December 31, 2008

Sick Baby :-(

Austin came down with a cough the other day and I thought it was just a reaction to the change in weather and dry air. So, I started up the humidifier and gave him some saline drops, but it continued to get worse. It's such a sad and pitiful thing to watch a baby cough and it almost brings me to tears everytime he does it.

Yesterday he started sneezing a lot and had some diarrhea and last night after his 4am feeding, he vomited and it scared me to death! Being the panicky new mom that I am, I called the doctor's office as soon as they opened and talked to a nurse about my sick little guy. She said it sounds like he's just got a cold and the mucus buildup is causing the vomiting and diarrhea. She said to use a humidifier and saline drops, which I've already done, and that there's really nothing else we can do but wait it out.

I feel so helpless and it hurts me that my baby is hurting. Luckily, however, he's still been the happy, content little guy he always is despite his illness! I imagine he caught the cold after being around so many people this Christmas so I plan on keeping him indoors for a few days until he gets to feeling better. I hate it, but I may have to go back to making people wash their hands before handling him again, especially during this cold and flu season. I just didn't realize how miserable it would make me to have a sick baby, more so than him I do believe!

December 27, 2008

A very special Christmas gift!




This Christmas Ryan went above and beyond when it came to my gifts. I didn't expect much after the gorgeous diamond earrings for my birthday...I mean how can it get better than that?! Well, Ryan was paying attention this year and did something so very special and unexpected.

Last weekend we were at my parents house and I was admiring my mom's Christmas tree and looking at all the ornaments I remembered from growing up. I started thinking of my Grandmother Elsie and how every Christmas she wore these gorgeous Towle silver medallions on a chain representing the 12 days of Christmas. Even though she has been gone for many years now, every Christmas I think of her and remember how she wore those beautiful medallions when she came to visit every Christmas.

I asked my mom where they were and she pointed out a few on her Christmas tree where they are now used as beautiful silver ornaments. She told me that my grandfather had given grandma 1 medallion each year until he died in 1980, but that they were split up between her and my uncle since she passed away.

These medallions represent one of the many wonderful memories I have of my grandmother and Ryan apparently saw that day how much it meant to me. He surprised me this Christmas with all 12 of the medallions in their original boxes dating back from 1971 until 1982. I was so shocked that I was speechless and all I could do was cry. He suggested we get a miniature tree and decorate it every Christmas with just these 12 special ornaments and then eventually pass them down to our children and grandchildren.

I am so grateful that he found them for me and I am so shocked and in awe of such a thoughtful and wonderful gift. This is one of those gifts that I will remember and treasure always.

Austin's 1st Christmas Pictures!

Daddy & Austin just waking up on Christmas morning!

Austin's gifts from Santa

Austin cuddling with Aunt Catherine



Austin playing with Grandma Susan



Ryan enjoying his mimosa!
Opening gifts

Me and my little buddy!


Sleeping on my Auntie!


Austin and Grandpa Gordon

"Over the river and through the woods, to Grandmama's house we go!"



Eating with Aunt Dianne

Trying to steal Grandpa's glasses



Playing with daddy!


Sleeping on Aunt Geri



Showing off my new Clemson shoes!!!


Headed home!



Grandma Jo Ann opening her presents!




Helping daddy open his gifts



After a relaxing bath



Ryan loves his new car flags!




Lucy watching the action



Austin is OUT! :)



December 26, 2008

Austin's 1st Christmas!

On Christmas morning, Ryan and I woke up about 7am and sat in the den in our PJ's, enjoyed some time together, and exchanged our Christmas presents to each other while Austin snoozed away in his crib, still sound asleep from the night before. He started to wake up an hour later and we got him from his crib and brought him into the den to show him what Santa had brought! After such a good night sleep, he was in a great mood so we gave him a quick diaper change and we fed and dressed him and got everyone ready for our trip to Columbia.

We left at 10am and got to Columbia a little after 11am. Grandma and Grandpa Banks and Aunt Catherine were there eagerly awaiting our arrival and greeted us with hugs and mimosas!! Santa came to visit me and Ryan, Austin and Catherine in Columbia this year and brought us all kinds of goodies including a very special monetary gift and the start of a Silver Eagle coin collection. We hung out and exchanged gifts until 1pm and just enjoyed our time together.

At 1 we packed up and drove to my Aunt Geraldine and Uncle Carroll's house in Cayce for Christmas lunch. Austin was sound asleep by this point but once again, woke up the moment we started to eat. Grandma Susan entertained him until Ryan and I finished our delicious plates and then we sat around and chatted while Austin visited with all of his family. Once again me and Ryan received some great gifts and Austin got some really cute things as well as the promise of a yearly savings bond in his name.

Late afternoon we packed up once again and headed back home to Greenville for Christmas dinner with Grandma Jo Ann. She arrived at our house with a fabulous dinner around 6:30 and for the third time Austin woke up right in the middle of dinner ready to get out of his carrier and eat too! After eating, Grandma Jo Ann fed him while Ryan and I cleaned up the kitchen and then we settled down in the den and got ready to open gifts. Unfortunately, Austin was in quite the mood and had a hard time settling down. I know he had a busy two days and I think all the excitement finally got to him. We stopped mid-present opening and I put him in the bath because he really loves his bath and it usually calms him down pretty well. After the bath he finally fell asleep in his swing but woke up several minutes later and still wasn't happy. He did calm down eventually though and we put him in his crib for the night. Christmas was over for our little guy around 10pm, but we stayed up and finished exchanging presents with Grandma Jo Ann until after 11.

Late Christmas night Ryan and I finally had a little much needed quiet time and just watched TV by the light of the Christmas tree and talked about our wonderful day. Although we were extremely exhausted, we were sad it was over. It wasn't long until I heard the sound of Ryan snoring away, so I gently woke him up and we climbed into our bed with Lucy snuggling in the middle, and quickly drifted off to sleep.

While Christmas was very busy for us this year, we really enjoyed spending time with all of our family and were so glad they all got to share a part in Austin's 1st Christmas. Even though he won't remember it, we will remember this special time for years to come and of course have TONS of pictures to document the holiday! We are truly blessed to have so many people that love and care about us and our family and although we were busy traveling from place to place this season, it just reminds us of this fact and makes us proud that so many people want to share such a special time with us all.

Overall, we had a VERY Merry Christmas and thank God for all He has given us!

Christmas Eve with the Harris'
















On Christmas Eve, the tradition is that we go over to Ryan's dad's house for dinner and celebrate with the Harris and Armstrong families. This year, Austin's 1 year old cousin Madilyn was there and provided much entertainment. It's so great that Austin is going to have so many cousins close to his own age to play with. We can't wait to see the two of them together next year!

Austin was greeted by a curious Madilyn who proceeded to say hello not so gently! :) She was very interested in him and always wanted to see the baby. We ate as soon as we got there and of course Austin woke from his nap the moment I picked up my fork to start eating. Luckily I have pretty much mastered the one handed eating thing. Of course it wasn't long before he was in the hands of everyone around and being passed from one person to the next!

By the time we started to open presents, Austin had fallen asleep and we put him down in Madilyn's crib for a little nap. He woke up about an hour later happy and content. He helped us open a few more presents and got lots of very cute things. We packed it up and headed home a little later and Austin zonked out in his crib for a 7 hour stretch!!! We knew he was exhausted from a long and exciting day but never thought we'd wake up before he did on Christmas morning! I'm quite sure this will change the older he gets! :)

December 23, 2008

Christmas Eve, Eve!











Today was a special day, not only because it's 2 days before Christmas, but because Nana, Farrah & McKenzie came to Greenville to visit with us and meet Austin for the first time! He really enjoyed spending time with everyone and getting so much love and attention. After everyone left he was exhausted and took a 4 hour nap!! Thus is the life of a baby...

December 20, 2008

Christmas with the Harris's - Part One

Today we went to Lexington to have Christmas with some of Ryan's family. Austin enjoyed seeing Grandma and Grandpa Harris, as always, and was excited to see his Aunt Martha again and meet for the first time his Uncle Dean, Uncle Marty and cousins Dennis, Joy, Robert, Michael and baby Lincoln!! We can already foresee the trouble Lincoln and Austin will get into by next Christmas but he'll be lucky to have a little cousin close to his age to play with!

Austin saying goodbye to his buddy Lincoln!

Daddy is SO comfy!

Smiling for Daddy!


Link playing peek-a-boo!


Me and my babydoll!

Lincoln and his new Christmas gift!


Austin meeting his cousin Joy!


Austin meeting Link for the first time!



Austin looking all 'GQ' on the way to Aunt Martha and Uncle Dean's!

Friday night

Friday night was Ryan's firm's Christmas party at the Westin downtown and since it was important that we attend, I asked my sister Catherine to come up and babysit for the evening! I wasn't nervous leaving Austin in her care, but I was nervous for Catherine because Austin has been a little temperamental lately! Luckily, she brought her friend Nick along to help out and keep her company.

Ryan and I were gone for about 3 hours and were anxious to get back to see our little guy and to hear how the night went. We walked in the door and Catherine was holding Austin and walking around with him and bouncing him in her arms. I could see the immediate look of relief come over her face and knew right away that it had been and interesting night!

Apparently Austin woke from his nap not 5 minutes after we left for the party and was awake and busy and a little fussy the entire time we were gone. The first thing she said to me was "I didn't realize how much work he would be!" and I couldn't help but laugh. I noticed that his pants weren't buttoned up all the way and thought she couldn't figure out his outfit (Ryan has trouble with this a lot too). However, she said that wasn't the case, but she was tired of buttoning him up since he would pee again almost immediately and she'd have to change another diaper! This made me laugh even harder and so I explained that we only change him about every 1-2 hours unless we start to smell something. Pampers are super absorbant!! :)

Anyway, Catherine did a great job and I hope this experience didn't sour her on babysitting ever again....but I have a feeling he was all the birth control she'll need for awhile!!

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