Isabella Frances is 18 Months + SoFL’s Flamingo Gardens

Isabella officially turned a year and a half on Wednesday #toddlermilestone! The saying is really true, time flies when you’re having fun! There have been a few moments most recently, where I catch myself looking at her in sheer amazement at how much she’s grown in the last few months. I guess I’m still in disbelief that Isabella is a toddler! In another six months she’ll be 2.  I. CAN’T!

I’m also noticing as she gets older, it’s nearly impossible to get photos of her (especially if you ask, she usually laughs and runs away) so I’m sharing photos from our weekend trip to Flamingo Gardens in south Florida as part of her 18 month update.

Isabella at Flamingo Gardens


We’re continuing to be blown away by the development of Isabella’s language skills. The girl can be a little chatterbox (wonder where she gets that from) at times. She’s already repeating little phrases and short sentences.

New Words & Phrases:

Please and Thank you

Let’s go bye-bye/outside!

Dame puño = fist bump

fix it!

milk (sounds more like mitz or miltz)

catch it!

ojos = eyes (she says them both)


la casa = house

we’re here!

where are you?



don’t cry (sounds like don’t kai)





car seat

seat belt


doggie foods

I’m sorry, mama

take/turn it off


She started to copy us when we sing songs—she will sing the same notes as us and it’s absolutely adorable. Her favorite songs are “if you’re happy and you know it, wheels on the bus, twinkle, twinkle little star…she can do the actions for all of the songs too— it’s adorable— she rubs her eyes with her little fists for “the babies on the bus go wa wa wa”.



Favorite Moments, Memories & Milestones:

She’s still pretty shy in new situations but sometimes she surprises us—she hams it up if she’s in the right mood. In the grocery store she always waves and says “bye-bye” as we’re checking out and leaving.

Though she’s still a very good eater, she’s demanding when it comes to what she’ll eat and when. She’s ALWAYS in the mood for bananas, doesn’t matter what time of day (or night) it is. She’s even had full on meltdowns a few times when we didn’t have them. Needless to say,we try to make sure we always have a few in the house.

She answers questions with yes or no all the time now.

She knows her colors now and correctly identifies them most of the time.

She has also mastered the fake cry and dramatic meltdown when she doesn’t get what she wants.

She loves stickers! She likes to put them on herself, toys, books, etc.



one of my fave daddy daughter photos

I’m going to start giving more sporadic updates now that we are in full-on toddler mode, maybe every three months or so, but I’m so happy I kept up with her updates so I can look back on them. She has changed so much, it has truly been a gift to watch her grow and develop.

I hope you had a great weekend! We had so much fun at the Flamingo Gardens, definitely check it out if you’re ever in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. During summer months, I recommend going in the morning or evening hours when the humidity isn’t as bad. Thanks again for reading!



Surviving Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease

Hello and happy Friday folks! Hope all of you are had a great week. Hubs and I had a recent brush with a toddler illness unlike any other: Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD). Yup, it’s a real thing! A real scary thing. It’s a horrific and, unfortunately common,toddler illness.

What the heck is Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, you ask?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a common viral illness that usually affects infants and children younger than 5 years old. However, it can sometimes occur in adults. Symptoms of hand, foot, and mouth disease include fever, mouth sores, and a skin rash.”

I wasn’t too familiar with HFMD prior to Isa getting it. Though I vaguely remember reading another mommy blogger I follow a while back, describing her little one’s experience with it. Describing our experience in 1 word: Brutal. This is one of the most gnarly, grossy-gross viruses out there! It broke our hearts seeing our baby girl so miserable and inspired this post.

We initially didn’t notice anything with Isabella that was out of the norm or cause for concern until the virus hit full force.

The Symptoms

The rash. This came almost immediately. It first appeared as a few little red bumps, two to be exact, right around Isabella’s belly button followed by what I thought were just flushed cheeks, but quickly realized after a closer look, was a rash much like what you see with an allergic reaction or even Asthma. A few more red bumps popped up on her chin and one on her lip.

Day 1: The Rashes
Day 5: The rashes turned into blisters

Oh, how we couldn’t have been more wrong. Once the fever came back it caused a flare up with the rash, which then turned into patches of blisters covering most of her arms, legs, both hands and feet. Worst of all, they were on her lips and inside of her mouth. That was enough for us to just bring her to the closest pediatric urgent care and from there she was diagnosed her as having HFMD.

Since HFMD is most contagious during the incubation period, sending her back to daycare wasn’t an option. When we followed up with her pediatrician, he strongly suggested we air on the side of caution by keeping her home for a week and wrote a script for “Magic Mouthwash”. I know…I actually chuckled a lil seeing it written on the bottle’s label. Here’s a recipe for this “magic” concoction.

Prevention & Treatment

There isn’t a vaccine to protect against the viruses that cause HFMD nor is there a specific treatment for it. However, there are a few things you can do to combat the symptoms and contain the spread.

  • Consult your child’s doctor.
  • DO keep your little one hydrated. Cool fluids and foods help sooth mouth sores. Ice pops and ice cream also may help. Check out kid-friendly ice pop recipes here and here.
  • DON’T give your child spicy or acidic foods and drinks, such as tomato sauce or orange juice. These foods can irritate mouth sores.
  • DO give your child acetaminophen like Tylenol or ibuprofen (such as Advil) to reduce fever and pain relief.
  • DON’T give your child aspirin! It’s been linked to Reye Syndrome, a pretty serious disease. No Bueno!
  • DO wash your hands! And do it often, especially after touching a blister or changing diapers (which should be standard practice).
  • DON’T let your child share toys or eating utensils and try (being the operative word) not to give kisses while he or she is infected.
  • DO apply hydro-cortisone cream or calamine lotion to blisters to help relieve itchy skin.

It’s been almost three weeks and Isabella seems to have made a full recovery. Thank the Lord! The sores in her mouth are gone and the scabs from the blisters have all fallen off. I hope this information was super helpful. Thanks for reading and have a FABULOUS weekends, lovelies!

Isabella Frances: 15 Months!

I love documenting Isabella’s progress each month and sharing all of the new things she’s up to.She’s doing so much these days that I’ve started to keep a list on my iPhone so I can remember everything for these monthly posts.   

The days of Isabella crying when I leave her at daycare are becoming fewer and far between. Though she’s still clings to me when we initially walk into her classroom, she’s all smiles and giggles once she’s greeted by her teachers and friends. She almost always gives me a great big hug and blows me a kiss before saying “bye bye”. She just loves her little class, her teachers and her friends. 


She’s learning so much every day and I’m always surprised by the new things she’s doing and saying. It was just yesterday when I picked her up from daycare, as I walk into her classroom I hear her telling her teacher “se acabó” as she claps her hands. Sure enough, she heard one of her teachers say it and she was repeating it back. It was just too cute and so unexpected when she said it. Love moments like these. 

Here are Isabella’s 15 month updates:

Height/Weight: Isabella is about 32.5 inches tall and about 32lbs. She’s just about done wearing size 4 diapers and transitioning into size 5.   Diet: Isabella has always been a good eater from day one and now that she’s an active toddler, her appetite has increased. She tries to eat your food when she’s done hers and doesn’t want anyone else to eat if she’s not eating. Bottom line: my girl likes to eat.

Favorite Moments, Memories & Milestones:

Likes playing with my necklaces…likes even more, wearing them herself 

Imitates everything, gives high fives

Can point/touch every area of her face and body when we ask “where are Isabella’s hands? where are your eyes? show mommy your belly button? touch your feet! etc

Loves to dance — I play music and pick her up then we dance in the mirror like 2 silly girls

Can sign “more,” “please,” “milk,” and “all done.” Go-figure, she learns the food related signs first

Can correctly identify/point to items when asked (show mama the duck. where is the ball? where is the frog?)

Loves Elmo! She enjoys watching and dancing with him when we watch Sesame Street. 

Still HATES having her diaper changed most of the time. Not too long ago Isabella told me “no pamper mama,”which prompted hubs and I to buy a potty to “let her practice” as suggested by my mom. In Jamaica, where she grew up, babies start potty-training young as children there start school at two years old, unlike here in the States where they start at four. I figured it’s better to start now, especially since she’s expressed an interest.  

Says mama, dada and daddy (so adorbable), quack quack, woof, socks and shoes, apple, be quiet (or quiet when the dog barks), grandma and grandpa (or papa, it varies), bubbles, Up!, NO, uh-oh!…and a few other things I can’t understand. She also said purple recently. She says “agua” for water, and“jugo” for juice too.

Does actions for “itsy bitsy spider,” “if you’re happy and you know it,” and “twinkle, twinkle.” 

Tried tangerines, honey and ravioli  for the first time this month

Loves Facetiming with grandma! When she hears the ringing sound and my moms face appears on screen, Isabella’s eyes light up. Too. Cute. She’ll hand me my phone and say “hello, grandma?” As a way to tell me to call her.   

Isabella meeting her Uncle Stephen for the first time. 

 Thanks for reading!

Isabella Frances- 12 Months Old!


As I look at her, I still can’t believe she’s a year old. Where did the last 12 months go? So much has happened…but it’s hard to summarize our entire amazing year and finding the right words to express how I feel is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be.

This has been by far the most incredible year of my life…I became a mom. It feels like just yesterday, she was placed on my chest, looking at her beautiful face as she opened her innocent eyes for the first time. It’s such an indescribable feeling. The overwhelming amount of love I felt, she totally had my heart. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her! She has given me strength, patience and helped grow me into the woman I always wished I would be.

Her smile lights up my world and her laugh…oh her laughter is like music to my soul. I’m just in awe of Her. From the newborn I cradles in my arms to the feisty and determined baby girl she is today, she has forever changed our lives and has undoubtedly brought our family so much joy!

Happy birthday my world, my love, the WHY behind everything I do. We love you so much!

Isabella’s 12 month updates:

Height/Weight: Isabella is 32 inches tall (90th percentile), 30.5 lbs (99th percentile).

Health: Other than a little runny nose and a few snifflesIsabella has been doing great health-wise. Right around Thanksgiving she started showing signs of an ear infection. We think it had something to do with teething. She sprouted her first molar along with 3-4 other teeth and it wasn’t pretty at all. She ran fevers upwards of 103 degrees, she was in such pain and discomfort, it broke my heart watching her cry and not being able to make it all go away for her. I get teary eyed just thinking about it.

Sleep: Yay we’re officially back to sleeping through the night! This babe sleeps consistently from about 9:45/10ish through 8 a.m. She’ll still wake up in the middle of the night on occasion, but she  goes back to sleep once I give her the pacifier.
Social: Lots of play time at daycare! Now that she’s officially a year old she’ll start to transition her from the infant nursery to the 1-2 year old room. She still gets a little nervous when she sees faces that she doesn’t immediately recognize, but thankfully the caretakers in both rooms have been amazing with spending time with her so she feels more comfortable making for a less stressful transition for her.

Diet: Isabella is still getting formula, but she’s also getting table food on a pretty regular basis. She still has a 4 ounce bottle with 2-2.5 ounces of oatmeal cereal and fruit purée for breakfast. For lunch she usually has table food, usually veggies and fruits with some type of protein. I’ve been somewhat hesitant to give her meat. She tried chicken for the first time not too long ago when she had the flu. My mom made her famous homemade chicken noodle soup (puréed of course) and she loved it. She also really likes arroz con gandules, steamed white rice and pigeon peas.

At a recent visit to her pediatrician, he suggested that we start introducing her to milk. That something else I’ve been a little hesitant to do. The plan is to mix milk into her bottles 25/75 then 50/50 etc. to get her used to the taste. She likes most foods so maybe she will take well to it. If anyone has tip on transitioning, I’m all ears!

Likes: Walking is her biggest like right now…she hardly ever crawls anymore! She also likes to pull bows out of her hair, points at everything, saying “gooo” or “sit” she loves telling the dog to sit down. She likes pushing things to slide along the floor, playing peek-a-boo with anything she can use to cover her face or hide behind and pop up like a little gofer.
Dislikes: Hair bows and hair ties! Combing her hair these days isn’t as bad as it was in months past, but she’s by no means a fan of having it done especially when I put her hair in a ponytail with a hair tie or add a bow to her curly little fro. Aside from having her hair combed, she’s also dislikes waiting for her food. It’s like you can’t move fast enough, she wants it like yesterday!
Clothes: Baby girl is still wearing size 4 diapers and mostly 18-24 month clothes. There are a few 12-18 month insides she can fit into, but she mostly wears those to bed.
Crying: We’re still experiencing some tantrums but they’re getting shorter. Once we started to be firm with our and redirect, they’ve improved. She still tests our boundaries A LOT (touch things on purpose she knows she’s not supposed to, watching to see our reaction when she does, etc). Things have (temporarily I’m sure) improved over the last month.
Milestones: She walks everywhere, doesn’t crawl much anymore. She understands so much…she asks for her baa-baa when she’s hungry or points her spoon for me to feed her. She follows directives pretty well and identify objects (“where’s your bo-bo?/go get Mr. Teddy”).
Photos courtesy of Manda Lynn Photos
Isabella’s dress: H&M
Thank you so much to each and every one of you who have read my blog and supported me throughout the first year of motherhood. For your comments, advice and overall sweetness, I’m grateful for y’all.

Isabella Frances: 11 Months Old!

Only four more weeks until Isabella turns one whole year. Hubs and I are still in disbelief with how fast time has gone by. This past month has been one of the most exciting for hubs and I as we watch our beautiful baby girl achieve new milestones! She’s  officially walking…and chatting up a storm! She’s really growing into her own, showing lots of independence. Our sweet baby is developing into a big girl and lately I’ve been feeling like I’m not ready.

Isabella is walking pretty regularly though it seems like she prefers to crawl when she’s trying to make a speedy getaway. I can see she’s gaining more and more confidence each day as she finds her balance. It’s amazing hearing the pitter-patter of her little feet down the hallway. Now that she’s more mobile than ever, there are more opportunities for accidents. The day before Halloween baby girl took a tumble at daycare resulting in a nice little gash above her right eyebrow.


Our little injured butterfly after her visit with the doctor

Thankfully it wasn’t more serious. Her pediatrician was able to use Dermabond to close the wound all while fast asleep in her car seat. Not even two weeks later she had another fall at daycare, not nearly as bad as the last, but she had a little bruise on her right cheek. Is it bad that I wish I could wrap her in bubble wrap?! Hubs and I were in awe of how tough Isabella is. She doesn’t let her recent falls hinder her from exploring all that is around her. Now for some updates.

Here are Isabella’s 11 month updates:

Weight: At a recent appointment with her pediatrician, Isabella was just shy of 28 lbs. She’s in the 99% for her height and weight.

Diet: This month we’ve been slowly introducing table food and just like we expected, she’s responded really well! She’s still getting a 4 ounce bottle of formula for breakfast along with 2-2.5 ounces of a fruit purée mixed with cereal. For lunch she’s now eating more table foods: she loves rice, fruits and steamed veggies like carrots and green beans, peaches and pears. We haven’t given her any meat or fish. She’s definitely let us know she’s not a fan of green peas. Her dinner still consists of stage 2 baby foods like turkey and rice or even vegetable chicken.


Sleep: Lately we’ve been experiencing a little bout with sleep regression. Isabella doesn’t want to sleep in her crib at night. Within the last month I think she’s only slept in her nursery once maybe twice. Most nights she sleeps in our room in her pack-n-play. We’ve tried putting her in the crib after she falls asleep and she always wakes up wanting to come back to us. Have any other moms experience this? If so, what do you suggest we try?

Social: Isabella interacts really well with the other babies in her daycare class, but she also plays really well by herself. There are 2 other babies that are right around her age, one of which will make the transition with her to the next class. It’s so adorable watching the 3 of them talk and play together.

Crying: I think we’re officially experiencing tantrums. Isabella rarely cries without reason (sick, hurt, etc), but lately she’s not only crying, she’s screaming and out right throwing herself down on the floor in tears if she doesn’t get her way. The first couple of times she did it I couldn’t help but look at her saying “are you serious”?! I swear I thought I had at least another year or so before crossing the threshold into tantrum land.

Size of Clothing: Surprisingly Isa is still wearing size 4 diapers and wearing 18-24 month clothes for the most part. There are a few 9-12 month sized onesies with maybe a handful of 12month sized dresses and pants that she can still wear comfortably.


All dressed up for picture day!


As for shoes, she’s wearing a size 5. Figuring out her shoe size was mind boggling for me, maybe because she was outgrowing sizes so ridiculously fast I honestly couldn’t keep up. I’d buy shoes for her and by the month’s end she’s already outgrown them.

Isabella’s Toy Faves

| (clockwise) Octoplush |  Maze Cube |   Shapes & Colors Activity Set |

Milestones: Baby girl is walking pretty regularly. If she stumbles or falls, she picks herself back up and keeps it moving.

She babbles saying more and more recognizable words and phrases. I recently heard her telling our dog to sit down. Cutest thing ever as she’s standing in her pack-n-play pointing saying “sit dog! Sit down doggie”. She also calls my phone “Apple”…didn’t see that coming.

Likes: Isabella still LOVES to dance! It’s the cutest thing watching her dance to music she hears from the TV. Mickey Mouse Club house and Sofia the First seem to be her faves. She still really enjoys bath time in her infant tubDislikes: Combing Isabella’s hair isn’t as difficult of a process as it used to thanks to lots of detangling conditioner and more patience. Though she’s grown more used to me doing it each morning, she still doesn’t like it.