Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cupcakes for Gracie

I have mentioned many times in this blog that my sisters, who have all boys, love to buy cute little outfits for Grace to make sure that she looks absolutely adorable. Here is one of the outfits that Missy bought for Grace for Christmas. Cupcakes galore from Gymboree, notice the cupcake tights, denim skirt, cupcake shirt and matching hair bow.

It just happens that Grace is a big fan of cupcakes. Her favorite pajamas have a big cupcake on the shirt with a cherry on top. And when we went to Carson's Christmas program, Grace found a "cupcake" on Gram's sweater. Now, the cupcake on Gram's sweater was actually a crown, but it made sense to Gracie!

Aunt Missy hit this one out of the park. Grace loves the outfit.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas 2008

It was fantastic Christmas in our home. Grace was so much fun to watch this year. This year for the first time, I think she was starting to "get it". As usual it was a very busy holiday season. Somehow, every year Christmas manages to sneak up on us, even though we know that happens every December 25th. The days run together and before you know it, its here.

We went to see Santa Claus a week before Christmas. We achieved a major milestone this year, no tears!! Grace was very excited about seeing Santa, and as we waited in line for our turn, she giggled and laughed and pointed, "there's Santa, there he is!". When it was our turn to go up to his sleigh, Grace started to get nervous and scared (as we have come to expect), but she was a big girl and climbed up in his sleigh. She wouldn't sit on his lap, and she wasn't interested in talking about what she wanted for Christmas... and there were no smiles, but there were no tears either! Afterwards, she said she wanted to come back to see Santa again tomorrow.

We also went to see Carson perform in his school's Christmas program. It was fun to see all the kids. There were well over 100 kids from the 4th and 5th grades that performed songs celebrating all of this season's holidays. Kwanzaa, Christmas and Hanukkah were all represented. Grace did very well sitting still (which all parents know is a feat). She liked being at the school. She said she wanted to go back to that school and sing and clap... oh if she only knew. It is the same school that she will attend in 3 short years. I am sure she will have a change of attitude before her days are finished at Old Town Elementary. For now, we are just thrilled she is excited about school.

Next, we packed up the truck and headed for Tyler. It was nice to get out of town, even though we had so much to do still at home. We got to take Mema to lunch and we got to visit with Granny Jean and Derwood in their home. We also opened presents at Gramma and Grampa's house. Grace gave Gramma a stuffed hummingbird, which has been named Hummybird Mama. Hummybird Mama was huge hit. I am not sure who liked it more, Gramma or Grace. Grace got a new pink poodle, which she named "Sugar Bear". Yes, its a dog and not a bear, but "Sugar Bear" is a term of endearment that we often use for Grace. She named her Sugar Bear all by herself. This was the first time she named her own stuffed friend. Grace also got some cute clothes from Gramma, Aunt Tracy and Aunt Missy. She loved wearing her sweater, hat and mittens. She wouldn't even let us take them off when we loaded up the truck to head back home.

Speaking of coming home... what a wonderful treat. I am pretty convinced that I have the best in-laws around. We left town in such a rush, we hadn't had time to properly clean up the house the way we wanted. There were still boxes out from decorating the house, the counter tops were a wreck and the whole house was in need of straightening up. When we returned home on Sunday, the boxes were stacked in the garage, the kitchen was cleaned up, the floors had been swept, mopped and vacuumed, and our laundry was done! Not only that, Tom had completed a project we had discussed, adding new shelves in our laundry room! Woohoo!!

We also settled on a name for new little girl! We decided on Haley Michelle. We are still working on the spelling of Haley. I didn't realize there were so many ways to spell it! I found "Haley", "Hailey", "Hayley", "Hayleigh", "Haylee", "Hailee", "Haylie", and on and on. Realistically, we are just thinking about "Haley" or "Hailey". The middle name is in honor of my twin sister. We think it is a beautiful name, and are so thrilled that we can stop calling it "Baby Cornish". Grace is getting more and more used to the idea of becoming a big sister, and I think it helps her knowing that it is Haley that is in Mommy's belly.

Our REALife group celebrated Christmas with our annual White Elephant gift exchange. We have some interesting characters in our group. Who couldn't use an enema to celebrate Christmas, right? And everyone needs a Last Supper commemorative metal lunchbox and dashboard bobble-head Jesus. I can now also tell you that "bacon-flavored" breath mints are as bad of an idea as it sounds... gross! It wasn't all just fun and games though, this year, we also adopted a family in need and got to deliver presents for all the kids (and Mom too), as well as all the trimmings to make a wonderful Christmas dinner. It was awesome to see the true meaning of Christmas in action.

Christmas morning was a lot of fun. Santa brought Grace some new toys and crayons. She now has a new stroller, pack-n-play and high chair/swing for her baby dolls. She also got an Aquadoodle to draw on and new games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. Doctor Enders said this was good time to get her playing these types of games, learning how to take turns and work on counting, etc. It was a slow paced day in our house. I am sure there won't be many more Christmases we can call "slow paced" but we enjoyed it. Christmas wasn't exactly in the air though, we had to turn on the A/C because it was pretty warm outside. Grace and I even spent the afternoon at the park. Christmas night, I celebrated by re-organizing my pantry and putting those new shelved in the laundry room to good use. It took me over 3 hours to get the pantry the way I wanted it. It is a work in progress, but slowly but surely we are making it!

Tonight, we will wrap up our Christmas holiday, celebrating with Brenda's family in our home. We will have a nice big dinner and exchange our Secret Santa gifts. Then it will be time to think about tearing all of the Christmas stuff down and packing it away. The garage could use a little love, especially once the Christmas boxes get refilled. I have added several new albums in our public photo album. Check the link on the right hand navigation area to check them out.

Where ever you are this Christmas season, it is our hope and prayer that you had the chance to surround yourself with family and friends. We hope that you celebrated the wonderful gift of a Savior that makes everyday worthwhile. We also hope that you had the chance to impact the life of another in a meaningful way. May the Peace and Joy of this season carry you and yours into a wonderful and blessed New Year.
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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas comes early

Brenda and I got a wonderful early Christmas gift this week. For those of you who haven't heard, we found out that we are having another girl! This is indeed a wonderful gift for us.

Several people have asked me if I was disappointed that we aren't having a boy. And yes, I would absolutely delight in having a little boy, but it does nothing to dampen my enthusiasm and anxiousness to hold our newest family member. I think that most men will tell you that they hope for boys. To us, boys represent something we have confidence in. We know and understand the masculine psyche, thought process and anatomy. We hope for a boy that we can teach the intricate details of the spiral forward pass, and how to get well placed grill marks on steaks, not to mention all the joys of Tonka trucks, little green Army men, Legos and Lincoln Logs.

When I told Mema that we were pregnant a couple of months ago, she shared a great perspective with me from my Pa. Long before the days of sonograms, Mema and Pa waited anxiously until delivery before they found out what they were having. Late in one of Mema's pregnancy, friends and family would ask them if they were hoping for a boy or a girl. After waiting for so long, with excitement and emotion building, Pa replied "at this point, I wouldn't care if it's a puppy!". With this story in mind, Mema asked me what we were hoping for. Before the words "boy" or "girl" even popped in my head, the first thing I thought was "healthy".

In all sincerity, we feel so incredibly blessed with Grace. Brenda enjoyed a problem-free pregnancy. Our doctors did a great job of preparing us each step of the way. And now that Grace is 2 years old, we can look back at her infancy and see that we continue to be incredibly blessed. Grace has never been seriously ill, teething was quite nearly a joy in comparison to some of the stories we have heard from others, she has had no food allergies and has an amazing temperament. She even does a pretty good job of entertaining herself for hours. Grace is a beautiful and adorable little girl. To me, she is wonderful reflection of Brenda. With all this in mind, I don't mind saying that we have done pretty well with our baby girl! This gives me great hope for our next.

It also doesn't hurt that I have wonderful sisters... all of which are "girlie" girls, and all of which are raising boys! They have each delighted in finding great clothes, toys, books and such for Grace. I don't have any problem putting all of Grace's gently used toys and clothes back to good use.

The only thing we are missing right now is a name! I have no doubt that we will have that figured out shortly though as well.