Wednesday, December 30, 2009

How big? So big!

For a few weeks now Haley has been sleeping in her crib in her own room. I have kept the bassinet near our bed just in case she needs it, like when she had a cold last week and I wanted her near me so I could help her when her nose got too stuffy to breath well, or all the times I fed her in my bed and didn't want to walk back to her room to put he down.

2 nights ago I officially packed the bassinet away. It is now sitting in the attic covered in 2 trash bags, waiting for Haley's little brother or sisters to come along (or waiting for a friend who needs to borrow it).

It was time for it to go for 2 reasons. First, Haley is getting too long for it, as you can see in the pictures below. Second, There's no room for her to roll over in it.

Haley can now roll over from back to front. She had done it before but never been caught, unless it didn't count because she was on a slanted surface or placed with he arms in a helpful position. But, today I actually saw it (and caught it on film), on a flat blanket, several times, and in both directions. I'm so proud!

Haley September 14th (1 month)

November 15th (3 months)

As you can see from this trend of growth, it was time for the bassinet to go.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Images of Christmas

Here are some more pictures of Haley's first Christmas

The family gathered together on Christmas Eve
Haley was having a rough night. She was so tired.

Haley's cute elf tights.

Haley playing with her Daddy.

Bo was trying to dissect the horesasaurus.

Haley in her Christmas PJs, excited about sleepy time.

Bringing in Christmas morning with style.

Sirin's turn to help Haley open a present.

Zach reading his little Goose one of her Christmas books.

This was Haley's favorite gift of all.

Haley attacking her uncle Josh.

Brennan, the Giant blue inch worm

Gathering around the computer to talk to Haley's gramma.

London calling... (well, Lewis actually)

The "we can't hear you" signal

Haley loves her uncle B.

She also loves Grabby and her Christmas ornaments.

Playing with the kitten.

Brennan read her a Christmas classic. She was so cute in her Christmas dress (which was mine as a baby)

One big Happy Family

Unfortunately I can not take credit or all of these photos, about half of them were taken by Haley's favorite grandpa. Thanks!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Traditions


Starting Traditions
As a new mom I get to start family traditions that will hopefully last for years. I'm sure that these traditions will be dynamic, changing over time as our family changes and grows, but for now these are the traditions we've started, or plan to start soon.

Since Jesus is the "reason for the season" We will do our best to remember that at home. I plan to make an advent calendar for next Christmas that ends with Mary and Joseph in the stable, then on Christmas Eve we will add baby Jesus to the manger. On Christmas morning we will snuggle in bed together, before opening presents, and read the story of Jesus' birth as it is told in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. I hope my kids will know that the reason we celebrate Christmas is because of the incarnation. It's all just a big birthday celebration for Jesus.

Also, we want our kids to know that God sent his son to us as a gift, even though we are sinful. I don't plan to pull the "be good or Santa won't bring you presents" card. I want our kids to know that we give them gifts becasue we love them, not because they merit them, just like God sent Jesus because of his love for his people, not because we were good or deserving.

I love Christmas music. I love the hymns, the classics, and a lot of the hip new songs too. Listening to Christmas music will definitely be a part of our tradition. From when we bust out the decorations the day after Thanksgiving, through the 12 days of the Christmas season we will not only sing Christmas songs at church, but also in the car when we drive around looking at lights or traveling to see family and in our house as we bake, clean, and decorate. Hopefully Haley will have more musical talent than Zach and I, but even if not, we will make a point of singing Christmas songs together, especially on Christmas day and Christmas Eve. After all we are called to make a joyful noise.

I love Christmas movies. We will always watch a few Christmas movies as the day approaches- to stir up our imaginations and get in the Christmas mood. My favorite that will probably be repeated every year (although not with the kids) is Love Actually.

Christmas Eve
On the day before Christmas we will bake cookies together to leave out for Santa, with his chocolate milk of
course. We will eat a delicious meal: breakfast for dinner, yumm! Then as night falls we will open
See full size image
one gift each, our Christmas pajamas, and read the polar express together. Hopefully one day we'll do this sitting by the fire while drinking hot chocolate. I also hope we will each have an ornament, decorating our pajama packages, to add to the tree. (Im really excited about the ornament my friend Lynda sent for Haley this Christmas)

Next year I will make us all stockings. hopefully kitted ones, but that may be a bit over ambitious. We will hang them with care, and eat the delicious candy that fills them on Christmas morning. Each one will probably also contain another little surprise.

This year I just used a lot of my socks to substitute for stockings for most of my family. I made everyone corner bookmarks (tutorial to come later) and felt silly wrapping them, so they made the perfect stocking stuffers instead. Plus There was an actual fire place, which would have just seemed bare without some sort of stockings on Christmas Eve.

I love how Zach's family goes around in a circle to open gifts in turn. It gives the giver a chance to see the receivers reaction, and gives the receiver a chance to be appreciative. It can be time consuming, but instead of a race to open all the presents in an anti-climatic storm of wrapping paper and bows, each gift is carefully considered, as they were when they were purchased or made.

This year everyone took turns helping Haley unwrap her presents

I would also like our gifts to be gathered under a tree we picked for ourselves at a tree farm. This is luckily pretty convenient while living in the mountains. We went tree cutting with some close family friends last year and it was a blast. Unfortunately this year things did not go quite as planed, but Haley still had her first Christmas tree at her grandpa's house. Even if it was a bit unconventional. I'm excited to take her to the tree farm to pick our family tree next year, after all the tree is the cornerstone of my Christmas decorations. The house seemed a bit bare without one.

Many families face the santa delima, in fact several Moms dicussed their take on it over at mckmama's blog. I grew up believing in Santa, big time believing, wore the T-shirt, saw the sleigh fly by the moon believing. I want Haley to have the opportunity to enjoy that same magic of believing that I did, because it is one of my fondest memories of childhood. I plan on reading Santa stories, watching Santa movies and putting out milk and cookies for the big guy (probably carrots for the reindeer too).

That said I have heard horror stories of kids figuring out Santa wasn't real. For me it was a process over the years, I held on to the notion of Santa long after I knew all the presents under the tree actually came from my mom. But some kids who have that moment of revelation feel betrayed by their parents and lose trust. Others abandon faith in more important things, thinking if Santa's not real, who's to say Jesus isn't made up too. I do not want that to happen. I also, on principal, do not want to lie to my daughter.

Hopefully Haley will enjoy being in on the big secret. Hopefully she will appreciate that we tell her the truth. We will tell our kids that santa is make believe. We will also tell her that there are other kids who believe he is real, and ask her not to spoil the surprise for them. We will also tell her that there is nothing wrong with an active imagination (in fact it is encouraged), so we can have fun pretending Santa is real. We can discuss the tradition of Santa in other cultures and talk about St. Nicholas, and other stories and traditions that lead to modern Santa myths. We can have fun imagining how Santa would get to all the houses, or how he would deliver presents in homes where there is no fire place. We can speculate as to what makes the reindeer fly, and pretend that the one unwrapped, unlabeled gift under the tree each Christmas morning is from Santa. This year Haley got a toy from 'Santa' that has tactile fish and fun music.

Basically I would much rather Haley know the truth about Santa and be one of the kids who chooses to believe anyway, just because it's fun. I would like her to know that her parents will always be truthful with her. So, if she asks who the unwrapped gift is from, we will tell her that it's from us, and then remind her that we can pretend it was made by the elves in the North Pole, because I have fun pretending to be Santa too.

A few other ideas I would like to incorporate in some way are...
Giving 3 gifts to mirror the 3 gifts the wise men gave Jesus
Giving specific gifts, something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read.

And that's my way of celebrating Christmas.

I look forward to hearing about your traditions.

Next Week- Starting a bedtime routine

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Haley the Big Girl

In addition to finding her voice more and more every day, Haley has had a few more "big girl" experiences. She rolls over more consistently now from front to back. Especially when she's sleepy and cranky. And I think she has managed to get from back to front a time or two.
Haley has also sat in her high chair. She's not eating solids yet, but she sits in her chair and plays while Zach and I eat dinner and while I work in the kitchen.
Haley has also been to 2 playgrounds and swung in the bucket swing. She loves it.
She even swung with her Daddy on the real swing.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

Since we're too broke to send out real Christmas cards (I mean seriously, why are stamps 44 cents) and since smile box wouldn't download on my computer, I made our Christmas card on Power Point. Not too shabby for a first attempt.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Baby it's cold outside!

Who would have guessed that our humble little mountains would be receiving nearly a foot of snow just a week before Christmas. (and just days before winter). But alas, last Friday the snow began to fall, and fall, until it coated our little mountain and created a true winter wonderland.

We decided to venture into the snow with Haley on Friday afternoon. Singing "If all the snow flakes were ice cream and milk shakes oh what a snow that would be."
She didn't really know what to think about the cold white flurries.
But she was definitely bundled for the occasion. Reminiscent of A Christmas Story.
The next day we got bundled again and headed to out friends house. We of course traveled on foot since the roads were not plowed and we had no chance of getting out car up the driveway.
The snow was quite lovely on our walk.
We built a super sledder snowman. He was lovely and rotund.
Haley joined her daddy inside to watch the game.
Although many people insistd that we should take her sledding, Zach and I decided it would be best to wait until she can at least sit up.

On Sunday we stayed inside in out PJs all day after church and the relocated church Christmas party were cancelled.

On Monday Zach couldn't get to work so we went for a walk around town.
Most of the streets were plowed, so this cop was busy at work ensuring that no one sped through the intersection...
Actually this is just an excellent example of how the cops in our town leave cars at random locations to scare residents and vacationers into slowing down. This car even has a dummy in the drivers seat, but I couldn't get a good photo due to the glare. I love my town.
The icicles on this roof were lovely.
Haley and I went on a quest for a good snow shovel, when we returned we watched Zach clear a path so he could go to work the next day and so we could get out and go to the grocery store.
Haley tried snow. She was pleased.
I tried to assist in the shoveling process, but my attempts were weak in comparison. Luckily right as Zach finished clearing a path, a neighbor with a backhoe offered to clear the entire driveway for free. Not the best timing, but an appreciated service all the same. When he was done we returned the shovel and finally made it to the grocery store.

I leave you with the outfit Haley was going to wear for tacky Christmas bowling.
I realized it's hard for a baby to be tacky since they're so darn cute in everything.
and with a sneak peak at her Christmas loot, complete with Christmas Eve pajamas...