And another video

Rod has taught her this one... she's easily distracted, though!

Post-Christmas photos

What happens when I take a shower and leave the stickers within reach. *Technically* she followed the rules, as she was just told not to get off the couch!
Victoria got a Snow White doll for Christmas, and I remembered I'd bought a size 4 halloween costume on sale last month, so I pulled it out. Of course, the outfit was so big, I had to take it off right away or she'd have tripped instantly!Loving her Tag reader - what a great gift idea! She spends at least 30 minutes a day with it.
And a cute new outfit from Jaja and Busha.



We had family Christmas at our house today.
Present were:
Steve, Brena, Mad, Mal & Macy
Steven, Pam, Faith & Chloe
Jeff, Marie, Kasia, Moira & Ella
Grandma Penny & Papa Jim
Jaja and Busha

Somehow we forgot to take any pictures except for our one attempt at a photo of Victoria with some of her cousins.


A new twist on an old tradition

Growing up, there were a few constants in our house on Christmas Eve: Fondue, opening our annual ornaments, and usually being allowed to open our gifts from Aunt Judy.

After a few years of tweaking I feel like my own family is able to carry on the same tradition in a sense. This year (and I've gotten the okay from Rod and Victoria to continue it annually!), I did a trio of Fondue: A creamy cheese fondue with bread (a Pampered Chef recipe of course!), The basic hot oil fondue with steak, chicken, some pre-cooked marinated shrimp, and broccoli, and A Cool Creamy Chocolate Fondue with bananas, pears, apples, and cookies (also a PC recipe!). I served buttered noodles with the main course, with a little of the leftover cheese fondue stirred in to tie them together. The only thing I really will need to work on for next year is the timing - I WAY underestimated how long it would take for the oil to get hot! Other than that, the dinner was a hit. We all ate a little bit of everything and felt fullfilled afterward.

Oh - and I carried forward the ornament tradition as well (Rod got to open the family ornament and Victoria got her own - a ladybug!).

We didn't open Aunt Judy's gifts - Rod's a stickler about the whole not opening any gifts until the morning.

I'm going to try to go to bed now, as the anticipation of seeing my beautiful daughter's face in the morning is probably almost as great as her anticipation of Santa's arrival!

We wish you all a safe and very Merry Christmas.

And no post is complete without a smile :0)


Meet Tally and Toto

An entertaining child is not conducive to a proper baking environment. I burned a few batches of cookies today (yes, I'm baking MORE cookies!) because of the entertainment provided by Victoria.

I got an email last week from one of the child development sites that said not to be surprised if my 3-year-old starts having imaginary friends. As we were baking cookies tonight, I was thinking about that email, and thinking that I didn't think Victoria was quite to that point with her imagination. And about 20 minutes later, she proved me wrong!

Rod and I were introduced to Tally and Toto. Tally is V's right hand and Toto is her left hand. They and I had quite the conversation - they're both 3, just like Victoria, and they were both sick when they were little babies. Upon more questioning from Rod, we found out that Tally is a girl cow and Toto is a boy pig!

Hence the reason my 7-minute baking time cookies kept getting forgotten about!

On another interesting note, Victoria told me tonight that when she was a little baby and was sick, she flew high in the sky like a butterfly, and had a friend also named Victoria!

Word Concepts

I've been working with Victoria a little bit (once or twice a week) on sounding out words. I got an idea from Super Why to start with words that end in the same letters. She does okay when we just talk about the words, but understandably does much better when they're in front of her and she can see and sound them out.


Sick Days

Well, it would seem that our household was not missed this year for the flu bug. Victoria got sick briefly a few nights ago, and Rod and I thought we were in the clear.


Thankfully it does truly seem to be a 24-hour bug. It hit me yesterday and laid me out where (as Natalie put it) my body felt simultaneously like I was having back labor with all the lower back pain, and like the worst hangover imaginable. No energy, no ability to really even move. Even my fingernails hurt! I'm over it today, but it hit Rod last night. Of course he had to take a sick day, and of course he was just 3 days short of earning an extra day off for NOT having taken any sick days.

Today we rebuild stamina, regain energy, and prepare for what's sure to be a hectic week. Let's make it a healthy one!


Snow Day!

Well, not that it really meant much to us, other than we didn't go out and do any running around. According to my expert analysis, the ruler stood up in 10 inches of snow that had collected on the outside grill tray (that's the last 2 inches of the ruler you see!)

Victoria and I decorated cookies this afternoon, which was a total blast for both of us!

The end result - not too messy!

And her masterpieces:


End Result

After a few hours, the result was:
5 dozen almond butter cookies
2 dozen almond squares
4 dozen or so sugar cut-outs
2 dozen chocolate chip cookies
(even though it doesn't look like much!)

And two dirty and very tired aprons ;-)

Thursday Fun

She had her Christmas party at school this morning, where they dressed up like reindeer:

And just one more reason I love that I have the opportunity to stay home with Victoria every day. We can spend the entire day baking cookies in the kitchen, and it doesn't have to be a weekend to do it!


And a guitar player, too!

That's How I ROCK!

I am a Rockstar

Victoria is constantly singing around the house. Finally caught her singing the latest Pink song. As you can see, she also likes the piano or keyboard. Enjoy.


Cutting a tree

Today we got a "real" tree!

Birthday photos

How our day started - lots on our agenda: School, treats, nap, then party time!

How Victoria felt after we found out school was canceled:

By the end of the day, things were all better!

Thanks to Jaja and Busha and Morgan and Jessica for being here to help celebrate Victoria's birthday - we had a great visit! Thanks to Grandma Penny and Papa Jim for chatting online and singing to V, too!


Happy Birthday Victoria

Today, at 402 AM, my lovely daughter turned 3. It is truly amazing to watch her progression. Each day she learns something new and generally brings joy where ever she goes. This day always makes me remember the tough days we had 3 years ago, however we have reaped the rewards of those struggles ten times over. So, please join me in wishing my beautiful daughter, Victoria, a happy 3rd birthday. -Rod

One of the first pics taken of Victoria in the NICU. She still has tiny scars on the top of her hands from the IVs.

Victoria today. A little disappointed that school was canceled, but happy as usual.


This Year's Picture

Hard to believe there are only 12 months between these pictures.




Trimming the Tree