Monday, July 18, 2011

8 months of joy.


Little Toot turns 9 months old tomorrow. Nine! I'm going to be one of those dramatic, sappy mothers and say WHERE has my baby gone!? In three months, she will be a year old.

Can't handle it, folks. Can't.

I have dreams and fantasies about what she'll be like when she walks and talks and can watch movies with me and, you know, do fun stuff. But I so, so love toting her around in my arms, kissing her face to death, and her baby-ness. I just love it. Do you think she'll let me wear her in the Moby when she's 6? Do you?

Please. Please, child.

Well, in all seriousness, yes - she will be 9 months tomorrow. Birthday plans are already in the works and have been for a quite a while now. Yes, I'm also one of those mothers. Ahem.

With all this daddy coming home, moving into a new house, and our lives being in a fantastic whirlwind, I forgot all about doing an 8-month check-in on the blog! Here goes:

-My "favorite" thing about her is when she crinkles her nose and smiles super big. It's pretty darn cute.

-Loves table food and wants "bites" of whatever we have. She thinks she's so grown up when she gets nibbles off mama's plate.

-Prefers to self-feed and hates when I try to feed her bites of adult food. She shoves my hand out of the way and grabs it off the table herself. Little Miss Independent.

-Still swaddled for naps and takes 2 2-hour naps a day. And about 3 times a week, she'll take 3 naps.

-The girl l.o.v.e.s. her passy now. So much that we had to go by pacifier clips so that she could have access to her Nuks at all times.

-We can't keep her awake in the car now. Suddenly, she falls asleep almost every time we go out. She sticks her pacifier in her mouth and goes right to sleep.

-Trying extremely hard to scoot around the house. She has gotten into the crawling position but prefers to sit up and scoot -- but she still can't totally scoot around. Yet.

-Loves holding onto our hands and walking around the house. Still can't stand alone or anything.

-Freaking LOVES our family dog, Piper. Laughs, smiles, and beats the crap out of our poor dog. And let me say, Piper loves loves loves her. They are extremely close -- Piper even lays under her crib as I sing Adalyn to sleep and will often stay in her room for the duration of her naps. Precious.

-Doesn't really get to watch television - with the exception of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The girl is glued to that show. Mark has even been known to do the Hot Dog Dance. Can you say.. TOOODLES!

-Thinks Daddy is super duper funny but still wants only mommy to put her down for naps and bedtime.

-Has two teeth coming right on through at the bottom. They're pretty darn cute, if I say so myself.

-Seriously loves baby dolls and "cuddles" them and smiles the biggest smiles when she sees them.

-Loves sippy cups, when I kiss her on the belly, riding in her new stroller, holding mommy's chapstick, pulling Piper's fur, watching mommy and daddy make goofy faces and noises, and smiling for the camera.

I love this girl.

Camera, Sleep, and Co-Parenting.

My Canon Rebel bit the dust the other day. Out of nowhere, I went to turn it on and nothing. Just blackness. The lens would try to focus, but it kept saying "Busy" in the view finder. And then it just stopped working altogether.

So, that calls for a shopping trip to Best Buy, right? Right! We got a new Canon Rebel T3, and I am quite in love.

Since moving back to Virginia, Adalyn has decided that she doesn't want to go to bed at night. She has always gone STRAIGHT to bed - no joke. No tears, no whining. I would just nurse her, and she would drift off to sleep like an angel. Now? There are kicks, pinches, whines, screams, and tears. It takes - on average - an hour each night to get to sleep. What.On.Earth! Is it teething? She waited until the week we moved to decide to grow some teeth - perfect timing, right!? She also wakes up gobs more at night to nurse. I'm just hoping that this is a bad phase caused by teething. Also, let it be said that she takes 2-hour naps in her crib twice a day, but she wants nothing to do with her crib at night. Which I'm fine with, because it makes feedings easier on me.. but it's just bizarre. I'm giving her time, extra love, and extra milk and hoping that this ugly phase goes away. Quickly...

Do you know how much easier "parenting" is now that both parents are present!? Ahh, yes. I've "slept in" (read: I now get up at 8) every morning since he's been home! It's been bliss, let me tell you. Just some stark differences:

-Now, when leaving the house, one of us grabs the baby, and the other grabs the diaper bag and belongings. Piece.of.cake.

-At restaurants, one of us can feed her while the other enjoys a meal. I love it.

-The whole, "Can you grab me a...." instead of being the only one in the house, now there's a helper!

-Someone gets to stay inside with Adalyn while the other takes Piper outside.

-We team up on everything. Bathtime, mealtimes, shopping, etc.

-Cleaning just got a whole lot easier now that Mark can take care of Adalyn while I work!

-He's now "in charge" of bath times and he loves it.

Ahh, yes. Easy. Parenting was definitely designed for a mama and a daddy to work together, that's for sure.

She's upstairs in our bed right now. In the middle. Cuddled onto Mark's pillow. It's so darn cute, but I have no idea how he'll get his pillow back from her :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Fourth of July Rhyme

Once upon a Fourth of July,
it was Ad's first Independence Day.
We met my sister and nephews
at Outerbanks to play!

We sat her down on the sandy shore
'Stuck her fingers in the sand.
She'd never seen the ocean before
Since she's always lived inland.

Ad smiled at the ocean, giggled at the waves
Played with Gray under the shade
Life at the beach? Relaxing on the coast?
Why, this little girl had it made.

Aunt Lauren gave her sips of water
Cause this girl was awfully hot
And boy, her first dip in a pool
Certainly hit the spot!

Daddy held her tight, they floated around
She loved to splish and splash
The huge smiles from Adalyn proved
that the pool was definitely a smash!

We watched the big boys play around
They tossed Frisbees in the waves
And pretty soon we got hungry was seafood that we craved!

Coconut shrimp and seafood platters
hushpuppies and some fries
The babies munched off our plates
Nope, there wasn't a single cry.

So after a nap & some putt putt golf
and an ice cream cone or two
We headed back north to our little home
But first said our "'Love you's"

A sticky little kiss, a warm little hug
from my big boys H and C
And a big ol' wave "Bye bye" went
to my chunky Baby G.

Ad's first Fourth spent at the beach
with family all around her
The best one yet, by far!
Those cousins sure love one another!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Operation: Love Reunited!

I am incredibly excited.

For one, my husband is home. Our family is together again.
For two, we're moved into our new home and we love it.
And three, I'm able to blog again.

The laptop is back at my fingertips, and I have so much to tell you. Trying to blog on an iPhone just doesn't work for me, so now I'm relieved to be back in the swing of things. These days, we stay incredibly busy - but busy in a good way - and we are having so much fun.

Now, which do I tell you about first? Our new home? Our day at Outerbanks? An update on Adalyn's growth? I think I'll start with the story of Mark's home coming.


It was 9pm, and Adalyn was oddly not wanting to go to bed. So, Amanda and I decided to stick her in the car and drive to Norfolk and just wait.. in hopes that the car would put her to sleep, and all would be well.

And she did fall asleep. It worked like a charm, until I got her out of her car seat and into the Moby wrap. Eyes wide open.

What a little toot. For an hour, I swayed back and forth, patted her little bottom, sung to her, and freaked the heck out about my husband returning from deployment. Have you ever wanted to just throw up on the floor at the thought of seeing your husband? No? Oh.

Operation: Get Adalyn to Sleep finally worked, and she was as snug as a bug.

I, on the other hand, was a complete wreck! But 11:45 finally came. I watched Airman after Airman come out the door. I was so, so anxious, and my heart was racing. On my tippy toes, I tried to search for him and then I spotted a really tall guy walking super fast.


He smiled the biggest smile and came right to us. I hugged him immediately, and it was the best hug of my life.

I just stared at him and couldn't speak. I tried, and nothing came out. It was just like the movies, guys. I just couldn't do anything but stare at him.

And then we kissed. And then the tears came.

Of course, little Niblet was squashed in the middle, completely unaware that her daddy had just come home. But that didn't last long. By the time he said hello to her, a little eye popped open; of course she wanted to know what was going on!

We decided to get her out of the Moby, and Mark scooped her up. I was a smidge concerned about how she'd take things. She's a little weary of "strangers," and attached to her mama. And it was midnight. But you know what? My little toot went right to her daddy in perfect koala bear-fashion.

It was perfect. She went right to him. She was calm in his arms. She was comfortable with him. She loved him.

It was the perfect reunion. And just like that, the 6-month deployment to Qatar became nothing but a memory. We survived our first deployment, and I think we all did a darn good job.

On a side note, I took advantage of the Operation Love ReUnited program - which is where local photographers will photograph reunions for free!! It is completely awesome and we loved it. Cory Rachele Photography is responsible for these awesome photos, and we are so thankful for these wonderful memories.

So long, deployment!

[{Our reunion is actually on video, but I haven't uploaded it to the computer yet. Video footage coming soon to a blog near you!}]

Saturday, July 2, 2011

On his home coming.

A couple of days ago, my heart became whole again.

Mark came home!

Dates switched back and forth for weeks! But about a week before he flew home, he was told the date. June 29 at 1145pm. Hallelujah! But not the best time for an 8-month old to be trotting around an airport.

I will do a full blog post (including video - yes, we got it on video, thanks to my bff, Amanda!) and photos of us reuniting. But we don't have Internet or the photos yet, so it will have to wait! But there's this:

And this:

It was the most shocking moment of my life. In a weird way. I hugged him so tight and could not talk. I just stared at him. And he asked, "You can't talk, can you?" and I just shook my head no and hugged him even tighter.

And then the tears came.

It was magical and beautiful and perfection at midnight when he held his daughter. Not one tear was shed (by her, at least!) and I could not have asked for a better homecoming.


So, what have we been up to? Oh, everything under the sun. We have stayed so busy that poor Adalyn has had to take *all* of her naps in the car. But it's a great kind of busy -- buying things for our home, looking at furniture, going to restaurants that Mark has been dreaming of for 6 months... It has been perfect. And yesterday was one of the best days of my life!

We are so, so happy and can't stop hugging each other. I can't wait to show you our home and to tell you about Adalyn's first trip to the beach and to show you all that we're up to. Cause we are super busy.. But busy in the best way on earth. Busy being a family together and loving every single minute of it.

I love him :) and I love our life together.