Mollie arrived to us on July 6, 2010 at 10:42 AM. She weighed in at 6 lbs, 6 oz and 19 inches long!
We could not be more in love and can already see the start of our little family blooming!
Thanks for your continued love and support ~Leigh Ann, Matt & Mollie

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Big 0-1

A few days ago, as the big 0-1 was approaching fast, I found myself emotional & super sentimental. I'm sure it's that bittersweet moment of your baby becoming a toddler that does it to you, but I didn't expect to feel as I did. It was a combo of baby fever and pure excitement to watch this child develop before my eyes!!
My heart doubled in size on July 6, 2010
One of my most favorite moments of all my days is when I put Mollie to bed at night. It's a special time I can share with her, as we (I) talk about our day a little bit, read a book and it's pretty much the only time she stays still long enough to let me cuddle with her!! This past week holding M, I reminisced looking up at her newborn portrait on the wall and trying to think back when she was that tiny--how was that JUST a year ago, but then has it already been a year?! What a whirlwind and AMAZING year of tears, laughs & more laughs! I think we've had such FUN this past year, I can't wait to see what others bring.
My lil peanut!

I'm more than blown away by the love Matt & I both have for her--she is the true JOY of our lives and I feel that our marriage has grown even stronger & deeper sharing in Mollie together;) Matt is an awesome dad to say the least!!! Mollie just lights up when her 'da-da' is around and I have to say that Matt lights up even MORE when his Molls is around. Might be the sweetest thing ever to witness.

I'd always heard 'I'll do anything for my children' from a number of people, including my awesome mom and not that I didn't believe them, but at the same time kinda thought, 'well, I don't know about ANYTHING.' Boy was I wrong...Speaking for myself, I can honestly say that for the well-being or life of my child, I would give up everything for her. By that I mean, I'll live in my car if I have to. I'll live off canned food for the rest of my life if that means she'll have more. I would wear a paper bag & care less about what it looks like, if it means my daughter will be properly clothed. I would seriously jump in front of a train for her- And not think twice about doing it. I had no CLUE my love and devotion to her would go that deep--sheesh, am I in for a real treat;) I knew I wanted children & knowing Mollie it definitely makes me want more!

As my sentiment kicked in this past week, I decided to take the day off work today on M's birthday--I wanted to share this day that's ours together with one another. We had a GREAT time!! Walked this morning, she took a nice AM nap, ate a good lunch (girl never has a problem eating, haha!) then we headed downtown Charleston for the afternoon!! We spent almost a couple hours at the Children's Museum, which is just precious and Molls LOVED it!
We met some other nice moms & babies & Mollie discovered that she loves stairs! Thank GOD we don't have them in or house-she was a total pro. It was hysterical to watch as I had no clue!!
The pic is blurry b/c she is SUPER fast!!
We then met Matt for some frozen yogurt on King St, mmmm and by the time we got back to the car, she was BEAT! I knew the moment I put her in the car she'd crash--oh yeah she did!

We got home & cruised the neighborhood in 'her car.' Notice that my dad, aka 'Pops' decided to outfit her ride with some bumper stickers--nice! Next up, gifts!! Molls got a precious retro pink kitchen to compliment her already 'sophisticated palate' as Matt puts it and also gives her something to do while we're Matt's in there cooking, as she only wants to do what we're doing- so funny.
Let's roooollll!
Beep! Beep!!
M's kitchen--open for biz!
The 1st anniversary of her birth is ending....but the party is not!! Typical Szteiter/Garrett fashion, we're gunna drag this sucka out!! Looking forward to a fun party and capping the weekend off with professional family pics--perfect way to be with the ones we love the most, share in the time together & create new memories. We love you Mollie!!!! Happy 1st Birthday sweetheart!!!! You are my life. Thank you for being born to us.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

It's been a while

As we are nearing the big 0-1 birthday, I've realized I've backed off a bit from the blog. I have all these great posts I want to do and updates I want to make, and yet, between full-time Center for Women, Stella & Dot night and weekends, planning the b-day shindig and Mollie on the MOVE when I'm with her, my 'free' time has almost become nil. And I have zero complaints, loving it!! ;)

As I write this, I'm sitting down for the first time this am and Molls is napping--I was a bit terrified about an hour ago when Mollie didn't want to go down for her usual AM nap about 9:00...she still wanted to play. I was afraid the dreaded 'dropped AM nap' had hit us! Assuming that it begins with the time being pushed back and well, here we are almost 1.5 hours later. I totally adore being with Mollie all day on weekends, but I'll happily admit I adore those 2 daytime naps she takes too...that's my time to really get myself ready for the day, clean the house, prepare/organize food for the weekend and weekdays ahead, check email, etc. I am already beginning to mourn the loss of the 2st nap..and we're not quite there yet!

I wanted to update y'all with a few good pics from recent playtimes and outings;) Mollie is SUCH a fun age and stage right now, words and jabber are all the time and girl likes to move! She's been swiftly crawling for a while now and started to pull up a few weeks we're definitely cruising the furniture, stand on our own a little, etc. Soooo cute!!

We're excited to celebrate the 4th of July with friends & family this weekend and all relatives come this next week for the birthday festivities that will drag out for many days--haha! Happy & safe 4th everyone!!!!!!
Sharing a crepe at the Farmer's Market--and trying to stay cool!!
She loves to launch everything out of her crib when she wakes in AM or nap!
Out & about all day and BOTH M and Matt crashed out in the car! Must be nice..haha

Between she & the cats, boxes are very popular around our house!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Movin' on up! (to the big girl seat)

We're trying Mollie out in her new big girl car seat!!  I'm well aware that sure some of you are thinking, 'wait don't you do that at 1 year?' and others of you who know about every recall and baby alert out there, are saying 'nooooo AAP now said to wait to change car seats at year TWO!' Please don't put me in the 'bad mother's club.' On the other hand, many of my friends have been encouraging that they did this even earlier than 11.5 months!

Either way, Molls was NOT going to last much longer in her infant type car seat, for a few reasons. One, since she's rear facing her feet are pretty much hitting the seat--I can only imagine how uncomfortable that is! Two, she was on her last leg of that reclined baby seat and not being able to see anything. Even the rides to/from Jojo's house started to become a headache. We'd already purchased our seats & figured she's over the suggested 20 lbs and just dying to sit upright and face forward, so let's give it a shot! Our pediatrician was giving us the go-ahead in a couple weeks anyways;) Low & behold, we have a NEW child in the car with us!!! I swear she smiled the whole ride & continues to do so--doesn't want to miss a beat. Guess she is a BIT like me after all;)

(In dad's car) Forgive the paci..she only gets it at night, but I was covering my bases with this new arrangement:)
(In mom's car) My sweetie!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Beach babe!

Today was our first day this year, to step foot onto our Charleston beach!! (We've been to Myrtle Beach, but not our own backyard!) How can that be?! For the long wait, it was welllllll worth it and SUCH a blast!!!

We started the beach excursion by stopping off at Jack's Cosmic Dogs for a quick bite and to see the new James Island location--just as awesome, if not better, than the Mt. P one. We're gunna have to go back for an ice cream or shake next time!!

Our last beach visit to Myrtle had us a little timid to go back on the beach with her. Granted this was a couple months ago as she was a bit younger. She was fussy out there, her nose got stuffy and she was just not really a happy camper. I couldn't believe MY child was not obsessed with the beach--how is that possible?? Well, I'm delighted to say after today, she is a beach babe!! I knew she had it in her. My sweetie.

Any of you moms know that anytime you leave your house, you have to take everything including the kitchen sink for baby. Even with Mollie being 11+ months, I still am scared to not have something she might need. We of course had the beach plan pretty thought out ahead of time; knowing what we wanted to bring, thinking about her fave toys & adding in a few new surprises for her, but we also thought a little out of the box. We have these great party tubs that we use for chilling drinks at home gatherings and figured, hey, let's make this a little pool on the beach!! Mollie LOVES the water, so we knew this would buy us some time if/when she got tired of the beach, but we weren't--haha.
Happy as a clam!
Kicked back, feet propped--just as the beach should be!
I think Matt & I just hit upon something brilliant--who's with me?! You carry your things down to the beach in this tub, THEN your baby plays in it. Yeah, like I said, brilliant;) Highly recommend this for you with kids age 6mths-1 year!

As we play in the sand a bit, I was so excited to see what M would do with the rush of waves--the girl loves a little adrenaline rush (to be rough housed, to be flipped upside down, etc). The waves came up to us way faster than expected, as you see here Matt & I both reached in to hold her from tipping over & she just has this look like BRING IT! Great..a little daredevil girl.

I was a bit afraid that she'd hate the sand and freak out if it was on her-totally not the case. Little did I know she'd want to eat the wet sand AND even make a gigantic mess. I mean, I should have known because she loves being messy with her food--what the heck kinda shape is her 1st birthday smash cake gunna be in?! I already feel sorry for that poor cake.

Prissy little girl?? I think not...just another example to support the many others! LOVE HER.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fun in the Sun!

What a lovely, long Memorial Day weekend we had and hope y'all did as well:) We went to Hilton Head for a few days, which was great in many ways and 'interesting' in others. Haha.

We chose our hotel because it was beachfront, had a great pool and yeah...a tiki bar at the pool! Baby or no baby, Matt & I are still suckers for a pool-side bar:) Needless to say, on Memorial Day a hotel with a tiki bar..and a baby, we didn't quite fit in. There were a couple others kids at the pool, but 95% of hotel guests and boozers were college kids. There I was in my bikini, holding a 10 month old with one arm and a cold beer with my other. My, how things change in just a short year or so! In the most AMAZING way I never knew possible!!! Swimming around with her in our floatie, listening to live music and sharing in a wonderful holiday weekend with my two favorite people made me enjoy the time for sure!

Lunch at Salty Dog
Chillin' at the hotel pool
Later at night was a different you remember how late you stayed up when you were in college?? Now, do you remember how you acted on holiday a beachfront hotel?! That's what I thought. Us and baby Mollie were no match for the drunken banter in the hallways ALLLLLL night long. Ha, I couldn't even call the front desk because I was afraid if I moved too much and rummaged around the room, Mollie would wake up and that could be a disaster. I'm still not sure how she slept in her pack n' play through all that ruckus, but she did. Alas Matt and I, not even a wink, well ok, maybe a few blinks. So much for 'vacation' huh? We did have fun..but these 'Motherhood Whoa's' sure do teach me a lot..and sometimes make me feel old. Here's to 30 years young!!! 

Takin' a swim break..girl could live in water!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Let the games begin!

Who knew that month 10 would bring about sooo many wild & exciting happenings with Mollie! Girl is on the move and running her lips! I'll confess that one of my last posts was about her being on the move...I guess I didn't really know what that meant. I didn't fully grasp what a crawler will do your house and life until it REALLY started this past weekend. No more turning around for a second, the girl takes off and those wheels are just spinning:)

All of a sudden her communication is outstanding She's been saying 'Da-Da' for a while now and while quite vocal, no true words. Not anymore! We have 'Ba-Ba' for bottle, 'baby' for her babydoll Rosie, 'ball' 'book' and even 'bubbles!' Obviously she has her 'B's' nailed down:) Matt & I nearly feel out of our chairs when we were blowing bubbles on Sunday in the back yard and she belted out with 'bu-bles'--it was sooooo stinkin' CUTE!

After returning home from a fun weekend in Myrtle Beach, we then proceeded to REALLY child-proof the house. The socket plugs went in, I switched living room rugs with mom to have a softer one on her knees, other than my sisal and even put up the new Amazon purchase that is totally awesome, the baby gate with a pet door so the cats can get to their area, but Molls can't. LOVE IT!!!!

So, the games have officially begun...and we are having a blast!!!!! *Check back with me in a couple weeks & see if my enthusiasm and sanity are still around:)

**I just had to throw this pic in...Pops let Mollie play with his Blackberry & she was in hog heaven!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Girl's got some moves!!

This was a weekend of moves, to say the least!! Mollie is on a roll!

Saturday morning, after a much-successful C4W Purse Auction the night before (yayyy!), Matt, Molls & I along with 4 other friends had our first 'Water Babies' swim lesson~ ok, I know you're going, um, Mollie's not old enough for swim lessons. Alas my friends, according to our fabulous swim instructor Lindsey Ballenger, the sooner you get them acclimated to the water, getting their head wet, etc, the more comfortable they will be when it does come time to actually learn HOW to swim. Makes sense to me!

We sang some songs, splashed around & even went under water a few times!! It was so nerve-wracking for us parents to think about dunking our baby, but everyone did great! Lindsey was a wonderful teacher and made us all feel super comfortable. As she said 'the class was a success; no tears, no rain & no poops in the pool.' Couldn't have said it better myself, haha;)

Saturday afternoon, Molls & I were playing on the floor in the living room and all of a sudden the girl got on all fours and was starting to crawl! What the %^&*?!?! I know she can roll just about anywhere she wants and she'll also scoot herself wherever or spin on her hiney in a 360, but crawling?! Man..I wasn't ready for that! Jojo..are you ready for her this week??! ;)

I called mom & dad to hurry over to the house & Matt to come in the living room--such a trip to watch this lil peanut get around all by herself! Fast forward to Sunday and now she wants to pull herself up! Nooooo, haha!

The time has come, my little girl is now mobile. Let the baby-proofing really begin and the exhaustion really set in. As crazy as it is to watch her grow, it's absolutely incredible to watch her grow & learn. As I told a friend today, it makes me want maternity leave to be NOW, not when your baby can't do anything!

Sunday afternoon, we met up with Matt's friend John, his wife Kelly and their precious little girl Maya, who is 3 months younger than Mollie. They live in Chicago and are on IOP for the week on vacay. Not only have I never met John or Kelly, I swear we've talked via email & facebook probably over 100 times like we're lifelong friends! John is a regular blog reader (thanks bud!!) and soon after Maya was born, the new parent questions began--breastfeeding tips, sleeping issues, etc. The rest is history and we FINALLY got to spend time with our families together and celebrate our successes of survival!! There were def times I think we all questioned our sanity..but that's what friends are for right?! John & Kelly, cheers to our sweet girls and the lifelong friendship among us from here on out~ xoxo

Monday, May 9, 2011

A special weekend

What a fabulous Mom's weekend to share with my amazing mom and amazing daughter-- Blessed to have a mom that's my best friend and to be a mom now, thanks to Molls:)

Saturday we headed out to the Firefly Distillery & Irvin~House Vineyard for the 'Sippin Saturday' event. Locals, if you haven't been GO. Out of towner's, make sure to put this stop in your next trip. Wadmalaw is just beautiful to say the least.
At the Vineyard & Distillery, we sampled their flavored vodkas mmmm, ate some Home Team BBQ & collards mmmm and finished the day sightseeing the grounds, farm animals and listening to some guitar pickin' out there.
First sight of the animals

lil rascal trying to grab my shot glass!
giddy up..
Sunday, we started the day with a lovely breakfast compliments of the darlin' husband; French toast, turkey bacon, scrambled eggs & fresh fruit--my faves!!

Early afternoon we headed down to 2nd Sunday on King Street, one of my favorite free things to do in town. Ideal for a little stroll & some ice cream:)
I love my family!
 We finished the afternoon with a backyard swim including our friends, Lauren & Nicole. Perfect way to cool down after being hot downtown!! :)
Best friends!
Splashed herself silly
What a FUN weekend with those I love the most--thanks mom, dad, Matt & Mollie for making it a memorable first Mother's Day! xoxoxo

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Loves!

My Friday Love post is alllll about Mollie! Um, well, the whole blog is all about that muchkin:) In honor of Mother's Day it got me thinking just how LUCKY I am to 1) be a mother to a healthy & thriving little girl and 2) be HER mother.

Today she is 10 months old- wow. Matt & I enjoy every second with her & it's been amazing to watch her grow, learn new things, become aware of new people and new surroundings and the list goes on.

A few things to summarize her latest antics:

She LOVES her friends at Jojo's house!! Matt & I swear that we have the only child ever, who's excited for their parents to leave them in the mornings. Haha. I know she adores us, I'm not saying that, but it truly warms my heart that she LOVES other people, especially other kids:)

Mollie's officially a Garrett-- she could NOT get enough of the Costco samples!! On the menu last weekend were whole-grain crackers, mini spinach florentine quiche and whole grain pancakes. They must have known we were all 3 coming & decided upon kid-friendly foods:) The girl had seconds of each item..when it was quiche time & I was holding it breaking off pieces for her, she didn't want me out of her sight. I agree sista, a quiche is delish!

We had a lovely family Easter in Myrtle Beach! She's not yet a beach baby (didn't love the sand on her hands) but have a feeling that will change..she's not really going to have a choice:) We love the beach!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. Whether you've given birth to a child or play the mother role to someone in your life, CELEBRATE-- you deserve it!!!


Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Loves

 Is this blog going to turn into just 'Friday Loves?!' NO. I haven't posted anything in a week, though...oops.

 The Royal Wedding. Enough said. I was SOOO OVER the news coverage this past week & not hearing anything new or interesting, but that all changed at 5:45 this morning when I watched the beautiful Kate Middleton leave her hotel to get into the car taking her to the wedding ceremony. Gives me chills to think about that moment. All brides remember that moment leading up to our ceremony; just magical. I think my favorite part of the coverage was seeing her ride with her dad to the wedding. So touching and she was a total natural. Welcome Princess Kate, you've earned that title! *I'll also add that I'm glad she's a brunette:)

I was so flattered to be a guest blogger on Style Concierge today! Lee asked me some money saving & coupon questions & I had a fun time thinking about them:) Hope you'll enjoy and learn something maybe. *Lee is also offering a FREE 20 minute style consult via phone, so email her today to get started. I did mine with her & got some great organization & closet tips. Since it's over the phone, you can live anywhere! :)

Again, on the coupon theme, I love Harris Teeter Super Doubles! I went this AM for a quick, but productive trip en route to work. had my list made, my coupons organized and a plan for my day--that is until I got to my car & realized I didn't have my cell phone! Lovely. I knew I had it in the meat section because I text Matt about some fresh chicken wings that were on sale..beyond that I had no clue!!! Of course I left my name with customer service and PLEADED with them to help. A few hours later they called me at work and had FOUND it! Now, that's some good customer service. * I pick it up this afternoon, and sooo curious to know just where they found it. Please Lord, don't let it have been lying in the meat section...

And this is NOT a Friday Love, but feel the need to support my Sweet Home Alabama. If anyone can help in South Alabama or donate in SC, I'll gladly help organize things. Here is a link to a drop off and there's a ton more!! PLEASE do what you can, so many people are suffering.
- Animals who need to be fostered or re-located
-Pictures & Documents that were found in the storms and need to be placed with their owners.

A reminder to be grateful for all that we have and all that we are given--nothing is to be taken for granted.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Loves!

Welcome to the 'It's Friday, I'm in Love' series! Join Summer for her version or my inspiration Katie!
Ahhh Jack Roger's has come out with a JELLY version of their awesome shoe! Perfect for the beach & pool without ruining the original (leather) ones!! I know Brooke & Katie are going ga-ga over these....

Tiny baby was just 7 weeks here!
On that same note, our lovely Easter weekend will be spent beaching it or poolside the ENTIRE time. Mollie gets to go swimming for the first time!! Her bathing suits are packed (yes plural, we have to have options) and swim floatie is ready. We're not scheduled to have our first official swim lesson until mid-May, so hope Mollie can hang;) Haha.

My mom is SUCH a crafty & thrifty woman --they bought this old, but lovely potential home here in Charleston that used to the be original West Ashley Post Office. How charming is that??! With the history in mind and the fact that my mom is a super recycle gal and has been waaay before this 'trend', she wanted to keep with the natural look and feel of the house & that she did. Kudos mom...great job!!!

Last, but not least, I've taken on a fun, new side venture & am now a Stella & Dot Stylist!! If you haven't seen the jewelry, check it out! I'm tempted by almost every single piece. I hope y'all will support me by encouragement, purchasing OR by hosting a trunk show & earning FREE jewelry!! (Most hosts take home $250 worth of free goods!) I have one show already lined up for Cinco de Mayo & cannot wait to mix some margs with these jewels:) So much fun!!
Since my job at Center for Women is so fabu & I love helping women, this seemed like a natural fit. Once I read about the S & D Foundation, I was in. My day job mission is to 'Help Women Succeed. Everyday.' Now my hobby mission is 'Behind every great woman is another woman.' Amen to that!