13 Months Old

I know I am a little late on this one, but we have had a lot going on lately, including an ever changing little girl.  I feel like she has already changed so much since her birthday.  It seems like every day she is learning more and more and of course, doing more adorable things!  So let's get right to it!
You pretty much do not cooperate for any pictures right now so here are some of my favorite ones I have snapped on my cell phone lately :)

We had a late trip to the doctor for your one year visit because of your eye surgery.  You are 20 pounds, 4 ounces and 31 inches tall.  Still in the 90th percentile for height and 25th for weight.  You are growing like a weed!  Your little tootsies even had a growth spurt.  I went to put on some of your cutest (and most expensive) shoes that you had worn one week and the next I could not even fit your foot in them!  Maybe you will stay tall and be my little ballerina ;)

Baby might be your favorite word and your favorite toy. You love your baby dolls and love to give them kisses and hugs.  You also love to play with balls and bounce them with me and Daddy.  Your very favorite thing to do right now is just explore outside.  I can ask you if you want to go outside and you reach for my hand and drag me to get your shoes and head out the door.  You just like to walk around and get into everything.  Your poor little knees have boo-boos all the time from you trying to run and tripping.  I will be glad when we are past this stage.  Typically by 10 am we have already been outside at least 5 times.

Sleep has been great lately.  You wake up between 8 and 9 and take one nap around 1-2 for a couple of hours most days, then bed time around 8:30.  You sleep all the way through the night most nights!  We had a few rough nights after your surgery, but all is back to normal now.

My favorite thing you do is give me kisses.  Every time I ask you always oblige me and I am so thankful for those sweet, wet kisses!

I am a little nervous for when you are a teenager...you have a temper like I have never seen on a baby.  You are soooooo sweet 99 percent of the time, until you don't get your way.  You know, like I have to change your diaper or I won't let you run out in the middle of the road or something really mean of me like that.  There is screaming and hitting, flailing and I pretty much don't know what to do.  It is usually better if I just ignore you.  Let's just stop this nonsense now, cause you are just too sweet for all of that, okay?? Great!

Word count so far: mama, Daddy (yep, it's daddy now and its long and drawn out and so sugary sweet I think you might just melt your Daddy into a puddle every time you say it, which is a lot), ball, bubble, baby, bite, dink (for drink), uh-oh, bye-bye, hey, boo! (we play peek-a-boo about a thousand times a day and you love it), dog (you also woof-woof every time you see or hear a dog), when you are in the mood you will "moo" for cow and say "baaa" for lamb.  I am sure I am probably forgetting something, but it seems like you are trying to say more and more every day.  You understand a whole lot more than you say though, pretty much everything I say to you, it is kinda crazy.  

Where is your belly??  You love to show off your sweet little belly anytime I ask.  I hope you drop this little trick before you get too old, but for now it is pretty cute ;)  You know where your toes are too!  You can also point to my eyes, nose and mouth, but we don't have your own down pat yet.

Miss independent!  Or at least you think you are.  You want to do everything by yourself, from feeding yourself to climbing the stairs by yourself to turning the pages of the books we read.  You will not let me feed you one bite of food so I have to get creative with dinner that you can feed yourself.  You also want to go where you want to go and are pretty determined about it. You understand "no" and will even say it back to me, but you keep right on doing what you are not supposed to.

Sometimes I think my baby has turned into the tasmanian devil while I wasn't looking.  You can make more messes in 5 minutes than I can clean up in 5 hours!  You ate some dishwasher detergent the other day and it scared me to death. You didn't get very much, but even a little can't be good for you.  You then started throwing up so at least you got it out of your system, and made another mess ;)

I am impressed with your motor skills already.  You can throw and even catch a ball pretty well.  Daddy is already excited to take you in the back yard for a game of catch!

Most of the time you like to be on your own, but you still love to hold my hand when we walk and you bring me books to read and cuddle up in my lap.  I cherish the snuggles that I get now since you are too busy most of the time for all of that.

I will admit you are at a very trying stage right now, but it is also so much fun. You are so smart and beautiful and I just love being your mommy so much.  I love all of the time we get to spend together and watching you learn and figure things out on your own.   I am sorry if I lose my temper sometimes and I will always try my best to be the best mommy to you that I can be.  Thanks for being my little bestie and loving me no matter what.  I love you so much my precious baby girl!!!

Crazy Love

This summer is flying by.  We have had an eventful last month with a second surgery on Olivia's tear duct a few days after returning from the beach.  Unfortunately, the first surgery was unsuccessful so we had to go in for an additional probe and they inserted a tube to act a stint for drainage.  She started running fever the night of the surgery and the next day her eye was swollen almost shut.  She had a infection which required oral antibiotics, which she had a allergic reaction rash to.  Poor baby was very sick for about a week.  The worst part is, her eye still isn't better.  It is the same as it was before we had any surgery at all.  We are still hopeful that when they remove the tube in a few weeks that the tear duct will have healed open and it will begin functioning as it should.  I, of course, have been a nervous wreck worrying about my baby.  The next surgery required involves cutting her face and drilling a new tear duct and I will do everything possible to avoid that.  

I started reading a new book in the midst of her healing, Crazy Love.  I cannot even tell you how much the first few chapters have impacted me.  I have been so worried about things going on in my life that I forgot the reason I even have life at all, to praise a loving God. 
 Philippians 4:4 says "Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, Rejoice!"  Notice it does not end with..unless you are doing something really important, or you just have a lot on your plate right now.  It is followed with "Do not be anxious about anything".  So here I was, consumed with important thoughts about my daughter and losing sleep worrying about her.  This was a little hard for me to swallow.  I was praying all the time, but I wasn't feeling any better.  I had to realize that this life is not about me, but I am serving a greater purpose.  I prayed for forgiveness and asked God to take away my worry and heal my child in his time, not mine.  We live in a world where we want everything faster and demand things on our time, but God does not work like that.  Once you surrender to his will things seem to fall into place.  I am still reading this book and I would recommend it highly if you want to draw closer to the Lord.  I am so thankful for a loving God who wants to take my worries from me and loves little old insignificant me when I don't deserve it.  That is pretty amazing when you really think about it. The God of this universe loves each of us dearly.  The same God who made the stars and the sun and every living creature on this planet made you and loves you.  Being a mother is the most amazing experience I have ever had.  I imagine the love I have for my child and it can't even compare to the love my God has for me.
  I have to ask..Do you know that love?  God loves you and wants to show you, you simply have to let him.

Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.…           Psalm 139:13

As I look at my precious girl, her eye still swollen and slightly bruised I see pure joy in her eyes.  Before God even made me he knew he would bless me with a daughter one day and the struggles we would face, whether big or small.  Sometimes we get caught up with minor imperfections with our lives and forget to rejoice in what truly matters.  Yes, God has blessed me with an amazing life.  I love my family and friends dearly, but if he did not give me all of them I would still have Him.  My love for my God does not change with the seasons.  He is here for me always and will never forsake me.  I will do his work here on Earth until he calls me to be with him.  Life here is nothing more than a mist, a vapor that quickly goes away.  I am setting my eyes on a heavenly prize and trying to spend less of my short life worrying about Earthly troubles.

Today I choose to love more and worry less.  God has control of my life and I am pretty sure he can handle things without my help ;)  I have learned so much by this little struggle.  Sometimes God lets us stumble so He can be the one to pick us back up.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.   This is the first and greatest commandment.    Matthew 22:36

4th of July Weekend

Fun in the sun, fireworks and far too much food pretty much sums up our celebratory weekend!
We started the day off with a special festive breakfast before heading to the lake.  I made waffles with fresh strawberries and blueberries (Olivia's favorite) topped with whipped cream.  Olivia and Chad hung out on the screened in porch while I was getting breakfast ready and to our surprise it was really cool outside.  It made me so excited for fall, too bad we have not even gotten to the hottest part of the summer yet.  I guess I will have to hold off on the pumpkins and cider just a bit longer ;)

The weather did make for a beautiful day at the lake.  We got all decked out in our red white and blue after breakfast and headed to the lake for the weekend.  Olivia actually didn't mind her life jacket as much this trip, after the initial screaming when she had to put it on of course.  We bobbed and floated until we were prunes!  Little miss LOVED the boat ride.  Nana cranked up the music and she danced and laughed the whole time.

We managed to snap a family pic before getting all wet, Olivia isn't looking but what's new haha!

After spending all day on the lake we all ate a ton of ribs and fixins' and went outside to watch the fireworks show the guys had prepared.  Olivia was both in awe and kinda scared.  The look on her little face was priceless.  She was grinning from ear to ear, but when they would boom she would jump.  Seeing your baby experience new things is pretty much the coolest thing ever. Once again, a holiday is made even better spending it with my baby!  
My little firecracker.

On Saturday the babe took a 3 hour nap so we got some much needed alone time on the dock.  It was also the first time since before I was pregnant that I had a drink, getting wild and crazy with my one strawberrita!  I love my little munchkin to death, but it was so nice to sit with my hubby and relax for a while.

It was a wonderful weekend with our family and I definitely didn't want it to end.  I am so thankful for this great country and all of the men and women who serve it every day!  I hope everyone had a lovely 4th of July!
Happy Birthday America!