Monday, January 24, 2011

A Tribute

We lost Pokey today. If you don't know who Pokey was, you might not understand that this is a really big deal. Pokey was Madelyn's favorite blanket (she got her name from the polka dots she once had). Her go-to blankie. Her lovie! She adored this blanket and took it EVERYWHERE. After I realized it was gone I went back into the store and hunted the shelves for it. I asked for it. Left my phone number at customer service. I even got Aunt Amanda and Grammy to go back to the store with me after Mad was tucked into bed to look one more time. No Pokey. I even called down the aisles for Pokey, just as Mad would have done. "Pokey, where are you. Where are you Pokey." "Pokes" is lost. And I am afraid to say...FOREVER. When Mad went to bed she cried for Pokey. She didn't want to sleep without her. And then once she understood that she had to, she asked when we would get Pokey back. My poor baby lost her Pokey today!

Here's to you, Pokey!

Playing Hide and Seek with Pokey.
Pokey as a napkin.

Folding Pokey.
Pokey watching Nemo on Ice.

Oliver watching Pokey at the Biltmore Estate.
Resting with Pokey after a long day.

Pokey at the park.

Pokey relaxing on the hammock with new baby bro.

Pokey at the Nature Center.

Pokey getting ready for dance class.

Pokey on Christmas morning.

Pokey, you will be missed!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dance Your Heart Out

Madelyn had her first dance recital on Saturday! Finally. I thought we weren't going to be able to have it because the weather has been so bad. It was rescheduled twice. I guess it's true when they say the third times the charm. She did a fabulous job! I have never been more proud of my little girl! She was quite
nervous about the recital all day long. Shortly after she woke up on Saturday morning she said, "mommy, I not know how to do my 'cital. I not big 'nough." I spent some time trying to convince her that she was a beautiful ballerina and knew exactly what to do. But deep down I wondered if she would actually pull it off. Don't get me wrong- I have complete confidence in her. I just know how she can get when she is nervous/anxious/tired. I knew that she would either do really well or have a total meltdown and not even make it to the stage. We went to dance class and they practiced the entire time for the recital. Like I said, this was the third time it had been scheduled. It had actually been about a month since her last dance class! She did well. After that I had planned to spend the day at home, allowing Madelyn and Oliver to nap. Of course, this didn't go as planned. We went home and Oliver napped. But not Mad. She was too excited to nap (which is typically the case). Which also meant she was headed towards exhaustion. When it was time to head to the Asheville Arts Center we were all in decent moods- and Madelyn was beyond excited. Once we arrived it was time for her to get dressed. I helped her into her pink leotard and blue tutu. Then we put on her tap shoes and fixed her hair. She looked gorgeous!! I had some time to snap some pictures before the recital began.


After I was done taking a million pictures of my cutie, I decided I would try to go upstairs and find our seats. Philip had already gone upstairs with Ollie to meet the family and try to "claim" good seats (where we could actually see the stage). As soon as I headed towards the door, Mad looked at me and got a little teary. She ran towards me and began sobbing into my shirt. Uh-oh! This is what I was afraid of. She was nervous and tired...not a good combination! I convinced her to let go of me but she kept saying, "but mommy, I wanna stay with you." I eventually broke away and Madelyn got in line. As I sat down next to Philip, I wondered if Madelyn would even make it to the stage. But, within a few moments the girls came through the door. They all looked really precious! And then there was little Madelyn! Once I spotted her I knew she was going to do it!
The girls began dancing to The Dreidel song and before I knew it the song had ended. Madelyn did such a great job! I wanted to see more! And I would get to...since they had another recital in 30 minutes!! :) She did just as well for the second recital. Although, during the second recital her shoe came untied. She kept looking at her shoe trying to figure out what to do. I knew that the teacher had told them several times before the recital that if your shoe comes untied just to keep dancing. I was a little nervous that Mad would get upset about her shoelace and she kept looking at it throughout the remainder of the song. But, she continued to dance! I am so proud of her! She even asked me this morning when she would get to have another recital.

And to top it off, Oliver did really well too! We weren't sure how well he would sit for two recitals, but he did amazing!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Too skinny?

 The other day I took Ollie to the doctor for his nine month check up. He is healthy and growing just as he should be. Almost. He seems to be meeting all of his milestones ahead of schedule. He is constantly on the go and wants to do everything he sees his sister do. But...he is a little on the skinny side. Now, I have never considered him to be "skinny." I actually thought he was rather large for his age. I was quite surprised when I found this out at the doctor's office the other day. He was big when he was born (8lbs 9oz), so I didn't think this would ever become a concern with him. If you didn't know, this was a constant struggle with Madelyn. The doctor was VERY concerned about her weight when she was younger. She was in the 95th percentile for height and the 5th percentile for weight. We tried everything to get her to eat more, but she only wanted fruits and veggies. This doesn't sound like a problem, I know, but it isn't easy for someone to gain weight when eating only fruits and veggies since they are low in calories. She is still skinny- although she does eat a larger variety of foods now- and tall. Now, back to Ollie. I just didn't think this would be a concern. But, here we go, again! The doctor didn't seem to be too concerned, luckily. Ollie is in the 8th percentile for weight. This means that 92% of babies are larger than him. I try to remind myself that the general public isn't all that healthy, so maybe comparing him to others isn't really a great idea to begin with. I also know that the chart his doctor uses is not for breastfed babies, but for formula fed babies. This also makes a difference. But, in the end, I know that he is skinny! And although I try to not let it bother me, it does. He doesn't eat anything very well. He is picky 99% of the time. He would eat bananas all day long if I let him, but I know this isn't really a possibility. I know that eventually he will eat better (I hope). And I know that he is very active. But, I just wish for once that I wasn't thinking about how little my children are...when Ollie is (or isn't) eating, I don't want to have to worry about his weight. Luckily, he hasn't lost any weight and continues to gain weight...just not as much as most babies his age. Maybe I should be glad that they aren't too big, since obesity is such a large problem in our society.

I said he was active! Standing up to eat his dinner...the only way he would consider it!

Enjoying his dinner. He may be little, but he sure is cute!

Dinner is over. Time to burn some more calories!

Monday, December 27, 2010

"May all your Christmases be white"

Well, Christmas has come and gone. But...the snow still remains. Although I am not a huge fan of the cold or the snow, I did enjoy our white Christmas. I think this is the first one I have ever had (besides a few flurries on Christmas morning) and could quite possibly be the last. Evidently this is the most snow ever recorded in Asheville on Christmas day. Last night Philip measured to see how much snow we have total- he measured a whopping 13 inches on our back deck. How's that for a white Christmas?!?!

The kids really enjoyed playing in the snow (after opening tons and tons of presents). Okay...maybe Ollie didn't love it. Ollie has seen snow already this year and doesn't really know what to make of it. He just stared around wondering what on Earth was falling from the sky! Madelyn really enjoyed going out and sticking out her tongue to catch snowflakes since it was still snowing when we went out. As a matter of fact, it snowed ALL day and into the next day too! She also got to play in the snow with family, too (which NEVER happens). Her Grandpa, Aunt Sarah, Uncle Austin, and Aunt Amanda all made it to our house so they played too. They even attempted a snowman- but I don't think he ever got finished. Maybe today we will go out and finish him up!


Now, let's back things up a bit to Christmas morning. Madelyn woke up fairly early on Christmas morning...which if you read my last post, this shouldn't surprise you a bit. And Ollie had already been awake about an hour before Mad! Madelyn came running into my room and said, "mommy, come into my room NOW. Someone left something in there!" She was super excited that she had a brand new flat screen tv on top of her dresser (thanks to Grammy)! Once she showed off her new tv, we ventured downstairs. I don't think she knew what to think when she saw everything Santa had left. At this point Ollie didn't seem to care much.

Then, Madelyn started opening gifts. She was moving faster than the speed of light. Her facial expressions as she opened each gift were priceless! Ollie even got into it after a little time passed! Maybe watching Mad open her gifts inspired him. He spotted an activity table and zoomed across the room towards it. He knew it was his and immediately started pressing the buttons to see what would happen. After all the gifts from Santa were opened things slowed down a bit, the kids had time to play, and we got ready for everyone to come over. At this point it had already been snowing for quite a while so we were grateful that we would still get to see almost everyone (although we didn't make it to Brevard to see Uncle Kevin). Nannie and Poppy soon arrived and handed out more gifts. Madelyn was really excited about her arts and crafts bag from them- she hasn't stopped pulling out art projects since! Then Philip's family came over with even more presents. Our children definitely have more than they will ever need. They are surely loved and we are thankful that everyone adores them as much as we do!!

Here are just a few highlights from the day:

 Madelyn taking pictures of Nannie and Poppy.
Totally loving that she can take her own pictures with her own real digital camera.

Loving her new American Girl Doll (she named her Violet).
I can't wait to take her to the American Girl store in Atlanta.
Maybe we will let her pick out a new outfit for her new best friend!

Playing with her Zippity video game.
She loves that she has her own game to play (just like mommy and daddy).
We love that it teaches her numbers, letters, colors, etc. while she plays.

Ollie's favorite part of opening presents...snacking on the wrapping paper!

Driving his very own dump truck.
I am sure this will be a favorite as he learns to walk (it also turns into a walker).

And we couldn't forget a family photo of Ollie's first Christmas!
Don't they both look so happy?!?!

On a side note, Madelyn has already started asking about next Christmas. She wants to know how many days until it is Christmas again!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Will we meet again?

I know before you have a baby everyone says, "Sleep now while you can." I always hated hearing this because, well, honestly, it is not very easy for a pregnant woman to sleep. I remember how difficult it was to get comfortable and then how often I would have to get up during the night. Little did I know...that would be easier than it is now.

Madelyn used to wake up during the night, every night, to get up and play. She wanted to play or watch tv at 2 or 3 in the morning. We never let her. Yet, she consistently woke up and woke us up to see if she could. I mentioned she was persistent, didn't I? And she typically took around 2 hrs (in the middle of the night) to fall back asleep and stop asking. This went on for a long time. It finally ended about the time I found out we were having another...and I was too uncomfortable to sleep.

Now, when Oliver was born I was prepared to have some sleepless nights. Really. I knew exactly what it was like to have a newborn. And Madelyn had NEVER been a really great sleeper, so I was prepared. Oliver decided early on that I could not put him down to sleep on his own. This was not easy for me, as I was also chasing after a three year old. At night Ollie wanted to sleep with me (which was fine and was part of our plan anyway) but then as he got a tad older he started waking more during the night than he had right after birth. It got worse, not better. It finally came to a point where Ollie was waking every hour to nurse (which means that I was getting no sleep at all). Napping during the day was not very successful either because of a sleep-resistant three year old. SO....I became a little sleep deprived. No biggie, right?

Well, let us fast forward a few months. Oliver is now 8.5 months old and Madelyn is 3 1/2. I am beginning to wonder if I will EVER sleep again. No. Really. Oliver has never (not once) slept all night without waking. He typically wakes up between 1 and 2 (and I don't actually mind this too much- I usually find that I start to miss him during the night if too much time goes by). But many nights he wakes up twice (or more). I try not to always rush right to him. Sometimes I just get him and feed him right away. But most often I let him cry a bit to see if he can soothe himself back to sleep (he is actually pretty good at self-soothing). Sometimes he will cry for what seems like forever...and I don't sleep through that at all. Regardless of what I do, I am awake. We have done sleep training/crying it out with him since he was five months old and it has worked wonders with Ollie. And we continue to do it when he gets off schedule (which happens about every week or two). It only really takes one night. But, like I said, he still wakes up once to eat no matter what.

To top it off, my kids are early risers. I know ALL (or most) kids are, but I mean REALLY early. Yesterday they both woke up before 5:45. How's that for an early wake up call?!?! I am not particularly an early riser. Okay, I am not at all an early riser. I have always been really good at staying up late and sleeping in. Now that I have two children who refuse to sleep, I don't get to "sleep in." I still, for some ridiculous reason, stay up much later than I should given my sleeping circumstances. It would make sense if I went to bed shortly after the kids. But, I really can't seem to settle down that early (even though I am exhausted beyond belief). I enjoy sitting down in the evening and having some "down" time where I am not chasing after anyone, playing Barbies, cleaning up a mess, cooking dinner, bathing children, etc. So my habits will continue to interfere with my sleep as well.

Anyway, after all this exhausted rambling I am wondering....where are you sleep? When will we meet again?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I love these GENES!

It amazes me how different my two children are. I know they say all kids are different, but lately I have been noticing this more and more!

First of all, Madelyn looks sooo much like me. Looking at pictures from when I was little I think we look almost identical (I sure do love when people say she's cute)!

And Oliver looks just like Philip. I couldn't imagine two people looking more alike than they do. They have the same eyes. And the same hair (although Ollie does have my porcupine hair).

Interesting enough, I think Mad and Ollie look very much alike too. Of course, I think Philip and I look absolutely nothing alike. Look...they are even making the same face!!!

As for personality, Madelyn is FULL of LIFE. She is always on the go and never takes even a moment to slow down. Tonight she wanted me to play a game with her (although we had been playing all day since I didn't have to work) and I stopped to ask her if she ever gets tired. She looked at me straight in the eye and said no. I honestly believe this! She is quite inquisitive and very independent. She is sensitive and cares a lot about what is right and wrong (although she doesn't always do the right thing since she is three). Above all else, she is hilarious...and I believe she knows this! Oliver is easygoing. Yet, he is more mischievous than Madelyn EVER was. And although he is curious and exploring all of the new things around him, he is calm. He plays on the floor for a few minutes and then crawls into my lap to sit and suck on his thumb, taking a break from all of the excitement. He is even gentle (for an 8 month old). When I feed him before bed every night he plays with my hair, notice I didn't say pulls my hair. Now he obviously isn't old enough to compare everything (since he can't talk), but already I notice that they are two very different people. One thing is for sure, they are both incredibly happy babies!

I was feeding Ollie scrambled eggs the other night. It was his first time eating them and he spit them back out at me. He didn't care for them much. This is new for me. Madelyn never spit food out at me. She tried, and liked, everything we gave her. She never even seemed to have a preference over fruits and veggies. She just loved it all. Oliver on the other hand loves fruits, especially bananas, and tolerates his veggies. He hated peas for the longest time, but my persistence paid off and he now eats them.The weird part about this...Madelyn ate everything we gave her, just in small amounts. Oliver doesn't love everthing, but when he does you sure know it. He eats it all and then wants more!

Regardless of who they are or who they resemble, I sure do love them!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Up, up, and away

Today Ollie learned how to pull himself up from sitting to standing. He has been pulling up onto his knees for about two weeks now. But now he is on his feet!! I know it will only be a matter of time now before my tiny boy will begin walking. I have mixed feeling about this. I know that he will be so excited to get up and go, just like his big sis. But, at the same time, I am not ready for this. I want him to stay my tiny baby as long as possible. I completely welcome his growth and accomplishments, don't get me wrong. But they grow up so fast. I just wish he knew that he didn't need to hurry. That he can slow down and not rush through it all.

I try to enjoy every second of every day (although I am often not successful at this). I want to take it all in. I need to slow down (it's a wonder my children are in such a hurry). Madelyn's new favorite word is "already." As in, "Mommy, I'm ready, already." As I laugh at her impatience (and wish she wouldn't use the word in this context), I know she has learned this from someone! My new goal is to learn how to "stop and smell the roses." I am hoping this blog will help me do this. To sit at night and relive the great moments from the day. To think back to what Madelyn and Oliver have done and said and laugh (and maybe cry). To enjoy the moments when they are happening. But to also enjoy them long after they are over.