Into the Void

2014 has begun! Ryan is studying Japanese, going in to work early and coming home late. Elliott is fully potty trained, and that means she gets a little lazy/overconfident at times. In the event that she has an accident, she will grab her crotch and yell, “NNnnnnoooOOOOOOOOOO!!!!” while the wet spot spreads down her jeans. I hope these early lessons in procrastination teach her to be more punctual than her mother. Vivian is eating pureed solids and knows two things: Peas are a disgusting abomination. Sweet potatoes are freakin’ awesome. We’ve also begun sleep-training Vivian, and she’s taking to it quite well! Nap time is sweet, sweet bliss. Bedtime is kind of annoying, but I think we just haven’t figured out her schedule yet. We’ll get there. I’m still writing part-time for the Beehive, and working full-time as a mother, my favorite job. There is nothing sweeter than morning, afternoon, and nighttime cuddles. Elliott has been reading me books and making up songs for me. Even though all of the songs she sings about me include me pooping in my “underwears,” I still find it quite endearing!

Big news for our family: we bought a van! It is so so so so wonderful. Minivans 4ever!

PHOTOS!

2014-01-01 16.36.21-1

2014-01-20 15.17.04

2014-01-22 12.38.35-4

2014-01-24 10.20.11

2014-01-24 14.54.54

2014-01-24 15.05.00-4

2014-01-24 15.17.56

2014-01-22 15.45.26

2014-01-26 08.18.45-2

2014-02-07 13.52.20-3

2014-02-08 10.40.50

2014-02-08 10.42.19

2014-02-08 10.55.54

2014-02-08 11.05.51-4

2014-02-08 11.09.55

2014-02-08 11.10.08-1

2014-02-10 11.40.12-4

2014-02-13 15.44.32-1

Baby-Bear-Wearing!

2014-02-05 17.04.06-3

2014-02-02 18.39.42

And if you want more, here’s a video of Vivian sucking on her own tongue like a little wierdo

http://youtu.be/M0eH_VfNUCU

Advertisements

2013 recap: PHOTOSPLOSION

I have been remiss in my blogging duties. With so much to do at home with a newborn, trying to pack in a month and move in less than one day into a dirty house (which basically meant three months of juggling kids, not getting sleep and trying to clean around boxes so I could actually unpack), the end of 2013 was basically the worst. Luckily for us there were plenty of bright spots, and I hope to hit on most of those in the next few paragraphs.

First of all, Halloween was fun. Elliott really started getting into holidays this year, so all of the decorations and the candy, obviously, made her super excited. And the PUMPKINS! This girl was in heaven. Ryan got to go to a conference in Orlando where he was able to catch up with our friend Dave, and while he was away my Mom came to visit and help with the girls! It was great to have her and the girls loved having Nana around!

November was another great month for family! We had Kevin, Miquelle and baby Scout come visit us in the middle of the month, and Elliott was in HEAVEN. She loves having visitors and she loves Kevin and Miquelle. Plus another baby in the house? Win win win. Vivian and Scout got acquainted, and were fast friends. Lucky for us, Ryan works at a university, so we get to take advantage of all holiday breaks! We had an extended weekend around Thanksgiving, so we took a drive up to Utah to visit the Robbins’. We got to see Mom and Dad’s new house, and see all of our brothers and sisters. Elliott was in love with all of her cousins, although, I think they weren’t so much in love with her. Poor Elliott! At least she’s blessed with ignorance. I hope someday she can find her best friend who is just as enthusiastic as she is!

I don’t know how many of you we’ve mentioned it too, but Vivian has been having some digestive issues. So for the last 5 months I’ve been on a no dairy, soy, eggs or wheat diet. We finally figured out that she was having acid reflux issues, and since we’ve been medicating her she’s been much better at eating and sleeping/not screaming. The holidays were rough with my new diet, but I did let in some wheat so I could eat pie! Vivian has seemed fine with the inclusion, which is great news for both of us!

Here are some photo high lights from October/November!

BMO and Marcelene the Vampire Queen. Elliott loved her costume, and insisted on wearing “My Halloween!” all day long, every day:

2013-11-02 11.25.47

Love punch! Love kick!2013-11-15 14.49.56

Fun at the Phoenix Zoo:2013-11-16 09.34.31-112013-11-16 10.22.09 2013-11-16 11.17.22-4

Brothers and their babies:

2013-11-16 13.29.42

Nana and her little girls!

2013-11-21 11.17.13-1

Fun with Ye Ye at the park by the new house in Daybreak!

2013-11-28 10.34.26-2 2013-11-28 10.35.22-2

Elliott and Clara playing dress up:2013-11-28 15.10.11-1

New dresses from Aunt Heather!2013-11-28 15.53.25-1 2013-11-28 15.55.3220131128_180810 CousinToes MomandViv Sisters babies willelliottclara

December was an adventure on it’s own! Elliott had so much fun with all of the holiday decorations and learning about the baby Jesus and Mary, and about Santa Claus and presents, naturally. We probably called Santa (because Elliott can’t write letters yet) about 20 times a day. There is no way he didn’t know that Elliott really REALLY wanted him to bring her the Twilight Sparkle sticker book that she saw at Target that one time. I can’t believe she fixated on that one thing for the entire month! Kid knows what she wants. We went on lots of walks in the cool December evenings looking at neighborhood Christmas lights, and lights in surrounding neighborhoods, and Elliott loved the elaborate houses with blow up penguins and Santa’s sleigh, and all of the animatronics. People go NUTS! Maybe someday I’ll have $5,000 to blow on Christmas decor (not to mention the utility bill! Sheesh!) but for now I’ll take advantage of other people’s Christmas spirit!

Christmas morning was everything we hoped it would be for Elliott. First of all, she slept in until 9! I was up at 7:30! But once she got up it was all Oohs and Aaahs. She loved her doll house and Totoro, and her helping tower. Everyone was so nice to send her gifts, and she loves all of them. She really had so much fun opening and playing with everything. It was a great day. I got a laminator and a new coat I had my eye on, and Ryan got a Wii U, so I’d say Christmas was a success this year!

Their favorite place, under the tree:

2013-12-08 16.49.51 2013-12-16 08.48.20-4

2013-12-23 19.52.20

2013-12-23 19.21.12-8

New big girl bed! 2013-12-20 13.43.48-4

Christmas morning!2013-12-25 08.15.54

Cooking Christmas breakfast with Mommy, using her new helping tower:2013-12-25 11.23.12

2013-12-25 12.52.36-2

Christmas proved to be too exciting for Vivian. No naps all day led to a crash at about 9 o’clock. She just fell asleep sitting up in my lap!

2013-12-25 21.42.49

Happy New Year’s Eve, with the Dysons!2013-12-31 19.40.12 2013-12-31 21.44.46 2013-12-31 19.43.26

a little New Year’s Eve Wii U party:2013-12-31 21.45.04

We have been truly blessed with so many wonderful friends and such supportive families. This coming year is going to be tough; Ryan is starting his exams and working full time, and with his new schedule the girls won’t see him 3 days out of the week. He also has to learn Japanese and pass a reading/translation test, so we’ll need all the prayers and support you can send our way for the next year or so until he can wrap everything up. 2014 is going to be a hard, but worthwhile and pivotal year for us. I look forward to it with trepidation.

One Month with Two Monsters

Of course, I mean “monsters” in the most loving, enthusiastic (and exhausted) way! My two girls. I have two daughters! Mind. Blown.

Anyway, these two girls have been great. Vivian continues to grow and change. I just keep hoping she changes back to sleeping 4-hour stretches at night… And Elliott continues to baffle me with sentences and inquiries. Also, I recently found out that she knows to words to almost every Disney song, as she’s started singing along with all of them. I’ll get a video of it, because her cadence and the way she emphasizes is ADORABLE.

I am, granted, completely exhausted. I have about 2 hours total to myself in any given day, and most of that time is being used to pack up our humble home and decide what to donate to Goodwill. The rest of that time is being used to try to keep the house looking semi-orderly while I tear it apart packing. Oh, and I squeeze another half an hour out of the end of the day to blog, obviously.

I even made a peach cobbler for dessert! The more exhausted I get, the more determined I become to accomplish a ridiculous amount of things that no one expects or recommends that I accomplish. Turns out that trying to pack/keep the house clean/grocery shop and prepare healthy meals is really hard while taking care of a toddler and a newborn. Taco Bell, anyone?

Anyway, Vivian is 6 weeks old today. Almost two months! She is curious and adamant and full of gas. I missed her one month birthday, so I’m going to post her one month picture here, for posterity.

Vivian One Month

Mom and Dad Robbins came to visit last weekend and we had a blast. Well, Elliott had a blast, the rest of us had a mostly calm, jolly good time. Elliott literally ran circles around “Ye Ye and Nai Nai” when the arrived. Debbie was so kind as to make us delicious meals, and it was GREATLY appreciated by all. We took them up to Phoenix on Saturday for some food truck treats. We all had Short Leash, a specialty hot dog vendor. The dogs are delicious, and the fried pickles are to die for. We took home some Momma Toledo’s homemade pies, and let me just say, I wasn’t overly impressed with the pies, but the woman who makes them is amazing. Exuberant Elliott barged into this lady’s truck, and she welcomed the curious little spirit aboard. She showed Elliott where she keeps the pies, let her sit in the driver’s seat, and the cherry on top: she showed Elliott the button for the horn. Elliott didn’t know what it was for, and I wish you all could have seen her face when the horn blasted as she pushed the button. Her eyes lit up with surprised delight as she quickly looked over at me, her face saying “Woah! Were you here just now when that happened?!” We get to experience less and less of that kind of joy as we age and the world becomes more familiar and common-place. I feel so blessed to be able to watch a new person interpret, define, and discover the world for the first time. So, buy a pie from Momma Toledo, because she is a wonderful person.

2013-08-23 13.05.24

(P.S. Elliott is OBSESSED with that Woody doll. She has a Buzz Lightyear too, and she plays with them all day everyday. Best Craigslist purchase I’ve ever made.)

2013-08-23 13.05.32 2013-08-23 13.05.48

 

Elliott was blessed two Sunday’s ago, and I got to put her in a frilly little dress. Big thanks to Momma Robbins for the adorable poofy slip to put under the dress. And big thanks to Kevin and Miquelle for buying that dress two years ago so both of our kids could have something white to wear on their blessing day, haha. #toolazyandcheaptobuyadifferentdress

2013-08-25 20.37.30-1

2013-08-25 10.12.01-5 2013-08-25 10.10.42-4 2013-08-25 10.09.44-5

In other news, I’m currently dairy, egg, and caffeine (including chocolate, sigh) free right now, due to Vivian’s sensitive tummy bits. But in good news, she’s not staying awake for 13 straight hours, and she’s not constipated anymore. Hurray! We’ve finally figured out co-sleeping, and she just put herself to sleep on our bed. I have my fingers crossed that we’re back to “normal,” but I won’t hold my breath… We’ll see what life is like next week. Or, like, tomorrow, right?

Thanks for sticking with me until the end! Check out those CURLS!

My snotty, dirty-faced charmer!

ElliottCurls001

 

These curls are the things of Jane Austin’s dreams.ElliottCurls004

 

Don’t worry, the curls don’t make her too dainty.ElliottCurls010

 

She did NOT want to take a picture with me, hahaha

ElliottCurls011

The END!

 

It Begins

Almost one month into this “mother-of-two” thing, and I think I’m pretty damn good at it. Ok, I’m not GREAT at it. But it’s only been three weeks! (Then again, it’s only been three weeks…)

Pros: Cuddly baby, helpful toddler, extra time spent with Ryan, watching Elliott hold/kiss/smoosh her “baby sisters!”, nursing a sweet little chubby baby, guilt-free couch/movie time, guilt-free take-out, all the love in the whole universe!

Cons: Juggling a newborn and toddler sleep schedule, less patience with Elliott (especially when both of the girls are crying=insta-hulk-out), trying and failing at keeping Elliott busy and satisfied all day, moderate sleep deprivation*, it’s too hot to take both girls outside!

*Vivian is kind of the ideal baby. She sleeps a good 4-5 hours in her first stretch, then usually wakes up every 3 hours until I get out of bed around 8:30/9. Sometimes she wakes up with me, other times I just put her in the cradle and she sleeps for another hour or so while I play with Elliott in the mornings. So, I’m only kind of sleep deprived. And really, I’m just sleep-interrupted.

Even though juggling schedules is hard, sometimes the stars align, and Vivian sleeps while Elliott is awake in the afternoon, and we get some good outside play time. The other day I put my Pinterest boards where my hoarders-pile is, and made this homemade soda-bottle sprinkler for m’lady. It was a hit!

Summer 2013014 Summer 2013013 Summer 2013011

Elliott is also a big fan of “bocycles” (or, popsicles, for those of you unversed in two-year-old). So, we get to eat many an otter pop out on the porch swing. It’s one of my favorite Elliott+Mommy pastimes.Summer 2013017 Summer 2013016

Someday I’ll get some good lighting and take some decent pictures of Vivian, but for now, here’s what we have from the last couple weeks.

I get to cuddle this ALL the time, you guys. It’s pretty great.

IMAG0580_BURST002

Well, I guess I let Ryan get some cuddle time too… but only a little.IMAG0581_BURST002

This is one of my favorite onesies, but she wouldn’t stop fussing for the picture! Oh well. This is Vivian’s “swaddle me and let me go to sleep!” face.IMAG0584_BURST005

This was right before she pooped EVERYWHERE. Out of the diaper. Up her back. So much poop. Goodbye, onesie.IMAG0589_BURST002

Cloth diaper baby #2!IMAG0593_BURST004

Sleepy, matching boots!IMAG0594_BURST002

Did I mention this kid already puts herself to sleep? Her sleep habits are seriously a godsend. Maybe moving her into the same room as Elliott won’t be a big deal at all! Fingers crossed! We have 6 more months to figure out the transition.

Did I mention we’re moving? We’re moving out at the end of September, just to a place a few streets over. 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, a little bit bigger living room/kitchen space, and a private back patio/yard area. Uh, and it has a two car garage (WIN!) It’s not huge, but our current place is a 2 bed/1 bath with a carport, so the amount of space in our lives has almost doubled, at least as far as storage and parking goes. It was kind of a surprise and we’re sad to leave our current house, since we’ve been here for 4 years! But, the moving process is good (I’m throwing away/donating so much stuff, you guys. It’s amazing). It’s nice to go through and see everything we’ve been holding onto for the last 4 years of marriage, and to finally be able to say good riddance to all the junk. Honestly, most of the boxes I’ve been going through are just full of things I was too lazy to throw away when we moved! I’m having a garage sale in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait. Good bye old junk! Hello new junk from IKEA! Woo!

In other news: Ryan goes back to teaching classes on Thursday, and begins the end of his journey at ASU! He’s gathering his reading lists from the four professors he needs for his “Four Areas,” and he’ll begin reading an insane amount of research, taking written tests on the books, and then taking a huge oral exam in a year and turning in the prospectus for his dissertation. One more year-ish and we’re out of here! I really can’t wait to see where we go. Taiwan? St. Louis? South Jordan? Somewhere ELSE? It’s going to be great.

Student loan repayment here we come!

Vivian!

Things have been wonderful with Vivian here. I’ve found that relatively sleepless nights are easier with baby number two. I mean, I’m still exhausted, but knowing it would be like this based on experience makes me resent it less. And Elliott has been so sweet and enthusiastic about “baby sister.” I swear that holding Vivian is like an invisibility cloak. Every time Elliott sees me she yells, “Baby sisters! I wanna hold baby sisters?” And then she showers Vivian’s face and head with little kisses. It’s adorable, but c’mon. I need some love too! Send a couple of those kisses my way, kiddo!

But you came here for pictures, right?

IMAG0524_BURST002

IMAG0525_BURST005

IMAG0527_BURST002

IMAG0529_BURST006

IMAG0529_BURST007

IMAG0531_BURST002

IMAG0532_BURST002

IMAG0533_BURST002

IMAG0534_BURST004

IMAG0535_BURST002

IMAG0535_BURST007

Welcome, Vivian Moiraine Robbins

We waited as impatiently as humanly possible, and Vivian finally made her appearance at 9:22 p.m. on July 23, 2013. Weighing 9 lbs and 1.6  ounces, she was welcome to stop hanging out in my pelvis! I can finally walk without waddling again! The experience of receiving another precious daughter into our arms is one that would only be diminished by words. The beauty and calm that Vivian brought into our room with her first cry and her searching eyes, simply took our breath away. We continue to find ourselves breathless throughout these first days, as our family gets to know one another all over again. Elliott is learning to see Ryan and I as two people who are the parents of more than just her, and she’s getting to know Vivian as her sister. Ryan and I are reminded of who we were before we had children, and we’re so grateful for the fire and torrent that being parents has been in our lives. We’ve certainly been burned, broken and spun around, so that we’ll never be the people we used to be, nor would we want it. The thought of living without these girls in our life would be simply that: living without. Elliott made me stronger, more confident, more calm and more capable of many things I never thought I’d accomplish. I’m sure she’ll continue to teach me what it means to be a mother, wife and daughter of God, and I shudder as I think how the whirlwind of this new sisterhood between Lettie and Vivi will rock my humble sailboat. I’m clutching the rigging already! So, without further adieu, here is Vivian Moiraine Robbins. The newest member of our family.

IMAG0516 IMAG0522_BURST002 IMAG0523_BURST002

(following photos by John Garrard)

photophoto_2 photo_1

I know some of you are interested in the story of Vivian’s birth, and I’m more than happy to share our experience. The rest of this blog will be the honest, unadulterated tale of my labor and delivery, and Vivian’s emergence into the bright, air-conditioned world of Banner Gateway hospital. Read on, if you’d like. If you’d rather not know the intimate details and see a nursing photo, you should scroll back up through those adorable pictures one more time and then call it a day with this blog.

The Birth Story.

I wish I could say my labor would make a good story, but to be honest, I just labored at home all day. I’d had two previous bouts of false labor, one that lasted for  5 hours, so even once the contractions were 5 minutes apart, I wasn’t convinced I was really in labor. My doula told me if I could talk during my contractions that it wasn’t time to go to the hospital. Honestly, her ambivalence made me feel ambivalent. During the day I showered, took a short nap, helped Ryan make a cake, played with Elliott, and when contractions came I rolled my hips on an exercise ball. Around 6:30 we called our friends to pick up Elliott, figuring we’d rather be safe than sorry with getting her set with her birth-accommodations. Honestly, Ryan was the proactive one during the process. Without his vigilant anxiousness I would’ve had the baby at home! Around 7:15 I called our doula again, with contractions 3 minutes apart. She told us we should probably head to the hospital, so Ryan threw stuff into the car and by 7:40 we were on the road.

I tried to page (that’s right, my doctor lives in a 1980’s hospital drama) my doctor about six times between contractions 4 minutes apart and on our way to the hospital, but never got a call back or even a confirmation that I’d reached her. When we got to the hospital at 8, we had our registration checked by the oldest lady who has ever been hired to run what was apparently a very complicated data-entry computer program. I was admitted to triage and told to put on a hospital gown and lie down in a bed to wait for my cervix check. What I did instead was have a really stinky bowel movement in the en suite bathroom, and had a contraction with my face in the mattress and my butt in the air (backless hospital gowns don’t lend themselves towards modesty. Luckily, women in the translation phase of labor couldn’t care less). When they finally checked me at 8:20, I was 5/6 cm dilated and 90% effaced. I was thrilled! During my last labor, I checked into the hospital at 2 cm, labored (and complained) for 10 hours and was still stuck at a 4! This labor was already going better. Plus, the nurses actually read my birth plan and discussed my preferences with me. Around 8:50 they moved me into my labor room and asked me to lie down in another bed so they could administer the antibiotics, because I was Strep B positive.

Now, previously to my labor, I read “Ina Mays Guide to Childbirth,” which I highly recommend to any woman who will be giving birth in the future. It’s very informative, which was incredibly empowering. I went into this labor with no fear or irrational concerns; it was liberating. But anyway, in the book Ina May discusses how moaning with your throat open helps to relax the cervix and makes for an easier birth. So, this was my method of dealing with my contractions. It helped me feel a modicum of control when I felt the constant waves of pressure and pain, knowing that 7-8 full moans would take me to the end of  a contraction. Also, it feels really good to be as loud as you want when you’re experiencing constant earth-shaking pain, knowing it’s going to get worse before it gets better, with only a vague time frame for relief. It was good labor therapy. Plus, I felt like a movie star.

I told the nurse before she checked my cervix again at 9:00, that if I wasn’t 10 cm, I wanted the epidural, like, NOW. And I quote, “I wrote that birth plan a LONG time ago.” She checked me and I was complete! Which would explain the crazy pressure I was feeling. Then they dropped the bomb: “Your doctor isn’t here yet, so don’t push.”   o.O   srsly? “Try and stop me!” I growled. For the next 5 contractions of “not pushing,” I yelled, cried and finally, my water broke. One minute later my doctor came in. At 9:13, I started pushing.

PUSHING. The most empowering, intimidating moment of my life. I grabbed my legs as I watched my baby descend, through a standing mirror the nurses placed at the end of the bed. This is the only point during my labor that I swore, which I’m really proud of. And it wasn’t even the “f” word! Everyone around me was telling me to push over and over again, and I was trying! But come on you guys, I needed to take an occasional breathing break. And, to be honest a break from the sharp pressure of pushing was nice too. Once when my doctor and Ryan told me to push I yelled back, “It really hurts my ass!” It wasn’t the most glamorous thing to say, but when you’re naked on a table, yelling, bleeding, and pooping on yourself, you don’t really worry about sounding glamorous.

A few more pushes and her little head was out. Naively, I thought this meant I was home free! This naivety only lasted a millisecond before those shoulders hit. I don’t know if I was more scandalized or terrified by how badly they hurt. Luckily, whatever emotion it was helped me push those shoulders past in one more push, and the rest of her tiny body followed. Vivian Moirane Robbins, born on 7/23/13 at 9:22 p.m.

I was in shock that it was over and I looked at the baby my doctor was handing to me. She had to tell me to take the baby before I realized I wasn’t moving. I reached down and pulled her up onto my chest, and the nurses covered us with a blanket to keep the baby warm. And that was it. She was here, she was healthy, and she was cooing quietly on my chest while she blinked her eyes open and looked around. The nurses helped dry her off, and she started nursing. She was a champion nurser from the very first go, nursing for 40 minutes before they took her to do her infant screening and to draw blood to check for Strep B.

Not having an epidural was glorious for post-birth everything. I got myself out of bed, walked myself to the bathroom, cleaned myself off, got myself dressed. It was a completely different experience from Elliott’s birth. I had no stitches or tearing, so I haven’t had to deal with the painful urination of the last birth. Granted, the cramping has been much worse, but I hear that’s the way second birth-recoveries go.

Vivian has been such a calm soul. She nurses constantly, which resulted in my milk coming in during the first 72 hours, and she loves her sleep (not so much at night, but we’ll fix it). The only thing she really hates is diaper changes, to which I say, “Then stop pooping so much, Vivian!” But don’t stop pooping… constipated babies are the saddest.

They kept us in the hospital for 48 hours, since I only got half of my step B antibiotics in before the baby was born. That part was boring, but it was nice to have 3 full, healthy meals every day. Plus I loved all of the visitors we got! Thank you to everyone who came to see us and welcome Vivian into the world. And thank you for feeding my husband! He very much appreciated it.

A BIG THANK YOU to Jena and John Garrard, who watched Elliott for us and kept her fully entertained and safe/happy in our absence. Elliott loves you guys. And a special thank you to John who took newborn pictures of Vivian for us. We can’t wait to see them. For those of you who don’t know, John is an AMAZING photographer. http://www.pressingtheplane.com/superstitions

I also made a last minute decision to do placenta encapsulation, and I’m so glad I did. I started taking them today and I already feel TONS better. Much more energy, no sadness or weepiness. I know a lot of people turn their noses up at the idea, but in my mind it’s no different than taking a prenatal vitamin, except this vitamin came from my body and contains everything my body needs to be balanced and healthy.

This birth was an adventure. One that I look forward to having again in the future.

IMAG0518_BURST001

I’m one happy momma.

“It’s a…HAPPY BIRRRRRTHDAY! Get Pizza?”

Elliott turned two last Saturday, and we celebrated as a family by taking her to California Pizza Kitchen for a free pizza/dessert. Elliott picked the pepperoni pizza (naturally). Now, Elliott thinks that eating pizza means it’s someone’s birthday, and when she wants pizza she says “It’s birthday! Get Pizza? Happy birthday!” Well, played, Elliott.

IMAG0463_BURST004Mmmmmm… birthday pizza. Ahhhh. Her tiny little hands holding that slice of pizza are KILLING me. I want to bite all of her fingers off. OM! OM! OM!

IMAG0459Cheesin’ with Mommy

IMAG0457_BURST008I love how unfiltered the joy looks in this picture, haha.

IMAG0464_BURST001BIRTHDAY ICE CREAM SUNDAY! Elliott would only pick the chocolate chips off and eat them. She wouldn’t even eat the ice cream! I blame Jena Nagamine for introducing her to sprinkle toast, her new favorite obsession 🙂

A few weeks before Elliott’s actual birthday “day” we had a party with some friends and  food and games. It was delightful! We went with a circus theme, because Elliott loves animals, and she is a monkey! There were plenty of circus-y treats, including cotton candy, which was a big hit with the kiddos. Overall, I think everyone had a good time. I know Elliott had a blast, and all of the toddlers played nicely–no screaming, hitting or crying! We did it! Birthday party success.

(Photos courtesy of my friend Kaylie Garder, Creative Me photography)

DSC_0466-1 DSC_0451-1 DSC_0438-1 DSC_0436-1 DSC_0433-1 DSC_0431-1 DSC_0430-1 DSC_0421-1 DSC_0416-1 DSC_0414-1 DSC_0413-1 DSC_0411-1 DSC_0401-1 DSC_0373-1 DSC_0317-1 DSC_0313-1 DSC_0309-1 DSC_0304 DSC_0303-1

(Following photos courtesy of my cell phone)Hargrove Photo IMAG0436_BURST005 IMAG0435_BURST002 IMAG0434_BURST002 IMAG0423_BURST002 IMAG0422_BURST002 IMAG0420_BURST002 IMAG0419_BURST002 IMAG0418_BURST002 IMAG0417_BURST002 IMAG0416_BURST002

 

I can’t believe Elliott is actually two. I’ve been saying “She’s almost two” for so long now, that it feels strange to say “She’s two.” I feel like that sentence should have more syllables.  In other news, we moved the rocking chair out of Elliott’s room today so I can have a place to nurse Vivian all night long, and it made me really sad. My baby isn’t “the baby” anymore. She’s growing up and using language and her face to manipulate me… It’s amazing and I love her.

Only 12 more days until our family is scheduled to increase by one!

 

A Fine Motor Day

Today was spontaneously full of fine-motor activities. On one hand it was because taking Elliott in public while she’s teething/trying to learn how to appropriately assert her independence, is a nightmare. A 10-minute-long-screaming-temper-tantrum-while-standing-in-line-at-Michaels-because-I-wouldn’t-let-her-eat-a-Lindt-truffle-NIGHTMARE. One the other hand, it’s good for her development, right?

Today was pom pom sorting (and baking, according to Elliott):

IMAG0389_BURST002 IMAG0392_BURST004 IMAG0390_BURST002 sorting pom poms

And Elliott’s take on the situation: http://youtu.be/xoF0CWpciqI

Watching her hold her other hand beneath the spoon to catch any spills just makes my heart melt. I don’t even know why. This girl is obsessed with cake, by the way. Although, at her behest I made one the other day (frosting from scratch, even!) and she was kind of ambivalent about it. She didn’t even finish her piece before she ran off to do something else! Respect that cake, Elliott. Put it all in your mouth before you run off to hammer the walls with your plastic hammer!

Our other fine motor skill today was a first attempt at cutting on her own with toddler safety scissors:

http://youtu.be/GKs1kryQp_Y

I was really impressed by her ability to manipulate the scissors. She had a hard time figuring out how to hold them, but once I helped her get them on the correct fingers she dove right in to that construction paper! Snipping away as she mused, “Cut, cut, cut. I cutting!” Ryan says she was born to scrapbook. I say I just paid $3 for hours of future quiet cutting-concentration.

That’s all for Elliott today. Ryan and I are doing well. Ryan is in week two of a slow recovery from a cholecystectomy, and I’m 7+ months into this pregnancy! Which means Ryan and I are both exhausted and uncomfortable, and poor Elliott is going a little stir crazy. But we’re hanging in there!

Ryan is in full-Summer mode. He’s teaching his Summer course in the evenings and taking a French for Reading class so he can pass the French translation requirement for his PhD. I’m nesting like crazy and have made two donation trips to Goodwill since this pregnancy started. I recently purged my closet and storage of anything I haven’t worn since we’ve lived in Chandler. It was time for it all to move on to a new owner. My next goal is to rearrange all of the furniture in our room to make a space for our co-sleeping newcomer. I’d also like for the closets to be organized and for all of the toys to have a place to be put so I don’t have to see them all day… we’ll see what we can accomplish.

Next blog: Elliott’s birthday party! It’s not until June 22, so don’t hold your breath or anything…

Baby No. 2

We braved the Fetal and Women’s Imaging Center with Elliott this morning, and got our first peek at the smallest member of our family. The little babe was quite a wiggler from the very beginning, although, I could’ve warned the ultrasound tech about that. This baby is a MOVER. Baby number two has two feet, two hands, a “beautiful heart,” and a good-looking brain. I’m sure all of the other organs were in place, because the lady didn’t make any sounds of alarm while checking them out.

I’m sure you’re all anxious to know the gender…

Well, Ryan and I wanted to find out, but we didn’t want to share our moment with a stranger who was rubbing goo all over my abdomen in a dark room. So, we had her mark on a card, boy or girl, and put the picture of his/her baby bits in the envelope with the card so we could see it when we could react without any stranger anxiety.

We barely made it out to the car! And Ryan almost couldn’t wait for me to buckle Elliott in and get myself situated 🙂 But, we got our peek, and we’re pleased to announce:

It's OfficialEPSON MFP image

Girl EPSON MFP image

Feet, Face (profile)

IMG_2756 IMG_2763 IMG_2767

We’re so excited to welcome another wonderful little lady into our home!