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Thursday, December 31, 2009

My baby is 6 months old!

How is my itty bitty baby already 6 months old??? 6 MONTHS! It really does seem like just yesterday that I was online everyday looking for stuff for my baby and her nursery! It seems like just yesterday I was pulling into MTMC with a huge lump in my throat not knowing what to expect. It seems like just yesterday everyone was coming to see this little bitty blessing that God had sent to our family and that I instantly had a motherly instinct over! What happened to just yesterday....let me just tell you...time flies once you have a baby! I know I have heard people say that over and over throughout the years, but it has really been put into perspective now that I'm going through it!

Brandon and I used to sit and talk about how we thought our lives might change once a baby came along...we were wrong! We wondered how much sleep we would lose and if it'd be too much...we were wrong! We thought it'd be super hard to get anywhere and we'd have to stay at home much more that we did...we were wrong!

Harper is honestly the BEST thing that has ever happened to us! We love each other, but the love we feel for each other now is so much deeper than it was before. My heart is bigger and more full than I ever thought possible! She is a wonderful baby....wonderful! Makes me want a whole houseful! ha:) I am so happy and blessed, I feel like I could just BUST!

So, what's Harper up to these days...

-She eats rice cereal twice a day and about 4-5 six ounce bottles each day.

-She is a supported sitter!

-She wants to crawl soooooo badly. She gets up on all fours and just rocks back and forth. She can move her legs, but she hasn't figured out how to move her arms yet! It's only a matter of time!

-She sleeps wonderfully! Usually 8-10 hours at night, and typically 2 good naps each day!

-She never cries or fusses unless she is tired or hungry!

-She weighs 17.4 lbs. and is 26 1/4 in. long!

-She is a social butterfly, but loves her mommy and daddy too!

-She laughs and giggles at everything!

-She is becoming very mobile....VERY! We have to keep a very close eye on her at every single second now!-She is the absolute light of our lives and we don't know what we did before she came into this world! We thank God each and every day for blessing us with such a sweet, beautiful baby girl and for choosing us to be her parents! We could not be who or where we are today without His help and guidance, and we owe everything to Him!

Happy 6 months, baby girl! Momma and Daddy love you more than anything in the whole, wide world!

xoxo, Kara

p.s.-Sorry this post is late but I was waiting on her pics and her dr's appt! :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'm dreaming of white Christmas....

Oh how great it feels to say those words!  I don't think I could express the depth of my excitement for this week to be here!  ONE....I am off work for 2 weeks!  2 WEEKS!!!  I think that's what I'm the most excited about!   TWO....it's our first Christmas as a family and we have sooo much to celebrate and be thankful for!  But, of course, most of all, we are most thankful for our newest addition to our family...Harper has been such a blessing to us in so many different ways and it's just hard to put it all into words!  We ooh and ahh over her every second of every day...and I know people probably get tired of hearing us talk about her...but oh well!  ha:)  She is our life now and we wouldn't have it any other way!

This Christmas, we will celebrate at least eight times!  Yes....eight times! :)  We open up the madness having our friends Christmas w/ Tommy, Erin, and Annabella.  Then, Christmas Eve, we go to my parents house and have our big Christmas with them, and then my mom's family that night.  Christmas day, we will start off by opening our presents that Santa left, then go to Brandon's family's house.  Then, off to his dad's family's Christmas, and then back to Woodbury for my dad's family's Christmas! WHEW!  And, then as if that weren't enough, we will go Sunday to do our Christmas with Ivie, and then we still have to get together with my friends Angela and Jane Ann somewhere in there!  Family life doesn't equal a calm life...but, hey...we're loving it!  

First off, we had Christmas w/ the Culwells.  Erin and I have been doing Weight Watchers and we go every Monday night.  So, usually we do something with them afterwards...so we decided just to get together for our Christmas after our meeting (that's why I'm dressed in the lightest clothes I could find! ha:)  Anyway, we had a great meal, and then the girls had a blast opening their first gifts.  I didn't think Harper would care too much about it, but she totally surprised me.  She pulled at the paper and everything...but she just wanted to put the paper in her mouth!  Oh well...it was still cute!


Harper got a gorgeous sweater dress, books, an ornament w/ a picture of her and her best little friendie, and some pj's!  She really racked up!  Harper gave Annabella an Ariel roller suitcase, a BFF shirt, and an ornament w/ a picture of them from the hospital when Harper was born that says "Best friends from the start!" on the back...it turned out so cute!  I love having such awesome friends that we are each close with and comfortable being ourselves around.  It started out with Brandon and Tommy being best friends in Kindergarten and now the wives and the daughters are best friends too!  It's such a great feeling.  I know that I can call on them and depend on them whenever I need anything.....A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G!!  This has been a great year for us and they have been there for us each step of the way!  What a great time to spend with all those you love!

xoxo, Kara C:

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lots and lots going on

I think everyone would agree when I say that December is one of the busiest months of the year!  Whew!  But, this year, I want to make sure to sit back and enjoy the small things.  This is Harper's first Christmas and our first Christmas as a family....so I am expecting it to be extra special!  I can't wait! :)  

Some of the things that I really enjoy that takes place during the first of the month are all of the surrounding parades.  This year, we just made it to the Woodbury parade and we had so much fun standing around with all of my family. I was afraid all the sirens and loud noises would bother Harper and Madelyn, but it didn't phase them a bit!  As a matter of fact, as soon as all the fire trucks and loud things went by, Harper rolled right over into Brandon and went sounds asleep!  We had such a good time and even though it was very cold (it was the morning we had snow), we bundled everyone up and enjoyed the moment.  After the parade, we went and had lunch with my mom and then went on the tour of homes.  Has anyone else ever gone on one of those?  I LOVE it!  It's always so neat to see everyone's houses and businesses and the different things that everyone has.  I'd love to be a part of that one day...when I have my dream house! :)

Other than that, since I've got such a small space to work with, I've had to move all my sewing stuff into Brandon's office.  When we moved his desk out of the back bedroom to make room for baby, I told him he needed to set me up a corner to spread out all of my sewing stuff...not that I have much!  Well, I've been wrapping presents on that desk, but I decided that I wanted to make Maddie a Christmas shirt.  A lady I work with made one and I used her idea but tweaked it a little bit.  Instead of traditional Christmas colors, I made Maddie's hot pink, lime green, and brown...I thought it turned out so cute for my first try!  I hope she looks as cute in it as I thought it turned out!  Well, as I was showing it off (HA c:), my mom's best friend mentioned that her daughter had a Christmas program at school and needed something like that to wear!  WELL, I jumped right on it!  I love sewing and when other people actually like my stuff and want me to make something for them, I think that is the best compliment ever!  So, I made her a present shirt, ruffled jeans, and a matching hairbow!  I can't wait to get a picture of her in it...but for the meantime...I guess a cell picture will have to do....Other than that, have I mentioned how mobile my child has gotten?  I just knew she'd be crawling by Christmas, but she's not quite there...YET!  She is so funny...she gets up on all fours, and then just slides back down on her stomach.  But, let me tell you, that doesn't stop her.  She is beginning to get into things and it is so funny.  Last night, she even got a hold of my tree skirt and put it in her mouth...where E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. goes!  EVERYTHING!!! lol  But anyway, today, I needed to run in the kitchen for a sec, so I laid her in the middle of the living room floor, and guess where she ended up...How on Earth did you get there, Miss Harper Claire?  Isn't she about the cutest, sweetest thing you've ever seen?!?  I sure think so!  She's such a mess and I love every single ounce of her!  She's been such a wonderful blessing and we thank God for blessing our lives so much!  

Well, as of today, I officially have 6 days and 2 hours of school left...hallelujah!  I know we just had a week off for Thanksgiving break, but I'm ready for 2 more weeks off!  It will be so nice to sleep in and just enjoy the time with family and friends!  Hope everyone else is having a happy holiday season so far!  Love and peace to all!

xoxo, Kara C:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oh Christmas time's a comin...

Have I ever told you how much I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Christmas?!?! Everything about it just makes me feel like a kid again. As a child, my MaJean and I were like the kiddos at Christmas. We docorated, wrapped presents, ....did everything together. Oh, how I miss my Christmases at her house!

But, I am DETERMINED to be like that with my children. I love to have the tree up before Thanksgiving and leave it up through January. There's just something cheery about your house being all decorated and smelling like Christmas. And now that I have a child....oh my! It's going to be glorious! My parents always went all out for Christmas too, but as I've gotten older, I guess everyone assumes since I'm an adult, it should be more of a chore....well it's not! NOT at all...I love to buy people things and wrap it all up! It's not even about me getting presents, I do love gifts and surprises, but honestly, this year, there's nothing I need. Yeah, I want a new car, and I'd love to build/buy a bigger house, but I don't think anyone can get me those things! ha:) But, I just love spending all that time with family...and now that I have my own little family, it's going to be that much better.

Someone referred to me and herself on facebook the other day as "that kind of mom!" Yes ma'am...I sure am and LOVE every single second of it. I think I'm "that kind of mom" because of my career. (fyi...she's also a teacher, so it may just be something about us! lol) I see so, so many children every day that has no one to care for them, no one to love on them and ask them how their day has been, no one to cook dinner for them, no one to go shopping with, etc. I can't tell you how much or how deeply IT.BREAKS.MY.HEART!!! It hurt my heart before, but as a momma, oh my! So, I am determined to be "that kind of mom!" Heck, since we need a new car, we are even talking about buying a minivan! ha:) Now, I've always said I wouldn't be a minivan mom, but everyone I talk to says they were like that until they drove one. We'll see.....lol

Anyway, onto Christmas.....I want Harper to grow up remembering all the different traditions that our family has. I want to start family traditions. I am determined to buy an Elf on the Shelf, and start that this year....I just haven't done it yet! I am determined for her to always be filled with the Christmas spirit! A friend of mine, April, mentioned that she'd heard somewhere that each year you could buy your children 4 things...something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read! WHAT A FABULOUS IDEA??? Too often, kids get in their mind that Christmas = gifts! WRONG! I think getting them something in those 4 areas would always remind them the purpose...the reason for the season so to speak. As I reflected over that, I realized we have covered all 4 areas already....the problem...we've covered them all more than once. But hey, it'll only be our first Christmas once, right? But, that's something I'd love to see established in our home. Oh how much our children would be grateful for the things they had and not upset for the things that they didn't get.  They need to know that this is a time for them to cherish the moments spent with family and best little friendies...As far as Christmas decor goes, I love it all.

However, we have a small space to decorate. I always put up our tree in the living room and I've changed it's theme several times. It started out being maroon and gold, then went to white and gold (gorgeous), but this year I wanted something a little less dressy and more fun, so I went with red, green, and white and I am totally thrilled with how it turned out. I love all the bigger ornaments, and all the ones that really mean something. Here are a few of my favorite ornaments....

Do you just love the big gemstone ones? They were 50% off at Hobby Lobby.....I am totally in love with that store!
This is a snowman that my mom bought us several years back and I just wanted to do something different with him this year.  So, I put him on this table with pictures of Harper and Maddie, and this is where I'm going to hang our stockings.  BUT, I can't find any stocking hangers that I like...and I'm not being that picky.  So, that's another thing on my to-do list!
Also, I had to add another tree to my collection this year! While at Dollywood, I saw a pink Christmas tree. I asked one of the workers if she knew where it came from and she said it'd been around for years. I knew then I had to have a tree like that. However, I'd never seen one, so I figured I'd end up buying a white one and just painting it somehow. WELL, at the beginning of November I walked in Big Lots, and guess what the first thing I saw was? Yep...a pink Christmas tree. So I bought it that day and brought it home and put it up! Oh my goodness...I love it!!! And so does Harper! She'll just lay on her changing pad and look at all the pretty lights. I'm so happy with how it turned out. I decided to try to coordinate with her nursery, so it has all pink, green, purple, turquoise, and silver ornaments on it. LOVE! And, actually, a majority of the decor on her tree came from the Dollar Tree....I love being frugal! :)And here are some of my faves on her tree...And I put this little snowman just because he was all cute and sparkly like her tree...

Then, I usually put up 3 pencil trees in the kitchen, but since we have a high chair in that corner this year, that's one item I left off. Also, we do a few decorations outside: wreaths, garland, deer, sleigh, Christmas flag....and since I was pregnant last year I didn't want to mess with it...but we went all out this year. Brandon even wanted to put the lights up around the house! I guess having a baby will really put the spirit into some......hint hint Brandon! ha:)

And, to top it all off, we have already had snow this year!  That's huge for TN!  We usually get a little...very little in January or February...but it's been a LONG time since we've had snow in December.  So, we had to get up and take Harper out and let her experience the snow for the first time.I don't know if she loved it...she didn't really care at all.  However, I do think she liked sitting in Santa's sleigh...I realize this is going to be the best Christmas we'll probably ever have. Harper is just getting old enough to really notice things, but not too big to where she bothers anything. We have been so blessed this year, and I just want all our glory to go to the one who is the reason for the season!

xoxo, Kara C:

Helping around the house

So, during Thanksgiving Break, I noticed that I must not be the only one spoiling my precious baby girl! :) Of course I love to think she just wants her momma all the time, and I totally enjoy every second of it by the way! BUT, I noticed that someone must be holding her a lot of the time. I spent a lot of my week playing and singing and feeding and changing diapers....LOVE IT ALL...but I couldn't sit her down for 2 seconds and leave the room, or she would start fussing. All I had to do was walk back in and she'd smile.....so that's how I know she's getting spoiled somewhere else as well! ha:)

At one point, I HAD to do some laundry. I had laid it all out the night before into seperate piles so I could jump right in the next morning....well....Harper had different plans. She wanted mommy to sit right beside her entertaining her. And, while I'd be glad to do that every single second of every single day, I had to get some stuff done. So, I had to improvise....
Look closely....

Yep, she just sat right there until I could get just a few things accomplished. Don't worry...she didn't stay there but just a few minutes...but at least I was able to get some things out and put some things in to the dryer. I took these small tasks for granted before she came along!

Then, there was another day throughout the week when I just felt horrible. Harper and I didn't do a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g all day long. We stayed in our jammies and just played and laid around all day. At one point, I was making funny noises, and she just kept cracking up! This laugh just totally melts my heart and makes everything in the world okay....

Big girl bed

As I mentioned in her 5 month post, Harper sleeps in her own big girl bed now. I knew from the start that I didn't want her sleeping with us just because I know it's a terrible habit to start and one that's difficult to break. HOWEVER, what I didn't realize is how big of a transition it would be for ME!!! She began by sleeping in a pack and play in our room. Well, she had gotten to the point where she wiggled so much at night, she ended up the next morning with her head at the very top. So, I knew it was transition time.....now it was just the doing it part. Brandon and my mama kept saying I needed to go ahead and do it, but I guess I'm like a kid, and it had to be on my own terms. So, I had said by Christmas....well, one night on the way home from church, I told Brandon I thought I'd put her in her own bed and see how it went. He automatically started making a big deal about it and I told him to stop! ha:) Well, she LOVED it. She slept so soundly...but I got up more than my fair share that night. I was so worried about her and every time I'd go in to check on her she was snug as a bug! So, the next morning, I realized how silly I was probably acting, so I took pictures so I could show you how FAR she really was from us....ha:) I know you're all laughing hysterically...but hey, I am a first time mommy and any transition is rough!
She was super funny the next morning. When she woke up, she just kept looking around like, "Whoa! Where am I? This place is pretty!"So, needless to say, she slept in her crib for the first time Nov. 1st, and I am just now getting used to it. I left her pack and play set up for quite a while, hoping she'd want to come back! lol Nope, not a chance. So, I finally took it down and accepted that my baby is growing up....tear! :( I've always heard parents say that everything goes by so quickly, and yeah, I knew it did...but never expected it to be like this....she is going to be six months old in 9 days people!!!!!!! Where does the time go? And, of course, all these older mommas love making fun of me...but that's okay. I'm soaking it all in and just wondering what the 2nd child will be like?!?!?

xoxo, Kara C: