Saturday, December 26, 2009

Our First Family Christmas

As mentioned in our previous post, the anticipation and excitement for Christmas was almost more than we could bear, but let me tell you, our first Christmas as a family of three was quite possibly better than we could have ever imagined.

The festivities began Christmas Eve, when we went to Christmas Eve Mass at St. Pius with my family. Will was decked out in his red Christmas sweater, and sat quietly through the entire service. He was particularly fascinated by the intensity of the packed church singing "Emmanuel," and even hummed along a little. By Communion time, he sucked down a bottle, and made sure to put on his best smile as we walked down the aisle, as if he knew he was on display.

After the beautiful Christmas Mass, we headed over to the Pierce's for a tasty Christmas dinner, and opening of Will's gifts. Will opened his presents with a little help from the adults and made the cutest little faces as he opened them as if he was really surprised by what he got. I think his favorite gift he opened that night was an alphabet train. He especially enjoyed the blocks it came with. In fact he was so enamored by them, as he (we) opened his other gifts, he would look at them, then crawl right back to his blocks.

After a fun night of opening presents, Ben and I went home, put our little guy in his oh so cute Santa pajamas, and began our first family tradition that we plan to continue throughout the years. I held Will as his daddy read him "Elmo's Night Before Christmas." He loved it! Of course, as he gets older we will read "Twas the Night Before Christmas," but I figured Elmo was more age appropriate this year :)

After the story was over, our sweet boy nodded off to sleep and Santa's preparations began. I must say Santa did a great job and worked into the wee hours of the evening, as I could no longer keep my eyes open.

Before we knew it, 5:30am had come and Will decided that would be a great time to wake up. For a baby who usually sleeps until 9:00am, it's as if he knew it was a special day! So, we got up, and headed over to the Hoover house to spend Christmas morning with my family. Considering there are 12 people in the fam, you can imagine the wrapped boxes everywhere and Will was delighted by all of the "climbing toys." I think his favorite gift Christmas morning was his Learning Farm, which Santa brought him, however the wrapping paper and empty boxes ran a close second.

After a long morning, we loaded Little Bean up again and headed back over to Grammy and Grandpa's for the adults to open presents and for Will to finish his up. He loved everything he got, but was still obsessed with those blocks and the train. Sweet boy played his little heart out all afternoon, and got some quality time with Aunt Carrie to boot!

As the day wore on, we were on the move again, and headed to my house for Christmas dinner, which as most of you know, is Thanksgiving all over again, but with even more pumpkin pies! Will particularly enjoyed the mashed potatoes with gravy and green bean casserole! After dinner, we played with all of our new toys, and then called it a day as 5:30am was long ago.

As we lay in bed to reflect on the day, and remembering the true reason for the season, I was overwhelmed by the fact that Will is not only loved by us but also loved so much by both our families. Even more, I couldn't help but think about just how special it was for us as a new family and how truly blessed and lucky we feel to have been given this precious gift from God.

It was so much fun to share this very special first Christmas with Will and starting new traditions that hopefully one day he will share with his kids. We look forward to the many more firsts to come in our little families future!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

"I hope Santa fills this thing to the brim!"

Can we say excited?

Well rested Momma.

Tired Dad.

Christmas aftermath at the Hoover's.

Santa's little helper.

Christmas morning at Grammy and Grandpa's.

The gunner and his ammunition runner.

Playing with Santa's toys.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Excitement is Building!

We put Will in his Christmas pajamas for tree decorating.

Even in the midst of packing up and having to be out of our place by December 31st, Ben and I are so excited about getting to spend our first Christmas with our sweet baby boy. It's only 4 days away now and we can barely stand it. I have already given him some of his presents over the past few weeks because I couldn't wait any longer, and have finally bought his last gift today. I must stop now or else we will be sleeping in the boxes that his toys come in :)

Since we are in the process of moving, we are going to spend Christmas down in Lafayette. However we did still get the tree up in the beginning of December and it has been interesting to us that Will has not really attempted to tear it down. (Unlike every other thing we have around the house.) He has however found joy in tearing the Christmas presents open so I have wrapped and rewrapped a few. What a fun Christmas morning it will be.

We are looking forward to introducing Will to both Ben's and my Christmas traditions we had growing up and especially look forward to starting our own, new Christmas traditions as a little family. Oh so exciting!!!


Me and Little Bean at the Alexandria Christmas Parade.

I love my little family.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Great Escape

Over the past few weeks, Will has attempted to get out of the various things we own to entertain him while we get things done around the house. A few weeks ago, I put him in his crib so I could open the blinds and get ready for the day. Literally two seconds after I put him in there, I happened to turn around and he was on his tip toes, reaching over the side, and leaning over it at his hips. I thank God that I turned around at that very moment, as any longer, and he could have pushed himself right over the side of his crib. It was that night that Ben and I decided we would lower the crib mattress.

Later that afternoon, Will was playing in his exersaucer as I was picking up a few odds and ends around the house. I heard one of his toys drop on the floor, and when I went to pick it up for him, I saw he had managed to get one foot out of one of the holes, and was hanging over the side, reaching for his toy. He was practically hanging upside down from it, and had the proudest smile on his face as if to say, "It's okay Mom. I've got it."

Finally, today our Little Bean dropped something in front of his walker, and sure enough I watched him push himself up and start leaning over the walker to get his toy.

As I am typing this, I am thinking it looks as though I don't even watch him, but the fact of the matter is I have always been in the same room with him when it happens. He is just so darn fast. He is constantly curious and never stops moving. In a way, I'm glad it has all happened as it did, because it signaled us to lower the crib, and increase both the exersaucer and walker heights.

I caught our little Houdini in the act of trying to escape his walker.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Attack of... the Pig Face!!!

These aren't the most attractive photos of Will, but we finally captured his pig face, which is the face he's been making at us for the last month or so. We usually are visited by the pig face when our Little Bean is trying really hard to get something or if he's getting frustrated at us. The sounds associated with the face are almost as good as the face itself, and consist of the funniest little snorts and hisses.

Beware of the Pig Face!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas is in the Air

It's so much warmer inside.

With Christmas approaching, we decided that this weekend we would follow tradition and take Will to see Santa so he could make his requests for gifts. We couldn't have picked a better weekend for a visit with Ol' St. Nick. On Friday night, it snowed in Alexandria, and I think it was even the earliest snow on record for the city! Krissy and Will braved the cold... for a few seconds, and Will seemed fascinated by the big white flakes falling from the sky. Christmas is truly in the air!

On Saturday, we went to a local children's boutique that had a Santa. This was actually the second time Will visited with Santa, but since I wasn't able to attend the first one with Will and Krissy, this is the only visit that really counts. As we approached the store, we knew this was going to be a special Santa visit. With melting snow still on the ground and a chill in the air, we walked into the boutique and it looked like Santa brought the whole North Pole with him. Mrs. Claus was there, along with several elves, and the backdrop for Santa looked like an oil painting. It was a really nice setup.

We had always heard the stories of babies and even young kids that scream their lungs out when they visit Santa, so Krissy and I were well prepared for a classic 8 month old meltdown. Will didn't disappoint. As I placed him on Santa's lap, he looked immediately up at the Jolly Old Elf with the sweetest face and the photographer snapped off a shot. Then he turned toward his Mom and Dad, and again, the photographer captured a sweet moment of our little guy in the big arms of Santa. But, as soon as the sweetest happened, it quickly left. Will figured out that we were standing a little too far away from him, and he let out a screeching cry! The fun was officially over, but we got two great (and expensive) photos to remember the day by.

Days until Christmas... 20.

Snow on the ground in Louisiana... in early December!?!?!

Southern babies don't understand the concept of sneaux.

Messy Eating Phase

It seems that as Will's independence has grown, so have his "bad habits". Lately, feeding time has become a game for Will, and a food shower for me and Krissy. Seriously, we should probably start wearing a raincoat, goggles and a swimmer's cap when he eats.

For some reason, our sweet boy has decided that it's really funny to
make spitting noises when he eats baby food. The process of us getting soaked works like this. As we go to feed him, Will always obliges by opening his mouth nice and wide, taking in a big spoonful of food. Then, when we go to reload the spoon, Will, who hasn't swallowed, waits for us to turn towards him, so he can make a spitting noise, and spray food all over us and the kitchen. This isn't just a one time deal either, and it's not like he's doing it on accident. At least for me, for the past couple weeks, every meal I feed Will turns my shirt into a Jackson Pollock painting. Krissy has asked me to mention, that although she's gotten a baby food shower when she feeds Will, her occurrences are far less frequent. Lucky me! Anyway, to explain what I mean by how these noises aren't just accidents, and how this really is a game for him, Will has actually learned when is the appropriate time to spit, and what an open target looks like. For instance, I've attempted to block the food by putting the spoon in front of his mouth, and have found that this technique actually works! But, on the chance that I remove it too soon, he immediately takes advantage of the situation and spits again, giving me the biggest of smiles! Man this kid is both hilarious and messy!!!

"Gotcha Mommy!"

Jackson Pollock's new canvas... Will's face!

Lining up his target and getting read to blow!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

So Much to Be Thankful For

We know this is a little late, but just wanted to say how thankful we are this year. Here's just a sampling of the things we're thankful for. We're thankful for the greatest little blessing ever, being so close to family, the help of our families and friends, selling our Asheville home, our new Alexandria friends, having great friends travel to meet Will, the strength to make tough decisions, and the love we have for each other. It's been another tough year, but with a little faith and some courage, we made it!

For Thanksgiving, we went home to Lafayette for five days to visit with family, do some shopping, and of course turkey out on multiple Thanksgiving feasts. Ben's Grandpa made the trip down from Michigan for Thanksgiving, and it was great to have him spend some extended time with his great-grandson. Ben's sister Carrie also came in from Dallas to play with her now much more active nephew.

Four generations of Pierce men.

Lulu, Gramps, Carrie and Wiggle Worm.

Nonna keeping Will warm on Thanksgiving.

Ben and Lulu take some time to snuggle.

Will and Elena have become fast friends, you know, the kind of friends that hit each other in the head and pull one another's hair.