Saturday, August 30, 2014

Road trip Part 2

After a week with the Cates in Virginia, we headed north to see my parents.  Our first visit at home was to see my Grandparents.  Here is HG with her Great Grandfather.  

We also ventured to a small zoo in Wilmington.  We thought we would save the Philadelphia zoo trip until she is a little older.  This zoo was sweet and small, just the right size for HG's attention span.

 HG even got to pick out her own surprise from the gift shop.  She chose an owl that Mimi enjoyed getting for her, and now knows that they owl says "whoo, whoo".

We had an afternoon by the pool with my girlfriends from high school, and sadly this is the only picture I got!  HG loved visiting with my friends' newborn.
We spent most of our visit outside by the pool.  My parents got a fun water table that Hattie-Grace enjoyed so much.  This was HG's first time really playing in grass...a weird thing to document, I know.  There are many perks to living in Florida, yet nice grass isn't one of them.  There are fire ants here and sharp, prickly grass.  We rarely are anywhere that she is free to crawl around in the grass and enjoy the texture.  This was a nice treat!

I'm so thankful that Hattie-Grace got a lot of visiting time with her Great Grandma, her namesake.

Sweet cuddles and books. 
We also had a picnic for family to get to meet HG! Here is HG with her second cousins.  Such an awkward shot! Photography is not a skill of mine :)
My sweet childhood friend came over as well with her daughter who is a few month younger than HG.  It was so special seeing our babies play together!
 Snack time!
 HG did a wonderful job in the car!  Books and blocks kept her entertained for hours.  What a sport!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Road trip Part 1

As a former teacher and student, summertime usually means a time to slow down, enjoy a break from the daily grind.  As a youth pastor and youth pastor's wife, this is no longer true for our family.  Marty brings in summer interns for the entire summer to work in student ministry.  This is an amazing internship opportunity for college students to grow and minister to the teens in our county.  We love the new energy this brings to the ministry and are so blessed by their presence in our lives during the summer months.  Because of the internship, and all the summer trips the youth take, Marty is incredibly busy in the summer.

Oh sweet August.  When August comes, we are able to slow down a little before the school year starts.  We decided to take a road trip to visit both families during this down time.  Our first stop, Virginia.
 We had some good pool time.  Hattie-Grace loved crawling in this float and played with a Barbie for the first time in the water.  She loved Barbie's hair the most!
 We visited Great Grandma Cates as well and played patty cake with her again.
 Hattie-Grace made herself right at home at the Ladies' Home, and crawled around on the brick patio. Who needs to walk when you have knees or steel!
 We had a yummy lunch at Marty's favorite BBQ restaurant, Nannys.  I think he experienced the most joy as a Dad at this lunch when HG enjoyed her pork barbecue and shoved handfuls into her mouth.
 We made a day trip to Norfolk to worship at Trinity and to visit old friends.  After church, we had a wonderful lunch with old friends and caught up for hours afterwards.  Our kids played together and it was a beautiful time of fellowship.  Hattie-Grace also got to meet my college roommate, Amanda on our way out of town as well.

We had yummy Mexican with the Cates one night.

We visited Maymont Park, a beautiful park in Richmond with a small children's farm and some zoo like exhibits.
Hattie-Grace loved the cows and has learned to tell us that they say "mmmm".

We enjoyed showing her the bear, since we read Brown Bear, Brown Bear all the time!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

14 months

This month has been a whirlwind of travels and summertime fun.  Marty traveled lots this month, and HG missed him when he was gone.  She got so excited to hear his voice on the phone.  We said goodbye to the interns, and cousin Emma living with us for the summer.  And we just returned from a two week trip up north to see family and friends.

 It will be hard to document to "norm" for this month since we have been on the go so much.

Eyes/hair:  hazel, light brown/blond with a hint of strawberry
Clothing: mostly 12 m
Diapers: flips shortest length, 4 snaps in

We are on month two of not sleeping through the night.  Traveling did not help with this at all.  Most nights on our trip, HG would wake 3 times at night.  Where is this coming from?  Needless to say, we are back to the grind with sleep training and mama is not going in any more.

HG dropped down to one nap this month.  We are slowly pushing that nap later and later so it is a true afternoon nap.  I love the freedom of going and doing in the morning.

HG is nursing 3 times a day now, and we are trying to cut out the mid day time.  Some days she eats wonderfully and I think she is ready to be fully weaned, and other days all she wants to do is nurse.  Again this has been a slow process for us.

Motor skills:
HG has gotten more confident in standing and cruising.  At our parents houses', she crawled everywhere to explore her new surroundings.  She enjoyed cruising around new coffee tables and couches and fireplaces.  She just started standing up without holding onto anything, but still leans her weight on whatever is close by.

Fun stuff:
- HG calls everything ba??? right now.

- HG can point out our nose, ears, eyes and belly buttons

- She more regularly calls us Mama and Dada

- She sings and dances along with music

-  HG is ticklish on her thighs, neck and armpits

-  This month HG learned to tell us what the cow and bear say.

-  She has been teething on and off all month, and has had a big appetitie for frozen peas because of it

-  HG has a new silly face where she stretches her mouth to form an "o"

-  We made our first trip to a children's farm and a zoo this month.

-  Books are still her favorite things to play with, and they kept us occupied the many hours we spent in the car.   Marty and I marvel at how she studies each page and will babble read the pages to herself in the car seat.  Now we know all we need to do is get her a few new books for every road trip and she will be set...oh and Cheerios of course :)

Friday, August 1, 2014


We are blessed to have some sweet friends for HG.
 They may be older, but they taught her all about hula hooping and bubbles :)

We also recently celebrated Gabby and Kinsey turning 16!  
 They are two girls that I have had the privilege of having in my small group this year.
 The adorable monogrammed dress was a gift from my sweet friend Ashley!  Isn't she so talented!
Cousin Emma has been a wonderful addition to our family this summer!  We have loved having her as a part of our everyday life here in Florida.  I think all the Seven Rivers girls have been blessed by her as well :)


Hatley-Grace is not a toy girl.  She loves her books, but most other toys or baby items she could care less about.  Most of our play time is spent tearing pages out of In Style magazines, crawling all over the lanai, shaking water bottles filled with popcorn kernels, and keeping flip flops out of her mouth.

Apparently, I was like this as a baby.  Barbies and dolls were not of much interest to me.  I remember loving blocks and legos as a little girl.  The idea of being able to create something out of a simple pile of blocks was so exciting to me.

We have found a few toy items that she is enjoying at this stage.  My parents gave her a water table for her birthday, and she has loved to use this (inside right now) for pulling up.  It has encouraged her to get up on her feet to play.  We haven't filled it with anything other than toys and cups, but she loves it right now.

My Mom sent her some blocks recently, and I think we have finally found a toy that she loves!  I foresee many houses, cars, trucks and towers being built in our future.
 Lots of banging them together.

 They are the perfect high chair toy as well :)