Spring is in the air... well, really, it's ALL over our porch and has been for weeks. Pollen. It's EVERYWHERE. The recent storms and rain have helped it settle a bit, though.. for now. I finally finished editing these "spring" photos of Skylar and Jimmy! They're from several weeks ago (okay... like 6 weeks... eek!) But I love remembering this day! It was the first really "warm" day we had and it was only a few days after the "winter" photos we took in this post. Hahh... go figure. ;)
Dear Skylar Joy, Hello sweet girl! This month is pretty exciting! First, your "8 month birthday" was on your Mommy's birthday! How cool is that? We were excited to have two things to celebrate that day! Your Mom turned 30 on the 8th, but she largely celebrated her birthday the weekend just before that. You were such a good girl during the festivities! I think about that weekend and how perfectly you behaved with your baby sitter and with all the guests and I am just so proud of you! Thank you for such a lovely "gift" baby girl!
This month has been filled with changes and exploration (as every month has been thus far!). The "big" thing you learned to do this month is stand on your own. It was crazy how quickly you figured out how to pull yourself up to standing. One day you were trying to get to my water bottle up on a chair and couldn't quite make the "leap" to put your hand up and pull yourself up to standing so you could reach it (3/17) and the next day you stood up using another chair to get to my camera gear (3/17). I wasn't expecting you to figure it out so quickly, but once you did you started standing all over the place. The only problem with this development is that you are scared to get DOWN from standing. So... you tend to start babbling "ma-ma-ma-ma" with increasing intensity the longer I let you stand without helping you down. It's cute, baby girl, but someday you will figure out the sitting down from standing thing... Until then I'll keep helping you. ;)
I mentioned that you say "ma-ma-ma," and we can officially say that "mama" is your first word, baby girl! You call for me to help you when you're trying to get down from standing, to come get you when you're up from a nap or at night, and when you're ready to be fed. You're very close to saying other things too... and try out sounds and syllables a lot. At times you make noises like you're trying to say separate words -- like a phrase or sentence. You do this most when you're in the car talking with your travel toys (your owls and your bunny are still major favorites for traveling). Your Dad noticed that you were saying a syllable that sounded like "get" over and over while trying to grab something (4/4). We're not sure what you're really trying to say, but it's obvious that you are continually trying to figure out how to express new words and information to us and your toys.
At the beginning of this month you still did the "arms only" crawl sometimes, but now you're just doing a standard crawl everywhere -- and fast. You can get from one area to another surprisingly quickly! One day this month you crawled right up to the stairs and were trying to get up them (4/4). Of course it was after your Dad and the kitty had just walked up the stairs -- you didn't want to be left behind. We figure it's only a matter of time till you'll be able to climb up the stairs. All of your crawling and adventures are awesome for us to watch. Your Mom and Dad are having to be extra vigilant lately to make sure you don't get into anything that can hurt you, but we both love watching you learn and explore. :)
Speaking of crawling, you crawled into the kitchen for the first time this month and then proceeded to crawl to the bathroom to "find me" while I was in there (of course I was looking out at you to make sure you weren't getting into trouble anyway) (3/13). You used to crawl up to me and then flail about for me to pick you up, but now crawl right up into my lap. In fact you now crawl over any obstacles in your path -- including legs and arms and the cat and toys. You also crawl up to your Mommy and Daddy while we're standing and reach your arm up on our leg to get picked up. It's so cute to see you learning to communicate -- even in non-verbal ways!
You had juice for the first time this month, darling girl (3/19). It was apple juice and you liked it a lot. You also had prune juice (you had some "plumbing issues" for a while and your Mom and Dad were doing all they could to fix the problem). Your first juice was out of a regular cup because you weren't able to get the juice out of the Tommee Tippee cup (it's surprisingly difficult to suck liquid from!). Just a few days later (after we offered you the cup every time and you tried each time) you figured out the Tommee Tippee!! Now you have no problem getting juice and water from it.. This is super helpful, little one, because the Tommee Tippee doesn't spill easily! It will be very useful in the car and such. :)
You are in size 3 diapers now and are wearing 9 month and 12 month clothing. I weeded out a lot of clothes that don't fit you anymore this month... and we're stocking up on 12 month and 18 month clothes at the moment. You're getting so big, my sweet girl!
You still enjoy being in various carriers on your Mommy, but you rarely fall asleep in them now. You usually love to interact with people in stores and typically smile at them. You are sometimes getting shy, though, especially when tired. One interesting turn of events is that you are afraid of men with beards. It's comical how easily you cry if a man with a beard picks you up. We're working on exposing you to more bearded men, but since your Daddy doesn't have one you aren't around them daily. It's important to tell you that you do warm up to guys with beards -- it just takes some time and you're not as friendly for a while around them. You're definitely starting to recognize people you know from strangers. You're much more cautious about who holds you, but are usually okay as long as your Mom or Dad are holding you when you're around new people.
Your grandparents (Mom's parents) visited you for the first time in North Carolina this month (see the photos below with your grandma and Momma!)! While they were visiting your Mom & Dad left you for the first time! You were juuuuust fine while we were out on a date (a late "Valentine's Day" date). We enjoyed spending some time alone just the two of us, but missed you and were glad to be back home with you after a few hours. Now that we've broken the "baby sitting" ice we may have to find other people who can watch you from time to time. :)
You experienced your first Easter this month (3/31)! It really wasn't all that different for you, but you did get a fun Easter package from your Gram-Gram and Pop-Pop. You also got to enjoy some toys from your first Easter Basket that was left on our doorstep by a loving neighbor (anonymously). We're looking forward celebrating with you next year when we can interact more about the true meaning of Easter (and enjoy a good egg hunt as well).
You started teething again hard-core this month, Skylar Joy. It's been difficult to comfort you at times and you haven't slept well at night for a lot of this month (this has been tough on your parents, but we all made it through and are doing better now!). The sleeping issues led to a more strict "bedtime routine" and you now are typically in bed sleeping by 8pm at the latest. This is quite a change from your flexible bedtime previously, but you're definitely needing the structure now. The teething led to two brand-new teeth! You now have 4 teeth in your little mouth: your two bottom front teeth and your two top front teeth. Your Mom forgot to note which day the top two "cut," but it was one of the first few days of April. Even though the teeth have cut you're still teething so it's likely you will have more teeth poking out next month! ;)
We love you so much, baby girl!!!! Keep growing, learning, exploring. We can't wait to see what you're going to do next!
Love Always, Your Momma
Except for the bottom one these pictures were taken by your Dad (edited by me, though):
This final picture is a preview of the "spring" photos of you and Daddy. I'll be posting the rest on their own in the near future:
These are a long time coming. I took these when my parents were here visiting in the beginning of March... and they're decidedly "winter-y" (though Jimmy's not all that bundled up). I have another set taken a week or so later that is much more spring-like and I'll hopefully post those this weekend sometime. (I have many posts "in the works" including several about myself -- this is my birthday month after all! So, hopefully I'll be able to find more time to work on them in the next few days!) Without further ado... pictures of my loves:
P.s. Also coming up is my 8 month letter to Skylar! (Our sweet girl turned 8 months old on my 30th birthday!)
As I mentioned in my previous post: I love Valentine's Day. I've had lots of good ones in the past... and this one was no exception! In fact, I think it was one of the best! I got to share it with my two loves: Jimmy & my precious daughter Skylar! Jimmy and I had alone time at night AND Skylar and I had plenty of great times together earlier in the day! It was pretty near perfect. So, here are a few highlights of the day: Woke up around 6 to feed Skylar and wrote a note to my hubby in lipstick on the mirror... along with a sassy card that I left on the sink counter for him to discover when he got up to take a shower. (muhahah - I can be sexy as well as sweet!) I then went back to sleep... woke when Jimmy kissed me goodbye and told me he loved me! (including his appreciation for the mirror/card). Slept in for a while.... & got up to send a dear friend her Valentine's Day surprise!!! :)
I spent the morning sending various surprises via e-mail, text, facebook... It was so much fun! I love stuff like that! Skylar woke up and "helped" me with some of my projects on the computer and then we had a mini-photo session with my iphone:
Then we dropped off some v-day bags to a couple neighbor girls... and packages and FLOWERS arrived!:
The rest of Valentine's Day involved hanging with Skylar, loving on her and... you guessed it... more pictures! This time she was more dressed up with headbands and such and I used my fancy Cannon SLR:
(more pictures will be uploaded from that "photo-shoot" sometime in the near future -- hopefully this weekend!)
Finally around 4 I figured dinner should be started... ANd here's where I was nervous: I decided to make something new... & something reasonably HEALTHY for Valentine's Day. I've been really wanting to try a healthy Fettuccine Alfredo recipe I found on Pinterest (resolutions! Ding-ding!). Yes, you read that right... HEALTHY Fettuccine Alfredo. I started making it... prepping everything... and put Skylar down for her "late in the afternoon/evening" nap right when Jimmy sent me an ETA for being home (perfect timing - yay!). I was hopeful that it would be good... but, i have to admit, a bit skeptical. Well, half-way through the process I started raving about the sauce to my friend through text. You guys, I wanted to DRINK the sauce. Seriously. And that was BEFORE adding cream. In fact, in the future, I'm pretty sure I could skip the 1/4 cup of cream and not notice in the slightest. I finished the recipe soon after Jimmy got home (adding chicken -- because we needed some PROTEIN with all those carbs from the noodles) and plated it!:
We both LOVED this meal, ya'll (so becoming a southerner... wow). It was so... YUMMY and flavorful! I will be using what I am dubbing the: "cauliflower creamy method" to make this and lots of other things in the future! I'm so excited to be experimenting with it... because it truly adds so much smooth, creamy, goodness to a sauce (or a soup, or a pasta dish, or ... well, you get the idea).
The pasta, well, that part is another story... I'm really not sure how to omit that part... Except by using spaghetti squash... which I am only reminded of because a friend mentioned it recently (thanks, Liz!) I'll have to try out the sauce on spaghetti squash sometime in the near future!
After dinner we moved on to opening presents (Skylar was still sleeping -- good timing, little babe, good timing!). His & Hers:
Inside Jimmys: JellyBelly's (and a promise to buy more from the "menu" that he likes -- I couldn't find a place with all of the specific flavors in time for Valentine's Day, but I will get more in the near future to fill his Jellybelly candy dispenser!), A Hacker Book & another copy of Archer (he can't find his at the moment)... and finally another "I Owe You" for body wash that's coming! :)
Inside Mine: FILM for my Fuji Instant Camera!! (Jimmy got me the camera for Christmas -- we celebrated as a family here in NC only recently --but it didn't come with film. Both he & I were surprised... so he got me a pack of "50 shots" for Valentine's Day!), Chocolates... seriously, a very sexy box of chocolates! (with lace on the front -- so pretty), Roses (already pictured), and an Alex & Ani bracelet!!!!!:
First picture taken with the instant camera:
We had a few more minutes together before little miss Skylar woke up... and then she was awake and ready to hang with family! We spent the rest of the evening relaxing together and having fun! It was pretty near perfect! And Skylar (who was sick and getting over having shots earlier this week) enjoyed the evening and seemed to be getting better! yay!
After Skylar went down for the night we had some more grown-up-time and then it was time for bed for us too!! All-in-all it was a pretty wonderful Valentine's Day!
So, readers, how was your day!?!?!?!!? I wanna hear about your adventures into this day of love! How did you show love to those in your life???
Dear Skylar, It's been quite a month! Many highs and a few lows, but ultimately it was a good month with you, my love. It's hard to know where to start, but here goes...
You have learned to love the bouncy seat this month. You don't always want to be in it for super long, but you've figured it out and can now jump as much as you want! You also have learned to turn the bouncer around to see one way or the other and can do it quickly at will! Since you're pretty savvy with the bouncer now Mommy sometimes puts you in there when she's taking a shower or trying to get chores done. Your Dad likes to sit on the ground when you're in the bouncer. He talks with you and plays with you while you jump. One thing you don't like is being in the bouncer for a long time by yourself. You are very social and much happier when someone is interacting with you -- even when you are playing. You remind me of myself very strongly sometimes, baby girl.
Speaking of jumping, it's still one of your favorite ways to interact and play with your Daddy. He holds you and you jump on his lap. You've gotten really strong and can jump for a very long time without getting tired! You also don't like to jump slowly and usually jump at a very quick pace! It's so fun to watch you jump!
You're not eating foods yet, but often show interest in our food and what we're drinking. You sometimes drink water out of our glasses -- especially out at restaurants. You also suck water from my Nathan water bottle and we were able to get you to drink from a straw (12/17)! Lately we think you're wanting the water because it's cold and feels good on your teething gums, but in general you seem curious about what Mommy & Daddy are doing when we eat and drink. Food is probably coming in the next month or so. We'll see... it's a big step, but one you seem increasingly ready for!
You are turning over all the time now, baby girl... and you use it to help you get around and see things in your world. If you want to move from one toy to another on your playyard you "roll to it". You also have used this to roll around the living room/kitchen nook area. You're sooooo close to crawling, but rolling helps you get around for now.
Speaking of crawling: You may not be doing much with forward motion yet, but you can turn in circles. You turned all the way around several times on the office floor with Mommy & Daddy cheering you on! You still do this to a lesser degree to "get around" downstairs when left to your own devices. Mommy is having to watch you much closer to make sure you don't get into anything that you shouldn't. When you're really crawling we're going to have to keep a much closer eye on you -- at least until we can get some gated areas for you to play in.
Some of your other "firsts" this month are:
You experienced your very first Christmas, sweet girl!! You are still too little to really grasp much of what is going on, but you did enjoy the attention you got while opening presents. You're not quite old enough to really "open" them yourself, but you did try. You have enjoyed the lights and colors of the season. I have loved watching your eyes sparkle as you take it all in.
Your first tooth has peeked out of your gums. It's still not all the way up, but you "cut" your first tooth a few days after Christmas. You actually seem to deal with the pain pretty well, but do get somewhat whiny and needy when your mouth hurts. You also have the typical "symptoms" of drooling and chewing on everything when teething.
Crying when something is taken away from you! Before this month you didn't seem to care if we took a toy away or put something down that you were playing with, but now you whine or cry when we take something away that you're not finished enjoying. The first time you complained was when we put away the iPad.
You now grab for toys and other items with purpose. You can control your hands so much better and tend to grasp toys instead of just flinging your arms out to try and "catch" something with your hands. You also lean towards toys that you want. You seem to understand that you have choices and can pick which toy you would like to play with at that specific moment. You can definitely see better and understand objects better this month.
On Dec 18th you shook a rattle for the first time. You shook it after Daddy showed you how -- it is so neat watching him teach you things. I know this is just the beginning! You continued to shake rattles and other toys throughout the month as you learned that you could make noises yourself!
You first enjoyed looking at the world upside-down this month. You were on your daddy's lap on the stairs by the office. You leaned all the way back in his lap and were so excited to see the world in a whole new way! (I need to add pictures of this at some point!). You have continued to do this out throughout this month. It's a whole new perspective that excites you!
On Christmas Eve you cried and yelled because you were being left out of what was going on in the room next to you. You are very social and you continue to show us that as you grow!
A big first for you this month was seeing (and touching) snow! While in NY around Christmastime it snowed! You were quite interested in the cold white stuff and while you won't remember it, we enjoyed introducing you to snow for the first time! :)
At the end of this month you got sick. You actually were having trouble breathing and because of that we ended up at a pediatric ER with you. A few days before your "5 month birthday" you were being treated for Croup. Watching you struggle to breathe was super hard for me, but I do have to tell you how proud I am of you! You continue to be my little fighter! Even when it was difficult you worked hard to breathe and get all the oxygen you needed! Your oxygen levels never dipped below 97% and because of that you were never in danger of any lasting negative effects from being sick. You also still greeted people who came in the room and tried to smile at times -- even when you were obviously miserable.
While sick (especially in the hospital) you never wanted to be out of my arms. Your constant need for me was tough sometimes, but at the same time I was so glad to be able to offer you comfort and give you a safe place in my arms. I will never forget some of those sweet cuddle moments in the hospital when I knew I was giving you everything you needed and sleeping on me was helping you feel better.
You are much better now! And your Mom & Dad are both super thankful for that! I could go the rest of my life without seeing you in pain again and it would be just fine with me! (I know that's not realistic, but I'm your Momma -- so I will try to make it so!)
Favorite Toys this month: You still love your taggie and hanging rattle while traveling. In addition to these you've started loving your playyard a lot lately. You also are fascinated by your crinkly winged ladybug toy! Another fave for you right now is playing with the "Little Gems" game on Mommy's iPad. You love that you can "throw" the shapes on the screen. You are enjoying toys that make noise a lot. One favorite is a musical toy that your Aunt Lynne gave you for Christmas! It's a great distraction for you when you're upset about your mouth hurting.
I can't wait to see what you learn and are excited about next month, baby girl! Keep growing, keep learning, keep becoming you!
Love Always & Forever,
Snowy Day Pictures (featuring photos by this momma):
I have an Instagram account. I really love posting pictures of a variety of subjects (though my most frequent pictures involve Skylar, our cat, nailpolish and food). Well, in early in November a friend posted something under the tag "instagratitude" and I clicked on it. Quickly I realized that the point was to post something that you are grateful/thankful for every day during the month of November. What a wonderful idea! I kept up posting almost every day (at the latest I posted a day late). I decided mid-month that at the end I would post all 30 days here! I thought it would be a good place to remember some of the things I'm thankful for and to reveal a piece of my Instagram on my blog! I have a lot to be thankful/grateful for... way more than what I'm posting here, but these are the things that "struck me" each day. Without further ado:
Day 7: I'm so thankful that Skylar slept for most of the plane ride & was great for all of it! Also grateful that the flight attendants were nice & TSA agents were helpful & kind. So it turns out that flying with a baby is the best way to travel!
Day 18: Grateful for a good travel day & watching Skylar meet her great grandparents in Ohio! So thankful for today! (btw, I cheated a bit. The top left picture is Skylar with her Grandma G... so these aren't ONLY her great grandparents!)
Day 24: I'm grateful for laughter with good people! Tonight was awesome. (I don't have a picture of the people we were with, so this silly Skylar picture will have to be good enough... She's trying to smile while she yawns).
Day 27: Today I am grateful for this man & that I get to call him "mine." He's amazing in so many ways... as a husband, father, provider & friend. I truly cannot imagine my life without him. I love you, Jimmy. Now. Forever. Always. ❤
Day 30: I'm grateful for fun & thoughtful early Christmas packages from family! I'm also thankful for the last month of posting these! It's been a good reminder that I have lots to be thankful (& grateful) for!
I would also love to add some awesome news we got today, but it's not time yet... I AM thankful/grateful for it, though! (and it's not that I'm pregnant, or anyone I know is pregnant or getting married or anything of that sort! No guesses... cuz most won't be even close!)
I'll be back soon to blog our trip to Ohio for the week of Thanksgiving!