Sunday, January 31, 2016

Notes on baby travel

A couple of weekends ago we took a quick family trip to Florida to have Charlotte's portrait made. Forrest won a gift certificate a couple of years ago from Bradford portraits and it was time to cash it in. I was very nervous about traveling with Charlotte at this age because she is pretty committed to her schedule and she is very very busy but it worked out great! I think most of the battle of traveling with a baby is preparation and attitude! You have to commit to making the trip about the baby rather than yourself and you will hopefully have a happy baby with results in happy parents! 
We had to fly out of Atlanta which is a 2 hour drive so we opted to make the drive the night before because c doesn't do well in the car, plus we didn't want to have to wake up super early and be rushed the morning of the flight. We made the decision to turn Charlotte's car seat around for the ride since she is typically a terror in the car (and she exceeds the weight requirement to forward face). She actually loved being turned around--who knew that would make all the difference!? We stopped at panera to get dinner and c gobbled up some mac and cheese. 
A little appetizer before demolishing her dinner.. 

Note to self: if she is happy do not stop!! Just keep driving!! She did fine but got tired--we should have just packed dinner and gotten ourselves there as quickly as possible. 

We made it to Atlanta without incident and got ourselves ready for the flight. I had a plan that I felt would get us through the travel day with as little drama as possible. It went something like this: 
1. Wake c up 3 hours before take off--she currently is awake for 3 hours before a nap so I wanted her to sleep on the plane for as long as possible. Drawback-if she fought sleep and was a total disaster the entire flight! 
2. Fill her cup with juice from the hotel breakfast bar ( and feed her of course). A hotel with a breakfast bar is perfect for baby travel because you don't have to worry about packing food. We also picked her some leftovers in a ziplock bag so she would have something different to snack on.  
3. Once through security buy some milk! C likes a bottle of milk before she goes to sleep so Forrest got some from Starbucks  once we made it to the gate. We also got a Baggie of ice to put in her little cooler (tiniest cooler ever) so the milk would keep. Packing several zip top bags is key to baby travel--and they were all Forrest's idea.

4. Sit in very back of the plane. This goes against all of our previous travel goals but we figured she was less likely to bother as many people in the back. It's louder, not as many people congregate back there, and we could stand up and bounce her out of view of the rest of the passengers. Again this was Forrest's brilliant contribution to the plan. 
5. Give a bottle on take off. This was really to help with pressure build up in her ears but it also knocked her right out! I was afraid we would have to walk her because she would be too excited but the timing worked out perfectly and she slept until we began to descend.
6. Toast to a job well done! Nothing like a drink before 10am on a plane!! 

We were very very lucky that the plan worked out as nicely as it did but again, trying to work your travel schedule around the baby's schedule is the best way to ensure a happy baby and in return happy parents! More about the trip to come! 

Friday, January 29, 2016

11 months

 This time last year I had 6 weeks to go in my pregnancy. Forrest went on a guy's trip to Colorado, I did a freezer meal workshop at Farrah's, and I had been to my ob visit where they told me C was measuring small (for a change). I thought I had at least 5 weeks to get everything finished and myself ready to be a mom. I had 3. Now 11 months later I have a big beautiful baby girl who is becoming less of a baby each day. 

She is really turning into a little girl now and I'm equal parts thrilled and devastated. She "talks" all the time. She tries to say lots of words but they usually come out "ba". She can do cat, hair, hi, bye, hat, bird. She can point out hair, eyes, nose, toes, teeth, belly button, and socks. 
Pointing at baby Hadley's nose 

She also can point out monkey, dog, cat, cow, lion, and elephant on her animal puzzle. Her latest trick is growling when you ask her what does a lion say and occasional she will attempt to meow when you ask her what cats say. I list all this because it amazes me. I know some babies may do more or less but I'm constantly surprised by what she can do, I think because I still really think she should just be lying around looking at the ceiling.  More and more she is becoming a person who knows things and communicate rather than a baby who lies there. 
She put her shoe on my shoe shelf--I was pretty impressed! 

Of course, this gal doesn't lie still for very long anymore. She is crawling and cruising everywhere. I thought she would walk by now but crawling seems to get her around faster so she opts for that. I'm in no hurry for her to walk--she is pretty wide open as it is! She is still into everything and likes to investigate. She loves the cabinets in the bathroom and my make up drawer.

 She can let go and stand for several seconds and the other day she attempted a step but was unsuccessful so she is sticking with what she knows! Now she will bring a book to us and crawl in our laps to have it read. She will sing to herself and loves it when we sing to her. She likes to play peekaboo behind the curtains and still loves peeking out at you from under furniture or around walls. She also really likes being outside, especially when she can ride her tricycle or see birds.

 She will eat just about anything, so long as she is in the mood! She stopped nursing on New Year's Eve and has started whole milk a little early since she outright rejected every kind of formula made! She still has a big appetite most days and loves cheese and both scrambled and hard boiled eggs. She is quite the adventurous eater and are just about everything we ate while in our trip to Boca last week, including duck, prosciutto, and goat cheese! 

She wears 12m clothes although many are getting short and a size 4 diaper but a size two shoe! I'm pretty sure she can't walk yet because her feet are too tiny to hold her up! She still takes 2 naps a day and is doing better at sleeping, and we hope it will continue to improve as she gets older. She also waves bye and blows kisses. It's so sweet when she tells us bye in the mornings and hi when we get home!  Her hair is starting to really fill in and we can finally clip in a bow! Hooray! 
No elastic on this bow! And isn't daddy's  wallet fun?! 

This week I have really gotten hard core about her birthday plans yet am still in disbelief that she is almost one. She continues to delight us every single day and I guess we forgot to count those days because here we are--nearly a year later! 
We love you sweet girl!! 

Monday, January 11, 2016

I'm feeling thirty twoooo!

Do you think T Swift might make a sequel to 22 in a few years highlighting all the fun stuff is 32 year olds get to do? "I'm gonna rock the baby, then pay the mortgage...gotta send some work emails...oh yeah yeah yeah! 
Thirty two years...that sounds like a really long time but I hope that I'm just getting started!! So much to do and see! My 31st year most definitely held the most changes with the addition of "mommy" on my resume and now that I'm a mom I feel a little differently about birthdays considering I have actually birthed someone. Moms really should be treated special on their children's birthdays, don't you think? I mean they are the ones that do all of the hard work on that day! I made sure to thank my mom this year on my birthday and actually we took my parents with us to my birthday dinner that night to celebrate. My day was super fun and mostly all about me but most definitely reflected perfectly my life these days as a 32 year old.
That morning I was greeted by the sweetest smiling baby girl...who had a major diaper blowout. Seriously this has only happened a very very few times in her life (I realize I'm very lucky and have now probably jinxed myself) and hasn't happened in months, like at least 6 or 7. Nothing like a stinky mess (and a sweet smiling baby) on your birthdays to remind you that you are a mom. 

After the mess was addressed I went to the jail and met with a client with a very serious charge to discuss his case and its future. This client was going to be celebrating his birthday in jail that week. I also met with several clients at my office regarding their wills and end of life plans, one about injuries they received in an accident, and one about the custody of their children. Nothing like a busy morning of work to remind me that I am these people's advocate. 
Next I shared grilled cheese sandwiches with Charlotte before heading out to get a massage and facial. Forrest had purchased me a gift certificate for Christmas because he knew I needed a little me time and because he knows how much I loved spa--ing. I had the most relaxing and peaceful afternoon! I love time alone like that to sort of catch back up with myself, take inventory of my feelings and kind of get back to center. My afternoon at the spa reminded me that I am a person with needs too and that I really should make sure to squeeze in a little time to focus on and be myself. 

That evening, Forrest and I, along with my parents, went to dinner at my favorite restaurant. We had the most wonderful conversation, and of course food too. We talked and laughed about all kinds of subjects, from the serious to the silly, and just enjoyed each other's company. That night definitely reminded me that I am a wife and a daughter who is loved and valued, despite all my faults and failings. 

Two nights later, several friends of mine got together and drove out of town to have dinner in celebration of my big day. That, coupled with all the precious texts and calls and even Facebook messages I received can't help but remind you that you are also a friend, a friend that is blessed to call so many the same.

I am honored to be all of these things, year after year, for the people that I most love and care for and am blessed by God to be able to be here among them for yet another year. Looking back upon these titles makes me feel very proud and humbled. Here's to 32!!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 year in review

Our friend Gus told us that the year we became parents would be the longest shortest year in our lives. That sounded crazy at first but it was 100% true. This year has flown by and Charlotte has grown before our eyes but at the same time we have felt each of those days to the fullest. Here's a look back on our year! 
January--we started off the year in a bus so that we could see the Tide eventually lose their play off game in the sugar bowl. We had a great time catching up with old friends though. I also traveled to Orlando to be with my sister at her work conference at 33 weeks pregnant and Forrest went on a guy's ski trip when I was 34. 

February-we started off the month with 3 baby showers and ended the month with a baby! Charlotte was born on February 24! 

March--we dive head first into becoming parents. From nursing to sleeping to car seats we enjoyed every minute of having our little girl. 

April--we had Charlotte christened on Easter Sunday. My mom hosted our family for lunch at her house and afterwards we all went to the church together for the baptism. It was such a meaningful day!

May--I had a wonderful first Mother's Day! Charlotte went to the lake for the first time!

June--we went to Atlanta for a wedding and Charlotte stayed in the hotel with Roy and ann. We also went to Chicago to celebrate our anniversary. 

July--we spent the 4th at the beach with family and Charlotte experienced her 4 month sleep regression

August--Charlotte and I went to Atlanta for Ann's shower and bachelorette party and Forrest went to myrtle beach for Roy's bachelor party. C also had her consult for physical therapy 

September--we went back to the beach with Deborah, Quinn and Kaylee and had Charlotte's 6 month pictures taken. 

October--the 3 of us went to Tuscaloosa for homecoming and Charlotte had her first game day experience minus the game. 

November--we celebrated Roy and Anns wedding!! Also Charlotte had her first thanksgiving. 

December--Charlotte's first Christmas was so exciting and joyful. We have so much to be thankful for! 

All of my posts revolve around charlotte now--but so do our lives! I started this blog as a way to document our lives and our lives are totally and wonderfully saturated with our baby girl right now. I don't get to post as frequently and my posts are much more generic now but that's our life right now and I love it. I hope I can look back on this blog in years to come and remember how it felt to be a new mom with my very first little baby and what our lives were like when we got up every few hours to feed her, had to watch the football games on mute on our phones while rocking her to sleep, and all the other wild and fun changes we have made to our lives to make room for this incredible bundle of energy we created and love so much. That's why I take a little time to write, even if it's messy and not very profound. Happy new year!! 

Charlotte's first Christmas

Our Christmases always used to stress me out--so much to the point I would pretty much dread the whole season. I loved the parties and family time and presents and food but there was just so much to do. Gifts to buy and wrap, cards to make and send, and between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Forrest and I attended 6 Christmases. It was hard and I was always exhausted but we didn't want to miss anything so we did it. I was very worried about this year with the addition of Charlotte. She is on her own schedule and we have to stick to it or she pays us for it! Also how was I going to get everything accomplished with a wild crawling baby on my hand? A baby that didn't sleep through the night, therefore requiring me to nap with her in the afternoons if I wanted to be a half way functioning member of society?! As it turns out I was less stressed this year! Why? Well online shopping and the motto of "let it go". I realized I could only do so much and we had to do what was best for our baby and our family. Of course we have amazing families that understand and moved things around for us so that we were still able to celebrate with everyone but also were able to keep Charlotte on her nap schedule and bed time. It was a wild time but she enjoyed every minute! 
Her most favorite thing was the Christmas tree but we should have guessed that because she has always loved lights. She would kick her legs any time we got near the living room out of excitement! 

Wrapping gifts and playing with mommy! 

She had her own little tree in her room
which I have yet to take down since she loves it so much!! 

One of my favorite things we did was a spur of the moment trip to see the Christmas lights at a local camp ground. She was enthralled! Her happy little face was priceless! 

She had a big time hamming it up for my office staff at our annual Christmas lunch! 

On Christmas Eve morning we went to Davis and megumi's for breakfast and started what I think will be a fun new tradition of pancakes and pajamas! 

That evening, after 2 thirty minute naps (usually she takes hour and a half naps) we went to mass. It was so special to me that Charlotte got to wear my first Christmas dress. She had a big time sitting with Momsie and auntie M and loved seeing all of the decorations. Afterwards we went to aunt Susan's for the annual Bailey Christmas Eve dinner. We had to leave pretty quickly to make it home for bed time but we were determined to at least see everyone and let c get to visit with family if only for a few minutes. 

The next morning we had our family Christmas with just the three of us which I really enjoyed. We opened our gifts to each other and of course Charlotte got presents from Santa. Her favorite was the pink kitchen set, which Santa had put together in October! 

After a good nap thankfully, we went to my mom and dads for presents and brunch. C loved her cozy coupe and she went wild over this ball pit and tunnel from auntie M! 

After another nice nap we went to Davis's for dinner with the Baileys and more presents. By this time c was wide open. She was screaming and having the best time!! She was in the Christmas spirit!! 

On Saturday evening we went back to my moms for chili and presents with the McCords and Roy and Ann. C was very into Georgia as usual. 

On Sunday we went to Birmingham for Christmas with my grandparents. We usually do this on Christmas Day but it was so helpful to have it a few days later. I was so pleased that Charlotte got to spend time with her great granddaddy since he has been under the weather lately. They played and had the biggest time!! 

Whew what fun we had!! I know that our Christmas experience will be different each year as Charlotte grows and understands more and more but I hope I always remember how very special this first one was! 

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