Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Reese, 18 months.

She is actually 19 months, but I just got a chance to take her for her 18 month check up. We had to rearrange and cancel 3 times, because playdates and swim opportunities came up. #priorities

- WEIGHS: 22.4 pounds (40%!!!!!!!!!!)
- HEIGHT: 30.5 (8%)

Reesie at 18 months: Chatty, happy, silly, full of personality, outgoing, thinks she is 5, a bit of a diva, flexible, will not let me out of her sight AT ALL. 

She pretend plays MUCH more than Lily ever has. She was very matter of fact about feeding Baby and Melmo some of her oranges. Somebody has to take care of these babies. 

- She is a better talker than Lily at this age. Lily never played the "repeat" game, but Reese will repeat most words. She is VERY chatty. She has a really varied vocabulary. I love that she recognizes and names: markers, scissors, crayons, pencils, glue, glue stick, and sticker. She even tries to make short sentences, "Mama eat booberry." "Lala's shoes." "Reesie lotion belbow!" She has eczema and it is worst on her elbows so I am always chasing her with lotion. 

- She LOVES Sesame Street, especially Elmo. She knows all of the main characters and will flip out if she sees them on the overpriced little kid granola bars when we are at the grocery store. "Bi Bir! Gover! Errie! Melmo! Cookie Mosser!"

 Unfortunately, her relationship with TV is hit or miss.  She will watch Sesame Street off and on and LOVES Elmo. She gets really excited about Barney, but won't watch it for long. I think she is starting to like TV more as she gets older. #fingerscrossed

How do babies always wind up in just a diaper?

She loves to color, make dots with markers, eat glue sticks, destroy Lily's artwork, and put stickers all over the wall, people's feet, and other places they don't belong.

She goes to Mother's Day Out on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. She LOVES it, and I KNOW she is the favorite. It has been SO good for her to be around kids besides Lily and for someone else to take care of her. My girls both are so attached to me that it is borderline unhealthy. I do feel a little ridiculous that my baby goes to MDO, but on days she doesn't go, she is in the car 2-4 hours every day. My mom guilt at putting her in so young greatly outweighs my mom guilt about her being there. I did think that I would have all of this time to just go home and lounge and read, but that has not been the case at all.  I have actually only gone home ONE time in the six weeks since she started. Her school is right by Lily's school, so it's an hour round trip back to my house and just not really worth it. Plus, I always have meetings and appointments or am volunteering at Lily's school. It's really fun to get to do the fun parts of being a SAHM. Room Mom!

I didn't actually get a "first day of school" picture with the sign, because... that is just not my thing for some reason. (Why not? It really seems like something I would love to do- make a cute sign- but it always feels like a huge chore). But, here she is one day when I remembered to take a picture. Pigtails. Love her. 

One day when I picked her up, her precious teacher had fixed her hair. They ADORE her. I am so fortunate that my girls have such wonderful schools! 

She recently discovered ketchup, and there is no turning back.

"Daa-eee's soos" are her favorite toy, ever. 

- She still loves to dance and sing. Her favorite songs are "Two Little Ducks" "Twinkle Twinkle," and "Old Mc Donald." We are working on "Rocky Top." 

-She drinks about 0 - 3 ounces of milk a day.  3 total is probably her max. Lily loved milk, but she has never been a huge drinker of anything else. My girls just aren't thirsty. She eats most of what she tries, but it depends on her mood. Her favorites right now are oatmeal, yogurt, pretzels, blueberries, and coooookkkkiiies!!!

 She sleeps from 7 to 6:45/7 every night and takes about an hour nap. I had heard these rumors that I assumed were urban myths, but apparently it can be real. 12 hours at night. I just stopped for a full minute and stared at the screen, because I honestly don't even have words for what it is like to not have her waking up at 5am. Reese is my proof that sleep training is one huge lie, because I SLEEP TRAINED LILY! I started at 4 months ate was HARD CORE. With Reese? She was still waking up every 3 hours at 11 months. I did have to make her cry it out for about 3 weeks, and it was not fun, but it was NOTHING like the boot camps I had to do with Lily just to get her sleeping until 5am.

7am. I can't even. This beats winning any lottery!

She always sleeps with one hand twirled in her hair, just like Lily. Unlike Lily, she adores her lovie from Aunt Manda. She literally squeals when she sees it at bedtime. 

She isn't a huge cuddler, but she will do whatever it takes to be close to her Mama. She does not let me out of her sight, EVER. She wants me to hold her every single second of her life. #exhausting #ijustwantopeealone

She seriously thinks she is the same age as Lily. 

Her favorite towels are the frog towel ("fog towl!") and  a Cookie Monster  ("mosster towl!"). I let her choose which one she wants. 

We went to a Frozen birthday party, and one of the activities was to play with ice. It sounds random, but the kids loved it. The big girls were sticking their feet in the ice and squealing and Reese joined in the fun. 
I can't believe I ever felt sorry for her when I was pregnant that she was going to be the second child. She is living the life!

For example. 

 At another birthday party for Lily's friend- this one was at a farm with the sweetest dog, ever! Reese is obsessed with animals. 
Even while looking at this picture, my instinct is to run into the picture and grab that coke can before Reese spots it and zooms for it. Even when she is not with me, I find myself scanning random places, like Target, to quickly pick up anything she may try to eat or destroy or shove down the toilet. 

She LOVES stickers. Markers are her real favorites, but we have to be careful letting her have those, obviously. 

Hanging with Daddy.

I was trying in vain to get a picture of her in the big sister shirt, and she was running around with such purpose. I keep having these moments where I pause and think- "you're going to be a big sister?" It's precious and unbelievable. 

There have been a few more moments like this over the last few weeks- where they are just enjoying being sisters. Lily being gone during the day was the sanity break we all needed. Lily is just SO MUCH every second and loves Reese so much that it is suffocating.

I realize this picture looks so sweet and innocent, and it WAS for the 2 minutes it lasted. Unfortunately, the vast majority of my day is spent trying to scrape Reese off of my leg or keep her from destroying every single thing we own. This age is so crazy. She is into everything at full speed. My whole body hurts at the end of the day, just from keeping her alive. It's a hard age, but it is such a FUN age, too. She is so silly and sweet and full of personality. 

Also, I want to run into this picture and grab that remote before she sees it! Haha. I can't believe I let it get that close to her! #dangerzone

Lily at 18 months. They are looking less alike but definitely still like sisters. 

Also, I realize the amount of toys in this room is ridiculous. An embarrassing level of ridiculousness really. BUT, I remember this day, and I had just been to 2 consignment sales and had unloaded my loot. So, see, there is justification for the excess of crap. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Kindergarten Happenings, including a Black Eye.

We are LOVING Kindergarten. Love, love, love. 

Lily's school is an HOUR round trip from our house. We are in the car from 2- 4 hours a day, depending on extra curricular activities, errands, events, meetings, etc... 
But, there are pros and cons to everything, and the pros of her school greatly outweigh that one negative.

I have been thrilled with her teacher this year. Her name is Dr. Fish (yes, my daughter's Kindergarten teacher has a PHD), and she is fantastic. I am practically skipping around every day...okay, 90% of it is because I can feel my sanity slowly coming back. But, I am so thankful that, once again, Lily has such an amazing teacher. 

She sends texts every day, like this one of Lily at lunch with her note I put in her lunchbox. 

Oh, and then there was this text. 
I was actually meeting another mom in the school parking lot around noon to give her something. So, I was IN the parking lot when the text came. I was literally in the classroom within 2 minutes, and I debated trying to explain, "I just happened to be in the parking lot." I felt a bit like a crazy, stalker mom, but Lily will probably never forget how fast I arrived. 

She was shaken a bit but was not seriously hurt. Apparently she fell off of the bars and hit her eye on the ground. 

Daddy was on Call, so we swung by the hospital to let him check it out. Definite perk of being married to a doctor. 

Aunt Paula had just sent Lily a new gift in the mail (Aunt Paula's love language is gift giving- she always sends the most thoughtful gifts): a doll wearing a school uniform! Lily thought she sent it as a get-well gift (the injury happened 2 hours before, so Lily has some MAJOR faith in the mail system and in Aunt Paula). Her name is Marie and she played with her all afternoon.

The first night. We got home at noon and she said, "well, what kind of fun thing are we going to do now that I am home?"

Um, laundry. 

Thankfully, Marie kept her company. AND, we went swimming. She was not in any pain. 

The next morning it looked a bit worse...

I got lots of updates from her teacher, so I knew she was okay!

Her teacher asked me to read a book and bring a snack one day, and this was our selfie. Clearly a framer.  The eye got progressively worse over the first 5 days. Strangers were SHOCKED when they saw her, but she was completely unaware.

I love that we have the chance to be so involved in the classroom!

On Friday, she lost a tooth!! It is her 3rd one! 
She is looking a little rough with a tooth gap and a black eye. Hughes and I are just grateful this all happened at school, because that would be a lot to explain over the course of 4 days.

It was  REALLY big deal for her to have a black eye and lose a tooth in the same week. She was basically famous in her class. Haha. Kindergartners don't always know about making fun of someone, so they all just thought it was cool and were curious about it. She was a bit worried the first morning and even wore sunglasses to school. But, I think that lasted 2 minutes, because several moms texted me, "Lily showed me her eye! She is really proud of it!"

Donuts with the other Kindergarten class for O week!

Lily made this tiny book with pictures and "I love you"s for the tooth fairy. I found it under her pillow.

She informed me that the tooth fairy brings a craft and a book. I happened to have a hoarded selection of clearance crafts and consignment sale books, so that is fine with me. 

It is shocking in real life. I keep forgetting about it until I notice people staring at her.

I got to go on the first field trip of the year! It was to this little zoo in Virginia. Lily was THRILLED that I was coming and counted down the days. But, once we actually got there, she was so hungry, because they skipped snack that day. She was grumpy for most of the time, to be honest. I am so grateful I had the chance to go, but, once again, I have learned- do not have expectations as a parent. 

She made me this precious name tag. She even wrote my cell number on it, in case I got lost. Haha. 

Noni and Bop got to come in town for a last minute celebration at her school. Her school scheduled it on a Wednesday morning (with 2 days notice), and I was annoyed at the assumption that everyone must have family who lives in town. But, my parents re-arranged all of their plans to be able to come! 

Several of my friends saw Lily and texted me things like, "She is positively glowing!" and "Lily is on Cloud 9 with Noni and Bop there!"

Love this girl, her sweet friends, her awesome teacher, and this school. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Healing Hands Gala

There is a very special, deserving charity here called "Healing Hands." It is a medical clinic that provides free or discounted medical and dental care to the WORKING uninsured. WHAT?!?! You mean an organization that helps people who are helping themselves, instead of throwing money at entitled people who spend their welfare money on grillz? YES! I am so happy and honored that I was able to be a part of planning Healing Hand's largest fundraiser. It was a lot of work and planning, but my amazing friend, Sarah, was the chair of the committee, so it ended up being a lot of fun even while planning. We worked on the Gala for months, but it was worth it once it all came together!

The theme was Summertime in the South!

Friday night was a pre-party, and this really fun bluegrass band performed. It made me happy to be living in the heart of Appalachia. 

I was 9 weeks pregnant and was just looking chubby, so I kept trying to put my purse in front. 

Alyson's mom (from Nevada!), Alyson, Sarah, me. 

Menu cards. I helped with printing, so I got to design some of the printed items. 

On Friday and Saturday morning, we helped set up. It looked like this when we started Friday morning- 

And looked like this by Saturday evening. 

I am fortunate beyond belief to be able to be a stay at home mom to my kids. 
The hardest part of staying home for me, though, is the lack of purpose. I realize raising my girls to be happy, confident women is THE greatest purpose. But, sometimes, I want to look back at my day and have something to SHOW for it. "I kept the kids alive" is obviously wonderful, but some days I need something a little more tangible. Having the chance to be on this committee and get to SEE our hard work transform was one of the best feelings I have experienced in a long time.

We helped set up from about 8-3 each day, and I almost started crying at one one point. The feeling of DOING something was just too wonderful that I could honestly not contain it. The Gala was August 16, and I had just spent all summer with two small people ruling my life. At home, if I try to fold the clothes, someone knocks the pile off. If I try to send a quick email, I look up to find crayon on the wall or a glue stick in Reese's mouth. If I try to get dressed, I will inevitably hear Reese screaming because Lily never, ever, ever leaves her alone. 

So, for most of the time while I was helping set up, I found myself constantly tensing and anxious. I finally realized I kept waiting for someone to come by and tear down the curtain I just hung. Or knock over the chairs I had just stacked. Or, I just knew once I turned around, I would have to go fish a Barbie doll out of the toilet or clean up an entire bottle of spilled lotion. 

BUT, it never happened! I got to be productive and accomplish something! I was practically glowing with happiness all weekend. It is really impossible to describe what this meant to me- having a purpose that wasn't picking up the same toys off of the floor over and over. 

The theme was perfect. 

This was the silent auction item area. The best part about Healing Hands is that it has such a strong (deserved) reputation. Whenever I would go somewhere to request a silent auction item, I was never turned down, because Bristol believes in this organization. 

Silent Auction.

I designed the menu cards!

At 10:30pm one night when my kids were finally asleep.  :)

I found a seersucker dress on clearance for $16! Score. 

Sarah was the reason this Gala was so amazing.

Lorrie Morgan performed, which was surprisingly a big deal in my life. I didn't realize how many of her songs I knew until she started belting them out. She has a gorgeous voice. 

My friends, Meredith and Alyson, also have gorgeous voices and got to get on stage and sing with her! I love having fun friends!!

It was perfect weekend. I miss teaching, but I am so lucky that I have the time and resources to be able to contribute to such worthy causes. 

P.S. HUGE SHOUT OUT to Noni and Bop for watching the girls Friday and Saturday so I could actually have the chance to help, have a purpose, and have fun. 

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