Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Six Months!

Hallie is half a year old! It's so hard to believe. The very best thing happened this month - Hallie is officially sleeping through the night now!  She didn't do it on her own. Dan finally got fed up with being tired and sick from us getting up with her 2-3 times a night and moved her bed out of our room. We found a cozy corner of the dining area for her bassinet that was as far away from the bedrooms as possible, and Dan slept on the couch near her the first night. When she woke up and cried, he'd comfort her every 10 minutes or so, but he didn't pick her up or feed her like we had before.  The very next night, she slept right through the night like a champ, and has been doing it ever since! It was the easiest sleep training of all time.

At her 6 month checkup, she weighed 17 lbs 11 oz (77th percentile) and was 26.4 inches tall (69th percentile).  Her head circumference was in the 96th percentile, because obviously her head is full of brilliance.

Hallie's new sleeping spot in the farthest corner of the house. Apparently, we were keeping her awake, too!

She used to sleep all the time in her car seat, and she still naps in it often. When she's ready to fall asleep, she always cranes her neck as far to the side as it'll go. She'll switch sides sometimes, but always with her nose nuzzled into the side of the car seat.

Hallie is getting so much more talkative. No intentional words or sounds yet, but she is the cutest little babbler.  She's having a heart-to-heart with her dolly in this picture.

She's also getting more playful and interested in things besides eating. She had lots of fun playing with this drum toy.

Hallie had her first beach outing when we got together with our friend, Cynthia, who was visiting from San Diego.

And she got to wear this adorable bathing suit for her first swim!

She really loved being in the warm, indoor pool.

Her meals have expanded to a variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains. So far, she will eat anything.

She's not quite ready to sit up on her own, but loves to be propped up to play.

Over a month ago, she rolled over every day for a week. Then she decided she had conquered that move, and stopped rolling altogether. We have tried to entice her to roll over again to get to her toys, but she is content to lay on her back and play with her toes instead.

Hallie, my mom, and I attended a baby shower this month for our friend from church, Rachel.

She charmed all the ladies in the room, of course.

She can get her pacifier into her mouth correctly now and knows to hold it there instead of jerking it away immediately.

She has successfully held her bottle by herself a couple of times, too. If we take the bottle out of her mouth, she will grab it and pull it back to her mouth.

She thinks Emma is the best thing ever. She lights up and starts giggling as soon as her big sister enters the room.

We had a little half birthday celebration with her grandparents when Hallie turned 6 months old. We wore party hats and ate cheesecake for dessert.

She thought the candles were amazing and kept trying to grab them so she could set the house on fire.  She got a few bites of cheesecake, too, and loved it!

Partying it up!

Dan and his girls

Happy half birthday to our sweet Hallie! We love watching you change and grow!

Busy, Busy

February in summary: no infections, no hospital visits, no surgeries. That's my kind of month, and we continue to be thankful to God for our safe and healthy days.  We don't take them for granted! 

Half our household did have colds this month, but Doctor Emma took good care of us.

We have (still) not moved into our new house, but we are getting very, very close.  We are making our new house our own and can't wait to live there! 

Dan, his dad, and my dad continue to work together diligently every weekend.  They are fitting the sink in the kitchen island and getting ready to install it and connect the plumbing.  That's basically the last step before we're ready to move in, although we'll have to wait to move until mid-April since Dan is going to be out of town for a couple of weeks for his school's Senior Class European trip (poor guy). There will still be a lot of work to do after we move, but when we're living there we can make progress each day instead of waiting until the weekend.

Dan staged the flooring so we could get a glimpse of how pretty our kitchen will be very soon!

After surviving December and January, Dan and I splurged on some items that we've been wanting for a long time.  I bought a treadmill and Dan bought a keyboard.  Our 4th bedroom is the perfect space for our new toys.  Hallie was enjoying Dan and Emma's jam session.

Future concert pianist??

Another big step (and expense) to make our home what we wanted was to remove the gargantuan oak tree from our backyard.  Sorry to all the tree-huggers, but we prefer to love trees from more of a distance.

I don't have a full-scale photo of it, but the tall tree you see behind our house was smack in the center of our small backyard. It dropped millions of tiny acorns in our yard and on our deck all year long and then dumped almost 40 bags worth of leaves this fall. We took it personally.

Oh, and it also stood 5 feet from our bedrooms. It leaned towards the house with its 100 pound branches dangling menacingly over our roof. We have hurricanes and heavy storms every year around here, so we decided to pay the price now to take the tree down instead of possibly paying the price later to fix a hole in our house.

I'll spare you all the progress pictures, but it was really cool to watch the professionals take the branches down.  They had exactly one direction they could let them fall without hitting our house, our neighbor's house, or our shed, and they did a great job.

Then they tackled the trunk!

At the end of a long day, all that was left was the stump.  They came back the next morning to remove it and level out the yard. Maybe we'll even be able to grow grass now!

Emma thoroughly enjoyed the leaf piles that the tree left behind.

Hallie came outside to watch me, my mom, my dad, and Dan's mom rake and bag all the leaves. I asked if she wanted to help and she said "no way".

Calling it a day!  It took us 3 days to rake all the leaves.

In other news, Dan and Emma's school has had fun events recently.

During Spirit Week, everyone got to dress up according to the theme each day. Dan and Emma on "Twin Day".

The high school had a 50's Sock Hop and Emma cut a rug with her best friend, Elisha (one of the high school teacher's sons)

Hallie got to dance with her handsome daddy.

But I got him to myself the Sunday before Valentine's Day.  We had a lunch date and then rode our bikes along the beach for over an hour. It was awesome!

Emma's class had a Valentine's Day party and the kids (and teachers) were so excited about their cards, candy, and toys!

We gave the girls Valentine's gifts. Hallie got butterfly pajamas.

Emma got a goodie bag of coloring books, toys, and more candy!

We had a play date one day with Elisha and his mom, Jenna

Hallie loved hanging out with Jenna and watching the big kids play.

I propped Hallie in the play area for a photo with our crazy kids!

Our good friend from San Diego, Cynthia, came to visit because her husband and their family will be stationed in Norfolk soon!!!!  She stayed at a hotel on Virginia Beach, so we spent a fun afternoon at the beach with her.

We took her to our favorite Mexican restaurant so she would feel more at home.

And the girls and I played in her hotel's indoor swimming pool on another afternoon.

Emma and my dad got to participate in Liberty Day at her school. It was a wonderful tribute to the students' family members who currently serve or previously served in the Armed Forces. My dad is an Army Veteran (Vietnam War), and he and Emma walked down the aisle and lit a candle in honor of Emma's great granddad, great uncles, and cousins who served.

During the ceremony, we sang the anthems for each military service branch.  The picture shows my dad standing with the other Army veterans during their song.

All of Emma and Hallie's grandparents were able to join us for Liberty Day.

Our family picture

And the whole group. It's incredible to have everyone close enough to join us for these special events!