Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Now act crazy!

Every year, I drive myself and Sean crazy trying to get the perfect family picture for our Christmas cards. For Hadley's first Christmas, we took picture after picture of the three of us in our living room only to decide that an outdoor picture would look better. Then, once we found a suitable outdoor location, we spent over an hour in the cold trying to get a picture in which Hadley was either 1) not sleeping, or 2) not crying. I ended up sending out cards with Hadley crying in the picture. I thought they were pretty cute.

Last year, we got some great fall pictures at our local botanic gardens and decided to use those for our Christmas cards. I realized as we were designing our Christmas cards that although we had some great family pictures, all of the pictures of just Hadley were of her running. Sigh. We tried taking more pics of Hadley, but you guessed it, more running. So, if you got our Christmas card last year, that's why Hadley was a little blurry.

This year, I've decided to embrace the craziness. Instead of trying to get the perfect family photo for my holiday photo cards, I'm going to use the silliest pictures I have. Like this one from our recent trip to the Ozarks for Thanksgiving:

Or this one from Hadley's birthday party:

The best part is that the pictures are a little kooky and whimsical and goofy. And I love that. Isn't life a little kooky and goofy anyway?

Now, for the really hard part: picking the perfect holiday card design. Luckily, Shutterfly is giving bloggers 50 free cards this year-- and there are a ton of gorgeous cards to choose from. Score! Right now, I'm loving these designs:

Aren't these Christmas photo cards delicious? I'm loving the red and chocolate styles this year.

So as not to spoil the surprise for those of you who might be receiving a card from me in the mail, I won't tell you which style I chose. But, rest assured, there will (likely) be no crying or running children in the photos this year. I hope.

** For the record, I am receiving compensation in the form of 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly for this post. Score:-). To get your own free cards, go here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This is kinda how I feel about the long weekend ending, too

Somebody found her piggy face (and just in time for Thanksgiving, too)! Brynn makes this face ALL THE TIME, and it is usually precipitated by much snorting and giggling. I'm in love.

And, just a little more cuteness...

More Thanksgiving info coming up soon! Oh, and sorry for the radio silence these last few weeks. Who knew that working, parenting, and preparing for an out-of-town holiday could consume every waking minute of the day? Hopefully, things will slow down just a smidge so I can catch back up on posting. We'll see about that one:-).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My AHA moment (alternate title: DUH!)

So, maybe I mentioned Brynn's little sleep issues of late. She went from sleeping 9 glorious hours every night to waking up 3 and 4 (or more) times each night. It was brutal. This non-sleeping thing started around the beginning of October. At first, she would just wake up once or twice at night. Then, she would sleep through the night for a night or two and start waking up again. By last week, she would only sleep in her bed for about 30 minutes at a time, then she would wake up flailing and crying. The only way we could get her to sleep was to put her in bed with us. Then, amazingly, she slept all night long without budging.

We tried everything to make her comfortable. First, we thought she was hungry. So, I nursed her every time she woke up. This, of course, soothed her back to sleep. When that didn't keep her asleep, we thought that maybe she had a tummy ache or wasn't satisfied with just milk. So, we spent the days adjusting her solid food intake to see if that helped. It didn't. Then, we noticed she had teeth. Maybe that was doing it? Maybe, but we saw no measurable relief after a few days.

Finally, FINALLY last week it dawned on me that she was comfortable when she was (1) nursing, or (2) sleeping in our bed. And, she started this whole non-sleeping thing right around the time that it started to get cooler here. That's when it hit me: she's freaking COLD!!!! I could not be dumber, you guys. I haven't mentioned this on here, but Brynn is notoriously cold-natured. She spent the majority of the sweltering summer months bundled up in long-sleeved footie pajamas. While everyone else was sweating outside, she was content in her winter clothing. And, the only times she has ever, ever been inconsolable was when she was cold. I can count those instances on one hand. Why I didn't think of this utterly simple, and very common sense solution, sooner, I have no idea. For some reason, even though it's the most likely culprit, I always consider "cold" last. Another strike for Mama.

Since my AHA moment, I have been dressing Brynn for bed like she is going out to play in the snow-- on the North Pole. She looks like the kid in A Christmas Story who can't move his arms because he is so bundled up. She wears footie, long-sleeved pajamas, a hat, and a fleece, long-sleeved sleep sack. I get hot just looking at her. But, it's working. She has slept through the night for the past three nights. She doesn't make a peep for 9 straight, glorious hours.

So, next time I complain that Brynn won't sleep, smack me! She's probably just cold and I'm too busy adjusting her fruit intake to notice. Sometimes I just need a quick reminder that some things really are that simple.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Good thing I bought that costume...

The weather was perfect for Halloween-- cool and crisp with the faint smell of smoke in the air. Last night, we gathered with our neighbors in the cove and munched on chili, hot dogs, and brownies. Little ghosts, ballerinas, and ninjas ran, played, and squealed. It was glorious. Then, when dusk set in and the street lights popped on, we took to the streets and begged treats from each house with a light burning on the porch. Haddy did good. The candy jar is stocked and I've had a hard time keeping little (and big) hands out.

This is the first Halloween that Hadley actually understood that when she went to someone's door, she would get NANDY!! I fully anticipate that she will expect candy the next time we go to our neighbor's house to play. She was such a big girl. She marched right up to every door and waited patiently for her candy. She only occasionally said "Trick or Treat," but she told each person we met "Thank You!" big and loud. My sweet, polite girl. I really expected her to be shy given that we were going to strange houses and talking to people she barely knows. Not so much. Apparently, the prospect of sugar totally outweighs caution. Go figure.

Then, when we were tired and had collected way too much sugar, we hiked back up the hill to our house where we relaxed and passed out candy to trick-or-treaters. I roasted the pumpkin seeds we scooped out of our pumpkins earlier in the day and we munched while the girls played. It was perfect.

Here's my little Princess Skeleton, aka, the Princess Bag Lady. We had several costume options for Hadley, including an Olivia costume with homemade piggie ears, a fairy dress with wings, and a flower costume. Hadley wanted nothing to do with any of them. Seriously. Much crying ensued as we tried to dress her. You would think we were trying to send her off to boot camp instead of a night of partying and candy collecting. Hello teen years, you're a little early.

This little outfit is one she picked out herself and is the ONLY THING she would agree to wear. She has on every single one of her favorite items of clothing: her glow-in-the dark pink skeleton pj's, four tutus, pumpkin socks, and ruby slippers (originally planned for the Dorothy costume she refused to wear days before Halloween). It's a mish-mash hodge-podge collection, but it turned out so cute. And, it's so Hadley. My baby is true to herself, that's for sure.

And, my little Brynn was a ferocious lion. She, on the other hand, is so go-with-the-flow, easy peasy. At least this year. I anticipate that next year, we'll be fighting with her over what she wants to wear, too. I'm looking forward to it.


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