Happy 8 months! Well I suppose I should say Happy Belated 8 months, considering you will be 9 months just after the New Year. You are changing so much and as each day passes, it seems you are getting farther and farther away from that baby stage. You are motoring all over the place ... crawling from room to room, scooting after the dog, and moving in the direction of whatever it is you want. Your newest trick is pulling up to standing and you are getting really good at it too. It won't be too long before you'll be off and running. With all these changes taking place, I'm reminded just how fleeting the baby stage is. You are growing up way. too. fast.
My favorite part about this age is all the babbling you do. I love hearing you "talk," especially when you say "ma ma." Melts my heart. You are also saying "da da", "ba ba," and the latest and your first word (already?!?!?!) is "ball." Go figure.
You've recently started eating some table foods and seem quite happy to be "eating" like the rest of us. Because you only have two teeth, we've only given you small bites of mushy, soft foods. You like bananas, pancakes, waffles, veggie puffs, and baby crackers. Along with some table food, you are still enjoying the basic baby food too. Much like your big sister, you eat almost anything ... and we love that!
I'm pretty sure you will be just like your Daddy. Handsome and tall. You are wearing size 12-18 months and Size 4 diapers! What a big boy, just growing and growing and growing. You are sleeping well for us, in fact often times you put yourself to sleep. You like to be rocked but only for a few minutes. Self soothing is a beautiful thing! :)
You are such a happy, easy going baby. Your smile brightens up the room and your laugh is contagious. Cuddling with you and kissing your sweet cheeks makes me one happy Mommy! I love you so much Little Man! :)
After much talk about Santa this year, Abby was finally ready to go visit the big guy in the red suit. We have been talking to Cookie the Elf about Santa and watching a video from Santa himself on repeat. Seriously, over and over. She's been telling me for weeks she wants to touch Santa's reindeer and ask him if he's working on her new bike. So off to Main Street we went for a fun night of holiday festivities.
Our "Florida fam" joined in on the fun ... dinner, a carriage ride, carolers, and of course the main attraction, Santa.
While waiting in line for the carriage ride, Abby made friends with a group of girls her age. They were dancing, singing, racing each other, and playing tag. It sure made the wait a lot easier, on all of us! :)
The time to talk to Santa came and Abby was being such a brave girl, until .... it was her turn to sit on his lap. She kept her distance but was fine talking to him. (big improvement over last year) We slowly made our way closer to Santa, but of course Mommy had to sit with him too. Secretly I love it ... because who doesn't love the jolly old man?! Abby watched as I gave a high five, but wanted no part of actually touching Santa ... only made sure he was working on her bike and coming to our house on Christmas Eve. Levi did a great job meeting Santa for the first time ... a little shy and uncertain at first, but no crying at all! :)
I'm starting to get way too excited for Christmas this year. Abby is certainly ready and I can't wait to see her reaction on Christmas morning. There is just something so special about this time of year ... the excitement, the anticipation, the love ... it's the best time of the year! :)
This past Tuesday I celebrated my 31st birthday. Last year I welcomed 30 with open arms and a positive attitude, despite what others might have said about turning 30. I'm so glad I did because 30 was an amazing year for me, for my husband, and for our family. 30 wasn't bad at all, so I'm welcoming 31 the same way. Just another year ... and it's going to be a great one!
My birthday this year was really no different than any other day but that's what made it perfect. Started off with my Pure Barre workout in the morning, followed by Abby's gymnastics class while Daddy took Levi to the chiropractor. Then the dreaded dentist appointment to have a root canal. Yes, I opted to have a root canal on my birthday. Wow. I guess I'm just really ready to have all my dental work done. Almost there ....
Despite the discomfort and a little bit of tooth pain, we still went out to dinner. This was the best part of my day, by far.... being with the ones who are responsible for making my last year so special.
Two of my favs :)
And then my evening after the kids went to bed ...
Ice pack, a glass of milk, apple strudel, some wine, and time with the hubs.
My birthday surprise was extra special ... last night the hubs lined up a sitter and we headed to Cirque du Soleil with our friends Sam and Joe. The show was awesome ... amazing costumes, incredible talent, and a great time with friends!
So here's to 31 and making it just as wonderful as the last! :)
Time that is. It seems like with each day that passes, they go by faster and faster. As I sit here and type this post, surrounded by the quiet sounds of the washing machine and Christmas carols playing in the background, I can't believe it's already one o'clock! Seriously, the morning is already gone. I had so much on my to-do list today and only half will get done. And you know what? Oh well. It may not get done when I wanted it to, but it will get done.
The message at church yesterday helped me realize this. Pastor Steve reminded us that the first Christmas wasn't perfect, in fact it was quite messy. It didn't play out according to the script, but what happened anyways was a miracle. Not everything in life is perfect, actually most things are far from perfect. So I'm taking on the challenge during this Christmas season to stress less, enjoy my family, and reflect on the wonderful year that we've had. Laundry will get done, gifts will be wrapped, and my closet will get organized. It may not be in the time I had envisioned... and that's okay. (I sure hope my husband was listening at church.)
I forget the exact scenario but the other day Abby was asking me to read a book to her. She asked over and over and I kept responding with... "when I'm done cooking" ... "when I'm done cleaning up my mess" ... and then finally it hit me, do it later. It will get done. It only took five or so minutes to read the book, enjoy some Abby time, and then I was able to get back to what needed to be done.
It's not always easy, it won't always be perfect but life is one amazing ride, so take the time to enjoy it!
I know it's easy to get caught up in the day to day "to do lists" but try to take the time to relax more, stress less, and celebrate this Christmas season. Remember, it won't be perfect ... and that's the best part about it. And like Pastor Steve said, instead of saying "Have a Merry Christmas," try saying ... "Have a Messy Christmas!" Afterall, messy can be a beautiful thing :)
So here's the rundown of what's goin' on in these pics:
Levi's bottom teeth are so cute, workin' on those uppers now! (And don't worry, his hair has grown back after Daddy's haircut) Three girls reading in Abby's book corner. Abby taking a minute to pose for the camera, since she's quite busy grocery shopping and all. Our new TALL Christmas tree, yay!! Abby and Mommy making reindeer cupcakes. Cookie the Elf helping collect change to put in Daddy's piggy bank. Levi's new favorite toy ... the drums. Daddy and Abby, sweet cuddle time before school this morning. :)
Over the past four or so years it has become tradition to celebrate Thanksgiving with Jim's brothers family. We take turns traveling to each others' homes, where we can spend the holiday cooking together, hanging Christmas lights, and doing a lil' shopping. This year, after much talk we decided it was time to change things up just a bit. It was our turn to travel to Tennessee this year, but instead of going to their home in Franklin, we met in Sevierville, Tennessee, right in the middle of the Smoky Mountains.
We rented a cabin way up on the top of a mountain ... a cabin with a beautiful view of the Smokies. A view that was most perfect for a beautiful sunrise or sunset. So instead of celebrating the holiday at a home, it turned into a little getaway for both families. There was plenty to do in the area, with Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg being so close. It may have been a bunch of "touristy" stuff, but there was fun to be had by everyone. The kids loved racing go carts, riding tons of different rides, playing miniature golf, going out to eat, exploring a science museum, and playing air hockey at the cabin. It was a fun time!
On Thanksgiving morning Abby really wanted to go to a playground, so the hubs and I found a nearby playground. We watched a little PeeWee football and Abby played with some other children on the playground. It was actually a relief that we weren't worrying about cooking and spending all day in the kitchen preparing a Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, we were able to pick up our meal from a local restaurant, heat everything up, and sit down to enjoy a nice meal. I'll admit it wasn't the menu we were all used to, but the food was just fine! I missed a few of our favorite dishes, but it was nice to just relax and enjoy a special day with family, without all the extra craziness!
Whether home for the holidays or tucked away in a cozy cabin, all that matters are the people you share the special time with and the memories you make. Hope y'all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! :)
The week before Thanksgiving Jim's parents came to visit. There were many highlights of their stay with us, but I think my favorite was our day at Busch Gardens. It was a beautiful day to be outside (even a bit chilly at times) and we picked a weekday so we wouldn't be fighting huge crowds. Little Man stayed behind so that way Abby could have a day with Nana and PopPop all to herself. :)
The Sesame Street area of the park was very cool. The characters were out walking around and a few were set up for photo sessions. Abby wasn't too thrilled about meeting Abby Cadabby or Cookie Monster, but with Daddy's help she eventually came around.
The safari train ride was fun too. We were literally on this train right in the middle of all the animals ... no fences, no boundaries. Elephants, giraffes, rhinos, zebras ... all right there! Abby of course loved getting her face painted, this time like Hello Kitty.
Abby wanted to try all the rides. She had a blast on the swings (go figure!) and she also loved the motorcycle ride. She was screaming and giggling the whole way through.
Our family had never done Busch Gardens before, but we had such a fun time together that we ended up buying season passes on our way out. Good times, spent with family makes for some great memories! :)