Sunday, December 18, 2011

NYC Date Night

We took advantage of a free Friday night and some good friends by heading into the city to see the Christmas festivities first hand.  It was wonderful.

In case you've been seeing too much of Millie (is that even possible?) here are a ton of pictures of Buck and I.  I'll just go ahead and say it.  We only have one pose.  We really need to fix that.

We were starving when we got there, so we grabbed a quite bite from a street vendor.  Always enjoyable.

We though these more modern jumbo lights were so neat.

Across from Radio City.

THE Christmas tree

This is what happens when you try to get a picture in front of the ice skating rink only to have someone offer to help and think you're going for a picture in front of the tree.

Since we knew y'all would be wondering why we didn't ice skate, here is Buck with a few thousand of his closest friends.

Blurry, but you can see the masses better.
 I was expecting to see tons of amazing store displays, but only a few stores really came through for me.  Bergdorf Goodman was incredible.  This one is my favorite and was made of paper.
I'm still afraid of the flash I guess.
FAO Schwarz was a good time, even without Millie.  I enjoyed running through the doll section dreaming of Millie's future toy obsessions.  Madam Alexander had me drooling...almost.  They had some pretty spectacular Barbies as well.  Vera Wang now designs Bridal Barbies, and the Grace Kelly Barbies were beautiful.  I'm a Barbie girl all the way, if you couldn't guess.

Buck got a kick out of the Barbie Foosball Table.
 We also enjoyed the giant candy.
Can you believe he let me pose like that in public?
 One of our last stops of the night was the Macy's.
The window displays were awesome.  The store itself is massive.  Eight floors even.

Standing right where the parade performances are each year.

Taking in the wooden escalators.

We rode the escalators all the way to the 8th floor.
 The 8th floor is the North Pole with the mailbox.
Buck mailed a letter to Santa for Millie.
We also happened to walk in UNI QLO which seems like a great place to buy a black sweater.  I don't think I'd go in looking for something other than the basics.

It might not look like we did a whole lot, but when you factor in walking everywhere and our commute to and from Connecticut our dear friends were stuck with Millie for over seven hours.  It was a great date night that won't be forgotten any time soon.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I recently read a friend's blog post where she wrote about how affected she was by positive comments on her blog and on facebook.  It's so true.  Why do we still love to be accepted by others?

In pondering over her words I couldn't help but think of how much I love comments.  Although my comments tend to be from the same folks, I still love any feedback.  I couldn't help but think about how bad I am at doing the same.  Here I am going on and on about myself, loving when others listen, but am I doing the same?  Regretfully, I am not.

It's not entirely my fault.  If you have to place blame, I point my finger at the iPad.  The way the internet browser is set up, it is impossible to look at all your blogs you follow on your dashboard.  So since last Christmas (when we got our first iPad) I've had to rely on my friends posting links on facebook with their new blog posts, remembering blog addresses, or getting on an old fashioned computer!  Poor me, right?

Well feel sorry for me no longer!  I just figured out how to look at all my followed blogs on our iPad.  It is just something they worked out with the new blogger dashboard, and I'm so glad they did.

So when I'm sitting on the couch watching another episode of Pawn Stars with Buck playing with the iPad I can add checking my favorite blogs to my mix of Pinterest and Facebook.

So you could say I'm officially listening.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Terrific and Two

Little Millie a couple of days old

Little Millie on her first birthday

Little Millie on her second birthday
Oh my, we love this little girl.  We loved all 1 pound 4 ounces of her, and we certainly love all (nearly) 24 pounds of her now.

I never look back and think of her time in the NICU as depressing (well maybe the last 30 days...) but rather as an experience our family had.  Simple as that.  Going to the hospital twice a day, every day was our life.  Waiting for her to open her eyes for the first time, seeing if her heart was okay, monitoring her eating like crazy, rejoicing when she could breathe on her own, holding her, and giving her a bath.  It was all incredible.  Those were tender and sacred experiences, unique by circumstance.  I'm sure every parent remembers very similar situations with their first child.  They just don't usually have them in the hospital.

I sometimes wish I still lived in Provo so I could volunteer to work with the NICU parents, and perhaps that is something I could do wherever.  I think seeing tiny babies regularly, and their loving parents, would help me remember just what a delicate baby Millie was.  My heart bursts and tears come easily to my eyes whenever I reflect upon our 135 day journey in the NICU.  They are always joyful tears, but mostly because I feel blessed beyond description.

Delicate is not a word I would use to describe her today.  Her nursery leaders at church refer to her as "daring".  You feel sorry for them, right?  I do.  She's the one standing on the table constantly.  She's the one jumping out of the baby high chair.  She's the one hiding her shoes in the toys, and then snatching someone elses'.  The worst part is she's light on her feet so you don't even hear her sneaking off to do something crazy.  She is also a little accident prone.  I'm not sure I'd recognize her without a goose egg on her head.

Her two year old check up was uneventful.  I asked for a laid back doctor, and boy did I get one.  I didn't even take one of those quizes that asks you detailed questions like "can your child pick up a cheerio using only their teeth with their eyes closed?" or something.  I always feel like I should have about a week to test her on all of these things since most of them I've never noticed or tried.  Can I get an amen?  I can't say I missed the quiz, but I still miss Dr. Later.  I wanted to like this guy, I really did.  I never got a "wow, she looks great for a 23 weeker".  I'm not actually convinced he read her chart ahead of time, mostly because he never referenced her prematurity.  I did, but he never really did.  We are planning a visit to the cardiologist and eye doctor to see how her heart and vision are.  Other than that, all is well.  She's just under 24 pounds and either 32 or 34 inches.  I can't remember what the nurse said and I never got a print out.  He never said "she's officially caught up" or "she's not quite caught up" and when I brought it up he said children are usually all caught up between two and three years old.  Each question he asked, she was right on.  So pretty much, I don't know where she stands.

So there you have it.  We've got a terrific two-year-old and we love it.  When she screams (often) we try and remember how long we waited to hear her make a peep.  When she begs for another cookie we try and remember how lucky we are she eats on her own and has no food allergies.  When she colors a beautiful picture on anything that stands still we try and remember how blessed we are she has the motor skills to color.  She keeps us on our toes, and we do our best to remember just how lucky we are.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A Very Special Thanksgiving

You know how you work so hard to make sure your child looks cute for church on Sunday only to have her come home (after nursery) looking like she did her own hair?  To prove that I actually do try to make her look cute, I thought I'd take some before and after church pictures.  Only I forgot the after.

Millie wasn't into it

Somehow we convinced her it was a good idea.  If only we could have found her (still missing) black shoes...

The purpose of these pictures were to show off her early birthday present from my Dad.


Now on to Thanksgiving:

Since Millie's birthday was on actual Thanksgiving this year, we celebrated on Wednesday with a small (yet large) party for our families.  I worked tirelessly on decorations for weeks, yet seemed to get no pictures of them.  Trust me, it was my best work yet.

Her loving father picked out her party theme: Sweet As Pie

We went all out with more than eight types of pie to enjoy, a pie-in-the-face booth, a pie eating contest and sent everyone home with a pie-in-a-jar.  Because these pictures don't reflect all of that, you'll just have to take my word for it.

We've been practicing blowing out the candles for weeks.  Stage fright I guess?

Buck's Grandma, Grammy, made the pie Millie is loving.

Some of Buck's family, and a small sample of the decorations.

Present opening is always crazy!

Millie got a sweet stroller that she pushes around very seriously.  Jocie wanted to help.

This is Millie's official Barbie.  The one we used in the hospital.
The party went well, but I sure missed having someone (Ashley did it last year) take official pictures of everything.  Millie did learn how to tell everyone she is two by party time, which made us so proud.

We were only home a short while but managed to squeeze in her party, a surprise baby shower for my Aunt Molly, Thanksgiving Dinner, my cousin Lily's Baptism, and Black Friday shopping before we took off early Saturday Morning.

Lily's Baptism was a sacred experience for me, and I'm sure the rest of my family.  Having the opportunity to participate in something so special in such an intimate setting among family (that lives all over, I should add) doesn't happen very often.  Lily asked me to give a talk on Baptism, which I was thrilled (and nervous) to do.  I also got to hear my brother give a talk on the Holy Ghost as well as see my cousins give prayers and sing together.  These are such simple things, but because we live all over and don't attend church together it isn't something I get to see very often.  She is such a sweet little girl that I know will work hard to keep the covenants she made that day.

Millie goes in for her two-year-old check up next week, so I think I will hold off on the "my, how you've grown" post until I know more.  This will be our first visit to a doctor in Connecticut, so cross your fingers we will love him.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tri-State Love

We've been living in Connecticut for over four months now.  We love it.  I though it was about time we shared with you why we love it.

New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut make up what is called the "tri-states."  It's not weird for us since we come from "the Carolinas."  While we haven't experienced New Jersey yet (just vicariously through Jerseylicious), we suspect it is lovely just like Connecticut and New York are.  By the way, New York (like Westchester County) is stunning.  And that's coming from a Carolina Girl.

You've already seen this picture of our entry way, but we love all of the historic old houses.  I've already personally decided I'm ready for a house with a back yard so Millie can go out alone (with me watching from inside), but we still really love the house we are in.

This is our driveway, but we love having a quiet little space to run around.

We love being so close to the city.  One quick (about an hour) train ride and we are right in Grand Central Station.  We have only been in for a few day trips, but look forward to visitors (aka overnight babysitters haha) to come visit so we can really take it all in.  I'm looking forward to a nice dinner, going to a show, and shopping.

Family pic in Times Square

Friends nice enough to take us around the city

One of the city's hundreds of parks (this one was in Harlem)
We love living by the beach.  It isn't a Florida beach by any stretch of the imagination, but we've got sand, water, and sun.  And it only takes about ten minutes to get there from our house.

We love the people here.  They may drive a little aggressive and look at you funny when you say y'all, but we have yet to encounter the "rude Yankees" I've been looking for.  Our friends from church and neighbors have really become our family, looking after us closely.

The only thing we don't love about living here (besides not having family with us) is the cold.  We survived our first snow storm, and anticipate an extremely cold winter.  Of course we also get to see NYC at Christmas so I think it evens out.

Even though Buck's current job is just a one year position, we are crossing our fingers that a job opportunity will work out for us to stay here.  It is likely, but we've got to decide which is the best over-all so stay tuned.  We won't know for sure until next Spring.

We're so excited for Thanksgiving and Millie's birthday party.  We are really looking forward to spending time with our families.  My Mom, sister and I have been working pretty hard on Millie's Pie Party, so look for pictures of the party in a few weeks.

P.S.  Just so our families know, I just posted a Birthday List for Millie's wishes at the top of the page.  I've had a lot of people ask what she would like, so I thought I'd just share it all in one place.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween

This year we took a big bite out of Halloween:

I think she thought her little pumpkin was fruit.  Gross.

One of the play groups this month was going to a "farm" (really just a done-up nursery but Millie didn't notice) for fall fun.

She loved the hay ride, just not the sitting down part.  Typical Millie.

I turned my back for one second and Millie ran full speed ahead into the "maze."  It was so cute seeing her little hair above the hay.  In this picture she's climbing up the side a little.

Even though she got in the way of a few bigger (and eager to be faster) children, she survived.  She's an explorer and never afraid to run around and see what she's missing.

We just got back from trunk-or-treat at church.  My initial costume plan didn't work out, and since Millie and I were a little under the weather today I didn't want to go out shopping for a costume.  At the last second (well, really a few hours before) we came up with a simple costume for Millie.

Cindy Lou Who

I think the costume turned out really cute, but no matter how many pictures I took I couldn't capture the complete cuteness.  You'll just have to take my word for it.

Trunk or treat was so busy, dark, and cold I wouldn't say Millie enjoyed it all that much.  I really don't think she understood people were giving her candy.  We didn't end up with quite the loot we were hoping for.  We only ended up with one Reese's cup!  Oh well, less candy I'll be forced to eat.

Buck and I are going to a Halloween party tomorrow night, and will be wearing another thrown-together costume.  Since we are new to the neighborhood I have no idea if we'll get trick-or-treaters on Monday.  So basically we are pretty much wrapped up with Halloween which means...

time to plan Millie's Birthday Party/Thanksgiving/Black Friday!

Did you hear we are supposed to get snow tomorrow?  Yikes.  How am I supposed to hold off on Christmas music with snow falling outside?  Who am I kidding.  I won't.  It starts playing November 1st.