Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"Inaugural Babysitting-Swap:Date-Weekend"

A few weekends back, we took a trip to Stu and Becky's for the "Inaugural Babysitting-Swap: Date-Weekend." Neil and I got to go on our date on Friday night while our lovely brother and sister fed, bathed, bottled, jammied and put our little man to bed, all the while doing the same for their little lady! Stu and Becky had a lunch date on Saturday, and we watched Courtney and Iain while they napped and played! I think we got the easy job this time around! The rest of the weekend was filled with yummy winter cooking, good company, and lots of fun. We all agree; we should do it again soon! (That's why it's "inaugural"!)

Location one for our date: The Thai Spice

Yummy Thai egg-rolls!

Afterward, we went out for some dessert and sat and talked for a while, before heading home to find our little boy snug in bed. THANK YOU BABYSITTERS!

Neil and I had lots of fun babysitting Courtney!

She was a little cherub the entire time...playing with Sophie, eating her lunch, napping well...just look at that sweet little face!

Our little cherub, on the other hand, was NOT on his best behavior!
Good thing we like him anyway!

For Nana and Papa

This post is for Nana and Papa Pitman! Iain has really been enjoying his "Christmas toys" from you, and we captured some great photos of him playing. We will be sending these on via mail, but thought you might like a sneak preview! For the rest of the world, enjoy looking at our cute little man, hard at play!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First Christmas

Iain's first Christmas came and went in a whirlwind, with many of the fun moments and excitement that you would expect with "Baby's First Christmas", and also some unexpected twists, which make this one stand out in the memory books as a holiday season like no other. It really was a "first" for many things this Christmas, and I'm sure as we look back, we won't believe that ALL THAT happened in one year!

We had simple plans. It was the FIRST Christmas that all the Pitman crew was going to be together. Usually Stu and Becky spend Christmas in California with her family, and Ashlee and Graeme are in Wisconsin with hers...so this was super exciting! We'd all be in town for an entire week together, and there was lots of fun on the horizon. To make things even better, my parents were planning to stay with us for two long and glorious weeks and we had all sorts of home improvement projects, snackies, and relaxing on the agenda! Brett and Breha were also in town, so we were excited to have "Patterson Christmas" with them, AND even had super fun New Year's plans at the Victorian Mansion in Galena. We were really looking forward to staying at home for Christmas and New Years, and not traveling, since we'd been gone so often in the past few months. Just a simple, relaxing Christmas....that was our plan. Somehow...this didn't quite pan out! We had a really good Christmas together, and it was wonderful to be with our families, and to see Iain experience his first Christmas, but there was really no relaxing involved! Neil and I got the idea (for some CRAZY reason!) that it would be a good year to try "homemade Christmas". And while it was so much fun to make treasures for everyone, and it felt a LOT more personal and loving than just rushing out and buying something, and in some ways, a little LESS stressful than braving the busy stores...it was a lot of work! In the famous words of my dear husband..."I had a good Christmas, but it wasn't too relaxing. It was all just 'work in Santa's workshop'...and he was a slave driver!"Also, as a funny aside...Neil and I realized about two days before Christmas, that we were making each other the SAME Christmas gift! We were both frantically trying to secretly steal recipes from our very disorganized and stuffed cookbook, to make an awesome recipe compilation for the other person...and running out of time to complete it along with our other projects! Needless to say, we put that one on hold, and are going to make it together!

Our plans for not traveling got rearranged the very day my parents arrived. We got a call in the middle of the night that my Grandma Shedden had passed away, after 91 years of living for the Lord. While it wasn't totally unexpected, it was still hard to be missing her at such a busy and festive time of year, and it meant a VERY unexpected trip to Canada! So we traveled to Canada (very early) the day after Christmas, stopping half way in Michigan for ONE relaxing night at a hotel, complete with a delicious prime rib dinner, fun in the pool and hot tub, and hockey! Then it was straight to the funeral visitation, service, lunch, family meals and etc. It was a beautiful funeral, and a wonderful testimony of the lives she had touched and the legacy she left.

My parents had planned to drive back with us and spend another week or so together, through New Years and into January, however, in keeping with "Crazy Christmas 2009", my Grandpa Patterson also got VERY sick, and they were very worried he wouldn't pull through. At 94 years old, you don't take chances, so Mom and Dad decided that they'd better stay at home. In the end...they're probably glad they did. On our way back from Canada, Iain got sick with the stomach flu, and was sick ALL the way back to Iowa. Yep, 12 hours in the car, with a barfing baby. NOT FUN! He was sick for almost five days, and Neil and I caught it too....so if you're doing the math...that meant our New Year's Eve was spent wearing jammies , watching a movie in bed, eating soup and taking care of a sick boy. Truth be told, I was dozing by 10pm, and we were all asleep before midnight.

It was certainly a Christmas and New Year to remember. It was also a little bittersweet to remember all the anguish we were feeling a year ago, as we worried about our baby, and prepared for the worst, and hoped for the best. Bitter to recall the sorrow we felt, but mostly so sweet to see how the Lord has brought us through, and all the ways he has blessed in the past year. Once again, we are so thankful for all of you who have lifted us in prayer, and we really do covet them still, on behalf of our little boy.

Because everyone hates a blog post without pictures, here are a few from our past month or so. Praying for God's blessings on you in the upcoming year....!

Iain visiting "Santa" at Medline. He was not so sure!

Picking our Christmas tree!

Helping Daddy hang the ornament we bought last year (a snowman in pink and blue) for baby!

Some of our homemade wares...cookies for the neighbors and truffles for the family! "Santa slave-driver" also made hot sauce, beer, cider, salsa, chutney, t-shirts, tote bags, coasters, note-cards, wooden letters, CDs, bibs, taggie blankets, cookbooks, and a chalkboard! WHEW.

Iain, on Christmas eve, already excited! He totally knew SOMETHING was going on!

Cuddly Christmas Eve cousins!

....aaaand this is like 85% of their pictures!

Iain's "rocking moose" from Santa, and his awesome stocking made by Grandma Patterson!

Christmas morning!!

This picture sums up Iain's entire Christmas experience. He was SO EXCITED about everything! (even the oatmeal) He was literally "just like a kid on Christmas"!

Trying out the rocking moose...and getting the hang of it after a few tears. He loves it now...!

Ready for Christmas breakfast at the Pitmans

Iain's awesome Christmas dinner of sweet potatoes and peas. Poor guy! We all enjoyed fried turkey, ham, roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes, parsnips, carrots, turnip, brussel sprouts, cranberry salad, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, chocolate orange cheesecakes, and Christmas pudding. Courtney had cereal. Poor babies!
Neil and Beth, enjoying Christmas together!

Patterson Christmas with Brett and Breha finally happened January 2nd, without our parents, and at a coffee shop so they didn't catch any of the germs still lurking in our house! Iain LOVED his blocks from them!
This picture captures the childlike Christmas wonder.

It was replaced a moment later by a good thrashing for Mr. Sock Monkey

"He had it coming for a while....he's a shady character." -Iain Pitman