Thursday, February 5, 2015

Christmas in February

Good morning!
Okay, the last time I posted was in December?!  What?!
I mean, I knew it had been quite some time, but before Christmas, was when I last posted?!
Wow.  I always say January is nice, because it allows you to slow down a bit.  I guess I did just that.
Yeah, I'm not one of those people who's big on New Year's resolutions.  Though, I did make one this year, and that was to quit drinking Diet Coke.  I didn't just have one or two a day.  I was seriously addicted.  Like, I was a Diet Coke binge drinker.
  Let's just say a twelve pack got me through a few days.
I had my last Diet Coke very late New Year's Eve night (Okay, okay, very early New Year's Day morning) in the bath tub.  Yes, in the tub.  I lit a candle and everything.  It's so hard to say goodbye.
I haven't had a sip since, and I don't plan on it. I'm not someone who can just have an occasional one.   It's all or nothing.  
Farewell, DC.

Anyway, I better stop talking about sweet, sweet DC.  There are still a few in the fridge, and I don't want to be tempted.

I think I have one more tiny New Year's resolution - to truly, truly catch up on my blog.  I already have some posts started, and I think the best way to get caught up, is with a handful of mostly picture posts.  That way, I can start fresh when I'm finished.
Be on the lookout.

My last post was on Christmas Eve Eve.
So let's start with that day...
The day before Christmas Eve....

HoHo made one of her last appearances.

Santa Pippy

We spent the day with GiGi (and baby Jesus and Mickey).

We surprised DaDa at work!
Piper passed out  ate all the Christmas candy.

Celebrating DaDa's almost week off work, with a little lunch!


Twinkie before he sees a wild Moonchie coming...
and after

Christmas Eve morning...

We spent the morning at Shady Maple - the most glorious buffet in all the land.  It's extra amazing at Christmastime.  We laughed that Piper seemed to be into the fruit more than anything else.

After a giant poopy (a post-Shady Maple meal must *Piper, not Mama*), 
we all had a blast in the gift shop, where Piper found her beloved Sesame Street beanies. 
She's imitating The Count's voice here.

She's a maniac.  Waiting for DaDa in the car.
I still laugh so hard at this video, even after watching it 300 times already!

Our sweet friends, Karen and Beau, sent Piper her very own chef outfit, along with the cutest
pieces for her soon-to-be kitchen.  Piper loved testing everything out, and made our hearts explode when she tried on her Chef Pippy ensemble.

I'm in love with this beautiful dress from her Aunt J!  I knew it would be Pippy's Christmas Eve dress as soon as I saw it.  I'm excited Piper can wear it next year, too!

devilish Pippy

Spaghetti dinner!  Piper asked for seconds!

Night-Night, NiNi!

A little visit before bedtime, at Dee Dee's

This was the night of the day we got our Christmas tree.  
We decided back in the fall that we wanted to get Piper a kitchen for Christmas.  Whenever we are over friends' houses, Pips instantly gravitates towards her friends' kitchen sets.  We knew it was time.

Steve said he was going to open it up in the basement and take a look at it, and many hours later,

I came down to this.
I got a little teary - half, because I was thinking of Piper's reaction on Christmas morning, and half, because of the happiness that was shining through Steve's face.  I knew he was just as excited as I was.  He was proud of his hard work, and so was I.

Having to wait to bring this 75 pound bad boy upstairs, until after Pips went to bed on Christmas Eve, was definitely not easy.  She didn't go to bed early, and it was too late to call for help. Take it from Steve, because I was of NO help.  We He had two small flights of stairs to get up, and when I tried to help, I ended up almost dropping it.  Long story short - there were bungee cords involved, a lot of hyena cackling (from me, only), a lot of grunting (and cursing) from Steve, and, what ended up being a lot of pain - also for Steve, in the days to come (I'll save the kinda-hernia Steve got for a belated Christmas gift for another day!)

I'm smirking as I look at the picture below.  The kitchen, of course, hasn't looked that organized since 1 second after Piper met with it.

Muffin says, "Where's my kitchen?"

Christmas morning

Our Santa's other big gift to Piper was this table and chairs set.
Last year, my aunt asked me if I would like the table and chairs her grandchildren used years ago.  It was so thoughtful and kind, and I knew Piper would love them.  My aunt told me I could do whatever I wanted with them, so Steve and I switched the pretty, crisp, white paint for a whole lotta color.  
Steve painted the base colors, and then we stood in the garage one night with some music and a couple of beers, and talked about the design.  He told me I could do whatever I wanted with it, and that if I wanted his help, he was there.  I immediately started painting the flowers, as he stood back and mixed some new paint colors for me.  Within minutes tears were streaming down my face.  
"I love her so much...I'm so happy...She's going to love it," I said through the tears.
I stayed up late that night.  I didn't want to stop until it was finished.
Sounds silly, but it was a night I won't forget.  There was something so peaceful about being alone down there, with music (and a good winter beer), my thoughts, and a bunch of paint.
It was therapeutic.

Ok, before I keep blubbering on...
Here are some photos and videos of Piper meeting her new kitchen and table and chairs.
They make my heart burst.

Without a doubt, it was love at first sight...



We let her dig into Santa's leftover cookies and milk (don't worry, I got her some fresh, non-9-hour-old milk) :)

I remember when these figurines came in the mail, in November.  I emailed Steve at work that something from Groupon was at our door.  He told me he saw these figurines, and thought of Pips.
To think that I thought she was still a little too young for them...and I admit, I kinda thought they were silly.  I can be a jerk like that sometimes.  And almost always, DaDa is right.  There, I said it.
DaDa gets mad props (and not just from Pippy).
Oh my gosh, is she obsessed with them.  I don't think there's at least one hour in any day that goes by, that she doesn't play with them.  She knows all of their names, and her pronunciations for some of them make me laugh so hard.  It's adorable.

hand-printed, hand-painted mug from Pips


Next stop - Santa Dee Dee's

From the sweet treats (that Piper made sure to put fingerprints in), to the thoughtful, sentimental gifts we all shared - it was a relaxing, cozy, morning.  I thought back to Christmas 2013, when my dad was still not able to be with us, but was still alive.  I missed him, and so badly wished he could be there.  I could just picture him in awe of Piper.  I know we all could.
My dad loved Lionel trains, and set a big platform up every Christmas.  Christmas afternoon, my mom gave Steve a Yankees Lionel train set, and the tears started flowing.  I cannot wait for our next Christmas - Steve is excited to set everything up and watch Pips with the "Ya-kees choo choo"!
It brought me great comfort to know that though he wasn't there with us, his spirit was.  It's a happy thought to picture him reunited with his parents after many years.
 And to know he's in ultimate peace.

I loved watching Piper rip open every single gift - knowing that she got it.  There was a surprise behind ever rip, and something new for her discover in each box.

Deeds had twins!


A Frozen throne made for a Pippy princess

I had such a great time making my mom this calendar, and these books of memories that we have shared since the day Piper was born.  I think I cried every single time I worked on them, as I relived the days since April 1, 2013.  Piper helped her open them.  And I, and Dee Dee sniffled as the pages were turned.

Who needs snow?

Some snuggles, and fun in Dee Dee's room, before heading back home

Christmas night at our house.
We stayed in, watched Chef Pippy create some new masterpieces, ate spaghetti and meatballs, had fun with cousin Ashley, watched movies, and took it easy. 

The kitchen later that night... :)

NiNi proved that he could easily hold me on his shoulders.  I wish we had pictures of Piper's reaction.  We always joke that nothing scares her.  Well...this did!!  She screamed "MAMA" over and over again, horrified at Giant Mama.  I'm not sure if she thought NiNi was hurting me, or if she thought I was about to bust through the ceiling, but she was horrified!  (I'm a mean, mean, Mama, and could not stop laughing).
(Thanks for the pic, Ashley! :))

I can't take it.

We spent the next couple days after Christmas in our pjs, relaxing, watching Piper enjoy all of her gifts.  It was so nice to have a little slow down.

I'll end with a couple of our favorite #pippyvids

Piper's 2nd Christmas was a special one!  And though I certainly don't want to rush time, I can't help but be excited for her next one.

I hope your 2015 is off to a great start.
Happy January!  I mean, February!!


February Lovin',

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