Wednesday, December 10, 2014

10 Months {Jessica}

Here comes the overload of cute Christmas photos of Jessica! This girl is just so precious... I can't help myself! I set up a holiday themed backdrop in front of our big window in our front living room, made Jessica a cute tutu, laid down some discount wood flooring pieces from IKEA, and had so much fun in the process. Jessica was the perfect "Santa Baby" as we like to call her! I wish some of the picture quality didn't get lost in blogger, because they are all so much brighter in the editing program. But, you can still get the picture!

I can't believe that it's coming up on a year since she joined our family! This past month has shown us just how much she can grow in a short period of time. Jessica has really started to blossom in personality and has almost exploded in accomplishments. It's true that people say children do things when they are ready, and Jessica is the perfect example of that. She always takes her time, and then all of a sudden, she learns (and shows off) new things all at once! We are so proud of her.

 My current desktop background. Pretty sure I'm not going to change it for a while, even once Christmas is over.

 She's thinking, "What IS this frilly thing around my waist?"

 This girl loves her "Mr. Bear", who used to belong to Michael when he was a child.

My favorite picture. You can just see the wonder in her eyes. What a perfect Christmas photo!

Exciting updates:

Jessica is officially a pro at pushing herself up from stomach to sitting and is using this skill to reach and play with anything in sight.

She also likes to pull herself up onto her knees to reach things. It won't be long before she figures out how to pull herself to standing!

Jessica has been experiencing her first real cold and it's been a big one. We've all had it in our household, so it was only a matter of time before she got it. I just wish I could explain to her how all this discomfort will be gone soon, but, alas, we just have to "ride it out"!

She is able to stay awake for longer and longer periods of time during the day. We are on the verge of transitioning from 2 naps to 1 during the day. How did that happen so quickly?!?

Our girl has gained such an understanding of things around her. She still knows how to shake her head when I say "no", she has learned how to click her tongue, she will go "la la la" and stick her tongue out really far when she does it, she knows how to make the "Indian" sound of putting her hand up to her mouth and going "ahhh". Also, she can make this bird-type sound that I think is trilling her tongue, but I can't quite tell which part of the tongue she's using to do it.

Jessica is now learning how to fold her arms when we pray. It's so cute. We will tell her to fold her arms and then we give her an example by folding our arms. She then does her own version, by putting her hands together on top of each other in front of her. So proud of this reverent little girl.

She likes to cross her ankles when she's sitting down. It's such a dainty thing to do. We think she's trying to imitate us and how we sit "Indian style" on the floor to play with her.

Jessica is all about sorting, stacking, and moving things. Blocks, rings, and anything she can get her hands on. They go from one place to the next, and back again. She'll also hide things in the space between Mommy's legs when I'm sitting on the floor, then come back in a few minutes and pull them back out. This child has a good memory!

Our girl also knows how to give kisses. All we have to do is say "kiss", point to our cheek, and she will lean in with mouth wide open and tongue out. Nice and slobbery, just how we like it.

We're pretty sure she said her first intentional "Dada" to her daddy the other day. He came in the room while she was eating and she turned to him and said it, with a big smile. She's done it many times since. That girl sure loves him!

Jessica is scared of household items that have motors in them. Such as my hairdryer, the vacuum, a bubble blower bath toy, our blender. Poor thing, even when these items aren't that loud, she puts on a very sad face and then cries. She's always had sensitive ears!

Jessica also is very good at emulating Mommy playing the piano. She'll sit on my lap, hit the keys back and forth, then reach up to turn the pages of music, then hit the keys again, turn the pages, and thus the cycle continues. She sure is smart and super duper cute!

The "End"!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A "Corny" Halloween

We had a very fun Halloween this year, especially because it was Jessica's first experience with the holiday! It's very true, that having children in your life gives you greater appreciation for holidays/traditions and makes things so much more fun! We dressed her up as a little Candy Corn Princess and isn't she just the cutest thing ever? Jessica totally rocked that costume.

We took her trick-or-treating for the first time and she was adorable. People just fawned over her and she soaked it up! I had a few people joke with me about taking her out to trick-or-treat because she wasn't going to eat any of the candy. Needless to say, Michael and I enjoyed all the spoils she received, and she sure made out like a bandit. Having a cute and sweet little girl surely helps to get lots of good candy on Halloween!

 Even though Jessica isn't in focus in this picture, I just love her happy expression while looking at her Daddy.

Yep, I learned how to create a gif, thanks to a free online generator. 
 This is one of Jessica's favorite things to do. Anytime I say "no" she shakes her head back and forth as if to say, "no no, no no" over and over again. It's adorable. Now all I have to do is be really serious when I'm telling her not to do something (which is next to impossible because she is just so darn cute when she does the head-shaking thing), otherwise she's going to think the word "no" is funny.

 I love those bright blue eyes looking up at me everyday.

 And what a sweet little expression. She is such a darling little candy corn.

Life is good.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Petersen Farms Harvest Festival

 A few weekends ago, we went to Petersen Farms in Riverton, UT and celebrated the beautiful fall weather at their annual Harvest Festival. I've been looking for something fun like this to do for quite a few years and I was so happy to find a great place to hopefully start a tradition each fall. The farm had animals, a pumpkin patch, corn maze, pony rides, corn pit, apple slingshot, and many fun booths to peruse. And, we got free lunch all for $10 admission. Pretty awesome, if you ask me!

Our friends, The Chandlers, were visiting from Missouri and they joined us also. We used to know them from living in Logan and it was so nice to catch up with them and see how their family has grown!

We had a wonderful afternoon, even though the weather was a little warmer than expected. We will surely be returning year after year!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

9 Months {Jessica}

 While the weather has been nice and cool, we've been taking walks/runs outside in the mornings and on Sunday afternoons when church is over. One of these Sunday strolls was around the Cottonwood area, on a nice trail in the mountains. Michael has been on bike rides here before, so he wanted to take us there to show how pretty it is. And...he knew there was a gorgeous bridge that would make a perfect spot for us to take some photos of Jessica. What a happy surprise when we got there!

I'm not quite sure what it is about this photo that I love so much. Maybe it's the expression on her face, the way she kinda has her left arm at an angle to her leg, how she's sitting up so straight. But it's cute and full of her personality (drama queen, anyone?).

 I sure love to take pictures of this girl. I was just saying to Michael the other day that I wonder if now, being in the digital and smartphone age, if I'll take as many photos of our future children as I have of Jessica. You know that old saying that you never do take as much of your later children because you're just so busy and don't have time to pull out the camera as often. I'm not sure if that'll be as true today as it was then, because there's no hassle of remembering the camera/film as we always have a way to take pictures and share them through our smartphones. Guess we'll see how it goes someday!!!

 9-month stats:
17.86 lbs (32%ile)
26.3 in (13%ile)

She's our petite baby girl!

 Those eyes...they just kill me.

 And that fuzzy hair. It's out of control most days, but I kinda love it.

 This girl LOVES her "Dada". He is so much fun!

Exciting Updates:

We've been told by so many people how sweet her cry is. It's been described as "muffled", "muted", and "the perfect decibel for a baby to cry". And they are all true, she's not a very loud crier unless she's really scared or hurts herself. She's a bit more of a whiner, which is kinda adorable (at least for now!). Even though she talks a lot, we're predicting she's going to be a soft-spoken little girl.

She's crawling! It all happened within the course of a few days. She started trying to scoot on her belly while pushing her legs, then she got her arms more involved, then it turned into a bit of an army crawl. She can get around pretty quickly this way!

Jessica pushed herself up into a sitting position from her tummy the other day. We almost didn't realize it happened even though we were watching her at the time. It hasn't happened again since that first time, but what a big girl!

She's eating all sorts of solids nowadays. Favorites are bananas, sweet potatoes, beans, and pretty much anything new. She gobbles up new flavors and has never turned her nose up at anything. I'm quite impressed and hope she continues to love food and exploring new flavors as much as her mother does.

The pincer grasp is pretty much mastered and she's quite good at picking up food and getting it in her mouth. That doesn't mean that her meals aren't messy, though! Oh, to be a kid again and to actually have an excuse to play with your food!

Still waiting for some teeth to pop up... :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

8 Months {Jessica}

 A few weeks ago, right around the time Jessica turned 8 months old, our little family took an overnight trip up to Logan to spend some time at our old stomping grounds. Michael had volunteered to do some recruiting for Intermountain Healthcare and so Jessica and I tagged along. We were able to stay one night free at University Inn, which was incredibly nice, especially since Michael upgraded us to the king-size bed in our room. Also, a stay at the University Inn gives you a free scoop of Aggie Ice Cream (Aggie Blue Mint is the best)! 

I was very impressed with how family-friendly the hotel was. The room was designed with an extra sink area outside of the bathroom (in addition to the sink also located in the bathroom). Our pack'n'play fit perfectly inside the bathroom. That made for a prime place for Jessica to sleep. I was able to hang out and watch TV while she napped and also, Michael and I were able to stay up later that night and have some time to ourselves without worrying about waking Jessica up when we eventually got ready for bed. It was meant to be!

 While Michael was doing his recruiting, Jessica and I walked around campus, and visited some old friends. It was beautiful weather, with crisp and cool temperatures. Made me miss the Autumn season there and brought me back to many memories while studying at USU. Michael and I made sure to get some pictures of Jessica on the "A" before we left. Our little girl is already an Aggie at heart!

 These pictures basically count as her 8-month photos. And aren't they just adorable?!?

 I love how she's looking at her daddy. Jessica just loves him.

That cute little baby body. And you can really see her chubby cheeks from the side. Her little nose and mouth kind of disappear in all the chunkiness!

Exciting Updates:
Her hair is growing longer and coming in thicker. And she is definitely a blondie!

Jessica has started "singing" during some of my voice lessons. The other day, she did it loudly and proudly while I was doing warmups with one of my students. We both started laughing and had to compose ourselves quite a few times. So cute...but a little disruptive!

Jessica will also try to imitate me when I sing sequences of high pitches. Her little vocal chords can hit those notes with great ease! My girl is on her way to becoming a great singer :)

She talks and uses the words "dadada" and "bababa" all day long. And these words are in all sorts of pitches, with inflection, and even sometimes in a whisper (which is my favorite). Can't you just hear a cute baby girl saying "dadada" in a quiet little whisper? One of the sweetest things ever.

This girl laughs all day long, and many times just to herself for funny things she does. She is so happy all. the. time. 

I love seeing how Jessica is learning new things. You can actually see the processing and comprehension in her eyes when she is focused on something. 

Still no teeth...!

Jessica is growing up so quickly, and into a beautiful and precious girl. We are so proud of her every single day.