Cecelia at twelve months (!)

May 28 | Twelve Months



(yes, both of these final monthly comparisons were a joke this time around. Quilt is upside down, Nate is in the picture, C isn't looking....and then there is the chair shot. Thank goodness these are done, man! Captures her essence well, though, and I'm glad I struggled through 12 months of these.)

Likes: dancing, pretending to fall down on the couch, playing fetch with Henry, eating like a 400 pound man while retaining her svelte figure, nursing, walking behind push toys, pacifiers, SLEEPING (!!!!!), pointing and grunting, ingesting hidden dust bunnies/playdough/sand/soil.

Dislikes: diaper changes, laying still enough to get dressed, remaining in one room of the house for longer than 30 seconds, being denied Truman's food and/or toys


Biggest Achievement of the Month: STTN, baby!!! Consistently! And also probably walking with assist but sleep wins out over motor skills in my book.

Biggest Challenge of the Month: keeping Cecelia out of trouble/from being seriously injured.



The Mecca (aka Sleep): So.Freaking.Good!!!! Let it be marked in the history books that the eleven month mark was a HUGE turning point for us and Cecelia's ability to sleep through the night and also for stellar napping. We didn't really do anything differently except to avoid nursing her to sleep if at all possible. Now I will nurse her right after baths and jammies but then playtime/books/pacifier comes immediately before I lay her down to sleep awake around 7:30-8:00 pm. But honestly, I think our success was just a matter of time and age with this girl. She's just learned how to put her self to sleep awake now and can settle back down if she DOES wake up in the night. This.Is.Huge. I never thought I would reach the elusive other side of sleep hell and yet, here we are. And it is glorious.

Then! She has slept as late as 8:30 am which is something Truman has NEVER done in his three years of life. Yep, 12.5 hours of solid sleep some nights without a single peep. I'd say her most common time to wake up for the morning is more like 7:00 but she will go anywhere from 9-12 hours most nights. Can I get an 'Amen?' The past eleven months of broken sleep really, truly SUCKED and it's amazing how bright the world can look after a little shut eye. I can't stop keeping track of her nights on my phone for some reason---I'm still in shock that we are finally sleeping over here. And according to my phone she has STTN every.single.night this month except for one week when she was working on cutting a tooth.

Naps are also amazing. She will rarely allow me to rock her down anymore (tear), so I just give her the pacifier (plus one to hold in EACH hand) and her froggie, give her a kiss and lay her down in her crib with white noise going. Actually, this is the exact same procedure for night time sleep, too. She will nap at LEAST 1.5 hours twice a day and sometimes clocks more than two hours each time. WHAT? I know. Anywhere from 3-4 hours of nap time each day = divine. And she wakes up happy now, just talking and hanging out in her crib---no crying or being demanding. Just totally chill and rested. Imagine that;) Her morning nap is usually 9-11 or so, which makes it kind of hard to do anything outside of the house in the morning but I will not complain. Her afternoon nap is around 1 and that coordinates with Truman's. Dual naps are the freaking bomb, FYI.

Sleep, precious sleep. I love you so.

{Ahem. In the five days that it's taken me to write and post this, I have apparently jinxed myself. She has been waking up once per night around 4ish crying. I think she must be working on a tooth, but we have been rocking her back down to sleep. And she wakes for the day by 6 now and naps aren't as fabulous. BOOO. Sort of want to leave this paragraph out of the post but I guess I do have to capture the past week of sleep. Not horrible, but oh---how I hope we return to STTN soon!}



Temperament/Personality: She definitely thinks she is a comedienne and has quite the (random) sense of humor. Still playing keep-away with us, and now she finds it hilarious to fake fall onto the couch cushions and then lay there like she can't get up. I cannot get over her face when she does this over and over again---like, 'Hey, I keep falling down and can't get up, lady!' Hahahaha. She also finds great pleasure in throwing a ball for Henry. Observe:

She can be both incredibly demanding, literally ordering us around by pointing and grunting at what she wants. And yet, she can be the most content, happiest baby at the same time. She doesn't mind doing her own thing for a bit, preferring to explore and get into trouble when we aren't watching her like a hawk. If she is tired she can be cranky and clingy to mommy but otherwise she is really proving to be a laid back babe. Again--never thought I would type that about my girl!



Talking/Communication: Cecelia is definitely saying, 'Dada' appropriately for Nate and is becoming obsessed with Henry. But when she tries to say 'Doggie' it sort of sounds the same as 'Dada' unless you *really* listen closely and hear she is changing up the vowels ever so slightly. I still count both versions of 'Dada' as two words, obvi. ;) She can say 'Mama' but not always appropriately and we are trying to get her to say 'Tru Tru' but are getting nowhere with that one. Also, I have failed my child in the baby signing arena. When I sign 'more' to her she just claps her hands... probably because I forgot to sign to her at ALL until this point. Eh, second borns are SO neglected, aren't they?

Besides the beginnings of words she is still quite the vocal baby, babbling non stop and screaming for fun. She loves to imitate us and I've caught her rubbing her hands together vigorously after she sees us use hand sanitizer. Adorable new trick;) Still waving, blowing and giving real kisses, gesturing that she is 'so big', and pointing like a mad woman. I have a feeling she is going to be a chatterbox in a few more months and I love it.



Eating: This child is an amazing eater. We introduced peanut butter this month and she loves it, so a waffle with PB is her new favorite breakfast (along with fruit and yogurt and some of my eggs). Seriously, she can eat Truman under the table and I have no idea why she isn't a haas. She also loves turkey breast, cheese, chicken, grapefruit, blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, rice, black beans....the list would seriously go on and on because I haven't found anything she truly despises yet. Well, I tried a few raw veggies like carrots and cucumbers and she spit those out right away, so I guess she prefers veggies cooked;) And you should see the child fa-reak out when she sees me sneaking an Oreo after dinner. She will spit out whatever she has, point and me and grunt with raised eyebrows until I give her a piece of the cookie. Yes, sister is a great eater but she also has a sweet tooth already. Wonder where she got that?

Nursing is still going strong, and I will totally write a celebratory post dedicated to this. But we have officially made it a full year breastfeeding without supplementing formula! Hallelujah. She nurses four times a day when we are together and really seems to nurse more for comfort at this point--I barely feel a let down anymore but I can tell she does get a little bit of milk at least. She's started to smile, pat my chest, and try to reach down my shirt at times if I ask her, 'Cecelia, want milk?' I have no idea how much longer we will continue to nurse but I'm planning to follow her lead from here on out. I could see us dropping the mid-day feedings after her two naps and stick to first thing in the morning and before bed.

Also, at Lori's she will take two 6 oz bottles that are 3 oz defrosted breastmilk and 3 oz cows milk. I haven't pumped in over a month so my freezer stash is really treating me well right now (love you, stash!). I have exactly one more bag to use this week at Lori's and she has two bags there too, and then we will make the switch to full on cows milk. I hope she drinks it. I could see her refusing.



The Superficial: Baby girl already had her well-baby check up and she is one long and lean mama. At 30.5 inches she is in the 91st percentile for height, and at just 19lbs 6oz she is in the 30th percentile for weight. I guess this isn't too surprising considering her giant parents and she really doesn't seem that 'tiny' to me, but every stranger still tells me otherwise. Maybe she will be a basketball player or a supermodel? Because of her height she is in 18 or 18-24 month clothing and her size 3 diapers are getting pretty snug.

And her eyes and hair? I literally cannot handle this red headed, blue eyed baby sometimes. She takes my breath away, you guys.


Teeth: One new one this month bringing the grand total to seven. I feel like that eighth tooth has to be poking through soon and am relentless with shoving my finger into her grill to check.



Motor milestones: A big one? She is walking with push toys! Like, all over the house and up and down the driveway non-stop. We have two actual walking toys and then she will use baskets and our kiddie chairs to push around the place. Very resourceful! The girl is obsessed with her new-found walking skills and gets mad when she runs into something. Still needs help to turn the toys around but otherwise she is totally content to trot around this place like she owns it. She'll also walk along furniture now and go from one piece to the next without issues, so I really feel like she's getting close to attempting a few steps on her own. But we will see! This is much earlier than Truman started to walk with assist, and actually I'm not sure he ever really used push toys.

Also, this child loves to dance and it's borderline inappropriate with pelvic thrusting and knee popping.

Firsts: Peanut butter, walking with toys, change to a convertible seat (finally)




Little Sis and Big Bro:

Truman's twelve month post reminds me that he was just NOW starting to get mobile and he was only nursing once per day (and would officially stop in another week or so). He was also going through a big separation anxiety stage---thank GOD we aren't there with CC right now, and she has already gone through a rough patch with daycare drop offs so maybe we can coast along for a bit with that. Truman also had his first really awful sickness, suspected pneumonia, at this age---very thankful that my girl has been healthy pretty much the whole year aside from a few colds (and did she have one ear infection this year? I can't even remember). T was such a big baby, weighing a full 4 pounds more than Cecelia...but sister is only 0.5 inches shorter than him at this point. I really love comparing kids with these posts---so interesting to me that they can be so different and yet so much alike. You saw the above picture, right? SCARY similar.

Cecelia is in love with her big brother. She likes to pester him already but she is obviously obsessed with him just the same. They get along really well because Truman is becoming a little more patient with her. I still catch him giving her random hugs and kisses for no reason at all and I just can't wait for them to quietly play together like happy little siblings;)

(this is when I'd normally post a bunch of iPhone pictures of the two of them together, but I don't have it in me this month. Only 'real' BlogStomped photos this time. Forgive me.)




Twelve whole months, baby girl. They've been some of the best of my life. Love you!


Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

Cecelia! It's your first birthday today, sweet girl!

To say that I'm excited about this day is a bit of an understatement. I've always been a huge fan of birthdays, but first birthdays? For the sweetest daughter ever? I can barely take it! There will be lots of exclamation points in this post to you on your big day, so I hope you don't mind.

I have the technical '12 month' post ready to go up on the blog and that's the one that will explain all of the fun things you are doing at this age. But today, on your actual birthday, I just wanted to take the time to tell you how amazing this past year has been. Well....amazing AND challenging. But more happy moments than frustrating ones, I'd say;)

The day you were born will be one I never forget, obviously---but the memories still seem so fresh in my brain, I find it difficult to believe that an entire year has passed us by in between May 28, 2012 and May 28, 2013. But the paradox of motherhood is that even when time goes SO quickly as a whole, certain days can be impossibly long. So it also sort of feels like a lifetime ago when you were in my belly and we hadn't yet met our little girl.

When I was pregnant with you, Cecelia, I had so many worries related to how our lives would change with two kids. I wasn't sure I could love anyone as much as I loved your big brother. I wasn't sure I'd have enough energy or patience to split myself between two kids. I wanted you more than you will ever fully understand, Cecelia. Never doubt that --but I just couldn't picture your face, your personality, your addition to our family.

And here we are, a year later. And you are....YOU. Full of spunk and sweetness and a sense of humor that won't quit. It's true what they say: your love just multiplies with another kid, you don't have to divide it. You are the daughter we were meant to have in our family. You are Cecelia and we cannot get enough of you, sis.

From day one you've proven to be your own person. Even though you look a lot like Truman, you've shown us that you will NOT do things the same as your sibling. You refused to take a bottle until we had a stand off with you around 3 months. You spit up a lot more than he ever did. You started off sleeping like a dream but then decided that was silly, and bestowed chronic sleep deprivation on us from about 4 months until just recently at 11 months. So yeah, that was about 8 months of HORRIBLE sleep, my dear and you better believe we will get you back when you are a teenager who enjoys sleeping in until noon (bwahahaha). You have always nursed really well and continue to do so, which makes your mama so happy. When we gave you solids at 6 months you mastered the skill of eating EVERYTHING as if you were an old pro with the food stuff. Then you started to be our little trick monkey, responding to 'Can you clap? Can you give kisses? Can you wave? How big is Cecelia?' appropriately and enthusiastically. Every milestone that you've hit this year has been every bit as exciting as the first time around for us. Because it's your first time to sit up/roll over/pull to stand and the proud grin on your face is enough to make your dad and I weak in the knees.

Oh, how you can melt us, Cecelia. You are emotional and dramatic and full of estrogen for sure. But your sweet innocence in those big blue eyes is enough to stop the world for a bit. You have the best smile, the most adorable laugh, and the most endearing squeaky voice I could have imagined. It goes without saying that I look forward to the years to come, building our mother-daughter relationship into something like my own relationship with my mom. I already love when it's just us girls hanging out or shopping or playing together. I can only imagine how awesome it will be when you're at my eye level and I can be both your best friend and your worst enemy depending on the minute;) My biggest hope for you as you grow up is to find a peaceful contentment with yourself, a sense of confidence, and the knowledge that we love you unconditionally forever. I want you to be happy, of course, but more importantly I want you to love yourself just half as much as I love you---I think you will survive the high school years if we can show you that you deserve the best life has to offer.

But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet. Teenager Cecelia seems so abstract and scary to me, so we just won't think about her right now. You are ONE after all, and I still get to dress you and cuddle you and force you to do whatever I want to do right now. I sure hope you feel loved and confident right now--and we will tackle the rest later.

It's your birthday, Cecelia. You are changing at lightning speed every day and giving us such joy in the process. Thank you for being a part of our family. Thanks for the awesome year and the countless moments of entertainment. You are the best and we are so blessed to call you ours.

I love you, Cecelia. I love you so much it makes my heart ache at times. I hope you know how celebrated you are this year and every year.


(the photo slideshow I made for your birthday party---12 minutes of pictures set to music. It's worth it, I promise. I only allowed myself two 'sob songs' because I can barely handle this little montage already, even without sappy music. But I loved making this and reminiscing about your first year, big girl.)
ceceliaoneyear from Julia H. on Vimeo.


Six years of marriage, nearly eleven years together.

I can't help but reflect on our fifth anniversary last year: out to dinner and dessert, then labor started hours later and our girl was born at 8:05 am the following day. It's safe to say this year's anniversary won't be quite as eventful or memorable as our fifth. But, allow me to get a little mushy here: I can say that I love Nate even more now than last year. Just seeing him ease into his role as a dad of two kids, while entering the Threenager phase together as a team has made me love my partner even more. And sharing a 'holy crap, what a day' drink together at the end of a tough one is a good way to solidify that we are in this together. Even when the baby is acting a fool and her brother even more so. We are a team and we are in this together. And what a good teammate I have in this parenting game.

Someday our marriage won't revolve around being parents of small kids, and those times when we can actually make eye contact and have adult conversations together will become the norm. Until then, we will cherish our date nights and running together without a stroller and the quiet evening hours after the kids are asleep. Because our marriage is nowhere near perfect but it's still pretty great.

Happy six years to us.

May 27, 2007


First Anni: big trip to San Diego 2008

Second Anni: trip to Chicago 2009
Buckingham fountain

Third Anni: whoops, new baby! No time to take a real picture of the parents, this must have been around Memorial Day-ish. Sorry, Nate ;( 2010

Fourth Anni: back to Chicago in the rain (really dressy here, love my hair!) 2011

Fifth Anni: out to eat for a date night, hours before baby girl is born 2012

Sixth Anni: out to eat last night....at the same place as last year, but no baby to follow the next day. 2013

It's nice not to be hugely pregnant and in labor at the end of this anniversary celebration. And I think I'm more content this year than ever. Ah, reflections of years past. So much fun.

So happy to be married to this guy with these two crazy kiddos.



dear blog: you may be second best but you could rise up a notch or two

{UPDATE Friday morning: It's back!! My IG is back! Got an email this morning apologizing for the inconvenience. I will keep this post up anyway, even though my rant is old news at this point}

Well, this has been an interesting night.

While giving Cecelia a bath, I decided to check Instagram. I fully admit to having an obsession with IG and would love to say that I never focus on my phone when I'm with my kids, but let's get real here. I do check my phone and IG frequently because I really enjoy connecting/sharing/documenting life via this stupid little app.

Yes, stupid. IG is stupid to me right now. If we are friends on FB you know why I say this.

So anyway, I'm checking IG and it returns me to the log in page, which I think I've seen about once ever. Hmm, weird. But I plugged away my user name and guessed on my password. Got it wrong. Tried again. Got it right but also got a red alert saying, 'Your account has been disabled due to terms of service violations.'


Okay, don't panic. Play with the cute baby in the tub. Must be a mistake, maybe I got locked out because I tried the wrong password.

Then I get a text from my mom asking if I removed my pictures from IG because she couldn't see any.

Oh, crap.

That is when my heart rate sped up a bit and I just knew this wasn't good. After getting CC out of the tub I looked up the actual terms of service of IG. Noted the 'no nudity' policy and wondered if my beloved naked baby butts were to blame for this. But seriously? Those images were pretty old and incredibly harmless and HELLO---they are baby butts, people. And adorable, if you ask me, but whatever.

So anyway, I keep flipping through the IG site and there is no phone number to call. There's some mumbo jumbo on the site about 'disabled account' and how you are basically at their mercy and pretty much screwed, 'unable to restore your account' if they deem it unacceptable. I google and see other people complaining about this in the past and how emailing them doesn't even matter because IG doesn't return their emails.


Again, try not to freak out. Text a few friends on IG to inform them of the non-freak out I am having (ha). Move through stages of grief including: shock, panic, sadness, and then anger. Oh, I was (am) so angry because how dare IG decide to delete my pictures! Sure, I probably have most of my original iPhone images backed up on Flickr and maybe even my computer, but I love the ease of IG and looking back through my account makes me smile. ESPECIALLY when I'm feeling as emotional and sentimental as right now, when my baby girl is about to turn one. Flipping back through her newborn pictures, or even a few of my pregnancy pictures brings me joy. I love our IG photo album I made for 2012---there is no way I can do that for 2013 now.  So sue me for 'needing' IG so much. I am also annoyed with myself for even caring this much. Because, really? It's just a stupid app and maybe it's a sign to chill out on the social media and the phone and be more present.

I posted on FB about this (ironic since I'm angry at social media and all it entails, and now I'm blogging and FB'ing) and apparently this happened to a lot of people tonight. Especially to shops on IG, but also to regular old users like myself. So perhaps it's a fluke and they got hacked; maybe we will get our accounts back. But I can assure you that I'm way too stubborn/angry/annoyed to create a new account right now and try to hunt down my IG friends again. Um, no. Maybe in time...but not now.

Moral of the story: something really weird is happening to my first choice of social media. And it's made me deep and reflective tonight. Also, it made me angry enough to vacuum and do an extra load of laundry I wasn't going to do. And it made me blog just to say, 'I have OTHER sources of connecting to my internet friends, thankyouverymuchIG.' Perhaps this will force me to blog more and not rely on the simplicity of IG as much.

Don't they know I have a first birthday party to post about? The nerve.

If you are my friend on IG now you know why all of my images are gone. And now I shall resume my birthday party projects and pretend like this doesn't bother me at all.

Come on, IG. Get it together. And if not, expect me a lot more over here ;)


{In Progress} First Birthday Party Projects

Oh, hi.

I feel like it's been awhile, dear blog world. But you see, I've been immersed in the magical birthday project craft-land and I suppose I should come up to the surface for a second to show you what I've done thus far. Otherwise the official 'reveal' birthday party post is just going to be too overwhelming for me to write so I hope you don't mind me breaking it up like this. Hope it doesn't spoil the decorative fun for those friends actually attending the party (I'm sure I'm the only one who cares about stuff like that, so whatever).


My baby girl is turning ONE on May 28, you guys. A slew of mushy posts to come about that, but her first birthday party will be on June 1. I have a theme this time: Our Little Heartbreaker. Which, of course, comes from the Simon and Garfunkel song, 'Oh, Cecelia!'. So hearts, bright colors, and a ton of photos will be my 'theme'---and I rarely do themes but am really excited about this one. Did I mention that I am happiest when I have a craft to do? I swear I'm not trying to be a part of the Pinterest problem, going over the top with tedious projects or anything. I truly just love it and have always loved crafts/DIY/decor....long before the age of Pinterest. Baking isn't my thing, and neither is outfit creating but crafts? Yes, Pinterest. You got me. Thank you for the awesome ideas.

So let's begin with her invitations. I asked my good friend Maggie, who owns The Paper Perfectionist on Etsy, to make Cecelia's paper invitations since Maggie also made Truman's first birthday invites. And it's all about keeping things equal, obvi.

I told Maggie about the 'heartbreaker' theme and showed her a few invites that I loved, mainly this one, and this one. I talked about chevrons, bright colors and a big fat photo of my girl being important. Maggie came up with the final product and I'm obsessed.


Next I wanted to create something like this pin that had intrigued me for a long time. When I was in Missouri visiting my parents, I snagged my mom's heart hole punchers. Then I dug through my random scrapbooking paper I already had in my stash and started punching hearts like a mad woman. I hot glued the paper hearts to some yarn, tied the strings to a tiny dowel rod and voila!


I'm thinking this will be sort of a backdrop for photos---if I can successfully manage a little 'photobooth' posed shot of each family at our party like I'm envisioning. We will see. But basically this is just random decor that turned out how I'd hoped. Might as well keep it hung on the wall until her party (or beyond).

Then this pin was calling my name, after originally seeing it on Facebook. I had always wanted to do something with the vintage oval mirror in our half bathroom, and saved it when we replaced it with a newer modern one. I just cleaned off the frame really well, popped out the mirror part, and spray painted the frame 'Berry Pink' by Rustoleum. This is my new favorite thing to do, by the way: spray painting things pink;) It's a similar color to Cecelia's crib and is really glossy so it only needed one coats. I had Nate add the chicken wire for me (which we already had in our garage) and bought a few cheap clothes pins from Michaels. Then I cut little triangles out of the quilt scraps I have, hot glued those to twine, and now we are on our way to the final product.






I still want to add a few more cute papers and things to the frame, but it's a start! No clue where this will hang. After the party I'm planning to use it in her room to hold hair bows. Gotta love a double-duty craft!

Next on my list was a wreath, because I've always loved Truman's balloon birthday party wreath and I have actually used it each year. I wanted CC to have a birthday wreath also, and lucky her for being born during a time of Pinterest. So many ideas out there, my favorites were this, and this, and this. I'd already made a yarn-wrapped wreath before and didn't mind the process so I went with that as my base. Bought the wreath, the yarn, and had everything else already. I used felt to cut out the letters, made another pennant banner out of quilt fabric scraps, and hot glued my way to this!

The number '1' should be able to come off and be replaced by subsequent ages in the future. It's totally hanging on the inside of our door right now and I probably wont' take it down for a long time;) Can't decide if I want to move it to the outside door for the party or keep it in here and do something else on the front door. We will see.



Then comes the high chair. Ah, the high chair. Our neighbor gave us her old wooden chair which was a total score on our parts. I cleaned it off, primed it with Rustoleum 2x coverage spray, waited a day, and then painted it with the Berry Pink color again. I was SO CLOSE to getting full coverage with just one can but ended up having to buy a second can for the final touches. So basically 1.5 coats on this baby. I did not sand and probably could have gotten away without the primer, since the Rustoleum spray paint is for any surfaces. But in the fine print it does say if you are painting bare wood that you should really use primer for best effects. I'm a rule follower, what can I say?


Sort of tedious but for a prop that is basically only for one day during smash cake extravaganza, it will do just fine. I picture tying a bunch of turquoise balloons to the back, putting a 'one' banner on the front, and letting our girl go to town on some cake in this pink chair. Painted high chairs are definitely a Pinterest trend right now but I'm totally on board with this one;)


Last project I've done so far: monthly baby heads! I actually have two other monthly banners planned (for the chair shots and also the quilt shots) but the 'face' shots had to be done this way after finding this pin. Freaking hilarious, right?


I gathered up the face shots I've taken each month, converted them to black and white in photoshop and cropped them into squares to get them roughly the same size. I printed them at home on our Canon printer and then cut around the faces. Next I made the party hats out of the same scrapbooking paper as the heart garland. Used a heart hole punch for the numbers, wrote the months on there, and glued a pom pom to the top. Obviously I still have to glue them all to some twine and figure out where to hang them (and get the 12 month picture taken and added!) but it's almost done. I am obsessed with sequential monthly pictures like this----hence why I will have three different poses displayed at Cecelia's party;) It's just too much fun to see how they've changed over the first year, and I'm a sucker for anything monotonous and symmetrical. Type A, what?

Other projects planned? Her photo slideshow and maybe a video slideshow, mantel decor, the chalkboard stats poster, table runner, front door/outside decor, and of course the food. Somehow that list doesn't seem too terrible and I'm glad I'm starting a lot of these projects early, so that I can enjoy them and not feel the time crunch too much.

Off to resume my previously scheduled crafting time. Don't be surprised if I don't post much over here, but if you follow me on Instagram (mrsjuliagoolia) you'll probably have more kid-and-party posts than you can tolerate. ;)
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