Thursday, December 30, 2010

What's Happening at the Swafford's today?

These guys came first thing this morning. Hopefully they were able to eradicate any tell tell signs of two sick dogs in the past week. They also cleaned the playroom carpet before it gets kicked into high gear very soon.

Now these are being installed in the basement. We will gain a whole second floor to our house finally. The previous owners had gas logs but they were past being used.

And this is what a little boy, who has more new toys than any child probably should, has spent a whole lot of time doing. The kitchen floor is currently covered in plastic containers that he loves to play with.

I'm just loving being at home! I'm finally getting to feed my blogging bug a little, and play a whole lot.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's Fun To Turn One! A Snowman Party

Brennan's big snowman party was a huge success! We even had snow and snowmen here to celebrate, not a usual sight in Alabama.

These were the invitations we sent out, and the colors we used throughout the party.

It can be found on Shutterfly.

I made favor bags for each child. They had a few different goodies inside, including noise makers. I know some parents that are loving those right now :). I also included one original idea: a snowman making snack mix. It had three large marshmallows, two stick pretzels, two mini m&ms for eyes and three more for buttons, and a piece of corn candy for a nose.

A family friend made the cakes. I sent her a few ideas and she went with it. They were amazing, and absolutely perfect! She out did herself.

We rented a community room for the party. It is a great set up for large groups. It wasn't as easy as going somewhere that does parties, but it did provide a good play space and plenty of room. (I will definatley consider a party place in the future.)Because Brennan's birthday falls right between Christmas and New Year's and because those holidays are on weekends this year, we had the party on the Tuesday night of his birthday. We served Chili, along with some kiddie foods. They have tables already set up, and had some Christmas decorations up, so we just added party decorations. I did colored bags on each table with balloons, a couple of snowmen on the food tables, and lots of bright colors. I wanted light blue and white to be the prominent colors, but I also added other bright colors like the invitation had on it.

On a table at the entrance, I put out the photo books I have made of Brennan through his first year, the scrapbook Mike made me for Christmas, and an empty photo album that we will fill with birthday pictures. We asked the guests to sign the front of the photo album and wrote down his gifts in the back.

We just took a couple of Brennan's toys: a pop up tent/tunnel and cozy coupe, for the youngest party goers to play with. I had a small craft project for the older little girls and blew up white balloons for everyone to enjoy. The white balloons were a big hit. We just told the oldest children to pick up any pieces as soon as a balloon popped, and of course there was plenty of adult supervision also.

I know Brennan enjoyed the night, and I think it was fun for all the little guys.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Birthday To You Brennan Abbott!

December 28, 2009
8 lbs. 11 ozs. 21 inches
5:49 p.m.

December 28, 2010
24 lbs. 6 ozs. 30 1/4 inches
5:49 p.m.

Your first birthday was a special day Brennan! We were so busy! It started earlier than you would have liked, as you can tell by your sleepy eyes.

We went to see Dr. Cartwright first thing. You are growing just as you should, and by the measurements above you are in the 75th percentile for your weight and height right now. They let us schedule a visit for the next day to have your immunizations so that your fun would not be interrupted. We found out you can eat most anything now, including honey and even peanut butter since we have no allergies in our family.

We left the doctor and went to get ready for your party. On our way home we saw snowmen all over the streets of Hartselle. They must have heard there was going to be a big snowman birthday party.

You took two good naps, played with Maeleigh, and then got to play with your new Ride and Rescue Cozy Coupe.

Finally it was time for the real fun! Friends and family came to help you celebrate. It was a big night! You tried cake for the first time, and played a lot.

All that fun was exhausting for everyone. But your sugar high kept you going for awhile. You stayed up to enjoy your whole special night. This picture is at 11:45 p.m.

Happy Birthday sweet boy!

365 Days In a Year?

Is that still true? I'm pretty sure this one must have been cut short. Wow! A year ago we met for the first time Brennan. Remembering that moment is still amazing. It has been a fabulous year getting to know you, but I just can't fathom that it has passed so quickly. You are the most wonderful little boy! Your twelfth month has been one of your best I think. We have been so busy with Christmas fun!

This month your big accomplishment has been WALKING! You took your first steps on December 14th. We were having supper at Nonna and Papa's that Tuesday night. It was my night to cook, so I was busy in the kitchen. You had crawled in and were talking to me and trying to hang out by the stove. Nonna came to distract you, and I turned to walk away to get something. You stood up, bounced up and down a few times, then took off across the kitchen after me. You took three or four steps before sitting down. We all cheered and clapped for you. From then on you have practiced every day, and are able to walk across a room now.

You have also begun to like table foods. You really love macaroni and cheese right now, but you've also liked: corn, carrots, peas, and all kinds of fruit. Mashed potatoes are the only thing that have still made you gag. You've also decided you don't care for whole milk. At one point you would drink it when it was offered, but now that it's time to switch from formula you are acting like milk is awful. You make the funniest faces when you realize that's what is in your cup. You do love water though.

We've had a lot of fun firsts this month. We went to Santa's Village with the Glazes. You loved watching everything, and sat in Santa's lap like you saw him everyday. We went to a tree farm and cut a live Christmas tree for the living room. There were actually snow flurries that day, which helped to get us into the spirit of the season. The next weekend we went to the children's Christmas party at Fairview. The older children had a program, and then the Santa's helper that had come to our house was there while we enjoyed cookies and milk. The weekend before Christmas we started our family gatherings at Aunt Lucy's and Uncle Rob's. We had dinner, and opened presents. You got your first Christmas present, a Chuck the Talking Truck. You thought Chuck was pretty great, but the boxes were so much fun also. On Sunday, we went to the Christmas program at McKendree with Nonna. That same Santa's helper was there too. You really put on a show for the camera's there, while most of the other little ones cried when they were put near the helper. On Christmas Eve we went with Daddy for him to finish his Christmas shopping. It was well worth it. He put together a scrapbook of your first year's blog for me. On Christmas Eve night you got to enjoy my longest Christmas tradition, going to Granny and Granddaddy's. We had dinner and opened presents. You also spent a lot of time practicing your walking. After we got home, we all read The Night Before Christmas and you were off to bed, on the air mattress you seem to like better than your crib right now. We awoke to your first Christmas, and a WHITE CHRISTMAS. Alabama hasn't had a white Christmas since 1989, and never as much as this year. We had two to three inches of snow. You loved looking at it, but weren't so keen on it touching you. Gam, Pawpaw, and Uncle Ryan came for lunch. Nonna and Papa stopped by for a few minutes. We had to postpone our night at Nonna and Papa's because of the snow. On the 26th we had lunch with them, and opened presents. You and Maeleigh had a great time playing with the wagon you got, and trading each other's gifts. We've spent a lot of time playing and getting ready for your party since then.

Other things you are doing this month include: playing patty cake, dancing, clapping at everything, saying uh oh before you throw things, talking more clearly, and having little "come aparts" especially when you are tired. You say momma, dada, nonna, papa, tree, thank you, bye bye, and sometimes say woof or what could be dog. You've been saying some of these for awhile but now they are clear and often. You still love to read, play with blocks, throw things, empty and fill containers, and sometimes snuggle. We turned your big boy car seat around a few days ago. Your legs were just too long the other way. I thought you would really pay attention to everything you can see now, but you still often fall asleep as soon as we get going.

Your birthday is going to be a busy day with a visit to Dr. Cartwright first thing in the morning, then setting up and preparing for your party, and finally party time tomorrow night. I can't wait to see your reaction to the birthday festivities. I hope it's as special a day for you as your days have been for us this year. Happy Birthday sweet boy!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Only In My Dreams...

could a Christmas be so magical and wonderful. I could scarcely believe my eyes when I drew back the curtain to peak for snow this morning. I felt like I was getting to live in a Christmas movie. We already had the excitement of Jesus birthday, and the excitement of Brennan's first Christmas, and now a white Christmas too. I grabbed the camera and ran out the front door to take pictures (hopefully none of the neighbors saw since I was still in my pjs). I was afraid it was going to be one of those snows that only stayed for a few hours, and I wanted to capture the beauty. The huge flakes were amazing. What a gift!

Soon Mike and Brennan were up. Brennan and I sang "Happy Birthday" to our baby Jesus in the nativity set. It was hard to decide which memory to capture next. We decided to bundle up and explore the snow. I am amazed at how Brennan already thinks snow is special. The two times we have had it recently he has stood and stared out the window. Today he would kick it and smile. He wasn't keen on being down in it though.

We came in and he headed right for his presents from Santa. Suddenly he stopped in the middle of the living room and started to dance. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree was playing, and not even a room of new toys could keep him from getting his groove on. Then he just roamed from toy to toy checking them all out. Every few minutes he would wander to the window and look out at the postcard picture that surrounded us. It took a couple of hours to play with each toy and open a few packages. All that play led to a great nap. While Brennan napped, Wells and I got to reminisce together with a walk through the snow. That was an every day occurrence when we lived in Minnesota, and I think we both loved getting to enjoy it again.

Soon it was time to fix lunch. Mike's family made the trek from Rainsville in the afternoon. We enjoyed eating and opening gifts. Then playing with the little guy. Unfortunately, the snow did keep us from getting together with my family today. But that just means we get to spread Christmas over to tomorrow. Nonna and Papa did come by for a few minutes this evening. They found a tuckered out little boy sound asleep on the sofa. It's too bad Brennan won't be able to remember his first Christmas. It will be hard to top it's storybook charm in the years to come. I know I will hold these memories carefully for a long time.

Merry Christmas everyone!