Thursday, December 30, 2010

January 2011 blog header

Well, we've already moved on from our Christmas blog header. Check out our new one for January 2011.

Trying to get some cute pictures with Andrew in them during our photo shoot was pretty entertaining. We thought he liked the word "no" a lot when he was littler... but now it is his new mantra. If you ask him to do anything, he either says, "no" or "no thanks." At least he's polite :) He definitely didn't want to cooperate when we were trying to take this photo... so we thought his feet look adorable because they were a reminder of how the photo shoot went. I love the comparison of Kevin's feet next to Caitlin's feet as well!

I'm getting excited to come up with my 2011 theme and resolutions tomorrow! I have a feeling our New Years Eve celebration might include me going to bed at 10:30pm, so we might be celebrating on East Coast time instead :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

4 weeks already?

Today my mom joined me on a trip to get some cute itty bitty imprints done of Andrew and Caitlin. We got imprints done from my friend Lindsey's company when Andrew was born... so today we got some done for Caitlin. I can't wait to see them when they are done in a few weeks! It was so cool to see how big Andrew's hands are compared to when he was only 3-4 weeks old.

After that, we met up with Scott & Cat... and Scott and my dad took Andrew off to visit some friends, go out to lunch, and play Beatles Rockband...

Meanwhile, Cat, Laura, Jessie, mom, Caitlin, and I all went... shopping!!!

It was the best way we could have possibly celebrated Caitlin's 4 week birthday :)

(she was staring at me so hard she looks cross-eyed)

We went to Valley Fair Mall and bopped around to find some cute things for Cat.

Jessie tried to prove the weird energy vendors wrong.

We all got Mrs. Fields cookies and diet coke to keep us hydrated and energized on the long shopping trip. I mostly tagged along for the cookie and the company. I didn't feel like buying or looking for anything.

Caitlin eats pretty much every two hours lately, so I spent most of my mall time (almost 2 of the 3 hrs of shopping) enjoying the Nordstrom Mother's Lounge (love that place!) and catching up on blogs on my phone. Since Andrew wasn't around jumping on the couch next to me, it was actually pretty relaxing.

After shopping, we got a tour of Jessie's new house in EPA (she just moved) and then we all headed to Crepevine in PA for dinner. Delicious! (especially the fries).

Once we got home, we played our new favorite game, Kinect Championship Bowling. It is awesome to watch Andrew play Kinect. Dan & Elise got it for us for Christmas... and ever since we opened it we've been playing it non-stop in the evenings. We made Andrew a little avatar and he thinks it is so fun. He is so addicted that I have purposefully not learned to turn it on so that during the day we can't play. I say, "mommy doesn't know how to work it... but when daddy comes home tonight we can play."

I cannot believe it has almost been a month since Caitlin was born!

Caitlin highlights from this week include...

- more quiet alert time- she especially loves staring at the lights

- smiles (still not consistently happening, but they are social smiles and not gassy ones- yay!)- Andrew loves it when she smiles and gets so excited! "Baby Caitlin is smiling at me!!" Sometimes when she is screaming though, he thinks she is smiling and yells over her screams, "I'm making her happy." :)

- loves fans and hairdryers- she always falls asleep in her bouncer chair when I am taking a shower or blow drying my hair

- several really good nights of sleeping... going 5-7 hrs without food... I know it will fluctuate weekly, but I'm loving it for now.

- lots of eating! She eats for 45min-1 hr... then plays and sleeps, and eats an hour after the last feeding ended... so I basically feel like I am ALWAYS feeding her during the day... but then I usually don't feed her much at night, so I'm OK with that.

- she hates her car seat and screams every time I put her in it... but then falls asleep immediately once she is in the car.

- she is starting to scream a little less for her dad. Her bewitching hour is usually from 10-12pm... or 1am (basically, once I've gone to bed and Kevin is in charge). I sleep with one finger in my ear and I can't hear her, so I sleep great. The evening isn't Kevin's favorite time of night, but all of that screaming really tires her out for me!

- she wore some hairbows in her hair and looked really cute and more girly... although I'm worried they might permanently make her forehead have a little indent ;)

- her hair keeps getting longer and has light brown/blond highlights at the tips. It is completely unmanageable and sticks straight up sometimes which is totally awesome.

Happy 4 weeks Caitlin!

Going going going

Kevin's mom went home on Monday and Kev went back to work yesterday. We had our first day alone... just me, Andrew, and Caitlin. We spent the morning playing with Christmas toys and hanging out at home. I promised Andrew that we'd go to the park before lunch... and I was pretty impressed with how quickly we got out of the house once it was time. It almost felt like a fire drill. "K, Andrew... we have 30 minutes till Caitlin needs to eat again, RUN to the car." He helped me grab stuff and we RAN and hopped in the car. I love that he can put his own shoes and coat on and almost completely buckle himself into his seatbelt. Makes life so much easier!

It started raining on the way to the park. Andrew's response, "A little rain is OK." I did not feel like dealing with a tantrum... so we went to the park :)

Cute Caitlin was all bundled up and covered... and fast asleep

It rained lightly, but we didn't care... and we weren't the only crazy people at the park.

We strengthened our muscles and got all our energy out. It has been raining so much lately... it felt good to be outside finally! And yes, I am a bad mom. I didn't make him wear a coat. He takes after me and moves around a lot when he is outside, so he gets overheated if he is in a coat (I wear short sleeves to run in the winter). When he is actually cold he tells me and he will put on his coat. Yesterday wasn't one of those days...

Andrew loves to narrate his activities... so he loves to tell Caitlin all about what he is doing.

"Look at me swinging high baby Caitlin!"

After the park, lunch, and naps, Scott, Cat, and G&G Smith arrived!

Scott and Tito finally got to meet Caitlin

Caitlin loved staring at Scott and even smiled a few times.

Later in the evening, Aunt Jessie arrived! By Andrew's out of control excited reaction to her arrival, you would've thought she was a celebrity. He screamed her name and went running like a banshee to go give her a hug at the door. After she spent the evening playing with Andrew, she finally won the fight with G&G Smith to get some cuddle time with Caitlin!

We now have family in town again!... and I am back to having loads of people to entertain Andrew, cuddle with Caitlin, and give my arms a break. That one day was rough ;) It is going to be a sad day when everyone is gone and Kevin is back to work next Tuesday!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

All day celebrating!

This year our family stayed in California for Christmas... partially because we had a newborn who was very little and partially because we wanted to wake up on Christmas morning in our own house and start some of our own little family traditions. We were glad that Shari could join us this year!

Andrew surprisingly slept in on Christmas morning (till almost 8am)... and then woke us all up (except me who was already awake with Caitlin) yelling, "It's Christmas time!"

We headed downstairs to check and see if Santa had come... and sure enough, he had!

Little man was very excited about the candy in his stocking and even more excited about the remote control train that Santa brought him. We hung out in the family room playing with the train and opening stockings for almost an hour. Santa definitely made Andrew's day!

Andrew made sure that Caitlin wasn't left out. He read all the names on the stockings and passed them out to everyone.

Then he showed Caitlin how her toys worked.

After awhile we moved into the living room to start opening presents. Andrew liked to "read" all the tags. If it had an "A" on it he would say, "A is for Andrew," "it's a present for me!"... even if the "A" was at the end of a name :)... so any present for Shari, me, or Caitlin was fair game.

Caitlin's first present

Little man took breaks to go jump on his new trampoline (which will eventually go outside)

We decked out Caitlin in a cute holiday outfit... which she soaked through in about an hour

We took a break from present unwrapping around 9:30am and had a yummy breakfast of chocolate chocolate chip waffles. Mmm! They were so rich that it was more like eating cake or brownies for breakfast. Delish!

Then we got back to more presents...

If we'd known this voice changer that Andrew gave to Kevin would be such a hit... Andrew wouldn't have needed any other presents :)

After each of Andrew's presents, we paused to play with them so that he wouldn't get too overwhelmed by all the toys. This marble run was a hit!

Kevin and I got Andrew a raincoat and boots since it has been so rainy here... he wore them practically for the rest of the morning and ran around the house putting out fires. He called himself "Fireman Sam" (from one of his new favorite TV shows).

The boxes also provided lots of entertainment

Caitlin just relaxed and napped on and off. I loved opening her presents for her :) Cute bows, adorable outfits, and dolls, dolls, dolls! She and I will be sharing the 10th Anniversary Barbie... which will be on display in her room :) She is getting started young. Kevin and I only bought her pjs, pacifiers, and teething toys... so we were surprised when we found so many presents under the tree from Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, and cousins for her. What a lucky girl!

Playdoh spaghetti factory- so fun!

One of Kevin's favorite gifts

Andrew got a little laptop and immediately said, "I need to go sit on the couch and do work"... just like mom and dad do.

I thought this picture was darling!

Awesome ball target game- I have a feeling his little buddies are going to have a good time playing this one with him

By the end of the day we still had a lot of presents to open and our house looked like it had been hit by a tornado.

We finally remembered to put the roast in the crock pot around 1pm, so we ate dinner a little late. I got out my Spode Christmas stuff and was excited to use the new Spode Christmas napkins and glasses that I got as presents this year.

After dinner, we did some more present unwrapping before bed. We got this beautiful ornament from my friend Kathren. What a special gift!!

Caitlin tried out some of her bows as we watched Andrew open more presents

We still had several more presents under the tree when he went to bed, so Christmas will be continued...

What a fun day! We are so grateful to Santa, Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, and Cousins for making our Christmas so special. We definitely were spoiled!

Merry Christmas Eve

Kevin started our Christmas Eve off with an early Christmas gift...

Yum! The best part was that the majority of the cookie cake was covered in frosting. He saw this cake a few weeks ago and thought, "Kristina would love that," after watching me and my family devour the birthday cookie cake and leave all the unfrosted pieces untouched.

Our little Santa baby was decked out for our Christmas Eve party, but spent the majority of the time snoozing away in Kevin or Grandma's arms.

The cookie cake was our pre-party appetizer. As you can see, Andrew loves the frosting too.

We told Andrew he needed to wear something festive for the party... so he chose his Christmas pj top as his shirt for the evening. He thought he was very stylish and was not very happy when he spilled on his special shirt.

At around 5:30pm our party guests arrived! We invited two families over to join our family's Christmas Eve festivities. Each family brought an appetizer and a dessert and we started off the party eating lots and lots of yummy food! All of the desserts involved chocolate, so I was definitely happy about that.

After playtime, chatting, and food, we sang some Christmas carols. Shari accompanied us on the piano and the kids had fun singing and dancing. Their favorites include Rudolph, Frosty, Once there was a Snowman, Jingle Bells, and Jingle Bell Rock.

After singing, we did a re-enactment of the Nativity. We used a shortened and modified version of the scripture story and the kids got all decked out in costumes. They were so adorable that we started off with a little photo session and then we read the story... and attempted to have the kids act it out.

Joseph and the half-man, half-sheep :)

Cute little lamb

Mary- she took her part very seriously

Mary and Joseph
(we were just happy that Andrew wore his costume for a few minutes)

The adorable wise man
(his treasure was so enticing that Joseph/Andrew immediately said that he wanted to be a wise man instead of being Jesus' father... hmm... his priorities might be a little off?)

I didn't get a solo picture of our sweet Angel, but she is on the bottom left and was darling.

Before Joseph/Andrew ran off to be a wise man, we were very proud that he walked to Bethlehem with Mary and then knocked on the door of the inn to try and find a place for Jesus to be born. After that, he abandoned Mary... so he didn't make it into the picture above. He was off under the Christmas tree counting his money and rummaging through presents... which he then tossed on baby Jesus (the doll- Caitlin's understudy).

Mary asked where the "real" baby Jesus was... since baby Caitlin was supposed to be playing Jesus... so we brought her down from her nap and all the kids surrounded the manger to stare at baby Caitlin/Jesus (except Andrew who was more concerned about his treasure :)).

Here was a shot at the end of the Nativity with all the children surrounding the new baby... who remained fast asleep!

We finished off the party with more playtime and peppermint ice cream pie with Shari's special hot fudge. Delish!

We knew it was time for the party to end when Andrew started melting down... so we said goodbye and Merry Christmas to our friends and attempted to get little man into bed ASAP!

We cleaned up and chatted with the missionaries who were also at our house for several hours on Friday night trying to Skype on our computers with their parents. They serenaded their families (and us) with a beautiful version of "Away in a Manger" and listening to their conversations brought back lots of memories of Christmases spent on the phone with Scott when he was on his mission. So glad he is home now!

Santa's elves spent the rest of the evening wrapping gifts and getting things ready and assembled for Christmas morning.

Andrew's stocking tree

We finally got ourselves tucked into bed around 1 or 2am after several visits with Andrew who was too excited to sleep and kept talking about Santa flying through the sky in a sleigh with reindeer and coming down the chimney and leaving presents in his room.

We were so lucky to have Shari with us to celebrate Christmas Eve. Not only did she cuddle with Caitlin lots and lots and entertain Andrew... she also swept and vacuumed our house before the party and helped with lots of dishes and clean up after the party. What a great Christmas present!

We are also grateful for such wonderful friends who spent the evening with us!