Christmas!!!!!

I think that Brad sums up my love affair with Christmas when he says that Christmas is my hobby.  It really is!  The day after Thanksgiving the 4 giant bins come out of the shed, Christmas music goes on, and the house decorating begins.  That is one of my favorite days of the year.  We decorate, bake, and watch Christmas movies throughout the month of December.  Add to that the fact that this Christmas we had an Otis in tow and you get BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!

Here are a few snapshots of our 2014 decorations.

FullSizeRender (1) P1000430

We were surrounded by family.  My parents spent Christmas Eve and Christmas day with us.  We skyped Brad’s family (3 way skype call: Australia, Petaluma, Virginia) and facetimed my sister’s family (San Diego).  The poor USPS and UPS men were kept busy delivering presents addressed to Otis.  That kid made out like a bandit!

Brad and I didn’t do too shabby ourselves.  Santa’s sleigh was my dad’s suburban.  I told him a month ago that I was thinking of getting Brad a planter box and he volunteered to make them.  Here are some photos of the planter boxes and “sleigh.”  Under the planter boxes the trailer is filled with dirt and rocks.  Looks like Brad will be feeding us this spring with lots of fresh produce.  Brad got me a gift certificate to go horseback riding.  I am so super excited to use it!!!  I used to love horseback riding as a kid and have been itching to get back in the saddle.  I get to go to Pt. Reyes to ride which will be absolutely gorgeous.

IMG_1592IMG_1593

It was a magical day that lived up to my super high expectations.  The gifts given were so thoughtful.  The house was filled with laughter and the smells of yummy food.  And Otis put up with wearing multiple Christmas outfits.  Merry Christmas to All!

Wrapping paper is fun!
Wrapping paper is fun!
Good times with Gramps!
Good times with Gramps!
Lani claimed Otis' fozzi bear from Uncle Toothpaste.
Lani claimed Otis’ fozzi bear from Uncle Toothpaste.
I like Christmas!
I like Christmas!
Grandma got me a chair so I can sit up like the big kids.
Grandma got me a chair so I can sit up like the big kids.
Look, mom tried to embroider stockings.
Look, mom tried to embroider stockings.

Dear Otis- 4 Months

Dear Otis,

It is December 19th, meaning that you are a whopping 4 months old today!  It is so much fun to see you continue to make sense out of this planet.  This month your big accomplishment has been controlling your hands.  You love to touch different fabrics and grasp your toys.  You have finally figured out that you are the one in charge of those five fingered contraptions and it has totally opened up your world.

You have also created your own language.  You are experimenting with all the sounds you can make.  You especially love the acoustics of the bathroom.  While I shower, you vocalize.  You have tons of adorable noises and a few high pitched shrieks that your Dad and I are hoping to eliminate from your vocabulary.  You also have an adorable sigh that you emit when you have finally given in to sleep.

You are one active little guy.  You can now roll from your back onto your side and I am pretty sure you will be flipping over soon.  You also love to do karate.  Let me set the scene.  Your dad will say in a sinister voice “I’m gonna get you Otis” (you find this hilarious in itself) and then we’ll make your arms do punching movements at your Dad.  This is one of your favorite games right now along with standing on our bellies and looking down at us.  You seem to enjoy towering over us.  Not sure how that bodes for the future 🙂  You also enjoy getting flung about.  We dip you, “toss” you (not too high), let you hang upside down, etc. all to your delight.

This month you travelled on a plane across the country, observed some ballet classes at Marin Ballet, attended your first holiday party, and helped us pick out a Christmas tree.  You and I like to take field trips around the Christmas tree looking at all the ornaments.  Your eyes track so easily now.  Your gaze follows my fingers as I point at a Santa here and a reindeer there.

IMG_1468

IMG_1496

I am trying to help you become slightly less dependent on me, in preparation for starting daycare in 2.5 weeks.  Believe me, this is not my favorite task (I do enjoy coddling you).  You are drinking from a bottle quite well, and we are starting to work on putting you in your crib drowsy but not asleep so that you can learn to fall asleep on your own.  That one is still a work in progress.

All in all, we’ve had an awesome month.  Your Dad and I barely watch TV at all any more- we are so busy watching you!  You are the best entertainment ever and we love you so much.

Love,

Mom

P.S. Here are some favorite photos from this month.

IMG_1272 IMG_0414 IMG_1304 P1000420 IMG_1333 IMG_1346 IMG_1530 IMG_1522 IMG_1341

Otis Goes to Washington

Otis Goes to Washington . . . D.C. . . . well, Northern Virginia actually.

We did it!  We braved plane travel with a 3.5 month old and went and visited family and friends in Virginia.  We had been super stressed at the prospect of taking Otis across the country and had edited our packing list a million times in an attempt to be prepared for everything.  Toys for the plane- check.  Spare outfits for all of us- check.  Garbage bags for poo covered items- check.  And ta da- we had a very successful trip.  Despite a two hour flight delay at SFO, Otis had an awesome time playing on a blanket on the floor and checking out the new sights and sounds.  He then slept for 4 of the 5 hours of the flight.  Amazing!  On the way home he pooped on himself, me, and the baby carrier while we went through security and again on himself on the plane, but since we had those spare outfits and trash bags we were all good.  He stayed awake on that plane ride, but was super happy and did not torment other passengers with crying.  Brad and I were quite impressed with our little traveler.

All the people that we got to visit with made the travel oh so worth it.  Otis met a lot of family and friends for the first time.  Here’s a little photo journal of the trip.

IMG_1369
After 4 hours in the SFO airport, our plane finally pulled up to the gate!
IMG_0436
Sleeping Baby! The flight attendant even brought Brad and I free champagne!
IMG_1425
Our amazing hosts, Grammie and Grampie. They had a whole room set up for Otis. They had a porta crib, rocking chair, bouncer, diapers, and tons of toys for him. What a lucky boy! He cuddled with Grampie by the Christmas tree and Grammie taught him how to stick out his tongue.

IMG_1387

All dressed up to meet Great Aunt Stephanie, Great Uncle Ken, and cousin (2nd I think) Shoshana.
All dressed up to meet Great Aunt Stephanie, Great Uncle Ken, and cousin (2nd I think) Shoshana.
Future babysitters.  Cousin Shoshana above and Brad's high school friend, Rebecca's daughter Annabelle below.
Future babysitters. Cousin Shoshana above and Brad’s high school friend, Rebecca’s daughter Annabelle below.

IMG_1389

Meeting Great Grandmother Anne
Meeting Great Grandmother Anne
Meeting our friend's baby, Henry, who was born 5 days after Otis.  I swear we did not stage their arms.  They linked up all on their own.
Meeting our friend’s baby, Henry, who was born 5 days after Otis. I swear we did not stage their arms. They linked up all on their own.
So many new friends!
So many new friends!

IMG_1412

Some time away from the crowds with  mom and Dad
Some time away from the crowds with
Mom and Dad
This is a pic of Otis upon arriving back at our Petaluma house 13 hours after we left Grammie and Grampie's house.  I don't know many people that happy after a long travel day.
This is a pic of Otis upon arriving back at our Petaluma house 13 hours after we left Grammie and Grampie’s house. I don’t know many people who are that happy after a long travel day.