Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Dear Bella and Evie, I Promise...

I may not use clothe diapers, organic wet wipes, or homemade baby food, but I found a promise I can actually keep!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Yuckies Drama And Baby

Little Human #1:

We started potty training about two weeks ago, and it has been surprisingly easy! Bella really took to it this time, and we haven't had any accidents since the 3rd day of training! She loves wearing her "big girl underwear" and knows they're supposed to stay dry.

But then there's poop...poop has NOT gone as smoothly. (No pun intended!) We went through every day last week with Bella making little shrieking noises when she started to feel the urge to go. She absolutely refused to poop. It's been very stressful and very exhausting, with tears from both of us!

I think we finally may have turned a corner yesterday! Long story short, we gave her something to make her go and plopped her little rear end on the toilet. There were tears, but a lot less than a few days ago, and she was very proud of her accomplishment! Afterwards, she said wanted to go
"yuckies" on the potty two more times and she actually went!

Bella even wanted to keep her big girl underwear on for bedtime, and we figured...why not? There's a plastic pad on the mattress, so I figured, worst case scenario was that she woke me up in the middle of the night with an accident. BUT! No accidents! She woke up this morning and right away said she had to pee on the potty, and her sheets were dry!

I know that this is no guarantee that she will now be able to wear underwear every night with no accidents. but we thought it was a good sign. I'm not really claiming any credit on this process going well - I think it has everything to do with her age and that it finally just clicked in her little brain.We're still praying that it doesn't all go downhill when the baby arrives.

Which brings us to...

Little Human #2 

Steve and I are ready for this baby to join the outside world! I really didn't want her to come last week...we had Bella's birthday, special preschool snack, a pediatrician's appointment, a visit to Ms. Betty's house, and lunch with Steve downtown...not the best week to stop everything and go into labor.

This week, though, is wide open! We really, really, really want her to come early! I know God has perfect timing, and it will work out just fine, but after a bajillion days of being this fat, I feel like I'm just sitting around and waiting. Lots of waiting...

I have a visit with our midwife on Tuesday and that's really the only thing going on this week...maybe I should try and make this week busy, too, just so I don't go crazy. I will say this much...I've been having a blast with Bells as we hang out during the day. We get to do fun little outings with just the two of us, but we're ready for the second little human to make her appearance!

Six days and counting!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Photographer Must Be Magic

I am so impressed by the preschool photographer's ability to have Bella pose with a darling smile. I mean, seriously, how do they do it? Since I loved her Fall photos so much, I was trying not to get my hopes up that the Spring pictures would turn out as well, but her teachers and the photographer were able to produce a beautiful picture! So pleased!

She looks nothing like me, but dang, she's beautiful!

Sitting on a log with a frog sitting next to her and a fairy castle in the background. I cropped out the castle, because I don't really love it, but I love her smile and her folded hands on her lap.

This one looks like a Missing Persons photo from the 1960's because my scan didn't do very well, but here is her class from this year! Bella is on the 2nd row (hopefully, that was obvious), Ms. Betty is on the left and Ms. Melissa is on the right. Her friend, Ella, is sitting on the right end of the middle row, but David must not have been there that day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Celebrating At Preschool

We had one more birthday activity this week - bringing a birthday snack to preschool!

Bella and Mama...it was one of those days when I was so thankful to be a stay-at-home mom, and get to celebrate with her!

Bella in her birthday hat! To get her to smile for the camera, Ms. Melissa said, "Show me your teeth!" We're raising a very literal child.

Bella and her friend, Ella. They had just come in from the playground, so all of the kids went through about 5 glasses of water! I figured that was a good thing right before their cupcakes!

After cupcakes, I got to read a few books to the kids and then it was time to go home! I'm so thankful for both of Bella's teachers and how much they've taught her this year!

Happy Birthday, Little Kumquat!

My dearest Bella,

Today is your birthday, and I can’t believe you are already three years old! You have become a little girl right before our eyes, and your Daddy and I have loved every minute of your transformation!

You are such a unique little human - you are obsessed with stickers (I mean, obsessed!) and “Cinderella dresses”. You love all sorts of animals. And the wind and the sky and the moon…you love anything that has to do with being outside! You love bubbles and baby dolls, and you love playing games with your family!

I love telling Daddy all of the silly things that you say throughout our day together! When we were in the car today, you told me that “Rexicans is push-ed me.” I think you were hoping to get some sympathy, even though Rex wasn’t even in the car with us! Yesterday, you patted your chest and yelled, “Mama! My ‘boovies’ are here! Right here on my tummy!” You were very proud to have found your “boovies.”

You are about to be a big sister, and I can’t wait to see how you interact with your baby sister! I know there will be times when you feel left out, but I promise you that we love you so much and you are going to be a wonderful help to Mama as we all adjust to having a new little baby in the house! Even now, you are fascinated by the baby in Mama’s tummy. Whenever you want to see the baby move, you put your little eye up to Mama’s belly button like you’re trying to look through a periscope; it’s so cute!

One of my favorite things about you at this age is all of the ways you are becoming your own, independent person, and yet, there are so many ways that you are just like Daddy and I! You love to sing and you don’t care who hears; you also don’t adjust well to change…I think you get that from me. I smile at how much you love music and love to drum on any surface, and you love to eat spicy foods! You get all of those things from your Daddy!

Somehow, your Daddy from Ohio and your Mama, who loves being a “Yankee”, are raising a little Southern girl, and your favorite phrase right now is, “Oh-Mah-Goooodness!” It makes you sound like a feisty, Georgian grandma who just discovered her prized roses had been destroyed! It’s fantastic!

We love you so much, baby girl, and we are so honored to be your parents! We pray for you every day, that God will guide your steps and give us wisdom as we raise you. Happy birthday from Daddy and I!

Love always,
Your Mama

p.s. Thank you so much for getting potty trained before your baby sister made her appearance! I’m not sure how my diaper budget would have handled two! You’re amazing!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bella's 3rd Birthday Party!

We celebrated Bella's birthday at a beautiful park on Saturday. The weather was fantastic, and Bella really loved the playground! It was a great way to celebrate the little human!

Our spread! There wasn't a "theme"; we just had a lot of Spring colors...pink plates and napkins, raspberry lemonade, neon-colored straws...it was so easy and a lot of fun!

Homemade, yummy cupcakes! The cake was strawberry and the icing was cream cheese frosting dyed blue; they turned out very bright and cute! I found a cardboard cupcake stand at WalMart for $5.00 - such a deal!

Bella and I have been singing the birthday song for a week or so, and Bella loves it! She was so excited to hear everyone sing and to blow out her candle.

Enjoying her goodies!

Licking all of the frosting off of her number "3" candle.

Showing off her Strawberry Shortcake card from Mimi! She got so many fun presents that she loved! Grandma and Grandpa Wires rocked our world! She got some adorable outfits for the Summer, an Uno animal game, and her favorite...a Rapunzel doll. She has been dragging the doll around with her ever since the party! Mimi and Papa got her a book and Tarzan II, which we've seen about 8 times in 2 days...trust me, that's a lot of Tarzan.

We got her a t-ball set...we just couldn't resist after she had so much fun at Sean's birthday party a few weeks ago. I can't wait to set it up for her, and I think she and Grandpa will have a lot of fun with it when he and Grandma come to visit Evie!

Our family picture...7 years and 2 little humans...whew! It's been a blast!

Aaaaaaannnddd...Bella had reached her "posing" limit. She was squirming to get down and take Rapunzel to the playground, so this was literally the best picture we got of the three of us with Mel. I loved how fun and stress-free the party was! I think I would do her 4th birthday party the exact same way!

Her actual birthday is on Tuesday, so I'll post some pictures from her preschool party then...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What We've Been Up To This Week...

It's been a good bonding week here so far! Now that we are done dog-sitting and I'm not watching Rex anymore, it has been our first week of just Bella and I. I have to say, it's been a lot of fun! Don't get me wrong, I usually hit my "one-on-one-Bella-limit" around 4 o'clock each day (is that wrong to admit?) , but we're getting a lot of good playtime in, too!

I told Steve this month that whenever we ran out of diapers, I was going to start potty-training again. We started on Tuesday, after naps, and it has been a completely different experience than 6 months ago! Okay, I know, it's only been a day and a half, but Bella definitely understands more now, and even though there have been accidents, the whole process is much calmer. No screaming and very low drama (which is rare for she and I). Mel and I took her out of the house today, and there were no accidents! She told us four different times that she had to pee or "go yuckies" and each time, we made it to a bathroom. I know there are still many hiccups in our future, but this has been such a wonderful praise!

Running errands with Mama is so much easier when there's only one kid! Now if only we could convince her that she's wearing her sunglasses upside down.

I promise, this looks a lot more dangerous than it was. I was standing right there, guiding her hands. We were making dinner for Daddy last night, and Bella wanted to help. We cut up avocados, hard-boiled eggs, and tomatoes. Plus, look at her cute little painted fingernails! It was one of our actitivies while I was trying to keep her occupied during potty training.

We went outside this afternoon and spent a few hours on a blanket in the sun. Bella built safari anumals with her blocks, and I got to do voices for the assorted creatures. She is so much calmer during playtime now that it's just her and I. It's really neat to see her focused and engaged in an activity for longer periods of time whether I'm there or not.

This weekend will be her birthday party! I can't believe our little human turns three next week!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Weekend

I was going to try and write a few separate posts to cover our whole weekend, but I decided to combine them instead. Warning: there are a TON of pictures! Hopefully, I don't go crazy trying to write captions and space them all out. Cross your fingers...

Our first "Easter" activity started weeks ago; I found an idea online to grow your own grass in a small dish and then put the whole dish in your Easter basket to make it look pretty! It didn't take any work and I loved having really grass! Not a huge deal, but definitely something I would do again! I'm waiting for Martha's people to call me...

On Friday, Steve got off of work at noon, so we had a wonderful, relaxing afternoon! He and Bella colored Easter eggs while I made dinner. It was messy, but a lot of fun! This is the first year that Bella was able to really be involved with the activities.

We only did 6 eggs to keep it simple, but Bella loved naming all of the colors as she and Daddy waited for the dye to stain the eggs.

Heading to the Egg Scramble at church. All of the volunteers did such a great job with the games and set-up. Bella had an absolute blast!

Bella wanted to do everything and it was fun (and tiring) to watch her excitement level as she ran around! We colored with chalk, played on the inflatables, rocked out to the hula hoops, and drank Coke (her special treat)!

Starting out on our egg hunt...everyone was very friendly and we had no problem filling our basket.

Once she picked up her first egg, she plopped down on the grass and started eating the lollipop inside. I decided to pick up some eggs for her...luckily, a lot of moms were helping. :)

Our annual Easter picture...once a year, my amazing husband agrees to match Bella and I in whatever we're wearing. This year involved pink, and I have to say, I think we pulled it off pretty well! I love this picture!

Playing with bubbles after church. Grandma Wires sent special bubbles that were colored - they looked really cool and Bells was thrilled!

When Bella got sick of being in front of the camera, we actually got to sneak in an "us" photo.

Happy Easter! We hope you had a wonderful weekend celebrating our risen Savior!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Bella's Birth Story

I wasn't very consistent with this blog around the time that Bella was born, so I never posted any pictures of her birth or us at the hospital. I know when Bella and Evie read the story of Evie's birth and all of the preparations we've done, Bella will want to see the pictures of her birth, too. Since April is her birthday month, I thought it would be a good time to remember some details of how our first little human came into the world.

I went into labor on my due date. I had experienced some light contractions early in the morning, so we checked in with my OBGYN, but she sent us home and told us to walk around. Friends of ours were bringing us a pizza for dinner, and by the time they got to our house, we told them to just follow us to the hospital. Contractions had definitely gotten closer together and strong enough that I was gripping the car door handle.

Steve and I didn't have family there, so our friends were amazing at standing in the gap with us. On our way to the hospital, we called my sister, Mel, and she got in the car to drive up from Florida. We also had about 8 friends in the room with us! We had such a fun time! Looking back, it was so stupid that I didn't sleep after getting the epidural, but since we had so many people there with us, it was a good distraction from the waiting...

Bella was born at 8:46 AM the next morning. There was a lot of pushing and a rotation of three different doctors, but she finally made it! We had no complications and she came out perfectly healthy with a full set of lungs!

That epidural was a beautiful thing...our motivation for having Evie at home has nothing to do with our experience at the hospital. We loved it! Everyone took such good care of us! I remember the room service and the labor nurse, because her name was Katie.

My first words when I saw her were, "She's purple! She's beautiful, but she's purple!"

Our first few moments as a family...it was the best feeling in the world!

Finally in our own room and enjoying the quiet...we have Bella's little hat hanging in Evie's nursery.

Relaxing with Mama in bed. We spent a lot of time resting and practicing our nursing.

Special snuggling time with Daddy. He was so taken by her! And she looked just like him! It was incredible!

Our last morning in the hospital...we were ready to have her home and on our own turf.

All bundled up and ready to go home. I felt like I was in a grocery cart!

Best picture ever. Bella is wrapped in a blanket made by her Great-Grandma Ferguson.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fun At The Park

Last Saturday, we took Bella to a birthday party at the park. It was a baseball theme and Whitney set up a t-ball station for the kids to practice on. Bella loved it! I was really surprised, but she grabbed the bat like a natural and swung away!

Steve and I are talking about getting her a t-ball set for her birthday coming up!

Monday, April 2, 2012

We Made It To April!

We are officially in our "birth month"! Whew! Between Bella's birthday and Evie's due date, it's an exciting month here! I'm still hoping that Evie holds out until May, but it's just so fun to see her due date on the calendar.

This past weekend, Steve and I had a chance to enjoy a full 24 hours without Bella. It was quick, but it was a nice break! We dropped Bella off with our friends, Ashleigh and Ryan, and their two-year old, Molly. This was Bella's first sleepover without us, and I was a little nervous about how she would react, especially around bedtime. We were so happy when Ashleigh gave us a good report! Bella didn't have any tears the entire weekend and she handled bedtime perfectly.

Steve and I were so thankful for this chance to spend some time together - we went out for a steak dinner, slept in until 8:30 (so amazing!), enjoyed a late brunch, and got to see a movie. It was an incredibly refreshing weekend, and now we get to focus on everything going on this month...We have our meeting this weekend with our midwife and our friends who will be at the birth, Bella is going to hopefully make some advancements in potty training, we have Bella's birthday party coming up, and Evie will be here! We're so excited to start this next chapter in our family!