Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Slide Show

Well, after looking at all the great pics I had from Christmas I couldn't decide which ones to post. I found a way to do a slide show and thought that would be a great way to let everyone see our holiday!

Here are some of my top memories from Christmas 2008:
  • Taking Clayton to his great grandparents farm for the first time. I spent every Christmas in Galena as a child and I am so lucky to have had so many precious moments there with my family. I look forward to Clayton enjoying the farm as much as I have.
  • Justin getting to the farm early and surprising us on Christmas Eve!
  • Watching Clayton open his first Christmas presents. (We should all be so happy to tear paper!)
  • Going to lunch with all the ladies at Grants place. (Thanks Uncle David for babysitting Clayton, even though he was a little grumpy with you!)
  • Watching my grandmother read The Night Before Christmas to my son.
  • Seeing the look on Nana and Grandpa's face every time they see Clayton.
  • Clayton meeting Great Grandma Willy, his Great Aunt Lisa and his Super Uncle Dale.
  • Watching Keely run and "hunt" in the snowy fields.
  • Learning about the Titanic and how it was a large ship that sank! Thanks for the history lesson Aunt Barb!
  • Waking up with my husband, sister, son and dog on Christmas morning all in the same bedroom! (Anna warned Justin at our wedding that we would still need to sleep in the same room from time to time)
  • Having brunch with some girls from High School who I haven't seen in forever!
  • Having a whole week with my family!!!!!!! I miss you guys already!

We can't thank our families enough for making the holidays special for us and Clayton. In a year that has brought such joy and sadness, we truly do have a lot to be thankful for. We miss Jaxson so much and holidays like Christmas are very bittersweet.

We are looking forward to a low key New Years at home. We hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year!

Love The Murphys

(P.S. See more resent posts below)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Where did Christmas go?

It is hard to believe that Christmas is over and that the New Year is days away. We had such a wonderful time in Galesburg and Galena. Clayton and I went to Galesburg on the 21st and then up to Galena on the 22nd. The snow was beautiful, I miss that part of the winter season. It is amazing what 3 hours can do in regards to the weather. We mostly get ice in the St. Louis area. We got to see all of our family in Galena and Clayton was SPOILED! He had so much fun playing with everyone. Keely loved running around in the fields on the farm. She was one tired pup! I think she is still recovering. I am going to have to spread this over a couple of posts because there are so many pictures I want to post. Here are some SNOW pictures from my grandparents farm. It is hard to capture what a gorgeous place it is!

My Grandparent's barn on Christmas Eve as it snowed from the lane.

Yes, it looks like Justin and I are going to rob a bank! Keely loves her coat, we just need to get her some boots!

A snowy look at the farm

Classic picture of my mom sledding! (Mom, I am sure you were yelling shoot!)

Justin laying in his snow recliner after climbing the hill

Anna and David sledding

Another pic at the Farm

Grandpa's barn

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas at Grandma and Grandpa Braeuningers

We were able to celebrate an early Christmas with Justin's family the weekend of the 19th. Clayton's great grandparents all came and we had such a nice time seeing everyone. Clayton got a lot of great presents. Mommy was excited because she got a KitchenAid Stand Mixer!!! Daddy got his Taylorville Tornado football blanket!! Here are some good pictures of all the fun!

Clayton opening some of his first Christmas presents.

Clayton plays with his John Deere Gator that Grandma and Grandpa B got him.

Clayton drives his car at Grandma and Grandpa B's

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Graco makes very sturdy PacknPlays!

So, for all you moms out there, you can rest assured that if you have a Graco PacknPlay with the bassinet feature it is VERY STURDY! How do I know you ask? Because I found our 80 pound dog in it this morning! Yes, I heard her crying while I was in the kitchen and sure enough that is where I found her. I had to pick her up out of it because she was to big of a baby to jump out. Luckily, I had my phone to take a picture because I am not sure anyone would have believed me. (Marissa, has Boss been calling Keely and giving her ideas?) No, Nana and Grandpa, Clayton was not in the packnplay. He was fast asleep in his crib! :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Nana Comes to Play!

Clayton was so excited that Nana came on Saturday to play and was going to stay till Monday night! They did lots of "cooking" and "measuring". He loves when Nana reads to him too! He was sad Grandpa couldn't come, but knew he had to coach those guys that swim in the big bath tub! :) Clayton said that Grandpa doesn't have to share him on Sunday or Monday next week when we come to Galesburg! Hugs and Kisses Nana and Grandpa!

Clayton the "Thinker" with Nana's glasses

Nana is assisting in the Christmas Card photo shoot

Clayton plays with the new blocks that Nana and Grandpa got him

Clayton plays in the bathtub and eats his Starfish

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Misc. Pictures

The chaos of my life: Me talking on the phone, Keely chewing a bone in my lap (Yes, she is a 80 pound lap dog), Clayton has his dad's cell phone in the pocket of his pjs, and is typing on my computer.

Clayton and his sweet potatoes.

Clayton practices with his "beer mug". He wants to be ready for the beach next summer. :)

P.S. Another Post Below

The Bedtime Story of Clayton

So, this is the story about a little boy who used to sleep through the night and who now can't be swaddled because he rolls on his tummy and makes his parents nervous. Since he isn't swaddled he doesn't sleep through the night! Good story huh! :)

This is Clayton at 9:15pm

This is Clayton at 9:05pm

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The New Adventures of Clayton & Kate!

Clayton and I traveled to Raymond, IL yesterday to meet his new friend Kate! Megan, my best friend from college, and her husband Matt had a little girl last Sunday. She is absolutely beautiful! I have never seen so much hair! We had a great time visiting and I am sure she and Clayton will be best buds.

Megan and Kate!

Ok, horrible pic of me, but cute of Clayton and Kate.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Clayton's PJs

Clayton wanted to show off his big boy tractor pjs that Nana and Grandpa got him.

The True Meaning of the Holidays!

I know I am as guilty as anyone else at getting wrapped up in the gift giving and getting of the holidays. We run around going crazy and then it is all over before we can blink. I am happy to say that both Justin and I's families have decided to do something different this year. We are all giving everyone three charities that we would like to donate to. Then the people that have us can choose one and donate the dollar amount that they are comfortable with to one of these charities. We are also doing a $10 gift for the person we have so everyone has something to unwrap. This was a great idea we got from the Panthers!

There are so many other things you can do without even giving money. My cousin Karin and her husband volunteered over Thanksgiving at a place called David's House. This is a house that families can stay at when they have Children in the hospital. I am sure they put many smiles on the faces of people dealing with difficult situations.

Here is another great idea: I saw this on the Today show this morning and wanted to share. This is an awesome gift idea for someone in your office, a friend that is hard to by for or pretty much anyone. Kevin Bacon has started a organization called Six Degrees. You can buy a gift card for any denomination on their website. You then give this gift card to someone and they can go on the website and donate that money to any charity of their choice. I looked on the website and there are hundreds of thousands of different charities. What an awesome idea!!!!


Small things help too, put some change in the bucket for the Salvation Army when you go to the grocery store, take some time and go through your closet and find some things that you never wear and donate them to Goodwill. Shovel your neighbors sidewalk next time it snows. Scrape off the windows of the car next to you at work when you go home. I truly believe doing these small things will make you feel fulfilled when the holidays are over. Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving and Hello Winter!

We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with Justin's family this year. We went to his Aunt Carol's for lunch. She is a wonderful host! Anyone that can handle over 30 people year after year has to be a saint! Unfortunately, we had to cut our day short because Clayton was fussy and we were pretty sure he was running a fever. We came back home on Friday and made a doctor's appointment for the next day. Sure enough he has a sinus infection. :( The little guy is a trooper, but he just isn't his normal cheerful self. I was able to get all of our Christmas decorations up on Friday and Justin got our Christmas tree today. I can't believe Christmas is only a few weeks away! Clayton is looking forward to going to great grandma and grandpas farm this year. We woke up this morning with a couple of inches of snow on the ground. We were just excited to have snow and not ice, like they usually get in St. Louis. Well, the Bears game is on so I will cut this short. Hope everyone had a great week.

Shannon and I on Thanksgiving

Justin, Uncle Drake, soon to be Uncle Dave and Clayton on Thanksgiving. Notice the rosy cheeks!

Leslie got Clayton this adorable cow towel! He loves the tail!

Clayton couldn't go outside to enjoy his first snow, but he wore his "Let it Snow" outfit that Nana and Grandpa got him.

Keely was enjoying the snow. Notice we were up pretty early this morning, hence the darkness. :)

Clayton gets caught "sharing" his vegetables with Keely! (Hummm, wonder who taught him that?? Maybe Daddy or Uncle David???)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Deals, Coupons and FREE STUFF

Ok, so I know there are quite a few moms, wives etc. that check this blog. I had to share a site I heard about on the news down here. I will post the link at the bottom of this post. There is a mother here in St. Louis who used to be a social worker and is now a stay at home mom. She wanted to find ways to contribute financially to her family, so she started clipping coupons, finding rebates, asking for free stuff, etc. She decided to "pay it forward" by putting this all on a website. You don't have to live here in St. Louis to take advantage of a lot of the things she posts. She puts up the codes for the free red box movie at McDonald's you can get on Mondays. She has all the Black Friday ads, etc. I am already getting loads of coupons and got a free Medela bottle to use for pumping. I also found a website, restaurant.com. You can get $25 gift certificates to restaurants for as little as $3. You have to read the fine print because some of them can't be used on Fridays and Saturdays or can't be used on alcohol. I got some great deals though. I thought I would share since these days it can't hurt to save a few pennys! Enjoy!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Clayton eats his Avocado!

After Clayton's waiting period to make sure he didn't have a reaction to the rice cereal, we have moved on to the next food Avocados! I learned that some say humans could live on avocados as a sole source of nutrition! :) Does that mean we should eat more guacamole? YUMMY I don't know if Clayton could because he wasn't to excited with the first go around tonight. (Excuse the darkness and Justin's commentary! :)

I posted twice tonight so scroll down for more!

Big Sis and More Food!

Where has the week gone? I have been pretty good at keeping up on posts, but slacked this week! I apparently didn't take any pictures last weekend when we went to Champaign for the Illinois vs. Ohio State football game. Looking back it may have been a subconscious way to forget the whole game! :) Thank you grandpa for not rubbing it in too much that the Buckeyes beat us! Clayton and I had a great time hanging out with Great-Grandma in Aunt Anna's warm apartment, while Daddy, Grandpa, Nana, Aunt Anna, Uncle David and Great-Grandpa went to the game. On Sunday we went to Justin's grandparents to celebrate their birthdays. Clayton had a busy week this week with Physical Therapy on Thursday. Lori said he is doing great and should be sitting up and playing by him self by Christmas. Oh Boy, Mommy isn't sure she is ready for that! We have been able to hang out a lot this weekend. I did get our honeymoon photo album put together. :) Ok, so I was a little behind on that. We are going to the Bears vs. Rams football game tomorrow with Jen and Jason. If the Bears lose to the Rams I think we might have to change teams! I mean the Rams are soooo horrible.
So we have to mention that last week was Keely's first week of being able to be out of her kennel the whole day while we are at work. I know she loves that someone is home every day of the week except Mondays and Tuesdays. I felt horrible having her in the kennel on the other days even though Justin comes home for lunch. We had started leaving her out and letting her have run of the hallway and guest bedroom when we went on errands, etc. We worked up to letting her out the whole day and she did great! It is pretty funny though because in the morning she pushes the curtain to the side to watch you leave. Then when I get home and pull in the drive way before I can even open the garage, there she is looking out the window. Clayton is so proud of his big sis!

Clayton hanging out with his big sis!

Clayton eating his Avocado.

I took a picture of the house on a nice fall day. (Just in case we want to sell it sometime) :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Big Boy Food!

Clayton before food

Clayton eating his first bites.

Clayton after eating.

The doctors at Childrens gave us the ok for Clayton to start some food. He will be 7 months tomorrow, 5 1/2 months corrected age. We were so excited to feed him tonight we forgot a bib, so he got some food on his new PJs that Nana got for him. Tonight he ate some rice cereal. We will see how that goes for a couple of days and then start some other foods. I am going to be making his food, so Justin and I will be eating lots more fresh veggies here soon! Big thanks to Amanda for the Baby Super Foods book. I might not be a good cook for Justin and I, but I am going to be a baby food aficionado!
Check Below for some more posts from today and Sunday.

Trip to Childrens Hospital

Clayton and Blue sitting on the Peacock at Childrens.

Mommy and Clayton waiting for his eye exam.

Daddy and Clayton waiting for his doctors appt.

Clayton had his follow up at Childrens last Wednesday. We were able to see some of his fabulous nurses, his nurse practitioner and his doctor! (Clayton asked were Ali was) We miss them, but we are so glad we are at home. Clayton was a very good boy for his appointments. The doctors said he looked great and that we would come back in 6 more months to have another follow up.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

On the Road Again: To Tennessee

Clayton, Justin and I in front of the Distillery.

Anna, David, Justin, Clayton and I with Jack Daniels

The Distillery in Lynchburg

Clayton looks at Daddy's cake. He wants some soooo bad.

Clayton and Daddy on Justin's Birthday

Well, we are on our way home today. We surprised Justin for his birthday and went to Lynchburg, TN to go to the Jack Daniels distillery. We left on Friday, picked Anna and David up in Effingham and then traveled on to Nashville. We had such a great time. The fall colors were beautiful and the weather couldn't have been better on Saturday. (Especially since Great Grandma and Grandpa got snow this weekend) I think Justin and David were disappointed that Lynchburg is in a "dry county" so they didn't get to do any tastings. They made up for it at the Embassy Suites happy hour though. :) After not having had a drink going on 15 months, just sniffing the barrell of Jack was great to me! We hope that Anna and David will want to road trip with us again!

I need to get our Children's Hospital update up, those are on my camera and I don't have the cord so I will try to get them up tonight or tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Beautiful Fall Day!

Today was a beautiful fall day! I am thankful for everyday I have at home with Clayton, but days like this are super special. Keely, Clayton and I took a nice walk and I brought Clayton out to play in the leaves and with his first pumpkin from Grandma B. Clayton as with most things these days wanted to put them in his mouth! The Fall is Justin and I's favorite time of the year and we couldn't ask for a better one than we are having this year. Who would think it would be in the mid 70s on November 5th?

Children's Hospital Here We Come

Tomorrow we are headed to Children's Hospital for Clayton's follow-up appointment. It is hard to believe he will be 7 months old next week and hasn't been at Children's for almost 6 months. He has gained at least 8 pounds since we left and is turning into such a cute little man. We are so excited to see everyone. I will update everyone tomorrow on how things go.
I also wanted to put a couple misc. pictures up.

Clayton hanging out on Aunt Anna and Uncle David's couch!

This is how a typical day looks when I am home with Keely and Clayton. Nap time usually involves both of them on my lap. I had to do some tricky photography to snap this.