Monday, November 26, 2012

Gobble Gobble Gobble

I love, love, love Thanksgiving. The food, the family, the start to the Christmas season, everything. Sometime in mid to late September I lost my mind and decided that Todd and I would host Thanksgiving at our house for our families. We usually go to my aunt's house in Kernersville for Turkey day but this means we don't see Todd's family. Last year we went to Raleigh for Thanksgiving since I couldn't travel at Christmas so we didn't get to see my family. I decided that hosting it at our house could combine both families and mean no traveling for us. In my head, it sounded like a great plan, but after the invites were sent I started wondering how crazy I was to have so many people in my house. We originally invited around 22-ish people and ended up with about half saying they would make it. So that meant around 12 other people were expecting a good meal so in typical fashion I started getting nervous around the early part of the month. Luckily, Todd and I hosted our community group Thanksgiving a few weeks prior to the big day so we had a chance to work out the kinks in our recipes. Neither Todd or I have ever cooked a complete turkey so we were amazed that we got that right on the first try. A few other recipes and logistics were learned that night so I felt better about getting everything right when the time came.

We started prepping on Wednesday night and got up at 6:00 AM on Thursday to get the bird in the oven. While the food cooked we watched the parade and did the last minute scrambling before everyone arrived. Luckily, our meal was mostly potluck because we were cooking down to the last minute before lunch and couldn't have done much more than we did. My poor little kitchen was filled to the brim with food but everything turned out to be amazing. It worked out really well with the kids naps to be at home and to be able to sprawl on my own couch in a food coma after everyone left. It also meant we had a lot of yummy leftovers to chow down on so I didn't have to cook again for a few days!

Yes, you must watch the Macy's parade while wearing princess costume. Jeez..

Enjoying his first round of turkey.

Friday morning we decided to take Aubrey to urgent care as she had been complaining for a few days her ear was hurting. She had also had a nasty cough on and off for days and we were worried it wasn't getting better. Urgent care must be the happening place to be on the day after Thanksgiving because it was sooo crowded. Luckily, the wait wasn't too long because keeping Aubrey and me entertained with one iPhone got old really fast. The doctor looked at her ears and said they both looked fine, but the cough was a little concerning to him. He wrote her a prescription for an antibiotic and sent us on our way. I then had another lapse in judgement and decided to battle the crowds at Kohls to find Aubrey some new shoes for pictures on Saturday. Who goes shopping on Black Friday to look for shoes with their 3-year old in tow? Yeah, this crazy lady. Kohls was pretty crowded but luckily they seemed be moving people through the lines quickly so I am glad I didn't chicken out when I saw the super crowded parking lot. I even considered battling Target after Kohls but then decided food won over shopping and I didn't want to push my luck with Aubrey's good behavior.

Friday afternoon we cleaned up the playroom to get ready for our Christmas tree. I just redid the playroom a few weeks ago with new toy bins and furniture arrangement so I was anxious to see how a tree would fit in the new arrangement. We went back to our new favorite Christmas tree location, picked out our favorite tree, and planned to decorate right after Mason went to bed. All was going as planned until I sat down to test the lights and realized we were down a strand of lights this year. Our tree usually takes every single light we can stretch out on it, so being down a strand necessitated an 8:00 pm run to Target. We finally started decorating the tree sometime after 9:00 and it seemed to take forever with Aubrey under our feet assisting. She had such a great time putting her ornaments on the tree so I can't complain too much that it took her so long to do it. 

Posing with this year's tree

We finished up the long weekend by helping Todd's parents decorate their house. Aubrey has a tree at their house just for her so she do whatever she likes to it while we decorate our college tree. I've considered getting one for our house but who knows where the ornaments would end up with all of her hiding spots so I decided the fun could just stay at Gma and Grandpa's. 

I would say this was one of my most favorite Thanksgiving weekends ever and I am so excited to see what the holiday season brings.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

10 months

2 months 'til 1. I'm in slight denial, despite the fact that I am already planning his birthday party. He is acting and looking more like a little boy everyday and less like my baby. Each milestone is so bittersweet because I love watching him learn and grow, but knowing he's my last baby makes me sad to see each first for the last time. Sigh.....

This months milestones:
*His left upper lateral incisor broke through (10.22)
*He pulled up to standing with the help of the sit and play, now trying to pull up on everything
*This led to lowering his crib to the bottom setting, which he was none too pleased about
*He can go from in his tummy to sitting up on his own
*We did a straight soy challenge by giving him soy yogurt and he did great so the soy intolerance is gone!
*We started a dairy challenge early this week. Early signs seem positive (or lack of signs I should say) but the jury is still out on this for now.
*He will clap whenever you say "Yay" and it cracks everyone up
*If you laugh at him, he will start laughing along with you
*He still says mama or dada indiscriminately, but has started trying to imitate other words
*First Halloween

Gripping on the sit and play before he pulled up

First time in the lowered crib.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


This year was an interesting year for Halloween. We realized we've lost voting power over Aubrey's costume but are able to enjoy Mason's passive participation the holiday for a few more years. Todd decided  months ago he wanted Mason to dress up as Yoda. I've always picked Aubrey's costumes so it was nice to be relieved of the costume picking duty. Then, Todd had the idea that Aubrey should be Princess Leia. Yeah...that didn't go over so well with the very verbal and opinionated 3-year old. Princess Leia does not wear a crown or anything pink so that was quickly shut down. Todd tried for weeks to get her to change her mind to no avail. Aubrey decided to be Sleeping Beauty purely based on the fact she wore a pink dress and a crown. Todd wanted to join in on the Halloween fun and decided to be Luke Skywalker. He tried to convince me to dress up as part of the Star Wars gang, but I shot down that idea as well. Between the 3 of their costumes I spent over $100 so I decided to forgo the dressing up and just be mom. Once the costumes were delivered Aubrey was so excited to see her dress hanging up in her closet. She asked at least 2-3 every week when it would be time for her to wear it. Finally, Halloween arrived and she got plenty of wear out of that costume. Her preschool let the kids wear costumes to school and her dance teacher encouraged the girls to wear their costumes to class. So, she wore that costume the majority of the day and was in heaven.

I had both kids dressed before Todd got home from work and attempted to take pictures of them in their costumes. In typical form, it was a torturing even for me because getting them to cooperate was a pain in the rear. Todd came home and helped get a few decent pictures before the rest of our trick-or-treating party arrived. That party included my sister, Todd's friend, his girlfriend, their 4-month old son, and our next door neighbor and her 2 kids. It was a lot of fun to be with such a crowd. Aubrey had to be coaxed to go to the doors again this year but the quick reward of candy in her basket slowly brought her out of her shell. After a few houses I took Mason home to get him ready for bed and hand out candy. Our friends and their baby went home shortly after I left but the rest of the trick-or-treaters covered a good chunk of the neighborhood. Aubrey was so excited about trick-or-treating and her candy getting her to wind down for bed was a challenge. She is still enjoying a piece of candy from her basket after each meal and I've avoided eating any of the yummy chocolate so we will call it all a success.