Advent and Christmas traditions

A few weeks ago at my mom’s group meeting at our church, we discussed the advent and Christmas traditions in our families. Many of the moms have children older than Greta, so they have more established traditions. We don’t really have many traditions, especially for Christmas because we are always traveling, and our families celebrate the holidays quite differently. Many of the moms shared some good ideas and so I want to write them down so that maybe next year we can start some.

1. Most people have advent calendars and wreaths. We don’t have a special calendar, but I have found one that I like, but haven’t bought it yet. We also don’t have a wreath even though I have wanted one for years because we have a cat that likes to eat candles. Anyone know of an electric advent wreath?

2. A couple of people slowly prepare for Christmas throughout the advent season by putting the tree up one week, the lights on the tree the next, then ornaments and finally the angel/star on top on Christmas Eve.

3. One mom says that they write a giving list rather than a wishlist. This helps the kids focus more on what they are giving to others rather than on “I want, I want, I want.”

4. One of my favorite ideas was that first thing on Christmas morning, the family reads the Christmas story from the Bible. After that they do breakfast and gifts. Some families also get up and sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

5. Many people celebrate St. Nick’s day. Matt’s family has always done this and I hope we can make a bigger deal out of it in the future.

What kind of Advent or Christmas traditions do you have?

6 month addendum

So, I kind of rushed my 6 month post because I wanted to put something up, since it was already 2 weeks late, and silly me, forgot a bunch of things.

First, Greta made it 6 months with no illness! The doctor said most babies get sick 8-10 times a year (although most kids are also in daycare), I just hope she doesn’t get sick a lot now!

Twice this month Greta was told that her legs looked like ham hocks. The first time, we were at the grocery store and some man handing out samples said “that baby has some nice ham hocks for legs,” or something to that effect. Umm…am I supposed to say thanks? The second time was when we were getting on the plane for Thanksgiving. The gate agent said “those legs look like ham hocks.” Later as we were actually giving her our boarding passes she said “There’s the little ham hock.” Seriously people, she is my cute little baby. Yes, her legs are chubby, but that is cute! I’m sure they meant no harm, but still I can’t say that to a large person, can I?

Our little girl is quite curious. She wants to be into everything. If something is in your hand, she wants it in her mouth. While at the Philadelphia airport waiting for our flight to leave, I got a bottle of water. I put it in the diaper bag. Greta kept trying to get something in the diaper bag. I kept handing her toys and things for her to play with, but she would not stop trying to go in the diaper bag. Once I gave her the water bottle, she was happy. I thought babies were supposed to be easily distracted? Not this one!

Lastly, this month Greta started reaching her arms to be picked up. We absolutely love it. It is so sweet!

6 months

Greta turned 6 months old more than two weeks ago. Holy cow, does time fly. When did my baby get so big? We went to the doctor for her checkup and she weighs 20 lbs 1 oz and is 26 3/4 inches long. She currently wears mostly 12 month clothing. She has definitely slowed down on growing…from 2 to 4 months she gained 4 lbs and from 4 to 6 months she only gained 2.5 pounds, which is still plenty, but definitely a slow down.

junior scientist

This month has been a pretty busy and exciting month for little Greta. Sometime in the middle of the month she decided she was ready to try to roll from her belly to her back. She started by getting her leg in the air and tucking her head, but she kept her arm bent like a chicken wing and so couldn’t get over. We tried to show her that she needed to put her arm out straight and after a day or so of us showing her what to do, she got it and did it all on her own. Now she rolls on the floor and we should probably get busy with the baby proofing. She got herself stuck under the coffee table a few times and thought it was really funny. Greta has also really started trying to crawl. She can sometimes get her big hiney in the air for a few seconds, but not often. She is definitely swimming on the floor (moving arms and legs). She can move herself backwards and spin around in circles, but so far no forward motion. Greta can definitely sit up all on her own. She sometimes topples over if you don’t position her quite right, or when she decides to lunge for a toy, but she usually sits up for 20-30 minutes at a time with no problems. I think these days she likes sitting more than tummy time.

flames and firecrew

Greta makes lots of noise. She is definitely the noisiest baby at church. We often have to take her out because she is just so loud. Sure everyone loves cute little baby babbles, but you can hear her all over the entire church. I look around at the other kids her age and they are sitting there quietly. It isn’t like we can expect her to know when to be quiet just yet. Greta laughs a lot, especially at daddy. Daddy taught her a fun little trick. If you growl at her, she will growl back. It is pretty funny. I think I got a video of it, but I haven’t had time to convert any of the videos. One day there will be lots of videos posted.

This month she also started really snuggling. She rests her head and kind of snuggles in and she tries to give hugs. It is really just so sweet.


This month we went on two trips. First we went to Florida (Orlando and Tallahassee). She did well on the the trip and it was her first time traveling without Daddy. We also traveled to PA for Thanksgiving. While in PA, Greta started to have some separation anxiety. At the big family get together she wanted only mommy or daddy. In general she isn’t all that used to other people holding her, since we live far away from our families and we don’t have many friends who we see often, so I guess it is to be expected that she wants who she knows. We shall see how it goes next week when we head to Florida for Christmas. Greta also had her first trip to the park this month. She loved the swing. We would love to get an outdoor swing, but we have no place to hang it.

first trip to the park

Two things Greta loves are being outside and animals. She and Albert continue to get along. Many times Albert comes up to her and sits by her. She continues to pull his hair and most of the time he doesn’t seem to mind that much.



Sleep is still an issue. After our trip to FL and my 9-hour absence, sleep has been even worse. Greta used to go down in her crib between 7 and 8 and sleep for a predictable 45 minutes. Typically we could get her back to sleep for another 45 minutes or longer. When we returned from FL she refused to go down in the crib and usually after an hour or two of trying I would give up and head to bed with her. I’m hoping after the Christmas holiday (when we don’t have any travel plans for about 3 months) we will be able to work on sleep a little and get her sleeping longer and better.

Greta continues to be a very sweet and happy baby. She adores her Daddy and gives him huge smiles when he comes home from work.

all bundled up

first food

A week ago we started feeding Greta some food.  So far it hasn’t as smoothly as we had hoped. We started with rice cereal and then three days later gave her a little banana.  She doesn’t really seem to understand that she should chew and swallow. Today I made an attempt at sweet potatoes and she wouldn’t even open her mouth. I managed to get a couple of bits in her mouth, but most of it just came back out. I would love to hear how introducing food went for you. How old was your baby at the time? Did he just love it? or did She fight you for months?  Up next on the menu is pears.

first food

first food

belated thanksgiving

I’m quite behind on the blogging, hopefully I’ll be able to do a little catching up this week. First up, our Thanksgiving trip to PA. Our flights were on time and Greta slept most of the trip there. Greta had a good time playing with her cousins and they seemed to like her even more this time since she can actually interact with them. Here is a sampling of pictures.


first gift that she attempted to open