In December we got to drive up to New York City to meet Russ' brother, Rob, his wife, Ashley, and their two kiddos, Thomas and Dexter. We were so excited to meet Dexter for the first time. He is 3 days older than Macey and we all fell in love the second we met him. He is too cute for words!
Here is Uncle Russ the moment they met.
Cousins side by side for the first time.
This is how Russ and Rob walked around NYC for 2 days straight. It was super cold and rainy so they were trying to keep the babies warm. Russ and Rob look so much alike and the babies are so close in age that it was just too funny to see. It looked like twins carrying twins. They got A TON of looks - mostly from cute women who would bat their eyelashes and smile as big as they could- but then I'd stare at them and give them the "I'll seriously punch you in the face look" and they'd quickly turn away.
Love that smushy little face!
During dinner we just plopped Macey down on the floor,
made a make-shaft bed, and put her right to sleep!
We rode the subway.
Went to see the Statue of Liberty (that's her waaay in the back).
The fact that this was not a forced pose make this photo even that much cuter.
I LOVE having a big helper! Jayda is so great (so is Lils)
and was totally helpful during the NY trip.
When we got back to the house Aunt Ashley gave Jayda a
cute apron and baking set and they made some super yummy cookies.
We've lived in the house for 6 years and never once have my girls tried to slide down the stairs, but within 15 minutes of Tommy being at the house he taught them how to ride it like a slide! I just love and adore that boy! We need some more "boy mentality" in this house to counteract all the estrogen...it was so great to see the girls play like this and enjoy their cousin.
and apparently even though they play like girls they still wore him out!
The day after our sweet visitors left we decorated our gingerbread houses.
On the 18th I celebrated my 33rd birthday with a cake Russ made me. And let me just make a quick note about my birthday. I woke up ready to start the day by getting the kids off to school, but when my alarm went off Russ says "Surprise! I took the day off work and you're gonna be pampered all day!" First he sent me for a mani/pedi, then I got to go to lunch all by myself and read my kindle while eating (it was pure heaven), that was followed by an hour long massage at The Red Door Spa, we ate at CPK, and then finished the night off with cake and presents. Seriously?!?! My hubby freaking rocks! He's the best!
A few days later we had our first snow flakes.
So of course the girls had to immediately run outside.
She kept showing me all the snowflakes she was catching with her middle finger. "it's the longest finger, mommy, so it catches the most snowflakes. See?!?"
In mid-December Jayda made us all lunch. All by herself. It was very cute. and surprisingly yummy.
On Christmas Eve, poor Macey Jayne was put on breathing treatments for RSV. :( It had been a very, very tough month for our little peanut. She got a really bad ear infection in early December and was put on antibiotics. After 10 days it still hand't cleared up so the doctors put her on another medication. We gave the first dose at night and put her to bed. The morning we were to go to NYC (for the above mentioned trip) we woke up early and went in her room to wake her up. What we found was absolutely terrifying. She was laying on her back, not really stirring when we came loudly in, and she was completely covered in chunky vomit. We have no idea how she didn't aspirate on her own vomit in the middle of the night. It was everywhere and it was dried all over her face, behind her head where it had pooled, and all down her jammies. I rushed to put her in the bathtub and when I took her jammies off we noticed a bad, red rash all over her chest. And she had a fever. I immediately took her to the ER (she was breathing ok which is why I didn't call 911) and found out she had an allergic reaction to amoxocillin. They gave her some steroids and another medication to try to clear up the ear infection and sent us on our way. 10 more days of her third type of medicine and she still had an ear ache. We are frustrated, sad, and angry that nothing is bringing her any relief. We end up in the ER on a Saturday because she had such a high fever. They ended up giving her one shot, every day, for three days in a row to in an effort to "bring out the big guns" and finally get rid of the ear ache. $300 in hospital bills later and it still didn't work. One final, last ditch effort brought the total to 5 medications over 53 days. 3 trips to the ER. 3 trips to the Pediatrician and 2 different ENT consults. We kept getting different opinions. The pediatrician wanted to do ear tubes. Both ENT practices wanted to avoid tubes if possible because she's so teeny. So, we ended up giving her breathing treatments with saline just to try to drain the fluid from her ears and she only slept sitting up (which is why 6 months later as I write this post she still only naps in her chair in an upright position). Since then she's had another ear infection so I'm pretty sure we're back to the ENT very soon to revisit the ear tube discussion. Our poor baby!
Russ and I took turns holding her and loving on her because she was so sick
and helping the older girls make the cookies for Santa.
Jayda lost another tooth on Christmas Eve. She was super excited, but also a bit stressed about all the "Traffic" between the Tooth Fairy and Santa's Sleigh. Melt my heart she's soooo cute! Here is a letter she wrote about the cookies which she left on the table. It reads "The tooth fairy's cookie will be the heart and the "J" and Santa's will be the girl and the snowman. Note to: Santa & the tooth fairy Love: Jayda. PS. You give the me the best gifts."
Here's the note she mailed Santa earlier in the month. It reads "Dear Santa, thank you for all your hard work. And of course your elves. Are you real, Santa? I believe you are. Love, Jayda"
I just LOVE how she wrote to Santa to tell him thank you.
She didn't ask for one gift. She just wanted to tell him thanks for his
hard work and let him know she believes.
Growing up my favorite Christmas memory was that my mom would always place this vintage baby Jesus in the manager right in the very middle of our Christmas Morning celebrations/gift unwrapping. It was a reminder of why we were celebrating and what our real focus should be on. She would always wrap fabric and Christmas lights around it so that it looked so sparkly/glowy and special. As a birthday gift to myself I found one on Ebay and snatched it up. Now I get to do the same thing for my family every Christmas morning and it bring me so much joy!
Jayda gave Lilly a Doc McStuffins Doctors kit and Lilly was so excited and grateful. Lils just threw herself into her sister with a big thank you hug.
I have no idea why Russ would smell his Nash Lakers Jersey I gave him, but I found about 5 pictures on my camera over the course of 30 - 60 minutes and he was smelling that thing in almost all of them. I have absolutely no explanation...but I do have a lot of questions.
Don't you love Russ' wrap job? Sharpee marker right on the box it was mailed in.
Poor, sweet baby.
Grandma Axtell did it again! She made the girls the most beautiful, special Holiday dresses you could ever ask for. The girls looked so pretty and they felt like a million dollars. There is seriously nothing better than a gift made by Grandma. It makes them feel like the most important girls in the world.
We celebrated New Years Eve by taking down the Christmas decor and putting balloons on our "new year tree." At midnight (and by midnight I mean 9pm when we tell the girls it's midnight in Europe) the girls get to pop the balloons, have a silly string fight, and a dance party before hitting the hay and kissing 2012 goodbye.
We all wrote out our New Years Resolutions. Jayda's were: ride without training wheels, learn more math, have fun at my birthday party, do not watch so much tv, learn about time and money, get more patience, use nice words, talk daddy into getting a dog, eat more vegetables.
2012 was a year in which I was on bed rest for the first 6 months and in more pain than I care to remember. Russ was gone too much (working 12+ hours a day and traveling a ton. If I remember correctly it was 14 countries in 2012 alone). I'll remember that my Nammy had a stroke in October. Many of our good friends moved out of our ward and that money was super tight. And in 2012 we lost our sweet Riley.
But I'll also remember that my mom was my angel and helped raise Jayda and Lilly for 5 months while I was on bed rest, my hubby worked his butt off to take care of his family because he is amazing and loves us so, so much, Jayda and Lilly started Irish Dancing and it might be the cutest/coolest thing I've ever seen! And most importantly I'll remember that 2012 brought us our perfect Macey Jayne who has made our lives complete, our family whole, and our hearts happy. There was, by far, much more good than bad. Much more happiness than sadness, and much more love than pain.
2012 was great & filled with blessings for which we are very, very grateful.
Here's hoping 2013 will bring us just as many learning adventures!