Thursday, December 31, 2015

Year in Review - 2015

I'm so thankful for my little blog.  Year after year I get even more excited that I have this little piece of our world to print out for Molly Anne one day!  Yes, I/my Dad PDF my blog every six months using this website.  It's $8-9 and well worth it.  Here are the highlights from our 2015!

January - we announced that a baby was on the way!

February - we went to Marco Island, FL to celebrate Kevin's birthday!

March - we did lots of baby prep!

April - we went to St. Thomas and had our first baby shower!

May - we had our second baby shower and went to Amelia Island!

June - my office surprised me with a baby shower

July - Molly Anne was born and we were shocked she was a girl!!!  We had lots of family and friends that surrounded us during the best time of our life!

August - we soaked up every minute of having Molly Anne!

September - we traveled up to Maryland for a couple of weeks and had a sip and see there!

October - I went back to work and Molly Anne went to Ms. Beckys.  

November - we went to Pawleys Island for Thanksgiving.

December - we did lots of things for her first Christmas!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pantry Redo

My dad knows how to do everything.  And every time they come down to our house he does a gazillion projects for us. This time he did a bunch of little stuff and redid our second pantry.  

Before pictures which are super embarrassing are below.  We hadn't done anything to this closet since we moved in so literally it's a mess. And I didn't think the shelving was as practical as it could have been.  It wasn't deep enough and getting appliances on and off the wire racks was difficult.  I really want to make the spaces in our home more usable. 

While he started the closet, mom and I reorganized several kitchen cabinets. Like I threw away all of our Tupperware that didn't have a matching top or that I had had for 10 years. Gross. I also threw away a bunch of junk from this closet that we never use. 

Starting from scratch. Filled holes and painted.  

And after pictures!  We spaced out the shelving so there was more space to fit taller appliances. It's clean looking and so much more practical. 


Thanks Dad!!!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Day

Santa found his way to Charlotte!

This little girl was excited!

It was different being here for Christmas. For 33 years we've been in Maryland minus one year when my niece was born.  Since we were in NC, we tried to make it as normal as possible by having family dinner, doing the same routine Christmas morning and eating the same breakfast.  

Molly Anne was the perfect reason to try something new. We want her to wake up in her home on Christmas morning!

She loveddddd this playskool gears toy that my cousin Kit and her fam gave her. 

Being upside down is her new favorite thing!

Kevin surprised me with GORGEOUS earrings!  

Baby in a robe!

Mom and Dad gave me a new suitcase, a Front Gate drink tub and a bunch of other special things!  Molly Anne and I gave Kevin cologne, pressure washer, a yeti tumbler and other miscellaneous things. My parents gave him wrenches, a leatherman and some fancy shirts.  Too much!!  All of it!  I do like looking back at these posts to see when we got what.  Oh we gave Dad the Amazon Echo. Anyone seen this?!  Mom got a new purse, talbots gift card and a Nordstrom scarf.  

These two. 

Kevins parents came over that afternoon to hang out!

I didn't even know dad knew what a photobomb was!!

So did Sarah and her fam and we toasted to a Merry Christmas!

Molly Anne got a ton of awesome toys for her to use now and later!  We gave her a radio flyer wagon as well. 

Oh another tradition - crab soup on Christmas Day.  So good!

Done done and done. Hope everyone had a very Merru Christmas with your family!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Eve

Well before we chat about Christnas Eve, let's go back to the 22nd and Molly Anne's class party at Ms. Beckys!

The other little girls sang and danced to jingle bells and Molly Anne watched! ;) It was adorable!

On the 23rd Molly Anne and I did errands and met up with Tara for lunch!  Mom and Dad arrived later that day!

Christmas Eve family dinner at our house!  Cocktail hour first!

And Nannie read Molly Anne The Polar Express while she watched the train go around!

Mills gets his picture in front of the tree every year.  He wasn't very cooperative this year but for the record, he did have his bow tie on!

They are twins!!!!  Mom brought her baby boom down and we compared pictures. Wow, it's wild!!

Nana and MA

Our little family!

Plus our Bubba!

Dinner was served!

Beef tenderloin, honey baked ham, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, asparagus, salad and rolls. 

After dinner we all stood around and looked at Moms baby book, ate apple and pumpkin pie, Dad put together a radio flyer wagon for Molly Anne and we just had fun!  Kevins brother was with us too but somehow I didn't take a pic of him. 

Mills was toast by the end of the night!  Kevin read MA Twas the Night Before Christmas before she went to bed. 

It was a successful first Christmas Eve dinner that we hosted.  It was nice to have both of our parents here!  

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Molly Anne's Favorite Things

I know everyone is getting ready for Christmas!  Somehow I'm making Family Dinner for tomorrow night.  Not sure how it is going to get done but it will somehow!  

Really this should be OUR favorite things, not just Molly Anne's but here they are:

1.  Footed PJ's, specifically these $7.99 ones.  My PJ requirements - footed because her feet get cold, zip because I'm lazy at night, not fleece because she sweats in fleece and easy to put on (Gap's are hard to put on).  Here's the deal, I don't really love these PJ designs but I don't care because I'm all for practical at night.  Okay thanks bye.

2.  FP Kick & Play Piano - my child is obsessed and would kick ALL.DAY.LONG.

3.  Mills - well you can't buy him, sorry.  ;)

4.  Waterproof Changing Pad Liners - don't want to mess up your pretty changing pad cover!

5.  Rattle - this is a pewter one that is monogrammed on one end and has her birth date on the other.  She loves shaking this around!  PS - this is a great gift and they ship.  I have sent a gazillion of these to newborns.  They can also chew on it to help with their teething.

6.  Scrubbie Buddy - Kevin's parents gave Molly Anne one of these in her stocking and she loved it so much that I immediately got on Amazon and ordered her one more!

7.  Nail Scissors - I have Tess to thank for this.  Thankfully Molly Anne now doesn't have scratches all over her face because I'm not scared to cut her nails!

8.  Anything Baby Einstein but specifically this and this.  I've never seen Molly Anne's eyes get bigger than when she saw that ocean thing!  PS - it's $63 on Amazon haha.  $20 at Babies R Us.  

9.  She whips this toy around and it gets flat to stuff in a bag.

10.  Nuby Teething Keys - Mom got these for her and she loves them.  She can hold on to the not cold part but she gets relief on her gums!

As far as clothes - she wears a lot of shirts with leggings and then rompers like these.  Not many onesies any more. 

That's what's up right now!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Molly Anne and her Band

I haven't given a ton of detail on what the deal is with Molly Anne and her head.  Quite frankly it was because we were spending a lot of time doing research and I wasn't sure that anyone would care as much as I did.  But then I started getting questions from friends and I wish I had been told "back then" what to do to alleviate something like this from happening.  So now, I'm telling people and I hope it helps another Mom to not have to go through this and if they do, that others have been there and it will all be okay. 

First, when she was a month old, Mom and I noticed that Molly Anne always looked right.  I was so naive and in such a new mom daze that I thought it was just because she was going to favor her right side and be right handed.  This was the first time I had been a Mom, I had no clue.

We went to Maryland and the pediatricians office refused to see her for shots the day before her two month birthday so she was almost two weeks late for her two month appointment. That's when the doc noticed her head so you know I blamed myself for those extra two weeks. 

The doctor said she had torticollis which is basically a tight neck muscle. For Molly Anne it is her right one so she only looks right because it's easy. It was too hard for her neck muscle to look left.  The doc thinks she got torticollis because of how she was positioned inside of me.  There was obviously nothing I could have done about this. 

We had been doing tummy time but when the baby's are on their back for 10+ hours a night to sleep, there isn't much you can do and their head gets flat.  The doctor explained it to me like this - SIDS is not curable (why they sleep on their backs now) but this is curable and easy to deal with so you just do it. 

So here we are with two problems.  One the torticollis and two the flat head.  

First, you have to fix the torticollis - we've been doing this by going to a pediatric physical therapist since the end of September and will continue through the end of January - Amy has been AMAZING.  It's basically a lot of stretching with Amy and we do the same exercises at home.  

Second, we had to fix her flat head.  I did a ton of research on this.  So here it is:
At the end of September right after her two month appointment, we got right on it.  We went to a place in Charlotte called Cranial Technologies.  They do a free consultation and take measurements of the baby's head with Molly Anne sitting on a stool in the middle of the room with all these machines around her - think like an x-ray.  It's very fancy.  Then we kept going to physical therapy, waited 5 weeks then went to another similar place in Charlotte (Level Four) for more measurements.  Our pediatrician compared the results and looked at Molly Anne's head again at her 4 month appointment and said - go get a band. I questioned her based on studies online that say at 9 months, the baby's heads that had a band look just like the ones that never got the band...essentially saying that it fixes itself.  But what a risk you take.  Kevin and I felt like since it was affecting her facial features and not getting better, it was a no brainer.  

Band, helmet - there are several different reasonings behind each company's product.  So now that we knew we were doing one of them, we had to figure out the best one for us.  All of the physical therapists that see babies with this same issue every day and Molly Anne's pediatrician all said - Cranial Tech is the way to go.  All of the neurosurgeons we researched said Cranial Tech.  Cranial Tech is the only one proven to change facial features back to how they should be.  Cranial Tech it was.  

Truth be told - I hated Cranial Tech when we first went there for her initial consultation.  I felt like it was a sales pitch and they told me my baby wasn't perfect.  Kevin told me they were just telling me facts but I didn't like it!  Guys versus girls and how we think, right?!!  But I quickly got over all of that when I kept hearing they were the best.  They call their product the band and it's a 6-10 week wearing period.  The band covers less area on the baby's head than a helmet.  Level Four told us Molly Anne would wear a helmet for 10-12 weeks.  I liked the shorter timespan as an added bonus!  

So we are on week three of this band and Molly Anne could careless about it.  One of the first times we heard her giggle really loudly was in the room right after Lisa put it on her.  That made me feel better even though I got teary after Lisa left the room.  I hated it much more than Molly Anne did!  It has not affected her sleeping at all.  The first few days she got really hot but we have learned that she'll be cruising around in much cooler clothes and not wearing any socks or shoes in 30 degree weather.  Baby's lose their heat through their feet so the girl at Cranial Tech said she needs to have bare feet so she can stay cooler.  I do think her temperature gauge has leveled off and she's not nearly as hot as she was those first few days while she was getting used to it.  Molly Anne is hot natured anyway.  

This band is a lot like braces - we go back every week for check ups and they shave off the inside of the band where she grew that week.  Once the foam inside the band is gone, she is done.  And let's hope she doesn't need a second band.  That would only happen if she didn't hit her 6 month growth spurt.  They say getting the band is ideal at 4-6 months of age because of the rapid growth.  We are right in that.  She got it the day before she turned 5 months.  All looks good so far!  

My biggest complaint - I can't love up on her head every day!  We get one hour a day with no band and you know we do that when we are all home with our girl!  I look forward to that all day!

So far, I think we've made the right decision.  We can already see a ton of progress!  Here's to hoping it's only on for 6 weeks instead of 10!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Festive Weekend with Christmas Part One

I know I haven't gotten to reply to all of your extremely kind emails. Please forgive me.  I got a lot more than I ever thought even read my blog.  And I can barely keep up with Molly Anne, Christmas things, work and life right now.  So thank you and thank you again!!  Y'all are the best and thanks for reading this little piece of my world!

Friday night we chilled and I literally was asleep by 7:30pm.  I was exhausted beyond exhaustion.  

Saturday we had a big day. Molly Anne and I went uptown to meet April & Camille and Sarah & Gigi!

We met at the Ritz where we were going to do the holiday tea with the girls but something happened with our reservations so we visited the amazing gingerbread house in the lobby instead!  

It was perfect!  The house was amazingggg and look at these trees made of macaroons.  

We traded little gifts for the girls (which I forgot ours to give - number one mama right here haha).  Aren't these two the cutest?

Thankful for these girls!  They have seriously helped me every step of the way on being mama (except they remember their gifts to swap, ha)!  

The girls wore their Tipsy Bunny bonnets!

Then we ventured over to Founders Hall in the Bank of America corporate tower to see the Bears perform!

We walked back to our car by where Kevin and I met.  I of course told Molly Anne all about that!

Saturday afternoon we did Christmas with Kevin's side of the family!

She loved unwrapping the gifts!  It was adorable!

She got so many fun things that I can't wait to break out over the next few months!  

Kevin's parents with their two grandchildren!

Afterwards we went to a new Italian place nearby for an early dinner!  

Sunday we met my friend Fran who was back in town from TN. We were thrilled to meet her baby Maggie who was born August 16th. 

Molly Anne feels like she weighs about double Maggie haha!  They wore their Lilly!

Fran and I used to work together and thankfully we've stayed in touch!  It's been fun to text all about our newborns and walk through the adventure together!

We ended up having to leave Dean and Deluca a bit early. Molly Anne was babbling loudly! ;)  I love this picture...Maggie is like Molly Anne why are you touching me?!!

So glad our girls met!!

Sunday afternoon I delivered fudge to our neighbor's and we watched the panthers become 14-0!

Here's to a short week!