Thursday, June 30, 2011

Ellie's hearing test

Ellie had her bi-annual hearing screening today.  The week leading up to this test I started to worry a little and made sure to quiz her on words, sounds, and commands.  I pretty much worried for nothing because she passed!

We missed the test in January due to a conflict and they are booked solid for a year, so we have not been since this time last year.  A lot can happen in a year, but deep down I always knew she could hear just fine (click here to read about her test last year).

The audiologist did say her hearing COULD be better, but to come back in 6 months and check again.  This was the only comment that kind of concerned me.  They did a few different tests this time, one of which we sat in a sound proof booth and they played different sounds at all different decibels.  They had Sponge Bob and Minnie Mouse in boxes that light up to help attract them to that sound.  A few times it took her a couple of tries to recognize the sounds, but overall she did well.

They also gave us handouts on developmental milestones in speech, language and words.  She is pretty much on track with these and I know it will continue to improve as she gets older.  Ellie talks ALL THE TIME but it is still hard to understand what she is saying.  She definitely has her own little language!

Going in for this test brought back memories of those days in the hospital right after she was born.  I try not to be angry or sad, but sometimes that is hard.
I guess what is important now is that she is a healthy, energetic little toddler that has come a LONG way since her first few days of life, and for that I am SO thankful!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

17 Months!

Ellie, you are 17 months old today!

What are you up to?  Well, everything!  You are still a busy, busy bee and play so well at home with your toys.  You love your babies and your new kitchen the most!
You are saying more words every day!  You talk all the time and the words you say are loud and clear.  You have learned to give the BEST hugs and kisses and you give them out all the time.  I absolutely love it when you squeeze my neck tight and pucker up those cute little lips!

You have 8 teeth, one molar coming through and 1 incisor cutting through as well.  These teeth have been rough!  Your bedtime used to be between 8-8:30 but the past few days have been brutal!  I couldn't even get you to cry it out to sleep.  I am determined this week to get you back on track.  We may not leave the house but I need you to rest!  You are so much happier when you sleep.

We have spent a lot of time outside this summer and you love to swim!  You are pretty fearless in the water and have a big time splashing around.  You also love to take a bath each night.  You are my little fish!  I can't wait to see how you do at the beach in a few weeks.

Your hair has really grown and it is curly!  I am so excited.  I love your curls.  It was on my wishlist before you were born...ha!

You eat most meals pretty well.  You LOVE blueberries and strawberries, peanut butter crackers, pancakes, spaghetti, ravioli, applesauce, apple juice (you say joooose peeeeese) and of course, mac-n-cheese.  I know it's bad but it's my go to food if you won't eat anything else.  Chick-fila nuggets are the only meat you really eat and that is not very often.  When we do eat there it is a treat and you gobble them up. You still get plenty of fruit and yogurt, I promise!

You are the light of our lives and I honestly do not know what I would do without you. You are loved by so many and I hope one day you realize how lucky you are to have so people that just adore you.  It is kind of overwhelming for me at times!  I am so thankful that you are a sweet, happy baby, although you really aren't much of a baby anymore. I cannot believe you are such a big girl!

At 5:50 the other morning when you woke me up pretty unhappy, I got you out of bed and went to rock you back to sleep.  This was such a sweet time because I never get to do this anymore.  I loved every minute!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Picture overload

I just realized my entire last post didn't include a single picture of Ellie.  I am so sorry grandmothers and great-grandmothers!  To make up for it, I have a TON of just random photos that I took over the past week or so.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Me" weekend

I feel like this past weekend was a "me" weekend.  This was probably the most time I've spent away from Ellie (and Don, for that matter) doing a few things with friends since Ellie was born.  We have left her a lot recently for weddings and such but this was the first time that I can think of that I had a weekend full of things planned that were just for me!  As a mom, it is good to get away for a night or just meet friends for dinner without kids or husbands.  Having good girlfriends is super important and I am realizing that more and more now that I am a mother.
Friday night, I traveled to Nashville to celebrate Blair's bachelorette party!  We had a blast!  Those young girls made me feel pretty old at times, but I don't think they were too embarrassed to hang out with me...ha!

We went to dinner, had an awesome hotel suite to hang out in, did a lingerie shower and had some fun in Downtown Nashville!

Saturday was Celebrate Lambuth Day at LU.  This was the last "hoorah" before the university closes on the 30th.  Hundreds of alums traveled from all over to join in on the celebrations.  It was soooo good to see friends and sorority sisters that I had not seen or talked to in forever.  It was like old times!  There was a chapel service, an auction, a picnic and a memorabilia store for all to enjoy.  It was bittersweet to be there under the circumstances but also nice to see all the people that love Lambuth as much as we do.  We really hate to see it go.
 I feel so lucky to have a super group of friends from college.  Quite a few of us have kids or babies on the way so we always have plenty to talk about.  It is good to have a little fun and leave the stress and everyday life behind for a while.  I came back feeling refreshed and ready to be a better mommy!  Of course none of this happens without a little bit of guilt on my part.  I am constantly justifying the money being spent or the quality time with my family that I am missing out on.  It didn't take me too long to realize that it is good for all of us and it's not like I do this all the time.

This is me and one of the funniest people on the planet, Cathy.  She is due with her first baby January 7th!  I can't believe that by the time her baby gets here Ellie will be almost TWO!
We went to the picnic as a family and came home pretty early for naps.  Later that night, all of the AOII girls got together for one last ritual ceremony and then a few of us went out to dinner.  Don went to a football reunion and Ellie stayed home with Mammie.  I think Don saw a bunch of old football buddies and enjoyed his time away as well.

About 3 months ago, Leigh, Jenny and I decided we wanted to re-live our teenage years and go to the New Kids on the Block/Back Street Boys concert.  I'll have to admit, I had a hard time getting excited after such a wild weekend.  Fortunately the minute we got to the Forum and I saw those boys on mood changed!  I am a total teeny bopper at heart and have countless boy band fascination stories.  I am SO glad we went!

Overall, I feel very thankful for such a fun and busy weekend.  I am grateful to my parents for letting Ellie spend the night Friday, for Don taking her on a dinner "date" while I was at the concert, and to his grandmother that kept her for us Saturday.  It is never a problem asking someone to babysit but  I never take any help or support for granted.  We couldn't do any of it without our wonderful families!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day

I am sure by now you all think we are crazy.  It seems like we have been going non-stop every weekend and this one was no exception.  I'll have to do a recap another time when I have the energy!

I just wanted to wish my Dad and Don a very Happy Father's day!  They are 2 examples of wonderful, loving father's that love their little girls:)  I am soooo thankful for both of them!

My Dad...the work-horse, the neat freak. He might be hard of hearing and a tad bit impatient (LOL)... but he would do anything at the drop of a hat for us.  When I turned 16, he would wash my car, take it for an oil change and fill it up with gas for me just to be nice.  At the time, I didn't think a thing about it and maybe took it for granted.  Now looking back, I think that was just the sweetest thing ever!  It's totally the little things like that I really appreciate now that I am older.

Don, this may sound crazy but I knew the minute I saw you with our dog Minnie I knew that you would be a great Daddy someday!  You may be a big, tough football guy...but inside you are nothing but a huge teddy bear. I know how bad you want a son to carry on the family name, but I am pretty sure having a little girl has changed you forever.  Ellie is a Daddy's girl through and through and I absolutely LOVE seeing how she lights up when you walk in the door every afternoon.  Thank you for loving us and working so hard to keep us going.  You really are the rock and leader in our home and for that I am so thankful.
(After all, we know how crazy and emotional I am so you really have no choice...HA!)

Because of our busy weekend, I was slacking in the gift department.  Don's only request was to go to breakfast before church (since he had to work that afternoon), but we were so tired from the last 2 days that we didn't make it.  So after Don went to work, Ellie and I got busy making him a card!  She had a great time coloring and he loved his card.

He also got a new shirt since half of his wardrobe seems to be LU football polos.  Time to clean out the closet, I guess!
Since Don is working all afternoon and my Daddy is at home we won't see much of them, but that doesn't mean we won't be thinking of them all day!  We love you both!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Dressing little girls

From the day we found out we were having a girl, I knew I was in trouble.  There is SO much cute stuff out there for baby girls and it is hard for me to say no.  I am a bargain shopper by nature...and I come by it honestly.  I remember countless outlet mall shopping trips with my mom growing up and we were always on the hunt for the best deal.
FB-Jetterbugs Monogramming

That hasn't changed.  I am the first to admit that Ellie has a ridiculous amount of clothes.  First of all, I do not buy all of them!  She is extremely blessed with grandmothers, great-grandmothers, aunts, cousins, and honorary "aunts" that love to shop as much as I do.  She has been given the majority of her dressier/boutique outfits and I am so thankful!  My favorite part of each day begins in her closet and picking out the outfit of the day.  I remember while I was still on maternity leave and there were some long days.  I would entertain myself by playing dress up and taking her picture.  Obviously that hasn't changed either!  I might have a problem...ha!
FB-Jetterbugs Monogramming

I want to dress Ellie like a little girl for as long as possible.  I love the hair bows, bloomers, and smocked dresses.  I dread the day that she demands to pick out her outfits.  I might cry!

I get asked quite a bit where I find some of her outfits so I thought I would list a few and let you know where I found them.  I don't think I have EVER paid full price for a thing I have ever bought for her.  I have a champagne taste but a cheap, cheap beer budget!
FB-Lolly Wolly Doodle

Another secret...I buy ahead!  I bought most of her summer clothes she is wearing now LAST summer on sale.  That is a great way to have a full closet and get it at a great deal.  We found her birthday dress last July at the Germantown sidewalk sale for a steal.  I was so glad we thought ahead and had that little detail taken care of!

The kids store in our town also does Buy 1 Get 1 half off or Buy 1 get one FREE sales a few times a year.  I stocked up on a couple of Christmas outfits at the last sale.  She has clothes up to 2T in her closet already.  It is so nice to have them just waiting on her to be worn!  She also has a couple of Kelly's kids items that are from the last seasons collection.  That is a great way to get cute stuff without paying the ridiculous prices!

My latest addiction is Facebook shopping.  I haven't ordered anything in a while, but I found quite a few adorable things from
Sweet Baby Tutu
Lolly Wolly Doodle
Sweet Chicadee
Curls and Twirls Boutique
Giggles and Grins Boutique
Jetterbugs Monogramming and Gifts

I've gotten smocked bishops from these places for as cheap as $17!  You can't go to Gymboree and get a cuter dress for less than that.  All of these places ship for free as well, which is a huge bonus.  Zulily is a great place to find stuff if you hit it on a good day before they sell out!

Most of you could care less about this, but it has kind of become a new passion of mine...ha!  I probably need to learn how to smock/sew myself and make that the passion, but this is just so much fun!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Another weekend in the books

I am totally procrastinating.  I am blogging instead of finishing up a few work things that are due in the morning.  I was always good at putting things off:)

Tuesday night we went to a Low Country Boil for the wedding we had this weekend.  Ellie was obsessed with the swimming pool and kept saying "bath!".  Thankfully, we brought her suit so she could swim for a little while.  She had a blast!  And of course, she was dressed appropriately for a crab boil.  My girl is always festive!

After 2 consecutive days with NO nap, Ellie finally decided yesterday she was ready to try it again.  I had to wake her up from a 3 hour snooze!  She is down again now and I am so thankful she is getting back on track!

Some dear friends got married this weekend and Don was a groomsman in the wedding.  Rusty, the groom was Don's best man in our wedding and is one of my favorites.  Sadly, it poured down rain so I didn't get a single picture on my camera. This is me and Rusty at our wedding!

Alyse and I got to know each other through the boys and she has become a sweet friend as well.  She made a beautiful bride!  We are so happy for them and I know they will have a great time in St. Lucia.

Ellie and I had a pretty calm day Saturday before the wedding.  We played outside most of the afternoon to help my ongoing tanning efforts.  I took a few pictures before we went out and I think I got a few pretty cute ones.

That's about it for now...I am hoping to rest up this week to prepare for another crazy weekend.  I've got Blair's bachelorette party, Celebrate Lambuth Day, Father's Day, and NKOTB with the girls all on the agenda.  Can't wait!!!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Show Us Your Life...Appetizer recipes

This dip is a hit!  It is always completely gobbled up.  Not fat free by any means, but great for parties!



Mix all and cook at 325 to 350 degrees (depending on oven) for 20-25 minutes.  (Should be golden brown on top). 
TIP:  Can be made a day ahead and cooked before serving.  Best to bake in a glass pie pan.  Also, recipe says you can add 1 small can jalapeno peppers, chopped, if desired.  I never do.