Saturday, July 23, 2011

Birthday Bash

As you can imagine, we had a lot of fun celebrating Maryn's big (birdie-themed) day.  We had our friends the Gaudets and the Smiths (no relation, lol) over to par-tay with Maryn.

The day had a rough start.  Maryn's one-year old intuition told her something was up.  Thus, she refused to take any naps that day.  She was a big cranky pants.

Then 5 o'clock came around, and Miss Brette walked in the door; all of Maryn's grumpies disappeared immediately and stayed away the rest of the evening.  Thank God for Brette.  :)

With the Smiths - the younger, more likable ones :)

First taste of pizza

She got to open LOTS of gifts, because we saved all the gifts from relatives for the party.

Olivia was a big help.  I think she enjoyed opening the gifts a lot more than Maryn did.

I think the baby doll from Momma and Dadda was her favorite.  She immediately started hugging and patting it while saying "aww" and pretty much hasn't put it down in the week since the party.

Sweet baby Kyle slept for most of the time.

The cupcakes (made by a co-worker) were fantastic.

Maryn's special cupcake.

We watched the video montage of her first year; no one enjoyed it nearly as much as Maryn did.  She danced and laughed during the whole thing.  She loves being the center of attention.

Maryn and her friend Olivia in a brief pause during the sugar-high madness that ensued.  I think both girls slept really well that night.

Maryn also loved her tambourine.

In sum, Maryn had a happy birthday indeed.  And no two parents were ever so blessed to celebrate such a wonderful one-year-old gift from God.

Twelve Months Old (One Year!)

What a year it has been.  Maryn is one!  She is rapidly becoming less of a baby and more of a toddler.  She's beginning to express lots of emotions - happiness, frustration, jealousy - and trying to figure out how to let us know what she wants.  She's using the signs for more, all done, and milk, and she's saying "hi", "momma", "dadda", and "book" and lots of new sounds.  She loves the body part game ("where's your nose/mouth/hair/feet" etc).  She is crawling all over the place and into everything.  She's definitely been keeping us on our toes; if we look away for one second she'll disappear and we'll find her in another room with the door closed getting into who knows what.  We're working on "no" and "come to momma/dadda".  She is doing much better cruising around the furniture and this last week she started standing on her own without holding on.  She's such a big girl!!  I think we now get to discontinue physical therapy which is great too!

She had her one year check up (and vaccines - boo) yesterday with her pediatrician.  She hasn't gained much weight.  She is 16.8 lbs (1st percentile), 27 3/4 in (10th percentile), and her head circumference is 17 and 3/4 in (50th percentile).  It turns out she is a little anemic, which can cause decreased appetite.  She has to start an iron supplement, so hopefully that will help.  We go back in another month for a re-check.  Dr. Harvey also wants us to really work on boosting calorie intake.  She is becoming very stubborn about eating though.  Unless it's yogurt, a yummy fruit, or her cereal, we have a hard time getting her to eat anything from a spoon.  She wants to feed herself.  Her favorite finger foods are cheese, avocado, blueberries, strawberries, pears, apples, beans (pinto or black), crackers, cheerios, peas, corn, bagels with cream cheese, toast, and waffles.  I'm having a hard time getting her to eat much of anything with protein other than dairy and the beans.  She refuses all meat and eggs.  We may have to add some kind of supplement in her milk (carnation, etc) too.  It can be quite frustrating.

We've also begun the weaning process.  We have replaced one nursing session in the afternoon with a sippy cup of whole milk and a snack.  She does pretty well with the milk.  We're going to stay with this for a couple more weeks and just see how it goes.  I'm not in a huge hurry to wean but I do want to get down to two feedings a day - one first thing in the morning, one just before bed, so we still need to drop her late morning feeding.  She is only waking for a midnight feeding occasionally.  I can't believe I've been breast feeding her for over a year now; she's never had to have formula.  We are very blessed; I know there are many moms out there who, for various reasons, are unable to breast feed.  I am also blessed in that I have received so much support - from Billy, from our families and friends, and from my workplace.  I haven't received a single negative comment about nursing her for this long.

Pictures from the big birthday will be up soon.  Can't wait to see what the next year brings for our sweet little girl!  We'll do another update at 15 months.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dining Area Makeover

We will have lived in our apartment for a year in August, and this summer I finally got around to accessorizing our dining area.  Previously we had glaring blank walls, a table and chairs, and a bunch of books piled against one wall.  Pretty hideous.  I had been wanting to do a "wall of frames" (any other Young House Love junkies out there?) for a long time, but Billy wasn't so sure.  I thought it would really cheer up the space since we can't paint.  I convinced him to let me do it anyway, and now he loves it.

This is how I warmed him up to the idea: 

 I only had to buy a couple of frames; the rest I had around the house.  If they weren't white or off-white already, I spray painted them:

Finished product:

I still can't find anything to put in the landscape 8x10 - I just left the insert in for now - see the one with the self-portrait/camera?

 We also got bookshelves for the area.  We still have a TON of books in the room we call the office.  But it's nice to have access to the ones currently being read or most often referenced.  As such, the books on this shelf will probably rotate frequently:

As you can see, Owlivia and Archimedes got a new home.  And I'm seriously considering spray painting those candle stick things.  I'm thinking apple green but I'm not sure.  Any opinions?

Our new dining area - much more cozy and cheerful:

Any one else doing any mini room make-overs this summer?  Any one else have a completely blank room still after living somewhere for nearly a year?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Maryn's Birthday Video

I promise I will get around to blogging about Maryn's birthday party and her 12 month old/1 year update post (I'll wait until after her check-up with the pediatrician later this week).  In the meantime, suffice it to say that Maryn's birthday was a blast and we had a wonderful birthday weekend together celebrating our sweet little baby-cakes.  Here is the video I made to show at her party and to re-live her amazing year:

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

4th of July

We had a wonderful weekend celebrating Maryn's first Independence Day!  On July 4th I was remembering that exactly one year ago I was big, hot, and uncomfortable as I watched Maryn's due date come and go (see this post), and I looked like this: 

Strangely enough, I happened to wear the same t-shirt to our festivities this year.  I guess I wear that one a lot, and apparently it shrunk back to normal size in the dryer, haha.  Maybe the navy color seems patriotic-ish?

Here we are in our red, white, and blue for church:

We went to Niles' community fireworks show with our friends Bob and Janelle and their kids Olivia and (newborn!) Kyle.  We had a great time and the fireworks show was perfect!  I was surprised at how many people were there - I didn't realize how big Niles is!

Bob and Kyle

Watching Olivia play

Janelle and the girls

Celebratory snacks

See the shirt?

We were nervous that fireworks and the loud noises might scare Maryn.  We were delightfully surprised, however, when she absolutely loved them!  Lots of squealing and excited pointing at the sky.  What fun!  Happy Birthday, America!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Life Walk 2011

Billy, Maryn, and I had the pleasure of participating in a Life Walk for the Pregnancy Care Center of Niles (the town in Michigan where I work and where we go to church) a couple of weeks ago.  The clinic was able to raise a significant amount of money (over $22,000), and it was a good opportunity to raise awareness for the services the clinic provides for the community.  The clinic is in the process of remodeling a new facility, which is just down the street from the local abortion clinic.  The walk began at a downtown park along the St. Joseph River, and over 400 walkers showed their support for the cause of life, the unborn, and women in need by walking through downtown together, stopping to pray outside the abortion clinic, and walking back.  It was a great experience.  It was also a great way for us to see the adorable downtown section of Niles.  I hope to begin volunteering in some way at the PCC in the near future; they are such a wonderful and vital ministry in the community!

Ready to walk!

Maryn really loved the band at the park - she danced & clapped!

The new clinic - it's going to be really nice!

We love our Life Walk shirts!

Father's Day

I've been a blog slacker lately.  I know it's overdue, but I can't pass up a post on Father's Day!  I am so thankful for a husband who is such an amazing Daddy.  Maryn adores her Da-da.  He takes such good care of her, especially while I'm at work.  He cleans up her messes, feeds her, changes her diapers, bathes her, sings to her, reads to her, and spends endless hours on the floor playing with her.  Every morning when I get Maryn out of bed to feed her, the first thing she wants to do is find Da-da.  It brings such joy to my heart to see them interact each day and watch their special relationship grow.  What a blessed little girl she is!

To show our appreciation and tell Billy just how much Maryn and I think he "rocks", we got him a gift that he ended up loving even more than I thought he would!