Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

We had a great Christmas. My family came over from Des Moines on the 23rd and we had a big dinner. The next day Caeli and Thor had to head to Wisconsin, but there was plenty of time for snuggles with Kenley and playing with Lachlan before they left.

Sadie enjoyed having her buddies here fora visit, too!
We had a low key Christmas Eve - the children's service at church at 5:00, then soup for dinner at home.
Santa visited while we slept and Lachlan thought it was funny that he ate the head off the gingerbread cookie we set out. We also found carrot bites out in the snow that the reindeer left behind!

Kenley and Lachlan both enjoyed opening their gifts Christmas morning. Well, Kenley was more interested in chewing on hers, but Aunt Bethany helped her out.

A big breakfast and some Candyland playing made for a delicious Christmas morning.
Christmas night we went over to the Williamson's for another yummy dinner and more gift opening with the cousins.
Kenley enjoyed all the excitement from her Bumbo seat.

The boys finished up the night with a dance party.
More photos from our Christmas are on Flickr. Hope you had a very Merry Christmas with your loved ones, too.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Kenley at 6 months

Well, like many people, I'm starting to feel some panic that Christmas is coming too quickly. I have so many things that I need/want to accomplish before the 24th, and I know I will have to let some of them go for lack of time. I'm also trying to prioritize doing fun holiday things with Lachlan and just enjoying being together as a family instead of letting the craziness get to me. So after Kenley finally fell asleep on my chest this afternoon and after eating way too much peppermint bark - I took some time to write about where our sweet little girl is at her half birthday!

It has been a fun month with you, Kenley! You've been making yourself heard with coos, screams, and giggles. It is clear that you are trying to communicate with the rest of us. The smiles come easily and you still kick your feet like crazy whenever you get excited. You want to be up and watching everything that is happening around you. You would rather be sitting in the bouncy seat or up in the Bumbo seat than playing on the floor. Of course, your favorite position is to be held! Now that you are sitting up more, your hair is coming in and getting a little poofy! Every day I kiss your chubby cheeks, admire your long eyelashes, tickle your round belly, and snuggle you as much as possible.

We're still working on finding the best way to get you to nap. You need lots of bouncing and rocking to settle into sleep, then you only nap for a short time. The pacifier helps you fall asleep, but if you're awake, you usually pull it out and inspect it. That's what you do with most toys these days - slowly turn and inspect them and/or chew on them. No teeth popping through yet, but they must be coming soon!

Your diet still consists of mostly breast milk. You nurse every 3-4 hours during the day and a couple times during the night. A couple weeks ago we tried giving you baby oatmeal (single grain with some breast milk mixed in). You did great right away and eat a bowl every night at dinnertime now. Next we tried bananas, but you have mostly been spitting those out. We're excited to start trying more fruits and veggies with you now.

We celebrated your first Thanksgiving with family in both Des Moines and Iowa City. You also got to see your first snowfall this month. You look so cute in the little fuzzy bear coat that's been handed down from your cousins to Lachlan and now to you. Looking forward to seeing what you think of Christmas in a few days!

Friday, December 10, 2010

the Advent calendar!

Two years ago, I spotted this advent calendar and was inspired to create one for our family. Well, it didn't happen that year, or last Christmas, so I was determined to make it this year. Then I saw that Jill was hosting a handmade advent calendar sew along (based on the same Inchmark project) and it gave me the motivation I needed to get started! I also found lots of inspiration in the Homemade by You Flickr group (especially Katie's gorgeous ornament! And oh, her plush nativity!! Next year...).
I decided that as long as I was making one for us, I would make another for our nephews to enjoy. I set out in early November making all the little felt ornament pairs. I used wool felt (instead of the standard poly felt), which was definitely worth the extra expense since I was making something that I want to keep and use for many years. I also ended up sewing a back layer of felt on each ornament, which made them much sturdier and covered up my stitches.
I embroidered the numbers 1-24 on felt squares, then machine-stitched those squares to the white fabric base. I also sewed the tree and 24 buttons to the white fabric.
For the finishing, I cut a patterned fabric backing and sewed a little label to it that says "made with love by mama, Christmas 2010". Then I sewed the two layers back to back with a red binding around the edge.
I finally finished both calendars earlier this week, so we missed the first week of December, but we will enjoy it until Christmas and for many years to come. I hung it in our great room, right at Lachlan's level, so that he can add another ornament to the tree every morning. I'm so glad that I took the time to complete this project (even though I feel quite behind on the rest of my Christmas preparations!).

Sunday, December 05, 2010

pine cone garland

pine cone mosaic
Originally uploaded by Kirsten W

I've been using all my bits of free time over the last few weeks (including those when I would normally be blogging) to work on a special Christmas decoration/gift/keepsake. That project is almost finished, so I hope to share it here later this week. But until then - here is a pine cone project that Lachlan and I made around Thanksgiving time. First we went on a pine cone hunt in our yard, then we painted and glittered them and I hung some on a ribbon above our kitchen sink. The "rejects" are residing in a glass bowl on our dining room table, and they look lovely, too. It is as simple as can be, but I love how naturally festive they look hanging in our kitchen. Today we put up some other Christmas decorations - it is so much fun to pull out the boxes and rediscover all the pretties!