Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Decorations and Lucky Luxe

So my friend Erin is in NYC this week, and I am running her uber-successful invitation company solo. (Does that mean I should call her my boss now? Weird...) Lucky Luxe is fabulous, and it is so much fun working with someone who is not only an inspiration but a dear friend. Having said that, it's also super hard work. I'm sure Raz has everything down pat and can respond to an inquiry at record speed, but I haven't quite gotten it all figured out just yet. Yesterday my internet was on the fritz, MaryCollis came down with a cold and I couldn't get any of my files to work correctly. Needless to say, it was a long day. But we got through it, and I learned a lot!

MaryCollis is 3 months old this week! She's so cute, y'all. I hate even posting pictures of her because they look absolutely NOTHING like her. Her eyelashes go on for days and her hair gets more and more blonde every day (Chad had BLEACH blonde hair as a child). Here are her stats:

-She weighs roughly 14.5 pounds and is 25 inches long.
-Feeding times are still random. She eats 5 ounces every 4 hours (sometimes this equals 4 bottles and sometimes it’s only 3 – depending on what time she wakes up), and she eats 6 ounces with 3 TB of oatmeal in her nighttime bottle (given just before 9PM). Bath is always at 8PM and bed is about 9PM. Sometimes she eats 5 ounces at some point during the night (about 4AM or 5AM) but not always. She eats between 21-26 ounces daily. According to the general rule of thumb, she should be eating about 36 ounces per day (multiply the baby’s weight times 2.5), but she seems to be doing fine and sister is PLENTY healthy.
-We use about 6 diapers a day.
-She still wakes up once per night most of the time - But now it’s between 4AM and 5AM. Most of the time she’ll go back to sleep if I flip her over or give her the pacifier, so hopefully she’ll stop waking up altogether.
-We are in Size 1-2 diapers.
-We are in 3-6 month clothing.
-She still loves the stroller, carseat, pacifier, bath time, mornings and TV.
-She sleeps 10-12 hours total at night and takes several cat naps during the day.
-She constantly drools and shoves her hands in her mouth. Guess we have teething to look forward to!

She can officially sit straight up in her bumbo seat now.

Hello, Chad.

I decorated my house for Christmas 2 weeks ago, but I had to wait on my tree because Chad was out of town. We put it up Thanksgiving Eve, and I'm slightly disappointed this year. I'm just so extremely exhausted all the time. And I usually pride myself on having the prettiest tree in town, but this year I'll just have to settle for having a tree at all. We usually put 5,000+ lights on our 10 ft. tree, and my Lord is it gorgeous... but this year we could only get a 7.5 ft. tree, so it's not quite as magnificent but it looks pretty good. Here is our tree and some of my favorite ornaments. I couldn't decide which lighting worked best, so there are a million photos.

Happy Christmas!


Thanksgiving has come and gone, so now we can get on with the best holiday - Christmas! Don't get me wrong, I like Thanksgiving.... but come on.... turkey in comparison to lights, trees, presents and Christmas music? No contest. And to make it even better, this year MaryCollis has been chosen to play Baby Jesus - or Baby Jesusette as my mom calls her. She's going to be such a cute toot.

But back to Thanksgiving - my cousin Morry came down from The Big Apple to join the rest of us out at my late grandfather's farm (which now belongs to Barb). We enjoyed shrimp stroganoff on Thanksgiving Eve and a big ole spread on Thanksgiving Day complete with turkey, lamb, dressing with gravy and cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole, dumplings, creamed corn, turnip greens, rutabagas, cornbread, banana pudding, sweet potato pie and pecan pie. Delish! My mom and Ily B are seriously good cooks, and it absolutely TERRIFIES me that one day they're going to hand the cooking duties over to me. Yikes. I'm a good cook, and I really enjoy cooking but cooking 20 different items and timing it just right takes skill. A skill I'm afraid I don't have.

Morry and Chester with MaryCollis - aren't they handsome boys?

Belle begging for scraps.

Remember when I bought this onesie? Well, it was back in May and I thought MaryCollis would NEVER fit into it. And here we are... 3 months old, 14.5 pounds, 25 inches long and not so much a "little" nugget anymore.

Gamma and MC on Thanksgiving Eve.

MC and Doc on Thanksgiving Day.

After Thanksgiving lunch with my family, me, Mom, Dad and MC hit the road for Tanner, Alabama, to visit Dad's parents. MC loves the car, so it was a great trip. The best part was on the way back... We're all taking a nap when Dad decides to stop for a piece of chocolate and some coffee. Everyone hops out, picks out their candy of choice and rushes back to the car to get back on the road. We get onto the interstate... and that's when we smelled it. There was undeniably a large pooper in the backseat. So we pull over on the side of the road, I do a quick diaper change and we hit it again. I seriously wish y'all could've seen me and Mom. We could not stop laughing. Good times.

My dad's parents are pretty much in good health. My grandmother doesn't have Alzheimer's like my Mimi does, but her memory is definitely fading. The whole time we were there, she didn't know who the baby was or why there even was a baby, but dadgummit she knew there was a baby. And every time the baby would go out of Grandmother's vision, she'd immediately say, "Where's that baby?" And every 15 seconds she would say, "That is the most beautiful baby." She might mix it up a little and say, "Isn't that just the prettiest baby?" Andrew calls her 10-Second Tom.... like on 50 First Dates. Here are some photos of our trip:

4 Generations: Granddaddy and Grandmother, Dad, me and MC.

Sweet little bib one of my mom's friends made.


MaryCollis and I went to church again this Sunday and she looked precious (AGAIN!) Putting church clothes on infants is serious hard work, but gosh they look so darn cute. This week she wore her MSU bloomers under her dress.... the nursery lady is an Ole Miss fan, so I just couldn't resist. HAIL STATE!


Last Home Game in Starkville

As mentioned earlier, we went to Starkville last weekend (11.20.10) for the last MSU home game. Lauren came to stay with us, and it was so much fun! We were a bit disappointed with the outcome of the game - lost in double overtime :( - but it was so nice to visit with everyone. Miss MaryCollis has grown so much and is such a joy to be round. Chad is officially NOT the only person who can make her laugh now. Aunt Lauren has the magic touch too! Here are some photos from the weekend:


Aunt Lauren may live in Oxford, but she's a bulldog at heart.

Napping with Gamma. Is this not the cutest stinking thing you've ever seen?!


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

From my home to yours, I hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving filled with the love of family and delicious treats. It's not my favorite holiday (Christmas is - duh!), but it's a close second. Three years ago, I started a Thanksgiving book. Each year, Chad and I write what we are most thankful for - and sometimes my family throws in their thoughts too. I can't find the book this year because our rent house is so tiny, and a lot of things are still in boxes... but I did find the card stock and markers we always use, so the tradition is still on!

This afternoon, MaryCollis and I are going with my parents to see my dad's parents in Tanner, Alabama. Even though it's going to be quite the ordeal packing up a newborn to take an overnight trip, I haven't seen them since my wedding nearly 2 years ago, and it may be the only time MaryCollis gets to meet them... so off we go! It's easy traveling to Starkville because MC has her own bed there, we keep towels and infant washcloths and shampoo/lotion, burp cloths, extra clothes, etc. so I don't have to pack much... so this should be interesting. Chad has to work Friday, so he's staying behind. The good news is, the tree is decorated - along with the rest of the house - so when we return Friday evening, I won't have a care in the world! I'll post about our Thanksgiving adventure when we get home.

Also, we had a wonderful time in Starkville last weekend with MaryCollis' Fairy Godmother and my best friend Lauren. I promise to post pictures soon!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Death and Cowbells

A few things have been weighing heavy on my heart this week, and I thought I might share them with you sweet readers. I've been thinking about how precious MaryCollis is to our family and how heartbroken we all would be if anything ever happened to her.

At Mississippi State's last home game this weekend, the crowd honored MSU football player Nick Bell who died earlier this season. Bell was just 20 years old when he was suddenly diagnosed with cancer in October. He had been experiencing headaches and finally went to the emergency room, where he had emergency brain surgery to remove a large tumor. After surgery, he was able to return to Starkville to watch MSU defeat UAB. Just 10 days later, he was dead. Before the start of the game Saturday evening, there was a special ceremony honoring the young athlete. As the crowd bowed their heads in silence, one single cowbell began to ring in the distance. Ding ding, ding ding, ding ding. I wasn't there, but my mom said as she looked up to see what was happening, she spotted Nick Bell's mother on the field, and she was smiling from ear to ear as she rang that cowbell in memory of her son. The sold-out crowd joined in, and all you could hear were bells. Can you imagine? As my mom told me that story Sunday morning, we both teared up at the thought of losing anyone close to us, but especially a child.

In a similar incident, my sweet cousin Lucy was experiencing terrible headaches when she was 10 years old. Her mother took her to the emergency room, and she died the same day. I can't remember all the details, but it was heartbreaking and tragic. She was just a child. After the Lakers game came to a close Monday, a 2-year-old boy fell over 3 stories to his death from a luxury box at the Staples Center. His family was said to have been taking photos in celebration and looked away for a few seconds when he climbed over a guard rail and fell nearly 50 feet. A 2-year-old, y'all. Last year, one of my co-worker's relatives was driving with her 5-year-old, and they ran off the road. He was not wearing his seatbelt (you know how kids are - if you tell them to put it on, they'll take it off just to spite you), and he died.

I don't mean to be morbid, but I just could not bear it if anything ever happened to my baby girl. I know everything happens for a reason, and God has a plan for us, but I'm not sure I would ever be able to understand why something so terrible could happen to me. I don't even understand it when it happens to people I've never met. God doesn't make mistakes. This I know for sure. But what good comes from the death of a child?

On a different note, my mom made an excellent recommendation the other day after the Arkansas game. She suggested that from now on, instead of MSU cowbells being "Bully Bells" as they are frequently called, we should rename them "Nick Bells." And every time a "Nick Bell" is purchased, a percentage of the purchase goes to cancer research. And not only that, but every time a "Nick Bell" rings, it will resemble his life and all of the other lives lost to cancer. I thought it was such a neat idea and a great way for one simple change to make such a huge impact. Are you listening, MSU?

Have a Happy Thanksgiving,

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Cards

Chad has always said I have a knack for spending money, and it has never been more evident than it has been the last 2 months. But once again, I must declare my innocence in this situation. It's not as if I went on a shopping spree, treated myself to mani-pedis or bought everyone a round at the bar. I had to renew my car tag - it's the law, folks. I had not been to the eye doctor in over 2 years, so I bought myself some new glasses and contacts. In honor of MaryCollis' birth, I sent birth announcements to our closest friends and family. And last, but certainly not least, I registered for both the Praxis I and II exams in order to become certified to teach high school. Now, I ask you, which of these purchases might you consider frivolous? Okay, okay, I admit the birth announcements weren't a "must" but what kind of mother would I be if I didn't send out a photo of our first born?!

In light of the recent money-spending, I elected not to order Christmas cards this year. The hospital bills are still coming in from MaryCollis' birth, and I am not currently working so I just couldn't bear to ask Chad for one more cent.... especially for something that isn't "essential to my salvation" as my mom would say. So I grieved for a day or two and went on with life as usual.... UNTIL I saw my friend Brittany's blog post last week.

It would seem that Shutterfly is having a holiday promotion. They are giving away 50 free Christmas Cards to bloggers like me! I am always interested in finding holiday cards that are unique and fun for all ages, and the great thing about Shutterfly is that they have tons of cards that are submitted by a variety of different designers. They literally have hundreds to choose from. I've already looked through all of the Christmas and holiday card selections, and I'm mighty impressed this year. Of course this year we'll be showcasing Miss MaryCollis on our cards, and they have some precious ones that are just as elegant as she is!

I like to stick to your typical Christmas colors: red, green, gold, silver, maroon, cream, etc. But if you're into the sassy Christmas cards, they've got those too. Click here to view the full selection of Holiday cards. Or if you're trying to save cash this season and you don't qualify for the blogger promotion, visit www.shutterfly.com for a plethora of gift ideas like the photo books you can see here. Tip: These are a FABULOUS way of displaying wedding, honeymoon, anniversary, birthday or baby photos without having to order hundreds of prints. It keeps them nice and organized and you can write captions by each photo! If you're a blogger and you want to win 50 FREE Christmas cards, click here to join the promotion!

I am thrilled to be able to order Christmas cards this year - and without spending a dime! THANKS, SHUTTERFLY!

Here are links to my favorite Shutterfly cards. Let me know what you think!

Family Wall Red Christmas Card - I LOVE this card. I think it's just the right mix of classic and fun. Perfect for the Patricks!
With Love Chartreuse Christmas Card - Similar to the one above but horizontal.
Holly and Jolly Christmas Card - I'm slightly obsessed with this color green.
Sweet Damask Christmas Card - This would be so precious with MC's photo on it!
Season of Joy Holiday Card - This is the one exception for my color rule. I really like this shade of blue.
Joyous and Blessed Card - Since MaryCollis was such a miracle baby and she has been such a blessing to us, I thought this card would be gorgeous with her sweet little face on it.

Go join the promotion!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Milestones and Mahi Mahi

If you remember, last time I was slightly distraught over the fact that I know a baby who was laughing at 2 months and MaryCollis was not. Well, a lot can change in a week's time! MaryCollis is officially laughing out loud..... but only for Chad. :(  She laughed for the first time on Friday, November 12, and she has laughed 5 or 6 times now - all for Chad. Apparently he looks funny to her! Ha. I have tried so hard to capture it on film, but she always stops when I bring the camera in (little stinker!!). She also likes to look at Gerty.... she hasn't laughed out loud at her yet, but she does coo and do that cute little monotone laugh that babies do. It's cute. Like I said, I haven't been able to capture her laughing on film, but these videos are the closest thing I've got....

She still hasn't picked up a toy on purpose, but she has picked up toys on accident. I know that sounds bizarre, but if she's laying on her play gym and a toy is behind her head, she might grab it from behind without realizing she even did it. She hasn't intentionally looked at a toy and thought "I'm going to grab that," but she can grasp things and hold onto them for LONG periods of time without dropping it. Here's a video:

MC’s 11 Week facts:
-Her feeding is still kind of random. Just this week, she dropped one of her feedings - but not the middle-of-the-night one! Ha. This week she has eaten 5 ounces 3 times per day (about every 4 hours: Roughly 7:30AM, 11:30AM and 4PM) and 6 ounces with 3 TB of oatmeal in her nighttime bottle (given around 9PM). Bath is always at 8PM and bed at about 9:30PM. She eats 5 ounces again at some point during the night (about 4AM).
-We use about 6 diapers a day.
-She wakes up once per night - Sometime between 3AM and 5AM. I am still trying to get her to drop this feeding, so when she starts fussing, I give her the pacifier to see if she is truly hungry. This morning, she woke up at 5AM, so I put her on her tummy and gave her the pacifier and she slept until 7AM. It doesn't work every time, but I always try.
-She usually wakes up for the day about 7AM.
-We are in Size 1-2 diapers.
-We are officially in 3-6 month clothing. She still has several 0-3 outfits that fit, but none of the onesies fit because she's too long for them to snap.
-She still loves the stroller and carseat.
-She sleeps about 12 hours a day (including naps).
-She is awake about 12 hours a day.
- Still LOVES bath time.
-Mornings are still her favorite.
-She laughs out loud at Chad and only Chad.
-She really likes to watch Mickie Mouse Clubhouse because all of the colors are so vivid.

- LOOOOOVES the pacifier. Doesn't matter what kind. Can't live without them. It's going to be HELL taking it away from her one day.

 10 weeks
 10 weeks

 MaryCollis' first time to church
 10 weeks after church
 Goofy smile
 She grabbed this toy & held onto it for 30 minutes last week.
 Still holding!
 First NEJ sporting event with Gamma & Ily B
 10 weeks
 10 weeks
 Sitting on Gamma & Doc's new couch - 11 weeks
 Playing at Aunt Erin & Uncle Ben's - 11 weeks
 Napping - 11 weeks
 MESMERIZED by Mickie Mouse Clubhouse - 11 weeks

Enough about the Doodle Bug. The other night Chad cooked Mahi Mahi sandwiches, and they were delish. Check it out.



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