Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas 2009

Whoa - what a Christmas! Where to begin? We had a blessed, fun and eventful Christmas. First of all, I'm so grateful for the many blessings we've had over the past year. It's hard to believe we have a baby - a true person - in our lives now. And, he's so GOOD! It has been fun for sure. Granted, he doesn't really know what is going on but it's fun nonetheless.
Brian's parents (Grandy and Memama) came to see all of us and stayed until Christmas morning. We did some last minute shopping. While I thought I was finished, I was VERY glad we went because I totally forgot about my dad. I did get him a picture framed with Troy but nothing else. I always seem to forget something these days. We also went to the Candelight service at Cornerstone. Troy made it about halfway through then decided to start "talking" during the sermon. He got to go look at the pretty paintings on the walls in the hall outside the sanctuary!
We opened a few gifts Christmas Eve since we knew Christmas morning would be a little whirlwind. It was so fun to see Troy's new stuff. He loves his jumperoo and I can hardly wait to take him riding in his new wagon. He also got a few toys, one of which is called a Chan Pie Gnon - I found it on some website as a great chew toy. I'll take a picture of it later and you can let me know what you think about it.
We also made it to my Grandmother's in Hope Hull, then to my Mom's where we spent the night. Finally we went up to B'ham to see the Johnsons, Browns and Corbitts. In B'ham, between 2 grandparents, an aunt, an uncle and 12 cousins, Troy was bounced from one person to the next. He slept almost all day Monday. We had a blast, though. I'm posting several photos...warning!
Our little fam:
Troy in his jumperoo with his new stash:
Some of the girls hanging out with Troy - this was pretty much what happened to him in B'ham. They actually would remember how "long" they held him. If one held him longer, they'd remind me and make sure I knew that they needed to hold him first when he got up from a nap, etc.
More of the girls holding him...
Colt, Mary, Rebecca and me.
I love this photo of Troy - this is SO his personality. He's so happy! And, he's begun "talking" almost all the time. I took this of him yesterday morning when he was in a great mood. He kept laughing at me.
Sacked out in his new chair:
My mom, Mary, Colt and Josh
In his Cousin Eddie cap...
The Corbitts, Johnsons and Browns: We were missing Brooke! Sad!
Hope everyone has a wonderful New Year tonight!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Tomorrow is the big day but I probably won't be able to post anything.
Hope you and yours has a wonderful, merry, meowy Christmas. Yes, meowy...

Please remember Christ's birthday tomorrow. What a miracle. I have tried to think about how Mary felt pregnant, not knowing what was going to happen. Faith brought she and Joseph through. What a wonderful husband he was to stand beside her while she was pregnant, not with his child. What a miracle! Among the presents, eggnog, turkey, fudge and more, we need to remember the reason for this season....and pray that it stays this way!!!
Meow many more chocolate peanut butter balls can I eat....
video
Off our sleigh goes tomorrow to Hope Hull, Wetumpka and then onto Birmingham for the weekend...


m

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Basketball and Squirrels

Troy's first basketball game photos are below. Since I'm usually the one to have amnesia about things, I have to note that I asked Brian when the next game was to take place. We split men's basketball tickets with some friends of ours. Brian said the game was "Tuesday" - that was yesterday. So, off we went to the game which was to begin at 7 pm. We get to the Coliseum and I thought it was mighty weird that we were the only ones walking in at the time. The ticket takers (what are they really called?) - said, "y'all just come in - have fun" and didn't take our tickets. If you look closely, you'll see we made it for the end of the WOMEN'S game. Good for me, I like watching women's basketball - part of my own heart! We'll be attending the Men's game next Tuesday (the 22nd). Thanks for the laugh Brian!
Singing the Auburn fight song...ya know...he has a mobile with it, too!
Checking out the game...


So if you live in, or have visited, Auburn, you know there are TONS of squirrels. I used to like them. In fact, I have boxes full of some AGD squirrel stuff. Well, we have so many squirrels in our neighborhood, too. They climb on my house. Yes ON-MY-HOUSE! It's stucco so maybe that's why? Anyway, they keep getting on the back deck. I've seen them digging in my pots in the back. I've tried on numerous occasions to get a snapshot of their devilish activities but always fail. It's like they know what I'm doing. Last weekend, I was working on replanting the pots (which I never did) when I found the below little sucker in one. Those crazy squirrels are hiding their nuts in my pots! What is up with that?
Elyse

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Three Months Old

I know...it's totally cliche to say time passes quickly. I'm one of those, yes, time has passed quickly. I can hardly believe Troy is 3 months old now. He is becoming more and more fun with his lovely smiles, craning his neck just to see where Brian or I go, laughing and becoming more animated and active with his feet. He started sucking his fingers about a week or so ago and will be "talking" when his hand goes in front of his face. He'll continue his "aaahhhs" as his eyes follow his hand, usually ending cr0ss-eyed. It's so funny to me! He still despises tummy time but we make him suffer for a few minutes anyway.
Chunky legs!
He still loves his pacifier. Napping during the day can't take place in his bed, according to his cries. We go for the bouncy seat or swing. Speaking of beds, he's still not in his bed. We've kept him in the pack n play since he was born. First, we had the bassinet in there but he's outgrown that. He's now in the "insert" in the pack n play. The whole thing is in the office. We haven't kept him in our room. Sometimes I do take little naps with him and I put him on our bed. I love to see him sleep. At night, I swaddle him and put him in the pack n play. He goes to bed awake and usually quickly falls asleep.
Here are his stats:
Weight: 16 pounds, 7 ounces (nope, not a typo)
Length: 25 inches (this is the best Brian and I could do with the tape measure so it could be off)
He sleeps 10 hours at night and takes a few cat naps during the day. I think he usually eats around 6 ounces every 3 or so hours normally. Sometimes he wants to eat every 2 hours.

His eyes are still blue, his ears are beginning to stick out a little. He looks like Brian except for his eyes, ears and hands. Love it! He's such a sweet baby, too. We are hoping to take him to his first basketball game tonight. More to come on that...
The below photos are ones I took of him in his outfit KK made him. He's worn it for his one and two month photos I've taken. I couldn't button the thing in the back but I stuffed him in it anyway. That was the last time (insert tear). As I said earlier, we don't have him sleeping in his bed. Mainly because it's on the other side of the house, and we don't use it often. So, of course I put him in his bed to take his picture and he starts staring at the piping on the edge of the bumper pad. I chose the colors for his bedding because children are supposed to be drawn to bright colors. I couldn't get him to stop looking at the piping! Here I was behind the camera singing, jumping, and almost screaming to get his attention. Didn't work.
Still staring....

Friday, December 11, 2009

Trip to Niceville




Been a busy week which is why I'm just getting around to posting.
We went to see Memama and Grandy in Niceville last weekend. Troy was a charm! He did great during the 4 hour trip down there. We stopped once to get a bite to eat. I made the mistake of feeding him a bottle in the car, you know, to move things along. Apparently that's a big NO NO! I felt like a horrible mom when the child kept spitting up...over and over and over. Of course ALL of our clothes were packed in the suitcase underneath all of the other junk we took along. So...Troy ended up with only a diaper on in the carseat. Luckily we only had about an hour left in the trip when we decided his spit-up soaked clothes had to come off. Thank the Lord for wipes! They provided a quick bath.
Anyway, we had a great time there. Brian's parents friends came over Friday night to see the little man. I really love for other people to hold him, especially to encourage him being comfortable being passed around. We saw the Cannons, Alligoods and the Ross'. The Hamiltons were at their nephew's wedding. Jeff, Amy, Jake and Brooke were also there that weekend.
We all wore our Christmas shirts and sweaters to pick out the family Christmas tree. Since our sweaters somehow disappeared, I put appliques on shirts for me and Brian last year. I also had Troy in his appliqued romper I made for the Thanksgiving photos with my side of the family last month. He did so great that weekend. He stayed in a pack in play in our room. It was the first time he's slept in the room with us. I was thinking I'd hear him grunt or move around. I never did - either I slept really good or he didn't make a peep. I think it was the latter. Brian's parents were so much fun and seem to love this child to death! It's neat to see how happy Troy is to hear their voices and see them play with him.
Troy also go to feel the sand and see the beach for the first time. On Sunday, he ate at 9 in the morning, we left for the beach, at lunch there where he fell asleep about 11:30. We finished, stuck him in the car and he didn't wake up until we got home at 4:30!!! He made up for lack of eating because he ate every 2 hours until he went to bed at 9:30. I was thinking he might wake up in the middle of the night but we didn't hear a peep until 6:30 the following morning. Nice.
We've been getting ready for our Christmas party tomorrow night. We are expecting a small crowd but I'm really looking forward to it! All I have left to make are the chocolate covered peanut butter balls....Brit has been asking about them since earlier this Fall so I feel like I should make them, too!
He'll be three months old tomorrow. He's a big, big boy! I'll post his stats (hopefully) this weekend. He's becoming more and more fun. He started laughing true laughs last weekend and loves to look at people and smile. Tummy time isn't his favorite at ALL. In fact, if he doesn't like something, it's tummy time. Colt, thankfully, lended Troy his tummy time thing that rotates and he seems to do much better on that. He wakes up when the sun comes up and goes to bed around 9 every night.
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

November anyone???


Where did November go? Seriously? I don't remember much about it at all. Probably the quickest 30 days I can recall!

We had Thanksgiving, I do know that! The day flew by. I semi-conned Brian into running a Turkey Trot (3 miler) with me. I'm hoping it will become our family tradition to do so. The weather was perfect for running...the route a bit hard since it was on a hilly golf course. But, it was fun! Brian's parents came the night before so they watched Troy while we went to our run. I brined the turkey in a buttermilk and spice mix I made up the night before. Got the turkey ready for the oven and off we went! After the run, we ran home, put the turkey in the oven and got ready for our guests! My brother and sister in law came with their two children. Lunch was delicious - we had the traditional Thanksgiving meal. That afternoon our friends came over for dessert with their parents and children. It was fun!
I felt like my entire time was as follows: wake up, feed Troy, get turkey ready, go run, come home, put turkey in oven, feed Troy, get lunch stuff ready (dishes out for food, watch food, etc), feed Troy, eat turkey lunch, clean up, clean up...clean up, feed Troy, friends came over, feed Troy, clean up, sit down for a few minutes, feed Troy..........do you see a pattern here??? Ha! The only thing I wasn't able to do was take photos of the kiddos. I was (and still am) a little bummed about that. I didn't even get a photo of my dining room table...I even made placecards with my turkey placecard holders. Ugh. Oh well!
Friday we went to the Iron Bowl. I'll say I am still very proud of my team although they didn't get a "W" - it was so very exciting. Uh...and pumping in a car isn't fun!
Saturday we went over to my Mom's to celebrate Thanksgiving with them. We had just about the whole family there. Chris had open heart surgery earlier in the week so he and Jennifer weren't able to make it. But, it has been forever since we had as many people together (at least 26 years): Mamama, Crawford, Keith, Kenny, Mom, John, Mary, Josh, Colt, Evelyn, Thad, Eve, Reagan, Brian, Troy, me and for a short stint we had Rick, Mere Grace and Knox. I did get photos of the children then. It was interesting to get 6 children together for a snapshot. Out of about 200 shots I got maybe a dozen decent ones. Thank goodness for digital cameras with fast shutter speeds!
So today we leave for Niceville. It will be our first long road trip with Troy (4 hours). I'll update on how long it took us later :o)

Elyse

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

15 Pounders

15 pound turkey with a 15 pound baby.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Elyse
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Two Month Checkup

Ha! Ha! I think that photo is so funny!
Troy had his two month visit on Friday the 13th. All went well overall. He had one oral vaccination and four shots. Before I could get a pacifier out of the bag, the shots were over. He didn't cry until the nurse had finished giving him the shots. Oh, it was a heartbreaking, skin curling scream! My eyes welled up with tears! Brian did just fine. It didn't take long to soothe him. An hour or so later he would cry pretty loud for maybe less than five minutes, all the while, I couldn't soothe him but he would just quit crying. He obviously didn't feel good. By six hours post shots, he was fine and still slept through the night. It was harder on me than it was on him! He may have been upset with me afterwards because I did take him to Kids Kloset for some fabric, then out to eat with some friends, to Fun and Fancy and then to Wal Mart. Had to do it then so I didn't have much of a choice. Oh well! I will say that if you EVER want things to be rushed for you at Wal-Mart, have your baby start screaming while you're waiting in line. People were so nice to us! They put us in our own line to check out, someone put most of the groceries on the belt and another person helped me put the groceries in the car. Of course, I wasn't wanting Troy to scream the whole time. He slept while I was shopping. Convenient, huh?
So here are his stats:
Head circumference: 15.5 (25 percentile)
Length: 23.6 (85 percentile)
Weight: 14 lbs. 1 ounce (90 percentile)
He apparently has a small head although it doesn't seem like it to me.

Lastly, if you're wondering...NO, we didn't go to the Auburn/Georgia game. EEk! Although the outcome wasn't what we wanted (as far as the outcome of the game), we did miss going. However, I feel so good about the decision we made to stay at home with Troy. We just decided it wasn't time for us to be gone that long. He has become a little attached to me, I think because I went back to work last week and he was having a little separation anxiety (or so I'm guessing). He'll have a tiny crying spell and when I pick him up, or take him from Brian, he'll stop crying. It only takes a minute or two of me holding him for him to be okay, then I can give him back to Brian. So, with that reaction I've had coupled with the shots, we decided it wasn't time to leave him for 2 nights. Plus, I had NO idea that a two month old baby was still a little baby. Months ago, I thought he would be old enough. Well - Mama didn't feel that way when the time came!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We made it!


So I didn't post this before but Brian was out of town the last couple of nights. He's back now so we're safe...no stalkers! However, I started back to work this week and had to juggle a baby with work, taking him to Goli, picking him up on time and managing him on my own at home. Nope, didn't pull any hair out and he slept pretty much like a charm! He has begun waking up by pooting - yes, pooting, around 3 in the morning. I can hear it on the monitor! It makes me wake up also, I go to him, stick a pacifier in his mouth and he'll go back to sleep. Brian missed him so much! Of course Troy missed his daddy, too.


While Troy was napping at night, I have been able to get some sewing done, too. I'm working on a couple of Christmas outfits for him. They involve smocking, of which I don't enjoy. I'm almost finished with one outfit. I made a 3 month and since he's already wearing 3 month handmade clothes, I'm a bit concerned that he'll grow out of it before Thanksgiving. I'll make sure he wears it before then, just in case. What's wrong with wearing a snowman outfit before Thanksgiving? We've had a rule in our household that we don't begin celebrating Christmas (with the decor and music, etc.) until the day after Thanksgiving. Since the Auburn/Alabama game is that day, I'm not sure we'll get the decor out until later. I did, however, learn an important lesson last year. You NEVER pick out a Christmas tree without your significant other participating. Never!


We have his 2 month checkup on Friday so I'll try hard to post his stats that day. AND, Brian and I are going to the Auburn/GA game this weekend. I think I'm crazy but we're not taking Troy. I know it'll be really hard but he'll be in great hands with my Mom. She and John have graciously agreed to come to our house and care for him. And, it's their anniversary. I will tell them how grateful we are to them! I'll let you all know how that goes, too.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tomorrow


Today is the last day before going back to work. Troy will be 2 months old this week. Just like everyone told me it would, time has gone by quickly. But, I feel like I've done as much as I possibly could over the past 2 months. During the last couple of weeks of my pregnancy, I was very much looking forward to my time off. I wanted to meet my son, to see his little eyes look at me and to find out about this whole motherhood thing. I thought I would change entirely. That hasn't happened at all. I'm still the same Elyse who needs to stay busy. I truly thought he would come into our lives by 9/9/09 and weigh 9 pounds. Ms. Sherry made a comment about that and it stuck with me. But then again, I thought we were going to have a girl. by 9/9/09 and no contractions, I just knew he would be here by 9/11 and I wasn't getting excited about that. Then, when that day passed, I prayed that he would come before I was 2 weeks past my due date. The doctor wasn't comfortable letting me go that late and was wanting to induce. Since I wanted a natural birth, I didn't want to be induced. I wanted God to choose Troy's birthdate. As always, He came through for me and my prayers and Troy was born on the 13th. Looking back over the past couple of months, I've learned a lot about motherhood but have also learned that you can have your cake and eat it too!! Troy has been a wonderful baby for us. He has truly spoiled us!

That spoiliation was evident when, three nights ago, he woke up every 2 hours. His little tummy was hurting him but he wasn't upset. He wanted to eat and play. I got quite frustrated although I didn't tell him. I only told him I wish he would go back to sleep...and I'm sure it was in the sweetest voice ever! Of course I was also thinking that I didn't want him to start getting up like that because I was about to go back to work. Guess what? the next two nights he slept 9 and then 8 1/2 hours. I felt like a fool. He was probably just going through a little growth spurt or something and whatever I ate probably hurt his stomach. Ugh.

We've also done so many other things together. Little man isn't fussy much. He either needs to be changed, to eat or sleep. We're still trying to figure all of that out. He is happy most of the time. He loves me and Brian. His face lights up when he sees us. We get a huge ear to ear grin from him. I'll also say that he adores me. Yes, the feeling is mutual. If you know me well, you know that I'm not a touchy-feely, kissy kissy, affectionate person. But, looking at this little being and knowing that he is absolutely infatuated with me is a bit overwhelming. I love it! Yes, I'm the source of his food. But, that's not why he loves me so much. It's that I'm his mother. I'll treasure this time forever. I just pray that we will be the best teachers we can be, using God's guidance and direction, for Troy's life. And, I pray that he will hold tight to everything he's taught and will grow to become a God-fearing, respectable man.

As I've told many, I absolutely love my son and my feelings toward going back to work have been that I need to go back to work. There are many reasons so I'll name just a few: the benefits, I love what I do, I'm very interested to see how my outlook on my evaluations will change (will I be more compassionate or harsh? more understanding or impatient?), my job is very rewarding to me, I love to read and write about what I do, I love the flexibility, I think I'll be a better mother by working. Goli is taking wonderful care of him also. I cannot express how blessed I feel we are to have found her. She kisses him like crazy and I can see in the other childrens' eyes that they absolutely adore her. She takes them outside which is a big plus for me! Troy has taken to her so well. I want him to be a well-rounded child and be exposed to other people and children (within reason, of course). This is the best route, for our family, for Troy at this time. And...well, I'm going back part time for now which is another blessing. And, working out of the home most of the time isn't a bad thing either. I'm probably not dreading it as much for those two reasons.

Since Troy has been born, one of the greatest blessings we've had is Brian at home. His job responsibilities have changed and he is now in the "office" every day. Prior to Troy's birth, Brian traveled....a lot. Seven states and being gone at least 3 weeks out of each month. I'd say that's a lot. My prayer back then was for strength to manage a baby and work without daddy at home each night. He works for a company based out of Opelika. That office is just a few miles from our house. While he'll travel every now and then, it will be nothing like before. I have a newfound respect for single mothers and single fathers. Just to have an extra hand every now and then is a Godsend. Really, it is! You guys know exactly what I'm talking about.

Now that my post has become extremely long, I will add that I love our life right now. It's as perfect as I can imagine life on Earth right now. Troy is a blessing in and of himself. Truly from God. We prayed for a child for years and now he's here! Brian being at home is a wonderful blessing. He works for a wonderful company which is extremely family oriented. The company I work for is absolutely wonderful, with great benefits, of which I'm very grateful. We enjoy a comfortable life, with time to do the things we want to do (including house and yard work). Thank you, Lord, for these many blessings. I am overwhelmed with His generosity. He blesses us in the good and the tough. I don't call them "bad" times...they're just tough. I seem to seek him more during those tough times and should thank him more for the blessings He's given us. If His love is this wonderful, I cannot imagine life in Heaven or the treasures being stored there for me and my family.

Elyse

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Christening Gown

I know you've been holding your breath waiting for the day I'd post photos, right? Right. Well, we (as in me and my mother) did finish the gown before Troy was born. We actually finished it in August. Below are the photos and details. Patience is needed in reading this post...it is long and has lots of photos!
Shortly before I found out I was pregnant, I knew the type of Christening gown I wanted to make for my children, their children and so on. I found the style in a 1994 Sew Beautiful magazine my mother had from when my sister, Rebecca, was a child.
Here's the magazine and a photo of the "inspiration" gown.

Once I found out we were having a boy, I knew this was my only chance with this child to do whatever I wanted for a Christening gown. I drew a photo of what I thought I wanted it to look like, took it to Kids Kloset and Debbie suggested the pattern below, which I ordered that day. While the pattern was good, the instructions were a bit confusing. Thankfully, my mother is very good at heirloom sewing so I leaned on her a lot for tips and clarification.

Here's my sketch:

Here's the pattern:


My sketch of the dress was pretty sad so my Mom and I re-drew it when we went to a sewing shop in Columbus, GA. Here is the sketch:

We spent three hours picking out the laces.



I put the puffing strips together (Brian helped gather the puffing) and attach them to the entredeux.


Mom came over one Saturday and we spent 9 hours working on the gown while Brian and John painted the deck. They got through before we were at a stopping point. After 9 hours, we had assembled MOST of the entredeux and laces together. The construction of the gown had not even begun!

I took over the dining room for a few weeks:



I put the strips for the middle panel of the gown together:

Then I began assembling the bodice top.

Here are the four panels of the gown skirt. Sometimes the cat is needed for things like this. She, of course, is a great help. Laying on the fabric is a must and never requires using a roller brush to remove hair.


I put the skirt pieces together and then added the bodice to the top. I then put the lace around the bottom of the skirt and finished the placket.

I met Mom in Montgomery and gave her what I had finished. She added some shadow work and handwork:
She's so talented! She's a perfectionist when it comes to sewing, too. I sometimes find myself making small, minor mistakes and try to ignore them. She doesn't which is something I totally admire about her. She did a wonderful job with the handwork. We are also going to put Troy's initials on the middle bottom panel of the gown (no, not the slip). My intent is for any other child who is Christened in this gown to have their initials, too. I'm also making a scrap book to pass down and take photos of each child to be placed in the book. Can you tell I'm excited about this?




I just LOVE puffing, don't you? I took an heirloom sewing class at Kids Kloset earlier this year and fell in love with puffing. It is so much fun to do and I love the finished look. I was determined to put it on the Christening gown.



The finished gown: