Monday, February 28, 2011

21 Months

Our baby girl is now 21 months old. Here’s what Helen Grace is up to…

  • Multiple new words come out a day, and she’s stringing sentences together. Favorite words are jumpy jumpy, uppy, stop, milk, funny, happy, bump, eat, bubbles, more, mine, etc. She repeats EVERYTHING that we say (her daddy thinks it’s a fun game to play). You can really have conversations with her now. It’s truly amazing to be able to communicate so well. She’s picking up sign language from the Little Gym and Blues Clues- wish I had started that months ago.
  • She wants to do everything herself, and she will only accept help after she asks for it.
  • We’ve worked hard on having “sweet hands,” and she is very sweet petting the animals and is getting better about not swatting her friends when she doesn’t want to share.
  • She’s learned to walk backwards, and when she wants you to come with her, she’ll grab your hand and tell you to, “Come on.”
  • When she doesn’t get her way, she is apt to tear off running and fall into a dramatic puddle on the floor.
  • Loves to climb on the couch (and jump off of it), jump and tumble on the bed, and is fearless in general. Constantly wants to dance, swing, color, paint, play in the sand box, and play Ring Around the Rosie. Would stay for hours on a playground (loves to be outside) or an inflatable slide.
  • 2 year molars are on their way. Tons of snot and fussiness, especially at night.
  • She prances around or does her giddy up skip most places. Can’t be still too long!
  • She’s down to one nap a day, which is usually around 1:00 and lasts two hours. She usually sleeps from 8-8:30 p.m. to 6:15-6:45 a.m.
  • Just bumped up to size 5 diapers and pretty much wears 2T clothes.
  • She loves to snuggle in her bed with Beary, Oatmeal, and her blanket. I’m still putting her down awake, and she is very easy to get to sleep for the most part (PTL!).
  • She is using her manners more and more often without being prompted.
  • I’ve started praying with her at bedtime, and she loves to put her hands together and listen to me pray. Some nights she says “More” and wants me to keep going.
  • Her hair is growing like crazy- at least it’s growing evenly now though.
  • She will go to the freezer door when she wants ice cream and the fridge door when she wants milk, cheese, etc.
  • When you sneeze or stumble, she asks you, “K?”
  • Still a big mama’s girl but has her daddy loving moments. I was gone all morning to Oxford for Delta Gamma’s initiation, and she played with Daddy, Grandma, and Peggy. I got home about the time John got home with her, asleep in the backseat. I pulled her out of the car seat in an effort to get her into her bed, but as soon as she cracked open her eyes and saw me, that was over. She gasped and squealed and wrapped her skinny little arms around my neck and wouldn’t let go. It was freaking adorable.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Miss ‘Tude

I believe the terrible two’s have arrived…or maybe even the teenage years.

Friday afternoon, Helen Grace was throwing an awful fit at random (I still don’t really know why she was so upset), and she went running like a wild woman into my bathroom, squealing at the top of her lungs and tears flying off her face. I was ignoring the fit and continuing to unload groceries, but soon, I heard a door shut…I went into the bathroom to check on her and found that she had closed herself in my closet. Thankfully, when I opened the door, she came running out with hugs and kisses. Maybe she just needed some alone time to pull herself together. :)

Saturday afternoon at Camille’s birthday party (later post to come), HG and I were sitting at the kitchen table with Doty and Caroline. I asked HG something, and she kind of wagged her finger at me, as if to say, ‘No.’ I was so shocked and had to ask Doty if I imagined it. I convinced myself that she was just pointing to something…until I saw it AGAIN today! Mocha was trying to play with one of her toys, and she ran over to him, shook that teacher’s finger, and said, “No, no, Mo Mo!!” I later got it on video. In a way, she comes by it naturally with all the teachers in our family, so it’s hard not to laugh at Little Miss Priss!

Another funny thing that I want to remember…when Helen Grace wakes up in the morning and I’m on my way up to her room, I usually holler “Mama’s coming!” so she knows I’m coming (and will stop yelling for me. She will respond with an “Okaaaaay!” and sit there quietly (for at least 30 secs).

Friday, February 25, 2011

Slow Down, Mommy

We were running late Wednesday morning, but who could rush away from this sweet little face? She reminded me to slooooowww down and enjoy the (messy) moment. I hope one of these kinds of moments is her first memory…when Mommy leaves her schedule behind to just play and relish the moment.smilessmiles 2We met a friend for lunch, and Helen Grace loved the chickens at the restaurant next door and had to hug them (even though they were soaking wet).CIMG7772 Since we were near Daddy’s office, we stopped by to see him at the office. She thinks elevators are so cool, especially ones covered in mirrors so she can smile at herself!CIMG7773 CIMG7775Thursday night was John’s OBHS soccer banquet. Helen Grace and I went to socialize with the girls and parents but left a little early to make it home before the bad weather rolled in. We almost beat it, but the rain hit when we were about two or three miles from home- sideways rain is never good. Helen Grace was a little unnerved about the rain pounding on the window, but we sang “The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish” and she seemed to be distracted enough. Here she is at OBHS, posing with the Conquistador helmet. I didn’t read the plaque, but I’m sure it must have belonged to Hernando DeSoto. ;) CIMG7780

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Many moons ago, an energetic little Johnny was captured in a picture, proudly wearing a Superman cape as he courageously saved the day. Grandma discovered one of the original Toohig Superman capes this week, and Helen Grace was overjoyed to continue the tradition. Maybe one day her daddy will let me publish the original picture… :)


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Dream of a Day

Today started out like a dream. We all got up, clean, and out of the house in time for mass. And Helen Grace was pretty much an angel during the service. She kept herself busy by rearranging the hymnals, coloring and playing with her Dora stickers, and flipping through her on-a-ring flashcards. She started to walk up to get communion with Daddy, but then “beckoned” for me with that cute little wave, so she and I went up to get blessed by Father Ed together. Afterward, the three of us went to McAlister’s, where Helen Grace continued the angel behavior. She ate her turkey sandwich, stayed inside the booth, and covered me in kisses and hugs. She fell asleep within minutes of getting back in the car, so we dropped off a sleeping baby at Grandma’s and headed to Gould’s for a massage (thanks to Granddaddy and Spif for Valentines- whoo hoo!). John had a soccer game late in the afternoon, but I headed home to pick up the baby girl and get OUTSIDE. It was a beautiful, sunny day in the 70s- a huge tease for springtime. We played on the playground at Lewisburg Elementary, and she LOVED the big girl slide. I would help her up the ladder and then waited on her at the bottom. I think this seals the deal…my baby is all grown up. After playing hard for a good hour, she conked out on the ride home, and she slept for an hour and a half in her bed. Finally, at 6, I decided to needed to wake her up so she’d sleep tonight. BAD idea. She woke up crying and cried solid for 45 minutes. Wouldn’t take a sippy, wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t be held, wouldn’t sit up. John and I tried it all. The only thing that finally stopped the tears was to sit in my lap at the kitchen table and eat some ice cream. Whew, ice cream to the rescue! And then as quickly as the tears came, they dried and we had a fun bath time together. She played happily in the den until bedtime, when she told me she was ready for bed. I got a little snuggle time while we read some books and then put my love bug to bed.

Being a mama is HARD and has some very challenging moments (or hours) on a pretty much regular basis, but I wouldn’t trade those sweet kisses, running-to-you hugs, big ole grins, and “Mommy!’s” for anything.

Fun at Grandma’sCIMG7752 Honk! Honk!CIMG7754 CIMG7756 CIMG7757 CIMG7758 One of my favesCIMG7760

Running on the fort

*Flying* down the big girl slide

Minnie Mouse & Pump It Up

We did some big time celebrating yesterday on the birthday party circuit!

First, we celebrated with Minnie Mouse, I mean, Lilly, for her second birthday. (How in the world are these First Time Mom babies now TWO? That means MY baby will soon be TWO. I am stocking up on Kleenex now.)  The *real* Minnie made an appearance, but Helen Grace and Caroline were not so excited about getting close to her. When the piƱata came out though, they were all about chasing the falling chocolate!

Then we made a dash across town to our second party, celebrating Thompson’s 3rd birthday at Pump It Up. I have not experienced anything like this since my childhood days at Fun Plex. The place is full of inflatable slides, bounce houses, obstacle courses, etc. I was a little worried if Helen Grace would like it, but as soon as we walked in the door, she started squealing and running toward the slide. I had to grab her to yank her shoes off, and off she went! She climbed up the stairs for the big slide all on her own, and she threw herself down the slide, giggling, screaming, and tumbling the whole way. I cannot get over how fearless she is. Bribes of cake and ice cream couldn’t even get her to leave the room without tears. We will definitely be back soon!

The birthday girlCIMG7698The scaredy cats with Minnie049 “Oooooh, Minnie gave us suckers!!”CIMG7699 HG’s first time on a Sit & SpinCIMG7700 She liked to hug this Minnie.CIMG7704 CIMG7706 The little dare devil makes her approach with the help of CourtlynCIMG7712Grins from ear to earCIMG7715 That was FUN!!CIMG7717 CIMG7718Whoa!!CIMG7723 CIMG7725CIMG7728 CIMG7730Two generations of BFFsCIMG7734 CIMG7736 CIMG7738 CIMG7739 Helen Grace and Aunt RachelCIMG7740 Melissa, Thompson, Courtlyn, Rachel, Me, and Helen GraceCIMG7746

Squeals of pure delight

A fit ensued at dinner afterward with Granddaddy and Spiffer. At least this kept her still and somewhat quiet.CIMG7747 And once she got that out of her system, she was happy and content to sit in her chair like a big girl and color and eat. Oh, the life of an almost two year old!CIMG7748

Friday, February 18, 2011


Little Miss Priss has been in a great mood today. She woke up sweet and cuddly, getting the day off to a good start as she snuggled in my lap with her morning sippy of milk. We had a nice, slow morning, and when it was time to get dressed for Little Gym, she was having too much time coloring to bother with clothes. She was walking around in her diaper and cowgirl hat, so I told her to, “Giddy up, cowgirl!” and started chasing her. She thought that was HI-larious and followed me right downstairs to get dressed! I’ll have to remember that trick!

She was much more comfortable at Little Gym today. She didn’t cling to my leg at the beginning, and while she wanted me to carry her during some of the opening songs, she warmed up quickly and was soon running around squealing. She continues to be fearless, runs full speed, and doesn’t cry when she wipes out. At first, she had a few moments of swatting at other kids, but we had a talk about “sweet hands” and she later kissed and hugged one of her little friends.

We followed up Little Gym with lunch with the Coats girls, and I love to hear Ann Maxwell say, “Helen Grace!” and “Ms. Sha!” The girls had a good time talking, and so did the mamas. :)

After a two hour nap, Helen Grace stood at the back door and asked to go “out.” It was such a nice day- in the 70s- and we enjoyed spending some time outside, swinging and blowing bubbles. As she was swinging, she kept saying, “Happy!”

We went over to the Romans to meet Baby David (Davey) who is now a week old, and Helen Grace and Jane had a blast running around together. I love that they are old enough to entertain each other now and seem to really enjoy it. Jane kept saying she had to “show Helen Gwace something” and would drag her off on another trek about the house. That was fine though since it freed me up to ooh and aah over the baby!

After countless rounds of Ring Around the Rosie (which Peggy has apparently been teaching her), we are resting tonight so that we can be ready for our day of birthday parties tomorrow. We’re putting our party shoes on!

swingCIMG7689 CIMG7690 CIMG7692

Thursday, February 17, 2011

“Excuse Me”

I woke up on Monday morning to, “SHA!” on the monitor. That got me right out of bed!

This week, she cried when I left her at the nursery on Wednesday, but she stopped crying by the time I finished signing her in. When I came to get her, she was really excited to see me but wasn’t ready to leave yet. They changed her diaper for me and then I thought she’d run right over to me, but no, she was having too much fun playing!

Wednesday afternoon, we were walking through Target, and as Helen Grace passed a stranger, I heard her say (to my surprise), “Excuse me.” I thought I had hallucinated. She said it in the correct context and without prompting from me. The man looked and me and smiled, and I was such a proud mama. Maybe she really does listen to me!

Later that night, while I was getting her in her pjs, I told her that I loved her. I swear that she said, “I love you,” back to me in her own little language. I’ve repeatedly told her that I love her over the last day or so (I’m sure she thinks I’m off my rocker), and she continues to say that same phrase that sounds a lot like ‘I love you.’ I am going to pass right out when I hear that come clearly out of her mouth!

Having fun at churchCIMG7679 CIMG7680My sleeping little Valentine  CIMG7683 Baby in a boxjack in the box

For some reason, she was fascinated with the elephant sound on her laptop tonight and kept pushing the button and laughing hysterically. When she puts her hand up to her mouth, that is her version of a trunk.

And then she got tickled with her laptop’s songs and felt the need to move to the music. I could watch this over and over!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Our Little *Valentine*

On Valentine’s Day, we had a nice family dinner planned at McAlister’s, but I don’t think that Helen Grace got the memo about the “nice” part, or the “dinner” part for that matter. She was much more intent on climbing from lap to lap or swinging on the brass poles or jumping on booths than eating a bite of her food. I think the candy must have gone to her head. Here are some pics before we finally gave up on our meal and headed home before further tantrums or embarrassment! (Of course, when we got home, she pulled me into the kitchen saying, “Eat, eat!,” and she cleaned her plate. Arrgg…)

Playing with stickers from SpifferCIMG7676 Excited to see DaddyCIMG7678SAM_1303 Acting like a crazy monkeySAM_1301SAM_1297

Barney LIVE!

On Sunday afternoon, Valentine’s Eve, John and I took our little Valentine to see her favorite purple dinosaur LIVE at the Cannon Center. The performance was an hour and a half with an intermission, which an adult definitely planned. This was her first time in any kind of theatre or performance (other than the circus from a box seat), so we weren’t sure how she would do. I expected her to go bonkers when Barney came out of stage, but she just sat in my lap in a zone, staring at him. She eventually warmed up and would clap or wave her hand every now and then, but surprisingly she never got up to dance. She grew tired of it after about 30 minutes, and she pulled her daddy by the hand toward the door (and he was more than willing to oblige her). Thank GOODNESS, our seats were one row back from the door and on the aisle. She was able to come and go as she wished, which kept her happy through the second half. As the performance ended, I headed out of the theatre to find the two of them, and I met them in the hallway. She got upset when she realized it was over and tried to run back into the theatre to see “Bah-ney!” By that time, a crush of people were coming out of the doors, and we had to swoop her up and head to the car. Thankfully, we had hours of Barney DVDs for her to watch and her stuffed animal Barney in the car, and she cheered right up. What an experience! Afterward, Mommy and Daddy snuck out for a nice, grown up dinner to celebrate Valentine’s Day (with steaks, crab cakes, creme brulee, and wine- whoo hoo!!) while Grandma and Peggy put the party girl to bed.

CIMG7647CIMG7650 CIMG7653 CIMG7660 Waving her handsCIMG7663 CIMG7665 CIMG7666 Roaming the hallsCIMG7667 CIMG7673

In a trance, seeing Barney on stage for the first time

Warming up at last