Sunday, September 30, 2012

Our Saturday In Pictures

Getting some projects done around the house. #1 on the list was taking down the tent from our backyard camping adventure. I put Evelyn in the walker and let her watch Steve and Bella hard at work. Well, Steve was hard at work; Bella was running back and forth yelling, "Daddy, watch me!"

As I was weeding, Bella wanted to help me "clean", so here she is sweeping the flower beds. P.S. Isn't our flower bed sad? We have fun ideas for them, but new plants aren't in the budget until Spring, so they'll be empty for the next few months.

No clue what she's doing here, but I think she was cleaning the bristles of the broom. She's very thorough.

I am weirdly proud of my fireplace mantle right now. I don't really decorate for Halloween because it's only relevant for a couple of week, but I painted the pumpkin in the middle, and couldn't resist after that. I have a love affair with spray paint, and the whole mantle only cost me $3.96! What's up!

Our back door. I've had the spider web material for years, and it seems to last forever. 

We did a lot of napping and crashing on Saturday and Sunday as we adjusted to Evelyn's new sleeping arrangement.

Update on our little restless princess: as soon as I laid her down tonight, E grabbed her lovey over face and started sucking thumb! Is that a dim light I see??? One can only dream. We'll see how the rest of tonight goes...cross your fingers!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pacifiers Are Evil

Sleep-training a baby is not for the weak. We keep telling ourselves that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but that was hard to remember last night when I was bent over the toilet, hoping to throw up because I was so tired that I was literally nauseous. Try not to be jealous of our glamorous life.

When I say training, I use the term loosely. We didn't read a book that promised our baby would sleep through the night at two weeks old. We just decided to try the good ol' fashioned, "let her cry it out" method after five whole months of waking up every hour and a half to stick her pacifier back in her mouth. Do you know what five months of no REM cycle will do to a person? If you're a mom, then of course you do.

The entire issue of the pacifier kind of snuck up on us. With Bella, we used a pacifier a couple of times, but she just naturally gravited towards her thumb. And I don't care what people say about the benefit of being able to take away the child's pacificer, but not being able to take away their thumb...I LOVE that Bella sucks her thumb. It's stinkin' cute and it's always there. The soothing aspect throughout her toddler years alone has made the potential future cost of braces totally worth it.

With Little Miss Evelyn, Steve and I finally decided that we had to do something. I don't know if what we're doing is right, and I'm sure there are so many other ways of doing it, but this is what we're trying. Our strategy is two-fold: (yes, I said "strategy"; we're not messin' around, people) We're trying to break her of her pacifier habit in the hopes that she'll learn to soothe herself by sucking her thumb, and we're also not going to get up in the middle of the night with her if she wakes up in-between feedings.

Last night was miserable. Basically, she cried for hours. It sounds super-cruel, but you're so tired at 3:00 AM that you just want her to be quiet, and you care less about whether or not she's happy. We followed the same method all through naps today, and she's doing pretty good at falling asleep without a pacifier. She cries for about 10-30 minutes, but falls asleep on her own. The bad time is when she wakes up in the middle of the night and doesn't easily fall back to sleep.

I used to go into her room everytime and try to soothe her by giving her the pacifier, or eventually giving in and nursing her just to get her to go back to sleep. The problem is, after having her sleep in bed with us for the first three months and getting up with her anytime she stirred, she definitely depends on my closeness for comfort. Which a big part of me absolutely loves! I've realized, though, that whatever I do in these first few months will train her for how she sleeps throughout her first year and beyond. I want her to be a good sleeper like Bella, and I'm hoping that this is the way to help her develop those skills.

We keep telling ourselves that there really is a light at the end of the tunnel, and that she will eventually master this on her own. Hopefully, it's before Steve and I break down and start crying in public.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Oh My Stars, She's Five Months Old!

Evelyn has become an active, rambunctious baby now instead of an infant who sleeps most of the time! She is rolling over great from her back to her tummy, but still struggles with going from her tummy to her back. She loves putting things in her mouth, especially our fingers! A few weeks ago, she started "growling" at us - it's really funny - she sticks her tongue out and...growls...that's the best way I can describe it. She is not even close to sleeping through the night, but that's a whole different post that I'll write while having a meltdown from exhaustion.

Here are some pictures we took today while playing in the playroom with Bella!

With her "5 months" sign.

Trying to bite the lamb that "sleeps" in her crib.

Adorable smile!

Evelyn puts everything in her mouth! The little mouth of her duck lovey fits perfectly!

I know I'm biased, but this look is perfection.

This is how she growls at us! I was a little excited to actually get the face!

Looking at Auntie Mel.

Chewing on her "5 months" sign...maybe she didn't approve.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cuteness On Fire

I love seeing Steve play with the girls! He started lifting Evelyn around on the couch, and Bella wanted in on the fun!

Whaaaaaaaat's up!

Tickle fights! (Note to Bella: Daddy cheats!)

This was her reaction to Daddy saying, "Stretch out your legs." We may need to work on her form before the Olympics.

Hey there, cutie!

Daaa-aaaad! Not in front of the camera!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Friday Night Picnic

Okay, a little backwards, but here are some pictures from our small group's picnic on Friday night!

Met for dinner at East Cobb Park. Charli was sick, so Whitney couldn't come, and we were missing Eric, too. We powered through, though, and had a great time!

Pele would be proud! I know Daddy was!

Daddy and Evs, just chillin'.

I love me some family time!

This lovely woman has taken so many pictures of our growing family, it was nice to get her face documented!

Patrick and Kelsie...or as Bella refers to them, "Lucie's mommy and daddy".

Ellen and Evelyn...usually Evie cries anytime Ellen touches her, so this was pretty impressive.

Kisses! (And Evs likes to give her own version of kisses where she sucks on your face. Love it!)

The little human and total abandon on a swing.

I totally bribed her for this smile!

All grown up and on the merry-go-round. It was a super-fun night! We got to spend some time with Eric and Nicole's boys, Thomas and Caleb, and they were hilarious! I need them to rub off on Bella; I took about 50 pictures of Thomas posing like a model on the merry-go-round - faaaaaaantastic!

Road Trip And Silly Faces

We had a Sunday School picnic on Friday night and I haven't posted those pictures yet, but I already had these pictures on the computer, so we're a little out of order.

A wonderful woman in our Sunday School class experienced the loss of her mother pretty suddenly last week, and Trey called Steve on Saturday morning to ask if Steve wanted to make a road trip down to Florida with him and go to the funeral to support our friend.

It was hard at first for us to decide whether it was best for Steve to leave on a day-and-a-half road trip when we don't get much time together to begin with, so I suggested the girls and I go along. Not the ideal time period, but it accomplished all of our goals: Trey and Steve were able to support our friend at her mother's funeral, the guys got at least a little bit of a "bro's trip", and Steve and I got to be in the close proximity of each other. I don't think we got much of a chance to speak to each other in those 30 hours, but we got to make eye contact! It also gave the girls and I a quick trip to see Papa and Mimi since the funeral was close to my parents' house.

We left at 4:00 PM on Saturday afternoon, got to my parents' house at about 1:00 AM, got to go to church on Sunday morning and eat lunch, then left at about 2:30 PM to head home and got in around 11:00 PM last night. Whew!

I didn't take any pictures of our little road trip, but Bella got a hold of Daddy's phone and had quite the adventure! Steve and I laid in bed last night (exhausted!) and giggled at the weird faces she had left behind!

She took 137 pictures of her face, nostrils, eyeballs, and tongue! Most of them were way too close up to distinguish, but I love seeing the way her odd little mind works!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bella's Preschool Fall Party

Yay! It's boot-wearing season! I can't believe it's already Fall - it seems like the weather changed overnight. I know we still have hot days ahead of us, but it's been wonderful to have some chillier weather. We celebrated Bella's Fall party at preschool today - the moms in charge did such a great job making it fun for everyone! Looking at these pictures, she seems so big!

We had a rough morning today: waking up late, lots of rushing, eating breakfast on the go, forgetting Bella's school bag, and a few tears. Oh, and there may have been a "choking on oatmeal because it was too hot and then dramatically spitting it up into her hands" incident. Let's just say it was good to see her smile when I walked into the room!

Evelyn and I hanging out, waiting for the games to begin.

Bella's table at school...Pier is on the left and Malachi is across the table from her. Katie and Ryan are twins and they're on the right. I'm thankful that since Bella isn't in class with any of her friends from church, she is able to have many of the same classmates from last year.

Happy and playing! They had donut holes with caramel and nuts on top to make "acorns"; they got their picture taken with a scarecrow, and got to do a leaf craft. When we got home, we sat in the driveway and blew bubbles with the pumpkin bubbles from her goodie bag while Evelyn slept in the car - it was a good day!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Not Cool, Wires.

I told Steve he's not allowed to do anything that made Evelyn look like she was growing up! Whenever I have a night out, Steve gives Evie a bottle, and apparently she's getting good at holding the bottle herself. Say it isn't so! I would like to go back in time now, please!

Look at her, all grown up! I can't believe she can do this by herself!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Backyard Camping

We kicked camping's tail! When Steve got home on Friday night, I had some food and supplies ready and he got started on the tent. I had to document our first time in the "wild" with a ton of pictures!

 Halfway there! I was very thankful that Steve was feeling so manly with himself; I'm not sure I could have figured it out. 

Success! We are obviously not "wilderness campers". I think camping should always be done with an air mattress close by. 

Dinner was hot dogs and quesadillas with s'mores for dessert. I used a skillet to make quesadillas, but Steve roasted the hot dogs and marshmallows on skewers. Note to self: bamboo sticks that are intended for shish kabobs do not make very good camping skewers.

Mel joined us for dinner in between a meeting for her Not For Sale internship and karaoke night with girlfriends. (She has a much more exciting life than we do.) This is her "the fire is really hot!" face.

A three-year old with what my mother calls a "big personality".

She reeeeeeally liked the s'mores!

Evie getting settled in her "bunk". She has just started rolling over, which happened to be bad timing for camping. I brought the mattress out from her crib, but was super-paranoid that she was going to roll off and get stuck between her mattress and the wall of the tent. She finally laid still once she fell asleep.

Initially, Bella was not convinced that we were actually going to sleep outside. We were excited that she settled in so quickly. We brought all of her quilts and blankets down from her room, and let her chill with Steve's iPhone. We'll force her to get in touch with nature next time! P.S. Bella's "special blanket" is the one that her Great-Grandma Ferguson made for her and the quilt is from a wonderful lady at church, Leslie. They are so beautiful, and Bella never sleeps without them!

Steve and Evelyn having some bonding time. We did eventually put away technology and pretend we didn't have access to a 4G network. 

Bella and I spending our daylight hours reading...and reading and reading.

Bella really wanted to take a picture of the horse on the back of her book. Notice that I'm not looking - she said, "You no look at the camera, Mama." I had to look away, but still point at the horse for her documenting purposes.

While taking the previous picture, she noticed my blue nails. "Hands up, Mama!"

Our view from bed. Since there was no forecast for rain, Steve agreed to leave the rain-guard off and we got to sleep all night while looking up at the stars! Very romantic...minus the toddler and baby in there, too.

When she refuses to smile this often, it helps to keep your sense of humor.

The Divine Miss E's set-up. Oh, and a box fan, so Mama stays cool. I need to add that to my "must have while camping" list: an air mattress and a fan.

We finally got both girls asleep! It was about two hours later than normal, but we had a great time! We read books, played on the bed together, watched a movie, and looked at the stars. It was warm when we went to sleep, but we had pants and long sleeves with us just in case, and it definitely got chilly over night! Waking up to nurse Evie, I finally brought her into bed with me because her hands and ears were cold.

We survived! This is us first thing this morning. Bella woke us up at 6:30 and then played in her "room" with the flashlight.

Celebrating our return to civilization with breakfast at Cracker Barrel. Chicken fried steak and scrambled eggs. 

We will definitely try it again this Fall in the real wilderness...or at least a real campsite.