Thursday, June 30, 2011

Coming Soon To Our Front Porch...




Hadley Pizza Lietz

Oh man, I crack myself up.  {Ya know... cuz I said I've been eating so much of it that this baby should have it for a middle name? And I even had some for dinner tonight. So, it's funny? Oh, forgetaboutit...}

Hadley June Lietz


June is after Skip's grandmother, June "Ma" Elmore.  Ma is loving and kind-hearted and a great cook.  And most importantly, she gives the best hugs in Texas. Not kidding, ya'll.


We are honored that our daughter will always carry a piece of Ma's heart around with her.  Kherington and her baby sister, Hadley, are lucky girls to have three cool great grandparents.

Kherington Grace, get ready for Hadley June!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

6 Months

And a few days...

But who's counting anyway?

{You know, besides me}




Friday, June 24, 2011

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Griswold Family Vacation

Two weeks ago 13.5 "Kanes" decended on SanDestin, Florida for our annual family vacation. 

Sissy & Tai-Pan spoil us so!

The place was amazing... we all crashed in one cool penthouse suite at Baytown Wharf in SanDestin Golf & Beach Resort.  There was so much to see and do... aqua beaches with sugar-white sand, games, adventures, golf, shopping, great food, swimming pools, babies to chase, straws to draw to choose room assignments, etc.  We even got to meet up with friends that now live there. {Thanks Sanchez family for letting us borrow all of your cool beach toys!}

One night we got a babysitter and had an amazing dinner out.  I ate a huge platter of steak & lobster that was to die for!  And a glass of red wine... and cheesecake.  ;-)

I loved watching the cousins interact and play together. Benjamin was an active adventurer and Hudson was the smiley laid-back baby he always is.  And the girls... let's just say that if Kherington learned much from Julia and Harper, then we're in trouble!

I would have more photos... but this photographer allowed her waterproof camera to drift out to sea! {with a memory card full of photos] The shame!  I'm heartsick about it.

Family vacations are really something wonderful. The trip was full of adventure and special treats.  But my favorite memory was when Tai-Pan had all three of his granddaughters on the bed for a "wrestling" and tickle fest.  The girls were giggling out of control and trying to get away, all the while begging for more. Their laughter still rings in my heart.  Sometimes it's just the simple things in life...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daddy Dearest

Dear Dad, (the dad I share my genes with)

Since I was little, I knew I was lucky to have you for a father.  As a child, I was keenly aware that being your "Pookey" was something very special. 

I will always remember the laughter and the trips and the simple moments that made my childhood happy.  I can still imagine the comfort and safety of sleeping in your arms. I thought you were super man.

And now? Now, I know that you are more.  You are the kind of man that people want to be like and certainly want to be around. You are happy and positive and uplifting.  You share your wisdom without being judgemental. You are caring and selfless and a servant of God.

You are incredibly awesome with your grandchildren... hands-on, understanding, fun, and helpful.  And you are beyond supportive of us as parents, even being supportive of breastfeeding... and that is rare! 

You might even be a better Tai-Pan than a Daddy. But it's a close call.

On this Father's Day, we want you to know how much we love and admire you.  We will be learning from you for a long time to come.  And you will be a father-figure to more people than you know.

The Great Tai-Pan is our tribal leader and we are so grateful.

Love, Pookey

Dear Daddy, (the Daddy I share my bed with)

Starting a family with you has been the joy of my life.  And seeing you grow as a father has deepened my love and respect for you.

You take good care of us and we enjoy rewarding you with kisses. {even if you have to work for them sometimes}  Kherington always has a big smile when you come home... and though I may be busy or tired or stressed, I always feel just as thrilled that Daddy is home.

When I envision our future, it is never lacking in smiles and laughter and love. (or little girls!)  I know God has good things in store for us, and I am so grateful that you chose me to be your wife and your parenting partner.

I have NO doubt that both of your daughters are going to adore you.  And these girls are going to know just how lucky they are to have such a cool dad.

Happy Father's Day, babe.

We all love you a million puppy kisses,
Chels, Kherington, and baby H

Saturday, June 18, 2011

This & That...

-Like I said, sorry I haven't been blogging much.  I know you've been eagerly checking for new posts several times a day.         No?  Oh... well maybe just a few of you.  {Hi Aunt Brookey!}

-All of a sudden, Kherington is an excellent eater again.  Daddy taught her how to use a fork by herself and that helped.  But a new phase started and she is at least agreeable to trying anything again. phew!

-Today I popped a button off of my maternity shorts.  um... time to lay off the sweets?!

-From what I can see, Kherington is cutting 5 new teeth at once, including molars.  There may be more, but checking her mouth is truly risking life and limb... or at least digits.

-Texas is HOT already. Hits 100 or more most days. It is going to be a looooong summer for this pregnant mama of an outdoor-loving toddler!

-We have settled on the baby's name!!!  I adore it.  We will announce very soon, I promise.  But it starts with an 'H!'

-My "little sister" Elisa came to stay with K and I this weekend. When she wasn't being a typical teen on facebook, she held Kherington on her lap and read her Shel Silverstein for half an hour.  melt my heart...

-Kherington's communication is getting better and better.  More words and signs, and fewer grunts and frustrated cries.  It amazes me how quickly they learn.

-A few weeks ago Skip hit his first hole in one.  I wish I'd seen it, but it was still awesome!

-Kherington is currently obsessed with strollers, babies, ice cream, bottles (which she never used), her wagon, forks, shoes, her Sissy, and water.

-I'm already in nesting mode.  I'm nagging Skip to set up the crib... when in reality, I don't even have the bedding yet and Baby H won't be here for 100 days... and she won't even sleep in it the first three months since I use a co-sleeper.  But I enjoy decorating their rooms and I'm eager!

-Kherington has started pulling hair and sometimes hitting in the face.  Never other children, usually just me. And not out of anger, just because she thinks it is funny.  I'm not a fan.

-The pregnancy is going well.  A few scary things I've never dealt with, like spotting and round ligament pain... but both docs are positive that all is well.  Plenty of Braxton-Hicks lately.  Someone tell my uterus that it probably doesn't need to practice!  Baby H is breach and very, very active. Placenta is low again. Weight gain is good and back pain isn't too fierce yet. I'm lovin' it!

-Kherington has been an excellent sleeper lately. (well, mostly her whole life)  She sleeps 11-13 hours at night and still naps twice a day like a champ.  No complaints from this weary mama!

-I'm busy at home, at work, and with photography... so I'll post as often as I can. Don't go anywhere!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On Parenthood and Blogging

We are home!  We returned around midnight last night.  Some stories and photos to share, soon.

Life is changing so quickly.  And so wonderfully.

My little family is growing and thriving.  My marriage makes me happy.  My faith fills me with love and glory.

Life is just so beautiful.

I've thrown myself into parenthood, making a giggly little girl my world.  And yet still making time for my family, my friends, and the things that I love... like photography, reading, writing, and our pets.  

Some parents swear they won't let parenthood change who they are.  And while I understand the idea of not letting children swallow you whole and push away the things you once loved.... how can becoming a parent not redefine who you are?

My family does define who I am.  And I have no qualms about that.

I'm a mommy.  That will never change and I will never want to shed that skin.  I think it has made me a better all-around person.

It has made me busier, for sure.

Children grow quickly.  And I want to spend my time coloring on the kitchen floor, jumping on the trampoline, splashing in the bath tub, and learning animal sounds as we stroll around the ranch. 

As Kherington becomes more independent, she requires less of my time but requests more of it.

So I find myself writing less and living more.

And I'm okay with that.

But don't worry, faithful readers (hi grandma!), this blog isn't going anywhere.

Sharing photos, thoughts, and stories about my life and my kiddo(s) is nearly as much fun as blowing bubbles on the front porch...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm Sorry I'm Not Sorry

I apologize for the lack of posts lately.

But would you be blogging if you were here?...


Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Joys of Toddlerhood- Part 1

Ah, toddlerhood.

Strangers turn away and cringe. 

Other mothers tsk-tsk and offer unsolicited advice.

Neighbors pretend they don't know you in the grocery store as your son flops around on the floor.

Even parents dread the "onery ones," the "terrible twos," and the "three-times-as-bad threes." 

{maybe I made some of those up, but whatever...}

I could get into tantrums or selfishness or stubborn independence, or half a dozen other toddler trials.  But today we tackle the picky eater.

Since we started solids, my kiddo has been a great eater.  She ate everything with gusto... well, except peas, I always had to hide those.  She tried and liked all kinds of fruits and veggies, including spinach, broccoli, and more adventurous greens.  She learned the joy of being at the top of the food chain and attacked chicken, turkey, pork, salmon, and beef with gusto. She devoured whole grains and dairy.

And then a few weeks ago, she developed the dreaded toddler pallete.

80% of what we put on her tray goes on the floor.

Even when she is super hungry most of it rejected on sight, without even a taste.

I keep offering and she keeps feeding the dogs.

Her food pyramid consists of yogurt, blueberries, goldfish, taco meat, chicken nuggets, and oatmeal cream pie cookies.

Don't get me wrong, I keep offering healthy options and the junk happens rarely. But this is the food pyramid she would choose.

Now, I know it is perfectly normal for a kid to be picky.  Hell, I think I ate chicken fingers for fifteen years straight.  But I've tried hard to give her a balanced diet, especially since we are weaning off of breastmilk.  I want her to do better than I did at 13.

I offer lean shredded meats, steamed veggies, fresh fruit, whole grains, beans, and plenty of dairy.

I feel like lunch is the hardest meal to be creative with.  This kid won't even eat bread!

And she is asking to eat all day long. She must have hollow legs, this kid.  I try to stick with breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning snack, and an evening snack.  I find if she is hungry at mealtime, she tries more things.  But what if she won't stop signing "eat" and pulling me to her high chair an hour before dinner?  Give her a snack or tell her to wait for dinner?

When she doesn't eat the dinner we are having... give in and feed her something else or "teach her a lesson" she probably won't understand yet and put her to bed hungry? {which means she would probably wake me up crying at 3am}

At lunch when she refuses the food, I put her plate in the fridge and I offer it again in an hour or two. And this stubborn kid still won't have anything to do with it.
So... I want to know... how did you get your kids to eat well?  What are their favorite healthy meals and snacks?  Have any tips to share? Will she be rejecting my dinners until she is 18 and moves away to complain about dorm food?

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