Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

We had a wonderful Christmas this year.

Family in front of our tree.
Christmas eve we went over to my parent's house, we ate sandwiches and watched some football. Then we watched "Its a Wonderful Life" just like we do every year. But I actually cried this year- dang nursing hormones! My mom loved it because she got to feed Tanner is bottle and put him to bed. We slept over there, so we could all be there Christmas morning. Tanner loved watching "Its a Wonderful Life" with Papa and Nanny. He finally went to bed about 9:45- which is late for him, but he was just too excited to go to sleep. I think he could sense the excitement.
Following tradition, my sisters and I woke up at 3:00 am to go downstairs to look at our stockings. I must have been a good girl this year because Santa stuffed my stocking full. Then we headed back to bed. Tanner woke us up at 7:00 am and was ready to play. We actually woke up to a white Christmas. There was only about 1/2 an inch, but I think it counts. We took him downstairs to check out his stocking. Not that he really cared, but we had to get a picture of his first Christmas morning.

Tanner and his stocking with all his goodies
Then we took Tanner into my parents room so he could wake up his Nanny and Papa. Eventually we got everyone up. Then Tanner fell asleep. My brother David called from France to wish us a merry Christmas. We talked to him for a bit, then started opening presents.
Tanner didn't seem real interested in the actual opening of the presents. He just wanted to play in his play gym and watch everyone else open his presents.

Tanner playing while everyone opens presents

Tanner staring at the wrapping paper. He was really mesmerized by it.
But after all that excitement, Tanner was pretty worn out, so he decided to take a nap on Papa's lap.

Tanner napping after his big morning.

Tanner got a "Johnny Jump-Up" from Nanny and Papa for Christmas, and he wasn't too sure what to think at first.

But after a while he got use to it and even started to have a little fun. We mostly just had fun watching his facial expressions. It was hysterical!

After we finished playing, we all got ready and ate dinner together. Then more football and family pictures.

All in all- an awesome Christmas. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and remembered the true reason for the season.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Time Comes Once a Year

I love this time of year- I love the holiday treats, decorations, and family time. Its been fun to learn some new things this year. My Grams taught me how to make caramels this year. Lets just say I went a little caramel crazy. But they are so delicious and I couldn't help myself.
I finally finished our stockings and baked about 20 dozen cookies to hand out to our neighbors and the families Chris home-teaches.

Our Stockings

I think I made 8 plates of cookies like this. I was so tired after all that baking.

And I'm working on these little snowmen gourds for a center piece. (Pictures coming soon) The Christmas shopping is all done. I can't tell you how much I love the convenience of online shopping. Its so awesome. I didn't buy a single gift at the store this year. And I was done with my shopping way early! Well, way earlier than last year.
Tanner is growing up so fast. His newest thing is to stand. He loves to be sitting on my lap, then he'll straighten his legs and stand right up. Its so funny.

He thinks he's such a big boy.

We went to the ward Christmas party tonight and Tanner sat on Santa's lap. He actually liked it. He was smiling and everything. But it helped that Santa was using his beard (which was real) to tickle Tanner's face.

Which on one hand is kind of gross, but on the other hand it was making Tanner crack up.

He's becoming more and more social. He laughs a lot more and smiles all the time. It makes playing with him so much more fun! I just love being a mom. I feel so blessed to have a husband who can provide for us, so I don't have to work.

So happy!

He loves his fingers!

I can hardly wait til Christmas. My sister Sarah gets in tonight, and although my brothers and sister in law can't come this year, it will be so fun to have part of the family together.
Oh and our post office here is doing this thing where you can send a letter to Santa at the North pole. You don't have to put any stamps on the letter, you just address it to Santa Claus- North Pole. Then they send it for you, and Santa writes a letter back to you. I wrote one for Tanner because I thought a letter from Santa with the North Pole postage stamp would be a really cute keepsake for his first Christmas. Here is Tanner's first letter to Santa.

Dear Santa:
This is my first letter, and I’m not sure what to write.
I’ve been a very good boy this year, and I never fuss or fight.
I don’t need much for Christmas, but if you’ll lend your ear,
I’ll tell you what I want, and I’ll make it very clear.
I want my little fist to suck on all the time.
And maybe endless bottles, is that really such a crime?
I also want a new binky for when I take my naps,
And I want to be with Mom and Dad and sit upon their laps.
That’s all I really need this year, so Santa please take heed
I’ll be waiting up for you to see you Christmas Eve.
Age: 4 months

I hope everyone enjoys this holiday season and is able to spend time with their loved ones. I know we will. Love to you all and Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tis the Season.... to be stressed out

Christmas is just around the corner and so the calendar has been filling up with community events. church activities and family things to go to. Don't get me wrong- I love it, but we've had a busy week. And things are only getting busier. Yesterday Chris, Tanner, and I drove to Marshall (about an hour away) for the annual National Guard Christmas dinner (which was actually a lunch). While we were there Santa came to visit, so Tanner got to meet Santa for the first time. He wasn't too sure about that big white thing hanging off his chin. It was really funny to watch Tanner's expressions.

Tanner and Santa getting acquainted
On Friday, our town had the annual "Tree lighting and Christmas parade." We went to that, after grabbing a few hot chocolates to keep our hands from freezing. Tanner spent most of the parade bundled up in his car seat. He woke up once to eat, but his bottle wasn't "just the right temperature" so he didn't want it.

Here is our family freezing at the parade. Its a great tradition that I really look forward to each year.

Chris and I with our hot chocolates- it was so cold!
Then we headed off to the EQ bonfire. We ate a few hot dogs and then decided despite being next to the fire, it was too cold- so we took off.

Tanner all bundled up in his car seat, on our way to the bonfire.

Also this week we've been working extra hard on "tummy time" with Tanner. He really hates being on his tummy. But I discovered he really loves the TV. So I put him on his tummy on the boppy and turn on a movie and he's content to lay there holding his head up for about 15 mins, sometimes more. Its awesome.

Tanner is all smiles when the TV is on.

My tv junkie!

I've been working on our stockings this week too. Correction- I worked on Tanner's stocking this week. I spent one day this past week working on our stockings, but between Tanner, and the laundry, grocery shopping and everything else- I only got Tanner's done. Here it is.

Tanner's first stocking

Oh and we finally got our tree up. YAY. I decorated our house on Monday, but we didn't get our tree up until yesterday. Now all we have left to do are our lights for the house. Someday we might be all done. It just gets dark way to early these days. Its hard to get things done outside.
Here is our tree.

We couldn't have gotten one any taller, our ceilings aren't that tall. We were lucky the one we got wasn't too tall.

Here are some other funny pictures of Tanner from this week. This kid just cracks me up.

Tanner banged his head into my cheekbone, but it took a little while to register that it hurt. His little face is so sad- and this is the reason I can't stand to hear him cry. It just breaks me heart. Luckily, usually kisses make it all better.

Aunt Laura was rocking Tanner to sleep, but she ended rocking herself to sleep too. Tired kids!

Tanner laughing. Oh yeah- he started laughing and its so funny because sometimes he'll start laughing and then he'll stop and try to start again and he acts like he forgot how. Its so funny.

My chunky baby- Tanner laying on his tummy with his big belly hanging out.

I've been thinking a lot about Christmas this past week, mostly because I was doing all my shopping for family and friends- which I finished by the way- big relief. But while I was stressing over what to get everyone, I couldn't help but wish for a simpler solution to all this Christmas stress. When did Christmas get so commercialized? Why do we feel the need to give tons of expensive gifts? I feel like the best way to celebrate the birth of our Savior is not by making department stores richer, but by finding small and simple ways to serve and love each other.
So I've made a goal for this Christmas season to try and do some small act of service for someone each day until Christmas. I feel like this will help me remember the true meaning of Christmas. Because really- if we are going to celebrate the birth and life of the son of God, what better way then by trying to be more like him. I've also decided to make up some kind of "12 days to learn the True meaning of Christmas" packet for years to come. I'm not really sure what it will be yet, but I want something to remind my family in future years about the Savior and his birth instead of presents and stuff. Let me know if you have any ideas. I'd really appreciate it.
I hope everyone will be able to slow down this holiday season and treasure those around you and your Savior. Since that's what this whole season is really about.

My nativity helping me focus this Christmas season!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Have Baby, Will Travel

We're back from our trip and we had so much fun!!! It was sad to leave though.

We started our trip by flying to Utah. Tanner was such a good sport. Our first flight was a little rocky, but then Tanner got the hang of it- and now he's a pro. During our first flight I couldn't count the number of dirty looks the couple across from us gave me. Tanner wasn't real keen on being stuck on my lap for 2 hours- so he was sharing his feelings with the entire back half of the plane. But after that- he was so worn out from the day of traveling that he slept through our second flight that got in to Utah around 10:45 pm. He was so exhausted. Oh and Chris and I were about ready to collapse. Its so much harder to travel with a baby!
Well we got into Utah- and Sarah and Joseph came to get us from the airport. We drove back to Joseph's apartment and pretty much collapsed. Tanner was so tired that he slept through the night- 11 hours straight. I felt so bad for the little guy. But that wasn't even the sad part. We soon discovered that Tanner only knows how to take naps for about 10 mins when he's not in his papasan swing. So that makes for one very tired boy. Sunday we mostly just hung out at Joseph's and we went to my Aunt Jan's for Dinner.

My Utah Family after dinner at Aunt Jan's.

After church on Sunday, I had to get some pictures of Tanner in his sweater vest and Tie.

Tanner got introduced to Matt and Ange's little boy Noah- who is about 5 months older than him. Noah wasn't real fond of Tanner- he threw a plane at Tanner's head. So I guess its safe to say Tanner is no longer really fond of him either. He slept 10 hours the next night, after shopping and visiting family all the next day. Then Tuesday we just relaxed at Joseph's before getting ready to head off to Oregon for the next week and a half.

Joseph really needs a baby- he loved holding Tanner. I don't think I actually held Tanner for more than maybe half an hour the entire time.

And Aunt Sarah is pretty convinced that Tanner belongs to her. She is so in love with him.

Tanner did much better on that flight- it was only 1 1/2 hours long- and he slept the entire time again. Such a blessing!!!
Oregon is a crazy blur to me still. We had a lot of fun- but it was so busy all the time. We spent our first weekend in Oregon at my in-laws cabin in central Oregon. We were told we were going down to "play", but soon learned that "playing" means something totally different to the men. They worked on the cabin all weekend- putting the wood floor down and other very loud projects. Baby Chase and Tanner hardly got any naps- so once again- very tired babies.

The boys were planning on doing some hunting while they were there, so we dressed the baby boys up to match them. Here is Tanner all dressed in Camo- Ready to help dad snag a big one.
We had fun though.

For only being 2 1/2 months older than Tanner- Chase is so much bigger. I just love these little boys!

It snowed our second night there- so Tanner got to experience his first snowfall. By the time we got out to take pictures there was only about an inch left though.

The next week we played alot with my sister-in-law Stephanie and her little boy Chase. Chase is 2 1/2 months older than Tanner.

They would just stare at each other like this, it was so funny.

Cousin Chase attacking Tanner with kisses.

It was so funny to watch the boys interact together and Chase is a doll. I just love that little boy. It felt like we never moved from Oregon once we got there. Everything was the same except for now we all have babies. Which made shopping and going out a little more complicated.
Tanner learned so many new tricks from his cousin- one of my favorites being a very high pitched squeal. Tanner sometimes feels inclined to share his new talent, like at dinner, when chase is napping, or while watching tv....pretty much anytime. He's become so much more vocal now too- he just talks and talks and he will stand up when I help him- His legs weren't strong enough to hold up his big belly until recently. I feel like he's grown up so much in the past two weeks. CRAZY!!!
We also took our Christmas card picture while we were there. It only took us about 150 tries to get one that was good. Here is the one we chose, plus a few others.

My little family

Kissing on our boy

Tanner was so done taking pictures at this point.

Thanksgiving dinner was delicious- a little crazy, but very tasty. Chris' side of the family is a little more colorful than mine. But luckily no one too crazy came this year. Not like two years ago when his lesbian cousin came with her girlfriend- that was interesting. Anyways- both of Chris' brothers and their wives and babies came. It was fun. So there are three boys in Chris' family. All three boys got married within a year of each other, then about two years later each of their wives had baby boys within three months of each other. So now there are three baby boy cousins- its so cute. I fell in love with my little nephews and their adorable little personalities. Tanner isn't too sure about having to share the spotlight, but he adjusted to it after a while. He was mainly concerned with not getting his hair pulled out by his older, more mobile cousins. They don't have hair like Tanner, and they were determined to steal some.

We took some cute pictures of the boys Thanksgiving day- they each had matching sweater vest outfits and I just couldn't resist a picture.

Here are the Mom and the babies

Cute faces found the camera.

Happy boy after thanksgiving dinner

The day after thanksgiving we headed home- ridiculously early. Memo to myself- never ever travel on the day after thanksgiving again- especially not a morning flight.
But we're home now- and Tanner is re-adjusting to having a quiet environment again. I'm hoping he can figure out how to take long naps again, because the entire time we were away he never took a nap longer than 40 mins. We were lucky if he slept for a total of 1 hour all day. So he was kind of cranky alot. So cross your fingers my good sleeper will return soon!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tanner Meets Grandpa Herb and More

This past week Tanner got to meet his other Grandpa. Grandpa Herb flew in from Oregon for a seed meeting in Kansas City, and he drove down to see us. Tanner adored his grandpa. They had a lot of fun together- Tanner smiled and talked so much to him. Sometimes I'll be talking to him, and its like he's trying so hard to tell me things, but he just can't get the words out right. Its so funny!

Luckily, Tanner hasn't reached the stage where he is scared of strangers- because he gets passed around so much, and smiles and talks to everyone!
While Grandpa was here we went to the fish hatchery in Norfork and walked around there. It was kind of random- but it was a nice way to enjoy the weather.

Family picture at the fish Hatchery.
Its a pretty big hatchery and it was a beautiful day. It was really nice the whole time Grandpa Herb was here. In the high 70's and clear skies.

Every time the sun got in tanner's face he would cry- so we put this hat on him. He doesn't like hats- but this helped with the sun. I can't believe its November with the weather we've been having.
Unfortunately, Grandpa wasn't feeling 100% so we took him back to his hotel room so we didn't get to do a whole lot.

On Saturday, Tanner and I went with my parents to Laura's cross-country meet. It was the State competition. Laura did really good- placing 15th out of over 70 girls. Each girl was in the top 10 from her team- so she really was racing against the best of the best. Her team won the championship. It was another beautiful day. I think the high was about 80. I had Tanner in a little hat because I was afraid he was going to get sunburned. He isn't out in the sun very often and his skin is so fair. Poor kid is going to burn so easy- I'll have to smother him in sunblock whenever we got swimming.

Here is Tanner with his Nanny- watching Laura and her team at the awards ceremony.

Tanner blowing bubbles while we all watch Laura compete at her cross country meet.

Also, We've been working with Tanner trying to get him on his tummy more. He really hates being on his tummy. He just screams and yells until you pick him up- so you can see why we don't put him on his tummy very often. However, I want to make sure his motor development is on track- so we have about 10-20 minutes of Tummy time everyday. Its such torture.

Holding his head up high- this is really good for Tanner. He held it there for about 2 minutes. Trust me- that's definite improvement!

Again today, he tried so hard to get his head up. Its amazing how something we think is so simple is so hard for babies to learn.

Here is Tanner after he's given up trying to hold his head up. Isn't that pathetic? Poor little guy!

Tanner and I had to go to church alone today because Chris had drill for the National guard. It was the first time for me- having to get Tanner dressed and ready by myself on a hectic Sunday morning. By some miracle- we made it there on time and didn't forget anything at home or in the car.

Tanner in his Sunday clothes. I just love getting him all dressed up.

We leave on Saturday for Utah to visit my family and friends there. We will be there for a few days then on to Oregon. I'm sure I will have lots to write about when we get back- two weeks later. But until then- HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE!