Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Recap

We had a pretty eventful Christmas at the Carlson's. We had MorMor (my mom) come to visit early so we had lots of time to play with her. Then on Christmas Eve Grandpa and Auntie Mere came to visit. It was fun to have have them visit. Dayne and Lylah loved playing with Auntie Mere. They think she is pretty funny when she makes her funny noises. We kept up our tradition of making a Gingerbread house with her. I had put together the house ahead of time so it was dry for them to go to town decorating. Before we opened presents Auntie Mere helped Dayne and Lylah make reindeer food and then sprinkles it outside. It was oats, glitter, and Acorn confetti. Putting on boots and jackets they put it all over the snow outside. Dayne thought it was pretty cool! He was excited to see it glitter on the snow. He had no doubt that the reindeer would see his house!
Present opening was a lot of fun. Dayne loves his new legos and Lylah thinks the luggage they got was way too much fun to drag around!

Family Photo


After presents Dayne and Lylah got out cookies for Santa. Lylah insisted on putting out the milk! She even stole a sip! It was such a busy day that they went to bed without a peep!


The next morning Dayne's dream came true because Santa brought his Smart Cycle! Lylah got a doll house.

We had a wonderful Christmas filled with new and old traditions. We are looking forward to the years to come- creating memories with our beautiful children!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Candy Making

This year I decided to do some candy making.

I made caramels, almond bark candy, fudge, and even chocolate covered licorice. Now I know that might not sound so good- but man it is. If you haven't tried it you have too! The only part that was disappointing is I couldn't find the right chocolate. I needed some that I guess you can only get at Sam's Club and I don't have a membership. I had to give up my hunt and just go with semi-sweet Ghirardelli chocolate. It is still good but not quite the same. I was inspired by my friend Jeanette. When she offered me one I thought she was nuts- but it was soooo good. So taking her technique of double dipping them. It was a lot of fun to make them. Now if I can just stay away from eating them =)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Birthday Buddies

Two years ago I was lucky enough to be pregnant at the same time as my very good friend, Tonya. We were blessed with girls that are so much fun. They are best buddies. It has been so neat to watch them grow together. They also share the joy of having birthdays just before Christmas-they are born 3 days apart. This year Tessa had a swimming birthday and it was so much fun. Lylah wore a fun suit that our wonderful neighbor Robynn had given us - she looked so cute! Dayne discovered the joy of the water slide. As you can see Rich took the kids in the pool. At the Brooklyn Park Community Center they have a zero entry kiddie pool which Lylah thought was great! Dayne also took advantage of the pool to do some practice of his swimming too! It was a day that was fun for all! Birthday Buddies Tessa and Lylah
This is so cool!!

These fishies are mine!


Dayne practicing his bird flaps!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Lylah

My baby isn't a baby anymore! She turns 2 on Monday. The poor thing must forever share her birthday with the holiday season. It has been my obsession to make her birthday as far removed from the holiday as I can. If she picks when she is older to have a holiday themed birthday I will go for it- but until then I will make it as free of Christmas as I can. So this year her birthday theme was ducks and thanks for a neighbor I was able to make a duckie cake. It turned out pretty good if I do say so! I don't have much talent in the cake making department- I usually leave that up to my sister but it went pretty smoothly.

For her party we had a few friends over to celebrate. There is nothing like a house full of kids from under the age of 1 to a 6th grader. The balloon "bubbles" were a big hit to play with. The classic moment of the night was when she opened a present from her birthday buddy Tessa- it was an outfit for her Bitty Baby and the moment they saw the cover of the box they both shouted BITTY! Now I didn't think we had seen it enough to know it but I guess we have! Yet another fun moment of the evening was Baby Alive. Now I am not so sure about a baby doll that pees- I am trying to stop the use of diapers and now Lylah has a doll that will forever need them! Sophie brought this doll into our lives and her and Kendra were so thrilled to get it open to show Lylah how it works. So Jenny had to help. Don't get me.. or her.. started on how they package these dolls. It was not an easy task! But finally Baby Alive was free from her package and the fun begain. Now another thing about this doll is it just came with a shirt and diaper and if you know how I am about dolls then you know this has caused me much trouble. So on a trip to Target I will need to find cloths for this doll..... can't have a naked baby! (On and this doll doesn't have hair.. thank you Jenny! I am not ready for hair on a doll yet!) Finally we brought out part of the Lylah's birthday gift from Rich and I. A crib for Bitty... Of course she wanted to get inside! She will get another part of her gift on her actual birthday on Monday. It was lot of fun to celebrate her birthday. There are lots things about Lylah that make her extra special! Here they are.
1. Singer- She is great with Twinkle Twinkle and even Bob the Builder.
2. Fealess-she loves to climb and jump.
3. Proud- She is so proud of all she does "look at me" and "I did it!" is often heard.
4. Hugs- she is GREAT at them. She is by far one of the best huggers!
5. Giggles- she has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh.
6. Helpful- she wants to help put things away and usually does so after just asking once!
7. Stubborn- I know that might not be a positive thing but it sure does make life with her interesting.
8. Sweet- she is getting into taking care of things and is often concerned with someone is sad.
9. Smart- It is so cool to see how she figures things out. She seems to be a great problem solver.
10. Loveable- most of all she is such an loveable girl! Makes us all so happy each day!
WE LOVE YOU LYLAH! Happy birthday, baby!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas in Clubwest.

We have a tradition in our neighborhood and that is seeing Santa at the Clubhouse. Each year Santa comes and the kids get to visit with him and share what the hope to get from him and get a special treat. Dayne enjoyed talking to Santa and telling him he wants a Smart Cycle. He wants that toy so bad-- he is often seen staring at it at Target, Toys r Us, or anywhere else he might see it. Lylah on the other hand didn't want to sit on his lap- but was willing to be near him sitting on Rich's lap. She did eventually give Santa a high 5 and took a Santa Ducky (she just loves ducks!) from his basket of treats. We followed the visit with Santa with some cake and a fun horse drawn hayride. Now that was a COLD adventure but the kids loved it and had a great time. Rich and I found that we really do need to get snow pants for such events because the kids and other passengers that had snowpant on were just fine! It is events like this that make our neighborhood special. Plus it does help you get in the holiday spirit!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sinter Klaas

I simply love the holidays. It is so much fun with the kids to see them get so excited about the snow, lights, and of course presents. Since Dayne was born we have started the tradition of Sinter Klaas at our home. Even though it is a Dutch tradition I feel it does connect to my roots a little, being Danish. I know they are not the same but I am sure you kinda know what I mean. Many countries have a tradition with St. Nick that happens on Dec 6th. This one involves leaving out a shoe. So each Dec 5th evening we leave out a shoe and Sinter Klaas come to visit leaving a treat behind. This year he left Boggle Jr for Dayne and a Christmas outfit for Lylah's Snap n Style doll. It was fun to see them light up when they saw the presents. This year they left their shoe by the Christmas tree they have in their room instead of outside. Of course Dayne now plays the game every day- making and sounding out the words. It is a fun tradition to have in our house. Makes me slow down a bit and enjoy the holiday season!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The holidays are here!

It was a wonderful start to the holidays at the Carlson's. It was nice to have some time off from school to spend time with Dayne and Lylah. On Wednesday we played at home and did some prep for Thanksgiving. I also took on the task of doing the decorating of the porch and walkway- the weather was beautiful! Of course Thursday was Thanksgiving and this was the 2nd year it was just the 4 of us. It reminded me of when I was a kid. It was always just our family since my dad worked for the airlines and had to work sometime on the holiday. So we always enjoyed the day as a family. I really love making turkey and all the trimmings. It turned out yummy and a little early... but that was okay. At least I was checking on it to know! On Friday I did a little shopping early- without the kids... then later with the kids. They actually were pretty good while I waited in line at Kohls. There I got Lylah her own christmas tree for her room since Dayne has one... couldn't pass the deal. =) The weekend brought a few families by for photos and also the decorating of our house. Another throw back to my childhood is having 2 trees. One is more formal and is in the living room and the other has our family treasures on it. This year the kids decorated it for us! They did pretty well. We had to so a little fixing because it was a little bottom heavy! It was fun to see all our Christmas treasures again. We have lots to put out and I did some organizing so I could put out my houses that I haven't done in years! It looks so nice and festive. I am thrilled to have it all out so I can enjoy it over the next few weeks.
Unitl Later!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Just the girls!

Now I hate to admit it, but it is true. I am reliving my childhood. I am doing this with the help of Lylah. Today was a really cool day for Lylah, even though I know she isn't going to remember it. Of course I will scrapbook it and write about it here so hopefully she will feel like she remembers. Today we went to the Mall of America and to the new American Girl store for lunch. Now not everyone would think this is so exciting, but I sure did. We went with my friend Tonya and her daughter Tessa who was born three days before Lylah. The girls dress in similar clothing set off for the the Mall of America at 9am. We did some shopping before going into the store for lunch.

Here we are sitting at our table.

As you can see Bitty got her own chair and menu.

Now if that isn't cute I don't know what is! LOL!

Lylah checks out Bitty's menu. Bitty decided to share Bitty Bunny's Buttered Noodles with Lylah.

As we wait for our food Lylah sat next to Bitty. Bitty was very, very good while she waited and she was a good influence on Lylah.... she was very good too!

Lylah went for the fruit first. YUMM!

Bitty wanted some sauce from Tessa's chicken so Lylah fed her some andthen Lylah wanted to try it. Now, honey mustard sauce isn't all that tasty Lylah discovered!

At the end the girls had some ice cream! Lylah dug right in and kept saying "OH BOY"! Talk about cute!

It was so much fun and the girls were really good. I can't wait to go again. What was really nice is they didn't rush you or make you feel like you had to get in and out super fast. That was so nice! Hopefully the girls will want to go again and again. With any luck we won't be like the 3 older ladies that were there with out kids. They even borrowed American Girl dolls to eat with. But heck it looked like they were having a nice time! They even asked me to take their picture together!
Then after lunch we did some shopping at the store and now Lylah has her birthday present. Of course I couldn't resist letting her have the Bitty feeding set early and as I write this she is playing away with Bitty. Dayne found the Bitty Ducky I had found for Lylah's duck themed birthday and gave that too her... oh well! Maybe Bitty will have to have an actual name sometime. But Bitty is kinda growing on me!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Look at me!!

Here is a funny little video of Lylah from tonight. She sure has grown in the language department lately. Plus she really has no fear. I wish I would have been a little faster with the webcam becuase she was really having a good time. So enjoy this little video...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Closing in on an end......

This weekend Lylah will be 23 months old. For those that don't know I have taken her photo each month for the last 22 months. I always try to get as close to the 22nd of each month as possible. After 22 previous months of photo ideas and now with just 2 more to go I have mixed emotions. While I am glad to be done (I only did Dayne monthly for the first 2 years so that is why Lylah stops at 2 years too) I am kinda sad that it is over... While some months have been really hard- she didn't want to sit or would just scream- somehow I managed to get a shot good enough to share with family and friends. Now I am going to look forward to taking my friends new little one's photos each month come April (she had her daughter the same week I had mine so she had me do monthly photos of her too) so #2 gets the same!! At least this is a boy so I get to go back in my memory to my photos of Dayne!

The best part of taking these monthly photos is how much I have grown in my photography. I look back and I just can't believe I started over 4 years ago with a simple Sony Cybershot and lots of ideas. Now I have the joy of capturing many friends families and it has brought me so much joy! Who would have though sticking Dayne inside a suitcase at 2 months old (and no, not to save money on a vacation) would have brought me to where I am today. Thanks to those who have encouraged me along the way- I wouldn't be here with out that too! So here are a few of the shots I have taken over the few months of my babies... enjoy!
Until Later- Melyssa

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Web Cam... the final frontier..

Now I do consider my parents pretty tech savy; they know how to e-mail, find their way around the web, and even have a cell phone, but I wanted to take them one step further ---- WEB CAM! They live in Arizona so we don't see each other much. I thought this would be great for them and our kids. When I got the idea, I didn't think I was going to have to invest in a web cam because there is a camera built into my Mac, but my parents have a PC and we were having trouble communicating - which is strange to me since PC and Mac seem to get along so well on those commercials. Anyway, we invested in a web cam for our PC. After that minor investment, as well as the help of a tech-savvy neighbor my parents know to help get theirs going, we're connected. The only glitch is my parents' microphone doesn't work.

The kids think it is SOOO cool to see themselves on the computer so we had a little fun playing and made a video. It is nothing special at all, just them being silly, but they are my kids so I think it is kinda cute. Lylah is wearing a hat that I knitted for her. She hasn't taken it off all day apparently so I guess she likes it. To those family members that read this, if you have a web cam let me know and we can play, too.

Until later....


Monday, November 3, 2008

Picture Perfect Weekend

What a beautiful weekend!
It is hard to believe it is actually November. Soon enough we will be bundled up and wearing hats and mittens- but we received a great gift this weekend- 70 degree weather. Perfect days for photos. I was given the opportunity to capture some great photos of some friends and their families. We headed to a park close to my home and shot away. I also arranged to have my good friend Karin help me take some family photos and even one of Rich and I. We decided that the self timer isn't going to cut it anymore. So here are some of the photos we
got from the weekend. Of course the family ones were the hardest to get. I think that Dayne and Lylah are tired of being in front of a camera and rebel! Oh the joys of children. But I keep trying. I think it comes from a childhood of never having a family photo taken. Not one... not until I got married. My dad HATED getting photos taken so any photos with him in them are even rare. He is getting better now- will take a photo with the grandkids. He doesn't like to look at the camera though, always looks at the kids. It is actually kinda funny. So because of this I think I am obsessed with photos and have a need for family photos. Plus they seem to be the only photos I actually get to be in. =) So here they are- my way of capturing moment for my kids that I didn't get to have with my parents- no offense Dad- I know you read this and will be the first to admit it is so true. But I am REALLY thankful that you are willing to take photos now.. so thanks!!