Saturday, December 26, 2009

rAndom pictures

Elaine & Andrea 
Gypsy doesn’t know what to think about Elaine.  When Elaine was crying (early) this morning during a diaper change Gypsy came running from the next room to check out the strange sound!

The hat is so appropriate for my dad, whom we refer to as “The Grinch” around this time of year.  It says, "Bah Humbug!”

Elaine has been so fascinated with Lucky (the deer) on the wall.  Here Ben held her up for a closer look!

Kenny & Elaine
We finally got Uncle Kenny to hold Elaine.  Both Kenny & Wes have been reluctant to hold her because they “don’t do babies.”  I’m not sure that Elaine does Uncles!

Gypsy, Grandpa, and Lainey

Generational and Paul Family Pictures

Here are some pictures from Christmas Eve at my Grandparents’ house.  This was the first time my mom’s family had met Elaine, and she was the center of attention!  I enjoyed getting some generational photos. 

Christmas Eve
Elaine with Great-Grandma Paul

'Christmas Eve
The Paul Generations – Andrea, Great-Grandma & Grandpa/MaryLou & Don Paul, Elaine, and Sherry/Grandma Godby

Christmas Eve
The Paul Women – Andrea, MaryLou, Elaine, and Sherry

Christmas Eve
My dad’s normal position on Christmas Eve – this pose has become a tradition!

Christmas EveMy Uncle Scott with Elaine.  She fell asleep and enjoyed most of the evening in his lap!

Merry Christmas!

We hope that everyone is enjoying this special holiday as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!  Ben, Elaine, and I flew into Denver on Christmas Eve to spend Christmas with my parents and brothers.  Elaine did very well on both flights.  She slept straight through our flight from Norfolk to Baltimore, and though she was awake for most of the flight to Denver, she hardly made a peep!  Grandma and Grandpa were waiting and already fighting over who would get to hold her first.  (Grandma won :-)

We went to my grandparents' house on Christmas Eve with my mom's side of the family.  My Grandparents had a special treat as their son Nathan called from Indonesia.  It was a nice Christmas present for them.  My Grandma did something very neat with her gifts to the grandkids.  She told us how her daddy (who died when she was nine) used to her and her siblings to look at Christmas lights on Christmas.  When they got home there was always a gift waiting - an apple, an orange, and some candy.  So Grandma gave us the same thing this year - an apple, an orange, and some candy (with a gift card too).  I thought it was special and neat for her to do that.

Since Christmas Eve at (Andrea's) Grandma & Grandpa's is always late, we enjoyed sleeping in on Christmas late as Elaine would allow...eight o'clock.  There are so many new things here for Elaine!  She enjoyed nursing by the fire because it was nice and warm.  She had Gypsy greet her with a sniff and a lick, and she loves staring at Grandpa's deer on the wall!  (Maybe she will be a great white hunter after all!)  I almost felt like a childless mother because Elaine just went back and forth from Grandma's arms to Grandpa's chest and slept most of the day!  Ben and I even went to bed without her!

We enjoyed the "magic" of a White Christmas - not just because there was already snow on the ground from a previous storm, but because we had a fresh blanket of lovely white snow cover everything again.  And Dad said that it has only snowed on Christmas Day twelve times in the last 120 years.  It was the perfect way to wrap up a wonderful holiday.

There are pictures coming, but I am borrowing a camera and a computer on this trip and I have no idea how to get my pictures uploaded yet.  And to finish this post I will leave you with an interesting fact.  Wesley got an iTouch for Christmas and he learned this through one of his applications.  Did you know...JFK was buried without his brain because it was lost during the autopsy?  I couldn't stop laughing!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

We had Snow!

That’s right.  Here in Virginia Beach.  Snow.  Enough to coat the car.  Big enough flakes so that you could tell it was snowing.  Elaine was all geared up to see snow for the first time when we go to Colorado for Christmas.  But she was able to see it tonight…here in Virginia Beach!

PICT0016Andrea & Elaine in front of the car so that you can tell we had snow


First Snow Elaine 6 Weeks Elaine got all bundled up in her snowsuit and hat & scarf to go outside and see the snow.  Andrea won the customized hat & scarf set in a blog giveaway.  Aren’t they cute?

Elaine in Camo

Three guesses who this jacket came from…


That’s right – Grandpa Godby!

Three possibilities why Elaine is unhappy:

1.  She misses her Grandpa
2.  She is too young to go hunting
3.  She lost her paci
You decide!

I just couldn’t get a happy picture.

“Okay Grandpa.  I guess I can wait a few years to go hunting.”

DSBC Teens Play Pit

Here’s a video from our teen Christmas party.  The teens played Taboo, then several very loud rounds of Pit.  They really get into this game!  We have seven teens, and it is an eight player game.  Ben was the eighth and I sat out to take care of Elaine.  So…I got to take video.  Here are the teens in action:"

Saturday, December 19, 2009

DSBC Teens

We hosted a Christmas Party for the teens in our youth group.  We had a fun night.  Here they are:


Hannah Stowe, Melissa Hafner, Kayla Russell, Kayla Hafner, Ben, Zach Russell, Josh Dietrich, Arron Dietrich

Sometimes they get a little crazy…


Elaine Talkin’

Elaine is feeling much better!  She was even up to making a movie!  She just wanted to say “Hi” to Grandma & Grandpa Godby and Grandma & Grampa Hamilton!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wordless Wednesday – Elaine is sick

I want to start a new “series” of blog posts.  Every Wednesday I will post a picture, and let it do the talking.  I was inspired with the idea from another blogger, Suburban Saving Mama.  This is the first one…

Elaine 1 Month - sick stuffy nose

Elaine 1 Month

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Another Elaine Video…with Daddy

Elaine was hungry and Mommy was finished her own supper, so Daddy improvised.  Take a look…

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Things I’ve Learned From Being a Mom

It has been just over five weeks since I went to thP014-LTPP0014104599JCP-15e hospital and gave birth to my precious Elaine.   It has been a learning experience packed with joy and special moments.  There are a few things that I have learned which I did not expect to be the case in this thing called “mothering.”

  1. For baby, it’s about the basics: sleep, food, and a clean diaper.  Everything else is superfluous. 
  2. Sleep for Mom is overrated.  I can still (sort of) function on a night that was short a few hours of my normal sleep time.
  3. Pacifiers are life-savers.  I had not intended to give Elaine a binky, but it has become my best friend.
  4. There are few things that are eternal.  God is eternal.  Life is eternal if you know Him as your Savior.  And the pile of laundry in my house is definitely eternal.  Just when I think it is all caught up, the dirty laundry fairy does something to make the pile reappear!  For a little person, Elaine generates the majority of laundry at this point.  Who would have thought that so many blankets and burp rags could get dirty in one day?  Or in five minutes?
  5. There are few things quite as wonderful as taking a nice nap with your newborn laying on your chest.  It’s a great thing!
  6. Cloth diapers are wonderful.  They save money in the budget and they are soft against Elaine’s skin.  Only a couple of times have I been grossed out when rinsing a diaper.
  7. Babies use a lot of wipes!  I thought I had enough baby wipes stockpiled to last me forever.  Not so.  They’re almost gone.  No kidding.  Maybe I need to learn something else as a mom…how to use fewer wipes!
  8. I can do almost anything with one hand while holding the baby in the other hand.  I reach the limit of my one-handed ability in washing dishes and ironing. 
  9. It’s okay to rely on Daddy.  I thought I would be able to do it all, but I have had to rely on Ben’s help more than I planned.  He has been absolutely great in stepping up and helping me, even when I have interrupted his studying for the millionth time in an hour.
  10. Whoever designed baby clothes with buttons – on the back – didn’t understand what is involved in dressing a baby.

It was all free!

It has been a while since I have posted a couponing/savings post.  That’s because I haven’t been couponing and shopping very much lately!  I stocked up the cupboards and freezer very well before Elaine’s arrival.  On top of that, we had two weeks of meals from the church, Thanksgiving at someone’s house, and the meals I had prepared and frozen.  This month we are attempting to clean out what is left in the freezer & pantry before starting our stock-pile again in January. 

While I have not been actively couponing, the coupons have continued to roll in.  And since it is the holiday season, the deals have been even better!  Here are some items that I got for free this week using the holiday coupons which are meant to draw you in and get you to spend more money…

I had four $5 off any purchase of $5 or more coupons for Hallmark.  I used them to get the Nativity ornament, winter votive holders, four Yankee Candle votives, and two birthday cards.  I had a $10 off any purchase coupon for Music & Arts which I used to purchase more music for my piano students.  And I had a $10 off of any $10 purchase for JC Penney.  They are having a big clearance sale, and I picked up a pair of jeans, a pair of pants, and two long sleeved onesies for Elaine.  I basically only paid tax on all of these items!

In the past I would have used those coupons to just save money off the item(s) I really wanted.  I am learning to purchase things that I can use, but yet are close to the dollar amount of my coupon so that I have very little out of pocket expense.

And speaking of saving money…God has been so good to provide the things that we need for Elaine.  She is overflowing with an abundance of clothing, and I have only purchased a package of onesies and a package of sleeping gowns.  People at church give us items every time we are there!  Elaine almost has a complete summer wardrobe through gifts and hand-me-downs.  We so appreciate the generosity of others and the good hand of God upon us to provide for our needs!

A Hamilton Christmas Picture

This is our family at the annual Christmas Banquet at our church.  Doesn’t Elaine look pretty?

Elaine’s “awake time” is usually between 6 and 11 p.m. (not the whole time, just in there somewhere).  She slept through the entire banquet – from 6 to 10 p.m.  Everyone loved her dress and commented on it.  She was the “belle of the ball” and didn’t even know it!  We were afraid she would be awake all night, but she slept through beautifully!

More Elaine…What else do I post about these days?

Do you like our new tree topper?

Elaine loves the lights on our tree.  Those are Daddy’s fingers…in case you couldn’t guess!

She’s almost there with her head…still needs to work on the side to side thing.  This is Elaine’s Bumbo seat to help develop good posture.

The pretty dress that Grandma Godby bought before we knew that Baby Hamilton was a girl!  Elaine wore it for the first time to our church’s Christmas banquet.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Elaine’s Funny Faces

While Ben was playing with Elaine last night I captured a couple of funny faces.

With her onesie stuck on her head…she looks like a pilgrim or something!

After getting a clean diaper…

Elaine & Daddy Vids

Here are some videos of Ben playing with Elaine last night.  Enjoy!


Pieces of Elaine

I took these pictures for a project, but I liked them and decided to share them with you.  I was inspired by an example at the portrait studio when Elaine had pictures taken.  There was a frame with about nine openings and different close up shots of the baby – some eyes, a hand, toes, etc.  The caption said “Pieces of Me.”  My mom pointed it out, and I thought I could make it myself with my own pictures.  It’s not quite the same in a blog, but the pictures are still great.

Elaine 4 weeks  Elaine 4 weeks face

Elaine 4 weeks square crop   Elaine 4 weeks hand  

Elaine 4 weeks mouth 


Pieces of Me!

Elaine is One Month Old!

Okay…she was one month old on Saturday.  I’ve been a little remiss in blogging lately.  Today is catch-up day now that the Christmas projects are completed and the cards are mailed.

Elaine 4 Weeks with Daddy

I wanted to finish the dishes, and Elaine was almost ready to fall asleep, so Daddy volunteered for baby duty.  Next thing I knew, they were both conked out on the couch!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

First Bath Video


Elaine’s First Bath

Since Elaine’s umbilical cord stump fell off on Thanksgiving, she was able to get a real bath for the first time.  We waited until Tuesday night so that Daddy could be on hand to take pictures.  He got some good ones!

“I think I like this…”
Please note – I am not supporting her head in this picture.  She is very independent in moving her head even when I am trying to support it!

“Maybe I don’t like this”

“I think I’m going to cry”

“Ahhh…I love getting my hair washed”

“Bath time isn’t so bad!” 
Does it get any better than this?  I love that face!  See the dimple, Grandma?

Elaine Week 3 First Sink Bath 
“Mommy didn’t comb my hair fast enough.  I look like I have a ‘fro”

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thank You!

Elaine Week 2 Thank You We just want to express our thanks and appreciation to all of you who have followed us on this blog, prayed for us during pregnancy & the arrival of Elaine, left comments, sent presents, and let us know that you love us.  We are truly blessed with a healthy, happy family, and lots of family and friends surrounding us.  We thank God for each one of you!

Ben, Andrea & Elaine

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

“Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!”
Psalm 107:8


We wish you all a wonderful holiday as you take time to enjoy family and the blessings of God upon your lives.


Ben, Andrea, & Elaine

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…

When Elaine was eight days old, we had newborn portraits taken at JC Penney.  Since Ben was home due to the coastal storm, we made it into a family photo shoot.  Here are my favorites… (used by permission).



This is not Ben’s favorite shot of the two of them because he dislikes serious pictures, but I think this one is so sweet!

How great is that smile?  They captured this picture just before it turned to a cry!



This little red outfit is the same one that I wore home from the hospital as a baby.  Mom found it and brought it to us, and it is the only one small enough to fit Elaine right now!