Thursday, December 30, 2010


So, I've changed up my blog.  Do you like it???

Since Isla was born, I've felt that Miles of Smiles was kind of exclusionary :).  I didn't change the url, for sake of ease.  How do you like it?  Does the new title make sense, or is it stretching it a little too far???

And, I know there are many of you out there reading who never lurkers come out of hiding and tell me what you think!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Real Live Fire Station

Growing up, Ben has fond memories of visiting a fire station every year around Christmas and taking toys for Toys for Tots and taking a tour of the station. He wanted to start this tradition with Miles, especially since Miles dresses like a fireman

Miles is seriously obsessed with anything having to do with fire stations, firemen, etc. Our house has become known as The Fire Station, Ben's Highlander is The Fire Truck, my Saturn is The Ambulance, and everything he does is "like a fireman" (getting dressed, cooking, brushing teeth, etc). He is now the proud owner of two small fire trucks, an ambulance, and a ride on fire truck (thank you Aunt Christine, Uncle Cameron, and Cousins Peter and Moira!). Just about anything can be turned into a fire hose, fireman belt, etc. He wears his fire coat, fire hat, and fire boots every day...not kidding!

So, a few weeks ago, we invited Grandma Sara and Uncle Tyler to come along and head to the fire station with some toys for Toys for Tots. Miles was so excited when we showed up at the fire station.

Ben rang the door bell, and Fireman Dan let us in. He gave Miles a couple of Jr. Fireman badges, coloring book, and some stickers, then took us for a tour and to see the trucks.

Miles was completely mesmerized. For a while, all he would say was "yeah" over and over. Eventually he warmed up to Fireman Dan and started talking non-stop!

He got to sit in the trucks, pretend to drive, look at the hoses, see the ladder truck, peek at the huge axes, and ask where the non-existent fire pole was. Miles advised Fireman Dan that they should really get a fire pole :)

He told Fireman Dan how everything works (ie. the axes are for breaking windows and doors to get into burning buildings).

He told Fireman Dan about everything he has learned from watching a Barney visits the fire station movie we have. He was taking a mile a minute, which made it hard for Fireman Dan to understand what he was saying!

Miles also jumped around on different subjects, further confusing poor Fireman Dan :)

Miles had a great time visiting the station. He loves telling anyone and everyone about his visit to the "real live fire station" if you dare to ask! Needless to say, I think we'll make it a semi-regular outing. Fireman Dan said to come back any time!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Craft

Miles has been very interested in crafts lately. He loves to color, cut, glue, etc. Sometimes I muster the energy to put together a craft project for him, especially since he's not in preschool, so doesn't get any formal crafts elsewhere. I thought the grandparents might enjoy a handmade gift from Miles as much as he enjoyed making one. So after a little googling for ideas, I embarked on our Christmas craft with Miles.

He has recently become very serious about coloring. He actually tries to stay in the lines! First we started with collecting soup cans for a week or so, washed them all in the dishwasher, and cut strips of construction paper that would fir the cans.

Miles always enjoys adding his hand print to things, so we 'stamped" his hand print on each piece of paper using white paint. After it dried, I put faces and buttons on each of his fingers (except the thumb, which would have made for a laying-down snowman). Miles was responsible for coloring scarves, hats, and arms on each of the "snowmen" and coloring anything else he wanted.

Here, he is very diligently coloring scarves on the snowmen.

He was pretty excited about it! I was so proud at the attention to detail he put in. I have NEVER seen him color like this before! Usually it is just scribbles and he'll say "Look, I colored an elephant (or some other animal or inanimate object)". You could actually tell what he was trying to make!

This hand got a scarf across the palm and on each snowman :)

The finished product...a pencil holder!

And, one for each Grandparent...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Pretty Girl

One of my favorite parts of Christmas this year was dressing up my beautiful little girl in something special for Christmas Eve service. I didn't want anything too fancy or frilly. Nothing green and red plaid, tulle, or organza. Just something simple and sweet. It took a while to find, especially considering everyone was out of the specific jumper I wanted in her size....except one store! My mom and I (with Miles and Isla in tow) shopped for a few hours to find her outfit. I completed the outfit a few days before Christmas.

When I saw this black velvet jumper with a satin bow at the top, I fell in love. They had those cute shrug sweaters to go with. Underneath, she was wearing a cute cream colored onsie.

We weren't able to find tights in her size at any of the stores we went to and dress shoes didn't even enter my mind (why spend money on dress shoes for a 2 month old?!?!).

However, a few days before Christmas, Miles convinced me to go into a local consignment shop that sells gently used kids clothing. He likes to play with the toys there :). While he was playing for a few minutes, I looked through the girls clothes, shoes, etc, not planning to buy anything. Until I ran across these adorable black Patten leather mary janes with bows and an adorable pair of cream ruffle-butt tights (though in 3-6 month size).

Well worth the $3 spent! I could not get over how adorable she looked in her Christmas outfit. It was perfect!

After Christmas Eve service with my family, we went up to my in-laws house to stay the night and have Christmas morning there. It is a tradition in their family to open pajamas on Christmas Eve. These were the adorable pajamas Miss Isla got:

LOVED the tutu and sparkly snowflake!

She sported the pajamas/outfit all day on Christmas :). Girls are so much fun!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas #1

Like I said in the previous post, Christmas came to our house yesterday. Since we headed up to both mine and Ben's parents for Christmas Eve and Christmas day festivities, Santa visited our house a day early. He's got to show up early at some people's houses...he can't possibly make it to all of them in ONE night....right?!?! Right!

Miles was very excited to find that the stockings were full. He dug right in!

He also helped Isla open her stocking stuffers.

Miles got the long awaited "inspension bridge" for his train set. He had to try it out right away, of course. Baby Isla got a new outfit (that doesn't fit quite yet), a rattle (of which she ended Christmas day with 3 of the same...they must only make one pink rattle!), and some chain links.

Miles' most prized gift from us was his last minute, $10, fire station. You see, the day before Christmas Eve, Miles sprung one on us. He suddenly started saying that he wanted a fire station with a bell from Santa. When we went to visit Santa the next day, this is precisely what he asked for. So, after we saw Santa, Ben took Miles to play in the play area at the mall and I took a quick, covert trip to the Toys 'R us store (they put a small Toys R Us in each of the malls, which was sure handy!). I made a quick trip (don't even think Miles knew I was gone) and scored a fire station WITH a bell AND a light. Needless to say, he was pretty excited about it.
Also, not pictured, he got a cool (in my opinion) dinosaur sweatshirt and matching socks :)

All in all, we had a great Christmas morning at our house! Miles thoroughly enjoyed it.
And, in case you noticed or were wondering, we did not have a tree this year...I know. Totally un-American...oh well. Next year, we're going the all-American route and cutting down our own tree again :)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Has Come to Our House!

I know it's a day early, but Santa has come to our house!

Yesterday, we started making preparations. We took the kids to see the man in red...

(yes, he wears that everywhere!)

The stockings are hung, and now filled with toys...

And the presents, though not under a tree, are stacked nicely on the sub woofer next to the tv!
Stay tuned for our Christmas morning, real Christmas day, our trip to the "real live fire station", 2 month old baby, gingerbread house building, and more!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Baby Smiles

Miss Isla has started smiling! She is still pretty stingy about giving them out, but she will if you try hard enough and she can get all her muscles moving the right directions. I've tried capturing a sweet smile on my nice digital camera with a very short shutter lag and have yet to get a good one. The other morning, after changing her diaper, she was smiling at me. I managed to catch a full face smile with my 1.3 mega pixel camera on my phone, which has about a 10second shutter lag (not literally, but it feels like it!).

So, here is a picture of her first real captured smile.