Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Hipp Christmas

Whew!!! This was an exciting and busy month!
From Lincoln's arrival Dec 1st, till my parent's and brother Michael's departure tomorrow, it feels like we've been going nonstop. But in the best ways! We have had some wonderful time with my family on multiple visits, time with Larry's family and extended family, and all the holiday fun we could manage! I'll try to hit the highlights here:

Christmas morning was special with the four of us opening presents in our Christmas pj's in our house. Georgia, being the expert present-opener she is, opened them for all of us- hers, mine, larry's and lincoln's! Aren't they too cute in their pj's?!

Next, we headed to Nana's house (larry's mom) to open presents with her, Heather, Jonathan & Tyler. Georgia was SO spoiled this year! She got so many fun new things- most of which make some kind of noise! Larry has already been going thru the new toys, finding ways to block/cut off/muffle their noiseboxes! Kids make enuf noise on their own that I don't really think it's fair that all their toys have to be noisy too. And Lincoln just enjoyed snuggling with everyone.

Then we joined the Phelps for Christmas lunch with Sandy's family. The meal was delicious and it was great to get to spend part of our Christmas day with good friends. Georgia adopted Sandy's dad, "Papa Go", and they played, played and played, and also shared fudge pie! And, once again, Lincoln spent his time getting passed from one snuggle to the next!

Christmas night Grandpa Albert (larry's dad) came over and Georgia opened even MORE presents! He got her a Sit n Spin, which larry said every kid has to have until he realized the new Sit n Spins have constant music that plays with no on/off switch! It was one of the first "noisy toy" to get "modified", but Georgia still loves it!

That night, the Rodebush's came to town!

A Houseful of Fun

Our Christmas fun continued with my parents and brother Michael arriving Christmas Day (thurs) night and brother Wesley and girlfriend Jen arriving Friday afternoon. We enjoyed a big Christmas dinner Friday night, and opened even more presents! Georgia showed off her present-opening skills and delighted all with her strategic "ooohs" and "ahhhs" as she opened each gift. Favorites include a remote control yellow school bus and a babydoll with carseat carrier, among many (many) more presents.

The rest of the visit has been great with lots of good eating, playing games, watching movies, bowling and laser tag outings, and some shopping. Georgia, of course, has loved the extra attention and playing with her uncles. She has been following Michael around everywhere, wanting piggy-back rides and playing hide n seek. Jen cooked for us one night and made an awesome meal of meatloaf, twice-baked potatoes and asparagus. Everyone has pitched in with taking care of the kiddos, with feedings, diapers, cooking and even laundry. It's been great, not only just for the help, but also so Larry and I could spend more time together and with everyone else.
Uncle Michael is Georgia's buddy!
Wes & Jen with the kiddos...
Wes & Georgia- jumping! Can you see both of their feet off the ground together?!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas, Mommy

I just had to take a moment and share some things I'm thankful for this Christmas Eve day...
Swings and paci's...

and Color Wonder markers!

The markers were supposed to be one of Georgia's gifts, but I got desperate this morning as my to-do list sat untouched and company coming tomorrow! They were still unwrapped, if that makes a difference (which also shows you how behind I am on that to-do list!). If you don't know about Color Wonder markers, they color only on the special book they come with- not on clothes, carpet, furniture, dogs or baby brothers, which makes them perfect for Georgia! And I'll report that they've kept her busy for about 1 hour now!! :)

Phelps Christmas 2008

Every year we enjoy a "Christmas" night with our dear friends Matt & Sandy. This year was pretty low-key as we're still adjusting to having a newborn in the house, and we just ordered pizza and had some yummy cupcakes Sandy made. Georgia was anticipating their coming over all day, saying "Say-ee" (Sandy) and Matt (one of the first names she ever said clearly). She loved the part of the evening with presents and did a great job, tearing off the paper with gusto and ooo-ing and ahhing. 'Aunt' Sandy & 'Uncle' Matt always do a great job of spoiling her! :) I can't wait till their own little boy comes in Feb b/c they're going to be great parents! (AND we'll get to repay them with lots of fun toys that make noise! ;)

Uncle Matt has his arms full of little hippos!

Georgia's very own phone!
What kid doesn't want a direct line to Elmo?!

Yea!! A cute pink outfit that's "so soff"!

...that she immediately tried on, over her clothes!

Thanks, Phelps, for another fun Christmas and a great year together. I love that we continue to share each other's joys, surprises and challenges. Thank you for your friendship, most of all. We're looking forward to an exciting 2009!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

True Joy with Emily Joy Designs

I have to give a blog-shout out to Emily Joy Gresham of Emily Joy Designs. She is a photographer that was recommended to me by friend Brooke Chamblee. She has a fairly new photography business, but is gaining experience fast as word spreads of her great work.
I had been wanting to do some pictures with newborn Lincoln and of our new family of four, to use for Christmas cards (coming soon to a mailbox near you!) and to have as portraits. This sweet, so-tiny, wrinkly newborn stage passes so quick and I wanted to try to capture it. She got some beautiful pictures, despite having to work with a busy, whiny 20-month old, a hungry newborn, and our messy house. Yes-she even came to us!
She is very reasonably priced- $50 includes her sitting fee and a cd of all pictures. She does a lot of pictures at the botanical gardens too. And, I love the music on her website! :) I recommend her to you! (She also did the picture that's now the header of our blog & the family picture)

Here are few of my favorites:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Grandad Time

Mom & Dad switched spots and Dad was here to help us for a few days. I really appreciate how they split their visits to extend our help! It just made life so much easier to have full-time, live-in help for Georgia for our first 2 1/2 weeks home with a newborn. It gave me time to adjust and Georgia some extra-special attention during this transition.
Grandad gets a snuggle with Georgia & Lincoln

We had a list of projects around the house for dad, since we know he likes to keep busy when here, but I think he only got to a few of them. Georgia did a pretty good job of filling his days and the rest of the time he was gracious to help with the more mundane stuff like laundry, cooking dinner, grocery shopping and bottle washing. He also took Georgia on walks, played outside with her, and he & Larry took Georgia to the McWane Science Center to see the train exhibit and play with their many things to play with!
Georgia & Grandad do a duet on the giant piano at McWane

Thanks again, dad, & we're looking forward to having you and the rest of the family here next week for Christmas!

Grandad's baby girl, all sweet and clean out of the bath!

Lincoln enjoys some special time with his Grandad

Friday, December 12, 2008

Grammie Time

It has been such a blessing having my mom here the last two weeks. She flew in pronto when I went into labor with Lincoln, and has been taking care of us, and especially Georgia, ever since. While it's been wonderful having someone taking care of things like dinner, laundry and feeding the dog, the best has been the extra-special attention she's given Georgia. And while we know we may have some Grammie-detox to do with Georgia after she leaves, it'll be worth it because I know they both have truly loved this time together.
Thanks so much and we love you, Momasita!

Here's a glimpse of the fun:
Making sugar cookies...

and a gingerbread house- Georgia wanted to taste all the gumdrops before putting them on the house!

Watching the FL v. AL game and snuggling with brother!

Riding the reindeer at the carousel in the mall!

Little elves ready for shopping!

We trade grandparents tomorrow, dropping mom off at the airport and picking up my dad. He'll be here thru Wednesday to extend our help and, of course, play with Georgia. We're all looking forward to it!
And, of course, here are some more pictures of our sweet boy :)
Lincoln: One Week Old!
Our sweet little boy
Kisses from big sister
Snoozin on daddy

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Home with Lincoln

It feels great to be home! We got home late Wednesday and spent the last two days just getting settled. Larry went back to work since Grammie is here to help with Georgia. Georgia's enjoyed having the special attention, which is nice for me so I can focus on remembering what to do with a newborn! Nobody tells you that just because you've done this before doesn't mean you have all the answers the 2nd time! Lincoln has generally been a good boy, except he is either scared of the dark or unhappy with the firmness of his bassinet mattress, because he's spent the first two nights crying from about 12-4am. But overall we're doing great- he's eating well, and generally being sweet the rest of the time.
So far I have to think Georgia is at a great age to be getting a little brother. She's really self-involved enough at this age that this really hasn't affected her, in her mind. She'll want to come see brother, give him a kiss and pat on the head, and then she's on to find something else to do! But he's really not even on her radar. She's spent much more time on her baby-doll, strapping her into the swing, putting diapers on her and wiping her off, and carrying her around in her new baby-carrier that straps baby to her chest, like a Bjorn. (Thanks, aunt Karen!!)
Georgia gets to hold "brother"
I love how she smooshed his face in close for kisses!
I am thankful for how the Lord has sustained me with energy and patience. It seems you get a much-needed dose of both upon arriving home with a newborn. I've been so thankful for mom and Larry's help as we get settled into a feeding schedule that allows little time for sleep! But I'm also amazed on how the days are already slipping by- tomorrow Lincoln will be a week old and it still seems amazing that he's here. We're just trying to soak it all in as it goes by!
The Hipp boys hanging out at home!
Lincoln's first bath at home!