Gracyn :: 15 months

Age: 15 months old. Holy crap. A full-on toddler- walking, running, jabbering, pointing, laughing. She's getting soooo old and is doing soooo many things!

Stats: 23 pounds and 30-ish inches. I'm totally guessing here. She doesn't stand still long enough for us to measure her so we'll just go with estimates here.

Clothes: mostly 12-18 month stuff. The 18 month shirts and pants from Old Navy and Target fit really well. The 18 month size in Carters is a little big still - especially pants. Her spring/summer wardrobe will consist of cute t-shirts, leggings, rompers and jean shorts. A pair of jean shorts on a baby is the best.

Favorite Foods: applesauce, mangoes, goldfish crackers, animal crackers, toast with peanut butter. This girl will still eat just about anything you put in front of her. Her least favorite at the time is probably avocado. Must be a texture thing or something. She'll still try it but prefers to eat something else if she has the choice. She can use a fork and a spoon and we're working on eating off a plate instead of chucking it over the side of her highchair.

Favorite Toys: Little People car - she's obsessed with turning the music on and stomping her feet to the beat. Kinda like this but without the provocative gyrating and super-toned buttocks. She also loves her baby dolls, blankies, rocking chair, books, and your cell phone.

Words: mama, dada (sometimes da-dy), hi, bye-bye, night-night (nigh-nigh), bubble (bu-buh), book (ock), more (moh), uh-oh, and I think she can say "cracker" but it comes out sounding more like "cock" so I'm not 100% sure on that one... We have a few animal sounds too: dog (oof-oof in a high-pitched squeal), cow (mooooo in a deep baby voice) and horsey (eee-eee-eee, again in the most perfect high-pitched noise). She is constantly jabbering and making sounds. It won't be long before she's speaking in full sentences and I'll be wondering once again how in the hell my little baby grew up so fast.

This girl definitely keeps us on our toes. She loves to give "high-fives" and her facial expressions these days are over the top. She's a bit dramatic when she doesn't get her way, we've reached the fun stage where she cries when I leave her at daycare (my heart gets ripped out every's awesome.) and she's definitely a mama's girl at this point. Poor daddy. She loves, loves, LOVES being outside - walking up to the mailbox is her jam. She's a big help as we load the dishwasher after dinner. And by "big help" I mean she tries to climb inside and lick the dirty dishes. She knows that we sweep the floor after we eat (I'm not sure if this is a good thing or just a sad reminder that all I do with my life at home is sweep the damn floor hoping to keep the house somewhat presentable - I sweep so much my 15 month old knows how to sweep...) and loves to throw things away.

Everyone says this, but THIS is my most favorite age yet. She's a little person now; she's able to tell you what she wants or doesn't want. She can tease and be silly. It's so fun. Gracyn, you are pretty much awesome in every single way and we love you to pieces. I cannot wait to see what you do next!


Last weekend we took a couple of days off work and ventured north to Minneapolis, MN for a little family vacation to visit my brother. We had an uneventful 7+ hour trip up on Thursday night. That is until Gracyn woke up as we were getting into town (at 1:30 in the morning...) and didn't fall back asleep until 4:30 AM. By this point Justin and I had been up for almost 24 hours and were on the verge of packing up and heading straight home sans sleep. I declared that I hated vacation and we were never traveling with a small child again - ever - and that my life was over. Not really, but all I wanted at this point was sleep.

Justin talked me off the anti-vacation ledge just as Gracyn was drifting off to dreamland. We snoozed with the baby in our bed for a few hours and woke up ready to tackle the rest of vay-cay. Even though the first night was a little rough, we ended up having a pretty good time and it's always fun to see my brudder.

Killing two birds with one stone blogpost, I'm linking up (and posting wayyyy to many pictures...) to recap the top 5 highlights of The 2014 Oakley Family Vacation!

{ONE :: Minnesota Children's Museum}

Friday morning, we braved what seemed like National Field Trip Day and joined a bazillion other kids at the Minnesota Children's Museum. I remember going there as a kid although a lot had changed since then. We would have gotten more out of it if Gracyn were a little older since most of the exhibits were for school-aged kids. Poor thing almost got trampled 2318 times but we had fun and made it out alive.

{TWO :: Royals vs. Twins}

The went to the baseball game Saturday afternoon after the most delicious brunch at The Lyndale Tap House. The Royals were awful and terrible but the Twins have an awesome stadium in the heart of downtown Minneapolis so it's always fun to go, even when your team loses. And Gracyn snuck in a nap which was good for the soul - she was a happy camper the rest of the day.

{THREE :: Food, Glorious Food!}

This city does have some pretty legit places to eat. My bro even cooked us a delicious meal one night. Brunch at The Lyndale Tap House, street tacos at the Midtown Global Market, pizza at Pizza Luce. All awesome.

{FOUR :: Culture and Shopping}

On Sunday, there was a family day at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts so we went and walked around and got cultured. After being civilized, we went to the cluster fuck that is the Mall of America and did a couple of power-laps around that monstrosity.

{FIVE :: Just Keep Swimming...}

Gracyn's first time swimming! She was apprehensive at first and only wanted to sit on the side of the pool with me. We dangled our feet in the water while Justin swam in front of us. She watched him like a hawk and finally decided to give it a try.

Told you, wayyy too many pictures but I can't help it. We're making memories, people!

Mr. & Mrs. :: 3 Years

Happy Anniversary my wonderful husband! My better half. My baby-daddy. Three whole wonderful, glorious years of wedded bliss. I'm so lucky that I get to do life with you by my side. I love you.
It's been a wild 3 years and I am so, so, so excited to see what comes next ;)

Love you, hubby!

Oh, wait! The wedding pictures? Taken by Morgan Miller at Cornerstone Photography. And yeah, she's good.

DIY :: Staining a Deck + Lattice

Weekend Warriors. Back at it again. Our backyard is a constant work-in-progress. We've been trying to grow grass for almost 5 years now. Every spring we get renewed energy to rake the yard, till the ground, spread grass seed, cover with peat moss and proceed to water the shit out of it in hopes that we will have a luscious, thick, green yard that we can truly enjoy.  And every spring, the monster-hellion dog known as Rufus negates all of our efforts in approximately 4 hours. Oh, and we have moles. Like, all of the moles in the great state of Kansas set up camp in our yard and, in addition to the monster-hellion dog known as Rufus, do us no favors.

Two years ago, we brought in 11 tons (ELEVEN TONS, people...) of river rock to help fill in some of the areas that were perma-shaded instead of trying to plant grass (again...) and attempted to do some landscaping. The plants all died (oops...), the rock looked good, but the remaining vast areas of mud were not so cool. Last year, after breaking our backs to get the grass seed down, we attempted to fence off the worst part of the yard hoping to keep Rufus from ruining our lives but it was a no-go. He got into the fenced off area the next day (it was a really good fence, ok?!), ate some grass seed, and had a good ol' time digging int the mud.

A green thumb I have not...

So this year, we decided to focus our efforts on our back deck. It's a lovely deck - nice in size with a built-in bench but it is a little weathered. When we first moved in, we powerwashed that bad boy and applied a water/weather-proofing "stain". It wasn't tinted but the wood looked newer once it had been washed so we went with it. Years later, it was starting to look a little rough again so we decided to replace the lattice and give the entire thing a fresh coat. We borrowed the neighbor's powerwasher and Justin went to town. Two days, two coats, and 11 hours of staining later, it's done!
staining lattice = bitch work. so awful.
the littlest helper...
the worst helper...
We got started around 10 am Saturday morning. Gracyn was a big help, making sure to touch all of the wet stain everywhere she went. DIY with a toddler is no joke. She almost fell down the stairs multiple times and thoroughly enjoyed tasting dirt and collecting (and trying to eat...) rocks. 
By the end of day one, we had the first coat almost done. We ran out of stain so we called it a day and J made a trek to Home Depot so we were armed and ready for Day Two.
It looks good but I am sooo over staining. I'll take a few more pictures once we put the patio furniture back in it's place. We are also planning on adding some outdoor speakers (Happy Birthday, Justin!) and maybe a few potted plants if I can keep them among the living. My track record with foliage hasn't been so great but here's to hoping we can enjoy some greenery on our freshly-stained deck!