These are some of the things I am thankful for this year:
I've come to the conclusion that my family (the mixed-up assortment of nationalities, religions and even other families, we all are) is more concerned with 'tradition' than 'religion' although some of them overlap.
My favorite tradition (as I put on a friend's Facebook post this week) is about Christmas ornaments. Each year, my thoughtful mother spends hours searching for, or even making, personalized ornaments of something momentous and eventful that has happened in our lives that year. They are almost all easily remembered, like the year Sarah learned to read all by herself, or the year Amie played at MSG during intermission. It's always fun to guess what we're going to have as our ornament each year, and most of the time we are right on with the guesses. Last year, ours was a pregnant couple, and this year, we got an adorable framed picture of O.
After pondering, I've come to the conclusion that this tradition began the year Sarah was born (1992), when we each received a small photo ornament with our picture inside. (Some photos could be used as bribery these days). As we "kids" grow up and have our own Christmas trees (side note: yes, I had a bat mitzvah... that's for another post's explanation), this is absolutely a tradition I plan on keeping with my own family. Since Ben and I have lived together (this will be our fifth (?!?!) Christmas together), we have gotten each other ornaments and I've given him a photo ornament with a picture of us in it. I think it will be cute to look back at these photos years from now, and to show them to Oliver. Just as much fun as we have looking at photos of ourselves from nineteen years ago. (gasp!)
Yep. That WHOLE tree has personalized ornaments on it. Not a single one that one of us doesn't have a story (or ten) about. Talk about a conversation piece. Fam, I love you guys!
Yep, tomorrow Oliver is 9 months old. 40 weeks. I can NOT believe it. I know I say this every month, and have been, but I just don't know how else to say it. Next Thursday marks his 41w1d 'birthday' - now, why would that be important? Because Oliver was born after spending 41 weeks and 1 day with me. So this will mark the time at which he's spent equal amounts of time in both 'locations' (?)
I've been taking a bunch of videos lately, just haven't gotten around to putting them on here. Oliver is quite active these days, pulling up onto anything he can get his hands on (couch, play yard, chair, bookshelf, mirror, dog, wall....) and it's amusing to watch. He can cruise pretty well (as seen above on the couch) and around things like the bed, saucer, and play yard. I'm just waiting for the day he tries to take a step between the bed and couch. I give it another 3-4 weeks or so. He has been fascinated with Ben's tennis rackets, and even more so the stringing machine that has (temporarily!) taken up residence in our bedroom. He has also become increasingly more infatuated with Stella. She, on the other hand, is possibly beginning to not feel the same way. He pulls up onto her, tugs at every piece of hair he can grab, but does laugh and smile at her when she walks into a room. She especially loves when he doesn't eat all of his puffs.
Hope everyone (whoever actually reads this!) has a lovely Thanksgiving with their families :) I'll put up some pictures and maybe a video or five of our delish celebration and cute Thanksgiving jammies.
Ben, Oliver and I went to Colorado right before Halloween (sorry, it's been 2 weeks!) to see some family. It was a GREAT trip, but a long plane ride. (4 1/2 hours there turned into more than 6 because of bad weather in NYC and a 26-plane long waiting line for takeoff!)
We got to see MY cousins (Jessica and Danielle - who is due in February), and my aunt and uncle. I'm pretty sure I haven't seen them since our wedding in 2008? Is that possible? Anyway, Oliver loved them, even though he slept through the baseball game.
Oliver also got to hang out with HIS cousins. (from left to right: Oliver - 8 months, Braelyn - 5 months, Broady - 18 months, A.J. - 6, Dillon - 2 months) It was A.J.'s 6th birthday (10/31) and it was so good to see my step-sisters, Mikaela (mom to Broady, AJ and Dillon), Merin (mom to Braelyn) and McKenna (dog mom to Charlie, Stella's long lost best friend).
Plus, Oliver got to hang out with Grandpa!
My ever-so-Americanized husband scheduled it so we could see the Broncos/Lions game. (It was pretty abysmal, although we had fun!)
Once again, my little O is a super traveler, which is a VERY good thing considering he has family all over the world! After the trip to Colorado, Ben is reconsidering taking O (at age 14 months) to England in the spring.... we will see!
Last week, Oliver and I traveled to North Carolina for a few days (Sunday-Wednesday), and I'm pretty proud of the entire trip. We have become EXPERT packers and travelers, and my little man is a SUPERSTAR on the airplane. We checked one suitcase and the car seat, and brought the diaper bag (and lunch box) along with an umbrella stroller and BabyErgo. Anyway, here are some highlights of our trip:
Oliver met his future girlfriend, Madeline Elizabeth. (She was 2 1/2 weeks old, it's okay, he's into younger women)
We got to see Brian (Madeline's Daddy) snuggling before he left on business for a few days. (That's the main reason why we went down.) Oliver got to see "Uncle" Chris! Chris is still living in Fayetteville, but we're hoping he moves up north sometime soon. Oliver LOVES him, and we certainly miss him a lot! (That's Chris' bottle, by the way, I did NOT give my child Coke Zero....)
We went for walks, and hung out at the park. The weather was BEAUTIFUL and 70 degrees. We DO miss the North Carolina weather, that's for sure!
It was a great trip, and made us very thankful to have such wonderful friends, even if they are far away. If I weren't at home with O, this trip would not have been possible!
Kristin and I decided that if we do seriously want Oliver and Madeline to date, we have to tell them that they aren't allowed to ;-) Brian already agreed to pay for the wedding!
THIS is a far cry from our first, tear-filled bath in the tub.... Oliver regularly turns into a prune (fingers and toes only), and I can forsee many fights in the future about it being time to get out of the bathtub. Perhaps there's a swimmer in the making?
In the last few days O has become infatuated with pulling up onto couches, chairs, Stella, saucers, and people... and his playpen and crib. He has also become too confident with being able to stand. Although it's not in this clip, he managed to stand on his own for 10 seconds!