Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Day

 Christmas Day we went to my parents' to have dinner and open presents. 

Pops was playing Santa Claus in his hat.  SG wasn't too sure what she thought of that.

She enjoyed looking at her presents. 

We had to give the new books a read.  This one is a lift-the-flap and it makes noise when you lift the flap.  What could be more thrilling?

A tiger flashlight and the light comes on when you squeeze his tail and he roars.  What little Tiger fan could be without one of these?

She tried to open presents, but after a tug on the paper she would move on to other things. 

Here she is relaxing and enjoying some of her new things.  She helped herself into the plastic bin, but Aunt Nay helped her get situated.

This is the fabulous feast that Mom prepared.  We had beef tenderloin, the wonderful potatoes, asparagus, my favorite salad, rolls, and a peppermint, red velvet cake (not pictured) for dessert.  It was simply heavenly. 
The beef tenderloin was so absolutely wonderful that I thought it needed its own photo just to be the star that meat really is at dinner.

The most magical thing started to happen in the afternoon, snow started falling.

We were amazed to see it falling on Christmas.  It's a Southerner's dream to have snow on Christmas.

It kept falling and it was sticking!  Isn't their house beautiful with the snow and the Christmas lights? 

It kept falling and formed a lovely little blanket that has only just melted away. 

We had a truly wonderful Christmas.  Sarah Graves handled all of the festivities so well and she was such a joy to be with.  It was fun to be able to give her toys and have her be able to play with them.  I am so thankful that we could be with family during the holidays and it made it that much more special. 

As much fun as it was, next year I am starting way in advance preparing for Christmas.  I'm talking wrapping gifts in October kind of prepared.  It takes a lot of time to do everything that I want to do and I had a lot of late nights and didn't even get to everything.  Still a lot of fun!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Baby Shot!


Lovie made her this jumper with a cute snowman on one side and a Christmas tree on the other. I will be sad when the Christmas season is over and all her cute outfits are put away. At least we have until Epiphany to wear them!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Baby Shot!

Here is last week's baby shot.  This is one of her favorite things to do, reach up and yank her bow out!

Baby Shot!

We are behind on baby shot postings, so I will try to get caught up.  This one is from two weeks ago. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Morning


Aaron and I were super-excited about Sarah Graves' first Christmas.  

Our tree was decorated with several ornaments proclaiming her first Christmas.  I picked this one out for her at a little ornament place in Grant Park while we were in New York.

When we came home from church, we could not wait to see what Santa might bring.  We got baby girl off to bed and we followed quickly so that we could wake up nice and early like baby girls like to do on Christmas morning.  When we woke, we came downstairs (after a long nursing in Momma and Daddy's bed where they soaked up every last second of sleep) and found all of these toys from Santa. 
It was a little overwhelming to see so many toys at once, but after staring at it for a second, she picked the activity toy up front and focused on it for a while. 

Santa also left stuff in our stockings.  Santa Paws filled Lucy's stocking with lots of chew toys and inserts for her treat ball; and SG had some sippy cups, a toothbrush, some toothpaste and a cell phone toy in her stocking. 

Eventually, she warmed up to playing with her toys.  The cow toy rolls, plays a banjo tune, and says, "Moo!"


Santa brought some big knob puzzles that show shapes, colors, and another to show animals. 

Her rocking horse is fun because you press its ears and it gallops and neighs!  She gets quite tickled by it. 

She has been enjoying the set of lift the flap books and they really are cute.  It's a set by Karen Katz and each one uses simple words for a baby and she just loves to lift the flap (and occasionally rip it off).  She also likes the Leap Frog toy dog, Violet.  You hook it up to the computer and program it to say their name and know some of their favorites like food, color, and song and you also pick playtime songs and sleepy songs to put on it.  Tickle Me Elmo has gotten some attention too.  She hasn't really been interested in the construction blocks yet, but those are for an older baby, so she may need some time to grow into them.  

If you're worried that Santa didn't bring tons of girlie toys, don't be.  She received a purse, a kitchen set for babies (it's adorable), a doll named Cailin that smells like heaven, a learning home, and a tea set from aunts, uncles, and grandparents.   Santa wanted her to have some other toys that would teach her some different things.  We are very fortunate to have received so many wonderful toys for Christmas. 

Her first Christmas morning was overwhelming for her and a lot of fun.  I think Aaron and I may have enjoyed it more than she did!  The joy of Christmas really seems to be in children and now that I'm grown up, I find the joy in my own child. 

Here's some video of her spectacular Christmas morning.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Eve

Our Christmas Eve got off to a great start when we went to the Macks' annual Christmas Eve party.  Their house was a treasure trove of things that Sarah Graves would have loved to gobble up and there were some people there who would have gobbled her up!  It was a nice time visiting with neighbors and friends of my parents and some of the kids that I babysat for long ago. 



We had some time to hang out at my parents' before church, so Pops read SG some books and we let her open one of her presents.  She received a tent and a tunnel that attaches to it.  She liked the tunnel and I liked the tent!

Christmas Eve service was lovely and Sarah Graves made it up for all of it.  I thought she would have fallen asleep before eleven, but she stayed awake and pretty pleasant until after 12.  i was so happy to see some of our favorite people from St. B's at the 11 o'clock service. 
After church we headed home so that we could get baby girl in bed before Santa came...

Letter Month Eleven

Dear Sarah Graves,
This has been a huge month for you.  You have celebrated holidays and learned to walk.  You have also been picking up on how to sign (well, at least you have one sign down). 
Perfecting walking has definitely been your focus this month.  You started taking your first steps just before you turned 10 months old and the past few weeks have been about perfecting that.  You quickly learned to stand up on your own and you are pretty fast on your feet now.  You like to hold something while you walk and you leave things all over the house now.  You are so cute when you fall over and just bounce right back.  Your nickname has been pinball (given to you by Pops, of course) because you can start to stumble and bounce off of things before you fall down.  You are undaunted by falling down and rarely cry about it.  You are so persistent and I like to take some credit for that piece of you. 
You learning to walk has created some new challenges for Daddy and me.  You have discovered how fun it is to walk around the kitchen and really enjoy pulling things out of the cabinets.  You are also now able to wander off from us and have found the joy of things like pulling toilet paper off the roll.  When we call your name and ask you to come to us, you turn around, look at us, and begin giggling as you walk away.  It is adorable now, but I don't know that it will be later...
We celebrated your first Thanksgiving at the beach with Lovie, Pops, Aunt Nay, and her friend, David.  I think you really enjoyed how laid back it was and loved the feel of the wind in your hair.  You began to master walking while we were there and amazed us when you went across the room all on your own. 
We went on an exciting adventure on the plane to visit all of Daddy's family in Shreveport.  We spent several days visiting with friends, great grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.  You were a real rockstar and you were so sweet.  You were happy to see everyone, let them hold you, and performed most of your tricks.  This was the first time you received Christmas presents and while you didn't understand unwrapping, you caught on to how fun new toys are.  You charmed them all and they hated to let you go. 
You are an awesome eater.  You eat solids very well now and are becoming very interested in table food.  I knew that you really are my daughter when I fed you some rice and gravy and your eyebrows went up, you said mmmm, and made the sign for more!  You have also enjoyed mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, twice baked potatoes, and some hush puppy off of my plate.  We were happy when we realized that we can go out for breakfast and order you a scrambled egg off the menu.  I had thought that maybe you were going to wean from your daytime nursing sessions, but you learned to walk and have been more interested in nursing than ever.  I enjoy that quiet, sleepy time with you.   
I can't tell you how absolutely wonderful I think you are.  I know, you think that I only feel that way because I'm your mother, but it's not just me.  Complete strangers compliment you and want to talk to you.  I know you are wonderful because you giggle when I tickle your toes, you give kisses so sweetly, you like to be held to read books, and you are bright and inquisitive.  I know that other people have babies who grow to be children and adults, but you aren't going to do that to me.  You are going to stay cute, squishy, and so sweet forever!  Right?  You're not really going to grow up on me, are you?  I'm much too attached for that to happen. 
Love,
Momma

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!


We are celebrating today looking at SG's presents from Santa, exchanging gifts with my family, and anticipating a scrumptious meal.
We hope everyone is having a day that is merry and bright.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town!

You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better not pout,
I'm telling you why.
Santa Claus is coming to town!

Santa sent Sarah Graves a special video message.  You can see it here: http://www.portablenorthpole.tv/watch/-T80yXqrZdat1119hTA7Ww

We are all ready for Sarah Graves' first Christmas.  We will bring in Christmas at midnight mass (say a little prayer that she can hang in there until midnight) and see what Santa has for her in the morning.  I haven't been so excited since I was a kid.  It might be her first Christmas, but it feels like mine!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

SG at her Grandaddy and Granny B's

We took several short videos while we were at SG's Grandaddy's house.  It's ironic that we took these little videos right after we watched a DVD that was made from home movies of Mr. Dan and his siblings when they were growing up.  Mr. Dan was a baby in most of them and he was doing many of the things that SG does like stand at a chair and bat her hands at it! 
I have worked on my video editing skills and found a way to incorporate several short clips into one little video.  I was talking in the background of them, so I found a way to spare you that torture and put music over the audio.  Let me know if you like the music or hearing all the background noise better.  You can leave a comment to give me your opinion :)

Holiday Randomness

I can't believe that Christmas is on Saturday! That's only 2 days! I am really behind on getting everything ready. I have set clear priorities for what is really meaningful to me to get done, but I am still behind. The cards and baking Christmas cookies were my top priorities. Those are the things that say Christmas to me the most.
I finished the cards first because I like for them to arrive before Christmas. Last weekend I started on cookies, but that took longer than I expected. I finished the iced sugar cookies last night and I would like to bake some snickerdoodles. My problem is that I haven't wrapped presents yet. Would anyone care if everything was in a gift bag?
I have 2 evenings left to get it done. Now you see why the blog has been neglected. After Christmas I will get caught up on posting baby shots, monthly letter, and a few more pictures from random events.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, December 20, 2010

Scavenger

A little scavenger went through my pump bag this weekend and removed the milk storage bags and the parts that make it hands-free! Having a walking baby (running at times) is going to make our life a lot more interesting.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Dairy for Babies

When I read about foods for infants, dairy was something mentioned as a no,no. Then, other places I would see mention of cheese and yogurt as good snacks for babies. Finally, I read on www.wholesomebabyfood.com (love this site) that most babies can tolerate dairy, but the no dairy advisement is to keep parents from skimping on formula and giving their infant milk. I love the way that these government agencies govern for the lowest common denominator. Just like with the vaccine schedule, the assumption is that parents can't be given choices, or all the information because they might not be able to handle all that thinking.
I know there are idiot parents out there, but why do they get to dictate decisions for the majority?


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shreveport Holiday Visit - Part 4

I got busy and didn't have a chance to post some more pictures from our visit to Shreveport.  Sunday morning we picked up Southern Made doughnuts (they are heavenly, if you haven't had them) and headed over to Grandaddy's house.  He and Granny B were ready for SG. 
Sarah Graves kept Grandaddy busy reading books, chasing her, tickling, her and generally letting her do whatever heart desired.   
Grandaddy had this toy that we termed her lightsaver.  It looked like a sword and it changed colors and oh did she adore it.  She walked around with it and was so excited to hold it. 

That evening they had some family over to meet Sarah Graves.  She met her Aunt Gwen...

and fell in love with Gwen's husband, Louis.

Granny B's son Steven liked her pretty well and she like him.  She has a thing for men...this could be a concern.

She met her Uncle Mike.  She liked him a lot and enjoyed playing with him, but when it was time for a photo, she didn't want him to hold her.  Women are fickle from the start.

Aunt Ardie and Uncle Joe were happy to play with her.  We told her all about her cousin Austin who will be arriving in March.  She didn't get it that the kicking in Aunt Ardie's tummy was Austin telling her hello. 

We really enjoyed visiting with everybody and are so glad that Grandaddy and Granny B invited them to com and hang out with us.  Plus, they made some yummy food for us all to enjoy. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Holiday Party and Winter Weather

Yesterday was my office Christmas party.  The plan was for me to ride to the party with someone from work, stay at the party for a while, and then be picked up so that I could spend some more time with my cousin, Nikki, who is in town for a few days.  I got to the party just fine and then we started hearing from others that there was a bad accident just outside the neighborhood where the party was.  It took about an hour for most people to finally get there. 
We thought that was the worst part of it, but then about 45 minutes into the event we started hearing that the roads were icing and that the bridge you went over to get there was icy.  Great.  Our V.P. decided to cut the party short, so I made plans to get a ride home with someone on my team who lives near me.  We were less than 5 miles from my house, so this should have been a quick ride.  Because the roads were so bad, it took us over an hour and a half to get home. 
We were following one of the leaders who has a Mercedes with the navigation system and it warns you about traffic delays.  Sometimes this is annoying in Mom's car, but last night it proved useful.  He would have two cars he was leading headed one direction and then we would have to route another way because a bridge was out or accidents had roads blocked.  The person I was riding with is a timid driver on the best day and was in a panick last night.  She managed to overcome her fear and drive over ice.  To avoid her driving over the overpass near my house, I had her drop me off on the street that leads to my neighborhood and I walked home.  I'm glad that I had her drop me off there because that over pass was icy and cars were sliding on it.  Walking on ice in heels was not exactly easy either.  I must have looked like a penguin sort of skating along!
I was glad to get home to Aaron and I think SG was glad to see me, too.  After she nursed she laid her head on my shoulder and put her arms around me.  She would not normally do that, but it was incredibly sweet.
I was disappointed that due to the weather I didn't have a chance to see Nikki last night.  I didn't want anyone else stuck on icy roads, so it seemed like the mature decision (not the fun decision).

Shreveport Holiday Visit - Part 3

We took a few videos on Saturday as well.  Please ignore me speaking.  I need to learn to let these be silent videos, but I seem to always be talking.  Aaron would say that he has found that to be true as well :)

This one is SG with Aunt Barbara


This one is SG with Pap-pa

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Shreveport Holiday Visit - Part 2


Our day started off with a visit from Ms. Margaret Anne.  She was excited to finally meet the little girl that she makes all the cute clothes for.  We were excited to show her our little doll and show off the pretty dress that she made.  We are lucky for Sarah Graves to have so many nice things that are made with so much love.



Next it was time to celebrate Christmas with the Dillahuntys.  Everyone came to Ms. Nancy's house to enjoy some yummy gumbo and enjoy all of us being together.  We did our gift exchnge and all eyes were on Sarah Graves as she opened her new toys.  She didn't really catch on to unwrapping the gifts, but she definitely enjoyed the art of shredding tissue paper.  She had so much joy shredding that stuff and nibbling on it!  She received some really cute new toys and has enjoyed just going from one thing to the next. 
Ms. Nancy's huband, Gerald, has a grandson, Jayden, who came to visit too.  Jayden celebrated his first birthday on Saturday and he made a cute birthday boy!  He and Sarah Graves walked laps all over the house and enjoyed testing out each other's new toys.  Jayden was also fascinated by Sarah Graves' hairbow!
 

This was the first time that Sarah Graves met her Uncle Les and from the start they hit it off. 

Gramma came over to see her girl as well.  Sarah Gaves was happy to see her and they shared some giggles together. 

SG posed with Aunt Barbara, Uncle Les, and her new baby, Calin.  She likes Calin a lot and who wouldn't when your baby smells as good as Calin does.  Sarah Graves even offered Calin her paci!

We had a great time visiting with everyone and wish that it could have lasted longer.  There were so many people and so much commotion that Sarah Graves just didn't get to sit with any one person for long.  Hopefully we will get together again soon!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Shreveport Holiday Visit

On Friday we made a trip to Shreveport to celebrate the holidays with Aaron's family. 
This was Sarah Graves' third time to fly and she was a veteran.  She did really well nursing and sleeping most of the flight over.  Our first stop was Citizen's Bank in Vivian where Aaron's Dad works.  Neither of us thought to grab the camera, but SG was in rare form as she pranced all over the bank and let her grandaddy show her off.  She beamed, giggled, and performed all of her tricks.  The ladies in the bank thought she was pretty cute!  Her grandaddy was wrapped around her little finger!
After our visit to the bank, we met up with Aaron's Mam-ma and Pap-pa for a grandkids dinner with Aaron's sister, Arden, and his cousin Coan and his wife Jen.  We ate some yummy catfish and had a good time together.  We remembered the camera this time and caught some fun shots.  SG was on her best behavior and was so sweet all during dinner. 

This was SG's first time to meet Coan and Jen and they thought she was pretty fun. 



We don't get together with Aaron's cousin that often and it was so good to spend some time with them.  They live in Austin and we have to make more of an effort to make our visits sync up with theirs. 

It was an action packed few days, so I will continue to post more pictures from our visit!