We may have gone a little overboard with our decor this year, but I LOVE it! First, the outside...
This big tree is behind our house, and it is BIG. Like, really big!
Then the Christmas trees inside. Yes, we have two, but these are the same tree...
And I love how our ornaments are all old and personalized and special to us. I can't wait to build our own little family's ornament collection! And yes I did make that little green tree ornament in 1991!
And some miscellaneous decor around the house!
We like snowmen. A lot.
My parents' house is full of Christmas cheer!
I'm just gonna go ahead and admit it. Riley got a LOT of gifts this Christmas. A lot. She got tons of books, and clothes, some shoes, some teething toys, various bath toys, stacking blocks, a baby bike, a pillow pet, a duck bath and a bath seat, SEVEN ornaments, a snow globe, a baby pool, some stuffed animals... and I'm probably forgetting something. She got a lot. Mark and I were only responsible for a small fraction of those items. (I bought her the "R" ornament, the rest were gifts.
Some might say she was spoiled. I don't believe that nonsense. Not for a second. Was she lucky? Definitely. Loved? Of course. But spoiled... I don't think so. I know Christmas is not about the presents, and when Riley is older, she will know that too. We'll teach her about Jesus, and about giving, about being thankful and grateful, and all that good stuff, because in my opinion, you are not spoiled simply because you receive a lot of gifts. Spoiled is the wrong word for that. And I think it's silly when people believe buying their children presents will inherently spoil them... I think being spoiled comes as a result of not teaching good values, which is totally separate from how many gifts you receive. But I suppose that's my opinion.
There are many people out there a lot less fortunate than us. And I am so thankful for what we have. And in the coming years, Riley will be too. We'll teach her that Christmas is about GIVING, not receiving. We'll show her how good it feels to watch someone's face light up as they receive a gift hand-picked or hand-made by her. This was her gift to daddy this year...
And a few of her other fave gifts...
Many many more not pictured, I think you get the idea. We love Christmas!
We made it. Breastfed for 6 months.
I had always planned on breastfeeding. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but my goal was to make it to 6 months. And here we are. So now what? It’s funny, with a tiny newborn baby, everyone wants to know if you’re breastfeeding, and if you say you are, people give you a pat on the back and a "good for you", ya know, cuz "breast is best". But once your baby is a little older, say, 6 months, all of a sudden the question becomes, "Are you STILL breastfeeding?", or "how long are you going to do that for..." As if suddenly at 6 months your baby has outgrown breast milk. Or like you're gonna be that mom on TV breastfeeding her 5 year old.
Now that I’ve accomplished my 6 month goal, I’m not sure what to do next. Riley will need either breast milk or formula until she’s 12 months old. I thought once she turned 6 months old, I would be fine switching over to formula. But now that we're here, I really have no desire to stop breastfeeding. (1) It's cheaper (free), (2) more convenient for middle of the night feeds (don't have to get up to make a bottle, although hopefully after sleep training there will be fewer middle of the night feeds...) (3) less work for me (no prepping or cleaning bottles). Plus I like it! I really enjoy breastfeeding my little one.
The only downsides to continuing to breastfeed are (1) I'm the only one that can feed her (which is not necessarily a downside) and (2) I don't really get my body back until she's weaned. Both those things I can live with. So I guess we'll just play it by ear from now on. I think I'll probably breastfeed until she's at least 9 months, and then we'll see what happens once we get there!
But annnnnnyway, since there were no pictures to go along with this little post, I thought you might enjoy this video! Notice how she thinks her daddy is soooo funny until the very end, when he scares her... oops.
Half a year. Woah!
What's new with the little bug...
Christmas this year was fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. I don't think it could have been any better, actually. Let's see if I can sum up some of the events of the past few days...
First, Riley had her very first taste of solid food other than rice cereal. We gave her some delicious sweet potatoes, and at first she wasn't so sure...
Despite the face, after a few bites she LOVED it. Like, couldn't shovel it in her mouth fast enough. Yum. Since then we've also tried bananas, which she also likes, but not as much as sweet potatoes.
Moving on to SANTA and Christmas Eve. Meet Santa (aka my dad). He made a special appearance just for little Riley Bug.
We took bets on whether or not she would cry. I thought she would, Mark thought she wouldn't. He was right. She was quite intrigued by his beard, so I think that helped!
Overall, huge success! She was pretty tired after such a long day, so we got into bed and before we knew it it was Riley's first Christmas!!! We had a little surprise in store for everyone. Check out this Christmas fairy...
Mark picked that out all by himself haha. It's meant for 2-4 year olds. But we put it on her anyway, and it was a hit. And apparently it was delicious!
Then we moved on to opening presents, which basically looked like a lot of this for Riley...
And after a brief outfit change, some more of this...
Riley got LOTS of cool presents (as did Mark and I), pictures to follow shortly! For now, I leave you with this...
Christmas is so so soon! Seriously, Christmas in the US is a million times better than in NZ. I mean, nowhere in NZ can you find a massive 2 story gingerbread house!
Or over-sized Christmas trees.
Or fun Aunt Jennies.
And Riley LOOOOOVES Aunt Jennie.
Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and we are just SO excited!!!
Holidays mean lots of time with family, very little time for blogging!! Oops! And time with family involves HUGE Christmas trees. Can you find the baby??
And huge trees come with huge ornaments!
Ok back to family bonding time...!
This is my gorgeous sister Jennie!
She is engaged!! Okay she has been engaged for a while now, but this is the first time I've gotten to hang out with her and talk weddings. And she and her fiance were such troopers, they let me drag them out into the cold and rain to snap a few engagement photos of them. Now I'm no professional by any means, but it was fun to play around with my camera and see what I could do!
Aren't they precious?? It's so nice to get to be home with all the family. I do love this time of year. I love Christmas, I love my family, I love snuggling in the bed with my husband and warm, jammied baby. It's all just so cozy and fun!!
Now time for a day in San Francisco with the fam!
We've almost had one whole week without daddy, and boy do we miss him! He's in Hawaii for work (tough life, I know). And he is definitely missing this face...
I mean, how could you not?? Only ONE MORE DAY until he's home!!!!!
So my cousin's babies are my first cousins, once removed, but are Riley's second cousins?... maybe...?? Any who, we have little Kaylee...
She has the most hair out of the three babies. And shortly after this picture below, Riley shrieked and scared Kaylee into crying. Poor baby.
And then we have Ethan. This pic cracks me up.
He definitely has the biggest cheeks of all 3 babies!
They are a little over 4 months old, and traveled from Washington to visit! We get to see them again tomorrow too! I love the holidays and getting to spend time with family. Kaylee likes it too.