Monday, August 3, 2015

Family Pictures - 2015

We had family pictures made in May, and I'm just now getting around to printing/framing them, so I thought I'd share a few of our favorites.


We used a new-to-us photographer that was recommended by our friends who also have young kids. We wanted some "lifestyle" shots in our backyard that included Piper. I knew with a puppy and a toddler we were going to get very few posed shots where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling! And, let's be honest, not much of our life these days includes anyone sitting still!


We chose to do them at home in our backyard instead of a location shoot because we figured MC would warm up quicker if she was in a familiar space. And we included a few of MC's current favorite toys (baby doll, big bouncy ball) to capture some of her life at 3 years old.


The photographer did a great job of working with us and just letting MC roam and play, so the pictures came out as really natural and not staged, which I love.


My big love and my little love.



I love her elbow propped up on BD's shoulder in this shot; she has done that with him since she was probably around 8 months old. Also love that she's got her Serious Toddler Face on, an MC specialty.



The whole family - I love how MC is laughing at Piper in this shot. Piper was racing around the yard having fun and stopped just for a split second with us when we sat down on the quilt.


Love this shot of them playing together.


Me and my sweet girl!


Friday, July 31, 2015

Conversations at 3

She is sweeping the floor...

MC: My job is to broom!
LA: You're doing a great job.
MC: Daddy's job is to work.
LA: Oh yeah? What's my job?
MC: I don't know.
LA: What do you think it might be?
MC: Wash dishes!
********************

We are playing outside....

LA: I need to go in and use the bathroom.
MC: Ok, you may.

*********************

MC: Where did we get Piper from?
LA: We adopted her from a dog rescue program.
MC: Did you order her on the computer?

*********************

We're walking into Whole Foods...

MC: (loudly) Mama, is dis da place you call Whole Paycheck?

*********************

We took family pictures back in May, and she's heard me tell a couple of people that we had to "work really hard to get a smile out of MC". Now, when she sees herself smiling in a picture...

MC: Am I'm getting a smile out in this one?

*********************

Looking at the prints from our family pictures...

MC: Oooohh, we should put this one on our blog!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Summer Vacation 2015 - Hilton Head Island, SC

We spent last week on sunny, beautiful Hilton Head Island in South Carolina. This was our 3rd trip to HHI (see also: our first trip, MC's first trip), and as usual we had a blast! We stayed in the same condo complex that we've stayed the other times, so we were across the street from the beach but with private beach access.


We spent a ton of time at the beach, and MC loved every second of it. At one point while they were playing in the waves, she told BD, "I LOVE THE SEA!!!"



She would go out as far into the ocean as we would let her and was constantly asking to go farther. We were a bit wary given all of the shark attacks this summer, so we didn't go any deeper than our waists. The beaches at HHI are wide and flat so we could actually go pretty far off shore and still be in shallow water, so she had plenty of room to play.


We were on the beach each morning before 9am and...promptly stopped to have a snack, regardless of the fact that we had just had breakfast at the condo...proving the fact that snacks on the beach are the best!


MC had no qualms about getting sand in every crack and crevice of her body. It seemed to be her goal each day to bring back as much sand in her swimsuit as possible.  


We also spent several afternoons in the pool at our condo.


We had a couple of afternoons that were cloudy and overcast after a thunderstorm rolled through, so that gave us a nice break from the heat.






We spent one morning at the children's museum, and it had a lot of fun and interesting exhibits. MC showed off her fearless climbing skills on the rock walls.



And we raced some soap box derby cars on the track.


She spent a lot of time playing veterinarian for their collection of stuffed dogs.


And she made some music with BD.


More beach pics...





We went out to dinner one night and had to sit in the truck and wait out a rain storm. So we entertained ourselves by taking selfies.


After dinner we went to an ice cream shop for dessert. I think this was MC's first taste of mint chocolate chip (my favorite!). She was most impressed by the chocolate dipped waffle cone.


Another family selfie while out shopping for souvenirs.


Her favorite souvenir from the trip...a giant lollipop!


Monday, July 13, 2015

MC's Big Girl Bed

Over the July 4th weekend we moved MC into her new big girl bed! She had been asking us for a big girl bed for a while, so we decided the time was right to make the big move.


We bought the bed a few weeks ago and put it together in the playroom, so she could look at it and play on it before we moved it to her room. Although she had been asking for a new bed, she would also ask if she could still sleep in her crib after her big girl bed was in her room, so we knew she'd need some time to adjust to the idea.


She's doing great in her new bed! She's a great sleeper and that has continued in her big girl bed. She's currently sleeping about 11 hours at night with a 2 - 2.5 hour afternoon nap.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Three Years Old!


A snapshot of life at

Talkative
Happy
Really cute
Energetic
Entertaining!

She is a talker. This has been MC's year of words! At her 18 month appointment, we expressed some concern about her lack of words, and the pediatrician reassured us that she was just waiting until "the time was right" before she started talking. She has always been a good communicator, and it was obvious that she understood what we were saying to her. And then at 2, it was like someone flipped her "talk" switch to the on position and she's never looked back! Her vocabulary has exploded over this past year; she surprises us every day with words and phrases used correctly that we didn't even realize she knows.Some of our most recent favorites are "No worries!" and "Hey, what's up?"


She is an observer and a people-watcher. When I take her to places like story time, she is much more interested in watching the other kiddos and their grown-ups than listening to a story. And then we often have long, speculative conversations about who those people are and what they are doing, and various other (totally random) aspects of their life. Recently at the grocery store, a friendly older gentlemen stopped to talk to her. She sat silently and didn't make eye contact the whole time he tried to engage with her. (This is a common thing - and we never force her to talk back to anyone or make a big deal out of it.) As soon as he walked away, we talked about him for the remainder of our shopping trip -- up to and including speculation about why he was wearing a blue t-shirt.



She is a book lover. We have tons of books in the house, and we make regular trips to the library to supplement our stash. We always read books at night before bedtime but very often we read them while she eats and at various other times throughout the day. When she is upset she wants to go sit in her rocking chair with her paci and read books.


She is a snuggler. She loves to be held and carried, and still often asks to be put in the baby carrier (Beco Gemini) on my back or front. While I don't always love lugging around a 25lb toddler, I will never miss an opportunity to cuddle with her.


She is reserved. During our music classes, which we've been doing for 2+ years now, she much prefers to sit in my lap and clap along or play an instrument while most of the other kids are running, jumping, spinning, etc. The music teacher, who I really respect and like a lot, has always told me to not worry... that MC was absorbing every bit of what is going on around her and that it would come back out eventually. She was right. It started as just random snippets of songs that MC would sing to herself or her babies as she played. And now at least once a week we have a full reenactment of the entire music class using her baby dolls as her classmates, usually song for song and dance for dance. But she continues to be very reserved in class.


She loves pretend play and using her imagination. This is currently one of my very favorite things to observe. Listening to her talk through her pretend scenarios gives us a glimpse into that little brain and how much she is absorbing from the world around her. I'll admit, sometimes it is a lot like playing schizophrenic pretend - the scenarios change in the blink of an eye, but we are learning to not interrupt and just go along with whatever crazy loop she has just thrown into the game. Most of the action centers around everyday activities; we pretend to go to the grocery store, music class, doctor's office; we pretend to take naps and baths; we pretend to cook and serve meals. I'll also admit that sometimes playing pretend doctor to every baby doll in the house with all of their various ailments for 87 times in a row does get pretty old at times. Her other favorite thing to pretend is that she's a "little baby".


Height: 35" (8%)
Weight: 25 lbs (5%)

Favorites (I asked her these questions)

Food: Mac & Cheese
Book: Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Song: Old McDonald
Toy: baby dolls
TV: Daniel Tiger, Dora the Explorer, Blue's Clues, Strawberry Shortcake
Activities: playing outside, swimming pool (loves the water slide but not the diving board), riding escalators, 'come find me' (hide & seek)
Restaurant: The Bird (Red Robin Gourmet Burgers), Pizza place
Movie: Cinderella
Color: Orange (I get a different answer every time I ask this question)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Happy Birthday, MC!

Celebrating another year with our spunky girl! She adds so much light and laughter to our lives. It is an honor and a privilege to be her parents.

{Click through for video if you're in a reader.}

video

Monday, June 15, 2015

MC's 3rd Birthday

We had MC's 3rd birthday party at a park near our house on the weekend before her birthday. It rained every day for the entire week leading up to her party, but the sun finally came out on Saturday, and it was a beautiful (but hot!) day.


We chose a Daniel Tiger theme for her party, since that is her favorite TV show, and kept it very simple this year with a few colorful decorations and toddler-friendly snacks.



We invited about 10 of her little friends and their parents/siblings to come play with us, and I think everyone had a great time celebrating our little tiger.


As usual, the cupcakes were the highlight of the party for MC. After we'd been there about an hour and she'd played for a while on the playground with her friends, she started saying "I want to do Happy Birthday, Mama!" She got a little overwhelmed during the actual singing, with all eyes on her, so I had to blow out the candles on her cupcake for her.


But she rallied quickly once it was time for the cupcake eating to begin!




We spent the day of her birthday together, just the 3 of us.



We opened presents first thing that morning. She got books, a set of pool toys, a t-ball set, a baby doll, and a baby doll carrier.




Later that morning we went to the mall to ride the escalators


and ate lunch at Chick Fil A.


After nap we continued our tradition of having Cafe Carolina cupcakes. It's hard to believe there are 3 candles on that cupcake! 


Happy, happy birthday to our sweet girl!