Monday, November 30, 2009

In the spirit of the Griswolds...

One of my favorite Christmas movies is Christmas Vacation. It's classic 80's and as soon as the theme song starts you begin to hum along. Chevy Chase is bound and determined to start the season off right by finding the perfect Christmas Tree. So he packs the family up in the trusty station wagon and heads for the woods to cut down the quintessential tree. In the spirit of the Griswolds we packed the trusty station wagon aka Andy's truck and headed for the tree farm not far from our house. Beforehand we stopped at the Dwarf House to eat breakfast with our friends the Hornsbys. AG fell asleep en-route to the tree farm and actually slept the first few minutes we were there. Unlike the Griswolds we didn't hike in the snow for miles and uproot a massive tree but we did traipse all over Silver Creek Tree Farm looking for just the right tree. There was plenty of room and Emma explored to her hearts content. We had to carry AG but next year I'm sure he'll be chasing Emma every where. I was thrilled to find a white pine just like what my dad cut down every year. We found a great tree, however, I've decided that accurately determining the size of a tree is harder in a field than at Home Depot. At the Depot you can hold multiple trees up and gage the correct size...not so much in the middle of the field. I say all of this to say that the tree we ended up with a much larger (wider) tree than I realized. Ha. The last two years in this house we've picked a tall skinny tree to go in a corner of the dinning room--so it can be viewed from the street. The tree is residing in the dining room but we had to move the table a bit to accommodate its wide girth. Ha.

So far we haven't had any problems with AG and the tree. He has figured out how to unplug the lights...we've remedied this by putting up a gate to keep him from the tree. However, the other night this frustrated Samson because our neighbor, Keely, came over to ride with us to dinner for college night. She knocked on the door and normally Samson would have trotted to the front of the house to make sure he approved of the guest at the door. On this day I had gated the entrance from the kitchen to the dinning room and had the door shut between the front hall and the living room...leaving Samson to bark for all of Old East Rome to hear and run between the hall door and the kitchen gate. Thus, waking AG from his afternoon nap and melting down due to all the commotion. Never a dull moment to say the least. :)

Here are some photos from the tree farm...I'll do a post in the coming days showing off the house. Stay tuned.
Trying to figure out the tree...

AG and his best friend Emma in front of our tree...
Can't hold one without the other...

Taken just days before AG took his first steps.


Thankful in the middle of the night...

Well, AG's first Thanksgiving has come and gone and what a memorable one it was. We joined my family at our mountain house this year. We brought one of our college students home with us since he is originally from India. Anyways, the morning of Andy, Viraj, and my cousin Clint joined my Dad for the Turkey Bowl. (My father started the Turkey Bowl close to 30 years ago with a group of his employees from CFA. They all get together and have breakfast at Waffle House before playing a couple of games of football.) Then it was off to the Mountains. We had a delicious meal and despite the weather we braved the winds and ate outside. My father said it made our meal more authentic. Regardless, AG enjoyed eating turkey, ham, mac n cheese, broccoli, apples, and whatever else anyone slid his way. When he was finished he leaned over the side of his highchair to share his remnants with Samson who happily "cleaned" up his brother. We spent the rest of the evening hanging out and playing the Wii. We even got AG's GranNan to join the fun. She did great cycling and bowling...Andy even captured some video with my phone. She's Canadian and he told her to "Do it for Team Canada!" It was fun to watch.

That night due to numbers Andy and I split up...he joined the guys in a room above the garage and I slept in the childhood room I shared with Meg and Caro. It was quite the zoo in the girls room...we had AG in his pack n play, Bear and Murphy (Meg's Yorkies) in a crate and Samson on the floor. At about 3 AG felt that it would be a great time to have a party in his pack n play. Now had we been at home we would have left him in his room and turned off the baby monitor. However, we had so much company in one house I couldn't do that. So I tried for an hour and a half to get him back to sleep before packing him up and going for a drive. We drove all over and Samson rode with me. After driving for an hour we got home and I got him back upstairs...as soon as I put him in his bed he woke up ready to go for round two. at this point I was near tears because I had been up for 2.5 hours and my husband was tucked away in the garage bonus room that can only be accessed via outside. I called and woke him up and he came to join me...we packed AG back up and stuck him back in the car. When we got out to the car Samson gave me a look like "are we really doing this again? We just got back and I've had a hard day of running in the woods." He hopped in and rode with us for another hour. By the time we got back it was almost seven. AG crashed and slept for two hours or so before waking up for good. This would be the first time that AG has EVER done something like this and I guess it caught me off guard. Despite my lack of sleep I was and am grateful. Grateful that my child is here, happy, and healthy. Grateful for a wonderful first year of so many memories. Hard to remember life before him. It was a memorable Thanksgiving.

Here's to Team Canada!
video video

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tradition...

As the holidays approach we all look forward to the traditions that this season brings to the end of the year. For each of us that can mean something different. It's funny how some things become a tradition after the fact. For example the first year we were married I went to Michael's and bought a huge roll of brown paper to wrap all of our presents in. I wanted to do something simple and unique to set our gifts apart when we went to open presents with friends and family. I also did this because it was economical I spent about 5 bucks and change on that roll of paper and then bought some raphia to tie everything up with. Since that Christmas I have continued to wrap all of our gifts in brown paper. I just love how simplistic they look...I love the fact that they are simply understated as opposed to bold and flashy. (Nothing wrong with bold and flashy!) I just love the end result. Growing up in Andy's house his parents wrapped each child's gifts in a different wrapping paper so that they could easily identify who had what. This year we have the joy of starting some new traditions with AG. We are going to continue to wrap everything in brown paper but instead of using the same ribbon that I use on everyone else's presents I am going to wrap AG's in his own ribbon. Andy and I have talked about continuing to do this as our family grows and giving each child their own ribbon. (I've already started wrapping a few presents...once we get the tree up I'll post pics of everything.)

Another tradition that we are going to start with AG is one that my mom did with my sisters and me. With the birth of each child she created a box designated for "Katie's Ornaments" "Meghan's Ornaments" and "Caroline's Ornaments". (We even pulled ornaments out of our own boxes to create Misty her own box when she joined the family.) When we would make ornaments in school or receive ornaments she would place them in these boxes. Growing up we were allowed to pick ornaments out of our box to put on the tree. When I got married my mom gave me my box of ornaments to start my own tree. So, I've decided to take it one step further and purchase our children an ornament each year. This year I bought AG's first ornament while we were in Williamsburg back in August. In my collection I have a sheep that when you pull a cord his 4 limbs move up and down. I always put it on the family tree growing up and so when I found something similar in Williamsburg I had to buy it for AG. I'm looking forward to watching his collection grow over the years.

As for gifts for AG we are going to keep it simple by giving him three gifts from Mom and Dad. He'll also receive a big item from Santa. Growing up my parents did this with us and it was a great way to balance the true meaning of the season and the joyous fun of Santa Claus. Our Santa gifts were something to share amongst my sisters and I. However, due to the fact that AG is currently an only child he gets to keep his Santa gift to himself. :) I actually purchased his Santa present back in September...I found a ridiculously good deal on this Little Tikes Workshop at TJMaxx. I paid $41 including tax for it. I know its for an older child but it will be a fun toy to grow in to and at that price I couldn't pass it up!

Another thing tradition seeps in to is the way one decorates their home for Christmas. Since getting married I have enjoyed mixing things that Andy and I both had growing up with our own decorations. We have a paper chain in red and green construction paper that I put out every year because Andy made it in elementary school. His mom passed it to me when we got married. We had a wooden Rudolph that my mom use to set on the hearth growing up. My mom stopped using it when I was in high school and I asked for it...it now resides on our hearth. My sister-in-law, Caroline, started collecting a holiday village several years ago and it made me want to collect one but I didn't know what I wanted. She has the Department 56 Dickens Village...which I love but didn't want to copy. This year Williamsburg started a holiday village collection and I used my birthday money and a sale coupon to order this years pieces. They came in the mail the other day and I'm trying to decide the best place to put them. Caroline also gave Andy and I our first Christmas ornament. She had just started working at Starbucks at the time and gave us a Starbuck ornament. Every year since then she has given us an ornament or two...needless to say I have quite the collection now. She recently left Starbucks to be a stay-at-home mom to my sweet niece, Ronnie J. Anyways, I had to have this years ornaments and so I picked them up last week. They are hanging out in the dining room waiting on the Christmas Tree.

Speaking of the tree...growing up my parents would take us to a tree farm and we would cut down our tree. My father had this pair of green coveralls that he would wear every year. Even when the zipper broke he refused to let my mother throw them out--I believe he still has 'em even though they opted for an artificial tree some years back when we all left for college. We've been told that there is a great tree farm down the way from our house. So I think we are going to go investigate when our friends the Hornsbys cut down their tree. Should be fun to see Emma and AG at the tree farm together. The only thing that we need to consider is that we need a very tall tree because of the ceilings in our house. I don't know if they'll have tall enough trees but either way it will be a fun adventure. In years past I haven't decorated the bottom third of the tree so as not to tempt Samson...guess we'll continue the trend so as not to tempt AG either. I'm actually not worried about our tree falling over due to AG. The way our house is laid out it is very easy to block off the front of the house with the back of the house. Up till now we haven't even bought a baby gate...we are going to buy one this week so that we can block the doorway from the kitchen to the dining room. This way AG can look at the tree from the kitchen but not get a hold of anything. :)

Those are just a few of the things we are looking forward to doing with AG this year. I'm sure I will have more to post in the coming weeks. We are looking forward to doing some holiday traditions around town in the coming weeks...Christmas Parade down on Broad, Candles and Carols at Oak Hill, and maybe even a trip to Lenox to ride the Pink Pig.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The perfect pig...

In the fall of my senior year at Berry I met a guy named Michael who was a freshman. Little did I know what a beautiful friendship would develop over the years. Andy and I were married that spring and that following fall Michael became a constant face at our house on a weekly basis. Over the years we've had many adventures with Michael. From visiting him at his parents' house in Bellville, to discovering all of Michael's favorite places in Savannah, to creating his first gingerbread house, to helping us with our house remodel, to holding his first baby (AG) and giving him a bottle, and even Andy acting as his press secretary to turn the tables on a prank phone caller just to name a few. (That last one could be a post in and of itself. Ha. We'll save that one for another day.) In May, Michael graduated from Berry and was accepted to USC's film school. We were ecstatic to hear of his graduate school acceptance but a little sad at the same time because we knew he would be heading to the other side of the country. Fortunately, in the coming months we will be able to see our friend at Christmas and then in March when we visit him in LA. Michael--you are greatly missed!

Michael has a love and a passion for film like no other. He has acted in front of the camera but his real desire is to direct...hence, the reason why he is in film school. Like most directors Michael has a keen eye for detail and a desire for simplistic perfection. So for months he contemplated the perfect baby gift to give AG. He settled on a piggy bank but not just any piggy bank. It had to look like a real pig...authentic and to scale. So he searched and searched till he finally found what he wanted. This past weekend his parents came to Berry to visit and we had the chance to get together. We had dinner and saw the show "Lend Me A Tenor" at Berry. It was wonderful to see them and catch up...however, Michael you were dearly missed! They presented us with Michael's present and told us this story. When Michael was little he had a piggy bank that he loved. Growing up it was stolen from their house and to this day Michael wishes he still had it. So he wanted AG to have a piggy bank similar to the one he had. Needless to say I was near tears because of the thought and care that went in to this gift. (Not to mention the time that Michael put in searching for the perfect pig.) I love for items to have a story behind them and I look forward to telling AG the story behind his piggy bank. Thank you Michael for such a wonderful gift and for being such a blessing to our family over the years! We are so proud of you and all that you have accomplished. In the years to come we can't wait to see what you achieve...know that you will always have a place in the family.

**Side note--Blogger won't upload a photo of pig...once I get it sorted out I'll post a picture. :)

Here is a few pictures of Michael over the years:








Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Biting Beaver lives...

When I look back on my childhood I think about different words to describe my sisters and I over the years. Growing up I would describe Meg as scrappy. Simply put she was. Partially because she was sandwiched in between the rest of us and partially because she was petite and had something to prove. Scrappy. That was Meg growing up. (She still is scrappy when she needs to be but there are a plethora of other adjectives to describe Meg now.) Love you sis!

Anyways, one day David and I were playing a game upstairs in Meg and Caro's room. Why we were in their room I can't remember but I remember being on the floor playing for whatever reason. Meg wanted to play and we didn't want her to join in. Well Meg didn't want to be excluded and so she took matters into her own hands or jaw rather. She proceeded to bite not only me but David as well. She of course was punished for this and we were scolded for excluding her. Afterwards, David goes, "she's like a biting beaver!" Ha. Somehow that nickname stuck and anytime Meg bit someone there after we called her the biting beaver. Remember she was scrappy and had two big sisters and a little sister to compete with. So we can't say she was entirely responsible for that nickname...we didn't always make it easy on Meg growing up.

Well the point of me sharing that story was that last night I was holding AG and he had his head resting on my shoulder...he then proceeded to put his mouth on my shoulder. Now in months past that didn't hurt because he had no teeth. However, he has cut 5 teeth to date and so last night he "bit" me on accident. Shocked, I yelped in pain because it caught me off guard. I then responded with a firm "no" the combination of the two made AG burst out into tears. So we have a new beaver in the family...add that to the list of daily life lessons AG is currently learning. :)

Meg--I love you sweet sis! Hope you don't mind me sharing your little story on the family blog.

Teeth Check:
-Bottom 2 incisors came in August
-Top 2 incisors arrived last week
-3rd incisor on the top arrived today
-At the moment I can't see any others so hopefully we have a few weeks to recover and gear up for the next round because these last few weeks have been rough with the top three.
Two of my favorite beavers...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The last few weeks at the Edwards House...

Hmmmm...where to begin this update on life. Things have been hectic the last few weeks and I've slacked in my blogging. Guess that is life, right?

Well, AG had his 9month check up and did great. I was not able to take him because I suspected I had strep throat. So Andy took the day off from work and took AG while I went to the doctor. I did indeed have strep and lost my voice. AG had his first round for the flu vaccine and goes back in a few weeks for the next dose. He was 23lbs and 5oz. He continues to be our big boy. Two days later was my birthday and I was well enough for the boys to take me out to dinner at the Hungry Bull aka Longhorn. It was a nice, quiet day which was perfect since I was still trying to get well. On Sunday, the 25th, AG figured out how to stand unassisted. Needless to say he was quite proud of himself. He spent the whole day standing up and not holding on to anything. On that Monday I was at the end of my rope with teething and Andy called about an order of Dr. Starr's Teething Lotion from the local pharmacy. Praise the Lord for Dr. Starr because if his front teeth are this bad heaven help us when his molars come in. Wednesday, the 28th, we headed to Gwinnett to spend the night at my parents before AG's surgery. We got up at the crack of dawn and headed to Scottish Rite for another laser treatment and for him to have both tear-ducts probed. Little man was 24lbs and 2 oz the day of surgery. The surgery went off without a hitch and he did great. This time coming out of the anesthesia was a little harder...we suspect it was due to him being older than the previous two but he couldn't talk to tell us what hurt, etc. It's hard being disoriented when you can't communicate. That Thursday night the girls brought dinner to us since we couldn't go to Moe's for college night. We were grateful. Halloween was wet and cool, however, that didn't stop AG and Emma. Emma came over to trick-or-treat and have dinner. We enjoyed dinner with Josh and Ginny and the kiddos enjoyed playing with Emma's bucket of treats. AG looked great as Charlie Brown plus his costume was super easy. We bought him the shirt online and I found him some sweats at Wal-Mart for a couple bucks. Not bad and he can wear both items again. I'm all for getting the most bang for my buck. Well, AG's top two teeth finally emerged on November 2nd and 3rd. The flip side was that he had developed a cold and tonsillitis. We spent the remainder of the week at home after a visit with the doctor on Tuesday the 3rd. After being cooped up all week I was going stir crazy so we headed to Columbus for the day on Saturday. We all needed to get out. We had a great to visiting my family.

In Columbus, AG was given his first golf club. My cousin Will broke one of his clubs recently so my Uncle Neill had it cut down to AG's size. Ha. It's probably one of the cutest things I've ever seen. AG was trying to figure out what to do with it all evening in between strolls around the family room with his push toy. He discovered that he can walk behind his lion and was elated at his new found skill. We are now taking bets on when he starts walking. Just kidding. But we do think it will be soon. Time will tell.

As far as the food department is concerned we've started transitioning to small foods that AG can feed to himself. He really likes being able to pick and choose items from his tray while in his highchair. I've really cut back on the amount of purees that I'm making and we've started giving AG small bites of what we are having for dinner. I find it humorous that things he didn't like in puree form he enjoys whole. Like peas and green beans. The little man was not a fan of jarred meat, can't say that I blame him, and so at his doctor's appointment they said to just by pass it and go for the real ma-coy. So we did and he loves meat! Ha. So far he is a fan of ground beef, steak, and chicken nuggets. (From Chick-fil-A of course!) The child truly is a Gettis because he inhaled 4 nuggets the first time he had them. For those who don't know my dad worked for CFA for 28 years and I consumed a lot of nuggets growing up.

So that is a condensed version of life these days. In addition to all that we've started thinking about planning for the holidays and AG's first birthday! Speaking of AG's birthday I think I've figured out a theme...needless to say the teacher in me loves it! I'm going to work on the logistics of it this next week or so...once I make some decisions I'll post details. I had decided awhile back to do something with cupcakes but was torn on how I wanted to decorate them. I'm actually a pretty decent baker and am contemplating making AG's cake/cupcakes myself. I guess partially out of a desire to use my creative juices and use cake as a canvas. So I'm going to start experimenting in the next few weeks and see what I come up with. Should be an adventure since I'm a perfectionist when it comes to creating something...ha.

As for the holidays, we are looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with family and then heading back to Rome to start decorating that weekend. We have only a few days to get everything up before finals, students leave, and Caroline graduates! Hard to believe my baby sister is in the final weeks of her college career at Berry! Caroline, we are so proud of all that you have accomplished these last 3 and a half years. We are looking forward to you putting down a few roots here in Rome with us...and we are looking forward to having you right around the corner in your new apartment.

I promise to post new photos and video footage in the coming days...things seem to be getting back to "normal" and I should be able to post like I usually do. If you can't wait check out AG's albums on facebook.