Days with my Pais

I was talking with friends at work the other day about how sassy and funny Paisley is! They mentioned that I needed to be keeping a record of all of the funny things she says! I thought that was a great idea. These days we spent together and funny moments are ones I wish I could remember forever, but life gets busy and I’m worried that one day I won’t be able to remember some of the hilarious things she says and precious memories we’ve shared together. I plan on putting together a weekly recap each week… more for my own record, but if you’re reading this it’s also for your enjoyment & entertainment as well, I guess!

So, here are some fun little things that happened at the end of this past week…

7/8/16:  12-hour shifts are long. They are especially longer for our little girl. She goes to the daycare at my work, so her day starts at 5:30 AM or earlier and then she’s there until 7:30 PM or later.  Today was day 4 in a row, and Paisley was exhausted and let everybody know it. Usually when she wakes up, she’s in the sweetest mood ever and says, “Hi momma, Hi daddy!” But not on day 4….When we turned on her light in the morning she did NOT want to wake up and just kept rubbing her eyes saying “Eyes, momma, my eyes momma.” She kept trying to go back to sleep. When I called to check on her at daycare her teacher told me that she kept saying, “Eyes, eyes.” Her teacher asked Paisley if her eyes hurt and she said, “No.” Then, her teacher said, “Paisley are you sleepy?” And she said, “Mhm, eyes.” Apparently she wouldn’t put her night-night (blanket) down and then went to her cubby saying, “Paci, please.” You know she took a good nap!!

7/9/16: Today, we took Paisley to see The Secret Life of Pets with our friends Taylor and Victoria. As we pulled up to the movie theater, she started yelling, “Dory!!!” Gus and I thought it was hilarious because last time she went to the movie theater with us, she saw Finding Dory and so she was very excited about going back to the movies… we had to explain to her several times that she wasn’t going to see Finding Dory. The movie was really cute, Paisley loved the movie (despite the terrified look on her face in the picture below)…and she especially loved the popcorn.
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Later that night, we went to our favorite little coffee shop. It’s one we’ve been to countless times. This time our good friend Daniel came with us! As we sat at the table, my almost two-year old just smiles and says, “Coffee. Coffee, mom.” I couldn’t believe she said it and then, of course, we all couldn’t stop laughing. Our little coffee lover. She’s a girl after her momma’s own heart.

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No, that’s not coffee in her cup. It’s chocolate milk 🙂 

7/10/16: I work a second job from home. It involves me sitting at my laptop and typing like a madwoman. Today, Paisley got her little toy laptop and crawled up onto the couch and sat down right next to me. She opened up her little laptop, looked at me, and just started “typing” away as fast as her little fingers would go.
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Every day is a new adventure with Paisley. Can’t wait to see what this week has in store!

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Paisley Grace: 1 YEAR!

We have a one-year old. That’s just crazy.
This is my favorite age yet. Oh wait, I think I might have I said that before?

At one year, Paisley Grace:
– Talks constantly. Her favorite words are still “Da-da” and “Ba-ba” and recently she’s added quite a few more words into her vocabulary. Some of the recent additions include: Uh-oh, duck, two, dog, hello (pronounced “elll-uh” while she puts any object up to her ear like a phone), SSSSS (that means Aunt Kassidy, duh), and guess what? SHE STILL DOESN’T SAY “MA-MA.” I am just waiting for the day…
– Is down to taking only one nap from about 12-2. She knows when it’s nap time and she usually doesn’t fight it! (She’s like her daddy in regards to her love for napping).
– Still eats very well. She isn’t picky at all and loves her fruits and veggies!
– Loves to dance. Even when there isn’t any music playing. Gus always says she’s dancing to the music in her head! It is so cute to watch!
– Weighs 20 pounds, 12 ounces and is 29 inches long. (Yes, she is pretty short for her age).
– Hasn’t stood or taken any steps yet on her own but she’s always standing with help and scooting her way along the furniture!
– Gives the cutest kisses.
– Waves “bye-bye” and “hi” all the time. Even to all of the strangers in the grocery store.
– Is the biggest morning person. She wakes up in the happiest mood with a beautiful smile on her face!
– Isn’t much of a cuddler anymore. She basically will only cuddle when she first wakes up from her nap and when she takes a bottle.
– Had two really fun birthday parties in Florida with family & friends! She had a blast and especially loved the cake!
– Loves going on walks, petting animals, hanging out with other kids at the library, gymnastics, and anything that involves music & singing!
– Is wearing 9-12 month clothes. 12 month pants are super long on her but we make it work!
– Knows some sign language! She knows the signs for all-done, please, sleep and more. She’s working on learning more signs. She’s such a smart little girl and it is fun to watch her communicate with us in that way!
– Had a really rough week of being sick right after her birthday. With sickness came a grumpy, grumpy girl who threw tantrums and was a big challenge for mommy. Thankfully, after a few miserable days, she is back to her happy, healthy, easygoing self!
– Starts going to her new daycare next week. She’s excited. Mommy is nervous. I’m sure she will do great, though! She’s a very adaptable little girl.
– Loves, loves, loves her daddy. It is really sweet to watch those two interact together! Melts. my. heart.
– Is SUCH a blessing to us (yes, even on the difficult days). She brings so much laughter and joy into our home and we cannot imagine our lives without her.

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Happy 12 months of life, little one.

We love you to the moon & back!

How Clubfoot treatment can be FUN!

What? How can clubfoot treatment be fun!?
I’m writing this blog post for the expecting parents who may have recently found out that their baby will be born with clubfoot. I know how scared you feel and how worried you must be for your baby. I’ve been there. (You can read about our experience here). My daughter was born with bilateral clubfoot and we are currently in the 12-hour wear phase of our treatment. It is definitely a long, hard road at times – If I didn’t mention that aspect of the treatment I think I’d be lying. At the same time, like any situation, it is so important to find the good aspects of a difficult time.
Let me start by saying that thanks to medical advances and incredible doctors (specifically, those who have been trained in the Ponseti method) our clubfoot babies can receive excellent and extremely successful treatment. That being said, I want to encourage you by telling you some of the good things you may experience during your child’s clubfoot journey!

1. Your baby will most likely want lots of extra cuddles and snuggles after cast changes. Yes, it is difficult to see them uncomfortable and fussy, but those extra cuddles and lots of loving will mean so much to you as parents.
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2. You will have the opportunity to meet lots of other clubfoot moms, dads, and babies who have gone through what you’re going through! It is so good to know that you’re not alone and talk to other parents about the journey if you have questions or concerns. I have met several parents of babies with clubfoot and this journey would be a lot more difficult without them!

3. You can dress up the casts and make them fun! (Yes, even for boys!!) We used cute little leg warmers, coband wrap, and cute socks to dress the casts up. Before my daughter was born, I was so worried that people would stare and ask me questions about her casts. Well, they did – but instead of being embarrassed or ashamed, I would happily tell them about my daughter’s condition and use the opportunity to spread clubfoot awareness. We rarely (if ever) encountered people who were rude about my daughter wearing casts on her legs. No one thought she fell down the stairs or that I did something wrong (irrational as it sounds, those were some of my fears). People were, for the most part, genuinely curious and had very kind responses.
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4. You will be so proud of every single milestone your clubfoot baby reaches. Yes, every mom is beyond proud of their child for meeting milestones like rolling over, crawling, walking, etc!! There is just something extra special about the clubfoot baby who has overcome so much in their young life in order to make progress. Our daughter is crawling EVERYWHERE now and we are so very proud.

5. You can make up cute little songs and rhymes for the “bedtime shoes” when you get down to the 12-hour wear phase – and you WILL get there. It may seem like it is forever away at times but you’ll get there. I was very worried that our daughter would hate having her feet confined to the boots and bar at night but she doesn’t know any different! She knows it is just part of her bedtime routine and she does wonderful with them!

6. Your clubfoot baby may make you laugh a lot by some of the hilarious positions they learn to sleep in. Imagine if you had to sleep with special shoes on and a bar connecting those shoes. Sounds uncomfortable, right? Well, you wouldn’t know it by looking at the clubfoot kiddos! Our daughter sleeps in some of the most hilarious positions and somehow, she finds it comfortable with her boots and bar. It makes us laugh every time!
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7. You will have the opportunity to meet and get to know some incredible doctors, nurses, and cast techs along your journey! We absolutely love going to Shriner’s and getting to see Dr. Gibson and Stephanie! We are so thankful for everything they’ve done to help our daughter through treatment!

8. You will look back at pictures of your baby’s feet before their treatment began and you will be overwhelmed with happiness for the progress you’ve seen! (Also – make sure you take before pictures, you will be glad you did). These babies are so tough and resilient. It is incredible.
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Imagine your clubfoot baby running around one day on their perfect feet! The clubfoot journey is difficult and seems impossible at times, but it will be so worth it!!

Paisley Grace: 10 months

We fall more in love with this sweet girl every single day.
I cannot believe 10 months has already gone by!! 
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At 10 months old she:
– Crawls EVERYWHERE. And she’s a quick little girl, too!! We are constantly chasing her around.
– Loves to clap her hands, dance, whistle, and laugh.
– Stands up all the time! She has even gotten brave enough to walk along the furniture and take steps with her walker but no steps on her own quite yet!
– Makes the funniest faces! She especially loves to copy the faces/noises of other people!
– Dropped her late afternoon nap and is now takes 2 naps a day.
– Has NINE teeth. That’s right, nine. (4 on top, 5 on the bottom) She is always smiling and showing them off. Oh & she’s in the process of cutting at least 3 more right now!
– Loves the songs “PaddyCake” “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.”
– Got to spend a special week with her Grandma Sparkles when she came to visit us!
– Is such a little ham. She’s always trying to make people laugh and show off all of her little tricks.
– Waves “bye-bye” and “hello.” Even to strangers at the grocery store.
– Is such a curious little girl. She is always getting into everything. She definitely keeps us on our toes.
– Has a mommy who is now officially a Registered Nurse! (Paisley went back to her daycare for a couple of weeks so she could have fun while I studied – it paid off because we found out on June 17th that I passed my state boards).
– Is NOT a big fan of cuddling. Unless you’re giving her a bottle, she’s extremely tired, or she’s not feeling well, good luck getting cuddles from Paisley Grace.
– Thinks it’s so funny to try to climb up the stairs. (Don’t worry – we have a baby gate now!)
– Weighs 23 pounds! She’s in the 60th percentile for weight and the 20th for height.
– Still won’t let us keep bows or clips in her hair. (Hence the crazy hair in most of her 10 month pictures)
– Loves to say “Dada.” That’s all I hear all day long. “Dada. Dada. Dada.” She will say “Baba” sometimes and has pretty much  stopped saying “Mama” altogether. So, she’s just all about her daddy right now!
– Is wearing size FOUR diapers and is in 6-9 month & 12 month clothes.
– Really, really likes to eat. We have yet to find a food she doesn’t like!
– Got to go to the zoo on Memorial Day!
– Is currently in 12-hour wear with her brace. She only has to wear her boots and bar through the night until she’s 4! She’s such a trooper & her feet are still looking great!
– Loves anything that involves being outside. The swings, the park, the pool – you name it. She’s our nature girl.
– Is such a huge blessing to us and we absolutely love being her parents
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Paisley Grace – we love you to the moon and back!
Happy 10 months of life, little one!

Paisley Grace: 9 months

Paisley Grace is 9 months old. Unbelievable.
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At 9 months old she:
– Loves to eat Cheerios. Well really, she loves food in general…but especially Cheerios!
– Learned how to shake her head “No.” It’s pretty adorable and she knows it makes people laugh so she does it all the time!
– Can stand up! She started pulling herself up on furniture this past week! (May 12th!) Now she tries to stand up all the time — exciting, but dangerous!
– IS A CRAWLER! She actually started crawling on April 18th at 8 months old! (Only about a week after she figured out how to roll around all over the house) Now she’s a pro and she crawls everywhere. She’s a quick little thing, too! She keeps me busy for sure!
– Is wearing a few 6-9 month clothes but is mainly in 9-12 month stuff now. She’s also in size FOUR diapers. WHAT?!?!
– Had her LAST DAY at daycare on May 8th. We were so blessed to have an amazing teacher at a daycare we loved who helped care for Paisley Grace so I could finish school.
– Loves to to make people laugh!
– Says “Mama” “Baba” and “Dada” – I think she’s starting to use those 3 “words” with meaning behind them. She will say “Dada” when I show her a picture of him and when he comes home from work she says it a lot!
– Has a mommy who has officially been pinned as a nurse and is college graduate with a bachelor’s of science in Nursing! The most exciting part about that? We get to spend more time together!!
– Won’t let us put headbands on her head any more…She always pulls them off. Only hair clips for now!
– Got to spend a lot of time with special family members who traveled to SC for graduation! She got to see her Grandma & Grandpa Jennings, Aunt Kassidy, Great Grandma Gill, Uncle Todd & Aunt Christine (all the way from NJ) and Jacqui! She even recognized her Grandma and Aunt Kassidy from Facetime. It was precious.
– Makes a hilarious “smile” face that looks more like she’s going to scream but she’s just happy as can be. I can’t get over her funny faces she makes!
– Isn’t the biggest fan of men she doesn’t know. She gives them a mean look and if they say hi to her or get too close she’ll freak out.
– Had a wonderful first Mother’s day Holiday with mommy. We went out to breakfast with all our family before they headed back home. Then we had a relaxing day at home and went out for Sushi with mommy & daddy at their favorite sushi restaurant in town.
– Is such a HAPPY baby. She is always smiling with her 4 big teeth (2 top, 2 bottom).
– Brings so much happiness and laughter to our home. She is such a joy to be around.

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Paisley Grace: 8 months

Every month I think to myself, “This is the best age yet.”
Then… the next month comes along and I find myself loving that next age even more than the last.
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At 8 months old she:
– Has FOUR teeth! Two on the bottom and two on the top! Those 4 teeth make her sweet smile that much more adorable. (Unfortunately, she loves to grind her teeth and that just drives her mommy and daddy crazy)
– Says “Mama” and “Baba” – we figured out that she calls Gus “Baba” instead of “Dada.” On April 13th, I had the day off so Paisley and I spent the entire day together. She did not say “Baba” at all throughout the day. As soon as Gus got home that evening, all she said was “Baba” when she saw him!! It’s hilarious.
– Smiles all the time. Seriously though, I mean it. This little girl is almost always happy – even when she had a double ear infection AND a sinus infection. She’s a tough one!
– Is a chunky monkey – she weighs 18 pounds!! She’s in the 69th percentile for weight – (when she was born, she was in the 1st percentile)
– Is starting to get to that age where she doesn’t really want to be held by strangers (especially if she can’t see that her mommy & daddy are close by).
– Weighs 6-9 month clothes (mostly 9 months nowadays) and size 3 diapers! Wow…I feel like yesterday she was wearing premie clothes & diapers.
– Hasn’t quite figured out how to crawl yet, but she gets into the crawling position and rocks back and forth, moves backwards, and spins in a circle. She’s getting close!
– LOVES to swing. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before.  It is her favorite thing to do. She just laughs and laughs. I can’t even tell you how many pictures I have of our sweet girl swinging! We recently moved and we have a huge park across the street from where we live with lots and lots of swings to play in. Let’s just say there will be lots of visits to that park.
– Had a great first Easter holiday! She woke up to her first Easter basket filled with goodies, went to church and played in the nursery with a new friend, and we all had supper with some great friends of ours in Greenville and their family! We had a wonderful time!
– Claps all the time, likes to stick her tongue out, waves “bye-bye” and gives kisses! (Well, they are her version of kisses, anyway. She makes a fish face and makes the lip-smacking noise)
– Hates cuddling. She will not let anyone (including me or her daddy) pick her up and just cuddle her. The closest she will come to cuddling is when I have a day off and I let her sleep in the bed with me after Gus leaves for work. Other than that, not a chance!
– Still eats her baby food like a champ! She also loves to snack on puffs and has started eating some soft, small pieces of regular food. She tried mashed potatoes and beans on Easter Sunday!
– Has finally learned how to roll over without her boots and bar on!! (She started doing this on April 13th!) Now that she figured out how to roll – that’s how she gets from place to place! She loves to roll all around the house.
– Absolutely must be holding her rubber ducky during bath time every night. If she doesn’t have her duck in her hands she freaks out.
– Likes other babies and kids. This is kind of a given since she’s been going to daycare since she was 3 weeks old..but it’s so cute to watch her laugh & smile at other kids when we go to the park and just be so intrigued by whatever they’re doing!
– Is still such a daddy’s girl. When Gus comes home from work he gets the biggest smiles and laughs out of Miss Paisley!
– Is a very messy eater (hence the sweet potatoes on her face in her 8 month pictures!)
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Happy 8 months of life, little one!

Paisley Grace: 6 months

Happy half birthday to our sweet baby girl. Half a year. 6 months. I still remember when Paisley Grace was 6 hours old, 6 days old, 6 weeks old. Now she’s 6 months old and I cannot even wrap my mind around it. (I shared some of my thoughts about that here)

These past 6 months have been the best.IMG_0547At 6 months old she…
– Has TWO teeth. They are both on the bottom and they are just cute as can be.
– Laughs constantly. It seems like she’s always laughing or smiling (well…except when she’s overtired). She especially likes to laugh when we are at any kind of store. Her little giggles just fills the room and brings a smile the face of everyone who hears it. She also laughs at mommy & daddy all the time.
– Does this really cute thing where she puts the back of both of her hands over her eyes when she gets really tired. She’s a drama queen, already.
– Has started trying to copy us when we make funny noises and faces.
– Is a really cute sleeper. BUT she doesn’t sleep very well during the day. She’s getting better at sleeping through the night, but during the day she wants to be awake and interacting with everyone for the most part.
– Started sitting up on her own on Saturday, February 7th (2 days before she turned 6 months old)! She looks like such a big girl when she sits up and reaches for her toys!
-Is a little cuddle bug and really really loves when she gets to snuggle up in mommy and daddy’s bed.
– Has her ears pierced! She got them pierced on January 17th while her Aunt Kassidy was visiting us in South Carolina. She handled it like such a champ.
– Loves animals. Stuffed animals, real animals, pictures of animals, everything. She just LOVES them! She smiles and giggles when she sees them. She has a plush frog toy she loves to hold whenever we’re home. She’s also met several dogs who love to give her kisses and she just pets them (AKA pulls their hair) and laughs.
– Is a morning person! She doesn’t wake up in the morning crying. Instead, we usually hear her cooing and babbling in her crib and when we walk in to get her she gives us the biggest smile. Mornings with Paisley are the sweetest!
– Wears 0-3 month clothes and can fit into some 3-6 months (they’re just too long on her still, but I’m sure she’ll be wearing them in no time).
– Has some cute nicknames. Mommy calls her monkey moo moo, Grandma Deb and Pokey call her Paigie, daddy calls her monster and little one. She’s bound to have lots of nicknames as the years go by.
– Has lost a lot of her hair. She was born with a full head of strawberry blonde hair and now the majority of her hair is found only on the top of her head! Still cute as a button but I’m really excited for her hair to eventually grow back.
– Is doing so well eating her baby food. She loves bananas, carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, apples, and pears. The only thing she has tried that she didn’t care for were peaches.

Our photoshoot this month was filled with lots of giggles, smiles, silly faces, and big belly laughs. (Even more so than usual – Enjoy!)IMG_0552IMG_0546IMG_0541IMG_0536IMG_0534IMG_0455IMG_0528IMG_0530IMG_0526
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IMG_0505 IMG_0512IMG_0454IMG_0451Happy half birthday, little one. We love you so much!!