We got our first snowfall of the season, and it was time for Juliette to experience the fun of playing in the snow for the first time. Lucky for her, we’ve got a great hill for sledding.
Christmas 2014 has come and gone. It was the first Christmas for Alexandre, and the first Christmas that Juliette really understood what was going on. Her little eyes lit up when she realized that there were presents, and that they were for her.
In fact, we learned a lesson as parents, too. She was so overwhelmed by the first few presents that she opened that we had to save the rest for later in the day. Simple is better.
But she got a new kitchen to play with, right alongside Dad. And she loves it. As soon as she opened it, she rushed back to the living room to get her little glasses, and spent the next half-hour ferrying imaginary glasses of water to everyone in the room. Lucky they weren’t shots, or we’d all be off our rockers.
A grandfather with too much time on his hands can be a dangerous thing. Juliette got a collection of cardboard blocks for her birthday, and in a moment of
boredom inspiration, Papi decided to construct an enormous tower. Then, adding fuel to the fire, he asked Juliette to try to climb underneath without knocking over the tower.
She made it through five or six times, but on the seventh…
Time sure flies. It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating Juliette’s first birthday, and now we’re at another milestone (with a little brother added into the mix).
Normally, it’s Dad that has a twisted sense of humor. But this year, it was Mom’s idea to put “magic candles” on the cake.
Parenting tip: Giving magic candles to a two-year old is just about the most fun you can have with your clothes on. They absolutely can’t figure out how it’s possible that the candle relights itself. We were practically crying with laughter watching Juliette try to work it out.
Milestones deserve celebration, and it was a great treat that Juliette had both sets of her grandparents here to celebrate with her. Lots of great presents, but the highlight was a new big-girl bed to replace her crib.
Let’s hope she learns to stay in the bed and that her parents don’t regret their decision!
Never work with children or animals, right? We finally hired a professional photographer to take a few family photos, and Dad took a chance to snap a few at the same time.
Juliette and Alexandre got a visit from Aude’s cousin Agnes. We were lucky enough to have a beautiful day to enjoy with the family.
The grandparents have arrived, and with it, lots of excitement for the kids. Despite our best efforts, we couldn’t get Juliette down for her nap yesterday. Eventually, the fatigue caught up with her.
It’s Juliette’s last day in daycare before we break up for the holidays, so we decided to bake some cupcakes to celebrate Juliette’s birthday a little early.
Juliette was a big help with the mixing. 🙂
Yesterday was Juliette’s Christmas party at daycare, and she had a fantastic time. It was quite a scene: forty children, loaded to the gills with sugar, chocolate all over their faces, racing around with tons of energy. There were Christmas carols, cookies and cake, and even a visit from Santa.
And forty sets of parents, looking on from the sidelines, trying to absorb all of the chaos that was happening around them. 🙂
Still, the kids had a wonderful time, and that’s the important thing, right?
Every family has its traditions, and ours is no exception. One of Dad’s favorite days every year is the annual decorating of the Christmas tree.
The tradition started when Dad was a young man, and it was mostly an excuse to have a group of friends over to have a few drinks before Christmas without having to provide any real entertainment. Dad provided the raw materials and a bottomless supply of mulled wine, and his friends did the rest. Back in the early days, we tried to do everything — set up the tree, untangle the lights, and put up the Christmas decorations. Our success was generally measured by how much we’d had to drink before we got started. Some years, depending on who was responsible for putting the lights away the year before, there was quite a lot of swearing as we untangled the mess, but it was always fun and it became something of a tradition.
As the years have gone by, the event has become more grown-up. Now, the tree is up and strung with lights before the guests arrive, so they only have to add the finishing touches. Ornaments are selected each year with a theme in mind, and laid out ahead-of-time. It’s almost painting-by-numbers.
Then came the kids. The kids adore helping decorate the tree. In fact, aside from a little help from adults (lest only the bottom half of the tree get decorated), we let the kids do most of the decorating. It’s a great, relaxed afternoon that helps everyone kick off the Christmas season. It’s early enough that we don’t compete with anyone else’s Christmas party. It’s a great chance to catch up with all of our friends on a Sunday afternoon. And most importantly, it’s our tradition — I haven’t ever been invited to another tree-trimming party.
Of course, our guests bring their own traditions, too. Many of them have brought ornaments to add to our collection, and over the years, these add richness to the tree. They remind us of Christmases past, of people who can’t be with us this year, and of the many places we’ve trimmed the tree in the company of friends.
It really is one of the highlights of Dad’s year, and he’s delighted that the children take as much pleasure in it each year as he does.