moving on.

we are in another transitional stage of life and are moving back to TN- back to be closer to family while mary is little.  this blog is close to max on it's photo storage and i do not want to pay for more... so, while we are moving, so is this blog!  this one will remain as is and it will continue on www.backtobna.blogspot.com.  please continue to follow us over there.  i promise it'll be full of pictures!  

18 months.

Dear Mary,

You are actually 22 months old now.  You have kept mama busy these last few months.  You are such a busy, active girl.  You learn new words every day and are starting to talk a lot more.  I can't even count all the words you know now.  I cannot wait until you start to put all those words into sentences.  It's so exciting and fun to watch you learn something new.

At your last check up in January, you were 24 lbs. 14 oz and 34 inches tall.  That made you 77% for your weight and 95% for your height.  You are definitely going to be a tall girl- maybe even taller than me!  You definitely are still a great eater and have yet to slow down with your appetite, although you are starting to get pickier about the things you are eating.  I cannot complain, though, as you seem to eat more than the usual toddler.

You have been paci-free for almost a month.  It went a lot better than mommy thought it would.  Although now you sleep with a pillow, 2 blankets, 1 lovey, and usually your Spot plush dog.  Oh, and a cup of water.  But I'll trade all of that for your paci any day.

You love going to school and playing with your friends, although, drop off isn't always very smooth these days.  But you love to dance, play outside, and do lots and lots of art projects.  You are learning a lot there and it has been good for you to be there while mama and dada work.

You will soon be 2 and I cannot believe that it is almost time for another birthday for you.  I cannot wait to see where this next year takes us!



15 months.

My dear, sweet Mary,

You are keeping me so busy that you are now 17 months old and I am just now writing this post.  A lot has happened since your birthday and I don't even know where to begin.

You are running all over the place.  Climbing too.  You are a busy little bee!  You are into everything...  You say a few words here and there and understand most everything we tell you.  We keep waiting for you to really talk but I am afraid once you do, you won't ever be quiet.  You jabber a lot in "toddler" but not a lot of real words.  You do say mama and dada, yes, what?, shake your head no and yes.  You can say the number six and fish.  You can make the animal sounds for a dog, cow, cat and sometimes a chicken.

You love to dance and sing songs.  Your favorite songs right now are the ABC's and Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.  You can point correctly to your head, toes, belly, nose, ears, eyes, and mouth.  You are now in daycare, "school," and are still getting used to it.  You love your teacher, Miss Joanne, and enjoy playing with other kids your age and working on your art projects.  You also love to read your books.  Your favorite characters are Spot and Mickey Mouse.

At your 15 month check up, you weighed 24 pounds and you were 32 inches tall.  You are about 90% for your weight and height.  You still weigh about 24 pounds but I think you are growing taller, still.  You are still a good eater and eat what we eat most of the time.

You have such a sweet, outgoing personality.  You are loving and share smiles and hugs but are starting to play shy & coy sometimes.  You are funny and seem to love to make us laugh.  You love the dogs and get excited when we say we are going home (if we are out) and you bark knowing you will see your "sisters."

We love you and still enjoy watching you develop into who you are.




Dear Mary,

We made it!  We all survived your first year.  I simply could not have asked for a better, sweeter baby.  It was a tough year with Mama's work and Daddy's school- it was a little crazy... But we survived with help from your Mimi, Ms. Nette, Ms. Susan, and cousin Leighya.  We also had help with scheduling from Mama's nurses.

I have loved discovering who you are over the last year and here are a few of the things that I love about you:  your smile, your ability to brighten someone's day (not just mine), you love others without reservation, your already developed sense of humor, and your independence.

In the last month you have started walking!  You became confident in yourself and you took off!  It's made Mama and Daddy's job a little bit harder now chasing you around.  The dogs aren't sure about your new skills either.  They do, however, love that you are totally feeding yourself these days.  They are great at cleaning the floor and they are getting all kinds of tasty treats these days (not just cheerios and puffs anymore).

You had your 12 month check-up with Dr. Love and you are growing!  You weighed 21 lbs. 7 oz. and were 30 inches tall.  That puts you in about the 75% for  your weight and height.  You got your thumb poked and got 4 shots- that's a lot after not getting anything for 6 months.  But you were tough and didn't cry for too long.  You switched to size 4 diapers a few days after your birthday and wear 12 & 18 month clothes (just depends on the brand because of your long torso).  You wear a 4W shoe and have learned that putting them on means it's time to go outside.

You continue to explore the world and love to discover new things.  It is making me slow down and appreciate the little things in life- but most importantly- you!



happy father's day!

The day he became "dada."

The best Pops Mary could ask for...

Mary loved napping with Papaw.

Larry- we miss you every day!


wedding bells.

Jay's brother Wyatt got married last weekend back in TN.  Mary was one of 3 flower girls!  Being the mom of a flower girl did not allow me to take a lot of pictures but I will share the few I have.  (I have been ordered to take some pictures of Mary in her dress and halo here so I'll have to get on that!)  Mary was really good despite being off schedule and having a very short afternoon nap.

The wedding was beautiful.  It was at Jay's mom and stepdad's farm.  The ceremony was short and sweet and now Mary officially has 2 aunts!  We love Lauren and are so happy she and Wyatt are married.  (I did snag a couple of pictures off of Lauren's facebook...)

the bride & groom


aunt erin, a sleepy flower girl, and her mama!

my favorite!  (thanks, aunt pam, for getting this shot!)


11 months.

Dear Mary,

Only one more month until you are one!  I cannot believe an entire year has almost passed since you were born.  It has gone by so quickly and while I miss when you were just a tiny little snuggler, I totally love who you are growing into.  You are funny and now you even laugh at yourself.  You truly are doing something new every day and have done a lot of "first" things in the last month.

You are busy cruising furniture and just in the last few days you have been standing unassisted for increasing periods of time.  You even accidentally took a step all by yourself yesterday (the 25th).  You can clap your hands and like to play patty-cake. You can "snap" your fingers.  And you like to clean your hands like mama and daddy do when we change your diaper.  You can do all of that on command!  You started fake laughing a few weeks ago, too.  You said your first real word on the 16th- "up."  You use it correctly although sometimes it comes out as "bup."

You now have 4 teeth!  The two middle ones in the bottom seem to be all the way in and the middle two top teeth broke through (finally) this past Tuesday.  Just today you realized you can tap them together and make noise.  You get mad most of the time now when I try to feed you.  You are so independent and love to feed yourself a variety of finger foods.  You love chicken, turkey, almost all fruits, cheese, broccoli, lasagna, black beans, green beans... you name it!  You also love pickle spears.  And your favorite is still, by far, peanut butter toast.  You have even started eating PB&J's. You even had your first "fast food" meal at chick-fil-a recently- grilled chicken nuggets and a fruit cup.

You can wear some 9 month clothes still- although the pants are getting to be a little short.  You are wearing mostly 12 month clothes now and thankfully there is room to grow in those.  Your Mimi just gave us some new pajamas for you and your Gigi gave us lots of summer clothes that she bought last year before you were even born!  Your Mimi is going to make you some clothes too- you will be all set for summer for sure.

You still take 2 naps a day (usually 40-75 minutes) and sleep about 10-11 hours at night.  We surely cannot complain.  You love "yelling" at the dogs and climbing all over them.  They are still tolerating you and still love to clean up after you eat.  Mama loves it too!

I plan to enjoy every moment of this last month before you turn one.  It will surely be as much of an adventure as the last 11...

Love you nugget,


first "modeling" job.

i was asked if mary could pose for the posters for our upcoming school play.  the drama department is putting on "the importance of being earnest." what does a baby have to do with that?  if you don't know, apparently one of the main characters is courting a lady and upon being questioned about his childhood, it is revealed that he was found in some luggage as a baby... this leads to him having a questionable past.

anyway, they have used pictures of the boys' characters in all of the other advertisements so far this year and they wanted to do something different.  so yes, she is technically supposed to be a boy, but she is the advertisement.  check it out!


10 months.

Dear Mary,

Today you are 10 months old.  I know I say it every month but you are changing so fast and time is flying by so quickly.  You are a busy girl and you are keeping us on our toes!  You have gone from a rough army crawl to crawling on your hands and knees with efficiency... straight to pulling up to your knees, and then your feet, and now you are trying to cruise everywhere.  Slow down baby girl!  You are getting into everything- including things you shouldn't.  Some of those things are:  the entertainment system- you like to turn the volume knob way up, the cord for the remote of the play station, any shoes that aren't yours, the dogs' bed and toys, and the dogs' water bowl.  You know, just to name a few.

You are starting to play shy some but are still a relatively social girl.  Every now and then you only want mama or daddy and sometimes that includes us not leaving the room.  But you are doing pretty well and you love seeing some of your favorite people on campus.  You adore Mr. Leigh, Ms. Dale, & Ms. 'Nette- and they adore you, too.  We are blessed to have such a great school family.

You are still eating like a champ and sleeping like a champ.  Thankfully only a few naps suffered when you learned how to stand up in your crib.  You quickly learned that you wouldn't forget how to do it and finally got back down to the business of sleeping.  You still take 2 naps a day and sleep 10-11 hours at night.  We have a fairly good routine and I hope it stays this way for awhile- at least these last 3 weeks of school.

You are watching us and learning so many things.  You rub your fingers and thumbs together trying to snap, you rub your hands together when we clean ours after your diaper changes, you are waving and clapping all the time, too.  You are still saying lots of "words"- mama, dada, & baba.  You make a ton of other sounds, too.  You are giggling more now and make yourself laugh sometimes.

We just love you and the sweet girl that you are growing up to be.



growing girl.

mary saw dr. love on the 15th for her 9 month check up.  it was an easy one with no shots.  (she'll get plenty at her 12 month visit.)  she now weigh 19 lbs. 6 oz. and is 28 1/4 inches long/tall.  she is growing like a weed!  her nine month clothes still fit but she will be needing 12 months soon enough, i'm sure.

i was able to snap a few pictures  to use as her 9 month pictures the next day.  we are so blessed to live on such a beautiful campus.  our sweet cousin angel is going to edit them for us but here are a couple of favorites edited only by me. 


first teeth.

i had to trick mary into smiling big while i stood above to snap a picture of her pearly whites.  it will likely be another 1-2 weeks (or longer) before they are all the way in... which is good.  she's been toothless for so long, it will take awhile getting used to seeing her with teeth.


jay represented us at the Easter Vigil last night.  hopefully next year mary and i can make it.  she was in bed before the service ended.  so today we all dressed in our sunday best and had brunch at tupelo honey cafe.  mary looked beautiful in her dress that my mom made for her.

the easter bunny made a visit to mary and she dumped the basket out in one quick move and checked out her new toys (and a toothbrush!).

i am certain we took pictures on easter last year but i cannot find them.  i do have some from a month later... amazing how life can change so much!  (jay had us looking into the sun today... so pardon all the squinting!)

may 5, 2012

march 31, 2013

here is a close up of the hand-smocked dress mary's mimi made and, of course, her in it.  she's a bit blurry in one because she will not sit still these days!  surely you mamas out there understand.  :)

happy easter everyone!


9 months.

Dear Mary,

I am actually writing this in the same week you turned 9 months old.  (The boys are on Easter break!)  You have done so many new things in the last 2 weeks- it's amazing!

You finally figured out how to crawl forward.  It's a pretty rough army crawl because you keep your toys in your hands all the time.  I think if you would free up those sweet hands you would be up on your hands and knees... but I know it's coming soon enough.  You can go from lying down to sitting up and have been busy practicing this skill all week.

You have been babbling "mamama" a lot this week and instead of saying it to you and having you say "dadada" back, you are actually saying mama back.  I love hearing you say it!

Your two bottom teeth started pushing through last Saturday and you can see them now (barely) when you smile.

You clap when we cheer "yay!" and you are consistently waving "hi," "bye," and "night night."  You are also making kiss noises.  You have been a busy busy girl!

You are still a happy, smiley girl.  You want to be down on the ground exploring the world now.  You are happily exploring finger foods and love broccoli, chicken, and bananas so far.  You love your bottles and we keep exploring sippy cups to find one you like... I may have found it today.

You are still busy growing and I will update your stats in a couple of weeks after your 9 month check up.  I'd say you're 18-19 lbs and 28-29 inches.  You are outgrowing your 9 month pajamas and are definitely in 9 month clothes.  Your feet used to be tiny and all of the shoes we had from your Gigi were too big- now, all of a sudden, they are too small.

Keep up the hard work growing and learning, my sweet girl.



dog days of winter.

we've had lots of playtime indoors and cannot wait to get outside!  the dogs are going stir crazy!  so am i!  here are a couple of pictures of mary and the girls... they are pretty adorable when they try to play with her.

barley rolled into mary- and then mary leaned against her.

omg!  i got her foot!

sweet kisses.

8 months.

Dear Mary,

You are growing so fast these days!  You continue to do something new every day, it seems, and you have the sweetest disposition.  You still rarely meet a stranger, although, you do play "shy" sometimes and lean into mama's shoulder.  You are learning to wave bye-bye and hi and seem surprised when your arm pops up when you hear the words.  You still aren't crawling yet.  You do rock on your hands and knees- sometimes- and you can scoot backwards when you are really trying.  You prefer to pivot on your belly and roll to your desired destination.

We just completed weaning and you now drink all formula.  You have transitioned really well and don't seem to mind at all.  That made it very easy but it also made me a little sad.  But mama needs to start back on her medicine for Meniere's disease and I know formula is not bad for you.  You drink 4-5 bottles a day, 5-7 oz at a time.  You also eat 3 "solid" meals a day.  You still like most everything we give you.  You eat Gerber puffs and have tried a few other finger foods- like green beans, peas, rice, peaches, and pears- but you still prefer purees.

You haven't been to the doctor in awhile but according to the scientific method of weighing you with me and then just me- you are somewhere in the 17 lbs range and are at least 27 inches long.  You are wearing a few 6-9 month clothes but are mostly in all 9 month clothes now.  You are now in size 3 diapers.

You really love to talk and screech all kinds of noises.  You have said hee hee, dadada, yaya, ba, ha, and mama.  You still don't put names- like mama & dada in association with us.  You also love to squeal.  You are still a great sleeper and are now sleeping about 11 hours at night (with no feedings) and you take 2-3 naps a day (at least an hour each).  You almost always wake up happy and get so excited as soon as your door opens when one of us comes to get you.

You continue to be such a joy and I am so blessed to call you mine.



7 months.

Dear Mary,

Here we are at 7 months.  Seven!  Time surely continues to fly by about as quickly as you are growing lately.  You are getting to be such a big girl!  You were sick with a cold recently and when I took you to the doctor you weighed in at 15 lbs 10 oz- less than a month before that you were only 14 lbs 14 oz!

Solid foods are agreeing with you for sure. You eat three times a day, without fail, now.  You have either oatmeal or barley cereal in the morning with some fruit, a fruit and veggie at lunch, and a fruit, veggie, and sometimes a meat combo at dinner.  You eat about 2-3 ounces of solids during those meals and still breastfeed- taking around 5 1/2 ounces 5 times a day. You can feed yourself Gerber rice puffs and cheerios and we practice with fruits and veggies sometimes so you can get used to different textures.

You are still great with sleeping unswaddled.  You love sleeping on your side and tummy.  You are finally back to sleeping well after your cold and now go to bed between 8:30-9pm and get up around 7-7:30am.

You love your exersaucer that Pops and Mimi gave you for Christmas.  You also love playing with your toys while sitting in the floor.  You are practicing more and more rocking on your hands and knees but you still are not crawling yet.  You are very efficient, however, with pivoting while on your belly and rolling to get whatever you want and wherever you want to go.  You are a busy and curious girl.

You love Cotton and Barley and get so excited when they come to see you.  They are very patient with you and let you pet them.  They still give you kisses and they love it when you eat!  They are helpful with floor clean up for sure.

I still cannot believe how this year is flying by and the milestones we pass are bittersweet.  We are savoring the moments, the days, and your sweet sweet smiles.



6 months.

Dear sweet Mary,

You are growing into such a beautiful girl!  Your sweet and sassy personality is developing more every day.  I cannot believe we are quickly marching towards 7 months with you.  Every day is a joy- even when you are trying my patience.

You are exploring the world in so many ways.  You are quite nosy, ahem, curious and you are always watching others.  You mimick all sorts of sounds- including perfecting your fake cough on Christmas morning!  You are sitting well but you are still a bit wobbly.  Rolling is your current mode of transportation, although, you can pivot in all directions on your belly and you can scoot ever so slightly when you try really hard.

You are eating baby foods now.  You have been for awhile but we are really trying to get in 2-3 meals a day between breast feeding and naps.  Mommy and Daddy's schedules make it challenging but we're getting there.  And some days you aren't interested in eating that many times.  You have tried all of the first stages fruits and veggies, which includes:  peaches, pears, apples, prunes, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, peas, and carrots.  You have also had rice cereal and oatmeal.  And the other day you had some mashed avocado.  Your favorites so far are pears and green beans but you really don't dislike any of them.  We have played with some finger foods in the last couple of days and you are starting to figure that out.  You are enjoying your rice puff snacks and a few have made it to your mouth from your own hands.  I must say watching you learn to chew is pretty darn cute.

You had a 6 month check up last week and you weighed 14 lbs 14 oz.  You were 26 inches long.  Your head and weight are in the 25th percentile and your length is in the 50th percentile.  You have stayed in this growth curve since birth.  Being so well-proportioned makes you that much cuter!

You are just now beginning to realize that there are strangers in this world but you are still pretty amenable to flashing your sweet smile.  You are finally sleeping unswaddled and love sleeping on your belly and your side.  You sleep with either your elephant or cow lovey.  

I cannot wait to see how you continue to grow and change in the coming months.  No matter how big you get, though, you will always be my baby.