Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry and Bright

*I think, by far, this is my longest post ever.  Besides maybe, Piper's birth story.
  It's now her first Christmas.  
  And I just couldn't stop typing...and getting lost in the memories.

"The Prayer" - Celine Dion and Josh Groban


Well, hello there!
It's me, Pippy the Christmas Moonchie.
What's happenin', my friends?!

Are you feelin' the Christmas spirit?
Excited that there are just two tiny days left?

Or are you a tad bit frazzled?
Feelin' like you wanna throw a big bag of shiny bows out the window while you shout "Bah Humbug!" at the top of your lungs?!

Are you sad because you just finished the last of your vanilla, "Rudolph Red" frosted cupcake?

Or are you full of joy at the promise of another cupcake coming your way in the days to come?

I think that's the secret to really embracing Christmas and the magic it holds.

No, I'm not just talkin' 'bout the sweet, sugary cupcakes.
 I'm talking about, realizing that there's a little bit, and lots of times, a whole lot of Christmas in every day. 
 Am I layin' on the cheese too thick for ya?


Christmas makes this wacky, emotionally-charged lady 
mega sappy.  King Kong mega sappy.
And well, now, you better hold onto your hot chocolate, because it's really on (like Donkey Kong)...

I have a daughter.  My little biggest dream come true.  At last.
 I can't count how many times the happy tears have fallen this past month.
Yes, there have definitely been some sad ones, too.

 But every morning, I wake up to this little face...

and I see Christmas in her eyes.  Okay, yuck!  I was just reminded of that horrible Gloria Estafan song.  Sorry, Mom.  She used to play it on repeat.  It could be worse.  It could be one of the songs I mentioned in one of my Christmas posts last year!
I guess I shouldn't be bustin' on her too hard.  I mean, we all know I have some very "eccentric" taste when it comes to my music.
It ain't Christmas without me crying to that "Christmas Shoes" song.  
Do you know how many friends of mine make fun of me for liking it and crying to it?!
I won't name any names.  Santa will take care of them.
Oh, what's that?!  You don't like it either?!  Is that laughter I hear?
Well, you better watch out...
'cause you're going to cry!
You're getting a giant hunk of coal in your stocking.
Consider yourself lucky, though.  I told Santa to take it easy on ya and skip the giant pile of reindeer turds he was gonna place next to that coal.

Considering yourself lucky...
knowing how truly and immensely blessed you are,
despite all the obstacles that may try and stand in your way.

That, my friends, is the key to finding joy and peace.

Oh, I surely will continue to count the days until Christmas.
I'll continue to feel the magic when Piper opens the last of her "twenty-five days of Christmas" gifts from her Dee Dee.

I'll even continue to do a happy jig at the fact that there won't be any yetis trying to stomp all over our Christmas cheer this year.  

 That Dee Dee's a funny one.  Piper and I found this Post-It note in her book the other day.

When Christmas day comes and goes, I'll try and not get too sad.
I'll continue to find the magic in every day with my baby girl.

I'm so grateful for the enchantment that has filled our December days...

This little Moonchie gives the greatest, grandest love.

 She even dishes it out to the fluffies.

 She's a snuggler.

A seeker.

A Daddy's magazine ripper-upper.

I took a breather the other night, sat with a glass of wine and got lost in my thoughts for a bit.

Piper prefers to get lost in her plate of food.  I don't know if it's possible for her to love food any more than she does.  She loves it that much!

We also like to get lost in bowls of ice cream.

 Some scenes from our weekend...

 These are Uncle Nicholas' and my Cabbage Patch dolls from way back when.  They're wearing our first Christmas outfits.
I happen to think the doll in the middle is the cutest.

 Can you spot the Piper?

Piper woke up bright 'n early this morning.  We all cuddled in bed and sang songs until we got hungry.  Songs like, "Pippy the Red-Nosed Moonchie" and "Santa Pips Is Comin' To Town".  I must have caused the crazy, warm weather we had today...
I actually made breakfast.

We figured with it being 70 degrees outside and a couple days before Christmas, that it was only appropriate Piper eat eggies and prunes in her diaper while watching merry movies.

Moonchin's scoochin!  #pippyvid

We had a nice visit with our pal, sweet, Sharon.  Her house smelled like Christmas cookies. 
 We played and gazed at her gorgeous, twinkly tree.  
Piper waved to every snowman decoration she spotted in Sharon's living room, and even managed to rip one of Mr. Snowman's buttons off. (She tried to eat it, too).  

 Thank you for the adorable Santa headband, Sharon. <3

Pippy got to try out the nifty shopping carts at Kohl's tonight while she helped Daddy
 and I do some shopping. 

December days that bring much joy...

 Like, Thursday, at Aunt Kelly's with
these four snugly babes all cuddly on the couch.
I dressed Piper in Addison's first Christmas outfit.

Piper and Daxon gave each other dreamy eyes.

After Aunt Kelly's delicious tortellini soup (*note - add tortellini to Piper's loves),
we all sat down for some cupcakes.  Mimi made them.  I may have left them in the oven a minute or two too long, but when there's frosting, you don't really notice the not-as-fluffy-as-you'd-like-it-to-be cupcake.  At least you don't notice, if your name is Addison, Chloe, Daxon or Piper.

 I love her style.

 I'd say these four babes are experiencing J.O.Y.

A little video of cupcake Pippins.  Addison describes the cupcakes as "delectable" and Piper gives them a "MMMmmm!!"

Some memories from the first week of December...

Piper now knows when she sees that shiny foil package attached to one of her "twentyfivedaysofpippy" gifts from Dee Dee, that it means
she hit the chocolate jackpot.

This video is one of our favorites.

 Mallrat, Pips

We watched Daddy put the lights up outside.  
Oh, you bet I got teary.

I made Pips' stocking one night while watching my favorite cheesy LMN

I have major respect for those portrait photographers.
Mommy got a workout takin' this ornament eatin', goofbabe's pictures.

These two make me snort-laugh.

Piper and I love going to Target.  We always stop at the dollar bins first.  
She loves if I pick her out a treat to keep her company.

"Hi, Deeds.  I thought you might need some Starbucks!"

Yet, another Creepy Mr. Nutcracker video

Dee Dee and Piper have shared many special moments this month.

Dee Dee already has quite the selection of Christmas stories for Piper.

Piper and I had a girls' night while Daddy was at a work dinner.
Us girls got our decorating on.

Muffin wanted to play hide and seek with Pips.

Piper's really good at seekin'.

She's been trying to pull herself up more every day.
Daddy and I lowered the crib a couple weeks ago.
I think it's getting lowered again.

Where did Muffin go?!

 That would be one of the girls from Charles in Charge starring in an amazingly, cheese-tastic LMN Christmas movie.  I've watched it twice already.

 Pips was up on and off that night.
Her mean teethies inspired my vampire night of wreath making.

 I love her giggles.   She finds my ratty hair hilarious.

I told myself that before the day was through, someone would call her a boy.  And sure enough, at Target, the cashier called her "Buddy" and asked me how old "he" was.
Boy, or girl, I think you rock the outfit, Pippins.

A few Fridays ago, I hosted a Christmas paint party.
My friend, Kelly, teaches the classes and they are tons of fun.
We ate pizza and salad and hair brownies.  Yes, merry, hairy brownies.
While testing one of the brownies I made earlier that morning, I found part of a strand of my hair.
And yes, I still put them out and warned everyone. 
It was weird.  None got eaten.  I don't know why.
But Uncle Nicholas got a lucky one a couple days later.

Piper's expression makes me LOL.  Maybe she got a hair brownie, too?!?

Geeg and Deeds with their antlers and cups of cheer.

The party lasted for hours.  We listened to total elevator (Christmas) music (Thanks a lot, Steve!) until Aunt Kelly saved the day with Pandora.  We jammed to N'Sync and Mariah Carey.
Everyone got paint happy while gabbing and giggling.
Even Twinkie joined the fun.

Thank you, again, Kelly!! <3

I've passed Mr. Mattress Man many-a times over the past couple years.  
I always wave back and hyena-cackle and think to myself, "Now, Maria, there's no reason you can't have an awesome day!  There's a man wearing a giant mattress in the freezing cold, waving to oncoming traffic, and he's still smiling!"  Well, at least the mattress is smiling.
Anway, I just wasted a minute of this post typing about a mattress.

A couple weekends ago, we headed to visit Uncle Jamie, Aunt Leslie and Parker
in Baltimore.

 We caught ya, Pips.

Piper and Parker, the two Ps, had a blast together.
They both share a love of food.
Piper was envious of all the super-neato "yums" Parker was eating.
Especially, the spring roll.

Piper loved their dog, Tillie.
She giggled when she barked and thought it was so funny when she'd come close and try and lick her face.


Can't take it.

 Parker introduced Piper to blueberry Puffs 
and Piper thanked her by chewing up her coloring book.

We miss ya already!

 Nap time...
She even waves in her sleep.
 We couldn't resist.  We had to peek.  She was too precious.

 It snowed two Sundays ago.
Big, fluffy flakes that started to stick quicker than predicted.

The weather couldn't have been more magical for the day we got our tree.
I bundled up Piper with layer upon layer and felt, probably the most excited I had so far in those first weeks.
We went to the Christmas tree farm that I went to as a child.
I remember always being excited, always knowing my mom was going to walk and walk and walk until she found the perfect tree.  I remember the tractor and horse rides and the hot cocoa they handed you after you picked your tree. I remember the one year my brother couldn't hold it any longer and had to pee in a cup in the backseat of the car.  (No potties on the farm)  I remember my mom and I snickering, and my dad grumbling, throwing out a few fun choice words and laughing his signature laugh.
I remember four years ago, when Steve and I went to the same tree farm.  And I knew I was pregnant for the first time.  We didn't make it to that farm the next two Christmases.  But last year, we did - me, with my big, jolly belly.
And this year, with my sweet, jolly Piper
and Dee Dee.

The snow never stopped falling.  
I watched as Steve held Piper and wrapped one of his scarves around her.
Piper was a (snow) angel.  I got that rush of "I wonder what she's thinking?" again.
We rode the tractor along with a few other families.  
We spotted our tree within fifteen minutes and got our own private tractor ride back.
We warmed up in the cozy, gift shop.  Dee Dee picked out an ornament for Piper.
We cuddled and sipped our hot chocolate in the car a bit before heading home.


 We came back home for a little picnic.
Uncle Nicholas joined us.  
This is where he got the lucky hair brownie.

 Steve was surfin' for a merry movie.  Doesn't look like he's havin' much luck.

Deeds and Pips, totally rockin' the snowflake sweaters.
They didn't even plan it.
Piper's also rockin' a little guacamole goatee.
She's become obsessed with guacamole.  I can't blame her.

 Pips and I have been watching and singing along to Christmas videos on the computer.
Yes, Piper can totally sing.
Who doesn't love a little Alvin and the Chipmunks?

 One of her favorite binkie tricks

Hugs for Twinkie #pippyvid

Dee Dee found this bunny suit for a whopping three dollars during one of our shopping days. 
Couldn't resist.

My attempt at making it look like it was snowing.

Visit to see Papa Bear <3

Day 10 and Day 11 at Dee Dee's.  I think Piper's hoping to find a chocolate Santa in the bag.

Deeds sent us a pictures of a pretty, bright red cardinal in the snowy tree in her front yard.
Pips picked out a cardinal ornament for her.

Piper's favorite toy right now is her music table.  She adores standing at it and playing us songs.
It's so cute to watch her slowly try and walk her way back and forth to each side.

Yes, more Creepy Mr. Nutracker, spreadin' the Christmas cheer.
Dance party in Dee Dee's kitchen...

Piper "mooncrawling"

Dee Dee's Kitchen offers all kinds of treats this time of year.
Pippy screams for ice cream.  (And any food!)

I stayed up (yep, you guessed it, with LMN Christmas movies) and decorated the tree

When I took Piper downstairs the next that morning, I had tears in my eyes before her eyes even caught sight of the tree.  It was one of those moments I've been waiting for
for a very long time.  Her face was priceless.

She didn't go for the ornaments (just yet).

 Our friend, Melissa, and her son, Tristan, came to visit from New York.
Aunt Kelly and Karina joined us and we all had a relaxing afternoon, watching all of our babes play together.  Piper was flirtin' away with Tristan.  
Notice, the photo below.


"Let's all see if we can smoosh together and fit in a picture!"
Love it.

Melissa and I spent the rest of the late afternoon catching up, while Tristan and Piper flirted played (and Piper had a massive poopy diaper).  We so wished we had more time, but are so thankful we got to see each other before her little lady is born.

She's in love with the kitties.
 And with  See for yourself.

 A light snack before bed

Aunt Kelly and Daxon came over with coffee and muffins.
Yeah, you guessed it again...Piper loves muffins.  Especially pumpkin muffins.
She thought she was all that and a box of candy canes when Mommy sprinkled muffin pieces on her tray.  She MMMmmmed away.

Talk about flirtin'...
These two were even  love birds during their diaper changes.

Puff babes

A couple weeks ago, I sent Steve a text telling him I wanted to turn the wall in between the kitchen and dining room into a chalkboard.  I totally thought I'd have to do some convincing.
Christmas miracle - he loved the idea, and we painted it a couple nights later.

 All that smoochin' with Daxon under the mistletoe must have tired Pips out, because she took an extra long happy nappy that afternoon.  I decided to skip the laundry and get chalky (yes, yes, yes, while watching a LMN Christmas movie).

I can't wait to see some of Piper's masterpieces displayed on this wall.

She started a game of peek-a-boo when I took this picture.

 Ahh, last Friday, we went to the mall to pay dear Santa a visit.
I've been wondering all month what Piper's reaction would be.  Would she like him or freak out?  Cry her eyes out?  Rip his beard off?  Not be amused by him?

GiGi gave us a heads-up that we might be in for quite the wait.
That GiGi is always right.  The line wasn't short.
Daddy so kindly offered to wait in line so Deeds, Piper and I could do some shopping.  
Piper spent the next hour and a half doin' what she does best...wavin' and handin' out cheer.
While I strolled her, Dee Dee and I were cracking up while she waved at every other person that walked by us.
Later, we were in Penny's, where Mommy found Daddy lots of boxer briefs for an amazing 48 and a half cents each.  What, too much information?  Sorry...I can't not share a good bargain.
While we stood in line, Piper waved at the woman behind us.  She was with her mother, who was in a pretty and kind.  You could just see how much joy Piper brought to the woman's night.  She talked to her as Piper smiled and smirked and babbled for a good five minutes.
It made all of our nights, I think.

We got a call from Daddy telling us that my cousin was in line with her family.  It was a treat to catch up and watch her kids visit with Santa, too.
Back in line, growing much closer to Santa, Piper kept wavin'.  
She waved at the trees and his house and the strange kid behind us.

 #strangekidbehindus #creepyphotobomber #hesonthenaughtylist

I don't care how dorky it sounds, my heart started racing when I knew we were just one turn away from Piper meeting Santa.  I know it sounds horrible, but I laugh and think it's adorable, the way most of the "baby freaking out and crying on Santa pictures" turn out...
Well, Piper's name was called.  I placed her on Santa's lap.
Dee Dee, Daddy and I stood back and watched.  And I was the one crying.
Piper looked up at him as he talked to her.  Grinning and gazing at him.
She looked out at all of us and smiled and giggled when she touched his beard.
 We picked out a picture and Pips got a sweet reindeer hat and got to pick out a snowman.  Santa told Deeds that Piper was pleasant.  Pleasant has a ring to it.

We celebrated with a big bowl of guacamole and enchiladas afterwards.

Hey!  There's a baby by the bar!
Piper says "Hi!  Thanks for the guacamole!  Keep it comin', please!"

A snowy, snugly Saturday...


Photoshoot Pips

Last Sunday, we took a drive to New Hope to visit Peddler's Village.
The drive, any time of year, is always a pretty one.

And an entertaining one...
Especially when you have a front row seat with Road Rage Randy.
Actually, Randy Steve was on his best behavior.

We made sure Pips was nice and toasty and headed to see the lights and check out the shops.

Just like last year, when Steve and I visited, there was snow.  It looked like a little
winter wonderland.

Piper picked out a light-up ornament.

It was a sweet night with these two.

#ornamentswiper #pipertheswiper

Scenes from this past week...

Dee Dee puts on amazing performances for Piper.  Complete with singing, dancing and the goofiest of faces and moves.

She loves her baby doll.  Actually, the doll I had to buy for my breastfeeding class.
Glad it's getting some use.

Piper always tries to steal her binkie.


 GiGi and I took Piper to story time at the library.
She got a backrub from Geeg as she listened.

I put her up front with the big kids.  My heart was exploding.  She was too funny.
She kept scooching over to the kids next to her and hugging their legs.

 She found some fun dust bunnies to play with.

And then decided to throw out some waves.

The kids got to decorate a Christmas tree with Fruit Loops.
Mommy had fun decoratin'.  And Pippy learned that Fruit Loops are even tastier than Puffs.

Afterwards, we headed back home.  GiGi treated us to pumpkin muffins.


Later that night, with dinner, Piper tried some Ramen (plain and mushy...oh, meal of champions) and
this is how she felt about it...

 O Christmas Muffins says
"Can you believe it?!  The post is finally almost over!"

Piper says
"Pipe down, O Christmas Muffin!  Grab the wrapping paper.  I gots the bows!  Let's get this party started!"

Can you feel it?

The love...the magic...

I hope you do. 
I wish you all the most joyous of days ahead, no matter what you celebrate.
I wish for a little bit lots of magic and wonder to bless every one of your days...
  Even on the tough days.

I wish you hope.

And peace

And love.

I wish you answered prayers.

And light.



Merry Christmas.

May you find the merry in every day.

Magic and Love,

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