Daphne-2 Years

My sweet girl is TWO. Her cheeks are still as sweet as the day she arrived.

IMG_4477

Weight:  29 lbs, but she is getting tall and leaning out. It’s amazing look at pictures from a year ago, and seeing the difference. Although, most of that could be she actually has hair.

Health: Unfortunately, I think she has severe seasonal allergies like her momma. She has struggled when we have been outside lately. She has a reoccurring cough and her nose is constantly running. A couple weeks ago, we almost took her to the hospital because she was coughing so bad she was throwing up. So that was fun.

Diet: The girl pretty much only eats carbs and fruit. She doesn’t like much protein unless it is mixed in with rice. She loves oatmeal, bananas, and strawberries. Give this girl cheese and she will love you forever. She really love birthday cake!

IMG_4443

Clothes:  She is in 2T clothes. She is doing exactly what George did: was itty bitty for the full first year and then the second year they both have shot up! She is in size 6 shoes, and size 6 diapers during the day and 7 at night.

Sleeping:  We have been putting her to bed around 7:30/8 still, and she generally stays asleep through the night until I wake her up before work at 7. On the weekends, she will stay asleep almost until 8am. She is officially down to one nap. She is still in her crib, and she loves all the stuffies to be in there with her.

IMG_4506

Likes:  She still loves her bunnies-which have multiplied. The two original ones though are falling apart after all the love (and times through the washing machine). I am a little terrified of the day when they have to say goodbye because she will lose her mind. She loves Elmo and Sesame Street, and it is so cute to hear her sing along. She loves the color purple. She points it out every where, and insists most mornings to wear her purple bow. She loves to eat without her booster seat, but she isn’t quite big enough to consistently give her that freedom. She love magnatiles and legos. She loves to put on robes. She is all about accessories: she loves all bags, bows, and shoes. She gets a kick out of talking to people on my phone, however most of the time she just stares at the phone when I am actually recording. She loves being outside, but especially to be on the swings. She LOVES LOVES LOVES running through puddles. (It is interesting to watch the two kids play with their “mud pond” and see how differently they react to it…)

This picture is literally Daphne before she goes to bed. She needs all her friends.

IMG_4400

Dislikes:  when George gets to do things that she doesn’t get to do. She wants to be part of everything he is doing. She does not like when you put the cheese away. She has been having tantrums lately, mostly for unknown reasons. I chalk it up to the fact she is transitioning a lot with her language.

IMG_4522

Milestones: HER SPEECH! My goodness has it exploded since we had her speech assessed. She did not qualify for therapy, but that didn’t seem to matter to her. I can’t even begin to tell you all the words she says now. My favorites are purple and Abby. I also love how she says mommy (ma-yee) and daddy (da-yee). She also knows and identifies the letters A through D. She can open all doors. She knows all of her body parts.

Nicknames:  Daphie, Sisterbear, Sisterbean, Sis, and Daphie Girl. The two most common are still Daph and Sister.

IMG_4462

Quirks: her biggest quirk is when she goes to bed. She tucks all her stuffies underneath her chest and lays on top of them. She loves to organize things into colors. She loves routines, and she is very smart about remembering the order of tasks and she will remind you if you go out of order. Her go to pretend animal is a frog. She loves to jump around and ribbet along. She has the best scowl and surprise faces. She can command a presence for sure.

We parents are: in full project mode. We have been spending every open weekend doing outside stuff. We just started cleaning out our basement to finish it. Huge project mode! It’s also crazy to think in just a month we will be celebrating 8 years of marriage and 12 years being together. We are ready for summer!

IMG_4517

George is: a bundle of joy. He just lives his life to the fullest. He loves and hates his sister, which is about right for siblings. He is a sour patch kid with her. One moment he can be so sweet playing with her, and then the next tacking her to get things away from her. He did just get accepted to preschool in the school district so we are pretty excited about that. His imagination is crazy right now, and it is so much fun. We started soccer recently, and he hates it. It is only a 6 week camp, so we are having our first lesson of when we start something we finish it. He LOVES to read. Every night he has a heap of books that he “has” to read before he goes to sleep.

IMG_4496

The dogs are: loving the warm weather. Daphie is really indifferent about the dogs. She doesn’t seem to seek their approval out like George did.

IMG_4446

Baby Girl, for years and years I prayed for you. I can’t wait to see your personality come out even more over this next year. As I tell you everyday, you are smart, brave, kind, and funny. You are a force!

Here is George at 2 years.

I’ve Got Something to Tell You

I’ve got something to tell you.

Putting George in gymnastics ranks in the top 3 hardest things I have had to do parenting him.

Since he is not in daycare or around other kids his age besides in church, we really felt that he needed some structured time with kids. He is going to go to preschool next year, and we didn’t want that to be the first time he had a structured learning environment. He needs to learn some social norms like how to stand in line and taking turns, and you know not scream in excitement at our friends.

I’ve got something to tell you.

What I didn’t realize is that this gymnastics adventure would be as much of a learning opportunity for me as it was for him.

I won’t lie. It has been a struggle for him. He is very much used to one on one attention and guidance. To go into an environment where there were a lot of rules and 10+ other 4 year olds was a lot to take in.

He has cut in lines, walked off to other areas in the gym without his teachers, and also had a hard time keeping his hands to himself. And paying attention when there are so many moving parts in that gym is very difficult for him.

There were many days that he cried when we got there because he didn’t want to go, and then he would cry when it was done because he didn’t want to leave.

On more than one occasion George was not the only one crying.

I hate to admit it, but there were times I had to intervene and pull him out of the class to take a breather because his energy was a like a tornado  in a shop full of Precious Moment figurines.

I’ve got something to tell you.

This was the first time I realized in full that my role as a parent is to raise him to let him go. I had many feelings when I took him to the sitter for the first time when he was two months old. I knew then I was letting go of pieces of his childhood, but this experience has been different. I had to sit up and watch George just be, while having very little to no control over him. I had to watch him stumble and fall and pick himself back up time and time again. I had to watch him get reprimanded not only by his teachers but also his peers. I saw him be bullied, and I saw him be the bully. Being just a witness of the class showed things that made me cry on the way home and worry if we were doing things all wrong. I didn’t want to be that mom that intervened every time he took a misstep. I knew in the long run that stepping in defeated the purpose of him being there. There was no way for me to support him in the moment except by holding my breath and throwing up a lot of prayers that he could start containing himself and following instructions. I wanted him to make friends instead of getting laughed at for being the “wild one.” I just watched everything unfold from the bleachers. It was my Type A nightmare. I had to let him go. I had to let my control go and let George figure out how to be George independently of his family—independent of me.

I’ve got something to tell you.

We both grew from this last year.

Week to week, I saw George make improvements.

I saw him learn other kid’s names.

I saw him stand in line.

I saw him do “tricks” that he was scared to try that first day.

I saw him become more confident and proud of himself.

I saw him work hard to control his body and follow the rules.

I saw him start keeping his friends accountable to the rules like they had been keeping him accountable.

I saw him have a lot of great moments.

I also saw myself changing.

Over these months, I stopped worrying about what the other moms were thinking of my wild child. I started enjoying watching him just have the time of his life. I started soaking in how George is just as Georgie as he can be in every moment. I started realizing I was trying to force George into this perfect little box because of my societal expectations. I started relaxing and not dreading what trouble he would find himself in that day. I just let us both be, and we praised the wins and talked through the struggles on the way home. These days became our time together to grow, and I am so thankful for that.

I’ve got something to tell you.

I am so proud of this kid. This was a new adventure for us, and I am not sure who it was harder for. Letting go of our normal so he can start learning how to be a person was hard. Since he is home all the time, we have had a security blanket over him. I am terrified to lose my little snuggle bug, but at the same time I am so excited to see the littler person he is becoming. Most days George guided me along. We had to have some tough conversations following up on his behaviors after watching from the peanut gallery. I had to learn to navigate this weird area of parenting where I have to let him fumble his way through without wrapping him up in my mommy bubble wrap, and instead processed our day after the fact with “learning opportunities.” This parenting gig was really unfolding before me, and I see many processing car rides in our future.

These one hour classes where not ever perfect. But no one is. All I know is, he always went into every new trick with a big smile and great gusto like I have never seen.

Well except this time.

And this week was his last gymnastics class for awhile possibly ever if he seems to like soccer more. There was a moment where I watched him politely tell a girl “You are being mean and that hurts my feelings.” And then watch him quietly move away from the problem. Months ago, George would have yelled and caused a huge scene. Displaying his emotions appropriately is not always his strong suit. It was in this quiet moment that I realized even more so how every day now I have to let little pieces of him go so he can learn. I have to trust this process of growing up and letting him be. He is listening and learning. It may not always be on my timeline, but he is growing to be the best George he knows how to be today.

He is fearless and wonderful, but he is going to make mistakes. Watching this class from the bleachers reminded me that I cannot protect and shield him forever. It was hard to let that go because you want so much for your kids. And watching them struggle to fit in is never fun. But I also have to trust that we are giving George the tools to handle himself.

Gosh he is a sweet little boy, and I love him to pieces. He is just so uniquely George, and I can’t be mad about that even if it means he is not going to the Olympics some day for a great parallel bar routine. Our sermon today was about prioritizing love over rules, and gymnastics was our current real word example of that. George needs my love, and I need to be more forgiving of my rules, society rules, and expectations to be perfect every moment.

I’ve got something to tell you.

Parenting is not for the weak. We learn from them just as much as we teach them.

And yes gymnastics made me super emotional. But if I have learned anything through my walk with God, is that he will use random things to teach you and mold you.

Daphne-22 Months

IMG_3800

Weight:  28 lbs. She is getting so tall!

Health: We have had another couple months of health yuckiness. Daphne has had a double ear infection and pneumonia. Her cough has finally subsided after almost 2 months of it.

IMG_3614

Diet: Her appetite comes in waves. There are days where she will eat everything in sight, and others where she turns her nose up at everything. She loves any type of berry, oranges, bananas, carbs of any kind-but especially croissants and oatmeal. Fish is really the only kind of meat that she will eat unless it is chicken nuggets, which I don’t necessarily blame her for loving chicken nuggets. She is not a big drinker, which is so different than George who would drink all of his meals if that was an option. She eats with utensils like a pro, and often times she insists on eating everything with a fork-even things like crackers.

IMG_3660

Clothes:  We can tell that she is right on the cusp of being in 24 month clothes. I will probably switch them all out here in the next couple weeks. She is in size 5 shoes still, and size 6 diapers during the day and 7 at night. The size 6 overnight diapers just don’t cut it for her.

IMG_3526

Sleeping:  We have been putting her to bed around 7:30/8 still, and she generally stays asleep through the night until I wake her up before work at 7. On the weekends, she will stay asleep almost until 9am. Generally she does not have a nap anymore in the morning. She is still a great sleeper. Nothing has changed here. Girl likes to be in bed.

Likes:  She loves her stuffies still, with the all time favorite being those Easter bunnies. Now she carries them all around like they are her babies. She tries dressing them, feeding them, and tucking them in. I find this fascinating because this is not something we have really taught. She loves Elmo and Sesame Street. She loves to read still, and she is starting to know the words because she will do the hand motions as I am reading. She loves lift the flap books and anything Elmo. She adores George, and she is always following him around and mimicking what he is doing (even his screaming during tantrums). She loves Legos of any kind, and she still likes to collect all the people up in a line.  She loves to pull on clothes. You can often find her in other people’s closet pulling on their pants over hers and trying to put on their shoes or socks. It is pretty hilarious when she gets my socks on because it looks like she is wearing leg warmers.

IMG_3608

Dislikes:  Daphie Girl has a mind of her own, and she does not like to be told what to do. She is very sure of her routine, and she likes to stay in it. She is not fond of being left in the church nursery, and 100% of the time she ends up back in the pew with me.

IMG_3597

Milestones: I feel like she is learning new stuff every day. However, she is not really talking. She has a few words and signs including “read.” She should have two word sentences now, and we can’t even get her to consistently say the same words day to day. She mostly speaks in hand gestures and grunts. In our last meeting with our PAT educator, she offered to refer us to have her tested for a speech delay. Since the assessment is free and at our house, there really didn’t seem to be any reasons not to at least see if she is behind on her speech. Her receptive language is through the roof, so I think they will balance each other out. I am not sure if she will qualify for therapy, but at least my momma heart will be rest assured either way.

Nicknames:  Daphie, Sisterbear, Sisterbean, Sis, and Daphie Girl. The two most common are still Daph and Sister.

IMG_3644

Quirks:  She likes to stuff her stuffed animals and pacies down her shirt or your shirt. Whenever she spills something she runs to get a towel to clean it up even if it is just a drop. She pretty much has her tongue sticking out all the time. She also loves us doing her hair. If I don’t put a bow in her hair, she will start pulling at it and pointing to either put it in pig tails or get her a bow.

IMG_3773

We parents are: doing pretty good now that everyone seems to be over the sick period. I however just entered my most busy season at work, so it has been a little chaotic trying to find down time. We also are getting our yard prepped for gardening, so it was nice to finally have some good weather to get some work done. While it is a lot, I am excited to see what we are able to grow this year.

IMG_3728

George is: still as wild and wonderful as ever. I am SOOO happy the weather is nice to get that kid outside. He has been playing really well with Daphie lately, and we have been talking to him a lot about how he is a big role model for her. We did just turn in a pre-school app for him, and my heart is breaking to think of him being old enough to go to school. This kid is so curious and loves to learn about things. He loves maps and learning about the functions of the body right now, so that has been fun to foster.

IMG_3907

The dogs are: excited to not have to pee in the cold. Really the weather change has had a great affect on all of our demeanor. Daphie has a love hate relationship with them. She pretends they are her babies sometimes and tries to feed them and brush their hair. Then other times when they are barking she acts like she is terrified of them.

IMG_3557

How are we looking at your next update being your TWO YEAR update? It’s funny I use my kids’ birthdays to denote big events at work. I had moment today thinking about something that happened while I was on maternity leave with her, and I think about how it is just two years but yet again so much has changed over that time. While it is bittersweet, I love watching this girl insert herself into this family. She is sassy and confident in what she wants, and I hope she never loses that.

IMG_3628

Here is George at 22 months.

Grit and Grace Review

Reading has been something that has been very difficult for me lately, however when this book review came to me, I knew I needed the challenge.

I received this devotional for my honest review.

Grit and Grace

This book is a 90-day devotional geared towards mothers. I knew I was going to like this devotional after the first page. One of the authors went into a story about being late to church and the frazzled feeling when you take your kids anywhere. She is my people.

There are a couple things to note from this book that I really like:

  • The two authors are at different stages of motherhood. One has young kids (like myself) and one has older children and is able to provide perspective from the other side of being in the weeds of toddlerhood.
  • With that being said, it does seem that this book is geared more towards mothers who are in the younger kid stages. I don’t mind it, and I think there is still much to glean from it. However, many of the stories are from this time.
  • The book is separated into daily devotionals, and let me tell you they are easily digestible. First they are fairly short, so each day could be read in 5 minutes. For someone who falls asleep within a matter of a few pages of any book,  this is a must. I also loved that they included the full text of the scripture in each chapter as well as a short prayer. This easy access is great for me to connect with God and have a little guidance that gets me started with the word and prayer. I am all about some given structure in my chaos of days.

All that is great, however, what I loved most about it was how relatable it was. It is so easy to feel like you are alone and feel like you aren’t doing things right. Just this morning I mumbled under my breath that I do not have the patience to be a mom as both kids were crying at me for reasons that are still unknown. The stories that were shared were experiences that I have had. They shared thoughts that have gone through my head. They spoke insecurities that are deep in my soul. They are me. It is devotionals like these who talk about the mess and the realities of the imperfection that help me to connection with God. In these stories we can embrace grace through the love that is given, and I so appreciated the words that were spoken through this book.

I do not think this will be a book that I just read once. It might be one of those that I read yearly just to remind myself how wonderfully and fearfully we were made for motherhood. God made all this possible, even if sometimes it is a little messy.

He also provided us with a little Grit and Grace.

You can find the book here.

 

2019 Intentions

When January rolls around, talks about resolutions, goals, and a fresh start are so very common. And the idea of a “word for the year” is nothing new. The idea of setting a theme for the year with one word has been floating around for awhile.

I will be honest, right along with resolutions, I always thought the one word intention was hokey and kitchey. I mean how could you base your entire year’s worth of goals around one word? It just seems so lofty, and how do I mark a check next to a word theme?

I like my lists of goals with very specific tasks that I can accomplish over the next year. (A true Achiever at heart wants checkboxes.) As I always do when January 1st rolls around, I set out to create my goal list. My list is long for 2019, and here are just a few items I want to accomplish this year:

  • Complete 5 races
  • Have an outing with just me and George once a month
  • Read 5 books
  • Do at least one bible study a month

I will tell you with January almost over, I am already behind on more than half of my goals that I set forth.

"When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace." MEDITATION

I am not really sure why I had such a negative reaction to “intentions” before. I am always talking about being intentional in what I do, so it seems really silly that I stuck my nose up to this practice each year. I mean, I probably say, “Let’s be intentional,” at least twice a day at work…

So when I listened to my friend’s podcast about intentions (which I highly recommend anyone to find Friends in Pursuit), I was intrigued to sit on this idea of “one word” a little more.

I started thinking about the past year. While it brought me some great things, it did come without some incredible challenges. My anxiety has reared it’s ugly head more than I am comfortable with, and dealing with a four year old is quite possibly going to give me a full head of gray hair.

In their podcast and workbook on intentions, Kari and Andrea asked a question that kind of threw me for a loop.

What word describes a mindset that would have helped face the lessons learned?

Breathe is the word that came to my mind like a smack in the face.

My anxiety comes in the physical form of nausea and shortness of breath. It makes me flush, and I have a hard time calming my heart rate down. It can be a struggle to focus on breathing because it feels like I am stuck in an elevator that is about to plummet 100 floors.

So breathing focus is something I know from counseling that I need to do a better job of doing.

I thought of a lot of words for my year:  grace, humility, drive, comfort to just name a few.

But I kept coming back to breathe and how so much of my challenges are brought on by my own anxiety and the inability to sometimes control my body.

May you never overlook how powerful it can be to slow down for a moment and take a little time to breathe

I need to breathe in the moments with my children instead of hoping for the next stage to come. Wishing this time away does no good for anyone. I need to pause more instead of rushing through it.

I need to breathe before I respond to George’s tantrums instead of snapping back to gain control. Breathing will keep me humble and remind me that I am his role model and how I respond means more than just that one moment.

I need to breathe when I feel my heart start to race. Mindfulness is something that has never come easy to me, and I know breathing is so much of that exercise. I need to use the focused breathing exercise on my Fitbit to start training my mind and body to self-regulate.

I need to take a breath to instill patience over things and actions I cannot control.

I need to take a breath to sometimes watch my mouth and be more careful with the words that I say.

I need to sometimes just take a breath and give myself a break instead of jumping to worst case scenario and stop the planning machine that occurs in my head.

I need to breathe in the opportunities of new friendships and new initiatives instead of worrying about being out of my comfort zone.

I literally need to breathe fresh air more. One of my goals is to get outside a ton, so it is only natural to think about breathing in the outdoors.

I need to count my breaths as opportunities to be me and not someone else.

For me, breath encompassed all the other words that I was thinking of initially. Breathing is an action. Breath is a moment in time that will help me focus. There is so much work that can be done in a breath.

And sometimes I need to sit in that breath. In these breaths, I can trust that whatever this is will pass. In between breaths, I can let go and let God. I often try to rush through this lesson, so focusing on something so small like a breath will remind me that none of this is permanent. A breath can help me connect: with myself, others, and God.

D. Antoinette Foy

 

A breath can give me power. A breath can give me calm. A breath can give me grace. A breath can give me “me” back in those moments of stress.

Breathe.

Just one simple word that holds so much meaning.

What’s your intention for the year?

 

And seriously, if you like podcasts, I highly recommend listening to Andrea and Kari!