rage with the shorties!) as well as some clothes. Brayden is even riding in style and is driving a brand new electric, G-class Mercedes (that will be the closest she gets to having a real Mercedes for a looong time!). It has dubs (really), a radio and an mp3 outlet, and seats two, so her and Hanleigh can go terrorize the neighborhood in a few years together. Seriously?!? She had a blast riding it in the driveway (and spinning out in the front yard) and we all caught some great laughs, too. She wasn’t driving it for 30 minutes when the crew came inside and notified me that she had her first accident because she hadn’t gone to driver’s ed. She apparently was trying to park it in a narrow place in our garage where her other modes of transportation are (kid car, tricycles) and ran into my car and knocked off her side mirror. Good times! She may be the only kid to wear a helmet while driving her car. Apparently, it goes five miles an hour, which is pretty darn fast. We’ll keep it in “slow” mode until she loses her “training wheels.”

We headed to Charlotte on the 26th for the Hall family whirlwind tour. We stayed with Mimi & Dadaw for two nights, Aunt Patty & Uncle John for three nights, and Abby & Justin for New Year’s Eve. It was SO awesome to see everyone, have the week off from work, and just relax and enjoy the wonderful company. We had an amazing time and is makes me miss my family (and that beautiful city) even more. On New Year’s Eve (morning), we took the girls and Nana to an event downtown called “Noon Year’s Eve”, which was geared toward kids and hosted by Radio Disney. It was so cool. They had dancing, breakdancers, and games (see video). It was in the new Mint Museum and was great. Afterward, we decide to peruse the museum itself. That didn’t last long. Brayden asked me, “Mom, where are we?” I said, “We are in an art museum” to which Brayden responded, “Well, I want to get out.” That evening, we headed to Abby & Justin’s house and took it easy. Trent and I actually stayed up until 12:30am. This was our 13th NYE together…hard to imagine, huh? Although, NYE post-kids is night and day different from those when we were pre-kids. I’ll just leave it at that.

Hanleigh had her four-month check up as well. Here were the stats: 11 lb., 13 oz. weight (14%), 23 ½” height (23%), 16 ¼” head (61%). What does that mean? We have a tiny, little stinker with a big head. Hanleigh is really cooing a lot these days. When she is sleepy, she grunts/moans to try to get herself to fall asleep. When she is in her crib, she kicks her legs up in the air and rocks to her left side and is out. She is now eating five ounce bottles at school every two hours and 45 minutes and it seems to be going well. Brayden adores her and the feeling is reciprocal.

As part of the December festivities, the Elf on the Shelf decided to pay us all a visit. If you are not familiar with this little guy, he is pretty cool. Santa sends him to a house where he watches over the kids’ behavior and reports back to the North Pole each evening on how good/bad the kids were. You can’t touch the elf or he loses his magical powers, he lands in a different spot every morning, and you get to name him. Brayden named our elf Pickles (we have the certificate from Santa on our fridge to prove it). Pickles Jones isn’t the best lander, though…he landed on the curtain rod, in the microwave handle, on top of the ceiling fan, etc. Brayden told us that “he has really big eyes, so he watches us down the chimney” and that he “needs lesson plans on how to land better”.

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