Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

Celebrations – A Photo Dump

on December 30, 2014

You’ll have to excuse my long absence – I’ve been busy partying.

No, seriously. We can’t stop. It is bordering on over-the-top. I love it.

Two weeks ago, I (conveniently) enlisted my family members to write about Tessa’s birth. While they did that, I camped out in my kitchen and baked for 6 days straight. Cookies for neighbors who decorated our shared walkway with twinkly Christmas lights, goodie bags for my amazing department at school with some of the most dedicated, hardworking teachers around, pudding ‘cupcakes’ for Miss Tessa’s first birthday party… and then chicken chili and posole and black bean salsa for the party. My bakeware was tired. My oven was tired. My feet were tired. But the party was just getting started.

Saturday, we celebrated Tessa’s first birthday.

What the heck is this hat, Mom???


Oh, there’s cake involved?  Well, alright then.


Group pictures are a challenge… Especially when Mama Bear insists that all party-goers must wear hats.


And John insisted I take a picture of myself in the hat and “photoshop” myself in.  And since I don’t know anything about photoshop, I’m just sharing it here.


Sunday, we took a break. But only because I had a migraine (and John had to finish his Christmas shopping).

Monday, in the absence of snow, we celebrated rain.




Tessa and I stayed inside, where it was warm and dry. 🙂


Tuesday, there was a new addition to our family. Welcome, Baby Tony, and congrats to my brother and his lovely wife.




Wednesday, our Christmas Eve celebration with Oma and Papa (John’s parents) included a Happy Birthday Jesus cake, decorated by our own little cake boss.








We also got ready for Santa.  Ellie read some books and left cookies by the fireplace, which was actually an amazing feat because Ellie is terrified of the big guy in red.


The following pictures are blurry because our scared-y cat kept running away.  The idea of a creepy stranger breaking into the house to deliver anything, even a Mermaid Barbie, was horrifying. 


Get me outta here!!

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On Thursday, Christmas was just plain lovely…

Ellie says, “Ack!!  Santa made a mess on the fireplace!!”  Also, there was no snow in Chicago for Christmas,so I’m not sure how Santa left snowprints, but the little ones didn’t catch that little blunder.


Where is everyone??  I want to open presents!!

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Grapefruits with my dad – an annual tradition…




Until dinner, when all of the children had had enough and all of the adults had had enough. There were lots of (toddler) tears at the dinner table, so naturally, there were plenty of adult beverages to get us through as well.

On Friday, we ditched our kiddos at my parents’ house and celebrated the birthdays of John’s very best friends. It’s a big year for us… The Big Three Oh. You know we’re getting old when the main topic of conversation at the bar table is how the live band is too loud…. 😉



Saturday was the big, extended family celebration for Christmas and a little white elephant exchange. I came home with a little ice cream maker (which, for the record, doesn’t work. At. All.)

Group child pictures… there are 30 on my phone and these are the best two… crazy kids.


IMG_7205  White elephant fun…




Queen Ellie and King George


How we knew the night needed to be over…


Sunday’s celebration was the end of a painful Bears season. And because we have heard “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” far, far too many times (see Ellie’s video here), the Christmas decorations came down. It was a week earlier than usual, but really, we had to stop the madness. I have never been more thankful to hear my child sing Let it Go. It was that bad.

We let Ellie feed Tessa… they both loved it.


We wrapped up ten days of celebrating today with a visit from one of my dearest friends and her family.

So now, it’s December 30th and we’re just kind of lounging.  Tomorrow for New Years Eve, I think we’ll do…. nothing.

Happy Holidays!!


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