Magic Suit

I promise we change her clothes daily [believe me; girlfriend (as we call her) spits up on at least three outfits/day]. It's just that she looks so cute/funny in this one that it seems like she only has her picture taken wearing her Christmas Elf suit (Mil calles them sleepers, I call them suits, short for "jumpsuits".)

The first of many . . .

Grayson meets her cousin Avery and Avery meets her new favorite babydoll.


We love weekends

For the past few weeks Gray and I've gotten to go down to the curb market on Saturday mornings after Mil feeds and goes back to sleep. It doesn't get much better than a daddy/daughter day. Everybody tries to peek in the stroller and remarks about all the hair on "that baby." One vendor asked me (two weeks in a row): "what booth did you get that baby?" We go down, grab a coffee and cinnamon bun for dad and a scone for mom. Grayson gets to hold onto the scone (see picture) and I try to both a) not let Grayson fall asleep and b) not spill coffee on her head - neither one is an easy task by itself; doing both at once is nearly impossible. We go up and down the aisles and I tell her what things are (apples are easy, but try explaining fat back, goat cheese, and hand-painted gourds.) By the time we're through, she starts to fall asleep and we rush back home for a nap. Like I said, doesn't get much better.

Grayson picked out the paper whites.

One of the things Mil is trying to do to keep Christmastime less crazy (now that we have a babe) is to only do the traditions we really love. Making sugar cookies was near top on that list (since we got the lighted balls up.) So tonight we made up two sheets of cookies; I made Mil roll them extra thick so they're chewy. Grayson loved it - she was Quality Control sitting in her bouncy seat on the kitchen table.
Mmmmm. Grayson wonders if her milk will taste like sprinkles.

I guess another tradition (starting this year) is to dress up our kids in funny outfits. We sure do know how to have fun.

That might look like an ornament, but it's on her head.
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Babies, Babies, Babies!

Last week we went into Cary for Brad and Amy Boone's baby shower. They're expecting their first baby in February. It's a boy and everyone is already setting him up with Grayson; I told her she wasn't allowed to date any Boone boys until they're at least 27.

Brad and Amy Boone play craaaaaaazy baby shower games.

Lawson and his mama Karen, Millie and Grayson

I know Lawson's a thug; the rolled pant leg- is that sellin' or buyin'?

Grayson's got a great sense of humor - or she just pooted. Either way Dampa George and Grammashu love her.
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Lighted Balls in the News

There was a great piece on the news last night about the lighted balls; CLICK HERE to see it.

And, as always, go to www.lightedchristmasballs.blogspot.com for all your spherical exterior illumination needs.


11 Weeks Old

Grayson is 11 weeks old now and it's unbelievable how much she's changed. She's starting to notice people more. She still loves to watch ceiling fans, but has expanded her horizons to talking to them; Millie even says she caught her flirting with the fan in her bedroom.

She's eating well (holds my hand when I bottle feed here), and sleeping even better. In the last 4 or 5 days she's slept from 9pm (with a "dream feed" at 11pm) till 8am. She'll wake up here or there at 5 or 6 or 7, but has been putting herself back to sleep by sucking her thumb. We don't know how good we've got it.

And she's started posing for the camera more and more. Most of her poses involve a lowered eyebrow.

Girlfriend has finally found her thumb and won't let go!

Lighted Balls!!!!!!!!!

Your source for all your spherical exterior illumination informational needs: here



Millie and Grayson in their polka dots.

The whole family - (L to R) Emily, Seth, Ron, Mil, Justin, Grayson, Jon, Josh, Maya, Anne, Julia, Emily, Jon, Matthew, Ally, Karen, and Jeremy

Grayson and dad digest their Thanksgiving meals.
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With a new baby, I guess you spend much of your time experiencing lots of "firsts". It's pretty fun actually, even when things are challenging. Here are some firsts we've had in the last week...

First trip to Windy Gap and also first time meeting a bunch of our best friends. Mommy is fired for not taking pictures of everyone though. Grayson did really well. We got to stay at the new Blue Ridge building at camp (picture below of the common room overlooking camp), which is like staying in a $300/night bed and breakfast. It was wonderful (aside from packing, seriously, we took everything we own).

First shots...yikes...no pictures of this, but Justin did make me take a video on my phone of her bright pink bandaids and her crying. The grandparents were not so happy with that text message. I had to send a back up one once we got home with a picture of her already asleep. Grayson is officially 11lbs 6 oz (75th percentile) and 24.25 inches long (95th percentile! what did we expect with a 5'9" mommy and a 6'1" daddy?!)

First small group Thanksgiving dinner...notice Grayson's "I just got my shots today so I'm a bit drugged" look. This video of us trying to get the babies lined up for a picture is hysterical. Check out (right to left)...Anna Cate's obsession with Maddie's head and ears, Maddie trying to hug on Charlie, Charlie trying to hold down the fort with all of the ladies, Brooke just chillin', and again, Grayson's drugged, please put me to bed look..not to mention the flashing cameras. So funny. We're really thankful for this small group family of ours.

We're on to Thanksgiving tomorrow and Gray's first Christmas ball-making party at her grandparents house on Sunday. More to come on those events!


She's Her Father's Daughter

I taught Grayson this self defense tactic (you have to turn up your volume around 0:14 into it). Usually an attacker won't say "I'm gonna get youuu!" in such a cute motherly voice, but then again Philip Rivers wears a red jersey during practice so the defense knows not to tackle him - so I figured she's in good company.

Other pictures from today:

Kickin' It

Kickin' It On The Flip Side


Laundry Day

For the first 4.5 years of marriage, you could only do the laundry in our house if you had a master's degree. Funny enough, that changed once Grayson came along. I got the tutorial (again) and did 2 or 3 of our 7 (yes, 7) loads of laundry on Sunday.

As I was putting a new crib sheet on Grayson's mattress, Millie informed our little one of the newest benefit of living in our house, "Now Grayson, everyone gets clean sheets on the weekend." I told Gray that it didn't matter what she did; if she stayed out late and missed curfew, won 1st place in the science fair, or got a 'D' on a paper - nothing would change the fact that she got clean sheets on the weekend. Kinda like our Father's love for her.

Millie shows Grayson (and dad) that not all clothes can go in the dryer


What a Wiikend!

Saturday night Mil and I got my folks to babysit so Millie could take me out on a birthday date. We were all nervous thinking that Gray would be a pill. Well, Millie fed at 6pm; we were out the door by 7 and seated at Cafe Europa by 7:15. After the requisite Red Oak and Catalina Mussels (Mil had a salad) we went down to Cheesecakes by Alex and picked up a piece of Pecan Sweet Potato Cheesecake and two decaf coffees. We called my folks to check in (expecting the worst) and heard that Gray had slept the whole time and been nothing but a peach. They were about to feed her a bottle. I verbally lowered their expectations for the bottle feed and we went to get a $5 pumpkin from the HT. When we got back we learned that Gray ate (drank) more milk for them than she ever has for me. As Millie would call her: "What a little stinker!"

I woke up Sunday morning (my birthday) to find this:

Millie decided to decorate at the 4:30am feeding.

Grayson gave me the "I {heart} daddy" shirt pictured here. Don't you just want to eat her?

We had some friends over for brunch and pumpkin carving . . . and drilling.

Looks like we're getting ready for lighted-ball season

Millie, Susan, Mamaw, and my folks chipped in to get me a wii (and with the leftover $ I paid for Maggie's vet bill - not as much fun, but both were stress relievers.) Grayson took her first of many trips to Target to help up pick it out.

Me; note the topspin

And lastly, in an effort to wear more Halloween costumes/outfits than any 6 week old in the country . . . (please note the progression of happiness)


Crying, Smiling, and Rolling

Wow. What a week. Gray's been smiling all over the place; just not for the camera.

Grayson is still figuring out her schedule; she's gone as much as 6, 7, and 8 hours between feeds at night, and as little as an hour during the day. To which Mil and I said; "Girlfriend; seriously." We've handled it with lots of prayer . . . and 13 episodes of Heroes (season 1). We highly recommend it; what a show.

But not as good of a show as this one; Grayson's first rollover:

I don't mean to discount her accomplishment, but after the rollover I gave Gray a physics lesson. If you watch the replay and focus on the HUGE head, you'll see that Gravity should get a lot more credit than Grayson.

She loves her little mat that Mil's dad gave her (he didn't wrap it because, being so bright and busy, "it already looked wrapped"; a man after my own heart.) Cute kid, huh?

Again, training for "fan watching"; this time she's watching a monkey and a giraffe.

She's getting soooo big; weighing in at 10lbs even last Tuesday. I always tell Millie that she looks cute in "pinks and browns"; Grayson comes in a close second in her "pinks and browns" today.


The Farmer's Market and Hobbies

Funny Things Said at the Farmer's Market
The three of us went to the farmer's curb market this morning and this lady in her seventies stopped and exclaimed "Why, she's got more hair than me!" to which Grayson replied "Thank you, thank you very much."

So I like sports (mostly tennis, basketball and a little flag football when the weather is nice), Millie likes sewing (and any craft-time activity that would be Martha Stewart worthy ) and so we were wondering what hobby Grayson would pick up.

Well, apparently she has taken up competitive ceiling fan watching. This fan in particular:

Seriously people, she is glued to this fan. Gray and I had laid down the other night and I went over the finer points of competitive fan watching. Lesson one (as seen below): always keep a good, wide base.

You can see in this video that (as instructed) she keeps her eye on the fan at all times. It's funny how low our entertainment standards have fallen.

Please note her cute "Dad's Choice" outfit and please don't note my "Dad's Choice" bedhead.


"I wish I could own a Wii"

Ever wish you could own a Nintendo Wii but couldn't justify the high price and the burden of having it stare at you from the entertainment center 365 days a year even though you could only play it 1/4 to 1/5 of that time?????

Well, I've got the answer to your problems. I'm gathering interest for any of you wanting to get in on the ground floor on something HUGE.

A Nintendo Wii Timeshare.

I'm looking for 3-4 other opportunistic, entrepreneurial, like-minded individuals in the Greater Greensboro Area interested in enjoying the benefits of a Nintendo Wii at a fraction of the cost!

Contact me now because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Timeshare fractions are completely transferable and make great gifts.

I'll even accept gifts for my own portion of the timeshare for any of you who haven't finished birthday shopping (October 28th . . . I know you didn't forget, I just thought I'd say something).

{My used-car salesman tone might make you think I'm kidding. I assure you I'm not.}


Mmmm Mmmm Good

We've had a whole host of friends and family bringing us meals this week. My Uncle Jon, Cousin Emily, and Aunt Karen brought over some Beef Stroganoff and Salad (with Goat Cheese; a personal favorite of mine.) Jon thought it up and it was so good, I prompted Karen (the vegetarian) to request Tofu Stroganoff.

Whitney, Matt, and Ollie Hannam asked what our favorite take-out was and brought over a Large Italian Sausage and Cheese (no sauce) pizza from Elizabeth's and some store-bought cupcakes with 2 inch tall frosting (a personal favorite of Millie's).

Hotmomma (my mom) came over and fixed pasta (the kind that are the size of a think quarter) with pine nuts, white beans, parm, greens, and (optional) sun-dried tomatoes and garlic.

And then last night, after Gray gulped down her 'Dulce de Leche', Mil and I enjoyed a homemade delight from the kitchen of Jenni Hoggard:

Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, Buttery Delicious Asparagus, Chocolate Cake, and Beef Tenderloin with an Mushroom Au Something French sauce (I renamed it "Mushroom Au No You Didn't Sauce").

Best Part: the food was delicious.
Second Best Part: she walked it over to our house.
Third Best Part: she packed it in a 100% disposable container so I didn't have to remember who this dern casserole dish belonged to.

Wow. Not like we needed such great meals from all these folks (because anything is better than Cheerios - which might have been the alternative) but what a treat.

p.s. - included in this list was the turkey that Millie noted in a previous post. Friend Shirley Carr brought it over (along with a Chicken Pot Pie) and we had it for dinner and then lunches for a few days. Maggie must have heard us rave about it so much that she decided to take it out of the trash, hop up on the couch with it, and make sure it was cleaned to the bone. Waste not, want not.


It's Official - I won

My buddy Matt owns a sign company and make up signs for our neighborhood.

He made the 'Yard of the Month' and 'Property Improvement Awards' and decided to use his creative license (and the artwork) to make a 3rd more distinguished award:
Also: Gray downed her first attempt at a bottle.

Week 3 highlights of sweet Gray's life!

Week 3 highlights of sweet Gray's life!

Aunt Ali came for a week to visit...we had some great snuggle time and she was a BIG help to mommy and daddy. Ali also sewed me some ribbon burp cloths that are cute enough to sell in a store! My spit up never looked so good.
Aunt Kiki (Kristin) came to visit and brought me some fun pink Young Life gear (thank you)!I got to wear some of my new clothes (thanks MayMay and Peeps!)
Gramashu came to visit me too...she missed me and had to come to see how much I had changed in the last week. She also brought me some very fun gifts from her "grandma" baby shower at work. Thanks for everything! I visited Dr. Rubin and weighed in a 9lbs. 7 oz! He said I had "exceptional weight gain". I'd say so, since I gained 2 oz. a DAY in the last week! He told me I'd be a 53 lb. one year old if I kept gaining weight at this rate. Mommy and Daddy laughed. But I decided that big babies are cool, so I decided to hit a growth/appetite spurt for two straight days after the visit to Dr. Rubin. I wanted to be sure I stayed in that "exceptional" category. Feed me Mommy!Also this week, Peeps has been cleaning the windows at my house and making them nice and shiny. He sure is a good Peeps. I got to meet Aunt Karen, Uncle Jon & second cousin Emily. And while me, Mommy, and Daddy made a quick diaper run, my silly dog Maggie dragged a turkey carcass out of the trash and decided to eat it on our bright red couch! But I slept through the whole clean up ordeal. The last week sure has been busy and fun!