Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Surprise

What a wonderful Christmas present- a huge package in the mail from birthmom and family! Ashley and Gabe sent gorgeous princess bath towels that we needed, adorable clothes, rattles, and UM pacifiers! Aunt Jeannie, Michael, Anna, and Emma gave the girls beautiful Old Navy sweatshirts, and Grandma Leann sent monogrammed bunnies, and some fancy new clothes. Most exciting to Christina, Grandma Leann also sent bells with the girls' names on them and the date - Christina's favorite ornament from childhood is her silver ornament with her name and birth year etched on it - how wonderful that the girls now have their very own!

These girls are just so beloved and so cherished - we are thrilled to be a part of this loving circle, and are so happy for everyone who is sharing in this first Christmas for us as a new family.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Little Elves

Don't these two look just like little elves? These are outfits Christina bought back in September at a mothers of multiples garage sale (we don't usually have them matchy-matchy, but these little candy-cane looking numbers were so cute!). We thought they'd never really fit into them, but at a few dollars each we couldn't pass them up. It's funny how we couldn't conceive of them ever getting any bigger than they were - they are so big now in our eyes! Elena is 12 pounds and Clara is 11 - quite a difference from the 4 lb-ish low they both had for weight in that first week.

And, as requested by Aunt Melissa, here is a picture of the girls' first Christmas tree, up and decorated:

Finally, it turns out that Elena really doesn't want to be photographed in a box, but this is the best shot we could get of her, and I post it here so in later years she doesn't feel left out that we embarrassed Clara on the Internet but not her:

Friday, December 7, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a lot like Christmas

Even though the girls won't remember this first Christmas, we're having such a fun time being able to enjoy the season as our new foursome, and we're continuing many traditions that Christina and Steve have started on their own or carried over from their families. We love that when the girls look back at pictures, they'll know that they were a part of the fun right from the start.

One tradition we love is that our neighborhood has a block party where we get together and caravan about an hour away to get our trees in the national forest. We stop at a great diner called Trixi's (named after a fantastic Montana legend of a woman truly before her time) and we all order burgers and fries. Then, we suit up (babies get snowsuits put on while laying on the pool table!) and head out to the forest for our tree search. Once they are cut down and tied to the cars, we tailgate with cookies and cocoa. It was pretty cold, so Christina and the girls waited in the car while Steve searched out the perfect tree, but we all got out together for the tailgating. The girls did great, and boy were they bundled up!

Elena, partially suited up to get going to find the Christmas tree.

Steve and Clara at Trixi's, doing the traditional "on with the snowsuit."

Christina with Clara at Trixi's, showing off some of the decor (Elena really did come with us, she was just sleeping).

Family of four, out in the mountains of Montana after having found the perfect tree.
We still just can't believe we're all together! What a happy holiday season.
Clara hangs out with Steve, after he returns from his hike to get us our tree.

Once we got the tree home, the girls were mesmerized by the lights. Clara particularly can stare at the lights for ages.

Clara through the tree - a poor showing of how intently she loves to look in at the lights.

We've been trying to get some good holiday pictures for the girls, hoping they could go in a card. We're not getting very far on the card front, since we can't get the picture we're hoping for (so don't think we don't love you - I don't think anyone will get a card from us this year!) but here are two outtakes - one of two girls sweetly sitting together (except that Elena is vacant and has some spit-up!) and another of Clara being one of the two best gifts we've ever received (other best gift, Elena, doesn't love the box quite so much!).

First outtake at a holiday card:
Second outtake at a holiday card:

Finally, Christina has been initiating the girls into the traditional cookie-baking that her family always undertakes. For the last week or so, we've been cooking together every day. The girls lie happily cooing as Christina narrates the process of making different Christmas treats. Here's a short video showing how this part of the day usually goes: