Is it your drawer pulls in the kitchen that took 34 years to re-do?
Is it your deck on a summer night?
Show us in a picture and tell us in words.
What's your most favorite part of your home.
Aside from the fact that our house is too small (no guest room for our many out-of-state visitors), and we need new carpet and counter tops, I really love our home. In just one weekend, and without a Realtor, we found it and put a contract on it ... and then I flew back to VA to finish the school year and sell the house there. It was a crazy time, but, for a move from one coast to another, I think it went as smoothly as possible.
Now, almost four years later, there are so many things I love about our home ...
CPV is so very talented when it comes to woodworking and home improvement. He made the built-ins in our family room, the tall book shelves in our living room, the glass-top side tables, and a dresser and bed for NHV. His work is meticulous and beautiful, and I know I'm lucky!
Our front porch is what first caught my eye when we saw the photo online. It doesn't have the trapezoidal columns I was dreaming of, but it's very classic and cozy. The porch swing makes it feel like the country - in the middle of suburbia.
The girls' bedrooms were a fantastic creative outlet for me during my pregnancies. The idea for the nursery came to me in a dream. It was passed down from NHV to CJV almost completely unchanged. It is my favorite place to spend quiet time with my babies. In that room I am surrounded by little labors of love created by family and friends from 7 different states. Each letter was painted by someone and sent to decorate the room. I've had several friends use the same idea in their nurseries.
Natalie's big girl room become my obsession during my second pregnancy. I wanted to get her moved so I could reclaim the nursery but I also wanted to give my firstborn something truly special. I couldn't be happier with the end result. Here's one photo, but if you haven't seen the whole thing, I suggest clicking here to read an entire post about it :)
There's a lot to love about this little house ... not the one on the prairie ... but the one here in the NW that's walking distance to a Starbucks and the market and several playgrounds.
Alright, here goes. I really struggled in the kitchen last week. Throwing together whatever I could find last-minute. We didn't starve, but we didn't rave either.
This week I am challenging myself to try two new recipes ... wish me luck!
Sunday - Chicken Tortilla Soup
I always add black beans and use the already chopped celery/onion/carrot mix from Trader Joe's.
Monday - Pot Roast with sweet potatoes & brussel sprouts
This is a NEW one for me, thanks to Missy - she's fearless at the meat counter, and I am hoping some of her confidence / expertise wore off on me when she was here earlier this month :)
Tuesday - Leftovers
Figure the roast will make plenty and I know there will be extra soup, so I am taking the night off :)
I'm playing along with BJ_Mama ... and you should, too ... just click that little button up there ;)
For this my first Say it With a Song Sunday, I've decided to pay tribute to CPV. I first heard this song just before Father's Day last year. Natalie and I let daddy sleep in and then we serenaded him awake with it. The photos are from the past year - since March 2009.
Daddy-O by Frances England from her Fascinating Creatures album.
Here are the lyrics ...
I had a great day full of friends and play
But my favorite part is always coming home to you,
Did so many things, where do I start
Gonna tell you everything and not leave out a single part
D-A-D-D-Y, oh how I love ya
Oh, how I love ya
D-A-D-D-Y, oh how I love ya
Oh, how I love ya
Riding our bikes through the park
Camping in the summertime
Walking to the waterfalls, Daddy-O
You teach me things without saying a word
The time we spend together is worth more than all the silver and gold
First of all, I checked the mailbox today and found a surprise ... well, not really because my friend sent me an email telling me a package was on its way. But I forgot - until I say the box - so that counts as a surprise as far as I am concerned. Either way, it totally put a smile on my face :)
My talented - aforementioned friend - Carrie sent me a new snazz-iriffic camera strap cover. Not only is it oh-so-stylish but it will also prevent me from confusing my camera for one of the many others floating around the play dates these days. There's a whole lotta mamarazzi in the my circle of friends :)
And she also sent me the c-u-t-e-s-t scrapbook for Charlotte's Firsts. The paper is pink and girlie. The embellishments are delicious. The firsts had me shaking my head thinking about all that will happen in this first year of her life!
What's that you say? You're super jealous of my goodies? Well, you should be ... but I have really good news for you. Carrie has just started selling these goodies on Etsy.
Yes, I am friends with the one, the only ...
You should definitely check out her shop! Tell her I sent you and maybe, just maybe, she'll be your friend, too :)
Okay, so as if that isn't GOOD enough ... I also have a muffin recipe to share with you. My new thing is baking from scratch and often times I'll have NHV help, which is a lot of fun and very messy. Well, tonight I baked all by myself - after the girls were in bed ... because I was in the mood for a muffin (does that ever happen to you? am I the only one?) and I had blueberries in the fridge that needed to be eaten ... such a dilemma, I tell ya!
And so, I found thisrecipe - the name pretty much says it all ... and made six of the most delicious muffins I've ever tasted!
Just look at them ...
Well, I am assume all six of them will be delicious, but I only ate one. And CPV ate one - even though he's on some (pretend) no-sweets kick right now. I thought about eating a second one. Decided I would rather fall asleep dreaming about it and wake up hungry enough to eat two!
Inquiring minds want to know ... What kind of GOOD are you having this weekend?
I hear all the cool kids are doing it, and well, I've always wanted to be cool kid. The word on the street is that Friday Follow is a great way to find blogs you can't believe you ever lived without and, in the process, gain a few more followers yourself. All that and the fact that there are three $100 prizes up for grabs.
Yep, that's enough motivation for me!
As long as you're here ... check out our All About MEme prompt for Monday!
If you wanna go and take a ride wit me
We three-wheelin in the fo' with the gold D's
Oh why do I live this way? (Hey, must be the money!)
Yeah, well, the only ride I'm takin' is over to SupahMommy's place for a little Yo Tweeps Twaffic Exchange.
I really have very little idea what I am doing, which is why I chose the gangsta bird - as my Twitter icon - up there in the hopes of appearing all confident and capable :)
Anyway, here's how this works ... or at least these are the directions Supah told me copy-and-paste, and what Supah says, I do!
To play along and increase your twitter twaffic do the following:
1. Click on my twitter Icon above. Follow me first of all!
2. MAKE A BLOG POST - just like this one. In fact, copy-and-paste these directions.
3. Grab the YO Tweeps Twaffic Exchange Button. Put him in your post.
5. Put a twitter icon / link on your blog post like I did. It should directly link to your TWITTER PROFILE.
6. Now link up your post below!
7. Visit some other #YOTweeps linkers on the list.
8. Follow them if you choose and shout out to them on twitter that you are following so they can instantly follow you if they're on. (Follow their blog as well if you're interested.)
Example: @supahmommy #yotweeps I'm following!
9. If someone follows you JUST reciprocate. It's that easy.
See ya' all in Twitter Land ... or whatever it's called :)
Brace yourself for some bitching, whining, and belly-aching ... of epic proportions. If woes of the mundane and trivial variety are not your thing, step away from the screen. If you're hoping for warm-and-fuzzy, look elsewhere ... might I suggest the ESP post just below this one?
Here goes, folks. Don't say I didn't warn you!
I don't wanna ...
answer another question
play puzzles, blocks, or baby dolls
read a story with illustrations
I don't wanna ...
negotiate the eating of fruit
argue about the putting on of shoes
remind of the importance of sharing and taking turns
I don't wanna ...
load or unload the dishwasher
wipe the counter
plan, prepare, or serve a meal
I don't wanna ...
go to story-time or the park
drag two kids through the aisle at the market
dream up some craft project to pass the time
I don't wanna ...
sweep the floors
fold another piece of laundry
empty a garbage can
I don't wanna ...
change a dirty diaper
wipe a snotty nose
feed a hungry baby
I don't wanna ...
rescue a lost binky in the middle of the night
fall asleep to the static of a monitor
wake up to the calls of Mommy
For just one day. One entire day. One 24-hour period.
After which I will gladly haul myself back to the dreads of stay-at-home-motherhood.
Ever have one of those days?
Ever need to say awful, terrible things?
Ever wish you were someone else?
Ever have a day when the currency of hugs and kisses just isn't enough? Please don't tell me I'm alone.
Ever realize how incredibly important you are in the lives of your children? I certainly hope so!
It's days like today that help me appreciate all the good days in my life.
It's been said - I don't know who said it, but I am sure I heard it somewhere - that there's nothing like a cheap thrill. Well, how about some cheap entertainment for your littlest one?!
Brought home a St. Patty's Day helium balloon for NHV. She gave it about two minutes of her attention. Yeah, it's green. Yeah, it floats. Oh, the smiley face is cute. Okay, done.
What I quickly noticed was that CJV couldn't take her eyes off of it. She would strain her neck to watch it float by. Her eyes would focus on it, and the rest of the world seemed to just fade away. And then, from the far reaches of my MommyBrain, I remembered this idea mentioned during the Newborn and You class I attended with Natalie.
Prop your baby on her boppy pillow and tie the ribbon of a helium balloon around her ankle*.
At the time, when I was sleep deprived and worried about every little thing, this seemed like such a unimportant tidbit, so I filed it away. To be honest, I was much more focused on keeping my baby alive and less concerned about her having a good time. Well, the second time around is different, folks. Entertainment and distraction and occupation (keeping the little ones occupied) has become the name of the game.
Charlotte loves this little game. With the ribbon secured around her ankle, every little movement of her foot causes the balloon to dance around. She looks up at that balloon and kicks and amuses herself.
From a developmental standpoint, this exercise provides the chance to build visual focus and tracking as well as experience with cause-and-effect. It could easily fall under the category of an Eebee Adventure for the youngest learners :)
Big Fat - Common Sense - Safety Disclaimer (CMA): The ribbon should be tied loosely - don't want to cut off the circulation to her foot! Your baby should always be closely supervised, especially with ribbon/string nearby.
Oh, how I love my Charlotte Jane. She is such a wonderful baby! And it feels like we've kind of hit our stride these past few weeks. No major issues. I guess the only issue is that I keep wondering if there is something wrong that both the doctor and I are missing. After worrying about her for so many weeks - and through so many ultrasounds and non-stress tests - and having her induced early and born so tiny, I just can't shake this constant worry. Not that she gives me reason to worry; she's really that good of a baby. ... I have absolutely no rational reason for this concern, but it's there swirling around the back of my mind. During a recent visit, our doctor assured me that CJV is perfectly, wonderfully healthy, but she also helped me to understand this excessive worry is fairly common amongst moms of preemies. Hoping that soon I can relax and leave this constant concern behind.
Weight: 9 pounds 5 ounces
Still riding the 3rd percentile trajectory, which is a good thing ... but she's such a little peanut! Her hands and feet are so tiny compared to even younger babies we encounter. Based on ootprints from the hospital, CJV's feet - at 3 months - are still smaller than NHV's at birth.
Eating: Yep, she's still eating ... nothing but breastmilk ... about 6 or 7 times a day. We've struggled some with a gassy tummy these past few weeks, but a little Mylicon seems to do the trick. I've been trying to avoid trigger foods, but I am just not sure of the culprit. She nurses best in the later in the day and during the night. It seems like in the morning she just wants to smile and chat and play; she's too busy to eat a good meal until around 1:00. Yesterday her feedings looked like this ... 10:00 pm, 4:00 am, 8:30 am, 11:00 am, 2:00 pm, 6:00 pm, 8:00 pm.
Sleeping: I think I've got another good sleeper on my hands. It seems CJV is following in her big sister's footsteps when it comes to liking her sleep! In fact, several times she's slept until 6:00 am after going to bed at 10:00 - 8 long hours. Of course, I was up every hour after 3:00 to check on her. It's pretty typical now for her to go an average of 6 hours at night. (If I could get off this darn computer and go to sleep at a decent hour, I could potentially be quite rested!) Thankfully she also naps well and at about the same time as NHV, so I join her for naptime a few times each week.
CJV gives clear signs when she is tired ... yawns, turns her head away, brings her hands together across her chest, and grunt-fusses if you don't get the message. However, CJV does not fall asleep very easily. She doesn't doze in her swing and fights sleep when in her car seat. Even when I hold her, she makes eye contact. And I limit my singing because she just watches me and won't close her eyes. Really, the best way to get her to fall asleep is to cover her eyes with a blanket and be quiet and still. It's like she's afraid of missing something important, so I trick her into thinking there's nothing going on.
She doesn't need to be swaddled, but she does like to suck her binky as she's falling asleep.
My next big mission is to transition her from the bassinet in our bedroom to her own crib in the nursery. I am sure she's ready for this change but I am not. I love having her near me. Moving her out of my room means shes doesn't need me as much ... I have such mixed emotions about that :(
Personality: Charlotte is a happy, happy baby. She is so smiley, and I've even gotten a few giggles out of her! She is also very patient and rarely gets upset even when her feeding is delayed a few minutes. Bathtime is a favorite time for us; she is so calm and relaxed ... and I just love seeing her naked ;) She is very vocal and has a range of adorable noises ... coos, aaaahs, ooohs, ... high and low pitches. Sometimes it's hard to read a book to both girls because Charlotte "talks" loudly through the whole thing! Her new favorite "game" is watching a helium balloon - that I tie to her ankle - bounce around.
Milestones of Note:
Finally got the cradle cap under control ... it was bad!
Handles tummy time for longer periods of time
Bats at the toys dangling from her activity mat
Tracks moving objects
Recognizes faces and voices ... mommy, daddy, and big sister always get a smile when we move into her field of view.
Okay, so that was my lame attempt at being clever
and somewhat patriotic, I guess
... all at the same time!
If you didn't get it ...
go back to the top and try again ...
with the tune of Yankee Doodle in your head :)
But, really, I just want to tell you some very exciting news!
My best friend Missy and I are working as
Publisher Moms for Macaroni Kid!
Uh-huh, that's right, we are the fabulous, the delightful, the marvelous ...
Macaroni Moms for the Broomfield, CO area
... which is no where near where I live - but I love doing something creative and challenging ... and this all just worked out perfectly :) Gotta give a shout-out and booty slap to SupahMommy for shoving me in the right direction!
So ... there's the big, exciting news, and now here's the plea for YOUR HELP ...
Please, please, please, with sugar and a cherry and sprinkles on top ...
subscribe to our newsletter.
Just click here - read our first newsletter if you're curious - and click the "Subscribe Now" in the upper right-hand corner. The information that you enter (name, email address) will not - never, ever - be shared with anyone else ... cross my heart and hope to ... well, you know ... I don't really like that last part.
Honestly, it is the easiest, free-est, most appreciated favor you can ever do for me :)
And, if YOU or someone you know is interested in working from home and doing something fun and good for your community but also very manageable, please contact me - leave me a comment, send me a message ... and I'll tell you all about it!
THIS ONE is inspired by a conversation between Kmama and Supah!
We're calling this one ...
I MUST Have It Monday.
Today's All About MEme is not actually about ME. (Well, I do provide a few bits of commentary ... because I can't help it, and it is MY blog, after all!)
It's about her ... (younger, hotter, sassier, ... related to me)
This week - after seeing Supah's delightful prompt - I quickly contacted my my little sister(via Facebook - that's a guaranteed way to get a response) and coerced her into guest blogging because ...
she's awesome and adorable and agreeable - I just know you all would love her!
she's too busy with three kiddos - including two boys who might as well be Irish Twins - to have a blog of her own, although it would be the fantastic!
she's a good writer but doesn't often make the time to write (without a little prodding from me)
and most importantly,
she has a great story about ...
(in case you don't know the jelly shoe)
I was all of 3 years old. Actually, "I used to be 3 but now I'm 2," or so I told everyone at Disney so proudly. My parents - being the money savvy couple that they are - saw a golden opportunity not to have to pay admission for me. Go, mom and dad! A decision that led to much confusion about my age for several years after ;) (I remember feeling guilty about lying to the nice Disney people; I was sure we were going to get into trouble for that little white lie ... Mickey was going to track us down and boot us out with his unnaturally large feet!)
So back to the jelly shoes. All I wanted was a pair of jelly shoes. I begged, I pleaded for those plastic shoes.
I mean who wouldn't want jelly shoes? They were like walking on little clouds of gel yet they weren't restrictive to your feet due to their clever sandal design. (She really just wanted them because they were pink and sparkly ... as any three year old would.)
After wanted those jellies for what seemed like forever (it was probably a few days, but to a three year old - that's an eternity), my mom decided I needed a new pair of shoes for our family trip. We were headed to Disney World and our first time seeing the ocean ... aka 16 hours both ways in a car with 2 parents and 3 kids.. (Yeah, and we were traveling in a MacDaddy motor home from Illinois to Florida!) Anyway, there they were on the shelf (at Dollar General?*) in their perfect jelly molded splendiferous-ness (nice word, sis!). I slid my foot into them and it was a perfect match from then on out. (Did it remind you of Cinderella?)
The story takes a dark turn after this...please bare with me as this is an emotionally scarring childhood memory. (and this is why I wanted her to tell this story!)
Fast forward the hours of driving ... we arrive at the beach. My first time at the beach ever. We excitedly hop out of the car and dash toward the water. The warm sand squished between my toes and through my beloved jelly shoes. My older sister (Hey, that's me!) and brother got to the water and splash around. I was a little scared so I stayed back...inching my way closer and closer to the water.
At last I got close enough for the waves to splash onto my feet. Ahhhh! I must be the luckiest kid in the world right now I thought to myself! (Mainly because her big sister was/is the bomb diggety!)
Feeling a little braver, I ventured out a bit further into the waves. Maybe just a foot too far because the next wave crashed into me knocking me fall flat on my hiney (What a cute hiney it was/is!). The next wave rushed on top of me and as I stood up and retreated toward safer ground, I felt something wasn't right.
I looked down at my feet. NO! NO! NO! This couldn't be happening to me.
One of my jellies - the ones I had begged and pleaded for my mom to buy for me - GONE. Sucked off of my little foot by the undertow. Forever lost to the sea. It was a jelly tragedy. (followed by a huge freakin' tantrum, if memory serves me correctly!)
But I cherish what short time that I had with my jellies (and seeing the ocean was pretty cool, too, right?). And I must say that since they are coming back in style now I may just have to get my daughter a pair. (There's nothing quite like living vicariously through your own offspring!)
Thank you, little sis, for agreeing to share your story ... and for allowing me the liberty of adding my own personal thoughts on your childhood memories. I love you, Laura!
* as a sidenote and a shout-out to my younger brother, Randy ... don't want to start sibling rivalry up in here ... we once made up a song about the cheap shoes my mom bought for us, and it went a little something like this ... the creativity is almost as astounding as the fact that I still remember this stupid song ...
While playing "goofy" with daddy the other night, NHV started running/skipping/galloping around the upstairs hallway. Apparently she was pretending to be a pony. When CPV asked about her pony name, NHV replied, "Mine name is Taffy." We both got a good chuckle out of that random answer.
Well, Taffy-in the midst of running around like a crazy child - stubbed her toe, to which Chad said, "Oh, are you okay, Taffy? Maybe you should put on your horsey shoes."
Natalie thought this was hilarious - the idea that a horse would wear shoes. In her cute little toddler-ese, she said, "Daddy, horseys no wear shoes. Dat silly."
Seizing the moment to teach something new, CPV grabbed the nearest crayon and scrap of paper. With Natalie's rapt attention, he began drawing and explaining a horse's hoof and metal shoe. I believe he even told her the shoes were made from a metal called steel ... it's little details like this that make me smile when I eavesdrop on their conversations.
Once she had an understanding, Chad proceeded to put horseshoes on Taffy's feet. Amidst a lot of giggling, he lifted her foot and pretended to hammer a shoe onto the bottom ... and off Taffy ran ... into the sunset!
I take A LOT of photos. Once I find a scene/subject "me likey," I just start snapping and hope I get a few goods ones - in focus, not washed out, not too dark. What I really love is when the rapid-fire results in a funny story. Thus, the birth of Comic Strip Photos ... a new blog feature that I think you'll enjoy!
NHV and Big E were back at the zoo today ... and this time they encountered a lion ... and a rhinoceros!
Click to read the captions; it's worth the click, I promise :)
You can see more great photos and Word-less-ful Wednesday posts here andhere.
Oh, how I loved the prom posts this week. I read them all, but only commented on a few ... CJV was sleeping in my lap, and I suck at typing one-handed. But I enjoyed them all, and I thank you for sharing your photos ... some of those dresses would make a great "What Not to Wear" montage :)
I also need to give credit where credit is due ... and apologize for neglecting to do this sooner. This week's Prom prompt was suggested by Procrasti-Mom - thanks, Deann!
After much deliberation, Supah and I have decided on a favorite Prom Story ... or stories, as the case may be ... four stories to be more exact! And the Queen of the first ever All About MEme Prom is...
Whether you were treated to surf-n-turf or Value Meal #5,
tell us about your Prom night.
Whether you put out or just wish you had,
tell us about your Prom night.
The good, the bad, and the ugly ... dress.
We want it all!
We'll choose a favorite! Best story / picture wins their choice of
copy of Pretty in Pink the DVD or the Pretty in Pink Soundtrack
courtesy of Supah.
You MAY do a homecoming pic etc.
Just has to be a DANCE story / pic.
This is the perfect prompt for this week ... which explains why I chose it.
I've just spent the entire weekend with my BFF from high school. It just so happens that Missy and I also went to prom together. Well, not together. We weren't quite that nerdy or desperate or ahead of our time - depending how you look at it.
We each had a date ... sort of. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call them our guy friends who we roped into taking us so we wouldn't look completely pathetic as each other's date. Well, that's not exactly true either because Missy's "guy friend" would've done just about anything to be her actual date. Now that I think of it, Missy was so Molly Ringwald and Dave was her Ducky! Oh, I am so jealous!
I accepted Curtis' invitation dragged my nerdy but very good friend Curtis because I had a college boyfriend (my now husband) who couldn't (or wouldn't) take me to my high school prom. Curtis never would've attend prom if I hadn't insisted we go as friends. It was a win-win :)
All of that is a loooong story.
Let's get to the dresses ...
Notice the common theme? Jewel tones and metallic.
Mere coincidence? Great minds thinking alike? Carefully sculpted plan?
I honestly don't remember, but didn't we make quite the pair ...
Silver and Gold. Silver and Gold.
And yes, look closely, we wore full-length metallic - mine silver, hers gold - gloves and matching pumps. Heck, I am pretty sure we each had a metallic clutch to complete the ensemble! Each dress had its fair share of metallic detailing, too. We were decked out! If only Missy had gotten that gold tooth we joke about now ;)
The thing is we both still really like our dresses. I would totally wear it again. I'd probably ditch the ridiculous silver accessories, but I'd rock that short little skirt and plunging neckline, especially now that I actually have some boobies!
Aside from our fabulous sense of style, we don't really remember much about the event. We had dinner at a restaurant in downtown St. Louis, the top of which rotated 360 degrees ... pretty cool, huh? I'm surprised we didn't just grab a quick bite at Taco Bell, but I have a feeling Missy's date had something to do with our dinner reservations. He was still holding out hope that she would be impressed enough to change her mind and possibly put out ;) My date, on the other hand, probably didn't even know what "putting out" means, bless his nerdy little heart. (Love you, Curtis!)
The highlight of the evening took place in the elevator. It had a mirrored ceiling ... and no, this is not going anywhere near kinky; get your mind out of the gutter!
In 28 floors of elevator ride, we made several hilarious attempts to take a picture of our reflection in that mirrored ceiling. Of course, this was way back in the day when cameras had film and had to be advanced before snapping a second shot. It's a miracle we actually succeeded ... of course, we didn't know that until we took the film to be developed! But we did, and Missy has the evidence tucked away in some photo album at her house.
While neither of us remember dancing, I am sure we shook our groove things and probably even gave our dates a thrill with a slow song or two.
Ah, prom. If we had to do it all over again. We would.
And I don't think we would change a thing.
Be sure to link up so I can read all about the fun you had at prom!
And by "up right" I mean ordering pizza (gluten-free and yummy), eating on paper plates for a quick clean-up, and watching a kid-friendly movie (Ice Age III) ...
All in the hopes of a stress-free, relaxing, quiet evening ...
Emmett was either saying, "di-doors" or chanting, "MINE." The entire time! Missy tried to convince him to stop saying "mine" and even spent a few seconds being irritated ... but then we decided to just laugh at him instead!
Natalie was re-enacting the freakin' Spanish Inquisition. The entire time! If a character moved or said something on the screen, she had a question about it. Missy and I took turns answering her questions followed by Emmett shouting, "Mine."
"Watts in dos eggs?"
"Watt dos din-O-saurs doooo-ing?"
"Watt dat aneemal say-ing?"
"Where dos aneemals going?"
"Wat happen to dos din-O-saurs?"
"Mommy, watt dat flower doing now?"
In the end, it occurred to us that Emmett was using the word "mine" to tell Natalie to stop asking so many darn questions!
What else could we do but laugh ... and be thankful that at least we weren't breaking up any disagreements over Little People or cars or babies :)
Missy and Big E arrived later than expected last night ... but they made it safe and sound! I am so glad they are here! Charlotte and Emmett had a quick visit before heading for bed, and then Missy and I stayed up way past our bedtimes to visit some more.
Love having her in my house! Love being able to chat face-to-face after months of phone conversations, email messages, and blog comments.
And then this morning ... Natalie and Emmett were reunited ... and it was so adorable! After playing and getting re-acquainted, our little nuggets had waffles and bananas for breakfast ... yummy!
Seems these days we're all about divide and conquer, especially at bedtime. CPV handles the end-of-the-day routine like a champion ... and he does it all ... bathing, pajama mismatching, teeth brushing, hair combing, story reading, and "talk about our day" chatting. I get to focus on CJV, and I love that Natalie gets that time with him before she falls asleep.
As I rocked Charlotte across the hall, the two of them settled in for story-time. Instead of her usual request - Little Critter - tonight Natalie asked for a book called I'm a Big Sister.
Her title selection inspired the sweetest moment between daddy and daughter.
Before he even opened the book, Chad pulled Natalie under his arm, looked down at her little face, and said, "You know what, Natalie. You're such a good big sister. You teach baby sister all kinds of new things. And you play so nicely with her. Mommy and Daddy really appreciate you being such a good big sister to Charlotte."
Natalie wiggled a little closer and utter, "Ummm-hmmm" around her binky. It was obvious that she felt proud, and I couldn't help but shed a little tear.
I think the baby stage is really tough for most dads. I know CPV felt a little disinterested and (a lot) helpless when we first brought home our "warm lump." And really, rightfully so. I mean, there really isn't much a daddy can do with a newborn. Sure he dealt with my crazy mood swings and sleep deprived snarkiness ... brought me cups of yogurt and glasses of water while I nursed ... and helped with the housework. He even served as my co-pilot at bath time ... when a slippery baby requires all hands on deck. But really, the majority of a our newborn's needs are met by the mommy.
And then that baby becomes a toddler. Suddenly, daddy becomes the best playmate around. CPV genuinely enjoys playing goofy and building forts and reading stories and stacking blocks. More importantly, NHV gets something from that time with her daddy. She plays differently with him ... it's physical and rowdy and silly and challenging ... and at first that made me a little jealous. But now I realize that it's so good for her ... and, hey, it's good for me, too! Not only does it give me a (much needed) break in the evenings and weekend mornings, but it has also shown me new ways to interact with our daughter.
While most of their play is rambunctious, he also takes the time to read lots and lots of books with her ... and our current-warm-lump.
And here they are cooking up some fun in the play kitchen, the one CPV designed and built himself ...
I can only hope that Chad knows even a fraction
of how much I love and appreciate him!
He is absolutely the best daddy I could ever imagine for our girls!
You can see more great photos and Word-less-ful Wednesday posts here andhere.
The original inspiration for this delightful bit of recent craftiness came from a bloggy friend of mine, BJ_Mama. Truly, I hope to meet her IRL someday. She's such a fun and crafty lady, and I envy so many of her wonderful projects ... every now and then I just have to try one out myself.
When I saw this way back in December, I immediately thought of my younger sister and my good friend, who just moved into a new home - within a month of having a baby! Of course, I also had to make one for myself :)
The entire project was done with materials I already had at home. First, I had a bunch of 8 x 10 frames stashed away in the attic ... they were hideous gold and kind of marbleized. I quickly neutralized them with black paint.
I printed the large letters and then traced and cut them from black scrapbook paper. I had some "document" paper on hand from a project I did with 5th graders years ago, but I think BJ_Mama's paper is much better than mine. I just typed up the names of the family members with a dash in between and printed it on the paper.