Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Texas Christmas - 2009

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!"

This Christmas it definitely was the most wonderful time, it was so magical!
It really was!!!

Not only was I going home to Texas after 2 years with my husband Greg but I was also in tow with Isabel!
I was also able to take advantage of my maternity leave and stayed a little over 5 weeks. How awesome was that! I am so glad it was 5 weeks long as I got sick for over 2 weeks, stupid Mountain Cedar! I won't complain too much about being sick because the rest of the time was so truly awesome.

My Mom's house is not the biggest house and so I was a little worried about all of us being cramped up in the living room. But when I got there my mom had a little surprise for me, that she had built on a beautiful game room!

This really opened up the house and drew in all the men as it has a huge flat-screen TV, regulation pool table and bar.

The house was decked out in every way, inside and out! Lights all over the house, 4 light Christmas trees outside, and inside the house looked like Santa had a party in there (as my brother put it).

Isabel was a little bit afraid of Randy and Byron, both with their facial hair but she quickly warmed up to everyone.

Isabel didn't want for anything as my mom and Randy had gotten a safety seat for the car, high-chair,

bath tub,
2 baby beds,

3 baby swings,

a jumperoo,

a walker and tons of toys!!

Diapers, wipes, baby food and more were also waiting for us and all of this added to the excitement.

Greg and I didn't have to worry about anything other than stepping off the plane and that was GREAT!

Thank you Mom! Thank you Randy.

My brother Byron

was staying at my Mom's place too and so he could keep Greg company and challenge him to many games of pool.

With this many people at my mom's place I was never in want of a babysitter, once Isabel felt comfortable letting someone else besides Mommy hold her!

I was really looking forward to some sun and warmth as last time I went home in December it was in the 60's and 70's the whole 2 weeks.

Unfortunately the cold and snow seemed to follow me from Finland!! December 23rd it was 70 degrees outside and sunny, yet it snowed on Christmas a couple of days later. I couldn't believe we had a white Christmas. Everyone wants one (well except me) and we got one! I didn't really mind as this is Texas and as they say "If you don't like the weather in Texas just wait 5'll change!"
White Christmas

My Mom and Randy decided to have lap band surgery and were on a liquid diet, gasp! After a lot of pouting my mom decided to go ahead and do a big Christmas dinner.
Turkey, Cornbread Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Honeyed Sweet Potatoes, green beans, Pea Salad, Fruit Salad, Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie. YUM YUM YUM!!!!


After stuffing ourselves we decided to open gifts and we had a blast.
My brother Byron was really thoughtful and got us several wonderful gifts.
He got Greg and I a digital photo frame that plays videos too! I was wanting one but Greg said to hold off for awhile....but thanks to my brother I don't have to wait! :-p

Bryon also got an electric thermometer that gives a baby's temperature in a matter of seconds. He also got her some cute little bibs and a pink warm winter jacket.
Along with a pop up book, it is so cute and is one of my favorites Horton Hears a Who. ahhh thanks Bryon, you rocked Christmas this year!

Greg is also a thoughtful present giver and usually gives awesome gifts!

He didn't let my brother down, as Byron wanted some slippers to wear around the house and Greg got him some pretty cool slippers!

Don't you think so?!

Everyone that saw them loved them, including Bryon.

My present, Sock Monkey In The Box was great. My Dad loves to tell the story of how I was so afraid of my first Jack In The Box and laughs and laughs when he thinks back to me as a child.

Greg surprised me with some accessories for my camera. A bounce flash, a zoom lense and a camera stand with a remote control! Here I am putting the remote to test as I took these pictures myself! Pretty Cool!

Of course, Isabel made out like a bandit with tons of toys

and we even Texasified her up with a hat and matching boots!

BUT Isabel's favorite present was.....PAPER! She couldn't get enough of it and loved loved playing with it more than her toys!

Of course we had our cute little Santa all dressed up and everyone wanted their picture taken with Santa.

It really was a magical and wonderful day!
Lucky us, we got to have another shot with my dad over at Memo's and again at Mom's place.


All the fun and excitement tired out this little gal

but she sure did enjoy being home in Texas just like me!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Hello Grand Pa!

We sure do miss you!!!

My Dad (a.k.a Grand Pa) made it pretty easy for me when I came home this past Christmas.

My Dad lives in Houston and unfortunately the rest of my family and friends live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

I am sure my Dad wanted to show Isabel off to his friends

but he never complained or pressured me to go down to Houston which is a long drive, about 5 hours one way.

Yet, he didn't seem to mind the drive and just jumped in his car and came up to visit us about 5 different times.

Thank you Dad for taking it easy on me!!

My Dad is great because he will do any boring thing I ask!
So, I usually ask him to go shopping with me.

Poor Dad, he always gets dragged from one mall to the next, but this time we didn't venture too far (except for the mall in Hurst....such a let down) and we just went to the local shops in Burleson.

Like Walmart!
I love Walmart!!

I think we went to Walmart about 9 times in 2 weeks and each time I would find something else I needed that I didn't know I was needing :-)

Dad even went to Ulta with me, which is a store that only sells makeup.
Yep, he looked interestingly on as I told him about this color and that color and eye base, eye shadow, and lip stick versus lip gloss; and he really seemed to be paying attention.

We also went to Barnes and Noble several times but I think my dad actually enjoyed this, as we were looking for books for Isabel. Dad has sent Isabel loads of books and her favorite one is

Where Isabel can choose cardboard cutouts of animal pieces to fit the appropriate animal 'bed' for each page; to slip the chick into the nest, the lamb into the hay, and the baby into the bed. It is a precious little book and we all enjoy it!

On one particular visit, Dad found a great little book called "Little Lamb" with a finger puppet as part of the book. Too cute!!

Besides having shopping in common, my dad and I like to eat Mexican food! I definitely got my FasTaco fix with my dad, as we had it for lunch and dinner on the same night for a couple of nights in a row.

Another great thing about my Dad coming down and staying at Memo's house, was I could also visit my Memo at the same time. See, we needed a place to hang out and so my Memo said Dad could stay and Dad didn't mind hanging out at Memo's either!

That was really nice as I was able to share Isabel with Memo several times too.

Isabel really seemed to enjoy my Memo's attention too.
Side note....Memo said "All babies are cute, but Andrea little Isabel is real pretty" and the real pretty was said with such a southern accent that it was doubly sweet.

An added plus about going to Memo's was my cousin Leslie

and my Aunt Polly (Mom #2)

were able to come and the men were able to play golf.

Another side note ....Mom #2, did a lot of VERY SWEET things for Isabel. She brought up a bed, high chair that we could use at Memo's and lots of clothes for Isabel (thank you Denea for all the clothes too).
Thanks Mom #2. This is a pretty big deal as Mom #2 has MS and yet she will drive over an hour to my Memo's twice for a visit and several times to bring all the baby items. I am very blessed to have Mom #2, so thank you very much Polly!

Christmas was double fun, or should I say triple as not only did we celebrate it at Memo's house a few days BEFORE Christmas...

BUT Mom and Dad actually got along so well, that we had it at my Mom's too! Granted it was a couple of days after Christmas but I still dressed Isabel up in her Santa outfit and it was a little more cheerful at Mom's as there were Christmas ornaments and a Christmas tree to help reset the mood.

Grand Pa got Isabel a cute little present called the Learning Puppy, that sings songs and helps her learn body parts and colors too. It seemed to be a hit with Isabel and she still lights up when she hears the puppy sing.

A few days after Christmas I was not feeling too well, as I had gotten sick. Randy told me that if I didn't want to pack up and go to Memo's that my Dad was more than welcome to come to their house. Dad said that was great for him too and before I knew it we decided to do Christmas again!

"not again??!!"

Yes, again little Isabel. Or should I say little Santa.

Dad with Santa

Isabel loves the sound of paper and my dad really enjoyed egging her on. Didn't bother me as he cleaned up the mess several times (as you can see my dad is picking up the paper over and over so Isabel can throw it on the ground)
She had so much fun with something so simple.

All of this traveling and excitement really tired out Isabel but she found comfort in her Grand Pa's arms ...ahh so sweet!

Tired Baby

We love and miss you Grand Pa! Thank you for all the visits, Mexican food and love.