Monday, December 31, 2012
Simone took her first ski lesson with our fearless instructor, Steph. The goal was to make sure that she had fun and left the experience wanting more. Simone's tiny rental skis were probably about 50 cm in length - just the perfect pint size. She has been to the ski hill plenty of times while Cullen took lessons, and she was adamant that this year it would be her turn. Her little legs only lasted about 40 minutes, but she managed to go up and down the bunny hill with Steph a few times. When she returned, our little girl had a very proud look on her face. When we ask the question, "who is a ski bunny?" she emphatically responds "ME!".
For 10 days a stomach bug ravaged the Swanson house (plus a cold which turned into an ear infection for Simone). Illness entered our house on Saturday, December 15th and stuck around until Tuesday, December 25th. With that being said, we had to gracefully bow out of every organized, extended family celebration. Other than feeling a bit cooped up in the house, we actually had a wonderful Christmas holiday. The kids were perfectly content staying home and playing together with their new toys. And Dirk and I actually enjoyed the downtime with the kids. It was a very relaxing and peaceful Christmas. At the end of the day, we feel blessed to have our health, a beautiful family and a warm roof over our heads.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
We had a wonderful early Christmas dinner with the Clarks. Debbie and Vernon traveled by planes, trains and automobiles to see their beloved grandkids. All the way from Leesville, LA, they braved the blizzard conditions when Delta told them their flight (originally scheduled to arrive in La Crosse on Thursday) would be delayed until Saturday. So, they rented a car and drove slowly and safely to La Crosse. Merry Christmas DD and Big - your Wisconsin family loves you!
Friday, December 21, 2012
In the past month, Simone has transitioned from diapers to underwear and from a crib to a bed. In fact, Dirk recently referred to her as "sweetie" and she corrected him saying "I'm not a sweetie, I'm a big girl". Just like that, she grew up before our very eyes. (Sniff, sniff).
Cullen and Simone (along with their classmates) recently starred in the Christmas program put on by their daycare. Cullen was very tight-lipped prior to the program and would not give any clues as to his songs. Simone, on the other hand, sang her songs for days leading up to the show. The kids got dressed up in their Christmas best: Cullen opted to wear a tie and Simone chose her sparkly red shoes. First, we were entertained by Quinn who played the drums for "Little Drummer Boy". Then Simone took stage to perform "I'm a Little Snowman" (sung to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot") and "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star". The funniest part is that Simone forgot to sing when she got up on stage. We think she moved her lips for a few words, but mainly she had a bit of stagefright (there were probably over 200 people in the gym). After she was off stage, Simone proceeded to dance in the aisle for the rest of the songs. Jameson's class came next and he sang his little heart out. I am positive that everyone in the gym (even those in the far corners) heard Jameson's sweet voice! Finally, Cullen (the crafty veteran) took stage. His class showcased three numbers: "Going on a Bear Hunt", "All I Want for Christmas is a Hippopotamus" and "Santa Clause is Coming to Town". His class took stage wearing their handmade hippo hats. Cullen was very into the performance and was one of the only kids who did all the moves - even the booty shake. We would like to thank our fan section for attending: Mimi, Bobby, Grandma Liz and Grandpa Mark. It made the evening that much more memorable. We still working on the video to post - stay tuned.
We spent a low-key Thanksgiving at Wowee's house. My Mom cooked the bird at Wowee's and my Dad and Brigette pitched in with the sides. Our group was small so Cullen, Mason and Simone were invited to sit at the fancy dining room table with the adults. I think we only touched a small portion of the 17 lb turkey (4 adults, 1 93-year-old and 4 toddlers)! On Black Friday, we opted to stay out of the malls and headed to Skyzone( http://minneapolis.skyzonesports.com). Skyone is an awesome place, it's a warehouse full of trampolines. We arrived during "toddler time" so it was nice to share the space with other littles and their parents. Dirk, Brigette and I even jumped around a bit (and all felt sore afterward). If you haven't been there, I highly recommend a visit.
Saturday, December 8, 2012
We recently took Cullen and Simone to brunch with Santa. The two kids were so sweet as they spent the morning thinking about their lists. I dressed them up in festive Christmas red and we were off. They diligently carried their lists from the car to the brunch. As we entered the room, Cullen noticed that Santa was not there. I told him that Santa would be arriving shortly and he kept his eyes glued to the door for the next 10 minutes. Finally, the man in red and his wife arrived. Cullen and Simone kept him in their sight as they scarfed down waffles, bacon, eggs and fruit. Finally, we crossed the room to talk to Santa and convince him that they had been "nice". Simone is still a little unsure about as to how comfortable she is in close proximity with Santa. Cullen, on the other hand, ran right up to the sleigh and jumped in Santa's lap. There is nothing that can outdo the sight of a little one who truly believes.
As I have previously mentioned, Cullen and Simone are into a Superhero phase. Cullen picked a Superman costume for Halloween and naturally, Simone is interested in being just like her brother. We created a Supergirl persona for a little lady. I even purchased token Superman t-shirts for Dirk and me (yes, really dorky). We started the Halloween festivities with a walk through Myrick Park where kids could trick-or-treat in the daylight. On Halloween night, we joined our neighbors the Griffiths and formed a superhero posse: Superman, Supergirl, Ironman, Captain America and Wonderwoman. Simone and Calvin tried to keep up with their older siblings, but after 4th house, they both opted to stay in the wagon and consume their goodies. We made it to about 15 houses before darkness fell, the cold set in and a few tears were shed. At that point, the warmth of our house and the thrill of passing our candy was a welcome end to the evening.
Dirk and I attended a grown-up only Halloween party. It's amazing to see what creativity the adults can come up when there are prizes involved. Dirk and I stayed true to our family theme and dressed up as Supergirl and He-Man. Tracy joined in with an awesome Wonderwoman costume. Some of the other favorites: Uncle Sam, Twister, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, the Incredibles, and Dr. Evil with mini-Me. And the winner was..... Dr. Evil and mini-Me.