Tuesday, December 28, 2010

home for christmas

We havent stayed home for the whole holiday season in a very long time! I have also never been to Reno or Texas for Christmas. So this year we decided to do both. This was Finley's third time flying....she wasnt quite ready for the experienced traveler line yet though.

Obviously we are not very germ concerned parents. We let Finley use up some energy on the floor of the airport before our flight.

We went to Texas first. We flew into Amarillo and then drove to Pampa. This is a very interesting part of the country. It it very flat and there arent a lot of trees. You can tell that it was a thriving community at one time, but now many businesses and houses are boarded up. There was a lot of money in oil at one time, but when the money stopped flowing, people left.

Anyway, most of Bens extended family lives there, so visiting with them and had a great time.

This is Aunt Lindas house

We went for a walk to a park near Lindas house

We stopped at Henry's house (Bens step-grandfather). He wasnt home, so what other choice did we have but to pose for a photo in front of his house.

Bens other Aunt Linda was out of town and let us stay at her house. It was very nice and comfortable. Finley approved of the toys and the crib.

On our last two days, we went to Amarillo to visit Aunt Barbara, her daughter Damaris and family. We had a great time with them just hanging out.

The sunsets in Texas are lovely

We found some pretty lights on our way back to the hotel

Then we headed to Reno on the 23rd. After we arrived, Ben and I went food shopping for all the food we planned to cook. For Christmas Eve we had grilled rib eye steaks, shrimp bisque and a green salad. For Christmas breakfast we had eggs benedict with smoked salmon and for dinner we had a Christmas Goose stuffed with apricots and apples, candied sweet potatoes with pecans, brussels sprouts with pancetta and carrot cake for dessert. We also made egg nog from scratch. I enjoyed all the cooking and eating, but feel like I dont need to eat for awhile!

Gran and Grandpas kitchen floor

After that we went to a Christmas party for kids. Finley started to have a TBM (total baby meltdown), so we did not get to see Santa. We did get to see a brass band and lots of kids having fun after probably consuming large amounts of sugar.

At the party!

Gran bought Finely some adorable snowman PJs

A beautiful snow globe collection

Finely got so many amazing gifts from friends and family. We are so fortunate to be able to give her more toys and clothes than we know what do with (literally). Some of the gift highlights were a DVD player for the car, a Lampe Berger, some jewelry, slippers for Ben, kitchen shears & sheets

Finely saw her friend Makenzie and they had fun playing on the floor and sharing toys.

Finley got this sign for her Grandpa to put on his garage

Kenneth with his goose

Finley got her Gran this necklace (she did a lot of shopping this year). She loved it!

some family friends visiting with the Shryocks

On our last night we went out to a restaurant called Sezmu in Reno. It probably would have been good, but I was sick of eating and Finley was fussy. I would like to go back and give it another shot.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Ben, Finley and I flew into Newark, NJ on Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. Finley was unbelievably good on the flight. She ate baby food, nursed, slept, watched TV and didnt cry at all. We were very pleased to not be the people with the screaming baby.

Finley's Great Grandmother was beyond thrilled to meet her first Great Granddaughter. Here is Finley demonstrating her crunch skills. She has been practicing for awhile now...

And showing off how well she sits up on her own

That night we all went out to the Alexis Diner for some classic NJ diner food. You can pretty much order anything 24 hours a day. Im not sure how they manage, but the food is always pretty good.

Finleys Grandma Fran got her lots of Hannuka presents. It was really fun to watch her opening her first gifts. She wanted to eat the paper and ribbn, but she was having fun and enjoyed all her new presents.

Aunt Sheila joined us for Thanksgiving dinner. We had the standard Turkey with rye bread stuffing, gravy, my grandmothers cranberry apple crisp, sweet potato casserole, green beans and apple pie and black and white cookies for dessert.

Finley enjoyed some turkey and sweet potatoes

later that night we went over to Carlys parents house to meet Beau, who we decided has no choice in being Finleys new best friend. They had a blast rolling around on the floor together

On Saturday morning we went to Synagogue for Finleys baby naming. Her Hebrew name is now Ziva. We also went to visit Rachel and her parents and Finley got to meet Lucy the pitbull.

Yak is apparently entertained by putting babies on Lucy for a ride

On Sunday afternoon we went to Rachels bridesmaid brunch. It was fun to meet Rachels other close friends. Finley was flexible enough to take her afternoon nap on Faith. Ben had fun during the brunch with the guys at the bar.

While in NY, we stayed with Carly and Beau. It was super easy for us because Carly has all the baby gear we could possibly need. Most importantly, we had so much fun watching our two girls play together.

We took Beau and Finley out for a walk around Red Hook Brooklyn

While Carly and I waited for our "slow food" Stumptown coffee by the cup, Ben pushed the babies to keep them sleeping. Very Dad of him! It was literally the best coffee I have ever had.

On Saturday night, Carly was nice enough to arrange for her baby sitter (and babysitters cousin) to come and watch the girls while we went out to Marlowe for dinner. We ate dinner from 7-10 pm, enjoying lots of courses of amazing food and wine. The best part was coming back to Carlys house to our two soundly sleeping babies. I was so proud of Finley for doing so well with her first babysitter and going to bed for someone else.

30 weeks

31 weeks