December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013

As we have done for as long as I can remember, we traveled to Omaha to be with my dad's side of the family for the holiday.  It has definitely become more complicated since we've added little ones to our family, traveling, staying in a hotel, it just doesn't feel quite like I think Christmas should.  But then again, I'm not sure if it would feel like Christmas if we weren't in Omaha so...

Please excuse the quality of the photos.  My skills have been lacking lately (as have my number of photos, sorry girls!), not to mention the lighting wasn't always the best.  But anyway...

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Sorry Elsie, we just keep doing it to you, don't we...

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E decided to get comfy and pull herself up to the bar for a snack.  ;o)


Our family does a 'dirty Santa' style gift exchange, with the whole going in order, being able to steal gifts thing.  It has pretty much become you either end up with alcohol, a nice blanket, or something from Pottery Barn (where my aunt works).  Chris and I scored pretty big in the alcohol department...


We kept the girls out pretty late (for them), by the time we were back at the hotel and had them in there pajamas and on their way to bed it was just after 10pm.  They both did good, but you could definitely tell it was WAY past their bedtime.

Ryann's first Christmas in the hotel was MISERABLE.  She slept horribly and we skipped out a night early because we just couldn't handle it.  I was expecting something similar from Elsie.  She woke up at midnight and I knew we were in for it.  But she surprised me, went back to sleep, and slept until 7:45am.  The next night she slept from 9:45pm - 7:30pm.  I was so thrilled that she slept so well in the hotel.  It made staying there a much better experience.

On Christmas day we all got up and had breakfast and then headed to m sister's room to open presents.  Six adults, two kids and a French bulldog all in one small space.  It was a tight fit, but we made it work.  In all honesty, I was a little disappointed with Christmas morning.  I had high hopes that Ryann would be super excited with her gifts, but she just, wasn't.  She was happy and got the two things she asked for (a Lalaloopsy doll and some My Little Ponys), but you could tell she was a little underwhelmed and that made me sad.  But in the end we were all happy and had a nice morning with the fam.

Oh, also?  On the way to Omaha I realized I had left the stocking stuffers at home.  I was pretty sad about that.  My mom had picked some up for Ry, but didn't have anything for Elsie.  So Chris made a last minute run to Target for a few things on Christmas Eve.  The extra annoying part?  I still haven't been able to find the stupid stocking stuffers.  I apparently hid them somewhere?  No idea.

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I hung out in the room with Elsie while she napped.  I'm honestly not sure what everyone else did.  Ha.  After she was up we just hung around and played with the new toy, and eventually all met back up in my sister's room for a little Chinese buffet lunch.  I guess that is kind of a Christmas tradition as well, seeing as they are the only food establishments usually open Christmas day.  We hung out a little more, got cleaned up, and then it was time for another nap for Elsie.  I tried to work on my computer but all the sudden couldn't keep my eyes open.  I passed out hard on the couch and took a nap too.

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By the time I woke up it was 4:30pm and time to head to my other uncle's house for Christmas dinner.  I failed and didn't take any pictures at all.  But I had a great evening talking to my cousins, and Ryann had a blast playing with hers.  Elsie did pretty good as well, not screaming when people talked to her that is.  If anyone tried to hold her it was game over, but I'll take.  I think every one of us had a good time.

Currently our plan is to spend next Christmas in Kansas with my parents.  One part of me is excited, anxious to spend a Christmas in a home instead of a hotel.  Make some of our own traditions.  And the other part can't give up the thought of spending it with my large extended family in Omaha.  I suppose we'll just have to wait and see how it plays out.

December 29, 2013

more december fun

December really is just a good month isn't it?  We packed a lot of fun things in.  We made two trips to see Santa at Bass Pro.  The first time we were there in the morning, and apparently in the first week of December he doesn't show up until 3pm.  LAME.  Later on in the month we were successful though.  Elsie was obviously thrilled to see the big guy.

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Yep, pretty much how I imagined it would go.  I know sometimes the crying Santa pictures bother people, suggesting it is mean that I would turn her over to some creeper in a red suit just for the picture, knowing full well she will cry.  BUT, the way I see it, she cries if anyone besides immediate family tries to hold her, and you wouldn't fault me for passing E to my best friend for a picture, would you?  I know it isn't the same, but kinda...

I couldn't get over the cuteness of her outfit so I had to snap another picture at home.  The dress is from Gap, the headband from Bub + Bug Studio, leggings/tights from a shop in Georgia, and the shoes by See Kai Run.


We also attended Ryann's preschool Christmas program.  Not gonna lie, the first song they sang was pretty dang horrible.  Really, really bad.  Chris and I exchanged sideways glances, wondering how awful the whole thing was going to be.  But the kids pulled through and the other songs were pretty cute.  About half way through I could tell Ryann was extra antsy, so towards the end I crawled up the aisle and asked her if she needed to go to the bathroom.  YEP!  So we made a quick exit.  She obviously wasn't wowed by the experience anyway ;o).


Last week we got our first snowfall of the season.  Ryann was thrilled, and begging to go out the door at 7:30am.  I on the other hand, wish we would never get snow.  Thankfully Christopher was around to take her outside to play.  Later we tortured Elsie again by sticking her in a snowsuit and bringing her outside for a few pictures.  She was so pissed about the snowsuit, attempting to crawl around the house and just crying because she couldn't move.

E was HILARIOUS outside.  She couldn't really sit up in all the puffiness, and did the slowest ever fall to her back.  So then Chris made her into a little snow angel and she just laid there.  Not moving at all.  Just staring at us like we were completely nuts.  Eventually she decided she was cold and wanted to go in.  Ryann couldn't be bothered to stop eating the freaking snow long enough to take a picture.

Ryann's hat is from Koko Hats on etsy.  Keli has been an absolute sweetheart to work with and I will definitely be ordering more hats from her in the future.  Just FYI :o).


I'm on a roll here.  If I could just get my Christmas pictures edited soon I'd feel pretty dang accomplished on the blog!  HA.

December 28, 2013

cookie baking tradition

Hello?  Anyone there?

I have succumbed to the pull of the couch and mindless TV in my downtime a little too often over the last few weeks.  Multiple children + the holidays + life = exhausting.  I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling it.  But the holiday season has been fun and full of activity, and lots and lots of cookies.  I don't bake near as much as I used to, but for some reason I used Christmas as a good excuse to bake all the things.  And then eat them all too.  But that is beside the point.

This is the third year we've gone to my parents house so Ry and I could bake cookies with my mama.  Technically Elsie was there as well, wearing an apron (all of ours are from Hobby Lobby) and everything, but she didn't really partake in the event too much.  Other than to look cute.  She's good at that.

In all honesty the cookie baking stresses me out just a teeny bit.  Because I'm a little too Type A and Ryann is three and could care less about how you're supposed to do it and just wants to eat all of the dough and the sprinkles.  But we still had fun.  Ry took her sprinkle job pretty seriously, and made sure to cover every single cookie in a pretty solid layer of them.  Oh well.  They tasted good!


I'm sure next year will be even more fun, and crazy, with Elsie in on the action.

December 13, 2013

elsie - ten months

On Sunday when Elsie turned 10 months old, I had Chris try to help keep E in once place and smile (or simply look in my direction for more than .2 seconds) so I could get some pictures.  Yeah, um, didn't really happen.  We both agree that taking her monthly pictures has been infinitely more difficult than with Ryann.  It is just plain painful.  So Elsie, when you're older and you're all pissy because there aren't as many pictures of you?  It isn't all because you are the second child.  You, my dear, hate hate hate HATE having your picture taken.


According to our scale, little miss 'loves to eat' gained over a pound this last month, and weighs in right at 19 pounds.  She can also be called little miss 'hates to lay still', so there was no point in trying to get her length since it would probably be wrong anyway.  I'm just going to go with short.  She definitely looks a little more round to me this month, and I'm going to chalk that up to the fact that she seriously LOVES to eat, but still loves to nurse just as much.  6-12 month clothes (sometimes 9 month onesies, but definitely NOT 9 month leggings!), size 3 diapers and just barely still size 3 shoes.  I think I'm going to tear up a little when her gold See Kai Run shoes don't fit anymore.  I love those things, but they aren't instock anymore and I haven't found them any bigger.


Despite still only having two little bottom teeth, Elsie is all about table foods.  Girlfriend pitches a giant fit if you try to spoon feed her.  Sometimes we can get away with it by giving her a spoon to hold as well, but that only works for so long before she chucks it and smacks yours out of your hand as well.  She absolutely LOVES cheese.  I'm 95% sure it is her most favorite food.  If you plan to give her cheese at a meal, you have to wait until the end, otherwise she won't eat anything else.  She is also a huge carnivore.  She'd prefer to eat meat over fruit and vegetables.  She'd prefer to eat anything over vegetables, but she will eat them if they are offered first and she can't see any of her other favorites.  The only food that she hasn't really liked at all was cucumbers.  Elsie is also doing really well with a sippy cup and chugs water out of there like a boss.

The great news feeding wise is we haven't had any severe vomiting episodes over the past month.  At the beginning of the month we did try to feed her multigrain cheerios, and later that day she threw up a couple of times, but nothing compared to what we witnessed with the infant cereals.  So for now we are just steering clear of anything containing oats or rice in any form.  Hopefully it is just some sort of intolerance that she'll grow out of, or maybe the cheerio incident was just a fluke, who knows.  But she is by no means lacking in food options.


Like I mentioned Elsie pretty much loves to nurse just as much as she always had.  She does seem to be able to go four hours between sessions more often, especially if we are out and about and busy.  But man, if I'm sitting in one of our typical nursing places, and heaven forbid I have my nursing pillow or nursing cover, she freaks out and is all 'boob in my mouth now oh my gosh you NEVER feed me!'  It is pathetic.  In general nursing is going great, and I can't believe we've made it over 10 months without really any issue.  The only problems I'm having is that E is still super attached to me and I can't be gone for more than a couple hours at a time (especially because I've all out caved and just nurse her to sleep when she needs to sleep), and that she is somewhat, well, aggressive when she is nursing.  Like my chest looks like I've been attacked by a deranged cat because she likes to pinch little bits of skin between her fingernails, and I've taken more swift kicks to the jaw than I can count.  And if my hair isn't pulled back she is constantly trying to grab it.  I tell her no, but she just giggles.  So I'm kind of at a loss for what to do there.  I guess just suck it up for another two months?  The thought of weaning her is quite daunting...


Elsie teased me and for one glorious week slept through the night.  As in 10-11.5 hours straight.  And she was going to bed slightly later so that meant I truly did not have to get out of bed until 5:30 or 6am.  It was AMAZING.  Annnd now were back to at least one wake up between 3-5am.  Boo.  For the most part she goes back to sleep pretty quickly after nursing, but some nights not so much.  Like last night of course, when I had gone out and had a few glasses of wine, she opted to be up from 3-5am.  Not cool at all little miss.

I'm starting to think we're on the verge of dropping down to just one nap.  I know that most kiddos aren't ready until after 12 months of age, but she does surprisingly well staying up until 1pm, especially if she wakes up after 7am.  And lately the first nap is tough to make happen, or she'll only sleep for 30 minutes.  I'm sure the little cat nap is great for recharging her batteries, but if she can handle not taking the first nap, well, I just think life would be easier.  We could get out of the house earlier (uh, maybe, it is us though).  Going back to the gym would be more feasible (yay!).  Play dates would work out better.  I just feel bad dropping it though.


E is getting really good at waving hi and bye.  It is too freaking cute.  She is also starting to pick up blowing kisses, I think anyway.  We'll do it, and she gets excited and kind of sticks out her tongue and puts her finger in her mouth.  So, close, right?  :o)  Elsie also claps almost every time she hears someone say 'yay!'  I think she is starting to mimic more and more sounds, and is trying her hand at saying some words.  Most often it is 'ki-yee!' when she see the darn cats.  I think the cats are her favorite thing in the house (besides food and anything that Ryann is touching).  She also seems to try and say duck (we have a million rubber ducks in the bath), and boo.  And attempts to make lion and cow noises.  Just this morning I pulled up a picture on my phone of Christopher and she started babbling 'da da da' over and over again.  I just love to listen to her babble and 'talk'.  It is so much fun.


I also absolutely love to watch Elsie dance.  Any time she hears music, be it from a stereo or a toy, or sometimes even someone singing, she just has to boogie.  If she is sitting she just rocks back and forth.  If she is standing she shakes her little bum and bounces her chubby little knees.  Sometimes she shakes her head and her hands too.  I can't help but giggle.

Gross motor skill wise she is crusing more in the last week or so.  She still doesn't transfer from furniture piece to furniture piece as much as Ryann did, but that is totally fine with me.  The amount of pulling up and moving around that she does scares the crap out of me enough.  She has ZERO interest in actually walking or trying to stand unassisted.  The second she catches on to what you're trying to get her to do she lets her legs go all noodley.  I'm pretty sure she could stand for a bit, because she has gotten pretty good at going from a standing position to a seated position without holding on to something, but it happens really fast.  I'm surprised that she doesn't have more interest in trying to walk because she tries to drag stuff all over the house with her while she is crawling around.  And she is always crawling around.  Exploring is her favorite.  Rarely does she sit still and actually play with something.  She'd much rather find what trouble she can get in to.


Pretty much, Elsie is exhausting.  She is incredibly cute, which is balanced nicely by her being a huge pain in the butt a lot of the time :o).  She throws a fit if the slightest thing isn't going her way, and her favorite move is to hurl her head backwards.  It rarely works out for her.  If there is something in the room you don't want her to have she is absolutely going for it and will be beyond pissed if she can't have it.  Sometimes trying to trade her with acceptable objects and redirection works, but um, usually not so much.  She hates having her diaper changed, getting dressed, having her nose or face wiped, strangers getting too close, toys with male voices or low toned animal sounds, and this light up ball toy that Ryann has.  Thank goodness balloons are no longer on the list.


Happy 10 months Elsie girl.  We love you so much!