Saturday, January 19, 2008

Learning to Crawl

My baby boy is finally starting all of the motions towards crawling and it is such an experience to watch. I often put a toy in front of him on the floor just enough out of his reach that he will have to move forward to get it. He will lay on his stomach and "swim" in the air while I lay in front of him and encourage him. He always gets so frustrated because instead of moving forward, he makes himself move backward.

As I was lying on the floor encouraging him the other night I thought about how this scenario reminds me a lot of how we are with God. He will put something special in front of us but instead of going for it, we back away. All along He is there encouraging us but we can't hear Him because we're fussing and complaining.

Now as a mother I know that it's not helping Clay if I just give him the toy. He has to learn how to crawl because that leads to something much more significant- walking. If I were to give him the toy, he would miss out on the lesson and never learn to walk on his own. In the same sense, I realize if God were to give us all of our gifts without letting us learn along the way we would never grow and evolve.

It's so amazing to watch him grow and learn. I realize more each day that as much as I think I'm teaching Clay, God is using Clay to teach me so much more....

Saturday, January 12, 2008

New Year's Week

After all of our traveling for Christmas, we were back home for four days. Clay loved playing with his some of his new toys.

One morning I heard him fussing in his bed during naptime and I couldn't figure out why.

Meet Lilly:

We were back in Dallas for just a short time (long enough for Mike to work). For New Year's, our little family got back in the car and went to San Antonio. We arrived New Year's Eve and celebrated playing board games (oh, the joys of getting older...).

Clay quickly got back in the groove of playing at Nana and Papa's house.

He was clearly very excited about the New Year!

The next night, Mike and I went on a date to the Tower of the Americas and stayed in a fancy hotel downtown. It was so nice and relaxing for us and Mike's parents kept Clay.

Parents Night Out

We came back to Mike's parents rested and relaxed and with a six year old in tow. My nephew, Kaelen, came to hang out with us for the night. He and Mike went out on the four wheeler and it was freezing!


The boys

After four wheeling, making s'mores and trying to make exploding microwave marshmellows (Mike's idea), Kaelen wanted to play hangman. Mike's mom and I guessed and guessed on what this word could be but we could never guess what it was.

I wonder why...

His word was scooll. Note to self: be creative when playing hangman with a first grader.

One of the highlights of Clay's trip to Nana's and Papa's is getting to eat fun stuff. Here is one adventure:

And now, we are back home in Lewisville once again. Here's a rundown of our last couple of days. Clay is sick for the first time (yuck!) and has to take an inhaler.

Poor baby!

That keeps me busy so Landry has been helping with dinner...

And supervising Clay's bathtime...

Thanks Lilly and Landry! You sure do know how to help out (or give your mom one more place to clean with bleach wipes, however you choose to look at it!)

Hopefully, I will be a better blogger in the new year. Here's to 2008!

Christmas with the Skloss Family

The Skloss family had a really special Christmas season but it was definitely busy! It was so much fun to get to experience the holidays with Clay this year. Taking him to see Santa, going to the holiday festival in Grapevine and getting to see him with all of his new toys were all priceless memories.

The Christmas Festival in Grapevine

Mike went hunting the week before Christmas but his mom came to stay to help with Clay. She was such a big help since I still had to work and finish my shopping. We shopped till we dropped but we had fun in the meantime!

Mike came home the Thursday before Christmas and we left for San Antonio on Saturday. Let me just say that traveling with a dog, a baby, Christmas gifts for sixteen people and a weeks worth of luggage left us looking like the Griswald's driving down Interstate 35!

We spent Christmas Eve day with my family and Christmas Eve dinner with the Sklosses.

Clay's Christmas Pajamas

We spent the night at my grandmother's and Santa came to visit Clay there Christmas morning. Then, my sister and her family came over to open all of their gifts with us.

This was such a different Christmas experience for me in so many ways but there was just one aspect that made me kind of sad. I have always enjoyed watching everyone open the gifts that we brought them. Well, this year it was so busy I couldn't even really tell what was being opened and when. All the gifts were being passed out and Clay was getting fidgety. Just trying to open Clay's stuff and keep mine and Mike's from getting mixed up with everyone else's was a job in itself.

I'm so used to a small family and now we're not so small anymore (the kid number went from 2 to 4 this year!). I guess it just felt like I missed the fun reactions which is my favorite part of the experience. It certainly wasn't anyone's fault (I don't think anyone realized how big we were until we all were there!) but I hope next year we can find a way to at least make it "feel" small again.

We got Brittan a onesie that says "I stink!" and it came with a little skunk- too cute!

My dad with Brittan and Clay

Anyhow, on a good note, our Christmas gift from my sister's family was a video about our year- obviously showcasing a special someone. I gave my brother in law a bunch of pictures and he did his magic. He made us one last year that announced we were pregnant at the end but this year's didn't have any special surprises. We were so excited with the video, though, it's such a great way for us to look back on 2007 for years to come and we're truly grateful for all the work my brother in law, David, put into it.

After Christmas dinner, we went to Mike's Grandma Susie's so that Clay could meet all of his Papa's family. I was raised in a small family (1 brother and 1 sister) so this whole big family thing at the holidays is still quite the experience for me but I'm thrilled that Clay will get to experience it from year one.

We were very excited to get to introduce him to all of the Sklosses and they were very sweet to him. It's so nice to know that we have families who genuinely love and care about Clay. It will be fun to watch him grow up with all of the Skloss cousins.

These are the Skloss cousins with "Santa"

Clay and Santa

After Grandma Susie's we went to Mike's parents to open gifts and spend the night. Clay had so many things to open! He took his turn each time in the opening order until we all finished opening ours. He still had a few left so we took a break and then came back to finish his!

This is Clay's "section"

The whole "first time with a baby" Christmas experience was something else! It's like having another baby shower! We felt so blessed and are so grateful for all of the great gifts that were given to Clay.

Since he was born, I am always a sucker for a cute toy whenever we're out shopping. Well, I stopped giving him new toys a couple months ago because I wanted to save them for Christmas and I didn't want to go overboard. So all he had to play with were his Exersaucer and his highchair toys (rattles, shakers, stacking rings). Now I feel kind of bad because he got so many cool "get moving" toys for Christmas and as soon as we pulled them out of the boxes he started moving! He was nowhere near crawling before Christmas but the day after we got home he was pulling himself up on the crib rails and trying to move to get his toys on the floor. Maybe I should have given him some of the "get moving" toys earlier and I might have a crawler by now. Oh well, I'm in no hurry anyway.

My big boy standing up!

Now that we are back home, though, we had to make a place for all of Clay's big boy toys. This is what our guest room wall looked like the day after we came home.

Needless to say, the former guest room is now a playroom!

Well, we traveled, we played, we shopped and stayed up late getting ready for Santa and it was a fantastic Christmas. We couldn't have asked for anything more.