Tuesday, December 28, 2010


i forgot to upload these photos the other day from when we made snow ice cream. so sweet.....


we got a boatload of new dress up clothes for christmas, including a firefighter outfit. here is otto trying it out......

christmas morning 2010

above is the slideshow of pictures from christmas morning, plus a few from christmas eve. you can watch it here or click on it to watch it on picasa.

not to be too cheesy, but seeing the holidays through the eyes of your children is truly what it's all about. they were so excited about every little thing!

when we got home from joe's parents on christmas eve, the kids opened a christmas book that we got for them. i am hoping to give them a christmas book every year. there are so many beautiful christmas books out there, and it's been neat to hear the kids talk about "baby jesus" and "the three wisemen". then we put out cookies and milk for santa. i tried to talk greta into leaving carrots for the reindeer, but she was convinced they could just share the cookies with santa. otto was unfortunately traumatized by the cookie event. he apparently thought we were putting the cookies on the plate for HIM to eat, and he was a mess of tears when we said he couldn't eat them, that they were for santa. when he woke up christmas morning, the first thing he said was, " cookies? otto eat? santa!"
both kids were so excited to open their gifts. we continued the idea of getting them each 3 gifts from santa (like jesus got from the 3 wisemen)and then a gift from mama and papa. they have no idea about what gifts were from who, but i think in the years ahead it will keep us in touch with the true meaning of the day and we can keep it scaled down a bit. it was such a beautiful morning. we opened gifts, ate pancakes, and then stayed in our pjs and played with all the new toys all day long.

speaking of pajamas, these jammies make me laugh. they are hand-me-downs from the ford cousins (LOVE), and i think they are "vintage" rudolph jammies. both otto and greta thought it was hilarious to have matching pajamas....even though otto's were a bit big and he was slipping all over the place because the footies no longer have any traction, we had to wear them for christmas morning!!
merry christmas!!

otto's favorite new game

this is otto's new favorite pasttime. we call it the, "stand by your bed and suck your thumb" game. he's been doing this a lot the past few days when we are in his room playing. he'll just go over, reach his left arm between the bars to rub his hand on the sheet while he sucks on his right thumb. hope it doesn't throw him too much when we move him to a new bed (and new room) to make way for the baby.....

Monday, December 27, 2010

beauty and babies

like i mentioned, otto has really been into all the gifts that greta got for christmas. this works out well when she feels like sharing and they can play together, but often it doesn't end so well. they have both been VERY into a "beauty set" and also some doll accessories (the front carrier is pictured on both kids) from grandma and grandpa hansbauer. otto will ask to "play beauty" and will get the hairdryer or the nailpolish bottles.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

christmas farm

on the day after christmas, we decided to head to a christmas farm to check out their walking light display. and man, was it neat. but man, was it cold!! the wind was ridiculous. we bundled up the kids as best we could and check out the lights and the displays. at the end of the walk, there was a barn where you could come in and warm up with free hot chocolate and cookies. and bonus, we were there in time to check out the entertainment, a "juggler for jesus". i kid you not. the kids didn't seem to mind the cold at all and the lights were pretty neat.....

snow at grandpa's

on the morning of the day after christmas, we headed up to joe's parents to play in the snow. they got significantly more snow than we did, and the kids had fun playing in it for a short time. they went sledding down the driveway, made snow angels, made footprints. check out the slideshow above to see pictures.....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

nestheide christmas 2010

after christmas with my immediate family on saturday, we headed to christmas on sunday with my extended family. joe was again not feeling well, so i braved the festivities with the kiddos on my own. we had a ton of fun....i was a bit distracted having to chase the two kids around, but everyone was more than willing to hand otto or greta a cookie (or two or five) to help out. and i lucked out in the annual gift exchange...a giant cupcake baking pan!! sweet!!

tumblison christmas 2010

on saturday the 18th we headed to my mom's for christmas. joe has been battling migraines lately and he was having a doozy of one that day, so he wasn't able to go with us. the kids had fun playing with their cousins, and greta was thrilled with her dress up outfits from both grandma joan and uncle john and aunt jessica. i think she spent the entire party in various stages of undress. check out the slideshow above for pictures from the day.

festival of lights 2010

with frigid temperatures and a forecast for snow, we plowed forth with our plans to meet our friends, the burkholders, at the zoo for the festival of lights. as the snow began to fall and the streets covered quickly, we wavered but decided to brave it and head on out. it was snowing pretty good when we left our house, but luckily cincinnati road crews are much more efficient in the snow than newport, because the worst road conditions were from our house to the taylor-southgate bridge.

we (and the burkholders) arrived at the zoo safely, we discovered two things. one: that the festival of lights is GORGEOUS in the snow. and two: that not many other crazies brave the cold and snow to go to the zoo, so it was not crowded at all. perfect!! we had a great time checking out the sights with our friends. owen and greta mostly enjoyed playing in the snow that fell while we were there. thanks to the burkholders for a fun night!!


nothing like waking up to fresh powder!! even though it was pretty darn cold, we were all excited to get outside and play! otto had a good time playing in the snow, but it was greta who was loving it! otto and mama bailed after a short time, while papa and greta staying outside a while longer, throwing snowballs and attempting a tiny snowman. but i think greta's favorite thing to do in the snow is eat it. anytime she heads outside, she will swipe her gloved hand on something snow-covered and go to town. guess we need to have that "yellow snow" discussion.

joe's diner

after our visits to the krohn and duke energy, we finished off our evening with dinner at joe's diner. it was a perfect way to end the night!

busy christmas evening

last weekend joe and i were sitting around during the kids' naptime. it was raining outside, a sort of gloomy day. but i was itchin' to do something christmasy. we tossed around a few ideas and then settled on a few that were close (bonus), free (double bonus), indoors (triple bonus), and pretty neat-o.
when the kids woke up we headed to the krohn conservatory to see the live nativity and all the gorgeous poinsettias and christmas displays inside. side note...live nativity at the krohn does not mean LIVE people portraying the holy family. it simply means live animals.
the krohn was beautiful and i think even the kids were appreciating the beauty.

after the krohn we headed downtown to duke energy to see the train display. the line was pretty long, but the kids were occupied by the chocolate bars that workers handed out as you waited. there is something magical about the train display to me. there's just something old-fashioned or whimsical about it. it's not all hustle and bustle and lights and crazy santas and stuff. it's pushing open those HEAVY revolving doors and marveling in the trains. i was feeling sad about not putting the kids in their "holiday best" like so many other moms had done. my kids were in mismatched outfits that they had picked out themselves....greta with her bengals hat and hello kitty rainboots and too-small pants. and then i realized that their clothes didn't matter. not at all.

st. nick

we celebrated st. nick again this year, so greta and otto woke up on the morning of december 6th to their stockings full of goodies. you can see in the pictures what otto's favorite thing in the stockings was. greta thought getting oranges in her stocking was pretty neat. (growing up, i always got things like oranges and nuts in my stocking. joe thought this was crazy). they were both pretty tickled to see all the goodies from st. nick!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

gingerbread cookies

greta and i had a girls outing last night to meg and addie's house. papa and otto stayed home and played legos while mama hung out with the girls and greta and addie decorated gingerbread men. all of the pictures i took show greta hard at work, but in reality she consumed so much candy and icing that she could barely eat any pizza for dinner! greta and addie played so well together all evening. thanks meg for having us!!

otto and the chair

while greta was creating at her easel, otto was busy getting himself stuck in this chair. greta likes to sit down while she draws at the easel, often pulling up a chair or a stepstool. otto has followed suit, which usually means that drawing at the easel turns into a power struggle of whose chair is where and who has more room. sibling rivalry already. otto had enough of the struggle, so just gave up on coloring and focused on his chair. little stinker.


greta has been drawing more and more representational pictures lately. the other day she drew a ladder (bottom photo). then she drew a "therm-monitor". we have been watching frosty the snowman and she is sort of obsessed with how frosty melts when the "therm-monitor" gets red. you can see her thermometer drawing in the middle photo.....see the really bold red line!!
the drawing them morphed into an apple tree, complete with leaves and a brown trunk. i love it. i just love watching her create and draw things from her own mind....

snuggle buddies

otto really likes to lay in greta's bed. greta is not usually a fan of this, but on this day she thought it was tolerable.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

she keeps on writing

after greta wrote "greta", she wrote mama (the bottom photo), otto and papa (the top photo, otto on top and then papa below it). she sounded out mama and papa on her own, so she actually wrote "M O M O" and "P O P O", since the sounds she hears in those words are the short 'o' sound (like in hot or dog).

way to go greta! this was really hard work for her, and she worked so hard and was so proud. it takes a TON of strength and control to be able to manipulate a pencil to write letters.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

greta writes greta

tonight while i was cleaning up after dinner, greta was at her easel. she asked if i could help her write an "r". she said she was writing her name and had already written the g. i showed her how to write an r, and then she wrote it next to the g she had already written. then she said, "i know what comes next and i know how to write it" and she wrote an "e" and a "t". then she asked me how to write an "a", so i showed her and then she wrote one. and here it is....
g...r...e...t...a. she wrote her name all by herself!! can you see it? i could stare at this picture forever, i think it's so amazing. and she was so proud. i mean, SO proud. and guess what she did next??

Sunday, December 5, 2010

a girl and her papa

hot chocolate

after we decorated the tree, we decided to have hot chocolate. for greta, this needed to include "snuggling under a blanket". great photo op! listening to christmas music, watching our kids snuggle together sitting next to our christmas tree....i don't think the holidays get any better.