Sunday, July 31, 2016

Happy 1st Birthday Norah!!

Norah Jane ~ 

Happy 1st Birthday baby girl. You are officially one finger!! I cannot believe you have been a part of our family for one whole year now. It seems like just yesterday I was woken up at 5am by contractions. I was shocked, in a bit of denial, and excited. That day flew by and at exactly 7:30pm you were in my arms for the very first time. (birth story here) Not a day has gone by since that I haven't held you, rocked you, nursed you, and loved you. And as much as I enjoy watching you learn to crawl and now walk, I wish I could pause time. Life is too busy and I never feel like I get to play with and enjoy each and every moment enough. 

The moment we officially met....

Look at you now!!

I don't know how in the heck a whole year has gone by. A year. A whole year. 12 months. 366 days. Seriously? It just doesn't seem possible that you are no longer a baby. I will have to start using "toddler" to describe you soon. (Not too soon though!).

hello blue eyes

It is an understatement to say you have changed a lot in the past year. From an itty bitty 6lb 11oz baby girl, to now a 19lb 29" growing bean. You have 4 teeth, with two more just days away from making their debut. You can crawl like a champ, bounce on your knees and even take a few steps. In no time I will be blogging about how fast you can walk and how much mischief you are into. You still wear 12M clothes, and occasionally a 9M that I don't have the heart to pack up. You don't really wear shoes (but will soon), and you have tiny little feet, a size 3ish. You actually got your very first new pair of shoes from Nana for your birthday. Oh my are they cute!

You are a happy, sweet, and curious baby girl. You are very calm (no where near as intense as your sister). You are content (as long as your belly is full) to crawl around in the playroom emptying baskets and figuring toys out. You love music and when given a microphone will "sing". You can also play the kazoo and love the xylophone.  

You are fascinated by technology (what kid these days isn't?). You are always trying to snag my phone, the remote or bang on the computer (which you happen to be trying to do right now).

You love your sister so much and want to play with anything that she has. I can see this being a big cause of arguments down the road. Lord help me. And Harley, you just can't get enough of him! He puts up with a lot of your "petting" but he draws the line when you try to poke him in the eye. (I can't blame the guy, you have done it to me and it is less than ideal) I know you are just curious what those big brown things are, but he prefers the hands off approach when it comes to his face. Pulling on his lip is also not a favorite, but he tolerates it occasionally. 

give that to me!!!!

Your big milestone this month was taking your first steps! You are officially a walker!! You have been strengthening those legs for months and finally got brave enough to give it a go the other day. You were standing up, holding on the the sofa, took a few steps, let go, and continued walking (about 4 steps total) in order to get to daddy’s phone. This video was taken after the big moment and we tried to get you to do it again with not so much luck.

serious walking face

You can also clap your hands, point your finger and wave!! 
clap clap clap clap your hands!

You went on your very first cruise and (I am pretty sure) your very first trip to the beach this month! You LOVED splashing and “swimming” in the beautiful warm water. And you did pretty good on the ship.

get me away from the edge!!

You had your first case of strep and hand foot mouth at the exact same time. Boy was that a fun one I hope to never have happen again. You handled it like a champ, and in a week we were all back to normal (Charlotte and I got strep too).

I'm one, no big deal

This month you started sleeping in your room by yourself for the whole night! It happened once and I was sure it wouldn’t happen again, but I was wrong. You have slept through the night for almost two weeks now. The only issue: you are sleeping in the swing. It isn’t moving, but you aren’t in your crib. I would try and put you in the crib but Grandma and Grandpa are watching you overnight in a few days and I don't want to mess with success. Once we get over that hump we will attempt the crib again. Fingers crossed we don’t have any relapses. I have gotten used to more sleep and have to say I love it. 

Some other fun pictures from this month:

Norah's driving!


splashing around at Point Lookout. Warm and refreshing water!!

one of our favorite activities on a hot day! Shady pool time :)
perfectly placed toy 
going for a ride in the "airplane"

we put them to work early around here!

We went to the movies twice this month: Finding Dory and The Secret Life of Pets. Family fun on hot hot summer days!!

And of course we can't forget your first birthday party! I haven't upload all the photos yet, and of course there will be a full recap soon, but here is a little sneak peak!
cake for two....and someone waiting for a handout!

Bye bye first year!!! It's been FUN!!

Happy 1st Birthday sweet girl! You have brought so much joy and happiness into our lives. Your beautiful smile, piercing blue eyes, the way you hold my hand as you fall asleep in my arms. You are absolutely perfect and we are so lucky to call you our daughter. Watching you grow and change over this past year has been the greatest gift. You will always be our baby girl, no matter how big you get. We love you so much!

Mommy and Daddy


I love you so much and I love your birthday and I will get a present for you from the store like a bunch of white and pink balloons.



Snarfle snarfle, snort snort snort. 


Wednesday, July 27, 2016


A few weeks ago we took our annual family vacation. Sara and Peter had just arrived from their big cross country trip (they moved to Baltimore!), and wanted to top it off with a little more fun. Since we have two little ones now we tried to make it as easy as possible. We chose a cruise (a family favorite) to Bermuda (a family first!). 

The ship left out of Baltimore, which meant a one hour drive to the terminal, super convenient!! It was a shorter cruise, 5 days, and only stopped in Bermuda. Wow what an island! Probably a close second behind Maui. The bluest water, pristine beaches, and a clean, friendly island. Our two half days there just weren't enough. There were so many things we wanted to do and see, we want to go back as soon as possible! This desire will only increase when winter arrives and we are buried in snow. 

Saturday we left early so we could get on the ship as early as possible.....we were more than ready to start our vacation!! I swear we had been counting down the days for months!!

bye bye!! 

After boarding we explored the ship, grabbed some food, and got settled in our room. With two kiddos and 3 suitcases we had to be smart about where to put stuff and keeping it all organized. We grabbed a few drinks and relaxed on the balcony as we left Baltimore. 

exploring the room


love her. 
Our first day was pretty uneventful. It was really windy and cool, so we just hung out on the ship, I got a massage, and we ate a bit of ice cream. haha. And of course there was bingo.

sadly, not a winner 

The next day we pulled into Bermuda and the real fun started!! The ship didn't dock until 1pm, but that gave us plenty of time to get up, dressed and all our sunscreen on! Once we were off the ship we grabbed a cab and headed for famous Horseshoe Bay. It lived up to all the hype and more!!

feeding her cereal to the fish. 
"stop taking my picture and lets leave!!"

we made it!

family picture :)

first trip to the beach!!!!

happy birthday america!

After a brief mid afternoon rain storm where we hovered under our umbrellas, we took a walk along the beach and discovered there was much more to see just beyond the rocks. And a lot less people too!

my favorite picture from the trip

That night we ate at the beautiful restaurant right next to Horseshoe Bay. Convenient, yes. Expensive, unfortunately. The food was good but not sure it was that good. Lesson learned. But we did get to watch the sunset and enjoy a good meal together on the 4th of July. 

Charlotte didn't want to cooperate in a family photo, just a solo of herself. 
high five america!

After a good nights sleep we were off the boat bright and early so we could soak up as much of Bermuda as possible before we had to leave at 2pm! We really wanted to check out a snorkeling spot, but didn't want to spend too much time in a cab or on the ferry. As we were wondering around we stopped the local pirate ship bar. Best decision ever. 

Charlotte had a great time swimming there too. No jumping off the plank for her. too high!!

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Walking the plank and swimming in that water was the most fun I have had in a long time. And boy was the sea salty!! I could have stayed there all day jumping off and swimming. Sara and I also climbed and slid down their giant floating slide thingy. Thank goodness for some random good samaritan who was helping ladies like us up that slippery slide. Boy was that fun! Great great memories!

norah slept most of the time

our ship

Even though we could have stayed there all day, we decided to go down the street to a nearby beach. The kids played in the water and we got to do a little snorkeling. We had a fun time hanging out until it was time to head back to the ship.

Our last dinner on the ship...

would you like bread with that butter??!

And it wouldn't be a proper cruise without some cheesy and fun cruise photos!!

group photo!

family, yes even giraffe (in his diaper) and birdie made it into the photo

It was Norah's first cruise and considering she isn't a huge fan of being away from home, she did great. No late night partying for us, but that was ok. Most of the time we were tired and happy to just chill next door while they slept (our room was connected to Rachel's). The one night we did sneak away we watched the most talented acapella group, reVoiced. It gave us goosebumps listening to them sing. It was seriously the best show we have ever seen on a cruise ship. Perfect because Bermuda was one of the best stops we have been to. I wish we could have been on one of their newer ships, it seems like there is more for the kids to do, but the convenience of this was ideal. We all had a relaxing and enjoyable trip. Time went by too fast! Can't wait for our next trip together.