Saturday, December 31, 2011

11 Months!

Dear Sweet Baby Girl,

     Less than one month from now you won't be Mommy's baby any more!  You'll be a toddler and I really can't believe that!  I still see you as a little baby, although every day you are becoming more and more of a little girl.  It makes me happy and sad at the same time.

You have made more big strides this month, and it's funny because I can tell that you are so proud of yourself :)  You started pulling up to a standing position and cruising along the furniture.  You are able to walk fairly well with your new walking toys, although if you don't feel like it, you get spaghetti legs and refuse to stand.

You love music and have started dancing (more like bouncing) to the music.  Your little face lights up and you get so excited when a fun song comes on.

You favorite move is waving and you have been waving at everything and everyone, especially your stuffed animals.  You love to wave to them :)  You have also started pointing at things, and that's fun because soon you may be able to tell me what you want by pointing at it.  You still love clapping, but I think what you love most is the reaction that you get from people when you do it :)

There were a few times that we swear that you said "hi", but it's few and far between.  Really, your favorite word is still "Da da".  At this point it's pretty much the only one you say that we understand.  I'm pretty sure it means both Daisy and Daddy to you.  Still working on "Ma ma" and getting nowhere fast ;)  You definitely have been jabbering (again, especially to your stuffed animals), but it's nothing that we understand.

I love how much you imitate people!  It really makes me laugh out loud, which then makes you laugh too!  You make funny faces when we do, you click your tongue and roll your tongue when we do, and of course, you smile and laugh when we do.

You are such a big girl that you progressed to baths in the big girl tub!  No more baby tub for you.  It was becoming somewhat of a disaster with you trying to flip around and climb out of that little tub, so we gave it up and bought you a "flying carpet" to sit on in the big tub.  It's really supposed to be a non-slip mat, but the suction cups don't stick to our tub floor, so that mat floats around in there.  We place you on it anyway, and it's your magic mat :)

Demonstrating your pointing skills ;)

Your funny face :)

You are a great eater and we haven't found anything yet that you absolutely refuse to eat.  You don't like chicken or peas, but if we intersperse them among bites of other food you'll eat them.  I think it's probably because you haven't quite figured out that you can spit it out yet (thank goodness).  I continue to make your baby food for when we are at home, and we give you the baby food jars when we are on trips.  You do fine with either one. 

We have been giving you a lot more table food too, but we try to just give you the healthy stuff.  No sweets yet, much to all of the grandparents dismay ;)  What is it with grandparents always wanting to feed babies sweet stuff?  Syrup, icing,... marshmellow Peeps (ahem, that one is for grandpa ;))

You do love your snacks, which consist of Cheerios, yogurt bites, puffs, and mum mums.  Cheerios were your first snack and you loved them, but now that we have introduced the others, you will often feed your Cheerios to Daisy, ha ha!

Earlier this month I weaned you down to nursing three times a day instead of four.  I eliminated the session after your second nap and started giving you a snack instead.  We also introduced whole milk out of a sippy cup, but it took you several weeks before you'd take more than a sip.  You are great with it now, and you love whole milk.  And similar to the Cheerio situation, now that milk has been introduced, you are even less interested in drinking water than you were before.  But we'll keep pushing it.

Then on Christmas day, I weaned you again, and you are currently nursing just twice a day.  Once when you wake up in the morning, and once before you go to bed at night.  You have taken it like a champ and don't seem at all distressed, which is such a relief.  It's been a life changer for Mommy, because I'm not so restricted anymore.  If Daddy is home during the day, I can leave for several hours (all day if I wanted to) and it's fine.  I haven't been able to say that in almost a year!

And now you have six teeth !  As soon as that second bottom one came, the four that you now have on the top came in a hurry.  And I'm sure you were definitely in pain, because there were some very uncharacteristically cranky days for you during that time.  Poor sweet baby girl :(  You love your teeth though, and you point to them when asked.  You also miraculously love to have your teeth brushed!  You open your mouth and patiently wait for us to brush, which is amazing to me!

Throughout the whole new teeth mess you were still a great sleeper.  A few times you woke up once during the night, but it was no problem.  Mommy or Daddy would hold you for a minute, put some orajel on your gums and then you'd be lunging to get back in your crib.  I actually like to hold you in the middle of the night, because it's about the only time you will snuggle with me.  And since it's so rare, its like a small, secret little treat for Mommy ;)

You are still taking two naps a day (around 10 and 2) and sleeping for about 12 hours at night (7 to 7).  It has been so wonderful, and Daddy and I were just talking about how lucky we are with your sleeping habits, especially at night.  From the night we brought you home from the hospital you somehow knew that night time was for sleeping.  You would wake up to eat and then immediately fall back to sleep.  And ever since you were about 5 1/2 months old, you slept all night long.  That's so nice of you Addy!  And you need it too, because when you wake up before 7AM, you tend to be more cranky for the rest of the day. 

Your naps are getting pretty short, so I'm wondering if the time is coming to switch you from taking two naps a day to taking one.  Your two naps are often not even an hour each anymore!  Maybe if you only take one, you will sleep for a little bit longer at a stretch.  It's going to be hard though, because you always seem so exhausted by 10AM.  We'll see.

This past month has been Christmas mania at our house.  Mommy LOVES Christmas, so the whole month of December has been filled with Christmas music, Christmas cookies, and Christmas outfits for you.  Yup, I pretty much put you in some type of Christmas outfit every day this month.  I didn't really realize that until I was going through my phone photos of you.  This is what I found....

Dec 2: Your "I Love Santa" shirt

Dec 5

Dec 6: You and Mommy are both wearing Christmas shirts!

Dec 15th

Dec 16th: "Baby's First Christmas" onesie

Dec 17th: "I've Been Good All Year" shirt

Dec 19: "You Make My Heart Melt" jammies

Dec 20: Your velvet Christmas outfit.  This was the day of the "OJ incident".  Your precious little outfit didn't last long at Briggs after mommy spilled orange juice all over you.  Sorry baby girl!  Looking at this picture made me think that we've been hitting up that restaurant for breakfast a lot this past month...and you know Mommy loves that!  I love, love, love breakfast.... and so do you!

Ha ha!  Love this one!

Dec 22: "Santa's Helper" jammies

Dec 24: Christmas Eve!

Dec 25: Christmas Day!

Dec 31: Gingerbread Man jammies

Whew, so that's a recap of the pics of you that I took with my phone over the past month.  All Christmas, all the time :)  The season has taken on a whole new meaning to Mommy and Daddy this month.  It has been so fun and special with you here to share it with us!

Here are your 11 Month Photos:

I get it.  You're done Addy ;)

Notice what is missing?  Yup, for the first month since you were born, Mommy forgot to take a family photo!  Ooops!  It's OK though, you are the one we want to remember.  Mommy and Daddy pretty much look the same from month to month, but you, my sweet girl, are ever changing!

Here is a video of you from a few days before your 11 Month Birthday:

I am going to relish in your last month as a baby.  You are the sweetest baby in the whole wide world, and I can already see that you are growing into the sweetest little girl in the whole wide world.  Your giggle is infectious and you bring constant smiles to Mommy and Daddy's faces!  Sometimes we say that we don't know what we did before we had you.  Life was great before, but life since you have arrived has never been more fun!  Mommy and Daddy love you so, so many millions!  Happy 11 Month Birthday Baby Girl!!!


Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas in PA! (Part Two)

The second three days of our PA excursion were spent at my Dad's house and we had a Christmas celebration there as well.  My grandparents came in for the day and my stepsister flew in from Las Vegas, which was awesome!

Here's a little peek into "Christmas" morning at my Dad's:

Santa came to town!

Addy admiring the angel on top of the tree.  She really loved looking at all of the angels on this trip.  It was interesting because my Mom had one on top of her kitchen cabinets and Addy found it and would wave to her.  Then when we got to my Dad's, she saw the angel on top of the tree and two others throughout his house and would wave to those too :)

Ha ha, I do not remember this picture being taken, but Mike must've snuck it in!  We were all a little bit IPad obsessed ;)  (Behind Tina is one of the angels I was talking about and behind the light on that cabinet is the other one.)

It's gift time!!!

Addy and her stocking.  Kinda looks like she is sitting in it :)  (I love how the stocking stuffer that Mike is holding in this pic is the Boogie Wipes, ha ha!)

Two more stocking stuffers : that adorable headband and a "My First Christmas" cup.

I did it!  I did it!  I finally captured a photo of Tina and Addy where Addy is smiling!  She isn't looking at the camera, but I'll take what I can get :)

Addy and her great-grandma :)

Check out the awesome backpack that her great-grandma and great-grandpa gave her!  It's a zebra and it's so soft.  We named her Zoe the Zebra :)  Addy loves to lay on her and hug her, but she's not really a fan of the whole backpack concept yet.

I love Erin's face in this picture ;) ... and  I can't believe this is the only picture I have of Erin from this trip.  Ha ha!

One of the nights before we put Addy to bed we took her to see "The Lights in the Parkway" and she loved it!  Basically the park is all lit up with Christmas lights and you drive through it.  She was waving to all of the lights and ooohing and ahhhing.  It was so cute!

Then on our last day, we decided to head down to Peeps Fest for something to do.  Those marshmellow Peeps are made in Allentown and for whatever reason they had a festival over the Christmas holiday.  I have to admit, it was pretty neat!  And Air Products (the company my Dad works for) was there doing an ice cream demonstration with Peeps.  Unfortunately we didn't taste any, because the line for the ice cream tasting was pretty long.

Hello Peeps Fest!

Grandpa, Addy, and "the Peep"

She was fascinated with "the Peep" and kept looking for him when we walked away :)  This particular room that we were in had a bunch of dioramas that school children made out of Peeps.  Some of them were very clever (like the "Peep"eroni Pizza).  I wish I would've taken some pictures.

This room had a bouncy house for the older kids and loud music playing, both of which Addy loved.  She watched the children and bopped to the music!

Check out this giant Christmas tree made out of Peeps!

View of the tree looking down from the second floor.

After we left Peeps fest, it was time to pack up and make the trek back to NC.  We had such a great time and I love that Addy got to spend her first Christmas holiday surrounded by her loving family :)

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas....I know we did!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas in PA! (Part One)

Yup, this a a two parter.  You know I took way too many pictures to fit it all in one post :)  Part one will be Christmas at my mom's house and part two will be Christmas at my dad's house.

 Our little family packed up and headed up to PA for Christmas to spend time with my family and it was great!  I got to see my parents, my sister and step sister, and all four of my grandparents.  And two of my best friends too!  As much as I love living in NC, I definitely do miss my family back "home".

Before we left I snapped Addy's 47 week pics:

As I was packing for PA I heard some noise outside of our bathroom window and I looked out to find this:

It was so warm out the day we left for PA that Mike decided to move Addy's highchair outside and feed her lunch out there.  So sweet :)

We decided to spend the first three days in PA with my mom and the second three with my dad.   And of course, Aunt Tina was there for all of it :)

Getting ready to take the dogs to the park.  Little did we know, the dogs would proceed to find every mud puddle and splash in it, resulting in Tina and I having to give them both baths outside in the 40 degree temperatures.  Not fun for anyone involved....except for maybe Addy, because she could just watch us from the window and laugh.

On Christmas Eve we got all dressed up and headed out to church.... Addy too!:

"I do not want my picture taken."

"I repeat.  I DO NOT want my picture taken!"

"OK fine.  I mean, I do look beautiful and all." (How cute are those little red shoes???)

There's those 2 bottom teeth.  Speaking of which, Addy currently has 6 teeth.  2 on the bottom and 4 on the top.  And when you ask her where her teeth are she points to them! 

The obligatory "baby under the Christmas tree with all of the gifts" picture.  No smiles included.  But never fear, Tina was here!  And she got some really cute ones which you can check out if you click here.

And guess what?  Addy actually kept that headband on throughout the entire church service!  There was so much to look at and distract her, that she must have forgotten her most important mission:  Remove any and all headbands immediately.

Let me tell you.  Tina and I have some pretty amazing husbands.  They whipped together a "feast of seven fishes" for Christmas eve dinner and it was amazing!  And they pulled it all off in record time.  For all of the homemade food they made that night, it literally would've taken me all day to prepare.  And I would have had a nervous breakdown in the process.  But they worked together like a well oiled machine and pulled it off in a mere 3 hours.  While Tina and I sat back and sipped our wine.  That's the life my friends :)  Now that's not to say the boys didn't partake in a "little" bit of eggnog along the way.  But in all seriousness, we were all very impressed with those two!  Here are the chefs at work:

Here's our girls:
These cousins; best friends for life :)

They decided to move into the kitchen since that's where the action is:

Look at what little angels they look like.  That's what a good long romp in the park gets you.  No exercise gets you a wild chaotic mess between these two lovely ladies.  But they do love to play together :)

Mom and Jim

Me and Tina

Addy playing with some of my and Tina's old toys.

So Addy has started doing the sweet thing where she will lay her head down for a minute as if she's going to go to sleep.  Precious :)  (I love this picture because notice that she still has a toy in each hand.  Ha ha!)

Tina and Holly :)

Someday I vow to get a picture of Tina and Addy where Addy is smiling.  She loves her Aunt Tina, I swear!  But she refuses to smile when pictures of them are being taken.

It was a long day and it's time for bed for a certain little girl.  Gotta rest up for the big day tomorrow!  Santa is coming!  I couldn't believe she was actually snuggling (one thing our little Addy is not, is a snuggler), so we snapped a pic.

After Addy went to bed, Tina and I settled in with some wine (yes, again) and watched the greatest Christmas movie of all time:  "It's a Wonderful Life".  The boys went to church with my mom since they missed the earlier service due to their duties in the kitchen :)

As I took that picture of the TV screen I noticed what was nestled in amongst the gifts :)

And we move on to Christmas Day:

Merry first Christmas Addy!  Look at what she is holding.  All of those gifts under the tree and she went for her shoe.

Thought she might try to open some presents, but no luck.  She played a little bit with them, but didn't tear into any wrapping paper this year.

Addy with her stocking and one of her stocking stuffers.

Christmas outfit number one.  Looking a little disheveled with one pant leg up and one down.  And note what is in her hand here.  Yup, her brush from the hospital when she was born.  So far her two favorite things were not Christmas gifts at all.  Shows that it doesn't take much to entertain a child this age :)

Christmas outfit number two.  Look at our skinny little elf :)

"Wait a minute.  Am I wearing a headband?"  (The other thing I love about this picture is the dogs in the background.  Holly is laying down nicely while Daisy is completely fixated on my mom's cat Kayla behind the Christmas tree.  Kayla was my cat, but my allergies got the best of me, so my mom nicely offered to take care of her for me.  It's Claratin every morning and Benadryl every night while I'm around my little kitty.  But I digress.)

Later Christmas morning my grandparents and great uncle came to visit:
Addy adores them, and they adore her :)

This picture I absolutely love:

Merry Christmas everyone!