Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Party

Every year, since I was a kid, I've gone to the Christmas party that my mom's job puts on.  Santa is there, there are lots of crafts to do, and music.  It's just fun!  Emma's first year, we got the BEST pictures of her with Santa.  She was about Abby's age and just mesmerized.  The next year, she was 1.5 and terrified.  I was curious about how this year's experience would be.

A few weeks beforehand, she had talked nonstop about Santa.  She begged to go see him, so we loaded up one afternoon and hit the mall.  I wanted her to see him from a distance and get comfortable with the idea that he wasn't a very scary guy.  It turned out that he was walking around the mall and we got to visit him up close.  Emma was in the stroller and felt pretty safe.  She talked to him all about the Mickey Mouse in a store window, and presents.  He gave her a high five and called her by name (tripped her OUT!).  I was figuring the Santa visit at the Lekotek party would be just as awesome.  Wrong.

She had fun making reindeer food, crafts, singing music, running around.  Then it came time to see the fat man.  She saw him from a distance and wasn't very happy.  I decided it would be best to get some pictures with just Abby first because we stood the best chance of getting cute pictures without her sister, in case she screamed.  I was right.  

Cute Abby pictures, and then I tried to get Emma to sit on my lap next to Santa.  Freak out.  As you can see, it wasn't pretty.  I wonder how next year will go??


This Christmas was a bittersweet one.  Emma was REALLY into all things "Christmas."  She adored driving around and looking at lights, Christmas music, baking, making an Advent calendar snowman, and decorating the house.  However, always near the forefront of my mind was the missing piece.  Christmas was Dad's favorite holiday and he LOVED to give gifts.  He was famous for asking my input for all of Mom's gifts, and then, after all of the gifts were opened, sneaking somewhere and pulling out her "big" gift.  It was always a complete surprise.  He also always tucked an envelope for each of us (Brad too, once he was in the picture) with some spending cash on the tree. 

There are so many traditions that I want to keep and continue with my family.  There are also a lot of new ones to be made, and we got a good start this year!  Our favorite was Stone Mountain.  They had a TON of lights and decorations, Santa, a Snow Angel, lots of stuff to do, and a special Christmas train ride (our favorite).  Several times we piled in the car, hot chocolate in hand, with Christmas tunes on the radio and checked out light displays that we had heard about or remembered from our own childhoods.  We also made reindeer food, and cookies for Santa on our new special Santa plate.

We baked a lot, and made fudge.  We decorated the house, though there were several decorations (particularly my beloved Rudolph houses) that we chose not to put out because someone (I won't mention a name) likes to sneak off and play with things she shouldn't.  I got Emma her own tree this year.  She chose purple.  She had her own unbreakable ornaments on it to mess with as she pleased.  It REALLY helped keep her grubby little hands off of the big tree!

On Christmas eve we woke up early to go to breakfast with Grandpops for his birthday.  Afterwards we all came home and took a nap to prepare for the festivities.  We got dressed and headed to the children's mass at church.  As I was taking a few photos outside before church, our neighborhood Santa and Mrs. Claus came by on the back of a pickup truck.  He drives around and visits the children of the neighborhood on Christmas eve.  Emma is NOT a big Santa fan, though she talks a good game.  He came over and offered her a candy cane.  She decided it MIGHT be worth it, and met him halfway to get the candy.  The poor little thing shook like a leaf the whole time.

After he left we went to church.  Both girls made it through the whole thing!  Emma took one little break to walk around with Daddy, and Abby fell asleep less than halfway through  in my arms, but they made it like angels!  We had Waffle House for supper (my mom and dad's tradition) and then went to bed early.  Mimi and Bailey spent the night and got to be there first thing for Christmas morning.

Abby woke up first, and we had to wake Emma up around 8:45 after I just couldn't wait anymore!  They were both so excited!  Santa brought Emma an easel and lots of art supplies, a picnic table, 2 Gabba pillow friends to complete her set, a princess castle tent, and a few random toys.  Abby got lots of little toys, some bibs, and teethers.  She needs them - we think she's cutting her first tooth!

We played a lot and exchanged our own gifts before breakfast.  Lunch was not too much later, and then we all took a nap.  We got up and ready and went to Brad's parents' house for Christmas dinner.  I completely forgot to bring my camera, but will add some pictures once I get a copy.  The girls were spoiled ROTTEN this year!  We think we may begin an "each of you gets __ gifts" from us next year.  It would be different if Santa and mom and dad were the only gift givers, but both grandparents outdo Santa every year!

We had an excellent Christmas and made it through with no tears.  It was nice for it to be completely different than every other year.  Though my Dad's presence was sorely and noticeably missed, it was nice to have new traditions and new plans so that it was bearable.  

We're enjoying our decorations too much to take them down just yet, but I want to get it done before Brad goes back to work.  Isn't un-decorating just the worst?

Monday, December 5, 2011

First Solid Food

So it's out of order.  Sue me.  ;)

We fed Abby her first solid food (baby oatmeal) when she was about 5 1/2 months old.  She wasn't so sure she liked it, but it ended up well!  

The faces speak for themselves.

Is it just me, or is she seriously not one of the 2 cutest babies EVER????

5 Months

I find it pretty appropriate for Abby's 5 month post to come just after she turns 6 months old.  That's symbolic of life these days!  There's hardly a second to sit down and write a blog post, much less upload pictures to it.  In fact, as I write this, there's a hashbrown casserole in the oven, Brad's putting Abby down for a nap and getting ready to light the grill, and Emma is running around like a crazy person because she woke up from nap to her Daddy home.  There is a load of diapers to fold, and at least 2 loads of laundry that are ready to be done.  There are dishes in the sink, and I swear that you can't tell I mopped the kitchen floor a few days ago.  I swear that if I were able to do 2 loads of laundry a day, I still wouldn't be caught up.  It's amazing how much laundry a family of 4 (especially with a very pukey baby) can go through.

So.  Miss Abby.  She weighed 11lbs 11oz. at her 4 month appointment, so I'm guessing she's near the 12lb mark now.  The doctor was very pleased with her weight gain, though she's still in the 5th percentile for weight and 15-25th for height.  She's an absolute peanut.  Pictures just don't accurately depict her size.  She's SO much tinier than Emma ever was.  At 6 months, Emma was nearly 17 lbs.  We have had to buy several winter outfits because Abby is nowhere near Emma's size during the winter months.  

She wears 3 month clothes, or 3-6 months.  6 month pants fit, but the sleeves on shirts are too long, and they are just huge on her.  She is in size 1 disposable diapers, and small cloth diapers.  She's nearly out of her infant diapers.  

She started solids a few weeks ago.  So far she really likes prunes, sweet potatoes, and avocado.  She eats twice a day right now, but tends to spit up a good bit after her first solid meal of the day.  Not sure what that's about.

Speaking of spitting up, wow.  She's a puker.  The doctor mentioned that most babies outgrow it by 6 months.  Yeah.  Notsomuch.  She spits up less volume than she once did, but still spits up after just about every feeding.  It still doesn't seem to bother her, so there's really nothing to be done about it.  She goes through a minimum of 2-3 outfits during the day, not including pjs.  She also usually goes through 3+ bibs and 3 burp cloths.  Wowza.

It's been tough to work on motor skills like sitting up because of her reflux.  As soon as she hits anywhere near a 90 degree angle within at least an hour of eating, it all comes back up. I'm a little scared for her to lose too much of her feeds because she's such a tiny little monkey.  So, if she's not sitting up right on track, it's my fault.  We're really starting to work on it now, even though it always accompanies at least 2 spit ups.  She can sit up with just one finger on her thigh to keep her steady.  She's getting there!

She adores her sister.  She belly laughed for her for the first time last night.  She's smiled at her forever, but last night was the first true belly laugh just because of Em.  It was precious!

Emma has really wanted to hold her a lot lately.  It only lasts for a second or 2, but it's sweet of her to ask!  Emma is VERY jealous of Abby touching toys.  Not just her toys, ANY toys.  I think it comes with the 2 year old territory.  We're working on sharing and trading.  She's getting there slowly but surely.

She's not teething yet, and her drooling is much better, but she wants everything in her mouth.  I remember these days with Emma all too well.  She gets it in her head that she wants a certain toy in her mouth in a certain way.  If it doesn't cooperate, she's PISSED!  

We have the Christmas tree up and both girls love it.  In fact, Emma has her own tree this year.  It's REALLY helping her to keep her hands on her own ornaments, and off of the ones on the big tree.  

Abby is still taking 2.5 naps a day.  She takes a good nap from 10-11:30 in the morning, and a nap with Emma at 1:00.  She also takes a 30-45 minute cat nap around 5:30.  Bedtime is between 8-9:00.  She sleeps pretty darn good - particularly compared to her sister at this age.  She wakes once to eat usually, and often not until 5:00 to eat.  She gets up for the day between 8-9:00.  It's NICE!  

She's still swaddled, though I think that's going to be ending here soon.  No one can get over how quickly and easily she goes to sleep.  You change her diaper, swaddle her, put her in her bed, turn on the fan, and she's out.  She occasionally needs you to put the passy back in, or turn on her seahorse soother, but that's it.  The child doesn't know what it means to be rocked or nursed to sleep.  Love it.

She's still a Mama's girl.  She will look for me from across the room.  She won't often calm down for anyone but Mama.  It warms my heart, but makes it tough for me to leave her. 

She also apparently still looks just like me.  In fact, I had a complete stranger in the mall stop me to tell me that this week!  I can totally see it in my baby pictures, but find it funny that so many other people see it now.  I will never complain - it's only right that after carrying her for 9 months, she should at least resemble her mama!

She adores to be in the Moby wrap or sling.  Particularly on the train at Stone Mountain.  We broke down and got Mountain Membership passes - endless train rides!  Abby and Emma both adore it, though I'm not sure Abby has ever stayed awake for more than 5 minutes of it! 

Well, that's about it for 5 months.  She'll be meeting Santa next weekend for the first time and I can't wait!  Hope her sister makes it.