weight & height: 31.5 inches and 23 pounds. eating & sleeping: Your appetite has really expanded this past month and you've reached a point where you're now slowly starting to want and enjoy different textured foods. Some of the solids that you've been enjoying lately are Trader O's cereal in the morning with breakfast, and then small snacks like raisins and Happy Baby Coconut Creamies throughout the day, and mama is currently trying to figure out what to feed you as a regular dairy-free diet once you're a year old and off of formula. exciting firsts/milestones: This past month you had your first Christmas and had such a fun time in Utah with all of your family. You've also started standing on your own for a few seconds at a time, and will take a few small steps with the help of a walker (though you still very much prefer crawling at this point). You grew two more teeth and started on your molars in the back, have started clapping on a regular basis, and have started saying "uh-oh" as your first official word outside of "mama" and "dada". things I love: Your favorite thing right now more than anything is unfortunately bathrooms and specifically toilets, and you've learned how to open up our doorknobs to be able to reach them whenever you please. You also love playing with balls and anything with wheels, and for the most part love playing with Emery and will spend a decent amount of time with her playing with whatever she's doing. You also love reading books, and right now your current favorite is Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins. things I don't enjoy so much: Along with your visit to Utah you also experienced your first real cold (or a rough reaction to the dry, yucky Utah winter air) and no one enjoyed working through that experience. We also realized in Utah that you really don't enjoy sleeping in a colder environment, nor do you sleep very well when you're not in your own environment. mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: More than anything, at this point I think we're just amazed and constantly learning that you are so innovative, and will be SO quick to get into mischief or into a potentially crazy situation if we're not keeping a close eye on you. Child-safety gates, plugs, and locks have become our best friends as of late, and even with those we're still often kept on our toes. You're definitely our mischievous child, but you're so dang happy and adorable while doing it that we absolutely adore you and love you for it! We can't believe that your first birthday is right around the corner!
Of all the blog posts I write, these yearly recaps by far take the longest to put together. Going through all of our memories from the year makes me SO nostalgic and emotional and grateful for everything that has happened to our family over the past 12 months, and narrowing down our year to a "top 10" always proves to be a challenge! Although I'm not really the type of person to start out a year with a theme or resolutions, it's interesting how when I go back to look at each of our years past, how each year has brought on some sort of small motto or word that's pretty well summed up how we each feel about the passing year, and while looking back on 2019 it was pretty easy to see that this year's "theme" was all about GROWTH. From individual growth to big family and life changes, all four of us have been able to grow in so many ways, and it's been so much fun seeing how all of those changes have brought us closer together as a family. I hope you'll all enjoy the walk down memory lane with me as we share some of our favorite moments of growth and memories in our 2019 year in review!
Pett Family Highlights 2019
1. Kyle officially became a D.M.D. in May when he graduated from ULSD, and after 8+ years of stress, hard work, and studying was able to say good-bye to the student life! When Kyle and I first started dating over seven years ago he was already deep into this journey and goal of his, so graduation has given me the chance to finally see Kyle in a non-school situation (spoiler alert - it's fantastic), and we are all SO proud of him and seeing all of his hard work finally pay off! Way to go Kyle and yay for no more school!!!
2. Chelsea had her second natural labor and along with Kyle and Emery welcomed our sweet baby Ashton into the world on February 11, 2019 at 11:01 AM (coincidentally the exact same time as his big sister). I still have a hard time believing that I'm lucky enough to be able to have two sweet babies now to keep me company throughout my days, and being able to watch Ashton grow through his first year, Emery grow into her role as a big sister, and seeing how Kyle and I have grown and adjusted to life as a family of four has definitely been my happiest highlight of the year. (For more pictures from Ashton's birth and his birth story click here)
3. Emery turned three in June, decided she was ready to be toilet trained, and started ballet class as her very first organized "out of the house" activity and LOVES it. She looks forward to ballet class every week, dances whenever she hears music, practices every day, and loves pretending that she's Angelina Ballerina, even to the point of speaking in a British accent while asking for something (think, "Mum, could I have a glass of water, please?") We also took her to see her first ballet this December to see the Nutcracker, and she can't wait until she's old enough to participate in it as well! (For more details from her birthday party, click here)
4. Ashton, aside from being born, has been the one to make the biggest leaps and bounds in physical development as babies often do! He came out as a big baby at 9 lbs 6 oz and 22 inches long with a head full of sandy blonde hair, and has stayed tall in the 99th percentile for height and the 90th for weight. He's grown teeth, learned to crawl, says Dada when he's happy and Mama when he's sad, hates sleeping in, and is one of the most mischievous, adventurous, and loving babies I've ever known. With his first birthday fast approaching, it already feels like he's always been with us, and every day I feel so grateful knowing that he was exactly the blue-eyed, blonde curly-haired addition that our family needed.
5. All of us traveled from east to west this spring with a cross-country move from Kentucky to Oregon (with a pit stop in Utah) once Kyle graduated from school and it was time to start life in the real world. We flew from Kentucky to Utah while a moving pod took all of our stuff out west for us, and then after a couple of months of living out of suitcases at my parents house and spending the summer with family drove up to Oregon to officially start our new lives in the PNW. We spent a lot of time swimming and playing outside, and on our way up to Oregon stopped by Crater Lake as a mini vacation to break up our drive. Our summer months seemed to drag on forever and fly by simultaneously, and were filled to the brim with the type of summer memories that you hope your kids will all talk about one day when they're older.
6. Kyle had the chance to finally start working as a full-time dentist after our endless summer of moving and loves the clinic he works at and all the ways that he's able to learn and grow clinically in the past several months of working. In Em's words, Kyle goes to work every day to "fix holes in people's teeth", and overall he's settled in well to a routine schedule of working in the day, spending time with me and the kids at night, and dedicating the weekends to quality time together as a family. He still loves to study dentistry and business in his free time (I guess after so many years of school the desire to learn never quite leaves you), but is able to do so in a much more flexible way that allows for lots of time for everything else good in life, and for quite possibly the first time in our marriage life is finally starting to feel a little more balanced.
7. Chelsea & Kyle decided that instead of just talking about how great date nights with just the two of us are, that we'd actually start taking them for ourselves as more of a regular thing. Since Kyle's graduation we've been able to go from about 4-5 date nights a year to about one night out a month, and finally got brave enough to hire a teenage babysitter to watch our kiddos for a few hours instead of only going out when we could work it out to have a family member or close adult friend watch the kiddos (this is what we'd been doing before and contributed greatly to the low number of dates per year). We still love our nightly routine of shows and treats after our kiddos are in bed, but have really enjoyed dedicating more time towards our marriage and reminding ourselves how fun a night "out on the town" can be.
8. Emery started her first official year of preschool, and since she loved our at home tot school from last year, we decided to keep things going strong this year with a preschool curriculum at home with just the two of us. The structure and routine is so good for both of us and Em has been soaking in all of the new information she's been learning like a sponge. She knows all of her upper and lowercase letters along with their sounds, can sound out some basic words on paper, write her own name, is learning how to write the rest of the letters, can count to 30, and randomly knows the names of the seven continents (though she will sometimes still try to claim that she lives in Africa 😂). Her love for learning, reading, and school runs deep and we hope it continues to grow!
9. Chelsea, Emery & Ashton basically became famous before moving away from Louisville when we got stopped at the Big Four Bridge in downtown Louisville with our group of dental school mama/baby friends to be interviewed by the local news station. The news station was trying to interview people to help get viewers excited for Thunder Over Louisville (the city's biggest airplane & firework show of the year done every April to kick off the Kentucky Derby Celebrations), and the news anchor apparently thought that a group of almost 20 moms and babies with strollers would make for an interesting enough addition to the story. 😂 Once the edits were all done our actual time on screen was really brief and it was on the late morning news that probably not very many people watch, but the experience was still a fun one and it'll be fun to tell our kids once they're older about that one time that they got to be on T.V. haha!
(To see our 3 seconds of local news fame, click here)
10. All four of us in lieu of traditional traveling vacations this year decided to instead take to exploring our new home state instead and made some past due visits to family and friends that live on the west coast. It's funny how months of nonstop moving around living out of a suitcase can make you crave the feeling of putting down roots, and we've really enjoyed finding ways to put down those roots in Oregon! We've explored orchards and vineyards, gone on lots of hikes, tried out the local coffee, bakeshops, and restaurants, and have found out that all of us conveniently have a deep love for the beach and ocean, and now within a decent drive of the coast found ourselves making almost weekly day trips there during the summer months. We've all adapted to living in Oregon even better than expected and are really excited to call southern Oregon our permanent home if we're able to make it happen in our long term plans. Within six and a half years of marriage, we've moved our family to a total of three states, four cities, and five different apartments/houses, and feel so grateful to have found somewhere that we love so much and can honestly say feels like home. ❤️
Happy New Year to all of our family and loved ones! Cheers to all of the wonderful memories and growth that 2019 has brought our way, and to the adventures that 2020 is sure to bring!
Surprise! This year I actually planned ahead enough to take cute Christmas pictures of the kids AND design and print out cards to send out to a few family and friends. I still managed to drop the ball somewhere and failed to get a cute enough family shot to include in said Christmas card, but since Emery and Ashton are the most photogenic members of our family anyways I figure this probably works just as well, right?! So to all of our friends and family reading this, a very Merry Christmas (and everything) from our whole family to you, even if Kyle and I are behind the scenes this time around. 😉
I don't know if it's the ages that our kids are at, or if it's that for the first time in our marriage we're having a holiday season without the stress of school, but this year has brought SO much fun when it comes to soaking in all of the fun family Christmas traditions! Since Thanksgiving we've been fully indulging in creating our own Hallmark Channel-worthy season complete with tree-decorating, cookie baking, gingerbread house making, Christmas movie watching, and visiting our favorite little towns for Christmas parades and to soak in all of the cute holiday window displays and decor! The only thing we haven't had is snow (which I'm considering a huge perk of moving to the PNW-rain lover over here!), but with any luck we'll get some while in Utah celebrating the holidays with family and Em will still get to fulfill her bucket list item of building a snowman while visiting Nan & Papa at Christmas. Em has been the most enthusiastic little Christmas elf when it comes to all of the celebrating, and Ashton has been fully indulging in his first Christmas duties by destroying the bottom branches of our Christmas tree any chance he gets. Both of the kids love Christmas books and music, and I've just been frantically trying to soak in as many of these memories of my kids enjoying the magic of the season and this sweet stage of life that they're currently in. We did our own little Christmas last weekend in Oregon and will spend the actual holiday in Utah with family, and feel so grateful that we have so many opportunities and loving family and friends to celebrate with.
A very Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family!
We hope that everyone has the best of holidays celebrating with those you love!
With Love: Kyle, Chelsea, Emery & Ashton
weight & height: 23.6 pounds and 31 inches long. You've already bumped yourself into 12-18 month clothes because you're so long and just keep growing! eating & sleeping: Your appetite has been HUGE lately and you've been loving your baby food meals and bottles. We're still working on getting comfortable with harder textured foods but are making progress every day! You've also just recently started sleeping in until a little after 7AM and we are crossing alllll of our fingers that you keep that up! exciting firsts/milestones: You gave mama your first intentional kiss this month, and although it only happened once I'm still soaking in all the feelings from it since you really only say my name when you're sad and reserve saying "dada" for when you're happy. You also had your first Thanksgiving this past month, and enjoyed trying the fresh sweet potatoes most! things I love: You're happiest when you're on the move and getting into mischief. You're obsessed with things like blinds and the one kitchen cupboard that holds our cleaning supplies, but also enjoy playing with toys like the play kitchen, balls, and toy cars. Emery is still your favorite person for the most part, unless she's trying to pull you away from something you're trying to get into. You also LOVE bath time, and your enthusiasm for it is definitely contagious! things I don't enjoy so much: Right now the thing that you continue to enjoy the least is being kept still when you just want to be up and moving. This continues to make things like getting dressed and diaper changes a challenge. You've also gotten to the point where you'll get mad and throw a monster sized fit at Em, me, or Dad if we've done something to upset you complete with a mad (but still adorable) face and very direct yells. mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: I don't know if it's that we've just finally gotten worn down enough to care less about things that would've stressed us before or if we're actually learning something new, but this past month we've really learned to just go with the flow and to not stress it when things don't go according to how we'd originally planned them. That means that our floors no longer get swept every night and toys will sometimes be left out too, we're rarely ever on time to anything, and the monthly photo updates will not always be centered because *someone* just wanted to scale the chair and not sit still 😉, but as long as we're trying our best and teaching you and Em to be your best, kindest selves, that will always be the most important thing.
weight & height: 21.8 pounds and 30 inches long. eating & sleeping: We finally seem to have reached a point where you enjoy eating pureed baby food and have an appetite for it regularly throughout your day! You usually eat baby food for lunch and dinner, and then stick to your formula for the rest of the time. You still don't like sleeping in past 6:15/6:30 every morning, but when the time changed with daylight savings this past month you still woke up at 6:15 AM on the dot so at the very least you're consistent. exciting firsts/milestones: This past month has been a big one when it comes to new milestones for you. You officially made the transition into full-on crawling, and with that have also learned how to quickly climb the stairs. You also made the official move into your own room and crib, and even though mom was really sad to send you in there earlier than planned, you've been sleeping better because of it which is a good thing for everyone. You've also pushed through your two top teeth, and from the looks of it are working on more! Last but not least, you also had your first Halloween and made all of our cliche dreams come true by dressing up as the cutest little pumpkin! things I love: Your favorite thing right now is to explore and get into EVERYTHING that you're able to reach. Garbage cans, kitchen cabinets, dresser drawers, toilets and bathrooms, and electrical outlets have all made (and been checked off of) your bucket list thus far. You love playing with toys but always with other people in the room with you, and have taken to your father's love of electronics, specifically, laptops, iPads, phones, Mama's watch, and Daddy's xbox. You LOVE baths and splashing in the water, and love playing with your big sister more than anyone else. things I don't enjoy so much: We're learning that you are a very opinionated baby that makes your likes and dislikes known quite loudly. So, whether it's getting taken away from somewhere/something that you were trying to "explore", getting dressed in the morning when you'd rather be playing, getting put down to bed when you're tired but don't want to miss out, or are trying to be fed carrots and peas for dinner instead of something more desirable, you let us know about it in no uncertain terms that you disapprove. mom & dad's biggest parenting lesson so far: This past month has brought so much growth for you, and with it has given Mama finally what feels like a better understanding for you, your personality, and how you communicate your likes and dislikes to me. You're very spirited which can be really fun or really stressful depending on the situation, so knowing a little bit better how to keep you happy and best communicate with you has helped a lot to try and minimize the stressful times and focus more on the fun. Also, I'm kicking myself for not being better organized with our cross-country move and losing all of our outlet plugs/other baby-proofing items, so baby-proofing, along with trying to stay organized has been another big learning curve for this month.
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.