Thursday, December 31, 2015

Joy To The World Pt 2

See that? That is concentration and dedication to a drumstick. The glossy eyes, the running nose. All bets are off. 
 Echo meeting Santa was so darling. She pet his lapel and smiled at him, and he assured us he knew just what she wanted for Christmas. Pro tip: Meeting Santa 2 weeks pre Christmas on a Thursday at 4 means no lines at all!

A trip to Disney with The Hills! It was so nice to go to Disney with our flock of children. Slow paced, lots of snacks, E clutching a fry like it's about to run away from her, and of course her little head on Spaceship Earth, snacking on her bonnet string. The thing is, even if people are totally ok with you going at the pace of a snail, parking the stroller, feeding the baby snack after snack, changing bottoms, taking turns on ride, this whole lifestyle of parenting and family and obligation- even if they are 100% at peace with that, I still feel guilty that we are ruining their time. So going with other people who are also shackled to their beautiful children gives everyone peace of mind.

 So while we loved the Jacksonville Historical Society's Gingerbread Extravaganza, some grinchy volunteers soured our experiance a bit. The actual houses were amazing though!

This version of the old Jax downtown library was my favorite. I still remember going to that branch as a child and watching a movie in the little theatre. It seemed like a wondrous place, and seeing this really reminded me that the smallest things can be magical for children. Going on walks, pretending at parks, participating in story time at the library, watching the train table in the lobby - simple little things can be so much  more to a child and can stick with a person their entire life.

Echo's favorite thing is to giddy-up! Whenever she's happy, which is quite frequently, she's positively bouncing and bubbling over. The teeth. The two bottom teeth.

We said goodbye to our dearest Uncle Joel, Echo's favorite mode of transportation, this month. She looks so grown in the photo in her hodge podge jammies. Little rosebud pout.

Favorite Christmas gift alert! Santa DID know what Echo wanted for Christmas, by way of her Cammie :). No baby Mannings were hurt in the production of this photo. I mean--- look at Ben's muscles, he can take it. Ben and Echo have been the same size ever since he turned 4 months and she turned 9 months :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Joy To The World: Pt 1 Echo Update

December.. another month another blog post. First resolution: blog more in 2016.

A little update on Echo, punctuated by the most beautiful family photos by Amanda Lenhardt. And there are a lot of pictures. Warning: abundance of milky fair, ocean-eyed baby may have you clutching your heart and swooning repeatedly. This should take away from the fact that the words are pretty boring to anyone who isn't me, my husband, or Echo's grandparents.

This picture fully embodies Echo's spirit. The bold posture, the bright smile, the come-what-may attitude, all while crushing her mother beneath her feet, dusting her heels on her parents. Just kidding on that last one, but we are truly at her leisure, and what a pleasant way to spend the time.
Echo was 10 months old as of Dec 16. At her 9 month check she clocked in at a hefty 16 lbs 13 oz. She's made it to the 25%! She never ever ever stops. Her main focus right now is crawling from place to place, yelling wildly, swinging and speaking to inanimate objects, climbing onto coffee tables and ottomans, whipping up stairs lickety-split, and STANDING all on her own like a big girl.

The first time she stood up I was in the foyer at church, taking a break from sacrament meeting as you do with a then 9 months old. During the prayer or sacrament, or something or other that was holy and I should have had my eyes closed for, she scrambled up using the side of the arm chair and grabbed my keys with both hands, solidly standing there on two feet for a good 30 seconds. I of course did NOT have my eyes closed, and gasped and shrieked wildly while others cracked their lids to see what the heck was going on. Proud moment.

10 months has brought a little bit of a sleep regression, teething (2 on bottom were joined by 1 shiny top tooth), and finally some sense of decorum when it comes to going to strangers. She loves her Mama, folks. Although I say that, while just a few weeks ago at Disney I had to drag her away from a stranger who was sitting next to me at a show. Echo was desperately flirting with this man and trying to climb in to his lap.

Favorite foods are still savory for the most part: hummus and toast, roasted broccoli and asparagus, eggs with cheese, chicken drumsticks. She still has a hard time with plain fruit, although she loves red apples.

Jared has been hanging out with E all month on his break from school. She cracks up when he pretends to lightsaber duel with her, loves to play hide and seek, and enjoys their daily lunch dates about town.  Her favorite word is Dada. She still has very little interest in clapping or waving or whatever other tricks I try in vain to teach her, but she does occasionally give very toothy kisses,

And with that, I say bring on more pictures. We were running a little late for our shoot, Echo had fallen asleep, and I remember being so stressed heading to get our pictures taken. But I feel like they really capture who we are right now well. A little tired looking, but so very happy flanking our radiant girl.

Her eyes! Her EYES. They really do sparkle and shine.

Her lashes and pointy foot are killing me here. And that smirk.

Classic E smile, she gets it from her daddy.