Seth, Benjamin and I spent the week before Christmas in snowy Steamboat, Colorado on a family vacation! We had a wonderful time - Benjamin amazes me each day with his ability to "go with the flow" of things...he was his happy, bubbly, bouncing self throughout the trip (including traveling - with a three hour layover in Denver). We arrived in Steamboat late Tuesday afternoon and after settling in at our hotel (The Inn at Steamboat - the staff was amazingly accomodating and the suite we had was very nice), we went downtown to get dinner. I loved the shops, restaurants, snow, chill in the air - everything...and that is saying alot, because I am not a cold-weather vacation girl (put me on a beach with a book any day). We went skiing the next two days (Benjamin in our heavy duty backpack - thanks Grandpa Stan)...and....Ben LOVED it!! He was laughing, kicking his legs, babbling, etc... the whole way down the mountain. All of the locals thought he was the cutest ("right on!" they would tell us when they learned we had brought him skiing) baby in his new puppy dog hat. We went into town each night for dinner and a little shopping; we had no schedule, which I really enjoyed, and Ben was ok with that. Just a random thought here -> Ben's hair was straight as a board the whole time there (no humidity), but it curled up as soon as we got back in LC.
The last two days we played in the snow, did some more shopping and just hung out until we had to catch our plane.
On the way home, we had a little rumble (small disagreement) with some Penn State fans at an airport restaurant in Denver (Geaux Tigers!), and Ben woke up scared twice on our late night flight back into Houston...but all in all, we had a great time! Things could not have been better, except for a Saints win. We spent Saturday night in Houston at the Reiser's house and drove home on Sunday. It feels good to be back home, but I sure do miss seeing white on the ground and in the trees....I am dreaming of a white Christmas!
Sunday, December 27, 2009
Three cousins in the bath...the water was green (Virginia's pick) b/c of the fizzy bath tablets
Virginia the duck
Ben the bear
Owen the frog
Virginia and Owen
group Christmas shot
We celebrated Christmas with Emily, Jason, my mom and the kids on Saturday...The kids always have such a good time playing together! They danced, sang, rolled balls around the room, "traded" toys, and pushed Owen around in Benjamin's new Radio Flyer coupe. After some yummy gumbo and presents (Seth and Jason got each other the exact same thing - it was very funny), we got a group shot in their matching t-shirts...then it was off to the bathtub for a bath (read more playing). Then all the kids played with Benjamin's trains and jumped on his bed before it was time for the Turner family to leave. Today we watched the Saints game (Who Dat?!) with them at Jason's house. We love spending time with Em, Jason and the kids - we are very blessed to have them close enough to visit on a regular basis.
Monday, December 21, 2009
2 days old
1 YEAR OLD!!!
It is hard to imagine that it has been a full year since the night you were born. What a joyful, wonderful year!!! We can remember holding you in the hospital and thinking to ourselves, "we get to bring him home!" Once we got home, it took us almost ten minutes to change your diaper - we were so careful because you were so little, little and so were the buttons on your outfit! We loved to read "On the Night You Were Born" and imagine you watching the polar bears sleeping at the zoo and thinking that they had been dancing all night for YOU!!!
We loved you more than anything else since the moment we laid eyes on you (and before that even, when you were in mommy's stomach). You have grown up so quickly, amazing us with all of your accomplishments and "firsts" - smile, coo, sitting up, rolling over, crawling, clapping, touchdown sign, standing, first steps, eating, and the list goes on and on...we are so proud! Mommy remembers sitting in the rocking chair with you one night, smelling your baby scent and feeling your hair on my lips and thinking, "there is absolutely nothing better than this feeling right now...God is so great!"
You are such a happy, easy-going baby; you are flexible and adapt to new places, people, schedules, food, anything pretty easily. You LOVE balls, balloons, puppy dogs, trains, trucks, your pacifier, and music...you always are bouncing to an imaginary song, and most mornings you sing to mommy in a wonderful high-pitch voice when you are happy. You love to play with daddy, crawling all over him and letting him throw you high into the air. You love to swim - both in the pool and in the bathtub; you love going outside, whether it be for a walk or to run errands with mommy. You are crazy about Gracie the puppy dog...and don't worry, she will warm up to you (treats are the trick, Ben). You have many little friends you play with regularly, as well as two great cousins. You are loved by family and friends - you have lots and lots of people who adore you!
As this year turns into next, we cannot wait to see what you will do, what you will say, what you will look like...You are a precious gift from God, and we are still so grateful that He let us keep you! We love you, sweet baby boy - Happy Birthday!!
Mommy and Daddy
Monday, December 14, 2009
Benjamin with his new hat rocking on his puppy dog
Baby Owen and Giannna in the ball pit
First birthday cake
Benjamin's smash cake
I wrote this post about a week ago, right after Ben's birthday party...due to (once again) technical difficulties, I didn't get a chance to post before we left for vacation. So I will be posting vacation pictures soon too.
My sweet, adorable baby boy had his first birthday party this weekend (we actually turn one on December 23rd). WE had lots of little friends and family show up - and I feel like we had a pretty smooth time (thanks to the balloons and the balls)...everyone ate, sang Happy Birthday, had cake, and then opened presents and played with the wonderful toys (my sister thinks I was brave to open presents, but I am just naive). Benjamin was too funny with his cake - he started out like most kids I have seen (the one finger in the icing method) and stuck with it for a while...then he decided he needed bigger quantities of cake and icing, so he lifted the little cake platter (thanks Aunt Malinda!) and put it up to his face so that he could bite off chunks of cake!!! Then he decided that lifting the plate was too hard, so he just stuck his head down in the cake (his cousin Virginia gave him that tip!). I loved every second of it! I also think we might have diverted a tiny disaster, because I put M&M's on his cake (keeping up with my polka dot theme, of course)...and my sister started telling me that her friend's baby choked on a gumball on her first cake and they had to give her the Heimlich...I rushed to the cake and started mining for M&M's...got them all! Thanks Em!
What a great day!! Thanks everyone for making Benjamin's first birthday party a success!!! We are headed to Colorado tomorrow morning to bring Benjamin skiing - we will be back before Christmas with lots of pictures and hopefully fun stories of Benjamin in the snow. And no stories of me and a tree (those who know my first ski story will understand). I have been trying to download the video of Ben eating his cake, but it must be too long or something...if you want it, let me know and I will email it to you.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Paw-Paw blindfolded as his guests await...
First look...shock, disbelief...
Waiting for Paw-Paw Tony...
OK - To answer Kales and Maria's question...finally! This past weekend we celebrated my Paw-Paw's 80th birthday with a surprise party in Alexandria at my Aunt Duby's house. There were over 50 people there, from all stages of my grandfather's life - his hunting buddy when he was young, his teacher from grammar school, cousins, grand kids, daughters, sons, great-grand kids, etc...all with great stories and fond memories.
My family has been planning this for months now, and my Paw-Paw had no clue. It was disguised as our annual family Christmas party...to begin at 2:30 pm on Saturday. My aunt has been busy working on decorations, invitations, RSVP cards, etc... the past few weeks, and each day my Paw-Paw would call to come over and visit - she would have to tell him that she was busy, not home, etc...so that he would not see the surprises.
Finally on Saturday he got antsy...he called and said he was coming over early and would just wait for everyone to get there for the Christmas party...My aunt freaked out, so she told him that Jason (Emily's husband) got called to the hospital and was working late so the party would be pushed back to 4:30 or 5 pm. She told my Paw-Paw to come around 2:15 pm (the actual surprise party started at 2) ---pretty clever. He was not having it, though, and still wanted to come early. Our Grandma Betty (Paw-Paw's wife) was trying very hard to make excuses, errands, etc.. to keep him from going to my aunt's house. He was getting irritated and upset - we finally had to tell him that we had a surprise for him and if he came early, he would spoil it. He seemed satisfied...but I know he couldn't imagine such a surprise gathering.
When Paw-Paw showed up at the house (blindfolded), the guests were all gathered outside..we shouted, "Surprise!" and we sang"For He's a Jolly Good Fellow". He was shocked, touched, surprised, and about to cry all wrapped up into one moment. As he worked his way through the crowd greeting old friends and family, I could tell he was overwhelmed by it all. Aunt Duby and the rest of the family did a terrific job of showing Paw-Paw just how special he is.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAW-PAW!!! We love you so much and are so blessed to have you in our lives to add humor, wisdom, and faith.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
SNOW!!! Benjamin in his new snowsuit with marinara sauce on his face left over from dinner.