Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell 2013

This New Year's Eve, I rang in the eight o'clock hour with four crazy kids, some popcorn, and the Lorax. Some reading, some chocolate, and the end. Another trip around the sun.

2013 passed so fast. Mason grew from a tiny baby to a huge toddler. Iain started second grade and is reading like a champ, and all the time.. Laina left toddlerhood behind and is a tall, beautiful little girl. Cory is blooming and becoming so much more mature.

We're busy with home, school, church, life.

Our little family is sweetly becoming more…us. We have things. We hike. We read a lot of books. We have silly jokes and dance parties. We listen to a lot of 50s music (thanks, Iain), and we love the Chronicles of Narnia. We travel well together. We love Panda Express and Moes. There are memories being made and traditions being shared. And it's beautiful.

If it's half as good as the part we've known, here's hail! to the rest of the road.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Guest Post on the CAC Blog

This month, I guest posted on the Christian Adoption Consultants' blog, telling our adoption story. Check it out if you are interested! 

Jeremy and I discussed adoption before we were married. It was always something we knew we would do. We had the “adoption gene,” the desire to grow our family by asking God to place the lonely into it… Read more.

The Mason Edition

Sweet Mason. Jeremy calls him the magical baby, because he's so easy (in all areas but sleep!). He is happy, smiley, rarely fussy. He plays by himself or with his siblings. He grins when he meets your eyes, if he knows you. If he doesn't know you, he smiles and hides his face shyly. It's intoxicatingly cute. 

Mason is a constant reminder to our family of the goodness of God.

First picture of all four kids (Mason's on the phone):

 First picture with Daddy and Mama:

Mason through the months (that's the same M in the one month and twelve month pictures. See how much he's grown!)
one month

two months

three months

four months

five months

six months

seven months

eight months

nine months

ten months

eleven months

twelve months!

Then: six-and-a-half pounds tiny!
Now: twenty-four or so pounds huge

Then: loves formula
Now: loves formula, baby food, and baby oatmeal

Then: woke up even two hours or less
Now: wakes up once a night, but for a long time. Likes to clap randomly while Daddy's trying to put him back to sleep.

Mason said his first word in early November: bye! Said to the Shibleys as they left small group. He has six teeth--the top two being very recent additions. This poor boy teethes hard and long. He took two steps a week or so after his first birthday, and has taken one or two here and there since.

Current vocabulary: peek-a-boo (said "ahhhhhhhhhh, ba-ta-da!"), bye, come back (yes, it's so cute. Says it when Jeremy goes downstairs to work. Sometimes I say it too.), zipper (thanks to Grammy this Thanksgiving). 

He does this crazy crawl when he's being silly that involves raising his hands up high and smacking them down as he goes.

He claps. All the time.

He grins and scrunches up his eyes when he's being silly.

He has this awesome, deep belly laugh. I can always get it out of him by doing This Little Piggy.

He is happy, sweet, wonderful, amazing. He is, as Cory says, "a very charming baby." He is a blessing, and we are so thankful for our boy.

Mason is ONE!!

Mason is one! How is it even possible that the tiny, six pound baby we met last November is the big, jolly, laughing toddler who lights up our days? We are always, ever thankful for our sweet boy. More on him in the next post. Today: the big birthday!

We always make birthday banners for the birthday kid. Iain decided to fill in the A with m's in honor of the birthday boy.

Aunt Haylee couldn't make it to the party, so she gave Mason his gifts early: a football, a kickball, and a hat. As usual, she nailed the presents and he loved them.

The party theme: M is for Mason. I had taken pictures of Mason with a green wooden M every month since his first.

The guest list: the Whatleys, Nan, Mom, and us. (good thing we kept it small! He was a bit overwhelmed as it was.)

The food: cupcakes. Everyone enjoyed them except the birthday boy.

The game: write as many things as you can that start with M in three minutes. We tied with 43 things for each team.

Mason doesn't like to eat anything but baby food and baby oatmeal (and bottles, of course). He glared suspiciously at his cupcake. Then he scooped off some frosting and handed it to me. He scooped off more, and handed it to Nona. He tried a bit that I put in his mouth, and was not impressed.

(look at that face!!)

We lit a candle in honor of Mason's birth mother.

The Brannon Family traditional Last Day as A Not-One-Year-Old picture:

And on the actual birthday:
Happy Birthday Mason!

While We Were Gone...

My mom kept the kids for Jeremy and I while we went to an Acts29 Bootcamp in Raleigh. While we were gone, she, Nan, and Jenna (and family) took the kids to a jump place, had a camp fire, and roasted hotdogs. They had a blast, of course. And she got some great pictures!

(playing peek-a-boo)

(peeking under the baby gate)

 (my boys!!)

 (Aunt Jenna made oatmeal cookies in honor of the fact that Mason won't eat anything but baby food and baby oatmeal. As witness: the next picture.)