Sunday, December 20, 2009

Our Family Holiday Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! In the effort to force you all into reading our blog, I've decided to post our first online holiday newsletter!

2009 was a very exciting year for The Dufour Family. On July 3, we welcomed (our fourth and FINAL member) our son, Brendyn. Since I haven't blogged about him lately, I'll start with our youngest addition. Brendyn is currently 5 months old and he weighs 18 lbs 4 ounces and is wearing nine month clothing! His bottom two teeth are already showing and with the way he's drooling I am sure we're going to see more soon! His skill set includes rolling over from his back to his tummy and can even manage to roll around on the floor and is working on sitting up. This month he started eating baby food and of course he loves it! He had no problem eating off the spoon. The only problem we do have during feeding time is that I don't get the food in his mouth fast enough!

We often refer to Brendyn as our "mellow fellow." He is the most quiet and content baby and is alway so happy to be part of anything that we are doing so long as he has a full tummy. WIth a family full of talkers, Joey and I were initially worried that Kate would do all the talking for Brendyn, but we stopped worrying a couple of months ago! He found his voice and has no problem making noise when he wants our undivided attention. Last weekend, we all heard Brendyn's belly laugh for the first time. I'll post that video too. He's just precious and perfect and we love him so much!

This year was also a very busy year for Kate. Kate is now three-years-old. This summer, we enrolled her in her first dance class and this fall she played in the Happy Feet Soccer League. She was the youngest and only female player on her team. A future Mia Hamm, she had no problem keeping up with the 4 to 5-year-old boys! Kate is also enjoying pre-school. Currently, her class is working on the alphabet and learning the sounds that each letter makes. Joey and I are learning lots of new pre-school songs associated with the alphabet.

This year, I had an opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with Kate from February-June, when my employment was reduced from full-time to part-time. I got to "briefly" experience life as a stay at home mom. We enjoyed some mommy-daughter time; meeting up with some of my other mom friends and playing with our friends who we don't always get to see on a regular basis. Spending majority of 2009 pregnant, it became increasingly tougher to entertain a toddler all day long and as my belly grew, I had to throw out some of our daily activities like going to Monkey Joes and the park -- when it came time to wrap things up, Kate would find a way to climb to the top of the tallest playground equipment in the park and I'm sure the residents of Roswell enjoyed watching me -- a very pregnant woman-- climb up there after her.

Joey and I also spent some time teaching Kate's two-year-old Sunday school class earlier in the year and then we decided to take a break and rejoin our adult friends in our own Sunday School class. We also completed Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, which was also offered through our church. Joey and I both learned alot and are currently working on the baby steps 1, 2 & 3! I have an additional baby step to work on and that is breaking up with Starbucks. For some reason, I just can't bring myself to do it. :)

All kidding aside, we do feel very fortunate to have made it through a very difficult year. We count our blessings each day!

On behalf of the Dufour Family, I wish each of you a healthy, happy and prosperous 2010! We look forward to seeing you soon!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Potato Head"

Joey called me on my way home from work a couple of weeks ago after picking up Kate and Brendyn from daycare to tell me that Kate had blessed her baby brother with an affectionate nickname. As he paused, I thought how I couldn't wait to hear what she picked and was thinking it would be something really sweet...

So after a moment of silence, I said "soooo, what is it?" and he responded "POTATO HEAD".

In the car, Kate and Brendyn are side by side in the back seat of our Vue, and Kate sticks her head in Brendyn's face and shouts "POTATO HEAD" just like she were saying "PEEK A BOO"and pulls her head away so he can't see her and does it again. Brendyn gets the biggest smile on his face and coos back at his sister or lets out a baby laugh.

And so far the nickname is sticking because Brendyn doesn't have a lot of hair yet!

I can't wait to see what nickname's he'll come up with for his big sister...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

5 Reasons to be Thankful or 5 Things that Make Kate VERY VERY HAPPY!

We spent Thanksgiving this year at my parents house and after we finished our dinner, my mom informed us that she had an activity that she wanted ALL of us to participate in. She walks quickly into the kitchen and grabs a bag of Christmas M&M's and passes out five to me, Kate, Joey, my dad, my brother Matt, his girlfriend Bonnie and my mom.

She explained that we were to go around and take turns expressing 5 reasons that we are Thankful. So my mom started and looking at my dad, she says "I'm thankful for the love that we share," and pops the M&M in her mouth. My turn, "I'm thankful for Brendyn and the wonderful addition he's been to our family and for the quiet calm that he brings."

Now, it's Kate's turn, and the only thing she wants to do right now is eat her five M&M's so she can have more... So I turn to Kate and I tell her that in order to eat her M&M, she has to tell us one thing that she is thankful for, which resulted in a big blank stare. So I rephrase and I ask Kate to tell us something that makes her happy and first she raises her hand (side note: because we have many "talkers" in our family and we all tend to talk over one another, my dad instituted the raise your hand in order to talk at the dinner table, which is kinda hard for my brother and I as adults to still master) and my dad tells Kate to go ahead, and she responds, "I like Ariel, mermaids, and flowers." We all chuckle and praise her for doing a good job sharing."

So next Joey, my dad, Matt (who has consumed many beers playing golf and frying the Turkey with Joey realizes that this has the potential to get sappy - quickly lists his five reasons and throws all 5 M&M's in his mouth), Bonnie goes next then my mom starts round 2, then me and now back to Kate, who once again raises her hand, stands up in the chair and says "I like mermaids... and flowers... and Cooper... and Mommy and Daddy, Memaw, Grampa... Brendyn... Matt... Bonnie." So we say, "Thank you Kate" and she takes her M&M and sits down.

Rounds 3, 4 & 5 continue to become more and more heartfelt from the adults. While Kate continues to be happy about her mermaids and flowers. After we conclude, my dad manages to point out that in my the five reasons that I shared I didn't individually state that I was thankful for Kate, so now I'd like to publicly share my 5 reasons to be thankful.

1. I am thankful for Brendyn for being a wonderful and quiet addition to our family.
2. I am thankful for my wonderful family and for a loving and supportive husband.
3. I am thankful that Joey and I enrolled in Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University and for all the wonderful things that we've learned in that class and that we complete our baby steps so one day we may attain Financial peace.
4. I am thankful for our church and my Sunday School class and for the support and the social outlet that they give our family.
5. And most of all I am thankful for Kate, and her ability to make me laugh and almost every day.