The purpose of this blog is to capture some of the high lights and low lights of just normal day to day life. Our life is loud, busy, and fast, but we love it!


Preparing to Celebrate a Birthday

I love our family traditions that we have made as "D'Amato's". Yes, some were adopted from our own childhood memories, some from ideas friends have given us, and a few we have created ourselves-all of which are special and wonderful.

One of the girls favorite Christmas activities is making a birthday cake for Jesus....that is why we celebrate Christmas. The girls help add ingredients, stir it up, and sometimes lick clean the spoon! This year I felt they were old enough to frost it themselves...the perfectionist in me hates it, but the loving mother in me always wins!

During the month of December my girls earn 'hay' for kind deeds, acts of unselfishness, respect, just things that really characterize Godly traits. They get so excited each time they get a piece-never knowing when one is coming. This 'hay' is used to make the bed that baby Jesus will be on Christmas morning. They have a Little People nativity set but baby Jesus is not there until Christmas morning. This year they were so proud of themselves for finding where I placed him....hilarious.

When they wake up Christmas morning this is what they see....I just love the idea that Jesus is born on a bed of hay made by the good deeds and actions of the girls.
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Christmas morning....the girls all enjoying some birthday cake after singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. What a way to start the day! We do not open gifts until we give our first time to Him.

A Christmas Eve Miracle....well, sort of

Christmas Eve Chiara had been really playing with her second loose tooth-the other bottom middle, next to the one she had already lost.

Well, by evening she had worked it so much that it was really wiggling. She wanted it out.....well, she wanted it out without pain. HA! I helped her move it around and after about 25 minutes the back roots were snapped off and we were in it until the end at that point.

Chiara is so much like her mother it makes me laugh. A very low threshold for pain....though as the mother watching her little breathing ritual made me laugh. After 45 minutes I had David come over to give it that final twist and pull....FINALLY! It was out and we could finally get this tired...and very happy....little girl to bed so we could set up for Christmas.

I never would have though that at 5 1/2 years old she would have lost 2 teeth. Wow.
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Carrying On Great Traditions

One of the fondest childhood memories I have from Christmas time is making Christmas cookies and decorating them. I can even remember the Crayola table in Gloucester when we were very young. It really brings joy to my soul. I love making those type of memories with my girls. We are not really a 'sweets' kind of family so Christmas is our time to indulge.

Here is Daddy helping Mayah with her dough....I love when he gets in there too! Miss Leah did not really participate in making the shaped cookies this year-not that she could not, but she thought the dough was playdough and made just one heck of a mess!
Leah would not wear the personalized aprons Nanny bought the girls during the gingerbread house fun but this time she asked "apron on!". Yay! She was beaming!!!!!

Due to the fact that Mayah cannot have red food dye it makes decorating Christmas cookies difficult. We have done just plain white in the past, but the girls so badly want color. So, my brilliant idea this year (and cost saving too) was to cook down frozen strawberries and add that to some frosting. Perfect. They were so happy!!!!!!
Here is Leah working on some cookies. I think she was purposely pressing down with the brush sop she could "accidentally" break and eat the cookies! LOL!!!!
Mayah was so into coloring as many as possible. In fact she was at the table long after the other girls had left.
Chiara does not stop to look and smile-she is always concentrating and thinking about her design. She is our artist!
Our finished product! They were all so happy. We are bring some to our cookie exchange party today. I love the little strawberry flavor the frosting adds. Yum!


A Weekend of Christmas Fun, Part 1

Casa Grande puts on a yearly light parade that I am convinced the entire city comes out for. It really is a fun time and we enjoy cheering for all the floats and it makes for a great start to the Christmas season.

We pack sandwiches for dinner because we need to get out there plenty early if we want a good spot.
Here we all are eating and waiting for the sun to set. I just love that the grandparents and great grandparents come down for this. These are memories that my children will cherish-I know I do!

After the parade we all come back to the house so everyone can use the potty before heading home. The girls got in their new Christmas PJ's we bought them. The 2 big girls decided to tackle Nanny-who is fairly helpless! My girls just exude joy when they are around their grandparents and great's this time of the year that I am beyond grateful that they all live out here!

Another night David took the 2 big girls on a first of many walks around the neighborhood to see the lights on the houses. The girls love this! They also love any excuse to wear the winter jackets Nanny has bought them....they have no idea what 'real' cold is! I love when they come back and tell me about their favorite decorations. I take them on car rides around town and I am sure I will be joining them all for a walk soon.
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Gingerbread Houses With Nanny & Grampy

This year we did not have it in the schedules to have the three girls do a sleepover at Nanny and Grampy's to make their gingerbread houses, so the gingerbread houses came to us! This was Leah's first year making one....she was a bit grumpy starting off (waking from a nap) and would not wear her new personalized "Baking with Nanny!" apron, but she ended up having a blast and providing us with some good laughs....I never saw a gingerbread man suspended from his own house!

I am pretty sure Mayah ate more frosting than she used....needless to say she was WIRED after!
The girls make lovely houses...displayed in our home and until recently were untouched (Miss leah discovered she could unwrap, eat half of a santa and stick it back on!). No food dye in the products used-Nanny even found fake candy canes! She rocks!!!
Poor Mister Gingerbread Man!
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Update...much needed

It is not that we have not had anything going on to write about.....just too much going on to sit and write! Most days I feel like I am still playing "catch up" from being sick for over 6 weeks of this pregnancy. We got a little behind where I wanted to be with school, the house is always needing cleaning, and with the holiday season busy becomes my middle name!

I am feeling so much better and getting bigger. I have had more and more "flutters" in my belly each week. I have never wanted to feel BIG movements so much. Something about this pregnancy has just been so different. I usually gain more weight and sleep better. My thoughts have been all over the place and borderline crazy. I have to say I am tired of people saying it is a boy just because of this....I put no merit in it. At this point, does it really matter? This child was already created male or female and nothing changes that. Would I prefer another girl? Honestly, yes. However, my heart always desires to bless my husband, so for him I would want a boy. But again, does it really matter? Nope. Not one bit. Healthy is on the top of my wish list.....and the only thing on it for that matter.

We are anticipating a late January ultrasound and we will go from there. We have had a scare with Leah so we now know the importance of this ultrasound....finding out the gender will just be a bonus.


Mayah's New Love

Nothing like losing all your toys and tv time to make a kid find something new to do. Miss Mayah discovered books on tape/cd. She listened to 6 books in one day-3 during school time. She was fascinated.

The following day I gave her the audio CD I had made-so she had Mommy reading her books. She thought that was very cool.

At night I sat with the 3 girls around the Christmas tree and we listened to two Amelia Bedelia stories. One of my childhood favorites.

Mayah seemed to best like The Three Billy Goats Gruff. She did not turn the pages in the book, but just listened.....with the headphones on she yelled over to me that the troll was mean! Hilarious!

I told her to pick out some books she would like me to record for her....of course they were all Berestien bears which take awhile to read, but for her I will do it.
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