Christmas 2007 was Electrifying!

We had such a good time this Christmas! Being Lauren’s second, she was so much more into it this year. To see her open presents, you would definitely know she was my child. She was so neat when unwrapping her gifts – slow and precise with each pull of paper, pausing to hand you scrap after scrap so you could dispose of it. It was fun to watch and so P1090528-1.JPGexciting when she finally discovered the surprises awaiting her underneath the wrapping paper! Of course, Lauren got too many presents to appreciate them all at once, so we have been taking time over the past several days to play with each one and she’s having such a great time with them all! There a just too many gifts to list them all but some of her favorites are those that deal with balls & animals…any surprises there?!?! She has spent quite some time “walking” her new plastic doggie that Grandma & Grandpa got her, she enjoys quiet time in the evening after a long, hard day of play by combing the pony’s hair that Uncle Kevin got her, she loves dancing to the music and chasing the balls in her ball popper from Grannie & Papaw, she gets a kick out of taking apart the towers I make out of her Barnyard Blocks, courtesy of Uncle Aaron, Aunt Tawsha and all her cousins, and Lauren just can’t seem to get enough of the ball pit that Santa left her (and we sure get a kick out of her static charged hair!). It was nice visiting with family and friends over the past week and it was also so special to be home for Christmas morning…watching Lauren squeal with excitement at the gifts she found under the tree and then spend the rest of the day playing with them until she was just too tired. It was an absolutely magnificent day. And while Lauren is still too young to understand the meaning of Christmas, I don’t believe that all the love that is represented on this special day went unnoticed by her. It was a truly blessed day – full of wonderful memories and glimpses of what’s in store for our family in years to come!

Of course, as always, I took far too many pictures. To see some of them, click Lauren’s picture above.


The Doctor’s Visit, 15 Months

(Long and Lean) 15

That pretty much sums up Lauren’s 15 month checkup yesterday. LP is still on the “skinny side” as the nurse put it this time, only coming in at 19 lbs. 6 oz. (5th percentile), however the doctor told us there is nothing to worry about. She’s still growing and getting taller (32 inches, 88%) and with parents that are both on the smaller side, he says it’s very normal. She’s in perfect health and developing wonderfully.

Lauren was such a good patient yesterday. She stood up on the big girl scale to get weighed instead of having to sit in the baby scale – our usual way as generally she won’t let go of my leg long enough to stand on the scale by herself. (I should have known she would use the big girl scale as she kept standing on ours at home yesterday morning and attempted to weigh her new plastic dog that she got for Christmas several times as well). And, unlike every other time that her doctor walks into the room, she didn’t cry this time. She got a little squirmy when he poked and prodded on her but was pretty content sitting in Daddy’s lap while the doctor checked her out. She was reluctant to open her mouth, but when I asked “what’s in your mouth” she released those tightly shut lips enough for a quick look. It was such a proud moment for both her Daddy and me. We discussed her activates of play group & story time and how LP was more content to observe the other kids than to interact with them…perfectly normal. Her doctor said it’s a survival instinct and a good reaction to have at this age. He also said while it’s not as usual to have a quiet little girl as perhaps a little boy, because her receptive language skills (ability to process the meaning of words and follow directions) are so good that there was nothing to worry about. She’s learning to say new words everyday (a few from this past week: apple, oval, biscuit, hello, ice & home) and will probably just start talking non-stop before we know it.

Unfortunately, the visit had to end with 3 shots in LP’s “skinny” legs. She did cry for a short time but quickly recovered and was napping in her car seat within a few minutes. Another 3 months before our next doctor’s visit…how big will Lauren be then?!?!?!
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Tis the Season to be Jolly…

With the Holiday Season in full swing, Christmas parties abound! Lauren attended two parties this year and both were big hits! The first one was with her play group and while most of the kids were much older, we still had a great time. We enjoyed making crafts and playing games. Some of Lauren favorite activities were making jingle bell bracelets (well, wearing the bracelets that Mommy & Daddy made), throwing balls through a Christmas Tree cut out (of course, we had to visit and revisit this game as the balls were just irresistible), decorating a tree (well, really just playing with tinsel & ornaments), and then enjoying a little sugar cookie while singing Christmas carols (Deck the Halls has become one of Lauren’s favorite songs – who doesn’t get a kick out of saying the “Fa la la la la, la la la la” over and over, and over again).

Party #2 was through Ryan’s work where we were given the opportunity to take another shot at a picture with Santa.santa5.jpg
As you can imagine, now that Lauren was familiar with the drill of sitting next to this strange looking guy, she was much more resistant this time around. But it sure was a fun & memorable time – and it was captured in a picture so we can enjoy it for many years to come! The rest of the day was filled with balloon animals (We requested a dog, of course, which Lauren enjoyed for several hours after we got home. It finally turned into a “snake” from too much shaking which Lauren seemed to like even more…running around with it as she “hissssssssed”), clowns that Lauren was intrigued by but did not want them touching her (no surprises there), live animals, food, lots of other kids to gawk at and just a fun time for the whole family. The Christmas season seems to be starting off as a big hit!!!

To check out more pictures from Lauren’s Christmas Parties, click here.


Celebrating 15 Months with Lauren

I know that I’ve said this many times before, but I am just in awe of Lauren and all that she’s learned in such a short time.

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I’m sure that all babies are the same, but this is just my first time to experience how fast that they pick things up…she just amazes me everyday. To think, in just 15 months this little girl went from just laying there on her back, to smiling, then laughing…rolling over, crawling, walking. Now she’s running, understands a whole language and kind of talks (the jury is still out if she’s going to be a girl of few words like her Daddy or if she’s just taking it all in and going to turn out to be a jabber box like her Mommy). It’s so hard to put into words all of the things that Lauren is up to now as it seems that there is something new every day. To just outline a few things from the past month…

Since picking out her body parts is becoming old for Lauren (although we never tire of asking her where her tail is to watch her search behind herself for that elusive tail that she just can’t seem to reach), we have started something new. Instead of “where is your [insert body part that you want LP to locate]”, we are now playing “where do you put your [insert the name of the piece of clothing you want Lauren to show you where it goes on her body]”. To our surprise, she picked up on this first try and quickly showed us where her shirt, pants, socks, shoes, hat, coat, jeans and diaper go. In hopes to get her to point at her mouth, Ryan asked where her milk went. Her response was priceless. She didn’t point to a part of her body at all, but rather smiled really big and pointed to her Sippy cup. Ryan & I laughed and then praised her for her cleverness. Another witty act that she’s started doing that we are not quite sure where she picked up is wiggling her ears. Ryan asked her one evening to wiggle her ears so she just reached up, grabbed one in each hand and started shaking them back and forth as if she was trying to fly with them. I am still dumbfounded that she really knew how to accomplish this task without being shown previously. However, Lauren is such an observer. She has picked up several gestures. When someone says, “I don’t know” she shrugs her shoulders with her arms out and palms up as to say, “I don’t know”. She is non-stop with the head shaking – mostly “no” and occasionally she will shake “yes” – generally when she’s eating something that she really likes (I don’t blame her for that! I would too if it were socially acceptable for an adult to do so). She will rub her tummy in a circle as she says, “mmmmm” indicating something is good. Lauren also loves to imitate people who are laughing. Almost every night while I am updating Ryan on one of our silly adventures from earlier that day while he was at work, we will laugh and Lauren finds it completely irresistible to not chime in with us…clueless that we are laughing at her. As with laughing, she gets the biggest kick out of mocking people cough. It sounds so fake and too cute! And while Lauren would much rather gesture than to actually talk, her vocabulary is increasing. For the first time this past month, she started putting words together. A few examples are, “all done” (when she’s finished eating; “down dog dog” (when Hailey is standing up on her back legs trying to take food off of LP’s highchair tray) and “dog dog doctor” (the vet’s office). She will also, at times, make animal noises (gobble like a turkey, quack like a duck, hisses like a snake, and chomps like an alligator).

I could continue forever, but instead will just end with a few pictures that we took this past Saturday on Lauren’s 15 month birthday, click here.


Weathering the Storm

There is nothing like not having power for a few days to really make you appreciate how nice it is to walk into a room, flip the switch, and actually have the lights turn on…or to have heat piped to EVERY room in the house so you don’t have to huddle in front of the fire in the living room in order to stay thawed. We were without electricity because of the recent ice storm for days, but only slept at our house one night. Camping out in front of the fire might sound fun, but to a 15 month old, it’s just a distraction and reason not to sleep. So, after weathering the outage for 24 hours, we headed to the in-laws for warm food, beds, and a shower that you didn’t dread getting out of for fear of freezing. Unfortunately when we finally returned home to a house powered by electricity, we also returned to a frig & freezer full of ruined food and a yard full of broken trees. However, I’m not complaining. Lauren had a good time sleeping over at Grandma & Grandpa’s and, of course, Ryan & I appreciated their hospitality immensely. We also know how fortunate we are and will be that much more grateful this Christmas for all of the blessings in our lives…the big ones, the small ones, the extraordinary ones, and those that are too often taken for granted until they are gone.


Mini Merry Mittens

As the weather turns cold, Lauren is getting to experience the pleasure of cozy little mittens to keep her hands warm. I was hesitant at first; concerned she would not want to keep them on…I was SO wrong. I should have known from how much she enjoys putting puppets on her hands, that the mittens would be no different. Once they were on, there was no taking them off! Yesterday I had to make a quick run down town to the chiropractor. Since it was such a cold and windy day, I bundled Lauren up in her heavy coat and mittens. Yes, I’m that mom that puts so many clothes on her kid – Lauren could hardly move! But oh, she looked so cute! I couldn’t help but to snap a few shots of her completely helpless self as we went up the elevator. Once back in the nice warm comfort of her car seat – minus the coat – she refused to let me take her mittens off. She worn them all the way through the drive through and even insisted on eating with them on (I had to actually feed her as her grasp isn’t too refined while wearing her mittens yet). On the drive home, she was still very content, making a game out of wearing them. At first it was seeing how many things she could pick up and then it was rubbing them in her hair to create static electricity. It wasn’t until we were a few minutes from home that she decided to take them off and then spent the remainder of the car ride trying to put them back on. Click here for a few pictures of our little BUNDLE of joy – mittens and all!


The Boogie Man

I believe if Lauren could describe the boogie man to me; her version would go something like this:

“He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot…

His eyes-how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow…”

Lauren got her first glimpse of Santa and she was less than impressed. She was, in fact, down right scared. She hardly wanted to sit next to him long enough to take a picture, even while on Daddy’s lap. And when he tried to talk to her – it was all over. We are certain that her opinion of him will change and she will become quite fond of him in the next few years. While Lauren’s first Santa visit was VERY brief, it will be one that Ryan and I will always remember and look back on and smile. Right now she’s terrified of him. Soon she will be so eager and simply can’t wait to see him. And then, I’m sure long before Mommy & Daddy are ready, she will be too old for Santa.

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