Tuesday, November 30, 2010

All About Amelia - 13 months old!

Amelia, you're 13 months old!!

You weigh 24 lbs - 3 ounces.

You're 30 1/2 inches long.

Head circumference - 18"

Size 3 diaper during the day - size 4 at night.

You're wearing 12-18 month clothing and size 4 shoe. You still pull your shoes and socks off EVERY TIME we're in the car. Mommy is afraid someone is going to think she's a bad Mama who doesn't put socks and shoes on her child when it's freezing outside. So before driving through a drive-thru - we stop in the parking lot, she puts your socks & shoes back on, and then we drive through. Hopefully fast enough, so that you don't have time to get them off before we have to pay! (HAHA!)

You usually sleep 12 hours every night (except when sick). You've been taking a late morning nap, so you don't always take one in the afternoon.

You love grilled cheese, cheese slices, yogurt, turkey, sausage, waffles, pasta, ramen noodles, pizza, cheese quesadillas, baby food oatmeal, baby food mac-n-cheese w/veggies, baby food mixed veggies, baby food fruits. There are lots of things that you won't eat because of the texture, but will eat it if it's pureed like baby food (like oatmeal, mac-n-cheese, fruits & veggies).

You open your mouth extremely wide when we feed you.

You're on whole milk and love it. You have milk with your breakfast and then right before bed. Otherwise, you drink water. You call water, "juice." You love to have ice in your water/juice. You take a cup, except for your one bottle before bed. We're trying to decide when we're going to stop the bedtime bottle.

You're a huge fan of taking medicine. Daddy calls you his little druggie. You sign "more" after taking medicine. You love it.

You have 6 teeth - still no molars. You love to have your teeth brushed!

You've started grinding your teeth. I have no clue how you do this with your front teeth, but it's so loud. I'm worried you're going to hurt your teeth!

You're still taking a paci, but only when taking a nap or going to bed for the night. When you get up, we have you throw your paci into your crib. Though we've caught you reaching through the bars of your crib to grab one during the day! Baby steps. :)

You can stand up without hanging on to anything. You're taking lots of steps, but aren't a full-blown walker yet. Daddy and I count every step you take. Our family was making fun - because at one point, we said, "she took 17 steps!!" (haha!) They asked when we would stop counting how many consecutive steps you take - we said when you're in college. (LOL) We're just so proud of you! :)

You love to be startled and chased. You will just go and sit where we can't see you and wait for us to poke our heads around and say, "BOO!" You think it's hilarious! You still love to have your head covered. You will grab a blanket, shirt...anything you can and will throw it over your head. You sit very still and just wait for us to say something or pull it off.

You've learned to crawl up on the couch and have already fallen off once. Mommy had to quickly teach you how to dismount the couch. (LOL) You're a pro now.

You love bath time, but throwing toys out of the tub has become your favorite thing to do.

You love to shut your bedroom door. Any door really. If you see a door that's open, you want to shut it. You're tall enough now to open the bedroom doors. You did it for the first time a couple of days ago. Heaven help.

You can say Daddy, Mama, juice, cheese, bath, baby, night-night, hat, hi, yeah, & no.

You sign "more" & "food."

You nod your head no. Even when you mean yes.

When asked how old you are, you stick up your index finger to show us ONE!!

We ask where you're belly is and you pull up your shirt to show us.

We ask where you're ear is and you point to your ear.

We ask where you're nose is and you point to your ear. (LOL) We're still working on that one.

When asked where the moon is - you point up!

You like to help Mommy with the laundry - you throw in the washcloths. Unfolding the clean laundry is your specialty though. ;)

You're always hiding things inside of things. I'll open the lid to your teapot and will find a paci. Open the top of your Little People farm and it's full of balls.

You love to push your baby in her stroller and give her kisses.

You seem to always have something in your hands. Even when you're crawling.

You're now scared of the vacuum. You will crawl away from it as fast as you can and keep a very close eye on it, even when it's not running.

You're not fond of the blow dryer either.

Whenever the phone rings, you say, "Da-Da." You're Daddy says this is sweet and sad all at the same time. (LOL) We talk to him on the phone a lot when he's out of town on business. You carry things around with you and will put them to your ear like a phone and start talking.

Amelia, it seems like you learn something new every day. Mommy feels so blessed to be able to stay at home with you and not miss a thing! Thankfully, Daddy doesn't have to miss it either - thanks to video! :)

We love you!
Daddy & Mommy

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

I took a break from blogging over Thanksgiving. We had my family over Wednesday evening, so I had lots to do to prepare for that. My parents came in Tuesday evening, which was SO HELPFUL. Alex and Amelia started feeling bad on Tuesday and needed lots of TLC.

My Uncle and Aunt sent us these beautiful flowers for Thanksgiving. It was such a nice surprise! I used them as the centerpiece for one of the tables.

We had so much food and it was all yummy! My S-I-L, Kerri brought Sonic ice for the drinks. She's my new best friend. My Mom also made chicken and dumplings for two of my S-I-L's...it's a family tradition of theirs to eat them on Thanksgiving, so Momma surprised them! Is she a good M-I-L or what!? :) I didn't get a picture of everything, but we had turkey, dressing, green bean bundles, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, etc. I also made a cheese ball & sausage balls for an appetizer. Everyone is always hungry upon arrival, so this time I was prepared with something to munch on before dinner!

I love having all of my family under one roof.

It's so loud...with lots of laughter!

Amelia and Millie Beth. :)

Our family tradition is to write down what we're thankful for and to read it aloud. I love this tradition!

The little ones had lots of fun playing inside.

While the big ones had lots of fun playing outside!

Our family of three.

And this is the entire gang!

By the end of the evening, Amelia was running a high fever and was very sick.

There were about 6 of us in the bathroom at one point...giving her a bath and trying to comfort her. She was feeling so bad that she would just cry. At one point, I started crying just seeing her like that and not being able to do anything to help her. Momma & Joy were consoling me at that point! She was so sick that we ended up staying home on Thanksgiving Day vs. driving to see more family. I have to say, that even though Amelia was sick, it was still a wonderful Thanksgiving! We watched the parade, took a nap, ate leftovers, and just loved on our girl. We have so much to be thankful for.

I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving too!

Love to all,

Monday, November 22, 2010

Happy Birthday to Alex!!

It's my sweet man's birthday!

Look at that sweet face. I love seeing pics of Alex when he was a little boy. I think it's funny that Amelia has the same hairstyle now that he had in this pic. She even has a cowlick in the exact same spot on her head!

Amelia and I got up this morning and took Daddy a Starbucks mocha and breakfast to his work. She was happy to see her Daddy for a few minutes...she always smiles so big when she sees him coming. :)

Alex, you're the best Daddy to our sweet girl and the best husband in the world. Thank you for loving us and taking care of us so well. Happy 34th Birthday!!

We love you so much!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

It's beginning to smell a lot like Thanksgiving...

Our church is having a Thanksgiving meal tonight, so this will be our first of three Thanksgiving meals! I have the crock pot dressing on and my home smells AMAZING. It looks "soupy" in this pic, but that's because it still has 3-4 more hours to cook.

Alex wants me to learn to make a pumpkin pie, but I haven't yet. This is what we're taking for dessert. We were in Sam's Club and Alex thought it sounded good. I don't eat pumpkin or cheesecake, so I let him pick.

Amelia and I went to the grocery store yesterday. I'm not lying when I say that I go once a month and not because I buy enough groceries for the month, but because I don't like going to the grocery store. So we eat out. Way too much. So anyway, we were at the grocery store for over an hour. Not kidding. It takes me forever. I bought the turkey for our family Thanksgiving and everything I will need to make pies, etc. I'll just have to go back and get rolls. I figured buying rolls a week ahead wouldn't be smart. Amelia was cool with being at the market for over an hour...until the last 10 minutes. She started having a meltdown. So I did what any mother would do - I grabbed a bag of mini marshmallows, tore those suckers open, and started popping them in her mouth! Mother of the Year.

Our tree is up! Alex finished putting it up a few nights ago - after Amelia and I went to bed. I just need to put the ornaments on and it will be ready. Amelia hasn't really messed with it, so I'm thinking a bare tree is the way to go. She touches the branches and then pulls away. I'm hoping it reminds her of grass (which she hates) and she won't pull the ornaments off from now until the New Year.

Oh, and I bought these at the store yesterday. They are beyond good. I realize I could dip ritz in chocolate and make them myself...but I don't wanna.

I need to go blow dry my hair now...so that I don't scare my homegroup at Thanksgiving dinner tonight.

Love to all,

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giving her back...

When Alex and I struggled to get pregnant, I found myself feeling closer to God than I've ever felt in my life. You might think a three year struggle with infertility would drive someone away from Him, but that wasn't the case with me. I went through so many emotions over those three years. Just thinking about it, brings all of those emotions back and I start crying while writing this. I would get angry. I would cry. I would raise my voice at Him. Yet at the end of every day, I would find myself right back on my knees. Trusting Him to give me a child. Trusting Him to open my womb and make me a mother. It's amazing how one minute I would believe it with everything in me and the next minute, I would be curled up on the bed - Alex assuring me that it was going to happen. Someday.

During our last IVF cycle, I was driving down Bowman Road. Just talking to the Father like I would my earthly Daddy. I told Him that if He would only bless me with a child, I promised to give that child back to Him. To raise him/her to love Him and Him alone. To bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).

And I meant it.

That's when I heard Him say, "it's your turn." I knew right then....this IVF cycle was going to work. I had asked Him time and time again, "when will it be my turn?" Literally, those are the words that I used when I talked to Him and when I would talk to family & friends about it. Over and over again, I would ask. And for the first time in those three years, He said it. "It's your turn." I had trusted it was going to happen over those three years, even before that conversation, but this time I HEARD HIM. I cried the entire way home that day. Tears of joy.

My miracle baby is now one year old.

I was reading Angie Smith's blog today and boy did God get a hold of me.

As I get Amelia ready for bed every night, I pray over her. I pray lots of things, but one thing that I never EVER forget to pray, is for her safety. I pray for God to place angels around her bed and to give her peaceful sleep. And though I don't voice it, I think to myself, "please don't let her stop breathing." I don't voice it because if I did, that would show my distrust. As if not voicing it, He can't read my mind and heart. A mind and heart that is afraid He's going to take my baby away. As if to teach me a greater lesson than infertility ever could have taught me. I read stories of parents losing their children and I honestly don't know how they continue to live. I've had this precious girl in my life for a year (not including pregnancy) and the thought of losing her makes me weep. Just the THOUGHT of it. I check on her many times before bed. I send Alex in to check on her before he comes to bed. I promised God that I would give my child back to Him, raise her to love Him and Him alone...if He would only bless me with a child. And here I am - taking her back. In my heart I know that she's His, but my actions don't show it. I continue to try and control something that is completely out of my control. I pray the words every night, but I haven't truly trusted Him to keep Amelia safe. And if He were to choose to take her away, I haven't trusted Him to take care of me.

Father, I'm sorry.
Forgive me for my distrust in You.
Forgive me for continuing to try and take control over my life.
It's Yours.
I'm Yours.
Amelia is Yours.
Thank you for not giving up on me.
Thank you for continuing to deal with me in areas that I need to give to You.
Thank you for Amelia and for the joy she brings to my life.
I give Her back to You, Father.
You can care for her, far better than I can.
Make me the wife/mother that You would have me to be.
In YOUR NAME I pray, Amen.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Holiday House 2010 & more...

Every year, our local Junior League sponsors Holiday House. I mark my calendar every year and I don't miss it. Last year, I was VERY pregnant and swollen beyond belief. I had already started worrying about how I was going to walk around Holiday House being 9 years pregnant and all. Amelia decided to help a Mama out and come 5 weeks early. She was two weeks old when she experienced her first Holiday House. She was tucked away in a sling right next to her Mama the entire time. I remember women coming up constantly, asking to peek into the sling to see her. She was so tiny. Unless I knew them, they weren't allowed to peek. So hardly anyone was allowed to see her. I was insane enough to take my 2 week old baby out in public, but not insane enough to let complete strangers breathe on her. (LOL) Going to Holiday House with Amelia is something I plan to do every year. I love Christmas and I want her to love it just as much as I do! The story of our Savior's birth, the music, the decorations, the smell of cinnamon & cider, the movies, making Christmas cookies & candies, the warm/fuzzy feeling you get while shopping in a crowd.

You may experience a panic attack.

I experience warm fuzzies.

I love EVERYTHING about it. We've already started watching Christmas movies and I have to say, my girl is showing great promise in the I-LOVE-CHRISTMAS-AS-MUCH-AS-MY-MAMA department. We watched White Christmas (a classic and favorite of mine) and she was glued. I emailed my Momma immediately...I just had to share the happiness with someone else. She wrote back, "she's our girl!!"

Here we are at Holiday House this year. She was such a good girl. Just sat in her stroller, ate her snacks, waved at people, tried to pull ornaments off trees, etc. I usually find one thing at Holiday House for my home and this is what I found this year. It sits outside of our front door. I'm going to add some garland to it for Christmas. I love it because it flips over and has a Christmas greeting as well!

On Tuesday evening, I planned a date night for me and my sweetie. We've been trying to do better about taking time, just the two of us. I didn't realize just how hard that would be, once kids came along! Seems like there is always something to do and then we also have to arrange a babysitter for Amelia. Our church had given Alex a treasure chest full of gift cards for Pastor Appreciation Day. We had dinner at the Butcher Shop and it was delicious. Filet & twice baked potato? Yes, please. We were so thankful for our S-I-L, Elaina. She came over and watched Amelia for us. It's amazing how just two hours can "recharge your batteries." We had the best time together. We were laughing after dinner because Alex asked me where I wanted to go and I said, "TARGET!" Like I never get to go there. I just never get to go there without a baby to get in and out of a car seat, to change a poopy diaper (never fails) and to keep happy all through the store. I love the life of a Mama, but a break is needed sometimes.

Yesterday, Amelia had her cousins over for a play date and it was great fun! We've been trying to do this once a week. I have noticed that with older kids, Amelia does really well. She sits and watches them and will try to do whatever they do. I've also noticed that with kids her own age or smaller, she is more likely to take things away and is constantly wanting to touch their face, their eyes, their hair, etc. These play dates are teaching her to share and to not poke other kids eyes out. A very important life lesson. I just want her to play well with others and I know that she can't do that if she's never around other children. Of course, I love having some adult conversation during the day with Jen!

Amelia was begging for a "DAT" (bath) and "Nigh-Nigh" (night-night is her crib) by 6:30 last night. We usually don't start that process until 7:00 or after, so that Alex can have time to play with her when he gets home from work. He had stopped to pick up dinner and wasn't home yet, so I called to tell him that she was having a meltdown and asking for a bath and to go to bed. She would not stop saying, "DAT-DAT-DAT." He said to go ahead and that he would just give her a bottle and rock her when he got home. She was in bed asleep by 7:00pm and didn't wake up until 9:15 this morning! The girl was tired. She has been waking up at 7:00 every morning (since time change) and this Mama has been trying to adjust. I'm hoping she'll go back to sleeping until 8-9am, once her body gets used to the time change.

I bought the ingredients for french toast this morning and it was a hit! I made Joy's recipe and Alex said it was the best french toast he's ever eaten. Amelia agreed. It's actually the only french toast she's ever eaten, but the girl knows good food when she tastes it. She gave it a "YUM-YUM." That's equivalent to two thumbs up!

And now my two sweeties are napping and I'm going to grab a shower. Since it's after 1pm and all. :)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Alex said we might put the Christmas tree up tomorrow afternoon. *fingers crossed*

Love to all,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Amelia's 1st Birthday!

I'm finally posting pics from Amelia's party. I had over 200 pictures to go through, so it took a while to choose. All pictures were taken by Karin Fulgham. Thank you, Karin for all of the beautiful photos!

(Click on pictures to enlarge)

I found this Happy Birthday sign a long time ago...before I even knew what the color scheme for Amelia's party would be. I pulled it out of the closet a week before and was excited to see that it matched! My S-I-L, Jen made the sign for the front door. She started painting not too long ago and has stayed busy with orders ever since...she's so talented!

My S-I-L, Elaina made the birthday pennant! I loved it. She also made the ribbon "skirt" that we put around Amelia's highchair, which was darling. I was so grateful for her help! She made Amelia the most special birthday gift. It was a book filled with letters to Amelia from family. Something Amelia will treasure for years to come. I tried reading some of the letters at the party, but I started crying, so I waited until afterwards. Such a thoughtful gift.

The table decor was really simple. I used a variety of glass candy dishes, jars, and cloches in the center of each table. I filled them with yellow, white, and hot pink gumballs and then tied balloons to float above each table. One of the candy dishes that I used was Amelia's Great-Great Grandmother's. I prayed over it before I put it on the table...that it wouldn't get broken! (LOL)

I painted 12 frames for Amelia's monthly pictures and hung them with ribbon on the fence.

I wanted the food to be simple. We had regular chili and chicken chili to make frito chili pies. We made them like we used to do at our fall carnival - opened the bag of fritos, poured the chili right inside the bag and topped with cheese & sour cream. It was easy and we didn't need bowls! :) We also had mini pulled pork sandwiches.

We did veggie sticks served with ranch & Joy made pecan pie bars and homemade caramel corn. The caramel corn was SO GOOD!!

I wanted a pink and yellow drink to serve. I chose pink lemonade & apple cider punch. The apple cider punch was my favorite. I found the recipe HERE. I'm going to make some at Thanksgiving & Christmas...it's so yummy! I found these drink dispensers at Walmart. I just switched it around and used the bottoms of the dispensers as ice containers on top...it worked perfectly! I found the water bottle labels on etsy. She changed up the colors to match the party and added Amelia's name. She also made the round labels for the cotton candy favors!

I really loved these hot pink & white striped paper straws! You can find them in just about any color combo.

And then there was cake! This was Amelia's "smash cake."

She was a fan! You'll see in that last picture, she's raising her hands in praise over her cake. That's my girl.

I bought her a little dress from Carter's that had a birthday cupcake w/candle embroidered on it. It had a cute, tulle skirt. I didn't want her to get her party dress messy and didn't want her to wear a bib in the pictures, so it made perfect sense to have an outfit change for the birthday cake!

I loved the larger birthday cake that we served to guests. I wanted it to look homemade and to be very simple. Mickey's did a fabulous job and it tasted SO GOOD. They're my favorite bakery to use for special occasions. I found some glittered letters to spell ONE and I thought that was all it needed. We used the cake server set that was given to Amelia from Dr. Lew & Sue before she was even born. It has her initials engraved on it with a sweet message from them. We will use it at every birthday party & then she will use it on her wedding day...MANY, MANY, MANY years down the road! (LOL)

Here are the party favors. I love cotton candy. It's so light and fluffy, I don't know how it could be bad for you.

We had a bounce castle, face painting, balloon animals, and the large frame for pictures. My brother, Andrew made the frame for me. He called and asked what color to paint it and I told him the colors of the party. He just happened to have some bright yellow paint in his garage, which worked out perfectly! I found the frame at Hobby Lobby. I got it 60% off, since their was a chip on it!

Our family & friends had fun with it. :)

We had over 60 family & friends come to celebrate with us. We are so blessed!

The birthday girl with her Granny & Papa (my parents) and her Nana & Daddygrand (Alex's parents).

Amelia had her picture taken with just about everyone at the party. She was such a good sport. I just stuck a balloon animal in her face and she would perk right up! (LOL)

She had a little dance with her Daddy. They do this a lot in the kitchen. :)

She had lots of cousins to help open her gifts - she didn't really know what to do. She was more interested in the tissue paper. She received some fun toys and cute clothes! She thanked everyone by blowing kisses. :)

She had to get some pictures with her BFC (best-friend-cousin), Millie Beth!

I love this quilt she's sitting on. Alex's Grandmother gave it to her. It's very old, so I put another quilt under it, so not to mess it up. Mimi wasn't able to be there, so I wanted something out to remind us of her.

I think this is my favorite picture of her. I'm just curious what's going through that sweet head of hers. :)

1 year old. How can it be?

Love to all,