Friday, March 25, 2011

Welcome to Hollywood...Shreveport Style!

In honor of the movie Battle Los Angeles opening last weekend, I felt the need to write this post. Its a well-known fact that I am somewhat of a celebrity junkie. Yes I did (key word did-as in pre-motherhood days) read daily and Ryan did get me a magazine subscription to People so I can keep up with the latest news. It's not something I'm proud of, but I confess that I do have a slight addiction. So imagine my surprise when I found out that Louisiana is 3rd for the state with the most movies made in the United States. We are known as the " Hollywood" of the south. A few weeks after moving here we were on our way to visit a church when we became very confused. Huge billows of black smoke was in the air and as we continued down the interstate we saw a huge sign that said, " Danger, Film Crew Ahead". On our left we saw an 18-wheeler that was on FIRE. Obviously it turned out that they were filming a movie (Battle Los Angeles) Since then we have had multiple celebritites hanging out in Shreveport such as Nicholas Cage, Katie Holmes and Suri, Aaron Eckheart, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner, and as of right now Gerald Butler and Jessical Biel. I even read in People about a series being filmed here and the stars hanging out at our Target. It makes me and Ryan laugh to read about Jessica Biel eating at restaurants that we go to and Jennifer Garner buying Violet and Seraphina outfits at a store that I shop for James. Apparently the celebs really like the "slower" life that they get down here while filming. When we matched here we just had no idea that we were moving to such a celebrity hotspot! Lol!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Seventh Month

Stats: no doctor's appointment this month but you are getting big! You wear mostly 9 month clothes, with a few 6 and 12 months thrown in.
Likes: milk, being outside, putting things in your mouth, biting people, eating lots of food, having your teeth brushed, drooling, sleeping on your tummy

Dislikes: not getting to have milk in the middle of the night, using a sippy cup, being away from your Mama

Special Memories:

I promised on the last post that I would devote more time to my friend Sara's visit since it was mostly during JT's "seventh" month of life. I have known Sara literally my entire life, and we were all excited that she was coming to visit us. Unfortunately she was sick and not feeling her best but we made the most of the visit. Something exciting that has happened since the last time Sara visited is that she has started her own photography business, and it is awesome! She has been incredibly generous to take wonderful pictures of our family from the time I was pregnant until now. Ryan and I were talking about how thankful we are that she has done this for us so that we can remember all these precious moments years from now. Here are just a few of my favorite pictures that Sara has taken for us.

We love you Sara! Thanks for coming to see us!!!

I decided that it would be a good time to make the trip to NC when Sara left so that I would have some company on the flights there. I feel like everytime I turn around we are back on the plane which is pretty funny since I HATE flying! But...we have to take advantage of JT not needing a ticket while we can. :) It was another wonderful trip to NC, but it was nice to get back to LA and return to our normal routine. I promised myself and Ryan that I was not going to travel for at least a month or two.

James loves his granddaddy
Hanging out at the Holland household
Who needs toys when you have bowls?
Some of the extra "Grandmas" :)
Getting so big!

In hopes of helping James sleep better we have had a consistent bedtime routine since he was around 8 weeks old. For the record, I do not think that it made a difference with his sleep but it is a special time for the three of us.

We begin it with bath time, normally done by Daddy.

Followed by milk

Followed by bible story (obviously this picture was a few months ago)

Ending with prayers and cuddles.
About the age that we started our "routine". He loves his bears!

Typical Saturday at our house

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Sixth Month

(James is wearing one of Ryan's first outfits above- it was almost too small!)

The Sixth Month:

Stats: 18 lbs 14 oz, 26 inches long
Likes: milk, cereal, all baby food that is given to you, sitting up by yourself, laughing out loud, reaching for Mommy to hold you
Dislikes: naps, the Ferber method, teething, hearing other kids cry in the nursery, being on airplanes for long periods of time, being in the pool/ocean

Special Memories:
We love having visitors to come see us. We know its a huge sacrifice in terms of time, money, and effort. Not to mention putting up with hearing a baby cry constantly throughout the night! We have been SO blessed to have lots of people come stay with us since we moved here. We were excited to have Granny Deb and Marianne come visit us this month. They both helped us try to "Ferber" JT. Bless their hearts- they were up constantly during the nights that they were here. It probably took them weeks to recover. We had a fun time shopping, going out to eat, and having lots of good conversation. We also decided to take advantage of the Mardi Gras season and have a mini celebration with a Kings cake. I got the baby in the very first slice! For those of you not from the great state of LA its tradition that whoever gets the baby hidden in his/her slice of cake has to buy the cake for the next year. We were sad that Marianne had to leave after a couple of days- thanks for all of your help while you were here and thank you Joe, Madeline, and Hayden for letting her come! :)

Granny Deb had been convinced to stay a little longer so she could be our "nanny" on our trip to Dallas. Ryan had a week off for vacation, and I wasn't quite ready to leave James for so long. That being said Ryan and I REALLY wanted to get out of town for a couple of nights and go spend some of our Christmas money. We have gone to Dallas several times now. Its a pretty easy drive (except for the insane traffic) and there are lots of great shops and restaurants. James did pretty good for his first family vacation. During one of his "not so good" moments my mom noticed that he had a tooth coming through. It was easy to see due to JT's mouth being open while yelling. A few days later another one came through.

Hanging out in the hotel

Date night to the Silver Fox- sooooo yummy!

My mom turned the big "60" this year, and my dad decided she deserved a vacation (which she definitely did!) David and I didn't think we would be able to go (and we knew Ryan wouldn't be able to) but at the last minute we figured we would surprise her and show up in St. Thomas. It was quite hectic since I had only 36 hours to get the plane tickets, pack, figure out the car seat situation, and mentally prepare. all worked out! We all had an awesome time in St. Thomas and were so thankful to got to celebrate Granny Deb's birthday with her. James was the talk of the island and was quite the "ladies man" wherever he went. He wasn't very excited about being in the ocean or the pool, but he enjoyed hanging out and watching everything. Unfortunately we had a very stressful flight home but we survived! God bless the poor people who sat around us. We were that family that you didn't want to sit near. :)

Happy Birthday Granny Deb!

What are we doing Grandaddy?
Shark Man
On JT's sixth month birthday we had another special visitor- Sara!!! More on her to come on next month's post.

JT gets VERY excited when Ryan gets home. He starts kicking his legs and making all sorts of noise. I'm always amazed that Ryan has so much energy to play with him when he gets home. We all know that residents do not have the most family-friendly schedule. I'm so blessed that Ryan immediately takes James and does as much as he can with him when he is not working.

Greatest daddy in the world!

Love the men in my life :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Fifth Month

Stats: No doctor's appointment this month but you have got some major chunky legs!
Likes: milk, rice cereal, playing in your exersaucers
Dislikes: Naps, sleeping at night, snow

Special Memories:

Ryan had the week of Christmas off so we were able to go to NC. Santa came early to Shreveport the day before we headed home to Greenville. Santa must not have heard about all the grief James was giving his parents because he sure got some cool toys!

Ryan got the dad of the year award for changing one awful diaper in the plane's little bathroom during some crazy turbulence! It is always an experience flying with James. :) While in NC we had James dedicated at my parents' house. It was a really special night spent celebrating James and committing as a family to raise him in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. Each grandparent picked a scripture that was personally meaningful to themselves and for James and read it to him. Ryan and I picked a scripture for him as well, and Marianne read the verses that Joe preached on. Joe (who married us) did the dedication which was really nice. It was also the first time that our whole (immediate family) had been together

On Christmas Eve we made the annual trek to Mt. Olive. James really enjoyed all of the attention that his girl cousins gave him. Unfortunately he screamed his head off the entire way home which made for an intensely stressful Christmas Eve night for his parents.

Christmas morning arrived and somehow Santa came again to see James in Greenville!

We had a great time celebrating the holiday with both families. We did Christmas with the Hollands the night before Christmas Eve since Whitney and Rod were not going to be here on Christmas Day. Ryan, James, and I also got to have Christmas breakfast with Nana and Pop.

We continued over to the Creech household for some annual traditions as well- including the birthday cake for Jesus. That was the best pound cake ever Mom!!!!

The greatest pound cake ever

Overall it was a wonderful day with our families. I can't believe its been a whole year since we announced that we were pregnant- things sure have changed!

Anyone remember this outfit from last year? Look back to last year's Christmas post if you can't!

The day after Christmas NC had a big snowfall. Unfortunately Ryan's flight got canceled, but I was pretty happy to have him stay an extra day! James was not too thrilled to be out in the snow, or shall I say in the sneaux? Hey, we do live in Louisiana now!!!

Of course one highlight of going home at Christmas is seeing friends that we don't always get to visit with. Tricia and her husband moved to Florida recently to work for a Christian organization that does work in Haiti. We were so glad for her to meet James!

James also got to finally meet our favorite family doctor who we still bug with questions even though we live half a country away! :)

Once we made it back to LA we committed ourselves (again) to working on JT's sleep. During that process we also started giving him rice cereal (out of desperation but it didn't help). Of course the child loves to eat and he thoroughly enjoyed his new variety of food

First rice cereal

Sweet potatoes were a hit!