Saturday, December 28, 2013

Making Merry

I know that the blog has been even quieter than normal lately and I apologize for that, but I have been out living instead of just writing about it. Christmas is my favorite holiday and we have been busy celebrating our first Christmas with Baby E.

The holiday season started the Saturday after Thanksgiving with a trip to see Santa. We got up early to beat the lines for Santa at the Mall at Millennia and I would say it was a success. There were just a couple of families in front of us, so we waited about a half hour for Santa to come and then only a few minutes after he was there. For years I have seen photos and heard about how awesome this guy was and I can say that I was not disappointed. Baby E did well with Santa and we got some cute photos.

We also picked up a reusable Advent calendar. Thanks Starbucks. This year we enjoyed the caramels and coffee, but next year I will fill it with small toys, bows and other treats for Baby E. It is something that can grow with her and nicer than the ones that are filled with chocolate that doesn't taste very good.

A few days later is was off to Epcot for the Candlelight Processional. This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions and I have been pretty much every year since I first saw it in 2001. We opted for lunch at Morocco and the early show since Baby E goes to bed pretty early. She loved the show and was an amazingly good girl through the whole thing.

Guest narrator Neil Patrick Harris

Waiting for the show to begin
While at Epcot we also stopped by the Germany pavilion and got a custom blown glass ornament to commemorate Baby E's first Christmas. The husband and I got one of these the first Christmas we were living together, so it was only fitting that we got one for her first Christmas with our family. It is really neat because you can see the ornaments being blown right in front of you.

Next up was St. Nicholas day. This was a tradition I grew up with and I wanted to pass on to Baby E. She put her shoe out and the next morning it was filled with a book and a toy. St. Nicholas just brings small treats and is a nice lead up to Santa.
Tiny shoes waiting for St. Nicholas to visit

Baby E was so good her presents don't fit in her shoes
A few weeks later it was time for Tuba Christmas in Winter Park. My husband played the Tuba for years and this is a fun and slightly silly concert that takes place in Central Park. Baby E liked the music and hung out on our laps for the concert.

Nothing says Florida Christmas like a ski hat and a sundress

Then the weekend before Christmas it was party time. Saturday afternoon we went to a children's Christmas party where baby E got to visit with both Santa and Mrs. Clause. She also got to open her first Christmas present.

No smile for Santa this time

Mrs. Clause is intriguing

I really just want to eat the paper

Sunday was an adult Christmas party and our first night out since having Baby E. We ate and drank, gambled and got gfted. It was a lot of fun and we picked Baby E up with a sweet souvenir. My sister-in-law's first Pinterest craft. It is so cute and I almost cried when she gave it to me.

Getting crazy on our night out

This was a super fun surprise!
I am very thankful someone in the family is crafty.

Christmas eve we went to mass and then home for a quiet dinner. Baby E put cookies and milk out for Santa. We hung out by the tree and took in our first Christmas as a family of three.

Cookies and milk for Santa; Carrots for his reindeer
Christmas morning we opened presents and made breakfast. Baby E enjoyed playing with some of her new toys. 

So many presents for such a little person
This year we hosted Christmas dinner because it was easier than leaving the house. We spatchcoked a turkey and it turned out amazing. I don't think I will cook turkey any other way from now on. I also found a recipe for the most amazing gingerbread bars. These will be a new Christmas tradition.

Best turkey I have ever made
I love Christmas, but having Baby E made it that much more special. I am excited to continue to share these traditions with her as she gets older. What are some of your family traditions? Have they changed since your family grew?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

4 Months with Baby E

Baby E is now 4 months (and a little bit) did that happen? It seems like I was just putting together her 3 month update. I know this is something that all parents say, but it is crazy how fast time goes. It seems like she just got here, but also that she has been here forever.

Baby E is now about 15 and a half pounds and 24.5 inches long. She is in pretty much all 6 month clothes, but some of them are starting to get small. It seems like she grows out of clothes length wise before growing out of them weight wise.

Baby E at 4 Months

Baby E's first Thanksgiving

We finally finished the nursery and Baby E has been sleeping in there for a couple of weeks. She is still sleeping in the rock and play, but we plan to transition her soon. We also need to work on getting her to fall asleep on her own. Naps are still really hit or miss both at home and at daycare, so that doesn't help the situation.

Baby E's Nursery

Thanksgiving week she had a couple of uncaracteristic nights of rough sleep. Because of this we put off any changes to sleeping location or attire we were planning on making. My parents also came to visit and that threw off her schedule a bit. Now that I write this, I realize I am really just making excuses. Oh well, she is getting sleep and that is what really matters.

She has played in the crib...that is getting closer to sleeping there.

Baby E still likes her playmat and Bumbo seat. She normally sits in the Bumbo next to us when we are eating dinner. We bought a jumper a few weeks ago because she likes standing, but she doesn't seem to love it. I think it may still be a little big for her.

Baby E is working on rolling over. She rolled from her back to her tummy a few times and then stopped. I think she realized that when she rolled over, she ended up on her tummy and she doesn't love being there. Rolling from tummy to back doesn't appear to be happening any time soon, but we shall see.

I started on my back
From the amount of drool and chewing Baby E is doing, I am thinking that teeth will be coming soon. Anything that comes close to her mouth is fair game for chomping and she is doing more chewing on her fingers than sucking. Sophie the giraffe is one of her favorite things. She loves to chew on Sophie's face.

Chewing Sophie's face off...whatever makes her happy.
So far breastfeeding is still going well. I want to do a whole post on that. It is written in my head, just not on the blog yet. We are not planning on starting solids until about 6 months when she has an interest in food.

I am doing pretty well. Still trying to find my groove with work and a new house and working out and baby E. The past two weeks my running has been pretty inconsistent, but I need to get my act together since I have a half marathon in 3 months. Sleeping has been winning the battle between running and sleeping for too many mornings. The goal for this week is to try and get to bed a little earlier and see if that helps.

We are still trying to figure out what to get her for Christmas. We have some clothes and a few small toys, but I feel like we should get her something bigger. Then again, maybe that should wait until she understands Christmas a little more before worrying if what I got her was enough.

Any ideas on Christmas gifts for a baby?