Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Merriest of them All

Well, another Christmas has come and gone. And this year with both beautiful, healthy babies it was the merriest of them all. They were so precious. Lincoln loved everything and really got into it this year. He loved ripping off the paper and had the sweetest expressions when he discovered what was inside. And he's so gracious, always saying thank you and giving hugs. Love that boy! Aspen was cute, and tried to eat everything. Thankfully we understood this need and her toys were selected accordingly! 

As is our new tradition, we spent Christmas Eve morning at Mom and Dad's with Kaleb, Leslie, Zane, and Zoey. The kids all together were fun. Zoey is just ALL about the boys and what they were doing. She had to be right there with them. 

She thinks she's just as tough, too. I have to say she holds her own and doesn't put up with being pushed around! Zane wanted everything that everyone had, and so did Lincoln. They loved the opening but got sad when there were no more to open. Once they started playing with things they did well together. Aspen kept to herself and us, but she enjoyed eating the paper and dumping things out. Lincoln and Aspen both received their first pair of "real" cowboy boots. 

I can't say we are real boot people, but they are soooo stinking cute! And Lincoln wants to wear his all the time. "I want to wear my cowboy boots, Mommy!" He loves to stomp around the house with them on. Aspen really just wants to eat hers...but man are they sweet!

We always take a family picture in front of the tree at Mom's house...and no exclusion this year. It's so sweet to have this little family of four.

Christmas morning we enjoyed time at our house with several goodies for the babies. 

Lincoln loves his Thomas table..a big thanks to Benjamin Wortman for passing it down and letting it go!! Aspen seems to enjoy her new tricycle..we got her one just like Lincoln's because he still rides his. It's been one of his most favorite toys. We couldn't take it away from him now that he can "pedal pedal pedal" all around the yard. So now Aspen will have her very own and they can pedal together. 

On Sunday, December 23, Aspen was dedicated to the Lord. It was a very sweet ceremony. Pastor Keith is truly a wordsmith and always knows just what to say. I am so thankful that we are part of a church family where we feel spiritually filled. Aspen went right to Pastor Keith when he asked for her. She didn't fuss, or cry. In fact, she kept trying to grab his microphone. He wears one over his ear and she really seemed to like the way it looked. He began to mention Anthony's kidney troubles and I almost didn't make it through. He said that she was such a blessing in the midst of such a hard time, and how thankful we should be that she is here to bring us such joy. I have to say that if I wouldn't have been pregnant when Anthony found out about this kidney we would probably still not have another child. I am thankful every day that she is in our life. I know that some days are very difficult and they both test my patience, but I can't imagine life without Aspen here. Everything happens for a reason and I am so thankful that God placed her with us before Anthony was diagnosed. She brings us so much joy.

Our friend, Stephanie Pellecionne took these pictures of the ceremony.

We haven't had a family picture like this since the wedding...but now there are two extra faces! :)

On another note, Aspen is starting to walk!! She has been standing by herself for a few weeks now, but she has just recently started taking steps. Just yesterday she walked to me from the coffee table to the couch, about 5 or 6 steps!! She even had to turn a little to get to me. I must say I shed a tear! It was her 9 month birthday and she walked to me! This is crazy. She is getting so big, so fast. She is doing everything ahead of schedule, and so much faster than Lincoln. Leaving for Disney on Tuesday will be interesting...she may try to just walk away! She is making lots of noise these days: mamamam, dadadada, yayaya, bababa, nanana. She now loves cheerios and most foods we give her. It's about time! She is now becoming an eater. She likes most everything now...except baby cereal. But have you tasted that?! Who would like it anyway? She's OK eating most of our table foods, not just baby foods. She will eat baby food and she prefers the pouches. That's OK by me, they're so much easier. 

We may not know what 2013 holds but I do know this: Our family is precious. Our time will be sweet, protected, and cherished. We will love each other no matter what. And we will have tons of fun making memories together. We will start by ringing in the New Year at Disney World...just like it should be. (Again!!)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Eight Whole Months

I'm not sure how November slipped away without a single post. I guess we've just been busy! Thanksgiving has come and's so great to see family and spend such good times with them. And it's funny, because of Facebook I really do feel like we're closer. I don't have to wait an entire year to see pictures of Lexy & Lulu. I can follow Laura and Jonathan's next Disney trip in pictures. It really does come in handy.

Here are some of our pictures from October and Thanksgiving:

 Nemo and a Little Mermaid!
I made Aspen's tutu and headband.

Such cuties!!

Aspen's first pumpkin patch and hay ride.

Our sweet family

My little turkeys on Thanksgiving!!

On November 28 our Aspen turned eight months old. I'm not sure how it happened! She's amazing. We went to the doctor yesterday for her 6 months shots, yes...even though she's 8 months old. 
She weighs 18 pounds, 2 ounces which is still less than Lincoln weighed at the same age. (50%) She was 27 1/4 inches long. (60%)
Her head is 17 1/2 inches. (80%)

She's wearing 6-9 month clothes and size 2 or 3 shoes depending on the brand. She's still not a fabulous sleeper. Many nights we're up 2 or more times. Sometimes we're up as many as 6 or 7. It's just not anything like how well Lincoln always slept unless he was sick, and he still sleeps well thank goodness. For the last 3 or 4 nights she's slept through the night. She's loud, and she makes noises. Most night she even fusses or cried but she manages to put herself back to sleep without us. We had to break down and actually try sleep training with her. It took a good two nights, well a bad two nights really. By the 3rd night she almost had it figured out by herself. She still needs us occasionally, but thank goodness I finally feel like it might be getting better.

She babbles all the time, yayayayaya or dadadada or mamamamama. She's not actually saying our names or calling for us, but she's making lots of noise! She's crawling all over the house, and has been for a long time. She started with the scoot, then the army crawl, but now she's really fast. You walk down the hall and turn around...and there she is! Lincoln loves to crawl with her or tries to get her to follow him. I fervently hope they will be friends and love each other as they grow up. She's pulling up on all the furniture and can even cruise around it already. She's a pro at going from the chair to the couch to the ottoman or table. 
 And just in the last two days she has started standing up all by herself!!! She pulls herself to standing then just lets go and stands there. Looking pleased as punch!! She's getting sooo big, sooo fast! 

She is wearing her DOC band from Cranial Technologies. She's only been in it for 4 weeks but I can already see a difference! Her forehead is becoming more round. And already her hat doesn't fit the same on her ears which makes me feel like progress is being made. We've been for two adjustments now. We go every 2 weeks. They use a router to give her "room to grow" in the spots where she's flat to encourage the head to grow there. It's amazing that doctors come up with this stuff. I mean really. Who said, "Hey, let's tie something around this baby's head to see if we can make it more round!" It's crazy. I'm very thankful that it's working. I am also thankful that Anthony has wonderful insurance (MedCost) that is paying for most of the treatment. That would've been $2,300 out of our own pocket otherwise. 

She doesn't seem to mind the helmet at all, as we call it. She doesn't pay it any attention, really. The only time she fusses about it is when we're taking it off or putting it back on. She has to wear it 23 hours a day and for the one hour a day she has it off she seems to enjoy it. As soon as it comes off she puts her hands up and just rubs her head. It's cute. We've just gotten used to it now and when we take it off she looks totally different. Of course I had to fancy it up a little bit and she's got her very own bows made with velcro on the back. If your mommy is going to have a small bow business, you better have a bow on at all times! :)

I can't let a post go by without talking about Lincoln! He's a hoot. So full of life, so smart, and so funny! He's a ham. He's still got beautiful curls but I'm afraid they're getting darker. Not that I didn't expect them to, I just loved the blond curls. He's 2 years and 8 months. He weighs 30 pounds on the dot. (50%) He's 37 1/2 inches tall (70%). Looks like he's going to be tall and skinny. Fine by me. He talks non-stop. Serioiusly. There really are no times in the day that he's not talking, babbling, singing a song, or making some kind of noise. His vocabulary and verbal skills are amazing. He speaks better than many school age children I have known. He always speaks in complete sentences and most of the time the correct verb tense is used. He always gets pronouns correct and can carry on complete conversations. He knows his alphabet and most of the numbers when he sees them. He can count to 20, most of the time! Sometimes there's an eleventeen thrown in there. Who knows where that came from. He knows the basic shapes and all of the colors. He can "read" his two favorite books to us: Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see? and The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle. They have a beautiful rhythm and pattern to them and he picked up on it right away. He loves sitting in our laps reading to us. He knows them word for word, even before you turn the pages to show him the pictures. Beautiful. I love that he loves to read as much as we do.

 He's a busy body...always moving, playing, running, jumping, bouncing, crawling with Aspen. He LOVES to play cars/trucks/trains/planes right now. All modes of transportation are very popular. His favorite cars by far are Mater and Lightning McQueen. Thanks Grammy. 
He's still sleeping in his crib. Keep him locked down as long as I can! He can get in and out if he wants to, but he doesn't seem to be tempted to do it at nap or bedtime, so that's ok with me. Still afraid to move him to a toddler bed because he can get up and down by himself whenever. Scary! He loves playing with his kitchen set, always cooking me something. It's usually chicken and dip dip or pancakes. He's up every day around 7, takes about a 2-3 hour nap around 2:00, then goes to lay down for bed around 8:30. Some nights he lays there talking and singing to himself until well after 9. But he doesn't fuss or cry, he just lays there. 

He's wearing size 8 shoes, but we're beginning to by size 9. It's almost time to say goodbye to his "big boy shoes" as he calls them. They're the green and grey Nike's he's had since last Christmas. He's worn them like crazy and loves them, but they're a size 8. So it's time to get new ones in 9s. I worry he will cry! His 2T pants are too short, but I have NO idea how to keep the 3T up on him. He has to have adjustable waist and wear a belt just to keep 2T up. But we're going to have to get the 3Ts because I can't stand the high waters!! 2T shirts fit just fine. 

My Thirty-One business is doing fabulous! I've had a great October and November. I'm hoping January also starts off with a bang and the rest of the year follows suit. Aspen Bows, my hairbows and headbands, are doing quite well also. I started an Aspen Bows Facebook page and I have over 50 likes already. I've sold more than I can count and almost weekly I'm getting requests for custom orders to match outfits or Christmas dresses. I LOVE it! Finding things that match, looking for interesting textures, combining patterns. Anthony has helped me convert the office that we don't use as an office into a craft room! I've used many old school supplies to organize my fabric supply and bow making materials. It's still in the early stages, and I have lots of ideas!!

Daddy and his babies...fresh out of the tub.