Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Month of May

We started some water / bucket/ outside playtime this month and you are the world's biggest fan. Finally your skin is not so sensitive to grass and we can live an outside live again.

Evening time with your diaper and shoes on. This is now the only way you like to spend your evenings.

The only sad part is that Benny would love love love to be outside and play with you. He sits and whimpers as you come over and give him kisses through the screen.

Annabelle, our 15 month old princess. We love having this wonderful house with the pretty backyard that you love to spend time in. We love how meticulous you are with your water toys and your water play time. We can both see so much of ourselves in you. You still always like to clean up after yourself and have yet to be upset when we ask you to put away your toys. You are not a huge fan of having to go inside after such a lovely evening outside playing. I've noticed though how sweetly you spend extra time with Benny on certain nights like this. You are the most considerate person in this household and we are so blessed to have you.

Easter 2011

Easter was a weekend this I'm guessing it will be every year. We were thankful enough to spend time with both sets of Grandparents during the weekend.

Hilariously enough, the Easter dress your Nana hoped you would wear last year fit you perfectly this year. A little short, but more of a chance to show off your fabulous shinny silver mary janes.
Annabelle at 14 months. What a delight you are.
You are beautiful and continue to be more each day.
It is finally getting easier to understand what you want during the day. You're signing to let us know what you want and when you are tired. At this month we started to notice that when you got tired you would grab a blanket, sign tired, and go to your room. This is exactly how you are and we love every bit of it.

First Birthday Party

Happy Birthday my sweet baby Annabelle.

Reminding myself of what a wonderful and sweet cuddle bug you are. I cannot believe that first year flew by and just like that we were celebrating your birthday. We had a very small party for you. In attendance were: Grandma and Grandpa Nance, Nana and Papa Gratz and Auntie Jenna. You spoke to your Uncle Adam and Auntie Jen on the phone that day too.

First cupcake and you loved it. Mama made a healthy whole wheat cupcake recipe and we are all thankful that you ate one and enjoyed it. I also went through 2 batches of scratch frosting to make sure you had the perfect one.

The biggest surprise to us starting walking full time the day of your birthday! You spent a couple weeks taking 2-3 steps but all of a sudden you just woke up and chose to walk that day.
You love your toy box, swing, little green chair, soccer ball, silver cup, blocks and all the books and other wonderful gifts you received on at your party. Quite a fan of opening presents.

I must say that for a "non party" we had quite a party. Dada and I spent a lot of time preparing. We made your birthday sign and bunting and we enjoyed every single bit of it.

Annabelle Dawn Gratz, you are our shining light and our reason we wake up each morning so happy. Your energy uplifts everyone around you as you share your spirit so willingly. I have no idea where this year has gone and why on earth it happened so quickly. At the year anniversary of your birth we continued to be so impressed at your development and your desire to learn. Doggie still continues to be your favorite thing and sign. You love all your family and give hugs to everyone...well maybe still a little shy towards Papa and Grandpa. We love every bit about you Annabelle and are so blessed each moment we get to spend with you. We continually praise God for the biggest blessing we've ever received.

Monday, January 31, 2011

11 Months!

Annabelle is 11 months old!

Not really understanding how it's even possible to have time fly by this quickly. Each day brings new joy into our lives and enriches us more and more. We cannot believe how much you have changed our lives for the better. Your hugs and smiles can quickly melt our hearts and make any bad day instantly better.

I'm also not sure how it's possible that you are getting more adorable every day. Your gentleness has moved to the side this month to allow for some crazy spirit to enter our lives. The more you learn to move the more you can't stop and settle. You have to be doing something at all times and your desire for stimulus makes you frustrated quickly if you get bored. Keeping you challenged is proving more difficult as the months continue.
You have no desire to sit and watch anymore. We do love this about you but continued to be challenged in our own need to keep you happy and entertained.

Your sweet and huge smiles to continue to grow and make everyone around you happy. Strangers still stop to tell me how adorable and how happy you are. Being out in public is becoming your new stage to try out some of your new ham like qualities. You see someone new and start making noises and dancing to get attention then shy away if someone talks to you. You keep life interesting on a daily basis.

In this past month you have:
---learned how to stand on your own. You can hold yourself still for a while, squat and push yourself up again.
---taken one step easily, and one time took 3 steps
---continue to cruise around the house while holding on to furniture
---8 teeth now, this month your days of teething continued longer and you were more fussy that usual
---continued to eat 4 times a day, milk 4 times and food 3 times
---started to get formula supplemented in your bottle some nights before bed
---continued to love food, you did spend one week not wanting to eat anything at all but went right back to eating tons of food like no food strike happened
---tried chicken, and turkey and still do not like any of it
---you could probably eat cheese and crackers all day
---said "bababa" to everything
---signed "milk" "more" "dog" "sleep" and "Baby"
---started to dance and clap, you continue to point at things
---started to go find toys that we name (kitty, dolly, book and blocks)
---continued to sleep well at nights, you wake up more this month then you normally do. A dirty diaper will wake you and you will cry, you've also started to have bad dreams that can wake you up
---had a small case of hives on your face for one day

At 11 months you weigh: 16 lbs 14 oz

Seriously, Annabelle, you are an amazing baby. We could not ask for a better way to start our journey into parenthood. Thank you for your sweet temperament and your moments of sheer craziness. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

10 Months!

Baby Annabelle you are getting so big.
This month you have continued to grow into the silly baby ham that you are. Your laughs and silly faces are getting more intense and basically just more silly. You keep yourself entertained for longer periods of time but still need and crave a high level of entertainment that my days are still based around keeping your surroundings interesting. You never stop going, never stop playing, never stop making faces. You are just starting to sit and watch one your videos, but you still prefer to be standing and cruising while you watch us or a video.
Our holiday photos came this month and I am so thankful how much your smiles were captured. My day is always instantly better with your smiles and you are starting to use this towards your advantage. Almost as if you feel the appropriate response to discipline is a big smile and a hug for mama. You know that word "no" and that tone that goes along with it means business but are starting to gauge how to avoid the situation completely.

Your new thing is crawling away laughing or shutting the door if you hear anyone coming to find you. Since you have begun to prefer your room for playtime we've had to set up some new door and bookshelf guidelines. Of course Ben still plays with you. He continues to follow you around during the times when you are not following him around. Right now he is sitting in his corner chair just watching you play. You will pull yourself up to say hi and give him a good pat (swat) on the head and then back to play.

In this past month you have:
---pushed another tooth out for a grand total of 6. Currently another one is coming through but we have been unable to find it, we just are guessing from your biting hands drooling behavior.
---continued to improve your cruising abilities while, in the living room, this is your favorite source of transportation.
---tried more foods. You were not too keen on your bite of turkey last month so we have still strayed from meats. Tofu, brown rice, veggies, fruits, potatoes and egg yolk are still your preferences. You loved the small bites of white fish you have tried. Loved!
---continued to sleep from 7:30 ish to 7:00 ish. Thankfully!
---continued to eat 4 times a day. Breakfast around 7, lunch around noon, dinner around 5 and milk before bed. Sometimes you add some more milk.
---finally taken to two naps a day. It took you almost two months to get comfortable without that last little cat nap in the evening, but once this finally hit you are so much happier. You get tired around 10 am and around 2:30 - 3:00 pm. On good nap days you sleep 1.5 hours each nap. Again you are not a big napper. The occasional 2 hour nap is always welcome.
---learned how to dance, especially to the Hot diggity dog song and if dada sings to you. You wave your arms and bounce on your knees.
---You still acknowledge the signs for milk, eat, play and cat. You sign for more, wave hello and your arms go up and down for yes.
---still enjoyed spending time with other babies and the company of yourself in the closet mirror.
---just started to point. You point down the hallway or at the front door if I ask where dada is. And you point at the cat's chair when I ask where benny is.

Annabelle, we just continue to enjoy your company each and every day. We love being your parents and we love how much you enjoy learning about the world. Your constant need for movement has allowed us to enjoy the quiet more peaceful moments of life. Every day it becomes more clean how much we were meant to have you. Thank you for being such a good, sweet and cheering baby girl.

At 10 months you wear:
Onesies: 6 months
Jeans, pants: 6-9 months
Tops: 0-6 months
Dresses: 3-6 months
Jammies: 6 months

At 9 1/2 months you weighed 16 lbs 4 oz

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

9 Months!

Baby Annabelle is 9 months old!

The biggest part of your 8th month was your baptism.
Jenna and JJ both lovingly accepted the roles as your Godparents and were more than willing to share this special day with us. You looked beautiful in the same gown that both myself and Cousin Dawn wore for our baptism days. You were patient in Church and didn't even cry when you were with Pastor Phil. You did speak to him a couple times and right into the microphone. The congregation already loves you.

You had both Great Grandma Sampson and Great Grandma Nance with you that day.
We are so blessed to have this day to share with you baby girl. So proud.

In your 8th month you continued to grow into the silly girl that you are. Belly laughs, squawks and smiles make up the majority of your day. I have to make sure I add at least 10 minutes to each errand stop since people just can stop and talk to you all day. You are gracious with your time and still so patient with strangers.

In the past month you have:

---pushed out another 3 teeth. 5 total now, 2 on the bottom and 3 top middle. You had one sad night when you woke up in some pain, mostly you just stay fussy during the day. Your diaper area gets a bit red but so far you are pretty lucky.
---continued your speed record in crawling. You can spend all day traveling around the house and you no longer like playing in just one room. Again the poor cat gets chased around all day.
---learned how to creep around furniture and you made it to standing on top your toy box.
---stayed your dad's little buddy and you prefer him putting you to sleep.
---still loved eating. You stick with chunks of steamed carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, tofu patties, grapes and sometimes some melon. You still prefer apples and pears as a sauce. You will still eat anything.
---made it back to 6:30 or 7 wake up time. This is just easier on everyone.
---You go to bed around 7:30-8 pm and you still tend to wake up talking around 5 am but go back to sleep.
---You are eating 4 times a day. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner is split with milk and then food whenever I eat, then milk for bedtime.
---made it back to 2 larger naps during the day. You will snooze in the car if we are traveling and its dark out before bed. You still nap longer if Dad is around and we have yet to figure out why.
---you are signing for milk, more and waving. You give high fives too.

---You absolutely love you Gigi. Great Grandma and you had this connection right away. She makes you laugh like no one else can you think she is the funniest person ever.

Baby girl your smiles and laughs are still the biggest part of my day. Even with such a busy and festive month you continued to be such a trooper. Your bad days are filled with so much joy it is a testiment to how happy we all need to be with our lives. Your tummy is upset and you are breaking teeth and yet you continue to crawl around and find things to bring your attention back to happy. Everyone continues to love you. Your family and all of our friends just want to hold you and cuddle. You recognize faces so easily and I think you are starting to enjoy how happy you make everyone. You quickly tell us when you don't like something and are not a fan of being told NO. You still never sit still if you are held you still need to be walked around. Your energy level amazes me. We love you so much baby girl and just continue to be so grateful for you.

At 9 months you wear:
Onesies: 6 months
Jeans, pants: 6 months
Tops: 0-6 months
Dresses: 3 months
Jammies: 6 months

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eight Months

To our precious Annabelle as you turn eight months old

This month brought on changes in you that we didn't expect to see so soon.
We were both shocked at how much you travel around the house just to find one of us.
As much as you enjoy a small amount of time on your own playing, you need to make sure you know where we are at all times.
Finally we were able to enjoy dinner out with you happy in a high chair. You watched all the people and
stayed happy with crackers and some toys. It was our defining moment when we recognized you
as our baby girl, our constant dinner date, and our travel companion.

Your happiness is infectious.
People still stop and talk to us all the time and let me know how pretty your smile is.
Even though you are not a fan of beards, you give everyone else smiles and sometimes big waves.
You have no problem going to people and being held by others. You love both sets of grandparents and
stay so calm when Auntie Jenna walks you around.

We continued our sign language classes this month and you continue to be such a ham during class.
You love spending time around the other babies and still enjoy taking their toys. You love watching the teacher as she sings and reads books. Your attentive behavior continues to impress me.

Mama and Dada had their first date night this month and we talked about you the whole time.
You also slept the whole night at another house this month too. You just enjoy a house full of people and activity. It keeps you quiet and calm. That behavior fits well with your Mama and Dada.

In this month you have:

--continued to work on your two bottom teeth. Your tongue plays with them all day
--started big girl crawling. You go all over the house now off your belly.
--loved to be tickled on your belly.
--learned how to pull yourself up to standing. You pull yourself onto toys, chairs, the couch and your toy bin
--loved your Dada more and more. He is your world when he comes home and it's getting more emotionally difficult for him if he is not home in time to put you to bed.
--still loved eating. You don't let me know if you are full you just keep eating. Not good for your tummy.
--been much better at feeding yourself chunks of food. Steamed carrots are the best for you.
--continued to follow the cat around the house. Now that you can crawl it's constant entertainment.
--started to wake up much earlier than usual. The new normal is awake at 6am and really wanting out of crib by 6:30am. Not so easy for the morning routine of the household.
--moved back to two big naps and one evening cat nap
--moved back to eating 5 times a day
--gave milk sign to dad. You still acknowledge signs for sleep, milk, more and eat.

Baby girl, you continue to get more beautiful everyday. Your smiles brighten our tired and stressed moods and your hugs uplift our bad days. You're turning into my buddy. Having your eyes constantly on me helps me acknowledge my own personality and you are keeping my patience in check. Consistently reminding myself that I need to teach you how to become a good person full of integrity and compassion and the realization that you are already ready to learn these traits shocks me to my core.

You siting and smiling simply makes me a better person.

At 8 months you wear:
Onesies: 6 months
Jeans, pants: 6 months
Tops: 0-6 months
Dresses: 3 months
Jammies: 6 months

and you weigh: 15 lbs 3 oz