Friday, November 30, 2012

Lulla Cate {Six Months Old}

Six months old.

Gah. How can an entire half year possibly be gone? It just doesn't seem possible. And since I can't freeze time like I so yearn to do, I'm going to have to settle for simply capturing it here on my blog.

She turned six months old on Thanksgiving day. I found a crown of feathers to be completely necessary. 

She's a mess, this one. Oh mercy, she is coming into her own & let me tell you--she's got some big personality.

* First things first--she's not a people person. Hates crowds. Doesn't like anyone to look at her. Don't even think about picking her up. And just go ahead & try touching her--I dare you. She takes her time warming up to even her grandparents. And even then, once she's become settled & somewhat comfortable, she still scans the room, looking for her momma. I find myself apologizing to nearly everyone reassuring them, "It's not you. Don't be offended. It's just who she is". But really, I can't help but love that she is her own little individual self & this cling-to-her-momma phase she's going through right now? I sort of love it.

Homegirl even has rolls on her ankles. Irresistible, she is.

* She is just on the verge of sitting up on her own. A couple of weeks ago my parents were visiting & I mentioned in passing that I know of a few babies who are younger than Lulla that are already completely sitting up on their own. At that point Lulla wasn't anywhere near sitting on her own & I was just a little concerned. My dad just casually answered me, "Well...she would have to be put down in order to learn to sit up..." 


Which leads me to the next update on Miss Thang...

* She wants to be held. Every. Second. Of. The. Day. And that's impossible. But she still has no problem making her requests known. We are trying to break this little expectation {& habit} as of late, because it has certainly gotten out of control. We are working on teaching her that a baby swing, bumbo & bouncy seat are not forms of abuse. Oh, but she'd be glad to tell you otherwise.

* She's a little snuggle bug if I've ever seen one. She buries her head into Momma & Daddy's neck & nuzzles until she finds a cozy spot. She lays her head on our shoulder. She insists on being rocked before every nap & bedtime. She is squishy, cuddly & squeezy soft & God made her absolutely perfect for snuggling.

* Just the other evening, Jett came running up to Jared & me, exclaiming, "Sissy said BUH-BUH!" Sure enough, she said it. And continues to say it all of the time. And looks around the room for Jett when she says it. Could it be? That "Bubba" is her very first word? Oh, be still my soul.

This little six month girl is my joy, my sunshine, my pouty lipped & chubby cheeked little angel. Just yesterday I tip-toed into her room to check on her during naptime & when I glanced over the railing of her crib, I was overwhelmed that the sweet baby girl laying there--with her dark hair & curly eyelashes is actually mine. She's mine. 

James 1:17--Every good & perfect gift is from above.

Thank you, Lord for the gift of our six month old Lulla girl. What a little love she is.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our Thanksgiving

We had a lovely Thanksgiving. We had two full days of visiting with family, the yummiest of yummy Thanksgiving turkey & stuffing, football in the front yard, shooting clay pigeons in the backyard.

Let me just clarify something here--the guys shot clay pigeons in the backyard--not I. They begged me to give it a try. But this girl & guns? Not so much--I have no desire. I am totally the type that would somehow or another shoot myself in the foot or something crazy like that. When they started their, "Oh, come on. Don't be scared. The gun barely has a kick to it", the vivid image of the same two guys coaxing & finally convincing me to get behind the handlebars of a motor scooter years ago came to mind. The crash into the front steps, the screeching {& smoking} tires, the black tire marks smeared all over the driveway marking the out-of-control path I journeyed on, the wheelie I popped because I had no idea I was revving the gas & the holding brake at the same time. The two guys who had begged me to ride that brand new shiny red motor scooter were second guessing their decision in the moment that I was wrecking it. Oh yeah, sticking a gun in this girls arms seems like a grand idea.

So I passed on clay pigeon shooting & decided I'd better stick to cooking & clearing the table. You know, where there's no chance of somebody getting shot.

Unfortunately, I haven't got a gazillion photos of our Thanksgiving to dump here on my blog because in between stuffing myself full of Thanksgiving food, having a baby on my hip that prefers Momma & Momma only, chasing a little one away from the dessert table who's already helped himself to two cookies the size of his head, & hopping in & out of the car from one family gathering to the next, the thought of trying to capture every single moment with my camera just wasn't realistic. It's frustrating to go back & not have many photos to upload but it's where I'm at right now--still finding my groove with two young kiddos. It's just a season & sometimes I can figure out the balance, while other times photo snapping, blogging, even taking a shower all get put on the back burner. I'm rollin' with it.

So I'll leave ya with I've got. A few snippits of our Thanksgiving holiday.

 Blanket swinging. Coach & Gigi started this game a long, long time ago & it has become a favorite to my little guy.

 Everyone takes a shift holding the blanket--because the adults wear out way before the little one does.

 Who me? Bantering the little brother while he's concentrating on that shot? Never!

She loves her outdoor walks with Papa--until she realizes she can't see Momma. Then she panics & the nature walk comes to an end. Oh she's mess, this girl.

I may not have a gazillion photos from the day--but I sure do have a whole lotta thankful from it. 

Hope you too, had a blessed Thanksgiving holiday.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Weekend

Oh mercy me, have things been nuts around our parts lately {hence the nine day blog hiatus}. I've had an excited, exhausted & overwhelmed brain for the past couple of weeks & that's no combination for a good writing session. My brain refuses to function on fuzzy/foggy & subsequently-- no blog posts. But the fuzz & fog is clearing & as soon as I can, I'll be spilling some details.

For now, I'll tide you over with some scenes from our weekend.

We got our Christmas on.

I used to be one of those people who thought it a crime to put Christmas decorations up before Thanksgiving had been given the proper celebration. And then I broke all the rules one year & put the tree up early. And I liked it. And I realized that Thanksgiving didn't get shorted in the least, just because a Christmas tree stood glistening in the corner. Turns out, you can get your Thanksgiving & your Christmas on at the same time. Huh. Who knew?

Lulla went crazy over the twinkle lights. She carried on-- squealing & hollering & of course, trying to eat those tiny white lights right off the strand. She was simply mesmerized.

This was the first year that Jett really got in on the action of decorating the tree. With each ornament he pulled from the big bin labeled Christmas, his uncontainable excitement grew & grew. We did end up having a little chat about leaving the ornaments on the tree--that even though they may look like toys, they are actually very special keepsakes that are not for playing with. That's a tough concept for an almost three year old. There were a few tears but he finally gets it.

We broke out the Christmas jammies. And we snuggled. Because Christmas jammies & snuggling go hand in hand. That's just the way it is.

Every single day, since the day Lulla was born, Jett asks at least one time a day if he can hold her. Granted, it only lasts about forty-five seconds, but it's long enough for this heart of mine to melt {& sometimes sprint for my camera}. I love their love for each other.

He insists that baby Jesus needs a jacket because he must be cold in that manger. And this morning baby Jesus joined us at the table for scrambled eggs. This Little People nativity set that our friend, Deb gave to us a couple of years ago is such a hit with my boy. We are even seeing his little wheels beginning to turn as we tell him bits & pieces of the birth of Jesus. 

We decked the halls with our favorite holiday pretties--the pine cone ornaments Jett & I made after he gathered pine cones from the backyard & painted them with gold glitter paint, his salt dough handprint ornament from last year, & a ceramic Christmas house {just like the one Jared grew up with} that my mother in law surprised all of us girls with last year for Christmas.

I wasn't quite ready to bust out my Christmas cookie recipe & cookie cutters just yet, but I was feeling the urge to saturate my home with some kind of made-from-scratch baked good aroma . Lucky for me,  I just so happened to have three ripe bananas & a bomb-diggity recipe for banana bread on hand. {Thank you, Meghann! Best. Banana bread. Ever.}

Jared put the outside lights up. This man is the best dad. We are seriously up to our ears in crazy life right now, yet he refuses to let anything stop him from bringing a twinkle to his kiddos' eyes. When I suggested to him that maybe this year we just skip the outside lights, he said to me, "Jett loved the lights so much last year. I've got to do it." I love the way he loves our babies.

Lord knows I've got a thing for chocolate in the powder form. Just add milk & there you have it--complete perfection. I love me some hot cocoa. I make it homemade. I buy the Swiss Miss packets with the teensy marshmallows inside. I purchase every novelty can of it that I find at Williams Sonoma & Home Goods. I can't resist the stuff. And there's a little someone who's following pretty closely in my chocolate craving footsteps...

Our weekend, full of Christmas music & thankful hearts was just the break my fuzzy, foggy, overstimulated brain needed. There's just something that jamming out in the living room to holiday jingles with my chubby, giggling baby girl clutched close that makes the rest of the world fade away. There's something about seeing my almost three year old boy try to contain his excitement, only for it to reveal itself in crazy jumps off the couch & squeals of laughter bursting from the depths of him.

Our weekend, it was just a taste of the many that are awaiting us this holiday season.

I'm pumped.

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Picnic At The Beach

My little boy asked for a picnic at "the beach"

And by beach, he wasn't talking about sandy seasides & crashing waves. The little nature trail that has become our new family hot spot-- that's "the beach" he was referring to.  He's been calling it that since the very first day we drove up & saw a rocky shore line that butted up next to a smooth water front. He exclaimed with eyes wide, "We're at the beach!" 

We've got plans for a real beach vacation come next summer--one that lies on the white, sandy Florida coastline, one that has the capability to swallow this little "beach" of ours up in one gulp. But for now, my little boy doesn't know that. For now, this is the closest thing to a beach that he's ever known. And I quite like the simple-ness in that.

{I realize my son is constantly wearing this shirt. Yes, he has other shirts. In fact, he has a closet full of adorable clothing. But he insists on this He calls it his "cozy shirt" & will fight all day long until I give in. I'm picking my battles these days & a t-shirt just isn't rising to the top of those battles. So be warned--I'm pretty sure this isn't the end of the cozy USA shirt.}

 So one beautiful Thursday evening, we piled out the door, swung through the drive-thru at Chick-Fil-A before grabbing Daddy from the bus stop & we raced against the quickly setting sun to find ourselves a sweet spot at the beach.

A tatty quilt thrown onto the cool grass, an easy supper of chicken sandwiches & waffle fries, the background noises of squirrels rustling in the woods & water lapping at rocky banks--talk about peaceful. Talk about serene. Talk about a pretty darn splendid Thursday evening.

Jett ditched his nuggets & fries for rock climbing & running. The trees, the rocks, the grass, the golden sun--it fuels my boy & there is no harnessing his deep need to inhale & exhale in hard deep breaths, the crisp air only the outdoors can offer.

 And our Lu-Lu--not a peep out of the girl. Oh, she was in heaven. For the longest time, she laid as still as still can be, without even the slightest movement. The sights, the sounds, they all took her to a level of relaxation I've never seen out of the girl. Pure contentment. Eventually, she stretched her feet high into the air, every once in awhile allowing her toes to crawl off the side of the blanket & into the cold grass. Next time Miss Priss is in a mood of crabby & cranky & fussy--I'm taking her & we're heading to the beach for a nature induced relaxation session.

{Those toes--all spread out in the air. I heart them.}

The sun fell much too quickly behind the tree line, lighting up the skyline in vibrant shades of pink & tangerine & before we knew it, faded out of sight completely. We gathered up our things, stuffing them in the bottom compartment of the double stroller & made our way back down the winding trail--this time under the luminescent glow of a full October moon.

I'm not sure how many more adventures to the beach we have left for the remainder of this year. With every trip we take, we find our family hot spot gradually taking on a new look. The trees once gowned in leaves of fiery reds are now barren, their tawny leaves scattered on the ground below. The lush bushes once found deep in the the woods are beginning to dissipate & the remains of stick skeletons are all that is left standing in their places. Soon Autumn will wind down completely & our trips will come to a halt, altogether.

But this weekend, with a forecast of 73 degrees--you know where you we can be found...

the beach.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A Really Happy Halloweeen

It was a really happy Halloween.

By five o' clock, Superman & Wonderwoman were all dressed up in their costumes & ready to join forces in trick-or-treating. 

Papa, Grandma & Uncle Curtis joined in the festivities, making the evening an extra special one. As we weaved through ghosts & goblins, witches & werewolves, we reminisced of old times & our very own adventures in trick-or-treating we had as kids.

Everyone took a turn taking our little superheroes up to ring doorbells. We skipped the spooky houses--my boy was a little nervous this year about scary costumes, fog machines & shrills & screams. If a costume whisked by him that didn't happen to be Woody from Toy Story or a princess in a tutu, it was immediately labeled "Scary Guy". 

So instead, Jett would march himself up to the friendly houses--the ones with jack-o-lanterns glowing on the steps & lawns that didn't resemble a graveyard. He'd utter just above a whisper, "Trick or treat" while Lulla stood on stand-by, simply looking adorable. You can't imagine the extra loot Superman managed to bank because of that cute little sister of his. That's superhero team effort at its finest right there. 

It didn't take long for Jett to realize his blue pumpkin was filling up--& quick. Just as soon as a piece of candy was dropped into it, he'd spin around & order, "Next house". 

Finally that blue pumpkin was weighing him down & so was the temptation to dig into all that candy. So we called it a night & decided to take the party home to our own driveway.

We huddled around a hot fire to warm our chilly noses & we guzzled hot cider to heat up our insides. Neighbors joined us, bringing their big cauldrons of candy along with them & together we lounged around in camping chairs, handing out candy until the trick or treaters finally trickled off.

We've spent the entire month gearing up for this holiday evening. We've compacted all the Fall fun we possibly could into 31 days. We picked the pumpkins, crafted the crafts, carved the jack-o-lanterns, chose the costumes.

And the sun went down on Halloween night, we watched as the big finale unfolded.

It was a really happy Halloween, indeed.