December Instagram Photo Dump

Goodbye 2012! Here’s a snippet of our December in Instagram form:

On December 1st, I woke up from a full night’s sleep at my friend Katie’s house. Hayden Kate and I made a quick road trip to Cincinnati to attend a surprise party for her birthday. Hayden Kate did great in a new place and in the car. I was so happy to be able to be there for Katie, but the only way it could happen was if I toted my nursing babe along with me.

Once home, we started our Advent calendar activities with Analiese. One of the first ones was to pick out our Christmas tree. You can see she was pretty excited about it. And just to be clear, this expression and the pose are all her. I was trying to get her to smile (silly me), but this is clearly the picture that was meant to be taken. Analiese is a really funny girl. She has a quirky sense of humor at the age of (almost) 3. She makes us laugh daily. How do little people figure out how to be funny?

Hayden Kate’s 5 month photo shoot had great natural light that brought out her blue eyes in such a vivid way. Her darker baby hair continues to grow, but is quickly being out-shined by blonde locks like her sister.

She still likes to line everything up.

Typically, Analiese and I have an hour or two to spend together while Hayden Kate takes her morning nap. Sometimes, I use this time to shower and Analiese jumps at the opportunity to watch a quick show on the ipad on my bed. Lovie joins her. Lovie goes most places with Analiese, however, we have been working on leaving her in the car when we go out rather than dragging her through every store, play group and class room she frequents.

Sister loves to help. She’s especially interested in how much water Hayden Kate drinks every day. We introduced a bottle of water to accompany her solid foods. She did not know what she was doing for the first three weeks. She’s finally getting the hang of it, but often squirts water out of the side of her mouth with each sip.

One of our Advent activities was to make a paper tree. I did the cutting and Analiese glued the strips of paper down. I heavily assisted with the one we framed. :) There are a few others that did created on her own that didn’t really resemble a tree at all, but she loved being crafty with her mama.

Hayden Kate is sitting up on her own! Occasionally, she’ll topple over to one side or the other, but for the most part, she’s holding herself up and loves to play with toys that we place around her.

And because she can sit up, she can bathe with Analiese. Analiese LOVES this. Hayden Kate gets a little whiney when water gets splashed in her eyes, but Analiese usually offers the same comforting encouragement that her daddy does: “Blink it out, Hayden Kate!”

Baby leg warmers are just the cutest. I had forgotten about these since they were still in Analiese’s drawer. They still fit her, too, but this day at home called for leg accessories.

Of course, Analiese didn’t want to be left out, so she grabbed a pair for herself, too.

And a belt. There are some days where she is adamant about what she wants to wear. She received a dress that is very twirly for Christmas and she didn’t take it off for three days.

This was another craft from our Advent calendar. I had seen it floating around Pinterest and thought Analiese would have fun with it. She had been eyeing the pom poms for days and was so excited when I told her it was time to make something with them. And then I brought out the glue and she was in heaven. The pom poms are hand made in Poland. They took FOREVER to get here and then I had to sign for them, but of course, I wasn’t home. I kept moving the activity in the Advent tin to the next day hoping they would get here. And when they did we had sweet treats to make for our neighbors and mailman. So, I was so happy to finally make these lovely pinecone trees.

It snowed a few days before Christmas. It was just a light dusting, but as soon as she awoke, Analiese ran to get a stool to take a look for herself nonetheless.

This tea party was just the sweetest. Analiese’s friend, Margaux, came over for an hour or so and they played so well together. They said their “pleases” and “thank you’s” and I took lots of videos of them dancing.

This snow suit was in a bin of borrowed clothes from a friend (who also received them second hand). Isn’t this snow suit hilarious? She reminds me of a starfish. Or a Tellatubby.

Analiese got to go see a Christmas play at our church with Ross. It was late enough that I didn’t want to bring a sleepy and hungry Hayden Kate along, so we stayed back while they went on their daddy/daughter date. She felt so special to be with her daddy and to stay up late. Ross said she sang along with songs she knew.

Our neighbors are very sweet retired teachers who bring birthday and Christmas gifts to our girls every year. They were going to be alone on Christmas since their kids and grandkids are out of town, so we invited them over for dinner a few days before Christmas. I picked up this bottle of wine because I liked the label and it didn’t disappoint.

We spent Christmas Eve and the following four days in Indiana with Ross’s family. Ross’s dad heard through the Pinterest grapevine that I might like to try a peppermint white russian. I waited until the kids were in bed and he whipped one up for me. Crushed peppermint stick rim and all.

Playing in front of the fire is so warm and cozy. Hayden Kate really loves this new toy.

There was never a shortage of attention for Analiese at Gigi and Grandpa’s house.

Sleep, which had been fairly predictable for a few weeks, has been off during the day. This means that by the time I feed Hayden Kate before her bed time, she is exhausted and falls asleep in my arms. She’s so warm and soft.

Ross got an espresso machine for Christmas. We are both enjoying it. :)

We celebrated the new year with our friends Krysta and Dan. Much to Ross’s delight, there was a request to watch Step Up. And since we own all four of them, we watched the last dance scenes (after Ross gave a very intricate plot summary) to the first three and watched the entire final movie. It ended with just enough time to pour our glasses of sparkling Spanish wine and cheer to the new year. And then we got up 6 hours later because babies don’t sleep in.

Oh, the weather outside is frightful…

She was so happy to be out in the snow.

She must have really wanted to go outside. I told her she would have to wear her big gloves. And a hat. And there was NO argument about it. It did help that they matched her boots.

This little excursion to our backyard lasted ten minutes, and it was worth the 20 minutes it took to bundle up.

Merry Christmas!

We have loved getting Christmas cards from friends and family over the past few days. Keep ’em coming!

I’m a little sad that we won’t be putting any cards in the mail this year. The production of it all is always something I enjoy. However, our “mass mailing” budget was spent on Hayden Kate’s announcements this year. So, this little blog post greeting will have to do.

The Chasey’s wish you a very merry Christmas. We have so much to be merry about. We hope you and your family experience the great joy of Jesus Christ, Immanuel, God with us.

4 Gifts

In the spirit of keeping things simple and Christ-focused at Christmas, we are going to limit our gift giving to the girls. I saw this idea of giving four gifts floating around on Pinterest and a few blogs and thought it was great. Four gifts: something you wear, something you read, something you want, and something you need.

It was challenging for me to wrap my head around four gifts that fit into specific categories, but in a good way. Our girls don’t really need anything. They are provided for and we want to raise them in a home where they are grateful for the abundance we have been given. We want them to be givers and be happy for others (especially each other) when they receive something exciting or something good happens in their life even if they don’t receive the same blessings themselves.

Since Hayden Kate is now sitting up and reaching for things, I’ve heard Analiese say quite a few times, “No, Hayden Kate. That’s mine!” It’s a natural reaction, especially for an almost three year old. But it’s also an opportunity to teach this little girl of ours something big. Nothing we have is our own. All of your toys belong to God and He has blessed us by allowing us to have these toys for a time.

I found myself complaining to others about how I have no idea what to get for our girls. I had soon figured out the “wear” and “read” categories, but struggled with the “want” and “need.” A wise friend said to me, “That’s not a bad problem to have.” And she was right. We are blessed and I want to be constantly reminded of that so I can be an example for Analiese and Hayden Kate.

These are the gifts we got for Analiese, who will be three years old in February:

leopard print pajamas | The Little Drummer Boy | guitar | paint and paper

And for Hayden Kate, who will be just shy of 6 months:

leopard print pajamas | One Shining Star | Haba rattle | teething necklace

I love those matching pj’s! They aren’t Christmassy, but they are leopard and pink and oh so girly! The books were both recommendations from a blog I had stumbled upon. She listed some other gems that will have to wait until next year. I don’t know if we will always do pajamas and Christmas books for these categories, but as these girls are constantly growing and learning about the true meaning of Christmas, they seemed appropriate.

The guitar and brightly colored rattle were Ross’s ideas for the “want” categories. I think they are perfect and I seriously can’t wait to see Analiese sit down with a guitar. I am trying to not have lofty expectations of her love for music, but secretly (or not so secretly) I really want her to play the guitar, violin or piano.

The items we picked for the “need” category are truly needs right now. We ran out of paint and big sister LOVES to paint. Hayden Kate has been teething and since I’ve been so intrigued by these amber teething necklaces, I decided to give it a try.

The UPS man just brought seven boxes to my door and I opened all of them. Love love love shopping online.

Hayden Kate: 5 Months

 

Dear Hayden Kate,

Two itsy bitsy teeth are starting to poke through your bottom gum so your hands are always in your mouth. I can’t believe you’re teething already! No wonder you’ve been drooling and gnawing so much!

Your fifth month started with a road trip to Ohio. You were not a fan of being in the car for so long, but were happy to meet your Uncle Greg for the first time. We went to a craft fair with Nana one morning and you watched Analiese help Nana make a yummy breakfast.

You’re a pretty mellow baby when you’re awake. You started to hold on to your toys and extended index fingers with a tight grip. It’s neat to see you reaching for things you want to hold and touch. So much curiosity in such a little person!

Aunt Katie came back to Michigan with us for a few days which was so much fun for all of us. She loved holding you and was impressed with how well you slept. Well, at least you slept well one of the days she was here!

Overall, you sleep pretty well for a baby your age. You take 2-3 naps each day. Sometimes you sleep for as long as I’d like you to and other times you don’t. You no longer wake in the middle of the night, but depend on the dream feed before I go to bed and often wake each morning earlier than I’d like you to. But when you are awake, you are a delight and I could kiss those cheeks of yours all day long.

You will soon discover that your Mama loves the predictability of a routine. I don’t do well with “naps on the go” and a missed nap because you’re too interested in all of the other babies at Bible study makes me sweat. I’m not as flexible as I would like to be and my hope each day is that you, Analiese and I enjoy the day that God has given us. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. I want you to know that I love you more than your ability to sleep exactly the way I want you to.

I love all 14 pounds and 9.5 ounces of you. That was your official weight at your 4 month appointment. At five months, I’m sure you’re even bigger! You had to get a few shots, which made you cry and cry, but Analiese and I had you giggling again pretty quickly. Analiese ate your lollipop for you. She didn’t mind.

You’re rolling with ease and have even begun to sit up on your own. You topple over easily still, but you’re getting there! A funny little thing you do: raising your right arm and slamming it down over and over again.

Gigi and Grandpa came to visit for the weekend. They helped us decorate for Christmas before leaving with Parker the next day. We missed him while we were away for Thanksgiving, but knew he was having a nice vacation in Indiana.

Thanksgiving was spent in Baltimore, Maryland with Mama’s extended family. What a car ride we had! We left early early in the morning on Wednesday and had the afternoon to walk around the inner harbor.

It was such a beautiful week. I’m so glad we could spend so much time outside with you.

You and your sister were the stars of the week. There were so many people for you to meet. I don’t think I held you very much except for when you were eating and going down for naps.

We also started feeding you a little bit of solid food in hopes of it helping you sleep more at night. (It doesn’t.) It’s fun to have you at the table with us and we love your little bird mouth when you see the spoon approaching.

You are certainly happiest when you see or hear your big sister. I love the smile she puts on your face.

We ended the month with yet another road trip. We returned to Ohio to surprise Aunt Katie for her 30th birthday. You slept great in the car and dealt with the back and forth like a champ. I think we’ll stay put for a while.

We love you, Hayden Kate!

Mama (& Daddy)