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Our Little Lady Bug

For Anna's first birthday, we celebrated our sweet girl with a Lady Bug birthday party :)  Here's the birthday girl in her lady bug dress...there was a lady bug hair bow, too, but the longest it stayed in was about 20 seconds!!

Here is the invitation ~ Ben helped me make these by punching out the black dots and he was SO very proud of himself!

My favorite part was the month-by-month progression of Anna pictures, showing how she grew and changed over her first year.  It's still hanging up because we love looking at all those precious moments :)

Lots of family and friends came to see Miss Anna on her big day.  Grandmama and Grandaddy Morin, Grandpa and Sue Williams, Nana and Uncle Tom from home came, as well as Meme and Pop, and her GREAT Grandfather Dunn and Mrs. Alice came from Gastonia!!

She loved her black and red high chair tutu, but not so much the birthday hat Mama made for her :( 

"Happy Birthday to You!"
Her cake was a ladybug, of course!

Anna was curious, but not too crazy about this cake smashing business...

She even decided to share some with big brother Ben!

We also had cupcakes for our friends, and cute little lady bug pretzels.

Our poor little Lady Bug...enough of this being MESSY business.  "Clean me up now, please!!"

Anna had lots of fun opening gifts (and got lots of "help" from her eager brother Ben!).  She got several baby dolls, a tea set, a baby stroller that she loves pushing around, and dinosaur rider/walker that she imitates and says, "ROAR!" cute!!  Outfits, hairbows, books, and stuffed animals, gifts for little Anna!

Favors for our friends in thanks for coming..."Lady Bug Food" black and red M&Ms.

Happy Girl ~ ~ ~ "I'm One!"


Back to School, But Not for Long!

The end of summer brings us "Back to School"!!  Ben was excited to see all his friends he'd missed over the summer, and Mama was excited to be getting back into a routine :)  Here's Ben on his first day of school in the 3 Year Old Class with Mrs. Linda.

Before he could even get settled in, though, we took and end-of-summer trip to the beach ~ just Mom and Ben!!  We went with a big group of gals, young and old(er), so Ben was the Man of the House.  I think he LOVED it!

Fun times with his best buddy Sophia.

We had such a great time together, just the two of us...Ben was super good in the car both going and coming home, playing with just two toys the whole ride!  We only stopped once for a special treat :)

Lovin' the sunshine, and having Mommy all to himself!!

Bubbles on the beach!

A highlight of the trip for Ben was the bike ride to town for ice cream.  Little Man was so fast on that bike we had to stop and wait for everyone to catch up :)

My Sweetpea and me :)


Happy Birthday, Baby Anna!

Happy Birthday to our sweet Baby Anna!!

Where has this year gone?  I'm not sure, but I do know it was such a sweet, precious time.  Our little Anna absolutely captured our hearts with her beautiful smile, easy-going attitude, and sweet snuggles and cuddles!

She loves to dance to music, and bee bops with her head whenever she hears a tune :)  Anna laughs a ton, especially at Ben and Daddy!  She's growing up and gaining independence...lately, she has decided that she will NOT wear a bow in her hair!  Oh no :(  I sure hope that's just a passing phase.  She helps me dress her by holding up her feet when it's time to put each shoe on, and pulling and tugging her shorts off for a diaper change.
Anna on the morning of her birthday...having a tea party with her best friend Bunny :)

Another tooth came through this month, and with it came a LOT of early morning wakings.  Mark and I started taking turns getting up with her between 5-6 a.m., until one day by accident she went to bed an hour later and just like that...she slept an hour later!!  Normally, wake up times haven't changed, or have only gotten worse, with a later bedtime.  Thank goodness for that late night, though!  She's now sleeping from 8:30 p.m.- 7:00 a.m...whew!
Apparently, Ben is not a fan of Anna's driving!

A huge change for Anna and Mommy this month was the end of our nursing journey.  It was a sweet, special time, and I'm super proud of us both for making it a whole YEAR!  Anna, being the wonderful, flexible baby she always is, switched over the the bottle just fine.  And, we still get lots of snuggle time in when she's drinking a bottle four times a day.

Anna's favorite trick right now is blowing kisses ~ it is so stinking precious!

Of course, we celebrated her first birthday in style with a "Lady Bug" themed party :)  On the actual day of her birthday, though, our family went to Winged Deer park for a fun picnic. 

Fun times with Chandler :)

** Daddy Love **

We love you so much, our Baby Anna!  Happy Birthday!


Anna ~ 11 Months

Miss Anna is growing and changing faster than I can keep up with these days!  Lots of things were new in her eleventh month...

She's now pulling up a lot more and cruising the furniture some.  She points a LOT, most of the time to one of us, but more and more to things she's interested in or wants.  anna's getting good at imitating sounds, and says Mama and Uh Oh!  (Then we pick the cup/spoon/etc up off the floor, hand it back to her, and she says "Uh oh!" again before flinging it down...ha ha!!)  She's also eating a few finger foods like pieces of bread and cheerios, and drinking milk from a sippy.   

This little girl LooooooVES her Daddy! 

Probably the biggest change this month was the arrival of her first tooth!  Not only did she s-l-o-w-l-y get that tooth, but along with all the fun to be had with teething, she decided to totally boycott the paci.  That's right - she completely refused it one day and has never looked back....UGH!  There goes Mommy's magic sleepy button, magic "cure-all most of the time" button!! :(  I guess it hurt her gums when they were sore from the tooth, and she doesn't want a thing to do with a paci now.  Of course, it's probably because I had finally given in and bought about TEN so we wouldn't be hunting for them all the time.  Oh well!

Anna is so proud that she can climb up on the fire truck and go for a ride all by herself!

So, after much struggle and fruitless coaxing for a week or two of stressful, sometimes unsuccessful naptimes, we finally bit the bullet and did some sleep training to try to get Anna to sleep more and better.  Let me just say WHEW!  First we worked on nights, and after just two nights, Anna was putting herself to sleep at 7:30 and not waking until after 6:30!!  No more 3 a.m. wake up calls!!  Naps took a few days, too, but she got right back on track after a few days and all is well with her two naps each rocking or pacis - I can hardly believe it!!

Here's a cute video:  "Anna vs. Grass"  You'll see why she's ALWAYS in the push car or wagon when we go outside!! (Remember videos don't work on the emails - you have to go to the blog on the web!)


Hilton Head ~ 2012

This summer, Anna took her first trip to the beach!  Our family went to Hilton Head in July and had a wonderful time.  Ben was crazy about the pool more so than the ocean...every day, he kept asking to go back to the condo so we could get in the pool, ha!! 

Anna was excited to be on the beach, and crawled right toward the water.  After about five minutes of being sandy, though, she had enough and whined a lot.  So, each day, I would hold her and carry her around as long as possible ~ all the while with her fussing to get down ~ until I would let her down and then she'd play for a few minutes and get annoyed because she was all sandy and wet.  Ha!!  Usually in the morning, I'd stroll her on the beach at nap time and she'd take a snooze in her stroller.

 Ben had a ball with he is in his custom built Lightning McQueen sand car. 

Helping Dad build a sand car!
Anna sat in the shade with Mama a lot so she wouldn't get too sunned or sandy :)

 Ben and his favorite toy of all time:  a watering can.  We brought at least four from home for him to play with!

Ben and Mason

 Fun times with Daddy...

Anna did a cute "crab crawl" on the beach...usually she does this at home when she's wearing a dress so she can go faster, but I think she was just trying to stay out of the sand as much as possible!

Hmm...Sand = Not yummy.
 Ben and Anna both LOVED playing with their big brothers :)  Here's everybody!!