Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The 8th Month

This last month seems to have flown by, but then again, they always seem to fly by. I don't know what it is about becoming a mom that makes time enter hyper speed. I hate it, but at the same time, I love nothing more than watching her learn and grow and discover new things every single day! I feel like these last few weeks have just been chalk full of new developments for Izzy. She is getting SO smart and so strong. She is turning into a little person. She has such a fun personality and has the absolute best sense of humor. I love that she is easy going and really laid back, and thinks so many things are just so interesting or so silly. She is always smiling and laughing and exploring. I'm so grateful I get to be with her every day to experience everything first hand.

We had a bit of a rough patch at the beginning of the month. As lots of you already know, we had to start supplementing with formula so that Izzy would gain weight, and as a result my milk supply dipped pretty low, but we stuck with it, and I was able to consistently nurse in the mornings and at nights, and bottle feed throughout the day. It was the perfect happy medium, I was able to still get my one on one time with her, but she was able to get the calories she needed to grow. But for whatever reason, my supply just continued to drop, and Izzy started biting me because she would nurse, but get frustrated because there was hardly anything there for her, and so she would bite down and at times draw blood from me. I suffered through the biting for a few days, but I knew that things weren't going to get better, and my supply wasn't worth fighting for since it didn't do anything for her in the weight department. We were simply doing it because of the emotional benefits. So one sad night, I admitted to Alex that I think it was time to stop nursing. He agreed and listened to me as i cried about not making it to a year, and how much I felt like a failure. But he was able to talk some sense into me, and reminded me that by feeding Izzy formula, we were giving her what she needed most, and that definitely meant that I was NOT a failure. He's a smart guy. It was a hard few days after deciding to formula feed 100%, but after that, I was able to grasp my new found independence and I no longer feel self conscious for choosing this method of feeding. I am proud that I was able to nurse as long as I did, and I know that Izzy loves me no matter how many months we were able to breast feed, so we are good. I still sneak my morning snuggles in, and soak up any time that she will lay her head on my shoulder, because now those intimate moments are fewer are farther between, but that makes them all the more sweet. 

We bought Izzy a new high chair (it's this one... and i LOVE it.) and now she is obsessed with feeding herself. She had been getting the hang of picking up puffs and cut up fruits and veggies, but now that she has her high chair and tray she is a serious pro. She is obsessed with veggie straws, multi grain cheerios, shredded cheese, and pretty much anything else we put on her tray. I love that she is able to entertain herself in her highchair. It's amazing to be able to sit her up, throw some puffs on her tray and get things done while I know she is safe and happy. 

Izzy has always head a lot of hair, and i'm surprised that it took this long for her to actually need a hair cut. Well honestly, she has needed one for a while, but it took this long for me to convince her daddy that she needed one. So one day, while over at Nona Deb's house we asked for a little trim. She was so good and sat (relatively) still, and we were able to cut her bangs. I think it looks so cute!!

Overall this month was pretty laid back. We hung out at home a lot, and of course saw our family tons and tons. And like I said I feel like these last few weeks she has just blossomed into the little girl and isn't much of a baby anymore, but is much more a toddler. It's so crazy, but so fun.

  • She is her mothers daughter and LOVES to get out of the house. And since the weather has been just gorgeous, we have been going to the park a lot. She loves to see the birds, and loves to touch the grass, but she doesn't like the sand on her feet. 
  • She has started clapping her hands when we say "YAY IZZY!!" It's seriously the cutest thing. She will also sometimes start to clap if you sing "Patty Cake". Smart girl.

  • She is also waving Bye Bye. She just kinda flaps her arm up and down. But she only does it when I say "Say bye bye!" and then she will look at my hand waving and then she will wave her arms around. I love it.
  • She is playing with her toys more and more and not just staring at them. She likes to play on her little xylophone and bang her blocks together or hold onto balls and throw them or kick them. 

  • She is the best eater and will not turn her nose up at anything. But we have found that she likes veggies more than fruit in most cases. She is obsessed with green beans. I would say those are her favorite at the moment and a close second would be carrots or peas. 
  • I was able to get her first braid in this month. And I about died from cuteness. 

My little Isabel, my heart swells with pride when you learn something new. I love watching you discover the beautiful world around you. And I want you to know that you are one of the most beautiful things on this earth, and I know that the world is a better place because you are here. You bring so much happiness to mine and your dad's lives and I don't know anyone who knows you who doesn't love you so much. You are a special little girl and I can't wait to see what new things you learn and discover.

Love, Mama.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The 7th Month

Gees Louise, how is it that the holidays are already over? They seriously flew by, and I tried to soak everything in, but somehow, no matter how many pictures I take and how many moments I write down I still feel like things are flying by without my permission. This year gifts were the last thing on my radar, but time spent with family was my number one priority. We are so blessed to have both of our families near by, so family time was easy to come by.

December is a fun month because not only do we have Christmas and New Years, but it's also Alex's birthday! I decided that this year there weren't many material items that he needed, so I planned a little getaway instead. I've always been a firm believer that memories are a better present than most anything else. I surprised him with a trip up to Williams AZ. We had a day at the Grand Canyon, and a day in flagstaff, plus tickets to Bearizona and a scenic drive through gorgeous Sedona. It was so much fun to escape for a few days as a little family! I loved having Izzy there with us. She truly just adds to all the fun! The day at the Grand Canyon was pretty gloomy, but the views we did have were gorgeous as ever. It was much chillier than we expected, and I only wore a thin cardigan! But besides shivering my way from look out to look out, we had a great day. It was so funny to see all the Asian tourists and their reactions when they would see Izzy. They would start talking to fast to one another and then come up and touch her hair and would always comment on how big her eyes were! We even had a few groups of girls ask if they could take a picture with her! It was so hilarious.

it wouldn't be alex's perfect birthday weekend without a few games of Agricola

Our day at Bearizona was super fun. You get to drive though the different areas in your car and take pictures and they had a little radio guide telling you all about the animals. We enjoyed it way more than we were expecting. After the drive though, they have a little zoo full of otters and birds and more bears and foxes and a petting zoo full of goats and ponies. It was a really wonderful morning and I would love to go back when it was a little warmer outside!

We decided on the way home to take the scenic drive, even though it would be a little bit longer of a drive. Driving through Oak Creek Canyon was absolutely breath taking. We stopped to take pictures by a beautiful little creek, and then had a picnic lunch at the base of Bell Rock. The weather was wonderful and it was a wonderful way to end our little vacation.

We had tons of Christmas Choir concerts this season and little Izzy was a trooper the whole time. It gets kid of complicated because Alex, both of my parents, both of Alex's parents, my sister and Alex's sister and brother and sister in law, plus my best friend Hope are all in the choir... So babysitters are slim, since everyone we would typically use are all singing up on stage with us! Haha. So typically I would ask me sweet younger brother to come to the concert and sit in the back with her. She was always so well behaved and made quite the impression with all the residents at the Old Folks home where we would perform. It was super nice to have to there after the concert, so i didn't have to be away from her for too long. I'm kinda obsessed with her, and any chance that I have to be with her, I want it.

Christmas with a little one is absolutely amazing. Everything seems ten times more fun. We did so many fun things with her and made so many memories. Every year the McHardys make Christmas cookies and make up some yummy plates full of goodies and take them around to people in their ward and neighborhood and we carol for them! It's so wonderful and it's probably my favorite part of the Christmas season. I always feel the spirit so strongly when we go out and sing songs about Christ. And everyone is always so responsive and happy that we have come and I know that it touches them as well. And to top it all off, Izzy was a hit with everyone. Alex wore her in the Bjorn and she would scream and coo and talk while we were singing. She loves music!

Enjoying her Barros pizza crust after a long night of caroling
We also took her to look at the Loop of Lights, a neighborhood near ours gets together and all decorate their houses and you walk through and people sit ouside with hot cocoa and popcorn and people dress up like Santa for pictures and there is even one house that goes all out and has their house synched up with music! It was so fun and we went with all the McHardys! Izzy loved looking at all lights and was so enthusiastic about everything. She especially loved the dancing lights!

Christmas eve was spent at the McHardys. We played games, and did puzzles and cooked and baked and just enjoyed each others company. They have so many Christmas Traditions, and it's fun to start doing those with Izzy (not that she can really appreciate them just yet). Most of traditions are food related, yum, like a layered jello salad, fondue for dinner, with lefsa (A swedish tortilla) and buckeyes and cutouts and kroppkaka (A swedish potato dumpling) for Chirstmas breakfast. It's all so wonderful, and something that i look forward to every year! We read the christmas story and a few other touching stories and then just relaxed and spent time together. We stayed up way too late playing games and being silly. We spent the night since we were spending Christmas morning with them as well. The whole morning was so fun, eating a tasty breakfast, and opening gifts. And then sitting back and enjoying the gifts that we all got. We played a few more of the new board games that Alex and Kelby got, and then had a nice lunch with everyone once Grandma and Grandpa McHardy came over. We spent some time with them and then it was time to do it all over again, but at my parents house! We went over and opened the last of our presents and then played even more games and watched some movies while doing a puzzle. It's amazing how as you get older, Christmas presents become less important, but family time and memories are what really matter. I am so grateful that I have such wonderful family and in laws who I enjoy spending time with so much.
Izzy was thoroughly spoiled and loved on all day and she loved the attention and the fact that her aunts and uncles kept sneaking her cookies ;)

Fondue Dinner

Decoration Cut Outs

The sweetest picture from Christmas morning

Christmas Morning Tradition- Lining up youngest to oldest before going to see our presents
Sneaking Cookies
Cutest little present you ever did see

The next day we went out the desert to go quading and ride around in the Rhino. It was a gorgeous day, and we enjoyed spending time outside. Izzy even got to go for a little drive around in the Rhino! Mark and Hope came out with us, and brought the dogs, and we had all of our Christmas presents so while some people were out riding around we go out some board games and played those. You'll notice a theme here with board games... we have become slightly obsessed with them. Alex is always researching new ones and they aren't your typical monopoly and sorry type games. They are kinda involved and intense, but really really fun. Even better, is that we have gotten our families and friends to enjoy these types of games as well, and so it's rare that we will get together without playing a game or two (or threee).

On December 30th I got this text from Alex:
I was excited by it and it made my head start spinning with ideas and possibilities as to why he was being so fun an spontaneous on a random tuesday. I was out with Hope that afternoon and I couldn't help but confide in her that i hoped it was because Alex got a call back from a really important job that he had interviewed for a few weeks prior. But I didn't want to get my hopes up because they had told Alex that if he had gotten the job that he would have heard from them about a week earlier. We had assumed since we hadn't heard anything, that Alex hadn't gotten the job... But we hadn't heard anything at all, no rejection and no job offer, so we couldn't be certain about anything. Alex got home that night and almost immediately shoved his phone in my face showing me an email from the company telling him that they were sending him an offer!! I immediately started crying and hugged Alex so tight.

We had been waiting such a long time for a job to come along, and this was definitely the answer to our prayers. We heard about the job from a man in my dad's ward who works for the same company in the finance division. They had been talking about Excel and my dad happened to mention how his son in law is really great at Excel and then the man in my dads ward told my dad to have Alex email him his resume because they were about to start hiring for an entry level finance position. He had later told my dad that when he moved into the ward he had had the impression to mention his job to people in his ward, but the prompting never came up again until he met my dad in ward choir. It makes me so grateful for people who are in tune with the spirit and are able to be lead to the right situations to help affect others lives. This job is in the exact field that Alex want to be in (Financial Analyitics) and with a company that he can see himself being with for a long time. Huge added bonus is that the office is only about 4 miles farther north than where he is currently and so we don't even have to consider moving! It's so wonderful

We went to one of our favorite pizza places and while we were there we sent this text to Alex's mom and to my dad! They were so cute, I love how their responses were practically the same! They know how much this means to us and they both immediately called us to get all the details and congratulate Alex! We couldn't be more excited for this next chapter in our lives

New Years Eve we hosted a little party and had both sides of the family came, including Mark and Hope... They are considered part of the family anyway... We played games (^^what did i tell you?) all night. And at midnight we set off fireworks, and surprisingly Izzy didn't hate them. She was even outside when we set off a SUPER loud one that scared me really bad but she just kinda jumped and looked up at the sky all amazed. And afterwards we went back inside and started making waffles! I decided to start my own tradition, which is to have breakfast at midnight on new years! It was really fun and super delicious!

Kisses at Midnight

New Years Eve Waffles!

This was definitely an amazing month. Izzy learned so much and reached so many milestones!

  • She sits up unassisted. It's so fun to sit her down around some toys and watch her play sitting up! She got lots of toys for Christmas and is absolutely obsessed with them. I love watching her play and learn and explore every day. 
  • She is so close to crawling, she scootches her legs up all the way underneath her, almost in pike position, and then just kinda slides her face across the carpet . Like a little inch worm. It's hilarious, but she definitely can get around. But if you try and put her up on her knees and hands and try to help her crawl normally she cries. She hates it so much. Haha.
  • She has started eating basically everything in sight. She loves yogurt and cheese. A close second is pasta! We try to feed her whatever we are eating, and so far she hasn't tried anything she didn't like.
  • She popped her first two teeth this month! I honestly didn't even have any clue she was teething! She didn't get fussy or feverish or irritable, so it was a huge surprise when I was feeding her and felt something sharp in her mouth. She just looks too cute with her two little bottom teeth. I just love it!
  • She does the cutest thing when she gets excited. She will kick her legs and wave her arms all around when she is so so happy. She mostly does this when I go to get her out of her crib, or when she sees that you have food! 
  • For a while she went through a phase where she would clasp her hands together and repeatedly bonk herself in the head. It was so funny, and really weird, but it really only lasted this month.
  • She has officially weaned herself off the binkie. She has learned to self sooth, and once she figured it out, she no longer wanted anything to do with her binkie, which I am totally fine with.  
  • She is OBSESSED with 'walking'. if you hold her hands she will immediately try and pull herself up and want to start walking. She will run really fast at first cuz she is so excited. She always gasps and laughs when you start walking with her. It's hilarious and adorable. I wouldn't be surprised if she is walking by the time she is 9-10 months. She is so strong!
Izzy, this month has been so fun and I love watching you learn and grow every day. You are so kind and seriously have the best sense of humor. You make me feel so loved and I'm so so lucky to be your mom!
 I love you so much!