Thursday, October 1, 2015

Project 365 ~ September

And another month is in the books.  We're 3/4's of the way through the year and I can't believe that fall is officially upon us.  We had another pretty fabulous month with lots of time with family, lots of time with friends, and lots of time just enjoying our precious family of 4!  

We had some pretty great days at home with tea parties, Disney Palace pets, juice boxes, and our very own tornado named Nora!  

Nora turned 9 months old, and learned to officially crawl.  Babyproofing has yet to occur, we're just running around the house keeping her out of all the things she thinks would be so fun...electrical outlets, trash cans, toilets, etc. 

Daddy took his own selfies, with his very own mini-me's!

 We went to princess night at the Springfield Cardinals game and met up with cousin Harper.  Both of my princesses enjoyed the outing...except for when Spiderman and Batman appeared.  My oldest princess is NOT A FAN.  

Papa & Gigi got in some quality time with their three granddaughters before the first grandson arrives in a few weeks!  These three girls are pretty spoiled to have these two as grandparents.  

We ate the last "special" popsicle of the season...until next year...

We managed to plan a trip to Dogwood Canyon with Nick's family.  We biked the trails and got caught in a total downpour which meant we were all SOAKED.  But such a fun family adventure!

We praised God for his protection as Nora had her 9 month blood work and her platelet count was at 453,000!

My dad did something unprecedented and we surprised our staff by closing the office for the afternoon as a staff appreciation event.  The girls went to a fancy lunch and then to a spa for pedicures and massages...and the boys went to Top of the Rock for some golf!  

Nora kept growing those stinkin' teeth so we tried to soothe her with an ice cream outing!

We spent evenings with friends, and realized that sometimes our "threenager" doesn't really adapt to a change in plans very well.  

Our church celebrated 10 years and I couldn't have been more grateful for the people God has brought into our life because of this body of believers.  

A great college friend recently moved back to the area from DC after 12 years...and we met up with another dear friend for dinner.  I can't wait to spend LOTS more time with these two!

We marked the one-year anniversary since my Granny went to be with Jesus...and we all still miss her so incredibly much!  

I tried to get pictures of Nora's teeth...but this is the best I could do with the little squirmer! 

I took a break from social media posting as we spent a week in Destin, FL with my parents.  More to come in a separate post...

Nora mastered her crawling even more while we were on vacation and learned to climb up 1-2 steps.  Lord help us all!  

Hubby & I put the girls to bed and took a selfie.  With the SuperMoon.  And a streetlight. 

We fall-ified our front porch...I can't believe it's time for pumpkins, mums, and haybales!  

Elyse played even more with her Princess Palace Pets...all 43 of them.  

And this little ornery stinker kept us all on our toes...she's pulling up and crawling over to and making a royal mess of everything....
But, we're loving every single second of it!  

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Elyse Goes to School!

It'd be a big fat momma failure if I didn't document one of the biggest changes in Elyse's short little life.  Back in August, she started 2x a week preschool and is absolutely loving it! 
We started off the week before with another big first...her first haircut!  Her hair is super fine, and she doesn't have a lot of it so I'd never even trimmed it.  But I knew it was time for just a quick cleanup of the ends and she did so well! 

I couldn't believe how big she looked once they curled her hair!

And then the Thursday before school started, we had open house at the school.  She's going to preschool at a Baptist church here in the area and the program comes very highly recommended from some of our good friends.  She knows a few of the kids, but there will also be plenty of new faces for her to call new friends.  The open house went extremely well and she jumped right in to play with the other children & also encouraged some of the more timid kids to play with her.  It gave me so much confidence as the first day of school came around. 

The night before I packed her backpack and also this cute little free printable for her to hold. 

We first attempted pictures outside, but she wasn't having it.  After Momma begged her to take some pictures and Daddy said pretty please...she quickly obliged for a few photos! 

We dropped Nora off with my mom, and Elyse was so excited she didn't even want to get out of the car to say hi to Gigi...and that's saying something! 
Hubby & I both walked her in, and she acted completely confident the entire way.  I did incredibly well the entire time, except for when I went to leave.  It wasn't so much sadness that caused the tears, but just pride and excitement over what is to come for her.  I gave her a hug, and reassured her that we'd be there to pick her up in time for lunch.  I practically sprinted out of the room, so she wouldn't see the tears start to flow. 

We still don't hear a lot of daily details, as she prefers to tell us..."I'll tell you later." But we get just enough to know that she's having a great time, learning lots, and is making lots of new friends.  We've also had a few "learning lessons" when she becomes the teacher & Hubby & I are the students.  We learn lots this way about how her class works and the routines they go through each day.  She's even got the teacher book hold down as she reads us stories just like Ms. Bailey does.   
Overall I'm just so excited that we decided to send her this year.  This will give her two years of preschool before Kindergarten and it's also giving my mom some one-on-one time with Nora while Elyse goes to school.  And honestly...Momma isn't losing any time with her because she's going to preschool while I'm at work.  I just hope she loves to learn as much as I did...but regardless I know she's going to leave her loving, encouraging mark on so many new friends! 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Nora Kay Love ~ 9 Months

Wow.  I have a 9 month old.  An active 9 month old.  We're practically already to toddler-hood, and while I love watching my girls grow up and experience new things, I also certainly have some bittersweet feelings about the babyness going away all too quickly. 
One newsworthy event from Nora's 9 month appt...her platelet count is now at 453,000!  Praise God!  We've definitely come a long way from the count of 7,000 we had just 6 months ago! 
Weight/Height: 18.4 lbs and 27" long.  She's actually smaller than Elyse was at this age, and I've certainly noticed that some of the baby chunk is starting to fall away with her being so mobile.  I also think that baby led weaning is causing her not to gain quite so much weight since she's not truly eating everything that's in front of her. 
Clothes:  She's wearing size 3 diapers and I literally have 4-5 huge totes currently in my house as we are in the process of transitioning from one size/season of clothes into another.  As we leave for Florida, she's still able to wear quite a bit of 3-6 month stuff and also her 6-9 month stuff...but as we come back most all of her fall clothes will be 9-12 month.  She seems to be just a little more petite than Elyse so some of the larger stuff may have to wait until she grows just a bit more.  I'm ok with that, it gives me an excuse to buy her a few new things! 
Food:  I honestly don't know if I've ever seen anyone enjoy food as much as Nora.  She is perfectly content to sit in her high chair for nearly 30 minutes as long as she has food on her tray.  She has many favorites including peaches, tomatoes, grapes, yellow squash, zucchini, green beans, apples, french fries, noodles, peanut butter & jelly toast, berries, pizza, etc.  I honestly can't think of a single thing that she won't eat and that makes me so happy...of course even with Baby Led Weaning, I know that these moments are fleeting.  I just hope that BLW will help us transition out of the picky toddler stage sooner rather than later. 
Sleep:  We had to do a little bit of sleep training this month, the 9 month sleep regression was fairly short lived as she had to figure out how to lay back down since she was sitting up in her sleep.  She's also still fighting some new teeth which results in some minor crying during the night, but she quickly settles herself back down and sleeps mainly from 7:30-7 am.  She's also still taking 2 great naps during the day which allows me some momma time and also some quality time with Elyse.  Elyse slept HORRIBLY during this stage, so I'm hoping that we'll skip right over that with Nora. 
Activity:  So you know that momma paranoia about Nora not crawling yet?!?  Yeah, that's gone.  We are definitely a mover.  She officially started crawling on all fours a few days before she turned 9 months old...and hasn't looked back since.  She crawls from room to room and can be in a different place in a flash.  You don't enjoy rocking much anymore and this makes me incredibly sad, preferring to just be quickly laid down in your crib when it's time for nap/bedtime (which by the way, we've now moved your crib all the way to the floor--we don't want a repeat of what happened with your sister at this age)! We laugh that with Elyse we baby-proofed because we should, because that's just what you do with your first baby.  But with Nora?  Yeah, we're babyproofing because we have to. Silly girl, she's going to give us a run for our money!  She's into EVERYTHING! 
Personality:  With turning 9 months old came just a little bit of separation anxiety.  She doesn't mind to be left with others, but if Momma is around she wants to be with me most of the time.  Her sister hated men, but she loves to smile and wink and flirt with all of them!  I'm definitely going to have to keep an eye on her when she gets older.  We have people frequently ask if she's always this happy or this laid back and the answer is...yes.  Being the second child she's so great at just going with the flow and adapting, which I am so super thankful for!  She loves when we sing or play games and just gets the giggles almost anytime her sister is around.  She's starting to give some open mouth kisses and I just love her absolutely to pieces. 
Elyse & Nora:  Now that Nora is mobile, we've had a few additional issues as Nora really just wants to play with whatever Elyse is playing with.  However, thanks to the advice of a friend, we play this game that "Giant Baby Nora" is coming so we've made it a keep-away game of sorts if Nora gets too close to anything too precious to Elyse.  They still absolutely love each other, Elyse misses her dearly when she's at school and I know that Nora was definitely a little confused the first few days that Elyse wasn't around.  I'm excited for the coming months as they begin to play more & more together...right now the sisterly bond is pretty incredible to witness. 
Nora Bear, Sugar Booger, Nors, Squirt...
Oh how you are loved.  Loved, loved, loved.  You have come into our family & filled this perfect little Nora-sized hole that we didn't really even know existed.  Unlike with your sister, this time around I've been able to be so much more relaxed and I even find myself wanting you to wake up just so I can play with you or spend more time with you.  As your personality continues to blossom, it's so exciting to see how you are similar to your sister in looks but you are definitely your own little person who certainly will have your own ideas & dreams & passions.  God certainly knew what he was doing (as he always does) when he made me a girl mom for the second time and I wouldn't change it for the world.  We love you squirt...forever & always. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Project 365 ~ August

So...I'm incredibly thankful for scheduled posting.  It'll make this post seem like it was a lot more on time than it truly was!  ha!  

Summer flew by, and it doesn't seem like it's going to slow down anytime soon.  My blogging has certainly taken a back seat and I'm ok with that...I'm just glad that I'm still following through with this Project 365 because it's fun to look back on how the girls have changed & what all we manage to accomplish and experience each month! we go!  

Momma finally enjoyed her Mother's Day present with an afternoon at the spa...a facial, an hour massage, and a pedicure and I felt like a new woman!  

Nora turned 8 months old--AKA the last un-mobile month of her life.  

We swam in Papa & Gigi's pool and Nora held on for dear life...

We enjoyed some unseasonably cool summer evenings and took several walks.  

Momma & Mamaw took an excursion to the AMAZEUM in Bentonville, AR.  We'll definitely be making another trip back...but Nora may get to stay home this time!  

We also made a trip to the zoo with friends, and we had our very own zoo tour guide.  

I managed to make it to Zumba a few times, but more importantly I got to celebrate my bestie's 3rd birthday as having her own Zumba studio!  

Elyse went to spend the morning with Aunt B and of course, she got to ride good ole Lucky!  

We had dinner at Branson Landing with my brother's family...oh how Elyse loves her cousin Harper!

Nora was as precious as ever...or at least while she was still stationary.  

Hubby & I had the chance for a couple of date nights!  Woohoo!

And Nora fully embraced multiple-Ba's in her crib...just like her sister!  

Elyse showed me that she's learned to "feed" Cinderella.  Yes, she's pretending to nurse Baby Cinderella.  Hilarious.  

We went to the park with friends, and this girl loved the swings!

And I swear those baby blues got even bluer...#nofilter

Fresh, local peaches found their way to my kitchen...and my belly.  And Nora is obsessed.  But who can blame her, because there's just nothing better.  

I played matchy-matchy with my girls and Elyse begged for a picture with her sister!

Elyse had a big milestone with her first haircut...

& of course there were multiple photos to document it!

Nora devoured enchiladas and fresh peaches, just like she devours almost everything.  Which means we had lots of sink baths immediately after dinner!

We had Open House for Elyse's preschool, she was soooo excited! 

The girls loved each other, and loved each other, and loved each other...

We held our 4th Annual Drive Out Hunger charity golf tournament for the local backpack program.  And I snagged my annual photo with my grandpa.  

Momma was all set and ready to go for the first day of school.  

And Elyse was super excited as well...

Baby backed herself in a corner when she was still not quite sure how to crawl forward.

And Hubby & I had another date night!  

Nora decided she LOVED to stand, which I can only assume means we'll have an early walker on our hands...

And we had a family night out with some of Hubby's high school friends (who became my college friends).  Elyse went bowling for the first time and loved it!  

We finished out the month with another trip to Silver Dollar City, where Elyse got absolutely SOAKED on the Lost River (see above left photo).  But she had a great time with some of her best friends from church!  

Whew...another busy month has come to a close.  But oh so fun to do life with my precious family!