Friday, December 21, 2007

over the river and through the wood to grandmother's house we go...

Okay it is a bit further than that, but now we can sing the song to Aubrey. If only I knew more of the words....

Aubrey's first Christmas will be celebrated in Connecticut and we are headed out early in the morning tomorrow. Or really the middle of the night--4am. (bleh, i am not a morning person, but now i am used to getting up in the middle of the night, maybe it will be easier?) Our strategy is to get up before Aubrey's normal waking up time, quickly get dressed, sleep-feed the baby and put her in the car in her pjs without disturbing the sleep too much in the hopes that she will go back to sleep for a few more hours. We are trying this method as suggested by the experienced parenting advice of Daisy my sister in law who has many trips with babies under her belt. This could work really well, giving us about 3-4 hours of sleeping baby driving time, or it could backfire and just give us cranky because you woke me up early baby time.

Aubrey sometimes has a hard time dealing with new places and people, so I hope this trip isn't too stressful for her. Part of me as a mom wants to shield her from everything that makes her upset and cry and the other part of me is like, well, this is life, you have to learn to be flexible. So the two moms in me will compromise and she can take in all the new and scary stuff from the comfort of my arms (better rest now, back, because you have a lot of baby carrying to do!) I am trying not to get my hopes up too much, but it would be so very nice for Aubrey to like being held by her Gramma and Grampa (and aunt and uncle) so that I can get some R and R too!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The day I had been dreading...

Poor little Aubrey has her first cold. And I am sick too--we have our first mommy-daughter illness. Her nose is running and she is very clingy (don't put me down, don't stop walking, don't stop patting my back) and not sleeping well at all, which is the opposite of what I want, I just want to lay in bed and sleep. Saturday night I got a total of less than two hours of sleep between mommy worries (is she breathing okay?) and her fussiness. Last night was much better, we got a humidifier and that seemed to help. Hopefully we are on the mend now because I have a lot to do this week, and then on Saturday we have the big trip to see my family for Christmas. I am just going to have to let a bunch of my "to do" list slide I think. I told my mom I might be bringing "naked" sugar cookies up for Christmas because I might not get around to decorating them!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

All I want for Christmas is... first baby tooth.

Well, I take back what I said yesterday about Aubrey's tooth not popping through the gums for a while--it is here! Sometime last night the sharp little edge poked through. It is just barely coming out, and it is very hard to see, but there is definitely a tooth! I am a little bit sad--my baby has a tooth already--only four and a half months old. Hopefully now it is through the gums we will get back to sleeping at night!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Here are Aubrey and I right before we headed out the door to church. See how dark it is? It has been so cloudy and rainy for so many days in a row--I miss you sunshine!

I am guessing that Aubrey is teething because she has been so cranky and needy lately. She went from sleeping through the night to waking up 5+ times. Yawn--I miss you sleep! Plus throughout the day she wants to be held and wants 100% of my attention on her which is making household chores and getting ready for Christmas very hard! I can feel a little ridge under her gums on the bottom in the front left tooth position, but can't really see anything. I think it will still be a while before anything comes out.

We went to get our Christmas tree on Saturday and decorated it and I got all the presents wrapped and in the mail to our family in Texas and Pennsylvania. Yay! Now I have to figure out when in the world I am going to bake Christmas cookies--it will probably have to wait until the weekend when Bill is here so there is someone else to hold Miss Cranky Pants.

Aubrey is so close to rolling over now, she actually has done it a few times from back to belly on the bed with me but I don't really count that because it was "downhill" toward me laying on the bed. When I put her on her tummy on the floor now she is doing this funny thing where she will plant her face in the ground and suck on the blanket while wiggling her legs and sort of lifting her butt in the air. I told her the next step is for her to do pushups with her arms to lift her front up, but she wants to do it her way! She is very good at rolling onto her side from her back to reach for toys, so it will only be a matter of time. Sitting up is going well too, she has started being able to correct herself if she leans and starts tipping over. She has sat without my steadying her for about a minute at a time so far. Now she almost never wants to be lying down; I think one of her biggest frustrations as a baby is not physically being able to do what she is mentally ready for.

Monday, December 10, 2007

for all my mommy friends....

I have only started browsing through this site, but it seems to have some really fun and unique toys. Look how cool this castle is! One feature I like is the section they have of European-made toys--for those who are concerned about the safety of toys from China.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

an aubrey minute

Aren't I so cute?
Sniff, sniff. Smells good....

mmmm, tastes good too.

And, hey, look, bunny, you match my socks!


Monday, December 03, 2007


Not sure why this came out sideways, oops. Well, you can tilt your head to get it. Isn't she cute? :)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

A couple pictures and thoughts

Aubrey is enjoying her Christmas present from Bill's parents. Yes, a little early, but I couldn't see waiting to let her use it when she doesn't really know what Christmas is yet. She just learned how to jump up and down in it today, it is so, so very funny. She gets extremely excited, her arms wave around and her eyes get huge and round.

And here is Aubrey all dressed to go Christmas shopping. I figured since it is December it is okay to start dressing her in her Christmas outfits. :)

We have been busily decorating and shopping for Christmas. I really love this time of year, it is so cheery. The hustle and bustle of the malls, the twinkling and sparkling decorations everywhere, the smells of holiday baking all bring me excitement. Last week my bible study enjoyed an interesting conversation about Christmas when we were discussing what we were planning as far as having our kids believe or not believe in Santa. During this conversation I realised how many people in this country are raised to celebrate holidays not really understanding why or what we are celebrating. It is our intention to have Aubrey grow up knowing Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ most importantly, but also that the origin of the Christmas tree came from the missionary St. Boniface and Martin Luther is reported to be the first to decorate it. There is so much rich biblical and historical tradition surrounding this day that go way beyond a man in a red suit jumping down chimneys.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Four Months Old Today

We just got back from the pediatrician visit for Aubrey's four month checkup. She is a growing girl!

Here are the stats:
Weight 15lbs. 11 oz.--92%
Height 26"--97%
Head Circ. 16 1/2"--80%

Apparently we have a very large baby! She and Charlotte (who is also in the 90 percentiles on weight) are poster babies for breastfeeding. Who knew you could grow so fast or get so fat on just milk? :)

I have to say it is one of the hardest things I have to do as a mom is take Aubrey to get her shots. The way she just looks right in my face and cries breaks my heart. :( At least I know she won't have any memory of it. She is fast asleep in her swing now, tired out by the trauma, poor baby.

All the nurses and doctors were taken by her smiles (pre-shots, haha) and were saying how cute she is. Everyone is surprised at how social she is--Aubrey loves looking and smiling at people and often will carry on a "conversation" with people as well. She has just started learning that when she makes noise it gets your attention, so if we aren't paying attention to her she starts yelling. She definitely enjoys being the center of attention--and she usually is.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Mmmm, is it time for dinner yet?

Playing with Gramma

Monday, November 19, 2007

Look how advanced Aubrey is, she is reading already!

Baby, it's cold outside...

Friday, November 16, 2007


I thought this picture was so funny because she is looking at the camera like, "what are you lookin' at?" She looks so cute just hanging out there in the little tub. It is actually a deceptive picture because most of the bathtime her little legs are running and splashing. She has a hard time sitting still.

Here we are after the bath getting all dried off in the cutest little bunny hooded towel. Do they make hooded towels in adult size? They seem so nice and cozy. :)

Friday, November 09, 2007

a new lesson every day

Isn't it great how God can teach us so much through motherhood? Patience, flexibility, selflessness, humility, compassion, the meaning of sacrificial love...the list could go on and on. It has been my prayer of late to be a teachable servant of God through my experience as a mother. I should not take any of these precious or trying moments with my baby for granted, but look for the lessons to be found in them. Here is a picture of what Aubrey is doing as I blog. Too funny! I love the hand under the chin.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Happy Election Day!

Please note the cute elephants on what are known as Aubrey's Republican pants.

Monday, November 05, 2007

still not a morning person

Ugh, can I just say I am not a morning person and never have been. Having a baby doesn't change what you naturally would like to do, like curl up under your down comforter and sleep in every morning. Having a baby who is soooo happy it is morning and is all smiles and cheerfulness when she wakes up is hard sometimes. I just want to lay there and she is all like let's play, Mom! The time change certainly didn't she thinks 6am is time to get up instead of 7am. At least the change didn't come on my birthday weekend, but the weekend after. Thank you, Mr. President, for one extra week of sleeping until a sane morning hour.

I may just have to start drinking coffee again...
And now for a picture that has nothing to do with my post but is too cute not to put on here:

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Your life will never be the same again...

I can't tell you how many times we heard that as we prepared to welcome Aubrey into our home. Even back when we were talking about having a baby before we were pregnant people would say how much having a baby changes things. Some of our non-parent acquaintances quote it as a reason why they don't want to have a baby. So now, three months down the parenting road I look back on that statement and think in a way it is true in a way it isn't.

Maybe it is just me but I always anticipate things to the extreme. I would always overprepare for tests in college and then walk out thinking that wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. When someone says that labor is the worst pain ever I imagined it as being so awful I would think I was dying. It may be rough, but it isn't the worst you could possibly imagine. When someone says your life will never be the same again I guess I thought that every little aspect would be different. Yes, it is true, things do change, like it taking you longer to get anything done when you are bringing a baby along. But on the other hand we still do what we did before Aubrey joined us. We enjoy going to starbucks, walking in the parks, going out to dinner, visiting with friends, attending church, going shopping, etc. We still do all these things, just now we are three instead of two. I guess maybe if we had been the type of people who liked to go to bars and get drunk all the time and eat at really snooty restaurants and dance in clubs then our lives would have had to make a dramatic change.

So we didn't really have to make the huge adjustments that I thought we would to be parents (which we were so willing to do, by the way). I don't feel like we have had to "give up" anything and our lives have been enriched so much by being a mom and a dad to Aubrey.

Now I know those of you who are more seasoned parents are thinking, "just you wait..." Yeah, yeah, but let us bask in this honeymoon period of parenthood for a little while longer.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Three Months Old Today

Aubrey is three months old today, and how she has grown! She is now wearing six month size clothes and weighs over 13 lbs. New discoveries for her are laughing, sticking her tongue out (see picture below), and reaching out and grabbing things. Some of her favorite pastimes are laying on her back and kicking while hitting her giraffe toy and bouncing on Mommy or Daddy's lap. She gives big, happy, toothless grins especially in the morning or while being spoken to in a really high pitched voice. It is so cute when she recognises praise when she accomplishes something, like sitting up in the picture above. She is very proud of herself, especially when I say, "wow, look at you sitting up like a big girl!"

Monday, October 22, 2007

Aubrey's Dedication

I am trying to catch up on blogging while the baby is napping, so that is why this post is a bit late and out of order.

We dedicated Aubrey to the Lord on October 14th. My parents came down for the weekend--we had a nice visit with them and their doggies. :) Aubrey wore her great-great grandmother's 120 year-old (give or take a few years) christening gown, the same one that I was dedicated in 26 years ago. Aubrey behaved herself very well, allowing our pastor, Lon, to hold her for some of the time. We will always be able to look back on this day as an important landmark in Aubrey's life and will use it as a reminder of our need to be constantly striving to be the parents that God wants us to be.

October Afternoons

Fall is really slow in coming this year. It is still hitting 80 degrees every day, but at least the humidity has decreased. We enjoyed some time in the park this weekend, Bill and I always seem to end up in the parks when we have free time, especially in the fall. Now we are trying to pass on our love of the outdoors to our daughter. So far so good--Aubrey loves looking around when we are outside, up at trees blowing in the wind especially. We spread out a quilt under the trees and layed on our backs and looked up for a while, then we walked in the woods. So until winter comes (is the cold just around the corner?) we will be taking every advantage that we can of this unseasonably warm spell.

In other news, Bill is now approved to take the CPA exam, which he will be taking at the beginning of next year. He has started studying for the four parts of the exam, so it is back to the old routine of school after dinner and on Saturdays. At least it isn't for as long as a time this go-round provided he can pass the parts on the first try. Most people fail it the first time around, so we are trying not to get too hopeful. It is his goal to have his MBA and his CPA by the time he turns 30 so he has until next September--I think that is a goal he can definitely achieve.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Aubrey and Charlotte "playing"

Charlotte and Hayley came over for a visit today and we thought it would be fun to take a picture of Aubrey and Charlotte together. Aubrey was thinking what is this fuzzy stuff on top of your head that is tickling my cheek? Actually babies don't really pay attention to each other at all, you try to get them to look at each other or interact and they will gaze anywhere and everywhere else. Anyway, in the first picture Charlotte looks bigger compared to Aubrey than she is in real life because she was a bit closer to the camera. This second picture is a better comparison of size.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Aubrey tried out her Bumbo seat for the first time today. She had so much fun in it--instant smiles. She loves being able to sit up like a big person and was very proud of herself when she was. We still have to be careful when she is in it--her head control is a bit wobbley, but she is almost there.

And in both these pictures if you look closely you can see the dimple on her left cheek. So cute--I've always liked dimples.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Aubrey's first playdate with her friend Charlotte

As you can see they were both very excited. ;)

Congrats to Adam and Hayley on their beautiful little girl born Monday, September 17. She is so cute and Aubrey is jealous of all the hair she has!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Today Aubrey and I took advantage of the fall-ish weather and took a walk to Starbucks. I got a pumpkin spice latte, I am so happy they are back for the fall. Actually I got a grande, decaf, skim, no whip, three pump pumpkin spice latte. Does that indicate that I am high maintenance? ;)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Six weeks old--and cuter by the day!

We have been going through the process at our church to have Aubrey dedicated to the Lord. This involves an application, class, and Bible study before the actual dedication ceremony. The reason behind all this preparation is that you as parents are making six vows to God before the church community to raise your child in a Christian home to love, honor and respect the Lord. The church rightly wants parents to take this very seriously and fully understand the importance of these vows.
Bill and I are excited about this opportunity that we have to "train up a child," even though it is also a scary prospect. This process of learning the vows that we will take is really helping to fan the flames of our passion to have a Christ honoring family. Good thing we aren't doing it alone--we have God to guide us and our parents to look to as Godly examples. We are very blessed to have all four of Aubrey's grandparents to be examples in this way.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Okay, so I confess, I have not been following what has been going on with the government and politics lately. Something about having a baby has kept me otherwise occupied... Occasionally I will have a few precious minutes and I will read some news headlines and think what in the world is going on? What a mess lately, no? Rove, Snowe, and Gonzales stepping down, and now this Senator Craig business! While many would turn from politics with disgust, it actually makes me wish I was back on the Hill, I am sure things are really buzzing. :) I am looking forward to seeing some of my old work friends next weekend; they will be sure to have some good stories. It is sad though that it is the mess-ups that make all the headlines and not the people who manage to do their jobs and remain above reproach. That's the news media for you I suppose.

and because I am a mommy and I can't resist--Aubrey started smiling this week. I tried to get a picture, but because she was so close to me and moving it came out a bit blurry.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Three Weeks Old

Aubrey is now three weeks old, and things are going well. Having a newborn takes some adjusting, but things are starting to fall into place. I still am only getting about four hours (non-consecutive) of sleep a night, but I think my body is acclimating to being a sleep deprived mommy. :)

We had a visit from her uncle John and aunt Alisa and they brought her the very cute frog in the picture. :) The five of us went to church for Aubrey's first time and she did very well. Of course it helps that MBC has a nursing mothers room and a soundproof family seating area in the sanctuary.
I can't believe she will be one month old at the end of this week! We are back to the pediatrician to see how much weight she has gained. I can tell she is starting to fill out because she has dimples on her knuckles and creases around her knees and elbows. Baby fat--so cute!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

She has arrived!

Aubrey Abigail Crane was born at 7:52 am on Sunday, July 29, 2007.

Bill and I went for about an hour long walk Saturday morning in Manassas National Battlefield Park with Dexter. Contractions started rather irregularly in the middle of the day so I guess what they say about walking really is true! As we were watching a movie after dinner I started timing contractions but didn't really think it was the real thing because they weren't painful yet. They were coming every three minutes for about 2 hours when we headed to the hospital around 8:30pm. Twelve hours of active labor including two hours of pushing later she arrived! We recovered in the hospital until Tuesday afternoon and then headed home. We are all a little tired, but are loving every minute of being a family.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Still Waiting....

Due date is today, that date we have been fixated on since we first learned that we were expecting back in November. However it seems our little girl has other ideas and will not be arriving on her due date. She has been sent an eviction notice--if she doesn't come on her own by August 1st I will have an induction. Keep us in your prayers as we head into this last week before the birth!

Monday, July 09, 2007

While I Wait...

Only two weeks and two days left until the baby's due date. I am happy to say we are pretty much ready for her arrival. I'll keep busy with freezing meals and cleaning until she comes, but at least if she does come sooner than her due date we won't be caught without something we need (I hope!).

I have slacked off on blogging lately, and haven't mentioned the wonderful baby shower that Laura threw for me. I had such a great time--yummy food, fun games, cute favors and decorations, and lots of presents.... Catching up with many of my friends (Jen came all the way from NJ!) was a definite highlight.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Monday, June 25, 2007

He Did It!

After twenty-two long months, Bill has finished his MBA! I could write a long gushy post about how proud I am of him because I know he did it for us and our growing family, etc. but I'll spare you. :) Instead, here is a picture of Bill celebrating with some presents and some champagne.

The Countdown Update

Thirty Days until my Due Date! Yikes. And I feel like we still have so much to do to get ready!

Monday, June 11, 2007

A busy weekend

Bill and I had a busy weekend. Friday was our fifth wedding anniversary and Bill was able to take it off from work. We had a nice leisurely breakfast and opened our presents for each other then packed up a picnic lunch and took it and Dexter to the park. We let Dexter play in the water and had a nice lunch in the shade under the trees. Here is a picture of my boys at lunch :)

It was really, really hot out so we didn't walk very far. After the park we went and watched Ocean's 13 then swam in the pool and went out to dinner.

Saturday and Sunday we had 4 hours each day of our childbirth class at Reston Hospital. The class had all sorts of information including a tour of the Maternity wing. The worst part was having to sit in a semi-uncomfortable chair for 4 hours straight--not easy on a pregnant lady's back! One of the best parts--watching Bill practice changing diapers on a doll. :)
Saturday evening we went to a friend's fiesta birthday party and had lots of tacos and queso. No margaritas for me though. :( We played the game Battle of the Sexes which the boys won. I am not sure they would have if they hadn't gotten 2 questions about dill weed and a question about how many weeks the average pregnancy is (which Bill obviously knew).
Then finally on Sunday after class we went and picked up our changing table and assembled it. It took us a good two and a half hours to put together, it probably wouldn't have taken so long but we put a few pieces on backwards and had to backtrack a few times. In our defense the directions were less than clear. Everything is coming together very nicely in the nursery now, we are waiting on a glider that we ordered which will be the last piece of furniture we need.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

A crib! We bought a crib today, and set it up in the nursery. I put the skirt and bumper on it, but we don't have sheets yet, so the look is not quite complete. We are very excited to have one of our big furniture purchases done with, now we just need a dresser/changing table and a rocking chair.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

Bill and I headed up to Pennsylvania for Memorial Day weekend, our last substantial car trip before the baby arrives. Bill's family had gotten tickets to the King Tut exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philly for Saturday, so we joined them there. What amazing artifacts--to think they lay untouched for 3200 years. And anyone who thinks that older civilizations were less sophisticated need to go take a look at the craftmanship the Egyptians turned out! I was slightly disappointed there weren't actually any mummies to see, but other than that, it was very interesting.

The next day we went to church and then out to lunch with one of Bill's old friends. This actually was a ploy to keep me away from Bill's parents' house while they set up for a surprise baby shower! When we arrived there after lunch and walked in there were my two moms, 4 sisters-in-law, 2 aunts, and 3 cousins (most everyone was from Bill's side since they all still live in the area). I was very suprised to see my mom and my sister-in-law, Alisa, down from Connecticut. Everyone outdid themselves in preparing amazing food, decorating the place beautifully, and showering our baby with tons of presents! Here are just a couple pictures taken by my mom at the shower.

Look at all the loot!

Me cutting the cake.

Opening presents with Daisy, Lily, and Kaelin looking on.