Monday, March 31, 2014

lately ...


...  it feels like we're finally getting into a routine around here and i love it.  ellie's napping 2 -3 times a day (instead of 4-5) and taking one big nap when avery does.  i thought this day would never come. i usually lay down with her for an hour or so because she'll nurse on and off during that time and then try and sneak out of our room.  and she'll usually sleep a bit longer than avery which gives a and i some one on one time.  i would say that avery really likes this but more than half the time she just wants to play by herself anyway. evenings are also moving along much smoother these days.  ellie's usually pretty happy and if not she's really just fussy and not screaming like she was for the first few months.  i miss my newborn baby but i am so happy to have a happy baby.  very happy that "fourth trimester" has passed us by. 

...  there are so many things that i want to do to our house this spring/summer.  i want to plant some vegetables.  i'm hoping to do containers since i think the number of rabbits in our neighborhood would be a problem otherwise.  our cats and henry are very, very good at keeping our backyard clear of them so an in ground garden could be a possibility but i want to start small this year.  we also want to put in two posts at the edges of our patio and then string cafe lights from the house to them.  we want to turn the side of our house that currently has rocks into grass, and we need to paint the outside of our house.  we're currently in the process of getting quotes for the painting.  we have one but it was  really high and we also need to decide on a color scheme for the house and get it approved before the painting.  i want a light grey house with white trim and navy shutters (and possibly a light yellow door) and charlie wants a yellow house with white trim and black shutters/door.  so obviously we have to decide on that before we go to the hoa for approval. both of us really prefer darker siding but our house gets so beat up by the sun that i think something lighter will actually look better for a longer period of time.  the back of our house faces directly south and there's no house in back of us to help block the sun. 


...  avery has been saying the most hilarious things lately.  i feel like she's changing so quickly (still) but since i'm not keeping track of it month by month i can't remember everything!  she's really into playing pretend lately, which i love.  she loves to play doctor, which i think comes from a combination of going to doctors appointments with ellie, the berenstain bears book 'go to the doctor', and a daniel tiger episode where he goes to the doctor.  i got her a mini 'doctor kit' for easter and i'm really excited for her to open it.  she's also obsessed with the berenstain bear books lately.  we had a ton that were mine and my sisters growing up and avery reads them all the time (some she sort of has memorized from charlie and i reading to her so many times and will 'read' to herself), we have piles of them in every room of the house and she'll request specific ones all the time.  i love her book obsession and i hope it continues!  she's started to ask to snuggle at times and she'll randomly give me hugs and say 'i missed you' as if i've been gone for a long period of time.  i really love that kid. 


...  we're starting to plan the rest of our year, which i'm really excited about.  charlie has a bunch of work travel (of course) coming up again, which even includes a trip to japan.  i'm excited for him because he's excited but 6 more weeks of travel in the next two months?  it's a lot.  BUT my mom is coming out for one of those weeks.  yay!  and we'll celebrate easter.  i'm really excited to dye easter eggs and hide them for avery this year.  we're also planning a trip back east to see family, which i might make a long one depending on how the kids do sleeping in different beds.  we're also trying to plan a short vacation for just our family (telluride again, hopefully) later this summer and we're renting a condo with charlie's family in december this year.  i won't be surprised if the rest of the year flies by.  

...  i am obsessed with sleeping pictures of ellie.  i remember this from avery, too but there is something so peaceful about a sleeping baby.  


...  ellie is teething.  and she hates it.  the poor kid is drooling everywhere and chomping on anything/everything she can get her hands on.  avery never really drooled and didn't start teething until 6 or 7 months so this is totally new for me.   


...  we got a fish.  this was sort of something that charlie had wanted for a long time.  actually, he wanted 4 fish (one for each member of our family) and i wanted zero fish.  we ended up with a beta, which charlie was sort of annoyed about.  avery loves it.  right now he's on our kitchen counter and she'll pull the stool up to the counter to talk to him and watch him swim.  the other night she said goodnight to him:  "goodnight fish.  sleep tight.  i love you.  hug.  kiss".  very cute.  he's refusing to eat so i hope he survives.    

Friday, March 28, 2014

it's the little things.

Finally found the thumb.

...  a baby who found her thumb.
...  a family dinner where everyone was happy for 10 minutes.
...  charlie being around for a bit. 
...  a bubble bath.
...  watching a and e interact with each other.
...  baby belly laughs.
...  two clean kids. 
...  cloth diapers drying in the sun.
...  binge watching jon stewart with charlie.
...  twinkle lights. and how avery calls them "kiss-miss lights". 
...  a baby who naps!
...  some time alone with avery.
...  grocery shopping on a friday.
...  a cat who naps with the kids. (even when he wakes them up)
...  thoughts of spring.
...  watching mary poppins with avery.
...  snuggling with my favorite people in the middle of the night.
...  napping with ellie.
... coffee.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

ellie: 4 months


happy four months elle belle!
you are growing up super fast and are entering maybe my most favorite baby months with you.  you're definitely no longer a newborn baby and as much as i'll miss those sweet, sleepy, squishy moments i am so excited for your next adventures.  i feel like the past month was a big turning point for you and you are now a very happy and content baby 99% of the time these days.  thank goodness!

things you are up to at 4 months:
...  at your well visit yesterday you were 12 pounds 7 ounces and 24.25 inches long.  25th and 50th percentiles respectively.  you're maybe a smidge bigger than your sister was at this age and i would guess you too will be around the same size when you're all grown up.
... you are a happy, smiley baby!  you smile at everyone and it's the best.
...  you laugh!  you did your first real belly laughs this month although you're pretty stingy about when you'll give them out.  and you almost always stop once i break out the camera.
...  you love your big sis.  she always gets smiles from you and i think she likes you, too.  it's actually pretty cute to see you guys start to interact.
...  i started to move you into the cosleeper for your first nighttime stretch but then you got sick and i ended up moving you back to the rock 'n play since it was easier for you to breathe there.  your daddy is pretty anxious for you to sleep in your own room so we'll see what happens in the next month.  right now you still spend a decent chunk of time in our bed, which seems to be where we all sleep the best.  my guess is that you're waking up about 2-3 times to eat at night although i admit that i sleep through most of your wake ups.
...  you're not rolling over yet although we've been pretty terrible about tummy time and since you were pretty fussy for the first 3 months of your life you spent most of that time being held by me.  you'll roll to your side but can't figure out how to get the rest of the way over
...  you grab things with pretty good accuracy and of course once you have something in your hand it goes straight to your mouth.
...  you drool like crazy and love to chomp on your hands.  the doctor mentioned that you looked like you were teething when i brought you in at 3 months for a sick visit.
...  you're big enough for the ergo now so i think we've retired the moby wrap in exchange for the ergo.  you loved the moby wrap for those first three months but it was beginning to hurt my shoulders when you were in it for long periods of time and i always preferred how easy the ergo was to put on.
...  you're napping more consistently now.  you still take about 3-4 naps a day.  usually 2 morning naps with the first one in the rock 'n play and the second in the ergo.  you'll take a long afternoon nap when avery does although you will usually nurse your way through half of it.  if this nap is long enough then you'll stay up until bedtime but if it's too short than you'll take a quick evening nap, too.
...  speaking of naps, unlike your sister you prefer to put yourself to sleep by either sucking your thumb and being sort of jiggled or by walking around in the ergo.  you usually don't like to nurse to sleep but you will do this for bedtime (sometimes) and during the middle of the night.
...  you're a thumb sucker!  you finally figured out how to get it in your mouth and it really helps to soothe you when you're tired or trying to fall asleep.  this has actually helped a lot in the past month!
...  you're still nursing really well.  usually about every 2-3 hours during the day.  you're definitely not a comfort nurser like your sister was so it'll be interesting to see how long you nurse for.

happy four months, little one!  we love you.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

today was a good day.


the past few days have been really, really good.  yes there are tantrums and crying at various times but that's to be expected for life with a toddler and a baby. as a whole the days have been really fun.  they've been feeling balanced and i've felt like i've really been enjoying them instead of just holding my breath until the next screamfest.  charlie's been gone for a few days for work and it sort of feels like we're on vacation.  not because life without him is a vacation.  i miss him! we all do. but because there's no set times for anything.  we can sort of just do as we please and weekends and weekdays are all the same to us without his work schedule dictating things.  anyway, i was sort of dreading this trip because not only do i miss him but 7 days of solo parenting can be hard.  but so far it's been really, really good.  we've gotten out of the house every day.  ellie's been napping just a smidge more which makes her happier and allows for 15 minutes here and there where avery and i can spend some one on one time.  and this has made a huge difference with avery.  she really needs that quality time i think.  and, dare i say, ellie's been just a bit more content, which as also made all of the difference.  i've also gotten into a groove of when and how i do things alone and i've accepted the fact that there will not be homemade dinners on the table and the house will be a bit messier and that, too, has helped.  in short, i've shown myself a bit of grace when judging if a day was successful, which is something i should have done awhile ago.  the dishes will get done once the kids are in bed.  the clothes may take a day or two to get folded, and i'll vacuum when charlie's back in town.  this has made my days much happier.  i get to focus on spending time with avery and ellie:  reading books, playing silly games, hitting up the playground, and watching them grow way too fast. i look at them sometimes and cannot understand how they're so big and where the time has gone.  it's been nice to just enjoy that time lately instead of stressing about the dirty dishes. 

some randomness from the past week.

charlie comes back today.  yay!  we actually had a really good week while he was gone.  there was only one day that was sorta hard because i skipped ellie's morning nap and then she cried and refused to eat or sleep the rest of the day.  sorry e.

we had sort of a mix of cold weather and really nice weather.  we had two 'snow days' and a few really nice days where the windows were open and avery was running inside and outside all evening long.  i forgot how good the sun feels.  one of the things that i like about our deck is that there's a gate on it so that you can keep dogs, kids, whatever on or off the deck.  this wasn't really necessary last year since avery never left it to begin with but i think it'll be nice this year when she wants to be outside but i can't be out there with her.  

these kids are getting sort of cute together.  ellie loves avery and a is so sweet to her when she's upset.    ellie was sitting on the couch and sort of fussing and avery climbed up next to her and was telling her that 'it's okay, el'.  avery also calls ellie 'big sister', which i think is pretty funny. 

avery was upset that charlie didn't answer the phone.

we had a lot of FaceTime this week.  charlie called whenever he could and we talked to my parents as well.  in fact avery had a really long conversation the other day with my mom when i was trying to get ellie to sleep.  i'm not sure that my mom understood half of the things that avery was saying but she tried.  

ellie's getting into grabbing toys.  one of her favorite toys is avery's stuffed tiger.  she loves that thing.  unfortunately that is also avery's favorite toy.  she sleeps with bunny and tiger every night and tiger's even traveled with us.  he's a pretty popular dude.  anyway, avery hates when ellie plays with him.  i just got ellie a stuffed tiger for her easter basket and i'm hoping it's as popular as this guy.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

it's the little things ...

...  a dual nap.  no matter how short.
...  eating a hot dinner.
...  a husband who always makes the coffee.
...  sleeping in-between two of my favorite people.
...  watching avery eat cereal. 
...  ibooks.  a book on my phone makes reading possible these days.
...  watching ellie sleep.
...  hearing avery say i love you.
...  a phone conversation without a crying baby in the background or a toddler stealing the phone.
...  FaceTime.
...  cooking on a weeknight.
...  having charlie and my dad here for 5 days!
...  dessert.
...  baking with avery.
...  clean sheets.
...  cloth diapers with a newborn.  they contain all the messes.
...  clean kids.
...  coconut oil.  i've been using it for everything.
...  the crock pot.  it makes dinner possible these days.
...  the hour or so at night after both kids are asleep.  
...  playing blocks and animals. 
...  when avery says "hold you". because i know someday soon she'll be saying "hold me".
...  amazon prime.
...  march!  spring is coming.  someday.
...  reading books with avery.  and ellie, too!
...  avery wearing sunglasses.
...  that moment in the car when everyone is quiet.
...  discussing future house plans.
...  catching up on hulu after the olympics.
...  texts from charlie when he's traveling.
...  watching ellie grow up.  grabbing toys, sitting in the bumbo, and laughing.  it really is just as good the second time around.    

Saturday, March 8, 2014

a photo attempt.

it's pretty well known in my family that we take horrible pictures.  any attempt at a group photo is never very successful.  poor charlie is always the one being asked to take the pictures and he always gets frustrated because we're never looking at the camera at the same time.  these pictures were the best of the worst.  but i still appreciate having them.  it was my dad's first time meeting ellie and that had to be documented no matter how awful the pictures.  thanks for the attempt charlie.   

Friday, March 7, 2014


my dad was here for about 5 days last week.  it was wonderful.  lately i've only been able to see him about twice a year and our last few visits were pretty short so it was nice to have him here for a decent chunk of time.  avery was in love with having him here.  she loves to boss people around and grandparents seem to be the only people who will put up with that nonsense.  i always wonder how she'll do with family since we don't see them very often.  i think the last time she saw my dad was about six months ago, which is a long time in the world of toddlers.  but she picked right up where they left off.  when we got home after picking him up it was her nap time and she kicked me out of the room because she wanted grandpa to put her down for her nap.  

one of the positives (there aren't many) to having family live far away is that you don't take the little things for granted when they're around.  watching them read a book together or watching my dad hold ellie is pretty amazing because they never get to do those things.  unloading the dishwasher with two hands is also pretty amazing.     

i can't say we did that much when he was out here.  we never really seem to when people come because we're usually pretty content just to enjoy the company.  they made an airplane, drew a lot, read many, many books, face timed with grandma (which avery always monopolizes), and went to the playground.  i also drank hot coffee and ate a hot dinner every night.  usually charlie and i will take turns with holding ellie and if he's not around then i usually don't even bother with putting food on a plate these days.  but my dad held ellie a few nights, which meant i sat down and ate dinner with charlie and avery.  it's the little things, right? 

avery went down the BIG slide at the park for the first time.  i was pretty impressed. 

i've had people ask if it's hard to not have family around us while we have kids.  and i always say yes it's really, really, really hard.  it's hard because i don't feel comfortable leaving my kids with strangers and i would love to enjoy a brunch with charlie every once in a while and it's hard because i love our families and i wish they could be a bigger part of our kids lives.  it's also hard because avery (and ellie soon, i'm sure) loves her grandparents and aunts and uncle.  and every time we drop them off at the airport after a visit she cries.  that part is very, very hard.  but i am so thankful for FaceTime which really has allowed her to know each of them better than what she would if we were just talking on the phone.  and i really cherish each day that we get to spend with these people.

thanks for coming dad.  can't wait to see you again soon.  and i think that house is still for sale.  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

project 52:5

being a family means that you are part of something wonderful.  
it means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.
no matter what.

i love when we have family come and visit.  my kids are so lucky to have these people in their lives.