Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Photo tag

Okay, I've been doubly tagged.

The object of the picture tag is to:
1) Choose the 4th folder where you store your pictures on your computer
2) Select the 4th picture in the folder
3) Explain the picture
4) Tag 4 people to do the sameNO CHEATING! (cropping, editing, etc!) This is a photo of Alicia, her grandparents, her mom and her brother. It was taken, presumably when we were there for Christmas (as indicated both by the date 12/27/05 and Alicia's mom's sweatshirt.) Alicia's grandparents have since both passed away, her grandmother last November and her grandfather the following March.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

An attempt to get rid of the Christmas blahs

I normally LOVE Christmas. This year, I am struggling a little because I feel like every day that Christmas is closer is one day closer to me leaving my little girl and going back to a job I hate. However, I am trying really hard to not think about that. (I'm not sure it's working, but I will keep trying.) So, in an attempt to remind myself of all the good things about Christmastime, I am making a list. Here goes:

Things I love about Christmas

1. The way my house feels when it's all decorated for Christmas. I love sitting in the living room with nothing but the tree lights on. It just feels homey, cozy and like there is nothing wrong in my world.

2. Giving gifts. I love to Christmas shop and wrap presents. I look forward to that part every year. Then, I get to give them and that is awesome!

3. Watching Parker look at the lights and the tree. She LOVES them. It's amazing!

4. Getting to spend time with a slightly less stressed Alicia.

5. Playing ridiculous games with my ridiculous family into the wee hours of the morning.

6. Taking part in the present wrapping assembly line at my mom's house. My mother is usually behind on purchasing and wrapping presents, so on Christmas Eve she is usually in her room, boxing the presents, writing the recepient's name on them and sending them downstairs to be wrapped and placed under the tree. It's crazy, but I like it. (Probably because I like wrapping presents!) :)

7. Christmas socks. They are happy AND I don't have to worry about whether they match my clothes or not. It doesn't matter.

8. Christmas cookies. I don't normally like cooking or baking, but I love making Christmas Cookies. I think this may have come from our year in NH when we had nothing to do other than make like 15 different kinds of cookies and cart them across the country!

9. "Old" Christmas music. By that, I really mean the music my parents listened to when I was growing up - the Bing Crosby album, the Carpenters album....

10. The Christmas station - non-stop Christmas music!!!!! Gotta love that!

11. "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" - Every Christmas at my Grandma Sharp's house, my aunt will play the piano and my father leads us in a rendition of the aforementioned song. My Grandma loves it! Alicia thinks this is creepy and wrong. :)

12. My father's knees creaking on the stairs. When we were all little, my brothers and sisters and I would get up super early and wait for my parents to come downstairs on Christmas morning. We always knew they were coming when you could hear my dad's knees creaking!

13. Snow - This is more of a winter thing, and we don't get enough here in Indiana, but it always makes me happy.

14. How my father always guesses what a gift is while opening and says "It's glubs!" (gloves) I don't know where this came from, but he does it at least once a Christmas.

15. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir cd - This reminds me of Christmas at Alicia's house because I think it's the only Christmas cd they own and they always play it!

16. Schlepping through all kinds of weather with my parents and siblings (and now MY family) to get a Christmas tree.

17. Opening presents with Alicia late at night - we used to have to open presents on a day other than Christmas because we traveled. This year we are not, but I think we are still going to open on Christmas Eve because that's just sort of become our tradition (and Parker will be sleeping!)

18. Christmas Eve church - I'm not normally a big organized religion fan, however, something about everyone in a room singing "Silent Night" a capella just gets me.

19. The way my mom is always so exhausted on Christmas morning (see number 6 on being behind) that everything is hilarious and we often reduce her to a laughing, wheezing mess!

20. All the crazy poems, songs and scavenger hunts my family does to give large presents. That's right, if we give a large, unwrappable gift we will do one of three things 1) re-write the lyrics to a popular Christmas song that gives clues about the gift and make the recepient sing the song in front of everyone 2) create a holiday themed poem that identifies the gift or 3) send the recepient on a wild goose chase throughout the house until he or she finds the cleverly hidden gift. Much hilarity generally ensues!

21. The way I still get excited Christmas morning - It's for different reasons now than when I was younger, but I'm excited either way!

22. Alicia's mom's Christmas sweatshirts, turtlenecks and pins.

23. My mom's snowman collection.

24. My Christmas spreadsheet (and yes, it's red, white and green!)

25. Memories of driving all over creation last year on and around Christmas to make Parker. (Best Christmas Gift EVER!)

Hopefully, when I get feeling down - I can come back and read this list. It certainly made me happier to write it down. I'm sure there are many more things that I am missing, but I think that, for now, this list has served it's purpose. 16 more days 'til Christmas!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Little Stinker

My 2 1/2 month old has everyone wrapped around her little finger and she knows it. I really didn't think that babies so little could manipulate, but Parker certainly can and does. Here are two prime examples.

Last weekend, my sister was visiting and was entertaing Parker by dancing. Parker thought this was the most hilarious thing ever - she was almost laughing. Sally danced for a good 20 minutes to Parker's amusement and then told P that she had to go write her paper. Parker immediately made a ridiculous pouty face. (If you haven't seen my daughter's pouty face -it's insane. She sticks her lower lip out so far and wrinkles her forehead. I laugh everytime.) I thought this was just a random occurance - until today.

I was in the computer room trying to dig a path through the Christmas presents and Alicia was entertaining Parker in the study. Alicia calls me in to watch Parker. Parker is lying on her blanket and Alicia is leaning from the ottoman so that her face is above Parker's. Whenever Alicia pulled her face back in an attempt to begin grading again, Parker made her pouty face. This happened EVERY time Alicia pulled away and began to not pay attention to Parker. Sheesh! The poor baby looks so pathetic with her pouty face on that I gave up my project and played with her so her other mom could get some grading done. I guess the pouty face worked! :) Smart baby.

Lastly, some quick cuteness. The hat is actually a snowman head (complete with hat, which you can't really see since it's black.) One of the parents at Alicia's school really likes to knit baby hats. We have 3 already!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Adventures in Cutting a Christmas Tree

I am a Christmas Tree freak. I have to have the proper kind of tree, cut live the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It can be no other way. I'm not really sure why - I'm pretty sure that it's just my mother coming out in me. (Sorry, Alicia) Anyway, last year we finally found a tree farm that we liked. It's in Fortville. "Where?" you ask. It's in Hamilton county about 45 minutes away from here. But, totally worth the drive. Anyway, I was excited to take Parker to get the tree this year. Then I thought of the logisitcs of taking a two month old to cut a Christmas Tree. I don't think it would be so bad if I could actually wear the Baby Pack, but I can't. My boobs are too big (sorry if that was tmi, but as Andy Wright said years ago - I cannot hide my obnoxiously large breasts.) So, that meant that Alicia would have to carry Parker. This is fine, but I am not really strong enough to actually cut down the tree. Call me a wimp - go ahead - but it's the truth. It would have been challenging to have Alicia both carry the baby and cut down the tree. Luck happened to be on our side this year and my family was in town for Thanksgiving, so we took my brother, my father and his truck with us! We were completely freaked out that Parker would get there (after a 45 minute car ride) and want to eat, or start screaming once we were in the middle of the trees with nowhere to go, or - not even fit in the baby pack with her snowsuit on. So, we gave the snowsuit and the baby pack a test run in the living room, fed her right before we left - even stopped to get us some food when we were almost there just in case she wanted to eat again and loaded up on those expensive pre-made bottles we have gotten at the hospital and we trekked out there.

Parker was AWESOME! She slept through me putting her snowsuit on (in the car!) and through the entire wagon ride out there. She woke up once we arrived, we threw her in the pack and she had an awesome time. As long as Alicia was moving, Parker was happy. We finally found the correct tree, rode the wagon back and fed our happy baby in the lodge while my dad and brother took care of the tree. Gotta love happy babies and helpful family!

I think that the title of this post is actually more exciting that the actual event was! :) That is definitely a good thing.

Here are some picutres: Parker looking for a tree
Parker and Alicia, thinking I'm ridiculous for even attempting this adventure

The whole family waiting on the wagon out