Friday, December 30, 2011

toddler table!

I just bought this table for Caedmon to the tune of $33 on Amazon! Thrilled with that price after searching Craigslist and dozens of other sites - this was by far the best deal. And I like how simple it is... you know I'll be I'll get Michael to paint or stain it in the very near future :)

I might have succumbed to peer pressure a bit (that was self-inflicted, of course). There are about four different blogs I read all with kiddo's C's age and ALL of them mentioned something about buying/building/painting a toddler table within the past month. Crazy, right? So, obviously I needed to jump on the bandwagon and get little C one, too. I really hope he likes it! He loves sitting in a rocking chair (his size, my mom brought it down, it was mine when I was young!) and reading books so I feel pretty confident he's going to love having a table his size, too. Plus it should last until he's at least 4 and by then we'll have other little ones at the perfect age for using the table, so here's hoping it gets a lot of use! 

Also, I mentioned several weeks/months ago about switching C's room into a montessori room (it's going to be a very slow transition...) But last night Michael put C to bed and he said he didn't want to sit in the rocker to read a story, but went to his "reading corner" (corner in his room where I keep some pillows and all the stuffed animals) where they snuggled up, read a story, and then Caedmon walked over to the lamp, turned it off (it turns on and off with a switch you can push with your foot) and then reached up to Michael to have him lay him in his crib. Isn't that exciting?? So, I think we're reading to take out the rocking chair, and make the reading corner a little bigger. Not having the chair in his room will free up so much space to play... I'm really excited :) And then eventually the goal is to have a montessori bed (which is just the mattress on the floor) but I think that is still months away, C is doing so great with his crib, I don't want to rush anything! So, there are some small updates in our house... more to come soon!

Thursday, December 29, 2011


 Christmas this year looked a little different for us - and probably closer to how it will look in the future. Neither of us come from very big families so it's pretty easy to coordinate a day a week or two before Christmas for us to meet up. We went up to Michael's hometown the weekend before Christmas and celebrated with his side of the fam. It was so, so fun! We ate a yummy dinner, too many desserts, then opened some gifts. This year was already so much more fun as far as gifts go than last year just with Caedmon - and I know it will just get moreso the older he gets. :)

Our favorite gift? The father-in-law bought us a new set of stainless-steel cookware. Awesome! We're still getting used to it - but are mostly just thrilled that the chemicals in Teflon are no longer in our kitchen. Yea for greener living :)

His favorite gift? This Thomas the train book - it plays music when you push a button. We have heard that little tune probably 1349827345 times already. He loves it!

So after we celebrated with Michael's fam, the following week my parents and my grandmother (who was visiting from Oklahoma) came up to visit us. We had a yummy dinner at Outback (hip hip hooray for zero cooking!) (Plus, Outback is my fave). Then they spent the night and the next morning we opened gifts. Mom and Granny spent Christmas in Oklahoma with some more of our family there.

Favorite gifts here? Thomas the train, trains. Mom and Dad bought him some trains and this kid loves them more by the day. In particular something called "take and play" which we highly, highly recommend for restaurants. He will sit and play with this little set and has now made going out to eat 10 times easier :) I got a new electric toothbrush (which I've never had  before and I love!) and Michael got umm... well, you'll just have to ask him what his favorite gift was, I can't remember!

We decided to check out Southern Lights here in town. Neither of us had been and we knew we wanted to do something "Christmas-y" since we missed out on some things last year since Caedmon was so young. It's a drive-through Christmas light thing with a petting zoo, Santa, and train exhibit at the end. It was so, so fun! I let Caedmon sit in my lap while we drove though (we didn't go over 3mph, so no worries!) and that was just so nice. This kid loved the petting zoo and was totally fearless when it came to feeding/petting the llamas, goats, and cows! It was so fun watching him have so much fun!

Then we got some hot chocolate and went to check out the trains. Which as we all know are this kiddo's fave. :) He loved it and was totally mesmerized by all of them. We definitely want to go back again next year!

So, Christmas was just the three of us since we celebrated them with the families the week before. In some ways it made it not even seem like Christmas! But it was still a really wonderful weekend. :) So, Christmas Eve is an exceptionally busy day for Michael with church. They did 10 songs that weekend. Ten! And all of them were outstanding. And I volunteered to make Christmas cookies for the service. Now, it's been awhile since I've made cookies but I know I'm typically a decent cookie-maker. Not-so this holiday season! Every batch of cookies I made was... comical. Definitely not something you'd serve. Or maybe you would so no one would ask you to volunteer again. :) Just kidding. But they were awful. Tasty, but awful. Finally I got together about 20 of the prettiest cookies (out of the 3 dozen or so I made) and brought those - so I was still able to pitch in! :)

After the Christmas Eve service we headed to a friend's house who knew we didn't have any family in Lex and invited us over. It was such a fun night! There was a little girl there Caedmon's age so they were able to play and Michael and I were able to visit with some friends we see often and others not so much. It was a really good night :)

Oh, and Michael and I exchanged gifts on Dec. 23. We just couldn't wait. Mostly Michael was excited to show me what he'd gotten for me and how could I refuse? :) He bought me a new lens for my camera, a lens hood, and Photoshop! Whoa! So fun! I haven't gotten to play with it too much yet, but am so so excited to! Hopefully I'll get better and better with all this stuff :)

Michael got a new guitar just a few months ago and so we said that would be his Christmas gift and also birthday and anniversary gifts for the year. So, in my defense I didn't get him too much. But I did get him some lottery tickets, work socks, a new work shirt and tie, and a cookbook called "Simply in Season" with a promise to cook one meal from the book for the next year. He liked it :) We have a strong desire to eat more real, locally grown food so this book was perfect for that. Here's to hoping next year is a bit more disciplined for us than last!

Okay, so now Christmas morning :) I tried to make cinnamon rolls (again, fail... but we ate them anyway!) and then opened presents! His favorite toys were the trains - but when we put batteries in the trains he got scared every time they would come back around near him. It was precious! He was jump up in Daddy's arms and then once it was passed he would get down and point and just play with the other trains. So stinkin cute.

I'm so excited to just bring in more traditions with our little family! Do you have any favorite holiday traditions? I've read about a birthday party for Jesus... this is definitely one I want to do once Caedmon is a little older! Neither Michael or I have many so we're kind of making them as we go... so tell me your favorite ones! :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

a child is born...

A few days ago a very dear friend of mine had her baby. Yesterday Michael and I visited her in the hospital to meet the baby. Isn't it awesome going to the hospital to see a brand-new, less than 24 hours old baby? We were anticipating it so much and we couldn't wait to get there... we had been waiting to meet this baby girl for months! It was just a really exciting day to get to share some of the sweet joy only a newborn can bring with some of our closest friends. We congratulated them, held the baby, and then went home and talked about what it was like when we ourselves were in the hospital with our new baby not even a year and a half ago.

And then today at church I got to thinking... Jesus was once a baby. People traveled from all over to see him. Can you imagine their excitement?! It wasn't just a baby of a close friend - they were going to see the Savior of the world. The one that had been predicted to come... that everyone had been waiting for. The One that would someday die to save them. There was even a star put in the sky to lead people to him. Isn't that so awesome? I wish I was more eloquent with words and could put into words the imagery in my head because it is just... beautiful. It's beautiful. And then to think of Mary... birthing this baby. Being told he is the Prince of Peace. People knowing that after just seeing a glimpse of him! I mean, any new mother is beaming with pride as people "ooh" and "ahh" over her brand new baby... but to just try to imagine the emotions she must have been feeling. Knowing that she birthed the son of God. It's incredible. It's a miracle.

And then to know that someday this baby would bring her so much heartache as she watched him suffer for our sins. As he saved each of us. Because he loves us more than we could ever know.

It was too much to think about during church... I was a balling mess in the back row. Just the thought of watching someone bring pain to Caedmon was too much to bear. But I feel like it's something that clicked that I honestly wouldn't have given much thought if I wasn't a mother myself. There's just no emotion to compare it to until you experience it personally.

So, in all the hustle and bustle of this season with the shopping and the presents and the cookies and the Santa and the ornaments and everything else... may we never forget the real reason we're celebrating - that Jesus came down to this Earth. Ah, it's just so awesome! I'm praying we're able to teach Caedmon the real reason we celebrate... and also that we don't forget it ourselves.

I hope all of you have a very, very blessed Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

ribbon wreath!

I love crafting... I'm not the best at it by any means, but I just enjoy making things. I love going to a craft store and buying something plain and simple and bringing it home to decorate it and (try to) make it into something pretty.

I made this one last year and decided to make one (er, now two) for this year as gifts in case I needed some extra ones. If you'd like me to make you one I'm thinking I could try to sell them. So, if you're interested let me know! :)

And if you want to make one yourself, here's how you do it. You'll need a styrofoam wreath, some ribbon (around 6-9 spools), and stick pins and that's it!

Cut the ribbon into 2 inch strips (or just eyeball it to the size you want). 

Then create a loop, stick a pin in it. I start with one color and finish that entire spool of ribbon before starting on another. I think that the color is dispersed a little more evenly that way.

Then just pin it into the styrofoam. It will look a little... wonky until you're almost finished. I made one last night and I almost pitched the idea at first because I just didn't think it was coming together (even though I love the one I made last year!)... but stick with it - it will look prettier once all the ribbon is in place!

When I made one last year I just searched for any Christmas ribbon I could find so ours is very colorful... this year I'm making a silver one and a red one and I like how it looks when it's a little more uniform, I think. So for this silvery one I used 2 spools of each of 3 different types of ribbon.  I really love the way it turned out!

And there's my fun Christmas craft... It really is fun to make - it's just a little time consuming. It's a perfect activity to do while watching a Christmas movie :) Let me know if you'd like one or if you decide to make one for yourself!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's Christmastime!

Oh my word, I love Christmas. I love so many things about it. This will be Caedmon's second Christmas... but it's the first where he'll be more aware of what's going on. (And I'm sure that will just continue next year and the next... which I am so looking forward to!)

We bought him a Thomas the train set for Christmas... I think Michael is already so excited to play with it with him! He played with a set at a friends house and he played with those trains for 30 minutes all by himself! Plus it makes it easy if people ask what to get him - we can tell them they can contribute to his set! I always see kids of all ages playing with the train sets in Joseph Beth and Barnes and Noble (we go to those places fairly often just so C can play with the trains... he loves them) so I'm hopeful this will grow with him, too. :) In the picture he's playing with a train that went around our tree when I was little that my parents brought up for him to play with. This boy loves anything on wheels - but we're kind of running with the train theme :) We also got him a pair of Thomas Christmas jammies that are probably the cutest thing ever. 

We try not to watch much TV but if C is in a funk (or momma needs a minute) I can turn Thomas on and as soon as the theme song starts, he dances along and will say "choo choo" He gets so excited! It's pretty adorable. Or if Michael or I sing the theme song (um, it happens) he will dance along with us... it's fun.

I still want to get him an ornament for this year - I'm looking for a choo-choo. The Thomas ones are around $20 and aren't that cute... so I don't know. Last year we got him a Pooh one and I've thought about just getting another Pooh one - but I like the idea of getting an ornament of something that enjoyed that year every year for his ornament - so I'll probably stick with my train idea. Let me know if you happen to come across any neat ones!

So, didn't mean for this to be all about trains, ha! But I wanted to update and I guess that's what I wanted to talk about :) I made a super cute Christmas-y craft last night though - I'm planning to take a picture of it and then I'll tell you all about it tomorrow! :)