Sunday, May 22, 2011

All About Amelia - 19 months old!

Amelia, you're 19 months old!!

You're close to 28 pounds and you're 32 1/2" long.

You wear a size 5 diaper.

You're wearing 18-24 month clothing and size 5 shoe. We're going shoe shopping this're starting to say "tight" when we put on some of your shoes. Size 6 is too large, so I think it's time to go up a half size!

Your Daddy loves that you give him kisses on the cheek whenever he asks.

You want to dance as soon as Daddy walks in the door in the evening. He has danced with you since we brought you home from the hospital and it's the sweetest thing ever. You say "" You love your Daddy so much.

You go to bed at 8pm and wake between 9:00-10:00 every morning.

You've been fighting nap time for over a month but since getting back from Papa & Granny's house - you've started taking an afternoon nap again!

You've started trying to snap your fingers. :)

You're very attached to Daddy & Mommy right now. Leaving you is hard. You cry when we take you to the nursery which you've never done before. Thankfully you don't cry the entire time - just at first.

You love to eat. Ranch dressing is your new favorite thing. You will dip anything and everything in it and now ask for it when we go to a restaurant.

You love tomatoes which makes Mommy very happy. :)

About a week ago, we were on the road and went through a drive-thru for dinner. You tried a hamburger for the first time. You took about four bites, handed it back and said, "no."

You've learned how to drink out of a water bottle.

You're constantly asking me to put shoes on your feet. This trait you received from your Aunt Joy. She can't stand to be barefoot and you seem to be the same way.

You know that 2 comes after 1, that 6 comes after 5, and that 8 comes after 7. You love your numbers and alphabet puzzles. We ask you to spell your name and you say, "A-e-e-i-i-o." Close enough. ;)

You pretend to read a book and it's hilarious. You have your own little language and sound so cute.

Mommy told you to do something while we were at lunch with Granny - you looked at me and said, "no I not." My jaw hit the floor. I couldn't believe you said that or even knew how to say it!

We've found that asking you to lay your head on the table when you start to have a meltdown at restaurants really helps. You don't have these often, but when really tired - it has happened. We rub your back and you sometimes even go to sleep right there at the table!

Since Aunt Joy had surgery, we ask "how is Aunt Joy?" Sometimes you say, "she sick" and sometimes you say, "she better." :)

You hear a sound and immediately mock it. You get this from your Mommy! You love to ring the door bell and mock the sound.

You carry a purse or shopping bag on your arm constantly.

Every Sunday we blare the worship music and sing along. Mommy tells you that we're praising Jesus and you start raising your hands. I think this makes Jesus smile. :)

Your favorite cartoon is Caillou. You constantly ask "where Caillou?" When he's not on TV - we tell you that he went night-night, so now you say "Caillou...nigh-nigh?"

You love bracelets. If it's round and fits - it's on your wrist.

You like to wear sunglasses now. You ask for "cool" when you want us to put them on you.

You say "baby" whenever you see a baby carrier in the store.

You fall a lot right now. You also hit your head a lot. You are the perfect height and seem to run into tables constantly. We may have to buy you a crash helmet if you keep this up! :)

A few other words you're saying:

"Hit Head"
"Blank" (Blanket)
"Nock" (Milk)

Amelia, we can't believe you're now closer to TWO than you are ONE! No doubt your 2nd birthday will be here before we know it. You bring constant laughter to our're always entertaining us. You have so much're on the go as soon as your feet hit the floor in the morning! We remember our lives before you were here and wouldn't change it for the world. It's those memories that keep us from taking one day with you for granted.

We love you, sweet girl!
Daddy & Mommy

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Picture of the Day...

My talented friend, Teresa Lee, took photos of Amelia when she was 7 months old. She sent this photograph to Kodak and they chose it for Kodak's Picture of the Day for May 18th, 2011! They also featured it on their Thousand Words Blog.

The day we took these pictures seems like forever ago. I love going back and looking at photos from when she was so little - even though it often brings me to tears. :) She couldn't crawl, couldn't sit up for long on her own, had lots of rolls on her legs and arms. Oh the sweetness!! One of the things that hasn't changed with Amelia is her smile. We get just as many smiles and giggles today as we did at 7 months. She has always been our happy girl.

Thank you so much, Teresa...for capturing this image that I will cherish forever.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wedding Shower for Mary Lee...

Alex's cousin, Clay, is marrying beautiful Mary Lee. I was honored to have the shower at my home. Her save the date was in yellow, grey, & white, so I knew that would be my color scheme immediately. This was the invite that I ordered from Natty Michelle. They have her maiden monogram at the top. I think this is the prettiest invite I've ever used. This isn't the best picture but they turned out so cute.

I ordered cookies from Robin and let me tell you - they were not only the cutest cookies ever - they were delicious! I asked everyone to bring a recipe for Mary Lee since it was a kitchen shower. I wanted to use a recipe box for the recipe cards but the one I ordered was too small. I used a small album instead.

(Click on pics to enlarge)

These were the recipe cards with her married monogram. I sent one of these with each invite. She received some tasty recipes at the shower!

On the menu: Napa Valley Chicken Salad Pie, Blueberry Scones, Sour Cream Biscuits w/jam, Fruit Salad, and Petit Fours. My sweet sister, Joy, helped me make the scones right before her surgery. They freeze so well and it was a huge time-saver to just pop them in the oven the morning of the shower. I've never really had a scone that I like. They're usually very dry. Not this one - SO GOOD!

Erin gave me her Mom's recipe for a very tasty punch. It had fresh bananas in was a pineapple/orange/banana punch. Seriously one of my faves now. I made a batch for our Mother's Day get-together too!

My SIL, Sara, helped me with the table. She (and her Mom) let me borrow so much - one of the things being the giant silverware. I was going to serve food off them but Sara had the wonderful idea of standing them up and using them as a centerpiece. It was so stinkin' cute.

Mary Lee opening gifts. She received some beautiful things.

Some of the guests...

Three of their grandmothers were there. I loved talking with them...they were so sweet.

Mary Lee with the hostesses.

Mary Lee and her beautiful Mama!

Mary Lee with her MIL, Grandmother, and Mom.

Me with the bride-to-be!

Mary Lee, we are so excited for you to officially be a part of our family! We wish you and Clay all the love and happiness in world. Praying that God guides you in your new adventure as husband and wife. We love you both dearly.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

My two sweeties surprised me with these beautiful tulips for Mother's Day. I just love them! I also had a much needed mani/pedi. :)

Mother's Day. A day that was once a very sad day for me is now the exact opposite. I have a baby girl to call my own. She says "Mama" about 1,000 times a day and around the 999th time when I think to myself, "should I change my name?" God kindly reminds me of how long I waited to be called that sweet name. He also reminds me of all my friends that are still waiting to be called Mama. I remember my friend Paula sending me this scripture as I waited. She sent it at a time when I was so discouraged and just tired of the fact that it was so hard to get pregnant.

"I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living." -Psalm 27:13

Mother's Day makes me think a lot about my struggle to get pregnant and reminds me just how far God brought me in my faith during those three years. After three years of waiting and trusting, confident that He knew my heart, confident that He heard my cries, and confident He was going to answer my prayers - He gave me my miracle. My Amelia Joy...and was she ever worth the wait!!

At church with our girl.

After church we took my MIL to Carino's for lunch. Jared, Jen & their girls joined us. My niece, Peyton (in the yellow shirt below) was so funny. When it was time to leave she said, "well we're just going to miss y'all so much - I should babysit Amelia this week!" HAHA! How cute is that?

Sweet girl giving Daddy kisses.

After lunch I headed to the store to pick up some things for dinner. We were hosting Mother's Day with my family. We had nachos and lots of yummy desserts. I ordered petit fours and smiley face cookies from Ed's Bakery. We also had angel food cake w/strawberries and whipped cream. Everything was so yummy!

Gift time!!

Mom had 3 of her 6 kiddos there. We missed you Chris, Joy, and Cary!! The second picture is of all the Mamas striking a pose. How cute is my Grandma on the end!?

The gang!

It was a special day celebrating our Mothers. I couldn't help but have a full heart while watching Amelia throughout the day. Such a gift.

Love to all,

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

1200 calories...

25 days ago I looked up how many calories I should be consuming in order to lose weight. You can find a calculator online that will tell you based on your age/height/weight. That's the day I put myself on a 1200 calorie meal plan. I don't call it a diet because I don't feel like I'm starving or having to live on salad. I'm literally counting EVERY calorie that goes into my body. When I started reading the side of the box of things I used to eat - OH MY WORD. I was consuming the amount of calories for a ginormous man. I've had people ask what I'm doing and what I'm eating so I thought I would write a post about it. I've found the My Fitness Pal app on my iphone to be incredibly helpful! I keep up with all of my exercise and calories on this app. You can search for any food and lots of restaurants to find out how many calories you're consuming.

Breakfast options:


All Natural Granola - I put this on top of my yogurt in the mornings. My favorite with the least calories is Bear Naked Granola.

Stonyfield Vanilla Yogurt

1/2 Medium Banana

Instant Oatmeal (Maple & Brown Sugar). I eat the low sugar option and add 1 tsp of Brummel & Brown Yogurt Spread. I also make it with 1/2 cup of skim organic milk. Milk is high calorie so I try to be careful how much I drink.

Scrambled or fried egg w/piece of whole wheat toast or multi-grain english muffin.

Every Sunday I go through Starbucks and get a grande non-fat vanilla latte. My latte choice is 200 calories. This is the only day of the week that I don't have time for breakfast, so I drink my calories.

Lunch options:

Multigrain Tortilla w/turkey, mixed greens, tomato, laughing cow cheese, tiny bit of ranch dressing to add more flavor.

Strawberry Spinach Salad w/strawberries & fat free feta. I dip my fork in dressing so I don't really consume much but get a little of the flavor. :)

Tomato Basil Soup - I buy this pre-made at Fresh Market. You can have a cup of this for only 100 calories!

Grilled Chicken Breast on a salad or with veggies, baked potato.

Medium Baked Potato w/sour cream only.

Dinner Options:

Grilled Chicken Breast with salad or baked potato.

Grilled Fish with salad, veggies or baked potato.

Pulled pork without the bun.

I even have fried catfish. I just make sure I save a few of my calories during the day. Some restaurants have fried catfish that's only 100 calories per piece. I don't eat the hush puppies or fries and have salad and a baked potato.

Salad with lots veggies.

I've had ribs...chicken strips...tacos on corn tortillas. You can have anything you want - you just have to watch the quantity you're consuming and what's on it.

Snack options:

I love any of the 100 calorie snack packs. So many options!

Laughing Cow Cheese.

Pretzel Thins.

Skinny Cow desserts.


I measure everything I eat. If it says 1/2 cup - I get out my measuring cup! If I'm out to eat - I look up the restaurant and find out how many calories are in what I'm about to order or do it ahead of time. Seems like a pain but it's really not. I feel healthier and have more energy! I have always drank water w/lemon and unsweetened tea, so I don't really have to worry about drinking my calories. If you're going to drink sweet tea - it's best to make it at home. A large sweet tea at Mcalisters or Chick-fil-a is at least 220 calories! Some of you don't have to worry about the amount of calories you consume and I'll try not to hate you for that. ;) I on the other hand...well, in order to get the rest of this weight off, I do have to pay attention to what I'm eating. I walk with Amelia (when it's not raining) and that has helped too. I usually walk 20 minutes every day. I hope to build up to a run which burns even more calories but for now - walking it is! I also try not to eat past 7:00pm. If I get a craving for something sweet before bed - I eat a couple of marshmallows and go to bed! :)

This is day 25 on the 1200 calorie meal plan and I've lost 9.4 pounds!! I would love to lose 20 more pounds. I'm going to just wait and see how I feel as more comes off. I'm not really hung up on the number on the scale...I just want to feel good in my clothes again. I've already lost two sizes in some of my clothes which is exciting.

So for those that asked - this is what I'm doing!

Love to all,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Where there's a will - there's a way.

Amelia turned 18 months old on the 22nd of April. People had told me that I would see a change in her anywhere from 18 months to 2 years old. I was hoping they were wrong and I would have the only child in the world that never disobeyed. Well it's like she woke up on the day she turned 18 months and realized she had a will. An opinion. She realized she didn't like being told what to do. I don't like being told what to do either but it's necessary sometimes. It's necessary most all of the time for a toddler.

I'm not going to lie - I get tired of telling her no. I've started saying stop instead of no because I'm so tired of saying that word. My Mom told me to make sure I'm not telling her to do something in the form of a question - I'm giving her the option to say no. I hadn't thought of this. I'm glad she told me.

Instead of saying "Amelia, will you come here please?"

I say "Amelia, come here please."

Instead of saying, "Amelia, will you pick up your toys please?"

I say "Amelia, pick up your toys please."

Sometimes she still looks at me and says very matter of factly "NO." She quickly looks at me to see what I'm going to do about her response. I respond very matter of factly with a spanking. Sigh.

This is the time in her life where we have to have the stronger will and be consistent. We believe that's the way to have a well-behaved, OBEDIENT child. Time-out may work for your child but you have to be consistent for your child to learn from it. Those around us may think we're hard on her but we can't allow her to act a way in public or at some one's home that we don't allow in our own home. She learns quickly and she will figure out that she can get away with more in public if we don't discipline. No one wants to be that parent but at the same time - no one wants to be that person witnessing the behavior of a misbehaved child in public either. I took her to a doctor's appointment where she decided to throw a fit after I told her no, so I had to discpline right there in the waiting room for all other patients to see! She stopped and moved on and started playing with toys. Before going into our appointment, an elderly woman stopped me and told me Amelia was a well-behaved, little girl. I think it's more painful for people to watch a parent do nothing than to do something. We always praise her for obedience and believe that's just as important as correcting her. We're so thankful to have parents who raised 6 children each and we aren't too proud to ask for their advice. We believe it's not only important to ask for advice but take the advice and apply it!

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise. Proverbs 12:15

Our girl is still sweet as ever but naturally she has to grow up and part of that is exercising her will. Alex and I are careful to make sure we don't expect too much from an 18 month old but as of right now - she understands and responds to correction quickly. We always love on her after correcting her and we believe that's important as well. We don't discipline out of anger and never want her to feel as though we're mad at her. We actually want her to feel the opposite...we want her to know we set boundaries and expect obedience because we love her.

We joke about this scripture but it's truth.

He who spares his rod hates his child, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly. Proverbs 13:24

Father, help us to stay consistent and to love her enough to correct her. Help us not to be lazy parents and choose to just "let it go" because we're tired. You know our heart is for Amelia to not only obey her parents as a child but to grow up and follow YOU in obedience. Thank you for Amelia. We love her to pieces. She is such a joy and makes our lives so much brighter! She's the best gift ever.

Psalm 127:3
Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.

Love to all,