Sunday, June 1, 2014

David was a Sweet Dream in Month Fifteen

I want David to know what he was like and how he was progressing in his first two years, so I am forcing myself to write a 15 month post.  Things have been going swimmingly well in month fifteen.  After almost three months of colds and fevers from hell, David is finally in a well phase and his GI issues are steadily improving all of the time.
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At his 15 month appointment, David's stats are as follows:

Height:  30.5" = 25%
Weight:  22 lbs. 8 oz = 50% (a 25% increase!!!)
Head:  25%

Finally, at about 14.5 months, David took his first steps and he took off.  He quickly became sure footed and is already running, rarely falling down.  Though he walked later partially due to some slight in-toeing, I think he waited until he was good and steady and ready!  He loves for me to chase him around the house and squeels with excitement when I catch him.  Much of his day is spent just walking around the house... it is as though he loves his newfound mobility and he loves to explore.  As my mom has appropriately named him, David (instead of Dora) the Explorer!

David is proving to be very verbal and lately is starting to say almost every word we tell him, though his is still very hard to understand.  Just the other day he was touching and pointing at the buttons on my shirt.  I told him what they were several times and now he is quick to point out our "bubbons".  It is amazing how they are really such sponges at this age.  He knows the following animal sounds:  elephant, lion, tiger, duck, cow, sheep and cat.  His most commonly used words are: Mama, Dada, GoGo (Margo), Bye Bye, no no, Uh oh, done (when he is done eating), ball and bubbles. He knows where his eyes are, but hasn't mastered nose and mouth yet. 

David's favorite place to be is outside!  He also loves his bath and loved getting in the baby pool with absolutely no fear this spring.  He continues to love balls, books, music and little things he can finger and play with like Little People, magnets on the fridge, stackers, blocks, etc...  We started a class at Gymboree after his first birthday and to say he loves it is an understatement.  He dances and participates with so much animation... far more than the other kids.  It is pretty funny to see!
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He is not a great napper, but is a great night time sleeper!  He has already dropped to one nap a day which has proved to be challenging because he still gets tired in the morning, I push it as late as I can and he usually sleeps two hours.  Then, he really still needs a short afternoon nap, but will not take one.  Most nights, he is in bed by 6:45 because he is so tired.  A funny thing about David is he loves to be in his bed.  He whines and cries and tries to climb in when he is ready for a nap or just wants to take a short break by himself... I have no complaints... I hope he always loves his bed this much!
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David is my picky kid... probably for obvious reasons with his past tummy issues that limited his diet for so long.  The only veggies he eats are in the pureed pouches and he will eat a few select whole fruits... blueberries, peaches and pears.  French fries are his favorite food!  I am happy, however, that he likes purees and different textures unlike Margo.  He will readily eat yogurt, apple sauce and oatmeal!  He is still such a gassy guy and fussy at times, that I have not introduced some of the healthy foods that Margo loved such as broccoli and beans.  O'well, I will make sure he gets as much nutrition as possible and I am working hard on not giving in.  If he refuses his fruit, he doesn't get anything else until he eats it. 
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I have decided that this is my favorite age... for now.  It is so fun!  Everything David does and says is so cute and amazing to us as parents.  He is a true sweetheart and delights in all of us.  He is fascinated by my face and my hair, he loves to put his sweet head on my shoulder or in my lap and he has the sweetest smile I have ever seen! I am so glad him and Margo have each other and I love watching them connect.  The laughter they share and the way he is learning from her is incredible.  I thank the good Lord for the gift of our beautiful and amazing son every single day!
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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Quiet Time Bin Wins Again and Again

Well, I lied... Quite a few people have expressed real interest in the quiet time bins I created for Margo because of these pictures.

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These are the favorite activity I refer to below.  Asleep with it on her head!
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Literally, asleep with the bin on top of her.  Pictures neatly lined up on the side.
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Flashlight in hand!

The easiest way to share my nap time miracle is through this blog and I have been contemplating how to document David's 15th month which has been filled with milestones, so I may update from time to time. 

So... Margo started dropping her naps almost every day of the week.  She was loud and disruptive in her room, waking David, making a mess and fraying my nerves.  Reluctantly, I resorted to the television and would try to sneak in a few winks or take a breather, but I knew this was not the long term solution I was looking for.  Thank you Pinterest... I found this blog post (with great suggestions)and although I was afraid to make a wasted investment I did not see a better choice in the matter.

I created five quiet time bins for Margo on the days she is not in school.  I bought the bins, along with several fillers at the Dollar Store and in the dollar section at Target.  I also used the mounds of extra stickers, coloring books, magnetic paper dolls I had on hand, etc...  My original investment was about $50.
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The bins stacked in our closet.

I took these pictures to show someone else and they speak for themselves in terms of content.  I try to add a new sheet of stickers and have recently started hoarding fast food kid meal prizes to include in the bins each week. 

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Calculator, lace and trace card, mini doodle pad, etc...
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A travel play pack from the Target dollar section with colors, stickers, etc... plus the other contents.
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Bug Catcher with ladybug from Sonic, mini flashlight, color wonder rainbow marker and paper, etc... (She loves mittens)
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A pop-up Ariel brush and mirror from the Dollar Store is a fave item, color balls to sort, etc...
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Color Wonder markers and paper, silly putty, etc...

What I have learned is that if Margo has something fun to do to keep her focus, she will quietly work with her quiet time bin and often fall asleep.  Her favorite activity of the moment is Invisible Ink books that I can find at both Target and the Dollar Store for $3.  Unfortunately, she colors the whole book during quiet time and we get one use, but that $3 is worth a break for me.  She might get one of those special items like the Invisible Ink every two weeks or so, otherwise we keep it standard and she still very much enjoys stickers, coloring, her books, etc...

What has ensued is a much happier and well behaved child.  Why?  #1:  She is getting better rest.  #2:  We are no longer having a battle of wills over nap time and she feels in control of the situation.  #3:  She views the quiet time bin as a fun and exciting treat and she looks forward to it.

I have designated quiet time for one mandatory hour.  She rests in her sleeping bag in our master bedroom (most days) because it is fun and different for her and she is away from our sensitive sleeper, David's room.  I was shocked after the newness wore off and I started finding her asleep when I went to check on her.  Hallelujah!!!  What resulted was more rest for me and an easier evening for our whole family.  I would say she falls asleep about 75% of the time.  Most days, she asks when is quiet time and she cannot wait for her quiet time.

It has been such a success that the work I put into it is worth it and I now have a method to my madness.  I keep the bin out after her quiet time, update it and place it back in my closet for the next week.  I think like an adult reading in bed, the quiet time bin helps Margo to slow down her little body and brain and focus on something, which in turn, puts her to sleep.  I have been told by many people that they have not encountered a more high energy child and this has been my miracle.  I hope to continue it until kindergarten and change it up to where she can practice her handwriting and do more sophisticated projects as she matures.

If you have a toddler that is struggling with nap time, I really suggest you give this a try.  I realize that each child is different and frankly, I was skeptical, but it has been such a blessing for our whole family!  Thank goodness for my discovery of quiet time bins.

Monday, March 3, 2014

With Every Ending there is a new Beginning

With the same reluctance that I started this blog, I am calling it quits.  I am so glad I spend the last four years documenting our kids lives and I sincerely enjoyed it, but it has become too consuming for me.  Even though I do not update often, the need to is always on the back of my mind, nagging at me and I want to be at peace with it.

My goal was to give David the same documentation that I did with Margo, with the hopes I could make it to age two.  That has obviously not been achieved even thus far.  When I started my blog I was working and I did most of my updates during lunch or on slow days.  It was easy with no interruptions, at least not like that of a one and three year old. 

I take my job as a SAHM mom very seriously.  I feel an added pressure to keep the house clean, provide healthy meals and be available to my kids, nurture them, enrich their lives, etc...  I have to let go of something and this seems the easiest thing.  Margo had a working mom and I wasn't as present, but I did a fantastic job of documenting her earliest years.  David has his mama seven wonderful days a week, but this blog has been somewhat of a failure this past year.  No one reads the blog, except maybe a shout out to Stephanie Ray.  I was doing this for the kids, to show them just how amazing they are and how much I love being a mama.  I will print the pages for them, put them in a binder and they will always know how wonderful these first years were.

All I ever wanted in life was to be a mama and it was a journey to get here.  In my first year as a SAHM, I sort of lost myself or my focus and was so consumed by perfecting the role of SAHM that I didn't focus enough on what is most important.  Those days are over, I am actively working on creating a no yelling mommy, practice "no cell phone Sunday" on a weekly basis, am going to church more often and trying to work on myself both spiritually and physically--I have lost ten pounds so far this year!  I am the most extreme kind of Type-A and a perfectionist of the worst sorts, needing my day and my life mapped out to the minute to feel in control.  It is unhealthy for my family and I am trying to let go and go with the flow.

So for those of you who did take the time to read about my precious angels, to pray for our family, to provide advice and encouragement, a HUGE thank you.  This is my 97th post in four years and it was fun... for a while...

From my first post - 20 weeks pregnant with Margo

To my babies... I wish I could put into words what it means to me to be a mother.  There is nothing adequate enough to even begin to cover the breadth and depth of my love for my family.  Margo and David, you are magical!  Everyday with you is an incredible gift from God and I love every beautiful, amazing moment we share.  I hope I never let you down and always lift you up.  I truly have tried with all my might, though I have failed at times, to be the best mama to you both--nothing matters more to me!  Thank you for bringing immeasurable joy to my days, for filling up my sometimes empty heart, for being the blue skies to my rainy days, for your beautiful innocence and purity.  You have reached into my soul and colored my being with the most vibrant rainbow of joyful, amazing emotions and experiences.  This thing called motherhood, there is no greater role for me, and I am eternally grateful that God entrusted me with your precious souls.  I hope that someday you will understand just how much being a mother to you means to me and that you will always always be proud to call me mama!

I cannot forget my ever faithful and amazing husband.  My Cary, you were so terrified to become a daddy!  I always knew you would be a wonderful father because you are an exceptional, loving and loyal spouse.  Thank you for putting up with me, for never giving up on me, for supporting me in everything I do (even when it doesn't make sense) and for working so hard to make our dreams come true.  I have loved this 14 year journey with you, through thick and thin, and know that there is so much beauty on the horizon for us.  With Christ, and with one another, we can do anything. 
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From my last blog post! Our family is complete!

I consider myself most blessed, plain and simple.  I/we have come a long way in four years.  Praise God for all of it and for allowing me to share it with you!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Our Darling Son Turns One!

David Victor, Big Dave, "D", Davey, Davinator... our boy!  There are no words adequate enough to express how special this boy is and how much he means to us.  This year felt like it was going at a snail's pace while I was going through it, but then... whoa, he's already one!  I was not prepared for the emotions that have flooded me over our David turning one.  It went too fast and I wish I could get those tiny baby moments back so much sometimes, to breastfeed, to swaddle and sleep with him on my chest, by my bed in the bassinet, the first smiles, laughter, babbles, etc... It was all so joyful, even with his slew of tummy troubles, and knowing that David is most certainly our last makes it a little bittersweet to say the least.
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His birthday was a jungle animal theme with a little extra focus on lions because David roars like a lion!  Since he came out of the womb, I can remember those joyous first loud cries and thinking, "he's got quite some serious pipes"!  And he still proves day after day, that he has the roar of a lion, but also the amazing courage of a lion... he is also starting to grow quite the lion's mane, our boy has some serious hair at the age of one!  The Lion Sleeps Tonight quickly became my theme song with David and it still calms him when I sing the different melodies.  I know his Uncle Boz is watching over him, showing him how to be a mighty warrior and sharing in the song as we did together so many years ago on a trip to Ruidoso.  It is such a meaningful song to me for memories I cannot explain and will forever mean even so much more now that it is David's song.
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Our incredibly generous and loyal family and friends traveled many miles to help us celebrate our special little boy... my sister, niece and in-laws from Houston and my best friend from San Antonio.  Not to mention our amazing local family!!  It was a simple party really intended to bring everyone together with food, drinks and some back yard hanging out in which the good Lord gifted us with a tremendously beautiful January day.  I served fun but easy dishes, such as Lions on a Log, Chimpanzee Cheese and Crackers, Baboon Bites, Hungry Hippo Dip, Serengeti Sangria and more.  David's cakes were a daddy lion and lion cub for his smash cake and he LOVED every moment of being sung too and celebrated.  He beamed with happiness and clapped his hands at every one's singing.  A mother's pride could not grow any bigger at such a moment in her child's life!
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At one year old, David is awesome!  On his exact birthday, he stood on his own without assistance for a few seconds.  He loves to push his walker and walks on his knees as his newest means to get around! He is loving books more and more, especially the touch and feel and lift the flap versions.  He LOVES music in any form and the most simple melody or an all out head banger's Nirvana jam will elicit excitement and dancing!  He has started copying The Little Mermaid "aaahhhh" tune (because Margo sings it all the time) and the baseball stadium "Charge" organ theme. 
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In his eleventh month, he experienced the sand box for the first time and loved it.  He could have stood there for hours running it through his hands, tossing it all over himself and even taking the occasional taste.  His favorite toys are balls and he will throw any object, including food, cups and shoes.  He has really grasped the concept of how things go together, such as stacking cups, putting the ball in the goal or down a ramp, placing all sorts of things where they should go.  This is all very different from his sister and are obviously male dominant traits.
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Oh' my goodness, he is a love!!!  He squeals with excitement when I come home from errands and just yesterday heard Cary come in, took off at warp speed down the hall, laughing and crying out to him in pure unadulterated joy at seeing him.  He loves to give hugs and crawls into my lap over and over, resting his head on my leg or my shoulder and gives great big wonderful open mouth baby kisses!
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At his one year appointment, David weighed 20 pounds and was 29" long, both in the 25th%.  He is a bit on the small side, but I am just happy he is growing after he lost over a pound back in November.  I think once his tummy issues are resolved, he will really flourish.  Goodness knows, he loves to eat, he just can't eat that much variety.  We will be introducing dairy this week starting with one drop, then 1/8 t. and so on... a very gradual process.  We have only tried two new foods since his ER visit... spinach and strawberries, neither agreed with him.  We have a follow-up with his GI in February and we are scheduled to see another in Houston in April.  I am just trying to go with the flow and be grateful that David is happy, sleeping well and thriving.  We will figure out this diet thing sooner or later if he doesn't outgrow it first!
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This first year has been hard with sweet David.  Seeing him suffer month after month, crying with such terrible intensity it would tear your heart out, day after day, was all very taxing on all of us... except maybe him.  His resiliency is undeniable and he is just my beautiful hearted gentle yet brave baby boy.  His eyes are soulful, the way he stares into mine during our quiet moments show me that he knows more than he should... it is as if he has endured, conquered and gained some kind of baby wisdom.  In a way it is heart breaking for me.  I tried my best these past twelve months to make it right and ok for him and at times I failed, I couldn't always fix it, I couldn't always soothe him, I let him cry when I probably shouldn't have, I yelled when I should have comforted.  I lost my mind a bit this past year, but it was all out of love, that intense love that only a mama knows and when you can't control and fix something or make it better, it does indeed drive you mad!

I am just so glad we made it, we fought together, with God and as a family, we are here, at one beautiful amazingly joyful year.  All is right in this moment and that is all that matters.  David and I created a bond entirely unbreakable in this first year of some hard times, but it was also filled with wonder and fun, love, joy, and sooooo much happiness, more than my heart can contain!
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David Victor, meaning "beloved conqueror".  You are indeed our beloved son and you have certainly proved to be a conqueror and I think this important trait will carry you though life.  Your round out our family in the most perfect way and bring me an immeasurable amount of happiness.  I love walking into your room each morning to greet the day with your infectious smile and laughter.  You are so happy and you make me happy, like I could never imagine until I became a mother to you.  We were meant to be... you and I, you have a big chunk of my heart and a piece of my soul.  I will never ever stop loving you or thanking our amazing God for the gift of your incredible life and the joy it brings to me.  Happy birthday, boy of mine, I look forward to experiencing our family's journey with you in it!
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Friday, January 17, 2014

We needed the divine in month nine, but amen to prayers answered in month ten!

It is all a bit complicated, but poor David has had a few really tough months with his tummy.  Just when I thought we were getting over the hump, things took a drastic turn that ended up with hours of terrible pain, inconsolable crying and ultimately a visit to the ER.
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David has had his fair share of tummy issues… maybe reflux, maybe dairy intolerance, maybe just an immature digestive system, all of the above… who really knows?  Our pediatrician wanted us to consult with a GI regarding his diet and create a plan to introduce new foods and decide about dairy at age one.  We followed his advice and “forged ahead” with his diet.  In a two week time span, we introduced three new things… asparagus, dairy based yogurt and strawberries.  At first he did fine, a few days later, it blew up in our faces.  Looking back I think it was all possibly merely coincidence and there was an underlying issue of building constipation. 


By the time we ended up in the ER, David could not eat even one ounce without screaming in agony.  It was heart wrenching.  Our pediatrician specifically sent us to get images and the xray showed what the ER docs called significant constipation in the entire large intestine.  Based on his history, we ran other tests to rule out other possibilities and fortunately all were negative.  We were sent home on a formula only diet and laxatives until a follow-up with a new GI.


Long story short, David ended up going on a literal hunger strike the day after our GI appointment two weeks later, the next day upper GI xrays with contrast were negative and we decided to try and feed him.  Poor guy refused even an ounce of formula for over 12 hours.  He was trying to tell us he needed food and was starving for more! 


So here we are now, feeding David a very simple diet similar to that of a six month old and he is doing great… AMEN, Praise the Lord!  He is still the gassiest baby ever and has occasional fussiness, but he is sleeping through the night, laughing, growing and is wonderful in every sweet wonderful baby way.  After he turns one year, we will begin the very meticulous process of trying and documenting all new foods.  I am praying and hoping that this was all just some strange terrible bump in the road and that it will go successfully.
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So… even though the past few months were very difficult, it was not all clouded in sickness.  David showed us that he is a tough fighter, is resilient and just how incredibly happy he can be when he feels good.
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On David's nine month birthday, he started crawling and whoa did he take off!!!  This boy crawls as if he is in a race.  He is all over the place, exploring every inch of our house and I have a very difficult time keeping up with him and watching him.  Two weeks later, he pulled up to stand, which resulted in a few bumps, bruises and a busted lip, but now he is strong and steady. 

In month ten, David started clapping his hands and dancing and loves the toy piano, xylophone and shakers.  He babbles like crazy and his little voice is so much deeper than Margo's already.  He will copy things we teach him like throwing a ball or throwing his hands up in the air and saying, "all done".  He has a natural born instinct to push his cars, or any object for that matter, around the house.  He loves to swing, laughing hysterically, and crawl in the grass and can already slide down his mini slide.  He recently started liking books a lot more and really enjoys his bedtime stories.  His favorite is called "Boy of Mine" and brings the sweetest smile to his face every time we open it.
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As David starts getting older, I am realizing more and more just how different boys are and how different his personality is than Margo's.  It is such a neat experience to learn and bond with him in a different way.  Recently we were rough housing a bit on the bed and it really brought out something in him... we were quieting down in the playroom afterward and I was reading to Margo and David was literally trying to wrestle with us, was climbing all over the place, falling down laughing and just acting crazy.  It was so funny to me!
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It broke my heart to pieces to see our boy go through such a hard time recently, but I am also grateful for his improvement.  He is such a precious gift from God and I feel so blessed to call him mine, my David Victor, my sweet daily delight, my baby boy who makes my world so much brighter.  I cannot believe in less than one short month, he will be one year old.  I am cherishing these baby moments and hanging onto them with a fierce yearning for these special times to never end!
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Saturday, November 30, 2013

October Feats and Treats!

October was a great month at the Weaver house.  The cooler weather was welcomed with almost daily walks, trips to the park, a visit to my dad and of course Halloween!

For those who know me quite intimately, I have been held back by an old anxiety for many years.  It is something I have been deeply embarrassed by and have tried to hide at all costs.  It is something that has held me back and driven a number of choices we have made, always trying to accommodate my ridiculous problem. After a car accident back in college, I subsequently suffered a severe panic attack driving home for Thanksgiving.  That single panic attack resulted in years of fear over driving alone on road trips and on the interstate.  Slowly, I got over the interstate considering I lived in Houston, but stayed within my little box and never ventured far.  Long story short, this month I decided I had to get past it to be the best example to my kids and the healthiest, most able mom possible.  I drove, five hours, to my dad's new beautiful lake house at Lake Sam Rayburn!!
His girls...

So happy to swing!

David LOVED the boat ride!

...and the swing!

David's look alike, Uncle Pat!

Wind blown...

It did not come without anxiety, but my dad and his wife were kind enough to meet me half way, mainly to help with the kids and I DID IT!  I must say, I am proud of myself.  If you only knew the internal stuggle that has gone on inside of me and the shame I have felt because of this, you would know that this is huge for me.  It is a step in the right direction and while I still feel quite a bit of fear about driving the unknown, I know I can conquer it.  Two weeks later, Margo and I drove to Houston.  I am officially no longer imprisoned by my driving issue and I feel so much freer, AMEN!

Halloween was great!  Margo selected a Raggedy Ann costume over all of the other fancy costumes in Chasing Firefly.  I think it fit her personality perfectly and I was so delighted that she picked something wholesome and innocent instead of the typical character, princess or fairy.  She looked like a real live doll and I had so much fun helping her dress up.  She was equally excited by her adorable costume!

GiGi carving pumpkins!

Daddy concentrating on his carving skills!

She went to school on Halloween and had a little costume parade that I shortly attended because the moment she saw me, enormous tears erupted.  I quickly hugged her and snuck out before I caused any additional stress.  My mother-in-law was visiting that week, which was a huge help as always and I know she enjoyed experiencing Halloween with kids, but we missed our annual trick-or-treating with my sister's family.  The weather was too bad to travel and we drove up to Houston the next day. 

...and then she saw mama!

That night Cary and I took her around our neighborhood which was wonderful.  Every single family was out, mostly with young children, and it was a beautiful, clear night.  Margo was not as shy as I expected and quickly got into the swing of things.  She sweetly chimed "trick-or-treat" at every doorstep and was so excited about her growing bucket of candy!  We covered about 2.5 blocks and then grabbed GiGi for a few stops so she could join in the fun as well. 

David slept through the doorbell and Halloween traffic like a baby and was none the wiser for it.  He donned his cute little Halloween jammies, but I decided against a costume, thinking it just wasn't necessary for one photo op... although Raggedy Ann AND Andy would have been adorable! Another year of Halloween memories were made and it is special moments like these that make being a parent especially fun!  I find my serious self acting like a kid again over excitement for all the fun that awaits our kids.