Saturday, December 24, 2011

Hanukah Celebrations...

While I promise not to skip over the weeks that followed Halloween, let's fast forward to this last week of our holiday celebrations...

Plain and simple: Holidays are way more fun with an-almost-three-year-old that totally gets excited about the holidays. No more helping the little one tear the wrapping paper and watch as they become more excited with the wrapping paper or the box than the carefully picked out present in front of them. He gets it. And more importantly, he knows it's not only about the presents... hanukah means lighting candles, saying blessings, and spending even more time with all of your favorite cousins. And it's probably one of the cutest things watching your little ones get excited about these holidays.

So what is there to excited about right now?

Ms. Pouty Lip. I'm not quite sure which I love more.. the pouty lip at momma or the sweater tights. Because sweater tights on a three month old is really stinking cute.

Great-Grandma Mama. I'm so in love with watching my grandma and my daughter together... perhaps its because I loved my great-grandma Rose that much... and I love my Mama all the same. And I just know that Mama will have the same relationship with Audrey Rose.

Hanukah 1987. Mama and Papa's house. Mama and Papa surrounded by their then eight grandchildren. (I'm in the top right corner wearing the awesome Mickey and Minnie Mouse gear).

Hanukah 2011. Mama and Papa surrounded by their eight great-grandchildren. Two more little boys are due in early 2012... and yes, sweet Audrey Rose is their first and only great-granddaughter... but I'm confidant she'll be able to hold her own with these boys.

Family Pictures. Not quite sure what it is, but something about two kids makes you feel like you really are a family.

Traditions. They learn young and they can't get enough of it. Jacob would light the candles and sing the blessings all day long if we let him.

Jackson. If you ask him who is his favorite, he'll tell you Stephanie every single time. (that one is for you, Linzaloo)

Letting Our Two-Year-Old light the candles All-By-Myself. It's still a constant theme in our household and yes, we attempt to let him do things all by himself (except wipe himself after going number two in the potty because, let me tell you, that can just get messy... and no, I promise not to share any pictures of that).

Yaya love. The smile says it all. It's his Yaya and, if he could, he would be by her side twenty-four hours a day.

Pops. Embarking in a new part of their lives (see here), I could not be happier for my parents... and while he jokes about going from president to nanny, I know he absolutely loves his time.

Kisses. I remember my dad grabbing my mom and planting tons of kisses on her when we were younger and the four of us all screaming "eewww yuck!". Now, I love it.

Superboys. They run all throughout the house with them, jump from beds, and scream with excitement, "I'm Supermannnnnn!" And if you ask him who his best friend is he will tell you, my cousin, Jackson.

Jumping Pictures. We've always loved these. And they never fail to make us laugh hysterically over and over.

Ok, Ellie isn't really jumping, but she's strutting her stuff.

Pink sparkle boots for Audrey. Enough said. Thank you, Aunt Lindsay.

The firsts. We'll capture them all year long but there's something special about all those firsts. Baby's First Hanukah.

It's been an amazing few nights of Hanukah and how special we feel that this year, our holidays overlap. Tomorrow is sure to be another amazing day of fun. The littles are fast asleep and my Philip is patiently awaiting some time together....

May you have the most special holiday celebrations with your family and your little ones...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hello, Again.

I so miss writing. I miss the hour or so I would take every few days to go through the hundreds of images I had taken over the past few days and head over to this little blog to share our story... to share it with you all, yes... but also to tell it so that down the road (when I finally make these little bits and pieces into a book), I'll be able to remember it like it was just yesterday. So where did my hour or so go since my last post over two months ago?

Well, I lost it. Completely....

Not that I'm complaining. Instead? I've been soaking up my family.

And my children. That still makes me giggle every time I say it. We have children. Are the kids packed up in the car? I ask Philip... giggle. No, sorry, the little oneS can't make it today, I tell friends... giggle. It just sounds so... different.

So how's everyone doing? Well, Audrey Rose is the most laid back, easy baby. She eats like a champ (doubled her birth weight in just two months), sleeps straight through the night (nine to six), and allows me to dress her in absolutely anything I want (and we do... sometimes four or five outfit changes in just one day).

Yes, I'm madly in love with our second little and I also continue to be amazed at how easy having a newborn is. I laugh about how crazy anxious we were as first time parents with Jacob... and it was such a stressful time... constantly wondering if they are eating, sleeping, pooping, peeing, breathing as they should.

Not so easy if we are being perfectly honest? Balancing the two. Here lies the challenge.

It has to be such a difficult thing to learn to share your momma and daddy. And not that he doesn't love his sweet baby sister. He talks about her, tells his teachers about her, and would carry her around in his arms if I would let him.

He just is still adapting to life with another little one in our life. And by adapting, I mean he somehow manages to squeeze his little self into our bed every night around two or three in the morning for his one-on-one snuggle sessions. So yes, cringe at me, yell at me, tell me I'm doing it all wrong... but I'm not ready to fight this one yet.

He is a special kid, our Jacob Allan. I catch him looking at me when I forget to sing new songs and instead sing the same made-up songs I sang to him (now inserted with Audrey's name) and, as my stomach turns a little, scoop him up and remind him how much I love him.

And while things were a bit more hectic those first two weeks, we attempted to stay on schedule.. like our yearly trip to the pumpkin patch just two weeks after Audrey's entrance.

Would you believe me if I told you I had literally hundreds and hundreds of pictures waiting to make their debut? This is just the first dent...

The first peek at the first few weeks of life with two....

Lindsay continues to remind me how excited she is to acquire Jacob and/or Audrey's wardrobe when they decide to have a little one... and not to personalize too many things because then she will not be able to use them.

It's funny how much we deliberated back and forth between names... and just as I'm sure any parent says, I can't ever imagine naming her anything different...

My friends would ask me if, on the days that I would take Jacob to school, if I would just come home and photograph Audrey. Ummmm... yes. That's actually exactly what I did during those first few weeks.

Pops' corvette... that I can only imagine he will be driving her and her date in to prom sixteen years down the road.

I've yet to decide what photographs to print for her walls and what wall displays I want to create... I haven't designed one album, not printed more than ten of the shots I have taken. But at least, I reassure myself, they are there. They are captured... her sweet face, her itty bitty fingers and toes...

... and those gorgeous blue eyes. I think they are there for good, just like her daddy.

And speaking of her daddy... well, he's just as in love.

He's learned how to change a baby girl (yes, we had to teach him a few things), always gives both of them tons of attention the minute he walks in the door from work, and always, always gives me hugs and kisses in between it all.

{One of my favorites....}

And because Daddy's a soccer stud...

My hour that I snuck in (finally) is just about up... the warm bed is calling my name and I'm looking forward to another (relatively) lazy day tomorrow.

As new years approaches, it is undoubtedly one of my resolutions to return to my writing. For now, spending time with my little ones comes first.

Audrey and her great-grandma.... who has the exact same hands as my great-grandma Rose (and coming soon... a post on Audrey's Naming Celebration).

So many more stories to share, photographs to post, and memories to capture...

More to come (and I promise you won't have to wait two months this time)...

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