Monday, December 31, 2007

brand new cousin!

Derek Joseph Dowcett was born on December 29, 2007, at 1:03 am. What a cutie!
Proud parents Joey and Kim, cuddling the fruit of a very long labor. Dylan and Alexa can't wait to meet their new cousin.

the big day

Even though we forgot to leave him milk and cookies, Santa was a good sport and left some goodies for the kids.
The big gift was a wooden kitchen, though Alexa was more excited about the fact that Frosty was perched on one of the shelves.

Dylan couldn't believe that Santa had taken the time to assemble the puppet theatre Kaytie got for him and his sister.

Alexa enjoyed lounging in the fancy pink chair from her Uncle Joey and reading her new book of poems from Santa.

If we ever get some real snow, Dylan will be able to test out his snowshoes on the trail. He did sport the trekking poles for a while when he and I hiked up Sleeping Giant later in the day. After about 20 minutes, though, he handed them over to me, along with his backpack.

All in all, it was a good Christmas. It was the first year that both kids really got into it, which made it quite a treat for us as well. Of course, Alexa still thinks that Santa lives "at the mall," but overall, she gets it.

Christmas Eve at Auntie Annie's

These few photos can't possibly capture the craziness of our Family Christmas Eve at Annie and Bob's house in Waltham. Is there some kind of record for how many family members can be squeezed into a one-story house?Proud Papa Gregg (Merloni) with Little Alex.

Escaping the mayhem, Dylan and Alexa, who don't spend enough time with the extended family to have become accustomed to the crowd, watched "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" with Grammy.

Dylan enjoyed posing as the Fat Guy.

And Lexi was reluctant to give up the hat, thinking it possessed some sort of magical power.

family gift exchange

Christmas Eve has typically been the big holiday in my family. We headed up to Massachusetts and did a gift exchange with Grammy, Grampy, Joey, and Kaytie before going over to Auntie Ann's for the Extreme Family Gathering (we're talking wall-to-wall cousins, aunts, uncles, spouses).
Dylan's favorite gift was a Monster Trucks set, complete with paints and decals for customizing, from Uncle Joey, who always gets the perfect gifts.
Here's Alexa being tickled by Frosty.

And tickling Aunt Kaytie with her new turtle puppet, which came with the awesome puppet theatre that Kaytie bought for the kids.

Kat and I can't wait to hit the town sporting our matching caps and gloves.

The only thing missing, of course, was Michael, whose presence is always felt most heavily on holidays such as these. Mike, wherever you are, hopefully your Christmas was filled with Star Wars Guys, He-Man dolls, and a glass Barney Rubble.

Happy holidays. xoxoxoxox

O white stuff from heaven fall

Every once in a while, though not nearly often enough in this too-southern New England state, we get this stuff called "snow." When this happens, we arise as if filled with new life (well, after a few cups of coffee, that is), run for the barn, and retrieve the precious flexible flyer (which still looks pristine as a result of these snowless, mild winters. Never thought I'd be thinking with longing of those sub-zero degree days in Anchorage, where the frost bit my fingers harshly as I struggled to turn the ignition in my well-worn Subaru wagon).
Inspired by this fluffy manna from above, Dylan puts all ambivalent feelings toward his sister aside and, reveling in the crisp joy of winter, offers to pull her around the yard. (Usually such spontaneous acts of kindness are met with responses like, "No! Leave me 'lone! Ont Daddy do it!").

Here's to hoping those cute little sleds get some more use this winter. To snow!

talking politics

When asked what they thought of the presidential candidates for 2008, Dylan and Alexa had this to say:

Thursday, December 13, 2007

out of the mouths of babes

This morning, Dylan and Alexa were playing with Lexi's baby dolls, putting them to bed, changing their diapers, throwing them down on the floor--the usual. Lately, they've been experimenting with different family roles: sometimes, Lexi plays Dylan and Dylan plays Mommy, or Dylan plays Daddy and Lexi plays Dylan. Today, they tried a variation. Dylan said, "Lexi, let's play family. I'm Mommy."

To which Lexi replied, "I'm Bob Dylan."

As yet, she hasn't quite developed the role--the game continued on as if she were playing Daddy, or Mommy--but I'm looking forward to seeing where she takes it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

alexa turns two

My good friend Teresa sent Alexa this dress and hat just after she was born. I had almost forgotten about this outfit. Glad I found it. Lexi was in love with the hat and kept it on all day.
Trying on her new watch. At the end of the day, she looked at it and said, with a yawn, "It's bedtime, Mom."

For most of the party, Alexa and Molly, her pal from daycare, were inseparable.

Dylan took a liking to Lexi's new sleeping bag, and donned his backpack for a dining room excursion.

green party
We tried hard to keep the party as "green" as possible, and Bryan and I were pretty excited about how little waste was generated. We used cloth napkins, reusable plates and "silverware," cloth table covers, and reusable decorations.

We tried to institute a "no gifts" policy by writing a note to that effect on the invitations, but Lexi's friends and family are just too darn generous and couldn't resist the urge to bring something for the birthday girl. We couldn't complain, though, because the gifts were thoughtful--and many of them were in reusable bags :].