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This month’s excitement was highlighted by Maddie’s first Christmas, and Grandma came to visit to boot!  The last time my mom had seen Maddie was when she was two weeks old, so this was a very different baby she was greeted with!  She enjoyed getting to know this little munchkin immensely, and they had a blast together.  I get all nostalgic when I look at the left picture, because compare it to a picture of them from mom’s last visit (right) – not quite the same baby who fit on her lap before!

Mom got in on Christmas Eve evening.  Our tradition growing up had been to have a Christmas Eve feast – a smorgasbord of appetizers/finger foods.  I wasn’t able to recreate our feast perfectly, but we made an effort and did a little CEF (Christmas Eve Feast).

Christmas Eve Platter

We had an amazing Christmas with all of the kids and the boys’ cousin, Jayden.  We had all of K’s family together, and my mom here.  Even KC’s sister, Jade, made a surprise visit from school overseas.  Maddie stayed up late awaiting Jade’s arrival on Dec. 23.

There was a lot of love in the air!  And Maddie, of course, got completely spoiled on Christmas Day.  She got her own chair, complete with attached remote and book; her own remote control; her own tablet; a multitude of books and toys/rattles, etc; a dance mat, hand-knit socks from mom’s friend, Preston, and lord knows what else.  Our house became alive with noisy toddler toys, and my budget went kaput since everything needs batteries!

Also, my Mom and I had a tradition where I was given a Christmas ornament every year growing up.  Most of mine were horse or horse-related, because…..well…..I was a horse-lover pretty much from birth, LOL!  Here is Maddie’s first ornament from Grandma:

Maddie's First Ornament

Nana got Maddie some bows to go in her hair, which we promptly tried out – soooooo cute!  The poor girl wore herself out on Christmas day, and needed to take an afternoon nap.  I completely understand; I was right there with her!  Luckily, Grandma was there to save the day.

One of my conundrums as Christmas approached was how to keep the seven-and-one-half month old baby from decimating my Christmas tree, that I had painstakingly put together.  I decided that putting some heavy things in the tree box and then wrapping that and putting it in front of the tree would be a good solution, and it was.  She “cruised” all along the box, but wasn’t able to get to the tree.  Genius!!!

After the official holiday, mom and I spent some time together with Maddie.  We took a nice walk around Shelley Lake in the brisk, but not too cold, weather.
Walk in the Park

After mom left, we continued our adventures throughout the month.  Maddie had her first experience with Cheetos.  She. Was. In. Heaven!

Part of the reason I love living in the South is that we get random lovely days during the winter.  We had one, and invited Maddie to join us outside on the patio, in her chair, which she did.  She was so proud to sit like a big girl with the grown-ups.  All she wants to do is mimic what she sees us and her siblings do, so she really enjoyed this!

Maddie in Chair

Since Maddie started “cruising” this month by pulling herself up on and walking along things, we decided to get her a walker to assist.  She loves the thing.  Every time she gets behind it and gets started walking, she has a huge grin on her face.  We didn’t do anything fancy for our 8-month pictures this month.  We have the stickers that we’ve tried to put on her shirts, but that became pointless a couple of months ago, because she immediately pulls the sticker off and just wants to play with it or eat it!  So we decided to put the sticker on the walker, which kind of worked….





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