Monday, November 29, 2010

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

It's that time of year again! Christmas tree hunting!

I confessed last year in a blog post of my snobbishness regarding 'real' trees vs. 'fake' trees. This year I thought I'd just post a few pics of our annual Christmas Tree Chopping.

It was Taylor's 1st year to participate, and as you can tell, she loved it.

See the delight in her eyes.

We found the perfect tree, and daddy cut it down while we watched.

We rode on a hay ride.

We saw real, genuine reindeer.

We played with Mommy's hat.

We grabbed the camera.

And, we looked cute.

All in all a super fun day.

What a great tradition!

I do love a real tree.

Dedicated to the Lord

Dear Taylor,

Last Sunday was a momentous day in your life. Last Sunday, we dedicated you to the Lord. It was everything I had hoped it would be. It was honoring to the Lord and that's all we could have asked. Your daddy and I were so overjoyed. It was such a blessing to be able to make those commitments to "raise you in the truth". You were surrounded by people who care deeply about you: your family and friends. Even Granddaddy got to pray for you. I am so thankful for the support we have. People who I know will keep their promises to dir
ect you closer to Him in any way they can.

The first time I came to a baby dedication, I was mesmerized by Pastor Harry's prayers. I loved the fact that he prayed such specific prayers for each baby that was being dedicated. I could not wait until the day that we had our own little baby, and we got to hear Pastor Harry's special prayer for him/her.

Well that baby turned out to be you, Taylor,
and we could not have been happier.

I had asked Old Lady to write down
Pastor Harry's specific prayer, so we could have it for you. Well, when I got back to my seat after the dedication, Old Lady looked a little worried. I asked if she was able to get the prayer written down. Her reply was so funny. "I'm so sorry. I tried to write it all down, but he was going too fast, I couldn't get it all. I tried. It was just too hard." The poor dear was almost in tears. She knew how much it meant to me to have that prayer. Such a sweetie.

Anyways, it all turned out okay, because the sound people (thanks J.C. and Michelle) recorded the whole baby dedication, so I was still able to get the prayer.

Here it is baby, girl. I hope it means as much to you some day as it does to me.

"Lord, we celebrate today the gift that Taylor Francis is to Jonathan and Kristin. Their firstborn, a little girl. We pray that You would shepherd them as parents and You would, Lord, give them grace and energy, wisdom and a unique capacity to discern her needs and her bent. And Lord may they invite her to know Christ, and may she receive You early. May she live for You wholly. God, would You provide her what she needs so she can be able to grow into the full beauty that You have endowed her with in Christ. Lord, give her a precious, sweet heart. Give her a large heart. Let her taste and feel, maybe what others miss. And give her the capacity to be a vessel that displays Your compassion and grace. Lord, I dedicate Taylor Francis Owen to You and I do so in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow! We rejoice over you, Taylor, and dedicate you to Him. We commit to bringing you up in the truth and doing everything we can to point you to Jesus Christ. We take personal responsibility to explain the Gospel to you, and to see to it that you understand the grace of God through Jesus Christ. We commit to raise you in a Christ-centered home; to confirm and validate the truth by living in a way that shows you Christ. We commit to support you if God calls you to full-time Christian service, wherever that may be. We will help you get to where God wants you to go. We dedicate ourselves to those things as much as we are dedicating you to the Lord. Amen.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

5 Whole Months...Slow Down, Baby

Dear Taylor,

I am loving every second with you, doll. You are truly a delightful baby. Your daddy and I comment all the time about how great you are. We love you. But could you maybe slow down a little bit? You are flying through this whole infant thi

You are really starting to get fun and exciting, thou

Here are some things you are up to:

  • You love your blankie. It is a soft pink one with your name monogrammed on it. When you are ready for sleep, all we have to do is hand it to you. You put your fingers in your mouth, snuggle your blankie, and drift off to sleep.
  • You are so so so all the time. You will smile at anyone, as long as mommy or daddy are near. It is so easy to get you to give us a big ole grin.
  • You like sitting in your Bumbo seat while mommy or daddy do things in the kitchen. I think you feel like you are helping.
  • You love music. Mommy is constantly singing to keep you entertained and you love it. You even respond when I dance to the music.
  • You are always wanting our attention. You get so excited when we look straight at you after having been looking away.
  • You are still sleeping really great. Lately, you have been sleeping til 6:30 am. No complaints.
  • Rolling from your back to front and back again has become super easy to you. If you get bored for a second, you will roll to the other side.
  • You can hold yourself in a sitting position for like 2 seconds before you fall over lunging for a toy. I don't think you are super interested in sitting up on your own yet.
  • I know it's early, but you are already starting to try to crawl. You will pull your knees in and lift that hiney and try to inch forward. You'll get it eventually, doll.
  • You can hold onto my fingers while I pull you to a sitting then standing position. Strong little thing. Your face always shows delight when you do it.
  • You love your fingers. Your favorite ones are your pointer and middle finger on your left hand. But you will suck your thumb and other fingers as well.
  • Your little fingers are getting super coordinated. You can grab things really well. If it gets close enough to you, you can be sure that you'll grab it and bring it to your mouth.
  • You love to touch faces. You do this adorable thing where you sort of pull people closer to touch and feel their faces.
  • You immediately like anyone with a beard...anyone. I guess you have your daddy to thank for that 'trust' in beard people.
  • You like to nibble on your feet. You can pull your sock off in less than a second.
  • I am amazed at how smart you are. You interact with people like you know exactly what you're supposed to do. You will carry on a conversation with anyone who will listen.
  • I can't know for sure, but I think you understand how a mirror works. Zissou walked up behind you quietly while you were looking in the mirror, and you saw his reflection and turned around to find him behind you. Smarty.
  • You are super observant. You like to carefully watch all that's going on around you. Makes it difficult when I am feeding you, because you'd rather be looking around. :-)
  • You 'talk' the most to other children, dogs, and stuffed animals. If any of those are right at your face, you will chatter away at them.
  • You finally understand peekaboo. When I cover my face with my hands, you try and pull my hands off, and then smile super big when I reveal myself.
  • You've started blowing out and making noises while your lips vibrate (is there a word for that?)
  • When I pat your mouth, you hum so it makes a funny sound. I've been trying to get you to do that for awhile, and you actually just caught on.
  • You danced for the first time while playing with Grandma and a blow-up musical snowglobe.
  • Oh, and my favorite thing. You are reaching for people now. You will hold your arms out real wide and lean towards mommy the most, but you have reached for a few other people.
Wow, doll, check out all the cool stuff you are up to.
It's pretty amazing how God made you.
Keep on growing and learning.

Love you,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Head Injury that Wasn't

No one ever told me that having children can be hazardous to my health.

Well, that's not fair, I can't blame it on the baby. She can't defend herself. I guess I'll have to claim fault.

Bath time is always a fun event at my house. Let me be clear. Taylor's bath time. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy my bath time as well, but this happened at Taylor's bath time.

For her bath, I lie her on a foam thingy in the tub and bend over her to bath her. When she's had enough, I move her to a towel on the floor to dry off. Well, Thursday afternoon we did all that like normal, but with one important difference. I passed out.

I have relatively low blood pressure, so when I stand up too quickly, it can make me dizzy. After bathing Taylor I stood up with her in my arms a bit too quickly, and realized I was about to faint. All I had time to think about was "I'm fainting. Hold Taylor tightly."

So I fell.

Backwards into the tub.

(I thought about reenacting the moment and having Jonathan take a pic, but you'll just have to imagine a picture here.)

I remember falling, and then I opened my eyes and I was sitting in the tub with my legs hanging off the side. Taylor was safely cradled in my arms (another prayer of thanks for her safety) and she began crying because it startled her.

I was shaken up. After calming her down and putting her to bed, I was still "shakin like a polaroid picture". (Ha)

Anyways, lame jokes aside, I am so thankful that Taylor was not harmed. I know she could have bumped her head as well, but thank the Lord, she didn't.

I seemed to be fine as well, besides a headache that wouldn't go away. Lynn talked me into going to the doctor just to make sure I didn't have a concussion. Turns out I may have had a small concussion and slight bruising to the brain. No big deal. The doc just told me to be careful not to bump my head again any time soon. I will do my best to honor his wishes.

Oh and a word of warning. Be careful in the bathtub. It is a dangerous place.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Card Rejects

We just took our Christmas card pictures. Actually Abby Clark took the pictures for us. Can I just say she is such a great photographer? Really great. I am so happy with the pic we are using for our card. If these are this great, you can only imagine how great the winner was.

Anyways, these pics are the 'reject' pictures. I am not using the word 'reject' the way you normally use it. In this case 'reject' means the fantastically beautiful pictures that were left over. So enjoy.

Isn't our daughter beautiful?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Precious Sleep

I think it's official.

Taylor is sleeping through the night.

By through the night, I mean from 8 pm til 7 am or around 11 hours. I have been keeping it a secret, because I was worried that if I talked about it, it would go away.

(You watch. Tonight she'll relapse.)

Let me first tell you that she's actually been sleeping awesome since about 8 weeks old.

From birth to 8 weeks she would only(mostly) sleep if I was holding her. She and I spent many nights on the couch with her on my chest. Then I started letting her sleep in bed with me after her late night feeding. That worked well. I am a fan of shared sleeping at that young age. It worked for me. (Now that she's older, it doesn't work as well. She moves and stirs too much in the night).

But anyways, back to 8 weeks old.

We would get her to sleep in our arms, and then we noticed she would wake up as soon as we set her down in the crib, so something had to give. We let her cry 30 minutes the first night. Then 20 minutes the 2nd night. And by the 3rd night, it only took 15 minutes. It was the most difficult thing ever to listen to her wail, but it was what she needed. Now she goes to sleep on her own when we put her down in the crib. Yes, she fusses some, but not really crying. That's just how she settles down, with a little fussing. So she always started the night in the crib. She would wake up 2 times a night to eat, but always immediately go back to sleep. (We still shared sleep at this point. She would snuggle up as soon as she finished eating. Loved it, but I didn't sleep well). Then around 3 months old, she gradually got to where she was only waking up 1 time a night, normally around 2 a.m or 4 a.m. Again she would go back to sleep after eating. I started putting her back in her crib instead of keeping her with me. She had a bit of a growth spurt at around 4 months where she was waking up 2 times again, but that only lasted a week and a half. Then she went back to waking once around 4 a.m. (technically that is sleeping through the night and I was quite satisfied). I was more than thankful for that sleeping pattern. Even though I had to wake up to feed her, it still felt like I got a full-nights sleep.

Then the wonderful happened. She started sleeping all the way til 8 am! Wowie wow wow! I didn't know what to think. I kept telling myself it wouldn't last. I would even pretend in my brain that I'd be waking up at 4 am to feed her. Because it's so hard once you get used to sleeping, only to have it taken away.

Then... the unthinkable happened.

(Imagine scary, suspenseful music playing. Dum...dum...dummmm)

A monster arrived. And it's name is Daylight Savings.

Daylight savings arrived with her ugly self and stole what we had worked so hard on.

Taylor could not get adjusted. Her feedings were all over the place. I feared the worst.

But, happy ending, she finally got it figured out after a few days. She now sleeps til 7, and that's all right with me. I can live with that.

Yay for sleeping through the night, baby Taylor! You are awesome!

Monday, November 15, 2010

To Laugh in the Face of Danger

We've discovered something funny about Taylor. At least it seems funny to us. I mean, for all I know, this could be a normal baby thing. But for all intensive purposes, let's pretend this is extraordinary. Okay? Good.

Enter Zissou. Zissou wants his toy. What does he do?

He barks. Loudly.

I am holding Taylor. I imagine that it frightens her, so I pull her tighter.

Then I hear a sound. Strange. What's that? She's laughing. Belly-shaking laughing.

The more Zissou barks, the more she laughs.

Then we think back to all the other times we've made Taylor laugh. Most of them involve some form of her being scared or startled. She makes a frightened face, then it turns to a laugh. So we've come to the conclusion that Taylor likes to be surprised/scared/startled. Instead of causing her to cry, it brings forth laughter. Hey, whatever works.

That's funny, because I hate being frightened. Ask my dad. Maybe it's because he mercilessly scared me as a child. He went above and beyond the call of duty to scare. That's why I've forbidden Jonathan to scare me. He is a sweet husband and he refrains. Thank goodness. But there are times when he scares me 'accidentally'. He startles me, but makes it look like he didn't mean to. Hmmm. I guess that's not so bad. Anyways, I am a super scaredy-cat.

But not our Taylor. She's better than that. Braver than me.

She laughs in the face of danger.

Monday, November 8, 2010


I love....

Going to get my sweet baby from her crib, and seeing her smile light up when she sees my face.

There's not much better.

Oh and when she lies in the bed with me, just hanging out, and grabs my face and runs her hands through my hair. All the while staring up at me with those beautiful blue eyes like she adores me. Mmmmm.

I'm blessed.