Friday, December 28, 2012

A Merry Erwin Christmas (& 40 weeks)

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Isaiah 9:6

Grey's first Christmas was very MERRY!

Chet and I took advantage of one of the only years we won't be opening presents at 4am.  Grey gave us a Christmas gift and snuggled back to sleep with us after her 5am bottle, until 6:30!!  We all got up slowly and had a big brunch (French toast) together.

Then it was gift time!  We let Grey open her gifts while we were still in pajamas.  It was too much fun!  She thought it was a party for her and laughed and squealed the entire time!  It took nearly an hour to open her few presents, since she was tedious to taste and look at each piece of wrapping paper, ribbon, and box.

 We decided to head to the cemetery to visit Holden's grave as a family that morning.  It was freezing out though, so our visit was brief.  Grey was very scared of the frigid wind.
 Such a blessing to spend a Christmas with FULL ARMS.  I could probably write a book about how overwhelmed my heart felt on Tuesday.

Our first Christmas lunch as just a family...  It was humble and definitely not fancy in any way, but we loved it.  :)  We didn't even light candles for the table...but we did enjoy watching Grey devour her mashed potatoes and asparagus!  

Chet and I planned on Grey's first Christmas (and maybe all from here on out!) to be just us.  No traveling, cooking all day, etc. made us really appreciate our quality time together.  We helped Grey put together her new puzzles, read her new books and played with her toys.  I loved it!

On Wednesday, we drove to Brady (and back!) to be with the Shuffields and Ballems.  Sadly, Cohen had a bad case of the flu, so we weren't able to hang out there as a family (to keep Grey well), but I did get to see my adorable nephews for a little bit.  We thoroughly enjoyed a quiet, fun celebration with the Shuffields.  Grey and Camp are getting big enough to interact and play, which is a blast!
10 months and 9 months - in cute outfits from Tisha!

Yesterday Grey turned 40 weeks!  We had an unplanned trip to Lubbock, so I did not get a chance to take any real photos.  This is one from this morning, all bundled up to go to the park:

Grey at 40 Weeks:
Continues to be busy busy busy!
Is attempting one or two 'independent steps' at a time!
Has loved screaming in different tones!
Laughs at herself...completely CRACKS UP at her attempts to do stuff!
Is teething like crazy!
Is on a better sleeping schedule!  PRAISE GOD!
Is defiant and strong-willed! ;)
Has said "Momma" to ME three times this week!

Sunday, December 23, 2012


I have said with every stage "this is my favorite!" but 9 months really, really is my favorite! ;)  Talk about personality plus at this stage!!  This afternoon Grey crawled on my back and literally tried to tickle me like we tickle her.  She was giggling so hard at her own efforts that she was drooling all over my neck and back.  I am so stinkin' in love with her.

We snapped some photos of our little 9 month-old before heading out to Chet's family's Christmas celebration yesterday morning.  At this point we are just happy we have Grey and partial bear appearances in her monthly photos.

  • Our big girl weighs about 17 pounds.  She won't have her "9 month" well check until she's older than 10 months, so we are sticking to what our scale says for now.
  • 9 month clothes fit perfectly for the most part.  This is the first time her age and clothes sizing are matched up so well.
  • She is still in size 3 diapers.
  • She is loving all healthy table food options we have given her.  We take food seriously around here. ;)
  • Pulling up on everything and crawling all over is how we spend most of our days.
  • She discovers everything by tasting it first.  We have licked walls, tree stumps, candles...I better stop before I get turned in.  I love watching her face light up when she sees something new!
  • She still adores animals.  If we say "kitty kitty" she will look all over the house until Henri is found.  Poor Henri.
We headed out to Chet's family Christmas yesterday morning.  This was my favorite snapshot of the day, since Grey loved "non toys" (a bag) the best.

My son, keep thy father's commandment, and forsake not the law of thy mother: Bind them continually upon thine heart, and tie them about thy neck.  When thou goest, it shall lead thee; when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee; and when thou awakes, it shall talk with thee.  For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life; Proverbs 6:20-23

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What we've been up to at 39 weeks

It was a touch sunny and cold outside to take our weekly photos, but we did it anyways. :)  We were already enjoying some fresh air at the golf course, so I figured it was then or never.

Our first taste of DIRT was delicious.  Momma overreacted big time. ;)

Daddy found us at the golf course and decided to scoop me up.  Momma thinks I look like his clone.

I didn't have the energy or words to blog about Grey's life at 38 weeks, on the heels of the devastating, sickening event in Connecticut last week.  I still have such a hard time "doing" daily life when I think about those parents whose lives are excruciating to walk.  I am incredibly grateful for this little gift in my arms, and I have cherished each moment even more.

Grey, your life these past two weeks (38/39) has looked a lot like this:
  • You are becoming more and more assertive!  You want your way only and do anything to get it. :)  
  • You are very smart!  Our "wisdom" prayers are being answered to the fullest.  You have figured out how to remove the outlet safety plugs, open safety locked cabinets, etc.  If you have a mind to do something, you work at it until you figure it out.  I am glad your little fingers are not strong enough to undo your carseat clasps, because you are certainly giving them your best shot!  
  • Every day you give us something new to be excited about as you soak up the world.
  • You are teething again!  You have a few more teeth wanting to join your existing two, which is making you drool and bite on everything again!  'Everything' includes our brick hearth.  Gag me.  I would rather hear fingernails against a chalkboard and eat liver at the same time.  This is really a big "no no", yet you are determined to get away with it.  Daily.  Or 10 times a day.  Yikes.
  • You are loving the gifts under our tree, or really just anything that is "forbidden".  Tomorrow I am going to start off the day by letting you play with anything you want.  I'm beginning to think the more off-limits an item is, the more intrigued you are by it.  Hopefully my theory will work?!
  • You tried to say "momma" today!  You mimicked the "mmmm" sound over and over. This is a HUGE deal!  WOOHOO baby girl!
  • You tasted a handful of dirt.  You thought it was an excellent dining experience, as you attempted to shovel a second handful in before I caught you.
  • You are a precious snuggler.  I can't get enough.  I wish I could make you sign a contract that said you would snuggle with me every day of my life, forever and ever.
  • You resist sleep like crazy.  I mean, seriously Baby Girl, sleep and you are not best of buds.  Or buds.  Or even acquaintances.  This has got to stop, please!  You will fight from 7/8pm-ish until way past midnight most nights.  You are beyond exhausted but want to PLAY and discover all the cool things that you can.  You are much like me in this matter, so it's something I should not be frustrated with.  We just really need you to get some of your Daddy's sleep habits soon though!
We let you open your first Christmas gift this evening.  It was too cute to watch you get SO excited over finally getting to rip open that "forbidden" paper!  You kept looking at us as if to say, "This is okay?  You aren't saying no-no?!"  Sweet girl, Christmas is going to be so much fun!

We ingested dirt and a little paper today.  Quite a fibrous selection.

We couldn't end this blog without wishing Uncle Joel a VERY HAPPY 28th BIRTHDAY!!
We love you Uncle J!

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  Matthew 7:11

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Isaiah 61

I was not able to write Grey's 38 week post Thursday.  Then yesterday, I woke up excited about it being Holden Uganda's 2nd anniversary, and wanted to blog about that too...  I was about to sit at the computer to write when I learned of the horror in Connecticut; I was at a loss for words.

2 1/2 years ago I claimed Isaiah 61 over our lives.  2 years ago Holden Uganda was founded and we have been humbled to experience our Redeemer, Comforter and Prince of Peace restore joy and turn ashes into beauty.  Today, I claim Isaiah 61 over the families in Connecticut.

My heart has not ached over a news story like this in my entire life.  As I held and kissed my daughter last night, my heart cried for the mommies who went home to empty bedrooms and Christmas presents under their trees that will never be unwrapped.

This is a picture of our sweet girl sharing a precious story with me at 38 weeks:

I will catch up with what she has been up to next week.

My Mommy heart and my educator heart is torn...

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  
Philippians 4:7

Thursday, December 6, 2012

37 Weeks

37 Weeks!  That means Grey's been in my arms longer than she was inside of me!  Amazing how much faster the latter 37 weeks have been. :)  I just looked down as I am typing and Grey has our office trash can over her head (note...this trash can has only been used for papers, but it's still gross!).  That basically sums up our sweetie lately!  She is discovering everything she can get her hands and mouth on.  She has toys strewn across our office but she is mostly excited about pulling out all the Holden Uganda merchandise and climbing the desk and file cabinets.

This week has been a very exhausting one for our whole family.  Truth be told I should not be blogging but catching up on the TONS of Holden Uganda work calling to me.  Oh well. :)  Chet has worked a LOT of hours and I have been babysitting all week.  It's fun to have another little cutie pie to play with, but whew...I really... really really look up to moms of multiples.

I did not do an official photo shoot with Grey today, although I did one with Jozee.  ha!  Grey, please forgive me for that one day.  Jozee's mom packed her several cute Christmas outfits, that I just couldn't resist.  Poor babies who stay here.  It's basically 'house rules' to be snapped 1000 times a day!  I did get a few of Grey in a Christmas dress our sweet friend gave her yesterday though.  I adore hand-me-downs:

I snapped this one with my phone earlier this week.  This precious smocked dress was a gift from a dear prayer warrior in my life...and I will certainly be doing a real photo shoot in it soon (of course)! ;)
I am a new sucker for holiday apparel.  Kids change you.
Speaking of kids changing you - the above dress was iron-on hemmed by the wearer's daddy.  True story.  These babies have a way of changing our lives in the most wonderful way!

Grey, at 37 weeks:
  • You want to take off and walk from a stand, but are still cautious.  You babble and scream as if you are saying how badly you want to just do it!
  • You are QUICK.  Oh my.  You could win a crawling race when you want something.  
  • You are following directions!!  We can just SAY "Grey click" (instead of clicking ourselves) and you will do it!  You also can give me your arm when I ask you as I am dressing you, and can "find kitty".  I am SO impressed by this new 'trick'. :)
  • You try manipulating us in the cutest of ways.  When we say "no", you turn your head sideways and laugh.  Oh boy.
  • You spent a couple hours with babysitters on Monday!  They were two sweet ACU students who watched you and Cai so that we could have a Hope Mommies lunch.  You seemed to like them a lot, although you were glad to see me. :)  Yay!  
  • Your hair is getting wavy and a slight curl is forming in the back.  I'm in love.
  • You crack your own self up.  This of course cracks us up.
  • You are the sweetest snuggler when you are finally worn out.  I cherish these snuggles, as they are becoming rarer.  
  • You are truly a sunbeam.
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep.  John 10:14-15

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Santa Baby

Eating them was the best part

This counts as my "greens" for the day, right Momma?

Auntie Carrie blessed us with this fun outfit :)