Monday, December 31, 2012

OG Christmas Party

In early December, the OG (Ops Group) had a Christmas party on base for the kids, so we took Abbie and Ben to check it out.


This is Abbie and her best buddy, Luke.  They spotted each other from across the parking lot and ran to each other, which they do pretty much every time they see each other.  Abbie always talks about how much she loves her best friend Luke.  I’ll be sad when these two are split up due to the move.  (And when I don’t live near Jennifer, Luke’s mom, either.  She’s one of my best friends.)


Below is Abbie with Luke and Aiden and then Abbie with Xander.  She talks about these boys all the time.  All of the kids her age in the squadron are boys, with the exception of one girl, who wasn’t here then.  Quite the bunch of 3 year olds they are!


This pool full of balls was a hit with all of them!  And Ben loved it!!  (And yes, this was on his birthday!!)


Abbie did a little cookie decorating and cookie eating.



Then she got to talk to Santa for a bit.  I think it helped that she saw a bunch of other kids sitting on his lap first while we waited our turn.  Sometimes she’s still a little hesitant to sit on his lap, but she comes by that naturally since I still remember being terrified of Santa.


PS:  I just love it when Abbie’s hair is in braids like that.  Too bad it takes me forever to do it to her hair since she’s constantly moving and her hair is so fine it falls out right away too.  But it looks cute while it lasts!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Day


We had a pretty laid back Christmas this year, again.  I’m really looking forward to next year when hopefully we’ll be able to spend it with more of our families, but we were really excited that Uncle Ryan was able to be with us for Christmas this year.


We didn’t put up a tree this year since our living room just isn’t big enough for a tree and a toddler that pulls up on everything and is in to everything.  I missed having one this year and putting it up with Abbie.  I guess it will make next year that much more special.


Mark’s mom got this little hat for Ben and I just LOVE it!  I’d been wanting one for a while and couldn’t find any for sale around here.  We all got a bunch of great things from our families and we had a relaxing day at home.


Oh yeah, and Christmas Eve I made my first beef tenderloin.  Turned out pretty darn good if I don’t say so myself!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 Squadron trip to Austria

Every year our squadron goes to Kirchdorf, Austria for our Christmas party.  We went in 2010, but not last year, since Ben was born the week before.


The drive up was beautiful.  There wasn’t nearly as much snow as there had been in 2010, but it was still pretty.  Ben was fairly good, although a little screamy and Abbie did well too, and even took a little nap for us.



We got there Friday and got all checked in to the hotel.  Our room was pretty nice and a lot larger than we were expecting.  Friday night was our casual party where everyone wore their lederhosen and dirndl.  We had a babysitter stay with the kids in the room for the parties both nights.


Saturday we went on a sleigh ride with the kids in the morning.  It was fun, but it rained a little bit and was a bit cold, but we had fun.  It wasn’t nearly as cold as the first year when we went on one.



The hotel we stay at is very nice.  It has a huge kids club that Abbie absolutely LOVED.  There’s a room for babies that has lots of baby toys, and then there’s a 2 story room with a huge jungle gym in it for bigger kids.  They have a kitchen with a bunch of miniature furniture it in and one of the days Abbie was there, she made cookies.  The entire room was covered in floor, but Abbie was so excited about those cookies.  They also have a drink area that’s always open.  You can get sodas, water, any sort of coffee or tea you could imagine, beer, wine, etc.


We put the kids in the kids club for a while and Mark and I went and explored a little bit.  We spent most of the time trying to find food for lunch and eventually found something.  It was raining/snowing so these pictures were taken from the car.


Saturday night was the formal night, but I don’t have any pictures of us from that night.  We also did a gift swap with the squadron, which was fun.  We won an iTunes gift card.

Sunday we ate breakfast and then headed home.  Abbie wanted to tuck her puppy in her coat when she was taking him to the car, which I thought was cute.  And I got some of my favorite photos of the trip from the car on the way home!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Updates on the kids


I REALLY wish the picture above was brighter, but the flash didn’t reach that far, so it turned out a bit dim and more editing would just make it super grainy.  But I LOVE the expressions on both of my kids faces.  They were having a grand old time when their daddy was pushing them around in a plastic bin on the kitchen floor.  Here’s a little bit brighter one – same smiles, just not looking at each other.


Our little Benj is very quickly losing his “baby-ness” and turning in to a toddler.  I won’t go in to all of the details about it now, but he’s changing daily.  I remember when this happened with Abbie and it’s literally like they change from baby to toddler almost overnight.  At his 1 year appointment they asked me if he was pointing at anything yet, and I said no, because he wasn’t and then logged that as something to potentially worry about later on.  (Any mom can relate that…  It happens when they ask you if your kid is doing something yet and they’re not.)  But like 3 days later, Ben started pointing at things.  And now he points at EVERYTHING.  You can ask him where something is and he’ll point to it.  We just got back from a quick trip to Munich and Abbie always wanted to push the hotel elevator buttons.  Ben saw her do it once and immediately stuck both of his pointer fingers out and leaned over to push a button too.  From then on, every single time we got within 30 feet of the elevator, all of a sudden both of Ben’s pointer fingers would flick out of his coat sleeves and he’d start pointing.  (He had to get both of them ready, he couldn’t just point one finger, had to be both.)  It was cute and you can just see the wheels turning in there now.  He’s really processing what’s going on around him now and he watches Abbie like a hawk and tries to join her or copy her.



Abbie is a pretty good big sister.  She LOVES to help with Ben.  She wants to help feed him and dress him and help him walk.  She’ll get his paci for him, or give him his bottle, or sing songs to him or “read” him a book or tell him a story.  She has issues sharing her toys with him sometimes, or sharing HIS toys with him, but I suppose that’s a typical 3 year old issue.  Abbie loves to sing.  Some of Ben’s toys play songs and she will play them over and over until she learns them and then she’ll sing along with them every chance she gets.  She LOVES to color and draw and work in her activity books too.  She does that every chance she gets.  Her favorite movie is Tangled and she loves “chla-kat” (chocolate) milk.

Abbie also is finally loving the asilo!  Thank God!  She does fine now when we drop her off and she gets upset when it’s time to go home.  We might try leaving here there for a few full days in January, mainly when the packers/movers are here.  She loves her teachers and she’s making lots of little Italian friends and even learning some Italian.  She is definitely our little social butterfly!