Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reflections on Christmas

I’m not really writing this right now… you know, because I’m drinking a Corona on the beach in Mexico at the moment!

I’m sorry, I’m not bragging.

Wait… of course I am.

We opened presents under a palm tree on Christmas Day, wearing swim suits and sunglasses.

Life is good!

Remember my plan to spend only cash, shop at mom & pop stores, give some handmade gifts, buy from charitable organizations, and the like?

I did it.

I also did 95% of my shopping online. I only spent $19.50 on shipping costs, and I made $52 cash back on ebates. I’m quite pleased with myself!

Sometimes I bitch about shopping. But I don’t dislike buying gifts for people. I love to find something thoughtful and exciting! I just don’t like wandering around a crowded store, choosing something just because it will suffice.

I truly enjoyed watching my loved ones open our gifts this year. It really is better to give than to receive. Especially if you didn’t have to elbow your way through one single mall to do the giving!

No Holiday hangover here!

{well… maybe… but not from shopper’s remorse!}

:-)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Or rather... !Feliz Navidad!


We are celebrating on the sunny beaches of Mexico.
!Feliz Cumpleanos Jesus!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

11 Months

Kherington Grace, today you are {sniffle, sniffle} eleven months old. How can that be?!

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Sweet girl, at eleven months:

You weigh 22 pounds and 14 ounces

You are 28.5 inches tall

You stand by yourself for 20-30 seconds at a time

You say "Mama!"

You love cheese and baby turkey hot dogs

You sign "milk" a LOT; you always want milk

You are cutting your top front teeth

You love giving kisses, even to yourself in the mirror

You are still a dancin' machine!

You make Christmas even more magical...


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Friday, December 17, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

And a Partridge in a Pear Tree!

As Christmas approaches… our first as a family, Skip and I have been discussing what we want our Holiday traditions to be.

We’ve reminisced on our own happy childhoods, discussed the overindulgent nature of Christmas in society today, and gathered ideas from some great friends. {thanks, Diane!}

We have pulled close to our hearts the things that make Christmas special to us.

That is Faith, family, love, and sharing. Sharing of our possessions, time, love, and passion for Christ.

From the very beginning we want Kherington to focus on the celebration of Jesus’ birth and what that means for us as Christians. Christmas is about Emmanuel! God is with us, ya’ll. It’s incredible.

Sure, we hope she will believe in the magic of Santa someday, but only as someone who helps us celebrate Christ’s birth.

The Bible tells us about the Magi who followed the star to worship Jesus in Bethlehem. They brought Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Taking a piece of this Christmas story, we have decided to give our children three gifts each year, just as baby Jesus received from the Three Wise Men.

So rather than joining the overzealous shoppers in the mall this year, we have chosen three simple gifts for Kherington from Mommay & Daddy/Santa. {And maybe a few goodies in her stocking}

This year she is receiving a handmade name puzzle… because it is never too early to start learning such a tough name!

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A crawl tunnel to explore and play in.

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And a few gently used books, with which to enrich her mind and spark her creativity.

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And when she is old enough, we will teach her about giving to others. We might share toys with those less fortunate, volunteer to ring the salvation army bell, take old clothes to shelters, give joyfully at church, or just help a friend in need.

We want her to be a grateful, joyful child that understands that Christmas is so much more than stockpiling toys and begging for expensive gifts.

But to be completely honest, we can’t wait to see her face light up at the magic of Christmas.

This year it might be excitement over tissue paper and crinkly bags. Next year it might be Santa and a favorite present. Later it will be amazement at the story of Jesus’ birth. And hopefully it will always be love.


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Friday, December 10, 2010

This Beautiful Child...

She made me a Mommy.

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A single word that has forever changed me.

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And she can say it now.

"Mama."

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And it's even better than I always imagined.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

Trial by Fire

We learn about parenting from our friends, our parents, our doctors, books, television, observation, etc.

But some things you just have to learn as you go.

And sometimes we discover nifty little tricks along the way that make life easier.

For example, my friend Kristin discovered that a king size pillowcase makes the perfect sheet for an Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper mattress. (saving $15 per sheet)

I discovered that in a pinch, a baby wipe makes an effective and gentle eye makeup remover.

So, I'm curious...

What have you learned? Do share!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sleep?

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This is what a rough night with baby looks like.



I'd show you what I look like... but I don't want to scare you.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

For this new morning with its light,
Father, we thank Thee,
For rest and shelter of the night,
Father, we thank Thee,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends,
Father in heaven, we thank Thee.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson



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Two more thankful parents would be hard to find.

Our blessings are many.

Our hearts are full.

Our faith is uplifting.

Our cup runneth over.

God is so good.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Baby Gear

A few months ago I thought these baby products were silly and ridiculous.




Now...

I'm not saying I'm going to go buy any of them.

I'm just saying, I get it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

10 Months

Kherington Grace, you are ten months old today!

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Sweet baby girl, at ten months old...

You weigh about 22.5 pounds

You are about 27.75 inches tall

You cruise, walk with a walker, and stand on your own for a few seconds

You say "kitty," which blows our minds!

You sign "milk," "all done," and "more"

You love to nurse and aren't shy about it

You crawl around with a sock in your mouth for hours... usually chasing the cat

You love playing with clothing... burrowing in the dirty laundry pile or destroying stacks of clean, folded clothes

You dance to any music, even commercials

You nap at 11:30 and 3:30 most days

You like books... mainly eating them

You make everyone smile with your happy personality!

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

You probably gathered from the last post that Kherington took her first plane ride.

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She and I flew to Tennessee, and it was quite an adventure!

You never know how children will do on a flight… if their ears will hurt, if they will sleep or scream. If they will nurse with all those people around, or have poop explode out of their diaper right when the captain turns on the “fasten seatbelt” sign. But I was up for the challenge.

We got to the airport two hours before departure.

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Good news- We breezed through check-in and security.
Bad news- I had 90 minutes to kill. I did everything I could think of to keep her awake and burn some energy.

She caught many an eye. Most smiled at her and were charmed. I could hear others thinking “Crap, I hope I don’t sit by the baby.”

Flight 1- Delta from San Antonio to Memphis, two hours

Good news- We get to board first.
Bad news- There are still 40 minutes until take-off and this plane is TINY.

I get situated in our miniature seat. I set our goody bags in the seats surrounding us. We meet our seat-mate.

Bad news- He is a huge man.
Good news- He is a grandpa.

In front of us are parents with three children at home. They love the goody bag idea and everyone…all 11 of them… seem relaxed and charmed. I relax.

Kherington is asleep before we even take-off. I freeze, not caring that my back hurts and my butt cheek cramps up. She sleeps an hour and twenty minutes, on her back with her head between my knees and her toes under my chin.

When she wakes she plays, flirts, and snacks.

As we descend, I get nervous about the 25 minutes we have to change planes in Memphis.

Maybe she picks up on this, and she fusses during landing and taxi.

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Everyone is nice about it. We deplane in Memphis.

Good news- Our connecting flight leaves out of the same gate.
Bad news- It is another impossibly tiny plane.

Flight 2- Delta from Memphis to Nashville, one hour

We change a quick diaper and board again. We sit next to a grandma. Kherington is asleep before take-off and sleeps half an hour. When she wakes we read books and eat cheerios.

Bad news- She fusses again during landing and taxi.
Good news- We’ve arrived!

We are visiting my friend Lauren Lea and her baby boy, Luke, in Clarksville.

I thoroughly enjoy making new connections with an old friend. She is a beautiful person, inside and out.

Our children play. We ooh and aah, amazed at how quickly life changes. We eat amazing food, as Lauren Lea is in culinary school.

Good news- The weather and the locale are beautiful.
Bad news- Our four day trip goes too quickly.

Back at the airport, we arrive two hours early. It is CMA week in Nashville, but we make it through check-in and security easily. They do a chemical test on a jar of baby food.

With time to kill, Kherington crawls and cruises around a playground. Playgrounds should be mandatory in every airport

I eat. Kherington steals my sweet potato fries.

She enjoys people watching as much as I do.

Flight 3- American Airlines from Nashville to Dallas, two hours

Bad news- We sit next to 3 young guys.
Good news- They are too hungover and sleep deprived to care about us.

I nurse during take-off. Fifteen minutes later, Kherington is out for an hour and a half. I stare at the seat in front of me. Why don’t I ever remember to get my book out before she falls asleep? I flip through Sky Mall and mentally spend thousands.

When she wakes we play peek-a-boo with the woman behind us and play with the camera.

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We deplane in Dallas and change terminals. Kherington loves the train shuttle!

Our flight is delayed. We crawl around at our gate. We nurse, but several people get a peep show.

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Flight 4- American Airlines from Dallas to San Antonio, one hour

Bad News- American doesn’t let parents board first.
Good News- We sit next to a grandma and great-grandma. We have the bulkhead seats with lots of leg room.

Kherington charms the women, mother and daughter. The mom is 93 years old and sharp as a tack. She tells me about her 9 great grandchildren.

The captain comes on to tell us that we have another twenty minute delay on the tarmac. Just then, an awful smell wafts up from my lap. I’m dreading the lavatory wrestling match ahead of me.

Kherington crawls all over the old ladies, stinky butt and all.

As we finally take off, she falls asleep on my chest. I gaze at her sweet face and know that God loves me.

During the brief seatbelt off period, Kherington is fast asleep with her dirty diaper. So I grin and bear it.

When she wakes, a little boy at the end of the row catches her attention and has her in fits. She giggles and guffaws. It never even crosses my mind that this loud baby laughter might annoy some travelers. I think it is the most beautiful sound on earth.

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Good news- We arrive and I find a nifty family bathroom to change her diaper.
Bad news- I only have two wipes.

We get our luggage. I am wearing Kherington and I am carrying the diaper bag, a huge rolling suitcase (with my camera, laptop, and lots of photo props inside), and an unwieldy car seat bag.

Good news- A coworker dropped my car in short term parking for me.
Bad news- It is in the furthest possible spot. I lug and haul and huff and puff.

We make it to the car, strap ourselves in, and both sigh! We did it!

Things I learned…
Bribery will get you far.
A sleeping baby makes everyone happy.
You don’t need to bring as much in your carry-on as you think. Except wipes, double up on those.
We have an amazing, easy-going baby!
I can’t wait for future travels.

For future travels when KherBear is too heavy to carry (so like, tomorrow!), I have my eye on this...

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P.S. During the writing of this post, Kherington learned how to pull the power cord out of the back of my laptop… and she did so THREE times. Deep breath, count to ten, deep breath…

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