Thursday, January 26, 2012

A Sick Day

On Tuesday I got a call from daycare that Shyla was running a temperature of 101.7. When I got there she was asleep, curled up under a blankie while her friends played nearby. Stevie arranged to work from home on Wednesday and stayed home with both girls. Shyla, after a rough night, woke up at the normal time on Wednesday morning and exclaimed, "Shyla feel well!"
They had a great day with daddy and even a visit from Grandma!
Then Wednesday night her fever spiked again which led into another rough night.
I stayed home with both girls today and even took Shyla to Dr. Terry just to make sure she didn't have an infection of some kind. She doesn't and we were sent with instructions to continue treating the symptoms.

She just woke up from a decent length nap and decided she wanted to play with Harper.

I love my girls so much and I love how much they love each other!

Monday, January 23, 2012

2011 Family Photo Shoot

My goal is to have professional family photos taken once each year.

In 2009 we met our photographer, Maria Butterfield, at Purple Heart Park. She had taken Beth's wedding pictures and was just trying to establish a portfolio of family portraits. We loved her!

In 2010 we met our photographer, Ashley, at Collier. I had won that photo-shoot from Becca's blog and we really liked working with Ashley also.

We barely squeeked this year's shoot in! On December 31st, we went to the studio of Sunstreet Photo after I purchased their LivingSocial Deal. The husband and wife team, Shaun and Janet, were super nice and both fun and easy to work with! They had their daughter with them which was great for Shyla, the girls played a little together before the shoot which made Shy feel more comfortable.

Here are our results from the 2011 photo-shoot!

Friday, January 20, 2012

On Kindness

For over a month now Shyla’s school has been focused on kindness. To celebrate all that the kids learned they hosted a Kindness Ceremony. It was very cool. As a teacher I am well aware of the extra work that goes events like this. Now as a parent, I truly appreciate it.

There wasn’t a huge turnout, but I am super glad we attended. We all listened intently to the guest speaker, who is a zoo keeper, as she talked about how we kindly care for animals. And then the teachers presented each child with a kindness certificate. Shyla’s teacher, Ms Christy, told everyone that Shyla was very kind to Nikki when she pulled her chair out for her so she could get to the potty.

So proud of my little girl and I so enjoyed watching her in that environment!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Harper is 6 Months!

As I type the words, "Harper is 6 months," I am kind of in shock. I cannot believe that my baby girl is already 1/2 year old; yet I cannot remember what life was like without her in it.

Her half-birthday was actually yesterday but I decided to post today because we went for her 6 month well-baby-check this morning.

She weighs 14 pounds, 14 ounces which puts her in the 25th percentile for weight. She is 25 1/4 inches tall/long which is the 50th percentile and her head is also in the 50th. When Shyla was a baby Dr. Terry had wanted her to double her weight by 6 months and she did. Harper did not but since she was born a little heavier he said that was just fine and she is obviously thriving.

Dr. Terry is incredibly pleased with her growth and says her development is right on track. I was kind of thinking that she should be sitting up more unassisted, but he said not really until 7 or even 8 months.
He seemed very pleased with the amount of breast-milk she is still receiving. She currently gets breast-milk all day with the exception of 4-6 ounces of formula at nighttime and 1 serving of rice-cereal. He was very complimentary of it (ahem, me), which made me feel good, especially considering how hard I am working to make sure she is still getting lots of the "liquid gold."
We are ready to start on solids, though, and I think we will probably start with carrots!

Harper continues to have a very pleasant personality. She is simply a delight. She smiles at strangers and laughs at Shyla. She is trying her hardest to move/scoot.

She started daycare 2 weeks ago and has gone 8 days. They seem to love her there because she is so easy-going. Although she has only come home in her same clothes twice, she is a happy-camper when she is there. There are lots of other babies so she has a lot to look at.

She looks beautiful in purple and light-green (and every other color). She has some cradle-cap under her mop of hair that still cracks me up with its wildness and highlights. She is loving toys....everything goes straight to her mouth for a good chewing-on but she also likes the ones that make noise and feel different.

Harper loves being naked and loves splashing in the bathtub and loves smiling at herself in a mirror. She is currently not sleeping all night, it seems like she's going in waves on this; she has been waking up once or twice to eat and then going back to sleep.

She is so, so much fun! Everyday is just a little different and I love every minute!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Funny Conversation

While driving home from school Shyla and I always talk about her day. I absolutely love that she can express and explain things to me so well now.
Today we had a conversation that went a little bit like this:
ME: Were you a nice girl today?
SHYLA: Shyla nice girl to Dayzie. Shyla nice girl to Nikki. Shyla nice girl to Nessa. Shyla nice girl to Mantha.
ME: Was everyone nice to you?
ME: Were you a nice girl to Dereck?
SHYLA: Shyla nice girl.
ME: What other boys are in your class?
SHYLA: Too much boys.
{cue uncontrollable giggles by me, which results in Shyla giggles and Harper belly-laughs}
It was a really, really nice drive home.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Disturb and Be Disturbed

Last week I went back to work. It was traumatic. For me. On my first day back, my mom took care of Harper, then every day after that she went to daycare. People kept telling me not to feel guilty. Sure, I had some mom guilt, but mostly I felt (and feel) sadness.

The part that really had me feeling guilty was that it felt so much harder than when I went back to work following Shyla’s birth. She was younger and I was a first time mom. Why was it so much harder this time? I love my girls equally, so what could it be?

And then it hit me. It was (and is) Harper AND Shyla. This time I am leaving not one, but two. And this time, because of the cost of daycare, my financial contribution to the family is so little it makes me want to puke.

I love my Harper and I love each and every stage she goes through. She is currently trying to crawl and I can just see the determination on her beautiful face.

But Shyla...Shyla is a walking, talking (incessantly), inquisitive, sensitive little being and I am sad to be missing her stages too.

I feel so very lucky to have had an extended leave. So many more mothers have to return to work much sooner than I did. But I got a taste of being a stay-at-home-mom and I loved it. I felt confident as a mom and I was honing my domestic goddess skills.

And now I’m back amongst the working, showering everyday folk. I am pumping twice each day at work and 2-3 times each day at home (yes, this means I am getting up at odd hours to make it happen). It is tiresome but it is worth it. I’ve posted a picture of the sign that I hang on my locked classroom door while I’m pumping. I find it to be fairly clear in meaning. But kids are kids and, apparently, their interpretation of it is:

If door is locked, jiggle handle. Repeatedly.

If no one answers, peak through tinted windows.

Jiggle handle some more.

If still no one answers run through the pod to the “staff only” entrance.

Jiggle that handle some more.

Knock on door.

Peak through window.

Continue until a staff member tells you to get to class.

At least I have a job to go to. There are so many struggling families out there, looking for work, I feel badly complaining about mine. But, it’s my blog and I will do what I want with it.

I just want to go home and snuggle my babies for, as Shyla would say, “a couple minutes.” Or perhaps a little longer….

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2012! The start of the year feels fresh and exciting.

This is set to be a very busy year for us, with lots of travel on the horizon. In February Stevie will be doing Ragnar with French Toast Mafia and the girls and I will meet him in Tempe for a weekend getaway. March will find us back in the Phoenix area for a friend’s wedding and then Stevie’s annual trip to Vegas for March Madness. Another friend’s wedding will take us back to the Phoenix area in April then Stevie to Chicago for another friend’s wedding in May! I will be gone for a few days in May also for the annual CIMI trip. Another wedding in July will bring us to Michigan (and the girls’ first plane ride). In October when Stevie and I both turn 30 and celebrate our 5 year anniversary we are taking a cruise and I think my family is planning on Coronado Island again in November. Crazy! It is exhausting just thinking about it!

A couple things that I am resolving to do in 2012:


We have been really fortunate and never had to stick to a budget. For this year, though, I really want to see if we can set one and stick to it. This means we are cutting back on everything except what I call “my memories” (my pictures, scrapbooks, blog-books, etc). We will be spending less on gifts, less on groceries and will be eating out less frequently.


Of course I am sticking with Weight Watchers and I would love to be lifetime sometime in 2012, but I also need to remember that exercise is good for the mind too. I recently saw some girls wearing shirts that read, “running in cheaper than therapy.” It is true and I want to focus on exercising for mental clarity, in addition to just earning activity points.


I look around my house and all I see is stuff. Clutter. Items that we spent money on. Items that we don’t need. I have an overwhelming urge to purge! I want to clean out closets and clear off countertops. I want less. Fewer toys. Fewer books (gasp!). Less paper. Fewer clothes. Fewer bags. This will tie in nicely to resolution #1. I believe that having less stuff will result in an increase in the two things that I actually want more of: money and time with my family.


Ha! Ha! I really crack myself up sometimes.

Happy New Year to you and your family! I just know that 2012 will be awesome!