Monday, December 5, 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

M&M are gearing up for their fourth Christmas, and the whole experience is much different this time around. Unlike last year, they get the gist of the naughty and nice list, and my threats to rat them out to Santa no longer fall on deaf ears. I've gone ahead and purchased an Elf on the Shelf in order to hammer home the idea that Santa and his minions are always watching. I may need to hide the Elf under one of their beds to drive home the point. Just kidding of course....

Milo & Maddy decorate their first tree. They went a little crazy with the red beads but a fine effort nevertheless.

Of course, holidays being a time of reflection, I thought it might be fun to have a look back at the kids over the last few holidays.

First Christmas - 2008

Ah, Christmas 2008. Fun times! We dressed the kids up in the above outfits with the hope of snapping a few nice photos for a holiday card. After taking something like 40 pictures, the above one was about the best we could come up with. That entire period is one giant, sleep deprived blur to me now. Thank goodness we documented things in the blog because I have nearly no recollection of the period from October 2008 to roughly March 2009. I seem to recall waking up twice each night (per baby) for feedings, though Elaine had the more difficult end of the arrangement. I also recall being in a constant state of worry about everything with the kids. Recall that this was the period when the kids could not go to any places that might have even small crowds of people due to their risk of contracting a virus or the dreaded RSV bug. Our big day out was the occasional trip to a small restaurant.

Christmas 2009

The following Christmas the duo become much more cooperative. It still took a while but I eventually managed to get a usable picture. The kids were about 18 months in the above shot (14 months corrected age). They were both walking at that point -- Maddy had just started walking a few weeks before. Pushing that wagon around was about their favorite thing in the world. I must have a hundreds photos of Milo running down the sidewalk with Maddy shrieking (happily) as she rode along. By this time, the kids were long since eating solid foods -- in fact I think they ate a much broader variety of food then than they do now. This was our last Christmas living in the cottage on Santa Clara Avenue. I also recall that the kids had to open their presents in two rounds since they still took two naps a day at that point.

Christmas 2010

By last year, M&M were full-on toddlers if not little kids. The above photo required about 12 attempts. Maddy still isn't smiling but close enough. They were starting to get the whole idea of Christmas: they liked presents a lot and for a change they were more impressed with the gifts than with the boxes and wrapping. As typical 30-month-olds, M&M were down to about 12 different non-fruit/non-candy foods they were willing to eat -- a condition which still persists.

December 2011

Bigger, more social, occasionally better behaved, but still not fully potty trained, M&M enjoy hanging out with their friend Chris who live a few doors down. Maddy especially loves Chris (who is also 3) and asks after him all the time. The kids are finally big enough to stand on a regular scale too, which is nice. If it's to be believed, Maddy now weighs in at nearly 34 pounds, and Milo still trails her at 30 pounds. Still, that'd be a big weight gain for Milo, who up till a couple months ago was tipping the scale at just over 27 pounds.
Two great pictures from this past Saturday at the play ground. Amazing how much bigger they are now. Notice too that Milo was finally willing to sit for a much needed haircut.

While I'm thinking about it, thank you very much to all of you who have contributed to the Alta Bates NICU Family Advocacy Counsel. The FAC has managed to raise over $3000 this year, and Mustache-A-Thon 2011 donors have contributed about $600 of that. Contributions are still greatly needed. If you have a few bucks to spare -- and no amount is too small -- please consider making a donation to help out a family with a child in the NICU. Very easy and tax deductible - just visit this link to learn more or donate:

Thanks very much and happy holidays!