Friday, August 23, 2013

Eighteen Months

Parker Holt, you are 18 months old - 1 1/2 years old.  Six months from now we'll be celebrating birthday #2!!  How is this possible?!  You are getting so big and growing so fast.
Before we get to a few more current pictures and what you are up to at this stage of your life, let's take a trip back down memory lane and look at a few photos showing your growth.

Three months old...
Six months old...
Nine months old...
12 months old...
And what a difference TWO years makes.  Here is Mommy pregnant with you two years ago at this same time of year - late August 2011. 
(Note - I know this is a lot of write-up, but I want to document what Parker is up to these days)

You will go to the doctor on September 4th for your 18 month check-up and shots (boo!).  I am anxious to see how much you weigh and how tall you are - it's been a while since we got your measurements.  The last time you were weighed was at the end of June.
You are wearing size 4 diapers.  The majority of your clothes are 18 months.  However, there are a few 12 months shorts and pants that still fit due to your small waist.  But you are also able to fit into some smaller cut 24 months items as well.  Several of your adorable pj sets are 24 months since they run a little slim and snug.  Mommy is always keeping your closet and dresser cleaned out and ready for the next size.  I'm always looking for bargains for the sizes to come so we are prepared as you grow out of stuff.

We usually give you a bath around 7:30-7:45 each evening, sometimes later if we have something going on.  We both give you a bath and get you all ready for bed.  We put your nighttime diaper on, rub you down with lotion, brush your teeth, give you teething tabs when necessary, clean your ears out and brush your hair.  We read you a story together and then you and Daddy rock and read another story while I get your cup of milk ready - you still like a cup of milk before bed.  Daddy rocks you for a little bit while you drink your milk and he lays you in bed - usually between 8-8:30pm.  Mommy gets to rock you, put you down for a nap or hold you while you sleep in the afternoons sometimes so Daddy likes to do it at night.  You are an early riser and get up usually between 6:30-7am, but sometimes that varies earlier or later.

Naps are a bit of an issue mainly because you do not want to nap in your crib for some reason.  You will sleep great in there at night, but you want no part of it during the day.  Lately, you have been napping on the guest bed.  Sometimes I will rock and snuggle with you after you wake up (I am going to enjoy it while I can) and you will go back to sleep for a little while.  You also love to nap with your Daddy in the recliner on the weekends. 

Your eating - oh your eating.  This has probably been the biggest struggle in your little life.  There's so much I could talk about, explain and share about this, but I won't for time sake (plus those reading this may get bored - if they are still reading at this point, ha!).  At the end of June, you had tounge surgery and had your frenulum clipped.  You did beautifully and handled the surgery so well.  You recovered in no time and were playing not too long after we got home.  Now you can stick your tounge out, make more mouth noises and try to push food or your toothbrush our of your mouth.  You also went through about 5 months of therapy to help us with some of your eating issues. 

We have just come to realize that your aren't really a picky eater, you just aren't a big eater and you'd rather be playing (or doing anything out of your chair) than eating.  You tend to eat better when you can run around and eat or graze.  So many people have said that you aren't going to starve yourself and when you get hungry enough, you will eat.  Well, we aren't so sure.  You might just go hungry if we never made you eat.  It's just not on the top of your priority list.  But we keep trying at each meal and get you to eat at least a little something.  Hopefully one of these days you will just start eating like crazy. 



You talk SO much - your vocabulary is really coming along and you've had no problems talking.  With your tounge issues, it's such a blessing that it never affected your speech.  I would list what words you can say, but there are so many.  What once was a short list of about 10-20 words you could say is now a rather long list of words.  We talk to you a lot and name things that we see throughout the day to help you learn more words.  You are really good about trying to immitate what we are saying.  Just this week you started saying "hammer" as you've seen Mommy using one to take nails out of the wall.  There are several words that you know if we say them, but you can't quite get your mouth/tounge to move the right way to say them just yet.  You also can recognize several letters, numbers, animals and shapes we are trying to work more with you on all of those. You also know a lot of animals sounds too. We can say, "what does a kitty cat say?" and you will make a "meow" sound!  You are very smart and amaze us each day with the new things you learn.

At the stage of the game, you prefer looking at books over playing with toys.  You have tons of toys and you do play with them each day, but you love looking at books and having us read to you - which is awesome.  You've learned so many of your words from reading the same books over and over.  We also go to the library and check out books.  You go through phases with your toys where you will play with a few things for several days or weeks and then something else will spark your interest.


You also really enjoy "helping" us around the house.  We will say the word "help" as in, "Do you want to help make the bed?" or "Do you want to help start a load of laundry?" (and other tasks) and you usually come running to us.  The neatest thing you have started doing recently is you want to put groceries onto the conveyor belt at the grocery store.  I know I talked about this recently, but it's so cute.  You actually get upset if I don't hand you items to put on the belt.  As soon as you lay something on there, you reach for something else. 

Your absolute favorite thing (except maybe Mommy and Daddy), without a doubt, is the "Bubble Guppies" - you are a fanatic, that's for certain.  You would watch it all day long if we would let you and it's the only thing that keeps you still.  Otherwise you are blowin' and goin' nonstop all day.  We usually let you watch a couple of episodes in the morning after breakfast and maybe another one before bed.  It's also what you want to watch whenever we use the DVD player in the car.  You have a collection of Bubble Guppies DVDs, books and toys.  You say "Bubble" whenever you want to watch them.  You also like to look at pictures of them on the computer in Daddy's office.  You usually want to do that a couple of times a day.  You will go to his office door and say "Bubble" - super cute!  If you stay on this track, I see a "Bubble Guppies" birthday party happening in February.  It will be fin-tastic and I already have a couple of ideas.

You also still love when we vacuum.  You do your "happy feet" (your cute little dance) when we get it out and just love watching us vacuum.  You also go to the closet it's kept in and want to get it out, but sometime we have to tell you it's "night night".  Even if the carpet dosen't need it, sometimes we will vacuum for your simple entertainment.

You are also still a little fish and adore the water.  You enjoy your bath each and every night and have enjoyed the times you've gone swimming in your little pool.  You even love to wash your hands and splash in the dish water in the kitchen sink.  Your other loves include "Nunnies" (Bunnies) and "Guga Gugas" (Trains) and being outside. 

At Christmas, Santa brought you a little music activity table.  You played with it for months and then kind of quit playing with it for a while, but have recently gone back to it.  At Christmas, you were 10 months old.  I took some recent pictures of you with the table so we could compare how much you've changed since Christmas over the past 8 months.      

And from your "birth" day to today...
 

I could just go on and on about you Parker boy - there are so many neat things to share about you. You are just the light of our lives and bring us pure joy and happiness every single day. Yes you are indeed starting to have some toddler tendencies and your energy wears us out sometimes, but it's all worth it!! We are incredibly blessed to call you our son and be your Mommy and Daddy. You are so fun and curious. You have the most infectious little laugh, the biggest and brightest blue eyes and the best smile ever! You are so happy and playful and it gives us such delight to see you take on the world.  We love you so very much!






Until we meet again...
Riley




Friday, August 16, 2013

We Will Miss You Calvin!


It's a sad, sad day in the Ussery house.  We had to make the difficult decision to put our sweet, beloved Calvin to sleep today.  While we know he's now at peace, completely healed and much more comfortable, it's so hard to let him go. 

The hardest part is that he has been a part of our little family from the beginning.  John and I got Calvin two months after we were married so except for a short time, he's been with us and a part of our life together. 

He would have been 11 in January...we are so grateful for the 10 1/2 years we had with him.  For 9 of those years, he was our only child.  Through the years from being newly married to the years we had struggling to have a child, he was our "baby". He was definitely a spoiled little dog - he got lots of love! 

We have countless wonderful memories of Calvin and so many things will remind us of him everyday.  Already as I look around the house this afternoon, there are reminders of his place in our life and family.  John and I have been sharing stories and memories today of his life.  I wish I had the time to tell all sorts of stories, funny happenings and special memories. 

I'm not handling this so well and know it will be hard for the days to come.  My strong, sweet husband is having a rough time too.  We've shared lots of hugs and talked a lot about it and I've shed many, many tears (more to come I'm sure). We are grieving this loss in our family.

I know everyone says this about their pet, but Calvin was the best dog ever!  I am convinced that we will never find another dog as great as Calvin.  He was so sweet, laid back and easy going.  He was low-maintenance...eat and sleep - maybe a little petting and snuggling required.  He was never mean or destructive in any way.

Oh Calvy dog, how we will miss you! Things really feel different without you here.  You are a precious, sweet dog that will always hold a special place in our hearts.  We love you very much!   

  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Monday, Monday

Oh blog - you have been very neglected - my apologies, but more on that later.

For now...to the cute stuff!

I snapped a few pictures of Parker early Monday morning.  He's is definitely like his Mommy in that when the day has dawned, he likes to get going and get busy - no time to waste.

Our normal routine is to have a little playtime for about 30 minutes or so before we eat breakfast so these pictures were taken not too long after he woke up.

This boy of ours LOVES books - he looks at them and we read them all throughout the day.  He definitely has his favorites so John and I practically have some of them memorized.  It's so neat because he's starting to point and name things in the books.  His vocabulary is really coming along and luckily we speak "Parker" so we can understand what he's trying to tell us.  It's so sweet to see him pick out a particular book and have him bring it to you.  Some of them he will give to you 20 times a day and he loves it everytime. 

By the way, there's nothing more adorable than Parker in his pajamas - just stating facts!







After a bit of reading and dragging out a few toys, Parker climbed onto the couch to give Calvin some love.  This is very rare thing in our house because Calvin doesn't much care for Parker unless he's sharing his food - then they are the best of friends.  For some reason, Calvin was feeling kind this morning and let Parker love on him for a little while.


Parker is quite the little helper these days.  I wish I could share through pictures all of the ways he helps.  It's precious. 

A few examples - once we have the laundry soap in the washer, Parker will put the clothes from the basket into the washing machine while we hold him...John will take Parker out to the mail box and he will put what needs to be mailed that day in it...Tuesday at Kroger, as I would hand him grocery items (lightweight ones), he would put them onto the conveyor belt and put his hands back out for something else. 

His absolute favorite thing to help with right now is vacuuming and using the lint roller to pick up Calvin's hair on the furniture.  He gets SUPER excited when we get the vacuum cleaner out and literally cries when we put it back in the closet.  We have even had to resort to saying the vacuum cleaner is going "night night" and that seems to make it be okay with Parker and he will proceed to tell the vacuum "night night". 

When Mamaw (my Mom) was here recently, she bought Paker his own vacuum cleaner and he adores it and uses it here and there through the day.  It also has a removable dust buster that he will use around the house.  Monday morning, he decided to do some vacuuming before breakfast - what a helpful boy!  Let's just hope he's this eager to help when we want his assistance with household tasks when he's older.


In other news, hence the blog lacking my attention, we are on the move!! 

We had our house up for sale last year and never had any luck so we took it off of the market.  After much thought and prayer, we decided to put it on the market again this summer.  For various reasons, we decided it was best to leave our current house and move elsewhere.  It's a bittersweet decision because we have lived here for seven years and have made lots of memories within these walls (but I will do another post on that sometime - an ode to our home).   

 

The main reason is that we want more space outside - a bigger lot or an acre or two.  So we put our house up for sale on a Tuesday (the week of July 4th) and by the weekend we had two offers on it - wow!   As of right now, we close on August 21st - about 2 weeks.  We are feverishly making plans, packing and gathering, collecting boxes, renting storage units, making lists of things to take care of...you get the idea. 
 
Here is the state of our garage currently - it gets more full by the day.
 

After lots of searching, we haven't had any luck finding a place that would work for us and in our price range, so we have decided to build a house on a 1.5+ acre lot.  It should take between 4-6 months so we are making plans regarding where to live in between our current house and the house we are building.  We have a couple options that we are trying to make a decision on, but we are focused on getting all of our stuff prepared to get out of this house before the closing date.
 
We will keep you posted on where we are and what we are up to over these next few busy, but exciting months.  The blog may be on a bit of a hiatus until we can get settled into our temporary living arrangements.  But keep checking back - I'll be back as soon as I am able with more pictures and updates!

Until we meet again...
Riley