Wednesday, December 31, 2014

time to wrap up the Christmas festivities

Every year at this time people are sharing their top moments from the past year and announcing their word for next year. Then there's me, bringing up the rear with late Christmas posts. This year is no different. 

We drove up to Massachusetts for Christmas with my family. I'm sure you're thinking, "Traveling 20 hours in a car with a baby is the most fun I can imagine a person having!" I had the same thought. I set my expectations VERY LOW and expected 19.5 hours of crying. I assumed Annabelle would cry a little too. The whole thing went much more smoothly than expected. The baby cried a grand total of 30 minutes, thanks in no small part to the steady stream of crackers I handed her. She mostly cried in New Jersey but who wouldn't cry going through NJ?

I spent most of last Christmas Day throwing up in a hotel room. I'm thankful to say this year was vomit free and truly delightful.

My aunt married her boyfriend on Christmas Eve. It sealed the deal that my second wedding/vow renewal/ Pinterest wedding will take place at Christmas time. (Yes, I'll be marrying Christopher. People always tell me to clarify.)
Annabelle wore her fanciest party dress to the festivities. She considered it a dress rehearsal for her wedding to George. 
Suddenly her face is half the size of mine.
I searched high and low for the perfect first doll to give Annabelle. When we got the doll out of the box and handed it to AB, she pulled it to her and kissed its head. Try not to slip on the puddle my heart made when it melted on the floor.
I bought this dress last Christmas before I knew I was having a girl. It's too big but I don't care. It's 3 billion times cuter on her than I ever imagined. 
(Just to clear the air- people have said, "Oh, isn't smocking a southern thing? You are becoming a southerner?" The answer is a resounding n-o. I am not. Smocking, big bows, and love of fried okra are where any similarities between myself and southerner begin and end.)
Everyone says Christmas is so much better with a baby. I'm not going to lie. I thoroughly enjoyed the 24 Christmases I sat around without having to change a diaper, pick up puffs of the floor, nurse a baby or put someone down for a nap. But this Christmas with my baby and her baby was pretty special. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Parade of Christmas Clothes, 2014

A plaid Christmas dress. Could anything be more perfect? I don't know why she's not wearing a bow. I must have temporarily lost my mind. 
No tears of our first visit to Santa! Things can only go downhill in future years.

All dressed up for her first Christmas party with A Soldiers Child. She wore sparkly shoes and the whole outfit was perfection. 
 Santa baby! 
We bought this dress before I was even pregnant because I fell in love with it. My aunt got married on Christmas Eve and Sesame was the best dressed guest.
Yet another dress I bought before she was born. I can't help buying cute clothes! I love this sweet little bald girl.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

from us to you

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Santa Baby

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

a little family Christmas

Random pictures from the night we decorated our tree that have nothing to do with this post.
AB's Baby's First Christmas ornament
Since we're traveling for Christmas this year we celebrated our little family Christmas over the weekend. We started off by walking through the Christmas lights downtown.
Sometimes you ask someone to take a family picture and it causes a traffic jam on either side of you while the photographer attempts to figure out the camera. You end up with a precious picture like this.
The next day we went to see the Christmas decorations at the Opry hotel. I loved the poinsetta tree. It made me ashamed for having difficuly keeping my 3'' poinsettias alive and thriving.
Occasionally a stranger does take a good family picture.
Found this cute baby over by the fountain. Wonder who she belongs to.
We did our stockings and let AB open the remaining gifts from the Solier's Child party. She is FASCINATED by this Minnie Mouse car. She can't believe we let her live on this earth 8 months without telling her about light up toys.  

Friday, December 19, 2014

a tale of many trees

* tap tap* Is this thing on?

It's no secret we're a family who loves multiple Christmas trees. This is our fourth Christmas together and we've had 11 trees. We put all our family ornaments on the fake tree and choose a theme for the real tree. We have five threes this year which is a new record.

Annabelle and I put together a Charlie Brown tree for her room. I assembled while she tasted the box.
Keeping expectations low by giving her a personal tree with only one ornament. Things can only go up from here in Christmases to come.
We put together our fake tree and as in years gone by, we had issues with the lights. It came lit but we're always surprised that we have to add our own lights even though we do the same thing every year. I don't know why couples in pre-marriage counseling aren't required to put up Christmas lights together before they head down the aisle. It's an activity that can make or break a marriage.
We couldn't find the fake tree stand so Christopher said we could use the real tree stand instead. I said it wouldn't work. He said it would with some cardboard and duct tape.

Look who was right.

Three days and one new tree stand later...
It looks like I have metalic curtains. I do not.
The next day we went to pick out a real tree. I'm very picky when selecting a tree. If I'm going to have a giant piece of the outdoors in middle of my living room I want it to be straight, smell nice, not have gaping holes, and be symmetrical. Is that too much to ask? Apparently. The trees at Home Depot were only so-so. The trees sold in the Olive Garden parking lot were too expensive. The Walmart trees were pathetic. The Christmas tree odds were not in our favor. We went out again after church the next day and discovered that either everyone in this town goes to a tree farm or the people who live here have no Christmas spirit. (Based on the faces I saw last night while shopping, I'm going with the second option.) We drove around for over an hour and not a tree seller was to be seen. (Could I be making this story any more drawn out? Yes, yes I could.) Back to the place by Olive Garden we went. After a few deliberations and sniffing of trees, I we decided on a tree that fit all the requirements. It was bigger than we normally have but go big or go home. 

It's about two feet taller and three feet wider than we expected. It was so fun to put the lights on!

I told Annabelle I needed her to sit in front of the tree to provide some sort of scale.
She had other CRAWLING. OMG.
I am now in love with our larger than life tree.
It has a "White lights only because we ran out of time to do anything else" theme.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas is becoming her favorite time of year

We had a busy Saturday. First, we dropped AB off at parents day out at MOPS. I was really proud of myself for signing her up because  I still don't love leaving her with other people. (Except on the days I want to break outta this house like a criminal escaping prison. Then I'd hand her off to almost anyone.) Christopher and I had a breakfast date then walked around the mall. In other words, we partied hard during our childless two hours.

In the afternoon I took Annabelle to a Christmas party put on by A Soldier's Child Foundation. She wore the second dress in her Christmas dress rotation. It's a real shame she's a shabby looking child.

The party was held at a church downtown and a grand total of 800 children were signed up to attend. I like kids but that's A LOT OF CHILDREN in one spot. Every family got a blanket, a book and a bag of gifts specifically bought for each child. I've always been on the giving end of these events so it felt extremely weird to be the one receiving. I almost didn't sign Annabelle up for it because I felt so odd. Annabelle didn't feel odd at all. She waved at everyone, pulled on the pompom hat of the girl in front of her, ate a container of apple sauce, and loved the music. Basically, all her Christmas dreams came true in one hour.
I managed to get most of our faces in the picture. My selfie skills are improving.
I wish we could met the family who picked out gifts for Annabelle. They wrote us the sweetest card and gave us this big bag. It was so generous of them.
She opened one gift yesterday and we're saving the rest for Christmas. Not that she notices there are more in the bag. All they needed to do was give her the gold bow. She played with it for 15 minutes straight. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

words on Wednesday

Once again I feel have no interesting/comical/heartwarming stores to share. It's more of the same ole same ole over here. Sweeping the floor four times a day, grocery shopping, and getting stuck under chairs. Our life is really wild right now.

* I designed our Christmas cards and put them in the cart before realizing I didn't put our names on them. I hope this doesn't cause much confusion. If you get a card from us and don't recognize our picture than I think something is wrong with our friendship.

* We don't have our tree(s) up yet. We were going to start putting them up Sunday night, then Monday night and now it's Wednesday and we're still treeless. What we do have is a lovely collection of 16 snowman figurines of every shape and size imaginable given to us by a couple from church. Snowmen have taken over our living room.   

* I'm currently in search of semi-coordinating pajamas for our family. I was originally only searching for matching pajamas for Sesame and I, but I didn't want to leave Christopher out of the fun. I'm looking for something a little more subtle than this bear butt family. (Although it is a million times better than being a bare butt family.)

* I took Annabelle to the mall yesterday as a reward for being so good at the doctors office. She requested we look around Forever 21. Who was I to say no to her desire to check out the inexpensive jewelry? Observation number one: no one else in there was pushing a stroller. Certainly no one else had put significant effort into dressing their child in a cute Christmas sweater. Observation number two: none of their dresses are nursing friendly. (Where did I think I was? Motherhood Maternity?) Observation number three: I don't think the aztec legging trend does me any favors. 

We went through H & M before we left the mall because I needed to boost my confidence by shopping at a store without an age in it's name. I found a shirt to try on but in the dressing room I made the unfortunate discovery that none of the stalls had doors. Whose brilliant idea was it to put curtains instead of doors? I felt like I was changing out in the middle of the store. The curtain swished every time someone walked by. Talk about taking the joy out of shopping.   

* On Sunday night we went to a Christmas concert at church. Sesame Pie enjoys music so she stayed with us instead of going to the nursery. At one point I sat her down on the seat next to me and gave her a snack to keep her quiet. She looked so cute sitting there with her little feet sticking out from under her dress and like such a big girl that I almost cried. Just last week we took her to church for the first time and she was barely 6lbs. Now she waves to everyone and is the little star who all the old people love and fight over. 

* I went pottery painting with my new friend Tiffany! She was so kind and didn't make fun of me for taking two hours to paint fifteen dots onto a bowl. Rembrandt I am not. (Tiffany will backup my story that everyone at church loves AB. She goes to church with us now (!!) and has seen it first hand. I don't say it just because I'm AB's mother.)

* Annabelle's stylist bought her more Christmas dresses than there are Sundays in December. She wore the first of the dresses on Sunday in honor of George's Irish/Scottish heritage. 
Double chins look so much cuter on her than on me.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A day in my life according to me. By, Annabelle

6:02- Rude awakening thanks to a diaper malfunction.
6:20- I'm wearing new pjs, drinking a bottle (aka first breakfast) with Dad and watching Mom put a new sheet on my crib.
7:41- I awake for the day and wonder when Mom will get me up. She doesn't arrive for 10 minutes.
8:10- Mom nurses me aka I have my second breakfast.
8:40- Third breakfast! We're out of all the good breakfast food (muffins, oatmeal, butter which means we can't have toast) so I eat rice krispie cereal. 
9:30- Bath in the big tub!
9:58- My head is squeezed through a tiny hole. Apparently this is what they call "getting dressed".
10:02- Down for a nap.
10:20- I cry until Mom picks me up and nurses me. I need that midmorning snack to get through my nap.
10:57- I decide Mom's had enough alone time. Time to play, eat puffs and pull on the curtains.
11:15- Dance party to Christmas music! 
11:50- I have a healthy lunch of apple sauce with aronia berry. Mom says she doesn't know what aronia berry is but she's giving it to me anyway. Is that safe?
12:30- I spend 15 minutes playing with a mini gourd. Mom still hasn't put away her fall decor yet.
12:50- Mom notices I'm eating Dad's playing cards with the confederate flag on them. She says even though the confederate flag isn't her favorite doesn't mean I should be eating it. #partypooper
12:52- She sticks her finger in my mouth and pulls out a wad of paper. 
12:53- I fall over and smack my head on the floor. TEARS.
12:55- We're going outside! To the mailbox! My favorite daily activity! 
1:10- We sit in the rocking chair so I can have second lunch.
1:20- I play my piano like the child prodigy that I am. I go crazy and play with my feet while holding a green ball because YOLO.
2:00- nap time
2:43- THIS NAP TIME IS OVER. (Mom is not happy with me. She says I've had horrible naps today.)
3:00- Mom says we need to get out of the house so we go to the grocery store. 
3:37- I'm sandwiched between two boxes of crackers and a roll of plastic wrap.
4:28- Eating crackers in my highchair while watching Mom decorate the mantle. She hasn't asked my opinion.
6:00- I enjoy a meal of peas, carrots and more crackers.
6:18- I randomly yell "hi" to no one in particular.
6:30- I look at the American Girl magazine for a present to get myself give Prince George for Christmas.
6:52- I'm stuck under my exersaucer.
7:07- Pajama/Bible book/nightly snack time.
7:20- Mom sings to me then we do our nightly ritual of touching the elephant lamp, waving to the Paddington Bear stuffed animal and hitting the elephants on my mobile.
7:33- Mom puts me in bed and says good night. Says she loves me but doesn't want to see me again until the morning.
7:41- I'm writing this from my crib. Don't tell Mom but I'm not asleep.