Wednesday, September 17, 2014

{16 + 17 + 18 months}

Just for the record, I fully intended on keeping to doing these every month.  But somehow another 3 months have gotten away from me, and here I am playing catchup again.  At least I have managed to take her picture each month, but I can't seem to get much farther than that except on a quarterly basis. :)

These 3 months pretty much cover summer as a whole, which can I just say has been so. much. fun.  It went by in the blink of an eye, but I have just had a blast watching this girl experiencing all of the wonderful things that make up summer, and seeing how much she's loved it all.

I can't even begin to wrap my head around the fact that she is now 18 months old.  A YEAR AND A HALF.  Where has the time gone?  I will never again judge a parent for constantly saying how fast time goes with kids, and how quickly they grow is so true.  And I know I am equally annoying by always bringing it up, but I just can't believe it!  Just yesterday she was my tiny, squishy newborn, and now look at her!  

She has really become a toddler over these past couple months.  She went from barely walking, to running, to now wanting to climb EVERYTHING.  We are planning some trips to Monkey Bizness soon, because this girl just wants to climb all the time.  She is also looking more like a toddler, with 8 more teeth coming in (yes you read that right, EIGHT. It started with her 4 molars, and then before those could even fully come in her canines started poking through.)  For a kid who was so late to the teething game, she sure is catching up quickly!  She is also talking up a storm.  I can't even believe how many words she has now...I started a list.  (does that make me a mom-nerd? probably)  It was over 30 the last time I counted, which is just crazy to me, when just a couple months ago it was maybe 5.  That mind of hers is constantly at work, and we continue to be amazed at how much she listens and understands. She's becoming an independent little person!  I don't know whether to jump for joy or curl up in the corner and cry.  I am so happy to see this little person we created growing up, and becoming such a smart little girl, but at the same time I am so sad to see my teeny tiny little baby disappearing right before my eyes.  Mom problems.

Anyway, on to the good stuff.

Stats ~ 24 lbs 9oz (50th percentile)
             32 3/4" tall (75th percentile)
{these are from her 18 month appointment, don't have anything official from 16 & 17 months}

Size ~ I feel like she has grown SO MUCH over this summer.  It doesn't seem to be that drastic when you look at the stats, but her clothes tell a different story.  At the beginning of the summer she was still fitting into 9-12 and 12 month clothes just fine, with a few 12-18 month things here and there, and shoes were a size 3 which was even a little big.  As of 18 months, that has all changed.  She can still wear 12 month shirts and onesies, but all of her 12 month (and even 12-18 month!) sized pants are too short.  I just put a pair of 18 month pants on her yesterday, and while they fit for now, I am a little nervous that come winter she will be out of them, so I think I'll stock up on some 24 month size pants too.  As for shoes, she now wears a size 5!  In just a couple short months she's gone up 2 sizes.  I guess that's pretty common, but it blows my mind.  She is definitely not the chunky baby she used to be, and is really becoming a tall and slim toddler.  Sigh.

Sleeping ~ she is still going to bed around 8 (although summertime inevitably means more late-nights, which she has handled SO much better than I anticipated.  as long as they are relatively few and far between, it doesn't even seem to phase her), and wakes up somewhere between 4-6 to nurse and then goes back to sleep in our bed until around 7.  She is down to 1 nap a day for the most part, and it's usually somewhere between 1-2 hours.  It all depends on where she's napping, and if she gets a snuggle buddy.  :)

Eating ~
  she is officially off bottles, but still nurses when she's with me.  I can honestly say, never did I imagine I would be breastfeeding my baby for 18 months - but I am so so happy that we have been blessed with the opportunity!  I have no plans to wean her until she is ready, which as I keep saying does not appear to be any time soon.  She just nurses in the morning and before bed usually now, and I still treasure the snuggles I get out of it.  As for solid foods, she eats pretty much anything and everything.  Her current favorites are tomatoes (only homegrown though), cottage cheese (ok, any kind of cheese really) and corn on the cob.  (There is nothing cuter than watching a baby eat corn on the cob, by the way)

Likes ~
 any outdoor activity, swimming at the pool or in the lake, 4 wheelers (oh man, she is addicted to going on rides on the 4 wheeler when we are at the lake!), throwing the ball &/or frisbee for Daisy, bubbles, books, dancing 

Dislikes ~
 We still get those "mini-tantrums" every now and then, but she's still overall quite the happy kid.  There aren't many things that she straight up dislikes.  If she's teething, or sick, of course she dislikes just about anything - but who can blame her.

Current Nicknames ~
 boog, boogie, Lills, baby Lills 

Words ~ if I were actually doing these every month like I planned, this category would have had a point.  You would have been able to see how many words she learned in the course of a month.  BUT, since it's been 3 months, her list of words went from 5-ish to over 30.  I can't even keep up with adding words to the list as she says them, at this point she's saying a new word almost every day.  It is so so cute to hear how she pronounces various things, and I'm enjoying learning to speak "Lilly".  She works very hard to communicate with us, and it really is amazing how much we can understand from her now!  After we went to the lake a few weekends ago, she was at Grandma's the following Monday and was telling her a "story".  I got a call describing a few words/actions, and actually I was able to tell her exactly what Lilly was trying to explain from our weekend at the lake, and it all made sense!  Just a month ago there is no way that "conversation" would have happened.  Of course she now also repeats EVERYTHING she hears, and we are quickly becoming very cautious of how we speak around her.  It's harder than you think!  I never realized how much of a potty mouth I had...

Well, another 3 months are in the books.  I still can't quite wrap my head around the fact that I have an EIGHTEEN MONTH OLD.  I'll try to post another update before she's 21 months but I can't make any promises... :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

5 years!

This year, on July 18th, marked 5 years since the day we said I do.

In some ways, it feels like that whirlwind of a day was just yesterday.  

In other ways, it seems like it was ages ago and we have both changed so much since then.

I kind of wish we would have written down our guesses that day, for where we'd be at in life 5 years later.  I'm not entirely sure what I would have said, but actually I think it would have been pretty accurate.  I pictured us having a baby, and living happily ever after as a little family.  I'm not sure I would have guessed the timing of everything over these 5 years, but looking back I know that it all happened just when it was supposed to.  It's difficult to see that in the moment sometimes but looking back, it always makes sense.

{wedding photos by Solar Photographers}

We did a few special things to celebrate surviving 5 years of wedded bliss.  First, we acknowledged how incredibly blessed we are to have this life we have.  Sure, we complain, and have bad days, but when it comes down to it - we have it good.  This beautiful little girl came into our lives last year, and made us complete.  I remember celebrating our anniversary when she was still in my belly, and I couldn't believe it was the last one we'd celebrate as just the two of us.  Now, a time before we were "just the three of us" doesn't even seem imaginable.

The actual day of our anniversary we went back to the park where we got engaged.  We walked around with Lilly, and just took in the beautiful day.

This picture cracks me up - she's really living up to her "Big Booty Judy" nickname...

We also stopped at the bench where Matt popped the big question, and took a family photo.  Yet another surreal moment - when I sat there being proposed to, I couldn't possibly have imagined coming back, with my own little girl, to relive that moment.

On the weekend of our anniversary, we dropped Lilly off at Grandma's and had a little adventure of our own.  We talked about several ideas for how to celebrate this anniversary - a family vacation, a weekend getaway... but in the end, we stayed close to home and had a nice little getaway together.  We spent the day wandering around the Plaza, and then stayed in the Sheraton (where we stayed on our wedding night).  It was definitely strange to not have a diaper bag, not to have to walk at the pace of a toddler, and to get to speak "adult" the whole day, but it was really nice.  We enjoyed our time together, and although we probably talked about Lilly for at least half the time, we didn't let missing her put a damper on our fun. :)

We did some shopping, went out to eat, saw a movie, all those fun "date" things we hadn't done in far too long.

I apparently did nothing but take selfies the whole time... :)

To my love:  Happy 5 Years!!  Its gone by in the blink of an eye, but it truly has been the best 5 years of my life.  Thank you for being a wonderful husband, and I love you more than you could ever know!  Here's to a lifetime of happiness together. XOXO

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Grandpa + Lilly's tree

I'll start this one off with a little backstory.  When I was growing up, my dad & I planted a tree in the yard of my childhood home.  It was a teeny tiny tree when we planted it, and we watched it grow over the years.  After we moved away, we would still drive by every now and then to see how tall it was getting.  In fact, I've driven by that house recently and it is a full grown tree now.  It was just a small little thing we did together, but it was something I always remembered, and something we still talk about to this day.

So, with that in mind, we came up with a great idea for my dad's birthday gift this year.  Lilly got a tree for her Grandpa, that he can plant and they can watch grow together.

We even let her choose which tree to get, with a little help from the Grass Pad guy, of course.  We gave it to Grandpa on his 60th birthday, and he had it planted the next day.

Lilly came naked, ready to help, but then decided she didn't really like the idea of standing naked by a tree.  But it was still cute to have a photo of her and Grandpa on the day they planted their tree. {ok, Grandpa planted it, and Lilly showed up right when it was done, but still.}

A few weeks later Grandpa had some rocks laid around it, and it really fit in with the rest of the yard.  The leaves had started filling in, too, looks like it will be a good, strong little guy!

When Father's day came around, we had the perfect gift idea that tied in with the new tree.  A personalized plaque of course!

I ordered the stone from Etsy (find the shop here), and I could not be happier with how it turned out.  It is just so cute!!

So here is Grandpa & Lilly's tree, as it stands now.  I am so excited for Lilly to watch it grow and help Grandpa take care of it.  So many learning opportunities, and a great way to foster her love of nature. :)  Also, just a cool memory!  She stays at Grandma's house every day while we're at work, so she gets to see her tree on a daily basis, and will get to watch it grow for years to come.  And of course, the photographer in me is excited for the yearly photo of Grandpa & Lilly with their tree. :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mother's + Father's Day

Aaaand we're continuing on the journey to get this blog caught up... :)

I'm combining Mother's & Father's day into one post ~ there isn't a ton to share from either, but these two holidays have a lot more meaning to us now, so I want to remember them.  We are both so thankful that this girl of ours came into our lives and made us parents.

We didn't do anything incredibly special to celebrate either Mother's or Father's day, but we had great days together at home and with family.  I am sort of itching to start some sort of small tradition for next year...I'll be sure to report back whatever I come up with. :)

First up, Mother's Day!  All I wanted was to be able to sleep in and then spend some time relaxing at home with my girl.  My wishes were granted!

After getting to lay in bed while Daddy & Lilly made breakfast, I woke up and moseyed out to find some lovely flowers (and other gardening supplies) for me.  Lilly was on a big kick at the time with smelling flowers.  It was adorable.

We spent the afternoon outside planting flowers and just hanging out in the backyard.  Lilly sported her first swimsuit of the season, and I could not get over the cuteness.

She was such a good helper - Daddy got her a little mini garden shovel as part of my gift, so she got right on it and helped me plant my flowers.

That evening we went out to Matt's parent's house to celebrate with his family.  Once we were all showered and dressed we took the obligatory Mama + Lilly photo.

and, for another fun flashback, here we are on Mother's Day last year :)

We hung out at Matt's parent's house for the evening, and Lexi & Lilly pretty much just ran around in the backyard together the whole time.  

and of course, Grandma G got some quality time with her girls. 

Did I mention she was in a flower smelling phase?  :)

and just so you don't think we gave my mom the shaft on Mother's Day...

we actually went out to dinner to celebrate her the night before.  Lilly began her love affair with chips & salsa that night too, which is still going strong 4 months later by the way. :)  If you know my mom, you know how incredibly fitting this is...

Anyway, on to the less-important of the two, Father's Day. (just kidding!!  Lilly is a total Daddy's girl actually, so I have no room to talk here.)

as you can probably tell, this picture was actually taken on Mother's day. But it seemed better to include under Father's day, so there you go. :)

We spent Father's day at the lake, where Matt's parents are currently building a home.  At the time they had just bought the property, so we let the girls run around the open land, and they were pretty much the cutest thing ever.  We totally did not prompt this hand-holding adorableness, by the way...

I totally failed and didn't take many pictures while we were there that day.  I had maxed out the storage on my phone at the time, and didn't have my big camera with me. (FAIL)  I did manage to snap one quick photo of Daddy + Lilly before bed, though.

Another flashback:

It was a fun day overall, even if I don't have the pictures to prove it! :)

Daddy kind of bought his own gifts this year...a couple weeks earlier we ended up with 2 new vehicles in our driveway: 

The truck was a must, as his Trailblazer kicked the bucket one day leaving us in a pinch.  The camper was previously planned, and ironically we had scheduled to go look at/buy it the day we also had to buy the truck.  Maybe not the most economical decision, but we just went with it, and, well, I'm expecting equally nice presents for Mother's day next year! (kidding....sort of.)

Anyway, like I said before, we are just thankful that now we also get to be celebrated on these 2 great holidays, along with our wonderful parents. Being a mama is the best job I've ever had, and I know Matt would say the same about being a Dad.  Love every minute of it, and I thank my lucky stars every day that we were blessed with such a wonderful daughter to call our own.

Friday, September 5, 2014


Yes, I'm still quite a bit behind on things.  Just bear with me while I catch up in life. :)

Easter this year was so much fun!  Just for kicks here's a throwback to Lilly's first Easter last year:

Look at that tiny little thing!!  She was much more involved in the whole thing this year...last year she was basically just a blob that we passed around.  A very cute little blob, though!

My how she's grown!

We started the morning opening her Easter basket.  This year I got her a personalized one (from here on Etsy)  I totally planned to do that for her first Easter, but well I was busy with a newborn.  I really love the one I got though, and am excited to use it every year now.

Her basket had a few Easter themed books in it, a magna doodle, a new pair of sunglasses, a couple of light up toys (one being a rubber ducky which she was/is OBSESSED with), and a few plastic eggs filled with yogurt covered raisins.  We're avoiding candy as long as possible, hoping to try and delay the inevitable sugar addiction. :)  You would have thought the raisins were skittles though, once she discovered them all she wanted to do was EAT THEM ALL.

My genius child can already write her own name!  ha.

After she got dressed we had a little mini photo session in the back yard.  She was more interested in the eggs in her basket than looking at the camera, though.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention we had our first adventure dying eggs this year!  We set up shop on the deck and spent a lovely Saturday afternoon coloring some eggs.

It wasn't nearly the mess I had expected, but mostly because I did all of the dye-handling. :)  Lilly did drop a couple eggs in, which was SUPER exciting to her.  

We also paid a visit to the Easter Bunny this year. {I'm already off on a tangent, so I'm just going with it.}  Lilly was NOT a fan.  Similar to our Santa experience, she was pretty much terrified of him.  But with Daddy accompanying her, all was well and we even got a smile.

side note: I paid like $20 for this horribly over-exposed photo.  Awesome. Sign me up for the sucker-first-time-mom club.

Anyway, where were we?  Oh yes, Easter Sunday. :)

We headed over to Grandma & Grandpa Henry's next, for a little Easter brunch.

Once again, the food-filled Easter eggs were the most popular item (for both her and Daisy...ha!)

We had a lovely brunch (ok it was more of a lunch, considering we ate steaks, but it was earlier so I like to call it brunch)

After we stuffed ourselves, we hopped in the car and drove to the other Grandma & Grandpa's house to round out our Easter celebrations.

Lexi and Lilly both looked so cute in their dresses, we tried to get a nice photo of them together.

Uhhhh, yeah.....not so much.

Lilly was in a phase of not wanting to sit by herself, or smile for pictures.  So that helped the situation.  This next photo was the best I got. :)

Oh, there's my happy girl!

We did an Easter egg hunt while there, and Lilly had a BLAST.  I actually didn't expect her to really understand or get into the whole egg hunting thing, but I was oh so wrong.  She ran around pointing out eggs left and right, and had a grand old time.

Cousins.  This picture makes me smile, it was such a production to even get this.  We had to sit Lilly down, and occupy her with an egg full of raisins (once again), and then convince Lexi to sit down near her and smile (of course she's looking at her own mom, though).  Last we got Jordan to come in, and she was just laughing at how hard we were all working to try and orchestrate this.  So while it is not the perfect, posed, smiling photo, I actually like it better because it comes with a great memory. :)

And that about wraps up our Easter adventure!  The holidays are becoming more and more fun as Lilly gets older, I love experiencing them through her eyes.

And I think it's pretty clear that she enjoyed the heck out of Easter. :)