Saturday, December 29, 2012

Little Roo Turns 1!

Today was Xander's first birthday! 

I felt this shirt was appropriate to wear today

We didn't really do anything to celebrate, his party is going to be on Monday. But we told Gabriella it was his birthday and all day she kept telling him, "Happy Birthday, Bubba!" and sang the Happy Birthday song repeatedly to him. 

Its fun to look back over the last year and see all the joy and life that he has brought to our family!

First ultrasound

His birth

A few hours old

Silly faces

Too many hospital and doctor trips to count

Lots of spit-up

Several baths every day (that's his favorite thing to do!)

And a smile that melts my heart every time I see it!

Thank You, Jesus, for this precious gift of Xander!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Best Christmas Ever!

This Christmas Eve and Christmas were an "enjoy every moment" time for me. Matt and I were so blessed to be able to spend so much time with both of our families and our precious kiddos!

We spent Christmas Eve at home, with our traditional cheese, cracker and meat slices (Matt's favorite memory from being a kid). Then we headed out to look at Christmas lights and sing Christmas songs in the car. 

We got home to find our pressure tank spewing water out and our garage flooded with water. A few phone calls later, my dad, mom and brother Jonathan showed up. The guys spent about 40 minutes fixing our tank with Matt while mom and I hung out inside the warm house with the kids. I am so thankful for helpful friends, family and neighbors!

Mom reading stories to Gabriella. 

We finished up our advent calendar and then off to bed with the kids!

After our late night (Matt and I were up til 1 am), Christmas morning came way too early!!

We got the kids out of their rooms and headed to the livingroom. Gabriella saw her Polly Pockets and yelled, "Pollys!" then crawled up on the couch without touching them. We told her they were her present to have and play with. She was ecstatic and jumped off the couch!

Changing dresses. 

Her Polly Pockets are her "special" toys that she gets to play with on the island so Xander can't reach them. 

Xander loves cars so he was totally into his Little People ramp set. 

Playing so nice together!

Me and my favorite girlie!!

Xander was so excited to find more cars in his stocking!

Gabriella loved her new Dora blanket I made her and crawled right up on the couch to snuggle with it. 

Matt loves his chocolate!

The kids opening their "together" present. 
Matt wanted to give the kids a present to share every year so that they can learn to share and play together. 

Next was time for a bath to try her new roll-on paint for the tub!

We got everyone showered and dressed and then it was off to Gramma and Grampa's house. 

Jonathan had fun bugging everyone with he flash on his camera. 

Me and silly Munch!

Me and my pops!

James got his own tool kit from Gramma and Grampa. He was SO excited about it!

My Gramma and Grampa. 
I feel so blessed that they have always lived so close to us and are such a big part of our lives!!

Xander got a Lego set from cousin Reilly and was LOVING playing with it!

After a nap and a visit from Papa Don (Matt's dad), a bunch of my family came over. I love when we all get together!

Olivia reading books to Gabriella. 

Enjoying some of Aunt Diana's amazing pie!!!!
Gabriella said, "it is BANANA PIE!!!!"

Xander playing with the spinning light toy my mom won in the white elephant game. 

Me and Gramma! I love her!!

James and Gabriella (with some help from Gramma) playing his new Xbox game. 

Ariella was feeling sleepy after all the fun!

Me and my Matt!!
(Matt wanted to take a picture that more accurately showed our size difference)

This was the best, most relaxing Christmas we have had in years! It was such a blessing to be surrounded by so much family and feel so much love. Plus, Gabriella ran around all day yelling, "It's Jesus's birthday!" which made my heart feel so full! 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Cookies and Cousins

Today we celebrated Christmas with Matt's siblings and all their kids. Gabriella was very excited to see all her "friends and cousins"!

On Saturday evening I baked two batches of cookies, shortbread cookies and gingerbread. The shortbread cookies were from a mix (Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Shortbread Cookie Mix). They were TERRIBLE! They held up good but tasted horrible. This is the third time I have made them and I have yet to get them to turn out good. I will never buy them again!
The gingerbread ones however, were amazing!! I used the recipe that my friend Danielle made. You can get it here at Passions Collide. They are gluten free and egg free.

This morning we woke up and it was snowing again! Woo hoo!! Gabriella picked out some snow clothes (one of her gloves was an oven mitt because she couldn't find the other one) and headed out to the back deck. Such a cutie pie!!

I whipped up a batch of sugar cookies and soon it was time to party!
We exchanged family gifts (so much fun!!) and then tried to snag a picture of all the kiddos together. 

Blaizen looks like he is trying to give Joshua a kiss....

And a silly picture!!

Time for cookie decorating!! The kids all went around the island in our kitchen and had a blast with frosting, sprinkles and all kinds of decorations. 

More decorating. 

Gabriella giving her "little dude" a kiss
(she kept calling the gingerbread men "little dudes")

Some of Gabriella's cookies. She had a lot of fun helping me put frosting on and then putting all the candy and sprinkles on by herself. 

Lily decorating her gingerbread man

Jessie getting in on the fun!

It was a fun day. So nice to get all the family together and watch the kids enjoying each other. They get along pretty good for the most part. And it only took me 30 minutes to clean up my kitchen after all the frosting and sprinkles! Below is my Gluten Free and Dairy Free sugar cookie recipe. Feel free to use and re-post, but please reference this blog. 

Sugar Cookie Recipe:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups rice flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon xanthan gum

In a large bowl beat powdered sugar, Earth Balance, vanilla and egg with electric mixer on medium until well blended. Stir in the remaining dry ingredients. Cover tightly (I used saran wrap) and refrigerate at least two hours. 

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray (I used Olive Oil). 

Divide dough in half. Roll one half out to 1/4 inch thick on parchment paper. (place a sheet of saran wrap over top of dough before rolling out to prevent it from sticking to the rolling pin) Use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes. Gather scraps into a ball, roll and cut again. Repeat with remaining scraps and second half of dough.  Place cookies on greased cookie sheet. 

Bake for 7-9 minutes or until edges are just turning golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack. 

*my double batch made two cookie sheets worth of cookies. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Little Roo

April was over at my parents house a few weeks ago with her camera and got some awesome shots with Xander!

This is my new favorite picture of him!

He loves flying up in the air!

Silly boy!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Back on the Blog-Wagon

Things have been crazy busy lately and my uploader for my phone's camera changed all my file names to Chinese (yes, we bought it online from China) so I lost all my pictures :( Anyways, here are a few of the things we have been up to in the last month!

I got some free masking tape and let Gabriella play with a roll. She had a blast taping up Matt with it!

Xander loves chili! He also loves to ingest it with his entire body!
We take a lot of baths after meals.

Xander has turned into a little monkey. He climbs on everything! Gabriella insisted on taking a picture of him with her camera. She was saying, "Smile, bud!"

We had Xander's check-up with his ENT doctor. He is doing good, we are just to keep an eye on him as usual (for his lips or fingers turning blue, stopping breathing in the night, developmental problems, etc.). They thought he would have outgrown his tracheomalacia by now so we will be back in 8 months to check on him again. Hopefully he will outgrow it by age two!
We've had his lips turn blue on us twice in the last two months, but they always pink back up after a short time. I also have had to shake him a bit (quite a  few times) to get him to start breathing again at night. I'm so ready for him to be healed! This is has been so stressful! I hate listening to him breathe at night, or waking up feeling panicky because I can't hear him breathing. 
He also managed to get croup again *sigh* 
Okay, enough venting, moving on....

We got the Little People out of the garage and spread them out in the livingroom. Both kids loved them!!

I talked my  mom into a midnight couponing run to Walgreens on Thanksgiving morning!

Here's what I got at Walgreens (mom got the same stuff too)
I made $.61 by getting it! Regular price was $127.55 for all of it!
So happy my mom went with me! It was her first couponing trip and the biggest one I put together by myself. 
Good times!!

Matt set up Christmas lights the day after Thanksgiving. Gabriella calls it her party. Everytime we get home and they are turned on she says, "Can I visit my party now?"

Gabriella helped me decorate our tree. 
We put it on the table this year so the kids weren't getting into it every two seconds!

All my November freebies in the mail!!

Xander discovered that he loves hats!!

Playing with the ornaments on Gramma's tree...

My silly kids!!! Love them to pieces!!

Well, that's what we've been up to in the last month. Matt only has to work tomorrow and then gets 10 days off for vacation! We are so excited to have some fun family time and celebrate Christmas with all our family members! We are so blessed to have such great family that lives to close to us!!