Thursday, December 27, 2007

Preston's First Christmas


This Christmas was obviously the most special that Kevin or I have ever experienced. Last year, on the morning of the 24th, I took a pregnancy test and was astonished to see a faint second line come up. My family had an idea when I was drinking water throughout the evening, and Kevin and I were cautiously excited until actually having a blood test done to confirm. Needless to say, last Christmas, our head was spinning with the news that THIS Christmas we would have a baby. Now, though- it seems impossible to remember life before him.

This past week has been a whirlwind of family events and celebration of the season and Preston handled all of it wonderfully. We are so lucky to have such a social little man who doesn't mind being passed around, cooed at or loved on.

We kicked off the holiday by meeting Matt, Natalie and Emma in Marion for dinner. (We decided it was the halfway point between Muncie and Fort Wayne.) Going for some local Marion fare, high style as it may be- we chose a restaurant called Little Rosies or Rosie's Little Italy or something... It may have been a bit of a dive, but we got to see the Pryor family for our annual Christmas dinner with them and Nat and I got to snuggle with our Godbabies which is always a treat.


On Sunday afternoon, we hit the road for good old Elkhart to make the family rounds. Preston was a doll and there was no shortage of gifts for him by any means. He scored some awesome toys and clothes from Grandma and Grandpa Roberts and Aunt Tori and Uncle Collin treated him well, too!


Later, with the Willig side of the family, he was spoiled with books and stuffed toys and lots of hands willing to hold him. (Or should I say, waiting their turn with him?) Great Grandma Joan got some special time with him reading one of his favorite books, The Big Red Barn, and Preston later became enthralled with the pattern on her shirt. This is quite possibly my favorite picture of the week. Check out this face!


This picture is specifically for my Aunt Diana, who checks the blog and has requested more "smiling" pictures of Preston. So here he is, on my cousin Austin's lap, smiling at Diana:


Kevin's family gathers every year at the Erb house for Christmas Day festivities of games, gifts and a huge meal. Again, Preston was showered with love from adoring family. As I've mentioned before, he is the 9th grandchild on that side, (soon to be 10 in April!!!) They range in ages from 16 to 4 months, so you can imagine what a challenge it is to get all 9 to sit still for a picture, but we still tried:


Here are some more from our Christmas Day celebration:





I hope that everyone out there in blog-reading land enjoyed their holiday as much as we did. May the spirit of Christmas and the holiday season be with you and yours throughout the year!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Gandalf and grrrrr part 2

video
I got it!!! I have been trying to get Preston's new sound on video since my last post, and finally on Wednesday of this week, he was growling away at my mom's group, so I grabbed the camera and luckily was able to catch it. You have to listen closely as he's trying to eat his clutch cube toy and there are about 20 screaming babies and 20 chatty moms nearby.


Preston also got a new hat this week. Who doesn't need a new pointy-ball chin strap knit hat when it's cold out? We'll call it an early Christmas present.


One of the only things I'm anal about as far as a routine or schedule goes is the bedtime ritual I've mentioned before. As most of you know, Preston is not a "long" sleeper, per se, so we need every advantage at night to remind him of that wonderful dreamland that he's about to enter. We bathe him 99.99% of the time. (Maybe once a month if he's really out, we'll skip bathtime.) But most nights, it's a science. When he gets out, he gets wrapped up in his big hooded towel (looking like Gandalf the wizard) before getting dressed in jammies and swaddled before nursing and then getting rocked to sleep.

However, HIS new bath time routine includes a serious splash fest in which he totally spazzes out in his little baby tub. Kicking, flailing his arms, and arching his back- not in protest, but in pure delight. It's like he's showing off for us- we eat it up, of course, which only encourages more spazzing. I was able to get bath spaz on video as well. For your viewing pleasure:
video


In other news, he was weighed on Wednesday the 19th and tipped the scales at 14 lbs, 10 oz. His previous weight on November 28th was 13 lbs 10 oz, so he's gained an entire pound in just three weeks. Which is great, because they only need to be gaining half a pound a month, so he's obviously packing on the weight just fine. Everyone keeps saying he'll slow down, and honestly, I can only hope so because he basically can only gain another 5 lbs before we have to get a new car seat. ;)

He's been rolling over from belly to back quite a bit lately, which works well for him because he's not a huge fan of tummy time. And from the way he'll get himself onto his side, I don't think the back-to-belly roll over is far behind!

We are gearing up for his first Christmas!!! Stay tuned as I'm sure we'll be posting tons of pictures and hopefully some video, too.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and enjoys each precious minute with your friends and family. Merry Christmas from the Erbs!

Monday, December 17, 2007

GRRRRRRR!

Preston has started this adorably strange sound he's making with his throat. He does it non-stop and seems quite amused by himself. We think it's hilarious, but have no idea how long it will last, so I had to catch it on video before he's on to bigger and better sounds. However, trying to do so has proved to be pretty difficult. This kid is usually jibber-jabbering and "growling" these days pretty much constantly. ...Until there's a camera in front of his face. He clams up- who knew stage fright could start at 4 months old?? My dreams of Broadway greatness are dashed. Anyways, here's a peek at what I was able to capture- if you listen closely at around 15 seconds you get a split-second of the growl.
video

Today is P's four-month birthday! I cannot believe how quickly the past four months have gone... although if you were to ask me when he was about 6 weeks old, I would have said that it's dragging on.... HA! Nowadays, he's such a joy, though, that I wish I could bottle him up and keep him like this forever. I am absolutely in love with watching his little personality develop. Like Grandma Judy said the other day- "His personality is starting to show and it's a good one." We certainly think so. The poor kid gets literally about 200 kisses a day from us.

The past week or so, he's been waking up more frequently at night, so I'm wondering if it might be time to start some rice cereal. If I can survive the holidays with trying to sell our house, traveling out of town and finishing up the Christmas shopping without losing my mind, he might actually get a chance to try some real food. If you can call rice cereal real food. gross.

By the way, you read that right- I said "trying to sell our house." As of today, it's officially on the market. About a month ago, we found a home nearby that we like, (of course it's another project house that will mean ongoing work, even though we swore we'd never do that again.) but we need to sell our home before we can purchase the new one. If any of you, dear blog readers, know of ANYONE in the market for a perfect starter home, send them our way! ;)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Preston Pics






When I posted earlier about the amazing pictures Betsy took of Preston, I realized I hadn't added my favorites yet, so here they are! Some of the others are shots that I'm using for our Christmas card, so I can't "reveal" them right now! ;) (If you scroll down on her blog, you'll see more.) Thanks again, Bets- I am so happy with them!


The mom's group that I attend had tons of holiday backdrops up yesterday so that people could bring their babies in and take their own pictures. There were several that had cute rocking chairs or rocking horses, or required the babies to sit up, so I only got a few good ones of Preston:








And finally- just some other shots for your daily cuteness fix. ;)




Hope everyone is having a great week and getting into the holiday spirit!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

More Holiday Musings

I promise not to post soley Christmas-related material for the next month. Ok, scratch that. We all know it's probably not true, so let's just say I'll try my best to make them interesting.

The other night we took Preston to see the downtown Santa because we didn't make it to the big lighting the night before Thanksgiving. We bundled him up and stood in the parking lot, squealing and clapping our hands until his eyes finally caught the giant blinking Santa. I think he enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as we did. Go figure. Here he is staring at the lights:




Then we raced home to watch the original "Charlie Brown Christmas Special." We watch it ever year, because- truth be told- Kevin is obsessed with it. He loves the message about non-commercialism during the holiday season and even though we try to limit Preston's TV time, dad "felt good" about him watching this! ;) And watch it, he did! This kid was GLUED to the TV screen. I'm not sure if it was the lights, the children's voices, or simply the spirit of the positive message (the most likely reason) that Preston was so enthralled with, but he certainly enjoyed it. Just look at him totally zoned-out while it was on.

During the special, Kevin decided that Charlie and Preston share a resemblance.

You may notice in the background of the picture we have our neighborhood traveling "Red Rider Leg Lamp" from the movie A Christmas Story set up. Preston has been a fan of this the past couple of days, but last night, while Kevin was wearing him in the bjorn, it caught his eye and he started laughing hysterically. The biggest belly laugh and giggle we've ever heard out of him. I scrambled for my camera to catch the laugh fest on video, but could only get this shot. We'll see if it can tickle his fancy again and I'll be more prepared to catch it on tape... it's totally worth it. I'm not sure who was laughing harder, us or him.




Recently, I snapped this and wanted to share because we can't help but crack up at the look on his face. It reminded us of the following video:



In a more general (non-holiday theme) update- Preston weighed 13lbs and 10 oz yesterday at his weigh-in during our moms group meeting. What a big healthy boy he's becoming!!! Last week and the week before, I was in a panic because I thought he might not be reaching and grasping for objects (other than my hair and necklaces) as much as my development books said he should be. Never fear- he has started deliberately grasping and holding onto objects now (phew!) and even began bringing them up to his mouth. His mouth, which just so happens to be constantly drooling lately. I'm wondering if this could mean teething is his next step?

Friday, November 23, 2007

Holiday Kickoff!

And so it begins...the holiday season is upon us already. I have to admit- Kevin and I are both giddy with excitement. It's our favorite time of year and we are definitely that annoying couple who put their tree up too early, are in a great mood for a solid 8 weeks and look the other way when department stores bring out Christmas gear in October.

This year, Thanksgiving took on a whole new meaning for Kevin and me. Preston has come into our lives and filled our hearts with more love than we could have ever dreamed of. Last year at this time, we were grieving the loss of our twins, and yet balancing that grief with faith that we would be fortunate enough to conceive again. We had no idea it would happen so quickly, nor how lucky we would be to- just a year later- be celebrating the life of our beautiful three month old. Thursday was a wonderful day at my Aunt Laura's house. With tons of food and drink and lots of hands eagerly awaiting their turn with Preston. My cousins, Austin and Cameron loved taking turns holding him and Cam even compiled a huge stash of his favorite books and stuffed animals that he had "outgrown." (Not to mention we snagged a very cool set of wooden block toys...thanks, Aunt Laura!!!) My Uncle Larry who lives in Dallas was also in town and hasn't seen Preston since he was a newborn in the hospital so it was great that they got some time together, too. Preston was a little disappointed that he was unable to partake in stuffing himself with the Thanksgiving meal, but we reminded him many times that next year, he'd have a full plate with the rest of us. (And hopefully the tryptophan will make him nice and tired.)
With Cameron and Austin: (Better known to my family as Cameroonie and Schmosser because we have to come up with nicknames for everyone.)

And with Uncle Larry: (Uncle Orley- but there's a story behind that nickname.)


Friday morning, we made the drive back to Fort Wayne and P was a little fussy before leaving, (see below) so we were thrilled when he slept the entire way home.


We had big plans on Wednesday to get our Christmas decorations out and put them up in the evening, but let me tell ya- we were SHOCKED at how difficult that was to do with a non-mobile baby! I can't imagine how women with more than one or with a walker/crawler do it! Good Lord, what used to take us all of 2 hours to complete inside and out, took the course of an evening and we still weren't finished, so thankfully, Grandma Judy came to the rescue. (Yet again!) And watched Preston during the day so that we could get it done. Here are some shots of Preston checking out the lights as we passed him back and forth while decorating the tree:



Friday evening, we attended the annual “Festival of Trees” celebration at Fort Wayne's Embassy Theater. We've gone a few times before and it's a beautiful wonderland of decorated tress and lights. I was so excited to take Preston this year and even though he slept through most of it, when he woke up, he was amazed at all there was to be seen!





We are so excited for Preston's first holiday season! Stay tuned for more pictures of him exploring this time of year throughout the next few weeks. Off to do some Christmas shopping- Hope everyone enjoyed their Turkey day! :)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

What a week!

Wow! I haven't posted here in over a week. Time just seems to get away from me these days. Where has the fall gone, by the way? I can't believe we are getting ready to celebrate Preston's first string of Holidays!

I'm currently experiencing my first big bout of maternal guilt. I totally over-scheduled us this week. Constantly making sure we get out of the house is a big priority to me, but sometimes in my quest to do so, I begin to wonder if I'm doing too much for Preston's little newborn self. Finding activities and joining groups has actually been easy, it's been allowing Preston to adapt that has been the difficult part. Although, probably more difficult on me than on him. Sometimes I tell myself that it's good that he can sleep on the go right now and to take advantage of it. However, we "feed-on-demand" so that often means attempting to nurse in public, or sometimes in the car, a dressing room, or a quick stop home in between errands only to run out the door again. I know that we want him to be adaptable and able to feel comfortable with an occasional change in routine, but there are definitely times that I worry we are doing too much. I guess that worry just comes with my new job-description as a mom. If we weren't out and about so much, I'd probably worry then that we were being hermits.

However, we do have fun when we stay busy and Preston seems un-phased at this age- usually oblivious to the fact he could be snoozing at home. This week for example, we had so much going on, but he did exceptionally well and other than some occasional fussiness, I don't think it threw him off too much.
Here he is telling me about how busy we were this week:


"I think therefore I am"



Monday- Grammy Dawn came to Fort Wayne and we spent a fun day of lunch and shopping. He got some new goodies from Gymboree and we had a great meal at Casa. Overall, we were gone about 5 hours and he did great and never fussed. He napped in the car and at the mall. I always say the mall is an easy place to take him because I can feed or change him easily in dressing rooms.

Tuesday- We started our Mommy and Me Yoga class at the Kachmann Center. It was so funny to see all of us moms try to relax as their babies fussed and squirmed, but so worth it to enjoy their company and get some fun bonding time with my little man. It begins at 10 - right when Preston has been putting himself down for a nap lately, so he actually slept through the first half of the class! We worked on some poses that help with digestion, which as many of you know, he really needs! After class, we popped into the art museum so that the staff could meet him. They are such wonderful people and sent a generous gift when Preston was born, so it was nice to finally take him in and show him off a little! Then, we met Karen and baby Eduardo for a bite to eat, so we felt like total social butterflies.
At mommy and me class:


Wednesday- Preston and I actually went to look at a house in our area that is for sale. We are constantly keeping an eye out for something larger and affordable. Afterwards, we headed to a Le Leche League meeting, then out to run errands with Aunt Holli, who is finally (knock on wood) starting to feel better as she enters the second trimester of her pregnancy!

Thursday- It was Nana's birthday, so we drove to meet Daddy at work, and lent the Passat to a marketing project LaBov was doing with Volkswagen, then headed up to Angola with Ruby to hit the outlets, a purse party and dinner with Great Grams, Aunt Rosanne and Uncle Bob, Papa Sherm and Nana. It was a cold and yucky day to be at the lake, but again, Preston slept in the car for most of the ride and did pretty well being out of town for the day.

Friday was a fun day! P sat in the bumbo for the first time which was a big deal. He liked it at first, but after awhile, decided he was much too small to be expected to sit in a seat all by himself and that naturally, he should be held at all times, so our bumbo adventure was cut short. But at least mommy got a picture first!



As I mentioned before, Friday morning we had plans to get together with the talented Betsy King, her husband, John, and their *adorable* and sweet son, Miles at a local coffee shop and they were kind enough to take some absolutely phenomenal pictures of Preston. I am so thrilled to have some shots of him at three months old. I've said before that I try to catch good snap shots on our little digital camera, but these are so beautiful and really capture his expression. They even got one mid-yawn! Here is a sneak peak of a few of my favorites, but check back for a more extensive collection soon!!


AREN'T THEY AMAZING????


Lastly, Kevin's brother Mark got married this weekend so there was much excitement and many festivities to attend. Preston came along with us to the rehearsal dinner, but thankfully skipped the wedding and reception. After the rehearsal on Friday night, we got home late and Kevin was walking him around facing outwards, like he often does, when I looked up and noticed Preston had crashed in Daddy's arms (understandably after a day of bumbo-sitting, modeling, and rehearsal dinnering.) ...check this out:


CONGRATULATIONS, MARK AND NICOL!!!! What a great ending to a busy but fun week for us.