McKell's 6th month
We started out this month with a big milestone! You sat all by yourself! You were just sitting on the living room floor watching Larry the Cucumber sing silly songs. You didn't wabble or fall over. Mommy and Daddy are so amazed at how deliberate your movements are. Its like you were thinking about sitting up for so long and then finally you decide to just do it without any hesitation or fear. Barely 2 days later, you decide to do another first! You splashed in the bathtub!
This month was also your very first Mardi Gras. Mommy and Daddy thought you were just a little too young to go see the parades so we spent a nice quiet day at home with Daddy starting our organic garden.
This month you also learned to pass a toy from your left hand to your right hand. You seem to use your left hand more than your right, and Daddy is already thinking you might be left handed like him! This month we introduced you to squash and spinach. Much to our surprise you love the spinach but won't touch the squash unless it's mixed with some other fruit.
This month we also started sleeping in your big girl bed in your very own room! Mommy wasa little sad not to have you so close anymore, but you had definitely outgrown the cradle! You are going down at night with no problems and are sleeping very well at night. We do still get up at least once to feed you, but Mommy secretly loves the quiet snuggle time so she doesn't mind at all.
McKell 5 Months!
This month we are starting to get in a little more of a routine, with coming to work with Mommy and Daddy, naps and playtime. Nana came to visit for a few weeks, and we bought your first highchair! You love to sit and watch Mommy cook and bang the toys on the chair, however you hate getting put into the highchair! Everytime we do you get stiff as a board and won't bend your legs! At the beginning of Feb we noticed that you were reaching for the cup everytime someone tried to take a drink, so on the first of Feb you got your very own sippy cup! You knwe exaclty what to do with it! Now you really love to drink water, although I am not totally sure how much ends up in your mouth and how much ends up down the front of you, but you are awefully happy about it either way.
Not long after giving you the sippy cup, we really noticed you reaching for our food too!
So on Feb 3rd we gave you your very first taste of food! Mommy peeled, steemed and pureed some sweet potatoes and we all gathered around the highchair to see what you would do....
Nobody had to say "awwww" or make airplane sounds with the spoon. You looked right at the sweet potatoes and opened your mouth, like you had been eating solid food all along! You will eat about 2oz at a time now, and Mommy is learning to expand her culinary baby food expertise. By the end of the month you regularly eat sweet potatoes, pears and apples! That very same weekend, we all went over to Meme and PawPaw's house for a party! Aunt Laura and Uncle Mike had a special cake made so we could all find out if your new cousin is going to be a boy or a girl! Mommy was asked to be the baby's Godmother and she got to cut the surprise king cake! Guess what's inside...
It's a BOY! Cousin Ames Wyatt Daly we can't wait to meet you in June! The very next weekend was another first for you. Your first tea party! We threw a Tea Party Bridal Shower for your Nanny Rachael. We all got dressed up and wore our party hats!
I admit that we were having so much fun with you and you grew up so much this month that we completely forgot to weigh and measure you!

McKell 4 Months

The story of your 4th month continues with us still visiting family in Washington and begins in the most exciting way I could've imagined. On Dec 17th you laughed for the first time. You were smiling up at Mommy who was singing Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, then suddenly you got this very serious look on your face and then the giggles came! Mommy cried and yelled for Nana to come. You must have laughed for 5 minutes nonstop. It was great! Of course we all spent the rest of our visit trying to make you laugh some more.

We made it back home on Sun the 18th, and everyone was so amazed how much you had grown in 10 days. We spent the next week getting ready to celebrate your first Christmas. Mommy did a lot of baking and Daddy did some last minute shopping. For Christmas Eve we got all dressed up and headed over to Guy and Michelle Picards's house for dinner and a gift exchange.

On Christmas morning we had a bit of an adventure at 5:45am which left Mommy with the biggest bruise on her butt and both Mommy and Daddy wide awake. You never woke up, so after some snuggling we left you asleep in our bed. Mommy and Daddy had a very nice quiet little Christmas morning. At 10am, your Granny Kitty came over for breakfast and at 12:30 we loaded up the car and headed over to Pawpaw and Meme's house for Christmas dinner. You were such a lucky girl and got all sorts of fun stuff for Christmas. Our favorite gift was the wooden rocking horse your Pawpaw made.

On Christmas Day you decided to start teething! We didn't have anything for you to chew on, so you used Daddy's knuckles instead.
After Christmas things were pretty quiet around our house, with the exception of New Year's Eve. Staring at around 7:30pm the kids all up and down the block were setting off fireworks. Gunther was running all over the house barking and you didn't wake up one time!
Now that the holidays are over we spend time everyday playing on the floor with all our new toys and reading books. You especially love your fish rattle and your stuffed puppy, although you are pretty happy with anything you can get in your mouth. On Jan 7th you surprised us by reaching out, picking up the pacifier and putting it right into your mouth. We have tummy time everyday too, and you hold your head up and watch Gunther run back and forth chasing his ball. You are such a happy baby even through the teething.

At the end of the month you weighed 14 1/2lbs, and are 25 inches long! You are now going to bed all by yourself at 8:30pm and sleeping until almost 8am! Sometimes we wake up in the morning and can't believe how much you've grown overnight!

McKell 3 months old

This month we celebrated McKell's first Thanksgiving. We all have a lot to be thankful for this year! You are now 10lbs and 23 1/2 inches long. We wake up every morning to big smiles and now you are "talking" to us for about 30 minutes at a time. You have learned all sorts of new things this month including how to blow raspberries and stick your tongue out at us. For Thanksgiving we went over to Meme and Pawpaw Daly's house, with Aunt Laura, Uncle Mike and your great Aunt Judy. What a social butterfly you have become, and were totally happy to go visit everyone for most of the afternoon, until we wore you out and came home so we could all take a nap.

We skipped all the black friday shopping, although Mommy and McKell were still up at 5am. Instead we went out to a tree farm to cut our own Christmas tree. Sadly the only good trees on the lot were in the orange grove!

So we went to a regular tree lot and came home with a 9ft tree! Took Mommy and Daddy all weekend to get it all decorated, but you sure do love the lights.
On Dec 7th, you got to take your very first airplane ride! Mommy and McKell flew all by ourselves all the way to Washington to visit Nana and Papa Dennis. You were the best baby on the plane! Not one single time on the flights did you cry! Even the flight attendant came up and told us what a wonderful girl you are. The Captain came out and gave you a little travel log, where he wrote how many miles you flew and signed it! Sadly Mommy's hands were too full to get any pictures of you and the Captain. We spent 10 days in Washington, where you got to meet your Great Grandma Cox, your Great Grandpa Neumayer and your crazy Uncle Dan. We had dinner with Aunt Karen, Uncle Dave and your cousin Nick, but you slept most of the time (and Mommy forgot to take any pictures)
It was pretty cold while we were in Washington so Nana whipped out the sewing machine and made a really cozy car seat wrap and matching fuzzy hat!

You turned 3 months old while we were in Washington, so the rest of the story continues on the next page!

McKell at 2 months

Smiles smiles smiles, that has been the theme this past month. Every morning you wake up and smile at us and you fall asleep smiling too. There is nothing we love more than to see you smile.
This was another fun road trip month. This time we drove to Dallas, TX so Daddy could take a seminar and we could visit with Kevin, Kelly and Claire Viehbeck. Nana rode with us to Dallas so she could go visit your Uncle Steve, Aunt Michelle and all your cousins. Then she caught a plane back to Washington. We were all sad that we won't see her again until Christmas. You also got to meet your cousins Rachael, Selah, Noah and Issac for the first time.
We spent the whole weekend visiting with the Viehbecks. Kelly made awesome french toast (Mommy is stealing the recipe) and Kevin made a smoked brisket, which has had your Daddy talking about getting a smoker ever since!After our exciting road trip, life calmed down a bit and then Halloween came around! We dressed you all up for sunday dinner and took you trick or treating at PawPaw's house.

You have grown so much in the last month we can't hardly believe it! You now weight over 9lbs and are more than 22 inches long. You have officially grown out of all your newborn onesies, but you are so skinny mini that you still wear newborn pants and diapers! Everyone comments on how tall you are and how long your fingers are. (Mommy thinks you are going to be an amazing piano player)You have also really started "talking" this last week. You will sit for 20 - 30 minutes and chat with Mommy and Daddy, that is until you see your hands again and then they go right in your mouth! On Novemeber 12th after Daddy got home from work, you sucked your thumb for the first time!

We are so proud of what a smart beautiful girl you are growing into and we can't wait to see all the fun things you learn next month!

McKell's first month

This was one of the most memorable months of our lives. This month McKell made us the happiest and luckiest parents on earth. Every single day with her is such a blessing. This has been a month full of firsts.
Our first car ride, coming home from the hospital Saturday Sept 17th.

Our first bath

Our first family walk

You already smile at us, espcially when we play with her feet and first thing when she wakes up in the morning. You are sleeping at night for almost 6 hours at a time, usually waking up to eat about 3:30am and then going back to sleep until 8:30 or 9am! This month we were very thankfull to have Nana here to help us!
At 3 weeks old we packed up our little girl and took a road trip to Austin, Texas to visit Erika, Dave and Gaige Yancey, and so Daddy could compete in the Tough Mudder. You were such a perfect little lady the whole drive over and while we were visiting. This was the first time we ever put you in a swing and you loved it! When we got home Pawpaw and Meme bought you one of your own and now you spend about a hour every morning swinging and watching the world. Daddy did an awesome job in Tough Mudder and completed the entire 12 mile 26 obstacle coarse and we are so proud of him! He received the coveted orange headband and brought you back a Future Tough Mudder shirt.
Right before your one month birthday we took you in for our very first family photos! Photos coming soon!

How we chose the name McKell

In late April we found out we were having a girl, which ended our debate about naming a boy Dougls Daly III. We threw around ideas for a couple of weeks without really telling anyone, because we still hadn't revealed to the family we were having a girl. One night I went to bed early and D stayed up, I thought it was to play computer games. The next morning he came to me with a huge smile on his face and a list of about 12 names that he liked. He had even looked up what they all mean! We didn't exactly agree on a name but instead chose 2 names and decided to wait until we met her to decide. He like Juliette and I chose Allyson. It was fun to see which family members liked which names.
After 48 hours of hard labor and a c-section at 3am, we decided to wait a little while before chosing a name for her. I still had some anesthesia in me, and I wasn't thinking clearly enough for such a big decision. In the days following her birth we were very rarely alone, between nurses, family and friends it took 2 full days before we had a chance to sit down and talk about it. Both of us knew immediately the name Juliette didn't fit. If she had been born dainty and quietly it would have been great, but this little girl was a fighter. He suggested we name her Allyson Lee, using the name that I wanted and my middle name as a tribute to all that we went through as mother and daughter to bring her into this world. But Allyson just didn't seem to fit either. We felt like she was such a strong girl and had been through so much to come into the world, she needed a tough girl name. As a random thought under anesthesia I said "I like the name Mikel" but it wasn't something we had even thrown out on the table as an option. One of our midwives was named Michel (pronounced the same and McKell) and we had said a couple times what a pretty name it was, but we didn't like the way it was spelled either way. So in Irish tradition we used the Mc instead. In old Ireland the Mc like in McDonald meant "child of" Donald. The same goes for a girl's name like McKenzie which would translate into child of Kenzie. So for our little girl McKell means daughter of Kell! Traditionally the name McKell is the female version of Michael, which means "one who is like God". I don't think there is anything more like the divine than a newborn baby.
Her middle name, Carisse, is in honor of Doug's maternal grandmother who passed away a few years ago.