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.


- 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.


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.


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.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Little Years

Life has really picked up speed lately.

Much of the day is chaotic and abuzz, but it really is a welcomed change of pace. And although I'm still trying to get the hang of working from home with a toddler and a baby, I really like it. I'm in my element - home with my babies while still flexing my brain muscles and social skills.

But I must admit, I've lost my patience more than usual. I'm constantly going. And many days, it feels like Gabe and I are passing ships in the night. Sometimes, it's 2:00 in the afternoon, and I truly have to think hard to remember if I ate or not that day. And I have had to completely let go of the fact that the house always has at least one layer of dog hair and dinner is more often than not something that requires less than 3 ingredients and a crock pot. {Oh. and the fact that the chalkboard in our living room still says "have a holly jolly christmas"}. I bring that up not to say, "look how busy I am", but to remind myself that I've come so far in my journey to slow down and be more intentional. And I do believe it's possible to be fulfilled by working and having a full schedule from time to time, while still being intentional with my time and focusing on my family.

Addie's lovely Sip and See thrown by special friends

And that is exactly why it is so important for me to continue documenting these "little years". But man is it hard to have enough creative energy to sit down at the end of the day to pump out a blog post. However, it is a priority for me because we so quickly forget the everyday.

Have you read this post that's been circulating lately? I loved it. Great advice from empty-nesters. I especially loved that they talked about recording the ordinary, the mundane. Because those really are the things we forget too quickly.

I never want to forget...

- the way Lyla says "eh" before every sentence. "eh, that's dad's oatmeal. eh, there are bubbles on it. eh strawberries in my yogurt."

- how the girls already seem to have a secret language. Lyla sweetly tells Adaline, "Ok. Don't drop it" when referring to the pile of toys she sat on top of her. And Adaline adoringly looks up at her big sister, cooing and gurgling.

- the way Lyla exerts her independence by putting her palm up and saying "No MOM, leave. I'm playing." Or how she tells me "leave mommy" every morning so she can finish reading her books in bed.

- how Addie has been dishing out deep, belly laughs. They make the entire room light up with laughter - big sis included.

- how Lyla wants everyone to be happy. If I say, "you're making mom sad", she quickly responds with "NO. Mom is HAPPY."

- the moment anyone makes eye contact with Addie, she breaks out into a smile that makes my cheeks hurt.

- when i ask lyla how school was, she always responds with the simple word, very confidently: "fwiends."

- how Lyla asks us to sing Jingle Bells every single night before bed. {Maybe she's taking cues from our overdue chalkboard?}

- and begs us every night to "snuggle, Dad. snuggle, Mom."

- how peanut butter crackers and vitamins are Lyla's most favorite things on the planet right now.

- how Lyla loves to cover Adaline with any material she can find, mostly fabric squares and bubble wrap

- how the world stops when I sit in bed and read with my girls, both of them warmly snuggled on both sides of me
- - - - 

These little moments are why I exist. And I'm going to document them, even if it means I lose more sleep than I already am.

c'est la vie.