nine months


You are nine months old and one day today.  (I dont have your nine month pictures yet because you are spending the day with Grammy and Grandaddy being spoiled to no end, you lucky doll!)

You are 30 inches long (98th%) and 20 pounds, 4 ounces (75th%).  Dr. Egan told me that most of your weight comes from your height and you are considered long and lean.  You typically wear size 12 month clothing, size three shoes (forget those dang socks, you'll have none of that!) and are in a size three diaper.  I know this doesn't mean much to you but when I am old and want to compare you to my grandchildren (God willing), these are the kinds of things I'll want to remember.

People often comment about how big you are (this is due to two things: one being that when I carry you, you take over half my body in length and two, when you are in your car seat [typically in the basket at Target/Publix], your feet dangle down off the car seat edge and I think people somehow figure I am oblivious to your size and have outgrown it).  The other comment I hear often is how beautiful your eyes are/how blue they are.  I too will always wonder how your hazel-eyed parents ended up with two beautiful blue-eyed babies....

We have been waiting over a month for your two bottom teeth to really poke through (Dr. Egan saw you in early December and told us they were coming in....it is now almost February and you can barely see two white specks in your mouth.) That's okay though, we certainly dont want to rush any milestones.

And speaking of milestones, you have learned to say Mama and Dada but you are very selective as to when you will say them.  When you are upset at me you whine and say "Mmmma! Mmmmma!" and you say Dddadddda usually when Daddy looks at and talks to you from across the dinner table.  The only other thing we've heard from you is "heeeey!" :) Despite this, I am still not fully convinced that you are talking. I think you may have just figured out how to get our attention...ha.

You have perfected the art of pacifier placement and can easily turn your pacifier right side up or place it in your mouth by yourself. This is actually pretty funny to watch because you always have a very serious face (and get upset if someone takes it away from you after all that hard work).

You still sing...often around 4 a.m.  This isnt so bad now that you put in your own pacifier when you have finished the song.  Other than that, you sleep like a rock at night (sleeping most days 8pm to 7am) and fight naps - just like your brother did when he was a baby. 

You are a silly, happy, constantly blabbering, singing, bubble blowing, crazy, wiggly, solid food-loving baby.  Your personality has taken a bit of a turn in the last month and we have seen you change from being so laid back to really letting us know how you really feel...this is the woman in you, I just know it  :)

Some days I think it is a miracle you have not fallen off your changing table.  You wiggle like nothing I have ever seen.  For this reason I [try to] keep you occupied with things to hold such as lotion bottles or a baby shoe (both which equally fascinate you).

You love bath time (still). You think your brother is the coolest and want to do everything he's doing. You love stuffed animals and snuggling with them (however, you still do not snuggle with Mama and Daddy).  You have fallen asleep on only one person's chest so far in your life and that was Mimi - up until the last month when you were sick and you slept on me for one rough, scary, feverish night.  You love love LOVE being able to "army crawl" and you squeal with delight the whole time you're moving. You adore: your daddy, doggies, sweet potatos (they are the only food you will eat without distraction), being able to feed yourself, playing with jewelry and being picked up and talked to.

You cannot stand for someone to hold you down (you would much prefer to be looking around and seeing everything), to be left alone in your room unless it is night/bedtime (every day at nap time you cry the second you are put in your bed), and for anyone to look into your ears (you have cried harder upon ear inspections than any shot...and yesterday you had your finger pricked and you did not FLINCH!).

You are at the age where you put everything in your mouth and want to touch anything you can get your hands on.  Right now you love the small panel at the bottom of the TV the most.  (Bath toys are your second biggest addiction and you will just about break your neck trying to reach one across the tub.)

You are completely enjoying taking in the life around you. You are constantly exploring, watching, and well, nosey! I remember when you were very little the feeding therapist told us you were a social baby...I dont know how she knew that back then but it is completely evident to us now. 

You are turning into a big girl and I love watching you take in all that is going on around you.  I love the way you laugh. I love how you have not mastered the transition from sitting to crawling and kind of do this little face-plant into the floor (but look up at me and smile each time as if to say "I did it!"). I love how you light up when I come and get you in the mornings. I love your little mohawk and the way you've learned to mimmic. I love your gibberish, especially when you are frustrated and you blow bubbles and babble at me like I know just what you're trying to say.  Sometimes I even love it when you are being a wiggle worm and will not let me hold you...all of it is just proof that you are your own little person, strong and independent.

I am so proud to call you my own, sweet girl!



What is it about your mom's voice that makes such a difference in your day?

Seriously, Ryan can talk to his mom for an hour and when he gets off the phone I will ask "what did you guys talk about?" and he will say "ah, nothing really..."

It's funny, because you really can talk to your mom about not much at all...
it just feels good to hear her voice.

And sometimes when you really just want someone to hear you
so you can whine and complain
about issues with work
or the horrible driver who cut you off in traffic
or the laundry list of things you have to do this week...
while a baby cries in the background
or you slam your finger in the door
or the sound of a toy ambulance plays over and over and over...

She's listening.  You dont have to ask.

and she's the first one you want to call when you get good news
or you have this brilliant idea
or you saw something fabulous on sale...

She's that comforting voice on the other line

She's one of my best friends
and I just dont tell her enough
how much her voice means to me
or how much SHE means to me

She's amazing. 
She's invinceble. 
Sometimes she's a little crazy (I can say this because I am very much like her). 
She's my hero.
She is what I can only hope to be.
And perhaps best of all, her love is unconditional.

Love you Mom.


winter weather....


This weather has been so back and forth, finally warming up only to turn cold again (somewhere in 30's part of this week).

Logan went back to school last week and brought home with him strep throat. (Everyone warned us that the first year of pre-school would be the hardest year for our immune systems...I totally see that now).

Fortunately he healed up fast with antibiotics and Lauren never got it
Unfortunately, yesterday at about 4 p.m. I realized that I probably had.

I spent most of the day painting and cleaning and organizing and thought maybe I had done too much,
but my burning throat and aching joints indicate something more
I am not having a pity party
even though a part of me just wants to scream out to the clouds

(I have been sick and cannot get rid of a persistent, annoying cough since the second week of December which apparently no antibiotic can cure, hence the whiny, feel-sorry-for-myself post).

but seriously
I am thinking today
about how good things are
how fortunate I am
what a blessing each day with my family is
and if THIS is all I have to whine and complain about
then shame on me.

I am off to the doctor again tomorrow...a better, happier, more uplifting post is planned for later in the week.

Hope you are having a beautiful, happy, feeling GOOD about yourself kind of day.



the circus.

Yesterday we took Logan to the circus

It was a special day for him not only to get to go to the circus
but to have one-on-one time with Mom and Dad
(Lauren spent the day shopping and lunching with Nana and Aunt Corey so she had a special day too)

We got there early for the pre-show and got a chance for some photos...

I think he only liked this motorcycle a little bit (we didnt have to ask him for that smile)

and someone gave him his very own clown nose (it was just a little big)

And he thought he was really cool after he got his tattoo...

(we got lucky as he was the last kid to get a tattoo before we had to get to our seats)

and then the show started....

I tried to be in the moment and enjoy most of it but did take a few pictures
(and let's face it, this isnt exactly prime photographing lighting either...)

but I still had to get a photo from our favorite part of the show...

that would be when seven full-size motorcycles
 (one being the one Logan had his picture taken on)
flew around each other in this ball
we loved it.

then again,
when you have a kid who loves anything with wheels,
 you're pretty much forced to be excited by things like this ;)

I also loved the elephants.
I have always loved elephants.

and even after the world's largest cotton candy (okay, second largest...)
the "greatest show on earth",
two drinks, one soft pretzel,
and a day alone with Mama and Daddy
Logan says to us in the car:
"Dat was fun! When can we go see Warren?!?! (Lauren)"



Many years ago I had the privilege of working as a file clerk for a sweet, sweet woman named Dorothy.  We worked closely in a small office and as I filed she would tell me stories...stories of places she had traveled, of joys and hardships, of life and living.  Mostly these were stories of survival...she faced trials in her lifetime most of us cannot imagine. 

Despite those challenges, Dorothy had a heart filled with a devotion to God and a love for children and one day she told me she was leaving everything she knew here in the United States (including her two sons) to work at an orphanage in Haiti. 

I have been praying for Dorothy since she left for Haiti some five years ago and as I heard news of the earthquake, she was the first thing on my mind.  I thank God, she is alive, as are all of the children in her care. 

I have been debating posting on the issue of this earthquake as I feel my words are pretty inadequate.  I feel so full of emotion...the whole thing has been hard for me to grasp, to really understand.  These people had so little and now they have nothing. I am heartbroken for all of those who have lost ones they loved, for those who are suffering.  My heart is aching for the children, for those who now face a life far more challenging, for the utter devistation, for the overwhelming task of figuring out where to start over and how...

And I just can't get one image out of my head...a little girl about two years old who lost her mother in the earthquake....she screamed "mama!" every time a woman walked by.  Every. Time.

Heartwrenching. Every time I think about her I get choked up.

Today I hope you can hug your babies a little tighter, appreciate having clean water and a roof over your head.  I know I am trying to.  Please continue to pray for the Haitain people...they have such a long road ahead of them. 

If you would like to read more about Dorothy, you can visit her blog here:  http://dorothypearcehaiti.blogspot.com/



Just in kind of a blogging slump lately...
not much to report really

feeling a real longing for spring already, even though this week will be in the 70's...

keeping Logan out of pre-school today, he's running a fever (we cannot seem to stay well....hence the longing for spring and consistently warmer weather)...

avoiding the projects I have in the works...getting a fresh coat of paint on the baseboards and organizing closets...

thinking about taking a trip to the library...wondering if the books I have on hold are ready yet...

excited for our trip to the circus this weekend (I have only been once, when I was two, so it's kind of like my first trip too)...

in the meantime, I am cleaning up the blog a little bit...adding in a few of my favorite links and taking out a couple of things too.

Hope you are having a beautiful week!


this I know for sure...

The sight of a size 1 diaper can make me well up with tears. 

Regardless of how good of a job I may be doing, I will constantly doubt myself and my parenting skills.

As long as I have children at home, my house will be messy.

Getting [the time] to read a book is a real luxury.

That you will, inevitably, be the mother who you said you would never be ("I will never let my kid ________"...Yes, in an act of desperation, you will.)

No two babies are anything alike.

As a parent you will do some amazing things you never thought you could do.  You will do something really stupid.  More than once. You WILL get poop on your hands (and despite being grossed out, you will probably laugh about it).

Having a toddler meltdown in a public place could be the single most emberassing moment of your life

A toothless, drooly grin is the sweetest sight on earth

Three year olds dont do anything half-way...except clean their room

Babies grow up tooooooooo stinkin' fast

To your child - at least for a short period of time - you are the most wonderful person/chew toy/poseable bed/toy fetcher/meal provider/slobber mop ever imaginable.

Some babies just like to sing in the middle of the night.

Crying helps mommies a lot...but chocolate...chocolate helps more.

Little rubber bugs look very very real late at night.

Kid spills, messes, and food-related disasters will ruin more furniture and clothing than a brand-new puppy.

If there is money in the bank, something is about to break.

Grandparents are a godsend.

I should have taken up stock in Cheez-Its to pay for my child's college education.

WebMD is not my friend. 

Having a child in pre-school will make you feel both incredibly proud and rediculously old.

Post-partum depression can happen to you, despite what you may think.

Some days you can feel so overwhelmed with love you feel like you could fly.

Some days you can feel so overwhelmed with frustration you feel like you could throw a piano.

A camera is a mother's best friend.

...and a nice hot bubble bath is a close second.

Most toddlers really do not know how to smile...no matter how many times you ask to take the picture.

Being perfect will never happen, nor will "having it all together".

"Me" time = probably not going to happen today...or tomorrow...or the next day...

...And yes, it's a little crazy, but oh how I love it.


water fun

Last night Ryan gave the kiddos a bath and I snuck in for a couple of pics...

She just adores him

and Logan even gave me a real smile for a change.

It is actually very, very cold here right now.  The other night we discovered we have a busted sprinkler down by the street and Ryan was going to have to head out in the freezing cold to try to fix it after we put Logan to bed.  After we read our bedtime stories Ryan explained to Logan that Mama was going to rub his back tonight (his usual duty) because he had to go fix the sprinker because it was busted and we didnt want the spouting water to freeze in the cold.  Logan stared at Ryan very seriously, paused for a moment and then said "tell me again about dis spwinker." So Ryan tells him again and then tells him he'll come back and check on him after he's finished.  Once we are alone in the room, Logan looks at me and asks me once again to explain the process of water getting cold and freezing, which I do.  When I finish telling him all of this he looks really concerned and he asks me again what Daddy is going to do with this freezing water/sprinkler situation. I tell him it's okay, Daddy is going to get it fixed and we'll have it all worked out soon.  He then looks at me and says "Well Mama, you better go and check on him because it is dark and cold and the water will fweeze and I don want a car to hit him."

Only my child. 
Seems he has always had the mind of an engineer.

Back in a few days...computer is going back in the shop (again) today...

Hope you all have a nice weekend.



everyday photos

I am hoping to get more everyday (real life) photos taken this year...totally unplanned and unedited (unless they feature my flabby arm taking up the corner or something)...just the ordinary things throughout our day that seem to be forgotten.  I am breaking out the point and shoot and keeping it in the kitchen where hopefully I'll remember to use it more often.

So anyway, these photos were taken last week when Logan was out of pre-school (he starts back this week), so we had lunch together every day and I forgot how fun and interesting lunch with a three year old can be.  He loves to talk about random things.  Here he is with his "coffee milk" (chocolate soy milk), a grilled cheese sandwich and cheez-its...pretty much his favorite meal besides macaroni and cheese.

Lauren was eating something called Country Dinner which I think was turkey with potatos and corn and carrots.  She loved it, but we later realized it did not love her back. 
(And yes, she is always this messy when she eats...she is a chatty eater).

...and here is the begger, aka Cody, who thinks he is just about to starve on his new weight loss plan.

Cadie was too busy barking at the mail man to pose for a picture.

And today, while putting clothes into the dryer I had to get a picture of Lauren sitting in the hallway observing me and holding one of her brother's hotwheels.
(It was actually very cold here today, hence the hoodie)

and then Logan jumped in for a photo too, bed head and all...

(and I didnt even edit out the red eye....that took a lot for me to ignore).

eight months

You are now just over eight months old.  The past three weeks or so were both challenging and joyful as we experienced your first Christmas and your first serious illness.  We are so happy to see you back to your "old self" again now...laughing, smiling, and giving your brother a fight when he steals toys from you. :) 

In the last month you have gone through several changes - one being that you are getting in four teeth and the bottom two have just started to poke through. You have also taken a sudden interest in baby food and will eat just about anything, although you're incredibly social and want to talk, giggle, and play the whole time you're supposed to be eating.

You are trying hard to crawl and get around pretty well even though you have your belly on the ground and slither like a snake.

You have a smile that melts my heart.  You have a cry that makes me panic a little.  When I get to snuggle with you, I feel like my heart could burst, I am that happy...

You have become more vocal when you are unhappy and pitch a fit about being left alone or put into your car seat. 

You take your pacifer out, look at it, put it back in and take it out again as if to check and make sure it is still there. You are still pretty lazy when it comes to holding your bottle or taking a cup.  We're working on that.

You scratch or whack at every surface imaginable.  You love to pull on jewelry and hair.  You play hide and seek with yourself and your crib bumper. You think your feet are a chew toy.  You can be a bit of a ham and make us laugh a LOT...

You love to have someone around, especially Logan, and the two of you play together beautifully.  He calls you "Baby Ballerina" (we're not sure where that came from) and although he has an occasional bout of jealousy, he is an adoring, playful and loving big brother who thinks you are the greatest thing ever.

Bath time seems to be the best part of your day as it is a chance for both you and Logan to splash like mad, attack bubbles and whack toys around...all which make you giggle non-stop.

You light up when Daddy comes home...you are so gaga over him it is hilarious.

You still 'sing' a lot, but singing has turned more into a babble and learning to make other noises.

You are so much fun to watch...every day I see more growing up, discovering, taking in all that is around you...it is all happening so fast.  At Christmas I just could not get over the idea that at this time next year you will be almost two. I know how fast it will all fly by...just like the past eight months have.

I love you!