Monday, August 29, 2016

Monica Jane: 11 Months

I'm a few days late on this post, but it's ok, because Monica is still 11 months old, so we're all good.

Her bedhead is on. point.


I'm going to be honest here... I have not been sleeping well and it's getting late, so I'm going to keep this somewhat to the bullet points... but still picture packed ;)

This month, Monners is becoming more affectionate and attached, especially to me. She loves Daddy and cuddles with him too, but it's pretty rare that I'm not first pick, which I don't mind all that much. ;) She's showing more stranger anxiety though, so the clinginess is getting a little taxing. Hopefully it's a phase that doesn't last too too long.

She wants to be a big kid so bad, but her body hasn't quite caught up to her ambitions yet. She tries in vain to climb onto the couch, walk (but her lack of strengthened muscles and balance hold her back from actually accomplishing it), and she is dying to eat whatever we are eating, especially if it's not easily or safely converted to baby food. Soon, little one, soon!


She is definitely brave, if nothing else. Joel and I call her our "free spirit." She's not afraid to try to scale the walls of the bathtub, dive out of our arms when she's ready to be put down, or catch/taste/eat anything remotely foreign and interesting. She's also testing cause and effect for sure, mostly dropping things over ledges to see if they disappear forever. If she drops stuff enough times, I'm sure I can make it disappear forever. Don't test me, kid.

Monica also loves to dance, be tickled, suck on fabric, flip through books, and move things around to just the place she wants them to be (maybe it makes sense to her why the shoes belong there?).





Her biggest accomplishment this month: attempts at real words! She can now "say" (usually skipping consonants, but still gets enough we can tell it's a particular word and she understands the connection): hi, hello, duck, book, ball, "la la la" (short for the Sandra Boynton classic "Moo Baa La La La"), all done, Dad, and when she's really upset, "Momomomomom!"

She is popping another tooth in this week (well, at least one) which makes a solid SEVEN! I'm convinced that as adorable gummy grins are, they just get that much cuter with each addition of another tiny pearly white.

Monica has also become noticeably more affectionate. She'll now climb all of the way onto my lap and perch herself there. She loves to be touched, even if she is just playing with something nearby... she'll scoot over to Joel or me so some part of her body is touching some part of our bodies, and then just play contently. Melts my heart.



And to my sweet babe,

I wish I could put into words how much you mean to me or how teary-eyed it makes me to watch you grow. You are a beautiful little miracle, and the world is a much brighter place with you in it. Thank you for hands-free blowing me kisses, laying your head on my shoulder when you are SUPER tired, and spending so much of your free time in my arms. I miss your beautiful blue/gray eyes when you are sleeping, but that's not going to stop me from sneaking in to peek at you and Celine tonight.

I love you oh so very much,

Mommy

Monday, August 22, 2016

Celine is TWO!

Our first born is entering her second year of life outside the womb, and I really thought I'd be more prepared than this.

Joel and I cleaned the house and set up for her French themed birthday party Friday night. When we finished blowing up the balloons and hanging up the streamers, I couldn't help but get all emotional. She's still my little squirt, but I can't believe how quickly she is picking up words and phrases and mimicking things we do, but then turning around and doing something goofy and totally her own creation (for example, this morning: "Mom! Watch!" and she put her cereal on the lid of her soppy cup, tipped it to her mouth, and she proudly swallowed milk and cereal at the same time). She's got a mind on her, this little one, who is not so little anymore.



I'm not sure she totally understood what was going on, but she had to have some idea. We went into her room to get her up Saturday morning, b-day, and she returned our greeting with her arms outstretched with a big ol' "Birt-day!"

We hosted my mom and my sister's fam for some ham & cheese croissants, fruit & yogurt, and a cake experiment of Joel and mine (which turned out pretty good!).




The party was a hit, and I'm so thankful Celine enjoyed it, now that she's old enough to. Monica was on the fence a bit about everyone being there, but she warmed up pretty fast once the wrapping paper was fair game ;)




And to our sweet toddler,

You are a new adventured every day. You are spunky, creative, sassy, and always trying to make us laugh. You are very particular and definitely want things your way, but at the same time you channel that into being protective of all of us. You love to draw (mostly Dad, big surprise), feed us bites of whatever you cooked in your kitchen, and randomly come and sit by us while you're playing whatever you're playing.

Some of your favorite things: putting on your sweatshirt & shoes to go anywhere, having Dad get you up in the morning (or having Dad with you anytime ever), taking a bath (if you don't have to move or splash or get your hair wet), and babies... all babies. Also Sesame Street and Winnie the Pooh.

You read to yourself when you have quiet time and you sing when you are happy or supposed to be sleeping. Your go-to tunes are the Sesame Street theme and Wheels on the Bus. You also count to 5 in French & Spanish and you count to 10 in English... the best is when you mix them up a little here or there. Or when you're playing by yourself and just start counting.

Reading the doorstop after the party
We love you oh so very much, our sweet Celine. You are a great big sister to Monica and we can't wait to see you with the baby in February. I have no doubts you're going to smother that baby in kisses if we give you the chance. You love so hard and your giggle is contagious. Don't even get me started on your luscious eyelashes... they're probably going to get you into (or out of) trouble eventually. 

We can't wait to see what this year brings for us.

I love you "sooooo much,"

Mom

Friday, August 12, 2016

My 2016 back to school wish list

I know full well that my kiddos aren't even close to being school age yet, but all of these back to school sales are SUPER tempting! I mean, there are sales all year of course, but the girls are just transitioning clothing sizes and the seasons are shortly going to change, so we pretty much should bargain hunt where we can, right???

She's ready for school, give or take 3 years. Doesn't she look old?!
Anywho, I've been doing my fair share (and then some) of window shopping recently (mostly for myself, but oh well) and here are a few of my favorites from this year. If I had a back to school shopping list, this would be it:


1. Booties. I was hesitant about this trend when they started showing up, but they've slowly been growing on me. The straw that broke the camel's back was Mila Kunis in Bad Moms... when there are 3-4 scenes in a row where you catch yourself muttering "I love her shoes!" it might be time to investigate. And investigate I have... I'm currently torn between these and these. Gah!



2. These notebooks. I have been using one $0.80 composition notebook as my right hand (leftie here!) for the last almost-2 years. I've been calling it my "idea notebook," where I jot down everything from packing lists, budgets, and party decor ideas to Christmas shopping lists and home decor sketches. As much as I love saving money, it'd be fun to splurge on some florals here and there ;)

3. This shirt. I've been into the flowy, peasant style shirts recently (hello, mommy tummy and first trimester) but I haven't been able to find anything close to this beauty (thanks for mentioning it in your blog Grace and helping me track it down!), so if you find something similar, let me know!


4. Matching leggings. Seriously, how cute are these! Unfortunately by the time I jumped on the bandwagon they were out of the styles I would have picked in the sizes we needed for the 3 of us. Better luck next time, self!

5. A pillow for my desk chair. Down side: this would probably not stay white for very long (2 under 2 graduating to 3 under 3). I'd also most likely be sitting on it or next to it, but I mean, come on... this would be so cute in my kitchen with my new wish list desk accessories. Speaking of...

6. Any of these desk accessories. I've tried to buy a couple here and there but I can never narrow down which ones I'd want so I always end up leaving empty handed.

7. A classic watch. I keep buying cheap watches that fall apart in about a year, but I don't usually mind because I'd rather just get a new one than fix the strap or replace the battery anyways.



As much as I'd like to keep adding to my list, I have two littles tearing apart my living room (very adorably I might add... at least they're not fighting) and I should probably switch the laundry before I have to fluff the dryer clothes (again).

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Ender

This post will be way better if you don't skip ahead... just trust me.


I picked up the next book on my 12 in 12 reading challenge list and was immediately not a fan. It was not even kind of my cup of tea. To be honest, instead of just going to the library to find another book, I stayed on the couch (#realtalk) and browed our list of audiobooks for my next "read" (it counts).

Joel and I have shared an audible account on and off over the last year or so. We have taken turns using the book credit, but we have very different taste in books. It's pretty clear going through the list who chose what. But on this occasion, Ender's Game (the first in a sci-fi series with a strong focus on battle tactics... Joel's pick) appealed to me.


source
I knew that Joel had always liked the book series, so when the movie came out in theaters over our honeymoon, we went to see it in an Imax theater. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I fell in love with Ender, the boy genius with a heart of a lion. Joel had mentioned the book was long and more in-depth with tactics and strategy than the movie, but I gave it a whirl anyway and again was pleasantly surprised.


Ender lives in the future, when after an alien attack, the governments have imposed strict laws and the whole planet struggles under severe stress over a looming war. Many countries have rigid population control laws, limiting parents to only two children. Ender, however, is a "third." Because of his placement in the birth order, he is treated poorly throughout his childhood. Expectations of him are insultingly low, he is bullied at school, and given far less opportunities than his older siblings. Even his parents in some ways treat him lesser. He is brilliant, kind, compassionate, and just wants to be appreciated for being himself.


source

This broke my heart. I turned off the audiobook and complained to Joel, "It's not fair! It's not his fault he is a third! All he did was be born! They're looking past so much goodness in him because of the inconvenience. He goes on to accomplish amazing things, but it's so sad to hear him treated so poorly!" Joel agreed, reminded me it's just a book, and went back to whatever he was doing.


I haven't been feeling so good recently, but I assumed it was the heightened emotions from my brother's wedding, the stress of a long road trip with two under two, and trying to keep up with everything else at home. I've been getting much less sleep and paying much less attention to what was going into my body, which I know wasn't helping anything.

However, the morning after my conversation with Joel about Ender's Game, I put the pieces together. Turns out there was a much bigger reason why I was feeling a little off.

.

.

.

.

.




I'm not sure how to continue this post from here. We have always been open to having more children, but it was one of those things that we decided would be ultimately left in God's hands. We talked about growing the family, but at this point we weren't much past the "eventually when we forget about the details about our rough pregnancies and the newborn stage and we get some more things done on the house we'll talk about it again" stage. We were surprised and reeling with anxieties, doubts, and feelings.

After we had adjusted a little to the news, the irony of our conversation the night before sank in. We were scared, but that didn't change the fact that this baby is here and it is loved. This is new territory, and the changes from growing from two under two to a family with three under three is not lost on us. But we are ready to embrace the change (literally, in a few months!). It's going to be hard, but it's going to be beautiful.

And to our third born,

we can't wait to see all of the things you will do. We have a long road ahead of us, but know that we love you with all that we are, no matter what. You will accomplish big things, and we will be here every step of the way. We can't wait to meet you, Baby "Ender."