The weekend after Thanksgiving, my dad and Sherry came to town to visit and took us all to the Grapevine Polar Express on Saturday! It was such an AMAZING experience!! Luna was just awestruck through the whole thing. We got there an hour early to walk around and meet Santa. And I have to say it was the best Santa experience to date! We walked right up, and there was only 1 other family ahead of us and the kids were so happy, that Luna was able to follow their lead and got right up there and told him what she wanted and NO Tears! She whispered, "I want a bicycle, a pink one."
Then we went inside the big tent and watched a musical performance of holiday songs performed by a professional singing group with kids. They were super good and they even sang "Favorite Things", one of Luna's favorites. Then we all walked towards the train through a maze of Evergreen trees and snow machines blew snow on us as we walked through. Luna was getting super excited and kept saying, "I want to get on the train!!" Then we finally boarded and off we went. It was just like the book. They had carolers on board singing songs and then when we got to the North Pole (the only disappointing part was that there was nothing to see there, the train just started going back the other direction) Santa boarded the train and walked through saying hello and passing out a Christmas Bell. He picked up Luna and she had this look of 'oh my gosh, I am being held by Santa" on her face! Even baby Belle got her own bell too. Belle had a full day herself and passed out in my Ergo. After we got off the train, they had us to go to the Hot Chocolate tent and Luna had her first cup of hot chocolate and loved it! We had to get back home, but next year we will plan on staying to walk around Main Street Grapevine- it was decorated for Christmas and had a lot of fun things to do. (Oh and the Sock Monkey you see they bought her on a recent trip to Indiana and Luna had to bring it on the train with her :)
Belle turned 6 months on the 23rd! She's half a year old and I can't believe it already. She is such a happy baby and loves to smile and laugh all the time. Especially with her sister Luna.
She is eating well, on rice cereal, some bananas and still breastfeeding. But sleep, that's another story. She slept great when she was colicky. But now still wakes up every 2 hours at night. So we had to Ferber her on her 6 month bday. We started at 7pm and she cried off and on until 1am!! We did the 3, then 5, 10 and 15 minute check ins and did 15 minutes each time after that. Much different than Luna's experience of 45 minutes and was cured that night! She never cried again and we put her down for naps and bedtime awake- but then again she was 9 months old when we did it.
We waited until Belle was 6 months because she was sick with a cough at 5 months and we had to work hard to first break her from her swaddle blanket, because if not, we would have to re-Ferber again once we broke the swaddle. But she has cried each time we put her down for naps and night time since we did Ferber and then still wakes up at night every 2 hours. The Dr. said she does need to eat once at night, but should go 5 hours and still needs her paci and not to break her from it or she will turn to her thumb.
So it's an ongoing process and I'm still tired every day from lack of sleep and chasing a toddler. But I know it will get better soon.
As far as Belle's stats, she is 15.6 pounds at 40% for weight; 26.5 inches at 70% for height. Right on track!
She's also rolling over back and forth a lot now, grabbing everything in sight and sitting up well but still needs to be watched because she falls over here and there. I feel like she is more advanced than Luna was at this age so it must be true that second borns are faster at things and learn from their siblings :)
She's my little peach and love playing with her and squeezing her little plump body! Happy 6 months Belle!
We went to get our Christmas tree today, hoping it will last through Christmas and not die. But I was super excited to start decorating and starting the Christmas holidays for Luna and Belle. It makes it much more fun :) The winning tree? A fraser fir! They are small and hold up ornaments well, much better than the Douglas Fir we got last year. In a few years I want to take the girls to a tree farm where you ride on the hay and cut down your own. I remember doing that as a child and loved it.
Elf on the Shelf came to our house this year!! I think I was more excited about it than Luna. We started it off on a real shelf so she gets the idea. She LOVES the movie and watches it at least every other day. And chose his name from the movie, Chippy. She wakes up every morning and loves looking for him.
This Thanksgiving was a special one, it was Belle's first one and my mom's family was all together for the first time in a long time (minus a few of my cousins). Since my grandfather passed away in June, my grandmother has moved here and this was her first holiday without my Popo. But with all of the family there (my uncles John, Jeff and Bud) AND Raul's daughter Mimi and her family and Bud's stepson Chris and his family, it made it super festive and fun. I think there was 25 of us at my mom's house!!
Mimi and Belle
4 Generations of Almond girls!
We gave Belle and Luna their first bath together and it was so cute! I can't wait until they can really take one together without the baby tub. Belle loves her sister sooo much and Luna wakes up every day asking to see 'Baby Belle' and we put her in her crib with her and she hugs on her.
In case you haven't heard, Luna's favorite movie and music is The Sound of Music. She sings Do a Deer every day, and loves the Goatherd song, the Cuckoo song, and Favorite Things. My dad and Sherry just got back from Germany and brought back some Dirndl dresses! She tried on each one, and the pink was will fit her next year, but looked soo cute!!
So I am a little behind on my posts. The holidays have been busy and my nights have been filled with finding the right Christmas card to send out (why do these companies make it impossible to find a good fit with your photo?) and planning my annual ornament exchange party.
Anyway, so after our fun Halloween weekend, we went to Austin for fun. We needed a break and needed to get out of town for a change of scenery and knew we wouldn't be going anywhere during the winter. We booked a room at the Embassy Suites so that we could put the girls to bed and then still have our own room to watch TV, such a great concept! And my mom was in town too for a wedding and volunteered to babysit so Todd and I could have a date night. We went to South Congress and ended up at the best Italian restaurant ever, Vespaio!! Yum! Check out the amazing food, I highly recommend eating there next time you are in Austin, butternut squash ravioli appetizer, Todd's baby cow dish, and my flounder- the flavors were sooo good!! Todd said it was the best meal he had ever eaten.
And South Congress has gotten even more busy than the last time we were in town! Austin has really grown. When I was in college, South Congress was not a place you went very often, unless you were going to eat at Magnolia Cafe or shop at Uncommon Objects :)
We also visited Todd's dad, Buelo Richard and went to Zilker Park the next day. The park is amazing, with a real fire truck, musical instruments, a balloon vendor and tons of stuff to climb on. I love Zilker but was disappointed the train was being repaired, Luna really wanted to ride it :(
Then we went to Guero's for lunch and met my mom and Raul there. It's changed so much from it's old little spot on Oltorf but still as good as ever.
After naps, we stopped by Haley and Grace's house, the girls I used to nanny for when Haley was 3 months old and she is now a Freshman in High School and Grace is in the 7th!!! I can't believe how much they have grown and their little sister Lottie is now in the 3rd grade.
Then we went to Hula Hut for dinner. I wanted Luna to see the water and the boats. Unfortunately Luna had such a busy day she was a little cranky but we still had a great dinner!
On Sunday we went to Mount Bonnell to hike to the top and then to Juan in the Million for breakfast with Buelo Richard, and our friends Scott and John before we headed back home. Seems like most of my visit had to do with food, but it's sooo good. Didn't help my post baby diet, no wonder I can't shake these last 8 pounds. We had a great time and can't wait to go back!
We started this blog about 'nothing' a couple of years ago, but now it has turned into a blog about our precious daughter Luna, born on May 13, 2010! And then we welcomed baby Belle, 2 years later on May 23rd, 2012.