14 December 2010

A Christmas Story...

On a clear, cool Saturday afternoon after Thanksgiving, the Costello family decided it was time to participate in the age-old tradition of cutting down a Christmas tree.  Since this was to be Zoe Mae's first Christmas tree, they all took on their roles very seriously.  Zoe's role, of course, was to dress in camo as ferocious bear, while donning her well rehearsed skeptical look.

On the Christmas tree farm, Cara's role was to interpret Zoe Mae's gurggles and kicks so that they could find the conifer that was destined for their living room.  After careful inspection, Zoe settled on this one:

After the tree selection, Tommy's role was to chop down the tree with his bare hands.  And by chop, we mean "saw", and by bare, we of course mean "mittened".

Tommy's secondary role was to entertain wee Zoe to distract her from the cold.

While Tommy had the tree measured and bundled, Zoe Mae shed her fur coat and waited in the warmth of the wee box.  Even though she was warm, Zoe started to become impatient as she waited and waited...

But then, she discovered something wonderful.  The stick shift!  Her enthusiasm for manual transmissions is commendable, especially in this day and age, but she still has a long way to go before mastering the art of shifting without the clutch.

After Zoe's first driving lesson, Tommy engineered a way to pack himself, Zoe, Cara AND the tree inside the wee box for the trip back home.  After all, why strap a tree to your roof when you can enjoy the fresh scent of pine all the way home?

Back at the homestead, Zoe Mae supervised while Tommy and Cara decorated the tree.

And that is the story of Zoe's first Christmas tree.  And Santa, if you're ever looking for someone to be your apprentice, we know a wee little girl who might be interested... She's already got the belly and cheeks for the job, and she's been practicing her "Ho Ho Ho" noises.  

Happy Christmas!!

01 December 2010

The Attack of the Cousins (times 2)

Nothing says "holidays" more than family.  And nothing says "fun" more than crazy cousins to entertain our wee Zoe Mae.  This November was packed full of festive family fun- starting with a visit from the west-coast cousins and Grammy and Grandpa Costello. We celebrated an early Thanksgiving here in Pittsburgh and decided to show James and Mills some of the city's highlights for kiddos.  Of course, there was a trip to the zoo.

In between snoozes in her carrier, Zoe had her first glimpse of some pretty cool creatures...

After the zoo, we ventured to Phipps conservatory.  Zoe Mae took it all in... including a healthy dose of oxygen which prompted wee Zoe to swiftly fall asleep.

Back at the homestead, Zoe was endlessly entertained by cousins James and Mills.  At first, they approached baby Zoe with caution.

But soon, they threw caution to the wind.

A tackle or a hug?  You decide...

Zoe had a grand old time with the Costello family, and after sleeping off the fun for a few days, we packed her up and headed to Neversink for Thanksgiving madness- Part II.  This year, Thanksgiving happened to fall on Grandma Phillips' birthday.  To celebrate, all the grandkids gathered on her lap to "help" her blow out the candles.

While at Grandma and Grandpa's, Zoe had fun practicing her new found sitting skills alongside cousin Gavin.

In fact, she was pretty happy to sit and watch the madness go on around her the whole time we were there.

Of course, she also enjoyed a good round of airplane now and then...

So, what did Zoe think of all of these visits with her cousins?  We can't be sure, but we think she's ready for more.