Christmas!! I am a celebrate-one-holiday-at-a-time kinda gal. As soon as Black Friday arrived, I went into full Christmas mode. On Sunday, we put up the tree during Laney’s nap. She was so surprised when she woke up!
We also got out her Little People nativity set given to us from a dear friend back in PA. She immediately figured out how to play the song and started swaying to “Away in a Manger.”
We also tried to let her help decorate the tree, but taking the ornaments off is more fun than putting them on!
Here is the final product:
I don’t go too crazy decorating the whole house. I don’t have enough decorations or energy. But our main living area feels very festive and cozy. Our mantel needed some updating this year, so you will find most of those decorations at your neighborhood Target. Shopping at one store is all my little helper can handle at a time. And who doesn’t love Target? The burlap banner I made for a photo shoot. Our other decorations are from IKEA and Crate and Barrel last year. The stockings were made by my Grandma.
Laney was being too cute when I was taking pictures of the decorations…
Side note: we tried a new hairstyle this morning…
My second attempt at pigtails was a bit better than this. That hair is outta control!
Happy December, everyone!
Happy Thanksgiving from our little wild (haired) turkey!
Our hearts are just as full as our bellies today. We have plenty to be thankful for – especially this little girl:
May God bless you and your families today and always!
It’s been awhile! Things have been busy gearing up for the holiday season…
First, we had a very special Friday. It was Kyle’s 29th birthday! We had lunch out with Daddy and a nice, low-key mini celebration at home for dinner. Nana’s spaghetti and chocolate cake were the birthday boy’s requests.
Someone is a big fan of Daddy’s balloon.
It was also Auntie Kyla’s and Uncle Jacob’s birthdays this week, so a very happy birthday to them as well!
In other news, last week we had a lot of fun with Auntie Em, Uncle Rick, and cousin RJ. Laney loved giving RJ lots of hugs and kisses. She was very gentle with him – until he was playing with her toys. But she did pretty well with sharing for her age. We had fun taking pictures of smiley RJ while the daddies went to the U of I game. (Or actually enjoyed exploring campus since the football team is terrible…)
Sunday was a little scary with all of the crazy tornado weather in the Midwest. It is so sad to see all of the devastation, and we are so thankful that we and our families are OK.
Since then, we’ve been mastering the walker (when she wants to – stubborn girl!):
And working on cruising the furniture (despite her protests):
She is actually getting pretty good at taking 4-5 steps in between Daddy and I.
We had some fun with Annie and Mimi:
And some fun around the house and at the playground when it’s not too windy:
Most importantly, we are trying to start a new hair trend… the alfalfa pony tail!
Hope everyone has a great weekend! Can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week already…I love this time of year!
P.S. I started a photography business. Feel free to visit (and “like”) my Facebook page. And if you or someone you know is looking for child or family portraits in the Bloomington-Normal area, I would be glad to help you. Thanks!
Age: 14 Months
Stats: We will find out at her 15 month appointment. I’m guessing her weight hasn’t changed too much, and she is a little taller.
Clothes: Still fits in 12-18 months in most brands and 18-24 months in others.
Favorite foods: Not much change here. Eggs, cheese, peaches, mac ‘n cheese, yogurt, bananas, fruit snacks, and graham crackers are the big favorites. We added corn, ham, ground beef, cooked carrots, apples and green beans to the “sometimes acceptable” list.
Favorite words: Lots of change here! Uh-oh, bye-bye, night-night (nigh-nigh in the cutest pitch), yuck (ack), banana (nana) and all done (ah – duh or duh). She also says “bbbrrr” when I tell her it’s too cold to go outside. Plus all of her favorites from last month – except truck is now “uck”. She also attempts choo-choo (a nasally ch-ch sound) for train, moo (mmmmm), he-haw, woof, and quack (qack in a whisper) when we are reading her books. I’m sure all parents feel this way, but her language development each day/week – both in what she understands and attempts to say – is really kind-of amazing to witness.
She said “uh-oh” when she saw the snow outside this morning.
Favorite activities: Walking around while holding our hands, going up and down stairs, opening and closing cabinets and doors, snuggling her stuffed animals, reading books, going outside, swinging on a swing set, listening to music and Daddy’s guitar, watching Kindermusik and Noggin video clips on the computer, eating and drinking milk.
Least favorite activities: Sitting down to play after walking around, not getting to go where she wants, when we let go of her hands to get her to stand/walk on her own, being left alone in a room, and generally not getting her way.
Signature moves: Scooting around on her bottom. Leaning back (aka trust fall) when we let go over her hands when standing/walking. Fake crying when she doesn’t get her way. Trying to hang up FaceTime calls to grandparents. (She’s very disappointed I figured out Guided Access.) Closing bedroom doors on us and saying “bye-bye.” Playing peek-a-boo. Rocking in the rocking chair by herself. Doing (some of) the signs to “Itsy-Bitsy-Spider” and “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” Telling her giraffe and blankie “nigh-nigh” when she has to leave them after sleeping. Giving hugs and kisses to Mama, Dada, stuffed animals, and dogs in books. Saying “ack” when she feels her bottom during diaper changes. Showing her belly button and then sticking her finger in Mama’s or Dada’s. Looking at me and shaking her head no when she is about to do something she knows she isn’t supposed to… like eating her chalk.
Mom’s favorite moment: Hearing her say bye-bye, uh-oh, and night-night so clearly. I love her little voice and how she says each one. Plus watching her enjoy Halloween so much!
Dad’s favorite moment: When Laney walked with her walker for the first time. Although, she’s pretty much refused to do it since.
Plus we had some first steps tonight! Getting closer.
We can’t wait to experience the holiday season with her this year!
Oh what a week it has been! Take a little Daylight Savings Time… add in the first week back from vacation, a daddy who is working long hours, and a couple of fang teeth coming in…and you have a recipe for
FUN a disaster.
we I decided to spice up our Friday a bit and document a typical day in our lives. It’s been quite a while since my last post, and things have certainly changed in our schedule! No fancy camera pictures here today – I just couldn’t muster up the energy. But nevertheless, here we go:
4:57 AM – I hear Delaney crying. This has been the wake-up time all week despite my efforts to change it. I rush to her room to rock her back to sleep in a desperate effort to break the early cycle. I spend the next 40 minutes with this view (but dark):
5:40 AM – I feel a finger poke up my nose and a giggle. I just love her – even this early in the morning. She has decided she is done sleeping, so we flip on the light and change her diaper.
Breakfast! A little yogurt and eggs this morning.
6:20 AM – Daddy is home from his workout!
Delaney the tornado then takes to the living room for a little morning playtime while I try to sneak away to get things cleaned up.
7:30 AM – We get dressed and brush our teeth.
I see this view most of the day.
Or this view.
A little supervised cabinet destruction…
8:45 AM – One of my former students, Lane, comes over once a week to watch Delaney so I can get my last workout of the week in (the rest of the week Kyle and I trade off mornings).
10:20 – I arrive home to these two coming up from the basement. Lane is such a blessing to us, and I’m going to be really sad when she starts student teaching next semester.
Lunch time (it comes early like everything else this week). No picture, because I was too busy chatting with Lane.
11:15 AM – We made a quick store run. My third trip to the store this week, because I keep forgetting stuff. I even had lists every time, but the list either gets chewed on, lost, or most likely I forgot to check it again before we checked out because my little helper is READY TO GO. Oh well… Laney likes to see all of her peeps at Meijer.
11:50 AM Suddenly it got quiet in the back seat on the way home…
Most days she takes a morning nap – especially when she gets up at 5:00. But the last two days she took a morning nap and refused an afternoon nap, so we tried something different today. She was OUT COLD.
So I spend a couple hours either cleaning up the house to a cleanliness level somewhere between “I can tolerate this” and “ideal”; showering; watching a show; editing pictures; writing a blog post; doing laundry; paying bills; or some combination there-of.
2:15 – I hear someone.
We have a snack.
Do some laundry.
We try playing with some play-dough. She wasn’t a fan of touching it, but she liked playing with the containers.
4:00 PM – She goes to the front and garage door multiple times a day wanting to go outside. By this time of day, we get a little stir-crazy, and I give in (even though it’s another cold and windy day).
4:30 PM – Dinner time!
5:30 – It was Parents Night Out at church, so we took advantage. It was her first experience, and she loved every minute. New toys and tons of older kids wanting to play with her – what’s not to love?
7:30 PM – Late bedtime. Snug as a Bug – in camouflage.
9:00 PM – bedtime for Mommy and Daddy. Not kidding…
Happy Halloween! Hope you all had lots of treats. We had so much fun with our little pirate.
Here was our pre-festivities photo shoot: (she was cracking us up!)
Kyle took his usual blurry pictures of us (I don’t know how he does it EVERY time!):
Then we headed outside to trick-or-treat at a few neighbors houses. She was super excited about being outside and wanted to just sit in the driveway and play with her pumpkin. She of course wanted to play in the neighbors’ flowers and what-not as well. She was a little concerned when we finally got to the door, but once she realized she was getting things to put in her pumpkin she got excited. She of course had to then sit and take the candy out and put it back in a few times.
After we visited the neighbors, we headed to our friends’ house to hang out for a bit. Laney was not going to get let go of her pumpkin!
Laney got to hang with two of her besties – including the latest tiny addition. Unfortunately, one was sick, so we had to FaceTime them. (We missed you, Leslie!)
I have some pretty great outtakes of the group photo.
Despite the nasty weather, it was a really fun evening, and I know it will be even more fun in years to come. Best part of a one-year-old – she doesn’t know when you steal her candy.
Kyle and I enjoyed a little grown-up get-away to New Orleans the last five nights. We of course missed our baby girl terribly as it was the longest stretch I have gone without being with her, but we enjoyed a lot of food, fun, and sleep!
Some words that come to mind when I think about our trip:
FOOD. sunshine. music. walking. artwork. shopping. friendly people. beautiful architecture. history. beignets. live oaks. ornate churches. seafood. po-boys. Bourbon Street. bars. smokers. hurricanes. Chris Gardner. pirates. costumes. street performers. Andrew Jackson. tours. trolleys. romeo spikes. lizards. cockroaches. soapy streets. and all kinds of kinds.
Here’s a recap:
Friday night: We got in around dinner time. After checking into the hotel, we headed down to Bourbon Street and were surprised by how early the party started. It is a pretty great place for people watching! Following some poor navigational leadership by Kyle (big surprise!), we finally found a hole-in-the-wall dinner spot called Killer Poboys. The sandwiches were quite unique and very tasty!
Saturday: We got up Saturday to some gorgeous cool and sunny weather. We headed to the famous Cafe Du Monde for some beignets and coffee. Talk about a genius business model! The beignets lived up to the hype and were delicious. You may have seen my reaction to the coffee on Facebook. I do not like coffee in general, and this bold stuff was definitely not my thing! After breakfast, we walked around the shops and French Market to check out some souvenir potentials as well as local artists. We then headed over to EAT NOLA where I had the most delicious chicken fried chicken I have ever tasted. Kyle enjoyed some Reese’s peanut butter pancakes, which were basically dessert. (Thanks, Lauren, for the recommendation!) We headed back to the hotel to get ready for Kyle’s induction for his CPCU designation. Chris Gardner (the man from The Pursuit of Happyness story/movie) was the keynote speaker. (Hence his name in the list above.) We then headed to Acme Oyster House for dinner based on another friend recommendation (Thanks, Malcolm!) and called it an early night to get some sleep for our photography tour the next morning.
Sunday: We ate breakfast at the hotel and headed to meet up the group for our French Quarter photography tour. Despite the fact I had an upset stomach almost immediately after breakfast, we enjoyed the tour very much. (Thank you, Bobbitts!) It was through American Photo Safari. The tour guide reviewed photography basics for the first half hour, which was review for me, but would be great if you were just starting to learn about your fancy new camera. She then lead us to different spots all over the French Quarter to show us unique ways to capture the New Orleans architecture and culture through photography. It was a lot of fun.
After the tour, we headed back to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop (oldest bar in New Orleans and possibly the U.S.). I was feeling pretty poor at this point, but sat with Kyle while he had a drink. We started to walk back and then hitched a ride on one of the bike taxis (expensive but fun). I spent the rest of the afternoon getting sick and in bed. Not sure if it was bad food or a virus, but it was a major bummer. Kyle headed to his work dinner without me.
Monday: I woke up feeling mostly better. We headed to The Old Coffeepot Restaurant where we had some delicious french toast and pancakes in very nice atmosphere. We then took the trolley to City Park where we checked out the Sculpture Park, Botanical Garden, and Live Oak trees. We had lunch at Bud’s Broiler, which left something to be desired. Mostly my stomach wasn’t greasy food ready, but Kyle wasn’t a huge fan either. We headed back to rest up for our next tour.
We took a Strange True Tour in the French Quarter. We were the only ones on the tour. It was entertaining for the most part – something in between a ghost tour and a history tour. We met our friend Andy (who is from the area and happened to be in town for a different conference) for dinner at Irene’s Cuisine. Andy got us to try some soft shell crab and cooked oysters, which were surprisingly very good. After dinner, Andy showed us some of the best spots to go on Bourbon Street – including a spot where the boys rode the bull. We stayed up way past our bedtime but had a great time catching up with him.
Tuesday: We had brunch at Court of Two Sisters based on Andy’s recommendation. You eat in a beautiful courtyard with live music and some delicious food. Afterwards we did a little souvenir shopping and took it easy the rest of the day. Had to get rested up for our return. AKA work on my photos/blog post.
I feel like the blog got back to its roots with this post. We did feel like we were having one of our weekend adventures like back when we lived in Philly. But it wasn’t quite the same, because we couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. And we can’t wait to give that “missing something” a big hug and a kiss tomorrow afternoon! It definitely helped that her grandparents on both sides took such great care of her that I don’t think she missed us too much. She was having too much fun! (Thank you, Nana, Papa, Mimi, and Grandpa!!) It also helped that we got videos, photos, and FaceTiming. But I don’t think I’ve been so anxious for tomorrow to get here since the night before I got induced. Here’s hoping for on-time flights and little traffic!
We had some family photos taken shortly after Delaney’s first birthday. I picked up the disc today, and I thought I would share.
Thanks to Melissa at Tumbling Leaves Photography for capturing our little family and our sweet baby girl.
Hope everyone is staying warm on this dreary, cold day!