Monday, January 25, 2010

Working for the Weekend(s)

The past two weekends have been busy and exciting. Last weekend, my dad's sisters threw Summer and Ryan their first wedding shower! It was just as great to see our extended family as it was to celebrate the almost Duffies! Summer is the baby cousin and the last of the girls to get married. Chad is the only cousin left... and he is quite a catch, ladies... if you're in the market ;) My Aunts have thrown a shower for each of the cousins and do such a great job.
This was the first shower to include a slew of children. They "helped" Summer and Ryan open their presents. Thankfully, patience with little ones is the biggest part of Summer's job five days a week.
Speaking of little ones, the tiny cousins had a "tea party" with cupcakes on the kitchen floor.
Here are all of the little ones with their great-grandparents, Grammy and Poppy. Cambell looooves Poppy, especially saying his name.
Here are the bride and groom with their parents. The Duffies are WONDERFUL and a great addition to the clan. Ryan's parents are generous, fun, and very loving. Graham and I always enjoy talking with them. They love Summer and she is so blessed to be marrying into their family!
We are team Wilkes/Cook/Duffie! The team is now complete!
Here we are at our own shower at the same house 4 years ago.
It was a wonderful afternoon of family!
Later on in the week, I found out one of my dearest friends from A&M was going to be coming through town. It wasn't exactly the weekend, but it sure felt like it. Tara and little Avadelle joined us for lunch at Chuy's and then we were able to have Mommy time while our little ones napped.
Cambell enjoyed getting to be the "big girl".
She especially loved getting to hold Avadelle in her lap. It was a totally impromptu trip and I love any chance to catch up with Tara and squeeze Avadelle's cheeks.
After my spontaneous visit with Tara, I got a text message calling for another spontaneous reunion of friends from A&M. It started with the Leichty girls coming just in time for lunch. After our little ones were fed and rested, Cambell and Hannah played together with a new found appreciation for one another. Cambell has never reacted to anyone with such affection before. She HAD to be hugging Hannah or sitting in her lap, all while wearing the most serious of faces. If Hannah moved across the room, Cambell would follow frantically wanting "Hennah hug" or "Hennah lap". I began to cry from laughing so hard, watching my daughter love her friend so much with such enthusiasm. Cambell's love translated a little violent at moments, but Hannah was a trooper and enjoyed the attention.
Sweet little Mary Kate "Cake Kate" was an independent woman and wanted no part of the love fest. She is one precious little thing, though. Plus, she is my birthday buddy :)
Lauren (McCurry) Scurry and Stephanie (Higgins) Cole, along with her little munchkins joined us and we all went to dinner. It was a little crazy with the kiddos outnumbering the adults, but so fun. We separated to go home, bathed the little ones, put them to bed, and then met back up after.When I think of my time at A&M, I think of these girls (and Tara, of course). Lauren and I lived together three years, one year in a room the size of a large closet in the TriDelt house. Maryanne may as well have lived with us. We finally got to live with her our senior year. Steph got married early, otherwise she would have lived with us, too :). We do not get to be all together enough anymore. It was completely wonderful and random to see them in between each others' baby showers. The trip was planned in 24 hours, and never would have happened if we had tried to pick a weekend months in advance. We sat on couches in the back room of Uncorked for FOUR hours. It was WONDERFUL and soooo needed. I miss them being a part of my daily routine. I can't understand how they still love me after knowing my every flaw. We did not get a picture together on Saturday, but here we are back in the day.
After saying goodbye to her new best friend on Sunday morning, Cambell got to attend a birthday party for some other big kids she loves. Hudson and Avery Anne turned SIX earlier this month, and they were sweet to add little Cambell to their guest list. She enjoyed pretending she was a big kid.
One of the moms took these pictures of Cambell. A mixture of over-stimulation and no sleep made for a difficult muse. Still, these are great pics.
We are already working for what's in store for next weekend :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rough Start

This week has gotten off to a ROUGH start. Cambell woke up in a seemingly happy mood. But after about 10 minutes at playgroup, the melting began. If she wasn't glued to my lap, she was at the gate to the stairs sobbing, "go bye-bye". It was totally bizarre. I still do not know what was wrong. I gave up after 20 minutes and we left. The Starling girls left at the same time, and for 10 minutes I found serenity as Cambell and Piper walked hand in hand, giggling as they toddled. Piper has been out of town since before Christmas, so it was precious to see these little friends reunite. Cambell returned to her sorrow upon our arrival home, but I am trying to hold on to those ten sweet minutes with a little friend...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Christmas, How I Miss Thee

I cannot believe Christmas has come and gone once again, as it does year after year. This year was a special Christmas as it was my first at my parents' house. They got to play the role of the grandparent this time. I already wrote a little on the latter portion of our Christmas Eve. After we came home from the candlelight service at Legacy, we ate soup and opened presents. The tradition in my family is to open most of the presents from each other on Christmas Eve, leaving a few gifts for Santa to bring the youngest generation Christmas morning. This Christmas was a first on many fronts. Along with this being Cambell's first Christmas at Lolli and Pop's, it was also the Wilkes' first Christmas as a whole. Ryan joined us, to complete our clan. We are so excited about Ryan officially joining our family in March! Summer and Ryan are wonderful complements to each other and I appreciate how this man takes such good care of my little sister.
Present opening time was of course enjoyable. Cambell was the center of the festivities. The ratio of her presents to those received by everyone else was about 10:1.
Dad got a Kindle! It was a surprise and a priceless revelation.
All those presents, and she finds the greatest entertainment from a box.
After all of the presents were opened, stories were read, songs were sung, and the little one put to bed, the grownups (minus Mimi and myself), braved the icy roads and delivered "Santa" to a family who would not have had presents otherwise. My mom had collected money, shopped for, and wrapped over $1,000 worth of presents for a family of 6. I am blessed by my Mom's example. The family was grateful and sent my family away with two huge tubs of the tastiest tamales, which we enjoyed in the following days after Christmas.

As previously mentioned, Graham built Cambell this crib for Christmas. We are clearly not pushing the whole Santa thing, because we up and told Cambell that her Daddy made her the crib in the same breath that Santa brought it to her. We had this laid out for her to find Christmas morning and were eager to introduce Cambell to Bitty Baby.
Unfortunately, Cambell did not handle the hype so well. We brought her in to the living room to find Pop with the video camera, Summer ready to photograph the moment, and everyone else eagerly waiting her reaction. All of the expectation, coupled with Cambell's aversion to mornings led to an overwhelmed little toddler. As I tried to show her the special new baby and crib, which I knew she would love, she bowed her back and threw the fit of the century. It took a while to get her to come down from it.
The crayons in her stocking seemed to be the medicine for her overstimulation. After resolving her feelings, Cambell found appreciation for her Bitty Baby and took on the job of "Mommy".
That is, until she decided it was HER turn to drink the "bobble".
Playing with some of her Christmas Eve loot. (A little out of control, I know-- Giving is Lolli's love language and we reap the benefits :) We are so thankful).
We savored our White Christmas. I can't believe Cambell experienced a White Christmas before turning two... in Texas! While intrigued by the snow at first, the excitement wore off quickly as her fingers did not appreciate the freezing form of precipitation. How cute are we? Since we were not equip with proper snow attire, we put baggies over her shoes and wrapped them with painters tape to keep her feet from soaking. It seemed to do the trick, until it snow got trapped in between the bag and her jeans!
It was a cold, beautiful, relaxing Christmas. We ate a pancake breakfast, played with Cambell, had a wonderful Christmas dinner (late lunch to be precise) prepared by my beautiful Mimi, played games, rested, and celebrated the lovely Kim Wilkes' birthday with red velvet cake. It was the ideal Christmas day.
We had a wonderful 2nd Chritmas with Cambell Grace! I am ready for next year already!

And may all your Christmases be white...