HADLEY, PIPER, and BRYNDEL

Sisters, friends, blessed.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

'Our' Christmas

We squeezed 'our' little family Christmas into three hours Sunday evening.  The three hours between pukey Hadley and bedtime, to be exact.  And while it was rushed and replete of any real tradition (we are still working to create some of our own) it was defintely full of surprise, happiness, excitement, smiles, and warmth.  Here are a couple of the highlights...

Piper was, quite obviously, thrilled with her new monkey towel.  She was in desperate need of a new one, as her old (infant) one barely reached around her cute little belly. (She is making monkey sounds in the picture.)

Hadley was pretty particular this year about finding a seam to pull apart, instead of just tearing it open. 
This was my favorite part of the whole evening. As Hadley opened this gift, she said with her face all aglow, "I have always wanted a polka dot robe, Mama!"  Piper also got one, and was glad to be a 'matcher' with her sister, but wasn't quite sure about having it tied around her.
This was the big ticket item under the tree this year.  Hadley even made sure to ask Santa for a scooter when we saw him last week.  And she also informed me, way back in October when I first started shopping, that if I got her anything to ride on...it should be pink.  Okay then.
Piper got into the scooting action too, but especially liked it when Hadley carefully pushed her around the kitchen, making stops at pretend gas stations and coffeeshops!  This is reminiscent of a small brown haired boy/brother that I used to push home from school on my scooter.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas 2010

We spent a lovely Christmas up North this year with the Anderson crew.  The girls had a blast staying up late, playing with cousins, eating cookies, opening presents, eating ice cream, and even playing out in the snow.  It was a very Merry Christmas!
Arriving at the candlelit Christmas Eve church service.


Excitedly waiting for the service to begin.  Thankfully, Hadley sat with a very patient and watchful Auntie Kara, as Hadley's hair nearly caught fire a couple times (with all of her wiggly excitement :). 








After a delicious prime rib & shrimp dinner, all of the (non-Alaska) cousins patiently waited to open presents!  ~Ava, Paige, Piper, Sydney with Hayden behind, Hadley, & Brooke~ 















Christmas morning we were greeted with gifts from Santa on the fireplace, and a special gingerbread house project with Auntie Kara (who was once again, very patient!).  The girls thoroughly enjoyed making and even sampling their houses.















The 'kid' table for Christmas Day lunch. 












We were greeted by another nice surprise the following day, as Auntie Kara, Uncle Frank, and Brooke came down to do a little sledding with the girls.  They were thrilled with the sliding, but even more impressed by Uncle Frank's uncanny ability to knock down 'delicious' icicles!











Getting in a little snuggle time with Brooke before we hit the road back home.













And, yes, that is just as it looks...a puke bucket for the ride home. And, no, we did not get it there in time. Kyle's truck has a 'nice' scent to it right now, and Hadley's carseat straps have seen cleaner days. But somehow, all the yuckies disappeared as we entered our house and discovered that Santa had been there, and we still had a lot more present to open!  We will be hopeful & prayerful as we wash up the laundry (7 loads already today!), repack our suitcases, and prepare to ring in the New Year with my family just four short days from now, that no one else will need that (dang) puke bucket!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas is Coming...

When I think of Christmas music, my first thought is always of our John Denver and the Muppets Christmas record that we (Michael, Nathan, & I) must have nearly worn out over the years.  Hadley & Piper have taken a keen liking to it this season as well (they make it in CD form now!).  Hadley's favorite song is Miss Piggy's rendition of "Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat..." and it makes her wiggle and jiggle and dance every time. 
video
Here are a few other things that have truly reminded me this year that, Christmas is coming...
We put up a real tree in both Hadley & Piper's rooms this year.  Their excitement was palpable as we strung the lights and allowed them to decorate. There have been many evenings as I'm making dinner, that I can hear them upstairs in their rooms  singing made up Christmas songs together around their little trees.
You know Christmas is coming...when the tree skirt gets turned into a 'twirler'!










You know Christmas is coming...when you smell (and gag) pickled herring!  While Piper & I keep our distance, Hadley & Kyle have a genuine love for this stinky fish.




You know Christmas is coming...when its finals time again for those poor college students. Paige (far right) and her roommates joined us for an 'energy filled' dinner during finals week.  I provided the nutritious study food, and Hadley provided the endless and somewhat obnoxious energy.


You know Christmas is coming...when you smell cookies baking! Nothing makes me think of my mom more over Christmas, than making cut out sugar cookies.  I can see her sitting on the counter (yes, this is something she did often when we were kids) carefully frosting sugar cookies only to be over sprinkled by my brothers and me.
I have a new found appreciation for her this year, as I attempted it by myself (truly, Kyle was in LV!) with the girls.  I can say this...the cookies are delicious as always, but if you get a blond hair in yours, I am SO sorry! 

You know Christmas is coming...when at least one of the kids was scared by that big red guy!  Hadley was tenative, but warmed up after Santa gave her a candy cane (ahhh sugar, the way to a girl's heart)!  And Piper was quite terrified and would hardly open her eyes, hence my presence in the picture. 

Indeed, Christmas is coming, and we could not be more excited to celebrate Jesus's birthday with friends & family in the upcoming days and week. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

First Christmas Program

Hadley treated us to her first Christmas Program this past week, and was it ever wonderful!  She came out waving away as she lead her class onto the risers (tall ones in back of course), beamed at the end of every song, often anticipated the next movement (starting it much before she was 'supposed' to), decided she needed to give a shout out to Piper during one of the songs (which made Piper incredibly happy!), sang every song with gusto and appropriate actions, and only pulled her dress up to her neck once.  It was lovely.  She could not have been more precious or sweet in our eyes, and was once again a reminder of all we have to be thankful for this Christmas. 











These pictures were taken after the program in the little manager scene set up specifically for photos. (I'm not sure if Piper has ever looked so excited for a picture!)





As were the rest of the 'paparazzi' (aka parents & grandparents galore), we managed to get a couple of videos during the program.  None of which are of great quality, but you'll get the idea anyway.  The kids are closing/covering their eyes during this song, and when its time to open their eyes they are supposed to make the noise for the animal their teacher just added to the manager in front of them (Hadley is in the far right corner).
video

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love, Kyle, gave to me
our freezer full of dead coyote.

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love, Benelli, gave to me
two pine-sapped cat ears (drinking too much tree water),
and our freezer full of dead coyote.

On the third day of Christmas,
my true love, Piper, gave to me
three oozy boogers (smeared in her crib),
two pine-sapped ears,
and our freezer full of dead coyote.

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true loves, the girls, gave to me
four bare feet (warming on the heat vent; every morning!),
three oozy boogers,
two pine-sapped ears,
and our freezer full of dead coyote.

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love, the coffee pot, gave to me
F-I-V-E cups of coffee (shhhh, don't tell my husband),
four bare feet,
three oozy boogers,
two pine-sapped ears,
and our freezer full of dead coyote.

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love, Kyle, gave to me
six mounted animals (half of which are in my bedroom),
F-I-V-E cups of coffee,
four bare feet,
three oozy boogers,
two pine-sapped ears,
and our freezer full of dead coyote.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true loves, the girls, gave to me
seven loads of laundry (potty training = skid marks),
six mounted animals,
F-I-V-E cups of coffee,
four bare feet,
three oozy boogers,
two pine-sapped ears,
and our freezer full of dead coyote.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love, Hadley, gave to me
eight different outfits/costumes (all needing to be washed),
seven loads of laundry,
six mounted animals,
F-I-V-E cups of coffee,
four bare feet,
three oozy boogers,
two pine-sapped ears,
and our freezer full of dead coyote.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true loves, the girls, gave to me
nine messy rooms (with carefully laid pillow houses),
eight different costumes,
seven loads of laundry,
six mounted animals,
F-I-V-E cups of coffee,
four bare feet,
three oozy boogers,
two pine-sapped ears,
and our freezer full of dead coyote.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true loves, the girls, gave to me
ten sparkly fingerprints (glitter glue is the coolest!),
nine messy rooms,
eight different costumes,
seven loads of laundry,
six mounted animals,
F-I-V-E cups of coffee,
four bare feet,
three oozy boogers,
two pine-sapped ears,
and our freezer full of dead coyote.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love, Piper, gave to me
eleven Pipers piping (she thinks this is funny every time),
ten sparkly fingerprints,
nine messy rooms,
eight different costumes,
seven loads of laundry,
six mounted animals,
F-I-V-E cups of coffee,
four bare feet,
three oozy boogers,
two pine-sapped ears,
and our freezer full of dead coyote.

On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love, Hadley, gave to me
twelve invented Christmas songs (long, but oh so sweet)
eleven Pipers piping,
ten sparkly fingerprints,
nine messy rooms,
eight different costumes,
seven loads of laundry,
six mounted animals,
F-I-V-E cups of coffee,
four bare feet,
three oozy boogers,
two pine-sapped ears,
and our freezer full of dead coyote.

{I am, of course, incredibly grateful for all of them!  Well, maybe not exactly the current condition of our freezer, but the rest of them - definitely!}

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Blizzard

WOW!  What an incredibly beautiful day we have here!  We've probably already seen close to a foot of snow, and it just keeps coming down.  Both sides of our family have gotten a ton of snow over the past couple of weeks, but much to the girls disbelief we have gotten very little.  Up until today that is!  As you can imagine, the girls are ecstatic about all of the white fluffy stuff and have been plastered to the window watching it tumble down upon our yard, porch rooftop, and even the swingset (they find that hilarious).  Apparently, we are going to get quite a bit more yet today, and then we are in for a serious cold snap.  With that in mind, we took the girls out this morning so they could get their fix of snow angels and their personal favorite...eating snow.  Here is just the anticipation of going out into the snow: 



































If you can't get your mittens off to eat the snow, just dive in face first and lick it with your tongue.













Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Random Videos

Kyle and I have accumlated a few random videos of the girls over the past  month.  They aren't important or even really very special for that matter, but they are proof that living with two little girls can make just about anything important or special or funny. The first one: I snuck up on Hadley one afternoon while she was singing a 'love ballad' to Benelli, something about always being there for her, by her, and loving her...
video
The second one: Is actually of Hadley again, but this time sharing her current favorite song from preschool (Thanks Mike & Jill for the great size 3T Packers uniform that Hadley insists on squeezing into, hehe)...
video
The third one: Is what Piper likes to call the 'Dinda Dance'.  On that particular day, Hadley changed her version to the 'Vinda Dance' which is not a suprise considering we do live in Dr.Suess's house of rhyme....
video
And the fourth one: Is from just last night, as we popped our popcorn in preparation to watch 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' together.  This was Piper's first experience with the air popper, and apparently it was hilarious.  Hadley laughed equally as hard at the Grinch's puppy Max, while Kyle and I were transported back to our childhood snuggled up on the couch together... video

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

When asked about the highlight of Thanksgiving, the girls are quick to answer, "Grandpa A's big buck!"  Scoring in at 163 with 13 points, it is a big one.  In fact, the largest any Anderson family member has taken off their land, ever!  Much to Hadley's delight, she and Piper were even able to be apart of the gutting & skinning (I will thoughtfully leave those pictures off the blog.  Piper's exact words were, "Bith. Ba-lood." Whereas Hadley sobbed when she thought she had missed out on the gutting). 
Despite the pretty chilly temps, Kyle took Hadley out to his stand 2 of the 3 times he got out hunting over Thanksgiving (what a great Dad!). She could not have been more thrilled.  While they didn't get much for deer action, they certainly enjoyed being out together.  She's sipping on hot cocoa in the picture below. 















Don't worry though, I did my best to balance out all of this blood & guts stuff, and made sure to sprinkle in some shopping & coffee with Grandma A, Auntie Kim, and Auntie Kara.  Hadley even asked if this special girl time was something we could do everytime we come up.  Whew, shopping is as cool as guts.   













We were able to see Brooke hard at work at her great little local coffeehouse job on one of those girl excursions.  The thoughtful owners were kind enough to let Hadley & Piper decorate some beautiful Christmas cookies with Brooke's helpful hand. 





The holiday would not have been complete without some rough-housing playtime with their cousins, Sydney & Ava.  Thankfully no arms were broken this year (that is the very ottoman that Piper slid off of last Thanksgiving and broke her little arm on).























We capped off the Thanksgiving weekend with two Christmas concerts.  First, with the annual Ladies Night Out (with my 3 sister-in-laws, 4 nieces, and mother-in-law) to see Lorie Line's Christmas Extravaganza.  It was lovely as always - the food, music, costumes, but especially the company.  And Kyle & I had an official Date Night (thanks to Paige babysitting!) to see my personal holiday favorite, Tonic Sol Fa. 

We have much to be thankful for, and much to look forward to in this up coming Christmas season!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Birthday Cousins

The girls and I got to spend the weekend in Southern MN with my parents, where the girls got some serious Grandma & Grandpa love!  And in the 'true' tradition and spirit of Hadley's birthday Kyle spent his hunting  (thankfully, he wasn't called away because I was in labor this time!).  Hadley was thrilled to celebrate her birthday with her cousin, Brooklyn, who turns 5 today.  The last time the girls got to celebrate together was in November of 2008...
As you can see, both have grown into beautiful little preschoolers.  But even more importantly, both have really grown to love being with one another...
They weren't the only cousins who were happy to see one another... Savannah & Piper were awfully cute little buddies too (they are 15 months apart).  Piper even told Grandma, as she was getting out two highchairs, that now she and Savannah could visit together in them!
We also managed to squeeze in a baby shower for Heidi over the weekend!  We shipped the boys off, Jeremiah included (he really was there over the weekend, despite the lack of pictures of him...I think Nathan & Heidi might need to have a little buddy for him?), and had a grand and girly time! Only 9 weeks left until her due date, but who's counting!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy 4th Birthday,











We have a tall blondish 4 year old walking around our house today!  Who's kid is she, anyway? Tall and blond? Oh yes, her father's!  Honestly, there are times when I look at her beautiful blue-ish hazel eyes next to mine, and I wonder how on earth I ever got so lucky.  Not because Kyle's pure Swedish blood obviously prevailed over my mixed (mutt, as Kyle would say) blood, but because Hadley is so loving, silly, and sweet and so obviously worth the wait.  She fills our days with true laughter, made up games, tight squeezes, random songs, and so many rhymes that we often feel like we live in a Dr.Seuss book.  We love you, Hadley B, and are SO thankful for your first four years and look forward to so many more! 













Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Red Neck Beauties

I am often amused and even astounded when I quietly listen in to one of the little conversations between Hadley and Piper as they play throughout the day.  Most of my astonishment has to do with my speech therapy background and their overall use of language.  But the other day I found myself wondering who's daughters they were anyway?  Take a listen, and let me know what you think...

Hadley: Next time Daddy gets a bear tag, I will be old enough to hunt too, Pipo.  So, I will shoot you a bear for your room.
Piper: Oh, dat sounds gooooood.  It would be soft?
Hadley: Yes, Pipo. The bear on my wall is really soft.
Piper: Gooooood!  I would touch it.
Hadley: (Thinking) Well, maybe I could shoot you a deer soon for your wall.
Piper: Yaaaaaah!  A daddy deer, Haaadley?
Hadley: Um, probably a mama or a daddy deer.  Not a baby fawn.
Piper: Bummer.
Hadley: I would need help dragging it out of the woods. Maybe we could both grab the legs and drag it out together?
Piper: Oh, dat sounds gooooood!  We drag it out.
Hadley:  Then we'd have to gut it before we brought it home. Do you know how to gut it, Pipo?
Piper:  Yaaaaaah!
Hadley: Then we could bring it home and hang it on your wall, would that be good, Pipo? 
Piper:  Ya (interuppted)
Hadley: Oh, we would have to go to the taxidermist first though, Pipey.  You would like it there, there are lots of animals!
Piper: Oh, dat sounds goooood, Haaadley!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

We Are On Our Way

Well, we are on our way to becoming a diaper-free household!  I say 'On Our Way' for two reasons: First, as not to jinx us (haha), but Secondly, because potty training is a bit 'tricky-bicky' as Piper so nicely put it.    

Planning is everything, right?  So, Kyle & Hadley took a special trip up North this weekend to work on some deerstand repairs before the big hunt over Thanksgiving. Specifically leaving Piper & me alone so we could spend quality time with the 'big-kid underwear.'

Saturday morning dawned hopeful, as my 'Go Potty in the Chair, and NOT in Your Underwear' Boot Camp began.  Piper was a champ during the morning, guzzling green bug juice (and no, we do not actually eat bugs at our house to stay healthy, but I had you all thinking...) and miraculously making it to the potty 6 times before naptime all the while still wearing a sparkly pair of puppy underwear.  Mind you, we did read 63 books (The Little Engine that Could twice!) and played 3 board games over the course of the morning, but it was a great morning and Piper could not have been any cuter.  I may have even been feeling a little bit proud of us...  

Ummm, after naps was not so much a success.  At all.  It was time to tackle number two.  And let's just say, the afternoon smelled a lot like poop.  I could hardly wait until dinner was done to get her into the bathtub. Yes, because her little butt and legs had seen some carnage during the day, but mostly because I just wanted a break from having to so closely watch her little face for any expression of a push or a grunt.  How terrible!  

We both got a fitful night of sleep, but awoke early this morning.  Who scheduled Dailylight-Savings Time over my Potty Boot Camp anyway?  It was a morning of false alarms. I honestly think we visited the potty upwards of 150 times before lunch. Poor Piper; not wanting to get her precious big-kid underwear wet but ultimately still really needing to poop.  It did finally happen right before lunch, and I swear I pulled a muscle in my stomach because I jumped so high!  The look on her face was of complete surprise, but was quickly followed by a request for an M&M.  I would have given her the whole dang bag had she asked.  

So onward we trudge.  In my perfect little daydreamy scenarios, the Boot Camp would end today with Kyle & Hadley's return.  And the only evidence of the weekend would be extra little tiny pairs of underwear in my laundry basket each day. But I know that learning to go potty in the chair and not in your underwear, really can be a little tricky-bicky at times. 

(She's on the potty in this picture!)
  

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hallow-Day Weekend

Our Halloween weekend was full of fun festivities.  It began with Grandma & Grandpa A coming down on Saturday to help the girls carve jack-o-lanterns! 









Piper's ended up with a toothy grin, and (thanks to a little help from Paige) Hadley's pumpkin ended up with a ballerina on it!
Meanwhile, I was enjoying Mothers & Daughters weekend Take Two!  I met my mom, aunt Nancy, cousin Katie, and her daughter Audrey to do some serious Christmas shopping.  We had a blast, to say the least, and I am not sure my trunk could have held anymore!
And then of course, on to the trick or treating!  Hadley knew exactly what she wanted to be this year.  Kyle thought he'd be able to convince her to be a hunter, and while she did think that was pretty cool, she had eyes only for Cinderella (she's at her pre-school party below). 
Piper settled for a costume we already had in the dress up box, but was truly thrilled to be a puppy. She was not, however, real happy about the masked people who kept showing up at our door! She would turn her back and plug her ears, and then once the door was safely shut ask me again why they were wearing a "sa cary face?"
We'll finish up our Hallow-Day weekend today by celebrating Kyle's 34th birthday!  And just in case you were wondering (or had remembered from last year's birthday post) he has not yet been pulled over today.  Maybe he can count his little 'warning' pull over from just two days ago though...