Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Dearest Lia,

My Dearest Lia,
As the birth of your baby brother approaches, I find myself reflecting on the fact that we were given the gift of four years together.  This was never something your father or I planned on, but I can't help but be grateful for this extra time that we had.  Not many mothers have the opportunity to devote all their time and attention to one child for such a long time.  During these years, you truly became my best friend in many ways.  You have been my constant companion--at my side for almost every waking hour of every day.  Your pleasant, happy, and obedient demeanor have always made you such an enjoyable companion and a ray of sunshine in my life.  I will always treasure all of the memories we made during these years.  The fun we had, the laughs we shared, the adventures we went on, the things we learned.  I will forever be grateful that you were my first born.  You have taught me so much and will always hold a very special place in my heart.  I love you more than words can express and look forward to embarking on this new adventure together of having a baby in our home.  It is such a comfort to know that you will be there holding my hand along the way.
Love you always and forever,
Your mother

Sunday, January 29, 2012

38 Weeks: The Final Bump Post

Since I have basically been posting an updated baby bump picture every four weeks since mine first appeared, I guess that this will be my final photo as I do not intend on still being pregnant at 42 weeks!  We are now on the final stretch of this pregnancy as my D-Day is in just twelve days.  Who knows if this little guy will come early, on time, or late.  My gut instinct?  I think late, but I hope  I'm wrong...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Being Showered!

Tonight my friends, Megan and Stephanie, hosted a baby shower in my honor.  It was so fun to spend an evening filled with great food and fabulous company and to receive some much needed gifts for our baby boy on the way.  Opening up all of those presents of adorable boy clothes made me so excited for this new addition that will be joining our family soon! 

The line-up of delicious food that Stephanie and Megan served.

The adorable diaper cake that my friend, Julie, made for me!

Some of the ladies hard at work on one of the games we played.

Megan explaining the rules to the baby-themed version of Catch Phrase that she and Stephanie made up.

Christy, Mary, and Alecia listening closely.

Stephanie reading the Mad Lib story that the group helped write about "my life."  The finished product was far from the truth, but highly entertaining.

Posing for a quick pic with my sister-in-law, Natalee, and my mother who both drove out for the shower.

After food and game playing, we dove into the gift opening.  Here I am opening up a present from my sister-in-law that consisted of a homemade blanket...

and onesie with a matching tie sewed onto it! 

My mother made her traditional baby quilt in the blue, green, and brown colors and jungle theme of our baby nursery.  As always, the finished product was beautiful and received many oohs and ahhs from the crowd.

And more gift opening.

My good friends from church:  Megan, Stephanie, and Wendy.

Thank you, everyone, for a wonderful evening!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Sealed With A Kiss.
This is one little girl that can't wait to meet her baby brother!
Less than three weeks to go...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Fun in the Snow!

Well my wish from the previous post of hoping for more snow sure came true!  On Monday, we had some little flurries in the morning and more that night.  As as result, Ron's work and Lia's preschool were cancelled on Tuesday.  So, Lia and I set out instead for a little snow play date with her friend, Kaylee, and her mom, Megan, that morning in a nearby park.  The girls had a good time playing around in an untouched field of snow.  However, the big storm came in Tuesday night and continued through most of today.  As a result, everything was cancelled again so the Hartland fam had a grand ol' time going out two times today to play in our neighborhood that was transformed into a winter wonderland.  We have loved having Ron home for five days straight (thanks to MLK Day being on Monday) and have thoroughly enjoyed watching Lia become a true fan of snow play and sledding for the first time in her little life!  More cold temps and freezing rain are predicted for the days to come, so we shall see if Ron can stretch this impromptu "vacation" out any longer!

The aspiring models, Kaylee and Lia, pose next to their freshly built snowmen on Tuesday.

The girls showing off their snowballs.

Getting ready for a fight!

Touching up the large snowball left behind in the field next to the park.

The girls working hard!

Lia heading out today with papa to try her newly purchased Barbie-pink sled!

And off they go!

We first tried out the sled on the little hill in our front yard.  Lia immediately fell in love with the activity and would finish each run in a snowy pile of giggles and smiles!

Lia started rolling around in the snow each time she walked back up the hill in our front yard.  She just thought it was the funniest thing!

Now that is one happy snow bunny!

Mother and daughter posing in front of our frozen rhodies.

After some front yard sledding, we ventured out into the street for some snowball throwing.

Lia getting up close and personal.

The two girls ganging up on papa!

Lia running from her father's throw!

Next, we headed off down our street to try out some longer sled runs.

Off they go!

Walking in a winter wonderland.

A final family photo to finish off today's morning fun in the snow.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Warning:  Proud mother moment. 
We first saw Lia "write" her name with a stick in the sand last summer while we were camping at Ocean Shores.  Since then, she has written it many times with various crayons or pens, but the letters usually come out looking a bit haphazard.  For example, the "L" sometimes faces the wrong way and looks more like a "J" and the letter "a" often times resembles a circle with a stick coming out of it.  However, yesterday, Lia had a breakthrough and wrote her name almost perfectly on her little whiteboard!  I was so pleased that I had to snap a picture of my daughter holding her finished product beaming with pride.  Not too bad for a girl that isn't even four yet!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snow Day

I have been wondering for awhile now if we were actually going to get any snow during this winter season; however, a few days ago the weather reports started predicting it.  Sure enough, yesterday afternoon while Lia and I were sweeping the garage and Ron was working in the yard, the flakes starting falling.  It only lasted for an hour or so before stopping.  This morning, the snow picked up again and produced a lovely inch or two layer on the ground.  Although it was barely enough to count, our church was cancelled (I know, I know, the rest of the country would shake their heads at this, but this is how Washington usually works when the white stuff falls).  As a result, we took off our dresses and put on our snow clothes and went out to play for an hour.  Being the princess that she is, Lia was not thrilled about having to take off her dress and replace it with some bulky clothes, but we compromised by not forcing her to wear a hat or gloves or zip up her jacket.  Oh dear.  Regardless, once she got out there, Lia quickly decided that the snow was well worth the required wardrobe change and a good time was had by all!

Lia and mama posing in front of our house.

Lia making a snowball with her bare hands!  What a brave girl.

Papa and Lia battling it out with their snowballs!

Some angels in the making.

For some odd reason, Lia decided that our dormant plants and empty gardens needed some water in the middle of the winter. 

We normally reserve this stunt for the beaches and the pools, but Ron decided to try it out on the snow.  It seemed to work just as well and brought a huge smile to our daughter's face. 

Here's to hoping for more snow tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lia Ballerina

Well, Lia's long-awaited first day of ballet class finally arrived!  She has been looking forward to starting these dance classes with her two friends, Kaylee and Rachel, for months now.  Unfortunately, the shy bug bit pretty badly as we walked into the building, so I had the good fortune of spending the first fifteen minutes of class in the studio coaxing Lia to follow the teacher through stretches, first position, and jumping in place.  Once Lia finally broke free from my side, she had a great time running and prancing around with her friends following the directions of Miss Call.  It was just the cutest thing to watch and I have high hopes that this will be a great weekly activity that will help keep us busy through the spring!

Lia finally warming up to her teacher and class after leaving my side.

"Pointing" her toe.

Lining up against the bar!

Lia and her two buddies practicing their leg kicks before venturing out into the studio with their teacher one at at time.

Lia's turn!  Lia and Miss Call kicking their legs.

More of Lia and Miss Call.

Completing her walk across the floor.

And it's back to the bar to practice leg kicks from the back.

And it's up onto the tippy toes!

Lia and Kaylee listening carefully to the teacher.

Three ballerinas in the making!