Friday, January 28, 2011

Note to Self

Every day it seems there are things that Brenna does or learns that I want to remember. It's hard to imagine ever forgetting things, but I know it will happen as she grows and develops so quicly! Anyhow, here are three big ones.

*Today Brenna was playing in the living room floor and had walked over to the DVD player under our TV. She hit the open/close button (which she'd done, on accident, before) and the drawer came out. It scared her to death! She started crying and backed away. I went over to rescue her and showed her how touching the button again would make the drawer go back in. She laughed at this. Then we opened it again, and she backed away and gasped again. Repeat about 10 times. She finally figured out how to push the button herself, which is probably a terrible lesson. But, hey, at least she's not afraid anymore!

*A couple nights ago Jonathan and I were sitting in the floor rolling two of Brenna's balls back and forth to her. We kept saying "ball" and she kept repeating it. She's pretty good at rolling and tossing the ball, and she says "ball" every time. She really knows what the word means, which just boggles my mind!

*She's getting SO much more steady on her feet. She's bent over a few times to pick things up without falling while standing. Today she bent over, picked up a Puff she'd dropped, and stood right back up and kept walking. It was just so cute to see her do that. I'm not sure what it is about a baby bending down, but it just makes me giggle. Her little toddle is so adorable, and it's amazing how good she has gotten at it.

These days are priceless, and I couldn't be more thankful for snow days right now!!

Monday, January 10, 2011


So, last year I made a few resolutions while very pregnant with Brenna. Let's take a look at how those turned out...

1. Birth a baby and keep her safe, healthy, and happy. Check! We have the most perfect girl in the world!

2. Lose the pregnancy weight and the extra 10 I was carrying when I got pregnant. Not so much. Still have about 8 of the pregnancy pounds. We'll reinstate this one for 2011.

3. Run at least 2 5K races, maybe even the same one I did last year in Greenville. Kelley? Nope. Didn't even run one. Didn't run much at all after she was born. Here we go again.

4. Keep my motto that "babies are portable" and not let her limit our family, but instead to inclue her and provide lots of fun memories for all 3 of us! YES! We took many trips to see our parents and grandparents, in addition to a trip to Richmond, one to Atlanta and Greenville, a trip to DC, and our beach trip.

5. Hear my husband say, "You were right about cloth diapers. They really aren't that bad." Yep, he's a believer. In fact, I was ready to quit a week or 2 ago and he talked me out of it. Weird, but true.

6. Wear pre-pregnancy clothes to the many, many weddings we'll be attending (and in!) this summer. I wore pre-pregnancy clothes to a few showers and other pre-wedding things, but I think I wore new clothes to all of the actual weddings. They were bigger than my pre-pregnancy size for the most part, but hey, they did have waistbands!

7. Read through the daily Bible. Nope. Totally forgot about this one, honestly. I'm only ten days late, maybe I should get started.

8. Drink more water. Yes. And I peed more than I thought humanly possible.

Monday, January 3, 2011

10 Months Old!

Dear Brenna,

It's your first monthly "birth"day in 2011. It's going to be a big year for you and I'm so excited to watch you grow and change even more. I'll admit it was a little sad to say goodbye to the year you were born, but that's just how things go - time goes too fast! You're such a different little girl than you were just 10 months ago, and your personality is coming out more every day I think.

I wouldn't call you a walker, yet, but you're close! You stand with great balance, and you've taken 5-6 steps several times. You get really proud of yourself and smile really big when you walk from the couch to the ottoman. It's fun to watch you get better and better at it. Daddy doesn't like it when you practice this skill, because he says he'll miss how cute you are when you're crawling around. You are a pretty cute crawler - and you're so fast! You can get from one side of a room to another in the blink of an eye - which explains why we're looking into baby gates to prevent you from crawling UP the stairs and not just down. You've mastered one step already - eeek! You're a pretty determined little thing, that's for sure!

Speaking of being determined - we're trying to figure out how to start disciplining you to the amount that you understand. I've found myself saying, "No, Brenna" quite a lot lately, and I think you've made the connection that it means to stop what you're doing. When I'm nursing you, you have a really lovely habit of smacking me in the face. I always have to tell you no and move your hand down to your side. You think that's funny and laugh at me when I tell you no. Oh, geez. We want you to be obedient as you grow up, so we'll have to really figure out how to begin teaching you right from wrong. But, don't get me wrong, you are still a super friendly, happy, loving baby, and everyone always comments on your sweet personality and attitude.

Miss Kate says you and Liam are playing together more, and you definitely interact with London more, too. It's going to be so fun seeing you make new friends and play with them. You're still surrounded by baby boys, but you seem ok with that for now.

You're still nursing 3 times a day (with an occasional skipped feeding, which you'll be happy to know I no longer freak out about) with a bottle when you're at Kate's. It was SO nice to just be able to give you all your feedings during my Christmas break, but we're back to the grind now. You eat 2 meals of about 8 oz. a day, and you still prefer Stage 2 baby foods. You do eat more finger foods now - including shredded cheese (which you LOVE - in a shoveling it in with both hands kind of way), Ritz crackers, Puffs, cooked carrots, scrambled eggs, bananas, yogurt melts, ground beef, and small pieces of ham. You still despise Stage 3 foods, so I guess we'll go straight to all table food eventually. You're definitely an eater! I'm curious about your weight, but you don't have an appointment this month, so we might have to do an at-home weight check! You still take 2 naps a day, but they seem to be getting shorter. I know you're not ready to drop one yet though, because you get pretty sleepy mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

You wear mainly 6-9 month clothes, with a few 3-6, 6-12, and regular 6 and 9 month ones mixed in. You're pretty long, so we have to move you up in pants size way before we have to go to the next size in shirts. You have some pretty cute clothes, if I do say so myself. And Aunt Mal hooked you up for next year as your Christmas present. Buying clothes for baby girls is so much fun! I think you agree - we have fun on our little shopping "sprees".

Your first Christmas was very special. You got to see lots of your extended family and they spoiled you with gifts and attention. You're finally starting to notice your toys more, and we try to let you play on your own a lot so that you don't always depend on us to entertain you. You do love to be read to and sit pretty well when we read you stories. I hope you love to read as much as I did when I was a little girl.

We are loving how you'll give us "kisses" now on occasion. Your little slobbery kisses are the best kind! You also have a new habit of raising one or both hands out of the blue. Yesterday I would ask you, "Who loves Daddy?" and you would always raise your hand. It was the cutest thing! Kate also told me you raised your hand when she asked you and Liam, "Who needs a diaper change?" Ha! We still think your giggles are the best sound on earth, and we hear them many times a day. I hope you never lose your playful spirit.

It's hard to believe that you'll be 1 in two short months, but I'm determined to soak up these last 2 months of your first year. Here's to more playtime, stories, cuddling, and adventures in 2011!

I love you, sweet little Sprout!
Love, Mommy

*little stinker trying to tear off your sticker - Have you been talking to Finley??*

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 in Review

*I blatently stole this idea from Merritt. It's SUCH a good idea and I'm already looking forward to writing this list! I didn't ask her for permission - I think it's better to just ask for forgiveness for copying! :)*

*We rang in the new year at a MARTA stop in Atlanta on our way back to our hotel after the CFA bowl.
*I finished up my sub plans for my materity leave which I was SURE would be happening in.
*We had our second baby shower at The Freedom Center - thrown by one of my BFFs April.
*We had our third baby shower at my mother-in-law's house with Jonathan's family.
*We took maternity pictures with our buddy Jeff Loope.
*We finished up Brenna's nursery and got more and more excited.
*I ate Tums by the handful. I also got kicked in the bladder more than I thought humanly possible.

*I became full-term. Brenna also decided to no longer be breech!
*I spent a LONG night in triage of labor/delivery with mild contractions and dehydration.
*I turned 28 - shew!!
*I only worked 6 or 7 days due to lots of snow and ice.
*My class threw me a baby shower. It was SO fun and special.
*My due date came AND went.

*I had to go to L&D to get Brenna's heartrate checked out. I wasn't in labor and was only about 1.5 cm. dilated.
*Less than 3 hours later I was admitted to L&D, dilated to 7 cm. Brenna was born about 7 hours later, after 2.5 hours of pushing and a fabulous epidural. Hooray modern medicine!
*We came home as a family of 3 and introduced Brenna to Maggie.
*We didn't get a lot of sleep, and had lots and lots of visitors.
*Brenna lost too much weight, but then got caught back up.
*Brenna had her first photo shoot with Jeff.
*Brenna met my students at school.
*Brenna and I had a girls-day-out to do the bridesmaid dress fitting thing with Sheri, Paige, April, Whitney, and Peighton.

*We celebrated Easter in Bristol and on Pine Mountain for Brenna's first travel adventure.
*Brenna turned 1 month old!!
*Brenna had her first babysitter while mom worked out - Kristen Spence.
*We took a roadtrip to Atlanta with stops in Greenville, SC to see Kelley, Kiran, and Sienna and meet Rhys and Owen and in Bristol to see my mom.
*We took Brenna to her first Hokies game - the spring football game with Darin and Lydsie.
*We took Brenna to a Salem Red Sox game with my school kiddos.
*We entered the cloth diaper world full-force.
*Brenna had more newborn pictures made with Mary Stafford.

*Brenna was dedicated at church on the same day as London.
*She got her first set of shots.
*I celebrated my first Mother's Day.
*I went back to work and left Brenna with Kristen for 3 weeks.
*My kids took their SOL tests and kicked booty!
*Jonathan and I had a date night to see Sister Hazel at Festival in the Park. Brenna celebrated by screaming with a belly ache for Donette, Randy, and Kristen.

*I threw a lingerie shower for my coworkers and BFFs Sheri and Lisa.
*School ended for the year. Brenna and I had LOTS of time together.
*Brenna rolled over.
*Jonathan had his first Father's Day.
*Jonathan DJed Kevin and Julianna's wedding. Brenna stole the show.
*I got 10 inches cut off my hair.
*Brenna got her first haircut, too.

*Brenna got more shots. :(
*We had family photos made with Mary.
*We celebrated the 4th of July in Bristol, in Austinsville, and at a cookout with church friends.
*We dressed up like cows with Lisa, Lea Beth, and Emilie to celebrate Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A.
*Jonathan was a groomsman for one of his best friends from childhood, Chuck.
*Sheri got married and I got to be a bridesmaid for her special day.
*I started selling Thirty-One.
*We took our first beach vacation with Brenna - along with the Bashams.
*Jonathan and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary with a date night to The Melting Pot at the beach.
*My student, Peyton, was in a bad car wreck, but recovered well.

*We visited Brandan in Richmond.
*Lisa and Kevin got married, and we celebrated with them near Richmond.
*We went to Jonathan's 10 year high school reunion.
*I went back to work and Brenna started staying with Kate, our neighbor.
*Brenna had her first food - avocado.

*Brenna turned half a year old!
*We spent Labor Day weekend in DC with my mom, sister, and cousin.
*I nursed in some really weird places in D.C. Sorry, but I had to include it!
*I dealt with serious sadness about going back to work.
*We took Brenna to the park to play and swing for the first time and had SO much fun!
*I made my first baby food. Brenna hated it.
*Brenna crawled!

*I FINALLY got my car painted.
*We had more family photos taken.
*We celebrated London's first birthday.
*We celebrated my grandma's 80th birthday with a surprise party.
*We celebrated Jonathan's 29th birthday with a surprise party at his grandma's.
*Brenna said "dada" a lot.
*My coworkers and I were super-cute as Care Bears on Halloween.
*Brenna was a giraffe (and a bee) for her first Halloween. We "trick-or-treated" around Pine Mountain and then my mom and sister came to visit.

*Brenna started finger foods.
*Brenna had a ruptured eardrum and took her first antibiotic.
*Brenna started walking while pushing her toy with good balance! She also started "cruising" around our furniture.
*We spent Thanksgiving with both of our families.
*We cheered on the Hokies on TV a lot!

*Brenna took a few steps.
*Jonathan and I enjoyed a Sister Hazel concert and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Pops Concert.
*My mom was in the hospital for 8 days after having a borderline tumor removed from her ovary. We spent some time in Bristol.
*I served on jury duty.
*Brenna discovered a serious love of cheese!!
*We made Jesus a birthday cake in the church nursery.
*We celebrated Christmas with lots of our family.
*We said goodbye to 2010 by putting Brenna to bed, making a homemade fondue dinner and chocolate cake, and watching a movie and the ball drop.

It was a good, good year for the Halseys.