Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Celebrating Christmas Day

WOW!! I think we all know how hard it is to post about Christmas so here it is! I finally got enough time to get to it!

Christmas morning we enjoy our own family time at home! Claire had so much fun talking about Santa coming and was so excited to see her gifts under the tree - I wish we would've gotten it on video! We opened gifts, played, Neil made breakfast and then Claire and I tried out her new apron in the kitchen.

Claire sportin' her Princess apron and Princess band aids!

Bert!! Claire LOVES Bert! Neil found him online =)
Claire also LOVES helping in the kitchen - We put her apron to use right away!

After nap we headed over to my parent's house to exchange gifts and have a yummy ham dinner. We had a great time!

"Here you go Billy!"

"Oh my goodness - more blocks!" Claire seriously said that in this pic =)

Thanks Great Grandma Ann!

Peeking put of her Dora play tent from grandma and grandpa

Eden slept pretty much the whole time!

My sweet angel baby

Daddy and his girl

More play time with Uncle Billy - Claire really enjoys spending time with him!

Family photo by the famous Christmas Tree! I really love this picture

This photo cracks me up! Everyone is doing something different & Claire is her consoling self!

We love you Grandma and Grandpa!

Last year my sweet friend Heather gave us the neatest train cake baking pan so we started a new tradition by baking the train cake to decorate at grandma and grandpa's house. This year we added to the tradition and the train cake is now Jesus' birthday cake! We baked it in the morning, decorated in the afternoon, sang Happy birthday Jesus, blew out a candle and ate it for dessert! It was so much fun and Claire wanted to sing HB a few times =)

Heather stopped by to see the festivities!

"Happy Birthday Jesus!"

Heather meeting Eden for the first time! She wasn't being very photogenic at the time. She was fussy and we put Heather right to work trying to burp her the good ole NICU way.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Eve

We traditionally go to the children's service at my parent's church on Christmas Eve Day and then we celebrate with Neil's family that night with dinner and gifts.

Claire LOVED the service this year and especially loved her wand that they gave her. She kept asking "Where's baby Jesus?" They were telling the story from the beginning so Mary was still prego. It's was super cute! The service has these huge headed characters that make everything super child like. We were afraid Claire would be scared of them but as long as they weren't too close, she was ok with them!

Here's our sweetness looking beautiful in the foyer at UUMC
Claire posing with Mary, baby Jesus and Grandpa - she was in heaven getting this close

Family of Four! Eden wasn't fussing - we just got her when she was making a face

Us with my parents

Then it was off to Mimi and Poppa's to celebrate!

Just getting to Mimi's - I love this dress on her! Notice she still has the wand
The first present opened and boy did she LOVE it! I don't think she realized she had more than one because she wanted to play with it right away. As soon as she saw the boys opening more, she finally got to her other gifts.

Eden hanging out while we opened gifts! She was so good and everyone was surprised to see her wide awake!

This one is blurry but too funny to not post! Claire was digging for more in her doll house box!
The doll house ended up being the favorite toy of the evening - even with the boys!

Justin especially took to it =) He was so sweet playing with the dolls - he's going to be a family man!

Princess Claire! Thanks Aunt Shannon! This has been such a hit =)

The best we could do with all three

I like this pic but wish I didn't have the burp cloth on my shoulder! Oh well - it's mommy time

The Schimelpfening Family Neil and Shannon with their annual pic together!

Neil and Justin with his Planet Hero we got him - we did good this year! Glad we got the tip!

I love this man!

Another dr. appointment

Wow - we are getting pretty tired of going to the doctor's office every 5-7 days but thank God we got good news and we won't have to go back till Jan. 26th! Eden continued to gain weight on her breast milk only plan so we are now on the road to normalcy for our family! She weighed in at 7 lbs. 9 oz. which means she gained 5 oz. in one week. The dr. says they should gain 1/2 oz. - 1 oz. a day and he was pleased with the weight gain she had.

This has been a tough road but I know well worth it! Thank you SO much for everyone's support, encouragement and prayers. It helped me a lot knowing that you all were thinking of us!

Here is a pic from this morning - I thought it was too cute because Claire had to bring her new doctor's kit to "help Dr. Gulde". She told me where to lay Eden down and checked her baby doll's temp while Ms. Marilyn checked Eden. Eden doesn't look too happy because she was ready to get her sleep in after all that shuffling around

Eden's original due date!

Yesterday was Eden's original due date - December 29th! Hard to believe that I could've been pregnant up to this point. Ever since the day I found out I was pregnant and figured out the due date, I always thought "Oh I hope she's early like Claire" (only 38 weeks). My plan was to have her here the week of De. 15th - Well, she had her own plans and was certainly early!! Instead of my Christmas baby, she ended up being my little Turkey.

To make yesterday more memorable, Eden flashed her first full gummy smile! Yes, it was in her sleep but it was both corners up, mouth wide open and I'm counting it! I can't wait to catch that one on camera. I caught a glimpse of what she will look like a few months from now =)

We love you Eden and am so thankful that you are here and healthy!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Marley & Me

Neil and I went on our first real date since mid-October and since Eden's arrival! We went to Pei Wei (the same place we went on our first date after Claire arrived), saw "Marley & Me" and then got some ice cream from Sonic. Thank you to my mom and dad who watched the girls =)

It's amazing how much easier it was to leave for a date with the second kiddo - I was a mess when I first left Claire! It was great to get out and be a couple. My biggest words of advice to new parents is DATE, DATE, DATE! It's SO important to focus on each other every once in a while because we get so caught up in life and the kids. Dating has been so much fun since kids because now we really look forward to it, it has to be planned and getting ready is a much bigger deal when you don't do it very often! We are blessed to have family in town but I encourage everyone to find a good sitter or have a swap night with another couple so you can date each other. It's the best sitter money you will use.

So onto "Marley & Me".... if you haven't seen the movie or don't want to know what happens don't read on. It amazes me that you can hear a whole theater of people crying and sniffling when you watch a sad movie about an animal. What is it about our connection with them? I know from experience that it's how they can love us unconditionally even when we may get mad at them, say mean things to them and leave them out in the garage at night... so much more forgiving than we are with each other. We could really learn a lot from them. I've had some amazing pets in my life and could relate greatly to the story. I loved the movie even with the sad ending - I highly recommend it!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Eden's one month old!

Eden, we can hardly believe you are already one month old! (I was going to post this on the 25th but the power went out that evening for almost an hour and a half!) I have a few friends who have taken pictures of their kids with the same stuffed animal every month to see how much they are growing. I loved the idea so here you are at one month:

Here are the things we want to remember about this time in our lives and what all you are already accomplishing!

- From the first week we brought you home, you've had the wiggles and the strongest neck! You already lift your head way off our shoulder to see who'd holding you and what's going on. You're so curious! You also already like to push you legs as strong as you can against anything in reach

- You LOVE your swaddle and if you're ever fussy, you love movement to calm you down.

- You have the hiccups 4-5 times a day - Daddy says it's your favorite past time =)

- We love your little animal noises - grunting and pushing

- Your eyes are not open much but if Claire ever catches them open, she says "big eyes"!

- This past week you started responding to voices by looking toward the direction they are coming from. You also started following objects with your beautiful blue eyes!

- When you're awake during the day you are so content and quiet - our angel baby!

- You are a stubborn eater! If you don't want it you will purse your lips and stick that tongue at the top of your mouth! You even resist after diaper changes and stripping you down!

- Your dad and I can't believe how beautiful and perfect you look but how hard it is to capture it in a picture. There is nothing like seeing you with our own eyes.

- You've spit up all over daddy twice =)

- You will already sleep 4 - 5 hour stretches at night when you want to =)

- You've been sleeping constantly but we think you "woke up" the past 2 days! Christmas Eve was our first night really having to be up with you and Christmas night was pretty much an all nighter... we probably won't be sleeping for a number of months now so thank you for being so good the past 3 weeks at home =)

- Claire is such a good big sister - she kisses you all over your head, tells you "it's alright" when you cry, says "baby's" in a very sweet voice and loves to help out. The newness hasn't worn off yet and she always asks where you are if she doesn't see you right away when she wakes up or comes home from somewhere. She's already looking out for you!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

First family photo

It only took close to 4 weeks to get our first family photo! That floors me as many pics as we take but we're always behind the camera! We took the girls to our church's Christmas service on Sunday night. We sang carols and listened to readings. Claire sang the first few songs at the top of her lungs! It was SO cute! Eden ate and then slept the whole time =) It was so fun to see everyone and dress the girls up in their coordinating Christmas dresses.

Proud and sleepy mama!

Decorating Cookies

Claire and I made our first cut out cookies together the other day... well, it was over two days so we could make the dough, chill it for a long time, roll them out, bake and decorate. So a few hours of good fun and 3 shirt changes later, we had cute cookies to eat and give away! She decorated some herself and loved the candy cane shape the best =)

Mixin' the dough -
Can you believe we did it from scratch?! That never happens!

Day 2!! Rollin' out the dough

She loved playing with her pile of flour! What a mess but she had so much fun!

The finished product and a shirt change!
Claire had so much patience waiting to eat one!
Guess which ones Claire decorated?