Thursday, December 13, 2012

Festival Of Trees + Santa

Tis the season to be Jolly.  Tis the season to participate in events, and partake in traditions that scream Christmas.  And Tis the season to enjoy time with family, while reminiscing about the old, and making new traditions with new family members.

Now that I have a family of my own, with that comes a whole new responsibility.  Ya know, as if parenting, or mothering isn't enough to juggle---we take on the "tradition staker-follow-througher-make-sure-everything-gets-done-during-the-holidays" responsibility as well.  We long for our family to experience old and new traditions, and we try our darnedest to make sure they enjoy the Holidays, and remember the true reason of this special and amazing Season. 

Parkersburg was hosting their very first annual Festival of Trees on December 1, and Carl and I both agreed that this was something that we could all enjoy as a family. 

Carson is obsessed with pretty lights, and "Chemistry" trees.  So this would be a perfect event for him to enjoy.  There were going to be dozens of Christmas trees lined with pretty lights.  That combination is a win-win in his book!  

My Sister and her family joined us for the evening, which made it even more fun.  I love to spend time with them, and my heart beats a little faster when I see Carson and Natalie playing together.  It melts me, to say the least.  We enjoyed a pancake supper, and good company.


Please excuse the above blurry pictures.  They were playing ring around the rosie, and I couldn't get a good picture of them- but I love how these pictures show how much fun they are having together.  Blurry or not.  

We enjoyed gazing at the different trees, picking out our favorites, and chatting about which one we thought would have the highest bid.  All of the trees were being silently auctioned off, and the money was going to be donated back into the Community. 

Grandma---this is Nancy's tree.  It was really big compared to the others, and so pretty!

Check out this Candy Land tree.  Isn't it so neat?  There were real pieces of candy that lined the board, and the tree was filled with candy.  This one got "most creative" in our book!

Oh yeah, and Santa was there.  Ya know--the big 'ol Jolly guy in a red suit?  Yeah, him.  Although, this year I felt like he was lacking the "jolly" part of his role play, as my children were scared to death of him.  Carson wouldn't go within 10 feet of the guy sitting in the big chair with a long white beard, and our poor Weston was petrified.  And yes, I was that Mother who snapped a shot of her screaming child while still sitting on Santa's lap.  I feel horrible, but I can't help but laugh at this picture.  Weston's HUGE pouty lip, and Santa's face is just too funny.  

We all enjoyed ourselves that evening, and it definitely got me in the spirit for Christmas.  It was a wonderful way to welcome December into our event calendar!  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving is such an amazing holiday.  I feel like it is just what I need each time of year.  I am thankful for many of things throughout the year, but every November, I am reminded again of everything that we have been blessed with.  And everything that we are thankful for.

From food, to shelter, to family, to our wonderful health, to clothing, to the little simple things that make up our grand life. 

We always seem to have busy holidays.  Our entire immediate family, both Carl's and mine, is within a 30 mile radius.  We are so fortunate to be surrounded by loved ones---at all times.  And with that, comes busy holidays, but we are so thankful for that.  We have so many loved ones close by, that we have to try and split our time.....which is something that some people may long for.  I am constantly reminding myself of that.  What we have, is something that other people may be dreaming of.  Like being surrounded by our entire immediate family---there are some people who could only dream of that.  

This year, we spent our Thanksgiving Noon at Carl's brother's house, with his side of the family.  I was in charge of the dessert.  I decided to tackle my first ever "layered" cake.  I am definitely an amateur.  I had no idea what I was doing, and it didn't turn out looking just the prettiest, but I got the job done.   

It's a chocolate snickers cake.  And while the layers aren't even, and the frosting is a little thick, it turned out pretty well. 

It was very rich, and very chocolaty.  I am a huge fan of chocolate, and even this was a little rich for me.  So, I may not be making it again, but I can at least say I have made a layered cake!  

Our little Wes is very seldom not doing the following:  getting himself into mischief, smiling, or displaying his tongue for all to see.  He is seriously so funny!  

Awkward family picture with the stand in brother-in-law!  Haha.

To-Die-For-Eyelashes.  I am so jealous of these bad boys.  They are much longer than mine.  Sigh. 

Carson and Jared had some bonding time playing Angry Birds on the Nook.  Carson continues to amaze us at just how good he is at that game.  We don't let him play it very often- or try not to anyway- so he thought he was pretty big stuff playing it with Jared. 

And playing it on Cassi's new ipod.  He eventually had an audience gathered around him to watch him play.  He displayed his shy smile indicating he thought that was pretty cool.

It was such an abnormally beautiful day on Thanksgiving that it was hard not to enjoy the outdoors.  Jared and Carson had some fun on the trampoline.  They had such a blast!  Carson was Jared's little shadow, and everything Jared did-- Carson's followed.  

Wes was content as can be just hanging out inside with all of the adults who just couldn't get enough of his cute little smile, and chubby cheeks.  He is quite the charmer!

After we were done at Mike and Monica's with Carl's family, we headed to Waterloo.  We made a pit stop at Ravenwood to see G&G Larson, to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving.  

Then it was on to Jasmina's for yet another feast.  The food was so delicious.  We got to enjoy the wonderful company, and Carson and Natalie had some fun playing ring around the rosie.  These two little people are getting to the age where they are really starting to have fun together, and that makes my heart so happy!  They are going to be the best of friends.

Frannie and Weston had some bonding time.  He loves him some kisses, and his cheeks scream "kiss me" he usually doesn't have a problem with it :)

There are so many things that I am thankful for this holiday season.  Too many to name or count, really.  But one thing I am most grateful for is my wonderful family that the Lord has blessed me with.   

Our hearts are overflowing with love. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Seven Months

As my children grow older with every passing day, I am constantly having to fight back tears as they are growing right before my eyes.  The holidays are approaching, and I feel like the spirit in the air helps me have a whole new appreciation for these two little souls.

I am paying more attention to the little details that make up their precious bodies.  Traits- physical and   personality- that make them special in their own way.  Like Carson's to-die-for eyelashes, or Weston's big smile that can cure any bad day.  The fact that they both love to snuggle, and get rocked to sleep every night by either Mom or Dad.  Or Carson's big soft heart, and Weston's tender spirited personality.  They are both happy, healthy, and active little boys---and I am overflowing with thankfulness for that in itself.

I say this every month as the 27th day comes and goes, but it really does not seem possible that our littlest Wee Lad is SEVEN months old already.  That means that he is closer to being a year old, than a newborn.  That means that he is entering into being classified as a toddler, instead of a baby.

The emotional Mama in me is not ready for this.  Not ready for him to grow older.  I love the baby stage, and I always long for Weston to be that newborn baby swaddled up, snuggled on my chest every day.  But then there is another part of me.  The excited, proud, humbled Mama who sees the world through the boys' eyes, and it makes me happy.  I see how Carson learns a new song, and is so excited that he knows the words knows the tune.  I see how content Weston was when he learned to sit up, and how the world looks completely different from a new angle.  I see how Carson (and Dad and Mom) are so proud after he goes poop on the potty, and receives the wonderful reward of 2 stickers and a piece of candy afterwards.  I see how Weston is so happy now that he can full on crawl and get to where he wants to go--and has the biggest smile to prove just that.  Parenthood does wonderful things like that.  It gives you a whole new perspective of the world.  It truly is the little things that matter most.  The littlest of milestones mean the most, as they are the biggest accomplishments to date for such young people.

Our little W did big things in his seventh month.  He went from "rocking" to "army crawling" to full on crawling!  He can also go from a crawling position, to sitting up by himself.  That was a big accomplishment for him, and he caught on quickly.  I feel like sitting up, crawling, and walking are some of the biggest milestones that we all look forward to, and reach for in their first year of life.  And now that Weston has two of the three things down---he is on the fast track to getting himself into mischief.  Oh wait, he already has :)

Wes is: busy active.  As in-- all over the place, getting into things, pulling things out of cupboards, tugging on Christmas tree branches, into big bro's little toys that he shouldn't be into--kind of busy.  And that very description has been added to my list of things I am thankful for.  Truly.  I am thankful that he is busy, and active, and all over the place.  He is so content to do his own thing now, and he is a happy little soul cruisin on all fours.  Oh, and he constantly has his tongue out.  Like, at all times.  The skin below his bottom lip is chapped because he always has it out!  It's almost impossible to get a picture without his tongue showing.

W has also recently taken crawling up a notch, and has been pulling himself up to enticing objects that have "this is not a toy" written all over them.  You do know that they are the most appealing, and suck little ones in, right?  Yeah, they do.  He has pulled himself up, and sat on his knees, and has tried to pull himself up to a standing position.  He has accomplished this task a few times, but he is still a little shaky in that department.  And with him being up on his knees, or feet, it just makes him that much taller---which only results to one thing.....into more things  :)

And now that I have made it very apparent that Wes is into everything, I will move onto the fun facts. Ha.

-Weight:  About 18 pounds.

-How much is he eating now:  W is eating 6 ounce bottles every 3-4 hours.  I have been continuing to try different baby foods, but he hasn't shown much interest lately.  He would much rather have table food, just like Carson did at his age.  And so, that is what he has been getting!  We usually give him little bits of our supper......non-chocking hazard foods of course.  He has had some pieces of actual green beans, mashed potatoes (his favorite!) applesauce, yogurt, and saltine crackers.  He doesn't have any objections to table food at all.  His mouth is usually wide open with every bite that we take when he is sitting on our laps.  It's rather comical, and yet I feel bad laughing about it--because the look of disappointment that washes over his face after he figures out he is not the recipient of the food, is rather heart breaking.    

-Wears size 3 diapers.

-How long does he sleep at night:  Not much has changed in the category of Wes's sleeping routine.  He goes to bed about 8:30 at night, and sleeps until about 1:00-2:00 in the morning.  He is up for a diaper change, and a bottle feeding, and then goes right back to sleep.  He usually sleeps until about 6:00 in the morning.  He is also not much of a napper these days.  I am so used to Carson, who has always taken long afternoon naps, and is very dependent on them.  W has been nicknamed our energizer bunny, and keeps going, and going and going.  Daycare's report lately has been that he has taken two 30 minute naps.  One in the morning, and one in the afternoon.  The crazy boy doesn't want to miss out on anything, and would rather be on the go than snooze.   

-What size of clothes is he in:  Weston has pretty much outgrown all of his 6 month clothing (makes me so sad!) and is wearing some 9 month clothing, and some 12 month stuff.  He is wearing all 12 month sleepers, and 12 month onesies.  

-Facial Expressions: As always, W is full of them!  He is always so happy, is usually sportin' his tongue hanging out, and more than likely has drool flowing from his mouth uncontrollably.  

-Learned anything new this month:  It was a big month----Mr. W is a full on crawler these days.  Watch out---our house is clearly not baby proof.  And I am here to tell you; just when you think it quickly find out that it isn't!  Insert panic attack from Weston getting his paws on one of Carson's play hot dogs that he left laying around, and Weston was shoving it in his mouth!  

-Is Weston a good traveler:  Yes he is.  Lately his car seat has been putting him right to sleep, which is great.  He is still in his carrier, but will soon be outgrowing it.  He is getting a big boy car seat for Christmas, so he will be in the carrier until at least the beginning of next year.

-Did Weston celebrate any holidays this past month:  This past month was busy.  Carson's THIRD birthday party, Daddy turned THIRTY and THANKSGIVING!  It has been so much fun having Wes around for all of the events taking place in our lives these days.  It's been busy, but honestly---I wouldn't have it any other way.  I am cherishing the memories that we are making as a family of FOUR this year as the excitement approaches for the next big holiday; CHRISTMAS.

-Recognize anyone new:  Wes has just started the "stranger danger" phase a bit, and is most comfortable in the arms of familiar people.  He doesn't do it every time, but a lot of times he will cry when I hand him off to someone new.  I sometimes feel bad for the person who wants to hold him, but also feel extremely loved when my baby is crying for his Mama.  The feelings are mutual, baby.

-Anything else:  W still only has his bottom two teeth.  We can only assume that he is getting some more in that are bothering him a bit.  He has his fussy times during the evening hours, which is to expected with teething.  He usually goes through at least two bibs a day, and they are soaking wet.  I feel really bad for the poor little guy.

This month we decided to have the boys start bathing together, since we felt Wes was old enough to sit up really well on his own in the bath seat.  And it has been so much fun watching them interact as they play together in the tub!  Carson now requests that Weston join him every time we say it is time for him to have a bath.  They both really enjoy the water, and splashing has been takin to a whole new level :)

I am so in love with watching W grow and learn new things.  I will always struggle, and have a love/hate relationship with my children growing up.  It's just a fact of life, that I feel that every Mama faces.  We are so proud, and rejoice with every milestone, and yet I feel a secret sense of sadness.  Only because I want my children to always be sweet and innocent and little.  That is when the parenting to the fullest comes into play.  We can guide them, and teach them, and watch them grow up to be fine people.  Pair that with the good Lord's guidance and love, and they will all be true gems. 

Happy 7 months to our little W!

"Today is the oldest you've ever been, yet the youngest you'll ever be, so enjoy this day while it lasts!"