Saturday, February 27, 2010

BUSY February!

In February we have had many things occur:
1- We had snow- LOTS of snow. It was pretty amazing. It all started one Friday afternoon driving home. The girls were pretty shocked by the time we got home and went to run out in it. Natalie said, "no like no" (Don't like snow). Melanie just froze. The next morning we bundled them up for a real play day in the snow. Natalie however was still not convinced. It was very cold on her hands and for a while cried and I had to hold her but she eventually came around and went for a winter walk. Melanie thought it was very cold however she put up with it and seemed to enjoy it as well.
2- Then we all got pretty sick. Natalie caught it first and was pretty ornery. But I was hoping it would just run it's course. Then unfortunately I ended up with it and was miserable- I even wondered if I had the flu. But thank goodness it was pretty short lived (about a week). Melanie also caught and it was pretty pitiful. She ran a pretty high fever for 2-3 days, the doctor said they both had a virus and it had to run it's course. On the flip side, After the sickness ran it's course Natalie ended up in a SUPER mood!
3- Melanie had her 4 year old doctor appointment. She is getting taller and skinnier. She is 40 3/4 inches tall (67th %) and 35.8 lbs (51st %). Her weight % is going down down down. Her Buddha body is disappearing! Her hearing and vision was great. The hearing test didn't go well at first but then we realized that the things on her ears were not positioned well and that was part of the problem. She had to have her finger pricked and get 4 shots- ouch! The doctor said her night wakings were problem just sleep walking and not to worry and just coax her back to the bed. He also said don't worry about her occasional "upset stomach" that it may just be nerves, food sensitivity, etc. Finally she had to pee in a cup which was quite funny. She didn't understand why/how. With lots of help by me she said, "that doesn't look like pee, it looks like apple juice." Too funny!
4- Natalie moved had the front wall of her crib taken off at 22/23 months. She is doing great with it and not coming out of her bed or anything. It was a very seamless transition thankfully. A couple nights ago Clint and I heard her whining over the monitor but not crying and we were not sure what it was so we didn't worry about it. When I went to get her the next morning I found her in the corner of her room sleeping on the carpet. She had a rash on her forehead, cheeks, nose and chin. Poor thing. She must have fallen out and not realized how to get back in in the middle of the night. Ooops!
5- Donna and I took the girls to Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland. It was really cute. Things have changed since I went last with Clint. The girls really seemed to like and Melanie enjoyed seeing the baby born. She really wanted to buy that baby and so did I but it cost $210- whoever heard of such nonsense? Instead they both picked out babies from the gift shop. Melanie has baby Devin and Natalie has baby Donna. This is the first baby that Natalie has really connected to. It's cute- she goes around talking about Baby Donna's paci, Donna's car seat, etc. She is talking more and more each day. She can kind of rote count to 10 and knows a couple of colors. She knows animal names and likes Cheetah's randomly. I can't believe her birthday is coming up so quickly and then I officially will be out of baby life and have a toddler and a preschooler!

Overall things are going amazingly well. Natalie and Melanie still fight like cats and dogs constantly and our house stays in a constant state of destruction but it's fun. Natalie recently has been in a super mood and it is really fun for us to have 2 children in a great mood! Work is going great for me and the best it can for Clint in this economy. We definitely can't complain.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blah- literally!

So, after having a piece together kind of dinner at home with the neighbors Natalie gagged on a piece of cheese. Next thing we know she is throwing up literally on Nate's head and arms- gross! Nate was okay with it all and Melanie surprisingly didn't throw up herself...we're making headway in her gag reflex! After dividing and conquering (Chris= Mel, Aileen= Nate, Clint= mess and I= Natalie) we thought we had the disaster under control. Until Natalie started projectile vomiting all of her day's worth of food. It was massive and the biggest throw up either girl has ever done. Natalie was upset I had puke everywhere and Clint was trying to quickly help clean it all up. I took Natalie straight to the bath and after about 10 minutes of cuddling she was up and off and ready to play again. I have no idea what happened but I stripped her bed of all "non essentials" tonight just in case. What an eventful end to a very uneventful day!

4 Loose Teeth!

Melanie had her 3rd dentist appointment this past week. She did great and has perfect teeth. I also found out she has 4 loose teeth! Dr. Pafford said it will be a few months before any fall out but holy cow! She just turned 4. Her teeth came in super fast so her teeth maturity must be on the fast track. She still had too much of a gag reflex for x-rays but they said they'll try again next time. Where is the time going?

Monday, January 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Princess

Yes, Melanie is now 4. She had a wonderful celebration of her life. On Wednesday, her birthday she had a school celebration in which we brought in a cookie cake and Clint and I got to spend a few minutes in her class. Later that afternoon she got to open presents at home and go to Mexican with our friends. She was NOT fond of having whip cream put on her nose or having Happy Birthday sung to her. She told me she didn't do that when she was 3 so she didn't know about it but she would be kinder to the workers when she was 5 :) We culminated her birthday with a princess party. Her good friend from gymnastics, Kylie came. As did her BFF Caroline and Drew, Sarah, and Nate. Instead of cake Melanie decided on decorate your own cupcakes, top your own icecream sundaes and Mamaw had Cathy's beauty salon when she painted all of the girl's fingernails. Memaw (Clint's grandmother) is sick and in the hospital so Donna and Rodney had to go to Mississippi to take care of her. Melanie was mature and seemed to understand in her own way why there were not there and I think is actually excited that she will get to celebrate her birthday one more time when they come back to town. Clint and I have a hard time realizing that we have actually have a kid (or 2) and that one of them is FOUR! How can that be? I still can picture Clint and I in HS flirting with one another and who would have ever thought that 15 years down the road we would have this amazing family to show for it. Although it seems unreal that in about 7 weeks I'll be writing about my baby turning 2, Mel turning 4 is still crazy!

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Where has the time gone?

I can't believe I haven't posted since September. I got sucked into the Facebook world, consumed by working full time, being a mom full time, running a house full time and randomly finding time to work out and be a wife. My race came and went. I did quite well. The time on the clock said 2:25:12 but my official time according my shoe chip on the website was 2:20:53- not too shabby if I do say so myself. Halloween came around also. Melanie was Dorothy and Natalie was the Lion. They were so cute and seemed to have a great time and the rain held out for us. Our neighbor, Nate, was the Tin cute. It was a great bday party for me also. Can't believe next year I will be 30. Thanksgiving was great. We were able to be with the Gilbreath's and travel to Chattanooga to spend time and see all of our family there. Though we don't travel too much with the girls the trip went well. It's still odd not to go to my dad's parents though it has been well over a year since they both passed away.

Christmas was a huge event at our house this year. Melanie was the cutest she has ever been and Natalie seems to understand it somewhat. Melanie got a dollhouse and an "American Girl Doll" (or the Target version on one) for Christmas from Santa. Natalie got a Cozy Coupe Car and an Activity Table. I have given up on my house and it has a become a kid play zone. I am busy organizing and purging. Melanie was so mature and learned so many lessons over Christmas. She learned a) you don't get all you asked for b) it is not about quantity but quality and c) that you still can be gracious when you get repeats. I swear she is the kindest kid ever and really seems to understand the lessons I teach her. She is so wonderful to her sister who just is drama drama drama and beats up on Melanie. They each had a funny Christams break story: Natalie has been potty training and was playing with a plastic grasshopper before we left for school one morning. She apparently dropped the plastic grasshopper in her pullup and the teacher found it when she took her to the bathroom and started to scream thinking it was real. I would have loved to be there!
Melanie's funny story involved Santa, AKA "Pops". My dad came to the school to be Santa again this year. He loved it and it went great. However, in Melanie's room she raised her hand to sit on his lap first and when he asked her if she was leaving milk and cookies she started laughing and said, "You're not Santa." I had to explain it all to her and that Pops was helping Santa out and wearing a Halloween costume. I told her to not tell the other kids so it is still a secret to them and she listened to me and didn't say a word. I know, she is so sweet :)

A quick update on each girl:
Natalie: 21 months, 27 lbs
Wears 24 month clothes and 7W shoes
Sleeps all night (7:45-7:00) eats most things, does not like mashed potatoes or too much meat...LOVES spicy foods, especially salsa and jalapeno cheese dip
Potty training and doing great...hopefully not too much longer
Talking much more and "others" can understand her. Her favorite things to say are "mere" when she grabs your hand to "come here", "no", "you hoo, are you?" when she is look for people and she finally talks on the phone normally without hanging up on people
She thinks all colors are "blue" and cannot label them correctly, she semi- counts to five she knows animals sounds and will point to items in the book asked about
She will sing along to songs (Jingle Bells, Twinkle Twinkle) and likes to "recite" nursery rhymes such as Humpty Dumpty and Baa Baa Black Sheep
Favorite toy: Lovie, she has 6 of them

Will be 4 in January
Wears a 4T and a 10.5 shoe
Eats everything, hates spicy
Sleeps perfectly in her big girl bed with no rails
Amazingly well behaved, gets her feelings hurt easily
Helps with chores, cleaning up, laundry, putting dishes up, etc.
Gets herself ready for school/bed (brushes teeth, gets dressed including shoes, puts dirty laundry in hamper)
Knows alphabet, letter sounds and words that start with each letter
Can count in English and Spanish
Writes her first name, knows her phone number, birthday, city, state, country, planet
Getting better at gymnastics but has not for sure picked left/right hand but leaning towards right
Loves dance class and reading books
can ride a bike with training wheels
Her favorite toys are still babies and books and art supplies

so that is what I've got...hopefully you will not have to wait until March for the next update!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Another long update

Well, as is completely obvious it has been forever since I last updated again. I am rarely home with both girls asleep and a husband at work in which I have time to update (and 9:00 at night is generally time for TV and wine- not blogs). But, with Monsoon 2009 striking last night I am surprisingly off of work and at home with the two girls napping while Clint is at his work dealing with literally 15 leaks in his store. Fabulous!

Life around here remains chaotic but it is great! Our routine is settling in quite nicely and both girls have adjusted amazingly well. I couldn't ask for anymore.

Natalie's teacher is back and has been back for a while after about 2 weeks out to deal with her father passing. Natalie loves her. There are only 3 full time kids in Natalie's class and 2 part time kids. So, there is just the one teacher from 8-5 so Natalie has developed a great relationship with her. Natalie is also pottying like a pro there. She has 1-2 accidents a day. She continues to eat like there is no tomorrow but she's getting taller (all in her torso just like Mel) so her belly isn't quite as huge (but it still is QUITE prominent!). She is saying more things and finally signs regularly for me. Her favorite two are more and help and she signs and apprx. words for them constantly. Her new fav thing to say is "One more" She'll hold up one finger and tell you one more for EVERYTHING until she gets 20 more of whatever. She needs "one more" book forever before bed. We've had to scoot her bed time WAAAAAY earlier to prevent some of the meltdowns. She is down now between 7:15-7:30. It makes life easier for EVERYONE!

Melanie is continuing to be a smart, social butterfly at school. She takes dance and an activity called PlayBall there where they learn various developmentally appropriate pre-sport skills. It is so cool to watch how they teach different things- they teach in ways I would have never thought of and they just jump into a sport b/c they claim a child's body is not developmentally ready for most sports, just certain skills of each sport and they only teach as the body shows it is ready for the next skill. Also, just part of the Legacy curriculum is a "special" of the county librarian coming in 1x per week for 1 month of each season, and a Spanish teacher coming in 1x/week every week of the school year (Ms. Lucy- I'm learning alot from her too!), and a music teacher coming in 1x/week. The ways all the various teachers teach things teaches me so much. It's so neat to see things taught in a developmental fashion in a daycare rather than in an academic fashion in a public school. It just goes to show that it is really best for the kids that can socially and cognitively handle it, a daycare is a more appropriate place for a 3-4 year old rather than a public elementary school.

I love my job these days. I got all of the kinks worked out from the first few weeks and it's been smooth sailing since then. The people I work with have been nothing but super nice to me and I've learned a lot about the GA Pre-K system, which I have to say again, I've been quite impressed with! My run is in just a couple of weeks. I think I am ready! I was in for quite an adventure when Elizabeth and I got stuck in pretty heavy rain with thunder 5 miles in this past Saturday. We ended up having to call Clint to bail us out. It was quite a funny hour.

Clint is trucking along figuring out things at work as Sherwin William's tries to weather all of the economic changes taking place in the world. But so far his company and his job all seem pretty secure so we couldn't ask for more. He is slowly settling in to the reality that he truly lives with 3 girls. These days Natalie isn't often found without a purse, sunglasses, her lovey, and a baby. Clint thinks to himself, "Dear God, her too?" I think he was secretly hoping she would be a far it is not looking too promising :)

Last weekend we watched the Teck's kid and the Jackson's dogs. So we had a 1,2,3, &5 year old kid and 4 dogs for the weekend. It was crazy. I don't think I will ever want 4 kids (ages 5 and under) and 4 dogs...EVER! It was a bit too much "kid planning" and a bit too little "adult planning." I told my dad I have no idea how his mom did it. Though the boys were not quite that close in age they were pretty close. I bet she was tired for many of her years of life!

The random pictures were from a family activity we did a couple of weeks ago I found in one of my teacher magazines. You make flashcards with numbers or number words on them and then you make fish (with a paperclip that is magnetic) with numbers on them. Then you make a fishing pole and go fishing for the fish that matches your flashcard. Clint and Melanie had the task of creating the fishing pole. I didn't give any instructions or show him the picture from the magazine- which was my error. He came back with a pole made out of the broom handle (quite large for the girls to handle). After quite a laugh by me I explained the whole activity and he came back with 2 poles made out a spatula, dental floss and our magnets at the end. The girls were so funny fishing. They could care less about matching to the flashcards after about 5 rounds and just wanted to fish. It was fun.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Back to School

What a busy and hectic life we've led the past 2 weeks. Life with 2 kids 3 and under and working full time is, well, a full time job! There is a balancing act that I haven't quite grasped yet...I'm working on it. The bills, house, and Clint seem to be taking a backseat to children, work, and food.

Melanie is doing so great at her new school. She is the star of the show (partly because she is constantly running her mouth for a full commentary on the show). She gives me such a detailed report when she gets picked up of who behaved well, who behaved poorly, what craft they did, what they talked about in circle, what they ate, when she saw me, etc. She has 3 main friends: her 2 girlfriends and 1 boyfriend and they are the "cool friends." They did a science experiment on Wednesday and she was so proud of it and couldn't stop talking about what happened and what each person's part was in the experiment. I love her teachers. They are super nice and full of energy.

Natalie's go of the whole school process is not quite as positive. Natalie is quite a crier and always has been. However, when you are in a classroom crying can be very trying on the people stuck in there with you. The teachers are great trying to hold and comfort her as she drags around her lovey. I spy on her constantly. It seems that most of her crying is during transitions. Her morning playground time occurs at the same time as my class. Our playgrounds are separated by a fence and I spend the whole time trying to hide from her. If she happens to see me she'll cry. Then her afternoon playground time is at the same time as Melanie's and if she sees Melanie leave she'll cry. Then her mealtimes are the same as Melanie's and she cries when Melanie leaves or if she happens to look in my classroom door and see me. Finally nap was difficult but seems to be getting better. She sleeps on a cot. Her daily report says that she is sleeping anywhere from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours. I'm sure the teachers really value this time! She apparently loves the food there. They write and "A" if the child ate all of their food and an "x" if the child ate extra. Natalie supposedly eats "Axx" for many meals! Each day her daily report paints a little better picture than the day before so I hope she's adjusting. I just feel bad that she doesn't understand when and why she gets to see Melanie and myself.

As for me, my class has many amazingly exciting new features for a job. I have a couple of students that were a bit more difficult than I was expecting for this type of classroom so I am very exhausted at the end of the day from trying to control them. However, with some trial and error hopefully we'll figure out what works best for them and myself and get everyone under control and successful. The hardest part of my job is coming home. Both girls want my undivided attention when we get home and it's hard for me to give it to them. Thankfully, Clint has changed around his schedule and he is here a few afternoons a week and he can really help out with the girls and house things.

Melanie started dance again on Thursday. She is taking this one at her school. I've learned various companies contract with childcare centers to bring their lessons to the center for children to sign up for. Melanie's school offers: Playball, Piano, and Dance. I let Melanie pick an activity and she picked dance. She really likes her teacher, Ms. Christina and I like that though I am at work I can spy and watch her in her dance class. The girls start gymnastics back on Tuesday. Clint and I are going to tag-team the gymnastics and each take one girl to gymnastics (the classes are back to back) and then take that girl to dinner so they can each have some one on one time. I feel that one on one time is the one thing they are missing with school. During the summer I could give it to them when one was napping but not so much anymore. And, this will be a good way for them to get some Clint time too. We are going to switch off girls each week.

Melanie also had some difficulties staying dry at night. She would have 1-2 accidents/month. So, Clint and I made a deal with her if she stayed dry one whole month she could sleep one night in our bed. The deal came to fruition this weekend. She had to make it through Thursday night and Friday night was the big night. She knew all week and was so excited and proud of herself. Then she came in our room Thursday around 11:30 PM crying and was so upset saying she tried, it was an accident, she really wanted to sleep in our bed. She was so truly upset. It really broke my heart. So, I gave in and let her sleep in my bed Friday night. It probably was not the best teaching of a lesson but she did go 30 nights which is quite difficult- poor baby. We re-set the chart of another month so we'll see what happens.

Natalie is still trucking along with her toilet training. Her class works very hard on it when they or the parents believe the child is ready. The main teacher in Natalie's class had to be out last week b/c her father is in the process of passing away so I am not pushing it at Natalie's school right now. I'll let everything get settled first. But at home she'll still go 3-5 times per day on the potty. Basically every time I change her she'll attempt. She really knows when she goes b/c she'll ask to wipe "/p/" for paper or "/wi/" for wipe and then will put her hand up for a high five. However, she has no concept of staying dry. But, she does know if she pooped. You can ask her if she pooped and she will correctly answer you yes or no many of the times.

We had a neighborhood end of summer festival yesterday. It was so much fun. They had food, horses, a pool party, dj, games/prizes and a giant blow up water slide. The girls had a blast and we had great family time. Melanie of course loved the horse, Lady was the horse she rode, and Natalie liked them from afar but wouldn't touch it or most certainly wouldn't get on it. Melanie had a great time dancing to the DJs music with her friend Caroline. Melanie idolizes Caroline. Caroline gave us another set of outgrown clothes the other day and it's all Melanie wants to wear. She thinks Caroline hangs the moon. It was a really fun day!

I'm absolutely loving not being in school. Sometimes (rare times) when I sit down with nothing to do I have the fleeting thought, "I should probably go work on some school work now." But then I smile and realize I'm done. I'm really glad I did it last year working at Partee with Elizabeth b/c the setting I'm in now doesn't really have access for me to use a computer or phone on a regular basis. Running is going great. I'm waking up before the family each morning to go to the gym. I LOVE this time. It is all my time with no one to bother me and no noise. I run all of my weekly runs during this time. My long runs are on Saturdays. Next weekend is an 8 mile run. That will be the longest I've ever run. Elizabeth and I are doing it together. I hope it goes well! Our race seems to be getting closer and closer and our total miles to run during the week is steadily increasing. I can't believe I'm running the distances I am. Not that I feel I have any drastic weight to loose or anything but I really thought this training would change my body more than it has. I guess it goes to prove you really do have to make sure your eating is pretty close to perfect b/c even hard core exercise can't do it all! But, boy do I love to eat out....yummmm! I wish it were free!

Okay, the end to the longest post ever (which as you see is super early Sunday morning when no one is up but the dog and the gym is closed) that I finally had time to write. I'll post 1st day of school pics later.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Is It Really Over?

pictures are:
Clint catching them playing in the backyard: they love to play throw the mulch out of Shelby's house so Natalie can get in- what mess!

Modeling the new vests Nanna got them for back to school

Playing in the rain (and catching rain on their tongues!)

Well, this time tomorrow I will be at work. I can hardly believe my first summer with two mobile kids is actually over. Clint and I were sitting together yesterday while the girls played together for almost an hour and just looked at each other and said, holy cow- think how much harder last summer was than this summer. Naps, nursing, baby food, crying, etc. Though some of that has not changed our life keeps getting easier and easier by the day as the girls become increasingly independent. Now, don't get me wrong- the drama increases daily as Natalie asserts her independence but boy what next summer will bring is exciting! I went for a LONG training at my new school last Friday. I am so excited. There are a lot of things I need to learn (Ga PRE-K is very regimented seems so far that they really have their act together!) but a lot I feel I can bring to the program. I had to go through the Legacy Academy training that is create corporately. So far I have to say that Legacy is really stringent but in a good way. I have a really good feeling about sending the girls there. Melanie is less than thrilled telling me "I've already graduated school, I don't want to go to Legacy." Too bad the 2 year MMO program doesn't negate the rest of school for life :) I am keeping my fingers crossed for them to do great. It is great how detailed I know about their day since I am trained how to conduct a similar day for my students. If my girls have to go to daycare I couldn't ask for a better situation. I totally feel for all the parents out there paying full price for their kiddos to be in daycare. I paid for the first 5 weeks at 1/2 price and it is sooooo pricey. More power to you all out there!

Last week was rather uneventful. I am a volunteer coach for a special needs cheer squad this year. They had camp last week and so I did that each night and Clint and the girls came to watch the final performance on Friday. Melanie is really excited about cheering one day in life. The high school girls that help make me feel really old- I am so out of the loop!

The girls' highlight of last week was playing in the rain on Monday. Melanie has really wanted to play in the rain recently and I told her one day if it was warm enough and not thundering we could. Well, Monday was that day. They really couldn't believe it at first and just tried to catch rain on their tongue but they eventually figured it out and had a blast. I had so much fun watching them!

The girls are growing-kind of. On our home scale it seems as if Melanie has lost weight. Her legs are finally catching up with her torso and we finally went up to 4T pants though they are a little big on her. The 3T were just getting too short but fit her in the waist. Her long torso has called for a 4T top for a while. And, we just got her resized for back to school shoes and she finally broke out of a 9- she was in it for almost a year and now wears a 10. Natalie has slowed down on her weight growth and is just getting taller. Some of her 18 month clothes are long enough in the torso for her (just like her sister). However, 24 month pants are far, far too long on her. Her foot however, is in the crazy growth time that Melanie's went through. She is now in a 6 wide. Her foot is crazy wide- even wider than Melanie's was. There was 1, count em, 1 shoe in Stride Rite wide enough for her. The last style, which I thought I was going to have to re-buy to have them wide enough is now too narrow so she is wearing a clunker. It looks huge and heavy- poor thing. But it fits which I guess is the most important thing!