Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 We have been blessed to have Carolyn Allen as a friend and our "family photographer" in Citrus County.  This Christmas and last, she has beautifully captured our family for our Christmas cards and portraits in our home.
I hope you enjoyed a Christmas surrounded by loved ones this year.
 As I reflect on 2014, I can rejoice because the Lord is faithful and good.
 Every beautiful gift is from Him.
 Praise Him from whom all blessings flow!
 The baby we celebrate this season, is our mighty King.
 He humbled Himself, and became man.
 All because of His never ending, never stopping love for us!
   Our God is the only true redeemer and King.
 May His peace and love dwell in your hearts richly this year!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

Monday, December 15, 2014

18 months

Hatley-Grace is 18 months old!

Weight: 20lbs. 15 oz
Height: 30 3/4 in
Clothing: 18 months, some 12 month tops/dresses, size 4 shoes
Diapers: medium length 4 snaps in

What is she up to?
Hatley-Grace is on a wonderful schedule right now.  She sleeps from about 8pm to 7 am.  She is an early riser, and will be babbling and ready to go for the day by 6:30/7.  By 12:30, Hatley-Grace is ready for a nap and will sleep from 21/2-3 hours on a normal day.  I love this routine since it gives us freedom in the morning to meet up with friends or run errands, and then I get some much needed alone time in the afternoon.

Hatley-Grace loves bacon and sausage in the morning, eggs, oatmeal, banana and toast are still favorites as well.  She enjoys eating whatever we are having for most meals.  She loves peanut butter or quinoa salads at lunch.  We have made lots of soups lately, and she is doing wonderfully with trying to use her spoon.  She is beginning to want to feed herself all the time, and looks insulted or frustrated when I try to help.  She can say milk, and asks for her milk cup in the evening before bedtime routines.

Motor skills:
Hatley-Grace has taken to walking so quickly this month.  She no longer crawls, and all she wants to do is walk around the house.  No sitting and playing for her right now.  We are currently painting our kitchen cabinets, so all the doors are out in the garages.  This leaves all the bowls, measuring cups, pots and pans exposed all day to little toddler hands; therefore, the kitchen is her favorite place to explore these days.  She loves to stir with spoons and pretend feed me and her animals.  Hatley- Grace will sit to color with crayons or chalk, and occasionally enjoys play dough.

Other fun things this month:
- we can now play outside since she is a confident walker!  She loves finding the unripe oranges that have fallen on the ground, and acorns in the driveway.  This spring is going to be so fun with her in the garden.

-  Our neighbors have a white Scottish terrier named Happy whom Hatley-Grace loves to visit.  Whenever she hears the word happy she starts saying please to go and visit him.  We are so thankful for our sweet neighbors, their loving hearts towards our daughter and for Happy the dog.

-  New balance sneakers have been a huge hit in the shoe department.  Although they are not stylish, Hatley-Grace walks and plays so well in them.

-  Marty taught her how to give Eskimo kisses this month (rubbing your noses).

-Tea for Ruby is a favorite book right now.

-  Hatley-Grace has no patience for the Jesus Storybook Bible, but loves looking through the pictures.

-  We started to introduce play pen time on mornings we have been at home( I hoping this will turn into independent play time in her roomin a few months).  This has not been a hit, as she cries the entire time.  Still an adjustment.

-  She pooped in the bathtub for the first time this weekend.  She showed me all the signs that it was coming, yet being a first time mom I had no idea what she was doing.  I thought she was pretending to be a frog. Part of it made it in the toilet, so we ordered a potty for her and it will arrive today.  We may attempt to see if she is interested in kicking the diapers, I know I am!

- Hatley-Grace is taking after her daddy more and more.  She is a big ham in groups of people, and the girls have taught her how to "cheese" for the camera.

- She hates having her hair put up in pigtails or pony tails, but loves her bows and asks for them when we get dressed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

17 months

Weight: 22.5 lbs.
Clothing:  12-18m tops, 18m bottoms, shoes size 3
Hair/eyes: dirty blonde, hazel.  After watching the CMAs this week, she has very similar coloring to Carrie Underwood
Diapers: flips on the medium length setting, 4 snaps in
Teeth: 12

Hattie-Grace has settled into a great one afternoon nap schedule.  She wakes around 7, and naps anywhere from 12:30/1- 3/4, depending on nighttime sleep and our activity level.  She goes to bed between 7:30-8.
Hattie-Grace is a great meal eater.  We have enjoyed lots of pears and apples this month.  HG is wonderful at eating anything we have for dinner, as long as she can chew it :). Peanut butter is still a favorite, along with cucumbers.

Gross/fine motor skills:
HG took her first steps on 11/5 at youth group with a bunch of sixth grade girls and Bethany, the student ministry intern.  She has become more confident in her walking ever since.  We have encouraged her to walk with her stuffed animals, hats, phones and power cords :). We are so excited to see progress in this!  She loves balls and will roll them or kick them to us.

HG is using a fork to eat most things, and is slowly mastering the spoon with yogurt or quinoa salads.  She can put straws into small holes, and colors with crayons.  She loves turning the pages of board books, magazines and regular books.  She stacks blocks and connects mega blocks.

HG will try to say lots of words if we ask her too.  She can name various body parts, and loves pointing out our eyes, ears, nose, mouth, hands, fingers, toes, feet, hair...Due to no shave November, she knows what a beard is as well.  She babbles all the time, and loves when we sing to her.  Her favorite song is Wheels on the Bus and asks for it by moving her hands like the wheels.  She is learning more animal noises as well.

Other fun stuff:
-  Hattie-Grace was the only baby in the nursery to not cry on Sunday morning, yet she fussed when it was time to go.

-  HG loves figuring out how things work.  She observes everything.  We thought we were safe with the Halloween candy in a dish on the coffee table, until one night she watched a friend unwrap a sucker and eat it.  Now, she will only try to unwrap the suckers.  Thankfully, she does not like how they taste...yet.

-  One of her favorite activities is clearing out any cabinet in our house.

-  She loves being around other children and cheers when I tell her we are going to church.

-  Yesterday, Hattie-Grace threw her first full out fit.  I told her that it was library day, and when we got to the library, it was closed because it was Veteran's Day...oops!  I told her we couldn't go to library time with Ms. Debbie because the library was closed.  She immediately started crying and cried the entire way home.  The big, splashy tears kind of cry.  This is incredibly rare for her, and it blew me away that she fully understood that we were planning to go to the library and then couldn't.  All was made right with a good swing and bike ride outside.
Dear Hattie-Grace,

You are such a big girl, learning to walk this month.  When I hold your hand, you no longer rely on me as much to take each step.  I just know once you become more confident, you will be running!

One of your favorite times of the day is when we walk to the mailbox, because it means we visit with the neighbors if they are out.  You ask to go see Mr. and Mrs. Born and their dog Happy every single time we are outside.  You just love people, and get so tickled by being around your friends.  You are a ham with others, and show off for the girls at youth group.  It is so appropriate that you took your first steps with youth group girls :)

You are spunky and sweet.  You are not easily upset, and never want to miss out on a good time by sleeping.  You are growing, learning and changing so fast right now.  Others always comment on your long pretty eyelashes and your beautiful big eyes.  You are truly beautiful, yet I pray that the Lord continues to grow your heart and spirit into a true gem shining His love to others.

You are our pride and joy!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

 We ventured to the only true pumpkin patch in Florida yesterday morning.
They had rows of sunflowers to pick,
 and every kind of pumpkin you could want.  
 We went on the hunt for a small, white pumpkin this year.  Hattie-Grace loved riding in the wagon!
 Precious sweet girl taking it all in.

 We found our cute little pumpkin, and clipped it from the vine.  
Hattie-Grace was happy with our selection.
Not too big, not too small, just right!
 Hattie-Grace got out to stretch her legs a bit.  Some pumpkins were literally bigger than her. 
It may have been 80 degrees out, but this was the perfect morning to bring on a little Fall feeling in our home.  We are learning how to embrace the seasons without the weather changing too much.  Pumpkin dip and pumpkin ice-cream may help just a bit :)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

16 months

Weight: around 21 lbs.
Clothing: mostly 12 month, 18 month pants
Diapers: flips shortest length and 4 snaps is, we are experimenting with the medium length and 5 snaps
Teeth: lots of teething this month, all her molars have broken through, and she has 4 on top and bottom
Hattie-Grace has settled into a nice afternoon nap from around 1-3/4.  The length always depends on her nighttime sleep the night before and/or how busy our morning was.  She is going to bed around 7:45 now and waking around7/7:30.  She is not one to ever WANT sleep.  She will play and play if we have people over or if we are out.  There are many nights I have to enforce the bedtime routine on a happy little girl.  This is just one of the many ways she is like her daddy.

Hattie-Grace officially stopped nursing on the 17th of September. She was not happy about it, but it was time.  She has adjusted wonderfully since then, and is tolerating whole milk more and more.  Her breakfast favorites are: scrambled eggs, fruit, sausage, bacon, toast with butter.  For lunch, she loves peanut butter straight from the jar, quinoa salads, veggies, plain whole milk or greek yogurt, fruits, cheese, etc.  Dinners are pretty much whatever we are eating.  She enjoyed her first pasta dinner, roasted vegetable with whole wheat penne, this month.  Other favorites are anything Mexican and burgers.  I find myself offering her anything but vegetables first because if she sees her veggies that is all she wants to eat.  This is one of the many ways she is like me.

Motor development:
Hattie-Grace enjoys using her fork while eating, but often gives up half way through the meal.  She alternates between favoring her left and right hand while using utensils and coloring.  She has figured out how to out the letter magnets in the leap frog toy to make it sing.  She can build a tower with her mega blocks and colors on paper.  Straws are her favorite way to drink.

HG is progressing towards walking. We take a walk to check the mail almost everyday.   Our driveway is a horseshoe shape with two entrances to the road, so this is a challenge for HG. This includes a long walk down the driveway, looking in the mailbox, walking down the street, saying hi to Happy the neighbor's dog, touching every flower along the way, stopping to look at the basketball net, then walking uphill up the other side of the driveway.  HG begs to pick up every acorn on the way, but she does it while holding both of my hands unless forced to just hold one.  Some days she is interested in walking, and others she could care less.  Silly girl will crawl on pavement and hard tile without complaint.

What else is new?
-  HG says "mmmmm" and points for everything she wants.  First thing she does when she wakes up is point to her closet and say "mmmmm".  She wants to pick out her outfit for the day.  The next thing she wants is to have her bow.
- Her favorite bedtime book right now is On The Night You Were Born, following closely by Goodnight Moon, where she proceeds to say "hi" to the kittens and says "cat" every time.
-  We have gotten in the routine of watching Giada together after she wakes from her nap while she drinks a cup of milk.  This is one of the sweetest times of my day.
-  HG loves library time with Ms. Debbie on Tuesday mornings.  Her favorite songs are Peek-a-boo, I love you and Grey squirrel
-  HG can identify her nose, mouth, ears, hair, head, teeth, eyes, toes, and belly button.
-  HG likes to the Wheels on the Bus book, and loves when the mama's say "sh" best.
-  She has become quite the queen of middle school youth group.  All the girls love to hold her and carry her around.
-  HG points out every single basketball net she can see and says ball.  Youth group has taught her that you put the ball in the net.
-  I can't keep up with all the words Hattie-Grace is saying right now.  It seems like there is a new addition everyday.

Dear Hattie-Grace,

For a while I have struggled to decided if Hatley-Grace or Hattie-Grace suits you more.  Up until now, I have always favored Hatley for many reasons, yet this month you are way more of a Hattie-Grace is my mind.  You come off as quiet and calm at first, but you have a little silliness to all you do.  You are so kind hearted, gentle and sweet, and then you crawl off like lightning and turn around and give us a silly face.  When you wake up, so start babbling immediately and flipping around ready to go in your crib.  When I go in your room to get you, you will crawl away and give me a silly smile or you want to play peek-a-boo behind your crib bumper.  I took you on your first pony ride at a local festival last weekend, and you were not scared one bit.  You squealed and squealed the whole time!

You played in the nursery at church two times this week, and each time different women commented about how you played in the kitchen.  On Sunday morning, the women told me how you cooked in the kitchen unlike any one year old she had ever seen, putting the pans on the burner, saying "hot", stirring with the spoons, plating up your food.  She said you were just cooking up a storm!  Then on Tuesday, another women told me about how you washed your hand in the kitchen sink and put food in and out of the refrigerator.  This is so true of your personality.  You watch everything, you are an observer and notice the details.  You would love to explore in the pantry for hours.  I can leave you alone in your room mostly because I know all you will do is pull out every single book and take in all the pictures and colors.

Month sixteen has been a favorite so far.  I can't wait to explore the pumpkin patch with you and your Daddy this weekend.  I predict you will say "mmmm" to every pumpkin we see.


Sunday, September 28, 2014


Recently, we have been doing much more toddler type things.  We have spent lots of time exploring play dough,

wearing shoes,
and trying to stand up.
Yesterday, Hatley-Grace walked so confidently with her walker.  We were so proud.  I loved the baby stage of parenting, yet this new stage is so fun.  She is learning and exploring new things everyday.  The teacher in me gets excited about all the morning activities I can plan right now.