Thursday, July 31, 2008

Four nights in a row...

So my little angel baby has slept from 10:00/10:30 until 9:00 am for the last four nights!! And on top of that Audrey has been sleeping in until at least 8:30 this week. I am a very well rested woman. Just thought I would brag.

On the potty training front I have decided to go cold turkey to panties. The reason is that I think pull-ups are just too similar to diapers. So we tried this yesterday. While we only had one success in the actual potty everytime she peed she would cry. This is actually a positive because now she is acknowledging that she is going whereas before she didn't even blink if she peed in her diaper or pull-up. So keep praying for us. I think she is getting closer to recognizing her body's signals. I just hope we get there soon.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Family Reunion and such

Well Friday pictures went great. The photographer didn't really know how to work with a 2.5 year old so I had to try not to laugh at the looks Audrey was throwing her. However, once I explained to Audrey what she needed to do and reminded her of the treat that awaited her she did a good job. I got some beautiful pictures and am anxiously awaiting August 6th when I can go and pick them up.

Saturday afternoon we went to Panther Lake for a family reunion for Kenny's side of the family. Now sometimes this is a little awkward for us because technically we really aren't family but they are a great group of people and always welcome us in. Plus Kenny's sister, Jayne, has a beautiful piece of property on the lake that we like to go to and Audrey LOVES to play in the water. So it is relaxing and fun even if it is a lot of people. This is our third year going and it is fun to see everyone getting bigger (the kids) and all the families growing. Audrey swam in the lake, jumped on a trampoline, ran and ran in the grass, and played ball with Derek. She was exhausted by the time we left. We had a good day. I didn't take a lot of pictures but here are a couple:
This is a picture of the lake from the deck of the house.

This is Derek and Audrey on the trampoline:
Jumping on the trampoline:

What Audrey looked like at the end of the day:

What Brianna thought of the whole experience :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Babies, babies everywhere and the return of the nap

No this isn't the title to some lame low-budget horror film. This is my life. Yesterday one of my close friends had a baby and another found out she was pregnant. Life is perpetuating around me all the time. I now have 4 friends who are pregnant (down by one since yesterday) and by March of next year we will all have at least 2 children, some of us 3. It is a weird feeling though because Brianna is on the top end of this round of babies whereas Audrey was almost at the bottom of the last round with Eva coming in behind her. So it is going to be interesting to see how all these babies end up, especially since most of them, at least the ones we know about, are girls. It is so fun to be surrounded by all the new life. To see how different each and every baby is and how similar the second ones are to their older siblings. The next fun thing we all get to wrestle with is... do we keep going or is our family complete? But that's a subject for a whole other blog.

In other news I think the nap is back!!! I don't know if I mentioned on here but for about 3 weeks it looked like Audrey had decided that she didn't need a nap anymore. I was bummed but we established that even if she isn't going to sleep she is going to stay in bed for 90 minutes a day, at least, so that I could get a break. She was napping about 2 times a week but it was such a strange situation. If she napped I got a better break but then she was taking anywhere from and hour to an hour and a half to go to sleep at night. Sometimes not falling asleep until almost 10 o'clock. That's really frustrating. If she didn't nap she went to bed really well but that last 30 minutes before bedtime could be really rough. Well, I am happy to say that so far this week she has napped every day. Falling asleep within 20 minutes of being put down and still going to bed well for us at night. I think I finally have my little girl back. I think life is finally back to "normal" since Brianna's arrival. I am so happy.

So we are going to go and get Brianna's 3 month portraits today. I am going to try and get a picture of the girls together, pray hard! This didn't go so well when we tried it after Brianna was born. Audrey was HIGHLY uncooperative. I am doing this sans Derek so I am praying it works. If not it isn't the end of the world but I would really like a portrait of the two of them. We'll see. Hopefully I will have good news to report. Well, that's all for now because I have to go and iron dresses for pictures.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

3 Months Old

So yesterday (July 21) Brianna turned three months old. I can't believe how much she has changed and how fast it has gone. She is still an angel baby. She sleeps like a champ, falls asleep on her own, only gets upset if she is hungry and occasionally when she is tired, she nurses well but takes expressed milk from a bottle when I give it to her and smiles ALL the time. She is now laughing and cooing. Sometimes I think she is trying to mimic the noises that she hears. She thinks her big sister is hilarious and desperately wants to sit up on her own. She kicks and kicks when she is excited/happy about something. Overall she is great! I don't know her exact measurements because she doesn't go back to the doctor until 4 months but we are going to try and figure them out. For now here is a picture of her yesterday at three months:




And yes she does look a lot like Audrey did.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Five Years

So yesterday, July 19, was my five year wedding anniversary. Unfortunately with having a nursing 3 month old (well, almost) we couldn't really get away without taking her with us. So we decided to have a low key celebration now and save up to get away sometime this fall/winter. We shipped Audrey off for the night to my mom's and Derek's mom came and watched Brianna at our house so we got to spend a whole evening alone. I forgot how much easier it is to go somewhere without children. So we went and saw The Dark Knight. It was really really good and I am not just saying that because it was Heath Ledger's last completed movie. He did an excellent job and the whole movie was well done. Then we went and had dinner at Famous Dave's. For those of you who know us you know that this is our new favorite restaurant. The food is delicious, plentiful and not that expensive. The only "problem" with it is that it is really popular and always crowded. Well since we didn't have kids the wait to sit down wasn't stressful and we got to sit and talk while waiting for our food. We didn't have to tell someone to sit down 15 times or to get back up in the seat not on the floor or come up with interesting activities while we waited for our food. It was really relaxing. We were home by 8:15 because we caught an early movie (too cheap to pay night prices). We then watched Fool's Gold with Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson... it was really cute. Better than I thought it would be. Overall our fifth anniversary was great.

UPDATE: Please pray for us because the potty training is going sllloooowww. Audrey seems to have the head knowledge to do it but doesn't seem to recognize her body's signals for when she has to go. We are going to stick with it this time and not go back to diapers. I am confident that within the next two months she will have it down. Pray for patience and the right techniques. She isn't fighting us on it so that is a good thing but we just aren't having a lot of success right now.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More pee

We finally have some potty training success. Audrey turned two and a half on Friday and we decided that we would stick close to home this week and work on potty training. We have tried this twice before with pretty much no success. I think because of previous tries Audrey was hesitant to try again. And by hesitant I mean pitches a fit every time I tell her it is time to sit on the potty. The first couple of times (fits) were almost enough to detour me from trying again but I really want her to potty train. She has started getting diaper rashes more easily and I think her body is saying "I don't want to sit in my own waste product anymore".

So we started with Dora pull-ups (a big deal to our resident Dora expert) and two choices of where to go potty (also a big deal to our very independent toddler). So about once an hour, sometimes more, I tell Audrey it is time to potty. She gets the choice of where she wants to sit, the little potty chair or the big potty with the insert so she doesn't fall in. She varies it up. Well yesterday she sat on the potty 11 times, which is success because by the end of the day she was doing it voluntarily, and she went *drum roll please* 2 times!! YAY!!! I know that doesn't seem like a lot but that is two times more than she went the last time we tried potty training. We made a VERY big deal out of it and are going to make cookies today to celebrate. Pray that the success continues. I don't care if this takes a while as long as there is success, so far so good! We are going to try actual panties today to see if the security of absorbency is taken away if that will encourage her to go more. Like I said, pray for me.

Wheel of fortune UPDATE:

Sorry it has taken me so long to post but here it is. As mentioned in a previous post Derek and I went to the Wheelmobile event at 7 Cedars Casino last Saturday. What they did was have us fill out little pieces of paper. Then they would draw 5 names at once and call people up. Each person would call a letter (no spinning involved) and then get 3 seconds to solve. If you actually watch Wheel you know that this is similar to the final spin they do when they run out of time during the last puzzle. They do this until someone solves it. Everyone who gets called up gets a prize. Something small like a T-shirt, a hat, a key chain, etc. So we stayed for two shows. Derek was called up but I wasn't. They were looking for enthusiastic contestants who call out logical letters and make quick decisions. I thought Derek was all those. Just because I wasn't called up doesn't mean I have no shot at being on the show. They are going to leave a few spots open in the final auditions and randomly draw names from people who weren't called. We'll find out via email or snail mail if we are called for a final audition, which will be in Seattle. Cross your fingers for us!! Even if nothing happens it was a fun time. OH!! By the way, Derek won a fanny-pack (hee hee), a keychain, a pin, and a Komo 4 mousepad... WOO HOO!! :)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Before Motherhood...

While in the shower this morning I realized that my baby turns exactly two and a half today. I also realized that a lot has changed about me in the 2.5 years since I became a mother. It was really quite amazing to me. Here are my revelations:

Before motherhood... I was always on time, in fact I was usually early. I hate being late but it seems impossible to get out of the door and to the place I am going. In fact it is so rare that it actually makes my whole day if I get somewhere early or even on time.

Before motherhood... I could get up 30-45 minutes before I had to leave to be somewhere and actually look exactly the same as I do when I get up 2 hours before I have to leave to be somewhere now... especially if I am by myself getting both girls ready. Forget doing my hair though, that would require at least an additional 30 minutes because I would have to deal with Audrey's interruptions asking me what I was doing and asking for chocolate milk and asking to watch a show.

Before motherhood... I showered EVERY day, without fail, no matter what. No exaggeration. Now I congratulate myself if I shower more than 2 days in a row. Plus, before children, I didn't have to do a lot of thinking before I took a shower. Ever since having children when I am at home alone with them and need a shower a lot of planning and skill is needed. I have to make sure that both children are going to be safe while I am unavailable. I have to make sure that their needs are met before going into the shower. I have to deal with a two year old poking her head in every five minutes to ask me what I am doing. And all of this in time to get out of the house on time for something - well, at least that is the plan at the time.

Before motherhood... I left the house with just my purse and had more than I needed for my outing. Now I leave the house with a purse and a big diaper bag. I have to make sure I have enough diapers for two kids (although hopefully it will only be one soon). I have to make sure there are wipes, changes of clothing, and a myriad of other little items that I deem essential for the diaper bag. I really like to be prepared.

Before motherhood... I looked for parking places as close to the door of the stores I was going in to as possible. Now I look for spots near the cart kiosks so that when I come out I don't have to go far from the car (with two little girls in it) to put the cart back.

Before motherhood... I slept like a rock. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and stayed that way till morning and almost nothing would wake me. Nowadays I still sleep hard and deep but the smallest peep from one of my girls and I am wide awake.

And speaking of sleep-Before motherhood... sleeping in meant getting up at 10 or 11 on a Saturday. Now I am ecstatic if I can sleep past eight. And as for staying up late, man alive has that changed. Before motherhood... staying up late meant 12 or 1 am. It meant the wee hours of the morning. But those were back in the days when sleeping in was different too (see previous statement). Now if I can make it till midnight that is SUPER late and I feel it the next day.

Before motherhood... I rarely forgot the things I needed to take with me or get done throughout the day. I was efficient at making lists and those lists always ensured that I got everything done. Now I ALWAYS, no exaggeration, forget something. It doesn't have to be something big, it can be as innocuous as a pair of sunglasses or my water bottle that I filled up and left sitting on the kitchen counter. Or as insignificant as not making the bed before we left for the day even though I went into the bedroom 4 times to do it and each time couldn't remember what it was I went into the bedroom for to begin with. And as for the lists, if I even remember to take it with me, inevitably something will be looked over or I will have forgotten to put it on the list to begin with... because you know somewhere between the bathroom and the kitchen something distracted me enough that by the time I got to the kitchen, where my list is kept, I will have completely forgotten why I even went into the kitchen much less remember that I needed to write down that we need toothpaste.

Before motherhood... I did laundry once a week. I could get it all done, washed-folded-put away, in one day. Now I can get it all done in one day but only if I start the moment I get up and go until I go to bed and that is with making sure that I get things in the washer and dryer as soon as they are done, folded as soon as they come out of the dryer and put away as soon as they are folded. Otherwise it is a week long process and by the time I have put the last article of clothing away, it is time to start all over again.

Before motherhood... all my meals were hot and eaten at normal times (i.e. lunch around noon instead of at 2:30 because you just realized you never ate lunch). Now I have to make sure the girls are taken care of in that department before I am and with nursing it can mean a lot of cold meals. Plus, I have to share everything with someone who "wanna bite, mama".

Before motherhood... I would never have thought about talking about bowel movements and all of its minutiae. Now, however, I find my fellow friends who are mothers and I (and sometimes a rogue stranger) talking at length about all sorts of bodily functions of our children and even celebrating in them.

And lastly, Before motherhood... Derek and I could go on little day trips, out to the movies, out to eat, etc. with very little notice or preparation. We didn't have to think about nap schedules, feeding schedules, children's menus, rest stops for diaper changes, babysitters for adult movies, discreet places to nurse, etc. Plus all the aforementioned gear that goes along with taking a toddler and an infant places.

Now if it comes off as if I don't like motherhood or lament the loss of all of the items listed that is not at all the case. I was just reflecting on the changes that motherhood has brought into my life since being blessed with my first daughter in January of 2006. So I thought, "What changes has motherhood brought that are nothing but positive?. This is what I came up with:

Before motherhood... I never had the joy of hearing my baby's heartbeat for the first time.

Before motherhood... I never got the see my baby on an ultrasound and watch her heart beat strong and see how she is growing.

Before motherhood... I never got to feel a baby kick from inside of me.

Before motherhood... I never had the joy of that first smile, first laugh, first food, first crawl, first step.

Before motherhood... I never got to hear someone tell me, "I love you, momma"

Before motherhood... I never got unsolicited kisses and hugs, even if they are messy.

Before motherhood... I never got the joy of watching the peaceful sleep of my child.

Before motherhood... I never got the joy of listening to the endearing renditions of my toddler's songs. Old MacDonald, itsy bitsy spider, London bridges, ring around the rosy, etc. are all of a sudden the best songs in the world when you hear your 2 year old sing them.

I could go on and on (and this has already turned into a much longer post than originally anticipated to begin with) so I will end it with this thought. As much as I have sacrificed and as much work as it is to be a mother - I wouldn't trade it for anything. I am so blessed to have two healthy beautiful little girls and I can't ask for much more than that. So while they can be exhausting, frustrating, irritating and just a plain old inconvenient at times..... I'll take it to the alternative. I think I am going to go kiss my two princesses and thank Jesus, yet again, for the gift he has given me in them.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wheel..... OF......

FORTUNE!!!!! That is what we will be saying this weekend. Derek and I are going to go to an audition to be on Wheel of Fortune. Well, actually this is a pre-audition. We will go and fill out an application. Then there will be a simulated game where they will pull applications and have us play. Then if they like you, you will be asked back for a real audition. Then if they like you there you will be asked to come to a show taping in L.A. Derek and I are really excited to go. If nothing else at least it will be a couple of hours of fun. But there is always the possibility that this is our ticket to wealth and riches that we've never known.... :) Hee hee hee, I so funny. I will definitely be posting how it went.
Meanwhile VBS is going well, much better than anticipated, and we are 3/5 of the way done. So in just a couple of days I will be able to go back to sleep after Brianna's 6 am feeding instead of having to get up and get going for the day. I am really looking forward to that.

Monday, July 7, 2008

VBS

So today started Vacation Bible School at our church. I (inadvertently) signed up to be the leader in the kitchen. I have never done this before. Being a teacher I have always taught a class in the past. Even last year I was in the nursery watching children so that I could be with Audrey. So I was a little anxious and not very excited about it. However, it went GREAT!! My sister, Bekah, and one other lady helped me in the kitchen and the snack went very smooth. Even with clean-up we were done by 11. The nice thing about being in the kitchen is that once we were done we could leave. And because Audrey isn't old enough to be in a regular class I am not pulling her out of activities.... all this will be different starting next year. The only thing I felt bad about is that Audrey and Brianna were the only kids in the nursery. All the other kids there were old enough to be in the preschool class and Audrey wasn't so she played by herself for 2 hours (under kindergarten age classes are only for workers' kids). She didn't seem to mind too much though. Hopefully the rest of the week will go this smoothly. Pray for me!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Independence Weekend

So July is here and with that comes the famous Independence day and all its associated activities. We have been extremely busy and I am exhausted but it has been fun. Thursday night we went to our traditional Fireworks on the Fjord in Poulsbo. We got there about 7:30 and the fireworks start around 10:30. I was a little nervous about how Audrey would do waiting that long. But she was awesome. We met up with some friends and actually found a pretty decent spot for showing up so late in the day. We got milkshakes and looked at the "ocean" several times. The fireworks were great and went on for about 25 minutes. And, with the recent expansion of 305 we didn't even have a hard time getting out of Poulsbo. Luckily Audrey had napped so the late night didn't make her crabby. Overall, it was a great night.
Fireworks on the Fjord



Me and my little sparklers :)

Fourth of July we went to Jayne and Merrill's (my step-aunt and step-uncle) house out on Panther Lake. It was just us, my family, Jayne and Merrill and occasionally their son, Elliott. While it wasn't as hot as it was last weekend, or even earlier in the week, it was decent out and we all ended up in the water at some point. Audrey LOVED the water and the big back yard to play in. She went into the lake until it was too cold to do so and even then we had to convince her to stay out. We had yummy steaks for dinner and hung out on the deck for a while. Several families on the lake do a little boat parade every year so we watched that. Then we went out on the party barge for a tour of the lake and looked at all the gorgeous homes. Most of them ranging in the six figures. Then we watched the fireworks around the lake. There is a house almost directly across that does a spectacular display every year. Between them and the other houses around the lake we watched fireworks for over and hour before we decided we needed to get Audrey home and in bed, especially since she had had no nap. It was a really long day but a really good day.
Audrey in some shades
The boat parade

Audrey, Derek and Bekah swimming in the lake
Brianna all ready for fireworks
Saturday was a day of barbeque's. In the afternoon we went over to an old friend's of Derek's from high school who lives in Jackson Park. She and Derek hadn't seen each other in years. She is married and has 3 kids of her own. It was pretty fun. I didn't really know anyone there and was a little uncomfortable at first but it got better. Audrey had a good time playing outside and playing with some other kids. The food was great and the weather was decent. Then we went over to the Wheatons for another bbq. They made us steak, YUM!!, and we played cribbage. I haven't played before and was thoroughly confused the first couple of hands. However by the second game I was getting the hang of it and Toni and I even won! Woo hoo! The only disappointing thing about the weekend is that Audrey has developed a cold, booooo. So that is why I am writing this blog at 2:30 in the morning. She started coughing which woke her up and is now talking to herself, so I can't sleep. Which sucks because I had only been asleep about an hour and a half when she started coughing. I gave her some more cough medicine and hopefully she won't be up too long.
Audrey enjoying a cupcake

Melissa playing with sidewalk chalk long after Audrey lost interest
I just realized that I haven't mentioned my youngest daughter at all in the post (bad mommy). She did awesome. She has been going with the flow with all the activity and slept through the fireworks both nights. She is such a mellow baby and makes things so easy for me.... I hope this a trend for her whole life, although I am not naive enough to believe that will be the case. So other than causing baby fever in most of the women she meets, she is the ideal baby. Well it is now almost four in the morning. Audrey is STILL awake but I am going to try and go to sleep because I can't skip church tomorrow because I have nursery duty. Hopefully Audrey will go to sleep soon. *sigh* Sometimes it is really hard being a mom.