Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 Year in Review

*Davin started crawling.
*We finally got a Macbook!

*Brenna spent a week with her grandmas while J, Dav, and I went to DC.  Davin and I hung around the hotel, visited the Smithsonian, hung out with Merritt for a day, and had some dinner dates with Daddy.
*We celebrated Valentine's Day at PF Changs in DC.
*We celebrated my birthday by driving home from DC to pick up Brenna.  We stopped to see Sheri, Leah, and Justin on the way.
*Davin finally started tolerating baby food.

*Brenna turned THREE and we celebrated with a Candyland party.
*Brenna started her first season of soccer at the Y.
*We celebrated Easter at Pine Mountain.
*I got a belated birthday gift - both my diplomas professionally framed!

*Davin, Brenna, and I spent a week in Bristol.
*Maggie turned SEVEN!
*Brenna had her first of many swimming lessons.
*I started a hardcore diet and exercise regime.

*I celebrated my first Mother's Day as a mother of two!
*We spent over a week at the beach.  We were there from Saturday-Tuesday with the Bashams and Wednesday-Sunday with my mom, Mal, Josh, and Brady.
*J got to spend the first day of vacation fixing the starter on our car - which died literally 5 minutes or less after we parked at the beach condo.
*We had extended family pictures made on vacation.
*Davin learned to walk!
*Davin started eating like a crazy person!

*Davin turned ONE and we celebrated with a Mr. Potato Head party.
*We spent Father's Day in Virginia - we went to The Freedom Center and hung out with the Bashams.
*We had a playdate with Jude and Leah (and Lisa and Sheri) in Dublin, VA.
*We went to Sara and Steven Malik's wedding in Radford, VA.
*We attended an Abel family reunion in Abingdon, VA.
*The kids and I had lots of park trips, visits to the Y, and lots and lots of outdoor play time.

*I was a reader in Ashley and Curtis Bumgardner's wedding in Emory, VA.
*We went to the Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg with Donna, Jayla, Brad, Mom, Mal, Josh, and Brady.
*Sheri and Leah came to visit us for a few days.
*We celebrated our 5th anniversary at the NC Zoo with Brenna and Davin.
*I weaned Davin.
*Davin dropped his morning nap AND finally moved to his own room.
*Brenna did swimming lessons most of the summer.

*Brenna and Davin spent a weekend with Neena and Pa Bill.  J and I got a date night in downtown Hickory.
*I spent 2 days in Asheville with Christy and Lora - with lots of shopping, catching up, eating, and a Biltmore tour!
*Brenna had her first dentist appointment.
*Brenna moved to a big girl twin bed.
*Davin had another ear infection.
*We celebrated Brady's 2nd birthday in Bristol.

*Brenna started preschool.
*We went to Justin and Brandie Huelsman's (I know I spelled that wrong) wedding here in NC.
*The Hainrihars moved to Missouri.  :(
*We went to a family reunion for Jonathan's family on Pine Mountain.
*Brenna started her second season of soccer at the Y.
*We met up with Brandan and Rachel in Winston Salem for a Sister Hazel concert.  Jonathan's dad was here and watched the kids.

*My mom came to visit.  Jonathan and I spent the day in Blacksburg with Darin and Lyndsie to watch the Hokies defeat UNC.
*I chopped off my hair.
*Jonathan and I went to Nashville, TN for Alana and Jason Hilkin's wedding.  The kids stayed with my mom.
*We went to Dollywood with Donna, Jayla, Brad, Mom, Mal, Josh, and Brady.
*We finally purchased our house in Newton, NC.
*We went apple picking.
*We went back to the balloon festival in Statesville, NC.
*Brenna had her first field trip - to Red Wolf Pumpkin farm.  The rest of us tagged along.
*We trick-or-treated around our neighborhood.  Brenna was a swimmer and Davin was a fish.
*I threw a baby shower for Lauren Bliss and Baby Shane.
*J worked 12 hours on his birthday. :(

*Neena and Pa Bill kept the kids for a weekend.  Jonathan and I spent the day at Ikea and had dinner in Charlotte with my cousins.
*Brenna and I went to the Renaissance festival near Charlotte with Sissy.
*Brenna and I went to see Willy Wonka by a local theater group.
*I cooked a full Thanksgiving meal for Jonathan's dad.
*We spent Thanksgiving with my family and 2 days afterwards with Jonathan's family in VA.

*Brenna started basketball at the Y.
*We cut down a Christmas tree in Vale, NC.  It was a little bigger than we anticipated - but gorgeous!
*We visited Santa at the mall.  Bren did great - Dav was terrified.
*We hosted a Pajamas and Pancakes party for a few of Bren's friends.
*Jonathan took Brenna on a date to dinner and to see Peter Pan downtown.
*Jonathan, Davin, and I joined Brenna at school for a Chic-fil-a feast.
*Brenna enjoyed Polar Express day in her pjs at school.
*I made a million signs for people!
*We hosted a Minute to Win It Christmas party for our life group friends.
*We took homemade treats to our neighbors, postal workers, garbage men, firemen, and police officers.
*Santa came on Dec 21 - such fun!
*We went to the Hickory parade downtown.
*We went to Troutman, NC to see Christmas lights - We ended up seeing a random bunch of lights, a baby tiger and a baby kangaroo, and 3 live tigers.  Most random night ever!
*We spent 2 days with J's family, then 3 days with my family, then 1 day with J's dad and stepmom.  We finally made it home on Dec 29!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Santa 2013

 Santa's gifts this year
 Bren's dollhouse, scooter, and plasma car
Davin's tractor, Tonka truck, and plasma car

Santa stuck with his 3 gift tradition this year (but threw in one extra mutual gift!).  Brenna received a dollhouse, a scooter (one of her big wishes!) and a plasma car.  Davin received a (used) John Deere ride-on tractor and attached wagon, a big Tonka truck, and a plasma car.  After all gifts were opened - we surprised them with Santa's last gift - a Little Tikes 7 foot trampoline (jump-a-bean according to Bren).  It was a huge hit.  I am hoping for lots of warm weather to enjoy all these new wheels!  

33Before33 - #20 - Nursing

I knew that I wanted to make it until at least he was at least a year old to wean Davin.  Nursing Davin was overall easier than nursing Brenna because I never had to go to work.  I rarely had to pump (woohoo!!) and he was a pretty quick eater.  We had a bit of a struggle when he was really young before my milk was completely in - similar to the struggle we had with Brenna.  I supplemented her a tad during her first month because she wasn't gaining weight quick enough (and lost a tad too much) but I was determined not to have to do that with Davin.  After we got going, it was pretty smooth sailing.  I struggled through mastitis (on vacation.  at the beach.) and yeast issues (during Valentine's Day.  and my birthday.) and we still kept it up!  He acted like he had a magnet to me for many months - and I'm pretty sure it was because he knew Mommy=food!!  We dropped down to one feeding a day for awhile and I knew he was ready to drop that.  I, on the other hand, had a hard time because I knew it was probably the last time I would nurse a baby.  On July 27, when he was about 13.5 months old, I nursed him for the last time.  He never missed a beat and it was good ending to that nursing relationship.  I am proud of myself that I was able to nurse both of my babies past a year.  Score one for Mommy!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Lesson I Didn't Mean to Teach

Today I taught Brenna a lesson I didn't even mean to.  Oh, don't get me wrong.  Today was already prepped to be a day of learning for her.  We had baked lots of yummy treats, packaged them up, and were going to head out to take them to some Fire Stations, Police Stations, Post Offices, etc.  But this morning just wasn't going my way.  The brownies weren't setting up quick enough. The vinyl for the signs I was making got eaten by my machine.  Then it cut crooked.  Then it peeled off wrong.  So, in an effort to get out the door at a reasonable time - I decided to stick the brownie in the freezer for just a few minutes so the candy cane things in the middle wouldn't be runny.  So I opened the freezer door.....which prompted Brenna's lunch box to fall, knocking the plate (and all the yumminess) out of my hand.  It was the last straw.  I know I muttered something like "This cannot be happening" and then it hit me.  She was watching.  So even though everything inside me wanted to just lay down on the floor, cry, and eat some brownies while I was down there...I didn't.  I told her that "accidents happen" and we just picked them up.  I even let her eat one.  And she kept coming hugging me saying, "I am sorry they all fell Mommy."  She was being compassionate when she knew I needed it - but hopefully she saw from me that life happens.  Sometimes it is messy, but getting mad and frustrated just makes it worse.

So yeah, we took some goodies to some public servants today.  We even got an up-close look at a fire truck.  But the lesson for the day wasn't about serving others.  It doesn't happen all that often - but today I am proud of what my daughter saw in me.

Friday, December 13, 2013

One and a Half!!

Dear Davin,

You are officially closer to being two than to being one.  That is incredibly hard for me to fathom.  Your second year is absolutely flying by!  You are really turning into a toddler and losing a lot of your baby traits - which is hard to handle for this mommy.  You are lots and lots of fun and keep us laughing, so we are trying to just enjoy this stage before it, too, passes.

One of the biggest recent changes is your vocabulary.  You are trying a lot more to use words to communicate with us - which is sometimes successful and sometimes total gibberish.  Some of the words you say the most are - Memo (Elmo), hat (you point at your hat rack and yell HAT! every morning when I get you out of your crib), shoe, owshy (outside), Ma (or Ma-ma - both Maggie), Daddy, Mommy, Bremma, Neena, Nanie, Gama (Grandma), mo (more), peese (please), bye bye (You say bye-bye anytime I say "I love you" ha!), choo choo, book, baby (You like to point at the canvases of you and Bren on the wall), ca (cracker), and Hi (to anyone who looks your way, complete with a wave!)  Oh, and NO!  You have mastered it - and use it often when we ask you something that you aren't too happy about.  You love to dance and will dance on command if I hold your hands or tell you to "shake your booty".  You also like to clap and say "yay" anytime you hear clapping.  You are more interested in TV if it's on - especially PBS type shows (oh, and Home Alone.  You were a big fan!).

You cut your first top molar earlier this week (around December 10) and I hope that's the reason you haven't been sleeping as well.  You have had several shorter naps this week (1 hour - whereas you usually sleep at least 3 - and up to 4.5!)  You are harder to get down at night and wake up a few times for a paci or some back-patting.  Speaking of - last night was a milestone.  Daddy went in to rock you to sleep and you actually said "Mommy".  I have no idea if you really were asking for me - but I rocked you and enjoyed it!  I love rocking you for your naps, too.  You just get so comfy in my arms and I know these days are going by too quickly.  You still are attached like crazy to Daddy - but you are coming back around to being Mommy's buddy again too.

You and Brenna play together a lot - and argue a lot too.  You are learning quickly to not let her bully you around - and she isn't taking to kindly to it.  She is really sweet with you a lot of the times - but she sure doesn't like for you to have something she wants or if you are getting too much attention.  I really hope the fussing will slow down and you guys will become even better friends over the next few months.  We do still enjoy the days that she is at school - it gives you more one-on-one time with me and it's a blast!  We've been running lots of errands lately and people always comment on how cute you are.  And I agree!!

You are eating about the same - but will eat deli meat again, yay!  You love cheese, yogurt, fruit, bread, corn, green beans, crackers, and any sweet treat you can get your hands on.  You prefer juice over milk or water - but we trick you and water it way down when you do get it.  You are still wearing mostly 12-18 month clothes with some 18-24 shirts in there.

You LOVE iPads and iPhones.  It's so funny to see you go toward them if they are in your line of sight.  We are going to have our hands full between you and your sister and monitoring screen time.  It's too cute when you pile up on our laps and lay back to see something on the screen though.

We went and cut down a Christmas tree and so far you haven't messed with it too much - and even the presents haven't gotten too messed up so far.  I am looking SO forward to Christmas celebrations with you and Bren this year - you are both going to have so much fun.  We also had a Pancakes and Pajamas party here last week - and you were super clingy to me until you found some other moms who were willing to feed you some more yummy food.

You make every day a good one.  I love you so much Spud!
Love, Mommy

Thursday, November 28, 2013

17 Months Old

Dear Davin,

I have to admit it - I missed writing your letter last month.  October was just a super busy month and time got away from me.  So, let's catch up...

You are totally 100% attached to your Daddy.  You love hanging out with me and will give me cuddles and smiles and attention - until he walks in the room.  Then it is all about Daddy!  You want him to carry you around and do everything with you anytime he is in your sight.  It's funny since you used to be attached to me like a magnet.  One day you will go back to being Mommy's Boy, right?  You adore when someone reads you a book - you like books about animals, farms, and cars best (in addition to There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat - yep, still love it!)  You love playing outside when it's warm enough - and you've mastered going down slides by yourself.  You don't love riding in strollers when you have the option to walk instead.  You are cute as a button when you wave at strangers wherever we go.  You are a pretty friendly guy most of the time.  You like to clap for Brenna when she does something well - and you love to fight with Brenna when she takes a toy from you or you want something she isn't willing to give up.  Your big sis loves you, and it melts my heart to hear her talk to you - she usually starts out with "Buddy..." or "Baby..."

You are recently obsessed with trains.  You probably say the words "Choo Choo" at least a hundred times each day.  You think the garbage truck, tractor-trailers, and any other big vehicle is a choo choo.  When you see Thomas on TV (or on anything in a store) - you go nuts!  Brady is a big fan of trains too, so it must be a boy thing for sure!  You also like for me to pretend your food is a choo-choo - that is, of course, when you actually let me feed you, which is becoming more rare now that you are mastering feeding yourself with a spoon!  You have so far successfully finished off macaroni and yogurt all by yourself!   You cut two more teeth on the top during the week of November 2.  And just this week (sometime around November 26) you cut your first molar on the bottom right!  The top teeth seemed to both you a little bit, but nothing too terrible.  You've also had a slight cold and cough - but so far no more ear infections!  You are eating well of course - but have recently started resisting meat.  You are a bread and cheese lover for sure!  You love to drink water out of Brenna's water bottle and you still drink plenty of milk.

We celebrated your second Halloween - and you were the cutest fish ever.  You had fun smiling at the neighbors and eating the treats you got that night.  Earlier in October you and Bren stayed with Nanie for a weekend while Daddy and I went to Nashville for a wedding.  You had lots of fun at Nanie's new house.  Then Nanie, Mal, Brady, Josh, Donna Ann, Jayla, and Brad brought you and Brenna to meet me and Daddy at Dollywood!  It was so fun.  You loved riding some of the kiddie rides with Brenna.  You missed your nap and were still so, so good.  You also spent a weekend with Neena and Pa Bill in early November.  They love having you there - and all your extended family loved seeing you at church.  Grandpa came to visit you last weekend and you loved having him around to tote you around and play ball with.

We had lots of adventures this fall - we went to the apple orchard and picked apples, went on a field trip to a pumpkin patch with Brenna's class, went to the balloon festival in Statesville (which you loved!), and now we are looking forward to going to cut down a Christmas tree in a week or two!  It's been really fun watching you grow and actually getting to enjoy some things we've enjoyed with Brenna in the past.  You are at the most fun age - and I admit I often wish I could just stop time.  You are just so FUN.

I think you are about 22-23 pounds and you wear mostly 12-18 month clothes.  You have gone to size 6 shoes and you love wearing shoes because it means you are most likely going "ouchide" (outside).  You wear size 4 diapers and still wear your snuggly footed pjs every night!  You nap from 2-5ish and sleep from 8:45 until anywhere from 8:30-10 each morning.  We just switched you to Brenna's convertible carseat this week.   So far I'm not sure you are a fan - you seem to have less leg room than you did in your infant carrier.  You'd be much happier facing forward so you could watch the iPad on long trips with Bren!  I typically make sure I have plenty of food to provide on longer trips.

This holiday season is going to be fun with you being at such a great age.  It's so fun being your Mommy.

Love you, Spud!
Love, Mommy

Thursday, September 26, 2013

15 Months Old

Dear Davin,

I'm late as usual, but it's become par for the course.  Our carefree summer has passed us by and we're getting into a rhythm around here.  You are such a little toddler now - babbling and running and wanting to be SO independent yet wanting to be touching us all the time, too!  Your smile lights up a room and when you say "CHEESE" with your big toothy grin, it could turn the darkest day around!

Your appetite is still strong, though you have slowed down a little bit.  You love "memeal" for breakfast most days, lunch meat/cheese/brocolli/fruit/crackers for lunch, and whatever we are having for dinner.  You don't drink as much milk as you probably should some days - but other days you down it.  You love ice water, too.  You weighed in at 21 pounds, 11 ounces at your well-check last week, and you were 31.25 inches.  All of your percentiles were between 30-50%, so no worries.  You did well with your shots minus a few screams and tears.  Your pediatrician is somewhat concerned about all the ear infections you get, so we may have tubes in the future, but we'll evaluate that in the months to come.

You are still a fairly good sleeper - although you have been harder to get to sleep at night lately.  You go down about 8:30 and sleep until anywhere between 8:30-10:00 on most mornings.  Since Brenna started preschool, we have to be out the door by 8:45 on Tues/Thurs, so most of the time I have to wake you up on those mornings and put you straight in the car in your pjs!  Those days are fun though because you and I get to come back here together and eat breakfast and play.  It does really seem like you enjoy the time without your sister stealing the attention (or your toys).  Some mornings we go to the Y, and although you almost always cry when I leave you, you cheer up quickly and play.  You go down for a nap anywhere between 1:30-2:00 and sleep anywhere from 2-4 hours.  And you're a belly sleeper almost 100% of the time!

You adore being outside.  You get mad anytime we bring you in from playing outside.  You've gotten brave and go down the slide when we sit you at the top of it.  I think you could play in your sandbox for hours.  You still love all sorts of balls and cars and anything you can use as a bat.  You almost always sneeze when you go out into the sun.  And mosquitoes still love you!  You have a million bug bites, bumps, scratches, and bruises all over your legs - and I'm sure you will for years to come.

You use the signs for more, all done, and please frequently.  You now say "mo, mo" to accompany the "more" sign and I hear that at least a thousand times each day.  You have started stringing together more random syllables and sounds and it sometimes sounds like you are really irritated about something and trying to tell us about it.  You like to be held and you love to crawl into our laps to read books.  You like to dance anytime you hear music and you love to sing into your pretend microphone.  I hope you got your Daddy's musical talent!  You don't particularly love riding in shopping carts, holding hands when walking, or taking baths.  Something happened with bathtime and it became a nightmare - but you're slowly warming up to them again.

You got to see my side of the family at Brady's birthday party in August and you got to see Daddy's side of the family at a family reunion a few weeks ago.  Everybody is enamored with you and cannot believe how fast you are growing.  There are so many people that adore you - and I am at the top of that list!

I love you, Spud!
Love, Mommy

Thursday, August 22, 2013

14 Months Old


Another month (plus some!) has passed us by.  You have really, really changed recently.  You are developing such a little personality and it's fun to watch.  Some of your favorite things these days are - screaming/shrieking (especially in the gym at the Y where you can get a good echo), your Daddy (you prefer him almost all the time - how rude!), There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly book (still obsessed with it), Legos, climbing up on the toybox, smiling as big as you can on command (cutest thing ever), bouncing balls, being outside (even though the mosquitos love you), swinging, playing "drums" with anything you can find, dancing, jumping (with my help), toilets (yep, gross), playing on Bren's new bed, laying with your head on my shoulder when you're tired, begging for food, pacis, bringing me shoes (yours, mine, it doesn't matter), blowing kisses, and trying to ride the tricycle.

You have lots of words now - Mama, Dada, Ma (Maggie), something I can't even figure out how to type for "Bren", paa (paci), imagine that (from your favorite book), moooo (when asked what a cow says), bu (ball, book, balloon), all du (all done), mmmmmm (this means GIVE ME YOUR FOOD!), ca (cracker), Na (Nanie and/or Neena, when we try to get you to say either), ha (hat), burp (also from your favorite book), hi, and bye (complete with waves).  You love to get attention from people we see when out and about.  And you go absolute nuts anytime with Facetime or Skype with anybody - you run to the computer and hog the screen the whole time.  You still don't love it when I leave you at church or child watch, but you always seem fine by the time I come back.  There is a young boy at church named Luke who helps in your class and you have been totally attached to him since Bible School.  You always calm down when he's around and cry when he leaves.

We took you guys to the zoo on July 27 and had a blast. You loved seeing the animals and handled missing your nap pretty well, too.  You spent 3 nights at Neena and Pa Bill's while Daddy worked and Mommy had a weekend away with friends.  You did great there and everybody just ate you up!  You cut your top right tooth while you were there (August 3) and your 4th is going to pop through any day!  You did get an ear infection the next week but a prescription cleared that up pretty quickly.  You are sleeping great most nights from about 8:45 PM - 9:00 or 10:00 AM.  You usually nap from about 1:30-4:30ish every day.  I sometimes even lay you down still somewhat awake at night and you still go to sleep really well most nights, as long as you have pacis nearby.  You sleep on your belly most of the time.

You nursed for the last time on July 27.  You handled the transition without a hitch.  You drink whole milk throughout the day, and you love ice water in your sippy, too.  You eat almost anything we give you - except you aren't a huge fan of eggs.  You have a sweet tooth for sure.  Your still pretty small but your belly sure gets big after you eat!  You wear mostly 12m clothes with some 12-18 month tops/shorts that are a little big mixed in.  You wear size 4 diapers.  Oh, and you get some serious diaper rash, but that's probably not something you'll care about when reading this in years to come.  :)

You're fun and feisty and high-maintenance and cute-as-a-button.  I am so happy to be your Mama!

Love you, stinker' Spud!
Love, Mommy

Thursday, July 25, 2013

13 Months Old

Dear Davin,

I'm a couple weeks late (again), but it's mostly because you and your sister keep me hopping!  You are growing up and really turning into a little boy.  You love to climb things (couch, toy box, stairs) and you love having attention most of the time.  You'll play on your own for small periods of time, but you much prefer Mommy/Daddy/Big Sis to be interacting with you all the time.

Some of your favorite things...
Books - The Monster at the End of this Book, There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat (You go nuts for both of these books - We read them at least 5-10 times a day!)
Foods - cereal bars, ham, cheese, bread, pasta, green beans, freezee pops (ha!), yogurt, pudding
Toys - school bus, Brenna's skates (you use as cars), balls, whatever Brenna is playing with

You still love to eat and eat about as much as me at mealtime!  You know the signs for "more" and "all done" and use them frequently at meal times.  You drink milk throughout the day and still nurse in the mornings.  You also love to drink cold water in your sippy cup.

You are moving to one nap a day and sleeping in until 9:30-10 most mornings for the past week.  You nap from about 1:30-4ish most days.  You go to bed about 8:30 each night.  I rock you for your nap and you go down pretty quickly.  You have been giving Daddy a fit at night - and have been waking up for your paci a few times at night this week.  But we're thankful that your sleeping has greatly improved!  I can also officially announce that you have been in your crib since last Saturday and have done great!  My favorite part of every day is when I get you up in the morning and after your nap and you want to just lay your head on me and rock for awhile.  I'll never forget those moments!

We visited Virginia for Father's Day and you got to see your friends Jude and Leah.  We also went to our old church in Salem and you met a lot of people who knew Mommy & Daddy before you were ever even dreamed of!  You stayed with Neena and Pa Bill while we went to a wedding.  A few weeks later we went to Bristol for another wedding and you hung out with Nanie while we did wedding stuff all weekend.  We ended that trip by going to the aquarium in Gatlinburg - which you loved!  You just love to be in on the action lately.

You love being outside and sitting in your little Hokie chair.  You like to swing and try to climb up the slide.  You had a bad fall last week off one step on our porch and got a scratched up forehead and nose.  It's healing, but you get funny looks wherever we go.  You spend a lot of mornings in Child Watch at the Y while I workout and/or Brenna takes swimming lessons.  You pretty much just do your own thing in there - and rarely cry for me anymore.  You do cry at church sometimes, but you love the helper named Luke who is at church - and he loves you, too!

You weighed 20.1 pounds and were 29 inches.  Both are way down in the percentiles, but you are on the curve, so all is well!  You cut your first tooth that day, June 20.  You cut your second one 9 days later!  We are still waiting on the top 2 to come down.  Since you're small, you are still in your infant carrier, although we don't carry it much anymore.  You did ride in a "big boy" carseat while Leah and Sheri were here visiting last week - You seemed to like it!  You sure did like having Leah here to play with for a few days - it's fun to see you guys start to interact more!

You are a fun, smiley, adventurous little blessing and I just love, love, love the age you are out.  Daddy and I both think we'd love to freeze time with you right where you are!

I love you Spud!
Love, Mommy

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy Birthday Spud!

Dear Davin,

You are ONE!  This has been by far the fastest year of my life.  It still seems like you should be my little newborn tiny baby.  But, you are growing up so fast and you are so, so fun at this age!  I am not kidding when I say you change every single day.  You are becoming more feisty and independent, and you love to interact with us.  You are full of life, little guy.

My biggest news is that you can walk!!!  You have been getting better and better at standing for longer and taking a few steps.  When we got back from vacation you started doing longer strides - specifically on Monday, May 27, which is when I would say you actually took your first official steps (that weren't lunges toward me!).  Your main mode of transportation is still crawling, but I have a feeling that will change before your next "month day".  You are an excellent climber - you have mastered stairs, which makes me be much more on guard around here.  You can also climb onto the couch, onto Maggie, and in/on about anything you set your mind to!

You are still a champion eater.  Some of your favorite foods include yogurt, Ritz crackers, turkey and ham, shredded cheese, bread, any kind of fruit, green beans, and carrots.  You are doing better with a sippy cup.  You are still nursing 4 times a day but I have a feeling we'll be cutting that down soon.  You had your first real taste of cake at your birthday party and you devoured it!  It was so fun to watch.

Speaking of your party, it was a blast!  We had lots of family and friends here to celebrate you.  You got so, so much attention (and food!)  We did a Mr. Potato Head theme and it was lots of fun.   We also had a 10 day vacation to Myrtle Beach this month.  We spent half the time with the Bashams and half the time with Nanie, Mal, Josh, and Brady.  You got lots of love that week.  Tinley loved to talk to "the baby".  You weren't a huge fan of the sand at first, but by the second or third trip you were rubbing it all over you and trying to eat it.  You also loved the pool in your float.  You would just relax in it and reach over the side to splash a little.  It was perfect!  I liked how all the activity and sun tired you out.

You still have no teeth but your gums are quite swollen!  You slept like an angel at the beach for naps and at night, but you had a horrible week when we got home.  It happens like that every so often and then you figure things out again.  Naps (for the most part) are a little better on most days, though you have had to skip your morning nap a few times when we are out and about (or take a quick cat nap in the car!).  You aren't loving baths quite as much as you used to, but you still love splashing!  And you still love your pacis when you are upset or sleepy.

You aren't quite as clingy to me, which helps when I have to be away from you or get things done.  You are super inquisitive and you like to know how things work.  I think you'd ride on the vacuum cleaner if we'd let you.  You still wave all the time and give smooches and clap.  You still don't say a ton, but I think you're learning the signs for "more" and "all done" and say "hi" like a champ.  Everyone comments on how happy and wonderful you are.  I tell them you are either super happy or super grumpy - which is the truth!  Luckily your happy side is usually on display in public.  I enjoy being your mommy so much, and I'm trying not to think about how fast you are turning into a little boy.    I never knew how much I'd love having a son until you came along.

Happy Birthday Sweet Spud!
Love, Mommy

Thursday, May 23, 2013

11 Months Old (2 Weeks Late)

 Dear Davin,

I'm late again.  Let's not dwell on that though!  It seems that I am doing a much worse job keeping up with your baby stats than I did with your sister, but I'm working on remembering specifics and trying to do better!  :)

The big milestone this month was FOOD!  You finally started tolerating it - and now you can't get enough!  You rarely eat regular baby food anymore, and your aversion to textures seems to be mostly gone, too!  You like macaroni and cheese, turkey deli meat, shredded cheese, bread of any kind, applesauce, yogurt, bananas, strawberries, mandarin oranges, Gerber crunchy sticks, tiny bites of chicken and hamburger, rice, mashed potatoes, and carrots.  (Oh, and teeny little bites of ice cream on occasion).  You haven't shown much of a love for peas or green beans.  You usually have yogurt and Puffs for breakfast, one or two snacks a day, and a combination of the above foods for lunch and dinner.  You still nurse 4 times a day, and I'm thinking the weaning process isn't going to be super easy.  You still like to gnaw on your sippy cup but don't get a ton out of it just yet.  You also haven't mastered a straw yet.  Oh, and still no teeth!  You still don't say a lot, but you babble and I can tell you'll have lots to say soon enough.

I expect all this food is going to help your weight gain increase again, but we'll see.  My rough estimate with our home scale is 19-19.5 pounds.  You can still wear 6-9 month clothes (and even a few 3-6 months), but almost all your shorts and tshirts are 12-18, so you wear them with plenty of room to grow.  You still wear size 3 disposable diapers and we've given cloth another go and may start using those at home most of the time.  Your hair has really grown and gotten thicker, and it's still blonde!  And everyone comments on your gorgeous blue eyes no matter where we go.

You are a crawling machine, and your balance is improving so much.  You've taken 1-2 steps a couple of times to lunge toward me (or something else), and have even done maybe 3-4 a time or two.  But mostly you just get too excited and fall forward.  You can stand for up to 15 seconds I would say before you just go back down to your knees or try to walk.  You can push your walking toy all over the place, and you're also still a champ at climbing stairs.  You are a climber for sure, you climbed up on the couch by yourself the other day!  At first you weren't a huge fan of crawling around in the grass now that the weather is nicer, but you're getting used to it now.  You still sometimes do a half crawl/half walk, which is pretty cute.

You are obsessed with being near a running vacuum cleaner, dust buster, dishwasher, dryer, and anything that makes noise.  You still love to push any toy that has wheels all over the place.  You even make a "vroom" sound with your cars!  You want to get near an Ipad or phone if you see one lit up, and you like to get up close to the TV when it is on.  When we Skype with Nanie or Neena/Pa Bill, you immediately speed-crawl to the Ipad and start grunting and shouting as loudly as you can.  It's hilarious.  You also still love bath time and are a mess to handle in the tub!

Some of your best tricks are waving and saying "hi" and "bye", clapping (especially if someone says "yay"), giving smooches (sometimes complete with a mmmmwah! sound), and shaking your booty on command.  You are still super attached to Mommy, but will go to most anyone if I'm still around.  You've cried on occasion at Child Watch at the Y and at the church nursery.

Your sleep is so all over the place.  You've been doing consistently good at night, sleeping all night from about 8:45 until at least 7:00 in the morning.  You've had some better naps with me, where you'll stay asleep for anywhere from 15 minutes - 2 hours (very rare).  You still like 2 naps a day if we're home, and will sleep in the car if we are out in the morning at your normal time.  If Daddy puts you down for a nap, you'll usually sleep much better and stay asleep at least an hour - and usually much longer.  I can't figure out why, but he puts you down most of the time on his days off.  You've still been in our room (which is mind-boggling to me since we moved your sister at 3 months old!), but as soon as we get back from the beach we are kicking you out!  I don't think it'll be too big of a deal, but we'll see.  Your nursery is too cute not to get some use!

Everyone comments on how happy, sweet, and smiley you are.  Although you really are most of the time, you are a pretty high maintenance boy when Mommy is around.  You like constant attention most of the time, but luckily have a few times each day where you will entertain yourself.  I know we'll have lots of fun this summer as we enjoy the weather and fun outdoor activities.  Your next post will be for your ONE YEAR BIRTHDAY.  I cannot even begin to comprehend how that is possible - this year has flown by.  I still think of you as my newborn.  I love you to pieces and I'm so glad I get to be your mommy!

I love you sweet Spud!
Love, Mommy
*not digging the photo shoot*

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

10 Months Old (a week late)

Dear Davin,

I've been writing this post in my head for over a week, but it's been a rough one, so I'm just now getting it typed up.  You don't leave much time for journaling, since you like constant attention during your waking hours - and don't have a lot of leftover sleeping hours for me to play around with.  But man, you're adorable!

We went for your well-check a couple of weeks ago and you weighed in at 18 pounds, 3 ounces and were 28 inches tall.  You're weight gain has really slowed down, but the doctor attributed it to all the crawling you do and wasn't bothered by it at all.  You've upped your intake of baby food to 4 containers (3.5 ounces each) plus a yogurt each day.  We are still trying to get you to handle texture and table food, but you're not having much of it.  You will at least tolerate Puffs and the occasional yogurt melt, but that's about it.  You gag and/or turn your head to most everything else you're offered.  We're going to keep trying and working on it daily though.  You took your first (very watered down) juice in a sippy cup and actually did pretty well.  You still just play with it mostly, but you do get some liquid out sometimes.  You still nurse 4 times a day for not very long at all.  We'll start working on weaning within the next few months, and I'm not optimistic it's going to be a smooth transition, but we'll see.  Oh, and still no teeth!

Your sleeping has hit another low.  You go for a little stretch sleeping well and then it gets all messed up.  We just can't figure it out.  We have still been swaddling you and letting you sleep in our room (so your sister will stay asleep during your outbursts!).  You had a few nights where you were awake ALL night long.  You were doing okay with letting me lay you down for naps, but even that is pretty terrible right now.  You will sleep for hours if we hold you, but you just don't do well laying on your own.  I don't have any words of wisdom here - we're just trying to survive, little man.

We were away from home for a week this month.  We spent Friday-Monday morning around Easter at Neena and Pa Bill's house.  Uncle Brandan and Rachel were there and you got lots and lots of attention!  You enjoyed your first Easter at Pine Mountain Church with Daddy's family.  You and I spent all of Sunday School in some utility closet room and then you spent all of the service in a Sunday School room with Daddy - sleeping the whole time!  You were awake for time at Maw-Maw and Paw-Paws getting lots of love from your aunts, uncles, and cousins!  And might I add that you looked so handsome in your very first bowtie.

Then you, Brenna, and I went to Nanie's until the next Friday.  You slept TERRIBLY there at night, which was stressful for me.  But other than that we had a good time hanging out with Nanie, Mal, Josh, Brady, and Grandma.  You also tagged along while we visited my friend Christy and her family.  You are a pretty go-with-the-flow baby as long as you're not hungry.  And as long as you're getting attention, you're pretty happy.

It was nice to get home and see Daddy again.  You are super, super attached to me, so it's nice when he's here to share some of your attention.  We've spent some time outside since it's getting warmer - and I look forward to you getting to play outside more with your big sis.  You've been a good sport tagging along to your sister's soccer games this month - and you'll be playing too before we know it!

You like to crawl with one (and sometimes two!) foot on the ground, which cracks me up.  You still love to wave, but don't always do it on cue.  You love to bang on your high chair and laugh about it.  You are a little ham!  You have recently been saying "mamamama" toward me, with the occasional "dadada" too.  You also say "hi" when you wave sometimes.  You make tons and tons of sounds and babbles, though.  While we were at Nanie's, you were constantly saying "nananananana" and we couldn't figure out if you were saying "no" or "Nanie", but you haven't said it since we got home, so maybe you were saying Nanie after all.  I'm sure she wouldn't mind!  I've tried to teach you a few signs also, but you haven't caught on to any just yet.

You love to play with anything with wheels - already ALL boy!  You also like your xylophone and balls.  You love climbing the stairs, which keeps me on my toes!  You are obsessed with standing at open doors and looking out.  You just like to be in the action at all times.  You're going to be a handful, little guy, but I can see lots and lots of adventure in our future together!

I love you Spud!
Love, Mommy

Monday, April 8, 2013

Easter 2013

We had a great Easter (other than the 1.5 hours in the utility closet!)  We spent Friday-Sunday with Jonathan's family in VA, which is always fun.  Here's a rundown of what we did and some pictures of our weekend!

*Brenna, Jonathan, and I had a snowball fight with snow from a verrrrry small pile of snow that hadn't melted yet.
*Davin fought sleep at naps (per usual)
*We had a big family meal when Brandan and Rachel arrived on Friday night.  Then we just sat around and talked a bunch.
*Brenna and I colored Easter eggs.

*Gave the kiddos Easter buckets.  (Brenna - badminton set, puzzles, pjs, some candy, paddleball, flower headband, and panties ~ Davin - xylophone, pjs, puffs, baby spoons, wooden toy cars, and a baseball onesie)
*Big breakfast.
*Kite flying, Easter egg hunting, badminton (kinda), bubbles, and basketball in the yard all morning.
*Jonathan and Brandan played some golf.
*Rachel and I went to the gym.
*We made resurrection rolls with Brenna.  She kept looking for the marshmallows and couldn't be fooled.
*Big dinner.

*We made it to the Easter breakfast at church late (thanks to  a sudden bathroom emergency on the way)
*Church, complete with family matching Easter outfits.
*Sleeping D in the utility closet thing - ha!  I held him for about an hour and then J did about 45 minutes.
*Huge Easter dinner at Jonathan's maw-maw and paw-paws house.  All the aunts/uncles/cousins were there.  It was fun and we laughed a lot.
*Both kiddos crashed on the way back.
*B slept until about 6:30.  We had to wake her up - she was exhausted!
*Huge wreck on I77 convinced me to wait until tomorrow for my mom to come get us, and J also decided to go back home early Monday before work.

I have a feeling next Easter will be even more chaotic with a toddler and a preschooler!  EEK!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter in the Utility Closet

Easter is here. My first Easter with a son. And how are we celebrating? You know....sitting in a hard chair in the pitch black dark in a utility closet/heater room/possibly something involving a sewer (judging by the smell) room at Jonathan's parents' church holding a sleeping Dav. And blogging. And crying a little knowing I may be missing Brenna's public singing debut upstairs.

But, anyway. If I've ever wondered how much God loves me, it's clear that I'll never understand. I couldn't give this sweet boy up for anything. Especially not to save some sinners who are going to never understand completely. He knew how messed up I'd be and he did it anyway. There is no way I'll ever understand, but I grow more thankful and committed to him every day because of it.

And the tomb was empty! What a sweet, sweet thought.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, March 25, 2013

Luck of the Irish

I put my Silhouette to use to make these heat transfer shirts that I stole from Pinterest.  We had fun showing them off at church on St. Patrick's Day!

cutie pies

sweet girl

not thrilled
Big Sis was a little more excited than Little Bro

Soccer Star

 second practice was WAY more successful than the first - finally HAPPY!
 learning to wait in line
 kicking with power
 No hands, girlie!
 proud of herself
 huddle up
 lagging behind

 at least she's on the field - such a step up!
 the only girl on the boy team
 ...TARHEELS!  (words I never thought I'd say)
 sweet moment
good little soccer fan