Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!

Before 2010 officially ends, Olivia's first tooth has finally appeared! It's just starting to peek through her gums and is barely visable, but it is coming.

Alligator Walking

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Solo Standing

I've been trying for weeks to capture Olivia standing without holding on to anything. It usually happens when she's playing with something, gets captivated with the toy and then lets go . She can stand for about 5 seconds before falling to her bum. She is slowly getting steadier though.
So this isn't the best picture, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mouse Rides

Liv the Lemur

Livie got to dress up as a Lemur at the children's area of the Brookfield Zoo yesterday.
Too cute!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Bye Bye Baby Bathtub!

Olivia has declared her independence...from the small baby bathtub. My sign that she was done with it was when she started to stand up in it and laugh.
(Don't you just want to squeeze her chubby belly and thighs!)
So on to the actual big bath! At first she was a little timid and the running water made her nervous. But once the bath is filled, she is ready to get in there and splash around!

Worst Tree, Best Christmas

We officially had the worst Christmas tree in history this year. After the first day when it didn't take a sip of water, I knew we were in trouble. If you walked within two feet of the tree, needles would just plummet to the ground. I tried to convince Sam that we needed to buy a new tree a few weeks ago, but he refused and started counting down the days until we could take the tree down.

So today I took off the ornaments and lights and this was the sad, sad result...

Despite the awful tree, I would say this was one of my favorite Christmas holidays. Something about babies makes the season all that more special and being able to celebrate with our little Olivia was priceless. Plus, Sam and I both did a phenomenal job gifting this year. I gave him an iPad, which he's been playing with like a kid since he opened it. And he sweetly suprised me with a trip to Napa this April to celebrate our 30th birthdays. He rented an amazing house with its own pool, overlooking a vineyard and Mt. Saint Helena. Plus we're going with some of our best friends, Caitlin and Dave Pearson! I am counting down the days to the trip!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Double Christmas

Olivia got to celebrate Christmas with both sides of her family today. We started the evening at the Elsener/Wilson/Greer gathering and finished with the Murray/Collins/Burns party. I think it's safe to say that Olivia had a wonderful first Christmas, surrounded by those who love her.

Baby's First Christmas!

(In the voice of Olivia....)
I was such a good girl this year that Santa came to my house for my very first Christmas! Look at all the presents he left for me under the tree...

Daddy and Penny helped me open the presents...

I got this awesome alligator push toy that will help me start walking a bit...

And this cool cloth tunnel to crawl back and forth through (Penny is petrified of it)...

This fabulous puzzle that spells out my pretty name...

And this xylophone to practice my musical talents...

And look at this incredible wheely bug mouse that now gets to live in my house!

Thanks so much to Mommy, Daddy and Santa for making my first Christmas so special! I promise to be a good girl for the next twelve months so we can do this again next year!

Bobo's Christmas Eve

Twas the night before Christmas, and for the first time we celebrated in LaGrange Park at Bobo and Aunt Meg's new house. It was a wonderful evening had by all in preparation for the big guy's arrival.
Adorable Hanna Andersson dresses with crazy tights for the girls.

Matching sweater vests for two precious boys.

Christmas Cousin Kisses.

Future Chicago Bears players, with limited vision at the moment.

Dress up clothes for the little lady.

Coolest Hockey game with "guys" thanks to Nana (and Papa too for inspiration!)

All ready for bed so Santa can get to work... And to all a good night!

Christmas Mass

Finn and Seamus took part in the church procession at Christmas Eve mass, aka "the Christmas Parade" according to Seamie. They both did a great job, especially considering they were carrying real fire down the aisle.

The only snafu was when they were suppose to return to their pews. Finn came right back to us. Seamie took a left turn the wrong way-- down the center aisle. Luckily he figured it out and came running back to us.
Then there was a Christmas miracle at the end of mass....SANTA! He came in through the back of church and put a candle at the alter. The boys eyes lit up, so sweet.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

A very merry Christmas, from our family to yours!

Sneaking One Early Present...


One of my favorite holiday traditions in my family has been the homemade stockings that my mom made for each member of the family. For a long time it was just the six stockings (Grandma, Mom, Dad, Caitlin, Michael, and Megan)...but as our family has grown, so have our stockings on the mantle! My mom has made a new stocking for each in-law and grandbaby. If the family continues to grow at this pace, my mom is going to need a bigger fireplace!
Nana was sweet enough to start working on little Olivia's stocking last year so it would be done in time for this year's Christmas. Thanks Nana :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Magic of Zoo Lights

Every year (even before we had kids), I make Sam go to Lincoln Park Zoo Lights with me. The twinkling lights, festive music and hot chocolate-- there is no way to not be in a merry mood. But then each year after seeing the monkeys and a lion or two, we realize there are literally no other animals to be seen in the dead of winter outside at a zoo. Oh well.

This year we added something new to the trip-- a carousel ride for Olivia! Despite the lack of animals, I think we all still had fun.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Remembering Papa

Here is a picture of my dad on Santa's lap when he was maybe around two or three. I think he looks just like my brother's boys. Those Murray genes in the men are strong!

Last Friday, my dad would have been 65 years old and I've been thinking about him a lot lately. He's created quite a legacy in his grandkiddos and I know he would have loved to see each of them becoming their own little person. Even though he never got to meet my little Olivia, I am pretty confident he would have found her hysterical.

Mealtime Banter

Olivia is quite chatty during her mealtimes. And she's becoming more of an independent eater by feeding herself. I love how she chugs her sippy cup.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Skypemas

Just because the Elsener clan couldn't all be together in person, it didn't stop us from celebrating Christmas as a group! Thanks to modern technology, we were able to Skype with Alyce, Michael and little Sam from their living room to Jim and Pat's to open presents all together. It almost felt like we were actually all in the same place (except for the occasional screen freeze).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Meeting Ava

We got to meet little Ava Pero over this weekend! She's adorable with her full head of hair. Hopefully she will start letting her parents sleep soon :)

We are psyched about all the playdates in the future. Olivia can be the cool older friend who gets sweet Ava into trouble.

Sam is thrilled for the Peros, but also excited that he's no longer the only guy in his group of friends with a baby.

So this is what we would look like if we had two babies, only nine months apart...Interesting.
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