Sunday, June 3, 2012

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Because catching up is WAY more fun than doing my work right now!

Olivia's 1st day of Kindergarten!

Mom said we need to write this one down, so here goes... Love you, Mom!

On Olivia's first day of school, she was quite the celebrity around here. Grandma stopped by before work to send her off on her very big day. Daddy went to work a few hours late to take her to school. I dabbed at my tears so I wouldn't greet my 1st graders with black smears of my face. Lily ate 'bobbles.' OK, so nothing too unusual there; 'guess she didn't catch what the fuss was about. ;-) And some excited family members called to see how it went. But the first day of Kindergarten is pretty exhausting for a barely five-year-old! Especially if it's followed up with spending extra time at school while Momma works, making the trip to the development center to pick up the baby, and commuting home. So when Grandma called after school to hear about it, the tired girl sleepily asked, "Grandma, can you just ask me the questions, and I can answer you in my head?" No surprise, Grandma was fine with that.

Mommy tries to keep it together! Olivia is wearing my old dress from my first day of school.

Such a proud Daddy. I think they kinda like each other.

My girl is loving school! She was always so resistant with me about learning to read, and rather than push her (in this area) I only pursued when her interest was piqued, and I settled for reading lots of stories to her. The teacher in me loves reading to her anyway. However, since she's been in 'real' school, she works her little spongy tail off, soaking up so much! She's almost always reading and writing in her spare time. I. Love. It. And her teacher pulled me aside today to tell me that she made her high reading group. Maybe I'm bragging, but I've suffered through the heartache of enough 'red' days, that I'm ok with that! If only Olivia will stop pushing around her 'BBF,' as they call each other, who doubles her mass. Aye, aye, aye.

Also, she informed me this afternoon about a boy at her table who asked her, "Will you marry me?" and is just 'so in love with me.' Hmmm. I'll be watching you, Little Guy, always watching. Just so you know. ;-)

There's nothing better than sneaking peeks of my school-aged girl while at work in her room, eating in the cafeteria, or when transitioning to different places around the school, and those snuggles and kisses throughout the day just might be what get me through this school year (along with accompanying her to the field trip and hearing Olivia stories from my friends and colleagues)!

Left: The Bully; Right: The Victim; Still BBFs, though! (And the 'red' days are becoming fewer!)

And a quick Lily Report - (since it's 9:30 and I should think about getting started on a couple hours' worth of work and a quick house cleaning) This girl has my heart. After jumping out of her crib on Saturday morning, her bed magically transitioned to a toddler bed before naptime. The transition was seamless. I think she goes to sleep better now than in her crib! Phew. Because not a whole lot about that Little Lovins has been seamless. She plays with my heart when I pick her up from her school, and she withholds her hugs and kisses from me, all while grinning mischievously. Then she leaps out of my grasp to run up to other grown ups on the campus to hug them. Luckily the game is over when we get home, and she politely requests some snuggle time with me. She, too, is SO tired by the end of their long day. There is way more fussing going on than we'd prefer, but a little outdoor playtime, a visit to our horse neighbors('doggie - heEeEe'), a dance party, or a few rounds of Ring-Around-the-Rosie pretty much cure it.

Life is unbelievably tiring most of the time right now, and I feel like I'm constantly working on keeping a positive attitude and battling stress, exhaustion, and a lack of enough hours in the day to accomplish what needs to be done, but I couldn't be more thankful. I have 22 amazing first graders who challenge & stretch me (and I mean ReeeEALLY challenge me!), make me laugh & and fill my heart with joy. Teaching them is really an honor. I have a husband who is patient, understanding, and encouraging when I deserve less than that. He's also fun to be around, CRACKS me up, and is ridiculously sweet with our daughters. And I have Those Girls. Throw in a whole slew of amazing family and friends, and who could ask for anything more!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy 1st Birthday, Lily!

Dear Little Lily,

It is amazing to be your mommy. You pulled one over on all of us, by making us all think you were the "easy" child who rests well and often and is content to sit back and be a spectator. Boy, were we wrong! Your activity level is second to none (your teacher of many babies attests to this!), and your zeal for life is both contagious and exhausting! It's so beautiful to watch you grow and learn. While reminiscing about your first year, I came up with a list of some of the things about you that I truly adore:

*You give the best cuddles and hugs to your family by leaning your sweet little face into our shoulders.
*You inherited Daddy's red hair and the personality to go with it. I'm impressed by just how powerful your tantrums are. That said, we'll be working on that one, Honey.
*Your love for animals is so sweet! Whenever you see Gracie or "our" horses, you light up, giggle, and start patting your chest as if saying "more" or "I WANT IT!"
*You think your big sister hung the moon. She brings about a particular smile in you that I don't see otherwise.
*You're a biter. You can't get enough things in your grasp to, teethers, bottles, carpet threads, fingers, friends, etc. OUCH! But it's still somehow endearing.
*Like your sister, you didn't waste any time learning to walk. Your first steps were at 9 months.
*You wobble like a Weeble, only you DO fall down.
*Your poor little forehead is a collection of bruises and boo boos, but it doesn't slow you down.
*While your pincer grasp is just fine, there's no place for it in your high chair. Why waste time when shoveling fills the tummy so much faster.
*You made it through a string of too many ailments for several months and still kept a happy attitude. It DID allow for extra time off for Mommy and extra snuggle/bonding time.
*There is only one way to drink a hand on the bottle and the other tousling your hair (or mine).
*You have hair now!!! And it's even a bit red and curly. So pretty; it was worth the wait. :-)
*As a little bitty thing, your ears were so prominent! For your sake, I'm glad you've grown into them, but they were oh, so cute, and I did love calling you "Ears."
*When asked if you want a bottle, you laugh and run to the kitchen. Good luck, Dearie, during this weaning process. I hate to burst your bubble, but I also want your teeth to stay healthy and beautiful.
*"The Itsy Bitsy Spider" soothes you when nothing else in the car will. In fact, other songs just make you more irritated, but you'll do the motions to this one.
*Music makes you bend your knees and shake your hips; you can't help but dance.
*Your birth was very exciting; you didn't want to miss a second of this life and were one of a small population to emerge face first. You didn't even have the bruising and swelling you should have...only a serious case of frog legs for a few weeks. ;-)
*Your laugh used to resemble a bee bee gun. That was a fun stage.
*A-yee-ya (Olivia), ba-ba (bottle), ma-ma, and da-da were your first words. You have your priorities straight, Sister!

I love you so, and I'm looking forward to another year of special memories to be made.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Happy Days

Ah, I'm sitting at the computer with a sick (boo!) baby, but she's sleeping comfortably on my chest. With a few minutes of quiet on my hands, I have a chance to post about life these days. Olivia is saying things that are just too cute to forget as time goes by! Let's see what I can remember as I'm sitting here...

Driving home from school the other day, she tells me in a sing-song voice, "Mommy, I have a new frieh-end." When I ask who it is she tells me, being careful to enunciate each syllable, "Martin Lufer King, Junior." She knows "people were not very nice to him," and "he's not on the Earf." (Wouldn't that make it tough to maintain a friendship?) When I asked why people weren't nice to him she told me, "I don't want to talk about it." Turns out she didn't know that part. K- so rereading that makes me realize that typing it leaves out so much of the cute, but I still want to remember it. :-)

That's all that comes to mind right now; I can't "bemember" any others.

Olivia attended Family Math Night with me at my school last week. Oh, boy, I'm looking forward to next year! She'll start Kindergarten in about half a year, and I'll pass my sweet girl in the hallways. :-)

"Lily Claire Sumshine," as Big Sister lovingly calls her, can't seem to shake this long line of infections lately. Over the past two and a half months she's been struck with Chicken Pox, at least two cold viruses, a stomach bug, an ear infection lasting almost two weeks on antibiotics, an allergic reaction & hives because of one of her antibiotics, and two staph infections - one took her toenail, and the other had to be lanced and packed a couple times. Throw in teething, and life has been tough around here at times.

In spite of all that, she's still a very happy baby and VERY active! Her activity level is amusing! Out of the eight babies in her class, her Mrs. Maria tells us she's the most active and will be the first to walk even though she's at least a month younger than the rest. (If you become the squeaky wheel, you get a REALLY amazing teacher at a childcare center, even if your baby is in a different age range. ;-) )

Lily Girl is saying "Mom-Mom," "Da-Da," "Ay-ah" for Olivia, "Bob-bob" for bottle, and she barks when she sees Gracie. She LOVES Gracie, but not as much as her sister. She tries to wake up and party around 3:00 or 4:00, clapping, smiling, and dancing. She loves blowing raspberries, dancing to music with Sister, and hunting down any and all electric cords around the house. It's hard to believe she's almost nine months old. They've been a beautiful whirlwind for us!

Lily at 6 months with Daddy; Olivia backstage with Aunt Jaime at her play; Play time at Christmas in Nashville; With Aunt Jaime after "Southern Belles;" Lily in Mommy's baby clothes; and Sweet Sisters

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Livyisms and Happy One Month!

Wow, Lily! I can't believe you are already one month old and how much you've grown! You bring us so much joy, delight, and love, just like your big sister.

Now, a Few Livyisms:

Olivia always checks on Lily when she's making noises. We let her know she's ok, she just "talks" to us by crying or making other baby noises. Since Lily grunts and stretches a lot, we tell Olivia, "She's ok, she's just grunting." The other day Livy responded to the little Noisemaker by saying, "She's ok, Mommy; she's just GRUMPING." So now, of course, we always refer to those sweet sounds as grumping.

Unlike her baby sister, Olivia is the Queen of all Sleep-Fighting. After bedtime, she snuck out of her room, so Daddy said, "Livy, if you get out of bed again, we will have to close your door." Little Turkey responded, "No, Daddy. How 'bout if I get out of bed TWO times you close my door."

Big Sister LOVES to care for her baby. Sometimes too much. I asked her to not touch Lilian's swing while she was finishing her nap, and (shockingly) Olivia was trying to defy us. I got very stern with her so she stood on one foot next to the swing and sneakily put out her other leg. When she saw me shoot "The Look," she said, "I'm just doing my passe, Mommy," and made a pretty ballerina pose.

We have a STINK-ER on our hands. I couldn't be happier. ;-)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

From Husband to Wife

Aaron sent this email to me for Mother's Day... What a keepsake! I will refer back to this whenever I'm tempted to grumble about dirty socks strewn about or something ridiculous like that! :-)

My Love,

Congratulations on being a new mother. We make such wonderful babies and Lily is evidence of that! She is perfect. Both of our children have a fantastically wonderful, caring, loving, and nurturing mother. I'm in awe of the sight of you as a mother!

Happy Mother's Day. I can't believe that we now have two children that resemble you so much! I'm just thrilled that they have a mother worthy of celebrating on Mother's Day! I love you so much.


Introducing our lovely Lilian Claire

Lily officially made us a family of four on Sunday, May 2 at 12:28am. She weighed in at 7 lbs, 5 1/2 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long.
Our Lily has filled our home with cuddles, coos, grunts, and even more love. She was virtually silent the first three weeks, only letting us know if she really needed a meal or a diaper change. However, she is already growing up and has found she has quite the opinion at times! She loves to spend most of her day sleeping (this came as a shock to us after parenting Baby Olivia!) and during her little awake time, she loves to make kissy faces, watch her big sister, snuggle up next to our necks, and make rumbly sounds - lots of them.

I cannot believe she will be four weeks old just after midnight tonight. She has changed so much already. Her dark blue eyes seem to take in every detail around her, and she is already so strong! A couple times she has tried to smile at us, but her biggest smiles still occur in her sleep. She is a busy young lady with a big sister to keep up with, so she's already visited the museum, attended a movie (This could have NEVER happened with Baby O!), gone to church, and watched a dance recital. Oh, we think she will be a red-head! Her sweet fuzzy hair looks red in the sunlight and she has the pink cheeks to go with it, just like her daddy!

Olivia is the SWEETEST big sister, and the girls are precious together! Livy lets us know what Lily needs if she's fussy, and she's always wanting to hold, hug, and kiss her. She has fought us on the "Only hold the baby if a grown up is helping you" rule. When a grandma watched the girls for us to have a date, we returned home and were informed Olivia got Lilian out of her baby seat and brought her to bed with her. Yikes! I guess every big sister has done this (speaking from experience :-)). We're so in love with and proud of our amazing girls! What precious gifts from God.