James has started doing the sweetest thing. When he sees something soft, like his lovey, a kitty, or one of his stuffed animals, he tips his head towards it, snuggles it, and makes the cutest little content sound. It melts my heart every single time.
When we were downstairs in the playroom he found my panda bear stuffed animal with my doll stuff and immediately it became one of his favorites. He carries her around, snuggles her in his cute way, and sucks on her nose.
So when thinking about my black and white post yesterday I figured I might as well use the black and white panda who is his constant companion. James also has a few cute panda bear clothes, so I made sure to dress him in accordingly yesterday.
We woke up on Christmas morning to the little red lights on our baby monitor merrily bouncing higher and higher as James made happy baby squeals from his room. E got up and I heard him through the baby monitor say "Merry Christmas" to a very excited boy.
In the living room we turned on the fire, the Christmas tree and some Christmas music. James was quite interested in the fireplace and hardly looked at all the presents that Santa had left. We took down the stocking and he started digging through it. I was excited to get a photo of James with his stocking, since he got a photo near it last year and he was about the same size as his stocking. Then began the fun of Christmas, unwrapping presents. E got me the sweetest little gnome card (you know I adore gnomes!) and a HD flip camera for videos of the baby! I got E a fountain pen he's been wanting. James got Where the Wild Things Are, a rug for his play room (it is so cute!), and some adorable toys.
Then after feeding James a quick breakfast and popping a hash-brown casserole into the oven we loaded him into the car and we were off to our first stop: E's family's house. We were greeted with happy hellos and a room FULL of presents. We opened stockings full of Christmas sweets, fruit, toys and yummy drinks. Santa always leaves the adults alcoholic drinks in their stocking. Perfect? Yes.
Presents induced the sweetest little rocking moose for James and his very only leather armchair for the living room! E got a new watch and I got the most amazing Harry Potter book, beautiful tanzanite earnings and an annual pass to Utah's Children's museum. Spoiled doesn't even cover it.
Isn't his rocking moose awesome? James loves it and understands how it works already. Also, his little leather wing-back chair? So dang cute. David, Chelsea and Connie in the sea of presents. After two hours of incredible present opening we packed up the babe and drove back to our house. James (like a perfect angel) went down for his morning nap without a peep. E's family arrived fifteen minutes later to a hot Christmas breakfast. We made Christmas tea, sat down to an amazing breakfast and laughed all while James slept.
It is so fun to have an excuse to use our fancy china. David, Steve, Joe, Chelsea, Connie, E and I enjoy a deluxe breakfast. Plus, it was a beautiful sunny day which makes it all the more awesome. Once James woke up from his two hour nap (angel I tell you) we had my siblings and dad come over. Again we tore wrapping paper, exchanged gifts and laughed about how silly James was being. My dad gave our little family an annual pass to the zoo! Hello? Best present ever!
And, the day was amazingly warm. We ended up out on the front lawn because it felt like April. Never do I remember a Christmas being so mild.
Sitting in the sun with my Mabel and my boy. And Mabel now thinks the new baby-sized leather chair is hers. She's been in it ever since we brought it home.
After my family left we put the baby in the stroller and decided to walk to the school yard to play on the swings. It was so nice! None of us even had to wear coats. Crazy for December in Utah. Then James rocked his second nap and E and I had a chance to relax (I took a long bath with a good book).
Once he woke we packed up more presents and went to my Mom's house for Christmas dinner. Again, we got some amazing gifts. My Mom and Chuck gave the entire family a trip to Teton National Park this July (so so excited for this!) and my Grandma gave the entire family a trip to Bryce National Park in February! Gah, I love my family.
Dinner constituted of the traditional baked pasta shells and peppermint ice-cream pie for dessert. We went home happy, full, tired and spoiled.
It was an amazing day.
E, Kathleen and Brandon enjoy presents at my Mom and Chuck's house. As always, James is only happy walking around. No sitting and relaxing for this guy. My mom shows off the calender she created for everyone. This is how she announced the July trip! And, I have some Christmas videos to share that I took with my new flip cam! I'll upload them later. Until then, James and I are enjoying the fact that E is home all week. Merry merry!
Right now I sit in the living room. Snow if gently falling outside (after being unseasonably warm yesterday), the fire is lit, the Christmas tree is glowing and the room is a disaster. Wrapping paper still litters the floor, presents strewn about hither nither, and two sleeping cats, and a husband, on the couch. It is perfect.
The last few days have been crazy busy and oh so fun.
The festivities started on December 23rd when we met my Dad and siblings for Dim Sum for dinner to celebrate my Dad's birthday. This place is awesome and the dim sum is so damn good. We ordered seaweed salad, pork buns, Shanghai dumplings, shrimp rolls, pot-stickers, wanton soup, egg rolls, and more.
James happily ate almost everything and toddled around the restaurant much to everyone's delight. December 24th was just as wonderful and holidayish. The morning started out with dancing to Christmas music in the living room, making sushi for the Christmas Eve party to come, and relaxing at home. After James rocked his second nap we all got dressed in some fancy clothes and headed over to my Aunt Laura's house for an amazing Christmas Eve. Laura had everyone bring one special appetizer and so the tables were overflowing with goodies, since there were almost 20 guests. The entire night felt warm and fun and low key. James happily munched on all the hors dourvers and explored Laura's entire main floor stopping only to pet the dogs and get another handful of chips. James had never tried potato chips up until this point. To say he liked them is an understatement. James and I and my cousin Kendra and her boyfriend Victor. My bro Chandler and the amazing cookies Laura's Swiss exchange student, Rubina, made. Amazing. We came home after the Christmas Eve party, put the baby to bed, turned on some Christmas music and wrapped some last Christmas presents.
Yes, I plan to continue to the Wolfy photo series until James is two. Then, we'll see. Maybe a photo every three months? Six months? I don't think I'll add these photos to the right sidebar, so you'll have to enjoy them here.
James has had quite a month. A language explosion! Not many new words ("book" he's said only twice) but lots and lots of new sounds. Now most the time it sounds like he is having an entire conversation with himself in a language he's only privy to.
He's been adorable/fussy/ and a bit hard to handle this month in all honestly. He is a lot of fun on his good days. Better than ever before, but because this last month he had his first ever cold, is still teething, and now is a master of toddler-esk fits (throwing himself to the ground in frustration), yea, you get the idea.
Naps have also been quite a struggle this month. He is finally pulling up in his crib (took him long enough?!) that now he's happy to stand and throw all his binkies onto the floor during afternoon nap. I've done a couple of things to try to keep afternoon nap going a little longer, because he clearly told me he is not ready for one nap a day. One thing I did was move his morning hap a half an hour earlier, and I try to keep him active all afternoon. I also moved his afternoon nap a half hour later, so the extra hour has made it seem that 80% of the time he takes an afternoon nap.
He's a wonderful little boy and this Christmas is going to be awesome. Each year gets more and more fun with this little guy. Happy 13 months Baby Man!
My gosh, comparing this to one month photos (taken one year ago!) this guy doesn't even look like the same kid. And back then? He was the same height as Wolfy! Still a goof. Love my Mr. Blue eyes.
For Black and White Wednesday I have a photo I've been excited to share. Last weekend, while at E's family's house, Connie pulled out a box of boy clothes that were E's when he was little.
Vintage boy things that James's Dada wore? Yes please!
One of the cutest things in the entire box was this little coat and hat set. It is the softest corduroy in the world, and the little hat has such a wonderful sweet vintage look to it. I can't wait to scan a photo of E in the same little coat and hat.
Isn't it sweet? I want to get more photos soon. And yes, he's been drooling constantly due to even more teeth coming in. I love his baby drool though, so it's ok. :) And in color, because the coat matches his beautiful blue eyes.
It was still dark this morning when James got up. Not that he got up any earlier than usual, but because we are celebrating the winter solstice in North America and the sun doesn't break over the mountains until 8:30. At 7:30 am the sky was just beginning to lighten reveling lots of fresh beautiful snow blanketing everything outside.
I turned on some old time Christmas tunes, flipped the Christmas tree's lights on, and started to brew some coffee. James happily toddled around in his winter jammies and in his little slippered feet. Life is sweet. Really looking forward to Christmas with this guy. Aren't his Rudolf slippers just the cutest?
Everything this weekend has been perfect. Yes, the baby has been getting over a cold which has made him a little more grumpy than normal, but even a somewhat grouchy baby couldn't dampen my spirits. Maybe because the weekend started out with this: When E was in France he was inspired to do a little wine/cheese/ploughman's dinner when he got back. It's been a long time since we've done something like this for dinner, and it was perfect. The fire happily flickered in the fireplace, the Christmas tree set off a warm glow in the corner and Pandora played Nat King Cole's Christmas songs. And the weekend continued to be wonderful because it was E's family's annual cookie day on Saturday and my family's annual cookie day on Sunday. That is a lot of cookies people.
E with his sibs. At E's house we always decorate about six dozen sugar cookies. Luckily Chelsea and Joe show up early to bake them! James doesn't eat a lot of sugar, but he wanted a cookie like everyone else on cookie day. This might have been his first cookie. As you can see, he really liked it. And then today we hosted my family's cookie day. For this one we each choose a different recipe and all bake together. By the end of the afternoon we have tons of cookies in all different flavors. Everyone gathers a handful of each and we all end up with lots of yummy options. My Grandma was able to walk up our sidewalk, up the stairs into the house, and to the kitchen table. I was so thrilled she was able to attend. At one point James was getting some major tickles and showing off his biggest laughs for the adoring crowd. Love this one of my boy. Wow. Just look at the difference a year makes. Here is a photo of Melissa with James on last year's cookie day. My cute as heck cousin Kendra laughing as James pulls off the Santa hat that I was trying to get a photo of. The hat lasted a total of three seconds. Can you see some top toofies coming in? Yep, he's been teething for two months solid. Remember this photo from two years ago when E and I hosted cookie day? We tried to recreate it. (My Grandma was napping at this point). Near the end of the afternoon Dada picked up his boy and started singing Christmas songs to him while dancing with him in the living room. Melts my heart. And we needed to have a photo of each person with their cookie. Notice the last photo. My Grandma was so tired so we told her to go take a nap. So we sneaked in and took a photo of her sleeping with the cookie she made. So funny.