Miriam: You are 3 Years Old!

Sweet firecracker!
Sweet firecracker!
#bestsmileever
#bestsmileever

We began this 6 months pretty bossy 😉 “Send Mommy to me” was a regular sentence of yours for awhile. Over the months, you began to use “Hey Mommy” and “Hey Daddy” to begin many of your sentences; you love to interact verbally – we’ve seen a huge increase in your imaginative play. You love to be the teacher and have us act the student part. You’ll read books to us now, based on the pictures, but you are also pre-reading. In late May, you said to Mommy, “I don’t know these words, will you read them to me?” That made Mommy so very excited for you! You’re learning to read!!

Here’s a video of you pre-reading: https://youtu.be/ps6SfxrCDQw

You had your first dentist visit in late Jan 2017- you were still getting the final 4 molars at the time. Your second visit was in late May 2017 because you were complaining your teeth hurt. All your molars are in but you may be grinding your teeth and need to floss in the back where the teeth are close together. We’re so glad you are enjoying going to the dentist.

Academically, you love doing your tracing book – we do a few pages a month and work on pencil grip. You can spell your name and we practice writing it together. You recognize all your uppercase letters and most of the lowercase. We’re still working on counting to ’20’; ’15’ and ’16’ trip you up 🙂

Physically, you are now 37″ tall and 33 lbs. That’s 5″ of growth in the last 6 months; wow! You are very strong, love to dance, and love to run. Almost daily, you’ll say something to the effect of “Mommy, let’s go outside for a walk – it’s a beautiful day!” You thoroughly enjoy the outdoors.

We took a break from gymnastics beginning in April and also switched to a new PDO program through Platte Woods Methodist church. You’ll be attending preschool there starting in August and are loving your new teachers and friends there.

Your eldest sister, Lauryl, graduated HS this May! You were very excited to celebrate with her at her graduation party and had fun writing “advice” notes to her 😉

#seeeesters
#seeeesters
Your oldest sister, Lauryl, graduated HS in May!
Daddy and Lauryl at her graduation party!

Some of Mommy and Daddy’s favorite memories from the past 6 months include:

1. Coloring in detail and trying to stay in the lines
2. An absolute adoration of all things “Frozen”, the movie – especially the character Elsa. You often say, “Mommy, let’s play Elsa! Put on your Elsa dress!” Your 3rd birthday party is, of course, a “Frozen” theme. #seenextblog
3. When it rains, you call it “drippin'” 🙂
4. You counted backwards from 10 to 1 in early May 2017. You also sang us the days of the week, a song you learned at PDO/school with Ms. Becky!
5. Your memory is incredible; you will quote lines from a movie after just one or two watchings. You say, “Remember when we went to Florida and played on the beach with Zoë”. It’s such fun to see your mind at work, Miriam!
6. You learned to play “Go Fish” with Daddy on 3.18.17. You’ve also been playing lots of memory games on the iPad.
7. “Winnin’!!!” You love to shout this anytime we transition. If Daddy says, let’s go to the car, you shout “Winnin’!!” and take off running to be the first! It’s hilarious. You’ll even shout it when you’re obviously behind. Your optimism is contagious!
8. You love the song, “Dirt on my Boots” by Jon Pardi so of course, so do we 🙂

1000 books by age 2 1/2!
1000 books by age 2 1/2!
Bubba-Miri time at the Zoo
Bubba-Miri time at the Zoo
Your sense of humor shines daily!
Your sense of humor shines daily!

Your personality continues to be cautious initially yet continually intense. You open up to others once you feel comfortable with them. You’re getting better about responding when an acquaintance asks you a question. We’re proud of your bravery and thoughtfulness in your responses, Miriam!

You are dressing yourself successfully about 75% of the time. You go to the bathroom on your own most of the time as well. Your independence is fun to watch – well, most of the time 😉

We moved to a new home the weekend of May 19th! You were super-excited and handled the weekend very well. We were leaving the new house after a couple weeks of living there, and you said, “Mommy … I like our new house!” with such a sense of pleasure. It makes Mommy and Daddy happy that you will likely/maybe/hopefully remember moving to this house 😉

SOLD! We bought a house May 19th :)

Mommy took a new job, starting Jun 6th, with our church, Restore. You are handling all these changes really well; Mommy can definitely tell you are effected by them as you are more clingy and have had an accident a couple times. But you are a trooper. Your sweet disposition has remained; you and Mommy are learning our new routine and will settle in a little more each day.

Family picture fail
Family picture fail
Sweetness defined
Sweetness defined

To close year 3, we asked you some questions (on 7.8.2017). Here are your verbatim answers:

1. What is your name? M-i-r-i-a-m *yes, you spelled it out for me*

2. How old are you? 2

3. What makes you happy? Daddy

4. What do you want to be when you grow up? Elsa

5. What is your favorite food? blueberries – pink blueberries

6. Who do you like to spend time with? Daddy

7. What do you do really well? dance and do ballet and do Moana

8. What makes you laugh? Daddy

9. What are you afraid of? I don’t know

10. What is your favorite thing about Daddy? tickles and lay on Daddy and jump on him – jump, jump, jump, jump!

11. What do you like to do with Mommy? play and Chick-Fil-A

12. What do you like to do with your brother and sisters? play and play and play and play

13. What is your favorite book right now? “Olivia and the Missing Toy”

14. What is your favorite show? “Little Einsteins”

15. Where do you like to go? Chick-Fil-A and Daddy’s work

Introspection at Big Cedar Lodge
Introspective morning at Big Cedar Lodge
Cousins around Easter 2017
Cousins around Easter 2017

Miriam Elayne, Mommy and Daddy love you so! May you always rest assured that will never change or dilute.

–Mommy

MES: 2 1/2 years old!

This is how you looked after everyone left your 2yo party! #lol #youslept3hours
This is how you looked after everyone left your 2yo party! #lol #youslept3hours

It’s been quite an amazing 6 months!

Aubry and me
Aubry and me
#adorbs
#adorbs
Chillin at the pool!
Chillin at the pool!
It remains a daily and favorite activity! #build #duplos #butyoucallthemdukkos
It remains a daily and favorite activity! #build #duplos #youcallthemdukkos

Your vocabulary continues to amaze us: you use words like ‘also’, ‘especially’, ‘actually’, and ‘important’ in correct context. You’re also a bit of a grammar hound. Just recently you corrected a sentence in which you initially used ‘is’ to past tense, ‘was’ 🙂 Sometimes Mommy will hear you praying as you play in your toy room; you are a good listener and have learned the “God is Great” prayer for mealtimes. You also like to pray at bedtime; it usually it includes blessings for others, something like: “Bless Mimi, bless Pop-pop, bless Daddy, bless Baby Butterfly [one of your dolls], bless Aubry and Brendan and Lauryl. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

Physically, you have grown a couple inches but not changed much at all in weight. You’re now 32″ tall and 30 lbs. Your hair is probably the biggest physical change; it’s much longer now and has very loose curls in the back. You don’t love to have your hair done but you’ll let me do clips or a ponytail once in a while 🙂 You’re recently enjoying the indoor track at the Y and like to run a lap with Mommy after Mommy finishes work or a workout.

In August, you began attending “school” (as you call it) at the Pine Ridge Presbyterian Parents Day Out (PDO) program while Mommy goes to work. You attend on T and TH mornings for 3 hours, and LOVE it. You have grown significantly in your social interactions and are really enjoying your friendships. Your separation anxiety has nearly vanished thanks to the positive and encouraging teachers and environment at Pine Ridge. Mommy and Daddy are very happy with your progress, Miriam! You put on your backpack and say “Bye, Mommy! Have a great day!” #sosweetandconfident

My first day of "school" (PDO) at Pine Ridge!
My first day of school/PDO at Pine Ridge!
#august112016 #firstday #pineridgepdo
#august112016 #firstday #pineridgepdo
Mommy and Miri on your first day of PDO/school!
Mommy and Miri on your first day of PDO/school!

At the end of Sept, we went on a family vacation to Daytona Beach, FL! Your Aunt Tricia and Mommy had been planning the trip for over a year as it was the year we had “big” birthdays: Mommy turned ’40’ and Aunt Tricia turned ’30’. Daddy turned the big ’40’ too, while we were in FL even!

Mommy and Aunt Tricia on Daytona Beach!
Mommy and Aunt Tricia on Daytona Beach!
You and Zoë had SO much fun together!
You and Zoë had SO much fun together!
From our deck, the Atlantic Ocean behind us!
From our deck, the Atlantic Ocean behind us!
You loved the beach!
You loved the beach!

DB, FL 2016

We also achieved the milestone of being apart from one another overnight. In fact, we were apart FOUR nights while Mommy and Daddy vacationed in Phoenix, AZ for our 7th Anniversary. Mimi came down from NE to stay with you. You both did amazing, and Mommy only broke down once while she was away from you 😉

The beautiful Biltmore in Phoenix
The beautiful Biltmore in Phoenix where Mommy & Daddy stayed
Mommy and Daddy ran a 5K while in AZ!
Mommy and Daddy ran a 5K while in AZ!

Gymnastics continues to make you super-happy. You will continue through age 3 and then we’ll be switching to dance lessons. We took you to “The Nutcracker” ballet for Christmas this past month and you thoroughly enjoyed it. The snowflake ballerinas particularly captured your attention so Daddy sweetly purchased you a ballerina ornament for the Christmas tree. You named her “Princess Snowflake”.

Out for dessert before The Nutcracker!
Out for dessert before The Nutcracker!
Excited for "The Nutcracker" to start!
Excited for “The Nutcracker” to start!
Reading the program <3
Reading the program …
The beautiful set at the Kauffman Center!
The beautiful set at the Kauffman Center!
Relaxing w.Daddy during intermission #thenutcracker2016
Relaxing w.Daddy during intermission #thenutcracker2016

This year for the holidays, Mimi joined us for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Pop-pop joined us over the New Year weekend, Dec 30 – Jan 1st. It was lovely to be home this year over the holidays as we have traveled the last two.

Mimi came for Cmas Eve and Cmas Day this year!
At church with Mimi and my new doll, Jessie!
Mommy and I atop the Liberty Memorial! #itwascoldthatday #kcskyline
Mommy and I atop the Liberty Memorial! #itwascoldthatday #kcskyline
In front of the Liberty Memorial with Pop-pop, Daddy, and Mommy
In front of the Liberty Memorial with Pop-pop, Daddy, and Mommy

Some of your favorite activities are singing and reading books. Two of your favorite songs right now are “Eensy Weensy Spider” and “Skinny Marinky Dinky Dink”. We go the Library on a regular basis to check out books; you read at least 4-5 on your own throughout the day and then 4-5 with Mommy or Daddy between naptime and bedtime. At this point, you have read over 800 books in the 1000 Books before Kindergarten program (began: March 2016)!

#love
#love
#aubryturns13
#aubryturns13
Out for a walk
Out for a walk
#moresass
#sass
#sass
#moresass
Daddy and I at the Line Creek Train
Daddy and I at the Line Creek Train
4 generations!
4 generations!
Aubry and I at a PHHS Ftbl game
Aubry and I at a PHHS Ftbl game
Mommy and I love to go for walks
Mommy and I love to go for walks
Getting more confident at gymnastics
Getting more confident at gymnastics
Getting ready for Cmas Eve services!
Getting ready for Cmas Eve services!
Kids Moment at Cmas Eve services
Kids Moment at Cmas Eve services
Daddy painted my toe and fingernails with the new polish I got in my stocking!
Daddy painted my toe and fingernails with the new polish I got in my stocking!
Practicing my dismounts!
Practicing my dismounts!

Miriam Elayne, you are a wonderful, compassionate, and humorous girl! You are the biggest blessing in our lives and we pray you continue to grow in your zest for life, love for Jesus and others, and understanding of the world around you.

I love you!
Mommy

You’re Two!

We had a LOT of fun celebrating your 2nd birthday, and a LOT of great friends came over to help!

Here are a few pictures of the big day:

Pigtails at The Doughnut Lounge
Pigtails at The Doughnut Lounge
Birthday morning joy!
Birthday morning joy!
The first bite!
The first bite!
Doughnut Lounge smiles!
Doughnut Lounge smiles!
You loved your glazed chocolate-with-sprinkles birthday donut!
You loved your glazed chocolate-with-sprinkles birthday donut!
Your birthday card from Mommy and Daddy
Reading your birthday card from Mommy and Daddy
Aunt Tricia made your Rocket Cake, for your Little Einsteins theme ...
Aunt Tricia made your Rocket Cake, for your Little Einsteins theme …
You enjoyed helping Aunt Tricia make Rocket :)
You enjoyed helping Aunt Tricia make Rocket 🙂 #sodidLevi
Aunt Tricia, Laura, and Zeke
Aunt Tricia, Laura, Harper, Zeke, and Great-Mimi!
Party attenders! #yummyfood
Some of the party attenders! #yummyfood
#love
#love (photo cred: Hilary Hope Bloomquist)
You were so happy that Pop-pop came to see you turn 2!
You were so happy that Pop-pop came to see you turn 2! (photo cred: Hilary Hope Bloomquist)
Opening presents! My friend, Harper, looking on ...
Opening presents! Your friend, Harper, looking on … (photo cred: Hilary Hope Bloomquist)
My new scooter, from my friend Elie!
A new scooter, from your friend Elie!

Miriam, you capture ‘2’ perfectly! You are engaging yet cautious, fierce yet snuggly, independent yet close-to-the-vest. We love you so much and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead!

Love,
Mommy & Daddy

TWO Years Old!

You have personality to spare! #loveit
You have personality to spare! #loveit
Cuttin' molars, lookin' cute
Cuttin’ molars, lookin’ cute
Hot/humid days in MO equal pool time nearly every day
Hot/humid days in MO equal pool time nearly every day
Ready for gymnastics!
Ready for gymnastics!

M gymnastics layout

Miriam Elayne,

Here are some of our favorite developments in you from the last three months!

*In April, we took the front rail of your crib off (mostly because you are potty-trained) and you soon learned to get out of the bed on your own. You only fell out a couple times during the night and one morning, Mommy found you sleeping in a pile of blankets by the door. You couldn’t get the door open but you took the opportunity to be that much closer to us.

*In May, you conquered the bedroom door so now you saunter in to Mommy/Daddy’s room in the mornings with your blanket and bink. You say, “Hi, Mommy!”, “Hi, Daddy!” – ready to go for the day 🙂 This month, you also started saying, “Look at this/that!” and assume a gymnastics pose. You are doing very well at gymnastics and moved up one level for summer session!

*Mommy noticed you starting to use personal pronouns around May 16th; phrases such as “I go get it!” and “Mommy hold you” (you want me to pick you up when you say this). By your 23rd month, you’ve started using them correctly more of the time, especially ‘I’.

*Some of our favorite phrases you began to say during this phase:

“No, yes and no!” – usually in frustration
“Let’s play”/”Let’s play a bit” – you grab our hand and lead us where you want to go
“What the heck?” – we think you picked this up from Aubry but you tend to use it in correct context so it’s pretty hilarious!
“Dooey” – this is your “excuse me”, the reason being Daddy taught you “excuse me” in Chinese which sounds like “Dooey-boo-e-chi”; you’ve shortened it to suit you 😉
“That’s cool and neat!” – in exclamation/admiration
“I be right here” – when you’re nervous or it’s thundering or you hear something loud, you snuggle up
“What that noise?!” – anytime you hear something loud or out of the ordinary; you’re very attentive

*You are counting to 20, minus ’16’, ’17’ and ’18’. And thanks to Dora the Explorer books, you can count to three in Spanish as well 😉 You have mostly pushed through your 2-year molars as well; you continue to be a great teether – no screaming, just grumpy at times and you don’t sleep as well at night.

*You accomplished your first LONG road trip over Memorial Day weekend for Aunt Tricia’s 30th birthday in Colorado Springs, CO. Mommy and Daddy were very impressed by your travel abilities. No fits, just general fussiness (that we all feel when traveling 10+ hours in a car) and lots of stops for potty-ing. We’re so blessed by your good-nature, Miriam!

*You also went on your first camping trip over Father’s Day weekend! We traveled 3 hours south to Lake of the Ozarks State Park and camped for 3 days; you were quite a trooper as everything was a new experience and it was hotter than blazes (100+ degrees a couple of the days). After the first hour, sitting at the picnic table that would be our dinner table for the next 72+ hours, you looked at us and said ‘Let’s go home.’ LOL

Your first camping trip! You loved the lake, after the first hour or so ;)
Your first camping trip! You loved the lake, after the first hour or so 😉
Hiking with Mommy and Daddy at Lake of the Ozarks State Park
Hiking with Mommy and Daddy at Lake of the Ozarks State Park
Miri and Mommy
Miri and Mommy

*Your birthday theme this year is Little Einsteins (chosen by you, as it is one of your favorite shows). Like last year, Mommy will post a separate blog about your big day! Your Aunt Tricia, Zeke, Levi, and Zoë were here for the 5 days leading up to your big day; here’s some pics of the fun we had:

Bedtime Stories <3
Bedtime Stories
Daddy and I at Dagg Spray Park!
Daddy and I at Dagg Spray Park!
My cousins Zeke, Zoë, and Levi, Aunt Tricia, and Mommy
My cousins Zeke, Zoë, and Levi, Aunt Tricia, and Mommy

We changed your room over to “big girl” for your birthday: a new bed and dresser. You’re growing up so fast, sweet girl!

Putting final touches on your big girl bed with Daddy!
Putting final touches on your big girl bed with Daddy!
You're so little in your big girl bed #lotsofroomtogrow
You look so little in your big girl bed #lotsofroomtogrow

Miriam Elayne, you are so loved. You deserve every ounce of it too! Mommy and Daddy cannot imagine a more perfect gift than you. You have hit toddlerhood full-swing; you’re exploring your emotions and learning your power over things. You express desire for independence on a daily basis yet love to cuddle up and give hugs and kisses. You truly are our brave, sweet, smart, beautiful Miriam!!

Love,
Mommy

21 Months Old!

You made SO many changes these last 3 months, sweet girl!
Lots of growing up happening:

Loving some playground time!
Loving some playground time!
Enjoying my computer!
Enjoying your computer!
You insisted on this combination of glasses, binkie, and watching a show on Mommy's phone - lol!
Excellent combo of glasses, binkie, and watching a show on Mommy’s phone – at night! Lol!
Daddy and I
Daddy and I
Aubry and I, Easter 2016
Aubry and I, Easter 2016 #looksomuchalikehere
Looking cute! #daddyshat
Looking cute! #daddyshat

You began to give many instructions during this phase; we lovingly refer to you as ‘bossy’ 😉 Some things you like to tell us: “Pick me up/Mommy up please/Daddy up please”; “I neeeeed it!”; “Share it!” which usually refers to snacks/food …

Breakfast with Daddy
Breakfast with Daddy
Breakfast is your favorite meal of the day - you usually eat an egg, some fruit, and some meat!
Breakfast is your favorite meal of the day – you usually eat an egg, some fruit, and some meat!

Your biggest success in the last 3 months has been potty training! You and Mommy started working together on Feb 10th and by the time about 4 weeks had passed, you nailed it. You are night-time and nap-time trained as well; you are a very willing learner, Miriam. You still have accidents once in a while and you resist having to stop to go pee/poop sometimes, but other than that, you are there! Way to be!

Potty training, Day 1
Potty training, Day 1
After a couple weeks, you were doing awesome at the  potty thing!
After a couple weeks, you were doing awesome at the potty thing!

You are a little parrot when it comes to speaking; you repeat nearly everything we say. “Hippopotamus” was your first 5-syllable word (Feb 9th); we love your version of ‘fish’: “shif”! You’ve started putting sentences together really well. “No like it!”, “Mommy eggs all gone”, “Daddy at work”, and “Mommy show Miriam computer” are some examples. You like to ask, “What is that?” when you see something new. When we ask you where something is, you will say “I know where it is”. And most of the time, you’re right 😉 You asked ‘Why?!’ for the first time on April 6th.

You counted to ‘9’ on your own on Jan 20th. As of this post, you now count confidently and accurately to 10 and sometimes you’ll add “eleven, twelve, thirteen” to the end of it as well. You love to sing and say your ABC’s, and usually recruit someone around you to do it with you! In early March, you began to recognize the letters ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘L’, ‘P’, ‘M’, and ‘T’ (can you tell why?!) As we’ve worked with you this last month, you’ve added ‘F’ (you say, ‘F! Foo Fighters!’ to Mommy and Daddy’s delight, of course), ‘J’, and sometimes ‘W’ and ‘X’.

Mommy and Miri
Mommy and Miri

You are quite fond of music; you sing and play ‘Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star’ on the piano for us. You recognize the Foo Fighters (you say “Dave!” when one of their songs come on) and you love to watch the movie ‘Wall-E’ before going to bed at night. Your current favorite shows are “Little Einsteins” and “Peppa Pig” 🙂

You have developed an affinity for horses and bunnies. You love water and ask often to go to the pool. You really enjoy being with others – playdates and gymnastics are the highlights of your week.

"I slide!"
“I slide!”
I loved having "Baby Luke" over to play!
I loved having “Baby Luke” over to play!

You love your brother and sisters. At night, Mommy always reminds you that you are “my sweet, brave, smart, beautiful Miriam”; to which you say, “Beautiful Aubry”, “Beautiful Bubba”, “Beautiful Lauryl”, “Beautiful Daddy” and “Beautiful Mommy” – you sometimes add Zeke or Levi or Zoe or Aunt Tricia! You have a sweet, sweet heart, Miriam.

Your second Easter experience was the end of March. We had a little hunt inside our house and that prepared you well for a big hunt at Mimi’s the next day. You loved every minute of hunting for the eggs and treats. 36 eggs, 3 plastic eggs, and a couple Easter baskets wore you out!

Looking Spring-y for Easter even tho it was quite chilly
Looking Spring-y for Easter even tho it was quite chilly
I love my Mimi!
I love my Mimi!
How did the Easter Bunny know I LOVE Reese's eggs?!
How did the Easter Bunny know I LOVE Reese’s eggs?!
So many eggs, so little time
So many eggs, so little time
Mommy and I
Mommy and I
On the hunt!
On the hunt!
Eggs can be anywhere! ;)
Eggs can be anywhere! ;)
Great-Mimi made a Bunny Cake, a tradition carried forth in Mommy's family!
Great-Mimi made a Bunny Cake, a tradition carried forth in Mommy’s family!
#exhaustionsetsin
#exhaustionsetsin

We also made a big change in your sleeping situation recently. We took the front rail of your crib off and made your first big girl bed! You are doing great with it; you haven’t fallen out yet and you are adapting to a new bedtime routine pretty well. We are still in the room with you for about 20 mins but overall you’re getting along without the rocking chair. We sing songs like “Baa, Baa, Black Sheep”, “Jesus Loves Me”, and “Row. Row, Row Your Boat” at bedtime; while you used to just listen, you are really starting to sing along in the last week or so. You’re growing up so fast!

Miriam, you are full of emotion and have started expressing it in words, not just body language. You’ll be playing and say, “I so happy!” or you’ll see Mommy make a sad face and say, “Mommy sad …”.

It’s such a joy and privilege to be your Mommy! Daddy and I agree that not a single day goes by that we don’t thank God for the honor and blessing of being your parents. We love you very much!

~Mommy~

18 Months and Going Strong!

Miriam Elayne, you have had a phenomenal 2nd quarter to your 2nd year!

Your 16th month brought huge additions to your ever-growing vocabulary – 75+ words now. Your first 4-syllable word was avocado, one of your favorite foods! We introduced you to “Finding Nemo” (the movie) and you LOVE it. It’s pretty entertaining to watch the movie with you, as you’ve seen it so much now, you predict the next scene coming 😉

We played outside a ton as it was a true fall this year; lots of cooler, sunny days in the transition from summer to winter. Even in early December, we were outside without a jacket some days!

Playing at Penguin Park!
Playing at Penguin Park!
Contemplation ...
Contemplation …
KC Zoo trip with Mommy! #specialtime
KC Zoo trip with Mommy! #specialtime

During your 17th month, you pushed through 2 more molars – you’re up to 4 now. You started imitating every word you heard or were asked to say. You also started a 7-week stay with our friend, Ms. Michelle, because Mommy started a 7-week long-term sub position for a counselor on maternity leave at Barry School where she used to teach. You did very well each day; you would protest when Daddy would drop you off but only a little and then you would proceed to have fantastic days. You learned to love their cat, Elvis, and their baby, West. You also played very well with the other girls in care there, Adrienne and Sawyer.

Trying on Mommy's boots ;)
Trying on Mommy’s boots ;)
Every girl needs a stroller ...
Every girl needs a stroller …

You met with more success with the fork and spoon this month. You started putting 2- and 3-word sentences together such as “Wear it!”, “You got it!”, “Hold on”, “Love you”, “Mommy, sit” – or whatever other command you decide to give. Toddler bossiness is pretty hilarious 🙂

During your 18th month, you moved from speaking in separate words to saying two- to three-word sentences most of the time. You continued to spend time at Ms. Michelle’s as well as celebrated your 2nd Christmas. Here are some pics of Christmas with Mommy and Daddy:

Opening presents with Mommy!
Opening presents with Mommy!
Opening my new TOMS!
Opening my new TOMS!
All dressed up for Cmas Eve services!
All dressed up for Cmas Eve services!
#cmas2015
#cmas2015

We took a big trip this year over Christmas (24th- 29th) to New Mexico to visit Daddy’s side of the family. We took the train! Here are some pictures of our fun:

Christmas morning breakfast on the train to ABQ!
Christmas morning breakfast on the train to ABQ!
Your Cmas present on the train! #newleggings
Your Cmas present on the train! #newleggings
My Bubba, Sissas, and Daddy! #cmasmorning2015
My Bubba, Sissas, and Daddy! #cmasmorning2015
At the trampoline gym; Daddy took such good care of me!
At the trampoline gym; Daddy took such good care of me!
At the train station with Cousin Dan!
At the train station with Cousin Dan!
Entertaining myself on the way home from ABQ
Entertaining myself on the way home from ABQ
I liked to write on the paper coverings at each meal on the train. #leavingmymark
I liked to write on the paper coverings at each meal on the train. #leavingmymark
Our last meal on the train: breakfast!
Our last meal on the train: breakfast!

Your favorite color now seems to be yellow. You name ‘pink’, ‘yellow’, ‘purple’, ‘green’ and ‘orange’ with high accuracy; ‘red’ and ‘blue’ still trip you up a bit. “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” continues to be one of your favorite books; you’ve also added “Llama, Llama, Red Pajama” to your favorites list. You love to go to the library and protest when it’s time to leave. You are reading books to yourself now, ones you know and ones that are brand new. You added words like ‘dangerous’ and your own name to your vocabulary this month.

You are a sincerely sweet girl, Miriam. Recently, you were sitting at your small table in the kitchen eating a snack and saw Mommy putting away the groceries. You got up and helped me unload each sack until the job was done, and then you went back to your snack. It was a proud Mommy moment, for sure! You are such a natural helper! Here’s a picture of what I found you had done one day with your diaper laundry:

You put your laundry away all by yourself, and in the correct drawer! #bighelper
You put your laundry away all by yourself, and in the correct drawer! #bighelper
"Mommy, I do it!"
“Mommy, I do it!”

You are in the beginning stages of dressing yourself; you are fiercely independent as well as a cuddle-bug. You are saying about 1/4 of the ABC’s (random, not in order yet) as well as counting to ‘2’ on your own, and to ‘8’ with us.

Mimi came down from NE to spend New Year’s Eve with us; you had fun reading and playing with her as well as building “a fire!!” with Daddy!

Playing with Daddy on NYE!
Playing with Daddy on NYE!
Reading with Mimi! #nye2015
Reading with Mimi! #nye2015

Miriam Elayne, you are our joy and sunshine! Every day, Mommy and Daddy laugh out loud with you. We pray you will continue to discover who you were born to be; we’re proud of how hard you are working to learn and we can’t wait to see the impact you will make on the world!

Love,

Momma

Miriam, you are 15 months old!

Miriam Elayne, you have grown and changed so much since you turned one year old!

I love to take walks with Mommy in my wagon!
I love to take walks with Mommy in my wagon!
Aren't I cute?!
Aren’t I cute?!
#joy #happy #silly
#joy #happy #silly

Your vocabulary is changing every day; you now say and/or sign at least 50 words. Here’s some examples you’ve added since I last wrote: ice, ice cream, apple, down, ups (up & upstairs), waffle, uh-huh (yes), yes, no, mess, trash, Aubry, Bubba (Brendan), Mommy (changed from Mama), Daddy (changed from Dada), Auntie, rice, o-tay (okay), outside, wa-wa (water), me, mine, mail, please (you don’t just sign it anymore!), ‘yes, please’ and ‘got it’. You just keep surprising Mommy and Daddy every day with your words! You also took your first swim class, around the beginning of August. There were 6 sessions and you learned to reach/pull the water, kick your feet, blow bubbles, jump off the edge, and hold your breath while going under. One of the neat things about your swim class was that your instructor’s name was Miriam 🙂 On the last day of lessons, you got to go down the big water slide. Daddy came to that class and went down with you. You weren’t sure what to think afterwards 😉

So glad Daddy was here to slide with me!
So glad Daddy was here to slide with me!

We took a big trip in August to visit Aunt Tricia and her family because your cousin, Zoë Kayte, was born. She was born a few weeks early so she and her Mommy spent some time in the hospital before she could come home; you and Mommy went out (for 16 days) to help. You had SO much fun with cousins Zeke and Levi; you all played in a park every day in the mornings and then after naps, the 3 of you would play in the sandbox and the water table. You learned to climb the stairs, up and down, and you also learned to stand up for yourself 😉 It was good for you to be around other kids your age! You missed your Daddy very much; when he came out to be with us for the last few days, we picked him up at the airport – when you got out of your car seat, you ran to him and hugged him for the longest time. You just melted our hearts!

Playing with cousins Zeke and Levi at the water table was a daily occurrence!
Playing with cousins Zeke and Levi at the water table was a daily occurrence!
Park time!
Park time!
We visited Harvey Gap lake one afternoon ...
We visited Harvey Gap lake one afternoon …
Mommy and I at Harvey Gap!
Mommy and I at Harvey Gap!
Mommy and I had some sweet special times together while in CO! #newdoll
Mommy and I had some sweet special times together while in CO! #newdoll
Levi and I chillin'
Levi and I chillin’
Mimi came out to CO too!
Mimi came out to CO too!

We also took a trip to Lake of the Ozarks, MO in early September. Aunt Monica, George, EMY, and Dan came out to visit us from NM and we had a grand time together. We went swimming, boating, toured a cave, and did some hiking. We made many good memories! In fact, we’re going to visit them over Christmas this year.

At the castle ruins in Ha Ha Tonka State Park
At the castle ruins in Ha Ha Tonka State Park
#bigcrazyfamily ;)
#bigcrazyfamily ;)
With Daddy in The Lake!
With Daddy in The Lake!

You’ve moved up to the toddler room at church (ugh, Mommy finds it so hard to believe you’re already there) and you love to sing. At church, you like to join Mommy and Daddy for worship time so you can sing and clap and look at the lights! At home, you love to watch Little Baby Bum videos, singing along to the nursery rhymes. Your favorites to sing with right now are the ABC Song and Baa, Baa Black Sheep. At naptime and bedtime, we sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Rock-a-Bye, Baby, You Are My Sunshine, Jesus Loves Me, and Jesus Loves the Little Children.

You and Mommy or Daddy are still taking runs together a few times a week. Almost every day, you and Mommy also take walks in the wagon or stroller around the neighborhood during afternoon play time. You are still working on your one-year molars; Mommy hasn’t seen any of them pop through yet. They’ll be here soon! You continue to be a great eater; some of your favorite foods right now are blueberries, rice, noodles, turkey sausage and tomatoes.

You are still such a great sleeper, Miriam! Mommy and Daddy are so thankful. We are working on sleep training right now so that you can become more independent at going to sleep without Mommy and Daddy; Mommy just loves to rock you though so I’m probably holding you back. You’re my one and only baby so Mommy is cherishing every second you’ll let me hold you!

I love being outside!
I love being outside!
#focused <3
#focused

You are a very confident walker, surprising most people who ask how old you are. You are even running some now, and yes, you’ve had your first big fall. You were a pretty sad bear the rest of the night, but you healed up within a week.

Learning to run is hard #drewfirstblood
Learning to run is hard #drewfirstblood

You’re also exerting your independence and will in a very normal developmental way. You are kind and sweet yet very sure of what you want. You offer to clean up messes you make and are naturally obedient. I would use the words inquisitive, sensitive, and good-humored to describe your personality at this point. You are developing your sense of humor quite well, and will play jokes on us, like offering to share a snack, hold it up to our mouth, and then pull it quickly away. You laugh and laugh because you know you’ve “tricked” us. You’re pretty proud of your newfound ability to impact those around you, and so are we.

Playing in the front yard
Playing in the front yard
I love to smell flowers!
I love to smell flowers!
Playing the piano, another first
Playing the piano, another first
#mommyscoffee #mine
#mommyscoffee #mine

Miriam, you are our bright star – our beloved sunshine! Each day, you surprise us with greater joy. We love to see you grow and change and enjoy life to the fullest. We love you very much!

Mommy

My One-Year Birthday Party!

I'm one!
I’m one!

Miriam, you had an amazing time with family and friends at your one-year birthday party! We celebrated on Friday/July 10th with the theme, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” (by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle) because it is your favorite book at this time and you love animals!

My beautiful cake!
My beautiful cake!

MBday1.snax.cake

Sissa, Mimi, Pop-pop and I
Sissa, Mimi, Pop-pop and I

Mbday1.poppa.daddy

Your guests in attendance were Mimi and Poppa (from NM), Pop-pop (from CO), Grandma and Great-Grandma (from NE), Great-Aunt Judy and Cousin Seanna (from WI), Aunt Tricia, Uncle J, Zeke and Levi (from CO via Skype), Heather and Ben, Karissa, Laura, and The Palmer’s – Andrew, Annie, and Jonas.

Ben and I played in the water!
I love the water!

You played with Ben and Jonas in some activity stations that represented the animals from the book; you enjoyed the Brown Bear/Goldfish station the most 🙂

My new book bag from Aunt Tricia & family!
My new book bag from Aunt Tricia & family!
My little red wagon from Grandma!
My little red wagon from Grandma!

We had some yummy food and opened presents; your birthday cake/cupcakes were made by Mommy’s friend, Suzy – she made you a gorgeous and delicious cake! You handled being the center of attention very well. Mommy and Daddy are proud of the gracious, kind, and sweet girl you are, Miriam!

Great-Gma and I
Great-Gma and I

At your 12-month check-up with Dr. Pam, she complimented you on your developmental milestones as all being above average; way to be, sweet girl! You weighed in at 22 lbs, 13 oz and 29 1/8″ long. One of your gifts for your birthday was a new car seat because you have grown out of your infant one. #longlegslikedaddy

You rode in it for the first time today and loved being able to see out the window!

I love my big girl car seat!
I love my big girl car seat!

Miriam, you truly bring sunshine to every day! We’re so grateful for every day with YOU!

Love,
Mommy

One Year Old!!!

Miriam Elayne, you are one year old!!!

Our sweet bear!
Our sweet bear!

What a gift this year has been! You have brought our family immeasurable joy and laughter. Here’s a few of your highlights as you round the corner of ‘year one’ and on to ‘year two’…

I love playing blocks with Daddy!
I love playing blocks with Daddy!
I've discovered the joy of grass!
I’ve discovered the joy of grass!
Look what I can do!! ;)
And also the joy of toilet paper ;)

You took your first Mommy/Miri trip to visit Grandma Pam in NE this month. You really warmed up to her and had a lot of fun!

I love my Grandma!!
I love my Grandma!!

We’ll be going to CO on a Mommy/Miri trip next month to visit Aunt Tricia and soon-to-be-born GIRL cousin. #yayforgirls 😉

You took a few steps on your own for the first time on June 20th. You and Mommy were at a baby shower and you were toddling along, holding on to my finger when you decided to let go and keep taking a couple steps. It was SO cute! You did it several times that day. You’ve been more apprehensive since that first walking day but you have tried hard every day and just in the last couple days you are really getting brave. As the following video shows, you really want to walk and get frustrated pretty easily when you fall; but the truth is, you’ll be *running* soon!

You have added a LOT of new words to your spoken vocabulary this month: ‘duck’, ‘quack’, ‘shoes’, ‘baaa’, ‘tweet’, ‘me-ow’, ‘whooo’ (for owl), ‘dress’, and a sweet little lipsmack for the sound a giraffe makes (even though they really don’t make sound) …

You are still working on pushing through your top two middle teeth. The right top tooth actually came most of the way through on June 29th! Your second top tooth is still just a swollen gum but you’ll have it soon! We also celebrated Daddy this month; Father’s Day was June 21st and you loved helping Daddy enjoy his day and his new guitar.

I'll help you play, Daddy!
I’ll help you play, Daddy!
Daddy and us!
Daddy and us!

Speaking of smiles, your one-year pictures turned out just gorgeous! Here a few of our favorites: Once again, Ms. Laura (riddlephoto.com) did an amazing job.

Miriam1yr0025

Miriam1yr0021

Miriam1yr0043

Miriam1yr0048

Miriam1yr0068

Miriam1yr0087

Miriam1yr0095

Miriam1yr0103

In the past few weeks you perfected the use of a straw – so much so that you have new sippy cups with straws and you can put it in the correct spot on your tray. It’s a bit of a stretch so you miss sometimes but you try very hard! That did take some learning on your part; for some time before this month, you would just push your cup onto the floor when you were done with it. Daddy and Mommy used a little modeling and positive discipline/correction to get you to change that behavior – it really only took you one day and one big, sad crying session to understand how to exercise impulse control over your hands and mind. We’re so proud of how quick you respond to Mommy and Daddy, Miriam!

#alwayslearning
#alwayslearning

You have been weaning off of soy formula the last 5 weeks to whole milk and have done a great job with it! You drink just whole milk now and do so 3 times a day. Next up? Weaning off the bottle. That’ll be a bit harder as it seems you really only want to drink water from your straw cups.

#bottlelove
#bottlelove

Your birthday party with friends and extended family is tomorrow, July 10th, so Mommy will be posting a blog next week that has pictures from your “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” party as well as stats from your one-year check-up. Here’s a few pics from your “on-the-day” party with Mommy and Daddy:

It took a bit but I finally got into it! #smashcake
It took a bit but I finally got into it! #smashcake
I love my new shoes!
I love my new shoes!
#balloon #purpleball #tableandchairs
#balloon #purpleball #tableandchairs
#cakeface
#cakeface

Happy 1st Birthday, Miriam Elayne! Mommy and Daddy could not be more thrilled to call you ‘ours’! You are our beloved sunshine; our sweet, brave, smart, and beautiful Miriam!

We love you!

The Eleventh Month!

Miriam, you have had a very busy and exciting eleventh month! You have acquired many new skills and your sense of humor is really shining 🙂

... or maybe it's Daddy's sense of humor through you ;)
… or maybe it’s Daddy’s sense of humor through you 😉 #guesswhoputthebirdinyourhood

You learned to wave ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ this month. Unless you are distracted by the situation, you will wave pretty much every time. You can roll a ball back and forth with someone and are beginning to follow directions such as ‘look’ or ‘watch’ or ‘put the duck in the tub’. You’ve made SO many connections; it is true what pediatricians report: your vocabulary is much larger than the words you can say! You’ve started to communicate more than just one word at a time. You’ll look at Mommy or Daddy and say several “words” in a row, like you really want to tell us a whole sentence/concept. What fun!

Blocks have taken on a new meaning too – you try to stack them as well as knock them down, although destroying is still much more fun. You learned to clap just this last weekend – it’s pretty cute: you hold your left hand still and clap your right hand to it 🙂 You and sister Aubry have been working on using a straw and you’ve learned to not only blow bubbles in the water but to also drink the water. Big girl!

Is this how I do it?!
Is this how I do it?!

Your strongest concept at this point is dogs. Anytime you see or hear a dog – not just our dog – you say ‘woof’. You’ve added the ‘f’, ‘h’, and ‘s’ sound to your abilities this month as well as more tongue-clicking. One of the funniest discoveries you’ve made is how to fake laugh and cough. You’ll be eating dinner and suddenly break into a fake laugh. It’s hilarious! Mommy thinks you inherited Daddy’s quick wit. #love

Your new favorite book is “Toot Toot Beep Beep” by Emma Garcia. You love to make the car sounds, specifically the ‘honk honk’ of the yellow taxi and the ‘brmm brmm’ of the tiny purple car. You’re pretty much an expert at giving kisses now. They’re still open-mouthed and more of a lick but they are super-sweet. You love giving hugs as well and are generous with them! We love your sweet side so much, Miriam 🙂

Practicing my kisses on Simon, the Giraffe ;)
Practicing my kisses on Simon, the Giraffe ;)

Mommy has been working with you on identifying body parts and you’re getting pretty good at it. You can find a mouth, nose, eyes, hair, and ears about 50% of the time. Each night after your bath, you use your hairbrush semi-correctly on what could be the begininngs of some curly hair 😉

The beginnings of curly hair?!
Might be Momma’s girl after all!

Mother’s Day was so special with you this year! Grandma Pam came to celebrate with us and Daddy took us out for a delicious meal at Trezo Mare. Your gift to us that day was sleeping during lunch, as well as a gorgeous piece of artwork from you and Daddy 🙂

Mommy deserves a quiet meal, at least on Mother's Day!
I was exhausted!

#giraffeart
#giraffeart

You had your fourth plane ride this month. We visited Steamboat Springs, CO over Memorial Day weekend; Pop-pop invited our family and Aunt Tricia’s family up for the weekend. We had a great time relaxing and laughing and making memories 🙂

Walking with Pop-pop!
Walking with Pop-pop!
Not sure about this book sharing thing ...
Not sure about this book sharing thing …
We're the GRAND-est kids! ;)
We’re the GRAND-est kids! ;)
Family Picture Time
Family Picture Time #photocredtodaddy

Interestingly, your current favorite activity is playing with laundry. While you don’t discriminate well between clean and dirty laundry *yikes*, you absolutely love to take it in and out of the laundry basket. Here is a pretty cute video of how happy laundry makes you these days:

Miriam Elayne, Mommy cannot believe it is already time to plan your first birthday celebration! Words can’t describe how much joy you have brought our family in just 11 short months. We can’t wait to see what your energy, joy, and love will continue to bring to not just us, but the world. You are our beloved sunshine!

Love,

Mommy

The Girl With the Swirl