Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cindy Lou Who

Okay. I didn't mean to sound so Grinchy yesterday! I really do love the Christmas season. I love thinking of the perfect gift to get someone, making cookies, looking at the Christmas lights, and I really can't wait until Gemma is older and I can see her face light up at all of those things, too.  I guess I was feeling a little like Cindy Lou Who yesterday.  I just want to find and remember the true meaning of Christmas, and I suppose I've just had to try a little harder to find the Christmas cheer this year.

I'm just finishing up sending out the last of our Christmas cards and I am in love with how they turned out. (I was feeling a little guilty that you can't see the babe's face very well, but I've since come to terms with it.) We took the photos ourselves. Took the legs off of the couch in our basement (it was my grandma's), carried into our backyard, set up the tripod, and proceeded to take about 300 photos.  We learned pretty quickly that its difficult to get a dog and a baby to look at the camera, especially when there's no one behind it!  We ordered this card from Pear Tree Greetings, and I think the whole thing came together beautifully.

Here are a few fun outtakes from our little backyard session:
Can you spot Harper? 

Squirrel! Squirrel! Squirrel! (I also forgot to take Gemma's nuk out of her mouth.)

Wow! Jeff is REALLY happy.  Harper looks like a pouting teenager.
And now for one of my favorites of Gemma.  I was really tempted to make this our Christmas card, but we put it on an ornament for the grandparents instead.  The hat was given to G by her auntie, Sophie.
This is the raw image. Jeff did a bit of editing before we ordered it. :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Do, do, do, do, do, do, do! It's Christmas!

Is anyone else having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year?  Maybe it's all the RAIN we're getting here in Minnesota. Maybe it's the disdain I feel for the even earlier start of Black Friday. (Clearly, I am not a Black Friday shopper. I am a mostly online shopper.) Maybe it's the fact that I've been to the mall more than I should during December. (Something I rarely do.) I don't know what my deal is, but I'm not feeling especially festive this year...even as I'm wrapping up sending the last of our Christmas cards today.

Being that this is Gemma's first Christmas, I have a lot of fears of her not knowing the real reason for the season.  I see people getting caught up in the gifts and the commercialization of it all--people who really know better--and it worries me.  Even though this is Gemma's first Christmas and we want it to be special, she really is too young to remember anything or to understand.  Therefore, we've decided to just wrap up a few things we planned on buying her anyway and letting her open them as her Christmas gifts. Mostly for the reason that she loves paper.

I came across this awesome post by Britt from the blog Gus and Lula, and I think it's a tradition I'd like to start for our family next year.  Four gifts. One want, one need, something to wear, something to read.  I don't know that we'll ban Santa Claus from our home. We haven't really talked about it. My hunch is that we'll still incorporate him, but not really put much emphasis on him.  Anyway, Britt's post is bringing me joy today and hope for our future.  And, so is this song. It's a new favorite this year.  Here's to getting in the spirit!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Gemma's 6 months old!

Holy moly! Where did the time go?  I haven't written about all of the fun things Gemma is doing.  She was 6 months old last week, but we had her 6 month appointment today.  I was surprised to learn that she has two more teeth just barely peeking out on the bottom!  I didn't really pay much attention to the bottom since I already knew she had two and knew that the next ones to come are usually the top. (She is also getting 4 up there, but they are not through yet.) Gemma had a big growth spurt at her 4 month appointment and was in the 90th percentile for height.  She has since tapered off, which the doctor says is normal.

Here are her stats:
weight: 16 pounds 8 oz. (62%)
height: 26 inches (61%)
head: 16.25 inches (19%)

And here are the fun things she's up to:

-blowing raspberries
-starting to get her top teeth
-sitting up all on her own
-not crawling yet, but scoots backward and pushes up on all fours
-eating solids here and there. We need to be more consistent, but I'm not big into pushing solids. She's eaten everything like a champ so far! We've done squash, carrots, pears, rice cereal, and bananas.  I think she may have had a reaction to the pears, though. Poor girl got a rash!
-loves her jumperoo and exersaucer
-loves paper or anything that crinkles
-loves touch and feel books
-we moved her into her convertible carseat because she outgrew the infant seat lengthwise.
-loves Harper and tries to "pet" her much to Harper's dismay.
-talks (ie screams) constantly. (Unless there are new people around.)
-loves to watch me cook and bake
-loves the songs "Pat a Cake" and "If You're Happy and You Know It"
-is now wearing 6-12 or 6-9 month clothing, mostly because she is too long for 3-6.
-swats at everything. Don't let her fool you! You will think she's being all sweet and touching your face gently, but you'll end up with a scratch or a smack in the face! :) Stinker!
-still waking up twice a night. Usually at 2 and 5. (Yes, I count 5 as night!) Although, on her 6 month birthday she slept through the night, which was a godsend for me because I was up the entire night with food poisoning. (I've never had it before and I would gladly go through natural childbirth again rather than have it again.) Some friends have suggested not feeding her and letting her cry, but I don't have the heart to do it. I'm not at my breaking point yet! :)

Gemma in her Christmas dress reject.  I really liked this one, but found one that looked better on her complexion!

Gemma today after her shots at the doctor.  She recovered pretty quickly!

I can't believe it has been about three months since my maternity leave technically ended, and I have not regretted my decision to stay at home for a moment. I don't think I've ever been happier. (Not to say that there are not challenging days!)  I feel so blessed to be able to stay home with Gemma.

I'm looking forward to watching her grow, change, and witness all of the new things she'll be doing in the next months.  Walking, talking, etc.  We're taking a baby sign class through ECFE starting in January, so it'll be fun to see if she picks up on that!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


For lack of having anything better to write about, I thought I'd help some of you get to know me better by confessing some of my secrets.

1. I'm not very good at keeping secrets about myself. Hence, this list. (I am good at keeping secrets for others though! Friends, don't quit telling me them!)

2. I love being surprised. Yet, I can't help but snoop. I usually know all of my Christmas presents before it comes time to open them. Sometimes its by accident. Sometimes not. I know, I know. I'm a child.

3. If my husband is not home for an evening, my dinner will sometimes consist of terrible foods such as graham crackers and frosting. Good thing he's usually home for dinner or I'd be a lot heavier!

4. I normally can't stand Mariah Carey, but I love her Christmas album. You really should check out the Relient K Christmas album though.  It's one of my favorites even though its not traditional at all.

5. I sometimes wear sweats for pajamas so I don't have to get dressed the next day.

6. Our dog, Harper, sleeps in our bed more than our baby does.  We always said we wouldn't let her, happens! She's so sweet. She always has to have her head touching my leg at night.  I don't mind too much. She's my little heater.  We may have to upgrade to a king size bed if Gemma starts coming into our room when she's older.

7. We only have basic cable. We're going on our second year without it now and we don't miss it much at all. Jeff doesn't watch much TV at all and I found from looking at my DVR'ed shows that almost all of them were on the basic channels.  We also don't let our baby watch TV at all, so we watch even less TV these days on.  (We don't usually even have it on when she's awake.) We can always watch things online or go to our friends' houses if there is something we really need to see. (Hasn't happened yet.)

8. I'm a big picture sort of person.  It's not that I don't notice the details or acknowledge the need for them. I just want someone else to do them. This drives Jeff crazy because if I start a project, I just want it to be done. I don't actually want to do it. So, sometimes, it sits half finished for weeks.  (Um, 30 before 30 list anyone?)

9. I'm the youngest of five kids but I often feel like a middle child.  (There are three of us living now.)  My older sister and brother don't really get along. Well, I shouldn't say get along. They just are very different and don't really have much contact with each other.  They do get along when they see each other once a year, and I know they love each other very much. But, I many times find myself defending one to the other when they talk disapprovingly of each other. I don't know when I became the peacemaker...Kind of a bummer, but it doesn't really happen that often.

10. I'm more like my mother than I'd like to admit.  Not that my mom isn't a great lady, but I just never thought this day would come.  I definitely have my dad's disgusting, inappropriate sense of humor though!

Okay, I think I've confessed enough for the day. Now it's someone else's turn! Go!