Monday, September 30, 2013


Pumpkintown! Pumpkintown! That was the chant Adeline was singing all morning long! 

Fall is upon us and I LOVE LOVE LOVE fall festivals.  One of my fondest memories from our time in Virginia was every single October.  Fall is beyond fabulous in Virginia.  There is SO MUCH to do and one of our favorite events was hitting all the fall festivals we could find.  In particular, I loved taking William to Cox Farms.  It is a HUGE fall festival with slides, rides, food, pumpkin mazes, etc.  When William started school, I would pull him out at noon so we could go to the farm and beat the crowds!

Tulsa isn't Virginia when it comes to fall.....but our family has enjoyed exploring the surrounding towns during the cooler months.  Last fall, I wanted to take the kids to Pumpkintown which is like Cox Farms but on a much smaller scale and without the hay slides.  Anna was a newborn and we just didn't make it.

BUT NOT THIS FALL!  On Tuesday while William was in school, I loaded up the girls and we headed to Pumpkintown!  We met a few friends and had the whole place to ourselves.  It was fantastic!  The kids never waited in a line and they got to ride the cow train as many times as they wanted!

Funny story - Before we left the house, Adeline ran to the bathroom and threw open her bag of hairbows.  She came running towards me shouting, "I GOT IT! I GOT IT!"  She remembered seeing a big ol' Halloween themed hairbow in her stash.  I think we got it as a gift and I forgot all about it.  It's rather large.  You pick your battles.  And so, Adeline headed to Pumpkintown sporting her furry, sparkling, pumpkin spider hairbow.  She loved it.  I tolerated it.

Adeline had the time of her life.  She loved the place. She spent a long time playing in the playhouses that are set up throughout the acreage.  She rode the cow train and I took a cute video of her as she rode off on the train (I stayed with Anna).  I said, "Hi Sissy!  Wave to me! Have fun! " and she gave me a huge smile, a great big wave and shouted, "OK!  I will have a great time!"

Adeline never stopped running and playing.  She was open to trying most all the events including bounce houses and the tire swing horse.  She climbed to the top of a HUGE bounce house slide and then she realized she had to go down.  She was terrified and her eyes just about fell out of her head on the slide down.  But, when she got to bottom she buried her head in my chest and said softly, "Mama, I was brave. I was really brave."  And then she fought back tears.  I told her I was so proud of her and she didn't have to do that ride ever again....then she was back on her feet without missing a beat and off running towards the gigantic sandbox.

At the sandbox, she dug for 3 prizes.  She found an army guy and joyfully hollered, "Mom!  Look William will love this!"  I thought it was sweet of her to give William her prizes.

Anna loved walking around and playing in the baby area.  The baby area had several ride on toys and push toys for her age.  She also was a real trooper as the weather warmed up.  I put her in the stroller while Adeline soaked up the tale end of the festivities.

We stayed 2 hours and by noon, it was getting warm.  So, I talked Adeline into riding the cow train one last time and told her she could pick out a pumpkin on our way out.  She wasn't thrilled, but after a few more rounds at the park, she was thirsty and hungry.  The perfect exit!

I gave the girls lunch in the car and before we left the parking lot, I had two sleeping babies in the backseat. 


Anna Elizabeth 12 months old just a baby and her dolly

Anna's First Birthday

Anna Baby, your FIRST BIRTHDAY fell on a Wednesday.  As luck would have it, Wednesday is your Mother's Day Out day.  You and Adeline wore your matching party hat dresses for your celebration and I packed your favorite foods for lunch (chicken, raisins, apples and a small chocolate cookie). 




When we got to school, Adeline told everyone it was your birthday.  She'd say, "today is my Anna Baby birthday!  She is SOOOO CUUUTTTEEE!"  Several moms laughed and told Adeline she was a great big sissy.

You went right into your classroom without a problem.  I didn't even have to tell your teachers that it was your birthday!  They greeted you at the door with a loud, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANNA!"  I told them thank you for remembering and asked them to take your picture for me.  Ms. Charmaine said, "Oh no, we have a little birthday bash we do for the babies!"  I thought that was so sweet.

When I picked you and Adeline up from school, I got this darling picture of you wearing your birthday crown.  Apparently, this was the best picture they had because each time they set the crown on your head, you would reach for it.  I was just tickled that they made the effort to celebrate YOU!

William was in charge of picking where we would eat dinner for your birthday.  He chose Luby's for Adeline's first birthday, and he chose Hideaway Pizza for YOU!  Pizza was the perfect choice since it's one of your most favorite meals!

We met Dada for pizza.  Our waiter even gave you a free brownie mudslide dessert!  At first you studied it with caution, but then you dove right in and LOVED every single bite.  Delicious!

Once we got home, you took a bubble bath and settled in for the night.  The day went by so fast, but I had a wonderful time watching you enjoy your day.  I held you extra long once you fell asleep.  I sat in the darkness thinking back to the morning we first met.  The sites, the smells, the sounds....they all came flowing back to me.   It was all so familiar and for awhile, I was back IN THAT MOMENT.  That very moment I vowed never ever to forget.....and I am thankful for the memories of your birthday.  And as I held you in my arms and watched your face move all wrinkled up against my chest, I was overwhelmed with gratitude.  You are the delight of my heart.  You are practically perfect in every way.

We love you ANNA BABY!  Happy Birthday!  Cheers to the adventures ahead.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Anna Elizabeth is 12 MONTHS OLD!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY ANNA BABY!  You are 12 months old.  Can you believe it?  The days went by so quickly, and now we are celebrating YOUR FIRST BIRTHDAY!  What a very special day indeed! 

Anna, you are 21 pounds and your hair is starting to come in a little thicker!  Your hair is blonde but in the sunshine, I can see red.  It's so pretty with your sweet blue eyes.  You wear a size 5 diaper and a size 5 shoe.  Your clothes are anywhere in the range of 9-12 months depending on the brand.  You have lots of teeth and when you smile, we can see all of them!  Your top two front teeth are coming in just like your sister's top teeth - one is higher than the other!  Must be a trait you picked up from Mama's side.

You still drink bottles but you treat them more like a drink than a meal.  I am about to transition you from formula to whole milk and I sure hope you like it!  You are a great eater.  You will try almost anything we give you to eat.  Yes, you have your favorites such as pizza, applesauce and raisens.  But, you welcome new textures and at least put new foods in your mouth.

Actually, you put EVERYTHING in your mouth!  Now that you are walking, I have to you like a hawk. You eat grass, bark, berries, weeds, etc.  I am constantly pulling things out of your mouth.  You know the phrase "NOT IN YOUR MOUTH!" but when I say it to you, you laugh and eat it anyway.  Then you laugh again.  It's a game to you!  Hopefully, you will soon realize that nature doesn't taste good!


Oh Anna Baby, YOU ARE SO A JOY!  My days are filled with listening to you belly laugh and watching you walk around the house exploring every nook and cranny.  Sometimes, You walk with your hands extended out in front of you like Frankenstein.  It's pretty funny, but I really know that you are actually asking me to hold you once you get closer to me.  You love to push toys across the room.  You will walk behind the grocery cart and the doll stroller forever.  Your friend Maggie gave you a toy ladybug that you LOVE LOVE LOVE.  You climb on it and race around the room laughing your head off. 


You LOVE my phone.  I mean, LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  You freak out when I take it out of your hands because of course, you try and eat it.  You like to pretend you are pushing the buttons and many times, you take off walking fast with it as if you don't want me to chase you down!  One time, I couldn't find you anywhere in the house.  I started to panic, but remembered that you have a fascination with toilets.  So I raced into the hall bath and there you were standing at the toilet with my phone in your hand.  I about died because I didn't want my phone to land in the potty.  Thankfully, you didn't toss it in the water!  WHEW!  You are always keeping me on my toes!

You are a climber.  Your siblings were not climbers so this is new to me.  You try to climb everything.  The other day, I watched you climb onto the doll stroller and stand in the seat.  You climb the toy basket and try to get up on the bench seat.  Luckily, I don't find this terribly scary.  I know you well enough to anticipate the situation and I can usually predict if you are contemplating a climb. 

Anna Baby, YOU ARE THE DELIGHT OF MY HEART.  At 12 months, your personality is shining. You are a sweet baby.  You are willing to power nap in the car and go with the flow on some of the busiest days!  You are loving and playful.  You find joy in simple pleasures like clapping and peek-a-boo.  You love to be tickled and I pray I never forever your baby laugh....ever.  It's music to my soul.

You love to randomly put your head on my shoulder and squeeze your body in mine.  It's your way of hugging me, and I absolutely love it.  You adore Dada.  Oh my goodness, you want Dada to hold you ALL THE TIME.  You give him the same sweet hugs and love to sit in his lap while he watches tv.  You are tiny and fit perfectly in our arms.  You love to repeat noises that we make and you get such a kick out of it.  If we yell than you yell back in the same way.  I think you are pretty smart to know how to do this and it's really entertaining.  Dada has taught you some noises that you both repeat together and you just LAUGH and LAUGH. 

You love car keys and baby dolls.  You like to put your baby in the stroller and you also like to study the faces of your baby dolls.  Many times you bend over and give your babies kisses and you like to take your doll over to Dada because he'll dance them around in the air.  You love this.  It makes you belly laugh every single time.

Anna Baby, you adore William and Adeline.  They love you so much.  Adeline is so proud to go to school with you.  She always wants to know what I packed you for lunch and she helps me drop off your bag in your cubby.  The teachers have told me several times that it is precious to watch you both together.  Adeline will see you on the playground and race right over to kiss your cheeks.  One day she gave you a big hug and told your teacher she loves you.  When I picked you up at school, your teacher said it was the sweetest little conversation.

William is so proud because he taught you to walk.  He is the first person you look for in the morning and you guys play on the floor around 6:45am.

You love to be outside.  You are getting better at riding in the car, but when you are done you let us know with a loud scream!  It's that same noise you made as a newborn!

Anna, you are perfect in every way.  I am so thankful that God chose us as your family.  You complete our hearts.  There are so many dreams I have for many wishes for your future.  I remember the day you were born as if it was yesterday.  I remember telling myself over and over again, "DO NOT FORGET THIS MOMENT!"  Your birthday is stamped on my heart forever. Even the day that William and Adeline met you.  I would give anything to watch that moment again.

  We spent 6 quiet days in the hospital - just you and me.  Those are the best days of my life.  I loved being just you and me against the world.  I got to study you and watch your tiny features unfold.  I knew those first days in the hospital would be the most precious moments I spend with you. You will never be that tiny again and I ache just thinking about it.  The baby days are moving fast and although it's a joy to watch you grow and's so hard as your mom to say good-bye to bittersweet babyhood.   It's so hard to explain and I know that when you have your own babies, you will understand.  I prayed so hard for you Anna and God heard me.  You are my precious gift.  Your presence completes my heart's desire.  You will never know how much I love you.  I am honored to walk this life with you Anna Baby. 

Here's to YOU and all the days of your life!  HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY ANNA BABY!
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