"I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete." John 15:11

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Bit Belated

I guess it is better late than never to post about our Thanksgiving.

Andy's brother, wife, our two neices and nephew came up for a visit.  They arrived Tuesday afternoon while Andy was still at work.  We had fun catching up and talking about plans for the rest of the week. 

When we woke up on Wednesday, our neice had made us this drawing:

Andy's shirt says, "I love to work" and mine says "I love my baby."  Ha ha!
Andy took everyone over to our new house so that his brother could take a look and give us some ideas about home improvement projects.  After lunch at home, we all headed to the National Zoo.  It was pretty chilly out, but we had a good time.  Philip had fun trying to eat up his mittens and napping.  Afterwards, we headed out to our favorite Mexican restaurant.  Yum!

On Thanksgiving, we went to our parish mass which was beautiful.  Then we headed home to cook.  It was my first time cooking a Thanksgiving meal by myself and it turned out well.  My sister-in-law helped with a few items too.  Unfortunately, it was a rainy day, so the kids had to stay inside most of the day, but they did great!  My neice made us all descriptive namecards for the table.  For example, Philip's read, "Philip is a sweet baby and he is not marryed."  All the namecards included our marital status. 

We went back downtown on Friday and visited the Air & Space and Natural History Smithsonians.  Natural History was the favorite.  On our way back, we picked up a couple pizzas and then we baked cookies and watched a movie. 

We had a great time with our visitors.  It was their first time up here and we hope not their last! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!

I know I am his mother and all, but is this not one of the cutest St. Nick's you've ever seen?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

4 Months

Philip turned 4 months old on the 19th! 

He is growing by leaps and bounds.  It is really amazing how different he is now compared to just one month ago.  Philip is starting to get more talkative.  One of his sleepy cues is that he starts babbling a lot.  He also trys to "talk out" his issues sometimes when he is upset, so instead of just crying, he will vocalize his complaints. 

He is starting to grab for toys and is finally starting to enjoy some of the toys we have been giving to him for the last few months.  He is sucking on his fingers now - his favorite is his ring finger, put in his mouth upside down.  His sleep and nap schedule got more predictible last month and he is starting to go to sleep earlier at night. 

At his doctor's appointment, he weighed in at 14 lbs. 12 oz.  He is in the 45th percentile for length, 50th percentile for weight, and 40th percentile for head circumference.  At his two month appointment he was 50th, 75th, 50th repectively, so he is changing a lot. Philip had already reached all of the 4 month milestones by the time of his appointment, so I guess he is working on his 5 month skills now. He is just so advaned - ha ha!

Some of this month's best shots:

St. Andrew Christmas Novena

Last year at this time, I had recently found out I was pregnant.  One day I received a package in the mail from one of our friends, probably the only friend who knew about our pregnancy at that point.  She said that ever since she found out I was pregnant, she felt called to send me the St. Andrew Christmas Novena.  The package included a set of beads that she and her son had made the previous Advent as well as a copy of the prayer.  I think this is one of the most beautiful prayers.

Saint Andrew Christmas Novena

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
The "Christmas Anticipation Prayer," is prayed 15 times every day from the Feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle (November 30) until Christmas.  Andy and I prayed this each day for our special intention and it brought us a lot of hope during the first trimester.  Did you know that St. Andrew is the patron saint of women who wish to become mothers (among many other things)? I didn't know that until last Advent. 

I am amazed that it is now a year later and I am sitting here holding my sweet Philip Andrew!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Big Changes

I have been slow in posting recently because we have had a lot of big changes recently.

First, my maternity leave ended Philip's baptism weekend, so I am "back to work" now.  Back to work means that I am working 10 hours a week from home.  I am so blessed that my company is willing to let me work such few hours from home.  So far, it has been doable, but of course it limits my free time quite a bit.  Luckily, my return to work has coincided with Philip getting on a steady afternoon nap schedule which consists of 2.5 hours of sleep!  I usually try to get my work in during the afternoon just so I know it is done for the day, but if that doesn't work out, I get my time in after Philip has gone to bed. 

Speaking of, Philip has a decent bedtime now.  During my leave, he was always a night owl and would go to bed anywhere from 11:00 pm - 1:00 am.  Now he is usually asleep sometime in the 9:00 hour.  I thought once Daylight Savings hit, he would transition to a respectable 8:00 bedtime, but he wasn't fooled by the time change.  That is okay I guess because going to bed early means he wakes up early and I am not adjusting to that very well.  I need to move my bedtime earlier too!

We are also in the process of buying our first home!  Once Philip was born we knew we needed some more space.  At first we started looking at rentals in the area, but eventually came to the realization that it would make more sense to buy.  Of course, that means we needed to commit to staying in the area for at least a few more years. We never imagined we would be in this area for more than a couple years, but we have already been here 7 years!  So a variety of factors came into play and we decided that we could make the commitment to staying here.  It will be so nice to settle down!

We found a home the week after Philip's baptism.  It has been beautifully updated and will give us the space we need right now.  We are very excited, but of course a lot of things have to happen before we can call it our own.  Inspection went well last week and we hope the appraisal turns out well too.  My days have been full of working with the lender, realtor, insurance agent, browsing furniture, etc, etc, etc. Our closing date is scheduled for December 16, so we will be adding to all the Advent/Christmas craziness with a move this year. 

In other news, we celebrated Andy's birthday a few weeks ago, Philip turned 4 months last week, and Andy's brother/sister-in-law and kids are coming up to stay with us for Thanksgiving this week.  It is going to be crazy and fun!

One last tidbit.  After we had Philip, one of my friends from college who happened to move to the area last year contacted me.  She is starting a photography business on the side (I don't know where people find the time to do this stuff) and offered to take some photos for us so that she could add to her portfolio.  Of course I said that I would love it, but since we got some great photographs taken at the hospital I asked if she would be willing to do it this fall so that we could get a great photo for a Christmas card.  She agreed and last weekend we did our photo shoot.  We are still waiting on seeing the full set of pictures, but here is a sneak preview.  She is giving us the photos for free and we can print them out on our own. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

We Like to Party

This message is a bit belated.  More details why in my next post.

Philip was baptized on October 30!  So many family and friends came to celebrate our little boy and I know many more were praying for him.

That Thursday, Andy's parents, aunt, and brother/sister-in-law came up.  We had a great time catching up with them and had dinner for everyone at our house that night. 
Grandpa with a sleeping baby

Aunt Theresa couldn't resist doing up Philip's hair

Aunt Theresa brought up this pink hippo that Andy used to love when he was little.  Philip seems to like it too!

The next day, more company arrived.  My parents, sister/brother-in-law/neice, and another one of Andy's brothers came to town.   We entertained at our house for the day and then all went out to eat at Friendly's that night.  My sister insists on eating at Friendly's every time she comes to town, so this was our chance to get her meal in.

Andy with Uncle Joe, Uncle Danny, and Philip

Saturday was Philip's baptism.  The baptism was held at the chapel of our church.  It was so wonderful to have him baptized in this historic chapel.  We invited Andy's friend, Fr. Neil to celebrate.  He agreed to come up all the way from Georgia to perform the baptism.  Andy has been friends with Fr. Neil since grade school and I first me him when we were in college.  When we moved up here, he was in seminary near us, so we were able to get together a few times each year.  I had always hoped he would baptize our first baby, but didn't think it would happen once he was ordained and moved so far away.  But one day we decided to just ask and see if he would come, and he didn't hesitate to agree.  We decided that since Fr. Neil was coming all the way up from Georgia, we might as well get the most out of him and have a full mass.  Andy's supervisor, Fr. Brian concelebrated for us.  Before dismissal, Fr. Brian was able to say a few words that touched everyone there.

My sister is Philip's godmother and Andy's brother Danny is his godfather.  We are so blessed to have family members that are faithful to the church and good role models for Philip. 

When I posted this on Facebook, one of our friends said it looked like older Andy and Kristen looking down at younger Andy and Kristen.  Ha ha!

The baptism was really emotional for me.  I know it sounds cliche, but it was truly one of the happiest days of my life.  It was so wonderful to be surrounded by the family and friends who have supported us over the last four years and who were all so happy to celebrate with us. Philip did a great job, by the way.  I was a bit concerned he wouldn't make it through a full mass, but he stayed awake through the baptism (didn't even cry) and then just fell asleep in my arms towards the end. 

We had a reception in the church hall afterwards and it was great to have a chance to speak with everyone there.  It felt like our wedding reception again (just a lot more casual!).
This little hat came with Philip's baptism outfit and we put it on him at the end of the reception - too cute!

My neice, Olivia, was the best dressed!
We spent a couple of hours at home that afternoon.  Both babies were tired, but they eventually rallied and had fun flailing around on the bed. 

That evening, the attention focused on my father-in-law who was celebrating his birthday!  We reserved the back room at a local pizza chain and had a great time.  Fr. Neil joined us as did our friends from college. 

 Dany surprised Angela on her birthday with a trip to DC that he planned to coincide with Philip's baptism weekend.  We were so happy to get to see them and their children again and it was great to have them at dinner so we could catch up a bit more.  They have such a wonderful family.

On Sunday, we all went to mass and then the good-bye's began.  Our siblings headed home, but our parents and Andy's aunt stayed until Tuesday.  We made this pumpkin soup recipe and it was a hit (actually, I just bought the ingredients; my mom ended up making it because Philip was a handful that day).

It was Halloween!

On Monday, we did a little house hunting, but didn't find anything good.  It was a fun diversion though and our family was able to see a bit more of our community.  Yes, I said we were house hunting!  More details in my next blog post!  That evening our moms made everyone dinner and we enjoyed our last night together. 

The next morning, my parents came over for a visit before they had to head out to the airport. 
We had such a great weekend, but as always it passed by too fast.  It seemed like Philip's baptism was so far away and now it is behind us and we are looking on towards the holidays.  We can't wait to see our family again and to introduce Philip to those who haven't met him yet!

Staged family baptism shots follow for those who are interested.
My Family

Andy's Family (those who could attend)

Grandpas, Andy, and Philip

Grandmas, me, and Philip
The happy family of three!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Do Miracles Look Like?

This weekend we went to Texas for my neice's baptism.  Philip took his first plane ride and did very well, although on both flights he ended up having a dirty diaper and Andy had to change him in those tiny airplane bathrooms.  Glad it wasn't me!

My parents and aunt were at my sister's house when we arrived and we had a blast passing babies and introducing the cousins to each other. 

In case you missed it, Olivia's shirt says "I'm as cute as my aunt." ;)

That evening my sister made dinner for us and my brother-in-law's family joined us.  We haven't seen his father since their wedding, so it was nice to see him again.

My sister thinks Philip has funny hair and they spiked it up that evening.  His hair stayed like that naturally - no need for any gel!

Saturday was Olivia's baptism.  There were four babies being baptized and the deacon made the service really special for everyone.  Olivia looked beautiful in her gown.
We were honored to be asked to be Olivia's godparents.

We were so happy that our aunt (my sister's godmother) came to the baptism.  I hadn't seen her in over a year and my sister hadn't seen her in several years.

Can you tell they are sisters?

After a delicious lunch, the girls and Philip went shopping in downtown Gruene. 

We had a fun dinner at the house that night. 

The girls:

The guys:

The next day we went to church and out to eat.  Then we took the babies to the pumpkin patch.
Right after we took this photo someone asked if we were twins.  I don't know why they would think that!

Olivia showed off her Halloween costume - a dietician's dream:

Afterwards we just hung out and took naps, enjoying our last night together.  Philip had a great time seeing his grandparents for the first time since he was a little bitty guy and meeting his aunt and uncle for the first time:

It was fun to see the personalities of the two babies. Olivia is such a dainty little girl and Philip is all boy!  We laughed that when Olivia was hungry, her way of letting my sister know was like, "Um, excuse me, but I am starting to feel hungry and I would like my dinner now please."  Philip's style is more like, "FEED ME - NOW!!!"

Olivia is two months older than Philip, so we got a preview of what we are in store for.  She had just found her feet during the week and was having a blast kicking them in the air and playing with them.  She also rolled over from front to back for the first time (she had already been rolling back to front). Watch out sis, she is mobile now!

I had always thought my sister and I would be pregnant and have babies at the same time, but over the past few years, it was hard to believe it would ever work that way.  It has been such a blessing to experience pregnancy and motherhood with my sister. These babies are truly miracles!

We have another exciting weekend ahead - Philip is being baptized!  Family starts rolling into town Thursday.  We can't wait to see everyone and introduce Philip to a few more family members. 
Please pray for baby Philip!