Leighton’s 1st Easter

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We went up to Nashville (well, really to Franklin) to spend Easter weekend with Craig’s family, and it was egg-cellent! ๐Ÿ˜‰ That was our first time back to visit since Christmas, so Leighton had changed quite a bit and had a lot of fun playing with all of her TN family.

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Thankfully, since we didn’t have to worry about time off from work, we were able to make a long weekend out of it, which was so nice. We celebrated Craig’s brother’s 23rd birthday with a cookout, had a delicious brunch with a bunch of friends at Tupelo Honey, and ate a lot of good home-cooked meals with his family.

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On Sunday, we went to church with Craig’s family — Leighton made it about halfway through the service before being over it, which was all sorts of fun. ๐Ÿ˜‰ She woke up at 5 that morning, so needless to say, she was not too happy to have been awake for over 4 hours at that point (and neither was I!). But aside from wrangling what felt like a tiny baby alligator while standing in the back, it was a lovely Easter service. ย Afterward, we ate a massive lunch feast at Craig’s aunt and uncle’s house with about 50 family members. The kids had an egg hunt in the backyard, and I can’t wait for ย Leighton to be big enough to participate next year!

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Leighton got three more Easter baskets (she already got one from my parents, which included a flamingo beach towel and an adorable pink bunny, both with her name embroidered on them). Craig’s parents gave her a pink swing to keep up there for our visits and a cute spring outfit… and we’re going to keep all of her candy for ourselves. Sorry, baby! Craig’s grandparents also had a basket of goodies for her, including some yummy baby food, board books about animals, and a silver bank and cup/fork/spoon set from when Craig was a baby. His grandmother made the sweet little macrame basket years ago, which she gave to Leighton to keep.

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I had so much fun putting together Leighton’s first Easter basket. In true “planner” fashion, I’d started thinking about it a couple months ago. We got her a cute white basket and pink gingham liner with her name embroidered on it, and I just love it! She got two swimsuits, a sweet pink and white embroidered bib, a Winkel toy, and a couple springy cotton headbands. I love buying her books, so we included one with illustrated Bible stories and a board book about a funny dog named George — and of course a chocolate bunny, which I’ll eat for her. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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It was so nice celebrating this special holiday weekend with Craig’s family and having a few relaxing days to visit with everyone. With each visit, Leighton is able to interact with everyone more, and it’s been so fun seeing her laugh and play with each of them. We can’t wait to come back next month – this time, for Craig’s 15 year high school reunion! Eek!

A Few of My Favorite Things (149)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Breezeblock Enamel Pendant // Gilded Path Double Wrap Bracelet // Target top // Stitch Fix skinny jeans // Tieks flats]
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[Oh Joy – neon!]
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[1st St. Patty’s Day]
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[Friday fun on the Beltline]
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[family photo ready]
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[Spring Trunk Showย Style]
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We had lots of fun last week — lunch and a walk in Piedmont Park with my friend and her little guy, lunch and a walk on the Beltline with my mom (including a stop for King of Pops, of course!), and Leighton’s weekly music class. We also had the main floor of our house painted light grey, so the beige is finally almost completely gone (just the guest bathroom is left)! It’s amazing what a new coat of paint can do to a room — it feels so bright, clean, and fresh now.

Over the weekend, we had our family portraits done, and Leighton surprised us both by being such a good little model, despite boycotting a nap that afternoon. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t wait to see the finished product! Grandma babysat that night so we could have a night out with friends for March Madness and Mexican food. We finished up the weekend with my Spring Trunk Show, and as you can see above, Leighton was a big helper with showing off the jewels. I’m looking forward to this coming weekend because we’re heading up to Nashville to celebrate Leighton’s first Easter!

A Few of My Favorite Things (148)

[Stella & Dot outfit of the week:: Rebel Pendant // Engravable Bar with Leighton’s birthdate // Gilded Path Double Wrap Bracelet // GAP top and jeans // gold Tieks flats]
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[someone turned 6 months this week!]
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[secret menu item at Seven Lamps]
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[Friday afternoon fun on the Beltline]
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[St. Patty’s Day flair]
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Another busy week over here… we started with a mini session for Leighton’s 1/2 birthday, Craig started his spring softball season with his buddies, and I had a fun dinner out with some girlfriends at Seven Lamps in Buckhead. On Wednesday, Leighton and I started a fun new weekly activity — music classes! She seemed to love watching the other kids and parents (and chewing on everything in sight), and I had fun singing, dancing and playing instruments with her. Most of the parents in the class said they’d been bringing their kids since they were her age (and those kids are now 2-3 years old), so I’m excited to see how much we’ll enjoy it going forward!

As you probably saw, Leighton turned 6 months old on Thursday! So hard to believe, but I’m incredibly grateful for how incredible the past 6 months have been. We have so much to look forward to as she continues to grow and change! On Friday, she had a healthy check-up at the pediatrician, and we took a 2 mile walk on the Northside Beltline Trail with my mom. It’s hard to not want to be outside all day when the weather is so nice! Craig grilled delicious peach and goat cheese burgers for dinner, and it was so nice to just hang out with a homemade dinner and a nice bottle of wine leftover from my Napa trip.

We spent Saturday afternoon in Midtown watching the annual St. Patty’s parade with various friends. Leighton thoroughly enjoyed hanging out in the Baby Bjorn and watching the parade go by from a 12th floor condo balcony, as well as walking down the street and collecting beads. ๐Ÿ™‚ We ended our fun day with dinner at Taqueria del Sol and ice cream at Jeni’s with our friends and their super adorable little guy (aka L’s future husband). It was pretty much a perfect day!

Leighton @ 6 months

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Height + Weight: 26″ (54% percentile) | 17 lbs 3.5 oz (71% percentile)

We had her 6 month appointment this morning, and she is as healthy (and chunky) as can be! We got the go-ahead to move up to Stage 2 baby food, so we’ll start on that soon. 

Milestones: At the beginning of the month, Leighton figured out that she could reach out for things, such as toys, our food, and our phones. While we were cooking dinner one night, she was strapped into her bumbo chair and I saw her reaching toward one of her toys that was sitting on the dinner table. Next thing I knew, she’d managed to pull it down onto her bumbo tray to play with! Her hand/eye coordination seems to be improving every day. It’s also pretty adorable when she reaches out at us with both arms so she can feel our faces.

Likes: Anything she can put in her mouth — she does not discriminate. Rolling over to her tummy AS SOON as she’s laid down on her back — and then looking at us with the biggest smile ever, because of course she is so smart to have rolled over all by herself!

She’s working SO hard to crawl, which scares me a little, but it’s fun to watch. She’s currently pretty frustrated about the fact that her legs won’t cooperate so she can be on the move, but she still manages to scoot and roll in multiple directions. It’s amazing how far she can get in just a few minutes! 

Dislikes: She really does not appreciate having her face and hands wiped off after each baby food meal. Lately, she has also started going crazy on the changing pad (especially when she’s tired or hungry) squirming and trying to flip over to her tummy while being changed or having clothes put on, which makes for a fun situation for everyone involved!

Fun stuff  & firsts: In the solid food journey, she’s continued with trying purรฉed carrots, bananas, green beans, peaches, peas, and prunes. We’ve been busy this month when it comes to food! We typically feed her in the morning and evening, and she’s eating more and more each time. It’s so nice that she can sit in her bumbo chair at the table with us while we eat dinner now. (And a first for us would be actually eating dinner at the table and not in the basement while watching tv… we’re growing up, too!)

In mid-February, we left her with someone other than my mom for the first time ever! Our sweet neighbor Tiffany (who has a little girl just a few months older than Leighton) offered to watch her so we could have a nice dinner out with my family, and it went well. I’m so glad to have checked that “first” off the list!

She usually sleeps until somewhere between 2:30-4:30am, eats, and then goes right back to sleep till about 7. I’ll be so happy when she’s finally sleeping through the night, but I really don’t mind this little routine we have together, knowing that it won’t last forever. (And oh, how nice it’ll be to finally have a full night’s sleep!) We’re in the process of transitioning her feeding schedule to drop the 5pm feeding now that she’s eating solid foods 2-3 times a day. 

Some funny things right now: She flaps her arms like a little bird trying to fly, kicks her feet in the air and then slams them down into the ground when she’s lying on her back, and has started sticking out her teeny tiny tongue while being fed, which is so cute.

One of my absolute favorite things right now is her sweet, gummy smile, which she shows off all the time, especially when I look at her and make funny faces. She has the softest cheeks ever, and I love holding her next to my face so I can feel her chubby little cheeks.

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Halfway to ONE!

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Our baby girl is 6 months old today! Where in the world has the time gone since September 10th? I guess it’s mostly gone to sleepless nights (which are thankfully a distant memory now), diaper changes, feeding every 3 hours (except at night), and taking 483,790 pictures on our iPhones, right? It’s hard for me to comprehend that our baby is already halfway to being a year old. I’ll share my usual monthly update tomorrow after her 6 month checkup, but for now, I wanted to write Miss LL a 1/2 birthday letter. One day, I hope to print out all of these blog posts to save for her and for us – you know, in case blogs become a thing of the past one day…

LayLay,

I can’t believe you are 6 months old today. It feels like the day you were born was such a short time ago, but it also feels like you’ve been in our family forever. I’ve never been so exhausted in my life, but I’ve also never felt such great purpose and joy. These 6 months have been such a whirlwind for us. At times, we’ve been tired, frustrated, worried, and uncertain. But more importantly, we’ve never felt happier and more complete.

So many times, I catch myself wondering if it’s all a dream, because it certainly sometimes feels like it. Whether I’m sitting on the floor playing with you and watching you grab for toys with such concentration and giving my the biggest smile, or I’m spending the afternoon shopping and having lunch with you and your Grandma (my sweet, amazing mom and the best babysitter ever), or we’re enjoying an afternoon walk with your daddy and Coco when he gets home early from work… so many times, I just want to pinch myself that this is now my everyday. How did I get so lucky?  I count my blessings every single day that God chose us to be your parents and that He chose you to be our daughter. I’m beyond thankful that things fell into place for me to be able to stay home with you and run my business on my own time so that I can soak up every minute with you. As they say, the days are long but the years are short.

There are so many things that I love about you right now, at this age. Your smile, as your Grandma says, truly melts hearts. That gummy, innocent, joyous smile is one of my most favorite things in the world. I don’t care how goofy I have to act, even in public, to get that smile out of you!

You are all of a sudden so fascinated by your puppy sister Coco, and it’s the cutest thing to see you reaching out for her with both hands. She’s been so sweet and gentle with you, and I can only hope that will continue over the years. I have no doubt she’ll be your best friend if you share your food with her (she already loves the special job of licking your baby food-covered hands whenever she gets the chance).

We have a lot of nicknames for you! Some of my favorites: LayLay, LayLay Bear (because we call your puppy sister Coco Bear), Monkey (because you’re proving to be quite the little spider monkey lately), and your daddy’s latest creation, Punky Tootster (hehe, please don’t hate us for that one when you’re older!).

I selfishly kind of love that “nobody does it quite like mommy does” — at least for the time being. You make me feel like a super hero when I’m the only one who is able to calm you or comfort you, even though I don’t do anything differently than anyone else… it’s just because we have a special bond.  I feel like after 10 months of being pregnant with you, I’ve earned that, right?? But seriously, I think your daddy would appreciate you throwing him a bone every once in a while, too. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I love your chubby cheeks, your fuzzy hair, and your puffy little wrists. I love when you grab for our faces with both tiny hands and look at us with those beautiful, big blue eyes. I love your squeals and groans and other funny noises, especially the ones you make when you eat. I love your hilarious obsession with chewing on wet paper towels – I’m pretty sure they’re your favorite food right now.

Your personality is really starting to develop more each week, and we are so excited to watch you grow, learn, and take in this big world around you. As I say to you probably a hundred times a day, I’ll kiss you and love you till the end of time!

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Spring 2016 To-Do List


Who else is ready to welcome in Spring?!  I’m so ready for warmer weather and sunshine after all this rain here in Atlanta. With having a small baby at home, I don’t always get out of the house as much as I used to every day, so nice weather is key to at least getting in a good stroll with Leighton.

1. Try a few new restaurants from March through May. My sweet mom is always willing to babysit Leighton so we can have regular date nights, which we so appreciate. It’s really nice to go out together for a couple hours every week or so, and I just love trying new places… we can barely keep up with all the great options around Atlanta! (update: ‘Cue BBQ, Taco Cantina, Seven Lamps, Porch Light Latin Kitchen, Zama Mexican, Paces & Vine)

2. Visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s newest Chihuly in the Garden exhibit with my mom!

3. Revamp the living room to better suit our baby needs, which means finding a softer ottoman/coffee table as well as a larger rug to give Leighton a larger, safer place to play on the main floor. (update: DONE!)

4. Take more walks at the Beltline and nearby trails, have picnics in the park, and visit farmer’s markets on weekends… and just enjoy the spring weather with Leighton as much as possible.

5. Celebrate Leighton’s first Easter with Craig’s family in Nashville. I’m almost done helping the Easter bunny find fun things for her basket and I have the most beautiful little dress for church, which I’m so excited about! (update: DONE!)

6. Go to a wine tasting and check out a local brewery on one of our date nights/days.

7. Participate in a weekly class at The Music Class with Leighton. We’re signed up for a 10-week session that I hope we’ll both love! (update: DONE!)

8. Take a trip in April with Craig, Leighton, and my mom down to our family’s beach house in St. Augustine (which we missed out on last year). This will be Leighton’s first trip to the beach, and I can’t wait!! (update: DONE!)

9. Finish up the last round of painting in the house. We’re going to update the main floor to a light grey, and we plan to paint the guest bathroom, as well as update the fixtures. I can’t wait to finally rid our house of all the beige!