Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
We did get a little payback for our generosity with the stomach flu; Magnolia came home with her cousin Jamie's cold.
*Footnote: our very steep driveway is heated and works very well. However, in order to avoid backing into our busy street we tried to turn around in an unheated portion. Bad idea.
After a good night sleep in our own beds we headed to church Christmas morning before coming home to open stockings and enjoy a brunch of Congo bacon and waffles!
The rest of the day was pretty relaxing. We didn't do as much as we had planned to due to recuperating from our bout with the flu. We did try to teach Magnolia how to use her new crayons without much success. I attempted to use one of her new barrettes, also without much success. She had a great day playing with all of her new toys.
I got to make our family's first Christmas dinner: standing rib roast, white corn saute, baked potatoes, and salad. All in all it was a wonderful, relaxing Christmas Day.
We took it easy the next morning, hoping the sickness would pass, and headed down much later than planned. The drive to Everett (1 hour South), felt like we were driving over a mountain pass with all the snow. It was heavenly. :)
My parents had a mission to have an "Unwrapped" Christmas this year. One that was relaxed, free from pressure, and focused on time spent together. My grandma, my Aunt Becky, and her two kids, Cheyenne and Jarod were able to join us from Yakima. My sister and--for one night--her boyfriend, Taylor were also there making my parents' house full of activity.
That first night was miserable. Magnolia got our sickness and didn't want to sleep in her pack and play because she could see us across the room. Since there were so many other people trying to sleep in the rooms around us, Brian and I were exhausted from trying to keep her quiet. None of us slept much after 1:30 am as she tossed and turned, cried and bit. How are we going to do this next year with two little ones??? The second night Grandma and Grandpa volunteered to have her pack and play in their dark walk-in closet in their room. Everyone slept much better!
The morning after we arrived, my dad and I made homemade pasta for the first time. Since my dad got a new video camera we taped the whole thing like it was a cooking show. Of course we weren't dramatic enough for my mom, so she coached us from the sidelines.
That afternoon, my mom took all of the girls to a spa to get massages for our "Unwrapped" Christmas gift. We also had a great time celebrating Aunt Becky's birthday at lunch afterward.
Later that night we exchanged a few(er?) gifts, mostly for Magnolia. It was the first time that she had opened a present. I don't think she really caught on, but she loved her gifts! She got really excited about a Piggy Back that her Great Grandma got her that sings and counts when you put in the plastic coins. She spent the rest of her awake time playing and dancing at the musical table her grandparents got for her.
After opening gifts, my Aunt Becky gave us her "Unwrapped" Christmas present -- Candy making lessons. Everyone received a variety of candy molds and she provided directions and supplies for us to make our own creations. Another fun time in the kitchen at the Gracey house!
It was a great visit and we left with lots of yummy chocolate, generous gifts and happy memories. Unfortately, we also left the flu. The Gracey-Robbins clan did not enoy the anticipated standing rib roast; all they could stomach was soup. Sorry about that :S
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Our Muncher at 9 Months!
Nicknames: Munchkin, Munch, Muncher, Munchnolia, Mags, Magno, Mañolia, Baby
This month it seemed like she did not have any huge milestones; it was more a month of refining previously learned skills.
Magnolia showed no movitivation to walk. She has been quite content with her rapid crawling skills and ability to confidently pull herself to standing just about any where. In fact when we've tried to help her, her independent nature swelled up because she can do it faster on her own.
Our active little lady did start sitting still for short periods this month due to her increased interest in reading books rather than chewing them.
Her social personality continued to shine as she waved at almost everyone in public, often without solicitation.
Magnolia's kisses became more selective. If she ignored our request for a kiss, Brian and I would kiss each other in front of her. It often did the trick and enticed her to give us both kisses. However, she has become tricksy herself. Every once in a while when a kiss was requested, she would lean in, then pull away and quickly give her kiss to the other nonsoliciting parent!
Maggie continued to add new solid foods to her diet, and developed a preference for foods which she can feed herself. One such food was a veggie mix, including her favorite peas. As we watched her we realized that every time she would eat her vegtables in color order: first green, then orange, finally yellow. In some ways, mealtimes have gotten easier as she can take more care of herself. But we did have to start putting the dogs (aka clean up crew) away during mealtimes. She learned how to attract them by dropping food that she doesn't want.
Recently, she started shaking her head. At first we weren't sure how she picked that up since we hardly ever use that to communicate "no," but it often coincided with an appropriate time for her to say "no." Then one day while feeding her, Brian, as is his tendency, shook his loose cheeks from side to side to make an entertaining sound. That's it! That's what she is trying to do. She seems to try one strange sound after another. I wonder where she gets it?
There was much debate this month as to whether or not she said her first word. She definitely babbled a lot, most frequently the "ma" sound. But we were not convinced she was using it solely in connection with her "Mama." It seemed like it might mean "mama," "milk" and/or "more."
At her 9 Month Well Baby Check Up, Magnolia weighed 19lbs, 9 oz (dropping to the 75th percentile) and was 27.75 inches (still 95th percentile!). As always, she was a busy little girl, exploring the exam room, until she saw a Monkey bearing quite a resemblence to her lovey Mona. She stopped, purposefully crawled to the Monkey and, standing in front of it, planted a big kiss on its drywall lips!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Don't worry though. We got it all figured out...it was just our capacitor (flux capacitor???). Who knew our furnace could take us back to the future?!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The "Kids" team consisted of my sister Alli, her boyfriend Taylor, my cousins Matt and Adam, me. Alli and Taylor headed up the dessert and learned how to prepare white chocolate to dip dried fruit in. Adam got a lesson on how to use a knife and Matt learned how to deal with lemongrass after the chef saw us looking confused!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
We weren't planning to get pregnant yet and he didn't even know I was taking a test so it was a little bit of a shock to be yanked out of a dream with the news.
I took the test because the day before my mom asked me out of the blue if I was pregnant. Assuredly I answered, "No, I am just recovering from the cold we have been fighting." But she planted a teeny seed of doubt, so, just to put it to rest, I decided to check.
Sure enough: preggers.
The first morning there were lots of mixed emotions. Ever supportive, Brian, even though he had only been in bed for a couple of hours, woke up to talk through our news before I had to head to work. We are now calling it our pleasant surprise.
It has been so different this time. With Magnolia, we had been waiting and planning for her. There was measured excitement and anticipation as the testing window approached. Then we took great pleasure planning how we would specially announce that we were pregnant to our friends and family. This time we just called or emailed family and have been nonchalantly telling friends as we see them. Sometimes we even have to remind each other that we're pregnant!
We have felt a little bad not giving this baby the same enthusiastic pre-birth introduction to the world. It's not that we're not excited; we are. We just have more going on this time. During the first trimester last time, I was on summer break. When I felt crummy I could just lay on the couch and eat whenever I needed to. This time I am working almost full-time and have a little one to care for when I get home. Most nights I barely make it through dinner and end up heading to bed with Magnolia around 7:30.
Thus the lack of blogging. We have so many posts in draft form. Check back often in the days and weeks to come as we catch up.