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Tenley Louise || 11 Months Old

I'm sitting here staring at that age - 11 months old.  1 month left until you are ONE YEAR OLD, my sweet little Tenley Girl.  I'm excited and sad at the same time.  I already miss all of your baby-ness, the time went so fast.  You've been the sweetest, happiest little baby!

Over this past month you have taken off walking.  You almost never get down on hands and knees anymore.  In fact, I can't think of a single time you've done that to get where you want to go in the last 2 weeks, or even more!  Once you decided it was time to walk you walked.  I found you some sweet little moccasins and some shoes with soft soles so you can walk around outside or wherever we go because you do NOT like to be contained anymore!

As quickly as you are growing your hair is not. :(  By now all of the boys had their first haircuts.  I know we have many many MANY days ahead where we can play with and style your hair, add cute clips and barrettes, braid lots of braids but waiting for those days is getting hard on this hair-styling momma!  Thank goodness for all of those headbands you have!  Somehow it seems that we never have the perfect shade of pink, though. Funny how that can be!

I am having so much fun dressing you up!  You have the sweetest coat for this winter, kind of a tweed pea coat, and super cute knitted headband to cover your sweet ears up!  We had to pull that out this past week when the temps dipped and boy did you look ADORABLE!!!  I was definitely swooning over you!

Just this past week Daddy came into the kitchen where you were having breakfast.  You looked right at him and said "Dada!"  Your first real word!  You've been saying 'dada' and 'mama' for quite awhile but this was the first time I knew you really knew what that word meant!  Yay, Tenley!

We have finished our last jar of baby food.  Fittingly we finished with sweet potatoes, the very first baby food you ever had.  You now enjoy all fruits and vegetables that I make for you, plus you've added cheese and shaved ham and turkey to the list.  I still spoon feed you oatmeal and applesauce, those are pretty messy for you to feed yourself.  You are finally drinking bottles that aren't warm, but do not like bottles that are cold quite yet. We are trying to get you used to colder drinks because in a short month (sigh) you will be on whole milk.  You don't take your sippy cup at all so we need to start practicing that more this month.  But you do love to find Tate's on the floor and drink that!

For a short period you seemed to require a bottle of milk before naps and bedtime but you are now back to going to sleep without them.  You take 2 naps per day, usually 1 1/2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.  You go to bed at 8:00 most nights and sleep until 6:30 or so the next morning.

You love your baby dolly and blankie!  You carry them all around the house and it totally melts my heart! You give your dolly kisses, which is more like you lick it's head and get it nice and slobbery. :) You seem to favor the one dolly and so far that's the name she has - Dolly.  :)

You are quite the explorer. Because of those new shoes we let you walk all over the yard.  You will get in the sandbox and try to figure out that strange new texture of sand.  You walk all around picking up leaves, watching the trees blow in the breeze, pulling little blades of grass out of the ground.  You really seem to enjoy being outdoors!  And you love looking out the window to see what's out there, too.  You especially love looking out our new window!

You enjoy books and music and will dance a little sometimes.  As much as Tate wants to hold and kiss you, you will not allow this anymore.  You come to both Mommy and Daddy for comfort and snuggles, but the snuggles don't last long because you have places to go, dollies to carry.  The big boys dote on your like crazy and you get very excited to see them when they get home from school every afternoon.  You aren't afraid of your Grandma Jeannie, Papa or Auntie Cole, and always hold yours sweet little arms out to them so they'll pick you up or take you from me.  And then they fall upon you with kisses!

You get TONS of kisses, by the way!  You don't even act like you notice you are getting them, you are so used to those chubby cheeks getting smooshed on!  And your cheeks are finally chubby!  They bounce a little in the car! :)

I am busy planning your very special First Birthday party!  It's coming very quickly, Little Lou!  Enjoy your last month before you turn 1.  I will probably hold you a little longer and more often than normal, which is quite a bit!  I will kiss you more, which is a lot!  And I will whisper "I love you" in your ear more than you have ever heard it whispered before.

Happy 11 Months, Tenley Louise!  Here are your monthly stats:
Weight: 21.2lbs
Height: 31"
Clothes: all over the place!  3-6m shorts. 9-12 and 12m shirts, jeans and dresses. Whatever fits is what we wear!
Diapers: size 3 Pampers

Fire Prevention Week

This is Fire Prevention Week in our neck of the woods.  Every year on the Wednesday night of this week our hometown does something called Operation Edith.  There's some background story to how this started I believe but I'm not sure of the details, but basically it's just one more way to bring awareness to everyone about fire prevention.  With Operation Edith the fire trucks in town go up and down every street with their lights on.  Homeowners are supposed to turn their lights on and if they are on the trucks toot their horns or turn on their sirens for them.  As a farm kid I missed out on this every year but once I started dating a town boy I had somewhere to be in town to watch this.  I love it!  And my boys love it!  So last night we grabbed some pizza and headed to my in-laws to wait for the trucks.

At about 6:45 we started hearing the sirens so bundled everyone up and headed outside to wait our turn.  We'd hear the sirens get closer but  not see the trucks.  I started getting worried they'd miss our street.  Finally around 7:20 they came by!  Tate was totally thrilled!  We waved and waved our arms and as they got right in front of us they came over their microphone and said "Nice job kids!"  What a thrill!!!  Of course, it was dark so I didn't get any pictures.  But if you follow me on Snapchat (erinmcguire81) you saw a short video and heard our excitement! :)

Tuesday night I received a phone call from one of our local fireman letting me know that Aiden was one of the winners from the annual coloring/drawing contest! His prize for winning was getting picked up by the firetruck before school and getting to eat donuts as they drove around town until school started!  So cool, right?!?

This is his drawing of his escape route if our house catches fire. My favorite part is he included our new window in the living room! :) :) :)  He did an awesome job, the floor plan is right on!

Bright and early we all got up and got ready so when the firetruck arrived to get Aiden we'd all be able to go out and watch him get on!  Finally they arrived ... in a van! What?!?  Where was the firetruck??  Well, it's such a small town we only have 2 and one of them had to be serviced.  Go figure! But Aiden was still excited because he won this same contest 3 years ago and rode in the big firetruck then so this was a little different and exciting.  :)

I dropped Brennan off at school and then waited with the Sweet T's until the trucks arrived. The kids all got out and stood for pictures as the whole school watched. Then they all said the Pledge of Allegiance outside under the flagpole, pretty cool!

Needless to say Tate's entire month has been made by all of these firetrucks!

Fall Has Arrived!

Like everyone else I absolutely LOVE Fall!  I love the crispness in the air, I love the pumpkins everywhere, I love the colors, I love the decorations!  Fall is exciting, there's anticipation in the air that good things are coming!

For the fun of it I thought I'd share my Fall decorating with you.  I don't have my pumpkins outside yet (gasp!) so today's tour is just of the inside of my home.  Prepare yourself for an overload of pictures!  Cheers to Fall!

I just love a good stack of vintage books worked into my decorations.  These were my grandma's (not the grandma in this picture, though).

My shelves on either side of the fireplace are tricky for me when it comes to decorating.  They are so big, so deep and so dark.  So 'oak', too. :)

I made this 'Boo' set of frames from scrapbooking paper a couple years ago. Still like how they turned out.

This chicken is from my grandma's collection.  I love the 'Fallness' of it!

I found this leaf garland at Menards of all places!  Super inexpensive and it totally did the trick for completing the Fall look on my mantle!

The other side of the fireplace.  The diapers don't scream "Fall" but they are in a handy place for me so there they stay. :)

We love seasonal books!  Tate has commandeered quit a few of our Fall and Halloween books so the stack looks pretty puny right now. :)   Some of our favorite Halloween books are "Pumpkin Soup", "A Halloween Scare in Iowa", "Ten Timid Ghosts", "The Runaway Pumpkin", and "The Pumpkinville Mystery".

Something simple for in front of the TV. (Ignore the construction dust!!!)

I love decorating the top of the piano!

Andy built me a shelf above our fridge, it's been a challenge for me to decorate but it is the perfect depth and height for this Jack-o-lantern.   I love that I can have lights up there, it looks pretty in the evenings with the glow coming from up there.

This little scarecrow has been with me since the first Fall after we got married.  I bought it on clearance during our town's June festival called Ridiculous Days and have loved it ever since!  He's been with us through all three of our homes!

After Halloween is over I'll swap a few things out for my Thanksgiving decorations which helps freshen things up after having my Fall stuff out for 2 months already by then.  I hope you liked the little tour and it put you in a festive mood!

If you have any suggestions on how I can improve those giant built-in's beside the fireplace please share!

Happy Fall, y'all! :)

Not My Normal Post

This is not my normal kind of post.  I needed to get some things off my chest...

Lately I feel like all I see or read about or hear is negativity.  I get so irritated when I see people putting down, making fun of, bashing, etc etc other people.  It's most talked about with celebrities and politicians because they are in the public eye.  Perfect strangers trying to act like they know what's best, like they know better than someone else about how they should behave, raise their families, live their lives.  For instance, Hillary Clinton's pneumonia.  Why in the world would you mock someone for being ill? Can she help it?  And what business is it of ours that she had pneumonia?  Does that make her less of a person because she got sick?  Don't we all get sick sometimes?  I just can't understand why people would take to social media about this.

This week, Kim Kardashian gets robbed, tied up and her mouth covered with tape.  Do people send their sympathies for this? Not all.  No some have to go to social media to let her know that they think it's her own fault for getting robbed because she herself posts on SM about where she is, what she's doing, what she's wearing, etc.  Last I checked it wasn't against the law to talk about yourself but it IS against the law to steal from others and break into their homes.  She did nothing wrong, the thieves did!  But are they being crucified on SM about what they did? Nope, she is. The victim is being crucified for doing nothing wrong.  We should be able to talk about where we are, what we are doing, what we are wearing and NOT have to worry about getting assaulted for it.

Sunday at Aiden's football game the opposing team's coach got ejected from the game for screaming at the ref's, right up in their faces screaming.  This is 5th and 6th grade sports, folks!  Why would you get so upset about an elementary football game???  This coach is well known for his yelling on the sidelines (and yelling on the field, too).  I was completely dreading this game but had no idea how bad it would get.  Not only was the coach acting like this but so were the parents!  They 100% supported the childish behavior of this coach, thereby teaching their kids that this behavior is ok.  I was totally appalled.  And then, even though he was ejected, he stood by the fence still yelling to his players!  He also called the remaining coaches and told them what plays to call!  The team won and the coach came strutting back onto the field to cheers from his fans and parents.  I was so disgusted.

I am not happy that my children have this kind of world to grow up in.  I try to keep them from this disgusting behavior as much as possible and yet there it was, on display in front of them at what was supposed to be a fun afternoon of football. There it is, on TV as they are watching the news.  They are hearing friends repeating this stuff at school because they heard their own parents spewing the hatred.

I am no saint but I do know to keep my mouth shut, not to speak badly of others and to teach my kids to be kind, considerate, thoughtful, helpful, to respect others and authority, and a whole slew of other things that I am afraid are going down the tubes.  I am sad for my children, that they will grow up in a world where this is normal.  It's not right, it's not ok.

Be kind to others.  Say nice things.  Lend a helping hand.  Offer support.  Respect everyone.  Live by the Golden Rule.  The more our kids see us acting like this the more likely they'll follow in our good, kind and loving footsteps.

Sorry, I had to get this off my chest.  All of the negativity is weighing me down.