Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Anniversary!

Today is a very special anniversary- the anniversary of my birth (yeah buddy- 31!!) and the anniversary of this blog (4 years!)!

First of all, I have LOVED keeping this blog! What a walk down memory lane for me. I just ordered our first year blog book (Blog2Print was the general consensus from most of you!) and can't wait to get it back!

This has been a great outlet for me for documenting our lives, stories, and thoughts about everything in life! So happy anniversary blog!

And then to my birthday...

My friends and family sure know how to make a girl feel special, even if it just her 31st birthday in the middle of the week on a regular old day.

We started celebrating on Saturday night. The husby took me to a fancy dinner (momma loves dressing up!) while the kids were in good hands with babysitters at church. It was pouring and nasty outside but we didn't let that stop us! Dinner was fantastic and the company was better!

On my actual birthday (today!), I woke up to Charley sleeping (mostly!) through the night at 4:50 am. That was her only wake up (THANKYOUGOD)! So I went up and held her in our chair until around 7 when she woke up for good.

I came downstairs with her to breakfast (Shipley's donuts and kolaches!!) and cards and gifts from my sweet hubby! What a treat! He even remembered to get donut holes and extra kolaches for the kids! What a gem! A sweet card, and gift certificates for mani/pedi and a massage- this guy knows what I like/need!

Charley and I had a fabulous morning that consisted of her pouring her smoothie on our white cloth couch, taking her diaper off and peeing on the floor while I cleaned, squishing raspberries and rubbing them in her hair and on her clothes, and throwing both of Jay's tennis shoes (the ones he wears to school) in the toilet. Did I mention this was all before 8 am?! Ha!

Despite the fun we had, she was in a great (and very cute!) mood, so I just pretty much laughed at her all morning!

Then my little dude woke up and we went to greet him! He was so excited for "Mommy's Birfday Party" and the donut holes! Cute!

Snuggle time on my birthday with this guy! 
I normally wear more clothes- I swear... I didn't want Charley destroying my outfit!

The kids ate donut holes in my bed while I got dressed for the day (can't wait to snuggle in those covers tonight!).

I dropped Jay at school and then my oldest sister offered to watch Charley so I could go get a pedicure! BLISS! I got to sit for an uninterrupted hour being massaged and pampered- I haven't gotten a pedicure since the beginning of the year! On my way home I popped into J Crew and Kendra Scott to use up some birthday money and loved being able to run so many errands so quickly without kids! :)

I grabbed Charley and we ran a few other errands before it was pick-up Jay time.

My mom and sister and niece all met at our house for lunch where we ate way too much and sang happy birthday (mom was smart and let each kid have their own dessert and own candles!).

Then it was outside to "dip" in the pool (it was just supposed to be feet but Jay and Jill got in all the way). Better them than me.

As I walked outside to play with them, I closed the locked door behind me locking us all out! UGH!!! This is third time I've done this and you think I would have learned by now...

Waiting for Anthony...
This is how good my mom is with technology! Ha!!

The only other two people with a key are my mom and sis and their keys were inside, too! So I called Anthony and he left work right away and came to save the day. Bless that man. Not once did he scold me or fuss at me or even pretend he was irritated.

Presents and love and fun galore left us tired, so we moved onto naptime...

Some of my other fave gifts!
Necklace, earrings, and bullets for our guns!! 

After naps for all of us (love me a birthday nap!), we woke up and played outside with the neighbors and then loaded up for dinner out. On our way to dinner I treated myself to a present- FOUR new keys (one for each neighbor, one to hide, and one for my BFF). Can't be too careful now!

We met Anthony at my favorite Mexican food place and the Robertson clan, too! I'm so thankful to have one of my best friends just a few blocks away. The kids were all interspersed with the grownups and everyone treated everyone like their own kids/parents. I love that about them. We ate way too much, played in the sand, had ice cream after, and called it a night! What a special ending to my day!

Kids are down, I'm showered (finally!), and The Voice is on. Between phone calls, text messages, cards, and Facebook, I am feeling so very very loved.

Thanks to all who helped make it special (especially my hubs!) and thanks to my parents for birthing me (I know it wasn't easy!) and raising me! Until the next anniversary of my birth/blog...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

So Typical.

The other day while Jay napped, Charley and I were doing a lima bean activity.

We sat on the floor and put a bag of lima beans in a big bowl. I gave her a spoon and some small bowls and just let her feel and stir and put-and-take and experiment. Things were going great! I'm not gonna lie, I was really proud of myself and feeling very smug about our great "hands on" experiment and learning time...

Then, in typical Hurricane Charley fashion, it QUICKLY went downhill!!!

Action shots!

Proud of her work!

Even though the room looked like, well, a Hurricane hit it, it was still a really great activity for us!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Ordinary Day with Two

So, back in September of 2011, I wrote this post.

For those of you (like me) that don't like going back and clicking on old posts, I'll summarize. I read another blog where the girl documented just an "ordinary day" with her children. We all document the fun days and activities. But the stuff that keeps us ticking is the everyday goodness with our kids.

The things I'll remember most when I'm older and my kids are grown are how every morning Charley and I will curl up on the couch and snuggle while I sip my coffee and we "chat" about Texey and Ewwa. I'll miss the excitement Charley and I both have when we hear Jay call out, "Mooo-mmmmy!" on the monitor and we rush upstairs to greet him. I love our morning play time. I love our "run errands" time. I love grabbing lunch out or having a picnic at home. I love nap time when the house is quiet, but I love wake up time when my babies are with me. I love the bedhead after naps. I love the playing outside in the front yard with all the neighbors. I love cooking dinner while two kids tug at me in different directions. I love when Daddy comes home and we all rush to greet him and get the first kiss (I usually win!). I will miss how we all pile on our bed while Daddy changes to play clothes and tells us about his day. I'll miss our family dinners each night and watching our kids learn how to pray, table manners, and the importance of family time. I'll miss after dinner dessert time. I'll miss bath time and the bubbles and water all over the place. I will certainly miss rocking my baby to sleep or laying next to my big kid praying and singing and holding hands. I will miss laying in bed at the end of the day with my husband sighing and thinking, "We're doing this all again tomorrow!?" These are the ordinary things I know I will miss one day. And these are the things I never want to forget!

There are so many routines that we have going that I don't want to forget or take for granted.

So today I documented every hour on the hour through pictures. It was fun to see the things we were doing, and sometimes I wish I would have captured the in-betweens. I honestly am so thankful for my littles and the time I get to spend with them.

To preface, we had ZERO plans going into today- except for a trip to the shoe store to get measured and the need to be out of the house while our cleaning lady was there. This sort of day is very rare- we almost ALWAYS have something planned before the day begins! :)

7:00 am. Charley woke at 6:30 today. 
Here we are hanging out on the couch watching the local news together. 
Exciting stuff. Neither of us are quite awake yet.  :)

 8:00. The big guy is up. This is actually early for him. 
He is a SLOW waker-upper. He likes at least thirty minutes to start his day. 
Juice and blankie and pappy (and circus elphy) required.
Used to be Mickey Mouse Clubhouse was a must. Now it's Team Umizoomi. 

While Jay wakes up, Charley has pretty much already conquered everything she can.
We are reading books and playing with Jay's racecars here. 

Waiting for Mrs. Patricia to get here so we can leave.
Jay has my makeup brush and both kids are ready to get the heck outta dodge!
Mommy is readier than anybody (I know, it's not a word) 

Mommy and Charley sitting in the chair reading a book and snuggling.
She is getting sleepy. This is going to be her first day without a morning nap. 

10:00 am
 Charley is getting sleepy. We are running errands. 
This particular moment we are driving to Grandeb's house. 
Mommy installed the DVD player to try to keep her awake and happy and not screaming in the car.
So far, not really working. 

At Grandeb's house. That's why he's eating Doritos so early in the morning. 
Sigh. A Grandparent's right?

This was actually a sweet moment between the two. 
Hugs outside on Grandeb's playground!

Another sweet moment. Pushing his baby sister!

This is us at the shoe store. I only got one because it was MASS CHAOS.
Charley is beyond tired. She is ripping a page out of (an already torn) book. 
Jay is touching everything. 
Charley has already taken just about every shoe off the shelf. 
I am trying to pay.

FRO-YO after the shoe store! 
Just trying to do anything to keep Charley awake!
Are you judging our diet for the day yet?!

Heading home. Charley is OUT. In the car for five seconds. 
That hum just knocks her out. 

I was putting Jay down (early today to overlap with Charley!) and might have fallen asleep.

Charley wakes up after an hour and 45 minutes. 
I can tell she's not really ready to be awake so I rock her back to sleep. 
Then I get to sit in the chair not moving for a long time. And checking things on my phone.
Who needs to get chores done anyway?
At least I am showered (notice the wet hair and eye makeup under my eye!)

ANNNND she's up!
Just like the mornings, we do whatever we can to fill the time while Jay naps. 
Here she is heading to her new favorite place... the bathroom.  

Her new favorite activity!
"TeeTee!!!" though she doesn't go!

And climbing up after to flush it down! 

Still trying to fill the time while Jay sleeps.
Playing some teeball. 
Gotta start 'em young :)

Over to JJ's. 
Our dryer broke. I have oodles of laundry to do.
We headed to my sister's to play and use their washer/dryer. 
They have the most fun place to play anyway!

Charley gets right in there with them!

Cousin love. 
Still there. 
Thankful for sisters who let you overstay your welcome. 

Abnormal night, but mommy is going out!
Dinner with the girls so she was getting ready!!! 
(Insert picture of chaos at home while trying to put on makeup)
(A normal night would be chaos while I was trying to cook dinner)

Shopping at Kendra Scott with my BFF while we wait for our dinner reservations!
Can't get any better than that!
(Normal night- we sit down as a family to eat dinner together. Love this part of my day.)

Dinner with college sorority girlfriends. So fun catching up.
Sadly the only picture of the night. But glad it was with Jill!
 (normal night- Charley is down, we are playing with Jay)

Still at dinner :)
(normal night- one of us is up with Jay- most likely having fallen asleep!)

Still at dinner :)
(normal night- Ant is out, I am watching a tv show or on the computer)

Home and ready to crawl in bed and snuggle the husband. 
He's so good to me!
(Normal night- just like the above!)

Thank you, God, for our beautiful ordinary days. It ain't glamorous, but I love it!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tough Stuff

Y'all, this parenting gig is tough stuff.

I don't know if it's molars coming in (why not just blame the teeth?!) or a strong willed child or a second child/girl thing or something else, but Charley is knocking me on my butt these days!

When we are out and about and with people, she is awesome. Little Miss Social loves to be around people! But when we are home and just doing our thing, it's hard. She gets bored semi-easiliy (as do most toddlers) and needs constant scene changes. No biggie, but when you have another kid and housework to do, that makes it a little tough. She also LOVES to bug her big brother. She knows just what gets him (scratching him and hitting him is her number one form of offense), and she loves to mess with his animals, take his toys/food/drink/clothes and run off with them taunting him.

If I am not holding her, she is crying/screaming. If I am holding Jay/taking him to the bathroom/playing with him, she is screaming/crying. If I am holding her but not doing exactly what she wants to do, she is  screaming/crying.

I am serious- this little lady has thrown me for a loop! For the first time in my life with kids, I feel like I'm a total loss with what to do!


I don't feel like Jay was this tough as a toddler (I know, he's still a toddler, and honestly, I still feel like he's a jillion times easier than CK). He's a pleaser, he's a rule follower, he's sensitive and caring- he never initiates a hit/fight, etc... If we tell him no he usually cries- not because he's mad we are stopping him from doing something wrong, but because he has let us down and his feelings are hurt. This kid is easy.

CK, on the other hand... If we tell her no she busts into full out tantrum mode. She get M-A-D! This chick can throw one.

I know that there were tough times with Jay. Of course, he's so easy right now that I just don't really remember them, but I know he had his moments. On one hand, he was a TOUGH infant. Until about 8 months of age- he was tough. Crying, high needs, rocking/holding/sucking/nursing, screaming... oh, and don't forget that he refused a bottle. Charley was a dream baby. Go with the flow, slept when she could, happy and content, ate anything anywhere anytime... I actually said when she was about four months old, "If I could have 'em all like her, I'd have a dozen more!" Boy, that's funny now!

So I guess what I've learned is that every kid has their deal. Just because you think "that mom" has it together with her kids- there is something that is tough about each and everyone of them. I can promise you that (even if they don't admit it!!).

I'm still trying to figure out Charley Kate and what makes this precious girl tick. I also need to step back and think what I am doing as a parent that is making it worse (not giving her enough warning/time before changing activities, spending more engaging time with her when she starts getting restless (put the laundry up- it can wait!!), stepping back and actually teaching her (like I had the time to do with Jay) instead of just letting her pick things up...). There is SO much I can be doing better. I just know it.

Today I worked really hard at the above things- really really focused on Charley and her needs and the things I did when it was just Jay and me. This was much easier because Jay was at school and then had a friend over- so I could really put a lot of energy into Charley. And you know what? It was her/our best day in THREE WEEKS!

So, note to self, Mom... get your act together and make some changes. These last three weeks sure haven't been working for you.