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Monday, February 28, 2011

Whitman’s Step Stool

IMG_0634Whitman’s Daddy is a big Ol’ Miss alum and football fan, so the colors and theme reflect the spirit of the Rebels.

Okay, so I told you in a previous blog I’d be working on Alexa’s step stool next but I was wrong. I decided I’d finish Whitman Gibson’s first. He’s the son of my best friend from college, Brooke Hutson-Gibson. Whit celebrated his 1st birthday on February 9th. I had been working on Whit’s stool since Thanksgiving and had planned on having it ready to ship in time for his big event.

It’s a long story but let’s just say that a resanded, repainted & refinished top, 5 types of sealer with 7 coats of sealer, and it was finally ready to ship. I’ve never had difficulty sealing a stool before but I guess because of the frigid temps, the sealer didn’t respond to the paint and I had to redo the top (even when it had warmed up considerably outside). I was devastated as I had worked so hard to complete it on time and then I was distraught thinking that my many hours of painting had gone to waste. However, with a bit of sandpaper, more coats of paint, and lots of prayer, the top was good as new and sturdier than ever! It arrived a few days after Whit’s birthday celebration, but I don’t think he seemed to mind.

Alexa’s making sure the stool is sturdy for Whit. I think she’s beginning to wonder if she’ll ever get one to call her own.

Yep, Mom . . . the finish feels good and it’s ready to ship. I can say I know the finish is strong as Alexa drooled a bit on it (sorry Whitman)! It wiped right off. It’s great to have Alexa as my director of quality control. Little things like this are good to know for future use!

Friday, February 18, 2011

The countdown to one’s begun!

On Sunday, February 13th Alexa upped her status to 11-month-old and began her countdown to one! It’s hard to believe we’ll be celebrating her 1st birthday in less than four weeks! Alexa continues to bring us immeasurable joy each day especially as she develops new skills and always seems to be discovering something new. I told Chris, I don’t think I’ve ever smiled or laughed this much in my entire life. We’re in a sweet place and the sweetest part is Miss Alexa herself.

Latest developments . . . - We spotted a lil’ tooth on her bottom gum poking through. I suppose this is a sign of more to come but she’s handled the teething process like a champ.
- She’s added sweet potato puffs & Cheerios to her daily diet. In fact, she’d live on Cheerios if we’d let her. They are her new best friend & we take them everywhere. She’s also tried steamed broccoli, bananas & pears but nothing compares to the Cheerios.
- We’ve introduced 3 different sippee cups but she still prefers biting on the lids rather than sipping on them.
- She’s added the “oh” to “uh-oh” and she uses the phrase often as she loves to drop things anytime, anywhere. Giving her plenty of opportunities to say “uh-oh” I suppose.
- She enjoys walking with her new walker toy. She walks the length of our little home several times a day. She has also balanced standing on her own a few times.
- When you ask her what a doggy says, she’ll pant. This is because I’ll make a doggy noise (like ruf ruf) and then pant. I guess she only picked up on the panting part. She also sleeps with a stuffed puppy dog. We’ll often hear her panting as she plays with her puppy dog when she wakes up in the morning or after a nap.
- She has a pillow she loves to fall on with reckless abandon. It’s so cute – we just hope she doesn’t confuse the stained cement for the pillow because that will hurt. It was Chris’ old pillow we had planned on throwing away but she enjoys it so much we’ll probably keep it.
- She enjoys giving “forehead loving” where she will gently tap her forehead against yours as many times as you can handle the bonking.
- She is getting quite adept at waving “hi” and “goodbye.” Her wave resembles a tipsy Miss America’s. On occasion, she’ll also say “hi.” Her tone is very light and sweet.
- If it has a button or touch screen, Alexa is attracted to it and she can generally figure it out. She’s a techie just like her Daddy. She loves electronics – be it an iPhone, a timer, the microwave, the camera or computer. She’ll know more about “hand-held” devices at two than her Mommy does at 32!!  

Big events this past month . . . - Alexa’s baby dedication
- Alexa’s 1st snow storm and many “snow days” with Daddy.
- Getting closer to walking
- Eating big girl food

I’ve tried to do a better job of consistently updating the blog so there aren’t as many photos this time. Here’s a glimpse of what Alexa’s been up to with some videos too.

Alexa and her walker . . .
Alexa tried one of these out in the church nursery and loved it so we got her one. Here she’s trying it out for the 1st time. Don’t you love her concentration face!?

IMG_0592Hey Mommy, I’m getting the hang of it!

IMG_0594Off she goes . . .

IMG_0595Yes . . . we’re still watching you.

IMG_0596Reverting back to her old crawling ways.

IMG_0597Now it doubles as a push toy and a walker.

Alexa trying out her walker for the 1st time.
Alexa walking back down the hall.

The walker also converts into a riding toy. Alexa’s 1st time for a spin.
IMG_0652Here’s Alexa’s infamous pillow fall. She loves to rest her head on it.

IMG_0651Chilling on the pillow while playing with Mommy’s phone.

IMG_0540Alexa enjoys playing with her broccoli as much as eating it. Here she is balancing broccoli on the pepper. And no, we don’t feed her pepper but she likes to shake the bottle during dinner.

IMG_0437Shaking her sweet potato puffs. So exciting and delicious!

Hear Alexa’s doggy pants & watch her eat puffs.

IMG_0442Alexa decided she’d like to be in the toy box rather than her toys. What fun!

IMG_0449She discovered a flower paci clip in her toy box. We never used it because she didn’t like it but we decided to let her try it out again.

IMG_0451Hmmm – that’s peculiar! The flower came off the paci soon after this photo.

Well, Mommy’s got to post this blog and get back to 1st birthday preparations. It’s going to be here before we know it. Happy eleven months sweet baby!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My 1st Valentine’s Day!

”We love because He first loved us!” 1 John 4:19


Alexa showing off her “My 1st Valentine’s Day” bib courtesy of cousins – Ryan, Camille & Josiah. It wasn’t clean for long!

We had a special 1st Valentine’s Day with our littlest sweetheart. We didn’t do much as Alexa’s a bit under the weather but we did enjoy some sweet family time and were thankful for such a beautiful day o’ luv! Here’s a little recap of our Valentine’s Day weekend.
Daddy’s girls decked out in red and all ready for church. Alexa enjoyed her Valentine’s Day card so much from Uncle Mark, Aunt Holly, Rylen & Layton, we took it to church with us. She couldn’t resist the mirror inside.

Alexa showing off her heart fleece from Sharon Rigby. So pretty in pink.

IMG_0640Chris got me a cookie cake – indeed, the way to my heart. As you can see, I’m a hot “Momma.” Chris told me he had to spell out several things on the cake including – “HVD” & “Kels” but he didn’t think he needed to spell “Mama.” Apparently, he did. I don’t care. I like being a “hot Momma” – no matter how it’s spelled. And, it’s actually more icing anyway!

Alexa didn’t care about the misspelling. She wanted the icing – that’s my girl!

Alexa enjoying her card from Mimi & Pop. It was a fuzzy bunny.

She was fascinated more with the red envelope than the cute pink elephant card from Ama & Opa.

Thank you for all the love & spoiling you sent our way. We love you too!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Inside Alexa’s Nursery

This post has been a long time coming . . . it was about a year ago when we began disassembling our guest bedroom to make way for a little girl. It’s undergone quite a transformation and I think we’re finally finished with the nursery until Alexa graduates to a toddler bed. We wanted to share the before & after pics with those who had inquired about her nursery or perhaps for those who might not make it to our home before things change again . . .

I can’t believe I didn’t take more pics of the guest bedroom but here’s a glimpse of what it looked like before. We’ve had many special friends and family stay with us in that little guest room. Hopefully someday we’ll be able to offer our guests this bedroom suite again (in a different home). Until then, we have a lovely queen air mattress that fits snugly in the office for your sleeping pleasures.

From a time that seems so long ago – welcoming our guests.

Removing the bedding and bringing in the beginnings of Alexa’s newly painted crib.
The mattress is covered, wall hangings down, and more Alexa furniture in.

Dad & Chris assembling the crib.

Mom, Dad & Chris hanging the valance Mom made.

The beginnings of Alexa’s nursery with baby shower gifts sprinkling the room. Chris painted all of Alexa’s furniture. If you’d like to see what an adventure that was – you can check out his “painting” post on January 28, 2010.

The Kennedy family’s antique cradle from Germany along with more gifts. As you can see, Alexa was VERY loved even before she made her appearance.

IMG_0491Alexa’s room today. A view when you walk into her room (west & north walls). Notice the heater (to the far right) we keep in her room to keep it nice and toasty.

IMG_0496A close-up of a poem I found before I was pregnant with Alexa. It so deeply moved me, I knew I would hang it in our child’s room someday. Alexa Hope is our trust from the Father. 

IMG_0494The changing table with hand sewn valance and changing pad cover courtesy of my Mom. I think she used 2 or 3 fitted sheets from Alexa’s bedding so it matched perfectly. She is a sewing genius – wish I would’ve inherited that gene! We used the leftover fabric scraps to create Alexa’s name over her crib. We covered white canvases with the fabric and attached black wire ribbons. Of course, Chris painted the letters black.

This was our old dresser from the master bedroom (painted black). The mirror was my grandmother’s.

IMG_0499A close up of the dresser (east wall). Closet is to the left.

IMG_0501The south wall with Alexa’s door to the hallway to the left. We love our Poang chair from IKEA – great for rocking Alexa. The green nightstand was a steal at HomeGoods. There are a few close-ups below.

IMG_0382The wall collection features images from Alexa’s 8 week newborn session by Shannon Ho ( She loves to say goodnight to the pictures of baby Alexa and Mommy & Daddy.

The frame was a special shower gift to me from Karen, Chris’ mom. Each box contains a tidbit of parenting wisdom (see close-ups below). I like having it there so I can read it when I’m rocking Alexa, playing with her on the floor, or helping her say goodnight to her nightlight. They are wonderful scriptural reminders to read when you are in the midst of being a Mommy & Daddy.
--Notice the baby doll nightlight Alexa still loves. We all think the nightlight looks like Alexa which is why she is fascinated by it. She especially loves to look under the nightlight to see the little light bulb. My sister and I used this nightlight growing up.
IMG_0573If you can’t read it, it says . . .
- Make your relationship with the Lord your top priority! (Deut. 6:5 & 7)
- Invest in Alexa’s life with the gift of your time.
- Pray for a turning point in Alexa’s life. (Num. 13 & 14)
- Be consistent! (Jas 5:12)
- Pray! Pray! Pray! (Col. 4:2)

IMG_0574- Teach Alexa the value of a job well done. (Col. 3:23 & 24)
- Respect Alexa as a person to be valued. (Phil. 2:3 & 4)
- Guard Alexa’s heart & mind. (Neh 4, Phil. 4:8)
- Ask God to guard your lips. (Jas 1:19-20, Eph. 4:29)
- Keep a journal handy for recording the cute things Alexa says and does as well as the important milestones in her life.

IMG_0510A view inside Alexa’s crib – four pacifiers ready to go, her pink bear & angel bear (given to her by her cousin, Rylen), and her puppy dog from Auntie Janet & Uncle Tom. She inevitably ends up sleeping by her dog and waking up with puppy dog fur on her paci and on her hands. When you ask her what a puppy dog says, she will pant.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

. . . but Baby it’s cold outside!

Alexa experienced her first true snowfall on Friday, Feb. 4th when large beautiful snowflakes fell from the sky all morning and into the late afternoon. It was a glorious, picturesque snowfall. The kind that can mesmerize you all day long . . . just beautiful. I kept looking out the window and smiling at just how lovely it was. I love watching snow blanket the earth – it’s so peaceful, so pure, so quiet. I secretly wanted it to snow all day long – and it almost did. What a gift from the Father.

Anyway, enough about my thoughts on snow. Since the weather was much warmer on Friday than it had been all week, we took Alexa out for a few moments to enjoy the snow. (If you look closely, we didn’t even put shoes on her as we knew we wouldn’t expose her to the elements very long . . . just enough to get some snow on her tongue). Here’s a few pics from Alexa’s experience in “the white.”

Alexa kept trying to grab the large snowflakes on Daddy’s shirt. Where do they keep going?

Oh . . . I found some inside his shirt!

She liked the icicles too.

She’s trying to grab an icicle & we have to have a pic with her tongue! Yummy snow!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Snow Day(s)!!

IMG_0481Alexa peeking out the window at her 1st Oklahoma snow storm. Brrrrrrr . . . .

When the meteorologists warned the OKC metro that a very windy, bitterly cold snow storm would arrive on Tuesday, Feb. 1st, little did we know the impact 8” of snow, a ground blizzard and below freezing wind chills would cause. Lucky for us, it meant four days at home with Daddy – minus the negatives. Chris didn’t expect a six day weekend but we’ll take it, and we’re so thankful for a warm home, running water (so sorry you don’t have water Mimi & Pop), electricity, bountiful freezer meals, and time together. What an unexpected surprise – very chilly but wonderful! We haven’t been outside since Monday evening and it’s been lovely.

Although we still have one more day at home with Daddy, I thought I’d take a moment to share some fun photos of our time together (mainly of Alexa & her latest antics). Notice – she is mostly in her pajamas. Her uniform for the week. Did I mention it’s been wonderful?

Alexa’s thrilled to have her play buddy for four days – Daddy!  And he lets her play with his iPhone.

IMG_0485Alexa’s reaction when she found out Daddy gets Friday off too!

IMG_0483Crawling under the coffee table – it’s a tight fit but she loves the challenge.

IMG_0489Here’s a view from underneath as she scoots her pop-up toy to the other side.

IMG_0477Here she goes again . . .

IMG_0417   Crawling under her toy lion. She crawls under this toy several times a day.

IMG_0437Alexa showing off her newest favorite past time – snack time! Shaking the canister is just as much fun as the tasty treat.

YUM!! Ready for more Mommy.

No more photos!

I’m gonna getcha!
Alright – this Mommy is off to bed. Stay warm wherever you are.