Our family is growing in many ways... Growing in numbers, knowledge, parenting skills, growing in love, in our faith, growing our culinary skills (if you can call it that), growing without gluten (some of us), growing green...........

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What a Christmas!!

Took a break from blogging during Christmas break. We traveled it up and got to see so many people that we typically only see once each year. A good time was had by all, with the exception of the terrible colds that Ryan and I had during the trip (why is it that the word "cold" sounds so insignificant, but they can really make you miserable??). I tend to write on and on, so I'll try to bullet-point all the main happenings and not make this a huge blog post.

Slideshow first...

  • Camden spent a week at his dad's, but we still managed to work it out so he got to see all the extended Boyer and Priddy families (my dad's and mom's families), which was really great! This is the only time we see most of these guys since we live so far away.
  • At the Boyer Christmas, there were three new babies! Aiden. My cousin Jamesey's little girl McKenna, who is just 8 days younger. And my cousin Bryan's little girl Braelyn, who is 8 weeks younger than Aiden. It was a lot of fun having them all together. Aiden also got to meet all my other cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmother, and great-grandmother (his great-great-grandmother). We, of course, got the obligatory 5-generation photo shot...

Five Generations - Bobbie (great-grandmother), Mom Elsie (great-great-grandmother), Daisy & Aiden, Terry (grandfather), & Camden

Here is Braelyn, Aiden, and McKenna.
Aiden was as happy as could be all day up until we took these pictures, which was right before we left. He was so tired by this point!!

  • At the Priddy Christmas, there was yet another baby for Aiden to meet and play with. My cousin, Michelle, had her new baby, Cody Lee, who is exactly 4 weeks younger than Aiden. Cody was rather interested in Aiden and especially interested in Aiden's Santa hat. Aiden was interested in his own feet. (But he did notice Cody after a little while!)
  • At my mom's, there will be two new babies NEXT Christmas! What fun that will be!!!
  • We had a total of 7 Christmases this year, including our own. Camden had an additional one at his dad's. Most people did a good job of going along with our request to get the kids small gifts since we had such little room in the car. The ones that didn't had already planned on shipping the gifts but wanted us to open them there. (How nice!) The kids didn't get TOO much but still got spoiled just enough. And we received some items that we've really been wanting, esp some camping gear that we will put to good use this summer!
  • The night before we left to come home, Aiden rolled over PURPOSEFULLY!!! He's rolled over a few times before (did it a couple times about two months ago, actually...), but they were all just by chance. This was intentional. He kept getting stuck but finally got it! He hasn't gone from belly to back yet, but anytime he's put on his back, he sticks those legs up and rolls onto his belly!
  • The day we drove home, Aiden got his first tooth!!! He has been a pleasant teether so far, too. He fussed a little bit on the way home - about 20 minutes - but that's a long time for him!! He gets frustrated when he can't get something in his mouth to chew on the exact way he wants. You can barely see where the hole is in his mouth, and you can barely feel the tooth but have to use your nail. But it's there!! The one beside it is soon to follow, I can tell.
  • Aiden also learned to do the little "Indian call" while at Mammaw Melly's. She put her hand up to his mouth and patted it some while he called out. When she stopped, he pulled her hand right back! It was pretty funny, and he still is doing it quite a bit.
  • I recieved a very special gift from my brother. He knew I wanted it, but he took the time to get it. My mother collects M.A. Hadley dishes. One day (hopefully WAAAAAYYYY in the future), when she passes away, we're going to be fighting over that set - I just know it. She mentioned him getting it in her will, and I said....Ummmm...NO, I want those!! So we'll see. She suggested starting a set of my own, but, of course, I want her set. Anyway - back to the point. When Camden was born, I got him a M.A. Hadley "Baby's first Christmas" ornament - and it broke!! (I still have it, broken.) So Daniel, went and got me two new ornaments "Camden's First Christmas" and "Aiden's First Christmas," both dated the year they were each born. Probably my favorite present (even though we agreed last year not to exchange with each other anymore and he forgot but I remembered and didn't have anything for him...).
  • Our gift to all of our parents were photo books about Aiden. The books took them through the pregnancy and his birth up until now, but each one was tailored for them and included pictures of them visiting (i.e. my mom's had pictures of her, Ryan's mom's had pictures of her, etc, etc.). It took some time to make, but they were so worth it! I think everyone really enjoyed them, and we were excited to give them!

  • Aiden did an amazing job with his napping while traveling. He still went right to sleep on his own even though we stayed at three different homes over the week and a half. I would like to say I was blessed with a great sleeper, but I don't believe that. He has been taught how to go to sleep on his own (and withOUT crying!!), and that is why he is so great about it. No luck involved (or needed). When he gets tired, we read a story, we lay him down with his paci and his bunny, and he rolls to the side and goes to sleep. I was impressed he did so well while away from home, though. :)

  • Many people on all sides of our families (even Ryan's) have said that Aiden has my eyes. I agree. Started noticing this about a month ago. (The kid looks so different than he did at birth already!!) Other people will comment that he has Camden's eyes - which means he has mine since Camden is not Ryan's biological son. Nice to know he's getting SOMEthing from me! ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

FOUR Months!!

Aiden turned four months old on the 6th (yes, I know that was a week and a half ago...we've been a bit busy lately!!). He's changed so much and experienced so much this past month. He has been on two road trips - one to KY for Berea College Homecoming and one to WV for Thanksgiving with Daddy's family. He babbles all the time these days, and he will let out the most adorable belly laughs from time to time. It's hard to predict when he'll laugh, and you can't really "make" him do it. He laughs at what he wants to! But once he's on a roll, he'll go for minutes on end. We laugh so hard that we're nearly hurting afterwards! He's also really enjoying reading with us and tries to "read" along himself, talking as we read.

Sleeping - well, it was going GREAT! Sleeping "through the night" and only waking once to nurse, then right back to sleep. We've been working on going down for naps on his own, too - which he does SO well with (and did it withOUT crying-it-out!). He had a brief week or so where he was waking more at night, and we assumed he was going through a growth spurt. Then Thanksgiving happened. He was waking every two hours AT LEAST while away, and he just kept that trend up once we returned home. We've been working on it, and he's waking up only a few times now. Naps are still going well, though they're shorter again - about 40 minutes each (where he was napping for longer before the traveling). I'm not going to complain much, though. This is a little blip in the big picture, and if it was a result of the traveling and being in new places - we'll deal. Being with family is too important, and I can manage the sleep issues from time to time, if that's what it takes. (Easier said than done sometimes, but still!)

We've tried the bottle with Aiden a couple times - but to no avail. He's just not interested. Chews on it a bit and then looks around like "You really think I'm going to take this? Ha." We tried it with the sippy cup one day - I think that's more likely to work. Most likely we'll just not worry about it much b/c there really isn't a need for him to drink from a bottle at this point. And soon he'll be drinking from cups, so... No big deal. Daddy would like to be able to feed him sometimes, but that might have to wait until he's eating actual food and drinking from the cup - which really is NOT far off!!

Here are the four-month shots. I LOVE the one of him looking at his feet. Anytime he is sitting, he just stares and stares at them. He's quite interested now that he's realized they are part of his body!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas

If you've heard this song, you either love it or hate it. Well, I love it!!! Usually I'm not crazy about these kind of annoying songs, but I just can't get enough of this one. So, when I saw this ornament at Hallmark, I wanted it!

Apparently many others do, too. And many others have gotten it. We cannot find a store that still has it in stock - most have even sold the display! My mom has even looked around where she lives in KY - sold out there, too.

So, if any of you want to get me what would be my favorite Christmas gift of the year, this would be it. ;)

(Or if you find it - just get it and I'll pay you back!!!)

In case you haven't heard it (or just want to hear it now - who wouldn't???)...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hard to Impress

This kiddo can be hard to impress. When you WANT to impress him or you want him to react with a smile, he tends to show you his stubborn side, his "you can't make me" side, which of course makes US laugh. He can be pretty funny... Here are some examples...

Here is a pic from our family portraits we had taken in November. The lady was acting completely RIDICULOUS! I mean out-of-her-mind crazy! And Aiden would not crack a smile. I think his look pretty much says "so?"

He's yawning in another. But most of them, he looks just like this. Like "you aren't impressing me, lady."

And here we are at My Gym. A group of us mommies went for a trial class after the owner came to one of our Baby Steps classes (a class for mommies with new babies at a local hospital). Some of the babies, esp the other boy, LOVED it and were squealing with joy. Others smiled a lot and obviously were having a decent time. Aiden? He had the same "so?" expression on pretty much the whole time. I know it made ME laugh. It looks like he's trying to say he's just too good for this and he knows it. Haha! I laugh every single time I see this picture...
"I am soooo over this..."

This picture below is the closest to a smile we got during this visit... (Granted, he was tired. Yawned on the way over - and after we left, he was asleep before we were 3 miles away.) He never got fussy. He just never got excited either.
On the trampoline with Julia, Jonah, and Stella. Others were giggling over the bouncing. Aiden just looked like he was kinda indifferent.

We've taken Aiden to get his pictures taken twice. Once for the family pics, once for his 3-mos pics. Both times (at different places, different photographers) - the photographers started saying to him "well, you're just mr. serious, aren't you?" Haha! Since I'm posting some pics, here's the 3-mos one, too. ;)
The little half-smile here (if you can call it that!) was the closest we got!

Now what is even funnier is that Aiden will CRACK UP laughing - I mean hysterically! - over nothing! Most times he does this, Daddy is holding him, and I am talking to Daddy. Talking as in normal conversation, nothing funny at all. And Aiden will burst out laughing and will laugh for minutes on end! When he does, he even throws his head back while he laughs! It is hilarious.

When Aiden gets this "can't impress me" attitude, Ryan adds in "wonder where he gets that???" I guess maybe this is what he gets from me, since the looks are all Daddy. Hmmmm... ??? I'm not sure about that, though. I think his looks often seem to show INDIFFERENCE, which is totally not me. I'm definitely opinionated. Ryan's the one that's more likely to be indifferent. Give it a little more time, we'll see which one Aiden really is. My luck - he's probably very opinionated!

Kids and Coffee - Be sure to vote!!

Speaking of coffee (see previous post), Camden constantly asks me "When can I drink coffee???" Keep in mind, the child is NINE years old.

I let him try mine from time to time. Just a sip here and there. But I'm not sure when I'll be ready to give him a cup of his own... Now, I started drinking coffee very early. My mom tells me that my grandmother would spoon-feed it to me! I drink some almost every day - just for the taste of it. I don't need the kick from caffeine. In fact, I always drink decaf, even when not pregnant or nursing. Camden assures me he would drink the decaf - he just likes the taste, too.

(I'm not saying it's ok to start kids out on coffee really young!! I don't agree with that. But I'm saying that's part of the reason I'm not so sure what is a good age - b/c I was drinking it so early on. I think that's why this is a difficult thing for me to think through... Make sense?)

Camden already is a big tea drinker. But we usually drink green tea or herbal, so I'm not opposed to him having that. And he drinks his with honey, no sugar. So it's pretty good for him in most ways.

So, I want to know what some of you think. What is a good age to let a child drink coffee???

Leave a comment with your thoughts. And be sure to vote on the poll. I'm interested in reading what you all have to say on this topic. This is one area where I'm really not sure how I feel. (Shocking, huh?!)

Gingerbread Galore!

Recently, someone I know blogged about some goodies they had tried and loved from Trader Joe's - one being their Gingerbread mix. I have been on quite the bread-making kick lately - banana bread (which is something I make lots anyway), chocolate chip zucchini bread, pumpkin bread, and now I'm going to try the gingerbread. Most of the things I bake are homemade. I'm not much of a mix person, partly b/c there is a satisfaction of making something yourself and partly b/c the ingredients aren't all that good in mixes. But TJ's mixes aren't so bad - no high fructose corn syrup for one - they use the real stuff, and that's what I go for. Honestly, we haven't found much from TJ's that we don't like! (This is going to be a problem if we move back to KY one of these days - unless they put a store there.... Let's cross our fingers!! I just checked and, as of now, the closest store to where we would be in KY is Cincy - a couple hours away...)

While at TJ's picking up the bread mix (the pumpkin bread mix is very good, too!), I decided to try their Gingerbread Coffee. And so glad I did. It is SOOOO YUMMY! Mmm. I'm drinking some now.

Of course, Ryan tries it and says he doesn't like it much. Why? B/c he doesn't really like gingerbread flavored things. Nice to know after we bought a few boxes. And I make gingersnaps every year at this time........ Oh well. Camden and I will still enjoy all the gingerbread goodies. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Our Christmas Tradition

I saved this picture for a post of its own. This is Camden putting up the first ornament - "his" 2008 ornament. (Normally my Kristy Yamaguchi ornament is first, but I gave it up to Camden this year...)

When I moved out on my own, I realized I didn't really have my own set of ornaments. I had some hand-me-downs that were given to me (meaning ones that were not really wanted by the giver) and I got to buy some. I appreciated what I had (hey - it was better than nothing! and they were given to me), but I remember having a tree full (or not-so-full, I should say) or ornaments I wasn't crazy about for a while and thinking that I would start a tradition that would leave my children with their own "starter" set of ornaments when they moved out - ornaments all their own, ornaments that had special meaning to them.

So, each year, Camden gets to pick out "his ornament." He chooses based on whatever his interest is at the time, and I write his initials and the year in a hidden area. We have quite a few Spider Man ornaments, a soccer one from last year, and this year, he picked out a Star Wars one (that makes noise, of course...). When he moves out, all of these ornaments go with him.

Now that Aiden is here, we get to start the tradition with him. I'm sure that my now full-of-ornaments tree will soon start to have too many ornaments (especially when we add the next baby, huh?!), but what fun that will be! Camden really enjoyed getting out all of "his" ornaments this year, seeing which ones were from each year, and counting them to make sure there was one for each year since he was born. He doesn't yet understand why it means so much to me or how much it (hopefully!) will mean to him when he moves out on his own, but it still is such a big deal to him. He loves picking out his own ornament each year - all on his own (no matter what we think, we don't get to tell him he can't get it b/c we don't like it - it's all about him!). It's become a tradition that we all really enjoy and look forward to each year.

It's Christmastime!!!

It is now officially Christmastime!!

Side note: Christmas does not start in our home until AFTER Thanksgiving. We do not put up any decorations, listen to Christmas music, or any of that until after Thursday. I feel that a lot of people end up overlooking the importance of Thanksgiving because they are so excited that Christmas is around the corner. Sometimes Thanksgiving gets a little neglected. But I love the Thanksgiving holiday - it's a time when you get to spend time with extended family for no reason other than to be with them. It's a time to focus on the blessings you have in your life - not to focus on what others are giving you or what you need to get for others. It's just a time to BE, to be together, and to be grateful. (That's how I see it, at least.) :)

But now Thanksgiving is officially past and Christmas is here! We are getting the tree decorated, all the decorations out. Christmas music is going pretty much nonstop. I love listening to Christmas music. It's so festive and just gets you in the spirit! That is all I listen to during December (well, now there are also some lullabyes and classical music with the baby here....).

I'm trying not to get too stressed out over the holidays right now. This week has been stressFUL to the max! There is just so much to do, Aiden's sleeping schedule is all out of whack from the traveling (no matter how hard we tried to keep things consistent while gone), and more traveling is coming up. BUT in the end, it's all worth it. We make every effort to see ALL of the family over the break - the grandparents, all the extended family, everyone! It's a lot of work, and I know Aiden's schedule will be even more difficult this time around - but the work and the stress are temporary. The memories and the time with family stick around. That's what matters. So, I am looking forward to focusing on that. Oh, and we have some great gifts for our parents, and we're excited about that, too. Hopefully they all like what we have in store just as much as we do!

Now, on to finishing the decorating and baking up some Christmas smells even!! :) What a great time of the year!!!

Here are some pictures from a night of decorating

Aiden was more interested in chewing on things instead of decorating...

Me and my boys after we started putting the ornaments up

Aiden helped a bit from his seat in the sling!

Daddy got in on the fun, too

Aiden is checking out the lights - he wasn't sure what to think of them

More pics of the finished product once we actually finish it! ;)

Giving Thanks

We have a LOT to be thankful for this year!! It has been quite the year for us! I graduated from grad school, Ryan is now *officially* a CPA, and Aiden joined us. We went through a bunch of hoopla with Aiden's tushie, but now we have been given the green light to assume it was not much of anything unless it returns. We're so thankful to have Aiden, that both him and Camden are healthy children, and that we are a family together. I am so appreciative of so much in our lives right now. Everything may not be perfect - but all the important things pretty much are. God has given us a lot to be thankful for this year, that's for sure!

For Aiden's first Thanksgiving, we visited Daddy's family for the long weekend. Aiden did well on the ride there, though I experienced motion sickness for the entire trip (well, after the first 20 minutes of the 8 or more hours we were traveling, that is).

We had a lot of fun visiting with Ryan's dad, Susan, and Susan's mom and then visiting with Ryan's mom and David. Aiden also got to meet Ryan's Granny. We got some really good pictures of that. He missed out on all the yummy food this time around, but he'll get to enjoy it all next year!

The ride home was not quite as calm as the ride there... What should have been a 6-8 hour drive took nearly 11. Due to traffic - not Aiden. Aiden actually slept a lot. Camden was very patient with it all. But after slow traffic for a while, Aiden decided he had enough and let us know it. He doesn't like sitting still in the car seat. So he had a bit of a meltdown, we stopped as soon as we could, and the second he was out of the car seat, he was happy as could be. He must have known we all needed a break - it really helped. Ryan, in the heat of all the stress of the traffic, said - next year we're staying home! But we'll end up traveling just like we do every year. ;) I reminded him, once we move back to Lexington, traveling will be much easier............... (wink, wink)

Here are some pics from the trip:
Aiden's First Thanksgiving 2008