Sorry for the delay family and friends - we have been so busy enjoying the holidays! Let me catch you up!
She never did catch a cold!! We came very close, but in the end she has yet to develop anything more. Christmas was very special having her home the whole month. We actually were able to enjoy it this year versus last year. She really seemed to understand a little about the presents and her eyes would light up with each new toy. Santa brought her a rocking piano and a little people home play set. She also got a new toddler rocking chair from Nini that seems to be a big hit! She loves to climb in it and has learned to turn her self around, then flashes the biggest grin because she is so proud of herself. Other toys that were a hit were a Fisher Price train from Miss Cheryl, our nanny and a matching zoo playtoy, fromGreg's parents. She also got a few outfits, a huge, adorable, pink and green travel bag with her name on it, some books, and some stacking blocks (and some money and giftcards!) Her biggest treat though is that we took down the twin bed in her room and have made a toy corner in her room! She loves it. Maddie gave Kathryn her old kitchen for Christmas - it was Maddie's present from Santa last year and Kathryn adores playing (loudly) with it! Maddie gave it up to make way for this year's present from Santa - more in a minute. Kathryn also qualified for Occupational Therapy through Alabama Early Intervention and we started that yesterday. She did great! Her therapist, Andrew, brought a straw cup for her to start learning from and by last night she had it down pat! Of course, she does better with sweet tea in it, than her Pediasure. (There's a southern baby for you!) Kathryn took five steps unassisted last night and is getting braver about walking each day. And last but not least, Kathryn has FINALLY cut two teeth, just in time for Christmas (come on folks, "all I want for Christmas is my two . . . ")
Madelyn had a wonderful (two hour!) end of the year Christmas party with her class at school on Thursday the 18th and has been out of school since. Miss Cassie gave them their presents at the party and I think that my five year old was the only one who put her hand over her heart and said "oh my heavens" as she opened her gift! It was too cute. Maddie went with Nini and Pawpaw that next Sunday to the McWane Center to see the Polar Express in the Imax theater. the kids got to go in their jammies and she had so much fun! Maddie absolutely could hardly wait this year til Christmas. She asked me frequently if Curtis and Bernard were helping Santa get ready - guess we watched the three Santa Clause movies a little too much? Anyway, Christmas Eve we went to service at church in the afternoon- Maddie's choir sang and then we came home for our Christmas Eve dinner of homemade beef stroganoff. We put out the reindeer food so Rudolph could find his way and then headed off to bed early so Santa could deliver the toys. On Christmas morning, Maddie ran to our room, said she was off to see what Santa brought and then took off - so we have no Christmas morning paparazzi pictures of the big surprise face. She got exactly what she had been asking for - a Barbie doll house. And Santa even left a Ken doll to compete with the 12 or so Barbie girls that she already has! Other big hits with Maddie for Christmas was the Leapster she got from Nini, a Barbie car and two beach barbies from Uncle Beau and Aunt Britt, a Barbie styling set and bedroom from Greg's parents, a Leapster game from Uncle Eric, a book, a Hungry Hippo game, and the game Guess Who Extra.
Greg and I:
Nothing special with us! I had off the 18th and 19th of December to spend time with Maddie at her Christmas party at school. Then the week of Christmas, I was off on Christmas Eve at noon and don't go back to work until January 5th!! Greg only worked two days last week and will work two days this week. It's been a nice schedule for a few weeks. For Christmas, we received a check from Nini and Pawpaw so we purchased a Blu Ray player for ourselves! That was a wonderful gift since our DVD player had begun to call it quits! We also got an outdoor firepit from Greg's parents, a waffle maker, some wonderful gift cards, and a little bit of money to pick out something for oursleves. We also received a McWane Center membership AND renewal of our Zoo membership. These are probably some of my favorite gifts as we can use them as a family ALL year long!! (We are actually headed to the McWane Center today to break in the membership!)
I think one of my favorite gifts is something that my sweet husband gave to me. On Christmas morning, as we all sat around our prematurely DEAD Christmas Tree (I mean ours died EARLY this year), my sweet husband told me in front of my parents that he would concede and next year we can get an artificial tree!!!!!!!! I was so excited! I know that we have only been buying real trees for nine years now, but those pine needles stick with you for months people!! Anyway, that was the biggest treat to me. If you know Greg, his Christmas "thing" is that you should buy a real Christmas tree. Anyway, he loves me that much that he has now blessed the artificial tree. I want you to know that I wasted NO time and the day after Christmas, we went to Lowe's with some Christmas money and bought not one, but two artificial trees!! Next year we are planning to do one in the living room like we usually do and now one in the den too with all the kids ornaments on it! The one for the living room was originally $248 and we got it for $37 on clearance - oh yes we did!! The kids tree is a slim one and was originally $198 and we got it for $44. So two trees for $88 total - call me a bargain shopper!! Just so you know, Greg still plans to get a real one each year too, just a smaller one to put in the yard with white lights on it. (As long as there are no pine needles in my house, it's fine with me!!)
So there we are in a large nutshell. I have had so much fun living life at home this year and out of the hospital, that I keep forgetting to share it with you. I have several wonderful blog ideas and then just ran out of time to actually sit at the computer! We hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas!