ho ho hope you had a happy one!

what a very merry christmas we had! there really is just something about kiddos that make you even more in the "spirit." the christmas eve candlelight service was so special & santa made his way to omie & poppys. liv's favorite gift was her shiny new radio flyer wagon. the family also got a "wii fit." too much fun..dutch and i are seriously sore from bowling, skiing and hula hooping all day long..at least we burned a few extra holiday calories. christmas 2008 was without a doubt..the best christmas the barretts have ever had.
hope you all had a happy one!


safety first!

in a home full of hardwoods..kneepads are a necessity!
no.. i promise we don't plan to wrap her in bubble wrap
on the first day of school.


merry christmas from dutch!

OK let me start by saying this is Dutch not Erin and by asking you to forgive all the spelling and grammatical mistakes you will see in this post and any future postings I do. Now, with that out of the way, I have decided to post a holiday thanks to everyone in my life, my own little Christmas card.
It starts with God. I want to thank him for all the fortunate things in my life ... my beautiful wife Erin, my PERFECT daughter Liv, a great job, and an overall blessed life. I find myself wondering how I got it so good... It is easy to get caught up in all the little things in life that can take focus off what is truly important, which are things like health. I am so thankful my family is in good health! I have a job that allows me to get surgery on my nose, of all things, to let me breath better. In my occupation, I see families every day that have to worry about how they are going to pay to take themselves or their loved one to the hospital. I do not have to worry about that. I can look as close as my own father to realize just how good I have it. He has lost an arm and is in constant pain everyday and to go along with all that he lives on about $800.00 a month, just think about that for a minute. I also have a dear friend that has a sick daughter, him and his wife know she is not going to live for very long, think about that for a moment. I can only pray for God to give him and his wife strength in this time and hope we can ALL take time to sit and reflect on just how good we all have it. I am not writing about this to make people who read it sad, I am writing this for you to take a look at your own life and give thanks to God for all the blessings he has given you.
I would also like to give thanks for our family and friends. I cannot imagine raising my daughter without family in the immediate area. I find myself lying in bed at night, so thankful that Liv has such a wonderful family in her life. Between Erin's mother, father, and brother along with my own mother, brothers and sisters, Liv has got a great circle of love around her. Erin's parents are only minutes away from us and they have been such a big help with Liv. Erin and I can rest easy when we are at work because we know Cindy is putting a SMACKDOWN of love on Liv and Ernie has been a great POPPY as well. I think having Cindy and Ernie in Liv's immediate area puts a calming feeling in my mothers heart. She knows how important grandparents are in a child's life. I know it breaks my mom's heart not to be here everyday with Liv, but at least she does know that Liv is always in good hands. I am also thankful that Erin and I have my brothers, sisters and Erin's cousins to model a family after, they have all raised wonderful children and we can learn a lot from them.
Last but certainly not least, our circle of friends. What did we do to deserve such great friends in our lives? From the friends I have made, marrying such a wonderful woman in TEXAS to the friends we have made here in Indy, and of course the best of friends Erin and I have in Minnesota our lives are truly blessed. I am blessed to be a part of all you and your own families lives in the future.
I also want you all to know that this is not a normal posting for me. In fact you will probably never see something like this from me again. It could be the pain medication I am on :), it could be the time I have on my hands for the next few weeks, it is probably the season, but I just wanted everyone to know that I am thankful for my life. Yes, this is gay, mushy, and all the other words my guy friends are saying right now, but ya know what, sometimes stuff like this just has to be said because who knows if you will be able to communicate this with people you care about. I am still a man.. I am currently watching Sports Center and thinking about how M. Jones-Drew got me 17 points in fantasy last night so ha. and I am going to be doing manly things like painting tables and hanging pictures later today, but for this one moment I am just thankful and I want everyone to know it. I mean just take a look at the blog entry below this and watch the video, Hilarious!
I LOVE YOU ALL and hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas! God Bless.


who needs sleep?

ok. so it's really cold here. i mean i could put on 90 pairs of socks and my feet refuse to get warm. well, this texas gal has quite the hard time with these loooooong indiana winters. i mean, yea the snow is pretty for a couple of days..but after that i need some sunshine! on the days i'm able to "stay home" with liv, i can never really "stay home." we have to get out of the house...even if its just to the grocery store. well today was a big day for me & liv. it was my day to "stay home" & i decided to check out what all this "gymboree play & music" stuff was about...and i thought it could brighten a dreary day. omg. i think i've found my new calling. i seriously want to teach these classes! liv had a blast and have to admit she was quite the social butterfly. as soon as we got there, she had nothing to do with her ole mom. she worked the room, crawling around to every other mom and kiddo introducing herself.

being new to this whole "mommy world", i was chatting it up with other sleep deprived ladies..and they proceed to tell me the best thing about these classes is that afterwards, the babes take the longest naps! YAY! perfect i thought! we leave gymboree and liv is still singing all the way home as i'm happily making the to-do list i'm about to conquer when i get home.. since i know she's about to take such a looong nap, right?
this is what went down instead...


things i've learned...

from my 8 month old..
  • smile at every person you make eye contact with
  • laugh at the simple things
  • take time to taste your food and enjoy it
  • a good nap can turn your day around
  • sometimes all you need is cuddletime
  • chubby hands are actually quite adorable




brrrrr.... we had our first real snow
& omie let me borrow her hat to keep my ears warm.


omie & mana & santa! oh my!

liv cuddled up in 3 of her favorite people's laps and whispered her wish list... her omie, her great mana and of course jolly ole st. nick! she refused to look at the camera while visiting santa..she STARED at him the entire time. her dad and i went and jumped in santa's lap too and told him all we want for christmas is a full night of sleep... we sure do just love our crack baby... speaking of which, i hear her singing in her crib right now...perfect.


just my size...

omg. check me out.
i'm sooo big...sittin all pretty in my new lil chair.


turkey day snooze..

we had a fantastic thanksgiving
with family, laughter, games and leftovers..
we had a total of 17 people gathered round the table..
and liv ended the day with saying, "da-da." too sweet.
God has blessed us so much & we have so much to be thankful for!


watch out world...here she comes!

not only did our baby girl crawl for the first time..
her proud parents got a video of it to share! enjoy!


7 months!

sweet lil liv. happy 7 month birthday! what joy you've brought to our lives! you laugh so hard you give us all an ab workout. you love all your vegetables. you think its funny to get your nose cleaned out with the "boogersucker." you can book it across a room like a champ. you are obsessed with blowing your lips together. your new best friend is your dog, mae. no, you STILL may have not conquered the whole "sleep through the night" thing... but you've had so many other accomplishments! you'll get there...we're sure...

we love you munchkin. you make life so much fun!


so fresh & so clean

i mean really...what is it about hooded towels with bunny ears that just scream "photo opportunity."


happy holla-ween!

well miss liv "strutted her stuff" on her first halloween and we were proud as...PEACOCKS! this costume was handmade with love by her very own omie. there's multiple pics to make sure you're able to get the full effect. fabulous, huh?



just wanted to say "hay."


six shining months!!!

unbelievable! our bundle 'o' joy is half a year old! isn't it crazy how fast time flies yet i cant quite remember what life was like before her...our family has had quite a hard week. my dear pop passed away early monday morning. (explains my hat pulled down to cover my puffy eyes). my grandpa was without of doubt one of the most amazing men this world has seen...after 5 months of being critically ill he's no longer suffering..with jesus...sipping on his favorite peach milkshakes. i could go on and on but i'll save it for another "post." right now im celebrating the best 6 months of sweet memories, sleep deprivation, laughter, spit-up, blowouts, babies r us trips, stroller rides, and hairbows. i know we probably shouldn't subject our dear child to politics, especially during one of the most controversial elections ever...but my hubby and i choose the "mama" over obama. my fabulous auntie julo sent liv this embroidered "palin power" onesie. SARAH was actually in indianapolis today..i had reserved tickets but to make a long story short... since we were out of town all week, apparently they let more people rsvp than they had tickets for. i was so disappointed but still dressed our lil firecracker in honor of the occasion. dutch's sister, sister-n-law and niece got here to indy late last night and we took them downtown. yes, our daughter is sitting on a canon. in the civil war musuem. what a way to celebrate, huh?


sweeeet potatoes...

liv LOVES her some sweet potatoes. uncle eric came over just in time for dinner last night and helped feed his favorite niece... i'm wondering if she actually swallowed anything... classic.


happy fall y'all...

yay! after a month of not having a camera...we're back in business.. something about becoming parents makes everyday feel like a photo opportunity...why is that? so here's the latest with us: liv is nuts. so much fun and just completely nuts. the child still has not slept through the night..she wakes up at least once every 3 hours...she doesn't cry or fuss..she wakes up to SING. im not kidding. dutch and i dont go in to get her, we just hear her over the monitor singing her little heart out... she sings for about 30-45 minutes until she realizes no one is paying attention and then the fireworks start. we plan to start the "tough love" soon so wish us luck...but i can't tell you how many nights at 3 a.m. dutch and i just look at each other with tired eyes and have to laugh. not even 6 months old yet and she's a rockstar. she changing everyday and never ceases to amaze us. she also has started to really belly-laugh out loud and it really just makes my day. so we had a fun-filled "fall" day...we headed to"brown county"...a gorgeous drive of changing leaves to an adorable quaint lil town full of pumpkins, bales of hay, caramel apples and signs that say "happy fall y'all." you would think october in indiana would be time for layers and hot chocolate... well, not so much. it was 86 degrees today! and liv's fabulous fall outfit had to be stripped off of her after 20 minutes of being out and about. (of course i still had to stick her hot pumpkin hat on her just for a few pics...) we went with some of our good friends, kevin and brandi..and their new lil bundle of joy, 4 month old mckenzie.. i snapped this pic of the boys feeding lunch to their baby girls...i love how they have the same exact pose going on.



we're back from way up north! liv did awesome on the 12 hour roadtrip up there... but back home was a different story. poor thing came down with a cold the morning we left and all major roads were closed in chicago due to flooding... it took us 17 hours to get home... bumper to bumper traffic and a screaming child... dutch and i now know without a doubt we will make it to our 50 year wedding anniversary since we survived that trip. the wedding was a great time...and after grandma kathy took liv home from the reception, i dropped my camera during a dancefloor photoshoot. so the camera is busted. but i have a few pics i snapped before the incident. liv was the belle of the ball. she did manage to have perfect timing as she pooped her pants exactly when the groom said, "i do." we're so glad liv was finally able to meet all her aunts, uncles and cousins in the great state of .... minnesoooooota.


get in my belly...

check it out. liv's big enough to eat that yummy messy stuff they
call "cereal". please pray this helps our dear child to
finally sleep through the night...


1st "real" family photo shoot...

one of my bestest and dearest friends, tara and her hubby chris were nice enough to use their vacation days and come visit the barretts! we had such a grand time...omie and poppy kept the lil livster and we were able to sneak away to chicago for 2 days! tara has always been the one friend we could all count on to have her camera and snap fabulous pics and we are so excited she's started her own photography business and is doing just an AMAZING job! we had the honor of her being our personal photographer all weekend long and she just captured our family! it was like we were tom or katie, or bradgelina...and anne levowitz moved in for a couple days...
minus the professional make-up artists and photoshop...
scroll down for our slideshow... warning... there's A LOT!

enjoy! and thanks T!


bad news bears...

here's a little word of wisdom from erin... NEVER under any circumstances.. eat a FIBER ONE bar & drink a cup of coffee for breakfast..go on a 2 hour powerwalk, eat a McDonalds cheeseburger..and then proceed to be in public. it could very well result in "THE MOST HUMILIATING EXPERIENCE OF YOUR LIFE." i'll spare you the details, but just trust me on this one.
enjoy your day! xoxo, e.


my birthday weekend...

well my 28th birthday was saturday and the best part about it is the fact i HONESTLY thought it was my 29th. i've thought i was 28 this whole last year when it's really only been a day! fabulous! it's like i got a "free" year... we didnt make any big weekend plans... one of my bestest friends, tara and her husband chris are flying in from texas next weekend and we are going to chicago..so im saving up our REALLY fun time for then.. anyway, i awoke sat morning to breakfast in bed and just spent q-time with dutch and liv all weekend. of course we had to throw some yardwork and chores in there...but for some odd reason i actually like doing yardwork.. what is wrong with me? i just love seeing the reward.. liv helped me plant new flowers in the pots and she "talked" with the birds for hours..the weather was beautiful. she has changed just in the last few days...it looks like she has rubberbands around her ankles, i love it.


gotta start somewhere...

alrighty..baby girl is in bed and wanted to add more pics... i really am excited about this lil bloggy thing..it's like a modern day scrapbook but much cheaper and less messy. i hope i can keep up with it... so for those of you who i haven't kept in touch with that well..here's the latest scoop on us! we really like indianapolis..we bought our first home last march & live in a fun little area called broad ripple..its a bit "granola" .. but makes for a great afternoon of people watching... dutch is a full-time firefighter and loves it. i thought it would be super hard him being gone for 24 hours every 3rd day but im getting used to it & actually kinda enjoy just eating a bowl of cereal for dinner if i want OR like now..laying in the bed typing away and not bothering anyone... dont get me wrong i look forward to 7am everytime he gets off shift and walks in the door..(used to be to cuddle...now its to catch up on how liv slept).. how things have changed.. im currently still on "maternity leave" and ive been so blessed to be able to stay home and seem to never get bored. between baby yoga classes, washing bottles, poop, attempting to cook, playdates, laundry and sometimes even showering, im a busy girl. i do plan on going back a couple days a week to be a manager at anthropologie when dutch or my mom can keep miss priss... if you arent familiar with that store it is just fantastic and a fabulous place to get an a employee discount. the challenge is making it home with a paycheck...

so if anyone out there actually reads this im going to give you a "key" on words you may be seeing often.

LIV. our newest accessory. she's amazing and our joy. she started laughing out loud this week and i cry everytime she does because its the best sound in the world. hormonal, perhaps? and yes her name is really just liv. L-I-V, its not a nickname and its not short for anything. just like dutch isnt a nickname either...liv brooks barrett is 3 months old and is too much fun.

MAE. our mutt. she used to be our baby and now we just feel guilty and give her table scraps all the time...like it makes up for the lack of attention she used to get..awful, right? great dog..may lick you to death..used to sleep at the foot of our bed..and now sleeps in the hallway between ours and liv's nursery..we're assuming so she can protect us both..who knows? but i think its sweet as can be.

OMIE AND POPPY. my mom and dad. first time grandparents.i get such a kick out of seeing them fuss over their granddaughter. omie is the "dutch" word for grandmother..no dutch isn't dutch but we thought it was funny...and my mom says "ohhh meee"... when she's happy, sad, tired, surprised, or after a good laugh. perfect huh? and as far as poppy goes,,,lets just say i hope our child doesn't get shaken baby syndrome from all the bouncing he does to her...

GRANDMA KATHY. dutch's mom. may not be as creative of a name..but liv is #17 grandbaby for her..lives in minnesoooota and calls almost daily to hear liv coo.

VARMIT. my word for throw-up. for some reason i use it alot.

HOLLA. although a word that has completely run its course...dutch and i use the word "HOLLA" in incorrect situations for example..if we fall, have a good hair day, take a yummy bite of food or pass gas.

JULO. my auntie judy ball in texas and we're one of her biggest fans..

TEXAS. where i still call home. missin the best family and girlfriends anyone could ask for..

MINNESOOOOTA. dutch's home, also referred to by him as"God's country". it is impossible to me to write the word with only one O.

we joined the club.

so i honestly just found out what the word BLOG means not too long ago..pathetic i know..but a dream of mine has always been to write a book & i refuse to fall into the "myspace" world so...what better way to keep loved ones in the loop of our lives..so here we are! a blogging fam! especially now that we've joined the fabulous journey of parenthood..there's always seems to be something new. it may not be the book ive dreamed of..but im taking baby steps.:) i promise i'll make it a point not talk too much about spit-up and blow out diapers..