Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wrapping up the year

Christmas has now come and gone and we will be heading home from family tomorrow.  It was really our first "real" kid Christmas.  Santa came and the kids were filled with smiles and laughter.  Holiday lights were viewed, too many sweets eaten and I have an actual food baby in my stomach.  Yikes.

We got to spend time with my family and John's so we got the best of both worlds.  I am excited about the upcoming year but I have to admit, as of this moment, it feels different than last year. (see my ridiculously giddy New Year's post HERE).  I am not anxiously waiting to get through the "newborn/crying" phase with Graham, worried about where my business will go, helping John move into a new building.  Instead, we will continue through 2013 right where 2012 left off.  Kids growing, businesses growing....some call it the "grind".  Don't get me wrong, every moment with these kids is really wonderful and magical.  Graham is talking like crazy with new words every day, Anna is just the sweetest little girl and my little companion.  I think what I am meaning is that we are comfortable.  In a good way.

Yes, we will look forward to vacations and little adventures.  Like Disney World, the Kentucky Derby, Keuka Lake with friends and maybe a little weekend away for John and I.

Aww...who am I kidding??!?!?  It's going to be an amazing year.  Every day we will feel thankful for the opportunity to kiss our babies, kiss each other and enjoy this "comfortable" stage.

Besides, it just means something big, unexpected and wonderful will happen.  Stay tuned, we might have a few things up our sleeves.

Friday, November 30, 2012

1 1/2 years old

As with most of my monthly posts for Graham, this one is a couple weeks delayed.  Little man turned 18 months over the Thanksgiving holidays.  A year and a half!!  Can you believe it?!

We started with this little guy...

And now we have a walking, talking, climbing curious adventurer.

We used to be a little worried about his speech as although he was saying a few words, not as many as we hoped.  A month or so has changed that!  Words he is saying now...

eyes, ears, nose, mouth (mouf), tank too (thank you), pees (please), blocks, tiger, elephant, Anna, Abbie, Bubba (for cooper), Momma, Daddy, Poppa, Mock (milk), o's, car, truck, grrrrrr, vrrrmmm, all the animal noises (baa, moo, woof, neigh, quack, meow, ...etc), bear, up, more, dog, and many other "words" that we just haven't figured out exactly what he is saying.  But he points and insists he is saying the right thing!

He is our little climber.  I can't tell you how many times I have pulled him off the kitchen table or caught him mid-leap off the coffee table.  NO fear with this little guy.  None at all.

He had his 18 month check up today and is 27lbs 15 oz (74%) and 34 5/8 tall (>97%!).  He's lean and mean and quite tall.  All his teeth are in minus the 2 year molars and I am hoping he gets a little break.  Those first molars and canines have been brutal for him.

He may have to have an evaluation for his hips and back as he seems to have a slight sway back which will hopefully fix itself without any PT.  But we will know more soon.

Basically, he is a ball of energy and love.  Loves to snuggle and give kisses.  And although his sleep schedule may be less than to be desired lately with some 5am wake up calls, we wouldn't change a thing.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


As you can imagine, with any Halloween post, this one is picture heavy.  We started our Halloween fun the Saturday before at WECC's Trunk or Treat.  Graham was NONE too happy about his costume...but then he saw all the other kids and decided he would have a little fun after all.

Sister was beyond excited to have her Halloween costume on!

Playing games like a PRO!

Halloween night: Our good friends, the Dixon's came over and we took on the neighborhood.  The kids had a blast!  I think they might have had more fun passing out candy to trick or treaters...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

You are 3!

Sweet daughter, you turned 3 years old today!  You are spunky, feisty, loving, caring, sensitive and probably the most out-going and talkative three year old I have ever known.  You have long conversations with anyone that might make eye contact.  What do you talk to them about?  Mainly asking them their favorite color, their mom and dad's name, what they will be for Halloween and then back to their fav colors (sometimes you ask their favorite number).  You captivate EVERYONE that you meet.  They can't believe you are only 3.

And well, we can't believe you have only been in our lives for three years.

You are a game changer, little one.  

We are deep in parent-mode, striving always to provide you with the things you need.  Things to help you grow, learn, develop.  Things to make you the best YOU.  This parent job isn't easy and some days are tough (remember that spunky word I used earlier?  You definitely have the sass) but know this....we wouldn't trade this time for all the money and time in the world.

You have your dad's smarts, your mom's love of dance and well, let's face amazing sense of humor.  You woke this morning to balloons, "A" and "3" shaped pancakes, and an afternoon train ride to downtown for your first banana split.  The entire staff sang you Happy Birthday, because YOU are one captivating little being.

I tell you all the time, I love you "to the moon and back".  Well, maybe if you go back and a couple thousand might just get close.


I hope your day was all you wanted it to be.  We love you, sweet girl.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Time flying

Realized today as I was starting Graham's 16 month post that I only have a few more days to get it in before I should do a 17 month update.  WHA??  And with Anna turning 3 on Thursday (post to come), I am in a time warp that refuses to slow down.  But hey, that's what everyone says so we are choosing to just roll with it and enjoy every second.

Let's talk about Graham.  What a difference a month can make!

Last night he correctly made the sounds for

Kitty (I put this one in even though its a little rough sounding... )
Elephant (with hand motion!!)
Lion/Bear/Tiger (they all sound the same...GRRRRR!!!)
Monkey--OO  OO OO
Owl-  OO OO OO...haha!

And his new  Sounds like "ish".  LOVES them.  As soon as we get to the gym, he runs to the fish tank pointing, laughing and saying "ISH, ISH!!".

His language is improving like crazy and I finally got a couple "Mama" 's out of him the other day.  Finally...  He says "Up" all the time and something like "more milk"...but I think only I can understand that one.  He still loves to snuggle in the morning and will back up to my lap and just cozy in for our morning milk/coffee time.  (coffee just for me, I promise).  His first set of molars are finally all in..whew!  Brings the total teeth count to 12!

After taking him to the Pumpkin Patch at Walden Farms this past weekend, we truly realized this kid has NO fear.  Reaching right into the animal cages, grabbing goat horns, dancing crazy to some banjo music and running FAST to anything new and fun.  What a difference boys are!

He is a pro with a spoon, requests his O's like a pro and still loves to give hugs and kisses, waves bye and basically the sweetest little boy we could ever want.

Can I freeze him right now, please?!?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Best.Video.Ever (so far..)

I finally remembered to get this off my phone.  I adore this video.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Anna's sayings...

My favorite things that Anna is saying lately....

"Yesterday".  As in... What did you do yesterday?   (even if referring to today)  And you must say it in a very new england style accent.  Yesstadaay.

"Blast om!"  That would be "Blast Off" for all you rocket fanatics.

"Who bought me this?"  This is a new one.  She will ask this about any and all objects in her possession.

"EEEEEE".  This is Lamby's sound that she says ALL THE TIME.  Hysterical.

These are just the ones off the top of my head.  Will try and add more.  This girl is hysterical with the things she says.  And we are always looking forward to what comes out next...well, most of the time.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

First day of "school"

So I put quotes around "school" because well, we aren't quite at school time yet.  And honestly, the day Anna goes to kindergarten, I will be a blubbering mess so maybe this is prepping me a bit.  They kiddos go two days a week which allows me to visit clients, take calls, and well, work.

Both kids did amazing.  Scared little smiles were painted on their faces.  Even though Anna has known most of the teachers (besides her teacher) and the Director since she was 22 months old, she was still a little shy.  The school moved to another church so it was a new experience.

Our babies are growing.  And growing fast.

Graham immediately running to the train.  All boy.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

This Mom is learning.

Being a mom is a pretty amazing job.  You create (with your significant other) another life that basically rocks yours to the core.  You hope that you love and teach effectively and significantly enough to mold and shape their lives to a greater happiness.

Yes, sometimes we feed them McDonald's or too many movies in one week...but looking at the overall picture, we just might be getting it right.

This afternoon, Anna was calling my name from her book laden bed.  As I came into the room, she says, "Mom, you forgot to snuggle me".  Well, let me oblige little girl.  I snuggled under the covers as she then rubbed my head and says, "Happy Mother's Day, I love you so much.  You are my favorite big girl."  Yep.  I'm done.  Basically the holy grail of love right there.  (No, it isn't Mother's Day...but how awesome to want to associate a day all about Mom on any day of the year?!)

I am learning that although each kid needs hugs, kisses, love, discipline, time, attention....Boys and girls DO learn and need different things.  As Graham is getting older, I am learning how he loves and learns and it is definitely different than his sister.  Everyone says that each kid is different, and I absolutely agree, but then throw in a gender difference and you have another ballgame.  I can relate to Anna on a little girl, sparkly, girly level.  But that love of dirt, cars, and anything that moves?  It's new and it's awesome.  I read this article a friend posted on Pinterest and it was probably one of the better ones about Moms and Boys.  I suggest it.

So I'm off to paint fingernails on sister and then clean dirt and sand out of little man's.  It's a good life.  And although I may be doing all the reading and educating myself, make no kids are the ones giving the lessons.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Mr. Independent (15 month post)

It's amazing what happens in just one month.  No longer categorized in the slow and silent type, this guy is a fast on his feet, jabbering little man.  25lbs 3oz (55%) and 34 in (>97%) with 10 teeth and a size 6 shoe will do that to you I guess!

Mr. Hipster.

So you got the basics.  Here is a little more about young Graham.

Still has an enormous love of books, which we feed multiple times a day.  He can almost keep up with sister on our walks around the neighborhood and can definitely tackle just as good.  He jabbers a lot but more words are forming every day.  You can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he tries desperately to repeat different words.  We can understand Dog, Flower, Woof, Quack...although others might not.  He is still our snuggle guy and still gives the best hugs.  He still sports 12-18 month clothes as he is so lean (and can even wear 9 month pants..if they were long enough!).  He has a long torso so 24 month shirts are great for length.  And you already read about his size 6 shoe.  Breeding another tall one.  What did you expect?  

Watching a show at Grandmama's.  How cute is that?!?
You can see Anna's dangling feet in the background getting her first big girl haircut!
Graham will start a new school with Anna in just a week or two.  A real big kid schedule with one nap, packed lunches, nap mats and learning.  It seems too soon!  Can you believe we had already purchased Anna's big girl bed at this point?  We moved her over at 17.5 months old to prepare for this little man. It's nice not having a "grow-up" deadline this time.  I am sure not ready for him to do so.

Loving the water jets at the Cumberland Park downtown.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

First day of ballet

Most of you know that I was a dancer when I was young.  Studio until I was a Junior in high school taking ballet, pointe, and jazz.  Dance team from 6th-12th grade....doing choreography in high school, college and post college for a theater in Cobb County.  I love to dance.  LOVE it.  We have dance parties a lot at our house.

Anna is pretty young to understand dance concepts but what I love about starting early is it becomes all about the fun of dance.  At her age, they run and leap and jump and laugh.  I taught preschool age - 2nd grade at a studio in Auburn and it was the sweetest age.  Teen-tiny ballet shoes and little leotards.  It's almost too much.

don't you love the eye brow.

In her class, watching all the other dancers come in.

Anna would go talk to the other little girls in the class but always come running back to my lap with the biggest smile on her face giggling the entire way.  So sweet.

Little ballet tooshie.  I think she is going to just love this class.  Tap, ballet and tumbling all in one.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Additions to last post.

I forgot a couple of things that little Graham reminded me he could do and a new one yesterday!

Talking:  He does say "ooooo" and "oww!" and "wow".  Last night I asked him what a puppy said and he says, "Woof!".  Proud Momma right here.

Eating:  Pickiest eater EVER!  Poor kid is cutting his molars and is just miserable.  The bottom left has broken the gums so our teeth count is up to 9 now!  Because of the teething, he just doesn't want to eat...milk only.  I keep reminding myself to take a look at what he eats in the course of a week and not just in one day.

Sizes:  Always fun to go back and see.  He is still in 18 month pj's and outfits and can definitely still wear 12 month shorts/pants!  Size 3 and 4 diapers (4's at night) and a size 5 shoe.

We go see Dr. Buie again for his 15 month check up on August 24.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

14 months old!

This little man is growing so fast!!  He is such an awesome little are some of his highlights!

You can see how much he loves his puppies!

Walking!  Now his only mode of transportation.  He can stand up in the middle of the room, spin around and walk/run fast to sister or the puppies!

Books:  Just like his sister, he LOVES them.  When we sit down in the chair together for our nighttime routine, he GIGGLES.  LIterally giggles at the books.  You pick the right one and all out laughter ensues.  He LOVES to be read to.  He looks deeply at each page, turns the page and just absorbs everything with little smiles and coos as we read along.

Dancing!  This little man loves to dance!  I took a video last night...promise to upload soon.  So stinkin cute.

Words:  Well, not so much in the word department yet.  Dada and Noooo are about it.  But he babbles ALL day.  Make up words are his MO right now and as long as his Ped says its ok, its ok with us!

I love that each kid is completely different.  You can read Anna's 15 months post HERE.  She was talking up a storm but not yet walking!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Change of plans

For those that read my past post about change and exciting things upcoming...things have changed again.  Fickle, that change thing.

I have turned down a job opportunity (pretty great one to be a Marketing and Design Director) to push my own business.  Starting with new branding and a bunch of new business in the pipeline, I think this is the better option for me AND my kids.  Nothing wrong with the corporate world but why not get the best of both?  Time with my babies, vacation with the family, time for myself and my passion AND getting paid to do it.  Yea...i think I will take that option.

Here goes nothing.

(looking at office space today too!  OFFICE SPACE!  For ME!!!)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My love/hate relationship with change.

I am sure if you ask most people, they don't like change.  We like the comfortable, the cozy, the safe.  I like my routine.  Knowing what each day may or may not bring with the kids, with my business, with life.

So what happens when you get thrown an interesting curve ball?  This curve shatters your daily routine.  Brings in a whole new host of "new" things.  What do you do?

You evaluate.

Will this curve ball be good for my family in the long run?  Yes. Will it be good for me?  I think so. Will it get us where we want to be?  Definitely.

So here goes with taking a leap of faith.  Funny how that comes on the heels of reading "A Praying Life".  All about child-like prayer, getting to the root of your worries, concerns, joys and apprehensions.  Praying like a child.  Calling for help when you need it.  Knowing you don't have the answers.

I prayed for an answer.  I think I got it.

Stay tuned.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Beach babies.

We just got back from a quick and wonderful trip to the beach, Gulf Coast/30A, of course. We were tag alongs to John's Dad's CLE conference in Sandestin.  We had a good time.  Learning that the beach is still hard with two little ones (especially when it is so crowded), kids nap times are totally adult nap times too, 30A may be getting bigger but it still has its charm, and we found it best to put our next trip on the calendar before we take that drive home (best to keep the heart happy).

I'll let the photos do most of the talking.

Wistfully gazing out to the water.

Making castles!
 Neither kid were a huge fan of the water this year (unlike years before) so we hung back a little and played in the sand.  They ended up being big fans of the pool!

First time in a two piece bathing suit in about 3 years!  I'm a bit proud but still have work to do.

Out for our morning walk.

Watching the golfers.

On our last night, John and I took the kids down to the beach for one more visit.  What a change from earlier in the day.  No rows of chairs and umbrellas, loud music and scorching sun.  It was like a little gathering of people and their children, a select group of people sharing their love of the beach at the end of the day.  As the sun set, I felt like everyone there belonged to a little club.  It was secret but everyone was invited.  The sound of the water led the chorus of little squeals and laughing parents.

It was a great end to out trip.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A letter to Graham.

Sweet little boy, you are one year old today! I remember that day in its entirety.  Being anxious for delivery, nervous how we would be as a family of four but mostly emotional about seeing your face for the first time.  I knew you so intimately as you grew inside me.  Your kicks, your hiccups, your turns...but I was desperate to know your face, the spaces between your toes and your tiny earlobes.  I wanted to touch and love every part of you.

Our wish came true quickly as my labor pains started at 8:30am, although inconsistent and mild they came in full force at 10:45am and you arrived just a few short hours later at 5:36pm.  And you arrived in style...a full 9lbs 3oz!

Since that day you grew from a grumpy little guy to literally the happiest baby anyone has seen. Can I tell you how proud I am when I get asked (and I get asked this almost every day), "Is he always this happy?" or "You really have the happiest children I have ever seen".  I'd like to think we played a small part in all this happiness but I'm pretty sure God sent you both to us for a make us happier people.  And by God, we are.

So many things await you during this upcoming year.  You will become a walking, talking, independent little boy with so much to explore.  Every day you amaze us and every day we fall deeper in love with you.

Never stop exploring, questioning, loving, smiling and laughing.  I said in a post to Anna on her 2nd birthday that when she was born "I became a new person.  I became your mom.  And I became me."   Anna made me a mother first but you filled my heart beyond capacity.

we love you Graham!

Mom & Dad.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

Even before I was a mom, I loved Mother's Day.  When we were growing up, I remember thinking about what we would get mom (either collectively or individually).  Giving her flowers, cards and treating her to "mom" things.  Now, I am a mom myself....of two beautiful beings.  So this "holiday" becomes a little different...I have more "moms" in my life and I want to celebrate all of them.

First, though...I must give all credit to my sweet Mom.  I always knew she was great...but now having two kids, I am amazed how she raised all three of us with grace, love and what seemed like greatest of ease.  And I am pretty sure we were the equivalent of a circus.  I know she had a good sidekick in my Dad, for sure, but she was able to be our mom for all those years and then have a seamless transition into being my best friend.  When it happened, I am not sure, but I am forever grateful for the mother she was, is and will continue to be.

So how was my mother's day?  Pretty great.  I got to sleep in, enjoy my family and even have a little "me" time for exercise.  I got a beautiful pendant necklace with each child's name hand stamped into metal, a book I have been coveting from Kelle Hampton and a beautiful hand written card.  And a chorus of "Happy Mother's Day!" from sweet Anna.

I have to thank my husband for helping me become a mom (I certainly couldn't do it without him...well, I guess I could...Ah, I digress, you get my point).  And for my two babies that make me the mom I am.  I only hope I can do them justice.

Sweet Anna.  10/18/09

"Little" Graham. 5/23/11

Edited to add:  OFFICIAL 12 month stats!  23lb 1oz (50%) and 31 1/4 inches long (95%)!

Friday, May 11, 2012

A grown up.

Apparently Anna is no longer a toddler but a full on child.  I can't tell you the surprise in my face over the things she talks to me about.  It is like having a conversation with an adult. Seriously.

Her favorite thing to do at night after stories is "talk".  John started this with her and I love it.  We talk about school, her friends, family, the puppies, name it, we talk about it.  I promise to bring in a secret video recorder soon because someone else must witness this 2 1/2 year old awesomeness.

We are hoping her verbal skills buy her a spot in the 3 year old class come fall.  Pretty sure she is a shoo-in.  Also, she has everyone at her school wrapped around her little fingers...that can't hurt, right?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

11 months

Why is it that the ONE year mark is such a big deal?  We count down to that day and then can't believe a full year has gone by.

I realized why.  It's almost impossible to realize a little tiny human that has changed you profoundly has only been in your life for one year.  It's unfathomable.

Whew...thank goodness Graham is only 11 months old and I have one more month to enjoy calling him my baby.

So little man is 11 months old.  Here he is in a nutshell...

5 teeth with more on the way; drinks only whole milk (yay! no more bottles and formula!); loves to snuggle; sleeps 12 hours at night plus two naps during the day; LOVES all dogs; still loves to pull hair (not fond of this one); when he recognizes your face, his whole world lightens up; looks more like his daddy every day; super tall and super skinny!!; Still fits in 12 month clothes but most items are 18 month; loves his mother's morning out teacher, Lacey; adores his sister; pretty sure his first word was "A-dee" aka Abbie (yep, you guessed it, our dog); super curious and wants to explore everything; loves storytime at night; sassy (pacifier) addict; basically a ball of smiles!

always crosses his feet.  i adore this.

laughter explosion!