Dating contract

Larry said he is saving this for 25 years so that when Annabelle is ready To start dating (when she is 25 lol), this contract must be filled out! Haha

6 month photos

... Well 6.5 month photos were taken today by Kristen from Catchlight Photography! (If you are in the NJ area, definitely look her up - she has great prices and is just so much fun to be around!)

Our favorite photo of the day kinda sums up how the day went...

The bow was made by me and the tutu was made by our friend!
Here are some more photos from the shoot.
We started off at Rutger's Garden. It was hot and humid. Annabelle didn't really dig the grass!
The dress is courtesy of her Aunt! So adorable! Shows off all her curves :)
She wasn't digging the grass at all. Here she is with Yogi, the Hare... her lovey!
She was better when she was being held.
Got a few smiles from her.
But man was it hot! The humidity shot up and although it was only 77 degrees, it felt like a sauna.
We quickly changed her hoping to get some good shots of her in her tutu!
The best shots are of her crying, which I think is still adorable!
She was not pleased. Her hair was starting to mat up b/c she was sweating. :( Our little one takes after both her father and I, we hate the heat...
So we moved the shoot indoors, back to Gamma's house!
She was much happier in the air conditioning!. Adorable in her tutu!
She loved that necklace. It allowed us to get a lot of shots of her that she didn't let us get earlier outside.
Gotta love baby's feet! So sweet and precious!
Her back side is just as cute!!! Isn't it?
She wasn't too keen on laying down and started to get a bit tired, but how cute are all those rolls? And to think, she's actually losing rolls. Her neck is visible now... I can't believe my little girl is growing up! :(
Just such an innocent look...
Smiling at Gamma who was there to help us bring out the smiles! Check out those two bottom teeth!!!
She still has her baby eye color. Can't really figure out the color - greyish blueish greenish brownish?
This was just too precious. Looks like she is saying the pledge of allegiance
and of course her feets again!
Hardly ever is my hair down when i'm with the little one. She was mesmerized by it!!!
This is my life... i adore this girl!
I love this photo!!! Daddy and his girl!
These two complete my every day!
Our family circa 2012 (missing is Kota who was off getting love from pop-pop!)

 The only photos we didn't post were probably some of the cutest. Annabelle in her birthday suit showing off her back side. Sadly, b/c in this day and age - something so sweet and innocent as a baby's butt with some stuffed animals can be construed as provocative, we aren't posting those photos - but they were soooooo adorable!

 Thanks again Kristen, the shoot went amazingly well despite the intense heat, relocating half way through, a fussy baby and a lot of bees and ants!

All images are courtesy of Catchlight Photography !!!

Straw cup

Last night we introduced Annabelle to a cup. For starters, we went with the straw cup as this will be the easiest transition to a real cup.

I was a bit eager to introduce her so bought her one from the local super market. It's the playtex with handles.

While she seemed to enjoy chomping on the straw, she didn't really try to suck out of it. So we limited the the time she spent chomping so she would focus on her dinner of melon, zucchini and broccoli. Hopefully she will get the hang of the straw soon.

Here are a few photos!

Baby Monitors & Sleep

While it doesn't seem like a big deal, I still had to share... the first day we used a monitor for our little one. Granted this is during her nap time and not bed time, but its still a big deal to to me :)

You may be wondering why not when she first was born... simply put, we didn't think we needed it.  We live in a "cozy" (and by cozy, i mean tiny) 1 bedroom condo.  The way we are laid out, i'm not more than ten steps away from Annabelle at any given moment.

Lately, the husband has been home more due to the case he's working on, which means more distraction for Annabelle and to our daily schedule.  It's worth it though, just to have him home more but it also means that if we wanted to move about our place in a slightly normal way - we needed to put the monitor up.

Another reason is that we finally have Annabelle on a decent schedule.  After that four month sleep regression (man that sucked), I really didn't think we'd have any predictable schedule but with some consistency, a lot of effort on our part, cooperation on her part, the ergo (our saving grace) and a lot of luck - Annabelle sleeps about 12 hours a night from 8ish to 8ish give or take.

We start her bedtime routine around 7pm and let her wind down with her medicine, then a bath, then a lotion massage, then into her pj's, then we nurse, then daddy reads a bedtime story or two, and then we plop her into the ergo and just hang out.  She will indicate when she's ready by nuzzling her head into my chest. Sometimes I nurse her while in the ergo and other times she just passes out with a little bit of bouncing, rocking, swaying or walking about the condo. 

The only problem is as she cycles through her sleep, she does wake up sometimes within the hour.  So lately b/c i'm exhausted too, I just lay next to her reading or on my phone catching up on stuff and i swoop in to nurse her at the first sign of her stirring.  In the beginning of trying to create a bedtime routine, she'd do this every 30-60 minutes until midnight. This has decreased over time and now she may wake once or twice before midnight and then two times (maybe three) before she fully wakes at 8-9am.

However, before I jinx myself with being proud of creating a bedtime routine - let me tell you the last two nights, this hasn't been the case.  Annabelle received her 6 month vaccines and since then has had two terrible nights of sleep.  I feel every time we give her vaccinations, we leave the doctors office with more issues. Is it the vaccines and her poor little body is struggling to create the antibodies or is it coincide with normal sleep regressions? I have no clue but i'm looking into an alternative vaccine schedule or delayed schedule (so if any of you mamas have done that, please give me your input).  In fact, last night (or should i say this morning) she decided she wanted to FULLY wake from 4:30-5:30am.  I just nursed her and ignored her.  She didn't want to fall back asleep, yet she was tired. She also has been screaming in her sleep. No idea what that's about.

So, we set up the monitor in hopes that we can put her down and have an hour or two of mommy & daddy time. There are so many shows on our dvr that we haven't seen b/c we just haven't had the opportunity and it'd be nice to maybe have a beer here or there LOL

This weekend we are going to try this. Hopefully, the monitor will allow me to still sneak in and catch her before she fully wakes and put her back down. We are taking baby steps folks! :) And while its definitely the longer route, i'm happy to say we didn't have to do the dreaded Cry It Out to get her on a schedule. While I know it works, I also know its not suitable for me or my child at this point in her life. And since I am ok with waking a few times in the night with her, I don't mind if she doesn't sleep straight through.

However, for today - closing of doors as our baby sleeps through her nap is not a big deal for all but it is a big deal for me! So i had to share ... another baby first - using the baby monitor :)

Happy to see my pup!

Sitting up

Like a big girl alone. It's official. Up until today, I could prop her on a chair or lean her up on something but as of today she can stay sitting up on her own without assistance.

I kinda feel sad! I won't lie. I know this just means that it is the beginning of the end. Our little girl is really growing up ! :)

Baby Led Weaning - Bananas

Actually swallowed the banana. YAY Annabelle!

Annabelle 1/2 birthday family vacation

So we had a special 1/2 birthday vacation to Ocean City, MD. It was full of a lot of firsts for Ms. Annabelle and we had a great time! The weather started closing in on us on our last day, so we ended up heading home a day early - but we enjoyed the beach and the bay and would love to go back again!

Here are a few pictures from our trip

This was when arrived at the condo we were staying at. It was so beautifully decorated and nicely maintained. I was very impressed! Annabelle was glad to be out of the car and chillaxing on the couch!

Shortly after our drive, she ended up napping on the bed.  It was a bit different than the bed at home, so she found her comfy side lying position and napped.
Then we went to dinner. It was Annabelle's first time in a high chair on her own. She loved it and chowed down on her cucumbers while we ate dinner!
Sleeping wasn't easy. It was a queen size bed but with a baby who spreads out like this, how was there gonna be enough room? We should have packed the pack n play!
The next morning we had breakfast and here is Annabelle just waiting to chow down.
After breakfast, the Husband went to go grab some lunch foods so i took Annabelle on a stroll for her morning nap. The bay led to this awesome pier where a lot of families were crabbing!
Then it was time to hit the beach!!! Annabelle was stylin'
We were excited to take her for the first time. 
However, heat and Annabelle don't mix well, so she didn't enjoy it too much... here are a few photos from the beach

When we took her down by the water, she was tired and hot...

She began to fuss...

and then she heard and saw the loud crashing waves and it was all over...

So we took her back under the umbrella and we played in the sand with our feet...

Then she took a nap...

and then we tried again... she was a little less scared but still cried when we let the water touch her feet. 

After a couple hours at the beach we headed home to rest and relax. I mean we were on vacation so we had nothing to do but chill!
we went to dinner later that night and Annabelle loved being on the boardwalk
I got a guiness and she got to enjoy watching the crowds walk by
Here we are walking back to the car. It was a successful day and we were all pooped!
We decided to take Annabelle on an evening stroll before she went to bed... Here we are facing the bay. The sunset was amazing and it was busy full of children and families crabbing and playing about. It was a lovely sound!
We had a great time ! Once Annabelle is a little older she will be able to enjoy the beach more. We didn't take her to the pool at the condo b/c it was a more young party crowd and she was already tired, but we can't wait to take her to the pool soon!