Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Moose and Squirrel

Remember when Emily and I were pregnant at the same time with the same due date?

Then she had her baby first, but I had a better birth story.

Well since then we've been pretty lucky to see each other once a month almost exactly a month apart even though she lives about 5 hours away from us.  It's been fun to compare the boys and see how much they've changed and grown.  
One month old, 10/23

Two Months Old, Thanksgiving

And finally, here's the best comparison picture yet
3 Months Old, Christmas Day

My sister was in town so we went to the same ward for Christmas and had a little photo shoot with our guys in the mother's room.  Henry is only 9 days older than Cody and he is about twice the size.  Her little man is just adorable and amazing.  He's got the cutest little chunky rolls and is already trying to sit up on his own.  You just barely have to hold his waist and he can hold himself up balanced perfectly.  Cody in this picture only weighs 12 lbs and compared to Henry is a busy little boy.  He kept flailing about while we were trying to take the pictures.  Our dad calls Henry hoss.  I prefer to think of them as Moose and Squirrel.  

As I thought about how great it's been that we've seen each other so much recently I got really excited thinking about the future of these two little guys.  I don't know, perhaps it's because they are wearing their tie onesies that our Mom made them, but I'm really hoping we have another picture like this when they both get baptized at the same time, and then it would be really awesome if we got a third picture of them like this at their Missionary going away party.  

This really is a lot of fun because it feels like twins, but I only have to take care of one of them!  





Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Christmas 2011, Schwartz Style



Our Schwartz family tradition is for everyone to gather at Ma and Pa Schwartz's house on whatever our Schwartzmas Eve is, have dinner, play, dawn our Christmas jammies and watch a Christmas movie together, then everyone stays the night so we can get up and open presents in the morning.  This year, Sarah was old enough to sleep in the rec room with the boys.  I didn't have high hopes for these sleeping arrangements, especially when Ma Schwartz excitedly showed me the adorable princess sleeping bag she bought for Sarah to use.  (Sarah still sleeps in a crib.  Freedom and mobility at bed time is the last milestone I want to get to.)  So we pragmatically rolled the pack and play into the rec room also.  After watching Elf (and Sarah repeatedly asking to "watch a pat pat show" instead) it was time for bed.  The moment of truth.  Chris and I took her up to the rec room and showed her the sleeping bag and asked if she wanted to sleep there.  She pointed to the pack and play and said "I want this".  That's my girl!  So we plopped her in and laid her down.  I think she could sense the boys were still down stairs having fun so Grandma had to go up and reassure her.  After that she quickly fell asleep and later the boys snuck in without waking her so it actually turned out ok.  I really thought she would stay up all night trying to play with her boys.  Sarah's had a cold so in the morning H1 said the funniest thing.  He told Grandma that "Sarah sure is cute during the day, but she snores at night."  Love it!
H1, H2, and H4 with Cody and Grandma showing off their Christmas jammies


In the morning, I think everyone was up by 7:30 and ready to open presents.  The boys played Santa and passed out the gifts.  Sarah was very excited, though I think she was more excited about all the commotion rather than the prospect of getting presents.




In standard Schwartz style the kids were spoiled to death.  Sarah got a new doll that has outfits she can change into.  Some adorable shirts and jammies, and while the box was labeled for Sarah, I'm pretty sure the Duplo legos she got were actually for Chris.

Cody also got some pretty handsome outfits, cute new jammies, and an adorable rattler tool set.  

Tuckered out from all the good times.

The big boys, and by big boys I mean the grown men, not the Hs, got RC helicopters for Christmas.  They had a blast trying to figure out how to fly those things.  Sarah was having a great time watching them zip around the room.  Until one crash landed in her hair.
Luckily grandpa saved the day and got the helicopter out of Sarah's hair.  

We all had a great time, but I think the MVP of Schwartz Christmas this year was the Coco-latte Machine I borrowed from Annie.  It was AMAZING!  It made the creamiest, most delicious hot chocolate I've ever had.  And it kept it warm and fresh all day as it continually churned it every so often.  Plus it had a froth and dispense button so you could choose if you wanted your hot cocoa frothy at the top or not.  We're definitely going to have to invest in one of those for all future cold weather gatherings.  




Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Sarah's 2

Sarah, you are 2 years old now and have become so grown up.  It is crazy to think that 12 months ago you wouldn't walk without holding our hands and now I have to wrestle with you to get you to hold my hand when we're walking in a parking lot.  You amaze me every single day!

You're quite the chatter box and you talk all the time.  It seems like every day you have new words in your vocabulary and have started repeating things we say to you.  Not all of your words are intelligible but everything you say means something to you.

You have an active imagination and are so much fun to play with.  You're little people have conversations.  They go on adventures and need to look out of the windows.  Your bath toys hop and splash.  You hide things under cups and ask "where did it go" so you can unveil whatever it is and announce "ta da!".

You've begun to play with friends instead of just in the same room as them.  You recognize your friends houses like Jessie and Elsie Tate and Grandma's house where you want to play with your boys.  When we pull up you announce whose house it is and say "yea!"

Your appetite comes and goes.  Some days you eat really well, others you don't eat at all.  I don't really stress about it.  However we seem to be in a bit of a rut which I've created for you on my own.  Daddy and I still eat after you go to bed so you're not learning to eat what we eat for dinner.  We're going to try really hard this next year to break that habit.  Right now your favorite foods are pizza and crackers.  You ask for those all the time.  Yogurt is also another popular choice.  You like to ask for yogurt or applesauce after you finish your lunch and/or dinner.

You watch more tv then I really like for you to but with a fussy little brother sometimes it's just easier that way.  You're constantly asking to "watch show.  what a pat pat show." and then will ask "where's the white remote" because you've learned that's the one that controls the tv (as opposed to the black one for the dvd player.)

Since you love tv so much for your birthday we took you to your first movie in the theater.  We saw the Muppet Movie.  It's been out for a little while and we went to a matinee so we had the theater all to ourselves.  You did a really good job and seemed to enjoy it.  It was a nice special treat for your special day.

You are a good, sweet, funny girl.  You like to give hugs and kisses and when you want to cuddle you say, "I hold you".  You think tickling and being tickled is the funniest thing in the entire world.  You are sweet to your brother and include him in our tickle fests.

You had another great year and I'm so excited to see how you grow in this upcoming year.  We've got a lot of big things to tackle like potty training and moving into a big girl bed.  You'll be able to play more with the best friend we made for you.  You're vocabulary is going to continue growing!  And by the end of this year you'll be out of nursery and start 2013 off in Primary!  Just thinking about how much you're going to grow this year is a mixed bag of missing my baby girl and being so proud of my big girl who just keeps getting bigger.  We love you Sarah!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Cody's 3 Months Old



Cody you're now 3 months old.  A quarter of a way into your first year.  Wahoo!  I know most people love the newborn phase but I'm not a big fan; so I'm counting down till we get to the fun stuff like sitting up, eating real food, crawling, playing with your sister.  I figure we have about 3 more months before we really hit our stride as a parent/child team.

* You've been on Prevacid for a month now.  It was a little tricky at first.  We started it the week we went out of town for Thanksgiving and whether it was a need to build up in your system or traveling that threw you off you didn't gain any weight that week and in fact you lost 3 ounces which is quite a bit for a little dude like yourself.  Now you seem to be back on track and you weigh 12 lbs.
*  While the prevacid was supposed to increase your appetite, I haven't seen that.  We've started pumping and giving you a bottle at night to help supplement and also to maybe get you to sleep longer in the evening.  When offered 5 ounces, you only drink 2-2.5 of them.  Sometimes you refuse to latch on to me at all and I have to pump and immediately offer you that bottle.  It's frustrating, but as long as you're gaining weight it's worth it.
*  Since we started you on the meds your projectile vomiting as been at a minimum and you seem to cry less.  The evening is still a difficult time for you.  You get cranky around 4, start crying around 5 and typically don't stop until you pass out at 7:30.
*  You smile a lot now and love to coo and talk to anyone who will talk to you.  You are a huge flirt and your favorite person to flirt with at church has to be Annie.  Anytime she comes near you you give her huge smiles and lots of coos.
*  You have finally noticed your sister, Sarah, and you LOVE her.  I'm serious, she lights up your whole face.  It makes me so happy to see that even at this age you guys are already bonding.  One cranky evening while daddy was giving her a bath I walked in there with you crying.  The minute you saw her you stopped mid wail and just smiled at her.
*  You sit pretty well in your bumbo, although you don't like to be in it for an extended period of time.
*  You rolled over for the first time on 12/19.  You rolled from front to back.  It was a complete and total accident but it still counts!
*  You started reaching for your hanging toys on your toy mat for the first time today!

*  You are very alert and love to look around the room, watch people, but most of all you love to watch tv.  
*  You drool a TON and blow bubbles with your spit and are constantly chewing on your hands.

You are a sweet baby boy and everyone loves having you in our family.  We can't wait to see how you grow in this next month.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Meeting Santa

Sarah's never met Santa.  I'm not anti-Santa.  But I'm not overly Santa.  At this point she's too young to get it so I still have some time to decide on how much of a roll Santa will play.  But we didn't take her to meet Santa last year because we took her to Disney World and given the choice, I'd much rather meet the mouse!

Really, I just don't want to go wait in the line at the mall.  I know you can meet Santa at Bass Pro, but when we tried that there was a 2 hour wait!  We thought she's meet Santa at Zoo Lights but that didn't happen.  So I was really thankful that the chiropractor I go to is so family friendly because he had a Meet and Greet with Santa.

I couldn't wait to see how she reacted and I'll tell you it was a little anti-climatic.  Santa was upstairs in the physical therapy area where Sarah plays while I do my PT so she was completely in her comfort zone.  She sees some new dude up there and just walked right up to him like it wasn't a big deal.  He reached out and she let him pick her up and put her on his lap.  Sarah really doesn't know a stranger.  She sat there pleasantly even though she wouldn't look so we could get a decent picture of her smiling.  She didn't really get the concept of what to talk to him about but she said hi and thank you when he gave her a candy cane.  (That we promptly took away before she could figure out that it was edible.)

It was nice that she didn't scream and cry and I'm glad she finally got the chance to meet Santa.

(Even Cody won't cooperate and look at the camera.  Oi vey!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Schwartz's vs The Very Merry Deco-mesh-mas

So I know I'm late to jump on the Decomesh bandwagon but I got a front row ticket for it this year.  In my defense, I fell in love with the stuff last year but didn't know what it was called or where to find it.  I searched and searched, and read blog after blog, but it wasn't until Pinterest that I learned what the stuff was called, where I could buy it, and how to make things with it.

The first two things I made with it were wreaths for my sister and me to hang after we had our babies.


Then Christmas came and I couldn't find the colors I wanted at Hobby Lobby.  Resigned to order from some place online and pay astronomical shipping fees I geared up for what I wanted to do and pinned wreaths, garlands, and bows so I could deco-mesh-arate.  As fate would have it I happened to be at Hobby Lobby one night when they were restocking the mesh.  I fell on top of those boxes like a fat kid into a chocolate river.  And then I went to town creating a number of masterpieces.  

First, my mom wanted matching wreaths to hang on either side of her garage.
I can't take complete credit for these.  I only did the mesh.  Mom went and added the ornaments and the sparkly pick on her own.  I already know for next year we need to change the ribbon since you can't see it.  While I was lucky enough to get mesh at Hob Lob in Memphis, the ribbon was already over picked and there weren't very good choices for what I wanted to accomplish.

Then, while we were in Mason for Thanksgiving, my sister-in-law asked me to make her a wreath.  We went to pick out the stuff and I was in Hobby Lobby heaven!  First because their Hob Lob was huge!  And second, because mesh must not be popular yet because they had plenty and tons of cute ribbon and other accessories.  Here is the one I made for her.  I think it was probably my favorite.

Then we came home and I was able to make a few things for my house.  I made a bow for the mail box.
And a big wreath that lights up at night for above the front bedroom window.


But the favorite thing I made for my house was garland for around the front door.  This year was step one for the garland, just the mesh and lights.  Next year I plan to add bobbles like big ornaments and a matching wreath for the door maybe.  I actually planned on making the matching red and green wreath this year, but ran out of mesh and Hob Lob was absolutely sold out.  One of the ladies I asked said the warehouse was out of it so they wouldn't get anymore in.



I also made one other red/white plaid wreath for a friend.  But I failed to take a picture before I gave it away.  Hopefully I can get them to snap a shot and send it to me so I can share it here.

I love decorating for Christmas!  Don't you?






Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Decking the Halls

So I added a wreath above the front bedroom window but haven't bothered to go out and take a picture of it.  

It has been 2 years since we decorated for Christmas.  Two years ago I was pregnant with Sarah and just didn't have the energy and last year we went to FL for Christmas so we didn't decorate at all.  We didn't even buy a tree.  

So this year, courtesy of Pinterest I found tons of good ideas and went to decorating heaven.  We made one too many trips to walmart and hobby lobby.  
Frosty here is from Pinterest.


Chris took the day off work to decorate.  I was supposed to keep Sarah and the kids inside but it was such a beautiful day we had to go outside and help daddy.  Sarah was so cute!  She immediately went over and started trying to help Chris.  She was handing him stakes.  And going and getting him other things he'd ask for.

Then she had him explain to her how to put the stakes in and she tried to do it herself.

Finally she crawled into his lap and started explaining to me how to do the lights.  She told me, "it go here.  Then push.  tada!" 

That evening my parents were in town for a youth temple trip and they helped us decorate the tree while Sarah was sleeping.  She woke up to find a tree in her living room.  It was a little anti-climatic.  There were no instant ooohs and ahhhhhs.  She's not really a morning person.  She has to have her milk first thing in the morning before she'll be pleasant.  So after she finished her milk then she got off the couch and started inspecting the tree.  I think she likes it.  She pointed out the different ornaments.  And quickly learned "no touch!".  So we haven't had any problems with her messing with it.

My most favorite and prized Christmas decoration are our stockings.  Grandma Pat (my dad's mother) has made a stocking for every member of the Smith family.  It started with her own 5 children.  Then when they married she made one for their spouses.  Then as they started having children she made them for her grandkids.  When I got married, mom gave me mine.  And that same Christmas we got the most wonderful package in the mail: Chris got his stocking.  Last year, when we were in FL grandma gave me Sarah's.  And now I check the mail every day waiting for Cody's to arrive.  I can't imagine Christmas without our stockings.  Every year when we get them out I think about how I need to learn how to do this so that when my kids are grown and having kids of their own they'll each have a Smith family stocking.  I am so thankful for Grandma Pat doing this for everyone.  I'm not quite sure how many she's made.  I've lost count of how many of us there are including cousins and now cousins having kids.  But if I had to guess I would put the number at somewhere between 40-50.  I know I'm not doing a great job explaining how special these stockings are.  I have such fond memories of FL Christmases with all of our stocking hung together.  I just hope that my children cherish them as much as I do.  
(This is all of the David Smith's clan of stockings from last FL Christmas in 2010.)

Finally, we took Sarah to pick out her first ornament for the tree.  I was sure she would pick a Mickey or Minnie Mouse one but she zeroed in on the Winnie the Pooh ornaments.  There were 4 for her to choose from and we handed them to her 2 at a time until she settled on the one with Pooh eating from a honey pot.  It actually worked out perfectly because one of the baby's first Christmas ornament this year was a Pooh one.  And I picked a snowman ornament for our family ornament.  If Chris had his way our family ornament would have been the Slave I, Boba Fett's ship.  I'm glad he agreed on the snowman ornament.  

However, as much as he loves her Winnie the Pooh ornament, and she points it out every day.  She's equally enjoying her Elf, Oliver.  Every morning she looks to find his new hiding spot and tells him good morning.

And she especially loves her Little People nativity set.  She plays with it every day.  About 5 minutes after I put it back on the desk she wants me to get it back down so she can play some more.
It was definitely a smart purchase.  She loves it!



Monday, November 28, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Thanksgiving 2011

This Thanksgiving we all gathered at Pete and Elizabeth's in Mason, OH to celebrate.  It was fantastic.  (The 9 hour drive with a colicky 2 month old, not so fantastic.  However, we invested in a dvd player for the car for Sarah and she was great the whole way there and back.)

I think sometimes I get a little bummed that my family moved away from Memphis.  I can't just drop in and see them like I can the Schwartz family.  But this Thanksgiving I realized how lucky we are that we live close enough together that we can gather once a year and spend time with everyone all under the same roof.  Plus, Mason is one cool town so we'll gladly let Pete and Elizabeth host Thanksgiving every year if they want!  (No really, please!)

Pete with his kitchen power tool

Have you ever heard of a Turducen?  We had only heard of it in legends until Pete saw one at his grocery store.  We were amazed to know they actually exsisted!  It's a turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken.  So we knew we had to try it.  It was pretty good.  Elizabeth also made a huge and amazing traditional turkey.  We had so much food one of their neighbors who was going over to their family's house let us use their oven to do some of our cooking.

Tur-duc-en




Sarah had a really great time!  And Logan was so good to her.  He was patient and sweet.  He shared his toys and crayons and didn't get upset when she ran around claiming all of his stuff as her own.  (She's going through the "mine!" stage.)  She raided his room and immediately fell in love with his Woody and Jessie dolls.  We heard her pulling those strings for at least an hour after we put her in bed.  Then Elizabeth was sweet enough to send Sarah home with a ton of toys that Logan has outgrown.  

Elizabeth even did Sarah's hair while we were there.  It looked adorable!  Of course getting a decent picture of Sarah is pretty much impossible so this feat has gone undocumented. 



Cody is such a handsome little dude.  But there's one thing I've learned at this family gathering.  When given the choice between holding a happy chunky baby, and a crying little guy.  Everyone picks to hold Henry.  Oh well, at least Cody's handsome.  And he'll out grow this right...right?

My new favorite picture of me and my sister.  Us and our twin boys in our Moby Wraps.  We went to walk around Ikea.  That place is AMAZING!  Amazing I tell you!  Good quality stuff for some pretty decent prices.  I went to just walk around and left with an art easel and all the accessories (paper, dry erase markers, regular markers, and chalk) for Sarah, a little step stool, and a soft soccer ball all for $20.  One day, when I have my dream kitchen, it may come from Ikea.  

I'm batman.  No I'm batman.  
What they were on clearance at Old Navy for $0.97 each!  I couldn't resist getting the boys in matching outfits.  

We had the opportunity while we were all together to get some family pictures taken.  Trying to get so many people all looking at the camera and smiling at the same time was definitely an adventure.  Sarah was being pretty ornery when we wanted her in the picture.  Then when we didn't need her in the picture any more she kept trying to jump in.
I think the last time there was a picture of just the 5 of us was 10 years ago.  Maybe I should find it and scan it in for a comparison. And is it just me or does my mom look amazing in this picture!


Moose!



On the way home we stopped in Nashville to grab some lunch.  We tried to go the the big mall but the only store that is open again is the Bass Pro Shop.  So we headed over to the Opry Hotel and walked around a bit and ate some lunch.  That hotel is just beautiful and they really deck it out for Christmas.  This year they have some sort of Dreamwork Christmas package going on so there were characters there doing meet and greets if you had some sort of card.  However, they had a free Shrek Christmas Spectacular and we happened to be in the right place at the right time to catch the show.  Sarah loved it.  Her eyes were glued on it the whole time.  I'm not quite sure if she blinked for 20 minutes.  

I'm really thankful to have such a wonderful family.  Both branches of it are really amazing.  Our kids are lucky to have such great grandparents and aunts and uncles who love them and spoil them rotten and so many cousins to play with.