Tuesday, January 29, 2013

4 Months Old

Caleb turned four months old Wednesday January 23rd. Last night, I looked back at photos from Christmas and it is very apparent that he has grown quite a bit since then. I took him to his pediatrician today. He had a great well baby check-up. He is meeting his milestones as expected and his growth is consistent. People often tell me that he looks big for his age, but I think it is just all of that hair that confuses people because he is an average sized baby. His height and weight are right around 50th percentile.

Height: 24 3/4 in.
Weight: 15 lbs. 6 oz.
Head circumference: 16 in.

Here's a photo of Caleb's hair before Jeremy and I trimmed it. We were very conservative and only trimmed the nape of his neck even though he could have used trimming all over! Notice the little bald spot. My Memommy says that this is a sign of a good baby. Because he is content to not be held all the time, he's rubbed a bald spot!  

Brother and sister playing

Emily likes to pretend she's asleep.

 Tummy time. Holding that head up really well now.

After bath photo
Wonder what he's thinking?

Eating and Sleeping Habits

Caleb nurses about every 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours during the day. Some nights he sleeps through the night and sometimes he's up one or two times. Last night he went to bed at 8pm. I woke him at 11:30 for a diaper change and feeding, and then he slept until 7:30 the next morning. The night before was horrible. He was really restless and woke up several times. I think we stayed out too late. It's sad that getting home after 8:30pm is now "staying out late." He takes three naps a day. Morning nap is consistent. Afternoon naps are less so and can be a couple of short naps of about one hour each or a longer 2-3 hour nap. 

Milestones, Discoveries, and Accomplishments

~ Holds toys and manipulates them a little with his hands. Brings them up to his mouth.

~Reaches out for toys that are given to him. Reaches up to bat and kick toys attached to activity mat.

~Sits up well for short periods of time in the Bumbo seat.

~Prefers for us to hold him on our laps so he can sit up during family meal time (versus lying reclined in his baby swing or Rock N Play seat.)

~Holds head fairly level with body when I pull him to sitting.

~Laughs out loud at funny sounds, noises, or big sister's antics.

~Short books hold his attention for a few minutes.

And a little note to Caleb:

Caleb, you are a joy! I'm in love with your dark eyes and soft baby skin and hair. I love the dimples on your hands and elbows and the creases on your legs. They remind me that you are healthy and growing. My favorite time to nurse you is that special time before I go to bed. I gently rouse you and pick you up. You still stretch your arms overhead, arch your back, and tuck your legs up tight like a newborn. It won't be much longer that you will do that and it is the cutest thing ever. Your Daddy and I laugh at how you already want to be part of family dinner time. It's like you are afraid you'll miss out on something. You are most content sitting in our lap so you can watch us eat. I think you are going to love your high chair, but I'm in no hurry to get it out. That will be just another sign you're growing up all too fast. I love watching you learn to use your hands.  You stretch out your arm and open those tiny fingers in slow motion. It won't be long before those actions will be smooth and swift. I'm so thankful that God has blessed me with two precious children.



Sunday, January 13, 2013

Christmas Part 2

This year we headed to Bowling Green on December 27th. It was nice to have the day after Christmas to unwind and relax a little. We spent a lot of the day playing with Emily's new toys. Then, it was time to pack up for Bowling Green. We got some sad news that Memommy Meisel's sister, Aunt Frankie, passed away on Christmas Day. We attended her visitation on the evening of the 27th. Her funeral was on the 28th and Dad sang at the funeral. Aunt Frankie had had poor health for awhile and also suffered from dementia. While it was sad to see another family member in her generation pass on, it was also comforting that she would no longer struggle with her health problems.

Christmas with the Lee family was on the evening of the 28th. Mom prepared a wonderful dinner for us. Jeremy could not believe the spread of candies and desserts Mom had. I don't think he knew that Mom had such a sweet tooth or that she made all of these special desserts every year. By far my favorite Christmas indulgence is Mom's popcorn wreath. She makes this wonderful caramel popcorn with red/green MM's and peanuts in it. Then, she molds it in a bundt pan in the shape of a wreath. I swear, I ate half of it the first night. I can resist most of the other candies, but not the popcorn wreath!

My baby boy is adorable!

Still too little for the Bumbo, but we tried.

He's Mr. Personality these days 

 Caleb's first Christmas at Nan and Pop's

Decorating cookies with Cooper (reluctantly I might add--she wanted to do them all herself!)

Oh my. Yes, that is my daughter squirting icing directly into her mouth! 

Listening to Aunt Becca share the Christmas story with an interactive Ipad book. 

Singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus.
My brother's adorable family
Here's little Maddie making off with all of her Christmas loot (and Caleb's, too!)

 I love how Caleb is checking out his gift!

This year, the Burnhams were in Vancouver and of course we missed them. The house wasn't nearly as chaotic or loud without Hunter. :) Seriously, I missed sis and the family so much. It didn't seem complete without them. One of my favorite memories of this Christmas was watching my little nephew rock out with his new guitar and microphone. Cooper is adorable! He's only two years old, but he already knows exactly how to hold a guitar. Emily liked playing with the microphone, too. I think that girl needs one for sure! I also enjoyed watching little Maddie walk around. Compared to the big two and three year olds, she is so tiny, but into everything! She's barely a year old, but she could pick up a big bag and carry it over her shoulder all over the house. It was hilarious to watch her pushing her new stroller. That girl was out of control! She can scramble up a flight of stairs in the blink of an eye. Becca and Stephen have their hands full with Cooper and Maddie. Watching Maddie makes me worried for when Caleb starts walking!

Cooper Lee--remember that name. He's bound to be the next big singer/songwriter in Nashville! 

 Baby boy can't hang in there with the big kids just yet!

Love Em's new toboggan (Handmade by one of Mom's cousins.)

Notice Em's finger. The finger lights were a big hit with the preschool set. ($1.50 well spent, Mom!)

We had lunch at Aunt Cindy's house on December 28th. It started snowing while we were there. 

And we had just enough snow to build a tiny snowgirl when we got back to our place in Louisville.

We were so thankful for Jeremy's paid Christmas vacation (about 11 days off work). His office shuts down for Christmas week until the start of the year. It is such a nice benefit for the employees. Also, I was off work because of maternity leave. We couldn't have spent as much time with family if one of us had to head back to Louisville for work. I got spoiled to having his help with the kids!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Christmas Part 1

Ever since we got married, Jeremy and I have taken turns spending time with our families for Thanksgiving and Christmas. If we spend Thanksgiving with one family, then we do Christmas with the other. The next year we flip flop it. Now that we have two children, we prefer to be in our home on Christmas morning, but it is still easy enough to be in Bowling Green later on Christmas day. This year it was our turn to be with the Reiss side of the family on Christmas day. Nancy was working at the hospital for most of Christmas, but we were still all able to be together on Christmas Eve night and Christmas evening.

One of my favorite traditions is going to our church's Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. The music and message are always special. This year the whole Reiss extended family was asked to light the Christ Candle, read scripture, and pray. I held Caleb, Jeremy held Emily, and Jennifer tried to hold Elizabeth, but she didn't want to be held. Rather than hear Elizabeth whine and cry, she let her stand beside her. However, Elizabeth didn't stay there for long. Next thing we knew, EB was on stage and walking all around the altar. It was pretty funny. Jennifer handled it all well with the grace and humor the situation called for. Don said the prayer and Nancy lit the candle. We ended the service with lighting of candles and singing Silent Night as the whole church body stood in a circle around the perimeter. It was special to hold my baby boy and hear Emily's sweet voice as she chimed in on the words that she knew of that song.

On Christmas Eve, we had a chili supper at Don and Nancy's. We let the kids change into PJs and took a few photos. Jennifer purchased matching PJs for all of them and they were adorable! We tried to get home at a decent hour because Jeremy and I had lots to finish with our preparations for Christmas morning. On Christmas Eve night, I read a few applicable verses from the Bible and then Jeremy and I read Twas the Night Before Christmas to Emily. We took turns reading pages to her and then we tucked her in with promises of presents and fun the next day.

Emily and Elizabeth wore these little red dresses to Christmas Eve service

Christmas Eve at Don and Nancy's. The kids were tired and getting cranky, but they were happy with their books. 
On Christmas morning, the first thing Emily wanted to check was if Santa had eaten the cookies we had set out for him. She was thrilled that he had. We assured her that we left him a note to come in through the door instead of through the chimney! Emily kept saying all season that she didn't want Santa to go down the chimney. "He might get burned!" 

Emily and Caleb's gifts from Santa and Mom and Dad.

I love this photo of my sweet girl. She had asked for a ballerina doll for weeks. I was so happy when I found this beautiful Corolle doll. We also got her a ballerina costume. Hopefully, we will start ballet lessons during the new year. She is really into that right now.

Christmas morning with my sweeties.
Jeremy and I hosted Christmas brunch at our house. Don, Jennifer and Elizabeth came over around 11 am. (Nancy worked at the hospital.) We had breakfast casserole, hashbrown casserole, cinnamon rolls, and fruit salad. I set the table with my good china and Pottery Barn reindeer plates. It was a pretty table and good food, if I do say so myself! They stayed for a few hours and then went home for rest time (EB's nap.) Our kids were able to play with toys (Emily) and then take naps. It was nice to have a few hours at home.

After naptime, we headed across town to Don and Nancy's house for Christmas dinner. We enjoyed another good meal and then we started opening gifts. It must have been 8pm or later before we even started opening gifts and I told Jeremy there was no way we would finish it all in one night unless we stayed until midnight. I was right. We left after 10 pm and we weren't finished. I think Emily got to bed at 11 pm that night. It was a great day, filled with food, family, and fun. Our family received many thoughtful gifts. We are always thankful for the gift giving and receiving, but we are most thankful to just be together, happy and healthy, with the ones we love.

Cuddle time with Dinkney

Matching fedoras for the little tots!

This was one of Emily's favorite gifts--Fisher Price's Little People Princess Castle.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

December Fun

The holidays are so busy. It is especially busy with two little ones. However, this was the first time in years that I was not working during Christmas because I was on maternity leave. I found it much easier to finish my shopping, wrapping, baking, and decorating when I could do it a little bit at a time. It was also more enjoyable. I usually get very stressed and anxious every year during December, but this year was much better. Most of my shopping was done online this year. The rest I finished with morning trips to stores after dropping off Emily at preschool. It wasn't always easy with Caleb in tow, but easier than shopping with two! Also, Jeremy and I enjoyed one evening out for dinner and shopping without the kids. That was fun because Jeremy and I almost never shop together. It literally felt weird to walk through Target together! Also, it was fun to shop that evening because we had won $150 in Target gift cards that week from Jeremy's work party. We also won a $50 Amazon card that we used to purchase a Corolle ballerina doll and doll highchair for Emily.

Here's some December highlights and I will follow up with a separate post for Christmas when I can.

Photo Shoot #1 for Christmas Card. Caleb crying; Emily looking angelic, but in reality we were having to bribe her like crazy to hold her brother.

Photo Shoot #2, take about 100. This was as good as we could get! It was incredibly frustrating to try to get a photo of these two at home for our baby announcement/Christmas card! 

Poppy and Emmy at Galt House Hotel Downtown

Family photo at Galt House

Em and Pop in front of one of the Kalightoscope horses

Don and Nancy met us at the Galt House for about an hour before they worked a show next door at the Kentucky Center. The Galt House is always so beautifully decorated for Christmas. Later, Jeremy, Caleb, Emily and I took a walk down 4th street to see the huge tree at 4th street Live and enjoy the Christmas lights downtown. It was a pleasant evening to walk. We finished up with dinner at Bristol. Overall, it was a successful family outing!

We went to Bowling Green for Maddie's first birthday party December 8th.

Kids' table

Some of Becca's handiwork. Aren't they adorable?

Uncle Stephen and Emmy at Dad's surprise party.

Love this precious photo of Dad and Caleb

Aunt Becca and Silly Emily 

Enjoying a 60th birthday celebration with Pop at Olive Garden

Dec. 23: Celebrating my birthday with Caleb

Mom, Dad, and Memommy drove to Louisville to surprise me for my birthday!

I will also remember that 2012 was the first year I was able to attend Jeremy's Leapfrog work party with him. (Emily had been sick last year and I couldn't go.) We won $200 in prizes at the party! 

We started the family tradition of using an advent calendar to count down days until Christmas. I read a scripture every day to Emily that was tucked into the corresponding day and then she got some kind of small treat such as a small piece of candy, or a Christmas library book (or new one). Emily and I both enjoyed the advent calendar. 

We spent lots of time with Jen and Elizabeth while they were in town visiting. 

I took Emily and Caleb to the Bass Pro Shop's Christmas Wonderland which included all kinds of free stuff such as remote control trains, cars, a carousel, coloring time, Santa (Emily still has no interest in setting on Santa's lap.) We had just as much fun walking around in the store to see the huge aquarium and animals as we did in the Christmas section.

Jeremy, Emily and I enjoyed a fun party at the Ryan's new home. They threw a huge party! There must have been 50+ people there. We enjoyed a night out with just our big girl. Throughout the season, we loved looking at all the beautiful Christmas lights while driving. Emily especially loved the special effort that our neighbors made to make their home beautiful. 

We made many wonderful memories at home and during the Christmas season.