Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008

Like most Holidays things were busy. But this year unlike past years was so fun to watch really get Christmas. The whole month of December we have been talking about Baby Jesus and His birthday and presents... you know... so here is how our Christmas went.

Christmas Eve started off nice and slow. After naps we got dressed and headed to church. Grace kept saying that we were going to have a party for Jesus. (See she really is sort of getting super cute).

Grace and cousin Lexi
Emma and cousin Audrey
After church we headed to my parents house to have a Christmas Eve dinner with my mom's side of the family. We got home late and Adam and I went to town on setting up. We couldn't wait to see Grace's face in the morning.

Look what Santa brought the girls...
GraceEmma (poor second child...)
So Christmas morning came and Adam and I were ready with the camera and video camera... Grace was wondering why there was a paparazzi waiting for her to come down the stairs. She just started pointing to the doll house that was sitting there waiting for her. I guess she was in shock that it came since we have been talking about a doll house all month.
Emma loves her new stocking that mom made her! Isn't that the cutest sugarplum fairy?!

Anyway, after we played with Santa gifts my parents and little brother came over and we opened presents and ate a yummy breakfast.

I love this one... Grace already has the wrapping off the gift and Emma is still focused on the bow!

Christmas afternoon we headed to my aunt and uncles house to celebrate with my dad's size of the family.
(Just a little side note: We have a huge family... my mom has 8 siblings and my dad has 7, so family events usually bring 30+ people...and that is just immediate aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents!)

Emma enjoying her first fudge... what 9 month old eats fudge??!!
Emma playing a game of shuffleboard with daddy. (To much sand!)Gracie and I

Emma in her Santa bib and hat! So cute!!

Hope you and yours had a very Merry Christmas!! John 3:16
And we are off in the morning to East Texas to do it all again with Adam's family!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Emma enjoying her first spaghetti (with some peaches).

And Gracie way back in 2006 enjoying her first spaghetti.

I guess in those 2 years I learned to give a little less sauce :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

Tour of Homes

How cool is this?! I've seen it for a couple years now, but never participated. Anyway Boo Mama is hosting a Christmas Tour of Homes. Where you post pictures of your own home! What a fun way to get into the Christmas spirit. If you check out her blog you will see that nearly 1000 people are doing it!

This year has been especially fun since we weren't in our house last year. So this is the first year to decorate. I still have lots more that I would like to do and collect, but I have lots of time for that. But I am planning to shop on December 26th for stuff for next year :)
So here is my house...
The Christmas tree (not my favorite... can't really tell from the picture how shabby it is. We actually just got a new tree (for next year) that we bought last weekend b/c we got it for such a great deal ... $99! I can't wait to decorate it next year.)

The Santa table (just my entry table... a perfect place to put up pictures of every year Santa visits)
The cards (and this is only the picture ones... I have a different place for cards without a picture!)

The mantle

The stairs
The Nativity! "Happy Birthday Jesus" as Grace keeps saying! So cute! We added this this year. I think its the perfect Nativity for little ones. One day I'll pull out my mom's beautiful one she handed down to me!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

beyond baby food

Both my girls were never great baby food (you know the puree stuff/Gerber/whatever you use at your house). Now yes Emma is MUCH better about taking food from a spoon then Grace ever was, but she still prefers things she can feed herself. I've had several close friends asking me what I'm feeding Emma, how much, when, etc. So I decided I need to do a little post for all my buds with little ones that are ready or will soon be ready for table foods.

I should add that this is only things I've learned from my own experience of feeding my two daughters and I realize that each child is VERY different, including my own two kiddos.

First off, Emma has really just gotten good at foods beyond baby food. I would say really in between 8-9 months was when she learned to pick up food with her pointer and thumb, mash the food in her mouth and actually eat enough to fill her belly. From 6-8 months we offered her items like puffs or mashed items like peas or carrots and it was just practice. She got the bulk of her food from nursing and baby food. And even now she is still nursing 3 times a day and eating 3 table food meals a day. Yes some days it feels like I feed her all day, but it works us.

Okay so I could on on forever, but I thought I would give a list of great first foods... beyond baby food.

(A lot of these items I got from an article I read in Parents Magazine back when Grace was starting table foods.)

1. veggies! - carrots, peas, greens beans, asparagus tips, broccoli florets, cooked zucchini or squash

2. sliced fruit - strawberries, grated apple, banana, raspberries, blueberries, oranges (use the canned kind if you don't have fresh!)

3. pasta - I think rotini (the swirly noodle) is easiest to pick up

4. corn (off the cob of course)

5. avocado (a favorite at our house!)
6. cheese - you can do shredded cheese or even cut up a cheese stick into small bites

7. waffles or pancakes

8. tomatoes - small slices, for young toddlers I would pull off the peal if its tough

9. meat - deli meat, small bites of chicken or turkey (rotisserie chickens are great for cutting up)

10. beans - this is an easy one in our house... any type... black, pinto, ranch style, baked beans... perfect size and easy for them to mash in their mouth.

My best advice to make things easy is to look at what you are having for lunch/dinner and see how you can make it good for you baby. For example, tonight we are having Southwest Chicken (a yummy crock pot meal). It has black beans, corn and chicken in it. All things Emma would love and easy to pick up. I will probably add a fruit to her meal or maybe some shredded cheese. Remember though that their little bellies are so tiny and really they get full on a small amount. So just look for the "all done" cues!

I also found these great little veggie cups at Walmart when Grace was little and they are perfect for when you are on the go or when you are having things that aren't things you would want to feed your little one like Chili.

I think that's all I have. Good luck feeding your little one. Remember that playing with and throwing food is all apart of the fun. They are going to make a mess, so roll up their sleeves/strip them down if they are extra messy and just plan to bath them or keep a tub of baby wipes in your kitchen. OH and I should add that a lot of parents I know are super nervous about the whole choking thing. I would totally recommend a CPR/first aid class to any expectant or new parent.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas program

Okay if you have never been to a preschool program you probably aren't missing much, unless it is for your own child. Oh my... so super cute. Seeing all the boys and girls in their Sunday best.

They walked in singing Jingle Bells and shaking hand bells.

Daddy and Grace watching the big kids sing. (The little ones went first and then sat with their parents to watch the big kids.)

We tried to get a video from our camera, but they didn't turn out very good. Not that any of them were singing anyway, but Grace did do most of the hand motions. Super cute!

Getting ready for Christmas

We've been baking, wrapping, shopping, and making a few homemade gifts around here.

Adam, Grace and I spent Sunday afternoon rolling out cookie dough and baking cookies. Then Grace and I decorated them. Notice some have pink icing (a special request) and BIG clumps of sprinkes... still an art that Grace is working to master.

We made cookie mix jars for Grace's teachers. They turned out super cute.

Grace and I have also worked on some homemade gifts for family, but we'll have to share those after Christmas.

Safety town

Firewoman Grace... the boots are little big!

A neighbor city has this really cool Safety Town at their local fire department. It is so cool! During Christmas they have it all decorated and have lots of things for kids to do, like decorate ornaments, sit on the fire engine, try on the clothes and lots of other things... best yet it was free.

Grace leading the reindeer. Where's Santa?

ECI Christmas party!

The program that Grace is in for her speech (ECI) had their annual Christmas party! Grace had a blast.
She got to see Santa again! Got to make a fun hat! She also got to jump in a bounce house, decorate a cookie and make a picture frame!
Even Emma had fun.

One thing was that it was VERY eye opening for me. It reminds how Grace's speech is really just a small road bump and for many other kids (also beyond the speech) have major challenges to overcome. How awesome to have such a cool program to help everyone.

I'll update more about Grace's speech later... she has been doing great through. Really making big strides. Her teachers have even noticed the difference. She is also getting evaluated by our local school district in January to see if she can get service through them once she turns 3 (in February!). I'll let you know how it goes.

Christmas card pic

Since it was already half way through the month of December I decided I needed to take a snapshot of the girls for our Christmas cards. I was surprised they turned out so well b/c the girls were tired, cranky and not wanting to wear dresses. But once we started going they were all smiles.
I didn't include these two on the card, but I loved them as well.

(couldn't figure out why it wanted to turn this one .... it was fine on my computer.. oh well! )

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


WOW! What a difference a year makes. If you don't remember the last 2 years Grace DID NOT like Santa. This year she went right up to him, sat in his lap and told him that she wanted a doll house for Christmas. He even understood what she said!

When we sat Emma down she looked right at Santa and thought about crying... you know... she started puckering up that bottom lip and getting tears in her eyes, but as soon as I thought she was going to start crying she smiled!! WOO HOO! She happily smiled for the camera, but kept looking back up at Santa I guess to make sure he was still there.

Unfortunately we didn't get a great picture of Grace, but I promise you she was super happy to see Santa. She is still talking about him days later.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

survey please... birthday party time!

So if you know me you know that I worry WAY more than I should about things that don't really matter. Anyway, this morning Emma got up and nursed at 6am and then fell back asleep. I couldn't fall back asleep b/c I was thinking about the girls birthdays parties. And I have been racking my brain all morning. SO I need your help...

Should have the girls birthday parties together or separate?

Just a little info that might help... my girls are 2 years and 3 weeks apart. Most of their friends are the same and many of their friends are born in between the two, thus making it that many friends will be invited to 2 parties. I guess I sort of feel like Emma should have a special 1st birthday, but why wouldn't it be special shared with her sister. If their birthdays weren't so close then I don't think this would bother me having 2 parties. Plus the financial burden of having 2 parties so close... makes me tired just thinking of it!

Oh and I should add that I just want a small little party with all thier little friends and grandparents. Nothing over the top. I was sort of thinking of having a Princess and Pirates Party... super cute idea I stole from someone else :)

Thanks ladies. ps... please tell me I'm not crazy for worrying about this when their birthdays are still a couple months away!

Friday, December 05, 2008

9 months

Miss Emma Ann is 9 months old. (*update below!)

The STATS are in...
Height: 27 1/2 inches - 47th%
Weight: 19lbs 8 ozs - 45th%
Head: 91% (WOW... lots of brains!)
(What a growing girl... oh and the doctor said its really way too early to tell, but it looks like she might be more like height when she is older... he said he is going to guess 5'4" to 5'5". Remember they said at Grace's 2 year visit she will probably be around 5'9"! I guess only time will tell.

This really means that her first birthday is learking around the corner. In 3 short months we'll be celebrating her birth with cupcakes and friends!

This month has been a month of changes. Here is what you are up to these days:

*Clapping all the time! (Today we went to storytime at the library and this was the first time you have sort of particiapated... it was so cute!!)
*Still crawling and pulling up and pushing walkers and standing.
*Your sister is by far your favorite person. When she isn't around I think you are really sad. She also is the one who can make you laugh the hardest. Oh you have such a cute little laugh.
*Says "dada"... but we are working on mama!
*You do not like being told "no", so you generally get what you want. You definitly have a special spot in mommy's heart!
*You aren't sleeping as good as you once did. I'm hoping its just separation anxiety or teething or something!
*You are the best little traveler! You LOVE your carseat and just going anywhere. That is why I haven't moved you to your big girl seat... maybe soon though.
*You have also earned the nickname "sister"... which I call you just as much as Emmy.

Happy 9 month birthday big girl!!

And a few pictures from the month.

Happy under the table!

Playing with the tupperware... Grace was helping make a mess!

Sitting at sister's table... such a big girl! You were in heaven!

Craught crawling up the stairs on Thanksgiving! Not so fast missy!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

a bug

I really don't like bugs.

Especially the kind of bugs that make you and your family throw up and send you to the potty several times an hour for days on end. Joyful.

Thankfully I think we are over it... hopefully. At least I'm sending Grace to school today!

In the mean time, here is a cute one of Emma enjoying some of the Christmas decorations. We put our big tree in our study so we could close the doors, but I put 2 little trees on the harth and she loves them. Of course.