Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas!

This has been a very special but very unusual Christmas for us! It all started on Christmas Eve when Chad and I were supposed to go to a Christmas gathering at my grandparents' house in Azle. That day we both came down with a nasty stomach bug and were totally incapacitated. My parents came and picked up Graham and took him to the party, which was good because we were both too sick to take care of him! I was very disappointed to miss the party. My mom came and stayed the night that night in order to help us with G. What a long night! Being sick like that is miserable. The next day we both were better but very weak. We enjoyed watching G open his presents but the sound of the paper tearing really scared him! He cried though most of the unwrapping. He got some very special gifts including some hand-made building blocks from my dad and a laugh and learn house from us. We were thankful that my parents were able to be there to help us with him while we recovered. On Saturday, before he even got to our house, my brother Jon got the stomach bug also (my other brother Britt went to California for Christmas). My mom ended up getting it on Sunday. Everyone stayed the weekend at our house, so my dad started to call our house "the hospital." Somehow, Graham never got sick, and I am so thankful. It was a wonderful time of togetherness even though most of us felt rotten. My illness almost caused me to not be able to nurse little G anymore because of dehydration, but thankfully my milk supply is back up and all is well! We are looking forward to Chad's mom and Tom coming to visit this weekend (and hopefully no one will get sick!). I have uploaded some pictures and 2 videos. One is Graham opening his present from us - he was very upset because of the tearing noise. The other one is G clapping. He learned how to clap on Christmas Day!!









































































video

video

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Crawling....well, kind of

Graham is officially mobile - and at 8 months it is about time! Chad and I have been having to do some major baby-proofing the last few days! I don't think that baby-proofing is something you can really do until you see what your baby wants to get into. You can't really call what he's doing "crawling".....maybe more like scooting. =) Another new development is his ability to transition from tummy to sitting up and back again. We had to, therefore, lower the mattress in his crib. He is doing so many new things right now, it is so much fun!


video

Thursday, December 16, 2010

First Christmas

So today since my son's first Christmas is coming up, I was thinking about my first Christmas. I don't remember it, of course, but I've always loved to hear the story of it. Mom and Dad - I hope you don't mind my sharing.

So my Mom and Dad decided, for some reason, to drive from Colorado Springs to Searcy, Arkansas on Christmas Day with a 6 month old baby. That was apparently a bitterly cold winter. Their VW van broke down outside of Little Rock. With no cell phones (of course) they had no choice but to get out and start walking. Luckily, a nice family on their way to Little Rock picked them up. My parents had to wait at their house for my Grandpa to come pick them up. My parents awkwardly watched as this family had Christmas and opened presents. They did, eventually make it to Searcy!

Later, my dad had to head back to Colorado Springs on his own for work. My mom flew back with me later. He drove back in the recovered van, which had been striped. With no heater, no radio, and no money, he drove most of the way with snow chains on going about 20 miles per hour. He drove straight through, and when he finally arrived days later, he immediately went to work at the hospital! Crazy.

Hopefully G's first Christmas will be a little less dramatic.

On a side note, Graham has lately been trying to get up on his hands and feet (not hands and knees). So we'll see if he soon starts crawling. It may be the bear crawl! He has certainly found his own unique ways to do things, and I'm loving it!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Update

Wow, It's hard to believe that today is December 13th! In 2 days G will be 8 months old! He is such a good boy. He has 2 teeth now (bottom front teeth). He is not crawling yet, but he uses his own creative ways to get around! He rolls and pivots and sometimes he even bounces forward on his bottom. He is nursing 4 times a day and eating solids at breakfast and dinner. He likes all kinds of foods. He eats a lot of baby food, but he likes real food better and gets little bites of whatever we're eating. He is sleeping 11 hours a night and taking 3 naps a day (sometimes 2). I'm not ready for him to drop that 3rd nap yet! We are so excited to enjoy our first holiday season with him.

I am uploading a couple of videos for you grandparents out there!

video video

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas stocking

Last Christmas when I was about 5 months pregnant I started making Graham a felt applique Christmas stocking. I am proud to say that today I finally finished it! I don't think I knew what a project it was going to be, but I'm glad I did it, and I think it turned out so cute! I do plan on making one for each of our kids. I don't think it will take me as long next time since now I know what I'm doing.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Getting Ready For Christmas!

On Saturday night, Chad and I took Graham with us to pick out our first Christmas tree. Graham can't crawl yet, but he sure can get where he wants by rolling and pivoting. So, I got a picture of him after he rolled up to the tree to check it out and try to grab the ornaments.




































Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have had such a wonderful Thanksgiving this year! Having Graham just makes everything more fun. =) We went to my mom and dad's house in Kaufman for Thanksgiving Wednesday-Saturday. We were joined by my brothers and grandparents from Searcy. And on Thursday my other grandparents and several aunts, uncles, and cousins came. All of the cooking, eating, and fellowship was so special. We played a lot of games, which I love! Everyone got to hold and play with Graham, which meant a lot to me. He gave out lots of smiles and made all of his favorite noises for everyone. He rolled all over the floor (nope, no crawling yet!). The only downside was that Graham doesn't sleep that great when we're not at home. He's a homebody like most babies. I think that we'll all be happy to be in our own beds tonight! On Friday we celebrated my dad's birthday, which is today. We went out to eat in Dallas at a great restaurant called Truluck's. Graham loves sitting up at the table in a high chair! Now that Thanksgiving is over, I am really in the Christmas spirit. We are planning to put up our Christmas tree and decorations this weekend, and I will include pictures of course! We are so excited to start all of our own family holiday traditions. Graham is just such a good boy, we feel blessed every day to have him. I know every parent thinks this, but to us he is just the sweetest, cutest, smartest, more special baby ever. Thank you Lord for this blessing!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Giggles

video
I love this video! It's priceless to me. I just happened to have the camera in the right place at the right time. I discovered today that Graham thinks it's hilarious when I make the "zzzz" sound. I hope you enjoy his giggles as much as I do! =)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wedding Weekend

Whew! What a busy busy weekend! We were gone Wednesday-Sunday for Chad's sister Heidi's wedding. We had such a wonderful time! We got to see a lot of people we don't get to see much. And so many people told me that they read my blog, I was so surprised! I'm happy that we can keep friends and family updated this way.

Our trip started out VERY rocky when we had to sit on our plane for 3 hours before it took off. Needless to say, it was miserable (especially with a tired, crying baby). That night we had the worst night we've ever had with Graham, he cried most of the night from being overtired and getting Georgia allergies. The next day he got rested up and was soon back to his usual happy self, entertaining everyone. The wedding ceremony was Friday night with a very small group of family and friends. The bride was beautiful! Graham was a big hit in his 5 piece tux. =) Saturday night there was a big reception in downtown Atlanta. We had a great time but Graham and I had to retire after only a couple of hours. Luckily, the flight back was perfect. He slept most of the way. Of all the things to forget, Chad and I forgot our camera! So I will be depending on those of you who were there to send us pictures! Here are a couple that we were sent plus one from my phone:

Monday, October 18, 2010

Graham sits up...and falls over

Don't worry, no babies were harmed in the making of this video! He didn't even cry. I shot this about a week ago and he has now already gotten so good that he hardly ever falls over. Sitting up has definitely changed things! He does not want to lay down to play at all anymore. And he doesn't want to do anything where is he laying back, like in his swing or car seat. I can only imagine how much things will change when he starts crawling!


video

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sitting Up!

Graham has a new trick: he is definitely sitting up on his own now! I am sticking close by though because every once in while he loses his balance and topples over. He is very happy to be able to spend some playtime in this new position! He will be turning 6 months in just a few days. I just can't believe how big he's getting! Chad and I are both so proud of him.


















Funny story: since he makes such a mess splashing in his baby bathtub and can sit up now, I decided to try bathing him in the kitchen sink. He was as slippery as an eel! And he was constantly lunging every which way to try to touch and grab everything in sight. I could not keep a hold of him. He ended up bonking his head on the side of the sink (don't worry, he's OK). But I don't think I'll be doing that again! I think next time I'll put his baby tub in the big bathtub instead of on the counter....hmm, I'll figure something out!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hand Specialist

This morning Chad and I took Graham to Grapevine to see a pediatric hand specialist (pretty crazy that doctors can get so specialized, huh?). It was really great to talk with someone who is so knowledgeable! He took some x-rays (they were normal) and thoroughly examined Graham. The doctor felt like we are doing all the right things to help Graham's hands function normally. He was impressed with how much progress his hands have already made in 2 months. He did say that surgery could be a possibility in the future, but that it would be years down the road. Overall Chad and I both liked him and felt very encouraged by his prognosis. We'll go back in 3 months. Graham has his 6 month checkup with the pediatrician next week. I'm really anxious to see how big he's gotten!

Here's a little update on what Graham's been up to: he's doing really well with solid foods, he loves it! So far he's had rice cereal and butternut squash (which I made). I've also made sweet potatoes, which he will try soon. He can almost sit up on his own! He LOVES to bounce when he's sitting in your lap and he loves playing in his exersaucer. He smiles and laughs all day. He wants to reach out and touch everything, especially faces. He is so good, he hardly ever fusses or cries. What a sweet, sweet baby. I hope all my babies are so wonderful!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Camping!

This weekend we went camping with my extended family (on my dad's side) near Bowie, TX. Most of the group arrived Friday night and stayed through the weekend. We arrived at around lunch time on Saturday, intending to stay all day, not sure if we would stay the night. We had so much fun on Saturday walking, playing games, and visiting with family. We all brought our dogs so there were 8 dogs running around (including Razz). Everyone wanted to love on and hold Graham, of course. We were worried about spending the night because we were concerned that it would get really cold and that none of us would get a good night's sleep. But, that evening we decided to stay. We slept in my mom and dad's HUGE tent. Graham started out the night in his pack and play all bundled up (it wasn't that cold). Around 2:30 the temp. had dropped and Graham's face felt cold so I moved him into our bed; which I didn't want to do because I get so worried about him suffocating, but I felt like I needed to in order to keep him warm. I kept waking up over and over to check and make sure the blankets didn't cover his face! After a few hours I moved him onto my chest where he got and stayed toasty warm. In the morning he was plenty warm but I was cold! I found out that it had gotten down to 47 degrees. Brrr! We ended the memorable trip with a big breakfast and informal church service around the camp fire. I think Graham liked camping! It sure was fun for us. I hope that we'll get to go again soon and make it an Allen family tradition.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stay at Home Mom

When I was pregnant I was a little anxious that I would get bored and lonely as a stay at home mom. I never thought twice about the decision though, we always knew I would stop teaching when we had our first child. Fortunately, I've found it pretty easy to stay busy and fulfilled in my new role. Taking care of Graham and our home is a full time job! I'm definitely a people person so I've made a concerted effort to get out of the house as much as we can. I have such a wonderful husband who works hard to support the two of us! Here are some current pictures of Graham!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Solid Food

Graham had his first serving of solid food on Saturday morning (not including the little tastes of ice cream he's gotten!). He's only had rice cereal so far, but I am looking forward to making my own baby food and watching him try all kinds of things in the future.

We had such a wonderful weekend last weekend catching up with some good friends: the Whites on Friday night and the Riches on Saturday night. This weekend we are looking forward to having Graham's Grandmother come visit from Atlanta!

Also, I am truly enjoying the bible study I joined called "Wisdom for Mothers." It is such a blessing to talk and share with other young mothers! The only problem is that Graham has a hard time in the church nursery because he doesn't want to sleep anywhere but his bed. He did take a bottle there today though which is good. He doesn't like eating from a bottle much at all.

PS: Please say a little prayer for Joe Bagby and his family.


video video

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Road Trip to Arkansas

Graham and I went with my mom this week to Searcy, AR to visit my grandparents. My grandfather just had a hip replacement. I think that it really cheered them up to have Graham around for a couple of days! It's amazing that God can use him to be a blessing, even at 5 months old. Graham has been really interested in table food lately, so I am thinking about starting him on some solid foods soon! I will definitely include some pictures of that. =) Here are some recent pictures, some are from our trip. We got Graham a Harding onesie. At the bottom there is a picture of Graham in his exersaucer that my mom got for him. He loves playing with it and putting the toys in his mouth (along with everything else)!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Today is labor day. This is the time of year when I start getting really excited because summer's just about over and fall is coming - my favorite season! I think it's my favorite because of the beautiful autumns I remember from my childhood in Pennsylvania. My pumpkins and fall leaves will be making their appearance very soon (yes I decorate for fall). We enjoyed a nice long weekend this weekend. We ate dinner Saturday night with my parents and brothers at Chad's favorite restaurant, Houston's in Dallas. It's so wonderful that are close enough to all of them to meet up easily for dinner.
Graham has some new tricks (besides the array of funny noises he's always making). When he's on his tummy he's started lifting himself up onto his knees! It won't be long folks before he'll be all over our house, I can feel it. I'm enjoying the freedom of being able to set him down and know that he'll stay there while I can. It's hard to believe he's almost 5 months old.
The splints that the occupational therapist made for his hands are already helping a lot. I was very skeptical at first, but we can tell that when the splints are off that he has his hands are open a lot more. We are continuing to see the OT once a week, and we are going to see a pediatric hand specialist in October. Graham's pediatrician thinks he has "congenital clasped thumbs." Hopefully he will not ever need surgery since we are addressing the issue so young!
I'm posting 2 videos: the fist one is Graham rolling over (which is does pretty easily now) and the second is Chad getting Graham to smile and laugh.

video

video

Monday, August 30, 2010

Little Boy Noises

video
Graham loves to talk and sing! He's been experimenting with all kinds of different sounds. Lately he sounds like he's trying to imitate a lion or dinosaur. It's so cute. He's all boy!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Occupational Therapy

Graham and I went to his 4 month old checkup last Tuesday. The doctor was (again) surprised at his size! She said he's about the size of a 9 month old - 18.5 pounds, 27.75 inches. I brought to her attention some concerns I have about his hands (not opening his thumb and forefinger). She agreed and referred me to a physical therapist. We went to that appointment today. Turns out that for fine motor issues he needs to see an occupational therapist instead of pt. They were really nice and we're going back tomorrow to have a thorough evaluation.

I've been teaching for 5 years and I've always observed how sensitive and emotional parents are about their children, not that I judged them for that. I now, however, know exactly what that feels like! It's so hard not to get sensitive and defensive when someone is talking about your child. If and when I ever do go back to teaching I think that I will always remember how that feels, and be able to have more empathy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Back Home

Well, we got home from our vacation last night. We are so glad to be home! We really enjoyed our time at St. Simons. We had a lot of fun hanging out with my family last week. We played a lot of our favorite game: peanut, took a lot of walks on the beach, went sailing, enjoyed many wonderful meals together, and we all got hooked on the show LOST (my parents brought season 1 on DVD).












Graham has been changing and growing all the time! He is rolling over pretty easily now, although he doesn't like it when he gets stuck on his tummy. We're not quite ready for him to become mobil! He has just recently started rubbing his eyes when he's sleepy. He's really trying hard to put his feet in his mouth! He has
also gotten to where he doesn't ever want to lay his head back. He really wants to be standing or sitting up most of the time (with help, of course).











Chad has gone back to work today and Graham and I are getting back into our regular routine of playing, doing chores, and running errands. It's crazy to think that if I was going back to work this year, today would be my first day back. What a blessing to get to stay home and take care of Graham!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Joe Bagby

I'll never forget when Joe Bagby and his family came to our church in Sweetwater the summer before my 9th grade year of school. I was so thrilled to meet Hope and Joy, his twin daughters who were my age. Joe was such an immediate blessing to our congregation. He poured life into it in every way. It was always so evident how much time he spent in prayer and fervent bible study to bring us messages from God's word. His sermons were always filled with emotion and I always left feeling uplifted and convicted. He always carried his worn bible, folded in half, as he spoke. I'll never forget the first night I spend at their house. They had only been in Sweetwater a few weeks. Paula was gone for some reason so it was just Joe, Hope, Joy, and I. The power went out that night and we had a wonderful time singing and talking by candlelight late into the night. Joe was always so selfless. He and Paula are raising their 2 granddaughters Kylie and Maddie. Their home has always been so completely welcoming for me. A place where I also felt at home.

My thoughts and prayers are with Joe and his family right now because he has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. I am just so amazed, looking back, at the way God has used him to impact the 4th and Elm Church of Christ, and the entire community in Sweetwater. I can't imagine how different my life would have been without him, and I know so many people who feel the same way. I know and believe with all my heart that God can do anything and I know God can cure the tumors if that is his will. Please pray for healing for Joe, and peace and comfort for his family. I hate to see them going though so much pain and hurt. I love them so very much!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

















Chad, Graham and I have really been enjoying our vacation to St. Simons Island! We've done a lot of walking on the beach, laying around at the pool, shopping, and most of all: being lazy. It's great. We've also been playing a lot of one of my favorite games: peanut (aka Nertz). Graham has just been going with the flow.













We took him in the pool one time and he didn't seem to mind very much. I've been very relieved that he's been eating and sleeping on his regular schedule. He's been working hard all week on rolling over, and has rolled over all the way a couple of times. If he's on a blanket on the floor (which he loves) he can now wriggle himself all over it. I'm just bracing myself for whe
n he becomes completely mobile!













We are spending this week with Chad's mom and Tom and our good friend Lori Beth. We'll be spending next week with my parents, aunt Missy, and my grandparents. It's so wonderful to get to relax and spend time with our families! Although I suspect that they are most excited about spending time with Graham.









Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Starting a blog...



Today I decided to start a blog to keep friends and family updated on what is going on with us, (most importantly what is going on with Graham) especially for those of you who don't live nearby. Chad and I are having a blast being parents of our 3 month old son, Graham. It seems like everyday he is changing and learning new things!



His latest accomplishment has been to begin grabbing things, especially his feet! Yesterday he reached out and grabbed a toy for the first time. Graham loves the sound of his own voice. He "sings" and "talks" to himself all the time! He can roll over, all though he's only rolled all the way over one time (and boy did he look surprised!). He is holding up his head by himself now, and he can sit up if he's propped up against something. His most favorite thing is being read to. He waves his arms in excitement and looks very focused! I'm hoping to teach him to love books and reading as much as I do.



About a week ago Graham started taking all his naps (about 4 a day) in his own bed. He also sleeps 10-11 hours a night. We have such a smart, special little boy. And he's a BIG boy! Our 3 month old is wearing 6-12 month clothing. Taking care of him is so much fun. We are taking him on a road trip to St. Simons Island this Friday. I am hoping he will just go with the flow. Chad and I are both anxious for a little get-a-way.