Zachary: 7 Months

Zach turned 7 months on New Year’s Eve. He spent the day traveling home from Grandma and Grandpa’s lake-house and went to bed at home three hours before midnight.

Zach went to his first Christmas party in Holiday PJs at our Young Family group where we sang carols together. Then at the MOPs party the next day he made his first ornament: a snowman made out of his thumb print.

He also saw the Borst Park lights from his car seat and stayed with a babysitter for the first time so his parents could enjoy a holiday date to see the newest Star Wars movie.

Zachary enjoyed going with us to pick out our Christmas tree from Jensen Family Tree Farm. There was such a great selection of trees it was hard to choose one! We could tell it was time to cut one down because Zach was cold and ready for a nap.

Zachary now has two shiny bottom teeth. The first came in slowly starting at Thanksgiving, the second came much faster through Christmas. Both holiday dinners ended in applesauce popsicles to sooth a sore mouth. Now the teeth have evened out and has a cute toothy grin.

With the help of his new teeth, he has also discovered finger foods. Cheerios and puff cereal are good, he also likes noodles, but his favorite is cheese. He will eat green beans but still prefers his fruits and vegetables in their pureed form

Zach has become a very efficient scooter and is working on a full crawl, getting up on his knees then pushing off with his feet. He is determined to explore everything he is not supposed to, especially the outlets. It was a daily battle to keep Zach away from the Christmas light plug in. Even after turning him around and giving him a toy, he will go right back for the same plug. He now has found ALL of the outlets in the living room.

Zach’s language skills have also expanded. We are have heard him mimic several words he hears often including:   “dada” “mama” “water” and “up” and “kira”. He will say these words  but not always in connection with the person or object.

Zachary spent his first Holiday season visiting family. At both families he had Christmas present opening sessions all to himself, in the afternoons, after his morning nap.

His favorite thing about Christmas presents were the bows and tissue paper, which we had to keep him from eating, along with NaiNai and Papa’s tinsel from their tree. He enjoyed his presents a little too, but our little extrovert mostly liked spending time with everyone.  Bedtime routine was a bit of a challenge, he didn’t want to miss out on the fun!

After we got back from our travels, Zach decided to start off the new year in big-boy crib. He is now settling nicely in his own bedroom for naps and bedtime.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season.

 

 

 

 

A Handmade and Heirloom Christmas

This Christmas came with many wonderful surprises and most of them didn’t come in brand-new packaging. Because my parents drove to Corning NY they had room to bring along some meaningful items. So we had a wonderful handmade and heirloom Christmas.

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As I mentioned earlier (see Oh Christmas Tree ) this year my parents have passed down their Christmas tree topper angel to Luke and I. It was exciting the night they arrived to open that old box and stick the angel on top of our tree; it made me feel at home.

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But the heir-loomed gifts did not stop there. We were also given my great-grandmother’s (or older) 8 inch cast-iron pan that my mom has had hanging in her kitchen for years. It was immediately seasoned and  used to cook bacon on Christmas morning and green beans for Christmas dinner. It now sits on the kitchen stove alongside Luke’s cast iron skillet as if it has belonged there all along.

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On top of these wonderful sentimental gifts we were also given several handmade/homemade items. My mother made Luke a new pair of Star Wars printed PJ’s which she gave to him early so they would be hemmed and ready to be worn Christmas morning.

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In turn, she made me a retro 40’s style apron covered in a fruit print that matches the colors of my kitchen: blue and brown.

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Alongside these, my mom also made me some crocheted pot holders to accompany the ones she made me last winter.

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Also crocheted Luke received a beautiful afghan to keep us warm on our leather couches in the winter.

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My dad also made us something very special. Taking an idea from a Scandinavian artist, my father made a wood Christmas Tree out of the lath boards from my  childhood home. When my parents did some maintenance and remodeling to their home, my father stripped the old lath and kept them for a project. He made one of these trees for me and my brother so we will literally have a piece of our childhood home with us displayed every Christmas.

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The whole piece folds into one 1 1/2 foot triangle so to be easy to store. The boards are kept in placed by tightening the glass knob (also from our childhood home). We will have to decided where this tree will go in the future and how to decorate it.

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The last bit of homemade goodness we received was a jar of apricot jam and pomegranate jelly from some friends of the family and relatives an orchard. They will both be great on toast and yogurt! Yumm!!

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These wonderful handmade and heir-loomed gifts were what made this Christmas special. I am grateful my parents were here this winter to celebrate with us, but with all of these wonderful well-loved items a piece of them and home are with us for future Christmas we may not spend together and year round.

Tis the Season

Tis the Season to be busy. . .  fa la la la la . . . Last year Luke and I had a very quiet holiday for two. We had barely any presents to buy, few holiday decorations to put out, no family visiting us, and we were still so new to the area we had only one holiday event to attend. It was peaceful, calm even if at times a little lonely. But this year that has all changed. To give you an idea of what I mean I thought I’d share a little about what this week looked like; packed full with Christmas activities:

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Monday: I was at home baking, baking, and yes more cookie baking and organizing to fit all the cookies in the freezer.

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Peppermint, chocolate, and original tart with chocolate dipped marshmallows

Peppermint, chocolate, and original tart with chocolate dipped marshmallows

Tuesday: During the day I went grocery shopping, picked up our ornaments from The Corning Glass Studio, did more baking, and addressed Christmas cards. Then that evening I picked Luke up from work and we drove to Sweet Frog; a local yogurt place. There we met up with our friends from our small group and bought yogurt as part of a fundraiser for a mission trip with our church. We then went out to dinner  and ran some errands getting home around 9:30-10ish.

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Wednesday/Thursday: I was busy cleaning, doing laundry, wrapping gifts, writing Christmas cards, chocolate dipping peppermint Jo Jo’s, making haystacks (Luke’s favorite), organizing the freezer (again) and filling baked goody tins for presents.

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Friday: Today I am cleaning up the baking mess and doing needed maintenance around the house. Tonight we will go to Luke’s work Christmas dinner at Sorges (see Sorge’s: local food and wine).

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Last year’s Christmas Tree

Saturday/Sunday: Luke works in the morning on Saturday and we currently plan on getting a Christmas tree and getting it all decorated. We also have the opportunity to go caroling with our Young Adult group at church on Saturday and I have been invited to a  girl’s only Christmas event Sunday afternoon.

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So  . .  ’tis a very busy season. In-spite of the business we are trying to keep perspective. This time of year is not about making everyone happy by being the perfect host, guest, or by bringing the best cookies or buying the best presents. It is about taking time to recognize what we value most and setting time aside to enjoy, rest, and be with those we love.

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For the first time, our second married Christmas, I am seeing how hard it is to keep that perspective, to create boundaries and balance priorities through the holiday season. But I feel like I am learning.

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Speaking of being with those we love, in T-minus 5 days my parents will our first house-guests enjoying a white Corning Christmas holiday with us!!

How about you: how do you handle the business of the season?

What are your priorities/What does this time of year mean to you?