Life with a Two Year Old

I totally dropped the ball with finishing out Shelby's monthly blog posts. :(  My goal was to do a monthly update on Shelby through her 2nd birthday, but I only made it 22 months. My Type A self is still trying to get over the fact that I don't have pictures or posts for months 23 & 24, but somehow life has gone on. ;)  In an effort to make up for the lack of those posts, I figured I'd do a little update on what life is like at our house right now with a two year old. :)

 --At Shelby's 2 year appointment, she weighed in at 31.2 pounds (92nd percentile) & measured 36.2in tall (96th percentile).
 --No more paci! Shelby stopped taking a pacifier during the day on her own at mabye 9ish months? But she has always napped/gone to bed with her pacifier, wubbanub, and bear. Looking back, I have no idea why but we were so worried about taking them away from her! We decided we would take them away in stages. At the end of September, we just told Shelby "paci all gone." Much to our surprise, it was a complete & total non-issue. For a couple of days she would just tell us "paci all gone" before nap & bedtime, and that was it. She was still sleeping with her wubbanub & bear though. We thought she might start sucking on her Wubbanub after paci went away, but that didn't happen. She just continued to do her weird little comfort thing--sticking the pacifier part of her wubbanub into the corner of her eye. ;)  We had planned to cut the pacifier part off of her Wubby after a week or so of being without paci, but we never had to...it ended up falling off! Again, it was a total non-issue. And the funniest part is there's a little edge of the pacifier part that didn't come off entirely so she's constantly reminding us that it's "Wubby's big tooth." :)
--You know all of your letters (uppercase & lowercase), letter sounds, basic colors, & basic shapes. You can count to 29 on your own. You can count with one-to-one correspondence most of the time. ;) You can spell Mommy, Daddy, Shelby, cat, dog, pig, and fish.
--We switched you from whole milk to 2% milk shortly after your birthday, and you didn't seem to notice any difference! You drink 8oz in the morning when you wake up & 8oz before you go to bed at night. You are a stubborn girl and refuse to drink milk from anything other than a bottle. At some point, we'll eventually get rid of the bottles but that hasn't been a battle we've deemed worthy of fighting just yet. :)
--You have a little potty chair in our downstairs bathroom, and every time Mommy goes potty you go and sit on your potty, too. But we haven't started potty training just yet..we talk about it & read books to you about it all the time, but that's it for now. Hopefully after we're done with all of our traveling, we can get started with that!
--Your vocabulary & verbal skills are amazing! You are putting 5-6 word phrases/sentences together now.
--You LOVE art! Nothing makes you happier than when I tell you we are going to color, do stickers, paint, etc. Sometimes when you are bored or getting tired of an activity, you'll look at me & say: "Mommy, we need paint!" :)

--You are currently obsessed with Elmo & Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street. You had never even so much as seen of an episode of that show prior to the end of October. But I was kind of tired of listening to the same ole 2 or 3 DVD's in the car and since we had a road trip to GA at the end of October, I picked up the "Elmo's Alphabet Adventure" DVD at Target. To say you loved it would be an understatement. You get mad at me when it's time to turn it off and get out of the car. Since you liked the DVD so much, I started DVRing episodes of Sesame Street when we got back from our trip. You kind of like the show, but sometimes you just get plain mad at the scenes/skits where neither Elmo or Abby are involved and start getting hysterical until I fast forward to their part of the show. ;)
--You still sleep in your crib, and you love your bed! You still sleep great (12-13 hours at night & a 3+ hr nap), and you love your bed. You sometimes don't like to get out of bed when you wake up in the morning or after naps, so I give you books to read in your bed so you can have a few more minutes of time in bed. ;)

--You are a bossy little thing these days, and you are definitely acting like a two year old at times. ;)  Thankfully, your cuteness makes up for it though!
--Your current favorites are: running laps around the downstairs of our house, reading books, playing cars with Daddy, anything involving art or the alphabet, bananas, pizza, slides, cookies and M&M's, Elmo & Abby from Sesame Street, Super Why, & rolling golf balls down our driveway (totally random, but you love it!!).

Having a tea party at the local children's museum :)

Stringing beads

Derek & I still learning our way as we transition from parents of a baby to parents of a toddler. It's so hard knowing when to let go & when to step in, but we are loving watching Shelby grow into her own little unique personality and helping to foster her independence. Two is a challenging age, but it's so much fun!


Wordy Wednesday

I am declaring today "Wordy Wednesday." In other words, this will be a very boring post with no pictures. ;)  Don't get me wrong, I have an abundance of photos that are long overdue to share on the blog...but Blogger has notified me that I have reached my limit photos on the blog, which is absolutely cuh-razy to me! How could I have possibly reached the limit?! Do I really post that many pictures?? Hopefully I'll get my storage space increased this week so I can get back to regular blogging ASAP :)  But until then, here are a few random thoughts I have to share with you. Enjoy!

 --First and foremost, GO DAWGS! We are anxiously anticipating the SEC Championship game this weekend!
 --We leave for Punta Cana in less than 2 weeks! Eeeek! We are so excited for this trip, but it's hard to believe it's here! It feels like we just got back from Europe. And when we get back from this trip, Christmas will be just a few days away. Between our trip to Ormond Beach, Pittsburgh, Europe, & now Punta Cana...this summer/fall has literally flown by for us! Hopefully we'll be able to catch our breath after Christmas. ;)
--We are all decorated for Christmas in the Smith house! I have always loved Christmas decorations, but it's especially fun with a two year old. Every morning when we come downstairs, Shelby immediately instructs me to turn on the Christmas tree lights. It's like she can't go on with her day until the trees are lit up. ;)
--I have no idea why, but we have been in a purging mood lately around here! We have taken several bags of stuff to donate & I've also sold a good bit of stuff on our local Facebook yard sale page. It feels so good to clean closets out and have a little extra cash in my wallet! :)
--Two is such a sweet, fun age. But boy is it challenging, too. Shelby loves to be bossy these days. She's lucky she's so darn cute! ;)  I didn't think the two of us were going to make it through the day together yesterday, but somehow we both survived. And wouldn't you know that she has been nothing but sweet, sweet, sweet today.
--GO DAWGS! It's worth mentioning twice. ;)  We can hardly contain our excitement around here with the possibility of a national championship for the Bulldog Nation! 
--I read Gone Girl on our trip last month, and I'm currently reading French Kids Eat Everything after I saw it recommended on a blog I read. I'm hopeful it will give me some helpful tips with my picky eater! Lately, the first things Shelby asks for when she wakes up in the morning are cookies and M&M's. Apparently the apple doesn't fall very far from the tree. ;)
--Between our trip last month, Shelby catching a little cold, & Thanksgiving, Shelby missed 4 weeks in a row of Mother's Morning Out. Tomorrow is her first day back, and I am nervous as to how she'll readjust. She has been excited talking about her teachers & school all week, but I'm not sure how she'll actually react when I go to drop her off. Fingers crossed!
--We don't do Black Friday, but I heart Cyber Monday! We got some great deals yesterday!
--We finally had our family pictures taken on Sunday. We hadn't had any pictures taken since last October, so we were well over due. But wouldn't you know that the gnats decided to start swarming about 5 minutes before our photo shoot started..ugh. We probably have about 300 pictures with Shelby rubbing her face to keep the bugs away. I felt so bad for her. All three of us were miserable, but hopefully we got at least one decent picture we can use for our Christmas card this year! I am already stressing about how late our cards are going to get out in the mail, but oh well.
--I'm pretty sure grocery shopping with a toddler should qualify as an Olympic sport. Sheesh!

Okay, I think that's enough randomness for one day. ;)  Hopefully I'll be back soon with some pictures!


London baby!

Here is my last vacation post, and then Sarah is going to take back over the blog! We made it to London in the afternoon and took the Heathrow Express train directly to our hotel, which was the Hilton at the Paddington station. It was an expensive little train, but there is nothing like a 15 minute ride straight to your hotel. Due to my months in Jackson, I had built up over 100,000 Hilton Honors points which ended up saving us over $1000 on our trip to London! I had no idea how expensive the cost of living was in London. The first night, we ate dinner at Garfunkel's which has prices which seemed typical of an American restaurant, but when you calculate that a British pound is roughly $1.70 you realize you are paying 70% more for everything! The first morning we took "the Tube" to ride the Duck which is always a favorite of Sarah and mine. While we were there we also took the tour of Westminster Abbey(where Sarah tried to identify things she say in William and Kate's wedding). It was pretty impressive to see the graves of Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, the British Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and tons of English royalty.  We also enjoyed touring the Tower of London and although Sarah didn't appreciate all the stories about executions, she did enjoy seeing the British Crown Jewels which are also displayed/protected there. On the final night, we bought the Day and Night pass to the London Eye which allowed us to go around the eye once during the daylight and once at night. It was a lot of fun to see the sights of London from above and I thought it was even more fun to see the same sights at night.
Riding the Duck is always a great way to learn about a new city!

Westminster Abbey from the Duck
Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from the Thames while on the Duck

Westminster Abbey
Buckingham Palace and the Queen Victoria Memorial at dusk

Spooky view of Tower Bridge from inside the Tower of London

Building inside the Tower of London that holds the Crown Jewels
The oldest tower in the Tower of London complex...the White Tower built in 1066
Tower Bridge
Never saw anyone use one, but the telephone booths are still all over London
Big Ben and Westminster Abbey from the London Eye
The same picture at night....pretty cool
View of the London Eye at night
View of one of the other pods while we were on the London Eye


Edelweiss Vacation

We have been home for almost 2 weeks now so I guess its about time for me to get the blog posts done for our European vacation. Since the Air Force was kind enough to pay for my plane ticket to Germany and I had over 100,000 Hilton Honors points built up from my months of staying at the Homewood Suites in Jackson for my ICU rotations, we decided to fly Sarah out to Germany after my Landstuhl ICU rotation was over so that we could do some sightseeing. Grammy and Grampy were kind enough to keep Shelby for the week so Sarah and I took advantage and decided to tour Germany and London too! Sarah's flight was an overnight flight which put her into Frankfurt in the mid-morning so we rented a car and drove on the Autobahn down to Garmisch which was about 5 hours south towards the Alps. It was a lot of fun for me to drive on the Autobahn and get passed by exotic sports cars and it gave Sarah some time to nap. We finally made it to Edelweiss in the mid-afternoon and checked in, but the sun was setting by 430pm. The next day, we slept in to let Sarah get over the jet lag of missing a night of sleep and spent the day around the Edelweiss Resort and Garmisch. The second day we drove to Neuschwanstein Castle which supposedly was the inspiration for Walt Disney when designing Cinderella's Castle. It was a lot of fun to see the amazing castle sitting high in the Alps. The third day, we took the train to Munich and walked down to Marienplatz which is the main square surrounded by gift shops, beer gardens and even a cathedral. We missed the show, but the Glockenspiel is a life-sized cuckcoo clock in the middle of the square that has a 15minute show which re-enacts historical events once a day. The next day we checked out of Edelweiss and drove back to Frankfurt for our flight to London!

Sarah in front of the Edelweiss sign with Zugspitze(tallest mountain in Germany) in the background.
View of the German Alps from our balcony
Hohenschwangau Castle
Inside the courtyard of Neuschwanstein Castle
Neuschwanstein Castle which is apparently the inspiration for Cinderella's castle at Disney World
Inside McDonald's in Munich....crazy!
The Glockenspiel at the Rathaus in Marienplatz in Munich. The life-sized figurines dance like a cuckoo clock!
Thanks for checking out our vacation...I'll start the London post next!

Love and miss everyone(and glad to be home),



Baby #2!

Since over half of this pregnancy has already flown by, I figure we are well overdue for an update! :)  Let's start off with some pictures, shall we? I don't have any current belly pics, but since I haven't shared any at all thus far I figured these would still be good to share :)  Derek was in Germany when these pics taken, so all I have is pictures taken with my phone!

{taken October 3rd @ 17wks}

{taken October 19th @ 19wks}
And here are a few pics of me at 17 & 19 weeks when I was pregnant with Shelby. I always heard people say that you show a lot sooner the second time around, but I didn't realize quite how much it would be! There is definitely a huge difference!!

{17 weeks with Shelby}

{19 weeks with Shelby}

I also went back through my old blog posts from when I was pregnant with Shelby and found this little questionnaire that I periodically filled out throughout my first pregnancy. So I thought I'd do that again this time around :)

How far along: 23 weeks & 2 days to be exact!

Weight Gain: About 6 pounds. But I actually lost 5 pounds in the first trimester due to nausea, so I've really gained those 5 pounds back plus added 6 new pounds. ;)  I looked back to see how much weight I had gained by 24 weeks with Shelby, and it was almost 10. So I'm about at the same place I was last time around. :)

Maternity clothes: This is such a drastic change from my first pregnancy! I went all 41.5 weeks of my pregnancy with Shelby without wearing a single stitch of maternity clothes. This time around? I had to pull out my belly bands around 12 weeks! Craziness. I was only really "showing" last time around in the warm spring/summer months so I was able to get away with wearing all of my regular skirts and dresses. But this time I was showing so early on and in the cooler fall/winter months, so I had to break down and order my first two pairs of maternity jeans from Old Navy and I also picked up 2 long sleeve maternity tops at Target. But aside from the maternity jeans, I am mostly wearing my regular clothes.

Sleep: Fine! After having Shelby, I sadly never went back to being quite as good of a sleeper as I was in the pre-Shelby days. But there really hasn't been any change to my sleeping habits with this pregnancy...just one middle of night trip to the bathroom to pee most nights, but I usually get right back to sleep. :)

Movement: This is another huge change from my first pregnancy! I had an anterior placenta with Shelby, so I never felt any movement for the longest time...and even when I did start feeling some movement, I never felt as much as I was "supposed" to according to the kick count charts. I have an anterior placenta again this time around, so I wasn't expecting to feel much movement. Boy was I wrong! This baby is definitely a mover!!

Food cravings: None. I definitely had some food aversions in the first trimester. Two of those said aversions just so happened to be Miss Shelby's favorite foods--bananas & peanut butter--so that made things interesting early on in this pregnancy. ;)

Symptoms: I never really had any morning sickness at all with Shelby, so I was kind of expecting/hoping the same would be true this time around as well. :)  Unfortunately, due to my food aversions being Shelby's favorite foods I couldn't exactly avoid them. So I did throw up a few times during the first trimester, but almost every episode of nausea was triggered by something Shelby was eating. And I did have some instances where I felt nauseous/had heartburn after eating a big dinner. But thankfully, that is all behind me now and I currently have no pregnancy symptoms to report other than a rapidly growing belly!

Gender: GIRL!!!  Here are a few pictures of little sister :)

{12 week ultrasound}
This was our first time seeing this sweet baby & hearing the heartbeat!

{20 week ultrasound}

{20 week ultrasound}
How sweet is this picture of her sucking her thumb?!

What I miss: Nothing :)  Just like last time, I am having a super smooth/easy pregnancy and I'm really enjoying it!

Best moment this week: Since we've gone 23 weeks without an update, I'll just pick 3 of my favorite moments from the entire pregnancy. The first was hearing the heartbeat for the first time with Derek at 12 weeks. Hearing your baby's heartbeat for the first time is such a surreal, amazing feeling! Number two--finding out we are going to have another girl! :)  And finally, all of the movement! I stressed/worried about the lack of movement I felt with Shelby, so it is very reassuring to an anxious mama to feel that sweet baby moving around in there just as healthy as can be!

What I'm looking forward to: My next doctor's appointment on the 21st & yummy Thanksgiving food :)


Shelby's Time in GA

I have about a million things I need to blog about--our vacation, a very belated 2 year old update on Miss Shelby, an update on this pregnancy, and the list goes on. But I'll take the easy way out for now and share some pictures with you that my family sent us of Shelby while we were in Europe. These pictures are completely out of order, but that's okay. ;)

My parents took Shelby to the Mall of GA so she could eat dinner & play
with her BooBoo & Pop-Pop one evening. I loved this picture that BooBoo
(Derek's mom) captured. She said that Shelby would run around the play area
then stop to do the letters on the rug then start running again. And then she'd
do it all over again. ;)

I love this picture of Shelby with her BooBoo & Pop-Pop! :)

Another day playing at the Mall of GA playground with Grammy &
Grampy...here is Shelby pushing her bear down the slide. :)

Auntie Em took Shelby to Catch Air one day, and she isstill talking about it. "Go to jumpy place with
Emi? Go on green slide?" Obviously, she had a pretty good time! :)

I love this picture! Shelby having the time of her life at Grammy & Grampy's house! Eating giant cheetos with a
pudding-stained face ;)  She was definitely spoiled rotten, but that's grandparents are for!!!!!

Cupcake on the run!
{Halloween Night 2012}

Shelby had a great time trick-or-treating on Halloween with Grammy, Grampy, & Auntie Em!

Shelby got to decorate pumpkins with Grammy & Grampy like they did in one of her favorite books
It's Pumpkin Day, Mouse! by Laura Numeroff.

Having fun shopping with Auntie Em @ Charming Charlie's :)

A day at Sims Lake Park with Grammy & Grampy

Shelby checking out all of her loot after trick-or-treating  :)



Shelby had a blast playing in the leaves while we were in GA. We don't have many trees here on the
Gulf Coast..much less trees that are changing colors & have leaves falling down! Shelby would get so
excited when she would see the fall trees: "Red tree, Mommy! Look, orange tree!" ;)

Shelby had a GREAT time while she was in GA...she is still talking about it! :) We are so incredibly thankful to my parents & sister for taking such wonderful care of our baby! It is such a blessing that Derek & I were able to enjoy our time away without worrying at all about Shelby. We knew she was in the best of hands and being loved on like crazy. :)  The only thing we had to worry about was how much we missed her ;)  Thank you to Grammy, Grampy, & Auntie Em for making our vacation possible!



I made it back to ATL on Thursday evening, and Derek flew in yesterday (Friday) morning. (We couldn't get our flights together b/c he had to take a military chartered plane.) Derek was beyond excited to get to see his baby girl after nearly 6 weeks apart, and Shelby was delighted to have her Daddy back :)

After we picked up Derek, we headed to lunch at Zaxby's and then let Shelby enjoy her Daddy at the playground. :)  They had the best time together!

See that smile on Shelby's face? She was having the best time pushing Daddy down the slide :)

We spent the rest of Friday afternoon/evening recuperating from our long flights at my parents' house in GA and then we made the drive back to Biloxi this morning. As much fun as we had on our European vacay, we were so excited to get home to Shelby and get the 3 of us back in Biloxi together! I love taking vacations, and I love how how they remind you to appreciate home. :)

Lots of pictures & recaps to come from our trip once we get unpacked & settled back into our routines at home!