Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hippity-Hoppity Easter Photos aka Nora's 3 Month Photos

After all the craziness with Nora's platelet problem...we were finally able to fit in her 3 month photos at 3 months, 3 weeks!  Of course I had to include some photos of Elyse and we threw in some Easter bunnies & Easter eggs since Easter is coming so quickly!  

All photos courtesy of Kaci @ YourStyle Photography!  

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Slide, I-Spy Holes, a Giant Mountain and a Pirate Ship

Last year when we moved to our new house, I knew that one thing I really wanted to add to our backyard was a big wooden playset.  We discussed getting one last summer, which really ran into last fall...and by the time we decided to do it, the sets we wanted were all sold out.

So we just saved our money, knowing that as soon as the weather started to warm up we would purchase one.  And let's be honest, I'm glad we didn't have it all winter...because I know Elyse would have been begging to go out all the time and that just doesn't work with a newborn and frigid, cold temperatures.

With all of the chaos happening with Nora, our timeline actually got pushed back a little further than we had originally planned, but a couple weeks ago we finally made it to SAMs and purchased the set I had fallen in love with.  And we also splurged and purchased the install/delivery.  This was not optional for us.  Our time is way TOO valuable, and I love my husband enough to not put him through the torture of such a long and tedious process.

And so...while we were at work on Friday & while Elyse spent the day at my parents' house...something new & exciting showed up in our backyard!

I honestly couldn't be more thrilled with how it looks and Elyse absolutely LOVES it!  I can already tell that there will LOTS of imagination going on when we play outside this summer & so many memories made with our new playset.  

When Elyse talks about her new "playhouse" she always mentions the slide and the i-spy holes (the holes at the top of the second level) and the giant mountain (the rock wall) and the pirate ship (the yellow tandem swing).  I love that she has already created names for many of these things on her own!  

We're in the process of finding an infant swing for Nora as well...which means that lots of family evenings will consist of a quick dinner and spending the rest of the night outside in our backyard.  I tell you...it's just what this momma's dreams are made of!  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Little Bit of Elyse...

With all the excitement surrounding Nora, I realized I hadn't posted an update on our little Toot very recently...and trust me, this girl deserves her own precious post!  

Elyse, Toot, Sweetie, Sugar, Baby Girl, You are amazing.  Seriously.  You have become this sweet little girl who I adore with my whole heart. You are no longer a baby, or even a toddler...but a little girl who loves all things girly.  

Starting towards the end of my pregnancy with your sister, you developed this crazy, amazing relationship with your Daddy & it has just followed us through those first newborn weeks and isn't slowing up anytime soon.  You LOVE me and we have a great time together...but it's your daddy who you absolutely adores & I melt every time I watch you interact.  I'm so thankful for a daddy who's as hands on as yours is, it certainly made me feel less guilty once Nora arrived!   

You are full of personality.  All the time.  Like overflowing!  You love to sing & dance & twirl around like a princess. You still reads and reads, and seems to become attached to 1-2 books at a time and we read those over and over.  Your big princess book is always nearby & you seem to have a specific fondness for Ariel & Cinderella.  

You have learned to play games, and will follow the rules for the first 1-2 rounds.  A favorite right now is CandyLand, where you love to hold the pink special cards and you also still enjoy the Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game.  You also enjoy playing tag & hide-n-seek...although it's pretty easy to find you when you always hides in your playhouse.  You also love to play this crazy game that you & Daddy made up called Backwards on the Bed.  It's hilarious and I enjoy being on the sidelines just watching you play.   

You are still a fairly good eater, and while it might not always be the most well-rounded, healthiest meal...I'm thankful for a wide range of foods that you will eat right up.  Tacos, Spaghetti, Greek Yogurt with berries, Chicken Nuggets, Pizza, and Quesadillas with either sour cream or guacamole are probably at the top of your list...but you will eat lots of other things as well.  Berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) are still #1 of any food on your list...and if you won't eat those, we know you really just aren't hungry at all!  Veggies are bottom of the barrel...but we can typically get you to eat green beans on a fairly regular basis.  We have started to make you try a few new things at meals, and I'm hoping you'll be open to trying new things in the months to come.  Needless to say, a few mealtimes have become a battle...so your daddy & I are trying to find a balance in having you try new things but also having nice family meals together.

But oh Lordy, you get Hangry...(angry from hunger)...I hate to tell you this, but you inherited that from your momma & your Papa!  
You are incredibly observant and soak up details all day, every day.  Even when we think you aren't listening or paying attention, we realize that you have been when you spout off something random that you saw a few days or weeks earlier!  This ability to take in details can make you seem a bit overwhelmed in new situations, simply because it's physically & mentally impossible for you to take in every single detail around you.

I'm thankful that for the most part we have skipped over the terrible twos and the trying threes...you even made the adjustment to having a new baby in the house an absolute breeze.  You still certainly have your moments when I have to pause and remind myself..."she's 3.  she's only 3."  But for the most part you are incredibly well-behaved and treat us and those around you with respect.  You can still throw a pretty decent fit, and I have to admit that you got your first official spanking a few weeks ago...but now it seems just the threat of that possibility makes you shape right up.  However, I must say...even those threats are few & far between.  

You have the sweetest spirit and always seem concerned when someone is crying or upset.  Just last week, I was crying about everything with Nora and you walked up to me with the sweetest voice and reassured me saying..."It'll be ok Momma, it's gonna be alright."  And you know what baby girl...you were exactly right.  You also are fairly good about using your manners...although thank you comes out a lot more than please does.  
Your vocabulary continues to blow our minds and while you aren't officially reading, you have lots of books memorized and can tell us lots of stories from Mickey to Sheriff Callie to Cinderella.  You are also getting better at telling us stories and telling us what happened when we ask questions about your day or about your time at church.  You have a pretty crazy obsession with movies & most recently your favorites are Cinderella, Mary Poppins, Lady & the Tramp, & 101 Dalmatians aka Pongo.  I hate to admit that you've watched a bit more tv than I would like, but with your new sister and some late winter snow storms...movies have been fabulous for cuddling & passing away these last few cold winter days.  I hate to break it to you...but your daily movie watching may be coming to an end and I honestly think you'll be happy to be spending more time outside, getting fresh air!  
You don't actually know it yet, but starting in August you will be going to preschool for 2 half days a week.  I know that you love your time at home with me & your time with Gigi, but I know you will love the social aspect of preschool and you will learn so fast.  We have tried to do a few "school" days at home...but you don't really seem to have much interest.  You learn things in about 2 seconds, so I know that anything they want to teach you will come very quickly to you.  As much as I hate to admit it, you are growing up so incredibly fast and I think you need just a little bit of structure in your life!  And maybe to learn to share your toys with others. And wait in line.  And listen quietly to stories while others are listening.  
You love Nora so incredibly much.  You help me take care of her and ask to hold her on a daily basis.  You frequently talk about how you & Nora are "best sisters" and I think that's one of the best descriptions I've ever heard.  I hope you are always "best sisters" and that you will always be there for each other.  Even if you don't share well all the time with other kids, you frequently bring your favorite toys to Nora for her to see or hold on to...I can imagine this will only last until she starts taking them from you to push your buttons!  
Sweet girl, I love you so.  You are the one who first made me a momma and it seems that every day we learn something new from each other.  While you are perfectly happy to play independently by yourself...you also at least want me to be in the room with you and most of the time I'm more than happy to oblige.  I love it when you hold my hand or snuggle up on the couch with me or ask me to hold you.  I know those days are numbered and so I cherish every one of them.  You make me smile daily & I'm so thankful for everything that you teach me.  You are certainly one of a kind and I pray that we will be best friends for years to come...

Love, Momma

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Disney on Ice~Passport to Adventure

The week before we took Nora to the doctor for the first time, I had realized that Disney on Ice was going to be coming to Kansas City and would be bringing a TON of Elyse's favorite characters.  Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy & chartacters from The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Lilo & Stich, & Peter Pan would all be part of the show!  

And so, kind of on a whim, we purchased tickets & decided we'd make it a short little family getaway with just the four of us.  

Well, then everything sort of fell apart with Nora being in the hospital...but we really weren't given any sort of limitations and we definitely needed some time away.  Plus, this was really all about Elyse and she definitely deserved something fun!  So...we loaded up on Friday, March 6 and drove to Kansas City.  The show was Saturday morning at 11, but we went up on Friday and enjoyed some quick shopping & dinner at The Cheesecake Factory.  We all got a good night's rest and we headed to the show.  

We arrived about the time the doors open & Elyse was on sensory overload.  There were princess wands & character memorabilia everywhere and it was just a little chaotic!  In fact, once we got to our seats she didn't want to leave for fear of missing out on something.  We finally convinced her to use the bathroom before it started and we stocked up on too-expensive popcorn before settling in.  Oh, and we mustn't forget the Ariel Wand!   

The show started and just as expected, she LOVED it!  Nora dozed in and out for the majority of the show, but was happy for the most part.  As Mickey & his friends would leave the ice for another show to take over, Elyse was always wondering where they were & when were they coming back!  

The second act began with a twist on the Mary Poppin's song, Jolly Holiday.  Which was just icing on the cake as she LOVES Mary Poppins.  

After the show was over we headed to our car and it took us quite sometime to actually get out of the parking lot...even though it was past lunchtime, Elyse crashed before we made it anywhere to eat.  Poor girl was just worn out!  

It was a quick trip, but a fun one...and I was thankful for the quick getaway with how stressful the week had been.  And of course...Frozen on Ice is coming to Kansas City in August--looks like we might be making another road trip!