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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Vacation 2014: Beach time!

We got the best of both worlds on our vacation this year – beach and a little Disney magic. First up are just a few, unedited, favorite beach pictures:

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Two girls and a….

We found out last week that we will be blessed with another baby girl!

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She looks great, healthy, so far drama-free and is kicking up a storm these days!

We have NO IDEA what her name will be, of course, but we’re up for the challenge.

Gianna is pretttty excited to have another sister and Aleesia has no idea what is going on but I’m sure she will appreciate getting to play both the little and big sister role.

Our hearts are overflowing with love for this girl already. I think she is going to fit in juuuuuuust fine!

Monday, August 4, 2014

A letter to my second daughter: 18 month unbirthday

My little Aleesia -

What an adventurous, crazy, first 18 months to life this has been for you (and for all of us!). Between hospital visits, big smiles, a few extra doctors appointments, extra snuggles, you sure have learned a lot more than just to eat your toes!

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This is one of my favorite ages – the beginning of toddler silliness with a side of snuggly baby. And  you my little love are no exception.

You LOVE to eat – I know I’ve said this before, but it still amazes me and makes me laugh at the same time. You went from being a small and scrawny baby nearly falling off of the growth chart to a complete 180 in that department!

Your pink blanket and elephant wubanub are your security items, or as we refer to them, your supplies. You aren’t seen much these days without these two things close behind. I can’t believe I don’t have a good picture of you with them, I’ll need to fix that.

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And speaking of pictures, while there might not be as many pictures of you as there are of Gianna as your aunts like to point out, I still managed to get a few adorable ones.

You are talking a lot now – mama, dada, hi, bye, more, please, dog, papa, aunt jacqui (no, really!), baby, nigh-nigh, high five, Mickey and Minnie! and I know so many more things that I am forgetting right now. One of my favorite things is the way you say hello – it’s more like “ellooooo” so funny! You know exactly who Gianna is but for some reason you still call her “daddy”!

Speaking of Minnie and Mickey, you have discovered this crazy Disney sing a long that we have and you love it – you’ll just bring us everything that looks like a TV remote saying “Mickey?” until we turn it on!

We started coloring with Gianna, which  you also like. Swimming is a favorite still. And you have started playing with toys some too – it’s fun to see you interacting with Gianna and starting to do some imaginative play. Babies dolls have recently made a big entrance into your life – you hug them, rock them, put them nigh-nigh, throw them on their head, etc.

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We see a little sibling rivalry sometimes, but mostly you just want to be doing whatever Gianna is doing and stick close to her. Generally you two will snuggle in the morning. And you are sharing a room now, which is going pretty well. You are a night owl compared to your big sister and usually think she is playing hide and seek with you once she falls asleep!!

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We’ve traveled a bit the past six months and you had quite an adventure in Washington DC! We are gearing up for your first airplane ride to Florida though, it should be a great trip.

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It amazes me how similar yet how different you are from your sister, I am constantly reminded that you are truly unique people and I love it! You love to dance, have picked up the skills of tantrum-throwing from Gianna, and are truly perfecting the pouty lip (you’re a sensitive sole).

I realize this doesn’t mean much to you right now, but you are a lucky girl. You have one big sister to learn all about life from and you will soon have a little sister to teach all of the life lessons you learn from Gianna.  She’s lucky to have both of you, but I have a sneaking suspicion the two of you are going to have something special.

My little snuggle bug, you have such a unique personality and your big smile truly lights up any room you are in. I can’t wait to see your personality bloom even more,you have so much to share with us!

We love you peanut,

Mommy

Friday, July 25, 2014

School Prep & Nerves


In a month Gianna will be starting her second week of Kindergarten. Which is just NUTS to me.

But ready or not, here we go, right?

We found out that she will be able to ride the bus and have all the details on that squared away - and it turns out there are something like 4 or 5 other kids from our neighborhood who will go to her same school! The only downside is that we have to walk her about 1/2 a block to the bus stop (and to pick her up, of course) but it is what it is so we will work with it.

We are getting the rest of her uniform attire tomorrow, she is getting her before school hair cut (trim!) and hopefully we will be able to do the rest of her school supply shopping this weekend. She doesn't have a lot on her list, which is nice. Probably the oddest thing is the headphones she has to have for computer class! Oh and we of course need to pick out a backpack and lunchbox. And shoes. Okay, so maybe we will need to stretch this into next weekend....

But either way, we HAVE to be done and ready to go next weekend because we are going to be out of town prior to school starting and the last thing anyone wants to do the day they get home from vacation is go school shopping!

So that is the prep part, we know what to get, we have our lists made, etc.

On to the nerves part.

Gianna is NERVOUS and dare I say maybe even a little scared about starting school. Which, how can we blame her? She's never been there save for one time for an hour during screening. She doesn't know anyone (yet). She's never been gone all day before. It's literally going to be 100% new to her. And as history has proven, she doesn't always like new routines or change. I think she is excited, at least she will tell you she is excited even if her face says otherwise, despite her nerves. But we have been seeing a lot of behavior from her that says otherwise - and she has said on more than a handful of occasions that she is a little nervous. She's afraid school will be hard because "sometimes learning is hard for me, mama." (breaks my heart that she feels that way, but that's a whole different post).

Mike and I (and everyone she's around regularly, I think) always try to be really positive about school - it's going to be so much fun! A new adventure! I tell her every time that she expresses nervousness about it that yes, it might feel hard at first but that's because it is NEW! Anything new feels hard (remember how swimming felt hard the first day.. etc.) even for grown ups. But it is all still such an abstract concept to her that I think she has a hard time believing what I am saying! She really thinks that we can just pick her up after lunch if she's not having a good day or if she's tired.

In order to help with some of the nerves we are going to start back up with a morning routine so that she knows exactly what to do and in what order. This has always helped her feel in control, and it cuts down on us reminding her (which pisses her off, quite frankly!) of what to do next. We have started waking her up a little earlier in preparation for getting up for school - her bus comes at 8, so we are going to start with an hour of wake-up/get ready time since she is NOT the kind of kid who can just get up and go! It's a process. I think I am going to make her a little count-down calendar too, she is having a hard time with when school will start and we can put other fun things on there for her - safety city, vacation, etc.

It's strange for me, as her mom, to think about her being in the hands of strangers (who we trust!) for 7 hours of every day, even if I am not home with her during the week. I'm not nervous about the school, we picked this school because we think it is the best fit for her, but I am nervous about her being nervous! I am confident that after the first few days things will be better and more comfortable for her, but we are also basically preparing for the worst/hoping for the best for those first few days.

But it is still impossible for this sleepy little cutie to be a Kindergartner, I don't care what you say!



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Monday, June 30, 2014

Growing up

We all know by now that these adorable little people we are so blessed to have call us mommy and daddy are the biggest time-suckers ever invented. It seems like yesterday they joined our family as itty bitty humans and tomorrow they are going to be taking on the world.

Or in this case, Kindergarten.

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I am an emotional wreck over this whole kindergarten business – not because I am necessarily sad about it, but because MY ITTY BITTY HUMAN is going to be gone all day. Because once school starts, it doesn’t stop for a very long time. It’s the first step to college. She might have gotten bigger, but she’s still my itty bitty human. Watching her grow up has been the greatest joy – I had no idea how awesome this journey of motherhood could be (how could you know beforehand?!) and it keeps getting better. Different, harder sometimes, but better.

The whole starting school thing has me wanting to latch on for dear life and then about 10x tighter to every moment with her since I get so few of them. Like how she wears silly pj combinations to bed which typically consist of a tutu and some kind of head wear (a hat, pink bunny ears, a tiara). As much as it drives me up a wall now, I’m sure I’ll miss the way she stalls at night and whines at me when she wants my attention. Okay, maybe I won’t so much miss the whining part as much as the attention seeking part. I love to spy on her while she plays – her imagination has always been fascinating to me and it still is. To watch her create stories and scenarios, crafts and pictures, getting her thoughts out into the universe however she can is pretty cool. She drew a picture today of our family “in the good old days” when Aleesia was a baby, she told me because Aleesia “didn’t take my toys then but I still love her anyway.” 

When Gianna tells a story she doesn’t leave out any detail, real or imaginary. My favorite story lately has been about when she went fishing with her Papa. “We went fishing, I had my Barbie fishing wand and Papa put on the worm ‘cuz it was gross. Then you have to watch the bobber, you know, the decoration on the fishing wand, until it sinks under the water. And when it sinks you have to real it in fastfastfast. then Papa takes the fish off!”

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I hope she always beams so bright when she accomplishes something she tries hard at. And that she stays so close with her Papa.

Gianna gets really nervous when she knows change is coming so we are trying to keep the whole school business low-key and no big deal but she asks almost every day about it. It’s nice to know exactly when she starts (it’s actually right when we get back from vacation) so we have sort of “time mark” to help us. She is excited but the unknowns sort of swirl in her mind sometimes it seems so we just try to answer whatever questions she has as best we can and reassure her that it’s still summer and to have fun! Sometimes though, I think I need the reassurance as much as she does that it’s still summer and to enjoy it!

It’s sometimes hard to watch your itty bitty human grow up, but this doesn’t feel hard as much as it feels likes it’s the ending and beginning of an era. The end of her being under our protection full time and the beginning of the school days where she might learn more about the world then we are ready for her too. It’s going to be great, hard sometimes I am sure, but it’s still summer time and we are going to soak in as much fun as we possibly can!

Before I know it I am going to be crying my eyes out every other day because my itty bitty human is going off to college and kissing her on the cheek before work in the morning as she sleeps in her tutu with her bunny ears on is going to be such a distant (fond) memory. They really do grow up in the blink of an eye, huh?