South Carolina, Part I

Malayna took her first vacation to visit my mom’s side of the family down South with Daddy, Gramie, Joe, Lauren, and Cecelia!  I have over 200 pictures so I will be splitting up pictures among several parts.  Consider this part I.

Four generations.  My grandma and mom look amazingly beautiful.  Lauren as always is gorgeous.  Two of the cutest babies (I know I am biased).

I want to begin with saying Malayna and Cecelia greatly enjoyed meeting all of the O’Grady’s- Great-Grandparents, Bagwells, James, Irwins, Finks, and Bobo’s.  We were really missing Dad, Steve, Sara, Dominic, O’Grady’s, and Simpsons.

Cecelia and Malayna both did VERY well all week long.  I love these pictures of M and C sitting in Grandpa’s chair.  Immediately M went to attack poor C and grab her ears.  I wish you could have seen it.

Away from me Malayna.  Why does this remind me of my childhood?

Pinchy pinchy.  (For those who don’t know I have had an ear fetish since I was a little kid.  I would often pinch my sisters ear.  Before you think I am cruel, it’s because I often love someone so much I want to squeeze them.  So because I can not squeeze them, I pinch their ears to get all my love energies out).


We saw this beautiful baby picture of mom that looks a lot like Malayna.

Malayna seemed especially happy and content all week and I think its because she was always being held, played with, and loved on.

She took a few days to settle into sleeping in a different place (and with mom nearby), but eventually began to sleep better.  The funny thing is I am the same way when I travel. I always seem to sleep bad the first night or two in a new place.

Cecelia slept very well all week long and gained around 5 pounds ;).

It was such a blessing to stay at my grandparents.  They spoil us with wonderful food, company, and laughter.  It was such a relaxing week to be with Sam, Mom, Lauren, Joe, and Cecelia.


It was the perfect balance of relaxing at home and going out to do things.  We had lots of fun adventures farmers market, M and C’s first zoo trip, went to see Avengers (thanks mom for babysitting), took several hikes at a beautiful state park on a lake, had several evening walks with Sam (this was a special treat to have lots of babysitters at the house when M went to sleep so Sam and I could spend some alone time together), went walking around Downtown Greenville, out to eat with the Bagwells, date night at beautiful park, and lots of family parties!

I always knew people seemed nicer down South with all the southern hospitality (or is it a sweet tea high), but I think it was even more evident this past trip with a baby.  I had lots of people open doors for us, smile, offer to carry strollers up flights of stairs, be extremely friendly, and did I mention smile again?  I think the biggest difference came with security at the airport.

At Midway I was given no instructions for traveling with a baby.  Security lines with no babies stress me out, let along bringing M.  I always feel like I need to strip down to nothing, take all my belongings out, and chug my water bottle.  Those stupid treys always seem stuck together and hard to pull apart.  On top of all that, I always feel like I need to go extremely fast or someone will yell at me.  (For those who have been near O’Hare we all know what its like to get yelled at when picking someone up in the arrival line).  This time with a stroller, a carseat, diaper bag, bookbag, baby, and husband who decided he needed to travel with a stapler and get his bag ransacked multiple times, I was stressed.

However, coming home was another story. There were no lines, lots of clear instructions given from the security guards, and patient airport security guards.  The security guards actually wanted to chat it up asking if Lauren and I were twins (as well as flirt with mom asking if she was our sister).  This one man was a grandpa and immediately loved seeing Cecelia and Malayna.

It was the perfect vacation and I am already missing all my wonderful family.  It was even more perfect having M and C with me.

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Children’s Growth Chart

I have been wanting to find or make a growth chart for Malayna for a while now.  I received this stick (similar to a measuring stick, but without the measurements) with a bear on top from a friend’s neighbor that was looking to give it away.

It inspired me to make this:

I should have taken a before picture but it was just a brown regular stick with a bear on top.  I painted the stick white, and with a green sample paint I had left over from the kitchen used that to paint the height marks.

I placed stickers I had for the 1-5 foot marks and had to use modge podge to keep them on (they kept peeling off).  I went to Hobby Lobby to find the “O” and painted that green as well.  I then placed the elephant on the top for a little added touch!  I wanted to go with “O” instead of “M” for any future kiddos to be able to mark on there as well.

It was so much fun to do!  If you would like one for your kiddo I would be happy to make one!

As we all know I have greatly been enjoying garage sales.  Here are a few of my favorite finds for Malayna:

Tinnnny stroller for M’s babies.  Every little girl needs one!  A suitcase to spend the night at Grandpa and Grandpa’s or Aunt/Uncles house! 🙂  A tea set I have been trying to find.  All of this was only $5.

Super cute blocks for $1 and a puzzle.

Sam’s favorite a baby lifevest for the boat.

Next project will be redoing a children’s rocking chair!  More to come!

Mothers Day And Malayna/Cecelia’s Dedication

Mothers Day started off early on Saturday with a special treat from my dear friend Mary.

Pedicures!  This was such a fun time, very relaxing, and a wonderful way to start the weekend.  A special thanks to Mary!

Mothers Day was extra special this year as it was my first “official” Mothers Day, and we dedicated Malayna at church in the morning.  It was such a blessing to share this special time of prayer and blessing with Cecelia as well.

Malayna, “Ta Daaaaa!”
Cecelia looking adorable as always.

Thank you to all our family and friends who came to pray with us on this very special day.

After the dedication two elders prayed for Malayna and Cecelia and gave us special cards with the meaning of their name and this special block as a reminder of the Dedication.  Malayna’s name means “living fragrance” and her middle name Faith means “absolute confidence.”  Living fragrance suits her well as she brings such life to all around her.

After Malayna and Cecelia were dedicated we enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Mom and Dad’s.

Cousins playing together!

Several have requested two recipes that I made for lunch.  One of them was Katie Carr’s family pasta salad recipe:

12 ounce bowtie pasta
10 ounces cubed mozzarella cheese
1 small green pepper
1 small red pepper
1 small yellow pepper
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 box cherry or grape tomatoes
1 cup sliced black olives
3 tablespoons parmesan cheese
1 jar marinated artichokes, drained
Dressing:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon basil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
Cook pasta being careful not to overcook. Combine ingredients for dressing. Toss with salad ingredients. Cover and Chill. Makes 8-10 servings.
*The only modification I made was adding green olives and not black.

The second recipe, was from Lora.

Cream Cheese Pound Cake
1 8 oz cream cheese
2 sticks margarine or butter
1 C. oil
3 C. sugar
3 1/2 C. cake flour
6 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 t. coconut flavoring
Cream margarine or butter, cream cheese and oil. Add sugar and beat until fluffy. Add 2 eggs, then 1/3 of the flour – continue alternating eggs and flour, ending with flour. Add vanilla and coconut flavorings.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hrs (approx) in bundt pan (greased and floured).
A few days after Mothers Day we took my mom to Egg Harbor for lunch!

Baby Shower Fun

Saturday some friends and I had the privilege of throwing our good friend, Jerusalem, a baby shower for baby Chesney numero dos.

Missing Lora our star planner

Erik and Jerusalem decided to find out the gender and not tell anyone!  However, I know its a girl! 🙂  I had a dream that she had a girl, and I also had a dream I was having a girl before I found out Malayna was a girl, so I must be right ;).  We will find out in 3-6 weeks!

Lora, as always, made a super cute diaper cake.

Diaper cakes are so much fun to put together.  Here are two I have done (with the help of Renee on Lauren’s):

Some decorations:

Here are some pictures of all the beautiful ladies:

How beautiful and adorable is Jerusalem?  Who looks that good at the end of their pregnancy?

Precious sleeping beauty!!

I made this little guy I found on pinterest.  Her name is Elisabeth after her baby-to-be.  It didn’t turn out quite how I envisioned, but it will do.

Preggers opening presents.  How adorable is this picture that Robyn made!

Speaking of showers, I just looked at pictures (that I have not seen) of my family baby shower.  Such special memories.  It seems like so long ago, but only was last fall.

My aunt Kathy, the most creative/artistic person I know, made these….

Cupcakes made of onesies!

This was my expression when my dear friend, Bethany, flew all the way from Vegas to surprise me….

Miss her so much!!!

Can you believe this picture?  Dominic was already watching out for Malayna and Cecelia….sigh….

Five Months

This is a little overdue, but Malayna recently turned 5 months.

It is so hard to believe next month she will be 6 months (half a year old)!!!  One of the biggest updates on the May-May front is her cranial specialist appointment.  She had to get her head re-checked by the cranial specialist for her head flattening (due to sleeping on her back).  A lot of babies heads fix on their own as they get older and begin rolling over more and are not on their backs as much.  We are happy to report (as of now) she does not need a helmet to fix the noggin!! This was a huge answer to prayer and we are thankful to God for answering it!  Her head has rounded out quite a bit and all her measurements and pictures showed she is improving and does not need any intervention.

She has started to finally enjoy tummy time so that is nice.  She is actually choosing now to play on her tummy and is rolling over all the time.  Diaper changing has become more interesting. 🙂

We started putting her in her exersauser and she is liking it more and more everyday.

When she sleeps she likes to creep all the way to the corner and face plant herself right into the bumper and sleep.  Thankfully we got breathable bumpers.  Heres a picture of her in the morning.

She is quite a LOUD babbler.  When we are in the car she scretches so loudy.  I have no idea where she gets this loudness from? 😉

Daddy still makes her laugh the most.  Check out this video and see.  (Sadly the sound was not working the best, I think I was covering it up on accident)