Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Prayers for Sophie

Friends and Family-I have a prayer request. Russ and I found out recently that our friends' Natalie and Marvin's baby (due in April) heart is underdeveloped on one side. They have met with the neonatal cardiologist and have heard good news that this is very treatable. However, little Sophie will have surgery immediately after she is born. She will also have several other surgeries to correct this later on.

Since in my experience the power of prayer is so great and so is our God I wanted to begin a prayer button on my blog for Sophie. I have seen similar prayer buttons on other blogs and I think it is a great way to get out the word that someone is in need of our thoughts and prayers.

Natalie doesn't have a blog yet, but when she does I will make the button go to her blog so we can be updated on Sophie's progress!

So please pray for Sophie and her family!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Little Christmas!






















Merry Christmas Friends and Family! Me, Russ and GA just had the best little Christmas ever! We celebrated this joyous holiday with my parents in Cleveland (not Ohio). We just oohed and ahhed over this little baby and took a million pictures of her, as you can tell. I would have posted all the pictures but we took at least 200! I know....are we crazy people or what?!
Grace Ann got a jumper/activity center from her Grann and Pop that was in all pink...her favorite color and a bumbo (something we really needed) plus tons of precious outfits! She hasn't quite figured out how to work all the gadgets but I know in no time she will be really "with it."
I know I say this all the time, but we are so blessed to have Miss Grace Ann with us! I can just remember this time last year when we found out that we would have a baby and now look at our little family! I am so proud and thankful for our good health and wonderful friends and family!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Part I with the Sebring Family

A Family Shot (Grace Ann didn't know when to smile! Maybe next time!)



GA got some super cute clothes this year!






Mimi and Pepaw with the grandkids!



Great Aunt Marcie and Mom with GA and Jack




Aunt Marcie with her sweet niece

Unwrapping those presents has already begun and we started with the Sebring Family on Monday night! We were missing quite a few folks due to work committments, but next year we hope to have the whole crew back together again! We missed you Keith, Cousin Crystal, Nick, Clayton and Mica!

Grace Ann was actually very entertained with the wrapping paper. She loved to wave it around in the air and Cousin Jack was sweet enough to hand her some between unwrapping presents. It was so much this year with the little ones.
After all the oohing and ahhing over what we all got.....we took some candid family shots! By the way thank you so much for all the wonderful presents. WE are definitely spoiled by our Sebring folks!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Four Months? Already!











Goodness Gracious it has already been four months since Grace Ann has entered our lives and given us a real life roller coaster! We have enjoyed every minute of it but there has been plenty of bumps, curves and dips on this ride that we are traveling.
Grace Ann has been changing so much and we are amazed at all her new tricks. She is smiling, giggling, wiggling, scooting and really is trying to roll over. We think that will be pretty soon though.

We have sent out our Christmas cards but I will post the picture here too. I love getting everyone's cards! It is too much fun getting the mail to see who is doing what and where and what all the babies are up to!
Since this is the fourth post in an hour I think I have blogstuffed you guys so I will sign off until Christmas! Have a very Merry Christmas and drive safe!
God Bless and Peace on Earth! Our Saviour is Born!!!!




Grace Ann in Action!

video

Finally I have been able to upload a video to the blog! I have tried this three times before and now it has finally worked! Yea!

Grace Ann has really started sitting up in our laps and Russell has been playing choo-choo train with her lately and she loves it! So we just sit around and play this silly game trying to get her to laugh and smile! It is definitely the highlight of my evening, that and the fact that I have another pair of hands around!

I am becoming Susie Homemaker!




When we were in Midland, Russell's mom was getting ready for their annual Christmas party and I decided to create a new wreath for our front door. In Midland they have a

fancy Christmas store, Miss Cacee's, and it has some really amazing decorations. The wreath that I wanted from there was let's just say at least $$$ dollar signs, so I decided to put my crafty self to work with some extra stuff from Russell's mom. So here is what I came up with.....it may not be a Miss Cacee's orginial but pretty darn close!

The first picture shows the curtains I made over Thanksgiving, too! Mary and I went fabric shopping and found a great deal on it and with some "stitch witchery" (I think that is the spelling) ta-da......I made some curtains.

Grace Ann's Three Month pictures by Erin Black











These are some of my favorite pictures that Erin took of Grace Ann while we were in Midland. I love how she captures all the details! She is a wonderful photographer and you can see all our pictures on her website: www.elbphotography.com. Just click on Galleries and scroll down to Grace Ann!

Monday, December 8, 2008

We Three Elves!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Santa Baby!

Before Russ took her to see Santa, we did a little photo op on the couch! Unfortunately I wasn't able to capture a smile.




Grace Ann has thrown out her pacificer for her fingers and her thumb! I guess they are tastier!


She is looking at Russ as he is trying to get her smile.....no luck!

I love my baby legs!


Just a cute picture of her and Russ after bath time!
BABY LEGS!!!!







My mom bought GA some of these cute baby legs a month ago and we just couldn't help ourselves putting her in them! A theme song comes to mind when I see her wearing them.
Flashdance and the Maniac song are what have had Russ and I laughing the entire time. Of course I think Russ was also laughing at me showing GA the dance that goes with that song (think Tommy Boy and Chris Farley at the gas station)! Yeah I know I am a total goofball, but

I will do anything to hear her laugh! It is the sweetest sound I have ever heard! Ahhh....... Baby laughs.

Thanksgiving pictures

Hanging out in the travel swing after the big meal while my Daddy watches the Texas game!


Grace Ann and Hanna Cate Harper meet for the first time! They are 4 days apart and cutie pies!

Oceana, our sweet goddaughter, reads Grace Ann nursery rhymes!
GA likes the pictures!


Here are a few pictures that I managed to take on our trip to Midland for Thanksgiving. I am afraid that I did a very poor job of photographer.............I will be much better for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Thankful Thanksgiving!

Russ and I spent the Thanksgiving holiday with Russell's parents and Marcie,Keith and Jack in Midland. We had so much fun visiting our friends and seeing new babies, Carson and Hannah Cate! They are too cute! I was so terrible and didn't take many pictures while in Midland. I guess I just forgot to take out the camera. I know, I know it was GA's first Thanksgiving and I am a terrible mother not to capture the moment. But I swear she slept through the festivities on the Rainforest Bouncer that Todd and Janai lent us.......so no harm done, right?

I will post pictures tomorrow, because right now I am (well supposed to be) hanging up curtains in the dining room. I am hosting a wedding shower this weekend and I am super busy getting things ready!

I am so glad that everyone had a good holiday............yes I have had time to do a little blogstalking! He-he....

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings and prayers for all who are traveling to visit friends and families. Russ and I are making the very long trek up to Midland to spend our holiday week with the Sebrings and Tomlinsons. Russ is taking a week off work so we are getting to spend the entire week in Midland. I am so excited to see all the old friends that we love so much!

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving I wanted to share all the things that I have been thankful for in 2008:

I am thankful for.......

  1. The birth of our first child: Miss Grace Ann!!!
  2. Being able to stay at home to enjoy her first year!
  3. Our sensational parents! They have been such a big help!
  4. Having absolutely wonderful and awesome family and friends!
  5. The birth of our nephew, Camden!
  6. The births of our friends' children Owen, Brody, Berklie, MaKinley, Bradley, and Carson!
  7. A visit from my brother Mick and sister-in-law Enjoli with Camden!
  8. My Mississippi family meeting GA in Baton Rouge!
  9. GA's beautiful baptism and her great godparents, Emily and Fr. Paul!
  10. Stroller Strides for getting my rear in gear! (Haha...just made that one up!)
  11. The cradle swing and bouncy seat!
  12. Our health and home.
  13. Oscar Mayer the amazing weiner dog!
  14. Seeing GA grow and change! And her smiles!!!
  15. Most of all, Russ, for being my best friend and watching him be a daddy!

Again I wish for everyone safe travels, a fat turkey and a full belly!

Go Longhorns! ( Russ added this!)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yippee I'm Three!







I can't believe that three months have gone by since Grace Ann has joined our family. It seems like it was just yesterday when we entered Dr. Wilder's office for the last time and checked into the hospital. The other day Russ and I were talking about how we remember being "us" before she was born, but how we love this new "us" and couldn't imagine our life without her.

Today she turned three months and here are some things she has been doing:
1. Lots of smiling!
2. Turning her head towards her mommy and daddy.
3. Laughing (only happened once so far in the bath tub.....I cried when she had her 1st laugh....these firsts are so emotional!)
4. Taking naps in her crib!
5. Playing very actively on her playmat....kicking those feet and scooting her bottom so she faces a different way.
6. Sucking her thumb!(I don't have any idea where she got this from! He-he..)
7. She absolutely LOVES her bouncy seat and me and Russ have nicknamed it "Playful Puppies" because that is the song we hear over and over again.
Here are some things that Russ and I have accomplished in our three months as new parents:
1. Change diapers in less than a minute! That's right we are Rock Stars!
2. We know her different cries.......didn't think we would actually be able to tell but now we do!
3. Sing her songs that have no tune, no meaning and still get those precious smiles!
4. We have gotten some sleep and are no longer zombies!
5. Survived massive diaper attacks........no one knows when they will strike but when they do prepare yourself for the worst! (Oddly enough we have only had one happen in the middle of church!)
6. We can give her a bath without her crying or looking at us like we are crazy people!
So thankfully we have survived the 4th trimester and look forward to what this month will bring us! I know I say this in almost every post but I have to say it again, "We are just so darn lucky to have this sweet little one in our lives!!!"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I love Oprah!

Just wanted to let everyone know that today on Oprah the show was about de-cluttering your lifestyle. Something I definitely need to do.........anyway as a perk of watching they teamed up with Snapfish and are giving away free photo books. All you have to do is pay for shipping and handling. So go to Oprah.com and look for the de-clutter section and click on it for more info. Right now I am downloading my pics to snapfish so I can create a photo book! Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Proud to be an American!

I saw this post on a friend of a friend's blog......I know I was blogstalking. So I wanted to share it with my blogstalkers! Ha-ha.....I mean my friends. Anyway it's a long read but so true. Sometimes I do take living where I do for granted and after reading this I will be better about counting my blessings!

Supposedly, David Letterman said it. Not sure if he really did, but it is TRUE, no matter who wrote it.

"As most of you know I am not a President Bush fan, nor have I ever been, but this is not about Bush, it is about us, as Americans, and it seems to hit the mark. The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the President. In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change. So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What are we so unhappy about?''

A.. Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week?

B.. Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?

C. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?

D.. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

E.. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?

F.. Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?

G.. I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough either.

H. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.

J.. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family, and your belongings.

K.. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.

L.. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

M.. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world?

Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy. Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here. I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me? Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much , make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad?

Think about it.....are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day. Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an 'other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable' ' discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by 'justifying' them in one way or another Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way......Insane!

Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative.' 'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the countr y from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, 'Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?' "

David Letterman

Monday, November 10, 2008

Belated Halloween pics and GA is growing up!

Belated Halloween Pictures!
Camden the Bear....grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Grace Ann the ghost........Boo!
(She's missing her super sassy bow)




Grace Ann sitting in her big girl bed complete with bunny slippers!
(She's looking at me and Russ wondering why we are laughing hysterically at her while she is trying to stay sitting up!)
Well, it finally happened! Grace Ann is now sleeping in her crib! I never thought I would want her to leave our room (yes, I know that sounds silly) but on Saturday night when she was officially 12 weeks I was READY! I can't believe that she has grown so much! For the past few weeks we have been practicing crib-sleeping by letting her take naps in it and on Saturday she went down in the crib like it was not a big deal. I really feel like a proud parent! Another thing that made this experience so great was the use of the video monitor. For weeks I had debated with myself if this was really a necessary purchase or a parental splurge but I will have to say that it is an awesome purchase! All I have to do is shut her door and then go into my room and watch her fall asleep and then I have some peace.




I have wanted to post GA's Halloween outfit but I can't seem to scan in the pictures that we took in Houston so I am going to post a picture from the hotel room when we were in Baton Rouge. On Halloween, we all went out to eat at Ninfa's (apparently that is the best Mexican food they have east of the Mississippi) and took the babies with us, dressed in their Halloween costumes. We got a lot of compliments from all the locals! Funny tidbit: Enjoli and I enjoyed a margarita and we haven't had hardly anything to drink since we are nursing and let me tell you........half a margarita later and we were chatty Kathie's and a little light-headed. Needless to say we started drinking water! But it was fun to cut loose and enjoy Halloween!





Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Geaux Tigers Geaux!!! Tailgating..baby style!

On Saturday we had a full day in Baton Rouge visiting with my Mississippi family and then on to a tailgate party for the LSU game. My brother and Enjoli went to LSU and are huge Tiger fans. Did I say HUGE? For some reason if you go to LSU you definitely have purple and gold running through your veins. I think that is the worst part for my brother living in Germany(besides being near family)..... going to LSU games. But luckily since they were able to visit for a few weeks they were able to catch two games. This tailgate was for the Tulane game. Unfortunately, Russ was not able to make the trip due to work, but his dad came in for the weekend so they could go fishing. I think that made up for it, but we missed him so much!


I love this picture of Enjoli that Rick took. She is holding Camden and laughing!
Not to be vain but I love this picture of me with GA.

The McDaniel Fam!


A view of the tailgate. By the way Raising Cane's chicken tenders are out of this world!

Me and Camden watching the band march into the stadium.

If GA doesn't go to Texas she can definitely be an LSU tiger!

The cousins with the Golden Girls.
Me and Enjoli with the babies!
Camden: Hey GA let's go for a stroll.
GA: But I want to go too.
Camden: I said, "WEeeee"
This dialouge sequence is for Janai!










The cousins finally meet!!!

Precious Cousin Camden! He is my brother, Mick's son that was born on June 20th!
Playing on Grann and Pop's bed.....GA is smiling so much now!

"Hey Camden.... How's that swing over there? Are you ready to trade?"


Last week GA and I made the trek over to Cleveland to spend some time with Camden and my sister-in-law Enjoli. We took the cousins to a picture place for some pictures in their Halloween costumes and Christmas outfits. GA was a bit of a fussbucket but Camden definitely liked the camera. Thankfully we got some good pics of both of them.