Thursday, March 29, 2012

Month Seven

Photobucket

Dear Liliana,

Another month has come and gone.  You are actually almost 8 months old now.  Mama is a bit behind on taking your pictures and writing your monthly letter!


 
Taking these pictures was very tricky today.  All you wanted to do was lean forward to look over the edge of the rocking chair and eat grass, leaves, and twigs!  Gone is the baby who stayed in the same position throughout the entire photoshoot!

I can't believe how quickly you are growing and changing.  You are my third baby, so I should be used to how fast kids grow, but your first year is passing by too quickly.  I just want to hold you tight and slow down time!

You are an amazing little girl.  Everybody who meets you falls in love with your sweetness.  You are so calm, so sweet, so content, so happy. 

I thought the novelty of having a new baby in the house would wear off, but it hasn't.  Your big brother and big sister are still very much obsessed with you, and they are quickly becoming two of your most favorite people.  I feel so much happiness when I am greeted with your smile in the morning.  I've said it before, but that smile lights up my world.

Even though I wish you could stay this small forever, I know the future holds so many exciting things.  I love being your mom, I love spending my days with you, and I love watching you grow and learn and change.  No matter how big you get, you will always be my baby!

I love you forever, Lilybug!

Photobucket


STATS:  7 months old, 18 lbs, 29 inches long

MILESTONES:  You bounce on my hip as soon as I pull you out of your crib in the morning.  You bounce even more when you see your daddy or siblings!  You just can't contain all your excitement! If you are in another room and hear Dylan or Lexie's voice, you holler out to them!


Photobucket

TOOTH COUNT:
Still just 2, on the bottom!  This surprises me, because your siblings had at least 6 teeth by the time they were 7 months old.  I have to admit, I do love your gummy smile!


Photobucket

COMFORTS:  Sucking your thumb.  It may cause some expensive dental bills one day, but I think it's adorable!



Photobucket

FIRSTS:  Valentine's Day!  You were showered with love!

SOUNDS:  In addition to the babbling and coos and yells, you have added in "Ba Ba Ba!" I think you are in a competition with your sister over who can talk more.  You have her beat...you even "talk" while eating!

Photobucket

EATING: This month, you started to enjoy food!  I started you on two solid meals a day, usually 4 cubes of homemade purees at each feeding. A new favorite of yours is baby yogurt!  We began to introduce finger foods as well...puffs, shredded cheese, small crumbles of meat, egg, small pieces of whole-grain bread.  You still nurse several times throughout the day, and I introduced a sippy cup of water.  You now love to eat, and have yet to turn anything down!

Photobucket

SLEEPING:  You started a new routine.  You go to bed at 6:45-7:15, eat at 11 (when I go to bed) with your eyes still closed, and sleep until 7:00 the next morning (sometimes until 8 or 9).  You take 2-3 naps per day, all over an hour. 

Photobucket

PLAYING:  You spend most of your time on the floor, playing with your toys.  We started to go "shopping" in the attic for baby toys we had stored away after Lexie outgrew them.  You love all the new stuff!  Sophie the giraffe and a fabric knotted toy on your carseat are still favorites of yours.

Photobucket

LIKES:  Snuggling with your loved ones, playing with your siblings, petting your cat and dog, and standing on the couch so you can look out the window.


Photobucket

DISLIKES:
  Having your hand held and having your face wiped.  And...having a monthly sticker stuck to your shirt!

Photobucket
 
PERSONALITY: You are happy, easy-going, and friendly. You flash your big grin at anybody that talks to you. I think you are a charmer, like your big brother! You are definitely an "easy" baby.  I love how sweet you are!!!

Photobucket



Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Dylan at 7

 Photobucket

Age: 7
Height: 4'1"
Weight: 48 lbs

Favorite Foods: Steak, Hamburger Helper, Nutella sandwiches, Pineapples, and Watermelon
Favorite Drinks: Chocolate Milk and Water
Favorite Snack/Sweet: Jolly Ranchers and Fruit Snacks
Favorite Color:  Blue
Favorite Animal: Frog
Favorite Song: Grenade by Bruno Mars and We Are the Champions by Queen
Favorite Singer/Band: Bruno Mars
Favorite Cartoon: Beyblades
Favorite Book: Beyblade Official Guide

Favorite Book Series:  Berenstain Bears and Magic Tree House
Favorite Movie:   Star Wars
Favorite Game:   Halo and Transformers DS game
Favorite Character:   Master Chief from Halo
Favorite Superhero:   Batman
Favorite Stuffed Animal:  Stuffed Spiderman
Favorite Toys: Halo, Beyblades, Legos, Star Wars figures
Favorite Places To Go:   School
Favorite Friends:  Brady, Brandon, Jackson, Jack, Lexie, John, Max, Alex, and Hazel
Favorite Outfit: Star Wars shirts
Favorite Things To Do: Play x-box, play wii, play outside, and go swimming
Favorite Holiday: Halloween, Easter, and Christmas
Favorite Season: Spring
Favorite Month:  November
Favorite Day of the Week:  Friday, because he gets to go to Papa's house
Dislikes: Red Sauce and Blueberries

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

365 Project: Week Twelve

{March 18th}

A beautiful Spring day spent with Grant's family.

Photobucket
Photobucket

{March 19th}

Lexie didn't have school that day, and Dylan ended up staying home, as well.  By late afternoon, he was feeling better, so we spent some time outdoors.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

{March 20th}

Spent the day at home, because it was my babysitting day. 

Photobucket
Photobucket

{March 21st}

Did our morning workout at the park, while Lexie was at school.  After she was finished, we had a very short playdate at the library.  That afternoon, the kids rode their bikes, and then I had a quick photoshoot with Lily.

 Photobucket
 Photobucket

{March 22nd}

That morning, we had a dumpster delivered, so we could begin some work around our house.  We headed out to do some errands, and then began our projects.  Grant's brother, Eric, and best friend, Jason, came over to help.  The guys managed to get all the work done.  The dumpster got filled, the rock wall lining our driveway was rebuilt, and Jason hung a new light fixture out front.  They celebrated a long day of work with their first fire of the season.  It was a gorgeous day!

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

{March 23rd}

Lexie had school, and was so excited for her stuffed animal show!  Had a great workout at the park, then picked Lexie up.  Visited my parents for the afternoon/evening (Lily had her first spaghetti!), and then headed home to spend the evening with Grant.

 Photobucket
 Photobucket
Photobucket
 Photobucket
Photobucket

{March 24th}

Grant stayed with the kids while I went to a bridal shower with his mom.   All hell broke loose while I was there. We received the horrifying news that Jason  had passed away unexpectedly.  I returned home to a distraught husband, who immediately left, and a house filled with people.The rest of the day was a blur.

 Photobucket

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Perfect Shot

I absolutely love taking pictures, and my beloved camera is my favorite possession! I am always on the quest for the perfect picture.

About two years ago, I started to shoot in manual mode. Then life got busy, and I began to just use my expensive camera in auto mode. Last year, while pregnant with Lily, my goal was to just shoot in manual mode all the time. However, I ended up so sick that I didn't really care how I took pictures...then Lily was born, and my life got even busier!

Recently, it struck me how ridiculous it was that I was letting my camera decide what kind of picture I took. One of the deciding factors was when I began noticing how off my colors were. A friend of mine had met Lily for the first time, and was shocked to discover that Lily had platinum blond hair! She had just assumed that Lily had reddish hair, thanks to the pictures I had shared of her!

I decided on that day that I would start using my camera as it was intended to be used! I read through my manual once again, and chose a day that was going to be my start date for shooting in manual mode as much as I could.

After just a few pictures, I wanted to kick myself for not doing it sooner! While I had taken plenty of good pictures in automatic mode, the ones taken in manual mode were so much better. On that first day, I managed to take one of my favorite pictures ever!

Photobucket

I've been at it for a week now, and it's becoming so much easier. Obviously, the pictures with natural light are my favorites, but I'm even manually picking my settings indoors, with a flash. I don't have to think as much anymore when choosing the settings. A few days after I started shooting in manual, I switched my lens back to my 50 mm, which I hadn't used in ages. That lens alone has made a big difference!

What I love about photography is that it's a constant learning experience. There is always room for improvement, growth, and change!

I captured a few new favorites on my first day of shooting in manual mode. I even managed to capture Lily's real hair...a platinum blond mohawk! Perfect shots? Not technically. But definitely better, and there are some pictures I truly love.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

I've been having so much fun over the past week, and I have learned so much. I can't wait to start doing more!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

In Remembrance

Life can change in the blink of an eye. That thought keeps going through my head over and over.

One of Grant's best friends, Jason, passed away unexpectedly today.

Jason was a wonderful guy. He was like a brother to Grant and my brother-in-law, Eric. They grew up together. He adored his nieces and adored Dylan, Lexie, and Lily. Lexie had a "crush" on him. He had such a bright future ahead of him, but left this world much too soon.

He was family.

He was just here on Thursday. He spent the day helping Grant get some projects done around our house. He re-built a rock wall along our driveway, and was so excited to show me the new light fixture he hung up on our front porch for us. He hid in the dumpster we had delivered, and jumped out at me, doubling over in laughter when I screamed. He was thrilled with his new camera, and snapped pictures of Lexie and Lily, and took a picture of Dylan climbing off the bus. He had dinner with us, and gave Dylan a pep talk about ignoring anybody who may make fun of him about being so skinny. He thanked me repeatedly for a delicious dinner, and gave my kids hugs before they went to bed. That night, he posted on facebook about how he had had a great day with his brothers.

Today, we're reeling with shock over this sudden loss. He will be missed so much.

I pray that he is at peace.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

365 Project: Week Eleven

{March 11th}

We took advantage of the warm weather, and headed to the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium! We had so much fun!

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket


{March 12th}

After dropping Lexie off at preschool, Grant and I went to the park for our workout. We did 2.6 miles, and absolutely love our new jogging stroller! Lexie, Lily, and I went to the library for a playdate after Lexie was done with school.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

{March 13th}

We took our big girl to her Kindergarten preview at the primary center she will attend in the Fall! She did really well!

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

{March 14th}

After dropping Lexie off at school, we waited in a long line for a Kindergarten lottery, so Lexie could get an AM session. It was ridiculous. Afterward, we headed to the park, and had a 3.9 mile workout. I picked Lexie up and we had a playdate at the park (Lily's first time in a swing-she loved it!) with my best friend and her boys. At the park, I started to feel sick, so we left. We spent the rest of the day at home.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket

{March 15th}

We stayed home all day, because I had to babysit. Soon after he got picked up in the evening, we went over to our friend's house for a yummy dinner. It was a lot of fun!

Photobucket
Photobucket


{March 16th}

I spent the morning shopping with Lily. I managed to finish buying summer clothes for the kids! After Lexie got out of school, we went to visit my parents. My mom and I went shopping, we had a quick dinner, and then headed over to my best friend's house for the evening.

Photobucket

{March 17th}

It was a great St. Patrick's Day! A wonderful day with my sweet family, followed by a dinner out with my sweet friends!!! My girls and I were the only ones home that night, so we had a little slumber party in my bed!

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket