Full of Gratitude!

I hope y'all had a great Memorial Day weekend! Ours was wonderful, with one exception. We had to say goodbye to my mom. We dropped her off at the airport on Saturday afternoon to head back to GA. This is one aspect of the military life that I will never enjoy--saying goodbye. While I have gotten used to goodbyes over the past few years, they are never easy for me...especially when it comes to my family. I still feel like a kid when I have to say goodbye to my parents b/c the tears are always flowing.
Although the goodbye was sad, it was filled with gratitude. I am so grateful for the time I got to spend with my mom. I am thankful that she is willing to put her own life on hold to come stay with us, and I'm so thankful that my dad is willing to share her with us for so long. ;) It was such a blessing having her here with us. It was so nice to be able to go on walks, chit-chat during Shelby's naptime, experience Shelby's first swim class together...I could go on & on!

While my mom was here, she also let Derek & me sneak away for two days while she kept Shelby. Since it was going to be a short getaway, we didn't want to waste any of our precious time traveling...so we just went to the Hard Rock here in Biloxi. It was perfect! There is a super nice pool {which I talked about briefly here}, spa {where I got a much-needed and super-relaxing massage!} casino, and tons of restaurants on the property....so we had everything we needed/wanted right there. It was such a treat. But it was also so weird. It was such a strange feeling to just be able to pick up and go to the pool or grab a bite to eat without having to plan ahead to work around naptimes/bedtime, feedings, etc. It was so nice to be care-free for a couple of days and get to sleep in later than 6 or 6:30 in the morning. It was a much-needed change of pace, but it made it all the sweeter to come home to our baby girl!

Mom, we will never be able to thank you enough for everything!

Hope y'all are having a great start to a short week! I'll be back tomorrow with a {mostly} Wordless Wednesday post. See you then! :)


Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day!!
I hope you and your family are enjoying the holiday weekend!
And I also hope you are remembering the reason for Memorial Day....
Derek has fond memories of putting flags out on headstones for Memorial Day as a boy scout in honor of fallen heroes. We look forward to doing the same with Shelby in years to come.

I am so grateful for those brave men & women who have fought for our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Thank you to all who have served our country and continue to do so in the name of our freedom. And a special thank you to my dad & hubby. I am so proud of you both!



Oops! There are a couple of random things that I forgot to mention in Shelby's 8 month post that I wanted to record for my memory. {I'm much more regular at updating the ole blog than I am with her baby book. Every time I pull out Shelby's baby book, I am behind and I've forgotten a lot of little details...so I go back and look at the blog when I'm working on the baby book. And I plan to have a hard copy of the blog printed as a keepsake for our family.} So without further ado, here are a few more things I want to remember about our baby girl at the ripe old age of eight months...

--We haven't been to the doctor recently for updated stats on Miss Shelby, but according to our scale at home she unofficially weighed in somewhere between 20 and 20.5 pounds at the 8 month mark.
--She is definitely a girl b/c she loves her some bling. A couple of weeks ago, she started playing with my wedding rings. That quickly evolved into examining my rings. She doesn't just look at them, she twirls them around my fingers and really studies them. It's the funniest thing! Now, she's taken an interest in all of my jewelry...she's already got her daddy worried that she's gonna have some expensive taste! :)
--We started weaning Shelby this month onto formula, and she's doing great! I was a bit worried about the transition, but as it turns out I shouldn't have worried at all about her--it was harder on me..ha! For those of you who are curious, here is how we came to the decision to start weaning...if you aren't curious, then you can stop reading here! ;) When Shelby was younger, we had trouble getting her to take a bottle. We had to work and work to get her to finally take a bottle every now and again. Then we came across this bottle. And taking a bottle was suddenly easy. Easier than nursing. {And for those of you that may not know/remember, we struggled with nursing a bit in the beginning due to Shelby's severe acid reflux..aka screaming bloody murder while nursing. But with the help of Prevacid and time, Shelby & I got into a good groove of nursing. I was never one of those people that was adamant about breastfeeding no matter what for as long as possible...we just planned to do it as long as it was working for us. In the beginning, I never thought we'd make it to the six week mark--due to the aforementioned screaming bloody murder--but we did, and things definitely got better.} At around the 7.5-8 months is when it became very clear that the bottle was much easier for Shelby, so that made the decision to wean pretty easy for us.

I have lots of other random things to update y'all on...our little getaway sans Shelby, my mom's visit, Shelby's swim lessons...hopefully I'll be back later this weekend to fill you in! If not, hope y'all have a fabulous long weekend!


Scotty & Lauren Forever

I l-o-v-e American Idol, but I will not be voting tonight for the finale b/c I couldn't possibly choose between Scotty & Lauren! I like country music, so they were fast favorites for me this season...and they are both just so darn cute.
And I think they would make the cutest couple!!!
I think they seriously need to get married...or go to prom together maybe?! Am I the only one??

This is a big TV week, people! Our DVR is workin' overtime these days...between the finales of Oprah, The Biggest Loser, American Idol, and the list goes on! {How did I ever get by before DVR??} Hopefully I'll find the time between all of my shows to check back in later this week...but no promises! ;)


8 Months!

It's hard to believe your eight month birthday has already come and gone and in just four short months, we will be celebrating the big first birthday!
You still make "ahhhh" and squeal sounds a lot--you much prefer this to typical baby babbling. And true to form, you did this for a large portion of our photo session this month! Here you are singing up a storm!
Here is our month-by-month collage...
{click on the photos to make them bigger}
Here is what Miss Shelby is up to these days....
--still a very picky eater when it comes to pureed baby food. When we spoon-feed you, the only things you will consistently eat are fruit rice cereal mixed with milk, sweet potatoes, & bananas.
--loving anything you can feed yourself! Shelby is getting better and better with her pincer grasp and feeding herself finger foods: puffs (you love the banana flavor!), teething biscuits, cheerios, cut up pieces of fruit, or any little bites of whatever we are currently eating! Still no teeth though!
--you love drinking water out of our cups. Such a big girl! You also like drinking out of sippy cups, but you prefer our cups!
--still taking 15mg of Prevacid daily for acid relfux
--"swimming" when she does tummy time..she gets her arms & legs going, but she can't get moving yet.
--still not rolling over at all in either direction, with the exception of this. The pediatrician told us at our 6 month appointment that mobility is harder/comes later sometimes for the "bigger" babies, and that has definitely proved to be true for us so far!
--still only making /b/ and /g/ consonant sounds, but /b/ is the hands-down favorite...she makes that sound all.the.time.
--started taking baths in a big girl tub this month!
--loving time in your pool.
--You continue to be a baby who loves a schedule! We're on a VERY good routine of sleeping 11-12 hours each night, feeding four times each day, and two good naps a day.
--wiggling up a storm these days, and can now wiggle on demand. When we wiggle our bodies, she will wiggle back! It's too cute!
--We have recently started baby sign language with Shelby, and we have introduced the following signs so far: yes, no, more, thank you, & milk.
--Your happy face is still a smile or a wide open mouth. You also like to flap your arms against your body {kind of like a bird} when you are happy.
We love you so much, baby girl!


The Best $10 We Ever Spent...

...was on this baby pool from Wally World!

And seeing as how it's still technically Spring but it feels like the middle of the Summer, I think we'll be spending a LOT of time in this little pool over the next couple of months.

Speaking of pools..we'll be starting Shelby's first round of swim classes {she's taking a two week swim class at our local YMCA this month, and then she's taking another two week swim class on base in June} on Tuesday. We can't wait!!

And while we're still on the subject of pools, Derek & I got to spend a few hours poolside on Thursday during our mini-vacay...and let me just tell you it was fab-u-lous. I l-o-v-e laying out in the sun, but I didn't get the chance last summer between being preggo {and couldn't lay on my back} and moving. So this was essentially the first time in two years I've had the opportunity to relax in the sun without a care in the world, and it was JUST what I needed!

Hope you are having a great weekend! :)


Wordless Wednesday: Shelby Found her Toes!

I know I'm biased...but isn't she cute?!?!

Happy Wednesday to you! :)


Tuesday Tidbits, Round Two

We just got back from an oh-so-enjoyable weekend get-away in Destin with Derek's sister, her hubby, and their sweet baby girl. We had such a good time with them. We don't get to spend nearly as much time with them as we'd like to since we've all moved away from GA, so it was a real treat to get to spend the whole weekend together. And with two little ones in tow, vacations certainly look a lot different than they used to. Instead of laying out in the sun for hours on end with drinks in hand, our days were spent chit-chatting while babies napped, walking along the beach with babies strapped to our chests, sitting around the kiddie pool...but oh, we had so much fun. Here are a couple of my fave pics from the weekend...

{getting ready to head out for a walk along the beach}

{sweet baby Ellyson napping poolside}

{fully enjoying the kiddie pool}

We picked up my mom up from the airport this afternoon! We are SO excited to have her here for almost two whole weeks. :)

Shelby is still not rolling over {in either direction}, nor does she really make any effort to. But twice in the past couple of days I have found her in crib like this after a nap...

I always put her down on her back in her crib...so she must have rolled over onto her tummy in her sleep or accidentally rolled over after she woke up! Ha! When I found her like this both times, it was like she was just waiting for someone to come help her...like, "Okay Mom, I rolled over. What now?!"

It is has been super hot & humid lately in Biloxi. But today was unseasonably cool here, and it was such a nice treat! Derek ran a quick errand with Shelby this morning..and we actually had to put pants on her for a change! We took advantage of the cool weather this evening and strolled on over to the driving range on base, which is within walking distance of our neighborhood. My mom walked around with Shelby, while Derek & I hit a few golf balls. It was the perfect night for it!

I feel like I need to make a disclaimer about number four. I do not play golf. With the exception of a few trips here & there to the driving range with my hubby, it is purely a spectator sport for me!

Shelby turned eight months old today. It hardly seems possible. These past eight months have really flown by! Hopefully I'll get her eight month post up in a few days...

Sooooo excited that my hubby & I are heading out tomorrow for a little get-away..just the two of us! My mom will be staying here with Miss Shelby and holding the fort down while Derek and I get to have some uninterrupted quality time together that doesn't revolve around nap schedule for a change! And I will be able to sleep in for the first time in eight months....hallelujah! I don't think I will ever be able to thank my mom enough for this!

Hope you had a great Tuesday, friends! :) I plan to get a quick Wordless Wednesday post up tomorrow morning before we head out sans baby! Then I will "see" you when I get back....rested, relaxed, & rejuvenated from our little get-away! :)


Wordless Wednesday: Bathtime

The Evolution of Bathtime
{Shelby's first sponge bath at home, 5 days old}

{Shelby's first bath in her new duck bathtub, 7.5 months}


Our Mother's Day

Here's a quick look at our Mother's Day last year....
It was a quiet day spent in Northern VA. We went out to eat at my fave place {The Cheesecake Factory} just the two of us. This Mother's Day was also very low-key...but it wasn't so quiet this year. ;) Although we very much wish we could have spent the day with our families in GA, we enjoyed our day as a family of three here in Biloxi!**
It's also not quite as easy to just pick up and go out to dinner at a restaurant anymore. But we adapted. :) After putting Miss Shelby to bed, Derek went out and picked us up some Olive Garden To-Go....and it was delightful. :) Derek also surprised me with a sweet card, flowers, and a coupon good for one new camera! After lots of research {read: after Derek did lots of research. He loves him some Consumer Reports} yesterday, we picked out the camera we wanted! I can't wait to get it!!!

Hope you had a lovely Mother's day weekend, friends! :)

**Can we please talk about the differences in my wardrobe from 2010 to 2011? Last year on Mother's Day, I was wearing a sweater and jeans. In May?! Seriously?? Fast-forward to life in Biloxi, and we've been wearing flip-flops since February. Furthermore, I can't even remember the last time it was cool enough for me to wear jeans and be comfortable. The humidity here is just unreal. We are from Georgia...I thought I knew what humidity was. But apparently you don't know humidity until you've lived in South Mississippi.


Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day
to all you mamas out there!

And a special wish for a very happy Mother's Day to all of the moms & grandmothers in our life!

We never know the love of the parent until we become parents ourselves.
~Henry Ward Beecher~


Little Additions to the Nursery....

In case you missed the tour of Miss Shelby's nursery back in September, you can check it out here. We have made a few little additions to her nursery in the past couple of weeks, and we have a couple other additions currently in the works. Here is one of the most recent additions that I am so excited about!
I found this canvas print in cute little gift shop when I was at home shopping with my mom & sister, and it was just perfect for Shelby's room. The pink polka dots on the border match her bedding, and the brown of the font ties in with color of her crib & the wooden letters of her name. And I love having that sweet message hanging above her crib!
We also got another canvas print to hang her in room recently. We ordered Shelby's birth announcement from Tiny Prints, and they will make your announcement into a canvas...it turned out beautifully!

And there are two other projects we're working on now....one is window treatments. We currently have pink {black-out} curtains hanging in Shelby's room, but my sister was getting rid of some light green sheers...and they just so happen to match the shade of green in Shelby's room perfectly! So we picked up a new double curtain rod tonight at Tar-Jay, and we will add the sheers behind the black-out curtains tomorrow. The other project is another adventure in staining. We bought a wooden clock-making kit...Derek will be staining the wood for the clock to match Shelby's furniture, and then there will be some "pops" of pink & green on it similar to her bow holder. I'm really excited about it...I hope it turns out like I want to! :)


Nobody said Motherhood was going to be Glamorous

So, remember our woes in the wonderful world of solids?? Well, not a whole lot has changed since then. Shelby will currently eat the mixed fruit version of rice cereal, sweet potatoes, and bananas..but she doesn't love eating these foods. She tolerates them. On a good day, she might even eat a few bites of green beans. She's still the pickiest eater ever, but if you put a teething biscuit or banana flavored puffs in front of her..the girl will go to town on them.

While we are still trying to get her to eat more fruits & veggies, it's a futile effort. Today we attempted pears. She wasn't loving them, so she proceeded to purse her lips together in protest. I had just about given up on pears for the day when all of a sudden she opened her mouth really wide like she wanted a bite. I was thrilled! So I quickly grabbed the spoon to offer her a bite, and then it happened. A giant sneeze right as the spoon was entering her mouth. Pears {and snot} go everywhere. Nobody said motherhood was going to be glamorous.


Tuesday Tidbits

Following Stephanie's lead {I heart her blog} and giving you a few tidbits from our Tuesday...

I realized this morning that Mother's Day is this weekend. For some reason, I was thinking it was the weekend of the 15th. Maybe it snuck up on me this year b/c Easter was so late?! Who knows...but I really had to get my butt in gear today to get everything mailed off in time for Sunday!

When I woke up yesterday and heard the news that Osama Bin Laden was dead, I was thrilled to see that justice had finally been done. It's hard to believe it's been ten whole years since that day in September. It certainly doesn't feel like it's been ten years to me. It still kind of feels like it was just yesterday. But then I was thinking about where I was when I heard the news that the first tower had been hit--it was my senior year of high school, and I was getting ready to head into 3rd period. I remember my teacher turning on the TV as I walked into class, and we all watched in horror as the second tower was struck. Fast forward ten years, and I am sitting on my couch nursing a sweet baby when I hear the news. When I think how about how much has changed in my life, it certainly does make it feel like it's been a long time. But, no matter how long it took, I am thrilled that our nation and the entire world is now a better place. So thankful for our troops!

I was born a red-head.
However, I never liked my red hair when I was younger. People would always compliment how pretty my hair was, but I just did not like the fact that it was red. I always preferred to refer to myself as a "strawberry-blonde." As soon as my mom would allow me to, I started highlighting my hair {she always loved my natural hair color and hated for me to mess with it a good thing} and it became much more "blonde" than "strawberry"...especially in the summertime.
Now, I happily embrace my natural hair color. I have stopped highlighting my hair, and I am au-natural..and like it that way now. And now that I have a sweet little red-head of my own...
...I am amazed how often people ask me this question: "Where does she get that pretty red hair?" Are you kidding me?!

It never ceases to amaze how truly different everything is after having a baby. Seven and a half months into life with a baby, I thought I had a pretty good understanding of it...but it still surprises me from time to time. For example, we had a good time in Pensacola this weekend...but it really hit me when I saw other young, childless couples at our hotel how drastically different this trip was from our pre-Shelby vacay's. I had to laugh at how much time I spent buying sunscreen for all of us, getting a new float for Shelby to use in the pool, getting swim diapers, washing Shelby's new swimsuits for the first time, etc....and we ended up spending a grand total of 60 minutes in the sun..ha!

After all of our travels in April and then our weekend away, it feels good to be at home for a while! :)

Counting down the days until my mom's visit later this month...she is going to stay with Miss Shelby for a couple of days, so Derek can I get away together. I don't think I have been this excited about something in a long time!! I will never be able to thank her enough for this....best.mom.ever.

SO excited for makeovers tonight on Biggest Loser!


Weekend Get-Away

Derek had a "resident retreat" this weekend in Pensacola, so Shelby & I tagged along for a little fun in the sun. This trip marked Shelby's first trip to the pool and her second trip to the beach. {I've taken Shelby to the Biloxi beach once before for a walk along the ocean.} Here are a few pictures {in random order} from the trip!

I guess all of that fun tuckered this baby out....
And yes, that is Shelby sacked out in her pack n play...in the bathroom. ;)
Hope you had a great weekend, too! :)