Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Grayson at Four Months

Today, I took Grayson in for his four month check up (a little late I guess) and he had grown leaps and bounds! To sum it up, he had grown 2 inches, gained 2 pounds, and grown 2 centimeters in head circumference. How's that for my big boy!

I made a little comparison chart to show the differences between Ella and Grayson at four months.





26 ½ inches

16 lbs. 6.8 oz.

90 - 75


25 inches

13 lbs. 11.2 oz.

75 - 50

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A New Kind of Christmas

Christmas 2010 was a new kind of Christmas for the Donovan's. Every year before, we have gone to all 4 Christmases in order to be with Kermie's immediate family, my immediate family, and both sides of my extended family. However, this year we knew all that hustle and bustle wasn't going to work for us. Was I going to miss it? Absolutely! Ever since I was a child I looked forward to visiting with cousins and other family members I didn't get to see all the time on Christmas. It was always such a fun time! But, would we (the four of us) get to set our own family traditions and relax on Christmas Day? I had hoped so!

So, here's the story of our new kind of Christmas 2010!

We started out Christmas Eve morning with Kermie's extended family. Ella and Ava enjoyed getting to open all their presents and spending time with one another. Grayson, as always, took in the sights and opened a few presents himself. As for the rest of us, we enjoyed time together and yummy food!

Later that evening, we headed back to Sadieville for Christmas Eve with my family. My sister had to work so we all waited on her to get back. Ella got to open her Barbie Jeep and Grayson opened some toys and clothes. We usually celebrate Jesus' birthday by singing and eating our cupcakes, but by the time 8:00 rolled around I started feeling a little under the weather. :( By the time we got home (10 minutes away), it had all gone downhill from there! My stomach was in knots and my entire night was spent running from the bedroom to the bathroom! I hadn't been that sick in years! "Mrs. Claus" was out of operation!

Needless to say, the next morning I wasn't a very exciting person. I barely remember watching the kids open their presents, but luckily Kermie took pictures and video for me to cherish! I spent the remainder of that day in bed and was only awake for about 2 hours. All of those fun, new traditions would have to wait until the day after Christmas! But, as for the kiddos... they enjoyed a fun Christmas Day with their daddy :)

The next day, we all woke up feeling great! We made breakfast, played with toys, did a little baking, built a Gingerbread House, and enjoyed a relaxing, blessed day together!

So, while this new kind of Christmas may not have gone exactly as I had planned, I feel so blessed to have spent it with the ones I love! I hope everyone of you had a very Merry Christmas as well!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Two Reasons Why I Am Thankful!

This morning, Ella and Grayson were laying in my bed watching Beauty and the Beast. Or, I guess Ella was watching the movie and Grayson was watching her watch the movie. :) I went to pick up the living room and when I returned this is what I found. Ella had put her brother to sleep. They love each other so much and I am so thankful that God blessed me with this wonderful moment!

Birthday Weekend Fun!

Every year since I can remember, I have loved having a Christmas birthday! This year was no different and maybe one of my favorite yet!

One of my favorite places to go during the Christmas season is the Gaylord Opryland Hotel! They always decorate so pretty and there is quite a bit of stuff for children to do there as well. However, being that it is super expensive to stay the night there, we have always stayed somewhere else... but we found out this year that teachers get discounts! Yes... good discounts! So I immediately told Kermie that there would be no gift giving, but that we would be spending the weekend in Nashville! Lynsie, Robert, and Emmie were wanting to go as well so we met there and were able to spend the weekend catching up with them. Emmie and Ella played together so well and really enjoyed each others company. And, as always, we enjoyed Lynsie and Robert's company as well.

Another plus to my birthday is getting to celebrate it with my mom! Her birthday is on the 18th and mine is on the 20th, so we always celebrate together. This year we ate at Cheddar's and enjoyed the food, drinks, and laughter! :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Giggle, Giggle

I captured what he likes to do best! :)

Trip to See Santa

Mom took Ella and Grayson to see Santa today. She also bought them matching outfits!! How cute! :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Holidays are Here!

Ella enjoyed putting up her tree. She didn't remember having a pink tree of her own so this was a huge surprise for her!

I had to buy new stockings this year as our previous three matched and Grayson has now joined the family. I was very excited to find these initial stockings at Kohl's for $4! I thought they were super cute.

I wish it wasn't "redneck" to keep your tree up year round because I sure would love to keep mine up!

November/December is definitely one of my favorite times of the year and yes, I already have Christmas music playing in my car. I've always been a sucker for any and all things Christmas and having kids just makes it so much more magical. Ella still isn't one to tell you what she wants, so buying for her is quite easy. We kept everything simple this year and bought very little. I dream of Ella and Grayson wanting to give more to others than receive and understanding that Jesus has given to us more than we should expect Him to. On a giving note, Ella chose to buy for a little girl her age this year through a church program, so she was able to fill a box and send it to hopefully brighten that little girl's day. It was hard for Ella to realize that she shouldn't have one of everything we put in the box and she was terribly concerned that we didn't know the name of the little girl. She ended up naming her Belle and really wanted to personally deliver her gifts. Here at the Donovan Household, we have all of our decorations up both inside and out and are very ready for Christmas to be here!

Kohl's was a mad house and the line was wrapped half way around the store. :)

Breakfast at Cracker Barrel before going home to crash!

Our first stop was Wal-Mart and to our surprise it was not crowded!

Now, while I didn't do much shopping this year I did make sure I had something to buy on Black Friday as it is one of my most favorite days of the year. Mom and I have a 10 + year tradition of Black Friday shopping and this is one tradition that I am not willing to give up! We don't necessarily go for the deals, but more for the experience. This year we headed out around 2 am and were finished by 8 am. I hope when we're old and gray we still like to shop!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Family Photos by Emily Faith Photography

Since we hadn't had a family photograph taken since May 2009, we thought what better time than now with the beautiful change of seasons and new addition to the family. I found Emily Faith through Facebook and immediately loved her work. She had mentioned taking pictures at Shaker Village so that is where we headed. It was probably the coldest day in October and we were all a tad tired and frozen, but despite it all the pictures turned out great. Emily does a great job capturing the personality of her subjects and is reasonably priced. I am all about buying the cd of photos so that having to choose a picture isn't a problem. Emily includes the sitting fee and cd price all together which allows you to make as many prints as you'd like! I can't wait to get ours printed! Here are a few from our session :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010


My great-grandmother Johnny used to sing this song to her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren when she rocked them to sleep. A generation later: My Nanny (mom's mom) also sang this song to her kids, grandchildren (including me), and great-grandchildren (including Ella) when she rocked them to sleep. A generation later: My mother sang this song to me and to Ella when she rocked us to sleep. A generation later: I sing this song to Ella and it is one of her favorite lullabyes. I never knew the origins to this song, but Kermie did a little research and found that it was a song from the WWI era. I thought this was so interesting and wanted to share it with you :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Airplanes, Subways, Cars... Oh My!

So, my spontaneous, car-flipping husband decided to sell his new car and buy an old one in Chicago last week. He and my pastor are into the whole car-flipping/money-saving thing and have both sold their own vehices in order to pay less and have the potential to flip them at some point. I was very excited about this for many reasons: 1. One less car payment. 2. Cheaper car insurance. 3. Teaching our children a valuable lesson about not having to have "nice" things. 4. A trip to one of my favorite cities... CHICAGO! 5. Ella getting the chance to fly in an airplane.

On the otherhand, I was not too excited about leaving behind my sweet Grayson! I tried and tried to talk Kermie into letting me take him, but being the rational one of the two of us, he finally convinced me that it would not be a pleasant trip. We were leaving late Friday night, would not get to our hotel until late, it would be cold, and we would be driving home.

Mom and dad dropped us off at the airport in Louisville around 5:30 or so and of course I boo-hooed as they pulled off. It's so hard to leave your kids, even if it is what is best for them! The three of us (Ella, Kermie, and myself) proceeded to check our bags and grab some dinner before our plane arrived. Ella loved every minute of the whole experience!

Here she is getting in her last minute call before boarding! :)

Ella could not wait to take off! She kept asking, "Are we flying yet?"

We finally landed in Chicago at 8:15 pm their time and hopped on the Blue Line. Did I mention it was 33 degrees when we landed and that it takes a good hour or so to ride the subway into town? Ella is a tad exhausted at this point, but was such a trooper!

The next morning we woke up and while Kermie went to square away his car deal, Ella and I headed to the American Girl store. We went ahead and made Miley an appointment to get her hair done and Kermie met us to watch her get pretty. Ella made her a shirt and bought her a new skirt. And, I can honestly say that I will never go back to that store this time of year again! It was insane!!

For lunch, we headed to Giordano's. They have super yummy pizza and this was Kermie's only request for the weekend!

I think the late travel made Ella a little grouchy on Saturday because there were quite a few moments like the one pictured here! It didn't help that I had promised her that we would swim (and the hotel did not have a pool---really??) and that when we got to the aquarium the wait to get in was an hour and 40 minutes!

She cheered up though and we headed to do a little shopping around. Being the photographer she is, she sat the camera up on a ledge and made us squat for this timed photo :)

After shopping, we headed to a playground where she enjoyed playing with a few other little girls who were waiting on their bus.

The next morning, we woke up early and headed to the Shedd Aquarium in order to bypass the horrible line. We had no wait and went right in!

This aquarium is one of my favorites for sure! Ella loved mimicing the penguins she saw and thought touching the sea stars was cool!

Here is our last family picture before heading back to Kentucky! I was super happy that the "new old" car made it safely back!

I captured a few videos of Ella's first flight! She was so excited in this one!