Friday, August 29, 2014

Summer 2014: The Archives

Happy Labor Day Weekend! We have four good friends coming to Charlotte to spend the weekend with us, and we're really excited for the fun that we know will be had. I even planned ahead and got a sitter for M for Saturday night so we can take them out for a "real" meal, you know as opposed to a toddler meal where someone sits in her chair for .5 seconds and then wants to use everyone's fork and knife for the rest of the night as she puts stickers on everyones hands. summer comes to an end (sad face!), I thought I'd share a few fun summer photos and memories that never made it onto the blog over the last 3 months. We have had the best time this summer staying outside late, having pizza dinners at the pool, going on bike rides, frequenting the playground daily, and trying new art projects. While I do love fall (give me all the pumpkin beer), I am so sad to see this summer go. Experiencing summer with a toddler has made it so much fun!

M has grown so much since the start of summer (not just in size, but in abilities too!), and with fall on it's way, I know that means it's time for her to turn TWO! Farewell summer 2014!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Around the web...3 things

1.) Last week, my friend Becca wrote out her thoughts on what's happening in our country right now, and you guys. It's powerful. It's good. It's raw. This is one of the best blog posts I've read all year, and it's really made me think about where I fit into my community and what I want to change. If you are a Christian, please take 5 minutes and read this post.

"Because we are the Church, and I am afraid that if we do not act, we will lose our credibility in a world that desperately needs real answers. Not more services, not bigger screens and louder songs, not new sanctuaries or more programs. But Jesus: the good news of the Gospel that gets lived out by actually walking alongside the fatherless. Alongside the widows, the orphans, the oppressed. "

2.) I went to JMU with Chelsea, and she is a mom who owns a small business where she refinishes furniture and on top of that has a gorgeous home that she has decorated and put together. I love following her blog and instagram and encourage you to follow her. I promise you'll be inspired!

Instagram: Chelsea's Garage

3.) I recently joined this Facebook Group called "Montessori on a Budget." J and I really love a lot of the principles that go along with a Montessori education, and we've both been doing a lot of reading on how we can better incorporate them into our home for M. I joined this group maybe 2 weeks ago, and I have loved seeing so many great idea and conversations about Montessori at home pop up into my newsfeed! If you're a mom of a young child who wants to do "more" at home, I highly recommend joining this group. It is a private group and you have to get approved, but I think I got approved within 24 hours of joining.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Harrisonburg for the day

When we were at the cabin earlier this month, we took some time to drive up the road to my old stomping grounds at JMU. It has been 8 years since my college graduation, but the feeling I get when I walk on that campus is unlike any other. I loved my college years and still have a strong love for the place I called my home for 5 years. It was so fun to go back with M and show her around. I can't wait till she's big enough to go to a football game!

Giving "DUKE DOG!" a kiss! We heard his name ALL day as we walked around campus, and I hear it now every time she catches his face on the sticker on the back of my car. 

Daddy tried to steal a kiss from her on the kissing rock, but she wasn't having it. 

We had lunch downtown at Jack Brown's followed by ice cream at Kline's (where the flavor was mint cookies and cream!)

It was the perfect day in Harrisonburg with my little family! 
Can't wait to go back again!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

21 Months

On July 25 (I know, I know...I'm a tad behind), My little piglet turned 21 months old. Only a quarter of the year left till she's TWO!

M, here are some little tidbits about you right now:

  • You love graham crackers. You ask for them at all hours of the day, and would eat them at all hours of the day if I let you. 
  • You now know where the cookies are at Harris Teeter and will spend the whole grocery shopping trip anticipating and talking about that cookie. Your other favorite feature of Harris Teeter is the mylar balloons at check out.
  • You talk nonstop. You're very vocal and have a very big vocabulary, especially when we're at home; you tend to be a bit shy and talk less in public. You know all of your basic colors, most of your friends names (and last names!), all of the characters on Sesame Street (you love Abby Cadabby!) and Daniel Tiger, and you are able to identify a handful of letters. I am constantly in awe of how much you learn in such a short period of time!
  • You also like to sing (Lalala - Elmo's Song, "Sunshine", Open Shut Them, and Baby Beluga ("Baby Beluuuu") are your current favs). 

  • One thing I love so much about you as you grow is how much you remember! We go certain places and you will start talking about something that happened the last time we were there. You also come home from our morning outings and love to tell Daddy about all of the things you did and people you saw while we were out.
  • You move constantly. Sitting still is nearly impossible for you unless the television is on. You are constantly wiggling, dancing, jumping, never stop.
  • You sure know how to throw a tantrum. And that's about all I have to say about that!
  • We have really started to enjoy longer stories and books, and you no longer destroy paper books! Favorite books right now: Anything by Mo Willems, Circle Dogs, Llama Llama books, your Sesame Street Flap books, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and If You Give a Pig a Pancake. 
  • You still love dogs! You now call our dogs by their names: Zee (Rosie) and Lay (Layla).

  • You continue to be a pretty great eater. There's not much you won't try, and you surprise us with your tastes. You recently ate a full serving of green beans and red peppers at dinner, and you really like meat (and call all of it pork, regardless of what it is!). You still love yogurt and ask for it a lot.
  • Related to foods you love, you and Daddy make eggs together every morning in your learning tower. You can recite every step to him and have a name for every ingredient you guys pull out of the fridge ("orange cheese" and "moo milk!")
  • You love Mommy (as of early July, you stopped calling me Mama, now it's all Mommy). You were doing really well for awhile being away from Mommy, but lately if I leave you anywhere, you aren't too happy. You do good with Daddy, but you are still concerned with where I went.
  • Our favorite weekly outing for the past 3 months has been music with Miss A! She's taking August and September off and we really miss our weekly music class!

  • Sleep. Sleep has been a funny issue over the last few months. We've had some long stretches where you'd go to bed at 8 and play in your crib till 9:30 and then wake up at 5:30/6. This was a rough time and it still occasionally happens. Thankfully, I've noticed it's started to get light out a bit later, and I moved your bath time up a bit, and that combo seems to have helped. However, if there's one thing I've learned in my 21 months of motherhood, it's that sleep patterns change very regularly!
  • You've gone from having 3 interchangeable lovies to just ONE. Daddy and I call it the "One True Lovey." You can identify him by just looking at the tag since that's your favorite part.
  • One of our favorite parts of summer has been going to the pool. You're quite the little fish and love to swim by yourself in your puddle jumper. But if I'm really being honest, you're real favorite part of the pool is your "lunch box!" 
  • We've started doing a lot of talk about the potty, but no actual training yet. I think we may start in September when the pool closes? I won't lie though. The thought of potty training you sort of terrifies me since I know how head strong you can be...

Sweet girl, you are growing and changing SO much these days. There is very little baby left in you as you get closer and closer to your second birthday. You are so big and yet so little all at the same time. One minute you'll be so independent and want no help from me (like when you're getting dressed), but then when you look at me and say "Mommy hand?" when we're going somewhere, I smile since I know you still need me. 

We love you to the moon and back my sweet girl!

Height: 34.5 inches 
Clothes: Mostly 24M and a few 2T things.
Diapers: Size 4 in disposables; 5-6 snaps open across in the BG cloth, all the way unbuttoned down.
Teeth:16! All teeth are now in until those two years molars!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hiking Jump Mountain

When we were at the cabin last weekend, we spent all of Saturday morning hiking Jump Mountain. This was out first "big" hike with M, and she surprisingly did a really awesome job. We have a hiking backpack by Kelty Kids that we bought off craigslist last summer that she rode in on J's back all the way up the mountain and back down. She had fun patting his back and singing us songs all the way up!

When we first arrived, we had to cross a hanging bridge to cross the Maury River.

A Go Pro picture from the hike up...

We were definitely tired after the 1.5 hour hike up. We actually didn't make it all the way to the top, but we did climb around 2,000 feet of elevation and still had an awesome view from at our stopping point!

Stopping for a drink and some snacks

About 5 minutes into our hike down, M had started to fuss, so J told her, "M, just lay down on Daddy's back and take a rest!" and within 2 minutes she was out like a light. She stayed asleep all the way to the bottom of the mountain as she bounced along on his back. Kids amaze me with how they can sleep anywhere!

And just for fun! I found this shot of M in the backpack last summer in the Adirondacks in NY....

We crossed back over the bridge before we all crashed int he car and enjoyed a lazy afternoon back at the cabin. Well, the 4 hikers were quite lazy! M had enough energy after the hike and her nap to last her for weeks. She was ready to go on Saturday afternoon while the rest of us were ready for our nap!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cabin Weekend 2014

Two weeks ago (Aug 1-5), we spent 4 full days in the mountains in Western Virginia. We went to our friends' cabin in Rockbridge Baths, and had the best time. I'll be honest, I was terrified of how M would sleep there (she was also the only child with 8 adults), but she really did okay (2 6am wakeups, but still napped each day!) and she had a really fun time visiting the "tabin."

Saturday morning she helped Daddy make breakfast for the whole crew...

Anybody need a bloody mary? Bartender toddler in her pj's will you hook up...

Like most years, we spent a lot of time by the river. However, not as much as in years past. M liked the river, but her attention span is quite short these days.

J brought his GoPro camera and he and M had fun making some videos over the weekend...

One of M's favorite things was playing with the many rocks in the river.

We even collected a few to bring home to paint one afternoon...

We did a lot of relaxing and snacking...

 We also had a new "friend" come join us this year, Shuffle!

Five great days with the best friends!