Monday, December 28, 2009

The First Christmas

It's been 2009 years... In a million years I could never imagine what it would be like to know that God has chosen me to carry the Savior of the world. Knowing that I would be giving my precious baby up for the saving of everyone else. What was Mary thinking that first Christmas? Even though I think the song has been overplayed in the last few years, I just wonder if Mary really knew what her life was going to be like after the birth of her baby. In the last 1o months, I have been almost daily surprised at what all Olivia does. Was it the same for Mary?
This has been such a special Christmas for me. I have really seen this year from someone else's point of view. I spent Christmas morning misty-eyed just thinking about what it was like 2009 years ago in a stable filled with animals. I have been amazed this year at the love that I feel for Olivia, and the love that she shows me, knowing that the only person who loves her more than me is her Heavenly father. Such an amazing thought...

So, this year, because it was our first family Christmas, Michael and I wanted to establish some traditions. I wanted to start this year with a birthday party for Jesus, but didn't think Olivia would really understand or care, so I decided to wait until next year. Before we started opening presents though, Michael told Olivia all about why we have presents and what Christmas really means. It was very sweet. Also, in an attempt to thwart the beginnings of materialism, Michael and I have decided to follow in the footsteps of some of our friends (with a little modification). We decided that we wanted to do three gifts from Santa Claus to represent the three gifts from the Wise Men to Jesus, and one special or sentimental gift from us. This year, her three gifts from Santa were toys: a polite tea set, pink mega blocks, and a sit and ride toy. For her special gift from us we chose the Guess How Much I Love You book - two copies - a board book to play with now, and a special copy for her to have when she won't tear up the pages. Her stocking contained the practical...bath stuff and fruit snacks!First, Olivia opened a gift from MawMaw and PawPaw Parrish. A sweat suit outfit with some tee-shirts. Sweet!
Then she opened her stocking. The bath soap was a big hit. She kept going back to it. She loves bath time!
Checking out the gear shift on her new riding toy. It is also a walker. It collapses down into a rider.
Mega blocks! We have since decided to put these up for a few months. They're meant for 1+ ages, so we'll probably get them out around February. (GOSH - she's almost a year old!!)

Working on opening a present with Daddy. She still isn't sure about tearing the paper!Although it was after 7am, she was still sort of sleepy!Reading her new book. Having tea with Daddy! (And yes, that's a booger bubble. Sorry.) The soda in the background was in my stocking! :)This year's tree. Notice the lack of ornaments around the bottom third of the tree. Those are the ones she could reach...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Early Christmases

Like every year and every other family on the planet, our Christmas time with family spans several days. Thank goodness though it's not hectic, because it normally starts early in December, and goes through Christmas Day rather than cramming it all in within just a few days. Our Christmas season started a few weeks ago with Michael's Granny's Christmas party in Pell City. The family is so large that Granny Harris rents a building to house everybody because they just don't all fit in a normal size home. Although, unfortunately, key people were missing, it was overall a great day. From her Pe-Paw David and Nana Lisa Olivia got a Baby Einstein (you know the obsession...) book and a car steering wheel that sings the ABCs. She likes the steering wheel - she LOVES the book. It has been the first thing she plays with in the mornings, and she usually gives it to us several times throughout the day to show us the pictures. She doesn't read it in any particular order, and loves to randomly flip the pages.

Reading with Mommy
Showing her book off

Her new thing: randomly standing!

Last Saturday our friends Jeremy and Karri came over for supper. Olivia is secretly in love with Jeremy! He was showing her (for the 1456th time) how to open a present. She is, unlike her mother, a gentle unwrapper.

She got an Olivia DVD and Granimal pop n' lock heads! We sing the Olivia theme song to her all of the time (It's just her name over and over again...), but she had never actually seen the show. When I put it in the DVD player the next day, she froze when the song came on! It was too cute!

We spent last Sunday afternoon and evening at my Mom's house to celebrate Christmas with my parents and brother's family. We had a great visit. Olivia got a stroller from my parents that she has to push. She is doing such a great job walking behind it! Such a big girl!

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Greeting

As any teacher knows, the last few days before a big break are always the toughest. I was so looking forward to being home; it was like I couldn't drive fast enough. I walked in the front door, and Bitty was sitting in the kitchen floor. She could see me as the door opened, and when I walked in, she started clapping! My heart immediately melted. But, it was just a fluke...I thought, until she did it again today! She may not be saying "Mommy" right now, but I know that she loves me!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bye Bye, Bitty

Bitty's tricks seem to be multiplying daily! She says "bye-bye" fairly regularly, and often not at the appropriate moment. She has vocalized "da-da", but it's not always clear that that is what she is saying. She doesn't put sound behind it, but I have seen her several times mouth "m-m-m-m", which I feel confident is directed toward me. :) She can "patty-cake", and has corrected her thumb/hand clapping with hand to hand contact. Although she doesn't sing with the "patty-cake" song, she does love it when someone else sings it. As far as movement is concerned, she crawls quick as lightning. She pulls up on anything and everything, and "walks" up and down the furniture a lot. Michael said that Thursday she just stood up where she was in the middle of the floor. Granted, she only stood for a few seconds, but she did it without holding on to anything! The video is of her saying "bye-bye" and waving backwards...