...because home doesn't happen overnight.

*THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.*

Congrats to Sally who has an expectant friend in need of a cute-sy elephant bookend.

this age 3

I’ve always said my favorite age to experience with kids is the 16-24 months range. As most of you probably know, Mabrey was a completely unexpected addition to our family. She is the best surprise life has thrown our way. I feel so, so, SO fortunate that I am witnessing another little one as a young toddler. It is such a fun age! Of course, there are things with every age that I want to hold onto forever, things I could do without, things I worry about, things I laugh about and things I learn from. But watching my babies develop into bona fide little people does it for me. It’s fascinating to watch.

This girl doesn’t go anywhere without her Berry. My cousin gave the stuffed strawberry to Mabrey for Christmas last year and it hasn’t left her side since. She drags it around by one arm, props it up on the table while she eats, squeezes it when she realizes she hasn’t been holding it for the last five minutes, nuzzles it when she’s tired and spoons it while she sleeps. Mabrey gets very upset when Berry goes in the wash. Oh my! At our house, Berry is the bomb.

this age 4

Mabrey loves books. Upon waking, it never fails, she asks for a book before she’s left the crib. She pretends to read but my favorite is when she backs her little bootie up to me, sits in my lap and hands me a book. This is why I can’t get anything done. I would much rather feel that little girl in my lap than paint brick.

I love when Mabrey looks me dead in the eye and then erupts into a full-fledged jabberfest. I nod like I know what she’s saying and she will emphatically bob her head around as she “talks” to get her point across. She initiates wrestling matches with her brothers. She eats everything I put on her plate and then signs for more. She rarely cries when she gets hurt – just picks herself up, bloody knees and all, and keeps on going. She will say ‘dada’ all day long but only says ‘mama’ when she’s not feeling well. When I’m cleaning house, she’s at my side with a rag wiping up invisible messes. I have to keep the bathroom door shut or she plays in the toilet – something neither of my boys did. She likes to take things {dishes, toys, books, etc.} out then put them back, over and over.¬†Mabrey LOVES to be outside. She hands me fallen leaves to put back on the trees. She has such a pure and innocent way of looking at the world around her. She excitedly points out every single dog, cat, bird and squirrel on our walks like it’s the first one she’s ever seen. She can spot an airplane in the sky as soon as she hears it.¬†Girl has a lot of hair. It hangs right in her face. I can’t bring myself to cut it. Not yet.

this age 2

She can make a toy out of anything. Give the girl a stick and some dirt and she’s happy as can be. She prefers to be missing at least one piece of clothing at all times – either her bottoms or her top. When she’s tired, Mabrey grabs Berry, asks for her ‘bah-bah’, hurries to her room and stands next to the white noise machine waiting for me to turn it on. She knows the routine.

this age 1

Mabrey’s favorite time of day is right after lunch when Everett catches the bus to kindergarten. She stands in the driveway waving to him as he gets on and the bus pulls away. She’s happy when she wakes from her nap to find her brothers back home from school. She likes to steal Layne’s iPod and hide under the dining room table with it. She can turn it on and slide the arrow across but, so far, hasn’t figured out the password.

So, yeah, I love this girl. Especially at this age. We are lucky indeed.

this age 5

I want one of you to feel lucky, too. I’m giving away the elephant bookend seen above. Thanks for sharing this house-to-home/family-of-four-to-family-of-five journey with me. You’re pretty awesome.

PRIZE: one Zuny Abby the Elephant {retail value $50} This post is not sponsored. I just love ya!

RULES: You must be at least 18 years old and have a shipping address {no P.O. boxes please} within the U.S. or Canada {!} to enter. One entry per email address.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post proclaiming “LUCKY ME!”

DEADLINE: Enter before Sunday, August 25th at 9:00 p.m. EST. One random winner will be announced Monday, August 26th.

WHILE YOU’RE AT IT: What’s your favorite age to experience with kids? I already shared mine and, I have to say, I’m kinda sad this will be our last go around in the 16-24 months range.

338 Comments

21.August.2013

LUCKY ME!

I agree with your favorite age, ti’s mine too! Their little eyes light up at everything and I LOVE to see the discoveries and all the learning! It’s a time where they’re truly becoming little people instead of babies. My little is 11 months old and I”m so excited to see who he becomes <3

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME!
I am expecting my first one, so I have not put yet much thought in a 16-24 mo toddler. Right now, I keep my eyes on the labor phase of the big picture, and I progressively move on to learning more about caring for a newborn. That being said, your post warms my heart and makes me look forward to what come next!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! My favorite age is 3-4 past most of the tantrum stage and talking, discovering, but still so small and needing mommy.

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21.August.2013

Lucky me! I love my daughter at the age she is now which is 9months! She can’t get away from me quite yet but is so interactive and loves to explore! I especially love feeding her new food for the first time!!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! I don’t have any children yet, but I have to say, that infant baby clean smell is addicting and I love it!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME!

I have 4 kids…ages 10-3…I love Kindergarten age…kids feel so grown up now riding the bus and all, but you still get to keep them around a year longer before they are gone all day for school…good times.

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME!

I currently seem to love whatever age my niece is (the only child I really know). She is currently about 21 months old and it seems like every day she has new talents to show me. I love how her little mind comes up with games and dances and how she can just play with herself for hours. I also love when she learns a new word and how clearly she now says Mommy, Baby, and “No Way!” (slay me now)! And it also kills me how the only animal sound she knows is dinosaur. I just dont ever want her to grow up but she keeps on doing it and it keeps on getting more awesome!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME!

I’m torn between the 14-18 month range or 3 years as my favorite (granted I haven’t experienced kids older than 3 yet). I love watching my 14 month old daughter figure out walking, exploring and babbling but there is something really amazing about watching my 3 year old hold conversations with other people and some of the things he says are hilarious!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! I have two, beautiful blessings at home ages 18 months and 32 months. Our house is busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. They are the greatest joys in my life (and so is my husband).

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! I have a 26 month old and a 9 month old. So, only having experience up to 26 months- my favorite is…. ok, can’t pick. the whole journey has been a blast!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME!
We are expecting our “surprise” baby and we couldn’t feel more blessed that our life has turned down this path. It was unexpected and with three boys (4,3 and 1) we are truly in the throws of life! My favorite age is just around the year mark when changes happen at such a rapid pace. Bennett, our littlest bambino, turned one last week and everyday is a new adventure for him. He just started saying Mama (and meaning it) and trying to communicate with pointing and squealing. Such joy!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME!

Six months is my favorite age. Routines start to click, babes are beautiful and chubby and super cuddly. So cute!

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21.August.2013

Lucky Me!

I have to agree with you about the 18-24 month age. For me though it’s the great nieces and nephews I am watching with a huge smile!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! As my girls are entering 7th and 9th grade this fall, I can’t help but think back to the toddler ages and I miss is so. Mabrey is so stinking cute, enjoy these years!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! My daughter is 2 1/2 now…can’t believe how quickly time flies!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! My daughter will be 2 in 10 days and these last few months have been my favorite time! But she is our first so I don’t have anything to compare it to. People tell me it gets better. Either way, I look forward to to it.

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21.August.2013

Lucky me!! I love the early elementary years. When they are just becoming themselves!

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21.August.2013

lucky me! i love pachyderms.

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21.August.2013

Lucky me!
i’m loving the 3 year old age that we’re experiencing right now (minus the tantrums!)

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! I love so many stages . . . 7-10 months is definitely one of my favorites, but now that my youngest is 18 months, I forgot how much I love all the huge language development at this age. So that too!

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21.August.2013

Lucky me!

My first will be 6 weeks old tomorrow, so I don’t have any real perspective on any other ages yet. Right now I’m just trying to enjoy every day because everyone says it all moves too quickly!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! I’ve got an almost 1 and a 3.5 year old and with both my favorite months are 6-12. I love that they still want to be held and snuggled but they are just starting to really develop little personalities. Although, some of the things that come out of my 3.5 yo’s mouth are downright hilarious!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME!

no kids for this girl, but a good friend of mine JUST had a babygirl a month ago and decorated her entire nursery in elephants. this would be a nice surprise for her.

and that mabrey of yours is adorable! she sounds like she’s so much fun to be around.

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21.August.2013

Lucky Me!

I seem to just love every stage! Every few months, I tell my husband how much I like this age and all my reasons why. Haha! They all have perks!

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21.August.2013

Lucky Me!

Mabrey’s getting so big! I love this age too! My son and Mabrey are only a couple days apart in age so I know exactly what you’re dealing with. My guy has a toilet fascination too so our bathroom doors are always closed as well! It’s so interesting watching them figure the world out!

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Lucky Me! 6-12 months is a fun age….changing each day. I have a 3 year old and boy is she bossy. Way to much for me to handle…I’m trying to prepare myself for teenage years already!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! I’m still waiting for a little one to come our way, but I’m hoping that day comes very soon.

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21.August.2013

Lucky ME! I love 6 months to 2 years :)

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! I have a 2 year old and he is growing up too fast. I love that I can now ask him questions like “how was your day at daycare,” and he responds “read book with grace.” Melts my heart–WE are having a conversation!

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21.August.2013

Lucky me! It’s hard to say my favorite age, as I’m on my first child, but I will say that the age he’s at now (9 months) is pretty fantastic-he’s really starting to explore the world around him & it’s amazing to watch.

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! i have four littles, 7, 5, 3 and 3. like most parents out there, there’s something to love in every stage, but man, am i enjoying my 7 year old right now. the constand devouring of “real” books, the sense of humor, creativity and insight into the world around him. the skills and abilities he’s developing on his own without any direct input from his dad or me… so awesome.

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! I don’t have children quite yet but my husband and I are so excited to have the stage where they cuddle with you all the time… is that infant/todler? and then ends at 11 or 12? hehe.

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! I’m very lucky – I have 15 month old twins and we are just embarking on this exciting stage! I adore them both and am loving watching them absorb and learn everything. Their favorite thing is to imitate things that my husband and I do, then glance slyly at one another before bursting into giggles. I never knew my heart could swell so big.

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21.August.2013

Lucky me!

I have a 2 1-2 year old and a three month old. The first time around, I was so nervous and busy, I feel like I missed out on some special tiny, baby moments, so it has been a blast re-experiencing these little things with a second baby, and watching his older sister dote on him is absolutely precious.

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21.August.2013

Lucky Me!! My kids are older. 22 and 20 now. I have to say my favorite time had to be when they were at the ages of 10 to 14 probably. We had the most fun going places. They always liked hanging out with us and they still do.

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21.August.2013

Lucky me! I adore my 18 month old – I had lots of fun last summer with her when it was easy to wrap her up in my woven wrap and head across town not having to worry about packing food for her (just me!). But every day is amazing!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! So far I’m loving one year old!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME!

My son is 18 months and south fun! I’m sure every age is going to be awesome but we are enjoying the things he is into now!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! My daughter is 16 weeks old today and everyday she is my new favorite age. I love watching her learn new things and get more interactive as she gets older.

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21.August.2013

Lucky me! No kids of my own yet, but I love my friends’ kids who are under 2.

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21.August.2013

Lucky me!
I really like 5-7 months, but 3 has been pretty fun so far with my son.

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21.August.2013

I have no kids of my own yet so I would love any age!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! My favorite age is 3-5 years….love it!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME!

You are making me super jealous that I don’t have kids yet!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME!

I am expecting my first child now, so I’ll get back to you :)

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME!

I don’t think I can pick a favorite! Like you said, all have fun milestones and challenging times. I just sent my oldest to Kindergarten last week, and watching her become some self-sufficient is very rewarding. At the same time, my 21 month old is busy discovering all the little things, and I am 3 months away from being able to cuddle a newborn! So blessed!!

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME!
What a fantastic post. Mabrey seems like a very sweet little girl. I have a hard time deciding what my favourite age is. I absolutely love the squishy infant phase and carrying a baby around all day, but I also love the age you’re talking about. Watching a little one develop into their own person is really magical. Luckily, I am a nanny and have had the pleasure and the privilege of seeing two (soon to be three) little ones grow from infant to now almost two and four. I am also pregnant with my first child and while I’m only 14 weeks I find myself impatient to meet my baby and get to know them.

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME!

Levis is my first and is 10 months old. So far each month he gets older I claim, “This is my favorite age yet!” He’s just so much fun. I loved being pregnant & having a kid (past 6 weeks old that is. Those first 6 weeks are rough) and feel I could, quite possibly, turn into the next Michelle Duggar! ;)

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21.August.2013

LUCKY ME! I have a 3 year old and a 4 month old and so far I have loved spending time with at them every age, but two was probably my favorite. He was walking, talking, and able to do new and fun things together.

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21.August.2013

Lucky meeeee! No babies of my own yet (expect my four legged fur balls) but as a newborn photographer I AM ENAMORED with that fresh out of the oven stage. Squishy and moveable and soft and those little baby sighs…ahhhh.

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