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." 



Friday, February 20, 2015

Lyla Isabell: 2.5 Years

Miss Lyla Isabell Beans, Queen of the Green Household, is 2.5 years old.

Motherhood is such a strange thing. Because, I sit here a bit misty eyed thinking how quickly time is going, pleading for it to slow down. Better yet, stop, so I can catch a breath. Yet, I also find myself nudging time to go ahead and get a move on, thinking, "this too shall pass" {usually right in the midst of a train-wreck temper tantrum}.

But mostly, I'd like time to stand still.

Since that won't happen, here is my best attempt to accurately describe Lyla Beans at this exact moment in time.

As of today, at her 2.5 year wellness check, she is 35 inches (32%) and 30 lb 2 oz (66%). She went from hanging out in the 80 percentile range for weight her whole life to 60th in the last six months. Want to know what also happened in the last six months? She stopped going to day care and GiGi and Bots house on a daily basis. Coincidence? We'll let the halt of mac&cheese and crackers do the talking.



Personality

- To be completely honest, we are often perplexed by our Sweet Beans' personality. Mostly because it's double-sided. There is the sweet, quiet, well-behaved, independent, good-listening Lyla. {Fortunately, this is the side that most everyone sees. Especially school and friends.}

- And then there is the needy, whiny, tantrum-throwing, sister-hitting, hysterical-crying Lyla. This Lyla is usually saved for Mom and Dad. And I suppose these qualities are evidence that she is indeed a two year old. Plus, there are really only two culprits that bring out "the dark side": tiredness and illness. Or an experience of discomfort of any kind, really. Fair enough.

- I find it so sweet that Lyla exhibits the same defining characteristics that we noticed way back when she was a baby, maybe 9 or 10 months old. A few words to describe her: cautious, aware, intentional, thoughtful, easy-going, and very low maintenance. She is definitely slow to warm up to new situations, but once she does, she's the life of the party. And she absolutely under no circumstance likes to be the center of attention. It took her a solid 3 months before she opened up in her Kids Day Out program - the teachers thought she couldn't talk...until she wouldn't stop!


- I am most certainly confident that Lyla will be our introvert. This is a beautiful quality that I plan to nourish and nurture as her mother and something I am learning to work with day by day {said the extreme extrovert}. She is easily over-stimulated, prefers one-on-one activities over large groups, desperately needs her alone time, and enjoys quiet activities like reading over vigorous and physical play.

- There's also this incredibly sweet and silly side to Lyla. She loves to laugh and loves making others laugh even more. If she's in a room full of adults who are laughing, she immediately chimes in and says "Lyla's funny!" And then there is this mischievous side to her, a side where she tries her absolute hardest not to smile and instead has the cutest little smirk on her face.



The Big Adjustment: Bringing Home Baby Sister

- Sweet Beans had to master the skill of being adaptable when we brought home Baby Adaline in October. She was used to being the center of everyone's world, as she's the only grandchild on both sides. Oh dear heavens did we go through an adjustment period. In fact, I think we're still going through it most days.

- I think Lyla gets confused by her emotions on this one. She adores Adaline - loves to share her snacks with her, shows her craft projects she's working on, talks to her, bosses her around, and covers her with blankets. But then she also gets enraged when I'm nursing the baby or when someone like Bots or Dad is holding Adaline. Enraged. Typical sister stuff, I suppose.

- Oh how my heart skips a beat with this whole sister bond thing is happening right before my eyes. They totally adore each other, adjustment period and all. Lyla likes to show Adaline the ropes and Adaline thinks her big sister hung the moon. Even when Lyla sits on her face or "burps" her a bit too hard.


- We've finally gotten into a routine with the whole paying attention to the toddler while Mama nurses the baby. For the longest time, Lyla would burst into tears, cause destruction, or decide she needed to go potty right when I would sit down to nurse. Now, she likes to join us by sitting in the rocker while I feed the babe and read her favorite stories.

Lyla-isms

Oh the tiny, soft, girly voice of Miss Beans - I don't think I've ever heard anything sweeter. And she's says the cutest things.

- I love how she remembers and can recall things. We'll ask what she did at GiGi's house or at school or at church, and she can tell us exactly what it was that she did. "At church, I play airplane (no clue what that even means), I see fwiends, I eat snack, I sing Jesus loves me."

- For the longest time after I had Adaline, Lyla would go around the house saying, "Mommy belly bye bye. Where is it?"

- Her favorite sayings: "there's bubbles on it"(referring to anything she sees that has bubbles: milk, bathtub, juice, pee in the toilet) and "at's a BIG boogie/bite/sandwich" (everything is HUGE to her).

-  She has become such a little mommy lately. She'll nurse her babies and say "shh. shh. shh. Right there." or "Froggy, go to timeout. We do not hit mom." (hmm. I wonder where she's heard this?)


- She went through a phase where she was having frequent nightmares. Gabe would go in and she would say over and over again in her super cute toddler groggy state, "that's a big tiger, Dad.  or "A big gorilla, Dad."  Finally, after months of reassuring her, this has changed to, "Tiger can't get you. Gorilla can't get you."

- The only way to get her to brush her teeth is by telling her all the food we see in her mouth. She loves it. She'll open really wide and say, "I see a chip. I seeeeee green beans. I seeeee pizza".

- "Hold you". We hear this all day everyday.

- Favorite mispronunciations: "tankles" (tangles), "chichen" (kitchen) and sparsles (sparkles). Oh and of course "Adawine". ;)

- It absolutely amazes me that she knows all of our adult friends' names. The other day, she saw a picture of a bunch of our friends and named every person in the photo. Even people she's only met a few times. And she knows the names of all of her friends' parents. I have no idea how.

- Lately, she's been saying to me, "You're so pretty, Mama." I mean, I can't.


- Our little observer loves to tell us where things are. "MOM! The moon's waaaaay up there." "DAD! Samson's over there. What's he doin?"

- When she's trying to make a decision, she'll think for a moment and say, "How bout..."

Lyla Loves

- putting on makeup with Mom. (where I pretend to dip my makeup brushes in actual makeup and let her brush it on her face)

- cooking/baking/coffee making. Oh this excites me so much. Maybe there is hope for someone in this family to be domestic! But this kid could be in the middle of a hurricane temper-tantrum, and she immediately stops if we offer to let her help us make breakfast where she helps to "stir, stir, stir" or uses the French press to make our coffee where she helps to "Lyla pour in beans".


- helping with chores. SCORE on this one. She loves to "help" fold the laundry, feed the dogs, vacuum, dust and any other daily chore. Of course she ends up making more of a mess, which takes everything in my control freak nature to let go, but she sure loves to help.

- reading. She probably reads as much as she sleeps. Which is a lot. She goes through phases where she wants to read the same books over and over. For awhile it was "Brown Bear, Brown Bear" - she could recite every word to that book. Now, it's "The Places You Go" and a nursery rhyme book that she calls "The Cow Jump Over the Moon".

- outside. Man, winter time is so unfortunate. This kid lo-o-o-oves to be outside. If it's above 40 degrees, we typically find a way to make it outside. She is an overall happier kid when she can play!

- music. Oh my word, does Miss Beans love music. She loves music class, begs for us to turn up the "shoo-sic" in the car, and asks at least 4 times a week to have a dance party in the living room. And she stalls for a good 30 minutes every night at bedtime because she loves songs so much. The best is when she asks for a song, like ABC's, and then she belts out Jesus Loves Me while I sing ABC's. Her favorites are: "Up Above the World so High" (Twinkle Twinkle), "Children" (Jesus Loves the Little Children), "Let it Shine" (This Little Light of Mine), and "Do the Right Thing" (that is the actual title! Dad sings this one). But her all-time favorite is Jingle Bells.

- "more teekle". This kid would be tickled 24 hours a day if we had the energy.

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Oh, life with a two year old. It's so sweet and sour, and I completely understand why someone coined the term "terrible twos".

There's never a dull moment, that's for sure.

Below are some of my most favorite pictures of all time, captured by my sweet friend, Ali. These were taken when Lyla was brand new to the big sis role - 9 days after Adaline was born. And they are treasures.