Bummer. Christmas is over... Time for the "Christmas Cleanup" & the "Christmas Blues".
It's time to clean up the house... migrate the toys into Julianna's room from the Living room & re-arrange things so they all fit somewhere in her teeny room! Time to make the pile of returns/exchanges to go back this week. Time to think about taking down the tree & putting everything "Christmas" up in the attic. Time to get my house back in order. I need order in my house. I love Christmas, but when it's over... I need to go back to normal ASAP.
I also get a terrible case of the "Christmas Blues" for a few days. I love Christmas so much that it actually makes me depressed for a few days when it's over.
And I could care less about New Years Eve... I did all that "New Years" partying for a long time and I have no need for that anymore - I would rather stay home and not be on the road with the drunks (OMG I sound soooo old!!). Our plan is to stay home and get take-out from our favorite pizza place and watch a movie. Works for me! I'll take the 3 day weekend thank you.
I miss the excitement and the fun of the month of December. Now it's time to face the reality of cold & snow in NJ ... and the fact that seeing the first flowers push through the ground is still so far off in the distance. *sigh*
I know I was meant to live somewhere warm. Well, that's why Brian, me & Baby Belle will end up in South Carolina soon ... when we can sell this house. No more horrid winters - and we'll have warm weather for 3 seasons in Greenville. But still getting 4 full seasons during the year. Ahhh yes, I can close my eyes and imagine... Then I open my eyes and see the thermometer at 28 degrees & the yucky snow on my deck and I frown!
Now it's time to face the reality of taking down the Christmas decorations. Hmmm Probably Saturday. I can remember as a kid, my parents still had the tree up the first week in February. LOL.
When does everyone else take down their Christmas decorations?
I Just love this kid to pieces- Look at that face!! Look how happy Daddy makes her!
We had a mini-milestone here yesterday.
Brian and I decided to give Julianna her first 'finger food' for her to try. We sat her in her highchair and put the tray on for the first time...and then put some Cheerios on the tray. Just a few. We were laughing so hard watching her grasp at the teeny little toasted oats with her little pudgy clumsy fingers ... her little pincer grip working sooo hard to pick up just one teeny O.
Put it in the mouth and mush it around... mush mush mush ... mush mush ... swallow. Cough. Swallow... make a weird face then smile!
Hmmm.What IS this thing? Do I eat it? Really?
Overall... we called it a success.
At Dinnertime, we gave Julianna an over-cooked mushy piece of plain pasta. The pasta was so sticky and the little pasta-pieces stuck to her fingers and she wasn't able to get any of it in her mouth (not for lack of trying). I read that the pasta needed to be overcooked (to make it mushy enough so she could gum it up and swallow since she has no teeth), so that's what I did. But it didn't work out so well.
Maybe it's time to try something else. I printed out a list (from the Internet) of finger foods for babies with no teeth ... I'll move onto the next one on the list. I'm gonna pick up some Gerber puffs the next time I go food shopping.
In case anyone is interested, here are some websites for Baby Finger Foods:
So we made it through Julianna's first Christmas... and what a fabulous Christmas it was! Julianna had the best time ripping open her gifts & playing with the tissue paper even though she had no idea why we were doing it! Grandma & Grandpa came to visit from upstate NY bearing many gifts... and Nana came from her house with plenty for Julianna as well. So between all of theirs, combined with the gifts from us (Santa) and other friends & family - we could barely walk into our living room! We had fun listening to Christmas carols and opening gifts on Christmas morning. Santa got me so many wonderful gifts (OK yes, I know Christmas is not about material things- but hey, a girl can be giddy about her new Coach, Nikon 14 MP point & shoot camera and other fabulous items, right?! Santa is the best!) What a fun day we had! Julianna got to play with most of her new toys and loved them all. I hope everyone else's Christmas was just as wonderful as ours was.
Here is Julianna opening her gifts that Santa got her.
Note the wall of presents behind her.
Mommy & Daddy with Julianna
Julianna playing with some of her toys. She loved these 2 stuffed animals the best -
they make her squeal with delight - sooo funny!
Julianna likes to stand up - about 10 seconds at a time now!
We are making progress! See the cute tu-tu leggings my aunt got her...
Julianna is 7 months old today!
We attempted to have a nice photo shoot this morning ... but ended up with a meltdown, which then had to turn into a much needed nap ... darn! I was hoping to get more pictures. I'll take some more later on.
Sitting up on her own (but not able to pull herself up yet)
Squealing & laughing at Pepper (our dog) and she pets her soft fur
Wolfing down a full serving (1/4 c) of Oatmeal or Barley Cereal 2x a day
Not too crazy about any veggie or fruit yet; cereal is her true love right now (baby steps!)
Sleeping about 10.5 - 11 hours at night
She knows her name
We play "Where's the baby?" - she covers her own face- pretty cute!
She can stand if we hold her hands - for about 4-5 seconds at a time
One thing to note
Today is the first day Julianna rolled over onto her belly in her crib (she was always happy on her back). Well today I was watching her in the video monitor, and there she was on her belly wriggling around her crib. She rolled over a few times, and then came the SCREAM. She did not like it!! Mama to the rescue ... and nap over. This afternoon's nap went better... she rolled onto her belly and then fell sleep after some protesting. I guess this is her new thing she will be doing. It makes me nervous but I know she (for the most part) is past the SIDS risk now.
Right now, her favorite toys are these stacking cups - They are magical to her
which in turn makes Mommy very happy.
More of the cups...
Got a few pics by the tree...
Then came the Full Blown Meltdown...
Then came the much needed Nap ...
Later today... 2:45
I added this picture. I know many kids sleep on their tummies.
But for Julianna, this is the first time, and I am a bit nervous ... I did check to see if she was breathing. Two times. OK, maybe three.
Key to the Magic Kingdom - How to encourage a 7 month old to sleep late?
I have never complained about sleep (or lack of) b/c it has really never been an issue for us. Julianna goes to bed at 8pm and doesn't wake until 6:30 am. Monday through Friday, that's perfect because we get up for work at 6:30.
But on the weekend ... I wish she would sleep in just alittle longer. 7 or 7:30 would totally work for us! Well... we discovered how to get her to sleep in. Or at least stay in her bed without making a peep (not involving tape or straight jacket!)...
One night last week, I decided to experiment & put a toy in her crib (just a small one she can't suffocate on). We watched her on the video monitor the first morning she did it. She rolled over, grabbed her toy, and played quietly in her crib. Not a peep! BINGO! So the next night, I put 2 more toys in there - one at the bottom, the middle and up top. Perfect placement. Next morning -not a peep, and playing quietly with the toys! Genius. Why didn't I think of this before??? (I'm sure many of you already figured this out monthns ago LOL)
Julianna in one of her new hats on her way to daycare this morning -
Have I mentioned I'm addicted to baby hats!?
Pincer Grasp & Sitting up Strong
So this weekend, we noticed Julianna was grasping things with her thumb & first finger! ...And as you know, that is the first big milestone she has to reach before she starts with finger foods! She is 7 months on Thursday... Bring on the finger foods soon!
She was trying to grab every 'little' thing she could, like the bow on her pants, the eyeball on her bunny, the ruffle on her shirt. So cute. She is getting the hang of it.
We also realized Julianna is able to sit up strong now... but she has to be on kind of a hard surface (like on the floor with a blanket under her). Another milestone reached...we were very impressed with our little Jule-bug. She was sitting strong & straight up. We still have to sit behind her, because she tries to fling herself backwards as hard as she can... and that can end badly if we aren't there to stop her from hitting her enormous head on the ground! As soon as we get our interlocking mats (Tuesday), that should help soften the impact LOL.
We went Christmas shopping in Morristown and then the mall. The line to see Santa was too long with screaming kids... we passed. The Mall was fun (who knew!) - there was live music... and it was very festive. I actually did not get all wigged out over the crowds. Maybe because it was my husband that was Christmas shopping and the pressure was off me. haha! Then we went out for my birthday dinner to one of our favorite restaurants... Had a nice glass (or 2) of Chilean Malbec and Delmonico steak! It was a great day!
Yesterday was a lazy Sunday ... Sat around all day and did stuff around the house and watched football. The horrible Giants game. I don't have words to describe the shock that we were in at the end of that game, so I won't say any more. Damned Eagles & their dog-killin' quarterback. Well...at least the Jets won.
Chilling with Daddy on Sunday...
Notice the happy faces; this was taken before the Giants blew it.
Here is Julianna in her Jumparoo... Yes I know everyone has one of these... but I just thought I would post a video b/c she is having so much fun!!
On a side note ... whoever is posting very interesting anonymous comments, please be so kind as to identify yourself or email me to tell me what you have a problem with... or I will be forced to turn off the 'Anonymous' option. I can assure you that my blog is doing nothing to hurt your IE browser.
I don't want to have to turn off Anonymous, especially since I do have some friends without Google accounts that like to post... Thank You!
Happy 40th to me. No use hiding from it. I am looking 40 right in the face & it's not too terrible - Bring it!! No use pretending I'm 30 again. I am not scared of 40. Truthfully, the worst birthday I had was 29.... because it reminded me I had 1 more year until the dreaded *30*. I remember being so depressed when I turned 29. Ah - if only I could be 29 again knowing what I know now! LOL!
And you know what... I changed so much between 30 & 40. In your 20's, you think you know everything you need to know and you think you know WHO you are. Ha! Was I wrong! I found out that in my 30's, that is when you really find out WHO you are. That is the time to explore yourself, your interests, your personal values, your life.
I learned so much about ME in my 30's. I became a real adult... I became financially comfortable... I met & married the love of my life (no way would I have been able to do that in my early 20's and last)... I had a child late in life, but I was READY for her! I do not feel like I am missing out on anything...I learned to be more patient and forgiving... I learned my body will never be what it was in my 20's and I have accepted it. I learned to truly appreciate the simple things... and enjoy every minute because life is fragile. I learned I don't have to give in & listen to the "Oldies", I can listen to Lady Gaga & Black Eyed Peas & rock on!!
I did it all when I was younger... and it was fun and created memories to last a lifetime. Do I have regrets? Sure I do. I wish I could have gotten my 4 year degree (yes I know I still can) and I wish maybe I hadn't twiddled around with careers so many times in my 20's, and I wish I would have known to sock away money for retirement as soon as I had my first job (live & learn - right?). My 30's were some fun times - but not the "Go out and party" way like my 20's were! I loved my 30's ... and the best part is, I still have NO wrinkles!
I have a husband and baby that love me dearly. Life is good. I am very content.... today is a good day to turn 40!
Julianna and I visited with our friends Chris & John last night. They just love Julianna to pieces and got her the cutest Christmas present! We opened it at their house and I think Julianna will enjoy playing with this little Piggy for quite some time... When we got home, under the tree it went, to keep the other presents company until Christmas morning.
Chris is also a great crafty person - she loves to sew. She made this beanbag chair for one of her grandsons (I think), and we put Julianna in it to test it out - what a great thing. It was then that I decided she MUST have a beanbag chair - she loved sitting in it and it was very conforming to her baby body. Why didn't I think of this sooner?! I'm going to search for a small one to fit in our teeny little house.
Stocking Stuffer - this is a cool Stuffed Lion that I found in Homegoods... they have some really unique children's items there!
Even Pepper has her own stocking ... Oops, gotta put PetSmart on the list to get her some stocking stuffers - Bully Sticks, the best for cleaning her teeth!
This was kind of cool the way it turned out - it's a picture of our wedding cake topper & our framed invitation... with the tree lights reflecting on it...
Brian and I were given our childhood ornaments by our parents, and here are a few of our favorites... (we hope to hand them all down to Julianna one day)
Don't laugh at the close-up of our plastic pine needles.
I especially like this little mouse (bear??)
I always make fun of Brian for this one - it is a weird little Santa ornament he made in kindergarten. He cherishes it. I think it's kinda creepy.
Oh and one final thing ... I ordered these interlocking play mats last night for Julianna. We have wood floors and whenever we want to play with her on the floor, we have to put down a thick blanket for cushioning. My husband and I have been talking about getting something for the floor for her to play on... so here it is. I can't wait until they are delivered and surprise my husband as well! I got the idea from Alicia over at Keeping Up with Kylie. Thanks Alicia!
I apologize to anyone that has visited my blog in the last 2 days only to find it in complete dis-array & a war zone. I have been doing some housekeeping. I'm one of those people that is never satisfied with the way their blog looks. I am constantly tweaking colors, fonts, layouts, templates, etc. I finally got it to the way I like... And what do I do? I change it again! I found yet another template website with the coolest designs. So, I had to try it out.
I tried a few different templates & backgrounds in the last 2 days and they were nice but I was having a hard time manipulating the column sizing and colors. I need full control. (*Control Freak * Control Freak *!!)
So we're back to the way my blog was up until 2 days ago. I really need to brush up on those HTML skills, and start coming up with my own designs... Hmmmm, if only I can find where I put the book in the attic!
So anyway ... I took some cute random pictures of Julianna this weekend. Nothing real new to report other than the fact there's only 11 days left until Christmas & I still have shopping to do!
I've been telling Julianna all about Santa Claus... but she just doesn't seem that interested yet...LOL. I hope she likes everything that Santa is going to leave for her on Christmas morning... or at least, I hope she likes the tissue paper it's wrapped in!
Wishful thinking that Julianna's actually waving?
Julianna loves her new Jumparoo.
She loves to pose with her Kissy lips.
I hope Julianna isn't subtly telling us here that she wants to be a future Playboy model!