Saturday, April 7, 2018

My Growing Girls

Hey, y'all! :)

I have come to terms with my sporadic blogging and will just do the best I can. It's been years since I've truly been committed to blogging, and for a long time, I felt guilty about not keeping up with everything like I used to. Especially when we had our second child and I'd literally recorded nothing about her here. I just have trouble finding the time.

The good thing is, technology has changed since I first started blogging. I have thousands of pictures and many memories from the past few years -- just not in words. Various technology allows me to keep up with those things -- saving them for when I DO have time to blog and share the stories that go along with them. ONE DAY.

In the meantime, I'll start with the now. And just give an update on my girls. My sweet girls.

We had spring break recently -- a rare staycation spring break. I'd planned to be in Baltimore for a work trip that week, but decided kind of last minute to stay home. I thought I would regret not attending the conference I'd gone to every spring for much of my career, but it ended up working out just fine. I'm actually glad I stayed home. We got a few things done around the house, and then took the girls to some cool places.

We definitely took advantage of the warming weather. We spent a lot of time outside riding bikes, blowing bubbles, etc.

We went to the park, of course.

We also finally visited the Space and Rocket Center, something we've been wanting to do for a while. 

Big M was absolutely fascinated with the place. She'd been reading a lot about space and rockets, etc., so she was just thrilled. 

There was a section for itty bitty ones, so we threw Lil M in there to get out some of her baby energy.

We were so happy to finally visit. We'll be going back in the summer. (And the visit, which would have cost us about $70, was FREE because we're members of our local science museum.)

We also went to the zoo one day.  We hadn't been in a while. I'm not even sure Lil M had been before. 

It was a great age for them both. M knows so much about animals now -- the facts she was telling me during the visit were fascinating. And she enjoyed being the guide -- holding the map and telling us where to go next. Of course the little one was just thrilled to see all the animals. It was great.

We ended up renewing our membership at the zoo, too -- we haven't been members in a while. So more zoo visits for us in the summer. 

So we had a great, relaxing spring break -- free of travels and all that comes with it (especially when you have chirrens). 

Now, to switch gears for a bit, let me tell you about my girls. I used to be good about sharing little tidbits about Big M at each age. Here's who my girls are today:

Let's start with my big girl first.

Ah, where do I start? 
  • If I could describe her in one word, it's hilarious. She has such a great sense of humor and keeps me cracking up. She's getting older so her jokes and conversation are genuinely funny (no more "pretend" mommy laughs, you know?). 
  • She's a bit messy and scatterbrained like her mama, poor babe.
  • Her favorite food is spaghetti, grilled cheese from a certain BBQ chain, pizza, and oatmeal. And she loves my brownies.
  • She has a sweet spirit and is kind 90% of the time. She is hard to convince that she's wrong sometimes, and likes to say what she has to say. That gets her in trouble. That's the other 10%.
  • She loves being outside riding her bike or scooter. 
  • She's smart. School has been interesting this year with her teacher out for maternity leave and a sub in with a very different approach with the kids, but we've been pleased with her academic progress overall. She remains above grade level in everything. She's a Tech Ambassador for her school and recently participated in her first conference.  

The biggest thing is that she's growing up and my heart can't take it some days. She is my first baby. She's getting to the age where she sometimes rolls her eyes when I call her cute and tells me to stop dancing and/or singing sometimes because I can't, apparently. I think her dad and I are no longer cool to her -- even an embarrassment sometimes. *gasp* But I still get about 75% of my little girl. We still have sing and dance parties. She still tells me everything. She still kisses and hugs me and lets me hold her when I want. I know how this goes, though. It will cease eventually. So I'm cherishing every single minute of it.

Then there's her baby sister...

...who's letting me live everything all over again. Oh, how the moments are precious.

Lil M will be two years old in a couple of months, and these first two years have been amazing. 
  • She's talking. A lot. Saying new phrases all the time.
  • Thanks to her grandmothers, she knows and does so much. She knows all of her letters, some numbers, all of her basic colors, and lots of shapes. We sent her baby sister to an expensive (and quite amazing) preschool, and I don't think she knew all of this at this age. It's kinda crazy.
  • She loves pizza, grilled cheese, and baked beans. Her absolute favorite food is bananas. That's if you don't count breastmilk. Yep, she still nurses. I'm thinking we'll stop around the time she turns two. That's going to be an interesting time in my household, that's for sure.
  • She's obsessed with pigs and has been since she knew what a pig was. We have them in various forms in the house -- books, stuffed animals, figurines -- it was even her Christmas ornament this year. Ha!
  • Speaking of books, she loves being read to (mostly looking for her favorite pictures and skipping to her favorite pages).
  • She loves being outside with bubbles, her tricycle, or looking for our neighbor's cats. 
  • She loves YouTube Kids. Judge if you must, but this kid loves her videos. It's definitely part of the reason she knows all those colors and letters, etc.
  • She's mama-crazy. There's no denying she's a mama's girl. It may have something to do with my having her endless supply of "milkie." 
  • She's just a sweet baby who loves to laugh and play.
Together, my girls are mostly sweet. However, whomever told me that their age difference meant they wouldn't fight was A LIE. Daily, I'm having to say, "GIRLS!" or "If someone gets hurt, EVERYONE'S in trouble" or "Everyone's going to bed early tonight" if the whining is out of control. But that's just part of the time. They're sweet to each other -- especially Big M to Lil M. She's an amazing big sister who is attentive and patient. She hates to see her little sister cry and will always try to make things better. The little one is a little firecracker to her big sister sometimes, but she loves her. They love making videos together where the big one is the "star" of the show and the little one is the "assistant." It's hilarious.

So that's us, y'all. Oh, me and DK? We're just adulting. Still teaching every day, but spreading our wings, too. Always looking to broaden our horizons. We do date nights as much as we can. Our parents are so good to us -- they encourage us to get out and do things just the two of us. We also eat an early dinner with just the two of us at least once a week while Big M is in gymnastics. As we get older, we realize how important it is to put each other first. We're trying to be so much better at that.

I hope all of you are doing well. I'm not sure when I'll blog again -- I still have so much to catch up on -- but I'm just going to continue to do what I can.

Have a great spring, y'all.

Much love,

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I have an ambassador and a growing baby.

Y'all, I've been out of this blogging game so long I don't even know how to title my posts anymore. But I don't even care. I'm just proud to be posting again!

M2 went to her very first Bama game (at Vandy). It was a hot and humid day in Nashville, which we knew would make for an interesting experience. Though I was optimistic, I was quickly reminded that toddlers don't care where you are -- they want what they want when they want it.

As soon as we settled down, right before kickoff, she wanted to nurse. Not just a quick nurse, but the "I'm soooooooooo sleepy, I want to nurse NOOOOOW" kind. 😩 It had already been a long day for her as we drove up that day and hung out for a while before the game. In other words, there was no distracting her away from her goal. And while I'm not really shy about breastfeeding in public (in a corner usually), an already-tight, someone's-already-sitting-right-over-your-shoulders situation wasn't ideal. Nursing in a stadium -- already a hot, sweaty mess -- not my thing, so we went into Vandy's coliseum and handled that. (The people at Vandy were SO NICE. Upon arrival, they saw me with a little one and told me that they had a nice quiet place for her to nurse should the need arise. And it did.)

Anyhoo, we had a great time. Bama won. My in-laws and the kids left the stadium to watch in a cool setting. The coliseum (next door) had TVs and sitting spots in the common area. DK and I braved it for a half, then went and joined our family in the cool. We stayed the night in Nashville. DK and I even stepped out for a minute and had some adult time on the Broadway Strip.

That next week M1 was inducted as a Tech Ambassador for her school. While I admit I don't know what all that entails just yet, she is proud to be one and we are proud OF her. The kids will even wear these adorable blazers when they are partaking in their ambassador duties. 

They were inducted at the school's open house night, which also happened to be Book Fair night. That Minecraft book she's holding has nothing to do with Tech Ambassador-ship, but I guess she was so proud to have talked us into buying more from that doggone book fair (we'd already sent her with money to school 😒).

We have since also gotten her first progress report and standardized test scores, of which we're also proud. I try not to care about the standardized test scores (I have my opinions about them), but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't proud when we got hers. While she's "gifted" and makes good grades and standardized test scores, I know that stuff doesn't mean much in later grades. She's got to have the work ethic. THAT is what I pray she continues to have more than any of this.

And this little thing is growing and becoming more curious and funnier every day. We recently went for her 15-month appointment. She's in the 50th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for height. With the exception of a little eczema, she's a healthy little thing. She's saying so many words and learning new ones every day. She runs through the house following us or her sister from room to room. She loves reading, songs and "running and hiding," most of which she gets from her grandmothers. I think she's done everything (milestone-wise) before M1 so far. I care much less about that kind of stuff with this second baby, but I can't help but notice: are second babies typically faster with this kind of stuff?

She still wakes up in the middle of the night though, y'all 😡. Even though she goes right back to sleep after we pick her up, it's still no fun. I thought when I stopped nursing her in the middle of the night, that middle-of-the-night waking would cease...but it hasn't yet, y'all. Fingers crossed that at some point during this school year, I can start getting a full night of sleep.

These pictures to me are the sweetest. M1 is just smitten with M2, and I'm smitten with them both. Put them together and my heart could just burst. 

Anyhoo, YAY for another blog post. I still have lots of catching up to do, but I'm so happy to be moving forward with the present.

Hope everyone is doing well. Until next time...

Peace and love,

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Life and Stuff

Hey, y'all! It's been a long time! I'm sitting here at gymnastics with Big M and decided to try to update this little spot. I've been fairly productive at work and have nothing huge hanging over my head, so a blog update it is!

Y'all. Last year when I was supposed to be updating my blog more often because of our new baby (now a 15-month old), I was busy trying to keep my head above water. I was a HOT MESS my first year with two kids.  I went back to work when Little M was 3.5 months. I felt constantly behind at work AND home. I was pumping twice a day, which made my work day super tight. At home I was set on spending time with my family in the evenings, which meant that house stuff and everything else would be neglected. We had lots of help -- our mothers are WAY TOO GOOD to us -- and I STILL felt like I could never catch up. I was finally able to somewhat catch my breath over the summer.

Despite that constant feeling of being behind, it was an amazing year. We were able to experience that new baby love and watch her big sister blossom into this amazing protector. Big M is just over the moon with her baby sister - even more now that she's a toddler. Seeing my girls together makes me so happy.

My blog is like a gazillion months behind (okay, YEARS), but hopefully I can slowly regain some momentum here. I still have hope for me and this blogging thing...

Y'all, I remember a time when I would digitally organize my photos and have them ready for blog posts. Now? Ha! I have THOUSANDS of pictures on my phone and this crazy belief that one day I'll go back and post them all and their stories on the blog. But for now, I'll go back a few months and focus on a few random days. No particular order, either.

This was the chirrens one day at home. I'm sure it's the weekend 'cause Big M's hair isn't combed (hair doesn't get combed in my house unless we have a reason to comb it). When I think of my girls, this is what I think of. Us at home being lazy, having fun, dancing and singing, and probably driving my husband crazy.

We went to the library as much as possible over the summer for the free shows (like we have every summer since Big M was tot).

It was fun watching Little M discover the library playroom. It's still one of Big M's favorite places to go. Little M LOVES to read, by the way, thanks to her grandmothers. I don't read to her half as much as I read to Big M when she was a baby (second child syndrome is soooooo real, y'all), yet Little M is more interested in books than Big M was at this age. Thanks to the grandmamas, no doubt.

Morgan still does gymnastics. She'll be inducted as a Tech Ambassador for her school later this month, and is in the gifted program. She loves school. Can you believe she'll be NINE soon? Oh. My. Gosh. She sometimes has the attitude of a teenager and I seriously wonder every single day if I'm doing this parenting thing right. 

Summer is our favorite time to try new restaurants and frequent our favorites. I'd forgotten about how hard it is to eat out with a toddler, though. This was us one day at Five's Sunday brunch. (Big M was with her Kimble grandparent's house, where she spent lots of time over the summer.)

Here we are at that same restaurant, but when the baby was a little younger. Oh, how I miss the stage when they napped or played by themselves while you ate! 😪

There were lots of bike-riding, wagon-pushing, and park days in the spring and summer.

We also went to Chicago back in the spring for one of my conferences. I was mostly in sessions all day while M and her daddy tried to see more of Chicago (we went a couple of years ago for the same conference). That included a Cubs game, which I thought was cool.

I couldn't go with them during the days, but I was able to do more unstructured things with them like visit Millennium Park.

And now football season is upon us.

We're excited as always. 

This little thing is loving it already. It's in her blood. And of all the words she says now, Roll Tide is included. Y'all know I'm not kidding. 

Oh, and I cannot forget that we went to Punta Cana over the summer with family. We've got lots of memories to share from that, including a tan mark on Little M's face that we're starting to think is a permanent scar from the Punta Cana sun! 

I'll be back to share some pics from that. But that's all I have for now, and that's better than I've done in forever. I don't even care that the post is all over the place. Y'all be patient with me. 

Woohoo to putting up a blog post! I hope y'all are doing well. Hope to be back soon!


Stuff I Talk About

2011 30 day shred age update AKA animals anniversary appreciation aquarium around the house art museum Atlanta baby/toddler sleep issues baking bama football beach birthday birthday party blog awards blog buddies blogher books camping causes celebrations celebrities cheer days childhood children's museum children's theater Christmas christmas card class reunion college days concert conference cousins crafts dance date night dating days deals decluttering dentist Disney dk easter engagement facebook faith fall fun family family fun fashion father's day favorite blogs field trip field trips football friday flashback friends fun event funny pic Gaylord Opryland genealogy girl scouts goals god grad school grateful graves' disease Halloween health holidays Hollywood honeymoon instagram Iron Bowl key west kindermusik learning letter to my daughter library Los Angeles m me miami mlk day morgan is three museum Nashville national championship game natural hair nature new look new orleans New Years nyc out on the town parks parties phone fun pinterest play days at home playdate playground action pregnancy professional development Race for the Cure raleigh ramblings reading Recipes relay for life school program shows singing skating snow soccer social networking sorority spring break spring fun stress summer summer fun summer reading summer to do list teacher life technical difficulties terrible twos Thanksgiving the girls the park theme park thomas and friends three thyroid tragedy trains traveling tricycle trips twitter valentine's day video walk for autism water play we love being outside wedding wordless wednesday work wrapup Yo Gabba Gabba zoo
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