Monday, December 31, 2012

Say Goodbye to 2012 - Hello 2013

I must say that 2012 was a hell of a year! The birth of our daughter, moving, sister's wedding, Adriana's baptism, niece was born, then her baptism, going back to work, etc. I can say 2012 was definitely a FUN-filled year. My boyfriend and I are very thankful for many things - the biggest being Adriana! We hope that 2013 only brings more for us and our family. Here are some pictures from 2012 that really made it what it was....

 January 5th - Adriana was born.....the day our lives changed :)
 Daddy and Adriana on her first day home
 Adriana's Baptism
 Aunt Kim and Uncle Tim with Adriana - Moved to Australia in June
 Me, Loni, Kim and Jill at the rehearsal dinner
 The Happy Couple on their wedding day!
 Little Miss Audrey Marie is born in August
 Adriana's First Halloween
Adriana's first meeting with Santa

2012 was filled with many firsts for a few different people. Each and every person in our lives made an impact this year and we hope to share more with them in 2013. I will take the time to acknowledge those who we have loss in 2012 - You will be missed.

I want to wish everyone health, happiness and love in the New Year!
Hillside Mommy :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays 2012

 The 2012 Holiday Season is a big deal for my family. It is Adriana's very FIRST Christmas! She hasn't been able to experience the true holiday spirit of giving thanks, family and friends, presents, FOOD, or all the decorations. She doesn't quite understand it but she is definitely fascinated by the decorations! I am thankful she's been gentle enough to our tree (and others) that its still standing on this Christmas Eve Day. Very Thankful!

It has been a busy few days already but its one thing we love about Christmas. We get to see the family we don't see very often. We get to eat as much food as our little tummy can handle! and of course we get lots of presents too :D So far I think Adriana is loving the holidays and we're not even there yet! She was pretty darn good yesterday with people around from my boyfriend's side of the family. It was nice to see everyone after a few months. She was friendly to everyone - went around and said "hey!" to each cousin, aunt, uncle and great grandparents :) There was great food (as always) and found out my boyfriend's Gran makes Lemon Squares....MY FAVOURITE! They were delicious.

Today it will a little more low key. We plan to spend time together as a family and later take Adriana to her first Christmas mass as a tradition. The same thing we always did when we were young. After church we will most likely spend it with my sister's in-laws. We don't see them often either! Tomorrow will be by far the busiest day. IT'S CHRISTMAS!! We start with possibly the earliest rise since I was 7yrs old for Christmas morning. Heading down the street to see my boyfriend's mom, sister in law, his brother and their kiddies for breakfast. Exchange gifts and head back down to our house to open our own with Adriana. Then we will get ready and head over to my parents house for the night. This is the part my mom is REALLY looking forward too.

I know Christmas isn't all about presents (they are nice though!) and we want Adriana to remember the true meaning of the holidays. Its nice to receive gifts but its never expected. It's about being together as a family and enjoying the time you do have. No work, no phones, no computers....just family time. This is the one holiday I look forward to more than my own birthday every year! I know Adriana will have a difficult time between the two since they're only 11days apart! Once we get through the holidays - Her birthday is just around the corner. Since this is her FIRST birthday....I started planning in November lol I hope its everything she wants and more!!

From my family to yours....Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Red Velvet Peppermint Holiday Cookies - YUM YUM!

The Holidays are pretty much here and with all the chocolate being passed around at work...I feel I had to do my share and have a holiday bake off! Tomorrow is the last day of work before Christmas and tonight my sister and I decided to bake a delicious batch (or two!) of cookies. I found an eye catching picture on Pinterest and jumped on the idea!!

Red Velvet Peppermint Cookies. Yes. Red Velvet - COOKIES! Delicious and can be presented in so many different ways.

What you need:
1pkg Red Velvet Cake mix
1pkg Cream Cheese (8oz)
1/2cup butter
1-1/2tsp vanilla
1 large egg
1/2cup icing sugar (sprinkle ontop)
1pkg Hersey Candy Cane kisses (unwrapped)

Preheat oven to 350F. Soften cream cheese in mixing bowl, add butter and mix well. Add vanilla and egg to mixture and blend well until all ingredients have been combined; except the kisses and icing. Using an ungreased baking sheet, spoon mixture leaving about 2" in between each cookie. Sprinkle icing sugar over top each cookie. Bake for approximately 11mins with baking rack in the middle of the oven. Once done, remove from baking sheet and let cool on a rack or cutting board. Place one Hersey kiss in the center of each cookie (they slightly melt and taste delicious!!)

Prep Time: 15mins
Cooking Time: 11mins
Servings: 2 dozen (24 cookies)

These cookies turned out to be so soft, fluffy, delicious and not too sweet. I love the added peppermint flavour and was planning to chop the kisses up and add to the batter before cooking or sprinkle the chopped up pieces on top. There are so many different ways to make this recipe your own!

Happy Holidays from Hillside Mommy :)

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Went a Little Crazy This Year

OMG.....Christmas is just over a week away!

I really thought I was going to be one of those people who waited until the very last minute to do their shopping. I figured with me having to go back to work, a new baby, bad weather, lack of energy, and everything else, that I would be just too overwhelmed! As much of that is true....I somehow found the energy to do a little at a time. I'm not going to lie, I truly took advantage of Black Friday deals in Canada. Half my shopping was done by the end of November. The rest was fairly simple. A gift card here, some toys there....and BAM its done! But the hardest part is wrapping it all - for some. I LOVE WRAPPING PRESENTS!!
Seriously people...L-O-V-E it! It makes me think about the surprise people get on that special day. I also enjoy seeing all the presents all wrapped together in one big pile. Makes me proud! I was able to buy gifts for everyone on my list. A sense of accomplishment. Its wonderful, especially when you really feel like you never had the time to do it all!

This year I might have gone a bit crazy....

Not in the head but shopping wise. I don't know how many times I said "Adriana is all done for Christmas" and then go out and buy something else for her. Yesterday I spent another $100 on clothes for her! I totally justified it in my head - She would look SOOOO cute in this....
Which only lead to several outfits, sleepers, chocolate, another toy, and one tired Mommy! I just want to make sure she has a special Christmas every year just like I did. After all this shopping...I'm probably going to have a hard time getting her a birthday present!!
Tomorrow we get her invitations and our Christmas cards...yes I know I'm cutting it close! Most people are around during the Holidays that I can hand deliver them. Others will have to understand this is my first family Christmas...I promise next year will be better!! Thank you in advance :)

We have somewhat finalized our plans for the Holidays this year. Those we don't get to see at Christmas, we hope to see you at Adriana's Birthday! We start with The Ellis family gathering on Sunday for some food, company and presents. Then Christmas Eve will be a family tradition again of going to church, then relaxing with some wine and food. Christmas day will be the BUSIEST day of our entire year. Every year. First an early breakfast with Nana, Aunt Laura, Uncle Jay and cousins Aiden and Audrey. Exchange our gifts then quickly walk back down the street (they live 8houses away!) and open our gifts at home. We will get all dolled up and head over to my parents house. We will open presents while we cook Jigs dinner. Some Christmas music on in the background while we play with our new gifts and munch on candy until dinner is served early evening.
 No Christmas would be complete without the hour long photoshoot in front of the tree of all the couples and families. This should be interesting for Adriana. As much as she loves her picture being taken, I'm not sure how she will do when its 3 cameras at once?

Regardless of how we spend our Christmas this year, it has always been a great one. I am beyond excited for Adriana...for many years to come! I really hope she loves everything we got her and the presents from everyone else! I specifically cleaned out her closet and dresser to make room for new clothes!! As well as planned some great storage solutions for everything else. There is going to be one spoiled little girl this holiday season.....Love You Adriana More Than Anything!!!!

Thank to Aunt Laura for Adriana's beautiful new hat! It looks awesome on her :) I always keep all the handmade gifts from people. This will definitely go in the box after this winter!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Daddy Daycare

I have been back to work for a few weeks now. Which means my boyfriend will be the full time caretaker for the next few months! I've written before about Letting Men Become Dads and how important it is for your child to have bonding time with them. I have to admit that although I was a bit nervous at really didn't take long to ease up! This was our first baby and despite having little to no experience with babies prior to Adriana, I must say my boyfriend has really taken on the role of being a DAD. Adriana approves!

I was worried he wouldn't keep her on the same schedule lol This was a big thing for me since she was so used to doing things a certain way and I didn't want Adriana to be all out of sorts while I had to go to work. That little girl had has so much fun with her Daddy!! Seriously....for all the times we went to the mall or to the Ontario Early Years Centers or Tim Horton's for lunch, she really loved spending time with her Dad! It was probably harder for me to let go than for her lol I never once had a concern about her health or food choices - it was the amount of playtime; specifically television time.

My first week back was hard enough because of the early hours but it was nice to come home and not have the home look like a tornado ran through it! Dishes are done, laundry is going, Little Missy has been fed appropriately, Tyson is laying on the couch. All I have to do is work something up for dinner! Not a bad deal considering everything. It really made my transition to the working world better knowing I don't have to come home and do all that normal stuff all the time! Note to Dads: Please consider the amount of pressure Mommy has when returning to work after SEVERAL months of being a so called "housewife" - laundry, vacuuming, dusting, diapers, dishes, beds, dog, Christmas tree, groceries, pictures, etc. The list goes on. To my boyfriend, Thank you!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Happy 11mths Adriana!

It has been 334 days or 8016 hours or......11months since Adriana was born! We really could not ask for a better baby :) She's beautiful...gorgeous! she's so smart...way more than we expected and shes such a character already. Her personality fills my heart with warmth and laughter every day. I can't believe she has learned so much already!

In the past month she has been able to really fine tune those skills from last month. Words are clearer, she is really recognizing people (Gran, Grandad, Nana, etc.) and it seems she has passed the separation anxiety stage completely :) She also remembers characters from shows and commercials plus dogs! She knows what Tyson looks like in comparison to Miko (my mom's dog) and Tango (Aunt Jill's dog).

The one thing I am a bit amazed by is her appetite! She always ate well no doubt but the variety of food we have let her try - and she liked - is amazing! Prime example: Tonight my boyfriend grilled us some nice sirloins, while I steamed some broccoli and baked some Crescent rolls. I held off on giving her the jarred food until after we were done. I cut my steak in half and cut up her half into bite size pieces (she only has 3 teeth remember!) and broke apart some broccoli as well, about a cup full. She ate everything. On top of the steak and broccoli, she had a small jar of sweet potatoes and half a big jar of Banana graham pie!! This little porker just went to the doctors on Monday - weighed in at 22lbs and 77cm tall :) I hope these eating habits continue. So far so good.

She has been able to take 10 whole steps by herself. Although she's nervous, she is progressing at her own pace. She takes some steps and then takes a break for a few days. We really encourage her to do it on her own and praise her when she does! Its amazing that she's been doing this much already. I hope that by Christmas or her Birthday she will be able to walk around all on her own more!

Adriana, Mommy and Daddy love you so much!! We can't wait to celebrate you very FIRST birthday in another month. Even sooner, we can't wait to celebrate your very FIRST Christmas too!! We promise to work hard and give you everything you need and could ask for. At the same time, we plan to teach you the way and guide you as best we can in the right direction to live a full life!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Meeting Santa for the First Time

Tonight we decided to take Adriana to see Santa up close and personal. A few weeks ago we were having a blast at the Santa Claus Parade. She loved all the floats, especially the cadets and bands! Basically, she liked the ones that made the most noise lol What would Christmas be without having Santa pictures taken? She JUST missed Christmas last year - by 11 days. So needless to say this year I want to go all out.

I have explained how much my family loves Christmas - my mom goes all out with decorating! I always appreciated it and I want Adriana to have the same reaction. I want her to look forward to it as much as I did as a kid. No matter what parents always made sure we had a great Christmas! Lots of presents, big-fully stuffed stockings, family and a TON of food! I know she's still young but if I start now...she will look forward to it by next year at least!

I want her to have the pictures to remind her of how much fun it was, how much love and thought went into it all...I want her to have the same feelings that I have about Christmas.

....I just have to remember that SANTA IS REAL for the next 10-12years!! LOL

 Classic First timer photo....Love this!

 Now we try with Daddy in it too....

...Still didn't work but GREAT pic!! <3

These pictures were taking at Square One Mall. We got a 5x7 and a CD with all the pictures (7) for $35. Not a bad deal. Only waited for maybe 5-10mins and there was only 2 others in front of us. I definitely recommend going during the week!! We thought it was going to be much worse than it was but wanted to do it as soon as we could. The longer you wait...the closer it gets to only gets more busy.