Wednesday, December 3, 2014

15 Months

Vann has been in our life for 15 months. It's overwhelming when I think about how much he adds to our family.

You are running around and into everything. You make us smile over the most simple things.

At your 15 month appointment, everything checked out great. You've always been in the bottom 5% for weight, you're around 50% for height, and a little bit more for your head measurement. It really bothered me about the weight being lower, but at the same time I am confident that we are making awesome food choices, eating several times a day, drinking plenty of water and organic whole milk. I know you are just using it up as energy. You're a ball of energy and only stop when you are asleep...that's it. You will rarely be seen sitting down for more than 5 minutes unless you are playing with blocks or reading a book, and even then you're still busy. So if they must compare you to every other child in the US (apples to oranges if you ask me), let them do so. In my eyes, you are perfect!

You've been on whole foods since around 10 months and done wonderfully. Some favorites are sweet potato cubes baked with olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Another is Van's Whole Grain Waffle (don't you love the name...seriously an awesome brand) with natural peanut butter and a banana. You won't turn down an Earth's Best Strawberry Snack Bar and they have saved us many times in the grocery store when you may be lacking patience if I take a bit longer. Fruit, especially watermelon and strawberries, is another favorite. A Thanksgiving fave was greenbean casserole and Nannie's sourdough rolls. Someone loves bread like your daddy.

Our routine is SOLID and I love it. I know some may think I am a schedule nazi, which is not the is not always the case, but I know you need rest. You're a great sleeper: 8 pm - 7 am, nap at 9:30 am, and again around 2. The naps last about 1.5 - 2 hours each time. Your blanket is a must for naptime and you play with the tag to put yourself to sleep in the crib.  Around 12 months you started wanting a pacifier before naps. I didn't have the heart to say no because you like to chew on it and relieve teething pain. It helped tremendously.

You love the outdoors and will point outside and say "out" if you want to go play. You know you need socks and shoes on and will sit and wait for them before we can go.You love stacking blocks, playing with trucks along with sound effects, and reading books. You bring them to me and sit in my lap. You really love watching "My Baby Can Read" dvds and are doing very well with the flash cards. My favorite one that you act out is SMILING. You show all of your 12-14 teeth that have popped/popping through!

Some words Vann can say:
*thank you
*tee (tree)
*juice (ju-ss)
*ocks (socks)
*no no
*nigh-nigh (night-night)
*iwuvyou (i love you) is a new one, but you repeat it!
*pitty pees (pretty please)

Vann can point to, act out, or knows:
ears, eyes, bellybutton, head, hair, mouth (he will say ahhh), nose, chin, toes, feet, hands, fingers, sit, diaper, shirt, shoes, arms up, yes, no, turn on the tv, get a book to read, teeth, brush, hug, kiss, smiling, and more.

We enjoyed Vann's 2nd beach trip in October. It was gorgeous weather. We really liked Okaloosa Island when we won a trip there in May, so we chose to go back. You did such a great job on the way down, not so much on the ride back. The next morning we found out it was some molars beginning to peek through. I am sorry for not realizing that teething wasn't bad the first couple of rounds, but the more teeth you get it gets worse. You will be grumpy, clingy, and definitely do not keep a good schedule. There were a few days in a row without an afternoon nap. That was NOT fun for either of us. We use an Oral B brush that fits on my pointer finger with some fluoride free toothpaste every evening. You love brushing your teeth! 

You are an excellent helper. Every time we finish changing a diaper, you put it in the trash along with other things I ask you to throw away. You surprised me when you did it on your own. Putting blocks away is another chore you have fun with. I am thankful for these sweet reminders that what we do daily matters!

I love to hear you laugh. I am sorry I tickle you so much, but it is so cute when you get so cracked up. The other night you started to show your muscles and began clapping then freezing...I did it and you got so cracked up. It was a pure form of happiness. Daddy began recording it and shared it with your grandparents.

You moved up to the toddlers class in WaumbaLand at church. You get upset when I drop you off, but your teachers assure us that you have fun and settle down quickly. I love when you come out with a coloring sheet or the day they sent you home with a bag of brown little puffy balls when you learned about David and Goliath. I'd love to be a fly on the wall and see how many times you tried to eat one!

You spent the night at Mimi and Papa's a couple times in the past few months when Mommy and Daddy headed out of town. They kept us up to date with plenty of pictures. You love playing with Ava and Aunt Alexis! Aunt E, Lolli, Grandpa, and Hannah all keep you very entertained if Mom needs to run out somewhere! We are very lucky to have so many great family members that LOVE you so much!

In October your Papa (my grandpa) fell and hit his head. It was a hard time for him and he just wasn't able to get well. He was 88 and we went over to the house the morning he passed away. As the men from the funeral home came to pick him up, you watched along with all of us as they covered him in a flag before he left. He was a WW2 veteran and loved our country so much. Nannie was strong and we stood next to her. As he was leaving, you waved your hand and softly said "bye bye" causing everyone to cry harder. You are a bright light, Vann man! He loved you soooo much. He lit up when you were in the room and loved watching you show your newly learned skills. We are thankful for you, and I know your Papa was, too. We love you little boy. 

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Christmas + Burlap

Today Ryan told me that the person who invented burlap must be rich because of the women in my family! It's true, the ladies LOVE burlap just like every other crafty Pinterest pinner, and each year our house sees a little bit more around the holidays year-round. 

This year my sister-in-love made burlap garland and I was so excited when mine arrived yesterday. It was perfect, fun, and looks gorgeous on the mantel. So, not much was accomplished in the way of decorating, but I sure do love what it looks like so far. It's still up in the air if our tree will have ornaments this year. We aren't entirely sure that we want to fight the battle with a little boy feeling tempted to play with the "shiny ball ornament" all day. I am really ok with adding a topper/bow/something at the top, putting presents underneath, and calling it done. We shall see. Any mommy advice out there? 

 Don't you love the garland? If you'd like some, send Alexis an email and she can ship some to you or if you are local we can meet up. I wrapped mine with my garland from past Christmas decor and topped it with lights! I love how full it looks. 

The tree has a new fashion piece as well. Not only is it burlap, but it's also monogrammed. How southern can a Christmas be? I love it! 

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

God's Whisper

Two nights ago I was rocking Vann to sleep and he was having one of his last nighttime bottles. I tried to hold it for him, but he was not going to give up. I looked at him and whispered, "I have this, you can let go". And then I heard it...God's whisper to me was exactly what I told Vann. He was using my little boy and his bottle to share His truth with me. God said, "Dana, I have this, you can let go of the worry and fear, the what-ifs, your plan...this is My plan".

You see, even though I told my son that I would hold his bottle for him he didn't let go right away. I had my hand on it, Vann had his tiny hands gripped to each of the sides, and no one was letting go. Eventually he got tired and one hand would relax and slip off, but as soon as he realized he wasn't in control he'd cling on to the bottle again. Finally he gave in and I held the bottle, rocked him, and drifted into dreamland.

How many times are we the baby clinging to the bottle? Even though God tells us He has it under control, we still feel the need to be the driver and tell God where he's going with our life. As my son was having this tiny battle of control with me, God shared that I was doing the same thing in life. I want everything to go my way and not His. I don't purposely try to go away from God's plan, but I get caught up in thinking that I know best. Truth is...I don't.

God's plan is so much bigger than my life. He is the painter and we are all brush strokes in His masterpiece. Basically it's what my mama always said, "the world doesn't revolve around you Dana". And boy am I glad it doesn't or I would be disappointing a lot of people. Our plan will never be better than His.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord
plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.

As I held my sweet boy I was reminded of God's promises. He always has us. He carries us through the hard times and never lets us go. I am thankful for His whisper that reminds me of his faithfulness. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. 

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Happy 1st Birthday, Vann!

Well, it's hard to face reality and say that our sweet little baby is an entire year old. He's been with us for over 365 days and we have LOVED every single minute. We have never smiled more, and I smile A LOT so that's a bold claim! I am not going to lie, it's been a learning curve, but every second has been a gift and I wouldn't change a thing!

We had a fun party with our family and Vann's friends that are around the same age! I love watching them grow up together.

I had the hardest time picking a theme and because Vann couldn't tell me what he'd like...we picked. I love themed parties and really enjoy planning them. It's the "pulling it together" part that's hard for me. I found some cute "County Fair" parties and made a spinoff of that idea. It ended up being like a Patriotic BBQ!

I am so thankful for Mom's listening ear, creative ideas, and showing me the ropes of throwing a birthday party. I mean she would know how to do it! Mom planned our birthdays before Pinterest and they were so detailed, custom, and memories that will last forever. There were no McDonald's or Chuck E. Cheese birthdays for us. No, it was fall festivals, costume parties, sports themed parties, Barbie, and none were purchased at the store. She's good y'all...I have lots to live up to!

We also love that both of our parents helped us with tables, chairs, and other props...Daddy's fan came in handy on the hot August day. Dad smoked extra meat for the party in case we ran out. Mom made Vann's cake and plenty of pecan & chocolate tassies. We served the beautiful cake up with Mayfield vanilla ice cream complete with the wooden spoons. I loved that the cake was simple, topped with fruit, and completed the look of the party. Vann enjoyed his handfuls!

To decorate, I kept it simple, but Ryan may think otherwise. Bales of hay, picnic tablecloths, burlap banners, quilts, red toy trucks, flowers in colorful vases! One of my very favorite details was the red highchair. We My friend, Brittany, found it at a thrift store for $8! Ryan took two cans of red spray paint to it and it turned out just perfect. I made a few banners to add to the chair and one for the backdrop of the food table. Mom made his hat and Vann actually kept it on his head!

Erin had a great window we used to display his monthly pictures. Mom had a vintage chalkboard where we shared the birthday boy's stats. Each month season I update a chalkboard that is displayed in our house with a verse or motivational quote. I have gotten really great at copying them, so I decided to look at Etsy for some inspiration and make the board myself. I think it worked out perfectly! Every kiddo received a small mason jar filled with animal crackers with a "thank you for coming" tag on it.

Ryan made his amazing bbq. I am not saying it just because he is my husband, but it's hands-down the best! Take it from me...he needs to enter it into the next BBQ Pitmaster contest. We also had the classic Sunbeam white bread, veggies, fruits, original potato chips, and bottled water and glass-bottled sodas to drink.


 {Easton and Vann}

 {Vann and Lolli}
 {Aunt Lexi and Ava}
 {Uncle Adam and Anna Beth}
 {Mimi, Adam, and Richard}
 {James and Vann}

 {Crazy Pop}
 {Vann's sweet great grandparents}

 {James, Mommy, and Vann}

 {Ava, Aunt Lex, and Erin}
 {Danielle and Jase}
Danielle blogged about Vann's birthday here! Thanks for capturing the sweet moments seester!
 {Gabby, Aiden, and Vann}
Thanks A for grabbing the birthday boy as he tried to escape from opening his presents!
{Ava and Bryce}

We loved seeing so many sweet friends and family! Vann has presents coming out of his ears! Several gifts were put on his closet shelf and will be pulled down soon!

Vann loves reading books, can say several words; mama, dada, baba, dog, lyla, no, yeah, hey, thank you, done, byebye, he is walking (nearly running) everywhere, waving, clapping, drinking whole milk, enjoys playing outside, and so much more. He makes our world such a happy place! I love how others light up around him. He is such a people person! God definitely blessed us with Vann! Love you sweet boy and happy birthday son!

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