Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The rest of Katy's first Christmas

I'm emerging from under a pile of laundry, crinkled wrapping paper, and snotty tissues (see below) to post about the rest of our Christmas marathon. Overall this year was a really special occasion, in which we feel richly blessed that the Lord has given us a beautiful daughter, a wonderful family, and warm homes in which to celebrate. Katy really enjoyed visiting with all of her family and friends, and by the end I think she was starting to get the hang of the present thing.

We went to Granny's for the annual get-together, which was highlighted by getting to meet our new 3 month old cousin Gabe. Katy tried out Grandpa's homemade swing that he created when I was a baby. It was so much fun to have 2 babies around for the gift exchange, as well:
Then we headed back to Columbus for our first Christmas at our house. It was nice to be home for Christmas. The only thing was, it was all a bit overwhelming for a 7 month old, and after having been gone 4 nights and fighting a head cold, Katy really needed Christmas day to recover, and she had a complete meltdown in the middle of unwrapping presents Christmas morning. It took us about 20 minutes to calm her down because she was refusing to nurse because of her stuffy nose, poor thing. Anyway, Brian got her to take a bottle, she fell asleep, and we finished the adult presents and helped her to open hers later after she woke up in a better mood. (Oh, and Brian had to teach us how to "play" our stocking stuffers)
Another thing that made Christmas Day special - Katy took her first crawling steps! She'll be moving before we know it.

I even cooked Christmas dinner! My mom and sister helped, of course, but we had cornish hens, sweet potatoes, stuffing, corn casserole, biscuits, and million dollar pie that I saw on Oprah. :) This was even more fun because it was the first meal I have made in the new kitchen, and we washed the dishes in the dishwasher!

Finally yesterday, after Katy thought she was all finished traveling, we took a day trip to do Christmas with Brian's family. We had a really nice visit with Grammy and all the cousins and looking at their new kitchen, too.

So today I'm feeling the post Christmas high - enjoying the recent memory of time with family, leftovers in the fridge, new things around the house, and still moving at a little slower pace than usual. There's also a LITTLE relief that it's over, because it's such a hustle and bustle. But it was a good Christmas, and we are truly blessed.

One more funny tidbit: last night Katy slept in her new sleep sack, and at 3:30am this morning when I fed her she was still in it like normal. But at 6:30 when she awoke for the day, this is how I found her. This ia truly a Houdini act - she must've pulled her arms out of the sleeves, twisted around, and pushed her arms back through. If she can do that - what else can she do?

Friday, December 22, 2006

The first stop of my first Christmas

Our first leg of the Christmas journey 2006 is to see Grandpa, Grandma Sue, and Great Grandma Martha. Oh, and Katy's found a new friend, my Dad's dog Scout. She giggles and giggles whenever he comes near, and looks confused when he walks away.

We've been quite busy so far. Several people received big Christmas gifts this year, and we've been all tied up keeping things secret until time to open gifts... Grandma Martha got a new stove, and we were trying to keep her in the dark until it was delivered yesterday. Then we were also hiding the laptop for Grandma Sue and the golf clubs for Grandpa (Dad). But we've also had some other adventures. Yesterday we took Katy to see Santa for the first time. I wasn't sure how she would respond, but she was very interested in him, smiling and friendly, Santa even said "You make it all worth it, kiddo". Jen G's son Will gave us the Christmas hat and it was a big hit - everyone in the mall kept stopping us and making over Katy:

This morning we met up with my friend Jen and her family, and had a nice time catching up and seeing her kids.

This afternoon we opened the first round of gifts. It was really cute to see how Katy responded. She definitely likes boxes and paper, and she was very interested, but it was hard to get her to tear it. But she got some really cute things and had a good time. I'll just post some pics and let them speak for themselves. There's also the family photo.
(This was a funny moment- we were trying to get Katy to look at the camera and she pulled my Dad's glasses off right before the flash. We were all cracking up.)

Tomorrow we're heading to Granny's for the extended family get together on my mom's side. We'll be back...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Pics from Mel's trip to New Orleans

Here are a few pictures from Melanie's trip to New Orleans with her church with Samaritan's purse. This is Melanie's team and the owner standing in front of the house they gutted out.

Here's what they removed and the truck that took it away...

The gear they had to wear...

And where they lived for the week...

New floors!!

The title says it all, Brian spent the weekend laying down our new kitchen floor - the last major part of the kitchen project (still lots of little finishing work to do that will likely take another month - but can we still say that we reached our goal of being done by Christmas?). We picked a pergo laminate wood flooring which Brian says was relatively easy to install. Didn't look like it to me:

But I definitely enjoy the finished product, and so does Katy...

On another note, I'd like to take this opportunity to say, WELCOME HOME, AUNT MEL!!! Melanie was just on a missions trip to New Orleans with Samaritan's Purse cleaning out some houses that they hope to rebuild after Katrina. I'll ask her if she'd like to post some pictures and/or share stories from her trip. She said she had a really good time, but it was also emotional and hard.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

A little preview of Christmas morning

Today Katy was taking a long nap, so I decided to wrap some Christmas presents. Then, of course, she woke up. I thought, well, it shouldn't be so bad to just keep going - she really likes paper and boxes. The only trouble is that my living room floor really isn't that big, and Katy can definitely roll and scoot to wherever she wants in the room at this point, so there really isn't any "keeping her out of it". So it was really quite humerous. Every time I turned around - there she was - getting into something she shouldn't. I know, I know, this is going to get 10 times worse once she is REALLY mobile, and it won't always be this cute. But today it was cracking me up. She just really really likes paper, so I couldn't keep her away from it. And then she figured out how to tear it:

And there was no toy that would distract her from the roll of wrapping paper...
I'm really looking forward to seeing what she does with her presents.

We've also been working on drinking from a cup - both sippy and non-sippy. Today was the first day she actually drank some water and didn't spit it back down on her shirt. And when she swallowed it, she made a face like she was taking a shot of vodka. Water is no breast milk, that's for sure.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Reclaiming the kitchen

I don't know if I'll be able to accurately portray my excitement in this post - but I am so thrilled about the kitchen progress from this weekend. We now have countertops, a new sink, a garbage disposal, and running water. I was finally able to move all of our food and dishes from the dining room back into the kitchen, which was an all day task with a baby on my hip (she's starting some of that clingy separation anxiety stuff - bleh). We also purchased the pergo flooring, which Brian plans to install this weekend. And then - voila, just finishing work to be done. (Okay - "voila" will probably take another month, but we're getting there). I'll post some pictures and ask you to use your imagination....
Imagine curtains made out of this blue material and stools under the "breakfast nook".

Imagine doors on the pantry (which Brian made - impressive, huh?)

Ok, REALLY stretch your mind here - a tile backsplash where all the yucky wall is and a dishwasher (!!) to the left of the sink.

We realized that we were pretty silly and didn't take any before pics, but I'll have to check the archives and see if I can dig some up - especially for when it's all finished.

Friday, December 08, 2006

The countertops are in...

...or should I say they're delivered. Being "in" would imply installed, which they are not, but my diligent husband is working very hard toward that goal. This is the big mess. Right now there's no kitchen sink... everything from the kitchen is laying on the dining room and living room floor, and we're having take-out for every meal. But here's the good news - this is the last big step before we can start moving back into the kitchen. And Brian is going to work all weekend, and into next week if he has to, to get us functional. I'll keep you posted on our progress, pray for Brian's endurance, as he has his work cut out for him... I'm so proud of my handyman husband.

So just to make myself feel better, here's a couple photos that make it seem like all is well in the house (including my new Christmas gift from Brian's mom and John - nativity scene):
And now for the truth:

Thursday, December 07, 2006

All bundled up

So today I had a few errands to run and it was a bit blustery. So I dug out Katy's winter outdoor clothes. My mom made this "bunting" for her (without which I would not know what a "bunting" was) and someone from Brian's work gave her this hat (I wanna say it's from Argentina or somewhere?). Anyway, when I finished bundling her I just about cracked up:

This look could be translated - are you kidding me? Ten minutes into my outing I realized that I also should've dug out my own hat, but that completely slipped my mind. This is a pretty good representation of how things go these days.

I'm also mourning the loss of a treasured baby item... the mechanical swing. I love the swing. Katy loves it - which is why she has spent hours upon hours in it during the first 6 months of her life. We actually have 2 swings, both used, because we wanted one for the attic and for the first floor. There were lots of times when Katy was little that the swing was the only way she would calm down. I even let her sleep in it one night when she was a few weeks old because it was the only way she would stop screaming. Until she was 3 months old she napped every morning in the swing. We've TORN UP the D batteries.

These days I just put her in it once in a while when it's almost nap time and she's a little fussy, she still really likes it. A little while ago she was in it, and I kept hearing this THUNK... THUNK... so I turn around and she's attempting to turn completely around in the seat so she can reach the spinning lambs in the mobile above her, and her head is bumping against the frame every time it swings past. So I go over and look at the sticker:


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

All I want for Christmas

As you might guess because of the lapse in time since our last entry, things have been a little crazy (like they have been for everyone, I'm sure). This past weekend was one of those weekends where you have about 6 different actvities that you want to participate in/have been invited to (even 2 of which you purchased tickets for), and you just have to let it go, pick a couple things and figure you'll catch the others next year. We had 9 out-of-town relatives pass through our doors on Saturday alone. Saturday morning I went to the church to help set up for the annual Women's Christmas Brunch. It looked like it was going to be really neat. I'll plan on catching that next year. Then Brian's mom, Mark, Kelly and the girls all came into town to go to the circus - so we had lunch out with them. Brian's Aunt Mary Jo and cousin Tara also came along to go to the Ohio State basketball game vs. Valpraiso. My Dad and Sue also came in to attend that game, which Melanie and I attended with them while Brian stayed home with Katy. We got to see Greg Oden's debut on the OSU court - history in the making, as the guy in the seat next to us called it. This guy is supposed to be the next Lebron. He's only 18, he shot left handed the entire game because his right hand is still in a splint from surgery, and he still had very impressive stats.

But anyway, in the midst of all this, of course, Katy has been busy growing up. We've decided that if we got her a big box of crinkly paper for Christmas, she'd be the happiest camper around. Give her a stuffed animal, and she will play with the TAG on it for 15 minutes. Anytime we are eating chips or crackers out of the bag, she reaches for it and whines until we give it to her or distract her. Here is an example of her (supervised) play with paper products:

We've also tried a couple of other new "firsts" in the past week, both of which I have pictures of from my camera phone, so bear with me with the poor quality. First we tried sitting up in a restaurant highchair:

Then we decided to be REALLY brave and try the SHOPPING CART at Sam's Club. She liked it as long as we kept moving. She's getting heavy in the Baby Bjorn so we're going to have to explore some other options...