Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bennett's 6 month photos

For those interested in seeing a great slideshow of Bennett's 6 month photos....check out this link. Our photographer, Heather Swanner, here in Birmingham does a fantastic job. We were so pleased with the finished product and all of the great faces of Bennett that she was able to capture.

Bennett's 1st Christmas

The past week has been very hectic with the move and then finding everything in the mountain of boxes. So it was nice taking a break and just enjoying our family for two days. Christmas Eve day we headed to Brian and Shannon's to celebrate Christmas with them. Christian was fun and very interested in a couple of his new toys - a Caterpillar truck that my parents gave him, and a motorized car that Brian and Shannon gave him. Bennett was really too young this year, but she certainly enjoyed the bright colors of the wrapping paper and putting each gift in her mouth. After opening all of the presents over mimosas and appetizers, we sat down for lunch. Since we were set to spend the evening with Steve's family, we headed home afterward to unpack our goodies, while they all went to church to thank God for all of the blessings in our lives.

Later that night, we headed over to a table full of Lebanese food and more family time with all of the Mizerany clan. The tradition has always been that the youngest child gets to open a gift first, so John Michael had to pass the torch to his newest cousin on this side of the family....little Miss Bennett. She once again tried to eat her gift, so John Michael helped her open the gift that he picked out for her. It was a darling pink camouflage onesie and jean skirt (so sweet if I must say so myself). Then Bennett opened gifts from Maria and Sara before we all moved into the living room and started tearing through all of the wrapping paper. For the past couple of years, Myra and Louis have given us gifts that are hidden in trick boxes. So in order for us to get our gifts, we need to figure out how to open the box. It can become so frustrating, but they love seeing that. After all of the gift exchanges, and chowing on food....everyone started to get a little sleepy. Uncle Dan actually fell asleep while holding Bennett who was fast asleep. It was a terrific day!

Christmas morning my parents and us just relaxed at our home. We unpacked a few boxes, and then had breakfast with mimosas. Then we started getting ready for the annual Christmas lunch at the Mizerany's again. Myra knows how much my father loves her chicken and dumplings, so she slaved in the kitchen preparing that, her wonderful dressing, kibbee, ham and several other sides. There was more than enough food for all of us!

Wednesday, Steve and I went to work for a few hours in the morning, but then returned home to finish the last of our packing and move. Since the purchase and closing happened so quickly, we did not have enough time to pack up the entire house and be prepared for the movers. So, we were forced to leave much of the basement there which required us to return for several round trips on our own. Thankfully my parents drove down to assist us (with their loving dog, Winston).

Spencer and Winston are great pals, and I must admit that I haven't seen Spence so happy to see another dog. They played with each other, took naps together, and had daily walks by my father (until Spencer ran away from my dad). You see my father was taking the two for a short walk and then to a nearby park. There he would take them off their leashes so they could run around and chase each other a little. The first couple of times went smoothly, but Christmas day went differently. After Spencer was released from his leash, he ran around a little and then decided to head home before my father and Winston were ready. My father called for him to return, and he stopped and looked at him for a moment, but then took off running for home. My father was so nervous that he would run away or get lost (recall Thanksgiving 2005), so he and Winston tried to catch up and began jogging after him. Of course they couldn't catch him, but we were all happy to find Spence sitting on the front stoop of our new home, waiting to be let inside. We were shocked that he could find his way after only living here a few days!

Thursday, my father and Winston headed home (and then Spencer went back to sleeping almost all day). My mother, Steve and I got really focused on unpacking and getting the home more organized. She was kind enough to stay through the weekend to help us, and I must admit that we made a ton of progress. We only have a few boxes left, and then all of our pictures to hang. Since we are still getting used to the new layout we elected to wait to hang anything until we know for sure which rooms we want things. I promise photos of our new home on a future blog.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Hmmm, hmmm good??

To ring in Bennett's 7 month birthday, we introduced her to green beans. Since she has been doing a better job with the rice cereal, we decided to spice up her menu of foods and start with some veggies. I wanted to start with veggies and postpone fruits for a little while longer since they are sweeter. Anything that we can do to prevent her from being a picky eater is our goal!

She started off pretty good, accepting the new taste, but after she swallowed a couple bites, she started making some funny faces, as you will see in the following photos.

not sure she likes it....
definitely didn't like it....

gagging now...

still not mad at mommy & daddy...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ho! Ho! Ho!

Since we have been so preoccupied with our move, we have missed the opportunity to get Bennett's photo taken with Santa for the first time. You don't have to tell me how bad of a parent I am because the guilt is already sinking in by itself. Tonight we went to a dinner at our church for young adults and they brought Santa in for the little ones. I was excited about this opportunity to have her meet this jolly ole man for the first time without the anxiety of long lines and screaming kids; however when I saw their "Santa" tonight...I began to reconsider.

Since we had Bennett all dressed up and there, we had to take advantage of the opportunity. But as you will see in the photos, this Santa was young and not very jolly. I must admit though that Bennett didn't mind. She was so fascinated with his long white beard and bright red outfit that she just stared at him. We kept calling out her name and making familiar sounds that usually put a smile on her face, but she couldn't take her eyes off of him. Though we have been practicing the sound that Santa makes (Ho Ho Ho), she hasn't quite mastered it yet.
After ten unsuccessful shots, we gave up and decided to suck it up and commit to taking her to the mall like the rest of the caring parents do with their babies. Hopefully she will be just as cooperative, and enthralled with the ole guy.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Call Me Crazy!

I have been called crazy several times in the past week as I tell my story to folks. You see we closed on the purchase of our new home today, and began moving boxes over tonight (even though the house isn't quite finished yet). The builder is trying to finish off our punchlist this week, since the movers are set to come on Friday and move all of our furniture over. Since we have run into multiple snags along the road with both home sales, we didn't want to go crazy with the packing in advance since we weren't sure the whole thing would even come to fruition (aren't we the optimists). Thankfully though we made it through one of the closings, and have the closing of our current home on December 28th.

Since my parents are coming into town for Christmas and planning to stay with us, we have to get our stuff in the new house. They are both committed to helping us get unpacked and settled, and we are thankful for the extra set of hands to either watch Bennett or unpack boxes. We still have so much to pack, and move ahead of time (anything breakable or difficult to pack), so we have our work cut out for us this week. In addition to this, we still have our Christmas shopping to finish up. I think I have finally given up on that though and decided to just give gift cards for anyone I have left because I just don't have the time to think about what to get them and then go buy it.

Steve and I feel guilty about not having a Christmas tree for Bennett's 1st Christmas, but we promise to take lots of photos of her in front of everyone else's trees! For now you will have to settle for some cute photos of her petting her favorite doggie, Spencer and sporting her new slippers and hat!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Movin', movin', movin'...

Well it is official....we are moving! ...and you all thought it would never happen (actually I was beginning to wonder myself). For some who have been keeping up with the whole saga, we elected not to buy the house that we have been interested in the past two months. Since they rejected our contingent offer twice, and wouldn't budge on their price (even though it had been on the market 17 months), we completely shifted gears to a new construction home around the corner from ours. We first looked at it a week ago, and after falling in love with the layout, space, flat backyard and wonderful details to the interior...we made an offer that was agreed upon and signed this past Thursday! Steve and I couldn't be happier about our future new digs, but it is all coming at us quickly. You see we are closing on the new home Monday the 17th (yes one short week from today)! Since we didn't sign a contingent deal, we were anxious to see what would happen with our current abode. We have had a ton of traffic while it has been on the market the past 6-7 weeks (especially considering the time of year), so we were hopeful an offer would come sooner rather than later. It surprisingly came sooner, in fact we signed a contract with the buyers of our home today! They are anxious to close since they are currently homeless and staying in a hotel, but we pushed them off until after Christmas, December 28th. So, if all goes well at the inspection tomorrow...this could be a done deal. Who knows though, they have been a penny-pinching, greedy couple asking for everything (and I mean everything). Since we both agree that we have conceded enough, and we are not desperate to close immediately, we're not afraid to tell them to beat it if they ask for another nickel. So, stay tuned as our drama unfolds over this upcoming week.