Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas....

Christmas 2008, originally uploaded by minnesotagrays.

...from Our Family to Yours!

Now off to Indiana...YAY!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All Boy

Thank You Great Grandpa Kenny

Thanks great grandpa, originally uploaded by minnesotagrays.

Christmas came early for Karterman!! Last week, his Great Grandpa Kenny sent him his first Radio Flyer wagon. Kristoffer put it together for him this weekend (his first of many gifts to assemble for Karter) and took him for a test drive around the living room. Karter was all smiles (and drool) as he rode in his wagon. He will be riding in style around Hampton this Spring. Thank you Great Grandpa!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snowy Day

Saturday was a very cold and snowy day. It was a good thing that we didn't have any plans, because we wouldn't have been able to go anywhere anyway. It was the perfect day for naps on the couch! We did venture out once during the storm so Rascal could run and play in the snow. We can honestly say that we have waist-deep snow....we may be using Karter's wasit to measure, but that is still waist-deep! We probably got 6-8 inches on top of the 2-4 that were already on the ground.

After playing in the snow, and getting our little guy warmed back up, Kristoffer and I decided to make doughnuts. We are trying to start our own family holiday traditions, and this one was a yummy one to start with!

Kristoffer takes his job of icing the doughnuts very seriously! He has had many years of practice icing doughnuts with his Grandma Lois.

I think his favorite part is just licking the icing off his fingers!
(Please ignore the open cabinets in the background!)

There is nothing better to warm you up on a cold winter day than a fresh doughnut and latte! It reminds me of all those winter days sledding at Grandma's and coming back in to warm up! Although, I don't recall her ever serving us lattes!

Friday, December 19, 2008

On Strike!

No cereal, mommy!, originally uploaded by minnesotagrays.

It has been an interesting week around here. After my flu shot on Tuesday, I started to get sick and have been every since. It is hard to keep up with Karter when I'm not feeling 100%. Besides me being sick, Karter has been on strike! He refuses to eat any of his cereal. I have tried everyday, three times a day, since Tuesday, and he will not open his mouth! I have even tried to mix squash, his favorite veggie, and he still wouldn't eat it. I'm sure it's just a phase, but hopefully he gets over it quickly.

This weekend is our last weekend in MN for the year. We will be celebrating Christmas tonight with our youth group by having a lock-in at the church. We are planning to play games at the church and then go bowling and play laser tag at the new center in town that is open until 2am. I'm sure Kristoffer and I will be ready to pass out by then, since we usually fall asleep around 9pm! Saturday will be spent sleeping to catch up on what we miss tonight, and Sunday we are having lunch with family friends after church.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Happy 6 Months!

Big boy!, originally uploaded by minnesotagrays.

Today our little man turns 6 months old! It is amazing how quickly time really does go by the older you get. It is hard to imagine our lives without Karter; he has brought so much joy into our lives. I am amazed everyday at how his personality is starting to come out more. He is, and always has been, a very mellow and happy baby. It still brings tears to my eyes to think about how much I love him, and I didn’t even know him 6 months ago!!

We had to go to the doctor today, and unfortunately that meant Karter had to get 4 shots and an oral vaccine. We both got flu shots today and I’m happy to say that I didn’t scream like he did when he got his! Going into the appointment, Kristoffer and I were guessing he weighed about 20lbs. We were off by just a little, he came in today at 19lbs 7oz (83%) and was 28 inches long (93%). Dr. McKenzie was very impressed with Karter’s growth and she couldn’t get over how well he was sitting up! He is developing right on track, hitting all of the milestones. He can…
• Roll over
• Sit-up without support
• Stand-up when held
• Play with his feet
• Laugh, squeal, loves to blow bubbles and do a fake cough to get attention
• Get upset when you take a toy away

Recently he has been eating 2 “solid” meals a day, with vegetables mixed with is dinner, and she recommended that we take it up to 3 meals a day. She also wants us to start introducing him to different fruits. He has really liked all the vegetables he has eaten so far, with squash being his favorite! He will swallow it as soon as it is put into his mouth and then sit there with his mouth wide open waiting for more!

I did get some disappointing news today though. I have been pumping milk for Karter for over 5 months now, and have built up quiet the freezer stash (almost 400 bags!). My goal was to stop pumping once we got back from Indiana in January, and I would have enough in the freezer to make it until his 1st birthday. Then, last month I noticed that most of the bags of milk had white spots on them. So, I thawed some out to test, and the milk stunk! There was no way I was going to feed it to him!! This, among other things, was on my list of questions for Dr. McKenzie. She said that the milk has gone bad, and that I should throw all of the milk away!! Not a big deal really, but it would have been nice to not have to pump everyday.

Anyway…Karter is doing great and will have to go back in 4 weeks for his second flu shot. Click here to check out some picture we took today.

Monday, December 15, 2008

New Toy!

IMG_4721, originally uploaded by minnesotagrays.

This morning I was woken up by a rustling sound and high pitched baby giggles! I peaked into Karter's room and found him chewing on the baby monitor. We have always kept it tucked into the corner of the crib, but now that he is rolling all over the crib at night, he has found that he has a new chew toy in his bed! After I saw him I quickly grabbed our camera to capture him in action. He saw me before I could get him chewing on it, but he gave me this "busted" look and started laughing. He is too funny!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Tale of Two Cuties

When I was pregnant with Karter, Kristoffer's mom sent us a package with a bunch of things from when Kristoffer was a baby. It had things like baby blankets people had made for him, the outfit he wore to his first Sunday at church (which Karter proudly wore to church when he was 6 days old!), Kristoffer's first baseball mitt and his first snowsuit. It is fun to have those kids of things around, even if only to get a picture of Karter with them. Here is a little comparison of the two cuties with Kristoffer's snowsuit...

This is my cutie of a husband at 5 weeks old wearing his snowsuit! (Car seats have sure changed a lot!)

And here is my cutie of a son wearing the same snowsuit at almost 6 months! Okay, so Karter is a little bigger than his daddy was, and I couldn't even zip the snowsuit all the way up, let alone get the hood up...and maybe he couldn't straighten his arms and legs out, but he is still a cutie!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Karterman Loves His Daddy!

Karter and I spend all day together. We play together and he helps me clean the house, but by the time 6:30pm comes around he is ready for some daddy time! When Kristoffer walks in the door, Karter gives him the BIGGEST smile and starts to giggle! Kristoffer always takes Karter into our room while he changes his clothes and I finish dinner. From the kitchen I can hear Karter telling his daddy all about our day! He loves his daddy time. There are some things that he can do with daddy that mommy just doesn't do! He are some of their favorites....

Daddy has built in toys! On Saturday mornings, Kristoffer wears his glasses around and Karter thinks they are the coolest thing. He loves to take them off of daddy's face and beat him with them! Hopefully he doesn't break them....

Karter likes to help daddy do things around the house.

He helps daddy play football!

He loves it when daddy blows on his belly!

Yep...Karter loves his daddy....and I think the feeling is mutual!!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lunch with Sherry

IMG_4650, originally uploaded by minnesotagrays.

Last Friday, Karter and I went out to lunch with our good friend Sherry. I met Sherry at work, and on my way up to her office I ran into some residents I used to work with. It was fun to be able to show off Karter! We ate at one of our favorite restaurants, Olive Garden! (Yes, Kristoffer I do eat at other restaurants!)
For a year, I saw Sherry almost everyday and got to hear all of her stories and vent about things going on in my own life. Now that we don't work together, we don't see each other as often, so it was great to catch up with one another. Sherry and her husband, Johann, are going the process of adoption. They are a very loving couple and are great with kids…they will make fantastic parents! Karter didn't have any problem cuddling up to Sherry, within minutes after this photo he was passed out in her arms!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Santa Came to Town

IMG_4664, originally uploaded by minnesotagrays.

This past Saturday, Santa Claus came to Little Oscars. We were excited to take Karter for his first visit with the Big Guy. Karter did really well, but we weren't able to get a smile from him!
It was a good thing that Karter is too young to really understand, because this Santa was not as good as the real thing. We hear the Mall of America has the real Santa, so we may have to go there next year!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Snow Day

What is this white stuff?, originally uploaded by minnesotagrays.

This week we got our first snow that is probably going to stick around for awhile. Kristoffer had to break out the snow shovel and salt to clear the driveway, while our neighbors all used their snow blowers. It seems everyone in Minnesota has a snow blower! Anyway...Yesterday afternoon mommy bundled Karter up for his first encounter with the snow! Being in his monkey suit he can't really sit down very well, but we did manage to capture one photo before he fell backwards! He was just looking around trying to figure out what all the white stuff was. The cutest part was when he would wave his arm around, that had been laying in the snow, and the snow would get all over his face. He would make such a confused face! Hope he gets used to the snow....MN has long winters!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Deck the Halls

Decorating for Christmas is always a family event in the Gray household. Last night, we enjoyed including Karter in on our family traditions. We have many ornaments that mean a lot to us: our first Christmas together ornament, one for the Indianapolis Colts, a couple Mommy-to-be one's, decoys and a lighthouse from NC and this year we added an ornament for Karter's first Christmas! Karter was fascinated by all of the shiny bulbs and was looking for an way to get them in his mouth! Daddy enjoyed teasing him a little!
In addition to decorating our house, we also helped our Church with the hanging of the greens last Sunday. Our Church always hangs Chrismons on their tree and this year we hung the butterfly. Sunday was also the start of Advent, and we were asked to light the first Advent candle. While Kristoffer was reading the passage, Karter decided he wanted to read too and started "talking". Of course, the whole church started to laugh.

Shortly after this picture, Karter discovered the tree behind him and started to grab for it. He fell back under the tree and stared up in amazement.

Of course we had to include Rascal in the festivities!

Hampton even decorates for Christmas! Okay, the star is up all year round....but it isn't turned on until the day after Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays from Hampton!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Oops...I Forgot a First!

IMG_4590, originally uploaded by minnesotagrays.

How could I have forgotten this one! Friday night, Karter sat in his first high chair in a restaurant. Since he isn't riding in his carrier anymore, he doesn't have a seat at a restaurant. We completely forgot about this last week when we went to Famous Dave's before the parade. Kristoffer wanted to try a high chair, but I was very hesitant. We tried it, and daddy was right (did you hear that Kristoffer, I admitted it!) Karter loved the highchair. It would have been perfect if he was a little taller or the table was a little shorter.

Some Karter Firsts

Karter is 5 1/2 months old now (really?!...where did the time go), and everyday he is getting stronger and more independent. Lately, he has had a lot of new firsts. A couple of weeks ago we bought him a new convertible car seat. He was out growing his carrier and was getting too heavy for mommy to lug into the stores. He is now riding in style and really likes his new seat. Well, we assume he likes it, he always falls asleep. He is definitely his mom's son, she always sleeps in the car too. Thankfully, not when she's driving!

He can also now sit up completely unsupported. This is very nice when we have to do other things and can just sit him on the floor with some toys. It also makes mommy alittle sad, because her baby isn't a baby-baby anymore.

Last Wednesday was Karter's first bath in the big boy tub! We knew it was time to move him out of the baby tub when he learned how to pull himself to a standing position while in the old tub. He thought it was hilarious, but it just about gave mom and dad a heart attack. Now, he gets his bath in the big tube and he loves it. He has special bath toys, so that means he has new things to chew on!

Another first for Karter this week was starting vegetables. We were going to wait until 6 months, but on Sunday we decided to give it a try. His first taste was of peas mixed with his cereal. Doesn't it look delicious!?

The jury is still out on whether or not he liked it! He made some pretty disgusted faces while eating it, but he would always open his mouth for more. He ended up eating about 3/4 of the bowl. Daddy kept telling him he didn't need to eat his peas, because he didn't like them either.

And who can forget this first! Karter's first snowsuit. Doesn't he look so warm and cute?

Complete with a tail in the back. What an adorable little monkey he is!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our Weekend of Giving Thanks: A Photo Essay

Wow...what a wonderful holiday we had with a houseful of Gray's! We have so much to be thankful for this year; with the birth of our first child, Kristoffer's job, our church plus so many other things God has blessed our family with. This year was special, because for the first time since we got married we were able to celebrate with our family on Thanksgiving. Enjoy the pictures as we relive our holiday....

The whole family arrived on Wednesday afternoon, and they couldn't wait to smooch on the little guy!

Thanksgiving started early, but Dana had every detail planned...Appetizers were served at 11 and the big meal at 2! Everyone helped with something; Emily made green bean casserole, Terry made her mom's dressing and Kamaron, Kyler & Zach cut up the vegetables.

Kim and Terry raised turkeys this year, and they brought us up one of the big guys for us to enjoy! It was so big, it barely fit into our roaster.

Needless to say we ate...

...and ate...

...and ate some more!

Friday night we went downtown Minneapolis for the annual Holidazzle Parade. The parade runs every Thursday-Saturday between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Friday was the first night for the parade and the streets were packed with people, who all began to cheer when the parade started.

This year, Target was the corporate sponsor for the parade and to kick-off the parade "Bullseye" was the Grand Marshall for the parade. It was pretty cool to see the hometown "celebrity"!

It was a beatiful night to be out for the parade, but we were still afraid that the Karterman would get cold. So, while Terry, Dana and Emily went shopping on Friday, his grandma picked him out this adorable snowsuit. We call it his "monkey suit", because the hood looks like a monkey face and there is even a tail sewn on the back!

Saturday afternoon, we decided to go bowling. All fall we had watched a new bowling alley being built in Burnsville, and we couldn't wait to bowl in a new bowling alley! However, it seemed that everyone in B-ville had the same idea, because the wait was over an hour for a lane. We weren't going to wait around for a lane so we went to an older place in town. There was only one lane available, so all 8 of us bowled on one lane.

Gray men are rather competitive at everything, so naturally bowling was a huge competition! Kamaron was the only one who didn't have to worry....he blew us all away. Kristoffer and Zach ended up both beating their wives by one point.

Everyone left early Sunday morning, and this is how Karter felt after everyone left ...worn out from playing too much!

Thank you for a great Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008


IMG_4548, originally uploaded by minnesotagrays.

This year we are hosting the Gray Family Thanksgiving. We are very excited about this, because it will be the first time that we are able to celebrate Thanksgiving with family since we moved to Minnesota.
After we plaaned the menu, Dana began trying out some of her recipes to make sure that they are perfect for the big day! The first one to be tested was pie. Kristoffer said he wanted a custard/cream pie. He used the words custard and cream interchangeably. So, when Dana's Grandma was visiting they made their first pie. Dana was impressed that her Grandma had her recipes memorized!! They made made her pie crust and cream pie. It was delicious, but not the pie Kristoffer had in mind when he wanted a custard/cream pie.
So the next week we had a custard pie. This one, not so delicious! It was basically a sweet egg bake...gross! After dinner that night we got out the Sulphur Springs Church's cookbook (an excellent book!) and looked for recipes. We found a recipe for Old-Fashion Cream Pie, and this sparked Kristoffer to do a little research. Turns out, this type of pie is called Hoosier Pie! Of course, all good things come from Indiana! The next day, Dana made a Hoosier Pie, and it was a winner! This is the one we will be serving for the big day.
Well, this is a long way of saying we have been eating A LOT of pie lately! We are willing to make that sacrifice to make sure things turn out great for Thanksgiving...haha!
Sorry about the terrible picture, we aren't food photographers.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Saturday Mornings

Everyone loves the weekend! At the Gray household we love Saturdays during the winter months, because we get to basically be lazy all day. As a stay at home mom, I particularly love the weekends, because Kristoffer is home with us. Here are my top three reasons for loving lazy Saturdays...

We get to play all morning in our pajamas! (Opps...forgot to fix the red-eye)

I get to watch the two loves of my life play!

Daddy helps with the feedings!