Wednesday, December 31, 2008

What a difference a year makes!

2008 was a BIG year for our family! We went through lots of adjustments and became a family of four! When I think back to where we were a year ago, I really realize how much has changed in just one short year.

* Last year at this time, we were hoping and praying for a new baby. In February we found out that we were finally expecting. On October 23rd we welcomed Andrew Michael into our family and now I wake up every morning to this sweet little face.

* Last year at this time, my "baby" was potty training.

Now he is my "oldest" and is the best big brother ever! He is so self sufficient and a really good helper. He gets me diapers, wipes, burpies, or anything else that he is physically strong enough to carry. He has gone from playing with cars and trucks to being enthralled in pretend play. He loves costumes and taking on the roles of different characters and superheroes. He has changed SO much this year!

* Last year at this time, we were living in our little rent house and trying to decide where we wanted to plant roots for our family. Now, we live in a house that we have worked hard to make our own. We have joined a church that we love and met friends that we adore. The house hunting was really stressful, but we can see how God led us to exactly where we needed to be.
Our Family in January 2008
Our Family in December 2008
What a wonderful year 2008 was! I am sure that 2009 will be just as sweet. Happy New Year! We pray that the Lord will bless each of you in the year to come!

Monday, December 29, 2008

"Not Me!" Monday

* I did not hang up, fold, and put neatly in drawers an entire huge load of laundry and then mention to my husband that my white socks were still a bit dingy. He did not then point out to me that I hadn't yet washed that load. What?!?! Who would be so scatterbrained that they put away a load of DIRTY clothes. Not I, that's for sure. I am organized and orderly.

* I did not then have to go through the closet and drawers to fish out all of the above laundry to put them back in the laundry basket to be washed. (Ooops!)

* I did not greet my friend, Megan, (who lives in Canada and I only get to see on a very rare occasion) at the door with an "Oh my gosh, he just puked all over me!" as baby spit up dripped from my hair and down my right shoulder. That would be rude and disgusting! If my sweet friend had flown across the country and then driven an hour just to see little 'ole me, I would greet her at the door with a warm welcome and a hug. That would be the proper thing to do. And I am proper. (Thanks for the visit Megan! Ahem, I mean if you had visited and gotten such a distasteful greeting, that is.)

* I did not say (loudly) in a crowded public place, "Yes! I got it!" accompanied by a fist pump to celebrate the stubborn booger that I had finally removed from Drew's nose. That would be gross and embarrassing. I did not then scan the room to see how many sets of eyes were starring at me. Hmmm... that really would be mortifying, if it had happened!

* My baby did not spit up directly on my crotch while I was holding him during one of our family Christmas celebrations. I did not spend the next few hours trying to camouflage the fact that it looked exactly like I had wet myself. (Ah, motherhood - it brings out the best in all of us, doesn't it?)

I think that is all of the embarrassing things that did not happen to me this week. (At least all of the ones that I am willing to publicly admit!) Will you people ever tire of reading about my crazy antics? No? I didn't think so... :)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Carpenter Christmas x 2

On Friday we had Christmas with Wade's parents, sister, brother-in-law, and our nieces. It was loads of fun - complete with lots of presents and all of the annual Carpenter traditions. We played Shoot the Snowman, which Clayton was awesome at! He shot the snowman that was worth 50 points and won our family tickets to the movies and candy. Go Clayton - way to represent! We also did our annual Christmas pie. We started that tradition in 2002 or 2003 (I think). We all wrap presents worth $1 each and tie a string to each one. We take turns pulling a string and opening a present. It's just fun to see what everyone finds for just a dollar (plus we all get to open 4 or 5 more gifts). Good times!

This year Clayton got quite an interesting present from Corey, Leigh Ann, Makinley, and Morgan. It all started at Thanksgiving. Leigh Ann asked Clayton what he wanted for her to get him for Christmas. He didn't have any requests, so she started naming off random things. One of her suggestions was a lizard. Yes, you heard me right, a lizard! He, of course, thought that was a swell idea. Leigh Ann laughed and said, "only if your mom says it is okay." He asked me repeatedly and I repeatedly said, "No, you may not have a lizard." My thoughts were racing about all of the negatives - feeding it crickets (yuck!), cleaning its cage (double yuck!), salmonella, what if it gets loose?, what do we do with it when we go out of town?, EW! Well, apparently, a begging 3 year-old trumps a disapproving mom!

I'm still not sold on Yoda (yep, that's what Clayton chose to name the little critter). I still think that it is gross and just try to forget that I am now living with a reptile. (Who would have ever imagined that?!?!?) I refuse to feed it, buy crickets, or clean the cage. Daddy (who said, "I don't care, whatever" when he was asked about the lizard purchase) will be assuming all of those responsibilities. Clayton thinks the lizard is great fun and LOVES watching him catch and eat the crickets. He is ALL boy!

What's a mama to do...

Here's a picture of Shoot the Snowman from last year - just to give you a visual. :)

Christmas Pie

Cousin Pic

Clayton right after he got Yoda

Yes, he is kissing at the cage! GROSS!!!

Here's a close up of the little critter. Did I mention that he is supposed to grow to be a foot long? When that slimy thing gets loose in my house, I will be one mad Mama!

Drew loved the goodies in his stocking.

Thanks, Grammie & Papaw, for all of the fun activities and the gobs of toys!!!

On Saturday, we went to Wade's grandparents house for Christmas with the Carpenter side of the family. Once again, it was tons 'o fun! Wade's aunt and uncle moved to China this summer and we sure have missed them! They were home for Christmas, though, so it was great to see them. All of the cousins were there, too. It made for one crazy, loud group! The boys got more toys and lots of cute clothes. Thanks Grandmom & Granddaddy!

Four Generations of Carpenter Men

Wade & Doug modeling their new sweatshirts. (Incidentally, Doug is the funniest person that I have ever met. He keeps us all laughing nonstop!)

That concludes our Christmas celebrations! It was a blast!!! Thanks to everyone who showered our boys with love and way too many gifts! We love each and every one of you and appreciate you making our Christmas one to remember. Just think, only 362 days until we get to do it all over again!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Martha Stewart I am Not...

While we were in Houston visiting my parents, my Mom gave me a gingerbread house mold that she has had since Becca & I were little. She printed out a recipe for gingerbread and encouraged me to make a gingerbread house for Clayton to decorate.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am NOT Betty Crocker. I can follow a very simple recipe or make a boxed cake mix, but that is the extent of my culinary skills. If I were going to make a gingerbread house, I would go straight to the store and buy a kit. But... since my sweet Mama gave me a mold, I must use it, right?

So, I made homemade gingerbread - all spice, molasses, the whole nine yards! The first two attempts at baking it in the mold were a complete disaster. I was about to chunk the whole batch. Then I called my mom, got some pointers, and tried one last time. It finally worked! Clayton and I (actually, Clayton ate candy while I did all the hard work!) decorated our gingerbread house tonight. It is far from perfect, but it was made from scratch with lots of love. :)

(For the record: Clayton is wearing a longsleeved white tee shirt and grey pants because that is what he picked today. He wanted to look as much like a storm trooper as possible. HA!)

"Did Santa Come????"

Man, oh man, what a Christmas! We have had quite a day around here! Santa was soooo good to our boys - they got WAY TOO much! Clayton came down the stairs saying, "Did Santa come? Did Santa come? Did he eat our cookies?" He was kinda still in a sleepy daze when he came around the corner. He was really confused when he realized that Santa left more toys than he had asked for. He said, "I didn't even ask for a soccer ball!" He was amazed by all his loot. His favorite things from Santa were his light saber, his storm trooper mask, his Star Wars underwear, and his Batman batcave. Oh, to be 3 again...

Sweet Drew slept through most of his Christmas! He was thrilled (I'm sure) with his loot as well. Santa brought lots of things that he can grow into since his birthday (oh, I can't even think about him turning one without tearing up!) isn't for 10 more months.

We hope that you and your family had a wonderful day filled with joy, love, and family!

Rounding the corner to see his gifts

Posing with his loot

Superman bandaids - pure greatness!

Being a racecar driver

Clayton got several new costumes. Buzz is his favorite!

Our little storm trooper

Santa left a light saber in Daddy's stocking also. I guess that he knew that Clayton would need a sparring partner (wink, wink!).

Drew with his presents from Santa
Sweet Baby Boy with his stocking
Isn't he precious!
Both my babies in front of the tree
The best part is that we still have 2 Christmas celebrations left! Tomorrow is our Christmas with Wade's mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, and our nieces and Saturday is Christmas with Grandmom & Granddad. There's so much more fun to be had - YAY!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve 2008

We had a BIG day on Christmas Eve! We started out with a lazy morning at home (well, as lazy as it can be with 2 kiddos!), then it was off to Mamaw's (Wade's grandmother) house. We ate a TON and played with all of our extended family. Mamaw has 12 great grandkids! Clayton LOVED having tons of cousins to play with. He had a ball!

When we got home from Mamaw's, we did all of our traditional Christmas Eve stuff. We baked and decorated cookies for Santa, spread reindeer food on the yard, and read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Clayton was soooo excited when he talked about Santa coming. It's a good thing that he played so hard all day, because he went straight to sleep. (Thank goodness!)

Santa came a little early! :)

The Fam at Mamaw's

Mamaw and 11 of her 12 great grandkids

Making cookies for Santa

The boy loves him some sprinkles!

He was more interested in making his brother laugh than in baking with me :)

Clayton made "reindeer food" at preschool. It was oats and glitter all mixed together. The glitter was supposed to sparkle and attract the reindeer to our house and the oats were for them to eat. He had great fun meticulously sprinkling it around the yard!

Daddy read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

When Clayton went to visit Santa, he asked Clayton to leave him spaghetti. Apparently, Santa gets tired of milk and cookies and wanted some real grub. We opted for Chef Boyardee instead of homemade - sorry Santa! We also left milk and cookies and carrots for the reindeer.

Clayton slept in Christmas pj's with his Rudolph

Tomorrow should be fun....

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Drew is 2 months Old!

Drew is 2 months old!!! I can hardly believe that our baby boy has been on this earth for 2 whole months! It seems like he was just born, but it feels like he has been a part of our family forever as well. He is a content little baby - such a pleasure to be around. This month he has started giving us big huge social smiles, which melt our hearts every single time! We have reverted to high pitched baby talk - anything to see that big ole' grin. :)

Developmentally, Drew is tracking objects, turning to sounds, gaining some good head control, recognizing our faces, cooing and giggling (also absolutely precious!).

Clayton and I took Drew to his well child appointment today. Guess how much that the little stinker weighs???

No really, guess....

Nope, higher....

Nope, higher still.....

I bet that you're still guessing too low.....

He weighs 14 lbs. and 2 oz. CRAZY! He is 23 1/2 inches long, also. Which means that he is slightly bigger than Clayton was at his 4 month appointment! (According to his baby book, Clayton was 14 lbs. even and 23 inches at his 4 month well child check!) I can't get over the big size difference in my two sweet babies!

Other Info:
Weight: 14 lbs. 2 oz. (95%)
Length: 23 1/2 inches (75%)
Clothes Size: Still squeezing into some 0-3 month, but mostly 3 month or 3-6 month
Diaper Size: Size 2
Eating/Sleeping Schedule: He nurses every 3 hours during the day (7am, 1o, 1pm, 4, 7, 10) and naps for 1.5-2 hours after each feeding. He sleeps fairly consistently for a 6-7 hour stretch (11pm-5 or 6am) at night (I know, I know, why am I complaining about the lack of sleep? It could be so much worse!).
Fun Firsts: First Thanksgiving (November 23rd), First Party (B35 Christmas Party on December 5th), First Train Ride (December 7th), First Meeting of Santa (December 7th), First Giggle (December 17th), First Christmas Present (December 20th)

At Drew's appointment this morning, he got two shots. :( He was not too happy about that! (Please note the bandaids on each of his chubby thighs. Poor little thing!)

He got some Tylenol and took a LONG nap...

He woke up a MUCH happier boy!

The monthly picture with his monkey

Here's a short video of that precious smile! (Please excuse those high-pitched speaking, doting, annoying parents in the background. I have no earthly idea who they are! :) )

Happy 2 month Birthday, Baby Boy!

Will you ever know how insanely in love with you that Daddy & I are??? You are such a sweet baby and we are so blessed to be your parents. I feel absolutely giddy inside when you look at me and flash a big gummy grin. Your whole face just lights up - it is sooo precious! My very favorite time of the day with you is your early morning feeding (at 5 or 6am). It feels like the whole world is still asleep - like you and I are the only ones awake. It is peaceful and quiet. I talk to you and try to sneak a peek at a few smiles before I lay you back down to sleep. It is the only time that I am alone with you and I treasure every second of that one-on-one time. It is such a joy to be your Mommy!

I Love You!


Monday, December 22, 2008

This Sums Up My Christmas Wish....

So true! Zzzzzz......

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Kickin' off Christmas 2008

One of the many joys of getting married is that you inherit another family. Which means, of course, that you get to celebrate multiple Christmases - YAY! This weekend we kicked off Christmas by traveling to Houston to celebrate with my family. Other than taking a tumble down the stairs while holding Drew, it was a great trip. (Don't worry Drew was fine - I held onto him tightly. He somehow managed to sleep the entire ordeal. I escaped with just a bruised tailbone and a few more grey hairs!)

The boys did great in the car on the way there and back. We only stopped once on the way there and didn't stop at all on the way home. Not too shabby! Clayton and Drew got some wonderful gifts from my Mom, Dad, sister, and brother-in-law. More importantly, however, they got to spend some quality time with their grandparents, aunt, and uncle. Drew met Uncle Jeff for the first time and snuggled quite a bit with Aunt Becca. Clayton spent the majority of his weekend attached at the hip to his Gran. He asks us all the time to tell him "a story without a book." He likes to pick a character and then have us make up a story about that character. Wade and I tell him stories here and there, but we run out of ideas quickly. Not Gran, though. She must have told Clayton a hundred stories over the last two days. They alternated between stories and "riding to space" (aka sitting on my mom's hospital bed as she raised and lowered the mattress with her controls!). He was in hog heaven with all that attention!

Jeff, Becca, and the boys

Gran let Clayton "work out" using her hand weights

He was showing us his muscles - can't you just hear him, "Urgggghhh!!!"

Drew in his first set of Christmas pajamas - a Hendrickson tradition

Clayton waiting to tear into his stocking

Drew with his very first Christmas present ever! (It was a Curiosity Cube from Gran & Papa D.)

Clayton got a new tool box - he's been hammering away ever since.

Sleep in heavenly peace...
Sweet Clayton Story:
While we were eating our yummy traditional Christmas lunch on Saturday, somehow we got on the subject of Clayton going to college. He told me that he didn't want to move away to go to college. I said, "Trust me, Baby, by the time that you are 18, you are going to want to move out." A few minutes later, Clayton looked up at me with big crocodile tears in his eyes and a pouty bottom lip. He said, "Mommy, I don't want to move away from you!" The poor thing had sat there and thought about that until he was in tears. He's so sweet... (most of the time!).