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Monday, April 30, 2012

The big girl room saga.

You all saw on Friday that I finally finished Emeline's big girl room.  Thank you so much for all the nice comments on the room. And, well, I'll be honest--it still has the fun, new-room feel, and so I pop my head in when I go by and smile a little at the newness. You know how that is, right?

Apparently Eme feels the same way about her new room. "My big room!" she calls it. And looks around the room in awe saying "WOWWWW" with big eyes and "pwetty woom!" I found her in there a few times over the course of the day just sitting on the little recliner...or in her bed with a pile of books and her puppy on her lap, pointing at the walls finding all the "E!'s


But back to the point. I honestly didn't plan to start sleeping her in there for a few weeks. Her clothes aren't transitioned over yet. She's not potty trained, there is no changing table in there, and I still need her to sleep in a crib/pack-n-play in Disney soon and didn't want her being all "pshhhh whatevs fools I sleep in a big bed now".

But on Friday night, when we got home from being out--we brought her upstairs to start bedtime routine stuff and she immediately started talking about her big bed. Like, she wouldn't stop talking about it. So we're in her nursery, getting her into pj's, and she's pointing to her big room and telling us no to the crib, and that she wanted her "big 'gul woom". I guess the hype of the big girl room being completed (after being many months "in the works") kind of did her in. She was excited.

Declan and I kind of looked at each other and made the you make the decision eyes at one another. And then finally, we were both just like...let's go with it. Besides, she's always been the one who transitions herself on most things. This is the girl who quit nursing cold turkey on me at 11 months old. Gave up her bottles without a flinch. So we figured, maybe she knew she was ready...even if it was before momma was.

We did The Scramble to get her properly set up in her new room, shoved the video monitor on the dresser haphazardly, threw her favorite stuffed animals and blankies in the bed, tucked her in, prayed for her, and then she looked as us both and excitedly said, "BYE!!!!!"

So with that. We left, because duh. She kicked us out. I watched on the monitor like a hawk until I knew she fell asleep. But would she fall asleep? Would she fall out of the bed? Would we end up putting her back in the crib anyway? What would happen in the morning?

Within 5 minutes. She was out cold. And I found myself staring at nothing but a still kiddo in bed. I couldn't believe it was that easy.


Around 3am she woke up crying. I checked the monitor, and she had rolled herself to the foot of the bed. It must have woken her up because that's when she realized the room was unfamiliar, she seemed a little out of sorts, and definitely confused. So I went in there, sat on the bed, cuddled her for about 5 minutes--tucked her in, and she was back to sleep.

The next morning...EARLY (for us)...I heard her over the monitor at 6am. She was sat up in her bed...just looking around the room. Probably thinking, Did I just sleep here? huh? blink. blink. It wasn't for about five solid minutes that she realized dude, I can get OUT of this bed. So she hopped down, headed for the door, and began knocking on it, yelling, "MOMMY! OPEN ME! OPENNNNN ME, MOMMY!!"

Despite her being up much earlier in this scenario, we still wanted to celebrate that YAY! She did it! Big girl status! So when I went in to get her & brought her back to our room, we high-fived all around and celebrated a good first night in her new room. She seemed proud.

That morning when her nap rolled around (earlier than normal), she asked to sleep in her crib. Then that night, the crib again. In fact, she slept the longest she has in a long, long time in her crib that night. Well over 12 hours straight. Girlfriend was tired.

All that to say? I was not ready to put her in her new room yet. Not mentally, not physically. Apparently the hype got to her, because she spent one semi-successful night in there, but not another one (or nap) since. I can't really say I blame her--it's a completely new room, not just a crib converted to a bed in the identical spot. It's kind of a bigg'ish adjustment for kids I assume.

We'll get back to it.

But for now, it was a nice trial run.

***

Happy Monday!



Friday, April 27, 2012

Emeline's Big Girl Room Reveal

I haven't talked much about Emeline's big girl room, or the plans I have for it. Truthfully? Because I've had a collection of ideas in my head for months and months, and they were all a bit of a hodge-podge. I had NO IDEA if they would even execute well, at all.

I was worried. And I didn't want to have to post pictures if the room looked like garbage and a complete design (I'm not a designer) fail. I'm really good at thinking of things, or collecting ideas on pinterest--but actually making them come to life? Eh. It just depends.

But the last few days I've really gotten the urge (aka: nesting struck) to finish this room already. I am pleased with the way it came out, and Emeline adores it. That's really what matters, right?

We have one twinkly hanging light to install above her bed, but other than that? It's pretty much complete. Also, it must be noted that this room is TINY. Like, tiny, tiny, tiny. It's a 3rd bedroom in a 3 story townhouse, so trust me, it's pretty itty-bitty. But it works.

I'll sum up the little details of this room at the end. For now, look at some photos--since I'm sure you already scrolled there anyway ;)

Emeline's New Room




 ***

Room Details:
(Don't expect expensive, y'all. I am cheap.)


Paint-  The same sherwinn williams austere grey I had in there when this was my craft room and prior to that an office. I did NOT want to repaint. I just did patch-work on holes and a little touching up. Lucky for me, I really did want her room to be grey.

Bed-Ikea. It can go one size smaller than shown, and also go one size bigger making it almost the same size as a twin.


Bedding-KMart, for real. Yellow pillow on Bed, HomeGoods.

Upholstered kid-sized Recliner (yep, it reclines!)- HomeGoods.

Book Shelves- Ikea shelf-ledges I've had forever. I have them all over my house. In her downstairs reading nook, too.

Dresser- I'm gonna be honest, I didn't like this dresser much at all. I found it on a free/trade FB site and it was an awful light wood. When they dropped it off, I was disappointed because she told me it was hardwood, and it was not. So she said I could keep it and she'd rip up my check. So if you're following me, IT WAS FREE.  It sat in my garage for months and I had given up all hope on it, and kept searching for a dresser on Craigslist I could refinish. But one day last week I got the itch to just TRY and see if I could make it work. The size of it was perfect. So I took a can(ssss) of spraypaint to it--and then modge-podged the top with red & pink striped wrapping paper (yep.), and that's the finished product. It is NOT perfect. But it was free. And actually? Once it was put in the room, the little imperfections don't stand out at all. It works.

Curtains-Room Darkening Ivory shades. Nothing fancy. They need to be hemmed or I need to add fabric but I'm not really in a huge rush to do this.

Frames & Details- I've been picking up random frames and items from antique shops, beach boutiques, home goods, re-using stuff from her 1st birthday party, etc--for MONTHS.

Fuzzy Rug- Walmart

Embroidery Hoop Wall-  All hoops are from JoAnns. You can get them in wooden and also in plastic colors--so I mixed them up. The fabric is also from JoAnn's, using the fabric quarters for .99 cents a piece.

***

In case you're wondering, we'll start the transition to big-girl-bed after we return from Disney in a few weeks!

Soooooo....what do we think?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A letter to my future "I want a 3rd baby"-self.

I wasn't going to post this. It was kind of a joke... something I always say to my husband to "video me while I feel awful to show me next time I say I want to get pregnant" (yes I really said that...yep, he refused to video tape me). I'd contemplated even posting it because it's kind of...personal? Obviously a little tongue in cheek. But, after last night of absolute torture with hours of heartburn (seriously, I had no idea how painful heartburn could be until this baby), resulting in lots of lost sleep, having to cancel out of swim class, and still having lingering pain this morning? What the heck, I say. Here it goes.

***

Dear Crazy Katie,

So you're thinking about having another baby, huh? Interesting. This is a big life decision. So let me just remind you of a few things, you know, since right now, as I'm writing this, PREGNANT with baby #2--it's all fresh on my mind.

Right now, you likely are out of the cute baby phase with that little lady #2. You are missing the newborn smell. You are craving tiny tootsie toes back in your life. You want to feel those sweet little kicks inside you again. People are giving you that questionable look, 'Are you gonna try for the boy?' Trust me, you know The One. 

You are feeling that little nudge. The one that makes you want to pee on sticks and become a neurotic obsessed woman. Who is back to keeping track of cycles. Dates. The state of your private parts. Every tweak & twinge you feel. You're ready to over-analyze. Bring.It.On. Right? Wrong. 

I just feel it's my duty to remind you of the realities of pregnancy for you. Since, you know...you tend to FORGET. Don't forget that as soon as that little positive comes up on that test? You have a few days of peace and happiness and "yay I'm pregnant!" and THEN, you start puking your brains out. You feel like death. All day long. Literally, as if you have the god-forsaken-BIRD-FLU. It's hard to parent your (one) child (let alone the TWO you will have) being so ill all the time. Oh, and I don't even need to bring up how hard it is to work while you're vomiting profusely. Just reminding you it's hard. Very, very hard.

That first-trimester-exhaustion? It's no joke. Don't forget how intense the desire to nap is, and how very little you actually get to fulfill said napping desire. With one child it was hard enough...imagine squeezing a nap in with two

Your family might starve. Your desire to cook, touch, or look at food for the first trimester (plus) is overwhelming. Unbearable. The mere act of opening the fridge to feed your children will send you dry-heaving over the sink. Smells alone will set you off. Don't forget the fun little fact that every time you hurl? You also pee your pants a little (okay, sometimes a lot), and it's super embarrassing. And super gross. 

Do I really need to remind you about how severely (to the point of tears, medications galore, and embarrassing phonecalls into the nurse station) you get...um...constipated while knocked up? I would really hate to go there, but feel that it's my duty to just tell you, it's awful. Trust me. 

What about how even typing the word p-i-z-z-a sent you to the toilet?

How often you feel the urge to pee, even if it's just a TRICKLE?

How about the fact you become a crazy lady with a sense of smell that could rival police dogs? You will find yourself searching for something that "stinks" for hours on end, while your husband looks at you cross-eyed because he.can't.smell.it (and thinks you're nuts)?

What about how everyday life moves on, and your kids still need you, daily, all the time, no matter how sick & pregnant and "wahhh I'm growing a human" you want to be? No pregnancy will ever be as relaxing as that first time, with no children to take care of.

Let's also just talk about body image. Even if you've lost a ton of weight, thought you'd look amazing during pregnancy and be "all belly", the truth is? You won't. You'll still get flubby. Your thighs will grow. Your arms won't look as toned. Your face? Yep. You'll still get the dreaded Pregnancy Fat Face. You'll still have dreadful stepping-on-the-scale moments. You'll still have to work your tush off to get healthy and fit again. 

Oh and heartburn. It's not acid-reflux. Don't confuse the two. Heartburn can leave you unable to move. In so much pain that you're in tears. And then? The pain can linger for days. If I had to choose my babies having hair to heartburn? I'd want them to be bald at birth. Just sayin'.

I just feel it's my duty, as your pregnant self, to remind your future 'contemplating another child'-self about all these things that are so fresh on my mind right now, and that honestly? You will FORGET. Because our brains are supposed to forget them. So we have more children.

I never said another child wasn't worth it. They are so worth it. I just want to remind you of what it takes to get there.

You can thank me. Or not. 

Sincerely,
Pregnant, tired, but very happy & excited, Katie.

***

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Prayers for Pop Pop

I grew up with one grandfather. My dad's Dad. He is caring and sweet, and exactly what you picture when you think about what a grandfather should be.

Every time he sees me, he tells me how beautiful I am. "My little Katie". "My girls" he calls my sister and I, his only granddaughters amongst 7 grandsons.

In his older age, he was one of those men of few words, but when he did speak? The words are gold. He truly means what he says. You can see him radiate when you walk into the room, because he's just so proud of you. So happy to see you. Genuinely happy.

I often remember seeing him getting teary eyed, while trying to remain inconspicuous during family gatherings. I assume just because his heart was so happy, seeing everyone together, his grandkids, his great grandkids. He has that pride & joy that grandparents have. The kind that makes you feel all sorts of special as a grandkid. The kind where you know they brag about you to their friends and neighbors, and show off your photos for anyone and everyone who visits.

My Pop Pop has been married to his soul mate, my Grandmom, for 60 years. SIXTY. They are best friends in every sense of the word. My parents have been married for 36 years. The legacy of love and marriage and commitment they've passed onto generations beneath them is commendable and I'm so grateful for that.

My sweet Pop Pop went into the hospital last week for some serious pain in his back. From what I understand it was some sort of compression fracture on his vertebrae. Seeing him in so much pain when we visited was hard, but the doctors assured us with a simple surgery they'd be able to give him some relief. While in there doing the surgery, they did a biopsy.

Two days ago, on his 85th birthday, the biopsy revealed they found cancer, and most likely a pretty aggressive kind.

My heart aches to think that on his birthday this was the news he received.

We don't know details of how long we have left with him. We've heard a few things thrown around, but nothing official yet. We know that age is definitely a factor. I'm so grateful for the full life he's lived. But it certainly doesn't make this any easier.

He's such a good man. I'm so grateful for all the time I've had with my Pop Pop, and the time I still have. I'm so thankful that he saw me walk down the aisle, and held my first baby girl in his arms at the hospital when she was barely 24 hours new. I'm so thankful for the Christmases and other holidays I spent with him. And all the long sleeved size L Eddie Bauer shirts I bought him. And the way a framed photograph was the best.gift.ever to him. The many, many hugs and kisses I've gotten over the years. I'm so grateful for my grandfather. My Pop Pop.

I may only have grown up with one grandfather, but at least he's a darn good one.

With my Pop Pop at the hospital, yesterday.

Ways you can be praying for my Pop Pop if you feel so led:

-Wisdom for the doctors
-For my Grandmother, who is really struggling, being as dependent as she was/is on my Pop Pop 
-For our family, to make all the right decisions regarding his care, hospice, hospital transfers, etc.
-For my Pop Pop's peace, to his heart and mind. And mostly that he would make peace with Jesus.
-Timing. Timing of everything. As a family there are so many things going on. I believe God is in the details, but just pray for timing, in general, to be perfect and ordained.

***

Thank you. Thanks for those of you who have been praying already. Who have seen my tweets, or instagram photos, or facebook statuses.

***





Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The things she does.

I love documenting the silly and cute and crazy things that Emeline does. As she grows, I'm already learning this is a wild ride we're on.

So at almost 2 years old, here are a few of her silly antics.

***

One of the 'rules' we've implemented since having a child is that bodily noises (aka: burps, but, ew--I hate that word) are followed up with "Excuse Me", always. I don't want her growing up thinking that it's acceptable to just belch loudly without at least an acceptable 'excuse me' if it's an accident, or whatever. So if she hears ANY noise that resembles a burp, even if someone clears their throat, or whatever---she's all "EXCUSE ME, MOMMY (or insert name of culprit)!!!" And it doesn't stop there. Then? She proceeds to make a "fake" burp sound herself and follows it up quickly with, "Excuse Me, Emeline!"

She is the polite-police apparently.

We kind of always felt like when we had kids, we would use the proper names for body parts. We don't really make up cutesy little names. Recently, Emeline learned the word "bagina". Yep. You heard me. I will save the google searches by typing it exactly the way she says it, versus, um, properly

So, the other day I was showering with her, and teaching her how to wash her body with a baby loofa sponge. I told her to wash her bottom, and then she looked up at me with all seriousness and asked, "Emeline wash bagina?

I kind of died laughing inside. But not outwardly. Because, she was so serious. And used it properly. And it was cute. The end.

If you haven't noticed, we are in major TALK IN THIRD PERSON STAGE, and it is freaking adorable. I know I will miss it when the phase ends, so for now we think the third person speak is cute. Because it is.

At dinnertime, once we all sit down, we pray before our meal. She gets way excited to pray, and wants to hold both our hands. Sometimes, Declan and I will make the prayer go longer, squeezing each other's hands signaling to OPEN UP YOUR EYES AND LOOK AT YOUR DAUGHTER, because OMG. It is so CUTE seeing her squeeze her eyes shut intently praying.

Her botched version of ABC's? Ridiculous. I can't even handle it. Yes I'm her mother and yes I'm supposed to feel this way (right?). But her "lalala P!!!!" at L, M, N, O, P is so funny. And "double X" instead of "W, X". 

The other day in the car she goes, "I love Pop Pop, I love Mom Mom, I love Daisy (my parents dog), I love Mommy, I love Daddy........and.........I LOVE POOPIE!!!!!!" and then proceeded to put her hands over her mouth and GIGGLE HYSTERICALLY. Like, she knew she was being a little jokester? Too much.

***

This age is so great. And so challenging. And so cute. I love it.


Monday, April 23, 2012

How I feel about Scentsy & a Giveaway! :)

I've heard a lot about Scentsy from other blogs. I've seen it, I always thought, "hm, looks great"--but never brought myself to actually purchase any products. Nor had I ever had the opportunity to attend a Scentsy party (or I'd have totally been there to see what all the hype was about).

But a few weeks ago a friend I worked with teaching contacted me about reviewing some Scentsy products for her mothers business. I was really excited and jumped at the chance to test out the ever-so-popular Scentsy and get those delectable scents in my home. 

Within a few days, Jennise sat on my living room floor with me, scents strewn about, warmers of all sizes and shapes laid out--letting me pick basically anything I wanted to test drive. I felt like a kid in a candy store!

I ended up with a gorgeous full-size warmer, four different fragrances, a plug-in warmer, a few travel tins, a scent-pack (for drawers), and even a few scent circles (to hang in the car). 



And after spending the last few weeks testing out all these fun little products?

I'm.in.love.

My house has never smelled so good. My kid has even dipped her finger in the wax, but it doesn't get hot enough to hurt her, at all. Since there's no wick/flame, you don't have to worry about that danger aspect with children. They glow a beautiful little light, can be left on for long periods of time (much more than a candle!), and the fragrances? They last FOREVER. 


I put the little plug-in on our lower level/first floor. It works awesome and upon entering my house you're greeted with a really pretty smell, rather than the smell of laundry left in the washer for too long (guilty). Wet dog. Or a basket full of smelly shoes. 

I even used the travel-tin in Emeline's room just to cover up the diaper-funk-smell that kind of lingers no matter WHAT YOU DO and it has truly helped. In fact, I may get one of their cute little nursery mid-size warmers for her new big girl room.

So the gist of Scentsy is this---it's great. I've been telling people I know how awesome it is. How great it smells. How fun and simple it is to use. And how much longer-lasting than candles. Oh, and affordable, too.

If you need a place to purchase Scentsy, consider my new friend & Independent Scentsy Rep, Jennise. You can order easily online right here

***

ONE LAST THING! (I'm like an info-mercial)

Jennise wants to give my readers a chance to win a full-size warmer ($35 value) and a Scentsy Tin ($7 value).  So if you want to enter, you need to be a follower/reader of this blog, and all you need to do is GO HERE & tell me which full-size warmer you would choose if you win and leave it in the comments section of this post.

Giveaway entries will be accepted until Friday, April 27th at 9pm EST. 

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(I was compensated with free Scentsy products for my honest review of their products and fragrances. All opinions expressed are solely mine!)



Friday, April 20, 2012

MAKING memories.

As a parent I feel like there are times that sweet, precious moments just come. Naturally. They just happen during everyday, normalness. You don't have to force them, bring them on, they are amazing little nuggets of gold smattered throughout your day that make it all worth it.

Then there are bigger things...moments, events, etc. Trips. Fun outings. Things that take a whole heck of a lot of work, planning, stress for the parent. The events you know you will be MAKING memories. So you do it anyway.

You take your overtired, should-be-sleeping-children to go see late night fireworks. Through the whining, the hauling, all the work it takes to get there--their reaction to the fireworks make it all worth it.

You drive the full hour to the aquarium even though you can only stay for an hour, because you know that during the one hour there your kid will be BEAMING the entire time. Impressions of all those bright colored fishies in their mind for a long, long time.

You pack up what feels like e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. and you take your kid to the beach for only a day and a half. Without your husband. You stress for a few hours prior over packing and moan a little at how babies/toddlers/kids require SO MUCH STUFF when going away for only ONE NIGHT. You remind yourself it'll be so worth it. Your kid doesn't sleep on the car ride down, when you fully expected a nap. She is semi-miserable. Momma's sanity is dwindling. I can smell the beach though...we're getting close. It's gonna be worth it, I tell myself. She throws her sippy cup a hundred times. She needs another snack. We listen to JB a million and a half times to keep her content. We point out bridges, and birds, and let's be honest, anything along the two hour drive that might distract her for 2.5 seconds. I kick myself for not having a fancy car with a DVD player.

It's gonna be worth it. It's gonna be worth it. I think about my girl enjoying the sand, the seagulls, and picking seashells. Dang it, it takes stress & a lot of work to get here, but we're doing it. We're gonna make these memories, I tell myself, and I'll have photos to prove it.

See, the thing is--photos are able to capture a moment. A beautiful, sweet moment. This is why I love photography so much. I know that often they have the ability to make everything seem all peaches-and-cream all the time. But the fact of the matter is, in most cases? That's not true. Yes, while those memories are precious, and amazing, and I'm so beyond grateful to have them captured----they often take work.

The stress and sacrifice of knowing I'll have to unpack a gazillion bags, pack-n-plays, and stuffed animals from the car for a DAY AND A HALF trip (ha, can I emphasize that more? :)) The annoyance of the no-nap-whiney-cries on the drive. The evening of super hardcore bedtime-resistance from you-know-who due to a new surrounding that literally almost left me in tears. Frustrated beyond belief.

But moments. Oh there were moments. Experiences. One's I smile so big about. That I'm so glad I was able to give my girl. And capture. And bottle up and keep forever.

Like our feet hitting the sand for the first time this season, where she could stand and walk and run all on her own, which took the excitement to a whole new level.


Or the sheer joy that was captured when this kid discovered her love for bathing in the sand. Well, basically. I mean, can you even make that kind of joy up? I think not.


Or to see her chatting with the big girls as she soaks up the sunshine. I mean, if this doesn't give me a glimpse into her teen years, I don't know what does.


Or witnessing her joyously munching on her first Manco's boardwalk pizza. Pizza that unless you've had it? You just cannot know the goodness of. Mmmmm.


Her first boardwalk experience, as a toddler, who could run with glee chasing all the seagulls. I mean, seagulls are nasty (and mean, too, especially if you have food)--but to my girl? They were amazing. She tripped on those rickety boards more times than I can count, but I assure you the bruised knees were worth it to her. 


First boardwalk arcade experience. She was timid, totally, but it was cute.


Quality time with her Mom Mom, spent snuggling, watching (you guessed it), seagulls. Collecting endless amounts of seashells & her running back to show me every.single.one. Rock jumping. Sand-rolling. You name it, they did it. 


And documentation of her very first girls beach trip. 


See?

Those moments, little gems...they're worth it. The extra special memories may take work (okay, they typically tend to). There was sand-throwing, sunscreen in the eyes, there was no quiet book-reading beach time, there was no easy bedtime, there were long drives. But I'm gonna try my hardest to keep at it. For her. For me. For the books.

***

Have a fabulous weekend, friends.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hello Baby Deux: 25 Weeks Update

I'm getting way lazy on all this baby updating stuff. Seriously. Oh well. I didn't even take out the real camera this month, or do anything fancy. ANDDDD it's been 5 weeks since the last update. So here it goes. 

Yes. Your eyes do not deceive you, that belly is a growin'.

The Babe
She's doing fabulous. I'm watching her kick from the outside now, too. A few weeks ago (around 21 weeks), Declan felt her for the first time. I remember that moment so clearly with Eme--it's just as special this time around, too. At my appointment this week she was stubborn and we had trouble finding her heartbeat, but we finally did. I wasn't nervous because I could feel her squirming in there. I guess she's around 1.5lbs or so now. 

The Momma
This is my favorite time of pregnancy---my most blissful time I'd say. I don't feel sick at all, I'm only slightly (not annoyingly) uncomfortable. I still sleep great. I'm not overly exhausted. I just feel kind of normal'ish with mild aches and pregnancy pains, but nothing awful. It's been good! I feel good. 

The Bod
It's just different this time. I've gained weight quicker with this pregnancy, but am overall 50lbs smaller---so I'm hoping it starts to slow down (the weight gain). I'm up about 11lbs 'officially'. It's still a lot of weight gain I feel like for being just shy of 25 weeks, but, such is life. I've not been doing much in the arena of exercise. I literally feel like I have to pee every few minutes, that part is awfully annoying. But I still am active. If that makes sense. I think it's kind of hard NOT to be active with a toddler. AKA: I can still run & chase the kid down at the mall, big 'ole belly and all.

The Big Sis 
I can't even get over the cuteness of Emeline and the baby belly. It kills me. She asks for her baby sister every morning, hugs my belly, gives it kisses, says goodnight to her...and best of all? When I say, "Emeline, who is your BEST FRIEND???" she replies, "_[insert sissy's name]_"  The best part is, THAT WAS TOTALLY UNPROMPTED. 

When I asked her to tell me who her best friend was I fully expected her to answer with either "Finley" or "Everett", and so I died a little of the cuteness when she answered with no hesitation, that it was in fact her baby sister.

The other day I kept telling her that Baby Sister won't live in my tummy forever, she will come live with us, and she'll be here where she can give her real kisses on the cheeks. She seemed excited. Again, she's probably clueless. But it's too freaking cute and I love 'sharing' this pregnancy with her.

***

15 weeks to go. Cannot wait to kiss this little baby girls cheeks raw ;)




Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Beach Hangover

But not like that. Because, you know.

We had fun, and well, that's pretty obvious by the photos. A few days away were good enough for us...but more on that later. For now, enjoy the cute pics of my girl at the beach. Because, really? Is there anything cuter than a 2 year old at the ocean......? I think not.

:)









Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Off to the beach, but some farm photos for now.

I'm not really here today. Because I'm at the beach. Well, I'm gonna be, by lunchtime, for two days. Emeline & I are packing up, leaving Daddy at home and taking an impromptu girls trip to the shore with her Aunt & Mom Mom.

We only know a few things. Someone loaned us their beach house. Um. Hello? Nice, right? And the weather is supposed to be amazing. Those two things are enough to pack our bags furiously and head for the sand. Because, why the heck not?

I'll be back with photos...duh. Until then, here are some photos from our short little trip to the farm last night (but the animals already were back in the barns for the evening), where we basically just played on rocks and looked at the pond. Either way--good times. ;)








***

Be back in a few days with some beach photos, I hope.

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Good won.

Yesterday was interesting. Thank you God for bringing balance to my life---is all I gotta say.

Okay, you know me better than that. That's not all I'm gonna say. But it's true.

Yesterday was a teeter-totter. Yes. Like one of those see-saw things you used to play on at the playground. But let me explain.

We had this amazing morning at swim lessons. The birds were chirping. The sun was shining. She swam like a champ. And saw her best girlfriend, Finny. We headed to my sisters where I met my mom & sister-in-law for breakfast and some secret planning of future events. Eme played sweetly with her baby cousin that she adores to no end. More sun shining. More birds chirping. Good times.


Our normal day ensued. Lunch, naptime, and THEN is when it all happened. A series of misfortunate events. Yes, we'll call it that.

A play time of Emeline & Mac tossing his nylabone back and forth to one another (yes, Mac can throw...sort of) ended up with a heavy plastic bone accidentally bounced down the stairwell, landing on a shelf nailed into the wall, causing everything on the shelf to fall to the ground, INCLUDING THE SHELF--ripped out of the wall, nails, some drywall and all. Ca-rash. The 'uh-oh''s and 'I sowwy's' began.

A few minutes later I had the first-ever experience with catching your toddler drawing proudly.....on the walls. No worries though, it was only a PURPLE! FINE POINT! SHARPIE! In all seriousness, I'm glad it was fine point. Walking in on your toddler proudly beaming and exclaiming, "I drawin'!" is much cuter than I anticipated it to be. Also? Thank God for magic erasers, canIgetanAmen?

Minutes later, we were both in my bedroom. She had tugged at a cord to my heating pad that happened to be wrapped around the base of a tiered standing lamp next to my bed. It caused the entire base of the lamp to shift, sending the entire lamp crashing to the floor...the thick, glass dome at the top smashing into a million and one god-forsake pieces. Everywhere. It was the loudest boom/smash/crash ever. She was nowhere near where it fell, and neither was I--but holy big mess batman.

Within 45 minutes--this all occurred. By the third event? I was kind of in that "did this really just happen?" daze.

Knowing I already had a long evening ahead, since Declan was at a Phillies game after work, I had made plans with a girlfriend and her son, Emeline's age. Both of us had the daddy's/husbands out for the night and knew we'd need some company and to help pass the time. So to the mall we went.

The mall time was spent with us momma's telling a lot of half-stories. You know what I mean. You start a story, your toddler distracts you. You go back to story, your toddler distracts you. You pick up on your story again, your toddler distracts you. Chick-fil-a. In fact, it was a free chicken-strips day. FREE. Random yet engaging conversations about baby names with the employee (& the momma of 3) at BabyGap. Playground time. Our kids splashing in the fountain & throwing pennies in like they've done it forever. Our cute little 2 year old 'couple' holding hands in the mall and looking way too natural doing it. Chatting & laughing in the elevator until we both realized, minutes later, that neither one of us had ever pushed the button to go up--uh...duh. Ice cream and tickle/giggle fests. Out past bedtime. Loud Justin Bieber on the way home.

As I was carrying her up to bed to start her nighttime routine, I kissed her head and she affectionately snuggled into the nook of my neck. Without even hesitating I said, "We had a good day, didn't we?"

She replied, "Yesh momma" with the biggest, cheesiest grin. And then MY BRAIN started telling me, no! woman! do you remember what happened earlier? The Series of Misfortunate Events? Bad day. You had a bad day.

I shook that off quick because yes, despite those annoying things that happened, the accidents, and then the drawing-on-walls moment, it was a great day.

And I'm glad that the scripture "Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks"* quickly popped in my head--because it reminded me that I let my heart appreciate all those little, great, fun moments during the day. That despite the few nuisance things that happened earlier in the day, good won.


*(luke 6:45b)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Freewrite-The Art of Toddler Mothering. Just Kidding.

I love the idea of a freewrite. Where you can just write. Go figure. Not much editing, just more of a babbling of whatever is going on in your mind at that time. I mean, I guess it's not a ton different than anything else...but I'm going for it anyway.

Toddlers are confusing. There, I said it. They are free-willed little boogers who are simultaneously ridiculously adorable and also ridiculously challenging. I swear that God made them this way, with a balance of annoying and awesome so that they can keep you on your toes just long enough before you break, but then melt you into a pile of mush with their sweet little curly pig tails, or "I love you momma's" to keep your little world in a harmonious balance. Or whatever.

But really. My kid is not bratty. I don't know how one makes a "bratty" child, per-say, but Emeline? She isn't that. She is a typical toddler, though. She'll tell you no, absolutely. But she'll also tell you yes when she means it. You'll rattle off a billion options for a snack and she'll refuse them all, and then, act like it's her own genius idea to get the goldfish (which were option #1 to begin with!), and smile from ear to ear at the sight of them. She wants to be independent. She wants to be free. Heck, she wanted to take not only her shoes off, but her SOCKS! TOO! at the mall this morning. And really? Who am I to fight that battle when it really doesn't matter when she's in the stroller anyway?

Sometimes she doesn't want to give family members hugs. Sometimes, she gives them freely and willingly and you get all the "keeses" & "huggies" in the world. Sometimes she'll cuddle with you. Other times, there isn't a restraint in the world that could hold this child in one place.

Sometimes she'll go to bed without any type of fuss, what.so.ever. Sometimes she has the most epic bedtime meltdowns of all time, you'd think it was World War III over here.

Sometimes she eats amazingly well, healthy and balanced, and making a momma so proud. Sometimes? Like today? She will refuse everything for breakfast, and bypass lunch all together--just drinking milk. Is it her teeth? Is she getting sick? Is she just being stubborn? Oh. That's right. She's a toddler.

A TODDLER.

They are unexplainable sometimes.

Well, mine is.

Some nights she'll go to sleep with her minnie mouse tucked gently under her arms, giving her tons of smooches and lots of "see you soon's" (in Disney, y'all)--and other nights? She'll fling Minnie from her crib so fast you'd think the poor mouse had leprosy or something.

Sometimes she'll hug me and love me and tell me how "cute" or "pretty" I am. She tells me I have "pretty hair" and she'll affectionately stroke it. Other times? She'll grip it, tight--pulling a chunk of hair from my head, one time--leaving me in tears. It's happened. Don't underestimate the Toddler Grip. It is real, yo.

Sometimes a trip to Target or Walmart is a breeze. She sits blissfully in the front of the seat, looking around at strangers, waving hi or flashing smiles at other babies. I walk through the aisles like I got this. And other times? There aren't enough soft pretzels, ICEE's, milk sippies, or random toys to keep her occupied before the fidgety get-me-outta-here's begin.

The other day I was in Walmart, and we happened to grab The Cart. You know the one. The one that has NO PROPER STRAPS to keep your kid in the seat (at least until she can ninja her way out of there). It was pure awful. I knew the only way to keep her in her seat, without monkey'ing around once she discovered she was a Free Woman, not strapped in was to let her watch something on my phone. I don't care, call it bribery, I call it 'using my resources'. I am not kidding you, though. As I handed my phone to her, this older woman cruised by, glanced at me handing the phone to her as I mumbled something about staying in her seat on her bottom, and FULL ON ROLLED HER EYES AT ME.

I saw it, clear as day. The judgmental eyes.

And I'm learning with toddlerhood comes a whole heck of a lot of those judgmental eyes. And I'm also remembering that at times in the past? Those eyes were mine. Before I knew how it could be. How it would be. How my perfect sweet angel baby would start exercising her freedom and will. It's not bad, no. It's just different. And they're toddlers. And they can be so weird. But also so awesome.

And one day, they can be everything from sweet as pie to stubborn as a you-know-what. But you love 'em. So much so that you could squeeze what baby chub is left on them all.day.long.

Oh my toddler baby girl.

I love her. 

***