Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Take Two

Jess and Eric arrived in town today, so we had Christmas on Drew's side of the family right away.  Basically we all hung out and ate and opened gifts and had a great time.  So, this is just going to be a big photo dump for memories.  Enjoy!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Annelise's First Christmas

We decided to celebrate our family Christmas on Christmas Eve this year since Drew has to work Christmas Day.  And, Annelise doesn't understand the whole Santa thing and that he's supposed to come Christmas Day yet.  Annelise must have been a good girl because Santa brought her a pretty neat gift.
I ordered this activity cube a few months ago and have been so excited to give it to her!  She's still warming up to it, but I really think that she's going to like it.

After we let her play with the cube for a little bit, we opened her stocking.
She got a few things for the bath tub, and a bunch of books.  After her stocking, we opened up gifts and then took a few more pictures.
We always have the family party for my side of the family on Christmas Eve.  Annelise was a little shy at first, but eventually opened up and explored some.
"Can I have some of that, Auntie"
We've had such a great day and I'm really looking forward to a couple years from now when Annelise understands what Christmas means and is excited about it.  Of course, Jesus is the reason for the season!  I already have plans to buy her a cute nativity scene for next year!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tragedy at Sandy Hook

Tonight, my heart is heavy.  It's so hard to form words for how I feel after the events that have transpired today.  How do you talk about a classroom of kindergartners that had their lives ripped from them?  How do you talk about the adults in that school that lost their lives trying to protect young ones?  How do you talk about all the grieving that is being done in the town of Newtown, Connecticut?

I didn't learn about the shooting until around noon today.  I instantly turned on the news and stayed glued to it for most of the day.  I watched Annelise playing on the floor and cried.  Tears flowed from my eyes as I imagined the pain that those families must be feeling.  But, I can't imagine.  I can't imagine the pain of losing my child.  I can't imagine sending my child to school only to learn that I would never see them again.

Before Drew and I had Annelise, I would often question my decision to have kids.  I asked Drew on multiple occasions if it was fair to bring children into the crazy, messed up world that we live in.  It hurt me to think that my children would grow up with events like what happened today at Sandy Hook Elementary going on around them.  It hurts me to think that, one day, my child could be involved in a senseless act of violence.  As a parent, I'm supposed to protect my child.  I'm supposed to shield her and keep her safe.  How can I do that if she's not even safe at school?

My prayers go out to the people of Newtown, and all of those affected by this hateful crime.  My prayers go out to all of those who are forced to remember other crimes of the past.  Most importantly, my prayers go out to those who lost their lives today.  I pray for healing, not only for the victim's families, but healing for those who could commit crimes like these in the future.  We need these tragedies to end.  We need peace.  We need love.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Eight Months

Dear Annelise,

The growing and changing that you have done this month just astonishes me!  This has been such a big month for you.  I keep going back and forth between wanting to speed everything up, and wanting to slow everything down.

You had your first Presidential election this month.  Mommy and Daddy went and voted and you just looked around at everything.  We got you a sticker, but you much preferred to pick at mine.

We've had some relatively warm days here this month, and one day I decided that I needed to take you to the park to swing on a swing before winter came.  I put you in the stroller and brought Maya and we walked to the little playground by our house.  I put you in the swing and I could tell that you were a little hesitant about it at first.  After you realized what was happening, you loved it!!!  It was windy on the day we went, and you kept trying to stick your tongue out and "catch" the wind.  You were smiling and giggling up a storm.  Now, I'm even more anxious for spring to get here so that we can go back to the park.
Solids are going very well.  You love to eat Puffs and your pincher grasp has gotten very good.  You really have liked everything we've given you, and you are so eager to eat.  I can't sit down and eat anything without you trying to make a grab for it.

You went on your first road trip/vacation this month.  We drove down to Georgia to visit Uncle Eric, Aunt Jessica, and Wes for Thanksgiving.  Mommy and Daddy decided to drive overnight and we hoped that you would sleep all night.  You did amazing!  You fell asleep about five minutes into the trip and slept until we had to stop and get gas.  You ate, played for about half an hour, then fell back to sleep until we got to Uncle Eric and Aunt Jessica's house.  Amazing!!  The trip back home went just as well.  You had a great time while we were there and loved watching Emma and Wesley play.  Your sleep regressed a bit, but that's to be expected.

Your sleep is definitely improving!  I am so proud of you because you weaned yourself from the swaddle.  I was so worried that putting you to bed without being swaddled would be a nightmare, but since you've become mobile, you prefer to sleep without it.  You like to be able to roll and move around.  The minute I put you down to bed, you roll onto your side.  You usually spend most of the night, or naps, sleeping on your belly.  I think that all of your new sleep positions are absolutely adorable!
You are now officially a mobile baby!!  You roll from belly to back, and back to belly now.  You can put yourself into a sitting position from a laying position.  And . . . you crawled for the first time while we were in Georgia for Thanksgiving!  You also started pulling up on anything you can get your hands on.  I have been waiting for you to crawl for two months now and I love watching you move around.  It is so amazing how you get better and better at it everyday.  Your favorite thing is to crawl over to the entertainment center and spin the volume knob on the receiver.  We'll be getting a new entertainment center soon that has some doors on it so that you can't get to the buttons.  Sorry!  You even know that you aren't supposed to play with it.  When you're crawling over there, you put your head down in a determined little crawl and practically sprint there.  Once you get there, you pull up onto your knees and then start spinning the knob.  When I come over, you look at me and grin.  It's a good thing you're so darn cute!

I was so surprised that you clapped for the first time a few days ago.  I don't really clap that often around you and you all of a sudden did it.  You've been giving high fives for a little bit now.  Now, you clap often when you want us to be proud of you for something, usually after you crawl a little ways.

Still no teeth!  You chew on things a lot, but I don't feel or see anything on your gums.  I think that your teeth might be starting to move around towards the surface some because you've been whiny and clingy some days.  That's not very typical of you.
I haven't really talked about it too much, but we're still breastfeeding very well.  I never thought that I would enjoy breastfeeding as much as I do.  I love that time that we get to spend together.  I feel so close and connected to you, and I feel my heart just swell with love when we're snuggling as you nurse.    You have started to tug at my shirt and put your head on my chest if you want to nurse.  I think it's adorable.  I am so, so thankful that breastfeeding has gone as well as it has with you.

I just transitioned you to 12 month clothing, but they are still a little big on you.  You are still wearing a size 3 diaper.  I'm assuming that you are around 18 pounds.  I look at you and can't believe how big you've gotten, but you still look so tiny to me when you stand up.

Every day, I don't think it's possible for me to love you more than I do, but then tomorrow comes and I love you even more.  I want nothing but the best for you.

Love you always,