Happiest Christmas

We actually made it to Christmas Eve Mass. I rested all day so I could make it. It was beautiful to celebrate Christ's birth who loves us so irrationally that he would leave his Heavenly home to suffer in flesh to save us. I could understand his love a small splinter more by holding Christiana and loving her tremendously just for her own sake.

After Mass we had a Christmas Eve party over at the Niewald house with everyone home. There was food, wrapping paper, and children everywhere - a holly jolly Christmas.

Christmas morning we woke up and opened presents with Hilary and Tim. Nicholas loved his presents and was content to play with his toys all morning; he got puzzles, blocks, farm animals, and a xylaphone. We had a swell Christmas breakfast, long afternoon naps, and later, a big Christmas dinner with all the cousins and aunts and uncles.

Andrew and I couldn't be happier. It is always the simple things in life that bring about great joy. We watched Nicholas play with his toys, his little hands, his happy little self bopping around...holding Christiana in my arms just watching her sleep, kissing her soft cheeks and smelling her newborn smooth skin. Pure and simple happiness. Thank God for all our blessings.


How She Arrived

The Labor and Delivery...
I was busy checking off my "Christmas Pre-Baby To-Do"list all day last Friday. I skipped the nap to do some Holiday baking and cleaning. By the time Andrew came home at 5:30 I plopped on the couch to give my back a break. I suddenly had 3 contrations in a row. I thought, " Well three in a row is good - at least things are starting to get ready. I'm sure it's because I've been on my feet all afternoon and they'll let up in a little while". I was in denial. It was December 20th and my due date was not until December 28th. Apart from that, Nicholas came two days after his due date so I couldn't possibly go this early. I had all along dreamed to go in early though and have enough time before Christmas so I could arrive home just before Christmas with a new little baby. God heard my prayer. The contractions came every 5-8 mintutes all night. I still thought they'd stop so we went to the high school basketball game,came home, I wrapped some Christmas presents, packed a bag for Nicholas "just in case" and went to bed. I think I may have got about 20 minutes of sleep before I was waking up to stronger contractions and ones closer together. I still thought it was bizzarre, but I started to get a little nervous and anxious so I told Andrew we should go to the Hospital. We called Mechie over and left. We arrived to the hosiptal at 12:30 am. and by 6:04 a.m. Christiana Marie was born, all 6lbs. 10 1/2 oz. of her. We both were shocked and fell immediately in love.

After Birth...
Andrew went home to sleep for a few hours and then came back with a dozen roses, what a husband! He couldn't wait to bring Nicholas up to the hospital to see his new baby sister. He was so gentle with her, but was way more excited with the big pink balloon in the room. We had many other visitors that day, Mechie and the girls brought more roses so the room smelled wonderful. Another friend in town had her baby the same day so we got to visit for a bit their family as well.

A neat custom the local hospital does here is provide a steak dinner on your last night's stay. They wheeled into the room a circle table with red table cloth, candles, and sparkling grape juice ; ). It was such a kind gesture and awesome way to celebrate a new baby birth. Right before we sat down to eat, a large family was caroling to patients in the hospital. They came to our room and sang Silent Night and some other songs to us, and it was simply beautiful to listen to. It definitely captured the moment and so fitting for Christiana's Christmas birth.


THIS is my family.

So Skype is our new found family way to communicate lately. We did a Skype call while Joe was home for two days before getting sent to Ireland. The only person not able to be there was me - go figure, but with only a week with baby coming - the 7hr drive may have induced me to labor on the highway. Anyway - we did the call and everyone tried to get their head in to the computer camera. Wow I had a good laugh. I felt I was right there, I got to see and hear mom play Christmas carols on the piano, watch Gabe attempt to string lights on the tree,and see Paul and Gianna vying for camera time. Grace just sat and stared and it was so fun exchanging live conversation with Joe. Happy times.


Crunch Crunch

I knew it was coming...the stomach flew. Nicholas woke up in the middle of the night last night with it. Luckily I think it is a light version. He has been taking naps all day long. At about 5p.m. this evening he was munching on a rice cake and decided to lay down. He fell asleep with it in his mouth. About 40 minutes later, Andrew and I were eating a quiet dinner when we heard some crunching going on in the family room. He was still laying on the floor, his back toward us, and all we heard was munching. Apparently he woke up and just finished where he left off.


Getting Ready for Baby

We took the past weekend to rest and put up the baby cradle once again. Only this time around, we had a little helper. A little someone was all about doing whatever Dad did.


Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother's House We Went

Thanksgiving could not have been better. I am so thankful for my family. We crossed over the Missouri River into St. Louis to visit Nanna and Papa and all the aunts and uncles. There were basketball games, turkey carvings, the game family, Ange's big 21st Birthday (on the 27th!!), and lots of pictures of Nicholas and Grace.

Angela's 21st Bday Bash.

Dad carrying the Thanksgiving bird.

Nicholas stealing Aunt Grace's cookie.

Nicholas playing basketball with Papaw

Grace and Nicholas exploring the first snow of the season.