Favorite Things

As the holiday chaos hits full swing I am receiving almost daily packages of ordered Christmas presents. I’m sure the post person, UPS and FedEx drivers are getting tired of my long driveway, gated yards, and over-protective “guard-dog”.

Anywhere you go you see advertisements for everything you could possible want for Christmas. Before half of December has finished, you can easily be up to your ears in Cheery Christmas deals. No matter how hard you resist, you feel yourself pulled in by sales and stretching that holiday budget.

The advertisements this year are all about how to make my baby’s Christmas “magical”. In order for that to happen  I need to buy the newest educational toys. I need to pay for photos of my child in a Santa hat in front of a Christmas tree. And I need to take my son to see Santa. Oh and I need to buy him holiday PJ’s and  . . .the list continues. The pressure is: they only have a first Christmas once.

As I open one of many brown boxes, I see the excitement in both my son and dog’s eyes.

But it’s not for the gift inside.

Our dog loves the plastic air insulators. With supervision, she enjoys popping them with her teeth and throwing them up in the air. (When the air is gone we throw them away).

And my son? He has discovered the joy of a cardboard box. It is great to sit in, play peek-a-boo with, push or throw around the floor, it makes a great drum and if big enough (with mom or dad’s help) it can be a nice car or space ship.

A cardboard box and packaging: my family’s favorite things.

It’s a refreshing reminder this holiday season that we do not really need all that much.

I saw posted on Facebook this week “Buy Presents Be Present”.

It’s easy for me to get so preoccupied by preparing for tomorrow that I miss out on the festivities today.

This ‘Baby’s First Christmas’ needs to be more about the memories we make than the tree, outings, outfits, or presents.

Being present in the holiday moment right in front of me; it is the best gift I can offer my family this holiday,

. . .that and maybe a few more cardboard boxes.

Zachary: 6 Months

Zachary is now 6 months old! Half a year has gone by with this little ball of curious energy-it’s hard to believe it!

This month Zach went to see his Aunt Stina and Uncle Matt in Walla Walla. He liked spending time with their dog Pepper, who loves kids, and wasn’t quite sure of their cat Alice. Zach also enjoyed listening to his Aunt, Uncle, and even Mom, play the piano.

He had a great Thanksgiving weekend with his NaiNai and Papa (Luke’s parents) and his great-grandma Coulombe. He decided to stick to applesauce and pumpkin for thanksgiving dinner. For more on our Thanksgiving see (Thanksgiving Leftovers ).

Zachary also went on his first Christmas outing: Zoolights at the Oregon Zoo. This was Zach’s first time to the zoo and to see Christmas lights. He loved all the people, the bright lights, and seeing bats, seals, and elephants.

Zach can sit for a good amount of time unassisted but we rarely see this happen: he’s always on the go. The days of staying on his blanket are over. He is scooting: using an army crawl and pushing off with his feet to launch forward determined to explore every object on the rug.

Zachary also started a new game, possibly after watching a game of catch with the dog. He will throw one of his smaller toys then case after it and throw it again. As you can guess we are buying baby gates now.

He likes to explore everyday objects like measuring cups, cooking spoons, hangers, and most recently, Christmas cookie tins, and hit them against counters and floors to hear the noises they make. He also likes to drop or throw objects to see how far they will go or how long it will take for someone to pick them up.

Zach now has realized that peek-a-boo is a game and laughs and smiles. He figured it out quickly then initiated a game with NaiNai in the car, hiding his head behind the car seat and popping out with a big grin.

He has been interacting more with Kira grabbing her ears, paws, whiskers, and even chewing on her tail. Kira has handled it all with grace like a good furry big-sister. If she gets fed up, she just moves away.

Zach is now in 6-9 month PJ’s, is sitting nice and tall in his highchair, and now has a very full head of blonde hair.

Hope you all have had a good November and we are excited to soon share with you about Zach’s first Winter Holiday Season.