Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Joys of 18 Months...

The Joys of 18 Months:

  • You love to snuggle - FINALLY! I've wanted to snuggle with you ever since I first learned I was pregnant, but you've never been big on cuddles. If I tried to stroke your head or rub your back after you fell asleep, you would immediately wake up. You needed your space as you slept... but at 18 months, you LOVE to snuggle. You scoot close to me, place your forehead against mine and wrap your arm around me as I hold and pat you to sleep. It makes me love co-sleeping even more. 
  • You are talking - A LOT! You are pretty much saying anything and everything under the sun. You love to repeat mommy, so I am very cautious and accountable for the words I speak (which I've grown to love). 
  • You are a singer. You love to sing songs and sing-a-long with me. You especially love the "Cousin Song" we made up where we sing all your cousins names. You also love 5 Little Monkeys, all though sometimes you ask me to change it up and sing, 5 Little Doggies, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, The Alphabet Song and 10 Bears in the Bed. You also love your Good Morning Song, which you actually taught to me!
  • You are very silly - and FUNNY! Your dad and I crack up laughing at you constantly and you love to make us laugh. You like to hide behind the door way to the kitchen and peep your little head around to surprise us. You like to dance silly and play Ready, Set, GOOOOO! You love to be chased, thrown in the air and tickled. You also love to tickle us - instead of tickle, you say..."giggle, giggle, giggle." It's so cute!
  • Your favorite pretend game is to play night night with your babies, or really any item you can find. You lay them down, cover them up with a blanket, sock, tissue, or anything you can find and pat (or beat) their backs saying - "night night baby....LAY DOWN!" It's definitely humbling hearing your parenting come from your toddler's mouth. 
Each month we enjoy you more and more and I thank God for blessing us with you daily! You are such a light. We love you.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Isla Prefers the Reindeer...

Isla was a ball of energy this weekend! She was running wide open throughout the day and crashed before 6pm both Saturday and Sunday... must be all the talking she is doing that is wearing her out! She says nearly everything these days and repeats everything too. She carries on conversations with herself, her toys, friends and sometimes me. :)

This weekend, we took her to see Santa. We really talked Santa up all weekend. We watched Santa cartoons, played with Santa ornaments and looked up different pictures of Santa. She loved talking about Santa and the idea of seeing Santa.... but she did NOT like Santa. Not even a little... She was actually terrified of him when it came her turn, so much so that she kicked Santa in the knee!

She did however love the gift that Santa gave her and she told him, "thank you."

We'll try again next year. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Isla Rae's 18 months old!

Happy 1/2 Birthday to my sweet Isla Rae!

The months have flown by and I can't believe how much you have grown and developed. You are such a smart little girl, yes little girl... I'm beginning to admit you are not a baby anymore, but you will ALWAYS be my little baby no matter how old you get.

You love to read books now, and your daddy and I love to read to you. You have your favorite ones and The Hungry Caterpillar continues to rank high on your list.

You are talking.... A LOT! You can pretty much say anything you want and love to repeat me. 

You love to sing your cousins names, and you especially love to say Harleigh's name!

I love to hear you say, "meeeeer Bella, meeeer."

It's so cute to watch you play with her. You love to play nite nite....but you hate to go nite nite... ironic.

You tell Bella, Elmo, your babies and me to go nite nite and cover us all up. You have a great imagination. You love to pretend.

We have so much fun together and I can't wait to see what the next year holds for us my sweet sweet girl. I love you so much!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Big Girl!

On November 4th, the big 17 month milestone, Isla decided she was going to use the potty for the very first time!

We had been practicing for a while on her Elmo potty that her Aunt Heidi and Kamm cousins had given her as a gift. She loves to sit on it and pretend to potty so she can then flush and hear Elmo shout, "Hooray!"

I recently gave her a book about going on the potty too. She loves to hit the button on the book and hear the potty flush. Every time she hits the button and hears the flush she claps and cheers.

I was cooking dinner on Monday when Isla ran in the kitchen, shouted and signed, "potty!"

I didn't really think she was going to do anything because normally when she tells us she needs to potty, she has already gone, but we ran to the bathroom anyways.

When we got there, she hadn't done anything yet. I stripped her down and set her up on the potty. She sit there knocking her knees together and smiled at me. It had only been a minute when she reached back, flushed the potty and stood up.

I asked her if she was all done, thinking she didn't really need to go and then to my surprise... I saw the smallest little poo ever! I got so excited clapping, cheering and exclaiming what she had done. She was excited too... so excited she reached down and picked it up!!!

I knew at that moment, I couldn't freak out, so I kept on cheering and told her to put it back. I told her good job, but next time... let's not pick it up.

Since then she has gone three times. She mostly tells us when she needs to poo. She hasn't gone at school yet, but we're continuing to work with her and I think our Elmo potty at home is helping a lot, because she is crazy about Elmo.

We're looking forward to many more hilarious potty stories and hoping that this is the last time we have to ask her to put it back.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Letters to Isla Rae - 17 months

Dear Isla Rae,

You are 17 months today and wow - how you have changed - in just the last week! I can tell such a difference in your little, or big rather, personality since you moved up to the Toddler 2 class at school.

You are talking more. You pretty much repeat everything I say...especially the last word in my sentences. You are very happy. In fact, "happy" is your favorite word. You are super curious. You love to read books and you will even sit down and pretend to read on your own now. Its so cute to see you pointing to the pages and humming little words...especially when you are holding the book upside down! You are obsessed with your pink kitty pajamas. They have cats on the feet of them and you cry every time we change your diaper or have to take them off for any reason... I'm not sure if I would even call it a cry, you actually scream and have a total melt down. You absolutely LOVE those PJs. We're going to need to find a back-up pair!

You are super loving and love to hug (which I especially love!). You're starting to get more into girly things, even more than before. You love hair bows, sparkly shoes and clothes and to put dresses on. Your favorite food is pasta and cheese of course. Your still somewhat of a picky eater, but I believe it's only because you currently have 4 molars popping their way through on the top and bottom of your gums! They are actually cut through so I think it's safe to say you now have 12 teeth! Your favorite character is Elmo, but you still love Barney and you love to sing the Barney theme song. It's adorable to hear your little voice singing. You are playing on your own more and more and very content these days. You love to play with your little wooden dollhouse and dolls. It's cute to watch you put the baby to bed and pretend like the dolls are kissing one another. You have the sweetest heart and I can tell you are going to be a very loving girl.

You amaze me everyday and make me excited for each and every day. Can't wait to see what you will accomplish this month!


Friday, October 25, 2013

My Arrow

On Monday, my sweet girl will hit yet another milestone. She will be graduating from Toddler I class to Toddler II.

Every day I'm amazed at her growth and advancement. The new words she says, the songs she sings, the signs she learns and all her new activities like jumping and dancing. As I peruse pictures in my Facebook feed, I see pictures of babies at 1 week, 3 months, 5 months, 9 months, etc. and with every image of these sweet babes, I find myself reminiscing of Isla at those stages. Her chunky rolls and cheeks. The sweet dimples in her tiny hands. Her high pitch cries. The tiny clothes and all the sweet memories that come along with every stage.

The images remind me how quickly time goes by and how precious each day is that we are blessed with. Since having Isla, I find myself more thankful to God and I'm constantly reminded that I should have always been this thankful.

The saying, "We aren't promised tomorrow" is a common phrase I've heard all my life. After He blessed us with Isla, this saying really became a stronger statement to me. Now everyday, I find myself making sure she knows how much I love her and love her daddy... and not just by the love I have for them in my heart, but really showing them love through my actions and words. I say, "I love you" if I am ever leaving them for the day. I make it a point, no matter how busy, to stop what I'm doing give multiple hugs and kisses and share smiles and laughs with one another before departing.

This practice has also helped my marriage. I love on my husband more now, I am more patient with him for the little daily nuances we may encounter, I forgive quicker and I find myself appreciating him more.

Having Isla has been a blessing in so many ways. Through God's gift of her, I love deeper (both her and my husband), appreciate more and live in a constant mind-frame of gratitude.

She is my blessing, my arrow and the Lord has strengthened me through the gift of motherhood.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Psalms 127: 3-5

Monday, October 21, 2013

Precious Stage

Isla is nearly 17 months old now, and this has proven to be one of my favorite stages. While this stage has come with a new set of challenges, she has become so loving, snuggly and FUNNY!
I love how loving she is. She gives out hugs and kisses so freely. One of our favorite games is the hugging game where she just goes back and forth from Joel and I giving us hugs and kisses... over and over again. Her MMMMWAH's get bigger and bigger with each kiss. I love this! I reflected on Friday night after we played this game how short this stage really is. I know there will come a day where she grows more stingy with her hugs and kisses.

She has also become a cuddlebug. She has always loved for me to hold her, which I never minded at all, but lately she holds me as I hold her too. She wraps her arms around me, clinches on to my shirt and lays her head over on my shoulder. In those moments, I feel so at peace. For brief moments she also lies still on my chest or in my arms as we read books or watch one of her favorite shows.

She keeps us laughing all the time at this age. She LOVES to dance... and we love it too! Her dance moves are so funny and cute. Each night before bed, we've been having a dance party and every night gets funnier than the last as she learns to wiggle and move.

I'm so thankful God has trusted me to be her mom and experience such an amazing stage in her life!

You are so very special Isla Rae!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Loving the unexpected

To my daughter,

You are growing up so quickly that I can hardly keep up. Each day you do, say or sing something new. Yes, you are singing and humming little tunes now. The newest one is "Ring around the roses." You love the part at the end where we fall down to the floor. It's so cute to see you developing into such a big smart girl. I'm beginning to envision you as a little girl... what you'll look like in a few years, your tiny voice and all the new experiences you will bring to us. It has been an unbelievable journey since we first found out God blessed us with you. Everyday brings something new whether its in the form of a new found laughter or challenge we didn't expect - you have made me love the unexpected.

You bring more joy to our lives than I ever thought was imaginable. I hope you always know how much I love you, how special you are, how big of a difference you make and how important you are.

Looking forward to all the adventures to come as we progress in your toddler II years.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Peeeas and ank eww...

We've really been working a lot with Isla to sign and say her manners - please and thank you.

She has been doing such an amazing job with both saying and signing, please. When she says please it sounds more like - peas..it's so cute and irresistible.

Her thank yous are cute as well and sound more like - ank ewww.

She's also signing shoes, cracker and fish very well. Our little girl is growing up so fast and she amazes me everyday.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Never enough time...

Recently, I saw a post over at the Mommy Page that hit me like a ton of bricks.

Ever since I returned from maternity leave, I’ve felt as if I just can’t keep up. I’ve been beating myself up that I’m not spending enough time with my daughter, not reading enough books to her, not taking her to the park enough, not doing enough crafts, not capturing enough memories through video and pictures and just not being with her enough…

Time has been flying by and I finally see what my own parents tried to tell me for so many years. It seems with one blink 6 months has flown by, then a year and now nearly 16 months. After reading about how we are only blessed with 940 Saturdays with our little ones before they head off to college (yes, that’s right – that is the number of weekends you’ll have with your little one from birth until they graduate), I decided I am going to stop beating myself up with the “not enoughs” and start living in the moment. Instead of wishing for more days, I’m going to enjoy every single minute of my Saturday and Sunday with my daughter and giving thanks that I am blessed with those days. 

You see, I feel it’s so easy to get caught up on the ifs – if I only had more time – if I could only stay at home – if I could only be with her more – that it’s easy to lose sight of the day and moment you are in. Constantly wishing for something that is not obtainable for us now and beating myself up for not doing more only brings me down and does not make me a better mom… but focusing on the time I do have with my daughter, the fun we have, the laughter we share, the learning experiences and sweet loving moments – those moments no matter how short – are moments that will carry me through a lifetime of busyness.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

15 Months - Happy & Healthy

Isla had her 15 month check up today. She is growing beautifully! Her measurements seem to be consistently in the same percentile for all categories.

Weight 24.8 - 75%
Height 31.25 - 75% (projected to be 5'4 - 5'6 as an adult)
Head Circumference - 25-50% (she has a little peanut head)

As I sat Isla up on the scale, I was amazed at how much she had grown. I could picture her as a newborn as she sat in the same positioning as she did for her very 1st check-up. Time is flying by and every day I am amazed at the beautiful and smart little girl she is. I hope 20 years from now, I can close my eyes and drift back to these sweet memories. This truly is the best days of my life thus far. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Letters to Isla Rae - 15 months

Isla Rae, 

At 15 months you have so much energy. I love to watch you running (yes, running!) up and down the halls making it known that you are having so much fun with every step. I love to chase you and Bella around the house and hear your sweet giggles as I get closer and closer to you. 

You are so loving and sweet. You love to snuggle, lay your head over on my shoulder and give hugs and kisses. When you give me a hug or a kiss you always exaggerate by saying, “mmmwahhh.”
You have become more of a picky eater and it’s become challenging to get you to eat your veggies. You still like avocados (some days), potatoes and carrots. You love fruit. I can normally get you to eat any kind of berries and watermelon. I try to sneak some veggies in by giving them to you in a smoothie and his has worked for the most part. You also LOVE yogurt, cheese and macaroni or really any kind of pasta.

You can still wear size 12 months, but for the most part I dress you in 18 month items right now. You’ve been holding steady around 22-23lbs for a while now. You haven’t slimmed down since you started walking like everyone said you would – and I’m glad. I think you look adorable.
Bella is definitely your best friend. You love to sit beside her, pet her and chase her. We’re trying to teach you to pet her easily because you get so excited your petting is more of a smack. Bella is so good around you though. She has the sweetest nature to her and she protects you. We’re so happy that the two of you love each other so much.

Newest thing you are doing this month is talking more…. Lately, you’ve been saying “I know” a lot!
You started saying it right after I said it to you one day and now you say it all the time. It’s so funny to hear you going around the house repeating it over and over again… I know, I know, I know.
I hope you always know how much I love you. You are my heart and soul and I cherish every single minute the Lord blesses us to be together every day. I hope you always know and feel how much you are loved and how special you are. You are one of a kind!

Love you,

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Little sentences...

Lately, Isla has started putting little sentences together. Here are a few combinations she has been using that brighten my day every time I hear her sweet voice.

"help me"
"me uppy" (this one is so cute)
"more please"
"I got it"
"love you" (my favorite!)

Friday, September 6, 2013

So Proud!

This weekend, we are heading to Whitelake, NC for a little R&R ,time with family and friends and... for my husband to compete in his second triathlon at Whitelake!

He has been training for over 18 weeks now and everyday he amazes me with his dedication and strong will. His commitment to be great and do great is just one more reason why I love him. Not only has he been committed to training, but his commitment to being a great husband and father has never wavered as he was undergoing a demanding training schedule. His dedication to our family, his work, my honey-do list and his personal endeavors is so admirable and I know I can always count on him.   I am so impressed and proud of all of his accomplishments.

 Isla and I are looking forward to watching from the sidelines and cheering him on as he conquers yet another great milestone.

Not sure why, but the clip from Robin Hood came to mind when writing this post - YAY DAD!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Wonderfully Made

To my daughter, 

You are perfect. I’m not saying this because I believe you are are faultless or always have the best behavior. I say you are perfect because you are made in His image, beautifully assembled by Him and there is not one single thing about you that happened by accident. 

God designed you and everything about you was made with a specific purpose in mind. From your nose to your toes, he thought of everything and designed each and every part of you uniquely. You are wonderfully made in His image. Please remember that as you grow and become the beautiful girl he planned you to be. 

As you get older, you will begin to hear and see things from the world… the world compares others, criticizes others and calls out our so called ‘imperfections’ but just remember… God does not make imperfections – You ARE Wonderfully Made. 

Remember when you look in the mirror that true beauty comes from within, assess your heart not your outward appearance. Beginning at such a young age, I can see your loving and caring heart blossoming at every milestone. You are such a blessing, wonderfully made and everything about you was perfectly designed. 

Love you,

Thursday, August 22, 2013

At Nearly 15 Months...

You love...
  • Running down the hall way shouting "ahhhhhhhhhhhh" as you run with your arms pulled back behind your back as if you are getting ready to take off in flight like an airplane.
  • Your Minnie Mouse train
  • Boxes. You love to push the diaper box down the hallway or around the dining room table and you especially love to get inside the box. We pretend its a car and push you up and down the hallway. You say "wee" and "vroom." It's a lot of fun and a great work out for mom and dad.
  • Your dog. You get so excited when you see Bella and you love to say her name.
  • Eating noodles. You love any type of pasta and any pasta sauce. It's always messy, but I love seeing your smiling face with spaghetti sauce on your nose and all over your face.
  • Shoes! Shoes are your favorite. You love to say "shoes" and you love to wear shoes. Sometimes you even cry to put them on or fuss at me when I take them off. You especially love your silver sparkle shoes.
  • Books. This is a new love of yours. In the past you haven't been that interested in reading books, but now, you love to grab a book and read before bed time.
  • The Five Little Monkeys Song

Monday, August 19, 2013

Daddy duty

Dear Isla,

I’ll be spending my first consecutive days/nights away from you this week for a work trip. I know you are going to be in great care with your daddy by night and school by day. Honestly it will probably be harder on me than it will be for you.

As you are growing out of your baby ways and moving into toddlerhood you have become a better sleeper.  Don’t get me wrong, you still put up a flight – some nights are easier than others – but for the most part, you are going down easier and sleeping better. 

You’re also eating better too. You love to feed yourself using a spoon or fork, but you also LOVE to get messy dunking your hands into your bowl and squishing your dinner in between your fingers. I love the expressions you make at dinner time, the way you smile at me with food rubbed in your hair, on your nose and all over you beautiful cheeks. It’s one of my favorite times of the day – besides the morning when you usually greet me with a sweet smile. 

I’ll miss spending breakfast and dinner with you, bath-time, snuggling and reading books and also those sweet smiles and hugs in the morning, but I know you are going to have so much fun with your da-da and I’m going to get the sweetest welcome home from you when I return. 

I love you,