Friday, June 16, 2017

To the Woman Trying to Conceive



Making the decision to try for a child is huge and once you've made that decision, you may learn that just because you're ready, doesn't necessarily mean it's going to happen for you according to your timeline. You just might get pregnant that first month of trying but you also might have a long road ahead and perhaps even experience some major heartbreak along the way.

There aren't many things that make the up and downs of trying to conceive any easier, but I know through our journey, I appreciated having people I could relate to, people I could open up to without hearing the usual advice or judgment, people who could provide the kind of support I needed.

I have a few women in my life going through or have recently been through this and as I've spoken with them, I've really tried to stray away from saying the things that frustrated me when we were trying to conceive. The truth is, I don't have any helpful advice for any woman trying to get pregnant, no matter what they've experienced or how long they've been trying because I've been there. No advice in the world makes it easier to wait patiently for something you are so incredibly ready for.

With that being said, here's what I will say to the woman who is trying:

It's okay to not be okay. There is this weird pressure from society that comes with trying to get pregnant. Sharing any disappointment, impatience, frustration seems to be immediately shut down by anyone you're talking to about it. You get the usual responses basically telling you to stop stressing about it, to not overthink it, to stay positive and my least favorite, "Relax! You've only been trying for a few months." Just because today I'm feeling disappointed and frustrated, doesn't mean I'm stressing out or whining about it and I hated feeling like I wasn't allowed to just be sad some days. I started to feel like I was better off either not sharing at all, or saying something fake and overly positive to avoid the whole situation. The thing is, through our whole journey I never lost faith. I knew it would happen for us and I truly trusted God's timing, but that doesn't mean I didn't have days where I just felt sad, disappointed, frustrated. Don't feel like you can't have a bad day every now and then. Don't lose hope, but don't feel like you have to be okay all the time.

On that note, feel what you're feeling and don't apologize for it. I've been there. One day you're feeling at peace, hopeful, optimistic and the next you're discouraged, anxious and fearful that this is not going to happen for you. It's unrealistic to expect yourself to be positive all the time especially when you've just taken another pregnancy test only for it to be negative, again.

Stop comparing your journey. Maybe you've only been trying for 6 months and you feel discouraged but you talk yourself out of feeling sad because some women try for years or some women aren't able to get pregnant at all. Stop it. It's good to keep things in perspective because there is always someone who has it worse. Everyone's journey is different and yes, there is usually someone going through something worse than you but that doesn't make your current feelings any less valid. Break the habit of comparison now because there is no peace to be found there.

Be sad if you need to be sad, but find a way to be happy for others. I deleted this one, then added it back in because even typing it, I remember how much, much easier said than done this is. Especially these days with social media, it seems the same day you've had another negative pregnancy test is the same day all of your Facebook friends are announcing they're pregnant or posting photos of their adorable newborn baby. I'd be telling a big fat lie if I said that when we were trying, seeing these things didn't make my heart hurt a little bit. At the end of the day, though, being bitter toward someone else doesn't make your pain any less of a reality. Try to remove your personal pain from the situation and find a way to be happy for others and remember that these people have also tried, waited, prayed for this child and may have faced their own challenges along the way.

The last thing I would tell you is certainly the toughest truth to accept, in my opinion, but even if you feel like you are in control, just keep reminding yourself of this: you are not. This is a harsh reality and it was for us, too! Jonathan and I are planners by nature and when we decided we were ready for a baby, we expected it to happen easily because we were ready for it. I can't imagine many people go into TTC thinking it will be a difficult or long journey. With the apps and tools available to us these days, it's easy to feel like we've done everything correctly to make it happen and when it doesn't, we are confused, angry, frustrated. I constantly had to remind myself that God was in control and what was harder, was that I had to remind myself that it wasn't my job to understand His plan. I just had to trust Him. I failed at this a lot and I still do in some aspects, but I do think if you keep this in mind, it will give you strength and peace when you need it most.

Like I said, I don't have any groundbreaking advice to share with you and I know all too well that another piece of advice is the last thing you want to hear. I guess I just want you to know that you're not alone. You're not alone for feeling disappointed, frustrated, confused or impatient at any point on this journey. I want you to know you don't have to live up to anyone's expectations of how you should deal with whatever comes throughout the process. I also want you to know that as hard as it might seem to believe at times, God is faithful and you are stronger than you think you are. I also want to tell you that your day is coming and whatever you went through to get to that day will have prepared you for what's next.

Monday, June 12, 2017

What I'm Loving Lately: 'Me Time'



One of my goals this year was to be better about carving out time for just me and because of this, I've been reading more, exercising at home more and unwinding at night in more creative ways than just laying in bed watching TV. Here's what I've been into lately:

Reading: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson. I'd seen a few people talking about this book on social media and the title obviously intrigued me enough to look into it a little more. I have to admit I buy the occasional self improvement book and lose interest in it pretty quickly but this one seemed like it'd be different. I honestly thought both Jonathan and I could benefit a lot from reading this and I was pretty shocked when he was halfway through the book before I'd even picked it up. 

We've actually had this sitting on our coffee table along with a few other books and I had to laugh when my sister-in-law was over and pointed out how funny it was that we had this book sitting right there with Jesus Calling, a daily devotional book we've been getting a lot of recently. I guess I didn't really think about how ironic that is but hey, we like to mix it up! 

I feel like I should point out that the author of this book isn't necessarily recommending we not care at all about anything, but that there are only so many things we can care about so we need to figure out which ones really matter. It's a good read so far and to be honest, it makes me realize that the times I've been my happiest in life have been when I wasn't so concerned about things that really shouldn't matter to me. 

Listening to: S-Town Podcast. I just started this at the gym earlier this week so I can't really give an opinion on it yet. I was pretty behind the times with the whole podcast craze. I finally listened to Serial while nursing Emma last fall and recently got hooked on Up and Vanished, which I highly recommend! I love listening while I run so if you have a favorite podcast, please share it with me!

Coloring: Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project Mini Posters Coloring Book. I'm a big fan of Gretchen Rubin and her books, but I had no idea this coloring book existed until recently. This kind of thing is right up my alley! It's fun to flip through and I love that when you're done with a page, you can rip it out and hang it up or even give it to someone who could use encouragement or cheering up.


Reading/Writing: Pressing Pause: 100 Quiet Moments for Moms to Meet with Jesus. I can't say enough about this! I was looking for something like this just for me. Something a little less intense than my bible study homework but I wanted something more than a reading each day and I wanted something relevant to my life right now. I wanted prompts with space for me to reflect and write out my response to what I read. This is exactly what I was looking for! I love it so much, I immediately bought it for my friend Jesse knowing she'd love it too. 

I may not be a huge influencer, but I like writing posts like this! When I find something I like, I want to share it so I might do more of these in the future. I've discovered a lot of books, products, etc. through other blogs - it's fun! 

What are you reading/listening to lately?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Emma Joy: 10 Months Old




Emma Joy, 

You're 10 months old and so full of fun and adventure! I really can't believe you are almost a year old. Everyone wants to talk about your first birthday but I'm kind of in denial that it's coming up so soon! 

This month, we celebrated my first Mother's Day by spending the day at the zoo. It was your first zoo visit and even though you weren't particularly interested in anything we saw, we had so much fun together as a family. These are the kinds of days that make your daddy and I feel like all our dreams have come true. 

Since you've started crawling, all you want to do is stand up and try to walk. You go after Abby's food bowl any chance you get and you've discovered the fun of unraveling the toilet paper roll in the bathroom. You love pulling all your books off the bookshelf in your room, stealing toys right out of Abby's mouth, music and playing in the water. We actually started giving you baths in the big bathtub a few weeks ago and you love all the space to splash and play!

This month we discovered you love hamburgers and corn on the cob. Really anything that's on my plate, you want in on it. You still love pancakes for breakfast and you love PB&Js for lunch. 

You know how to say 'no' now by waving your arm and shaking your head. You usually do this when I'm giving you food and when you realize I have something you want, you quickly change your mind! 

You weigh 17 lbs now and you're about 28" tall but what we really can't believe is that you have 6 teeth already! The two bottom teeth have been around for a few months now, but you have 4 teeth on top all ranging in size and it is so adorable we can't stand it. All these teeth have made you start to look so old! 

Every day you are discovering new things, finding new mischief to get into and letting your sweet and silly personality shine through more and more. Your daddy and I get so much joy out of every new development. Happy 10 months, sweet girl! You are so incredibly loved!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

My First Mother's Day


I know I'm way behind here, but I wanted to make sure I documented this special day! I've been wanting to find a day for us to take Emma to the zoo for a few months so I was pretty psyched when Jonathan told me what he had planned for us.

We had a relaxing morning together at home before heading to the zoo around lunchtime. Emma obviously wasn't super interested in anything in particular, but it was still fun to walk around and see everything with her! We had just enough time to see everything and share an ice cream before heading home just as an afternoon thunderstorm rolled in.

We spent the rainy remainder of the day relaxing at home together. I honestly couldn't have asked for a better way to celebrate my first Mother's Day. Doing things as a family like this, going to the zoo, I just felt so grateful all day long. So grateful to be celebrating Mother's Day as a mother myself. So grateful to God for giving me this gift and sending this beautiful, joyful baby girl into our world. So grateful for the incredible man I'm raising that little love with. Just so grateful.













"Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."    - Elizabeth Stone

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Emma Joy: 9 Months Old




Emma Joy, 

Happy 9 months, sweet girl! This last month was a big one! Just a few days before you hit 9 months, you started crawling and just a few days after that, you were already pulling yourself up to stand! It brings us a whole lot of joy watching you do all these new things, but my goodness, I'd love it if time could slow down just a tiny bit. At your 9 month checkup, they asked me if I wanted to schedule your 1 year appointment and I just couldn't believe we were even discussing you being a year old!

You also celebrated your first Easter, had your first swimming pool experience (you loved it!) and started eating all kinds of new foods this month. Just a few days before you hit 9 months, we started introducing new foods like chicken, rice and pasta. You're adapting pretty well to all these new textures and tastes but you go totally wild over bananas, oatmeal and yogurt. 

You're still the absolute best sleeper! You're down to 2 solid naps a day and you're ready for bed around 7 every night. You still sleep straight through and don't wake up until around 7 -- sometimes even 7:30! We can't seem to stay away though - you're daddy and I sneak in at least once before we head to bed to take in the sweetness of you sleeping. 

You're hanging out at 16 lbs, 3 oz and you're still 27" long. You're in mostly 9 month clothes by now and this month, I was finally able to gather just enough hair for clip in bows. It was a very exciting day for mommy since you just love to pull your headbands off the second I put them on these days! You have teeth coming in like crazy now, too! 

You love to clap, bounce and you still love when daddy flies you to bed every night. You think it's hilarious when the blender is on. You used to get so upset because it's super loud, but now I look at you when I turn it on and you're laughing and so excited about it. You love the Itsy Bitsy Spider and really any book we read to you before bed. You do not like to sit still, especially now that you're crawling! When you're sleepy though, you love to suck your thumb and snuggle up on mommy or daddy's chest. We are convinced there is no better feeling in the world than when you do that. 

You bring so much happiness to us and everyone who loves you, Emma Joy. Every day I thank God for making me your mommy. These 9 months of you have been such a gift to us and we're soaking up every second of this fun stage with you. We love you so much!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Emma Joy: 8 Months Old




Emma Joy,

Happy 8 months baby girl! You are so close to crawling. You are scooting backwards, rocking on your hands and knees and rolling from belly to back constantly! So much that we know any day now, you'll be off and crawling. Taking your pictures every month gets more challenging and fun because you can't be bothered with sitting still. When I had you on the floor of your bedroom for these pictures, I couldn't stop laughing because I would sit you down and before I had my camera up, you'd be on your belly trying to crawl toward me!

You've also become interested in feeding yourself this month. You always want to hold the spoon and feed yourself when mommy is giving you something and you're able to feed yourself the pouches I make you with a tiny bit of help.

Nana and Grampy took you to their house one weekend for a sleepover and you all had so much fun. You brought so much joy to them and daddy and I loved hearing about their time with you when they handed you over to us the next day. You also had a weekend with daddy all to yourself while I was away with my friends one weekend. I had a hard time leaving you for 3 whole days, but I'm so glad you and daddy got that special one-on-one time together.

You are absolutely giddy watching Abby play fetch. When you see her running up to us with a toy, you squeal and scream with your arms flailing. It's the sweetest thing! You love being tickled and bath time keeps getting more and more fun with you. Daddy has started "flying" you to bed every night like an airplane and you literally can't contain your excitement when you take off from your changing table every night. This is just another reason your daddy and I get so much joy out of your bedtime routine. No matter what kind of day we've all had, we feel overwhelming joy as we say goodnight to you every night.

You still really don't like getting your face wiped and especially lately, you don't like getting dressed very much. You mostly fuss when I'm trying to get you into a shirt and you get over it pretty quick. I think you're just all about moving lately and don't like to be stuck on your changing table for too long.

You're 16 lbs, 4 oz and 27 inches long. Last month when I measured you, you measured at 27 inches and I'm thinking I must not have taken the time to get an accurate number that day! Oops. You're mostly in 6 month/6-9 month clothes although the shorts you wore last weekend were size 0-3 month and they were still big on you! You're cheeks are still just the best. We can't resist kissing them nonstop!

We make lots of friends when we're out and about because you are so smiley and happy - people can't help but stop and say hi to you! I absolutely miss those first few weeks home with you when you were itty bitty and super snuggly, but every month has been more fun than the last as you grow and change so quickly. I love seeing your personality continue to shine through as you grow. It's such a joy and we thank God every day for you, sweet girl! We love you!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lately


Gosh, I can't remember the last time I wrote an actual blog post that wasn't one of Emma's monthly updates. I don't even know how to start this thing, but something made me show up here today so I'm going with it.

Here's a not-so-quick rundown of life lately:


I finally started a scrapbook for Emma. I want to at least have a scrapbook documenting her first year but was slacking big time on all things involved with that project. I finally bought most of the supplies, starting planning it out and most importantly, started organizing all our photos of her so I can easily find and print what I need. It's definitely a time consuming project but I know I'll be so glad to have her first year of life documented so well.

Our girl wants to crawl so badly! Playtime on the floor floor typically results in Emma on her tummy trying to figure out how to get moving. She's definitely scooting back and has figured out how to switch directions but no crawling yet. It's pretty sweet to watch her try and figure this out and it's especially adorable when she gets tired and just rests her head on the floor to take a break. I know once she's mobile there's no turning back so I'm soaking in the time we have left of her needing me to go places. 

I've been making baby food for a few months now and it's going really well! I like to spend one afternoon cooking and preparing to build up a decent stash of pouches to last us a few weeks. Emma is starting to figure out how to feed herself with these and they are super convenient! 


We've done a little redecorating in the last few months, mainly our living room. I'd been ready for a new couch and a living room facelift for a while but I finally got Jonathan on board early this year. We handed down our hand-me-down couch and after a few weeks of searching (couch shopping is more difficult than I expected!), we decided on the couch, coffee table and recliner chair above. The clock is also new and from World Market. I'm in love with it and so glad we went for one large piece above the couch rather than trying to create a gallery wall or something more complicated.

Jonathan got me a Letterfolk board for Christmas and it was looking lonely as the only thing on our wall next to our kitchen table. We'd just gotten the copper mugs and I figured they'd look great hanging in the kitchen. We found the bar and hooks at World Market and the shelves are wooden crates we found at HomeGoods. I loooove how this turned out although I've been slacking on updating the message on our board...I need to get on that!


Two weekends ago, my parents took Emma for the night so Jonathan and I could attend my friend's wedding over near Disney. We decided to get a room for the night and my parents were more than willing to take Emma so we could make it a mini getaway. We checked into our room early in the day and popped a bottle of champagne. With plenty of time before the wedding, we were able to walk to Disney Springs and enjoy some downtime together. We walked around for a bit with beers in hand and headed back to our hotel to take our time getting ready for the evening. It was such a carefree, fun day with my man. We had a blast at the wedding, dancing and laughing together all night. I feel like we really needed a night like that. Being baby-free and having a room there, we were able to just relax and have some fun together. It was awesome!


Florida weather has been a dream these past few months! We've been soaking it in as much as possible with lots of backyard projects and Sundays spent on the back patio with friends and family. I'm going to miss this in the summer when it's 90 something degrees out!


As for me, I've been trying really hard to make sure I don't lose myself in all of this. Motherhood is literally the best thing I've ever done, but it's also way too easy to be so wrapped up in all that entails and forget to be good to myself. It's easy to second guess every decision I make; to obsess over what others think; to beat myself up for not yet having my body back; to feel like I'm not the wife I want to be; to forget to do things for me, too. The list goes on and on. 

It's funny. I took the photos above to send to my sister. She's recently become a Younique presenter and I was pretty impressed with the mascara I bought from her, so I took a few pictures so I could write her a review to use on her page. I haven't been loving myself enough lately and that's a post for another day, but these pictures made me feel beautiful and that's something worth celebrating so I guess that's why I shared them here. Also, this is not an ad because I have maybe 10 people who read this blog, but the mascara is pretty incredible and that's coming from someone who hardly knows how to do her own makeup. On the subject of beauty and makeup, I also suck at doing my hair. I can't use a curling iron and if I do try to use one, it takes me about 2 hours to do my hair. Who has time for that, especially with a little babe? I bought the Bed Head Deep Waver after seeing a few people raving about it on social media and it has changed my life! In 10 minutes, I'm now able to at least make it appear as though I know what I'm doing. Seriously, it's the best.

Other new things with me: I started at a new gym in February and I've been loving it! I was able to get free childcare with my membership so I'm able to bring Emma and the people there are so good with her. She loves it there, too, which is a bonus! They offer a ton of classes, including barre, so I've been mixing in one or two barre classes a week with my other workouts and they seriously kick my butt. I've also been participating in the weekly women's bible study at church over the past few months. We're in the middle of Tony Evans' study on Detours: The Unpredictable Path to Your Destiny. I've been really enjoying this study in particular and the weekly fellowship has been really good for me. Something from our homework a few weeks ago really stuck with me:

"When you fill a sponge full of water and then you squeeze the sponge, water is going to come out of it because it is full of water. When you are going through a trial and you feel the pressure of life caving in around you, how much of God comes out? Or is it cussing, fussing, complaining, and blaming that comes out instead? Why are those things coming out? Because that is what you are full of. A sponge only lets out what is in it."

This really resonated with me when I read it. I want to approach any of the not-so-great stuff in life this way. It's easier said than done but I feel like it's so easy to fall into a habit of complaining and self pity and I'm trying to break those habits.

This seems like a good place to stop. This post was all over the place but it felt really good to just write and once I started, everything came out. I hope to show up here more moving forward. I have so many posts I started and never went back to and a few that are nearly complete, so I'm hoping to revisit those here soon.

We're in the midst of a busy and super fun season and I love having so much going on. I'm heading to New York City for the first time ever on Friday for my friend's bachelorette weekend. I'm so excited for the girl time and to finally see what the fuss over NYC is all about. The following weekend, I'm off to Charleston with Emma, my mom and my sister. We're also hosting Easter brunch again so I'm trying to remember to plan that in the midst of all of this fun. Now, if you have any advice on how to cope when leaving your 7-month-old for 3 whole days, please do share! I'm gonna miss my girl.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Emma Joy: 7 Months Old



Emma Joy,

Happy 7 months, sweet girl! We are having so much fun with you as you continue to discover the world around you and interact with us more and more.

You officially have two bottom teeth making your big smile extra adorable lately! You can sit up on your own for longer periods of time now and you've been babbling like crazy which is pretty much the best sound in the world. You're discovering just how loud you can squeal, usually doing this as we make our way through the grocery store. Speaking of the grocery store, since you're sitting up so well, you've been sitting in the cart instead of your car seat while we shop for the past few weeks.

You don't ever want to miss a thing, always observing and taking in the world around you. Snuggles with you are few and far between these days because when you're being held, you're squirming, grabbing and diving to grab whatever is nearby. I started bringing you to the gym with me this month and you're doing great in the childcare center. They love you there and thankfully, you don't mind being there at all while mommy works out. We started giving you a sippy cup a few weeks ago and you are slowly figuring out what the deal is there. So far, you mostly just chew on it and you're really good at throwing it on the floor!

You're 15 lbs, 12.5 ounces and 27" long. You're still in size 2 diapers and wearing mostly 6 month size clothes but believe it or not, you still fit into a few 3 month sized outfits!

You love getting kisses from Abby (and pulling Abby's hair), playing with your toes, playing with your hair when you're sleepy, you still love when mommy sings to you and your face lights up when daddy walks through the door after work every day. We love reading to you before bed, one of us reading while you dive at the book and try to grab at every page. When we lay you in your crib each night, you still smile up at us and squeal while we pray over you. I savor these simple, joyful moments with you and your daddy.

Every day is so much fun with you, Emmy Joy! We love you!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Emma Joy: Six Months Old



Sweet Emma Joy, 

You've been in our world for half a year already! I truly feel like 6 months with you in our lives has just flown by. It's bittersweet celebrating half a year of you -- the reality of how fast time is flying by breaks my heart but every month with you brings more joy than the last! 

This past month with you has been so much fun! We started introducing solid foods this month and you have been so great every time we've given you something new. I loved the first week or two especially as I watched you catch on to the concept of eating off a spoon and moving food to the back of your throat. So far, you've had apples, bananas, squash, peas and avocado. You haven't disliked anything too much (although you didn't love avocado at first), but you especially love apple and banana. 

You also started sitting up on your own this month! The first time you did it, you lasted maybe a second or two before tipping over and it seemed like only a week later, you were able to sit up for a minute or so before toppling over. It's the cutest thing to see you balancing yourself and leaning over to grab at your toys. Every new thing you do or experience gives your daddy and I so much joy. 

You're weighing in at almost 15 pounds and you're almost 26" long but the most exciting physical change this month has been the bottom tooth you have coming through. Thankfully, this tooth and the one coming in next to it haven't seemed to cause you too much discomfort because we didn't even realize it was happening until your doctor pointed it out! You've definitely been drooling like crazy and sticking everything in your mouth, but otherwise you haven't been too bothered by it. 

You're wearing mostly 6 month size tops and pants now and you've been wearing size 2 diapers for a few weeks now. I finally found a pair of shoes that would stay on your feet last week and you looked so adorable in your little sneakers that day! 

You are still so easygoing! There's not a whole lot you don't like aside from getting your face wiped, which happens a lot now that you're eating all kinds of fruits and veggies! You love to smile, squeal and you let out the most adorable laugh when we tickle your belly. You're grabbing at everything in sight and are constantly keeping an eye on your surroundings. You still love when we sing to you and during bath time, you love to splash around and play. 

Your daddy and I just can't get enough of you, sweet girl. Happy 6 months. We love you so much! 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Emma Joy: 5 Months Old




Happy New Year! I've really been slacking off with all the posts I wanted to share over the last few months, but I want to at least keep up Emma's monthly updates and eventually get back to sharing more. Emma turned 5 months old a week ago and we had a lot of fun getting some 5-month photos, as you can see! I had a hard time choosing just one for this because her sweet, silly, joyful personality shined through in all of them!



Emma Joy,

Happy 5 months, sweet girl! We celebrated Christmas and loved every second of having you around this year. Mommy and daddy helped you open your presents but you loved pulling at the wrapping paper and playing with all the ribbons and bows. You were just the cutest thing in your Santa outfit and you were so easygoing and happy as we visited with family on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day.

Earlier this month, you changed things up on us and weren't sleeping very well. After a few nights of mommy and daddy taking turns running to your room to give you back your Wubbanub or settling you back to sleep, we decided to stop swaddling you and not give you a pacifier all in the same night. We skipped your evening catnap that night and put you to be a little earlier. We were expecting you to take it pretty hard and cry for a while, but you cried for a few minutes and soothed yourself to sleep! It took a few nights for you to catch on but since then, you've been sleeping from about 7 until 6:30 or 7 in the morning. Now, if you wake up in the middle of the night, you are able to easily calm yourself back to sleep right away and you've even started to suck your thumb sometimes to put yourself to sleep. It's been pretty amazing to watch how quickly you've adjusted and mommy and daddy are so proud of you!

At 5 months, you weigh 13 lbs, 13.5 oz and you're 25 inches long. You're definitely on the smaller side for your age, but you are healthy as can be. You're still wearing mostly 3/3-6 month clothes and size 1 diapers. You're not sitting up on your own quite yet, but you do pretty well with a little assistance. We sat you in your Bumbo seat for the first time on Christmas, and you do great in it!

You still love bath time and it seems every week you start to play a little more. You got a bunch of bath toys for Christmas and you are starting to pick those up and play a bit. You love to kick your feet and splash like crazy and you are perfectly content while we bathe you. You've been playing in your bouncer a lot and you don't mind being on your tummy as much these days. After a little while, you get fussy but you are doing a great job of pushing yourself up with your arms.

You are drooling like crazy and sticking everything in your mouth, especially your toes! You are pretty happy most of the time and we love hearing you squeal with excitement and laugh when we tickle your belly. You still love being outside, the T.V., when we sing to you and this month, you loved when we read your new pop-up books at bedtime. Mommy's favorite part of the day lately has been when daddy and I put you to bed each night. We kiss you, put you in your crib and as we say your prayers, you just look up at us with this big smile on your face. I just love that.

We're having so much fun with you, sweet girl. You are such a joyful and easygoing baby and we just love watching your personality come out more and more each day. We love you so much!