20 Months with Penelope Marie

It’s been so long since I’ve done a Penelope update! I recently realized that the last one I published was from when she was 10 months old…a lot has changed since then!

Dear Penelope,

Around 14-15 months we noticed a big change in you. You went from being a ‘baby’ in our eyes to a real toddler. You took your first steps on Thanksgiving Day, but preferred cruising and crawling for about another month. By Christmas you were taking more steps at a time and within days after that, you were on the GO. There is no slowing down for you, little girl. You are on the move all the time and you love to keep us on our toes, too! Walking has certainly been a game-changer. We have done lots more baby-proofing to the house although you hate it when you can’t get somewhere (like up the stairs). Walking also means you get to chase Chloe around the house; she acts like she hates, but I think she secretly loves it. She has learned to be very gentle around you (even though you accidentally get a little rough with her). You two even play together sometimes.

We have seen your little personality start to shine through more and more. You are very outgoing and personable like your dad, but we knew that already. You never shy away from other kids (or adults for that matter) and love to be included in what’s going on around you. You love to be outside! Whether it’s taking a walk, blowing bubbles in our backyard or a trip to the park, you love exploring the great outdoors. We are so thankful that the weather here in North Carolina is pretty mild and allows us to be outside a lot!


Your eating has improved remarkably over the last several months. We saw a feeding specialist 1-2 times a week for 9 months and just recently had our last visit. I’m going to be honest and say this journey has been tough. We started you with a feeding specialist and then their practice closed abruptly leaving us without therapy for you. We had to scramble to find a new practice (and a therapist who specialized in infant/toddler feeding) which was a feat. Thankfully through recommendations from friends and friends-of-friends we found a wonderful practice and therapist (Ms. Shannon) who we will probably never forget. She was amazing with you! This practice was located 30 minutes away (in the opposite direction of where we live/work), but that’s the price you pay for the best treatment. Every bit of time and energy was worth it though because you have come so far in your eating!


We no longer depend on food packs and purees anymore which is huge! You still seem to love milk a little more than food, but that is slowly changing as well. Your favorite table foods are: green peas, pancakes, hummus, cheese and “treats” (i.e. chocolate chips or mini M&Ms). You are still not all that wild about fruit and meat, but we’re working on that. Breakfast is your favorite meal of the day. We’ve been out to breakfast a few times recently and you always eat so well! You love bacon (your papa is so proud), eggs and all the other yummy breakfast fixin’s we get when we go out. We are still working on some behavioral eating habits (you often throw food you don’t want to eat), and you still get stubborn sometimes and spit food out even when we know you like it. Trying to feed you when you’re especially tired is really tough – you’d rather just drink a glass of milk and be done with it. We’ve been able to work through all this though and have seen enough improvement in your weight that we haven’t had to take you back for weight checks!


You stayed on a bottle much longer than we would have preferred but at 18 months we were finally able to transition you to a sippy cup. The sippy cup is one with a silicone spout, but at least it’s not a bottle; we are still a work in progress. 🙂

You went through another big transition over these last few months – we moved you to a full-time daycare! Our beloved Ms. Merritt  ended up going back into the workforce so we found an amazing facility very close to our house that came highly recommended. We have loved it so far! Your teachers are amazing and we’ve been so impressed with the staff there. We’ve seen remarkable progress in your language and motor skills and we know you have a blast there every day! It’s so sweet to walk into your classroom and see you having fun with your friends. They all call you “P” or “ell-o-pe” which is so darn cute. We’ve also noticed further improvement in your eating now that you sit with a bunch of other kids during snacks/lunch time. Overall, you’re doing so well and we’ve loved watching you grow! The only downfall is that by 5:30 you are exhausted which makes dinner interesting. But with time, that will get easier. We still miss Merritt and her family dearly, but thankfully they live down the street so we still see them often.


You love to talk and sing – especially Twinkle Twinkle Little Star which is your favorite song (second place goes to the Itsy Bitsy Spider). You now know the names to lots of animals (you are partial to doggies, kittens and bunnies) and a lot of your body parts. You love lifting up your shirt and showing us your belly. You aren’t using full sentences yet, but we’re definitely getting there. You are saying short phrases like “more cheese” or “all done,” “let’s go” and “night night mama.” You love Mickey Mouse and baby dolls. You especially seem to love putting your babies to bed. You cover them with a blanket, put them on their bellies, pat their backs and say “night night babies.” It’s so sweet!


More than anything (or anyone) else though, you love your special bear. Bear goes everywhere you go. We try not to take him out of the house because we’re so afraid of losing him (this particular bear is discontinued). If he needs to be washed (and he does..often) it usually involves us sneaking into your room at night like a ninja and stealing him from your crib. However, that only works when you’re not gripping onto him for dear life which you usually are. You like to put your shoes on bear, you feed him your food, you put him to bed and give him rides in your mini-stroller. You are truly the best “mama” to your bear and it’s the cutest thing!

We love you to the moon and back and are looking forward to spending this summer with our favorite toddler! We have lots planned including swimming lessons, birthday parties, trips to the museums and visits with family. We can’t wait!

penelope bunnies



My word for 2017

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions, but I love the idea of choosing a specific word to focus on in the new year. This ‘word’ can be anything; it’s an opportunity for you to focus on yourself in a deeper, more spiritual way. It serves as a guide or a gentle reminder.

A couple years ago I chose the word ‘commitment’. It wasn’t long after my husband and I got married so it was very fitting; but there were also other things we wanted to commit to – primarily focusing on finding a church home. My husband and I prayed about this and sure enough, the Lord directed us to the church we are still attending today. What a gift!

I’ve been thinking  about what my word would be for this year and I have finally decided on ‘content’.  I think there will be some changes coming to our family in 2017 that will require us to make some changes to our lifestyle. Please understand that we are all happy and healthy and these changes will be good! I think there will just be some periods of adjustment for us. I am also going on record to say that this is not a pregnancy announcement nor do we have plans of making one anytime soon. 🙂

I sometimes find myself in a very dangerous comparison game. This has always been my Achilles heel and it’s something I’ve vow to work on this year. I need to feel content with the blessings I already have.

It took me only a second to find some encouraging words from scripture about being content:

Matthew 6:25-26

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Philippians 4:12-13

I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Timothy 6:6-7

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

Luke 12:15

Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

Pretty powerful, no? What would be your word for 2017?

Penelope Marie -10 Months

Dear Penelope,

You are 10 months old and summer is in full swing!

It was another busy month especially for this working mama. I haven’t talked much about balancing work and being a mom – mainly because I still haven’t figured it out. And I probably never will, but that’s okay. There is no question that the balance is tricky and the month in June is my most challenging when it comes to work. I plan a huge annual meeting for my Firm and it requires long hours and being away from home for a few days. This month I spent my first ever night away from you. It was tough, but thankfully I wasn’t far and you even came by for a quick visit! Your dad did a wonderful job and didn’t miss a beat.

You went on your first official boat ride! Your godparents Stephen and MG have a boat and invited us for the day. We had a great time and you enjoyed the ride and swimming in the lake!

10 months 5

10 months 6

10 months 7

10 months 4

Once my big meeting was over, things got so much less hectic and we were able to enjoy our time together more. We went to the pool, spent time with our friends and had lots of family time.

10 months




I can’t even tell you how much I have enjoyed seeing your little personality develop. You have never met a stranger and you make friends wherever you go. You are so outgoing just like your father is and you love being the center of attention. You make us laugh all the time with your funny faces and noises. You talk like crazy! You can say a few words (mama, papa ,dog) but mostly you babble in your own little language and it’s adorable.

10 moths 1

You are crawling around like crazy. You still prefer the army crawl over crawling on your hands and knees. You have even attempted pulling yourself up a little! I think we may need to lower your crib here soon. 🙂

Unfortunately, we have not seen enough improvement in your eating so we called your pediatrician and got a recommendation for a feeding specialist. This has been our toughest challenge with you, by far. You won’t take purees (you often gag and throw up) so we were feeding you primarily soft solids. You threw up after we fed you some soft solids one day and we realized that you aren’t chewing your food at all; you’ve just been swallowing everything whole which was a terrifying realization. So we pray that the specialist will be able to give us the help we need. Your first birthday is quickly approaching and in my head I keep hearing “food is fun until you’re one.” This scares me so much as your primary source of food is still my milk and I’m not sure that is going to change anytime soon. We are anxiously awaiting our appointment.

Although eating has been a challenge, sleeping has not! You are a champ when it comes to sleeping. You take 2 naps during the day – usually around 8:30 and then again around 1:30 and  you sleep between 1-2 hours for each nap. You typically go to bed between 6:30 and 7 and stay asleep until about 6:30 the next morning!


Thank you for being such a sweet joy and a bright spot in our lives. We love you more than you could ever know!


10 months 210 months 3

Penelope Marie – 9 months old

Dear Penelope,

You are 9 months old! We are getting closer and closer to your first birthday and I’m feeling so conflicted about it. I love watching you grow and change, but hate how quickly it’s going by. I never thought I would say this, but sometimes I miss those newborn days! And then I remember how much sleep I wasn’t getting and it brings me back to reality. 🙂

Summer is in full swing so we’ve been busy going to the pool, birthday parties and being outside. I think the days that we spend resting at the house you get a little bored – you’d rather be doing/seeing things! So even if it’s a quick trip to the grocery store or a walk around the block, we try and take you everywhere we go.

There was a time when taking you out was a little tricky – with naps, feedings, etc. it was tough and unpredictable, but that’s getting easier now. While we still work around naps/feedings, we can be a little more flexible which has been wonderful. We can take you to restaurants now and you sit in the high chair eating puffs and watch everyone around you.

This was  a big month for you. First, we traveled to Ohio to see your Uncle Casey graduate with his master’s degree! When he walked across the stage we held you up and screamed “way to go, Uncle Casey!” You stayed to see Uncle Casey walk across stage and then your dad took you home for the night. The next day we celebrated him at his graduation party!

9 months 1

9 months 2

9 months 3

You did surprisingly well on your trip, but I think we may give flying a try next time. Eight or nine hours in a car with you at this stage is tricky. Understandably you get bored and want to move around and with all the stops we have to make it stretches the trip out longer.

The weekend after his graduation, your grandparents and auntie and uncle came to Raleigh for your baptism. What a treat to see everyone two weekends in a row! Your great-grandmother Omi also flew into town and your great-grandma Mildred and great aunt Michelle came also! It’s not very often we get both sides of our families together so it’s always special when we do. You handled the baptism beautifully and I think you loved all the attention you were getting. 🙂

baptism 7

You are so fortunate to have such loving Godparents, grandparents and friends in your life! You wore the gown that both my sister and I wore at our baptisms; I can’t wait to continue using this family heirloom of ours. After the ceremony we had everyone over at our house for lunch. We had bar-b-que catered from our favorite place (Johnson Family BBQ, if you’re local) and kept it very casual and simple. It was sunny and warm (but not too hot) and the perfect day.

baptism 1

baptism 4

baptism 3

baptism 2

baptism 6

We celebrated Memorial weekend with your first trip to the pool. No surprise here, but we’ve got a little fishy on our hands and you loved the water! We can’t wait to take you again! We also learned that an hour or two a the pool makes for a really great nap, too. 🙂

9 Months 4

9 months 5

At your 9-month check-up you weighed 15 lbs 14 oz (5th percentile)

Your were 27 inches tall (22nd percentile)

And your head circumference was 17 inches (32nd percentile)

We talked to the pediatrician about your eating and decided that if we didn’t see enough improvement by the time you were 10 months old then we would consider seeing a food specialist. You’re just a little behind for your age and although we have seen some improvement over the last couple of months, you still aren’t eating solids as much as we’d like you to. So your Papa and I are going to be very strict about feeding you at least twice a day (preferably 3 times) and will also incorporate solids into our morning routine when you’re most happy and rested.

You starting crawling at the beginning of the month! We knew this was coming as you’d get on your belly and wiggle like crazy without going anywhere, but now you’ve mastered an army crawl! And we’ve seen you pop up onto your hands/knees a handful of times so it’s only a matter a time before you get going full-speed ahead! We’ve got some baby-proofing to do that’s for sure.


This month was unusually busy, but also super special! Thank you for another wonderful month, Miss P. We can’t wait to experience the rest of the summer with you!



Penelope Marie – 8 Months Old

Dear Penelope,

You are now 8 months old!! I don’t know where the time is going. People are so right when they say the days are long but the months/years are short!

Your little personality is really starting to shine through and I see more and more of your Papa in you. No stranger danger for you – you love to be around people and ham it up with tons of smiles! Everywhere we go you make friends and show off your teeth with the biggest smiles.



You are such a wiggle worm right now. Changing your diaper has become quite the task! I’m starting to wonder if we should start changing you on the floor because i’m terrified you might fall off your changing table!


On April 2 you finally sat up on your own, unassisted! We’d been waiting for this day as you’ve been so close for a while now and sure enough, you did it. Over the course of the month you’ve gotten stronger and stronger and now you don’t even wobble anymore when you’re sitting up. This has been a game-changer for you as I could tell you were getting bored being on your back and belly all the time. Now you can play with your toys all on your own.

8 months

You love to bounce, swing and be thrown up in the air. We just love to hear you laugh and giggle. You are much more interactive these days. You love your stacking cups, rattles and any toy that plays music or lights up. You aren’t much of a snuggler, but we’ve noticed that when you get tired and one of us is holding you, you’ll lay your head on our shoulder or chest and completely relax; it’s so sweet.


We are still struggling with solids. You have a sensitive gag reflex and will not take a spoon. So we let you feed yourself which takes foreverrrr and gets quite messy. If you end up eating half a cracker or a small bite of fruit, we’re happy. We hope to make some more progress though. You seem to like the food, but it’s just the chewing and swallowing we’re working on. You definitely still prefer to drink milk and if you see a bottle around when we’re trying to feed you solids then it’s game over. You are drinking between 25-30 ounces a day and I continue to pump. My supply has taken a little bit of a dip and I am barely keeping up with you now. I’m hoping that we can increase your intake of solids a bit so that we don’t have to dip into our freezer supply, but we shall see.


You are sleeping like a champ. You go to bed between 6:30-7 every night and wake up between 6-6:45 every morning. You take 2 solid naps during the day – usually the first around 8 or 8:30 and the second after lunch around 1:30. This is the most consistent we have ever been with your sleep and it’s been great! You sometimes cry when you change positions during the night, but it’s usually fleeting and before we even notice you’re passed out again.

We had a rough week of teething this month – really rough. Your two top teeth came in at the same time and we could tell you were really uncomfortable. Your nose was all stopped up; you were running a low-grade fever; not sleeping well and just fussier than usual. Thankfully, it passed after a couple of days but we felt so bad for you!

We were fortunate enough to have some great weather and since you love to be outside so much, we took full advantage! You even went to your first baseball game!


durham bulls


It’s been another great few weeks and we’re looking forward to next month!

swings IMG_3180

Penelope Marie – 7 Months Old

Dear Penelope,

You are seven months old! I’ve gotten a little behind on these posts (#momfail) and I’m the worst at taking your pictures close to your monthly birthdays (oops). But I try so hard to remember as many detail as I can about each month. Time is flying by and I want to make sure I remember every sweet memory. It’s amazing how much you change from week to week. It’s so fun watching you grow!

This was a busy month. We got some new living room furniture, enjoyed your first visit to the park, went to see your great grandma and your twin friends Parker & Miles AND celebrated Easter. We are so thankful that you are an easy-going baby because the next couple of months we will be on-the-go more than ever!

Penelope Sofa

Penelope Rug

You hit a couple of milestones this month – you are sitting up on your own (just for a couple seconds at a time), but gaining more and more strength by the day. You love to roll around. You’ve been able to do this for a while, but it’s like you’ve recently discovered how to do it and now you can’t stop.

Belly 1

You got your first teeth; your two bottom teeth, right in the middle! Your little smile is so sweet with your teeth poking out, but I’m also going to miss your gummy smile!


You love to be outside. We have had some really beautiful Carolina weather this month and Miss Merritt has taken you out many times to enjoy the sunshine. You’re not quite sure how to feel about grass, but I think you’ll get used to it over time.

Tongue Out

Swings 1

You also love to babble and play with your voice. You squeal, squeak, grumble and make the funniest sounds and we can tell you’re experimenting with your voice and making new noises. Although you’re not technically talking yet, you are able to make some sounds resembling words like “papapa” and “bababa.” When you see something (or someone) you like you squeal with excitement. Chloe is your absolute favorite and you love to watch her and pet her.

A couple Sundays ago we decided to take advantage of the pretty (albeit chilly day) for you to experience your first trip to the park! You had a blast on the swings…laughing and happily kicking your feet. We have now started calling you “happy feet” because every time you laugh or have fun, you enthusiastically kick them around! You weren’t too sure what to think about going down the slide, but maybe you’ll enjoy that more next time.


Park 3

We are continuing to give you pureed solids and rice cereal although you’re not really taking to food the way we thought you would. I think you enjoy the new flavors and textures, but you’re not quite sure what to do with the food once it’s in your mouth. You are still playing with your tongue and sticking it out all the time so most of your food ends up all over your face. It’s quite messy feeding you, little one! We will continue trying to give you a little bit every day and hopefully one day you’ll figure out this whole feeding thing. 🙂 For now, you’re drinking four seven ounce bottles a day and that’s filling up your tummy.

We typically start getting you ready for bed around 6 or 6:30 every night. We’ve got a good routine going; usually in 15-20 minutes you’re completely out and you don’t typically wake up until 6 or 6:30 the next morning. Even after you wake, you’ll sit in your crib and play with your feet and talk to yourself for a few minutes if we can’t come and get you right away. You quite enjoy sleeping on your belly these days. This scared me a little at first, but you’ve gotten so good at rolling around it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. Your naps are still inconsistent. We’ve given up on trying to get you on any resemblance of a nap schedule. It just doesn’t work for you and we’ve accepted that. Merritt does her best to get you to sleep a little every morning and afternoon; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But you’re a great sleeper at night so we really can’t complain.

While we are so thankful that you are sleeping so well now and we even have a little bit of down time in the evenings, but I hate how little time we get to spend with you when we get home from work. It’s one of the toughest things about being a working parent and some days feel so rushed that I don’t get to play and snuggle with you nearly as much as I’d like. That’s why we try so hard to make the most out of our weekends; we want our time with you to be special.

P and Mama

This past month I feel like we finally got into a really great rhythm as a family. Mornings don’t feel quite as stressful – your Papa and I have figured out what our individual responsibilities are and now we’ve got it all down to a science. Same with evenings. I’ll admit, it took a long time for us to get to this point. My first couple of months working after maternity leave were some of the toughest ever. But over time we’ve figured out what works for us and we are all happy and going strong!

I’ve had your Easter dress picked out since January so I was anxious to see you all dressed up in your sweet outfit! You looked so adorable. I fully intend to enjoy dressing you up for as long as possible. I know the day will come when you’ll want to pick out your own outfits so I’m going to take advantage for as long as possible. 🙂

Easter dress

The Easter Bunny came and dropped off some fun treats for you. Most of it was practical – some new bibs, snack containers, baby food, etc. but we also added a few fun things in there like some new bath toys and Aladin in DVD even though I know you can’t watch it yet. (I try to buy all the classic Disney movies as they come out of the vault.) Our families also spoiled you with some cute toys and outfits also so you had quite a special day!

Easter Basket

Easter bunny

My goal for the coming months is to try and get more pictures of us as a family! We are looking forward to warmer weather and lots of fun family time coming up these next few weeks!

We love you sweet P!

Outside 1


Palm Sunday

Penelope Marie – 6 Months

Dear Penelope,

You’re half a year old! When did that happen?!

6 months 11

6 months 12

I think this month was my favorite yet. After you came out of your sleep sleep regression and we got you on more of a schedule, you’ve been the happiest baby ever. You’re sleeping well, eating well, very rarely fussy and overall a complete joy. How lucky are we to be your parents!?

This was a big month for you – you tried solids for the first time (sweet potato on February 20); you’re very close to sitting up (I think it’ll be any day now!); you’re rolling over from both sides; you love your jumperoo and can now reach the floor and bounce on your own. You are constantly reaching for whatever is in front of you and you love to grab and pull mama’s hair/jewelry/glasses. You love your stuffed animals and lovey; you get a big smile on your face anytime we put them in front of you. You notice Chloe all the time now and follow her with your eyes as she walks/runs around the room. You are so interested in her and love to pet her (and occasionally pull on her fur). Much to our surprise, she doesn’t seem to mind all that much.

6 months 1

It’s so much fun to see your personality starting to develop. You’re already very much like your Papa in that you’re outgoing and seem to enjoy being around lots of other people. You’re such a ham – you smile at everyone! You definitely don’t mind being held by new people or passed around. Not only do you love being around adults, but kids, too – even bigger kids. You love to observe them with a big smile plastered on your face. Going to church has become one of your favorite activities because you get to see some of your friends and you have a blast watching them goof off in the pew in front of us.

6 months 7

My goal in the coming month is to try and plan some play dates with your baby friends. Now that you’re a little older and more observant, I think you’ll get a kick out of it. The weather is slowly starting to warm up which means we can spend more time outside enjoying the sunshine.

Right now everything you touch goes straight into your mouth. I wouldn’t be surprised if you start teething here soon because you love chewing on some of your teething toys.

6 months 9

6 months 10

We had a sweet surprise this month when your Auntie Ally and Uncle Casey came to visit us for my birthday weekend! They miss you so much and you had a great time playing with them.

6 months 3

You continue to do so well with Miss Merritt during the day. She is always bringing you along for fun adventures with the kiddos and I think you have a blast being along for the ride! Josie their sweet dog is your little guard dog and she loves to keep an eye on you every day. You two have become fast friends!

6 months 6

You are a wonderful sleeper right now. We are now putting you to bed around 7 every night (if you’re really tired, sometimes even 6:30) and you sleep soundly until around 6 or 6:30 in the morning. You usually wake up on your own, but every now and then we have to wake you up. Sometimes you’ll fuss or cry for a minute at night, but you almost always put yourself back to sleep. There have been a handful of times that we’ve caught you sleeping on your belly (gasp!) and although it’s not a big deal at this point because you can roll over all on your own, it still catches me off guard! You sure are a wiggle worm at night though – you usually end up at the opposite end of the crib and turned the other direction by the time morning rolls around!

You had a chance to visit me at work one afternoon which was super fun! You loved seeing all the people in my office and were smiling at everyone – you’re such a ham!

6 months 2

You’re still taking a bottle for most all of your meals and we’ve just started to introducing pureed solids. At this point you are more interested in the spoon and the bowls than you are food. But right now, we’re just trying to get you into the habit of eating. You seem to really like rice cereal, but that’s probably because we mix it with your milk!

Your quite small for your size so you’re still fitting well into your 3-6 month clothes. In the coming weeks I’ll probably start slowly buying some 6-9 month clothes for spring and summer. I’m looking forward to all the cute dresses and outfits, as usual! You’re also still wearing size 2 diapers and I think you’ll continue to stay in those for a couple more weeks.

6 months 5

The weather is starting to slowly warm up so I am anxiously waiting for the days when we can take you outside. The time will also change soon so we’ll have a little more daylight to take quick walks around the neighborhood in the evenings. As always, you’re such a joy and we are looking forward to your next month!

And no surprise here, but bath time is still your favorite. 🙂

6 months 8

6 months 4

Can’t wait to see what’s in store for next month, Sweet P!

Penelope Marie – 5 Months

Dear Penelope,

You are now five months old! Once again I find myself having trouble keeping up with how quickly things are changing.



I am going to be honest here, this last month was a bit of a doozy. Shortly after we returned from Christmas you went through a major sleep regression. We’d hadn’t heard about the four-month sleep regression until we were knee-deep in it and let me tell you, it was something else! You have been such a good sleeper since the beginning so this definitely threw us for a loop. I think you hit so many milestones around that time and it caught up to you all at once. With rolling over we couldn’t swaddle you anymore so that was a huge adjustment. You also became so much more alert and aware of what was going on around you; why would you want to sleep at night when you could play instead?? Unfortunately during this time your Papa traveled for work back-to-back weeks making this an even tougher time.

We also noticed that your days of sleeping on-the-go are long gone. You are way too interested in what’s happening around you to sleep. You used to fall asleep within seconds of being put in your car seat, but not anymore! And sleeping through all those trips to Target or quick dinners out? Nope, not happening anymore.


We decided it was time to start sleep training. We never wanted to be those parents who’s entire existence revolved around sleep and nap-times, but we have officially become those people. And thankfully, after a few weeks it’s finally “stuck” and we have a set routine and you’re back to sleeping through the night. We wake you up around 6:45 every morning (even on weekends) and your first nap starts around 8 or 8:30 for between 2-2.5 hours. Your afternoon nap starts around 1 or 1:30 and lasts around 2 hours also. You take a brief catnap after we pick you up from daycare and then the bedtime routine starts at 7:30. For the first time ever this month, we’ve been able to consistently get you into be between 8-8:30 every night (sometimes even earlier than that!) which is huge! Oh how I don’t miss the days of you not going to sleep until 10 or 11. It was a tough couple of weeks, but now we’ve established your schedule and all is right with the world again. At least for now! 🙂

You are officially in size 2 diapers and wearing your 3-6 month clothing now. It’s all a little big on you so I suspect you’ll be wearing these sizes for a little while. I had so much fun going through all your 6 month clothing and dressing you up in all your fun outfits!


I love your disposition; you laugh all.the.time and it’s the best! You laugh at people, at your stuffed animals, at yourself. It’s hilarious and we love to laugh along with you. You’re still very easy-going and enjoy being around other people. You don’t mind it when others hold you or take a peek at you in the car seat or the stroller – in fact, I think you enjoy all the attention!


You are starting to grab and reach for things now. You have been using your playmat more than ever and now you can play with the toys all on your own. We introduced you to the jumperoo we got you for Christmas. You’re a little small for it so we put a box underneath so you have a place for your feet to rest. Right now, you are only happy in it for about 10 minutes but I think as you get a little bigger you’ll enjoy it even more. Your lovey comes with you pretty much everywhere right now. We even let you nap with it sometimes.

You have started to notice Chloe which is pretty adorable. Sometimes we’ll bring her over to you and you’ll just start laughing  or smiling! You reach for her and you love to gently pet her; sometimes she even starts purring. We give her a couple of treats every time she lets you pet her so I think that helps a little, too. 🙂


Everything you reach for goes right into your mouth (of course). Your newest favorite toy isn’t even a toy…it’s your little toes! You LOVE your feet. You are a baby yoga rockstar and enjoy nothing more than getting your little feet into your mouth. It’s adorable!


This month you also experienced your first ever snow day (well, it was more of an ice day). It wasn’t the pretty snow that we would have liked…instead everything was covered with a thick sheet of ice so you couldn’t really enjoy it, but at least I got a day to be home with you snuggling while I worked.


Bath time continues to be your favorite. You’re growing out of your infant tub so as soon as you’re sitting up on your own, we’ll start giving you a bath without it which I know you’ll really enjoy. You will have so much more room to splash around and we can introduce you to some fun bath toys!


Overall, we feel like we hit the jackpot with you and I cannot even fathom that in a couple of short weeks you’ll be 6 months old which just blows my mind. Half a year gone…already!

We love you, Sweet P!


30th Birthday Wishlist

I cannot believe that my 30th birthday is just around the corner. I’m not dreading the big 3-0 as much as I thought I would; in fact, I really feel like I’m embracing this new place in life. I had some really good times in my twenties, but I am also excited to see what’s in store for my thirties.

Pre-baby, I would have wanted to go BIG for my 30th birthday celebration…either a party or a weekend getaway. But at this phase of life we are in right now, it’s not feasible and that’s just fine by me. In my mind, the best birthday would consist of the following: sleeping in (duh), lunch, a little shopping and then spending the rest of the day snuggling with my hubby and sweet Penelope. Oh, and not having to wash any bottles. That’s huge (you think I’m kidding? I’m not.)

My birthday is on a Monday this year so my husband and I are both taking a day of PTO so the three of us will head to lunch and do a little shopping at most favorite store ever (Nordstroms). Here’s what I have my eye on:

wish list

  1. Barbour Jacket. I’ve been looking at this jacket on-and-off for months now. A co-worker of mine got it for Christmas and after seeing it in person, now I know I really want one.
  2. Jo Malone Perfume. I ran out of perfume during my pregnancy and didn’t buy any more because my sense of smell was so out of whack. But now I’m ready to wear perfume again and I’m all out!
  3. Gloves. I love this cute pair. I think the pop of red would go perfectly with my black pea coat.
  4. New shades. My Gucci sunglasses are looking pretty worn. It’s time for an upgrade!
  5. Clutch. I desperately need an oversized clutch that will contain my wallet, phone, keys and other small essentials without taking up much room. I want to be able to transfer it to/from my diaper bag and this option is cute and affordable.
  6. Alex & Ani. I received a couple of these bracelets for Christmas and I wouldn’t mind adding another to my collection.
  7. Diptyque. I would love one of these dreamy candles.
  8. Hunter Boots. I’m pretty sure I’m the last person in the world who doesn’t own these boots. Maybe it’s because we’ve been experiencing so much rain lately, but I’m finally ready for a pair. I love the look of these boots in a classic red.

Now comes the tough part…deciding what’s going to come home with me!

What’s on your wish list?

Penelope Marie – Four Months

Dear Penelope,

You are 4 months old! You are the happiest little baby and we have had so much fun this past month. You have changed so much over the past couple of weeks and we have had so much fun watching you grow. You are such a happy baby and so easy-going; your personality is starting to come through more and more and we are loving every bit of it.



This has been a big month for you, Miss Penelope. I went back to work so you started going to see Ms. Merritt during the day. I cannot tell you how difficult it’s been leaving you every day. I tried to prepare myself as much as possible, but I don’t think you can truly prepare for that. The first week was filled with lots of tears (from me), but you handled it like a champ. Ms. Merritt loves you so much and I know that you’re in good hands. You have a blast with her every day and her kiddos love you, too. They put on shows and sing for you; little Brady greets you at the door most mornings and refers to you as “My Penelope.” It’s the sweetest thing!



There are (still) a lot of emotions that I deal with when it comes to leaving you. I love my job and work for a great company and genuinely enjoy working. But I miss you like crazy and experience so much jealousy when I don’t get to spend time with you during the day. This is my struggle to deal with and I know that eventually it will get easier (it has to get easier, right?). I count down the minutes until when I get to see you again and look at your pictures on my phone throughout the day so that I always get to see your cute face.

About a week after you started going you came down with your first little cold. Poor thing! It wasn’t terrible and we didn’t even need to put you on any medicine; just lots of sleeping and doing a saline treatment for your runny nose. Thankfully it just lasted a couple of days and you were back to your happy self.

You gave us an early Christmas present this month and laughed for the first time on December 4. Your Papa was holding you on his shoulder and I was hiding behind him and playing “peek-a-boo” with you when we heard your first sweet giggle! Now we are always trying new things to get you to laugh. You love it when we make funny faces and sounds at you. Your Papa is especially good at making you laugh with his hilarious facial expressions. Trying to catch all this on camera or video though? That’s a different story! As soon as we whip that phone out you go straight-faced – I guess we’ll have to start being sneaky!


Unfortunately Papa caught your cold and with his allergies and asthma suffered for several weeks. It was quite a time for him, but he’s finally better which we are so thankful for! It did make him feel better to see your sweet smiles and hear your little giggles though!

You started reaching for toys this month so we’ve gotten a lot more use out of your play mats. You have been playing with lots of rattles and soft toys and of course, everything goes straight to your little mouth. I love watching you play. You’re having such a blast exploring new textures and shapes. You got some fun new toys for Christmas so we’ve enjoyed adding those to the mix also.


You’ve been eating like crazy. I’ve noticed a significant increase in what you’ve been eating this past month. You’re now drinking about 5-6 ounces every 4 hours. I nurse you every now and then (sometimes it’s the only thing that calms you down), but you’re primarily bottle-fed right now. You prefer it that way because it’s much faster and you don’t have to work as hard. This has been a little difficult for me to accept…on one hand it’s nice because bottle feeding you is easy, but I also miss that special time that only you and I had together.

You are still a great sleeper. You are now going to bed a little earlier (usually between 9-10) and sleeping until we wake you up around 6:45 every morning. Your naps are becoming more consistent also. You typically sleep from 8-10:30 or 11 and then take another 2 hour nap in the afternoon. You also take a couple of small cat naps – usually a little after lunchtime and then again around dinner. You still sometimes get overtired in the evening so we have been trying really hard to get you to go to bed a little earlier – easier said than done!

We had such a great time getting into the Christmas spirit with you. Even though you had no idea what was going on, we had a blast dressing you up in adorable holiday outfits, taking you to see Santa and doing fun Christmas activities with our friends!

We took a train ride around Pullen Park with some of our friends to see Christmas lights which you really enjoyed. You have been all about some Christmas lights this season! We even took you on your very first carousel ride!



Although I went back to work this month, I did have a short Christmas break to look forward to which made things easier. We decided to go to Ohio so that you could see your grandparents, auntie and future uncle and meet your great grandmother for the first time! We had such a wonderful Christmas and they spoiled you rotten with snuggles, kisses and presents.


You did so well traveling. You hit a growth spurt a couple of days before we left and we seriously considered staying home instead of driving to Ohio, but thankfully the growth spurt passed and you were a champ the whole trip. You pretty much slept the entire 8-hour car ride (both ways) and didn’t fuss at all!

The day we got back from our trip to Ohio (and also your 4 month birthday!) you surprised us all by rolling over for the first time! You rolled from your back to your belly (still haven’t figured out how to go from your belly to your back yet) and now it’s all you want to do. You’re a little wiggle worm!


You still love bath time. We have to keep towels handy because you splish splash all over the bathroom. 🙂

You are still wearing your 3 month clothing, but you received some really cute 6 month clothes for Christmas and once I get all those washed and put away, we’ll transition you to your new size. Your growing out of your 3 month items more and more every day and I’m sure you’ll be more comfortable with a little more wiggle room. You’re still wearing size 1 diapers, but we’ll probably be moving you over to a size 2 when we finish our last box.

Your four-month check up was at the beginning of January so here were your stats from that visit.

Weight: 13 lbs, 3 oz (33 percentile)

Height: 24 inches (33 percentile)

Head circumference: 16 inches (34 percentile)

You are truly a joy and this has probably been one of my favorite months so far – you are just so much fun! You are the happiest baby and love being around people…just like your Papa!