Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas! Part One


My Christmas post is going to be a long one, so I've divided it up into two parts.  We had Christmas at our house which was probably a good thing considering the arrival of the puppy.  As is our usual, we got dressed up for Christmas Eve.

I wore one of Janice's gorgeous velvet, Batik skirts.  I asked Gordy to take a photo of me to show Janice, but this blurry shot is the best that he took.  


And I felt very warm and glamorous all evening.

Pippa Middleton enjoyed her first holiday at her new forever home.  And she really loved having ten extra people around to hold her and love her.


Having ten extra pairs of eyes on her did not guarantee that she remained accident-free, sadly.

My nephew Owen (who is now two and a half) was less impressed with all the extra people.  His usual Party of Three is more to his liking, but I was proud to say that by the end of the week, he was no longer yelling "Good Bye" every time he saw me!


I made a new cocktail - a prosecco, limoncello, raspberry mix that was stupendous, if I do say so myself.


The children drank sparkling apple juice - no need to panic or report me to the DCS.



We took our traditional photos by the fireplace (more to come in the next post):


All the girl cousins were coincidentally color-coordinated which was nice.




Owen missed out on the group present opening on Christmas Eve as he has a sensible bedtime, but he did get to open a few gifts while we ate appetizers.


Owen said a merry "Happy Birthday!" after each new present arrived.  

His statement is one that Josie hopes will replace her "I ALMOST wanted this!" comment when she was three and is still the running joke of the Christmas holidays (Josie's comment replaced Avery's "Pink Glubs!" exclamation, but sadly, until the grandchildren arrive or someone else says something embarrassing, Owen's will stay in our minds).


Sorry, Owen.  


Stay tuned for Part Two.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Josie's Holiday Concert (in a bank)


My holiday blog hiatus is over but now I have a lot of catching up to do.  I'll start where I left off - before Christmas.  Josie and her cello partner, Eva, played holiday music in the lobby of a local bank.  Brooke was still at our house, so she came to watch / listen as well.  

Josie and Eva (and the other cello students who participated in the concert) played their instruments in an office balcony that overlooked the bank lobby.  


They played a few holiday hits:  Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, Away In A Manger and Up On A Housetop.


They sounded surprisingly good!


After their performance, the girls went down to the lobby where they stuffed their faces with donuts and had their photo taken with Santa.


I also managed to get a photo of Josie with Brooke, so we would we would have a record of her visit.


The concert was a nice addition to our holiday.  It was short but sweet and it was great to hear all the progress that Josie and Eva have made this fall in their cello lessons.  Later that afternoon, we took Brooke to the airport so she could fly home to her family in Idaho.  

We also had afternoon plans:  we met up with Gordy's parents and his sister, brother-in-law and two nephews for dinner in Boston.  Gordy captured the grandkids by the hotel Christmas tree.


from l to r:  Josie (9), Ned (11), Georgia (12), Henry (14), Zach (16)




Monday, December 22, 2014

Friday Night With Brooke



Pippa Middleton has discovered the joys of her Cuddle Cup bed.  And it's a good thing she got a lot of rest Friday afternoon, because on Friday evening, Brooke came to stay with us on route home for Christmas break from Wellesley.

Pippa loves meeting new people and so she was thrilled to meet Brooke.

Pippa is also teething, so she was thrilled to be able to chew on Brooke's fingers, arms, ears, nose and sweatshirt.


The teething is really out of control.


Pippa Middleton's witching hour is between 7-8pm.


She's awake, she's well rested and she's ready to go.


Frankly, we were all happy to have Brooke around to share some of the Pug Playing Duties.




Sadly, Brooke left Saturday afternoon, but The Southerns arrive today (Monday) which we are all very much looking forward to.  I'm hosting Christmas here in Massachusetts this year, so my blog posting might be rather sporadic.  Sorry in advance.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

Happy Hannukah!




Happy Hanukkah everyone!  We did a little cheating this year and opened up all our Hanukkah presents from Lois and Harvey on the first night before dinner.  

I got out our Hanukkah placemats to celebrate and we hung the first flame on our cloth Menorah.  


Unwrapping all the presents on the first night was too tempting to resist.


Lois and Harvey always pick out wonderful presents.


Each child got different presents and each gift was special.


This has been a busy week and Gordy was answering emails during the present-opening and I sat on the floor entertaining Pippa Middleton.

Here was my view:


With every day, Pippa gets more and more comfortable at her new home and she's getting more and more playful (read:  more and more work).  I'm glad that she's happy with us, but I'm also happy when the kids get home from school and I can have a break!







Thank you so much, Lois and Harvey!  Thank you for making Hanukkah so special for Henry, Georgia, and Josie and thank you for the wonderful presents.  

Happy Hanukkah!


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pippa Middleton


I warned you to expect a Pippa Middleton photo over-load.

We had a busy but enjoyable weekend getting to know our new puppy and helping her get to know us,


I wouldn't say that we have a routine yet.  The good thing about getting a puppy on a Friday night is that you have two full weekend days to devote to her care, the bad news is that a weekend is not a typical day and its hard to know how life will change when you get back to your "real life."

One of the many reasons we waited five years between dogs is that we are really busy and I just couldn't envision how we'd fit taking care of a dog into our crazy schedule.  

But this weekend was fun and Pippa is sweet and easy to love and I'm sure we'll do great.


Pippa is already a fan of our yard - she happily struts about amongst the hibernating plants and dormant grass.

She is also a big fan of the houseguest - both of the girls invited friends over to meet the new puppy and Pippa greeted them both with enthusiasm.


She's definitely teething.  Nothing is safe from puppy canines at our house.  Her favorite chew toys are a nubby puppy nyla bone and Henry's timberland boots.



It is our plan to keep Pippa off most of our furniture but Gordy broke the rule on Sunday while "watching" Pippa while also watching a football game on tv.  Pippa fell asleep on Gordy's lap and he figured she wouldn't remember that she spent her nap on the sofa when she woke up.  And his back was hurting him on the floor.


She was pretty out of it, so he's probably right.



I brought Pippa to the vet this morning and she weighs in at a pitiful 3lbs 10oz and the doctor wants her to start eating more.  We'll have to find another kibble because she hasn't shown any interest in the kibble we have now (which was given to us by the breeder, oh well.)


The adventure has begun.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Our Week So Far


This is going to be a short post because I am really preoccupied at the moment.  I have a sleeping pug puppy on my lap and she isn't all that pleased when I move my left hand from supporting her side to type on my keyboard.  We had a busy, busy week.  I finished the redecoration of Georgia's bedroom in time for our Christmas guests to arrive.  I wish I had a "before" photo to show you but the room was really too ugly to photograph.  Consider yourself spared.  When we moved into this house five years ago, each child picked their own room color and I did a quick decoration from there.  Henry got a blue room, Josie chose pink and Georgia chose neon green.  It was a blinding, putrid, neon green and it made you feel nauseous if you stayed in the room too long.  After our ice dams and all the water damage, I had the painter tone down the neon color and while I found the new color more tolerable, Georgia never liked it.  There was endless complaining, but zero funds to do anything about it.  

Fast forward a few years and Georgia was outgrowing her twin bed.  And like I said, we have guests coming and it's hard to ask a full-grown couple to camp out in a twin bed with a pop-up trundle.  Georgia picked a new room color:  tiffany box blue (which I promptly told her was too bold and we toned down two degrees).  I found an inexpensive, full-sized bed on One Kings Lane, we reused an old comforter, pillows we bought for our block island house and never found a spot for, and we used an old bench we had from our old house as a bedside table.  The big purchase for the room was the rug, but I thought it was worth it to have a carpet that actually fit the space.  The marque sign was a total score from Home Goods and I got them to drop the price because one of the lightbulbs was broken.  

I still have more to do in the room.  We had a giraffe photo I took at Disney World a few years ago enlarged but it's still at the framers.  That will go over Georgia's new desk and that blue wall file needs to be attached to the wall.  At some point, I'd like the replace Georgia's bookshelf (which you can't see in these photos) with something lighter and I'd like to add a chair for reading, but that will have to come later.  


I'm still happy with the way it all turned out.  

But that's not the only exciting thing happened this week.  Please welcome... 


Pippa Middleton!

We brought her home on Friday afternoon and we've been falling in love with her ever since.

So far, she's been a great puppy.  She's very friendly and very loving.  She seems thrilled to see each one of us whenever we enter the room.  We're moving slowly, as far as introducing her to the house.  She mainly lives in our kitchen but she's spent time in the family room and in the basement playroom.  For the time being, we have her sleeping in a crate in our room at night, but it's our eventual plan to let her sleep in the kids rooms with them. 


She's teething like mad and she's learning to use the outside toilet.


The kids are in love, Gordy and I are in love... it's been a great transition.


I'm a little nervous about being on my own with her on Monday, but she and I will get into a routine quickly, I'm sure.  


And the kids will be able to help once they are home from school.  


One really fun thing that happened is that I posted a photo of Josie holding Pippa Middleton on my instagram feed and it got picked up by Pugs of Instagram and it got over 26,000 likes!  


Pippa Middleton Elliot is famous!


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