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.

 

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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My Four Year Old Beauty Vivienne

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Birth | One Year Old | Two Years Old | Three Years Old

Four years ago we were in labor with whom my niece referred to as Snowflake Girl because of the 8 inches of snow that we walked in to try and get that baby to come out. Every birthday I go back to the birth. How precious of a time it is. It goes by so quickly and it is almost impossible to remember years later. I look at that tiny little squinchy face and then to the four year old staring back at me and wonder how did we get from there to here. How we wondered what our child would look like and then realize that the picture in our head wasn’t even close to as good as the real thing.

These are what a 4 year old’s selfies look like … pretty accurate!

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For most of Vivienne’s life she has been the big sister, which for better or worse is turning her into the most compassionate, sweet human being. She is also independent and curious. I’ll find her by herself coloring or painting or flipping through her children’s encyclopedia. She is also very sensitive. I’ll sneeze and she’ll run in and ask if I’m okay, then also throw a huge fit if she is not the first one out of the bath — it goes both ways you see.

My Four Year Old Vivienne:

  • Has recently been asking things like “Are there bad people in this world?” Trying to separate the real from the imaginary.
  • Churns out about 3-6 pictures per day at her art table.
  • Talks about turning 5 everyday.
  • Eats almost any fruit and almost any veggie. Especially if it gets her to dessert quicker.
  • Always asks for a ponytail in the back of her head (not on top where mommy likes them)
  • Favorite show is Dora and favorite movie is Frozen, though she did enjoy The Last Unicorn a lot.
  • Frequently asks when it is time for Ellen’s nap so she gets tablet time.
  • Begs for a good night story (not book) every night.
  • Has a crazy belly laugh that comes so natural — tonight just saying “Mr Duck Daddy” did it.
  • Still has her baby thigh roll.
  • Is not very snuggly, actually quite the opposite of snuggly.
  • Wakes up without a shirt 50% of mornings.

Snow this March – Fitting for my Snowflake Girl!

More Pics from Vivi’s Birthday Month – presents, cake, Magic House, G-ma, Highland screening, a little blue piano from Grandma Lori!

 

Pre-K. Another Day or A New Life?

Remember when I was super excited for PreK in St. Louis? I mean full time, meaningful care for FREE! A dream for anyone who has ever paid for a full day of childcare. However we always knew that we may not be living in St. Louis and obviously we do not. While there are so many upsides to living small(er) town life in Highland, early childhood development programs is not one of them. We are enrolled at Peppermint Pre School 2 days a week for 2.5 hours per day.

I have started and restarted this entry over and over again, never being able to complete it. The first attempt was basically me whining that its not the free, full day in STL that we were planning on and then I started getting sentimental and started a list of what I hoped that Vivi got out of her 5 hours of school per week.

But here we are and she is ONE hour into Pre-K. She had an orientation today that I thought we stayed in the classroom for but was informed that we were to leave and come back. All of a sudden I was a little emotional, maybe because I was not planning on leaving her yet. So I scooped up Ellen and we headed out just me and her. In that moment I realized two things 1) that I was happy that we were not in full time school and 2) that I have never really spent alone time with just Ellen.

I’m not worried at all that Vivienne will love her school. I do worry that Ellen will feel left out and it is something that I think I will worry about forever since they are so close in age. To the point where I don’t want to start Vivi in activities until Ellen can also participate. Some of that is also my desire to keep our schedule as free as possible from afternoon commitments.

Here we go! Sending our first baby out into the world/church for 2.5 hours 2 days a week (baby steps). I’m grabbing those 5 hours a week for some one-on-one Ellen time and cherishing those MWF with both of them even more while they last … then tagging out on the weekend cuz momma’s tired.

I had to use dish soap to get the marker and crayon off the ole chalkboard that was at the bottom of the kids toy bin.. Ellen with her little backpack so sweet.

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Our Almost 3 Year Old

It is hard to imagine that our first little baby that made us parents is turning three in just a week. When you ask her when her birthday is she cooly replies “the 7th day of March.” And she is thinking about it all the time it seems like. One morning she yelled “its my special day.” And we politely reminded her that in fact it is not for a few more days.

Vivienne at age (almost) 3: 

  • Today said to someone that her favorite foods were broccoli and carrots. But she will actually do almost anything for a donut with sprinkles.
  • Does not like to be called “Viv” and will correct anyone that calls her that and says “No, my name is Vivienne.” She is okay with “Vivi” but prefers Vivienne.
  • She also does not like “Vivienne Rose.” She prefers her sister’s middle name and has made it clear that she would rather be called “Vivienne Olivia.”
  • She wakes up in a different outfit than she went to bed in 50% of the time.
  • Vivienne is not very cuddly unless she is watching one of her shows.
  • Her favorite shows in order are: Danielle Tiger, Bubble Guppies, Dora, Clifford, Super Why, Peg+Cat.
  • She prefers her hair down, but will let me put it up for 2-4 fruit snacks.
  • We have given up on naps. If she does take a nap it usually lasts for as long as you let her sleep and she super crabby when she wakes up and then does not go to bed until like 10 pm.
  • Vivienne would have you read to her anytime in the day for as long as she can get you to read.

Our Favorite Quotes:

The Quite Forest Story
“Once upon a time there was a wolf. And he eats all your food and it’s very scary. Don’t forget. The End.”

The Ellen Song
to the tune of frère jacques
“Little Ellen, little Ellen, she’s so smart, she’s so smart.
She never does bad things, never does bad things.
I love her. I love her.”

About Daddy
“Daddy your hands are really big and fat. They are like bread.”

This was a hard gallery to make that is a good representation of the last three years. We love her everyday and try to keep up with her mischievous and silly personality.

I Don’t Love Your Little Sister More, Although It May Seem Like I Do

Oh the mom guilt is never ending. When you have a second child it is inevitable that you will feel guilty about not giving each one enough one-on-one attention that they would receive if they were only children. This is especially true for my oldest, Vivienne. Maybe its because for a short while she was my onliest one and everything revolved around her. But the real reason is that I just find myself yelling and discipling Vivi more unlike Ellen.

They cosleep in one room and I hear the baby (well she’s 18 months but still my baby) crying during nap. And this normally means that Vivi has either gotten into her bed or something similar ruining Ellen’s nap. In this case she was trying to take Ellen’s blanket to use for her Lamby. I know that in her world this makes total sense, I mean Lamby needs a blanket BUT physically pulling one off of her little sister. Really?

This is Lamby. Sometimes Vivi is her momma, sometimes her sister and in this case her doctor. 20160101_084512

So I use my crazy stern mom voice (the one that you don’t know you have until you have to use it to your 2 year old) and say “NO! Vivienne, you can’t take Ellen’s blanket. Lamby can use this one, throwing one at her.” Then here is the kicker where she may feel unloved. Is that I feel so sorry for crying Ellen that I pick her up soothe her, while Vivi is crying for being yelled at and I tell Vivi to go to sleep, put Ellen down and shut the door. Then instantly the mom guilt follows.

“Was I too harsh?”
“I hate that mom voice, how do I get rid of it?”
“If only we had another bedroom”
“Can she be done with naps at age 3?”
“Poor Ellen”

So there is what I deal with on a daily basis. Of course since Vivi is older we just expect more from her and Ellen is just starting to understand and get sent to time out — I think it’s been a total of 2 times. For Vivi’s sake we do try and do the stern voice at Ellen, but its not in the same capacity.

And we always struggle with naps with Vivi. Very seldom does her nap time go smooth, as in we put her into bed, she falls asleep and wakes up glowing 2 hours later. Ellen’s on the other hand ALWAYS go smooth. With Vivi she either plays until she comes to the door and we pull her out skipping her nap all together. Or she does something bad to Ellen, we yell at her, then she cries herself to sleep — like today. The thing is that when she doesn’t take a nap she get crabby around dinner, but goes to sleep within the hour that we put her to bed. When she does take a nap, well she never wants to get up from them and she goes to sleep hours after we put her in bed. In which case it is sometimes on the floor, then she wakes up later mad because she is on the floor and we have to go in and pick her up.

I am just waiting until things even out a little. As in they both get in trouble. But I have a feeling that Vivi just may need more discipline in her life. I don’t know that for sure, but its a gut feeling I guess. Ellen is no angel. In fact here is a pic from today where she had to get down from stamping because she started to throw them. Here is the Instagram pic though. 20160107_090318

In general they get along and they DO love each other, even if we have to remind them they do.

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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