Sunday, October 31, 2010


We had a great Halloween weekend! Saturday we went to ZooBoo at the Norfolk Zoo. It was such a cute event and CROWDED!! There were lots of children's booths with trick or treating, crafts, train rides, hayrides, etc. The animals also did "pumpkin smashings." It was a beautiful day and we enjoyed being outside. Next year I will know for sure to get there early and to put the kids in their costumes!

Saturday night we went to Mammie's to visit her in their Halloween costumes. This year Emma was Raggedy Ann - the same costume I wore when I was her age. Hannah Boo was a precious little witch.

They loved trick or treating Sunday evening. Their buddy Brayden came to join us. Then we went to visit PopPop at the fire station and then went back to Mammie's to see the cousins and the awesome Halloween display my uncle put up.

We were busy and Emma is still up at 11:00 due to the sugar she has had! What a great Halloween!

What will she say next???

Emma has started to say things and I have no idea where they are coming from!
This past Friday she did not take a nap for my mom. When I got home I asked her, "Emma, why didn't you take a nap today?" She looked right at me and said, "I'm not sleepy!"

She has also started saying, "OHhh, Man!!" When she does not get her say about something.

Last night was really good. Bo was giving her some snack and he said, "What do you say?" Emma said, "Please." He gave her the snack and then Bo said, "Now, what do you say?" (he was looking for , "thank you.") Emma looked right at him and said, "I said, Please." Too funny!!!

These days, I just never know what she is going to say. She absolutely cracks me up.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Another Milestone

Just another milestone to mark - Hannah is no longer using the bottle. She went off formula a few weeks ago but we still gave her milk in a bottle to get her used to the new taste. Now, she is using her cups all of the time. Emma is not a fan of Hannah getting to use the "Elmo" and "Abby" cups. Emma thinks they are all hers. We have to keep explaining that Hannah can use them too. I have so much more cabinet space now!

New Baby!

Haha - not mine!! But, the next closest thing - my nephew was born on Tuesday, October 26th. He weighed 7lbs. 7 oz. My sister did a great job and really had a great delivery. His name is Andrew Kent Steele - "Andy" and Kent is after my dad. He is adorable!!! Emma and Hannah got to meet him tonight at their house. Hannah loved him, kissed him, touched him - Emma - had nothing to do with him! haha! These little girls now have someone else to share their "Gaga" and "PopPop" time with. This will take some getting used to. I am really glad they will be close in age. Three years - three babies in our family!

meeting my nephew

Bo with Andy

getting ready to go home

sweet family
the girls meeting their cousin


We had our pictures done after Hannah's birthday. The photo session went pretty good. Hannah was usual, happy Hannah. Emma had not had a nap - enough said. But, I got some great individuals of Hannah to mark her first birthday. I got a beautiful individual of Emma. And - we got some decent family shots. Here is what I have to post, although there are tons more. Everyone has told me the "crazy" picture is the best - well, that about sums up how life is these days! You can see all of the pictures at and go to proofs, then Hamricks.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

10 Year Reunion - October 23rd

Wow - this post made me feel old. I cannot believe it has been 10 years since graduating high school. I was one of those girls who loved high school. I loved my school and classmates. I was involved in a lot of activities and loved what my school stood for. I graduated with 76 classmates and I knew each and everyone of them. Our class had the reunion at the Hilton in Suffolk. It was so good to see everyone again. We had it decorated with some memorabilia - some of my things included my megaphone and pom poms! We had some decent music and our senior slideshow was shown. It was nice to catch up with people who you know are in the area and on facebook, but just don't see and spend time with. We had an open bar so throw that in with people you have not seen in ten years and you have to have a good time. It was so much fun to think back, tell stories and remind people of things that they did! What a great night.

Some of Class of 2000
Me, Lindsay, Stacey and Jenny Lynne
Deborah, Britt, Lindsay, Courtney, Carrie and me
the cake - this was really funny to a lot of us when the night ended
former cheerleaders - have we lost our touch?

Homecoming - Friday, October 22nd

This was a big weekend for us! I received an e-mail earlier in the week from ODU stating that COMP scores had been mailed. I knew I was going to get them this weekend and that it would make or break my great planned weekend. This weekend was Homecoming at NSA and my 10 year high school reunion.

Sure enough, Bo got home first on Friday afternoon and called to tell me an envelope from ODU came in the mail. I rushed so fast to get the girls in the car from my mom's house. My heart pounded the whole way home. Bo met me halfway in the neighborhood to hand me the envelope. I opened it and the first word I saw said, "congratulations!" What a relief!!! I passed the COMPS - I graduate on December 18th!! Yea!!

Then we got ready fast because it was Homecoming at my former school. I attended NSA K-12 and love that school so much. I love going to Homecoming but it was even more exciting because of it being my 10 year reunion. I was super excited to take the girls out to the game to see everyone that we just do not get around to seeing that much.

We went to Chick Fil A first - Emma used the potty there!!! - we ate there and then went to the game. The girls had a great time. Emma watched the cheerleaders and loved the band. Hannah loved being able to walk around. Bo and I had to watch them like crazy so they would not end up on the football field. We saw a lot of people. Emma loved seeing her little friend Ally, who's mom and I went to school together and have been friends since first grade. We see them often, so Emma was very comfortable with Ally being there. I got so many sweet compliments on the girls and it was so nice to catch up with so many people. The kids had a great time and even anti-private school Bo enjoyed himself. He knows just as many people as I do now so he is very comfortable being there. Some of my friends went to the post party at a local golf club, but we went home to put the kids to bed!

To top off the night, we got home, I let Lilly out and Emma says, "mommy, potty!" I completely forgot that she had not been at the game and had a pull up on her anyway in case she had an accident. But, she waited until we were home! I am so proud of her! I tell her that everytime she uses the potty. She will get this sweet little smile on her face and say, "thank you, mommy!" She really is doing a great job. She still has the nighttime to work on - but she is consistently going all day in "big girl panties." It was WONDERFUL!

Emma, Hannah and Brayden
Emma, Hannah and Ally
Emma and Ally
Emma distributing snacks to everyone - see Emma's boots?

New Shoes

Thursday the 21st was shopping night with the girls and the main focus was new shoes. We needed shoes for their Christmas dresses and new walking shoes for Hannah. We found some great little shoes for their Christmas dresses (black patent leather) at Target. Then, we went to StrideRite for the walkers. Hannah had her foot measured and I could not believe she measured a 4.5 and I had the baby wearing Emma's size 3 walkers! Oops!! THEN - they had the Emu boots for little girls - too cute. So, Emma got a pair of those and she keeps saying, "boots - like mama's. " I love it! Shoe shopping for two can get a little crazy but the girls did a good job. Emma also used the potty at the mall! She is so close to being completely potty trained! We had our usual cookie at the mall and then headed home.

Mom's Birthday

My mom's birthday was October 16th. Emma called the day "Gaga's Happy." She kept saying it all day and was excited to go to her house and get cake. I had some nice time with my mom, sister and aunt at lunch and at the mall. My mom wanted to go shopping for herself and so we went to her favorite stores and helped her choose some new clothes. Later in the evening we kept it simple. Hannah was running a slight fever from getting her shots so she was not feeling too well. We had pizza and cake at mom and dad's house. Emma was so sweet giving Gaga her presents. She kept saying, "Happy Gaga" and "Gaga Happy." We cut the cake and Emma just sat in her seat waiting so patiently for her piece. It was so cute. She had waited all day to get that piece of cake and she ate her cake and ice cream just as quietly and sweet as could be. My mom enjoyed her day and evening. I thought about three years ago how we celebrated her 50th by taking the whole family on a cruise.....that was nice but that was also before children. Things have certainly changed in three years! Happy Birthday Mom! We hope you had a great day!

Halloween Cuteness

Here are the girls in some other Halloween outfits. They were wound up as could be when I was trying to get them to sit still and take a picture! Emma was also way more interested in her lollipop.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brushing My Hair

Hannah found a brush on the floor and decided to start brushing her hair. I thought it was adorable and quickly grabbed my camera!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Allergy Update

Today was our first ever visit to the allergist. After July's egg allergy and visit to the ER our pediatrician recommended us seeing a pediatric allergist. She said that usually one food allergy goes along with another. I had no idea what to expect but I was not set on Hannah going through the skin testing.

After talking to the doctor of course that is what she recommended. I panicked a bit thinking of her having to go through so many shots like my sister did long ago. Well, it has changed a bit and the doctor showed me what is done now and how painless it is (she actually did it to me!). It was like a little pinecone with five little pricks in it. Each prick was a different allergin. They tested for environmental and food allergins with three little "pinecone" sets.

Hannah faced me, the nurse held her hands while I held her thighs. The nurse marked her back and then carefully "stamped" her back with the pricks. Hannah did not make a sound. I was so extremely proud of her. The hard part was afterwards where she or I could not touch her back for 15 minutes. So, the nurse gave her a sucker and that kept her perfectly happy, and a bit sticky for the 15 minutes.

The results were read and Hannah has severe egg and peanut allergies. I could not believe it when they said an epi pen must be kept with Hannah at all times. Apparently peanuts are a very tricky food to deal with since so many foods can pick up peanut product where foods are processed. I leanred a lot today! I was trained how to use the epi pen. I also learned more symptoms to watch for and what different types of food to avoid. She also could not get the flu shot normally since the shot contains egg particles! (She could have receieved it in two low doses, but would have to be monitored carefully and had to wait 45 minutes between the doses - I decided not to do it)

Hannah has to go back every year to see if she becomes more immune to the allergies or not. Hannah is a little trooper and I was so incredibly proud of her. I did not write about her 1 year well check, but she did not even cry when getting her finger pricked! She is a brave little girl and is so good with people she does not know. We are going to do everything in the world possible to keep from using those epi pens and prevent any reactions. But, I am so thankful that we went today. Our pediatrician gave us some great advice. We have had this appointment for about two months and I am so glad that we went. If anything were to happen, we are well prepared in what to do.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall Weekend

We had a great weekend and kept it pretty low key. We worked extra hard on the potty training, which is going fantastic. I cannot tell you how many pull ups have been saved in the past few days. I was even brave enough to take Emma out in public wearing big girl panties! She is doing such a good job!

Hannah is walking like crazy. She is not afraid at all and is going wherever she wants.

Go Hannah!

This weekend was Suffolk's traditional Peanut Fest. I have not been in several years and was really looking foward to taking the girls. On Saturday we kept telling E that she was going to see the ponies, which she calls, "Neighs." We waited in a long line and I was so nervous that she wouldn't do it, but sure enough she did and LOVED it. We enjoyed walking around the tents, eating, running into lots of friends and the kids loved the Merry Go Round. I took some adorable pictures of them in the city tent. They were so hyped up and were the center of attention.

enjoying the pony ride

Hannah being too cute

Hannah aggervating Emma - haha!

my precious girls in their cute outfits!
We were home today. Emma was so cute playing today that I snapped a quick picture of her. She had "baked" a cake at her kitchen and then began serving it to all of her Sesame Street friends.

I love watching her imagination spark

Tonight we went out to have dinner at Mammie's house so she could see how well H was walking. They loved playing at Mammie's house and Emma sang "Jingle Bells" word for word for her. I am loving her already singing Christmas songs. I know it is early - but she will know them for Christmas! Plus, I am a little excited myself and have already done some shopping :) Later tonight, Emma also counted to 10 completely on her own. We have it on video camera!

It was a nice weekend. Tomorrow we visit the allergist with Hannah to follow up on her egg allergy. Friday Bo and I have a night out!! We are going to Howl O Scream at Busch Gardens with my cousins. Then, my mom's birthday is the next day. I am looking foward to a quick week so get to the weekend! This is my absolute favorite time of year. The weather is perfect and there are so many fun things to do!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"I Do It"

We have heard these words more and more and more since someone in our house turned 2. From buckling the carseat, climbing up and down stairs, getting a snack, putting on a sweater and tonight - wanting to go to bed on her own. Emma is now Miss Independent and thinks she is capable of anything. "I do it, I do it!" She doesn't say it ugly, she just simply states it, like a reminder to us that she is fully in control now. It amazes me and I don't know how she heard those words or what made her suddently start saying them. But, they are frequently used words now and a constant reminder how much she really has grown.

We Can't Live Without These!

These DVD's have been the best DVD's in our house. I thought I would share!

This one is absolutely adorable and what actually got my kids liking Elmo and Abby. It has the basic children's songs like Itsy Bity Spider, Wheels on the Bus, Mary Had a Little Lamb, etc. This is the video that really got Emma into singing. There is also a volume one, but it is not as good as this one.

Word World is a show on PBS that I have written about before. This show is precious and actually got Emma into learning her letters. They are also really funny and it is neat to how kids catch on to humor. We love Word World and our van has about five of these DVD's in it. Hannah likes it, but it has a little too much dialog to keep her attention. But, she does know the theme song and enjoys the music.

This video is Hannah's favorite. I was never a real fan of Barney but this DVD is adorable and has the cutest songs. It can hold Hannah's attention the entire time and Emma loves it too and just sings and dances with the whole video. I also think the bright colors captures attention of younger kiddies . It really is a cute, cute video.

I bought this DVD on sale after Christmas last year. We just opened it about two weeks ago. Emma got it as a prize for going potty! It is now a favorite and I figured they may as well learn Christmas songs now so they can sing them at Christmas time. It has about twenty Christmas songs with all kinds of Disney character Christmas show segments with them. It is absolutely adorable. Hannah loves it as well and Emma knows all the words to Jingle Bells, Here Comes Santa Claus and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. I highly recommend this one to learn Christmas music!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Emma and Lilly

Emma loves Lilly so much and Lilly does her best to be so patient with her! Emma recently even wants to give Lilly a kiss night night. Lilly actually does not sleep in our bed very much anymore - we often find her in Emma's bed. Tonight Emma wanted to take pictures with Lilly so here they are.

She's Off!

Hannah walked across the entire living room last night, October 4th. She has done even more today and this evening. She has even stood up in the middle of the floor on her own and walked around. I cannot believe how much she has progressed in just a few days. We are so proud of her!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hannah's First Birthday

I seriously cannot believe that Hannah turned one today. It just does not seem probable that she has been here for a whole year! Hannah was such a surprise to us, but our family is so complete with her. Her sweet smile and precious temperment make every single day with her a blessing.

The morning started out with singing Happy Birthday. Emma wanted to keep singing and did a great job singing to her little sister. She knew all of the words and would even tell us that Hannah was one and she was two!

Hannah is so happy every day that it was just another typical day for Hannah. To us, we could not believe that she was one. We had a simple family party for her at our house. The cake matched the invitation with a cupcake, pink and green circles and one candle. She wore the same Strasburg birthday dress that Emma loved, because I really could not find anything more sweeter than that dress. Hannah played all morning, Bo's parents came into town and then we had a party at 2:00 with some simple food, cake and ice cream. Hannah's big present from us was the Sweetheart Playhouse for our deck. It is so cute, but she could not play in it because it did rain today. I think her and Emma will enjoy it this fall.

My mom and dad gave her a new rocking chair to match her bedroom and a little riding toy car. My sister and brother in law gave her a pearl bracelet. Bo's parents gave her the Little People Nativity Scene to play with at Christmas time, an Elmo movie, cute outfit/bib and some money. She got some cute clothes, lots of DVD's, a ball popping little toy and her favorite thing of all was the singing Barney. Hannah LOVES Barney! So, she would not put the Barney down for the rest of the party.

Hannah was wonderful the whole party even though she was fighting a little cold. She was still as happy as ever. We all helped her blow out her candles and she loved eating her cake. It was a perfect family party with just the right people to celebrate with us. I was so glad to have the day off with her and to celebrate on her real birthday. We love you so much Hannah - more than you will ever imagine. Happy First Birthday sweetie pie!