Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Sarah is 18 Months Old

Wow, it's hard to believe my baby is 18 months old already!  I always think of her as the baby and even feel like she's not very mature for her age, but then we do something like go to the park with some of Joseph's friends and I realize (as she's climbing up the stairs and sliding by herself and running around without a care about where I am) she's more developed than I realize.  In fact, just this morning as I was picking her up from the child watch at the gym the lady asked me how old she is.  When I said 18 months today her reply was, "I thought that's what I heard you tell someone.  She seems so mature and always plays with the older kids."  I guess that's what happens when you have a brother older, but not too much older than you. 

In January, I took Sarah to Oklahoma City for a hearing test since she still has never passed (You might remember that since she was a NICU baby she had to have her hearing tested at 6 and 12 months as well as a couple of times in between, but never passed so we had tubes put in in August when she was about 11 months old to help with the fluid build up in her ears.) Now she will acknowledge them when they talk to her and follow verbal commands, but refuses to acknowledge the beeps after the first couple of times.  We know she can hear now because her vocabulary has grown too much for her not to, but she is stubborn.  Luckily the people at the hearing place recognize this and haven't even suggested we take further steps with her ears. 

Speaking of her vocabulary, her favorite word are uh-uh and uh-hu so we're really working on getting her to say yes and no (she can say them, she just prefers the others).  She knows lots of animals (birds (especially ducks) are her favorite right now) including some animal sounds, body parts, clothing pieces, food items, and many basic words like thank you, more, blanket, out, go, up, and nap.  She has a super cute way of saying "There go" when she hands you something and often tries to say sentences that we can sometimes understand but most often we only pick up on the key words.

As I started looking for pictures for this post, I was surprised with how many I found because her new thing is charging me while repeatedly saying "uh-uh" when she sees me trying to take her picture (particularly with my phone).  The first few are from a day when I happened to take my good camera with me to the park when the weather was awesome (knowing I probably wouldn't get around to an actual 18 month shoot).  Luckily she was too busy eating and playing to worry about me taking pictures.

Her mannerisms crack me up because she puckers her lips a lot and walks with a leaned forward, head out stance often. 

This girl loves her accessories!  If it's a hat, purse, bracelet, hairbow, or shoes, Sarah willingly lets you put it on her and even requests it often like on this day when she wanted a hairbow. 
Here she is with her jacket, bracelet, purse, and car telling my "uh-uh" about taking her picture.  It does show off her recent addition of four molars, though. 

In keeping with the girlyness and loving accessories, Sarah is also fond of "Baby" and carries her around with her bottle and special little blanket great-grandma Jean made her.

It comes as no surprise that our fearless child loves swimming (and looks super cute in her ear plug head band thing :).

But what did we expect from the kid that picks the tallest slide on the playground to climb up on her own.

Sarah tries to do or say anything her brother does or says no matter if it's good or bad. 

Even though she tends to be a girly-girl, Sarah isn't above playing in the dirt.

She and her brother spend many hours playing in their sandbox and she can entertain herself with a gravel driveway. 

She's interested in so much more than she was even just a few months ago and I love watching the world through her eyes.

She has a smile that melts my heart (as well as her Daddy's and brother's), the only problem is that she knows it.

Sarah, I love you and your brother more than you can ever imagine!  You bring so much joy to our lives!  You are definitely one of the best surprises ever.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Want to hear something amazing?  My kids are fortunate enough to have eight great-grandparents in their lives!  Eight!  Can you believe it!  I sat down to write this post fully intending to talk about how they don't know how truly awesome and rare it is to have that many great-grandparents, then it dawned on me that I also take it for granted.  So often I just think of them as my grandparents and imagine them as they were when I was growing up.  Isn't that how you think of your grandparents?  But then it dawned on me (during a conversation with my husband), that my parents are now the grandparents like I remember and my grandparents are now the great-grandparents.  Wow, talk about a reality check.  I have many friends who have multiple grandparents and even parents who are already deceased (trust me, I'm very familiar with the fact that death has no age requirements), it's just easy to forget that it could happen to you and go on living your life as if they'll always be there. 

Last weekend I realized that we had the opportunity to see six of the eight great-grandparents in a matter of days, so I set out on a mission to visit them all.

Our first set of visits came during my nephew's birthday party.  I didn't think to take pictures of the kids with each set of great-grandparents at the party, so you'll have to settle for these pictures I already had.

First up, Grandma Margie and Papa Don (my dad's parents).  I was saddened to realize this picture is a year old, we need to fix that.

Also at Bryar's party were Grandma Jean and Grandpa Dennis (my mom's parents).  This picture is also almost a year old, we'll have to fix that too.

Then, Grandma Bennett and Grandpa Bennett (Sam's maternal grandparents) were down visiting from Oregon, so we definitely had to take advantage of the opportunity to see them. They came to Stillwater to see us Monday evening, then the kids and I drove up to Sam's parents house to see them again before they headed out.

Our visit with Grandma Marjorie (my step-dad's mom) was a surprise for her.  It was a fun little stop on our way to my in-laws.

We even got to eat lunch with Grandpa Parks (Sam's paternal grandpa) on St. Patrick's Day rounding out the Tour de Great-Grandparents.

As we were driving down the road during our cross-Oklahoma adventure, Joseph asked me something about why he had so many grandmas (the grandpas go by a variety of names).  I simply responded "Because you have a bunch of people in your life that love you very much."  He took this answer to heart and even relayed  it to his dad at dinner that night.  Of course we talked about how grandmas are related and all that jazz, but his favorite part was simply that they love him. 

I was talking to Sam about how much the kids and I enjoyed visiting with all of their grandparents and great-grandparents over the last few days and we decided that many more day trips (and longer, especially for the out of state relatives) need to happen.  So, grandparents and great-grandparents, you heard it here, go ahead and hold me accountable, we will be visiting more this year.  We're all very lucky to have you in our lives and I want our kids to actually know you, not just know of you.