Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 year in review

Our year in review through pictures

January                                       February                                       March

April                                            May                                            June

July                                             August                                        September

October                                    November                                   December

2012 was a great year for our family. I can't wait to see what 2013 has in store for us. Happy New Year!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

It's that time again

New Year's resolutions time. I didn't even bother with resolutions last year. The only things on my mind were getting Mason here and surviving the newborn stage with the addition of a 3-year old. Both of those tasks were accomplished reasonably well so I will consider the year a success. However, this year doesn't have anything standing in my way of setting some goals. I am a firm believer in writing down goals to hold myself accountable so here we go:

1. Ok, yes, its totally cliché, but its still my goal. I have a bridesmaid dress hanging in my closet for my sister-in-law's wedding in June that is a size smaller than I wear right now. I ordered it as motivation because I need it. I have about 3-4 more pounds to reach pre-baby weight and then I'd like to lose about 10-15 pounds on top of that. Hopefully 15+ pounds will mean the dress is too big and I will have to get it altered. But, I'll be perfectly happy if the dress zips comfortably. I have already lost 7 pounds since Thanksgiving, even after I had to take an knee injury-induced break from Insanity. I like being able to walk and knees are necessary for that, so I am going to give my knees another month-long break by doing the 30 Day Shred before I restart Insanity. I kind of miss the Insanity workouts, though, so I hope I am ready in February. After I finish Insanity, it should be around the beginning of April and I hope to start running again since it will getting warm outside. I've been cutting my calories and using My Fitness Pal to track what I eat, which is a big reason for the weight I've lost so far. I lost 30 pounds after grad school by tracking what I ate so I know this works for me. I just need to stick to it and make it happen.

2. I am starting a 365-day photography challenge. I used this blog to create a 52-week blog challenge in 2011 and I really enjoyed it. At times it was challenging and I felt forced to write, but that was the point. It forced me to write and document our lives and I love having those entries to look back on from 2011. I have been in a photography rut and needed a challenge to get me back behind the camera and be creative so I think a 365 challenge will be perfect for that. I created a separate blog for this adventure and hope to upload the pictures at least weekly.  If you'd like to check it out that blog its here:

So, those are my 2 big goals of the year. I'd love to have more goals but I have to be realistic with 2 kids and a husband in grad school. Hopefully, I will accomplish goal #1 by June and I might be able to re-evaluate my goals and make some others. But, I am only setting my heart on these 2 goals for the year and anything else will be bonus.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Christmas that made me feel like a kid again

This Christmas was the Christmas that I imagined when I thought about having children. The past few Christmas seasons we have had to do all the hyping up and create the excitement about Christmas. This year, Aubrey was plenty hyped and created the excitement for us. For weeks, every commercial that came on the tv made her Christmas wish list grow longer. She loved participating in the early Christmas  season traditions like decorating, sending/receiving Christmas cards, and picking out presents for others. It was also neat that she was learning the meaning behind Christmas and asked a lot of questions about Jesus and the Christmas story. She also anticipated things, like going to Raleigh to visit Todd's family and waking up Christmas morning. Her excitement and anticipation rubbed off on me and made me more excited for Christmas than I have been since I was kid. 

The celebrating started over the weekend when Todd took the kids to Raleigh. I wasn't able to go because we didn't want to spend the extra money to kennel the dogs so I stayed here with them. It was a nice break for me and allowed the kids to spend some good quality time with their daddy. I hated being away from them, especially since it was my first time away from Mason, but it was a well enjoyed break. Aubrey played on the farm and had a dandy time being spoiled rotten by Todd's family. Mason created a lot of extra work for Todd and kept him on his toes while he was there. Mason gave a spectacular screaming show when they tried to put him on Santa's lap and Aubrey reverted back to her unhappiness with him as well, but they both seemed to be happy with the presents Santa gave them. 

Monday night we started a few new traditions for our house like leaving cookies for Santa and writing a note thanking him for visiting. Aubrey really didn't want to go to bed, but a warning that Santa couldn't visit until she was asleep helped encourage her to go to bed. The next morning, Mason made sure Todd and I were awake at 7:15. However, Aubrey was still asleep at 7:30 so I had to go in an wake her up. There was no way I was letting her sleep in when there were good presents to be opened. We brought the kids downstairs and Aubrey was excited to see Santa ate the cookies and wrote a note back to her. She then walked in the playroom and her reaction to seeing her presents was classic. She was so excited and walked back and forth to her toys and Mason's toys trying to figure out what she wanted to play with. Mason wasn't quite as excited as Aubrey, but he still seemed to enjoy the boxes and wrapping paper he could tear into. The best part of the morning was after we opened what appeared to be all the presents, Todd brought out Aubrey's bike. I was nervous about what her reaction would be because she had told me a few weeks before Christmas she didn't want a bike. I had already bought the bike and knew it would be a gift from Todd and me. Luckily, my fears were eased as soon as Aubrey saw the bike. It was instant love because it is covered in princesses and even has a seat for a doll to ride in the back. She was so excited which thrilled Todd and me to no end.

The rest of the day was a flurry of food and more presents. We did our annual breakfast at Todd's parents house, followed by gifts, relaxing, more presents with my family, and dinner with both families. At the end of the night, Todd and I were exhausted but thankful for a great Christmas.  

Aubrey's First Stage Production

I love Aubrey's preschool for a lot of reasons. The fact that they do a Christmas show with 2 and 3-year olds makes me love them even more. I can only imagine the work and effort the teachers put into getting the 18 children ready for the 5 minutes it took to sing 4 songs. They did encourage the parents to help with their efforts by sending the lyrics home to the 4 songs the kids needed to know. We practiced the songs a few times but Aubrey seemed pretty comfortable with the lyrics so I didn't work on them very much.

I didn't know quite what to expect going into the show. But, I was still surprised at what I saw. The 2- year olds went before Aubrey's class and did a very cute nativity show. They managed to dress each child up as a part of the story and it was so precious seeing miniature versions of Mary, the Wise men and angels. Their songs were very cute and got lots of awws and laughs from the crowd. Then, Aubrey's class came out and did the caroling part of Christmas. Each little girl and boy wore a winter hat and these tiny little scarves that cracked me up. They did such a good job, even though it wasn't the production the 2-year olds put on. I later found out they cycle the kids through the parts of the show, so this year's 3-year olds did the nativity scene last year. But, I was still pleased with the entire show and so proud of Aubrey. I thought she might get stage fright being in front of an audience but she did really well and said she had a good time singing her songs. Watching a child perform is so fun and I can't wait to see what the preschool's spring production involves.

Friday, December 21, 2012

11 months

I had a completely sad realization with this month's birthday. This is the last month one of my children will be considered an infant. Even though Mason is still much more of a baby than a toddler, technically he won't be a baby much longer. While I don't want to have anymore babies, I wish our babies could be babies just a little while longer. It has all gone so fast and sometimes I feel like I get so wrapped up in the day-to-day parenting that I forget to really stop and appreciate where each child is at that moment. Ok, enough mushiness for now.

*Right upper lateral incisor broke through (11.15)
*His two upper middle teeth have all but broken the skin. They are giving him a fit and I really hope they are through by Christmas
*He has finally started to crawl more than lurch. He is still a little timid and slow while crawling but he is getting more confident and I know the speed crawling will come soon.
*He really doesn't like sitting down. He is much happier to pull himself to standing and just stay there for a while. He usually greets me in his crib standing up in the mornings.
*He had a very sudden growth spurt and outgrew his 9-month clothes in what seemed like a week. His 9-month shirts fit, but he needs 12-month pants and pjs.
*First Thanksgiving
*We've figured out just how much he looooves his big sister this month. He just grins and laughs when she walks in and he is always trying to move himself to where he can see her. He wants to keep her and us in his sights at all times.
*His nap times have become so sporadic. I know he is not ready to drop to 1 nap, but somedays he just sits in his crib and talks for an hour until I go get him up.
*The dairy trial we had last month was a big, fat fail. It took a while for some of the digestive issues to show after we started giving him some dairy, but they did finally show up. So, we've gone back to dairy free, which makes transitioning him to milk in the next month an even bigger challenge.
*First visit with Santa

First Thanksgiving meal

Trying to stand up but making sure he keeps Aubrey in his sights

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Visiting Santa

Aubrey has never had a good visit with Santa. She has been downright terrified of him since she was 11 months old. Every time she even gets a glimpse of him she freaks out. I get it, he's a stranger in a bright red suit, long beard, and all of that stuff. But, I really hated the fact she could be scared of Santa forever. I was determined to get a picture of both kids with Santa this year, even if it meant both kids were less than happy with me. I don't get to go to Raleigh this year when Santa visits the children on the farm and brings a present so I decided we would go visit Santa at the mall. We hyped it up all day before we planned to go and told Aubrey she had to be nice to Santa and tell him what she and Mason wanted for Christmas since Mason couldn't tell Santa himself. She still wasn't to sure about the whole idea, but agreed to try sitting on his lap. I even encouraged her to bring a stuffed animal to cuddle if she got nervous so she brought a penguin (completely her idea) to hold on his lap. I got nervous when we saw Santa walking down the hall towards the photo area and Aubrey buried her head in my leg. Luckily, we had 20 minutes or so to wait and we continued to hype Santa up and tell her what a nice guy he was and he would be sad if she didn't talk him. When it was finally our turn, we placed Mason in his lap and Aubrey reluctantly crawled up as well. Mason's face was hilarious as he tried to figure out just who was holding him. But, the photographer instantly starting shaking some bells and Mason was fascinated with those and forgot all about sitting in Santa's lap. We watched in amazement as not one.single.tear.was.shed. By either child. I quickly grabbed Mason after the pictures were over before he could get upset. Aubrey very quietly responded to Santa's questions and said she would like to have princesses and a Dora for Christmas. She was even able to tell him Mason wants a cash register (again, her idea) for Christmas. She was actually smiling when she got down from his lap and talked happily about Santa the rest of the night. So, I will call it a big, fat success and hope her Santa aversion is over.


5th anniversary

I was just rereading some older blog posts and I realized this blog is 5 years old this month. It is amazing to me how much our world has changed in 5 years. Todd and I were newlyweds, just getting ready to start trying to have kids. We were at different jobs, had different cars, and completely different worries about the world. We had no idea what we were in for as we hoped to start a family. When I started this blog, I kept it private to journal my thoughts around trying to get pregnant. I never really had major plans for this blog and wasn't quite sure if I would be able to keep it going. But, I am glad I kept it as a place to document our lives. I've not been very good at keeping up with the baby books. In fact, I still haven't even written the first word in Mason's book. However, this blog has all of those details and more and has become very important to me over the years. I don't write as often as I'd like because I don't have a lot of time to actually sit down at my computer and collect my thoughts. So if I get the milestones and major happenings in our lives documented I call it success. I hope to keep it going as the kids get older so they can look back and laugh at us and themselves, as well as learn about their lives before they could remember. That is why this little piece of the internet is here and I hope I do a great job for them.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Big milestone for me

So many milestones over the past 4 years have been about the kids. But, this one is all about a certain piece of equipment and myself. After 2 kids and almost 22 months of constant use this evil/wonderful contraption is finally being put to rest.

I never imagined when I first opened the package how much time I would spend with this pump. I was blissfully ignorant of exclusive pumping and had no idea how difficult nursing would be for me before Aubrey was born. After both kids were born, I spent so much time attached to it and I swear at times it was talking to me. However, this pump saved us so much money and allowed both of my children to have breast milk for their first year and I am so grateful for that.

I won't lie though, I hate this pump. I've been counting down to my last day of pumping since the first time I used it. I cried when I accepted the fact I would not be able to nurse Mason at all and would have to rely solely on my pump to help me nourish my child. But, it faithfully worked for me over all those months despite my hatred and dread of sitting down to pump. The blissful day finally arrived after Mason's 10 month birthday that I could start weaning and I was stoked. I hit my goal for storing enough milk to make it to Mason's first birthday and threw the towel in. I dropped a pumping session every few days until finally I was down to 1. I planned to pump once a day for a few more days but after 2 days of 1 pumping session there was no discomfort when I woke up so I waited another few days and finally realized I was finished. Its been a week and it still hasn't completely sunk in I'm finished. I am mostly thrilled to be finished. But, a tiny part of me is sad. My days of nourishing a child are over and its a little depressing. But, the time and freedom I've gained back have been wonderful in helping me move past that sadness and appreciate where I am now.

Now, just as I finished the food restrictions I had with Mason I start food restrictions of another variety. Now that I am free to cut calories and lose weight it is game on. I have 7 months to squeeze into a strapless dress for my sister-in-law's wedding. I purposefully ordered my dress a size smaller than I am now so it could kick start the weight loss. I have 10 pounds of baby weight to lose plus another 10-15 on top of that. So, I have start the Insanity program and am following its calorie recommendations to ensure I shed this weight. Its a different feeling losing weight this time because I know I won't have an excuse to gain it back like I did between kids. I want it to go and stay gone so I am really trying to go about it the right way. Its getting too cold to run for now so I will do Insanity (which is really freaking crazy hard) until the spring and then resume my running. I look forward to running again and hope to back to doing 5Ks in the spring.

So, let the fun begin and I can't wait to see what results I have to share in the next few months.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Gobble Gobble Gobble

I love, love, love Thanksgiving. The food, the family, the start to the Christmas season, everything. Sometime in mid to late September I lost my mind and decided that Todd and I would host Thanksgiving at our house for our families. We usually go to my aunt's house in Kernersville for Turkey day but this means we don't see Todd's family. Last year we went to Raleigh for Thanksgiving since I couldn't travel at Christmas so we didn't get to see my family. I decided that hosting it at our house could combine both families and mean no traveling for us. In my head, it sounded like a great plan, but after the invites were sent I started wondering how crazy I was to have so many people in my house. We originally invited around 22-ish people and ended up with about half saying they would make it. So that meant around 12 other people were expecting a good meal so in typical fashion I started getting nervous around the early part of the month. Luckily, Todd and I hosted our community group Thanksgiving a few weeks prior to the big day so we had a chance to work out the kinks in our recipes. Neither Todd or I have ever cooked a complete turkey so we were amazed that we got that right on the first try. A few other recipes and logistics were learned that night so I felt better about getting everything right when the time came.

We started prepping on Wednesday night and got up at 6:00 AM on Thursday to get the bird in the oven. While the food cooked we watched the parade and did the last minute scrambling before everyone arrived. Luckily, our meal was mostly potluck because we were cooking down to the last minute before lunch and couldn't have done much more than we did. My poor little kitchen was filled to the brim with food but everything turned out to be amazing. It worked out really well with the kids naps to be at home and to be able to sprawl on my own couch in a food coma after everyone left. It also meant we had a lot of yummy leftovers to chow down on so I didn't have to cook again for a few days!

Yes, you must watch the Macy's parade while wearing princess costume. Jeez..

Enjoying his first round of turkey.

Friday morning we decided to take Aubrey to urgent care as she had been complaining for a few days her ear was hurting. She had also had a nasty cough on and off for days and we were worried it wasn't getting better. Urgent care must be the happening place to be on the day after Thanksgiving because it was sooo crowded. Luckily, the wait wasn't too long because keeping Aubrey and me entertained with one iPhone got old really fast. The doctor looked at her ears and said they both looked fine, but the cough was a little concerning to him. He wrote her a prescription for an antibiotic and sent us on our way. I then had another lapse in judgement and decided to battle the crowds at Kohls to find Aubrey some new shoes for pictures on Saturday. Who goes shopping on Black Friday to look for shoes with their 3-year old in tow? Yeah, this crazy lady. Kohls was pretty crowded but luckily they seemed be moving people through the lines quickly so I am glad I didn't chicken out when I saw the super crowded parking lot. I even considered battling Target after Kohls but then decided food won over shopping and I didn't want to push my luck with Aubrey's good behavior.

Friday afternoon we cleaned up the playroom to get ready for our Christmas tree. I just redid the playroom a few weeks ago with new toy bins and furniture arrangement so I was anxious to see how a tree would fit in the new arrangement. We went back to our new favorite Christmas tree location, picked out our favorite tree, and planned to decorate right after Mason went to bed. All was going as planned until I sat down to test the lights and realized we were down a strand of lights this year. Our tree usually takes every single light we can stretch out on it, so being down a strand necessitated an 8:00 pm run to Target. We finally started decorating the tree sometime after 9:00 and it seemed to take forever with Aubrey under our feet assisting. She had such a great time putting her ornaments on the tree so I can't complain too much that it took her so long to do it. 

Posing with this year's tree

We finished up the long weekend by helping Todd's parents decorate their house. Aubrey has a tree at their house just for her so she do whatever she likes to it while we decorate our college tree. I've considered getting one for our house but who knows where the ornaments would end up with all of her hiding spots so I decided the fun could just stay at Gma and Grandpa's. 

I would say this was one of my most favorite Thanksgiving weekends ever and I am so excited to see what the holiday season brings.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

10 months

2 months 'til 1. I'm in slight denial, despite the fact that I am already planning his birthday party. He is acting and looking more like a little boy everyday and less like my baby. Each milestone is so bittersweet because I love watching him learn and grow, but knowing he's my last baby makes me sad to see each first for the last time. Sigh.....

This months milestones:
*His left upper lateral incisor broke through (10.22)
*He pulled up to standing with the help of the sit and play, now trying to pull up on everything
*This led to lowering his crib to the bottom setting, which he was none too pleased about
*He can go from in his tummy to sitting up on his own
*We did a straight soy challenge by giving him soy yogurt and he did great so the soy intolerance is gone!
*We started a dairy challenge early this week. Early signs seem positive (or lack of signs I should say) but the jury is still out on this for now.
*He will clap whenever you say "Yay" and it cracks everyone up
*If you laugh at him, he will start laughing along with you
*He still says mama or dada indiscriminately, but has started trying to imitate other words
*First Halloween

Gripping on the sit and play before he pulled up

First time in the lowered crib.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


This year was an interesting year for Halloween. We realized we've lost voting power over Aubrey's costume but are able to enjoy Mason's passive participation the holiday for a few more years. Todd decided  months ago he wanted Mason to dress up as Yoda. I've always picked Aubrey's costumes so it was nice to be relieved of the costume picking duty. Then, Todd had the idea that Aubrey should be Princess Leia. Yeah...that didn't go over so well with the very verbal and opinionated 3-year old. Princess Leia does not wear a crown or anything pink so that was quickly shut down. Todd tried for weeks to get her to change her mind to no avail. Aubrey decided to be Sleeping Beauty purely based on the fact she wore a pink dress and a crown. Todd wanted to join in on the Halloween fun and decided to be Luke Skywalker. He tried to convince me to dress up as part of the Star Wars gang, but I shot down that idea as well. Between the 3 of their costumes I spent over $100 so I decided to forgo the dressing up and just be mom. Once the costumes were delivered Aubrey was so excited to see her dress hanging up in her closet. She asked at least 2-3 every week when it would be time for her to wear it. Finally, Halloween arrived and she got plenty of wear out of that costume. Her preschool let the kids wear costumes to school and her dance teacher encouraged the girls to wear their costumes to class. So, she wore that costume the majority of the day and was in heaven.

I had both kids dressed before Todd got home from work and attempted to take pictures of them in their costumes. In typical form, it was a torturing even for me because getting them to cooperate was a pain in the rear. Todd came home and helped get a few decent pictures before the rest of our trick-or-treating party arrived. That party included my sister, Todd's friend, his girlfriend, their 4-month old son, and our next door neighbor and her 2 kids. It was a lot of fun to be with such a crowd. Aubrey had to be coaxed to go to the doors again this year but the quick reward of candy in her basket slowly brought her out of her shell. After a few houses I took Mason home to get him ready for bed and hand out candy. Our friends and their baby went home shortly after I left but the rest of the trick-or-treaters covered a good chunk of the neighborhood. Aubrey was so excited about trick-or-treating and her candy getting her to wind down for bed was a challenge. She is still enjoying a piece of candy from her basket after each meal and I've avoided eating any of the yummy chocolate so we will call it all a success.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

9 months

Seriously, where has this year gone? It seems like we were just putting our Christmas tree away yesterday and now we are getting Halloween costumes ready.  Craziness.

So, Mason is 9 months. Next Sunday, he will officially be an outside baby longer than he was an inside baby. That seems crazy to me, too. I sent my dad a picture text of Mason wearing some overalls this weekend and he said that Mason looked like a little boy and I cried a little because he was right. He still looks like a baby, but I am starting to see more glimpses of the little boy he will become and it is so bittersweet.

This month's milestones:

*He is down to 25 ounces of milk a day and even that is a challenge to get in him somedays. He is much more interested in playing than drinking.
*He is Mr. Independent about his bottle and really wants to hold it himself.
*He's up to about 5-6 tbsp of solid food per meal and still wants more sometimes. The boy loves to eat (he gets that honest!). He also prefers to feed himself and has a 50% success rate of actually getting the food in his mouth.
*He is trying his hardest to pull up to standing from sitting and just laughs and grins when you help him stand up. Proceeded by a tantrum when you sit him back down.
*His main method of transportation still seems to be the crazy worm/lurching motion. He can get up on all 4s but he is still not sure about what to do next so he just lurches out of it. But, he has gotten super fast with it and even more sneaky about moving quietly so I really have to keep an eye on him.
*He can get from the sitting position to his belly pretty gracefully now. He is close to getting up from his belly to sitting, but he'd rather be on his belly so he can move when he chooses.
*He can army crawl over obstacles to get where he wants to go
*He started clapping and loves when you cheer for him
*His curiosity has really started showing and he loves to explore, feel, and put everything in his mouth he can
*Both upper lateral incisors are on the verge of breaking the skin causing buckets of drool and snot to be ever present on his face. The central incisors are showing no signs of joining the party anytime soon so he could have some funny teeth patterns for a while.
*First visit to the pumpkin patch

He went to the doctor for his check-up this week and I tried to keep an open mind. I knew he's grown a lot since his visit, I just hoped his growth was still on target. After a minor diaper incident where I forgot to bring an extra diaper (looking like an A+ mom) we put him on the scale and found out he weighs 17 lbs, 6 oz, which put him in the 15th percentile. He is 27.25" long (25th) and his head is 43.5 cm (25th). So, he is just going to be short and skinny, poor kid. Dr. Honeycutt said he looks perfectly healthy, other than the faucet his nose has become, and to keep doing what we were doing. He did have to get his flu shot (part 1) this time but a big snuggle afterwards made it all better.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Family pictures

I fell in love with custom photography this year after having Mason's newborn pictures. It was so nice to have pictures that weren't in a studio and involved things in our life, like our couch and Mason's room. I can do decent pictures of the kids but there are so few pictures that I am actually in and even less that the whole family is in so I knew I wanted to do more family pictures when Mason got older. We scheduled pictures for August because I knew he would be sitting up and look more baby-like than newborn-ish.

I was so happy with how these pictures turned out. I can't wait to get them printed and displayed in my house to share with everyone.

All photos were done by Nikki of Magnolia James Photography. She was awesome to work with and even helped me out when our cd of pictures got lost. Awesome lady.

I made this one to be my Facebook cover picture and I love it so much I am going to have to incorporate it onto the blog somehow. That might be a little above my skill level but I will figure it out eventually.

I think she's found her niche

As I've mentioned before, soccer was a big dud for Aubrey. She liked to kick the ball but forget running and kicking at the same time. And she didn't want to participate in the drills with the other kids so we decided one season of soccer was enough. We aren't expecting her to fall in love with everything she tries so it wasn't a huge deal when she wasn't a fan of our first extracurricular.

As soon as I found out Aubrey was a girl I knew she would start dance as soon as she was able. I was a little disappointed she couldn't start last year because she wasn't potty trained. Once potty training was complete I started counting the months until dance started. We've talked about it for months and she loves watching Angelina Ballerina and Dora the Explorer's ballet DVD. When it was time to go buy her first pairs of dance shoes and tights she was so excited. It was surreal to me watching the clerk fit her tiny little foot in that teeny little ballet slipper. Aubrey was so proud of her shoes so I had to hide them when we got home to keep her from destroying them before she could wear them.

It was also never a question of where Aubrey would dance. One of my really good friends teaches at her mother-in-law's studio which happens to be the studio we both danced at as children. I also danced there after college in my friend's adult class, including the year I was pregnant with Aubrey. She attended her first class with me at less than a month old and went to the recital a few months later. I knew I wanted Aubrey to dance there because it is a family fun business and many of my friends send their children there as well. Mrs. Rhonda is one of the sweetest and most patient teachers I've ever met so I knew she would be perfect for Aubrey.

The first day finally arrived and after getting Aubrey dressed in her cute little leotard it was finally time for her to go. When we arrived at the studio Mrs. Rhonda recognized her right away and helped Aubrey feel a little more relaxed. She still wasn't too sure about me leaving her in the studio with a bunch of strangers but Mrs. Rhonda told them there would be princesses and crowns and that's all it took for Aubrey to be hooked. The only drawback to this studio is you can't really watch the classes while they are in session but that's livable. After the hour had passed I went in to pick Aubrey up and she was so excited. She loved being a princess and wearing tap shoes so I called the class a success. When she asked me the next day when we were going back to see Mrs. Rhonda I knew we had a hit on hands. She has had several classes since that first time and loves each class which makes me so happy. I keep reminding myself she is 3 and her attitude about dance could change and that will be ok, but for now I just enjoy knowing she enjoys something that was such a huge part of my life for over 20 years.

The surprise hit of the summer was gymnastics. With the Olympics being on this year, Aubrey got hooked into watching gymnastics. She loved to watch the girls twist and turn and then she started trying to copy them by doing rolls off the couch. She would ask us every day if gymnastics was on tv that night and would cry if we told her no. Since she seemed so excited about it, Todd and I talked about it and did some research to see what we could do about gymnastics classes for her. We found a gym near the house that has classes at a time that worked for us and signed her up for the year. She was beyond excited when we told her and asked us everyday for a month when it would be time for gymnastics. When that time finally came, she was like a kid in a candy store. She did so well in her first class and seemed to enjoy every single minute. I can watch her from the observation area and I've never seen her so happy. I mean, what's not to love for a 3-year old. They got to do rolls on the mat, walk on the balance beam, jump on a trampoline, and play in a ball bit. I get it, its awesome. She was so sad when class was over and said she couldn't wait to go back.

So, I think our girl has found her niches, if that's possible for a 3-year old. We just want her to find an area that she loves and is passionate about in life and hopefully we can continue to make that happen for her.

She refused to take her tap shoes off after her first dance class.

First time walking on the low beam.

Making the big jump from the beam.

8 months and growing

I think this past month has gone the fastest of any month since Mason was born. We have been so busy with all of Aubrey's activities that the days just seemed fly by. Mason gets to see a lot of his car seat now because we spend a lot more time going here and there so I hope he's comfy.


*When I said 8 months and growing, I meant that literally. I measured him about a week ago and had to do it 3 times because I thought my eyes were tricking me. He's grown almost 3 inches in the 7-8 weeks since his 6-month check up. I noticed his sleepers were starting to fit a little tighter but didn't think he had grown that much. I am guessing he weighs between 17-18 pounds, but that is much harder to accurately check at this point. I am sure it was just a growth spurt, but it would be awesome if he kept growing like that.
*Sitting up like a champ now. I love it.
*He loves for us to stand him up. And then sit hown. And then repeat. Again and again.
*And with sitting up came the big boy car seat, stroller, high chairs, and sitting in the front of shopping carts. I love this even more. While I miss the convenience of the infant seat, I don't miss lugging it around.
*He loves for us to stand him up. And then sit him down. And then repeat. Again and again.
*He likes doing baby push-ups like a body building champ.
*He has started doing an army crawl/lurching movement to get where he wants to go and it is funny to watch.
*He is jabbering up a storm. No real words, but says dadadada and the occasional mamamama.
*We think he might/maybe/hopefully is starting to outgrow the soy intolerance. I've started eating some foods with soy in them and haven't seen any signs of trouble so hopefully I can keep easing those back in to allow me more freedom with food. We might try dairy again as he gets closer to 9 months.
*He is eating solids really well. So well that he is completely uninterested in drinking his bottles. We cut the solids back a bit to make sure he gets his bottles in but it is just a chore to get him to drink them all.
*He will hold his own bottle now, but only if you make him. He is still pretty lazy with it.
*He had his first trip to the lake to ride on Todd's parents' boat. The water was a little too chilly for him to get in but he enjoyed watching everyone else go crazy while swimming.

First trip in the big boy car seat.

Chillin' with Todd and Todd's mom on the boat