Mommy’s Baby Photos!

So one of the really cool parts of having your grandmother come to visit for a week is that she brings along with her some really cool baby pictures! :) So, at the risk of shame and ridicule below are pictures of Little Ashleigh:

Ashleigh, Around 3 or 4 Months Old

Those cheeks! This one was one of Gram’s favorites.

Ashleigh, 7 Months Old

Ashleigh(~21 Months) & Jessica (~4 Months)

My little sister Jessica has always been a cutie pie! :)

Me & Jessie, Easter '87 or '88

Check out the pink glasses! Stylish from Day 1! 😛

You know, I originally wanted to set up this post to show how much Lauren looks just like her Mommy, but upon further review, I couldn’t find a single pic where she did!

What do you think? Now that you’ve seen my baby pics, does she still look like her Poppas?

Bedtime Stories

Over the past month or so, we’ve gotten Lauren into a pretty good bedtime routine. Is it perfect? Noooo! Does she just quietly drift off to sleep every night exactly at the right time? Noooo! But about 80% of the time we can get her wound down and relaxed enough so that when we put her in the crib, she go to sleep without a big fuss.

A part of that routine are the bedtime stories.

James reading to Lauren last night

In the beginning, I don’t think Lauren cared what books we read or how many times we read them, but lately she seems to be able to tell the difference. That said we have a nightly rotation of stories we read (over and over again), that I wanted to share with you guys.

As a bit of an introduction, I wanted to point out that these are all board books, books who’s pages are made of cardboard instead of paper. Typically I put Lauren in my lap and let her turn the pages as we read the story. And whereas she has some nice paper page books I don’t want ruined just yet, we read the board books. I also want to say that these are not the only books we read as Lauren has quite a few others that make their way into the rotation. these are just our staples (for now).

“The Belly Button Book” by Sandra Boynton

Have you ever heard of Sandra Boynton?? I hadn’t until we started this bedtime story routine. She writes cute short board books. This one is the story of how much hippos love their belly buttons. I didn’t even know hippos had belly buttons!! But on the nights when Lauren’s really wound up, this is fun enough to catch her attention before we move on to more subdued selections.

“Your Personal Penguin” by Sandra Boynton

This is another Sandra Boynton board book. It’s the story of a penguin weither falls in love or wants to be besties with a hippo. So it’s the penguin’s plea to be  the hippo’s “Personal Penguin”. Apparently there’s a song to go along with it, but I’ve never heard it. I just read this book in my most calm voice and give LDH big hugs on the books’ cues.

Before I leave Sandra’s books I want to mention that they are all small and portable and packed really well for our trip to NYC.

“I Know My Mommy Loves Me” by Cathrine Beachwood

This is story of a little boy and his mother going though out the day. He tells the story of each part and afterward says “I know my mommy loves me”. Even though I’m not with Lauren nearly as much as the lady in this story is with her son, I like to read this to remind her how much I love her. My sister bought this for me when she came down the weekend right after Lauren was born and I’ve always thought it was really special

As another side note, by now I’ve read each of the above stories twice, maybe 3 times. So if Lauren’s still not rubbing her eyes like she’s sleepy, and mommy’s voice needs a break we move on to another one of our faves:

“Bright and Beautiful”, An Anglican Hymn

This is one of those Hallmark recordable storybooks. My mom’s voice is on the recording. She made this book when she came to stay with me right after Lauren was born. It’s a beautiful book based off an old Anglican hymn. It’s nice to wrap up the night by having my mom read both of us a story.

And by then, on most night’s Lauren’s tired. So we do our nighttime rituals: close closet doors, close blinds and curtains, ring dream catcher, and turn on her Myrtle the Turtle night light, and it’s lights out. We make sure she’s tucked in, maybe sing one Rock-a-Bye Baby, and then we’re outta there…. and by then so is she. :)

Lauren Sleeping (April 2011)

Long Time, No Chat!

Hi Blog World!! :)

Long time no chat! To be honest, we Hales’ still haven’t fully recovered from our trip to NYC. Isn’t that sad? I know, but hey we just had a baby (LOL!). I guess the fact that work has kicked up alot for both of us hasn’t helped. In addition, we’ve been blessed to have my Grandma (and Lauren’s Great Grandma) Ernie in town for the past week. And we’ve had a blast just hanging out and telling stories and catching up.

Catching Up with Great Grammy!

But that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about our little blog! I just haven’t had a minute to post. But as I did myself out, I promise to do better. And I’ve got some pretty good stuff to post too!  :) Including shots of our new “refridgerator decor” and maybe even Lauren’s 1st Word on video!! So stay tuned! In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying a few more moments with my two homegirls 😉

Lauren and Gram

 

“Little Girl, Big City”, Pt. 5

Monday was our last day in NYC, and since our flight left at 5PM, we decided to take it easy and hang close to home. But that doesn’t mean it was boring! In fact, we started out the day with a mini dance party:

Dance Party @ Gummy’s! :)

After we got dressed, swung by Starbucks (for Mommy’s caffine fix), we headed out to go see another park:

More Practice on the Slide!

Lauren Playing Hide and Seek!

Lauren Pushing Her Stroller

Bonding with Gummy

Hanging with Poppas

More Sliding!

Gummy Looking Like a Mommy!

Buddy Fruit Break! :)

 After the park we went back home, rested and ate lunch. And at around 2:30pm we packed our bags, hugged Gummy goodbye, hopped in a cab to the airport, and flew home.

Lauren is soooo blessed to have a Godmother like Gummy. And we were soo blessed to be able to spend time with her in New York. Can’t wait to see her again! :)

“Little Girl, Big City”, Pt. 4

To get down to Manhattan, we took the subway, and on the way we saw some street performers, and they definitely set the exciting mood for our day.

These boys were jammin!!

 When we came up from underground the first thing we saw was the Woolworth building, one of the 1st skyscrapers ever built. The architecture nerd in me had to take a picture.

The Woolworth Building, Completed in 1913

Then since we were on that side of town we visited the WTC site. It wasn’t open for tours yet, but they had a preview center that was:

WTC Site Model

NYC Skyline Made of WTC Steel

We were all moved.

One World Trade Center: Under Construction

After walking around the site, we headed further uptown to do some shopping (for “Non-Mom” clothes) and go to a street fair (best roast corn ever!).

A Manhattan Street Fair

Then Mommy got a wild hair and decided to take Lauren somewhere she might like:

Dylan's Candy Bar!!

All Decked Out for Halloween!

Mommy @ Dylans Candy Bar

Lauren Shopping with Mommy

Lauren Playing with Her Candy Bat

After that we took a real NYC Cab home and had real NYC pizza for dinner! A great NYC day :)

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