Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Texas Christmas

We just got home from a very fun few days in Midland with Greg's family. His brother Ross and family were in from North Carolina and the 3 girls had a great time playing together. Kennedy was in heaven with the other kids and I know Julia and Natalie (almost 5 and almost 3, respectively) were loving taking care of Baby Kennedy. Grandmammy even drove in from Silverton for a belated Christmas visit.

While the grown-ups got some pretty sweet gifts (I am dying to get to Lululemon to spend a gift card), the majority of the gift frenzy was focused on the girls. Every gift opened was pinker and girlier than the last. Barbie everything. Princess dresses. Dollhouses. Etc. So much fun. I got to help Julia set up this Barbie condo thing and it was all sorts of awesome. I can't wait until Kennedy is old enough to be trusted with all the teeny-tiny Barbie accessories (sunglasses, bowls of Doritos, hair dryers, etc.)

We also spent a good amount of time playing outside. Kennedy is somewhat fearless on the slide and balance beam, but just incase she needed a helping hand, Julia was there to assist.

We attempted some family pictures. Try to get three littles looking and smiling in the same direction is tough. But I think we were able to get a few cute shots. Fingers crossed. The photographer is a friend of a friend and her work is beautiful. Can't wait to see the pics in a couple of weeks.

It was sad to say goodbye to the North Carolina Hunters this morning. But we started talking about a family vacation in the spring. So hopefully it won't be too long until we see them again!

Various headwear was made available for present opening. Some of it was even holiday related.
Kennedy and I chose a matching Minnie set. 

Matching UT hats. Matching razors. 

 Who is having more fun playing Barbies? 
(Its Aunt Amanda...shhh)


Silly Natalie 

Grandmammy, Greg and Kennedy 

"Hello? Can you talk louder? I get terrible reception on this thing...oh, wait..." 

Pink Flamingo Tree 

Hunter cousins bathed and ready for bed.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

NM Christmas

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas! We had a fantastic time in New Mexico with my family and now we are in Midland with Greg's family celebrating Round 2.

My brother Eric flew all the way from South Korea to surprise us for Christmas. Only my dad and I knew up until a few days before his arrival and it was a very hard secret to keep. Keeping secrets from my mom is no easy task. Not only did I have to keep the news about Eric from her, but my dad also had me help him get this awesome handbag she had been wanting. She prodded nearly every day as to what her gift was...and I am glad I was able to keep them both a secret as each gift brought on a few tears.

Kennedy was showered with more gifts and attention than she could have ever asked for. Among the highlights were pretend food and a new doll stroller. She did get a baby doll that opens and closes her eyes, but it totally freaks her out. That one might get put away until she is a little older. She was not, however, freaked out in anyway by the giant Chewbacca backpack Uncle Eric received. She wore it around all morning and even tried to share her crackers with it.

New things we learned she liked in NM: fudge, biscochitos and salsa. Chocolate and cookies - no big shock there. But who would have known that my child would like something spicey like salsa? I can barely handle pepperonis most of the time let alone chili peppers (or whatever makes things spicy in salsa). So we have our very own spicy food eater. This makes all my NM family very happy. I have a feeling she will be offered green chili on her next visit.

 Christmas: The Aftermath

 This thing is straight up awesome-town. Even better was Kennedy walking around saying "Chewbacca" clear as day. I laugh every time I think of my brother snowboarding in this. Apparently its what the cool kids in Korea do. 

Cautious snow walking. 

Eventually we will learn fingers don't go in the toaster.  

The Hunters (Yellow Lighting Edition) 

The Whole Fam

Thursday, December 22, 2011


One of the moves Kennedy learned at Gymboree is how to spin. Gymbo the Clown likes to spin-spin-spin. And now Kennedy likes to spin-spin-spin. I think she really likes the dizzy feeling she gets after spinning in a circle. And it is hilarious to watch her try to steady herself while the room is spinning.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Little Mimic

It's really no surprise to me that Kennedy has taken a liking to playing in my make up drawer. She pretty much watches me every morning when I am getting dressed and knows where the lipstick, blush and mascara go on her little face. She likes to take my brushes and pretend she has dabbed them in the make up before she brushes her cheeks. She knows how to open the containers now, so I really have to keep an eye on her. A fairly new Bobbi Brown blush has been dropped on the tile in the bathroom so we are learning that mommy's make up isn't a toy. But, I had to laugh when I handed her my eyelash curler this morning and she knew just what to do.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Brunch

Last year our playgroup had a champagne brunch to celebrate Christmas, and because it was so much fun, we decided to make it a tradition! Our friend Lizzy hosted us today with yummy food and Christmas mimosas. The kids all ran around, snacked on goldfish and pretzels while the mommies enjoyed a little sparkling bev.

We decided not to exchange gifts this year, and instead adopt angels from the Salvation Army Angel Tree. We picked a boy and a girl and split up the gifts among the group. From clothing to toys and diapers, we covered all the "wants" and "needs" for the angels we chose. Adopting a family through church or an angel from the tree has always been a tradition in my family. I think we will make this a playgroup tradition and teach the little ones to help others in need.

Today was also Ashley and Alex's last playgroup before they move to Houston. Sigh. Sadface. Luckily they have family here and will be back for a visit soon. We will sure miss them, but I know we will see them soon and we are excited for their new adventure in Houston.

To end on a funny note. I heard Kennedy asking for crackers. This is not uncommon. Emily kindly went to the pantry and got her crackers. What a helper. When it seemed a little too quiet, I went to check on Kennedy and found her with a dog biscuit in her mouth and a fistful of dog biscuits in her hand. Yum. 

 Gingerbread Girl

Giving Alex hugs. 

Playing Christmas music with Emily. 

 Group shot! This was not easy. 
Mason, Kennedy, Alex, Hadley, Knox, Emily, Austin

 Someone loved hiding behind the Christmas tree. 

Come back and visit soon!!

Boot Scootin

Kennedy got a pair of western boots this week. To say that she loves them is a bit of an understatement. When I ask if she wants to put her shoes on she quickly replies, boots, boots, boots, and immediately goes in search of them. She also likes the sound they make on the floor when she stomps her feet.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Slide

Side. Side. Side. Side.

This is what I hear about 80% of the day when Kennedy is not requesting milk, cracker, Elmo or Einstein. She is asking for her slide. She got it for her first birthday but it has been put it away for the past few months. After I noticed her trying to make a slide out of any incline she came across (including a dirt hill at the ranch) I decided it was time to bring it back out.

I love her shouting "whee!" as she shoots down the slide.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ranch Weekend

This weekend we took a drive down south to spend a weekend at Caroline's family ranch for the annual "Kids Ranch Weekend." Now there are actual kids at the ranch...not just the adult kids! This was Kennedy's second trip down but last time she was just a little peanut that hung out in an exersaucer or slept the whole time. This year, Kennedy had the best time ever just running around in the front yard with Emily and the boys. Really, she would have been content to just stay in the yard the entire weekend.

We went on a little tour of the ranch and tried to point out some cows and deer. Kennedy had her mind set on running around, so the animals were of little interest to her. The upside to all her running around? A real tired little lady. Since the girls played so hard during the day, they took awesome (long) naps and went to bed early. This meant more playtime for the grown ups!

While the girls slept we got to enjoy going for rides in the four wheelers, spotting deer, athletic competitions, making drinks, drinking drinks and having an all around good time.

Ranch boots.  

"Are they twins?" 
Caroline and I get asked this a lot. 
               Last year: Bjorn.                                                     This year: backpack.  



Let. Me. Down. 

 The boys at Lake Lizzy. 
Again, Kennedy's sole interest was running around. 

 Driving around. 

The gang.  

 Mommy and Minnie matching velour trackies. 


Monday, December 5, 2011

Santa FAIL

The Santa Photo. This is how it went in my mind: Kennedy was dressed in a perfectly themed Christmas outfit, she would sit like a little lady and smile at the camera. She might hug Santa. Then she would excitedly wave bye-bye at Santa and would have wonderful memories of her visit for the next hour. I would have the perfect Santa Photo for our album.

But the reality was far from my 'vision' of her Santa visit.

The first time we went to see Santa, Kennedy held onto me crying "no, mama, no, no, no." We left and no picture was taken.

The second and third times went exactly like the first.

Tonight was the night we were going to go for it. Northpark has a sweet set up. Santa is in a little cottage sitting by the fire and they only let one kiddo in at a time. I even brought Kennedy to story time with Santa this morning to familiarize her a little. Caroline, Ashley and I got our tickets to see Santa this morning (they hold your place in line all day!) We came back when the husbands got off work and thought if all the girls saw each other sitting with Santa, maybe they wouldn't be so traumatized. Greg and I went first. I bribed Kennedy out of the stroller with an M&M I had bit into quarters and popped one in her mouth just before I sat her on Santa's lap. This did not distract her in the least. You could hear her screams through the entire mall, I am sure of it. Neither Alex nor Emily were fans of Santa.  Maybe next year.

She already looks unsure. But we do have an adorable holiday outfit on. 

"Nooooooooo!" - Kennedy

 "Nooooooooo!" - Alex

 "Nooooooooo!" - Emily

Official Santa Pic, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Crafts

We have been slowly putting up Christmas decorations this week and hope to get the house decorated tomorrow night. We will be testing out some spiked hot chocolate recipes while we get this house Christmasified. In the meantime, there are some little holiday craft projects I found on Pinterest and couldn't wait to do them with Kennedy. I have a big frame in the kitchen and have been switching out some of Kennedy's seasonal artwork. It was time to take down the autumn picture and get something more festive in there.

Today at playgroup we had the kids dip their hands in paint and stamp them on paper to make Christmas trees. This went a lot better than you might think.

Kennedy's hand print tree. 

A little help from the mommies. 

Toddler Masterpieces

In a holiday-craft-related note, my friend Ashley made these adorable Rudolph bows with red bells as the nose. This afternoon I made a Reindeer applique. Check out The Littlest Hunter shop for some holiday goodies!