Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tea With Elsa!

A couple of Saturdays ago, my mom treated all the ladies of the family to a fun little girls outing.  It was time for Tea with Elsa! 
 

Contrary to most of the pictures, Elyse & my niece Harper actually did have a great time...although in all the pictures they either look sad, scared, disinterested, or incredibly bored!  ha!  

Nora didn't have an Elsa costume, but she still got to join in on the fun.  

After the photo shoot with Elsa, and a few snacks, it was time for storytime with Elsa.  Notice Elyse chose to sit RIGHT NEXT to Queen Elsa.  

The best photo I could get with my girls...oh well, such is life with a toddler & a baby!  

A quick little selfie with Gigi!  haha!  
  
It was such a fun little event & all the little girls were precious.  I so love being a Girl Mom!  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Happy 1/2 Birthday Elyse Ann!

I'm not sure how it's possible that our little Toot has gone from a crinkly-nosed grinning, drooly mouthed, 6 month old...
 
 
to a beautiful young lady who amazes us each & every day. 
 

This girl made me a momma for the first time, and made her Daddy & I question what we ever did with our time before we became parents. 
 
This girl tries our patience, but loves us in such unconditional ways that it's incredibly hard to stay frustrated for long. 
 
This girl loves her princesses.  All of them.  But Cinderella is definitely her favorite, and I'm perfectly ok with that. 

 
This girl has taught us that some battles are worth fighting, and sometimes it's ok to stay up past normal bedtime to play tag in the house or chase bubbles outside or splash a little longer in the bath tub. 
 
This girl hates to be dirty, and is the true definition of a princess. 
 
This girl manages to steal my heart over & over again.  And I just keep letting her take it and I never want it back. 
 
This girl loves her friends.  All of them.  She is so sensitive when it comes to their happiness (unless it means playing with one of her most beloved toys). 

 
This girl teaches about Jesus.  She teaches about him with her quick forgiveness and love, her mercy & grace when we screw up, and her ability to dance through life without a care in the world. 
 
This girl is hilarious. Her imagination runs wild from one end of the spectrum to the other and a day doesn't go by that she doesn't have us all in a fit of giggles over something she has sad or done. 
 
This girl is dramatic.  As all little girls are.  And while it pushes my buttons and at times makes me so tired...I wouldn't change it for the world.  I hope she always has that much passion for the things in life that truly matter. 
 

This girl loves her sister to the moon and back.  I pray that their relationship only continues to grow as we move through life and that they become and remain the best of friends.  Even through the hard times. 

Elyse Ann,

Thank you.  Thank you for teaching your momma to step back from the seriousness of life and embrace a quick game of hide & seek.  Thank you for being dazzled by the simple things that come each day & for reminding me how precious every detail is.  Thank you for being the biggest princess of all, and for loving us in ways that I never imagined were possible.  Thank you for being an amazing big sister, keep teaching Nora and showing her how to love so passionately.  Thank you for being you.  For being kind & smart & funny & compassionate & supportive & encouraging, even when you don't realize you're doing all of those things. 

I love you little toot! 

Momma

Friday, June 5, 2015

Nora Kay Love ~ 6 Months

And here we are, officially closer to having a one year old than having a newborn baby.  I can't hardly believe how fast the time has gone.  I remember thinking how quickly things changed with Elyse, but time seems to be flying at warp speed when there's two precious girls running around the house.  

Nora will always share her 1/2 birthday with Gigi's actual birthday, which I think is a pretty cool coincidence.  

Weight/Height:  We had Nora's 6 month check-up on Monday, just one day shy of her 1/2 birthday.  She officially weighs 15 lbs 9 oz and is 25 1/2" long.  Even though she seems so much chunkier, she's only 3 oz bigger, and actually 1/2" shorter than Elyse was at this same milestone.  I remember with Elyse that it was these few months 6,7,8 where she looked her chubbiest....and then the crawling began.  I can't believe we're even talking about that next milestone!  
  Clothes: We're still in size 2 diapers and are wearing mostly 6-9 month or 6-12 month clothes.  We still have a few smaller clothes out, but I've packed most of those away in tubs.  This girl has LOADS of clothes, as we still have all of Elyse's clothes and of course Nora will get a few new things of her own!  
 Food:  She's still nursing 5x a day, and probably taking between 5.5-6 oz per feeding.  I started taking Fenugreek to boost my supply a bit as my kidney infection/antibiotics/fever did a number on me.   We started the entire baby led weaning journey a few weeks shy of the 6 month mark, because she just couldn't hardly stand to not participate in meal time!  She is doing incredibly well and while she's not technically ingesting a whole lot, she's tasting tons of different flavors.  So far she's had chicken, bread, bananas, tomatoes, avocadoes, apples, green beans, carrots, potatoes, pasta, pineapple, watermelon, yogurt, cucumbers, red onions, spinach, banana peppers, and maybe a french fry or two?!?  She's definitely got that grip down, and is still learning to swallow...but it's so incredibly fun to watch her eat!  

Sleep:  We're still playing the pacifier game through the night, but for the most part she goes down between 7:30-8:00 and sleeps until 3ish, we give the pacifier back and she sleeps until 6ish.  Some mornings we cuddle in bed and she goes back to sleep with us, or some mornings we can give her the pacifier again and she goes back to sleep until closer to 7.  I'm about to do some cry-it-out sleep training, but I just haven't decided if I'm quite ready for that!  She takes a short nap in the early mornings, and then takes two longer naps of 1.5-2 hrs from 11-1 and 2:30-4:30. That last nap is nice because it coincides with Elyse's afternoon nap so I get some time to myself.  
 Activity:  This month she started sitting up unassisted for extended periods of time.  She also started rolling over from back to belly.  However, she would much rather just sit up than be on her belly or back at all.  She is starting to reach for specific toys and indicating her wants & desires.  She's also started reaching for some of Elyse's toys, which I can already see will result in a few sister-fights down the road!  
Personality:  This girl is SOOOO happy.  We've been going through a bit of a fussy stage recently, but I truly think she is working hard on getting some teeth in.  She loves to giggle and laugh and just overall enjoys life.  She is starting to make more sounds, and is certain to get your attention if you aren't doing what she wants. Even during the fussy times, a change of scenery does a world of good so we'll go for a quick walk outside or I'll sit down in the floor and play with her and she calms right down.  She is so laid back about most things and she just lights up our world each day.  
Elyse & Nora:  Oh how these girls love each other.  Elyse loves to give plenty of affection, and sometimes doesn't understand the whole idea of gentle.  While I try to correct Elyse, it's a little bit hard when Nora is giving the hugest smile ever just to have some attention from her big sister.  They are starting to play together a little bit, with Elyse building block towers for Nora to knock over or for Elyse to bring a certain doll for them to play babies together.  I can see hours of tea parties & dress up & princess dances in our future with these two sweet girls.  

My precious Nora, 
Life certainly threw us a curve ball 3 months ago, but you never let it get you down and we're just plugging along enjoying life.  You are such a relaxed, casual sweet girl and I just love watching you interact with your sister & others around you each day.  You seem to smile with your whole body, which in turn just melts this momma's heart as I think about how lucky I am to call you mine.  As I finish nursing you before bed, we sit in the chair and rock to Jesus Loves Me...and as we stare at each other, it's as if you know exactly what I'm thinking and you know that those sweet precious coos & grins will succeed in making even the best day, just a little bit more perfect.  I love you sweet girl, oh how I love you.  
Momma 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Project 365 ~ May

Well thank goodness for Instagram, because my blogging has pretty much taken a back seat.  I've considered just shutting it down completely, because let's be honest...my time and priorities have switched a little from when I first started this blog 7 years ago.  However, I do still like having this one dedicated place for a lot of things...and it's the only baby book I have for both girls.  

So...for now you get our May in review, via Instagram and phone photos.  

We started off the month with a bang as we celebrated not only Hubby's birthday, but also a crazy high platelet count for Nora!  330,000 to be exact!  Woohoo for no more blood draws until September!  

Nora turned 5 months old and continued being her silly, smiley self!

Hubby started teaching Elyse a thing or two about golf...which lasted all of 2 days.  There's lots of time for learning the finer points of Hubby's favorite sport.  

We had a fabulous first trip to SDC for the year...I can assure you there will be many more!

We "ran" in the 10th annual Running of the Squirrels 5K!

We celebrated Mother's Day and I grieved a little more that this lady wasn't around to celebrate with us...

but we celebrated anyway, and had a great weekend with family!

We went to church with my parents and enjoyed the afternoon at their house...

which completely wore Elyse out, so I spent a few minutes snuggling my oldest baby...which was the perfect ending to Mother's Day.  

Nora spent her first night away from us while we headed to STL for a business meeting...

and she was obviously very bothered by the whole situation!  ha!  

I attempted my first, and so far only, French braid...and was pretty impressed with myself.  

We got a ton more smiles from this chunky baby girl...

We went to Lowe's as a family & filled the cart with flowers...Nora approved!  

We started baby led weaning and Nora is loving it!  We are too!  

We hosted a little college reunion of sorts...and look at all the kiddos!  Can't believe how things have changed in 10+ years!  

Ane Elyse threw a fit because someone was playing with her ball...downward dog becomes the new pouting position!

We celebrated my Granny Kay's birthday, and my grandpa gifted me with a ring from her collection. 

We went on family walks & Elyse danced in the sunshine...

We celebrated 8 years of marriage...

with a couples massage, dinner, and frozen custard!

Elyse further introduced Nora to the wondrous world of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!  

We also celebrated Cousin Harper's 2nd birthday... 

with a fabulous princess party! 

Nora decided her toes were enough to roll over for...and finally rolled from back to belly.  

I added some photos to our playroom wall...which makes me super nostalgic!

Yep...more smiles.  More giggles...and more sitting up like a big girl!

Elyse ate a donut.  Her way.  

We went back to SDC with my parents on Memorial Day and met up with several friends along the way.  Nora was a trooper!

We celebrated Papa's birthday a day early...but managed to get a decent picture of them with all their granddaughters!  

Happy Birthday Papa!

Elyse dubbed Nora the new sheriff in town!  

I managed to get a kidney infection the day before we left for our first weekend getaway since Nora was born.  So we spent the first night watching the Cardinals in our hotel room while I felt like I had been hit by a truck.  

Thankfully I was much better by the next night...and we had a great time, even if it did rain most of the night and the Cardinals lost.  

We came home refreshed and ready to see these two goobers...oh what a blessed life we have!