Summer Lovin with My Girls

It seems like we were just saying hello to summer and here we are saying goodbye. It has been a really fun few months and the last ones that its just the 4 of us. I got to spend most days of the week bumming around with the girls. I am thankful most everyday that I get to stay home with them. I know that it won’t and can’t last forever, but the daily snuggles, kisses and outings are worth the emotional, financial and stressful sacrifices I struggle with.

While I have posted about some of our big summer events on the blog already like birthday parties and our beach vacation, it has been the all the little fun things that we have filled our summer with that makes it so sweet.

Here are just a few that come to mind … Family Birthdays, Fourth of July, MoBot, Miranda’s Shower, Camping, First Cardinals Game, Lake of Dreams, Woodburn Wedding, Fairing, Magic House, Backyard Bummin, Parks

Vivienne is growing to be a polite, inquisitive 4 year old girl who always wishes she was older so she can wear high heals, makeup and go to a big kid school. She is so ready for kindergarten that I would send her in a second if it were up to me. I think she gets bored at home and she wants so badly to know and to learn everything. She gets mad at herself when she does things wrong and always is looking for approval from mom and dad. I wish that I could protect her forever so that she doesn’t say “what if the kids laugh at me” that she has said on occasion, but I hope she knows that we are always on her side. Viv (who still prefers to be called Vivi or Vivienne) has the biggest belly laugh and is constantly cracking herself up. She is a vivacious eater and loves raw veggies with ranch, dipping crackers or chips in anything, anything sweet, but not too sweet. She would rather have a deli sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Viv really loves poem books by Shel Silverstein they really make her think about things in a different way. She is constantly chasing after her sister to play with her and loves it when Ellen is her baby. Vivi would always rather stay up late and sleep in. She’s usually the last one up and could become grouchy when its an early morning. Viv sometimes will surprise us and clean her room to the point where it is unbelievable she is capable of such organization. She is always helping Ellen turn on the water for washing hands, fetching outfits and even helping her with the potty.

Ellen, while still my thumb sucking baby, is growing into her own little person. She likes to do her own thing a lot of the time, but is always up for a snuggle. If you are laying down she can always make time in her day to lay next to you. Ellen makes crazy facial expressions for no reason. The best ones are the ones she does at dinner time. Ellen is my picky eater although she has been doing a lot better, but if she sees a green bean on her plate, dinner is O.V.E.R. She doesn’t like the skin on fruit, crust on bread or seeds in anything. Plain pasta with butter and cheese is her go to. Ellen hates it when cabinet doors are left open, when drawers do not open and shut for her they way they should, or when the carpet gets “ruined” from Boullie. She is quick to yell at Boullie for being on the couch but also the one that volunteers to feed him every night. Ellen is the one that I worry about being on her own at school. She tends to get quiet around people she doesn’t know and is used to always having her sister there with her to help her do things. She likes to catch your eye across the room and tell you that she loves you. She wants kisses all the time to make sure that you’re not mad at her. Ellen right now is okay when she is not apart of the group and has developed a fascination for watching the little black ants.

 

Oh My Little Ellen

Gosh Ellen really turned our whole world when she came. While we had no idea what we were getting into we are so thankful everyday that we ended up making such a wonderful companion to Vivienne and addition to our little Naybie family. Ellen is our naturally, adorably funny girl that is always wearing a facial expression for some reason only known to her … and today she turned 3.

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This is going to be a big year for her. So many changes! Vivi didn’t really have time to think about being an only child, but Ellen has been the baby for a good 3 years (Vivi got 15 months). Ellen will start Pre-K3 and become a big sister all in the same week! Our little thumb sucking, pig tail wearing girl will be a middle child just like that. And I believe besides the one that is going to have to get used to things out of the womb, she will be going through the most change of all of us.

My heart hurts thinking about the times that I know she will feel neglected. And about her cries that I will not hear because there are someone else’s that I have to tend to. But I also know that she will be the best big sister.Everyday we talk about her baby brother and she asks to give him toys and she says how cute he will be.

I love that she wants to be a big sister but every time she says “I’m not a baby anymore” and “I’m a big girl” I realize that these are good things but also that they are so true and that I have blinked and my little Ellen is not so little anymore. I hate saying “please don’t grow up” because even though I love them little, it is so wonderful not having to worry about them on stairs or cutting up their food or lugging them around in a car seat or the million of other back breaking things required for babies.

I know this may read like a rant because I am so thankful that our babies are growing up, becoming more independent and are healthy, I am struggling with the thought of losing these two naybies to this next one. Even with this being my third, the same fears come to mind with my scheduled c-section, breastfeeding, sleep training and the list goes on. While the baby stuff does get easier, with the other two, there are just more things to juggle, more emotions to handle and more expectations to manage including my own.

So happy birthday my little Ellen Olivia. I am going to keep holding you and carrying you these next few months for as long as I can until I can’t in September. I love you.

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A Little Party for My Naybies

Our world is made up of laughs, cries, songs and silliness from these two little ladies.
Vivienne age 3/4 & Ellen age 2/3.

Today we pulled off maybe the biggest and best party for the girls ever. With the final head count at 38 adults and 21 kiddos we all felt pretty loved and lucky to have such great friends and family show up for the girls birthday party at Silver Lake in Highland. Viv turned 4 in March and Ellen is 3 in June … and this momma just turned 30 a few days ago so plenty of Happy Birthdays went around. And of course we all had to have our own cake!!

The day couldn’t have been any nicer. This weekend followed what seemed like an eternity of cold rain. So sunshine and 70 degree weather had everyone in good spirits, add some cake, 2 pinatas, margaritas, taco bar and being surrounded by little laughs all day I don’t think anyone could have had a bad time.

The girls’ birthday surprise!!
Finding out if they are going to have a little baby brother or baby sister coming in September 2017! 

We are beyond thrilled to make Vivi the leader of our Naybie pack and Ellen a middle child (just like Chester). We realize that this time before baby comes is so very precious, so we hope to make the most of it this summer with our two beautiful girls.

Always and forever, Love the Nays.

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Maybe These Twos are Not So Terrible

Wow just when it felt like diapers, pureed food, pacifiers and everything else babies would never come to an end, I paused and found that it has. With the girls being two and three it is a much different day than it was for us a year ago. Of course a lot of the change has been switching to full time mom in Highland, but these two are so not babies anymore.

A big part of why I blog is so that I can go back and remind myself what we were doing just a year ago and even just last month. It is strange that in the moment you are thinking of nothing else but the happenings with the kids, but then completely forget what it was like when you move on to something else. When Vivi was two we were in full fledged potty training and had just moved her to a toddler bed. These seemed like they were both very scary things for us/Vivi. With Ellen it seems so much more smooth sailing. Ellen moved to a toddler bed in mid-May and Vivi moved to a lofted twin bed. We got more push back from Vivi than Ellen. Ellen is also fully potty trained and without a single jelly bean! I don’t know if its just because she is the second child or if its because I am a professional parent now but Ellen being two is like letting out a huge sigh of relief and we are experiencing a tiny bit of newfound freedom.

We recently went to a family friendly 30th birthday party which was really a beer in one hand baby in the other party. There were a total of 7 kids and Vivi and Ellen were the oldest ones. Chester and I were looking at each other like man it is really us that have to watch our children the least?! How did that happen? We’re always the couple running with a back hunch after kids.

Ellen is however still my baby. She cuddles, sucks her thumb and still makes that “mmmm” noise when she is eating something really yummy. She has finally started to call Vivi “Vivienne” sometimes and she is HILARIOUS. Her facial expressions are out of this world, you just can teach that.

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Common Quotes from Ellen
“Look at pictures!”
“Vivi did it”
“Vivi upstairs”
“Poo poo potty” whine
“Fee fi, Yellow” from the song I’ve Been Workin on the Railroad “fee fi fiddly i o” verse
“One more minute” (with her pointer finger up)

We had a small party in Highland with just our family for both girls since we really didn’t have a party for Vivienne. Gosh that was back in May and we are already at in July. We are really trying to make ourselves to pull all our videos from the year. We did it for both their first birthdays and this is the first one of both of them for the 2015/2016 year.

PARTY PICS

18 Months & 33 Months (2.75 yrs)

The 18 Month Old – Ellen
In a few words, Ellen is a cuddly baby who loves Boullie the most. She is a thumb sucker whose teeth came in late-ish and now we are paying for it with swollen gums and sometimes fussy baby. Ellen is a mommy’s girl to say the least. She yells, screams and cries for mommy just to lay on my chest with her thumb in her mouth. Which I both love and hate, but mostly love.

Like my other one, this girl loves shoes. Her favorite are her pink tennis shoes and her blue tennis shoes that light up.

This girl has an appetite. She LOVES “crkakers” graham crackers mostly but is pretty good with a plane round cracker. Other favorites include bananas, oat meal, eggs, bread, pasta — really any carbs are good in her book.

She still makes noise when she eats and she calls for Boullie the most and Vivi secondly.

The 33 Month Old – Vivienne
She is approaching 3 years old which is amazing! She is a full blown bouncing, talking thing that we can’t get enough of … well somedays we CAN.

Vivienne is a wild child. She is the one that won’t let you touch her hair and so its all over her face and she’s jumping from couch to couch looking like a little Tarzan. But this one insists on dressing herself most days. Her favorites are jeans and a plain blue shir,, her blue sparkly tutu, her blue Cinderella pajamas, or just underwear with this one is good.

Some of the things that comes out of this girl’s mouth …

“Shhh the quite forest. There is a bear is the quite forest. Don’t wake up the bear.” — She says this when she sees lots of trees in one area.

“This is a troll bridge mommy” — She says this in the bath tub about the basket that holds toys and sits across the tub.

“Look there are horses over there.” -vivi
“Oh there are horses?” – mom and dad
“Nope!” Giggles – vivi

 

You Win Some, You Lose Some, On Halloween We Lost

The three words that I would use to describe our Halloween would be:

1) crying
2) snot
3) anguish

Halloween Day
We knew Ellen wasn’t going to make it out trick-or-treating. We didn’t go to the kids fall festival the night before. She had been running a fever and was pretty miserable all day on Halloween. But Vivi was bouncing around, running errands with dad, saying she was sick just to get a taste of medicine and getting excited about seeing her cousins. For the past few weeks we have really been trying to play up her costume as a bug catcher. Since its not the princess that she would say she wants to be. It does help that she likes Dora the Explorer so we say that she is going to be kind of like her. We were winning! She was telling people happily that she was going to be a bug catcher like Dora.

Preparation
Ok so we start the process of getting ready for the night that means new diaper, going potty, getting outfits and shoes and socks on, packing jammies and a plethora of other things that all parents know to well about what it takes for everyone to get out the door with everything they need and want. Vivi actually put on her explorer boots that I had strategically put high up so she could see them but not reach them making them more desirable than a pair of boys brown boots otherwise would be. And it worked, Still Winning she put them on and seemed to love them. We only had to use one sucker to get her out the door happy (we also consider that a win at this point in the day).

The Car Ride to Nana’s 
Ok so here is where things begin to take a turn. Ellen falls asleep right away, WIN! Vivi is jabbering away which soon turns into a whining … so car songs! Which then makes her yell “NO! Not that one” and “Stop singing that” in general “NOOO nnooo NO! No! nononooooo.” But this can be usual car behavior for a 2 year old. Put her in a room full of cousins and food and doating grandparents, which was our plan, and she can surly turn it around. Well not this time.

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For some reason it seems like its my kids that are the most crying and terrible of all the kids of the family. It may just feel like that but recently I thinks its been true that one of my kids seems not happy when we visit the family. This time was no different they were both clingy and sickish and not happy. And when candy bribing didn’t work, tv shows didn’t work, other cousins being happy didn’t work, the promise of all the candy in the world didn’t work we knew that we were in for it. Vivi also was saying that her ear hurt, but later when we got home said that it magically felt better … which didn’t help. They were both pretty pitiful and as Chester and I ate stuffed our face between cries it was apparent that the situation was not getting better.

Decision Time
At this point we could have tried to force Vivienne in her costume for the awful crying picture and then see if she would actually go out the door to trick-or-treat with the other kids. We could have put her in a room by herself to see if she would calm down or we could do what we did which was stuff all our things in our bag, give “I hope you understand” looks (especially to my mom who made a ton of food, did bags for all the kids, then I left her and my dad after seeing them for about a half an hour with Chester’s family) and goodbye hugs to the family, and back in the car and home we went.

Car Ride Home
Well Vivi fell asleep right away (aftermath Win, maybe) … but Ellen basically cried the whole way home and got herself so worked up that she threw up as we were blocks away from our house. We did bath for both girls, gave them each a dose of Tylenol and into bed they went for awhile at least ….

Night Time/Next Day
Well its all a little fuzzy but I believe that Ellen came out of her room to sleep with one of us on the couch around midnight maybe? Then somehow Vivi woke up at around 3 am and decide that it was morning. She was bothering Chester on the couch to dress her, which was waking up Ellen which is when I woke up to call her into the bedroom where I helped her get dressed. We don’t have an alarm clock (we did but it always gets unplugged from little hands) so I had no idea what time it was. I guess Chester figured it out the time, that brilliant man, and back to bed Vivi went — fully dressed. At that time I think is when Chester plopped into bed with me along with Ellen. And there we slept until 7 am and our day began. But that’s a whole 3 hours stretch (win?)

That brings us to today, Sunday, the day after Halloween, and also day light savings. Vivi did pretty good today and very happy that there is so much juice around since we are giving Ellen any kind of fluid that she will drink. Ellen has been weepy eyed and still has a temperature the last time we checked. But we did manage to get into our costumes which didn’t happen at all yesterday and got a few pics. Ellen was a butterfly, Vivi the bug catcher, and mom and dad the flowers.

NOW :: 8 pm
Thank god Chester was here during the worst of it (hopefully) BUT he is now driving the almost 4 hour drive away from us to Danville, IL to a full nights sleep. I on the other hand write this while Ellen is waking up about every 20 minutes. Poor Ellen, poor me.

Happier Halloweens are definitely in our past and our future I think!

The Pilgrimage to Washington with Two Babies for the Second Time

Taking the girls to the grocery store sometimes seems like a marathon — by the end I am sweating and exhausted and wondering what I would do if Schnucks did not offer free cookies for kids. Well then taking them to Washington state from Missouri was an olympic event. We learned from our first trip out and were armed with an endless supply of lollipops, fruit snacks, milk, charged tablet/s but it was no match against a 1 and 2 year old at 12 am and a 10 hour night of traveling.

Being on a full airplane with 2 screaming kids is unlike any stress — you want to laugh at the worst case scenario coming to life right before you and melt down and cry along with the baby in your arms at the same time. But as Chester kept saying “there will be an end.”

It is times like these where I want to tell my coworker Bhairavi, that tells me to enjoy every minute of them being young because it goes by so fast … really? every minute?

I also don’t have as many pics to go along with this post because I left my camera phone (because that’s what it is, first a camera then a phone) in the car in St. Louis which took me a little bit of sulking to get over AND recently Chester’s phone ended up in the washer machine before pulling vacation pics from it. Luckily my mother-in-law got some good ones. I am finding it harder and harder to take pics of the girls anyway because I usually do not have a free hand to take them. With some bloggers who seem like they end up with a handful of magical photos from every meal and every place they go I wonder if they have a secret photographer that follows them around. Even when I have a free hand getting a pic of both of the girls that is not blurry seems impossible.

But we made it in to Yakima, WA in the wee hours of the morning. The girls were super gross from traveling — sticky and moist (yes I said it) and a little smelly but we just put them in bed because it was unfathomable to wake them to take a bath.

Yakima, Washington

Once we settled in really the girls couldn’t have done any better. They slept great they played well. Grandma Lori and Great Grandma Karen made sure they had everything they needed from the boots on their feet to balloons and a piano.

Because I was not raised in the city I never thought of myself as a city girl or my girls as city girls, but it was pretty apparent that they really are from the moment we arrived. I had just packed one pair of sandals and one pair of cute tennis shoes for each of them (I had about 4 pairs each until Chester and the zipper on the bag told me to downsize). But seeing them in the chicken coop and getting fussy on the farm — yep these girls are city girls. So when we got back Chester made a vow to take the girls on more hikes to get them used to walking all the time. Vivi does this like run in front of you and in circles around you until you pick her up. Ellen still does the arching back move so that you protect her head and have to hold her, stinker.

Coming Home — On Point

So the trip back home was infinitely better mostly due to the fact that our flights were during the day. Yes we had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning to leave, and keep the kids up until 11 am in Sea Tac but it was totally worth it. We had just a few small melt downs that I squashed with “Good Night Moon” for Ellen and loading more game apps on the tablet worked like a charm for Vivi.

Top free apps that my 2.5 year old loved– Doctor Kids and Toca Kitchen 2.

Right before we left Grandma Karen said to us that we were doing a good job raising the girls, that they were well behaved. Coming from her it felt like the biggest compliment and parenting win. So many times people comment on how cute the girls are or how well Vivi is talking, but telling someone they are a good parent through all the chaos and after spending a week with the kids felt amazing.

It seems like we are just getting back into our regular schedule with daddy at the Children’s ER, Ikea opening right near the kids school Childgarden and the weather is changing for fall. It feels like a lot of changes are coming for us …