Sunday, December 25, 2016

this Christmas.

The days between Thanksgiving and Christmas disappear in a snap, don't they? It's hard not to get caught up in the bustle and the cheer of the season.

Our calendar was kept wonderfully full with holiday dinners with friends and cookies decorating with our favorite neighbors. I'm sure Corrine is still cleaning up sprinkles but look at those sweet smiles.

This year there was no doubt in my mind about the best gift to be received. Our Ohio counterparts were able to make it down to Tennessee for a couple of days and we were able to celebrate Christmas all together. Being with all of these people is just my favorite thing in the world. We started our day with our yearly Christmas breakfast. I didn't burn the biscuits like last year. Somehow I didn't get put in charge of that task this time- ha!- but I did manage to catch Gaga's potholder on fire anyway. Whoops! After we cleaned up 6,437 dishes we headed to the living room for a little gift exchanging. Oh, and for our Christmas crackers (complete with Christmas hats of course!).

This year, just like last year, the weather has been unseasonably warm just around Christmas. So it wasn't long before the crew began to migrate outside. With proclamations of "just one picture, I promise!" I was able to get a sweet photo of all our babies. They were still for the five seconds it took to get that done, then they were off. With a happy Gaga & Pappy nearby to soak them in.

Charlie has slowly but surely decided that she likes these folks more than she expected to.

What a wonderful day with these people we love so much!

The next night was Christmas Eve. I absolutely adore watching Will get excited about this. This may be his favorite night of the entire year. Actually I'm sure it is. He told me, "I can't wait to get Henry all worked into a frenzy!". They begin with practicing. Charlie didn't really have a clue what was going on, but thought that being run up & down the hallway was loads of fun!

Next up is prep for the reindeer and for Santa himself. Henry's an expert at this part now.

The sky is pretty much searched in all directions and from every vantage point.

Then we wind down with our usual Christmas Eve book and Henry snuggles in for the night.

This year I went back in to check on Henry about 15 minutes after we tucked him in. He was absolutely annoyed at me. "Mommy. Why are you in here? I'm trying to go to sleep!". I couldn't help but laugh. Since it was pretty clear he had no intentions of getting out of bed, the elves quickly set to work.

Charlie woke up at about 6:15 this morning, quickly followed by her brother. Then it was off to Daddy's room to get him up, check the carrot/apple plate & Santa's plate, and then to the main event..

Just as expected, some were less interested in toys and more interested in the packaging.

Even though we couldn't be with our UK counterparts, we did spend some time on Skype opening gifts from each other and catching up. We can't wait until they visit next year!

We hope you've had a wonderful holiday as well! Merry Christmas from the Zuills!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

charlie, 8 months.

Every month seems to go by faster and faster, and suddenly, Charlie, you are 8 months old. Impossible. This month you have changed at a mind-blowing pace. It seems like every couple of days you are showing us the latest trick you've figured out. Waving, for example. Daddy calls this your "queen wave". You wave at us, the dogs, random strangers at the grocery store-

You seem to be everywhere these days. You crawl on your left knee but rarely let that right knee touch the floor. It's so cute. And boy are you getting fast.

You pull up on anything and everything over the last couple of weeks and you frequently cruise your way from one end of the couch to the other. You're thankfully figuring out how to sit back down again. You getting stuck standing up was making for some challenging bedtimes.

You've really started to get interested in food this month. You love scrambled eggs and toast in the mornings. Much unlike your brother you love green beans. You honestly have eaten everything we have given you to try. I bought some baby granola/oatmeal bars to see what you'd think of them-

You find lots to get into in the kitchen. You got caught in the dog food bowl yesterday. I decided to let you put a piece in your mouth but you know that backfired. You seemed to think it tasted great and you weren't happy with me when I fished it out of your mouth. ha. You like to pull yourself up on the open dishwasher and see if you can find water standing in the door so you can splash around in it. You like to peek at us around doorways and stools and you're quite the little drummer.

No longer content to stay in one spot and play with a couple of boring 'ole baby toys, you are quickly learning your environment and finding lots of fun and naughty things to do in it.

You have been such a great sleeper. Until the last couple of nights. Ahh, oh yes, I forgot about how you babies like to do that. Get us all nice and rested and accustomed to sleep, and then, ta-da! 8 month sleep regression? More teeth? It's anybody's guess. You're lucky you're so darn adorable.

Your daddy and I think you have gotten to be so much fun over the last month, and I don't think we're the only ones. Your big brother is pretty much at your beck and call. He is such an amazing brother to you.

You are just as much his fan in return. Your face lights up when Henry gets home from school and you want to be right by his side.

We went outside over the weekend to try to take a few 8 month photos and it was cold outside. Perfect excuse to put an adorable hat on you and watch you try to pull it off the entire time we were outside, ha. Well, you did stop pulling at it just long enough for a little leaf eating.

We can't believe how much you've changed this month Charlie and can't wait to see what the next month brings. We love you!