Memorial Day Weekend

We have had such a great weekend together as a family! Our local children's museum had a "Free Friday Night" event, so we attended that on Friday evening with some friends of ours. It was a lot of fun, but we learned our lesson! We'd much rather pay full-priced admission b/c it was just WAY too crowded with the offer of free admission. Here are a few pictures from our evening at Lynn Meadows....

This picture very accurately describes me as a mother..I thought Shelby got the teensiest bit off-balance, and I was sprinting to her side! Ha! I'm such a nervous nellie!
Derek had to go into the hospital for a few hours on Saturday morning, but when he came home we went out for our first run as a family using our new jogging stroller! (The jogging stroller was my Mother's Day gift.) Running together as a family is sooo much more fun than jogging solo, and the time goes by much faster! When we got back from our run, we immediately broke out the baby pool to get some relief from the 90-something degree temps. And we ended the day on a perfect note--date night! :) We had a low-key evening planned, but it's always so much fun to get out just the two of us. We ate dinner at Mellow Mushroom, went to Target to pick up a few things (and look around for fun!), and then went to see the movie What To Expect When You're Expecting. The movie was great! As we were walking out of the movie, I told Derek that the movie totally made me want to have another baby. I asked him if it made him have baby-fever too, and he replied "It makes me want to go look at Shelby sleeping when we get home." Ha!

Sunday was Derek's only day off this weekend, so we crammed a whole lot of fun into one day! We started off the day with another family run, and then Shelby & I played in the baby pool while Derek mowed the lawn. Then, after Shelby's naptime, we headed over to a little pavilion on the back bay in our neighborhood for a shrimp boil with some of our friends. It was HOT, but we seriously had the BEST time! The food was great, and the company was even better! And the kids were kept totally entertained by the food, playground, open space to run, and the big bucket of ice. :)

These pictures of Shelby & Adam playing ball with their Daddies with the beautiful back bay in the background...these pictures just melt my heart.

And the highlight of the evening was this....

Yes, that's right! My child was willingly eating a cupcake for the very first time! She's only eaten a cupcake at her first birthday party about 8 months ago, but even then she barely ate any of it...and that was after lots of coaxing. All I did last night was hold the cupcake out to her and she took a huge bite and never looked back! It was like she's been eating cupcakes her whole life..crazy girl! Here are about a gazillion more pictures of her eating the cupcake. Yes, it is that big of a deal for us. ;)  I'm sure you can tell what a big deal it is by the look on my face in the pictures!

The shrimp boil on Sunday evening concluded our weekend festivities b/c Derek was on call today, but it was such a great weekend! I hope your Memorial Day Weekend was just as enjoyable. And thank you to all of those men & women who have served our country in the name of freedom, and especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We are grateful for you today and every day.


20 Months Old!

Happy 20 Months, Shelby-girl!

It's hard to believe we are just a mere four months away from celebrating your SECOND BIRTHDAY! Weren't we just celebrating your first birthday?! This second year of life--as you have transitioned from a baby into a toddler--has seemed to have flown by much faster than that first year..at least it has for your mama. It seems like it was just yesterday that you were booty-scooting around the living room. Now you are running all over the house and talking up a storm! And your little personality--sweet, strong-willed, and silly all wrapped into one--is coming out more and more each day. We are so proud of you and the person you are becoming!

 Here is what Miss Shelby is up to these days....
--After lots of time, effort, and patience you have finally graduated to Stage 3 baby food! Yay!
--You are starting to tolerate fruit a little more, too! The only fruit you actually enjoy {in other words, the only fruit you will willingly pick up and eat on your own..everything else, Mommy has to put in your mouth} is still your beloved bananas. You are starting to tolerate: grapes, strawberries, and peaches.
--You are talking up a storm these days! You are saying LOTS of new words this month! And the biggest development in your language this month is that you are trying to string two words together now, which your Early Intervention Coordinator told me is a 24 month old skill. :)  It's amazing how you were "behind" in language, and now we can't slow you down! By far, your favorite two-word phrase is "D Dada" b/c you have heard me tell you that "D is for Daddy." Mommy hears "D Dada" a lot these days. :)
--You are attempting to repeat a lot of the words you hear Mommy & Daddy say. We have had to start being careful with what we say around you. ;)  And we have also had to start spelling words around you to avoid tantrums. For instance, if you hear us merely say the word "outside" in conversation, you run straight to the door b/c you think we're going outside to play...and when that doesn't happen, tantrums ensue! ;)
--Also, related to language you are finally signing "more." This totally baffles us b/c we started trying to sign with you around 6 months-ish. You totally understood the signs when we signed them to you, but never made any effort whatsoever to use the signs to communicate back with us. So we finally just stopped signing with you a couple of months ago. But now that you can actually say the word "more" is when you decide to start signing it, too. Silly girl!
--Your desire for independence has really started to develop this month. You get very frustrated if Mommy and Daddy don't let you do every.single.thing by yourself. The power struggles we have can be very exhausting at times, but I know this is just a part of you growing up!
--You are testing the limits we place upon you on a regular basis. Your little brain is just trying to figure exactly how much you can get away with. ;)  Unfortunately, Mommy & Daddy are really struggling with you in the discipline department. Every time we think we are being firm with disciplining, you just start giggling or think it's a game we are playing with you..ha!
--Your little sense of humor and desire to make others smile has really blossomed this past month! You love to just throw yourself down on the ground b/c you know it makes us laugh every time. When I come to get you out of your crib in the mornings or after your nap, you like to lay back down and pretend like you're going to sleep. You are a hoot!
--You can wear anything from size 2T up to 4T in clothes right now depending on the brand, but typically 3T fits you the best. You still wear a size 5 diaper and size 6 in your shoes.
--Your sense of imagination is also starting to come out this month! You are playing "pretend" and giving bottles and sippy cups to your baby dolls in case they are thirsty. You also like to play with cars and make them say "vroom" when you are driving them. It's always surreal when we watch you playing in this manner b/c you can't possibly be old enough to be playing pretend!
--You are teething like crazy! I think all of your teeth have officially broken through or are right on the surface of your gums. You still only have your front four teeth and your four molars that are all the way in, but every other tooth beside those eight are working their way into your mouth...you have been such a trooper through all of the pain!
--It never ceases to amaze me what a good sleeper you are! I remember when you were a newborn {and I was severely sleep-deprived}, I kept reading all of the sleep books to figure out how to get us both some much-needed zzzz's. But none of the books really had any sleep training strategies for newborns b/c they said newborns always sleep--typically 16-20 hours a day. Ha! You hated sleep your first few months of life. But now? Now that you are nearing two years of age? Now, you sleep 16 hours, if not more, most days..and it baffles me! For the past couple of months, you have been going to bed around 7:30 or 8pm and waking up around 8 or 8:30am. But you must have hit a growth spurt or all or your teething has taken it out of you b/c you have been sleeping in until 9 or 9:30 in the mornings. So 13-14 hours of sleep at night and then a 3 hour nap in the afternoon! Mommy & Daddy are both very thankful to have such a good sleeper!
--Every now and again, you are starting to throw everything out of your crib when you wake up again. I guess we aren't totally out of the throwing stage just yet! ;)
--You get SO excited when Daddy walks through the door in the evening! Whenever you hear any noises that are evenly remotely similar to the front door opening or the garage door going up, you start yelling "Dada! Dada!" You definitely love your Daddy! :)


Our Weekend with BooBoo & Pop-Pop

While BooBoo & Pop-Pop were in town, we made a trip over to Ocean Springs to check out the Gulf Island National Seashore Visitor Center. It was kind of like a mini children's museum...Shelby really enjoyed it!

We also tried out a new beach-front restaurant here in Biloxi for dinner one night. There was a bit of wait, which I typically dread with Shelby in tow...but it worked out wonderfully b/c Shelby just played in the sand while we waited for our table! It was perfect!

We had such a wonderful visit! "BooBoo" and "Pop-Pop" are the first names of family members that Shelby has been able to say (aside from Mommy & Daddy, of course). After they left to head back to GA, Shelby kept randomly saying "BooBoo..Pop-Pop...BooBoo..Pop-Pop." Ha! I think that means she is ready for them to come back already!  :)


Baking with BooBoo!

Here is how we spent our Saturday morning.... 

BooBoo (Derek's mom) is excited about doing lots of baking with her granddaughters over the years to come, and this weekend we had the inaugural cooking adventure--making pancakes with Shelby! And it was an absolute success! Granted, our benchmark for success was pretty low b/c we envisioned this activity going one of two ways: a temper tantrum when Shelby realized she wasn't in control 100% of the time OR (the more likely of the two) the mixing bowl would up on her head. Exhibit A:

This is one of Shelby's all-time favorite "toys"--a mixing bowl full of Mardi Gras beads provides endless entertainment for her. (And don't mind that empty Diet Coke can on the floor behind her...but those also a favorite "toy" at our house. Maybe Shelby doesn't realize she actually has any toys?! Ha! ;)

But neither of those two scenarios played out, so we are calling this a raging success! :)  Thankfully, BooBoo is very patient and let her apprentice touch and feel all of the ingredients b/c that's what she was most interested in. ;)

Helping pour the pancake batter on the griddle

Now don't let that last picture fool you into thinking Shelby actually ate the pancakes. She was very intrigued by the creation, but not quite intrigued enough to put it in her mouth Ha! But Daddy said her pancakes were yummy! It was such a fun morning! :)