Friday, December 2, 2011

Alaina's 3rd Birthday

Alaina turned 3 this past week and we celebrated her big day not once, not twice, but THREE times this year.  I suppose you can call it "Alaina's Birth Week."  :) 

On November 19th we had a little party for her a Chuck E Cheese's with 9 of her friends.  Alaina got to wear the Birthday Crown and got to take part in their Birthday Show.  She had a blast!

On November 26th we had a family party for her at our home with her grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins.  She absolutely adored her special Disney Princess cake and had a good time playing with her Disney Princess balloon and table centerpiece.

We celebrated Alaina's 3rd Birthday for the third (and FINAL!) time on Monday, November 28th -- her actual birthday.  Rob & I both took the day off so we kept Alaina & Brady home from daycare and we spent the day as a family.  We had a quiet day together decorating the Christmas tree and then at 5pm, Alaina & I went to Paradise of Fun at FSK Mall and met our friend Allison and her 3-year-old Taylor so that the girls could play on the moonbounces.

I would say Alaina's birth week was quite the success.  She's such a big girl!

Gobble Gobble

Here it is December 2nd and we're in the throws of the 2011 Christmas Season.  Ho Ho Ho!  As an early Christmaser, I began listening to Christmas music on November 1st and am beyond thrilled that the holidays are officially upon us.

I don't want to be accused of glossing over my second favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.  Always a bridesmaid never a bride, right Thanksgiving?!  Thanksgiving always signifies organized chaos in our home since we began hosting our 2 families in 2008.  Last year we were joined by Rob's mother & stepfather and my parents.  This year Rob's parents weren't able to make the trip so we were joined by his brother & sister-in-law as well as my parents.  Rob's stepbrother and girlfriend came up on Black Friday and spent the weekend with us.  See, Alaina's birthday is always celebrated on Thanksgiving weekend since her birthday is November 28th. 

Our menu was pretty standard and consisted of roasted turkey with gravy, sage stuffing, cranberry-orange relish garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, dinner rolls, pumpkin bread, and pumpkin pie, cherry pie, apple pie, and mince meat pie for dessert.  Totally low calorie, of course.

Since Rob and I do much prepwork ahead of time, by the time Thanksgiving Day rolls around there is actually very little cooking left to do.  We pretty much just need to cook the turkey (which was done an hour ahead of time this year. whoops!) and warm up the sides.  I love doing it this way because it allows me to spend the morning watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with Alaina instead of slaving away in the kitchen.  I remember Thanksgivings when I was a child and my mother NEVER made any dishes ahead of time she and my grandma would spend the entire day in the kitchen.  No thank you! 

It helps to be organized too.  Every year I make a checklist of all the chores that need to be done before company arrives.  Everything from errands that need to be run, to chores around the house, to cooking that needs to be done, to Thanksgiving-related chores like getting out the serveware and setting the table.  Checking off each item day by day helps me to feel like I'm getting my list accomplished which eases my stress. 

Now that Thanksgiving is over and the company has gone home, we can turn our attention toward Christmas. Now if it would just SNOW! :)