Christmas bokeh

If you find yourself setting up your tripod at 6:15 am on a Friday morning, you just might be a photography nerd.

In my drowsy state of nursing Kaya and browsing Pinterest on my phone, I saw a tutorial for getting some great bokeh from your Christmas lights. I just had to try it while it was still dark outside, so I set everything up and went for it. The settings that the tutorial advised didn’t give me the effect I wanted, so I ended up making some major adjustments. I used ISO 100, f/3.5, and a 1 second exposure. Ta-da! Beautiful lights._MG_7233

2 days!

cookie drop-off

Last night, we carried on one of the traditions that Michael’s family has- delivering Christmas cookies! We’ve done this on at least one other Christmas since we’ve been married, but that was already a few years ago.

Grandma sent Kaya a Santa hat, so I thought it’d be cute if we all wore Santa hats to deliver the goodies. Unfortunately, Kaya wasn’t too thrilled with it, so we snapped a picture and took hers right off afterward.

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_MG_7147Here’s what was on the plate this year:
– Mrs. Field’s Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Peppermint Cookies (This was my first time making these, and they were a hit! I’ll definitely be making them again sooner rather than later!)
S’mores Fudge (I thought it sounded cool, but after I made it, I realized that the only real difference between this and my regular fudge recipe is the graham crackers. Still delicious, though!)

5 days!

kaya- 3 months

_MG_7116 copy - CopyNo doctor appointment this month, so we did our own measurements. Not too sure how accurate they are, but at least we have a rough idea!
Height: 
24.25 inches
Weight: 11 pounds 11 ounces
Clothing size: Still 0-3, but I tried a 3-6 month outfit on her this week and it wasn’t overly huge. I think we’re close to being done with 0-3 month footie pajamas though.
Favorite things: Smiling, “talking” to us, wiggling, being tickled, cuddling with mommy for a nap, getting excited to see her daddy when he gets home from work, and being naked!
Dislikes: Water on her face in the bathtub, the carseat, her vitamin.
Sleep: She goes down between 8-9 pm, and won’t wake up at all now until at least 5 am. Most days, I am waking her up at 5:45 so I can feed her before I run. She’ll stay up with daddy for a little while and then take a morning nap.
Milestones, etc.:
-She LAUGHS now and it’s the cutest thing ever.
-She tries to imitate sounds/words. She says “guh!” really well!
-She officially doesn’t need to be swaddled to sleep anymore, but we still use her SwaddleMe blanket and just leave her arms out.
– She had her first diaper rash. It was ugly but she never cried about it.
– She also got her nails clipped for the first time, and I accidentally cut her little finger. I cried; she didn’t. My kid is tough!
-She grabs anything she can and sometimes puts whatever it is in her mouth. Her shirts are really wet sometimes for this reason! Her drooling is out of control, too.
– She is sooo close to rolling over from back to front. She just needs to figure out where to put her arm!
– She does (halfway) sit-ups all on her own.
– She can do a “mini push-up” during tummy time… but she usually hates it. I figured out that tummy time is a little more productive when she has a pillow to lean on, instead of just face-planting on the floor.

_MG_7094Dear Kaya,
You are growing up so fast! This month, you became even more fun to play with. You love your daddy so much, and I’m grateful to see you both grow closer each and every day. He tries to imitate the noises you make, and as he does, you’ll do it again. It’s a never ending conversation! I love hearing you figure out how to make certain sounds and start to laugh.

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_MG_7103You like reading books and grabbing at the pages. You seem to get extra excited when there’s a lot of green on a page. Is that your favorite color?

_MG_7061You smile all the time now, and it’s still just as exciting as the first time you did it. I don’t think it will ever get old. I love seeing you happy.

_MG_7052 _MG_7101You think it’s hilarious when we wiggle your legs and squeeze your little thighs.

Now that you’re becoming more mobile and alert, you remind me a lot more of the way you acted when you were still growing in my belly. You used to somersault and kick all the time, and now you are a happy, silly little wiggleworm just the same.

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So many people tell me you have such big, beautiful eyes. I’d have to agree! We’re still waiting to see what color they are- sometimes they are light blue and other times a dark gray!
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We love you so much Baby Bird! We can’t wait to celebrate your first Christmas next week 🙂

Christmas cookies

Decorating gingerbread cookies at Christmastime is a big tradition in my family. I can’t even remember a year when we didn’t do it! It’s something I’d like to continue with my own little family, so this weekend I made the dough and invited our brothers over to cut and sprinkle them!_MG_7039

Uncle Karl hadn’t seen Kaya for a little while, so he was extra excited for baby cuddles!_MG_7006 Jeff might’ve been eating his cookies as he was making them…_MG_7023I never realized what a giant mess this whole process makes. I guess my mom always took care of it, so we never noticed when we were kids! Now I get all the fun of clean-up for myself._MG_7031Somewhere along the way was a tray we forgot was in the oven. Burnt to a crisp! It really was alright though (besides the smell!) because we had waaay too many cookies as it was.
_MG_7022Kaya’s patiently awaiting her turn to decorate next year.
_MG_7029They’re not the most artistically-deocrated cookies we’ve made, but they still looked pretty cute…_MG_7032…except for this creepy snowman!
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7 days to go!

splish splash…

… she was takin’ a bath! (and it wasn’t even Saturday night!)

_MG_6974She’s all smiles until she gets water on her face. Love that goofy tongue!

_MG_6977With all the kicking she does now, she makes some pretty big splashes! Just wait till she actually realizes what she’s doing and splashes on purpose- it’ll be even more fun (and an even bigger mess)!121712merge _MG_6985

She still tries to do her sit-ups in the tub… exercise isn’t for bathtime, silly!_MG_6988

 

the man in red

Tonight we took Kaya to see the most popular man around- Santa! We had a relatively long wait, but it was worth it. There is something so much more special about sharing Christmas with a child, even if she is too young to know what’s going on.

She was the 73rd kid in line to meet him, so she actually fell asleep by the time it was her turn.

Christmas is about family, and I am so grateful to have my very own.

14 days!

Christmas parade

We kept our tradition of attending the town Christmas parade this past weekend. I can’t believe this was our 5th year going! This one seemed to be the best yet- there were so many great floats.

Little Munchkin was a little bit sleepy for her first parade. It was close to her bedtime, after all.

We really lucked out with the weather- this is the warmest parade I ever remember! It was about 50 degrees, so we didn’t worry about Kaya being too cold.

She wore her adorable snowsuit for the first time.  I love the ears! (I also love that I found it at the secondhand kids’ store, but it was brand new from Old Navy with the tags still on. Score! I even found a similar one for next year that’s also new 🙂 )

Here were a few of the best parts of the parade!

Horses always make the list, of course.

And no matter how old I get, seeing Santa is still the most exciting part!

15 days!

reach

Kaya has started reaching and grabbing anything and everything she can get her hands (or even feet…) on! It’s so fun to see her playing with her toys, pulling them toward herself, and even trying to put them in her mouth. (On the other hand, it’s not so fun to have your hair pulled…)

She grabs her own shirt and shows off her whole belly!

She’s also been getting really skilled at doing sit-ups! I put her on the boppy pillow one day, and she just randomly started doing them on her own. (I love her little fuzz mohawk here!)

She really wanted to sit and hold her own head up, and she actually did pretty well! It was so short-lived that I didn’t even get to focus the camera fast enough, but here she is, blurry and all.

I can’t believe how strong she’s become.

Exercise is hard work, but she’s still all smiles!

rockin’…

… around the Christmas tree, DUH!

Actually, the only rockin’ that happens around here lately is when we’re trying to get the baby to go to sleep. She’s already in bed, so we’re relaxing on the couch instead, enjoying the Christmas lights and music.

We finally finished putting up our tree last night. This is the latest we have ever been at getting it done! I’m no help at speeding up the process, either, because I am SO PICKY about how the lights look. We may or may not have ended up taking them all off and redoing them… Last year, Lelia did the lights (she’s pretty much a professional tree lighter-upper), and before we got this tree, we had a little pre-lit one. Basically, this was the first year we strung the lights ourselves.

And I think it turned out pretty fantastic.

18 more days!

even when….

Even when this little girl has two leaky diapers, two projectile throw-ups, and one blowout poop all in the same morning…

I can’t help but love her.

Even when she sucks on her fingers against our better judgment…

I can’t help but love her.

Even when she won’t go back to sleep without me cuddling her….

I can’t help but love her.

Even Especially when I go in her room every morning and see this face….

… my heart just melts.

Love you, Baby Girl.