Thursday, December 27, 2012

Tales of the Tail: Not Touching

For the most part Kip understands that MC's toys are off limits to him. He has a basketful of his own toys, and he usually sticks to playing with those.

However, every now and then we run across a toy of hers that he really loves, and he has a hard time keeping his paws off. We try to keep those toys up and out of his reach when she's not playing with them.

And then there are times when I know he's just testing the limits.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

MC's First Christmas

May your Christmas be filled with love, laughter, and goodwill...

And may the year ahead be filled with contentment and joy.

Merry Christmas, Y'all!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ho Ho Ho, Again

The nice thing about having multiple malls in the area is there are multiple Santas to go visit this time of year!

In the future, I don't intend to drag her around to all of the various places that have a Santa, but since this is our first year, I just wanted to check out all our options.

I think it's funny that I got basically the same 2 pictures from both places - just with different outfits (for both Santa and MC!).

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tales of the Tail: High Chair

Someone has discovered that having a baby in a high chair eating solid foods is definitely not a bad thing!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's Beginning to Look...

a lot like Christmas around the LA & BD house! I had a cute little assistant decorator who was verrrry interested in the Christmas lights.

BD got the Christmas tree down from the attic and assembled it for me then MC and I did all the decorating. I am hoping to get a taller artificial tree for next year; the ceilings in this house are higher than the ones in our old house, so the tree looks a little short in here! This was the first time in several years that we've put up a tree, so it was fun to get out all of our ornaments that we haven't seen in a while.

I would love to be that person who has one of those decorator-magazine-type trees - where everything matches and there is a theme. But, alas...I am not. Most of our ornaments have sentimental value for various reasons. We collect a Christmas ornament on each vacation, so it's fun to pull them out and reminisce.

Our "Our First Christmas" ornament. This was a wedding gift from a family friend. I love how it has a metallic vintage look to it.

We bought this one on our honeymoon in Disney World. Our first married Christmas we only had these two ornaments on our tree! After almost 10 years, it is showing a little wear and tear from being stored in the attic.

This one is from one of our ski trips to Breckenridge; it is a car from the gondola line that had just opened in Breck that year.

This one is from our most recent vacation - Hilton Head Island from the summer of 2011.

Since this was my first year of decorating in this house, my goal was to not buy anything new - just use all of the stuff I had from our old house. I figured seeing this stuff out would help me get a feel for what other decorations I'd like for this house and then I could hit up the after Christmas sales and hopefully get some good deals on new decorations.

Our dining room table centerpiece:

I just used some red and white striped ribbon to hang some extra ornaments from the chandelier over the table.

These little metallic Christmas trees came from Pier One several years ago. And the Mickey and Minnie figurine is from the Jim Shore Disney Christmas collection. I started collecting these figurines several years ago. I never had anywhere to display them at our old house; I was excited to be able to get them all out this year and place them around this house.

Our Lenox Christmas dishes. We got these as wedding gifts - a set of dessert plates and mugs.

I have this little display on the console table in the foyer. Yes, those are frames with no pictures - just use your imagination. And another Jim Shore figurine.

MC's first Santa picture!! Displayed in -- what else? -- a Santa picture frame!! I would like to get a collection of Santa pictures over the years. We'll see if that actually happens! ;)

I couldn't ever get the mantle styled in a way that I was happy with this year, but I do have these Mickey and Minnie figures on the mantle. The ceilings in our family room are so high that I'm going to need something with a lot of visual impact to really look good up there. I'm not sure yet what that will be. But don't worry, we do have stockings hung (by the chimney with care), and yes, MC has her very own stocking! I always planned to cross stitch stockings but I've never found any patterns that I like. So ours are just the classic red/white stocking.

Our wall of Christmas cards from family and friends. Next year I'm hoping to do something a little more festive to display the cards, but at least this way they are up and we can enjoy everyone's smiling faces.

And now for the outside decorations! Outside decorations are really my favorite because that's what most people see. A view of our house from the street:

A few years ago our friends made this outdoor Christmas tree for us as a gift. I have my eye on a lighted red bow from Home Depot to go on the top; my fingers are crossed that it will be there for the after Christmas sales! And that's Kip beside the tree; we string him with lights and make him sit really still!

Our front door outlined with garland, lights, and outdoor ornaments. And that's my wreath that was new last year.

Here is the daytime view - not quite so lovely as the night view, but still festive.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Holiday Parade

A few weekends ago we took MC to see the Chapel Hill Holiday parade. We parked on campus and walked over to Franklin St and were able to get a good spot to view all the floats.

The parade is small and has a very "home grown" feel to it -- a little different than the parades we are used to seeing in Louisiana! There were several gymnastic teams and karate teams that walked along the route and did demonstrations, and then the adults walking behind them were handing out brochures about lessons and classes. I guess I was expecting more candy-throwing and less brochure-handing, LOL!

Several of the area middle school and high school bands performed along the parade route. I thought MC might be bothered by the noise, but she was unphased...even when the fire trucks with their sirens blaring came by at the end in front of Santa's sleigh.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Six Months Old!

How is it possible that this little girl is 6 months old??! I feel like I'm writing the same thing each month -- mainly because it's true -- we just love her to pieces. Every month her personality shines a little brighter, and we fall more in love with her all over again. 

December 12, 2012

This month we celebrated her first Thanksgiving, had her first solid foods, and went to visit Santa. She did great with all three! Since having her first oatmeal cereal, she's tried bananas, applesauce, and sweet potatoes. The sweet potatoes have been her favorite so far.

Last month she was sitting on her own but mostly in what BD calls her "silver back gorilla" pose (leaning forward supporting herself on her arms). Now she can sit unsupported and is fairly stable. If she starts to lean, her core muscles have gotten strong enough that she can straighten up and regain her balance without toppling over. Which means she can sit and have her hands free to play with her toys at the same time -- a thrilling discovery for her.

I started back to work part-time this month, and that has been a big change for us. The timing worked out just right so that for the rest of this month BD can stay home with her in the mornings while I work and then I'm back home with her in the afternoons. She'll start at a local daycare center in January. She is doing great at home with BD, and I'm sure she'll do great at daycare, too. So far the change has been way harder on me than on MC!

She is not crawling yet, but we are definitely starting to see the beginning signs of crawling. She will do a combination of rolling and scooting to get herself to a toy or some other interesting (usually off-limits) object. Recently when she's laying on her belly, she will draw her knees up under herself, but so far she hasn't figured out to push up with her hands to get herself on all fours.

And while we were taking pictures we also learned what happens when you pull too hard on Bear's necklace!

Six Month Info

(official measurements from Dr)
13 lbs 15.5 oz
25 1/8"

Feeding: Since I'm back at work part-time now, she's taking a bottle of expressed breast milk in the mornings. She has always done fine with a bottle, so we haven't had any problems with that. She still nurses on-demand all other times, usually around 5 times a day and twice during the night. We do a solid food once a day or so, when we have time and she's in a good mood; I want the solid food to be fun and interesting right now so we're pretty laid back about the whole thing.

Sleeping: It seems that we have never really recovered from the famous 4-month sleep regression. Every now and then we will get a 6 hour stretch of sleep from her (which is basically skipping one feeding) but it is much more common for her to wake several times during the night wanting to nurse. As you can imagine, this makes Mommy (and Daddy, too) tiiiiiiiired. I don't think she's truly hungry that often during the night, but it is so much easier and faster in the middle of the night to nurse her back to sleep. Although at this point by nursing her when she's not really hungry I'm just reinforcing the pattern of waking up. We have talked to the pediatrician and have some ideas to help us teach her to fall back asleep without nursing. (No, it's not cry-it-out!) She still naps 3x a day, with the middle nap being the shortest. This month she went from not letting BD put her to bed at all to preferring him over me! So he is thrilled and I get a little free time in the evenings - very nice for everyone!

Clothes: She is in all 6 month clothes now which still have some growing room in them.  However, the white onesie she's wearing in these pictures is 3 months, and it fit just fine! I just recently ordered her some 6-9 month jammies because they had a good sale, and she seems to grow out of the jammies (and they get the most wear) fastest. We've had some cold weather here recently, so we've pulled out some of her warmest clothes, and I must say...there is nothing cuter than a baby in a toboggan cap and mittens!

Five Month Post

Four Month Post

Three Month Post

Two Month Post

One Month Post

Saturday, December 15, 2012

MC's First Basketball Game

MC went to her first Carolina basketball game today! She watched Carolina beat the ECU Pirates 93-87.

We've had season tickets in the same section for 5 or 6 seasons now, so there are lots of familiar faces around us. During basketball season last year, I barely looked pregnant, so there were several people quite surprised to see us walk in with a baby!

From where we park it's about a 1/2 mile walk to get to the Smith Center so she rode in the carrier with BD.

She had a great time taking in all the sights and noises once we got inside. She charmed all the people sitting around us by smiling and "talking" to them.

She was so impressed by the game that she conked out and slept for most of the second half. She startled a few times from the cheering and loud speakers but ended up taking a pretty good nap.

Our first family self-portrait at the Dean Dome!
December 15, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Solid Foods

MC has been showing us a lot of signs that she was ready to start with solid foods, so even though she's not quite 6 months old yet we decided to give it a go and see what happened.

We started on a weekend morning since she is usually in a great mood in the mornings, and so we wouldn't be rushed. "Solid" foods is kind of a misleading term - to start out, the cereal is so diluted that it's basically breastmilk with a few specs of cereal in it.

She was very excited to be sitting in her high chair, patiently waiting as Daddy made her breakfast.

By the look on her face with the first couple of spoonfuls, she thought we were trying to torture her. But she eventually figured out that something yummy was getting in her mouth.

She only had the patience for a few minutes of this experiement, then she was trying to grab the spoon and tip over the bowl.

I'm pretty sure more got on her hands/bib/high chair tray than actually made it to her tummy, but she didn't really seem to care!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Ho Ho Ho

I took MC for her first visit to Santa Claus at the mall North Pole last week. I wasn't sure what to expect - if she would be scared or not, but she did great! We arrived at the perfect time; there were no other customers so the seasonal mall workers Santa's elves had plenty of time to take pictures to be sure we got a good one.

(I have no idea why this second photo is displaying sideways; I cannot get Blogger to upload it correctly for some reason!)