Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Baby's First: Boo at the Zoo

Pumpkins, penguins and a pretty little strawberry!

Anderson's first Halloween.
To celebrate Halloween this year our newly expanded family dressed up Anderson as a sweet strawberry and headed to the Scovill Zoo in Decatur for "Boo at the Zoo and Penguins Too!" Despite the cold weather, the event had huge crowds of people travel in town to check out the Halloween fun and see the new penguin display.

Even though our little strawberry is too little to enjoy the sweet treats given out at the Zoo, JC and I couldn’t pass them up and collected candy, and some other items, at the various treat stops throughout the Zoo. Candy, Halloween stickers and tattoos, glow sticks and spider jewelry were some of the prizes that kids, and adults, filled up their Halloween treat bags with as they walked along the pumpkin-carved paths.

Family picture!

New penguins at Scovill Zoo
Being a new Mommy, I loved seeing all of the kids dressed up in a variety of outfits. There were also many little faces filled with fascination when walking upon the penguin exhibit. The new zoo animals were beautiful and completely mesmerizing to watch swim through the water and waddle around their new habitat.

This year’s visit to Boo at the Zoo won’t be one that Miss Anderson will remember, but it will most definitely be one that her Dad and I will. This event has now become a Fall tradition for our family – and an event that I look forward to each Fall.

Being cute is hard work!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Life with our Fur Baby & New Baby

A month and a half has gone by with life as a family with a newborn.  We are all adjusting to the late night and early morning feedings and learning how to recognize what her cries are signaling.  These new changes in our lives have impacted all of us, including our three year old dog, Wrigley.

Introducing a baby to Wrigley was an event I was very nervous about.  We had read articles and gotten advice from friends about how to handle the first meeting.  After Anderson arrived, JC brought home a receiving blanket she had been swaddled in.  He let Wrigley sniff and play with the blanket for awhile to get used to the baby's smell. 

Then came the moment of truth: the day we brought home Anderson.  We brought her into the house and set her car seat down on the floor.  Wrigley was very excited to see us as we had been gone for a few days; however the new little person grabbed his attention.  He checked her out for a few seconds, then sniffed her -- and finally decided he was just happy to see JC and I.  He went back to wiggling and wanting us to love on him.  Since that day he has learned to co-exist with Anderson.

Wrigley checking out his brand new baby sister the first night home.
I know he has some feelings of jealousy toward Anderson.  He has destroyed one pacifier, a rubber ducky and a first aid item.  He will steal her burb rags and receiving blankets a couple times a day to get our attention.  When JC and I are both paying attention to the baby he gets very jealous, barking and trying to butt his way into the circle to steal the limelight. 

Wrigley also likes to steal the remote to grab our attention.
Wrigley also shows us that he does think Anderson is okay and doesn't mind having her in the family.  Whenever she cries he usually checks her out to make sure she is okay.  He will walk over to her and lick her on the head every once in awhile and he's pretty alert when someone new comes to visit and holds his sister. 

Loving on his new baby sister.
To show Wrigley that he is still loved and important to us JC and I have tried to make sure we still spend quality time with Wrigley.  We take him on our family walks, spoil him with some of his favorite treats from the Barkery and snuggle with him -- all things we used to do before Anderson arrived.  Even though the snuggles and walks aren't as long or as frequent as they used to be, I think he still is a happy puppy.

Despite the house ringing with loud, frequent dog barks and baby cries, our fur baby and our new baby are learning to co-exist and love one another.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Fall Tradition with our New Addition

Eight years ago, JC and I began our journey together on our first date at the Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur, Illinois.  Since then we've experienced moves, job changes, the addition of a puppy and now a baby.  Even though we've experienced many changes, one thing we always make sure to experience every fall is the Great Pumpkin Patch.

Great Pumpkin Patch, 2011.
Each year the Great Pumpkin Patch creates interesting new fall decorations with pumpkins, gourdes, bales of hay and plants.  Animals scurry around pens dotted throughout the grounds, and, of course, orange pumpkins cover acres of land.  Thousands of people travel to Arthur to take part in the fall fun at the Great Pumpkin Patch.

This year, one new person took part in the fall fun -- our new little girl, Anderson.  Since the Great Pumpkin Patch is so special to JC and I we wanted to make sure to take Anderson this year to celebrate our new, expanded family. 

Our family's first trip to the Great Pumpkin Patch.
Even though she slept through the majority of our visit, we still enjoyed looking at all of the fall displays and picking out pumpkins for carving. 

Our new little person has completely changed every aspect of our lives.  Because of this, I have a new-found appreciation for "family friendly" things.  Here are a few of those things at the Great Pumpkin Patch:

-Animals!  Anderson will be a "city" girl, unlike her Mom and Dad.  She won't have horses, or other animals, living across the street from her house.  Pigs, llamas, and chickens are just some of the farm animals that children get to see.
-Children have their own designated play areas with mazes, small trails and other displays to stimulate their interests.
-Food and drink!  Once Anderson starts eating adult food, she will be able to taste some fall treats that are especially good at the Great Pumpkin Patch.  Pumpkin ice cream and apple cider slushies' are just a few that will fulfill the sweet tooth.
-Sitting areas to rest and visit with family.
-Already picked pumpkins.
-Plenty of cut-out displays and other great photo locations to capture family memories.  Below is some pictures from a new display, "How Tall this Fall."  Miss Anderson doesn't measure up to much this year -- but I know next year will be another story. 

Sleeping through her measurements for "How Tall this Fall."

Happy Fall!