Sunday, November 14, 2010

One BIG Month...

Callie is about to turn 8 months old, and Josh and I cannot believe all of the "Firsts" Callie has had this month!

First time pulling herself up to sitting position.
First time Crawling.
First time pulling herself up standing position (see video below).
First time eating "hard" foods (puffs and yogurt bites).
First time waving.
First time experiencing "Stranger danger".
First time mimicking "A blah blah blah" sounds (see video below).
First snow fall/sitting in the snow/eating snow.
First time seeing her very own Christmas tree.
First time having 6 teeth in her mouth.

I feel like this list could go on and on...

Josh and I absolutely ADORE having Callie in our lives. She is such a joy to us and truly makes our hearts smile.

Below are some videos capturing her new "tricks", and some pictures with captions! We took her 8 month photos a couple days early! I know this is a Halloween costume, but this is what Callie is Thankful for this Thanksgiving, so cut us some slack :) :)

Daddy giving his snow angel some kisses!

Eating snow for the first time :) She didn't like it at first!

Callie sitting in snow for the first time!!
(This is the very little amount that we got in Austin. It melted that night)

This is one of my favorite pictures :)

Checking out the snow :)

The world's cutest jacket from Grandma Lynn :)
(I had to buy matching boots!!)

8 Month Photo Shoot!
"I'm Thankful for my Giraffes"


Such a cute little Giraffe!

Callie has a secret obsession with Giraffes!

Checking our her first Christmas Tree!!

Tis the Season

Growing up, Christmas was always one of my favorite holidays! I'll be honest, my mom can decorate the heck out of her house...especially at Christmas time! I was always amazed at the amount of boxes that came out of the cubby ever year. The family room would be FULL of Christmas decoration boxes!

The music would go on, we'd all gather around the tree (that she put up-we are an artificial family) and we'd put Christmas decorations on the tree together! I remember waiting until the end to put the fake candy canes on the tree! The real candy canes were housed ever so snuggly in the red Santa Boots :)

Everyone has their traditions at Christmas time! Heck, everyone has their traditions throughout the year for everything! Christmas traditions are those traditions that I have the fondest memories of!

Watching "Christmas Vacation" together as a family on Thanksgiving night (I know we all pretty much watch it still - even if we are at our own homes). Helping my dad put up the Christmas lights and coming in to a nice cup of hot chocolate! Listening to Christmas music then ENTIRE month of December (sorry Josh, I do believe this fault of mine stems from my mom and dad!). Eating all of the essential Christmas foods "Cookies, cookies and more cookies!!!" Carrying the wrapped Christmas presents downstairs as my mom would wrap them in her bedroom. We'd wait outside her door until the "next" gift was ready!!! We'd shake them the entire way downstairs too! I can honestly say to this day that I never once peeked at my presents! I knew exactly where my mom kept them too, and I NEVER snooped! I love surprises too much!

The one tradition that I love is the smallest one! A Christmas ornament! Every year, my mom would buy my sisters and I a Christmas ornament that symbolized who we were. Each year it changed too, because each year we grew up another year and change. I remember getting ornaments that were basketball or tennis themed, I remember my princess ornaments from when I was competing in pageants. I remember my "teaching" ornament after having my first teaching job! I could go on and on, but the fact is, I have all of those ornaments! Actually, I have all of them now, because I'm married and out of the my mom's Christmas tree is decorated "woodsy" to match her downstairs - it's beautiful!

When you get married, you have to work together to combine your individual traditions to create your own. I have learned this. I have learned that although there are things I do not want to give up, I also know that I am living my life with Josh now-so we are creating our own traditions.

One tradition that I am carrying over, is that of the "Christmas Ornament". Every year, I am going to buy my daughter her very own Christmas ornament that symbolizes where she is in her life! I thought about getting her the typical "Babie's first Christmas", but I wanted it to be something that showed who Callie really was...

Josh and I found the PERFECT ornament! Look carefully at our Christmas you see it?!!?!

Callie loves giraffes. We do not understand her fascination with them, but she lights up and gets all excited when she sees them. Maybe it is their coloring or their long necks. Whatever it is, she loves them.

Callie's perfect Christmas ornament for her very first Christmas is:
The Giraffe!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010


As I sit here tonight, watching Callie play with "Little People", laughing at herself as she puts the horse into the barn, only to have him fall over and out! I can't help but wonder what on earth her little mind is thinking!
Here I brought Callie downstairs to play with some toys for a little bit. I pulled out her "big girl" legos (the over sized legos for little fingers) and watched her bang them together. She would smile and chuckle at the sounds she was making. Then I pulled down her little bin of "Little People" to see what she would do with them. Now they are much different then I remember them being from my childhood, but they are small enough for her fingers, and big enough for her mouth (that is how I judge good toys for her right now!). She would bring the farmer into her mouth, laugh, smile and then move on to a different animal.

Josh had brought home his "Little People Farm" from his classroom, so out came the Clorox wipes...I started scrubbing it down. When I was finished, I let Callie play with it.

WHEN DID MY LITTLE GIRL GROW UP?? Here Callie was sitting on the floor in her "Play room" that we created for her, legs spread-reaching and playing with these "Little People". She was putting them in and out of the Farm House, laughing and knocking them around. I took a moment to myself to just sit back and watch her. My little (almost) 8 month old, playing independently...having the time of her life!

Josh and I were going through some of her toys this past weekend, and came across this musical bee. This used to hang in her "Play gym" and we'd turn it on so there was always music playing when she was laying there - helpless and "stuck". She wasn't crawling, rolling or moving...she just laid there - looking at these toys dangling in front of her. Josh made the comment "She used to love that bee when she was little." WHEN SHE WAS LITTLE?! WHAT???

SHE IS STILL LITTLE - She's only (almost) 8 months old...

It's amazing how much Callie has changed since we first brought her home. I'm trying to take it all in, to capture everything she does and every new adventure she comes across!

She started making this crazy "TSSS TSSS TSSS" noise! I'm not sure if she is trying to hissssss or what she's trying to do, but I LOVE IT! And waving - lets not forget about waving...the first person she waved to was my dad! He started waving to her, and up her arm went - waving to him :) Now she waves at it's her job or something! I think she is practicing her Miss America wave! Watch out Kathryn Knutilla - this girl might have you beat! And she can play her Alligator Xylophone like nobody else!!! And she writes her own music!!

She also started eating "chewable foods". We gave her these yogurt bites, which she loves. At first she wasn't so sure, but now she gets excited when you show her the bag. And she has been eating "puffs" - they are a Gerber snack for "Gerber Graduates!" Big girl...

I find myself looking at pictures of her when she was just a teeny tiny baby and look at this giant of a child that I have...she's crawling. No - correction, she is starting to pull herself up! Yes, Callie Lynae can get herself onto her knees and is reaching up and beginning the attempts at pulling herself up!

I knew that going back to work for me was going to be hard, which it still is (Thank you Jessica for making that transition for me so much easier); however, I had no idea how quickly Callie was going to grow up. I feel like I had a really good grasp of time when I was staying at home with her. I was able to see all of her daily changes, her daily routine, and cherish her fun, sassy personality (I swear she doesn't get the sass from me!) all while spending my days with her. Then the school year started, and I was patiently (okay impatiently) waiting everyday for the clock to strike 3:45 PM so I can leave to go get her from daycare. Then I'm waiting ever so patiently for the week to be over so I can have a weekend with my perfect little family...and then BAM - my weekend is over and we start the work week all over again. Because of this quick cycle, I'm not able to capture these moments like I used to. They are coming and going so quickly. No wonder everyone always says "They grow up so fast..."

My baby girl is now keeping a beat. She dances to Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies" - as if she is a single lady...HELLO, we have an arranged marriage for you Callie!!! Then she starts shaking her little hips to Lady Gaga's Bad it terrible of me to let her listen to this? I've decided no, since she likes the beat, and I love watching her little diaper butt move to the music!

Tonight, as I lean over Callie's crib (which has been lowered because she's becoming a big girl), watching her snuggle up with her blankie and giraffe (the blankie that Auntie Heidi made just for her and the giraffe that daddy bought for her in the store), I can't help but thank GOD for bringing me the most perfect daughter! How He knew that this precious gift was exactly what Josh and I needed to complete our family is far beyond me. Her delicate fingers weaved within her blanket (yes, big girl sleeping with a blanket now), her eyelids taking her off into a world of dreams that I can't even fathom. Her little toes poking out of her "footless" pajama's - I could just kiss each toe and then put her feet in my pocket and take them out to tickle!! I stay there, watching each breath come in and out of her - watching her chest rise and fall so peacefully. Her heart is beating so calmly, as if God is there beside her as she sleeps - hugging and protecting her throughout the night while Josh and I are asleep in the other room. That thought brings comfort to me throughout the night.

And then I end everyday with the same prayer - asking God to give us another day with our precious daughter. To love and protect her the way we were chosen to do so. To be a perfect family of day more, but for now 3 (4 including Kix - he is such a great sport around Callie!!!) Every thought brings tears to my eyes with the amount of love I have inside of me for my wonderful, supportive husband and our perfect daughter - I wouldn't change one thing about her...not one solid thing!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

I wanted to add more pictures, but our Internet was acting up and it kept denying my upload...that and I'm too tired to try for the 5th time.... You'll have to check out my Facebook pictures to see them all!

Where do I even begin?

On Friday, October 22nd, I drove to Mankato in the early morning. I was dressed in my new business suit - that looked amazing I might add - ready to defend my efolio! I wasn't nervous like I thought I would be; however, I had a feeling of "Holy crap, I'm almost done with my admin license".

I went into my interview and NAILED IT! Seriously - the principal that determined if I would pass or not kept referring to me as "Phenomenal!" It was such a great feeling to hear him say, "Congratulations, you've passed!" He also kept saying my whole name, "Cori McRae - WOW!" Seriously - that's what he said!

Josh took me to "The Crave" to celebrate my latest accomplishment! I officially have my Administrative License and can be a building principal! Now I just need to find a job :) Callie stayed with Grandpa Don & Sharon while Daddy and I went on a fancy date (bottle of wine and all at dinner)! She had such a fun time :)

Callie also had the opportunity to carve her VERY FIRST PUMPKIN!! She really enjoyed getting her fingers all full of pumpkin goop! We gave her some of her shape toys to determine which shapes she wanted cut out of her pumpkin! She came up with circle eyes and a square nose! I gave her a smile with two, very noticeable, bottom teeth!

Our Halloween Weekend was very exciting! It began with the Halloween Parade at school. Since I do not have a class this year (because of my position), I was able to carry Callie in the Halloween Parade! Josh was Mario, I was Princess Peach, and Callie was Toadette! It was pretty cute :) I did make Callie's hat - it was a lot harder than it looks. My mom was amazing - last minute she made my dress for me! I was struggling and frustrated (my efolio), and even though she had her pageant to organize and get ready for, she still found the time to help me! Thank you mom - everyone loved it and you are seriously AMAZING!

My Grandparents had a Birthday dinner for my mom the Friday of Halloween weekend, and we needed a sitter, so it worked PERFECTLY! I drove up, spend the evening with the fam, and went home-without Callie :( My mom and dad kept her for the weekend (lucky folks). It was right when Callie was just starting to crawl too, so I had a hard time saying goodbye :(
But, Josh and I were throwing a HUGE Halloween party at our house! We had 20 friends over, and seriously had a GREAT TIME! Here are a couple pictures from our party (more pictures are on Facebook).