Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Adaline Mae : 7 & 8 Months (The Fun Begins!)

It's getting more and more difficult to blog in this precious space of mine.

For me, it's by far the most important and meaningful piece of my motherhood duties - to share the happenings of life with my littles. But when life is moving so quickly and being enjoyed so deeply, and when I spend the majority of my creative energy on my business, there is little left for me to pour into my personal blogging like I prefer. And to my sweet Addie, who is in the midst of her first year of life, I'm so very sorry for that.

6 Months

Much has happened in the last two months, and I so desperately want to document each moment because it's going far too quickly for my liking. There has been an amazing amount of growth in all areas, especially in the personality department. Adaline is our sweet cuddle-bug, but she's also developed a little sass. Particularly when it comes to impatience for food (de ja vu?) and the latest refusal in going to bed. From day one this girl has not liked to be left alone when she knows socializing is going on somewhere without her. Lately, she's developed a proclivity to playtime instead of sleep time because gilfriend loves to party. Her dad and I have finally caved and usually give her toys to play with or get her up altogether to play and tucker her out (terrible habit, I'm aware.)

7 months
7 months

Here are a few more things that have happened in the last two months - I just have to say, I LOVE this age. It really is when the fun begins!!

- Baby Bug is in love with three things these days : 1. My red hospital cup - yes. I'm still drinking from that infamous take-home-souvenier from the hospital. And Addie-Bug gets so excited when she sees it - she jabbers on and on as if to tell it a story, chews on it and nearly leaps from her high chair to play with it. 2. Beards - she especially loves Papa's beard and likes to bite it. 3. Flying backwards - this kid laughs in the face of danger and loves being flung backward. Just like her big sis at this age.

- Adaline is the sweetest little thing, and the bond we have is unreal. So much, that the kid refuses to take a bottle. (Bottle training shall be a post for another day). But she reaches her little arms out when she sees me, which makes me want to scoop her up all the time. And she reaches out to touch faces, carefully stroking and staring intently into the eyes of the person holding her. And she's got "the gaze" while I'm nursing her - that sweet, bonding gaze that I don't want to forget. Ever.

7 months

- Lyla and Addie got into their first "fight" this month. It was over a toy that Addie was playing with, when Lyla decided she wanted to play with it instead. So she fulfilled her toddler duty and took it away from the baby of course. I watched all of this unfold and was so happy Addie stood her ground with a lot of kicking and screaming (literally.) The two carried on for a bit and both ended up crying and I finally had to intervene. And Lyla is already tattling on her younger sister letting me know in her whiniest voice that Addie pulled her hairs. #sisters

- Our Bug has been nothing but easy in every aspect...until we introduced solid food. We started at the 6 month mark, and it gave us a bit more trouble than we anticipated. Her first bite was mashed avocado, which she seemed to enjoy, but the rest went downhill from there. We experienced a lot of gagging, which got sort of scary at times. She didn't seem to know what to DO with the food. Teaching a 6 month old to chew and swallow isn't quite as easy as it sounds. But after a lot of persistence and a lot of different textures, she's finally at a point where she grunts and squeals for "more". Her palette has included peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, kiwi, spinach, prunes and pears. But her favorite is gnawing on an apple slice while her big sister eats lunch.

6 months:: (First Food - Avocado!)

- I'd be lying if I said I didn't look forward to our alone time on Tuesdays while Lyla is at Kid's Day Out. Of course I adore our afternoon adventures with the three of us before dad gets home, but I miss one on one time like I got with Ly when she was a babe. Of course I utilize every ounce of Tuesdays to work, but it's also nice to have that special time with Addie.

- She's finally reached the point where it's difficult to take her 1. anywhere during her morning nap (as she no longer sleeps in her carseat) and 2. to any sort of work meeting. It has been so fun having her as my little "co-worker" where she'd nap on the couch next to me or go with me to a coffee meeting. But, we're officially at the point where we have to be home for nap time, and I have to get a babysitter for meetings. Except when we are invited by friends to fun things...then naps are out the window. Second kid has to learn to be flexible. Right?

- We've reached the stranger danger phase. This child rarely cries, but when she does, it's pretty much the same as taking my heart straight from my chest and running it through a blender. It's quite sad. And lately, when she's around others (mostly men) she doesn't know, she looks around in a panic and bursts into tears. It is so sad. Until mom or dad swoops in to the rescue!

7 months

- Everyone everywhere we go comments on how "huge the baby is". I mean everyone. Today, some lady walking into the same building as our swim lessons went on and on about "oh my gosh your baby is so big" and "how much does your baby weigh" and "how do you carry her carseat". Sure, she's a roly poly and has cheeks for weeks, but she's not that big. And yes, I do try to eat her cheeks and delicious rolls. All day.

- I nearly die from all the sleepy cuteness when it's time to wake up in the morning. Seriously, why did we never have a sleep sack with Lyla? I just might keep Addie in hers until she's 7 because of the sweetness. Oh and then there's that sweet baby breath smell - yes, she still has it. And I'm not afraid to get up in there and smell all day long. *swoon*

7 months

- Can we talk about physical gross motor movement for a second? We are not used to a mobile baby. Sweet Baby Ly was happy sitting all the livelong day until she crawled at 12 months. TWELVE MONTHS. I mean, we never baby proofed our house with Lyla. Oh,  but Addie Babe is a different story. This one has been scooting backwards for about a month now and often gets stuck under chairs and tables. And she most definitely is not content just "sitting" like her big sis was. She wants to go! and move! and be in on action! Our little party animal.

7 months

- Addie is our more outgoing babe, and girlfriend loves to chatter. I'm desperately trying to get her to say mama, instead she just says "gee-gee-gee-gee" all day, everyday. Lyla thinks it's pretty much the most hilarious thing on earth and loves trying to teach her new "words".

Have I mentioned I love having sisters?

Have I also mentioned I love this phase. Let the fun continue!

8 months

Friday, May 8, 2015

The Sweet Life.


So sweet. Sometimes bitter.

So emotionally scattered. And so completely wonderful.

I'm sad for my absence on this personal little blog of my mine, really since Adaline's birth. Or actually, more since I hopped on the entrepreneur train and started a business with a two year old and a two month old at home. There have been so many times I've desperately wanted to listen to my begging spirit and write about all that's going on. But instead, I pour my energy and creativity into the rest of my day, leaving my brain vacant and incoherent after the girls go to bed.

Life has been busy. And exciting. And incredibly sweet. And hard. But I'm not even sure I could begin to explain all that's gone on in the last six months. SIX MONTHS. I just can't even believe how quickly the span of months flies by.

The few times I have stopped, if even for a moment, I've felt such raw sadness at the passing of time. Like I haven't fully captured every adorably mispronounced word spoken by Lyla or the way Adaline gazes intently and reaches out for our faces. I can't help but feel that I'm living to check off the to-dos, lost in the whirlwind of schedules and meetings and laundry and feedings. But life keeps going, regardless of the fact that I'd like it to pause. It's busy for us, and everyone else I know, and doesn't appear to be slowing down anytime soon.

But this time period has also been so very sweet. I've never in my life been so sure of a decision, with me getting to stay home with the girls. I'm living a dream I never knew existed in my heart - so grateful to be home, while also building a business and relationships in a community I've grown to love so much.  

I'm thankful for so many things that staying home has given me.

Our slow-to-rise mornings, that ironically begin before 6 am. Lyla's eagerness for breakfast immediately upon waking. Her desire to help make my morning coffee {but only after demanding to sit on the counter, while checking her and Adaline's seedlings we planted in pots on the windowsill.} Staring at Adaline while she takes her morning nap, kissing her and taking in that sweet baby scent that I never want to forget. Listening to the girls play while Lyla talks in her best "mommy voice", telling Addie to be careful and good job rolling over. Getting the out of nowhere I wuv you, Mommy and Hug me Mommy. Receiving the reassuring baby smiles that let me know I am everything to my babes. Toting my baby buddy with me to meetings and coffee dates and bible study.

I try to remember those moments over the 20 minute maddening where's-your-other-shoe hunts when we're running 20 minutes late. Or the dead-weight, drop to the floor like a wet noodle tantrums. Or when both girls are crying hysterically, which then makes me cry hysterically (at least on the inside).

Another something that has made my heart so full lately is the time spent with my mom, the girls' Grams. This quality time has been so precious as it's something we rarely got when I was growing up, due to never-ending work demands. But, we've been making up for lost time, and it's been so special to see the bond forming between my mom and the girls. Lyla runs around in circles, and yells throughout the house "GRAMS IS HERE" the moment she sees her car pulling up in the driveway, knowing that it's time for Monday morning story time. They run errands together, eat lunch together and Lyla always comes home to tell me all the people she prayed for with Grams.

So getting the completely unexpected and heartbreaking call that my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last week shook me to my core. Gabe was out of town, and the only other person I wanted to talk to was my mom. Which didn't seem quite right, so I really just held myself together during the day, only to surrender to my emotions at night after the girls were asleep.

My mom has cancer. And we're in that incredibly frustrating phase of tests and waiting for results. Weighing pros and cons of all options and praying for guidance and strength. Hopeful for a strong, healthy life with family and grandkids.

But that doesn't make it any less scary. It's been hard. And an unwelcome interruption in this sweet time of life.

But life is life. And it has a mind of its own.

So here we are, juggling and balancing, leaning on faith and each other, and enjoying all of our moments.

Because every moment with the people I love is a treasure. And this life is sweet and one I'm so very thankful to be living.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Adaline Mae : 6 Months (I'm Sorry. Come Again?)

I can't believe it either.

Halfway to the year mark. I remember Lyla's first year going fast. But nothing like this first year with my sweet baby bug.

It honestly stings. Hard.

But this age. Oh, this age is oh so sweet. Just like every other age and stage that I adore so much. Adaline is 100% smiles for miles and cheeks for weeks. I don't think she's ever not smiling. Or talking. Or flailing her chubby baby legs in excitement. I have a feeling she may just be our vibrant wild child.

And it's so fun seeing the differences between her and her big sister. Both such unique personalities and equally fun and special in their own way. But there is one thing they definitely have in common - they adore each other. It's so touching to see their sister bond starting at such a young age. I love it more than anything.

This has been a significant month all around. Several firsts, so many changes, so much FUN!

- This little gal has her social pants on all day everyday. Big sis Lyla was smiley and talkative with those she knew well, but Adaline jabbers and squeals and makes happy yells all the livelong day! She loves all living things and likes to party. My mom tells me all the time that Adaline is so similar to how I was as a baby. I think we may have a mini-me on our hands.

- She loves listening to music and her sister's silly songs. She mimics by singing da-da-da-da all day long. I'm pretty sure "dad" will be her first word. And that's ok. Because Lyla said ma-ma first. ;)

- I flew solo for the first time with baby to go meet up with Gabe while he traveled for work. Even with a suitcase, a duffle bag and a really chunky baby, I honestly wasn't nervous one bit. She did outstanding. Much better than our trip to San Francisco because sweet babe wasn't sick this time around. I nursed her at takeoff and landing, she napped the entire flight and I read my chapter for bible study AND got some work done. I was seriously more productive than in a two week span at home.

- I'm so happy we had some one on one time with Adaline in Atlanta while Lyla "vacationed" at BOTH sets of grandparents'. It was such a treat to give her undivided attention. Plus, she got to play with her newest little buddy, Liam while mom and dad had adult time. {HOW did I ever think having one child was hard? It was such a breeze.}

- Addie-babe sprouted her FIRST TOOTH this month. I noticed it after she bit down on my finger. And honestly, I had a hunch the week before because she had a super fussy day, which is completely unlike her. I had a moment of panic because I sort of forgot how to handle fussy babies. So, I gave her some baby Tylenol, Hyland teething tablets and Lyla's old amber teething necklace. Didn't really think about it again. Until a few days later, that little sucker broke through. Then, just before our trip to Atlanta, I noticed her SECOND TOOTH. I may have shed a tear. I'm not quite ready for all these changes.

- I can't believe I haven't mentioned this yet. Girlfriend sleeps with her eyes OPEN. Did you know that's a thing? I googled it. We're talking wide-open. And it is terrifying. One afternoon as I was checking on her during nap time, she was "looking" right at me with glazed over eyes. I ran over to the crib and shook her and started yelling like a crazy woman, and she woke up. She had been in a deep sleep! GiGi and Bots witnessed it too one night when they were babysitting. Super creepy.

- Little miss personality loves to bend backwards. She does this for two reasons 1. to try to get out of whatever seated position she's in and 2. To make eye contact with you if she's faced outward. I'm not quite sure how she does it exactly. But she twists and bends into the most uncomfortable looking position so that she's upside-down looking you straight in the eye. It's hilarious and adorable.

- I was caught completely off guard this month when our little Bug started rolling over. I left her on her playmat, went into the kitchen for something, and came back to find her on her belly. Now, she does it in her crib all the time and sometimes gets stuck. So we obviously stopped swaddling. It was just so surprising because Lyla didn't roll until super late, and even when she did, it was only a handful of times. Addie is a lot more...motivated than her big sis. She scoots all over her crib and tries to get out of every seat we put her in, making it so we have to belt her in to everything. I don't think we buckled Lyla EVER (except for the carseat). We'll probably also have to baby proof the house with this one.

- Last month, she was all about the hands. This month is, what big sis likes to call, "her little feets". Oh how she LOVES those feet sweet baby toes.

- Nursing is still going great. I try to pump every now and again to stock up on bottles so mama can have some time away. But just like I did with Lyla, I don't respond well to pumping and get a very sad little amount. Which makes me so thankful to not have to be working full time and stressed about pumping. But she is entering the distracted phase which means she'll only focus when it's dark and quiet - too many other exciting things going on to eat!

- I remember Lyla doing this exact same catch-you-off-guard move. Addie sneak attacks by grabbing nearby body parts and gnawing on whatever is in front of her. I'll be cuddling with her and think she's asleep and BOOM. She starts eating my face or chomping my arm. She also grabs hair and cheeks really hard. I'll hear Lyla saying from the other room "Oww! Please stop. PLEASE STOP."

- Sleeping is going great too. Aside from when she's sick {and wakes every.single.hour.}Addie goes down around 7 and wakes up around 7 or 7:30. She's never really been a rockstar napper though. This could be due to the fact that we're out and about a lot, and she's not given the princess sleep treatment like Lyla received. Poor second baby. :( I do always try to make sure we're home for at least two really solid naps though. And she doesn't seem to complain. About anything. Ever.

Happy six months, sweet Bug. Goodness, this little ol' heart of mine is full to the brim.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Adaline Mae: 5 Months

My worst (non-tragic and non-emergency) nightmare came true this past week.

I've been slacking in many areas of life since Adaline has been born, especially when it comes to documenting big milestones and firsts. But I've also cut myself some slack as it's been a rather busy and stressful season of life. And to my credit, although not blogging as much, I've still been keeping track of every smile, giggle, coo and first on my collect photo journal app on my phone. So technically, I've been doing my job as resident historian. It's just looked different than it did with Lyla.

However. I got a new phone last week. And unbeknownst to me, this app's data and information is connected to each individual phone, not the app itself (unlike just about every other app the world uses that's connected to the app, not the phone.) So I lost everything. Every note, every exact moment I tracked when Adaline reached a new milestone or a new first. All gone.

I seriously felt like I got sucker punched in the gut.

But I also learned a huge lesson that day: Read the fine print (this app TELLS you that you have to do some special downloading and blah blah blah before you wipe your phone...for a price, of course).

Not only did I lose all information on our Bug's first 5 months of life, but this past month and a half really was such a blur. We had two *really* sick kids, an unexpected hospital visit, Gabe drove through one of the worst ice storms of all time to Nashville, I launched a website and hosted a launch party for my new business, and we flew out for a family wedding in San Francisco...all in a two week span.

Talk about worst timing ever.

Anyway. Life is finally starting to feel a little more normal, and I am re-committed to blogging about my sweet second baby's first year. We're over illnesses, everyone is sleeping through the night again and Lyla is completely potty trained (even #2 after seven brutal months and even wakes us in the middle of the night to go potty).

So, I'm back on track, Sweet Baby Bug!

And believe it or not, I did still manage to take a few notes of happenings over the last month.

- Addie does two *adorable* things that I vividly remember Lyla doing at this age. Without a moment's notice, she "sneak attacks" and starts chomping on fingers, hair, shoulders or anything within reach. This kid loves to aggressively chew on everything. She also started scratching the nursery chair while I nurse her. She loves to hear the sound it makes. And her big sister used to do the exact same thing.

- This kid has the best deep-from-the-gut belly laugh. Getting her to laugh is probably the funnest thing in the whole wide world at the moment. Lyla loves it too, and she can get Adaline to laugh harder than anyone else can by blowing on her belly. Those laughs. I just can't.

- She found her hands this month! There is just something about those hands that she can't get enough of. She sucks on them, stares at them, plays with them, and talks to them. Hands all the livelong day.

- Girlfriend also found her tongue and is pretty adamant about showing it off!

- It's so cute and miraculous when babies start doing something new. We've really noticed over the past month or two how much she loves playing. Playing with Samson and Lyla is her jam, and she has a new awareness for all her toys. It's so cute to see her look at a toy, reach for it and go to town playing. Wasn't she just a newborn who could barely make eye contact?

- The death grip has arrived and has a special hankering for hair. Ouch! Poor sweet Lyla loves to get on the floor and play with Addie, but then I'll hear a panicked "MOMMYYY Adawine has my hair!"

- Baby girl went on her first airplane ride and family vacation this month. Despite being pretty sick, she was a fabulous traveler to and from San Fran. She did a lot of nursing, snuggling, sleeping...and some crying too. But all around, we were pretty impressed. And though she wasn't a huge fan of the Ergo Baby Carrier at first, she became a believer by the end of the trip. It was so fun toting her around the city, and she adored that it made her nice and cozy up against our chests. Goodness, I love this snuggle bug.

- It was also baby's first time being away from mama AND first time for dad alone with both girls. It was a little nerve-racking because the night before I was supposed to leave for a quick weekend trip, we found out both girls were exposed to Influenza A. We had our first real parental "big decision" to make because our doctor wanted us to give both girls the Tamiflu as a preventative measure. But after finding out the side affects can be much worse than the flu itself, we decided last-minute not to give the meds to them. Everything turned out okay in the end, but I was so nervous to leave my babies. But I also really needed this getaway more than anything. So, I left the girls with Gabe and went on a quick trip to Manhattan to celebrate my sorority's 100 year anniversary. {Things I thought I'd never do : pump with sorority sisters in the parking lot of our alumni center.} Mama got just the rejuvenation she needed...and the girls remained flu free!

- This little lady is quite the sleeper and has been from day one. Her last feeding is around 7, and I put her right down until she wakes around 7 or 7:30 the next morning. However, this month we hit a big regression due to illness and travel. So she was waking every hour. Oh my heavenly stars, you don't remember how miserable that is until you get used to a superstar sleeper! But we're finally back on track and sleeping through the night again. Naps are pretty hit or miss as she's never been an amazing napper. She'd just much rather be socializing than snoozing and truly can't stand when she hears Lyla and I having fun without her. But when she does nap, she's out cold. And I find myself staring at her for a good 20 minutes.

- This sweet little angel is quite the talker. {I have no idea who on earth she would get that from}. She talks in her bed to put herself to sleep, she squeaks and squawks and can make all kinds of loud noises in the most quiet of places...like church. And she's started saying da-da-da-da. But it's ok because Lyla said mom first...so I guess I'll let Dad have his turn. ;)

- Adaline is second child through and through. She's incredibly laid back, doesn't get the luxury of a quiet house, has gotten somewhat used to napping on-the-go, and is exposed to things I never would have dreamed of with Lyla. For instance, I catch her staring at the TV if Lyla is watching a show while I respond to a few emails...something I would have had a heart attack over with Lyla. But on the flip side, she also has a much more relaxed mom who doesn't google absurd things, isn't worried that she's not rolling over yet, and is much more mentally present. You win some, you lose some.

- I'd have to say my most favorite thing at the moment is how excited sweet baby bug gets when someone shows her attention. She loses all control of arm, leg and smile muscles. Those arms and legs get to flapping about, letting us know she can barely contain the excitement. {Once again, no clue who she gets her enthusiasm from}.

I promise to do better in the coming months, sweet Bug. We love you dearly and want to capture every little thing you do!

Happy Five Months!

Monday, March 23, 2015

First Family of Four "Vacation"

Well, we survived.

And by "survived", I mean that we all made it back home in one piece with all limbs in tact.

That may sound a tad melodramatic. But, if I had to sum up our first trip as a family of four in two words, they would be whirlwind and exhausting.

We flew to San Francisco, which is one of our favorite cities. But when you add in two *very* sick kids, wedding festivities and packing your entire house for a four day trip which really only ends up being two days due to two full travel days, it tends to take the romanticism out of the idea of a "family vacation".

Aside from Lyla throwing up in the middle of the night our first night there and Addie waking every hour all three nights, we really did make the best of the little time we had to explore. We got to spend some quality time with family, and my brother-in-law's wedding was an exquisite affair complete with an oyster bar, orange grove-lined aisles and Lady GaGa's hairstylist.

Leading up to the event, I had been prepping Lyla for her very important role as flower girl. All she talked about for weeks was "riding the airplane to go to Uncle Zac's wedding". And she was so excited to wear and twirl in "Lyla's pretty sparkle dress"and couldn't wait to walk down that aisle with Bots (Gabe's dad, who was the only person allowed to look at or hold her on the day of the big event).

After all the prepping and excitement of getting her ready to walk down the aisle, I was pretty devastated when the wedding coordinator forgot about me, and I missed her big entrance. It still makes me tear up when I think about it. And because she was so crabby from being sick and being pushed a bit too much with all the hustle and bustle of travel, I don't really have any good pictures of her as flower girl. :(

But all things considered, the girls did a fantastic job overall. Poor Lyla girl has never been able to sleep in cars or planes, so that always gets interesting at the end of flights. But, she really did great. I imagine it wouldn't have been so great had we not had grandparents on our flights. Especially Bots.

They sure are lifesavers, those grandparents. My mom and stepdad really came through and helped prevent a nervous breakdown the day of the wedding. I was by myself tending to two terribly fussy kiddos. They both woke from their naps screaming, and I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to get the three of us ready and to the wedding venue on time. My mom came in and saved the day, rocking the baby, calming and dressing the toddler, and assuring me that it would all work out. And it did.

And my in-laws? They gave us the best gift we could have ever been given. They watched the girls the night we arrived in San Fran so we could have a date night and go out with my brother-in-law and his bride to be! This much needed treat couldn't have come at a better time, after two very long months of not leaving the house due to sick kids. We had so much fun getting to know their old hood in North Beach, including their pals and my bro's sweet coffee shop. Such a San Francisco treat.

The day we were able to get out a bit was so delightful. It made me remember how much I love city life - the walking, the sights (the smells? not so much), the energy. I love it. Unfortunately, due to crankiness and the mad-rush to get back to our hotel so the kids could squeeze in a nap before the rehearsal, we weren't able to get to the Golden Gate OR ride a trolley (momtographer devastation). But you know what? This trip only reassured me that it's really not wise to have expectations in parenthood, and by goodness, you better learn to be flexible. Especially when it comes to travel.

But we sure soaked up every little moment of that refreshing coastal breeze and sunshine.

We had fabulous food and drink at the rehearsal, and Lyla got THE coolest flower girl gift. She felt pretty proud.

The first time the sibs have been together since OUR WEDDING...in 2006!

The night of the actual wedding was a blur. I remember thinking I had never seen more beautiful flower arrangements, and that my steak was phenomenal. The bride was stunning, the venue was incredible. I drank some wine, danced with my sister in law, and felt so proud when Gabe gave his best man speech. Oh. And I had to take my entire dress completely off to nurse Adaline in the women's restroom. And the bench was nailed to the ground, so I had to sit in front of the door. So, that was awkward. And I was sure hoping Lyla would cut a rug on the dance floor, but she was more than done by that point of the night. Understandably so since it was really midnight "her time" by the time the dance started. So, I took the kiddos back to the hotel. And we somehow made it up the next morning to catch our flight. 

Blur, I tell you. 

This. This is the lone picture we got as a family of four at the wedding we had been prepping for for months. In the back dressing room. After I missed Lyla's grand entrance. After Adaline pooped all the way up her neck. #parenthood

It was a whirlwind of a trip, and I do wish we would have been able to stay longer. 

But, we survived. And the first thing I said when we got home was "I need a vacation."