Morgan is 10 months old!

May 30, 2017

Our little lady lady looks so much more grown-up!  Charlie and I have both noticed her hair filling out, and just an overall “different” look to her. It’s so bittersweet! She had a busy month:

-Morgan can climb an entire flight of stairs! She finally had the opportunity to try at Connor’s preschool graduation while playing in the back of the church. She climbed right up like a champ! She also loves to climb on top of or into any tubs, laundry baskets, etc. that are nearby, or onto any shelves, or through/over/under anything you put there to block her…

-Morgan is standing very well on her own, and she took her first step on May 27th! Aunt Michelle couldn’t be happier that it happened at her house. Luckily, Charlie was nearby and he turned just in time to witness it with me.

-Morgan gets attached to one toy (or often a washcloth) and crawls around with it clutched in her hand while playing with other things. She doesn’t like to let go!  Last week she had a toy in each hand and Connor was trying to offer her a trade…but since her hands were full, she opened her mouth to try and accept the toy he was offering!

-Morgan’s vocabulary includes: dadadada, nananana, mamamama, vavavava, and assorted shrieks 🙂

-We played our first mutual game of peekaboo! I was in the backseat of the car with her and she was playing with Charlie’s hat. The next day she did it again with the shower curtain.

Morgan generally wakes up 2-3 times during the night. She normally goes back to sleep quickly, but sometimes when she wakes up around 4:00am it takes her a while to fully go back to sleep.

Morgan usually has 2 fairly solid naps a day, but occasionally 3 shorter ones. She falls asleep in her car seat easily these days, and I am glad for the infant car seat so that I can just carry her inside without disturbing her!

Morgan likes to eat! Towards the end of this month I finally started consistently offering more than one solid meal a day. She is used to picking up pieces of food and feeding herself, so when we started offering her a bite from a spoon she would just try to grab the food off the spoon. Now she eagerly opens her mouth to eat from a spoon, and still enjoys picking up food from her tray as well. Of the foods she has eaten so far, broccoli is the only food that she appears not to like very much. Pear, oatmeal, and blueberries seem to be her favorites!

Big Brother
Connor has really grown up a lot over these last few months. We definitely see fewer tantrums/meltdowns, he is SO eager to help anyone, and he is taking care of more tasks without prompting. And did I mention he asks A LOT of questions? I love our curious little man!


Connor is always looking for adventure!

Connor started playing soccer in late April, and this month he had a game every Saturday. He is one of the youngest and smallest kids on his 5-6-year-old team, but he has fun and tries hard!

One of Connor’s favorite activities with Morgan is bath time. He has graciously shared his bathtub space with her since the day she was big enough to bathe with him. (Actually, he was gracious enough to share the tub even when her baby tub was in there with him!) The icing on the cake is when it’s time to dry off. Connor has a hooded towel with a frog face, and Morgan absolutely goes nuts when he covers his head with it!  She shrieks, laughs, and flails her whole body. I love watching the two of them!​

I had the privilege of attending a Mothers Day Tea at Connor’s school. He presented me with a paper flower, and lead me to a table in his classroom where we shared cupcakes and lemonade. Connor gave me a handmade frame that he made in class, and then his class sang “I Love You, A Bushel and a Peck.”  It was such a sweet morning!

May 26th was Connor’s last day of preschool. I managed not to get emotional about it, probably because he will be attending the same church school for kindergarten next year!

Visitors and Adventures 
Grandma Penny and Oma were here from April 26th-May 5th. It was SUCH a wonderful week, and I missed them the moment they walked out the door. Many memories were made during their visit.

Morgan and I made a quick trip to Buffalo over Mothers Day weekend to visit four of my college friends: Tammy, Kris, Sue, and Tim. The five of us were close in college and played in a woodwind quintet together. Kris currently lives in Germany, so we all made the effort to get together while she was visiting her family in Buffalo! Morgan and I flew up there early Saturday morning and returned Sunday night. She did well on the flights – she napped some, as well as spending time making friends with everyone around her. While in Buffalo, we enjoyed a trip to Niagara Falls, dinner at The Rainforest Cafe, and relaxing with my friends. Four of us had babies within four months of each other, so it was fun to meet the little ones and see them interact!

Ready for takeoff!

Niagara Falls; out for a walk with our friends

While Morgan and I were in Buffalo, Charlie and Connor enjoyed a fun weekend together:  the Children’s Museum, the playground, and bowling!

Memorial Day weekend gave us another opportunity to visit the Brockwells. Connor LOVES spending time with his aunt, uncle, and teenage cousins! This visit, we enjoyed a day at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond on Saturday, followed by a relaxing and rainy Sunday at their house. Connor spent hours and hours building and playing with Legos with his cousins!

Having fun at the Science Museum: testing his speed, and experiencing hurricane-force winds

Here are a few more favorite photos from this month:

Enjoying a beautiful day in our backyard

Two peas in a pod!

Morgan is 9 months old!

April 30, 2017

Growth and Development

18lb 6oz (43rd percentile)
27.5 in (49th percentile)

It’s hard to believe that just one month ago, Morgan had started crawling. Now, she is all over the place! She seems to make a beeline for whatever we don’t want her to get into, whether it’s the toy Connor is playing with, or an open bathroom door, or an open refrigerator. Morgan loves to pull herself to standing while holding onto something, cruises around the furniture, walks Connor’s kitchen stool across the floor, and stands on her tippy-toes to reach for things. She can climb up one step, tries to climb into the bathtub, and has lots of adventures climbing up and down piles of pillows and couch cushions with Connor. She even stands up on her own for a few seconds without holding onto anything!!

Overall I think Morgan is making progress. She wakes up 2-3 times during the night and normally goes back to sleep easily. The biggest problem over the past month is that she likes to wake up within half an hour after going to bed (but of course she goes back to sleep with some help). Morgan seems to be working towards 2 naps a day instead of 3-4. It’s definitely a work in progress, but we have seen the light a few times!!

We rearranged upstairs (again) and now Morgan has her own room! Instead of having her crib in the guest room at the opposite end of the hall from us, she is now right next door. That room was originally an office, and then it was the LEGO room for the last few months. I decided to move all the LEGOs to Connor’s room and move his dressers (which are from the nursery set anyway) into Morgan’s room. It’s working out really well, and Connor has not woken up screaming from stepping on any LEGOs in the middle of the night…yet!

Morgan likes eating dinner with us. She feeds herself pieces of soft foods like avocado, banana, pear, and cooked sweet potato, carrots, and broccoli. She still loves to chew and suck on other fruits through her mesh pouch, like apple, grapes, blueberries, and strawberries. Morgan also likes homemade nut and seed butters. More food is going into her mouth lately than on her lap, so I guess that means she’s figuring out this eating thing!  In addition to solid foods at dinnertime, Morgan nurses several times throughout the day and a couple times at night.

Grandma Penny and Oma are here to visit! They arrived on the 27th and will stay through May 5th. Connor and Morgan have already enjoyed lots of wonderful time together reading, playing inside and outside, and doing arts/crafts. It has been so wonderful having them here, and I dread saying goodbye.

Big Brother
Connor turned 5 on April 16th! You can read more about his birthday and party here.

Grandma Penny made a superhero cape and mask for Connor’s birthday!

Connor and I had a special Mommy-Son date to the Virginia Military Tattoo. Charlie went on Friday night with my mom and grandma, and Connor and I went on Sunday afternoon so that someone could stay home home with Morgan each time.  I had been looking forward to seeing the Tattoo ever since last year’s performance, and it didn’t disappoint!  I think Connor had fun, but he is ready to choose the next date!

Here are a few more recent pictures of our sweet baby girl...

Connor is 5 years old!

April 16, 2017

I can remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. We were so thrilled to welcome you into our lives, and you were so excited to join us that you came 3 weeks early to surprise us. I thank God each and every day that he trusts ME to be your mommy. You and your sister are the greatest gifts in our lives!

This has been quite a year for you. Everyone talks about “The Terrible Twos,” which we never experienced with you; it was “The Fearsome Fours” instead! Your stubbornness really came through shortly after you turned 4. If you don’t get what you want when you want it, watch out!! We still have moments when emotions run high and your temper flares, but as time has gone on, you began to learn patience, compassion, restraint, and flexibility. I feel as though you have grown up so much over the past 12 months and you truly are our “little man.”

You welcomed your baby sister with so much love, and that has not changed! Yes, things are getting more challenging as Morgan wants to get into everything you are doing, but you still love to play with, snuggle, hug, and kiss her…all the time!

School has been a wonderful experience for you. You enjoy going each day, and we have seen so much growth and development in your coloring and drawing skills, handwriting, number sense, and much more!  You have made many good friends this year and love to play outside together after school.

LEGOs continue to be one of your favorite “toys.” Once Morgan arrived, we moved all the LEGOs upstairs so that you can have your own space. We try to make sure we squeeze in special “together” LEGO time when we can, but you do enjoy playing and building independently. You also love vehicles, imaginary role-playing, coloring, making crafts, playing outside, reading, and playing with Paw Patrol toys.

You are…

All of your qualities are what make you YOU and we love you for who you are! I tell you every single night at bedtime, and I mean it with my entire mind, body, and soul: I am so lucky to be your Mommy!

Connor, we love you all the way to the moon…and back. Happy 5th Birthday!

We had a party the day before your birthday with friends. We met at the playground down the street to play, then came to our house for a cookout. You spent many months planning the perfect cake. For some reason, your mind was stuck on a mint cake with gum!  Since you also wanted a piñata, I convinced you that we could put the gum in there instead of on the cake. We agreed on a white cake with a middle layer of mint cookie ice cream, topped with chocolate whipped cream. You had a number 5 candle to blow out, as well as 5 ladybug candles that Inge (our landlord from Germany) sent in your birthday box!

Morgan is 8 months old!

March 30, 2017


Growth and Development
Morgan has been “on-the-move” all month long. At the beginning of March she was getting into the crawling position and also able to get herself from laying down to sitting and back into a crawling position. By the mid-month she had figured out a true crawl! It was slow and laborious at first, but now she is quick to make a beeline for whatever Connor is playing with or any object we didn’t intend for her to play with. Her new favorite place to play is the kitchen, and she also loves to “help” with the laundry!

Teething seems to be hitting Morgan pretty hard these last couple of weeks. She just has the two bottom teeth that came through last month, but she has been drooling like a faucet, pulling on her ear, and having some trouble getting settled at bedtime.

Practicing her Downward Dog and discovering new toys in the kitchen!

I had to document her new crawling skills!

As if crawling wasn’t enough excitement for us, she has also pulled herself up to standing several times. Just the other day she stood up with Connor’s stool in the kitchen and “walked” it across the floor!  Please slow down, little girl!

Morgan’s sleep has improved a bit since last month. She is waking up fewer times during the night, but lately she often wakes up once or twice shortly after bedtime. Thankfully she just nurses back to sleep and lets me lay her in her crib, and generally has a long stretch after that. Even when her sleep seems rough, I remind myself that she’s still lightyears ahead of where her big brother was at this stage! She still takes 3-4 naps each day, and generally only likes to be awake for about two hours in between.

Morgan has added a few new foods to her exploration. So far we have offered her big, soft chunks of soft fruits and cooked vegetables. She also enjoys chewing on fruit in her mesh bags. While Morgan still doesn’t seem to have a real hunger for solids yet, she is definitely getting better at mushing things around in her mouth and swallowing. She enjoys watching her big brother’s antics at dinnertime!

Big Brother
“Uh-oh, Morgan’s on the move!” is a phrase I hear daily now. Connor loves to alert me about where Morgan has found herself or what she has grabbed. He loves to play with her toys, so hopefully the novelty will soon wear off for him. Connor enjoys coming in and singing our “Good Morning” song to Morgan when she wakes up in the morning. She always gets a kick out of his silliness and he can really get her laughing as he performs his “wipeouts,” etc.

Connor had fun at school this month with a field trip to the library, trying to “catch a leprechaun” in his classroom, and playing outside with friends almost every day after school (except for the rare days it actually felt like winter).

While Charlie was gone on a 12-day trip, I kept Connor busy!  Last Saturday we went to the Nauticus museum with Aunt Michelle, Uncle Brock, Garrett, and Eric. Connor, Morgan, and I were thrilled that they drove down from Richmond to spend the day with us!  On Sunday I took Connor (and Morgan!) to the Children’s Museum in Portsmouth. We have been there a couple times and Connor always loves it. Connor doesn’t have school on Mondays, so we kept busy at an indoor trampoline park for the first time. It was a blast! After Connor’s week of school, we spent the weekend outside each day enjoying the beautiful weather, friends, and picnic lunches.

Keeping busy while Daddy is out of town:  Nauticus, Cloud9 Trampoline Park, the Children’s Museum, and the playground

Charlie had a blast on his trip. He filled in with the Fort Benning band during their spring concert tour in Florida. Charlie enjoyed the opportunity to perform in concert band and a woodwind quintet, as well as coach master classes with high school and college students. He also managed to squeeze in a day at Epcot and another at Universal Studios when the band didn’t need him for the day. After 12 days, we were more than ready to have him back home with us!  It was amazing how much Morgan had changed in just that short time. She was just starting to truly crawl when he left and she had only pulled to standing once. By the time he came home, she crawls everywhere like she owns the place and gets into everything!

Charlie clearly enjoyed his trip!

Connor couldn’t seem to sleep until a decent time while Charlie was gone, so we endured many early mornings…but I’m grateful every single day for these beautiful munchkins!

Morgan is 7 months old!

February 28, 2017

Growth and Development
-Morgan cut her first two bottom teeth the first week of this month!

-She is now sitting up on her own, and I can’t get over how cute she looks sitting there all by herself!

-Morgan can pretty much get anywhere she wants by a combination of rolling, scooting, and stretching. I had no idea she would be on the move this soon! A few days ago she lifted her torso into an almost-crawling position, and now she lifts up on hands and knees and rocks back and forth…ready to crawl!  Yikes!!

-Another fun development this month is sticking out her tongue and blowing raspberries. So cute, but so messy!

-Morgan is getting chatty and especially loves to say “ah-da-da” over and over.

Holding herself up, and finally sitting with no hands!

Going on her first adventure to the kitchen.  It’s amazing to me how much ground she can cover without actually crawling!

Poised and ready to try crawling.  She likes to rock back and forth in this position as she contemplates which limb she might be able to lift up…

This has been Morgan’s worst month of sleep, but she has been going through so many developmental stages that I’m hoping that is what has disrupted her.  She has been waking more often during the night, but still nurses easily back to sleep and then I lay her back in her crib. Nighttime has definitely improved over the last few days so I hope we have crossed over one of those developmental hurdles! She now sleeps in her crib in her own room, and often likes to roll onto her belly to sleep. Her naps have spread out a bit, so she is usually napping 3 times a day, sometimes 4 if she was up earlier than usual. She usually naps only 30-45″ at a time, but sometimes surprises me with an hour and a half, or a random 3-hour hibernation!

Sleeping so well before being disturbed to pickup Connor from school

Morgan has been “exploring” solid foods for a few weeks. She doesn’t seem to have any real hunger for food yet and isn’t very good at mushing things up in her mouth and swallowing. I am certainly in no hurry! We have given her chunks of sweet potato, avocado, banana, cucumber, and broccoli. In her little mesh pouch she looooves to chew/suck on blueberries, pear, apple, grapes, and orange.


Big Brother
Connor still can’t get enough of Morgan, but I have a feeling the month ahead might change their sibling dynamic as she continues to develop her crawling skills!

My little loves on Valentine’s Day

We moved our LEGO collection upstairs to its own room, so now Connor loves to start building first thing in the morning. Connor enjoyed a family outing to the LEGO Shipbuilding event in downtown Norfolk this month. He got to build a ship with directions, look at amazing LEGO ships, and freestyle his own LEGO ship to enter into a contest.

The weather has been strange this winter and we have enjoyed lots of outside time on warm February days! Connor loves to stay after school to play outside with his friends while Morgan enjoys watching the action. 

We spent the long Presidents’ Day weekend at Michelle’s house (Charlie’s sister), and Connor had such a blast. The weather was perfect, and he spent hours outside with his cousins and uncle: fishing, riding the tractor, practicing archery, walking around their land, and building a “teepee” in the woods. Meanwhile, Aunt Michelle had lots of time with Morgan while Charlie and I enjoyed a much-needed nap! We all had fun playing a few family card games and board games as well.

Trying a bow and arrow for the first time with his cousin Eric

Here are a few more favorite pictures from this month:

Captivated by Connor’s train

Morgan is 6 months old!

January 30, 2017

Morgan loves to…
-smile and laugh, especially at her big brother
-jump like crazy in her doorway jumper
-be carried around in the Ergo


Growth and Development
-16lb 14oz; 26.5″
-Morgan continues to roll onto her tummy, and finally has been rolling more easily from tummy to back these last few days.
-She still scoots all over the place while on her back, and grabs anything within reach.
-Her eyelashes are soooo long and her hair is finally filling out! We felt like she was born with a lot of hair, but her head grew and her hair didn’t. Now her hair seems to be catching up!

Morgan loves to scoot underneath her swing to check things out!

Shortly after returning home from our Christmas trip, Morgan tried to rollover in her Rock n Play Sleeper, which is where she has slept literally every single night since coming home from the hospital. It was a sad day, realizing we had to make a sudden transition to her crib since it was no longer safe for her to sleep in the Rock n Play. Connor helped me setup the co-sleeper next to my bed, which is basically a playpen mattress up against the side of the bed and at the same height as our mattress. The first night and following day of naps were rough because Morgan’s arms were startling her each time I would lay her down. I had just stopped swaddling her at the beginning of January, so I decided to try swaddling her again. It definitely helped, and now I can lay her down without any problems.

Morgan usually wakes up three times each night, which seems to be another digression compared to last month’s sleeping habits, but she nurses and goes back to sleep easily. During the day she naps 4-5 times, depending on how early she woke up that day. She tends to stay awake for about an hour and a half and then nap for 45 minutes. Repeat all day long :). I’m ready for her naps to consolidate, but I know these things can’t be rushed! Just these last few days of January she has had a couple days of fewer and longer naps. We’ll see if it sticks!

Big Brother
Connor enjoyed our big snowstorm in early January! After returning from Texas and having one day of school, we were hit with at least 8″ of snow over the weekend. Schools and work were all closed on Monday and delayed on Tuesday, and Connor was off Wednesday as well, even though Charlie had to go to work. Connor loved digging in the snow and would have braved the cold for a lot more outdoor playtime if we had let him. The temperature stayed in the 20s and 30s for the first two days after the snow, then suddenly warmed up to the 50s.


After three days in the 20s and 30s, it finally warmed up enough to venture all the way to the playground.

The other big excitement this month was a family outing to see Paw Patrol Live at Chrysler Hall in downtown Norfolk. I must say, it was worth every penny to see Connor’s face light up as he saw the characters (and their vehicles!) come out on stage! Morgan sat on my lap watching intently almost the whole time, and finally dozed off towards the end.

This month we have been impressed by Connor’s ability to color neatly inside the lines, and his attention span for working on coloring projects!

A few more pictures from this month:

We returned home after our trip to Texas and discovered that Santa had stopped in Virginia, too!

Morgan is 5 months old!

December 30, 2016

It has been a busy month for Morgan! From watching her learn new skills to celebrating her first Christmas, we have enjoyed every moment with our precious family of four.

Charlie’s Holiday Party at work

Growth and Development
Morgan has been rolling from back to front for a month, but did not roll from front to back until yesterday!  She can really scoot around by arching her back and pushing with her feet while laying on her back. I can hardly leave her alone on the floor anymore! Sometimes while on her belly, Morgan tries to lift her hips up while moving her legs. She seems so eager to move, and I don’t remember Connor being like this. We might be in for it!

Morgan somehow moved over to Connor’s Lego set and broke it in half with her foot!

We have experienced the joyful sounds of true belly laughs this month. Her first one was in the bathtub after the soap bottle made a squirting sound. As I should have expected, Connor is the most successful at making Morgan laugh! There is nothing sweeter than watching Connor “perform” for Morgan so that she will laugh at him. She loves to “talk” and can get quite noisy and animated about it. Over the last few days she has started blowing lots of bubbles/raspberries.

There is nothing sweeter than seeing your children laugh together!

Morgan likes to grab anything within reach, especially her feet. One of her current favorite activities is sucking on her big toe.

Morgan goes to bed around 7:30pm and sleeps until around 7:00am, usually waking twice to nurse. Even though last month she was only waking once, I still can’t complain at all!

Her daytime naps have really consolidated this month. Morgan usually has 3-4 naps daily, and most of them are swaddled in her bed. For her short pre-dinner snooze, I like to just hold her on the couch and snuggle/nurse. I have been lucky this month that Charlie has been home from work early enough for me to relax with Morgan while he plays with Connor and helps get dinner ready.

Big Brother
Some comments never change from the previous month: “Connor still can’t seem to give Morgan enough hugs and kisses. He gets so frustrated when I ask him to stop if he tries to kiss her or hold her hand while she is sleeping!”

Connor had a Christmas concert at school on December 8th. Despite his serious demeanor throughout the performance, he says he had fun. Morgan decided it was bedtime and enjoyed sleeping through the concert. Connor’s favorite song was “Go, Tell It on the Mountain.” Leading up to Christmas, he and I loved to turn up Pentatonix’s version in the car and sing along!

This month we have been impressed by Connor’s ability to spell “Brokovich” and to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. He loves his teachers and is eager to go to school each day.

Christmas in Texas
We flew to Abilene on December 19th to spend 2.5 weeks with Charlie’s family. It has been a relaxing visit so far, and although we arrived on the coldest day they had seen in 6 years, it soon warmed up. Connor and I (and usually Morgan) have enjoyed plenty of time at the playground down the street and at the pond in the neighborhood. Connor loves spending time with his cousins and has asked every day when they are coming over.

Climbing the rocks at the miniature golf course with cousins Andrew and Aaron

Christmas Day brought lots of Legos, and Connor enjoyed building 3 large sets and a small set. Hopefully everything will fit into our suitcase when it’s time to go home!

Ready to open gifts with his cousins!

Enjoying time with Grandma and Granddad

Connor was busy building Legos after opening Christmas gifts!

Uncle Bill (Barbara’s brother) drove down from Parsons, KS on the 29th to spend a few days with everyone in Abilene. It was wonderful to see him and finally introduce Connor and Morgan to him.

It’s hard to believe that Christmas Day last year was when we surprised our families with the news of my pregnancy, and here we are this Christmas with our sweet 5-month-old Morgan Louise!

Bundled up for a cold day in Virginia

Morgan loves using her feet on the bouncer at Grandma and Granddad’s house. She also likes to grab the bar with her hands and pull herself up to a sitting position. She is growing up too quickly!

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