Monday, December 12, 2011

20 & 21 Months

Sweet Hannah,

Where do I begin?  These past two months have been a roller coaster for all of us!  At the end of October (a couple weeks before your 20 month birthday) we found out that Mommy was pregnant!  It was a complete surprise and we were thrilled!  After trying for 2 years to have you, we never thought it would happen so easily for our second pregnancy.  Just one week after finding out that you were going to be a BIG sister, Mommy started feeling sick.....VERY sick!  For the next two months, Mommy spent her days and nights on the couch or in the hospital, hooked up to an IV and various medications.  It was miserable for everyone....especially you.  It hurt Mommy to know that I was missing out on so much time with you.  But we were very lucky to have MeMaw and PaPaw as well as Grandma and Grandpa coming up to stay with us.  We had someone here to help for a solid two months.  Daddy was the biggest helper of all!  He had to take off a lot of work to help out around the house and take care of you and Mommy.  He had to be exhausted from trying to do it all - work, taking care of you, taking care of me, and taking care of the house.  That's a lot for one person to deal with!  I hated having you see me so sick (especially when you came to visit me in the hospital during both of my stays).  I could tell it was scary for you and that you just wanted things to go back to normal.  So did I!!!  But despite all the turmoil, you did great.  You were spoiled rotten by both sets of grandparents (and Daddy) and you weathered the storm very well.  You continued to grow and change on a daily basis (making Mommy even sadder to be missing out on that!) and you learned so much during those two months.  I wish I had been able to keep track of all that you learned, but Mommy was just too sick.  Please know how much I wish I could have spent every moment with you and how sad it still makes me to have missed out on so many days with you.  I love you more than you will ever know!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pregnancy: 6 Weeks

What's going on with the baby right now?
-He/She has tripled or even quadrupled in size and is now three or four millimeters long!
-He/She is working on growing a nose, some ears and a mouth.
-He/She is also growing flappy little leg and arm buds.
-He/She has a heartbeat that can be seen on an ultrasound — 100 to 160 beats (although we havent heard it yet)

What's going in with me?
-Definitely peeing more often!
-Nausea set in at the end of the week....yuck! I was really hoping this pregnancy wouldn't be as bad as the first, but after just 2 days of nausea, I can tell it's going to be a rough one as well!
-I've actually lost 2 pounds this week, which is my favorite way to start a pregnancy!

I had my first obgyn appointment today. They did my yearly pap since I was due for it anyway. While they were doing that they found some new blood on my cervix, scary!! The midwife didn't think it was anything to be worried about, as she said that during pregnancy your cervix is just extra sensitive, but it was definitely a little worrisome to me. I have yet to see any blood myself, so that is good! Praying that everything is progressing well! I will find out my blood levels tomorrow so we can be sure my progesterone is high enough.

I am continuously giving this baby's life over to the Lord and surrendering my fears to Him. I know that He is in complete control!

Someone is going to be a BIG Sister!

That's right, I am expecting #2!! We were pleasantly surprised to find out that I am pregnant a few weeks ago. As of now, the due date is June 22, 2012. After trying for 2 years to conceive Hannah and having to use fertility drugs, we never thought we would be surprised by a pregnancy. We just assumed it would be a long road again and had planned on waiting a little while longer to start the fertility treatments once again. But after realizing my period as a few days late, I decided to take a test. I almost didn't take it because I was just so convinced that it would be negative. But the second I took it, it was clearly positive! Oh my! I knew that this time around I really wanted to get Brian's reaction on video, so I had to wait to tell him. I climbed back in bed, heart pounding and faked going back to sleep. Then Brian asked me if I had taken a pregnancy test (found out later that he had heard me messing around with the box), I lied and said "no". He got up to get ready for work and when he went downstairs to eat breakfast, I came down a few minutes later with the video camera on and the pregnancy test in my hand. I handed it to him and said, "what do you think about this?". He was shocked, but excited! We waited a few hours (since it was so early in the morning) to tell anyone else.

We are so thankful for the Lord's timing with this pregnancy and His perfect plan!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

19 Months

Dear Hannah,

Apparently a 19 month old is designed to be a parrot. You are repeating everything we say these days. One example is with our dog, Bubbles. I am often saying "no bubbles" for one reason or another so now you like to yell at her too saying, "no, no buh buh". Then today when I was talking to daddy and said something was driving me nuts, you were suddenly yelling, "nuts, nuts"...yikes! Guess I need to watch what I say even more closely! Your vocabulary has simply exploded. One I'd my favorite things you have been saying lately is "happy" while you give a great big smile. Adorable! You also constantly list all of your friends, asking where they are - "haddah" (Hannah), "Anne", "Will", "Dodi" (Dominic), "Carly". Your greatest achievement this past month is learning to count to ten! You can do it all by yourself...amazing! And each number actually sounds almost right. So smart!

As you approach 2 years old, we are beginning to expose you to the potty and the concept of peeing and pooping on the potty. Every night before bed we have you sick in the potty and normally you sit for a second and then pop up saying, "almos" (which in your language means all done). But the other night you actually peed! It wasn't much, but you did it and we were so proud of you! Then the following night you almost pooped on the potty, but missed and ended up pooping right on top of the clean diaper I had laid out to put on you. Good try! The funniest part is when you sit down and start grunting like your really trying to go. Haha. Not sure where you learned that.

You are still eating a ton of food throughout the day and thankfully you are still eating some a lot of healthy foods! We have managed to keep you from drinking any juice (water only), eating any fast food, or anything fried. Hoping to keep your palate very pure for as long as possible. A typical day of eating looks like this:
-Breakfast - tons of fruit and a carb (waffle, pancake, cheerios, toast, kashi cereal bar, etc.) and sometimes yogurt or an egg
-Snack - dried fruit (raisins, apricots, cranberries, prunes, etc) and a carb (dry cereal or crackers)
-Lunch - veggies (broccoli, carrots, peas, etc.), sandwich (almond butter and jelly or deli meat and cheese or hummus) or leftovers, fruit, cheese
-Snack - veggie and carb
-Dinner - usually whatever we are having or leftovers (always lots of veggies, a protein, a carb, a fruit, and some dairy

You continue to wake up every morning between 6am and 7am, but I leave you in your crib until 7am, no matter what. Amazingly, your nap has started extending a bit, to an hour or an hour and a half on a good day! Such a difference from your typical 45 minutes! I've stuck to my one hour rule (in the crib for a full hour, no matter what). You are usually in bed by 7 or 7:30pm, after we finish your bedtime routine - bath (as needed), potty time, new diaper, pjs, brush teeth and hair, story time, prayers, hugs and kisses, "good night sweetheart" song, in bed. You have to have your blankie ("bankie") and two lovies ("ludie") every time you are in your crib and sometimes even when you are out. Thankfully you are flexible with which lovies

You have become a tooting machine! You are so incredibly gassy (must be a Vaccaro gene) and it's hard not to laugh when you toot. So when you toot now, you smirk and giggle. We are trying to work on getting you to say, "excuse me", which sounds like "skoos ee". I think we are going to have to stop the giggling and just work in the manners. But man is it funny!

Other 19 month stats:
- Wearing a size 5 diaper day and night
- Wearing 18 month, 24 month and 2T clothes
- Wearing a size 6 or 7 shoe

I love you precious girl...toots and all! ;)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

18 Months!!!!

Hannah Grace,

This past month has been incredible. You have made me smile and laugh more this month then ever before. Your charming personality is really starting to show and you are shaping into a beautiful little girl.

You are officially a toddler now, which means I can no longer call you a baby (but I will!) or use the excuse, "I just had a baby". Instead I must now admit that my baby is growing up and will soon be 2! Yikes!

You are currently a talking machine. You learn several new words each day, so many that I have stopped counting. I can't even keep track of all the words you can say now because you can basically say anything you want. We ask, "can you say ___?" and every time you say it! And surprisingly it is almost always completely understandable. Insane! You don't put very many words together yet (to form sentences), but I know that won't be long. The one sentence you have been saying recently is, "ready, set, go!". And you have started to "count" things as well...."one, uh, uh" as you point to different things.

Watching you learn new things is amazing. Your dad and I are often blown away by how much you know and understand and all we can say is "Wow!". You can point to and name most every body part now and love doing it! You continue to eat like a champ, with very few foods that you don't like. Your favorites continue to be berries, cheese and all carbs. Veggies are not on the top of your list, but you will eat most things, especially broccoli and peas. You are little miss independent at the playground now, going down the big slide all by yourself. You are obsessed with other children, especially your playgroup friend, Hannah. You talk about her non-stop and every time we go anywhere you ask for Hannah ("haduh"). Every child is called a baby ("baba"), no matter if they are 7 months old or 7 years! And the latest thing you have magically learned is to tell me when you have a poopy diaper. You always hide somewhere while you poo and when you are done you come to me and say, "poo poo". So smart! You say hi and bye ("bye bye" with a strangely southern accent) freely and wave hello to complete strangers everywhere we go. You can identify most animals and can say many of their names and make most of their sounds. It truly is amazing to see how much you have learned in just the past month.

You are so sweet precious girl. You love to give hugs and kisses, especially during the Barney song! As soon as you hear that song, you get the biggest smile on your face and must run to whoever is nearby to give them a giant hug! Best.thing.ever!

18 month stats:
- 27 pounds (75%) and 34" (off the charts!!)
- Size 5 diapers - we had to stop cloth again because of the bad rashes you always get :(
- Size 6 shoe (but you will only wear your crocs!)
- 18 and 24 month clothes

Neve forget how much your mommy and daddy love you! SO MUCH!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

17 months

Hannah Grace,

You are just one month shy of one and a half years old! That means you are closing in on two! Which means you will be heading off to college soon....well, maybe not, but it sure feels that way sometimes.

Your vocabulary has really taken off in the last month. You can now say at least 20 words. Here's a list of all the ones I can think of: mama, dada, han(hannah), gaga(grandma/grandpa), papa(her other grandfathers name), buhbus(bubbles, our dog), boober(blueberries), buhbuh(bye bye), bath, boo-boo, chee(cheese), hat, wawa(water), baba(baby), baba(Barney), emo(Elmo), ball, uh-oh, coo kee(cookie), nah(no), up. You also said your first sentence a few days ago.."more please", but I think it might have been a coincidence because you haven't repeated it since. Instead you just sign it. You sign lots of words too: please, eat, more, love, all done, thank you, yes, no, duck (along with a quacking sound), bird, and fish (my smack your little lips together).

You still love your baby dolls and are constantly holding one or looking for one to hold. Our latest trick to help with diaper changes is to tell you that your doll, Tyler, needs a new diaper. (As a side note, that doll used to be daddy's when he was your age). We lay him on the floor and you come over to "help". You lay next to him and we talk about what a good job you both are doing. :). You love to dance with your baby dolls, give them kisses ("mmmmm"), feed them ("nom nom"), and put them to bed ("buhbuh"). You are going to be the best mommy some day!

Speaking of dancing, everytime you hear music (at home or in a random public place) you just have to dance. You start bouncing up and down and swaying side to side. It is adorable! Just today you were holding one of your baby dolls and we turned on some music. You immediately started dancing. You held your baby doll's hands and moved her around in an effort to make her dance too. I guess dancing is in your genes! I can't wait to sign you up for your first dance class!

You know most of your body parts now. You don't say them, but you point to them on a baby in a picture or yourself. You can also find them on mommy or daddy. Here are the ones you know: head, hair, eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, ears, arm, hand, fingers, belly, legs, feet, and toes.

Daytime sleep is still a very rare commodity, but thankfully you are still a champion nighttime sleeper. You normally sleep 11.5-12 hours at night, without a peep! However, you never sleep more than one hour during the day. But I'm okay with that. It just means I get to spend more time with you every day! :)

You have unfortunately hit a very whiny stage. You have 4 molars coming in all at once, so that probably explains it, but man is it exhausting. You really gave us a run for our money last night when we were trying to have a nice family dinner at a local restaurant. You didn't want to sit in the highchair, you didn't want to sit in the booster seat, you didn't want to sit in either of our laps, you didn't want to stand up next to the booth, you didn't want to eat any of the food I was exhausting! We managed to shovel our food in and then at the end of the meal, you started screaming for "baba" (Barney) when we realized we had not used all our tricks. Daddy quickly pulled out his iPhone and started your favorite Barney episode! Thank you YouTube!! Why hadn't you asked for that earlier? You stood on the floor with the iPhone on the booth and your chin resting in your hands, SILENT and content! Ahhh. We got to eat the final two pieces of sushi in peace. Oh the life of a parent with a luxurious! ;)

In an effort to not make this letter go on and on, here is a list of other things you have been up to this month:
- You weigh 26 pounds now and are still around 32.5 inches tall
- You are officially done using a pacifier and have dropped down to one nap per day.
- We had a lot of family time this month, with MeMaw and PaPaw and Aunt Audrey, Uncle Buddy, Cody, and Kyle coming to visit for a whole week and a trip to Panama City to see Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Julie, and Uncle Chris. You loved seeing everyone and were vey spoiled! ;)
- You can throw a ball overhand.
- You are obsessed with Barney! You ask to watch it all day long. I limit you to one episode per day, while I am preparing dinner. It really is the highlight of your day.
- You got 3 new teeth this month.
- You are still wearing a size 4 diaper during the day and size 5 overnights at night. However, this month we started using cloth again as well.
- You now wear a size 6 shoe....your favorite brown (and very smelly) size 5 shoes no longer fit, which really made you sad.

Hannah Grace, you are something else! You are full of energy, full of love and full of surprises. Mommy and Daddy love you so much! We were just talking about how much we love you today. We think we love you more than any other parent in the world (of course, this is probably not true, but it feels that way to us). We are always aware of what a special gift you are to us. A little over two years ago now, we had come to the end of our rope in trying to have a baby. It just wasn't happening and we were devastated. And then came you! God was so faithful to us and we will never forget that. Even on the days when we are practically falling asleep while reading you a bedtime story or when we are shoveling food into our mouths in an effort to get out of the restaurant, we will always love you! You are the answer to so many prayers! We love you BIG!

Monday, July 11, 2011

16 Months

Sweet Hannah,

Today you are 16 months old. You are nearly a year and a half. Wow. We have had another whirlwind month of growth and change.

Here's what you have been up to in the last month:
- You weigh 24.3 lbs and are 32.5 inches tall
- You still wear size 4 diapers during the day and size 5 overnight diapers at night.
- You are still wearing 18-24 month clothes and most of your 12 month clothes are getting too small.
- You wear a size 5 or 6 shoe.
- You now have 9 teeth...four on the bottom and 5 on the top.
- You can now use a fork pretty well. A spoon is not quite as easy, but we are practicing.
- You can sign several words: please, more, eat, all done, love, fish, cat, duck, bird, bunny, yes (you shake your head), no (again, you shake your head), and thank you (sometimes).
- You can say a lot of words too: mama, dada, buhbes (bubbles, our dog or the soap ones), buh buh (bye bye), ba (baby), buhber (blueberries), staber (strawberries), bah (ball), gaga (grandma or grandpa), mamaa (MeMaw), and papa (papaw).
- You make lots of sounds too: quack quack (duck), moo (cow), panting (dog), and brrr (car or plane).
- You are a climber! You love to climb on the couch and chairs and are getting very good at getting on and off.
- You run everywhere and very rarely fall. However, your knees are definitely showing the signs of being a toddler. You love to be outside, but the ground is a lot harder to navigate out there, which causes you to trip every so often. You have had bloody knees a lot this month, with the worst fall being at the 4th of July parade. Ouch!
- Our favorite activity this past month has been going to the playground at the church behind our house. I push you in your pink car and you point and grunt the whole way there and when make the turn toward the church, you get so giddy and start bouncing up and down. Once we get there you don't last long, but it's worth it just to see how happy you are!
- You love to read. You are constantly bringing us books to read to you. You hand us the book and then turn around and sit in our lap. So sweet. You love to read the same stories over and over and rarely let us finish one story before getting up to get another one.
- You know most of your body parts now and can point to them when asked.

This past month you had your 15 month doctor appointment. You were given two vaccines - MMR and Chicken Pox. I was very hesitant to get either vaccine, but in the end decided to just do them. I regret that decision a little. 8 days after those vaccines, you developed a fever, runny nose and slight rash on your chest and back. You were generally miserable and not yourself. Your sleep was messed up as well (even worse than normal, which is never good!). After a week or so of on and off low grade fever, you seemed to be feeling better. And then you had three teeth pop through - two lower incisors and one upper molar. So I can't be sure of what caused the fever and runny nose, as it may have just been from teething. But the rash makes me suspect the MMR vaccine. I'm definitely hesitant to get the second dose.

Our favorite thing you started doing this month is praying. It is truly the most adorable thing you do. When we say your bedtime prayers or prayers before meals, you snap your little head down and wait. You look up often, checking to see if we are done and if we aren't, you bow your little head again. Precious!!

We had a scare this month as well. This past weekend you fell out of your crib. You were not hurt, just a little shaken up, but my heart was racing for several hours after it happened. It was during your morning nap. You had woken up after only 30 minutes and were screaming (nothing out of the ordinary for you). I was washing dishes and decided I would finish them before going to get you up. Then I heard the tell-tale thud. I knew exactly what had happened. I ran upstairs and when I opened your bedroom door you were standing right there. You immediately stopped crying and didn't seem hurt at all. I inspected your entire body and didn't find any bumps or bruises. That afternoon I took the bumper out of your crib (which you had used to boost yourself out) which I guess I should have removed earlier. I just never thought you were string enough to hoist yourself over the railing. Guess I was wrong! ;)

One last major change this no longer use a pacifier! Two nights ago, Daddy put you to bed and couldn't find a pacifier, so he just put you down. I was shocked that you slept the whole night through, for 12.5 hours, without a peep! Amazing! Then today you took your nap (we are only doing one now at 12pm) without one and again did good. It was very short (40 minutes) but that isn't anything new, so it seems like losing the pacifier hasn't bothered you at all. Such a big girl!!

Little peanut, you are changing drastically every day and we are falling more in love with you every minute. Every day is not easy and we have lots of frustrating moments and tears (from both of us), but it's all so worth it! You are the most precious thing to us and we love you unconditionally! I never knew I could love someone so much!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

15 Months

You turned 15 months a few days ago, and I'm behind. I was away on a trip on your 15 month birthday with the other moms from our playgroup, so I missed it. But you were not lacking love or attention while I was gone. Grandma and Grandpa Vaccaro stayed with you while I was in Florida and showered you with lots of love!

15 months...this age is the best! You are so adorable right now and so much fun! You are super giggly and interactive. You amaze me! Your comprehension is astounding and your vocabulary is growing every day. Your latest obsession is climbing. You have figured out how to climb on to the couch, chair and anything else you can reach. When you are trying to climb up and can't quite reach, you start grunting as hard as you can. It is so cute..."uh uh uh". Your latest feat is the chair in your room. We have used that chair since the day you were born to nurse, read to you, say prayers, and sing your good night song. But now when we try to sit with you in the chair, you immediately start grunting to get down. Once we let you down, you grunt and groan, trying to get us to get out of the chair. Once we concede, you are so happy. You climb your way up the chair and perch yourself happily in it. Then we can proceed with reading your nighttime story. Little miss independent!

You are officially running and rarely fall anymore. But if you do, you just hop back up and keep going. Your new favorite word is "buh buh" (bye bye) and you say it all day long! You have also become a little tickle monster. You love to be tickled and to tickle everyone and everything! You tickle your baby dolls and make a little tickling noise while you do it, and just crack yourself up!

We have been remodeling our kitchen for the last month and it's been a bit of a nightmare. We have been without a kitchen for over a month now and using the dining room as our makeshift kitchen. But you have adapted well and even managed to take a record nap during the floor installation. Go figure. Hopefully we will have our kitchen back to full function by your 16 month birthday!!

Here are your 15 month stats:
- You still wear size 4 diapers during the day and size 5 overnight diapers at night.
- You wear 18-24 month clothing, but some 12-18 month stuff still fits as well.
- You wear size 5 shoes.
- Your hair is getting very long, almost covering your eyes in the front. It covers your neck in the back and flips out at the bottom. So much hair! I just wish I knew what to do with it!
- You have 6 teeth now...4 on the top and 2 on the bottom. I don't see any signs of more on the way, but I'm sure it won't be long. Speaking of teeth, you have started to really hate having your teeth brushed. Every night it is a battle to try to get just a few passes over each tooth (I mean you only have 6...shouldn't be too tough, right?!). Tonight I even tried using riddled toothpaste, but I actually think that made it worse. You tried to suck in the brush the entire time. My next attempt will be with with an electric brush. We'll see!
- You can now sign the word for "love". Amazing!! You cross your arms over your chest and squeeze tight. Every once in a while you will even point to me after you sign "love", saying "love you". MELTS MY HEART!!
- You still take 2 naps every day, one at 10am and the other at 2pm. Each one is about an hour, but the last few days the afternoon one has been 1.5 or more!! Love! We tried giving you just one nap per day, but that was a complete flop. You would only nap for 45 minutes and then be up for the rest of the day and miserable. After a week of trying, we went back to 2 naps. We'll stick with this for as long as it works. You go to bed around 7 or 7:30pm and wake up around 6:45 or 7am...can't complain.

We love you little peanut...all 15 months of you! :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

14 Months

Little Peanut,

You are 14 months old today and I'm more in love with you today than ever! You have become a little person these last few months, with your own distinct personality, which I love! You look more and more like a little girl instead of a baby these days, which makes me a tad bit sad, but also thrilled to see you growing into such a beautiful girl!

You are developing quite the personality. Lately you have been very giggly and silly. You love to play hide-and-seek, rough-house with Daddy, dance, do the motions for several songs we sing at music class (Itsy Bitsy Spider, Two Little Eyes, Round and Round the Garden, Tick-Tock), and give lots of kisses!

This month we hit a major milestone - I stopped nursing you. This was a hard decision, but one I knew needed to happen before I leave you with daddy for 3 nights in June. We started by dropping the bedtime one and daddy was in charge of putting you to bed for about a week. Then the next weekend we dropped the morning one and again daddy was the one to get up with you and feed you breakfast. What would we do without him!? I am still dealing with the pain of weaning (physically and a little emotionally) but you seem to have moved on just fine, which is great! We have decided not to give you cows milk, which has been a bit of a controversial decision, but you are getting calcium in other ways (cheese and yogurt) and we are sure to feed you vitamin rich foods like salmon, eggs, spinach, beans, broccoli, peas, and almond butter.

Here are your 14 month stats:
- You still wear size 4 diapers during the day and now wear size 5 overnight diapers at night.
- You wear mostly 12-18 month clothing, but you are really in between sizes right now. 12 month stuff is a little small and 18 months is a bit big.
- You are back to eating like a champ after having a bit of a picky stage a few weeks ago. You eat most foods now, as long as we save the carbs for last. Once you see pasta or bread, you will eat nothing else!
- You LOVE the Praise Baby DVD we bought you for our car trip to FL. And let me just say that I love it too! While we rarely, if ever, let you watch tv, I don't mind letting you watch Praise Baby from time to time.
- You have added one word to your speaking vocabulary - You now say "buh buh" for Bubbles (our dog). And you can also sign "help" now. But despite your lack of true words, you talk all the time. This just started recently, where you will have a full conversation with yourself or a stuffed animal. Precious!
- You LOVE baby dolls! You pretend to feed them your toy food (especially the bananas), give them sips of water from your sippy cup, put them down for a "nap" before you take your own, and give them lots of hugs and kisses.
- You understand so much! You understand what "no" means and most of the time you obey. When I say it's time for "night night" you start waving goodbye to Bubbles and head toward the stairs (to your room). When I say its time to change your diaper, you head for the playroom (where we keep your diapers). When I ask you if your hungry, you walk right to the kitchen (you are ALWAYS hungry!). When I saw it's time to put your shoes on, you get so excited and try to get them on your feet. It's scary how much you understand!
- You have 5 teeth now...3 on top and 2 on bottom.
- Your napping schedule has been a bit off lately, making me think you might be getting close to dropping to one nap per day. We'll see....

Hannah, you are so precious to us! We so enjoy watching you grow into the sweet little girl you are becoming. God blessed us immensely when He gave us you!

We love you!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Tot School - 13 Months

Tot School

This week was our first week officially doing Tot School. We have been doing our own version for months now, but it was time to make it official. As a warning, this will be a long post since it is out first time doing Tot School. I want to be sure to explain exactly what the day-to-day looks like for those readers that might be curious. Future Tot School posts will not be this detailed.

For those that are not familiar with Tot School, please click on the picture above to find out more, but the main gist is playing with a purpose. I have found that Hannah has been roaming from toy to toy without much attention given to any one item. I felt that she wasn't getting all she could out of each experience. I also wanted to make myself more accountable for what we are doing during the day. The teacher in me needs direction and purpose in the activities we do on a daily basis. Since I am home full-time with Hannah, I feel that it is my job to expose her to as many things as possible. While we call it Tot "School", it is in no way a rigid teaching environment. We continued to play as usual, but I was more purposeful in structuring the activities and the environment.

So, what did we do this week? Keep reading to find out!

On Monday I introduced Hannah to Tot Trays. She had 3 trays with one activity on each. The tray is used as an organizational tool and as a clear boundary for when it is time to clean up. The only rule we had was that she could only play with one tray at a time and had to clean up one tray before moving on to the next.

We started with a puzzle. She had very little interest in the puzzle, but was fascinated by the tray! I figured she would be since they are new and shiny. As a side note, these were not the trays I had originally wanted, but while looking for plastic ones at hobby lobby, an employee told me about some trays they had in the back that had small chips in them. He said they would give them to me for 90% off, making them $1 each. I couldn't pass that up. So, yes they are hideous, but they are very sturdy and were very cheap! :)

After the puzzle, we moved on to plastic eggs and an egg carton (in our Easter theme). She loved this activity! This was the second time she had played with these, so I knew they were a hit already. These kept her busy for about 10 minutes. She was most interested in opening all the eggs and shaking the egg carton around.

The last tray was blocks. These were also a hit as she loved knocking over the towers I built and trying to build her own. Stacking is a skill we have been working on for quite some time, so to see her making progress is great!

The rest of the day was spent running errands and we made a trip to the library, where Hannah ran all around. We did squeeze in some table time (where Hannah sits in her high chair and does an activity on her own) while I made dinner. I had her practice drinking water out of a regular cup (that was messy) and then she played with a magnet tray (a cookie sheet with magnets on it) and the plastic eggs again.

On Tuesday I changed up two of her Tot Trays. I kept the plastic eggs and egg carton out since she loved them so much the day before. But the other two were changed to the ring stacker and containers with Pom Poms. The containers were a hit! She was determined to put the lids on herself, but would get very frustrated when she couldn't get them off. I used that opportunity to teach her the sign for "help". She doesn't sign it perfectly, but she has adapted her own version. :)

On Wednesday (our last day of Tot School for the week) I kept the same trays out for her, which she enjoyed. We also did blanket time for the first time. I have debated about wether or not I wanted to even invest the time and energy to teach her this. For those that don't know what blanket time is, it's a principal from the Babywise series. Essentially, you place your child on a blanket with a few toys and require them to stay on the blanket for a set amount of time. We started with 3 minutes and Hannah did pretty well. She tried to crawl off the blanket a few times, but each time I place her back on and told her to stay on the blanket. Thankfully she didn't throw a fit and was okay with it. I'm pretty sure it went so well because it was new and she wasn't really sure what was going on. I hope to continue blanket time and increase the time over the next few weeks.  We also did Table Time, with a shaving cream bag.  This turned out to be a flop, as all she wanted to do was eat the bag.  Live and learn! ;-)

Overall, our first week of Tot School was a success. It was short because we left for FL on Thursday afternoon. I don't think I will write a weekly update of our Tot School, just because I know I won't have the time, but I thought I would give an update if our first week and plan on updating every so often. But my main purpose in writing this post was to share the link above with other moms so you can get some great ideas for ways to play purposefully with your child!

Have fun!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

13 Months


I am a few days behind in writing this letter, but I have a good! I am busy chasing you around the house these days. Two weeks ago you decided to start walking and you haven't stopped yet. You went from taking a few steps here and there to full on walking overnight...literally! The drastic change is astounding! Just today you taught yourself how to stand up without holding on to anything, so now you are a real, full time walker! Wow! Your balance and agility amaze me. You can turn around without flinching or bend over and pick up a toy with no trouble at all. Nothing slows you down.

You are so much fun these days! You are a little person now and I honestly love this stage. If I could freeze you in time, I would. You aren't saying much at 13 months, just "dada" and "mama" still, but you make lots of sounds that have meanings, like the barking sound you make when you see a dog, "uh oh" when you drop something, "uhuhuh" when you want something, "doh dee doh dee" just to be cute, and a lot of other grunts and whines. But your best way to communicate is through sign language. You can sign several different words now: please, thank you, eat, milk, more, all done, duck, and bunny. I need to brush up on my signing skills so I can teach you more.

Here's what you are up to at 13 months:
- You are wearing mostly all 12 month clothing, but some 18 month stuff is starting to fit. I finally packed away all your 9 month stuff.
- You are still wearing size 4 diapers, but now you wear size 5 at night.
- You are a champion nighttime sleeper, sleeping 12 hours every night, without a peep. This makes me so happy! Your napping has even improved a little this month. You still take 2 naps, each about 1 hour long. While I know this is not great, I am happy with it.
- You help us get you dressed (when you want to), by putting your hands through the holes or lifting your legs into your pants. But your favorite part is putting on your shoes. You lift your foot in the air, with a big smile on your face. You love shoes! You are wearing a size 5 shoe now.
- You eat all kinds of foods now and love most everything, except veggies. The only veggies you really like are peas, potatoes, carrots, lima beans, corn, and broccoli (sort of). Your favorite foods are cheese, meat and all bread products! That apple didn't fall far. :)
- You are still nursing 2 times per day, morning and night. I keep thinking about dropping one or both of these, but I just don't think we are ready. The only reason I am thinking about dropping them is because it's what other people think we should do, not because we want to. So I think we will continue until you don't show an interest or I'm worn out. But right now I love those few minutes of snuggle time and so do you. Why would I take that away from you?
- You can roll a ball back and forth with me and you can even kick a ball as you walk around.
- You love to be outside. Now that the weather is so nice, we spend a lot of time in the back yard. You love riding around the neighborhood in your pink buggy.
- You have 3 teeth now. One of your top teeth just came in and you have at least 2 more right on the verge of breaking through. Your latest pastime is grinding your teeth together...not my favorite thing!

Next week we are starting Tot School (, which is basically just playing with a purpose. The teacher in me just has to be sure that I am exposing you to as much as I can and being purposeful with what we are doing everyday. I will be sure to post an update of how things go.

We are so proud of the little girl you are becoming and love you so much! You have completely turned our world upside down and we love it!

We love your little peanut!

Friday, April 8, 2011

iPad Mania and Other Randomness

How did we ever live without this thing? It has taken over my life. Haha Just kidding, but it definitely is addicting! Last night I had a horrible night sleep because I couldn't stop playing words with friends in my head. Has that happened to you or am I the only crazy one? Years ago when I played free cell all the time, the same thing would happen. When I close my eyes I see the letters and start making words...crazy right!

In other news, I apparently thought it would be a good idea to chop off the tip of my thumb this morning. Ouch! I was preparing a delicious beef stew for Hannah, while she was eating breakfast (obviously the beef stew was not for had to cook all day). I was doing great..chopping away and feeling all supermom like. Next thing I knew I was sawing through the tip of my thumb....nice visual, right? I didn't know what to do...wash my hands to get the raw meat out of the wound or apply pressure first? It started bleeding so much, that I chose to apply pressure and not worry about the thousands of bacteria breeding on my skin. That choice was also easier because it meant that I didn't have to look at the tapping wound. I immediately called Brian, just in case the cut was so bad that I passed out or something. I figured it was probably in Hannah's best interest for me to notify another adult of the siutuation. I am happy to report that I did not need to go to the emergency room, but I have been changing the bandaid every couple hours and it is gross! It really is amazing how incapacitating it is to not be able to use your thumb. I tried to take a picture of the nastiness, but it wouldnt show up in the picture, so you can thank the camera for sparing you.

Anyone have fun plans for the weekend? We have another weekend with nothing on the calendar, which makes me smile. I get to do my favorite thing...spend lots of time with my two loves.

I'll leave you with this video of Hannah walking!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hannah's 1st Birthday Party

I am so behind in posting and the only thing I can blame is life. Things are always crazy around here, but with a toddling 1 year old, it's just get crazier by the minute.

I took Hannah for her 1 year check up and she was 22 pounds 2 ounces (75%) and 30 inches tall (90%).  She is growing and developing right on target and took her 2 vaccines like a champ. :-)  I also spoke with the peditrician about my desire to not give Hannah cow's milk (I'll have to write a separate post about that) and she was surprisingly supportive.  I am still nursing her 2 times per day (morning and night), but when I stop that we will reevaluate ways to get enough calcium and vitamin D into our little peanut. 

Now on to the fun stuff.  We celebrated Hannah's first birthday on March 12th with some of our family and closest friends.  It was a beautiful day and Hannah had a great time.  She LOVED her smash cake, but was thankfully (and surprisingly) very neat with it.  That certainly made this neat mommy happy. ;-)

Unfortunately I did not take many pictures on the day of her party, as I was a little busy with hosting.  But thankfully my wonderful sister-in-law, Lauren and photgrapher friend, Lindsay got some great shots!

Hannah's Smash Cake


 Cupcakes (made by my sis-in-law, Lauren)

 The Birthday Girl


 Carrot and Cucumber Flower

 Red Pepper Flower

 Not particularly happy at this moment...

 Party Favors

Showing off the hand-colored water bottle labels

 Here comes the cake!!

 A little shy about everyone singing to her

This is as messy as it got....

Happy Birthday little peanut!  We love you!!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

ONE Year!!


I will never forget the day you were born.  After 2 years of trying to conceive, 9 months of morning sickness and various aches and pains, and 8 hours of the most intense pain I have ever experienced, came the most joyous moment of my life.  They placed you on my chest, all covered in slime, and you barely made a peep.  No crying, just contentment.  I held you for the next 30 minutes and breathed in your brand new baby smell.  We had been through a lot together and this was the moment we had both been waiting for.  Your long nails scratched my skin, your little tongue licked your lips and your squinty eyes examined your new surroundings. 

I love the little girl you are growing into and look forward to the next year of watching you grow.  It is such a priviledge to be your mother.  It brings great joy to my heart to see your face light up when I enter the room, to recieve one of your wide-mouthed kisses, watch you clap your hands and wave bye-bye for no apparent reason, hear you say "Doh Dee Doh Dee Doh" and "Dada" for the majority of the day, and watch you throw your hands in the air when we say, "SO BIG!".  I love the way you smell right after a bath - so fresh and clean!  I love the way you hug your teddy bears, squeezing them tightly and shaking side to side.  I love your open-mouthed smile and how giggly you get right before bedtime.  But my favorite thing you do is when you randomly crawl over to me and lay your head on me for a cuddle.  I just can't get enough of that!

Here's what you are up to at ONE YEAR!!!!
  • You are at least 22 pounds and over 31 inches tall.  I will do the actual measurements later today and update.
  • You have just started standing and taking your first few steps.  It really came out of nowhere!  You can stand on your own for several seconds at a time and have taken as many as 5 steps in a row.  You get so excited when you start walking!  Adorable!
  • You can sign the word "milk" and do it all the time (even if you aren't hungry).  Sometimes it means "milk", but other times it means "all done", "duck", or "hi"  :-)
  • You say "Dada" all day long, but a few weeks ago you started saying "Mama", which brings such joy to my heart!!  You also bark every time you see a dog!  Adorable.  You don't say many words, but you sure do understand a bunch!
  • You love to dance and it's just precious!  You can also do the motions to "Two Little Eyes" (point to your eyes and ears, open and close your hands, and stomp your feet).  You are so smart!
  • You love to climb on your "Hannah" chair and you can get in and out all by yourself.
  • You still wear size 4 diapers and are wearing all 12 month clothes and some 18 month pajamas (although they are too long still).  You are wearing size 4 shoes too (although you only have 1 pair).
  • You still only have your two bottom teeth.  And I really don't see any others coming in.
  • You are great at helping Mommy get you dressed - at least when you will actually sit still long enough to do that.  You stick your little arms right through the holes and then take off again! ;-)
  • You started eating a few new foods this month - french toast, pancakes, waffles, nectarines, strawberries, and cheese.  Unfortunately we had to stop apples again because they really don't agree with your bowels. :-(  Hopefully you will be able to eat apples one day because you really love them!
  • Your schedule these days looks like this:
    • 7am - Wake, Nurse, Diaper Change
    • 7:30am - Solids (usually cereal and fruit, but sometimes you have french toast, pancakes or waffles and fruit)
    • 8am - Playtime
    • 9:15 or 9:30am - Nap (most of the time you only sleep 30 minutes, but a few times this month you slept a full hour!)
    • 10:15 or 10:30am - Playtime
    • 11:30am - Solids (usually a meat, veggie and fruit)
    • 12pm - Playtime
    • 1:30pm - Nap (most of time this nap is only 30 minutes as well, but a few times this month you slept for a full hour.  And a couple times you actually slept for 2 hours!  WOW!)
    • 2:30pm - Playtime
    • 3pm - Snack (breastmilk in a sippy cup and a veggie or cheese)
    • 3:30pm - Outside time (this is usually a long walk in the stroller), followed by more playtime!
    • 5:30pm - Solids (usually a few veggies and a fruit)
    • 6pm - Daddy time
    • 7pm - Bedtime routine (pjs, diaper, nurse, brush teeth, story, prayers, song, in bed)
Tomorrow we will be celebrating your birthday with a some family and friends.  Mommy has been planning your birthday for a few months now and I can't wait to celebrate this milestone in your life.  We have so much to celebrate - your first year of life, mommy and daddy keeping you alive for a whole year, successfully nursing for a full year, and mommy not going completely nuts during the past year! :-)  You can thank Daddy for the last one.  Without him, Mommy would have lost it!  You are one lucky girl to have such a wonderful Daddy!  It melts my heart to see how much he loves you and how much you love him!

A year ago today we had no idea what being parents really meant.  No one could have prepared us for the year ahead.  I spent over a year reading every parenting book I could get my hands on, writing down detailed notes and planning out your schedule as best I could.  I thought I was prepared, but I had so much to learn!  The Lord spent the first year of your life teaching me just how much I needed Him.  I thought I had it all under control, but when you didn't fit into the mold I had planned out, everything fell apart.  I have had to learn over and over that I am not in control and that the Lord is.  Letting go of my tight grip has been painful at times, but also very freeing.  I won't lie and say that the past year has been joyous at every hasn't.  It's been a tough year.  It's been a year filled with growth for everyone.  But it's been the best year of my life!

Happy Birthday little peanut!  No matter how big you get, you will always be our little girl!  We love you unconditionally (believe me, you have tested that this year) and are so thankful that the Lord blessed us with you!   

Friday, March 4, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes

Hannah turns one on March 11 and I am shocked.  I have been told, time and time again, how fast time flies with a baby and I have to say, it's true.  Somehow time just speeds by and you are left wondering where the last year went.  Yet in the day-to-day, time sometimes seems to stand still.  Funny, isn't it.

With Hannah's birthday quickly approaching, I have spent the last few weeks reflecting on the past year and all that has happened.  Something about birthdays that just make you reflect....especially first birthdays!  A year ago I was a nervous wreck, 9+ months pregnant and ready to pop.  I so wish I could have seen into the future and told myself some things.  If I could have, here's what I would have said....

Dear Sabrina,

You are about to jump on the craziest roller coaster ride of your life!  It is absolutely amazing and incredibly scary and insanely fun and excruciatingly hard - all wrapped into one.  But take a minute to just relax and enjoy these last few days of baby-free life.  You will have enough time to worry about all things baby in the year to come. 

You will feel completely overwhelmed for the first 6 months or so of Hannah's life.  Your hormones will cause you to be crazy for a little while and that's okay.  You will cry for no reason at all and that's completely normal.  The first two weeks with a newborn will be the hardest weeks of your life, but it will get better!  The nights will be the hardest, but Brian will be right there for you, every step of the way.  He will wake up with you for the 2am feeding and lay on the floor in Hannah's room while you nurse her.  He will fall asleep there, but he's there and that's all you will need.  You will feel distant from Hannah in the beginning - like she is a stranger.  That will make you sad and you will feel guilty about it, but after just a short time you will fall madly in love with her and never look back.  You will forever be grateful for a sweet friend that told you it is completely normal to feel that way and that you aren't a bad mother for it.

Being a stay-at-home mom will be the toughest job you've ever had.  It will be different every day, but painfully the same.  But it will be your favorite job yet!  You will try to keep the house in order, but you will fail.  You won't cook dinner every night and the house will be in shambles some days, but that's okay.  It's only because you will be too busy crawling around on the floor with your precious baby to even notice. 

I know you are worried about the labor and doing it drug-free, but you will do it and everything will be okay.  Yes, it will hurt and you won't be prepared for the intense pain.  You will say, "I can't do this" several times, but you can!  It will only last 8 hours and Hannah will be perfectly healthy and BEAUTIFUL!  You will be taken away by her unexpected.  Your recovery will be scary and you will shed a lot of tears, but things will go back to normal and you will survive.

Breastfeeding will be painful in the beginning and there will be times where you just want to give up, but don't!  Nursing will be one of the best things you do in the next year.  It will become very natural and believe it or not you won't want to wean her at 1 year....and you probably won't! :-)

Hannah will not be a good sleeper!  This will drive you crazy and make you pull your hair out.  You will spend hour after hour reading about ways to get her to sleep.  You will try everything and nothing will work.  You will change her schedule when she is 6 or 7 months old and that will be the best thing ever.  No, she still won't sleep well, but things will get better.  Why don't you just go ahead and start out with the Babywise schedule from day one and things will most likely be a lot smoother for everyone!  Hannah will cry for what seems like hours when you put her down at night, but eventually (around 10 months) she will sleep through the night consistently and you will feel like a new woman!  The Lord will teach you so much over the next year about how not in control you are.  It will be a painful learning experience, but such an important one.  I hate to tell you, but even when Hannah turns one, she still won't be a good napper and you are just going to have to deal with that.  Some days she will sleep great and others she won't sleep at all....oh well. 

You will worry that Brian will stop loving you as much as he did before Hannah came along.  I know you are scared about having to share him with someone else, but don't be.  He will be the most amazing father and will love you even more than he does now.  Your heart will burst when you see him hold her.  He will love her unconditionally from the moment he lays eyes on her and that will melt your heart.  He will change every single dirty diaper while you are in the hospital, but don't be fooled.  You will have your fair share to change the moment you get home. :-)  Oh, and Hannah will look just like her daddy!  You won't get any credit for her amazing looks...she is his twin.  But you will LOVE that about her.  Her eyes will be crystal blue, just like Daddy's and her facial expressions will be his.  But every once in a while you will see yourself in her and those moments will be priceless. 

Give her a pacifier...just do it!  Don't be so stubborn for the first 3 months and refuse to let her have one.  It's silly.  There are much bigger things to worry about.  She will not go off to kindergarten with a pacifier in her mouth.  I don't know how you will break her of the habit, but who cares.  You can cross that bridge during her second year of life.

Hold that little newborn every chance you get.  She will grow up way too fast and you will wish you could cuddle with her again.  She will only be cuddly for about 2 weeks of her life and then she will want nothing to do with being close to you, so get it while you can!  You will not ruin her if you hold her the entire first week
of her life.  Do it!  You will wish you had.

You will spend the next year memorizing which steps creak and how to close a door without making any noise.  You will learn to flush the toilets when Hannah is awake and you will accomplish nothing during nap time out of fear of doing something that might wake her up.  Whoever came up with the saying, "sleep like a baby" must not have had one.

You will make some amazing friends over the next year.  They will keep you sane and help you in more ways than you can imagine.  They will make you feel like you aren't crazy and not alone.  They will be there to listen to you complain about how hard being a mom is and they will completely understand! 

Everything you think you know about being a mom will prove to be false!  Nothing will happen the way you planned and that will be hard. 

You will fall deeply in love this year.  You will better understand your heavenly father's love for you as you learn to love unconditionally and without reservation.  There is nothing you wouldn't do for that little peanut.  She will fill you with such great joy and will help you understand what is truly important in life.  

Friday, February 11, 2011

11 Months Old

Little Peanut,

You have entered your final month as a baby.  In a few short weeks you will officially be a pretoddler and I have to be honest and say that I am really sad about that.  I am missing your baby days with a passion (even though they were really tough at times) and wish I could freeze time!  But I will say, 11 months is the perfect age - you are coming alive!  You understand so much of what we say, you are more adorable than ever, you are content most of the time, and to top it all off you are sleeping so much better!  My sweet baby, please stop growing up.  Do you hear me?  It wasn't long ago that I could hold your entire body in my arms, but these days holding you at all is nearly impossible.  You just can't wait to get down and GO!

You are such a joy and so full of life.  I spend many hours just staring at you each day.  When you catch me staring, you light up.  Your smile melts my heart.  You giggle and "talk" in your own little language and I forget all about the sleepless nights and napless days.  Who needs sleep when you have a healthy, smiley baby to play with everyday? 

It's been a tough month in our house.  You have been sick since the beginning of January and are currently finishing up your second round of antibiotics for a double ear infection that just won't go away.  Thankfully you seem to be feeling a lot better and all that remains is the snotty nose, which I have decided will most likely stay until spring hits.

Here are your 11 month stats:
  • I haven't weighed you yet, but the last time we went to the doctor, on Jan. 20, you were 20lbs. 13oz. so I imagine you are at least 21lbs by now.  You wear mostly 12 month clothes, although you can still wear some 9 month stuff and are starting to fit in some 18 month stuff....go figure.  You wear a size 3 or 4 shoe (you really don't ever wear shoes, but we have a couple pairs).  And you are still in a size 4 diaper, however I may need to move you up another size at night because you are soaking through the 4s.  Yikes!
  • You are still a champion nurser, but we did drop one nursing this past month, so you are down to 3 per day - 7am, 3:30pm and 7pm.  I didn't realize how much I would dread the day that I have to stop nursing you.  I thought I would be ready by 11-12 months, but now I'm just not so sure.
  • You dance all the time!  This is probably my favorite thing you do these days.  Maybe it's because I took dance lessons for 10+ years or maybe it's just because you look so adorable when you shake from side to side with your hands in the air.  I can't wait to take you to your first dance lesson.
  • You are not standing on your own or walking at all, but I'm okay with that.  I'm in no rush for you to be a walker.  I am loving every minute of the crawling and cruising stage!  I have no doubt that you will be walking soon enough.  For now you love to stand holding onto anything and everything, and you love to stand on your tip-toes most of the time.  This, of course, is because you are a ballerina in training.  ;-)
  • You understand so many words - dada, mama, dog, bubbles, clap, wave, kiss, how big is Hannah?, no, night-night, eat, milk, hug, and many more - but you aren't saying anything other than dada still.  Although every time you see Bubbles you make a funny sound that almost sounds like buhbuh, so maybe you are saying more than we think.
  • You can sign "milk" and "duck", but not always in the right context.  I think you do "duck" kind of on accident, but it still counts in my book.  And "milk" seems to be a universal sign that means milk, all done, and eat. 
  • My favorite time of day with you is right before bedtime.  You get so giggly and silly.  I guess it's a result of being tired, but it is adorable.  Every little thing sets you off and you just laugh and laugh.  Let me tell you how much better that is then the days where you would scream and scream in the evening hours.  Much appreciated! :-)
  • You eat all kinds of things - squash, zucchini, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cottage cheese, yogurt, black beans, blueberries, beef, chicken, turkey meatballs, pasta, bread, hummus, mangoes, peaches, apples (finally!), bananas, black-eyed peas, and SO much more!  I have started giving you mostly finger foods, which is a lot easier.  And you definitely prefer to feed yourself most of the time - although sometimes you refuse to lift a finger and want me to spoon feed you your entire meal.  I'm okay with that - it just means you are still my baby!
  • You go to bed at 7pm and wake up at 7am (almost exactly).  You take two naps every day, at 9am and 1pm.  They are almost always 30 minutes or less, but I make you stay in your crib for a full hour each time.  You are not a huge fan of that and are sure to make your displeasure known.  I hate to hear you scream and cry, but mommy needs that hour break and you need the "rest" (if you can call it that).  The other day you actually slept for almost 2 hours during your afternoon nap - that was AMAZING!  Maybe you will be a better napper one day....and maybe not.
  • You still only have 2 teeth - the bottom two.  Again, I am in no rush for you to get more.  I know they will come in one day, but until then I will enjoy that you are not able to cause much pain when you decide to bite down while nursing. ;-)
  • You clap, wave, give high fives, give kisses and hugs, play peek-a-boo, and love to show us how big you are (SO BIG!).
  • You just started a new game where you will lay your head down (on me or on the floor) as I say, "Night Night".  Then you pop your head back up as I say, "Good Morning".  Adorable!
I love you little peanut - to the moon and back!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mommy Survey

I thought it would be fun to do this survey. Something a little different.

I saw it on a blog I read often - Check it out!

First: Post a picture of you and your kid(s).
Second: Answer the questions.
1. How many children do you have? One
2. What are their ages? 10 months
3. What time of day do you start your day? 7am, when Hannah starts screaming (she does not wake up happy, despite my best efforts)

4. What do you eat for breakfast? cereal, lately I am loving Kashi!
5. Do they watch TV? No, she has seen tv before and has watched her Baby Einstein Sign Language dvd a couple times, but definitely doesn't watch on a regular basis.

6. What are their favorite activities? crawling, pulling up on everything, cruising, climbing up the stairs, playing with mommy and daddy, eating

7. Do you get a break during the day from them? Not for long, Hannah takes 2 naps each day, but they are normally only 30 minutes each. However, I make her stay in her crib for an hour for each nap, which results in a lot of screaming on her part....praying that she gets it eventually.

8. How do you end your day? Brian and I usually watch a little tv (something on DVR because we are addicted to skipping commercials!) and try to get in bed by 10pm.

9. What is your best parenting advice or tip? Everything with a baby is a phase...don't get too comfortable. Try to enjoy every moment, good or bad. And just know that nothing will go as you planned.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Clean House = Bliss! :-)

I spent the weekend cleaning the house and let me just say how wonderful it feels to have a clean home!  For those that don't know, I am very type A and as crazy as it sounds, I love to clean. :-)  I have a passion for organizing and find great joy in doing a load of laundry. Crazy, I know!  Now just because I love cleaning doesn't mean I always have a spotless home....that's actually far from the truth.  While I do love to clean, I love even more to play with my 10 month old and live life in the moment.  Often times that means I must forget about the dishes and the laundry and look past the dirt on the floors and the dust on the tables and just play on the floor with my baby.  Life is too short to clean all the time and those with a little one (or more than one) know how hard it is to keep things clean anyway.

But everyone knows the feeling that a clean house gives....pure joy!  The smell of fresh sheets, the joy of an empty laundry hamper, the sight of a spotless floor...AHHH!!  If only it would stay that way.....

In other news, I am feeling much better today and am so thankful for that.  Hopefully we can all be healthy for the month of February!

I hope you are having a wonderful Tuesday and that the weather in your area is better than ours.  It has been misting for two days and is getting chilly again...yuck.  Is it Spring yet? ;-)

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sick Mommy

January has been a rough month in our house.  Everyone has been sick, at least once.  This past weekend I came down with another cold - sore throat and congestion.  If only I could take my head off and replace it with a healthy one!  Hannah has been sick since January 6th and just yesterday finally finished all her antibiotics.  Now I am trying to keep my germs off her so I don't reinfect her. 

In happier news, this past weekend we had amazing weather in Atlanta and enjoyed it to the fullest.  Being able to wear short sleeves in the middle of winter just puts a smile on my face.  We had all the windows open and even had a picnic in the backyard.  Perfection!  Unfortunately it was just a tease and today it is raining, bringing back the chilly temps.  But it was a nice reminder of how wonderful it will be in the Spring!

I leave you with some pictures of Hannah (who else) enjoying the beautiful weather -

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sick Baby

Our little peanut is sick.  It all started with a cold, over two weeks ago.  She had her first fever (101.7 at one point), was stuffy and just overall not feeling well.  I knew she was sick when she fell asleep on my chest for over an hour (on two different occasions!).  I will say that I enjoyed every second of those naps though! ;-)  After two weeks with a runny nose and horrible sleep patterns, I knew something wasn't right.  I finally decided to take her to the doctor this past Thursday afternoon and I'm so glad I did!  She has double ear infections, wheezing in her lungs, and a yeast diaper rash.  She is now taking Amoxicilian for the ear infections (2 times per day for 10 days), an inhaler for the wheezing, and nystatin cream for the diaper rash.  We are a regular pharmacy around here!  After 2 days of medicine, she definitely seems to be feeling better, but her sleeping has not returned to normal.  Her naps are a mess - she is crying again when we put her down and then when (or if) she does fall asleep, she only sleeps for 20-30 minutes before she is up and screaming again.  UGH!  I know she needs more sleep than that!  I am still hopeful that the medicine will continue to make her feel better and her sleeping will get back on track, eventually.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Big Girl!

Hannah is growing up so fast!  I can hardly believe that in less than 2 months we will be celebrating her first birthday.  We have started planning her big bash and it has really started to take on a life of its own.  Less than a week ago we didn't even know if we would have a party, but now we are throwing a big bash! :-)  I am excited about it, but also getting a little nervous.  I don't plan on going crazy and doing an over-the-top soirĂ©e, just a gathering of our closest friends to celebrate this special milestone in Hannah's life.  I am determined to have fun planning it and on the day of....I will not get stressed out! (Now, you better remind of that in a month!!)

There have been a lot of fun milestones happening around here.  Hannah has been doing the cutest things lately.  She started giving high fives a couple weeks ago - I had never even thought to teach her that, but the day I started, she caught right on.  I hold up my hand and say, "Give me five" and she slaps my hand a couple times with the largest smile on her face!  She loves it!!  This past weekend she also started playing peek-a-boo.  When she is laying on her back, she will pull a blanket over her face and then we say, "Where's Hannah?" and she pulls the blanket down, smiling her enourmous grin!  PRECIOUS!  Another favorite that she learned this past wekeend is "So Big!"  We ask her, "How big is Hannah?" and she throws her arms over her head as we say, "SO BIG!"  Again, she smiles the entire time.  Then just today she started my ultimate favorite - kissing!  I ask her for a kiss and she will lean in with her mouth wide open and then I go in for the kiss.  She giggles and I melt!  Oh my sweet baby girl is growing up so fast and I am trying to soak in all those precious moments.  I just can't get enough of that sweet baby girl!

Friday, January 14, 2011

10 Months Old

Sweet Little Peanut,

Your tenth month was the fastest yet. I blame that on Christmas and our monumental snow storm in early January!

Speaking of Christmas, this month you celebrated your first one!  We spent it in Florida at Grandma and Grandpa Vaccaro's house.  It was wonderful to be with family (Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Julie, and Uncle Chris) and you loved all the attention!  But surprisingly you weren't very interested in the presents on Christmas morning.  You didn't even care about the wrapping paper or boxes.  I think you were a bit overwhelmed.  But you were a HUGE fan of the Little People Nativity Scene.....maybe you already understand the true meaning of Christmas! :-)

Here's what you are up to at 10 months old:
•You weigh 21lbs. 13oz. (71%) and are 30 inches long (93%).  One tall girl!!
•You wear mostly all 12 month clothes (9-12 months) and some 18 months (12-18 months). But you can still fit into some of your 9 month clothes (6-9 months).
•You are still wearing a size 4 diaper and size 3 or 4 shoes.
•You have your two bottom teeth now!
•You are cruising all over the furniture these days, but don't seem too interested in standing on your own or walking.  You have also mastered crawling up the stairs, but have no idea how to get back down...which resulted in a scary fall a few days ago.  Thankfully all is well! :-)
•You have been eating lots of new foods and love feeding yourself.  Sometimes your entire meal is finger foods!  Right now your favorite foods are pasta, bread, puffs, and blueberries.  Not surprising since those are some of my favorite foods! :-)  You are still nursing 4 times per day and doing great!
•You said your first word this month - "DaDa"  You had been saying it for a while now, but I hadn't counted it yet because it didn't really have any meaning.  Then the other day I asked you, "Where is Daddy?" and you pointed right to him and said, "DaDa"!!  Adorable!
•This month we realized just how much of a little person you have become.  You understand so much of what we are saying, which is so fun!  When you start to refuse to eat something we start a little trade off where I will give you a bite of the food you don't won't, followed by a bite of something you do.  I say, "One bite of this and then you get a blueberry (or pasta or whatever)" and you will suddenly open you mouth wide.  It's amazing! 
•This month, naps have been a nightmare.  I blame it on all the craziness of the holidays, but I'm ready for you to get back to taking better naps.  Right now you take 2 naps each day, but they are sometimes only 30 minutes each!  UGH!   Thankfully you have been sleeping 12 hours straight at night for the past couple weeks!  That is a huge improvement from last month.  It took a week or so of retraining for you to sleep through the night again, but it worked!
•You have started to get really whiny and clingy, which has been challenging for me.  You don't like to be too far away from me and would really like for me to hold you all day long.  It's hard to get anything done.  But I am trying to enjoy this clingy stage because I know it is fleeting and soon you will want nothing to do with me. :-(
•You still arent' waving or clapping, but you are pointing at everything.  You point and then grunt, which I interpret as you asking for something or an explanation of what something is. 
•You make the cutest sound that is too hard to explain, but it's when you click your tongue on your bottom teeth and say "dododo"...I think I got it on least I hope so! :-)
•Your eczema is still flaring up, but I have continued the lotion regime and I think it's getting a little better.  I'm hopeful that it will disappear when the weather warms up! 
•Your hair has grown so much that it hardly sticks up anymore...that makes me sad!  My little girl is growing up!
•You still love to share everything with us - your pacifier, your toys, your food. 
•You have started giving high fives - ADORABLE!!!  I say, "Give me five" and you do!

It amazes me how much you change every single day.  I lay you down at night as my little peanut and when I pick you back up in the early morning, you have changed into my big girl!  It is the most amazing thing to watch, yet also a little heartbreaking.  But there is nothing else I would rather do!

I love you little girl!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2010 Summary

I saw this survey on a blog that I have been following since I found out I was pregnant - Baby Dickey - and thought it was a good way to sum up 2010.  Enjoy!

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
- So much!!  Birthed a child (unmedicated, I might add!), nursed a child for 9.5 months (and still going), did everything required to keep a newborn alive and raise her to be a healthy and happy 9 month old, became a MOM!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
- I don't remember making any last year (not a big resolution fan), but this year I did feel a sense of renewal and have been determined to be more intentional with my time.  I'm not sure that doing a survey like this is very "intentional", but I figured it would be an insightful way to summarize the last year of my life.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
- ME!  And several of my close friends - Amy, Lindsay, Asheley, Heather, Lindsay (another one), and more...

4. Did anyone close to you die?
- Thankfully, no

5. What countries did you visit?
- Definitely didn't make it out of the country, but did make it to several different place - NYC, Flagler Beach (3 times), Panama City (3 times), Siesta Key, and probably other places I am forgetting.

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
- More time to enjoy with family and friends - 2010 was ALL about the baby and I want 2011 to be more about the world outside of these four walls!

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
- March 11 - Hannah was born!!

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
- Delivering my first child without any medications (not even a tylenol people!)
- Succesfully nursing my child for 9.5 months (and counting)
- Keeping her alive for 9.5 months (and counting!!)

9. What was your biggest failure?
- I wouldn't call it a failure, but I do feel like I didn't get to enjoy Hannah's newborn stage like I thought I would because I was so concerned with her schedule and making sure she did 'xyz' every day.  I was definitely obsessed with that (and still am, if I let myself be).

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
- A cold here and there, but nothing serious.  Recovering from my labor was illness enough!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
- Our new camera (Nikon D3100) - just have to figure out how to use it in a mode other than auto now!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
- Brian's!  He has been the most amazing husband and father!  During my labor he was unbelievable!  He didn't even sit down for 8+ hours and was by my side the entire time.  He was the best father right from the beginning - so involved and just in love.  He would wake up with me in the middle of night when Hannah would cry and come into her room with me while I nursed her.  He was my rock!  He was understanding of my crazy hormones and listened to me cry over the silliest things.  I wouldn't have made it this past year without his amazing support!

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
- No one I can think of

14. Where did most of your money go?
- Hannah!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
- All of Hannah's milestones: smiling, laughing, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, pulling up, sleeping through the night!

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
- "Goodnight Sweetheart" - I sing it to Hannah every time I put her down for a nap or at night

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder? Happier
b) thinner or fatter? Thinner
c) richer or poorer? Probably about the same - nah, poorer because we are remodeling our kitchen soon! ;-)

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
- Spent more time with friends, but babies make things so much more complicated!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
- Wasting time

20. How did you spend Christmas?
- In Panama City with Brian's family

21. Did you fall in love in 2010?
- Absolutely!  Hannah has made me understand God's love for me in a whole new way.  I am madly in love with that baby!!

22. What was your favorite TV program?
- We became DVR junkies this year, so we watched a lot of shows (that's what happens when you have a baby that has to be in bed by 8pm) - Top faves were Modern Family and The Middle

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
- I don't hate anyone - I might not like their choices or actions, but I don't hate them.

24. What was the best book you read?
- I don't think I read any books in 2010 (besides children's and parenting books)...sad

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
- Hmmm....not sure.  I think I knew about him in 2009, but Mat Kearney became a BIG fave this year.  We went to the most amazing concert at Eddie's Attic in the summer and were blown away!

26. What did you want and get?
- Hannah!
- Our new camera
- Lots of baby things

27. What did you want and not get?
- Nothing...I mean there are things that I would like to have, but nothing that I need.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
- I don't even know if we went to the theater once in 2010.  I know I saw the new(er) movie with Katherine Heigel about raising a baby, but I can't even remember who I was with or where we were.  It was cute, but definitely not the best movie I saw.  We just watched Inception a few weeks ago and that was good.  But there really wasn't a stand out movie that I saw this year.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
- I turned 28!!  At first I wrote 27 because there is no way I am 28, but I am!!  Yikes!  Brian's parents were in town on my birthday and we went out to dinner at Maggiano's (technically I think we went out the night before my birthday). 

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
- It was overal a wonderful year!!  But if Hannah has been born a natural sleeper, that would have made my stress level a lot less! ;-)

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?
- Whatever fits and is clean and comfy.  I spent the majority of 2010 on the floor with a drooly, reflux baby!  Fashion wasn't really in my vocabulary.

32. What kept you sane?
- Brian, my mom, my playgroup girls!!!

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
- No one I can think of

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
- Political issue??  I don't even watch the news, I hate politics!  I only want to know the stuff that impacts me directly and that I can do something about.  If something is going on that I have no control over, I want nothing to do with it.  What's the point??

35. Who did you miss?
- Family!  I hate that we live so far away from everyone.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
- My playgroup girls!  Heather, Asheley and Lindsay, I don't know what I would have done these past few months without you!!

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010.
- Take things one day at a time. 
- Life flies by, so enjoy every second. 
- Everything with a baby is a phase!