That was the theme of our visit with Santa this past weekend. On a scale of 1-10, I'd pin Carter's excitement at about a 4. He was probably happier to see the reindeer than he was to see the big guy himself, but we perservered and now we have proof of just how attached he is to me these days. (That outreached arm is from Santa having just peeled him off my hip, and the word coming from his crying mouth is "Mom-my"). The funny thing is that as soon as he was out of Santa's lap and holding my hand again, he smiled and said Thank You to Santa for the coloring book he gave him. We've never actually had Carter's picture taken with Santa before now, so I'm glad his first is so excellent. At least Olivia isn't crying. She even took a few of Santa's beard hairs with her as a souvenir.
Two of Santa's Best, Donner & Blitzen (or so they say)
This is me trying to get Carter pumped about Santa. He's still not so sure about it.
And one more for good measure... I love that shirt.
Olivia is now four months old, and I’m still having trouble adjusting to the fact that my precious little infant is no longer a newborn. It feels like only yesterday that we were bringing her home from the hospital to the tune of Carter crying for "his" carseat that she now occupied. And even though she sleeps through the night now, I have not yet forgotten those first couple of months of sleepless nights and being jarred awake from a dead sleep to the sound of a crying baby. She's learning new things everyday and her personality develops a little more every time we interact. So whether we like it or not, time marches on, babies grow and they do not remain little forever.
Keeping all that in mind, the past couple of weeks have been really fun, and I'm excited about the new developments to come. Recently, Olivia started eating rice cereal from a spoon. And as you can see in this picture, Carter absolutely loves to help. I keep waiting for him to be upset about having to share his high chair with sissy, but he has yet to complain. I haven't let him actually feed her himself since she's still getting the hang of this whole food-from-a-spoon thing, but I'm sure that will come soon enough.
Olivia has also recently taught herself to roll over. She did it for the first time last week and I know it won't be too much longer before we are unable to put her in one place and have her actually stay there. Here's a pic I took during her big accomplishment.
Finally, we went to the doctor yesterday for her four month checkup and shots. She weighed in at 15 lbs 10.5 oz with a head circumference of 17”, and she is now 25” long. Her stats fall in the 95 percentile for all three. (If you don’t have children or if this means nothing to you, then just know that she’s a healthy, robust little girl.) And speaking of robust, I'll leave you with a couple more pictures of her first "solid" meal. Enjoy!
So Nick and I left the house this morning a little late... pulled out of the driveway at 7:20ish, rather than our usual 7:10 and headed for the daycare. No problem. We'll drop the kids off, jump on the highway, get stuck in a little traffic and get to work maybe 5 minutes late. Right? Wrong.
We get to the daycare just fine, give our hugs and kisses to the kids and head out the door. We get buckled in our seats and Nick turns the key. "Tick,tick,tick,tick,tick." He tries it again. "Tick,tick,tick,tick,tick." Hmmm. The radio is on. The lights are working. Can't be the battery. Try again... "Tick,tick,tick,tick,tick." Okay. So now what? After weighing all our options carefully, I did what any responsible, level-headed, 27 year old woman would do. I called my dad.
Once he answered the phone, I told him that the car started just fine when we left the house but now, no dice. I imitated the noise for him, "Tick,tick,tick,tick,tick," and he said, "It's your battery. I'll be there in a minute."
My dad is a very smart man, especially when it comes to things like cars, so I trusted him and we waited. As soon as my dad connected the jumper cables to the battery, our car started right away. So he was right. No surprise. And just to be sure it was only the battery and not something else like the alternator, my dad had me turn off the car while he hooked up some battery-testing-charging-radar thingy. [I don't know how] but it confirmed that we had a bad battery and nothing more serious. (Why my dad even had one of these tools?... I'll never know.) So off to the auto parts store, buy a battery, pull up to my parents' garage, and Nick & my dad had the battery changed in less than 10 minutes. I didn't even have to get out of the car. We were at work by 9, only one hour late.
Now I'm not telling this story for any other reason that I was reminded again this morning just how blessed I am to (first of all) have a dad that's so smart about things like this and has all the tools and knowledge necessary fix it so quickly and easily, but more importantly, I'm blessed that he and my mom live so close. I know there are people that prefer to move far away from their parents & families or those that prefer to live closer but maybe don't speak to them very often. I am not either of those people. I love my family very much and am so grateful that we are able to live as close as we do and that I can call on them whenever I am in need. Even if only for a dead battery.
Our Thanksgiving holiday was relatively uneventful, but sometimes, that's just what you need. I had mounds of laundry to get done, which I hardly touched. I wanted decorate for Christmas, but that didn't happen. And I'm sure there are plenty of other things that needed to get done around the house, yet they all went untouched. So now I sit here after returning to work today and wonder... "just what DID I do while I was off work the past four days?" Well, in short: I cooked. I ate. And I shopped. And Oh boy was it fun!
I guess the cooking started on Tuesday night when I made two different kinds of chili for our holiday lunch/chili cookoff at work. Nothing says Giving Thanks like a crock pot of chili, right? I made my traditional beef variety and tried my hand at my very first vegetarian dish. Being born in Texas and raised by a cattle rancher, you can probably imagine that there weren't any vegetarian dishes in my diet growing up. I got some rave reviews on that vegetarian chili, so I might just have to try that (and maybe other) veggie dishes in the near future. (Let the record show that my meat-and-potatoes-husband wouldn't even try it.)
Anyway, after cooking all that chili for Wednesday, I was very glad that I only had to fix the dressing and GBC (or green bean casserole as most of you probably call it) for Thanksgiving dinner. I was able to do this pretty easily while watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV. Carter loved watching the parade with me-his favorite was probably a tie between the Rockettes routine and the Sesame Street float. We made the trek 7 miles north to my sister's house in Anna for our Thanksgiving dinner, which only consisted of my parents, my grandmother (on visit from the nursing home for the day), and my sister, brother-in-law, & nephews.... just like I like it. Small, informal, easy to please everyone. Plenty of time for napping, football watching, and Black Friday ad scouting.
On [Black] Friday, my mom and I were at Wal-Mart by 5 am and were immediately surprised that there wasn't a single parking spot to be had in the entire lot. We go shopping on Black Friday every year, but NEVER have I seen it like this before. It was pretty crazy, but I was glad I wasn't in the hunt for any big ticket items this year. I simply wouldn't have had the patience. Along with Wal-Mart, we also hit up Target, Babies R Us/Toys R Us and Stonebriar mall. I was beyond pooped when I finally got home at 6:30 pm, but it was all worth it. I had a great time, got some good Christmas presents and even bought a thing or two for myself.
Saturday was a fun outing of lunch and shopping with the in-laws and Sunday was our normal routine of church, lunch with the fam and relaxing at my parents' house. All in all, a great holiday filled with the things for which I am most thankful.
Up next... holiday decorations, setting up the tree, and making some room in this house for bigger baby toys (think exersaucer) for Olivia. Pictures to follow. Hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday as much as we did. Only 24 more days until Christmas!