Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Back-Tracking (Part 1: Walking/Buns)

Our family had such a fantastic Memorial Weekend with a family reunion, first swims, cousin love, etc. But I feel I must back track and catch up on the past two weeks before they slip by without a glance.


Ingrid sparked a tiny interest in walking about two weeks ago. I mentioned in her 10 month post that she had lost all interest and was content with crawling. This was the continued trend until Thursday night a couple of weeks ago. She decided to let go of the ottoman in her room and walk to me! She took about three steps on her own. She was very cautious and walked very quickly, ending with a fall into my arms. I decided to back up a little and see if she could walk a few more steps. She did the same thing, walking a little farther--about 5 steps. Ingrid did this over and over for about 15 minutes!! We were so thrilled, cheering and clapping. We caught a tiny bit on video--not very much at all. But I can't figure out how to post it right now. We didn't take a single picture--we were just so excited. When she woke up the next morning, I decided to try her out and see if it was a one-time occurrence. She walked right to me, fairly confidently. So I broke out the camera to try and capture a few pics. They are pretty grainy/blurry but you can see her excitement and speed. She finally slowed down and took some really steady, slow steps to me after a bit. She's continued up this walking trend since and she's getting much better. She will still only take about 5 steps at a time, but she's gaining more balance and confidence every day.

Ingrid seems to be getting so big. She seems less and less like a baby and more and more like a toddler. Makes me so sad. But happy she is reaching each milestone with such vigor. I've been dying for her to be big enough to wear this lion dress. Heather bought the dress at Jellybeans the same day I bought Ingrid's owl outfit to wear at the hospital right after she was born. Amelia was the cutest little lion you've ever seen. She has since passed the dress down to Ing but it has been too long for her to crawl around without being super annoyed with it! She finally got to wear it and I thought the cute dress deserved a cute new hairstyle. Ingrid got pigtail buns for the first time! They were the cutest things. And the best news is--she never tried to pull them out all day long. They stayed through church, lunch, outside playtime, nap, and Darren's birthday party!

Ingrid is getting better at keeping shoes on, but somehow the left shoe always ends up somewhere else.

New baby wanted a little camera time. We'll find out if we're giving Ing a bro or sis in THREE WEEKS.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hurry up, Slow down, Hurry up, Slow down....

That's exactly how I feel right now. Every day at school I'm wanting the days to go by more and more quickly. Then when I stop and think about how much I'll miss some of these kiddos, I want the days to slow down. After a wild bout of screaming and "Mrs. Henderson-ing" I'm thinking hurry up!!! Then I think, Ingrid's almost ONE--slow down. Derek and I have been saying "Destin vacation--get here already." But--I'll miss Ingy so much... I'm torn. I have so much to do before this school year can be over. Assessing, grading, scoring, recording, reporting, etc. It makes me so tired to think about. But it must be done. I feel behind on posting. There are so many great little snaps I take here and there. At least I can get caught up on a few. Ingrid has mastered saying "Gampy" and she loves to say it. The other day when we got home from mom's house she decided she would call him on my phone. She was screaming "Gaaaammmmpy." Then she would clap and clap.

When I took the phone away, a small fit ensued. I was actually glad, because I caught a glimpse of her second tooth finally peeking through. She has a tough time teething, no doubt.

The fit was short-lived with the help of her new bucket to play with.

This next pic shows how crazy the weather has been around here. Hotter than hot one day, freezing the next. Regardless of the weather, Ingrid is all smiles!

This cute little knit bow is a "Big-sister gift" from Erin. I love it.

On the warm days, Ingrid loves to swing outside at Gammy's. This day Amelia was here to swing with--even better! And Pop brought up some tadpoles and fish to see. What a treat!

Ingrid also loves it when the "baby" comes to visit too. She just says baby over and over. Elise is such a mover and a shaker. I witnessed first hand this week that she can CRAWL. She's not even five months old and she's crawling backwards. It is a sight!

I love having all the little girls together. It's too much fun.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A day late & a dollar short (or four)

Happy Birthday Dad! I'm super late on posting this. The blog as a whole as been a bit neglected the past few weeks due to extreme exhaustion, killer headaches, nausea, and rounds of dry heaves. I think I'm about over those tiny hurdles. Hopefully.  We had a wonderful birthday weekend with the best dad in the universe--MINE!  He deserved a birthday fit for a king.  He got lots of good gifts and a weekend with mom in Branson!  I got to practice making cupcakes for Ing's bday bash-which is coming up way too soon!!  We had a delicious meal courtesy of mom.  And the girls had some fun.  I got some cute, cute pics!

Dad with his dessert. 54??? Looks more like 34!

Dad with his grandgirls

Great pic of the Memer and D. Of course the babies always look cute.

Cousin love!

My pretty girl! Making sure everyone is looking at her.

I can't stop the pigtails. Too cute.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

1st Mother's Day (pt 2)

Mother's day was such a wonderful day. I thoroughly enjoyed every single part of it. Derek and I got to dedicate Ingrid to God. Vowing to raise her in a Christian home and pray for her day in and day out. Honoring our commitment we made before she was born; she belongs to God and we'll do our best to raise her the way He wants. It was a special moment and I was so happy our family was there to support us.

I have confidence I will be a good mom BECAUSE I have such a great role model. I will try to follow in my mother's footsteps when I raise my kids. She is the best example anyone could have. She's loving, giving, caring, selfless, honest, strong, and spiritually sound. I love you so much mom!

The weather was terrific Sunday and Ingrid and I got to spend some alone time outside playing. It was so fun. I got a wonderful handmade card from Ingrid (helped by her Gammy) and a photobook of pictures from birth through 7 months (with help from her daddy). I love these two presents so much. I will definitely cherish them always! Apparently I can add Mother's Day to the long list of holidays I adore. YES!!!

Monday, May 9, 2011

A special letter to Ingrid

Dear Ingrid,

I'll never forget the exact moment I found out I was pregnant with you. Daddy and I were so excited. We were full of hopes and dreams. We were also nervous because we wanted to make sure everything was perfect for you. We prayed over you night after night. We talked to you and sang to you. We documented every single week, not wanting to forget any tiny moment or milestone. You grew and grew and made mama's belly bigger and bigger. I loved it! I loved everything about carrying you safe and sound in my belly. It was the greatest joy I had ever known. Until July 7, 2011. I got to finally meet you! And that became the greatest moment I had ever known. You have been such a joy to us. These past ten months have been filled with heart-bursting love. Daddy and I have something special to share with you. You are going to be a big sister! You will have a playmate for all time. You will not ever have to search for someone to go to the park with, or to play in the pool with. You will have someone to share secrets with, someone to work puzzles with, someone to eat snacks with and watch movies. We think we are giving you the best gift we can: a brother or sister. Daddy has a brother and mommy has a sister and they are our best friends. Mama couldn't begin to imagine my life without your Aunt Heather. All my very best memories include her. Every single one. And that is my prayer for you. That your new brother or sister will be your very best friend. And that you will create life-long memories together. I am so very happy to be writing this letter to you. I know you are so tiny and won't even be able to read this or understand it for years to come, but it is important to me to tell you. I love you so very much. And I already love your brother or sister so very much too. And now we get to grow our love even more. This is a happy, happy day.


1st Mother's Day (pt 1)

I had a great first mother's day! We got to dedicate Ingrid at church and she did absolutely perfect. (of course) And she looked like an angel. I got to have lunch with my mom and mother-in-law and it was the perfect day. I have tons and tons of pics. But I'll have to get to those later. Here are a few pics of me and my girl in honor of our first day dedicated to us!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ten Month Birthday

Dear Ingrid,

My sweet baby girl, you are getting so big. In just two short months you will be ONE! Mommy cannot believe how much you can do! You are so sweet, full of life, beautiful and smart. I am so proud of you. You are on the go from the minute you wake up until the minute you go to bed. You absolutely love your toys and books. You can play and play and you have such a long attention span. You still love to look at books and you love to sit and listen to someone read to you. You crawl so fast from place to place that I can scarcely keep up with you. You can also walk anywhere--as long as you have something to hold on to. The most steps you have ever taken by yourself is two. Right now you are not interested in walking. You know you can get anywhere you want, as fast as you want, on your tough little knees. You have one tiny bottom tooth and you talk all day long. You can say so many words. Mommy can't even believe all the things you say to me! Here are the words in your vocabulary: mama, dada, baba, nana, bye-bye, all done, dog, bird, meow, moo, no-no, baby, and your newest two word phrase that I love is "sweet baby." You are so precious when you say your words. You always mimic our tone and inflection. Your cousin Amelia thinks you are getting to be such a big girl and she is right! You love to dance to music just like her. You are sleeping soundly at night. You're bedtime is usually between 7:15 and 7:45. You sleep until around 5. My favorite time of the day starts right then. Mommy comes into your room and gets you out of your crib and you get to come and snuggle with mama and dada until 6. Sometimes you curl up and go back to sleep. But most of the time you just snuggle up with us. You get lots of cuddles and kisses and give us some back. Mama cherishes this time with you more than you'll ever know. I love to stare at your sweet little face and thank God over and over for you: my perfect Ingrid Cate.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Teacher Appreciation

This is teacher appreciation week. Our principal and parent group are going above and beyond to make us feel the love this week. First of all, our principal is letting us wear jeans all week! For anyone who teaches lower elementary and is on the floor a big portion of a day, this is a huge gift. She's also letting us go into town to eat lunch one day this week. And we get a full lunch hour; not just 20 minutes! Another amazing gift. And our parent group is making us lunches and snacks every day this week. They have a theme for each day. WOW! We are feeling the appreciation. I work for the best school in the country. I might be biased...especially since I started elementary and graduated from this school. I love it. With that being said, I'm still counting down the days like every other teacher in America right now. This is a crazy time of year. But I'm going to miss these kids so much. I love them to pieces. A couple of months ago, I had my first grade students right about a special friend.

I was surprised when I found out this student wrote about me! How sweet. I had to save it for sentiments sake. Could you tell we had been working on similies and metaphors in English? How nice for someone to say I have tan skin! This is a first, and a last, I'm sure. Glad I saved it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday Reflection

I love Sundays and good sermons. And reflecting on life. Actually, I don't like reflecting on "life" too much. I usually live in my own little "Steph bubble." Avoiding the news, tragedies, sad situations and stories. I don't like dealing with "life." I've been blessed with so much and have honestly had very little hardships. I'm amazed at the testimony and faith I see in people who do have to face difficult circumstances. One person is my friend Kayla. Who was hospitalized for 37 days after her water broke early on in her pregnancy. We were able to go up and have an in-hospital craft day with her a few weeks back. I forgot my camera so all I had to document this fun wreath-making day is a couple of blurry pics on my phone. Kayla has been so strong throughout this whole pregnancy. Now baby Audrey is here and she is a fighter. She's doing well and I can't wait to be able to see her.

Two other amazingly strong friends are Jonathan and Holly. Their little guy was born with a heart defect and has already undergone 2 major heart surgeries. Their faith has never wavered. And Leeland is such a joy. Ingrid and I have enjoyed our time with him so much! Thanks to a certain film, we've been able to hang out more than usual lately!