December 31, 2013

Christmas in Texas - Christmas Day

Christmas was wonderful this year, and having a baby to celebrate with us made it even more fun. I've said it before, but Sophie really is such a joy in our lives and it was fun to celebrate this first Christmas with her. She really seemed to enjoy the spirit of season and was just soaking up all the lights, colors, excitement, and love.

Christmas morning with five adults and one baby was pretty relaxing. Sophie slept in until 8:00 and then we went downstairs for a yummy breakfast. The rest of the family wasn't coming over until later that afternoon, so we let Sophie open her stocking and one present before the chaos started. When we showed her the present she seemed to know it was for her - first she climbed up on top of it, and then started tearing the paper off like a pro.

After the two other Howe families arrived we opened the rest of the gifts and then had a delicious Christmas dinner. Traveling around the holidays is not always easy, but it is so great to have the whole family together around one table. We are glad we could make this trip to Texas and feel so blessed to have such wonderful families. Merry Christmas everyone!

Right next to a tower of presents and all she's interested in are the beads on the tree

Sophie opening one of her presents from Grandma and Grandpa. It was a pink train that she absolutely loves. Another favorite present was the pink sippy cup on the table in the background. 

Our Christmas card for the year - Happy Holidays from the Howes!!

December 30, 2013

Christmas in Texas - Mystery Dinner

Last week Tim and Cindy hosted another Howe Family Christmas Mystery Dinner. They put together a themed "Clue" type game to play as a family and fed us all dinner and dessert - it was awesome! This year we were invited to dress up like a family of snowmen. We set the bar pretty high with Dave's grinch costume two years ago, so we wanted to go all out again this year.

Sophie wore a shirt with a snowman face and Dave and I dressed in white. My hat was from the thrift store, and we made Dave and Sophie's hats out of felt. We also made some buttons from felt, a couple carrot noses out of orange paper, and painted our faces. Dave then took his costume to the next level by stuffing his top and bottom half with pillows. I thought he looked amazing!!

The Snowmen Family - I love Sophie's "what's wrong with my parents" expression in this picture

Sophie was after my carrot nose all night

Snowmen in Profile

Greg, Amy, Ally, Jack, and Emma as a family of elves

Dad and Mom as Mr. and Mrs. Gingerbread Man

Liz as Susie Snowflake

And an attempt at a group photo

December 19, 2013

Sophie at 9 Months

Sophie turned 9 months today! Oh this baby makes me smile. She has been drooling like crazy (that is a drool string hanging off her chin), but we have finally come to the end of the daily spit ups - hooray! She has also stopped leaking out the front of her diaper at night, and now sleeps from about 7:30 pm to 7:30 am. Now that she is sleeping longer at night, Sophie makes good use of her waking hours. She is so busy all the time and sometimes putting on a diaper or getting her dressed feels like wrestling an alligator. At least she doesn't bite :)

Sophie at 9 Months
  • 28 inches and 19.5 pounds
  • Has 7 teeth, 3 on top and 4 on bottom
  • Loves to say "hi" to people by reaching her hand out to them. She will try to get their attention even if they are all the way across a room. 
  • Will hand you whatever she is playing with if you hold your hand out to her
  • Thinks it is very funny to try and share her binky with us
  • Is still a great eater. We have added banana to her morning meal and she has gotten good at picking up small pieces with her fingers. She also loves it when we help her drink water with a straw.
  • One of her favorite activities lately has been riding in the shopping cart, but not in the seat up front. She likes to sit, or stand, in the main cart part and say "hi" to all the shoppers. Sometimes I take her to the store and push her around even though I'm not shopping for anything. 
  • Now says "mama" and "dada," along with a whole lot of other nonsense words
And some other random pictures: 

Present thief - Sophie stole daddy's birthday present off the chair all by herself

Teething has made her turn into a beaver. She loves to gnaw on anything she can find. Good thing we don't care too much about our coffee table!

And it snowed about 4 inches at our house today!

December 17, 2013

Meeting the Big Man

Tonight we went out to eat at Tucanos with Natalie and Brodie to celebrate Dave's birthday, which was yesterday, and Nat's birthday, which is at the end of the month. As always we ate way too much, but it was delicious :) On our way out we noticed a little Santa Station set up in the middle of the Riverwoods shops, and since there was no line, we dropped in for a quick visit.

Even though Sophie loves everyone, I  still thought she would cry because that's what babies do when you set them on Santa's lap. She proved me wrong, however, and gave Santa a big grin :)

Was she a good girl this year? I think so!

And yes we are bad parents who forgot our baby's coat. We wrapped her up in a blanket after and she stayed nice and warm. 8 days until Christmas, 5 days until we fly to Texas, and only 3 days left until Christmas Break - hooray!!

December 7, 2013

Aerial Attack

Sophie suddenly noticed the proximity of the Christmas tree and decided to go for it - reach, baby, reach! 

December 4, 2013

Here comes trouble

Last night I was shopping on Amazon and needed to find one more item to get free shipping. I was struggling to find something I needed, and ended up getting some baby spoons, but now I know what I should have ordered - baby locks. This girl is curious and also seems to be developing a mischievous side. I think she must get that from her daddy :)

This morning Sophie figured out how to open cupboard doors...

And when I moved her away from the cupboards she went over the garbage can...

And after I pulled her arm out of the garbage a few times, she decided to go for the toilet paper instead...

Oh baby - what am I going to do with you?!

December 2, 2013

Christmas is Coming!

We are all decorated for Christmas and I love it!! I finished all the inside decorations before we left on our Thanksgiving trip, and then Dave put up some outside lights yesterday since the weather was nice. Good thing too, because forecast for the next few days is snow with a high of 24 degrees. We'll be staying indoors where it's cheery and warm - brrr!

Sophie loved the lights and was there to investigate a second after I plugged them in

This is the first year we've put lights up outside and I love it - nice work Dave!

Our homemade snowflakes I hung by the kitchen with care :)

We also have our little Christmas tree up and decorated. I set it up in the corner behind the armchair and end table, but it didn't stay hidden for long...

November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013

For Thanksgiving this year we drove up to Idaho with Natalie and Brodie to visit my sister and her family. They recently bought a house there and were nice enough to share it with us for the holidays. My parents and Jobe, their dog, also drove down from Washington so we were all together except for my brother Derek, who comes home from his mission in Brazil in just a couple weeks - hooray!

Over the break we saw Catching Fire (and loved it!), went bowling, played lots of games, and enjoyed a delicious Thanksgiving feast. At this time of year we are thankful for many things, but are especially thankful for our awesome families. We are grateful that we got to see the Lamberts this week, and are now counting down the days until our trip to Texas to see the Howes. We love you all!!

Thanksgiving Dinner

Post-Thanksgiving Nap

While there, my sister took some pictures of our little family. We were out there for only 2 minutes, but she got some good ones, including one we can use for our Christmas card. 

Cousin time in the tub

Failed attempt at a jammie picture on the couch

The second one didn't get any better...

November 23, 2013

Sophie at 8 Months - Take Two

So photo attempt two didn't go any better than the first time around. Oh well.

Sophie is developing a strong, yet sweet personality. She is so happy and seems to just love life. Dave and I are both impressed and a bit worried by how determined she is to get around. She pushes herself to the limit and seems to be learning a new skill every day. Sophie is also quite the chatterbox and is usually only quiet when she's up to no good. This month she learned how to say "mama", and  I love to hear her go "mom mom mom mom mom" as she crawls around the house. She is such a joy!!

Sophie at 8 Months
  • Weighs 18.5 pounds and is 27.5 inches tall
  • Has 5 teeth - 2 on top and 3 on the bottom
  • Is go, go, go all day long. This girl can crawl across the room in seconds and pulls up on everything.
  • Favorite activities include playing on the dishwasher door, Skyping with grandparents, sticking her fingers in the VCR, peek-a-boo, bath time, mealtime, and being naked.
  • LOVES to eat! I am pretty sure she is a bottomless pit. I still nurse about 4 times a day and she eats 3-4 jars of baby food and a big bowl of oatmeal before bed. She also likes the food to come fast. If we wait too long between bites she will start to eat her bib or her fingers and then smear it in her hair. 
  • Enjoys reading books with us and will turn the pages if we help lift them up a little bit. 
  • Still very attached to her binky. On the upside, she has learned how to put it in her mouth by herself - hallelujah!! On the downside she has learned how to throw it out of her crib, which leads to lots of sadness during nap or in the night. 
  • Hates putting on anything with long sleeves and acts like we are torturing her when it's time to get dressed. It's going to be a long winter....
My cutie pie - love those chubby cheeks!

November 19, 2013

Sophie at 8 Months - Take One

Sophie turned 8 months today, but decided that she didn't want to have her picture taken. Apparently sitting is for babies and she thinks she is a big girl now and wants to stand. She was not very happy when I tried to convince her otherwise. We'll try again tomorrow...

November 13, 2013

All she wants is her two front teeth

Sophie has so far been a pretty cheerful teether. She got her two bottom teeth around 4 months without any fuss, and then a third bottom tooth appeared out of nowhere a couple weeks ago. Now the top two are coming in, and although she's puts on a good face, I can tell her poor little gums are hurting this time.

Most of the time she is still her normal happy self...

But sometimes she feels like this...

So until those teeth are fully in, she'll be putting those teething rings to the test - nom, nom, nom!

November 12, 2013

Nothin' much happening around our house...

Free time has been pretty scarce in the Howe house lately, as Dave and I have both been very busy with school and work. Even now I am blogging not because I have time, but because I don't feel like doing the work that I really should be doing. Sigh...

Sophie, on the other hand, has had plenty of time to explore and show us every part of our house that is not baby proofed. She is a crawling master and pulls up on everything. Today she started standing up in the bath tub, crawled behind the toilet while I was showering (gross), discovered the kitchen garbage can and pulled out a few paper towels to munch on, and found the stairs (I knew they couldn't hide forever). I am trying to figure out the right balance between letting her explore and stopping her from cracking her head open. Oh this baby....

Helping me with some laundry

Playing with the dishwasher is always a favorite activity, especially if silverware is within reach

Shoving her burp cloth into the VCR (sorry, bad iPad pic) - can you tell Dave "combed" her hair?

Wishing she could go outside to play

Reading in her room - she is starting to discover that books are better for looking at than eating

October 31, 2013

Howe Pumpkin 2013

This year I almost didn't get a pumpkin carved in time for Halloween. As of this afternoon the pumpkin we got at the patch on Saturday was still sitting happy and whole on the front porch. Knowing I had only a few hours until trick-or-treaters started showing up, I threw a bunch of stuff on the floor to entertain Sophie and broke out the knives.

 I cut, cleaned, and carved this pumpkin in only 30 minutes! I originally wanted to carve "HOWE" next to the pumpkin tower, but after Sophie got her fingers stuck in the VCR (yes, we still have a VCR) I decided to speed things up a little and went with just a big "H" instead. Because I was going so fast there are also some structural issues and I had to use a few toothpicks to hold it together, but overall I am quite proud of how it turned out!

And one more picture of our cute little chicken :)

October 30, 2013

Ward Halloween Party 2013

Tonight we went to our ward Halloween party dressed as farmers with our little chicken. We even dressed up Sophie's binky by using some yellow construction paper to turn it into a beak. Everyone thought she looked adorable. I thought we looked pretty cute too :)

It took Sophie a little while to adjust to her costume... She had a hard time crawling with the chicken feet on, and we could barely buckle her into her car seat to get to the church. 

Howe Family Farmers at the party

Wearing daddy's hat after we got home