Thursday, May 5, 2016

Catching Up: April in Review

I constantly promise myself that I'll blog more often, but it just isn't happening right now.  We're much too busy living life to sit and write about it, and, while I miss blogging, that's not necessarily a bad thing. :)  So I'm writing when I can and cutting myself some slack when it comes to such things.  Harper's monthly posts are usually behind, and I still haven't finished and published Aniston's birthday post (she turned five in March), but it's all okay. 

It's the first week of May, and I'm not sure how that happened exactly, other than we're too caught up in the day-to-day living to realize how quickly time is passing.  April was busy, fun, and full of good things.

Aniston's preschool class visited the elementary school she'll be attending in August.  It was a bit overwhelming for me to realize that she's thisclose to starting kindergarten, but I'm trying to be okay with it.  At least we'll be in the same school for the next six years--that's definitely one of the perks of being a teacher.  They toured the kindergarten classrooms, ate lunch in the cafeteria, and played on the playground.

Aniston also had her kindergarten screening this month.  Be still my heart.  How can it be time for kindergarten already?

Aniston had a couple of sleepovers with grandparents last month, and B and I enjoyed some time with just Harper.  That doesn't happen for Harper often (second child problems), and she loved having our undivided attention.

We also had a date night with just Aniston.  We took her to Kobe's, a Japanese hibachi restaurant.  It was her first experience there, and she was fascinated with the whole thing--except the fire.  When the chef started a large fire on the hibachi grill, Aniston dove under the table.  It was hilarious!  I've never seen her move that fast before, and we, with the chef's help, had to coax her back into her seat by promising that there would be no more fire.  Bless her.

And, of course, there has been lots of playing.  The older Harper gets, the more opportunities the girls have to play together.  It's the sweetest thing to watch them!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Spring Break

Spring Break has absolutely flown by!  That doesn't surprise me, though, because most weeks around here do fly by.  Why would this one be any different?

Our break was busy: I cleaned and organized the master closet (which was a big project I had been wanting to tackle for a while), Harper had a well check, Aniston had a hair appointment, we met friends for lunch, I spent an afternoon shopping (without the girls).  We went to an egg hunt and celebrated Easter with both sides of our family.  We celebrated Aniston's birthday on March 25, and my birthday on April 1.  B and I had a rare date night on Saturday--dinner at Maggiano's and dessert at The Cheesecake Factory.  Yesterday, we went to a fun birthday party with a carnival theme, and Aniston had the best time and won three fish--Mooney, Corny, and Radish.  I have no idea how she came up with those names.  Bless.

 Harper and her cousin Lucas.  Harper is only one day older than Lucas!

Aniston and her cousin Thomas

 Sweet sisters.  This picture cracks me up. 

Having fun at Caroline's carnival party!

It was a really great week, and I hate to see it end!  Spring break always makes me look forward to summer!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Harper: Six Months

 Oh, Harper.  You are six months old!  SIX MONTHS.  That's half a year, sweet girl.  How in the world did this happen so quickly?!  You are growing and changing by the minute, and I just want time to slow down--for both you and your sister. 

You weigh a little over 17 pounds, and are around 26 inches long.  (Your six month well check is on April 29.)  You're wearing mostly 3-6 month clothing.  You have a few 6-9 month things you can wear, but most of the pants are too long still.  You wear size 2 diapers. 

You rolled over for the first time this week (on March 14), and, of course, you were with Papa when you did.  He was so excited!  You rolled from back to front, and you've done so a few times for your daddy, but not for me yet.  You are able to sit up with assistance, but not by yourself yet.  You love to be up and looking around.  You hate to be rocked to sleep, and often won't go to sleep until we put you down by yourself. 

You love baby food, and have tried lots this month.  Green beans are your least favorite, and you like sweet potatoes the best.  You drink six ounces of formula every three hours--and you still like to stay on a very strict schedule with that! 

You are the happiest little thing.  You make a noise that's kind of like a laugh, but you haven't really laughed yet.  You love to babble, and you love when people talk to you.  You love watching Aniston, and keep a close eye on what she's doing. 

You are such a blessing, Harper Shea!  Happy half birthday!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Harper: Five Months

Harper Shea, you are five months old!  How can it be that in one month we will be celebrating your half birthday?!

You are the happiest baby, and so much fun.  You squeal and smile constantly.  You think it's hilarious to blow raspberries, and, because of this, you have to wear a bib all the time.  (I pulled the bib off of you mere seconds before I snapped this picture, and you wasted no time getting your shirt wet with those crazy bubbles of yours!)  

We see more of your personality emerging by the day.  You're often silly, and always so very sweet.  You're developing preferences for certain toys (you love playing with a giraffe car seat toy the most right now) and stuffed animals (your Jelly Cat is your favorite with his long tail for grabbing and his soft ears which are perfect for biting).  You love anything soft, and you love to press something soft against your cheek, especially when you're sleepy.  

You are growing!  At your well check on Jan. 29, you weighed 15 pounds 3 ounces and were 24.5 inches long.  You're just slightly above average for weight and head circumference.  You wear size 2 diapers, and 3-6 month clothing.  You have the chunkiest little thighs with the sweetest rolls.  You have squishy cheeks and a round belly and you are just the most precious thing to hold--which is good, because being held is what you love most. 

The pediatrician gave us the go-ahead to introduce baby food this month and you love it!  So far, you've had oatmeal and sweet potatoes, and you'd like to have more than we give you.  You've been interested in food for a while now, watching closely as we eat and often swiping at forks and plates when opportunities arise.

You love to grab your feet, and you entertain yourself at night by raising your legs as high as you can and then dropping them to the mattress.  This makes a loud noise, and you think it's so funny.  You haven't laughed or rolled over yet, but you're so close to both of those milestones.  You love to sit up straight when you're on someone's lap.  You seem to be in a hurry to be independent.  I think that comes from watching Aniston and being so eager to do what she does.  You watch her all the time.  She loves you so much, and she's the sweetest big sister to you.  The two of you are going to be wonderful friends as you grow up.

You are a constant source of joy, sweet girl, and I'm so blessed to be your mama!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Harper: Four Months

Sweet Harper, you are four months old!

It has been a busy month here.  We celebrated your first Christmas and your first New Year.  In a moment of nostalgia, I found myself so sad that we were saying goodbye to your birth year.  Crazy, I know, but I felt as if somehow we were passing a milestone I didn't even expect.

The colic and acid reflux have eased (praise the Lord), and you are the happiest baby.  All those months of crying are now just a memory, and evenings are back to normal in our house.  I think all of us, even Aniston, took a collective sigh of relief when we realized things were getting better.  You are precious, but those hours of crying were certainly difficult.

You've had a couple of colds recently (a sad part of being a fall baby, I'm afraid), and you were diagnosed with your first ear infection on January 3.  We had to take both you and Aniston to the pediatrician on a Sunday morning.  Strangely enough, Aniston had her first ear infection that day, too.  We made it to four years old without an ear infection for her...and you didn't even make it to four months.  Bless.

You are still going to physical therapy to help with the torticollis.  Your therapist says you're doing well, and you're getting so much stronger.  Tummy time is still pretty miserable, but you do well if we prop you up a little and modify it.  

You weigh a little less than 14 pounds (you weighed 13 pounds 3 ounces on Jan. 3).  You love bath time, and you've recently discovered that you enjoy playing with toys.  You love watching Aniston, but still hate for her to grab your hand.  You use a paci, but you're not very attached to it and will often pop it out of your mouth and suck your thumb instead.

You are an absolute joy, and we are so thankful for you!

Friday, January 1, 2016

A New Year

2015 was very, very good for us.  We had the sweetest surprise in January when we found out we were expecting Harper, and her arrival in September was the highlight of our year.  Aniston has grown and changed.  It was a year of big changes for her, as she started preschool and became a big sister all in the same month, and she dealt with everything so well. 

2016 will be a fun year for our little family.  This year, B and I will celebrate ten years of marriage, Aniston will start kindergarten (how is that even possible?!), and Harper will turn one.  Time marches on, and, while I wish it would slow down a bit, I can't wait to see what this new year holds.

As I've said in years past, I love January 1.  Everything feels fresh, clean, and new.  365 days lie ahead of us, and the possibilities are endless.  

Rather than making a list of resolutions this year, I'm choosing a few areas of my life to focus on.

1| Spiritual Growth
When things get busy, my quiet time is the first thing to suffer.  It shouldn't be that way, and I'm determined to change that.  I also want this to be the year I read through the entire Bible.  I've started that in the past, but have never finished. 

2| Organization and Decluttering
I love being organized.  I crave it, in fact.  Over the last several months, though, things have kind of fallen by the wayside.  I need to get things back under control.  I'm planning to get rid of lots of clutter this year too.  We have so much stuff, and it's just not necessary.  I have drawers, closets, and cabinets that need to be purged, and the toy situation is an ongoing problem that needs to be solved. 

3| Balance
Someway, somehow, I have to find balance in my life this year.  Being a working mom and wife is hard, and I feel like I'm constantly juggling too many things.  I'm going to try to simplify things this year, and be intentional with my time and energy.  That's easier said than done, I know, but I'm going to give it my best effort. 

Here's to a great 2016!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Our Christmas

We had a wonderful Christmas!  It came and went too quickly (like it always does) and it was a very busy time for us (like it always is), but it was such a special time. 

Aniston's preschool had a Christmas program on December 10.  They made the cutest little reindeer shirts at school for the program.  The program itself was just precious. 

My grandparents are huge fans of traditional, background-type photographs.  We never have those kinds of pictures done, so as part of their Christmas gift this year, we took the girls for a session and gave them some framed prints. 

We took the girls to see Santa a few days before Christmas.  We made a night of it and went to dinner with the McCumbers, just like we did last year. 

Between juggling life with two kids and going back to work after Thanksgiving, things were really hectic and I didn't wrap a single present before the 23rd.  Huge mistake.  B and I made the most of it, though, and stayed up until 2am eating popcorn, watching Christmas Vacation, and wrapping.  It was a late night, and wrapping is not my favorite thing to do by any stretch of the imagination, but I loved the time we spent together.  In all the holiday craziness, it was a little time for just the two of us. 

Our Christmas gatherings started on Christmas Eve at 12:30, and we attended three on Christmas Eve, two on Christmas Day, and one the day after Christmas.  Whew!  It was busy, but so fun, and we're very thankful to have so much family to celebrate with.  We are blessed beyond measure. 

It was fun to open presents, and even more fun to watch our girls, but the best part of Christmas this year was listening to Aniston tell the Christmas story and sing songs about the birth of Jesus.  We're so thankful for a merciful savior, and the true meaning of Christmas!