Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas Cheer

We had a wonderful Christmas season filled with lots of holiday treats, family, friends, and love. Oh, and a nice old man in a red suit snuck into our house one night and left some pretty cool loot, which was a major bonus.

I should mention that Molly Ruth got to meet jolly old Saint Nick for the first time ever this year. Personally, I've never been a fan of people in costume. There's just something unnerving to me about people "in character." I especially don't like it when you can't see the person's real face at all (Yes, I even get a nervous stomach around the characters at Disney, but I'm brave enough to take a picture with them).

But enough about my irrational fears. Let's get back to MR. She did so well! No crying at all and we even got a pretty great shot of the momentous occasion:

Our first official Christmas celebration was on Christmas Eve Eve. We had all of Matt's family over to our house for holiday snacks, gift exchange for the children, and charades. It was our first time hosting a holiday get together and we had a blast!

Opening presents:

The whole group:

Matt, Molly Ruth, Greg (Matt's brother), Katie (Greg's wife), and me:

Our dear friend Molly (Molly Ruth's namesake!) made an impromptu stop on her way in from Memphis and was even able to join us for a few games of charades. It was so nice to see her!

Molly, mom, and yours truly (Sometimes getting MR to cooperate for pictures is a challenge. Imagine that!):

Not quite...


Close enough ;)

My sweet mom:

I'll close with some photos of Grandma Marsh and Molly Ruth cleaning together after the party. MR got a play vacuum, mop, broom, etc from her Uncle Greg and Auntie KK. She loves "helping" us clean and Grandma Marsh is loving having a little cleaning apprentice who is eager to learn from the master. ;)

I'll be back soon with a few pictures from Christmas Day!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Trip to Birmingham

On the weekend of December 1st, we all loaded up (Grandma Marsh, Mom, Matt, Molly Ruth, and myself) and drove down to Birmingham for a quick overnight trip to celebrate Mallie Kate's 1st birthday. It was a busy, fun filled weekend!

The weather was warm and sunny (Alabama doesn't care that it's December), which meant that all of the kids (and adults!) gathered outside to play and chat.

My aunt Jill, cousin Tara, Tara's husband Jeff, and their sweet baby, Rachel, drove down for the day from Tennessee to join the fun. I always enjoy my time with them and this particular visit was extra special because it was the first time that we got to meet baby Rachel :) She is a wonderfully happy baby.

Rachel's first time on a swing:

I think it's safe to say that Rachel loved it!

Molly Ruth braved climbing up the playset...

...where she proceeded to have a hilarious impromptu toddler dance party with Hudson. There was lots of stomping, shaking, screaming, bouncing, and laughing.

And then she tried the BIG slide (with daddy's help):

Look at that determination!

I somehow managed to not get a single picture of Mallie Kate's birthday decorations or Mallie Kate in her birthday dress! But, I did try to get a picture of all three cousins in their matching shirts that Aunt Jill got them...

...but MK was partied out.

Rachel, however, was more than willing to sit for a few snapshots ;)

On Sunday morning, Paul and Hilary cooked a nice breakfast and MR and MK got to spend some time playing in their pajamas and acting silly:

Children love Grandma Marsh and her two great granddaughters are no exception.

Happy First Birthday Mallie Kate and thank you to Paul and Hilary for being such great hosts that weekend. We felt right at home (in your beautiful new home!) and really enjoyed getting to have some family time together. It was good for the soul. Looking forward to the next visit!

Friday, December 7, 2012

18-21 Month Milestones

I hate that I got so far behind with blogging. Time just kept creeping by and posts that should have been just kept piling up in my head until the thought of blogging just completely overwhelmed me. However, this is my only form of a scrapbook for Molly Ruth so at the very least, I need to blog about her milestones. And, I promise, I will make blogging more of a priority in 2013.

*The following pictures in this post were taken in the month of October at 19 months old*

18-21 Month Milestones

Because MR is 21 months old (today, actually!), I'm including the full time range because, for the most part, I don't remember exactly which month everything happened.

-15 months: Molly Ruth started putting 2 word phrases together. Her first phrase was "Moof (move) dog"

-At her 18 month well visit, she weighed 27 pounds and was approximately 35 inches tall. She also wore a size 5 diaper, size 5 shoe, and 18-24m clothing.

-18 months: Molly Ruth started putting 3 word phrases together. One of her first ones was "Dog bite knee." Now, don't worry, a dog didn't really bite her knee. She does, however, have a very active imagination.

-19 months: She incorporated several phrases into her vocabulary, such as "Reach it," "Taste it," and "Hold it." She started saying these phrases with an additional noun at the end, i.e. "Reach it rabbit" or "Hold it baby" in order to express things that she wanted. She is extremely verbal and our pediatrician confirmed at her 18 month check up that she is, indeed, verbally advanced for her age. Along that same line, I'd like to mention (brag?) that at her last opthamology appointment at 20 months old, she was able to correctly verbally identify everything on the eye chart for 3 year olds. It's safe to say that I left the appointment that day beaming with pride :)

-She is really enjoying pretend play and frequently shares food and drink with her babies. She has also started "cooking" things and even made some pretend soup in an old coffee can and encouraged everyone to "Taste it! Hot soup!"

-Her favorite TV programs are Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Play with Me Sesame, Bubble Guppies, and Team Umizoomi.

-She is a great eater and I try really hard to focus on feeding her nutritious food instead of lots of processed toddler junk. We discovered a couple of weeks ago that she even likes Japanese food, which included gyoza, chicken teriyaki, fried rice, and edamame.

- She calls butterflies "highflies," which I think is pretty sweet.

-She is a lover. A hugger. A snuggler. I am so thankful for her sweet spirit and her eagerness to share hugs and kisses with us. I also steal about 1000 kisses a day from her.

- I still rock her to sleep every night and I cherish every moment of it. It's our special quiet time. After bath, teeth brushing, and ear cleaning, we sit in her chair and read 2-3 books together. Then, she has a night bottle (Yes, you read that right, I still let her have a bottle at bed time. Hey, it's our thing and I promise I'll stop it before she's in high school.) and I rock her until she's sound asleep.

- She is funny and goofy. She makes silly faces and noises and movements all of the time. She can even do a couple of voices and accents. Seriously. She and I talk back and forth in a high pitched Elmo voice a lot. She also can do a very decent British accent. No joke.

-She is cautious and thoughtful. She does things very purposefully. Her verbal expressiveness coupled with her inclination to be a studier/observer has essentially eliminated tantrums out of frustration with communicating. We have never really had an issue understanding what she wanted.

I'll close with pictures from Halloween. She was a sunflower and we decorated the wagon with flowers so she'd look like a flower in a garden. We pulled her around the neighborhood and she had a blast saying "Trick or treat" when people answered their doors.

Happy Holidays everyone! I'll be back soon to do some retro posts about our family beach trip back in September and Fall happenings in November!