Sunday, December 27, 2009

Isabelle's Christmas Season

Isabelle had a jam packed Christmas season! We got to spend time with lots of friends and family and feel so blessed to be part of so many wonderful people's lives. Here are some pics to catch you up on the life of our baby girl this Christmas.
Here she is with her best buddy Luke. His mom Amanda and I like to dress our children up in silly coordinating outfits. Here they are in Reindeer garb. We barely got Luke's to fit, and Isabelle's was too big. Needless to say, these baby's are growing at such different rates! Luke is always so smiley!

We put together Isabelle's highchair for her to "practice" sitting in before she started getting solid food. She immediately learned the game of "drop the rattle on the floor, hear a loud bang, smile, and realize the Mommy will always pick it up!" Here she is with her favorite car key rattle that Grandma gave her, in some festive Christmas jammies.

On December 19th, we hosted a Christmas dinner for our good friends the Lockwoods (Ellie and Kate are two months old), the Gahans (Luke is 5 months), and the Nguyens (Annabelle is two and a half months). It is such a joy to spend time with all of them, and so awesome that we all had babies within months/days of each other! I made my first turkey and it turned out quite tasty if I do say so myself. All the kids did great, and we had a gift exchange between them. Ellie, Kate, and Annie all wore matching outfits. :-)

Throughout December, Isabelle is getting stronger and stronger each time I put her on her tummy--but she has yet to roll over! She is doing things at her own pace, but she is small and mighty. At her 4 month check up she was in the 28th percentile of weight, and since then hasn't really gained much--so I bet at her 6 month visit she'll be in the low teens in percentile of weight. But that's okay--I am getting ALOT of use out of her 3 month size outfits, all of which still fit her 5 1/2 month old body! Here she is posing on her tummy time mat.

Brendan had to work on Christmas Day, so we spent the 23rd and morning of the 24th in Corsicana with his family. We opened presents and had a wonderful holiday meal! Here is Isabelle next to the tree and mountain of presents. Thank you to Robin for the baby's 1st Christmas pj's!
On the way home from Corsicana on Christmas Eve, it started snowing. It snowed from about 2 pm to 9 pm. It was such a great day, just hanging out at the house watching the snow fall outside.
Christmas morning was very special. We woke up to the first white Christmas in Dallas since 1926, just the four of us (me, Brendan, Isabelle, and of course Libby!). I made Brendan's favorite coffee cake, and we decided to give Isabelle her first taste of organic brown rice cereal--doesn't that sound appetizing? Here she is getting her first bite in her reindeer bib. You can make your own assumption about her opinion of the food...
After breakfast we zipped her up in the snowsuit and headed outside to play in the snow! I attempted to make a snowman but the snow was not the kind that packed no snowman for us. But Isabelle made her first snow angel and got to experience the magic of snow of Christmas. It was such a blessing.

Brendan went to work all day, so Isabelle and I just hung out and played with some of her new toys. She got decked out in her Christmas onesie and Santa hat for Daddy's arrival home from work. We opened presents and then it was time to call it a night for the baby so I could make a special dinner for the two of us!

Isabelle's first Christmas was very special! We can't wait for all the future Christmases to come!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Isabelle's Thanksgiving

We had a wonderful experience traveling with the baby this Thanksgiving! We flew to Chicago to visit my parents, and then from there mid-week we drove 9 hours to Ohio to visit my extended family. Wow--a plane ride and a day's car ride--I was nervous for all of us! Here we are at O'Hare. We would not have survived without the Baby Bjorn carrier. Not only was it super convenient to have both hands free, it also elicited many oohs and ahhs from passersby saying how cute Isabelle looked in it. Haha!

The plane ride went very well (coming and going, actually). She was fed right before we boarded, slept the first hour, and nursed the second hour. In the meantime, Brendan and I were able to both eat lunch and enjoy the complimentary Dr. Pepper provided by American Airlines. I mean, it's the least they can give to us after charging $50 to check our bags. (I miss flying Southwest all the time, where checking bags is free!) Her ears never seemed to bother her on the flight and she never made a peep. But she liked smiling at the people sitting behind us!

Once we got to my parent's condo, we immediately went across the street to the park to swing! Isabelle's favorite activity! She was so funny in her little snowsuit--she kept trying to suck on her hands but she couldn't get her arm up to her mouth. It reminded me of that scene in A Christmas Story where the kid is so bundled up he can't move. Mind you, it was only about 50 degrees in Evanston, so the snow suit was probably a bit of over kill.

We took a walk to Lake Michigan (only a few blocks from the condo) and Isabelle had to sport yet another snowsuit. This one was even funnier! It's a 3-6 month size, but I swear a two year old could have fit in that thing!

It was COLD by the lake! We snapped a few pics and then headed back. I look forward to returning this summer to let Isabelle play in the sand. I'm not sure if she'll brave the water--even in the summer the temperature of the water doesn't get warmer than 40 degrees.

We took Isabelle down to the Magnificent Mile to see the Christmas lights, and had dinner at a lovely Italian restaurant. Two things I learned on this outing: 1) My daughter actually does really well when out in public as long as I have food for her and/or a pacifier and blanket if she is sleepy. We don't go out to often when at home, and she proved to me that going to restaurant isn't really that big of a deal!, and 2) I curse every public place that does not have a diaper changing station in the bathroom. Damn you, Rosebud Italian Restaurant, for making me change my daughter's diaper on your 12 inch wide counter in the ladies room. But I praise you for your amazing Caprese Salad and Saffron Rissotto.

We left at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning for Ohio (a 9 hour car ride), and made our first stop at a McDonald's in Indiana. Isabelle's first visit to the Golden Arches! The restaurant had the most wonderful infant seat--it was like a car seat on top of long tall wheels. Brendan couldn't get enough of it and was wheeling the baby around just for fun. I think he liked it more than her. When we settled down at the table, she got her "breakfast."For those of you that don't know my baby very well, she's fascinated by television. Please don't think I let my baby watch TV all day, but she will crane her neck 180 degrees just to get a glimpse of any television within a mile. So we sat down at the table in Micky D's and I noticed that she was staring very intently above my head. I turned to see a 40 inch plasma tv playing the news. Ah, the perfect table for my baby! As we fed her the bottle, she never took her eyes away.

Canton, Ohio is where my parents grew up, and most of their family still lives there. It was really nice to see my cousins and aunts/uncles that I rarely get to visit. Here are some pictures of the visit.

These are Isabelle's two Great-Great Uncles, both named George!!

My cousins.

Isabelle looked very cute-comfy in her 1st Thanksgiving outfit.

Isabelle really started to push up on her arms during the trip. Thanks Grandma for the tummy time mat!!!

Since Grandma and Grandpa are missing her first Christmas, we did an early celebration once we got back to Chicago. It was a wonderful trip and we made lots of great memories!