Brett, Heather, Kayla, and Tyson

Brett, Heather, Kayla, and Tyson
Brett, Heather, Kayla, and Tyson

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Big ONE!

Well, its been a year since Kayla joined our family. We sure love our little baby girl. She's such a fun-loving, smiling, talkative, sweet baby. I did a lot of reflecting of Kayla's delivery on Sunday, which was her actual birthday. I reread my blog post from that time and was filled with gratitude for a healthy baby. A woman's body is nothing short of a wonder the way it creates a life and brings it into the world. You can read more about my experience here

Since Sunday was Kayla's actual birthday and Brett worked most of the day, we decided to celebrate on Monday. We had a quiet day here at home and just enjoyed our time together as a family. After we had breakfast, I filled Kayla's crib with balloons and let her play in it. She LOVED it. She was laughing harder than I've ever heard her laugh.

We took her to get some photos done at JCPenny that afternoon. She got grumpy half way through, so we took a break, she took a nap, and then we were good to go again. We got some great photos and I'm excited to get them printed out. 

When we got home, we let Kayla play with her balloons again and she opened her presents. It was interesting how much better she was at actually opening the gifts than she was at Christmas. She carefully tore away all the paper and opened the boxes. Kayla got a new dolly, which she was so happy about, Robin Hood, a quiet book, and lots of adorable clothes. She was, once again, spoiled. No doubt that this child is loved. :) 

I found an idea on Pinterest that I was excited about. I printed off all my favorite photos of Kayla from the past year and made a large #1 out of them. It turned out cute and she loved seeing all the photos of herself. She probably thinks that baby is her best friend. 

She LOVES this doll!

I made her cake using a large cupcake pan. I've seen my mom decorate lots of cakes and watched my fair share of Cake Boss episodes so I wanted to try my hand at cake decorating. My parents got me a huge cake decorating kit with all the tools and frosting tips. It was fun playing around with this cake. Its obviously very amateur but I'm excited to practice more and more with cake decorating. I need my friend Cassie to share her skills with me. ;)

It was a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting on the bottom and buttercream frosting on top. As soon as the cake was within reach, Kayla started sampling the frosting. She loved it! As we sang her birthday song, she just kept licking. We tried to get her to blow out her candles, since she likes blowing air on my face, but she didn't quite get it. 

For the first several minutes, she just ate frosting, but we cut into it to expose the cake, and then the mess really happened. 

Once she got into the cake, Brett cut half of it off to save it for us. :) We then got the ice cream out and gave her a small scoop to go with the cake. 

She didn't get much further than this. At this point, she began throwing her cake on the floor so we took it away. We had a lot of fun Skyping with my family and with Brett's mom and step-dad. I am so grateful that with technology, we can still share these moments with our loved ones. 

The aftermath!

"How'd I get cake down there!?"

That's one happy 1 year old!

 Brett got the chore of giving her a bath while I cleaned up the kitchen. I'm not sure which was worse! haha! He said he had to rinse her off several times before he could start the actual bath. She definitely had a great time and we loved watching her enjoy her special day. She even went to bed at a good time and slept great so we didn't have too much of a sugar high to deal with. 
Bath time! 

Kayla had her 12 month checkup today. She weighed in at 20 lbs. 14 oz. and was 29 in. tall, both in the 25-50% range, which is where she's been for awhile now. She's a little smaller than average and proportionate. She says 'Hi!' everywhere we go while waving.  Walking into Walmart is hilarious, because with so many people, she can't keep up with waving to everyone, but she sure tries!
She started walking a month ago and has it pretty well down now. She can get through most of the house without stumbling.
She can now climb up onto the couch and get down on her own. 
We child proofed the kitchen cupboards, much to her recreational dismay. 
Kayla has a picture of Jesus in her room and she would always point to it so I started telling her it was Jesus. Now, when we point to it she says "Jesus" and it melts my heart. We also have another picture of the Savior in our living room that I pointed out to her once. Now when I ask her where Jesus is, she points at that painting. She's such a smart baby. 
She loves looking at books and the pictures. 
She loves when we sing to her. Her favorites of late as Popcorn Popping and I am a Child of God. 
She's sleeping around 11 or 12 hours a night with two naps during the day. 
Kayla has recently started screaming to get attention. Its not my favorite thing but hopefully its just a phase. We're working on that. :)
Her favorite toys are her remote control  and guitar she got for Christmas. She also loves her scooter and rides it all over the house.
Kayla says Mama and Dada all the time. 
She will eat pretty much anything now. We just share our food with her from our plates and she's a happy baby. Some of her favorites are rice, corn, chicken, bananas, and yogurt. 
I am currently weaning her and she is now nursing 2, sometimes 3 times a day. Sometimes in the afternoon, she'll literally pick up the boppy or her nursing cover and bring it to me, making it very clear that she wants to nurse. Those are the days that she gets a 3rd feeding. :) We introduced whole milk a few days ago, and she's NOT a fan at all. Hopefully she will get used to it.
Kayla is still very snuggly and I love it. Occasionally, she wakes up early in the mornings and won't go back to sleep, so I just bring her in our bed and she snuggles right up to go back to sleep. I don't mind those mornings because I know it won't be forever that I can snuggle her like this. 
I love being Kayla's mother and am grateful every day for her. 
Happy 1st Birthday Kayla Rae!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My Handyman

When I married Brett, I knew that he had a lot of talents. He is smart, funny, happy, etc. I could go on and on. One thing I underestimated him on was his handyman abilities. Maybe its because he's a city boy, but I continue to be pleasantly surprised at what he teaches himself to do. As home-owners, we've had lots of DIY projects that we've taken on. Brett has jumped at each one with a can-do attitude and the excitement to research and learn how to perform each task, increasing his skill set. 

One of the biggest projects he's taken on is our back deck. We live in an area where the grass is less than friendly, but when its cool enough, I love being outside. When we moved into our house, I quickly fell in love with our large back deck, but it was a bit of an eye sore. It was built by the previous owners and is obviously an amateur job. Nonetheless, we've enjoyed having it for sure, eating many meals in the cooler months here in south Texas. 

The deck when we moved in

We had this canopy for our table that came with the deck
but was twice-destroyed by wind and rain, so we tore it down.
We decided it was time to re-stain the deck and when we got looking, Brett decided it needed a bit more TLC to look good and be safer for Kayla to play on. Many of the boards were broken and a few were sticking up a little. We replaced a lot of the boards and a handful of the railing slats. Brett did a great job! He worked hard and fast too. We were really grateful for all the awesome tools my dad gave to Brett for Christmas a few years ago. We had everything we needed to get the job done. We had the Elders come over to help one day, which was fun and definitely helped the project along. Even Iosepa wanted to get in on the 'man's work'. :)

A 'before' shot of the deck. It was really weather worn along with the many bad boards.

The Elders got a head start on the staining process.

Kayla and Iosepa wanted to be in on the action.

This entire side of railing was bad so Brett replaced the whole thing.

The men eating their much-deserved pizza. 
After the Elders left, we still had a lot of staining to do. Brett insisted on doing most of it and I really appreciated how hard he worked. It was still really hot so I stayed in with Kayla while he worked away at staining for a few more days. He had also found more boards that needed replaced, so Brett ended up doing a lot of the work on his own. One of my favorite things about Brett has always been his assertiveness. If he has a list of things to do, he gets it done first thing, rather than procrastinating. He wasted no time with this big project of ours. 

The after shot showing the new boards and one side of the
railing with the new stain. 

The edge with the steps needed a lot of work. 

The beautiful new stain!

We got a new umbrella for our table with
solar lights. Its been great for eating outside now
that its cool enough.
Kayla loves being able to play on the improved and safe deck!
We love having this beautiful deck to enjoy but more importantly, we love having a dad and husband like Brett who is such a handyman and takes good care of us. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas Magic Continued

With my Dad being here with us for Christmas, we decided to make it an extra fun trip for all of us! Brett was able to get free tickets to Sea World (the perks of his job!) so we were off to San Antonio early the morning after Christmas. I can't say enough how much I love San Antonio, but Christmas time was even better! We grabbed a quick lunch at Panera - yummy - and headed to Sea World. It was a bit of a drizzly day but so much fun!
At the entrance with Shamu Santa!

Ready for our 1st Show of the Day - Sea Lions!
Sea Lion Show

After a couple shows, we had my Dad take Kayla to the dog and cat show while we rode all the roller coasters. Last time we went, I was pregnant so I hadn't ridden any of them. This time, with the cooler weather, we walked right on all of them. I LOVED it. I really love roller coasters. Although, we both yelled out that are we getting too old for this when we made the first big drop on the first roller coaster. It was so much fun and we loved having some alone time.

Brett demonstrating how NOT to ride the rollercoasters.

Ready for the dolphin show!

It was so magical watching Kayla watch the orcas. There was a new baby orca born in early December and they did a little show, showcasing the baby and talking about the miracle of birth. They tied it in with the Christmas season and the miraculous birth of our Savior. It was so magical and touching and I totally teared up.
Kayla was oohing and awwing every time the orcas would jump up or do any tricks. I loved watching her get so excited. I thought she'd be too young to really notice but she really loved the shows.
Brett made a video of a few movie clips we took of Kayla.

Her excited pointing!

Grandpa Kelly bought Kayla the Orca stuffed animal and she kept kissing it and hugging it. She's such a sweet baby.

We took Kayla to watch the dolphins and she got so excited when they'd pop up in front of her.

We loved the orca show so much that we went back a second time!

After the second Orca show, we wandered around looking at all the lights. They do such a good job making it look so pretty and Christmasy!

A tree made of Poinsettas

They had this huge section of the park called Candy Cane Forrest. Kayla loved it!

As we were leaving, they had a big tree with lights coordinating to Christmas music. It was great!

The next day, we did a bit of shopping, took my Dad to the Alamo, ate yummy food, and headed to the temple. We were able to go together since Dad was there to watch Kayla. We've never taken her to that temple before so we got a few family photos. 

After the temple, we headed down to the River Walk for dinner and to look at the lights. We've never been there on a Friday night before, and that plus the holidays made for a CROWDED area. We could barely get through the crowds. Good thing Brett decided against the stroller, opting to carry Kayla on his shoulders, cause that would have been crazy! The lights were really beautiful though and Dad loved it. If you haven't been to San Antonio or the River Walk, I totally suggest it. Its such a beautiful place to visit!

Since it was so crowded and there were no restaurants with waits less than an hour, we opted to hit up Whataburger on the way back to the car. We're not the biggest fans, but it's growing on me. People here in Texas LOVE their Whataburgers. They're everywhere. No trip to Texas is complete without some, so this wrapped everything up nicely for my dad. :) We fed Kayla some baby food we'd brought along and then gave her little pieces of our burger. She chomped that right up!