Friday, June 29, 2012

Some Friday Cuteness

Since I haven't had time this week for another coherent post...enjoy some absolute adorableness from Elyse's 6 month photo shoot.  Erica from Turner Creative Photography captured Elyse's true personality at this stage in her young life...full of glee & curiousity at everything around her! 


Happy Weekend Everyone!  Stay Cool!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Weekend Rewind: A/C Required

It's hot in Southwest Missouri.  I realize it's hot a lot of places, so we're all suffering together.  Hot days with a 6 month old mean you either spend all your time completely submerged in the water, under some sort of shade...or you stay in the air conditioning.  This weekend we did the latter and spend almost all of our weekend enjoying the nice cool, humidity free environment that our home provides.

(And since I took basically NO pictures this weekend, enjoy a collection of Elyse sleeping...2 of which came from her high chair where she just passed out on us!) 

Friday night we did stay down at my parents' for dinner & then we all headed over for one of my cousin's birthday parties.  They were serving ice cream cake & homemade blackberry cobbler...we weren't about to miss that! 

Saturday I came to work & Nick stayed home with Elyse.  Kind of sad when you actually come to your workplace for a "day off"!  ha!  Elyse ended up spending the rest of the afternoon & evening with Papa & Gigi.  She had quite the fun time in the pool & having a date night with her Papa & Gigi. 

Baby girl needed a dunk in the bucket after a little "incident"!  Glad Papa & Gigi got to handle that one...ha!
While Elyse was with the babysitters, Nick & I went in search of our dream home.  It was time for our annual HBA Parade of Homes & we always love doing this together.  I'm not gonna lie, we were extremely disappointed in the offerings this year.  Normally we walk away from the tour saying:  "If we could move that exact house to anywhere we wanted, we'd take it!"  This year...not so much. 

After visiting 8 houses we headed out to dinner with our friends the Turner's.  We had dinner at a fairly new place in the area called Blu Sesame; another Asian Fusion restaurant that was incredibly cheap & absolutely delicious!  And then it was time to call our date-day to an end & head home to see our baby! 
Sunday was a day for the a/c for sure.  We headed to church and then came home to spend the rest of the day doing odds & ends around the house but mainly just relaxing.  Nick did venture out long enough to grill us hamburgers for dinner.  Hamburgers, homemade french fries, & an Oreo ice cream sundae for dessert...not sure I could have picked a better meal if we'd gone out to eat! 

The temps are supposed to be in the upper 90s to low 100s this lots more indoor time for us!  It's way too early in the summer for it to be this hot...July & August could be unbearable! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Elyse Love ~ 6 Months

I can't hardly believe it, but we are now closer to Elyse's 1-year birthday than we are to the day she was is that possible?!? 

It's a rainy, cloudy day here so Elyse & I took advantage of the lazy morning & had a fun little photo shoot.  I swear I have little miss photogenic on my hands, she certainly knows how to perform!
Weight/Height:  At Elyse's 6 month well-child checkup, she weighed 15 lbs 6 oz (40th percentile) & was 26" long (70th percentile).  She is still our little skinny minnie, but those rolls have certainly appeared on her thigs!  And seriously, this girl has some chubby cheeks!  We just ordered her next month's worth of diapers & we have officially moved into size 3s. I can't believe how fast she's growing!
Clothes:  She is wearing a combination of 3-6 month & 6-9 month clothing. With her length she's already outgrown a few of her 3-6 month items, but thankfully we have lots of hand-me-downs in the 6-9 month range! Her mamaw just bought her a bunch of sleepers and we opted for the 6-9 month size so they would fit for a lot longer.  I've done pretty well this month with not buying anything new.  I have reminded myself that it's certainly ok for her to wear outfits more than once!  ha! 
Food:  Elyse is still our big eater!  We adjusted her schedule a bit a few weeks ago, mainly because she told us that she wanted to adjust was certainly easier to go along with her rather than keep fighting it.  She is nursing or having a bottle of pumped milk 5 times a day & is now eating solids 2 times a day-2 tablespoons at lunch & 2 tablespoons at dinner.  Of course I don't know for sure, but I would say she is eating somewhere between 30-35 oz of milk a day.  We decided to skip the rice cereal as her very first food & started with sweet potatoes.  As you saw from my post the other day, she LOVED them! 
 Sleep:  It seems that overall we are doign better in the area of sleep.  We had a rough week or so a few weeks ago since Elyse & I both had a cold.  She wasn't sleeping hardly at all without being near one of us which meant lots of sleeping on the couch or in the rocker--we honestly had some of the roughest nights we've had since she was born!  Even worse than when she was a newborn!  Poor baby just couldn't sleep with her stuffy nose.  Part of the schedule adjustment in the evenings was because she has pretty much dropped her early evening nap (leaving her with 2 naps per day).  This leads to an earlier bedtime & when we are home we are trying to start her bedtime routine between 8 & 8:30.  She's been sleeping through the night pretty well for the last several nights, just waking a little early some mornings which we can deal with! 
Activity:  I will be completely shocked if we don't have a crawler on our hands within the next month.  She is rolling over from back to front during the day & we know that she can roll the other way based on how we find her in her crib.  She's also perfectly content to sit up unassisted and play with her toys for 30-45 minutes.  Lots of times I will just sit in the floor with her & watch her as she picks & chooses which toys she wants to play with.  When having tummy time she is kicking her legs like crazy & she can move in a complete circle as she moves from toy & toy on her tummy.  She is reaching for items that are farther & farther out of her reach so we'll definitely be babyproofing our house very soon! 
Personality:  Our baby girl has the most infectious personality & I just LOVE spending my day with her.  She is starting to babble & jabber more & more each day and I would love to know what she's saying.  I just talk back to her or sing to her & we have our own little conversation.  She is still such a GOOD baby & is almost always incredibly happy unless she is tired or hungry.  However, she's also learned that she can throw a quick little fit to let us know that she wants something else.  Her little dramatic cries are quite pitiful. 

Most all of her sounds are happy, but she has also started this grunting stage which has nothing to do with her bowel movements...ha!  I think she's started making this sound to get our attention & she's learned that eventually we'll do what she wants.  It is the funniest sound & she went on & on for about 10 minutes the other day while we were having lunch out with my mom!  You would swear that we were going to have a horrible diaper to deal with...but she's just trying to get her point across. 
~Anything she can put in her mouth, especially Sofie the Giraffe!
~Sitting up like a big girl
~Singing the "little green frog" song & "head, shoulders, knees, & toes"
~Puppies, she loves any dog & just smiles so big as they move around her
~Water--she's always loved bathtime but she also loves the swimming pool! 
~Jumper--She really enjoys the doorway jumper that I put up in the kitchen as I'm working around the house!
~Grocery shopping--She LOVES going to Walmart/Target or anywhere that involves riding in the cart.  She is the biggest hit when we go to the store so I've started running my errands with her!
~Textures:  She is really developing her sense for textures and loves to feel anything new...whether it's grass, concrete, glass, a fuzzy blanket, she will scratch her fingernails along with texture to learn all about what she's feeling. 
~Nasal Aspirator:  She definitely does not enjoy this and we had to use it a lot when she had her cold a few weeks ago!  It was guaranteed to produce some real tears. 

6 Month Milestones: 
~Sitting up unassisted all by herself:  Middle of May
~Overnight stay at Papa & Gigi's:  May 24-26
~First dip in the swimming pool:  May 27
~Dedicated to Jesus:  June 3
~First Cold:  Started June 3, lasted almost 2 weeks
~First Family 5k:  June 9

  Love this baby girl & her crinkly nose smile! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Eatin' Like a Big Girl!

Along with Elyse's official half-birthday came this stubborn momma giving in to finally feeding her some solid foods.  She's probably been ready for the last month or so, but with all the research currently out there about exclusively breast-feeding for the first 6 months I was hesitant to try and fix something that wasn't broke. 

However, after our 6-month checkup with her pediatrician we got the full green light to go ahead with starting solids.  Hubby was definitely excited and so were my parents.  I'm not going to lie, I was a little hesitant.  I mean I've been providing her one & only food source for the last 6 months & we had that pretty much down to a science...and seriously, how can she be old enough to be eating "big person" foods already?!?  Ok, I realize that adults don't typically go around eating sweet potato & sweet pea puree', but you get my point...right?!?

I do realize that she needs to eat real food at some point so her 6 month birthday was the official start date.  I had decided long ago to try and make most of her food.  I had a friend sell me her Baby Bullett set for practically nothing & I knew it had to be a piece of cake to make my own.  On Wednesday I popped a sweet potato in the oven, baked it for around an hour, cleaned it out into my Baby Bullet, added a little bit of breastmilk to thin it out, & VOILA!!!  I had 9 servings of sweet potatoes for our sweet baby girl! 
Sweet potatoes...ready to go!
We finally had enough time to feed her her first meal on Thursday evening.  I was hoping she would catch on quickly with how to eat & Nick was secretly just hoping for a big mess! 
Elyse's first bite of food...
Not quite sure what to think!
She was definitely hesitant that first night--as she should be!  I mean she hasn't had anything thicker than milk for the past 6 months & we're expecting her to eat sweet potato pudding from this off this foreign plastic object?!?  She probably only ate about 3/4 of a tablespoon that first night...but ever since then she's been scarfing everything down!  
The next day at lunch went much better! 
We started her on peas today (after the allotted allergy free time period) and I think she loved those even more!  Making my own baby food has been so easy & actually quite enjoyable! I've got the entire Baby Bullet system, but it certainly isn't necessary. A blender/food processor & some ice cube trays is all you need & you'd be ready to get started!
Peas ready to go!
Ready for the freezer...
Peach puree' ready for when we start fruits in a few days!
At this point she seems to love eating (which I know will probably change!), and it's so fun to watch her face as she experiences new tastes!  Just call me Chef Momma, I've got zucchini, avocado, carrots, and brown rice on the menu before starting her on fruits like bananas, peaches & pears.
Eating it up with Aunt Millie!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day Weekend 2012

Our Father's Day weekend was pretty much like every other weekend has been this summer...priceless.  After work on Friday evening, our precious family of 3 headed out for dinner to Houlihan's & followed it up with some Pineapple Whip.  For those of you not from SW Missouri I'm not really sure how to describe Pineapple Whip to you other than yummy, refreshing, goodness.  They had a strawberry kiwi version at the stand we went to & it was so delicious! 

Elyse entertained everyone at Houlihan's & is getting so good at sitting in the highchair like a big girl! 
She also had her first "food" & attempts at a sippy cup this week...but more on that in another post! 
Saturday Hubby & my dad were playing in a golf tournament for the local Lions' Club that they are both members of.  Elyse & I spent the morning & early afternoon hanging out which included a trip to Walmart, making a couple of batches of homemade baby food, & even a quick afternoon nap for both of us.  Hubby took over with Elyse duty once he got home & I think they might have played just a little bit too hard (see below)!  We headed to a local pizza place for dinner and then called it a night fairly early! 
Passed out on daddy's lap...cracks me up that she can sleep so soundly like this! 
Sunday was of course Father's Day & we started the day off with Elyse's gift to her daddy.  We got him a customized putter, "My First Ping Putter" to be exact.  It is exactly 19.5" long (which is how long Elyse was when she was born) and includes all of Elyse's birth specifics engraved on the face of the putter in pink.  It also included a little Ping onesie & hat set that is just too cute for our hopefully "future" golfer.  I think Nick was more than excited about his gift!  Unfortunately I failed to get a very good photo of Elyse & her daddy with their new golf club!
Elyse & her daddy
After church we met up with my parents' & my mom's parents for some BBQ.  Elyse entertained us all as well & then we headed back to my mom & dad's for naptime for Elyse & some pooltime for mommy & daddy!
Elyse loves her daddy!
Elyse joined us at the pool after her nap & had a blast with some of her new pool toys.  She was kind of in a funny mood, being a little more serious than normal, but she still had a ton of fun playing in the water!
Our little water diva!

Love this photo of my water baby!
After pool time & pizza for dinner, Aunt Millie & Uncle Nick worked with Elyse on her crawling skills.  She's not there yet, but will be so soon!
Attempting to get Romo the white dog! 
All in all it was a pretty fantastic Father's Day & I hope Hubby enjoyed celebrating his first of many with his baby girl! 
Love my family!
And I have to include this picture just because it cracks me up...Elyse loves her Bogey, and I know that they'll be best friends once she's a little bit bigger & can play with him a little more...well, and maybe once he stays a little more calm around her! 
All loaded up & ready to go home!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Day for Daddies

Happy Father's Day to all the Daddies in my life! 
Daddies are incredibly special men & I'm so lucky to have my life filled with 5 of the greatest dad's I could ever ask for! 

My daddy is incredible, and words cannot express how lucky I am to work along side him in our family business, to call on him when I need life advice, & to watch him love on my baby girl. 
Wedding Day, May 19, 2007

 The day he became a grandpa...December 13, 2011

 And a regular old summer day, playing keep away with the paci by the pool!
And of course along with my own daddy, Elyse's daddy is pretty special to me as well.  I can't imagine going through this parenthood journey with anyone but him...
He has such fun with life & might even mimic his baby girl every once in awhile.
He'll love on his baby girl always...maybe even when she won't want him to...
but he'll always bring incredible joy to our baby girl just by walking through the door! 

And I'd be missing someone incredibly special if I didn't mention my father-in-law aka Pappy!  They're moving in less than a month & will be SO much closer to us!
Pappy & Elyse
And just like her great-grandma's, Elyse has the incredible privilege of knowing 2 of the most generous, loving, wise, God-loving men that I know.  My prayer now is that she would remember just how much they love her & how proud they will always be of her. 
Great Papa Jim
Great Grandpa Willis

To all the Daddies in my life: I love you more than you could ever imagine.  Thank you for bringing such incredible love, support, &a encouragement to my life; and most of all, thank you for loving my daughter more than life itself. 
Happy Father's Day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Happy 1/2 Birthday Little Toot!

Today is Little Toot's 1/2 Birthday. 
She's 6 months old. 
She's stolen our hearts. 
She's perfect. 
She's got a smile that melts my soul.
She makes us understand God's love for us in ways we've never understood. 
She's ours...& we're hers. 

She's why I've transitioned from carrying a designer purse to carrying a diaper bag, a breastpump bag, a bag for a highchair cover, & finally a small clutch tossed into the diaper bag just for me. 

She's why I occasionally tear up while changing a diaper when I think about how incredibly blessed I am to have the title of "Mom."

She's why our house has transitioned from being perfectly picked up to being filled with brightly colored, noisy, entertaining toys. 

She's why our home is overflowing with love & humility at why God chose US to be her parents. 

She's why the DVR on our television is practically empty & why if it wasn't for Cardinals baseball we could almost do without our Dish service. 

She's why I've learned to deal with very little sleep on some occasions & why I'd do it every single day if I can steal one little grin from her toothless mouth.

She's more than we ever could have imagined in a baby girl (& has most likely spoiled us with any future children). 

She makes us both wonder what in the world we did with all of our time before her. 

She's our everything. 

Happy 1/2 Birthday Little Toot, your momma & daddy can't hardly remember life without are so loved!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekend Rewind~Colds, Running of the Squirrels, & Pool Time

Since we were/are still dealing with The Family Cold of 2012, we had very few specific plans for the weekend...which sometimes is just what the dr. ordered!  Hubby & my dad went golfing on Friday afternoon so we ended up staying at my parents' house for a casual dinner.  Elyse also got some outdoor time before heading home for the evening. 
Elyse's 1st ride around Daddy's neck!  She looks so tiny!

After our walk a quick rinse off in the pool to get rid of the chiggers! 

Hubby & I both went to bed fairly early on Friday evening because we had a big morning on Saturday...Running of the Squirrels 5k!  The theme this year was "Respect the Squirrel" and the t-shirts are almost always worth the entry fee by themselves!  I pushed Elyse in the stroller & walked with my mom while Hubby ran quickly & then headed off to work. 
The best we could do for a family photo, we were running late & Elyse was too focused on all the runners at the starting line!
Styling after the race!
While Hubby headed off to work, I went & spent the rest of the morning with my mom so Elyse could take a good morning nap.  Hubby & I then spent the afternoon relaxing at home (which included a fabulous nap for me) before heading out for a simple dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. 
I think even Elyse was worn out after "strolling" in her first 5k!
Sunday morning we decided to attend church with my parents & then spent the afternoon at the pool.  Now some of you might think we're crazy for what happened next, but we are "water" people in my family.  We love the pool, we love the ocean...and the last thing we want is for Elyse to be at all scared of the water.  So...please don't think we're horrible parents for the pictures you're about to see.  Trust me when I say that Daddy had a tight-hold on Elyse the entire time and there were 3 other adults within about 5 feet of our darling baby girl. 
A quick blow in the face...
...and a quick dunk under the water!
A quick blow in the face...
...and a quick swim through the water. 
She did so well & didn't cry or sputter at all.  I realize we'll have to continually teach her how to react under the water, but for now this baby girl LOVES the water!
Playing with a squishy ball full of water!
Momma & her baby girl...she's so ready to crawl!
Entertained by the littlest things:  A wet papertowel!  Good thing they were Bounty and didn't disintegrate in her mouth!
Keeping cool with Momma while chewing on the pacifier!
I'm still fighting off my cold, so no Zumba for me tonight!  Bummer!  I really do miss it, which is such a good sign...I normally never miss working out!  Hopefully I'll be rid of this cold very soon...Elyse & her daddy are both basically completely over it, I'm just wanting to join them very soon!