Sunday, January 17, 2016

Lately : The Girls

So the chaos and the ridiculously overflowing plate has carried over into 2016. I had a feeling it might, and that's exactly why I set personal intentions instead of resolutions this year. So I don't set myself up for failure. 

But I am committed, as much as humanly possible, to document these sweet babes of mine and these precious and lightening-speed little years.

LYLA LATELY (3 years) :

Lyla is such an oldest child in every way, always taking care of her little sis while at the same time wearing her favorite pair of bossy pants. And it has been so fun to watch her develop and grow into 50% me and 50% Gabe. She's particular, can't stand when things are out of order, and is the biggest rule follower I've ever met (besides myself and my mom). We get a lot of correction lately, "Hey Dad, did you wash that apple? and "No, I'm not cute, I'm Lyla Green" and "NO! I can't have a banana until after I poop because it will hurt my tummy." But then on the flip side, she's never in a rush (at a painful measure), can't stand mornings, and often asks for quiet time or "a little rest".

Just like her dad.

And though two years was quite difficult with potty training and a new baby, three years has its own sets of challenges. (Though I much prefer over age two). But the tantrums, the constant negotiations, the emotions - all sky high, and I often find myself asking if this is real life. While at the same exact time, she says the sweetest things, and I want to bottle every ounce of her up.

Some recent Lyla-isms include :

- I'm the wine weader. - while putting her hands on her back and walking around the house, pushing Addie (and everyone else) out of the way to move to "the front of the line". Even on the way to the kitchen or bathroom. 

- Ok, I'll snuggle myself. - overheard after GiGi told her that her extra long period of snuggle time was over and it was time for her nap.

- Mom. What are you eating? Oh! I like pancakes/ketchup/(whatever it is I'm eating). Literally, anything I'm eating, she is quite enthusiastic over. 

- *yells from bathroom* HEY MOM. Can you come get Addie and shut the door? I need my private seat (privacy)." Already prepping us all for the teenage years. 

- I dropped my candy cane yesterday. Actually, I dropped it...hmm...two weeks ago. (it was actually earlier that day). Her little concept of time is so hilariously cute. Everything is either before or after nap or before or after lunch. 

- Can I wear my "Ballet : Tuesdays and Thursdays" shirt? referencing her favorite shirt that actually says "Ballet : All Day Everyday."

- She and Gabe have a new ritual after dinner - cracking and eating nuts. She can name every one. 

- *While making the "shh" face* Mom! I'm on the phone with my work. (HA! I guess she gets this a lot). 

ADALINE LATELY (14 Months) : 

Sweet Addie Bug is at that sweet, attached to mom, learning-explosion stage, but she complains a lot, has been really fussy and is desperate to be held all day. I think a lot of it comes from the fact that she's had 4 molars coming in for the last month, and she can't figure out how to tell us what she wants which INFURIATES her.

But there are so many fun things I want to remember about this stage : 

- She's *sort of* walking! A whole month earlier than her big sis, but she's still wobbly and tends to drop to her knees to crawl to get where she needs to go much faster. 

- This kid practically has a full set of teeth. And they have been making her miserable. Hoping we get a break from these nasty molars soon. 

- Praise JESUS I have a snuggler. She gives the sweetest cuddles and dives right into your face when you ask for "nuzzles". And she loves rubbing foreheads and lays her head on the shoulder of anyone who holds her. I mean, I'm dead.

- This little lady is our dare devil who is curious about everything and has the bruises all over her body to prove it. And there is nothing she refuses to climb - chairs, the couch, the window sill - anything that she can climb on, she does and will. 

- This socialite butterfly loves to show off her huge grin while saying Hi to everyone she sees. Then she waves "bye" when it's time for bed, or all done, or we're leaving.

- She knows how to whine and complain and throw tantrums already. She has quite the temper and gets so angry when she points to something and we don't get it for her RIGHTNOW. But then she's happy as can be when you finally give her what she wants - like her toothbrush, so she can brush like mom and big sis. 

- She's obsessed with playing with my eyelashes.

- She loves to clap, sing, and dance - pretty much loves all things music. And she swings her legs back and forth when Gabe dances with her.

- She L-O-V-E-S putting things away like "the big kids" and claps for herself.

- She has a signature high pitched "mmm" (with an inflection like she's asking a question) and points to anything she wants - books or food or things she wants us to name or get for her.

No matter how nuts life is, these times are the absolute best! Now if only I could slow down for 3 seconds to savor them.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Christmas + 2015 Madness

Hang on.

Let me catch my breath.

Ok. So, 2015 was a shit show.

Yes. I just swore for the first time ever on this sweet and horribly neglected family blog (hi mom). But you know something? There is no more appropriate way to describe this past year. It was fast, furious, overwhelming, exciting, intense, sad, rewarding, the biggest learning curve of my life, and an all around blurry hurricane.

Without sounding ungrateful, I'm very ready to be done with 2015. I love the start of a new year, mostly because of the lazy power-down period between Christmas and New Years, but also because it forces me to hit the reset button.

Well, most years.

To be honest, I'm still buried deep in the game of catch up in just about every area of life, so my clean slate isn't so clean this year. But I'm sure going to make the best of the chaos and maybe even make some time for goal setting before Monday morning, when real life stings with its rude awakening.

A few things I'm hoping to implement to help get my life back in control is to start waking up at 5 am, setting clear work boundaries (working from home with two little ones is far from the walk in the park it seems), letting go of my pride (and frugal ways) by pulling the trigger on hired help in various areas, and making more time for me. That last one is a must. This past week, I used a massage gift card from MOTHER'S DAY for Pete's sake, and the massage therapist told me it was like Fight Club with all the toxins and knots in my neck and back.

But the last two weeks have been so lovely. I completely unplugged for Christmas Eve and Day for the first time since January, and it was dreamy.

The holiday festivities were more fun and rewarding than they've ever been because, children. The joy is so contagious! Some of this year's favorites were cocoa and carriage rides at Bradley Fair, our annual watching a movie and "spending the night" by the Christmas tree, and hopping in The Green Fam Polar Express (aka Honda CRV) for a Christmas light tour around Wichita.

Lyla talked about "the dancing lights" for weeks.

The holidays were kicked off with Lyla's first preschool Christmas program, and I'm absolutely positive there is nothing cuter in the world than a bunch of 3 year old's singing "Go Tell it on the Mountain". We got off to a rough start though. Lyla walked in as the "line leader", waving and beaming - she was so proud and excited to see us. But, she lost her shoe in the shuffle and started crying while all the kids filed up on stage. She was so embarrassed.

Thank goodness for her sweet preschool director who told her another girl lost her shoe too. Lyla immediately stopped crying and proudly went up to the stage. Break my dang heart.

She also felt pretty special for her fancy date night with Mom and Dad to go see The Nutcracker. We were skeptical a three year old could sit through a ballet, but she loved it. She asked questions throughout the entire show - Who is that? The mouse king isn't scary? Where are their tap shoes?

Both girls loved the holiday carriage rides, despite the 2 hour wait in the FREEZING cold. Lyla felt pretty rad that she got her own special almond milk cocoa and was so excited to pet the horse. And Addie thought she was big stuff getting to stay up late to watch a movie in her big kid chair.

After three Christmases with children, I've finally caught on to PLAN AHEAD. Sort of. We're usually left scrambling at the last minute for gifts, tools, batteries, and butter. But this year, I *tried* to plan as much as possible. I still saved all my grocery shopping until the day before Christmas Eve - which left me with a bunch of baking substitutes and fat free cheese.

We went to our church's Christmas Eve service, and Lyla was so excited to hold the candle. I only had to intervene once. Then we went to GiGi and Bots for our tradition of shrimp, mushroom soup, and dessert by the fire.

And we actually had our Christmas brunch prepped and gifts assembled all before 11:00. Success!

Christmas morning is always my favorite - those brief moments we have together as a family of four before the continued holiday rush. The girls thought their new tee-pee from Santa was the bees knees, and they giggled and squealed as they went through their stockings. 

Gabe and I decided to exchange stocking stuffers only this year because we're saving up for our big 10 year this year. 10 years - Holy moly.

And he did good. Because let me tell you, nothing screams sexy like an ergonomically correct keyboard. But it was my favorite gift, and my pre-arthritic hands are grateful.

So here's to a full-from-the-holidays heart and hope for a less-stress kind of a year!