Experience: #PSNV14

I am mentally and physically still coming down from this past weekend that we aptly coined #PSNV14. An epically memorable 3-day weekend in Nashville, TN full of sunshine, running, laughter, boots, babes, & honky tonk. Care to come along for the ride?

IMG_4132

Since the summer of 2012, the Perfect Strangers have taken an annual girls trip. First to Vegas, then to Mexico (which I missed due to this little Event). Our resident party planner, Kelly, emailed us all a couple months ago and threw down the idea of spending a long weekend in Music City. Literally within an hour, there were 10 of us on board and the planning took off.

 

After gobs and gobs of giddy emails, departure day finally arrived! The group split in two for the 5-hour drive south, the first car (Jaime, Kelly, Meghan, Amy & Cari) leaving Thursday afternoon. I was in the second group (with Meggie, Martha Ellen & Dana), which left Indy just before 6p. This was my first weekend away from Emery, which was a little sad. But my excitement for a mini holiday plus the fact that I was leaving him in good hands overrode most of my fears and I left the house without a tear. Mama was ready for a much-deserved break!

Sunset drive

Sunset drive

With my country playlist blasting “Rain is a Good Thing” and just one break for Subway {Eat Fresh}, car #2 arrived in Nashville at 1045p. The newest Perfect Stranger, Cari, had found us a 2-bed/ 2-bath rental property on VRBO.com just minutes away from the strip. Though the quarters were a bit tight with 10 girls, 2 beds, a pullout couch and 3 air mattresses, we made it work. We didn’t plan on spending all that much time inside anyways,, esp since we had an amazing pool! Once Kristi arrived from LA, we were officially reunited!! Our first night was spent catching up with each other over light beveraging, chatter and snuggles.

10525914_10152274959070893_5978990917910420530_n

R to L: Dana, Meghan, Kristi, Kelly, Martha Ellen, Jaime, me, Cari & Amy

Friday morning we all woke early for some fitness. We figured we’d better get it in now before the debauchery took over. Amy, Meggie, Dana, Martha Ellen and I went out for a 7 mile run, while the other girls hit up a CrossFit gym. Our Nashville runsploration turned out to be less than scenic as the promenade along the Cumberland River was more of a trek through industrial zones and train stations. But true to form, we were able to find some fun photo ops on Broadway.

IMG_4068

IMG_4069

IMG_4067

IMG_4072

IMG_4073

IMG_4075

By 10a, we were cleaned up and poolside, where we set up camp on ‘the peninsula.’

IMG_4079

We wasted very little time getting the party started.

10569065_10152277507835893_7035250076231886309_n

& the fun continued ALL afternoon. There were cannonballs, handstand contests, Jimmy John’s lunch runs, games of “a**hole,” beers, Fireball and naps in the sunshine. Nothing beats a pool day. Especially one of this caliber.

IMG_4113

IMG_4114

IMG_4115

IMG_4083

IMG_4080

IMG_4082

IMG_4084

Post pool party, we dolled up for our first night out. We tried to hit up the Whiskey Kitchen for dinner, but the 3 hour wait was not on our agenda. So we found ourselves at The Pub where we filled our bellies with southern comfort food. As a group, we often play games such as “Name your favorite Disney character,” or “Who’s in your hot tub?” This night, we played “What’s the best feature of each of your friends?” And let me tell you, this is THE BEST game. Not only does it allow you to make someone else feel good about themselves, it makes you feel so good about YOURSELF! Warm fuzzies are seriously underrated. These girls always tug on my heart strings.

10530745_10152277508085893_6172658394572265914_nAfter dinner we hopped over to the strip and immediately ducked into the world famous Tootsies for some honky tonk!! I’m a total country music lover, and this place was SO up my alley. Live bands playing both old and new school country tunes. I was in heaven, singing at the top of my lungs. We propped ourselves right below the stage, though occasionally a few of us found their way on it ;)

IMG_4087

10300893_10152261276617596_850829221786400988_n

10405337_10152723880277089_2611879901027073870_n

The long stretch of day drinking took a few girls out earlier than expected, so us remaining girls moseyed on over to Roberts for a little dancing and an onion ring snack.

IMG_4091

IMG_4094

IMG_4093

IMG_4096

But we weren’t done yet! We eventually found ourselves at Troubadours Karaoke Bar. And ohhhhh man. I wish I could give a true recap of what went down inside, but this {newly-appointed} southern gal never spills dirty details. Let’s just say there was plenty of singing, dancing, and one PS performance we will NEVER forget (#ivebeentouchedalot).

IMG_4097

There was somewhat of a “rough” trip back to the apartment (r/t some hallway antics) and we may or may not have awoken the sleeping beauties inside. But hey,, we don’t get out very often (especially us Mamas!!), so taking it easy this weekend was not part of our game plan. Sorry for the noise, gals!

IMG_0455

Saturday morning came very quickly and we all threw our potential workout plans out the window. Instead we went to brunch at The Row where we filled our table with lots of liquids and some tasty french toast.

IMG_4106

IMG_4108

Since we had yet another beautiful sunshiny day, we made a game time decision to spend some more time at the pool. Unfortunately due to our late arrival we lost the peninsula to the “PSers + 20″ so we hung out on the side instead where we could dip in our feet. We did make it in the water long enough to perform some pretty amazing synchronized swimming routines with Meggie doing the commentary. Pretty amazing stuff, folks ;)

10007037_10152740377891874_8389000244570510409_n

After the pool, a group of us went back to Broadway where we purchased our first pairs of cowboy boots and did some daytime honky tonking at Honky Tonk Central.

IMG_4119

IMG_4123

IMG_4121

Our last night together was in celebration of the two brides-2-be, Meghan and Dana! They wore “white” while the rest of us sported LBDs.  Meg did my hair and makeup and I must say, collectively,, we were pretty smoking group.IMG_4131

IMG_4130

We popped over to Jackalope Brewing Company for some hops and a couple games, then to dinner at Pour House!

IMG_4134

We headed back to the strip after dinner, first to try and recreate the amazingness at Troubadours. Unfortunately it was much more crowded and therefore not nearly as fun. So instead we went to Legends where the live music kept us country bumping all. night. long. Again, I was all in for a good time and we most definitely had one,, and then some.

IMG_4146

IMG_4148

IMG_4142

IMG_4140

10369102_10152740378176874_2405614327432917781_n

IMG_4141

Aaaaand scene!

Three days of fun and sun. Three nights of honky tonk. Lots of singing & dancing. Lots of beer. Lots of new country music converts (!!). New cowboy boots. & way too many new memories to count. Just an incredible weekend with 9 girls who hold a very special place in my heart. I already want to go back and most definitely can’t wait until next year. I love you girls!

 

,,, but let it be known that I shed tears of joy the second I laid eyes on this precious face.

IMG_4156

First Birthday Bash(es)!

Since Emery has family in both Michigan and Indiana, we figured that having first birthday parties in both states would be a good idea. This way family travel would be minimized and we could see people in both places that we may not have otherwise seen. Genius, eh?! Things ended up working out magically as a trip to Michigan in early July was already in the works due to my Dad/ husband’s annual golf tournament. After confirming and working out the details with my Mom, we picked a date, sent out invites, and got to planning his party in the mitten! IMG_7883

What initially started as a small afternoon BBQ of close family and friends turned into a much larger party of 30. But it all went perfectly. Mom and I took care of most of the preparations during the week, so by Sunday all that was left was tying up loose ends. & balloons :)

IMG_7859 IMG_7843

The birthday boy looked quite dapper if I do say so myself!

IMG_7856

& the fixins were beauteous!

IMG_7861 IMG_7867

Do ya’ll like the birthday hat banner? All those precious faces me smile so big. What did we ever do before Pinterest? And likewise, what did we ever do before E?!

IMG_7872

At 1p, the guests started arriving!

IMG_7871 IMG_7874 IMG_7875 IMG_7915 IMG_7917 IMG_7919 IMG_3814

Aaaand around 2p, Emery went down for a nap. He had napped earlier that morning, but since he was somewhat stressed with all the attention he was getting, down he went as soon as he started showing signs of fatigue. We figured it could only help. And help it did. While he rested, the group enjoyed their BBQ lunch so it worked out just fine. Especially since he awoke an hour later in a much better mood, though still a bit on the sensitive side.

As soon as E was emotionally stable,, everyone headed out to the deck for the main event,,,

CAKE!! IMG_7885

& instead of laughing during his birthday song,, he cried.

IMG_7887

Poor buddy. Once I gave him a little sample of frosting, he finally relaxed. And then he dug in. Not aggressively, just casually like a little gentleman.

IMG_7889

Things eventually got a little messier.

IMG_7895 IMG_7931 IMG_7933

IMG_7922

So big!

& another little video,,

He ate about 3/4 of his smash cake! What a champ. We all joked that he wouldn’t be sleeping anytime soon, and that turned out to be the truth. After the fairly easy clean-up, we took a little “spin” on/ in Uncle Herman’s sweet ride. & AGAIN with the sensitivity!! Such an overwhelming day, buddy. Good thing you only turn one once ;)

IMG_7938

He did much better behind the wheel.

IMG_7946 IMG_7953 IMG_7954

Gifts were opened after everyone left, and {eventually} the smash cake sugar coma led to a wonderful night’s sleep.

Rockin' his new Tiger's jersey with Uncle Bean!

Rockin’ his new Tiger’s jersey with Uncle Bean!

Thanks for the smashing party, Gigi & GPop!!

IMG_7910 IMG_7911

We headed back to Indiana on Monday afternoon and as soon as we got back, I went into full-on farm party mode! My Mom had “re-gifted” Emery an old Fisher Price farm house about 6 months ago and since he loved playing w/ it so much, I used it as inspiration for his party. I had been working on acquiring farm-y things for at least a month prior, so it was mostly last minute stuff that needed to be taken care of. Food, beverages, knick knacks. My in-laws, brother and parents all came into town before the party to help with setup, which was a huge help. Mama has never had nearly 50 people in her home so the stress level was a tad high!

4168639615284ade9759955f140db87a - Version 2

Party day arrived, and we had a B E A dutiful day! The outside setup,,,

IMG_7976 IMG_7975

Cornhole, ladder golf, & horseshoes!

IMG_7977 IMG_7978

& the inside!

IMG_9839 IMG_9842 IMG_9840 IMG_9847 IMG_9844

Farmhouse cake & animal cupcakes by Crumbles Creations!! {thank you, Traci!!!!}

IMG_9889 IMG_9868 IMG_9869 IMG_9871 IMG_9886

IMG_9875

Drink station. Not pictured: blackberry plum mojitos

IMG_9876 IMG_9874

The faces return! ;)

IMG_9884

I pretty much failed at taking pictures of our guests. Such is the life of a hostess! Here are a couple that I did snag.

IMG_3881

PSers Amy, Jaime, & Martha Ellen + E, Luke & Jacob!

IMG_9887

The adorable Mackenzie

IMG_9888

J & L

Ang & Dominic!

Ang & Dominic!

I had an adorable custom ‘ONE’ tshirt made for E (from Etsy), yet never snagged a picture of him wearing it. Another mom fail. Although I definitely don’t mind the bandana he’s sporting. & those boots!!!! My perfect little cowboy.

IMG_3878 IMG_9857

After lunch was served, it was time for cake! Emery was much more relaxed during this party compared with the last, thank goodness. And despite my hopes that he would go crazy on his smash cake, no dice.

 

No tears, all business this time around.

IMG_9896 IMG_9912 IMG_9925 IMG_9927 IMG_3898 IMG_9917 IMG_9932 IMG_9936 IMG_9938

Emery went down for a nap AFTER the cake this time around, which was nice because he got to spend time with all of his visitors before they left. When he awoke, Gigi and I went for a little walk around the neighborhood on his new trike from his other Grandparents!

IMG_9943 IMG_9956

And when he finally hit the hay around 9p, party season was officially a wrap! Turns out, once you survive one, you can survive them all!

What a fabulous couple of weeks. Though there was certainly some stress leading up to each party, every nerve was worth it to be able to have such memorable days with our family and friends. And though all of it was in celebration of Emery, I’m pretty sure he has already forgotten about it ;) Ah well. We don’t need to do it up big every year from here on out. But I’m so glad we went this route for birthday #1!

Thank you SO SO SO SO SO much to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to attend either party {or both!}. It meant the world to have ya’ll celebrate our little boy’s big day with us!! We love you!

IMG_7896

ONE

Dear Emery,

 

Through ups and downs, sadness and fun, it’s SO exciting to say,,, you are finally ONE!!!

IMG_9969

As I sit down to write this, I’m realizing that for the first time all year, I didn’t get out your monthly sticker and take your official 12 month pictures. I guess it had something to do with the awesome festivities that took place to celebrate your big day that got me distracted! Not to mention “awesome” just barely scratches the surface of this past weekend. And Mama will talk about them soon enough. But this letter is all about you and your very first year of life. Yay!!

PS,, those pictures WILL still be taken ;)

IMG_9884

Oh, my darling boy. I just can’t believe you’re a year old already. Where has the time gone?! Your mama spent so many days leading up to July 21st just reliving the moments last year when we were SO anxiously waiting for your arrival. Those long walks in the park, cleaning, preparing, eating crazy things to get labor started,,, It feels like just yesterday I was writing you this letter just as we were admitted to the hospital. To think we still had no idea if you were a boy or a girl! You took your sweet time coming into the world and ended up arriving 5 days after you were supposed to. And you were loved on so hard from the start. And to this day, that love has not wavered. In fact, it’s grown stronger each and every day. How could it not? You have turned into the most amazing little boy before our very eyes. Strong-willed, smart, handsome, curious, funny, lovable, squeezable, kissable, you. We couldn’t ask for anything more.

Photo courtesy of Holly Bullock Photography

Photo courtesy of Holly Bullock Photography

So! This month has been fun. From our latest trip to Michigan, to all the fun summer activities (biking, swimming, lunching), and not to mention all the party planning (!), we’ve certainly been keeping busy this month. But not too busy to watch you continue to grow. You’re on the move constantly. Crawling, pulling, climbing. You don’t like sitting still much anymore, which is great because you’re out exploring the world. But it’s also sad for Daddy and I because we’re losing that snuggly boy we loved so much. When it’s time to go to sleep (nap or bedtime), you lay your head on Mo the Monkey for just a few seconds in our arms, but quickly start squirming, so we lay you down and your crib where you put yourself to sleep. Sometimes it can take 45 minutes, other times it takes only seconds. But you almost always get there by yourself, which makes us very proud. You’re still sleeping up to 12 hours a night and always wake up quietly and happy :) Such a good boy.

You & Mo

You & Mo

You’re also a great player! With all the new toys you’ve received for your birthday, your playroom is certainly filling up. And you’re loving ALL of them. Especially the musical ones. You’ve turned into quite the lil dancer, bopping and swaying at the first sounds of music. It’s pretty adorable and the best part is it makes you smile so big. Nothing beats the sheer pleasure that comes from watching you do the simplest things. You’re very content playing on your own most of the time, but you sure do love company. Always observant when kids (& adults) are on the scene. God willing you’ll have your very own friend to play with someday ;)

IMG_3658

You’re still a big eater and will take snacks at any time of the day. You’re also still nursing (!) once a day. It’s hard to believe we’ve been going strong for a whole year. You’re definitely a chunky BF baby!

IMG_3579

If I had to summarize you in one word at one year old, it would be “unstoppable.” Sure I could’ve chosen the obvious “adorable” or “awesome,” but the prior describes you now and what I see from you in the future. And it makes me smile knowing that you will be exactly what the world needs someday. I mean, you’re exactly what your Daddy I needed, so it just fits :)

This last year has been quite the adventure for your Mama. Though initially she never regretted her decision to stay home with you, there were definitely times when she thought she wasn’t cut out for it. It hasn’t always been a walk in the park. But as time went on, and we became more of a “unit,” things got better. Now she can’t imagine doing anything else and wish everyone could have the type of incredible experience she’s had. Though you are more special than most, E (just your Mama talking)!

IMG_3558

One Year Stats:

  • Weight: 24 lbs 2 oz (up from 18 lbs 8 oz at 9 months!! Nothing like jumping from 18th –> 70th %ile in 3 months!!)
  • Height: 30″ (from 28.5″, 58th %ile)
  • Head circ: 18.5″ (from 17.5″, 69th %ile)
  • You’re still sporting size 12-18 month clothes comfortably.

Milestones/ Firsts:

    • Clapping (you just woke up one day and started doing it!)

    • Babbling TONS. Your favorite phrase, “Ladi Dadi.” (just like Snoop Dogg :))
    • Climbing stairs.
    • Cruising the hallways.

  • First Fourth of July fireworks & bounce house!
  • First bike ride in your new Thule bike trailer!
  • First tornado warning and subsequent trip to the basement “bomb shelter.” Didn’t phase you much, as you can see.

IMG_3563

  • First time meeting the Dalai Lama ;)

IMG_3742

  • First black eye, shortly followed by your second.

IMG_7826

  • “SO big!”

IMG_7817

    • “Who’s ____’s best buddy?” (you tap your chest as to say, ‘me!’)
    • Peek-A-Boo

  • Words: Dada, Ah (for Allie), and the occasional Mama (though she hasn’t heard it loud and clear yet!)
  • Things you understand: “No,” “buh-uh,” and “bottle.”
  • Holding your bottle and sippy cup all by yourself!

IMG_3842

Things You Like:

    • Playing with your sock basket and whipping them across the room.
    • Hanging with your grandparents.

IMG_7824

    • My iPhone.

  • When Mommy makes crazy noises, like snorting. You love that one.
  • Putting the lid on your bottle when you’re “all done!”
  • Eating finger foods. New foods this month include mushrooms, peaches, oranges, and solid green beans. I can’t even remember the last time you ate off a spoon!

IMG_3812

  • Babysitters! You spent some time with Lora in Michigan while Mom & Dad had a date and had Dominic and Angie over while Mom & Dad were getting haircuts. You’ve been very well behaved for everyone who’s watched you so far, which is fantastic.
E&D, Hoosier twinsies

E&D, Hoosier twinsies

Things You Don’t Like:

  • Being sick. You had another bout of congestion this month, which Mom thinks was a little cold virus.
  • You still hate being wiped down after meals.
  • Diaper changes are still a challenge, but if you’ve got something in your hands to keep you occupied, you do fine.
  • Bathtime at Gigi & GPop’s. You screamed bloody murder every single time we tried bathing you in Michigan, which was crazy because you had taken tons of baths in there before!! Once we got back home, you were fine in your normal tub. So weird!

IMG_3623

Places We’ve Been This Month:

  • Fort Wayne to celebrate your cousin’s birthday.
  • Michigan.

Exciting Upcoming Events:

  • More summer fun!

Things Mommy is Looking Forward To:

  • Training for her upcoming half marathons.
  • Tom Petty concert.
  • 6th wedding anniversary!
  • Continuing to decorate the new house!

IMG_3846

Last Month:

IMG_7790

This Month:

IMG_7856 IMG_7843

IMG_3912

IMG_9946 IMG_9964 IMG_9981

IMG_9977

IMG_0012

IMG_9984

Emery James,, happy, happy first birthday to you. May every year that follows be as beautiful as this one. Thank you for blessing our lives so sweetly. We can’t wait to read you these letters someday soon. WE LOVE YOU!!!

Love always,

Mommy (& Daddy!)

IMG_3885

Holidays & Happenings!

Hi hi! Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I actually had a momentary freak out a week or so ago when I couldn’t log in to my blog and there were warnings and a lot of gibberish on the top of the page. After lots and lots of emails and quite a few tears, my internet baby was finally restored mostly unscathed. So although things don’t look quite like they used to, at least it’s up and running, thank goodness. And in order to turn a negative into a positive, I’ve decided to use this opportunity to give my blog a much needed refresh. Hopefully nothing scary like that ever happens again!!

So, as the title suggests, a lot has been happening over the last few weeks! Nothing earth shattering, but lots of littles. We have totally been loving on these summer days. The weather in Indy has been pretty darn great (with the exception of the occasional rainy day) so E & I have logged lots of pool time at the clubhouse. We also had a pool playdate at his friend Callie’s house, which was nothing short of adorable.

IMG_3618

IMG_3616

My little shark bite!

Emery and his pal Dominic have spent lots of time together too. Whether it’s at the pool, at lunch, or at the park, they’re always having fun together. A couple of knuckleheads, just like their daddies! ;)

IMG_3710

Popsicle time

IMG_3546

Swingin

IMG_3541 IMG_3542

IMG_3543 The days that we do stick around the homestead are usually pretty standard, but full of playtime. Now that someone is a speed demon on all fours, this Mama has {finally} had to start baby proofing. After a very extended trip to Buy Buy Baby a few weeks ago (oh, the joys of being indecisive), we came home with our first baby gate, some rubber bumpers for the fireplace and lots of cabinet locks. The goods were installed during afternoon nap time and E awoke to some much needed boundaries.

IMG_3636 IMG_3637

Thankfully I didn’t meet much resistance from my buddy {tantrums don’t start til much later in life, right??}. In fact, E had lots of fun playing with his sissy through the bars!

I’m sure once he transitions from four legs to two, many more gates will be installed. But for now, the minimalist approach is working just fine.

Lately I’ve been a little more productive at getting the house furnished. Nothing like taking 6 and a half months to get motivated, huh? We finally got rid of our old rotted college couch and replaced it with a fantastic navy chaise sectional. I bought an outdoor rug and dining set for our veranda. And our living room and foyer rugs are being delivered tomorrow. I still struggle with decorating our walls. Partly because a lot of what I already have doesn’t go with our new decor, but also because I’m afraid of punching holes in my walls before I have the furniture placed. It’s a work in progress, and there’s still SO much to be done, but at least it’s moving in the right direction.

IMG_3597

Our back porch

IMG_3656

Pictures awaiting their playroom placement

IMG_3534

Breaking it in!

Can you believe the Fourth of July was nearly two weeks ago already?! Slow down summer. Anyway, it was Emery’s first, so I wanted to make it somewhat memorable for him. I started our day by whipping up my best version of a patriotic breakfast, which sadly didn’t get much appreciation from it’s recipient.

IMG_3664

He gobbled every last bit of it up though, don’t kid yourself. That boy is a machine.

After a little morning playtime, it was morning nap time. And wouldn’t you know it, as soon as E fell asleep, down came the neighborhood parade!! Led {loudly} by a local firetruck and an EMT, who weren’t the least bit shy about blaring their horns. Yay, America! So even though nap time was cut quite a bit short, E got to watch his very first parade right outside our front door.

IMG_3667

Mama got in a nice run later in the day,,

IMG_3668

,, & whipped up an American classic during E’s afternoon nap!

IMG_3678

We then headed over to our friend’s house for a BBQ and some {kid-friendly} fireworks. We also spent some time in the bounce house, which Emery LOVED.

IMG_3692 IMG_3684

IMG_3697

We kept Emery up much later than normal, so needless to say he took a nice coma on the ride home. After he was snug as a bug in his crib, the hubs and I retreated to our fire pit to watch the fireworks with a glass of wine under the big bright moon.

IMG_3699

A great fourth!!

IMG_3698

What else?? I’ve been trying to get myself back on the running train lately, which has been going fairly well so far. I bought myself a new pair of kicks a week ago and am in the process of getting a fall training schedule in place, both of which will hopefully keep me in line. With a couple races on the horizon, it’s time to get serious again. I miss having running as a constant in my life.

IMG_3718

And when I’m not running, you can find me on my bike! The whole family stocked up on bike gear this summer and now there are no excuses not to get out there on those hot summer nights. Plus it’s a great way to get in some cross training. I mean,, just check out E’s new ride,,,

IMG_3719

We spent last week in Michigan yet again! It was my Dad’s annual golf invitational and the hubs was his partner. Some happenings included:

E’s first black eye.

IMG_7803

“SO big!”

IMG_7815

The Wienermobile!

IMG_3771

Date night at the Invitational.

IMG_3777 IMG_3787 IMG_3786

A little driveway cruising.

IMG_3830

While the men slaved away on the course all week, Mom, E & I spent lots of time together, mostly getting things in order for his first 1st birthday celebration. It was a small(ish) gathering at my parents, which I will recap in more detail later. But here’s a little teaser :)

IMG_3798

I can’t even wrap my head around the fact that a year ago I looked a little like this,,

IMG_6630

& now I have a little nugget who’s on the verge of driving.

IMG_7954

Well, maybe not. But he’s still pretty darn fantastic. And it’s safe to say this has been the best year of my life so far.

IMG_7837

 

And those are the latest haps! Til next time,,,

xo!

Eleven Months

Dear Emery,

 

Oh my heavens, you’re already ELEVEN!!

IMG_7790

Part of me is excited that your 11 month birthday is also the first day of summer and the longest day of the year. These days, your Mommy is hanging onto every day/ every hour/ every moment, because the next time she writes one of these, you will have been in our lives for ONE YEAR! Time definitely has picked up the pace over these last few months. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet,, we still need to talk about your 11th month! It was a goodie!

IMG_3499

We started off the month with our longest road trip yet: to Traverse City! Mama blogged about it already, but we had an absolute blast. You were a champ during our 7 hour drive. You had lots of QT with Gigi and GPop. You learned how to shake rattles and cowbells and had your first experience as a race cheerleader. You took your first trip to Petoskey, where Mama and Daddy got married. And you went on the swings for the first time!! It was certainly a memorable way to start the month!

IMG_9525

IMG_3297

That wasn’t our only trip of the month. We went back up to Michigan less than a week after TC, and this time we hung out for an entire week. Daddy had lots of golf to play with GPop and some of his friends, so we decided to make a long trip out of it. And yet again, we had a blast! Here are some pictures from our trip.

IMG_3362

A thrilling drive

IMG_3365

Visit with Baba! Three generations.

IMG_3372

Celebrating Baby B at his beautiful baby shower!

IMG_9544

Taking Uncle Bean’s wheels out for a spin.

IMG_9568

If you won’t wear it, Mama will!

IMG_9594

Gigi has a baby picture of your Mama with a Cheerio in the exact same place!

IMG_3392

Curls. Swoon.

IMG_9643

Bath time!!

IMG_3402

New hat, new shoes, new baby!

IMG_3420

Swinging with the fam at Mama’s old middle school. Go Broncos!

IMG_3425

Someone found a mud puddle.

IMG_3440

Finally up on all fours, and cruising straight to the dog bowls.

IMG_3447

MORE swinging! Can’t get enough.

IMG_3459

Dinner at Indianwood!

This month we also celebrated your first Father’s Day with all of the important men in your life! Grandpa & GPop (plus Grandma & Gigi) came down to spend the weekend with you. We played outside, BBQ’d, and had a grand ol’ time.

IMG_7715

IMG_7736

IMG_7726

Grandpa & GPop

IMG_7738

Happy 1st FD, Daddy!

IMG_7745

<3

IMG_7744

Now for the nitty gritty stuff! First, food! I honestly don’t think I need to be charting everything new you try lately because honestly,, there’s not much left you haven’t tried!! You’ve been eating like a crazy man lately, and you have the belly to show for it ;) Seriously, you never stop. So since I wrote it down, here are some of the foods that were new to you this month.

  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Blueberries (your fav)
  • Strawberries (your other fav)
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Asparagus
  • Hamburger
  • Cheese quesadilla
  • Animal crackers
  • Yogurt (tubes from Trader Joe’s)

Again, that’s definitely not the entire list, but you get the drift! Mommy is very happy that now when we go out together now, it is pretty easy to find somewhere with something you can eat. We’ve dabbled in kid’s menus at Panera, Noodles, Chik-Fil-A and Chuy’s. And you’ve also become a food pouch champion. You can mow one of those down in 45 seconds flat! Plus, no mess! Win! Mama prefers Go-Go Squeeze & Happy Baby brands, but you’ll always take whatever she gives you.

IMG_7701

In addition to solids, you’re still taking a bottle 2-3 times a day and Mama is nursing you at morning at night. But sadly, you’re becoming less and less interested in the nursing part. I think over the next little while, we will start weaning you completely. Though I’m pretty sure you’d be able to stop cold turkey at any point. It’s a Mommy thing, babe. And I’m SO proud to say we’ve gone almost an entire year. Who would’ve thought??!

IMG_3232

Bedtime snuggles

As for sleeping, you had a good routine going this month! Sleeping 10-12 hours a night (don’t hate me), morning nap ~ 2 hours after waking, afternoon nap ~ 4 hours later, then bedtime anywhere from 630-8p. Getting you into a routine was SO nice for Mommy. She would shower during morning nap, and get odds and ends done with BOTH of her hands the rest of the time. But towards the end of month 11, you whipped out your (in)famous nap strike again! Mostly you would fall asleep in my arms and wake immediately after I laid you down in your crib, only to cry and cry and cry until Mommy couldn’t take it anymore and came and got you. There were times when you would cry, then settle yourself down and play quietly, but still no nap. You would do that at all naps and even at bedtime. Mama realized that she probably shouldn’t let you fall completely asleep on her so that you get used to settling yourself on your own. But once again, you didn’t really agree with or like that program. It’s been a bit of a battle, but hopefully this phase is on it’s way out. The good news is no matter how crazy you nap, you’re still an awesome nighttime sleeper. So Mama can’t complain TOO much.

IMG_3523

Oh, speaking of sleep — we finally moved your mattress ALL THE WAY DOWN at the end of May. Mama knew that once you started standing up in your crib (oh yeah, have I mentioned that yet??!), it was something that needed to happen to keep you safe! So down she went. Along with a few tears on my face. But you’ve handled it just fine. Such a big boy.

IMG_3340

So you started the month with your awesome army crawl. As many times as we tried to get you to tuck those knees underneath you, you’d just fuss and sprawl back out. So we let you go. And you got from point A to B just fine that way. But we slowly noticed you doing the “real thing” every now and them. It wasn’t until we got to Michigan for the second time that we finally noticed you truly crawling!

Since then, you haven’t looked back. You’ve turned into a speedster on all fours and can make it across the room in no time at all. You’re also crawling, standing, and climbing on EVERYTHING. Especially your Mama! You’re not a fan of sitting still for very long anymore. It’s tons of fun though, for everyone. Daddy and I love watching you get around. Guess it’s really time to invest in those baby gates, huh??!

IMG_3440

Eleven Month Stats: In clothes, you’re wearing 12-18 month size. Some 18’s are a little big depending on the brand. But throw a cloth diaper on you and you fill those bad boys right up!

Milestones Achieved/ Firsts:

  • Crawling on all fours!
  • FOUR new teeth!! You now have 4 on top and 2 on bottom! They took awhile to start, but now they’re not stopping! And you’re doing GREAT.
  • First playdate at Cool Creek Park with Miss Callie!

IMG_3329

  • Almost mastered the “all done” sign!
  • Gymboree Bubble Bash

IMG_3357

 

Things You Like:

  • The water! Specifically, the pool. You’ve always loved swim class, but this month we introduced you to the pool at our clubhouse, and I dare say you’re in love. Splashing, swimming, and kid watching is your new favorite! Thankfully there’s a lot of summer left to be had!

IMG_3526

  • Parroting. You’re our little parrot!

  • Bellowing and screeching (see above!)
  • Food, obviously. You’re a bottomless pit like your Daddy!
  • Bottles.

IMG_3323

  • Kicking!

  • Tickles, especially on your feet.
  • Throwing your basket of socks all over your room.
  • Throwing anything. Especially food on the floor.
  • Playing with Allie!

IMG_3221

  • Your playroom!

IMG_3465

  • Grabbing.

  • Mo the monkey!
  • Playing with (and disassembling) doorstoppers.
  • Swinging!! You’re a giggle machine everytime.

IMG_3545

Things You Don’t Like:

  • Being wiped down post-meal. Still such torture.
  • Staying still during diaper changes is a thing of the past. You’ve turned into a squirming ninja, and I’m often having to hold you down with one limb just to get the job done! And I think your changing table days are numbered.
  • Taking off your swim clothes. Suuuuuction!
  • You had a little allergy scare this month. We were out for a long walk and when we got back, your eyes were puffy, red, and watery. You were also really warm (it was a hot day). After stripping you down, feeding you and getting you cleaned up, you were fine. But Mama has a suspicion something in the air didn’t agree with you. No more scares since then.

People We’ve Seen:

  • Grandma & Grandpa
  • Gigi & GPop
  • Uncle Larry & Auntie Paula
  • Baba
  • Auntie S
  • Uncle Bean
  • Dominick & Miss Angie
  • (sorry if we left anyone out!)

Exciting Upcoming Events:

  • Your birthday!!!!!! :D

Things Mommy is Looking Forward To:

  • Another trip to Michigan in July.
  • Celebrating her baby’s 1ST birthday. She can’t even believe it’s already here. Tear!

Last Month:

IMG_7621

This Month: 

IMG_7759

IMG_7765

IMG_7776

IMG_7779

IMG_7780

IMG_7784

IMG_7778

IMG_7789

IMG_7785

IMG_7792

IMG_7793

IMG_7798

IMG_7800

 

My sweet baby boy,, it’s been an amazing 11 months. Let’s round out your first year with a bang, okay?? We love you!!

 

Love always,

Mommy

IMG_7746