Saturday, August 29, 2015

Chandra's Baby Shower

My mom and I had a little baby shower for Chandra here at the house this past Wednesday. There were just 12 of us, including Mom, Chandra and me. We invited three others that couldn't come for various reasons, but had a good turnout overall. Our small gathering was perfect, though, because there was just enough room and it wasn't too loud or chaotic. My mom and I really don't like the silly games that people play at showers, so we just opted to have lunch and visit with our friends. Mom fixed chicken salad on croissants, and she made a yummy lemon cheesecake for dessert. We also had watermelon and veggies/dip.

After we ate, Chandra opened her gifts. People were very generous and she's got a lot of nice thingscute outfits, blankets, toys, diapers/wipes, baby gadgets, etc. Chandra is the one that usually takes pictures for me, but she obviously couldn't at the shower, since she was the guest of honor. I asked my friend Kellie to take pictures for me, and she obliged. Here are highlights of the shower, via pictures:
My mom, Chandra and I were all wearing similar shades of the same color, so we had to take a picture together. The next picture is of Chandra and her best friend, Michelle:
Chandra will be 39 weeks on Monday, so I wanted to get a last few pictures of her in all her pregnant glory, especially since she looked so pretty at the shower!
Quite the haul!
I cannot wait for Chan's little man to arrive!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Belly Rub

My younger sister Chandra is 9 months pregnant, and I always beg her to pose for pictures for me. I always say, "Please…It's for posterity's sake! You know your son is going to want to know what you looked like pregnant!" She always says, "Next time, when I have make up on," which is just her way of getting out of it! She doesn't think she looks that great, but I think she looks wonderful. She consented to pose for these pictures two weeks ago (when she was 35 weeks along):
I definitely understand about being picky about the way you look in pictures, because I'm probably one of the most picture-picky people I know, but even Chandra gives me a run for my money in this department, which is CRAZY, since she is one of the prettiest people I've ever seen.

Chandra hit the 37 week mark yesterday, so her baby will be here in a month or less. I'm really excited, and I can't wait to see what her little man looks like; I know he will be adorable! Chandra is excited to finally have a biological relative with her same DNA. This is something I've never thought about, until she mentioned the novelty of it soon after letting the word out that she was pregnant.

I know that most pregnant women don't like their bellies touched, but Chan lets me feel her belly and rubs my hand over it when she helps with my afternoon routine. Her belly feels so firm and interesting! It's the closest I'll ever get to knowing what a pregnant belly feels like. I always hope that I'll feel her baby give a little kick, but I haven't gotten that lucky yet.
The little guy is due on September 7—Labor Day!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Coffeys' Visit 2015

The last of our summer company left last Friday. My sister Annette and her family visited Saturday, July 25 through Friday, July 31. The visit flew by and seemed especially short this year since the past two years Annette and her kids have stayed for almost two weeks instead of five days. But now that she has 9 month old twins, it wouldn't be nearly so easy for her to drive all the way from New York by herself with all four kids like the past two years, since her husband only gets one week off of work at a time. I'll take whatever length visit I can get!

I was thrilled to finally be able to meet Annette's twins, Lincoln and Annika. I've seen plenty of pictures of the babies, and I see them nearly every week when my sister and I Skype, but it's obviously not the same as seeing them up close and personal. Annika sat on my lap long enough for a few pictures and wasn't too wiggly.
I made sure to have my sister Chandra take a picture of my mom and me with Annette's family when she was over visiting (Chan didn't want to be in the pictures). I liked how baby Lincoln was looking up at my mom in the second picture. 

Here's a picture of the entire family. Not the greatest picture of the older kids, but we only got about 10 pictures, and then the camera's battery died. Plus, it was really hot and humid, and one of the older kids wasn't cooperating very well. My sister had to use the camera's self-timer and a tripod to take the pictures, too. Not the best conditions for taking a family picture, so with all of that factored in, it didn't turn out too badly!
We played a lot of games during our visit, including a new one my mom bought called Link-O. It's fun and easy enough for kids to understand. It's a lot like Dominos.
I'm so glad I was finally able to meet the babies. They are pretty cute! I especially love Annika's red hair. Here are a couple of collages I made with some of my favorite pictures of the twins from this year:
Back row (L to R): Rebecah (5) and Kimball (8...in a few weeks)
Front (L to R): Annika and Lincoln
Rebecah was my little buddy. She has sure grown up in the past couple of years (especially since the visit I wrote about in this post two years ago). She and I watched Maleficent together. I love that movie. I didn't spend quite as much time with Kimball this year, probably because his dad was here keeping him occupied the entire time. Annette and Joseph also took their kids to the Science Center and the Museum of Transportation, and Joseph took the two oldest to visit his brother, and then they went out to a water park afterwards. 

We had a great time laughing, talking and playing together, and I can't wait for another visit next year!

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Leighs' Summer Visit 2015

My sister Sharon and her family visited the first 10 days this month, and they left last Friday. It's always great to see them, and we had a lot of fun hanging out together. Here's a recap of their visit:

My friend Kellie took some family pictures for Sharon's family. I love the bright color scheme of their outfits. I'll just post two of the ones that I thought were fun/cute:
I didn't have an official homemade birthday dinner and dessert on my actual birthday, since I wanted to get Chinese food. Plus, I knew that my mom was going to be making a lot of desserts since my sister Miriam's family was coming the day after my birthday. We celebrated three birthdays with their family, as well as Father's Day, and I didn't want there to be a lot of my birthday dessert leftover, so I decided to hold off. I had an unofficial birthday dinner a few weeks late...chicken salad on croissants and broccoli salad; two of my favorite thingsyum!

For dessert my mom tried a new ice cream recipe that was really easy, and it didn't even require a special ice cream freezer. You can mix in any kind of candy, like chocolate chips, M&Ms, or Reese's. My mom did mini chocolate chips in the first batch she made. When she made it again for my belated birthday dinner, I requested toffee bits. My sister Sharon made her deep-dish brownies. I'd never had them before, and they were SO good! I was in ecstasy with every bite. They were warm and had the richest chocolatey flavor, and were THE best brownies I've ever had! The first night I was so excited to dig in to my brownie and ice cream that I forgot to have my sister take a picture until I was halfway through it. I got a second crack at getting a picture the next night.
My nieces and nephew played in the inflatable pool my sister bought a few years ago. They spent two long afternoons playing outside in the water and came in worn out! By the time we got pictures on the second afternoon, only Rachel and Matt were left outside, and they were both busily bailing the water out of the pool.
Mom, Sharon and Chandra in their red, white and blue on the Fourth of July, and then Sharon and me in our matching shirts:
I wasn't able to get a picture with all of us together like I was hoping, but here are the two best group shots I could get. (My favorite thing about these pics is Emily, slumped over asleep on the couch behind us. She was so tired!):
Spencer, Elizabeth and Sarah playing the game Pay Day, and Emi building with Legos:
It's hard to believe how old Elizabeth and Kate are getting! They're a lot of fun:
One morning Sharon's family took a trip to the Museum of Transportation. I didn't go with them because I had some things to do, and I wasn't sure if it would even be accessible. I happily perused the pictures they took when they got back, though! They had a great time, and there was a lot for the kids to see and explore. Here are a few of the best pictures:
It was another great visit with family. Now my mom and I have two weeks to recoup before my sister Annette and her family visit from New York. It's going to be a busy two weeks for us with lots of appointments and places to go, so I hope they go quickly!
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