Friday, March 29, 2013

First Ponytail!

Easter Parties.

We had to divide and conquer this year. 

Ben spent the day with Hadley's class celebrating all things "egg."

He was supposed to drop the camera by my office on his way back to work so I could have it to take some pics of Harris' celebration.  Unfortunately, his translation of that conversation resulted in him leaving the camera in Babe's cubby at Primrose.  Thank goodness for smart phones. :)

Fun times (and sugar highs) were had by all!

Stomach Bug.

My sweet Harris came down with a nasty case of the stomach bug last weekend.  He went to bed extremely cranky after his baseball game on Friday night and woke up about two hours later (and every two hours after that) as sick as a dog.  I can't really think of any reasons why this is actually blog-worthy other than the following:

-it's the first time any of our children have ever experienced a throw-up type bug, much less the dreaded North/South.

-it's the first time I can remember washing 11 loads of laundry in one weekend.

-it's the first time I think we've ever stayed home for an entire weekend.  Harris and I skipped out on Olivia's birthday party on Saturday night and church on Sunday morning.  It was a loooooong couple of days. :)

-it's the first time I've ever quarantined one of my kids.  Harry spent 48 hours sleeping in his bed or hanging out in the "dog's room" (our guest room) watching home videos.  Nobody else was allowed in and he certainly wasn't allowed out.

-it hasn't spread to anyone else.  Yet.  :)

The Spring Bonnet Parade

Unfortunately, the First Day of Spring wasn't all that spring-y.  It's been quite a process helping Babe understand that Spring doesn't automatically equal warm weather and springtime clothes.  She'll probably catch on just as things start to heat up. :)

The First Day of Spring does, however, always bring the Primrose Spring Bonnet Parade and Hadley was so excited to have yet another opportunity to be in the spotlight...especially because her class chose the them "Sing a Song of Sixpence" and dressed up like kings and queens for the day.  There couldn't have been a better theme for my girl!

She came out strong, like I knew she would, prancing and waving and allowing herself to be "escorted" by her king.  For the record, there were no other escorts.  Poor Jason.

Because the parade was on a Wednesday, Auntie was able to come watch Hadley as well.  Babe, of course, was thrilled.

I always leave Primrose with the same thought stuck in my head: God bless Ms. Audra and all the other Pre-K teachers of the world.

And Happy, Happy Spring!


Love that boy.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Two Months!

It's so hard to believe it's been two months already...I have a feeling I'll be starting every update about you that way.  Time just seems to move so quickly; the days are so long sometimes but a week or two or three is over in the blink of an eye.  Crazy.

At two months, you weigh 13 lbs and 9 oz and are 22.75 inches long.  You wear size 2 diapers and have just transitioned into 3-6 month clothes.  You are my big, chunky, roly poly, fat boy, "little Ronnie" of a baby.  In other words, you're completely awesome.

You smile and coo constantly and love, love, love, love for us to talk to you.  You're a snuggler, too, and Daddy and me spend the evening hours, after everyone else has gone to bed, holding you as much as we can.

You've grown leaps and bounds with your schedule this month:  I now put you down between 9:00 and 9:30, after your final feeding, and you'll sleep solidly for 9-10 hours.  We started the month with you going down around 10:00 and waking up sometime in the 5:00 hour for a nursing session, but we've moved past that in the last couple of weeks.  Thank you.

You made the move to your crib this month.  You and Emmy now share a room and so far, things seem to be working out well.  The first week or so, when you were still waking up in the middle of the night, was a bit of an adjustment for her (she would wake up whenever we opened the door-no crying, though!) but she's gotten used to it now.  I nurse you and swaddle you in our bedroom so that I can quickly and easily lay you in crib without much of a disturbance.  In the mornings, we swoop in and scoop you up before Emmy even knows we're there (at least, that's our goal)!

You've dropped a feeding this month, too.  Once you're up for the day, you nurse or take a bottle every four hours.  You still eat five times a day, though, because I always nurse you at bedtime even if it hasn't been a full four hours since you're last feeding...we don't want the belly getting empty in the middle of the night!

You started staying at Ginnell's when I went back to work this month.  It's been a completely uneventful transition.  You are ALWAYS content when I pick you up...either snuggling in Ms. Ginnell's lap or sitting in your chair being entertained by all your friends.  It's pretty much perfect. :)

Your newest nickname is "Thatch-y Doe."  I'm sorry.  It just seems to fit, seeing as how Emmy is known as "Emmy Doe" and you two are the babies of the family.  It will most likely be the name that sticks.

Your favorite place to be is in our arms, but if you can't be there, you spend your time in your chair or on the floor.  You've started to deliberately reach for the toys hanging above you on your chair and playmat and continue to improve your head/neck/chest strength while on your belly.

We love you, Thatch-y Doe, and are so looking forward to next two months!!!!!

An Afternoon at the Ball Park...


Stats first:  You weigh 38 lbs and are 41.5 inches tall.

And now a list of things I love about you right now:

-You can read!  Ms. Audra, your Pre-K teacher, sends home lots of "level 1" books to help you practice.  You're great at sounding out words and are so proud of yourself when you finish a book!

-You love to wear your hair in a "side poof ball."  You beg me quite often for a "side braid," but I don't know how to do that!

-You're still very much into princesses and horses.  You also love makeup, lip gloss, high heels, sparkly tights, and dresses.

-Last week you told me that you "could not use the green towel because green does not look good with you."

-You are silly beyond belief.  You still like to talk with a "Scarlet O'Hara" accent and will do just about anything for a laugh.

-You're stubborn!  You've earned more spankings than anyone. :)

-You're a picky, picky eater.  You know that you have to eat "five bites" of whatever we put in front of you, but you'll do just about anything to get out of them.

-You have a fantastic imagination.  You will play and play and play for hours...mostly with your princess figurines or toy animals.  I LOVE listening to you narrate your play.

-You can dress yourself.  You can take a shower by yourself.  You still need help brushing your hair.

-You love Thatcher and Emmy and enjoy playing with them.  You tend to be more rough with them than you are gentle, though.

-You share a love/hate relationship with Harris.  Y'all can be so kind to each other, but you often fight about whether things are "cool" or "pretty."  At the end of the day, you don't really want to do anything without him.  He was sick recently and couldn't go to the Publix Easter Egg Hunt. You decided you didn't want to go if he couldn't be a part.

-You are taking ballet at school and want to start taking baton lessons.  I have no idea where they offer baton lessons.

-Hortie, your stuffed elephant, is still by your side.  You love elephants in general (Alabama is your second favorite football team) and are always excited to see one, whether it's on tv, in a magazine, or at the circus.

-Every once in a while you'll still fall asleep during room time.  We have to watch it, though, because even a little power nap will keep you up at night!
-You LOVE to snuggle and climb in the bed with Daddy every single morning before we start getting ready for the day.

-"Tom and Jerry" and "America's Funniest Home Videos" are some of your favorite shows these days.

-You sing lots of songs from the radio:  "Call Me, Maybe," Taylor Swift's "Never Getting Back Together," and Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" are favorites.  You also still love "Potiphar's Wife" from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

-You do not like riding your bike.  Or anything else that requires you to sweat, really.

-Your personality fills a room.  

I love you so very, very much.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Worrying. It's Pointless.

A few months before Thatcher was born (but loooooong after I had already developed my "maternity leave survival plan"), I was informed of the "fine print" that accompanies the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

To make a long story short, the sixty days of leave I had planned on taking (the same sixty days I've taken with the birth of each of my previous children) wasn't exactly an option for me this time around.  In fact, because I had taken so much leave with Emmy (not knowing I was going to be pregnant again a few short months later), I didn't even have half of the sixty days at my disposal.  Not even half.

My magic number was 27.  Twenty-seven days to spend with my sweet, helpless newborn baby boy.

I immediately freaked out.  And then I started planning.  Because I was having a c-section, my doctor's office wrote that I would need to be out of work for 8 weeks to recover, so I began to wrap my brain around that number and eventually re-adjusted my "maternity leave survival plan."  And just so we're clear:  I'm not a lazy planner.  My survival plan included childcare and a six-month budget and pay schedules and extracurricular activities and dinner menus and anything else you can think of that a pregnant, neurotic, extremely scheduled, thirty-two year-old woman could possibly imagine.

I love to plan.

And then I found out that staying home for eight weeks wasn't an option, either.  March 13th was going to be my return-to-work to date.

I cried.

And I worried.  Here's the list of things I worried about:

-Leaving my baby.  I know people leave six-week-old babies all the time; I've just never had to do it.  I couldn't imagine what it would be like to leave a tiny, helpless, not-even-vaccinated baby, even with my absolutely phenomenal childcare provider.

-Sleep.  My babies have always been sleeping through the night before my return to work.  And by sleeping through the night, I mean ALL. NIGHT. LONG.  None of this six-hour-stretch business.  How was I going to function without a full night's sleep?  How would I have enough energy (and sanity) to work all day and be an effective parent to my FOUR kids?!?!?!?!?!

-Schedule.  Well, mostly pumping.  I didn't want to have to go back to work and pump 3-4 times a day.  Mostly because that would be annoying.

-Clothes.  What on earth would I wear?!?!?  There was no way I was going to be back in my regular clothes  that quickly after my fourth c-section.  And besides, I didn't want to go back to work feeling grossly unattractive.  Just being honest.

-Money.  I had my entire budget worked out...I'm talking all the way through August.  Now, even though I would be going back to my paycheck sooner, I was going to have to pay for a lot more childcare (MAJOR expense), which meant I'd need to rearrange quite a bit of our income allocation.  I wasn't going to be paid for any of my leave time AND Ben took a new job about a month after Thatch was born.  Even though his new job is awesome and pays a little bit more, I stressed over trying to figure out his new pay schedule.  I didn't want to get stuck without the cash needed to pay our bills!  I also (more than) stressed over the increase in benefit costs for our family.  And then I mega-stressed when I realized we would have to pay for COBRA insurance for a month!  I went back and re-worked our entire budget.

And then today, it hit me.

I think planning is good.  I'm learning that worrying is pointless.

Thatcher is two months old.  I'm back at work.  He is a healthy, happy, chunky, roly poly, fat boy of a baby who is nursing every four hours during the day (the perfect pumping schedule!) and sleeping a solid 9-10 hours at night.  His adjustment at Ginnell's (my childcare provider) has, hands down, been the best of all his siblings.

I can button my pants.  Not every pair in my closet, but more than enough to wear to work.

And today I realized that we have all the money we need, in our checking account, on March 22, to pay for every single expense we have in April.  That has never, ever, ever happened before.

God provides.

 22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24 Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life[b]? 26 Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
27 “Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendorwas dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! 29 And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30 For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.     Luke 12:22-31

I'm going to stop worrying and start seeking.

Thank You, Jesus. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Ariel Cake.

We tend to spread birthday celebrations over a week-long period around these parts. :)

For Babe's final "party," we celebrated with Granti, Auntie, Cody, Mo, Sam, and Raven at Chick-fil-a (DB had to work and Tyler, of course, is too far away.  We got in a little Facetime action with Ty Ty, though, so it was all good.)  We usually eat at Chick-fil-a on Tuesday nights but had to change the day due to Harris' baseball schedule.  I'm so thankful for a family that values time together and is willing to adjust their own schedules to make time for my kids!

Ben always makes the kids the cake of their choice for the Chick-fil-a celebration.  This year, Hadley chose an "Ariel cake."

I'm so thankful I took a picture of the finished product before we left the house, because I ended up forgetting my camera and not taking any pictures there.

He's got skillz, that man of mine. :)

Happy Birthday (yet again), Sweet Pea!

March 13.

Our family celebrated Babe's fifth birthday in the traditional way...birthday balloons and powdered donuts. :)

It was a bit of a hectic morning:  it was my first day back at work after Thatcher's birth, Ben had "trial week" at work, and we were surprised to find that Emmy had thrown up in her crib (and her hair) at some point during the night...

We got it together, though, and were able to give our very favorite five-year-old girl the best birthday breakfast ever.

 The kids were pumped about their donuts (and yes, we let Emmy eat one...)

 and Hadley was so excited about her gifts from the family (new underwear and a "Brave" dress).

After breakfast, Ben took Hadley to school, where her classroom was decorated with a "Happy Birthday, Hadley" banner.  She was stoked!!!!!  She also took (more) powdered donuts and apple juice to share with her class.  (Evidently, our kids think powdered donuts are the best thing ever!)

As soon as we got home for the day, Had immediately changed into her new princess dress and hopped on her horse, "Jenna."  Of course, she had to ride "side saddle'" because of her dress...

She's most definitely a princess. :)

Happy Birthday, Hadley Anne!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Celebrating Five.

In true Hadley style, she chose to celebrate her birthday by having a "Girls' Day Out" at the "toenail store."  And so that's exactly what we did. :)

We started the afternoon with cake and gifts at our house.  Babe chose a handful of her "best girlfriends" to share in her special day.  She also requested a "Cinderella" cake.  Because the party started at 3:00 and we had such a small crowd, cake was pretty much the only item on the menu.  It was perfect!  

The girls played for a little bit (and us moms spent some time together!) before we sang "Happy Birthday."  Homegirl was in heaven.  I'm not sure I've ever met a child who enjoys the spotlight as much as she does. :)

 For all the sass this girl has stored up in her little body, she's got double the sweetness.  Catch her on a good day and she's the most pleasant child in the world.  But catch her on a bad day...

Party day was nothing but good. :)

After the cake, presents, and party favors (nail polish!), we loaded up and headed down the street to my very favorite nail salon, where each girl was treated to a full-on pedicure.

For the record, I don't think I had a pedicure until I was twenty years old.  Hadley has now had two. :)

It was so much fun to watch each girl choose their polish, explain their plans (certain colors on certain toes), and marvel over the finished product, which included flower designs on their big toes!

 My most favorite moment, though, was when Babe said to her technician, "Don't cut off my toes, okay?"

This was a close second:

We all went our separate ways once the pedicures were complete.  Babe and I were lucky enough to come home to this gift from Granti, Auntie, and DB:

There are no words.