Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Checking In On Our Little Humans

Little Human #1...the Kumquat

Bella has been loving preschool and can actually say both of her teachers' names. On Tuesday, she told  me that she played with her friend, Pier, but it came out "Pair"...I really am raising a Southern belle.

She is learning more details and able to retain what she's been taught. Instead of telling us that she painted a fish, she knows that it's a "rainbow fish" because that's what she learned in school.

I can't believe I'm going to put this in writing (deep breath), but after 9 months of kicking and screaming (from all three of us!), Bella is finally potty-trained! FINALLY!!! The "#2" part of training has been especially dramatic in the last two weeks since we told Bella pull-ups were going away once school started. There were squeals of pride and excitement, and wails of stubborn refusal that lasted all afternoon. After four consecutive days of successful, low-drama yuckies, I'm calling it a win. (Cross your fingers!) I'm hoping this will be my last "potty post" until Evelyn starts the process.

I told Bella to get down from the table yesterday, and she said, "I crazy, Mama! I crazy!" She's a random little bugger! It takes work to keep a straight face when she sounds like a teenager.

Little Human #2...the Squirt

Evelyn has her 4-month checkup yesterday; she now weighs 16 lbs. 4 oz. (90%) and is 25" long (95%). She had a good growth spurt on her height, so the doctor even had the nurse re-check!

I asked the pediatrician about the frequency of her nursing and whether or not she thought it would be okay to cut back on one of her nightly feedings. She's still feeding every three hours, even at night, and sometimes my body just looks at me like, "Are you kidding me?" I think when we get back in town from Labor Day, I may try to cut out her 1:00 AM feeding. We'll see how it goes...

Evie has started laughing! It's not too often, but it's so precious! I can't wait for her laughter to become more consistent!

She is very strong and can hold her head up so well! She can prop her head up and push up off of her arms. I need to start putting her on her tummy more so she'll actually roll over!

She still has a clogged tear duct in her right eye, but the ped. said we should be able to work on it at home instead of doing any treatment through a specialist.

Me and the girls at the zoo last week with Whitney, David, and Charli. Trying to keep Bella still while there were animals to look at is pretty much impossible!

Friday, August 24, 2012

My Project Wall

I don't know if there are other people who do this, but whenever I look through magazines, I'm constantly ripping out recipes I want to make, projects I want to tackle "one day", or things I want to add to my Christmas wish list (yes, I start planning early).

All of these papers get piled on my desk and, of course, usually forgotten. I had an epiphany last week about a project wall next to the kitchen. We have a little hallway leading from our kitchen to our dining room that I thought would be perfect because not many people see it. I figured I could buy large sections of corkboard and basically create a giant, unframed bulletin board.

Fast forward a week and let's just say that I couldn't find "large sections of corkboard" anywhere! I figured it was one of those ideas that would just need to sit in my head for awhile...but THEN (do you see where this is going?) I had a new epiphany about how to accomplish the same thing for free!

Bella has an easel with a roll of butcher paper attached to it. I stole four, large sections of paper, tacked them to the wall in a row, and then used tape to start putting up all of my random papers. It looks a little haphazard in the pictures, but it came out very clean and it's perfect for what I needed! I'm a very visual person and I needed a place where I could see everything at once.

I have sections labeled "HOME" for random color swatches I have or decorating pictures I love, "BELLA" for fun activity ideas that I want to do with Bella or things I want to make for her, "GARDEN" for all of the planting ideas that I rip out of my Martha Stewart and Lowe's magazines, and "FOOD" for my recipes and meal plans.

I'm amazed my wonderful husband lets me take up a wall in the house just for my ideas and pictures! I just keep walking up to my new wall and staring at it. Love it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


I need there to be a setting on my computer that says, "Make my pictures look like they were taken by a professional"! My poor little camera phone struggles to take decent pictures.

Evelyn is reaching a new milestone! She is actually grasping little toys and putting them in her mouth. I haven't been able to find a lot of the baby toys I had with Bella. Knowing me, I probably threw them out. I have the opposite problem of a pack rat - I'm constantly throwing things out that I will need again one day. Luckily, I have Whitney to pass on Charli's old toys!

Back to the kid...even though the pictures are a little fuzzy and a little dark, I was able to get a few of Evelyn putting Bella's toy giraffe in her mouth. Bells wasn't pleased, but we had a lovely talk about sharing. (Not that the talk worked, but we still had it.)

She does much better focusing on one object now.

Grasping Bella's her little toy.

Success! She seemed quite pleased with herself that she had figured it out. Lots of drooling and gurgling!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Four Months Old...Say It Isn't So!

Evelyn is four months old!

She is cute and chubby and smiles all the time! Our little squirt is such a chill baby. She sleeps really well in her crib now and loves to sit up and look around.

Look at me, Mama!

She is so close to laughing now...she smiles whenever she sees our faces. She loves watching Bella play, too!

My "Bella comparison" picture...I think they are starting to look more different now. I'm not sure if I'm right about this, but I think Bella has my features with Steve's coloring. Since Evelyn seems to look so much like Steve, I'm wondering if she'll be darker like me. It's fun to see their individual looks emerge.

Bella at four months old.

Friday, August 17, 2012

I'm Not The Only One, Right?

This is a "therapy" post...

I've entered a new stage of mommy-hood that I wasn't ready for. I'm not even sure how to describe it, but basically, it's that horrible, horrible sadness you feel as a Mama when you think your child is being left out or had her feelings hurt. Now, I should mention that the reality is, Bella has never felt left out or had her feelings hurt - it is completely my perception and my emotions!

It could be during a playdate or observing her at school...if one of her friends tells her "no" or doesn't want to play with her, my heart breaks. I actually start crying! It makes me want to scoop her up in my arms and run home. Which I don't do, because she has no idea what happened and would start crying that I was taking her away from her friend!

The second half of this new experience is when Bella doesn't get to do everything her friends do. Bella is in preschool again this year and loves it! It just so happens that a lot of her friends are also doing ballet classes at our church. After talking about it with Steve, we decided that we just didn't have the money to pay for anything extra. The prices are wonderful at the church; we just have other things our money needs to go to right now. When Steve and I had this talk, I was balling. 

And this is definitely a case of "what she doesn't know won't hurt her"...Bella has no idea what a ballerina is or that you can take classes to look like one. She doesn't know that some of her school friends are taking these classes; she just knows how much she loves school. 

Maybe it all boils down to contentment. We are truly, truly blessed. And I don't just say that because it's the "Jesus" answer; I'm honestly thrilled that we're able to afford preschool and I know that there are many who can't. As a mom, I have just been struggling with the fact that many "extra" experiences I want Bella to have, cost money - the zoo, the aquarium, ballet, etc. I know it's all in my head and heart, and not in Bella's. She loves the playground, the park, school, heck, she gets excited about the front yard!

So I'm going to take a deep breath and say lots and lots of extra prayers that God will give me a thankful heart for all of the wonderful things we have been  able to give Bella so far, and that He will give me a much stronger heart for all of the times I may imagine her being "hurt" in the future.

Ironically, my Bible study topic this week is contentment. I'm already looking forward (and at the same time, NOT looking forward) to what I will learn and what God is trying to teach me.

This is my Bible study. I'm only on Week Three, but it has been amazing. I haven't been using the DVD's; Mel said each one is only about ten minutes long and isn't necessary to do the lesson. Since I'm doing this by myself, I didn't bother with the video segments. The book is about $7.99 at the Christian bookstore, and I would highly recommend it! It's not as in-depth with Scripture as a Beth Moore study is, but it's very practical and hands-on.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back 2 School!

It's crazy to think that every August for the next 18 years or so, I'm going to say the phrase, "Is it time for school to start already?" Sending Bella to school was much less emotional for this year; partly because she's used to it and partly because it snuck up on me!

Oh, and my funny, "good job, Kate"-moment so far...I bought some supplies at the end of the school year last year to make "thank you" presents for her teachers, but with the baby coming and zero energy, it never got done. I decided to save the project and use it as a "Welcome Back To School" gift for Bella's new teachers this Fall. I had the supplies sitting on my counter all Summer, but still didn't get it done in time! We just finished our first week and I'm hoping I remember to do it this weekend!

Bella got to go to a "Meet and Greet" on Monday morning to check out her new teachers and see her classroom. She didn't seem too impressed with her teachers, but she tends to act shy around strangers at first. She did love exploring the classroom and playing with the new toys. Her main teacher, Ms. Cheryl, is one of my friend's moms, so she already knows Bella. The assistant, Ms. Ernestine, is one of Ms. Betty's best friends, so I'm looking forward to getting to know her better! By the way, how beautiful and Southern is the name Ernestine!

Here are some pictures from her first morning (they're on my phone, so they're a little rough):

Bella insisted on her "big giraffe" coming in the car with us.

Look at her posing like a big girl!

On a side note, last year, I bought most of her dresses and pants in Size 4T so they would last for two years, and so far, everything still fits! I'm very thankful we don't have to buy a new wardrobe this Fall!

She's off to a great start!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cousin Camp T-Shirts

Every summer, Steve's mom and dad host all of the grandkids at their house for a week of "Cousin Camp." They go to the zoo, have cookouts, ride their bikes - all that fun stuff. And each year, they make t-shirts to wear during the week and keep as fun reminders. Bella hasn't been big enough to go yet, but Grandma and the cousins always include her in the t-shirt fun! This year, Evie was included, too, and I actually managed to get pictures of the girls together!



2011...and now, for this year!

Stylin' little lady!

Aaaww! Chunky monkey! Love that smile and those chubby cheeks!

Bella looks a little spaced out in this picture, but it's the only one where they're both looking at the camera. I love how the girls are leaning into each other in this picture.

Now it's Bella's turn for a cheesy smile! She looks so old in this picture! (And I love the double-chin.)

Pretty soon, Bella and Evie will get to join in on the adventures!

Mel's Birthday

Mel's birthday was on Monday and we decided to get some of her friends together and go back to Ormsby's, where Steve and I went for our anniversary date. There were about 15 of us and we had a great time! It was the first time we left Evelyn with a babysitter who wasn't family; luckily, we know the girl very well, so I wasn't nervous and I didn't feel the need to check in. Yay!

Mel and some friends playing bocce ball. The downstairs was huge - a few bocce ball courts, pool, darts, a ton of places to sit and eat! 

Lee Ann, Tiffany, Steve, and I playing darts. I'm really glad that we've spent so much time with Mel's friends and love them dearly!

Sister shot! We went out for a date, just the two of us, on Saturday night to a place called Keegan's Pub. I had the pub grilled cheese (sounds boring, but it was so good!) and Mel had the fish and chips. Then we went and watched the new Bourne movie. We loved it! 

Hanging out by the skee ball machine. Our friend, Ashley, is in the orange shirt. Bella loves talking to "Ash-a-lee" when we visit Mel's office.

A picture from our sister date on Saturday!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Summertime Goodness

Our favorite signs of Summer: dirty toes, half-naked babies, stained fingers, peanut butter on lips, picking flowers, rolling in the grass, and playing on tractors!

Love the peanut butter marks on her cheeks that were leftover from her peanut butter sandwich at lunch!

Wearing her "Olivia the Pig" undies and holding onto her Beanie Baby pig that was a Christmas present from Mimi. I wish I could run in the front yard without pants on!

Trying not to smile as she runs away from Mama's camera. One day, I'm hoping she'll love posing for me!

Bella's tractor is a hand-me-down gift from Adam, one of the boys who lives across the street.

And chubby, baby legs! Evie is so close to fitting into the TOMS that Cathy McCallum bought for her; I had to try them on a little early.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bella's Weekly Quotes

It's been almost a week since I've posted anything, but we've been busy! Busy with very normal, boring activities that haven't seemed like fun blog post. I have a few in my head, though: Bella's first day of preschool next week, Mel's birthday this weekend, and a new Bible study that has been slapping me in the face and convicting me in some very necessary, but "un-fun" ways...

For now, here are some comments and moments from my darling, precocious three-year old. Oh, what will I do when I have two who can talk? (Or three? Or four? Whew!)


Discovering that she would be going to Rex's house last night while we were at Open House for preschool,

Bella: "Will Rex's Mama be there?"
Me: "Yes, Rex's Mama will be there."
Bella: "If Rex's Mama could be there, that would be AWESOME!" 


I can't go to bed now! I need my "ba-jay-mays". Your what???

I finally figured out she was saying "PJ's".


(While Steve and I are trying to talk in the car...)

Bella: "Mama. Mama. Mama. MAMA!!!"
Steve: "Bella, stop yelling!"
Me: "Yes, Bella?"
Bella: "Mama. Daddy. Do you see that green sign? Over there? That green sign?  There's an 'O'. See it? See the green sign? It's green."
Me: (swallowing my deep sigh and hoping I sound enthusiastic...) "Yes! I see the green sign!"
Bella: "Where? Where is there a green sign?"

This is when Steve starts to bang his head against the steering wheel.


For awhile, Steve and I would nickname different stores for Bella instead of bothering with the official name. Wal-Mart was the "blue store", Target was the "red store", and Home Depot was the "orange store". (Can you tell where we shop the most?) Now that she is older and can understand more, I've started pointing out the real names for the stores we visit. I started with McDonald's, but no matter how many times I've pronounced it for her, it comes out of her mouth as "Bo-Bo-Dons." Seriously? How do you get "Bo-Bo-Dons" from McDonald's?

It's like that episode of Friends when Phoebe is trying to teach Joey a few French phrases, and finally has to walk out of the room in frustration. It cracks us up to hear how she interprets different words and sounds! At least we know she'll get them eventually.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Saturday Outing

Mel and her friend, Ashley, wanted to go to the Dekalb Farmer's Market today, so we decided to tag along. This place is crazy! It's subtitle is "A World Market" and that's exactly what it is; every employee has a name tag with their name and the phrase, "Languages I speak: _____________________." It is not what you think of when you imagine strolling through a farmer's market on a Saturday morning. Here is just one shot of the main aisle...

You would need about two hours to get a good idea of everything there! Their bulk items are their best deals and I like their grains. Small tubs of spices are $.36 - $1.25. I bought large containers of flax seed, raw barley, wheat germ, and oats for no more than $2.00 a container. Here are some of my goodies!

I've found lots of healthy recipes that suggest adding wheat germ and flax to them, but it's not something that's very convenient to find at a good price. That's why this store is so great! I also found a bunch of spices that are usually so expensive! I hate paying $5.00 for a jar of rosemary when I only use it about once a month! I'm so excited to start cooking with barley and to add the wheat germ to some smoothies!

After our excitement of the farmer's market, we went to a restaurant called Farm Burger. All of their beef and chicken are grass-fed and their ingredients are from local farmers. We had a very hippie day!

Burgers with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, Gouda, jalenpeno peppers, and tomatoes. Yum!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Consignment Sale Goodies

I've heard about a huge sale that goes on in our area every year, but I've never gone. It has always seemed a little intimidating - there are hundreds of sellers and rules about when you can go in - I wasn't sure I wanted to tackle it alone. Well, I put on my big-girl pants and finally went to a sale today!

It reminded me once again to be so thankful that we have two children of the same gender! I was so thankful that I didn't need to be there to find a whole new, Fall wardrobe for Evelyn. I was in the market for some dress shoes for Bella, which I found for $2.00, and an exersaucer or walker for Evelyn. Most of the exersaucers were $25.00 - $35.00, and they were in VERY primary colors.

I found a walker for $23.00 that I really liked! I think I probably over-paid a little bit if I was basing it on garage sale prices, but I was okay paying for the convenience and a style that I liked.

Evie's feet just barely reach the floor. I'm sure she'll like it more and more as she grows!

Why do my children make adorable faces until I bring out a camera? Then, they give that blank, cross-eyed stare.

Evie is lifting her head so well! She doesn't love being on her stomach, but she loves sitting up and looking around!

The sale was definitely a success and I'm glad I have one under my belt. The prices are 1/2 off on Saturday, so I may go back with Steve. I saw a beautiful double stroller for $130.00, which I was NOT willing to pay. But, oh, what a pretty stroller! I did a deep sigh of longing as I walked away.

Babysitting Princesses

 A few couples have gotten together and formed a babysitting co-op; six families take one Friday night each month and rotate babysitting duties. Last Friday was our turn, so we hosted five little girls (including Bella) and one handsome little man at our house!

When each little girl arrived, she got to choose one of Bella's dress-up outfits to wear. They looked really cute!

Some Daddy and princess time...

We made whole wheat pancakes and decorated the tops with flowers and crowns using food coloring. Note to self: food coloring can really stain your lips and fingers!

Rex chowing down on his pancakes! We didn't make him wear a princess dress.

Molly was in a loner mood...while the others were upstairs in Bella's room, she set the coffee table for an imaginary tea party. It was so cute! 

Steve entertained the kids outside with tricks on the swing while I fed Evie inside. It was kind of nice to be able to stay inside with the baby while we roughed it in the heat. They loved him!

Whew! We had a great time, but man, it was a trip! Six toddlers for three hours will take it out of you! I'm very thankful that our month is done and we have four more to go before it's our turn again!