Surprise! This year I actually planned ahead enough to take cute Christmas pictures of the kids AND design and print out cards to send out to a few family and friends. I still managed to drop the ball somewhere and failed to get a cute enough family shot to include in said Christmas card, but since Emery and Ashton are the most photogenic members of our family anyways I figure this probably works just as well, right?! So to all of our friends and family reading this, a very Merry Christmas (and everything) from our whole family to you, even if Kyle and I are behind the scenes this time around. 😉
I don't know if it's the ages that our kids are at, or if it's that for the first time in our marriage we're having a holiday season without the stress of school, but this year has brought SO much fun when it comes to soaking in all of the fun family Christmas traditions! Since Thanksgiving we've been fully indulging in creating our own Hallmark Channel-worthy season complete with tree-decorating, cookie baking, gingerbread house making, Christmas movie watching, and visiting our favorite little towns for Christmas parades and to soak in all of the cute holiday window displays and decor! The only thing we haven't had is snow (which I'm considering a huge perk of moving to the PNW-rain lover over here!), but with any luck we'll get some while in Utah celebrating the holidays with family and Em will still get to fulfill her bucket list item of building a snowman while visiting Nan & Papa at Christmas. Em has been the most enthusiastic little Christmas elf when it comes to all of the celebrating, and Ashton has been fully indulging in his first Christmas duties by destroying the bottom branches of our Christmas tree any chance he gets. Both of the kids love Christmas books and music, and I've just been frantically trying to soak in as many of these memories of my kids enjoying the magic of the season and this sweet stage of life that they're currently in. We did our own little Christmas last weekend in Oregon and will spend the actual holiday in Utah with family, and feel so grateful that we have so many opportunities and loving family and friends to celebrate with.
A very Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family!
We hope that everyone has the best of holidays celebrating with those you love!
With Love: Kyle, Chelsea, Emery & Ashton
weight & height: 23.6 pounds and 31 inches long. You've already bumped yourself into 12-18 month clothes because you're so long and just keep growing! eating & sleeping: Your appetite has been HUGE lately and you've been loving your baby food meals and bottles. We're still working on getting comfortable with harder textured foods but are making progress every day! You've also just recently started sleeping in until a little after 7AM and we are crossing alllll of our fingers that you keep that up! exciting firsts/milestones: You gave mama your first intentional kiss this month, and although it only happened once I'm still soaking in all the feelings from it since you really only say my name when you're sad and reserve saying "dada" for when you're happy. You also had your first Thanksgiving this past month, and enjoyed trying the fresh sweet potatoes most! things I love: You're happiest when you're on the move and getting into mischief. You're obsessed with things like blinds and the one kitchen cupboard that holds our cleaning supplies, but also enjoy playing with toys like the play kitchen, balls, and toy cars. Emery is still your favorite person for the most part, unless she's trying to pull you away from something you're trying to get into. You also LOVE bath time, and your enthusiasm for it is definitely contagious! things I don't enjoy so much: Right now the thing that you continue to enjoy the least is being kept still when you just want to be up and moving. This continues to make things like getting dressed and diaper changes a challenge. You've also gotten to the point where you'll get mad and throw a monster sized fit at Em, me, or Dad if we've done something to upset you complete with a mad (but still adorable) face and very direct yells. mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: I don't know if it's that we've just finally gotten worn down enough to care less about things that would've stressed us before or if we're actually learning something new, but this past month we've really learned to just go with the flow and to not stress it when things don't go according to how we'd originally planned them. That means that our floors no longer get swept every night and toys will sometimes be left out too, we're rarely ever on time to anything, and the monthly photo updates will not always be centered because *someone* just wanted to scale the chair and not sit still 😉, but as long as we're trying our best and teaching you and Em to be your best, kindest selves, that will always be the most important thing.
weight & height: 21.8 pounds and 30 inches long. eating & sleeping: We finally seem to have reached a point where you enjoy eating pureed baby food and have an appetite for it regularly throughout your day! You usually eat baby food for lunch and dinner, and then stick to your formula for the rest of the time. You still don't like sleeping in past 6:15/6:30 every morning, but when the time changed with daylight savings this past month you still woke up at 6:15 AM on the dot so at the very least you're consistent. exciting firsts/milestones: This past month has been a big one when it comes to new milestones for you. You officially made the transition into full-on crawling, and with that have also learned how to quickly climb the stairs. You also made the official move into your own room and crib, and even though mom was really sad to send you in there earlier than planned, you've been sleeping better because of it which is a good thing for everyone. You've also pushed through your two top teeth, and from the looks of it are working on more! Last but not least, you also had your first Halloween and made all of our cliche dreams come true by dressing up as the cutest little pumpkin! things I love: Your favorite thing right now is to explore and get into EVERYTHING that you're able to reach. Garbage cans, kitchen cabinets, dresser drawers, toilets and bathrooms, and electrical outlets have all made (and been checked off of) your bucket list thus far. You love playing with toys but always with other people in the room with you, and have taken to your father's love of electronics, specifically, laptops, iPads, phones, Mama's watch, and Daddy's xbox. You LOVE baths and splashing in the water, and love playing with your big sister more than anyone else. things I don't enjoy so much: We're learning that you are a very opinionated baby that makes your likes and dislikes known quite loudly. So, whether it's getting taken away from somewhere/something that you were trying to "explore", getting dressed in the morning when you'd rather be playing, getting put down to bed when you're tired but don't want to miss out, or are trying to be fed carrots and peas for dinner instead of something more desirable, you let us know about it in no uncertain terms that you disapprove. mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: This past month has brought so much growth for you, and with it has given Mama finally what feels like a better understanding for you, your personality, and how you communicate your likes and dislikes to me. You're very spirited which can be really fun or really stressful depending on the situation, so knowing a little bit better how to keep you happy and best communicate with you has helped a lot to try and minimize the stressful times and focus more on the fun. Also, I'm kicking myself for not being better organized with our cross-country move and losing all of our outlet plugs/other baby-proofing items, so baby-proofing, along with trying to stay organized has been another big learning curve for this month.
Bibbidi-Bobbidi-BOO! and a Happy Halloween to all of you! from Cinderella, Prince Charming, Fairy Godmother, and a pumpkin so stinking cute that he might just be magical. 😉 This is our first Halloween in our new home state and Ashton's first Halloween ever, and we've been having fun this month making them count! This past month we were able to visit two pumpkin patches (one as a family here in Oregon and then another in Utah while the kids and I made a visit to my family), paint pumpkins, make a "haunted" halloween gingerbread house, read lots of fun Halloween themed books and fit plenty of Halloween activities into our preschool activities, dressed up twice for ballet class the week of the holiday, and made it a point to try just about every seasonal autumn/pumpkin themed treat that Trader Joe's released this year to figure out what our favorites were. Emery seems to have officially reached the age where she understands more now how Halloween works and has been SO excited for it, asking almost every day if it's here yet so that she can wear her costume and go trick-or-treating!
Since Em was the one with the most enthusiasm for the holiday this year, I thought it only fair that we let her pick out the theme for our family costume. She's in a stage where she LOVES Cinderella right now, so when she told me that she wanted to dress up as the classic princess from her favorite book & movie the rest of our costumes just fell into place! I was going to have Ashton originally be "Gus-Gus" the mouse from the movie, but then found this stinking adorable pumpkin costume on sale and couldn't say no to it! Since a pumpkin is a fairly important part of the Cinderella story line, I figured we'd go along with it! Dressing your baby up as a pumpkin for his first Halloween may be cliche, but dang it's so cute!! Just look at that face!!
I honestly almost didn't do a family costume this year because aside from pictures and maybe on actual Halloween for trick-or-treating we didn't have anywhere to wear them. In dental school we'd always do a huge party with friends where everyone would dress up, so this year I was kinda bummed out thinking that we weren't going to have that same fun tradition anymore, then Kyle found out that he needed to dress up as "Woody" from Toy Story for work, and the thought of having to put together two costumes for him for the sake of him being able to fit into two separate themes left me feeling discouraged and wondering if it was worth the hassle. Once I finally decided to take the plunge though and just put together the costumes, I was SO glad that I did. We made the skirt, necklace, and headband for Em's costume while at my parent's house in Utah, and the second Em saw herself in a mirror with everything together she gasped with the sweetest, "Oh, it's PERFECT!" and then proceeded to twirl and dance around the room until I told her she had to take it off to get ready for bed. When we were all getting ready to take these pictures Kyle was being a grump (surprising since he LOVES pictures...not haha), but all grumpiness melted away the second Em saw all of us together and started bouncing around with excitement telling all of us about how Daddy was going to be her Prince Charming and Mommy was her Fairy Godmother and Ashton was going to turn into a beautiful coach! 😂 Kids really do bring so much more fun into the holidays, and I'm especially grateful this year for Em's never-ending enthusiasm to lift me up when my own is feeling down.
We'll be spending our actual Halloween night this year taking the kiddos trick-or-treating with our new friends in our new(ish) town in our new community of people that we're already coming to love and appreciate so much. We definitely miss our sweet dental school friends and traditions, but finally feel like we're starting to find our groove here in Oregon and are so happy and excited to be able to start making and enjoying new traditions with our little family of four.
Happy Halloween to all of our sweet family & friends! We love you all dearly!
weight & height: 22 pounds and 30 inches long. Almost everywhere we go people assume that you're older than you actually are, and mama is already wondering if she should've sized up more when buying your fall/winter wardrobe since you seem to be getting taller every day! eating & sleeping: A little before you hit your seven month mark we'd switched to a soy formula to try and help with tummy troubles, and a little over a month later the formula is still working well and you're a better fed baby because of it! You've become quite the early bird this past month and we've had a hard time getting you to sleep in past 6:30 in the morning. The early starts to every morning are exhausting, but one plus is that Dada has never once slept past his work alarm at 6:45 so at the very least you're helping him stay punctual. 😉 exciting firsts/milestones: You're still army crawling all over the place, and this past month have started to let us know that we need to start officially baby-proofing our house by standing up against things and climbing up a couple of stairs. The main thing you've learned how to stand up in has been your bassinet, which also means that it's been time to start moving you into your crib! things I love: You love being close to the people you love more than anything right now - mostly mommy but you also love playing with Emery and will cuddle with Daddy when he's home from work. You love playing with toys that you can hold in your hands, and have really taken to balls and the wheels on toy cars. You also LOVE bath time, and we have a hard time keeping you from trying to crawl into the bathrooms at any given time and going straight for the tub/shower. things I don't enjoy so much: Teething has given you a ROUGH go this past month, and the discomfort from that has made you pretty sensitive and random moments. You also don't like being left in a room by yourself (even with toys), and will immediately start crying and crawling to follow to wherever your people have gone off to so that you don't miss out on a single thing. mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: Between you and Emery and teething, growing pains, allergies, bad dreams, and whatever else could interrupt a person's sleep, getting a solid night's rest has been a real challenge for mom and dad this past month. It's really hard to not feel burned out or discouraged with the constant sleep interruptions followed by still busy days, but we're working to take things one day at a time, and have both appreciated earlier bedtimes for everyone in the house to try and get everyone as much rest as possible until things (hopefully) settle down.
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.