Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hannah Rocks!

Sweet Hannah has really taken to her rocking chair and baby doll.  She's been doing Kindermusik moves with her baby doll, clapping the dolls hands and feet together.  We've also reinstated the use of her rocking chair since she hasn't tried to stand up in it recently.  Put the two together, and you've got one cute mommy-Hannah!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Alabama as National Champions

Daniel had to run off to a church meeting prior to the big game, and I was instructed to get some photos of Hannah in her soon-to-be-retired Bama outfit.  This is the first time in looking at photos of Hannah, that some of her features really remind me of my toddler photos.

We had our Auburn alumni but Bama fan friends Matt and Natalie over for the game.  And, yes, Alabama won the game against SEC rival LSU, 21-0.

14 months

We’ve had a really good month with Hannah.  Her reflux is under control with the medicine and she’s left her clinginess behind.  She’s finally gotten to where sometimes she pushes away from me holding her to get down on the ground and crawl off.  She used to always prefer being held. 

I love watching her explore!  She tears through our bathroom and kitchen cabinets, emptying the contents until she finds something she wants to play with.  We spend a lot of time straightening up behind her.  I’m told at childcare she empties the toy box everyday.  She went through a phase where she enjoying getting a Kleenex and tearing it in two and sharing the smaller piece.  She would do this over and over again, always evaluating the pieces to make sure she was keeping the larger of the two.  She’s also really enjoying nesting her stacking cups.  I love to watch her mind work as she goes through the trial and error process of making them fit.  When she accomplishes something, she’ll look up at us, grin, and clap her hands.  She’s so proud of herself!  She’s also mastered the art of dismounting furniture, feet first.  Perhaps the funniest thing she does it press the music button on her pony and start dancing.  It’s usually a head bob, but she’ll clap and twist if she’s in the mood.  She loves her new toys—her zoo, puzzles, legos, and doll stroller.  She’s finally gotten to a point where she’ll leave the doll in the stroller—she wasn’t so sure about the life-like doll at first.

Hannah does have two cute quirks.  One is that she doesn’t like to have her left sock on.  The right is fine, but she’ll frequently pull the left off and hand it to me.  The other is inevitably, after I finish cleaning her hands and face after her meal, she’ll grab one last bite and get her hands dirty again.  It’s her signature move.

My favorite memory from the month is when I was pretending to call her on her chatter phone from across the room.  Without missing a beat, she picks up a rattle, puts it to her ear and says “hi!”  Any electronic device is a phone to her.  She’ll hold it to her ear and say “hi,” but the rattle was rather creative.

Hannah’s babbling has now become words that only she understands.  She’ll point at something and use a single syllable with authority.  Although I’ve only detected a few consistent words (hi, dat = that, ga = dog, da-ee=daddy, mama, up, clock) she’s really into asking “was dis?” and “wassat?” (what’s this/that?)  She’ll point to random objects, curious to find out what they are called.  Frequently she’ll repeat the question.  We’ll talk about the object until I have nothing left to say.  I love the curiosity!

We’re down to feeding Hannah a bottle of milk when she wakes up and when she goes to bed at night for the purposes of getting her medicine in her.  The other times I’m trying to get her to use her sippy cup.  She’s made great progress with that, although she asks for help.

Hannah is a meat-eater, much to her daddy’s delight.  She’ll eat pretty much any meat we put in front of her.  She loves beef and deli turkey and ham.  She also loves dairy:  milk, yogurt and cheese.  Her vegetable of choice is Gerber carrots.  Yes, only the Gerber ones.  And her fruit of choice is banana.  She still eats her black beans like candy.  She and I split Kashi cereal and a banana in the morning.  I still feed her pureed fruits and veggies until I can find something else she’ll eat.  I frequently put the fruit and veggies on her tray, but she’ll hand them right back to me.  Eventually, they’ll make their way to the floor.

Hannah cut another tooth around Christmas, bringing the total up to 6.  She’s also thoroughly enjoying her new convertible car seat!

I’m frustrated that I cannot get good pictures of Hannah.  It’s the combination of Hannah wanting to get her hands on the camera, our camera not snapping quickly, and user error, I’m sure.  Here’s what we have for this month.  Hannah takes gift opening very seriously!

Early Christmas in Atlanta

Christmas Morning

The Richmond Girls

My parents, sisters, Uncle Jim, cousin Mark, and Aunt Karen were all in Orlando to celebrate Christmas!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Happy New Year!

Every year since middle school, I’ve written a reflection of the previous year and hopes for the coming year in a journal.  I would dedicate time usually on New Year’s Eve or Day to the task.  I honestly never look forward to the task but thoroughly enjoy reviewing previous years’ happenings.  So, without further adieu…

Daniel and I have had the ultimate blessing of watching Hannah transform from infant to baby to toddler in 2011.  It’s truly amazing what development happens in such a short time.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my role as mommy, and have added to it another role—Missions Assistant, a job I started in April at our church.  The 12-hour per week job has been an incredible blessing.  I have gotten to know some amazing people who serve the Lord wholeheartedly, and grow in my faith.  It’s been a great way to balance my desire to feel like I’m contributing to God’s Kingdom and loving my family.  I’m blessed to have such wonderful caretakers for Hannah while I work.  Before she was born, I prayed for the people who would nurture and educate her.  My prayers have been answered through these women.  Hannah loves going to play and I love that she gets to be around other kids.  My job has been a blessing to us and an answer to prayer.

Daniel also began a new job in March of 2011.  He is still consulting on executive compensation, but for a smaller company.  He works for Meridian, which spun off from Hewitt, the place where Daniel and I met—a return to our roots.  Daniel is happy with the new job, which is again a testament to God’s provision and guidance.

In addition to working at the church three mornings a week, I’m there nearly every other day with various commitments.  At the beginning of 2011, I joined a Bible Study class called the Amazing Collection, in which we study a book of the Bible each week.  I’ve never accepted the challenge of reading through the Bible before, so this is giving me a fantastic big picture.  I study with and a group of amazing women.  We’ve studied from Genesis through Isaiah thus far.  We take a break for the summer, so we’ll be done mid-2013. 

On Fridays, I attend MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers).  I’ve met a lot of new women since none of my tablemates are members of DBC.  It’s a fun, encouraging time I look forward to.  I also gave up my 7 year membership to LA Fitness and joined our church’s fitness center.  I squeeze in workout time whenever possible.  I also still am a part of praise choir, a Sunday school class, and small group, but my newest role is taking on a significant part of the leadership of the women’s ministry.  I’ve been challenged and grown in a new way through this role.  My project right now is putting together a 40 day devotion guide, written by women in leadership roles in the church to distribute to every woman who comes through our doors—no small task!  This project will be girded in much prayer!

We had some good vacations this year.  We had a good time this summer with my family in the North Carolina mountains.  Daniel and I celebrated our 6th anniversary with a trip to Siesta Key—our first overnight away from Hannah.  (Thanks, Mom and Dad!)  In the fall we traveled to Vermont and New Hampshire for a fall foliage trip and the opportunity to knock two more states off our list.  We made some trips to both grandparents in Nashville and Orlando.  We spent Thanksgiving in Nashville and Christmas in Orlando.  There were a couple of unplanned trips, as we traveled to north Florida twice for funerals (Daniel’s Uncle Ted and our sister in law Chrissy’s father) and Daniel went to Nashville in August for his dad’s heart valve replacement surgery.  We’re thankful that B.A. has recovered well from the surgery and doesn’t oink (it’s a pig heart valve).

I’m currently having a blast with some new Christmas gifts, indulging in this new technology—Pandora, Keurig machine, ipod Touch along with all of the apps, blue tooth music speaker—all totally new gadgets for me!  I was reluctant to dive into the apple world for fear it would steal my time and confuse me, but I’m glad I did.  Hard to imagine what Hannah’s world will be like when she’s an adult.

I love it when the Lord gives me a verse and keeps bringing it to the forefront of my mind.  For the last part of 2011, it was the verse from James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  I believe the Lord really wanted me to focus on being thankful for the people, things, circumstances, and opportunities in my life.  Recently, I’ve been led to reflect on the fruit of the Spirit.  I’ve also been convicted of my need for stopping uncontrolled eating and maintaining a nutritious diet.  And what is the last fruit mentioned on the list?  (Gal 5:22-23)  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

My body has been through a lot the past 2 years—pregnancy, miscarriage, pregnancy, c-section, and breastfeeding for a year.  To be honest, I’m looking forward to being selfish for awhile.  So it is only a week into the New Year, but I’ve committed to taking steps to eat a nutritious diet and exercise regularly.  I’ve started keeping a daily log of everything I eat—a true eye opener and being intentional about fitting in the gym time.  I find when I start moving, I have momentum to get things done around the house.  Bodies in motion stay in motion, I suppose.

My “resolution” for 2012 is ask the Lord to mature the fruit of the Spirit in my life.  Each of these character traits reflect the nature of Christ and are the by-products of His control in my life.  If I am truly surrendering my life to the Lord then love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control should be evident.

Other things to look forward to in 2012 is re-decorating our master bedroom and turning 30!

It’s going to be a good year!