The Year of 2014

When I entered 2014 I was growing, carrying, and a little bit scared of the tiny, sweet, being inside of me. I remember thinking "So how is this all going to work?" And I meant ALL of it. 

We were waiting, we were excited, we had no clue. 

No clue of the growth that was to come, the love that was about to wash over us. The sleep we were about to miss, the laughs we were about to share.

But then she came. She meaning Millie, of course.

All 8 lbs. 5 oz of her. Wide eyed and bushy tailed. Ready to take on the world. And like everyone does we jumped in. There is no just sticking your toes in, in this parenting business. You are either in or you are out.

The year of 2014 is Our Year of Millie. 

She is sassy, spunky, smiley, sociable and adventurous. 

And she is the sauce boss. Clearly. 

We've taken pictures, went on trips, given hugs and kisses, said no, said sorry, played with toys, changed diapers, and loved Our Year of Millie.

While we still have about 2 months until the official year mark of meeting Millie I can't help but be a little emotional about the change of know how I am with change. But if I just think about how incredible 2014 was to us I can't help but be a little curious of 2015.

So in not too long the clock with strike 12 midnight. The year will change. We will ring it in in our jammies cuddling our girl.

The girl who made our year.

Happy New Year to you and yours from us and ours!



A Daddy's Birthday

Today's a special day at our house. It's a Daddy's birthday. 

The man that I married. The man I parent with. The man that probably cooks more dinners than I.Yet is clueless on how to pack his lunch for work. The man that is endlessly patient. Endlessly kind. The man that is quiet and reserved. The man that provides and protects. 

The man that knits, that can fix a leaky faucet, who can take your blood pressure, and do some other gross nurse things.

I couldn't ask for a better man to parent Millie. I couldn't think of a better man to share a home and last name.

To my forever favorite-Happy Birthday Jerrel. We love you, we respect you, we can't wait to spend the day with you-celebrating all the wonderful things that make you-YOU!



9 Months of Millie

As I was getting the pictures together for the chronicle of Millie from the last month I found not as many pictures. Not sure why, could be that I'm busy chasing her around or the already hectic holiday season. Either way a short post ensues and so here we go! 

Millie and I keep pretty busy during the day. I dust, she dusts, I do laundry, she does laundry, She plays, I play. She naps...

I uhh, REJOICE! These shots came one morning about 9 am. Millie had been up and playing with me in bed but then laid down (on a clean diaper) a fell back a sleep. So sweet. 

So I tried to take advantage of the time a wrote a story. But you know who woke up after 30mins a wanted to help. 

Of course you can help baby doll. 

Told you last month that girlfriend would be walking by the end of the month a I was right. She took her first step on the 3rd of November but really "walked" on the 11th and she hasn't stopped working at it since. She can now stand up without pulling up on something and over the weekend she climbed a flight of stairs (with a spotter). She's just such a go getter. 

But sometimes we make the choice to crawl. It's simply more efficient still. 
Seeing your baby do things for the first time is always a mind blowing event. One moment they can't and the next the can. Literally.

We also decided to wave and clap this month. Our wave is quite regal and the clap is darling.

Millie also started to show interest in table food. I had alway had an "exclusively breastfed for a year" goal but she showed an interest and so we are just barely touching on babyled weaning. She doesn't eat much-that may be because she nurses before each meal-hey it's just timing...or it's part of my diabolical plan to make sure I nurse her

Anyway she's eating a little bit of table food and enjoying experiencing it. For those of you that don't know about babyled weaning it's different than purees and spoons.

This is one of the meals we had and the little bit we offered Millie. She loved the meat and figured out how to get the raspberry on her finger and eat it that way. So much fun watching her.

I'm a firm believer in "Food before one is just for fun." She doesn't need it-the breastmilk has all she needs but meal time is a social and tactile experience for her so we enjoy including her even if she works over a single sliver of venison for the meal ...Nature's chew toy. She's having fun and I'm cleaning up messes!

Millie is catching on to social cues. She mimics coughs or sneezes and laughs when others laugh. I know I'm biased but our girl is mighty intelligent. 

The fourth this time around was a bit hard. I've had her in my arms as long as I carried her in my womb. When you have a baby and you get clothes for 6 months or 9 months down the road you think, "Oh that'll be forever till they fit in that." But it's not it's next week or tomorrow-depending on the day. 

It just goes fast. Way fast.

Here we are from 8 months to 9 months. 

So I leave you with 2 more pictures of our toe headed, walky, talky, sweet, spunky, smart girl. 

Kiss your babies. For they will always be yours but not always actual babies. 

Happy nine months Millie we are so grateful for you! 



Busy Bee

Let me just get one thing out there. Baby toys annoy me. 

Ok, let me be more specific-baby toys with obnoxious lights, songs, and sounds annoy me. But moreover I believe them to be overstimulating for my little developing peanut. So we don't have any. Ok we have two toys that have lights and sound and we intend on keeping it that way. I prefer to grow Millie in a quiter and more engaging environment. We play with stuffed animals, build with blocks, sing, and run around the house like a crazy person. 

She explores spoons, spatulas, and measuring cups. When Jerrel and I were talking about raising, playing, and "learnin' our child we knew there was a way to do it without the lights and sounds that the toy aisle is filled with. Enter in Montessori style Education. The premise is Exploring to Learn as opposed to Learning to Explore. So that's why we try to fill Millie's world with all kinds of different objects, engage her interpersonally, and shy away from over stimulating and distracting bright lights and loud noises. 

Yeah, it sounds pretty boring at our house. 

We didn't get a whole slew of baby toys as gifts and we were fine with that. And the thing is...Millie doesn't even play with her toys-even the noisy two. With the exception of a hand-me-down loud and crazy activity table at my parents' house that she LOVES, Mills just isn't too interested in toys. A couple months ago I thought "Maybe Millie isn't being challenged with her toys, maybe she's bored. I think I'll spend a bunch of money on some toys to grow her mind." Well one large Amazon bill later the toys spend much of their time in the toy bin and girlfriend still isn't that interested. 

When I unpacked them she laughed at me, and it wasn't a "Oh Momma thanks for the new toys, you rock!" Kind of laugh, no, it was more of a "Way to blow my college fund." Kind of laugh. She still prefers the things we say she can't have and the things we use in daily life. 

So we are always on the lookout for new exploratory activities for Millie. I spend time on Pinterest looking them up and here's our latest, 

It's super easy! We had a flat from the greenhouse this last spring, I then went around a gathered up some junk. Seriously it looks like junk doesn't it? 

I looked for first safety, then textures, and sounds. I got my trusty glue gun out and went to work arranging the board, making sure to not have similar textures or colors near each other.

I cut a Ziploc in half and used a small section including the zipper, part of a washcloth, velvet ribbon, some wax paper crinkled to make noise, a green dish scrubbie, felt, bubble wrap, fleece, a spoon, fake flower petals, twine a, foam letter, and a tile. I made sure they were all secure and good and dry before I let Millie at it and She is always supervised while using it and it's so fun to watch her learn and see what she finds most interesting that day.

*Note: the Ziploc was a bad idea, it was the first to go. She knows plastic can be ripped and stretched and it's the only thing she would pay with until it was gone.

The best thing about this easy activity is the endless possibilities. I can easily add or subtract with free things from home to make it new and exciting. Next we are going to make a sensory wall with locks and other interesting things and a tugging box of some kind. There are so many sensory activities out there and so many of them are easy for you to do at home with your little one. This keeps her busy for a about 5.5 minutes and that's a record for my busy bee, so I'll take it. 

Hooray for learning...sorry teacher moment. 



The Season's First Snow

We've had a cold snap. Yesterday morning I had a pot of red petunias still basking in the sun. Then yesterday afternoon the temperature started dropping the wind kept blustering and before you knew it, it was cold. Like, for real cold. 

And at our house we like the cold. At one point in the evening Jerrel looked outside and informed us it was snowing. I then promptly made Millie stick her head out the door with me and catch the seasons first snowflakes. She wasn't as impressed as I. But she'll come around. 

Then came our next task. 

We made sugar cookies. Why? Well during last years first snow I was with my friend Erika, her daughter came home from school and exclaimed "We get to make sugar cookies!" I said "Huh?" And Erika explained that it was a tradition they carried on from her own childhood. She wasn't sure why they made them, but they did. 

So in a nutshell I decided to steal the tradition. Or borrow-whatever. I just loved the idea of celebrating the first snow-no matter how small. The white sugar mimicking the snow flakes outside. A cozy sweet smelling kitchen while watching the flakes come down. So the cookies were baked. 

Then in the morning we got up threw on some warm clothes and went out to take a picture. 

Told ya-it was just a little dusting but it was snow nonetheless. And by the looks of this picture Millie is catching on to liking the white stuff. She's a quick learner, our girl.

Most of the dusting is gone now, but we still have the cookies. This will be a tradition we carry on, something we will all remember when the first snow starts to fall.



8 Months of Millie

I'm a few days late, I know. That just life these days. 

We met Miss Millie 8 months ago and we can't get over how thankful we are for her. 

And we feel like she's always been with us. It was all just leading up to this. This silly, crazy, sweet, busy body who keeps us on our toes. So what's been going on? 

Please notice the SMILE in the car seat. I had to capture that rare moment. 
Well not much really. Just hanging at home, hanging a Grandparents house, hanging at the salon, hanging at the coffee shop. We do a lot of hanging around.

But our favorite hanging around? Well that's with this guy.

Millie now knows when and where Jerrel's sleeping during the day. If she is peeved at me, bored, or just needs daddy she makes her way to the bedroom door and not-so-polietly hits to wake him up. We then have to go in for a few minutes for a daddy fix. I just can't say no to that type of demand. Girl needs her daddy.

And Daddy needs his girl.

Millie is too cool for patty cake or waving.

This is the look I get when we are talking and working on those types of tricks. However, she does put her arms up in the air to greet people-we usually say "So Big" then on cue. So she's caught on. She also plays peek-a-boo. On her own. It's just darling. Seriously darling. 

We had a little run in with Momma's wedding ring and baby's nose. She didn't cry and I didn't even know it happened until she turned to look at me and there was blood trickling down. That got some questions. About 12,398 questions actually. 

The fall weather has been stunning. One Sunday we decided to go out and keep Grandpa company while he worked on the deck. 

After a while he looked like he needed some help. 

We also go and help Grandma at the salon. We rearrange merchindise. Redo window displays and greet people with a "So Big!"

I predict Millie will be a jack of all trades and master of many with all the different environments she's around. 

That wrinkle on her head kills me! 

Millie still prefers to be naked so she's gotten quite skilled at wriggling out of her clothes. As the picture above shows, Me taking off my jacket was just taking too long, so she was working her way out of hers as well. 

My floors? Well, they are never clean enough. She picks everything up and eats it. She is still exclusively breastfed...minus the stuff she gets from the floor. She even picks up imaginary things and puts them in her mouth-I've watched her. But if I make my way to check her mouth? Girlfriend HIGHTAILS it outta there. It's funny-most the time.

Oh and paper she loves to rip apart and chew on paper. She's not hungry I promise-she just a darling, beautiful, little stinker.

And getting undressed for bath time? That's funny. She knows when that water starts it's time. All I have to do is start each arm, give a little direction for the head hole and bam! Naked. And diapers with aplix (velcro)- those have been finding their way off for weeks now. Snaps are now our friend. 

Scrub a dub dub baby in the sink. 

Bath head.

Oh, the moving. The grooving. It's constant. My Grandma said the other day, "You two (Millie and I) haven't stopped moving since she got here." YUP. 

Millie stands on her own now and you can just see it, she wants to walk. She wants to figure out how to make her feet move her places like the big people. She can take one step on her own. The first time I saw her? I involuntarily said "STOP!" Oops! When I'm holding her she's seems big. But when she's down on the ground, with the rest of creation? She's tiny! I have since held in my "stops" and just smile. I'm not going to be able to stop her. 

But you wait. Next time I write a Month's of Millie post? She will be walking on her own. 

The need for speed or simply mobility can work in my favor sometimes though, she pushed the laundry in the living room for me to fold today. I helped with direction but we got it there. Who needs a walker anyways? We just get crafty! 

It's also no secret that I have a cat napper on my hands. So I'm trying a few different things to try and get her to stretch them to 30 mins. Please!

We got my crib mattress and fixed a nice, safe place for her to nap at the end of our bed. So after she's out when she's done nursing I try to lay her down. It's worked once. Baby steps right?

But boy, was it a nice once.

 And trying to get an 8th month photo? Lame-ain't nobody got time for that!

I just wanted once nice purty photo, then daddy started making silly noises in an effort to get the smile and well our ornery girl retaliated with her own version and I got this:

Then she stood up to be extra daredevil-ish

Oh girl. My sweet girl. 

We still only have two teeth but the drool and chewing is in full force again so I wouldn't be shocked if another pops through again.

Excited to see what the next month brings!

Hey! Don't give me that look missy! 

Happy 8 months baby girl.