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Sweet Sofia

Sofia, you are almost 6 months old. You are the definition of sweetness. I can honestly say I have never met such a good baby and get to be your Mommy! 

You tried solid food (rice cereal) for the first time yesterday, May 19th. You LOVED it. I think you were more than ready to start eating solids. I can’t believe you are old enough to be eating solids.

 

You sleep on your belly. You basically crawl in your sleep and end up in all sorts of weird places in your crib. You can turn from your belly to your back which you do while you sleep and get very frustrated because it wakes you up. Overall you are a great sleeper. You sleep around 11 hours at night and take two naps during the day. We usually can lay you down and you go straight to sleep.

You are starting to grab at everything! You love to play with sophie the giraffe. You chew on anything that gets in your grasp. When I’m holding you you love to chomp on my chin. Your eye hand coordination is starting to develop. I love to watch you look at your hands as you move them towards your mouth or towards a toy. It is truly amazing how much you’ve grown.

Patient. Sofia, you are the most patient baby. When you wake up in the mornings after sleeping for 11 hours you don’t yell for me to feed you, instead you have a huge smile and patiently wait. Sometimes I can see you are frustrated or want change but you will wait if I simply talk to you and tell you that I will come to you soon. Your thumb helps you through the tough times of the day. It is adorable how you suck your thumb when you need a little comfort or when you are tired!

 

 

 

You use to hate your car seat but lately you have done much better, which I am so grateful for! Car rides are much more pleasant now!

First time in your Jenny Jump Up.

You love to be in the k’atan carrier facing out. Anytime you are fussy and I need to get things done I simply strap you on and we go about our business. You kick your legs and get so excited. Although with your newly found ability to grab anything within site I have to be a bit more careful!

 

 

The exersaucer is one of your favorite activities lately. You also enjoy watching the yorkies play. But your favorite person to watch is Liam, he makes you smile all the time. He is your biggest source of entertainment!

My favorite time with you is right after a feed. You have this drunken smile and are usually somewhat giddy! This is “our time”, you hold my finger or my shirt and we laugh back and forth. I love looking into your big blue eyes – I see such tenderness, innocence, love and joy. On that note you smile so easily which everyone around you LOVES. If someone simply looks at you give us an ear to ear grin. Your smiles makes the worst days worth it all. I cannot tell you the times when I have been sad, angry, frustrated and I look at you and your smile melts my bad emotions away.

You continue to be our surprise baby and I love you more every day.

With all my love,

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Liam Lately

The Mandy family has been experiencing a lot of changes lately so blogging hasn’t been first priority. Regardless of the craziness going on in our lives our children are still the most important. They are both the biggest gifts from God.

Liam’s personality at 21 months is:

-Sweet. He gives us unsolicited hugs, cuddles up and is overall sweet and loving.

-Caring. When Sofia is crying he will go over to her and give her her chupete. When we fake cry he will come over and pat us.

-Smart. Yes, every parent thinks their child is smart but Liam is truly unique 😉 He watches us do something once and can repeat our actions exactly. I must watch every thing I do in front of him!

-Kind/Gentle. When playing with other children, Liam never hits back when he is hit, he simply looks down and walks away. He is quick to let others play with his toys. He is gentle with the yorkies when he pats them. He also pats me when I hold him, I am desperately in love.

-Funny. He is a jokester. We play this game where he “fake” laughs and then I “fake” laugh until we start to really laugh. He is just silly. He has the best laugh and smile.

-Stubborn. Our boy likes things a certain way and everyone around knows when he doesn’t get his way. We are working very hard on being consistent with disciplining him but this is an entirely different post.

-Chatter box. Boy does Liam like to talk. Sound familiar?!?!? He might look exactly like his Daddy but he seems to have his Mama’s personality! He prayed yesterday for the first time “Cheesus na-no amen”  which means “Jesus, thank you amen”. He literally walks around all day talking. I cannot wait until I can understand every word he is saying. He is at the age where he is convinced he is speaking in English/Spanish but in actuality it’s Liam speak. I feel bad that he is frustrated, I am frustrated too!

When you are frustrated or tired your lovies always seem to help. We have about four of them and there is no tricking you into a new one anymore. (They don’t have the most pleasant odor so I’ve tried replacing them). You call them all “ellell” now for Ellie. We NEVER leave home without one!

I know this is silly but I often think about what kind of man Liam will become. I think he is out to a great start! He certainly has a wonderful role model in his Daddy. Liam, I pray for you so many times a day – for your development, your future, your decisions, and even the woman who will become your wife. Our Heavenly Father has given me the biggest gift in loaning you to ME! I cannot tell you enough how much I love being your mother.

Liam patting Sofia

Silly boy.

He is beginning to climb on/in to everything!

 

Getting your very first haircut. The original Ellie tagged along offering a little comfort and support.

Liam and Mama at the Zoo.

With all my love,

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Short and Sweet

Well, Mason and I both have several half-written blogs but nothing completed as of yet.  Honestly, a lot of my blogs seem silly to finish now. I am constantly inspired by my sister (in-law), Brooke, she is great about writing blogs that are short and sweet. They are a perfect little  insight to their world, which is exactly what I love!

We are a busy family of four! We move to Franklin, TN next week and I, for one, am feeling extremely excited! But that is an entire post on its own.

Some random Mandy Family facts:

-At 18 months Liam weighs 24 lbs and is 32 in long

-Sofia at 2 months weighs 12 lbs and is 23 in long.

-Melissa 2 months post-partum weighs…well, lets just say I’ve got a few more pounds to lose…

-Liam is saying about 30 words, some in spanish and some in english. His new favorite is “WOW, cool” (we have no idea where he learned that phrase). He is learning to say please and thank you. He mostly signs please and he says “nah-noh” for thank you.

-Liam has also been learning his body parts in both languages. He still gets a bit confused at times but one thing is for sure, he knows where his OJOS are… just ask him in spanish the next time you see him 😉

-Liam prays with us, bowing his head and holding our hands in the process, and says amen.

-When one of us “fake cries” Liam will run over and pat us, he always wants to make sure we are ok.

-Liam is doing and saying all sorts of fun things. I truly love every day with him. I fall deeper in love with our sweet boy every day.

-Sofia started smiling a few days after her one month birthday and has been a smiley girl ever since!

-Sofia has started to “talk” in her own special babble. She hasn’t become very vocal just yet but we love the few squeaks and squeals that we get to hear occasionally.

-Sofia is sleeping through the night (which Liam did not do regularly until he was EIGHT months!!!) This has been a blessing in so many ways. I thank God every day.

-Sofia is overall an easy going, pleasant baby. She is growing so quickly and is a joy to have around!

-Liam and Sofia don’t really interact much. He loves to give Sofia her chupete (paci), it ends up being more like a forceful pushing of any part of the chupete in her mouth, but, it is sweet none-the-less. He also likes to put music on for her when she is in her swing…or maybe he just likes to push the button, all the same, it is some sort of interaction.

Well, enough words, here are some pictures from the last month:

Matching outfits - note poor Sofia's newborn rash, it has thankfully cleared up!

Poor girl isn't super photogenic at this stage. She is beyond adorable in person. Promise.

Thanks for the outfit "Zia" Tania!!

Liam LOVES to read!

Our best friends from NYC came to visit us. We are hoping these two will be brother-in-laws one day!

Sofia's first bottle of expressed breast milk.

Silly Mandy Photos ahead:

I promise I don't kiss like this 😉

Alright, enough of our family photo night…

"I'm never coming back. NEVER!"...Yep, some days are just this kind of day.

And here are some beach pictures:

There are so many more photos but I think I will close for now. I hear the homemade cookie dough in our fridge calling my name….mmmmmmmmmm, warm cookies and cold milk. Nothing like it.

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MORE Change is in the Air!!

 

Change is inevitable. I know this by now, but it does not make it any easier. Our family is in the midst of experiencing several great changes. I find myself feeling very anxious and nervous most days anticipating all the things to come even though they are GOOD changes.

Change number one: Becoming a family of four.  As of this past Thursday, Liam is 15 months old. As of this past Friday I am 36 weeks pregnant and per my OB’s exam could deliver anytime. I am anxious about being a mother of two who are so small. I try to think of how I will logistically feed Sofia every two to three hours and follow our little explorer around the house. I try to imagine taking care of a newborn and a very active toddler on very little sleep. (If you know me at all, you know I desperately NEED my sleep and have a pretty big love affair with our comfy bed). I wonder where I will find the patience, the love, the grace, the creativity and energy day-to-day to be the mother our children deserve. I wonder how this change will affect Liam. I fear the worst. I want Liam to be happy and I am afraid I will not be able to give him the attention he deserves. I worry that Sofia won’t get the time Liam did and will be behind. I know how silly all of these fears sound. Millions of women have raised successful, brilliant children under much more difficult circumstances. On that note I am extremely anxious about Sofia’s birth. I delivered Liam in 8 hours with  no medication of any kind. I was nervous before his delivery mostly because of the unknown. This time around I KNOW what the pain feels like. Let me tell ya, knowing is much worse. I feel as though for me and our children having a natural childbirth is the best. I am not going to lie, there is also a bit of a pride issue with me wanting to deliver our children sans medication. After all, for years I have taught that this way of childbirth is optimal, what kind of teacher would I be if I didn’t do this myself? When I was in labor with Liam I honestly thought I would die from the pain. I didn’t think anyone could survive such agony. It was worth it in the end. But those who say you forget must be CRAZY! I will never forget the pain of childbirth. EVER. The imminent arrival of our little girl brings back those memories ten fold. I honestly get sick and begin to shake thinking of it all. I will say, after it is all said and done I know it is worth it. It is truly amazing how God orchestrates the entire labor and delivery process and I am so blessed to be able to experience life at it’s best.

Change number two: Mason is getting out of the Air Force sometime in January. We will not be 100% sure until the end of November but supposedly it is basically a done deal. For six years now (ever since I met Mason) we’ve had this 9 year commitment to the AF hanging over us. We have felt as  though our lives couldn’t truly start until we were out of the Air Force. We had no real illusions of being released when Mason filled out the paperwork for an early exit. We had originally heard he was not granted an early release. My mind shifted from the small glimmer of hope to making the best out of the situation God had given us. Eleven days after the original news we were in awe and shock when Mason’s commander told him that his request had been appealed. In a sense, Mason’s life will be the one that changes the most, his work life anyways. He will finally be able to practice medicine the way he thinks is best without the bureaucracy of the AF. I think he will be happier. There are a lot of little things in the AF that  have been frustrating for ME and I am not the one dealing day in and day out with it all. Obviously, Mason has to find a job now! Please pray with us about this situation. Today is November 23rd (and I am now 38 weeks pregnant) and we are still awaiting Sofia’s arrival. Normally we wouldn’t want to rush her arrival but Mason desperately needs to begin interviewing at the different prospects. Between interviewing, making a decision, hiring process then credentialing it could take a while – all of this during the holiday season which makes everything slower. I pray for wisdom for Mason as he interviews and as he/we decide which option is best for our family. We are incredibly blessed that Mason has a career where he has absolutely no problem finding a job. We haven’t found the ideal (ie, a hospital IN Nashville) but there are several good options on the outskirts of Nashville.

Change number three: MOVING!!  As “fate” would have it, we are finally settled in this beautiful home in Destin. We have made some good friends, found a church and I’ve gotten involved in MOPS. If you read my last post about change you will not be shocked with what I am about to say. We are trying to move to the Nashville area.  Most everyone knows our hearts stayed in NYC when we left. New York simply feels like home to Mason and me. BUT we feel as though right now the best decision for our family is to stay close to our parents. With such young children I, especially, feel as though I could use the help and support of family. We have not given up on our dream to move back to The City, we are simply postponing it for a few years. We truly feel as though God has orchestrated all of these events in our lives. He has given us an overwhelming peace that can only come from Him.

Well, some of these changes have finally happened. I gave  birth to our sweet Sofia a week ago today. In a nutshell her birth was nothing of what we thought it would be. It was much more difficult than any of us thought it would be. But, in the end, Sofia and I are both healthy and happy! I will write more later, but for now I will leave you with a few pictures.

 

 

 

 

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New Year’s Resolution

Yes, I know you’ve seen this before. But really, this time I mean it. After another overly long hiatus (a whopping 138 days), the Blue M&M is back and promises – with his hand pressed firmly to the white M on his chest – that he is back to regular posting and will not take such a long break again. The reality is I miss blogging, and will do my best to make a couple of posts a week. I know our track record isn’t great – especially my track record – but for everyone who actually reads this blog, know that it will be updated with much more consistency and regularity. To prove my sincerity, a new post is imminent. This blog was good last Fall, non-existent last Spring, revived somewhat over the summer, and has been sustained on life support by the Green M&M. Hopefully it will return to robust vitality quite soon…

Yours truly,

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Liam

Liam loves to:

Stare at the Christmas lights.

Go for walks.

Play with Mr. Octopus.

Watch Max and Luna play together.

“Talk” to us and tell us all about his day, he talks the most in the mornings-best part of my day.

Laughing, he has the best laugh.

Play with his hands, he is figuring out how to grab toys, he loves this new-found talent!

He still loves breast milk!

He has two “snugglies” that are soft mini blankets that we put near his face to go to sleep.

Swing time.

Watching people, especially little kids 🙂

Getting out and exploring, but only for short periods at a time.

Playing “super-baby” or as some call it “superman”.

Liam does NOT like:

Tummy time, he has rolled over a hand full of times but still hates tummy time.

Sleeping. I still can’t believe MY child does not like to sleep. He is so curious and doesn’t like to miss anything!

Wind, he does this hilarious gasping sound when wind is hitting his face.

Being left alone, he is most definitely like his Mommy in this, he is so social and wants to be entertained and talked to most of the day!

Being in the car seat by himself. He wants someone in the backseat with him.

Peeing on himself while he sleeps (as if anyone would like that!), and it happens at some point every day.

I have been loving motherhood so much lately. I feel as though the last 6-8 weeks have been great. Liam is SO much fun. I can’t believe how big he is getting and quickly he is changing. It makes me happy and sad all at the same time. You are going to get sick of  reading me write this but here it goes…I look forward to Liam’s next stage but I get sad to think that this stage is over with. I will never get this age or stage back, how sad!! I am trying to enjoy these sleepless nights as much as possible. Liam is a snuggle bug, a funny boy, a happy little guy…our joy. Watching him grow is a ton of fun and my privilege and pleasure. Thank you God for my little boy.

Here are some pictures of our fun bundle:

Liam playing with his rattles.

During night time routine, loving on Daddy.

Liam at his first Thanksgiving.

Picking out his first Christmas tree with Daddy.

Liam with one of his snugglies.

Playing "superbaby".

With Abuelo's at Opryland Hotel.

Meeting his new life-long friend, Eli.

First time eating cereal.

Playing with his early Christmas gift.

Swing time with Luna.

Looking at the Christmas lights.

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Joys of Late

Here are some of the things I’ve been enjoying about Liam:

*He holds on to my shirt while breastfeeding and makes eye contact, I feel as though he is figuring out who I am.

*How he kick, kick, kicks his legs when we lay him down.

*His smile, it melts my heart every single time. I live my days to get him to smile.

*He has started “talking”, and it is so much fun to try to have a conversation with him! His voice is so precious.

*Liam also likes to talk as  he eats, it is hilarious to see him try to talk with his mouth full 🙂

*Liam wakes up anytime between six and seven in the morning and he is so very happy. We usually lay in bed and stare at each other, talk, smile…make sweet memories.

*I love that he will stop fussing if he hears our voice or simply sees us walk in the room.

*I am enjoying playing and reading to him now that he seems genuinely interested.

*Liam has laughed a few times, they are PRICELESS and we cherish each and every cackle. I can’t wait to hear him laugh all the time.

*Evening walks with Liam, Mason and the yorkies.

*Bath time. Every single time we put him in the bathtub he seems startled and then he gets all relaxed, pretty adorable.

*Simply watching him. Liam is changing every day. I miss him even when I am with him, not sure that makes sense. He is different daily, I cannot believe how quickly he is growing up.

Liam, I love you so very much. You are so much fun and I am so blessed to be your Mommy. I cherish these moments with you in the deepest part of my heart.

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