Thursday, December 30, 2010

Teagan is 20 Months Old!

I can't believe in four short months our baby girl will be two! I am already planning a fun birthday party for you which will be in late March or early April this year due to the baby arriving on or very near your birthday. No worries Dad - we will stay away from inviting a bazillion kids over on Masters weekend, bien sur!
You weigh 24.4 lbs (without these cool cowboy boot wellington's Nana Mo got Mommy for Christmas. You love them as much as I do)!
You wear a size 18 mo - 2T
You wear a size 7 shoe
You are in size 4 diapers (this month we start to potty train as you seem ready to go, literally!)

Speaking of going, you love this new Smart Bike that you got for Christmas. I can't wait to try it out on our walks with Shanna and Krissy as you were getting so bored in your stroller.
You have changed so much in the last few weeks! Each day we notice you moving out of your baby phase and growing into a little girl. It makes me sad and yet Daddy and I love hearing your thoughts and seeing your personality develop.

You talk all the time and are starting to say more sentences. After spending a great Christmas with cousin Kade you have focused on "I had it." You don't whine or get upset when you two go after the same toy at exactly the same moment. "I had it" is simply a statement of fact and you expect someone to do something about it - pronto.

And you are so very independent, little mouse. You no longer want to hold my hand going up or down the stairs at home. This makes me nervous as I have yet to recover from your first emergency room trip. When I try to help it frustrates you and you exclaim, "Ugh! I no want it!!!"

You've also discovered a love of M&M's which I had sitting on the dining room table for the holidays, but no more! My little monkey, while Kade watched on with amusement you climbed up, up, up the chair and table to help yourself to a morning snack. It gave me quiet the scare and my heart a healthy jump start. Who needs coffee with a curious toddler around?
But for all your independence you are still sweet and cuddly. We love it when you ask for hugs and kisses which is often. If I leave the room for just a few moments and then return I am greeted with the most delightful reunion that melts my heart each time and makes me feel like the most loved mommy in the world. This enthusiasm is the same way you great each day whilst running through the house to "pay pay toys!!!" meaning you are indeed ready to play with your toys!

At night you are still busy. You bring me books to read to you while we rock in your chair before bed. Your current favorites are Joanna Cole's My Big Girl Potty, Victoria Osteen's My Happy Heart series and Priddy Book's Charlie Monkey.

You are also showing interest in counting. Nana Betty has been practicing with you as you go up and down the stairs. Now when I say the numbers one through five you will occasionally slip in the next number, or skip them all and go straight for your favorite "Pives!" You giggle as we count objects in your books or as you try to hold up your fingers to count. Everything is simply fun, a game and new learning experience for you and we treasure these simple, sweet days.

Happy New Year Teagan. Tonight your buddies Lera and Caleb will come over with their parents, aunt Melissa, Kade and Brianne for a game night. It is a great way to ring in the New Year. I can't wait to see what adventures our growing family gets up to in 2011! We love you so much our sweet, sweet baby girl!

Christmas in Hilton Head and Savannah

For Christmas we headed to Hilton Head, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia! A great time was had by all and we even got to catch up with April, one of my closest girlfriends that I have known since we met as ex-pats living in Japan. Her husband Rob played a round of golf with Brian while she showed us around Savannah on the most gorgeous tour of spanish moss covered trees, famous squares and houses. Special thanks to her mother-in-law Emma who pulled strings to get us into the always-booked Paula Deen's Lady and Sons restaurant! My friends know I am a Food TV Network and Deen addict so this was a real treat!

April and her youngest, Sophia who loved PD's desserts as much as I did!

If you head to Hilton Head we recommend staying in The Sea Pines Resort. We snagged a spot in Harbor Town backing up to the famous 18th hole overlooking the ocean. The staff paid attention to every detail and were so great to work with!

Harbor Town view just steps from our place.
Kade and Teagan wait to come down stairs to see what Santa brought on Christmas morning!
With dolls and life-like kittens hanging about my little rebel immediately gravitated to the flashy car Santa left for cousin Kade!
Kade loves his stocking Ms Cindy made for him when he was a baby! Isn't it beautiful? She spent over 100 hours on this. I bought one to make for Teagan at the end of the season last year and then realized there is a teensy problem with my plan...sans a hasty button reattachment I don't know how to sew!
A sleepy Kade snuggles with Mom before Christmas dinner. Imagine how tired he was after Brian's turkey extraordinaire?
I love this cute head band and jacket that I picked up for Tea at Island Girl in Coligny Plaza. They were having an amazing sale!
Even Hilton Head couldn't escape snow flurries so we headed to a cool indoor playground one day.
The Pumpkin Man returns via a little store set up for the kids!
This incredible tree lined The Greg Russell Playground in Harbor Town and I had to capture a photo of Nana Betty and Grandpa Gerry
I hope all had a wonderful Christmas and are off to a very happy 2011!!! We can't wait to see what new adventures are around the corner!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

I just love, love, love our photographer Jamie who was recommended to us by John and Blair following a beautiful session their family had with her. She's a mom of two and has such amazing location ideas and a way of capturing our toddlers who normally won't sit still for any amount of love or money!

Here are a few of our favorites from the day. We hope all are having a very Merry Christmas! As of tonight Brian is officially on vacation for the next week and we are so excited! Hopefully the weather will cooperate so he can get in some good golf time with his parents and also his buddies!

I'd love to hear what you are up to for the holidays? What traditions are you carrying on in your house? What new traditions have you started of your own?

Progressive Dinner Party

I love our neighborhood! I may be partial but believe we live on the best cul-de-sac in our community with friendly, sweet neighbors that truly make it somewhere special to live.

One day last spring while out walking with Teagan I met Shanna, Dave and Caleb in their front yard and we discovered we were in the same prenatal classes! It turns out little Caleb and Teagan were born just one day apart! That day marked the start of a great friendship that led to being introduced to Krissy and Kevin who's little boy Jackson (Jack) is also the same age. They just moved into our neighborhood earlier this year.
Now the moms and our children meet regularly for walks, playdates and dinners. We also discovered within weeks of each other that we were expecting our second children which has made going through this pregnancy with them and our comrades from the larger Thursday playdate group so much fun! It also helps that our husbands share a love of golf and drink or too!

We decided to wrap up the holiday season with a progressive dinner party between our three houses.
The Kellys were in charge of desserts which included a fun yuletide log that Betty taught me learn to make. It took HOURS people. Hours. But I can now proudly say I know how to make a mean chocolate ganache and pastry cream! We also made Oreo truffles and chocolate bark to go along with Brian's Irish Coffees! Very festive indeed!

Krissy, Kevin and Jackson hosted us with two amazing fondues that took me right back to my travels in Switzerland!

The poor cat was a hit and took refuge from three curious toddlers behind the stair gate!
I had to capture this picture of Teagan in her cute skirt for the R family who gave it to her. Isn't it perfect for the holidays and beyond? Unfortunately she is going through a phase where she likes to take off her clothes...anywhere, anytime. Daddy is thrilled with this latest development. Not!

I love, love, love Shanna and Dave's decorating style. Their dinners are always gourmet and elegant. I thought these plates and chargers were to die for! We had homemade mac-n-cheese with the most amazing chili which Dave made using his new smoker! It was unlike any chili we've ever had and D-lish, with a capital D!

Betty and Da Boys! Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Toddler Christmas Party

Merry Christmas everyone! Today Teagan hosted a Christmas party for her Thursday Playdate toddler friends. We had such a great time making crafts, playing and eating sweet treats. I have a lot of love for these special women and look as forward to this day each week as Tea does. It amazes me that four out of five of us are pregnant with our second children, due within mere weeks of each other! Right now we have more boys than girls but with two of our mom's confirmed to have lots of pink in their future we think those numbers just may even out! We are looking forward to January 3rd when Krissy finds out what she is having. I am the lone holdout on Team Green and must confess it is much harder to wait for the surprise this time!
I just had to try making these adorable marshmellow pops after seeing a pink and white version on Hostess With the Mostess' site! Nana Betty helped!

The table pre-kiddos coming in!

Teagan gave each friend a cute ornament with their name and the year on it.
She loved making her Christmas crafts!
The finished products. See how proud she is? We put them on the tree.
Grandpa Gerry has a smile for us...but true to his word once all the kids arrived he sneaked up stairs, "As far away as possible..."
I love this picture of Shanna and Caleb. How cute is his Christmas outfit?
A sweet picture of Melissa and Grayson
Do you think half Swedish Elsa and half Irish Teagan are discussing what to do to resolve the financial crisis in Europe? They look oh-so-serious in this shot!
The closest we came to getting six little ones to sit together and look at a camera: Grayson, Kaden, Jackson, Caleb, Elsa and Teagan
Caleb just wants to get back to his train and says, "No more pictures!" I think the girls agree....
Happy camper Jackson!
Linda, Shanna, me, Krissy and Melissa with our little elves!
Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Big Sister

Teagan is 19 months old and I am 19 weeks pregnant heading into the Christmas holidays. We had our big ultrasound with the perinatologist this week. I was so nervous I couldn't sleep before but all turned out well as he said Baby Kelly looks healthy! We have so much to be thankful for this season and are enjoying these December days. There's our baby! I have anterior placenta which just means the placenta is up top. The baby is also breech at the moment but that could change well before our due date which incidentally is April 30th - Teagan's second birthday!
Waiting to see the doc. Brian is SURE we are having a boy and I am confused as my trusty gender predictor that is based on heart beats per minute has been bouncing between girl and boy predictions for the last few months. The latest prediction: boy!
If we have a boy the name is sure to be Fionn, Brian's favorite and one that has special meaning for us, but more on that later. For a girl Brian likes Siobhan and Saioirse. I like Maeve, Isla, Niamh, Caoimhe, Harper and Sawyer. So far we can't agree on those and who knows what will pop up between now and spring as a favorite.
After my appointment Melissa took pictures of me in front of her tree. Notice the "tombo" which is Japanese for dragonfly. It's my favorite symbol of good luck and she put this beautiful on her tree just for me!
Pregnancy Highlights:
How Far Along: 19 weeks
Size of Baby: 6 inches, 9 ounces which is the size of a mango
Gender: We are going to be surprised. It is a lot harder for Mom this time!
Movement: Due to anterior placenta I am just now feeling flutters
Sleep: I get bits here and there. At least I have more time to update the blog in the wee hours!
Cravings: Chocolate (ok, normal for me), strawberry lemonaide and chips (which I never want normally). Fried pickles. I never should have started eating them. With Teagan I just wanted yogurt all the time - not so much with this baby!
Symptoms: Just being tired and super thirsty for water.
Best Moment This Week: Shopping for maternity clothes with Betty!