Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas in Review

Our First (real) Christmas at home! I say that because this is the first year we've celebrated Christmas at our house without traveling elsewhere to see family (they came to us this year). What a treat! I have to admit, it was stressful...and I didn't get everything done that I wanted...but I think the holiday went well. Here are some of our new traditions.

Advent Train
Since E knows her numbers and can count, I'm starting the Advent Train. We've had other Advent calendars, such as the Little People Advent Calendar and a family heirloom, but the Train is different. I put in a little note in each box, and every day E can read her little challenge--which typically entails a Gross Motor Exercise and a prize. For example: Without holding on or falling, walk to the front door to pick up your prize from the floor (dollar store treat). Or, stand up two times from the floor (without holding on to anything) and get a Nutcracker Dance with Mommy (where I hold her and dance around the house). Or, help Mommy clean out the dishwasher (she takes out and puts away the spoons) and take a Christmas Bath (red and green theme). We didn't remember to open a door every day, but overall the Train was a hit.

Decorating the Tree
We give E a not-too-breakable ornament; then we do a CME-lift (INSERT VID HERE) for her to put it on the tree. If she is hanging it by herself, she walks/starts/stops on her own and she has to stand tall during or after hanging. She never fell ON the tree, but she did fall several times beside it.

Christmas Music
We play Christmas Music after Thanksgiving until December 31st. This involves a lot of singing, and lots of dancing around the house. E has gotten better at shaking her hips and dancing without holding on, but is working on her "turning in a circle". E loves to dance and sing, and I'm trying to encourage that.

On Christmas morning, E preferred to make coffee with Nana rather than rush to open gifts. She really appreciates her family being in town (Nana and PopPop live in New Hampshire, and come down for short visits when they can--this ended up more of an extended visit, which was a great blessing in many ways). E got several nice gifts, a few of them being a new pink play kitchen (set aside from her little house to encourage walking and carrying light objects), some educational games, and my personal favorite, the Barbie Guitar. This is her first time using it...guess she's a natural!

My family came down the day after Christmas, and we had a great day just hanging out and playing. E gave us another concert, which was great, and of course Vivian was into everything, as she's now a walker (and starting to run around some). We had so much to be thankful for this year...E is so much more able, and so supportive of her little sister; Vivian is healthy and doing all the age-appropriate things she should be; we were lucky enough to have our families with us this year, and were given the opportunity to witness how precious life and family is. Merry Christmas!

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