Sunday, July 24, 2011

All From One Smile

Today Kaylee was avoiding her much needed nap and I decided that I could use a nap myself.  So in order to hopefully get her to take a nap I went in and laid down next to her.

She, of course, was super excited about this. She got her baby, and her doll named Molly, and her big bear, and her little pink bear all situated on the other side of her so that she could mover closer to me and cuddle up.

Pause.

"Aw. How cute!?!", you may say. Let me tell you, cuddling with Kaylee is like trying to cuddle with a fish out of water. She flops over and over, banging her head into yours as she flips. By the time she gets comfortable, you either have a migraine or the room is spinning.

Play.

Anyways, during her final flop she flipped right over and looked over at me and gave me her biggest most genuinely happy smile.

Wow. All of a sudden I was launched forward into the future.

She, being 13, cuddling up next to me about to watch a girl movie while Adam is out of town on a business trip.

Launched forward again.

She, being 16, having girl talk with me and smiling at me after telling me about something that happened at school that day.

Launched forward again.

She, being 20, telling me about some guy from college that she likes and thinks she wants to date. Maybe even marry some day.

Launched forward again.

She, being 26, married and telling me that she was about to have a baby of her own.

Launched backward.

She, being a couple months old, giving me her first smile.

Back to present.

She, being 2, cuddling up next to me for a nap.

All from one smile.

Tears slid from my eyes as I stroked her hair and rubbed her back until we were both asleep. It is truly one moment that I want to remember forever.

Monday, July 18, 2011

It is Official

It is official. I quit my job.

Sad in most respects, but as a whole a very happy decision.

I am looking forward to being able to stay home with my girls and to hopefully maintain a much cleaner home. Not to mention have more time with my husband.

For those of you that don't know what I did, let me tell you. I worked for an elementary school as an assistant site coordinator and as a tutor of a teacher-referred remediation program. It was by far the most rewarding job. Especially this last year as the children that were in my room were from all over the world and were some of the best students that I have ever worked with.

When we found out we were pregnant with a second child, Adam and I spent a lot of time in prayer over the decision as to whether or not I should go back to work. We agreed that financially it would be best if I continued working. However, after spending several months with me at home after her birth, we realized there are many more benefits to my being home than to my working. Plus, I personally really struggle leaving Ella with anyone as she can be difficult to console with her reflux. (Sometimes I feel like a first-time Mom when it comes to her.) We are trusting God to provide and are tightening our belts to make it work.

I am sure that there will be days when I wish I was working still. I will miss my kids so much. (I already do.) They made me smile and I learned so much from working with them.

I am excited to stay at home though, and hopefully be able to truly be the Mom that I want and desire to be.

Please pray for us as we embark on this next chapter of our lives.

It is official. I am now a stay-at-home Mom. :0)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Top 10 Things to Pack for the Hospital

My friend asked for a list of things that others felt were important to pack when having a baby. I immediately responded with my book of an answer. You see, I followed the lists that I found on-line when I was pregnant with Kaylee and I cannot tell you how many loads it took for Adam to finally get everything out of the car and into the room. However, I can tell you, I did not use half of the junk that they tell you to pack. Second time around I was a pro. I knew what I would and would not need and was ready to go. One load. (Which was a good thing since my labor was so short. - Adam might have missed the birth if I had packed as much as I did the first time around.)  Anyways, here is my

Top 10 Things to Pack for the Hospital (per my own experience at MY hospital)

1. Slippers - With Kaylee I did a lot of walking during the first part of labor. It was so nice to have my slippers to walk the halls rather than having to put on some shoes or ruin my socks. They were also nice on the tile after delivery when I had to get up for anything in my room. (or to pee)

2. My own pillow - I am a pillow snob. I have to have my own pillow to sleep comfortably.

3. One pair of clothes for me and baby - I know some people like to be in their own stuff after they deliver, more power to them. My hospital provided a gown and a robe every day. So, if they provide something to wear, why would I dirty up/possibly ruin my own things. Plus, I am all about less laundry. They also provide little onesies and blankets for the baby so I did not have to worry about anything for the baby while in the hospital. (hello - again - less laundry) So, my recommendation is just pack one outfit for you and one outfit for junior. (I also threw in a couple of bows and hats for Ella to wear in pictures.)

4. Bathroom essentials - My hospital provided a towel and blow dryer, but not shower stuff. (I never asked though, so they might have.) Either way, I liked having my own stuff. I will mention here though that I did buy travel sizes for my bag so that I did not have to pack them at the last minute as they were already in my bag. It was also nice once I got home because I am pretty slow at unpacking. No worries - my stuff was still in the shower.

5. iPod - I intended to use my iPod during labor and delivery. HA! Didn't happen. I did use it during the night feedings though. It was so hard to stay awake, so I turned on some loud music to help me keep my peepers open.

6. Laptop - After delivery I wanted to get pictures to family and friends quickly and this was the easiest way. Not to mention the countless hours of Netflix that we watched in between visitors after delivery. The laptop was really nice to have. (Oh and I could charge my iPod on it.)

7. Camera and charger - I am a picture freak! I LOVE taking pictures! I wanted pictures and video of both girls right after birth for memories. This is probably, in my opinion, the most important thing to take with me.

8. Phone charger - eh... this one is obvious.

9. Your husband's bag - I actually almost forgot to pack Adam's stuff this time around. Fortunately, we live close enough that Adam could have run home and gotten some. I just don't like being left alone in the hospital so I am glad I remembered. (His bag should include 4 days of clothing and his shower essentials.)

10. Carseat - They won't let you take the baby home without it. (I almost forgot this as well.)

If you want the "things that are not worth your time to pack for the hospital" list - just shoot me an email and I will give it to you. :o)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Little Miss Ella

So, I recently had a friend tell me that I don't blog much about Ella. It is so very unintentional, reader.  I have spent some time thinking about it and the reason I try to blog about Kaylee is because I don't want her to feel forgotten in all the hoopla of having Ella. You know, since she reads and all... and in the process I have left out my little Ella.

Ella is such a great baby. If she did not have reflux, I could never have asked for a better baby. When she feels good, she will smile at you just for looking her way. She laughs so much and just seems so laid back.  The reflux has been a tough battle. Some days are great and she sleeps well and has no issues. Other days I can barely put her down because she is in so much pain and is crying all day.  I honestly just feel so bad for her and her teeny tiny belly.  Reflux aside, she is one happy little girl.

She is so strong already. She turns 4 months old in 6 days and is already trying to sit up by herself. She can stand up with help for a pretty long while as well. I think she just already wants to keep up with her big sister because it is obvious that she loves her very much.

Her eyes are still up in the air as far as color goes. I would love for them to be brown, but to be honest I am thinking they will be green or a deep dark blue. Either way, their color right now is beautiful and seriously not a nameable color. I suppose some may call them hazel, but I don't think it would do her eyes justice for how pretty they are.

Anyways, below I posted a video of her trying to hold herself up. I hope you enjoy it! She is a little sweetheart.

video

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Selfish

Just when you feel like you are doing much better at being selfless (when it comes to your spouse at least), kids come along.

Lately, I have spent a lot of time thinking about how selfish I really am.

I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.

This thought process just does not work when you A)are married and B)have children.

In the morning I struggle to balance what I do with what I need to do.
  • I need to read to Kaylee and play with her. I want to check out facebook and see what is going on in the world.
  • I need to play and cuddle with Ella. I want to look on craigslist for a van.
  • I need to spend time with Kaylee. I want to sew.
When I think about how quickly my little girls are growing up and look at how much time I use doing what I "want" to do, it makes me sick. I get so frustrated when I get interrupted during this "want" time. It is ridiculous. If this continues to be my pattern and my way of life, I will miss out on some great times with my girls (and my husband).  It is time for a change.

Psalm 119:35-37

New International Version (NIV)

35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
   for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
   and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
   preserve my life according to your word.
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