BIG Day!

Shelby has always done everything in her own time, and she couldn't have timed this more perfectly. My mom is here in town visiting, my birthday was yesterday, and Derek just got home this evening when Shelby decided to do this:

I am fully aware of the fact that I look look like a complete fool in this video, but I had to share it b/c it is a BIG day in our house! We are over the moon excited that our baby girl is finally taking her first steps at 16.5 months old! It was the perfect belated birthday present for this mama :)

Shelby-girl, we are SO proud of you!!!!

Sleepy Baby

There is just nothing sweeter to me than a sleeping baby.....
{Notice how she is cuddled up with her Wubbanub...so precious!}
Usually when Shelby wakes up in the morning or after a nap, she has to immediately throw everything out of her crib. {I wish I knew what her fascination with throwing items out of the crib--or the bathtub, stroller, highchair, you name it!--is all about..ugh!} She then usually gets upset b/c her paci & Wubbanub are on the floor and she can't get to them..ha! On this particular morning, I heard Shelby on the monitor and went to warm up her bottle. But by the time I got upstairs it was quiet again. When I peeked in her room, I saw all of her stuff on the floor next to crib but she had fallen back asleep...silly, sleepy girl!


More from Jackson...

All of the pictures in this post are from our second trip to Jackson, which was last weekend. On Derek's day off, we went to the Jackson Zoo. It wasn't the nicest zoo, and we quickly realized that the zoo wasn't the best activity for Shelby at this stage of her development--Shelby loves to be scooting or crawling all the time right now and doesn't particularly enjoy being held or confined to a stroller, grocery cart, etc. I will usually let Shelby scoot and/or crawl on the floor of wherever we are {even if it's Target or a restaurant..yes, I do get looks from other people who are probably thinking we're terrible parents. But we figure it makes her happy, and it gives her immune system something to do..ha!} But not only is the ground at the zoo disgusting enough already, it had just rained so it was also muddy. So Shelby had to be in our arms or the stroller the entire time, and she was less than thrilled. So we kept our visit to the zoo pretty quick, but it was still fun to watch Shelby's first reactions to the various animals and their sounds!

{The giraffe was the first animal we spotted, and he was looking over the fence at Shelby!}

{This was one of the exhibits Shelby actually really enjoyed. I think she liked it b/c the ducks were at her level and right in front of her. It was so cute to watch her observing them!}

{The next picture was taken after we left the zoo as we were on our way to lunch. To say this is a rare sight would be the understatement of the year! We can be in the car for ten hours without Shelby sleeping a wink, and here we were in the car for less than five minutes before we saw this. Apparently a night of sleeping in a hotel and then going to the zoo the next morning is what it takes to get this girl to sleep in the car!}
{After a quick lunch at Zaxby's, here is Daddy reading Shelby a book before naptime.}
{The hotel room that Derek is staying in is a suite with a little kitchenette. Shelby found the drawer with the pots and pans in it and had a blast!}
{The funniest part of this to us was the fact that she has never once attempted to play with our pots and pans at home!}
{Another story with Daddy before bedtime}
We are so thankful to have had two wonderful visits with Derek in Jackson! I can say without a doubt this has been the easiest month of all the months he has been TDY during residency {thanks to a good schedule in the ICU!}. It has been so nice to have little trips up there to see him to break up our time here, and Derek has been so sweet to make a few 24 trips home to see us girls. Now we have just a couple more days until he is home for good! We can't wait!


Children's Museum in Jackson

As I mentioned {HERE}, we took a little two day trip up to Jackson to visit Derek earlier this month, and we did it again this past weekend. It worked out perfectly. I would wake up early on the morning we were traveling and get the car packed before Shelby woke up, and then once she was up and had breakfast we would hit the road. After the 3 hour drive, Derek was able to help us get our things unloaded, feed Shelby her lunch, and get her down for a nap. Since he was post-call on both days we arrived in Jackson, Derek would sleep while Shelby napped. While the two of them napped, I got to do a little shopping/errands in Jackson. :) Since we were staying in a hotel, we had the excuse to eat out at fun restaurants that we don't have in Biloxi--Jason's Deli & Zaxby's topped that list! So it kind of felt like a mini-vacay! :) On our first trip to Jackson, we went to the children's museum on Derek's day off. We weren't sure how age-appropriate it would be for Shelby, but I am SO glad we decided to try it out b/c it was a-maz-ing and she absolutely LOVED it! Derek & I even had a blast! ;)

{feeling how strong an earthquake is}
{crawling through tunnels}
{going down a slide--pure joy on both of their faces!}
{this was really cool for toddlers--it was a loft area that was entirely padded with little walls to climb over and tunnels to go through..it was perfect for Shelby!}
{this was so fun--a dishwasher & cabinets with plastic dishes to load & unload}
{fun with the puppet theater!}

{Shelby enjoyed this activity for quite some time..it was just a bunch of velcro foam blocks with a velcro wall to stick them on..but she loved it!}
{a life-size scrabble game}
{Daddy showing Shelby how to use the bulldozer to move logs...I'm pretty sure Derek enjoyed this more than Shelby!}
{building a house}

There was a little kindergarten class at the museum on a field trip while we were there, and the teacher part of my heart ached just a little bit. This would make a perfect field trip destination for any grade level in elementary school...there was so much to do for every age, even the grown-ups! It was such a fun memory to experience this with Shelby. She just had so much fun! If you live near Jackson, MS or ever find yourself there for a visit, this should definitely be on your list of things to do!

I will try to get another post up soon about our second visit to Jackson!


Christmas Recap #6: {Our Christmas in Biloxi}

We had our little family Christmas on the morning of New Year's Day. Christmas was so much more fun this year with Shelby since she could help unwrap gifts {although she usually just ripped off one small piece of the wrapping paper and then carefully inspected it..ha!} and got excited about new toys! But we know it will be even more fun next year when she really "gets" Christmas. Shelby got some new Melissa & Doug puzzles and blocks, an Elf on the Shelf {we will start that fun tradition with her next year!}, new board books, a big ball, and her favorite gift of all--her new princess ball pit!

Shelby loves this ball pit...her favorite thing to do is sit in there and watch Super Why on PBS. :)

And this post concludes our Christmas 2011 recaps...as always, thanks for taking the time to check in and keep up with our little family! We are thankful for each and everyon


Christmas Recap #5: {Christmas Eve on New Year's Eve in Biloxi}

We left the snow in St. Louis on the morning of the 27th to make our trek back to Biloxi. I was very nervous to embark on the 665 mile journey without the help of my co-entertainers (my mom & sister) as they were making their way back to GA. The drive took us about 12 hrs. The first hour of the drive was pretty rough, but other than that Shelby was such a trooper. We stopped for lunch at McDonald's and dinner at Jason's Deli in Jackson (such a nice treat since we don't have it in Biloxi!), and at both of these stops Shelby was like an angel baby...she was just so happy to be out of the car!

We were anxious to get home so we could celebrate our little Christmas as a family of three, but that wasn't in the cards for us just yet. Shelby didn't get to bed until 9:30ish on the night we got home, and she was such a sleepyhead the next morning! We finally went in her room at 11:15 that morning to wake her up..ha! For the next couple of days, she was just very out of sorts and we didn't want to celebrate Christmas at a time when we knew she couldn't fully enjoy it. So we waited, and finally by the 31st Shelby was starting to act more like herself again! So on New Year's Eve, we celebrate our little Christmas Eve! We put milk & cookies out for Santa and carrots for the reindeer...then we read Twas the Night Before Christmas before tucking Miss Shelby in bed for the night.

After Shelby was in bed, Derek & I treated ourselves to Outback to Go for dinner and then put her presents out under the tree and set up her new princess ball pit for Christmas morning.
Although we knew she wouldn't really "get" Christmas this year, we were still very excited to see Shelby's reaction to her new toys in the morning!

Only one more Christmas recap to go...I think I will meet my goal of completing them all before February! Yay! :)


Wordless Wednesday: All Done!

I mentioned in Shelby's 16 month post yesterday that when we finish a book, she likes to say "all done!" Here it is in action....

These videos aren't great, but they're much better than what we usually get when we pull out the flip cam..which is Shelby immediately stopping whatever cute thing we were trying to capture so that she can hijack the camera ;) Exhibit A:


16 months

Happy Sixteen Months, Shelby-girl!
And I hate to toot my own horn, but I will anyways. ;) I was looking back through Shelby's monthly posts, and I realized this is the first time since Shelby turned 3 months old that I have actually managed to get her monthly post up on the 17th..so I am quite proud of myself for accomplishing this in a timely manner for once! {But if I'm being completely honest, the only reason I have it done today is b/c Derek came home for the day yesterday, so I had to do the photo shoot then b/c it is literally impossible to take a decent photo of Miss Shelby these days without an entertainer on hand..ha!}
Sorry all of these pics aren't the best quality...I realized when we were done taking photos that I had left my flash off the entire time..ugh!

We might be seeing some new teeth pop up soon b/c Shelby's fingers are always in her mouth these days!

Here is what Miss Shelby is up to these days...
--You are now taking a flinstone vitamin (cut in half) daily. You didn't love it at first, but now you do! You take it every morning right after your bottle so we don't forget. Since you aren't a good eater, it makes me feel so much better now that you take a daily multi-vitamin!
--You are still sleeping GREAT at night and doing wonderfully with only taking one long afternoon nap.
--You are still a very picky eater! You take 3 bottles of whole milk mixed with Benefiber a day (8oz first thing in the morning, 6oz after your nap, and 8oz before bed...but you would drink WAY more if we let you!). You pretty much eat the.exact.same.thing.every.single.day for meals. For breakfast, you eat a Yoplait yogurt or pureed fruit along with some of Mommy's cereal (Shredded Wheat or Cracklin' Oat Bran--for a picky eater, I can't believe you like these cereals!). For lunch, you have a pureed veggie, half of a banana, and some goldfish. For your afternoon snack (when you wake up from nap), you have a Gerber granola bar. For dinner, you eat another pureed veggie, a Gerber snack (ie. apple wheels), and the crust of wheat sandwich bread (again, weird that a picky eater would only like crust!). During meals & snacktime (and throughout the day), you drink water from a sippy cup. For "dessert" after some of your meals, you eat Gerber yogurt melts. You think those are like candy..you would eat an entire bag of those in one sitting if we let you!
--Also related to eating, you are finally cooperating again when we spoon-feed you! Hallelujah! You went through a phase last month where you would not tolerate being fed your yogurt or baby food in your high chair, which wasn't an option for us since you don't eat fruits & veggies otherwise and can't spoon-feed yourself yet. But for whatever reason, we figured out that you would eat from a spoon as long as you were "cruising" around the kitchen! Weird! It wasn't always easy hitting a moving target with a spoon full of food, but I figured you were getting the nutrients you needed and also working on your walking...so it was a win-win-lose! {The lose part of that combo was the mess I had to clean up, but the wins outweighed the losses!} But I am thrilled to say that you are finally cooperating and eating all of your meals within the confines of your high chair..you still don't love it, but you tolerate it!
--You are really enjoying playing outside these days!
--At your evaluation for Early Intervention a couple of weeks ago, one of the questions they asked me was if you could crawl up stairs. I promptly answered that you could not, but the more I kept thinking about it I really didn't know if it was something you could or couldn't do b/c you had never shown any interest nor was it something that I thought I was "supposed to" teach you. That afternoon when we got home, I put you in front of the stairs and you just stared at them like you had no clue what I wanted you to do. So I showed you how to crawl up the first stair, and after that you zoomed up the rest of the stairs in no time at all! I was quite proud!
--You are pretty much at same stage in the walking department as you were last month. You will stand for a few seconds on your own and get really proud of yourself, but you don't really show interest in taking steps on your own. You'd rather play it safe and sit down to scoot or crawl to get anywhere. But you have taken 1-3 unsteady steps a couple of times on your own! You still do well walking if you are holding both of our hands, but you are getting better with only holding one hand.
--You have really started to enjoy your walker toys this month. Up until now, they have frustrated you b/c the wheels would go faster than your little feet could keep up. But now you are a pro! We keep one of your walkers as your "outside" toy and the other one stays inside the house, and you love them now! When we go outside to use your walker, I carry you in one arm and the walker in the other hand until we get down to the sidewalk {I usually don't like for you to push the walker down the driveway b/c it's a downhill slope, and it goes too fast for you}, and you pitch a fit until I put you down to do it by yourself!
--This month, you started the Early Intervention program called "First Steps."
--You are not a very lovey, cuddly type of baby, but we taught you how to hug this month...and you will sometimes comply when we ask for a hug...but only sometimes! ;)
--I don't know if we can call it your first "official" word or not, but you can now say "baby!" We have a bunch of family pictures on our stairwell, and whenever we go up or down the stairs with Shelby we often stop and point out family members in pictures and say their names to Shelby. Whenever we point to a picture of her in a picture, we always say "baby" or "Shelby." Well, one day we pointed to a picture of her and said "baby," and she repeated it! She did it again several times over the next couple of days, and we kept positively reinforcing it. Well, don't you know that pretty soon every single person we pointed to in a picture soon became "baby"...and now, if we point to any frame (even if there's not a picture of a person in the frame, Shelby says "baby." So apparently baby and frame are synonymous...who knew?!
--This seems strange, but one of your favorite things to do to comfort yourself is put something close to your eye. When you are getting ready for bed, you like to keep your pacifier or your Wubbanub by your eye...it's so weird, but we think it's the cutest thing! {You started to get fussy towards the end of our photo shoot, so we gave you your pacifiers...and you immediately did this!}

--This month, whenever we finished reading a book or whenever you closed a book after playing with it, you would throw your hands up in the air as if to say "all done." Now whenever we say "all done," you often put your hands up in the air automatically. When we said we were all done with pictures, you immediately put your hands up as if you agreed!