McKenzie | 18 Months |

Again, a little late, but better late than never!

So little McKenzie…You’re a 1 and a half!  How in the world did that happen?!  Weren’t we just planning your first birthday party?!  This past month has been so much fun with you!

What’s Happening:

The Start of Potty Training
You’ve shown interest and I’m cautiously optimistic! I know it is probably still a little way off, but you’ve told Jen at daycare and us when you need to go!

potty

Preschool
I can’t even believe that I just typed that.  How did we get here!?  I’ve been researching local preschools for the past month or two.  First, most are way more expensive than I realized that they would be.  Second, most are charging a lot of money for only 2 hours, 2 days a week.  I was shocked!  After researching a little more, we found a local preschool that we love!  I can’t even wait for you to start there in September!  You are going to learn so much and have so much fun!

Vocabulary
I’m not even sure how many words you know now.  You talk all day long!  What I love about your learning words is that you are finally able to communicate with us!  A few nights ago, you were so exhausted.  We gave you your bath and I sat down with you, just as I do each night, to hold you for a few minutes before you climb in to bed.  You lost your mind.   I wasn’t even sure why!  I assumed it was because you were overly tired.  As I listened closer,  I finally caught on to what you were saying as you were crying! Book! You were upset that we didn’t read!  My little creature of habit! I let you pick out a book, we read it, you curled right up in my arms and went to sleep without a fight.  I love that you can tell us things now!

Your newest phrase that you say each night as we end a story, is “The End!”  You are listening and learning and I love it!

Leading up to Halloween, we taught you Boo, since you were going to be a ghost.  Anytime we asked you what a ghost said, you would yell, “Boo!”

We’ve moved on and skipped over Thanksgiving, since “Gobble Gobble” is a little harder to say.  We’ve started working on Christmas.  If we ask you what Santa says, you reply, “Ho ho!” and if we ask whose birthday it is on Christmas you say, “Baby Cheezus”.  It makes me giggle every time.  There is some slight confusion though because any time you want a Cheez It cracker, you will say Cheezus.  We’ve got some clarification to do!

Favorite Thing
Singing the ABC’s.  It’s your favorite song.  As we sing it, you join in with a random E, G, I, or Z.  You bob your head as we say each letter.  After we’re done singing, you will sing it on your own.  You have the rhythm of the song down, but mumble through most of the letters until you hit your favorites – E, G, I and Z.

Eating
You eat a lot, but are still kind of picky.  You hate any form of meat.  Veggies and fruits…you’ve got it.  Put a chicken, ham, turkey, or meat loaf in front of you and you remove them from your plate.  It’s so bizarre.  We’ve been working on finding new forms of protein that you will actually eat, but haven’t been too successful.

table

You have also become finicky with how your food is presented.  Some days you want things cut, so we cut them up.  Then the next meal, you refuse to eat because you wanted it whole.  Then the next meal you want things cut up.  We can’t keep up!

Sleep Habits
Your sleep habits have been less than stellar ever since daylight savings time.  I think we also had a touch of sleep regression going on at the same time, which means we haven’t been getting the greatest sleep!  For about 2 weeks, you would wake up at 2 in the morning, open your door and stand at the gate.  You would call for me and I would come get you.  As soon as you saw me, you would run back to your bed, grab your blanket, and motion to be picked up.  We’d sit in your chair and rock and you’d fall back to sleep quickly.  You would sleep until about 5:15.  Then you were up again for good!    We’ve been a little tired, but it has gotten better.  The past few nights, you’ve slept through the night again and have only been getting up a little earlier than normal!

Outings
We’ve been busy this past month!

You had you’re second Halloween.  Such a cute little ghost!

ghost

You went to your first show – Disney on Ice. We went with your friend Ella and you loved it!

Disney

You thought you were home, because you insisted on taking your shoes off!

Date Day with Dad – Daycare was closed, so Dad stayed home with you.  You went to a bounce house with inflatable moon bounces with your friend, Adelyn, and then out to lunch!  You had so much fun!

bounce

This month has been one of the best!  You are for sure your own little person, with an ever emerging personality.  It’s so fun watching you grow and I’m so thankful that I’m your Mom!

I love you through and through.  Yesterday, today and tomorrow too.

Love,
Mom

Advertisements

The Thankful Project: Day 12 – An Opportunity

thankful project title
I’m linking up with Kenzie over at Chasing Happy for the month of November.
Be sure to stop by and check it out!

I’ve been given so many opportunities in my life. Opportunities that I succeeded at, excelled at and made those who gave me the opportunity proud.  I’ve had opportunities that I’ve missed, failed, or given up on.  Through all of life’s successes and failures, the opportunity that I’m most thankful for is the one to be a Mom.

I’m going to pause and be real here for a moment. For years prior to wanting children, I would often find myself praying that I wasn’t pregnant. The timing wasn’t right, our life wasn’t where I wanted it to be and we just weren’t ready. Then something changes. You decide you are ready to start a family and then you find yourself praying that you are able to conceive. You worry that you won’t be able to. You drive yourself crazy!

And then it happens! God blesses you with the gift a child. You find out you are pregnant and life instantly changes. From the first nauseous feeling to the kicks, heartburn, sleepless nights and being downright uncomfortable, you are a Mom.

Then the most perfect little girl is born. Your world changes for the better. You experience a love like you’ve never experienced before.

Kenz

I am thankful beyond words for the opportunity to be a Mom. To lead my daughter by teaching her – through words and actions. To watch her grow. To support her through life. To be tough when necessary, yet always her friend.

I know that our relationship will evolve over the years. There will come a time where we are not friends at all. Yet I know, there will come a day that she will need me. When she becomes a Mom herself and realizes that every single action was done from a place of love and worry.

I also know that one day I will grow old and need her.  Life will come full circle.

I pray every day that I am succeeding as a Mom.  That I teach her what she needs to know, that I spend enough time with her, that I focus on her, that I don’t lose my temper and that I have more patience.

It’s easy for us Mom’s to lose sight of how much we do right in our day.  It’s easy for us to focus on what we’ve done wrong.  I’m sure many of you have seen this already, but for those who haven’t…watch it.  It’s a good reminder that even when we are judging our successes and failures as Mom’s, that in our children’s eyes…we’re doing alright!

I thank God every day for the opportunity to be this little girl’s Mom.  There truly aren’t even words to describe it.

Meg and McKenzie

 

McKenzie | 17 Months |

Although a little late…I’m still posting!  Enjoy!

17 months old!  Where has the time gone?  It’s hard for this Mama to even imagine. You change each day!  There’s always something new you’re doing to keep us on our toes. Here’s a little re-cap for us to look back on and remember!

What’s Happening:

Cousin
You officially have a cousin!  Aunt Erin and Uncle Brian delivered a healthy baby boy and we are over the moon excited for them!  You got to meet Nathan last Saturday and loved him. You gave lots of kisses and kept saying. “Baby!”.  You will be a great big sister one day!

So Sweet. P.S. You were playing dress up, so you had a tutu on! Nice outfit choice!

Vocabulary Explosion!
Your vocabulary has taken off!  I can’t even keep up with all of the words that you say because you mimic everything we say.  Words that you use on your own on a regular basis and that are clear now include: baby, apple, juice, apple juice, Ouch, more, ball, book, Ellie (for your favorite stuffed elephant), shoes, truck, cat, Stop!, Yeah, and No…along with all of the originals – like Mama, Dada, and dog.  It’s so much fun to see what word you come up with next!

Mimicking
Speaking of mimicking, you copy everything we do.  In the past month, Dad and I have become even more aware of not only what we say, but what we do around you!  You are watching us and learning, even when we don’t realize it!   The video below is just one of the moments that Dad and I caught of you copying us.  You were being grumpy in the back seat on a drive home, so we gave you the I-Pod with you favorite Fisher Price learning games on it.  Dad and I continued with our conversation, but could hear you talking in the back seat.  When we stopped talking and turned around to look at you, this is what we saw… My favorite part is where you hold the I-pod out in front of you as if you are wondering why no one is talking back!


Favorite Thing
This month marked your first time on a moon bounce.  It was at a birthday party we were attending.  You weren’t sure of what to make of it at first, but soon learned how fun they can be!  We went inside for cake and gifts and you were not happy about it!  You were determined to lead us by our hands back out to the moon bounce.  so cute!

Eating
You are still a picky eater.  We normally get one great meal out of you each day.  Other than that, you just snack and nibble throughout.  You seem to always be eating something though, just not always at the specified meal times.  I’m hoping this will get better with age!

Climbing
You are a climbing machine!  You will use anything and anyone to climb up on the sofa! You’ve pulled toys over, your Pottery Barn Chair, used Dad’s legs quite a few times and even the dogs (although we stop you from that!)  A few times, you’ve even gotten up there by yourself…I think you are hooking your foot in the cushion.  Hilarious!

Bed Time Routine
You’re bedtime routine has changed a bit.  You no longer let me hold you while we say our good night prayers.  You happily climb into bed on your own, point to the blanket and request to be covered up.  Then we hold hands and say prayers while I kneel next to your bed.  It’s our favorite time of the day!  I’m sure Dad’s excited too!  You would only ever let me be in the room when we put you to bed, but you’ve started allowing him to join in as well.  It’s one of my favorite times of the day now.  Thanking God for everything we have, for our families and friends, and asking him to watch over all of us. Love it!

Movies
Last Friday night was a cold and rainy night.  Dad was working, so it was just you and me. I decided that we would watch Cinderella!  I put the DVD in and you instantly squealed when you saw the Disney castle on the opening credits.  You sat in your Pottery Barn chair, covered up with your blanket and stuffed animal, Ellie!  You watched the movie for a little, but then moved on to playing, while watching.  The whole time, you loved it though!  You would point out Lucifer, the cat, and laughed from your toes when I called you Gus Gus!  I look forward to more cuddly evenings with you!

McKenzie, life just keeps getting better.  There are still days that are far from fun, but even on those days – I am thankful for a healthy little girl who is able to throw such fits!  From working in a hospital, I know that not everyone is as lucky!

Continue to grow, but not so fast!

I love you through and through.  Yesterday, today and tomorrow too.

Love,
Mom

The ‘B’ Word

Lemon

Recently, I read this.  It literally made me stop and think.

I understand the author’s point about engaging girls in though provoking conversation, rather than superficial chatter, but I have a hard time buying into the notion that just because you compliment a young girl on her beautiful hair or pretty dress, that she will grow up with any less intellect, knowledge, or know-how than a boy.

Statistics are quoted about how as a society, we are driven by beauty.  While I agree that our society is driven by beautiful bodies, perfect hair and the latest styles, I disagree that this cycle is perpetuated by telling a young girl she is beautiful.  I would like to believe that I will raise a daughter with intelligence, common-sense, determination and motivation, as well as beauty, charm and grace.

The article guides mothers, or other women in the child’s life, on the proper way to engage in a conversation with a young girl, without reverting to discussing her looks or the color of her dress.  When you see your daughter in a playing dress-up, you shouldn’t exclaim, “Look at you!  You look beautiful in that dress!”  Instead, you are supposed to discuss an action that she is doing. “McKenzie, that is a great way to use your imagination to play dress up! What else could you dress up as!?”  The idea is that you should compliment and emphasize the positive attributes of the little girl, instead of complimenting her beauty.

I believe that there can be a balance.  I intend on raising a confident daughter, who knows she is beautiful inside and out and who doesn’t search for the affirmation of this beauty from others.  While I agree that you should give praise to and highlight positive attributes other than beauty, I refuse to not tell my daughter she is beautiful.  There is a balance.  I will strive to find this balance.

I will tell her she is beautiful…and tell it to her often, because she is beautiful – inside and out.  I want her to know that if she hears it from no one else in her day for the rest of her life, I think she’s beautiful. Not just beautiful because of her looks or the outfits she wears, but beautiful when she’s kind to others, when she does something to help someone, when she makes a smart decision, when she stands up for what she believes in.  Knowing that you’re raising a daughter who is strong beyond words, intelligent, caring and compassionate is beautiful!

So to everyone reading this…you are each beautiful!

…and no, it’s not because of your pretty dress!

McKenzie | 16 Months |

Dear McKenzie,

Happy 16 Months!!  This month has been so much fun!  You are growing up and becoming more of a toddler each day.  You are inquisitive about the world you live in and work hard to figure everything out!  You laugh from your toes, which makes me laugh even harder! You are sweet and caring! If someone is upset, you know it and come hug them! You give kisses freely and are the sweetest!

Each month gets better and better!  We are so blessed to have you as our daughter.

Here are your stats for the month:

Weight: 23 lbs – 75th percentile
Height: 32 inches – 90th percentile!  Where did that come from!?

Both Dad and I were shocked at your stats!  Everyone always tells us how small you are, but according to the charts, you actually aren’t!  Keep growing strong!

Clothing Size:
You are officially in 18 month clothing.  I have a feeling that you will be in this size for some time!

In clothing news, you have so many cute Fall clothes!  I loved your summer clothes, but feel like I’ve seen you in all of them…multiple times!  I am ready to throw new outfits in the mix!  And Fall clothing is just so cute!

What’s Happening:

Toddler Bed
We’ve transitioned you to a toddler bed!   You can read all about it here! You are doing incredible with it!  You still haven’t realized that you can get out of it on your own and we are okay with that!  You have however, figured out how to get in a out of it.  The other night, Dad and I were talking, when we looked back into your room, you had climbed into your bed with a book and were reading.  It made us both stop and realize just how big you are getting!

You love when other people try to fit in your bed with you!  You don’t require anyone to sleep with you…thank goodness…but love when people will lay there with you during the day!   A- Ra (your Aunt Jessica), jumped in to bed with you and pretended like she was sleeping.  You giggled and then snuggled right up with her!

First Circus
You went to the Circus and loved every minute of it!  There were circus dogs as part of the show.  Those were, by far, your favorite part!  You saw them backstage when the curtain opened and kept pointing and yelling “dog-dog!”.  There were 3 acts before their segment and you kept calling for them!  It was so cute and you were so excited!

Favorite Thing
Your favorite thing this month is being outside!  You’d spend all day outside if we’d let you!  At daycare, you get to ride in a wagon with Ms. Jen each day.  You walk with her to drop off and pick up the boys from school.  You love the wagon and want to spend all of your time in it! Most days, there is a slight melt down when we have to leave, because you would rather stay and climb in and out of the wagon.

Playing like a Toddler
I know that you are becoming more independent each day, but you are truly playing like a toddler these days.   I stopped and just stared at you one day when I came to pick you up from daycare.  Instead of wandering around the yard, playing on a blanket, or climbing in and out of the wagon, you were in the playhouse with the other kids.  My heart actually sank for a minute!  My little baby is now actually  playing and interacting the way the older kids at daycare do!  It was such a happy and sad moment!    So fun though to see you getting so big!

Words
You have a few new words this month!  Dad calls our German Shepherd (Kemo), Bubba.  I’m not sure why.  He just started referring to him that way one day.  Well, you now call him Bubba too!  It’s kind of embarrassing that one of your first words is Bubba, but so cute that you call for him!   When we make you do something that you don’t want to do (like change your diaper), you call for him!  It’s adorable.   He always comes running to your rescue!

You also say Bye as you wave goodbye to people!  You say Up as well, when you want us to pick you up! You say other words here are there, but these are new ones that you use consistently!

When you aren’t using your words, you have finally started using sign language!    You will show me the sign for More, when you want more food!  It’s so nice that you can communicate with us, even without words!

Songs
We have always sang songs to you, but this month you have become more interactive! You love The Wheels on the Bus and If You’re Happy and You Know It!  You will swish the wiper blades, clap your hands and stomp your feet.   On our card rides home, if you want me to sing the songs to you, you clap your hands for me.  I start singing, you follow along with your charades and we laugh and laugh!  Love it!

Eating
You have become a picky eater recently, but still eat fairly well.  You are eating more than most toddlers your age, but your appetite on previous months would always include second helpings and shoveling the food in your mouth as quickly as possible.  Some days now you don’t eat as much and other’s you do.  We may have to try a few different items, but you definitely still eat!  Your favorite food is avocado and guacamole!  See the picture below!

This month, you have started using your booster seat at the table, instead of your high chair!  It’s nice to officially have you at the table with us!  You think you are so big now!

WM Guac

Temper Tantrums
The temper tantrums have been getting better this month, but that doesn’t mean that they are completely gone!  Most of your tantrums revolve around not being able to go outside or having to come in from outside.    Life just isn’t fair, is it!?

Please take note of what is in her hand in the picture below!  Still loving her little sandals!  We have since hidden them from her because she would truly wear them every day if she could!

McKenzie, you are so much fun!  You make us laugh so hard!  Our family is now complete with you and we love how exciting you make our days!

I can’t wait to head into the Fall and the holidays with you!  They will be even more special this year!

We love you more than there are stars in the sky!

Love,
Mom and Dad

Live in the Moment

Each night, I spend my evenings following the same routine.  It’s important to a toddler.  We eat dinner and clean-up, then play with Kenzie.  Around 7, we start the bedtime routine, which includes a bath, some reading and then bed.  Before Kenzie goes to bed each night, we turn down the lights.  I hold her and rock her.  Most nights, she doesn’t fall asleep.  Often we spend the time looking at each other.  It’s our quiet time.  It allows us to connect, to settle down and to spend some quality time together.  I stare at her in awe of how quickly she’s growing and how much bigger she seems each night.  I pray to God and thank Him for giving us a beautiful healthy baby.  I pray that he blesses us and guides us to be better parents.  Then my mind wanders and I begin to think.   I think about how lucky I am.  Lucky to have an incredibly supportive husband, a loving marriage, a great job that enables us to have a beautiful house and food on the table and and a life that I am thankful to live.    It’s during these quiet times that it dawns on me. During the craziness of the day, I often forget to live in the moment.

You see, I’m a planner by nature, so I’m always planning 10 steps ahead.  What’s the next phase for McKenzie, what should she be doing, what will she be doing by 18 months, when do we switch her to a toddler bed, should we put the house on the market, when we get a new house what color should I paint it, what career choices should I make, and when will our family become a family of four?  As you can see, a million things run through my mind throughout the day.  Maybe it’s the nature of being a Mom, but I’m sure more of it is my Type A personality.

It’s during those quiet times each night that I find myself thinking.  Thinking that I should be happy with where I am. To live in the moment. To be happy with where we are right now. To stop wishing for the next stage, for the next house, for the next job.   I cherish these quiet moments with McKenzie.  It causes me to slow down.  To sit quietly, to think and to reflect.

It’s at that moment that I realize I am exactly where I should be.  In this house, with my baby in my arms, and my husband in the next room.  It doesn’t matter what degrees I have or what job I hold.  It doesn’t matter that we live 45 minutes away from our families or that we have an incredibly long commute to work.  What matters is that we have a life that is perfect for us.   Each night, I make a conscious decision to live in the moment, to stop thinking, to stop worrying, and to start enjoying the life we have right now and to give thanks for it all.