Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree!

We finally bought our Christmas tree, last night. It was freezing cold, and Emersen cried the whole time in our dear friends' Jeep...but it was worth it. We brought the dvd recorder, so we definitely have footage of our baby picking out a Christmas tree! A big shout out to our most amazing pair of friends in the universe, The Smiths. Without them, we wouldn't have a Christmas tree. Their jeep saved the day! (Thank you both from the bottom of my heart, you are both incredibly and wonderfully amazing family to us.) They also forced Paul to listen to Christmas music, which he hates and I absolutely love. I don't blame him for not liking it though, quite a few years working the holidays in a grocery store where the holiday music starts before Thanksgiving and doesn't stop until after New Years would drive anyone crazy. However, I did get a giggle from him while I lip-synched the words from the Alvin and the Chipmunks rendition of Christmas Christmas.

So as I sit here typing these prose, just having finished re-decorating the tree with some incredibly sentimental ornaments I dug out of a box I can't help but feel excited about Christmas again. As your grow up, your imagination falls by the wayside to more realistic ideas and (hopefully not) pessimism about certain things like paying for Christmas, waiting in lines at the grocery store that would rival a ride at Disney World and the like.

Although there is no love lost between Santa and I. No one ever spoiled the surprise for me, and I'm sure my sister figured it out way before I did she didn't say anything either. It definitely was not some tramatic childhood incident. I think it was the year I was old enough to recognize my dad's handwriting that did it for me. It was a present that said "From Santa" in my dad's tell tale block handwriting. He tried to convince me that he was just the "writer of labels" and Santa had actually dropped the gifts off that night. My parents did an excellent job each year, making sure we made Cookies For Santa, and left carrots for the reindeer. Sure enough, the next morning the cookies and milk were gone and the carrots had been eaten. (Cookies and carrots?! My poor dad...)

I love Christmas, I love helping out a less than fortunate family and making sure they have dinner and benefactors for gifts. Last year, we went shopping at Toys R Us for gifts to give to Toys For Tots. I was hugely pregnant, and we had three huge bags of toys to give but the bin was gone! We hunted down the person responsible for making sure the donations got where they needed to be and donated them. This year, God pointed me to a woman who's misfortune was just too much for my tiny budget to handle and so I sought out the help of my husband and his Chaplains. They figured out a way to give this woman and her family of eight children a Christmas dinner and gifts for all the children. What a blessing, and true miracle for them.

Emersen's first Christmas is going to be huge, over the top and out of control. Her first birthday is going to be the same. But hey, if forty year old men get earrings and fifty year old women get tattoos because "they are only that age once" then my baby can get all the things I want for her because next year is not her year of firsts this year is!


Thank You, Baby!

Thank you baby, for helping Mommy!

This is what happens when you leave your freshly laundered clothing on the floor for your precocious eleven month old to explore.

Having the laundry on the floor would seem like a bad idea, but it makes me fold it faster knowing she'll be 'round to destroy it if I don't get it folded and put away!

We still haven't gotten a Christmas tree, and that may seem like a bad thing but let me tell you I am not anxious to put up a tree with ornaments and pine needles all over the place with my one year old toddling around. However, some things must be done, because the happiness will out weigh the inconvenience...right?

This dog, and this baby are in LOVE with each other. She laughs when he kisses her, and he loves that she can rub him in all the ways he wants! This is what I walked in on after I'd left the room for a moment!

This past Thursday, my two favorite neighbors and I decorated Christmas cookies! Emersen got to help, and Jason did too! (Jason lives next door, upstairs!) We had a bowl of flour on the table to coat our rolling pins and mats with so the dough wouldn't stick. Well, to Jason it looked like snow (because someone said it did...ahem...me...ahem) and everyone including Emersen got a hefty dose of "snow!" (Maybe some of Emersen's snow was her mom's doing...) Each kiddo had a blast, and when all was said and done we had some glorious cookies...that we didn't end up taking pictures of because they were eaten too fast!

Nunchuck baby! This is one of her favorite toys at Mattie's house! They are foam, and apparently lovely for chewing! She loves their house so much, because Jason has all these toys that aren't technically for babies, but fun nonetheless! Little matchbox cars, nunchucks, train sets and the like are all fair game at their house!

Mommy says "Emersen, show me your teeth!"

Emersen says ":P"

So cute!

Okay, so the point of this picture was to show you her cow outfit! I couldn't resist. It was on sale on Black Friday and it's just so adorable!

Well, that is all for this installation. Emersen is napping and I want to take advantage of that fact!


Laid back weekend!

This weekend, Paul has been gone on a retreat. It was his turn for duty...major bummer!

So, Emersen and I have been hanging out playing with her toys and generally just passing time! We did go do some Santa shopping last night, and we shared a Subway sandwich. She loves to eat! It's hard to believe she can eat pretty much whatever we eat, and she only has one tooth!

She's getting closer and closer to being a walking baby! She will take a maximum of two steps toward something, like the couch. Sometimes if she's in a good mood, she'll take five steps toward me if Paul sets her up just right. Although right now she mostly just tries once, and if she falls she sits down, puts her head on the floor and whines. It's her brand of throwing a fit! I think it's very cute, at least for now!

One night this week, Paul and I made baby back ribs for dinner. (Our favorite) Only, instead of using store bought sauce, we made it from scratch using his grandmother's recipe. It was delicious, and my house smelled like a smoke house for days afterward. Emersen also equally enjoyed the ribs, as evidenced by the huge amount of grease on her face from me letting her chew on a bone. (Just like the dog!) She had a grand time just licking the goodness off of it. At one point, she was so excited about the rib bone she started jumping up and down and dropped the rib. Well, Cooper immediately sensing something delectable was on the floor bounced over and ate it in a half second. Emersen saw this and just teared up and started wailing. Before one tear could drop, I had another rib in her hand and she was just jolly as can be! This whole cycle happened two or three more times before I had to cut it off because the dog didn't need any more rib bones!

Sharon and Jordan came to play the other day, and Cooper was in heaven! He's definitely the kind of dog that wants to be pet constantly, and the babies crawling all over him are like a doggy massage! In this picture, Emersen is desperately trying to get at Jordan to kiss her! She's the sweetest baby, always wanting to kiss and snuggle. I love it so much! Of course, Jordan was having none of it! That just egged Emersen on even more.

As you can see, Cooper's bum is still a bit shaved from his unfortunate bum illness. I've talked to the vet and his bum is healing nicely. There aren't any residual effects from the infection he had and he's looking great. Although his coat could be a bit shinier...the vet recommended Salmon Oil capsules. We'll try brushing him more often and getting him groomed first...then we'll start with the stinky fish pills!

This baby makes me so happy, I just want to squeeze her! When she goes to bed at night, usually around eight I stay up and spend some time with Paul. Then, around nine thirty I start thinking about her and how much I miss her...even though she's only in the next room! It's crazy to think how fast a year can go by. It's like blinking! The first week, we weren't sure if she'd come out of the hospital because of the jaundice...now we are watching her walk! It's a feeling of accomplishment, and of sweet memories. I want to keep her in my arms forever.

Parenting is a wonderful job, but to do it well is to watch your children walk away from you secure and content. I just didn't think it would happen so fast!
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