Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Decor 2012

As I've been getting us all ready to go to Idaho for Christmas, I realized I haven't done a Christmas decor blog post! I've done one every year since Tyson and I were married, and I can't very well stop now. I guess it's turned into a tradition. So here we go!

Welcome to our house! (My apologies for the tilted picture.) We've loved being in a house for Christmas. I've actually been able to use all my decorations! Last year in our apartment we picked six or seven things and that was that. But we're so happy to be in a house and loving every second of it. This is our front porch, and I have to say that I just LOVE this porch. It is just the best for holiday decor, and it's one of those front porches that I've dreamed of having. Too bad we're just renting and this porch isn't mine to keep.
(Maybe one of these days I'll actually do a blog post with pictures of our house!)

We had to buy a new Christmas tree since this one didn't quite make it through the move. We couldn't help but laugh after taking this picture, even though this poor tree looks so sad. It looks like a shark bit the side. It's a pre-lit tree that only half works now. And all kinds of pieces broke off from it. Poor thing. Our tree got retired and we bought a new one on Black Friday at Fred Meyer. (I ended up buying one with colored lights instead of clear so we had to buy ANOTHER tree here in Ogden. So yes, we have two trees until we're back in Idaho again.)

We put the new tree up and fluffed the branches out a bit before adding another set of lights.

 I'm loving having two large bay windows in the front of our house. Heck, I love having windows in the front of our house! We've never had a front living room window before, not even in our house in Idaho. One of my favorite things about Christmastime is driving down streets and seeing lit Christmas trees through the windows. And now we can do the same thing with our house! It's so fun.

 We wrapped a garland and Christmas lights around the banister going up the stairs. Brycen really likes it! I love it too. 

 I found the Little People Nativity for $19 on Black Friday. Brycen plays with it in front of the Christmas tree, where it stays. It will also get put away after Christmas so we can look forward to it next year.

 It's Carter's first Christmas so his first ornament is a little baby in a stroller. We got Brycen a little elf holding a present, and Tyson and I are sharing a Santa ornament this year. 

I shared this picture on Facebook a couple weeks ago. I love this one of my three boys. Brycen was so excited to read Christmas books by the Christmas tree after the house was all decorated. In this picture they're reading, "Santa Elf."

 Carter likes to look up at the lights, as I'm sure all babies do this time of year!

 We sent my missionary brother, Adam, a family Christmas card with this little picture inside. Brycen loves Elmo so I printed off this Elmo Christmas picture to color. 
Brycen loves coloring and anything related.

 Carter loves music. The piano is especially soothing. Sometimes when he's upset in the evening we'll put him in his little lamb chair and play the piano for him. It's been fun hearing Christmas music coming from the piano the last few weeks!

 We finished our Christmas shopping last week and it's been so nice having everything bought, wrapped, and under the tree! Now we're trying to figure out how to get all this to Idaho. Thank goodness for our van!

 Having a screen door has made it difficult to put wreaths up. I decided to force my Christmas wreath between the two doors, which actually wasn't too difficult. I'm just glad to have a wreath up! That door was looking really bare. 

 And Brycen has LOVED looking for our elf, Charlie, every morning. We don't do anything crazy with him, just move him to different spots. That's been really fun for Brycen this year. 

 Brycen likes to be the one to turn on all the lights every night. 
One button turns on the Christmas tree...

 ...and the other two turn on the banister lights and the small tree lights on the porch. 

 Kohl's has a style of stockings that hasn't changed since we got married. We've been able to find a new stocking for each child for the last few years, and they go right along with the ones I got for Tyson and I when we were first married. We've lucked out!

And I've REALLY loved having a mantle. It's been so fun hanging the stockings above the fireplace!

Charlie's Christmas debut was on the Christmas tree. Brycen thought that was pretty darn hilarious.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Latest Happenings of Brycen and Carter

Both the kids are napping. This NEVER happens. Ever. If I hadn't just finished buying and wrapping all Christmas gifts yesterday, I wouldn't be sitting here typing out this blog post! It feels so good to have that done and move on to relaxing and enjoying the remainder of the month! The next worry is making sure we get all of it brought to Idaho next weekend. But for now, I'm going to enjoy this time I have to sit and write about my two favorite little people!


Brycen is starting to pick out colors. He knows blue, red, and green but sometimes mixes them up. He also knows pink and gets that one right every time. It helped that I had just had a manicure before Thanksgiving and had my nails painted pink. He'd point to them and say, "Pink!" Now that the polish is gone, he points to them and says, "Pink? A go?"

We've been teaching him to say please and thank you. They come out as "pease" and "dank you". Sometimes he's not sure what he's supposed to say when we ask, "What do you say?" At those moments it comes out as, "Peank you!" We're just glad he's learning manners. I filled in the last half of nursery on Sunday and I noticed Brycen saying "pease" a lot. When asking for more snack, when he wanted a turn to blow the bubbles...I was so proud! The other nursery leader even commented that saying how nice it was that he was saying please. Proud mom moment!

Brycen is starting to say "blanket" instead of "bit". That has been one of my favorite Brycen-isms! His blanket has been known as his "bit" since he learned to talk. He still says "bit" every now and then, but he's starting to say blanket a little more. And honestly, it makes me a little sad. He's growing up right before my eyes and I can't do a dang thing about it. But it's also so fun to see him learn and grow.

With all the Christmas wrapping and shopping, I've had a lot of stuff sprawled out over the living room floor. Brycen's latest thing is coming in the room and saying, "Moooom! (with the drawn out "mom") Budoon ofentyo mess!" Ok, not EXACTLY like that. But for those who know Brycen's little jibberish language, you know what that middle part sounds like! I laugh every time he comes in and tells me I've made a huge mess.

We've always laughed and laughed when Brycen talks about balloons. He has said "bn" instead. I can't even say it myself! He's a pro at saying it that way, that's for sure. And when he gets really excited it comes out as, "Bn! Bn! Bn!" We're worried about a vein in his head bursting when he says it that excitedly! Recently he's started saying "boon"- another one that makes me sad. But I'm glad that he's learning to say words correctly to so it's fun. I'm going to miss these little words and that little language of his when it's all gone!

Brycen LOVES popcorn. He calls it "cuhcorn". Whenever we make it, we have to use the same bowl every time. When we lived in our apartment, I didn't keep all my kitchen stuff inside. A lot of it was left in the storage unit. Apparently I only saved one bowl that could be used for popcorn because now that is the only bowl he wants to use.

He also loves the moon. Since we went to the cabin one last time in September, Brycen has been asking to go out and see the moon every night. It's not always out, but he sure loves looking for it. And when it is out, his face lights up and he smiles. It's so fun to watch his reaction. Good thing he's getting "Goodnight, Moon" for Christmas.

When he says words like mouse or house he puts a little "sh" sound at the end. They come out sounding like "moush" and "housh". It's really sweet sounding.

Speaking of sweet, he's a really sweet and sensitive kid when it comes to little things. Babies, baby animals, small toys or small objects of any kind...He'll say in a soft, sweet voice, "Oh, toot!" (Cute) Or he'll hold the item up close to his face and hug it, while moving his shoulders back and forth. Then the "Oh, toot!" comes. The other day he picked up a little cutie orange and held it close to him in this same way.

Brycen loves to help with the laundry. He doesn't terrorize the laundry basket full of clothes anymore. Now he likes to put the clothes from the washer into the dryer, and from the dryer into a basket. He also likes to help me cook and bake. I'll let him put ingredients in and lock the mixer. He's such a good little helper!

He likes to reach in pockets (whether they be yours, mine, or his) and say, "No coins!" If he does find a coin, his day has been made.

The latest shows he asks to watch are "Mickey" and "Olie Olie Olie Olie" ("Rolie Polie Olie"). That show is still on, can you believe it? I remember when that started. Pretty sure I was in high school. Now it's on Disney Junior Channel in the mornings. We introduced him to "Mickey's Christmas Carol" and "Pluto's Christmas Tree" and that's all he seems to want to watch since Sunday. I'm sure glad he likes the classics though!


Carter is 6 months old now. Crazy!! Where in the world is the time going? He's wearing size 3 diapers now and just started wearing 6-9 month clothes. He still wears some 3-6 months, but he's starting to burst out of them at the feet. Carter is one solid kiddo. My parents always laugh when they go to pick him up because they expect him to feel lighter, but he's just heavy! He weighs the same, if not more, than his cousin, Tayen, who was born at full-term and 2 1/2 months before Carter. Carter has just caught right up and it's wonderful! You wouldn't think he was born 2 months early and weighed 4lb at one time.

We started Carter on oatmeal and over the last couple of days he's really started getting the hang of it. He'll even open his mouth for more before I even have the spoon out to give him some. Yep, sounds like our kid! Likes his food. We've been trying oatmeal once a day, then we'll eventually get to giving him more then start him on fruits and veggies at 7 months.

Carter is such a sweet baby. He's always so happy! Even at 3am. We'll come in his room to get him out of his crib and he'll smile and kick like crazy. He's just so pleasant. He's still super impatient when it comes to getting a bottle, but he's always happy. Brycen was the same way and acted just like Carter does, as he only cries if something is wrong: hungry, needs a new diaper, tired, in pain, etc. We've been so blessed to have such sweet, easy-going babies. And he's really a good sleeper, too. It's all about routine, I'm telling you. He goes down for a morning nap and has two more naps in the day before going down for the night between 8:00 and 8:30. He's always done really well with his crib. The first time we put him in it he had a hard time. But when he cried, we'd just go in there and give him his binky. He was so tired, and having his binky put back in and a calming "shhhhh" combined with a little stroke on the head from Mom or Dad was all he needed. Brycen was the same way. And they've both been sleeping well and on their own ever since. These routines have really helped Brycen sleep on his own and in his own bed since he was a baby. It feels good to not have any issues there!

Carter's reflux issues are still...well, issues. I hate to think of how long we're all going to have to live with this. Poor Carter. I hate that he has to suffer every morning when it comes time to get medicine! He has 2 1/2mL's of liquid Prevacid. We give it to him through a dropper while he drinks his bottle (We're not supposed to, but the taste is awful!), then we have to wait 30 minutes for it to settle on his tummy so he can finish his bottle. Tyson and I have been teased a little in this area. Those watching see Carter cry for his bottle as we soothe him as much as possible, waiting the five more minutes till he can have his bottle. Some see it as a little ridiculous that we don't just give him the bottle five minutes early. It's amazing how much of a difference five minutes makes. I've tested out this theory and Carter just has that acid crap coming up all day if we don't wait at least 30 minutes. The nurses in the NICU even told us to wait 45 minutes to an hour, and I can see why! Today I thought he would be ok if I gave him his bottle 10 minutes early, since we took him off it for a day last week and he seems to be doing a little better. Another mistake that I've been paying the price for today. So yes, 5 minutes does make a difference! He does seem to be doing a little better, but he definitely still needs the medicine.

Carter is SO close to rolling over!! He'll get up on his right side, then rolls right back because he doesn't know where to go from there. We've been helping him go all the way over so he can get a feel for it. He's getting so close!!

He smiles ALL the time. All you have to do is look at him and he'll give you a massive, dimply grin. He's such a sweetheart.

Carter loves music, especially the piano. We've used the piano as a way to calm Carter down at night when he's having a hard time settling down from being so tired. I'll hold him while Tyson plays. Eventually Carter will fall asleep in my arms. On nights where one of us isn't home, we put Carter in his lamb chair and play. He usually falls asleep in his chair. I'm amazed at how much he loves the piano. Even in Relief Society when he's fussy, as soon as that piano starts he calms right down.

Just like Brycen, Carter gets the hiccups when he laughs. I don't know if this is a common thing for babies, but both my kids have done and continue to do this!

Brycen was given a little soft, blue, musical elephant when he was born. And he wanted nothing to do with it. He wouldn't even really snuggle up to it. By the time Carter was born, that elephant still looked brand new. We use it for him and he loves it. When he's fussy at night and needs help going back to sleep, we'll give him his binky, pull the little elephant tail to get the music going, and give the elephant to Carter. He'll pull it close to his face and snuggle right up to it.