My dad drove over twenty hours in two days to come visit us this Christmas! I am glad that my first Christmas away from "home" will be shared with him. The weather has been a little uncooperative so we haven't been able to see too many sites this time but at least we'll have a white Christmas. Tonight, we are going to mass and tomorrow, it's CHRISTMAS! I'm so excited to celebrate Jesus' birthday and see the look on Carter's face when he is opening his presents. I'm excited that this is Olivia's first Christmas too and hopefully she won't sleep straight through it! From our family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!
It seems as if every time Carter is holding Olivia or being sweet and lovin' on her, he will ask "Momma, will you take my picture?". How could I not? These are two sweet kids! Yesterday we headed to the AF Academy and went hiking. I carried Olivia in the Baby Bjorn and Carter walked. I'm not sure how far we hiked because Carter was dragging along for a while. But the weather was perfect so we had to get out and enjoy the sunshine before it snows again. All the exercise must have worn him out because he crawled in our bed and took a long nap when we got home! We had a good time but next time, I may borrow a friend's jogging stroller and push him instead of letting him walk. Although, if all the walking may help him sleep better, it may be worth it!
As you all know, this is my first Christmas away from "home". I use that term loosely because although Louisiana will always be my home state, I have a new home now with my husband and children in the beautiful state of Colorado. Because we aren't in the south anymore, most of our family has been shipping Christmas presents to us (and we did the same thing). I have to laugh because I have never had as many carboard boxes under our Christmas tree (or anywhere else for that matter) ever! I know the postman is probably saying "Who is this P family? Why do they get so many packages?? Literally, almost every day a package comes. Some I have ordered but most I have not. We have gotten packages from Omaw and Papaw, Nana, Carter's godparents, grandmother, some other friends, some of Theo's friends I have never even met PLUS all the amazon packages I ordered! Today alone, I think we got six boxes outside. Right after I took these pictures, more boxes came! It makes Carter (and me!) so excited to see boxes on our doorstep or in our mailbox. I am grateful to all of our family and friends who have sent us things to make this first Christmas away from "home" more memorable.
This will be the first Christmas I have spent without my mom, step-dad, and all my extended family. Last year, I got to see my dad right before Christmas too which was a nice treat. Truthfully, I haven't been as sad about it as I thought I would have been. Knowing we are celebrating Olivia's first Christmas makes the sadness less and the joy much more. Plus, my dad is coming in a couple of days and then my mom will be here soon after that. But I will definitely miss seeing all of my extended family though on Christmas morning. I'll miss the elaborate breakfast we always have. I'll miss seeing all the cousins playing together with their new toys. I'll be sad that most of my family will still not have gotten the chance to meet Olivia. I'll be sad that they won't be passing her around on Christmas morning. I'll be sad that Carter won't get a chance to see his cousins too. I will miss the family photo oportunity that we had last year. But I am happy to be spending Christmas as a family of four. It will be my first white Christmas ever! Theo and I decided that no matter where we live, we will most likely always spend Christmas day at home and celebrate it with our children. I'm not saying I won't travel near Christmas or right afterwards, but we feel it is important to start our own family traditions in our own home no matter where that may be. This year, we may also have my friend Lisa (who is also the kids pediatrician and ironically will be spending her first Christmas away from Louisiana as well) join us on Christmas. I hope wherever you all are spending your Christmas, you will have a blessed one and remember to celebrate the birth of Jesus!
Please be kind. This is our first attempt at a gingerbread house ever! Theo said we could just tell everyone Carter made it but I didn't think it was fair to insult Carter. I'm telling you, this was much harder than it looks. I have a good friend who has a home business of cake decorating and she is awesome! But I most certainly am not her :) God did not give me the culinary skills needed to be a good cake or gingerbread house decorator. I'll stick to scrapbooking, photograph taking, and sewing. Theo said if Carter ever has any school projects similar to this, we'll have to hire someone else to do it! He did say that I get an "A" for effort though.
My oh my! What time I have spent this past week trying to sew the kids' Christmas pajamas! I have been so frustrated with my lack of independent sewing skills. I have had to start over more than once, ripped out more stitches than I can even begin to count, and made mulitiple trips to the fabric stores. But finally, they are done! They aren't perfect and I know my sewing relatives would inwardly cringe if they sew how imperfect they are but hey, I sewed them all by myself and the most important part, they are FINISHED!! (Well, I guess technically not b/c I need to add elastic to Carter's pants but that won't take ten minutes!) I wanted to share pictures with you because I feel such a sense of accomplishment right now. You will see pictures of the kids wearing them shortly after Christmas!
Carter and Olivia's Nana sent this adorable advent wreath for them. And included was a present for both of them for each of the twelve days of Christmas! Carter thought he hit the Christmas lottery! He did surprisingly well not opening all the presents even though he most certainly wanted to. What a thoughtful thing for Nana to do!
And because I just LOVE Christmas time, also seen in our kitchen:
Well, I won't be getting any mom of the year awards this week! This has been less than a glorious week in our house. I guess it's that time of the month.....the time where Carter puts up a fight about everything! But then ten seconds later, he can be so sweet and melt my heart. I have lost my temper more the past two days than I have this whole past month. Olivia has been a little crankier at times too which doesn't make things easier. I know it's only temporary. It always is. But it is still frustrating to go through. I have threatened (and followed through with...GO ME!) all kinds of things to make a point with Carter but he still continues to push limits. I'm not sure what is going on with him. But that didn't stop me from snapping a couple of photos of my normally adorable kids!
I just love Christmas time! I love all the decorations and how stores smell of cinnamon. I love putting up all the Christmas decor in our home and always feel a little sad when we have to pack it all away until the following year. We have three nativity scenes. One my mom gave me, and two we got as wedding presents. One of our nativity scenes is probably in the box with the tree skirt and tree topper because we haven't been able to find it. Next year, I'll have to get out all the Christmas stuff way in advance to make sure we can find it all!
For as long as I can remember, my grandma always gave me a snow globe for Christmas. I have come to treasure these beyong belief....especially now that grandma is in heaven. I wish I had recorded which ones she gave me in which year. One of my globes broke during the move. I had to fight back the tears when I saw the globe cracked into pieces. Theo said we should add it to our list of things the movers broke but I told him there was no price for sentimental value. Grandma passed away in January of 2007 so last Christmas was the first Christmas without her. I remember being so sad that she wouldn't be getting me a snow globe. But I am so grateful that I have an incredible husband and thoughtful mom because they both gave me snow globes for Christmas last year.
I think the "firsts" with a loved one being gone are always the hardest. I'm glad the firsts without grandma have already come and gone. But I am also sad that she won't get to hold Olivia (and any other grandbabies that come along). I hope there is a special place in heaven where grandparents can look down and see their families growing. I miss you so much grandma and Christmas will not be the same without you.
Saturday, we headed up to Pike's Peak (despite our GPS totally taking us the wrong way....again!!) and went to Santa's workshop at the "North Pole". I am pretty sure I had been there before as a kid but what I didn't remember was that it was an amusement park. I don't remember there being rides there so I was a little worried how Carter would do. He ended up only going on a couple of things but there was so much other stuff to do that we felt we got our money's worth. It was quite chilly outside. I'm glad I brought our heavy coats, hats, and gloves. Olivia slept almost the whole time except for when it was time to eat. She loves being in that sling, I'm tellin' ya! I was so glad not to have to push that stroller everywhere...especially uphill! When we got home, we lit a fire and watched a little t.v. before putting the kids to bed. We'll definitely go back next year!
Momma and her babies:
Where Santa's letters go:
Daddy and Carter man:
This was one of the two things Carter actually wanted to get on:
This was the other ride he got on, and the first one, which is probably why he didn't want to ride anymore!! :0)
Olivia is three months old today! A quarter of a year old....I won't say I can't believe that the time has flown by so fast since I seem to say that every month :) The past month she got to meet her some of her other grandparents. They were captivated by her. Who isn't? Olivia is starting to develop a little personality. She loves attention and loves to make people smile. At three months, she also:
-weighs about 11 1/2 pounds (or as best I can estimate)
-is now in 3-6 month clothes
-now nurses about every 3-4 hours during the day and is still getting up once or twice at night to eat (but last night, she actually went 8 hours between feedings! She unfortunately didn't stay asleep that whole time and would wake up periodically and whimper but didn't want to nurse)
-has fallen into a pretty predictable routine (finally!)
-smiles constantly and has even started laughing when I tickle her!
-gets compliments on her hair every sinle place we go
-still has gorgeous blue eyes
-loves for me to sing her songs and play little games with her
-is her big brother's favorite person in the world
-still loves shopping with her mommy. We even went to the mall yesterday for over two hours. I carried her in the sling and she didn't make hardly a sound at all. (And Carter did AWESOME too! By far the best shopping trip we have ever had just the three of us!)
-still makes her mommy and daddy so happy and we are still incredibly blessed to have her!
In the next couple of weeks, she will get to meet her grandpa for the first time and then her Omaw is coming for a visit! We can't wait to spend time with them. I am so excited about Olivia's first Christmas even though she is too young to really appreciate it. But that hasn't stopped me from buying her presents!
Today we are heading to Santa's workshop at the foot of Pike's Peak mountain. Theo unexpectedly had to go into work this morning for a half a shift (he regrets answering his cell phone now while we were at Target last night! Ughhh!) so we'll probably meet him down there. I am really looking forward to it and I think Carter will have a blast. I'll post pictures as soon as I get a chance! Have a great weekend everyone!
I have been thinking of writing this post for a while now but have been putting it off for lack of time to sit down and actually put some thought into this. But I promised I would do this for my mom, who's co-teacher in the classroom is pregnant with her first baby! How exciting for her!! So, this post is strictly my opinion about baby things, what is essential, what is not, what I wish I had, what I wish I had not bought. Everyone parents differently and what may be priceless to me, may not be necessary for another mom. Here is my top ten list (and in no particular order):
#1 Baby sling-You all know how partial I am to this....especially since my mom made one for me to wear Olivia in. I wish I had this sling with Carter. We waited a few months before getting a baby Bjorn with Carter but I wish I had had something from the start with him. It is soooo hard to carry them everywhere in a carseat carrier. My arms would get bruised from resting the bar on my forearm. Now with a three year old to chase after, there is no way I could run after him with a 11 plus pound baby and the carseat! I also bought a sling from hotsling and it's nice too.
#2 Boppy Pillow-even for non-nursing mothers, I still think this is a must have. I prop Olivia up on it all the time. And of course, I use it almost everytime I nurse her.
#3Fisher price lights and sounds monitor - I have several friends who use video monitors. I did not want to do that because I knew I would be obsessed with staring at the screen all night. So I opted for the FP lights and sounds monitor. What I love about it is you can turn the volume all the way down and still know when the baby is crying because it will light up. This is great for nights when we are trying to watch a movie and don't necessarily want to hear the screaming but would still like to now when she has finally quieted down.
#4 Miracle blanket- I have blogged about this before. Check out the miracle blanket website for more info.
#5 Medela steam clean bags- so great to have for pumping. I don't much that much this time but I still use them to clean her pacifiers. They are so easy to use. I have the avent bottle sterilizer too (which I had to use constantly with Carter) but since Olivia has only had attempted one bottle, I don't use it much. The steam clean bags are also great for working moms who have to pump away from home.
#6 Crib mobile- I have a little einstein turtle one that Carter loved. There are tons of them out there and I don't think any one is better than the other. Unfortuately, right now, I need to replace to batteries again on it so Olivia hasn't been using it. Instead, I have a dim lamp in her room, and play classical music for her. It's basically the same thing with less bright lights!
#7 A good stroller- Since I didn't have a good sling with Carter at first, I was so thankful to have a good stroller. I don't use it much now but it was definitely a life and an arm saver with him.
#8 A bouncy chair or swing- I personally don't think you need both unless you have a two story house. My grandma got our swing (which is actually a travel swing, the perfect size, foldable, and fairly compact) at a garage sale and when it has working batteries in it is a great thing to have. I also have the bouncy chair but it's now upstairs in our bathroom so I can put her in it while I am taking a bath.
#9 An playmat- We have the baby einstein one and Olivia loves it!
#10 Lot of batteries in all sizes! I need to go through this house with a screwdriver and replace the batteries in about half of Olivia's things (which equates to about two things!) and most of Carter's toys. You can never have enough batteries.
What I could live without: - wipes warmer: I got more use out of it with Carter since I always changed him in his room. But with a two story house and cloth diapers, I usually change Olivia downstairs so I can throw her diapers in the laundry room
- a billion baby toys: to date, Olivia is almost three months old. Here is what she has played with: colored soft blocks (Baby Einstein and Manhattan Baby) and her playmat. Until they are really mobile or can sit up and grasp things, you don't need a ton of baby toys.
- too many hats: I have a ton of baby hats but never get to use them. Pick a couple in colors you know will go with most things and leave it at that. Same goes for bibs.
What I do need a lot of: -burp cloths especially for a spitty baby such as Olivia
-blankets: in Colorado, you can never have enough
-pacifiers: I inevitably lose some and I always carry a spare when out in case I drop one and am not close to a bathroom to wash it off. And for the record,I do not wash the pacifiers off when they fall on the floor at home. Our house is fairly clean and we don't have pets running around so I don't feel it's necessary. Some germs are okay!
-pajamas: I love zipped footed pajamas and gowns. Both of my babies have worm pajamas way more often than regular clothes the first couple of months
-mylicon gas drops
You can also check out this blog post for a different opinion
We met over nine years ago and have been married for seven years. We have traveled all over together, have shared good times and bad, and now spend most of our time chasing our kids around! We believe God chose us for each other and we strive daily to keep him at the center of our marriage.
Our energetic six year old, and firstborn. He's a self procalimed genius. He loves playing with his friends, watching anything on PBS and VeggieTales, building with blocks, practicing his cartoon artist skills. He rules the roost and we couldn't imagine it any other way.
Our three year old daughter, a precious princess with her daddy wrapped around her finger. She is the daughter I always knew I would have long before I ever got married. She is a smiler and talker and lover of food, hugs and kisses, making puzzles, helping mommy in the kitchen, and loves both of her brothers (mostly!) She is a budding ballerina but loves the play in the mud and wrestle with the boys too. She is the most beautiful girl we have ever seen and we look forward to watching her grow and change over the next several months.
Our baby of the family...a walking, talking destructacon. He is hillarious, keeps us on our toes and is the funniest little toddler going on grown man I've ever seen!