Thursday, July 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to Ivy!!!

Today is Ivy's real birthday! It is so hard to believe one year ago at this very moment I was patiently awaiting my turn for a c-section. I was so anxious to get to see her and hold her in my arms. Becoming a mom has blessed my life and my marriage beyond belief. There is something incredibly special to see what you create with the person you love. Oh, God is so good! Well Ivy wanted to personally announce to you her new age :)

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday to You!

Happy Birthday Dear Ivy!

Happy Birthday to You!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thanksgiving in July

I am thankful for so much this week~ to be celebrating Ivy's first birthday just about brings me to tears to think of all the amazing things that God has taught me and blessed our family with over the last year. Just wanted to share a few of those things with you!

Top 10 Things I am Thankful For:
10. Snow Days. I know it is odd to be thankful for snow days in July but we had lots of them. Enough that I did not work a 5 day week for a very long stretch of time.... at a time when I needed it the most. Greg is laughing that this is on my list. He says he has never seen anything make me so giddy at 5 am like Jessamine floating across the bottom of the TV!

9. Sunshine. Really there is no explanation~ We have had an excellent Summer!

8. Child Care. Ivy has been so lucky :0) I remember reading up on different day cares when I was pregnant and panicking!!! The thought of it really bothered me. Mandi and Debbie were beyond perfect to us during Ivy's first year. They loved Ivy so much every single day!!!! They also tried to provide comfort to me as a working mom by capturing Ivy's smiles with pictures and even often sent me home with some good comfort food. This year I was looking for a home sitter with some other children. Now that Ivy is 1 I want her to be around other kids, especially seeing what a time she has in the nursery. I ran into Kendra, at Hobby Lobby, of all places and after just a few moments realized God had put us there at the right time!!! She will be keeping Ivy with her little boy John Hunter. It is going to be a great fit~ We played today and are so thankful for this situation.

Dear John Hunter,
Thanks for playing with me today! We are going to have a blast playing with your boy toys and hugging on each other~ (Why did we not get a picture of that???) I loved your cheddar cheerios and can't wait to meet your doggie. I am looking forward to hanging out and learning how to "bump" fists with you. See you soon :)
Love, Ivy

7. Fitness 19. I know this sounds very shallow but really, health has always been very important to Greg and I but with financial cut backs we couldn't continue our Y membership. We went a few months without and then found Fitness 19 "affordable fitness." It is worth every bit of $12 to be energized with my morning and Greg's evening work outs.

6. Health. Aside from a few ear infections, we have a healthy 1 year old girl.

5. Giggles. Seems quite simple but from the first moment I heard Ivy laugh through today when she giggled I am filled with joy.

4. Healing. We have had major emotional healing in some family situations. We know that has only been made possible through God and lots of prayer.

3. My Job Share. Last year was hands down the most difficult time of my life. I wanted so bad to have balance in my life and working full time did not provide me with balance. I was utterly exhausted and didn't feel like I could be the mom and wife I am called to be. I am so blessed to work at a place where I have the option to teach part time.

2. Family~ We are so fortunate to have family right here in Lexington. Ivy is blessed with 2 sets of grandparents who love her very much. She also has her Unc and Aunt Chels in Cinci and is so lucky to have them shed their love on her every time they get to see her.

1. The gift of life. Watching Ivy grow and change everyday is the most rewarding thing I have ever experienced. I love to see life through her new eyes.

Thank you for letting me share!!! We have so much to be thankful for :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Cupcakes and Wagons and Tears... Oh My

Ivy enjoyed every last bit of her white cupcake with pink butter cream icing... and sprinkles of course! She dove right in and was covered from head to toe.
Courtesy of Caramanda's Bake Shoppe

It was like Christmas! Greg and I have really never seen anything like it! Ivy opened everything from a wagon, a new chair, dolls, books, blocks, and more. She was quite overwhelmed but thankfully had lots of friends to help her enjoy her presents :)

I did not take nearly enough pictures of all of our friends and family. It is really hard to focus on picture taking and still keep track of a sugar buzzed one year old. Thank you to all our family and excellent friends who came to celebrate this special day with us!
I later heard the best advice... at your child's birthday party appoint a "photographer". This helps to capture the day and you are included in the pictures!! I am already thinking of who my picture taker will be at the big 2 party! :) Will it be YOU???

How could we resist this face? Ivy was devastated when we put the birthday hat on and sang Happy Birthday to you!! At first I wasn't sure if it was the hat or the singing... but the next day when she adamantly shook her head no in the presence of the hat I decided that was the tear trigger! Therefore, there will be no hat in the 1 yr old pictures- unfortunate as it may be.
Overall we had a super day! Happy 1st Birthday, Ivy Camille!
** Thank you to Greg for once again being creative with the picture posting! **
If you want to see the images larger... just click on them and wa-lah you are up close and personal :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Birthday Interruption--- WALKING

Over the last week Ivy has started taking 3 or 4 steps at a time.... but tonight with the motivation of lots of new fun toys she took up to 10 or 12 steps!!! :) Our baby girl is going to take off so soon. Here is the best video we got! ENJOY

1st Birthday Bash

Yesterday afternoon family and good friends got together the celebrate Ivy's first birthday! I am very pleased with her first party. Nana, Grandma, and I worked very hard to make sure all of our bases were covered. We had a cookout with lots of good food and we finished it off with cupcakes from Caramanda's Bake Shoppe. They were delicious~ and Ivy agreed when she demolished it in a matter of seconds! :) Vada, Stella, Natalie, Layla, and Ivy all enjoyed taking rides in her new wagon. Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa! We played, ate, and opened presents until well after Ivy's bed time. She did great all the while! Thank you to all who made Ivy's first birthday so special~

It is hard to believe in just 4 short days Ivy is going to be 1!!!

(Pictures will be coming soon!)

Friday, July 25, 2008

No Such Thing as a SCHEDULE

Schedule... the word really makes me laugh!! Because truthfully I don't think kids know what the word means, therefore they do not abide to one set schedule or another. This has been especially funny (not so fun, though) since we got tubes. Greg is totally blaming the tubes but I am not sure that it isn't just Ivy being Ivy. Stubborn, that is! We have not had a morning nap since our return from vacation and I have LOVED this, however for the past two days Ivy has become a bear in the a.m. so nap it is! The worst part is that in the afternoon she is FIGHTING sleep with all of her might. So I am utterly is exhausted after finally getting her to sleep and I am bound and determined that tomorrow morning there will be no nap and Ivy will peacefully go right to sleep after lunch! This will make for a pleasant birthday party for all :)

When we for-go the nap but we desperately need one.... asleep at dinner time.

However, since we are on this crazy "schedule" we have taken advantage and had a play date with our friends Vada and Stella and Mommy Diana. This summer we have had fun together but our schedules are often very different. Diana is lucky enough that her girls sleep in so therefore the do everything quite a bit later than us! But with a late day nap for Ivy play time was a must~ Here are some pics from yesterdays play-date :)

Ivy, Vada, and Cousin Jeffrey playing by the window.

Stella observing from the sidelines with Mommy!! PRECIOUS :)
*This totally captures Stella at her happiest, curled up with Mommy*

We couldn't forget to take a Vada and Mommy shot!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Love at first sight...

"Mama, who needs crocs or boots or little white sandals? These are just right!"

Thoughts by Ivy

Tubes In.... Check

Everything went well this morning... and thank you for your prayers. We arrived at the surgery center at 7am and Ivy enjoyed playing with all the other little ones waiting their turn. They had a toy kitchen that was just her size and she loved it! I am already thinking Christmas :) Then they brought us back, checked her temp and heart, and then the waiting game began. The nurses all warned us the Dr. Parell is often... well always... tardy! Sure enough today was no different. We rode around in a wagon and walked laps around the pre-op area. Ivy waved to all the nurses and people waiting to go into surgery. I hope she cheered them up at a very nerve-racking time. Ivy was the only one not on edge, she had no clue what was coming. Finally, at about 8:40 Dr. Parell arrived and they took Ivy back. She didn't even cry because her and the nurse were best friends by then! And literally, 6 minutes later they told us she was done and they were just waiting on her to wake up. Twenty more minutes and we were in the car headed home!! So thanks again for your thoughts this morning!
Wake up- check
Tubes in- check
Back home- check
Nap time- check

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

New Hair-Do

YAY!!! Back the old me! :) A new hair cut is oh so refreshing. I am having a very happy Wednesday morning!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Is It That Time Again?

Is it time? Time to chop the hair off again. This is the story of my life. Grow my hair about 3 inches then say "YUCK" and go short again. My facebook poll indicates that other people are ready for the change too. And without a doubt Greg and my hairdresser, Chris are ready. They love it short and tend to mope when I say it is time for some length! I have 12 hours and 21 minutes to decide the fate of my wig! What will it be?

WARNING: You are not to be paying attention to the pregnant belly! Only to the hair :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

I can play copy cat... can you?

Ivy is concentrating very hard!! This could have went on forever!

Coming Soon..... Tubes!!!

This was pretty much Ivy this morning at the ENT. She wanted nothing stuck, poked, or prodded in her ears. Dr. Parell did an excellent job working with our little fire cracker the same way he probably handled me and Anthony many years ago. He decided Ivy needs tubes with the current fluid in the ears and her history of ear infections. She will be getting tubes next Thursday morning. We hope that this is blessing this winter when ear infection season really hits! So next Thursday if you think of it... so a little prayer for our patient.

Like Newlyweds Again

Last night was BIG for Greg and I. It was the first baby free all nighter in the last 11 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days! :) (Excluding a time when we were both puking our guts out which in no way constituted a date!) We had a great time and felt the same connection we have always had. It is kind of scary when you become parents and your world is so centered around your child... at times you think what will be left when it is just us! But it was the same spark that began 8 years ago.

So your asking what did you all do once baby was safe and sound with Nana and Pops?

We started our date at Osaka, a new sushi restaurant up the street from our house. It was excellent and the price was much better than the other sushi hot spots. (Hey I should probably get a discount on my next meal there--- this is a free commercial for them!!)

Then after dinner we went for a long motorcycle ride. My rides on Greg's new bike have been limited since he didn't get this one until Ivy was a month old. (Personally, don't cry, Greg, but my butt and legs really really miss the old bike!) Kentucky is so pretty and I got to appreciate that again as we drove the back roads of several surrounding counties. Isn't my husband so HOT
on his bike?? :) I'm partial, but I think yes!

When we got home we were able to sit on our deck and enjoy a few drinks together as we laughed and talked about everything.... not just Ivy, surprising as it may be! We had an excellent night, even though it was strange to go to bed with an empty crib in the next room. However, we were early risers with Greg off to work and without a doubt I was reunited with Ivy by 7:40 this morning!! Date nights are a must for all Mommies and Daddies!

Dear Nana and Pops,
Thank you so much for letting me stay at your house last night! I had so much fun playing your piano and going to the park. I am glad you let me talk to your flowers and even pick a few. My grill cheese was none other than gourmet and I love playing with Mommy's old doll. Pops, I am especially glad that you were able to join us in the festivities :) And Nana, my mommy is a little mad that you taught me how to have a yelling match ;) Thanks again for all the fun!
Love Always,
Ivy Camille

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Playdates Galore... and the Bully

Ivy is at the age where she is really starting to enjoy being around other babies. Well, unless you count the church nursery where she is petrified! :( She has fun talking to, playing with, and touching other kids. It is so convenient that many of my friends have little ones and it is fun to visit other mommies while the kiddos play.
On the flip side of playdates, Ivy is at the age where she needs to start learning to be gentle. So.... invite us over and be ready to protect your child from my little bully! (Just Kidding!!) But, she is learning how to interact and right now with flailing arms and hands and a very loud voice she is too rough for most! Hopefully over the next few months she will learn how to play nice... or she will learn how to visit time out on playdates! :)
Here are some photos of FUN with FRIENDS!

Ivy and Addy at the swimming pool!

Now this was sooo funny! Ivy and Ella Grace were wearing the same exact outfit... and we promise the moms did not plan it. They were so cute sitting next to each other but neither would smile :) for a picture. Ivy had so much fun getting into everything at Sara's house! Get ready, because Ella will be moving all over the place in no time!

Ashley feeding Baby Brayden while Ivy played as close as possible. Thank you, Brayden, for letting me play with all of your toys!! :) I love your music duck and when you get a little bigger I will teach you my dance moves!
Ivy just realized there is a baby playing in that bed! :) Ella Chase was having a great time playing with Brayden's bed toys and jumping all over the place.

Ivy joined the fun! :)
Dear Ella,
I hope that we can play again sometime! I am sorry that my loud voice scared you. Next time I will try really hard to be gentle. My mom is teaching me more and more about that every day! It was great to meet you now that we are getting bigger.
Love, Ivy
All the babies posing for a picture!!! Next year Ivy and Ella will have to watch out for Brayden. He will have grown so much and be ready to play play play!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Summer Reading

I love to read and summer is the best time to get into a great book!! During the school year my mind is in too many places to read. Jane Green is by far my favorite author and this is her new release. LOVED IT!!!! :) If you are looking for a good book.... and be prepared to be sucked right in... read The Beach House!!
All of the Jane Green books are great go to her website to see more titles!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Brayden is getting SO big!

Just a few weeks ago... Brayden sleeping with his daddy! He was tiny. Ivy was very excited to hold his hand. She continued to wave to him just waiting for him to notice her :) I will have to teach her how to play hard to get!!


Yesterday (Just 3 weeks later) Kayla, Ivy, and I went to visit with Ashley and Brayden. It was so good to see them and I couldn't believe how much he had already changed! I got to see his eyes wide open and I just remember how demanding it is to have a newborn. They don't get hungry... they become starving!! Ivy was very curious. Each time Brayden let out a noise she was right there looking back and forth between Ashley and Brayden-- waiting to see what would happen next! Before long, Ivy and Brayden will be playing alongside one another with no apparent age difference. Ashley, you are such a good mommy and Brayden, you are so gorgeous!!!

~Mommy and Baby love~

Kayla cuddling sleepy Brayden and Ivy interested in his toes. No way was she going to look up for a picture!

Brayden is giving a half smile for the picture!!!

Walk with Grandma

Ivy and I went to Greg's soccer game on Tuesday... It got rained out :( But the good news is I finally got a picture with Ivy and Grandma. It is about time. Ivy is so fortunate to have two sets of grandparents right here in Lexington. We are so thankful for all they do!

Ivy taking Grandma on a walk!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

DeAnna is Jesse's Girl

So really they are the cutest thing I have ever seen! I loved DeAnna from the get go and last night I thought she couldn't go wrong. In my heart of hearts I didn't want to see Jason hurt again but at the same time I think an instant family would be difficult. Listen to me talking like I know them... :) Know them or not, I am way happy for them and I will probably always talk like they are long lost friends!! I mean, my goodness, I watched them fall in love!

CHEERS TO JESSE AND DEANNA!! :) Getting Married May 9th!! YAY

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Baby on the Beach

Here are a few more beach pictures. They hold so many memories for our family. We feel so blessed that Ivy got to feel the sand on her feet and splash in the ocean. God is an awesome artist, isn't he? Ear infection and all we had a fabulous time and will never forget it!

Daddy and Ivy walking down for the first time. She was so serious and trying to take it all in :)

First time to have her toes in the sand....

The week in a nutshell. We can't wait to go back!
Thank you to Greg for being so creative with the pictures :) Daddy, You are such an artist!

Mission Impossible: Vacation without an....

Ear Infection

"Hint- hint, Mommy, hello.... my ears hurt!!!"

We should have known... look where she is reaching in this picture. Straight to the ears! Ear infections are a common thing for Ivy... this is number 8 since November to be exact. By the next day Ivy was running a 103 degree fever and we knew we needed to see a doctor. Turns out during our first trip to the beach Ivy had a double ear infection. She was pretty pitiful for the next few days but was still able to model for a few pictures!!

Popsicles for breakfast = FEVER BE GONE!!

Thanks to Nana's super advice this was tasty and helped Ivy's fever to go down. We love you, Nana. Thank you for being so helpful this week.

Super Model woke up from nap with this amazing faux-hawk and Daddy could not resist a photo shoot. He persisted to take several pictures while laughing to the point of tears. Needless to say, Ivy was not amused. She is saying "Really, Dad, grow up!"
This hair-do really did bring smiles to a bad day and tired parents! :)

Ivy & Everyone

Ivy was able to spend time with everyone! I loved to share our gift with the rest of the family :) And I am partial, but I think they were thankful for the time they had with her. She was a trooper throughout the week.... even when we had to make a trip to the Urgent Treatment Center.
Oh no.... I have to go.... stay tuned to see what happened!~
Those of you who know Ivy-- can guess what had to make a debut during our beach vacation!

A Stop in Birmingham

In order to break up our drive on the way there we stopped in Birmingham to visit family. (And sadly.... I didn't take enough pictures!) We stayed with my Aunt Vicki in there very sleek and modern condo overlooking the city. It had a gorgeous view but definitely kept Greg and I on our toes making sure Ivy didn't get into too much trouble! They have two cats who did their fair share of hissing by the end of the evening-- Ivy had invaded their space one too many times.

Ivy loved looking off the balcony. I caught a picture of her "giving Daddy a five"-- she thinks this is so cool ;)

We had dinner with everyone! My cousin Angela brought over her little boy, Cooper. Ivy and him have met once before when Ivy was just a little blob. Now she has personality and Cooper and her had so much fun! This picture captures the night- trying to take his toy, while hers were scattered throughout the room! Ivy was constantly poking, stealing, and being bossy to Cooper. The funniest was Ivy's fascination with Cooper's teeth. Lately she has been wanting to touch Mommy and Daddy's teeth and then seeing that she has her own. Right when Cooper came in, he greeted Ivy with a hug and she immediately tried to widdle her finger into his mouth. He was not sure of what to think of this baby... but we are thankful for his sweet nature. He showered her with hugs, shared his toys, and didn't bite her invasive finger off!!
My pregnant cousin, Rachel and her husband, Brian also joined us for dinner. I didn't take a pic of her and the precious bump! She is due in December and finds out tomorrow what she is having. I can't wait to hear! My guess... a girl!

Home Sweet Home

We returned home last night and Ivy was excited!! She pulled out all of the toys and books that we left behind as if they were brand new. And you got it, she went on an hour long cat chase! Poor, Kaya...
Ivy was energetic after sleeping much of the drive home and Mommy and Daddy were utterly exhausted. We drove all the way through and made pretty good time (13 hours)! AHHHH, with a baby and a sorry night of sleep.... Greg and I were about to crash. It was so comforting to climb into our bed and shut our eyes. Today we are feeling more alive and feel so blessed as we reflect on our first beach vacation as parents!
We had an excellent time at the beach. We were able to spend lots of time with Nana, Pops, Anthony (Unc), and Chelsea. I loved to see everyone interact with Ivy but more than anything I was marveled by the way my brother seemed to fall more and more in love with her each day. We don't get to see Unc and Chelsea often enough (they are in Cincinnati) but after this week I am certain that Ivy will know them next time they walk into a room. She was cuddled by them all week and they developed a special bond! I am so excited for Ivy to have them in her life!! :)

We are home... home, sweet, home... and our vacation was amazing! I will be posting several vacation blogs as I get the time :)