Friday, January 29, 2010

January with the Dillards

It's been a while since I've updated - so here I go!

For our first update, I will fill you in on the littlest member of our family... you know, the one we haven't officially met yet. But only because they are still in my belly button (so says Gabriella). I am starting to look pregnant now which is exciting for me. I enjoy being pregnant and am so excited to meet our new baby. So any sign that shows we are getting closer to that moment is a welcome one to me. I am feeling the baby move every day now which I really love. It is still those little, gentle kicks that are so comforting and sweet. Not quite strong enough for Matt to feel yet, but it shouldn't be much longer. I am looking forward to letting my kids feel them too. I can't wait to see what they make of that!

Me and my absolutely adorable model/copycat baby girl. I am 16 weeks in this picture.

Our sweet boy Oliver never ceases to crack me up with his budding little personality. He now informs me of the things he would like on our social calendar. He knows the days of the week and what we typically do on each day. He also apparently knows the day we don't normally have anything planned... Wednesday. So he frequently tells me something he would like to do, and then adds "maybe we can do that on Wednesday!" His latest are "Can we go to Cooper's house on Wednesday? We haven't been there in a long time!" and "Let's go to Boomerangs on Wednesday" (his favorite Bounce House place). I've tried to oblige as much as I can because I think it is too cute that he is taking an interest in how we spend our days. I can only imagine how this sort of planning will explode once he gets older, in school, and REALLY has an agenda of his own. But for now it is charming and sweet and I'm loving it.

One of his frequent requests over the past few months has been, "When can we go to a hotel again?" This question perplexed me because we haven't been to a hotel since last summer so I was shocked that he even remembered that. But I guess I shouldn't be. He still remembers that we were in room 7 and Granna and Papa were in room 8 at Horn Creek last summer! So we decided last weekend that we would make his dream come true! We made a reservation at a hotel in Grapevine (about 20 minutes away) just for one night. When we told him of our plans, he was ecstatic! He immediately went to his calendar and marked that day so he could count down the days. Gabby picked up on the excitement too and would happily respond when we asked her where we were going on Saturday!

We let the kids help pack their own suitcases/backpacks which they also got to carry by themselves (woo hoo)! Oliver was sure to include his toothbrush and toothpaste and Bible Story book. He also brought along the appropriate pairs of "Days of the Week" underwear that I recently bought him because of his love of staying on top of our schedule and where we are in the week! Gabriella happily packed her diapers and blanket and bunny... as well as her socks and shoes. She is really into picking out her own socks everyday. So many days, we'll go with yellow socks and an all pink outfit. But I let her win that battle. So if you ever see my daughter in non-matching socks, please don't judge me! :)

We headed over to the hotel after naptime and the kids had a blast playing in the lobby, pushing the buttons on the glass elevators, riding to the top floor, playing hide and seek in our room, trying out all of the light switches in the room, and unpacking their bags.

Playing "monster" with himself in the mirror

Gabriella unpacking her Elmo backpack

And putting her toothbrush and toothpaste in the correct spot

Oliver unloading his backpack holding his "Sunday" pair of underwear!

After playing games in the room for a bit, we headed out for a promised dinner at the nearby Rainforest Cafe. Oliver was confused for a minute since the only times I think he has been there has been with my parents in Katy. So he had to ask to clarify "Are we going to Meme and Pepe's mall?" He learned a lesson on franchising that day.

The kids' first attempt at Twister

Oliver looked and looked until he found the snake coming down from the ceiling like they have at the RF Cafe in Katy. He used to not want to go near the thing and would give it a very wide berth. But my brave little man now seeks him out!

Reading with Daddy in the gift shop while we waited for our table

Watching the fishies

After dinner we headed back for another promised event for the evening. This one was Gabriella's doing. That girl loves baths like no other... in direct contrast to her brother who hates them. But he acquiesced and joined his little sister for the evening bubble bath. She was sure to pack some "Mr. Bubble" in her suitcase before we left home as this was the main thing she has requested for the hotel stay. After that it was off to bed for the kids. We purposely chose an all suites hotel so we had 2 rooms - a bedroom and a living room - allowing mommy and daddy to be able to stay up past 8pm! Matt and I spent some time playing a few games and laughing our way through a fun baby names book that I recently picked up. We're still working on that list... and we've decided that we are not going to find out the gender of the baby at our ultrasound next week. We are going to wait and be surprised on delivery day! So we have to make a boy AND a girl name list. No small task.

Gabriella was a little sick and did not sleep well until I put her in bed with me while Matt moved to join Oliver. I think she was just trying to give us some reminders of what nights are like with a newborn. I would like to state for the record that I am sufficiently reminded.

My sleepy girl

We caught a few hours of sleep then all woke up and headed down to THE best complimentary hotel breakfast I've ever had. On top of the amazing buffet of pastries, drinks, breads, fruit, etc., they had a chef making omelets while you waited. SO yummy. I could have spent a great deal of time there, but the kids were finished eating way sooner than I was. I don't think they had quite the same appreciation for the quality and AMOUNT of food on display as their pregnant mommy did. We headed home after breakfast as we were all worn out.

And of course our boy still remembers our room number - 722. I took this picture to document it because I knew he would remember something like that... and so I could check and see if he was right when he brings it up!

We've had a fun January... and are loving our time as a family of four. For a few more months that is...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Hanging out in our jammies on a Saturday

Thanks for the cute jammies Aunt Natty and Uncle Matt!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas with the Dillards

We had a fun and busy Christmas and are finally settling back down into our normal routine. But I wanted to take some time to reflect on our holiday and document the fun memories we made.

There was lots of family time to be had as we celebrated with both sides of Matt's extended family. Lots of parties, eating, and laughing. The kids LOVE playing with their cousins and had a blast. I love to see them connect with other family members. We got to spend precious time with our out of town family as well. Matt's sister and brother and their families all came to Dallas so that made the holiday extra special. There's just something special about being with family...

We enjoyed teaching our children about the birth of Jesus. It is so precious to hear a toddler tell you the details about baby Jesus. This was the first year Oliver really understood anything about Santa Claus - and he really got into it! He made sure we moved our fireplace screen out of the way so he could get in and enjoyed helping me bake cookies for Santa to enjoy when he dropped off the presents. In fact, that was one of the first things he checked for when we walked out Christmas morning!

The empty plate and mug

Oliver's gift from Santa Claus

Gabriella's gift from Santa

The thing Oliver enjoyed most about the morning - CANDY! He ate a whole tube of M&M's and two packets of Pez before breakfast. Only on Christmas...

Gabby with her plate of cookies

We also were blessed with a white Christmas - in TEXAS! It snowed big flakes all day on Christmas Eve - it was so beautiful. It really stuck and stayed that way all day on Christmas. It made it feel extra Christmas-y this year.

Dressed up for Christmas lunch at Granna and Papa's house

Playing with his new Webkinz monkey from Granna and Papa. He picked the name... it's name is Worry. Yes, Worry. Funny boy!

Granna, Papa, Uncle Dan, and Daddy trying desperately to succeed at Papa's Pizza Topple

Oli and Daddy going for a ride after the snow melted away!

We were thrilled to get to see some of my family over the holidays as well. My parents and Emily and Bossy came up for New Years. My mom brings a special bag called the "Meme Bag" with her filled with special toys for the kids. The favorite by far are the stamps. Here is Gabby (and Meme's hand) adorned with some lovely animals stamps. We had a great time visiting with my family and the kids were in heaven having them in our house for a few days! We were too - since my Dad gets up with the kids when he is visiting. Thank you Pepe! We loved sleeping in!!!

We are so blessed and were so thankful to get to spend the holidays with the people we love most on this earth. Thank you all for helping to make our holidays bright! Merry Christmas again!