Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas in Lubbock and Lovington

What a difference a year makes! (You can check out last year's happenings here.) Last Christmas Bella was sleeping and eating and sleeping and cooing and eating...now...she is walking and crawling and into everything. Needless to say it was different but a good different. We had a great time in Lubbock and my Grandmother's house. Of course, it was very bittersweet with Granddaddy not there and lots of tears were shed. I really do not have words for that except I really miss him, as I know the rest of my family does too. He certainly remains a huge part of my life.

Here's Bella playing with her Granddad.
Can you tell she's getting really good at cheesin'.
Miss B is walking walking walking with her little cute self. She'll walk as far as she can and then right before she gets to someones arms she'll fall forward. Then she gets excited and takes off to the next person - sometimes she makes it and sometimes she doesn't. Either way she laughs!

After Lubbock, we went to Lovington for our family Christmas. Allison and I talked about how good it feels to just be "home" and do nothing except be "home". We ate (alot), played Wii (alot), watched movies, and read. It was great to have grandparents too! I read and lounged and read and played Wii and chatted with Allison...all while the grandparents were taking care of Bella (of course, to the grandparents they were not "taking care" - they were "loving it"). Then, we got up to leave this morning and woke up to a ton of snow! woohoo! We debated if we should get on the roads and decided against it. So, another day of reading, hanging out, eating, and just being with family. Lovely Christmas!

This red chair was my great-grandmothers and it was given to her by her daddy. Bella had a grand ole' time sitting in it. But, she had an even better time falling out of it...
She would fling herself back into my dad's hand and laugh hysterically. Too Cute!
Allison and I got matching reindeer toe socks from our daddeo!
Here's sweet Bella playing with her Aunt Alli. Allison is showing her the reindeer socks! Look at that face - well, both of the faces.
I had to get in of the cute crinkle-nose-smile action.
Then, we all practiced blowing kisses (of course she can only do that with her daddy).
Walking with Nana! We watched Julie and Julia (fabulous movie!) and Bella played with Allison's phone for a long time.

I think she was trying to get Allison's attention away from the movie.
Dad bought Allison and I the Santa aprons with special requests for goodies and cookies and cakes when we came to visit. We didn't disappoint him!
Daddeo and his girls.
Merry Christmas everyone! Remember to smile so big your nose crinkles! (More pictures of the vacation to come)

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Second Annual Much Anticipated Christmas Post From Mike

As regular readers will know, my (referring to Mike) blog posts are pretty well restricted to Christmas and times of large amounts of throw up. This is, of course, a self-imposed restriction. Emily is the one who has the patience and discipline to keep this blog going. I, on the other hand, just ride on her coat tails at the aforementioned times, as proves to be the case today. Yes, today is Christmas, and it is therefore time for my annual Christmas post. I know...many of you have been waiting with bated breath. Well, your great expectations will not go disappointed, for The Second Annual Much Awaited Christmas Post from Mike is now underway!

First, let me make an important note: this proves to be a post that is especially suited for me because it fits both of the criteria required for me to actually get around to blogging. Yes, Christmas and throw up have come together to demand that I write. And write I will! You see, it all began yesterday (Christmas Eve) as I was humoring my childhood nostalgia by watching The Mighty Ducks on Netflix. Emily had just returned from taking Allison, her sister, to get an oil change, and Bella was playing beside me. We all sat on Emily's and my bed dividing our attention between the computer screen and one another. Of course, it was Bella who received the most attention. She's been a little under the weather and has therefore been a little more snuggly than usual. While I hate that she feels bad, I have to admit that I enjoy the snuggles! Anyway, she would play and then snuggle/lounge and then repeat the process. It was during one of the lounging periods that a sweet family moment turned into a moment of parental horror. Bella leaned back, coughed, and proceeded to throw up the entire contents of her stomach. It took a few heaves to get it all out, and she conducted herself with the utmost calm. Her parent's on the other hand, looked on with with fear and trepidation. This is, after all, the first time she's had a sickness of this sort, and we're new at this! When she finished, we gathered all contaminated materials into a towel for washing, and Emily whisked our kiddo to the bathtub while I got the wash started. This was not how we had planned to spend Christmas Eve, but we took it in stride. The house soon smelled like Lysol, our child was washed of all stray vomit particles, and we were going about about the precarious task of keeping her hydrated while trying not to precipitate another round of throw up. It worked. Bella's kept everything down, though she's now having problems with the other end, and she seems to be doing much better. And I got to finish humoring my childhood nostalgia. Bella laid on my stomach as I fed her ice chips, and we both finished watching The Mighty Ducks. That's a pretty good end to our throw up saga. I would start quacking now in honor of the movie, but I'm afraid that it would loose its power in print. Maybe I'll just try to work "the flying V" into the post somewhere below instead.

As to the rest of Christmas, we've been having a grand time. Decorations went up several weeks ago. Here are a few pictures of how things look.

The tree. Yes, that is a gate at the bottom. Not optimum, but let's just say we didn't trust a certain 1 yr. old to keep away from the ornaments and presents.

The presents.

The already mentioned reason for the gate (which is not present in this picture).

The mantle and fire place. Yes, that is just one stocking. It used to be mine, but as you can see, it now has Bella's name on it. My mom (Susy) was nice enough to convert it for the new youngest member of the family.

The nutcrackers and nativity scenes. Both collections are growing. I especially enjoy the nativity sets this year because of their international flavor. We've got one from America, Peru, and Ghana.

Bella's first nutcracker. This was a present from Lisa Lagrone. It's a bit girlier than pretty much all of the other nutcrackers, but I think it is a perfect addition to the collection.
One of Bella's first ornaments. This was a present from Frances Gilliland, a dear friend and member of our church in Milano. Thanks Frances!
Bella playing with another ornament. This one is from my mom. I don't have a closeup of it at the moment, so we'll just have to save that for a later post. It's great, though, and we appreciate it. Thanks mom!

The turkey. This isn't really a decoration, but it's so pretty that I thought I'd include it here. And yes, it was as good as it looks.

And, of course, my favorite decorations in the house - my girls. I'm a pretty lucky guy, if I do say so myself.

And now I must say that I am tired of writing and arranging pictures. I really don't know how Emily does this on a regular basis! Luckily, as I have already noted, I only post a certain times. With that in mind, I will now sign off until the next instance of throw up. Hopefully it won't be any time soon! And with that I say: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas in Houston

Christmas season has begun! We went to Houston to see Mike's family over the weekend and officially started the Christmas family extravaganza. As always, we had a great time of relaxing and just "being" with the family. Christie and I talked about how we both don't really tell people when we're going home so we can have all of the time only with family...yes, it may be "hiding" from we love it! And, one of my favorite things to do is run through the trails in Kingwood with Christie. That girl can run! And, she's a great person to talk with about life during those times too. (Christie, I know i've told you this before but you are an added plus to my life when I married your brother!)

Most of the post is filled with pictures of our time together. I will devote a post later this week to Bella's walking skills - complete with video and lots of laughter.

Bella taking her "first" big-girl bath in a big bathtub. We usually put her in the small tub that sits in the big tub...but, this time Grammy graduated to the big-girl tub! Look at those eyes staring at Grammy!

Smith-Parson clan...complete with Bella looking at her daddy!
Playing with Paw-Paw...this was right after he was tickling her toes.

Here is Bella's loot from the grandparents...She loves to play with things she can't have - our cell phones, our keys, our laptops...so what did she get this year (among MANY other things?)...a toy cell phone, toy keys, and a toy laptop...maybe she'll want these more than the real ones?
Playing with Grammy and her new cell phone.
Bella LOVED Grammy and most of the time would not go to anyone else! (And, Grammy loved that...wouldn't you?)
Walking like a big-girl with Grammy.
Don't you wonder what she's thinking?
Where's the little gal amongst the presents?
Some of the other great presents she received included a cute outfit from Aunt Christie and Uncle Joey, multi-colored gloves from Peru (Tommy and Susy went on a mission trip to Peru this year), monkeys from Peru, a musical train set, a hat from Peru, books, books, books, puzzles...phew, thanks Grammy and PawPaw!

Playing with MeeMaw.